updated 11/21/2005 11:49:45 AM ET 2005-11-21T16:49:45

Guests: Hany Abu-Assad, Bob Spagnoletti, Max Kellerman, Bruce Lubin

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Thanks to you at home for sticking with THE SITUATION tonight.  We appreciate it, as we always do.

Tonight, breaking news in the CIA leak investigation that could signal a looming disaster for the Bush White House.  Plus, we‘ll tell you about a remarkable and remarkably fair sentence, penned (ph) down by a judge to a woman who abandoned her kittens.

We begin with yet another string of attacks in Iraq that has inflamed a debate in Congress over the war there.  Suicide bombers blew themselves up near two Shiite Muslim mosques in an eastern Iraqi town near the Iranian border, killing 74 worshippers, many of whom were reported to be children.

Meanwhile, two car bombs went off near a Baghdad hotel that houses international journalists, including those with NBC News.  Eight Iraqis were killed in that attack.  The American military says it is investigating.

All of this came fewer than 24 hours after senior House Democrat Jack Murtha called for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.

Earlier tonight, congressional Republicans responded to Murtha by putting his proposal to a vote.  That maneuver put Democrats in a pretty tough position, since while many of them might support Murtha personally, very few are willing to say so in public.

Here now to discuss what all of that means, the author of “How the Republicans Stole Christmas,” our old pal, Bill Press, who joins us tonight from Washington, D.C.

Bill, welcome.

BILL PRESS, AUTHOR, “HOW THE REPUBLICANS STOLE CHRISTMAS”:  Hey, Tucker, good to be with you again. 

CARLSON:  This is—this is a pretty clever move on the part of the Republicans.  It looked bad for them last night, in my view.  Jack Murtha is a responsible, well thought of guy, no Nancy Pelosi.  Pretty stolid conservative Democrat. 

But by coming back at him and saying, “OK, let‘s vote on it,” when they know that Democrats aren‘t going to support this in public, that‘s a good political move.  Isn‘t it? 

PRESS:  I think it‘s a shameless political move.  You know, Jack Murtha is not the first one, as you know, to call for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.  It was a Republican congressman, Walter Jones.  Walter Jones did it over a year ago from North Carolina. 

CARLSON:  Right.

PRESS:  Nobody said anything.  So Jack Murtha does it.  Now, you know, instead of just accepting the fact, OK, here‘s a guy served 37 years in the military, big hawk in Iraq, comes to this conclusion, expresses his point of view, instead of accepting that, they feel they have to go on a partisan political fight. 

CARLSON:  Wait, wait, wait. 

PRESS:  I think it makes—I think it makes them look like crybabies, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Wait a second.  Let‘s be real.  Jack Murtha is a 37-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, but he‘s also a congressman.  And he put forward yesterday a resolution, a nonbinding resolution. 

The irony here, and the hypocrisy here, it seems to me, is on both sides, but on the left, definitely.  You have John Kerry jumping up and down and making the chicken hawk argument and saying Jack Murtha has been swift-boated, et cetera.  And yet, John Kerry refuses to say he supports Jack Murtha‘s position.  So does Nancy Pelosi.  So does the Democratic leadership.  They‘re cowards.  If they support Jack Murtha, why don‘t they support his idea for withdrawal?

PRESS:  First of all, Tucker, let me give you four words.  OK?  Jack Murtha for president.  All right?  That‘s where I‘m coming from. 

CARLSON:  Well, good for you.

PRESS:  I think this guy has shown a tremendous set of cajones.  And he‘s out there.  But again, my point is he‘s one congressman.  This Congress there, they‘ve got all kinds of stuff, you know, the budget resolution, the Patriot Act, all this stuff to deal with.  They can‘t let one congressman say, “I think the troops ought to go home now” without calling a national emergency and calling a special vote and try to politically embarrass the Democrats. 

If I were—if I were...

CARLSON:  By taking his ideas seriously?

PRESS:  If I were leading the Democrats, I would say, “Jack Murtha is our hero.  We‘ll follow him.  That‘s the position we ought to take.” 

But you know, for the Congress to suspend everything else and do this, again, I think makes the Republicans look like a bunch of weak crybabies.  Deal with it.

CARLSON:  Hold on.  I hope you‘re not suggesting that really anything is more important than the future of U.S. troops in Iraq.  That is the most important question facing our country right now, and let‘s take Jack Murtha seriously.  I do.  I have nothing against him, and I think a lot of what he said was true.

However, what do you think would happen to Iraq?

PRESS:  Tucker.

CARLSON:  I actually—hold on.  I do, though.  I do.  I think a lot of what he said is true.  And like most people, I want to withdraw from Iraq this afternoon.  But what do you think would happen if we did what Jack Murtha suggested yesterday and began to pull back next month?  What would happen to Iraq?

PRESS:  Well, first of all, let me just say this.  I think it‘s very significant, Tucker, that this week, earlier this week in the Senate, both the Republicans and the Democrats said, basically, to the White House, “Look, you know, we don‘t believe you guys anymore.  We want a plan.”  Obviously, there are difference between the two plans.  Both Republicans and Democrats said, “We‘ve got to do more.” 

I agree with you.  This is about the most important thing the country faces right now.  Then why don‘t the Republicans in the House have a serious debate tonight about what we‘re going to do with Iraq and how we‘re going to get out instead of trying to embarrass Jack Murtha?

CARLSON:  I think that‘s a fair point, and I think it‘s one that applies across the aisle.  Let‘s just talk policy quickly.  What do you think would happen?  I mean, as much as I think his yearning for withdrawal is understandable, don‘t you think you would immediately have Syria moving into the center of Iraq, trying to control the Sunni areas, Iran moving into the south to control the Shiite areas, and you‘d have the threat of Turkey invading to prevent Kurdistan from becoming a country?  I mean, it would be a big deal if we pulled out tomorrow.

PRESS:  Well, here‘s what I think would happen.  I think what would happen is the same thing when you throw a kid off the end of a pier.  They learn to swim pretty fast. 

CARLSON:  Or they drown.                

