updated 1/26/2006 9:28:32 AM ET 2006-01-26T14:28:32

Guests: Dave Swafford, Salima Siler Marriott, Patie Ventre, Bernard-Henri Levy, Michael Feldenkrais

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”:  That‘s all the time we have tonight.  THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON, friends, it starts right now. 

Tucker, what‘s the situation tonight, buddy?

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Thank you, Joe.  And thanks to you at home for sticking with THE SITUATION.  We appreciate it.

We‘ve got an unfolding story going on right now in Central California in the town of Exeter, California.  That‘s near Fresno.  Four people are currently being held hostage in a bank, a Bank of American branch there in Exeter. 

A man apparently around 40 years old walked in today with a briefcase, not knowing what was in it, held them hostage.  They are there right there.  They include the bank manager, a teller and two customers.  Police, of course, are surrounding the bank.  We will bring you updates the moment we get them during our show. 

But first tonight, Democrats are fighting for the right of violent felons to vote, claiming it is the new frontier in civil rights.  Do you want murderers and rapists helping to choose your representatives in Congress?  I‘ll talk to the woman leading that charge.

Also why is the press completely ignoring anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan‘s visit with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez?  Did she really accuse this country of committing terrorism against the world?  We‘ll bring you the full details. 

Plus, has “American Idol” finally gone too far?  The latest controversy involving loud-mouth and foreigner Simon Cowell.  Just a few minutes. 

We begin tonight with the story of an American hero.  Last week, Dave Swafford was told by his 15-year-old daughter that a teacher at school had touched her inappropriately.  The 42-year-old Florida man did what any right-minded parent would do, he went to the school to confront the alleged child molester and he punched him in the face, as it happened, in front of a classroom full of students. 

Swafford was immediately arrested and charged with felony battery. 

The accused molester, meanwhile, has yet to be arrested. 

Here to tell us what happened and why, the man being hailed as father of the year by a local radio station, Dave Swafford himself.  He joins us tonight live from Tampa, Florida. 

Mr. Swafford, thanks for coming on.

DAVE SWAFFORD, FATHER:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  So what did your daughter tell you about her interaction with this teacher?

SWAFFORD:  That she was trapped in the room.  I really can‘t get into deep details.  But she was—she was violated by the man. 

CARLSON:  She came home after school and told you that right after it happened?

SWAFFORD:  No, sir.  She told my wife that she had a little trouble with the teacher.  And my wife told her to go to the principle.  And the principle called me and said he had trouble with my daughter. 

CARLSON:  Trouble with your daughter?  As if she did something wrong?

SWAFFORD:  Apparently.  So I asked her what she did, and she told me the story.  And of course, they set up a meeting for us.  And the teacher wasn‘t there.  And I wasn‘t real impressed with that, that they weren‘t taking me very seriously. 

So all I did was go to the classroom to ask the teacher to come, you know, to the office a join us in the meeting.  I wanted to confront him in front of my daughter, see what was up.  And he snickered at me and you know. 

CARLSON:  What do you mean snickered at you?  What did he say?

SWAFFORD:  He knew who I was and he knew why I was there.  And he leaned back in his chair and snickered.  And as a father, I was a little upset anyway.  And when he gave me that remark, it just kind of set me off. 

It shouldn‘t have happened in front of children.  I‘m sorry that happened

CARLSON:  So you said, are you coming to the meeting where we can talk about the fact that you allegedly molested my daughter?

SWAFFORD:  Absolutely.

CARLSON:  And he essentially blew me off?

SWAFFORD:  Absolutely.  He absolutely blew me off.  He sat back in his chair and went just like that.  You know, I just—at that time, it kind of broke me.  And...

CARLSON:  So what did you do?

SWAFFORD:  I did what every normal father would do to, you know, protect their children.  I was upset.  My daughter wouldn‘t even come in the room.  She was afraid of the man.  And he made me mad, so and I kind of closed one eye on him. 

CARLSON:  In front of the class?  Did the guy hit you back?

SWAFFORD:  No, sir.  He couldn‘t.  He did get up.  And we walked out of the room.  And he walked into the sheriff‘s office that was on campus.  I walked back to the main office to the meeting.  But I didn‘t realize, you know, because I had my focus on him, I didn‘t realize there were children in the class until, you know, afterwards. 

CARLSON:  So just to back up here for a second, make sure I have the timeline right here, your daughter had complained and alleged that this man touched her inappropriately, molested her. 

SWAFFORD:  Yes, sir.

CARLSON:  And he was still teaching a class, even though they knew the school administrators knew that he had been accused of this crime?

SWAFFORD:  Absolutely.  They knew for at least 24 hours.  And I was very upset that he wasn‘t in the office, that he was in a classroom to begin with.  And I just wanted him to come down there and be in the meeting with everybody else, because I wanted to know, you know.  If you didn‘t do something, why wouldn‘t you want to, you know, defend yourself?  And he wasn‘t interested in what we had to say, so I made him interested. 

CARLSON:  It sounds like you did.  And when you say you closed one eye, you closed one of his eyes?

SWAFFORD:  Yes, sir. 

CARLSON:  So then what happened?

SWAFFORD:  After he got up off the floor, I said, “Let‘s go.”  And he followed me out, and we went straight to the office.  And he turned the other direction and went to the police station that‘s on the school premises.  And of course, they were friends.  And he ran over there and arrested me. 

