updated 2/8/2006 12:51:43 PM ET 2006-02-08T17:51:43

Guests: Brett Rivkind, Vito Colucci, Joe Dwinell, Mariela Carrion, Harvey Levin, Rick Egusquiza, Wendy Murphy, Roseanne Barr, John Giles

RITA COSBY, HOST:  Good evening, everybody.  For the first time, the wife of the man shot by police in this unbelievable video is speaking out to us in her first national interview.  What did the officer say before he pulled the trigger?  And an undercover investigation is exposing a cruel and inhumane scam.  We‘ll tell you why these tiny puppies aren‘t the only victims and why it‘s a threat to national security.

But first, a ground-breaking development in the case of missing honeymooner George Smith, who vanished from his Royal Caribbean cruise.  Attorneys for Smith‘s family now say that they have some doubts about the story told by a group of passengers.  They may have been the last people to see Smith.  Lawyers say their version of events are inconsistent and even bizarre.  The four men in question say they couldn‘t have been near George when he vanished because they were in their own cabin, eating room service.  Even more unusual, the men say they‘ve got some photos of the room service to prove it.

On the phone tonight is Smith family attorney Brett Rivkind.  Also with me is private investigator Vito Colucci and former FBI profiler and MSNBC analyst Clint Van Zandt.

Brett, real quick, what do you make of these photos, the fact that, Brett, they took pictures of room service?

BRETT RIVKIND, SMITH FAMILY ATTORNEY:  Well, I find it very strange, Rita, that anybody would take pictures of room service at 4:15, 4:20, 4:30 in the morning.  You know, I‘d want to hear why.  It just strikes us as very odd, Rita.

COSBY:  It‘s very strange.  In fact, Brett, here‘s the statement—this is for the attorney of one of the boys.  This is Josh Askin‘s attorney from California.  He said, “It was such an incredible amount of food that they wanted to capture it for a memento.  It‘s another piece of evidence that shows that they were not in the Smith cabin at the time he went overboard.”

Now, apparently, Brett, it‘s stamped, like, 4:30, this photo of the room service.  Do we know how reliable these stamps are, and do you think it‘s legitimate?

RIVKIND:  Well, you know, I think we need to be clear that the stamp they‘re referring to has nothing to do with any type of cruise ship record.  It‘s a stamp from their own private camera.

I think the second part of that statement is—really, you know, seems to be more of the use that they want to make of those photographs to try to use it as a piece of evidence that they were arguably in the cabin at the time George went missing, which is another very strange coincidence, that they would actually have a photograph at the exact time or very close to the time that he‘s reported missing.

COSBY:  You know, and Vito, as we hear about it, they also said they tucked him in bed quietly and they brought him back.  It seems like a lot of things to do.  Then they go back, order room service.  It comes magically very quickly in the morning, and they‘re eating all within a half-hour span.  Does that seem like a lot to do in half an hour, Vito?

VITO COLUCCI, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR:  Oh, definitely, Rita.  I talked to the Smiths a couple hours ago, and they just can‘t believe this whole story, as well as I can‘t.  In other words, what they‘re saying here is 4:00 o‘clock, a little after 4:00, they tucked George in bed.  They and walked to the other side of the boat, different floor.  They order room service.  They get it by 4:30, OK, 20 minutes, a half hour later.  And they go, Wow, look at that hamburger.  Let‘s take some pictures of this.  OK, it‘s totally ridiculous.

Then you get a lawyer for one of them on nationwide television last week, saying when the passengers looked out the door and saw three people walking down the hallway, it was really four.  They couldn‘t see the fourth person.  And then another lawyer for the other side, for one of the people, say they doubt what Clete Hyman, a top police officer, a chief of police, said when he said he heard noise, he heard arguing, and a thud.  They said, no, all Clete heard was some loud talking.  So it‘s ridiculous, where they‘re going with this, Rita.

COSBY:  There‘s a lot of inconsistencies.  Clint Van Zandt, let me show a statement.  This is what another cruise passenger had to say about Josh Askin.  Again, this is another one of—this is one of the boys, remember.  His attorney was out, saying that these pictures basically saved them.  But let me show what Josh Askin apparently was saying this to other passenger on the cruise.  This is the day after George Smith vanished.

“The room service is what saved us.  I remember him really going on about that.  We were kind of shocked he was giving us so much information.”

Why would you sort of go on and on and say, The room service saved us? 

At this point, the guy‘s just missing, Clint.

CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI PROFILER, MSNBC ANALYST:  Yes, well, you know, there‘s two aspects to this, Rita.  Number one, it‘s just one piece of information to go with the keycard codes, the surveillance cameras and the statements of the witness.

And number two, I‘m sure Vito, just like myself—I would rather have a suspect lie to me and—you know, first of all tell me the truth, but then lie to me and give me something that I can disprove because if you lie about the little things, you lie about the big things.  So that‘s what the FBI is putting together.  Truth, lies...

COSBY:  Yes, Clint, what are you smelling here?  What are you smelling here, Clint?

VAN ZANDT:  Yes, well, if, in fact, this is a lie—you know, don‘t tell me what the camera says because you and I know we can change the date on that.  Tell me what the keycard says.  Show me the videos of the surveillance back and forth.  Show me what time the food was ordered.  You know, Rita, one of those guys could have picked up the phone in George‘s room, ordered the food and had it sent to their room.  So there‘s a lot we don‘t know that has to be proved.  So for an attorney for one of these four men to say that clears them doesn‘t even come close to (INAUDIBLE)

COSBY:  And Vito, I was going to say this.  Could these photos do more harm than good for these guys?  They think this is their magical defense.