PRESS:  I think the Iraqi government right now is just depending on us to do all their dirty work for them.  Look, Saddam Hussein is gone.  There‘s a new government.  They have a new constitution.  Declare victory; get the hell out. 

It was a mistake to go in the first place.  And I don‘t think any more American sons and daughters ought to die for a mistake. 

CARLSON:  That‘s a consistent position, right or wrong.  You‘re taking, I think, a principled position.  Tell me the first member of the Democratic leadership who‘s going to take the same position, who‘s going to echo you and Jack Murtha in saying that out loud. 

PRESS:  I will salute whoever it is. 

CARLSON:  Who do you think it will be?

PRESS:  Don‘t know.  I mean, I hope it will be Nancy Pelosi.  And—and I—in the House.  I wish John Kerry and Hillary Clinton would take that position and Harry Reid in the United States Senate. 


PRESS:  I really think that‘s where the American people are, and I think that Congress should follow their lead. 

CARLSON:  All of whom have disassociated themselves from Jack Murtha‘s position, by the way.

PRESS:  Sadly.

CARLSON:  Yes, pathetic.

Bill Press, from Washington, thanks a lot.

PRESS:  Hey, Tucker, see you.

CARLSON:  See you. 

Jack Murtha‘s plea for immediate withdrawal from Iraq has caused quite a stir in Washington, as we were just saying.  There‘s Republicans questioning their timing of his comments and Democrats standing up for one of their most senior members, sort of. 

Earlier today, former presidential candidate John Kerry used the Senate floor to defend Murtha.  Here are some of his remarks.


SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS:  I don‘t intend to stand for, nor should any of us in the United States Congress stand for, another swift boat attack on the character of Jack Murtha.  It frankly disgusts me that a bunch of guys who never chose to put on the uniform of their country now choose, in the most personal way, in the most venomous way, to question the character of a man who did wear the uniform of his country and who bled doing it. 


CARLSON:  Here now to discuss the political in-fighting over Murtha‘s comments, as well as today‘s developments in the ongoing CIA leak investigation, MSNBC contributor Flavia Colgan.


CARLSON:  What a blowhard that guy is. 

COLGAN:  Show me the beef, John Kerry.

CARLSON:  Here‘s the problem.  He doesn‘t even agree with Jack Murtha.  But here‘s the deeper problem.  This chicken hawk argument is, while emotionally satisfying, logically ridiculous.  The idea that only war heroes get to make war policy; you didn‘t serve, you‘re not allowed to send other people to go die in war.

I again, understand why people feel that way, but it‘s absurd.  How many women have served in combat in this country?  Like a handful.  Does that mean Madeleine Albright doesn‘t get to make foreign policy decisions?  Condoleezza Rice?  Do you know what I mean?

We have civilian control of the military in this country.  That‘s just what the Constitution specifies.  We have elections to choose the commander in chief, and voters chose a commander in chief last time who didn‘t serve over one who did serve.  Get over it, and stop this ridiculous demagoguery about who served. 

COLGAN:  OK, I agree with that.  But respectfully, I want to take it back to what I think is the core issue. 

First of all, I love Bill, but I have to disagree with essentially everything he said, except for the last part of it.  I don‘t think that Jack Murtha embarrassed himself.  I think that the Democrats embarrassed themself by not standing up and supporting something that is right.  And what he said was very nuanced, and we can get to that in a moment. 

As a Pennsylvanian, he is not just one congressman.  Jack Murtha—forget about just serving 37 years.  This man is above reproach.  Probably has the strongest character and integrity of almost any person serving in Washington you see.  He‘s often used to legitimize projects both on the Republican side and Democratic side...

CARLSON:  That‘s true.

COLGAN:  ... because he‘s incredible.  And there‘s no one who has done, and I‘m willing to say this, no one has done more for our troops and our soldiers, whether it be for benefits, death...

CARLSON:  What does that mean?

COLGAN:  No, I‘m just saying. And in fact here today, in our audience, or somewhat audience, is the representative of the largest Iraqi veterans group here.  And I‘m sure he would agree with me.

What I‘m saying is he‘s not just one congressman.  This voice is very

important.  For the Democrats to not sit back, not only at all, but make it

and spur action and be a catalyst for them to stand up and say, “Done with talking about it, done with criticizing Bush, done with saying he doesn‘t have a time table, he doesn‘t have a plan, he doesn‘t have whatever.”  What is your plan?

CARLSON:  But here‘s...

COLGAN:  Or, like Jack Murtha, say what Jack Murtha is saying.

CARLSON:  Here‘s the problem, is that a plan is actually kind of hard to come up with.  It‘s a lot more complicated than it looks.  You know, as someone who...

COLGAN:  Because we‘re fighting an ideology, not a war.

CARLSON:  As I said—not just that.  I mean, it‘s practically complicated.  Iraq is not prepared to defend itself.  They probably should be, but it‘s not.  So what do you do at that point?  And I just think everybody ought to admit that before moving on.  I do think this is a turning point.  I don‘t think the White House can give any more “stay the course” speeches after this now. 

COLGAN:  Absolutely not. 

CARLSON:  It‘s not possible.

COLGAN:  They should have stopped giving it months ago.

CARLSON:  But you shouldn‘t pretend you support Jack Murtha if you really don‘t.

COLGAN:  But what Jack Murtha said was these—that our troops deserve a clear plan and some sort of time table, or not even a time table but clear attainable goals. 

If that goal is training 600,000 Iraqi, you know, police officers or soldiers, then fine.  He basically was implying we‘ll stay there if we have a plan.  But we need a plan.  Of course, I know what...

CARLSON:  On the periphery of Iraq, he said.

COLGAN:  Well, no.  But he was saying we need a clear plan.  And since President Bush refuses to stand up and do that. 

And look, you have kids.  I have brothers and sisters.  I‘ve been to Chuck E. Cheese.  Iraq is that machine—what is it—where you punch down the mole.

CARLSON:  Whack-a-Mole.

COLGAN:  Whack-a-Mole.  You punch one thing; one other thing is going to pop up.  I realize that.  It‘s a very unique situation, somewhat similar to Vietnam I would say, the closest that we‘ve been in.  Guerrilla fighters.  We‘re not fighting a traditional war.