So apparently, they didn‘t believe my daughter.  And of course, they believed him right away.  And I went to jail, and he‘s still getting paid by the state to be a school teacher. 

CARLSON:  Is he in the union?

SWAFFORD:  Oh, no, he never came to the meeting.  That was the only words I got to say to the guy.  They hauled me off to jail.  My wife said that they really never had a meeting, that she wrote a report to the police.  They said they‘d look into it.  And so far, that was, you know, all that‘s been done. 

CARLSON:  What do you face now?

SWAFFORD:  What do I face?

CARLSON:  Yes.  What have you been charged with?

SWAFFORD:  I‘ve been charged with felony battery.  I didn‘t know that, YOU KNOW, he was an officer of the state.  It‘s kind of like hitting a police officer.  I probably shouldn‘t have done it.

CARLSON:  A police officer?  The guy‘s like an assistant teacher at some school who is accused of molestation.  He‘s the same as a cop now?

SWAFFORD:  Well, that‘s what they say.  They say that, you know, it‘s like hitting an officer.  So you know, personally, I don‘t—I don‘t care what they do to me.  I‘m not interested in that.  All I care about is that he‘s no longer teaching school and class now. 

CARLSON:  What‘s his name, by the way?

SWAFFORD:  Mr. Mathis.  Cornell Mathis (ph).

CARLSON:  Deon Mathis.  All right.  I just want to get that out.  Mr.  Swafford, Dave Swafford, I hope you beat this.  I think you did what any decent man would have done.  And I appreciate your coming on. 

SWAFFORD:  Well, you know, I just think that parents need to, you know, start waking up.  Because we send our kids to school.  And that‘s the only place we can‘t protect them.  Any place else we can protect them.  And if we can‘t get them protected at school, then I‘m just going to keep my daughter at home. 

CARLSON:  Amen.  All right.  Dave Swafford, joining us tonight from Florida.  Good for you. 

SWAFFORD:  Thank you, sir.

CARLSON:  On now to a remarkable story from the state of Maryland.  Democrats there are pushing a bill that would give violent felons, murderers and rapists, their voting rights, directly from jail to the ballot box.  They claim that current law disproportionately disenfranchises African-Americans.

Maryland state delegate Salima Siler Marriott is leading the charge for this controversial bill.  She joins us live tonight from Baltimore. 

Ms. Marriott, thanks a lot for coming on. 

SALIMA SILER MARRIOTT, MARYLAND STATE DELEGATE:  You‘re quite welcome. 

CARLSON:  Now why would we, as citizens, as non-felon citizens, want felons helping to pick our representatives.  If you‘re a convicted felony, convicted of a violent crime, you have bad judgment.  Why do we want people with that judgment picking our representatives.

MARRIOTT:  Citizens around the country have this policy.  Maryland is unique in not having it.  And so there is much unevenness.  And as a result, we are—do not really have a true democracy.  And other nations, democratic nations, this would not even be an issue.  It is only in America that this is an issue.  And it‘s only an issue in some states. 

CARLSON:  It‘s an issue in some states, that‘s exactly right.  But you haven‘t addressed my question, which is if we want the best government we can get, why we would allow people with demonstrably terrible judgment to pick our representatives?

MARRIOTT:  These individuals are citizens.  I represent large numbers of them.  And to the extent that they are disenfranchised as citizens in my district, I am disenfranchised as a legislator. 

CARLSON:  Well, wait a second.  These are people who disenfranchised themselves by committing violent felonies, by raping other people and murdering other people or robbing people at gunpoint.  I mean nobody disenfranchised them; they did it. 

MARRIOTT:  The point is—this—we have no right to enhance the sentencing of the judiciary as legislators.  When the judge does the sentencing, that‘s how individuals should be sentenced for the offense that they have committed. 

CARLSON:  Wait a second.

MARRIOTT:  Add-ons are not democratic; they‘re not just. 

CARLSON:  We have all kinds of rules...

MARRIOTT:  And my proposal is to check—we have all kinds of rules that are not fair. 

CARLSON:  Well, sure.  I mean, children can‘t vote.  People who are non compas menace (ph) can‘t vote.  People in comas can‘t vote.  I think they do when they vote Democrat a lot of the time in some states.  But they‘re not allowed to.

MARRIOTT:  And this is not a partisan issue.

CARLSON:  Well, of course, it is.  You never heard a Republican pushing for felons voting, because everybody knows that felons vote Democrat.  You know that that‘s true. 

MARRIOTT:  Well, there are—in those states where felons have the right to vote, they happen not to be Democratic states, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania. 

CARLSON:  OK.  There are only—OK, there are only two states, I think, where people in prison have the right to vote, and they are Maine and Vermont.  But that‘s...

MARRIOTT:  Neither are Democratic states. 

CARLSON:  Yes, they are, actually.  But I‘m not sure that that‘s relevant.  Look....

MARRIOTT:  This is not a Democratic issue.  This is an issue of Democratic, small “d” principles. 

CARLSON:  OK.

MARRIOTT:  This is an issue that I think is so important this year as we do celebrate 40 years of the Voting Rights Act. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Then if it‘s an issue of principle, and I‘ll take you at your word that for you it is an issue of principle, then I bet you‘re pretty anxious to restore the right of convicted felons to own firearms, because that is another right guaranteed under the Constitution?