COLUCCI:  Yes, you know, look, what Clint says, people try to keep talking sometimes in cases like this to try to save themself, and this is going to hurt them in the long run.  I really feel there‘s going to be a big break on this case coming up very soon, and I think the other side is kind of playing a little damage control and getting ready for it.

COSBY:  Brett, do you believe a big break could be soon?  Are you hoping that?

RIVKIND:  Well, Rita, we hope so.  I think what Clint says is correct, that the FBI has this information, these inconsistencies.  And we‘re relying on them to take all this information that they have, including information we do not have, and put it all together.  And hopefully, there‘s going to be a resolution shortly.

COSBY:  Let‘s hope so.  That family deserves it.  All of you, thank you so much.  We appreciate you being with us.

And tonight, we‘re also on the case of the brutal murders of a Massachusetts mother and her 9-month-old baby daughter.  We are now learning that Rachel Entwistle‘s husband, Neil Entwistle, may have stolen ideas for one of his alleged on-line Web scams.  He is still overseas but considered a person of interest in this case.

And joining me now with all the new details is Joe Dwinell.  He‘s the managing editor with Herald Media, part of the Boston Herald Group.  Joe, I know you that you have some new details that are going to break in your paper tomorrow.  What is this new scam?

JOE DWINELL, MANAGING EDITOR, HERALD MEDIA:  Well, a California computer engineer says that Neil Entwistle took large passages of his paper right off the Internet.  He plagiarized it and is using it on one of his Web businesses.

COSBY:  And what is this?  What is this company that he‘s saying that he stole them from?  What type of business?

DWINELL:  It‘s called programmable chips.  It‘s really the high end of high tech.  And Neil Entwistle is called Embeddednt.com (ph).  If you go there, it‘s still up, and he‘s—Neil Entwistle, in this—in this on-line deal, is saying, for $1,000 a month, he‘ll help you get into this business.  But this California engineer is saying he doesn‘t understand why he‘s doing it.  He doesn‘t understand why he has taken his work and posted it on line.

COSBY:  And how did this California guy find out that, apparently, Neil Entwistle was using his information?

DWINELL:  Well, our editors and reporters at my sister paper, “Metrowest Daily News,” called him up and told him.  So today he found out.  He‘s surprised.  And the company that he did this paper for earns more than $1 billion a year in this industry.

COSBY:  What is he planning on doing, Joe?  What was his reaction when you guys informed him?

DWINELL:  Well, he was stunned.  I mean, he says, I‘ve never heard of this guy.  It‘s definitely my stuff.  I mean, he‘s stunned.  He‘s heard about it just today.  And it‘s just another chapter in this on-line element of this murder case.

COSBY:  Yes, and it certainly shows questions of Entwistle‘s credibility.  You know, Joe, what does it look like it‘s going to take to crack this case?  We‘re all sort of sitting on—on pins and needles.  The guy takes off, we talked about last night, one-way trip to England, leaves the only car from the family at the airport.  Is the sense it‘s going to be on-line scams, the car, DNA?

DWINELL:  I believe it‘s DNA.  I think all these will tie together.  They haven‘t been tied together yet.  You know, is the on-line part of it part of the story?  Is the DNA test due back soon?  Do they have more proof?  We to know today that they are tracing his steps in Massachusetts, so that may start to pull together.

COSBY:  All right, Joe.  Thank you very much.  Good reporting, and we‘ll look forward, of course, in “The Boston Herald” tomorrow, the story about the scam.  Thanks so much for being with us.

And still ahead, everybody, more churches across Alabama smoldering tonight.  Is it a hate crime or common criminals on a burning rampage?  It‘s coming up.  And that‘s not all.  We have a lot more coming up tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  And tonight, we‘re on the case of a disturbing shooting caught on tape.  California airman Elio Carrion is now out of the hospital after he was shot by police at the end of a high-speed chase.  The dramatic incident was caught in this graphic video.

(VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  The police officer who shot Elio Carrion is now on paid leave, but Carrion‘s family says they will not be happy until that officer is put behind bars.  I spoke with Elio‘s wife, Mariela, for her first national television interview, and I asked her how she feels when she sees that video.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARIELA CARRION, WIFE OF AIRMAN SHOT BY POLICE:  It‘s undescribable.  Every time I watch this video, I just feel like my heart is dropping every single minute.  The first time I saw this video, I began crying and screaming.  And I couldn‘t control myself, it‘s just so tragic and so sad.

COSBY:  How outraged are you, you know, as a wife, to, you know, see that your husband is seemingly complying with police and he gets shot three times?  How angry are you?

CARRION:  I‘m very upset.  I‘m upset at the fact that the sheriffs haven‘t arrested this man.  He committed a crime and we‘ve all been witness to, and he‘s still out there with paid leave.  So I‘m outraged at the sheriff that hasn‘t arrested this man.

COSBY:  Is that what you think should be proper punishment, that he should be arrested?  What else do you think should happen?

CARRION:  He should be arrested and he should pay for what he did because what he did was a crime.  And all I want is justice and for him to be put in jail.

COSBY:  The father of the sheriff‘s deputy, Ivory Webb, says aid he did feel threatened when your husband began to rise.  If your husband had gotten down and stayed down, none of this would happen.  How angry are you when you hear this?

CARRION:  Of course, the father is going to defend his son.

COSBY:  But he‘s blaming...

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY:  That‘s got to be just so frustrating for you.

CARRION:  Yes, we all clearly been witness to this video, when he clearly says, Get up, get up, and as my husband is arising to get up, he‘s telling the officer, I‘m getting up, with his hands up.  And that‘s when he shoots him.

COSBY:  What do you make of the father‘s statements, the fact that he‘s saying maybe your husband should have stayed down?

CARRION:  Maybe his son shouldn‘t have shot him.  That‘s what I‘m saying.

