updated 3/2/2006 11:03:16 AM ET 2006-03-02T16:03:16

Guest: Chris Daly, Kevin Appleby

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Thanks a lot, Joe.  I appreciate it.

Thanks to you at home, too, for tuning in.  We do appreciate that, as well. 

Tonight, supervisors in San Francisco pass a resolution asking the city's Democratic congressional delegation to impeach the president.  Will Mayor Gavin Newsom sign the new legislation?  I'll ask the sponsor, the man who wrote it.  He'll be on.

Then Arianna Huffington wrote an outrageous column last night, not simply attacking me but dragging a member of my family into it.  Arianna turned down our request to appear on our show tonight.  In a moment, I'll set her straight anyway. 

Plus, in the wake of a Los Angeles police officer being shot and killed by a gangster rapper, a move to ban all rap performances on college campuses in that state.  Is rap becoming too dangerous to perform in public?  We'll debate that in just a minute. 

But first, “We are fully prepared.”  Those are the words of a confident President Bush just one day before Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast.  Earlier tonight, the Associated Press released video footage from a briefing in which President Bush received dire warnings about Katrina's possible impact.  Both hurricane expert Max Mayfield and former FEMA director Mike Brown were there.  Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I want to assure the folks at the state level that we are foully prepared to not only help you during the storm, but we will move in whatever resources and assets we have at our disposal after the storm to help you deal with—with the loss of property and, we pray for no loss of life, of course. 

MAX MAYFIELD, HURRICANE EXPERT:  I don't think anyone can tell you with any confidence right now whether the levees will be soft or not.  But there's obviously a very, very big concern. 

MIKE BROWN, FORMER FEMA DIRECTOR:  My gut tells me—I told you guys that my gut was this was going to be a bad one and a big one, and you heard Max's comments.  I still feel that way today. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Don't often see footage like that.  For more on what it means, we welcome MSNBC chief Washington correspondent, Norah O'Donnell.  She joins us live from the capital city. 

Norah, what's the response to this?  This is amazing.  I've never seen footage like this.  How are they responding to it?

NORAH O'DONNELL, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, at first glance, it does appear that this tape could be some sort of bombshell.  It was re-released today by the Associated Press.  It is, as you mentioned, a video teleconference from August 28.  That's the day before Hurricane Katrina struck. 

And what we've learned from this videotape, although FEMA and DHS say, well, the transcript of this was already out.  But what we have learned is that these federal disaster officials warned the president and Michael Chertoff in pretty dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms that this storm was going to do a lot of damage. 

We saw Max Mayfield.  He's the leading hurricane expert.  I'm sure everybody remembers him.  He's on that teleconference warning of a very, very dangerous hurricane.  He said it's a very grave concern that the levees would be topped. 

Now critics charged today that this tape essentially shows the Bush administration was warned and that they were not ready. 

They also noted that in that briefing, and you saw the president—that's actually from his ranch in Crawford, Texas.  That was the final briefing before the Hurricane Katrina struck.  The president did not ask a single question.  But he assured state officials, quote, “We are fully prepared.” 

Now, at the same time, we've obtained a transcript here at NBC News of a teleconference the very next day that paints a different picture of the president.  And in that transcript, Michael Brown says he talked to the president twice and it was only new. 

Brown is recorded as saying in this transcript—and presumably there's a tape of that, too, but we don't have it—that the president was very engaged, asking a lot of questions, that the president was asking about the hospitals, the Superdome and the reported breach of the levees. 

Now, tonight, the White House reaction is, look, this tape that came out today does not contradict anything the president has said in the past.  Even though, as you remember, Tucker, the president said in September, quote, “I don't think anybody anticipated a breach of the levees.”

CARLSON:  Interesting.  I wonder where this tape came from.  I mean, as you point out, the transcripts were there.  Who reads transcripts?  Reporters, maybe that's it. 

This tape is reaching everybody in the country, and no matter what its substance, it does look bad.  Whether it is bad or not is a different question. 

It was obviously leaked by somebody.  The obvious—the obvious suspect in this, Michael Brown, who was dissed in a pretty dramatic way by the White House.  He's had nothing but nasty things to say about them ever since.  Is that where we think this came from?

O'DONNELL:  Well, I think it's definitely come from somewhere inside the government, clearly.  It's not come from Capitol Hill.  They've never had copies of this particular tape.  They had transcripts of that video teleconference.

But someone from inside—it could have been Michael Brown—released this video teleconference.  You know, what's noteworthy is that, even though officials at the Department of Homeland Security which oversees FEMA, tried to make the case, today, hey, nothing new, whatever. 

You know, Tucker.  It's video.  I mean, this is the president here in Crawford talking, offering help, et cetera, but he wasn't probing and asking questions on August 28, the day before, about the levees. 

And so this will just add to the library, if you will, in this whole long sordid story of Hurricane Katrina, about what went wrong and why is it, despite repeated warnings the day before that this was going to be a terrible storm, that the aftermath was so horrible and there wasn't the sort of situational awareness on the ground, as the president called it in his interview with ABC News just yesterday. 

CARLSON:  I wonder, Norah, how many people who have covered the president will be surprised that he didn't ask a single question.  Not that I'm going to ask you to answer that question or even comment on it. 

O'DONNELL:  We got that transcript from the White House, though, that says the very next day, though...

CARLSON:  Right.

