updated 3/24/2006 11:00:00 AM ET 2006-03-24T16:00:00

Guests: Carolyn Beck, Tila Tequila, Cathy Lively

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION”:  Thanks to you at home for tuning in.  And welcome to THE SITUATION.  I’m Tucker Carlson. 

Tonight men and women being arrested for public intoxication while drinking inside bars.  It is happening deep in the heart of Texas, and needless to say, people are outraged.  Me among them.  We’ll talk to the woman behind the sobriety sting. 

Also the season premiere of “South Park” savagely mocks Scientology and its followers.  Is it ever wise to attack a shadowy religious organization with billions in the bank?  We’ll tell you. 

Plus she has almost 800,000 friends on the popular web site MySpace.com.  So what makes aspiring musician Tila Tequila such a popular figure?  Well, it may be obvious to you, but she’ll stop by anyway to tell us about her new found fame.

But we start our show tonight with this question: was there a pre-9/11 operational relationship between Osama bin Laden and former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein? 

An Iraqi intelligence document recently released by the U.S.  government indicates bin Laden sought to contact and to conduct joint operations with Saddam Hussein’s regime six years before 9/11.  The document goes on to describe a 1995 meeting between bin Laden and an official representative of the Iraqi government, who was personally approved by Hussein. 

A second document, dated September 15, 2001, claims bin Laden and the Taliban were in contact with Iraq and that a group of Taliban and bin Laden group members visited Iraq.

Could the Bush administration have been right all along about Saddam’s link to terror?  That’s the obvious question that arises when you read these documents.  Well, for the answer to that we welcome al Qaeda expert and MSNBC terrorist analyst, Evan Coleman.  He joins us tonight from New York. 

Evan, thanks for coming on. 

EVAN COLEMAN, MSNBC TERRORIST ANALYST:  Thanks for having me.

CARLSON:  This does seem, on the face of it, to if not prove then at least suggest the Bush administration was right when they said Saddam was in league with Islamic terror groups.  Is that what it suggests?

COLEMAN:  Well, I think much like a lot of the other evidence linking Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda, you scratch at the surface a little bit, and it completely falls apart. 

I think first of all, you have to look at the source of these documents, that they come from the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Department of Defense has attached a big disclaimer to them, saying that “We do not make any representations as to the authentication, as to the accuracy of these documents.  We have to way of knowing they’re authentic or not.”  So that’s kind of a big caveat we have to move beyond to begin with.

No. 2, they’re talking about a meeting that took place in 1995 in the Sudan.  At the time the Sudan was the Casablanca of terrorism.  Every terrorist group you can imagine, with every state sponsor you can imagine, Iran included, were harboring there, working together, were training each other. 

That all pretty much stopped in 1996, when the Sudan decided it no longer wanted to be involved with terrorism.  Al Qaeda went its way; Iran went its way; and Saddam Hussein went his way.  Since then, there has been no credible indication there has been any cooperation as a result of this meeting. 

And if you look at the substance of the meeting, you’ll maybe understand why.  The talks were about distributing radio broadcasts from an al Qaeda preacher by the name of Suleiman al-Ouda. 

Now, Suleiman al-Ouda is someone who’s very well well-known.  The reason is because in 1995 you could have purchased dozens of his audiotapes anywhere in the world: in the United States, in the United Kingdom, in any country in Europe, in Saudi Arabia, anywhere. 

So the fact that Saddam Hussein was going to allow these radio broadcasts in didn’t put him on any different standing than any place else in the world. 

What’s more, in 1995, at the same time that this alleged meeting might have been happening, the neighboring state of Qatar in the Persian Gulf was providing direct assistance to the mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.  It spirited him away.  It helped him escape from the CIA.

At the same time, millions of dollars were coming from Saudi Arabia to sponsor charities that were funneling money to al Qaeda.

CARLSON:  So...

COLEMAN:  And we have evidence of one possible meeting here.  This is really...

CARLSON:  But yet what’s interesting about it—and I don’t disagree with a word you said—however, we knew that the Saudis and I assume Qatar, as well, were sympathetic or had large elements in them that were sympathetic to Islamic extremism.

All along, however, we have heard of Saddam Hussein, he hated the Islamic radicals.  He saw them as a threat to his own power.  He killed a lot of them in Iraq.  Is it interesting to you that he had any dialogue at all with an Islamic radical like Osama bin Laden?

COLEMAN:  Well, I think we have to, again, we have to put a caveat here.  This was an attempted dialogue.  And I think what these documents make clear is that no connection was established, that this would-be relationship withered. 

And in fact, what’s interesting, as well, is that al Qaeda, in the last couple of weeks, has been releasing their own set of internal documents, documenting the early days of al Qaeda in Iraq, the people that laid the foundation for al Qaeda in Iraq. 

And the one thing that comes up over and over again in those documents is that al Qaeda in Iraq had absolutely no connection to the regime of Saddam Hussein. 

CARLSON:  Well...

COLEMAN:  In fact, the leading figures in that organization swear that back before the U.S. ever invaded Iraq, they were waging an open war against Saddam Hussein. 

One of these individuals profiled by al Qaeda, his famous quote was his uncle came to him, who was an official in Iraqi intelligence, and said to him, you know, “If you go back, if you agree to support Saddam Hussein, all will be forgiven.  I can make all well.” 

And he turned to his uncle and he said, “You should be the one apologizing.  You should be apologizing to God for working for an apostate like Saddam Hussein.”

CARLSON:  Right.

COLEMAN:  These folks were not in league with each other. 

CARLSON:  On the other—on the other hand, I mean, to play devil’s advocate here, though, al Qaeda would—has motive, of course, to say—to release these documents, because al Qaeda is waging a pretty sophisticated propaganda war against the United States, as well as the military and against the war in Iraq. 

