updated 4/4/2006 11:38:36 AM ET 2006-04-04T15:38:36

Guests: Mike Allen, Jim Gilchrist, Rachel Maddow, Daniel Hall, Albert Lucas

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”:  That‘s all the time we have tonight.  THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON starts now. 

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Thanks. 

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

We begin tonight with breaking news.  Former House majority leader, Tom DeLay, has decided not to run for re-election in Texas.  The embattled congressman was indicted a Texas grand jury last September and he‘s now facing first-degree felony charges for conspiracy and money laundering. 

Here to tell us what prompted him to drop out of the race, MSNBC‘s Chris Matthews, who spoke to DeLay not long ago. 

Chris, you there?

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, “HARDBALL”:  Yes, I am, Tucker.  Congressman DeLay called me awhile ago this evening, about an hour ago, and told me that he‘s going to drop out of the race tomorrow. 

He gave the reasons.  He said that he—he wants to save the seat for the Republicans.  He said anyone else who runs for this seat in the 22nd District of Texas will, as he put it, walk into the seat. 

He said that he had been in bad shape with the polling, which has been negative on him and declining for his re-election since last November.  He said that the polling has continued to go downward ever since then, even though he run his renomination from the Republican Party. 

So he also said that he would face a beating this summer from the Democrats.  He expects that they will pound him on the issue you mentioned, the Ronnie Earle indictment, who‘s a Democratic prosecutor in that region, in Houston, and also the other problems he‘s facing. 

He said that he thinks that he can lead the Republican conservative movement from outside the Congress better than he can within.  He thought he had a fighting chance to get re-elected, but as he put it, a 50/50 chance to win... 

CARLSON:  So he acknowledged to you, Chris, that he actually might lose this seat?

MATTHEWS:  He said he has a 50/50 chance of winning this seat.  He felt that—he‘s looking at the poll data showing that he is—that the numbers keep going down.  They began to go down.  As he put it, the trend that started last fall is continuing as we spoke tonight. 

In other words, he‘s in the midst of declining poll numbers right now, and he‘s about 50/50 now.  So you can assume it would have been a very tough race for him. 

CARLSON:  I mean, if Tom DeLay, in Sugarland, Texas, is in danger of losing in the general election, that says something pretty ominous to Republicans about this coming midterm election.  Did he mention what he thinks is going to happen to his party in November?

MATTHEWS:  No.  But he did say—let‘s get into what he did tell me. 

He told me that Nick Lampson, his opponent...

CARLSON:  Right.

MATTHEWS:  ... he‘s a Democrat who he helped to unseat when he redistricted down there the last time around, two years ago, is running.  He‘s moved in from 100 miles away, and he‘s running there.  He believes that any other Republican can knock off Lampson, but he can‘t. 

And so—he didn‘t give me any ideas.  He‘s obviously caught up in his own situation tonight.  He‘s going to make this announcement tomorrow that he‘s ending his congressional career.  Here‘s a man who—who could have been speaker any time he wanted to be, basically.  He‘s a Republican leader who brought all the Republicans to all these victories lately for the president. 

And obviously, he‘s focused primarily on his own situation.  To have to withdraw like this from an election he told us when we were down there he was going to win.  I thought he was going to be a strong competitor.  I mean, he is one tough politician. 

CARLSON:  Yes, he is. 

MATTHEWS:  And for him to say he‘s got to throw in the towel in the interests of the party so that they can save this seat.  Let me tell you what I do think you can intuit from this. 

That this election for who controls the House of Representatives is going to come down to one or two seats.  It‘s very close: 15 seats right now.  The Democrats in all the generic polling, as you know, have about a 13-point spread in some of these polls.  That‘s 50-37. 

You could argue that that transfers over to a handsome pick-up of seats, maybe at least 10, maybe short of 15.  He wants to keep it short of 15 by giving up...

CARLSON:  Pick-up for Democrats.  Yes.

MATTHEWS:  He wants to make sure that that one seat in Texas that he can control will now likely go Republican.  That‘s his case he gave me tonight, as a scoop, I suppose.  In fact, he told me we‘ve been fair with him, I‘ve been fair with him, and that‘s why he called me tonight ahead of the announcement. 

CARLSON:  Amazing.  Amazing that it‘s coming down to, in his mind anyway, that one seat.  MSNBC...

MATTHEWS:  We did try—just to point out.  We went down there early this year, and we at HARDBALL decided this was going to be the hottest race of the country, because he‘s the leader—he has been a leader.  He built the Republican majority.  He‘s a tough customer.  We thought this was going to be one of the hottest races in November.  That‘s why we targeted it.  We‘ve been bird-dogging it. 

But I have to tell you, Tucker, I‘m as surprised as anybody watching right now that this tough customer has left the race for re-election.  He might have been able to pull out if events had changed.  But he knows how to study these numbers.  And like me, I think, he believes in trends. 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  And the one thing in politics you know, too, trends continue. 

CARLSON:  That‘s exactly right.  Boy, this could be a bloodbath. 

MATTHEWS:  This could be a tsunami, you never know. 

CARLSON:  Chris Matthews.  Thanks a lot, Chris. 

MATTHEWS:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  For more on this, we turn now to “TIME” magazine‘s Mike Allen, who sat down for a 90-minute exclusive interview with Congressman DeLay earlier today. 

