updated 1/27/2006 11:06:27 AM ET 2006-01-27T16:06:27

Guest: Richard Roeper, Mike Myers, Doug Anglin, Robin Hoover, Rachel

Maddow, Max Kellerman, Dave Barry

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

Hey, Tucker, what's the situation?

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Joe, schmoe, underused word.  I'm going to make a point of using that word at least twice in this show.  Thank you.

SCARBOROUGH:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Thanks to you at home for sticking with us tonight.  We appreciate it, as we always do.

Tonight James Frey gets ripped into a million little pieces by a furious Oprah Winfrey.  Why did the queen of daytime do an about face?  What will happen to the disgraced author?  And should duped readers of the lie-filled book be compensated for their wasted time?  We'll answer all those questions over the next hour. 

And then, Mexico has suspended plans to give maps to illegal aliens trying to sneak into this country.  That has not stopped one American group from doing exactly the same thing.  We'll talk to the founder of Humane Borders about his organization's controversial mission. 

Plus, are boys discriminated against in the classroom?  A new lawsuit filed by a Massachusetts high school student says, oh, yes, girls get all the breaks when it comes to getting good grades.  We'll ask him about it in just a few moments. 

We start tonight with Oprah Winfrey's thrashing, her spanking of “Million Little Pieces” author James Frey on national television this afternoon.  If you remember, Frey's best-selling memoir was shredded by TheSmokingGun.com web site for being filled with exaggeration and inaccuracies. 

But first, Oprah defended the book, facts be damned.  Now she's changed her mind.  Take a look at part of the exchange today with Frey.


OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, “THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW”:  First of all, I wanted to start with The Smoking Gun report, titled “The Man Who Conned Oprah.”  And I want to know, were they right?

JAMES FREY, AUTHOR, “A MILLION LITTLE PIECES”:  I think most of what they wrote was pretty accurate.  Absolutely.

WINFREY:  What they said was that you lied about the length of time that you spent in jail.  How long were you in jail?

FREY:  I was in jail for—they were right about that.  I was in for a few hours, not—not the time...

WINFREY:  Not 87 days?

Let's get back to Lily.  Was your description of how she died true?

FREY:  She committed suicide, yes. 

WINFREY:  She hung herself?

FREY:  I mean, that was one of the details I altered about her.  I mean...



CARLSON:  Ouch.  Joining me now to discuss Oprah's dressing down of James Frey, a man who has himself slammed the “Million Little Pieces” author.  Richard Roeper is a media critic for the “Chicago Sun-Times.”  He's also the host of “Ebert and Roeper.”  He joins us from Chicago tonight. 

Richard Roeper, thanks a lot for coming on. 

RICHARD ROEPER, MEDIA CRITIC, “CHICAGO SUN-TIMES”:  Hey, Tucker.  I guess the first announcement we have to make is that the book's been retitled “12 Big Pieces.”  It turns out 9,999 pieces were a bunch of bull. 

CARLSON:  At least that many.  This guy got so spanked on “Oprah,” so humiliated.  You have to think she was blackmailing the publisher or promising to boycott, you know, everything that Penguin publishes from now on.  Why would this guy come on?

ROEPER:  Well, I think he was in a situation where, you know, he thought he had gotten away with this.  Because he goes on “Larry King,” you know, a month or so ago and Oprah calls in and all is well and good.  And then Oprah sees all the criticism coming in.

I'll give Oprah credit, you know.  I criticized her a lot over the years.  But she looked right into the camera today.  She said she was sorry and then she brought that guy out. 

And I think what was he going to do?  Either he doesn't go on and then she says, “Hey, he's not even here” and she spends an hour ripping him.  Or he tries to come clean.  Although I think he did a terrible job.  He just kept backpedaling and backpedaling.  And he'd say, “Well, here's the situation.”

And she'd say, “You mean, the lie?”

CARLSON:  I love that.  I'm not a huge “Oprah” fan myself, but I was impressed by that. 

One thing stuck with me, though.  And that is Oprah called Larry King two weeks ago, at the end of the show where Frey was on with his mom, and defended him.  That was after this devastating Smoking Gun piece came out. 

ROEPER:  Right.

CARLSON:  How could anybody who actually read that Smoking Gun investigation still defend James Frey?

ROEPER:  Well, I think Oprah was in one of those situations where, first of all, she's surrounded by people who worship her.  She's used to being always right.  I think she was personally offended that this guy was under attack.  She was hearing from all these people saying, “Hey, this book changed my life.  It doesn't matter if the small details weren't true.” 

And I think she—you know, as she said on the show today, she regrets making that call.  She wishes she hadn't have done it.  Once she got all the information—I mean, again, what is she supposed to do?  Either continue to defend this liar or at least come clean and say, “You know what?  I made a mistake.  I made a huge mistake.  This guy conned me and he conned millions of readers, as well.” 

CARLSON:  You're right.  She was pretty straightforward, I thought, except at the end.  She let Frey get away with something that infuriated me.  He said at the end, “Thank you, Oprah.  I'm going to be a better person from now on.  I've learned my lesson, and in everything else I write, I will keep that lesson in mind.”  It was an indication that this guy's not going away. 

ROEPER:  Well, of course he's not.  Tucker, you know what his next book—his next book is going to be about going on “Oprah” without taking painkillers.  That's way, way more harrowing than a couple of root canals. 

Of course, he's going to write another book about—you know, he'll probably get addicted to something again.  God forbid.  I hope that doesn't happen.  He'll be able to write about that.  He'll be able to write about this pathological lying problem and this whole process.  And you know what?  He'll be back on with Oprah or somebody else in two years.  You know, “How I Learned a Million Little Lessons,” by James Frey. 