COLEMAN:  This goes back way—I mean, this goes back to the early days of the Arab Afghans.  One of the individuals that often popped up in these intelligence reports as the link between Saddam Hussein’s regime and al Qaeda was an al Qaeda official, an Iraqi guy, Mamdouh Mahmoud Salim, who’s actually in prison here in New York for his role in the ‘98 East Africa embassy bombings. 

What’s the problem with that?  Well, despite the fact that he may be al Qaeda and he’s Iraqi, what this ignores is the fact that the many years he worked opposing the regime of Saddam Hussein. 

He actually—his comment was that the fact that we come from regimes that are tyrannical makes us turn into tyrants the moment anyone gives us any shred of power. 

CARLSON:  Right.

COLEMAN:  These people were absolutely opposed to the reign of Saddam Hussein, before the U.S. invaded, while we invaded and afterwards.  They regarded Saddam as a tyrant.  In fact, they blamed us for the fact that Saddam Hussein was in power.  They felt that Saddam Hussein was able to invade Kuwait, was able to stay in power because of the United States. 

CARLSON:  Well, they got half of it right, he was a tyrant. 

Evan Coleman, from New York, thanks a lot. 

COLEMAN:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  On to Texas now, where the state has decided to crack down on drunkenness, no matter where it takes place.  The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has increased the number of undercover agents it sends into bars to bust drunk patrons.  In some instances, the officers even pose as bar goers to blend in. 

So far, the sting operation was resulted in about 2,200 arrests or citations.  Here to tell us why it ought to be illegal to get drunk in a bar is—in Texas is Carolyn Beck, who’s the spokeswoman for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.  She joins us from Austin, Texas.

Carolyn Beck, thanks a lot for coming on.

CAROLYN BECK, TEXAS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE COMMISSION:  Thank you for asking me.

CARLSON:  So if you can’t get drunk in a bar—I mean, first of all, I don’t think most people know that it’s illegal in Texas to be drunk in a bar.  Why is it illegal to be drunk in a bar?

BECK:  It’s illegal to be drunk in a bar to the extent that you may be a danger to yourselves or others.  And so I guess that’s the explanation of why it’s illegal, is because it’s dangerous. 

CARLSON:  How is it—how is it dangerous to be drunk on a bar stool? 

I’ve done it many times and never felt imperiled.

BECK:  People who become intoxicated tend to lose their ability to make good decisions.  And they—the more you have to drink, the more likely you are to put yourself in a dangerous situation or do something that causes danger to other people. 

One of those things, and the thing that’s the impetus for all of this, is the danger that someone will get drunk and they get behind the wheel of a car and cause an accident.  Texas has the highest DWI fatality rate in the United States.  And that’s what we’re trying to work on. 

But there are people who are cited or arrested for public intoxication who are not driving, and that’s easy to explain, too.  There are plenty of other dangerous things that people do. 

CARLSON:  We don’t arrest people for things that might happen.  We don’t arrest people with bad tempers, because they might punch someone out.  Or people who have the urge to steal for theft, right?  I mean, why don’t you arrest drunk drivers?

BECK:  You arrest drunk drivers who may make it home safely, but we think that they might not make it home safely.  We think the odds are that somebody driving drunk will get in an accident. 

And we think the odds that somebody who is not driving but is extremely intoxicated will also get in an accident or cause an accident.  Drunk people get in fights.  They walk down streets that they normally wouldn’t otherwise, dangerous neighborhoods, because they feel overly confident. 

CARLSON:  Wait.  You’re going to arrest people because they put themselves in danger of being—in danger of being mugged?  That can’t be real.

BECK:  I wasn’t...

CARLSON:  You said they walk down dangerous streets.  I mean, you’re going to arrest people to protect them from being mugged?

BECK:  We are arresting people who are violating the law, and the law says it’s illegal to be intoxicated to the extent that you may be a danger to yourselves or others.  People put themselves in dangerous situations, and they create danger for other people.  And you know, we...

CARLSON:  But wait a second.  Wait a second.  I’m sorry.  I mean, I’m not—I’m resisting the temptation to use the phrase creeping fascism, because I think that’s probably a slight overstatement.  However...

BECK:  Thanks. 

CARLSON:  You’re welcome.  However, I just want to make it perfectly clear to our viewers, these are people who haven’t committed the crime yet, apart from the crime of being drunk.

BECK:  Apart from the crime is being drunk to the point that they may be dangerous.

CARLSON:  They haven’t started a fight.  They haven’t been—haven’t been drunk driving.  And of course, I as every American is, totally opposed to drunk driving.  But they haven’t done it yet, and you don’t have evidence that they’re going to do it.  Right? 

So it’s just the possibility that a drunk person is not fully in his right mind, is reckless.  For that possibility, you bust them, send them to jail.

BECK:  That’s right.  But you know, our focus here is the behavior of the bartenders and the wait staff who are serving alcohol to the intoxicated people.  We’re trying to control the behavior of the retailers that we regulate, who we license, and trying to discourage them from over serving patrons, because it’s the over service of patrons that leads to intoxicated people that leads to drunk driving. 

CARLSON:  Well, wait a second.  What do you mean over served?  Why is that your business?  If I want—I don’t even drink, but let’s just say I did, and I wanted to drink in a bar.  That is so not your concern, so not your business.  It’s up to me whether I want to get drunk or not, A.

B, isn’t it better that I’m getting drunk in a bar and not sitting alone with a bottle of vodka on my couch like a pathetic loser alcoholic?  And, C, if you’re against drunk driving, why not wait outside till drunk people get in their cars and bust them then?

