updated 11/23/2005 11:29:06 AM ET 2005-11-23T16:29:06

Guest: Vernon Bellecourt, Robert Greenwald, Jeffrey Rodengen, Max


JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”:  That's all the time we have for tonight.  THE SITUATION with Tucker Carlson starts right now. 

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Thank you, Joe.  And thanks to you at home, also for tuning in, we appreciate it, as we always do. 

Tonight, should Thanksgiving be considered a national day of mourning? 

One of our guests says so, and he'll stop by to tell us why. 

Also, is Wal-Mart evil?  Evil?  That's the thesis of a brand-new documentary.  I'll talk to the director about that. 

And Florida middle school teacher Debra—Debra Lafave had sex with her 14-year-old student.  Didn't she deserve at least one night behind bars?  We'll get to the bottom of that, as well. 

We get to all of those stories over the next hour, but first, joining me to discuss the hottest stories of this moment, Air America host, Rachel Maddow—Rachel. 

RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO HOST:  Hi, Tucker.  Nice to see you. 

CARLSON:  Great to see you. 

I would say, without question, the story of great interest today, in the British press, not known for its accuracy, but very much known for its heat, that claims in a conversation during the Iraq war, during the invasion, between Prime Minister Tony Blair and George W. Bush of the United States, President Bush suggested bombing Al Jazeera. 

The White House has said this is ridiculous.  There's some indication tonight that, if this conversation occurred, it was in jest, which it seems to me it would have had to have been. 

But let me just posit this.  Al Jazeera is not an independent news organization.  It's owned by the emir of Qatar, as you know.  It is owned by a person who runs a government.  It is not so different from a state-sponsored propaganda organ, which is essentially what it is. 

If in war you had the enemy broadcasting propaganda out of a loud speaker, would you be allowed to blow up that loudspeaker?  Yes.

MADDOW:  Are we at war—are we at war with Qatar?

CARLSON:  No, we're not at war with—that's an excellent point.  And that's the reason that, of course, this whole story is ridiculous.  We'd never bomb anything owned by Qatar. 

But the point is, it's not like even the joke was suggesting blowing up the “New York Times.”  This is a state-sponsored propaganda organ.  That's all it is. 

MADDOW:  But I mean, right now, the set that we are sitting at, and the network that we are appearing on, is owned by G.E.  Right?  And so... 

CARLSON:  G.E. is not a government. 

MADDOW:  G.E. is not a government.  But maybe you feel like it's corporate propaganda, everything that happens on NBC. 

CARLSON:  It might be, but we're talking about government actions here.  And governments have a right to at least consider actions against other governments.  And that's why Al Jazeera's ownership is germane to this point.  Al Jazeera is not just some independent news source.  Right?  It is part of a government. 

MADDOW:  But the ultimate ownership of a news source, whether it be by G.E. or whether it be by the emir of Qatar, does that—does that make a difference as to whether or not the people who work for that are journalists, whether they deserve any protection?  I mean...

CARLSON:  Yes, it does. 

MADDOW:  It does?

CARLSON:  It absolutely does.  Sure.  It can.  I mean, you know, these things, you know, you judge on a case by case basis.  And I'm not calling for anybody at Al Jazeera to be hurt, and I mourn the deaths of those people who did work for Al Jazeera who were killed accidentally in Iraq.  So I'm not suggesting that at all. 

I'm just saying there's a difference between an employee of the North Korean news service and an employee of Bloomberg wire service, or MSNBC.  There is a difference. 

MADDOW:  I think that gets into splitting some pretty fine hairs. 

CARLSON:  Really?

MADDOW:  Between the emir of Qatar and G.E. and Michael Bloomberg and who owns the media, who owns the radio...

CARLSON:  Well, how about...

MADDOW:  ... deciding whether or not the journalist needs protection.  I mean, on my show every day, I do something where I point out a political tactic in a news story every day.  And shooting the messenger is always one of the greatest as a political tactic.

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW:  It's supposed to be metaphorical.  You're not supposed to ever actually go and do that (ph).

CARLSON:  I agree with that.  I spend a lot of my time defending the press against attacks from, among others, the Bush administration and from the left, for that matter.

However, I'm merely saying common sense plays a role in this, as well.  You look at the product of Al Jazeera.  At MSNBC, we have someone whose job it is—whose only job it is—is to watch Al Jazeera all day long.  And the net results of those close looks at what Al Jazeera produces is the same in every case.  It's propaganda.  It's anti-American, pro-Islamist propaganda. 

MADDOW:  You can call it propaganda because you see it as unfriendly media. 

CARLSON:  I see it as dishonest and inaccurate. 

MADDOW:  Well, that's what a lot of the Arab world thinks about NBC,


CARLSON:  They're wrong. 

MADDOW:  They're wrong and we're right, because we're looking from our side, and they're looking from their side. 

CARLSON:  Look, I've been doing this a long time, and the bottom line is there are different perspectives on the news, but there is at the bottom, news.  Something happened.  It either happened or it didn't happen.  There is objective reality.  And when you don't report what happened accurately, you are lying.  You are committing propaganda.  It's not you're spinning it.  You're lying.

MADDOW:  But what's being deride the as propaganda from Al Jazeera is, too often, that they are showing raw footage of the result of bombing campaigns.


MADDOW:  They're showing raw footage of what they get from the insurgents and the terrorists.  They're showing raw footage of what they see happening on the ground in Iraq.  We call that propaganda, because it's not what we're seeing here.  It's from the other perspective.  It's splitting hairs.

CARLSON:  Actually, I would defend that, by and large.  I would defend showing raw footage, by and large.  I think that's kind of hard to argue with.  It happened.  It's real.

But I think in many other cases, Al Jazeera just lies.  And that's a problem. 

Jose Padilla.