MARRIOTT:  That is not what we‘re talking about here. 

CARLSON:  Why not?  Hold on, why not?  If you‘re going to give felons the right to do something as important as vote for president, or members of Congress.  And then you‘re going to tell me in the same breath that they‘re not responsible enough to carry guns?  How does that work?

MARRIOTT:  I didn‘t say that.  I said that this is not the issue that we‘re seeing up here.  The voting rights is the most protective right of all rights. 

CARLSON:  Do you think convicted felons are responsible enough to carry firearms?

MARRIOTT:  I believe that when a person has completed their period of incarceration, which a judge made a decision about, that they should be able to participate in our democracy.  Not only is it a right, but it is also a responsibility. 

CARLSON:  OK.

MARRIOTT:  and they should accept this responsibility.  And people who have committed offenses are much more than the offense than they have committed. 

CARLSON:  OK, Mrs. Marriott.  But can I just get you to answer...

MARRIOTT:  Many are parents and they should be a model for their children. 

CARLSON:  I want to get you to answer this one quick question.  Do you think convicted felons are responsible enough to carry firearms?  They‘re not allowed to now, as you know.  And they‘re not allowed to vote in a lot of places.  You‘re saying they‘re responsible enough to vote?  Do you think they‘re responsible enough to have firearms?

MARRIOTT:  I resent that idea that you are making that kind of comparison. 

CARLSON:  Why do you resent it?  It‘s a perfectly obvious and logical question that I don‘t know why you don‘t want to answer it. 

MARRIOTT:  We—the right to vote is an empowerment.  The carrying of a firearm by whoever carries it is something to do harm to other individuals. 

CARLSON:  OK.

MARRIOTT:  That‘s not what voting is about. 

CARLSON:  OK.  So they can handle the voting, as long as they vote Democratic, but they can‘t handle the gun.  I knew you were going to say that, but I just wanted to check anyway. 

Salima Siler Marriott, thanks a lot for coming on.  We appreciate it.

Still to come, relations between the United States and France couldn‘t be more tense.  But after a long and exhaustive search, we have found one of the few Frenchman in the world who likes the U.S., and he‘s thoughtful.  He‘s written a book about us.  We‘ll talk to him in just a minute. 

               

Plus, the unbelievable story of Doris Kerchen, the “Playboy” pin-up who was deported because she‘s an illegal alien.  Should she be allowed back into the U.S. because of her amazing backside?  That‘s what her lawyer says.  I‘ll cross examine him when THE SITUATION continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  The French couture shows wrapped up today, and while American icon, Madonna, made the rounds in Paris, a famous French man is making his way around here in America.  Bernard-Henri Levy is a philosopher, journalist and author of 30 books.  A very famous man in France and now in this country.

In his new book, “American Vertigo,” he reflects on his trip across America following the footsteps of another famous Frenchman, Alexis de Toqueville.  Mr. Levy joins us tonight in the studio, live.

Welcome.

BERNARD HENRY LEVY, AUTHOR, “AMERICAN VERTIGO”:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  You like America?

LEVY:  Of course.  There are some Frenchmen who like America, fortunately.  There are also some American men who love France. 

CARLSON:  And I‘m one of them.  Absolutely. 

LEVY:  And you are a lot in America.  I can tell you one thing.  I met hundreds of people in this country, maybe more than hundreds.  I never met one single man or woman looking down at me because I was French. 

CARLSON:  I absolutely believe that. 

LEVY:  It‘s religion.  It‘s absurd.  It‘s a myth.  The idea of America being anti-French is a myth. 

CARLSON:  Well, the food is excellent, you love dogs.  What‘s not to like? 

Foreigners often have a clearer view of things.  They see things we can‘t see.  What‘s the average American like?  What does the average American want?

LEVY:  An optimist. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

LEVY:  Real vitality.  Keep going, going forward.  This is what impressed me most.

I‘m coming from a country.  I love France.  But France has a tendency to go to the past, to look backward, to look to its own roots, if I dare say.  In America, it is something else.  The feeling of the old pioneer spirit which continues.  Sometimes it fails in unexpected fields (ph), but it continues.  And I met so many people who taught me so much about that, optimism, taste of life, wanting to make it. 

CARLSON:  How do the French really feel about the United States?  Do they hate us?

LEVY:  No, you cannot say the French hate you. 

CARLSON:  Right.

LEVY:  Of course not.  You have some French who hate you.  You have some French who like America.  We have a lot to believe to know to remember that for example, you liberated us in 1944. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

LEVY:  We are very big number to know that this is a great democratic country with problems.  For example, you have some French, and I am among them.  I think that death penalty, for example, is not good. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

LEVY:  It‘s even a shame, in my opinion.  But I don‘t put the blame on America as itself.  America is a great country and a great democracy.  And we are so...

CARLSON:  France and America seem to have more in common than people acknowledge.  Both countries are proud of their own cultures.  Both countries are self-confident and like themselves, in contrast to the British, who clearly hate themselves, and the Germans, who do, too, for some reason, I think. 

LEVY:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

CARLSON:  yes.

LEVY:  Right.  And this might be one of the reasons of the conflict.  When you have two nations who pretend to universalism who think that their culture has it be spread everywhere.