BECK:  OK, I don’t remember A.  B, I’m not sure that I agree with that.  And C, the problem is if we wait outside, we can’t—we can’t see who—who served the person.  That’s the problem.  Our main focus is the people who are selling the alcoholic beverages.  Those are the people you regulate.

CARLSON:  A was why is it your business?  Who are you determine what over served is?  Who are you to determine whether or not I ought to get drunk?  If I’m an adult, isn’t that my business and my business alone, as long as I hurt no one else?

BECK:  When prohibition was repealed, the authority was given to each state to regulate the alcoholic beverage industry within their borders.

CARLSON:  Right.

BECK:  And part of that is regulating public drunkenness and regulating the service of alcoholic beverages.  It’s illegal in Texas to serve alcohol to someone who is already intoxicated. 

CARLSON:  OK.  You have the right to do it.  I’m not contesting that.  You represent the state, and the state can execute shoplifters or people who wear orange neckties, if it wants.  It can do whatever it wants; it’s the state.

My question is should you be doing it?  A lot of bad things going on in the world even in Texas.  Why harass drunk people in bars?  I’m just saying it’s a matter of perspective.  Don’t you feel kind of bad about doing it is my question?

BECK:  I don’t feel bad about doing it.  Drunk people make bad decisions.  They put themselves and other people in danger.  They put myself and my family in danger and other people in Texas.  I don’t feel bad at all. 

CARLSON:  All right.

BECK:  The laws are in place for a good reason, and we encourage people to go out and have a good time with their friends, but we encourage them to do it safely. 

CARLSON:  But not too good a time.  I couldn’t disagree more, but I appreciate your game defense of the indefensible.  Carolyn Beck, thanks a lot for coming on. 

BECK:  Thank you very much. 

CARLSON:  Unbelievable. 

Still to come, could repeat child molesters soon be facing execution in South Carolina?  We’ll go under the radar to bring you details on this controversial new proposal. 

Plus, what could Vice President Dick Cheney and Jennifer Lopez possibly have in common?  It does involve the bedroom.  You’ll have to stick around for the full details.  Out “Top Five” segment is just moments away, so stay tuned. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, “South Park” rocks the entertainment world with its no-holds-barred assault on Scientology.  Was it a smart move?  Plus, two-time sex offenders may face execution in South Carolina.  THE SITUATION continues in mere moments.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Time now for our “Under the Radar” segment.  Every night in this segment, we plan to bring you the stories you may have missed on television or have not yet read online. 

For instance, did you know that South Carolina wants to put repeat child molesters to death?  A bill inspired by Jessica’s Law, named for 9-year-old—a 9-year-old Florida girl kidnapped and killed last year by a convicted sex offender, would permit prosecutors to seek the death penalty for those who are convicted of more than one sexual assault on a preteen child. 

Legally, this is barely charted territory.  So far only Louisiana allows death penalty for an offense other than murder.  Here to tell us what she thinks of the measure that will be on the ballot next Tuesday is Air America radio host Rachel Maddow—Rachel.

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

CARLSON:  I’m not for the death penalty, as you know, on libertarian grounds.  I don’t want to give the government power to kill people, except in self defense.

However, as long as you’re killing people, you might as well kill these people.  I can’t think of a worse crime.  I have concerns about, you know, executing 18-year-olds who have 16-year-old girlfriends.  They’re not really sex criminals, as we know.  This is repeated assaults on a preteen child.  That meets the threshold for me.  Kill them.

MADDOW:  Wow.  I feel like this creates this incredible political bind for legislators in South Carolina. 

CARLSON:  Oh, yes.

MADDOW:  Because you can’t—it’s very easy in political terms to come out and say, “Kill them all.  Hang them high.”

CARLSON:  Or the reverse is, it’s very hard to say, “Actually, sex offenders have a right not”—you know.

MADDOW:  Right.  It’s very hard to come out and say, “I’m against child molestation, but I don’t think you should be executed for it.  I’m against rape, but I don’t think you should be executed for it.” 

CARLSON:  But boo-hoo. 

MADDOW:  “I’m against assault, and I don’t think you should be executed for it.”

CARLSON:  They’re paid to make tough decisions.  If they believed they shouldn’t be the law, they should stand up, don’t you think?

MADDOW:  In some countries they cut off people’s hands for stealing stuff.  Right?

CARLSON:  Yes.

MADDOW:  And in those countries—I don’t think we as Americans are less opposed to stealing stuff then they are in countries where they cut off people’s hands, but we think that’s a brutal punishment for doing it.  And so I think there’s a principled ground in saying, “You know what?  We’re opposed to something, but I don’t want you to question how much I’m opposed to something.  But I do want to question the brutality of the punishment.” 

CARLSON:  I disagree.  Actually, I think we are less opposed to stealing than, say, Saudi Arabia.  Punishment is a reflection of the disapproval one feels about the crime.  So in a country where stealing is just verboten, not acceptable, you can’t do it, they cut your hand off. 

In our country, yes, people steal.  Whatever.  Second chance, no problem.  Stealing is just not such a big deal to us.

Child molestation really is, whereas in Saudi Arabia, it’s very common, child molestation, truly.  Or in other cultures, sex with children is more common than it is here.  You know, the punishments aren’t as tough or carried out as frequently.  Here, we don’t accept this.

MADDOW:  There’s no direct—there’s no direct relationship between what kind of punishment there is and how much the crime happens.  It just doesn’t work that way.  In every society in the world there are miscreants, and horrible people do horrible things. 

CARLSON:  That’s completely untrue.  I know a lot about this, wrote a book on crime.  I can tell you there’s not a lot of stealing in Saudi Arabia.  Why?  Because they cut your hands off.  Actually, you can—you can set penalties that are so severe that people won’t do the things that are penalized. 

