updated 2/17/2006 4:17:39 PM ET 2006-02-17T21:17:39

Guests: Peter King, Joan Walsh, Amal Graffsta

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”:  That‘s all the time I have with you tonight.  But stick around because THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON starts right now. 

Hey, Tucker, what‘s the situation tonight?  What editor are you going to kick around on your show?

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  We‘ll be nice, as we always are.  Thank you, Joe.


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

Tonight a detour in the war on terror.  Why did the Bush administration allow an Arab company based in a terror-ridden Middle Eastern city to control American ports?  I‘ll ask a leading member of Congress that question.

Also, an American web site decides to show graphic, never before released photos from the Abu Ghraib prison.  If it‘s OK to show pictures that are surely feeding (ph) hatred of the United States, why are the media in this country still refusing to show the Mohammed cartoons, which spared outrage throughout the Islamic world?  Good question.

Plus, how far will some kids go to get out of gym class?  How about paying their P.E. teacher a dollar and calling it a day?  A remarkable story out of—you guessed it—Florida.  We‘ll bring you all the details in just a few minutes.

We begin tonight with a disturbing story.  Citing terrorism concerns, U.S. lawmakers are urging the Bush administration to review the security implications of a $6 billion deal that granted an Arab company control over key ports in six American cities.  Those include New York, Baltimore, and Miami. 

The Department of Homeland Security says the company, P&O by Dubai Ports Inc., has a solid security record and poses no risk.  But not everyone is so certain, including our next guest, Congressman Peter King, a Republican of New York, who‘s also the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. 

Congressman, Mr. Chairman, thanks a lot for coming on. 

REP. PETER KING ®, NEW YORK:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  This just seems like such an obviously bad idea, giving a company based in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, the city where a lot of the 9/11 hijackers essentially, had their home bases, control over six U.S. ports.  Whose idea was this and is this going to happen?

KING:  Well, the contract was originally held by a British company, and then this United Arab Emirates company has bought them out.  And now under a law that was passed back in 1988, it goes to a committee run by the Treasury Department to determine whether or not it affects America‘s national security. 

The problem was this law was passed in a time when they were trying to encourage foreign investment.  There‘s really not near enough vetting or investigation that goes on as far as the company itself. 

For instance, they have 20, 25 days to make the decision.  You can‘t possibly do a thorough investigation during that period of time.  My understanding of what happens is they ask the intelligence committee, is there anything on file against this group.  Are you asking them for any particular reason and they say no. 

But the fact is, that doesn‘t go into who‘s in the management, who‘s in the middle-management.  What all the hiring practices are?  I‘ve heard from a number of people, for instance, in that port in Dubai itself, there‘s been corruption there.  There‘s been parts sent to Iran.  There‘s been a large al Qaeda presence in the United Arab Emirates, even though they are working with us in the war against terrorism. 

CARLSON:  Right.  There‘s no question.  There‘s no question that‘s true.  In fact nuclear components from the Pakistani nuclear society, A.Q.  Khan, moved through Dubai on their way to Iran and North Korea.  Dubai is a wonderful city, one of my favorite cities, but it‘s not a secure city, and everybody knows that. 

KING:  And this company also had jurisdiction over that port.  So if that was allowed to go on when they had control of that port, what are they doing over in the United States? 

I just found out earlier today, for instance, that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey wasn‘t even told about this until the last several days. 

Which again, my point is they did not fully investigate it.  They did not fully vet it.  Because this is not geared toward a homeland security or counterterrorism type of investigation.  What they look at mainly is the financing end of it, and if there‘s nothing outrageously wrong or nothing that waves a bright red flag they go ahead with the deal. 

And again, this is a post—this is a pre-9/11 law they‘re adapting to—we live in the post-9/11 world.  We can‘t let this to go forward.  We can‘t allow the major ports in our country to be under the control of a company which comes out of Dubai, which comes out of the United Arab Emirates and which has not been fully investigated and fully vetted. 

CARLSON:  Well, then why—everything you‘ve said makes complete and obvious sense.  Why would the Bush administration, which I think for all its faults does take terrorism seriously, why would they sign off on this?  Why would they endorse this?  It doesn‘t make sense.

KING:  I think it was too far along.  I think what happened was it was done, again, under the control of the Treasury Department, which these people meant well, but I don‘t think they were looking at it from the security point of view to the extent they should have. 

It‘s now become almost a fait accompli.  And because this is a government-owned company the administration probably feels that this could create a diplomatic incident with the United Arab Emirates. 

Having said that, I‘ve spoken to people in the White House.  I spoke to them yesterday.  And I told them I was going to raise these issues and I told them how important it was that this go forward.  So I don‘t know—I don‘t know if the president has been made fully aware of this yet.  I think this is still at a middle level.  It‘s in the White House itself now, but I don‘t think this has reached the top levels.  I don‘t think they‘re fully aware of the implications of this. 

And I can tell you, on Capitol Hill, very responsible people from the right and the left and the center from both parties are very concerned over this, especially those of us who come from New York.  We saw what happened on September 11. 

CARLSON:  Right.

KING:  No one ever wants to go through that again.  And to me, this is just one of those things.  How would you explain to a future 9/11 Commission how you allowed this company coming out of this country with this background to get this contract over our ports, which are always going to be vulnerable, no matter how...?

CARLSON:  You could not explain that.  And for that reason I predict you will be able to stop this.  I predict this will not happen.  They can‘t stand the political heat, and they shouldn‘t.  So good for you, Congressman Pete King of New York.  Thanks for doing this. 

KING:  Tucker, thank you. 

CARLSON:  And now new imagines of torture and abuse committed by American soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq have been published by the liberal online site, Salon.com. 

The 18 pictures, similar to those that sparked a worldwide scandal more than two years ago and led to military trials, are certain to reignite hatred of the U.S. abroad.  So why is Salon accomplishing them now?  Salon‘s editor-in-chief, Joan Walsh is here to explain.  She joins us live tonight from New York.

Joan Walsh, thanks a lot for coming on.

JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, SALON.COM:  Thanks for having me, Tucker.

CARLSON:  It‘s not as if all of us haven‘t seen endless picture of what went on at Abu Ghraib.  The story needs no more publicity.  Why are you running these?

