updated 12/7/2005 10:21:16 AM ET 2005-12-07T15:21:16

Guest: Robi Ludwig, Drew Findling, Pat Brown, Bryan Burrough, Jack Burkman, Pat LaLama, Eric Dezenhall, Jerry Springer

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, Dr. Phil on the hot seat.  He is a best-selling author and he‘s the host of a hit TV show, but are two recent controversies now threatening Dr. Phil‘s golden touch and his multimillion-dollar empire?  We are going to be asking the experts, including Jerry Springer.  This is a guy who knows a thing or two about TV and surviving controversies. 

Then, the head of the Democratic Party shooting from the hip again.  We will ask, is Howard Dean and the Democratic Party actually rooting against our troops? 

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, no passport required, only common sense allowed. 

ANNOUNCER:  From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all.  Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, thanks a lot for being with me tonight.  I really do appreciate it. 

We are going to have all those stories in just a minute. 

Plus—and I know my parents and a lot of Middle America will be very happy about this—Howard Stern‘s final days.  The shock jock dishes with Katie Couric, as he prepares to leave commercial radio.  You can almost hear the tears being shed in Topeka.  We will have that later on, also.

And targeting Beth, that seems to be what they are doing down in Aruba.  But my question is, are they still trying to hide something?  Well, we are going to talk to the “Vanity Fair” reporter who broke the story of what the Arubans are actually saying about Beth, about Jug, and, yes, about Natalee Holloway. 

But, first, Dr. Phil is on the hot seat.  Now, this guy became a household name offering weight-loss remedies, talking about family help, and also giving advice on Oprah‘s show.  And now, as you know, he is one of the most popular talk show hosts out there.  Also, my gosh, he is a best-selling author, and just makes millions every year.

But now Dr. Phil McGraw is also ensnared in two controversies.  First, he made news in the Natalee Holloway case, after releasing a recording from one of the key suspects, a tape that Aruban officials suggest may have been tampered with.  But he has also been sued now as part of a class-action lawsuit against diet products that he has endorsed. 

With us now to talk about it is Jerry Springer.  He is the host of “The Jerry Springer Show” and “Springer on the Radio,” the liberal radio network Air America show that started up some time back. 

Jerry, thanks so much for being with us again.  Greatly appreciate it. 

JERRY SPRINGER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Great being with you, Joe. 

Sure, absolutely.  Thanks. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, so, Jerry, tell me, what‘s going on with Dr.  Phil?  You have been around syndicated TV.  You know these guys.  I mean, what—how can you explain a guy that moved from self-help for families into Aruban investigations and diet pills? 

SPRINGER:  Well, first of all, I should say, I have never met Dr.

Phil, so I don‘t know him personally, and I am not one to judge him.

But I do think what happens with talk shows is, as long as they stay in the entertainment area, that‘s fine, and that‘s good.  They invariably get in trouble when all of a sudden they cross into the line of trying to be involved in news and make news.   And there‘s a danger there, because you have two gods.  You have the gods of ratings to give you a hot show that people are going to watch, entertainment, and then you have the other god of news, which it‘s supposed to be—there‘s a very strict standard about reporting and making sure that what you are talking about, you really know something about, making sure that the evidence that you present to the public is, in fact, valid.

And I think that‘s where perhaps that they are in trouble.  They got into this criminal case, and I am not sure that‘s a real subject for a talk show. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And if you get into this sort of dead zone between entertainment and news, like Dr. Phil appears to be in, is it like, let‘s say, Hollywood stars that decide they want to talk about nuclear proliferation or global warming, where they get out of their comfort zone, and they have this need, I guess because of ego or whatever it is, to try to save the world? 

SPRINGER:  Well, that‘s different. 

The reason that situation is different, they are citizens.  And every citizen, regardless of their job or their position, is entitled in a democracy to have a point of view, to express that point of view, to try to influence other people to that point of view.  That‘s all great. 

But when you are talking about a talk show, you are talking about something that itself is an entertainment business, and when it steps into the area of news, I think that‘s when trouble comes.  If it would just stay in the area of entertainment, I think that‘s great. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Jerry, Dr. Phil has a lot riding on this diet lawsuit and the Holloway tapes. 

SPRINGER:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Consider the empire he has been building since incorporating himself five years ago.  He has written four best-selling books.  He has got a $10 million book advance.  He makes $1 million in speaking fees, and he said to take home about $15 million this year.

And, again, this is a guy that has built this empire based on what we say in Middle America is horse sense, good common horse sense. 

SPRINGER:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All of a sudden, he seems to be getting out of his wheelhouse and looking kind of goofy.  That‘s what Dr. Phil would say about himself, if he were taking himself on the couch, saying he is being goofy here.  At what point does he start endangering this empire? 

SPRINGER:  Well, obviously, if there‘s a successful lawsuit against him and his credibility is then questioned, his empire is in danger then. 