O'DONNELL:  according to Michael Brown, who is now sort of pointed towards the president as one of the problems, he even on this other transcript says Bush was engaged IN asking a lot of questions the very next day. 

CARLSON:  Interesting.  All right, Norah O'Donnell, from Washington. 

Thanks a lot, Norah. 

O'DONNELL:  My pleasure. 

CARLSON:  So how much political damage will this pre-Katrina footage do to an already weakened President Bush?  For the answer, we're joined by MSNBC contributor, Flavia Colgan.  She joins us live tonight from the lovely Burbank, California—Flavia. 

FLAVIA COLGAN, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR:  Good evening, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Good evening.  I am not surprised the president didn't ask a single question.  He's not a particularly inquisitive man.  He is an arrogant man, as most presidents are.  I think this tape obviously makes the federal government look bad.  That's no surprise to me.  I have a low opinion of the federal government's ability to do anything, apart really, from paving the roads and delivering the mail and keeping the enemy at bay.

I don't know, this doesn't change my view of Katrina.  Does it change yours?

COLGAN:  Tucker, by the way, you're being way too ambiguous.  Tell us how you really feel. 

CARLSON:  Sorry.  It's true.  Bush is not a question asker, it's one of his problems, unfortunately. 

COLGAN:  Look, I think that this is very problematic.  One, as you guys already pointed out, it's a visual and allows people to connect in a more visceral, emotional way with things that were already upsetting them.

A couple things have come out from it.  One, I mean, the president very clearly said no one could have anticipated the breach of the levees.  This shows that wasn't the case. 

He also said right away one of the major problems was they weren't getting good information on the ground.  Again, based on this tape, that shows that was not true. 

And then you have a lot of anecdotal stuff that I always believed, but the National Guard saying, “We're offering our help; they aren't accepting it.”  The White House saying that's not the fact. 

These tapes show we had a huge missed opportunity in trying to bring in some of our men and women in uniform.  They knew about the people in the hospitals, some of the most grisly scenes we saw when people were dying in their own excrement.  These people were not taken out. 

But I think the larger problem for the Bush administration, and I just spent the weekend at a conservative sort of gathering.  I was the token Democrat, and I'm lucky I came back alive.  But, you know, interestingly enough, there was a lot of concern there over whether the president is affecting negatively the GOP.  I mean, if you look at this tape...

CARLSON:  Of course he is.  Of course he is. 

COLGAN:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  They're mad at him.  But wait, are you...

COLGAN:  But right.  I mean...

CARLSON:  Hold on.  Back to this tape for a second.  Were you surprised that the briefing the president is getting is coming from, of all people, Max Mayfield: great guy, knowledgeable guy, guy who was on this show the same day he was briefing the president. 

Don't you expect the president to be getting a briefing from some secret NASA spy satellite that has, you know, esoteric hurricane information the rest of us are not privy to?  Instead he's talking to Max Mayfield.  He didn't know anything we didn't know, it looks like. 

COLGAN:  Well, I mean, I've got to be perfectly candid with you; I'm not that familiar with Max.  And I don't think a lot of the viewers are either.  I mean, I was more concerned with the fact that yet again the president was, you know, was at his ranch vacationing.  He has his secretary then going off to a bird flu event.  I mean, I was half waiting for him to pick up a copy of “My Pet Goat” and start reading it.  I mean, the guy was about as engaged as King Tut.  I mean, I don't know what engaged is.

CARLSON:  He was about as engaged as Mayor Ray Nagin, the buffoonish mayor Ray Nagin, whose police officers were busy looting Wal-Mart while the city was being destroyed. 

COLGAN:  Look, there's—Tucker. 

CARLSON:  I mean, it does draw attention away from the failures on the ground, which I think are important to remember, because they were real.  I saw them.

COLGAN:  Look, there's plenty of blame to go around.  And no one is

trying to pin this on the president.  But the fact is that that is man who

·         you know, the Republican Party likes to posit itself as efficient government, as competency, as personal accountability.  This is an administration, and it's a pattern.  And that's what makes this video tough for them.  It's a pattern that the rhetoric does not match the reality on the ground. 

CARLSON:  I agree. 

COLGAN:  His overconfidence stands in stark contrast to the dire warnings they were hearing.  And this is a pattern whether it's Iraq, and we're going to be greeted by flowers.  And whether you like Bush or not, I have always said the strongest narrative against him is the fact that he's just not competent.  And we're going to see this creating problems...

CARLSON:  This is a case where you're—that's right. 

COLGAN:  Right.  Things like Dubai and all these firestorms.  Because guess what?  He's not inoculate any more.  They can't just keep saying just trust us.  The record has shown we can't, and he's going to have a lot of problems. 

CARLSON:  My trust evaporated after no WMD were found.  That was kind of it for me.  I hope to regain it again someday but haven't yet. 

Flavia Colgan, thanks a lot for joining us.

COLGAN:  Well, you're a conservative I can trust, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Yes, well, you know. 

COLGAN:  Every once in awhile.

CARLSON:  I'm accountable to no one by my own beliefs.  Not to brag. 

Thanks, Flavia.

Still to come, supervisors in San Francisco pass a resolution, calling for the impeachment of both President Bush and Vice President Cheney.  Why, you ask?  We'll talk to the man who wrote it.