COSBY:  The father‘s also saying that there may be some discrepancy, that maybe his son was saying, Shut up, versus, Get up.

(VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  What do you make of this discrepancy?

CARRION:  He‘s trying to justify what his son did, but there‘s no justification for what his son did.  He‘s a criminal.  My husband did not deserve to be treated that way.  He got treated like an animal, and he doesn‘t deserve that.  He‘s a hero to all of us.  He‘s defending our freedom and our liberty, and he shouldn‘t be treated that way.  All I want is justice to be served and for this man to be placed in jail.

COSBY:  Have, you know, the sheriff‘s department and police—have they given you any update on the investigation?  Have they talked to your husband?

CARRION:  No.  They‘ve tried to talk to him, and all they said is that they haven‘t even put this man as a suspect.  He‘s not even a suspect.  I‘m outraged with the fact for them saying that, that he‘s not even a suspect, if he was there and he shot him.  So he should be placed in jail.  That‘s all I want.

COSBY:  You know, the man who shot the videotape that brought all this attention to the world, we had him on our show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSE LUIS VALDES, VIDEOTAPED SHOOTING:  I do the right thing, OK?  I see what happened.  I take care of the video.  I called a friend and asking what to recommend to do to the video.  He say, You need to do the right thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  Soon afterwards, he was arrested for an outstanding warrant.  Do you feel that authorities are sort of—were targeting him for releasing that videotape?

CARRION:  Yes.  They‘re trying to cover up for themselves.  And this man, he‘s our angel to me and to my husband because if it wasn‘t for him, my husband wouldn‘t even be alive right now.  So they‘re putting him as a target to—I don‘t know.  This man has been living here for years, and now all of a sudden, he gets placed in jail because of an outstanding warrant?  I just think that‘s unfair.

COSBY:  I want to read a statement about your husband because he‘s done some very noble service for our country, you know, three years in the military, just returned from Iraq.  His commander in the military said this.  He said, “Whether serving in Iraq or at the Barksdale Air Force Base, this outstanding airman is known for his dedication and professionalism.”

You‘ve got to obviously be very proud of your husband.  And when do you think he‘ll be back to work?  When do you think things will be back for him?

CARRION:  Right now, we haven‘t talked about that.  The sergeant hasn‘t spoken to us about that, and I don‘t know.

COSBY:  How is he doing?  He was shot his leg, chest and shoulder. 

How‘s your husband doing?

CARRION:  He‘s recuperating well.  We‘re hoping he can fully recuperate and get back to our normal lives.

COSBY:  What would you like to say to the sheriff‘s deputy who shot your husband, if he‘s watching tonight?

CARRION:  That he should be ashamed of himself for treating my husband that way.  And I also want to ask him why, why did he do that?  What did my husband do to make him shoot him?  Why?  Why treat a person that way, if that person hasn‘t done anything to you?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY:  And of course, our prayers are with Elio Carrion.  We hope he recovers safely.  And we also did reach out to the San Bernardino Sheriff‘s Department, but they said that they would not comment on the case until their investigation is complete.

Tonight, another round of attacks on churches in Alabama has the FBI and ATF hunting for at least two suspected arsonists.  At this hour, the state is on alert for more fires.  A total of nine Alabama churches have burned down in the last week alone, four more just overnight.

NBC‘s Ron Mott is now LIVE AND DIRECT tonight from Alabama.  Ron, what is the latest on the investigation there at this hour?

RON MOTT, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Hi, there, Rita.  Good evening to you.  Well, authorities are a little bit stumped because, as of Friday and over the weekend, they kept telling us that they thought this would be a one-hit wonder, that whoever is responsible for this might have set those fires on Friday and that would have been it.  They didn‘t anticipate that this would turn into what is now—appears to be some sort of serial arsonist on the loose.

And as you mentioned, four churches burned down today.  Actually, I take that back.  Two of the four churches burned today were destroyed.  That brings the total to the total number of churches destroyed to five.  No, authorities are not necessarily concerned so much at this point with the motive.  They say they will have to, of course, wait until they make an arrest and then ask someone exactly why this was done.

Right now, they‘re trying to process these clues.  Today they got some good tire marks at one church.  They got a footprint at another.  Apparently, the motive—the MO, if you will, of these particular suspects is to kick the door down, go in.  And a lot of these fires are being started around the pulpit.  And authorities don‘t know if that‘s some sort of message, some sort of an anti-religion message that‘s being sent here by the persons who are responsible for this.  They don‘t know that as of yet.

Now, we spoke earlier this evening with the pastor of one of the churches that was hit today.  He said his church is going to be rebuilt.  It was up from the outside, but the inside heavily damaged.  He says that they were a bit lucky because they made a small investment when they built the new sanctuary in 1999, and it paid of handsomely today.  Let‘s take a listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PASTOR WALTER HAWKINS, DANCY FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH:  We didn‘t think it would happen to us, but we were prepared.  When we built the church, we had an alarm system installed because you never know.  And according to the police, that‘s what really kept our church from being totally—a total loss.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOTT:  But a lot of heavy smoke damage that in that church.  The church behind me is one of the two destroyed today.  Now, Governor Bob Riley will have to put down his work in Montgomery and head back this way.  He is expected to tour these four damaged churches tomorrow.  He toured those five churches over in Bibb County, in the central part of Alabama on Saturday, will be back tomorrow.

There was a $10,000 reward announced over the weekend for those five church burnings in Bibb County.  We anticipate that there perhaps could be some more money added to that.

And Rita, I want to give you a number here, so the viewers out there, particularly here in Alabama, can call this 877 number, 628-2532.  That is an Alabama FBI tip line.  They‘re hoping that someone knows who these individuals are.  Perhaps this SUV that everyone is looking for will turn up some time over the next couple of days, if not the next couple of hours, and authorities can put an end to what is now a very disturbing series of church fires here in Alabama.