CARLSON:  Right.

COLGAN:  It‘s highly complex.

And I‘m not a military analyst.  And I‘m not going to get up here and tell you I know what to do in Falluja any more than someone else does.  But what I do know is when we‘re doing is not working. 

And what I do know is that people that are serving this country and have served this country, unlike me, as you pointed out—I‘m a woman and for other reasons I guess don‘t have the courage even to put myself in the line...

CARLSON:  But it doesn‘t matter.  My point is very simple.  You have a right.

COLGAN:  I have a right, but there‘s a difference, Tucker.  I have a right.  But someone who‘s served for 37 years does have a little bit more context and... 

CARLSON:  May have—may have more insight into it but has no more moral authority on the subject than any other American citizen.  And the idea that if you haven‘t served you don‘t have a right to opine on those who are serving is ridiculous and offensive, I think, to those who are serving for your very right to opine on their service.

COLGAN:  I agree, but I think Charles Barkley has more of a right to comment on basketball than I do. 

CARLSON:  Yes, but basketball is, I don‘t think, in the same moral league as—look.  Speaking of morality and its intersection with law, Patrick Fitzgerald apparently empanelling a new grand jury to look into this meandering and at this point, I think, pretty destructive investigation into—what?  I have no clue. 

What is this guy doing?  Are we going to see an indictment, do you think on the core charge of leaking Valerie Plame‘s name?  Or is this going to be some sort of, you know, endless investigation into people who lied during the investigation?

COLGAN:  Well, of course, I don‘t know the answer to that question.  Looking at Fitzgerald‘s background and looking at President Bush‘s own words about him, that he is handling this situation very upstanding and with integrity.  I would think, and I do think, that he is going after big fish and that he is going after the main charge. 

However, I would also add, as a caveat, that you and I disagree on one issue.  Looking at a federal officer and lying to the, not about who you slept with or whose dress was on or not on...

CARLSON:  Why does it matter what you—wait, hold on a second.  Why does it matter what you lie about?

COLGAN:   I think—well, first of all, I don‘t think it‘s right to lie, period.

CARLSON:  OK.  So it actually doesn‘t matter whether you‘re lying about someone you slept with.

COLGAN:  I think it matters a lot more.  If you‘re lying about the security of our nation, it affects the voters and constituents... 

CARLSON:  You‘re lying about conversations you had.  If you‘re going to take a stand against lying, you‘re taking a stand against lying.  And it‘s applicable across the spectrum of lying.

COLGAN:  But I‘m—I‘m not a moral—I‘m not a moral relativist like some Democrats.

CARLSON:  Right.

COLGAN:  But I‘m also not a black and white absolutist either, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  I just want to make sure.  OK.

COLGAN:  There‘s somewhere in between.  It‘s called nuance, and I live there.

But the point is that Fitzgerald, I think, is going after a major indictment.  OK?  And I don‘t think all this Woodward stuff—Woodward should be investigated, by the way.  I‘ll say that right now. 

CARLSON:  What?  What did Bob Woodward do wrong?

COLGAN:  Bob Woodward? 

CARLSON:  He‘s doing his job as a reporter, bringing information to the rest of us. 

COLGAN:  He‘s doing his job as a reporter.  First of all, I think he lied.  And I...

CARLSON:  Well, investigate it—first of all, you‘re allowed—you‘re allowed to lie in this country.  Just to sort of make that really clear.  It‘s illegal to lie to the FBI and to grand juries, but you‘re allowed to lie.

COLGAN:  So maybe he didn‘t—that‘s why there needs to be an investigation. 

CARLSON:  By whom?

COLGAN:  Why is he saying—maybe Fitzgerald.  Why is he saying that the reason he didn‘t come forward before is because he didn‘t want to be subpoenaed?  In 2003, nobody was being subpoenaed.  That story doesn‘t fly with me.

CARLSON:  But the investigation was underway in 2003.  And investigations invest in subpoenas, inevitably. 

COLGAN:  Look, I think...

CARLSON:  And as someone who‘s been subpoenaed, I can tell you, you don‘t want to be subpoenaed. 

COLGAN:  Unfortunately—unfortunately, he‘s a hero, journalistically, or was.  I think that his position has been severely compromised by the fact that he‘s had tremendous privileged position with the administration.  He‘s making money off their back.  And now the third book.  And I don‘t know what his motivation is, but I want to see it. 

CARLSON:  Well, when is the press corps going to stand up for itself, under attack from columnists and opinion mongers and from this federal prosecutor, all attacking journalism?  It‘s bad for America, and I wish journalists would defend themselves, but they‘re masochists. 

COLGAN:  I agree with that. 

CARLSON:  Flavia Colgan, not a masochist.  Great guest, thanks. 

COLGAN:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Check out Flavia‘s latest blog on how Democrats need to reinvent themselves.  It‘s on our web site, Tucker.MSNBC.com.

Still to come, today‘s suicide bombings took the lives of over 80 people.  What kind of human being would do something like that?  I‘ll ask the director of a new film that depicts the lives and moral struggles of two suicide bombers.

Plus, do you want the government interfering with your Friday night trip to Blockbuster?  Maybe you do.  Maybe you don‘t.  A controversial new PSA warns of the potential health risks of smoking, and it could soon be coming to a DVD near you.  We‘ll explain, next.


CARLSON:  Still to come, a controversial new feature film attempts to show suicide bombers as regular, every day people.  How‘s the response been in the U.S. and in Israel?  I‘ll ask the director of “Paradise Now” when THE SITUATION returns.


CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

Today‘s deadly bombings in Iraq and last week‘s triple blast at hotels in Jordan together have killed more than 140 people.  There‘s no question suicide bombers are dangerous, but can they also be relatively normal people?

That‘s the subject of a controversial and award-winning new film called “Paradise Now.”  The movie is about two childhood friends who grow up to be suicide bombers.  It‘s directed by a Palestinian and co-produced by an Israeli.

The director, Hany Abu-Assad, joins us now from Burbank, California. 

Mr. Assad, thanks a lot for coming on. 