CARLSON:  We have got to stop this vicious cycle.  I mean, shouldn't there be a cooling off period?  Shouldn't James Frey have to move to Omaha for 20 years and manage a Hardee's before he comes back into the public eye? 

ROEPER:  Yes, but if he was managing the Hardee's, he'd tell everybody, “You know, I own Hardee's.  In fact, my last name is Hardee.”  Why would you do that to the good people of Omaha? 

I mean, I think, you know, I'm a journalist.  You've been in the business for a long time.  I mean, the only thing we really have is our credibility. 


ROEPER:  And I think, you know, all kidding aside this guy has used up all of his credibility as an author.  Anything he writes from now on, unless he wants to go ahead and write a novel, like Steven Glass did after he got busted for making up stuff, unless he want to just say it's fiction, how would anybody—if anybody buys any of his books now, they deserve to get conned. 

CARLSON:  Do you think people will?  I mean, as a pure—obviously, people shouldn't.  But as a pure kind of financial cultural observation, do you think this guy's going to sell any books after today?

ROEPER:  Yes, I think he will.  I think it's almost the same kind of effect you see whenever a pop artist dies, and people go out and buy the album or they go out and rent the movies.  All of a sudden, there's some sort of a curiosity factor, that train wreck factor. 

I think right now, you know, that second book that Frey did about this supposed mobster in Chicago, you know, his friend.  It's kind of interesting that almost all of his characters in these books, these nonfiction books, are conveniently dead.  But I think yes.  I think if you look at the best-seller list this week, you'll see a spike in his sales, instead of a drop. 

CARLSON:  Just for—it's like John Wayne Gacy's prison paintings. 

There's this kind of a ghoulish quality to it?

ROEPER:  Yes, yes.  Pogo the clown, those lovely things. 

CARLSON:  It does.

ROEPER:  Thanks for bringing up all the great things—all the Chicago connections. 

CARLSON:  I've been thinking about Chicago all day long, and of course, John Wayne Gacy came immediately to mind. 

Does this hurt Oprah in the end or does it help her?

ROEPER:  Well, first of all, Oprah's untouchable.  You know, here in Chicago the show is aired live, and at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, 9 a.m.  Central, they actually had to break away to go to George Bush's press conference.  That's the first time in history they went from the most popular show in the world to the second most powerful person in the world.

So no, it's not going to hurt Oprah.  Actually, she did—you know, she did the right thing.  She came clean.  She'll have other books to recommend.  She'll have other shows she'll do.  I'm sure some of your audience members are walking out today saying, “I thought we were going to get a free Pontiac.  What was this all about?”

But as far as Oprah's reputation, Teflon.  Totally Teflon. 

CARLSON:  The words stick in my throat, but I agree with you.  Richard Roeper, the “Chicago Sun-Times.”  Thanks for coming on. 

ROEPER:  Any time. 

CARLSON:  It's no secret that million dollars of readers are annoyed by James Frey's million little lies.  Now one man has decided to profit from that anger.  Seattle attorney Mike Myers has filed a lawsuit seeking damages on behalf of consumers for the lost time they spent reading “Million Little Pieces.”  It seeks action against Frey and the book's publishers, Random House.

With Oprah Winfrey suddenly saying she was duped, will it help his case?  We'll ask him.  Mike Myers joins us live tonight from Seattle, Washington. 

Mr. Myers, thanks for coming on. 

MIKE MYERS, ATTORNEY:  Well, thanks for having me on the show.

CARLSON:  So I understand why people are annoyed by the fact this book turns out to be untrue.  Why do they deserve money?

MYERS:  Well, I think Oprah's telecast today speaks volumes.  Mr. Frey said during the show that he lied and he lied to sell books. 

CARLSON:  Come on.  Everybody lies to sell books.  There is not a single self-help book written that's not just chock full of lies. 

MYERS:  I disagree with that, but I think we're talking about this specific book, “A Million Little Pieces.” 

CARLSON:  Right.

MYERS:  And it's quite clear, from what he had to say today, that he and the truth are strangers, and that he profited because of it.  The same thing is true of Random House.

CARLSON:  But OK, how does that—I mean, there's no question that you're, strictly speaking, right.  He lied.  The book was sold under false pretenses.  How does that damage, harm, hurt the book buyers?

MYERS:  Well, in two distinct ways.  One, the purchase price.  Two, the value of the time they spent reading the book. 

CARLSON:  OK.  So because the book is untrue, the time they spent reading it is wasted?  What if they were entertained?  I mean, you could be entertained by things that haven't true.  You can be entertained by things that are fooling you.  Why is it a waste of time to read something just because it's a crock?

MYERS:  Well, I think Oprah explained it well when she said she felt betrayed, that she generated a set of emotions while she was reading the book.  It had what she thought to be a significant effect on her.  And then she found out that those emotions were based on false pretenses. 

CARLSON:  Yes, I mean, I get—look, I completely get that.  I guess the part that leaves me confused is the notion that we, the—you know, we, the duped, deserve money. 

I mean, you can think of all the things you spend your life doing that are a waste of time: waiting in line at the post office, sitting in traffic.  Do you get to sue the Department of Transportation, do you sue IKEA because it takes longer than you expected to put together a couch?  I mean, you know, there's a lot of wasted time in this world, and it doesn't mean that we should get a payday because of it, does it?

MYERS:  Well, let's talk about the Department of Transportation.  I don't think...

CARLSON:  That was a joke, by the way.  I'm not suggesting you sue them. 

MYERS:  I appreciate that.  I don't think the Department of Transportation lures you onto the freeway with promises that you won't encounter traffic.  Here, unfortunately...

