Guests: Jesse Jackson, Ernie Chambers, Tom Van Biema
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Thanks to you at home for tuning in. It‘s good to have you with us as always.
Tonight could separate but equal become the law of the land once again? Well, it is in Nebraska, where a new law would split Omaha‘s public schools into three race-based districts, one of them black, the other white and the third Hispanic.
Oh, but there‘s more. The biggest supporter of this new law is Nebraska‘s only black state senator. He joins us tonight to defend a return to state-sponsored segregation.
Also ahead, unveiling the real life secrets behind “The Da Vinci Code.” If you‘ve only read the best seller you don‘t know the whole story. We‘ll go inside the controversial group that inspired that movie.
And what could be the first-ever case of peep rage. The Easter bunny goes on a rampage. Needless to say, we‘ve got that story cold.
But first, we have breaking news tonight regarding the Duke rape allegations. Just hours ago a grand jury handed up sealed indictments against the two Duke lacrosse players relating to the rape allegations. No word yet on exactly what the charges might be. Sealed indictments don‘t mean that an arrest is imminent.
And just moments ago, NBC News learned that neither of the indicted players lived in the house where the alleged attack took place.
For more on all this and what it means we turn to Rita Cosby. She‘s in Durham, North Carolina, tonight. She‘s at the courthouse ca today.
Rita, welcome. Is this good news, this breaking news, for the defense, for the lawyers defending these lacrosse players?
RITA COSBY, MSNBC NEWS ANCHOR: You know, it‘s not in almost any shape or form, Tucker. This is something that they expected, that this was coming down. And in fact, we‘re being told that they will probably be doing some sort of voluntary surrender in the next few hours.
I‘m in front of the courthouse, as you mentioned, but the jail is just a few blocks away. And cameras are glued on the jail at this point. And we‘re being told that there was some sort of negotiated deal.
When word came down that there were these two sealed indictments that took place today, it was very secretive, because of the very public other indictments on other cases that, you know, we were not following. And then they had these two sealed ones which we found out a little bit later in the day. We got word of that.
Then we were—then it was determined, OK, it‘s tied to the Duke lacrosse case. And then we understand that the defense attorneys actually worked out a deal with the judge that instead of them being sort of paraded and publicly arrested, that there would be a negotiated surrender.
So technically, they will be booked. They will be technically arrested and so forth and will be voluntary turning themselves in, probably in one or two hours here.
CARLSON: Rita, what does that—excuse me. What does that mean, sealed indictments, for our viewers who aren‘t lawyers? Why is an indictment sealed?
COSBY: It is—it‘s done for a number of different reasons. A lot of times it‘s done so the information is not made public. And that‘s typical. Sometimes when you‘re working one person against the other. In this case, we know they‘re only indicting two of the boys. There were three boys, remember, originally accused by this woman. So some of it could be leverage.
Sometimes they‘re afraid that that person could flee, so they don‘t want to put his name out. Other times it‘s done just because the case is of such a sensitive nature. They‘re concerned about the repercussions in the community. There have been issues about racial tensions in the community.
COSBY: So it could be for a variety of reasons in this case, Tucker.
CARLSON: OK. Now you spoke exclusively to the other stripper who was in the house that night. What did you learn from her?
COSBY: You know, she said some pretty interesting things, Tucker. She said that she doesn‘t know if a rape occurred, but she said that she can‘t rule it out.
She said when the woman arrived at the house with her—they were two dancers from different agencies, didn‘t know each other until that night. And when she arrived at the house the woman came a few minutes later, was coherent. She described her as smart, articulate, clear thinking.
And she said within an hour, her behavior just rapidly deteriorated. And she said it was much more, she believes, than just alcohol. She believes possibly some drugs or something was slipped in a drink that she was given by one of the lacrosse players.
In fact, let‘s play a little clip of what she said she believes may have happened that night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that it‘s quite possible that something really terrible happened to her.
COSBY: As you look back now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As I look back now. I think it‘s quite possible that something really terrible—and it scares me to know that I was in a place where I trusted people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And also that woman also confirmed to me, Tucker, there was all these suspicions about—remember that 91 call, the first one, where there‘s a girl who called up and said there‘s some racial slurs thrown at her. She confirmed to me. She said, “Yes, I did make that call.” And she said at the time, the accuser was sitting right next to her in the car totally passed out.
And she goes, “Now in hindsight, I believe maybe something was put into her system and maybe she was raped after all.”
CARLSON: Interesting. Rita Cosby in Durham, North Carolina. Thanks a lot, Rita.
COSBY: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: The accuser in the Duke rape case has been offered free college tuition, whether or not she‘s telling the truth about being attacked. The Rainbow/PUSH Coalition announced Saturday it will grant the woman a full college scholarship, no questions asked.
Joining me now, the Reverend Jesse Jackson. He‘s founder and the president of Rainbow/PUSH. He joins us from New York.
Reverend Jackson, thanks for coming on.
REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: Yes. But let me put some context. You should be fair about that. Is a lot of circumstantial evidence as this case is now breaking...
JACKSON: ... that some harm took place to this woman. Her reasons she said, apparently, for stripping was she was trying to make provisions for her two children and finish college.
