updated 2/8/2006 1:01:53 PM ET 2006-02-08T18:01:53

Guests: Joseph Lowery, Niger Innis, Harry Siegel, Bill Berens, Elizabeth Milner, David Saunders, Rachel Maddow, Max Kellerman

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”:  That‘s our show tonight.  Live from Atlanta, Georgia, I‘m Joe Scarborough.  Thanks for being with us.  The SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON starts right now—

Tucker. 

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  And a great show it was, Joe.  Thanks a lot.

SCARBOROUGH:  Thanks.

CARLSON:  And thanks to you at home for tuning in.  We appreciate it.

We have a news packed show in store for you tonight.  But we begin with today‘s memorial service for Coretta Scott King, which basically became a political rally.  Both former president Jimmy Carter and the Reverend Joseph Lowery slammed President Bush, who sat with his wife, uncomfortably, on the stage as the audience stood and applauded.  Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We only have to recall the color of the faces of those in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.

Those who are most devastated by Katrina to know that they are not yet equal opportunities for all Americans. 

REV. JOSEPH LOWERY, CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER:  We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there.

But Coretta knew and we knew that there are weapons of misdirection right down here.  Millions without health insurance.  Poverty abounds.  For war, billions more, but no more for the poor. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  So was Coretta‘s Scott King‘s funeral the proper venue for political attacks     on the president?  Let‘s bring in one of the men you just heard.  The Reverend Joseph Lowery joins us tonight live by phone from Atlanta, Georgia. 

Mr. Lowery, thanks for joining us. 

LOWERY:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  So why, when you can at any time, from your pulpit or any other place, attack the president‘s policies, why would you use a funeral to needle the president about weapons of mass destruction?  Why there today?

LOWERY:  Well, my remarks were not about the president, nor about me.  They were about Mrs. King and what she stood for and conversations we had had about war and the weapons of mass deception. 

Remember that Dr. King, her husband‘s three-headed monster, poverty, and war, were things that Mrs. King embraced and extended in her own life.  And she was very much opposed to war and talking about her life in the context of civil rights and human rights and the movement.  She was the first lady of that movement, and she was very active in he—in fighting and opposing violence and war. 

CARLSON:  Of course, she was against war.  Most people are against war.  But you made a very specific reference to this war and a controversy that surrounded our entrance into it. 

You said, quote, “We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there.  Coretta knew and we knew there were weapons of misdirection right down here.” 

It‘s not hard to hear that and not draw the obvious conclusion that that‘s an attack on President Bush, which of course is your right to do, and I think completely fair.  But again, it seemed very uncomfortable to say something like that in a funeral with the president right there.  It seemed like bad manners.

LOWERY:  Well, I don‘t think so.  I certainly didn‘t intend for it to be bad manners.  I did intend for it to—to call attention to the fact that Mrs. King spoke truth to power.  And here was an opportunity to demonstrate how she spoke truth to power about this war and about all wars. 

And I think that, in the context of the faith, out of which the movement grows, we have always opposed war.  We‘ve always fought poverty.  And we base our—our argument on—on the faith, on the fact that Jesus taught us.  He identified with the poor.  “I was hungry; you didn‘t feed me.  I was naked; you didn‘t clothe me.  I was in prison; you didn‘t see about me.”  He talked about war.  He talked about he who lives by the sword. 

So I‘m comfortable with the fact that I was reflecting on Mrs. King‘s tenacity against war, her determination to witness against war and to speak truth to power. 

CARLSON:  Were you comfortable with President Jimmy Carter‘s remarks, which also seemed openly partisan and political?  His reference to the domestic spying controversy now surrounding the president and to the federal government‘s response to Katrina?  Was that an appropriate series of remarks to give at a funeral, do you think?

LOWERY:  Well, Mr. Carter is very capable of defending himself.

CARLSON:  But what did you think, I‘m wondering?

LOWERY:  Well, I think that I‘m responsible for my remarks and not Mr.  Carter‘s.  I just think that, in speaking truth to power, if there were no fabrications and there were no deceptions, there were no misstatements or errors in fact, then I think that Mr. Carter had a right to say what he feels. 

CARLSON:  All right.  The Reverend Joseph Lowery, joining us by phone from Atlanta tonight.  Thanks a lot, Mr. Lowery.  I appreciate it. 

For more on today‘s funeral rally, we welcome Niger Innis.  He‘s the spokesman for the Congress for Racial Equality.  He joins us tonight live from Washington.

Mr. Innis, thanks for coming on.

NIGER INNIS, SPOKESMAN, CONGRESS FOR RACIAL EQUALITY:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  You heard what Mr. Lowery said.  Doubtless you know Mr.  Lowery.  What do you think of his take on this?  Did you think this was an overtly political ceremony today?

INNIS:  Well, I was very—terribly disappointed for Reverend Lowery, who is a civil rights veteran that I respect a great deal.  He was in the movement, very much like my father is an active civil rights warrior and is the national chairman of CORE, an active veteran of the civil rights revolution as well.  Also has high regard for Joe Lowery.  We were very disappointed. 

You know, my father was at the service itself and, contrary, Tucker, to a lot of the reports that are coming out in the media about there was a standing ovation and unanimity in support of what Jimmy Carter—President Carter said and Joe Lowery said, there was not. 

Not everyone stood up and applauded those—those comments.  And I think everybody did not stand up for those comments.  I think it was roughly 50-50.  The people who did not stand, did not stand to protest.  They did not stand because they realized that a funeral service is not a venue for making partisan political points. 