MADDOW:  People say the same thing about American media. 

CARLSON:  Yes, but they're wrong.  Not all—not all—not from my perspective.  Not all perspectives are equally valid.  I've spent a fair amount of time in the Middle East, and you hear stuff that is insane.  The Jews blew up a World Trade Center.  That's not a question of my perspective versus yours; that's a lie.  OK?  And I think we should call it that.

MADDOW:  It's a battle of ideas. 

CARLSON:  Jose Padilla, indicted.


CARLSON:  American citizen.  Three years he has spent in a Navy brig, awaiting trial.  He has been not charged by the state.  He was charged today.

I think this is great news, but I think the larger story is the one that's been totally overlooked.  And that is, why is Jose Padilla, a Brooklyn-born American, a convert to Islam, how did he become an Islamist?  What is there about that brand of Islam that makes an American citizen, born here, fall for it and become anti-American?

MADDOW:  Again, coming off of the Al Jazeera story, it is a war of ideas.  I mean, there's an ideology out there of militant Islamist extremism that appeals to a lot of people in the world, and that's why we're fighting a war on terror, right? 

CARLSON:  But don't you think we spend all our time, you know, having

these sort of tangential arguments about, well, is he going to be, you know

·         how is he going to be charged?  Will he be tried in a military court? 

Will he be tried in a civilian court?

How did he end up rooting for the other side, and working for the other side?  It's a big deal.  This means this could happen again to other Americans. 

MADDOW:  Yes, I think that—I mean, I think that his life story is an interesting prospect, and I want to know about the appeal of military Islam in the United States and across the world.  And we have to engage in a battle of ideas.  We can't just win this militarily.  I think that's interesting.

But I don't think it's a tangential issue.  Jose Padilla was an American citizen, picked up on American soil, held for three years without charges.  And then when they finally charged him after three years, it wasn't for the stuff that was the reason they were holding him for the last three years.  That terrifies me as an American citizen. 

CARLSON:  Well, we don't actually—that's not entirely true, because we don't exactly know why he was being held for those three years.  We do know that John Ashcroft got up and gave this much derided—I believe correctly derided—news conference.  He was very into news conferences and calling attention to himself, John Ashcroft was. And accused him of a variety of things he's not being charged with now. 

MADDOW:  Right.

CARLSON:  But the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on this.  This is not taking place outside the realm of the law.  We've had the civilian court rule on this, his status, Padilla's status, and they said the Bush administration was within its rights. 

MADDOW:  And there was a Supreme Court deadline on Monday where the Bush administration was going to have to put up or shut up as to what evidence they had...

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW:  ... on Padilla being held as an enemy combatant, being held outside the U.S. criminal justice system, saying he's such a special case, we can't actually treat him with the rights afforded criminal defendants under the Constitution.  Just ahead of that deadline, they decide, “Oh, not enemy combatant after all.  We can't really defend holding him for three years,” so he goes into the regular criminal justice system. 

CARLSON:  No, I don't think they said, “We can't defend holding him for three years.”  We say, you know, you know, he's going to be tried as a civilian in a civilian court.  In fact, it's the outcome that makes me the happiest, because we'll get to hear exactly what he's accused of doing.  And it will be a reminder to all of us that there is this war, as you put it, of ideas going on that we need to be involved with and aware of. 

MADDOW:  I think the enemy combatant status thing, the ruling would not have gone for the Bush administration.  We now have to wait for another case to test it. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  I don't know.  I'm sort of glad how this worked out. 

Dominick Maldonado, 20 years old, shot up a shopping mall in Tacoma, Washington. 

MADDOW:  Awful story.  Awful story. 

CARLSON:  Right.  He shot six people, wounded six people.  He apparently is a lone nut, said he was upset about his life, hadn't gone well, his childhood was unhappy, his girlfriend broke up with him. 

I want to read you a sentence from a blog, a very well read blog, in the left-wing blogosphere, had this to say.  “A man was found with ricin and bomb-making materials after shooting up a suburban mall with an assault weapon.  Why is this only on page 814?  Oh, he's not Muslim.” 

That's from the Rachel Maddow blog. 

MADDOW:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  Here's my point.  No.  It's not that he's not a Muslim.  It's that he's not in part of a larger movement or ideology.  There aren't 25,000 Dominick Maldonados.  He's a lone nut case.  It doesn't signify anything.  It's horrifying, but it doesn't mean there's a trend going.           

MADDOW:  But how many other people who have been arrested in the war on terror have been held as suspects in the United States, have turned out to be lone nuts, lone bad guys, people who aren't necessarily connected to this larger war on terror?

I mean, there's terrorism that happens in the United States.  I consider it terrorism when people terrorize abortion clinics by blowing them up and targeting people who work at them.  It's meant to instill fear and make abortion something that can't be legal in the United States, or can't be accessed in the United States. 

CARLSON:  It happens, like, never, but yes. 

MADDOW:  Well, the Eric Rudolph bombings, I think were a situation.  I consider that to be a domestic terrorism situation.


MADDOW:  I also consider Timothy McVeigh's actions to have been an act of domestic terrorism. 

CARLSON:  Both got in a lot of trouble for it. 

MADDOW:  Got in a lot of trouble for it.  Didn't lead to an idea that we need to racially profile white guys because of the bombings. 

CARLSON:  Because—because this is part of this ongoing defense of Islamic extremists that I don't understand: they're being persecuted and they're being somehow maligned. 

MADDOW:  I didn't say that.

CARLSON:  The fact is—no, but that's the implication.  The fact is that they exist.  And that they are tied together, if not by direct contact, by a shared ideology.  They are of a piece.  They may not all know each other but they all think roughly the same thing.  That's why it's really scary, much scarier than a lone crazy guy like Timothy McVeigh or Maldonado. 

