updated 1/12/2006 9:26:16 AM ET 2006-01-12T14:26:16

Guests: Dave Dudgeon, Steve Salerno, Thomas Gumbleton, Steve Forbes, Rachel Cox

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”:  Maybe Tucker Carlson can tell us coming up what exactly Marion said when he was arrested the first time.  We‘ll see—Tucker.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  You know, Joe, I knew Marion Barry.  Marion Barry was a friend of mine.  And you, Joe, are no Marion Barry.  And no, I‘m not going to quote him from the Vista Hotel, circa 1990, because it‘s profane. 

SCARBOROUGH:  The bitch set me up, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  That‘s right.  She did.  I have the T-shirt.

SCARBOROUGH:  THE SITUATION starts right now. 

CARLSON:  Thank you, Joe. 

And thanks to you at home for tuning in.  We always appreciate it. 

Tonight, an exclusive interview with the Ohio police sergeant who made the now famous arrest of James Frey detailed in Frey‘s blockbuster bestseller, “A Million Little Pieces.” 

Was Frey‘s account accurate, or did he lie in the most outrageous possible way again and again and again and make millions doing so?  We‘ll get to the truth. 

Also, is the housing bubble about to burst, and if so, does that mean recession or even depression is on the way?  I‘ll ask former presidential candidate, and visionary economist, Steve Forbes. 

Plus, a 79-year-old mother crashes her car into a mother and her kids then flees the scene.  What led to that horrific accident, and should the elderly be allowed to drive at all?  We‘ll get to that in just a few minutes.

We begin tonight with the remarkable literary scandal that has the millions of Americans who read the best seller “A Million Little Pieces” feeling outraged and betrayed.  One of the centerpieces of James Frey‘s book is a 1992 incident in Ohio during which Frey says he assaulted a police officer and incited a riot.  Not true, says my next guest. 

Sergeant Dave Dudgeon was the arresting officer of the night in question.  He joins us tonight from Columbus, Ohio, in an exclusive interview to tell us what really happened. 

Sergeant, thanks a lot for coming on.  I want to read to you the parts of the book in which you star and get your reaction to them.  This is Mr.  Frey‘s account of an arrest in 1992, in October, in Granville, Ohio.  He says, “I drove up onto a sidewalk and hit a cop who was standing there.”  Did he hit you with his car?

SGT. DAVE DUDGEON, ARRESTED JAMES FREY:  No. 

CARLSON:  He said the back-up came, the back-up officers came.  “They approached the car and asked me to get out.  And I said, ‘If you want me, then come and get me, you f-ing pigs‘.”  Did he say that?

DUDGEON:  Not to my knowledge. 

CARLSON:  OK.  I know this is torture.  Let me just keep going for a second.  “They opened the door.  I started swinging, and they beat my ass with billyclubs and arrested me.” 

DUDGEON:  Did you beat him with your billyclub?

DUDGEON:  No, sir. 

CARLSON:  He said he was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, assaulting an officer of the law, felony DUI, resisting arrest, possession of a narcotic with intent to distribute.  What was he charged with, do you remember?

DUDGEON:  He was charged with a DUI, driving without an operator‘s license and having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. 

CARLSON:  What was that open container?

DUDGEON:  A bottle of beer, I believe. 

CARLSON:  Did you find quantities of crack cocaine in the car?

DUDGEON:  No, we did not find any narcotics of any kind. 

CARLSON:  What was Mr. Frey like when he was arrested?  Was he pretty outraged, screaming epithets at you?

DUDGEON:  Not to my memory.  He was polite and cooperative. 

CARLSON:  He said that he faced, as a result of these charges, three years in state prison, but somehow, through the machinations of the legal system, only served three months.  Is it your memory that he was sentenced to three years?  And would he have been sentenced to three years for this?

DUDGEON:  No, the charges that I charged him with were felonies.  They were all misdemeanors.  So it wouldn‘t have been any prison time. 

CARLSON:  That is amazing.  Now, do you think it‘s possible—this happened 14, 13 ½ years ago.  Is it possible that you‘ve forgotten that in fact you really were screamed at by James Frey and that, in fact, you did beat him senseless with your billyclub, that he called you an f-ing pig and that you found crack in his car?  Could you just have forgotten about it, you think?

DUDGEON:  No, I think something like that I would remember. 

CARLSON:  Have you ever been hit by a car?

DUDGEON:  No, sir, never. 

CARLSON:  Do you think if you were you‘d recall it?

DUDGEON:  I‘m pretty sure I‘d remember that. 

CARLSON:  Did you have any memory of this at all before you were contacted by The Smoking Gun website about this?

DUDGEON:  No.  I completely forgot all about it until I was contacted by them.  And when I found the original arrest report, realized that I was the arresting officer. 

CARLSON:  So of what you remember of this arrest, did anything stick out in your mind?  Was James Frey different from, I‘m sure the many college students you‘ve busted for DUI over the years?

DUDGEON:  No, it was just a typical, noneventful DUI arrest. 

CARLSON:  Have you read the book?

DUDGEON:  Parts of it, yes. 

CARLSON:  Then you‘re aware, from reading those parts that Mr. Frey presents himself really as Jim Morrison come back to life, you know, as an outrageous guy, intent not merely on breaking every law there is, but also on giving the finger to the man, that would be you. 

DUDGEON:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  And I just want to make certain that in no way squares with your memory. 

DUDGEON:  No, I don‘t recall anything similar to that. 

CARLSON:  Had you heard of the book before you were contacted about it?

DUDGEON:  No, I had not. 

CARLSON:  What do you think of it now that you‘re reading it?

DUDGEON:  It‘s definitely interesting. 

CARLSON:  If—if it were a crime in the state of Ohio to write phony memoirs, do you think Mr. Frey would be arrested?

