updated 1/31/2006 2:49:41 PM ET 2006-01-31T19:49:41

Guests: Corey Clark, Karen Holt, Jerry Springer, Ken Stethem, Sara Carter

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, terrorists smuggling bombs over the Mexican border.  That‘s a shocking claim and a Homeland Security Department alert, that gangs are planning coordinated attacks along the U.S.-Mexico border and smuggling weapons to Iraqi nationals in the USA.  It‘s an exclusive story in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  And we will talk live with the reporter who broke it. 

Then, the smartest guys in the room or the sleaziest?  The Enron trial starts.  And we ask whether average Joes who got ripped off will finally see corporate criminals face the long arm of justice. 

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

Hey, thanks so much for being with me tonight.  I appreciate it. 

We got a jampacked show with those stories.  Plus, Oprah, the queen of TV , apologized and then fried a disgraced author.  So, why is he and big publishing companies laughing all the way to the bank?  We are going to be talking live tonight with Jerry Springer about that. 

And “American Idol” remains a monster hit.  But Paula Abdul says she still can‘t get a date.  Well, former contestant and Paula friend Corey Clark is in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  He says Paula knows exactly what she‘s doing when it comes to dates.  We will have those stories and more. 

But, first, a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY exclusive.  Is a dangerous South American gang planning attacks along the U.S.-Mexican border?  Well, that‘s a shocking report from California and a newspaper that has obtained secret U.S. government documents.  According to a captured member of a deadly drug cartel, there‘s a secret attack planned and it‘s a plan that calls for members of the gang to gather in Mexican border towns, and then attack the United States using the same route they use to smuggle drugs. 

It‘s all contained in Homeland Security documents obtained by “The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin” that are apparently not being shared with local law enforcement officers at the border. 

Here to talk about it, we have Sara Carter.  She has been breaking news on this story for “The Inland Valley Daily News” (sic) and she joins us live from Los Angeles. 

Also with us, MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan and NBC terror analyst Steve Emerson.

Sara, let‘s begin with you. 

Two shocking findings from your reports.  First, talk about these international gangs that are planning attacks along the U.S. border.  What can you tell us tonight about these documents that you have obtained by the Department of Homeland Security? 

SARA CARTER, “THE INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN”:  Yes, it is shocking, Joe.  You are right. 

We have obtained a document that shows that MS-13 gang members, along with what they believe to be rebels from Guatemala, are planning attacks on our local law enforcement, officials all along the Southwest border.  It came to me just recently, this week, and I was able to verify the document. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And so, they are actually talking about attacks—international gangs are actually talking about attacking our local law enforcement officers so they can control some of these border towns.  Do you have any information as to why local law enforcement officers that could have been the target of those attacks weren‘t notified by the Department of Homeland Security? 

CARTER:  It‘s baffling.

None of the local law enforcement officials ever received any documentation from the Department of Homeland Security to warn them of these attacks.  I contacted several of them today.  And all of them told me the same thing, that they are changing their modus operandi on the border and that they will now be preparing for this. 

These have been rumors about this for the last maybe two or three weeks.  They have noticed an uprising and attacks on local law enforcement officials as well as Border Patrol agents.  But now with the document, they have said that they will be changing the way they operate on the border and securing their deputies, and their sheriffs, as well as Border Patrol agents who are patrolling the Southwest border. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Sara, stay with us because I want to talk about the possibility of these international gangs and others smuggling into the United States to pass along to Iraqis and al Qaeda members. 

But, first, I want to get a response.

Let‘s go to Pat Buchanan right now.

Pat, I‘ll tell you what.  This is an explosive issue.  You are talking about an invasion of at least, along the border, of—invasion of these border towns.  What‘s going on?  And look behind us; why isn‘t Congress, why isn‘t the president of the United States, who is going to go up and speak to the American people tomorrow about keeping America safe, why aren‘t they concerned about protecting our borders? 

PAT BUCHANAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  I don‘t understand this, Joe.

The gang, MS-13 is Mara Salvatrucha.  I have read myself in the last two weeks where they have a policy called green-lighting, whereby they are authorized to assassinate police and others who have been traders.  And I have heard myself.  And I have got reports I have been working on that they have been invited by some of the drug cartels to come down and start shooting Border Patrol agents for the reason that the Border Patrol is getting more aggressive.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Killing Americans. 

BUCHANAN:  Killing Americans.

SCARBOROUGH:  We have got international gangs that are going to come across our border and  kill American law enforcement officers?

BUCHANAN:  Gangs are right here.  There are 6,000 MS-13 right out in Fairfax County.  They green-light people.  They have killed people out in the Shenandoah Valley.  These people are in the country, Joe.  Mara Salvatrucha, MS-13, probably has 10,00 to 15,000 people in the United States. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat, explain to me why we have got Border Patrol agents, why we have got local sheriffs, Americans, with targets on their back.  We have got Sara, who has uncovered these documents from the Department of Homeland Security, and our local law enforcement officers haven‘t been notified.