MADDOW:  By conflating terrorism and militant Islam, even terrorism and Islam, which happens way too easily in this country, you end up in a situation where Jose Padilla, because he's convert to Islam—and in that whole—that whole John Ashcroft press conference from Russia, he referred to him by his taken Islamic name, to make him seem more scary. 

We end up with a situation where he's the dirty bomber.  He's going to blow up New York apartment buildings.  He's going to do all of this awful stuff.  You're scared of him.  He's a Muslim.  By the way, it turned out he wasn't involved in any of that. 

CARLSON:  Wait a second. 

MADDOW:  But then the guy with ricin, the guy with bomb-making materials, who's a white guy, it's like, “Oh, he's a troubled kid.” 

CARLSON:  Wait a second.  I don't—again, for the third time, it's because there are a lot more Jose Padillas out there than there are Dominick Maldonados. 

But this threat from Islamic extremism is real.  It's verifiable, and it also is targeting you, specifically, the left.  If they came to this country and declared Sharia law, who would be the first to be executed at the soccer stadium?  It would be American liberals. 

Why this impulse to stick up for—and I'm not accusing you of this, but I see it in the left all the time, to make excuses for Islamic extremists? 

MADDOW:  I'm not sticking up for or making excuses for Islamic extremism.  I am as afraid of and angered by terrorism as you are.  I am more concerned about keeping America safe than I think the Bush administration is, because I don't think we should be distracted by these rants and conflations about Islam and terrorism that actually don't take seriously what the real threat is. 

I think if we really wanted to keep Americans safe, we would be locking up loose nuclear material.  We wouldn't be invading Iraq.  We wouldn't be talking about stuff that has nothing to do with terrorism, but has a lot to do with Islam. 

CARLSON:  I think it's very hard to separate the two.  And I would like to do an entire show, and hopefully we will soon on what exactly this ideology is that we refer to all the time and nobody seems to really understand, because it is real. 

MADDOW:  And it is—and I do—and it is ideology.  And I think that's one shift in the Bush administration I really agree with.  They started talking about it, that it's war on ideology. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  Yes, but they don't explain what it is because they said their hands are bound by the rules of political correctness and they can't say it's an offshoot of Islam that's gone crazy, which is exactly what it is. 

MADDOW:  I think they don't do it because there's no solution to fighting an ideology that's explained by war.

CARLSON:  Speaking of law and order, Debra Lafave.  Twenty-five years old.  Had sexual relations with a boy 14 in her class.  They met on a school trip to Sea World in Orlando. 

She has just been sentenced.  Three years of house arrest, seven years of probation.


CARLSON:  Pretty tough sentence.  She's—have to register as a sexual predator.  There she is on the screen. 

Here's my question, very simple, who exactly is harmed by this?  To the extent that it justifies her registration as a, quote, “sexual predator,” and three years of house arrest?  I know people are saying, “Oh, she's gotten off easy.”  I don't think so at all.  I want to know exactly who she's hurt to deserve this. 

MADDOW:  If it was a male teacher and a 14-year-old girl, would you feel differently?

CARLSON:  Of course I would.  I would be rooting for a lifetime behind bars, along with every other American.  But it wasn't.

MADDOW:  The age of consent should be different for boys than for girls?

CARLSON:  I think in real life, it is much more harmful to a 14-year-old girl to have sexual relations with an adult teacher than it is for a 14-year-old boy. 

MADDOW:  Now we're talking about a legal case where we've got an adult who had sex with 14-year-old, and we have to decide what the legal standard's going to be.  Are we really going to argue about the legal standard for age of consent, that it should be legal to have sex with a 14-year-old boy, no matter what age you are, but if you have sex with a 14-year-old girl, life in prison?  That's a pretty hard thing to argue. 

CARLSON:  No, no.  I think—I think, however, you ought to—it is a hard legal argument to make.  You're right.  But I think you ought to have to show harm before you sentence someone, you pull someone out of society, and sentence him either, in this case, her to prison or home confinement and brand them for the rest of their lives. 

MADDOW:  I don't disagree.  I think we're back to the situation where, if you steal ten bucks from a rich guy—it doesn't cause the rich guy any harm, because he's millions.  But is you steal $10 from a poor guy, then you're going to get a different sentence?  I think the harm is different than the principle of the matter. 

CARLSON:  Wait a second.  Wait a second.  If that's what you're arguing, then how can—I mean, without bringing this, like, totally off the charts.  How can you argue for hate crimes legislation?

MADDOW:  What do you mean?

CARLSON:  Which is exactly—exactly the argument you say you disagree with, that you ought to take into account, you know, the effect on the individual.  If—in other words, if murdering someone is wrong, how is it more wrong to murder someone because it is a sexual orientation or race.  I mean, it's all the same, according to your argument. 

MADDOW:  Well, hate crimes legislation isn't based on whether or not -

·         like for example, in an antigay hate crime.  It's not—it's not based on whether or not the person who you target actually is gay.  It's based on whether or not the person who's going after that person thinks they are gay. 

CARLSON:  Right.  It's thought crime.  No, no.  It's totally Orwellian.

But the bottom—but the bottom line here is Debra Lafave, I don't think hurt this boy, and I don't think she hurt our society, and I really think she's kind of being railroaded, frankly. 

MADDOW:  I think it's amazing that they didn't give her any time in prison, specifically because they said she was too attractive, and wouldn't survive long in prison because she was too good looking.  That doesn't show a lot of confidence in prison administrators. 

CARLSON:  Boy, that is just—that is a made for TV movie, that I can assure you would get very high ratings. 

MADDOW:  It's actually made for pay per view. 

CARLSON:  Yes, it is. 

Rachel Maddow, thank you very much. 