MADDOW:  Well, here’s the thing, though.  You think you’re going to stop child molestation by creating an incredible penalty for it?

CARLSON:  No, I don’t think so. 

MADDOW:  Did you stop murder by killing people for it?

CARLSON:  No.  You’re not.  You’re not.  And I’m actually not even making a case for the death penalty.  I’m merely saying, child molestation, as long as you’re killing people, is bad enough to deserve death, A.  B, people are deterred by penalties.  We know that.

MADDOW:  How about rape of adult women?

CARLSON:  Honestly, yes, I think.  Especially when it’s clear cut, if it’s stranger rape, you know?  There’s no gray area.  Just you pull someone off the street and rape her.

MADDOW:  How about if you’re trying to rape somebody...

CARLSON:  You should be killed for that.

MADDOW:  How about if you’re trying to rape somebody and something happens and you’re interrupted?  How about attempted rape, where you really are intending to do it. 

CARLSON:  If it’s brutal, I think so.

MADDOW:  How about if you are...

CARLSON:  I think sex crimes damage people in a very profound way, profound enough that the person who does it, yes, probably deserves to die. 

MADDOW:  How about if you beat somebody half to death and disfigure them for life and they can never have a normal life again.  Should they be executed for that?

CARLSON:  It depends on the circumstances and intent, but if you intend to disfigure someone, yes. 

MADDOW:  OK.  So you see my point here. 

CARLSON:  No, no, no.  I can see your point.  And but look, we make—we make hairline distinctions between certain crimes, between manslaughter and murder and voluntary murder and first degree murder.  I mean, we have the ability, in fact the obligation, to discern between degrees of badness of crimes. 

MADDOW:  Yes.

CARLSON:  And we can do it in this case.

MADDOW:  And in a society we’re judged not only by the crimes that happen in our society, but how we as a society decide those things are going to be punished. 

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW:  And the brutality and the level at which we respond as a society, the way we choose to punish people, judges all of us.  That says who we are as a society.  And if we get to society where there—you can be executed for 47 different crimes...

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW:  ... then I’m not willing to be—I’m not willing to be Saudi Arabia.  I’m not willing to be.

CARLSON:  I don’t know.  Why 47?  How about three?  How about rape, child molestation and murder?  I’m kind of happy with that.

MADDOW:  Or beating somebody really badly. 

CARLSON:  Well, yes, I mean, disfigurement.  I think that qualifies.

MADDOW:  How about Saddam has people’s family members raped for trying to overthrow the government.  We’re really against people trying to overthrow the government.  Would we do that?

CARLSON:  Depends what government.  We’re for overthrowing some governments and for keeping ours in tact.  It all depends. 

MADDOW:  What you’re saying...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  These are judgment calls.  If your claim is, you know, people who think child molestation deserves the death penalty are bad people, I’m not buying it. 

MADDOW:  I’m not saying that they’re bad people.  I’m just saying it’s a slippery slope, and you slipped pretty far down it tonight. 

CARLSON:  I’ll keep sliding.  I’ll put my skis on and keep going, baby.

Rachel Maddow, thank you. 

MADDOW:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, why are Walgreen’s customers getting panic attacks and depression after they pick up their meds?  Good question.  The pharmacist’s side notes about crazy patrons are to blame, according to one lawyer.  You’ll meet her next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

When he’s on the road for business, Dick Cheney apparently likes to kick back in style.  That includes a vice presidential hotel suite kept at a comfy 68 degrees, a steady supply of decaf java, sparkling water, duet caffeine free Sprite and a television tuned exclusively to the FOX News Channel.  Those are the requirements, according to an internal White House document. 

But you don’t have to be next in line to the presidency to enjoy the perks of power.  In tonight’s “Top Five,” we feature our favorite celebrity accommodation demands, as reported by the Smoking Gun web site.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON (voice-over):  Mommas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys, or demanding country music stars. 

WILLIE NELSON, COUNTRY MUSIC STAR:  All of us are kids in a way. 

CARLSON:  And this kid likes organic pork chops when he’s “on the road again” and a smoke-free environment.  A strange request, given Willie’s reported yen for funny looking cigarettes. 

NELSON:  I’m having a lot of fun. 

CARLSON:  It used to be Van Halen couldn’t dance the night away if there were brown M&M’s in their candy bowl.  Now all they want is a well-stocked liquor cabinet when they’re in the mood to “run with the devil.”

The name Queen suits this hip-hopper turned actress well, if you believe her rider rap sheet. 

QUEEN LATIFAH, HIP HOP STAR/ACTRESS:  Life’s an adventure.  Embrace the adventure. 

CARLSON:  Among Queen Latifah’s requested perks, a dozen condoms, pretty impressive.  I wonder what’s going on in her hotel room. 

QUEEN LATIFAH:  I’m just going to blow it.

CARLSON:  These prehistoric rockers can’t get no satisfaction without their personal backstage furniture, a snooker table and a steady supply of child friendly video games.  Hey Mick, which of your 22 kids are those for? 

MICK JAGGER, MUSICIAN:  We’re going to pass on that silly question.

CARLSON:  But the high maintenance prize goes to J. Lo. 

JENNIFER LOPEZ, SINGER/ACTRESS:  This is the aspiration. 

CARLSON:  Her rider list reportedly includes fine linen sheets and lots of bottled water, at room temperature, of course.  It seems her love don’t cost a thing, but keeping Jenny comfy, a whole different matter. 

LOPEZ:  So this is what it is. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON:  This is what it is. 

There was good news out of Iraq today.  U.S. and British forces rescued three western hostages from captivity outside Baghdad. 