DUDGEON:  It would be—I have no idea on that. 

CARLSON:  So just to recap.  And I know there are a lot of people—there are literally millions of people who have read this book.  And from my own experiences in talking to a lot of them, they take this book as true.  So I just want to restate here to make certain that there‘s no confusion at all, your account of what happened that night.  Can you just sum it up for us?

DUDGEON:  I was on foot patrol in the downtown business district checking doors when Mr. Frey pulled into a no parking zone area, drove the right front tire of his car up on the curb and then backed it down off.  I approached the car just to let him know that he was in a no parking zone and detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage and handled it as a typical DUI arrest. 

CARLSON:  He was in a no parking zone.  This guy is a regular outlaw. 

He‘s outrageous. 

All right.  Sergeant Dave Dudgeon, tonight from Ohio, one of the stars of the fictional account, “A Million Little Pieces,” unwittingly a star, joining us tonight.  Sergeant, thanks a lot for coming on. 

DUDGEON:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  So here‘s a question.  Will the career of James Frey shrivel and dissolve into “A Million Little Pieces,” or will this scandal actually help him sell more books?  Let‘s ask Steve Salerno.  He‘s the author of “Sham: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless.”  It‘s a great book.  He joins us live tonight in the studio. 

Steve, thanks for coming on. 

STEVE SALERNO, AUTHOR, “SHAM”:  Thanks for having me, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  So that is kind of a chilling question.  You‘d think after being outed as a liar, not mounting any credible defense, this guy‘s career would be over, but do you get the feeling that some people just don‘t care?

SALERNO:  Well, you have to remember the movement of which he is a creature.  What he‘s actually succeeded in doing right off the bat is he‘s expanded his demographic from the “Oprah” set, which is about 80 percent, by some measures, almost 90 percent women, women who stay home, to a larger audience and a curious audience, for instance, your demographic. 

In other words, now you‘ve got people who would have read books about, say, Steve Glass or Janet Cook.  Those people are now buying his book just to see what‘s going on here. 

So a few weeks ago his book had settled back.  It‘s always been a strong seller.  I think one million eight last year. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

SALERNO:  A million eight copies.  But it had settled back a little bit.  But now that the scandal broke, it‘s back to No. 1 again on Amazon. 

CARLSON:  You heard the defense tonight from Oprah herself.

SALERNO:  Yes.

CARLSON:  And of course, from James Frey and his defenders that, look, it‘s true the book is not entirely true, right?  There are inaccuracies in it.  Of course, there are actually full-blown lies in it.  But that doesn‘t matter.  Because, A, it could be true.  This kind of thing does happen.  And B, it does help people, this book does. 

SALERNO:  Well, you know, people who watch “Oprah” are not terribly concerned with the canons of ethics of journalism, Tucker.  And the main thing, the whole movement is built on half truths, non-truths.  The people who deliver these so-called truths to us have no standing...

CARLSON:  This is the self-help movement. 

SALERNO:  The self-help movement, yes.  So it‘s understandable that Oprah would make a statement like that, because to them, as you and I were discussing earlier, the whole thing really is just a metaphor.  That the purpose is to inspire, and the means of getting to that inspiration are totally irrelevant, as long as the end result is there. 

I went to a training seminar not too long ago: 250 sales people from the same company.  The motivator told them, “You can all be the No. 1 salesperson next year in this company.”  Now, that‘s logically impossible.  But it didn‘t matter.  Everybody: “Yay, great.  Oh, wow.”  And nobody stops to think this is baloney. 

CARLSON:  But what—you, in a very smart “L.A. Times” op-ed, you kind of lay out the intellectual foundation of the self-help movement, and I think it applies on James Frey, among of course, many others.  And it‘s this—believe it, achieve it.  That‘s the promise of self-help.  What‘s wrong with that?

SALERNO:  Because you can‘t have a life plan predicated on the notion that everything is equally achievable to everybody. 

There‘s a show that‘s going to be on next month.  It‘s getting this kind of sub rosa viral marketing campaign called “The Secret.”  And the message, the explicit message of “The Secret” is there are no limits.  There‘s nothing you can‘t do.  It doesn‘t matter what your circumstances are. 

Now, on the surface that sounds like a very empowering message.  But in reality, it‘s disempowering because it‘s factually untrue.  It‘s like they say, anybody can win the lottery, so why not buy the ticket?  But logically you can‘t build your life around the idea that you‘re going to build the lottery—going to win the lottery.  And that‘s what these people want you to buy into.  That‘s how they get you coming back for more. 

CARLSON:  You use as an example the movement towards self-esteem and the idea that if we make children feel good about themselves they‘ll be achievers.  And you make a very interesting point.  You say high self-worth, high self-esteem is actually a marker for negative behavior, as found in sociopaths and drug kingpins.  In other words, just feeling good about yourself actually might make you more likely to mistreat other people, because you care about them less. 

SALERNO:  Well, think about the people you know that you would consider as having high self-esteem.  Are they people who seem very approachable to the idea of “Here‘s a new way of doing it?”  Are they people think that they don‘t have the answers?  Normally the people who have high self-esteem, what we would categorize as high self-esteem, they can be pretty obnoxious to be around. 

In the studies—this is the whole point of the book.  In going into the book, I wanted to separate what we think sounds good from what we can prove is good, finds out how much money it generates for the people who sell it, how much money it generates for the people who subscribe to it, if any, and what damage does it do along the way.  And you‘d be shocked at how many buzzwords we just accept as being sort of iconic in this culture that have no value, at least when you investigate. 

CARLSON:  Well, give me just—finally just sum it up in one sentence.  How much does Tony Robbins make?