MADDOW:  Thanks, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, Thanksgiving Day usually means enjoying turkey, stuffing and some pumpkin pie with the family.  However, one group says there's no cause for festive celebration in this country.  Find out who they are and what they mean after the break.

Plus, we'll ask the all-important question as we enter the holiday season.  Is Wal-Mart good or bad for America?  Evil or benign?  A new documentary explores corporate greed as THE SITUATION rolls on.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  While most Americans prepare to feast on turkey and watch football with family on Thanksgiving Day, my next guest is planning a protest.  Vernon Bellecourt is with the American Indian Movement, which regards Thanksgiving Day as a national day of mourning.  Mr. Bellecourt joins us live from Minneapolis to share his thoughts on Thanksgiving. 

Mr. Bellecourt, hanks for coming on. 

VERNON BELLECOURT, ACTIVIST:  Good evening, Tucker.  Glad to be on. 

CARLSON:  Thank you.  I've heard people attack Christmas.  I've heard people attack Valentine's Day as a Hallmark holiday.  I've never heard anyone attack Thanksgiving.  What's your problem with...?

BELLECOURT:  I don't know if we're necessarily—I'm sorry, I don't know if we're necessarily attacking Thanksgiving, but we want to point out the real history and origins of Thanksgiving.

And that is, according to William D. Newell (ph), himself a Penobscot Indian and the chair of the anthropology department at the University of Connecticut, retired, of course, in his research, in 1637, the Pequot Indian people were in their long house for all purposes, their synagogue, their mosque, their cathedral, celebrating their green corn dance, which they had done...

CARLSON:  Right.

BELLECOURT:  ... since time immemorial.  It was their Thanksgiving. 

The Massachusetts Bay Colony governor ordered the mercenaries and militia to attack the longhouse, thinking they were plotting against them.  And more than 700 Pequot men, women, and children were cut down with musket and saber, those that weren't burned to death. 

The governor declared Thanksgiving, and for the next 100 years, similarly in the colonies, in order to deal with what they characterized as “ye pesky redskins.”

CARLSON:  Right.

BELLECOURT:  Incidentally, “redskin” is not an honorable name, and—but we realize. 

CARLSON:  Well, hold on.  That's not—I mean, that sounds grotesque, and I mean, I believe things like that happen in this world.  Certainly, but Thanksgiving started, I think, in 1621.  There was, doubtless you know, an Indian there, Squanto, famously, a Patuxet Indian there, who was celebrated by the early colonists, and that's what people think of when they think of Thanksgiving, you know. 

BELLECOURT:  Of course.  We realize that, but, you know, for—for documentation, one has to go—those of you that can go to your browser, “free republic origin of Thanksgiving,” and they'll have all of the documentation... 


BELLECOURT: ... on the origins of Thanksgiving. 

Now, we realize that Abraham Lincoln, he eventually declared Thanksgiving, and it's evolved to become a very warm family event where people come together.  And we ask people to look at the table and teach their children the real history, as I describe. 

CARLSON:  But isn't the real—but hold on.  But the holiday as it's practiced now, at least as I grew up, it celebrates Indians, I mean, celebrates specifically this one Indian, Squanto, and the relationship between colonists and the Indians.  And the Indians helped colonists, and the colonists would have died without them. 

BELLECOURT:  Of course, you see, the first pilgrims would have perished.  I mean, they got off the boat sick, destitute...

CARLSON:  Right.

BELLECOURT:  ... wrapped in rages.  And the Indian people did help them, told them how—showed them how to plant crops, how to survive. 

But the point I'm trying to make is that, when one would look at their table today on Thanksgiving, on Thursday...


BELLECOURT:  ... they will se pumpkin, squash, potatoes, yams, turkey. 

Almost all the food stuff on their table that native people taught them how

·         how to live in this land.  And of course, they turned on us immediately, and so on Thursday...


BELLECOURT:  We're going to be on Alcatraz Island with 4,000 friends and supporters as a memorial to the fact that since then, about 16 million of our people have been wiped out in America's holocaust. 

CARLSON:  Well, that sounds—Mr. Bellecourt, that sounds like an awfully grim way to spend a pretty happy holiday, which I think is basically a pro-Indian advertisement.  I wouldn't screw it up by holding a protest.  I mean, this makes people like Indians and makes them grateful to Indians. 

BELLECOURT:  Well, you see, that's kind of romantic and it's really nice, but the fact remains...

CARLSON:  Right.

BELLECOURT:  ... that it's America's longest war, and we're still victimized by it.  I mean, $137 billion has disappeared from U.S. Treasury accounts over the past 100 years. 

CARLSON:  All right. 

BELLECOURT:  And so we don't have much to be thankful today, although many of our people will celebrate Thanksgiving. 

CARLSON:  OK.  I think—I think many of them will. 

BELLECOURT:  ... family event.

CARLSON:  And I think—I think you want to change your mind, Mr.

Bellecourt, and welcome back the great American tradition of Thanksgiving.  You're welcome to celebrate it at my house.  If you change your mind, you know where to reach me. 

BELLECOURT:  Well, you know, maybe again we'll invite you all to the table again sometime. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Appreciate that. 

BELLECOURT:  But in the meantime, we are going to be memorializing the longest war against the Indian people. 

CARLSON:  All right.  Thanks for coming on. 

BELLECOURT:  Sure, glad to do it. 

CARLSON:  Thanks.  Vernon Bellecourt.

Up next, detainees at Guantanamo Bay are allowed to have a Koran.  Why is it against the rules for them to read the Bible?  It is, by the way.  THE SITUATION hits the books, next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They busted up Standard Oil and they busted up Ma Bell, but Wal-Mart seems to be going on a rampage through the American economy, and nobody is even paying attention. 