The three men were Christian peace activists, two of them from Canada, the other from Great Britain.  They’d been held for close to 100 days.  The fourth man, an American, was murdered by insurgents before he could be rescued. 

Well, there’s no spinning this story.  It is great news, both for the men and their families, and for the governments who saved them.  But that’s not how the newly released hostages see it.

The group of men worked for Christian Peacemakers, and that group released a statement today, celebrating their release.  It thanked the Iraqi people, as well as, quote, “Muslim brothers and sisters around the world.” 

And yet, in more than 700 words, there was not a single word of thanks

not one—for the American soldiers who carried out the rescue. 

Instead the statement attacked the U.S. government for its policies in Iraq.  It also pledged love and prayers for the kidnappers. 

Well, the Peacemakers say it’s their Christian duty to pray for their persecutors, and it is.  But that doesn’t mean they can’t pray for their rescuers, too.  And for the many thousands of young Americans who’ve been killed and maimed in Iraq, mostly blown to pieces by bombs.  There wasn’t a word about them either. 

The statement summed up the hostages’ mindset this way, quote, “They knew that their only protection was in the power of the love of God and in their Iraqi and international coworkers.” 

That’s a nice sentiment, but in this case, it wasn’t God or the international community who saved these guys.  It was the United States Army, with help from the Brits.  The Peacemakers ought to remember that, and they ought to be very grateful for it. 

Up next, “South Park” takes revenge on Chef.  Did Comedy Central blunder in letting the show pick a fight with the most powerful cult in Hollywood?

Plus a shot of tequila is nothing compared to a shot of Tila Tequila. 

You’ll meet the woman that’s taking MySpace.com by storm when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, are business meetings at strip clubs the best way to get the juices flowing for the next big deal?  We ask the tough questions on this show.

Plus, “South Park” gets even with Scientology.  That’s all next, but first, here’s what else is going on in the world. 

(NEWSBREAK)

CARLSON:  Now to a story that has left me hot and bothered.  Walgreen’s patrons are suing the pharmacy chain because the staff labeled some customers, quote, crazy, others psycho and still another shady in the nationwide database.  Those words appeared on slips stapled to the prescription bags. 

Now my next guest claims that the less than flattering comments caused her clients emotional distress, even a panic attack.  Here to defend the lawsuit, attorney Cathy Lively.  She joins us tonight from Boynton Beach, Florida. 

Cathy Lively, thanks for coming on. 

CATHY LIVELY, ATTORNEY:  Thank you.  Glad to be here. 

CARLSON:  Thanks.  Now, I can understand why these patrons had their

feelings hurt, but having your feelings hurt, you know, doesn’t entitle you

doesn’t entitle you to a cash payout.  How exactly are these people deserving of money from Walgreen’s?

LIVELY:  Well, you’ve got to look at the circumstances and exactly what happened.  Specifically, in the first suit that was filed with Ms.  Karp, this was an individual who was treated for depression and anxiety, had gone to Walgreen’s at the pharmacy, trusted the pharmacist to provide the medication, to dispense medication for her illness. 

Labeling her as psycho and, I would quote from the form, “She is really psycho,” labeling her as crazy, is a direct impact upon the actual condition upon which she was being treated.  It’s beyond having her feelings hurt. 

CARLSON:  Well, but I thought—I thought the condition for which she was being treated was being a little crazy.  I mean, I’m not saying that in a pejorative way.  But she’s going into a pharmacy to get medication for a mental disorder.  So it may not be a polite way to describe her; it may not be tactful, but she’s probably a little crazy, no?

LIVELY:  Well, I don’t think that crazy is deemed as a clinical term for which a pharmacist should be labeling somebody. 

CARLSON:  Nobody says it’s a clinical term.  I mean, look, it’s not—look, I understand.  I would never say something like that.  I think it’s rude and it’s mean, and I wouldn’t do it.  However, how far off base is it, really?  I mean, it’s not like—it’s not like they libeled her.  She does have a mental disorder. 

LIVELY:  But a mental disorder is not labeling somebody, again, in a medical them as crazy and psycho.  It would actually—I would deem that to be a defamatory comment.  She has never been classified.  She is not psychotic.  She is not incompetent.  This is a woman who was treating for depression. 

CARLSON:  OK.

LIVELY:  She entrusted a pharmacy to provide the medication. 

CARLSON:  Did they?

LIVELY:  And this is what was on a form. 

CARLSON:  Well, did they provide the medication?

LIVELY:  They did dispense—they did dispense the medication. 

CARLSON:  So I guess the principle here is you can’t call a person with a mental disorder crazy, or else you have to pay them lots of money. 

LIVELY:  Well, I don’t think that somebody in a professional environment should be deeming somebody as crazy and psycho.  It is certainly a derogatory term.  And from a clinical perspective, it—it can be very harmful. 

CARLSON:  But they didn’t diagnose her crazy.  They didn’t say, “My professional opinion is that you are crazy.”  It was two coworkers talking to each other, making fun of this woman, in a mean way, I’ll grant you that.  But they weren’t saying she’s clinically crazy. 

And you’re allowed to make fun of people.  I guess I was getting back to that.  You have a First Amendment right, in fact, to make fun of people.  You do.  You’re a lawyer; you know that.  So why should she be paid and how much should she be paid?  How much are you asking for on her behalf?

LIVELY:  That particular amount of damages is still being assessed, pending the outcome of her evaluation as well as her treatment that she received for that period of time. 

CARLSON:  What do you think, ballpark, $500, $1,000, more than that?

LIVELY:  I think we’re going to go up on that number. 

CARLSON:  OK, so a lot. 

LIVELY:  It will be a higher number, correct.  That is correct. 

