Unfortunate Time Crunch

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Thursday night we had breaking news in the Middle East, so we had to cut down on other planned segments to make way for the breaking news. As luck would have it, I did not have much time with my guest in the last segment: Bruce Dyer. Bruce's daughter was killed by a hit and run driver and the family wants and should have answers. I ended up having to cut Bruce off as he was talking, since he was the last guest and the show was ending. I called him after the show — on my way home — and apologized. I felt terrible cutting him off. He was very gracious about it and said he understood. We talked for awhile and he told me that he watched the segment with Catherine Herridge and he reminded me that his family donated his daughter's organs so that others could live. He was proud that his daughter could help so many in their time of such personal sadness. I admire Bruce and his family and wish there were a way I could get him some answers: Who struck his daughter and fled? Why did someone just leave her there to die?

I thought I should start today's blog with an e-mail from my colleague Catherine Herridge. Catherine's son, Peter, was discharged from the hospital yesterday in Pittsburgh:

E-mail No. 1

I was so glad to hear from you today — a day when the news is so good! We wasted no time taking Peter out on the town: first to the local pizza joint for lunch, then to the apartment for a bottle and now we are at the library in Squirrel Hill (a really nice neighborhood in Pittsburgh).
JD is walking around with Peter in a little baby carrier. The baby is snoozing away wearing his Panther's baseball cap. There is a long road ahead, but we are so happy we feel like we are floating. Peter is getting a second chance and I hope he never looks back!
We are now off to the movies. We think of you often and can't wait to see you again. Please let everyone know — who has been asking for us — that we are deeply grateful.
Catherine, JD, Jamie and baby Peter

If you saw last night's show, you saw the video of Peter's last day in the hospital in Pittsburgh. Can I give another "shout out" to the University of Pittsburgh Hospital and its staff? What they have accomplished for Peter and his family and do every day for countless other people is nothing short of amazing. I am in absolute awe of them….

We were in Detroit Wednesday night and Thursday morning, but back in D.C. by 10 p.m. ET for the show last night. Because we were in Detroit Wednesday night — working on a special — we booked Geoffrey Fieger for our show there. I thought it would be fun to be on the set with Geoff — I usually do interviews with him remotely. I have known Geoff for years, but so rarely get to see him in person. By the way, he told me that years ago he was a "roadie" for the Rolling Stones (and you think you never learn anything on this blog!) He also told me that he had just given a closing argument in a huge case and promised to call me when the jury came back with a verdict... still have not heard from him.

You may have noticed we had some technical problems Wednesday night in our second to last segment in our show. I opened that segment with a FOX News Alert about an arrest that had just happened, introduced our guest/sheriff and then my colleague in New York — Harris Faulkner — started interviewing the guest. In other words, I vanished and she took over. I could hear her interview and was impressed at how flawlessly she picked up the interview. I can't imagine what it is like to be sitting on the set getting ready to do my own work and suddenly having to do another colleague's work with no notice! My hat is off to Harris — she did a great job picking up the ball and running.

I don't know exactly what the technical problem was Wednesday — I only know it was sudden. After Harris finished the segment for me and went to break, the technical problems were fixed and I then "returned" and did the last segment of the show. All I know is that the technical problem originated in NYC from weather and not in Detroit.

If you watched the show last night, you saw our interview with Randy Tate, the former husband of murdered real estate agent Sarah Anne Walker. Randy and Sarah have a 4-year-old son and now, of course, his mother is dead. Randy mentioned on our show last night that a fund has been created for Josh and I promised to post it today… so here it is in case you would like to contribute:

Fund for Josh Tate — Sarah Walker Fund, send contributions care of:
Paula Hunter-Perkins
301 Commerce St.
Suite 500
Fort Worth, TX 76102

A viewer tipped me off to this Web site — it is the site for Durham DA Mike Nifong: www.mikenifongda.com. It is his campaign Web site — you might find it interesting.