BUCHANAN:  Only one explanation why Homeland Security wouldn‘t raise Cain about this and the only explanation I can think of, and I don‘t know it for sure, is that George Bush has an open borders policy.  He has got a guest worker policy he wants to get through Congress in February.  And you start talking about gangs green-lighting Border Patrol agents on our border, and it will knock a hole in that, Joe, and what you will get is overwhelming support for the security fence on the American border that the House of Representatives voted in December. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, you know, Steve Emerson, it reminds me of what was happening before September 11.  You actually had the president of the United States that was talking about a general amnesty program for three million Mexicans before 9/11; 9/11 came along.  He had to back off of that. 

But now you have got, again, four years after 9/11, some pretty shocking reports.  What is going on?  I would guess, Steve, you would consider securing our borders as being integral to protecting our nation. 

STEVE EMERSON, NBC TERRORISM ANALYST:  Both borders.  The Canadian border and the Mexican border are absolutely pivotal to securing our country, because it‘s clear that al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, all other radical Islamic groups have figured out that they don‘t need to enter our border through the ports, through the airports any longer.

They just need to enter it through the borders, through Mexico or through Canada, and that they can do so with almost impunity at this point.  And you know that, Joe, that, at this point, the seriousness with which we have attacked the security at our borders is a joke. 

And, so, therefore, al Qaeda can basically initiate any type of penetration at will.  And we know that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But, Steve, I have got to ask you why.  “TIME” magazine reported a year ago that al Qaeda members and other Arab terror groups were focusing on the Mexican border to smuggle weapons across it, come to Middle America and launch attacks all across this country.

If that‘s the case, if we have known that for over a year, why is it that the southern border is still being ignored by this administration and this government?

EMERSON:  Look, I can only speculate, because I can‘t figure out why there haven‘t been more resources put on to it. 

I can only speculate that unless and until a major act of terrorism is carried out by somebody who actually infiltrates by means of the southern border, then we‘re not going to be put enough resources into it.  We are not going to take it seriously until that actual contingency occurs. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Unfortunately, it‘s going to—it looks like it‘s going to—we are going to have to have another terror attack against this country before our government leaders take it seriously.

Now, Sara, we contacted the Department of Homeland Security.  And they said they need to review the reports further, but that—quote—“our primary mission is to deny individuals and weapons of mass destruction from crossing our border illegally.”

And it seems to me, Sara, you are finding these documents that come from the Department of Homeland Security, but then they are turning around and shooting them down, like, for instance, another document you found that talked about the possibility of international terrorists shipping explosives across our border taking them up to Iraqi nationals living in the San Francisco area.  Tell me about that. 

CARTER:  Yes. 

I was able to find a document from the Department of Homeland Security that issued a warning, an alert, actually—it was an intelligence report that issued a warning about four Mexican nationals that would be delivering plastics, bombs, to an Iraqi national living in the San Francisco Bay area. 

And, Joe, I was just listening to you earlier talk about the border and the terrorism, and the national security threat that our borders pose.  I have been down to the border many times.  And I have told you that before.  I have basically been to areas where I could walked in and out of the United States from Mexico and no one would have known the better. 

Well, I‘m just a reporter.  If I could do that, I imagine somebody with training could do that as well, much easier than me.  So, it is fascinating to me that the Department of Homeland Security continues to downplay their own reports.  But yet our borders are left wide open.  And, basically, anybody can come in and out of them. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat Buchanan, al Qaeda has to know that tonight. 

BUCHANAN:  Oh, sure, they all know it.  They could walk in easily in, in here.  I don‘t even know, why, though, they would bother.  They have got some other means.

But let me say this on that border.  You have got Zetas, who are basically Mexican Green Berets who have gone over and joined the cartel, who are now down there in Nuevo Laredo.  You have got folks coming across the border.  Mexican soldiers have been found on our side of the border last week.  “Washington Times” had it.

The sheriff‘s went down.  They saw the guys with mounted machine guns on our side of the Rio Grande.  Joe, we‘re headed for a border war.  And the president of United States—in my view, by year 2008, we‘re going to have that border defended as well as we have got the border of South Korea. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Steve, final thoughts? 

EMERSON:  Listen, we invent all these terms, OTMs, other than Mexicans, SIA, special interest aliens.  These are euphemisms because we don‘t want to mention the fact is that we‘re worried about Arab males coming over.  We‘re afraid to mention them because of the racial sensitivity. 

The fact the matter is, there is a security problem, the magnitude of which we don‘t want to admit.  And until and unless we take cognizance of this, we‘re going to have a serious problem.  And Pat is right.  This is a problem that we‘re staring face down and we are not recognizing it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt about it, Steve Emerson.  Thank you.