Here‘s the problem.  This is what‘s different between talk show hosts and, let‘s say, actors.  Actors play a role, whether it‘s in television or in movies.  They are playing somebody else.  And then if they want to give their opinion, that‘s separate, but they are playing someone else. 

The problem with talk show hosts is, they are the empire of their talk show.  It‘s the “Dr. Phil‘ show.  It‘s the “Jerry Springer Show.”  It‘s “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”  So, therefore, we are not playing anybody else.  We are ourselves.  So what we say matters. 

We are responsible for our own words, because we are talking as ourselves.  We are not reading a script playing someone else.  That‘s where you have to be careful.  So, you know, as crazy as my talk show is—and there‘s nothing—on television, there‘s nothing crazier than that.  When I say something, those are my words, and I think it‘s the same with Oprah or with Dr. Phil. 

They can‘t say, well, it‘s just the talk show.  No, they are saying what they believe, and so their credibility is at stake. 

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt about it. 

Hey, Jerry, stay with us, because we are going to be getting back to you in a minute.

But I want to bring in Eric Dezenhall.  He‘s a crisis management expert—and also Pat LaLama, investigative journalist from Los Angeles. 

Eric, let me start with you, and just ask you, what is going on here with Dr. Phil?  I mean, again—and, again, I just got to say this at this point in this segment.  I like this guy.  And what I like about him is he always talks straight to people.  He sits people down that you—that need a sitting-down-to, and he talks straight to them, and, yet, he seems to be spiraling out of control himself.  Why? 

ERIC DEZENHALL, CRISIS MANAGEMENT EXPERT:  Here‘s why. 

What begins to happen when you become successful is somebody sits you down and says, you‘re not just a psychologist.  You‘re a brand.  And you begin thinking you know something.  I am a brand.  I can not only be a psychologist.  I can be—I can sell pills.  I can try to track down missing girls.

And what ends up happening is, you get out of your sphere of competence.  This is what happened to Kathie Lee Gifford, going from being a talk show host to being a clothing manufacturer.  It‘s what happened to Michael Ovitz in Hollywood, who was a successful town agent, and then he wanted to run a $60 billion conglomerate.  He doesn‘t know how. 

And even though I don‘t think that what Dr. Phil is facing is a huge crisis, it‘s certainly a heart palpitation or a chest pain that should make him realize that he may not be able to be as competent in other areas as he is in his core area.

And the problem is, when you have people working for you who are only telling you that you are a brand, you are a conglomerate, you are a god, this is how these things happen. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Eric, look at one e-mail recently released as part of the class-action suit against the Shape Up diet.  This is what Dr. Phil wrote—quote—“They need to redo the one that says I created these products because I have no expertise.”

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  If you have no expertise, then what the hell are you doing talking about something as serious as diets in the first place? 

DEZENHALL:  Well, I think that when you become famous, what ends up happening is you become this brand, and you have to stay within the sphere of your trust. 

The reason why Dr. Phil is so successful is because people trust him.  But they trust him in his core area of competence, not these other areas, but what happens is, when you get to think you are a conglomerate and a brand, you don‘t ask hard questions. 

Now, his e-mail suggests that he did ask some of these questions, but, ultimately, what ends—what people end up saying is, if you don‘t have the expertise in this area, how can we trust you to endorse it?  And the bigger you get, the more vulnerable you get, because there‘s always a journalist or somebody out there who wants to trip you up. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, you know, the thing is—and, again, I just want to say to my audience right now, I am not saying that Dr. Phil is going to lose this class-action lawsuit or that he should. 

The main point here is that, again, I think this guy is getting out of his comfort zone, and he is moving away from what made him so great, and I think that‘s going to cause a lot of concern with people that grew to really like and respect this guy. 

Now, at this point, we also need to say, Dr. Phil‘s attorney called this lawsuit—quote—“silly” and says it‘s the kind of lawsuit that makes people hate lawyers. 

Pat LaLama, what is happening to Dr. Phil?  What is happening to Dr.

Phil‘s show right now? 

PAT LALAMA, CELEBRITY TRIAL JOURNALIST:  Well, I will tell you.  Here‘s how I see it.  And I think both of your guests are absolutely right on the money.  I want to take it one step further. 

Let‘s talk about the audience.  This is not “Regis and Kelly.”  We are not talking about fashion and movies and movie stars and who is sleeping with who.  These are people who are essentially are looking for direction.  And I don‘t say that with any disdain.  And I am not making any sort of judgment that they are better or worse than anybody else. 

But I believe that, when you are talking about Dr. Phil, you‘re talking about a lot of people out there in TV land who look at him as a guru, as nearly a deity, I think somebody said.  They trust him.  And I think, because of that, he gets doctor syndrome:  I am great.  I am good, all that I say and do.  These people follow me like lemmings.

I am not saying he sits at home and writes this down and actually consciously believes it, but these are millions of people who are looking for the answers to their horrible marriages.  They want to get off drugs.  Why do their children hate them, etcetera, etcetera.  These are in a lot of cases desperate, desperate people.  You do not want to fool with these kinds of people.  This is the public trust. 