CARLSON:  No, but—hold on a minute.  But AM radio tells you know, you know, it's fine on the, you know, cross Bronx expressway.  And you get to the cross Bronx expressway, and there's an accident.  You don't sue, you know, AM 1010 or whatever, do you?  No.

MYERS:  But that's a little bit different, because it's prospective.  It's forward-looking.  Whereas this, Mr. Frey had every opportunity and was, in fact, given multiple opportunities, to tell the truth, and he hasn't told the truth.  In fact, I was extremely disappointed that he wasn't contrite today on “Oprah.” 

CARLSON:  No, the guy's a creep.  I'm not defending James Frey.  How do you determine whether someone has actually read the book?  I mean, what -- if your class—if your suit goes forward—there's no guarantee it will.  But let's say it does.  How can people prove that they actually read the book before TheSmokingGun.com piece came out?

MYERS:  Well, that's certainly a question that the court's going to have to address.  Fortunately, we have a very well-informed judiciary here in the western district of Washington, and that's one of the questions that the court's going to have to resolve. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Finally, I've got three or four producers who did read the book before the rest of us learned it was false.  How much is each one due?

MYERS:  It depends if they'd be included in our punitive (ph) class or not. 

CARLSON:  Let's just say—let's just say someone—you know, someone from Seattle who read the book, wasted his or her time, how much money is that person going to—how much do you get per book?

MYERS:  Again, that's an issue for the court to decide.  I'd say at a very minimum it would be the number of hours they spent reading the book, multiplied by the value of their time.  And there comes the real issue, calculating the value of their time.  It's still open whether in this case that's going to be done on a person by person basis, whether various subclasses are going to be set up, or whether one value is going to be ascribed to all the persons in the class. 

CARLSON:  Amazing.  Amazing.  Such is the life of a lawyer, figuring out formulas like that.  We are out of time, speaking of it.  Mike Myers, thanks a lot for joining us. 

MYERS:  Thanks for having me. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, we'll have more on discredited author James Frey.  Now that Oprah has pounced on him, like a tiger, where does he go from here? 

Also, do girls get preferential treatment in the classroom?  So says a 17-year-old Doug Anglin of Milton, Massachusetts.  He's a high school kid.  He filed a lawsuit saying boys are being discriminated against.  You're going to meet him in just a moment.  Be right back.


CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

If you're not a student, you may not have noticed, but the demographics of college are changing.  There are now many more women on campus than men and many more graduating.  Females are now earning almost 60 percent of all college degrees. 

My next guest says this disparity starts in high school.  Seventeen-year-old Doug Anglin has filed a complaint with the Department of Education, saying his school system favors girls and discriminates against boys.  He joins us live tonight from Boston to explain. 

Doug, thanks for joining us. 


CARLSON:  Now, girls in your school, I was reading, are—the vast majority of students on the honor roll are girls.  The vast majority of students in A.P. courses are girls.  Maybe girls just work harder. 

ANGLIN:  Well, I think it—that—it starts at the elementary level and, you know, it's disproportionately female teachers at the elementary level.  And they develop these stereotypes that men are lazy and that they have bad work habits because they won't sit still. 

And when it builds up to the high school level and they get this in the heads, and there are still more female teachers.  And then this system, this top-down system of you know, this philosophy of sit down, shut up, do what you're told, works to the disadvantage of men.  Because naturally, they'll react negatively to this. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  Boys have a much harder time sitting still and concentrating.  I think you're absolutely right, but isn't there some value in learning to sit down and shut up and listen?

ANGLIN:  There is.  But you've got to—to what degree?  Because you're—you're preparing us to live in a democratic society.  So it's not good for females, either, in this sense, to be told to sit down, shut up and listen to what everything—listen to everything we have to say. 

It's a disadvantage to males and females, in this sense, that when females listen to it, and they go into the workforce later in life...


ANGLIN:  ... they have to—they have to participate in a democracy, and they're not—they're going to be at a disadvantage because they listen to this. 

CARLSON:  Because they're too passive?

ANGLIN:  Yes.  They don't—they don't react like men.  And I'm not saying they should, but it's just—it's a bad concept. 

CARLSON:  So—so your point is that teachers should encourage their kids to let their freak flags fly.  Just kind of, you know, if you can't sit still then you should be able to stand up and listen?  Or what accommodations do you think teachers should make for boys?

ANGLIN:  I think they should make that the classes you choose more flexible.  I think you should be able to go to the bathroom when you want to.  This isn't like elementary school.  I'm not 3 years old; I'm 17 years old.  I don't need a silly pass to go down and use the bathroom.  I'm an adult.  Respect is a two-way street, and they've got to give you it.  You have to feel empowered. 

CARLSON:  Yes, they're never going to give you any respect, Doug.  I'm sorry.  That's just the way that teachers—I mean, maybe they should, maybe they shouldn't.  But I suspect they're not going to. 

Have you calculated all the time you've spent preparing and filing this complaint, how much calculus you could have learned in that time?

ANGLIN:  I guess.  I'm not a big math man. 

CARLSON:  Maybe that's the problem, Doug. 

ANGLIN:  I—but you know, this isn't just about me.  This is about a whole class of males getting discriminated in the Milton system.  And you know, I've got one calculation.  That is 74 percent of honors and high honors at Milton High are girls. 


ANGLIN:  There's something—there's something seriously wrong with that. 

CARLSON:  I actually buy your argument.  Here's the part that I guess I don't buy, or that I think is unattractive.  It's the idea that boys are victims.  I mean, boys are like the last group in America that don't claim victim status.  Everybody's a victim except boys like you, right? 

