Guest: Jeb McMahon, H. Alexander Robinson, Michael Jacobson
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”: That is all the time we have. THE SITUATION with Tucker Carlson starts right now.
Hey, Tucker, what‘s the situation, buddy?
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Many situations tonight, Joe. Thank you.
And thank you all at home for tuning in.
SCARBOROUGH: Thank you.
CARLSON: We always appreciate it.
Tonight, Osama bin Laden threatens to attack the United States with more attacks. He also offers up a truce. What exactly is he talking about and who is he talking to? We‘ll bring you details on the tape that has the whole world wondering.
Also, should—should manufacturers be allowed to market sugary cereal to kids? Not according to one advocacy group that‘s planning to sue cereal makers. Grab a bowl of Trix and watch an interview with a man who says your kids don‘t have a right to a sweet breakfast.
Also, the feds watching what you look at online. We‘ll tell you why the Justice Department is trying to force Google to divulge what you‘ve been searching for lately. If you‘ve got reason to worry, and some of you do, keep watching.
We begin tonight with the latest on American hostage Jill Carroll, who remains in captivity in Iraq. NBC News has learned that the Revenge Brigade, the group reportedly holding the freelance reporter captive, is a new faction that broke away from al Qaeda about a month ago. The group split off because it wants to pursue a more Iraqi nationalist agenda, opposing al Qaeda‘s foreign leadership and its religious goals.
For more on Carroll‘s situation, including a plea from her mother, we go now to NBC‘s Preston Mendenhall, who‘s reporting tonight from Baghdad—Preston.
PRESTON MENDENHALL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Tucker, good evening.
Al-Jazeera broadcast more video of Jill Carroll today from that same tape it received two days ago. And just like in that video, today‘s video of Jill Carroll was silent; however, very ominously, three masked gunmen stood over here while she was apparently kneeling on the floor. In the video from two days ago, she was picked against a white backdrop, probably, or apparently in that same room.
Now, the new video comes as sources tell us that a very intensive effort is under way to secure her safe release, and also today, Carroll‘s mother renewed the family‘s appeal to the hostage takers.
MARY BETH CARROLL, JILL CARROLL‘S MOTHER: Taking vengeance on my innocent daughter, who loves Iraq and its people, will not create justice.
MENDENHALL: Now, in related news the Iraqi government has requested that the U.S. free some of the eight women prisoners the U.S. is holding in Iraq. That is the key demand of the abductors of Jill Carroll who have threatened to kill her on Friday if that deadline is not met.
However, the request is reportedly not connected to the fate of Jill Carroll, and that is because we understand it was made before the hostage takers made their own demands known. And the U.S. military today said that it is not considering at present any plans for an amnesty for women prisoners.
Now, against the backdrop of this hostage taking was more violence in Baghdad today. And a suicide attack detonated an explosive vest inside a coffee shop this morning in Baghdad. And a few seconds later, just outside, a car bomb exploded. It was a coordinated attack. More than 20 people have been killed. That death toll is expected to rise.
Also north of Baghdad today, army—police recruits, rather, Iraqi police recruits were targeted in an ambush by gunmen and insurgents. More than 30 are believed to have been killed in that attack. It‘s another blow to efforts to build Iraqi‘s own security forces.
Tucker, back to you.
CARLSON: Thanks, Preston.
Of course, we‘ll bring you any news we receive on Jill Carroll‘s condition as soon as we get it.
Meanwhile, it‘s been over a year since we‘ve heard from Osama bin Laden. Today Al Jazeera released an audiotape in which the chief al Qaeda terrorist threatens more attacks within the U.S. while also suggesting some kind of long-term truce. NBC News has confirmed that the voice on the tape is in fact bin Laden‘s. Here‘s an excerpt of it.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
OSAMA BIN LADEN, AL QAEDA LEADER: (speaking foreign language)
GRAPHIC: As for the delay in carrying out similar operations in America, this was not due to failure to break your security measures. Operations are under preparation, and you will see them on your own ground once they are finished. We do not object to a long-term truce with you on the basis of fair conditions that we respect. In this truce, both parties will enjoy security and stability and we will build Iraq and Afghanistan, which were destroyed by the war.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: The Bush administration responded today to the tape by saying, “We do not negotiate with terrorists. We put them out of business.”
So is an attack on U.S. soil imminent? Here now to help us answer that question, among others, MSNBC terrorism analyst, Evan Coleman, joining us tonight live from New York.
Evan, thanks a lot for coming on.
EVAN COLEMAN, MSNBC TERRORISM ANALYST: Thanks for having me.
CARLSON: This seems like a propaganda tape aimed at the U.S. population. Is that what you think it is?
COLEMAN: Yes, I think bin Laden recognizes, from looking at some of the news coming out from within our own country, from the polls that have been taken, that there are—there is at least a small minority of Americans who are not entirely convinced that negotiating with terrorists is wrong and perhaps could be convinced to negotiate with al Qaeda. Or at least to encourage their government to withdraw its forces from the Middle East and accede to some of al Qaeda‘s other principle goals.
I don‘t think that—I don‘t think that Osama bin Laden really believes that this is something that we‘re going to do, but by appealing to that small minority, bin Laden hopes to create internal strive and dissent within our country, trying to turn politics against—politicians against each other. And trying to use politics as a means to bring down America.
It‘s a fairly sophisticated tool, but if you look at the propaganda that comes out from al Qaeda on a regular basis, this hits on some of the same themes that they often hit on. It mentions some of the same players, the same names. It shows that al Qaeda is not quite as rudimentary as we might imagine.