And he shouldn‘t get anywhere near endorsing anything that has to do with health.  Having said that, I also blame those audiences.  What happened to the day when you talked to your doctor about what kind of diet pill to take?  Living in Los Angeles, covering these kinds of cases with celebrities, it confounds me how people are mesmerized at the sight of a star, and anything that comes out of their mouth is the word, and that‘s a problem. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Pat, what confounds me is this.

And while I am talking, if we can get those pictures of Dr. Phil back up.

I think 10, 20 years from now, people are going to look back and look at pictures of Dr. Phil and say, wait a second.  Americans looked at this guy for dieting advice?  I mean, I don‘t understand it. 

(CROSSTALK)

LALAMA:  It‘s like we will look back at the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, too. 

I am not putting him on that level.  I‘m just saying, people don‘t do the research. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

LALAMA:  I was talking to Bob Shapiro, the lawyer, the other—the great lawyer.  And I said, Bob, why do people pick these bad lawyers just because they are on TV? 

And he said, that‘s how people are.  They see something.  They say, oh, celebrity, stardom.  Therefore, whatever he or she says must be it.  And that‘s a shame.  People need to get smarter than that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  It can be dangerous.  You‘re exactly right. 

Thanks so much, Pat. 

Thank you, Eric.

LALAMA:  A pleasure.

SCARBOROUGH:  Greatly appreciate both of you being in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY tonight.

And, coming up next, Howard Dean strikes again.  Will his latest rant about Iraq hurt our troops?  Is he hurting his party?  Is he hurting our troops?  Is he hurting America? 

And Jerry Springer is still here as part of tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown coming up. 

Plus, Beth Holloway Twitty under attack from Aruban officials.  They are blaming her for their dead-end investigation.  Tonight, we are going to get the facts straight from the man who broke the story for “Vanity Fair.”

Stay with us.  SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY is just getting started.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Former mayor, possible future governor, gubernatorial candidate, and Air America host Jerry Springer with us tonight to talk about the future of the Democratic Party—that and much more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back. 

Howard Dean‘s mouth knocked him out of his run for the White House.  And now the chairman of the Democratic Party is at it again.  Listen to this comment yesterday on a San Antonio radio station. 

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

HOWARD DEAN, DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRMAN:  The idea that we‘re going to win this war is an idea that, unfortunately, is just plain wrong.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  And Senator John Kerry said the following on “Face the Nation,” said this to Bob Schieffer—quote—“There‘s no reason that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids”—his words, not mine—“terrorizing kids and children, and, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs—of of the historical customs, religious customs, whether you like it or not.”

With me now again, Jerry Springer.  He‘s the host of “The Jerry Springer Show” and “Springer on the Radio” on Air America.  And also with us, Republican consultant and strategist Jack Burkman. 

Jerry, let me start with you.  It seems that—you are obviously a politician, elected in Ohio, may be elected there again in the future.  You would agree with you, would you not, that these are not ways to win votes in Middle America and in swing states like your home state? 

SPRINGER:  Well, I‘m not sure it‘s politically wise to say, but, at least—and I want to concentrate on what Howard Dean was talking about.  I am not sure that he was being dishonest. 

It may not be politically wise to say, but I think there is a very reasonable question as to whether or not you can have a victory in traditional terms.  Even the president admits that, in this war, there is no one to surrender.  There is no one that signs a peace treaty.  There is no one that says, we give up; we are not going to do it anymore.  It‘s like saying you‘re going to have a war against crime.

SCARBOROUGH:  But you don‘t say that you are going to lose, though. 

You just don‘t say—you don‘t say that you are going to lose. 

(CROSSTALK)

SPRINGER:  Well, here‘s the question. 

We could win victories in certain battles, but to win the war against terrorism is not really being honest. 

(CROSSTALK)

JACK BURKMAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  But, Jerry, don‘t you understand the real issue here, the issue is that statements by people like Kerry and Howard Dean and John Murtha, these people are signing the death warrants for thousands of American soldiers.  They are compromising...

(CROSSTALK)

SPRINGER:  That is so extreme to say that. 

BURKMAN:  ... the negotiation position of the president. 

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  Howard Dean has become a kind of Tokyo Rose.  He is undermining the morale of our own people. 

SPRINGER:  Why...

SCARBOROUGH:  Jerry, go ahead.

SPRINGER:  Why do we have to always—why do we have to be so extreme, and all of a sudden start labeling people, and this guy is not a patriot or this guy is, you know, a Tokyo Rose?  It‘s not about that. 

BURKMAN:  I will answer that. 

SPRINGER:  It‘s about our kids are over there fighting and dying. 

BURKMAN:  They are fighting and dying. 

(CROSSTALK)

SPRINGER:  And there better be a—OK, and there better be a very good reason why this is happening. 