Rita, that‘s the latest from here.  Back to you.

COSBY:  And Ron, real quickly, what are the churches being told to do to protect themselves now?  I‘m sure they‘re worried.

MOTT:  Absolutely, they are worried, indeed.  Authorities are essentially asking the community, especially for these small rural churches, to go by them several times a night, if you have to. If you can, perhaps, sleep in them, and certainly tomorrow, get the orders in, if you can, for alarms so that in case someone breaks into that church, the authorities can get out there and put those fires down quickly so that you don‘t have a fire that will take a church down.  A lot of people consider these churches their home away from home, really.  Rita, back to you.

COSBY:  You bet.  Ron, thank you very much.  Please keep us posted. 

We appreciate it.

So just what effect are these fires having on the church community, and how bad is the devastation?  LIVE AND DIRECT tonight is the president of the Alabama Christian Coalition, John Giles.  Mr. Giles, how shocked were you, especially about this latest round of church fires?

JOHN GILES, ALABAMA CHRISTIAN COALITION:  Rita, it‘s really hard to put into words how we feel here.  I guess the closest would be heartsick, heartache, would be the close word to describe this.  You know, these are not just wooden structures.  These buildings, some of them, are almost 200 years old.  People have had their lives changed in these buildings.  Babies have been dedicated to the Lord, baptisms, deaths and marriages.  It‘s just unbelievable to think that someone could desecrate the house of God, the house of the Lord, in this manner.

COSBY:  Yes, it is appalling.  And you know, we were just hearing from Ron Mott this report of maybe two people in an SUV.  Do you have any idea who would be behind it?  Do you think it‘s someone local or do you think it‘s someone from outside?

GILES:  You know, your suspicions and your speculations run wild in something like this.  I‘ll just say that the federal, state and local agencies are doing a great job.  They‘ll get to the bottom of it.  But there‘s some common denominators here, as you well know.  They‘re all Baptist churches.  They‘re all rural and hidden areas.  And of course, one of the common denominators, as Ron just brought out, is the fact that these fires have been started in the pulpit and on the communion table area.  Now, somebody is certainly sending a message to Christianity in Alabama.  I‘m not sure we know what that message is, but somebody‘s certainly sending a strong message.

COSBY:  What are you advising other churches in the area to do to protect themselves?  I mean, now we have nine churches.  That‘s a lot of churches.

GILES:  Well, I think Ron just brought up some good ideas a minute ago, and that is put in security systems, sleep in the churches.  I know some of these folks in Alabama, you know, might have a shotgun or two laying around.  They‘ll be sitting in those churches with shotguns probably for the first time, other than a shotgun wedding, maybe.

But seriously, people—those churches are near and dear to people‘s hearts, and you know, they‘ll be protecting those churches and looking out after them.   But you know, something like this can cool down, and then they‘ll strike possibly again.  So our prayer is that the officials are able to get to the bottom of it very quickly.

COSBY:  You know, if the person or persons responsible are watching tonight, maybe someone who might have been in that dark SUV, if that‘s the vehicle—what do you want to say to them, sir?

GILES:  Well, the thing is that we could say to them is that you can burn our churches down, but you can‘t burn down the body of Christ.  We‘ll march on forward.  And what the nation is going to see in Alabama from Christians is the power of love and the power of forgiveness for those that have onslaught (ph) the house of God.

COSBY:  And you talk about shotguns, I‘m sure there‘s a lot of anger there, too, right?

GILES:  Well, there‘s mixed emotions, and emotions run high.  But I don‘t think that you want to be seen close to a church tonight with a can of gasoline in the state of Alabama.

COSBY:  All right.  Thank you very much.  And I hope no one, of course, continues this (INAUDIBLE).  This is really frightening, and do I hope they catch these people.  Mr. Giles, thank you very much.

And still ahead, everybody, frightening undercover video exposes a cruel puppy-smuggling ring that may not just be inhumane, it may also be a threat to national security.

And Britney Spears caught breaking the law with her baby, possibly putting her baby in danger.  But does it warrant a full-blown investigation by social services?  That‘s what‘s happening.

And later, the wonderful Roseanne Barr is coming after your kids.  She joins me LIVE AND DIRECT with a whole new song and dance.  It‘s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  Oops, she‘s done it again.  Britney Spears has gotten herself in another embarrassing predicament, and authorities say they‘re investigating.  Paparazzi snapped photos of the starlet behind the wheel, cruising down a California highway in her SUV with—get this—her infant son, Sean Preston, seated in her lap.  That‘s against the law, of course, and Britney is blaming the paparazzi.  You‘re looking at some of those controversial photos that were taken.

Joining me now is Tmz.com‘s Harvey Levin, senior reporter also of “Globe” magazine Rick Egusquiza, and also former prosecutor Wendy Murphy.

Harvey, let me start with you.  First of all, what was your reaction when you saw these pictures? 

HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ.COM:  Well, I mean, you knew this was going to be the photo of the day and obviously a controversial one.  I mean, my first reaction was that Britney Spears is in a mess right now because, for a lot of people, she‘s a role model. 

And I think there a lot of mothers out there who are just outraged that a role model would do something which on its face would seem that reckless, basically possibly putting her son in a position where he could become a human rocket. 

(LAUGHTER)

And I think that she‘s got a lot of damage control to do. 

COSBY:  You know, and, Rick, you work for the “Globe.”  She‘s blaming the paparazzi.  Is that fair?

RICK EGUSQUIZA, “GLOBE” MAGAZINE:  No.  She‘s clearly not stressed out in the photos.  And, I mean, these are cameras aimed at her.  They‘re not guns; they‘re not knives.  She‘s used to the paparazzi.  She should have put the kid in the back seat.  And we‘ve talked to numerous safety experts, child safety experts, who all agree she definitely put the child‘s life in jeopardy. 

