Short and Sweet

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Dear Viewers,

The blog is real, real short today. Why? Because as you read this, I am either on a plane headed west, or already landed. Since I have to get up at 5 a.m. and rush to the airport, I am writing this on Wednesday night as I get ready for the show. I would like to sleep in as long as possible and so I am writing the blog early — the night before — and making it short.

We have some great interviews planned for you while I am on the West Coast, so I hope you will watch. The tour of the West Coast will be fast — we start in L.A. on Thursday, after the show Friday night we head to San Francisco (search) and then back to the East Coast on the red eye Saturday night. We are hoping to meet up with Jim Hammer for dinner in San Francisco on Saturday night, but it will require him having dinner at about 5 p.m. since we have a flight to catch later in the evening. I am not sure Jim is anxious to go looking for the "early bird special" on a Saturday night in San Francisco, but if he wants to see our road team, and he knows us all, he will have to make an exception. My bet is that he can be talked into it.

By the way, have any of you noticed that we have changed the ending of the show? I figure by now you know about and , so I am dropping it from the good-bye and pushing the show right up to the edge.

Speaking of last night's show, I've streamed the debate over Terri Schiavo's fate. To watch the segment, click on the link in the video box above.

Here are some e-mails from you:

E-mail No. 1

I cannot believe the results of your latest poll, "What best describes your view of the guilty verdict in the 'Zoloft Defense' trial?" Sixty-one percent think that is was a just verdict! What could be just about convicting a 15-year-old boy as an adult when he committed a crime when he was only 12? My heart goes out for this young man.
I have always been baffled by people who write letters to people they don't know in jail, but I find myself wanting to write this kid and tell him I am praying for him.
My 13-year-old son took Zoloft for six months for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. We took him off of it because he became impulsive and had emotional outbursts; he was not like that pre-Zoloft. He broke a pen in class, splattering ink everywhere. He told me it was like he couldn't help it. I know this isn't the same as murder, but since he has been off of Zoloft, he is back to his old self.
We are handling his disorder in other ways than medication. It just isn't worth the awful side effects. We are letting the children of our country down every time we allow abuse to happen, and this is just another sad case of abuse.
Mollie Cook

E-mail No. 2 — the next few e-mails relate to the first e-mail in Wednesday's blog:

I have to agree with your editor about that hate e-mail. You can not have a meaningful dialogue with someone like that. Best to let that person spew their hate upon themselves; you could not have won that battle.
Fort Worth, TX

E-mail No. 3

I cannot believe how many "educated idiots" there are out there. For anyone to think that a person would CHOOSE to be gay, considering the hateful things people say and do, is just beyond me. Even one of your readers almost "blaming" Allan Keyes' not being home enough for his daughter as the "reason" she's gay! Do any of these "born-again" Christians think for a minute that Jesus would have treated Gay people any different? What bothers me the most is that I just don't understand what people do in the privacy of their bedroom could possibly have an effect on anyone else's life!
Allan Keyes is even more ignorant than I thought he was before this came out. Maybe his daughter is better off not having contact with him ... it's HIS loss, not hers. With all the scary and tragic things going on around us, I hardly think worrying about who's gay, or gay marriage should be at the top of the priority list in our collective lives. If only people would just worry about the way they live their own lives and stop trying to be the Morality Police for the rest of the population.
Manteca, CA

E-mail No. 4

I agree the hate e-mail about gays should have been allowed on your blog. As long as you follow it with a rebuttal I think you, or your boss are in no danger of being perceived hate-advocates. In printing the hate speech, your readers would also have the chance of telling this person what they think. Does this sound fair and balanced?
Eric Bogan
Spartanburg, SC

E-mail No. 5

Hate does not generate debate. I agree with your editor that the 'hate' e-mail should not be posted. When a debate is happening, two or more sides are on opposing views of an issue, when people would have read this 'hate' e-mail, there would have been no debate because most (probably all) people would have agreed that this was a hateful e-mail. People don't want to confront hate because then that would be rewarding the hateful messages of those who say them. Take Ward Churchill, he has said hateful things but we shouldn't confront it with debate, we should confront it, condemn it and move on. People already know that there is hate, but many people want to ignore it because they don't belong in a society that should accept everyone.
Anna Gillispie

E-mail No. 6 — This e-mail relates to the interview we had with the adult daughter of the Dollars — the couple accused of child abuse of their adopted children:

I had a problem with Shanda. I agreed with you and the panel ... esp. Bernie. How could she NOT go to authorities and tell them what was going on? I don't think there is any excuse for not doing that. Sad, sad story. The Dollars probably weren't at home all the time, so she could have done this sometime.
Gayle Kretschmer
Fernley, NV

E-mail No. 7 — I think this e-mailer is referring to our discussion two nights ago about women reporting/not reporting sexual assault:

You had 4 males on the panel tonight. What could they possibly know what a woman goes through after being molested? Why don't you have more women on?
Ms. Zepeda

E-mail No. 8

I am sure I am not the only one that gets really angry at those of you who feel absolute about journalists not being forced to identify their sources. They say that a journalist should have the same rights as preachers and medical personnel otherwise their sources won't come forward to talk. Plain and simple! STOP! End of subject! We can't talk! May I remind everyone that those same preachers and medical personnel have guidelines that they must follow from both those they are employed by and the laws of their state and/or court orders they might be under. Performance with integrity is on the top of the list and, even if it isn't specifically mentioned, it should be common sense to "use" common sense in ones day to day life although there are some that don't have a clue to what that even means (having a brain doesn't have anything to do with it). It is also by law and/or court order these preachers and medical personnel too must and should 1) inform appropriate personnel of individuals who may cause harm to themselves and/or to others or 2) repeat names and/or details in a court of law. And guess what? It wasn't the end of the world for them because these preachers are still listening and helping and the medical personnel are still fixing and curing and/or solving problems of. And on various TV channels, this is verified with the variety of productions of "see what the stupid criminal did this time" programs that we love to watch keep on coming.
If integrity had even been close to being used in the identifying of the CIA agent, it would never have happened, and even if this journalist doesn't have a stitch of common sense to his name, those around him should have known better, and everyone involved need to straighten themselves out and they will deserve what they get out of all this.
I agree journalists should be able to protect their sources and they still can. The fight the news industry really needs to fight for is to find someone to teach them on how to go back to the basics — to put back the "work with integrity" and put the "use of common sense" back into their industry. Working under these conditions would give both the employer and the individuals more respect (and business) and the overwhelming pride one feels in their accomplishments are sometimes even greater than the stories they write and/or produce themselves.
Sharon Purcell
Richland, WA

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