SALERNO:  If you get hooked on Tony Robbins—and that is the right word, because if you go to his discussion boards, you‘ll see these people; they talk in all of the jargon that he teaches them—you can easily spend $10,000, $12,000 going to one of his retreats.  You can spend a few grand for his little refresher courses.  This is a serious investment. 

And like the line from the old “Seinfeld” show—I‘m not saying this specifically applies to him, but I would say the overall movement, it‘s a $10 billion movement about nothing. 

CARLSON:  Amazing.  Scientology almost.  Steve Salerno, author of “Sham,” a terrific book.  Thanks a lot for coming on.

SALERNO:  Thanks for having me.

CARLSON:  Appreciate it. 

Still to come, we‘ll speak to one—to the one man, the only man in this nation who is actively defending James Frey.  In just a few minutes I plan on shredding his argument into—that‘s right, “A Million Little Pieces.”

Plus, for the first time in American history a Catholic bishop publicly admits that as a teenager he was sexually molested by a priest.  Why did Thomas Gumbleton break ranks with fellow Catholic leaders by suddenly revealing this secret and by encouraging people to sue his own church?  I‘ll ask him when THE SITUATION continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still ahead on our show, I‘ll ask magazine magnate and former presidential candidate, Steve Forbes, if the real estate bubble is about to blow up. 

Plus, did vicious attacks by Democrats during today‘s hearings in Washington cause Sam Alito‘s wife to burst into tears and flee the room?  The emotional details when THE SITUATION returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has now gone all the way to the top.  For the first time ever, a Roman Catholic bishop says he was a victim.  Seventy-five-year-old auxiliary bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit says he was sexually abused by a priest when he was 15 years old.  He‘s now on a mission to help victims get more time to file suits against the church. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON:  Bishop Thomas Gumbleton joins us now from Columbus, Ohio. 

Bishop, thanks a lot for coming on. 

AUX. BISHOP THOMAS GUMBLETON, COLUMBUS, OHIO:  I‘m very happy to do it.  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  As I understand it, the abuse you‘re referring to took place at the hands of a priest more than 60 years ago.  Why come forward with this now?

GUMBLETON:  Because of the proposed bill in the Ohio state legislature that is calling for a window of at least one year for victims of sex abuse to come forward.  And it would set aside the statute of limitations. 

And I felt that, by speaking about my experience and how hard—how difficult it is to speak about such an incident, that I could perhaps help some of the legislators to understand how important this bill is.  Because these victims really were not capable of coming forward within the limitations of the statute. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

GUMBLETON:  And they just need more time. 

CARLSON:  This bill, as I understand it, would open this window for victims to sue the church, which is, of course, your church.

GUMBLETON:  Well...

CARLSON:  What does your church think of you taking a public stand that would allow people to sue it?

GUMBLETON:  Well, I‘m part of the church. 

CARLSON:  Of course. 

GUMBLETON:  And so I am doing it for the good of the church, actually, because, first of all, we have to do justice to these people who have been victims.  And if we don‘t do justice, we‘re hurting ourselves, as well as continuing the abuse of the victims into the future.  And so—and they‘re all part of the church, too.  And so we‘re doing it for them and they‘re the church. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  Do you think people that suing the church and getting some sort of money in return for the abuse they suffered at the hands of priests helps them in the end?  I mean, is that an adequate redress to what happened?

GUMBLETON:  Absolutely not.  And that‘s not the reason they‘re doing it.  If you wanted, it seems to me it would be much more similar to the truth commission that Archbishop Tutu organized in South Africa.  It‘s to make people come forward and be held accountable for what they did, even if they‘re never punished for it.  Like in Africa or South Africa, they‘ve got amnesty.

CARLSON:  Yes.

GUMBLETON:  But everything was out in the open.  People were held accountable.  The victims felt that they were vindicated in the sense that “now people believe this did happen to me.”  And the way it is, even many of these victims still are suffering abuse, because they‘re disregarded.  They‘re not believed sometimes. 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

GUMBLETON:  And so it‘s very hurtful.  And so this would be a way not just—it isn‘t about the money, really, as far as the victims are concerned, except for perhaps getting some help and getting therapy.  But it would be holding the church leaders and the priests who did it accountable for what happened. 

CARLSON:  Well, what about the priest who abused you?  Was he ever held accountable?  Whatever happened to him?

GUMBLETON:  Well, he died many years. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

GUMBLETON:  Remember, I was 15 at the time.  It was 60 years ago.  And he was already in his, like, 40‘s probably. 

CARLSON:  Did you ever tell anybody?  Did it ever come to light that he was the kind of man who would abuse a child?

GUMBLETON:  No.  I must confess, I was very naive at the time.  I didn‘t realize the seriousness of what had happened and what he was doing.  And I wasn‘t aware of his doing this to any other students.  So I never thought to tell anybody about it at the time. 

CARLSON:  I want to read you...

GUMBLETON:  And over the years...

CARLSON:  I beg your pardon, over the years...

GUMBLETON:  Well, I was going to say, well, over the years I didn‘t think about it again until when the whole issue broke out into the open, and then I began to remember what had happened and thought about it and thought perhaps at some point I would need to speak about it.  But there wasn‘t really any sense of urgency for me to speak about it until this opportunity arose, and I really felt it might do some good for victims. 

CARLSON:  Well, you‘re not alone in that.  Father John Bambrick, who works sometimes here at MSNBC also came forward recently to say that he was molested as a 15-year-old by a Catholic priest, Anthony Morita (ph).  And he had this quote, which I thought was a remarkable thing for a Catholic priest to say.  I want to read you part of it.

“Unfortunately, the diocese doesn‘t monitor these guys.”  These guys being the child molesters.  “They just kind of unleash them on society, and there ought to be some means of tracking, so that the corporations and charities can find out so they won‘t go and find jobs among vulnerable children.”