CARLSON:  Right.  Do you think you’ll get it?

LIVELY:  Well, we will see if there’s a settlement or if we end up in a trial, what a jury would deem to be the appropriate damages. 

CARLSON:  And finally, are the Walgreen’s employees the very first people ever to make fun of this woman, to hurt her feelings, to say something unkind or cruel to her?  She’s never had that experience before? 

LIVELY:  I’m sure she has. 

CARLSON:  She’s suing other people for making fun of her?

LIVELY:  No, no.  She has not.  All three of the plaintiffs are dealing with the same issue, and it is derogatory comments that are made on their records by the pharmacy professionals, one of which we do now know how has been made by a pharmacist. 

CARLSON:  Boy, if derogatory comments turn out to be actionable, I will be bankrupt in about 20 minutes.  Kathy Lively, I appreciate you coming on to explain it. 

LIVELY:  OK.  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  We turn now to a man who’s been called a whole lot of things.  He is “The Outsider.”  That’s what we’re calling him.  HBO Boxing and ESPN Radio host Max Kellerman. 

Welcome, Max. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO HOST:  Tucker, will you let these people get paid, for crying out loud?

CARLSON:  Sorry?

KELLERMAN:  That’s the American dream, litigate. 

CARLSON:  It is so not the American dream.  It subverts the American dream.  It’s Americans hurting Americans.  It’s a kind of low grade civil war going on. 

KELLERMAN:  It’s Americans hurting insurance companies.  They’re not really Americans.

CARLSON:  Who are also Americans, right?  When they have Chinese insurance companies, I’ll be for tort law. 

Well, is the age-old practice of entertaining clients at strip clubs about to become a thing of a past?  Many companies are now prohibiting their employees from taking clients to adult establishments, where a great deal of this country’s business has been conducted over the years. 

Female employees say they’re excluded from such meetings, by choice, of course.  The problem was highlighted recently when a corporate CEO ran up a $241,000 tab at the Scores nightclub in New York City.

Well, I personally believe you’d have to be a moron to conduct business in a strip club.  Max, on the other hand, closes conducts all of his big deals in the Champagne Room at Flashdancers (ph). 

KELLERMAN:  That’s Sapphire’s.

CARLSON:  Sapphire’s. 

Here’s the problem I have with this.  I’m not against strip clubs.  I do think, though, you’ve got to be a bit of a moron to go to a strip club, because when you walk in, the ladies pretend they’re going to sleep with you.  You kind of know they’re not going to.  But you lie to yourself to be convinced that they are going to.  And then you pay them lots of money.  You are a rube.  You are being taken for a ride.  Your business acumen has gone out the window. 

So the idea that an astute businessman is going to go to a strip club makes me really nervous.  I would not give my money to a guy who spent a lot of time in the strip clubs. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, that’s one way to look at it, certainly.  You make some good points.  Here’s another way to look at it, Tucker.  Would you take a client to a restaurant?

CARLSON:  Yes. 

KELLERMAN:  OK.

CARLSON:  I don’t have any clients, but if I did, sure.

KELLERMAN:  If you were in the business world.  Now, there are bars at restaurants, right?

CARLSON:  Right. 

KELLERMAN:  Now, let’s say you were sitting at a restaurant bar and there was an attractive woman there.

CARLSON:  Yes.

KELLERMAN:  Or one was.  And two guys were sitting there, and one turned to the other and said, “You know, for $20 she will be topless and dancing all over you for five seconds.”

CARLSON:  OK.

KELLERMAN:  The guy would probably pay that $20. 

CARLSON:  Sure. 

KELLERMAN:  At a strip club, which is essentially a bar where there are naked women, for that same $20 you get five whole minutes, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  And that’s all you get.  That’s all you get.  You think there’s something more, but there’s not.  Whereas if you’re in a bar and some woman takes her top off, that’s probably a prelude to a lifelong relationship.  This will be the mother of your kids someday, right?  But at a strip bar, they’re fooling you.

KELLERMAN:  But you avoid—when you look at the opportunity—the risk versus reward of business idea, no pregnancy, no venereal disease. 

CARLSON:  No venereal disease.  OK.  Right.  I think you get that for being in the same room, just a theory.

The battle between “South Park” and the so-called Church of Scientology escalated last night, as the animated Comedy Central show found new ways to mock the religion and its cast of celebrity followers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Stay with us and your life will be grand and eternal. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Chef, we love you. 

ISAAC HAYES, SINGER/VOICE ACTOR:  I’m sorry, children. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, Chef.  They filled your head with lies.  Can’t you see that? 

HAYES:  Get the hell out of here, children. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It looks like our fruity little club is safe after all. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Chef!

HAYES:  Ow!  Dammit!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Yes, that’s a children’s show.  The voice of Shep—Chef, rather, in that clip is played by music legend Isaac Hayes.  Hayes, who is a Scientologist, quit “South Park” last week, apparently under pressure from the organization. 

Reports also say Tom Cruise pressured Comedy Central to pull an episode of “South Park” that mocked Scientology. 

I say it’s OK to make fund of any religion that allows Tom Cruise to be its voice.  Max and his friends Kirstie Alley and John Travolta say, “Hey, lay off the church, man.”

Look, I think it’s all fair game ever since Tom Cruise started leaping around on Oprah’s couch.  That’s when you knew there were deep problems in the religion of Scientology. 

KELLERMAN:  Yes, because Christians have never leapt around anywhere before, and neither have Jews or Muslims. 

Look, and this is what the head Scientologist says, that guy you saw, who called it the fruity little club, in that episode.  He asks, essentially, “Are our beliefs any stranger than Christians or Buddhist?”

And the little kids go, “Yes, way stranger.”  Right?