COSBY:  Yes, and it‘s weird, because she had a bodyguard and someone with her, Rick.  Why didn‘t she just pass it on to the person who was in the passenger seat? 

EGUSQUIZA:  Yes, a bodyguard...

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY:  Who‘s on a cell phone, by the way, as we see her.

EGUSQUIZA:  Yes, she should have taken the time to put the kid in the backseat or at least hand the kid to the bodyguard. 

COSBY:  You know, Wendy...

EGUSQUIZA:  It‘s outrageous.

COSBY:  Wendy, let me show this statement.  This is Britney‘s statement that she released today.  It says, “I was terrified that this time the physically aggressive paparazzi would put both me and my baby in danger.  I instinctively took measures to get my baby and me out of harm‘s way, but the paparazzi continued to stalk us.  I love my child and would do anything to protect him.”

Wendy, what do you make of that?  You‘re a mom. 

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR:  Look, I‘m no mother of the year.  Don‘t get me wrong.  And I think people are going to be really quick to pounce on her.  We love to hate these celebrities who screw up, and she‘s done an awful lot of that.

But it‘s not even a question.  You know, these babies, they‘re so little.  They‘re like ping-pong balls when you get in an accident.  They fly right out windows and they die.  I mean, it‘s not even a close question.  She shouldn‘t have done it.

No one thinks she wanted to hurt her child, but, you know, for her to blame the paparazzi—I mean, if she was worried about the well-being of her child, there were about 1,000 other things she could have done than put the kid on her lap.  It‘s preposterous.

COSBY:  And, Harvey, I understand that the child services is looking into this.  Tell us from the investigative standpoint what you guys have learned? 

LEVIN:  Well, we know that the sheriffs department got a phone call from child services today.  And the sheriffs department went out to Britney‘s house.  and got contact information for children‘s services.  And children‘s services is going to investigate.  They have to investigate, but they are going to. 

Now, look, she is not going to have this kid taken away from her, no doubt about that.  But...

COSBY:  Could she be fined, Harvey?  What could she face? 

LEVIN:  Well, you know, the fine is, if there were witnesses, theoretically, she could be fined a couple of hundred bucks for the infraction of having this kid in the car without a restraint, but the bigger issue is children‘s services. 

They‘re going to investigate.  I know a lot about that agency.  They‘re not going to take this kid away.  But if she screws up again and again, then she really could be in some serious trouble.  Children‘s services can‘t make this appear to look like celebrity justice, if you will.  They have to look like...

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY:  Yes, Wendy, go ahead.

(CROSSTALK)  

COSBY:  Before you respond, let me show what it is, because it says—the law says—and I‘ll get you to respond, Wendy—children must be secured in an appropriate child safety passenger restraint—that‘s a safety seat or a booster seat—until they‘re at least six years old or weigh at least 60 pounds.  It could carry a $270 fine.  What do you think is going to happen, Wendy? 

MURPHY:  There‘s no discussion that she violated the law.  That‘s not how I would defend this case.  And I wish she would call me, because the first thing I‘d say to DCFS—by the way, it‘s the same county where another famous parent did something very dangerous, and I would use this against them, is Michael Jackson—if you can dangle a kid over the balcony and place the child not only in harm‘s way, but that child could have dropped dead if it had ever fallen over that balcony, and DCFS did—what was that again? -- nothing.

And they‘re going to make some kind of a show-piece out of Britney Spears, I‘d be screaming at them for this kind of double-standard, and I‘d like to know why my client‘s getting whacked just because we love to hate Britney but we‘re not that mean to Michael Jackson? 

COSBY:  And, Rick, what do you think is going to happen?  Do you agree with Harvey that, you know, she‘ll get obviously a warning, maybe a little slap?  What do you think is going to happen?

EGUSQUIZA:  Yes, well, she clearly made a big mistake.  And I just think she‘s going to have to watch herself, every move.  I mean, cameras are on her all the time.  And I hate to be the one to say it, but, oops, she did it again. 

(LAUGHTER)

COSBY:  We knew that was coming.

EGUSQUIZA:  I know.

COSBY:  You know, Harvey, what is up with Britney Spears?  Let me put up—this is kind of interesting.  This is sort of some of the latest wacky things that we‘ve seen publicly going on in her life. 

We saw her have sort of this quick marriage to Jason Alexander.  She also reportedly hooked up with Kevin Federline while his girlfriend, Shar, was pregnant with her second child.  And then also now this latest incident.  There‘s the quickie marriage picture, then, you know, all these things going on in her life. 

What is up with her?  Is it age?  Is it celebrity?  What‘s happening, Harvey?

(LAUGHTER)

LEVIN:  I mean, look, to put it in perspective, Rita, she is no O.J.  Simpson.  I mean, none of those things, you know, you would want to throw her in jail and throw away the key. 

COSBY:  Absolutely.

LEVIN:  Britney Spears did something yesterday that was really stupid with this child.  But you know what?  There are probably a lot of people and, dare I say just about every person watching your show right now, who has a kid who probably, when they really think about it, they‘ll say, “You know what?  I once did something that could have put my kid at risk, too.” 

Everybody screws up.  She just screws up with cameras taking pictures of her. 

COSBY:  With a lot of cameras taking pictures.  Guys, thank you very much.  All of you, we appreciate it.

And still ahead, Roseanne Barr was known for telling it like it is on the comedy stage, but now she finds out (INAUDIBLE) we‘ve got a whole new song and dance for your children.  The wonderful Roseanne Barr is going to join me live next.