CARLSON: No, and it left out all the stuff about the Jews and the infidels and the crusaders. It‘s definitely more refined than normal.
It also says a lot, I think, about Osama his access, Osama bin Laden‘s access to information. You go through it and there are references to recent opinion polls, to the president‘s Iraq speech, speech about Iraq on the aircraft carrier to Pentagon figures, to Abu Ghraib, to Guantanamo Bay. I mean, this is a guy who‘s reading the newspaper, it looks like.
COLEMAN: Yes, it‘s actually amazing.
Something very interesting happened just the other day. Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden‘s No. 2 man, issued a very special audio recording just solely to respond to the release of a movie here in the United States, titled “Why We Fight,” supposedly an examination of why the United States gets involved in various conflicts.
And for them to know that this movie is being released is amazing, because I wasn‘t even aware that the release date was coming up. These folks pay very close attention to the media. They pay very close attention to what‘s on the minds of Americans. And they‘re trying to read what our intentions are. And they‘re trying to read what our weaknesses are.
And I think bin Laden knows that, whether he‘s planning attacks for us or not, and I‘m certain that he is, he wants to try to appeal to that minority to try to disturb America‘s political stability.
CARLSON: Doesn‘t this suggest, also, though, that Osama bin Laden is not holed up in some cave in the remotest part of Waziristan, but maybe is in a place where he has access to mass media? Maybe he is in Ralpithi (ph), Pakistan, like another al Qaeda leader was.
COLEMAN: That‘s an interesting question you bring up. And think one of the things that we‘re trying to figure out here is why was this audio and not video?
And supposedly, if this was video, I think that would definitely convey that message, that he‘s in an urban area, or that he has close access to an urban area with power, with computer connections, with Internet connections.
This was an audio recording. Let‘s remember that this could have been recorded on audiocassette or via telephone and then transmitted twice or three times before it reached Al Jazeera.
I think your larger point, though, is correct. I think many of us are thinking that bin Laden is located in the cave all by himself, unable to communicate with the outside world. That‘s just not the case.
Never mind this audio recording. There have been others that have been suggesting that bin Laden needs to appear on television to communicate with his followers, to send out coded messages. That‘s bogus. If he‘s able to send an audio recording of his own voice to Al Jazeera to broadcast on live TV, internationally, then he also has the ability to send out covert messages, either through telephones or over the Internet to his followers wherever they are. This is a propaganda machine, and this is a propaganda tape, and that‘s exactly what it should be considered as.
CARLSON: This guy‘s just cannot die soon enough, as far as I‘m concerned.
Jill Carroll, what have we learned about her condition today?
COLEMAN: Unfortunately, not much more. Supposedly, this group, the al-Fa‘ar Brigade (ph), the group that took her, the Revenge Brigade, that took her may or may not have split off from al Qaeda.
One thing is certain. This is an Iraqi group. It‘s a Sunni Iraqi group and it appears to have motives that are not internationalist but are very specific to what‘s going on in Iraq, to Iraqis.
And that is something of a benefit here. We look at this situation and we can hope that this group is going to look a little bit more rationally upon their captive than has al Qaeda or Ansar al-Sunnah.
And of course, we have the fact that a group with the same name yesterday released Bayan Jabr, the interior minister of Iraq‘s sister, after demanding the exact same thing, the release of Iraqi women detainees. So hopefully this will be resolved in a similar way. We don‘t really know right now.
We do know that the “Christian Science Monitor” is going through every effort it could possibly think of to try to recover its personnel. The U.S. government is doing quite a bit. You know, there‘s a lot of efforts being made here. Hopefully, this deadline will pass and nothing will happen, and eventually Jill will be released. But at this point in time not enough is known about her captors or what their true intentions are to really make a firm judgment about that.
CARLSON: But if—but bottom line, if this does turn out to be some sort of group of bandits, whose aim really is financial, not ideological, is it possible that someone would pay them off? And is that allowed? If the “Christian Science Monitor” decided to pay ransom, and again, I am not judging that choice...
CARLSON: ... if that‘s, in fact, the choice being made, would the U.S. government allow that?
COLEMAN: Well, I think we all have to naive to imagine that no ransoms have been paid. I‘m certain that...
CARLSON: Of course they have been paid. We know they‘ve been paid.
COLEMAN: I‘m certain they have been paid, and I‘m certain they‘ve been paid with the knowledge of the U.S. government.
Now, the stated policy of the White House is not to negotiate with terrorists. And very particularly in the case of Jill Carroll, the white house has gone out of it way to make sure people understand it will not negotiate with terrorists.
That being said, I also imagine that the “Christian Science Monitor” will do what is necessary, what it feels necessary to recover Jill. If that means paying a ransom—you know, I think that they value this woman‘s life quite a bit. I don‘t know whether the U.S. government will sanction that, will condone it or even allow it. But certainly, that‘s got to be an option.
And you know, all options are on the table here. If this is a group that‘s not entirely committed to killing her, then I think we‘ve got to—we‘ve got to try to work with them to gain her release. Even if we condemn their methods, even if we condemn what they‘ve done, a young woman‘s life is at stake.
CARLSON: Yes. All right. Evan Coleman, MSNBC terrorism analyst, joining us from New York, thanks.
COLEMAN: Thank you.