I must say I‘m shocked, truly, to learn that the church or different diocese don‘t keep track of these guys.  Why is that?

GUMBLETON:  Well, it becomes impossible.  Actually, once they‘ve been dismissed from the ministry, the bishop of the diocese has no say in how they live their lives, unless the civil court intervened in some way and put their name on a list and kept them under surveillance.

CARLSON:  Yes.

GUMBLETON:  The church would not have any way of doing that.  They can move wherever they want.  And if they don‘t send in their address, we have no way of tracking them. 

CARLSON:  It will be nice to see their faces on billboards, as far as I‘m concerned. 

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton from Columbus, Ohio, tonight.  Thanks a lot. 

I think you‘re doing a brave and good thing.  We appreciate it. 

GUMBLETON:  Well, OK.  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Thanks.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON:  Still to come, Bush-hating Democrats Hillary Clinton and Harry Belafonte will reportedly get together at a luncheon tomorrow.  Is the country following the lead of these two and drifting toward the left?  One prominent strategist says yes.  We‘ll tell you who when THE SITUATION returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

There is good news and bad news for investors this week.  The Dow reached the 11,000 mark for the first time in more than four years and continued those gains today. 

But the housing market is cooling off and the National Association of Realtors says home prices will rise much more slowly than they did last year.  Here to talk about what these trends mean, editor-in-chief of “Forbes” magazine, Steve Forbes, also a former presidential—two-time presidential candidate whose predictions about the economy turned out to be a lot more true than most of us realized at the time.  He joins us tonight live from New York.

Steve Forbes, thanks a lot for coming on. 

STEVE FORBES, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, “FORBES” MAGAZINE:  Good to be with you, Tucker.  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  So a huge percentage of our gross domestic product is bound up in the housing market, anywhere between 15 and 20 percent.  Housing prices on the coast, anyway, have risen dramatically in the last five years.  If there is a bursting of this housing bubble, what does that mean?  What‘s going to happen?

FORBES:  Well, I think you have to look and see how the housing bubble could be burst.  The housing prices have gotten out of hand in certain parts of the country.  You mentioned New York City, parts of California.  But nationwide it really hasn‘t spun out of control. 

Housing prices have gone up for two basic reasons.  One is low interest rates, which slashes monthly mortgage payments.  And two, the virtual elimination of capital gains tax on housing gains, which was passed back in 1998.  If you look at housing prices gains before ‘98, much slower than after ‘98. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

FORBES:  Now, what threatens housing today is not a bubble, per se.  In certain parts of the country things are slowing down, which is natural and a good thing.  It is inflation.  Even though the Federal Reserve has raised short-term interest rates, it is still printing too much money.  And you see it in the gold price.  You see it in other commodity prices.  You see it at the gas pump. 

That‘s going to hurt the economy if the Fed doesn‘t take corrective action in the next few months.  That‘s the big threat to housing. 

CARLSON:  Let‘s say you‘re one of the many, many people who has purchased a house in the last five years, maybe at a very high, possibly even an inflated price.  And you‘ve done so with a no-money-down mortgage and you‘ve got an adjustable rate mortgage.  The rate can change.  And it‘s changing and it‘s getting hire. 

All of a sudden your house, the bubble bursts and your house is worth, say, 15 or 20 percent less than what it was worth when you bought it.  I mean, you‘re in deep trouble.  Are there a lot of people who would fall into that category?

FORBES:  Thankfully, not a lot who have really gone out on a limb like that.  A place like San Francisco you‘ve seen this kind of housing finance.  Most people have done it in a more sensible way.  My advice is, if you have an adjustable rate, fix it as soon as you can.  Why take the risk? 

And the thing is about housing, unlike a stock, which you can trade in and out literally hundreds of times each day, a house is something that‘s quite hard to trade.  And so I think people are going to—most people are going to latch on to their houses and not give them up.  Even in Silicon Valley, during the bubble burst, housing prices took a real hit, but not nearly as much as what you would have thought, given the calamity that hit that part of the country, that part of the economy. 

CARLSON:  That‘s actually a really good point.  San Francisco, I hadn‘t—I hadn‘t thought of that. 

Now what about claims that you‘re hearing from the White House that the economy is humming along, it‘s in great shape, Dow at over 11,000, as we said, for the first time in a number of years.  And the White House is responsible for this. 

I know that you‘re a conservative and a Republican, but you also, you know, ran independent of the Bush machine.  I think you‘re a credible voice on this.  Is the economy in great shape, as the White House says, and is the White House responsible for it?

FORBES:  Well, the economy is in very good shape.  The fundamentals are strong.  We have a productivity boom.  Capital spending is beginning to rise again.  Personal incomes are fairly good shape.  A lot of liquidity out there.  Perhaps too much liquidity. 

And the White House can take real credit for the tax cut of 2003 passed in May.  That‘s what kicked this economy off, reduction in capital gains, dividends, personal income tax rates and the like.  So they can take a bow on that. 

But where I think they‘re going to get blind-sided is what the Federal Reserve is doing, which is still printing too much money.  They‘ve raised interest rates, but that‘s not the same as soaking up the excess money they‘ve created.  It‘s like putting too much gasoline in a car.  Eventually, you‘re going to flood the engine. 

So Mr. Ben Bernanke, who takes over the Federal Reserve fairly soon, I think isn‘t prepared for what‘s going to hit him if this continues for a few more months. 

CARLSON:  So let‘s say you had an extra $20,000 just kicking around.  You left it—an elderly aunt left you $20,000.  You won it in Vegas.  You have this money.  You don‘t know what to do with it.  Where should you invest that money right now?

FORBES:  First, you should buy a subscription to “Forbes” magazine. 

CARLSON:  Well, you already have a subscription to “Forbes.”  Come on. 