CARLSON:  That‘s my feeling.  I mean, I‘m not telling anybody what to say.  It‘s not, you know, my funeral.  And I would never presume to tell people what they‘re allowed to say, and that‘s not the point of this.

It just seems very, very, very uncomfortable to bring up partisan politics and the politics of the day, very specific policies like—like domestic surveillance, for instance, at a funeral service. 

INNIS:  Absolutely.

CARLSON:  And is it—I‘m wondering, what are the boundaries here?  Are you allowed, do you think?  Is it morally right to bring up partisan politics at a funeral in general or at church, in general?

INNIS:  I think in general, it is morally reprehensible and misconduct and rude to do that type of thing.  But this is not in isolation.  I mean, it was just a few weeks ago that Senator Hillary Clinton, whose remarks were respectful and decent today, but it was just a few weeks ago, though, that Senator Clinton compared the House of Representatives to a plantation.  I mean, there‘s a series of events...

CARLSON:  While in church. 

INNIS:  While in church. 

CARLSON:  You know, if someone said something political in the church I was in, I would stand up and leave.  It‘s just so unbelievable that people get to sermonize about politics in church.  How could you do that?

INNIS:  What is happening is that there are elements within the Democratic Party, certain leaders within the Democratic Party, and certain civil rights leaders that are tools of the Democratic Party, that are using black events, using black memories of pain and our legacy in this country, in our country, for political gain. 

Al Gore, in the closing days of the 2000 campaign went before a black church and said that the Republicans want to take you back to being three-fifths a person. 

And it—it comes to a point now where the black community, those who did not stand in that audience, that represent the silent black majority and decent Americans, have got to do more than just stay silent and stay seated.  We have to protest when our legacy, when our history of racism is used for political purposes. 

CARLSON:  It must drive you crazy.  What do you do, finally, when somebody stands up and says, “I‘m your leader.  I speak for you.  I am a self-appointed leader of this or that movement.  And I am your voice in public,” but that person is, in fact, not your voice and doesn‘t speak for you.  How do you protest that?

INNIS:  Well, you know, Tucker, you guys are partially responsible for that.

CARLSON:  I know.  You‘re right.  You‘re absolutely right.

INNIS:  In the media, because you guys, you know, even though 50 percent and more did not stand up and applaud those comments, the media is projecting those that make statements like that on a consistent basis.

And not just at this funeral, and not just those statements that Joe Lowery and President Carter made, but the racial arsonists in our country.  Meanwhile, the silent black majority does not have access to the media in the same proportion that the racial arsonists do. 

CARLSON:  I think you‘re totally right.  That would drive me absolutely insane if I were you.  I really appreciate your coming on, Niger Innis.  Thank you.

INNIS:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Moving on now to the caricatures of Mohammed that sparked outrage in the Muslim world.  Many media outlets, including this one, are still refusing to show the cartoons, which so far have inspired arson, vandalism and a number of deaths around the world. 

A handful of U.S. newspapers have courageously decided to buck that trend and print those images, including the “Weekly New York Press.”  That was the plan, anyway, until late tonight when press editor-in-chief Harry Siegel was informed he could not publish the cartoons in tomorrow‘s editions.  Siegel promptly resigned along with much of his editorial staff. 

Harry Siegel, suddenly without a job, joins us live tonight from New York. 

Harry Siegel, welcome.

HARRY SIEGEL, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, “WEEKLY NEW YORK PRESS”:  Thanks. 

CARLSON:  And congratulations for what you did. I think you‘re a hero for doing it.  But tell us, before I slobber on you even more, what happened.  You were going to print these cartoons and what stopped you?

SIEGEL:  Well, ownership—ownership said, “If you print these, we‘re not going to print—we‘re not going to print the paper.” 

CARLSON:  What was their rationale?

SIEGEL:  I think they were afraid and I think that was the point of the violence that these cartoons very ostensibly inspired.  Was there are things you can‘t print and there‘s going to be a wide veto (ph) and consequences if you do.  You know, to me, this seems part and parcel with the Ramadan riots, with what‘s happening in Iraq, and with the Palestine election results. 

CARLSON:  Now, you‘ve seen.  Unfortunately, a lot of our viewers have not seen the cartoons.  And I think because we can‘t show them, it inflates them in the minds of people who haven‘t seen them.

Just describe them quickly, the more inflammatory ones.  Are they—I mean, are they pornography or no?

SIEGEL:  No.  They‘re editorial cartoons.  They‘re actually pretty mediocre.  The two that are probably the most inflammatory are the ones that actually ran, one with Mohammed or at least, since you‘re not supposed to depict the prophet, a guess at what Mohammed looks like, with a turban that‘s also a bomb.  And the one with Mohammed in heaven and people who appear to be suicide bombers approaching.  He said, “Go back, there are no more virgins here.” 

Pretty standard editorial cartoon fare. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

SIEGEL:  What actually incited people, though, was a group of Danish imams went on a money tour to—to get together cash to put together a spontaneous uprising in the street in first Iran, I believe, and then Syria and finally with Saudi Arabia with three fake cartoons that didn‘t run in the paper that were truly profane and offensive.  One with Mohammed being humped by a dog.  Another with him as a pedophile.  And a third with him with a pig snout.  That is actually what set people of. 

CARLSON:  That hasn‘t been—that hasn‘t even been reported.  I mean, I‘ve been doing this story for the past three shows, have written about it.  I didn‘t even know that.

