updated 4/19/2006 11:40:57 AM ET 2006-04-19T15:40:57

Guest: Valerie Gibson

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Thanks.

And thanks to you at home for tuning into THE SITUATION, coming to you tonight from the hub city, Boston.  Good to have you with us. 

Tonight Donald Rumsfeld and the generals‘ revolt.  The president tried to put out the fire today, lashing out at Rumsfeld‘s military critics and calling himself the decider, when it comes to the secretary‘s fate, anyway.  Will all that be enough to silence Rumsfeld‘s critics to save his job? 

We‘ll tell you. 

Also ahead, a gunman shoots two sex offenders to death.  Some people are calling it a case of vigilante justice, but is an online sex offenders registry to blame?  And should we get rid of it?  We‘re going to hear calls for that soon.

And from Las Vegas, a shocking video from THE SITUATION “Crime Blotter” of a vicious beating caught on tape and a gang of suspects still at large.  We‘ll get to that story in a few minutes, but first, some breaking news out of New York City.

You are looking at tape—I believe, live of the tram over the Roosevelt Island, 250 feet over the East River.  These two trams have been stranded since 5:15 this afternoon, almost six hours, due to a power outage.  Seventy-six people stranded up there.

Rescuers taking people out 10 at a time, we‘re hearing, in a basket and bringing them back to Roosevelt Island.  Again, stranded over the East River. 

You may recognize those trams from “King Kong” and “Spider-Man”, “City Slickers”.  They‘re featured in a lot of movies, and they are stuck tonight.  No one hurt, but they must be awfully claustrophobic stuck up there.  We‘ll tell you more as we get more on that story. 

But first, the latest on the Duke rape investigation.  Two lacrosse players were arrested of rape charges earlier today.  The D.A. said a third could also be arrested but has not been, quote, identified with certainty.  Rita Cosby in Durham, North Carolina, tonight with the very latest. 

Rita, what is the latest?

RITA COSBY, MSNBC ANCHOR:  For the very latest, Tucker, they did a search of one of the dorms again, the same dorm room that they did just a few days ago.  It took a lot of us by surprise. 

But it also ties in with the fact that they‘re looking for this, quote, “third” suspect, so they can pin um down with, quote, “certainty” according to the D.A., Mike Nifong.  He put out this statement today, saying that, you know, of course they charged these two boys earlier today, two sophomores, but that he‘s still trying to pin down and solidify the third.  And that‘s what we believe he‘s trying to get some physical evidence. 

In addition to that, Tucker, we‘re also told that tomorrow, as early as tomorrow, the second round of DNA results could come back.  They did that first round and remember, they came out inconclusive.  Nothing supporting the girl‘s claims.  And now the second round maybe coming back as early as tomorrow. 

CARLSON:  Rita, some confusion here.  One of these boys charged, the one from New Jersey, western New Jersey, was not on, even, the radar of a lot of people following this case closely.  In fact, as I understand it, the D.A. said on March 23 that this boy wasn‘t even at the party where this attack allegedly took place.  Why would the D.A. say that and then indict him?  Do you have any insight?

COSBY:  Well, you know what?  This is according, of course, to the defense team.  The defense teams is saying that he wasn‘t at the party.  And in fact, we have some new details...

CARLSON:  I‘m sorry. 

COSBY:  Go ahead. 

CARLSON:  I‘m sorry to interrupt you.  I don‘t think that was according to the defense team.  As far as I know, in a court document the district attorney suggested that this boy was not at the party.  Is that spin?  Does that document exist?  Do we know the answer?

COSBY:  We‘ve heard that most of that is defense attorney spin.  We have not—in fact, there was some question of that today.  And someone on the prosecutorial team said that was not the case, and that evidence that the district attorney has pinpointed other boys, but that originally, this was one of the ones that she I.D.‘d. 

So I think that there‘s some conflict.  I think some of that may be defense spin.  It‘s unclear, but so far it looks like that may be just defense spin. 

But Tucker, what is important to the defense part about this boy not being at the party, there is some pretty concrete evidence that they say they have.  We just got out—in fact, we know they were saying earlier today that there‘s some ATM surveillance video, showing that he went to an ATM.  Also, separate than that, they also say that he was picked up by a cab driver. 

We just heard from some defense sources that apparently, the boy called around 12:14 from the house, said, “Can I get a ride?”  The cab picked him up about five minutes later.  Then he went to an ATM machine.  They have a receipt.

They‘re trying to get that surveillance tape that they believe will also confirm that.  And then he apparently went out with some other boys eating.  If they can prove all these things, that certainly seems like a logical alibi for this boy. 

Apparently, they also have some other receipts, some other things, Tucker, on the other boy, which could indicate that maybe he wasn‘t there, as well.  And of course, if they could prove that, with not just testimony but some documentation, that could be very powerful for the defense. 

CARLSON:  It certainly could.  I mean, critics are suggesting this D.A. is out of control.  And if all that you have suggested turns out to be true, I think there‘s evidence the D.A. is out of control.  We will see.  We‘ll find out, and you‘ll be there, I hope. 

Rita Cosby in Durham, thanks. 

Today‘s developments in the Duke rape case do raise some troubling questions beyond the ones we just raised.  We know the names of both students who were arrested today.  We‘ve seen their pictures.  We know where they live.  We learned details of their backgrounds, their parents‘ names. 