Everyone does.

FORBES:  Well, I would—right now I would put about half of it in the stock market.  Pick a good mutual fund, one with low fees.  Fidelity has some, Vanguard.  Others have funds with very, very low fees.  Balanced fund between stocks and bonds.  You‘re not trying to hit home runs right now. 

Keep half of it in cash and see how this thing with the Federal Reserve goes forward. 

To be very simple, rule of thumb, just look at the price of gold.  It‘s way above $500 an ounce.  If it goes below $500, say it gets down to $400 an ounce, that‘s good.  Invest the rest of your cash.  If it stays above $500, expect trouble, keep the cash reserve there.  You‘re going to have some good bargains in the next year or two. 

CARLSON:  That is a great rule of thumb.  Watch gold. 

Steve Forbes, joining us from New York live.  Thank you very much. 

FORBES:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, James Frey duped more than three million readers.  But should anyone care, given how many people he‘s helped?  That‘s an actual argument.  You‘re going to hear it next on this show. 

We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D-MA), SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:  1983

“Prospect” essay titled “In Defense of a Lead,” stated, quoted, “People nowadays just don‘t seem to know their place.  Everywhere one turns, blacks and Hispanics are demanding jobs simply because they‘re black and Hispanic.” 

JUDGE SAMUEL ALITO, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE:  If that‘s what anybody was endorsing, I disagree with all of that.  I would never endorse it.  I never have endorsed it.  Had I thought that that‘s what this organization stood for, I would never have associated myself with it in any way. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Needless to say, you could tell by the ruddy face, that was Senator Ted Kennedy, grilling Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito today about his membership in a conservative alumni group at Princeton, a group that supported military recruiting on campus and opposed affirmative action. 

While Alito kept his composure, his wife was visibly upset by the accusations of bigotry.  She left the room crying and returned about an hour later. 

Here now to talk about this and a new claim that America is tilting left, MSNBC political contributor Flavia Colgan.  She joins us tonight from Washington. 

Flavia, welcome.  Here‘s my question to you, Flavia.  Why is always the default position of the Democratic Party that everybody they disagree with is a racist?

FLAVIA COLGAN, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR:  Well, look.  Tucker, I think that the Democrats are messing this up in more ways than just this.  I mean, I have been shocked.  Just when I thought the Democrats couldn‘t bungle things more, they‘ve surprised me. 

Here we have—here we have a candidate who I think does raise, and as you know, I have not made up my mind about him.  In fact, I wrote an article a little while back talking about the people that I had worked with when I worked on that court in Philadelphia and how they felt, that he potentially was a judge‘s judge.  And I‘m very deeply concerned about some of his positions on the environment, on civil rights, and particularly presidential power. 

But here‘s what the Democrats are doing.  No. 1, they say that this guy getting on the Supreme Court is the end of the world as we know it.  But they don‘t act that way.  I was just in Philadelphia for Justice Sunday, where Jerry Falwell and Santorum put on what looked like, you know, a panoply of black, Hispanic, every type of person, you know, all singing out of the same hymnal.  The Democrats did nothing. 

All of the special interest groups...

CARLSON:  Let me say just for our viewers so they know what you‘re talking about, Justice Sunday was a group of conservative organizations...

COLGAN:  Right.

CARLSON:  ... and activists, united in support of the nomination of Sam Alito, and it took place this last Sunday. 

COLGAN:  And here‘s what the Democrats are doing.  One, they‘re not moving with their feet.

CARLSON:  Right.

COLGAN:  Two, they pontificate, but yet they have staffers whispering down the lane that this juggernaut of Alito is essentially inevitable.  I mean, how better to dampen grass roots support or even civic engagement than to say it‘s irrelevant?

CARLSON:  That‘s in fact an accurate assessment.  But I want to get to...

COLGAN:  But it‘s ridiculous.  It‘s disingenuous for them either to, A, come into the hearings...

CARLSON:  You‘re not saying they‘re disingenuous.  But I want to get to a very specific charge here. 

COLGAN:  Right. 

CARLSON:  And that is that Alito is a racist.  And that‘s the implication.  And it‘s unfair on the basis of the facts we have.  The allegation is he was a member in some way—he says he has no member of being a member.  Presumably, he paid a subscription for a newsletter of an organization that published a magazine in which once was an article published by someone who was opposed to affirmative action.  That makes him, Alito, a racist, according to Ted Kennedy and other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democrats. 

And I think that‘s an outrageous charge.  And I want to know why reasonable Democrats aren‘t saying hold on.  If you disagree with the guy‘s judicial philosophy, attack it.  If you don‘t like his ideas, attack them.  But why is it always trying to tar someone with the same brush, the brush of racism?

COLGAN:  Well then, again, I‘ll be a reasonable—I‘ll be a resident reasonable Democrat, then.  Because, you know, like I said, I have deep concerns about a lot of opinions that he wrote on civil rights.  I think he‘s being a little too cute about not recalling, you know, what organizations he‘s a part of, particular ones that he felt important enough to put on job applications. 

I think it‘s a little too cute how he‘s handling the non-recusal on himself on the Vanguard. 

But I think it‘s outrageous, just like I said on the show and told you I thought it was outrageous for Democrats to throw cookies at Michael Steele‘s head and call him an Uncle Tom because he happens to be a black Republican. 

I think that this is, you know, racial profiling, basically saying, “OK, any white conservative who may or may not have been a member of this group”—I mean, to call someone a racist, you have to really look into their heart and into their soul.  And I don‘t have the capacity to do that with Mr. Alito. 

CARLSON:  Well, it also—it‘s a pretty heavy charge.  It‘s the one conversation stopper in America. 

COLGAN:  Absolutely.

CARLSON:  That‘s the one thing you can‘t be.

COLGAN:  Right.

