Sticks and Stones

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As you might imagine, many viewers had opinions about the Debra Lafave case... hence I am posting many of those e-mails today. Your e-mails consume most of today's GretaWire space, so my comments are short.

In my GretaWire "Talking Points Memo," I thought I might write about my colleague, Bill O'Reilly. Wednesday night he called me a "pinhead" on the air. I thought it was funny and I have been called worse things by my brother and sister over the years. Over the years I have been called lots of things and posted lots of e-mails on this blog with peoples' views of me that are not flattering, but this is the first time I have been called a "pinhead" on the air, around the world, in primetime. You could tell Bill thought it was funny, too. He laughed as he said it. Next time maybe "knucklehead?" I will suggest it to him and, OK, if you want, send me your suggestions — I might post them.

Since I have promised behind the scenes — including what happens in the lead up to our show — Bernie came into the make-up room last night and asked if he could take some printer paper from FOX and bring it home to his son. It was too late for him to run to a store and he said it was important. I said, "Sure," but wondered what was up. It turns out that Bernie, in preparing for the show last night and in printing research for the show, used up all his son's printer paper before he walked out the door. As Bernie left for the bureau to do the show, he learned the big problem from his son. His son had gone to the computer and discovered there was no paper and that he had been ambushed by his father. His son then pointed out — I assume a bit frantically — that his father had not only used up all the printer paper but that he needed paper to print his term paper on the Roman Empire due today. This was an emergency. We all know that and have all been there for those term paper due emergencies. Needless to say we were happy to give Bernie and his son the paper. Frankly, I was just glad I was not the one having to write a term paper on the Roman Empire last night — that is one thing I don't miss about school.

Now for some e-mails:

E-mail No. 1

Why is it that when a man commits a crime we demonize him and when a woman commits a crime we diagnose her? When a man commits a crime we never ask if he is mentally ill or what kind of childhood he had. We don't care. We just want justice, but a woman commits a crime and we try to figure out why they did what they did. Maybe they are just as evil as the men. Women want equality. Well, in my humble opinion they should have it in the justice system too.
Thanks for listening,
Albany, NY

E-mail No. 2

This is so disgusting and revolting! Does this mean that every suspected criminal is going to plead innocent by reason of being bipolar? Give me a break! Pleeeeeeeeeez! Was the man that assaulted me 35 years ago bi-polar? We hadn't even heard the word then, so is he now thinking to himself, "I did it because I was bipolar? So, I am forgiven?" Give me a break! I now hold the prosecution and the victim's parent/parents most responsible for this injustice to society. After much news coverage of this, I have come to the conclusion that maybe the parent did not want it revealed that it might have been thought of as a notch in the belt buckle of the teen boy by the teen boy. Also, that maybe the parent/parents did not want the publicity, etc., to affect their so-called place in life/society. It has been proven by the medical profession that a victim facing his/her attacker is a most effective form of treatment and getting past and over trauma than sweeping it under the carpet. I hope when this victim is of age, and can make decisions for himself, we hear from him the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
That so-called woman, who is no woman in my book, needs to be strung up and hung out to dry up just like any other sexual assault offender of anyone of any age.
Janet Engelhardt

E-mail No. 3

So, here's to you Mrs. Robinson: I think we don't know the full details of the situation to make judgments of any kind. I have no doubt the sex was consensual and I do not believe the boy suffered any damage except maybe to his ego from his buddies because the media found out. As a parent of two girls, I would have been glad my son was not having sex with 14-year-old girls. My grandmother was married at 15, my grandfather was 30. They loved each other very much and had a wonderful life. Girls and boys are wired differently — it is a fact. My husband wishes he had her for a teacher when he was that age! Ha-ha! Her looks and personality probably did play a part in this, but I disagree that she would have gotten different treatment if she was ugly and fat because if she had not been attractive, there would have been more cause to believe the boy/young man was not a willing participant and could have been physically overpowered. I remember being that age myself and would not have welcomed any advances by older male teachers. It is my opinion that this is not a double standard, it is just human nature for boys to be more curious than girls and have less emotional fallout from casual sex. I am not condoning her behavior by any means — I just think the case got way too much attention for something that should have remained a private matter. Each situation is unique and all facts should be reviewed for both participants.

