updated 2/14/2006 11:31:43 AM ET 2006-02-14T16:31:43

Guests: Mike Allen, Wayne Pacelle, Ray Peavy

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”:  That‘s it for our show tonight.  Stick around, because THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON starts right now. 

Hey, Tucker, what‘s the situation tonight?

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Hey, Joe, thank you.  Thanks for a great show. 

Thanks to you at home for watching.  We always appreciate it.

Tonight, see Dick Cheney shoot, see a 78-year-old lawyer go down in a heap.  The vice president under fire tonight for the hunting accident that left Harry Whittington in a Texas hospital.  But why exactly is the White House press corps to angry?  We‘ll tell you. 

Also, is the popular TV show “CSI” educating potential killers on how to get away with it?  The man who heads up the LAPD murder division thinks so.  He joins us in just a moment.

Plus, was U.S. figure skater Michelle Kwan selfish for taking the Olympic spot of a qualified teammate, when she knew she was too injured to compete?  The backlash over Kwan‘s decision in just a few minutes.

We begin tonight with the media uproar over Dick Cheney‘s Saturday afternoon quail hunting adventure gone very bad.  Here‘s what we know at this hour. 

Seventy-eight-year-old attorney, Harry Whittington, the man the vice president accidentally blew away, remains in stable condition at a Texas hospital with bird shot pellets lodged in his skin. 

What we do not know is why it took a full day for that information to become public.  President Bush himself didn‘t hear about it until almost three hours after it happened. 

The White House press corps, normally the first to know, were obviously annoyed that they were beaten to the story by “The Corpus Christi Caller Times,” a small newspaper in Texas.  Earlier today members of the press took out their frustration on White House press corps secretary Scott McClellan.  Watch.


SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  This was handled by the vice president‘s office.  The vice president thought that Mrs. Armstrong should be the first one to give that information out, since she was an eyewitness. 

DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  The vice president of the United States accidentally shoots a man.  And he feels that it‘s appropriate for a ranch owner who had witnessed this to tell the local Corpus Christi newspaper and not be—the White House press corps or notify the public in a national way?

MCCLELLAN:  I think we all know that once it is made public, then it‘s going to be news and all of you are going to be seeking that information.  The vice president‘s office was ready to provide additional information. 

JIM AXELROD, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Is it appropriate for a private citizen to be the person to disseminate the information that the vice president of the United States has been—has shot someone?

MCCLELLAN:  That‘s one way to provide information to the public.  The vice president‘s office worked with her.  I should say the vice president.  The vice president spoke with her directly and agreed that she should—agreed that she should make it public.  And that they would provide additional information. 

BILL PLANTE, CBS NEWS:  The vice president has a Secret Service detail and has communications which are up-to date, operating and in place.  How is it that the word of the shooting and the fact that the vice president was involved could have been confused or delayed, given the fact that that was almost certainly...

MCCLELLAN:  I think the initial information is coming from his team on the ground with him.  And they‘re just providing an initial report.  An accident has taken place.  They might not know all the facts at that point, Bill. 

PLANTE:  It sounds as though your suggestions about how to handle this were disregarded by the vice president‘ office. 

MCCLELLAN:  Again, I‘ll keep those conversations private. 


CARLSON:  Ouch.  For more of the vice president‘s hunting mishap and what has followed, we welcome “TIME” magazine White House correspondent Mike Allen.  He joins us live tonight from Washington.

Mike, how are you?


CARLSON:  Happy pre-Valentine‘s.  Thank you, Mike.

I identify completely with journalism.  I grew up around it.  It‘s all I‘ve ever done.  I know the saying is true for you.  I always defend the press against the White House.  But in this case—and no matter what White House it is—I‘m a little confused as to why they‘re so mad at the hapless, and I have to say kind of pathetic Scott McClellan.  What‘s the big deal with this story?

ALLEN:  Well, Tucker, I can tell you, there‘s not a lot of demand right now to get into the vice president‘s hunting pool. 

CARLSON:  I bet not.

ALLEN:  The space is there.

But Tucker, you were a police reporter in Arkansas.  You know that when someone‘s shot, whether it‘s the vice president doing the shooting or not, that‘s information that‘s typically released by local law enforcement in real-time. 

And I don‘t agree what you said that the press corps is mad or that they‘re sorry that the “Corpus Christi Times Caller (sic)” got it first.  They did a great story about it.

I think what reporters are concerned about is whether this suggests some hole or flaw in the White House system that, if it were a more serious incident, could be a real problem. 

Now, in this case the vice president picked a very auspicious victim. 

This attorney is a tough 78-year-old and is doing fine, is joking about it.  He‘s extremely loyal, a Republican, very close to the whole Bush crowd.  So he‘s not going to have any problem there. 

CARLSON:  And yet you—I just want to read something back to you that you wrote in your piece for “TIME.” 

ALLEN:  That‘s always dangerous.

CARLSON:  Your first line, “Accidentally shooting a lawyer is never a good idea.”  Excellent, excellent point.  Why didn‘t—I mean, what actually happened?  Why did this news take so long to filter down to the rest of us?

ALLEN:  Yes.  Tucker, I can actually answer this question, and I‘m going to break a little news for you, which is the vice president—and this is implicit in the comments that you just played by Scott McClellan—but I‘ve confirmed by Republican sources outside the White House that the vice president overruled the advice of numerous White House officials, who thought that they should put that information out right away, and insisted on sticking to this plan that he worked out to have this ranch owner, as David Gregory put it, place the story with the local paper. 

I mean, apparently, the vice president thought that this would sort of tamp down the information.  But you know, it‘s kind of like, you know, you break the window.  Your dad‘s going to find out.  You might as well just tell him.  It‘s not going to get any better with time.  And I think that‘s what happened here. 

CARLSON:  It‘s interesting.  You‘re saying you heard this from Republican sources outside the White House.  You raise a question, a really interesting question, in your piece about how the president‘s office feels about this.  I mean, they don‘t need the hassle, essentially.  Cheney is the vice president and his job is to attend the funerals of foreign dictators and make his boss look good. 

