Helping People Help Themselves

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Like many of you, I went back to work yesterday after a few days off. I don't know how your first day back to work was, but I walked into my office to see a handwritten note from Mrs. Barbara Bush on my desk. She wrote to thank me for participating in her literacy event in Dallas two weeks ago. I was flattered to get asked to help and, of course, I confess I enjoyed receiving the personal note from Mrs. Bush. But what was most thrilling of all was to learn that Mrs. Bush and President Bush 41 raised $800,000 at the Dallas literacy event. That's a lot of money!!! It can really help people help themselves!

In her note, Mrs. Bush wrote me that $400,000 of the $800,000 is dedicated to address literacy problems in Texas and the remaining $400,000 will go to help address national literacy problems. By the way, if you are interested in reading more about Mrs. Bush's foundation, or even making a small contribution, check out this Web site.

As Mrs. Bush has reminded me in prior meetings, some adults in this country can't even read a bus schedule to go some place to apply for a job and, of course, if you can't read a bus schedule, chances are you can't fill out an application for a job. Literacy is something that is easy to take for granted if you can read. If you can't, your life faces terrible challenges… almost impossible ones.

So often in my business we see only the fighting and criticizing stirred up often by us in the media trying to find controversy and not simply as a check on democracy. It is inspiring to see and remind ourselves about many of our former leaders — including former President Clinton — working so hard, even after they leave office, to try to make things better.

Now for lots and lots of e-mails and I am posting them as I read them. I am not deliberately picking any e-mail over another. As I read the e-mails I notice that most of them are about which FOX News on-air person is a favorite and the issue of obesity. There were few e-mails about the war in Iraq (many about the war that were sent were too long to post but I found them interesting to read).

E-mail No. 1

Yes, I think obesity is a HUGE problem. But as far as the government is concerned I don’t think they should be involved in the public’s eating habits. Granted a lot of taxpayer’s money probably goes toward paying for uninsured obesity related health problems at publicly funded clinics and hospitals. I also know that sometimes there are medical reasons for a person to be overweight. But most of the time people just don’t know when to stop eating. They feel they have to clean their plates up or eat food just because it’s free.
Another point on weight issues. People don’t realize that when you tell someone they are too skinny and look bad it’s just as bad as telling someone they are fat. I get it all the time about “putting some meat on my bones”. Folks have no compunction about telling me I’m too thin but you sure don’t go up to someone and tell they are fat to their face. It’s rude. Everyone thinks I don’t eat. I do. I’m just not a glutton and I have some restraint.
Clarissa Lockett,
Houston, TX

E-mail No. 2

In response to Greta’s question E-mail No. 4, on obesity, I think obesity is a huge health problem today. I don't believe it’s a government’s role to dictate how people live or eat, but government has a responsibility to enforce truthfulness in labeling & advertising, so people can make informed choices.

E-mail No. 3

Question E-mail No. 3. My favorite on-air personality is Shepard Smith. He tells/gives the news with his whole heart. You can tell he really loves what he does. He has a special charm about him. He also 'livens' up the news with a little spunk! (Doens't hurt he is a 'Southern Boy', either!)
Prattville, AL

E-mail No. 4

Question No. 3:
Who is your favorite Fox News on-air person and why?
My answer: It is hard to pick a favorite, but for me, it would be Jim Angle.
Jim Angle presents his news reports without bias or rancor and with a special kind of cheefulness.
Honorable mention: Brit Hume, Carl Cameron, Catherine Herridge

E-mail No. 5

Question No. 4:
Is obesity a national health problem? If so, what should our government do, if anything, about it?
My answer: I'm not qualified to say whether or not there is a national obesity
problem, but if there is, the government should stay out of it.
The exception to that would be if the government would put out easily
accessible nutritional information. In no way, shape, or form should
our government be meddling into what people weigh or trying to regulate
what they eat.

E-mail No. 6

I am 30 pounds overweight and do not intend to lose it. Just keep walking and stay in the best shape that I can, considering I am overweight.