E-mail No. 4

Now every young boy is going to look for a female teacher that is “bipolar."
Montgomery, AL

E-mail No. 5

I have mixed feelings about the Lafave case. Double standard? Perhaps. As the mother of a 15-year-old son, I have listened to him talking about how lucky the kid was who got to have sex with that "hottie teacher." But I have also had to watch him go through the pain and emotional suffering of having been smitten with a teenager drama queen who, on a bi-weekly basis, dumps him, and then tells him she'll kill herself if he leaves her, I'm not so sure that having sex with a 20-something adult woman wouldn't be better.
Also, looking back on my own teenage crushes on male teachers, I am relatively certain that I would not have been damaged for life by having sex with one of my teachers. In fact, I dreamed about it often! I think maybe as a society we should come to better terms with our sexuality. I don't think that woman is a pedophile; I don't think 20-something male teachers having sex with female students are necessarily pedophiles. In many cases, the 20-somethings are just immature. Should they be teaching? No, probably not. But I certainly don't think they belong in prison either.
Jacki Gansch
Columbus, OH

E-mail No. 6

I was so happy to see that you were going to report on the LaFave case. I have watched many of the FOX people report on it and it has really, really irked me to no end. First, I have to say that Lafave is a pedophile and needs to be institutionalized because there will be another victim... she has no remorse or conscience. On the double standard outcry: rubbish! Double standards in gender is and has always been a predominate fact in this world. Since the beginning of time women have had to deal with double standards in sexuality, economics, military (they still discriminate), politics and every other area of life. Now, when men see sensationalized cases such as Lafave's case, they cry foul play and double standards... another double standard perhaps? I am ticked about the outcome, but against the double standard theory — no. Look, even women have accepted this crap so much that they fall for it. I have heard several times women say to men and men say to men, "I can't believe you let a girl beat you" like it is some sort of tragedy for a woman to be good at something, have the ability to compete with a man like a woman is inferior. Just for the record, I am far from being a feminist and still hold onto my Christian values such as the man being the head of a family (not superior, but you can only have one person steering the car), but I feel no sympathy for this so-called, "double standard."
Thanks for your coverage Greta

E-mail No. 7

We thought your coverage of the Lafave case/or non-case, was interesting. Thank you for discussing it. I think Debra's former husband is a very interesting guest himself. He seems articulate and made some good points.
Frankly, I agree with his take on Debra, in that "she got what she wanted" and until she grows up, she will still be a spoiled woman, who happens to be attractive. I doubt her sincerity.
Good job, Greta.

E-mail No. 8

Oh my gosh, pretty girl goes free! Bipolar maybe, but very aware of her surroundings and just exactly what she did. Unfortunately, there are so many teenager boys who have that "heartthrob" feeling for their beautiful blue-eyed, blonde haired teacher and why wouldn't they accept the offer to have a sexual relation if approached? They are human, naive and also their hormones are rapidly racing at that age. They can't say no with the wrong head, if you know what I mean. I am ashamed at the prosecuting attorney for letting this one slip. He will have his plate full of future cases for sure by the example he just set, but he will deserve every hard knock he gets from here on out!
As far as Debra, what goes around comes around and her fiance is a ploy — as soon as her probation is over she won't need him anymore, he'll get kicked to the curb and she'll be looking for her next victim. I'm sorry, her sickness isn't being Bipolar, it is her own infatuation with her beauty and her desire to be in control sexually of under-aged men.
Burlington, IA

E-mail No. 9

I can't understand why everyone says Debra Lafave was set free! She was sentenced to three years of home detention and seven years of probation. I would bet that 99 percent of those who say she set free would not feel that way if they were to receive the same.
Robert Marquis
Muncie, IN

E-mail No. 10

Hi Greta,
Well, for goodness sakes, everyone wants ol' Debbie to go to jail. My opinion comes from growing up in the 50s. Things were certainly more moral then and family oriented. I certainly don't remember any woman teacher doing such a thing, but the "boys" were really in love with our math teacher. She was a lady and I highly doubt if she did anything other than enjoy their adorations. However, I had a friend who was intimate with a man teacher. Thank goodness no one knew or dared to arrest him or her. It was their decisions. I think she was 17 years old. She is A-OK today.
It is so obvious that Debbie is a narcissist. She knows how good she looks and flaunts it. I don't believe she is insane or has bipolar — whatever — disease. She got her kicks thrilling this young man. This is no mystery. She just had no sense. I guess she thought no one would ever know. Jail seems stupid to me, as it did when that poor teacher (can't think of her name — senior moment) who enticed the 12-year-old Hawaiian boy. Different case, of course. There will always be a double standard with males and females. We are different!
This boy will carry his "good luck" in his mind forever. What harm did it do to him? I don't think any. A girl seduced by a male teacher might sort of be ashamed and more likely harmed especially if she was fooled into thinking she was "loved."
Debbie's ego will doom her forever. She is so vain!
Please don't print my name.