Bush doesn‘t want to deal with this.  Are they mad at Cheney?

ALLEN:  Well, I can tell you that Republicans are—there is a certain fatigue with some of the incidents that are arising with the vice president.  I think the Republicans, who love the vice president very much, appreciate who he is, appreciate what he‘s done, but don‘t think that he should hurt the president.  And there‘s a tipping point where that could occur.  I‘m not the person to judge where that is, but Tucker, you talk to the same people, and other people are concerned about it. 

They are surprised that the vice president, who was at the White House today, did not go on camera and talk about this.  Tucker, the irony of this is that when you and I first saw the story at 3:30 on Sunday, I think we assumed it would be a very short story.  It would be something that late-night comedians would have a riff on.  You know, tonight David Letterman is going to say, “We can‘t get bin Laden, but we did nail a 78-year-old attorney.”  Stuff like that.  And it would be over.

But because of the way it was handled, it‘s turned into a story, as a Republican extremely sympathetic to the White House told me, a story of either cover-up or incompetence. 

CARLSON:  I think it‘s just the funniest thing I‘ve ever heard.  I mean, I hate to admit that, but I just thought it was a riot.  Dick Cheney, you always knew he was mean, and then he goes and shoots somebody.  Very cool.

Mike Allen joining us from Washington tonight live.  Thanks, Mike. 

ALLEN:  I bet he wishes the press pool was there.  Have a good night, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Exactly. 

Another group none too pleased with the hunting accident heard round the world is the Humane Society.  The group has expressed—expressed its displeasure with Dick Cheney in a statement released earlier today.

Quote, “Vice President Cheney just seems to keep topping himself on the hunting front.  First, he showed terrible judgment by hunting ducks with Justice Antonin Scalia when his office had business before the Supreme Court.  Then, he went on an exclusive private shooting spree in Pennsylvania and shot dozens, perhaps hundreds, of stocked pheasants at a drive-through canned hunting operation, where the pen-raised birds were treated as nothing more than living targets.  Now, he‘s shot a hunting companion in his latest hunting venture.  We don‘t quite understand his obsession with shooting animals, and we‘d advise him to pursue a less violent form of relaxation and get on with the important business of leading the country,” end quote.

Joining us now, the man who wrote that statement you just heard, the Humane Society CEO, Wayne Pacelle, who joins us live tonight from Washington. 

Wayne, thanks for coming on. 


CARLSON:  I don‘t really understand the problem you have with what happened over the weekend with Dick Cheney.  He shot another man.  I think, as someone who stands up for animals, you‘d be pleased that he shot a guy who was killing birds. 

PACELLE:  Humans are animals, too.  But I guess our concern is that Dick Cheney does take every opportunity to hunt that he can, whether it‘s in Pennsylvania, at this enclosed facility, where pen-reared animals were released by the hundreds.  The previous incident that really got attention was 2003, when he and his hunting party shot 500 birds in about a two-hour span. 

And there‘s just been a lot of hunting activity.

CARLSON:  I don‘t know—look, I don‘t understand what your problem with pheasant hunting is.  You say it‘s a canned hunt.  I doubt you know anything about it.  I doubt you‘ve ever been on a hunt.  Have you?

PACELLE:  I‘ve been on—yes, absolutely, Tucker.  Absolutely. 


CARLSON:  You shot pheasant then before?

PACELLE:   No, I haven‘t. 

CARLSON:  I didn‘t think so.

PACELLE:  But I‘ve been present for it many times.  And ring-necked pheasants, as I‘m sure you know, Tucker, are an exotic species.  They were introduced for the specific purpose of being shot.  And they are raised, along with Chucker Partridge (ph), and mallards and the quail, probably, that were shot this weekend, in a pen-reared situation.  And they are dumped out for hunting purposes.  We call it a canned hunt. 

O‘REILLY:  Look, other men‘s recreation is really sort of none of your business, unless you‘re willing to take a stand against eating animals.  And generally, I assume you‘re not.  Your argument doesn‘t make a lot of sense.  We raise chickens in pens, and then we kill them in order to eat them.

PACELLE:  Tucker, we make ethical judgments all the time.  I‘m sure you oppose dog fighting and cockfighting, don‘t you?

CARLSON:  Dog sledding?

PACELLE:  Dog fighting and cockfighting.

CARLSON:  I do oppose dog fighting and cockfighting.

PACELLE:  You do, right.

CARLSON:  And I love animals.  And I also hunt birds and I eat birds. 

PACELLE:  But Tucker, let me go with this argument here.  You‘re saying that anyone‘s recreation should be his or her own?

CARLSON:  Absolutely not.

PACELLE:  Hold on.

CARLSON:  Slow down.  I want to clarify what I‘m saying, and then I‘m going to give you a chance to respond to it.  You seem to be making the argument that it is wrong to kill these birds.  It is wrong to shoot birds that are pen raised and then eat them, as most people who hunt them do.  They eat them. 

But it‘s somehow not wrong to raise chickens or any other kind of fowl or any kind of animal, for that matter, in a pen and eat it.  It doesn‘t make sense. 

PACELLE:  You‘re putting words in my mouth.  We haven‘t even discussed chickens at all.  I‘m saying rearing birds just for the pleasure of shooting them, when you could shoot something else like skeet or trap, is not an ethically sound position. 

CARLSON:  Why is it that is it ethically sound to raise an animal and kill it?


PACELLE:  You said you were going to let me finish.  The ethics of it are that animals matter, that animals are conscious creatures.  They feel pain; they suffer.  If we could avoid causing them harm, we should.  If you must eat for survival, of course.  You know, that is...

CARLSON:  Wait a second.  Nobody in this country eats for survival. 

The poorest in our country are also the fattest. 

PACELLE:  If Dick Cheney—if Dick Cheney was doing this for food, when he shot—when he and his hunting party shoot 500 birds, is that for food?