So don't join the victim herd.  Don't call yourself a victim.  You may be a victim, but just suck it up and ignore it and prove everyone wrong by succeeding in life.  Isn't that a better tactic?

ANGLIN:  No, because when you're looking at these numbers, it's ridiculous.  You've got to—you've got to ask yourself what's wrong? 

Here's what's wrong.  They've got too many requirements, and they're grading you on notebook assignments about how pretty it is.  They want to see—it's not about the content of what you're writing down or what you've been studying.  It's about the blue ribbon in the corner of the sheet.  It's preposterous.

CARLSON:  I—again, I tend to agree with that.  You want to—you want to be a lawyer when you grow up, do you?

ANGLIN:  I do want to be a lawyer, actually. 

CARLSON:  See, that's just wrong.  I mean, don't you think at the age 17 there's time to, you know, move into a more productive field of study?  I mean, you don't really want to be a lawyer, do you?

ANGLIN:  I want to be a lawyer.  I'm going to follow in the footsteps of Jerry Anglin (ph).

CARLSON:  OK.  Doug Anglin from Milton, Massachusetts, 17 years old, already filing complaints with the federal Department of Education.  I'm not sure I agree with your complaint, or the fact you filed it, but you raise some excellent points.  Good luck.  Thanks for coming on. 

ANGLIN:  Thanks a lot, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Still ahead, an Arizona-based group will continue handing out detailed maps to border jumpers trying to illegally cross into this country.  How can they keep doing this even when the Mexican government has declared it's a bad idea?  Find out when I speak to that group's founder next.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.

Immigration officials have discovered a massive underground tunnel connecting Tijuana to San Diego, a tunnel that's wide enough in some places to fit a car.  Officials found two tons of marijuana underground and they suspect the tunnels may have been used to smuggle illegal aliens, as well. 

But if tunnels cramp their style, my next guest is willing to give illegal aliens a map indicating rescue beacons and water stations to help them cross the border safety.  The Rev. Robin Hoover is the president of Humane Borders.  He joins us live tonight from Tucson, Arizona. 

Mr. Hoover, are you there?

REV. ROBIN HOOVER, PRESIDENT, HUMANE BORDERS:  Yes, sir.  How are you doing?

CARLSON:  I'm great.  I appreciate your joining us.  Why are you helping people break American law?

HOOVER:  That's not what we're doing.  We're out here giving real true warnings of what is lying before these folks and trying to counteract the information that the migrants are receiving from the coyotes.  We print these warning posters that show them the true distances, as opposed to the coyotes, that tell them that you'll walk a few hours and you're going to be Las Vegas. 

CARLSON:  Right.  But in effect, what you're doing is helping people break American law by sneaking over the border from Mexico to the United States?

HOOVER:  These maps have been in place since May of 2005.  The border patrol here has no problem with it.  What the conflict is between Washington, D.C., and Mexico City. 

CARLSON:  Well, I mean, I'm certainly not here to take the side of the border patrol.  I don't care what the border patrol thinks.  It just—it just seems clear—it just seems clear to me that what you're doing is helping people break American law.  And I understand that your position is you're helping them and keeping them from dying, which in some—is admirable, strictly speaking.  But it's still...

HOOVER:  Thank you.  There are 300 of them died out here last year, and that's unacceptable. 

CARLSON:  It is—it is unacceptable. 

HOOVER:  The border patrol's been charged by Congress since 1998 to do a major migrant safety initiative, and they have not been effective in any way. 

CARLSON:  But wait a second.  Aren't you part of the problem, because you're giving people the illusion that you can cross the border in a safer manner when there will always be a risk in crossing the border?  Wouldn't it be more humane for you to tell people don't even try it, you can die?

HOOVER:  I understand the concept.  We have social scientific evidence that shows the migrant stations—migrant water stations do not affect the flow of the migration.  And we have had the maps up for a year, and the border patrol claims that in that particular area the migration has reduced. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Well, I think we also have common...

HOOVER:  So you'd have to give me some evidence, Carl (sic). 

CARLSON:  Yes, I think—I think we have common sense that says if you make something easier and safer for a person, that person is likely to attempt it more and more often. 

HOOVER:  Have you read the maps?

CARLSON:  But hold on.

HOOVER:  Have you read them?

CARLSON:  Here's my question to you.  Wouldn't it be safer not to attempt to cross at all?  Aren't you in favor of building a wall between Mexico and the United States so there will be no illegal immigration and therefore no people dying in the desert trying to get here?

HOOVER:  I agree with what the governor said here: “Show me a 50-foot fence and I'll show you a 51-foot ladder.”  It took 10 years to build 13 miles of fencing in San Diego.  Do the math.  It's going to take into the next century to build this wall. 

CARLSON:  That is absolutely ridiculous.  The Hoover Dam was—come on.  Israel has built a fence between itself and the occupied territories which has reduced migration between the two areas 100 percent.  You can't get across it.  If we send a man to the moon—I mean, come on. 

HOOVER:  This is 2,000 -- this is two...

CARLSON:  Of course it's possible.  You just don't want to see it. 

HOOVER:  This is two—this is 2,000 miles.  Duncan Hunter is wrong on this one. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Have you been threatened with prosecution at any point for helping people break American law?


CARLSON:  And do you fear that you will be?


CARLSON:  OK.  It seems to me your agenda is pretty clear: you like—you are in favor of seeing people come in illegally? 


CARLSON:  You would like to see illegal immigration end?

HOOVER:  I would love to see illegal immigration end tomorrow.  I would love for the migrants to quit coming.  I would love for American employers to quit luring them and bringing them here and hiring coyotes. 

I would love for us to see—to have an orderly border.  I would love to see the migration move back to the ports of entry, documented, inspected.  Leave the border patrol between the ports of entry to do traditional law enforcement, for which there is a very significant need. 