CARLSON:  Your film implies that ordinary people, pretty ordinary people, with jobs and a girlfriend, in one case, can end up becoming suicide bombers.  Do you think that‘s true?

ABU-ASSAD:  I mean, yes.  They are ordinary people, whether you—whether we like it or not.  The question is not—I will not make a film to tell you that they are ordinary people.  I will think I will make a film to let you think about this phenomenon, and this was my first goal. 

CARLSON:  What‘s your position on suicide bombing?  I know that the film wants viewers to understand suicide bombers, but does it ask them to be sympathetic to suicide bombers or forgive them?  What‘s your position on the subject?

ABU-ASSAD:  Well, it‘s a complex thing.  I made the film to show the complexity of things.  In general politics like to explain these phenomenon as white and black, but reality is more complex.  What we try to do is to see it from different point of views. 

Anyhow, if you want to see it in black and white, you have an occupation, more than 40 years, people living under occupation from the Israelis.  And some, they have no other way than to fight occupation, and they think they have no other way than to blow up themselves in buses.

CARLSON:  Do you think that‘s justifiable?  What‘s your moral view of that?

ABU-ASSAD:  Nothing is justified.  I—the film is not trying to justify anything.  But anyhow, my personal opinion, I think, first of all, you have to stop occupying others or oppressing others in order to have a moral stand and point to say, well, this is right or wrong.  I think the first straw is—the major one is the occupation. 

CARLSON:  How is—given your views, how was this film received when it screened in Israeli?

ABU-ASSAD:  Well, it was—I mean, I have very, very good reviews, which is surprising me.  But then, believe me, wherever you go, Israel, Palestine and United States, people judge film as a film.  Is the story good?  Allows me to think or not, the film?  Do I have a dialogue in the film?  Do I learn something that I don‘t know?  These things you ask yourself in order to judge the film.  And then, if these questions are right, you will have good reviews.  And I am happy that also in Israel I had very good reviews. 

CARLSON:  I know the film was shot in the occupied territories in the West Bank.  And I read that during the course of making it, one of your cameramen was abducted by a radical group and, I guess, released unharmed.  What‘s been the reception the film has gotten in the West Bank?

ABU-ASSAD:  Well, not the cameraman.  The location man was arrested. 

I mean, don‘t forget, as society under occupation, it‘s—it‘s unhealthy society.  I‘m not going to tell you that we are a very healthy society.  But don‘t forget; all these things, again, came from oppression. 

And there is a small group that they kidnapped my location manager in order to stop us filming, because they believed I am making a human face of their heroes.  And they want to see their heroes as superheroes, not a human being.

CARLSON:  Do you know—have you ever known a suicide bomber?

ABU-ASSAD:  Not personally.  But I—like in my research, I ask—I met a lot of people who knew suicide bombers.  I met people who also organizing this kind of actions.  And I also have a meeting with a lawyer who defend people who failed in their mission.  Now they are in the jail and the lawyer will defend them, has very important information I used in the film. 

CARLSON:  Will the film be translated into Arabic? 

ABU-ASSAD:  Well, the film is in Arabic.  It‘s subtitled in English.

CARLSON:  Interesting.  What kind of response has it had?

ABU-ASSAD:  In the West Bank?

CARLSON:  Right.

ABU-ASSAD:  I mean, in Arabic?  Well, again, wherever you go, there is no one reaction.  We have in Palestinian, we have different people.  Mostly they love the film, because it shows them a side that they can‘t see in reality.  Also, it allows them to follow characters that they can‘t follow in reality.

But you know, again, there are some that they feel that humanizing their heroes is also unacceptable.  They want to see them as superheroes.


ABU-ASSAD:  And they didn‘t like the film. 

CARLSON:  Hany Abu-Assad, thanks a lot for joining us. 

ABU-ASSAD:  Thank you, too.

CARLSON:  Still to come, why are some Muslims in Illinois objecting to the label Caucasian and instead insisting on being called Middle Eastern?  The police department should give them what they want.  We‘ll debate that with “The Outsider” in just a minute.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.

The massive lobby to essentially end smoking in America has now entered the realm of home entertainment.  The attorneys general of 32 states are asked Hollywood‘s major movie studios to place anti-smoking announcements on DVDs, videos and other home entertainment products to combat teen tobacco use.  They say movies influence the teens‘ decision to smoke more than peer pressure or parental smoking.

Here to talk about this proposal is the attorney general of Washington, D.C.  Yes, they have one.  His name is Bob Spagnoletti.  He joins us now from our nation‘s capital.

Mr. Attorney General, thanks a lot for joining us. 

ROBERT SPAGNOLETTI, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF WASHINGTON, D.C.:  No problem, Tucker.  It‘s my pleasure to be here.

CARLSON:  So I guess, how dare you tell movie studios what to put in their films?  And why are you doing this?

SPAGNOLETTI:  No one is trying to tell the movie producers what to actually put in their films.  What we‘re trying to do is get the message out that movies have a significant impact on the kids in this country...

CARLSON:  Right.

SPAGNOLETTI:  ... particularly when it comes to smoking.  And in fact, the letter that we sent said basically not “change what‘s in your movies.”  But recognize that there‘s recent research, very powerful research that shows that kids who see smoking in movies are up to three times more likely to start smoking as a result of it. 

CARLSON:  OK.  And I absolutely believe that that‘s true, and that‘s also something that we‘ve known for, probably, about 50 years.  But why, again, are you—I mean, isn‘t it overstepping your bounds fairly dramatically to pressure film companies to do this?  You can say, “We‘re not pressuring them.”  But you‘re an attorney general.  I mean, you threaten people with prison all the time.  It‘s intimidating to have your office send a letter to a mere civilian.  And don‘t you think that that‘s wrong?

SPAGNOLETTI:  Well, we‘re certainly not trying to pressure anybody.  We are trying to get the word out.  You know, for almost a decade now, the attorneys general across the country have tried to take the lead on getting out the information about the harm of smoking and trying to hold tobacco companies accountable for the health consequences of their product.

CARLSON:  You did shake them down for money.

