updated 5/9/2006 11:49:03 AM ET 2006-05-09T15:49:03

Guests: Mark Shurtleff, Al Sharpton, Jeffrey Klausner, Max Kellerman, Christopher Cihlar

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Thank you, Rita.  I appreciate it.

Thanks to you at home for tuning in.  Good to have you with us, as always. 

Tonight, kids as young as 12 years old getting sex advice in text messages, not from the neighborhood pervert.  It‘s from the government. 

Also ahead the battle over the government‘s choice for top spy.  Will it be yet another defeat for the Bush White House?  We‘ll tell you.

Plus whatever happened to David Blaine?  The master illusionist has spent the last week submerged under water in a fish tank in Manhattan.  Then he attempted to hold his breath for a record nine minutes.  Did he make it?  We go live to that scene for a full report in just a few minutes. 

But first, the hunt for Warren Jeffs.  The leader of the polygamist Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has made the FBI‘s list of top 10 most wanted fugitives.  And he‘s got some dangerous company on that list.  Murderers, armed robberies, drug traffickers, sex offenders and, of course, Osama bin Laden himself.  Violent criminals, all, but is a polygamist a danger to the general public?

Here to answer that question, Utah attorney general, Mark Shurtleff. 

He joins us tonight from Salt Lake City.  Thanks for coming on.

MARK SHURTLEFF, UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL:  Good evening, Tucker.  Thanks for doing the show.

CARLSON:  I‘m not in any way defending polygamy or anything Mr. Jeffs is accused of doing.  However, this man is not a threat to the average person walking down the street in the same way an armed robber or rapist or Osama bin Laden is.  What‘s he doing on the FBI‘s top 10 list?

SHURTLEFF:  You have to understand that he has in his control 10,000 lives, souls who he has repeatedly abused and victimized over the last decade.  He has forced young girls into marrying older men.  He has taken people‘s property.  He has broken up homes.  He‘s kicked young boys out into the desert.  And he has been charged in Utah for child rape. 

CARLSON:  He sounds like a weirdo.  But it‘s voluntary, as far as I understand it.  These families—the situation he presides over, is a voluntary one, isn‘t it?  I mean, the people who live in the community of which he is head live there by choice.  They‘re not forced by law to live there.  The parents of these girls offer up their daughters to Mr. Jeffs and his accomplices.  It‘s their fault, too.  I‘m not exactly sure why he‘s a threat to the general public?

SHURTLEFF:  He‘s a threat to a lot of people and a lot of individuals.  And that‘s what we‘re looking at.  He, right now, because he‘s been thumbing his nose—excuse me—at the law these many years, because he‘s alone and has access to all kinds of children, to numbers of women.  He has reportedly 60 plus wives.  He can do anything he wants. 

And he‘s committed crimes, we believe, against children and women and will continue to do so until he‘s brought to justice.  There are other rapists.  There are other child sexual abusers on the 10 most wanted list.  The reason why we believe we needed this and we‘re grateful to the FBI for doing this, Tucker, is that he‘s unique among desperadoes and bad guys in that he has an entire organization of security officers, unlimited cash, every ability to move about and to put it—be hidden in safe houses.  And so we really need the assistance of the FBI nationwide. 

CARLSON:  But you know where—I mean, his operation is in a known place.  Why not go in and bust it up?  I mean, there is this community?  Why not go in and raid it?  These are known polygamists.  They hold government office, as far as I know, in the towns that they dominate.  Why not go in and arrest these people?  You know what they‘re doing.

SHURTLEFF:  Well, we‘ve decertified police officers.  We‘ve moved judges.  We have been looking for him, and he‘s not in one place.  I mean, obviously, if we knew where he was, we wouldn‘t be here talking to you, and we wouldn‘t have been putting him on our list. 

CARLSON:  But all his polygamist buddies, you know where they are. 

Why not go and arrest them?

SHURTLEFF:  For what?

CARLSON:  For polygamy.  It‘s illegal.

SHURTLEFF:  First of all, we don‘t have resources to arrest several thousand polygamists.

CARLSON:  How about 100 of them?

SHURTLEFF:  Where do we stop?  You know, I need to do with my resources in the state of Utah, the best use of my resources is to get the worst kind of guys, guys who are forcing girls into marriages, the child rapists, the child abusers, those who are violating people‘s civil rights, treating women like property.  Those are the people we need to focus on, and Warren Jeffs is that man.  That‘s why we‘re...

