Hot Button Issue: Stem Cell Research

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I am curious what you think about stem cell research and whether your opinion has any bearing on how you vote on Election Day (or even whether you vote?) Second, what did you think of the segment we did on the man who has/had/claims to have amnesia? Per our guest last night, the police believe him... and so does his mother.

On another note, of course you see what we air on television, but I do like to use the blog to give you a closer look at this business that we are in — hence the content of today's blog:

If you watched "The O'Reilly Factor" last night, you might have noticed Bill was not in his usual studio in New York City. He was in our Chicago bureau using the same studio (and desk) that I used the night before for "On the Record." I did not see Bill while I was in Chicago — he may have arrived as I was leaving. Bill needed to be in Chicago earlier in the day to tape a show. He is a guest on "Oprah" and it airs on Friday. Bill on Oprah? I don't want to miss that… but I may have to — read on!

I got back to D.C. and who stopped in my office late afternoon? Sean Hannity. Like Bill, he was not in his regular New York City studio last night. He had to be in D.C. earlier in the day, so he did his show from the D.C. studio and then jumped a plane to return to NYC. He told me he must be in NYC early this morning, so he left town last night.

I guess you have figured out that this job is not for those who prefer the comfort of their own homes. On second thought, the truth is that we all "prefer" our homes, but the job demands that we all hit the road. Incidentally, people often ask me where I like to go on vacation. Frankly, with all the travel I do, I just want to stay home. If you travel for work, I bet you agree or understand.

Chicago is not my only "road trip" this week. I leave Friday for Reno, Nevada, which is going to be a long flight because of the airline schedules — I can't get a non-stop flight from D.C. We are working on a special in Reno and then on to Vegas on Sunday to begin preparation for our special "On the Record" in Vegas on Monday night. We have some really great show segments planned for Monday.

Shep is also taking his two shows on the road to Vegas — I am not sure when he arrives, but I do know he will be there Monday at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET. I hope to grab him for a drink after our shows. It's too bad Steve Doocy is not going to Vegas — he owes me five dollars for daring me to say something on the air two nights ago about his book. I did read his e-mail on air about his book to tease him. Now, I need to collect….

On Tuesday, I assume Shep heads back east… we are going farther west. If all goes as planned, I will be in Los Angeles on Tuesday night and Wednesday night. And, if I am really lucky, I will have a redeye flight back to D.C. — leaving about midnight L.A. time Wednesday night, arriving in Washington, D.C. about 6 a.m. Yes, I could wait and leave Thursday morning, but after I have been away from home for so many days I just want to get home… even if it means sitting up all night.

Now for some e-mails:

E-mail No. 1

Hi Greta,
I had to laugh reading your e-mail from Paula regarding her turtle. We too have a turtle. We got "Otis" when our daughter was in 2nd grade. She is now a senior at the University of Texas and we still have Otis. I swear he'll probably out live me. And by the way… we found out Otis was a "she" years later too!
Tracy Powers

E-mail No. 2

Today's pictures make me miss Chi-town... When my husband I were first married we lived at 111 East Chestnut Street (catty corner to the John Hancock building on Michigan Ave.). Then we remained in Chicagoland for 3.5 of the coldest years of my life! It was a VERY FUN city — but freezing in the winter. As a native Texan I had never seen snow on a beach!
Dallas, TX
P.S. That little Mike has the face of an angel!

E-mail No. 3

Hi Greta,
I went to your site today and was very disappointed by the advertising on your page. I printed the screen and have included it here as an attachment.
The "Do Not Resuscitate" T-shirts are in very bad taste. If this is FOX's "Fair and Balanced," I won't bother coming to this site any more. I understand it's an advertiser, but I wonder how many Bush-bashing people want to advertise on FOX and don't get their site published like this.
It's pathetic. And we wonder why the country is so divided. FOX's version of fair and balanced, sure isn't helping.
Bonnie Butryn
Escanaba, MI

E-mail No. 4

Nice desk.
Looks like real wood and probably custom made, hence the expense. No crummy toxic particleboard garbage for a national news network.
You probably do have a lot of viewers who would love to visit the set. I prefer that the press stay out of my life and business activities, so I would not be one of them.
I'm not sure I recognize exactly where the building is located in Chicago. And I would be more likely to be at the federal courthouse or symphony hall if I were in the city. I'm not doing "this," your network rarely covers commercial/IP cases, and we generally don't do media commentary — the corporate communications office is equipped to spend the time on such inquiries.
I have, however, parked my car in the garage at your D.C. bureau and run into all sorts of FOX and NBC employees in the elevator and lobby.
Linda M. Barran, Esq.

E-mail No. 5

Hey Greta,
As a broadcasting refugee, my guess is that studio/set furniture is so expensive because the suppliers can price it that way. 30 years ago local stations and studios had craftspeople on staff to "do-it-yourself." Oh, well...
Good luck finding that third guest! Take care.
Jim Hazlett
Richardson, TX

E-mail No. 6

I admire Rosemary, the lady who got the magazines put in their place a zillion times more than I could ever admire a publicity pig like Madonna for adopting a foreign child... ugh, I wouldn't watch Oprah tomorrow if the ratings people paid me.
Ann Parker
Oklahoma City

E-mail No. 7

For years we refused to take our small children through the checkout due to the at-eye-level with kids adult material. One of us checked out while the other parent took the kids to the door. It was a terribly offensive situation. We complained and even mailed letters. But no one cared about our children's or the fact that we were offended.
R. Wadsworth

E-mail No. 8 — this e-mail relates to the segment two nights ago with Steve Doocy. He has a book about his marriage:

The person I would like to be is... Steve's wife.

ANSWER: Too late — he is happily married.

E-mail No. 9

Don't forget Cher! She is also known by one name only, as are Madonna and Oprah.
Love your show Greta!
Rita Stamey

E-mail No. 10

Dear Ms. Van Susteren,
I viewed last night's brief piece on the Wesley Snipes indictment for tax evasion. I think that it is important to keep in mind that the government has the burden of proof to not only show that a tax is due for the years at issue but that Mr. Snipes acted with willfulness within the meaning of that term as defined in the decision of the United States Supreme Court in U.S. v. Cheek.
Cheek stands for the rule that in a tax case willfulness is measured by a subjective test - not an objective test. In other words, after the evidence is presented, if a jury finds that Mr. Snipes believed, in good faith, that what he was doing was lawful, even if that belief is not objectively reasonable, he has to be found not guilty.
With that said, it will be interesting to see how the defense unfolds. In tax protestor cases, there are two general types of defense. The first is a type of reliance defense. The defendant claims that he relied on his tax professionals and/or others with respect to his belief that his conduct was lawful. The defendant admits that he now understands, after removing himself from the influence of the tainted professionals, that his beliefs were incorrect.
The second is the straightforward tax protest defense that Judges loathe. It involves the protester standing up in court and ranting and raving about the tax system and why it is illegal, etc. This defense results in admissions and convictions.
A slight variation is the tax protestor who is able to get on the stand and convince the jury in a calm, convincing voice that he or she really believed that what they were doing was lawful and that they were not willful. This rarely works. The most recent case where it did work was a fairly attractive female FedEx pilot tax protestor who was found not guilty.
It will be interesting to see whether Mr. Snipes returns to the U.S. to face the charges or becomes a fugitive and tries to remain in a jurisdiction that does not allow extradition for alleged tax crimes.
Respectfully submitted,
Robert E. Panoff, Esq.
Miami, FL

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