CARLSON:  You‘re just mad.  I read the press release you wrote in which you attacked the club he shot at.  Another—something else you know absolutely nothing about, I‘m sure.  And—because you‘re angry he‘s shooting with a bunch of rich guys.  Because look, this is an assault on Dick Cheney.

PACELLE:  No, no.  Tucker, you‘re wrong—you are wrong.  What we‘re against is canned hunts and these egregious hunting practices where people are just killing animals for fun.  We started to go on dog fighting, cockfighting.

CARLSON:  Wait, wait.  We‘re not—OK, Dick Cheney has not been accused of dog fighting or cockfighting. 

PACELLE:  No.  You raised the issue of people wanting to do whatever they want.  You should people should do whatever they want.  We have rules in society that constrains... 

CARLSON:  Wait a minute.  Slow down.  You‘re saying it is wrong for people to shoot birds they then eat.  But it is not wrong for a farmer to raise birds, kill them and sell them to other people to eat?

PACELLE:  No.  You haven‘t queried me.  We‘re—we are very conservative about industrial agriculture. 

CARLSON:  How about nonindustrial?  How about a farmer who raises chickens, not an industrial setting, has them in a pen in his backyard, kills them and sells them to eat?  You don‘t have the brass to attack him for doing that, like Dick Cheney.

PACELLE:  Not doing it for sport, not doing it for pleasure.  They‘re doing it for food. 

We have a lot of vegetarians.  I actually am a vegetarian.  But, you know, the issue is why are you doing this?  Why are we going out and just shooting animals for the fun of it?  Not for management reasons, not to control populations, not for conservation, not for any socially redeeming purpose.  You can shoot trap and you can shoot skeet.

CARLSON:  Let me just say, I know a lot about this subject.  And I don‘t mean to patronize you.  I can tell you don‘t.  Let me just tell you.

PACELLE:  Tucker, I guarantee you I know you have.

CARLSON:  I guarantee you haven‘t done it, I have.  And I‘m telling you, the people who raise ring-necked pheasants or who raise chucker partridges know more about birds and managing birds and protecting species than anybody who worked for the Humane Society. 

PACELLE:  These are just species (ph).  Tucker, they‘re raised just to be shot.  Are you aware that when the states rear pheasants and then dump them out in the woods, if they‘re not shot, they starve or are killed by the hawks or other avian predators?  The survival rate is zero.

CARLSON:  I‘m sorry to blow your mine, Wayne, but in the wild, animals are killed by hawks, which actually are another lovely species of bird that I have a right to eat.  By the way, we are out of time, unfortunately.  But I appreciate you coming on. 

PACELLE:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Still to come, more on the Dick Cheney shooting controversy. 

Will there be any political impact, any lasting affects?

Plus, we don‘t do it too often, but it‘s time for another SITUATION investigation.  TV shows like “CSI” teach murderers and rapists how to get away with their crimes.  I‘ll ask the head of the LAPD‘s murder division when we come back, so stay tuned.


CARLSON:  Still ahead, Howard Dean screams, this time for Dick Cheney‘s resignation.

Plus, did sheriff deputies in Virginia really enter massage parlors as undercover detectives and leave as satisfied customers?  Should sex be allowed in prostitution stings?  We tackle the tough questions when THE SITUATION returns.


GREGORY:  The vice president knew immediately, oh, no, I shot somebody accidentally and it takes 22 hours...

MCCLELLAN:  You know what his first reaction was?  His first reaction was go to Mr. Whittington and get his team in there to provide him medical care. 

GREGORY:  Why is it that it took so long for the president, for you, for anybody else to know that the vice president accidentally shot somebody?


CARLSON:  That was David Gregory spanking hapless White House press secretary Scott McClellan today, and not for the first time. 

Here with her thoughts on the shots and the White House‘s response is Air American morning radio host, Rachel Maddow. 

Rachel, welcome. 


CARLSON:  I don‘t know if Dick Cheney, in his capacity as vice president, public servant, makes a decision about this nation, I want to know, and too often we can‘t know. 


CARLSON:  If Dick Cheney is off shooting with his buddies and shoots one by accident, in his own time on someone else‘s private property, I‘d like to know, but I don‘t think I have the right to know.  It‘s his private life.  I mean, there is a private sphere, and he was in it on Saturday.

MADDOW:  What if he killed the guy?

CARLSON:  Well, that is a matter—I mean, going from common law to the president, the death of somebody is a matter of corporate, community, public concern, right?  But that‘s not what happened.  He injured the guy and I want to know about it, the outrage is misplaced, it seems to me. 

MADDOW:  The Texas papers saying this guy has about 200 pellets in him.  And the Texas law says that anybody who‘s wounded in a gunshot incident, anybody whit a gunshot wound in Texas, that has to be reported to the local law enforce him.  This is a situation where this is a reportable obsess. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t believe that‘s true.  I think that that is incorrect.  I think the Texas law specifies that if it is a hunting accident—I just read this.  And there may be conflicting accounts on this. 

MADDOW:  Well, no.  The hunting law says if there‘s a hunting law you don‘t necessarily need to report it.  But the medical law says if you‘re doctor and you treat somebody for a gunshot wound, you do have to report it. 

So this is an incident that should be reported.  And also, if you leave the letter of the law, come on.  The vice president just shot a 78-year-old guy in the face.  It‘s news.  Any time Dick Cheney does anything it‘s news.  But particularly shooting somebody in the face, it‘s news. 

CARLSON:  I couldn‘t agree with you more.  Here‘s what we heard today at the earlier briefing, called the gaggle. 


CARLSON:  This is a reporter to Scott McClellan.  “We don‘t care if some ranch owner calls a local paper.”  In other words you didn‘t call us.  Said explicitly today you didn‘t all us.  You called some dippy, third-rate, “Caller-Times” newspaper nobody‘s ever heard of.  Wounded pride. 

I really think that has—and I never attack the press, ever, but I think in this case it‘s deserved.  They‘re mad because the local paper got it and they didn‘t. 