Mike, how does he feel about this?  And what is—hold on.  Before I even ask you that, Mike—Mike‘s joining us from Washington tonight.  People watching this are going to say there has got to be some profound back story here going on that he thinks he‘s going to be convicted.  Is there—is there a back story that you‘re aware of?

MIKE ALLEN, “TIME” MAGAZINE:  Well, I‘ll start by saying that he does not think he‘s going to be convicted.  And I‘ll say good evening to you and happy birthday to my mom, Barbara Allen, in Wilsonville, Oregon. 

CARLSON:  Amen (ph).

ALLEN:  Congressman DeLay believes very strongly that he does not have any further legal vulnerability.  His office told me that they‘ve handed over 1,000 e-mails that relate to the disgraced and now convicted lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, as a sort of preemptive way of saying had a lot of staff chatter with Abramoff, nothing from the congressman himself. 

I asked him, “Did you do anything illegal in office?”  He said no.  I said, “Did you do anything unethical in office?”  He said no.  And I said, “Did you do anything immoral?” 

And he started to say no and then he caught himself and said, “We‘re all sinners.”

CARLSON:  Interesting.  Speaking of “we‘re all sinners”, I‘m just sitting here reading your enormously interesting and very long transcript of your interview with the congressman and his wife today. 

He mentions religion in about every sentence.  He sounds like a man—

I know he‘s always been a strong Christian, but sounds like he‘s had some kind of religious experience recently.  Did you get the sense that he‘s motivated party out of—for spiritual reasons?  You couldn‘t help concluding that in reading this. 

ALLEN:  Tucker, it‘s interesting that you picked up on that.  He did say that he prayed a lot about this decision.  And as you may know, he‘s very interested in the teachings of Chuck Colson, the former Watergate prisoner, now founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries.  He gave me his book one time, and he says those teachings are his world view. 

It‘s kind of interesting.  He said he was baptized as a teenager, immediately forgot everything that he learned and did not rejoin Christ as a daily part of his life until he came to Congress.  I had never heard this story. 

He said that Congressman Frank Wolf of northern Virginia had a ministry where he would come door to door to the freshmen and invite them to a Bible study where they saw a James Dobson video.  And he says that that video changed his life. 

But perhaps as part of that, Tucker, he feels very much at peace, very calm.  He was very relaxed.  They were playing with the dogs.  You show up, there‘s an Easter bunny on the door, there was an Easter bunny centerpiece on the kitchen table where we chatted. 

And took me upstairs and showed me his wall of fame, you might guess, is more extensive than most people‘s.  Multiple photos, all signed, of every president.  And a sign of how things—how fast things have changed for him.  At a recent—fairly recent photo of Mrs. DeLay and Congressman DeLay, then on the Truman balcony alone with President Bush and Mrs. Bush, having a relaxed—they said they had a drink—of course, the president didn‘t—before they had dinner, a private dinner inside.  So...

CARLSON:  Well, speaking of Bush, I mean, you‘re the White House correspondent for “TIME” magazine.  Do you have any sense of what the White House‘s response is?  Chris Matthews a second ago said he thought DeLay‘s leaving partly over concerns for that one seat.  That‘s how close this election may be.  What does the White House think of this?

ALLEN:  Well, Tuck—Tucker, I can tell you something you and I will agree on.  If they‘re only one seat away, that is the best case that Republicans could dream of.  Of course, they‘re worried about something much worse. 

And I did ask Mr. DeLay about this, and he said he was not willing—

I told him, you know, various high-level Republicans had told us if the election was held today, Republicans would lose the House.  And I asked him if he believed that were true.  He wouldn‘t go there. 

But he did say that he believes that the—that America has a Republican majority, a conservative majority.  But it‘s just a matter of tapping it. 

And Chris talked about Mr. DeLay leading the conservative movement from outside.  I think that that speaks to what he thinks is missing.  He says there‘s a lot of small conservative groups, but nobody to unify them.  He wants to be that person.  He says he wants to go out and talk about foster care, the importance of religion in government and electing more Republicans. 

CARLSON:  I bet every speaker‘s bureau in the country is trying to find his number right now. 

Mike Allen in Houston tonight, not in Washington, as advertised, needless to say.  Mike Allen, thanks a lot. 

ALLEN:  Have a great week, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  You, too.

Thousands of Americans are massing along our southwest border tonight, charged with keeping America secure.  You might think they‘re government agents, but they‘re not.  You would be wrong.  They‘re all volunteers.  They‘re civilian members of the Minutemen that are patrolling the border for illegal immigrants.  They‘re doing it for free on their own time, and they say it‘s a job the government ought to be doing. 

Jim Gilchrist is the founder of the Minutemen Project.  He joins us live tonight from Irvine, California. 

Mr. Gilchrist, thanks for coming on. 

JIM GILCHRIST, FOUNDER, MINUTEMEN PROJECT:  Thanks for having me on your program, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  So what exactly, for our viewers who aren‘t familiar with the Minutemen, what exactly are they doing on our borders tonight?

GILCHRIST:  Tucker, we‘re the world‘s largest neighborhood watch, you might say.  We‘re simply an immigration law enforcement advocacy group.  And what we do is simply observe, take a position along the border, the 2,000 miles of the southern border and part of the northern border.  And we strictly observe and report to border patrol and sometimes local sheriff‘s departments any suspected criminal activity.  And that could be either trespassing over our international border into the United States bringing drugs in or other contraband. 