Pat Buchanan, thank you, as always. 

And, Sara Carter, please keep up the reporting down there.  You are bringing to light some very disturbing facts that our own government, for some reason, doesn‘t want us to know. 

Now, coming up next, Oprah‘s book-lashing.  It‘s a story America is still talking about now.  Some are saying that the disgraced author, James Frey, may have been playing Oprah all the way to the bank. 

And, later, “American Idol”‘s Paula Abdul, she says she is looking for love.  And one of the biggest names in TV is stepping in to help her.  We will talking live to former “Idol” Corey Clark, at the center of last season‘s “American Idol” scandal. 

Plus, the smartest guys in the room—when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  He used to walk to the boardrooms, but that‘s not where he‘s walking now.  Kenny-boy Lay going into court in one of the greatest scandals ever to hit American business, now going to the courtroom.  We will tell you about it and much more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back. 

The collapse of Enron, one of the greatest scandals to ever hit American business, left thousands of American investors penniless and wiped out so many employees‘ life savings.

Well, today, the men who are accused of ripping off America, former chairman Ken Lay and former CEO Jeff Skilling, went on trial.  Just out on DVD, a new documentary, “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.”  It takes you inside of those boardrooms to look at what these guys were doing to get rich, at the expense of you and investors and American consumers. 

Here‘s a look at how low this company and the people who were running it were willing to go. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM”)

KEN LAY, CHAIRMAN, ENRON:  This inquiry is going to take a lot of time on the part of our accountants, lawyers, and others.  But it will finally put these issues to rest. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  At the very moment Ken Lay was talking to employees, only a few blocks away, Enron‘s accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, had begun destroying its Enron files.  On October 23, Andersen shredded more than one ton of paper. 

LAY:  Despite the rumors, despite the speculation, the company is doing well, both financially and operationally. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He was making all kinds of statements, reassuring employees, and not just employees, reassuring investors, we have no accounting irregularities; the company is in the best shape it‘s ever been in. 

LAY:  Now, from the standpoint of Enron stock, we‘re going to bring it back.  We‘re going to bring it back. 

All right.  We‘re down to questions.  And I have got a few up here. 

“I would like to know if you are on crack?”

(LAUGHTER)

LAY: “If so, that would explain a lot.  If not, you may want to start, because it‘s going to be a long time before we trust you again.”

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Traders soon discovered that by shutting down power plants, they could create artificial shortages that would push prices even higher. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hey, this is David up at Enron.  There‘s not much demand for power at all.  And we are—if we shut it down, could you bring it back up in three or four hours?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, yes. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, why don‘t you just go ahead and shut her down, then, if that‘s OK. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK. 

GRAY DAVIS (D), FORMER CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR:  When you see two or three energy companies with 30, 35 percent of their entire capacity down for maintenance on a single day, and, as a result, the price of electricity skyrocketing 300 or 400 percent, and then, a week later, someone else does it up in Northern California, you begin to believe something else is not smelling right here. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Want you guys to get a little creative.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And come up with a reason to go down. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Liked a forced outage type thing? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Those guys, at the flip of a switch, could just yank the California economy on it leash whenever they wanted to.  And they did it and they did it and they did it.  And they made so much money. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  There would be ample supply available at the right (EXPLETIVE DELETED) price. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, sure there would.

CHARLES WICKMAN, EX-TRADER, ENRON CORPORATION:  It wasn‘t just Enron. 

Every company traded according to the rules that California put up there. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So, we‘re the future of Enron.  And we‘re (EXPLETIVE DELETED) making a half-a-billion dollars for Enron.  Can you believe that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We will definitely retire by the time we‘re 30. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And we‘re talking about a commodity that normally trades in the $35 to $45 range.  High prices are when it gets in the $50s.  And we are -- $1,000? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Prices aren‘t going to stay at $1,000 forever. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It weeds out the weak people in the market.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Get rid of them and you know what?  The people who are strong stick around. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And the Enron traders never seemed to step back and say, wait, is what we are doing ethical?   Is it in our best long-term interests?  Does it help us if we totally rape California?  Does that advance our goals of nationwide deregulation?  Instead, they sought out every—every loophole they could in order to profit from California‘s misery. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Temperatures in California are hitting higher than 100 degrees, fueling wildfires and fears that California‘s strained power grid could once again near collapse. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What‘s happening? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  There‘s a fire under the core line.  It‘s been (INAUDIBLE) from 4,500 to 2,100. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Burn, baby, burn.  That‘s a beautiful thing. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I was never comfortable on the trading floor at Enron.  And, if I had questions, I—I didn‘t ask them because I—I didn‘t want to know the answer. 