CARLSON:  That‘s the one thing I won‘t accept in people I know, and it‘s the one thing most Americans will not. 

COLGAN:  Exactly. 

CARLSON:  I want to ask you—I want to ask you about...

COLGAN:  Or when I say, Tucker.  Tucker, what you‘re saying sounds very Nazi-esque.  I mean, that‘s the kinds of bomb you just don‘t drop. 

CARLSON:  Unless you can prove it, you shouldn‘t bring it up.

COLGAN:  Right.

CARLSON:  I want to ask you about a column, a pretty interesting column by Dick Morris, former advisor to President Clinton and a pretty smart guy, who said this.  That according to his polling, the country is moving left, because a lot of the issues that have helped the Republicans for the past 11 or so years, since they took over the Congress, crime, for instance, terrorism, taxes, are no longer—have been essentially solved. 

Crime is down.  We haven‘t been attacked in four years by terrorists and taxes are lower.  And therefore, it is in fact the left wing issues, the environment, education and the like, that are moving people to the polls.  Do you think that‘s true?

COLGAN:  Tucker, please don‘t tell me you‘re drinking Dick Morris Kool-Aid. 

CARLSON:  I‘m not.  I think it‘s an interesting point.

COLGAN:  Tucker, I could tell you—if you hadn‘t told me who wrote that, I could have told you who did.  Because Dick Morris has one play in his playbook, and that is how can I pretend that I‘m a Democrat, lure people in, and then, because he‘s such a sycophant for the Republicans who underwrite all of his vacations to like the south of France, he just can‘t help himself to come up with the most absurd reasoning for why the Democrats are...

CARLSON:  Well, I think it raises an interesting question, which is this: what is the rationale for supporting Republicans at this point? 

COLGAN:  Right.

CARLSON:  Apart from defense.  And I think, and he puts this at the end of his piece, which I thought was right.  Immigration is a major reason.  Republicans have to have the courage, and they don‘t, to say, “We‘re the party that‘s going to protect your borders.”  They haven‘t said that, because the leadership‘s afraid to.  But that‘s a winning issue for them. 

COLGAN:  I think—I think it‘s easier for the Republicans.  I think that the Democrats have a softball and if they‘ve got the culture of corruption, they‘ve got Iraq, they‘ve got the economy, which your economists at “Forbes” say is great but average Americans still feel the pain. 

But here‘s the problem, and here‘s where Republicans can capitalize.  The Democrats still are a complete cacophony who refuse to have a backbone and stand for anything.  On Iraq, even on Alito, they don‘t even let the man speak.  They pontificate on every single topic. 

So I think the Republicans—I mean, unfortunately for the Democrats...

CARLSON:  All right.

COLGAN:  ... you know, the Republicans, we have so much ammo, but the Democrats refuse to lock and load.  They just won‘t do it.  They‘re too afraid.  I don‘t know why.  But I hope that if any of them are watching, they will stand up and start taking these issues on head on, because that‘s the only way they‘re going to win and capitalize on a huge weakness. 

CARLSON:  Maybe they‘ll—maybe they‘ll bring that up on tomorrow‘s conference call with Howard Dean.  I hope so.

Flavia Colgan from Washington.  Thanks a lot, Flavia. 

COLGAN:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Stay tuned.  There is still plenty more ahead on THE SITUATION tonight. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing):  Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies.

CARLSON (voice-over):  Pro and con.  A startling defense of author James Frey‘s million little lies. 

JAMES FREY, AUTHOR, “A MILLION LITTLE PIECES”:  I didn‘t invent anything.

CARLSON:  Then, a wild pursuit in Tennessee.  You won‘t believe who‘s behind the wheel of this borrowed pickup. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I was really shocked. 

CARLSON:   Plus, why did Angelina drop a bomb shell?  Wait till you hear about Mr. and Mrs. Smith‘s next production. 

JENNIFER ANISTON, ACTRESS:  Oh, God.  I need so much therapy.

CARLSON:  And...

ELVIS PRESLEY, MUSICIAN (singing):  Viva Las Vegas.

CARLSON:  ... an act that literally brought down the house in Vegas. 

It‘s all ahead on THE SITUATION.

BRAD PITT, ACTOR:  In the sloppiest production you‘ve ever seen.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANESSA MCDONALD, PRODUCER:  Coming up, people have been running away from “A Million Little Pieces” author James Frey like he has the plague.  But there is one man willing to stand up for him. 

CARLSON:  Defending the indefensible.  We‘ll tell you who‘s willing to do that in just 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  We‘re glad to have you. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “I hate quotations.  Tell me what you know.” 

Joining me now, live in our SITUATION studio, a man of great knowledge, happy to tell you what he knows, “The Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host, Max Kellerman. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO:  Tucker.

CARLSON:  You‘re not hiding what you know. 

KELLERMAN:  No, not if you ask me. 

CARLSON:  OK, I‘m about to. 

First up, more on the further misadventures of “Million Little Pieces” author, James Frey, whose blockbuster drug and alcohol memoir has been branded a fake, because it is.  It also looks like a big screen version of the book may be in jeopardy. 

You know why?  Because even Hollywood is embarrassed.  Even Hollywood, a place where it‘s impossible to embarrass everyone—anyone, is embarrassed by the prospect that this guy‘s book was made up. 

Now I‘ve been rambling on about this all week in a genuinely outraged state, because I think this is an offense against truth and book buyers, about this guy‘s dishonesty.  You‘re willing to defend him. 

KELLERMAN:  Absolutely.  Let me ask you something.  You mean to tell me you read a book, you like it, and then after the fact you determine not only do you not like it, but you hate the author because it turns out it was in the wrong section of the bookstore?  Because essentially that‘s what it is.  Right?  It was a fiction book in the nonfiction section. 