SPAGNOLETTI:  No, to—I mean, they knew, as everything is borne out, they knew for a long time what the health consequences were, yet continued to produce their product without adequate warning.  And so yes, they‘re paying for those consequences.

CARLSON:  OK.  Without rearguing that, but my question is why stop there?  I mean, there are a lot of—there are a lot of activities portrayed on television, and in films and in music, for that matter, that hurts people: unsafe sex, violence of all kinds.

SPAGNOLETTI:  We now have research, though, that actually connects what we have suspected for a long time, which is that if you put smoking in the movies, it is likely to cause kids to smoke.  But now we have very well done, nationally based research in the pediatrics journals, done with medical school, that has demonstrated that it will cause kids to smoke up to three times more often than not. 

CARLSON:  I‘m not even—I‘m not even contesting that.  I mean, it may be true; it may not be true.  Half of these studies are a crock, but maybe this one is not.  I mean, I‘m sure—let‘s just grant that this is totally true.

It‘s not your movie.  Why is it your role to take a private enterprise like a film and start dictating what‘s in it or adjacent to it?

SPAGNOLETTI:  Tucker, take a look at the letter.  We never said to the movie producers, “We want with you to take smoking out of the movie.”  What we have said is, “We have seen, through this research, we‘re bringing it to your attention that if you put it in your movie, kids are more likely to smoke.  So take the precautionary step.”

CARLSON:  OK, but...

SPAGNOLETTI:    We‘ve got a great PSA coming out with the American Legacy Foundation that just warns folks about the—about the dangers of smoking.  Those kids are so susceptible.

CARLSON:  Mr. Spagnoletti, come on.  Get real.  There were warnings on the pack from 1964.  That was 41 years ago.  Everybody know.  Every single person on the planet knows smoking is bad.  This is news from nowhere.

And again, you‘re dodging my question, which is why is it the role of an attorney general, someone who prosecutes crimes, to be pushing a private enterprise, right, which is very close to the press, by the way—I mean, movies disseminate information—into changing its content?  Are you going to come and tell me what to say on my show at some point?  I mean, what‘s the difference?

SPAGNOLETTI:  Well, let me just say...

CARLSON:  ... the movies and what you can tell me to say?

SPAGNOLETTI:  The attorneys general don‘t simply prosecute people.  They have a very important role in public safety and public health.  And it is often the case that we get out information about everything from domestic violence to the issues of smoking and other health hazards.  It‘s part of our job.  It‘s part of our responsibility.

And again, no one—I mean no one—respects the First Amendment more than the attorneys general across the country.  That‘s true.

CARLSON:  It doesn‘t sound like it to me.

SPAGNOLETTI:  Again—again, I will remind you again that there is nothing in the letter that tries to change the content of the movie; just tries to bring the attention to the producers. 

CARLSON:  Let me just tell you, as a civilian who does not work for the government, when the attorney general of anywhere—Guam, Washington, D.C., the Mariana Islands—writes you a letter, it intimidates the hell out of you.

SPAGNOLETTI:  We actually have had a very cordial relationship...

CARLSON:  I bet.

SPAGNOLETTI:  ... with the Motion Picture Association of America to talk about these issues, dating back two or three years now.  This was just the next logical consequence as a result of the Darwin (ph) study.

CARLSON:  All right.  Bob Spagnoletti, Washington, D.C., attorney general.  Thanks a lot for coming on. 

SPAGNOLETTI:  No problem, Tucker.  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Up next, how did a judge in Ohio help 40 abandoned kittens take revenge on their owner?  Ooh, sweet revenge!  We‘ll tell you when THE SITUATION comes back. 


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Alexander Hamilton once said: “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.”  Joining me now, a man who is never afraid to stand up and be counted, and who rarely falls, the Outsider, ESPN radio and HBO boxing host, Max Kellerman. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO:  Every day.  Who does the quotes?

CARLSON:  Susan Lay (ph).

KELLERMAN:  Susan...


CARLSON:  Should police be required to keep a log of all the Middle Easterners they pull over?  That‘s what the ACLU wants police in Illinois to start doing.  They say drivers of Middle Eastern descent are often logged as Caucasian, so racial profiling of the community remains hidden.  Legislation would amend the 2003 statute that outlines race data police officers must collect during routine traffic stops. 

Why is it that liberals are all for these, you know, counting people by race?  It is so creepy.  Doesn‘t anybody ever back up and say, cataloguing people by race is reminiscent of a creepier age?  But they never do.

But here is the point.  Racial profiling would have done a lot to prevent terror attacks that occurred in this country four years ago. 

KELLERMAN:  Sure.  Or if they would have just listened to James Woods. 

I mean, James Woods spotted...

CARLSON:  I know.  That‘s a whole (INAUDIBLE) segment in its entirety.

But look, racial—first of all, I don‘t think there‘s any evidence that Arab drivers are pulled over more often.  But there‘s a lot of evidence that Muslims in the United States are much more likely to commit a terror attack than non-Muslims, I‘m sorry to say.  I wish it weren‘t true, but it is.

KELLERMAN:  Well, you just said, racial profiling, why are liberals—it‘s creepy to racial profile, but it works?  Is that what you‘re saying?

CARLSON:  No, no.  It‘s creepy to catalogue—to keep lists of people by race, I believe.  There‘s just some—there‘s an ick factor to it, but that‘s a whole another question.

But look, the bottom line is, I think the police have a right to take a count of obvious factors like that. 

KELLERMAN:  OK.  Fist of all, it is creepy to keep those lists, but there‘s a use for them.  There is a use for them.  That‘s what you‘re saying, really.  You don‘t like the way it feels, it doesn‘t pass the smell test, but hey, guess what, racial profiling works in certain instances. 

All the ACLU is saying is keep track.  They are not saying stop racially profiling.  All they‘re saying is create a Middle Eastern category.  It would seem to me that you would want them to create a Middle Eastern category.  Right now, it doesn‘t exist. 

CARLSON:  What they are actually doing is creating the predicate for a lawsuit or a series of lawsuits...

KELLERMAN:  Perhaps.

CARLSON:  ... most likely, a class action lawsuit, when they attempt to use this data to determine that Middle Easterners are somehow profiled.