MADDOW:  I think they‘re mad about what paper got it.  I think they‘re mad that the White House and the vice president‘s office left it to the ranch owner, who happened to be an eyewitness to the event, to report it.  Rather than saying, “We‘re going to make a statement about what happened here.”

There‘s evidence that—there are reports that a local sheriff‘s deputy was prevented from interviewing the vice president.  We know that the call was made by Karl Rove to the eyewitness 90 minutes after the incident happened. 

But this woman wasn‘t allowed to talk to the press, or decided not to talk to the press, until the next day.  They sat on it for almost an entire day, and that‘s why this becomes a political story and not just a Dick Cheney shot somebody. 

CARLSON:  Unless you believe that there was something nefarious going on here, that Dick Cheney blew him away because they were having an argument about Iraq.  Or somehow there was a conspiracy afoot, I respond to everything with a big who cares?  And we do you think, by the way, we will see on the nutcase blogs tomorrow morning implications that there‘s a conspiracy here. 

MADDOW:  Well, no.  I don‘t think there‘s a conspiracy here, and I don‘t think people are alleging that... 

CARLSON:  You think people will allege that?

MADDOW:  I think what people are saying is that this speaks to what we about Dick Cheney, which is that he‘s got a secrecy problem and he‘s got a “the law doesn‘t apply to me column .

Whether it‘s not telling us about the energy problem in the country and how it was made, secret prisons, the fact that we‘re spying on Americans.  How about if you shoot somebody in the face, Mr. Vice President.  Are the American people allowed to know that?

CARLSON:  Well, I don‘t know.  I think you ought to be—if you shoot someone in the face on private property, and the man shot in the face isn‘t going to press charges, that‘s kind of your business, as far as I‘m concerned. 

MADDOW:  When they come out with the spin that it was this guy‘s fault, that there‘s some magic hunting protocol that it‘s more important to announce yourself as a human than it is to look where you‘re shooting.  That‘s just actually not true. 

CARLSON:  Look, actually, that‘s not true.  And I hunt.  If you‘ve got the gun in your hand, it‘s loaded, you‘re firing.  It‘s incumbent on you to Know there‘s not a man on the other side of the pellets.  I totally agree.  I just don‘t care.  I do think this is a wildly entertaining story. 


CARLSON:  Dick Cheney‘s so mad he blew him away.  But...

MADDOW:  And Dick Cheney, as his private hunting incident, sits on it for 24 hours. 

CARLSON:  Who cares?

MADDOW:  All so politically important. 

Did the Cheney shooting give ammunition against the vice president? 

We‘ll tell you why Howard Dean wants Dick Cheney to resign, next.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Howard Dean may have stop running for president in the meantime, but he has not stopped yelling.  The Democratic chairman‘s latest outburst took place over this weekend, when he called on Vice President Dick Cheney to resign for leaking CIA officer Valerie Wilson‘s name to the press.  Does anyone even care what Howard Dean says anymore?

To find out, we‘re joined once again by Air America morning radio host Rachel Maddow—Rachel. 

MADDOW:  Hi, Tucker.

CARLSON:  I just think Howard Dean isn‘t doing his party any favors. 

Dick Cheney is not going to step aside.  Bush is not going to be impeached.  The only thing you achieve by operating in this utopian plain, you know, if only plane, is make yourself look like an extremist, and make it very easy for Republicans to say, “We may be screwing up with these guys, or reckless.” 

MADDOW:  Well, the thing that I think is interesting about the coverage of Howard Dean is that, no matter what argument he makes, no matter what point he makes, the matter what argument he makes, the argument, the rejoinder, the rebuttal is always Howard Dean is a bad man, Howard Dean is crazy, Howard Dean is an extremist.  It‘s very rarely about what he‘s actually arguing about. 

In this case what Howard Dean was saying is the leak of classified information by the vice president is very serious.  It‘s the kind of thing for which a vice president ought to resign, if it turns out he did this.  These allegations ought to be investigated.  He was making a serious point. 

The response to him is a personal attack. 

CARLSON:  I‘m actually not—first of all, I strongly disagree with that.  I think there are things this administration has done that are very serious.  Grave, in fact.  And that have hurt this country, like bringing us to war in Iraq. 

I think this leak of Valerie Wilson‘s name is negligible.  And we‘ve already discussed this several times. 

But I‘m not attacking Howard Dean personally at all.  I‘m merely saying that, as a strategic matter, as a question for Democrats to think about, does Howard Dean help the Democratic Party?  I would say he actively hurts the Democratic Party, by making the alternative to the Bush administration seem really scary to a lot of people.  And it‘s not just the media‘s fault.

MADDOW:  Well, I think—but what‘s happening with Howard Dean, though, is that he is drawing a lot of fire away from other Democrats.  Because he‘s such a target for the Republicans.  He and Hillary Clinton basically draw all the fire in terms of the Democrats.

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW:  And this same argument is used against both of them: they‘re angry; they‘re wild; they‘re out of control.  They‘re extremists.  It‘s the same Republican against them all the time, which is actually allowing people like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to do a little bit work in the Congress, while he gets attacked. 

CARLSON:  I actually believe that they are wild-eyed extremists.  I don‘t think that.  I think they have gone crazy.  And I‘ve seen this on the right.  They have gone crazy with hatred for George W. Bush and I‘ve always said this, because it‘s always true. 

In the same way Republicans went crazy with their hatred for Clinton.  I mean, you really can see his eyes rolling around.  Or Nancy Pelosi for that matter.

MADDOW:  Not true.

CARLSON:  My gut reaction when I see them, and I‘m not a Bush defender, I look at them and I say you have gone around the bend with loathing for this man. 

MADDOW:  Howard Dean is a guy who‘s very serious, who‘s aggressive when he talks, and it comes out of the box and says exactly what he thinks.  He‘s very blunt.