E-mail No. 11

I am so mad I could spit! I wonder if she was sexually assaulted — would she call it a "bump in the road"? Oh, I wanted to scream. I have two teenage sons — 12 and 14 — and they thought she sounded sick. Thank God too, because she is a disgusting person and to blame it on bipolar disorder is pathetic. What a slap in the face to real people with the disorder. The system is more than broke if we allow these kinds of people in our society. Also I really hope the family sues so she cannot profit financially now — that would surely be a double whammy!

E-mail No. 12

Double standard? You bet, but applied to what? The prosecutor dropped the charges so that the young male victim would not have to give embarrassing testimony. Would he have done so if the victim were a female, or would he not have felt the same compassion toward a young girl?
Just a thought,
Vicki E.
Montoursville, PA

E-mail No. 13

Well, Greta, noted in your blog you said you hadn't gotten any gripes about the over-coverage of the Lafave story, so here goes: the first 30 minutes of your show last night was about this goofy woman. I'm too loyal to switch channels but I did "mute" you and work on my crossword puzzle.


E-mail No. 14

I was watching TV yesterday talking back to it as usual because of the Lafave case when my husband walked by and said "lucky kid." That's when I slugged him! He was kidding me, of course, but the fact is many people do feel that way and it makes me sick.
The mother of the victim didn't want her son to go to court, and I'm not judging her, but the fact is that Lafave gets off with no jail time because of it. Now some other young man could be in jeopardy or, think about it, some young girl might be her next victim. Why not? After all, this bipolar illness she's using as an excuse might make her do all kinds of weird things.
That woman should be in jail and God help her fiancé — the schmuck. I hope he doesn't have any teenage male relatives.

E-mail No. 15

No, I do not think a man would get the same treatment as Ms. Lafave received — a definite double standard. I think the lady suffers more from using her beauty to further herself in society than she does from mental illness, but of course I'm not a psychiatrist. I cannot believe that there wasn't some way this young man couldn't have testified without actually appearing in court, not by today's standards and the way the laws change.
I do not think the jury would have found her guilty by reason of insanity. I don't understand: If she admitted to having sex with this young boy, then why that is not enough to put her behind bars? I believe it would have been the case with anyone else. I remember in her first trial seeing where either her attorney or the prosecutor (not sure which and I'm paraphrasing here) said that someone so beautiful shouldn't be in jail or behind bars. My parents had CNN on at their house while I was visiting them and Nancy Grace was appalled at the comment made!
I read that she now wants to be a journalist. Here is my prediction. She will be approached to write a book and because of her high-profile case, she will be on the best-selling list and then she will be offered a movie contract "because of her beauty" and she suddenly be cured of her "bipolar condition" (if she even has it).
I also know people who are bipolar and no way do they have any inclination to sexually abuse children. I think the lady or her shrink just picked an illness "out of a hat" that they thought might work in her favor... and it did, well that and batting her eyes and flashing the cutesy smile at the attorneys and media, of course.
Have a great day!

E-mail No. 16

Yes, I think there is an amazing double standard. It makes me so mad I could just scream. It permeates our society, the idea that men are bad, but women are not so much. Who is always at fault for family breakups? Men. What kinds of strangers are you most afraid of you kids being around? Men. Some might say the data makes the stereotype. Hogwash. The same people would say that is why stores need to watch black men more than whites in the stores cause of the stereotype that blacks steal more. The stereotypes are just not true in my opinion.
I think Lafave should be locked up for a real long time or given similar treatment that society talks about giving other (male) rapists (take her ovaries out or give her hormone therapy).

E-mail No. 17

If she were an ugly woman, they would have locked her up and thrown away the key! She takes ZERO responsibility for her actions and blames everyone else! She uses copouts. It is a real travesty! Her fiancé must be a piece of work as well! Awful! Awful! Awful!
Greta, please cover some of the "cold cases:" Gricar, Tara from GA, etc.
Keep up the good work!