But we know much less about the 27-year-old stripper who is accusing them.  So far, most of the press has refused to print her name.  Is that fair?

Susan Filan is an MSNBC legal analyst and former prosecutor.  She joins us tonight from Stanford, Connecticut.  Susan, thanks for coming on. 

SUSAN FILAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  How are you?

CARLSON:  I‘m great.  I‘m a little confused, though.  I know that this is standard practice for the press to refuse to print the name of an accuser.  But it does seem to me a little unfair, considering nobody has been proved innocent or guilty in this case.  We don‘t know the answers to a lot of questions, and yet we are, by printing their names, besmirching these, now, defendants.  Why are we doing that?

FILAN:  Well, look, they are now charged with crimes and now all of the constitutional protections that they are afforded kick in.  They‘re presumed innocent.  They don‘t have to prove their innocence.  The D.A. has to prove they‘re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. 

The victim, on the other hand, if she is in fact a victim and if she was, in fact, raped.  She didn‘t ask for this.

CARLSON:  Right.

FILAN:  She didn‘t want this.  She is thrust into the criminal justice process because somebody victimized her. 

HANNITY:  Yes.

FILAN:  Now if she has to come forward and not have her identity screened or shielded, you‘re going to discourage women—and sometimes men are raped, too—from coming forward. 

What that is going to do is that‘s going to let the predators have the protection of knowing that their prey isn‘t going to come forward and identify them.  That is not in the interests of society.  We‘re not trying to protect the predators.  We need to protect the prey, the victims. 

CARLSON:  And of course, I agree with you on your broad point.  We need to protect people who are victimized and not those who do the victimizing. 

On the other hand, victims of crime are named in the press.  If someone is shot to death or wounded in an armed robbery, say, or in a dispute, messy crimes, this person is named across the board.  Why do victims or people who allege they are victims of sexual assault, why do they get anonymity?

FILAN:  Well, victims of sexual assault are often ashamed, humiliated, embarrassed.  Don‘t forget that this crime has carried a stigma for the victim far more than it has for the rapist...

CARLSON:  Right.

FILAN:  ... throughout the years.  And what we‘ve tried to do to balance this out is say to victims you can come forward under the protection of anonymity, so that we‘re not protecting the criminals.  We‘re not protecting the predators.

I think your problem in this case is I think maybe you‘ve bought into some of the defense spin and maybe they‘re right, we don‘t know.  But we know that a grand jury has heard evidence and has returned indictments.  Given that, let the criminal justice process take its course. 

CARLSON:  Absolutely.  And I think we ought to.  I‘m not buying into defense spin, but I‘ve been accused of rape.  I was accused of rape by a viewer three years ago, who I never met, still haven‘t seen to this day.  But she went to the district attorney in a city and said that I sexually assaulted her. 

FILAN:  And what happened?  Were you indicted?

CARLSON:  I was not indicted.  I hired a very expensive attorney, Bob Bennett, in fact, who‘s been hired by some of these boys, paid money out of my own pocket to prove that she was a mental patient, right?  She was an accountant.  And I mean, without getting into my story, let me just say it opened my eyes to the possibility that there are people who make false accusations. 

FILAN:  Absolutely. 

CARLSON:  My point is there is a cost to those accusations. 

FILAN:  Absolutely.

COLMES:  And the men in this case are having their lives destroyed by virtue of the fact they‘re on television and their names are connected with the phrase sexual assault.  But why aren‘t we giving them the benefit of the doubt that we give to the accuser?

FILAN:  Because they‘ve got constitutional protections in place.  They are presumed innocent.  Their reputations shouldn‘t, in theory, be besmirched simply because they‘re accused.  It‘s only...

CARLSON:  Wait a second, wait a second.  But you just said a second ago that the reason we don‘t name the accuser—who incidentally, is an adult.  She‘s a big girl.  She‘s a stripper.

FILAN:  She didn‘t ask for this. 

CARLSON:  I‘m not saying...

FILAN:  It doesn‘t matter how old she is.  She didn‘t ask for this. 

She‘s a stripper, that means you get to rape her?

CARLSON:  I‘m not suggesting—I‘m not suggesting that she did for a moment.  Of course not.  I‘m merely saying she‘s an adult, let‘s not treat her like a child. 

FILAN:  We‘re not treating her like a child.  We‘re treating her like a victim of rape...

CARLSON:  Of course we are.  We are...

FILAN:  Which is a very invasive, embarrassing, demeaning, embarrassing crime. 

CARLSON:  I‘m not in any way—of course, it goes without saying—defending rape or blaming the victim.  I‘m merely saying if you‘re going to charge people, accuse people of committing the most reviled crime you can commit, short of child molestation, you have a moral obligation to stand up and say, “I‘m the one doing the accusing.” 

You are not a child.  You‘re an adult.  Stand up and act like one. 

FILAN:  Her moral obligation is to press charges and pursue the complaint and testify in a court of law.  That‘s not going to be a sealed proceeding.  That‘s open to the public.  At that point we will all hear her testimony if it ever comes to that.  But up and until that point she is entitled to be shielded from the humiliation, the pain, and the embarrassment. 

Otherwise, if we‘re going to out all rape victims, we‘re going to pretty much be giving defendants a carte blanche to say they can...

CARLSON:  What do you mean?  What do you mean, out rape victims?  We‘re not outing rape victims.  Look, the government, as it should, prosecutes rapists.  It doesn‘t prosecute them hard enough.  It doesn‘t send them to prison long enough, as far as I‘m concerned.