E-mail No. 7

ED Hill is my favorite. Bring her back to the morning show. We all miss her. She is so much like the rest of us "middle class" people and hasn't let her notoriety destroy her genuine self.
Steve H.
Pierre, SD

E-mail No. 8

My favorite on air personality? It's a tie between Steve Doocy and Shepard Smith. Steve is just so funny and has a great personality. I love catching a few minutes of Fox and Friends before work. Why do I like Shepard? Because he is a total cutie of course!!! And the coverage he did on the hurricanes was great and done with a lot of compassion for the victims.

E-mail No. 9

3. Who is your favorite FOX News on-air person and why?
Bernie Grimm! He is funny and cute and smart and just gives his opinion without having some agenda or thinking through what he is going to say. I hope you have him on again for your New Year's Eve show again like you did last year. This year instead of high school yearbook pictures you can show baby pics!

E-mail No. 10

Hi Greta,
My favorite is Steve Harrigan. He’s all business on the air and he writes a great blog. He’s got guts and heart, and gives great insight, candor and humor to the situations he puts himself in.

E-mail No. 11

Shep! Why...good communicator, handsome, funny, great hair, pretty good tan (for New York! ), and being from Mississippi , and a Ole Miss Rebels Fan at that, sure doesn't hurt!
Best Regards,

E-mail No. 12

Obesity is an individual issue and in no fashion warrants any government intervention. To do so would be to add more layers to a something that is already over burdened.

E-mail No. 13

Yes, I think obesity is a problem in this country and until the people awake and realize that they are overweight nothing is going to happen except a lot of them are going on the happy overweight place in the sky. They need to educate the young people while they are in school to this fact.
I'm one of those who is overweight (10 pounds), but I trying to correct that problem it's hard because everything I like to eat is wrong for me. I have cut a lot of the wrong food, but as the old saying goes "it a long hard row to hoe). I will get there as I have 5 more months before I have to see my doctor again.
Gulfport Ms

E-mail No. 14

Now that's a terrible on earth can I choose. I like a bunch of you, but I'd have to say it would have to be Shep...ya' never know what he's gonna say or do. Love his bell and spinning light.'s not the same if Skinnerville is not there.
Fort Worth, Texas

E-mail No. 15

1.) I think Michael Richards can repair. Want to know how and why I came to my own conclusion/opinion on this? Go to the Hannity and Colmes link at and see the video for your self (I love Fox news).
2.) Precarious. A mess!
3.) I believe obesity a problem that is getting worse. Preventive Health care is a good idea/option (whatever that entails...well...less obese of course!). However, it's not the most popular as most doctors have their hands full treating ailments. Go figure.
4.)That's a tough question Greta. I'll say Shepard Smith. He's intelligent, funny, witty, sarcastic (one must be that to interview correct?!) He's also real. And most know he is not your right wing conservative puppet! Studio B and The Fox Report - pure genius!
5.) I am 30 pounds + overweight (I'm currently dieting). I interject many into one (LOL). I do a low carbohydrate, low salt, no sugar diet. I am also trying to minimize my calorie intake as my Health instructor suggest that a low calorie intake is beneficial for ALL for optimal heath. He also said I need to exercise more (how embarrassing!).
6.) I am happy about the Holidays for the most part. I am currently remodeling AND moving, so we are going to have a HUGE dinner and a small Christmas. I probably won't even have a tree!Carolyn
San Diego, CA

E-mail No. 16

5. I am about 100 lbs. overweight. I always have a plan to lose weight but I never carry the plan to the end. I have been on Jenny Craig and lost a lot of weight but when I finished with Jenny I put the weight back on plus some. I was on nutri-system and lost some weight but I was not happy with the food.

E-mail No. 17

I will answer question 5: I am overweight, actually in terms of BMI I am obese. I am 50 pounds overweight. I am currently working to take the weight off. I have lost 15 pounds thus far. I am just eating better, drinking more water, and trying to find time to exercise. I have lost a large amount of weight and then gained it back and now am trying to get back down to a smaller size.

E-mail No. 18

5. Are you overweight?
Yes, about 30 lbs. I like to blame it on stress and menopause, but the truth is, I just like to eat and can’t seem to stop. My plan is to cut back on portions and walk more everyday. From past experience, that should last about 3 days.