Now tell me, you‘ve taken a stand, I believe, on principle and a courageous stand that a lot of journalists, most journalists in this country, say they have not been willing to take.  Who‘s come to your aid?  Who‘s helped you?  Who said I‘m going to pitch in in any way with moral support?  Has the ACLU called you?

SIEGEL:  The ACLU has not called me up.  But to be fair, this has happened only a few hours So.  So we‘ll see who does. 

CARLSON:  You made the decision, you backed the decision, anyway, to

print these cartoons.  That‘s something that virtually no other newspaper -

there are a couple other exceptions.  I think the “Austin American Statesman,” “The Philadelphia Inquirer,” “The New York Sun.”  Those are the only I know of.  Maybe there are others.  But few o you have made that decision. 

Did anybody call you up to said, you know, “Go to it?  You‘re fighting the fight.”

SIEGEL:  No, I‘ve gotten no calls of that sort so far.  I‘ve talked to a few people who have been sympathetic, but so far, this has been—this has been a bit lonely.  And I mean, Clinton, the pope, “The Globe,” “The Times,” the E.U.

I mean, when this story first really started breaking this week, I assumed by the time the press went to print, that pretty much every major American paper was going to have printed these cartoons.  And make clear that no one is game for this sort of intimidation.  Right now, the bounties on the heads of cartoonists.  I talk to a cartoonist—an American cartoonist—who went into hiding the other day because of a cartoon he had commenting on this.  And...

CARLSON:  That‘s just disgusting. 

SIEGEL:  Yes.

CARLSON:  So just boil it down for us.  Just to make certain that viewers don‘t think this is one of those boring press stories that only journalists are interested in.  There are principles and important ones at stake here.  Sum up what they are. 

SIEGEL:  Freedom of the press and freedom of the press to, when necessary, be profane and tackle whatever issues comes its way.  And by the way, for the record, the entire editorial staff of the paper wept.  It wasn‘t just myself.  And including people whose work has nothing to do with this. 

And the game right now is Iran just announced a competition for Holocaust cartoons. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

SIEGEL:  Holocaust denial cartoons, of course.  And the joke is, “Hey, we love free speech, too.  Try and stop us.”

So half the time, America should know this from college campuses: the issue is free speech.  The other half of the time it‘s violence.  And it‘s tolerance.  And what is supposed to unite the two is the threat of violence and why... 

CARLSON:  That‘s what it is right there.  I mean, the bottom line here is people are being silenced because they‘re afraid of being hurt.  And Harry Siegel, a man who is not being hurt, if you have a good job in journalism, give it to Harry Siegel.  He deserves it. 

Thanks a lot for joining us tonight. 

SIEGEL:  Thanks so much for having me.

CARLSON:  Still ahead, a different kind of outrage.  In Chicago, convicted sex offenders being excused from serving prison time because jails are too crowded.  But it‘s not in Chicago.  In fact, it‘s in Colorado.  A misread script, not corrected.  It‘s an outrageous story you‘ll have to hear to believe.

Plus, you need an I.D. to drive and you need an I.D. to get into an “R”-rated movie.  So why is one group fighting legislation that would make it necessary to show I.D. before voting?  Find out when THE SITUATION returns. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is ready to accept Katrina aid from, of all places, France.  Isn‘t it about time Big Easy voters say au revoir to this imbecile?

Plus, a new sex soda that guarantees to turn you on.  Details on that and more when THE SITUATION comes back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

Did you know a sexual predator—predator can assault a child with force and not spend a single day in prison?  Colorado State Representative Bill Berens discovered that fact recently and decided to do something about it, but his bill was killed because prisons in Colorado are running out of beds. 

Representative Bill Berens joins us live from Denver to talk about this.

This is—Representative Berens, this is an amazing fact.  I almost couldn‘t—I had to go to the producer and say is this—can this really be true?  It turns out it is true. 

Give us the parameters here.  People have been—sex offenders have been released from prison in Colorado because there aren‘t enough beds?  Is that true?

REP. BILL BERENS, COLORADO STATE REPRESENTATIVE:  That is correct.  They go to probation, and it‘s called lifetime supervision, and they‘re giving—given some testing. 

And if they—when I say testing, there is an phallometric (ph) examination and polygraph.  And you go directly from the courthouse to this testing procedure.  And if you are still determined to be a pedophile and pass a polygraph test that says that you haven‘t sexually assaulted a child again, you stay on probation. 

CARLSON:  So just...

BERENS:  Without any...

CARLSON:  ... to make it totally clear, these are real—I mean, these are sex - when you say sex offenders, these are not 18-year-olds who had 17-year-old girlfriends whose parents got mad.  These are child molesters?

BERENS:  These are child molesters that sexually assaulted a child 15 or under. 

CARLSON:  That‘s just—that‘s just disgusting.  So your bill would have made it mandatory that these child molesters stay in prison for a term.  How could you be against that?  Who was opposed to this? 

BERENS:  Well, it was a partisan vote in the judicial committee.  It was 6-5, six Democrats voted against it and five Republicans voted for it.  And the vote was to postpone indefinitely, which is essentially killing the bill. 

CARLSON:  I mean, on what grounds?  There‘s no sex offender lobby.  You think a politician would be afraid to vote against a bill that punishes sex offenders.  What was the justification for voting against this?

BERENS:  There were actually two justifications that the Democrats presented.  One was that they were opposed to minimum sentencing and wanted the courts to be able to adjudicate at their discretion. 

And the second is that we have a prison overcrowding situation in Colorado, but we are building a new prison. 

