My Date with the TSA

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It is an early flight today... especially since I am flying bankrupt Northwest Airlines (not my choice. I don't know about you, but I prefer flying airlines that are financially healthy, for obvious reasons.) Northwest Airlines told me that I have been "specially chosen" for the "search" where the Transportation Security Administration (search) gets to go through all my possessions and gets to wand the bottom of my feet.

I can't get my boarding pass online, so I get to stand in line to get a boarding pass with the markings on it (that we all know) that entitles me to the "special" search. (You would think by now they would change the code on the boarding pass indicating the "special" search since everyone who flies often knows it! It is no secret!)

Somehow I don't feel very "special," but rather like a "person of interest" like everyone else who gets the "special" search and stands next to me in socks in the isolated area. My colleagues — who have one-way tickets purchased Monday and with whom I am traveling — are apparently not very special. They are not going to get the search and they were able to get their boarding passes online.

Northwest Airlines claims it is the TSA who wants me to have this special search. I don't know who wants the special search of me and don't care... from time to time we all get "lucky" and get the "special search." It happens to all of us who travel often. We all just grin and bare it. Many times I am asked for autographs as I stand there isolated from fellow travelers or TSA people tell me they watch the show every night. Frankly, I am just happy to get to my destination. My only gripe is that I wish they would change the term and quit calling it "special." How about "random?"

Monday night I wanted to book some guests who could talk about trucking companies being sent on "wild goose chases" for FEMA (search) in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. What prompted my interest was the article about the "odyssey of the ice" below that I read on Saturday in the New York Times. The article was, in my view, stunning. I don't know if you will feel the same outrage. Click here to read the article — followed by a disturbing note from my producer about our efforts to book the topic.

Here is the note from one of my producers after pounding the phone all day Monday trying to book the "ice odyssey":

Spoke to 3-5 different truck companies who were assigned for delivering ice to the Gulf Coast region. Some of the companies were very short with me on the phone, saying they were tired of talking about this subject and they have nothing more to say. Others would tell me if they talk, they feel FEMA would not work with them anymore. One company had someone commit to an interview, but 2 hours later cancelled because they felt their business could be in jeopardy if they talk poorly about "the hand that feeds them." (FEMA).

I don't know about you, but if everyone "runs and hides," we will never fix problems that arose. We need to bring out in the open the problems so that we can discuss... and fix. I wish the truckers — or their companies — were willing to speak about this ice odyssey and any other problems we taxpayers don't know about.

Per the article above, $100 million was squandered. Imagine what $100 million could do to help people. I wanted to hear from people intimately involved with this ice scandal to test to see how big the problem is, to see if they were telling the truth, exaggerating etc., but no one intimately involved who we called would talk.

Monday night we had Dr. Barton Corbin's (search) lawyer David Wolfe on our show. Dr. Cobin is charged with two murders: 1990 girlfriend and 2004 of his wife. Here is some trivia... last night was not the first time I had met David Wolfe. I met him at the American Airlines gate on June 17 in Aruba. We both happen to be on the same flight headed back to the United States and he approached me and introduced himself to me.

Could someone please call Reuters for me (see the link below) and tell them that I left CNN almost four years ago? My last day at CNN was December 31, 2001. Yes, we are less than three months shy of four years since I worked at CNN. Yes, I am flattered Reuters noticed our viewership and our success but...

Click here to read the article and I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did. I think it is funny they made this mistake (and yes, I am capable of blunders like this!)

Here's an e-mail from a viewer:

E-mail No. 1

Dear Greta,
While on a cruise a few years ago, our waiter brought what he called "overproof" from his cabin for all at our table to taste. I could not even "taste" it, as it burned my lips. I am assuming this is somewhat the same as the 151 to which you refer. If that is the case, there is no way Natalee could have drunk this on a first-time basis. She was probably tipsy and stumbling from a drug, as others have assumed. Your show is great, as I just read your ratings are also. Keep up the good work. You, I'm sure, are much of Beth's strength. We pray for Natalee's safe return.
Joan B.
Gainesville, FL

ANSWER: Thanks for the note. Glad you read about the ratings... hope Reuters was not your source, since you would be watching the wrong network!

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