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On Friday night's show we have correspondent Troy Roberts of CBS News' "48 Hours." Troy is coming on our show to talk about their big show Saturday night at 10 p.m. ET. They scored a huge interview that I confess I would have liked to do.
Troy interviewed Aruba's Deputy Police Chief Gerald Dompig and we managed to convince Troy to give us a sneak peek. We know this morning one thing the deputy police chief said to "48 Hours" and that is that he has "strong feelings" that Natalee Holloway died from alcohol and drugs and that it is not murder. This is a departure from what we thought he thought. We thought Dompig believed Natalee was a murder victim. I am curious to find out from Troy — either tonight or tomorrow night on CBS News' "48 Hours" — why Dompig has this feeling of death by alcohol/drugs. More importantly, is it more than a feeling? Is there evidence? Troy has promised to bring some of tape of his interview when he comes to our show so that we can all watch the sneak peek. I hope you watch tonight.
One thing we all know is that Natalee was drinking on May 29 and into May 30. Incidentally, she could legally drink in Aruba last May when she was there — she was 18 years old, the Aruban drinking age. I also suspect that she was drinking heavily. We have copies of the FBI 302 forms (notes from interviews conducted by the FBI). In some of the interview notes it is stated by some of Natalee's friends that Natalee was drinking with friends early in the morning of the day she vanished and drinking into the night.
Of course the fact she consumed alcohol — even if the amount was significant — is not proof of death, how she died, etc. If you step back from the chatter about the investigation and look for facts, you realize there is no proof of death, cause of death or, if it was a homicide, who did it. This lack of information remains the complaint of her family. They want to know what happened and frankly, I think they should know.
We all are very suspicious and, while the content of our suspicions may vary, my guess is that most don't think she is still alive. I don't think she is alive. Yet, I suspect we all felt that way about Elizabeth Smart and she turned up a year later. The bottom line is that the investigation continues and we should keep our eyes wide open. It makes sense to be very suspicious, but we should wait for conclusive facts to reach a conclusion.
Now for some e-mails and yes, from time to time, I like to have some fun. This first e-mail is a bit of mischief for me. I admit I sometimes have fun responding, as I am to Walt below:
E-mail No. 1 — This first e-mail relates back to E-mail No. 23 posted Thursday, which accused me of, in essence, supporting or endorsing murder of children and sexual behavior with an underage student. Of course this is flat out wrong, not to mention absurd. The e-mailer got that idea cooked up in his head when I reported on Bill O'Reilly's show what the courts did in Florida and Texas in the Debra Lafave and Andrea Yates cases.
Since the e-mail was so ridiculous, I did respond to it strongly yesterday. Apparently it infuriated the e-mailer that I posted his e-mail yesterday and then responded to it. I am doing the same again today.
I admit that I am poking a stick in Walt's eye, but I think he deserves it. And yes, no one dies from a nasty e-mail and no one dies from the posting of a nasty exchange, sometimes it even provokes good debate about important issues. Debate is a good thing. Here is his most recent e-mail with capital letters at the bottom of his e-mail and my response:
I specifically did not give you permission to post my e-mail. I e-mailed you and told you that. Obviously you have no ethics. I will pursue this matter further.
RECIPIENT DOES NOT HAVE PERMISSION TO PUBLISH THE CONTENTS OF THIS E-MAIL
ANSWER: Walter, if you don't want your e-mails published, why do you keep sending e-mails to a news organization? I don't get it. That's dumb. I am not your lawyer with a confidential relationship. I am part of a news organization. We tell things. It is called reporting.
A few nights ago I told Walter in a reply e-mail to his original accusatory one that I would post his e-mail. I wanted to post it so other viewers could see his grossly misguided thoughts and so that I could respond. If you read the blog often, you know that I post lots of e-mails — including insulting ones of me. The insulting ones don't bother me and sometimes are even funny. I can laugh at myself. I do mind if I am falsely accused of supporting criminal conduct — especially murder of children or sexually molesting children. There is a big difference to me between an insult and being accused of endorsing or supporting criminal behavior.
Walter, upon learning his original e-mail would get posted and others would see what he writes to anchors and shows, apparently got into a bit of a panic and wrote saying his e-mail could not be posted. He did not apologize for accusing me of essentially endorsing criminal conduct, but instead worried about others seeing what he writes. Had he apologized and said he wrote the first e-mail in a bit of a fuss, I would have accepted the apology and not posted it. He didn't apologize, so I posted his e-mail. I thought viewers should see what other viewers write and what Walter thinks and writes. I am not so sure why Walter is so cowardly now. He appears quite bold when he thinks he won't get exposed.
After the posting on the blog yesterday, Walter got busy again and wrote the above e-mail. Again, I felt it only fair that I respond and I am doing so here. I assume he wrote because he wanted to have someone respond to him. I am doing that.
Here is my view: If you want to be a jerk and write an e-mail accusing me of endorsing criminal conduct, you can. But if you do, have the courage to stand by your convictions and realize the risks, which include having it posted and debated. There is no reason to hide if you stand by your e-mail. Of course, there is a simple way to avoid embarrassment of a posted nasty e-mail, don't send it. Let me repeat, if you don't want it posted, don't send it. It is that simple. You don't "own" your e-mail once you send it.
As an aside, I often withhold some e-mails and signatures when the matter is a sensitive one (person says something about a boss and could lose a job, a rape victim etc.) I exercise my judgment. Many viewers have good reasons for wanting to remain anonymous and I respect that. Wanting to hide your goofy conduct (firing off a nasty e-mail to a TV show) is not persuasive to me.
E-mail No. 2
If Bill O'Reilly thinks you're a pinhead then get this. You are "Our Favorite Pinhead." We won't miss your program. So interesting and informative.
Two pinheads from Portsmouth, VA
E-mail No. 3
How about this? I think you and O'Reilly are both pinheads. You for selling your soul to FOX and O'Reilly for genuinely being a pinhead. Much worse than that, actually.
E-mail No. 4
The girls [sic] story... you gonna believe for the 5 or 6 adult years, this girl just decided to book! All of the sudden? She new she was on the hotline... she could have sure called. Don't you think... tooooo much TV.
I think, something happened with the guy and her... maybe another women? Some other issues ect... [sic] or something... and she just got sick of the deal.
She had enough time it seems to have contacted someone long beore [sic] this to get away... since she has been out alone before, ect., ect. [sic]
Prob, had no money ect. [sic] and decided to leave... and this is what she is saying... she does not look underfed.... or ill abused... least by here photos [sic]... I think she stayed her choice... be surprized [sic] if this is not the case...
E-mail No. 5
Greta, in the Church of Christ, preachers are referred to as "preacher" or "minister" and not pastors.
Life-long member of the Church of Christ
E-mail No. 6
You guys probably had a million e-mails like this but as far as I understand, the Church of Christ doesn't call the "preacher" a "pastor." He is called a "minister" or simply "preacher."
It may be considered the slightest bit offensive, like calling a rabbi a priest, only not as extreme. I noticed in the interview, the deacon of the church corrected Greta like three times.
Keep up the good work everyone, I enjoy the show.
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