CARLSON: A judge in Vermont is under fire tonight for sentencing an admitted child rapist to 60 days in jail. And that‘s it, 60 days in jail for raping a child. Up next, we‘ll tell you about a choir instructor who got no prison time at all after sexually assaulting one of his male students. We‘ll talk to one of his victims when we come back.
Plus, are you having trouble understanding newspaper editorials? Do you find it hard to decipher the latest offer from your credit card company? You‘re not dumb; you‘re just a college student. The sobering new study about the limited intellectual capabilities of kids on campus when THE SITUATION returns.
CARLSON: Still ahead, a former choir teacher and an admitted sex offender gets only probation and community service for assaulting a boy. Outraged? So is my next guest, who was attacked by the same man. You‘ll hear from him next.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
There‘s a disturbing trend developing in America, sex offenders getting off scot-free. In Massachusetts a male teacher got zero jail time after raping a boy. In Vermont, a judge is under fire for sentencing a man to just 60 days in prison for sexually assaulting a girl three times. And in Wisconsin, a former choir instructor named Gary Hoff got three years probation, a $1,000 fine and 30 hours of community service for sexually attacking a 16-year-old boy.
Jeb McMahon was a former student of the choir instructor and he says he, too, was assaulted by him. Jeb McMahon joins us live tonight from Madison, Wisconsin.
Jeb, thanks a lot for coming on.
JEB MCMAHON, VICTIM OF SEXUAL ASSAULT: Yes.
CARLSON: Now, one of the most disturbing things about your story is that you called the superintendent of the school that employed this man, Gary Hoff, and told them what happened to you. What was his response?
MCMAHON: Yes, I called him. He was really discouraging, actually. They were real negative about the whole thing when I shared it...
CARLSON: What did you say when you called?
MCMAHON: I said I had something to report about a former—former teacher, and when I graduated, how long it had been. Those types of things. And he was instantly on me about, you know, make sure you‘re telling the truth. This is slander. You‘re going to wreck somebody‘s career. That kind of thing. And I really told him I didn‘t care, you know, the truth will set me free and I know what the truth is. And I‘m here to say it.
CARLSON: He actually said you‘re going to wreck this man‘s career? He said that?
MCMAHON: Absolutely. It was—my wife was with me, and it was very intimidating.
CARLSON: Do you remember the superintendent‘s name? Do you remember the superintendent‘s name, by the way?
MCMAHON: His name was Gary Rinnick (ph).
CARLSON: Gary Rinnick. Just want to get that out there, so his neighbors know what he said.
Now what do you think of the sentence that this character, Gary Hoff, got?
MCMAHON: I‘m disappointed, you know. I was disappointed. I went and talked to the judge at the hearing. I had that opportunity. And I was very disappointed. I encouraged the judge to set an example and to show the young people out there, that when they do step up, that there‘s people out there supporting them, and the judge being one of them.
And I think, with what the D.A. and the prosecutors and stuff had set forth, I think he did what he could. I think really the people below him are really what failed everybody in this case.
CARLSON: So Gary Hoff molested you, sexually, you say?
CARLSON: Was he known as someone in the school who had an interest in boys?
MCMAHON: I don‘t think, you know, there was anything known, really, per se, out there.
CARLSON: Did you tell anyone at the time?
MCMAHON: I did not tell anyone at the time. It took some years for me to mature and be able to, you know, stand up and speak up and do the right thing. So I did not tell anybody. I didn‘t tell a soul after this incident.
CARLSON: Were you afraid to tell people?
MCMAHON: Yes, I was. I really was. I was scared to—you know, who‘s going to believe me. It`s his word against mine, that type of thing. And it wasn‘t until here about a year ago that I really started really thinking about this and—with my boys—I‘ve got two young boys of my own going through the same school district, you know, to step up and do the right thing and try to protect them so they can enjoy their high school days.
CARLSON: And have you seen Gary Hoff, the molester teacher since?
MCMAHON: Well, I seen him in court that day. He was there. I did run in to him a few days before that, at a local gas station, which was very intimidating. I just simply said hi and walked the other way, but it scares me. I mean, he‘s still out there. Whether he‘s a teacher or not.
CARLSON: Where is he? Where is he now, do you know? Does he still live in your community?
MCMAHON: Yes, I think he still lives in Janesville, Wisconsin.
CARLSON: Is he teaching somewhere?
MCMAHON: No. That was one of the deals on this, that he had to surrender his teaching license. So he will not—no longer teach, but...
CARLSON: I guess it‘s just shocking. I think it‘s shocking, for me, even someone who‘s read a lot of stories about this kind of thing, to think a guy can molest a child or a couple different boys and get off without any jail time at all. Are people in your community outraged by this?
MCMAHON: Well, I really think so. I mean, and that‘s why I‘m here tonight, is to get more people on the bandwagon, you know? I know I‘m outraged and I know the people around me are outraged. And you know, we‘ve got to bring these people accountable.
CARLSON: And one of the reasons they‘re not accountable is because the administrators they work for in these school districts—and I‘ve seen this with my own eyes, up close—do nothing about it because they‘re afraid of liability. So if you could, just one more time for our audience, tell us the name of the superintendent who blew you off when you reported this guy as a child molester.
MCMAHON: Gary Rinnick is the gentleman‘s name.
MCMAHON: And like I said, it was—it was intimidating.
CARLSON: It‘s an outrageous thing. And you‘re a brave man for coming on. Jeb McMahon, thanks a lot for joining us tonight.
MCMAHON: Thank you.