JACKSON: If that‘s the basis of her being—having to strip, we want to send that young lady to college and pay her tuition. Never—and allow her to operate free from that—having to be sort of demeaned just to pay her way through college and to take care of her children.
CARLSON: OK. We‘ll get to that in just a second. I think I characterized that fairly. The question—my first question, though, is do you plan to pay her tuition even if it turns out that she‘s falsely accusing these men, thereby damaging them?
JACKSON: Well, there is growing evidence that she is not a false accuser.
CARLSON: And I‘m not saying she is, but what if she is? It happens.
JACKSON: Well, we need not speculate, because the fact is, the case is breaking as we talk. The young lady that Rita just interviewed says apparently something did happen. There are now two sealed indictments.
They‘re—usually sealed indictments are in fear that somebody might flee. But two are facing indictment, it may break the code of silence of the other 38 or 40 who were in the room. And so we can only hope that justice will prevail. And some young lady will fell free enough to leave her—right now she is somewhere in hiding. That she feels free enough to come public at some point in time and help break this case.
CARLSON: When you say—you hope that justice prevails, that I assume is regardless of the outcome. I mean, if it turns out, and I believe you were behind Tawana Brawley‘s allegations that turned out to be, of course, made up...
JACKSON: No, no, no, no, no. Don‘t violate me in that way.
CARLSON: I‘m not violating you. I‘m merely...
JACKSON: Because you‘re lying. It‘s not a fair association.
CARLSON: OK. I‘m merely saying—it‘s a simple question.
JACKSON: No, no, no, Tucker.
CARLSON: If it turns out this isn‘t—if she...
JACKSON: No, no. Don‘t—don‘t just—don‘t just dance on this stage. We have the case here, 40 men solicited the services of a woman—of two women. And somewhere between their solicitation and whatever else they did, she ended up traumatized, perhaps drugged and in the hospital, according to hospital officials.
JACKSON: So do not—do not—do not distort the ugliness of this as we seek to find the truth of it.
CARLSON: I‘m not in any way trying to distort the ugliness of it. Nor am I saying that she‘s lying or making it up. I don‘t believe that she is. I‘m just saying that the process will determine the answer to that. And all of us need to be open-minded about what the end result will be, including you, and I hope you will be. But I want to ask you a question.
JACKSON: As I watch people like Rush Limbaugh refer to her as a “ho” and the like. And how the...
CARLSON: Give me a --- I‘m not here to defend Rush Limbaugh or anyone else.
JACKSON: How the cause of being stacked against her. I want to remind the media, Tucker, was the biblical story of when the woman being stoned to death and the men were throwing all the stones...
CARLSON: Lower the tenor a little bit here. Nobody is stoning anybody. I‘m not calling her names. Please. Let‘s just back up for a second.
JACKSON: Lots of stones—lots of stones being thrown arguing that she is not worthy of making the accusation. I do not...
CARLSON: Slow down. You aren‘t hearing that right now on this program. Let me get back to something you said a second ago, though. You said that she is forced to strip, forced to strip naked in front of strangers in order to support her kids and put herself through college.
It strikes me as pretty insulting to all the single moms out there who aren‘t stripping—right—who are going to school at night or even during the day and working a second job. You‘re not forced to strip. Come on.
JACKSON: An increasing number of desperate people do desperate things, including a lot of the young women now who are exotic dancers by night. And going to school by day, trying to get their way out after hole. All of this because they have a low self-esteem or don‘t have economic resources.
We‘re saying if esteem is her issue, she‘s going to find lots of love. If money seems to be the issue, we‘re going to help send this child to school, this young woman to school.
I might add she was in the Navy. She‘s a mother of two. She is a—divorced from her husband. She‘s trying to work her way through college. She has a lot of positive traits we want to build Upon to try to lift her out of this hole and offer her a rope to pull out.
CARLSON: And I think in theory that‘s absolutely admirable. And again, I‘m not attacking her. I‘m merely saying that there are many, many thousands of single moms with small children, some of whom have been in the Navy and are divorced, who aren‘t stripping, who are working straight jobs. And it seems to me insulting to them, because you‘re not offering them any college scholarships and why aren‘t you?
JACKSON: We‘re discussing a case. We‘re not discussing all women everywhere. We‘re discussing a case where 40 young men—I might add of the 40, 15 have been arrested in late years for something as vulgar as public urination. And these men...
CARLSON: You know what? I think it‘s—slow down. Rev. Jackson, I think that‘s—wait. Why are you attacking them? Hold on, slow down.
JACKSON: ... have this illicit—most of them had this illicit sex party. And something happened that was traumatic.
CARLSON: I think that‘s awful. I just think that‘s awful. We‘re talking about this case. I haven‘t mentioned the alleged victim‘s previous arrests for pretty significant felonies, incidentally, because it‘s not germane to this specific case.
Only two people have been indicted in sealed indictments. You‘re attacking the entire team for something that don‘t have anything to do this. Why are you attacking them?
JACKSON: Well, because that code of silence. They know what happened.
CARLSON: What are you talking about? You have no idea what they know and what they don‘t know.
JACKSON: They were invited to the party, and it was a party of sex and drinking. And at some point it apparently got out of hand.