CARLSON:  Right.  I‘m just making the obvious point.  This is in no way a slur on the state of Utah, which is a great state.  But it does seem like—it seems pretty obvious the state is allowing polygamy to take place within its borders.  Colorado and Arizona are the same.  They‘re not doing too much about it, and you wind up with Warren Jeffs again.  Why not do something about it before this guy becomes the polygamist madman just described?

SHURTLEFF:  The polygamist madman he became is because the state of Utah and Arizona for a long time looked the other way.  When I came into office, I said this is outrageous.  We are not going to turn the other way. 

And we began five years ago now focusing on Warren Jeffs and other people like him who, because they‘ve been left alone, because they have all power, ultimate power in the live of those people, who were brainwashed since the time they were born, to believe that he not only controls their lives, their property, their jobs, their families but he also controls their eternal lives.  And going against him would result in their burning in hell.  It‘s an awesome power he holds and wield it in such a way as to victimize a whole lot of people.  He is a bad guy, and he needs to be brought the justice. 

CARLSON:  Sounds like a pretty sick scene over there.  Thanks a lot for joining us.  Mark Shurtleff.

SHURTLEFF:  Thank you.  You understand over there in a small group of people we‘re going after that man. 

CARLSON:  Thanks.

We turn now to the latest on a shocking incident that was caught partly on tape.  This security video from a Florida juvenile boot camp shows guards restraining a 13-year-old boy called Martin Lee Anderson.  Anderson later died.  Initial autopsy ruled that he died of sickle cell anemia.

The medical examiner who performed a second autopsy said, quote, “Martin Anderson‘s death was caused by suffocation due to actions of the guards at the boot camp.”  That camp has since closed, but no one has been charged yet in the case.

Reverend Al Sharpton wants the guards prosecuted.  He joins us tonight to talk about that case, plus the Duke rape investigation. 

Mr. Sharpton, thanks for coming on.


CARLSON:  I hate to say this, but I think I‘m on your side in this case.  It does seem like the state of Florida allowed this boy to be killed.  Are the guards going to be charged?

SHARPTON:  Well, we hope so.  I think that if the family, and they have some very competent attorneys, had not pursued this and the community, there was marches.  Jesse Jackson and I went down. 

Had there not been a real question in this case, this case would have been closed.  The first autopsy said a sickle cell trait, something that is physically impossible, caused his death. 

So I think that this is one that is already a victory for the families, the communities and the legislators.  I hope now that these guards are charged, because clearly now you have an autopsy from the medical examiner saying they caused the death, and I hope they‘re brought to justice. 

CARLSON:  I hope they are, too.  I hope they‘re charged, and I think they will be.  I guess the one thing that gives me pause here, with all due respect, is your involvement in it.  Because it makes it seem like a civil rights case rather than simply a criminal case, which is what it is.  Why is there a civil rights component to this?

SHARPTON:  I think had the case operated like a criminal case, if the medical examiner had a medical examination, not fabricated something that is medically impossible—sickle cell trait does not cause death—then it would not have been a civil rights case. 

I think you must remember, when he died, the family didn‘t reach out to any of us.  It was when there was appearing to be a cover up which is robbing him of his rights, well guess what, Tucker, that is a civil rights violation.  That‘s when she reached out to attorneys.  That‘s when we met with Governor Bush.  So we would not have gotten involved if it was a criminal case. 

CARLSON:  You know what?  Save the tape, I‘m on your side on this. 

And I hope you prevail. 

SHARPTON:  You didn‘t used to be right, though.

CARLSON:  Well, I want to change your mind on something, and since I know that you are ever alert to injustice in progress and swoop in and try and change it, I hope your mind is changing about this Duke rape case. 

There‘s a new report tonight that the police, when they originally interviewed the accuser in this case, didn‘t think she was credible because she kept changing her story.  Apparently, this woman initially told police, quote, “She was raped by 20 white men.”  Then she changed her story and said she was attacked by three.

This on the heels of the fact that we learned recently she‘d accused another group of men of rape in another case.  This woman‘s credibility questionable, at best, in tatters, it seems to me.  Don‘t you have questions about the way these boys have been treat?

SHARPTON:  First of all, I think that all of this information that is being methodically leaked, the district attorney had to have, and the district attorney decided to proceed anyway, which makes me wonder whether the leaked information is credible. 

CARLSON:  Wait, wait, wait.  This is the Reverend Al Sharpton saying he implicitly trusts the judgment of a southern D.A.?  Is what you‘re telling me?

SHARPTON:  This is you saying I said that.  What I‘m saying...

CARLSON:  You‘re saying...