WALSH:  Tucker, I wouldn‘t say that we‘ve seen endless pictures of what went on at Abu Ghraib.  I mean, we had a three-week period in April of 2004 when very shocking photos came to light.  We had a national conversation with about them.

The Pentagon announced, “Well, actually, folks, there are more photos, but we‘re not going to show them to you.  We think they‘ll inflame Arab and Muslim sentiments, so we‘re going to hold them back.” 

Several public interest groups, including the ACLU, sued to get those photos, and they actually won in federal district court.  And the government continues to appeal.  So we felt like they were very news-worthy.  They were different from what we‘ve seen before, and there was news value in showing them. 

CARLSON:  I obviously think you have a right to publish these.  I think the U.S. government ought to give them to you, but I still don‘t think you should publish them.  Simply because I looked at them today, and they are definitely shocking but they‘re not that much more shocking than the pictures we‘ve already seen. 

I think they were on the cover of “Newsweek.”  I can‘t imagine there are many Americans who were alive then who didn‘t see them.  And I‘m not exactly sure what these add to the story.  What do they tell us that they didn‘t know?

WALSH:  Well, I think there are several things they tell us that we didn‘t know.  I think they—I think the sheer number of some of the images of sexual humiliation really need to be taken in. 

I think the most disturbing by far is the prisoner who‘s being sodomized by an object.  We heard that that happened.  That‘s the photo of it.

I think there‘s another—there‘s some banality there that really drives home the common nature of what was happening, where you have, you know, a soldier clipping his nails while that iconic photo of the man who thought he was being electrocuted is a few feet away.  You‘ve got another officer apparently doing paperwork.

And Tucker, I think the other thing that we added—and we were very careful about this.  We had hundreds of photos.  We only published 18.  We were very careful to use the army‘s own CID document investigating these photos to use the ones that the army itself found were evidence of torture or abuse. 

CARLSON:  Right.  Look, I‘m not suggesting, again, that you don‘t have the right to publish these.  And I‘m not suggesting that they‘re phony. 

WALSH:  No, I‘m not arguing.  I hear you.  But I‘m saying that we had new photos, we had new information, we had new documentation that wasn‘t out there, and that makes a difference. 

CARLSON:  Right.  I guess we‘ll just have to disagree with that.  What did get me inflamed, though, I have to say, was the editor‘s note that accompanied these pictures by Walter Shapiro, a good guy whom I know.  But I don‘t agree at all with what he wrote.  Here‘s part of it.

“We‘re ashamed to live in a country that somehow came to accept that torture and prisoner abuse were simply business as usual.”

First, ashamed to live in this country?  Please.

Second, nobody accepted it.  You had nine people so far plead guilty in this torture case.  Eight of them went to prison.  One...

WALSH:  They‘re all low—they‘re all low-level officers. 

CARLSON:  That‘s not true.  You had General Jane Karpinski was stripped of her rank.  You had the guy, Chip Groening—Graner, who was the sort of lead guy, 10 years in prison. 

This wasn‘t ignored.  Nine people went to prison over this.  This wasn‘t swept under the rug.  That‘s just not true. 

WALSH:  I wouldn‘t say it was swept under the rug, but I think there was a lot more that could have been done.  And I think if the government had come out, made those pictures public, made all of them public, said, “Look, this is a terrible humiliation.  We want everybody to see this.  And we want to make sure it doesn‘t happen again.”

And I think if some higher-level people‘s heads had rolled, that would have been a real reckoning.  Instead, we had mostly low-level people taking the fall.  We‘ve never gotten answers about the role of the CIA in these interrogations.  We‘ve never gotten answers about the extent to which this kind of sexual humiliation and torture was, in fact, a planned strategy to open these people up. 

CARLSON:  So are you ashamed—because of all that are you ashamed to live in this country, as your magazine says?

WALSH:  I‘m not ashamed to live in this country.  I‘m proud of this country.  This country will overcome this, but I‘m ashamed that it was swept under the rug so quickly.  And I think we need a full accounting of what happened and why.

CARLSON:  If you‘re so for the public‘s right to see images that may be jarring but are important, why haven‘t you run the cartoons of Mohammed that are still causing riots around the world?  People have died because of those cartoons.  Why can‘t we see them?

WALSH:  I‘m glad you asked me that.  I really think—I‘ve heard that all day today.  I think it‘s very specious argument.  Salon was one of the first American news organizations to begin covering the riots.  And from our very first story we linked to the photos, early and often. 

CARLSON:  Why didn‘t you put them on the site?

WALSH:  Because we don‘t need to.  We‘re on the Web.  Those cartoons are everywhere on the Web. 

CARLSON:  You didn‘t need to—hold on.  You didn‘t need to put these pictures on your site either.  You could have put them on another site and linked to them.

WALSH:  Why would we put them on another site and link to them?  Those pictures didn‘t exist anywhere. 

CARLSON:  You‘re not answering my question clearly.  Why don‘t—I mean, link to it?  I could go on Google and find the cartoons.  That‘s not the point.  The point is, does Salon stand for freedom of the press?

WALSH:  Absolutely.

CARLSON:  For showing images that may be uncomfortable but still need to be seen?

WALSH:  We got a lot of criticism for linking to the images and making them so available to our readership.

CARLSON:  Why didn‘t you put them on your site?  I don‘t understand.

WALSH:  Because we didn‘t feel like they were being suppressed, and we didn‘t feel like there was a need to do that.  They were out there.  We‘re not a newspaper.  We‘re on the Web.  The protocol of the Web is to link.

Now the difference with the photos is those photos were not out there.  And actually what I‘d like to add is that what we did was document what you were seeing.  If you go Google “Abu Ghraib abuse” you will find all sorts of horrific images, but you won‘t find a real listing and the army‘s own listing of what was going on in those photos.  We stand up for them. 

CARLSON:  I‘d still like to see Salon stand up for the cartoonists in Europe who literally are in hiding today because of these cartoons.

WALSH:  We have stood up. 

CARLSON:  If you stand up for them, you‘ll use their cartoons.