You know, I didn‘t want confirmed what—what I suspected might be true, that what I was doing was, in fact, unseemly or was at least unethical, if not worse. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, I think we‘re going to find out in this trial that it was a lot worse than just unethical. 

You listen to those traders going back and forth.  “Burn, baby, burn.”  You have got so many people that were profiting off of, unfortunately, the tragedies, not only people in California, but also across the country. 

And you know what?  I have seen this not only from Enron.  I have seen this happen, unfortunately, from a lot of trading firms on Wall Street, back not so far long ago.  You had Salomon Smith Barney and you had Merrill Lynch.  You had other people that were intentionally preying on the poorest, the weakest of Americans to make a quick buck. 

And they just didn‘t care who got hurt.  All they cared about was their bottom line, their bottom line, not yours.  And it was an absolute disgrace.  And, hopefully, some people, especially these Enron people, will pay.  They will pay for what they made you pay for several years ago because again they were so greedy that, my gosh, they gave capitalism a bad name, because what they were doing had nothing to do with capitalism.  It had everything to do with larceny. 

Now, an update on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY‘s campaign to put this convicted killer back behind bars.  Now, this terrorist thug, remember, was sentenced to life in prison for the brutal murder of U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem during the hijacking of a TWA flight in 1985. 

I know, if you are my age, you remember that tragedy.  But, tonight, he‘s a free man, after being released by German authorities.  Now, for the past two months, I have been demanding answers for the Stethem family.  And what has our government done to get that terrorist back in jail? 

One of the answers, tonight, Robert‘s brother Ken is back in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to give us an update on this campaign to get justice for his brother. 

Ken, thank you so much for being with us. 

KEN STETHEM, BROTHER OF MURDERED NAVY DIVER:  Thank you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We made a list of demands. 

STETHEM:  We did.

SCARBOROUGH:  One—let‘s talk about one of those demands.  We have been demanding for two months now, you and I both, and some people on Capitol Hill have been demanding that Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, meet with you. 

STETHEM:  That‘s right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Has that happened? 

STETHEM:  It‘s not happened yet.  However, we do have a meeting scheduled with Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, on February 10. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, are you hearing from back-channels in the government that the State Department and the administration is not particularly fond of you pressing this hard to try to get justice for your brother? 

STETHEM:  You know what?  I think the administration is feeling pretty uncomfortable with us pushing for a formal diplomatic request for justice. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, is anybody—we‘re looking up on Capitol Hill here.

Obviously, these are the representatives of our country.  As you know, I was up there before.  I‘m wondering, are you getting the type of answers that you need to get from Capitol Hill?  Again, remember September 11, everybody, Republicans and Democrats alike, stood together, arm in arm, talking about how they were going to do whatever it took to protect Americans?  You remember the president going up to that building, talking about terrorists, saying, you are either for us or you are against us. 

Now we‘re looking at images of the people that shot your brother, killed him in cold blood, threw him on a tarmac while the entire world watched.  And yet what is our government doing to bring these thugs to justice? 

STETHEM:  We have got a handful of senators and congressman on the Hill, Joe, that are supporting the formal diplomatic request.  And that‘s the proper channel that the administration needs to go through. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You say a handful.  How many? 

STETHEM:  Right now, we have seven. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Seven. 

STETHEM:  Yes, sir.

SCARBOROUGH:  Out of 535, there are only seven that will step forward and say, you know what?  This terrorist thug that gunned down a member of our military in front of the world‘s eyes, threw him out of a plane on to a tarmac, you can only find seven congressmen and senators to ask for a diplomatic request that Lebanon turns over this barbarian? 

STETHEM:  That‘s right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What‘s that say about our country?  What‘s that say about our leaders? 

STETHEM:  It says that they like to talk and they don‘t like to act. 

And I remember President Bush saying that whether we bring enemies, our enemies to justice or justice to our enemies, justice will be done.  And he also said that in the world that we have entered, in the world that we have entered, the only path to safety is the path of action.  And we‘re looking for action.  We‘re looking for the formal diplomatic request to be sent to the Lebanese government. 

SCARBOROUGH:  To turn this terrorist over. 

STETHEM:  That‘s right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, well, good luck, Ken.  Keep coming back, talking to us.  We are going to keep updating our viewers.

And so many people are e-mailing us.  They cannot believe—and I know they are going to be really angry that so few people on Capitol Hill give a damn about your brother and still care about the fact that, again, the guy that gunned your brother down in front of the world is—is now roaming free in Lebanon, and our leaders are not even stepping forward. 

STETHEM:  Our government has hard time asking for his return.  And that‘s a shame. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I don‘t understand it, Ken.  Well, good luck. 

STETHEM:  Thank you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let us know what we can do. 

STETHEM:  Thank you, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, when we come back, we‘re going to be talking about the Oprah book scandal.  It takes another twist.  And you will see why some say the man that—the book that rocked Oprah‘s world is really just using the queen of daytime to get rich. 