CARLSON:  That's a clip from a new documentary, called “Wal-Mart, The High Cost of Low Price.”  It was produced and directed by Robert Greenwald.  He joins us tonight, live from Los Angeles, to talk about his film. 

Mr. Greenwald, thanks a lot for joining us. 


PRICE”:  My pleasure. 

CARLSON:  I am not a defender of Wal-Mart.  I think it makes America more ugly, but I don't have to shop there.  And I'm not looking for a job there.  A hundred million Americans shop at Wal-Mart every week.  Do you think they're too dumb to know that shopping there is against their interests?  Why do they shop there?

GREENWALD:  They shop there because it's the low prices that they're attracted to.  But what the film does, and what we spent a year researching, is pointing out they are paying for those low prices. 

They are paying in their tax dollars, over $2 billion a year, to help subsidize Wal-Mart, to help pay for the Wal-Mart tax in order to allow those prices to be lower.  And that's one of the great injustices that I discovered in working on this film, and didn't know before I got into it, by the way. 

CARLSON:  You also point out that they don't pay their employees very well, and they don't, looks to me, pay their employees all that much.  On the other hand, they do employ 1.3 million people.  Presumably, those people wouldn't be working at Wal-Mart if they could get higher paying jobs. 

If Wal-Mart didn't exist, do you really think those people would have higher paying jobs?

GREENWALD:  It's not a question of Wal-Mart not existing.  It's a question—and the question is not lousy, bad-paying jobs or no jobs.  The question is a corporation that had $10 billion in profit last year should not be leading us towards a suicide economy, and I think this is something all Americans can agree upon. 

And we need to pressure them to change their ways, to make those jobs one that you can feel good about and be paid reasonably, where customers don't have to be ashamed to go into that store because of its horrific business practices. 

CARLSON:  You make the point that Wal-Mart forces a lot of other stores out of business, and I think that's probably true to some extent.

But you open the movie with something that struck me as not exactly honest.  It's a profile of a place called H&H Hardware in a small town in Ohio.  And you make the point it's been owned by this family for 40 some years, the Hunter family. 

Wal-Mart came to town, and their hardware store went out of business.  That's what the movie says.  Well, according to the “Cleveland Plain Dealer,” actually, that store that you profiled went out of business before Wal-Mart opened its doors. 

GREENWALD:  Exactly. 

CARLSON:  The founder says, “It hurts businesses, Wal-Mart does, but that's not the reason we closed, absolutely not.”  And in fact, that store was replaced by another hardware store, despite the fact that Wal-Mart was there. 

GREENWALD:  You've been get—yes, come on, you've been getting your talking points from those expensive spin doctors they have in Bentonville. 


GREENWALD:  You wait.

CARLSON:  Wait, you slow down, Mr. Greenwald.  I got the “Cleveland Plain Dealer.”  And don't accuse me. 

GREENWALD:  And did you get the clarification?

CARLSON:  I'm not a tool for Wal-Mart. 

GREENWALD:  Did you get the clarification that they issued the next day?  Did you get the statement from Mr. Hunter, the son who runs the store?  Did you look at...

CARLSON:  It's a real simple question, Mr. Greenwald. 

GREENWALD:  Let me finish. 

CARLSON:  No.  Instead of answering me, you're calling names. 

GREENWALD:  No.  No, it's not.  No, that's not what I'm saying. 


GREENWALD:  You're not listening to me.  Let me be very clear.  The film very specifically says, very specifically, it's even worse.  They closed before Wal-Mart came to town.  He says it.  He goes in.  He tries to get a bank loan, and the banker says to him, “No.  The value of your property has gone down.”

CARLSON:  I just watched the film about an hour ago.  And that is absolutely, absolutely not what it says.  That film makes it very clear that that store closed because of Wal-Mart, and I am telling you the guy who founded the store says that's not true.

GREENWALD:  Because—excuse me.  Let me finish my sentence.  It makes it very clear that it closed before Wal-Mart came to town, and the “Cleveland Plain Dealer” and the clarification all went towards explaining that.  But let me—let's go to the substance here. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  Then let me ask you a substantive question.  And that is about stores like that store.

GREENWALD:  Ask a real question. 

CARLSON:  That is a real question.  I felt that was shockingly misleading.  I said so.  You called me a name.

Here's the question.  You—mom and pop stores, like H&H Hardware, which I support like everyone else, you imply that somehow they have a right to sell products at above market price to people?


CARLSON:  Then what is the point: they have a right to be in business?

GREENWALD:  No.  That's not the point.  The point is, Wal-Mart takes corporate welfare subsidy, over $1 billion a year, for its employees, and over $1 billion a year to come into these communities.  That makes it unfair, and that makes it greedy. 

Look, no one is against progress.  No one is against people making a living.  Does Lee Scott have to make $28 million?  That's a separate question.  Does the Walton family have to be worth $100 billion?  A separate question. 

Btu what the movie does very, very clearly, and I think all the reviews—not the political folks, but the reviews—have made it very clear, it says it's taking a toll on the best of America, people who are patriotic, who love this country, who have worked their butts off, and are being punished, because Wal-Mart is coming in and not playing by the rules and taking this money out of the taxpayers' pocket and into Wal-Mart. 

CARLSON:  I didn't...  

GREENWALD:  That ain't fair. 

CARLSON:  I watched it.  I didn't get that at all.  I came to the movie as someone who was hostile to Wal-Mart, frankly, and unapologetically so, far from being a flak for Bentonville, as you implied.  And I came away thinking, you know what, this is such heavy-handed propaganda, Wal-Mart must have something going for it.  So maybe I am alone in that perception, but you didn't convince me. 

But I appreciate your coming on, Mr. Greenwald.  Thank you. 