WALSH:  We‘ve absolutely stood up.  I don‘t like we need to do that, stand up for them. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t think there‘s any question that these new images that you have put up on your site will incite people possibly to violence.  I don‘t think that‘s your fault.  You‘re not responsible for what lunatics do, and I‘m not implying that you are.  But I am interested to know if you‘re bothered by that possibility. 

WALSH:  Of course I‘m bothered by it.  I‘m bothered by that possibility.  But I think it‘s very ironic that people who are saying we ought to run those cartoons on our cover, no matter if they would inflame Muslim sentiment, are also telling us don‘t show the Abu Ghraib photos, because they‘ll inflame Muslim sentiment. 

CARLSON:  I‘m merely saying it‘s interesting that sites like Salon, in fact the left, has no problem with putting up images that impugn the United States, that cast the United States in a deservedly bad light.  It is our fault, but I‘m not excusing that torture.  But are so hypersensitive to the complaints of Muslim groups that they won‘t put up with the cartoon.  And I think, despite what you‘re saying, that Salon is another example of that. 

WALSH:  Well, that‘s your—you‘re entitled to think that, Tucker.  We ran a long interview with Yusri Ali (ph), who defended the cartoons and blasted hard core Muslims in terms that were quite scathing.  We‘ve been very critical of Muslim extremism.  I‘m very proud of our coverage of the cartoon controversy. 

CARLSON:  All right.  Joan Walsh of Salon.com, thanks for coming on. 

WALSH:  Thanks for having me.

CARLSON:  Still to come, could lighting a cigarette on the sidewalk in front of your own house soon be a crime?  Yes is the answer, thanks to an absurd new second-hand smoke ordinance in California.  It will make your eyes water.

Plus, if you don‘t know Dick, we‘re here to help you.  Now that the V.P. won‘t face charges for his role in the hunting accident, we thought we‘d bring you the real scoop on Dick Cheney.  Never before heard details about the vice president of the United States, next.


CARLSON:  Is the honeymoon over for Howard Stern and Sirius Satellite Radio?  Some surprising news about the future of satellite.

Plus, a gym teacher in Florida lets students pay him a dollar bribe so they don‘t have to attend class.  Full details when THE SITUATION continues.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  We‘re all used to smoking restrictions in offices, restaurants, even bars.  But outside on the sidewalk, you can still light up, right?  Nope.  At least not Calabasas, California.  Calabasas has just passed an ordinance forbidding smoking in all public places.  That includes parks, sidewalks and outdoor businesses.  

Mayor Barry Groveman supports the ban.  He joins us live tonight from Burbank, California.

Mr. Mayor, thanks for coming on. 


CARLSON:  So as I understand it this ordinance is meant to protect people from second hand smoke.  Can people smoke on a windy day, when there‘s no chance of anybody breathing the smoke, because it just goes off into the air?

GROVEMAN:  No.  First of all, it‘s important to point out this is not a ban on smoking. 

CARLSON:  Right.

GROVEMAN:  This is a limit on the exposure of the public to second-hand smoke. 

CARLSON:  Right.  So on a windy day. 

GROVEMAN:  And basically, you can‘t smoke anywhere.

CARLSON:  Right.  So on a windy day.  So I‘m smoking a cigarette on a windy day, out on the sidewalk in Calabasas.  I don‘t smoke but let‘s—I might take it up if I move to Calabasas, just for fun.

But let‘s say I was doing that and it was windy.  I wouldn‘t be hurting anybody.  Would I be in trouble?

GROVEMAN:  Yes, you cannot smoke in public places where others are present and would be subjected to the exposure of second hand smoke.  You know, it‘s not any different than if you were to fire shots into the sky on a windy day and the bullets come down.  They come down in a different location. 

The bottom line is that...

CARLSON:  Actually, it is different because smoke particles are different than bullets.  They disperse in the wind.

GROVEMAN:  Well, but Tucker...

CARLSON:  And they‘re not concentrated; therefore they don‘t hurt you when they blow away.  Right?

GROVEMAN:  But Tucker, I guess the question I would ask you, is, I mean, we start with the premise that it‘s irrefutable—and the state of California considers it irrefutable—that the damagers of second hand smoke are uncontested. 

CARLSON:  Right.

GROVEMAN:  Lung disease, breast cancer.  So when you start with that premise of the danger of the exposure, it‘s a very legitimate exercise to stop that exposure to protect women, to protect children and to allow people to have the right to breathe clean air.  And that‘s what, really, this is all about. 

CARLSON:  And I‘m all for clean air.  And I, in fact—not just for protecting women and children, but also men, too, since they live here, as well.  But...

GROVEMAN.  Right, I guess it protects everybody. 

CARLSON:  That‘s right.  And I‘m all for that and I‘m against smoking, and I don‘t smoke.  And I hope people don‘t start smoking.  However, there are a lot of airborne pollutants certified by the state of California to be bad for you.  One of them, course, is car exhaust.  Particularly diesel exhaust.  If the city of Calabasas so concerned about my health, why don‘t they ban cars?

GROVEMAN:  Well, first of all, let me just point out that you‘re probably aware that the state of California took an unprecedented step of listing second hand smoke as the equivalent of industrial chemicals.  So they‘re going to start banning this everywhere. 

CARLSON:  Right, along with—along with car exhaust.  It‘s in the same category as car exhaust.  So why not ban cars?

GROVEMAN:  That‘s exactly right.  And I think, Tucker, where we have to start and maybe you should answer this question.  Do you disagree with the irrefutable presumption that there is a danger of serious illness and death from second hand smoke?  Because if we start there, this is a very legitimate thing to be doing.

CARLSON:  I think that‘s a great place to start.  You start there and you incorporate a little common sense, and you wind up with a sensible law.  If you don‘t do that, you wind up the law you just passed.  Because in not all circumstances is second-hand smoke dangerous.  It‘s not dangerous if the wind is blowing at 30 miles an hour.  Nobody breathes it in.  It blows away.  Just like everything else in the air, right? 

GROVEMAN:  Well, but that‘s not a realistic approach to this.  I mean, on the average day, we‘re not depending on the wind to clean the air. 

The bottom line is that people that want to go to Starbucks, that want to go to restaurants, that want to go into places, don‘t want to be in a situation where they have to take a gulp of fresh air. 

CARLSON:  Right.