CARLSON:  Yes.

LEVY:  It‘s difficult to have two.  Which one?  So you are a conflict. 

This is one of the roots of the quarrel between our countries. 

CARLSON:  It‘s an insult, though, in America to accuse someone of identifying too much with Europe.  John Kerry during the last presidential election was accused of identifying with France.  Did he look French to you?

LEVY:  I‘ll tell you a story.  I was there at a big tour, Las Vegas, two days in a plane.  Every single journalist in the plain had his interview with John Kerry with John Kerry.  I had no interview. 

One day, no interview.  Second day, I began to be surprised.  I came again and again to the press box who made the barrier.  He always told me, not candidate is sleeping.  Come back in one hour.  I‘d come back at the end of one hour, the candidate is sleeping.  At the end, I understand.  And I had a journalist, an American journalist near me on the seat near mine.  He told me, “He will not receive you.  You are French.  He cannot do it.” 

Then I told to the French attache, I told him, “Listen, we are going to make a deal.  If the candidate receive me, I will not tell what he told me before days and days.  Don‘t worry I‘m working—I‘m writing a month in months.  If he does not meet me, I swear you that if he‘s elected in a few days, I will tell all the world that the new president of America is sleeping all day.  Then he received me. 

CARLSON:  Blackmailing John Kerry.  And it took a lot of time, but quickly tell me... 

LEVY:  Democratic blackmail. 

CARLSON:  In a nice way.  It‘s not shameful.  What‘s your favorite place in America you went to?

LEVY:  So many places, you know.  Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Savanna. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

LEVY:  Such a beautiful city.  All the cities where you have the feeling that the people love their places. 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

LEVY:  Love their city.  Support, et cetera.  I love them all.  Those places which I liked less are those places where you have the feeling that the people don‘t care, really. 

CARLSON:  Right.

LEVY:  Detroit. 

CARLSON:  They just move there.  Right.  Exactly.  You have excellent taste.  That‘s a great book.  If you haven‘t read it serialized in the “Atlantic Monthly,” you should buy it.  “American Vertigo,” Bernard-Henri Levy. 

LEVY:  It‘s something else.  I don‘t think most it was stem cell.  The book...

CARLSON:  Multiplied. 

LEVY:  Of course. 

CARLSON:  Thank you. 

LEVY:  Thank you.  Bye-bye.

CARLSON:  Thanks.

Up next, you won‘t believe which hostile nation Cindy Sheehan has taken her anti-American message to and who she plans to meet with later this week.  We‘ll tell you when THE SITUATION returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Here‘s a believe it or not story.  Talented foreigners around the world are flashing their skills to get into this country, of course.  But very few have the assets of Argentine bombshell Dorismar.  The former “Playboy” playmate was rounded up by immigration authorities and deported with her husband on January 5 after living illegally in Miami for five years. 

Now her attorney is trying to get the calendar pinup back into this country by classifying her as, quote, “an alien of extraordinary ability.” 

Joining us from Miami tonight on this case is Dorismar‘s attorney, Michael Feldenkrais.  Michael, thanks a lot for joining us.

MICHAEL FELDENKRAIS, DORISMAR‘S ATTORNEY:  A pleasure to be here, Tucker.

CARLSON:  What exactly is Dorismar‘s extraordinary ability?

FELDENKRAIS:  Well, the INS has already considered her as an extraordinary ability, and that‘s probably her looks, her singing abilities, and her looks, I guess. 

CARLSON:  You can‘t see the screen, but we unfortunately have—we‘ve blotted out her extraordinary ability that you‘re talking about.  And that‘s her rear end, of course.  She was named by “Mirror” magazine as a woman who possessed one of the top 25 rear ends in all of entertainment.  You‘re saying that because this girl has a cute butt, she should be a U.S.  citizen?

FELDENKRAIS:  Well, not necessarily U.S. citizen.  But she should be allowed to be able to work in this country.  She should be allowed to come in and do her performances, do whatever it is that she needs to do to proceed with her continued dream of becoming a, quote unquote, supermodel and so on and so forth.  Absolutely.  She should have the right to work, come in, maybe even leave, go in and out of the country.  Absolutely.

CARLSON:  So that—you think that that‘s a valid criterion for entry into the country, having an extraordinary body, having a cute butt.  That‘s sort of—you know, all the girls with the dumpy butts don‘t get in.  But the ones with the cute ones do.

FELDENKRAIS:  In reality it‘s not a matter of her having a cute butt and somebody having a bad butt.  But the reality is there is a classification for people who have risen to the level where she has in the scenario of...

CARLSON:  Risen to the level.  She stars in “Latinas gone Crazy.”  Now, no offense.  I haven‘t actually seen the video.  But I mean, it‘s not like—I mean, she‘s not Barbra Streisand.  You know what I mean?  “Latinas Gone Crazy.”  Do we need more “Latinas Gone Crazy” actresses in this nation, truly? 

FELDENKRAIS:  Well, I don‘t know if we need them or we don‘t need them.  But the reality is that she is—that‘s her job.  That is our job like my job is to be an attorney.  Your job is to be—and each one of us has our own abilities.  Her ability is to become a model that shows what men like to see in magazines like “Playboy” and so on. 