Coming up on THE SITUATION, these guys have been accused of stretching the truth from time to time, but are all men really liars?  The author of a new book says most of them are, and frankly, they are not all that good at it.  We investigate when THE SITUATION returns.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Thomas Jefferson once said, “In the matters of style, swim with the current.  In the matters of principle, stand like a rock.” 

Joining me now, a man of principle, who's pretty stylish too, the Outsider, ESPN radio and HBO boxing host Max Kellerman. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO:  What I want to know is how much is Wal-Mart giving you, Tucker, to say those things? 

CARLSON:  Yeah, that is just—that is the quickest way to make me mad, I have to say. 

KELLERMAN:  I got you in a fighting mood! 

CARLSON:  I just don't care for that at all.  I come to this—as almost—and I am not bragging, I'm... 

KELLERMAN:  No, you're—I know you are hostile—that's right. 

CARLSON:  I come to it with an open mind, and I say what I think and what nobody else thinks.  Period.

KELLERMAN:  And what did the “Cleveland Plain Dealer” say again, the guy closed down not because of Wal-Mart?

CARLSON:  He says the guy who founded it, who ran it for 43 years, says unequivocally, Wal-Mart had nothing to do with our closing the store.  Period.  So, you know, argue with the owner of the store. 

KELLERMAN:  I'm just trying—you are full of apple sauce today, Tucker! 

CARLSON:  Yes, I am.  I haven't even begun. 

A Pakistani prisoner at Gitmo is suing to get a copy of a religious text, but it's not the text you might be thinking of.  It's the Bible.  The prisoner, who is alleged to have ties to Osama bin Laden, in fact who admits he has ties to Osama bin Laden, already has a Koran, but he wants an English translation of the King James Bible as well.  He also wants copies of “Hamlet” and “Julius Caesar.”  The government, our government says no, because certain books can, quote, “incite prisoners.”  They've since relented on Shakespeare, but not on the Bible.

Let me get this right, Max.  Our government, the U.S. government, fighting a war on Islamic extremism, on Islamic extremism, will only allow the Islamic extremists held at Guantanamo Bay to have the Koran?  That's all you get, the Koran? 

KELLERMAN:  I am not going to defend them getting the Koran. 

CARLSON:  That's insane. 

KELLERMAN:  What I will defend is them not getting the Bible, or especially them not getting Shakespeare.  Shakespeare?  That's just entertainment.  That's popular entertainment.  Now, you mean to tell me this guy is conspiring, possibly, allegedly conspiring with Osama bin Laden, but at least we know he knows bin Laden socially, or has met him socially, and considers bin Laden a prophet.  No, that guy does not get Shakespeare.  He doesn't get a Koran.  He shouldn't get a Bible.  He shouldn't get anything. 

CARLSON:  But if you are going to give him a religious text, to give him the Koran, which is the fuel for the fires of insanity that clearly burn within him, you don't give him a Bible?  You are, in other words, you, the U.S. government, avowed foe of Islamic extremism, and you are forcing a Koran down this guy's throat, to the exclusion of all other texts.  That's insane. 

KELLERMAN:  Do you want me to argue against giving him the Koran or for giving him the Bible or against giving him the Bible? 

CARLSON:  I think they ought to—frankly, I think they ought to give him both the Bible and the Koran, and let him sort them out. 

KELLERMAN:  Listen, a lunatic can find something in the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Koran, the teachings of Buddha.  I mean, anything, everything.  A lunatic can interpret any religious text in a way that leads them... 


KELLERMAN:  ... to insanity, because they are insane to begin with. 

CARLSON:  That may be true.  I have noticed, however, a trend lately of lunatics finding those meanings in the Koran.  Maybe it's a coincidence. 

KELLERMAN:  Not a lot of Jewish suicide bombers? 

CARLSON:  No, I have not seen too many lately.  But you never know.  Neither from the Bagvaghita.  That doesn't seem to inspire too many killings these days. 

Well, what's in the name?  Increasingly, profits.  Officials in the Idaho town formerly known as Santa voted yesterday to take the name SecretSanta.com, in exchange for an unclosed payout from the Web site of the same name.  This follows Clark, Texas' decision last week to change its name to Dish, to promote the Dish Network.  People are getting 10 years of free basic satellite TV in that town. 

Now, I should point out, we are not making any of this up, though it sounds like it. 


CARLSON:  This is, talk about selling your birthright for porridge.  I mean, this, can you imagine, changing the name of your town?  I don't care if they are getting $100 million.  They live in a town called SecretSanta.com.  Nothing is worth that humiliation.  I would rather—serious, I mean, I would rather beg than live in SecretSanta.com. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, they may be moving soon.  Who knows.  There are like 110 people.  It is a very, very small town.  But look, towns can be organized as corporations.  Co-op buildings, you know...

CARLSON:  Right.

KELLERMAN:  They are corporations.  You have communities and towns that are corporations, and a corporation—ball parks—can name themselves whatever they want. 

CARLSON:  No, no, different.  The difference between a corporation and a town is a town is a physical location and will always be one.  You are rooted to a town, and so are the many people who are buried there, the generations of families who have lived there.  You owe it to the people who lived and died in that town, whose remains reside in that town and always will, to honor that town and not degrade it...

KELLERMAN:  (INAUDIBLE) SecretSanta.com... 


KELLERMAN:  How about this?  How about this?  The way we organize—

or the way the world is organized, I mean, it was organized a certain way,

then the Treaty of Westphalia—you're talking about the late 15th century

·         reorganized the world.  Now we have nation states, and we think that that's the way the world, you know, states and principalities and municipalities, that's—but the world is being organized differently now, and if you read science fiction at all, and people, hear the doom sayers, they say, you know, here it comes, the multinational corporations will overtake national boundaries.  And maybe that's OK.  And maybe it's not necessarily a bad thing.  Maybe the world is being reorganized along the lines of corporate identity instead of national identity, and we really don't have the perspective to say that's a bad thing. 