CARLSON: Look, you know as well as I do...
JACKSON: And now you see, whether it‘s the young lady, the other exotic dancer who was now talking to Rita Cosby or what it is the sealed indictments—the case is now coming apart.
CARLSON: You‘re on the stripper‘s side because she‘s black. You‘re against the alleged rapists because they‘re white. This is a racial issue to you and you know it, and I just think it‘s destructive to insert that into this.
JACKSON: There is some race, sex and class. But you know—you know, if this were—the first these guys said that these were basketball players and track players making the appeal for these women, which it says was a suggestion about the basketball team and track team‘s makeup. But if this had been 40 young black athletes and this had been a white stripper, you‘d have your bow tie on tonight.
CARLSON: I have no idea what you‘re talking about. I think you‘re implying that I would take...
JACKSON: And that‘s part—that‘s part of the problem, that...
CARLSON: Hold on, I would take the side of the stripper because she was white, which is absolutely ridiculous. And you know it, because my life is not organized around race, as yours is. And I‘m merely saying to make this case about race isn‘t all that good for the country, though it may enrich you.
JACKSON: My life is organized around my faith, my intelligence. Race is a reality of my life and of yours, as well. And in this case, you do have the intrigue, as it were, of race and sex and class and privilege. That‘s why it‘s created so much national interest.
JACKSON: I hope somehow that we‘ll break the code of silence by these 40 young men...
CARLSON: And I hope that you will give every human being—every child of God the benefit of the doubt as you‘ve given this young woman. And good for you. I hope you‘ll give the same to these young men.
JACKSON: Well, I do. And I hope...
CARLSON: No, you don‘t.
JACKSON: ... that those --- those who are not guilty will tell it, will tell the story and those who are guilty will pay the price and pay for it in future situations.
CARLSON: Well, in that case, we agree. I hope the guilty are punished.
JACKSON: I‘m glad you‘re coming around.
CARLSON: I hope—I‘m coming around.
CARLSON: There may be hope for you. Reverend Jackson, thanks for joining us. I appreciate it.
JACKSON: Thank you (ph).
CARLSON: Still to come, a new law in Nebraska will divide public schools into three racially identifiable districts. Opponents are calling it state-sponsored segregation. We will talk to the man behind this controversy after the break.
Plus, sexual harassment and discrimination complaints filed by three professors in Ohio. Why? Because the school librarian there recommended conservative books. More details when we come back, and we will.
CARLSON: Still ahead, they were portrayed as a murderous, power hungry sect in “The Da Vinci Code.” We take a look inside Opus Dei when we come back.
Plus, from Naomi Campbell to Leona Helmsley, we‘ll bring you our top five abominable bosses. Stay tuned.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. Omaha, Nebraska. Schools may be on the verge of a new era of segregation. Some 50 years after the Supreme Court‘s landmark ruling that separate but equal is unconstitutional.
Nebraska‘s governor signed a law last week that calls for splitting the Omaha public schools into three race-based districts: one black, one white, one Hispanic. So why is a man who has been called the angriest black man in Nebraska in favor of this new law?
Joining me now, the driving force behind the measure, State Senator Ernie Chambers. He joins us tonight from Omaha. Mr. Chambers, thanks for coming on.
ERNIE CHAMBERS, FORMER STATE SENATOR, NEBRASKA: My pleasure.
CARLSON: This sounds like re-segregation. Is it?
CHAMBERS: No. What the national media are getting is a partial story. My proposal is a small component of a comprehensive restructuring or reorganization of public education in a two-county area. It creates a system of interrelated districts.
And there is a requirement in this plan that all districts comply with an integration and diversity plan. Any district which does not is dissolved.
ANDERSON: My particular component is the one that caught the public‘s attention. But it has not been properly characterized.
CARLSON: OK. But as I understand it the three districts in question would be overwhelmingly, in one case white, in another black, in a third Hispanic. Is that correct?
CHANGER: Yes. Omaha is segregated along those lines right now.
CARLSON: The purpose of this is to give black people, Latinos, and poor whites what middle class and upper class white people have always had control of their schools.
CARLSON: Well, I‘m for that that. I‘m for that strongly. So are you getting rid of the teachers unions?
CHAMBERS: That‘s what this is all about. Well, that isn‘t even a part of my proposal.
CHAMBERS: See, those other agendas are not what I‘m interested in. I‘m not interested in segregation or integration, but quality education, which our children have been cheated out of.
CARLSON: Well, good for you. I mean, I agree with everything you‘ve said so far. You may have other agendas I‘m not aware of. But strictly speaking, I think you‘re right.
What about the idea, though, that‘s been universally held for the last 30 years, which is it‘s good for children to go to school; it‘s imperative for children to go to school with people of another race. It‘s imperative for black kids to not go to all black schools. Do you buy that?
CHAMBERS: Children learn on the basis of the quality of the teacher
and the instruction and not who they‘re sitting next to or any of those
things. Those are side issues that have hidden the fact that our children
and when I say our, I mean black children, other nonwhite children, and poor white children, some of whom I have in my district. They are not achieving at grade level.
