Persistence Pays Off

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Here is something you may not know: In a news bureau we constantly get "feeds" -- live video of events. In other words, in the news bureau at FOX News Channel we can watch complete live events (as they happen), but we never show you. We don't show you for time reasons. We have so much coming in and from multiple sources. We tape the events as the video comes into the bureau.

A good example of a live feed coming in is Tuesday night when I was able to watch live the entire Terri Schiavo (search) memorial service in Florida, but it was not broadcast by any news organization for you. When a feed comes in that is relevant to our show, we take pieces of the tape from the live feed and show you highlights. We might have shown you more of the service during our 10 p.m. show, but we were surprised that we got the live feed of the service and had to scramble a bit to turn it around to show you the portions we did. I was told earlier in the day on Tuesday that there would be no cameras in the service, so we made no accommodations for the tape in the show. Hence you can imagine our surprise when someone mentioned it was on one of our many internal channels.

Apparently Terri's parents did not decide until the last minute to let in a pool camera so that all the news networks could feed it to their respective bureaus. (Or it may be that I just did not know there was a pool camera until the last minute when the service had just started.)

And finally, some good news! (sort of...) I managed to guilt trip Jim Hammer enough to finally prod him into sending a note for the blog. I have wanted these notes since they give you a different view of what is going on in the trial. Jim's e-mail from inside the Jackson courtroom is below at the end of the viewer e-mails (as is Laura Ingle's daily note.) Note that I included Jim's entire note (even the personal note to me at the top of his trial notes!)

Now for the randomly selected viewer emails:

E-mail No. 1

Dear Greta:
Regarding Jim’s comment on who should guard prisoners: The term “big mean women” was not at all offensive. What would have been offensive is if he would have said “big fat women,” then defined fat as over 110 pounds.

E-mail No. 2

I love you, but when you were interviewing in the first half hour of your show today, you kept interrupting the lady on the Schiavo memorial service. You're great though...
Denver, CO

ANSWER: Sometimes there is a technical delay, which makes me think the person is finished talking. Sometimes the person takes a long breath, which makes me think the person is finished talking. Sometimes I have to go to commercial. Sometimes I have to get in other guests. Bottom line is that I don't intentionally try to be rude.

E-mail No. 3

Greta, I caught the tail end of your show tonight and disagree with all of your contributors to the Brian Nichols segment. It is not about gender or age, it is about the liberals doing everything they can on the side of the alleged criminal. In my Court, persons who have been charged with crimes are brought in with handcuffs and leg shackles and if I were to see a Deputy Sheriff who I thought was being less than vigilant, I would remind them of their duty.
I have seen defendants taken down by police officers in the court when they were resisting, causing problems or gave the appearance of a threat.
I understand the position that a person appearing in an orange jumpsuit, in handcuffs and leg irons, biases the jury -- when present -- but I also give the jury panel, each and every one them credit for enough brains and discernment to understand my charge and admonition to them, that appearance is not proof or evidence and that the presumption of innocence remains.
I could write a book, however that is not my intent here. I just wish to point out that vigilance, observation, training and weapons provide adequate security if they are all used together and would have prevented what happened in Atlanta.
Judge Al Babcock

E-mail No. 4

Dear Greta,
It is very simple in my mind: put the prisoners in shackles and handcuffs, especially in the case of a violent crime. One is not indicted without any kind of probable evidence. I, for one am getting real tired of hearing about prisoners "rights". Those of us who have not committed any crimes are paying a dear price, in the way of our lives, our families, our privacy and our financial futures.
Why is there an argument about gender here? The argument should be about why we aren't putting prisoners in hardware to protect our innocent citizens!
Mrs. M. Harris
Modesto, CA

E-mail No. 5

Dear Greta,
NO, I'm not here to chew you out about your outspoken legal panel! Only wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed Jim Hammer's comment about "mean women," and Gloria Allred's remark about "It's not size that counts"! These people really make me laugh at times! They make me mad too, but tonight with all of the sad news, this was very welcome by me.
I hope you will forward this e-mail to them also, along with the negative I am sure you will get. I sometimes wonder where people's sense of humor hides!
Always look forward to your show after a long day.
Robin D.

E-mail No. 6 -- The long awaited e-mail trial note from Jim Hammer:

Your blog notes have finally gotten to my Catholic guilt about not sending you trial notes, so here goes.
My only hope is that your viewers will now persuade you to come out to Santa Maria to visit Laura Ingle and me as we cover the Jackson trial. It really is developing into a cliffhanger. Jackson's past has finally come back to confront him. In the end, will it be enough to convict him? Stay tuned...