Plus, the growing debate over illegal immigration now involves the Lord himself.  Why is a cardinal planning to tell his priests to defy the law to help illegal aliens?  Find out when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Coming up, how are “American Idol” and “The Simpsons” making a mockery of the U.S. Constitution?  Good question.  We'll answer it.  Plus, which TV star might be making a run for the White House in 2008?  We have that information, so stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

If low poll numbers and embarrassing video of the president just before Katrina don't spell enough trouble for the White House, now there's a movement afoot to have the president and vice president impeached. 

Chris Daly is a member of the San Francisco board of supervisors and the man who sponsored a resolution asking the city's Democratic congressional delegation to seek impeachment.  That resolution passed in a 7-3 vote.  Mr. Daly joins us live tonight from San Francisco. 

Chris Daly, thanks for coming on. 

CHRIS DALY, SAN FRANCISCO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:  No problem.  Good to be here, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  So here you have a city that voted 15 percent for Bush. 

Fifteen percent of San Franciscans voted for Bush in the 2004 election.  One of the most liberal places on planet earth.  Why is anybody going to care if you think the president ought to be impeached?  Of course, you think he ought to be impeached.  You're San Francisco. 

DALY:  Most of South America is probably more liberal than San Francisco, but not to argue that.

Look, San Francisco is a major American city.  We take politics very seriously.  Clearly, we're a Democratic town.  But we don't just go around calling for impeachment with any Republican president. 

This is a president, possibly one of the worst in the history of this country, who has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.  And like all of my other colleagues, who are elected officials around the country, we take the oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.  And that Constitution, article two, section four provides for impeachment of the president and other federal officials for high crimes and misdemeanors. 

CARLSON:  But wait.  The Constitution, and I haven't read it, you know in the past month or anything, but as I remember, it doesn't mention anything about the San Francisco board of supervisors having a role in the impeachment process.  I mean, no offense.  I think it's great to be on the board of supervisors of San Francisco.  But you have no control over this at all. 

DALY:  Absolutely not.  Routinely, San Francisco will pass resolutions, just like other cities and counties do about things that are happening, either at the state capital in California or Sacramento or in Washington, D.C., on items that impact us. 

And the actions of this president that have risen to the level, I believe, and San Francisco now believes, of high crimes and misdemeanors has impacted San Francisco.  And so it's appropriate for us to weigh.  In and also to get information about the feeling or the temperature of the constituency to our federal representatives.  That spatial issue of 3,000 miles between them and their constituents. 

CARLSON:  I know that you will pass a lot of resolutions, and when you do, pass a resolution calling for nuclear disarmament or world peace or banning white bread.  Or you know, transgender rights or whatever it is you're passing resolutions on.

DALY:  I think we've done the last one. 

CARLSON:  I know you have.  But the rest of the country laughs at you. 

And more precisely, the Republican Party raises money based on what you do.  They say, “Look, vote for us or America is taken over by the kind of people who are on the San Francisco board of supervisors.”  Right?  You're a fundraising tool for them. 

DALY:  Absolutely, folks are—there are some folks in middle America, some folks watching your show who think San Francisco is nuts and may be laughing at us. 

But look at what happens five years from now.  They will be following our lead.  We were out early against Vietnam.  And the country came around to San Francisco's position.  We were out early against the war in Iraq.  The country's come around to our position. 

And now when we're talking about the lack of response to Katrina, I passed a resolution yesterday not knowing about this tape that surfaced at “Newsweek” magazine today.  If you look at it.  It's unraveling.  It's the top story on your show tonight.  You know, things are following San Francisco's lead at this point. 

CARLSON:  But wait a second.  I mean, I love San Francisco, as I was telling you in the break.  You know, I was born there.  My family is from there.  I think it's a great city.  But it's also a city with some problems and some pretty obvious problems. 

DALY:  Absolutely. 

CARLSON:  Parts of it are dirty (ph).  You've got a lot of homeless people wandering around. 

DALY:  Yes, we do.

CARLSON:  You have some labor problems.  The city is not perfect at all.  It's a mess in some ways.  Why aren't you spending your time worrying about how to make the city better and worrying less about, say, global warming or the president's impeachment?

DALY:  That's a great question, Tucker, except we do spend most of our times worrying about these problems. 

Yesterday we passed this resolution calling for impeachment of the president and the vice president, I think, because there's a strong case to be made.  We spent 10 minutes on the item.  The meeting yesterday was six hours, where we grappled with 50-some different items. 

The importance to San Francisco, about violence in the city, around street resurfacing, around the parks, around housing issues, school issues, everything.  We grapple with the tough issues. 

If you look at the war in Iraq, in one of our points about...

CARLSON:  OK.

DALY:  ... impeaching the president...

CARLSON:  Right.

DALY:  ... is San Francisco's share in terms of our tax dollars that have gone into the war in Iraq with current appropriations from Congress is over $800 million. 

CARLSON:  All right.

DALY:  And Tucker, you give the San Francisco board of supervisors $800 million, we'll solve homelessness. 

CARLSON:  You know, first of all, that's completely untrue.  You will not solve homelessness.  And second...

DALY:  With $800 million we would.  Absolutely.

CARLSON:  No, you won't.  No, you won't.  You will blow it on silly resolutions like this one.  And I can tell you, speaking of funding...

DALY:  This resolution costs no money.  Costs no money, Tucker.

CARLSON:  There are Republican fundraisers sitting at home right now, taking notes on you, ready to raise more dough in direct mail pitches. 

DALY:  That's beautiful.

CARLSON:  Congratulations.

DALY:  I'll take on their direct mail and square off on them and I'll beat them. 