Now for some more e-mails:

E-mail No. 2

Was there a reason why you couldn’t use your BlackBerry to talk to the Internet people while you sat at the desk instead of walking back and forth across the room to the hard line?
Toni M. Duldulao, J.D.

ANSWER: That might have been a great idea, but in order to even get to the guy I did talk to on the phone I had to go through the hotel operator to get me to some far away service to help — which once connected, provided me with multiple menus: e.g. first I had to decide if I wanted recorded help (press 1), sales help (press 2), software questions (press 3), hardware (press 4), Internet questions (press 5). And, if I wanted to rehear the menu I was to press pound. After making my first selection (4), I then had to go through another menu of options, etc. It took forever to get to a human… so, yes, I could have used my BlackBerry as a phone, but when I started the process I did not know it was becoming a life experience. I had figured (hoped?) it was a quick answer to a hotel person. I did not know I would have to be connected to some external help service. I did not have the time to go back through all the menus on my BlackBerry phone.

Oh, one other thing: The cell phone service in the hotel was spotty so I would have to hold my body very stiff while using the BlackBerry phone to talk to the computer help person or I would have lost him and had to start anew.

E-mail No. 3

Home builders in the Dallas area will typically build 2-4 model homes for a new development. These homes are furnished, have music playing and sometimes cookies baking. The realtors have a small office set up and would usually be in the background to answer questions while people wandered through the houses.
When I bought my house, the realtor (female) was alone a lot during the week but on weekends there would be 2-3 agents. Since this happened on a Saturday I am very surprised she was working alone. Unless another agent had gone to lunch, which will again narrow the time of her death.
Question: Were other houses already being built and were there workers there on Saturday?
Frisco, TX

E-mail No. 4

Hi Greta,
Yeah, we'll be seeing Jack Hanna again! I always enjoy when he's on your show.
I think I told you before that I donated my pet iguana to the Columbus Zoo when I was in college at OSU in the 80s.
Jack was at the gate greeting people when I arrived, asked me what was in the pet carrier, and I told him, "a big green iguana." I had named him Barney, and he was getting big and feisty, his tail was like a whip. Jack asked if they knew I was bringing him and I said yes and he ushered me in and told me where the reptile house was. That was the one time I met him in person. He used to be on David Letterman's show, and he was so funny!
By the way, did you ever ask your vet about the Cosequin and No FUS meds for your kitty who had the UTI? I cannot recall if you said he was blocked. My FUS kitty is on those meds and he's doing well. It's been over a year since they unblocked him.
Take care, see you later!

E-mail No. 5

You haven't heard of Mumbai? That's more than a "shortcoming". It is grounds for dismissal. You have no business being in the journalism profession.
Greg Jobe
Knoxville, TN

E-mail No. 6

Hi Greta,
Like you, I didn't know Bombay was changed to Mumbai 10 years ago until this week's terrorist attack.
Ironically, I speak via telephone almost weekly to people in India. They work in Hewlett-Packard's Technical Support Offices in Calcutta, New Delhi and Bangalore. We have mentioned Bombay in passing and no one ever mentioned that Bombay is now called Mumbai. If that's what Bombay is called, then we should call it Mumbai.
I phone them, by the way, to get help with my new Compaq Presario computer (made in the People's Republic of China). HP's technical support staff in India is excellent.
If you check on the population size of Calcutta, New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai, I think you'll be surprised. Which one do you think is the largest? Take a guess at its population. I'll leave it up to your staff to check the figures.
George Spink
Los Angeles, CA

E-mail No. 7

Hi Greta,
I like to consider myself well versed in current world events. I am a middle-class, white, 53-year-old female. You can't imagine my surprise when listening to the news from India. If the reporter didn't say, "Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay," I would not have known where Mumbai was. For the time being I think it wise to refer to "Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay" every three or four times you use just plain Mumbai.
If you've ever watched Jay Leno's interviews on the street I am sure you are as appalled as I am to what seems like the "average" person's lack of geography knowledge. So if I, who think I know world geography pretty well, and am shown my ignorance, please, in the future do not hesitate to use: the current name formerly known as style! Just a suggestion.
Take care. And you know what? I pray for your safety and well being. Not sure why I am telling you this.
Darla Wickham