CARLSON:  Yeah, I think I do, and I think I can say unequivocally, turning the world into a series of multinational corporations is a bad thing, and if SecretSanta.com is the beginning of that trend, it's the sign of the end times, and I think we should need to move to Idaho and stockpile food (INAUDIBLE). 

KELLERMAN:  That was my best argument. 

CARLSON:  It was pretty good.

KELLERMAN:  That's all I had. 

CARLSON:  Chilling!  Max Kellerman. 

KELLERMAN:  Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Thanks. 

KELLERMAN:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Stay tuned.  Still plenty more ahead on THE SITUATION.


CARLSON (voice-over):  True romance.  An honest look at the men who lie and women who love them. 

JON LOVITZ, ACTOR:  Yeah, that's the ticket.   

CARLSON:  From Budapest, a puzzling twist to the video game craze. 

Plus, a late-night booty call from a man of impeachable character. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hi, Tucker, this is Bill Clinton.  I love your show.  What I love most about that show is that young, hot producer you've got. 

CARLSON:  Then, we pay our final respects to a celebrity with true animal magnetism.  Sam, man's ugliest friend. 

It's all ahead on THE SITUATION.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Men like to think they are a bit better at everything than women.  That includes at lying.  My next guest says men definitely do lie more than women, but they are not very effective liars. 

Jeffrey Rodengen is the author of the book, “All Men Are Liars: An Incomplete Guide to Relationship Trauma.”  He joins us live now from Boynton Beach, Florida.  Mr. Rodengen, thanks for coming on. 


CARLSON:  So what do men lie about? 

RODENGEN:  Very good.  How are you? 

CARLSON:  I'm great.  And that's the truth. 

RODENGEN:  Men lie about a lot of things, but men most often lie to advance their careers, they lie for sex, they lie to enhance their status.  Women lie mostly to themselves and to each other, in most cases, but they both lie, and they lie a lot. 

CARLSON:  I think men, at least by your description, are justified.  I mean, those are good reasons to lie.  You say that women train men to lie.  What does that mean? 

RODENGEN:  Yes, they do.  They train men to lie by punishing them for telling the truth.  Women also enable men to lie by believing or pretending to believe their obvious lies.  A good example, “honey, how do I look in these new jeans?”  Well, there's only one good answer. 

CARLSON:  Right.  That's a great point.  What about the first?  How do they punish men for telling the truth?  Well, I guess by saying, your rear end looks lumpy. 

RODENGEN:  Exactly.  You know, you don't want have an advertisement in the magazine that says there is no cure for cellulite.  You know, we are conditioned to lie to women almost from birth. 

CARLSON:  And I think—do you endorse lying to women on those—in those situations? 

RODENGEN:  Absolutely not.  But there are, in self-defense, many occasions where you must.  At least obfuscate the truth, if not outright lie. 

CARLSON:  Now, you have done a lot of research on lying.  How do you know if you're being lied to?  What are the signs?

RODENGEN:  Well, funny, Tucker, women actually have better lie detectors than men.  Much better in person than men.  They can pick up on the visual cues that men seem to ignore. 

On the other hand, once a woman gets into a situation like an Internet chat room or an Internet dating site, she loses all that advantage of what you might call women's intuition. 

Men, on the other hand, it's kind of like interpersonal bungee jumping.  They lie for the high in many cases.  One alarming statistic is a survey was done of teenage boys and girls, and they asked them, do you think you have to lie or cheat to get ahead in life?  Over 50 percent of the teenage boys said yes.  And about a third of the teenage boys—girls said no. 

CARLSON:  Interesting.  Now, who are the biggest liars?  Do you rank liars?  I mean, some people lie more than others, and if so, who are the biggest liars in our society? 

RODENGEN:  You know, men, of course, as a group, will add an average of two inches to their height, 10 pounds to the fish they caught, and at least six to their sexual conquests.  The other difference between the way men and women lie are men will lie that they have had more sexual partners.  Women will lie that they have had less sexual partners. 

So again, to the question of who lies, over 80 percent, surveys have shown, of people fabricate part of their resume.  So as you walk down the hall of MSNBC today, you will find that eight out of 10 people you bump into fabricated something on their resume to get the job. 

CARLSON:  Interesting.  I will alert HR to that immediately.  How often do you lie,and what do you lie about? 

RODENGEN:  Well, a recent survey showed that most people have lied within the last 30 days. 

CARLSON:  No, but what about you?  I mean, specifically as a lying researcher?  Are you more conscious of telling the truth, and when you don't tell the truth—what don't you tell the truth about? 

RODENGEN:  Yes, I find guilt comes very quickly once I have studied this subject.  Sometimes a lie, or at least a small white lie, can be kind of a gateway to larger lies.  You will find that if people tell a small lie, they are more likely to tell a larger lie later. 

CARLSON:  Interesting.  So when public figures lie, do you think it hurts society? 

RODENGEN:  It does.  It does.  Most people, in fact, over 80 percent of respondents in a recent survey, say that politicians as a group lie more than any other group.  Second to that, and distant second, though, thankfully, are the business community. 

CARLSON:  I think people are on to something there. 

Mr. Rodengen, thanks a lot for joining us.  Truly.

RODENGEN:  It's my pleasure, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Thanks. 

Coming up, you would be amazed by the number of dignitaries and heads of states who watch this show.  President Bill Clinton, or at least someone who sounds very much like us—like him, rather, gives us a call.  We check THE SITUATION voicemail next. 


CARLSON:  The crew aiding us here.  Welcome back.  Time for our voicemail segment.  You've clogged our message with machines.  Let's listen to a couple.