GROVEMAN:  I want to point something else out, too.  There‘s other issues here.  What this law really does is it makes public spaces more family friendly.


GROVEMAN:  More suitable places for kids.  We want to discourage from smoking, not see those examples. 

CARLSON:  I‘m totally for that.  So there is—there is obviously a Puritanical moral element to this.  That goes without saying. 

But if you‘re interested in people‘s health, and I know that you are, why not ban cars from idling?  Let‘s just start there.   Cars and trucks.  Because an idling car obviously, as I‘m sure you know, emits more emissions than a car driving by.  And it hurts all of us.  Women and children particularly.  Why not ban those in Calabasas, like today?

GROVEMAN:  Well, but Tucker, we don‘t—I don‘t start from that premise.  That‘s like the individual who gets stopped by the police officer and says, everybody else is going faster.  We do what we can do.  This is a very legitimate exercise of the right of safety. 

CARLSON:  I‘m just concerned, Mr. Mayor.  I just think there are people in Calabasas, breathing in smoke from idling trucks.  And I think ought to do something about it, like today. 

GROVEMAN:  Tucker, before you run away from it.

CARLSON:  OK.  We‘re almost out of time.

GROVEMAN:  I just want to know before you‘re out of time whether you agree that it‘s irrefutable that the dangers presented by second hand smoke are real serious.  Because if you think that, as I think you do...

CARLSON:  That‘s no question. 

GROVEMAN:  Then it‘s necessary to protect public health. 

CARLSON:  Almost as serious as the dangers of diesel exhaust, which is why I‘m calling upon you, Mr. Mayor, to do something about it and calling upon your constituents to put pressure on you to do something about it.  We can make Calabasas a better place. 

GROVEMAN:  We—I agree with you.


GROVEMAN:  I agree with you.  We believe in that, but we also have to start with what we have control over. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Mr. Mayor, thanks a lot.   Barry Groveman, I appreciate your coming on. 

Still to come, two rock stars caught in a massive sex tape scandal.  Massive—well, it‘s definitely a scandal in any case.  We‘ll bring you the details when we come back. 

Plus, if you think everything Howard Stern and Oprah Winfrey touch turns to gold, wait until you hear about one project that could go bust.  Sit tight.  We‘ll return.



GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I thought the vice president handled the issue just fine.  He went through—and I thought his explanation yesterday was a powerful explanation.  It was keep—deeply traumatic moment for him and also it was a tragic moment for Harry Whittington.  And so I thought his explanation yesterday was a very strong and powerful explanation.  And I‘m satisfied with the explanation he gave. 


CARLSON:  President Bush, as you just heard, pronounced himself one satisfied customer today.  The local sheriff‘s department is satisfied with Dick Cheney‘s, too. 

Law enforcement officials in Texas closed the hunting accident case today without filing any charges against the V.P.  The three-day story is over. 

And yet, some of you may still be asking yourselves, what exactly do I know about America‘s most powerful vice president?  If are you asking yourself that, we‘re here to help.

Here with a treasure trove of interesting facts about Richard B.

Cheney is Greg Speece.  He‘s assistant editor of “GQ” magazine in New York.  In next month‘s issue, he tests your knowledge about the president‘s right hand man. 

Greg joins us live tonight for a pop quiz in studio.  Greg, thanks for coming on.

GREG SPEECE, ASSISTANT EDITOR, “GQ”:  Thanks for having me.

HANNITY:  And congratulations on this amazing timing. 

It was completely unexpected.  I didn‘t expect him to shoot somebody in the face over the weekend.  But...

CARLSON:  News sometimes cooperates with your publishing schedule. 

Very, very impressive. 

There is—I mean, some of this is actually kind of amazing.  I lived in Washington a long time.  I thought I knew a lot of about Cheney.  A lot of things I didn‘t know.  I‘m want to go through and do a quiz and not to put you on the spot, I‘m going to quiz you with your own quiz. 

SPEECE:  I wrote the quiz. 


SPEECE:  I have no problem with this. 

CARLSON:  Good, you know the answers.  First up, what was Cheney‘s first job as a teenager in Casper, Wyoming?  Was it A) soda jerk; B) janitor at the five-and-dime; C) landscape architect or D) oil tycoon.

What was it Greg?

SPEECE:  He was a janitor at the five-and-dime.  

CARLSON:  How do you know that?

SPEECE:  I know that because I did some research. 

CARLSON:  Good work!

SPEECE:  I dug around.  And it was kind of funny to go in and try to look into his past because he seems like this guy who‘s been 65 and old for his entire life.


SPEECE:  And then to go in and be able to see that he actually has a past, that he was somebody who married the homecoming queen and drove a ‘65 Volkswagen bug around and wasn‘t just this avuncular power monger we‘re going to talk about later earlier in his life.  It‘s a total shock. 

CARLSON:  Dick Cheney once pushed a mop. 

All right.  Question two, what did he and future wife Lynn do on their first date?  One, one malt, two straws at Nancy‘s Diner in Casper; B, dinner at his parents‘ house the day after he broke up with his previous girlfriend; C, dinner and a movie: D, dinner and a movie, followed by some light bondage.  I know it‘s not D.

SPEECE:  How do you know?

CARLSON:  I just suspect.  I suspect you wouldn‘t know if it were D. 

So what is it. 

SPEECE:  It‘s B.


SPEECE:  He—is B the one about the girlfriend he just broke up with?


SPEECE:  And there‘s a pretty funny story.  The girlfriend he broke up with, still pissed. 

CARLSON:  Really?

SPEECE:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  Lo these many years later?

SPEECE:  It‘s been a long, long time. 

CARLSON:  She could be the second lady of the United States.  Where is she now?

SPEECE:  She—I read a piece on her in the “San Francisco Chronicle.”  So she‘s in the northern California area, I believe. 

CARLSON:  You know you‘re famous when they‘re interviewing your previous girlfriends.


CARLSON:  When Cheney took office—this is question C.  One of those “what occupation does your personality suit best tests.  He took it in 1987.  What career did that test suggest he pursue?  A, construction worker; B, funeral director; C, game show host; D, avuncular power monger bent on world destruction—or domination.  Either one.  Which one is it?