CARLSON:  So Colorado voters have shown, in some way, that they are willing to pay for more prison space.  So that problem will be solved, correct?

BERENS:  That‘s correct.  We just had a Referendum C that allowed more state tax dollars to flow back into the building of capital facilities, as well as operating dollars. 

CARLSON:  Do people in Colorado know about this?  I mean, honestly, as many stories as we do of this kind, I was shocked to learn this actually happens.  Do voters know this?

BERENS:  Well, I‘m a native Coloradan, and I did not know that you could be a sexually violent predator that could be convicted in a state court and go directly from that court to probation. 

And I found that out when I was going to introduce my legislation that basically said you had a minimum sentence for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old or under.  And I brought that bill before the House of Representatives judiciary committee and No. 1, it was basically killed. 

That‘s unbelievable.  Minimum sentences for people who sexually assault 12-year-olds or under.  You would think that would have the unanimous support of every person on this planet.  I‘m shocked, and Mr.  Berens, I‘m glad—I hope you‘ll reintroduce that legislation and I hope you win this, because you deserve to think.

Thanks a lot for joining us.

BERENS:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON: Still to come, does Hillary Clinton have a chance in the heartland of America?  The red states?  Political strategist Dave “Mudcat” Saunders shares his tried and proven techniques, kicking, as he says, Republican foxes out of rural henhouses.  Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

You need an I.D. to drink, buy cigarettes, get into an “R”-rated movie.  The Pennsylvania League of Woman Voters say requiring people to show an I.D.‘s Ii a bad idea, maybe even discriminatory. 

Here to defend that position is the group‘s president, Elizabeth Milner.  She joins us live Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. 

Elizabeth Milner, thank you for coming on. 

ELIZABETH MILNER, PENNSYLVANIA LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS:  Hi, Tucker. 

Thank you for inviting me.

COLMES:  It‘s a good question.  You have to show an I.D., a drivers‘ license, government sponsored I.D., to get on a Southwest flight.  Voting is a lot more important than flying.  Why not require an I.D. to vote?

MILNER:  Well, you‘re right, Tucker.  And right now in Pennsylvania, if you are voting in a polling place for the first time, you do need to show I.D.

CARLSON:  OK.

MILNER:  The bill—the bill that‘s in our legislature right now would require you to show a specific government I.D. each and every time you went to vote. 

CARLSON:  Well, what‘s wrong?  You‘ve got to show an I.D. each and every time you buy a pack of cigarettes or a can of beer or get on a flight.  Again, voting is more important than any of those things, and voting—voter fraud undermines democracy in a way nothing else does.  Why not show an I.D.?  I don‘t get it.

MILNER:  Well, you‘re right about voter fraud tougher.  But we have found that most of the voter fraud is perpetrated upon the voter by the parties themselves. 

The people—people like you and I, we have I.D.‘s as a matter of course.  There are approximately 200,000 to 400,000 Pennsylvanians who do not have I.D. They are poor.  They are elderly.  They are sick, and those people are the ones that—who we are worried about. 

CARLSON:  Well, I‘m little surprised by the cavalier attitude you seem to be showing toward voting fraud, since you are the League of Women Voters.  I want to read you a line from your own press release sent to us this afternoon.

MILNER:  OK.

CARLSON:  “Investigations of election fraud from 1992 to 2002 show that its incidence is minimal across the 50 states and rarely affects election outcomes.  Rarely affects election outcomes.  Not a big deal.  It will rarely effect—if voter fraud affects any election outcome ever, it‘s a tragedy for the democracy, isn‘t it?  Of course it is.

MILNER:  Yes.  But no one can actually point to any specific election that has been affected by voter fraud. 

CARLSON:  So that has been affected by voter fraud?   Yes.  I mean, people make those claims all the time, and some of them sound plausible to me.  Can you prove it?  No.  The suggestion is enough, however, to undermine people‘s faith in the system.  So why not make it more fool proof than it is?  It‘s easy to commit voter fraud and you know it.

MILNER:  But people don‘t commit voter fraud.  People are disenfranchised from voting.  And that is our problem.

If your 82-year-old mother who doesn‘t drive, who doesn‘t smoke, who doesn‘t go to “R”-rated movies and goes to the polls and does not have a valid state issued I.D., she‘s not going to be allowed to vote. 

CARLSON:  Well, isn‘t that kind of your job?  I mean, no offense or anything.  You are the League of Women Voters.  Why don‘t you get out there and help people get I.D.‘s? 

But if a person, and I‘m leaving the elderly aside, but—and the infant (ph) aside.  But is an ordinary person who‘s not disabled or elderly, can‘t get his act together enough to get a government issued I.D., I‘m not sure I want him I‘m not sure I want them voting in the first place. 

But moreover, isn‘t it your job to help those people get I.D.‘s to protect the rest of us from fraud?

MILNER:  Tucker, how—how would they get these I.D.‘s?  Would they need a birth certificate?

CARLSON:  Yes.  You—every single person in this country, who is not in a vegetative state, has to prove his identity to the federal government.  Right? Because at the end of the year, you have to demonstrate, right, that you‘re a citizen and you pay taxes or you don‘t.  You still have to demonstrate what your name is.  Everybody does. 

MILNER:  Well, you can go and sign your name, and if that‘s the same signature that was there before and polling workers tend to be in your community and voted in the same place for 10 years and don‘t have your I.D., do you think it‘s fair that you should be turned away?