KELLERMAN:  But don‘t, as icky as it feels, as you said, don‘t you want there to be a Middle Eastern category?  If you believe that by and large, that terrorist attacks—and it‘s true, of course—terrorist attacks in this country are—as many as there have been—there haven‘t been all that many, really—but there have been—some of them carried out—let‘s say that it‘s true that it‘s mostly Muslims from the Middle East.

CARLSON:  Right.

KELLERMAN:  Wouldn‘t you want that category in a racial...


CARLSON:  No, I would not want that category.  I would want individual police officers to have the discretion to make judgments based on obvious criteria like that, but I don‘t think government keeping track of people by race—I just don‘t like that. 


CARLSON:  In Ohio, at least one judge really believes in making the punishment fit the crime.  A woman who abandoned 40 kittens in two parks has been ordered to spend Wednesday night in the woods with no food, no light, and no shelter.  Cold and snowy weather is expected in that area that night.

Michelle Murray pled guilty last month to a misdemeanor charge of abandoning the kittens.  Nine of them later died or were euthanized because they could not be saved. 

I think this is wrong.  I think she should get at least one night for every kitten, 40 nights in the woods with no shelter. 

KELLERMAN:  Who is she, Moses?


KELLERMAN:  Maybe—right, the symbolism is a bit too much.  How about 41 nights?  One to add on extra punishment?

Have you seen “March of the Penguins?” 


KELLERMAN:  It‘s a very overrated documentary.  I mean, Morgan Freeman does narrate it, and I guess anytime Morgan Freeman “and the penguins”—you know it sounds pretty good.  It‘s really boring.  I saw it on the plane, I couldn‘t believe how everyone likes it. 

But these little penguins are freezing to death, these little baby penguins.


KELLERMAN:  Should God get 40 days—or a day of wandering in the wilderness, for every—you know, animals die in the wilderness all the time. 

CARLSON:  Yes, they do.

KELLERMAN:  Even domesticated cats.  Domestic cats have retractable claws—I mean, they are animals.  They belong out in the woods!

CARLSON:  Yes, they are.  But when you, as this woman did, take responsibility for the animals voluntarily—she got these animals because she said, hey, bring the stray animals to me—and then you break the contract you made with those animals by leaving them to go die, you‘ve done something pretty awful, I think. 

KELLERMAN:  How have you left them to go die?  They can‘t fend for themselves? 

CARLSON:  No, they can‘t.  Actually, domesticated kittens, when you leave them alone in a field, actually don‘t do that well.

KELLERMAN:  Again, you are a religious man.  What do we do about God leaving us all here to fend for ourselves?  Everyone is fending for themselves.

CARLSON:  Well, some of us do what you do, become atheists and rage against the machine, I guess.  But in this case, it‘s like pretty cut and dry.  She said I‘ll take care of them, she didn‘t, she should be punished.

KELLERMAN:  So in other words, what she did to the animals was so bad

to the animals, which you would agree are lower life forms...


KELLERMAN:  ... OK, was so bad that the government is going to say, that is so bad, we are going to do the same thing to you, a human being.  That‘s how bad it is.

CARLSON:  I actually think she should be flogged, that‘s how I really feel about it, but that apparently is cruel and unusual.  So...

KELLERMAN:  It‘s the death penalty argument.  You can‘t kill somebody, it‘s so bad, that if you do, the government is going to kill you.  That‘s how bad it is.

CARLSON:  People in positions of power who abuse that power ought to be punished doubly.  And she was in a position of power, and she abused it.

KELLERMAN:  OK, I‘ll go for that.

CARLSON:  Yeah.  Max Kellerman, happy weekend. 

KELLERMAN:  Tucker, you too. 

CARLSON:  Thank you.

Stay tuned.  Still plenty more ahead on THE SITUATION.


CARLSON (voice-over):  From the X-files of “The Weekly World News.” 

Why Martha‘s next gig may take her where no home decorator has gone before.

MARTHA STEWART, TV PERSONALITY:  It‘s more like a true apprenticeship.

CARLSON:  We‘ll show you why it‘s vital for high school kids to learn the difference between ice machine and a urinal.

Plus, one viewer‘s keen insight on what it takes to be a “People” magazine pretty boy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You are sexy too.

CARLSON:  And, which of these newsmakers will earn this week‘s prestigious human and non-human SITUATION achievement award?  It‘s all ahead on THE SITUATION.

STEWART:  Your viewing audience is going to be in for a surprise.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  If you‘ve ever waited in the line at the supermarket, you know the publication, the newspaper that has the bravery to bring you the truth about both Bigfoot and Paris Hilton.  It is, of course, “The Weekly World News.”  And we here at THE SITUATION have an in with that paper. 

Here to bring us next week‘s headlines from “The Weekly World News,” the publisher of “Bat Boy Lives!,” the “Weekly World News” guide to politics, culture, celebrities, alien abductions and the mutant freaks that shape our world, Bruce Lubin.


CARLSON:  Bruce.

LUBIN:  Good to see you. 

CARLSON:  It‘s great to see you with breaking news.  So what...

LUBIN:  Absolutely.

CARLSON:  What are we going to learn in this week‘s issue? 

LUBIN:  We are going to learn that there are nuculer weapons out there that George Bush has developed.  This is not bad English. 

CARLSON:  Nuculer?

LUBIN:  Nuculer weapons have been developed.  Now, I mean, you in the mainstream media—not you particularly—but everyone bashes Bush and says they need him to speak in real words and proper English.  And you know, you and I know that Americans don‘t care if their president can really create a sentence or not.

The truth is, though, nuculer is a word.  And these are bombs that have been developed on Bush‘s watch that are brilliant.  They are about three times larger than a typical nuclear weapon.  They are very, very small and portable.  They‘re about the size of a small puppy, and they can actually be fit in a large puppy and then detonated from a distance. 

CARLSON:  Puppy bombs.  That is good politics.

LUBIN:  Yes, puppy bombs.  And best of all, there is none of this messy radiation.  So it‘s really a very clean way to kill or mess up a nation. 