I‘m merely saying she is casting aspersion publicly on people, and we are protecting her anonymity.  That seems to be slanting the playing field in a way that‘s deeply unfair.  You get to accuse me or something that destroys my life, whether it‘s true or not, and I can‘t even know your name.  That‘s not fair. 

FILAN:  But you‘re assuming that‘s a false accusation. 

CARLSON:  I‘m not assuming.  I‘m not assuming that at all.  I‘m merely saying we ought have an equal playing field.  That‘s all I‘m saying.  It may be totally true.  I‘m just defending the Duke guys.  They may have done it, in which case they ought to rot in jail.  I‘m just saying it ought to be fair. 

FILAN:  But it is fair, Tucker.  I don‘t understand how you can say that it‘s unfair.  Why does she—she‘s standing up.  She‘s doing her moral duty.  She‘s cooperating with the district attorney.  Her testimony went before the grand jury.  She is going to have to testify at trial.  She‘s not...

CARLSON:  Do you know who‘s cooperating with the district attorney.  We are cooperating with the district attorney, in the press.  We are playing along with the D.A. in this and every other case.  We always assume the prosecution is correct.  In white collar crime or any crime, we‘re on the prosecution‘s side, and I think we should stop.  We‘re the press.  We ought to be impartial.

FILAN:  Well, I don‘t disagree with that.  I don‘t think we should take sides.

CARLSON:  Good, me too.  On that we agree.  Susan, thanks for joining us. 

FILAN:  It‘s a pleasure. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, as Donald Rumsfeld continues to reject calls for his resignation, President Bush vows to make the final call on the defense secretary.  Bush calls himself the decider.  What does that mean, exactly?  What would he do to decide with Iran?

Plus, do sex offender registries endanger the lives of ex-cons?  A grisly murder scene in Maine has some saying yes it does.  We‘ll explain. 

And Tom and Katie bring a baby into this world.  Does that child have any idea what it‘s gotten itself into?  We‘ll discuss it when THE SITUATION comes right back, but stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I have strong confidence in Don Rumsfeld.  I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation.  But I‘m the decider and I decide what is best, and what‘s best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  That was President Bush earlier today, striking back at critics of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.  The secretary himself said he hasn‘t considered quitting.  But with Washington buzzing with Rumsfeld and the so-called general‘s revolt, can anything calm the storm. 

Joining me now from Washington is the answer: MSNBC political analyst,  Pat Buchanan?

PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC ANALYST:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Have you noticed the president often declares himself the decider, the man in charge.  It makes you wonder, why does he need to keep saying that?

BUCHANAN:  Well, I don‘t know he needs to keep saying that.  But I do agree with what he did last Friday, Tucker. 

When you‘ve got generals, five or six in a row, suddenly telling the commander in chief you‘ve got to get rid of your war minister, this has aspects of a generals‘ coup.  And the president of the United States, even if he‘s thinking of getting rid of Rumsfeld, could not do it at that point. 

So I think the president did the right thing in cutting it off and not being stampeded into firing Rumsfeld.  I think Rumsfeld is probably more secure.  If I were the president I would say that‘s done.  That‘s decided, let‘s move on.  You don‘t need to do what he did today. 

CARLSON:  How much do you think, looking at this as objectively as you can, how much of the animus towards Rumsfeld has to do with Iraq?  And how much of it precedes Iraq and has to with his attempts to restructure the Pentagon?

BUCHANAN:  I got to believe these—look, these are—General Zinni I respect a great deal, and he came out well before the war and he‘s argued this case.  And he continues to argue it, I think, credibly and honorably.

CARLSON:  Yes, I agree. 

BUCHANAN:  Some of these other folios who served, you‘ve got to ask, look, if Rumsfeld was really interfering with the war and losing it, why didn‘t they stand up like others and say so and really have an impact?  Why did they wait until after they‘re gone?

Secondly, a number of them say, you know, Rumsfeld didn‘t listen to me.  Now does that mean he didn‘t listen to you or he listened to you and disagreed with you and decided otherwise?

CARLSON:  Yes.

BUCHANAN:  So I would differentiate among the generals, but you cannot, even as honorable as they are—and frankly, they‘re obviously going to hurt us abroad, because it looks like they‘re saying to the commander in chief, if you don‘t replace your war minister, you‘re going to lose this war. 

CARLSON:  That‘s right.  I agree with you.  I do think, though, that General Zinni‘s criticism is particularly worth paying attention to.

BUCHANAN:  Right.

CARLSON:  It‘s smart. 

What do you think of the conversation that‘s been going on about Iran?  The president today was asked at this press availability would you be willing to use nuclear weapons of some kind against Iran?  He said no option is off the table. 

Does it remind you of the kind of rhetoric we were hearing in the run-up to the war in Iraq?

BUCHANAN:  It does remind me of the rhetoric.  But the preliminary actions, if you will, Tucker don‘t.  I remember, you could see the gleam in the president‘s eye.  Time of Iraq, you saw those troops and those armored divisions, all those guys moving over there.  I knew he was going to do it. 

I don‘t know whether he‘s going to do it now.  But there‘s a tremendous question here.  The president says military option‘s on the table.  He can‘t put war on the table. 