Right now we are wasting border patrol efforts by looking for people that are coming up here and being rewarded for work in Las Vegas and working in all kinds of industries. 

CARLSON:  I agree with you.  Someone ought to crack down on employers.

HOOVER:  But we're doing it wrong (ph).

CARLSON:  I absolutely agree with that.  And there's political pressure not to crack down on employers, restaurant owners and big agriculture.  And I think you're absolutely right. 

But my question, again, for the third time, is why aren't you doing your part to spread the word to would-be illegal aliens, don't come here?

HOOVER:  Follow the logic of this, please.  After a year of putting up

these maps we knew that we needed these maps in the cities of origin.  And

that's why we dealt with the National Commission on Human Rights.  They

were willing to put the information in the communities that would actually

warn people and say, “Look at this.  See all these deaths?  See how far it

is to walk?   See that there's no supplies.” 

                It says don't go.  There's not enough water.  Don't pay the penalty. 

If you do, for God's sake, prepare. 

CARLSON:  All right, the Reverend Robin Hoover, joining us live tonight from Tucson.  Thanks a lot for coming on. 

HOOVER:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, two popular “American Idol” contestants are told not to get on the plane to Hollywood.  Why?  We will tell you. 

Plus, disgraced author James Frey may have been ripped to pieces by Oprah Winfrey, just shredded, bloody, bleeding, but there's still one celebrity standing by his side.  You'll hear from him live when THE SITUATION returns.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  The Islamic terrorist group Hamas has declared a landslide victory in yesterday's Palestinian parliamentary elections.  No one contests that those elections were free and they were fair, yet the U.S. and Israel have already stated publicly they will not negotiate with a Hamas-led government.  So what does this mean for the Middle East and for the idea that democratic elections always produce favorable results? 

Joining us to mull it over, Air America's Rachel Maddow.  Rachel.


CARLSON:  Welcome.  This is the problem with holding up democracy as the answer.  Democracy is a mechanism; it's not an end.  It is a mechanism that always reveals what the people voting are really like and what they really want.  And when democracy takes route in a country that is primitive, and filled with people who are violent and religious extremists, you get a government that is violent and extreme.  And I wish the Bush administration...

MADDOW:  Primitive and violent people.  The whole nation (INAUDIBLE).

CARLSON:  I'm saying the culture is backwards and violent.  And condone suicide bombing.  I wish Bush and the foolish neo-cons who surround him would admit this.  Because it's true.

MADDOW:  Well, one the one hand, part of what you say I agree with.  I mean, democracy is a process and not an outcome.  And you're absolutely right, that it just reflects what the people in that culture want when it is pure democracy.  That's the whole point of it.

I disagree that the culture is backward and primitive and violent, and that's what explains why the Palestinian people voted this way.  I mean, I am disappointed, obviously, that they picked a terrorist organization to lead their government.  But if you look at what's been happening in Palestine, I mean, they've had 12 years of Fatah ruling them, 12 years of Fatah, which has been, you know, a single-party state.  Totally corrupt.

CARLSON:  Completely corrupt.

MADDOW:  Totally ineffective at governing.  And regardless of who was in charge, they're living under a military occupation basically by Israel.  So they're going to be miserable. 

CARLSON:  Sure, right, I mean, I know the storyline very well, and Hamas is the group that actually was organized at the grassroots level, and they provided health care and charities, et cetera, et cetera. 

MADDOW:  They were the only real alternative to Fatah. 

CARLSON:  The obvious rebuttal to that is, why didn't that society, oppressed though it is, raise up alternatives to Fatah or Hamas?  I'll tell you why.  Because Hamas is a reflection of how many people in that society feel.  And that's the problem in Palestine, and it's going to be the problem in Iraq.  Because we have set as the benchmark in Iraq democracy.  Got to have democracy, the people have to rule.  OK, well, what if the people want a Hamas-like organization to rule?  Or some Iranian-backed, Shiite nutcase organization to rule?  It's pretty likely that's going to happen.  It's pretty likely we're going to have to bring terrorist organizations into a coalition government in order to call it legitimate.  This is insane. 

MADDOW:  Well, it's true.  I mean, in Iraq, what you had was, if you look at the December 15th election results, among the Shiite groups that were elected, the majority of them were Islamist groups.  Among the Sunni groups that were elected, a majority of them are Islamist groups.  I mean, this is just what happens.  And it also throws down the gauntlet on this retroactive justification for why we went into Iraq.  You know, weapons of mass destruction?  Ehh.  Ties to al Qaeda?  Ehh.  Nuclear program?  OK, so we made all that stuff up.  We're there for democracy.  No, we're not.  We were never there for democracy.

CARLSON:  But this is, without getting into another argument about why we went to Iraq, this I think just reveals the deep foolishness behind all this democracy stuff.  I'm for democracy.  Democracy is the best form of government, but the point of government is that it be just.  That's the most important thing.  The form of government, is it just, does it oppress people?  And democracy sometimes leads to governments that are unjust. 

MADDOW:  And it also sometimes leads to governments that are anti-democratic.  I mean, the people in Peru elected Alberto Fujimori, who promptly dissolved Congress.  I mean, sometimes people elect even anti-democratic leaders.  That's the thing about democracy, is that it's (INAUDIBLE). 


CARLSON:  There's nothing wrong with saying, we want a government that is favorable to its own people and favorable to us in Iraq.  We want a pro-American government in Iraq.  We don't want an Islamist government in Iraq.  We should have the courage to say that out loud.  We invaded this country, thousands of our men have died for this country, and we don't want an anti-American government in there.

MADDOW:  Bush will never say that out loud. 