E-mail No. 8

Dear Greta,
It's time for people to wake up about divorce courts. In just the last few weeks a woman was stabbed in her garage and the husband faces murder charges. A man blows up his home severely injuring himself and over a dozen innocent people walking down the street. How many more people must die or be injured before the citizens realize the divorce process in this country is an out of control free for all money grab. In Pennsylvania, and perhaps other states, the courts have the authority to award anywhere from 0% to 100% of the assets to one side. No wonder these suits become bitter and dangerous.
The state legislatures can and must take control of this process. The first step is to require pre-nuptial agreements for ALL marriages. I believe history shows that were a pre-nupt exists, the divorce process is not nearly as volatile. One of the purposes of sentencing guidelines and even Megan's law was to remove some of the discretionary power of the courts. This concept needs to be applied to the divorce process now also.
I heard you say that family court is the most dangerous court in the country. It is time to make them less dangerous. People's lives literally depend on it.

E-mail No. 9

Hi Greta,
Oh, come on and name the hotel so the rest of us don't plan a stay there too. I'm sure they know about all the troubles and have not done anything to correct it.
Love your show,
Dianna F.
Tucson, AZ

E-mail No. 10

Hi Greta,
I live in the Detroit area and am so sorry you had the hotel problem! I'm not sure if you stayed in the city or outside of it, but maybe next time your readers could make suggestions?
I think you should print the name of the hotel in order for them to get their act together for the next guest!

ANSWER: Carrie, I love the Midwest and love Michigan, but just had an Internet problem which we all have from time to time.

E-mail No. 11

Dear Greta,
I don't understand why you are agonizing over "Mumbai" vs. "Bombay." There are countless cities, even countries, that have been known by different names over the years. You just go with whatever it is now.
Just a few examples: St. Petersburg, Russia, was Leningrad, Soviet Union for over 70 years. Do you still refer to the "Soviet Union"? Of course not.
New York City was once New Amsterdam. Does it trouble you to call it by its present name?
Until just a few years ago, the country of Myanmar was known as Burma.
More than half the countries of Africa had different names until a few decades ago:
Benin was Dahomey.
Botswana was Bechuanaland.
Burkina Faso was Upper Volta.
The Democratic Republic of Congo was Zaire, and before that, the Belgian Congo.
Djibouti was French Somaliland.
Ethiopia was once Abyssinia.
Ghana was called the Gold Coast.
Kenya was once British East Africa.
Malawi was Nyasaland.
Tanzania was Tanganyika.
Zambia was Northern Rhodesia, and Zimbabwe was Southern Rhodesia.
And on and on and on...
Remember Iran? It used to be Persia.
The beautiful resort town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, was known as Hot Springs until 1950, when the town fathers decided to rename it after a popular radio quiz show to win a few bucks on a dare.
Istanbul was known as Constantinople for a thousand years, but nobody calls it that anymore.
My hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota, was originally called "Pig's Eye"! And we definitely, positively do not call it that today!
I hope it will now be clear to you that in every single case I have cited, you would use the current name, not the old name. You wouldn't even think twice about it. So just because you somehow missed the fact that over ten years ago one of the world's largest cities (16 million, twice the size of New York) changed its name, doesn't mean you should still call it "Bombay."
I was dumbfounded when I heard you acting all confused and uncertain about what to call the city of Mumbai, but at least you thought better of it after a while! I think you should throw in an extra mea culpa and apology to the fine citizens of that beleaguered city!
Bill Parker
St. Paul, MN

E-mail No. 12

Dear Greta,
It's been called "Bombay" for... how many hundreds of years? Now, all of a sudden, a relative few decided to change its name. Why? I confess to not knowing the details, Greta, but I'm baffled as to changing things based on some modern social/political trend. What if some wanted to change the name of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina? A city by any other name….
Just a thought,
Mick R.
Alta, WY
P.S. Why do people change city/country names into longer or more difficult names?

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