CARLSON:  All right.  Good luck.  Chris Daly.

DALY:  And San Francisco will lead the country.  And George Bush will go down as the worst president in American history. 

CARLSON:  Good luck, Chris Daly from San Francisco. 

DALY:  All right.  Thanks, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  A son of that city on the Left Coast.  Thanks, Chris.

Still to come, Arianna Huffington, the columnist, attacks me and drags my family into it in a pretty repulsive way.  I'll respond when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

Since when is the Catholic Church an authority on terrorism and immigration reform?  Good question.  You'll have to ask Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahoney, who recently weighed in on both questions from the pulpit. 

Mahoney declared that illegal immigration is in no way a threat to national security and announced plans to lobby for looser immigration laws.  He said he'd willing to break the law in Congress ignores those efforts.

Joining us from Washington to explain the cardinal's position is Kevin Appleby.  He's the director of the migration and refugee policy for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

Thanks a lot for joining us, Mr. Appleby. 

KEVIN APPLEBY, U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS:  Thank you for having me. 

CARLSON:  What is the cardinal's expertise on national security?  When he gets up and says that al Qaeda operatives would never sneak through the desert across the U.S. border with Mexico, how does he know that, with all due respect?  How the hell does he know that?  He doesn't know that, does he?

APPLEBY:  First of all, let me say, Tucker, that the Catholic Church does not support—does not encourage undocumented immigration into this country.  I wanted to say that up front.

CARLSON:  Well, that's not true. 

APPLEBY:  No, we don't.  We don't encourage it.  We don't induce it.  What we do is we want to find a humane solution to this problem.  We have an immigration crisis in this country.  We agree with you there's an immigration crisis, and what we need to look at a conference (ph) of solutions, at all aspects of our immigration system in order to solve this problem. 

CARLSON:  OK.

APPLEBY:  The cardinal has every right to speak out on this issue.  It's an issue that has moral consequences, has human consequences, and he has every right to speak out on it. 

CARLSON:  And no one is contesting his right, least of all me.  Of

course he does.  That's not the point.  I'll tell you where the crisis is -

·         is in the Catholic Church's moral authority, which has been bruised by these pedophilia scandals over the past 10 years. 

And I wonder why this cardinal would want to squander what remaining authority his church has by weighing in on questions he clearly doesn't understand. 

Again, to my first question.  How does he know—how does Mr.  Cardinal Mahoney know that al Qaeda has no plans to bring operatives over the border from Mexico?  He doesn't know.  So why is he saying that in public?  Why is he using the office of the church to endorse a position that, by definition, he doesn't know is true. 

APPLEBY:  Let me just say, the Catholic Church has all sorts of authority on this issue.  We've helped assimilate immigrants into this country for years.  We help immigrants—legal immigrants all the time.  We resettle refugees.  We've done that lot of the hard work in making this country a diverse country and an immigrant nation. 

So we have every night to speak out on this issue, and we have every right to offer a solution.  And our solution is a solution which would protect national security, because we need to fix our broken immigration system.  We need look at our legal immigration system, call the undocumented out of the shadows.  We need to create legal avenues for people to come so we know who's coming. 

If we do that, it will ease the pressure on our border.  We'll be able to better protect our border and identify who is coming.  This is the only solution to this problem. 

CARLSON:  OK.  It's...

APPLEBY:  Throwing more enforcement...

CARLSON:  It may be a solution to the problem.  But again, I'm having difficulty getting you to answer my questions. 

Let me is ask a second one here.  Cardinal Mahoney has said that if Congress passes more stringent immigration reform, that he will encourage priests in his diocese, priests over whom he has some control, to break the law, to break the law.  To break the law.  To break U.S. law. 

In other words, Cardinal Mahoney somehow knows better than the federal government, knows better than the Congress, knows better than the Democratically-elected lawmakers that come up with the laws.  Where does he get this special esoteric knowledge?  Where does he get the authority to encourage other people to break U.S. law?

APPLEBY:  Let me explain to you why he feels strongly about this.  We are not... 

CARLSON:  I want I want to know why he's encouraging people to break U.S. law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Let me explain.  We are not required under current law to ask for someone's documentation when they come for services.  We provide services to people in need. 

We're not law enforcement agents.  We're not going to pick who's here and who's not here under law.  We serve people.  We shouldn't be law enforcement agents and, frankly, this provision would have the government chasing nuns and priests and putting them in jail.  I think there are better ways to use our resources than to go to priest, go to nuns and other humanitarian workers and good Samaritans and try to put them in jail.  That's not how we're going to solve this crisis.  And that's why the cardinal is upset about it. 

CARLSON:  I think what you shouldn't be are political lobbyists or politicians.  I mean, it seems to me the central mission of the Catholic Church is to keep ...

O'REILLY:  I disagree with you on that. 

CARLSON:  Really?  I thought the ministry had—correct me if I'm wrong.  But I thought Christianity, the central mission of it, was to bring people to Christ and to get them saved so they can go to heaven.  I'm not sure it was to lobby Congress.  When does that—when does that change?

APPLEBY:  It's also to speak to the moral issues in the public square.  We have every right as an organization to speak out under free speech and to petition the government on issues. 

CARLSON:  Of course.  Of course you have a right.  Though I wonder if you have a right to remain tax exempt as you do, and I don't think actually you do.  Nobody is contesting your First Amendment right.  I just think that it's a mistake. 