CARLSON:  I'll say it.  I'll say it.

MADDOW:  Because he has to say retroactively we went in there for democracy, and conveniently ignore the fact that when people express their democratic wishes all over the world, more often than not it's going to be anti-American wishes. 

CARLSON:  But to be fair, the left would never say that either.  They don't have the courage to say, we need a pro-American government in Iraq, but that's exactly what we need.

MADDOW:  The left would have never invaded Iraq. 

CARLSON:  OK, but now that we're there.  All right, Rachel Maddow, thank you.  You got me exercised, I'm hot. 

MADDOW:  Good.  That will do it.

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


CARLSON (voice-over):  Oprah eats crow. 

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST:  I really feel duped. 

CARLSON:  More on the truth behind James Frey's lies. 

JAMES FREY, AUTHOR:  I made a mistake. 

CARLSON:  And we aim below the belt to expose a fashion trend that leaves all others behind. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The first thing I look for is does my bum look good in this?

CARLSON:  Plus, caught on tape.  How a not-so-picture-perfect moment led to a White House cover-up. 

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Are you wearing your helmets?

CARLSON:  And a bizarre sting operation.  What is it about these wasps that's creating so much buzz around Washington? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That actually got the attention of some people in the Department of Defense. 

CARLSON:  It's all ahead on THE SITUATION. 

WINFREY:  We need to get right to it.



CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Gertrude Stein once said, “argument is to me the air I breathe.  Given any proposition, I cannot help believing the other side and defending it.”  Wow, what an argumentative woman.  Poor Alice B. Toklas. 

Joining me now, the man who could give Gertrude Stein a run for her money, the Outsider, ESPN radio and HBO boxing host, Max Kellerman. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO:  It reminds me of a Calvin and Hobbs quote

·         the comic strip, not the philosophers—where he was—he had a fantasy that he suddenly could understand every side of every argument, because his father started to make sense to him, and so he was seeing things in like multidimensions. 

CARLSON:  It happens with age.  It's a shame.  You've got to put the grays out of your mind, right?


CARLSON:  Black and white, that's our job.

First up, “A Million Little Pieces” author James Frey has made about a million little mistakes, and one very big mistake, embarrassing Oprah Winfrey. 


WINFREY:  This has been very embarrassing to me, and I deeply regret leaving the impression that I did from the Larry King show, that the truth doesn't matter, because it does. 


CARLSON:  She is good at moral outrage.  You can be forgiven for just about anything in America today, but upsetting Oprah?  Has James Frey finally crossed the line into the unforgivable?  I think he crossed the line at the very beginning, Max, and you were the only person I knew who defended James Frey.  I actually think today's performance gives me less respect for him.  I felt sorry for him, because he got pounded so hard, smacked around.  But in the end, in that simpering, lisping way of his—

I'm going to be a better person.  I've learned from this experience.  What he's saying is, I'm coming back to haunt you into the foreseeable future.  I am going to write yet more memoirs about my boring, stupid life. 

KELLERMAN:  Wouldn't you?  It hasn't fallen on the best-seller list? 

The followup.  He's making new additions where (INAUDIBLE).  Wouldn't you?  I would if I were him.  This is his shot right now.  That's it, he's cashing in right now.  But I never supported James Frey.  It's not that I'm supporting James Frey.

CARLSON:  You were the president of his fan club.  You said to me he helped me more than any other person I've ever known.  No, but you were defending him.

KELLERMAN:  No, it's not defending him.  It's kind of making fun of everyone who's so virulently—say the word for me?

CARLSON:  Virulently.

KELLERMAN:  See, it's not so easy.

CARLSON:  There you go.

KELLERMAN:  Against him.  I mean, it's in the—you buy a book, you read it, you like it.  You find out after the fact you bought it in the section of the book store—in the wrong section of the book store.  Now you hate it?  I don't understand.  Really, this is an issue between James Frey and his publisher.  Where everyone should be mad at right now is the company that published James Frey's book and called it nonfiction. 

CARLSON:  Well, we're definitely mad at them.  But we're also mad at James Frey...

KELLERMAN:  Why?  That's between the publisher and him.

CARLSON:  ... because he is—no, because he's imposing himself on America.  James Frey will not just go away.  No one ever just goes away in this culture.  And that's the problem.  Right?  These people live on forever in the pages of pulpy supermarket magazines, on television, deep in the cable spectrum, in movies, on the radio—you can't get rid of them.  They're unkillable.  They're like insects.  And I just think it's wrong to impose yourself on America if you're James Frey. 

KELLERMAN:  Not to compare him to Orson Welles, but you know, what was “War of the Worlds,” right?  A hoax, that worked for Orson Welles.  I mean, so you see it as a hoax.  A piece of fiction that can convince people that it's a piece of nonfiction is more impressive than a piece of nonfiction in a way. 

CARLSON:  You're right in some way, but I still don't ever want to hear James Frey's name again after today. 

Next up, just what the American family needs so desperately, an operating manual.  Or as it's known in the corporate world, a mission statement.  If you've ever read a workplace mission statement, you'll understand why a Dilbert comic strip calls it, quote, “A long, awkward sentence that demonstrates management's inability to think clearly.”  Well, of course, increasing numbers of families are now writing their own, instilling values like love, inclusion, understanding, appreciation, acceptance and fun. 

KELLERMAN:  (INAUDIBLE) Hobbs and Dilbert, I mean, you know.