And what is Dr. Phil doing?  Well, he‘s stepping in to help “American Idol” judge Paul Abdul.  We will talk about that and much more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  We‘re going to be talking to Jerry Springer, a man who knows something about TV shows.  Going to ask him about Oprah‘s confession on Friday, whether she was sincere, and he makes about the fact that lying on TV apparently helps sell books.  I‘m also going to be asking him—I can‘t help myself—about the State of the Union.  That and much more coming up.

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

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up, why does “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul need help from Dr. Phil?  We are going to be talking live with a fallen “Idol” whose sex allegations put Paula‘s career on the line.  He says she doesn‘t have any problem getting dates. 

And, for the first time, we‘re seeing exactly what happened on the set of America‘s most popular soap operas. 

Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY—those stories in minutes. 

But, first, Oprah‘s apology.  The talk show queen says she‘s sorry for backing James Frey‘s fabricated memoir, even after it was exposed as a fraud. 

               

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW”)

OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, “THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW”:  I have been in television since I was 19 years old, and I have never been in this position.  I made a mistake, and I left the impression that the truth does not matter.  And I am deeply sorry about that. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, whatever you think of Oprah or James Frey, here‘s the truth.  “A Million Little Pieces” is number five in sales on Amazon.com.  And this creep‘s other book is number one the “New York Times” non-fictions best-sellers list. 

So, what that say about the future of Oprah‘s book club and the publishing business and TV?

With me now, television host Jerry Springer and Karen Holt from “Publishers Weekly.”

Now, Jerry, you know quite a lot about television.  What did you make of Oprah‘s apology on Friday and the lasting impact it will have for her and other TV talk shows?

JERRY SPRINGER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well, I think it was a very sincere apology.  I think she really was sorry. 

And I think she‘s—you know, she‘s an icon in America.  And so, what she says and thinks matters.  I—look, she‘s—she‘s the best there is at having talk shows. 

If she was going to ask me for advice, which she wouldn‘t, I would have stopped after the apology, because then it was really sincere and legitimate.  But when she then spent the rest of the show in a sense beating up on this guy, who did wrong, there‘s no question about it, I thought that took away from the apology. 

Then it looked more like making herself look OK, that she really wasn‘t—even though she apologized, she really was not the one at fault.  And I—I just think apologies should have no “buts” to it, just:  I‘m sorry.  It was wrong.  And now let‘s move on to another subject. 

I—but that‘s just my advice.  Who am I to advise Oprah?

SCARBOROUGH:  So, Jerry, you are saying, basically, she apologized for five minutes, then beat the hell out of this guy for 55 minutes, therefore, didn‘t look quite as sincere if she would have just apologized and let it go? 

SPRINGER:  Yes.

I think, all of a sudden—look, the guy clearly—I mean, how can the guy compete with Oprah?  Oprah—he didn‘t have a shot at her.  And I just thought, at the end, it kind of made him more of a sympathetic figure than he really deserved.  I just would have it alone, move on to another subject.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  But what do you make of this?  This guy has the number one book on the non-fiction list for “The New York Times,” and “A Million Little Pieces” has jumped back up to number five.  What does that say about our country and how it deals with controversy and liars? 

SPRINGER:  Well, you know, I would tell you that truth in our culture right now is not at a premium.

And I think it comes from our political leaders on down.  We constantly are making excuses in our culture for saying things that are not right or for spinning.  You know, it has become a political game.  I don‘t think you suddenly can turn to one element of society and say, it‘s OK if politicians lie.  It‘s OK if our government lies.  It‘s OK.  But the one person that can‘t lie is a guy that writes a memoir. 

I don‘t think he should have lied, period.  But I‘m not shocked that someone would make money or a profit from being controversial or for being dishonest.  That—that is—just pick up the newspapers, the tabloids, whatever.  It‘s constantly—you know, people are becoming famous for doing wrong things. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Sleaze sells.

Karen Holt, Frey and the publishing industry is getting rich off of these lies.  What does it say about the book business? 

KAREN HOLT, “PUBLISHERS WEEKLY”:  Look, the biggest problem that most books have is that no one pays any attention to them. 

And, yes, he was disgraced.  And, yes, there was a scandal and, yes, there was controversy.  But the fact is, people paid attention, and that‘s a lot more than most authors ever get. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, that‘s all that matters.  I mean, even—and, tell me, why is “The New York Times” still calling his—putting his books, classifying his books as non-fiction, when we all know that this guy lied from the beginning to the end? 

HOLT:  Right. 

Well, I can‘t speak to their decision process.  My understanding is, that that is something that they are still discussing. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Isn‘t the publishing industry in freefall here?  You have got just—I have got to tell you, they looked just as bad as Frey, as far as I‘m concerned...