And the idea that Dick Cheney, the guy who told Pat Leahy to go “F” himself on the floor of the Senate, Dick Cheney, the guy who shot a guy this weekend, that he‘s not angry?  Out of control?  He‘s not the wild-eyed guy? He‘s not the mean guy to be afraid of?

Howard Dean is, a doctor from Vermont. 

CARLSON:  Dick Cheney is a mean guy you ought to be afraid of.  That‘s why I like Dick Cheney.  This man voted for cop killer bullets.  Hew is an old-fashioned right-winger, and that‘s why I love him.

MADDOW:  I would rather have a blunt Vermont doctor as the head of the Democratic—Democratic Party than a have crazy, mean guy as the vice president. 

CARLSON:  You ought to spend some more time around Howard Dean, something I had the privilege of doing.  Not that impressive in person.  A lot of lefties are impressive.  You know, interesting, very smart, deep thinker.  He just is not in that category. 

And I say that with sadness, because I don‘t want to think that.

MADDOW:  I‘ve interviewed him a number of times.  I‘m impressed by him.  I think he‘s very smart.  I think he does his own thinking, which I think is part of the reason by people say, “Oh, he‘s crazy.”  Because he‘s going off script a lot of the time. 

CARLSON:  I wish we had more time to talk about this, because I would give you examples that I think would change your mind. 

MADDOW:  All right.  Well, maybe.

CARLSON:  Rachel Maddow, thank you.

MADDOW:  Thank you, tucker. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, why is the hit TV show “CSI” making it hard for homicide detectives to do their job?  True, by the way.  The creepy details next. 



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Subject‘s clean.  No apparent blood or body parts. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Take a look at this.  This seems contrived to me.  The blood pool is too crooked.  There‘s no spatter.  Like somebody placed these entrails. 


CARLSON:  That was a scene from the hit TV series “CSI.”  Mixed in with the drama and suspense are gory details of how killers try to cover their tracks.  While the show may be entertaining—and it is—it‘s also making law enforcement officials nervous, because some of them believe the show has become a tutorial for murders and other criminals.  Captain Ray Peavy is one of those officials.  He‘s the head of Homicide Division at the L.A. County‘s Sheriff‘s Department.  He joins us live tonight from Burbank, California.  Captain Peavy, thanks for coming on. 


DEPARTMENT:  Thanks for having me. 

CARLSON:  So how does this show—and I know we‘re going to get angry calls from the PR department at CBS for saying this, but how would “CSI” help criminals? 

PEAVY:  Well, “CSI” is a very, as you said, entertaining show, and it‘s a very educational show.  It teaches all the folks that watch the show how criminals are caught by using the technology that—some of the technology they talk about is actually real.  Some of it really isn‘t real, but it shows them things that we are able to catch them on, things like bits of evidence, like hairs, cigarette butts, cans, sweat bands—things that in the old days, not too many years ago—quite frankly, four or five years ago—were commonly left at crime scenes.  But in today‘s world, those items are turning up less and less, because the crooks realize now that those items will put them in prison. 

CARLSON:  Because they can contain DNA evidence. 

PEAVY:  Absolutely.  DNA is the name of the game.

CARLSON:  Have you interviewed criminals, convicted criminals who have said, you know, I knew not to leave my cigarette butts on the ground, I knew to bring my Diet Coke with me, because I could be traced by that? 

PEAVY:  We‘ve talked to criminals that have told us that, yes, they have been very careful not to leave any DNA evidence behind.  And they‘re obviously aware of what types of items will contain that DNA. 

CARLSON:  No, it‘s not just criminals, of course, who watch “CSI.”  A lot of normal people do, too, including people who sit on juries.  What affect do these shows have on juries? 

PEAVY:  That‘s the biggest problem that the show has caused us.  The “CSI” factor, or “CSI” effect, depending on who you talk to.  Basically what happens is juries today have come to expect a lot more from police than we can deliver in a lot of cases.  Simply because their expectations are based upon what they‘ve seen on “CSI” and shows like “Law & Order” and other shows, too.  And we just can‘t—we can‘t produce the type of evidence that the writers are able to create on these highly fictional shows. 

And as a result, oftentimes jurors find reasonable doubt in the ability of the law enforcement person that‘s testifying.  They feel that, well, if they can‘t do this, then they must not be as good as we expect them to be, and the expectations that they‘ve gotten are gained from watching shows like “CSI.” 

CARLSON:  So, in other words, on the shows, the criminals are proved without any question guilty, and sometimes that‘s not possible?

PEAVY:  Well, based on the type of evidence that the “CSI” folks on the shore are able to manufacture, if you will—you know, like getting fingerprints off of a tree or something like that—you know, that‘s just not going to happen. 

CARLSON:  When you‘re investigating a homicide, for instance, do you ever think about the show?  I mean, do you think the standard is going to be higher for me because I‘m going to be facing a panel of people on the jury that, you know, watch “CSI” and “Law & Order?” 

PEAVY:  I talk to my detectives every day, and I would say a week doesn‘t go by that I don‘t get a complaint from one of my—I have over 100 homicide detectives that work for me—where they don‘t come to me and say that they recently or they are currently in trial, and the jury or the defense attorney is questioning them about evidence that was impossible to obtain.  Things like, like on television, you‘ll often see them say, well, the time of death, based on the body, you know, was between 9:00 and 9:30. 

Well, you know, the reality is, a coroner investigator will get out to a scene and look at the body and say, yes, the closest I can tell you is he was killed within the last 12 hours, maybe 20 hours. 

And when you can‘t answer questions like that to a defense attorney, he turns to the jury and says, well, what‘s wrong with these cops?  If they can‘t do it—you know, and the jury looks at the cop and says, well, yes, you know, these are—this is L.A.‘s cops and they can‘t do what the guys do on television. 

CARLSON:  L.A.‘s cops can‘t do what L.A.‘s actors can do, in other words, yes.

PEAVY:  Right.  And we...

CARLSON:  Television is more impressive than life in that way. 

