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Helping Americans evacuate from Lebanon is the USS Iwo Jima. You probably know this ship. She is not unfamiliar to us in the media… or more importantly the residents of Louisiana. We all saw her during our coverage of Hurricane Katrina. She pulled up in the port of New Orleans loaded with military personnel to do what they could to help the thousands and thousands who were in great need.
While in New Orleans covering the wrath of Katrina, our show was lucky to be able to board her with our cameras so that you could see her. If you missed the show on September 7, 2005, check out this Navy Web site — there are many pictures of the ship: www.iwo-jima.navy.mil/photos.htm
By the way — although I don't need to tell you — the crew on this ship is amazing! They worked around the clock to help in New Orleans, so those in Lebanon who board her are lucky — that is one great crew! They will take good care of you. Plus, if you have a medical or dental problem, they can even do that! It is a floating city.
If our correspondents and anchors in the war-torn region slur their words a bit on air, cut them some slack — in fact, cut them lots of slack. Sleep is not something any of them is getting with any regularity or in any great amounts. They — and their crews — are working literally around the clock to get you the news as it happens. You may have figured that out because you see them on our air all the time.
Our people — in spite of the conditions — know that they are lucky. These are not their homes getting bombed. At the same time, they are working as long and hard as humanly possible. It is not easy. They want to make sure you get the best and most accurate news and, in my opinion, they are the best at doing it. They also cover the news without fanfare. They don't pretend to be anything more than just journalists doing their job. They feel the sorrow for others, they see the human suffering and yet they do their job — for you. They don’t seek praise or shameless fame. Doing the job well is enough for them.
My guess is that you may not know a great deal about our foreign correspondents (you know Shepard Smith and Bill Hemmer). So, click on these links below for the bios of a few you have seen around the clock the past eight days:
One other thing, there are dozens and dozens and dozens of others who work for FOX News who are in the war zone covering the story for you. I regret that you don't get to see or meet them — they are also working extremely hard to get you the news as it happens. Of course, it is always the on-air people you know, but I like reminding everyone that getting news to you is a product of many, not one.
As you may know, I am a bit behind in posting pictures. Today I've posted some pics from last Friday's "walk and talk" on two murder scenes — ritzy Georgetown and a poor neighborhood in Washington, D.C. The contrast between the two neighborhoods is enormous and you can see that from the pictures. Former D.C. Homicide Detective Ted Williams went with us on this "walk and talk." We like to take you to the scene when we can so that you can see it as we do. We aired the segment last Friday night, but I am just getting around to posting the still pics I took.
There have been so many murders in Washington, D.C., this July that it is front-page news in The Washington Post. As an aside, what is disturbing is that last year at this time we had about the same number of murders for the year — the difference is the great number clumped in one month and perhaps the location of murder No. 95. A crime emergency was declared in D.C. after murder No. 95 took place in the ritzy neighborhood of Georgetown. Do you have any thoughts about the fact that a crime emergency was not declared until this murder? E-mail me if you do — I may post your comment.
Now for some of your e-mails:
E-mail No. 1
Yes! If one chooses to visit a country where it is well known for the potential for violence and danger and becomes entrapped as a result, the cost of evacuation should absolutely be passed on and our country not carry that debt burden! If one can afford such a lush vacation — it seems to me one can afford (and should be responsible) the consequences resulting thereof.
I put this in same category as one who chooses to live on the beach and has property destroyed by a hurricane. Why should all of us PAY for their life choices through our increased insurance rates?
Love your show,
E-mail No. 2
Americans caught up in the Israel/Lebanon war should not be charged for rescue costs... unless they went over there after the conflict began, in which case they should be charged (as well as being sent for mental evaluation). Americans in that situation should be brought home without consideration of cost because they did not know this was going to happen and this is a real emergency situation for them. A government should look out for its own in times like this.
Love your show and blog,
E-mail No. 3
If the American citizens are federal employees, the government should bring them home. Non-government employees, vacationing citizens and students should provide some sort of reimbursement aided by their employers, universities and families.
E-mail No. 4
Regarding reimbursing the government for evacuations, I feel the government should pay to evacuate government employees working there. Others who paid their own way there, and planned to pay their own way back, should reimburse the government. If they were there by their on choice on their own dime, the taxpayers should not pick up the tab. They would have had to pay to get home if this had not happened. I know life is not fair, but it is not fair to taxpayers either.
You are doing a great job. Really liked the pictures of Jungle Jack and his animals. We used to have him here at our zoo exclusively at one time.
E-mail No. 5
I think that Americans who are not government employees working in Lebanon should reimburse the government for getting them out. Tourists have no business being in that area at all with all the unrest going on.
Live Oak, CA
E-mail No. 6
I think that the American citizens should have to reimburse the government for the evacuation. Before hopping a plane to a well-known "war zone" they should be up on the latest news of the region and be prepared for anything. Maybe next time they will go to places in their own country that could use the money that they spend on their vacation, such as the Mississippi Gulf Coast, New Orleans, or even New York City.
M A Larson
E-mail No. 7
It is absolutely outrageous to charge people for evacuation costs out of Lebanon for a government that has:
- Failed to require Israel to refrain from attacking northern parts of Lebanon
- Wasted billions in an unnecessary Iraq war
- Given away billions to millionaires through tax cuts
E-mail No. 8
We should definitely try to assist our fellow Americans to get out of the war zone in Lebanon. But I don't believe that the American taxpayers should bear the cost of this evacuation. If these are American tourists, presumably they already have an airline ticket for their anticipated return to the U.S., and they would be reimbursed by their airline for that portion of their trip, due to the fact that the airports were unusable. So they should not expect a free ride back to the U.S. Americans who have chosen to live abroad know that it is dangerous to live in this area. They should be eligible for evacuation, but why should the taxpayer bear the burden of paying the costs of the trip for those who have decided to live in this area?
Pembroke Pines, FL
E-mail No. 9
I really like you and your show, but... on Sunday night you misused the word amount, you said something about the amount of weapons Israel has (i.e. number of weapons vs. amount of force). Others make that mistake (including Alan Greenspan giving congressional testimony), but you should be better. Last night when you mentioned amount, it was correctly used.
In the first 2 seconds of the Sunday broadcast, the camera caught you flicking the pen against the desk. OK, I could have done worse but I assume the camera is set up perfectly ahead of time. You did an excellent job of cutting off Kissinger politely when he kept talking as the assistant director was telling you to cut, Geminis can think on their feet.
Last night, Shepard's report, showing the bomb shelter, and Jennifer's from the border were excellent. We all talk, but pictures help tell the story. Showing the bomb shelter especially was eye opening.
These are tough times, I have a sister living in Ashdod (the southern port). Have a good show,
Finally, the following caught my attention:
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