CARLSON:  Do you think—is there a porn shortage in this country, do you think?  I mean, is there a lack of homegrown porn actresses?  Is this a crisis?

FELDENKRAIS:  I do not believe it‘s a crisis.  There‘s definitely a lot of talent out there.  And but that doesn‘t stop us from...

CARLSON:  Why should we flood the market with cheap foreign imports, thereby forcing our own porn actresses out of work and oppressing their wages?

FELDENKRAIS:  I don‘t think we‘re flooding them.  I think one person, two people.  This is not an area where you‘re going to have 200 million people coming in as porn actresses.  But you will have a select few, a very good few, that will be able to do what she does.  And you‘re not necessarily letting the floodgates and allowing half a million people come in just because they have a cute butt.  No.

We are allowing...

CARLSON:  Let me just stop you, because we‘re out of time.  But also just to stand back in awe of you, Michael Feldenkrais.  If I am ever in trouble in the state of Florida, I‘m going to hire you. 

You have cracked not a single smile.  You are arguing with a straight face that your client ought to be allowed into the United States because she has a good body?  You‘re unbelievable.  You‘re a lawyer‘s lawyer, and I appreciate your coming on our show.  Thank you.

FELDENKRAIS:  Thank you for having me.

CARLSON:  Still to come, is it time to tell “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell to shut up?  We‘ll ask “The Outsider” what he thinks of a British music magnate criticizing American kids.  Next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Camping outside President Bush‘s ranch in Texas did not bring an end in the war in Iraq, so activist Cindy Sheehan has now teamed up with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez to protest the United States. 

Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq nearly two years ago, was among the thousands of people who took part in an anti-war, anti-American march in Caracas yesterday. 

Of Chavez, Sheehan says—I‘m quoting now—“I admire him for his resolve against my government and its meddling.”

Joining me now to discuss Sheehan and her ties to the American left, MSNBC political contributor, Flavia Colgan. 

Flavia, I hate to be self righteous, and I don‘t want to be self-righteous...

FLAVIA COLGAN, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR:  Tucker, hold on.

CARLSON:  This is crossing a line, Flavia, to go and denounce your own country with Hugo Chavez.  I genuinely feel bad with Cindy Sheehan that her son was killed.  A lot of women have had their sons killed in Iraq, though.  And none—no others have gone over and posed with this anti-American tyrant.  It‘s, like, outrageous. 

COLGAN:  Tucker, I agree.  It‘s going to take me two seconds to transition.  I mean, you‘ve gone from butts to Bush with, like, a really great, seamless transition. 

CARLSON:  That‘s right.  It‘s a very agile program, THE SITUATION.

COLGAN:  I cannot believe I just followed that segment.  And my two grandmothers are watching at home.  So I just want to let them to know that I apologize.  I had no idea they‘d be exposed to that much Latin booty.  But...

CARLSON:  You know what?  We‘re fighting the fight, though.  The good fight.

COLGAN:  I hear you.  Trying to get homegrown talent.  I understand.

That‘s a noble cause, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Thank you, Flavia.

COLGAN:  Listen, you know, I think I feel the way a lot of Americans feel about this.  When she first came on the scene, you know, it really reminded me of the sacrifice that a lot of women make and mothers and wives and so forth, not just those who fall.  And she really cut through a lot of clutter.  And I thought that her story connected in a visceral way.  And it was very important.  And it got a lot of national attention.  People would be focusing on an issue that‘s very important.

But then my stomach started to turn.  I mean, I don‘t know whether it was the media circus.  I don‘t know whether it was her getting co-opted by groups like ANSWER, who are in favor of the destruction of Israel. 

And now going over, you know, to foreign countries, I mean, I might

have missed the meeting, but is her mission not accomplished yet?  I mean,

isn‘t this a complete distraction?  And doesn‘t this weaken what is a very

important question to be asking, which is what are we doing in Iraq?  Why -

what are these men and women dying for?  How many more will have to die? 

And you know, I put this out to—I have my little team of experts that I consult with.  None of them are pundits.  But a lot of them are guys like Sergeant Joe Duran (ph), who‘s serving our country right now.  And he had this to say to me in an e-mail, which I thought was very interesting. 

He, like me, said that initially he felt when people smeared her...

CARLSON:  OK.

COLGAN:  ... it was like smearing, you know, a mother of any of the fallen soldiers.  And then he said, “But Ms. Sheehan has traded in her once unique voice in return for a larger audience.  Sometimes smaller is bigger.  Hanging with Chavez just stereotypes her.  I thought that her vision was bigger than this.  I am disappointed.” 

CARLSON:  I wonder why he thought her vision was bigger than this.  There was never an indication that it was.  All of us felt sad that her son was killed. 

COLGAN:  Right.

CARLSON:  It‘s horribly sad.  You imagine yourself in her place, those of us who have children. 

However, she never had a vision.  It was almost from the very beginning purely a series of attacks on the U.S. government. 

I want to read you just two quick bites from her latest blog, her latest post on the Internet.  She accuses the United States of committing mass murder on an unprecedented scale around the world.  She comes out against the war in Afghanistan as unjust.  She calls the Pledge of Allegiance a nationalist pledge of allegiance.  And she refers to “The Star Spangled Banner,” our national anthem, as—I‘m quoting now—“a hymn to war.” 