And if, 10 years from now or five years from now or a year from now, whenever it is we pull out, if there still is going to be this killing among these various groups, that has been going on for thousands of years, if this continues to go on, it is very fair for every patriotic American to ask, why are our kids dying, if nothing is going to change? 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Jack Burkman, let me step in here, Jack.

During the Kosovo, lead-up to the Kosovo war, I was very concerned about that.  I said America shouldn‘t get involved in a three-sided civil war that had been going back to the 1400s.  Had that war gone badly, and the president—let‘s face it.  President Clinton was right, in that we were able to win that war with airpower and some people on the ground.

But let‘s say that war had gone badly.  At what point would it be safe for me to get out and start criticizing the president and saying, bring our troops home? 

BURKMAN:  Joe, I think it‘s a very different kind of conflict. 

I think, in a situation like Iraq—I mean, Jerry asked the question, why do you have to label people?  Because his nominee, John Kerry, is out on national television calling our soldiers terrorists.  I mean, I would ask Jerry...

SPRINGER:  Oh. 

BURKMAN:  ... do you support John Kerry‘s characterization of our soldiers as terrorizing Iraqi women and children?  Do you endorse that now? 

SPRINGER:  No. 

What John Kerry was saying, as I understand it—I didn‘t hear it

personally—but, as I understand it, because we talked a little bit about

it on my radio show this morning—is the Red Cross—no, excuse me, not

I think it was the Red Cross.  Please forgive me if I am wrong, but some international institution issued a report about certain activities that were going on, and those particular activities involved some American soldiers. 

He was referring to that.  Do—are American soldiers terrorists?  No.  Are there any American soldiers that ever committed a crime over there, that ever did anything wrong?  Yes. 

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  Let me ask you this question. 

(CROSSTALK)

SPRINGER:  But I agree.  No, we should not be calling our soldiers terrorists. 

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  The point that is lost in all this is that this war—I would argue that this war is nothing less than a brilliant success. 

If I had asked you or anyone five years ago, we are going to invade the heart of the Arab world, we are going to lose 2,000 people, we are going to have 15,000 wounded, while any death is tragic, any wounded soldier is certainly tragic, those kind of numbers are not high; indeed, they are very, very low for the type of accomplishment we have had over there...

SPRINGER:  What?  Excuse me. 

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  ... which is nothing less than phenomenal. 

SPRINGER:  Phenomenal?  Oh, my gosh.  What...

BURKMAN:  Phenomenal, indeed. 

SPRINGER:  What have we accomplished?  What...

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

(CROSSTALK)

SPRINGER:  If you would have gone to the American people...

SCARBOROUGH:  Guys, guys...

SPRINGER:  OK.

SCARBOROUGH:  No, no, no, no. 

Jerry, I just—I wanted to ask you a question.  And I understand certainly we can debate whether this war is a success or failure.  Right now, 60 percent of Americans think—agree with you, Jerry, that it‘s a failure.  But let‘s talk about the Democratic Party and talk about John Kerry. 

I—I really do think it was an unfortunate use of words, especially for a guy who got in trouble for what he said in 1971 about our troops.  But you have that, and then you have Dick Durbin that came out several months ago comparing our troops to Nazis and Stalinists  and the Khmer Rouge.  And, then, of course, you have the Howard Dean quote. 

I guess my point is to Democrats, to my Democratic friends, that this is no way to win back the Senate, certainly no way to win back the White House in 2008.  Shouldn‘t your party be more careful when they talk about military issues and when they talk about our troops while they are in a hot zone? 

SPRINGER:  Yes.  So, sure.  Sure you have to be careful of the words you use, because words have meaning, clearly. 

But let‘s face it.  We are involved in a horrific war right now, where there is great division within the United States of America on, should we be there, how did we get in, how are we going to get out, what is the purpose of this, why are our kids dying, all those questions. 

(CROSSTALK) 

SPRINGER:  What makes it even more remarkable...

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  Two years ago, when he is saying Democrats supported the war...

SPRINGER:  So, yes.  And, sometimes, people say things they shouldn‘t say. 

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  Two years ago, when these same Democrats supported this war, they knew full well we would be there longer than two years.  They knew well from the scope of what the president laid out...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, but, Jack—hold on a second, Jack Burkman.  But hold on...

(CROSSTALK)

SPRINGER:  In all fairness....

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Jack, hold on one second. 

Jack Burkman, though, you have to admit—again, I support this war.  I think this war—I think it‘s very critical that we stay there and win this war, but I have got a lot of friends, a lot of very smart people, who disagree with me, who think I am crazy, who think it‘s time to go home. 

You are not saying tonight that you can be against this war, but not be an American patriot, right? 

BURKMAN:  No, certainly not. 

But I think, when you express that kind of dissent, particularly if you are a guy like John Murtha, who knows better—I mean, Howard Dean is some kind of crazed loon who really doesn‘t know better.  Hillary Clinton has very little experience. 