HOLT:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  ... when they are coming out and telling Americans, we can‘t afford to hire fact checkers. 

HOLT:  Right. 

Well, the economics of book publishing are such that most books, as I said, don‘t get any attention.  They get very, very few sales.  The fact is, there just is not the money for fact checkers. 

However, that—that doesn‘t sort of absolve publishers of any responsibility.  And if there‘s one thing that has come out of this that‘s positive is that this has started a real conversation, I think, for the first time in the publishing industry about what sort of responsibility publishers do have to make sure that the books that they publish are factually accurate or at least reliable to the extent that readers trust them to be? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, Jerry, you have had your ups and downs in the TV business.  You had some dust-ups, some controversies.  How do you think this controversy is going to impact Oprah? 

SPRINGER:  Oh, I don‘t think it will have any impact on her. 

Look, she‘s incredibly accomplished.  She‘s loved by many, if not by most Americans.  I suspect, if she ran for president, she would probably win.  I don‘t think it is going to have any impact.  And she did apologize.  And no one is perfect.  Let‘s move on from that. 

But, as I said, my only criticism was, OK, you said you are sorry.  Now leave it and don‘t try to find a reason why you made this mistake or whatever.  The public can figure it out. 

And, you know, how many books—here‘s what‘s wrong, is that we think that someone on television, because they say, buy this book, that all of a sudden, we say, it must be a great book because the person on television told us it is a great book.  If she had never picked this book and said, this is the one to buy, it wouldn‘t have had anywhere near the sales that it did.  So, maybe we just give too much credence.

Just because a person is on television doesn‘t make that person better than anybody else, doesn‘t make that person smarter than anybody else.

SCARBOROUGH:  Wait a second.

SPRINGER:  Doesn‘t make that person more virtuous—except for you, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  There‘s a sacrilegious.

SPRINGER:  Except for you.

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  Jerry Springer, you are just saying that because you have a radio show now.  I know for a fact... 

SPRINGER:  Yes, that‘s true.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... people on TV are smarter.

SPRINGER:  Yes. 

No, people on radio are perfect.

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, they are perfect.

SPRINGER:  But I will tell you this.

(CROSSTALK)

SPRINGER:  I will tell you this.

SCARBOROUGH:  Go ahead.

SPRINGER:  I have never taken anyone on my television show and pushed their book. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

(CROSSTALK)

SPRINGER:  My guests don‘t write.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, what is it about Oprah that has, this woman has the power?  I don‘t understand it myself, but she has the power to turn any book into an instant best-seller? 

SPRINGER:  Well, yes, because she‘s loved and she has a popular show. 

There are probably other people.  My guess is, you know, back in the day, if Johnny Carson took a book and said, this book, America has to read, America would go out and read it. 

I mean, you know, more credit to Oprah.  She was the one that thought, let‘s have a book club.  So, if you are a loved figure in America, you can do that.  People watch television.  We know that. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Jerry, talk about the State of the Union address tomorrow night.  What do you expect the president to say in it?  What does he need to say? 

SPRINGER:  I don‘t think it matters. 

And I don‘t mean to be disrespectful.  But I think we have reached the point, six terms in, where, in a sense, there are people who love him, but no one—or few people really believe that what he says is really necessarily going to happen. 

There are some that just don‘t believe him.  There are some that do believe him, but he‘s not going to be—he‘s not going to get through what he wants, for example, when he talked about his Social Security reform.

So, frankly, I think we pundits will talk about it, and it‘s fun.  But I don‘t think it matters much.  It—the irony is, he came into the presidency to really change the presidency and make it very powerful, compared to the other branches of government.  What I think he‘s done in the process, by overreaching, is that he‘s almost made the presidency irrelevant. 

In other words, he wants to do some things, but it is not working in the Middle East.  It was irrelevant with Katrina.  It didn‘t work with Katrina.  It‘s not working with the economy.  It‘s—the things that he wants, there are a lot of speeches about it, but I don‘t think particularly he‘s been a very successful president. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

SPRINGER:  So, I don‘t think it matters much, what he says. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

Thank you so much, Jerry Springer.  I greatly appreciate you coming on to talk to us. 

SPRINGER:  Thanks, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  Thank you, Karen Holt. 

And I‘m joined right now by Tucker Carlson.  He‘s the host of “THE

SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON.

Tucker, what is the situation tonight, baby? 

(CROSSTALK)

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON”:  You know, I‘m still reeling from the news...

SCARBOROUGH:  So great to just...

CARLSON:  It‘s great to see you, Joe.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  What are you reeling from? 

CARLSON:  I‘m reeling from the news from Jerry Springer that America would elect Oprah president.  I‘m not bashing Oprah.  I know that‘s illegal in this country.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  But I don‘t believe this nation I love would elect Oprah president.  But what do I know?