But I appreciate your coming on to explain it.  Kevin Appleby...

APPLEBY:  Thank you for having me.

CARLSON:  ... from the Migration Refugee Policy Office of the Catholic Bishops.  Thanks.

Moving on now to a completely different topic I've wanted to talk to you about, last night, liberal columnist Arianna Huffington wrote a blog attacking me for not revealing that my father has given money to Scooter Libby's legal defense fund. 

Her points were absurd.  Her tone was nasty.  The fact that she dragged a member of my family into it made me red in the face mad.  I would have loved the chance to tell her all this in person, and we certainly tried. 

Unfortunately, though, a few hours ago, a person who identified herself as Arianna's, quote, “chief of staff” informed us that Huffington would not be coming on the show tonight.  That's a shame.  But I'd still like to make a few quick points about it. 

I didn't mention my father's support for Scooter Libby because it was irrelevant, completely and utterly irrelevant.  Libby was my father's personal lawyer long before he joined the Bush administration.  They're friends, and that has nothing at all to do with me. 

I met Scooter lib precisely once at a party in Washington for about 15 seconds.  My position on Patrick Fitzgerald's ongoing leak investigation has been the same since the day that investigation started.  I have not changed a single word I've said or written on the subject to suit anyone else's opinions, including my father's.  It has been purely on principle, everything I've said about that investigation. 

Arianna could have criticized my views about Scooter Libby.  That would have been fair, of course.  But she didn't.  In fact, she didn't even bother to address them.  Instead she went immediately for the most personal of all attacks, dragging a member of my family into it, as if my father is somehow responsible for what I believe. 

This is not honest political debate.  It is attempted character assassination by a nasty little propagandist.  Arianna Huffington ought to be ashamed of herself.  I wish I could tell her that right to her face. 

Thanks, I feel better now. 

Still to come, rap stars like 50 Cent could soon be banned from college campuses in Nevada.  Will it make those schools safer?  Or is it just an abridgement of the First Amendment?  We'll debate that.

Plus, how much do you know about the First Amendment, speaking of?  A new survey testing people's knowledge about government versus pop culture would even have Home Simpson saying, “Doh!”

It's all coming up next on THE SITUATION.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC HOST:  Welcome back.  This month, Nevada officials will consider a ban on rap concerts on college campus' in that state.  They believe the violent lyrics and rap songs encourage people to kill cops or abuse women. 

In fact, just last month, a gangster rapper gunned down a  Los Vegas police officer.   But my next guest says giving  rid of rap is unconstitutional and it's a violation of free speech, he says.

Allen Lichtensteinis the general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union in Nevada.  He joins us live tonight from Las Vegas.

Mr. Lichtenstein, thanks for coming on.  

ALLEN LICHTENSTEIN, GENERAL COUNSEL, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION: 

Thanks for inviting me. 

CARLSON:  Let me just say off the top, I'm not for banning any form of music.  It's too general.  And it seems dumb and maybe even a violation of the first amendment.

However, it seems to me there is a real problem with violence at rap

concerts.  There is.   And it's impossible to deny.  And I also think it's

important  to be sympathetic to the idea  behind this potential move and

that   is, you know, public safety. 

                LICHTENSTEIN:  Well, clearly, if you look, historically, people who

want  to censor certain types of content often have good  intentions.   But the result is still as bad as if they had other types of  intentions.

To have a committee of police officers and school  administrators go through the lyrics of particular groups  and decide which ones are acceptable and which ones are  not acceptable is the most  blatant form of viewpoint-specific prior restraint that  the courts have never accepted are not going to accept now.

While there's sympathy for situations, certainly for a police officer who was killed, the fact that the person who shot him was a rapper as opposed to a country music artist or a Democratic or Republican or a baseball player  or whatever, really is not the  point.

We should have a great deal of sympathy for this brave man's  family. 

But to blame a certain kind of music is... 

CARLSON:  Well actually wait, wait.  Hold on.   It is the point.  It is exactly the point.  I mean look, again, I'm not  endorsing banning a genre of  music.  That's dumb.  And I'm not for it.

However, country music isn't calling in its lyrics for the killing of cops.  It's not.   And neither is heavy metal.  Rap, in some cases, obviously not all cases, but in some specific cases is.

And there is undeniably a lot  of violence at a lot of rap shows.  I just went—just pulled these right off the wire, recent, London, England;

Lawrence, Kansas; Toronto, Canada; New York city, numerous occasions; 

Mississippi; Tennessee; Washington, D.C.  People killed at rap shows.   I don't know.   I mean, before you come out  against this legislation, don't you think it would be useful,  maybe make people hate the ACLU a little less to say, “Look there's a problem.  We understand that.  But this is not the solution.”  

LICHTENSTEIN:  Well, clearly it is not the solution.  And what we look at is the constitutionality of  specific acts that would ban it.   I mean, we can also talk about the Rolling Stones and the history of death at their concert.  

CARLSON:  One show.  Right?

LICHTENSTEIN:  And also, if you want to talk a about a type of entertainment, that has more violence, boxing matches and English soccer.  So very clearly, if people are...  

CARLSON:  Is there a lot of  shootings at boxing matches?  I don't think so.  But there's been a lot of shootings at rap shows.  I mean, that's just kind of undeniably true.

LICHTENSTEIN:  Well, actually, in Las Vegas, probably the most  famous is the rapper Tupac Shakur.  He   was shot, not after a rap concert.  He was shot after a boxing match.  But this is...  