The Congress of the United States has got to put war on the table.  And as far as I know they haven‘t authorized him to wage a preemptive or preventive war on Iran. 

And that raises a question, where is the Congress of the United States?  They all said, you know, we were misled.  We were deceived.  That‘s why we gave him a blank check. 

Well, here the president is, threatening war, and the Congress of the United States is on its fourth or fifth vacation this year alone.  They ought to come back here, hold hearings on whether Iran does have this stuff -- we don‘t know whether they do or not—and whether the president has the authority to take us to war before we go to war. 

CARLSON:  That is an excellent point.  If we do go to war in Iran and members of Congress complain about, I want to pull up this tape of you saying that and use it to confront them with it. 

Speaking finally of Congress, you‘re a great barometer on the mood in Washington and what people think is going to happen.  What do you think is going to happen in the midterms?  There have been a number of stories in the last 24 hours about how Republicans are really worried that Bush‘s unpopularity is going to drag down the party.  Do you think those are valid worries?

BUCHANAN:  I think it really is for the Republicans.  They must be—the president, when you saw the hard opposition to him, disapproval 60, hard disapproval something like 47 percent.  And 15-point advantage for the Democrats. 

I think if the election were held today, they would throw the Republicans out of office in the House and maybe even in the Senate. 

But I think what the president is going to do and what he ought to do, Tucker, is make this—say, “Look, our guys made mistakes.  We‘re only here six years, something‘s have been done wrong.   But take a look at what they‘re offering. 

And point out who‘s going to be in charge of these committees, what their policies are going to be on taxes, how we‘re not going to get another Alito, another Roberts.  And really turn it into a red state-blue state battle, because that‘s a better fight than do you like George Bush right now. 

CARLSON:  Yes, two words: Nancy Pelosi.  Michael Moore for Supreme Court.  You‘re right.  That‘s a winner.  Pat Buchanan, in Washington, thanks a lot, Pat. 

BUCHANAN:  OK, Tucker.  Take it easy. 

CARLSON:  Still ahead, a gang of men beats the tar out of a security guard in Las Vegas.  We‘ve got the tape and we‘ll show you the whole thing when we come back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time to check out THE SITUATION “Crime Blotter.” 

First up, shocking video of a brutal beating in Las Vegas in a parking lot.  A gang of young thieves pulled a hotel maintenance worker out of his golf cart and stopped him as he struggled to get away.  The man was able to get up and walk back to his cart someone.  He‘s recovering now from a broken jaw and a smashed collarbone.  Vegas cops are searching for the thugs who also stole his cell phone. 

CARLSON:  Next, an actual developments in the case of missing teenager Natalee Holloway.  Aruban prosecutors say a 19-year-old man arrested over the weekend is being held on suspicion of involvement in her disappearance nearly a year ago. 

The suspect has not been charged with a crime, but prosecutors are planning to hold him for at least eight days, they say.  The Aruban newspaper “Diario” identifies the man as Geoffrey Van Cromvoirt.  He‘s the brother of a local cop. 

And finally, it is ever a good idea to drive an SUV the wrong way down a crowded street.  Police here in Boston shot and wounded a suspect doing just that today. 

The vehicle had been reported stolen, and when officers tried to make a traffic stop, the driver sped off, striking three other vehicles, including two unmarked police cars.  Conspiring with the driver because of danger to pedestrians, they said, and motorists.  Suspect now in stable condition with a stomach wound. 

Well, a couple of weeks ago Los Angeles cardinal Roger Mahony pulled the ultimate trump card in the debate over border security.  He implied that God himself supports illegal immigration. 

A new poll shows that the people Mahony purports to speak for don‘t agree at all.  As it turns out, only 1/3 of American Catholics support amnesty for illegal aliens.  That‘s about the same percentage as non-Catholics. 

In other words, American Catholics may like Cardinal Mahony personally, but they‘re not listening to him.  Which should not be surprising, though, since Mahony wasn‘t really talking to American Catholics in the first place. 

Instead, he was making a marketing pitch to his real constituency, illegal aliens.  Because the truth is, American Catholics are abandoning their church by the thousands, driven away by the unforgivable molestation and cover-up scandals of the past 20 years.  The church needs new parishioners in now.  Latin immigrants fit that description.

There‘s noting illegal about any of this.  Just as it‘s not against the law to the Trial Lawyers Association or the Sugar Beet Growers to make their case on Capitol Hill? 

But let‘s be honest about it.  Let‘s make no mistake.  They‘re all just lobbyists. 

Still to come, the Belgians may smear us when we travel abroad, but do Americans really we need something called a “World Citizens” guide telling us how to act.  Of course not.

Plus, it may be fun to play video games on your TV.  But what about watching other people play video games on their TV on your TV?  Major league gaming is about to hit the airwaves.  We‘ll tell you about it, a certain sign of the coming apocalypse, next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, Tom and Katie have their baby.  Buckle your seatbelts.  We‘ll explore the implications of this for the future of our very civilization. 

Plus, one group wants you to stop being an ugly American when you travel abroad.  All they ask is that you completely change who you are fundamentally.  We‘ll show you some of their tips in a moment.  But first, here‘s what else is going on in the world tonight. 

(NEWSBREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back to THE SITUATION, Live from Boston tonight. 

This next story does bother me.  I bet it‘s going to bother you, too.