E-mail No. 19

I'm looking forward to the holidays because, although I have 8 children and 15 grandchildren, I don't buy gifts. I haven't for many years. I spend the holidays being cheerful, enjoying the decorations and music and extending and accepting hospitality. The interaction and good will of
family and friends makes the holiday.
V. Uliana
Bethlehem, PA

E-mail No. 20

My vote goes to Shepard Smith. He doesn’t just read the news. He presents every story with honesty and integrity and, as you listen to him, you know in your heart you can believe everything he is telling you. He is aggressive but he would open the car door for a competitor because that is the way his mama raised him in Mississippi. Shepard is another of the many reasons I start and end my day with FOX News.
Reba H.
Brandon MS

E-mail No. 21

I consider obesity (along with many other problems) to be a personal problem. I don't think the federal government has any constitutional basis to get involved in this issue. I don't think its anyone's business but my own what I eat even if its foie gras in Chicago or Trans fats in NYC. Its up to me to seek help if my weight bothers me or I worry about the effect on my health. If I don't have a clue as to how to deal with it, then I should ask a professional. Besides, as we have seen over and over again, when the government gets involved the "cure" is usually worse than the "disease".

E-mail No. 22

Hi Again,
OK, although you said not to, I can answer the other questions with some " N " words.....
1) Michael Richards........Nitwit.
2) War in Iraq.................Needless
3) Favorite news celeb....None
4) Obesity.....................Nutri-Grain
5) Overweight.................Negligible
Anything else? Just ask

E-mail No. 23

Shep Smith. He has so much charisma, charm, smarts and sense. He seems like a really good guy and someone that is very relatable. He is a cutie pie to boot! I watch him all the time! Thanks for asking.

REPLY: Cutie pie to boot? I am going to tease him about all the e-mail.

E-mail No. 24

I think obesity is a problem in America; that's different than is obesity a national problem.
I'm not sure the government has a responsibility to do anything about it. Individuals need to take responsibility for their health. If the government got involved, it would have to police what people eat in order to enforce healthy eating.
Everyone knows that smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer; does that make any difference to the people who smoke? Everyone knows that drinking too much causes health risks including alcholism. It affects the family and job; but, people still drink, drive, and wake up with hangovers knowing they are putting the welfare of their health, their famly, and their job at risk.
I could go on and on about things people do knowing that they are harming their health. People will continue to do what they want, even if the government intervenes. Look at what government involvement has done to the drug situation in America.
A family of four could put a healthy meal on the table for what they spend at McDonald's for a family of four. It's about choices.
Marlborough, MA

E-mail No. 25

In this order: Martha McCallum, Sean Hannity and Kimberly G.

E-mail No. 26

Hi Greta,
Yes, obesity is a national health problem! Our government could start making changes in our P.E. for the elementary level and have it be 5 days a week instead of 2.
Also, school lunches are getting better but they are a long way off.
Angie Peterson
Morton IL

E-mail No. 27

I am overweight and proud of it! My husband actually did not like it when I lost weight, he thought there was nothing to hold on too.

E-mail No. 28

Dear Greta,
My favorite on-air person at FOX News in Shepard Smith (SHEP!). He has a great personality, he is down to earth, and has a wonderful sense of humor. I enjoy how he puts his little spin on everything. He can be very serious one moment and then very silly the next. I like that and I think the viewers enjoy him. I know I do!
In a close second and third and fourth...Catherine Herridge, she is amazing-I love her hair cut! She is intelligent and has a great sense of humor also. Mike Jerrick is great, as is Steve Doocey, Juliet Huddy....absolutely gorgeous!
Linda Thompson
Wales, ME

E-mail No. 29

No, I'm not happy that another holiday is approaching. I have a hard time at Christmas. I lost my mother at Christmas time, in fact, we buried her on the 23rd so since 1987 it's been a sad and hard time for me.
Lee's Summit, MO

E-mail No. 30 bet' the holidays, especially Christmas and New Years. Family & friends seem to be much closer during the holidays, than at any other time of the year. Even complete strangers seem to be friendlier and show common good manners more often than other times of the year. Wish the holidays lasted all year long.
Philadelphia, PA

E-mail No. 31

I weigh 200 lbs. I am 5'6 1/2" tall. My highest weight (when I was pregnant with twins) was 265. Over the last 3 years I have lost 65 lbs. I would like to lose another 50. Obesity runs in my family. My grandfather's relatives all weighed 300-500 lbs. I have a sister who is in that weight range too - though I have no idea how much she weighs for sure. I am fairly active, though I have no exercise regimen. I do a lot of walking and stair climbing in my job. I am like most people though - I need to eat healthier. I am not a big eater, but I like my sweets! If researchers could figure out a way to stop the craving for sweets I'd be happy!