CARLSON:  Look, he was on the street.  Not at the boxing match. 

LICHTENSTEIN:  Leaving a that.  Leaving the boxing match.

CARLSON:  Right.

LICHTENSTEIN:  But this is kind of an argument that goes nowhere. 

Clearly, if people are going to  break the law, they should be arrested. 

They should be punished.

If there are concerts that   require—or any kind of entertainment -

·         that require excess security, it's  up to the venue to provide that  kind of security and nobody is  arguing. with that.  What this is about is specifically about—no.

CARLSON:  No, then here's the largest—No, I get what it's about.  No, I understand.  It's about the  constitutionality of this law  and you think it's  unconstitutional.   I think you're probably right.

Here's what it's really about, in my view, though, why is it that whenever there's sleazy anti-social behavior that  everybody recognizes is unacceptable, the ACLU, as on instinct, jumps in to defend it?  Where were you when—where are you now when all these different colleges imposed speech codes, telling kids what they can say and what they cannot say?  Why isn't the ACLU filing suit there? Why only when people want to ban lyrics that, you know, tout the killing of cops does the ACLU jump in? 

LICHATENSTEIN:  Well, first of all, in terms of Nevada, which is what I can  talk about, I don't know where   you're getting your facts from or lack of facts from.

In fact, we are currently fighting about free speech zones at universities.  We have defended, in fact,   conservative professors  who have been sanctioned by the university for their  views. So your premise is just incorrect.

CARLSON:  So you're filing suit in Nevada on  behalf of students who have been told they are not allowed to use certain  words on campus?

LICHTENSTEIN:  We have not had to file suit because we were able to resolve those issues without having to resort to litigation. 

CARLSON:  So it no longer exists anywhere in Nevada.   We'll check on that.  I hope you're right.  And if you  are, if I had a hat I would  take it off to you.

Mr. Lichtenstein, thanks for joining us tonight.

Stay tuned.   There's still plenty more ahead  tonight on “The Situation.”

The dumbing of America.  We'll tell you why Homer Simpson is at the forefront of an animated constitutional debate.  

HOMER SIMPSON:  What?

We take a spin with Condoleezza Rice. A Jim Dandy peek at how the secretary of state exercises power in Washington. 

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE:  Banging my knees and legs.

CARLSON:  We pussy foot around with two unusual house cats.  Wait until you see who's the king of this indoor jungle.

And why are some people fed up with this kind of behavior?  You might find the truth hard to swallow.

It's all ahead on “The Situation.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  The Buddha once said, “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense?”   Wise.

Joining us, our own enlightened one.  “The Outsider,” ESPN radio and HBO boxing host, Max Kellerman.  

MAX KELLERMAN, HOST, ESPN BOXING:  But if you believe it and  then doing agree with it, isn't  that a paradox? 

CARLSON:  That is eastern wisdom, Max.

First up, most persons would agree that the first amendment  is pretty important.  Important but not funny.  And apparently funny trumps important every time.

That  appears to be the lesson of the new poll that found just one in 1,000 people could name all  five first amendment freedoms.  By contrast, 2 2 percent could name all five members of the cartoon  family “The Simpson's.”

Now, look, the lesson here, Max, -- and I'm sure in France right now they're laughing at us, right?  You Americans, you don't know your own documents.  You know what I  mean?  They're mocking us.

I bet this is completely true, that most people could not name  the freedoms, speech, press,  religion, assembly and petition,  in the first amendment.   But almost every American knows  he or she has those freedoms.  And that's what matters.  I'm defending Americans in this  case.   I don't think they're as dumb  as this poll suggests. 

KELLERMAN:  Look, the fact that you can't recite the Bill of Rights, there is kind of an implicit understanding of the  freedoms guaranteed.  Although the right to redress grievances, you know, who know if that's really on  people's minds.

I think really this issue is about the fact that these are characters and you can relate to characters more  easily than sort of abstract ideas.

But what if someone were to say, you know, Homer Simpson,  there's a character you know.   Or how about a guy like John  Ashcroft.   And you, as a libertarian, can't be so happy about John Ashcroft, right?

Well, wouldn't it be nice if people did know those freedoms more explicitly so when someone  like Ashcroft attacks those freedoms they—you know, their  hackles are up. 

CARLSON:  No, you get the government  you deserve.  This is government by the  interested, by the engaged, by  the informed.   If you don't care enough to go  vote on Tuesday morning, you get the government you deserve.  That's the beauty of our system. 

So our government is run by people who actually know a lot about the way government works.  The relatively small percentage of people who pay attention.  And I bet they do know what those five freedoms are.

And people that just care to watch “The Simpsons” instead, they have no control over their government and they don't care, and that's fair.

KELLERMAN:  They do have control over the ratings, though.  And “The Simpsons” have been off for 16 years.

CARLSON:  Yes, they do.

KELLERMAN:  The populist argument, Tucker.  It always works.

CARLSON:  That's why TV is not like government.

Well, a phone repair worker in New York City faces an interesting delimma.  Helenus Stone, formerly Henry McGennis, is a transvestite who describes himself as still making the transition from male to female.

Stone was arrested six times in six months for using a lady's restroom at Grand Central Station in New York.  He said one office called him, quote, “A freak, a weirdo, and the ugliest woman in the world.”

The transit police said today they're dropping  charges and they sounded kind  of apologetic about it, Max.  I don't really know why.