The State Department has joined forces with American industry to help give, quote, “the ugly American” a makeover.  A booklet called “The World Citizen‘s Guide”, published by a nonprofit group dedicated to boosting our country‘s reputation abroad offers miss manners style advice to Americans traveling overseas. 

The helpful tips include things like keep your voice down, don‘t boast, don‘t argue about politics, don‘t talk about America too much, and my favorite, eat slowly. 

I‘m joined now by a resident expert in foreign travel and etiquette, from Burbank, California, Flavia Colgan.  Flavia, I bet you eat slowly. 

FLAVIA COLGAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  I do pretty much everything I do fast, so I don‘t think I would fare very well on some of these pointers, anyway. 

CARLSON:  Well, I‘m offended—I‘m offended by all of them on a bunch of different levels.  The most basic one is this.  This guide and the outlook that produced it implies that America is to blame for America‘s perception abroad. 

The truth is, people hate us because we‘re powerful.  But we are the most benign nation in the world.  We keep order in this world.  Without us the world descends into chaos, China fills the void, the world is less free.  We‘re a good force.  I think this implies that people hate us because we‘re hatable. 

COLGAN:  Well, I think that it implies that average Americans who are traveling overseas are somehow to blame for this.  And I find it ironic that they‘re sort of taking a sophomoric view. 

I‘m assuming a lot of this is coming out of some of these surveys which have shown that, unlike in the past, when American foreign policy was viewed as a huge positive to international consumers, it‘s now being viewed as a negative. 

And I understand the business community and what they‘re doing here, which is that it underscores an issue that the Iraq war has not just cost us dearly in lives and in money but as these numbers are showing, it‘s costing us—it‘s costing businesses overseas.  It‘s certainly costing in American tourism to the tune of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of American jobs. 

But for these corporations to now get together...

CARLSON:  Hold on.

COLGAN:  ... and make it seem like somehow—somehow the international community‘s view of America, based on the war in Iraq and some of the rhetoric coming out of the Bush administration is all the fault of...

CARLSON:  Right, but it‘s Midwesterners going to EuroDisney that are the problem, right.  But hold on.  Flavia—wait, Flavia.

COLGAN:  It‘s the fault of Iowans going on European vacation.  It‘s ridiculous.

CARLSON:  I agree with that.  And the fact that the State Department apparently is cooperating in this kind of grotesque misrepresentation is offensive and not surprising, because Karen Hughes is behind it, someone who doesn‘t, in my opinion, have the qualifications to be in that job. 

But look, the deeper point is this.  This is not new.  The Iraq war has made us less popular abroad.  There‘s no question, particularly in the Islamic world.  But we‘ve been doing polling on this for decades, literally for decades.  And the United States has been disliked for a very long time.  And its foreign policy has been disliked in certain places in the world for a very long time.  I think we overstate the newness of this. 

COLGAN:  Well, I can only speak to the comparative studies based on this GMI study that came out that was referenced in the same article.  And those studies going back even seven or eight years show that American foreign policy was viewed as a positive. 

I mean, if you‘re talking about certain pockets around the world, I mean, that‘s one thing.  But in terms of...

CARLSON:  I don‘t know.  I wouldn‘t say India is a pocket.  I mean...

COLGAN:  In terms of Canada and Europe—but look, I mean, some of these things are rather silly.  But some of the other suggestions, you know, I don‘t see any problem with them being proactive. 

Some of the suggestions are, for instance, that Americans should learn some foreign languages before they go overseas or that when working overseas they should learn things about the local customs.  And to me, that‘s just, No. 1, it‘s...

CARLSON:  How patronizing is that?

COLGAN:  Exactly.  It seems—it seems like complete common sense.  It is important for us to notice.  I mean, even on a bigger issue, this may seem far reaching, but even on something like the war on terrorism, part of that war is winning the hearts and minds and being able to be vigilant and alert.  And part of being vigilant and alert is understanding cultures and other people‘s languages.  I don‘t see that as a problem. 

CARLSON:  OK, Flavia.  That goes without saying.  But—the very notion that you are a world citizen, this is “The World Citizen‘s Guide”.  No, you‘re an American citizen.  OK?  You are a citizen of a distinct nation with distinct borders and a distinct culture and distinct language.  You‘re not a world citizen. 

This actually suggests that people learn more about soccer, because you know what?  I don‘t know if you knew this, Flavia, but people in Liechtenstein aren‘t so interested in the World Series.  It tells you that.  And learn about soccer.  Maybe learn about the metric system. 

In other words, be embarrassed of who you are.  Be embarrassed of your country or culture.  Why not just go ahead and pretend you‘re Canadian?

COLGAN:  Well, I don‘t—I disagree with that, and I think we should take great pride in being Americans.  I don‘t think there‘s any reason to shun away from that.  Despite some of the moves of the administration, which I can see how some Americans feel uncomfortable with, myself included.  But that doesn‘t mean that the reality of a globalized economy, the reality that our students and our young people are competing against people around the world—this is something that other countries have been doing for years. 

And I see no reason why America, in terms of not only being a great neighbor or citizen in the world is important, but also in terms of the bottom line.  Do you think these businesses are doing it just because it‘s fun?  They‘re doing it because they think that it affects their bottom line, which I think it does. 

CARLSON:  They do it—they do it for the same reason they hired diversity consultants, and they have H.R. departments, because they‘re stupid.  That‘s actually the truth about a lot of American business.  It‘s run by dumb people who follow the herd and do whatever some consultant tells them to.  They‘re not smart people who follow the most efficient path to get to the bottom line.  They‘re just followers, like everyone else, in my view.  Just my view. 