E-mail No. 32

My favorite Fox person is Alan Colmes . He does a great job. They don't let him pick features that he would like to do (favoring liberals or criticizing conservatives ) but he still is able to counteract a lot of Sean's views. And he is funny doing it!!
kathy Kenslow, Fresno

E-mail No. 33

Greta to suggest "Corruption" in the case of Natalee Halloway, is a gross understatement! It's the same old story the world over, if you are rich enough, have enough political clout/power or celebrity, you usually can get by with anything! This is really disgusting, to say the least! Don't you remember way back when that team from Texas who was there to dig for evidence, starting to dig around the the grounds where Joran lives, and Joran's dad came out and went ballistic, who demanded that they stop digging around their house or grounds? I think he was panicked that they might find some viable evidence, so he just went nuts and ordered the men away from his property. I will always believe that Joran is very much responsible for whatever happened to Natalee. If one was to dig around the grounds of Joran s family's house, they would find the evidence they need. I think something happened to Natalee while she was in Joran's little bungalow, and she was buried somewhere on their property. It is so frustrating to feel so helpless as to getting information, but at least the finger is pointing again where it belongs, back at Joran VanderSloot! It is terribly cruel that Karin couldn't have had the warmth, sympathy and class to keep Natalee's family informed on everything, but it's been a long, cruel, frustrating journey from the start!
Loretta Young

E-mail No. 34

I am answering question E-mail No. 3: Brit Hume because he is polite — doesn't try to talk over someone else who is talking. His voice is clear and easy to listen to and he has a neat sense of humor.

Marian Towle
Ketchikan, Alaska

E-mail No. 35

Hello Greta;
I am so mad about the Natalie Holloway case that I can't stand it. Followed it from day one. Why can't the CIA or some other group investicate this case, especially, if there was some kinea calusion of the Arubian autorities. Because then it matters to all future visitors for any country to Aruba, and can happen again, as these peeps just don't care about the Law.
Greg Farr
Portland, OR

E-mail No. 36

I think that the best thing Michael Richards should do is go into rehab. Sure, it's very "Hollywood." But I think if he disappears into rehab, people will forget. He should definately appologize, and I think the majority of the American public will forgive. Look at Mel Gibson, he has a new movie out. I suspect if Richards plays his cards right, this could actually be a boost to his carrear.
Lloyd Burwell
Santa Monica, CA

E-mail No. 37

Hi Greta,
I am 50 years old and never had problems with my weight until I started taking anti-depressants eight years ago. Of course at my age many women put on weight, but I definately think the medication played a huge part. I am 60 pounds overweight.
As far as my plan, I talked to my doctor about what I thought was going on with my weight and he agreed to prescribe one that has the least chance of making one gain weight.
I think the number of women taking anti-depressants has to be pretty high and I wish there could be research done to see the role medication plays in the weight gain instead of focusing on fast food so much.
Not leaving my name... in Alabama

E-mail No. 38

Does anyone there at Fox News realize just how REALLY bad this Greta-Van-Yawn show is.!? Forgive my being a blue collar southerner, but it's hard to believe that even New Yorkers want to watch ancient history "America's Most Wanted" delivered by a semi-comatose Popeye wannabe. My God, she's booringly *B*A*D* !!!
I pray it's a 'contract' thing, and sooner (please let it be..!) or later she'll be gone.
I mean, this woman makes even 'stuck-in-the-70's-but-ain't-I-cool' Geraldo look exciting.
Sincerely Begging For Mercy,
D [David] C Hunt
Athens, GA

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