And later, a story that is going to make a lot of dog lovers very upset.  A smuggling ring that isn‘t just heartbreaking, it is downright dangerous, possibly to national security.  That‘s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROSEANNE BARR, COMEDIAN:  You know, my kids found it on the Internet that I was, like, voted the worst singer that ever lived in the world. 

JAY LENO, HOST, “THE TONIGHT SHOW”:  Really?

BARR:  Yes.  So I thought, “Well, that‘s not something I want my grandkids to remember me by.”  So I thought, “Well, I‘m going to get better.”  So I thought, well, that‘s a good thing for kids to say you can make a big mistake, but then you can get better, you know?  Because nobody can stop you from getting better. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  Well, Roseanne Barr has always known how to get a rise from her audience, but, look out world, she has a whole new act for your kids.  Take a look. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROSEANNE BARR, COMEDIAN (singing:  (INAUDIBLE) you don‘t need to scream and shout.  Just put your foot (INAUDIBLE) and watch that monster start to squirm.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  Yee-haw. 

(CROSSTALK)

Well, believe it or not, Roseanne has got a new DVD for kids.  Most of us remember her as the witty and sarcastically hilarious housewife on her self-titled sitcom, “Roseanne.”  And joining me now live in studio, the effervescent, wonderful Roseanne Barr. 

Great to see you. 

BARR:  Nice to see you, too.  I don‘t know if I‘m effervescent.

COSBY:  You look great.  You look terrific. 

BARR:  Thanks.  Oh, you‘re nice, thanks. 

COSBY:  I‘ve got to ask you first, of course, about news of the day. 

Britney Spears, that picture of her...

BARR:  It‘s insane. 

COSBY:  What do you make of it?  How do you compare that to Michael Jackson and the dangling of the baby? 

BARR:  Oh, they‘re both about the same level of crazy, aren‘t they? 

COSBY:  What was your reaction when you heard... 

BARR:  Well, I just want to think that maybe she was just in a parked car holding her baby.  I didn‘t want to think she was driving. 

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY:  ... you can even see there‘s her bodyguard next to her on the cell phone. 

BARR:  Oh, my god.  That‘s terrible. 

COSBY:  And you‘re a mom. 

BARR:  Yes, I have five kids. 

COSBY:  What‘s your reaction as a mom, too, just first, when you see? 

BARR:  It‘s just awful.  It‘s just unbelievably awful.  She should not do that again. 

COSBY:  Crazy stuff, huh!

BARR:  Really crazy.

COSBY:  You‘ve been doing some fun stuff lately. 

BARR:  Not like putting my baby...

COSBY:  Not like that, much more responsible. 

BARR:  Not that crazy.

COSBY:  In fact, speaking of kids, you did a really neat thing yesterday.  You went to North General Hospital...

BARR:  Oh, that was an awesome afternoon. 

COSBY:  ... in Harlem, a privately funded hospital.

BARR:  Yes.

COSBY:  You know, what was that like? 

BARR:  It was just awesome.  First of all, it‘s just a great place, and, you know, it‘s like—I think it‘s going to sweep the country.  It‘s like the first of its kind.  And they were so nice, the doctors and everybody, and then hanging out with the kids was just awesome.  We all watched my video, and we all talked, and...

COSBY:  And speaking of your video, we‘ve been playing these little clips from it. 

BARR:  It‘s so nice, yes, thank you.

COSBY:  Who are the people singing with you in these... 

BARR:  Well, in that one, with “Let the Kids Boogie,” that‘s my oldest daughter, Brandy.  She‘s 34.  And the one with dark hair is my niece, Melissa, who‘s 29 and pregnant in this video, actually.  She‘s since had a baby girl. 

COSBY:  How did you come with the idea?  And why did you want to do this? 

BARR:  Like, sometimes everything just comes at the right time.  And, you know, I have my own studio, and I was looking to do things for kids just because, you know, when you get my age, when you get a little bit older...

COSBY:  Over 25?

BARR:  Yes, over 50, you just want to do something that you can leave behind that your grandkids will be proud of.  So I just wanted to do it for that reason. 

COSBY:  As a mom, too, what goes through your mind, you know, when you reach out to these kids?  What have you learned from your own personal experience? 

BARR:  Well, the thing that I have learned—the biggest thing I think that I‘ve learned is that kids have a lot to tell us if we listen.  And the more we listen to kids, I think the smarter we get. 

COSBY:  Yes, you‘re talking about...

BARR:  It‘s not the other way. 

COSBY:  Not the other way around.

BARR:  Yes.

COSBY:  You talked about the world‘s worst singer.  We heard this...

BARR:  Oh, yes.

COSBY:  I got to play this.  You‘ve come a long way since the 1990s, singing of the national anthem.  Let me play this...

BARR:  I absolutely...

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY:  ... which we all remember.

BARR:  Unfortunately.  I say it was an unfortunate singing accident. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARR (singing):  And the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  Yes, you just want to—they were cheering for you. 

BARR:  Well, or something. 

COSBY:  Yes, did you expect you would get that kind of reaction? 

BARR:  Oh, no, it was really terrifying.  It was just the most awful thing ever. 

COSBY:  You didn‘t know?

BARR:  No.

COSBY:  When you went in, did you say, “OK, I‘m going do this”? 

BARR:  No, I practiced it.  And I did it really well over and over.  And then when I got there, I just—you know, the night before I had been on Johnny Carson.  And he said, “Be careful that you don‘t start too high.” 

Well, I started so high that there was no way that I could—you know, I was out of my own range for like about 10 octaves.  So there was just no way.  And I just really, you know, tried to make the best of it. 

COSBY:  And then you recently publicly apologized, even making some comments about it.

BARR:  Well, I always said that, you know, had made a mistake always and, you know, that I, of course, didn‘t feel good about it.  You know, it was a terrible thing that happened. 