We do not confront.  We do not make contact with these persons who are piercing our borders.  We simply report.  It‘s no different than seeing someone trespassing in your neighbor‘s private property and you call your local law enforcement to report that. 

CARLSON:  Now, you have been, of course, accused of being—of a lot of things by people who are for illegal immigration and simply don‘t like you: being a vigilante, et cetera, et cetera.  But isn‘t it inevitable that at some point Minutemen are going to get into an altercation either with illegal aliens or with their advocates, and it‘s going to become physical?  Are you worried about that?

GILCHRIST:  That‘s already happened at least three dozen times.  We have already been assaulted, including bricks, an eight-pound brick thrown through a windshield at an 80-year-old woman who simply came to hear me speak about why I put the Minutemen Project together.  That person is facing probably five years in prison.  Will be going to trial soon. 

And we‘ve had people splash acid-mixed water into our eyes on the border, charging up against us, surrounding us.  We do have much better law enforcement protection now than we had in the past. 

But our policy has always been not to be the assailants, to be the victims defending the United States of America.  And we knew that people like this were out there.  Some of them are related to the drug cartels and the human cargo cartels who want us away from the border, because it‘s such a lawless society down there, environment, that with us there, they cannot conduct their lawless activity. 

CARLSON:  So the Bush administration must love you.  I mean, here for free you‘re doing what they would be paying federal employees millions and millions and millions of dollars a year to do.  I mean, have you gotten a call directly from the president to thank you for your good works?

GILCHRIST:  No.  All I‘ve gotten from the president is referred to as, in the pejorative sense, vigilantes. 

CARLSON:  Now why would you suppose that is?  Why would a conservative president, who claims to care about the security of our borders, attack you, an upstanding American citizen, who merely wants to help law enforcement enforce the law?  Why would he attack you?

GILCHRIST:  Perhaps because I‘m your average Joe Citizen who decided to simply do something about what I saw as political corruption, dereliction of duty, and blatant and reckless disregard for the rule of law. 

Something that as long as we respect the rule of law, we will remain a very prosperous and a very safe land, a nation, that can look forward to a lot of domestic tranquility. 

And we have been simply a gross embarrassment to the governors of our states all the way down to the city council members who have also kept their head in the sand over this issue.  And certainly, for almost all of the U.S. Senate and most of the members of the House of Representatives, with the simple exception of Congressman Tancredo, who is certainly a pioneer. 

And if there‘s going to be a resolution to this problem, Tucker, it will come, in my personal opinion—I‘m an independent voter.  But my personal opinion, that resolution will come from within the Republican Party under the leadership of Tom Tancredo, J.D. Hayworth and Jim Sensenbrenner. 

CARLSON:  You‘ve got—you‘ve got to hope so.  But you know, in the meantime, I‘m glad you‘re there embarrassing the hell out of people who claim to care about border security but who really don‘t.  Jim Gilchrist, thanks.

GILCHRIST:  Thank you for your support. 

CARLSON:  I appreciate it.

Still to come, can going to church help you live longer?  You‘ll meet a physician who says yes, it can. 

Plus, new information that could cause parents to cut off cable television and shred their children‘s magazines.  Details in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Coming up, colleges discriminating against smart girls.  Plus, which foreign leader is telling America to get off its high horse and sober up?  Which is another way of saying which foreign leader needs a good, vigorous spanking?  We‘ll tell you when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  We here at THE SITUATION still absorbing the news that Congressman Tom DeLay from Sugarland, Texas, will not be running for office again.  And quickly, Rachel, I wanted to get your—and Rachel Maddow joins us now to help us with this.  I beg your pardon.

RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  No problem.

CARLSON:  Is this good for Republicans or bad?

MADDOW:  I think it‘s probably good for the Republicans, because people like me won‘t have Tom DeLay to kick around anymore. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

MADDOW: But I love this idea that Tom DeLay stepped down for the good of the party, that he was doing something for the Republicans.  Didn‘t have anything to do with two of his staffers turning states evidence or anything.  It‘s ridiculous that he is doing—he‘s taking one for the team on this one.  He‘s trying to save his skin. 

CARLSON:  This doesn‘t save his skin.  He‘s not going to be, you know, not convicted because he‘s not running for Congress.  It will be interesting.  There may be more to this, who knows?

MADDOW:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  Now, Mikhail Gorbachev, another fallen leader, this one of the Soviet Union, still alive, still annoying.  Still trying to justify his failed tenure as leader of the world‘s largest communist country, formerly. 

He tells “TIME” magazine this week, quote, “America needs to get over itself.  In has responsibilities as well as power.  I say this as a good friend of America.”  He says America is drunk with power.

I guess, what struck me about this is this is kind of the answer to the question why do they hate us, they being everyone else.  They hate us because we are powerful.  It is by nature of where we are relative to every other country that we are the object of so much scorn.  I don‘t think it‘s something we‘ve done so much as who we are. 

MADDOW:  I don‘t think he‘s saying that I think that America has problems because it‘s powerful.  He‘s saying that America is misusing its position as the most powerful country in the world. 

But the way he phrased it, talking about us being intoxicated with our own power, I kind of disagree with.  I kind of feel like we‘re tweaking on our own power; we‘re a little paranoid about it. 

And we‘re not reacting the way you would expect the most powerful country in the world to react.  When we were attacked on 9/11, it didn‘t strike at the basis of our power.  But we reacted in a way that significantly weakened all aspects of our power.  We reacted in a paranoid fashion that didn‘t show strength at all. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t know.  I agree with part of what you‘re saying.  I don‘t think it struck at the base of our power.  But I do think smart people who looked at 9/11 understood this was the opening salvo in a war of cultures and religions.