What‘s happening on the left, Flavia, is what happened on the right during the 1990s.  It‘s going insane.  They hate Bush so much that they are finding themselves in bed with dictators like Hugo Chavez and saying things that aren‘t simply critical of this administration, which is totally fair and within bounds, but they‘re anti-American.  And I think it‘s a shame. 

COLGAN:  Tucker, what is so sad about this.  And I do agree with the sergeant‘s words, is that at one point early on maybe people were so desperate to have someone who had a voice that was trying to bring clarity to this.  And maybe it wasn‘t her.

But what makes it so sad is there are important issues to be being discussed right now.  And for her to say things like the Pledge of Allegiance is terrible, or to come out against Afghanistan. 

I mean, look, I and you and a lot of other Americans did not feel that Iraq was a war of choice, that we should be there, but everyone pretty much, except for a very small group, felt that we should go into a country that was funding and supporting those that killed thousands of Americans. 

And I read that blog, you know.  And the only thing I agreed with, the entire piece of it, was that she did point out some of the civilian deaths in Iraq, which I do believe is something that Americans should have to see more of, and the women in Iraq, the mothers in Iraq who do have to cradle, you know, their dead children.  And we don‘t get to talk about those casualties, and I think it‘s important. 

But I think this is a travesty.  It‘s not too late for her to turn this around.  I really would recommend to her that, you know, if she wants to put her efforts towards something, and I know she‘s not going to take counsel from me...

CARLSON:  It is—let me just say...

COLGAN:  ... she should work one thing.  And what is Hugo Chavez? 

What is she doing?

CARLSON:  Also, Hugo Chavez, talking about someone who interferes in the affairs of state of other countries.  This guy is funding terrorist groups in Latin America.  He‘s a bad guy. 

It is too late for her to turn around.  She‘s off my Christmas card lift.  She‘s taken herself off the list of serious people. 

I‘m going to say, if you‘re against Bush, it‘s very important to represent and to formulate, to come up with a responsible alternative to Bush‘s world view, like what‘s the other answer?  And I just don‘t see Democrats doing that.  And they ought to get busy and start doing it. 

COLGAN:  Right.  And look, and a Jack Murtha can do that effectively and have a progressive message. 

CARLSON:  Right.

COLGAN:  But he backs it up with facts and says this is what we should do to bring the troops back home, strategic redeployment.  It is not enough to be against something, you have to create and put out a vision of your own.  And that‘s what the American people want.

CARLSON:  Amen.  They do.  And I hope the left provides it.  Flavia Colgan in Philadelphia tonight.  Thanks a lot, Flavia.

COLGAN:  Thank you, Tucker. 

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

SITUATION. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON (voice-over):  “Idol” talk.

SIMON COWELL, JUDGE, FOX‘S “AMERICAN IDOL”:  You look like the Incredible Hulk‘s wife.

CARLSON:  Are Simon‘s stinging remarks striking a sour note with some viewers?

COWELL:  I‘m just being honest, you know?

CARLSON:  Then, for the woman who has everything, wait until you see why this Valentine‘s treat gives a whole new meaning to the term “rich chocolate.”

Plus, a taxing challenge for Richard Hatch.  Will TV‘s first reality millionaire survive behind bars?

RICHARD HATCH, “SURVIVOR” WINNER:  I don‘t want to.

CARLSON:  And live on our stage, one truly bitching act.

It‘s all ahead on THE SITUATION.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Dorothy Parker, who probably had a martini in her hand at the time, once said, “Wit has truth in it.  Wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words.”  Joining me now for a vigorous SITUATION workout, “The Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host, Max Kellerman. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO:  As usual, a tremendous quote. 

CARLSON:  I didn‘t—I didn‘t pick it, but I do like it. 

KELLERMAN:  Wisecracks.

CARLSON:  Very much.  It‘s a good line.

First up, America‘s public schools are a reliable source of controversy, and this story is no exception.  Five teachers at a California high school refusing to follow a district order to display a rainbow flag poster in their classroom that reads, quote, “This is a safe space to be who you are.”  

In December, the school board approved a policy requiring all teachers to hang that poster in their classrooms in an effort, they said, to protect gay kids from harassment. 

This is a safe place to be who you are.  What a lie.  It is not a safe place to be someone who disagrees with the school policy.  If you are an observant Mormon and you think that homosexuality itself is wrong, that homosexual acts are abhorrent, you are not welcome in that classroom.  This is a total lie, A.  B, it‘s political.  It‘s pushing a political and cultural agenda on the kids.  I‘m totally opposed, not to gay rights, but to hanging these posters in classes. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, no, it doesn‘t—you can think it, so long as you don‘t act on it.  In other words, you can be tolerant and not approve of behavior.  I see two grounds where someone could really object to this. 

One is sexuality doesn‘t belong in the classroom in the first place. 

CARLSON:  Amen.

KELLERMAN:  Two is that it violates their own kind of moral principles.  So let‘s take them one at a time, and they‘re connected, actually.

Sexuality doesn‘t belong in the classroom, and religion doesn‘t either, one would argue, at a public school especially.  There‘s a separation there.  We hear it all the time, the ACLU. 

CARLSON:  Right, yes.

KELLERMAN:  OK.  However, if you were to hang a sign up and said, “This is a safe place to be Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist or to be a Hindu.”  I mean, if this was a safe place to be of a religious or ethnic group, safe.  Not espousing those ideas, but you‘re not going to be harmed here. 