CARLSON:  Wait a second.  It‘s more than a different section of the bookstore.  You liked the book because you believe what you were reading in that book is true. 

KELLERMAN:  Ah, so who are people really angry at?  Who are people actually—themselves for being duped.  That‘s—it‘s embarrassing to be tricked that way. 

CARLSON:  That‘s ridiculous. 

KELLERMAN:  People are furious, and they‘re directing the anger at him. 

CARLSON:  If I come into your liquor store with a .45 and take the cash out of the cash register, are you really mad at yourself for being robbed?  No, you‘re mad at me for robbing you. 

KELLERMAN:  Yes.  But if you convinced me to give you the cash, because you claim to be, you know, whatever.  Some sob story that turns out not to be true, yes, you‘re a little mad at yourself for being suckered, aren‘t you?

CARLSON:  I mean, look, I didn‘t read the book in the first place.  I didn‘t take the fatal first step.  Right?

KELLERMAN:  Right.

CARLSON:  But I still think the essence of this book is its supposed trueness.  You think—people think it‘s a great book because they‘re amazed that a man could overcome what James Frey overcame.  But it turns out he didn‘t overcome it, because it didn‘t happen to him because he lied about it. 

KELLERMAN:  That‘s their problem.  You know, a piece of art—this goes for a painting or a sculpture or a book or whatever—really shouldn‘t have to do with the set of expectations that the viewer or the audience or the reader brings to that work.  It should just have to do with how they interpret it and whether they like it or not. 

CARLSON:  It‘s not Rauschenberg.  It‘s a self-help book.  Come on. 

Nice try, though. 

Up next, a caught on tape story that‘s nothing short of horrifying.  In fact, our more sensitive viewers, if any are still watching at this hour, might want to cover their eyes. 

Here‘s a surveillance video of a hit-and-run accident that sent a California woman and her two young children to the hospital, amazingly with injuries that were not life-threatening.  The driver, who fled on foot but later turned herself in, has been identified as 79-year-old Guadalupe Lopez.  She is unlicensed to drive a vehicle. 

This is an amazing, amazing piece of tape here.  And I have no doubt this piece of tape will inspire further calls to regulate and clamp down on elderly drivers.  And I just preemptively want to put my voice out there saying don‘t. 

Old people have a right to drive, and in fact, their ability to drive, which, you know, does put us at some peril, is one of the only things they do have.  It is their freedom, their link to their former lives as younger, more active people, and I just think it would be wrong to prevent them from driving. 

KELLERMAN:  Now this is one of those topics I anticipated would be comical, and yet with that video and with your statements, it‘s very difficult.  Let me try—let me try to make that anyway, without making light of that video.  Because that looked—that was horrible. 

CARLSON:  They actually weren‘t as injured as you‘d think. 

KELLERMAN:  Good.  So maybe I can, a little bit...

CARLSON:  Yes.

KELLERMAN:  Old people, as you get older, your reflexes slow down. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

KELLERMAN:  Senses that you kind of need to drive, like I don‘t know, sight...

CARLSON:  Right.

KELLERMAN:  ... kind of get worse and diminish. 

CARLSON:  Yes, they do. 

KELLERMAN:  Right.  And yet, you have less time to live.  So you‘re in a rush to get places. 

CARLSON:  Right.

KELLERMAN:  You want to get their sooner.

CARLSON:  Plus, you‘ve got less to lose. 

KELLERMAN:  Yes.  This is a recipe for disaster, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Yes, it is.

KELLERMAN:  This is—and not only that, but you don‘t have the patience to deal with the world. 

CARLSON:  That‘s exactly right. 

KELLERMAN:  Out of your way, right?  Let‘s give these people, this group of people licenses to operate heavy machinery.  That sounds like a great idea. 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

KELLERMAN:  At high speeds. 

CARLSON:  It actually is a very, very bad idea that we have to continue doing anyway, because not to do it would be cruel.  Yes, older drivers are more likely to injure themselves and others when they get behind the wheel.  But if you take that away, that is really the last lifeline a lot of elderly people have. 

KELLERMAN:  You know, I hate to say it, but almost all my ideas now I think come from “South Park.”  And “South Park” has a great episode about elderly drivers.  And that‘s all I can think of is that episode.  They were wreaking havoc, or wrecking havoc, wreaking havoc every—wherever they go. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  Yes.

KELLERMAN:  Both.  They were doing both.  They were both wrecking and wreaking havoc, and it reeked, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  And I still support it, as I do you.  Max Kellerman. 

KELLERMAN:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Thank you. 

Defending James Frey.  Amazing, only on THE SITUATION. 

Coming up on THE SITUATION, speaking of, the contractor who‘s tearing up your kitchen or your bathroom just might be tearing up your marriage, too.  We‘ll discuss the destructive power of home construction when THE SITUATION rolls on. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

People remodel their homes to improve their lives.  A new kitchen with a Viking stove, or a bigger bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub is supposed to make you happier.  My next guest says the process of remodeling can actually tear a family apart.  Believe it or not, she‘s a therapist who specializes in helping couples through home expansion. 

Rachel Cox joins me live tonight from Mountain View, California. 

Rachel, thanks for coming on. 

RACHEL COX, THERAPIST:  Sure.  Glad to be here. 

CARLSON:  This does sound like a parody of yuppie suffering.  You know, my Viking range is lighter.  You know, the subzero isn‘t big enough.  I mean, is this real?

COX:  This is absolutely real.  And most people who have been through a renovation recognize that it is very difficult on the relationships. 

CARLSON:  You make the point that typically it breaks down—it sort of cleaves the marriage in half, where you know, one spouse oversees the construction and the other spouse complains about the expense involved.  Usually it‘s the man who complains, the woman oversees. 