CARLSON:  You have to prove who you are who you say you are.  I don‘t know.  I think that a lot of people, whether—I think this is a big deal.  But more to the point, I think a lot of people think it‘s a big deal.  And people‘s worried—worries about the integrity of the system, I think that‘s enough to make us want to tighten it up. 

Thanks a lot for joining us.  I appreciate it.

MILNER:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Up next, should Northerwestern University fire a professor, or better yet, deport him to Iran for saying the Holocaust never happened?  I‘ll debate that with Air America‘s Rachel Maddow in just moments, so stick around. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

It‘s hard to imagine Hillary Clinton successfully selling herself to voters as a woman who understands NASCAR, deer hunting, and chewing Copenhagen.  But my next guest says Democratic candidates had better start doing just that if they ever want to win another major election. 

Dave “Mudcat” Saunders is a Democratic strategist—probably the best in the country—also the author of the book “Foxes in the Henhouse:  How the Republicans Stole Rural America and What the Democrats Must Do to Run Them Out.”  He‘s also one of the great figures in American politics, and we‘re thrilled to have him here in the studio live.

Mudcat, welcome. 

DAVE “MUDCAT” SAUNDERS, AUTHOR, “FOXES IN THE HENHOUSE”:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Honored to have you here.

SAUNDERS:  I‘m honored to be here.

CARLSON:  I want to read you—you may not have read the “New York Times” for tomorrow.  This is a piece, some Democrats sensing missed opportunities.  This is what Barack Obama tells the “New York Times.”  “Two-thirds of the American people think this country is going in the wrong direction,” he says.  “They‘re not yet sure whether Democrats can move it in the right direction.”

In other words, Bush is very weak.  Why isn‘t Democrats very strong? 

What‘s the answer to that? 

SAUNDERS:  Well, you know, Senator Obama can have his thoughts on this.  My thoughts are a little different. 

You know, when you take—if you look back at the 2004 campaign, Tucker, there was—you know, we conceded 227 electoral votes from the get-go. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

SAUNDERS:  I‘m a southern Democrat, and I don‘t believe in conceding any votes.  And if you look at the numbers, you know, President Bush only had to get 16 percent of the remaining votes...

CARLSON:  Because the South was spoken for. 

SAUNDERS:  Yes, because he only needed 43 more electoral votes of the remaining 311 votes.

Democrats, you know, the ones I talked to, you know, the ones who talk about tolerance, but the only real tolerance that they really have is for their own intellectual arrogance...

CARLSON:  Yes.

SAUNDERS:  ... they‘re good at calculus, they‘re good at trig, but they‘re not good at arithmetic.  The first thing we‘ve got to do is learn how to add. 

Secondly, you know, I feel like that—you know, a little boy lives over the mountains close to me named Cornbread Marshall. 

CARLSON:  I have no neighbors named Cornbread, by the way, and I wish I did.

SAUNDERS:  But anyway, Cornbread Marshall got in a fistfight with his aging daddy.  And buddy of mine, Barney Day (ph), ran into him, and he said, “Cornbread, what in the world happened?”  And he said, “Well, Daddy whipped the hell out of me.”  And he said, “Well, how did that happen?”  He said, “Well, he did (INAUDIBLE) more than half the fighting.”

CARLSON:  That‘ll do it.

SAUNDERS:  And that‘s what Democrats have got to do.  We‘ve got to do take the battle—we just can‘t battle in just a handful of states.  First, it‘s not fair to the state parties.  Senator Kerry, you know, went into Nashville, for instance, had a million-dollar fundraiser, left, took money out.  They had state house elections down there, and he‘s gone. 

CARLSON:  Right.  But he ended his campaign with money in the bank, offensively to the Democrats...

SAUNDERS:  Fifteen million dollars, which could have bought another 70,000 votes in Ohio. 

CARLSON:  That‘s exactly right.

Hillary Clinton, if she winds up being the nominee, it‘s hard to believe that she‘s going to inspire Copenhagen-chewers in Kentucky and any of the border states, some of the states that her husband won.  Are people going to vote for her? 

SAUNDERS:  Well, first thing, Tucker, is you‘ve got to remember what her name is.  Her name is Clinton.  And if people forget that, they‘re making a huge mistake. 

Hillary Clinton proved when she won the Senate race in New York that she could go after the Bubba vote, or I think up here they call them bennies (ph). 

CARLSON:  In upstate New York.

SAUNDERS:  Right.  And there is not 50 cents difference in (INAUDIBLE) in New York in southwest Virginia and Iowa.  The Gallup poll that‘s out that said that 51 percent of Americans said that under no circumstances would they vote for Hillary Clinton. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

SAUNDERS:  You know, I believe that they believe that, but nobody knows anything about Hillary Clinton.  I mean, all they know is they don‘t like her.  And, you know, I do my own little focus groups amongst my hunting buddies, and such, and the neighbors.  And, you know, you ask somebody about Hillary Clinton in the South, the first thing that comes of their mouth is she‘s a bitch.

CARLSON:  Yes.

SAUNDERS:  And you say why?  And they said, “Well, because she is.”  And then you get to talking to them a little bit more, and they say, “Well, you know, she tried to fool with health care.”  And then you say, “Well, shouldn‘t somebody be fooling with health care?”  And then when you get down to the bottom of it, what they don‘t like about her is that she‘s—they say she‘s got big ankles.  And then they come back...

CARLSON:  And what can you do about that? 

(CROSSTALK)

SAUNDERS:  Well, I‘ll tell them exactly this:  She‘s not running for Miss America; she‘s running for president of the United States. 