CARLSON:  But there‘s no question of physical harm.  This is a safe place is saying we will tolerate no dissent on the question of whether this is a legitimate lifestyle or not. 

KELLERMAN:  No.

CARLSON:  It is saying you‘re not allowed to disagree.  Why is the school weighing in on this?  This is a parent‘s job. 

KELLERMAN:  You can disagree, just not violently disagree.  But let even take the religious sense of the moral code derived from religion, which you‘re deriving your moral basis from religion, it‘s really just a dogmatic text, not actual empathy. 

But let‘s say, let‘s consider that a moral code that you can get right out of the text of a religious book.  Well, then in that case, you know, you disagree strenuously with a gay lifestyle, but in fact you also think that Jews and Muslims are going to hell if they don‘t accept Jesus.  I mean, let‘s say what it is.  So you, at some level, also object to that lifestyle.  And yet, would it be OK to say that other religions are safe?  Safe. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t know.  You kind of—I must say, you kind of lost me.  I just don‘t think—I think this is a controversial issue about personal behavior that has no place in a classroom where you‘re supposed to teach kids to learn how to read, write and do math problems.  Let parents decide that stuff.  You know what I mean?

KELLERMAN:  Yes.  No, I don‘t think it should be in the classroom either.  But that is the argument.  OK.

CARLSON:  As always, intelligently argued. 

KELLERMAN:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  But totally wrong.

Now to this country‘s latest obsession, “American Idol.”  The contestants on that show will do just about anything for their shot at stardom, including enduring the snickering of Simon Cowell.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

COWELL:  Oh, gosh.  Where do I start?  I mean, I‘m not being rude, but you look like the Incredible Hulk‘s wife. 

Just what we needed, Sylvester Stallone‘s younger sister singing Paula Abdul. 

It was absolutely dreadful. 

What the hell was that?  I have never ever heard that song sound like that in my life. 

The best advice I can give you, Tasha, is to buy a soundproof shower curtain, because that was one of the worst I‘ve heard.

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

CARLSON:  Max, we‘re obviously a nation of masochists.  Why would we sit by and allow this furry foreigner to come and insult us night after night and reward him with good ratings?  Why are we allowing, moreover, a Brit to pick the “American Idol”?  Would they like it if we went over there and picked the next queen?  No.  Why don‘t we deport this guy?  He‘s obnoxious.  He‘s arrogant.  He clearly hates us, and I don‘t like him back.

KELLERMAN:  Ah, but that‘s not really the secret to his success, the insults.  That‘s just superficially, especially early in the show.  Why, the reason Simon Cowell is successful is because he‘s honest.  He tells the truth.  And that‘s what people are responding to. 

By the way, if someone is really good, he also tells them that.  Wow, you were great.  That‘s one of the best I have ever heard.  And wouldn‘t it be nice?  I mean, you see...

CARLSON:  But I don‘t want the truth from him.  I don‘t want the truth.  Look, foreigners ought to be quiet and polite, as far as I‘m concerned.  OK?  This guys shows up in our country and starts, like, you know, “You suck.  You‘re fat.”  Oh, yes?  Well, bam!  You know what I mean?  I don‘t want to hear it.

KELLERMAN:  Well, bam.  Here‘s another $20 million for your next TV deal, because everyone‘s watching. 

CARLSON:  I respect his ratings, I have to say. 

KELLERMAN:  Right now, there are people watching who are going—I‘m looking at two people on TV who are delusional.  This guy with the facial hair and this guy with the bowtie, they really think that looks good?  What‘s the matter with them?  And they‘d like to see someone say that. 

That‘s what people respond to. 

Wouldn‘t you like—so many people walk around delusional about so many things.  It would be nice.  That‘s what people are responding to.  Someone‘s being honest with them.

CARLSON:  Because we‘re too nice.  And in fact, we are masochistic.  I want to go to London and get my own show on the BBC called “The Brits Have Terrible Teeth.”  They don‘t bathe enough.  They‘re lazy, and their food is horrible and see if I get the ratings he does. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, if you tell the—Tucker, why do you think that you‘re as popular as you are?  You tell the truth. 

CARLSON:  OK.  But only in my own country. 

Max Kellerman, thank you, as always. 

Coming up on THE SITUATION, I usually don‘t make demands of our viewers.  But in this case, I have to.  You must stick around to see the amazing phenomenon of canine free style dancing.  We‘ve got a dog and her owner in a live theatrical number, right here in the studio, when THE SITUATION returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  If you haven‘t seen canine freestyle dancing, I think it‘s safe to assume that a lot of you haven‘t seen it, you are in for a treat tonight.  Dogs and their owners dancing together in full costume.  Patie Ventre is the founder of the World Canine Freestyle Organization.  We are honored to have Patty and her appropriately named dog, Dancer, in our studio tonight for a live performance. 

How did you get into canine freestyle dancing. 

PATIE VENTRE, FOUNDER WORLD CANINE FREESTYLE ORGANIZATION:  I was skating.  I was dancing as a child, then a young adult, then I got a dog, it just all comes together. 

CARLSON:  You thought I love it.  I love my dog. 

VENTRE:  There‘s a lot more developments to that.  You don‘t have the whole night. 