COX:  Well, invariably, someone, one of the pair usually has to manage the project, and it‘s usually the person who has more time on their hands.  Sometimes that‘s the man, but oftentimes it‘s the woman. 

And so it‘s stuck between being able to manage the project, still be in partnership with your partner, having him or her not be that involved with the decision-making process.  Tension builds, tension builds, and then oftentimes there‘s an explosion, and it can be very difficult on a relationship. 

CARLSON:  So rich people making their houses bigger in order to make their lives happier wind up hurting their own marriages.  I mean, there‘s a deep irony here.  Do the couples perceive that irony?

COX:  Well, you know, I wouldn‘t say that it‘s all about the rich people.

CARLSON:  Right.

COX:  I think that people who come to see me are really concerned about the money part—portion of it.  And so they‘re having to deal with the stresses of using their savings or adding on more debt, via a loan of some sort.  And so tension mounts, because money is an issue.  And so that becomes a big issue.  And often, people don‘t like to have difficult conversations with one another.  We try to avoid them. 

CARLSON:  Right, that‘s true.  But maybe—maybe—I mean, has anybody ever suggested that maybe people who can‘t afford it don‘t need to build a 3,000 square-foot great room?  I mean, maybe that‘s the solution.

COX:  Well, that is a solution.  But even people who are going through a small remodel say their bathrooms are falling apart and they need to—they need to remodel.  It‘s not necessarily about, you know, big wants, although that‘s part of it.  That can certainly be part of it. 

And the money issue does come into play, because it sets some limits for people.  And so when you‘re sort of bouncing against your limits, and money causes that, it causes—it causes a great deal of stress. 

CARLSON:  Have you ever seen marriages fall apart over this?

COX:  Marriages do sometimes fall apart.  But mainly they go through a really rough period.  And it can be a really creative process, remodeling your house.  And to be able to better communicate, to be able to get through those difficult conversations, essentially can be a really rewarding process, too.  So in some ways it can help build a marriage. 

CARLSON:  So if you were to give a single piece of advice for those at home considering getting the Viking range and the subzero fridge and the Jacuzzi tub, what would it be?

COX:  It would be to really tolerate some difficult conversations with your spouse and with a contractor that you‘re working with and get comfortable being uncomfortable and it being OK to not get—getting every single thing you want. 

CARLSON:  And just in one sentence, do you think it‘s—a lot of contractors are the root of basically all problems in the world.  Do you think it‘s fair to blame most of this on the contractors?

COX:  I think the contractors do take the brunt of it, and it‘s not necessarily always their fault.  I think it‘s—although there can be—it can be their fault sometimes.  But oftentimes, they get the brunt of it when it really has to do with the relationship that may or may not be straight on.  So...

CARLSON:  Yes.  I believe that.  Rachel Cox from Mountain View, California. 

COX:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Helping people remodel. 

Thanks a lot, Rachel.  I appreciate it. 

COX:  Sure.  Thanks, Tucker. 

Still ahead on THE SITUATION, sure, Samuel Alito was on Capitol Hill vying to become the next justice on the Supreme Court.  But the truly important news of the day was happening 2,500 miles away in Hollywood.  There‘s a huge development for Brad and Angelina, sitting on “The Cutting Room Floor” next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for “The Cutting Room Floor.”  Look who‘s here.  That‘s right, baby.  Willie Geist.

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER:  Let‘s get right to it tonight, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Thank you, Willie.

Well, you‘ll forgive us for waiting this long to bring you not simply the most important story of the day but perhaps the most important story in a generation.

GEIST:  True.

CARLSON:  Angelina Jolie is pregnant with Brad Pitt‘s child.  I‘ll give you a minute to digest that.  The couple confirmed the news first reported by “People” magazine today.  The 42-year-old Pitt, of course, dumped Jennifer Aniston for Jolie last year. 

GEIST:  Tucker, you and I in the minority in this office and probably in the country.  We fall in Team Camp Aniston. 

CARLSON:  I totally agree.  I totally agree.  Angelina Jolie seems like she cries a lot, which puts me off. 

GEIST:  They‘ll be crying simultaneously.

CARLSON:  Like her babies.

They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.  Well, the Castaways Hotel happened in Vegas in 1955.  It‘s definitely not staying there.  The 19-story, 440-room casino and hotel was demolished in spectacular fashion today.  It had been closed for the past two years after the owners went bankrupt.  The Castaways was originally known as the Showboat. 

GEIST:  Tucker, that is a textbook implosion.  I want to remind our viewers how not to implode a building.  Want to take you back to December 3.  Here it is.

CARLSON:  There it is.

GEIST:  Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the Zip Feed Mills Tower.  Now it‘s the leaning tower of Sioux Falls. 

CARLSON:  That‘s so sad.

Well, car chases.  Well, this next one is pretty tame, but you know there‘s a reason we‘re showing it. 

Police in Shelbyville, Tennessee, thought they were going after a drunk driver weaving through traffic the other night.  Well, if the driver was drunk he was drunk on Kool-Aid or Sunny D.  It was a 7-year-old kid behind the wheel of his parents‘ pickup.  Police say he narrowly avoided head-on collisions before safely returning that car home.

GEIST:  And Tucker, this was reckless.  I will grant you that.  But let‘s take another look at the videotape here.  You remember the rules of the road?  Check the turn signal.  There it is.  And he had his seatbelt on. 

Also, police charged him with driving without a license.  Don‘t we hold that truth to be self-evident?

CARLSON:  Yes, we do.  He was whacked out on tang.  Take it to the streets.  Willie Geist.

GEIST:  All right, Tucker.  See you tomorrow.

CARLSON:  That‘s it for THE SITUATION.  Thanks a lot for tuning in. 

Keith Olbermann is next.  Have a great night. 

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

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