This man is, by his own admission, not a woman.  He's a man.   He's not become a woman, not that you can become a woman  anyway, but he's trying to use the lady's room.  And I don't know.  I think the lady's room is for ladies and  the men's room is for men.  I don't really see the controversy here.  You're not allowed to go into a  restroom of the sex that you are  not. 

KELLERMAN:  He or she is in a transition going from a man to a woman.  Somewhere along the transition.  transition.   And I think the real point is not a woman yet.  Right?

CARLSON:  Right.

KELLERMAN:   So shouldn't use the lady's room.  Not really a man anymore.  Shouldn't use the men's room.   Does he or she get to use the bathroom at all? I think the real point is that  we're uncomfortable with the  existence of someone like this, period.

CARLSON:  Yes, that's right.

KELLERMAN:  Don't want them to use either.  But the fact is he or she has  to use the bathroom, right?  Where is he or she supposed to go?

CARLSON:  Well, he or she seems to be going  into the same bathroom an awful  lot.  Which raises its own set of  questions, right, in Grand Central Station, right?  In Grand Central Station, the same bathroom.  He keeps hitting it.  But that's right.  Maybe we need a separate category for transvestites.  

But I think it's totally within bounds...

KELLERMAN:  Transsexuals in this case.  

CARLSON:  Transsexuals, whatever.  A person who's neither one or the other.  In fact, look, it's a man.  Let's be totally honest.  This is a man who's getting  cosmetic surgery and hormone treatments.

But I understand why they think  he's breaking the law because he is.  I'm sorry. I feel story for him.   Maybe we need a third category   but we don't have one so you're not allowed in lady's room.  Sorry.  

KELLERMAN:  So you think that—look, that looked more like a

woman than a man to me.   He should use the men's room?  You want her—

looks more like a woman to me than a man, Tucker—A person who wants to

be a   woman.  Someone who's getting hormone treatment  therapy and surgery

and the  rest.   He or she should be in the   men's room?  You feel

comfortable with that? 

CARLSON:  Desire has nothing to do  with it.  I would like to be a  professional football player but   I can't.  I don't have a right to go into  the locker room.  Right?  I'm sorry.

KELLERMAN:  The world is an uncomfortable place and as it increasingly changes, it becomes more uncomfortable.   And these are the uncomfortable kinds of things we have to deal  with.   But that to me looks like a  woman, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Something the Buddha himself might have said.

Matt Kellerman, the enlightened one, thanks.

Coming up on “The Situation,” he was the most powerful pimp in all of Florida.  Then he was arrested and sent to prison.   Now the man they call big Big Pimping Pappy is suing his  customers, claiming they're the real criminals.  It's an incredible story and it's only “The Situation” next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Big pinching Pappy was once on top of the pimping world.   By one estimation, he controlled 90 percent of the escort  business in Florida's Broward County.   Then he was arrested, sent to prison and then eventually deported back to his home country the Netherlands.

Now he wants someone to pay for this trouble, namely the very customers who made him rich.

Big Pimping Pappy is suing the johns who is he said broke the law and led to his arrest.  Montgomery Sibley is his attorney for Big Pimping Pappy who is otherwise known as Arthur Vanmoore (ph).

Mr. Sibley joins us live tonight from Washington to explain the case.

Montgomery Sibley, thanks for coming on.  

MONTGOMERY SIBLEY, ATTORNEY:  Tucker, thank you for having me.

CARLSON:  So Big Pimping Pappy's contention is it's the johns who is broke the law, not him.  How does that work? 

SIBLEY:  Well, when customers of the  dating service agree to pay for the service, they...

CARLSON:  Wait, what's the service, by  the way? 

SIBLEY:  The service is having some time  with an attractive woman.  

CARLSON:  OK.  Having sex with an attractive  woman, correct?

SIBLEY:  That is not correct.

CARLSON:  Oh, OK.

SIBLEY:  This is an escort service.  This isn't women walking on the street, showing their wares and  negotiating through car  windows.  This is an out-call service that only goes to name brand hotels or people's houses and nowhere  else.

CARLSON:  OK.

SIBLEY:  And when they give their credit  cards, their thumbprint and

their driver's license ID, prior to the meeting being   arranged, they

ultimately sign   a piece of paper, with the  credit card slip, and that

piece  of paper under oath promises   they won't engage in illegal 

activity.  

CARLSON:  But this was a prostitution   ring, as you're aware,

everyone  is aware.   The Broward County sheriff's  office found a piece of

paper  in your client's office that  had rules for the   prostitute who is

worked for   him.  Some that were quite explicitly  sexual, as you know.

                This guy was a pimp.   I not attacking him for that.   But are you

honestly pretending  he didn't know he was in the   prostitution business? 

SIBLEY:  Well, I'm drawing the line before he was arrest, Tucker, and then after he was arrested and was cleaning up the  business.   And the pre-arrest stuff is in the history that's gone.

We're talking after his arrest   in June 2003 and the business changed remarkably after that. 

CARLSON:  So why would people pay just  to spend time with an attractive woman?   Pay a lot, by the way.  This was an expensive service just to sit and talk, About, say current events or sports?

I mean, is your contention really—this guy, your client, Big Pimping Pappy believed men  were paying just to kind out hang out with women and he's shocked to learn  that some intended to have sex   with these girls? 