SHARPTON:  The D.A.—the D.A. had this, so therefore the credibility of what has been leaked, none of which we know to be true—these are all leaks—must be questioned. 

CARLSON:  This is not a leak.  This is actually from a report written up by Duke University from a panel, not just of Duke employees but of local civil rights leaders or NAACP officials.  And this comes from the police reports.  This woman said she was raped by 20 men initially. 

SHARPTON:  This comes from a panel.  This does not come from police reports. 

CARLSON:  This is they‘re quoting the police report. 

SHARPTON:  They‘re quoting what they say police said.  Obviously, the D.A., if he has made these charges, did his own investigation and didn‘t agree with that.  I mean, we want a case in New York that you are very familiar with named Abner Louima.

CARLSON:  Right.

SHARPTON:  Who had all kinds of questions.  Police didn‘t believe Abner. 

CARLSON:  And you took on governments...

SHARPTON:  In fact the police were the ones who raped and sodomized Abner in a bathroom, like the accusation here.  Those guys are in jail tonight for 32 years. 

CARLSON:  What makes this—and ought to be—ought to be in jail.  But what makes this case interesting in my view, and your approach to it, is you are almost always on the side of the person on whom the weight of the government is coming down.  You are implicitly trusting the government in this case, and I‘m wondering why. 

SHARPTON:  I‘m not implicitly trusting. 

CARLSON:  What‘s the evidence that these guys did anything wrong?

SHARPTON:  What I‘m saying to you is—that was not what you asked me.  You asked me based on a leak of a police report.  That obviously there must have been two interpretations of, or at least a prosecutor doubt it (ph).  That did not say I didn‘t trust either way.  I‘m saying to you that just like you may believe it, you may not believe it.  Apparently the D.A.  didn‘t believe it. 

CARLSON:  This woman said initially she was raped by 20 men.  She changed it later...

SHARPTON:  According to a report...

CARLSON:  From what she told police. 

SHARPTON:  This report may have been from one or two cops that had a bias.  We don‘t know what this is. 

CARLSON:  You know, on the other hand, what?  Three weeks after the event she picked these guys out of a lineup that contained only lacrosse players?  I mean, what exactly is the evidence that these guys did anything wrong?  They didn‘t...

SHARPTON:  There‘s not really any discovery.  There‘s not been a case. 

You‘re asking us to discredit evidence that you don‘t even know what it is. 

CARLSON:  I‘m asking you to weigh available evidence and demand, in your own style, I think you ought to show up in Durham, North Carolina, and camp outside Mike Nifong‘s office. 

SHARPTON:  For one time, I agree with you.  But guess what?  Evidence is not available to you, yet, Tucker.  You‘re trying to argue against unavailable evidence. 

CARLSON:  You‘re giving this guy every...


CARLSON:  My bias—my bias is in favor of the evidence that we have. 

We have a ton of evidence...

SHARPTON:  Which evidence?

CARLSON:  The evidence of...

SHARPTON:  Has there been a presentation of evidence?

CARLSON:  Yes, there has been, in the press, on this show. 

SHARPTON:  So now we try people by press in America?

CARLSON:  We can‘t try them.  It‘s not legally binding.  But we have information that we know is true.  We know this one guy, Reade Seligmann, was not even at the house.  And it‘s provable.

SHARPTON:  That is his position.

CARLSON:  No, no.

SHARPTON:  Then they had some driver who then recanted what he said. 

Let‘s—on the available evidence. 

CARLSON:  Unless the ATM machine is in on a vast conspiracy, we know for certain that the guy wasn‘t there when this rape supposedly took place.

SHARPTON:  According to who when the rape supposedly took place?

CARLSON:  According to the bank. 

SHARPTON:  No, no, no.  Have you heard the time that the accuser has set?  No.  So you‘ve got a time that you assume is the time the accuser is going to give.  Why are you Tucker Carlson, who always say wait and hear everything is going to jump before all the evidence is presented. 

CARLSON:  All the evidence we have no evidence on the side.  And I hope in the end, when this case is dropped, you‘ll come on the show and apologize to the families of those boys.

SHARPTON:  If that is the case, I would say that they are due that.  If it is not, I think that I will present you with a bigger shoe to eat than Hillary Clinton did. 

CARLSON:  And I‘ll gladly eat it. 

SHARPTON:  And I‘ll gladly bring it. 

CARLSON:  The Rev. Al Sharpton, thank you. 

SHARPTON:  You were half right tonight. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, as rumors swirl over the real reason former CIA chief Porter Goss was sent packing, President Bush welcomes in a new nominee.  Is General Michael Hayden the right man for this job?  Should Republicans be worried? 