Trial Notes: April 5, 2005

The past two days have been the most emotionally raw of the trial. Today, the young 24-year-old man, finished testifying about the three alleged acts of molestation dating back to 1987-90 when his mother was Jackson’s personal maid. It was hard sitting in court watching him yesterday as he cried and became so emotional the court had to take a break. It’s hard if not impossible to read the jury’s mind, but yesterday and today the jurors joked and talked during breaks, none of them showed any obvious emotion towards this young man’s testimony. Maybe the jurors were just letting off steam in their laughter but as a former prosecutor it was hard to sit and watch the young man sit up there all alone and tearfully recount being a victim of these claimed acts of molestation. I felt he was courageous to even step into this courtroom, since his own case had been settled some years ago. He had nothing to gain by coming into this trial and under California law he couldn’t really be punished if he refused to testify.
Today, the young man’s mother testified. Jackson’s defense lawyer really didn’t lay a glove on her. She came across as straightforward, earnest, and although she never witnesses actual acts of molestation, she told of seeing or hearing Jackson in a shower with a young boy, with Jackson and the young boy’s underwear outside the shower, seeing Jackson in bed with a boy, naked at least from the waist up, in a Jacuzzi at the family estate with another young boy, and feeling uncomfortable on 2 occasions when she saw her son sitting on Jackson’s lap and another time in a sleeping bag at Jackson’s "Hideout" apartment in Hollywood in the late 1980s.
Bottom line today: the Creep Factor around Michael Jackson has gone way up. The question now is will this and the evidence to come about other alleged acts with young boys be enough to convict Jackson on the current charges. More to come…
Jim Hammer,
Santa Maria, CA

E-mail No. 7 -- Laura Ingle also e-mailed me what she saw in the Michael Jackson trial:

Subject: Laura note

Michael Jackson's past has come back to haunt him ... live and in person inside this Santa Maria courtroom. A 24-year-old man, who is a former youth pastor here in town, wrapped up his time on the stand -- he told jurors yesterday that Michael Jackson touched his private parts on three different occasions. He was between seven and 10 years old and described the incidents as tickle fights that went from fun to fondling. He said Michael Jackson put a 100 dollar bill inside his shorts the first two times, paying the child for his silence. The last time the tickle fight turned ugly he was in Michael Jackson's arcade at Neverland. This time he says Michael Jackson put his hands inside his shorts (the first two times he says it was on the outside), and the molestation sent him into counseling for years. He says he still hasn't even told his mother the extent of what happened. The man's wife was sitting in the courtroom in the audience. He referenced her in his testimony today, saying she didn't know the details of what happened until he said it out loud in court.
And now for ... "The shower scene:" The mother of this last accuser was on the stand today too. She was Michael Jackson's maid from 1986-1991. The first part of her testimony was not about her son, but about another frequent Neverland little visitor. She says she found Jackson showering with the 8-year-old boy when she went to clean the singer's master bedroom. Jurors were mentally walked through the story like it was a horror movie ... she walked into the bedroom, and could hear the trickling sound of water. As she got closer to the bathroom she could hear splashing sounds and laughter. She rounds the corner into the bathroom and it gets louder. She said at first she thought Jackson was taking a Jacuzzi or a bath. As she peered around the door to where the shower is, she could see the shower glass door fogged up and Michael Jackson's outline of his body and the outline of someone smaller. When she looked down on the floor, she recognized Jackson's underwear, and the little green underpants of the boy. The boy's underpants had a cartoon character on them, she thinks Spider-man. Said she remembers them because she used to wash the child's clothes when she did his laundry. She said she was going to say something about it ... but changed her mind. Jackson's attorney Tom Mesereau tried to point out inconsistencies with her grand jury testimony and what she said in court.
She told jurors she did eventually become uncomfortable with Jackson being around her son, after finding the two together watching cartoons. She found her son on Jackson's lap once and ordered him off his lap. Another time she said she found the two on a sleeping bag ... also ordered her son to leave.
At the end of the day, Jackson is thrown one question from the pack of reporters in the gated pen where we are held off until he walks to his black SUV. Today's "question of the day" was: "Do you feel betrayed by the testimony from today?" He smiled, and said he couldn't answer any questions.

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