(CROSSTALK)

SPRINGER:  He is not a crazy—why do we have to say that? 

BURKMAN:  He is an absolute crazy...

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  But I will you about, Joe—here‘s my point. 

When you are a guy like John Murtha, whose opinion counts, and you have served on the Armed Services Committee for 20 years, if you have dissent, you need to express it professionally, through the military, through the Pentagon, through professional channels, not in a way that you know will harm our troops and will sign the death warrant for...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Jerry—I want to give Jerry the last word.

And, Jerry, I want you to answer that same question.  What is the best way, moving forward—and let‘s be constructive here.  Moving forward to ‘06 and ‘08, what‘s the best way for a Democratic standard bearer for the party to step forward, to oppose this war, do it in a responsible way that‘s not going to hurt the Democratic Party at the ballot box in Middle America? 

SPRINGER:  Well, frankly, I think what is more important is what‘s going to be best for America, not what‘s going to be best for the Democratic Party. 

I think we should have—trusting the patriotism of all the people involved in here, I think we should have an open and honest debate about what—how we—what we should do in Iraq now, what the next step should be.  There will be disagreements within the Democratic Party, because the party cannot possibly speak with one voice when we don‘t have a candidate for president. 

These people have differing views.  Hillary Clinton has a different view than some of the more liberal people in the Democratic Party right now.  I think there should be an open and honest discussion about what‘s going to happen when we ultimately get out, whether that‘s next year or five years from now. 

And, if the point is that, when we ultimately get out, there is still going to be these people, whether there are terrorists, whether there are insurgents, whoever they are, these various groups still going to blow each other up, still going to kill each other, then I think it‘s fair to say, why are our sons and daughters dying now for a result that is inevitable? 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

SPRINGER:  We should be concentrating on protecting America, not starting a war in the Middle East, which is crazy. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Jerry, thank you so much.  Appreciate you being here. 

Jack Burkman, appreciate you being there there. 

And, friends, let me just say, in America, what makes this country so great is the ability for average Americans and our politicians to be able to dissent, to be able to go against the president of the United States or the majority leader of the Senate.  Our—again, that is what makes America so great. 

And you know what?  There‘s been tough dissent in wars going all the way back to the Revolutionary War.  If you want to see ugly politics, then look at some of the campaigns between people like Jefferson and Adams.  It got no uglier than that in 1800.  So, it‘s just part of our tradition.  That‘s why it‘s so important that we can disagree with each other, but we don‘t need to be disagreeable, and we certainly don‘t need to question anybody‘s patriotism. 

I am not questioning war hero John Kerry‘s patriotism, any more than I am questioning Jack Murtha, also a proud Marine.  I would be the last person on the face of the Earth to question his patriotism either.  I just think, for the sake of the Democratic Party and the two-party system, they need to choose their words more carefully, especially when our troops are in harm‘s way. 

Now, coming up, why are some in Aruba blaming Natalee Holloway‘s mom for a botched investigation?  The author of an explosive article is here to tell us. 

And, later, the self-proclaimed king of all media is leaving commercial radio, and Middle America cheers.  Hear the shock jock‘s parting shots when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up next, an explosive “Vanity Fair” article that attacks Beth, where the Aruban people talk about Natalee Holloway and how she actually was to blamed for being raped, and so many other terrible things, especially, of course, how the Holloway family was responsible for the botched investigation.  We are going to be talking about that and a lot more.

But, first, here‘s the latest news you and your family need to know. 

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, welcome back to the show.  Great to have you here. 

Is Natalee Holloway‘s mother hurting the investigation into her daughter‘s disappearance?  Well, a new article in “Vanity Fair” quotes the deputy police chief in charge of that investigation, and he is blaming Beth, her husband, and others from Alabama for what went wrong. 

I spoke with reporter Bryan Burrough and I asked him about his investigation into the Natalee Holloway investigation. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRYAN BURROUGH, “VANITY FAIR”:  I had a long interview with the deputy police chief, Gerald Dompig.

And Dompig‘s point was, his contention, that, in fact, the family‘s involvement has been, to some extent, counterproductive.  To buttress that argument, he cited—the central point of his argument was this, that, in a perfect world, the Aruban authorities would have wanted the three suspects to remain at large for a period of time, where they could be surveilled, where their phones could be tapped, they could be followed, much as, say, Scott Peterson was done in the Laci Peterson case, or is often done in other cases. 

Dompig told me that he felt that the arrests of Joran van der Sloot and the other two young men were made prematurely, that, in fact, you know, the investigation all but shut down once those three young men are brought in, they lawyer up, and they start getting their stories straight. 

He would much rather have had them out there, where they could be actively investigated, but his contention is that pressure from the media and the family precluded that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you know, Bryan, though, the thing that I enjoyed about your piece the most, you seem to understand both sides of it.  You are not here today at all suggesting that a mother who is searching for her daughter isn‘t going to push and do absolutely everything she can do to find that daughter, right? 