Plus, a real San Francisco treat.  We‘ll tell you about a new plan that will allow health officials in that city to send text messages of sex advice to teens.  If you did that, you‘d be on the next edition of “Dateline”.  But when government does it, all is well.  We‘ll tell you more, next.


CARLSON:  Still ahead, an ad promoting ethanol in flames.  Arab-Americans will tell you why.

Plus, should college students be required to master swimming—as in water—before they‘re allowed to graduate?  Stay tuned.


CARLSON:  Now for an update from our brave new world department, text messages with sex advice for kids as young as 12.  Before you call the sex crimes unit, keep in mind these messages will be from the government. 

The city of San Francisco, in particular, that city‘s Department of Public Health, is sending sex advice to anybody who texts in a request.  No parental guidance required. 

Dr. Jeffrey Klausner is the director of STD prevention and control services for the San Francisco Department of Public Health.  He joins us from Jacksonville, Florida. 

Dr. Klausner, thanks for coming on.


SAN FRANCISCO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH:  Hi.  Thank you for inviting me tonight.

CARLSON:  So if I started text messaging sexually explicit messages to kids, I would be, correctly, in jail.  Why does the city of San Francisco get to do this?

KLAUSNER:  Well, what we‘re doing is educating young adults.  It‘s the people of San Francisco who have decided it‘s time now to face the continuing increase of STD‘s and HIV in our city in the face of declining information, education, to kind of counteract that with more education and information through a text messaging service called Sex Info.  So if people text Sex Info, S-E-X I-N-F-O, to a number, 36617.  They text Sex Info to 36617, they can deal with every day sexual health problems. 

CARLSON:  Wait a second.  What about—these are children.  These are not—I mean, I understand adults, you know, access to all the sex information they want.  But kids are still under the care and authority of their parents.  Shouldn‘t you go through parents?

KLAUSNER:  Well, in the state of California anyone who is 12 and over and is seeking information or services is protected from state law to get treatment for reproductive health issues, to get information, to get a diagnosis.  So this is all consistent with the state of California‘s recognition of the right of sexually active young adults to get the information and education...

CARLSON:  What about the right of parents to have some control over their kids‘ behavior, though?

KLAUSNER:  They need to stay healthy.  Well, what this does is, hopefully, by educating kids and by giving kids the information about sex, about STD‘s, about Chlamydia, about gonorrhea, about syphilis, this will enable them to have a more informed discussion with their parents, can talk to them on the same level.

CARLSON:  Should I be allowed to text message my thoughts about sex to 12-year-olds?  I mean, no, that‘s creepy.  I mean, it‘s creepy.  Twelve-year-olds, you know, should be—their behavior ought to be circumscribed by their parents, not by some bureaucrat.  Don‘t you think?  I mean, it does cut parents out completely. 

KLAUSNER:  Well, I‘m a parent and I have three children, and unfortunately, I recognize the reality that children and young adults may be sexually active.  And sometimes they won‘t talk to their parents.  And we as a society need to provide them the information, the education and tools for them to be sexually healthy. 

CARLSON:  That‘s such a crock.  And you know it.  Hold on.  You know that.

KLAUSNER:  We have denied our children that right. 

CARLSON:  That‘s so untrue.  No, but you—that‘s so untrue.  All this talk about education will prevent people from spreading sexually transmitted diseases is a lie.  I mean, we have more education about sex now than we‘ve ever had, and STD rates are growing in certain places. 

Everybody knows wearing a condom prevents a lot of these diseases.  And some people just choose not to wear condoms.  I mean, there‘s a lot of study about this, as you know, because you do it for a living.  Education doesn‘t necessarily prevent the transmission of these diseases. 

KLAUSNER:  Well, I think you know we do know that condoms are highly effective at preventing the transmission of STD‘s and HIV.  But unfortunately, our government is now investing in miseducation and misinformation and telling people that abstinence is the only way to prevent STDs. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t know.

KLAUSNER:  We need to tell people where to get tested, about getting a Chlamydia test every year if they‘re sexually active and under 25, it‘s the right thing to do.  About where to go if you‘re having problems with sexual abuse or sexual power imbalances in a relationship.  And we need to give people the same tools they have in Europe and elsewhere around the world to maintain a sexually healthy and active lifestyle. 

CARLSON:  Well, if you e-mail my 12-year-old about sex, I think it‘s fair to come to your office and beat you up, don‘t you think?