And with all the talk of integration, diversity, and other things, those—diversity and other things, those are fine. I would like to see those goals achieved. But they‘re means to an end. The purpose of the schools is to educate.
CARLSON: Well, I agree with that. But we‘ve spent—but we‘ve spent, again, decades, and I‘m sure you‘ve been in Omaha for about all your life...
CHAMBERS: Well, I‘m not bad (ph). We spent decades and billions and billions of dollars busing kids from one district to another and constructing these incredibly complex systems for integrating schools and you‘re saying it‘s not worth it anymore.
They are remedies recommended and adopted by white people. The input that black people have wanted to make all along has been ignored. I have taken my position in the legislature as a man who knows what is best for our children and that‘s what I‘m seeking.
I don‘t care how much integration there has been talked about. It has not occurred anywhere in this country. I venture to say that in the studio where you‘re sitting right now, there‘s not integration. There‘s not diversity. So I accept...
CARLSON: You would be wrong on that count. But my studio aside, I think you‘re right about schools. Yes, you are.
CHAMBERS: You‘re there and I‘m not, so I‘ll accept what you‘re saying. But I know that there are identifiable racial schools, right now in Omaha. The black ones are called academies. They have labeled them already.
The redistricting that I‘m talking about is for the purpose of administration and governance, not attendance. These districts will not only serve only the students who live there.
CHAMBERS: And the students can transfer to any district they want to.
CARLSON: Well, look, it sounds like...
CHAMBERS: And transportation provided.
CARLSON: I‘m not here to attack you. It sounds like we should keep an open mind about this. And if it helps the kids learn more, get higher test scores, get into college, get excited about education, I‘m for it.
Ernie Chambers, thanks for coming on.
CHAMBERS: You, too. OK.
CARLSON: I appreciate it.
CARLSON: Still ahead, what would you do if your boss asked you to baby sit his kids? How would you react to your employer if she fired a coffee mug at your head and then called you white trash? These are just two of the true stories involving some very famous bosses. We‘ll bring you the top five next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY COLE, ACTOR: And I almost forgot. I‘m also going to need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. OK? We lost some people this week. And we need to sort of play catch up. Thanks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: That‘s a scene from “Office Space”, a fairly accurate depiction of what it‘s like to have to kowtow to corporate bullies.
People like that, however, are not necessarily the figment of Hollywood‘s imagination. Take, for example, Michigan Congressman John Conyers. Former staff members accuse him of misusing your tax dollars by ordering aides to run personal errands and baby sit his kids.
In tonight‘s “Top Five”, we take a look at other well-known employers who‘ve worked their way to the top of the notorious boss club. Here they are.
CARLSON (voice-over): Overblown egos and sadistic tantrums on television or in the movies may amuse us, but when life imitates fun, there is nothing amusing about the boss from hell.
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., founder of the “American Spectator” magazine, notorious for ordering a subordinate to carry his stool sample to the doctor‘s office. Talk about a crappy job.
R. EMMETT TYRRELL JR., FOUNDER, “AMERICAN SPECTATOR” MAGAZINE:
There‘s nothing surprising about that.
CARLSON: The so-called wild woman of Albany, New York, state senator Ada Smith accused of menacing people with a meat cleaver, a trash can or whatever‘s handy. She she‘s now in real hot water for tossing coffee in the face of an aide. Now legislators are considering expelling her.
Less-than-model behavior landed Naomi Campbell in anger management classes six years ago. Apparently, the lesson was lost last month when Naomi allegedly brained her house keeper with a cell phone. Naomi claims it‘s a case of she said-she said.
NAOMI CAMPBELL, SUPER MODEL: Let‘s hope it never happens again.
CARLSON: Her gross mistreatment of employees has learned hotel maven Leona Helmsley the title “queen of mean.” But Leona really crossed the line when she accused the general manager of her New York Park Lane hotel of being a drug addict. A judge awarded him $11 million.
And finally, the boss of all-notorious bosses, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. What can you say about a guy whose favorite line is “I‘ll never have a heart attack. I give them.” Few knew that better than late manager Billy Martin, who Steinbrenner hired and fired five times.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don‘t like it, you‘re fired.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You haven‘t hired me yet.
CARLSON: Is it any wonder that nobody‘s ever referred to this guy as the pride of the Yankees?
GEORGE STEINBRENNER, YANKEES OWNER: Nobody‘s perfect and everybody makes mistakes.
CARLSON: Speaking of bosses, Lee Raymond retired last year as the chairman of Exxon Mobil. Raymond spent 43 years in the company. And when he left he was rewarded with a severance package worth almost $400 million.
This in addition to the close to $300 million he made over the past decade or so. You, meanwhile, still paying close to $3 a gallon for gasoline. Raymond‘s compensation package is repulsive and wrong and here‘s why.
First, it‘s greedy. Embarrassingly so. Lee Raymond doesn‘t own Exxon Mobile. Shareholders do. They should have stopped him before he walked off with more than half a billion dollars. But just because they didn‘t stop him doesn‘t mean he should have taken the money. He took it because he could.
Second, CEO pay packages like this one and Raymond‘s is but one of many examples we could give you tonight. Devalue the relationship between work and money.