BURROUGH:  No, exactly.  I have no agenda in this whatsoever. 

In fact, I was initially far less interested in the whodunit aspects of the case than I was in the larger cultural question of how did this whole situation get so vitriolic.  And when you look at the Twitty family‘s behavior, it‘s very difficult to find fault with anything they did.  I think—you know, you and I both have kids.  I don‘t think anybody could fault the family for pulling out all the stops to find their daughter. 

It‘s just—it‘s instructive that, you know, there was clearly alienation between the family and the authorities from the opening hours of the case, that they did not get along.  And matters only became worse.  And I think, as Dompig says, that falling apart of that relationship has been counterproductive to the investigation. 

I mean, I think, as I said, it‘s just very sad that an awful lot of people involved in the case have been lobbying charges and countercharges back and forth, rather than all working together to find Natalee Holloway. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you have any doubts at all that Natalee died that morning on the beach at the hands of one of these three boys? 

BURROUGH:  Well, I think, until her body is found and the truth is known for sure, you have to have some doubt. 

However, I think the preponderance of evidence is that she died on the beach there that night, that those boys were involved, that they certainly knew of her—know of her fate.  Whether they murdered her or whether she died accidentally, you know, won‘t be known until the truth is known, but I think that that may—there‘s a good chance that may be a good long while, because while there‘s been an awful lot of focus on searching the island for where she might have been buried, the fact was, if she died there, she died on a beach; 200 yards out, there‘s a little sandbar just off that beach.

And just beyond that sandbar, the current shifts.  It goes west.  If Natalee Holloway‘s body was placed on the other side of that sandbar, it went out to sea, and it will never be found. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, you can sense, in reading your article, just a bitterness, a resentment among the people of Aruba. 

And not only do they seem to be striking out toward Beth Holloway Twitty.  They also seem to be going after Natalee, some pretty explosive charges about Natalee regarding her drinking, her sex life, her morals, again, things that certainly we have never heard before this article. 

Likewise, Beth is charged—attacked as being crazy, being a liar.  Jug, in the article, you quoted some people that said that he had threatened to burn the island to the ground. 

Talk about what the locals have been saying to you in I guess their efforts to strike back at what they consider to be Beth Holloway‘s attack on them. 

BURROUGH:  Well, a lot of what is said in the article is unfortunate, but it‘s instructive. 

It illustrates the type of thing that we have been saying, that Arubans are angry.  And, in fact, I let a number of them vent, including those who early on counted themselves among the Twittys‘ foremost allies.  But people in Aruba feel that this episode has brought out very much the ugly American type syndrome. 

There‘s nothing more that the Aruban government and the Aruban police and the Aruban people would like than for this case to go away. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, Bryan, thanks a lot for being with us.  We appreciate it. 

The article is “Missing White Female” in this month‘s “Vanity Fair.”  It‘s just an absolutely fascinating read for anybody that is interested in this story.  And, again, a lot of people are very interested.

Thank you for being with us. 

BURROUGH:  Sure. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  And, when we come back, our all-star panel to talk about this story and much more with the explosive “Vanity Fair” article. 

Also coming up, the king of shock talk, Howard Stern, tells all about his move to satellite radio and why he is getting off of commercial radio, where he doesn‘t have to worry about the government looking over his shoulder—that and much more when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back. 

We are talking about Aruba‘s attack on Natalee‘s family. 

With me now are Dr. Robi Ludwig, criminal defense attorney Drew Findling, and also criminal profiler Pat Brown.

Pat, you have done quite a few of these investigations.  You have heard what the Aruban government is saying and what they told “Vanity Fair,” blaming the family for rushing the arrests, saying that got in the way of finding the killers. 

Does that pass your sniff test? 

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER:  No.  I say garbage. 

First of all, they did rush to arrest.  They arrested two security guards who had nothing to do with anything that were simply pointed out by the real suspects.  So, then, the people who screwed the case up were the Aruban authorities.  Secondly, Beth Twitty has a right to be as upset as she is and to work as hard as she has.  She didn‘t lose a bicycle.  She lost a daughter. 

And, thirdly, families that go quiet, families that wait patiently and say, OK, we will just see what happens, they wait for years and years and years, as I have seen in cases across the United States.  Nothing gets solved.  Beth Twitty did the right thing.  She was a squeaky wheel.  That‘s what she should have done. 

Now, one thing in the defense of the Aruban government and the police there, if evidence doesn‘t exist at this point, there may be nothing they can do, and they just have their back to the wall, and they are never going to solve the case or bring anybody to justice.  So, they are kind of in a bad place.  But—and I am sure that is why they are angry right now, because they don‘t want to admit that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

You know, Drew, Pat makes a great point.  Families sit back and say nothing.  They get forgotten.  The case goes on the back-burner, especially a case like this, that could hurt tourism.  Don‘t you agree that Beth Holloway Twitty had every right to push for these arrests? 