KLAUSNER:  Well, I think the way this text message system works is that your 12-year-old is going to use the text service to text Sex Info to 36617. 

CARLSON:  OK.  The thought is so creepy I can‘t let you give the number out again.  I‘m sorry.  I still think any bureaucrat who e-mails sex messages to 12-year-olds ought to get in be trouble, but I‘m not in control in California. 

KLAUSNER:  Well, it‘s about comprehensive sex education, and comprehensive sex education does not exist routinely in every place in the country. 

CARLSON:  All right.  All right.  Dr. Klausner, thanks for joining us. 

KLAUSNER:  Thank you for listening. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, a corn growers association is being accused of Arab baiting because of a statewide billboard campaign promoting ethanol.  We‘ll show you what all the fuss is about. 

Plus a live report from just outside David Blaine‘s water-filled bubble.  Is the magic man still breathing?  Did he break the world record?  Did he die?  Not to be bunt, but that‘s the question.  The shocking conclusion next. 



GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Mike knows our intelligence community from the ground up.  He has demonstrated an ability to adapt our services to the new challenges to the war on terror.  He‘s the right man to lead the CIA at this critical moment in our nation‘s history. 


CARLSON:  That was President Bush selling his pick for director of central intelligence, Air Force General Michael Hayden.  The nomination drew fire from both sides of the aisle today, even before it was official. 

Critics say General Hayden could be the latest scar in the CIA plague (ph) of intelligence failures and the sudden yet unexplained resignation of CIA chief Porter Goss.  Was General Hayden the right man for the job, and will he get a fair shake at his confirmation hearing?

Joining us now to talk about all of this, our old friend, Air America radio host Rachel Maddow—Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO HOST:  Hi, Tucker.  Nice to see you.

CARLSON:  Nice to see you.  Thank you.

This is such a Washington turf story, but basically Republicans and Democrats are mad because he‘s a military man.  And the feeling is the military is horning in on the CIA‘s intelligence turf. 

And it just seems to me that, with the military in Afghanistan and in Iraq, one of the good things to come out of those wars is our increased ability to gather intelligence where we need to gather it, in the Arab world.  And the fact that he‘s a military guy I don‘t think is bad. 

MADDOW:  Well, it‘s interesting, because one of the things I want from an intelligence director right now after the weapons of mass destruction conflagration, after the 9-11 intelligence disaster, the Porter Goss mistake, one of the things I want to know—I mean, first of all, I want to know that he can‘t be bribed with hookers.  That‘s very important, and I hope they ask him about that. 

But on the military issue, I want to make sure that there‘s somebody at the CIA who‘s going to be a counter balance to a lot of the dodgy intelligence that‘s been ginned up at the Pentagon under Donald Rumsfeld.  Rumsfeld has really increased military control over intelligence, and it hasn‘t been to good effect for us as Americans and our safety.  So I want there to be a counterbalance for that.  That‘s why it skeeves me out to see a general at the head.

CARLSON:  I don‘t think that that‘s true.  I mean, there was clearly, as you said, a massive screw up prior to the invasion of Iraq.  We thought they had these weapons; they didn‘t.

However, the intelligence gathering since the invasion of Iraq, again, that‘s the good thing to come out of Iraq, a war I don‘t support.  But let‘s be honest: we have gathered intelligence in a way that we have never been able to before.  Prior to Iraq we relied on Israel and Saudi Arabia almost exclusively for our intelligence in the region.  Now we have 150,000 potential intelligence gatherers there.  And that‘s great.

MADDOW:  But the military—I mean, infantry men storming houses in the Sunni Triangle aren‘t necessarily there to gather intelligence.  They‘re there to fight the war on terror. 

CARLSON:  That‘s right, but they wind up gathering intelligence. 

MADDOW:  Well, they do, sure.  But Tucker, we‘ve got a situation where we have military intelligence.  We have a ton of intelligence capacity in the Pentagon, way more than we had before Donald Rumsfeld took over the Pentagon.  They‘ve been really consolidating their power there.  I want there to be a counterbalance.  The CIA is a civilian intelligence agency.  And we ought to have both in the military. 

I mean, Donald Rumsfeld has not proven himself to be the smartest girl in beauty school.  He has not had a great record in terms of his accomplishments as defense secretary.  A lot of people want him to resign, but yet he keeps—it keeps increasing his power over all these areas of government that used to be civilian.  I want to put a stop to that. 

CARLSON:  Do you—I think it‘s a mild overstatement.  But do you think—do you think Democrats are going to take a stand on the Hayden confirmation?  Is it smart for them to try and block his confirmation?