MADDOW:  Sure.

CARLSON:  Civilizations.  This is an ongoing, no end in sight conflict between us and people who want to kill us and totally overturn the way of life we‘ve created over the latter 1,000 years.  It is a huge, huge deal.

MADDOW:  Right.  And they‘re significantly less powerful than we are as a nation.  And if we had responded as a superpower, we brought all the economic and political and moral authority that we had to bear on this issue, the fight of American values against fundamentalists, nihilist, militant Islam is no contest. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  I disagree.  I totally disagree with that.  I think people underestimate.  And we, for decades, have underestimated the appeal of fundamentalism, specifically Islamic fundamentalism, to the masses of the world.  They like this stuff.  We don‘t always win the sort of contest of ideas. 

MADDOW:  But the way that we‘re powerful in this, what we have to bear on it—there‘s four locuses of power, right?  There‘s military power, economic power, political and the power of our values and our leadership.  We‘ve done—since 9/11, we‘ve done things to weaken ourselves on all four fronts. 

Economically we‘ve got the biggest debt: three biggest deficits in U.S. history in a row.  Politically, we‘re the least powerful among nations than we have been in our entire history.  In terms of our leadership, our values, we basically put a hood on it, sick the dog on it and have...

CARLSON:  See, that‘s right.  Politically we‘re the weakest we‘ve ever been? My point is and the point I think you can draw from Gorbachev‘s outburst is they hate us again.  Not for what we do or don‘t do, not for our actions, but our position.  There‘s nothing we can do about it.  We will always annoy lesser powers because we are so powerful. 

So at a certain point you have to say, “You know what?  You don‘t like us?  Tough luck.” 

MADDOW:  No.  You would say—if you‘re the most powerful guy in the room then you look to see what your response is to somebody swatting at you.  And if your response is I‘m the most powerful guy in the room.  I‘m going to bring my power to bear on getting rid of you, that‘s a position of strength. 

Instead, we‘re paranoid, like we‘re up on trucker speed, tweaking in the corner, doing everything to undermine our own authority and hurting ourselves in the process.  We behave not as a superpower, but as some sort of paranoid tweaker, and I think it‘s embarrassing. 

CARLSON:  I like the crystal meth references.

MADDOW:  Yes.

CARLSON:  But I agree with you.  Rachel Maddow, thank you.

MADDOW.  I‘ll do more of those.

CARLSON:  It‘s very hip.  It‘s very sort of new millennium.  I like it.

Still to come, affirmative action for boys.  That‘s right.  Can smart girls be passed over by colleges for the sake of diversity?  I‘ll tell you the truth next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, might be the next on the chopping block.  Sources tell NBC News the new chief of staff at the White House, Josh Bolten, wants to improve the White House communications operation.  With the administration under fire for a number of recent snafus, it‘s becoming increasingly difficult for McClellan to dodge the political bullet. 

In tonight‘s top five we aim our sights at McClellan‘s most memorable duels with the White House press corps.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON (voice-over):   Scott McClellan‘s been one of George W. Bush‘s most trusted aides since 1999.  But his three-year tenure as White House press secretary hasn‘t exactly been a smooth operation for this beleaguered spin doctor. 

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  Let me give it to you, just like the president has. 

CARLSON:  November of last year, White House gad fly, Helen Thomas, tortures McClellan about alleged prisoner abuses at Guantanamo bay. 

MCCLELLAN:  I‘m answering your question.  The president has made it very clear that we are going to do—you don‘t want the American people to hear what the facts are, Helen, and I‘m going to tell them the facts. 

CARLSON:  A badgered McClellan may have wanted to plead the fifth last October when reporters questioned the judicial wisdom of Harriet Miers as Supreme Court nominee nomination. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Are you trying to say that the White House has not talked to conservatives and pointed them to the church that she goes to and to her religion...

MCCLELLAN:  I answered all those questions yesterday, Jim. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  But you‘re saying that we‘re making an issue of it.  You‘re making an issue of it by having White House officials --- 

That‘s a reason that they should trust her. 

MCCLELLAN:  No, I‘m not saying that.  You‘re putting words in my mouth.  I‘m saying the focus ought to be in records and philosophy and qualifications. 

CARLSON:  In the wake of hurricane Katrina, the White House press corps kicks up another storm with McClellan, this time over the federal government‘s inability to provide immediate assistance for flood victims. 

DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS:  The president also made a promise to report to the American people about where the ball was dropped.  And if it was in part dropped within this White House, doesn‘t he have an obligation to forego the crutch of privilege and tell people what the White House was told, when it was told it, and where the ball got dropped?

MCCLELLAN:  That‘s good rhetoric, too.  That‘s ignoring the facts, though.  Because we are doing a comprehensive lessons learned review within the White House. 

CARLSON:  February 6, 2006.  She‘s back.  McClellan‘s screechy nemesis has a few questions about the president‘s wiretapping policy. 

HELEN THOMPSON, JOURNALIST:  He put his hand on the Bible twice to uphold the Constitution.  Wiretapping is not legal under the circumstances without a warrant. 

MCCLELLAN:  Well, I guess you didn‘t pay attention to the attorney general‘s hearing the other day. 