SPEECE:  Funeral director.

CARLSON:  That can‘t be true. 

SPEECE:  It‘s 100 percent true.  He and a few congressmen, in I guess, in 1987 went to the USSR to talk to Gorbachev and do the thing.  And they had some free time, and they took one of those tests.  And it came out funeral director. 

CARLSON:  That is un—I‘m not sure if that‘s a compliment or a slight.  He is a very steadying presence.  On the other hand, nobody wants to be thought of as, you know, an aspiring funeral director. 

SPEECE:  I‘m not here to make judgments. 

CARLSON:  Good.  Just the facts.

All right.  No. 4, what was Cheney‘s Secret Service code name when he was Gerald Ford‘s chief of staff at the age of, like 34, I think?  A, backdoor; B, backseat; C, bareback; D, pookey?

What was it?

SPEECE:  Backseat. 

CARLSON:  Backseat.

SPEECE:  Yes.  I mean, it‘s part of that same thing.  30 years ago, even, he was seen as a behind-the-scenes puppet master type, and not a grandstander.  Not anyone who‘s going to tap dance or do any, you know, grand movements. 

CARLSON:  People never change.  What was the most interesting thing you learned about Cheney?

SPEECE:  The most interesting thing I learned about him is that he sticks close to his convictions.  Like, he—he is what you see on TV. 


SPEECE:  You saw him on TV last night.  And he is level like that.  All the way through.  And for me, again, the most fun part was going into his past.  And seeing what it was like growing up for him in Casper.

And actually, this is pretty funny.  When he—Lynn Cheney as a high school senior was the Wyoming baton-twirling champion.  And it was Dick‘s job to help her out by that.  Because she used to throw flaming batons, and he was on the side, putting out the lights.

CARLSON:  The first person who finds a tape of that will be rich.  At least, I‘d be willing to chip in. 

Greg Speece, thanks a lot. 

SPEECE:  Thanks for having me.

CARLSON:  I appreciate it.

Still to come, which two rockers were caught with their pants down on the same-sex tape?  Keep guessing.  You‘ve got to wait till we tell you.  We‘ll be right back to do that.

Plus, pictures of naked Iraqi prisoners on Salon.com‘s web site. 

Should Americans be mad about this?

And a novel idea to get out of gym class.  Bribe your teacher.  We‘ll tell you how it‘s done, or at least how it worked at one Florida school.  THE SITUATION comes back.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  I spoke earlier to the editor-in-chief of Salon.com, Joan Walsh.  She told us why she‘s printing the pictures from the Abu Ghraib. 

Here to help you understand why it‘s OK to show those pictures and not cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed, from Air America, our old pal, Rachel Maddow—Rachel. 


CARLSON:  So why is it OK to show these pictures of Abu Ghraib—and I‘m not contesting the right to do it; I‘ve said that 20 times—but—and not show the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed? 

MADDOW:  Well, we both think that anybody has the right to publish those things if they want to.

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW:  I think that it‘s not advisable, perhaps, to publish the photos of Mohammed and it advisable to publish the photos of Abu Ghraib, because they are two different things.  The Mohammed cartoons are in themselves the offensive caricature.  The pictures of abuse at Abu Ghraib are evidence of a crime committed.  Here‘s something we‘re depicting behavior that is a problem.  The images themselves aren‘t the problem here. 

CARLSON:  But we‘ve established a crime was committed.  That‘s why eight people have gone to prison.  That‘s why a general was stripped of her rank. 

MADDOW:  No, wrong actually.  Janice Karpinski was not stripped of her rank because of what happened at Abu Ghraib. 

CARLSON:  I think she was.  She was—she was a general; she‘s now a colonel. 

MADDOW:  You know why she was stripped of her rank?  She was stripped of her rank because of a shoplifting charge that went back to when she was a colonel.  She was not stripped of her rank for anything having to do with Abu Ghraib. 

CARLSON:  That‘s what she‘s telling you?  That‘s a total, total, total, total crock. 

MADDOW:  Well, that may be. 

CARLSON:  They went after James Yee for adultery.

MADDOW:  When he tried to blow the whistle on Guantanamo.

CARLSON:  Exactly.

MADDOW:  Nothing about Abu Ghraib affected any general. 

CARLSON:  I completely think that that‘s not true.  And that may be her position on it, but I think it‘s pretty obvious she took the blame for it.  But whether she should have or not I actually have no way of knowing and no idea.  But I‘m saying that in the—from the point of view of the Pentagon, she‘s the one who‘s designated to be blamed for it, and that‘s why she was stripped of it. 

MADDOW:  Jeffrey Miller was actually the guy who set up the interrogation system at Abu Ghraib that seems to have led to all these abuses. 

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW:  He was the guy who was most directly in control of Abu Ghraib when they all happened.  Jeffrey Miller got promoted.  Jeffrey Miller‘s still in office. 

CARLSON:  OK.  We‘re off on a tangent here, distracting from just the very central point, which is we know there was a crime committed.  People are now sitting in prison, languishing in prison, in one case for 10 years.  We‘ve established that.  We know that.  We don‘t need to be convinced of that. 

These photographs are not central to the story.  The Mohammed cartoons are literally at the core of that story.  I suggest the difference is in one case the images are essentially an attack on the United States, and it may be a deserved attack.  Well, they make the U.S. look terrible.  And the other...

MADDOW:  And the U.S. did.

CARLSON:  Absolutely right.  I‘m not denying it.  And I‘m not making excuses for it.  I‘m merely saying in their fact that these pictures hurt the United States.  They make people hate us more. 

In—on the other side you have pictures that offend an interest group that for some reason the left is attached to.  Islamic groups in the United States somehow are, I don‘t know, the favorite protected group of the lefties.  I have no idea why.  They‘re outraged by these pictures, so publications don‘t show them.  I don‘t get that.  I just think that‘s a dumb standard. 

MADDOW:  I think fundamentally, the question here is what to do, what is the right thing to do when a country does something wrong?

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW:  When we do something inconsistent with our values. 


MADDOW:  And there are two ways to go.  You can keep it secret and keep it from the public because it makes us look bad. 

CARLSON:  No, I‘m not for that. 