Tonight, we have James Carville, my old friend on, who has written a -

I must say, a pretty book with Paul Begala about what is wrong with the Democrats.  He‘s going to get into a little more detail on that.

SCARBOROUGH:  Does he call Republicans evil? 

CARLSON:  He‘s actually amazingly respectful and nice to Republicans.

SCARBOROUGH:  Really?

CARLSON:  Yes. 

Well, I mean, look, in the end, Carville respects electoral success.  And the Democrats haven‘t had any.  So he kind of—it‘s actually an amazingly honest book. 

Then, the cuckoo bird left, as embodied by Cindy Sheehan, now running, apparently—or, possibly, again Dianne Feinstein in California.  My question is, how can you root for Dianne Feinstein, if you‘re an honest liberal?  You have to be on Cindy Sheehan‘s side, don‘t you?

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  I guess so.  I‘m glad I don‘t have to worry about it. 

CARLSON:  Oh, I love it.

SCARBOROUGH:  I know.

CARLSON:  Just love it.  This is just—that party just keeps giving. 

SCARBOROUGH:  As my grandmom used to say, gracious plenty, baby. 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  They give us gracious plenty. 

CARLSON:  It‘s like Christmas every day.

SCARBOROUGH:  It is.

Tucker, thanks so much. 

CARLSON:  Thanks, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  And make sure you tune into “THE SITUATION,” coming up next at 11:00. 

And next here, “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul says she is looking for love and wants help from Dr. Phil.  Well, former contestant and friend Corey Clark is on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to tell us if Paula may need more help than Dr. Phil can offer. 

And wonder what former Attorney General Janet Reno is up to?  Well, we got the tape, and it ain‘t pretty.  Stay tune for a flyover of America‘s wasteland. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, “American Idol” just keeps making headlines. 

You remember the twin brothers who made news when one went to jail and the other one went missing?  Well, they were scheduled to be on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, until “American Idol” found out and pulled the plug on their appearance. 

And today, of course, we learned that Dr. Phil is going to offer “Idol” judge Paula Abdul advice on finding a man—she says she has a problem as an international superstar—in his upcoming prime-time special. 

Plus, the ratings just keep getting bigger and bigger there.  Last week, “American Idol” lapped all of its competition, more than doubling their ratings in the all-important demo category.  So, what is going on at “American Idol”?

With us to talk about it is former “American Idol” contestant and self-proclaimed Paula Abdul love interest Corey Clark.

Corey, I have got to ask you, Paula Abdul says she has trouble getting dates with men.  Dr. Phil stepping in to help her out.  What do you think about that? 

COREY CLARK, FORMER “AMERICAN IDOL” CONTESTANT:  I guess she would know herself better than anybody else.  So, if she said it, I would roll with it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you say you knew Paula Abdul pretty well.  You think she needs help getting men? 

CLARK:  I mean, she—I don‘t think she necessarily needs help.  She‘s a beautiful woman, you know.  She—it should be pretty easy.  I think she‘s probably looking more for a match, you know what I‘m saying. 

But it‘s—that‘s her love life.  So she‘s entitled to do whatever she wants with it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What‘s she like? 

CLARK:  She‘s cool.  She‘s cool.  I mean, she can—she‘s a Gemini. 

So, if anybody has ever dated a Gemini, they know how Geminis can be. 

But...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  How can Gemini—now, I don‘t know if I have dated one or not.  I don‘t even know what a Gemini is.  How—what traits do Geminis bring to the table that Paula Abdul brought to the table when you were dating her? 

CLARK:  They can be nice one second and mean the next second. 

You know, just—but that could be any woman, for that matter.  But I mean, it‘s more so with Geminis, I think.  But she‘s doing her thing.  I‘m doing mine.  She‘s moving on with her love life.  I‘m moving on with mine.

I‘m just out here hustling my record real tough and getting that going.  You know, it‘s out in the stores.  So, you guys got to make sure you go pick it up and support it.  It‘s good music.  They would like for you think it‘s something else than good music.  “American Idol,” they are good for pulling plugs on people.  They pulled the plug on a couple people having my back with the—threatening with lawsuits and whatnot.  So, that‘s what happens.  But I‘m the one that guy away.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you know, we were—Corey, we were going to have the twins on that were supposed to be on our show.  And “American Idol” stepped in and told them they couldn‘t come on our show. 

You talk about the strong-arm tactics that they use.  And they—man, they have come after you pretty hard, too, after you came out and talked about your relationship with Paula Abdul.  Talk about how big and powerful this machine is in Hollywood now. 

CLARK:  Well, you know, they were making it hard for me before everything came out with this situation.  And that‘s why everything came out. 

As far as how powerful they are, I don‘t know, because what I‘m—they would like for people to think that my music is not good.  But, as I am getting out there in the streets and I‘m meeting people that are 65 and 10 years old, and of all different age ranges and races, they love good R&B music.  It‘s clean music.  It‘s got good lyrics to it, good beats. 