CARLSON:  We actually got from one of your editors, an explanation.  It turns out your research has discovered, your investigation turned up the fact that nuculer is in fact an acronym for nuclear uranium cobalt union large explosive response. 

LUBIN:  Exactly right.  And I think this is Bush‘s legacy.  I think he will be known as the nuculer president. 

CARLSON:  So it‘s not that he‘s dyslexic.  He just unintentionally revealed that...

LUBIN:  No, so he played his hand a little early.  But I mean, other than that, he‘s right on. 

CARLSON:  He‘s just indiscreet.

LUBIN:  It‘s a bold move.  Bold move.

CARLSON:  That‘s interesting.  Boy, that tells you a lot. 

LUBIN:  Yeah.

CARLSON:  Martha Stewart making a return to your pages. 

LUBIN:  Indeed, she is.  She has been hired by NASA to sort of spruce up the space shuttle.  And this is a good move for NASA because...

CARLSON:  It is so ‘80s-looking.

LUBIN:  Yes, it really is.  It needs a little bit of love, I think, and who better than Martha.

CARLSON:  I agree.

LUBIN:  We understand she plans to decoupage the external fuel tanks, which I think will be nice, and then as far as the rocket boosters go, she‘s going to do them in sort of a nice wood with a semi-gloss glaze.  And inside, she‘s going to do some kind of easy slip covers and throw pillows, some indirect lighting.  But...

CARLSON:  That is so festive. 

LUBIN:  Isn‘t that great?  Isn‘t that great?  Imagine being an astronaut and being in that?  How nice for them. 

Her boldest move, though, is that she has found a way to have fresh cut flowers delivered each and every day to the space shuttle. 

CARLSON:  While in space?

LUBIN:  While in space.  It involves using aliens—not illegal aliens, because Martha is not like one of these celebrities who...


CARLSON:  I agree with that.

LUBIN:  She has always been above board.  It‘s intergalactic aliens, not even Scientologists.  I mean, people from other planets are helping her out.  So she‘s great. 

And you know, one thing, I know Martha‘s show is not being renewed, but she can take solace in the fact that reality shows as a genre are really tanking.  And in “Bat Boy Lives!,” we actually focus on a reality show featuring an all-zombie cast, and it was the first all-zombie cast since “The Golden Girls.”  And it was a fantastic idea, and it didn‘t work.  So I think she can be comforted to know that they‘re all going down.

CARLSON:  There‘s safety in numbers.

LUBIN:  Yeah.

CARLSON:  What else you got?

LUBIN:  One of the crafts that we have in “Bat Boy Lives!”—and again, we actually scooped Martha while she was out in the pokey.  We were picking up on some of the new crafts sweeping America.  And I guess the biggest one is how to stuff and mount your own pet in your kitchen. 

CARLSON:  Stuff and—like taxidermy?

LUBIN:  Yes, at-home taxidermy, exactly right, Tucker.  And it really is sweeping the nation.  And in “Bat Boy Lives!,” we actually—we excerpt a book called “Kitchen-Table Taxidermy” by Floyd Munson.  And I‘ll bring a copy for you, because it‘s tremendous.  It‘s great for the family.  I mean, with a knife, a microwave, some large bowls, you know, lots and lots of paper towels, and then a really strong stomach and a really strong gag reflex, you too can have Fido forever, in just a few minutes.  So it‘s a great way to sort of bring the family together and get over that grieving process that happens when a pet dies.

I wouldn‘t advise, you know, killing the pet, but when it happens, Tucker, I would say it‘s a nice way to sort of...

CARLSON:  It‘s the next step.

LUBIN:  It is.  It‘s a nice...

CARLSON:  Boy, that is very crafty.  It is very hard to imagine Martha Stewart at home, though, involved in taxidermy with a cocker spaniel.  

LUBIN:  Not that hard.

CARLSON:  No, not in “The Weekly World News.”  The book, “Bat Boy Lives!”  A compilation of “Weekly World News” headlines.  There‘s some amazing—“Alien Body Snatchers Reject Paris Hilton.”  And I promise as God watches, that was just randomly, I turned to that page.

LUBIN:  You know what, I don‘t know what that means, but I will say one thing, you had predicted this was going to be a best-seller, and I‘m telling you, it‘s on its way.  You were psychic.  So I want you to know, if you ever really need another gig at “Weekly World News,” we could always use a psychic.

CARLSON:  Actually, I think of it as not even a fallback position, but really as the next step for me.

LUBIN:  The next step up, right.

CARLSON:  Bruce Lubin, thank you.

LUBIN:  Great.  

CARLSON:  Still ahead, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald won rave reviews from just about everyone in journalism, except me.  So why does an angry viewer think I‘m jealous over the praise he‘s received from “People” magazine?  Find out when we get to the voicemail machine next. 


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for our voicemail segment.  Our voicemails tend to get farther and farther out as the week goes on, and it is of course Friday.  Let‘s see what we‘ve got. 


MIKE:  Hey, Tucker.  This is Mike in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  You made the statement that you‘ve never seen illegal immigrants, Mexican immigrants begging on the streets.  You obviously have never been to New Mexico or through Albuquerque. 


CARLSON:  I have been through Albuquerque, and I grew up right next to the Mexican border and I have never seen it.  But that‘s distressing, to find out that‘s true.  Yet another reason to be against illegal immigration.  If you‘re an illegal immigrant here begging, that‘s about as low as it gets.  So, yeah, that‘s outrageous.  Thanks for calling.

Next up.


DAVID:  This is David Keys (ph), Tulsa, Oklahoma.  I would just like for you to be more independent and don‘t show any bias toward either party, because I don‘t like what either one of them are doing. 


CARLSON:  I can honestly say I‘m the most independent person I know. 

I‘m very conservative.  I never hide it, but I am not tied to either party.  And my biases are many, and they are all out in the open.  I don‘t hide those either.  So you can make your judgments about my judgments. 

Next up. 


ANN:  Hi, this is Ann from Charleston, West Virginia.  Tucker, jealousy is not a pretty thing.  You shouldn‘t be jealous at the fact that Patrick Fitzgerald was selected as one of the sexiest men by “People” magazine.  You are sexy, too.