MADDOW:  I think Democrats have already signaled that they may speak out against him, but a lot of Republicans have, too.  The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Pete Hoekstra is the man who said he‘s not the right man for the job.  Other Republicans who are concerned about the idea that we won‘t—will no longer have a counter balance to what Donald Rumsfeld has done to intelligence.  I think that‘s worrying.

Also, he‘s the guy who not only defended the NSA wiretapping scandal.  He‘s the guy who designed it.  That‘s not exactly a case for promotion if you care about the idea that the civil liberties of Americans have been violated by that wiretapping.

CARLSON:  Yes, but I mean, come on.  That‘s—you know, that‘s on Bush.  But is the president, Bush makes the decision, he‘s the decider, as he often says.  If you don‘t like that, you know, you should be mad at Bush, not to question our security now (ph). 

MADDOW:  Tucker, don‘t you think it‘s weird, thought, that—I mean, we want somebody at the CIA who‘s nonpartisan, not involved in the White House spin machine, you know, not going to be—really going to be an independent person. 

They trotted out Hayden and put him on the road show to defend the NSA wiretapping scandal.  He‘s part of what—the whole system of the White House is designed to explain themselves when they go wrong.

CARLSON:  Agency heads defend their agencies. That‘s the way it should be.  You may not like the policy.

MADDOW:  I want the CIA to be defending America, not defending Bush‘s policies.

CARLSON:  I think they are.  Rachel Maddow.  Thank you, Rachel. 

MADDOW:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Still ahead, if you thought Tom Cruise ranting about his attraction to Katie Holmes and Scientology was frightening, and it was, wait until you see his appearance on Black Entertainment Television.  We‘ll bring it to you in all its unedited glory, the only show to do so.  Stay tuned.


CARLSON:  Still to come, a modern day Houdini, magician David Blaine, puts his body to the test, spending a week underwater and capping it off by holding his breath for several minutes.  Did he make history?  Did he make it out alive?  Find out in just a moment, but first, here‘s what else is going on in the world tonight.


CARLSON:  Well, speaking of David Blaine, we turn now to a man who is something of a magician himself.  He was submerged in his hot tub for one week before making a daring escape into his heated swimming pool.  He is “The Outsider,” ESPN radio and HBO Boxing host Max Kellerman. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO HOST:  And my hands are still like prunes, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Boy, how could you do it, Max?  Welcome back to the land of the living.  We‘re proud of you. 

KELLERMAN:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Who would you rather buy your gasoline from, an American farmer or the Saudi royal family?  That‘s the question posed in print ads published by a Missouri corn growers association.  The ads sew a picture of an American farmer next to one of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.  The question, who would you rather buy your gas from?

There‘s also one that shows Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.  Arab groups say the ads are offensive and racist. 

Call me crazy, but I trust the Missouri corn farmer a little bit more than I trust a corrupted Mideastern monarch.  You, as usual, siding with the Saudi royal family.

It‘s almost like a parody of a complaint from an interest group that putting up a billboard asking you who do you trust more, a Missouri farmer or King Fahd?  And you‘re supposed to say, I don‘t know, maybe King Fahd?  I mean, that‘s absurd. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, I have no problem with the ad on the face of it, Tucker.  Just like I wouldn‘t have a problem with an American car company with a Japanese or German scientist, you know, saying buy American, buy Ford instead of, you know, Mercedes or Honda or something. 

But there are two things.  One—at least two things I can think of that are problematic here.  One, the implication with an ad like this is that the product that you‘re selling can‘t compete on its own merits.  It‘s not cost effective.  It doesn‘t work as well.

CARLSON:  Right.

KELLERMAN:  That‘s really the implication or else—because you‘re using it as a selling point, right?  If this is the best selling point you have, people are immediately suspicious of the product.

CARLSON:  Right.

KELLERMAN:  Two, you‘re giving ammunition to American haters for no real good reason here.  There are better ways to sell ethanol—combinations of ethanol and gasoline.

CARLSON:  Well, they hate us because of our religion.  I don‘t think a billboard in Missouri is going make them hate us more than they already hate us.  They hate us.  There‘s no question about that.

KELLERMAN:  We have real issues with, for instance, global warming. 

And in the Arab world, something like this is easily used as propaganda.  It‘s not an environmental issue.  It‘s not an economic issue.  It‘s not an issue about how the product works.  It‘s they don‘t like the Arabs. 

CARLSON:  They make up their propaganda, whether we give them their ammunition for it or not.  I mean, they‘re going hate us.  Reasoning with the unreasonable is a waste of time. 