CARLSON:  Yes.

KELLERMAN:  Well, no, actually they’re not really stranger.  And this is where Scientologists have everybody else.  Because they can say, “Look, we have religious beliefs that seem ridiculous to you.  You have religious beliefs that seem ridiculous to us.  You can’t discriminate against us.” 

And what do religious people say?  I, however, Tucker, am not religious. 

CARLSON:  No.  You are avowed atheist, Max.  You’re kind of sitting this one out, gazing on from the sidelines, calling every religion equally ridiculous. 

KELLERMAN:  Exactly.

CARLSON:  But I disagree with you. 

KELLERMAN:  What—I mean, you want to go over some of the religious texts of other religions that aren’t Scientology?

CARLSON:  I could get detailed.  I don’t want a snake in my mailbox, so I’m just going to stop myself.  But I will say that at this point, because of the behavior of Scientology’s single most famous adherent, Tom Cruise, it’s over for the Scientology P.R. machine. 

For decades people have been afraid to say anything, because they’re afraid of, you know, retribution from the church.  Journalists really are intimidated, I can tell you first-hand.

KELLERMAN:  Sure.

CARLSON:  But no longer.  Tom Cruise—with Tom Cruise the dam broke. 

You can say whatever you want about Scientology now. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, you know what?  I don’t think that was true until “South Park”, until Matt Stone and Trey—which one is Stone and which one is Parker?  Matt Stone and Trey Parker.  Until they did this, actually they were still kind of untouchable. 

And now—I mean, they messed with the wrong show.  “South Park” is not—those guys are not the guys to get into about something like this, because she’ll skewer you. 

CARLSON:  They’re completely unintimidated.  They’re brave guys.

KELLERMAN:  They are.  And of course, it’s not a children’s show. 

It’s on at 10 p.m. 

CARLSON:  I know.  I was just kidding.

Max Kellerman.  Thanks, Max.

KELLERMAN:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Coming up, if you don’t know about Tila Tequila yet, you’re in for a treat.  She is the hottest thing on the Internet, and she is here on THE SITUATION.  You don’t want to miss it.  I promise. 

Ms. Tequila and I will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SUNITA SOHONI, PRODUCER:  Coming up, Internet icon Tila Tequila, she’s the biggest celebrity in cyberspace, and she’s on THE SITUATION.  Tucker takes a shot of Tequila next.

CARLSON:  Yum.  We’re back in mere moments.  Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  If you haven’t checked out Tila Tequila’s page on MySpace.com you may be in the minority in this country.  Tila’s page has received a quarter of a billion hits.  Billion.

So who the heck is Tila Tequila?  Well, she is the most famous of a new breed of Internet celebrities.  She is famous because she says so, and also because millions agree with her.  Tila poses for magazine covers.  She makes appearances.  She even has endorsement deals. 

Here to explain the Tila Tequila phenomenon, Miss Tila Tequila herself.  She joins us live from Burbank tonight.

Tila Tequila, thanks for coming on. 

TILA TEQUILA, INTERNET CELEBRITY:  Thank you so much for having me. 

CARLSON:  So how did this all start?

TEQUILA:  Good to be here.

CARLSON:  How did you go from being whoever you were before you were Tila Tequila to becoming Tila Tequila?

TEQUILA:  I’ve always had this, like, this thing where I wanted attention for everyone.  I had something to say.  I had a really rough life growing up so I wanted to just turn all the negative things that happened in my life into positive things.  And it just pretty much, being a hustler.  You know what that is. 

CARLSON:  Yes, I do.  And My Space helped you do it.  For our viewers who don’t know what My Space is, can you explain it quickly?

TEQUILA:  My Space is an online community, where it’s like the biggest web site right now in the world.  It’s an online community.  There’s like 63 million people right now, and I am one of the most popular girls on there. 

CARLSON:  I think you are, from our research, I think you are the single most popular girl on MySpace.com.  But popular with people you’ve never met, in most cases.  Is it weird to get tens, hundreds of thousands of e-mails from strangers?

TEQUILA:  I think it’s really cool, because actually before I got on the show, I just posted a bulletin, because it’s live interaction.  So it’s live, everyone’s watching right now, and I just want to say hi to everyone on My Space, watching me right now and thank you so much for tuning in with us. 

And I actually promised them that I would give them a secret little word, can I do that right now?

CARLSON:  Of course you may.

TEQUILA:  Are you guys enjoying your donkey peanuts tonight?  It’s an inside joke.

CARLSON:  I don’t know what that means, but it sounds pretty appealing.

TEQUILA:  It’s an inside joke for my fans and I.

CARLSON:  I bet it is.  So what do you do - I mean, what do you do all day, to be totally blunt?  You make up in the morning and what happens next?

TEQUILA:  I actually don’t sleep at all.  There’s so much to do, because I’m doing so much right now-I’m doing the music and then the fashion line and just the whole taking over the world thing.  It’s not an easy job, but it’s a lot of fun, and I get to be here talking to you.

CARLSON:  You certainly do.  What’s your music?  Are you a singer?

TEQUILA:  I’m getting—yes, I’m a singer.  I’m getting ready to sign to a major record label pretty soon and I’ll be making an announcement very soon.

CARLSON:  How much time do you spend on MySpace.com every day?

TEQUILA:  I spend about 24 hours a day on there, pretty much.

CARLSON:  Really?  So that’s a lot of inside time hunched over the computer.  Don’t you want to get out more?

TEQUILA:  Yes, well people are wondering - always asking me, like how did you get so big on there?  Well it’s because I spend that much time on there, interacting with everybody.  It’s like my own little city there, you know?

CARLSON:  Interesting.  Do you have a boyfriend and can you have a boyfriend, since you’re so involved in MySpace.com?