MADDOW:  Right.  That‘s, like, the Dick Cheney school.  Right?  “Don‘t let the public know.  It makes us look bad.”  Right?


MADDOW:  But then the other hand there‘s the Joseph Darby school.  And he was 24 years old, a soldier, U.S. soldier, worked at Abu Ghraib, was not involved in the abuse. 

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW:  When he saw those images, when he got that DVD, he said, “This is wrong.  As an American I‘m offended.”

CARLSON:  Good for him.

MADDOW:  “This has to be stopped.  These pictures have to be made known so people know what happened.” 

CARLSON:  And that happened 2 ½ years ago, and we‘ve seen these pictures ad nauseum.  To show them again is merely to incite violence.


CARLSON:  And then at the same time to say, “Oh, you can‘t show the Prophet Mohammed—peace be upon him—because that will offend some interest group,” that is cowardice.  And on the other side, it‘s just a knee-jerk reaction. 

MADDOW:  The right to show those images is uncontested, the images, those caricatures.  But do you need to show the racist caricature?  It doesn‘t have the same effect... 

CARLSON:  Racist?  What‘s racist about it. 

MADDOW:  Well, the offensive caricature then.  That‘s fine.  But the idea that Abu Ghraib is settled when Jeffrey Miller is in office.  Donald Rumsfeld never paid a price for it.  The only people who were ever prosecuted for that are Charles Graner, and Sabrina Harmon (ph) with the big thumbs up over the corpse got three months in prison. 

CARLSON:  I‘m not saying it‘s settled.  I‘m not saying it‘s settled. 

MADDOW:  It‘s never been taken care of.

CARLSON:  I‘m merely saying you don‘t need to convince Americans or the rest of the world that a crime was committed.  They know it. 

MADDOW:  They decided after Abu Ghraib they were going to raze that prison.  There‘s 5,000 people are in that now. 

CARLSON:  Who cares about the building?  That‘s like dumb symbolism.  We need the building.  We need every piece of infrastructure in Iraq we can get, including Abu Ghraib prison. 

MADDOW:  I don‘t care about the building.  I at least care about Jeffrey Miller and Donald Rumsfeld.  That thing was never...

CARLSON:  Possibly so, but let‘s not bulldoze anything else in Iraq.  We definitely need every piece of standing concrete we can get, I would say. 

Rachel Maddow.

MADDOW:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  It‘s true.

MADDOW:  Well, you know...

CARLSON:  I‘m going to convince you.  I‘m halfway there.

MADDOW:  Abu Ghraib?  Abu Ghraib?  We need that more than we need to tear it down?

CARLSON:  No.  I think we need the building.  We need everything we can get in that country, in that poor, depressing, screwed up country. 

MADDOW:  Tear it down, that‘s what I say. 

CARLSON:  Stay tuned.  Still plenty more ahead on THE SITUATION tonight. 


CARLSON (voice-over):  Sirius static.  Will satellite radio ultimately dethrone the self-proclaimed King of All Media?

HOWARD STERN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  I‘ve never felt that way. 

CARLSON:  And we blow the whistle on an unprincipled gym teacher. 

Wait until you hear how this guy was netting extra income. 

Plus, we‘ll tell you why cops in South Dakota will soon be giving drunks a little more than just a ticket to ride. 

And Hillary gets a wax job.  We‘ve got the pictures to prove it. 

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK:  Almost ad nauseum.

CARLSON:  It‘s all ahead on THE SITUATION.

CLINTON:  There‘s just a lot of very positive news here.



VANESSA MCDONALD, PRODUCER:  Coming up a new sex tape featuring two of the biggest names in rock ‘n‘ roll hits the Internet.  No, it‘s not Hall and Oates.

CARLSON:  Is it Simon and Garfunkel?  Captain and Tenille?  You‘ll just have to wait to find out.  We‘ll be back in 60 seconds.


CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

There‘s an old Zen proverb that‘s hanging on my fridge, in fact,  “Do not seek the truth, only cease to cherish your own opinions.”

Joining me now, our own Zen master, “The Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host Max Kellerman. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO:  I‘m very centered.

CARLSON:  Are you really?  What it is, what isn‘t is.  We‘ll cure you.

First up is satellite radio the next big thing or the Betamax of the 21st Century?  The future may not be as bright as it once seemed.  Just last week XM Satellite Radio signed Oprah Winfrey to host her own channel in a deal worth $55 million, reportedly. 

Today a key director quit that company, warning of a cash crisis if XM fails to cut spending. 

Meanwhile, Sirius, XM‘s smaller rival, has a five-year $500 million deal with Howard Stern.  A lot of money.  Is it too much?  I say no.  I actually think cable proves that people will pay for superior entertainment.  Conventional radio, not very good.  That‘s why this niche is here to stay. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, in this case XM.  I mean, Sirius has made some real good decisions, and XM decisions have not been as good.  Remember, when it first came out, XM was the brand name.  It wasn‘t satellite radio.  It was XM radio.


KELLERMAN:  And since then Sirius has probably taken the lead in the public consciousness for several reasons.  One, they signed Howard Stern. 

CARLSON:  Right.

KELLERMAN:  That was brilliant.  That‘s the only guy on the radio that you have to hear is Howard Stern.

CARLSON:  Right.

KELLERMAN:  And then secondly, they signed the NFL and the NCAA, which are driven largely by gambling.

CARLSON:  Right.

KELLERMAN:  So you care if you‘re in New York what the San Diego team is doing. 

CARLSON:  Of course.

KELLERMAN:  And XM went after baseball.  Not the same thing.  No one cares in New York what the San Diego Padres are doing.  So Sirius has made some good decisions, but XM hasn‘t. 

CARLSON:  So basically, satellite radio is a model that‘s going to succeed, I mean, almost by definition.  Is that what you‘re saying?

KELLERMAN:  You‘d think, except that there are hidden costs, for instance, like satellites that go up.  I mean, some of their projections are going to cost $150 million to put the satellite in orbit and it will be up there for 10 years.  Well, what if a little piece of debris hits it, and it‘s up there for five years?  There‘s $150 million you want to spend.

CARLSON:  The dust variable.

KELLERMAN:  You‘re right.  You weren‘t planning on spending.  I think ultimately, these two are going to merge, unfortunately.  Because it‘s less competition for people like me.