SIBLEY:  Well, in fact, Tucker that  is exactly what the business 

is.   If they want to have illegal   sex with prostitutes, they can  go

down on the street.  If they want to have quality   time with a quality

woman, that  is what they call an escort  service for. 

CARLSON:  You sound like you took down  on these men.   That they would somehow get the  idea that just because you call  an escort service, you found in  the yellow pages and have a  girl in a tube top and a vinyl skirt come over to your hotel  room that somehow they got the  idea sex was involved.  You sound like you're  unimpressed with their   judgment.  

SIBLEY:  Well, Tucker, is that what the girls look  like that come to

your hotel   room?  

                CARLSON:  I don't have girls come to  my hotel room whom I'm not

married to.

The point is t—I can't believe you're blaming the victims here.  These guys paid money to your  client so he can get rich  selling sex and now you're   saying it's their fault that he  got busted for being a pimp.  That's pretty over the top,  even by the standard of  American lawyers, don't you  think?

SIBLEY:  I don't think, Tucker.   He was not selling sex.   They're

selling companionship.  And the proof of the pudding in  that is sometimes

the  companionship will go on for   several days.   And you couldn't

possibly have   as much sex as that  companionship would be.   There's a

big boat show down there, which is one of the biggest weeks, I understand, for the dating service.  And it's about having attractive women to keep you company during these periods of time.  

CARLSON: Can you outline some of the   things these clients were doing with the women?  Watching television? Going to the movies? Going out dinner?

SIBLEY: Well, Tucker, to be fair—to be fair,  there is a range of legal  sexual activity for hire that's  permitted in the state of  Florida. 

And presumably that is what  they engage in.   And they're limited to being 

engaged in.   That's when they engage in   illegal sexual activity, that's

another story.  And that's what they promise   not to do and the escorts

promise not to do when they're   employed by the dating service.  

CARLSON:  That's just outrageous.  And both those group, the  johns and the hookers pulled   the wool right over the eyes of  your client.  And I have to say I'm glad you're there defending him. 

Montgomery Sibley, a man who has a great job keeping a straight face. 

I really appreciate your coming on.  Thank you.  

SIBLEY:  Thanks for the time today.  

CARLSON:  Still ahead in “The Situation, “  in his own mind, Donald Trump is already the  most powerful man in the world.   So would he really take a demotion just to become the  president of the United States?  Political future of the Donald is on the cutting room floor, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for the “Cutting Room Floor” and you know what that means.  Time for Big Pimping Willie, Willie Geist.

WILLIE GEIST:  That's right, Tucker.  And you know, whenever I want to have a sit down chat, have some coffee, bounce a few ideas off someone, I call and escort service.  Just somebody good to...

CARLSON:  The final fours on.  I'll call a hooker to go over and watch.

GEIST:  Not hookers, escorts.

CARLSON:  Good point.

The state of New York's Independence Party is finally sang out loud but the rest of us have been thinking for years.  Donald Trump ought to be the president of the United States.

The party has launched a web site donaldtrump2008.com, where it's collecting signatures to show support for the Donald's candidacy.

The Independence Party chairman has already met with Trump to sell him on the idea.

GEIST:  Wait a minute, I thought he was the president.  Maybe he's just my president.  He's my president.  You know, I'm completely pro Trump.  The one thing I worry about is turning the White House into luxury condos. 

I think that would be bad.

CARLSON:  Really?

GEIST:  Views of the Potomac, fitness center, we've got it all.

CARLSON:  Embrace the future, please.

Speaking of people who may soon find themselves on a presidential ticket, Condoleeza Rice gave the world a behind the scenes look at her regiment today, in case you wanted to know.

The secretary of state flashed her fitness moves for the cameras in the State Department gym.

Condoleezza Rice gets up at   4:30 every morning, she say, to exercise, no matter where she  is in the world. 

GEIST:  As you know, Tucker.   I'm a big Condee Rice, guy.   Madam secretary, I'll be yours   if you'll have me.  I don't think she will.  The problem with this is if  Condee Rice, the most powerful woman in the world, can carve out an   hour a day to exercise, none of  us have any excuses. 

CARLSON:  Exactly.  Shouldn't she be convincing the rest of the world to like us instead of attending spinning class?  

GEIST:  She does it from 4:30 to  5:30.  

CARLSON:  Intense woman.

                Who would resist the temptation  of bringing home this adorable   baby

lion? The co-owner of the zoo in   England brought home the cub.   The lion

cup has become fast   friends with Arnie the house   cat. 

                GEIST:  Have we learned nothing from   Siegfried and Roy? We don't

have the big cat at  the house.  Roy can tell you.   It never ends well. 

Let them stay at the zoo.   Visit them when you want to. 

CARLSON:  The chances of this story  ending in bloodshed and tradgezphi 100 percent. 

GEIST:  Arnie is a dead man.  

CARLSON:  Tony Thomas, not only one of  the world's greatest at leths,

he's also in the “situation  guest hall of fame.   It seems not everyone

is  appreciative of Sonia's rare   talents.  A resident from Wisconsin now

pressing a city vote to  eliminate that town's animal  braut eating

contest.   The disgruntled man says “it's  gross.”  You're saying to young 

children, it's OK to overeat  

GEIST:  Because you know, the youth   of America takes all its cues from the braut eating contest.

CARLSON:  Right.

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

END   

Content and programming copyright 2006 NBC.  ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2006 Voxant, Inc.  ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon NBC and Voxant, Inc.'s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

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