Still to come, did one group—group cross the line by pulling the race card in the debate over gay marriage? I‘ll talk to the head of that group next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Is gay marriage today the same as interracial marriage in the 1960‘s? That is to say, opposed only by bigots? Well, a gay lobby group would have you believe so.
The National Black Justice Coalition came out with a new ad today targeting Supreme Court Clarence Thomas, as well as his wife, Virginia, who the ad takes pains to point out, is white. “Would Thomas have voted against interracial marriage when it came before the high court in 1967?” the ad asks.
What exactly does the race of Clarence Thomas‘ wife have to do with anything? Here to tell us, H. Alexander Robinson. He‘s the executive director of the group sponsoring the ad. He joins us live tonight from Atlanta.
Mr. Roberts—Robinson, thanks for joining us.
H. ALEXANDER ROBINSON, NATIONAL BLACK JUSTICE COALITION: Glad to be here.
CARLSON: My first question is how dare you? How dare you get Clarence Thomas‘ wife involved in this—what—and put her in an ad in a clearly demeaning way as you have? Why would you do something like that?
ROBERTS: Well, I would first challenge the notion that it‘s demeaning. The last time we had a major national debate on the issue of marriage and who would get to decide whose relationships were valid, it really was over the issue of whether or not interracial marriages would be approved. So I believe it‘s entirely appropriate to...
CARLSON: Wait a second. Wait a second. With respect, Mr. Robinson, we‘re not talking about interracial marriages or gay marriages. We‘re talking about a very specific marriage that you have chosen to use as a propaganda tool. And that‘s the marriage of Clarence Thomas to his wife, Virginia.
And I guess I‘d submit to you, his wife, Virginia Thomas, has nothing to do with any of this. She doesn‘t sit on any court. She‘s not involved in this. Why are you bringing her into it? It‘s a pretty low blow, isn‘t it?
ROBINSON: Well, I mean, I don‘t believe it‘s a low blow. I—we didn‘t say anything derogatory about her or their marriage. In fact, Clarence and Virginia Thomas have availed themselves of a privilege of equality that we support fully.
And the notion is to use this opportunity, when the nation‘s attention to focused on the courts, really to demonstrate that, in fact, we have, as a nation, at one point made the mistake of discriminating against individuals, deciding who they might pair with, who they might marry. And we don‘t want to do that and go down that road again.
CARLSON: OK. That is a high minded way of describing something completely different from what you actually did in the ad. The ad asks, “We wonder: if Clarence Thomas had been on the court in 1967 when the question of interracial marriage was debating, how would he have voted?”
That‘s a totally unfair question. Clarence Thomas was 19 years old in 1967. He, incidentally, went to segregated schools. This is a guy who actually did feel the pain of Jim Crow. It‘s completely unfair to ask a dumb hypothetical question about that and somehow tie it to his marriage, which has nothing to do with gay marriage. It‘s just meanness, as you know.
ROBINSON: Well, I don‘t believe it‘s meanness. And I think it‘s a totally fair question, because Judge Thomas, Justice Thomas, has had a life that has been full of contradictions and ironies.
He has opposed affirmative action, opposed racial preferences. Yet if you look at his biography, he‘s been a beneficiary of both. So I think it‘s totally legitimate to say someone who has adhered so closely to conservative ideology to ask the question, given those other contradictions what would his position be?
CARLSON: Nothing you‘ve said—though you‘ve said it in a very polite and well-articulated way, makes any sense at all. May I also say that there‘s a huge difference between the question of interracial marriage and the question gay marriage. Interracial marriage has been around since the beginning of time. People from different ethnic groups have married each other.
Gay marriage, as sanctioned by society, has been around for about 20 minutes. OK? So they are not analogous at all. That‘s not an argument against gay marriage. It‘s only to say gay marriage never existed until recently.
ROBINSON: This is the same argument that was being made about interracial marriages, by the way. If you look back at what the court said, not only was religion used and the idea that the Bible somehow spoke out against a marriage, but...
CARLSON: There‘s interracial marriage all throughout the Bible. I mean, come on.
ROBINSON: It said this is history. But it said it was history. This has all been...
CARLSON: But that‘s an argument made—that‘s an argument made by idiots a long time ago. A real argument is this. Interracial marriages existed for thousands of years ago. We know, because there‘s interracial marriage in the Bible.
Gay marriage, while it might be a great idea, has not existed for thousands of years.
But the point is—again, I get back to my first question. How dare you implicate this man‘s wife in your debate? You know perfectly well that the question of interracial marriage is a hot question, hotly debated within the black community, itself. And a lot of people in the black community don‘t like Clarence Thomas is married to a white woman. You know that to be true. I know it to be true. You‘re holding the man up to ridicule and it‘s unfair.
ROBINSON: Well, I don‘t believe I‘m holding him up for ridicule and I believe that there are other individuals—for example, the president—the chair of the NAACP, Julian Bond, who uses his marriage as an example and his ability to marry his wife in Virginia, as an example of the reason why he is so fully in support of marriage equality for gay and lesbians.
CARLSON: OK. But he is choosing. He is choosing to bring his wife in to the conversation. Clarence Thomas has made no such choice. You‘ve made it for him.
