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Don't Take That Cruise!

Reported by Donna - December 13, 2005

You've been warned. If you watched Studio B with Shepard Smith today he did a segment on the cruise industry and how congressional hearings were going on in light of the attempted piracy off the coast of Somalia and a man who disappeared on his honeymoon in July.

Along with the warning you also received a special cross promotion to watch 'On the Record' with Greta Van Susteren tonight at 10 p.m. eastern.

Smith spoke with two 'experts'. One was a former Connecticut detective, Vito Carlucci, who admitted he had never heard of any problems with the cruise industry until the Smith case, where a woman on her honeymoon went missing. His other expert was Rahul Manchanda, who was identified as an international lawyer.

Smith said he would start with Vito and asked him if he (Smith) and his parents were safe if they went on a cruise.

Vito said, "I don't believe we're safe at all, Shepard. I wouldn't go on one, that's for sure." (Comment: So, there you have it, from an 'expert' don't go on a cruise)

Smith then spoke with Manchunda who said that a lot of the problems stemmed from people not knowing what jurisdiction was in charge owhenever criminal activity happened on cruise ships. Manchunda said that the cruise industry was complicit in this and the problem is that a lot of the cruise ships are headquartered in places like Liberia or Panama where they didn't fall under the jurisdiction of United States. He added that what needed to be done was for the U.S. government to get tough with the cruise industry and tell them if they were going to be picking up passengers in the U.S., they needed to register with the U.S. and make it easier for our FBI to become involved. (I thought this was good common sense advice)

The whole purpose of the segment, it seemed to me, was to provide a cross promotion for Greta Van Sustern's On the Record show at 10 p.m. eastern (and Smith mistakenly said it was also shown at 12 midnight eastern but the screen said Van Sustern's show is repeated at 3 a.m. eastern).

Smith said if you are even thinking of taking a cruise, you will find revealing information on Greta's show tonight. He acted like this was 'Must see TV.'

Comment: Neither Smith, nor his guests provided any hard data to prove that crime is a serious problem on cruise ships. (It may be, I would have liked to see the statistics) It was played out as a fear factor and definitely as a cross promotion for Greta Van Sustern's show On the Record tonight.

I wonder -- can a Bill O'Reilly boycott be far behind?

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