KELLERMAN:  And that is why I lose the debate, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Thank you, Max.

Well, it‘s graduation-time on America‘s college campuses.  Some students are jumping in the pool to get their diplomas.  A handful of universities still require their students to pass a swimming test before they can graduate.

Notre Dame, the University of North Carolina and MIT—that‘s right, MIT—are among the schools that make certain their graduates can swim when they walk across the stage.  North Carolina is getting rid of the swimming requirement after this year, though. 

I think everyone ought to know how to swim, but it obviously should not be a requirement to graduate from MIT.  Max, on the other hand, believes swimming and kickball form the core of any good liberal arts education. 

Max, look, I mean, I‘m for swimming.  Apparently, the rationale is safety.  Everyone ought to know how to swim.  Yes, everyone ought to know how to drive a car well, but it has nothing to do with a liberal arts education. 

KELLERMAN:  Maybe it should, actually.  I like that kind of.  I‘m going to paraphrase a question you once asked me on this show, Tucker, and this will carry the day.  Are you ready?

CARLSON:  I‘m ready. 

KELLERMAN:  WWTRS, “what would Teddy Roosevelt say”?  You once asked me what would he do.  What would Teddy Roosevelt say here?  I mean, are we evolving into beings that are, it‘s like HAL, the computer in “2001”, where we‘re going to become passive-aggressive computers because we‘re evolving into pure thought?

I mean, isn‘t there a physical component to living in the world, to one‘s education?  Right?  Haven‘t we gotten so far—hasn‘t the physical so marginalized and become so largely irrelevant in higher education that we‘re going soft?

CARLSON:  Boy, that is a really good point, actually.  No, no, that is

a good point.  And in fact we want to inculcate in our students a love of

the outdoors and, you know, vigorous exercise and getting outside and away

from your computer screen, away from your video games, away from constant -

the constant buzz of entertainment and into the great outdoors and dive into a body of water.  Just as Teddy Roosevelt swam in Rock Creek every day naked, even when he was president. 

KELLERMAN:  And you know, Tucker, it‘s beyond even a love for the outdoors.  But it‘s actually physical education.  That‘s why it‘s, you know, Phys Ed., P.E., physical education.  That‘s part of being educated, believe it or not.  It‘s being coordinated.  It‘s being able to handle yourself physically.  And we‘ve gotten too far away from that.

CARLSON:  I‘m crying uncle.  You got me.  You went nuclear.  You pulled out the T.R. card, and I rolled over.  You can scratch my belly.  You win. 

KELLERMAN:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Max Kellerman, thank you.  See you tomorrow. 

Well, unless you‘ve been living underwater in a 2,000-gallon tank for the last two weeks, you know the magician—I guess that‘s what he is—

David Blaine has been living in a water bubble outside New York‘s Lincoln Center since last Monday. 

It was all a buildup to tonight‘s breath-taking escape.  So did he make it out alive?  To all the West Coast viewers, now is the time to turn away if you don‘t want to know the answer. 

We turn, instead, to MSNBC‘s Monica Novotny for a report from New York City—Monica. 

MONICA NOVOTNY, MSNBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Tucker, after two years of preparation, five months of intense training and seven days soaking wet under water, David Blaine did not break the world breath holding record. 

Now he was trying to hold his breath under water for nine minutes while he was attempting to free himself from being locked in 150 pounds of chains. 

So for the first four minutes, everything went well, in fact he wasn‘t doing anything.  He was just in that tank.  It looked like he was putting himself into some sort of meditative state.  That at about four minutes, he got a signal from his trainer, and he started working on the chains. 

He freed himself from all the chains, but at about six and a half minutes, his body started going into convulsions.  Bubbles were coming out of his nose and his mouth.  And at that point, that was the signal of trouble.  Divers were sent into that bubble immediately.  They slowly brought him up.

He seemed to shake his head no, as if he thought he could still make it to the nine minutes, but the divers knew better.  They pulled him up.  They got him out.  They gave him some oxygen.  He was fine.

He spoke to the crowd.  He was very emotional and really in tears at some moments. 

But in some sense, Tucker, this was no surprise, because for the last 24 to 48 hours, we‘ve been hearing nothing but bad news about his medical condition.  Right?  Everybody saw the shots of his hands.  They were so extremely pruned.  He said he had this extreme feeling of pins and needless constantly in his hands and his feet.  The skin was peeling away. 