CARLSON:  It's the good, you know, comic show.  Here is the problem I have with this.  I'm for families talking to each other.  I'm for families thinking through what they want out of life.  I am totally against using corporate management techniques in your family life.  You know, don't eat that, or I'll send you to HR for a spanking.  I mean, there's something, I hate to use this term, Orwellian about using corporate speak at home.  It just gives me the creeps. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, yes, you're right.  Here's the devil's advocate

position, though.  The nuclear family evolved as a way to kind of organize

·         that's the first organizing principle in society, really, in almost all cultures.

CARLSON:  A building block. 

KELLERMAN:  The building block, sure.  And it evolved in a different time that addressed needs, but the world has evolved since the inception of the nuclear family.  And the one thing you can say about corporations, their objective—to make a profit—has been tested and refined and has evolved through various pressures into something that works. 

Now, if you look at the 20th century, for instance, how many tens of

millions of people have died in wars, et cetera, man-made problems.  Maybe

·         I mean, there's a possibility that the nuclear family is not the ultimate evolution of the way we should organize, or the basic building block of society, and that corporations that have evolved, through actual pressures in a way to respond to things efficiently, are a—is a better way to organize. 

CARLSON:  Maybe you're right, but I'm just telling you, if my kids form a union, I'm spanking them. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, that's it.

CARLSON:  No, I don't want that.

KELLERMAN:  No, it's a right-to-work... 

CARLSON:  It's a right-to-work house in my house.

Max Kellerman, thank you.

KELLERMAN:  Thank you, Tucker.  

CARLSON:  Coming up, who would you take financial advice from, Donald Trump or a man who plans to finance his retirement by selling his kidneys?  Donald is busy tonight, so I'll have to settle for the other guy.  Luckily, he's one of the wittiest men in the country.  He'll be here when THE SITUATION comes back. 


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  There are plenty of self-help books out there that promise to lead you down the path of financial freedom.  Tonight, we'll introduce you to a book that makes no such promises.  In fact, if you follow the author's financial advice, you will likely wind up broke.  Dave Barry is one of the wittiest men in America, and the author of a remarkably amusing new book, “Dave Barry's Money Secrets: Like, Why Is There a Giant Eyeball on the Dollar?”  Good question.  Dave Barry joins us tonight from Boulder, Colorado.  Dave Barry, thanks for coming on. 

DAVE BARRY, AUTHOR:  Thanks for having me.

CARLSON:  Your book is littered, just to ask the obvious question first, it's littered with pictures of a woman named Suze Orman.  What's her story? 

BARRY:  Well, Suze is the main financial adviser for most Americans. 

She's on television all the time.  It's actually an FCC regulation that

Suze Orman has to be on television on some channel all the time.  You can't

·         even if you turn the TV off, you'll still see Suze Orman on it.  She's actually on your retinas now.  So I put her all through my book to sort of give my book financial credibility.  It's the Suze factor. 

CARLSON:  And I think your book has a great deal of financial credibility.  Actually...

BARRY:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  ... I've been taking a lot of your advice seriously.  How did Donald Trump get so rich?  He's also strewn throughout the book. 

BARRY:  Well, I read Donald Trump's book.  He wrote a book called “How to Get Rich,” which took me nearly an hour to I read it, which I think is probably about half an hour longer than it took him to write it.  It's mostly a collection of little thoughts from Donald, like “be good, don't be bad.”  “Hire good people, don't hire bad people.”  Thoughts like that.  That's how Donald claims—in fact, I think the way Donald got rich is he was born rich. 

CARLSON:  Yes, I think that's—and that helps, actually, it turns out. 

BARRY:  It's a big factor. 

CARLSON:  Now, how do you get to be—you've got a whole chapter on corporate executives.  Tell us how you get to be a corporate executive and what do you do once you become one? 

BARRY:  Well, what you do is you basically go into a room with other corporate executives and try to figure out how you can save money.  The best way being to fire people—other people who work for the corporation.  Nobody in the room, but the people outside the room.  You keep firing people and making more money that way. 

I talk in there about how you can determine, as a CEO how much money you personally should make, and the rough rule of thumb we use is 3,000 times as much as the janitor.  Which is about $40 million.

CARLSON:  Yes, they seem to be following that rule.  You've got actually a section of the book which is funny, but it's kind of painful, because it's so true, about the newspaper business, where you spent so many years.  Do you think—and that is clearly the plan in newspapers, just fire people until you make more money.  Are newspapers going to be around in 30 years, do you think? 

BARRY:  I give us another 10 or 15 minutes. 

CARLSON:  Really?

BARRY:  Yeah, I've been in the newspaper business a long time.  My son, who's 25 years old, and his dad's in the newspaper business, his mom is—everybody he knows is in the newspaper business.  When he wants to find out what the news is, he calls me up and says, did something happen?  I go, Rob, you could buy a newspapers.  People, 25, don't buy newspapers, and we don't know why.  And so that's why we keep making the newspaper shorter, and have more references to like Britney Spears in there.  But that doesn't seem to be working.

CARLSON:  No, the young people don't—they're not interested in reading about Britney Spears; they want to watch Britney Spears. 

BARRY:  Yes, exactly, exactly.  They want her to be on their iPod. 


BARRY:  We're probably dating ourselves.  It's not really Britney anymore; it's somebody else.  And if we knew who it was, then we would, you know, we would be young.  I'm sorry, go ahead.

CARLSON:  Well, I'm just getting used to Britney Spears, actually.  This is I think the smartest book of financial advice ever written.  Are there any other?  But I'm not sure it's going to actually make you any money if you follow its advice.  Are there any books out there in all the research you did in writing this that actually do help you make money? 

BARRY:  Well, Tucker, there are a lot—there are literally thousands of financial advice books out there, and I checked them all out.  And I really—I think they all have one fundamental flaw, which is that none of the royalties were going to me. 

CARLSON:  Yes, that is a flaw.