TIM:  This is Tim from San Antonio.  Just watching your segment on American kids going to school and Daley wanting to make them go longer.  Most of the brains that we've got now are coming from India, Korea, from Japan, and China.  Our kids are very, very lazy. 


CARLSON:  Buzz off, Tim.  Why don't you go to India or China or Korea. 

Please, don't lecture me on how bad America is.  I'm a little sick of it. 

Next up. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hi, Tucker, this is Bill Clinton.  And I just want to say that I love your show.  I watch it faithfully.  And I think you do a great job.  It's like I tell folks all the time, Republicans are not bad people, they just have bad ideas.  And although I disagree with your ideas, I think you're a great advocate for their program, and I think you've done an outstanding job. 

Anyway, I'm a big fan.  Keep up the good work.  Go MSNBC!  Bye-bye. 


CARLSON:  Spooky.  That's probably not former President Bill Clinton, but on the small chance that it is—and there is of course always a possibility with Bill Clinton—let me just say this, I'd love to meet your compliment with a compliment.  I was at Little Rock yesterday, it happens, and I saw your presidential library, and it is just so unattractive, I can hardly believe.  It really does look like a trailer on stilts.  I hate—I thought it was just a line that Clinton haters used, but sadly, it's true. 

Let me know what you're thinking.  You can call 1-877-TCARLSON. 

That's 1-877-822-7576.  You can e-mail us also here at THE SITUATION.  Address: tucker@msnbc.com, and you can also check out the daily blog.  It's there, too, at tucker.MSNBC.com. 

Still ahead on THE SITUATION, we say final goodbye to one of our favorite guests.  Sam, the world's ugliest dog.  An emotional tribute to a hideous beast on “The Cutting Room Floor,” next. 


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  It's time for “The Cutting Room Floor,” but without the usual levity.  In fact, you might say it's time for a very special “Cutting Room Floor.” 


CARLSON:  Willie Geist is here. 

GEIST:  But before we get to that, the gentleman, the guest said that 80 percent of people lie on their resumes. 


GEIST:  I have a confession to make. 

CARLSON:  You do?

GEIST:  I was, in fact, not secretary of state in the Nixon administration. 

CARLSON:  Really?


CARLSON:  You're not the winner of a Victoria's Cross for Gallantry? 

GEIST:  No, I'm not.  I'm embarrassed. 

CARLSON:  My illusion is crumbling.

GEIST:  I regret the error. 

CARLSON:  President Bush heroically stepped in to spare the lives of two turkeys today.  The birds would have faced certain death this Thanksgiving if not for the presidential pardon.  The turkeys named Marshmallow and Yam were named this year's national Thanksgiving birds.  As if cheating death weren't enough for good news for one day, President Bush also announced the turkeys will live out the rest of their lives at Disneyland in, California. 

GEIST:  It will be fun for them. 

CARLSON:  Pretty nice. 

GEIST:  The question has to be asked...

CARLSON:  A fate worse than death, frankly, but we'll pretend it's a good thing.

GEIST:  The question has to be asked, why did these turkeys receive pardons?  Who did they know?  Are they Republican donors? 

CARLSON:  That's exactly right.  That's exactly right.

GEIST:  We've got some tough questions.  (INAUDIBLE) Denise Rich...

CARLSON:  Exactly, are they fugitive financiers? 

GEIST:  Yeah.

CARLSON:  We'll get to the bottom of this. 

GEIST:  It might be that they are.

CARLSON:  Eastern Europe has come a long way since the Berlin Wall fell, but it clearly still has some catching up to.  Case in point, this Rubik's Cube competition in Budapest, Hungary.  More than 100 people gathered to celebrate the relic of the 1980s by competing in categories like speed cubing, one-handed cubing—which is immoral, by the way—even blindfolded cubing. 

The world speed cubing record was broken twice at the competition. 

GEIST:  Interestingly, Tucker, another record was broken at the Rubik's convention.  Fewest dates ever been on by a collection of men.  It's an amazing achievement. 

CARLSON:  Beating even the “Star Trek” convention. 

GEIST:  That's right.  They've nosed them out.  But also solving the Rubik's Cube.  What else, you know, what other bright ideas do you have?  Do you think Reagan is going to win in '84?  We already did this. 

CARLSON:  It does seem like a rerun, a cultural rerun. 

Well, it is with heavy heart I bring you the news that our dear friend Sam, the ugliest dog in the world, has died.  Sam passed away last Friday after a long battle with heart disease and hideousness.  He was a guest on this show in August.  One of our best ever.  It's hard to say what we'll miss most about Sam—the hairless body, the horrifyingly crooked teeth, the eyes that seem they can only belong to Satan itself.  Sam's owner once said, I don't think there will ever be another Sam.  Some people would think that's a good thing. 

GEIST:  Tucker...

CARLSON:  You know, Willie, I'll be honest with you.  I love dogs.  And I've used this show often as a platform—frequently as a platform to promote the dog agenda, because I honestly do love dogs. 

GEIST:  Yes.  You should, rightfully so.

CARLSON:  I'm not sure you could call Sam a dog.  I mean, I know that...

GEIST:  No, he's a rat. 

CARLSON:  Right, right.

GEIST:  But you know what?  Sam was an ugly dog on the outside, but you know where he was beautiful? 

CARLSON:  Where?

GEIST:  Right here.

CARLSON:  Is that true?  Really? 

GEIST:  On the inside.


CARLSON:  That's right.  So we're going to...

GEIST:  Fare-thee-well, Sammy.  Fare-thee-well.  

CARLSON:  We're going to stop the jokes and just pause and take a quick, brief moment of silence for Sam the Dog who passed away today, at age 15.  Sam, the world's ugliest dog. 

GEIST:  Goodbye, Sam.

CARLSON:  Goodbye, Sam.

That's THE SITUATION for tonight.  Thank you for watching.



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