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On Tuesday night our show airs live from our New York City bureau. I have an early flight back to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday because I am interviewing former U.S. Senate Majority Leader — and WWII hero — Robert Dole. From time to time, I go to New York to do the show because most of our staff is there and I like to see them … and because my seniors are in NYC and I figure I should prove to them that I am alive and not some graphic creation.
Before Monday night's show, I headed to the set about 45 minutes early to do "wraps" for our special taped show on Jack Hanna (search) and the Columbus Zoo. Wraps are the introductions into segment and teases out of the segment. We have to do these when we have a taped show that is not "live to tape" (that explanation to follow.) We rarely (four times a year?) do taped shows with wraps.
We use taped wraps on those occasions when we go out and shoot about two hours of tape and need to break it up and place commercial breaks to show you a one-hour show. When we do "live to tape" shows, we simply do the show as if it were live, tape it and then play it for you. A show with wraps is usually hours and hours of tape and work. A "live to tape" show takes as long as a live show: one hour. (Of course I am not including in the live show or the "live to tape" show the hours put into it by everyone on the staff.)
As an aside, if you love animals, you will love the Jack Hanna special. If I had not gone to law school, I think I would have liked to work at a zoo.
If you have a "good eye" you noticed that when I did the live pre-show tease during "Hannity & Colmes" last night, I was wearing a red jacket but during the show — a few minutes later — I had on a light brown jacket. Why the red jacket and then the light brown? Because I wore the red for the taping of the "wraps" and forgot to change for the tease. My mistake was pointed out to me by my stage manager before our 10 p.m. show started so I changed. Yes, I know it was stupid. And, yes, I have made this mistake before. You would think I would learn.
Every day I receive e-mails asking if we have news in the missing Pennsylvania D.A. story. I wish we did. We check daily but we have no news in the Ray Gricar (search) disappearance. It is odd that someone can just vanish into thin air with no clues but, as we keep learning every night on our show, it happens. We will bring you any news on this as soon as we get it. Please don't think because we don't do segments on it that we don't check it daily or care about it. I would like to "complete" the story — whether it end in good news or bad.
E-mail No. 1
I've been off the nightly newscast this past week. After a routine doctor's office check-up I thought, we ended up in the hospital with a diagnosis of leukemia Thursday night! She's being really brave for a 5-year old whose birthday at that is tomorrow! She's getting her chemo thru a port in the chest area so far uneventfully. Mommy is pooped tonight, and I'm about ready to hit a real bed myself for a change. How do you do it with all your hard hours night after night? I'll catch up with your show tomorrow night after she's sleeping again. You're the best.
ANSWER: I can't believe you are asking me how I do it. I am just doing a simple job. What YOU do is SO much harder ...SO much more important. Your daughter is lucky to have you as her parent and you are lucky to have her a huge part of your life. With all the great advances in medicine, I am very optimistic that your daughter will do well — of course, going through the process is painful ...very painful and exhausting for everyone. My job? It is a snap compared to your job. My job looks silly next to yours.
E-mail No. 2
As far as Mary Kay marrying her rapee [sic] I think, What the hell is going on? IF it were turned around, him raping her, it would be a totally different story wouldn't it? Is there a double standard here or what? Only in America.
E-mail No. 3
I'm hoping you don't give any coverage to the "teacher" that seduced her 12-year-old student and had his two children. It's pretty sick when her marriage to him seems to be accepted by so many — according to your reader's poll. I have always felt terrible for her first husband and her older children for the humiliation she must have caused them. I'm still shaking my head wondering why her teenaged daughter was a "bridesmaid" in this wedding.
Do you have an opinion on the situation, or should this be none of our business?
E-mail No. 4
I agree with you in this regard: Would people call the lawyer representing Saddam Hussein a "Victim's Rights Attorney?" I think not! Everyone has opinions and feelings about specific things that are different from yours or mine. That is why we have elected representatives (to hope they represent us in our desires). The difference between attorneys is the ability to see and deduce and use available scientific evidence just to put the last piece in the puzzle fervently hoping everything fits where it should and without a doubt where it belongs. Everything in this country is based on offense and defense. The offense is not always right nor is the defense. Whose path to a conclusion is more believable? Every decision is based on objectivity mixed with subjectivity. We all strive to be purely objective but being human, errors are made.
Sorry, I started rambling a bit. I'm sure you are well aware of these things.
Lexington Park, MD
E-mail No. 5 — from Jim Hammer at the Michael Jackson trial:
Trial Note: May 23, 2005
If this trial were a military campaign, today was the day the defense "carpet bombed" the accuser’s mother.
Through a series of witnesses, the defense proved that the mother committed multiple acts of welfare fraud and perjury in connection with her welfare applications. Next the mother’s ex-sister-in-law testified that she held a blood drive for the accuser when he was suffering cancer and got a call from the mother, saying "I don’t want your f____g blood, I want money!" At this point the sister-in-law started to cry in court. On cross, the D.A. brought out that she hadn’t talked to her own brother in 15 years and never visited the hospital, but her demeanor and crying really made it seem that she was being honest.
The last attack in the trifecta today was the editor of a small, free weekly newspaper from near where the accuser and his family lived. The paper had done a story on the boy’s cancer and in it quoted the mother saying that his chemo injections cost $12,000 per shot. When the editor later did some checking around she said she learned the family had Kaiser coverage and that it covered ALL of their medical expenses. She felt "duped" by the mother, she told the jury today.
Back when the mother took the "Fifth" on questions surrounding welfare fraud, I think most jurors assumed she was guilty. Today, the defense proved it. The question now is will the attack on the mother spill over into raising questions about the boy’s own testimony. The boy testified he never spoke to Jay Leno. If Leno hits the stand and contradicts the boy — that could be the final blow to his credibility. A lot is at stake for the D.A.'s whole case. Stay tuned…
Santa Maria Courthouse
Finally, Geraldo Rivera (search) received this statement from the father of the two missing children in Idaho. I thought you would like to read it in its entirety:
May 23, 2005
STATEMENT OF STEVE GROENE/FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
I wish to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation for the thousands of individuals in our local community and around the nation who have offered their support and their prayers throughout this terrible ordeal. I also wish to publicly thank the men and women in law enforcement, here and across the nation, who have selflessly done everything they can to ensure the safe return of Dylan and Shasta. I am confident that they will bring to justice the animal or animals who beat to death my 13-year-old son Slade, his mother Brenda and Mark Mckenzie.
I have made every effort to promptly respond to the members of the media so that the account of my missing children would be widespread to help in their safe return. I must now ask to have the private time to grieve as I prepare to bury my son Slade, and as I continue to pray for the safe return of Dylan and Shasta. I ask the members of the media to respect my privacy.
I have said all that I can say and know, and I do not want to take away from the resources to find my children. Because of a few very tragic, well-publicized murders, family members now seem to often be the focus of public suspicion and gossip. In this instance, any such thoughts serve only to add to the cruelty of our loss. I can assure you that neither any family member nor I could ever possibly be so barbaric and evil. In that regard I appreciate the kind words of sheriff’s Captain Ben Wolfinger and journalist Geraldo Rivera in response to the few questions and innuendo of that nature.
I will continue to fully cooperate and communicate with local law enforcement and the other responsible agencies that have the difficult task of solving this heinous crime. Further public communications, however, will be made through a designated family representative, as I am certain everyone can appreciate and understand.
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