H. Alexander Robinson, executive director of the group in question, thanks for joining us tonight. I appreciate it.
CARLSON: Coming up, on THE SITUATION, we‘ll listen to more of that chilling Osama bin Laden tape. I‘ll tell you why bin Laden is starting to sound a lot like Howard Dean. Confused? I‘ll explain when we come back.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BIN LADEN: (speaking foreign language)
GRAPHICS: The wise ones know that Bush has no plan to achieve his alleged victory in Iraq. If you compare the small number of the dead when Bush made that false and stupid show-like announcement from an aircraft carrier on the end of the major operations, to many times as much as this number of the killed and injured, who fell in the minor operations, you will know the truth in what I am saying, and that Bush and his administration do not have neither the desire nor the will to withdraw from Iraq for their own dubious reasons. Iraq has become a point of attraction and recruitment of qualified resources.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: The war in Iraq is creating more terrorists than it‘s killing. It‘s just a war about oil and Halliburton. Sounds awfully familiar. When did Osama bin Laden start getting talking points from the DNC?
Here to discuss the new bin Laden tape, among other things, from Air America Radio, it‘s Rachel Maddow, shaking her head preemptively. We haven‘t even started talking yet, and already you‘re going like that.
RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO HOST: I was sitting—I read the speech, right. I paid attention to this all day. I was sitting upstairs right outside your office, and I was kind of writing out arguments and things that I wanted to talk about.
And then on the television, in the corner of my eye, there‘s you sitting there, smiling through Joe Scarborough...
MADDOW: ... showing Osama, Howard Dean, Osama, John Kerry, Osama, Ted Kennedy. I‘m honestly mad at you.
CARLSON: Didn‘t it blow your—didn‘t it below your mind?
MADDOW: That‘s your take.
CARLSON: Isn‘t it uncanny? It‘s incredible. Every single talking point. And as I said to Joe, I am in no way comparing the moral—I am not—I am not comparing...
MADDOW: I am not comparing this. He uses talking points from the DNC.
CARLSON: It‘s incredible.
MADDOW: There‘s no comparison.
CARLSON: It‘s incredible. You could go through the whole list. I literally expected him to say Hillary in 2008 in the end. I mean, every single line I‘ve heard it before. Where is he getting this? How does he get the “New York Times” in his cave is my question.
MADDOW: Here‘s my question.
MADDOW: Osama bin Laden, the whole mastermind behind 9/11...
MADDOW: ... the guy who attacked us and killed thousands of Americans, does another videotape, threatens America.
MADDOW: On MSNBC, with Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson, that‘s an occasion to pile on Ted Kennedy. What are you talking about?
CARLSON: It‘s interesting. He doesn‘t actually...
MADDOW: He threatens the American people.
CARLSON: Well, he‘s Osama bin Laden.
CARLSON: He‘s behind 9/11. He‘s a bad guy. We‘re not ignoring that.
MADDOW: Let‘s go get Howard Dean.
CARLSON: The substance of this was not really about his threats. Actually, it was much more complicated than that. I‘ve read, I think, every public communique he‘s come out with, and they‘re always about the crusaders and the Jews and about how Israel is evil and we‘re evil and we‘re going to kill you all.
This was not about that, actually. He was making a political case. You read the whole thing.
CARLSON: It was about how the war in Iraq is doomed because the American people don‘t support it. And the war in Iraq was waged in the first place because the warmongers and Halliburton and the crazed neo-cons were behind it. And they, you know, changed Bush‘s mind and got him to support.
MADDOW: That‘s like...
CARLSON: Do you recognize that argument?
CARLSON: I do.
MADDOW: Listen, first of all, it‘s a direct threat. He‘s saying you have occupied our land, defiled our honor, violated our dignity, blah, blah, blah. We will treat you in the same way.
CARLSON: Yes, but that‘s the boilerplate. He always says that.
MADDOW: He‘s coming out and he‘s threatening the United States.
MADDOW: That‘s the headline today, right? Osama bin Laden threatens the United States. At the same time this is directed to the American people. This isn‘t a speech to George Bush. This is a speech to you and I.
CARLSON: Yes. That‘s the interesting thing.
MADDOW: And so he‘s citing things that are coming up in American politics. Yes, he says things. He criticizes George W. Bush. You guys are interpreting that as Osama criticizes Bush. Ted Kennedy criticizes Bush. Therefore, Osama loves Ted.
CARLSON: No, no, no.
MADDOW: It‘s ridiculous.
I‘m not saying that—I‘m saying he‘s not criticizing Bush. And there‘s nothing wrong with criticizing Bush. I criticize Bush. I‘m saying he‘s criticizing Bush in exactly the same ways, with exactly the same terminology—it‘s literally like he got the blast facts from H.Q.
MADDOW: Well, what about when he says this is not confined to Iraq. Iraq is a point of attraction and recruitment for qualified workers (ph).
MADDOW: This is a global war on terror. This is a war that is for you or for us to win. You need patience to be in this long war that is going to last generations.
CARLSON: Only one of us will win.
MADDOW: He sounds like Ken Mehlman when he‘s saying that. This is ridiculous.
CARLSON: I‘m going to blow by that comment. But I will say—you...
MADDOW: I‘m actively angry that this is being turned into a political attack on Democrats, when Osama bin Laden...
CARLSON: It‘s not a political attack on Democrats. It‘s merely an acknowledgement that Osama is stealing all your best lines. Time to take a new one.
MADDOW: That is absolutely ridiculous.
CARLSON: Sure. It‘s totally true.
MADDOW: What about when he said, “This is going to be a generations long war and we need patience. That‘s George W. Bush.
CARLSON: Yes, it‘s one of the lines Bush uses. That‘s what the appropriate says.