CARLSON:  So you‘re telling me that there are satellites in satellite radio?

KELLERMAN:  Actually, yes. 

CARLSON:   Unbelievable.

A dollar is not worth much these days.  But it was enough to get some Florida middle school kids out of gym class.  I guess it is worth something.  Their gym teacher let them skip gym if they each paid a dollar to him every day. 

Terence Braxton is charged with taking about $230 from six students. 

Officials think the action netted a lot more, possibly thousands. 

Braxton turned himself in and was released without bail. 

You know, I have such mixed feelings about this.  I‘m kind of on the side, actually, secretly of the gym teacher here, because he‘s recognizing what we all know, which is a lot of this is a waste of time. 

KELLERMAN:  Not anymore. 

CARLSON:  You make a great point (ph).  Officially, however, I‘m against this, simply because I want to hear how you can defend it. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, OK.  Actually, when you think about a victimless crime...


KELLERMAN:  Here is a victim—and this is a crime in name only.  First of all, gym in school.  The kids who are going to be athletic, who are interested in that.


KELLERMAN:  Should pursue that, and they‘re doing it anyway. 


KELLERMAN:  And the kids that don‘t want to really shouldn‘t be forced to. 

They‘re not showering in between.  There‘s five minutes to get to your next class.  These are kids getting all sweaty and running off doing.  The kids who are good athletes don‘t need it anyway.  They have to play with the kids who aren‘t good athletes.  The kids who aren‘t good athletes are humiliated in front of everybody. 

Meanwhile, the teachers, as everyone know, are underpaid.  So this guy, $1, which students can afford. 


KELLERMAN:  Enterprising students can afford it.  Get to not either be humiliated or waste their time.  This teacher, very good source of revenue on this.  How many hundreds of students does he teach in the course of a week?

CARLSON:  It‘s like the New York Throughway.  You know, it‘s cheap but its adds up. 

KELLERMAN:  It adds up.  It‘s a brilliant victimless crime, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  And it‘s also really free enterprise at its most appealing.

KELLERMAN:  I wish my biology teacher would have thought of this. 

CARLSON:  You know what, Max Kellerman?  I‘m just going to roll over and you can scratch my belly.  And I‘ll going to—I‘m going to concede defeat.  That was brilliant. 

KELLERMAN:  Thank you very much.

CARLSON:  Thank you, Max.

Coming up on THE SITUATION, implanting microchips in human beings isn‘t just for creepy movies about the future anymore.  It‘s the hot new way to show someone how much you care.  We‘ll explain when THE SITUATION rolls on. 


CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

You probably got your significant other something like flowers or chocolate for Valentine‘s Day.  That is so last millennium.  Our next guest and his girlfriend showed their affection for each other by having electronic microchips implanted into their bodies.  Now that is true love.

The chips are embedded beneath the skin and allow the couple access to one another‘s front door and computer.  Amal Graffsta is the author of “RFID Toys: 11 Cool Projects for Home Office and Entertainment.”  RFID stands for radio frequency identification.  That‘s the device Amal and his girlfriend have in their bodies.

Amal joins us live in Vancouver, British Columbia.  That‘s in Canada. 

Amal, thanks a lot for joining us. 

AMAL GRAFFSTA, AUTHOR, “RFID TOYS”:  Sure.  No problem. 

CARLSON:  Now why—I mean, why would do you this?

GRAFFSTA:  Well, originally, I did it just, you know, for personal use.  I wanted to replace my keys.  I wanted to be able to go for walks and that kind of thing without needing to lug around a bunch of keys with me.  So leave, come back, swipe the hand, get in.  That kind of thing. 

CARLSON:  Are you—because you have, I think, two different chips implanted in your body, they‘re in your body, are you afraid of the health consequences that one of these things could—I don‘t know—migrate to your heart like a shot gun pellet?  I mean, are they safe?

GRAFFSTA:  Yes, they‘re relatively safe.  I mean, they‘ve been used in pets and animals and things for years.  And now a company by the name of VeriChip is using them in humans.  They‘re the only FDA approved company to do it. 

But I just figured I‘d take the technology in my own hands and  -- literally in my own hands—and you know, go ahead and get an animal tag and put that in.  Once it‘s under the skin and the wound has healed up, then there‘s no risk of infection, and migration is minimal. 

CARLSON:  You also had—and this is the fascinating part from my perspective.  You also had your girlfriend do the same thing.  That strikes me as taking the whole possessive boyfriend thing to a whole new level.  I mean, you have her electronically monitored inside of her skin.  Did she protest when you suggested it?

GRAFFSTA:  Actually, no.  But you do bring up kind of one of the common misconceptions.  It‘s not really a monitoring technology.  It‘s an identification technology.

CARLSON:  So tell me, what does it do?  What are all the things this can do?

GRAFFSTA:  Well, OK.  Well, it just contains a unique I.D. And then that I.D. is checked, you know, against the front door, car door, computer login, that kind of thing.  So if, you know, she has her unique I.D.  I have mine.  And you know, when swiped across the reader, the reader checks, you know, is this I.D. allowed in?  And if so we can unlock the door and get in the computer, that kind of thing. 

CARLSON:  Is there is a deeper romantic symbolism to it?  I mean, it seems almost like having a vial of blood on a cord around your neck kind of thing.  Has it brought you closer?

GRAFFSTA:  Well, you know, she wasn‘t too keen at first.  She had a lot of questions about it.  You know...

CARLSON:  I bet. 

GRAFFSTA:  Yes, she did.  You know, she saw me go through the process of getting it.  And you know, it‘s not hurting me.  It doesn‘t—it doesn‘t migrate around.  There‘s no pain involved.  I don‘t even remember that I even have chips. 

So you know, she saw me building projects for the book, “RFID Toys.”  And then she started to get a little curious about it and said maybe I can check out this technology and use it, you know, in my daily life.  So as soon as she hinted at, you know, wanting it then I called the doctor right away, and 30 seconds procedure, and it was done. 

CARLSON:  There‘s a dark side to technology, of course, and we‘re all aware of it.  Are you concerned that at some point, say, a foreign intelligence agency could use this technology, these chips in your body, to control your thoughts?