DREW FINDLING, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  You know, she did have every right to be concerned about the investigation of the disappearance of her daughter. 

She had no right to want anybody arrested, and that‘s one of the problems we have in this country.  We want an arrest, whoever may be arrested. 

Now, that being said, Joe, she had a right to want it investigated, but she is not the reason these three people were arrested.  And the reason they were arrested is Aruba‘s problem.  Because Aruba was concerned about tourism, because they were concerned about what Beth Twitty was saying and that it was going to hurt their tourism, they prematurely arrested. 

They weren‘t having their arms twisted behind them.  The problem is, they did, as the deputy chief said, sacrifice the proper investigation by not having these three guys, Joran and the Kalpoe brothers, out there, to observe them, to wiretap, to perhaps send somebody in undercover to engage them in conversation.  It jeopardized this investigation. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Drew, let me ask you about that, because that‘s what the police officers obviously did with Scott Peterson.

But, in this case, law enforcement officers down in Aruba waited 10 days before they seized the automobiles, before they went in and actually tried to get evidence from them, when they were the last three people who were seen with Natalee Holloway.  How long do you wait?  I mean, they gave them 10 days to clean up all evidence of a possible murder. 

FINDLING:  You know, Joe, I got to tell you, the—the ability to forensically investigate a case, unless the Kalpoe brothers and Joran are so on top of their forensic ball game, for them to circumvent a proper forensic analysis is impossible. 

The bottom line, when all said and done is, there is no forensic evidence; there is no blood; there is no DNA; there is no saliva; there is nothing, hair, fiber, anything.  And that‘s where the problem is.  And that‘s why this case is in such jeopardy, and it was even in more jeopardy when you throw these three guys and keep them isolated for 90 days, for what?  So, they can sit and talk amongst one another, to give statements to the police? 

(CROSSTALK)

FINDLING:  This case is in such dire straits now that you got an American pop psychologist sending a California polygraph examiner over there to investigate. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  And it‘s—yes.  The case is done.

And, Doctor, it looks like, now that it‘s over, Aruba‘s deputy chief of police, Chief Dompig, is attacking everybody.  I mean, he is in charge of this case, but he said this of Beth and Jug to “Vanity Fair.” 

Quote: “They brought out their big guns the very first day, and they started shooting.  They didn‘t understand the way things are done in our system.  Jug and his Alabama friends, they basically came out and they said they would bring hell to our island if Natalee wasn‘t found.  Burn it down were the exact words.”

And, of course, Jug denies saying that.

But, Doctor, what‘s going on here? 

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST:  Well, clearly, there is an acrimonious relationship going on, and, you know, you have to consider that there was a cultural clash.

And Beth Twitty, she had every right, but she hit the Aruba government where it hurt.  She did it both nationally and internationally, and she brought them down.  And it will impact that island, both financially and in terms of tourism.  So, he is just protecting himself.  But you have to consider just the psychology of relationships in general.  And I don‘t care what culture you live in. 

Basically, everything is based on a relationship.  So if you have a good relationship, people are going to be more inclined to work for you than against you.  And somewhere along the line, that was lost.  Now, you have a grieving mother that has a certain style that didn‘t work.  She believes that these boys somehow know what went on, and they probably do.

And that got lost along the way, so there‘s a lot of frustration on both sides that isn‘t going to go away any time soon because there‘s no resolution.  And when I met...

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt about it. 

LUDWIG:  Yes.  I met Jug Twitty, and he said, my wife is not going to let this go until there‘s a resolution to this case. 

SCARBOROUGH:  There‘s no doubt about that.  She is going to keep fighting this to the bitter end. 

Thank you so much, Doctor. 

Thank you, Drew. 

Thank you, Pat. 

LUDWIG:  Thank you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  As always, appreciate you all being with us. 

And, right now, lets‘ bring in Tucker Carlson.  He‘s the host of “THE

SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON.” 

Tucker, I am not going to talk about your prep school tonight.  You and Billy, that was a moving moment for me. 

(LAUGHTER)

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON”:  Oh, was it? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Being a public school—being a redneck public school boy who went to Alabama. 

But that tease you gave during that show, what is it?  What, strippers handing out Bibles?  What is that all about? 

CARLSON:  That‘s exactly right.  We have a former stripper, now an evangelist to the porn star community. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  Amen, baby. 

CARLSON:  They need God, too, maybe especially so. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Amen. 

CARLSON:  And speaking of God, we will also have a school district in Wisconsin that has banned Christmas carols, but not Hanukkah songs.  Why?  I don‘t know yet.  We haven‘t done the interview, but it‘s going to be great. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It sounds like more people who just don‘t like Jesus, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  I agree with that, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thanks so much, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Thanks. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Greatly appreciate you being with us.

Make sure to tune into “THE SITUATION” next at 11:00 to see if they really don‘t like Jesus. 