PEAVY:  Well, if we had better writers, we would probably do a little better. 

CARLSON:  I hope you get them.  Captain Ray Peavy of the Homicide Department of the L.A. County Sheriff‘s Department, thanks for joining us. 

PEAVY:  Thank you. 

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



CARLSON (voice-over):  Looking for Mr. Right.  Wait until you hear about this woman‘s unusual, year-long search for true romance and how it finally came to an end. 

BILL CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I did not have sexual relations with that woman. 

CARLSON:  And Maryland cops busted by their own massage parlor sting. 

Rest assured, it‘s a tale with a happy ending. 

Plus, attention female shoppers, eligible bachelors, aisle nine. 

We‘ll show you where to get a great bargain on a slightly used man.

And the sweet thrill of victory.  What does it really take to wear Chicago‘s Choice Chocolate Chowing Crown? 

JOHNNY DEPP, ACTOR:  It is quite a special occasion, of course.

CARLSON:  It‘s all ahead on THE SITUATION.

DEPP:  Wow!



CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Adlai Stevenson once said, “if we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us.  The free mind is not a barking dog to be tethered on a 10-foot chain.”

Joining me now, a man who may bark, but who remains completely untethered, the Outsider, ESPN radio and HBO boxing host Max Kellerman. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO:  All right, just hit me with the jokes right away. 

CARLSON:  Just underwent LASIC surgery.  Max...

KELLERMAN:  That‘s right.

CARLSON:  Can you go like that for me?

KELLERMAN (singing):  Clap your hands. 

CARLSON:  You know what?  One of our cameramen seeing you as you walked in threw me his pair of sunglasses.  So in solidarity with you...

KELLERMAN:  Well, thank you very much.

CARLSON:  Brother Ray.  I‘m going to wear shades.

KELLERMAN:  Thank you very much.

CARLSON:  First up, you know things aren‘t going well for your Olympic team when the biggest news so far is who‘s dropped out.  Five-time figure skating world champion Michelle Kwan said Sunday her withdrawal from the U.S. team was the most difficult decision she‘s ever had to make.  But Kwan only qualified for the team after petitioning the U.S. Figure Skating Association for a spot, when injuries prevented her from competing at the National Championships.  Now, Emily Hughes, the sister of the 2002 gold medalist and MSNBC analyst Sarah Hughes, will take her spot. 

I don‘t think—I just don‘t agree—Michelle Kwan, if I can just say, shame on Michelle Kwan.  I know...


CARLSON:  I‘m going to keep going.  Michelle Kwan knew that she was injured.  She knew that she might drop out.  She also knew that this 16-year-old girl, Emily Hughes, would be on the team if she didn‘t force her way onto the team.  I think she did the wrong thing, and now poor Emily Hughes, at home at Great Neck, Long Island right now, is going to drop into the Olympics at the last minute and have to compete without preparing.  I think it‘s a shame. 

KELLERMAN:  I think what people are actually angry about when it comes to Michelle Kwan is she‘s choked in the biggest spotlight, she‘s chocked, at the Olympics. 

CARLSON:  Right.

KELLERMAN:  And once again, this is viewed as sort of a choke.  She gets this, kind of hedgehogs her way in, she gets there, and then suddenly she drops out. 

And what are the Olympics, really?  It‘s an extension of us.  Right?  Like if Michelle Kwan can win a gold, then America can win a gold.  And America wins.


KELLERMAN:  So when she fails, America fails.

CARLSON:  They are an NBC extravaganza; they are not us. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, you may feel that, but...

CARLSON:  No, I‘m for the Olympics, but I just—I don‘t—I guess I don‘t have the kind of emotional involvement that some of our viewers do.  But I...

KELLERMAN:  Neither do I, which is why, frankly, I don‘t really care about it that much. 

CARLSON:  But I do think Emily Hughes is the one person that I‘m genuinely, genuinely rooting for and who I totally feel sorry for, and I think was really done wrong by Michelle Kwan. 

KELLERMAN:  It will be a better story if she wins the gold, like her sister.

CARLSON:  And I hope she does. 

KELLERMAN:  And as an American, you should be happy, because the pedigree is there.  Right?


KELLERMAN:  OK, so.  It works out.

CARLSON:  You can see her sister, by the way, every afternoon as we do the Olympic wrap-up show. 

Well, crime certainly pays for some cops in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, outside Washington.  Detectives there have been receiving sexual services from so-called masseuses.  It‘s part of a campaign by the sheriff‘s office to root out prostitution in massage parlor business, they say.  Sheriff Howard D. Smith says it‘s the only way to get convictions, and that only unmarried detectives are assigned to such cases.  Critics say cops should not be breaking the law to enforce it.

I‘m such one critic.  I think it‘s ridiculous.  And I also don‘t believe this is a sting operation.  I think a bunch of different cops go in this whorehouse, they got busted, and all of a sudden it‘s a sting operation.  No, really, we were working undercover.

KELLERMAN:  Well, first, as to the idea that cops shouldn‘t break the law in order to enforce it—every time you‘re on the highway and a cop goes zooming by you to pull someone over for speeding, you know, they‘re breaking the law, the very law that they‘re trying to uphold. 

CARLSON:  Well, that‘s a good point.

KELLERMAN:  It happens all the time.  And secondly, I‘m going to need to know the address and the name of this establishment, because I want to make a citizen‘s arrest. 

CARLSON:  Look, if police were going in and buying crack from an open air drug market and then smoking the crack, you would say, gee, you don‘t need to actually smoke the crack in order to do that.  You‘re part of the problem.  You‘re actually paying for a service that society thinks ought to be illegal. 

KELLERMAN:  Occasionally, though, you can imagine a scenario where a cop has gone undercover and spent a long time undercover to bust a drug ring, and at some point has to sample a drug to show that—to appear that he is in the underworld, you know.  I mean, it‘s not so much different than that.  How else do you enforce—it is a massage parlor.  They‘re getting massages.  What we‘re talking about here most likely are what is known as happy endings. 