TEQUILA:  Are you single?

CARLSON:  No, I am so un-single.  But there are a lot of single - I suspect there are a lot of single, maybe millions of single men on MySpace.com and they want to know, are you?

TEQUILA:  Yes, I am.

CARLSON:  Outstanding. 

TEQUILA:  I’ve been single for a while.  I mean, with the work that I do, it’s hard to find a boyfriend.  Because when I do meet someone that I really like, it’s hard to really—they get intimidated by my lifestyle and they don’t trust me.  And so it’s kind of hard.

CARLSON:  You have just given hope to 245 million lonely men on the Internet.  Tila Tequila, it was great to have you on.  I’m certain we’re going to be hearing a lot more about you and from you in the coming years. 

TEQUILA:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  And I’d like to say, we were here first.  Thanks a lot.

TEQUILA:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Still ahead on THE SITUATION, cross-dressing is not a crime, don’t think it is anyway.  So why is this guy posing for mugshots?  It is a guy, by the way.  We’ll tell you what landed him behind bars when we visit “The Cutting Room Floor,” next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for “The Cutting Room Floor” and the great Willie Geist.

WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC PRODUCER: Hello, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Willie.

GEIST:  Tequila never tasted so good, my friend.  Did she say to her fans, donkey peanuts?

CARLSON:  Donkey peanuts.  It’s kind of a blogger short-hand.  You know, one of our cameraman just a very interesting and true thing.  She’s going to be rich soon, and that’s true because fame equals money in America for reasons I don’t quite understand.

GEIST:  Right.  It’s actually a really interesting trend.  It’s like beyond Paris Hilton.  Paris Hilton’s famous for no reason.  Tila Tequila’s really famous for no reason.

CARLSON:  Well she made a porn tape.

GEIST:  She did.

CARLSON:  Yes, Paris Hilton did.

GEIST:  I don’t think Tila’s got one.

CARLSON:  Not that we know of.  First up, people who believe marriage ought to be between a man and a woman are not going to be happy about this next story.  You’re watching the wedding of two trees.  Yes, the things with branches and leaves, the five-year-old trees tied the knot in a village in eastern India today.  The ceremony was followed by a beautiful reception.  The wedding was held to raise awareness about the need to plant more trees in India.

GEIST:  That doesn’t look like much fun, watching two trees get married.

CARLSON:  No, it really doesn’t.

GEIST:  Did you notice.

CARLSON:  . It’s not a dynamic scene, really.

GEIST:  Instantly after they tied the knot, they got miserable.

CARLSON:  Well, they’re just so wooden.

GEIST:  Yes, they are.  They’re very stoic at the altar.

CARLSON:  They’re not demonstrative.  They’re almost Episcopalian in their reserve.

GEIST:  They’re banyan trees and they’re typically stoic.

CARLSON:  Are they really?

GEIST:  Yes.

CARLSON:  It’s in their blood, or sap.

GEIST:  That’s actually sad.  But you know what, India strikes again, gaining on pens, very quickly in bizarreness.

CARLSON:  Well, Japan doesn’t have rat temples, so I think they’ve already won.

Last night we told you about the guy who left his kid in the car while he went into a strip joint.  Tonight, we up the ante.  We give you a man who left his infant in the parking lot of a train station when he went to work.  The man hopped on his train just outside Washington D.C. today and completely forgot about his 7-month-old daughter.  She was in the back seat of his parked car.  By the time he realized what he had done, the fire department had broken the baby out of the car.

GEIST:  Ouch.  I’m sure he feels terrible about this.  He’s probably getting more grief than we could ever give him, at home from his wife.

CARLSON:  That’s why we’re not using his name.

GEIST:  Right, it’s not even worth it.  But you leave your briefcase, fine, your leave your lights on.  You can’t leave the 7-month-old in the back of a car.  Just a quick sweep of the vehicle before you get out would have revealed a 7-month-old infant.

CARLSON:  I’m not surprised.  You see those commuters, like heading the train station?  They’re all hung over and pasty, and you know what I mean?  It’s like, early.

GEIST:  Why was the 7-month-old in the car in the first place?  Was he taking the kid to work?

CARLSON:  No, it suggests a complicated domestic arrangement, doesn’t it?  Yes it does.

Well if dressing up as a woman and hanging around the public library is wrong, this next guy doesn’t want to be right.  Seventy-two-year-old Samuel McGilton was arrested at the Bel Air, Ohio public library this month, not for making such an ugly woman though, that would be fair.  But for engaging in an act of lewd conduct with himself.  As you can see, the man was wearing makeup, high heels, a blouse, and a floral skirt when he was caught in the act.

GEIST:  Wow, can I just say Tucker, it’s nice to see people still using the library, because a  lot of people said the Internet would make them obsolete.  I’m glad he’s there, whatever he’s doing.

CARLSON:  You can’t do that on Google, can you?

GEIST:  No, you sure can’t.  Has it occurred to anyone that a 72-year-old dressing up as a woman hanging around the library might need a little help?  Why don’t we send - he’s beyond eccentric, I think he needs shady pines.

CARLSON:  Will, you are so judgmental tonight.  We’re going to get e-mails from certain interest groups because you just said that.

GEIST:  I’m so sorry.

CARLSON:  He belongs to a protected class.

GEIST:  I can’t believe I judged the 72-year-old in a dress.

CARLSON:  Library masturbators, they have rights too.  Willie Geist, that’s THE SITUATION for tonight.  Thank you for watching.  We’ll be back here on Monday night.  Have a great weekend.

Copy: 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.

Watch The Situation with Tucker Carlson each weeknight at 11 p.m. ET

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,