Coming up next, Howard Stern‘s final days—a look at the shock jock as he dishes with Katie Couric and he prepares to head for space.  What can we expect from the uncensored Stern on satellite radio? 

We will be talking about that when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Howard Stern is getting Sirius.  That‘s S-I-R-I-U-S. 

The self-proclaimed king of all media is taking his radio talk show to a place where he can say whatever he wants, and the government can‘t do anything about it, at least for now. 

Well, NBC‘s Katie Couric talked to the shock jock himself about his move to Sirius satellite broadcasting.  And this is what he said. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOWARD STERN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Good morning, everybody. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hey, now. 

STERN:  Hey, now.

KATIE COURIC, CO-HOST (voice-over):  Some call it anarchy on the airwaves. 

STERN:  What is it, you creep? 

COURIC:  But 13 million morning listeners call it their drive time radio addiction. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Anything for you, Howard. 

STERN:  Thank you. 

COURIC:  For two decades now, Howard Stern‘s radio show has been the home of inquiring minds. 

STERN:  Honey, I heard that you like to get spanked.  Is that true? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes. 

COURIC:  Confessions of the rich and famous. 

STERN:  How old were you when you lost your virginity? 

PAUL MCCARTNEY, MUSICIAN:  I was approximately 15. 

COURIC:  And, of course, provocative porn star revelations. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Degrading is my specialty. 

STERN:  I do like a great sexual joke. 

Did you sleep with him right away when you met Tommy Lee? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  No. 

STERN:  I like childish humor.  I like barnyard humor.  But I also like discussing politics.  I—I think I am a pretty well-rounded person, in that I will show you sides of me that most men won‘t in public. 

My theory on radio, since I was a kid, was to let it all hang out, to have real fun, blast off. 

COURIC:  With only eight shows left on his terrestrial radio show, Howard has been getting surprisingly sentimental. 

STERN:  It has been a spectacular 20 years. 

COURIC:  Radio‘s raunchiest deejay even apologized recently to his audience for what he called 10 years of subpar broadcasts, laying the blame squarely at the feet of the Federal Communications Commission. 

STERN:  I think I came on this scene, and I was this breath of fresh air, if you will.  I went on the...

COURIC (on camera):  That‘s one way to describe it. 

STERN:  Yes.  Some people would probably take an opposite tact and say I was the foulest smelling odor in the building.  But...

COURIC:  Stench comes to mind, Howard. 

STERN:  That‘s right, yes, gas. 

COURIC:  Yes. 

(LAUGHTER)

STERN:  But, you know, people remember a wild show with me.  They remember that I say anything and do anything and I push the envelope.

And what happened for so long between the FCC, the religious right, and everybody‘s grandmother complaining, what happened is, the stations got so much pressure that I couldn‘t do my show anymore.  I couldn‘t do it the way I wanted to.  I found that I had to stifle my speech.  I had to stop saying certain things a certain way.

So, you know, it‘s like the erosion of “The Howard Stern Show.” 

COURIC (voice-over):  Over the years, Stern and his employers have been hit with some of the biggest fines in broadcasting history, prompting Clear Channel Communications, a company which ran the show on six of its stations, to permanently pull the plug. 

STERN:  I have heard so many people say, you need the government clamping down on you to be outrageous.

And, early in my career, I didn‘t have the government clamping down on me.  And the fact of the matter is, that was my best radio.  That‘s the radio that got me the highest ratings.  That‘s the radio that put me on the map.

And now, even in looking at this, I am shocked when people say to me, you need censorship in order to be funny.

COURIC:  Stern may be making the switch at just the right time.  Though his show is still number one in nearly all of his 46 markets, his ratings have hit a slide.  Some fans argue his jump-the-shark moment was the divorce from his wife, Alison, in 2001. 

(on camera):  Do you give any credence, though, Howard, to people who say, OK, we can‘t relate to him as much now that he is dating a supermodel and going clubbing all the time? 

STERN:  Well, it‘s funny to me.

COURIC:  Is there anything...

STERN:  Anyone who is really in my audience would know, my show has always been about whatever is going on in my life. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  And you can find out what‘s going on in Howard‘s life in part two of his interview with Katie Couric tomorrow on “The Today Show,” which I think has been number one now for like 80 years or something like that.

We will be right back with much more.

Plus “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON” is now just minutes away. 

Children, wake up your parents.  You are not going to want to miss that. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, I just want to thank all of you.  You‘re helping Operation Phone Home with SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY and the USO.  We are connecting our troops overseas with their loved ones at home.  Already raised about $120,000.  Keep it up. 

Coming up next, we have got “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON.”  It starts right now. 

Hey, Tucker, what‘s the situation tonight? 

CARLSON:  Oh, Joe, I have a ready answer, as always.  Thank you. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Thank you. 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

Copy: Content and programming copyright 2005 MSNBC.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2005 Voxant, Inc. ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon MSNBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

Watch Scarborough Country each weeknight at 10 p.m. ET

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,