CARLSON:  I don‘t quite know how to take that.  Thank you.  It‘s not jealousy.  It‘s just here‘s a guy who put a reporter in jail simply for doing her job, who has threatened other journalists with prison, who is completely out of control on that subject in my view.  And—OK.  There you go.  And here is the press corps sucking up to him.  It‘s just another example of the press instinctively sucking up to power.  And I just hate it. 

I think reporters should see him for what he is, our enemy.  A person who is trying to prevent reporters from learning out what their government is doing.  And I just think it‘s completely wrong.  And I have no idea why they are not treating him like the villain he is. 

All right, tell me what you think.  You can call any time.  Our number is 1-877-TCARLSON, that‘s 1-877-822-7576.  You can also e-mail us at tucker@MSNBC.com.  And if you‘re wondering what I think, if you‘re still interested in hearing my opinion after watching this entire show, you can log on to tucker.msnbc.com for my blog.  And I hope you will. 

Still to come, we‘ll update a story we brought you on Halloween involving a witch who robbed banks and then vanished in a cloud of smoke.  She‘s been caught, but there is more to the story, and the details can only be found on “The Cutting Room Floor.”  We‘ll be right back.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for “The Cutting Room Floor.”  Willie Geist is finishing up close to the end of his court-ordered community service.  Here, filling in in his place, finishing up a very strong week, our producer, Vanessa McDonald—Vanessa.

VANESSA MCDONALD, SITUATION PRODUCER:  It‘s been so much fun, I‘m going to miss it.

CARLSON:  Well, thank you.  We‘re going to miss you.  Maybe Willie won‘t be out in time. 

Regular viewers of THE SITUATION will remember a story about a woman dressed as a witch who robbed a bank on Halloween.  Here a reprise of the dramatic reenactment performed by THE SITUATION players. 

Now, police believe they may have caught the culprit.  She was arrested at her apartment in Olympia, Washington, where detectives found part of a witch‘s costume.  The suspect‘s name, Vanessa D. Molina.  Vanessa D. Molina.

MCDONALD:  Look at that girl.  She‘s so unprofessional. 

CARLSON:  Bears a striking resemblance to another Vanessa we know. 

MCDONALD:  She may have my locks and my name, but come on, I would not leave my costume behind at the scene, or—I would get rid of it.  Yeah, come on.

CARLSON:  You‘d burn it like a good bank robber? 

MCDONALD:  Exactly.  

CARLSON:  Good for you. 

You‘re a natural criminal, Vanessa. 

As this next story makes very clear, America is in serious danger of become overrun by very dumb bank robbers.  A Michigan man is being sought after a robbery at National Citibank in Waterford.  The suspect, identified as Andrew Jeffrey Webster, has tattoos on both arms, including one that says appropriately enough, “dumb.”  Webster is considered armed and dangerous, but he should also be pretty easy to pick out of a crowd because he is, as we said, dumb.  He‘s got the tattoo to prove it. 

MCDONALD:  I really have to comment on this? 

CARLSON:  You do. 


MCDONALD:  ... left his address and his phone number for the teller, and then robbed the bank.  You know, I mean, come on. 

CARLSON:  What was he thinking when he got “dumb” tattooed on his arm? 

You know what I mean?

MCDONALD:  Not much.

CARLSON:  Yeah.  Here‘s a story that starts out bad, then gets much, much worse.  A high school student in Kentucky was suspended for urinating in an ice machine in the school gym.  Not surprisingly, he said, he did it on a dare.  That‘s what they all say.  But here‘s where it gets worse.  Several students saw him do it, but no one reported it for at least a day.  At that time, more than 30 people had used the machine, and now the story gets even worse.  The Department of Public Health says the act was quote, “gross” and “morally wrong,” but not a health risk. 

MCDONALD:  Well, all I have to say is my dad once told me not to eat the yellow snow.  And in this case, kids, don‘t eat the yellow ice. 

CARLSON:  Your dad is a wise man, but if you do eat the yellow ice, actually it turns out it‘s not a health risk. 

MCDONALD:  Well, exactly.  That‘s why (INAUDIBLE).

CARLSON:  I don‘t know how that works.

Now it‘s time to name our SITUATION human and nonhuman of the week.  First, a man who may be taking ethnic pride maybe a tad too far.  A Michigan man was pulled over for drunk driving over the weekend.  When a cop asked if he had been drinking, he said, “man, I‘m not going to lie to you.  I‘m drunk.”  Fair enough.  When he asked how much he had to drink that night, he said, “man, I‘m Irish, so a lot.” 

MCDONALD:  I‘m so honored to be giving out this award tonight. 

CARLSON:  Are you really?

MCDONALD:  I mean, I‘m not the best judge, but I‘m a McDonald, so...


CARLSON:  That‘s not from the Scottish McDonald‘s either.


CARLSON:  Oh, it is.

MCDONALD:  I‘m a little bit Scottish, but mostly Irish.

CARLSON:  You think this is fair, or just another ugly stereotype? 

MCDONALD:  No, it‘s definitely fair. 

CARLSON:  It is.  Yeah.  Right. 

Now our nonhuman of the week.  In a runaway win, Paris Hilton‘s kinkaju takes the top slot.  You‘ll remember, this started out as the touching story of a girl and her arboreal mammal.  Now it appears that Paris‘ new best friend Baby Luv could get her in trouble with the law.  Possession of a kinkaju is a misdemeanor in L.A., where she‘s living.  So she‘ll either have to pull up stakes or break up with Baby Luv the kinkaju. 

MCDONALD:  Wait a minute.  Who are we saying is the nonhuman? 

CARLSON:  I was saying...

MCDONALD:  I mean, this girl does not have an ounce of compassion in her life.  And, you know, she breaks up with one (INAUDIBLE), goes on to the next.  The reason why she broke up with the whole kinkaju is her chihuahua got too fat. 

CARLSON:  Is that true?

MCDONALD:  Yes.  And that‘s why she has the kinkaju.

CARLSON:  Not a good trade. 

Thank you, Vanessa. 

That‘s it for THE SITUATION tonight.  Thanks for watching.  Have a great weekend.


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