It wasn‘t from top to bottom, however, a recitation of Bush‘s points—it was from top to bottom, read it yourselves, available on the Internet, every—at the end he says, and you‘ve got to read this book “Rogue State” by William Blum, which is his left wing screed against the United States‘ foreign policy, which is not a lightweight book (ph), honestly, in any way.
MADDOW: To look at this speech and say what this is not an occasion to be outraged at Osama and threatening us. But instead, to make political points against Democrats, if you‘re not taking your eye off the ball on this one...
CARLSON: It‘s not that I‘m taking my—and of course I‘m outraged at Osama. And Osama threatens the U.S. is hardly a headline. It‘s background noise. It‘s the boiler plate.
He threatens America by his existence. I just think it‘s uncanny, and I think you should read it. It will change your mind.
Let me get to one quick topic...
MADDOW: I‘m mad at you!
CARLSON: Maybe this will make—maybe this will make you feel better. College students are dumb. According to—true fact.
And I‘m saying this to you because I know you‘re a Rhodes scholar. Not surprised, a Rose scholar. A new study has fond that college students totally unprepared to deal with ordinary life questions, like what does that credit card statement mean, how do you balance your checkbook? How much gas do you have in your car before it goes empty? Things like that. Most people shouldn‘t go to college; they should go to trade school. College is wasted on most students, in my opinion.
MADDOW: But the thing about this story, though, is that college students don‘t know if they have enough gas to get to the gas station. They can‘t read a credit card statement, but they‘re actually better than most American adults. College actually does help. And that‘s the terrifying thing, that we‘re still that bad at it even after going to college. But college students are better off than most Americans.
CARLSON: Well, I would imagine they would be, since they‘re spending 100 percent of their time learning, you‘d think they would be in much better shape. Here‘s my point. Why don‘t we take 80 percent of college students who don‘t really want to be in college in the first place, except to party, and send them on fully paid apprenticeships where they could learn something useful? I wish I had done that.
MADDOW: But you know, I hesitate to take lessen of this as being we need less higher education in this country. I kind of feel like we need kind of a more more. No wonder all our jobs are going to India.
CARLSON: In apprenticeships. I learned more, you know, working at a gas station than I did in college. I hate to admit that.
MADDOW: Fair enough.
CARLSON: Rachel Maddow. I know you‘re going to feel better by next Monday when I see you.
MADDOW: This is the only time I‘ve been actively mad at you. But I‘m mad.
CARLSON: I know that when you spent the weekend meditating upon this, you will come all the way around and you will say, “You know what? I feel better.”
MADDOW: I will guarantee you that won‘t happen.
CARLSON: All right. Stay tuned. Still plenty more ahead tonight on THE SITUATION.
SUNITA SOHONI, SITUATION PRODUCER: Coming up, are Count Chocula and the Lucky Charms leprechaun evil instruments of a vast conspiracy to make your children fat? You‘ll meet a man who thinks so.
CARLSON: I like Lucky Charms. THE SITUATION come back in 60 seconds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody knows about this place. Inside is chocolaty taste.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They found it, my secret cave.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is he going?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let‘s go find out. Look at all the marshmallows.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over there, look, chocolaty cereal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the marshmallows you love, with chocolaty cereal pieces. Chocolate Lucky Charms, with 12 vitamins and minerals, part of a complete breakfast.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: One word, yum. Welcome back. We have a shocking development to report tonight. The companies that make breakfast cereal are targeting—brace yourselves—children with their insidious product. Lucky Charms, it turns out, is not just for senior citizens anymore. Scary but true.
My next guest is the head of a group that plans to sue both Nickelodeon and the Kellogg company because it says they push sugar cereals on kids and thereby contribute to childhood obesity.
Michael Jacobson, a frequent guest, is the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. He joins us live tonight from Washington.
Michael Jacobson, thanks for coming on.
MICHAEL JACOBSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR SCIENCE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: Good evening, Tucker. Thanks for having me.
CARLSON: So this is the breaking news you bring to America, cereal companies target children when they try to sell sugared cereals.
JACOBSON: You have an interesting way of putting it.
CARLSON: Well, I mean, this is a dog bites man story. I mean...
JACOBSON: The news is that food companies spend $10 billion a year, with sophisticated marketing techniques, going after 5-year-old kids. And we‘re saying that when they‘re pushing junky foods, unhealthy foods on little kids, 5-year-olds, that that, under state law, is unfair and deceptive. Deceptive to the kids, because they don‘t understand the difference between a program and an ad, and unfair to the parents, who don‘t need big companies interjecting themselves in what should be parental and family decisions.
CARLSON: Let me just say for the record that Lucky Charms is delicious and as far as I know packed with vitamins and minerals. At least the box says so.
But here‘s the point, and here‘s why your theory falls down, in my opinion. Kids don‘t buy cereal or anything else. Parents do. Parents are responsible for what their kids eat. And they have direct control over what their kids eat for breakfast. That‘s the whole point of being a parent, is to make sure your kids eat the right things. So why are you suing the cereal question or the television network, when it‘s parents?
JACOBSON: Parents certainly have a responsibility, but the advertising industry has something that it calls the nag factor. They know that if you can get a kid to nag their parents time after time after time after time, eventually the parent are going to break down.
But parents have a responsibility, and corporations have responsibilities, also.
CARLSON: Wait, wait.
JACOBSON: Such as not being deceptive...
CARLSON: One second.
JACOBSON: ... not engaging in deceptive and unfair marketing practices.
CARLSON: OK. So you‘re saying that children see these ads and they get so excited, they bother their parents until the parents buy the cereal. And the parents really have no choice, because the kids are so persistent? Is that what you‘re saying? Because if that‘s what you‘re saying, the parents who cave to that kind of pressure are bad parents.