Lee Raymond did not invent oil. He ran a company that imports it. Mostly from other countries. That‘s not the same thing as curing cancer or inventing the laptop. As a society we ought to reward innovators over managers.
Third and finally, Raymond‘s greed invites government interference. Congress does not regulate CEO pay at this point. But thanks to greed heads like Lee Raymond, it someday will. You watch. That‘s guaranteed.
And there is still time for Raymond to redeem himself, though. Here‘s my plan. Keep $100 million for yourself and send the rest back to shareholders, who earned it in the first place. You‘d still be rich. But you‘d be much more decent. Go ahead, give it a try.
CARLSON: Still to come, as “The Da Vinci Code” prepares to hit the theaters, we‘ll bring you a rare peek inside the secret world of Opus Dei, the group negatively portrayed in the best selling book.
Plus, is it time to tone down those risque uniforms worn by cheerleaders? One prominent group says, “Oh, yes.” Well, tell you their absurd reason why when we come back.
CARLSON: Still to come, we‘ll tell you why some college professors say they feel, quote, “unsafe” around the books written by conservative authors. We‘re not making that up, by the way.
Plus, if you thought “The Da Vinci Code” taught you everything about Opus Dei, we‘ve got a few surprises you will not want to miss. We get to all that in just a minute, but first here‘s what‘s also going on in the world tonight.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
A sexual harassment and discrimination investigation now ongoing at an Ohio college after the school‘s librarian suggested that freshmen students read a few best-selling books written by conservative authors.
The books suggested by the librarian, Scott Savage, which included “The Marketing of Evil” Kupelian and “The Professors” by David Horowitz, who talked about that book on this show, by the way, reportedly made some professors feel, quote, “Unsafe.”
Well, the school‘s entire faculty voted without dissent to file charges against Savage.
But wait a second. What about free speech and the free exchange of ideas and the healthy diversity of views and all that? Good question. For answers, we welcome our old our old pal, Air America host, Rachel Maddow.
RACHEL MADDOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I have to say, I dispel—I dissent from a couple of your facts.
MADDOW: It was a couple of professors who fired—who filed harassment charges in this case.
CARLSON: I think that‘s what it says.
MADDOW: Not the whole Senate. It was just a couple of professors. And they were not sexual harassment charges. They were discrimination—harassment on the basis of sexual orientation, which is subtly different.
CARLSON: OK, but subtly different. But I believe that that‘s what we said, that the school‘s faculty later voted, without dissent, the faculty voted on those charges. They were brought initially by a handful of professors...
MADDOW: Two people. It wasn‘t that the whole faculty said that...
CARLSON: But they later voted to file charges so in fact, the entire faculty is behind the charges even though they didn‘t originally bring them. But despite this case, this new trend that I‘m seeing more and more of, that posits words, ideas, as dangerous and physically threatening to people and therefore verboten: “You can‘t say that because I feel unsafe when you do.” That‘s a real threat to free speech.
MADDOW: I don‘t feel like this is a threat to free speech. I feel like this is a made up case to make us feel like conservatives are under attack. And there is...
CARLSON: What do you mean it‘s made up? It actually happened.
MADDOW: Yes, but it didn‘t happen the way you say that it did, and it doesn‘t mean that there‘s some sort of attack on conservatives.
What happened was—The librarian admits that this guy, the librarian, admits that he deliberately picked provocative titles designed to get a rise out of people.
MADDOW: There‘s only two openly gay professors on this campus. One of them e-mailed him his displeasure with his suggestions, why he disagreed with it.
CARLSON: Right. Right.
MADDOW: And then the librarian responded by forwarding that guy‘s e-mail to a whole bunch of right wing web sites.
MADDOW: The professor responded by saying, “I think that‘s harassment.” And so you‘ve got this case where...
MADDOW: This is a fight between the two of these two guys. There‘s no war on conservatives.
CARLSON: The key—I‘m not saying there is a war on conservatives. I‘m saying there is a war on ideas. There‘s a war on the free exchange of ideas and free speech—hold on.
MADDOW: No, there‘s a fight between two jerks.
CARLSON: Hold on. As soon as you say that your ideas make me feel, quote, “unsafe.” You‘re mean to me, I feel threatened, you shut me down. I can‘t express my views unencumbered the second you say that, because I‘m somehow or other a harasser, rather than someone who disagrees with you.
MADDOW: Tucker, if you want to fight that strongly, you will win.
That‘s not the situation presented by this case.
What happened in this case is the guy said, “You know what? his guy said when you forwarded my personal address to right-wing web sites, with my personal e-mail address, outing me as a gay person and provoking people, that felt like harassment to me.” It has nothing to do with this guy...
CARLSON: Outing me as a gay person, this is a completely out professor. You‘re not outing someone.
MADDOW: This isn‘t you picked a evil book and therefore, you‘re a sexual harasser. That‘s the way it‘s been portrayed on the right-wing blocks, and it‘s not true.
I don‘t think that is fake at all. Last week, we had a woman on who was pushing for a specific gay-friendly curriculum in California schools. And she said the reason we have to have this, and it was by her own admission, propaganda. It‘s presenting certain facts in a solely positive light.