Flavia Colgan, thanks for joining us. 

COLGAN:  Thank you so much, Tucker. 

We turn now to a man who never travels without his disposable camera, his fanny pack and his New York Yankees T-shirt, and that‘s just for trips to Jersey, he‘s the outsider, ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host Max Kellerman -- Max. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO:  Where is this Jersey you speak of, Tucker?

CARLSON:  It‘s a little bit west of Lower Fifth Avenue where you are. 

KELLERMAN:  I think a minute, actually. 

CARLSON:  All right.  Most states post the identities and locations of known sex offenders on the Internet as a public service to their citizens.  But are these web sites as dangerous as the sex offenders themselves?  Some people say they are. 

Nineteen-year-old Stephen Marshall shot and killed two convicted sex offenders on Maine Sunday morning.  Police found no connection between the two men, expect that Marshall had logged onto Maine‘s sex offender registry web site and sought information about his victims as well as 32 other people.

Maine temporarily shut down the web site after the incident.  Critics say readily available details about sex offenders inspire vigilante justice. 

Look, Max, clearly these web sites help this whacko in his quest to kill people.  But so would a phone book.  So would Switchboard.com, right?  If you want to stay off the offender‘s list, don‘t molest children, A. 

B, just because this is a means for people to do bad things doesn‘t mean it itself is bad.  Kids are kidnapped walking to school.  We don‘t outlaw walking to school.

CARLSON:  Well, it‘s different because you‘re singling them out and saying—sex offenders are not even the worst kind of criminals.  Right?  The worst kind of criminals are murderers.  Why isn‘t there a registry for murderers?  Why for a lesser crime? Because it‘s socially popular to have a registry. 

I disagree with that.  Some murderers are justified.  They may be immoral, they may be illegal, but they‘re understandable.  If I catch you shooting on my wife, and I shoot you, that‘s bad, I guess, but everybody would understand it.

CARLSON:  I‘m glad you brought up that point.  Let‘s talk about an understandable sex offender.  The 24-year-old who was killed was 24, his girlfriend was two weeks shy of her 16th birthday.  In Kentucky, no one bats an eye.  In Maine, who‘s to say Kentucky is wrong and Maine is right. 

I think you raise an important point.  I agree with you completely.  If we‘re going to demonize sex offenders, we have to make sure they met a high threshold in order to call them that.  They have to be molesting children, and real children, not just young girlfriends.  I totally agree with you.  But if they‘re really sex offenders, I think they should be on the site. 

KELLERMAN:  If you‘re molesting children no one‘s going to have a lot of sympathy for you. 

CARLSON:  Yes, exactly.

All right.  It‘s one thing to play video games.  It happens. But I think all decent people have to draw the line at watching other people play video games on television. 

Major League Gaming, the word‘s largest video game league, has announced a deal to air seven one-hour episodes of competitive gaming on the USA Network, which incidentally, is part of the NBC Universal family.  We‘re part of that, too.

In other words, viewers will be tuning in to watch people play video games.  This is so incredible I can hardly wrap my brain around it, except to say yuck.  Max, meanwhile can‘t wait to settle in and watch people he doesn‘t know play Ms. Pacman.

What kind of—I mean, I don‘t want to alienate our viewers here—this is a democratic medium—but what kind of loser would you have to be to watch other people play video games?  I mean, that‘s so passive, you‘re basically almost dead. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, Tucker, I hate to tell you, Ms. Pacman is no longer cutting edge video game.  The Xbox 360 has games where it looks better than great animation.  It‘s incredible to look at. 

And haven‘t you ever seen the movie “The Last Star Fighter”?  “The Last Star Fighter”, the premise was, from, like, 20 years ago.

CARLSON:  OK.

KELLERMAN:  The kid in the middle of nowhere is just great at this video game.  And it turns out the video game is actually this intergalactic test to find a great star fighter to save the universe, and he‘s transported to this world.  And because he‘s so great at the game, he saves the universe. 

I mean—and back then it was, you know, come on.  But nowadays, I believe that if you find the kid who‘s the greatest there is at a space video game on Xbox 360, there‘s a very good chance he could save the universe, Tucker.  These games are out of control. 

CARLSON:  I—I absolutely believe that, just as if we found the most brilliant physicist in the world, he might be able to help us cure cancer.  But I would not want to spend six hours on my couch watching him draw his formulas on a chalk board, OK?  So in other words, while I can appreciate the talent of these gamers, the idea that I would watch them in my spare time is insane. 

KELLERMAN:  Ah, the magic of the marketplace, Tucker.  We will find out if it‘s a good idea or not.  Won‘t we?

CARLSON:  You know what?  And you know as well as I do this is going to get huge numbers, dwarfing our ratings.  And we‘ll be proved wrong once again.  And you right.  Max Kellerman, thank you. 

KELLERMAN:  It feels great to be outdone by—by animated characters, doesn‘t it? 

CARLSON:  Not for the first time.

KELLERMAN:  By the way, no one talked to Tucker‘s wife.  Don‘t even look at her twice.

CARLSON:  Exactly, that‘s right.  I‘ve got an itchy trigger finger. 

Stay away from her.