CARLSON:  February 12, 2006, Vice President Dick Cheney shoots at quail, his hunting companion forgets to duck, and McClellan comes under fire. 

GREGORY:  They were out there with him. 

MCCLELLAN:  The ones who are providing that information may have not been right there physically with him and saw exactly what happened.  I don‘t know.  But I‘m telling you—but hang on.  Can I finish?  OK.  But I‘m telling you the facts as they occurred and as I know them. 

CARLSON:  The lesson here, when firing back at the press, make certain you‘re packing plenty of ammo. 

MCCLELLAND:  That‘s what matters. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON:  All of a sudden I feel sorry for Scott McClellan.  Something I‘ve never felt before. 

Well, it used to be that pretty much the only group in America that didn‘t benefit from affirmative action was white men.  They were in power, after all, and everyone else needed help to overcome their domination. 

But recently, and maybe inevitably, that has changed.  Men are now oppressed, too, just like everyone else, and so they‘re entitled to the same affirmative action benefits, at least, when it comes to getting into college. 

At many colleges far more qualified women than men apply for admission.  So rather than fix that problem by, say, helping high school boys get their grades and scores up, educators are doing what they have done for 40 years.  They‘re selectively lowering the standards for admission. 

Quote, “It would be great to have the very best qualified students in a classroom,” one college administrator told today‘s “Salt Lake City Tribune”. 

But holding everyone to the same standards would mean too few boys.  So boys are held to a lower standard.  Heard this story before?  Of course you have.  It was wrong then, it is wrong now.  No matter what the so-called victims look like.  Even if they look just like me, it doesn‘t matter.  It‘s wrong because it‘s unfair.

Boys are not boys because of anything they did.  You don‘t earn your sex any more than you earn your race or your height.  We should reward people for things they do, not for the accidents of their births.  That‘s the way we‘re supposed to do things in America.  Let the best man win, even as in this case, if she‘s woman. 

Still to come, a Holocaust re-enactment that went terribly wrong.  Should school officials be punished for making eighth graders cry?  We‘ll debate that next on THE SITUATION.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, can going to church add years to your life?  Plus, a new study says television shows really do warp kids.  There‘s news from nowhere.  We‘ll tell you how specifically.  But first, here‘s what‘s going on elsewhere in the world tonight. 

(NEWSBREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

If going to the gym doesn‘t exactly lift your spirits, there‘s another way to help prolong your life.  Go to church once a week.  A new study suggests people who attend religious services on a regular basis can improve their life expectancy by roughly two to three years.  Physical exercise and medications have a similar effect. 

Doctor Daniel Hall is the author of the study in question.  He‘s a resident and general surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and he‘s also an Episcopal priest.  Dr. Hall joins us tonight from Pittsburgh.

Dr. Hall, thanks for coming on.

DANIEL HALL, SURGEON, UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH MEDICAL CENTER:  Thanks for having me, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  So why do you think—and I‘m just going to suppose at the outset that this study is accurate.  You found a correlation between church going and longer life.  What‘s your theory as to why this is so?

HALL:  I think there are many reasons why this could be explained.  The association between longer life and religious attendance I think is often mediated by essentially having a lower stress environment in your body.  This is probably most powerfully mediated by a sense of meaning and purpose in your life, which can be interpreted or provided through a religious system.  Also, a sense of connection to a wider community, I think, is also extremely important. 

CARLSON:  What about—I mean, religious people probably lay off the Marlboros and malt liquor to a greater extent than the average person. 

HALL:  Yes, absolutely.  I do—there is plenty of data to suggest and demonstrate that people who are religious do not drink as much, they don‘t smoke as much.  They tend to be a little fatter, though, than the regular population. 

CARLSON:  All the fish fries. 

HALL:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  So is having a purpose in life, having meaning in your life, is that measurable?

HALL:  Yes and no.  It‘s a very difficult thing to quantify.  And I think that one of the limiting factors in this entire field of study is the challenges involved with attempting to measure something as nebulous as religiousness or something as nebulous as meaning and purpose. 

But psychologists and sociologists in particular have spent a lot of time developing techniques to measure and assess things such as happiness, meaningfulness and other similar types of...

CARLSON:  Right.  Satisfaction and all that. 

HALL:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  But life span is pretty easy to measure.  I mean, that‘s a cut and dried matter.  Did you find that it made a difference where the person went to church, or a temple for that matter?  I mean, did different religions produce different results?

HALL:  The data was not sufficiently deep to answer that question.  There was no differentiation between religious traditions as the data was being collected. 

But in fact, in a population sample in the United States, you‘re de facto talking about some form of Christianity, though within the study there are both Judaism and Hinduism and other religious minorities, but their numbers don‘t amount to enough...

CARLSON:  Right.

HALL:  ... to have a statistically valid analysis. 

CARLSON:  Do you think it‘s more effective to be a Methodist or a Presbyterian, from a health point of view?

HALL:  I think that‘s an interesting question.  I‘m not exactly sure that we have data to answer it.  But I think that answering that kind of question, although it‘s a little bit more inflammatory, I think is actually a more perceptive question than religiousness in general. 

CARLSON:  There was a well-publicized study that came out, I believe, last week that seemed to indicate, contrary to what a lot of people believe, that prayer, at least in this study, did not help heart patients in the outcome after operations.  What do you think of that?

HALL:  Well, I think that there‘s something that‘s important, that they were talking about randomized and blinded prayer study, intercessory prayer.  Not the kind of prayer that a person would participate in and of themselves or necessarily participate with their community. 