JACOBSON: That‘s really a side point. Yes, parents have responsibility.
CARLSON: Kids don‘t buy cereal, so it‘s the point.
JACOBSON: The central point, Tucker, is this marketing practice unfair or deceptive. The American Psychologists Association believes it is. The Institute of Medicine has—has strongly criticized this kind of marketing, saying it‘s a direct threat to the health of young children.
CARLSON: OK. Here‘s what‘s really going on, is you don‘t—if there is a guilty party in this—and I‘m just assuming you‘re right, that these cereals are actually bad. I found them delicious. I‘m 6‘1”. I grew up eating them. I‘ve done I‘m OK.
JACOBSON: It‘s not just cereal. It‘s hamburgers and French fries and all the garbage.
CARLSON: It‘s all good. But for the sake of argument, I‘m going to agree with you that it‘s bad. It‘s still the parents‘ fault. And you don‘t want to sue the parent for two reasons. One, it would make it obvious that you‘re the bad guy. There goes Jacobson, suing parents again. Right? And two, parents don‘t have the money. And for the greedy trial lawyers to get a payoff, they can‘t sue parents. They‘ve got to sue Kellogg‘s, right?
JACOBSON: Well, we‘ve told Kellogg and Nickelodeon that if we could reach some agreement we‘re not going to ask for one dime from them before we go to court. And we hope they‘ll negotiate.
But it‘s so interesting to hear you, Mr. Conservative Values, not defending family values.
CARLSON: No, but I am defending. First of all...
JACOBSON: You seem to favor allowing industry to spend $10 billion a year to target innocent little kids. It‘s nuts.
CARLSON: You‘ve got—you‘ve got to be kidding. First of all, I don‘t think you ought to let your kids watch the programs where that stuff is advertised. I don‘t let mine watch those programs, ever, and never have.
Two, we control what our kids eat. That‘s why we‘re parents. That‘s why we‘re not nannies, right? That‘s the difference. I‘m for parents. That‘s why I think parents have the power to prevent their kids from eating garbage if they want to—want to enforce that power.
Anyway, Michael Jacobson, thanks for coming on.
JACOBSON: It‘s always a pleasure.
CARLSON: Always a pleasure to debate you. I appreciate it. Thanks.
CARLSON: Coming on THE SITUATION, we know none of you look at porn on the Internet, but if you have a friend who does, tell him to stop using Google for awhile. We‘ll tell you why the government wants to look at your viewing habits when THE SITUATION rolls on.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
Bob Dylan once said, “It pays to know who your friends are, but it also pays to know you ain‘t got no friends.” Joining me now, a great friend of THE SITUATION, “The Outsider.” ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host Max Kellerman joining us live tonight.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO: Actually, Bob Dylan said (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
CARLSON: Very good. Is that what he was saying?
KELLERMAN: I guess.
CARLSON: I couldn‘t even understand it.
First up, how would you feel if you had the feds record every web site you‘ve ever visited? It could happen if the Bush administration has anything to say about.
The Justice Department has subpoenaed Google, asking for a million random web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period. The government says it needs the data to defend the constitutionality of the Online Protection Act, the controversial Internet pornography law that was struck down two years ago by the Supreme Court, on free speech grounds.
KELLERMAN: In fact, Bush made his own constitutionality (ph).
CARLSON: I know. That was my...
KELLERMAN: That might have been a direct quote.
CARLSON: You did Bob Dylan. I did George W. Bush.
It‘s OK. Look, I‘m—I actually do think it‘s worth really trying hard to protect kids from Internet porn, even if it takes passing laws that infringe on the rights of some of us. Because it actually is a big deal. And I‘ve come to that conclusion recently.
There‘s no excuse for this idea, however, for taking a million Google sources, with individual Web addresses, domain names on them, and giving them to the government? I can‘t think of a bigger violation of privacy for some—look, if this would stop, you know, another 9/11 tomorrow, I would be for it. Short of that, I‘m totally against it.
KELLERMAN: Patriot Act, yea or nay?
CARLSON: It depends what part. It‘s a thousand page act. I mean, you tell me, you know, that it‘s got a lot of elements. And I‘m willing to believe any part of it is a violation of the Constitution. Just give me an example.
KELLERMAN: How about the idea that information obtained by the government in pursuit of terrorists, which—but you find out about other crimes. You can actually go after the people perpetrating those other crimes?
CARLSON: That makes me very uncomfortable.
KELLERMAN: That is the slippery slope of the idea of the Patriot Act.
KELLERMAN: The constitutionality. And you know, here it is. I‘ll play devil‘s advocate here, though. Are you willing to sacrifice not liberty for safety, but liberty for the safety of your children? Because that‘s what it comes down to.
CARLSON: In certain circumstances. However, this is not a circumstance in which liberty for my children is guaranteed. It‘s only a circumstance in which a violation of my liberty is guaranteed.
KELLERMAN: You‘re never going to guarantee the liberty.
CARLSON: The government has no compelling reason, at least in this case, to look at what I‘m looking at on Google. That‘s actually unbelievable they would even suggest that.
KELLERMAN: It is. And again, I‘m playing the devil‘s advocate here. However, if you prevent child molestation by shutting down pornographic web sites that feature children, then you are. There‘s no guarantee, but you‘re certainly...
CARLSON: And if that‘s what—if that‘s what this was doing directly, possibly, conceivably I‘d be for it, but it‘s not.