BARRY:  So I would urge people to consider that, factor that into their thinking.  I do have—I do have some really good advice in there.  I have a simple, foolproof system for making money in the stock market. 

Would you like to hear what it is? 

CARLSON:  Absolutely. 

BARRY:  OK.  It's simple.  It's three steps.  If you follow these three steps, you will make money in the stock market.  Step one, find out what stocks have done really well over the past 20 years.  Step two, get a time machine. 


BARRY:  Step three, go back in time and purchase those stocks. 

CARLSON:  Twenty years ago.

BARRY:  If you follow those—yes.  If you follow those steps, you'll make money in the stock market. 

CARLSON:  That is absolutely foolproof.  Are you good with money in your personal life?

BARRY:  Thank you.  Thank you.

CARLSON:  I mean, since you're a journalist and a write, I would assume you're not good at all, right?

BARRY:  No.  I'm really not good at personal finance.  That's pretty obvious I think to anybody who actually reads the book.

CARLSON:  But unlike James Frey, you admit it.

BARRY:  I admit—oh, man, yes.  I'm going to write a memoir.  It's going to be called like “A Gazillion Pieces.”  It kind of ticks me off, this man—I've been making, Tucker—I've been making stuff up for 30 years, and never did I get to be an Oprah book pick. 

CARLSON:  You have never been yelled at by Oprah.  That is the one accolade you haven't achieved.  Dave Barry, “Money Secrets, Like Why Is There a Giant Eyeball on the Dollar?”  A genuinely excellent, excellent book.  Thanks a lot for joining us. 

BARRY:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  See you. 

Still ahead on THE SITUATION, it turns out these twins were better singers than they were criminals.  But will a brush with the law prevent them from going to Hollywood?  The answer live, as always, on “The Cutting Room Floor,” next.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for “The Cutting Room Floor,” and a man whose own memoir is 100 percent true, Willie Geist. 

WILLIE GEIST, THE SITUATION PRODUCER:  Totally true.  Not interesting, but totally true.  Not interesting in the least, but it's true.

CARLSON:  Thank you, Willie. 

President Bush takes a lot of heat for his public speaking, but occasionally a press conference gaffe is not his fault.  Like the one today, when a piece of camera equipment got loose at the White House briefing. 


BUSH:  I want to share some thoughts about what I'm thinking about.  First, I recognize we live in a momentous time and—for those of you watching, we seem to have a mechanical flaw.  Are you wearing your helmets? 


GEIST:  Poor George.  He's trying to have a serious press conference about (INAUDIBLE) and he can't pull it off.  I have got to show you one portion.  Look at this.  He is really—it's kind of like being hypnotized for one fleeting moment.  He's locked in, he's locked in.  Hold on a second.  Well, I think we went past it.  Anyway, he was literally hypnotized for one second.  It was like the cat with the ball of string.  He just totally—the president of the United States, frozen by hypnotism. 


CARLSON:  Happens to the best of us.

It's time for the annual “American Idol” controversy.  No, Paula Abdul is not sleeping with these twins, that we know of.  Derrell and Terrell Brittenum said they've been kicked off the show after details of their criminal records recently came to light.  The 28-year-old twins were charged in Georgia with using fake IDs to purchase a car.  They were released on bail last week.  The two had advanced to “Idol's” second round before they got booted. 

GEIST:  I heard they were—I didn't see them—I heard they were pretty good, though.  I have a question, though.  How do you buy a car with a fake ID?  I thought that was just to get into bars when you're 14. 

CARLSON:  I don't know.  That's a good point.  They look of age.  They look old enough to purchase an automobile. 

GEIST:  How did that go down exactly?  Why do you need a fake ID...

CARLSON:  I think the idea is if you buy it under someone else's name, you don't have to worry about the financing as much. 

GEIST:  Oh, that's a good idea. 



CARLSON:  We can all rest a bit easier tonight knowing our government is training an elite force of wasps to defend us.  Yes, wasps.  The kind with wings.  Scientists at the University of Georgia are drawing interest from the Pentagon with their bomb-sniffing insects.  Once they're trained, the wasps can go into places too dangerous for people or dogs.  The sniffer wasps can also be used to find drugs. 

GEIST:  First of all, Tucker, I don't believe that this is actually happening.  How would they do this?  And then how would the wasps warn you that there was a bomb?  Would they sting you? 

CARLSON:  That's exactly right.

GEIST:  I don't—but I'm open to the possibility, because most wasps, and really all insects, more perceptive than your average TSA agent.  Don't you think?

CARLSON:  Less likely to go through my (INAUDIBLE) kit and (INAUDIBLE) my toothbrush, yes, much less.

There are a number of important questions facing the scientific community today.  Chief among them, why do women's butts look big in certain clothing?  Researchers at a textile school in Scotland have embarked on an actual academic study of what looks good on a woman's backside.  The team has studied hundreds of butts to examine the effect of garment cut, fabric color and fabric size on the perception of a rear end.  And this is vitally important a study. 

GEIST:  The results of the study come out in May.  I ran a competing study.  I found it has nothing to do with garment cut at all.  The reason women's butts look big in clothes, the chief reason?  Having a big butt. 

CARLSON:  Is that true?

GEIST:  That's it.

CARLSON:  That's one of the leading factors? 

GEIST:  If you have a big butt, it tends to look big in any clothes you wear, really.  Stop blaming the clothes, gals. 

CARLSON:  Never admit that.  Does this thing make my butt look big?


CARLSON:  Answer? 



GEIST:  Always no.

CARLSON:  That's SITUATION for tonight.  Thank you for watching.  We are back here on Monday night.  Have a great three-day weekend.  In the meantime, Keith is next.



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