CARLSON:  Right.

HALL:  And it does not surprise me that such a randomized and blinded prayer study would not show a result, because it essentially is a study for the proxy of whether or not God exists.  And it predicates that God is going to participate with your research design, and I‘m not sure that that makes a whole lot of sense. 

CARLSON:  Yes, sometimes he doesn‘t.  Dr. Hall, thanks for joining us. 

I appreciate it. 

HALL:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  We turn now to a man who believes spending a week in Vegas is the answer to increasing your life expectancy.  He is “The Outsider”, ESPN Radio and HBO boxing analyst, Max Kellerman. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO:  I‘ll bet you talking to the heart surgeon increases it.  Between God and the heart surgeon, Tucker, who do you like in that situation?

CARLSON:  I‘m with God. 

KELLERMAN:  I‘ll take the heart surgeon. 

CARLSON:  I know you will. 

We start with outrageous story out of Florida tonight.  Last week a middle school in Alpaca (ph) -- Alpaca, I can‘t pronounce it—in Florida somewhere, included a Holocaust re-enactment as part of an eighth grade English project.  The exercise was part of an assignment to read the diary of Ann frank.

The kids were split into two groups: one labeled the persecuted, the other the privileged.  The persecuted kids were forced to wear yellow stars.  They were forbidden from activities like using certain bathrooms and eating lunch. 

Some students came home in tears.  Many parents called to complain. 

The school says it was just trying to teach tolerance. 

The school‘s principal was booked to defend the Holocaust reenactment on this show tonight.  He cancelled at the last minute.  Instead we give Max the unenviable task of defending cruelty to children. 

Max, to teach tolerance, you‘re not intolerant.  Right?  First of all, moreover no child needs, it seems to me, an explicit lesson in this.  All kids understand fairness.  They‘re born understanding fairness.  To you know, take people at random and treat them badly?  You don‘t need an exercise to tell you that‘s wrong. 

KELLERMAN:  I don‘t know what it says that most of the issues that we discuss, Tucker, I either have to refer to Chris Rock or “South Park”.  But “South Park” actually covered this topic when they sent the kids to a camp for tolerance, and it was like a concentration camp. 

CARLSON:  Exactly.

KELLERMAN:  First of all—first of all, a Holocaust re-enactment, you can‘t use the water fountain?  Jews wish that was the Holocaust.

CARLSON:  Exactly.

KELLERMAN:  That‘s called being black in the 1960‘s in this country. 

That doesn‘t—but the idea that—OK.  Is it right to upset children? 

No, it‘s not right. 

Here‘s the argument, Tucker.  Kids are impressionable.  When do you make an emotional impact in a way they‘ll really emotionally understand something and carry it with them for life? 

We were discussing this last week when I said I had a third grade teacher who sensitized me to global warming.  You said you were scared of nuclear war because of what your teachers were teaching you in school.  I mean, they really had effects on us because we were children. 

CARLSON:  Yes, because they were frustrated demagogues who needed to take out their own emotional problems on little kids.  I mean, the point is teachers should teach you how to read and do math and leave the complicated values stuff to your parents.  It‘s not their place. 

KELLERMAN:  I don‘t know.  Morality.  People talk about religion in the schools and morality in schools.  The real basis for morality is empathy.  It‘s not the dogma from some book.  How do you know it‘s wrong to steal?  You don‘t want to be stolen from. 

CARLSON:  Right.

KELLERMAN:  It‘s wrong to kill.  You don‘t want to be killed.  And anything that can teach children to use their empathetic, you know, resources is possibly a good thing, though I agree.  I don‘t approve of the method. 

CARLSON:  Yuck.  Well, glad you—glad you went and meet me halfway. 

A study released today shows the more sex kids see in the media, the more they‘re interested in seeing sex.  There‘s news from nowhere.

Researchers looked at 1,000 adolescents between 12 and 14 and then again two years later.  The subjects were checked for their exposure of 264 different TV shows, music, movies and magazines all with sexual content.  Studies found a direct link between exposure to sex and sex. 

Of course watching sex makes kids want to have sex.  Max will argue on the contrary; the media have no influence, not at all, on human behavior. 

Come on, Max.

KELLERMAN:  Well, I‘m not going to say that they don‘t have any influence on human behavior.  I‘ll say that usually when I hear these kind of studies, the first thing that comes to mind is correlation does not equal causality. 

CARLSON:  That‘s right.

KELLERMAN:  It‘s not the same thing.  Now if you talk to kids: how are you getting this information?  You‘re not following them around with a camera.  You‘re asking them the questions. 

The type of kid who is more likely to say they have sex is also the type of kid who is more likely to say they watch, you know, R-rated style television, whether it‘s cable or network.  Whether you‘re actually hearing the truth, who knows?  The study to me, in the first place, I‘m not sure about. 

CARLSON:  Come on.  The media changed the world.  All media.  Books. 

You know, the Bible, “Mein Kampf”, “Das Kapital”.  You know, name it.  “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”.  I mean, people read these books, and their lives are transformed forever.  It has happened to me.  I know it‘s happened to you.  To argue that this stuff has no effect on people is, like, ludicrous. 

KELLERMAN:  Again, does it have an effect?  Yes.  But does depicting sex on television make kids, which is the real question, want to have sex at an earlier age?

CARLSON:  Of course. 