E-mail No. 18In yesterday's blog, I posted an e-mail sent to me but meant for Sean Hannity. Nancy, below, is now responding to that e-mail:

Curtis Brubaker from Monarch Bay, CA, has to be 75 years old at least. Who thinks that way anymore — taking the kid down to a hooker? Anyway, it's not about whether the 16 year old was "damaged" (hey, Curtis is right, he may have been in seventh heaven), it's about the fact that Ms. Lafave was entrusted with the care and teaching of young, impressionable kids and she betrayed that trust and broke the law. As a mother of a boy, I would be furious if a teacher took advantage of my son that way, regardless of whether the sex was consensual. We should feel comfortable sending our kids off to school without worrying about the teacher, for goodness' sake.
Nancy Kaufmann

E-mail No. 19

OK, so she is pretty!? But to everyone I know and talk to — she is only pretty if you like the "beach trash" bimbo look. Cindy Crawford is pretty, Lafave is a complete joke and a rapist, with peroxide. No other way to put it. End of story.
Elle Marie
Atlanta, GA

E-mail No. 20

Am I the only one who has made a connection between Debora Lefave and Jessica Simpson in the pizza commercial? Both got the direct attention of a young teen boy through sexuality. Why isn't Jessica being charged with attempted sexual assault of a minor — because that is exactly what she is doing in the commercial. Double standard? Duh.
Deb Coats
Temple, TX

ANSWER: Yes, you seem to be the only one making that connection.

E-mail No. 21

Hi Greta,
I laughed when I saw E-mail No. 17 on today's GretaWire. I'm not sure what is "not ladylike" about calling men "Sir," maybe you should start calling them "dude," or maybe just say, "Yo, buddy!" LOL. You're the best. Please tell all those "people of the male persuasion" on your show hello for me.
Anne Reed
Clinton, UT

E-mail No. 22

I had to write to say that yes, it is a double standard. For Debra Lafave to get off easier than a man who committed this type of crime or a woman that may not be as attractive, is insanity. Not to mention that it makes the legal system look bad. She should not have preferential treatment because of her looks. I agree with her ex-husband that she should get some type of jail time. Maybe not 20 years but something — a few years anyway. You do the crime, you pay the price. Simple in my book.
Kathy R.
High Shoals, NC

E-mail No. 23

I watched your interview on O'Reilly and am absolutely amazed at your moronic statements. You can't take a position on anything and you think it is OK for a teacher to molest a student and not be prosecuted. It is also OK for a mother to drown her five children. I wonder how you can live with yourself. You really should be back on CNN where obviously objectivity does not matter.
Walt Trexler
Tallahassee, FL

ANSWER: I can't help but wonder, Walt, what ARE you smoking? You write that I think it is OK for a teacher to molest a student? That it is "OK" for a mother to drown her five children? Are you really that bewildered that you think that is my opinion? Your e-mail is bizarre. If you watched "The O'Reilly Factor" and really listened to what I said, you would know that I merely repeated the facts: that Debra Lafave broke the law and that the Texas appellate court reversed Andrea Yates' conviction because the state's psychiatrist gave false testimony. Yates is now subject to a re-trial. I never gave my opinion. I merely stated the facts. How you got out of that that I in any way think it is "OK" to drown five children or molest students is way beyond my comprehension. No wonder our world is such a mess if people like Walt are "hearing" these things when they watch TV. Ugh. One piece of advice, Walt, get that potato out of your ear!

E-mail No. 24 — This next e-mailer forgot to include his/her name. Not sure why:

You're about as fair and balanced as 2 piles of s*** on a teeter-totter in Aruba.

E-mail No. 25

While it is wonderful that the Stivers and Higginbotham families were rescued successfully, it should be noted that only a complete fool would take a large motor home off the road in that particular area, especially in the middle of winter. Living in Southern Oregon, I have traveled extensively on these back roads and I can assure you that even a properly equipped four wheel drive vehicle would have difficulty on these roads in the winter months. Even if they would have gotten on the road that they planned to use — Bear Camp Road — they might well have had the same problems since these largely unpaved back roads are not cleared during the winter months. A simple visit to an Internet weather site for Oregon or a call to the state patrol would have saved these people and their extended family much grief.
Dr. Gaither B. Everett

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