Last night was a "rock and roll" night for "On the Record" and Fox News. Because of the Iowa Caucus, we had no idea what time our show would begin. The earliest we suspected was 11pm eastern....but it could have started after midnight. It may seem to be "no big deal" but it is most difficult to book guests when you have no idea what time the show will begin. As it turned out, not only did we not know the time the show would begin, but we had no idea who would be on the show. Ceci Connolly of the Washington Post, who is traveling with a campaign, was originally booked but circumstances (campaign chaos) kept her off our show. I learned this as we were actually doing our show. During a break I asked my NY producer, "where is Ceci?" We had no idea who would win, so the bookings were "fluid."
During the show, and not before, we booked Teresa Heinz Kerry, as well as, Tad Devine of the Kerry campaign. They were booked "on the fly" because of the Kerry win. I expected Chris Lehane of General Clark's campaign to be a guest but he was a "no show" and instead another Clark campaign staff member appeared. I was just happy to have some one on the show from another campaign!!
We were lucky in that live events occurred during our show that we could jump to, but of course, we did not know the events would occur until they actually DID occur and we had no idea how long the live event would last. It is all surprise all the time. You may have noticed that periodically we had audio problems. When the problems occurred, I did not know if you -- the viewers -- had the problem or if I were the only one. If I were the only one, then I am to just let it go and hope that the audio people can fix it before the guest stops talking. If you have the audio problem, too, then, of course, I need to do something like talk or go to another guest. Otherwise I just sit there on camera in silence looking stupid...very stupid. The problem: how do I know if you have the audio problem, too? Usually I just guess.
I felt sort of bad about Democratic candidate Senator Joseph Lieberman. He appeared on our show from New Hampshire just as Senator John Kerry was about to come out and speak after his Iowa victory. Senator Lieberman had some significant news -- an important newspaper endorsement in New Hampshire -- and it was trumped in news value by the caucus vote result in Iowa. Senator Lieberman knows the business and was gracious about it but I still felt bad cutting him off. I hope to make it up to him by having him back on the show soon -- before Tuesday's New Hampshire Primary -- and to give him ample time for him to talk so that you can decide whether you want to vote for him or not.
I wish we had a camera in our control rooms during nights of "rolling coverage." I would love to have you see it so that you get a really good idea of this TV business. You have no idea how crazy it can get in there. I am always so impressed with the producers who keep calm and do their jobs in spite of the great uncertainty.
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Watch On the Record with Greta Van Susteren weeknights at 10 p.m. ET
Note: TONIGHT'S edition (January 20, 2004) of "On the Record" will air at a special time: 12 midnight ET!