KELLERMAN:  Or have sex at an earlier age?  Glorification of sex and violence, which certainly exists on television, is not the same thing as simply depicting sex and violence, which is not always the case on television. 

But, Tucker, you‘re always talking about the magic of the marketplace.  Here it is.  It‘s Freudian.  What motivates human behavior?  Sex and aggression. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

KELLERMAN:  That‘s what sells TV. 

CARLSON:  I know. 

KELLERMAN:  TV‘s getting the good ratings.

CARLSON:  That‘s why you shouldn‘t let your kids watch if you don‘t want them having sex at 13.  Just my view. 

Max Kellerman.  Thanks, Max. 

KELLERMAN:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Coming up, Laura Bush takes a shot at Hillary Clinton.  We‘ll tell you what got the normally diplomatic first lady so worked up when THE SITUATION rolls on. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANESSA MCDONALD, PRODUCER:  Coming up, big news from Tom Cruise.  Plus, Tucker shows the most celebrated juggler in the world a few tricks of his own.

CARLSON:  There‘s nothing to it.  We‘re back in 60 seconds. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

Most people associate juggling with circus clowns.  I assure you my next guest is no clown.  He is Albert Lucas.  He has been named the greatest all-around juggler of the 20th Century.  He‘s won gold medals at the world juggling championships.  He‘s the world record holder in joggling, which is, of course, juggling while jogging.  He is featured in the new World Almanac Book of Records.  We are honored to be joined in our studio by the great Albert Lucas. 

(MUSIC)

CARLSON:  Outstanding.  Albert Lucas, glad you‘re here. 

ALBERT LUCAS, CHAMPION JUGGLER:  Thank you for inviting me.  It‘s an honor to be here with the World Almanac Book of Records and their first edition. 

CARLSON:  Now, you were telling me a minute ago that juggling was at one point part of the Olympic Games.  Was that right?

LUCAS:  Absolutely.  It was taken out in the so-called Nazi games of 1936.  And we appreciate the almanac for raising awareness by including sport juggling in the largest record book in the world.  And they‘re the most trusted name in research publishing. 

CARLSON:  So the Nazis were anti-juggling?

LUCAS:  Well, there‘s a couple of reasons for that. 

CARLSON:  Excellent. 

LUCAS:  Thank you.  A lot of the athletes, like there was in fencing and swimming, boxing, were of Jewish decent, and they did everything they could to dissuade such athletes.  So juggling fell into that category, as best the research we‘ve been able to determine so far. 

CARLSON:  What else do you have here?

LUCAS:  I‘ve got one of the things people that talk about is with sports juggle, versus the theatrical style juggling.  I was doing some technical juggling with tennis rackets.  The reason I use tennis rackets is everybody knows the size and weight of a tennis racket. 

CARLSON:  Exactly.

LUCAS:  So it‘s something they can relate to it.  Then of course, you have the worldwide, what I call the wrestling of juggling, the traditional clowning around with the machetes. 

CARLSON:  Did you ever slip?

LUCAS:  Oh, yes. 

CARLSON:  Well, what happens?

LUCAS:  Well, you get out of the way, basically. 

CARLSON:  Did you ever hurt yourself?

LUCAS:  Yes, I did, actually, when I lived in Tampa Bay, Florida.  SoCom (ph) has its headquarters.  And they challenged me to juggle five U.S. Army Ranger machetes.  I did it, but when I dropped one later on, it hit the floor, sprung back and caught me right across the leg.  And I said, “That‘s enough of that.”

CARLSON:  Did it cut you?

LUCAS:  Yes.  Let‘s get you involved now. 

CARLSON:  I‘d love to. 

LUCAS:  All right.  I‘m going to do a trick here, one of the oldest.  The Chinese originated this about 4,000 years ago.  I‘m going to show you a little bit of it.  It‘s not very difficult.  Get ready. 

CARLSON:  What do I do?

LUCAS:  Grab this stick.  And take that.  All right.  Now, with your right hand...

CARLSON:  Al right. 

LUCAS:  Put that in there.  You‘re going to make a round motion. 

CARLSON:  I feel like a seal. 

LUCAS:  Now, lift a leg.  Lift a leg.

Not bad, not bad.

There you go. 

All right.  We can do better than that.  I have an idea. 

I don‘t know if you‘re ready for sport juggling, but maybe how about three balls?

CARLSON:  I can do it. 

LUCAS:  I know you‘re left-handed.

CARLSON:  Yes.

LUCAS:  So let‘s do it that way.  Throw me that ball like that.  Throw it back and forth.  Excellent.  You take that again. I‘m going to throw it first this time and you throw it right underneath it.  Ready?  A little bit higher.  OK.  Here we go.

CARLSON:  I‘m ready. 

LUCAS:  Excellent. 

CARLSON:  Wow. 

LUCAS:  Even your staff is smiling. 

CARLSON:  They know how unlikely that is. 

LUCAS:  These are (inaudible).  These are what we use.  Chris Essex (ph), the 400 meter, 200 meter world champion uses these.  Most of the top...

CARLSON:  While you run you use these?

LUCAS:  Yes.  And then on our relay teams we have one ball that‘s a different color, and that‘s what the athletes hand off. 

CARLSON:  How far can you run with these things?

LUCAS:  Well, I‘ve run 50 miles.  But the marathon record is listed in the new World Almanac Book of Records.  They helped us raise the awareness of sports juggling as we try to repatriate it back in the games. 