COSBY:  How much training, given that, because we all remember that—here you are singing, and you sound great on the DVD.  I‘ve heard some of the DVD.

BARR:  Oh, you‘re so nice.  Thank you.

COSBY:  How much training did you have to go to...

(CROSSTALK)  

BARR:  Well, I could always actually could sing.  It‘s just that one day. 

COSBY:  It was that one day.

(LAUGHTER)

BARR:  It was that one bad day.  It goes to show you, like, one bad mistake.  But that isn‘t what I want people to remember me, by the worst mistake I‘ve ever made.  I wanted them to, you know—first of all, I wanted to say to kids, because my son who‘s 10 now—hi, Buck—I didn‘t want him or my grandkids to think that that‘s all people will remember me. 

And then I thought, “Well, it‘s a cool thing to tell kids that you can make a big mistake even in public and then get better.”  And I think that‘s a really cool thing. 

COSBY:  It‘s a wonderful lesson. 

BARR:  Yes.

COSBY:  In fact, I want to play a little clip.  We‘ve got some more of you singing.  Let‘s take a listen. 

BARR:  Oh, that‘s nice.  Thanks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP (singing):  Let kids boogie.  When kids boogie, they can do no wrong. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  How much fun were you having doing this? 

BARR:  I had so much fun, really.  Every day it was just a ball.  And it was, like I say, in my own studio with my own kids.  They run my studio, my grown kids.  And then my little son, my grandson and all of our neighbors, we forced them to be in it, too. 

So it ended up to be kind of a neighborhood community project that was really, really fun.  Every single day, I looked forward to it.  And I had a great time dressing in all these costumes and really enjoying my second childhood. 

COSBY:  Speaking of helping other kids, I‘ve been really impressed.  We‘ve been looking at a lot of stuff.  You‘ve done a lot of stuff for Hurricane Katrina victims. 

BARR:  Well, you know...

COSBY:  Why did you take an interest? 

BARR:  Well, you know, just a lot of us have, because it‘s the right thing to do.  And, you know, it really feels good when you do the right thing.

COSBY:  What‘s ahead for you, real quick?  What‘s coming up?  

BARR:  Well, more kids things.  I‘m like totally into it.  And just trying to be a good person, and a good grandma, a good mom, and a good citizen. 

COSBY:  Any free singing lessons or any “Roseanne” reunions coming up? 

BARR:  Well, we talked about.  Every so often we talked about a “Roseanne” reunion or something.  And we all like would just die to work together again.  We love each other so much. 

COSBY:  Well, it‘s terrific having you here.

BARR:  I was going to say that, in one of these videos, Michael Fishman  -- that was little D.J.—he‘s one of the monsters in “No Monsters.”  He‘s the red monster. 

COSBY:  So they keep coming back again? 

BARR:  Yes, we all hang out. 

COSBY:  Well, it‘s great to see you.

BARR:  It‘s nice to be here. 

COSBY:  And keep up the wonderful work.

BARR:  Thank you so much. 

COSBY:  Thank you so much.  Such a pleasure, and make sure you get that DVD, all for a good cause. 

BARR:  Thanks.

COSBY:  Thanks, Roseanne.

And there‘s a lot more coming up here on MSNBC tonight.  Let‘s check in with Joe Scarborough now with a preview—Joe?

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST:  Hey, first of all, I‘ve got to say I just loved your Roseanne interview.  She sounds like she really is.  I mean, she‘s doing a great job for kids, a great person, a great grandma. 

COSBY:  She is.  And, Joe, she‘s the real deal.  It‘s great to see and to try to make a difference. 

BARR:  Well, thank you very much, both of you.

COSBY:  It‘s neat.  She‘s saying thank you, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Really, I‘m supposed to promote my show, but I was just so impressed, like everybody.

COSBY:  You can just talk about ours all night.  That‘s OK, Joe.

BARR:  Isn‘t that nice?

SCARBOROUGH:  Exactly.  Exactly.

BARR:  Thank you.

COSBY:  What do you have coming up?

SCARBOROUGH:  We‘re in Atlanta right now.  And obviously in Atlanta today, America and the world said goodbye to Coretta Scott King.  Some people though were offended by the fact that this funeral, which was supposed to celebrate her life, turned into a political pep rally, where you had liberals who were attacking George Bush and then Bill Clinton stood up and seemed to declare that his wife would be running for president of the United States. 

We‘re going to talk about whether that was appropriate and talk about the life of Coretta Scott King.  That and a lot more, straight ahead in “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.”

And, Rita, now back to you. 

COSBY:  Me and Roseanne Barr. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And Roseanne.  I know, I...

COSBY:  Don‘t forget Roseanne right here.

BARR:  I love this studio.  I just want to say, it‘s cool. 

COSBY:  Hey, come any time.  It‘s great to see you.  And, everybody, stick with us.  Still ahead, we‘ve got a lot more coming up right after the break.  Stick with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  Tonight, a cruel and inhumane scheme revealed in a stunning undercover investigation, the illegal world of puppy smuggling.  Just last week, we told you about the terrible ways that traffickers are using drugs to transport—dogs, rather, to transport drugs into the United States. 

They cut the dogs open, stuff them with packages of heroin, then stitch them back up and smuggle them through customs.  Now another kind of canine trafficking is being brought to light.  And this time, it is all caught on tape.  Puppies are being smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico.

And as you can see, they‘re being sold on the streets, sometimes out of cardboard boxes, even cages.  But what‘s even more disturbing is that it may reveal a hole in our national security. 

KNBC investigative reporter Ana Garcia is live in Burbank tonight. 

Ana, tell us what you found out about it. 

