Hillary Watch: Update

Dear Viewers,

For those of you who have been reading our daily blogs (or checking the archives of the blogs), I want to bring you up to date on my continuing effort to get Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton booked on our show to discuss the power blackout.

I have made calls myself and had no success -- in fact, it is nearly impossible to get a return call. In the prior blog, I had asked for viewer help in persuading Senator Clinton's PR staffer to book her on our show -- we can even talk to her by phone on the show to minimize inconvenience to the senator. I had provided the staffer's name -- Phillipe -- and his phone number: 202 224-2873 (he has voice mail for after hours calls) so that the viewers could call and prod him into booking her on our show.

We finally got a call back from Phillipe on Tuesday.  He told one of my staffers in New York that a woman named "Joan" had called from our show and left a message urging the senator to come on our show but that the senator remains unavailable to us. There is no "Joan" on our staff. This was instead a viewer. Joan, if you read this blog, I just want to thank you for helping us. Keep up the good work!


[8:51 a.m. ET]

After the bombings at the U.N. Headquarters in Baghdad (search) and on the bus in Jerusalem (search), comic relief is much appreciated. Last night we got some towards the end of the show.

"My Generals" were seated in the break before the "F" block and were miked and ready to go when General Edwards turned to General Scales and said, "do you think we have time to change jackets?"

By the comment I thought that General Edwards was exposing a young sense of humor, maybe from the 7th grade, which I usually appreciate. By the look of horror on General Scales face, I suspected something else.  He turned quickly to our floor manager and asked how much time we had before we were back from commercial break. Upon learning we had 30 seconds, the two jumped up and began swapping jackets.

I was "concerned" about what was going on in front of me, and concerned about the clock ticking down from 30 to zero and the viewers seeing this. My producers in New York could see the "activity" on our set and were equally concerned. What were they doing?!

I quickly learned that the two Generals had taken off their jackets in the Green Room while waiting to be called to the set.  Apparently when summoned to the set, one of them -- and I won't tell you which one -- grabbed the wrong jacket.  It was not until they got to the set that General Edwards noticed that General Scales was wearing his jacket. First, General Edwards said that he noticed General Scales wearing a jacket like his -- it was his -- and then General Edwards looked down at his own arms and thought to himself, "Didn't I wear a blue blazer and not a grey pinstripe?"

With military efficiency, they completed the jacket switch in record time -- time enough for me to ask General Edwards if General Scales had stolen his wallet while he was wearing his jacket.  Of course the challenge came for us to act "normal" and not to be laughing as we returned to the show. There is nothing funny about the tragedy in Iraq and Israel.


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