GRAFFSTA:  No.  No mind control chips; nothing like that.  Although I am afraid of biometric checking.  That‘s kind of scary.  Face scanning with public cameras.  That kind of thing freaks me out. 

CARLSON:  Wait.  You‘re afraid of that.

GRAFFSTA:  Now you know what I‘ve done.

CARLSON:  You‘re afraid of that, you say, but you have injected an identity chip into your hand.  And your girlfriend has done the same. 

GRAFFSTA:  That‘s true. 

CARLSON:  You can‘t be too afraid of it. 

GRAFFSTA:  Well, you know, the difference is I‘m taking control of the technology rather than, you know, it ruling me and her.  So, you know, we‘re in control of what we can do with them.  And you know, if we ever want to, we can just remove them in 20 seconds and they‘re out. 

CARLSON:  That was my last question.  I felt almost compelled to ask what happens if, no offense, it doesn‘t work out.  But you have already got that covered. 

Amal Graffsta, thanks a lot for joining us.  I appreciate it. 

GRAFFSTA:  Sure, no problem.

CARLSON:  You made a good case.  I have to say, I‘m almost won over. 


GRAFFSTA:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Still ahead on THE SITUATION, Hillary Clinton has been accused of being a little stiff at times.  Her performance today will not do anything to help that reputation.  Hillary waxes presidential on “The Cutting Room Floor.”


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  It‘s time for “The Cutting Room Floor.”  We can‘t do that, of course, without the great Willie Geist, who is, in fact, here. 

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER:  Hello, Tucker.  That technology that guy was just talking about is excellent.  I have my EZ Pass in my shoulder.  I was losing it all the time.  You just cruise right through.  It‘s fantastic.

CARLSON:  I‘m sorry to be like a libertarian whack job, but that makes me uncomfortable. 

GEIST:  No, I‘m not getting chips in my body. 

Just kidding.  Also, we want to cue up a little video we had of Tucker today out in the parking lot preparing for an “Olympic Update.”  There he is.  Oh, no.  That‘s just him going out last night. 

I don‘t think that‘s actually an Olympic suit.  I don‘t know of any event where you wear a Barney costume.  I think they got one over on you, buddy.

CARLSON:  What bothers me is that the cameraman is filming when I‘m not even aware of it. 

GEIST:  You can catch this on “Olympic Update” very day, Tucker dressed up to look like a fool. 

CARLSON:  It‘s horrifying.  Horrifying. 

GEIST:  No, you look great.

CARLSON:  Cable TV is one endless humiliation. 

Well, you really haven‘t arrived in entertainment until there‘s a sex tape of you floating around the Internet.  Kid Rock and Scott Stapp, welcome to the big time. 

GEIST:  Yes.

CARLSON:  A California company has acquired a tape featuring the two -

Stapp is the lead singer of the band Creed—engaging in sexual acts for female fans on a tour bus.  The tape was shot in 1999 when the two were touring together. 

GEIST:  I bet that‘s good.  We actually caught a sneak peek of it tonight.  If that trailer is any indication, it‘s going to be big business.  And it‘s brought to us—the company is called Red Light District.


GEIST:  The same people who brought us Paris Hilton‘s, “One Night in Paris.” 

CARLSON:  Honestly, I have been celibate ever since I saw that Paris Hilton tape.  That‘s how I‘m feeling.

GEIST:  This is more depressing. 

CARLSON:  It was awesome. 

We got our first look at Hillary Clinton, the presidential candidate today.  She didn‘t make a formal announcement about her 2008 candidacy.  That‘s probably because she was made of wax. 

Madam Tussaud‘s wax museum in New York unveiled a brand new life-size Hillary statute today.  The event was turned into a full-fledged Hillary for president campaign rally.  The Hillary statue stands right next to the one of her husband, who was, in fact, president at one point. 

GEIST:  And even at the wax museum you can sense the awkwardness between those two, can‘t you? 

CARLSON:  You can.

GEIST:  They did a nice job, though, I think, of capturing her personality in the wax. 

CARLSON:  I‘m not going to weigh in.  I‘m not.  I‘m not.

GEIST:  Taking the high road?

CARLSON:  I know.  We‘ve got plenty of time to beat up Hillary.

Fetishes come in all shapes and sizes.  This one comes in the shape and size of a doorknob.  A Wisconsin man has been sentenced to three years behind bars after he pleaded no contest to stealing dozens of doorknobs from construction sites. 

The 43-year-old says he committed the burglaries because he‘s obsessed with doorknobs.  He can‘t control his compulsion, he says. 

GEIST:  I can see that.  This is the least judgmental segment in all of television.  We take all weirdos.  But I have to know, how do you even arrive at that fetish?  What happens?  What are the steps that bring you towards being obsessed with doorknobs?  I don‘t get it.

CARLSON:  I don‘t know, but we—take a dim view of three years (ph)?

GEIST:  Three years for stealing doorknobs?

CARLSON:  The architects of Enron aren‘t getting three years. 

You may not be able to drink—drink if you‘re a mascot at Stanford. 

Thanks to a new law you can now drink and ride your horse in South Dakota.  The governor of that great state has signed a bill that exempts horses and bicycles from drunk driving penalties.  State senators‘ response to the bill said arresting liquored up people on horses and dirt bikes make a mockery of drunk driving laws.

GEIST:  And we are referring, of course, the previous story—about the Stanford...

CARLSON:  What happened to that story?

GEIST:  I don‘t know.  It disappeared.  The mascot was drunk and was kicked out from being a mascot. 


GEIST:  But as this horse business, why was this law on the books in the first place?  Were they having a lot of horse drunk driving accidents?

CARLSON:  Yes, and drunk bicycling accidents and drunk ride-on mower accidents?

GEIST:  Yes.  I think Mothers Against Drunk Horseback Riding are not going to like this reversal. 

CARLSON:  The lobby‘s getting weaker every year. 

Willie Geist.

GEIST:  All right, Tucker.

CARLSON:  See you Monday. 

We‘ll see you Monday, because that‘s THE SITUATION for tonight.  Thank you for watching.  Up next is Keith Olbermann.  Again, Monday.  Be back then.  Have a greet weekend.



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