But that we have to have this because people feel unsafe without it. They feel physically threatened unless we insert this propaganda into the school. And I‘m merely saying that line of argument short circuits debate. It prevents debate from happening.
MADDOW: The idea, thought, that there‘s somehow an unsafe environment for conservatives in the university in America...
CARLSON: I‘m not saying that.
MADDOW: But that‘s where—that‘s where this story comes from. And that‘s why the facts...
CARLSON: I‘m not saying the story comes from—I‘m completely—I mean, I have no idea what other hosts are doing with it. I‘m merely telling you my point of view, which again is in support of a free exchange of ideas.
I disagree, you disagree, we debate it honestly. But you don‘t accuse me of making you feel unsafe. You accuse me of saying stuff that‘s dumb or uninformed or whatever. Do you see the distinction?
MADDOW: I see the distinction you‘re making for our personal relationships. But you‘re also the guy who said that Ward Churchill should be fired, because he had used what you considered to be odious.
CARLSON: Absolutely. Absolutely.
MADDOW: Here‘s a librarian who‘s presenting views that I consider odious. I don‘t want either of those guys fired. I don‘t want to see these guys fired.
MADDOW: I can bear the free exchange of ideas. What I object to is the political nature of this debate. The way that facts like these are used to gin up these fake wars between Americans.
CARLSON: I wouldn‘t say it‘s fake.
MADDOW: Just like conservative—just like David Horowitz says on university campuses.
CARLSON: I studied a number of years in College, not as many as you. I‘m not a Rhodes scholar. But when I was in college, and I believe it still goes on now. To express openly conserve active views was to be ridiculed and attacked and have your grade in some cases. I know I experienced that.
MADDOW: Did you feel unsafe about it?
CARLSON: Not at all. I couldn‘t wait to get out of college and become a talk show host so I could get them back.
MADDOW: The irony about these right-wing authors that this guy recommends is they‘ve been making the case that it‘s unsafe to be a conservative in the world. That‘s B.S. There‘s no war between Americans. There‘s a real war we should be worried about.
CARLSON: I don‘t understand your last point but Rachel, I appreciate your common on anyway. You don‘t make me feel unsafe. Ever.
We turn to a man who proves every night on this show he doesn‘t feel unsafe around conservatives. He is “The Outsider.” He is ESPN Radio and HBO boxing host Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO: Tucker.
CARLSON: Hola, Max.
How‘s this for a story? The College Republicans at Penn State canceled one of their events for the school‘s Illegal Immigration Awareness Day under heavy pressure from campus groups last week.
The group had planned to play a game called “Catch an Illegal Immigrant,” where people would be invited to catch group members wearing orange shirts who symbolized illegal aliens. The game was nixed after student groups like the Black and Latino caucuses protested.
I think the game is a creative way no get people‘s attention about illegal immigration. Max, on the other hand, favors games that teach people how to stream across the border illegally.
Look, Max, there‘s nothing wrong or immoral, in my view, or offensive about mimicking what our law enforcement officers ought to be doing in the first place, which is catching people breaking American law.
KELLERMAN: Well, this is really what the illegal immigration debate is about. Why do people find it offensive as—you know, and they don‘t find catching other real actual criminals offensive? In other words, what is different about the criminalized behavior of crossing the border illegally and other criminal activity?
Let me give you an analogy. My Uncle Al lied about his age when he was 15 to join the military.
KELLERMAN: He served his country honorably. Everything after that point was fine. But he broke the rules in order to get in.
KELLERMAN: And I think there‘s a fundamental difference in the way Americans perceive the kind of unfairness of that, that there‘s actual criminal behavior and then there‘s behavior that is criminalized.
But a lot of the behavior in the first place is motivated by an urgency to make money to feed someone‘s family.
KELLERMAN: And there‘s no actual criminal behavior once the entry into this country is made.
CARLSON: Well, that is—that is a completely—that‘s a completely fair point, and that‘s a point of view. It‘s not my point of view. I think illegal immigration is a much bigger deal than your Uncle Al joining the service at 15. And good for him, by the way. He sounds like a good guy.
But the point is, is it wrong, is it offensive to encourage the government to enforce its own laws? No, it‘s not.
KELLERMAN: With that as—if you put it in that context, then I
think it takes on a different kind of tenor. Because what are people
actually upset about in this case? What are the young Republicans actually
why is the illegal immigration issue so hot?
Is it because there are—and there is a racial component to this? If we were dealing with the same thing in Canada, maybe the issue wouldn‘t be so hot.
CARLSON: I don‘t know.
KELLERMAN: And throughout the history of this country, by the way, Tucker, I mean, the Immigration Act of 1924. We limited how many, essentially, Jews and Asians could get into the country, because there was a feeling that there were just too many of them.
KELLERMAN: My grandmother got here, by the way, in 1924.
CARLSON: And there are more (ph). That was 1924, and by the way, I do think there are a lot of Canadian comics sneaking into this country, and it does bother me.
KELLERMAN: Let me just say—my grandmother got here in 1919 legally. My grandfather, after the Immigration Act, got here in 1927, illegally. Never broke another law again in his life. So I think there‘s a basic—there‘s a different fundamental feeling.