We got Michael Landau from Chicago that is playing on the record.  We got Tom Keane, that wrote “Through the Fire” for Chaka Khan, that wrote and produced on the record.  Scott Storch is the album—the songwriter and album producer of the year for ASCAP.  It—the list goes on and on.  There‘s just a lots of great musicians that came together to help me to make this record.  And for them to tell people it‘s not a good record, don‘t buy it, because I had a relationship with their judge, that‘s not a good thing.  So, they will pay for that.

SCARBOROUGH:  You said here that even after they disqualified you, they tried to make you look bad and covered up with had happened with you and Paula. 

CLARK:  Oh, yes.

SCARBOROUGH:  How did they try to cover that up? 

CLARK:  Yes. 

Well, at the end of the day, if I prove that me and Paula Abdul were together, then that proves what I was saying all along about their bad business practices and how they treat their contestants, because that‘s the only reason why Paula Abdul had helped me in the first place.  And that‘s what I have been telling everybody. 

But my story never gets out to the news that way.  It only gets out about the sex, because people want to sensationalize the sex part of it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

(CROSSTALK)

CLARK:  But if they listen to really what I was saying or read my book that is available online, they will see exactly what I was saying.  And it has nothing to do with attacking Paula Abdul.  It‘s why she was in that position to help me in the first place. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Why do you think they covered it up?  Why do you think, according to you, that they cleared her of all of these charges?  Is it because she meant money?

CLARK:  They got a show to protect. 

That‘s just like—that‘s like President Nixon‘s buddies coming in and clearing him of the Watergate scandal, his best friends and his cousins walking in and saying, oh, he didn‘t do nothing wrong.  You‘re all right.  Like, they—it was their own lawyers that looked into the situation and called it clear.

So, we‘re having our own people get into that with them.  And people will know the truth.  That‘s the only thing that matters, is the truth and the fact that this is good music and people need to buy it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, Corey, at this point in the interview, I think your right arm is probably kind of tired right now.  You want to hold that up a little bit higher and tell us one more time what it is? 

(CROSSTALK)

CLARK:  ... a little higher?

This is my record.  It is out in stores.

(LAUGHTER)

CLARK:  There are 15 songs of great music on the record, good, clean music.  Pick it up.  Go support it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Clean music.

CLARK:  Because it‘s—you know, it‘s good. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Corey, you can let your right arm down now. 

The interview is over. 

CLARK:  Appreciate it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Thanks so much for being with us.

And we will be right back with “Joe‘s Schmoe.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, friends, it‘s time for another flyover of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, the stories that could have fallen under the mainstream media‘s radar, but not ours. 

Our first stop, not exactly flyover country, but people in flyover country watch the show, New York City, where the drama took a very real and dangerous turn on the set of ABC‘s “All My Children,” where some artists were injured in this explosion.  The soap was filming scenes for a Mardi Gras episode using special effects.  Good news, all four are expected to make a complete recovery.

Our second stop is Midland, Texas, where, according to “People” magazine, wedding bells are ringing for baby Jessica.  Jessica McClure, believe it or not, is now 19.  She became a household name when she was rescued from a well in Texas 18 years ago.  The magazine is reporting that McClure married 32-year-old Daniel Morales in a rural ceremony on Saturday.

Guests weren‘t allowed to take pictures or video.  Now, the two met through the groom‘s sister, who works with Jessica at a local day care center. 

Hey, we will be back with tonight‘s “Joe‘s Schmoe.”

Plus, friends, “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON” just minutes away. 

Stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s time for tonight‘s “Joe‘s Schmoe.”

And today‘s schmoe is “The New York Times.”  Now, the news of yesterday‘s shocking attack on ABC anchor Bob Woodruff and his cameraman, Doug Vogt, made front page of the newspaper today.  But, in a banner, the paper callously wrote about Woodruff‘s trip being nothing but a ratings ploy, a strategy. 

Now, here‘s a reporter who risked his life to go over to Iraq and report back to the American people what was going on over there, helping all of us understand better what it‘s like to be in the Iraqi security service.  And before even knowing the status of his recovery, “The Times” is talking about this ratings ploy.  I‘ll tell you what, bad taste. 

That‘s all the time we have for tonight.  I will see you tomorrow as part of MSNBC‘s State of the Union coverage. 

But, right now, “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON” starts. 

Tucker, what is situation tonight, buddy?

CARLSON:  Thank you, Joe.  I‘m offended by that.

I actually admire Bob Woodruff...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, I do, too. 

CARLSON:  It‘s dangerous.  And good for him. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  Great for him.  Bad taste.

CARLSON:  Great to see you, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  Great to see you, Tucker.                                                                                                 

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

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