CARLSON:  Yes, without getting too detailed, Max. 

KELLERMAN:  Yes, but they do not discuss—they don‘t get detail.  They won‘t discuss it.  So in order for the officer to make the arrest, something has to happen. 

CARLSON:  Well, then maybe the officer should think about devoting his life to something more useful, like busting actual criminals, and not harassing girls who are just doing a public service.

KELLERMAN:  I agree, it shouldn‘t be illegal in the first place.

CARLSON:  But the principle remains the same.  Cops shouldn‘t break the law to enforce the law.  If a cop or an undercover officer is trying to investigate a terrorist cell, would he commit an act of terrorism in order to bust the terrorists?  No, of course not. 

KELLERMAN:  No, but I hope they do enforce your way of thinking, because from now on, if a cop tries to pull me over and I‘m going over 55 miles an hour on the LIE, I‘ll go 56 miles an hour and he‘ll never catch me. 

CARLSON:  No, but my attitude is they should not be speeding around at high speeds.  And I shouldn‘t be wearing these ridiculous sunglasses. 

KELLERMAN:  You look like you‘re in “The Matrix.”

CARLSON:  Max Kellerman, you look great. 

KELLERMAN:  Thank you very much. 

CARLSON: Coming up, Valentine‘s Day is just moments away, literally minutes, about 14 minutes.  We‘ve got some last-minute dating advice for the ladies that the guys are going to love.  Just say yes, when THE SITUATION rolls on. 


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  My next guest is not only a good writer, but she‘s also every man‘s dream come true.  She said yes to every date she was asked on for an entire year, about 150 dates.  She then wrote a book about her romantic experiment.  Her dating advice to women this Valentine‘s Day:

Stop saying no.  Amen. 

Maria Headley is the author of the book, “The Year of Yes.”  She joins me live from Seattle tonight. 

Maria Headley, you are really a brave woman.  One hundred and fifty dates in New York City, I mean, this must have been chockful of weirdos.  Why did you do this? 

MARIA HEADLEY, AUTHOR:  Well, I thought I was too picky.  And I‘m an extreme person, I just decided to reverse course completely. 

CARLSON:  That is pretty radical.  So what, I mean, it‘s pretty reckless.  I mean, I‘m impressed and all, but it is reckless.  What did you learn? 

HEADLEY:  Well, I met so many interesting people that I would never have talked to before, I mean, not even talked to.  So—a lot of them, some of them were terrible, you know, kind of taught me something about what I was really looking for that I didn‘t know. 

CARLSON:  Why didn‘t you know—that‘s interesting you say that.  Why didn‘t you know what you were looking for? 

HEADLEY:  Because I was—I just had a check list that was so tight.  It was, like, you know, 6-foot-2, eyes of blue, all of Shakespeare memorized.  I was in a playwriting program (INAUDIBLE) in college.  That‘s what I thought I wanted.  And you know, I didn‘t realize that maybe in order to sustain a relationship, you needed, like, compassion and those things, those key things that we always complain we don‘t have.  Sometimes it‘s because we‘re not really looking for them at the beginning. 

CARLSON:  Interesting.  So you didn‘t even know what your own desires were, then, deep down, until you met this whole range of people?

HEADLEY:  Not really.  I mean, I knew some things about what I was looking for, but overall, I didn‘t—you know, I thought it was the package, and not the contents of the package that I was looking for, you know what I mean? 

CARLSON:  I know exactly what you mean.  What did you wind up with? 

Or who?

HEADLEY:  Well, I ended up with—amusingly enough, I was looking for a sort of a cowboy with Shakespeare‘s works in his brain, and I ended up with a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright from Texas. 

CARLSON:  Well, that‘s amazing.

HEADLEY:  Yes, it was good fortune, but he‘s also—you know, he has also bonus qualities, like he‘s got a great sense of humor and he‘s a wonderful guy. 

CARLSON:  So what number was he in the list of dates? 

HEADLEY:  He was—I met him fairly early on, in, like, month four. 

And then at the time I looked at him, and he had too much baggage for me.  And he wasn‘t even on the table.  He was married when I met him.  And so I was like, oh, I would love to meet a guy just like that guy, without his baggage, without his two kids, without the age difference that‘s pretty significant.  You know, and then about eight months later, he called me up, and he was getting divorced, and I had learned something about what I was really looking for and what I was willing to deal with. 

CARLSON:  Well, he sounds—he sounds like the best date.  Who was the worst?  Who was the scariest person you went out on a date with? 

HEADLEY:  Scariest?  I didn‘t have a lot of scary.  I had a lot of weirdos.  I went out with a guy who was a French guy that I met in line at a Barnes & Noble, and he was a software millionaire.  He‘d done like—and really, he was, I couldn‘t believe that this was true, but he was.  He was French.  He‘d been like in his room, looking at his computer for 12 years straight, had no social skills.  And he...

CARLSON:  I think I‘ve met him. 

HEADLEY:  I think you‘ve met him too.  He‘s everywhere.  There are a lot of these guys out there.  They‘re all very social, looking for somebody.

CARLSON:  You went out—I think you went out with some people who were addicted to cocaine, you went out with women, you went out with a homeless guy.  What was the homeless guy like?  

HEADLEY:  I did.  The homeless guy was actually one of the better dates.  He thought he was Jimi Hendrix, but that was really his only flaw.  He was a very nice guy.

CARLSON:  So where did you go?  I mean, when a homeless guy takes you on a date, where do you—do you stand outside Starbucks, or what do you do on a date? 

HEADLEY:  No, no.  I thought if I had to wait for him to, like, you know, raise enough money to take me out, we‘d be sitting around for a while, so I took him out for falafel myself and bought him lunch. 

CARLSON:  That‘s—was there anybody else you went out on a date with that you thought you might marry? 

HEADLEY:  Yes, and he didn‘t like me.  There was a guy that I had had a long-term crush on, and one day suddenly he had a crush on me, too, but it was—it turned into a one-night misunderstanding, I‘d call it. 