Coming up on THE SITUATION tonight, Demi Moore is the seasoned predator, Ashton Kutcher, her husband anyway, he‘s the vulnerable young prey.  That‘s the idea between behind cougar hunting, where older women declare open season on much younger men.  We‘ll explain this trend coming to a singles bar near you when THE SITUATION rolls on. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANESSA MCDONALD, PRODUCER:  Coming up, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are proud parents tonight.  Was it a boy or a girl?  What‘s the baby‘s name?  And who‘s the father?  All your questions are answered when THE SITUATION returns in just 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  We‘re in Boston tonight. 

The idea of older women dating younger men is nothing new, but these days those women are organized.  They even have a name for themselves.  They‘re called cougars.  They prowl the cities and the countrysides in search of young prey. 

My next guest says there are quite a lot of them out there.  Valerie Gibson is the sex and relationship columnist for “The Toronto Sun”.  She‘s also the author of “Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men”.  Ms. Gibson joins us tonight from Toronto, Canada. 

Valerie Gibson, welcome. 

VALERIE GIBSON, AUTHOR, “COUGAR”:  Hi. 

CARLSON:  Now, what do older women want with younger men?

GIBSON:  Guess.  They want everything.

CARLSON:  Well, that‘s kind of what I‘m thinking.  This is kind of the scintillating conversation. 

GIBSON:  They want everything. 

CARLSON:  An insight into what younger kids are doing?

GIBSON:  They want fun.  Well, the whole thing about why they want younger men, because the younger men are full of life and optimism.  They‘ve got stamina.  They‘re very sexy; they‘re good-looking.  They‘re young, young, young.  It‘s what men have known about young women for centuries. 

CARLSON:  Right.  So basically when women get to be older, they turn into the equivalent of young men.  Like all they care at that point is sex.  Is that what you‘re saying?

GIBSON:  No, not at all. 

CARLSON:  That‘s good. 

GIBSON:  I think what happens—yes.  What happens is today, particularly, women are fit.  They‘re single.  They‘re independent.  They‘ve got their money, their cars, their condos and they probably had a marriage or two—I‘ve had five—hell, you don‘t want to get tied down again. 

So you have a good time with just a good-looking young man on your arm.  And it‘s great fun for both parties.  The young men love it, the older women love it.  And it works.           

CARLSON:  Just looking for a game of couch ball, huh?  Who gets the better deal, the cougar or her prey?

GIBSON:  It‘s about equal.  It‘s about 50/50.  The young man gets a world of an interesting woman who‘s very good in bed, very interesting to talk to.  She‘s sophisticated.  She knows her way around life.  She doesn‘t, you know, want to marry you the next day, the next morning.  You know?  It‘s so much fun. 

CARLSON:  Boy, you‘re painting a pretty rosy, appealing picture.  Now, you write about the potential pitfalls of this kind of relationship. 

GIBSON:  Oh, yes.

CARLSON:  And one of them, obviously, is the mom. 

GIBSON:  Yes.

CARLSON:  In some of these cases the mother of the man might be as old as the cougar herself.  The two would be uncomfortable if they met.  How do you avoid that?

GIBSON:  You avoid it at all costs.  Because—but if you have to, dress down.  Dress down.  Don‘t treat her little boy like a baby.  He‘s man and he‘s there for one good reason. 

So I always advise cougars to try and not meet the mother, if they can.  She‘s usually the same age or five years older.  But if so, just be charming, look happy, and keep hold of his arm. 

GIBSON:  I think that‘s solid advice.  What‘s the—what‘s the age threshold for cougars?  I mean, at what point do they stop their predatory behavior?

GIBSON:  Well, if they‘ve got any sense, the day they die, just like guys.  You know?  But the whole point about cougars is they started out being 40-plus, when I wrote that book, but now it‘s sort of spread now.  It‘s anyone who dates someone younger.  Someone who chooses to date younger.  That‘s the option.  It‘s an option that mid-life, late life women choose to do.  And that‘s up to them.  And I think it‘s a great option.  Why not?  Why be single and alone?  And why be single with a guy who is impotent?

CARLSON:  I couldn‘t agree more. 

GIBSON:  So with a young man.

CARLSON:  So who are your favorite celebrity cougars?  Who‘s sort of a role model for you?

GIBSON:  Well, I think Demi Moore.  Everybody says that.  She married her younger man.  I did, too.  My last husband, the fifth one, was 14 years younger.  It‘s great.

And I‘m a great fan of Joan Collins, actually.  She started the whole thing.  She‘s I think 70, married to someone 39, and really she went through the whole storm of, really, condemnation from society.  And she weathered it well, I thought. 

There‘s plenty of them.  Susan Sarandon, what a lovely woman.  Sophisticated.  Goldie Hawn.  There‘s loads of them, all dating, marrying, whatever, younger men.  Because they themselves are vital and full of life and they attract younger man.  And if I may interrupt, Tucker...

CARLSON:  Yes.

GIBSON:  ... that‘s what‘s happening.  The trend now is for the younger men to chase the older women.  They‘re called cougar hunters. 

CARLSON:  I think that is—if I can interject as a man here, I think that‘s—that‘s been going on for quite some time, as far as I remember.  But I appreciate your bringing it... 

GIBSON:  Yes, but they‘re very open about it now. 

CARLSON:  Yes, they are. 

GIBSON:  And we appreciate that. 

CARLSON:  Valerie Gibson, thanks very much. 