CARLSON: I‘m not going to attack your grandparents. You win, Max.
KELLERMAN: My Uncle Al. I emptied out the barrel, Tucker.
CARLSON: On now to cheerleaders. I know you‘re not related to any of these.
Do midriff bearing cheerleaders send the wrong message to young girls?
Some organizations say yes. They‘re requiring pom-pom girls to cover up.
An Australian gymnastics group has banned cheerleaders from showing their midriffs while in uniform. The groups says the cheerleaders‘ tight stomachs encourage eating disorders.
Here in the U.S., the National Federation of State High School Associations issued an order that beginning next school year, cheerleading uniforms must cover the midriff.
This is ridiculous, Max. Cheerleader stomachs do no harm. You‘d like to see a return to the days of baggy sweaters on cheerleaders I have no doubt.
Come on. Come on, Max. This is—because a woman spends a lot of time exercising and has a—you know, an attractive body, she‘s causing other women to become anorexic? That‘s ridiculous.
KELLERMAN: Tucker, my sister—no, I‘m just kidding. I don‘t have a sister. But I think anything that encourages—do I think this? Here‘s the argument. Anything that encourages girls and women not to be too skinny, is a good thing.
KELLERMAN: They‘re walking around too skinny, Tucker. And it‘s unattractive.
CARLSON: I agree.
KELLERMAN: And it‘s getting reinforced. And you see these stars that are considered sexy. They‘re anorexic. Actually, technically, you‘re supposed to say anorectic, I believe, not anorexic. Though both, I think, actually technically are correct. Anorectic, a little.
The point is, Tucker, that these girls—incidentally, the cheerleaders themselves couldn‘t be anorectic, right? How is it possible? They‘re athletic. They‘re doing too many things. They have muscles.
CARLSON: Well, that‘s a good point. And if you really want to fight anorexia, then you ought to boycott, you know, “Elle” magazine and “Cosmopolitan” and all those women‘s magazines that I think kind of reflect a grotesque understanding of what a woman‘s body should look like.
KELLERMAN: That‘s right. I broke out the anorectic on you. Did I ever tell you about neander-tall? Not Neanderthal. Neader-tall?
CARLSON: Another one of your relatives? Don‘t even answer that. Max Kellerman. Thanks for joining us, Max.
KELLERMAN: Thank you.
Coming up on THE SITUATION, if you‘ve ever read “The Da Vinci Code”, you know about the small, secretive Catholic organization called Opus Dei. But is the group really as sinister as that book implies, and who are some of its high-profile members? We‘ll take you inside Opus Dei next.
But before we go to break, a reading from the existential poetry of Donald Rumsfeld. It‘s a book of Rumsfeld‘s actual words, retold through the majesty of verse. Here we go.
Quote, “As we know, there are no knowns, there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns. The ones we don‘t know, we don‘t know.”
We‘ll take a quick break while you think about that.
VANESSA MCDONALD, PRODUCER: Coming up, “The Da Vinci Code” made it famous. And now we‘ll take you behind the scenes with the mysterious religious group Opus Dei. Plus, a mall Easter bunny gets into a brawl while in full costume.
CARLSON: That‘s the holiday spirit. THE SITUATION is back in just 60 seconds. See you then.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
In the pre-“Da Vinci Code” world, Opus Dei was a small Catholic group that existed in relative anonymity, but when Dan Brown‘s novel became an international phenomenon, Opus Dei‘s secret was out, or at least part of it.
In “The Da Vinci Code” Brown depicts Opus Dei is a mysterious religious sect that for centuries has worked to cover up the truth about Jesus and the Bible. Members of Opus Dei claim Brown has mischaracterized their group completely, and they‘ve asked for a disclaimer at the beginning of the upcoming film version of “The Da Vinci Code.”
So what is the truth about Opus Dei? To answer that question and to take us inside the organization, we are joined by Tom Van Biema. He wrote the cover story, “The Opus Dei Code” in the latest issue of “TIME” magazine. Thanks for joining us.
TOM VAN BIEMA, WRITER, “TIME” MAGAZINE: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Is this—is this depiction of Opus Dei in “the Da Vinci Code” bear any resemblance at all to the Opus Dei itself?
VAN BIEMA: Well, only the vaguest. I mean, you didn‘t mention the best parts. You didn‘t mention that, you know, the sadomasochistic, self-flagellation or the murderousness that‘s in “The Da Vinci Code.”
CARLSON: And that‘s right.
VAN BIEMA: And that is—neither the murderousness, totally off the board. And in terms of, you know, if you saw the trailer, you saw a guy sort of wailing away at himself with, you know, Spanish Inquisition kind of cat-o-nine-tails.
They do do something called—not all of them, but 20 percent of the people in Opus Dei, sort of the core of Opus Dei, do something called self-mortification. And they do beat themselves slightly during the period of saying a small prayer, with something that looks like a macrame string.
And they also wear something that looks like, you know, chicken wire turned inward, with the spikes turned inward, for two hours every day. So there‘s a little bit of something to that.
But you know, to be honest, Dan Brown has done, you know, more than caricature of them. He‘s just totally drawn a different figure.