CARLSON:  So you think it‘s the ankle factor that... 

SAUNDERS:  Well, I think that there are no real tangibles that the Republicans have to fight Hillary with.  I just don‘t see them.

I think that before she‘s out there, before she tells her story—and I go back to this, brother, her name is Clinton. 

CARLSON:  That strikes fear in my heart.  I hope you‘re wrong.  I sense you‘re right.  I think she‘s probably tougher and more resourceful than we imagine, and I hope she takes no counsel from you, because that would help her. 

“Foxes in the Henhouse:  How the Republicans Stole Rural American and what Democrats Must Do to Run Them Out,” probably on her bedside right.  Mudcat Saunders, thank you. 

SAUNDERS:  Thank you, Tucker.  Come fishing, man.

CARLSON:  Oh, I‘m gonna.  Don‘t worry. 

Stay tuned.  Still plenty more ahead on THE SITUATION. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON (voice-over):  We‘ll tell you about the new cherry soda that‘s arousing a lot of attention and why it might have you wondering:  Is this the real thing?

Then the puppy that‘s got B.B. King singing the blues.  Wait till you hear what he‘s offering to make sure the bitch is back. 

Plus, another example of why pop stars make lousy parents. 

From Germany, images that beg the question, what the hell do they feed their rabbits over there?

Then we‘re off to London for the last laugh.  An unusual funeral that‘s got friends of the deceased asking, can anyone ever fill his shoes?  It‘s all ahead on THE SITUATION.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

A professor at Northwestern University is under fire tonight for telling the “Chicago Tribune” and members of the Iranian press he believes the Holocaust is a myth.  Professor Arthur Butz is a well-known Holocaust denier.  He wrote a book in 1976 called “The Hoax of the 20th Century:  The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry.”  You can‘t get any more obvious than that.

Northwestern has called his comments an embarrassment, but the university hasn‘t fired him.  Why is this man still on campus?  Well, because he‘s tenured, of course.

Here to discuss this, Air America radio host Rachel Maddow.  Rachel, welcome. 

RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO HOST:  Hi, Tucker.

CARLSON:  His latest statement, says a statement from the college, is a contemptible insult to all decent and feeling people.  In other words, the guy is horrible.  He is insulting to the community of Northwestern University, but we can‘t fire him because he has tenure.  Tenure is not the most important principle in higher education.  Education is the most important principle, and I just think, if this guy‘s hurting Northwestern, and he clearly is, they ought to can him. 

MADDOW:  If he wasn‘t tenured, do you think that it should make a difference as to how Northwestern considers him?  If he wasn‘t tenured, do you think that Northwestern would just fire him because of his opinions? 

CARLSON:  Oh, I do.  Oh, absolutely, I do.  But I disagree with tenure itself, and maybe it‘s not even worth getting into that, because it‘s such a thorny subject and it‘s a different conversation.

MADDOW:  Yes, I feel like we could have a discussion about tenure. 

That isn‘t what this is about for me.

CARLSON:  No.  The bottom line is, though, the guy is hurting the university.  And the point of the university is to educate students.  Anything that gets in the way of that ought to be eliminated, including crackpot professors who espouse Holocaust denial. 

MADDOW:  Well, I don‘t believe in firing people because of their personally held opinions.  I mean, he‘s not a history professor.  He‘s not teaching on this subject.  He‘s an engineering professor.  This is not something that he‘s done at Northwestern.  It isn‘t something he‘s teaching on.  This is a personally held belief, which is odious, and pernicious, and offensive, and monstrous, but I don‘t think you should fire people because of their personal beliefs. 

CARLSON:  What does it mean to be a “personally held belief”?  This is a publicly espoused belief.  There‘s nothing personal about it.  He believes it, but it‘s something he‘s telling other people, something he‘s written a book about, something he is in the league of the Iranian government to convince the world of.

It‘s a very public stand he‘s taking.  Nobody has a right to a job, in my view, and nobody has a right to be immune from the consequences of his opinions.  If this guy really believes this garbage...

MADDOW:  Right.

CARLSON:  ... then he ought to suffer for it. 

MADDOW:  Well, but OK...

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  ... what if his opinion was something else?  What if his opinion was that he was very, very, very much in favor of gay marriage, or if he was very, very, very, very opposed to affirmative action, or if he was something that‘s more within the realm of acceptable discussion but something that the college, say, disagreed with? 

CARLSON:  Then I think the college has a right to fire a person who espouses views the college believes are offensive.  And, in fact, I think the college has an obligation—I see where you‘re going, and I sort of agree with you, but I just think—the point here is the college says his opinions are disgusting, and are contemptible, and an insult to all decent people.  Then why are they keeping this guy on, in the name of some abstract principle having to do with tenure?  It‘s just stupid.

MADDOW:  No, they‘re keeping him on because he‘s an engineering professor and because something that he does outside of his engineering professor life is disgusting. 

CARLSON:  Really?  Does he sound rational?  Does he sound like a rational man capable of rational thought, the Holocaust never happened?  You want this guy teaching kids? 

MADDOW:  Well, listen, I‘ve never sat in on his engineering classes. 

CARLSON:  Not that I‘d understand them, but right.

MADDOW:  I mean, listen, at some point, somebody that I work for—maybe it will be here—will decide that my political beliefs are odious and are totally offensive, somebody will decide that because I think that abortion should be legal or because, as a gay person, I think I ought to have civil rights, that that means I ought to be fired.