CARLSON:  Dancer is a border collie which means she has a higher IQ than some of my college roommates.  They‘re smart dogs.

VENTRE:  She is extremely smart.  She‘s on verbal commands, mostly. 

She has a vocabulary of 500 words.  She just found the treats over there. 

CARLSON:  Can we watch you dance with Dancer? 

VENTRE:  Yes, you can.  She‘s wearing a bow tie to match you. 

CARLSON:  Without further ado, Patty Ventre and Dancer. 

VENTRE:  Are you ready dancer. 

CARLSON:  Outstanding. 

VENTRE:  Good job, dancer. 

CARLSON:  Does Dancer like Barry White.  Everybody likes Barry White. 

That was tremendous.  That was excellent. 

VENTRE:  You didn‘t expect all of that. 

CARLSON:  I was very impressed.  How long did it take to you teach her to do that?

VENTRE:  I‘ve been training Dancer since she‘s four months.  We develop moves but sometimes she creates them.  She created that.  When you are training if you go with the natural movement of the dog and let them put their paw sense in, you get a better routine. 

CARLSON:  The first time you did that if public, were you a little embarrassed. 

VENTRE:  The first time I did it in public, I got out there and did one step and my mind went blank.  Dancer did her routine and I‘m walking around in front of 5,000 people, saying ‘Oh my goodness gracious.” 

Then I looked at my dog and said OK.  She remembered it, but I had stage fright. 

CARLSON:  Thank you, Patie.  That was tree tremendous.  I‘m going to try it with my dogs tonight. 

Still ahead on THE SITUATION, Richard Hatch was famous for strutting around naked on “Survivor.”  He‘s definitely going to want to slip on some clothes where he‘s headed next.  It‘s an entirely different version of “Survivor”  on “The Cutting Room Floor.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  We started this show tonight with a man who punched out his daughter‘s teacher for molesting her.  We wound up with a dancing dog. 

WILLIE GEIST: I might end it by punching you out, my friend.

Can I say something, a close member of my family spent four days with patty at the International Dog Dancing Competition.  It was the most fun he‘d had in a long time.  He said it‘s kind of a study in sociology.

CARLSON:  Richard Hatch will always be remembered as the first winner of “Survivor.”  Now, he‘ll also be remembered as a convicted felon. 

Hatch was found guilty of tax evasion today.  The 44 year old, who was perpetually nude on “Survivor” failed to pay taxes on the one million bucks he won on the show.  He is now being held because the judge ruled him a potential flight risk.  He faces up to 13 years behind bars. 

GEIST:  Flight risk?  Where‘s Hatch going, exactly?

A word of advice to Dick Hatch, you are going to want to dial back the nudity in prison.  It sends the wrong message to your cell mate. 

CARLSON:  I‘m not going to weigh in on that.  Los Angeles middle school where the late Johnnie Cochran honed that mind that dreamed up a winning legal defense for O.J. Simpson will be renamed in Chochran‘s honor.  We are not making this up.  L.A.‘s Mount Vernon Middle School will soon become Johnnie Chochran Middle School. 

The school‘s principal said the name is being changed because Cochran was, we‘re quoting now, an extraordinary, superb lawyer with movie star, celebrity status.

GEIST:  What more reason do you need than that? 

Forget a middle school.  He got O.J. off.  They should put him on Mt.

Rushmore.

CARLSON:  He deserves a community college at least . 

GEIST:  They should redesign the pyramids in his likeness.  He got O.J. off.  He‘s a miracle worker.  People are going to start seeing his face in grilled cheese sandwiches. 

CARLSON:  I want to get huffy and say something angry and self-righteous, but I can‘t even bring myself to do it. 

There aren‘t many things in the world that make less sense than a chocolate cake with $5 million worth of diamonds baked into it.  Since when have the Japanese ever been worried about making sense.  A Tokyo jeweler used a special recipe of bitter chocolate and 2,000 stones to make this cake.  It will be the special recipe of money to burn and foolishness to buy it. 

GEIST:  Somebody will buy it.  My guess, the leading candidate, one Donald J. Trump.  If you give him a bejeweled baked good, he‘s going to be on that thing, regardless of the price.

CARLSON:  Donald Trump in now suing a man who claims that he‘s not a billionare.

GEIST:  Right.  For five billion dollars.  So if the writer was correct, he will become a billionare.  Very shrewd that Trump.  He‘s so smart. 

CARLSON:  Political correctness has found its way to the soup kitchens of France.  A group that feeds the homeless in Paris is coming under fire because its soup contains pork and cannot be eaten by Muslims or Jews.  Critics say a right wing group is serving the soup intentionally to exclude Muslims and Jews. 

GEIST:  That soup is not bigoted.  It resents being called so.  Some of its best friends are Muslims and Jews.  That is not—I think the thing you need to worry about here, is discriminating against the vegan homeless. 

CARLSON:  There are so many questions here. 

GEIST:  Go ahead. 

CARLSON:  My first question is, the soup for the homeless in France.  How does it taste?  I bet you 20 bucks, not to continue promoting France on this show, but I bet it‘s excellent. 

GEIST:  Enough to make you homeless. 

CARLSON:  That‘s THE SITUATION for tonight.  Thanks for watching. 

Keith is next.  Have a great night

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