CARLSON:  So your advice to single women, lower your standards, open your mind, say yes? 

HEADLEY:  Well, not necessarily lower your standards, but have a little bit more faith in what the world can give you.  And yes, open your mind, say yes a little bit more.  Not necessarily for a year, but a little more than you are.  I think it helps. 

CARLSON:  That is such a great message.  This is such a great book.  I really appreciate you coming on.  Maria Headley, “The Year of Yes” is the book.  Thanks a lot, Maria. 

HEADLEY:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Still ahead on THE SITUATION, Paris Hilton and Mother Teresa may be on opposite ends of the moral spectrum, maybe they are, but they do have something in common.  Hard to believe, I know, but anything is possible on “The Cutting Room Floor,” next. 


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for “The Cutting Room Floor.”  Joining us, a man who always says yes, Willie Geist. 

WILLIE GEIST, THE SITUATION PRODUCER:  You know, I am usually against self-help, but this whole business about saying yes to men all the time, I can get behind that. 

CARLSON:  I‘m totally for that. 

GEIST:  I can get behind that project.

CARLSON:  Now that feminism is dead, it‘s—great things are taking its place. 

GEIST:  Say yes.  Say yes.  By the way, no sunglasses for me.  Max Kellerman had a great line when he left.  He said, Larry David once said, “The only two people who wear sunglasses indoors are the blind and jerks, and I have both of them covered.”  Which he does.

CARLSON:  I did feel guilty wearing sunglasses.

GEIST:  You looked good, though.

CARLSON:  It was solidarity.

GEIST:  Looked good on you, though. 

CARLSON:  No one embodies the spirit and legacy of Mother Teresa quite like Paris Hilton.  You can understand why an Indian film director has contacted Paris about playing the role of Mother Teresa in an upcoming movie about the Nobel Prize-winning nun‘s life.  The director says He added Paris to a short list of actresses when he read she‘d refused to pose nude for “Playboy” magazine. 

GEIST:  Yes, that meets Mother Teresa‘s standard, I guess.

CARLSON:  Her exacting standards. 

GEIST:  Yes.  She would never pose for “Playboy.”  What, Courtney Love wasn‘t available, apparently? 

But Paris is a lot like Mother Teresa, who helped people in the gutter.  Paris steps over people in the gutter on her way out of Marquee (ph) at 6:00 a.m. on a Friday night, you know. 

CARLSON:  But in both cases, gutters are involved. 

GEIST:  That‘s exactly right.

CARLSON:  That‘s what matters.

GEIST:  That‘s what‘s important.

CARLSON:  As you know, Finnish President Tarja Halonen won a second term two weeks ago.  She—and she is a she—owes her victory at least in part to her striking resemblance to Conan O‘Brien of NBC.  Scary but true.  Conan, whose late-night show is popular in Finland, picked up on the likeness and began campaigning for Halonen on television.  He caused quite a political stir in Finland by endorsing her, or even mentioning her name.  Conan is now in Hellinski (ph), trying—helping to celebrate the president‘s reelection.  In return for his efforts, he‘s asked for a cabinet position as, quote, “women‘s sauna inspector.” 

GEIST:  And he should get it.  If I were the president of Finland, I maybe wouldn‘t be calling attention to the fact that I closely resemble a 6-foot-6 man, a big, gawking man. 

I love Conan.  I watch him when I get home at night, but I don‘t know what it says about the democratic process in Finland when a late-night comedian has stirred the swing—the swing vote in the election.  

CARLSON:  Well, it is Finland.  A producer barked in my ear, “Helsinki, Helsinki.”

GEIST:  Oh, it‘s not Hellinski (ph) anymore?


CARLSON:  I meant, of course, Helsinki. 

GEIST:  Of course.

CARLSON:  Here‘s a little something to get you in the Valentine‘s Day spirit.  It‘s grown men and women shoving Valentine‘s chocolates into their mouths as quickly as they can.  They‘re competing in the annual GoldenPalace.net chocolate eating contest, held in Chicago today.  The winner put down a pound and a half of chocolate in just seven minutes. 

GEIST:  Wow, that is impressive.  They had milk to wash it down, which helped. 

Everybody loves Valentine‘s Day chocolate.  Can I make a plea while we have the forum here?  Can we get rid of those chalky little hearts that people give to each other? 


GEIST:  Be mine?  Be mine?  First of all, no one likes the taste of it.  It‘s like candy corn in Halloween.  Nobody likes that.

CARLSON:  Yes, I agree with it.

GEIST:  And also, it‘s just a strange way to tell somebody how you feel about them.  I think we can get rid of them safely. 

CARLSON:  I agree with that.

GEIST:  And replace them with chocolate.  So you know they will be in the office tomorrow.

CARLSON:  Which spells love...

GEIST:  Next year, maybe.


CARLSON:  If that didn‘t capture the essence of Valentine‘s Day for you, maybe this will.  These five bachelors have put themselves inside a display bubble in a London department store in hopes of catching the eye of a passing female shopper.  The men spent an entire day inside the nine-foot-tall love bubbles.  Curious women could connect with the bachelors over computers set up outside the bubbles. 

GEIST:  And Tucker, this is really the end of the line.  You couldn‘t get a date on your own, you couldn‘t get set up by your friends, online dating didn‘t work—if you‘re in the plastic bubble, if this does not work, I think you have to do the only honorable thing.  Maybe afterlife holds something more for you.

CARLSON:  I was going to say, this would be (INAUDIBLE) a severe latex fetish they just can‘t get over.  Are you sure this isn‘t Japan?  This seems like something the Japanese would do.

GEIST:  No, it‘s London.  It‘s like Travolta, “Boy in the Bubble.” 

It‘s time to end it if it doesn‘t work.

CARLSON:  Boy, even the English.

Willie Geist!  That‘s SITUATION for tonight.  Thank you for watching. 

Up next, “COUNTDOWN” with Keith.  Have a great night.



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