ANA GARCIA, KNBC REPORTER:  Well, there are about 10,000 puppies a year, Rita, that are smuggled into California from Mexico along the border, checkpoints that are in San Diego.  Seventy five percent of those puppies are sick.  Most of them will die because they‘re not getting any good veterinary care. 

And, of course, we‘re also finding that that is posing a health risk for humans as well as other animals.  So we took our hidden cameras and we went down to Mexico to see what was for sale and what conditions these puppies were living in.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  How much are they? 

GARCIA (voice-over):  If you‘re asking how much is that puppy in the window, the window of a car...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  $130, for this?  It‘s a French poodle, pure-breed? 

GARCIA:  You might be asking for trouble. 

MARTHA RODEE, VICTIM:  Just look at her.  Did she deserve to die?  No, but she did. 

GARCIA:  All Martha Rodee of La Verne wanted was one of these:  a Maltese-poodle mix, a popular breed amongst Mexican dog smugglers.  Agents in Otay Mesa confiscated these eight-week-old pups.

DR. MARK GOLDSTEIN, PRESIDENT, SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY:  They were coming across the border illegally to be sold at a street corner.

GARCIA (on-screen):  During a recent two-week crackdown here at the border, authorities say they found more than 500 puppies hidden in cars bound for the U.S. 

(voice-over):  They were concealed in boxes, under blankets.  And look how many puppies were crammed into a suitcase.  If the trip doesn‘t kill them, lack of veterinary care might, or they‘re too young to be taken from their nursing mothers. 

GOLDSTEIN:  The puppies coming in from Mexico, three-quarters of them will be seriously ill within three to five days. 

GARCIA (on-screen):  And will they die? 

GOLDSTEIN:  The majority of them will die without extensive medical care. 

RODEE:  We saw an ad in the “Los Angeles Times.”  He asked us to meet him at a car wash. 

GARCIA (voice-over):  For $550, Sophie was hers for six days, most of which were filled with heartache. 

RODEE:  About two days later, she wouldn‘t eat.  She was throwing up and she had diarrhea.  So we took her to the vet, and they said she had Parvo. 

GARCIA:  A disease of the intestines pups get if their mothers haven‘t been vaccinated. 

RODEE:  The hospital bill was almost $1,600. 

GARCIA:  After three days in the hospital, Sophie died. 

RODEE:  You really don‘t expect it to die a couple days after you buy one.  And it‘s just not fair.  It‘s not fair to the puppy.

GARCIA:  Animal control authorities say Sophie may have been from a puppy mill in Mexico, smuggled in and sold here.  But they‘re not sure because the seller disappeared. 

CAPTAIN AARON REYES, ANIMAL CONTROL:  The minute that van door opens and people see how cute these puppies are, that just separates them from their money right away. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What is it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A retriever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  A retriever.  Are they for sale?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes.

GARCIA:  We went to Tijuana with hidden cameras to see where authorities say these puppies are coming from and what conditions they‘re living in.  Caged puppies are sold at big open markets or on the side of the road out of boxes, so small they‘re whimpering and barely able to stand.  Some of the dealers, mere pups themselves, like this young boy, carrying a dog zipped into his jacket. 

“Is it healthy?” I ask in Spanish.  He shows me by making the puppy walk.  He also leads us to this man who has a car full of dogs. 

(on-screen):  And what are these, these are poodles? 

(voice-over):  $130 for the Chihuahua, $200 for the Scottish Terriers, $350 for the Pekingese, almost half what you‘d pay in California, a bargain for some Americans we met shopping in Mexico. 

(on-screen):  What are you looking for? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  A Chihuahua.

GARCIA:  Authorities say most of these black market dogs are actually sold in southern California at parks like this one in Ontario.  It‘s such a problem here they‘ve posted signs warning it‘s illegal to sell dogs. 

We found pit bulls for sale in this pickup and toy dogs offered out of backpacks. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  This one is $300?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  This one is $180.

GARCIA:  Authorities say not only are most of these dogs sick, they can make you and your family sick. 

GOLDSTEIN:  Ringworm will affect people.  God forbid rabies becomes an issue.  That‘s a fatal disease in people. 

GARCIA:  These confiscated pups were nursed back to health at the San Diego Humane Society where at least one has found a loving home. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What a cutie. 

GARCIA:  As for Martha Rodee...

RODEE:  The expense of both the dog and the hospital, it‘s going to be a really long time before I can get another. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GARCIA:  And if you are caught smuggling one of these puppies into the United States, your car could be seized, you could face possible attempted smuggling charges.  And, of course, the dogs will be taken by animal control—Rita? 

COSBY:  Ana, what a revealing report.  Thank you very much.  So sad for those puppies.  Thank you very much.

And, everybody, we‘re going to be right back right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  And finally tonight, some bare back sides are going to grab your attention in the checkout lines.  Two of Hollywood‘s most sought-after starlets, Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley, are baring all for this month‘s Hollywood edition of “Vanity Fair” magazine. 

Former Gucci honcho Tom Ford, who‘s the guy in the picture, is the guest editor of this month‘s Hollywood edition and said, “Kind of just wanted to spice it up a little bit and get in the picture.” 

And that does it for us tonight.  Everybody, be sure to watch us tomorrow night, because you ever wonder what happened to the runaway bride, Jennifer Wilbanks?  Well, tomorrow night, we‘re going to have her pastor on the show, also a very close family friend, someone who knows a lot of stuff.  He‘s going to be here tomorrow night.

That does it for me.  “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY” starts right now with my pal, Joe.

Take it away, Joe.

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

END   

Transcription Copyright 2006 Voxant, Inc.  ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license

is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may

not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or

internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall

user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may

infringe upon NBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights

or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes

of litigation.>

transcripts

Watch Rita Cosby Live & Direct each weeknight at 9 p.m. ET

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,