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW:  I don‘t believe in the principle of firing somebody because of their beliefs.  I just don‘t.  And if I‘m a zillionaire someday, and I hire you to be my towel boy, and I decide that I don‘t want you to be my towel boy anymore because you want to dig a moat around the country, you could argue the same thing then, too.

CARLSON:  No, I actually wouldn‘t.  I wouldn‘t...

MADDOW:  It‘s a free speech issue. 

CARLSON:  ... because you‘re the employer.  Yes, we have freedom of speech.  We don‘t have freedom of speech with the expectation of no consequences, however.  And I think employers ought to be in charge of their own institutions. 

MADDOW:  And ought to be in charge of firing their employees if their employees believe something they think is gross.

CARLSON:  Here‘s my point.  Northwestern University is saying, “We don‘t have control of our own university.”  And there‘s something weird and wrong about that. 

MADDOW:  No.  They‘re saying, “We‘re not going to fire an employee because of a gross belief he holds.”  I don‘t think that‘s so weird to a country that believes in free speech.  The First Amendment protects the most odious, monstrous speech. 

CARLSON:  It absolutely does. 

MADDOW:  It‘s free speech.

CARLSON:  From the government.

MADDOW:  Right.

CARLSON:  Not from your employer, from the government.  The government can‘t throw you in prison.  That‘s what the First Amendment says.  It doesn‘t say your employer has to keep you employed.  That is not within the scope of the First Amendment.

MADDOW:  You start firing people because they have gross beliefs, eventually you get fired because somebody thinks your beliefs are gross.

CARLSON:  Are you kidding?  I fully intend to be fired.  I will be fired for my beliefs.  There‘s no question.  I‘m sure I have been before, in fact, and it will definitely happen again.  But I‘m not going to be quiet; those are just the consequences.

MADDOW:  And you‘re standing up for the rights of people to fire people for their personal beliefs.

CARLSON:  Yes, that‘s right, because I‘m a libertarian, and I believe you ought to have the right to employ or not employ anybody you want.  That‘s my view.

MADDOW:  And that‘s more important than the First Amendment? 

CARLSON:  No, it‘s not—you can‘t suck me in. 

(LAUGHTER)

MADDOW:  I think I just did.

CARLSON:  Rachel Maddow—no, you didn‘t, because it doesn‘t apply to government.

Coming up, we know the situation in New Orleans is desperate, but has it really come to this?  You won‘t believe where Mayor Ray Nagin is turning for relief.  We‘ll tell you when THE SITUATION comes back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  “Welcome back to our show,” he said pounding the desk.  Eighteenth-century French cleric and mapmaker Joseph Roux once said, “A fine quotation is a diamond on the finger of a man of wit and a pebble in the hand of a fool.”  Joseph Roux could turn a phrase. 

Joining me now, a man who‘s a fine example of one of those or the other, “The Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host Max Kellerman. 

MAX KELLERMAN, HBO BOXING HOST:  Pebbles in the left hand, diamonds in the right. 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  Three-card Monte. 

Speaking of France, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is looking to the French to help rebuild his city.  Speaking to a delegation of visiting French officials last week, Nagin said, quote, “I know we‘ve had a little disappointment earlier with some signals we‘re getting from Washington, but the international community may be able to fill the gap.” 

New Orleans was founded by France in 1718, and the French transport minister said his country, quote, “wants to be a long-term partner for Louisiana and New Orleans.”  In other words, Max, Mayor Ray Nagin turning to France for money to help rebuild his city, money he does not need, money that will only be a propaganda victory for the French.  This is ridiculous. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, the fact that the French are in a position to win any kind of propaganda campaign against the United States is really a failure of George Bush, isn‘t it?  I mean, this is embarrassing, Tucker. 

You‘re right, but first of all, there‘s a French connection there, so to speak, of course.

CARLSON:  Yes.

KELLERMAN:  And secondly, there is the need.  I mean, Bush got off—how long after Katrina—we‘re going to rebuild it higher, better.  It‘s going to be the greatest city you‘ve ever seen.  You can‘t wait to see what we‘re going to do.  And then you, you know, fast-forward a couple of months and nothing‘s going on. 

CARLSON:  First of all, I‘m not defending that Bush speech, which was a series of ludicrous, over-promises, none of which can ever be fulfilled, at least by the federal government.  But the fact is there are billions, and billions, and billions, and billions, and billions of federal tax dollars on their way to Louisiana and the Gulf Coast saturating the area.  And one of the impediments is a incompetent local government, Ray Nagin‘s local government.  Let‘s be honest; even France can‘t fix that. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, I mean, you want to talk about—you‘re talking about the kleptocracy in Mexico, you want to talk about kleptocracies?  Well, fine, you have to factor that into the budget, Tucker.  You know, there‘s a skim that you have to factor in.  What really bothers me is now just the French, Jordan.  Jordan is—I mean, you know, at a certain point, it starts to get scary. 

CARLSON:  Yes, I mean, you know, why not North Korea?  Why don‘t they pitch in?  How about Syria?

All right, up next, more news from France, where they‘re saying non to a new aphrodisiac.  They don‘t need it, it turns out.  Manufacturers promise the soda called Turn On will sexually arouse anyone who drinks it.  It‘s made with guarana, ginseng and caffeine and will be available in stores in this country very soon.

People who have tried Turn On said it tastes a lot like cherry soda.  It‘s been banned in France and Denmark, but the makers say it is nonetheless safe.  And a soda that‘s also an aphrodisiac?  I‘m kind of with the French on this for two reasons.  One, like the French, I‘m a nationalist.  I‘m proud of our country.  We don‘t need aphrodisiacs here, OK?  We‘re potent enough as it is.