CARLSON: Well, it sounds—can you just sum up in three sentences what Opus Dei is in the broadest terms for our viewers who aren‘t familiar at all with it?
VAN BIEMA: Opus Dei is a group of about 85,000 extremely conservative Catholics who are most—for the most part lay people. They are not monks or something like that, who have—who undergo a certain number of years of spiritual formation with Opus Dei.
And then 80 percent of them sort of take that out into real life as we know it. And continue to try to live by it and say the two hours of prayers that Opus Dei requires every day. And the other 20 percent live in these centers and they take vows of celibacy, and the centers are very strictly sex segregated. And they live—a lot more like monks.
And they have—in 1982, Pope John Paul II made them what‘s called a personal prelature, which essentially made them kind of like an international diocese. It enables them to kind of can get around the geographic hierarchy of the church and gave them a considerable amount of power. And it was really then that the thing kind of blew up.
That was—and I don‘t think that Dan Brown would have chosen them for the heavies if it hadn‘t been for the fact that you now have this secretive organization that the pope had raised up into this special sort of position.
CARLSON: Well, you make the point in your piece, in “TIME”. Really interesting story, by the way, “cover story”. That Robert Hanson, the FBI spy now convicted, doing life, was in Opus Dei, apparently. And confessed his spying or some of it, anyway, to an Opus Dei priest. And that priest kept the information with him. And that does sound kind of sinister.
VAN BIEMA: Well, it may have been dumb. I mean, you know, I‘m not certain, you know, that was policy. I‘m not sure what Opus Dei policy is on confession, to be honest with you, and in terms of crimes.
CARLSON: But why the secrecy in general? I mean, why—you write that until relatively recently, Opus Dei members didn‘t admit publicly anyway that they were in Opus Dei. Why?
VAN BIEMA: Well, people talk about—Catholics talk about organizations taking on what they call the charisms (ph), which is another word for the gifts of the founders.
And the founder of Opus Dei, his name was Escarave. He‘s a saint now that had a number of interesting charisms (ph), and one of them was secrecy. And there were times where Opus Dei, for various reasons, was not popular in Spain, which was where it was founded.
There may have been good reasons for—for keeping it secret then. And it has continued to maintain that. In 1982, probably not coincidentally, at the time when the pope was sort of giving them this upgrade, they said, OK, we‘re not going to be secret anymore officially, but then they continued to be basically private and did the same thing. Really didn‘t say anything.
And it really has been sort of “The Da Vinci Code” that has caused them to start talking to journalists like John Allen, who‘s written a book about them or like “TIME”.
CARLSON: And finally, there‘s a lot of talk, particularly in Washington, about people who may or may not be in Opus Dei. Supreme Court Justice Scalia, other people—some of them I know actually. And it‘s never clear who is and who isn‘t? Any prominent American for sure we know is in Opus Dei?
VAN BIEMA: No. What we got Opus Dei talking to us is they claim that none of these big names like Scalia, like Rick Santorum and so on are with Opus Dei.
If you want to talk about the political influence of Opus Dei, you really have to talk about the possibility that they may be able to reach the million or so conservative Catholics in the country...
VAN BIEMA: ... who have turned out to be kind of a hinge vote. And from that point of view, they can be kind of a good housekeeping seal. And that‘s why somebody like Rick Santorum actually goes to Rome to speak at an Opus Dei event. Or I assume that that‘s why. Because his head of communications said he had to stress again and again that Rick Santorum is not a member.
CARLSON: Not that it‘s going to help him in the Senate race either way, it looks like. But who knows? David Van Biema of “TIME” magazine. Thanks a lot. I appreciate it.
VAN BIEMA: Thank you.
CARLSON: Still ahead, when Kim Jong-Il isn‘t plotting the end of civilization he‘s apparently watching this show. It‘s true. We‘ll tell you how we know the dear leader is a viewer when we visit “The Cutting Room Floor” next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Willie Geist, what are you doing here?
WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER: Hey, Tucker. I‘m here every night.
CARLSON: Good to see you.
GEIST: I want to quickly call something to your attention. Friday‘s edition of “The North Korea Times”, if we can take a look at one of the big headlines, “Tucker Carlson Says Bye-Bye Bow Tie.” “The North Korea Times”, the dear leader got news about his favorite show on television.
CARLSON: He‘s just a pop culture junky that guy.
GEIST: He is. And he loves you especially. I will remind you, the last person he liked on screen was a South Korean actress he kidnapped and held in his country for eight years, so beware.
CARLSON: Eight years.
It is amazing the Easter bunny was able to make his rounds Sunday morning, considering he was arrested for beating someone up in a Florida mall on Saturday night.
The 280-pound man playing the Easter bunny and taking pictures with kids in Fort Myers was charged with assault after he and his wife got into a fight with one of the women waiting in line. The Easter bunny‘s wife got into an argument with the woman, and the man removed his bunny head and joined the fight.
GEIST: Do you, Tucker, know how many children in Fort Myers would be in therapy because of that? I want to be a shrink down there. Easter bunny is low on the totem pole.
CARLSON: You can‘t pinpoint the cause.
Willie Geist, all our Easter news. Thank you.
That‘s it for us tonight. Thank you for watching. See you tomorrow.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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.