GIBSON:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Still ahead on THE SITUATION, news to big you really should consult your physician before you hear it.  Are you ready?  We deliver the earth-shattering Tom and Katie news on “The Cutting Room Floor.” 

But first a Tuesday night reading from “The Existential Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld.”  That‘s a compilation of the defense secretary‘s public comments transformed into verse.  This one‘s more like haiku, quote, “Opinions polls go up and down.  They spin, like weather vanes.  They‘re interesting, I suppose.  I don‘t happen to look.”

Powerful.  We‘ll be right back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time now for “The Cutting Room Floor,” Willie Geist, again, left behind back at the fort, MSNBC global headquarters. 

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER:  Glad it‘s funny to you, Tucker.  Glad it‘s funny to you.

CARLSON:  Sorry, Willie. 

GEIST:  I want to get cougar hunted.  You ever been cougar hunted?

CARLSON:  No, I never have been.  But if I had been, I wouldn‘t admit it on this program.  But I like the idea.

GEIST:  I loved your—I love your question: what are these women looking for with younger men?  What do you think they‘re looking for, Tucker?

CARLSON:  I love that.  I love that.  I mean, it‘s just women as you‘ve never seen them before.  Very appealing.

GEIST:  Cougar hunting, I‘m into it.

CARLSON:  Well, the long national nightmare is over tonight.  Katie Holmes—Colmes (ph) mercifully ended her interminable pregnancy by giving birth to a baby girl today.  Holmes and fiance Tom Cruise welcomed into the world a seven pound, seven ounce girl named Suri, or “surry” or “sur-ree” - - S-U-R-I. 

No other details immediately available.  We do know Holmes was expected to give a silent birth in accordance with the rules of Scientology.  The baby and father are said to be doing well in Los Angeles, as is the mom. 

GEIST:  And so the countdown begins to the “E! True Hollywood Story”.  We could—we could script this whole thing, starting right now.  I don‘t want to get into it.  I don‘t want to jinx the poor little soul, but this is not going to go well.  I can promise you that.

Tucker, there‘s one other interesting bit of irony here.  Brooke Shields also had her baby today. 

CARLSON:  Really?

GEIST:  Remember Tom Cruise criticized her for taking drugs for postpartum and lectured us on “The Today Show”?  They had the babies on the same day.  I don‘t know what that means, but it happened.

CARLSON:  I‘d be betting on Brooke‘s baby over Tom‘s baby. 

GEIST:  Yes.  More stability in the home, I would think. 

CARLSON:  Yes, I would say. 

No mortal man can ever know God‘s intentions, of course, but we‘re pretty certain the Almighty‘s purposes does not involve R&B singer Mary J.  Blige and her bling.  Blige tells “Blender” magazine, quote, “My god is a god who wants me to have things.  He wants me to bling.  The god I serve says, ‘Mary, you need to be the hottest thing this year‘.” 

God, meanwhile, could not be reached for comment tonight. 

GEIST:  I wish God would tell me things like that.  He tells me to take out the trash and clean up my life. 

CARLSON:  Right.

GEIST:  But I think a lot of these celebrities misinterpret God‘s love.  It‘s more of a—it‘s a bigger concept.  It‘s not quite as specific to you and your material needs.  He loves you, but not as it pertains to your rings and necklaces. 

CARLSON:  You don‘t think so?

GEIST:  No.  Not the way I interpret it, anyway.

CARLSON:  Boy, you‘re a tough preacher, Willie.  You‘re like a fundamentalist.  It‘s unbelievable.

GEIST:  I am. 

CARLSON:  Well, you‘re either looking at a horrible deadly car accident or an awe-inspiring performance by world class competitive drivers.  We generally don‘t broadcast deadly car accidents, so this is the latter. 

It‘s called rollover competition.  Drivers get going at full speed and then drive one side of a car up the ramp to flip it over.  The person who rolls his car over the most times, and does it with the most style, wins. 

GEIST:  Tucker, this is in London, but it‘s happening all over America.  It‘s great entertainment.  You can see it on ESPN 7 or one of these channels.  It‘s actually very good.  They have school bus demolition.  We‘re mired in movies and sports.  This is where entertainment is at. 

That‘s the future right there. 

CARLSON:  They‘re getting better numbers than we are. 

Well, there‘s a right way and a wrong way to steal an ATM machine.  I can‘t think of a right way, actually.  But I know the wrong way is to do it with a backhoe.

GEIST:  Yes.

CARLSON:  A Kansas City man used heavy machinery to break into a convenience store yesterday and steal an ATM.  He drove off with the ATM in the backhoe, but as you can imagine, cops caught up pretty quickly. 

GEIST:  Tucker, this is the most heavy handed burglary in the history of burglary.  Why don‘t you just take it all the way and use an armored personnel carrier?  Call it an air strike.  Why not?  I discourage people generally from stealing ATMs.  It‘s a good rule of thumb.  Really hard to get out.

CARLSON:  I do, too, but this is—this is a man with vision, and I kind of respect that. 

GEIST:  Short sighted vision, but vision nonetheless.  You weren‘t going to really outrun the cops in a backhoe. 

CARLSON:  No, you weren‘t.

Willie Geist.

GEIST:  All right, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Thanks. 

GEIST:  See you tomorrow. 

CARLSON:  That‘s THE SITUATION tonight from Boston.  Thanks for watching as always.  We‘ll see you 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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