Second, do teenagers really need to be anymore sex-obsessed, hornier than they already are?  I mean, come on.  So who needs this soda?

KELLERMAN:  So in other words, it reinforces potency.  No wonder the French didn‘t want—look, here‘s the fact.  What are you worried about, like, high school kids exploding if they drink it? 

CARLSON:  Yes, I am.  I mean, do you—I mean, come on.

KELLERMAN:  Who do you think is going to be—Tucker, if it worked—and, of course, you have to be cynical about—skeptical about it, whether it actually works. 

But let‘s say for a second that it works.  Who‘s going to be drinking it, high school guys?  No.  They will be figuring out ways, up all night scheming, how to slip it to the girls.  And if the event is that it did work, if the case is that it does work and the girls are drinking it, it simply levels the playing field. 

CARLSON:  Well, that‘s a good point.  I suspect its market will mostly be among the elderly in Boca. 

KELLERMAN:  Yes, right, exactly.

CARLSON:  But that‘s just a thought.  Actually, you know, Max, you have an excellent point.  It will level the playing field to some extent, and that is a good thing. 

KELLERMAN:  It is unfair what‘s going on out there. 

CARLSON:  I just fear for 15-year-old boys drinking Turn On.  They‘re like ticking time bombs, and I think there could be explosions.

KELLERMAN:  Well, you‘re probably—if it works, you‘re probably right.

CARLSON:  Max Kellerman from New York tonight.  Thanks a lot, Max. 

KELLERMAN:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Still ahead on THE SITUATION, shocking photos of Britney Spears.  We‘ll tell you why Britney may have lost some ground in the mother of the year competition when we visit “The Cutting Room Floor,” next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for “The Cutting Room Floor.” 

Joining us now, a one-man focus group for Turn On soda, Willie Geist. 

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER:  That will not be popular with men.  Trust me.  We don‘t need it.  Breathing is a turn on.  Being carbon-based is a turn on.

CARLSON:  I totally agree.

(LAUGHTER)

GEIST:  Existing. 

CARLSON:  Thank you, Willie.

Fine German engineering doesn‘t only apply to automobiles.  But first, as you know, on “The Cutting Room Floor,” there is no judgment.  This is a judgment-free zone, so we‘re in no way suggesting Britney Spears is a bad mother.  We just thought you should know she lets her 4-year-old son drive her car.  These paparazzi photographs taken yesterday show Britney holding her son on her lap as she drives her SUV.  Britney defended her actions by saying she was protecting her baby from the paparazzi somehow. 

GEIST:  And what a better way to protect your child than allowing him to drive four months out of the womb?  I think that‘s really a smart play by her. 

But you know what?  I don‘t judge, like you said, because my old man took me out driving when I was underage.  I wasn‘t four months old, but it‘s kind of a rite of passage.  You go out with your parent and drive the car. 

CARLSON:  That was a pre-air-bag (INAUDIBLE) if I could point out. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  When you lose your dog, all you can do is tack up a few posters and offer a $100 reward.  When blues legend B.B. King loses his dog, he offers one of his autographed Lucille guitars to the person who finds his pet.  B.B.‘s dog, who is, of course, named Lucille, went missing 10 days ago in L.A.  B.B. has named all of his guitars Lucille since he started out in 1949.

GEIST:  You know why he names them Lucille?

CARLSON:  No, no clue.

GEIST:  He was playing a show in Twist, Arkansas, in 1945.  There was a fire, because two guys got in a fight and started a fire.  They were fighting over a girl named Lucille.  He ran back in, saved his guitar.  Almost cost him his life.

CARLSON:  Fantastic. 

GEIST:  We don‘t just entertain; we inform. 

CARLSON:  How does two guys fighting cause a fire?

Fine German engineering—getting back to a script I mistakenly read a moment ago—does not only apply to luxury automobiles.  It also produces some of the biggest, most freakish rabbits you‘ll ever see.  This one weighs 17 pounds and stands three feet tall on its hind legs.  That rabbit is the product of a Berlin breeding farm that cranks out German giants.  The breeder says this monster is so exceptional he won‘t sell it.

GEIST:  Three feet tall and 17 pounds?  That thing is the size of Webster.  That thing is huge.  At some point, it ceases to be a rabbit...

CARLSON:  And cuter.

GEIST:  ... much cuter—and it becomes a kangaroo or a koala bear. 

That‘s not a rabbit.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  There is evidence tonight that being a geek can do more than prevent you from getting dates; it can actually lead to your financial downfall.  A British man named Tony Alleyne has filed for bankruptcy after spending nearly $200 grand to convert his home into a replica of “Star Trek‘s” Starship Voyager.  He built a command console and a life-size model of the transporter.  He could beam himself up. 

GEIST:  That certainly hurts the resale, when you have a transporter room.  But, geeks, remember this for this very reason.  If you‘re getting wedgies and locked in lockers, people are saving you from becoming the kind of person who turns your home into the Starship Voyager. 

CARLSON:  Each swirly is like a lesson learned.

GEIST:  That‘s right.  It‘s a gift.

CARLSON:  Willie Geist, speaking of gifts, thank you.

GEIST:  See you tomorrow, Tucker.

CARLSON:  That‘s THE SITUATION for tonight.  Thanks for watching.  Up next, Keith.  See you tomorrow.

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

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