CARLSON:  You ran 50 miles juggling?

LUCAS:  Yes, I did it for the American Cancer Society, in all places, Atlantic City, New Jersey, a few years ago. 

CARLSON:  How long did it take you?

LUCAS:  I broke the record at the time.  It was just under 12 hours. 

CARLSON:  Did you ever drop one when you were jogging?

LUCAS:  Over on the train tracks I did drop.  But that‘s the only time besides a 200-meter race in Canada.  I lost to Travis Saunders (ph), who‘s the Canadian national champion and former record holder in the 200 meters.  That‘s the only time I‘ve dropped in an actual competitive race. 

CARLSON:  How long have you been doing this?

LUCAS:  Well, I started when I was 3 years old, in the traditional avenues of stage performing.  I‘ve been performing a little bit in the circus.  Yes, I see Tiger Woods doesn‘t have one club in his bag and neither do sports jugglers. 

CARLSON:  Do you want to go out on this?

LUCAS:  I can do a little bit with three.  How about that?

CARLSON:  Excellent. 

LUCAS:  Here you go.  These are some of the...

CARLSON:  Amazing. 

Excellent!

LUCAS:  Thank you.  Thank you for having us on the show. 

CARLSON:  Thank you.  I hope to see new the Olympic Games. 

LUCAS:  Maybe not me, but you‘ll see some sports jugglers. 

CARLSON:  You deserve to be there.  Thank you.

LUCAS:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Still ahead on THE SITUATION, nothing can top that.  But we‘ll try Tom Cruise makes a major announcement.  A report from the scene of the slow-speed train wreck that is the Tom and Katie relationship when we visit “The Cutting Room Floor.”

And don‘t forget, THE SITUATION voicemail is back.  Give us a call at 1-877-TCARLSON.  We‘ll play the best of your calls on Thursday night.  We are coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for “The Cutting Room Floor.”  For that, we‘re joined by a juggler in his own right, Willie Geist.  Juggling producing, writing and now you‘re on camera.

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER:  A jack of all trades. 

There‘s a Copperfield-like intensity to Albert Lucas. 

CARLSON:  Yes, there is. 

GEIST:  I like it.

CARLSON:  I like it, too.

GEIST:  That man takes his job seriously.  Leave it to the Nazis to get rid of juggling from the Olympics.

CARLSON:  I know.  Nasty group of people.

GEIST:  We need a campaign to get it back. 

CARLSON:  The more you know them, the less you like them.

GEIST:  Yes.

CARLSON:  Along with everything else we require of our presidents, we ask that they also be able to throw a good fastball.  A weak arm is a sign of a weak leader. 

President Bush did a respectable job today as he threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Cubs-Reds game in Cincinnati.  As 40,000 fans cheered the president, he fired one high and inside to Reds catcher, Jason LaRue. 

GEIST:  The president‘s got a pretty good arm, of all the presidents. 

He‘s accurate. 

Remember right after September 11 during the World Series at Yankee stadium he walked out there in a flak jacket and just threw a strike right down the middle.  It was like sent a chill up my spine.  It‘s cool. 

He‘s good.  You know who‘s not good?  His father.  Let‘s take a look at one of his recent performances.  Oh, boy, bouncing it up there; he‘s humiliated. 

CARLSON:  I know.  The irony is that one of them is a war hero. 

GEIST:  Right.

CARLSON:  The guy with the bad arm. 

GEIST:  But if you‘re going to go out there and put yourself out there, you should take a few warm-up throws at bat first. 

CARLSON:  I would.  I definitely would.

GEIST:  Don‘t go out there tight. 

CARLSON:  While the president is playing—off playing baseball, the first lady is busy taking shots at her predecessor.  A new biography of Laura Bush reports the first lady was appalled by what Hillary Clinton had done with the decor of the White House. 

The book‘s author, former “Washington Post” and “Wall Street Journal” reporter Ron Kessler, says Mrs. Bush was shocked by the condition of the carpets and the furniture and by the garish colors that Clintons chose for the Oval Office. 

GEIST:  You know, you can hardly blame Hillary.  She had bigger fish to fry than being a homemaker.  She‘s chasing people out of the White House. 

CARLSON:  She was. 

GEIST:  And some of that color on the walls might have been from her throwing red wine at him or something.  You know what I mean?

CARLSON:  I can see that.  Whatever you think of them politically, I‘m just saying from a purely aesthetic point of view, they were awful. 

GEIST:  I‘ll take your word for it. 

CARLSON:  Yes, it‘s true.

Tom Cruise has finally confirmed what we‘ve been expecting to hear for a long time.  No, not that he and Katie Holmes have nailed down their wedding plans. 

While in Germany to promote “Mission: Impossible 3”, Cruise told the tabloids he and Holmes are getting married this summer.  He also said he has two pilots waiting to hurry back, bring him back in the U.S. in case Holmes goes into labor with the couple‘s child. 

GEIST:  I think one of those planes is going to blast him into outer space, back to Tom Cruise world, wherever that is.  I just hope the baby is normal.  I hope it‘s human.  And we can all get on with our lives. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  I think they‘re never going to leave, actually. 

GEIST:  No.  They‘re going to be with us. 

CARLSON:  And they make me feel sorry for Scientologists, actually. 

Willie Geist.

GEIST:  All right, Tucker.

CARLSON:  That‘s it for us tonight.  Thanks for watching.  We‘ll see you back here tomorrow night.

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

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