KELLERMAN: No. This is where the argument falls down, Tucker. The argument falls down because those children grow up to be us, and their civil liberties are the ones upon—they are the ones upon whose civil liberties will be trodden, eventually.
CARLSON: You may be right.
OK. Now to the news of the day. The good news, chivalry not dead, the bad news, upholding chivalry will cost you, at least if you‘re the New York Nicks or Antonio Davis.
The National Basketball Association suspended Davis for five games today for entering the stands during last night‘s game to confront a fan he thought was harassing his wife. That fan, Michael Axelrod, says he‘s planning to sue Davis and his wife for more than a million bucks. I hope he fails.
I don‘t know exactly what happened in the stands, but Antonio Davis was not only within his rights, he is a good man for going and pounding on anybody who would bother his wife. That is rule No. 1 of husbandhood, protect your wife. He did it. I salute him.
KELLERMAN: First of all, we‘re listening to “Basketball,” which as you know is a very important song in the history of hip-hop by Kurtis Blow.
CARLSON: Right off my iPod.
KELLERMAN: Which I love, by the way. Great choice.
Antonio Davis doing this, it‘s in the framework of Ron Artest going into the stands last year. And after that, where Artest goes into the stands, and assaults or confronts a fan, the NBC laid down the law. You cannot, for any reason, go into the stands at all.
Now, your wife is being threatened, I agree. Go get them. Your kid, your second cousin is being threatened, somebody in your family is being threatened, you go handle your business.
However, in Antonio Davis‘ case, and this is devil‘s advocate‘s position, because I agree with you, his wife has gotten into it before. Latrell Sprewell, another troubled player, in a playoff game, she was jawing and screaming. He didn‘t even know who she was.
If you know that you have a family member who can cause some problems and stir it up a little bit, maybe you don‘t seat her in general population without security around her.
CARLSON: OK. Maybe you don‘t. Maybe he‘s got a mouthy wife. He‘s not the only one. But so what? Wives are hard to control. They sit where they want to sit at the end of the day, as you know, as a married man. It‘s still no excuse for harassing the man‘s wife. And I was on his side for spanking anyone who tries.
KELLERMAN: White flag, Tucker. I surrender.
CARLSON: Max Kellerman, have a great weekend.
KELLERMAN: You, too.
CARLSON: Still ahead on THE SITUATION, if you felt the earth moving under your feet today, it was because of the seismic news coming from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Are they having twins? Are they breaking up? There‘s only one place to find out. It is, of course on “The Cutting Room Floor.”
CARLSON: OK, kids. Guess who‘s here? Mr. Geist. Willie Geist.
WILLIE GEIST, SITUATION PRODUCER: Hello, Tucker. Rachel‘s really mad at you about the bin Laden thing.
GEIST: She‘s waiting in the parking lot with brass knuckles. You‘re in trouble. I‘ll walk out with you.
CARLSON: It‘s coming. I know Rachel will (ph).
Well, in a breaking news story, surprisingly not first reported by “Us Weekly,” a judge has given his blessing to the legal fusion of the Jolie and Pitt names and, in fact, the dynasties. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt successfully petitioned a California court to allow Jolie‘s adopted kids to use the hyphenated name Jolie-Pitt. Pitt intends to become the adoptive father of Jolie‘s 4-year-old son, Maddox, and 1-year-old daughter, Zahara.
GEIST: Tucker, this is huge. We have not seen a merger of Hollywood names this big since a kid names Daryl Hall ran into a guy named Johnny Oates. The beautiful product, Hall and Oates. This is huge.
CARLSON: Zahara. That‘s up there with Dweezil.
GEIST: Pitt‘s getting in a little too deep, by the way. You need an exit strategy with her.
CARLSON: Like a midlife crisis, I agree.
No one likes going to the dentist, but think how much better it would be if instead of a toothbrush, you got a hooker at the end of your visit. You just might if you visit Dr. Gary Kimmel in Chicago. He was indicted yesterday on charges he financed a prostitution ring. Authorities say Kimmel provided condominiums and cars for pimps and their hookers. Here‘s the sweet part of the story. He offered free dental work to the prostitutes.
GEIST: And the crime is what, exactly? No good deed goes unpunished. You try to help a few hookers with their teeth, and they throw you in the clink. That‘s not right.
CARLSON: Also, four out of five dentists approve.
GEIST: That‘s right. This has to be the first prostitution ring with a dental plan.
Is it me, or does this sound like a bad deal? Give up your tickets to Sunday‘s AFC championship game between the Broncos and the Steelers in exchange for never being able to have children. That‘s what one Colorado doctor is offering. He‘s so desperate to go to the big game, he‘ll give a free vasectomy to anyone who will give up two tickets. The package, valued at nearly $700, includes pre- and post-op visits.
GEIST: Wow. So let me get this straight, Tucker. I hand you my ticket to a once-in-a-lifetime football game. In return, you rob me of my ability to procreate.
CARLSON: That‘s it.
GEIST: Can you throw in a lobotomy to sweeten the deal? This sounds like a lot of fun.
CARLSON: And you neutered me (ph).
GEIST: He has no offers, by the way.
CARLSON: I couldn‘t think—I see why.
GEIST: That‘s true.
CARLSON: Thanks, Willie.
GEIST: All right, Tucker.
CARLSON: That‘s THE SITUATION. We‘ll see you back here Monday night at 11 p.m. Eastern for another fun-filled show. Have a great weekend.
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