Doctors tonight announced that he was suffering from liver failure.  They said he‘d lost 20 percent of his body fluids, which they were concerned would lead to a thickening of blood which might create a clot or perhaps even a stroke. 

Blaine also talked about a serious earache.  He said that he had severe joint pains throughout his body.  And he essentially said that he‘d never been in such pain in any of the stunts that he‘d ever performed.  So really, he was in no condition to break this record. 

CARLSON:  David Blaine.  I have to say, I‘m won over by your description.  I was kind of deriding him, you know, a time waster.  What‘s he doing in that fish tank?  But I mean, it sounds like he took some physical risks.  There was no phoniness in this at all?  I mean, he had no extra supply of oxygen, and he held his breath for seven minutes almost.  Is that right?

NOVOTNY:  Yes.  He made it to seven minutes and eight seconds.  You know, I don‘t know.  The guy‘s a magician, and I‘ve been skeptical from the start every time he‘s done one of these stunts. 

But in a way, I am heartened by the fact that he did not succeed here, because he has succeeded in every other stunt.  So this made me think, OK, maybe the guy is for real.  He didn‘t make it.  He was genuinely upset about it. 

And I really expected him to do it, right?  And I thought, well, if he can‘t do it for real, he‘ll have some trick up his sleeve.  That‘s his job.  He‘s a magician, an illusionist.  But he didn‘t pull it off.  So I‘m starting to think maybe he‘s for real. 

CARLSON:  Maybe he‘s not an illusionist.  Maybe it‘s not an illusion.  Maybe it‘s totally authentic, and he‘s just a really brave guy.  I‘m kind of impressed. 

NOVOTNY:  That‘s what he says.  I mean, he says he does this to get people to stop and think.  He‘s also been quoted as talking of this as some sort of performance art.  I think that‘s really why they like this location at Lincoln Center, where you‘ve got the opera and the ballet and the philharmonic all around him.  So he seems that as much more than what a lot of the skeptics do. 

CARLSON:  Interesting.  What a weird dude.  Monica Novotny, live on the scene.  Thank you, Monica.

NOVOTNY:  Thanks, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Coming up on THE SITUATION, to some people this is just a grilled cheese sandwich.  To others it is a sacred likeness of the Virgin Mary.  The famous grilled cheese Madonna is just one of the many bizarre things auctioned on eBay.  We‘ll show you some of the many others when THE SITUATION rolls on.


VANESSA MCDONALD, PRODUCER:  Coming up, Tom Cruise embarrasses himself on national television, again. 

Plus did you know you can be pulled over for a DUI on a lawn mower? 

One man learned the hard way.  We‘ll show you.

CARLSON:  Keep that in mind next time you‘re mowing while drunk. 

We‘re back in 60 seconds.


CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

When they say you can find anything on eBay, they‘re not kidding.  If you‘re in the market for a spare kidney, Britney Spears‘ pregnancy test, or even the meaning of life, eBay could be the place to go. 

Christopher Cihlar is the author of the new book “The Grilled Cheese Madonna and 99 Other of the Weirdest, Wackiest, Most Famous eBay Auctions Ever.”  He joins me tonight from Washington.  Mr. Cihlar, who also, incidentally, has a Ph.D. from Cornell.  Amazing. 

Thanks for coming on. 


Thanks for having me. 

CARLSON:  The grilled cheese Madonna, it‘s real.  Who bought it and how much did it go for?

CIHLAR:  Golden Palace Casino bought it, and they paid $29,000 for it. 

CARLSON:  What are they going to do with it?

CIHLAR:  They said they‘re going to raise money for charity.  I know it‘s going on tour this summer and going to go around the country, along with other purchases that they made. 

CARLSON:  That‘s bizarre.  I had no idea how many food products were sold, used food products sold on eBay until I read your book.  The word‘s longest French fry. 

CIHLAR:  Seven inches.  The record was broken, I think, last year and it‘s now eight inches.

CARLSON:  How much did that go for?

CIHLAR:  Two hundred dollars.  That was before, I guess, the food products went up with Golden Palace bought the sandwich. 

CARLSON:  Trying to corner the market on used fast food.  What kind of freak would buy a French fry for $200?

CIHLAR:  I have no idea.  I didn‘t really catch that question, Tucker. 

I‘m sorry.

CARLSON:  I was asking—it was almost a rhetorical question.  How deranged would you have to be to pay $200 for a French fry? 

Tinkerbell and Paris.  Paris Hilton lost her dog.  She put up wanted posters around her neighborhood, and one of them wound up on eBay. 

CIHLAR:  You‘ve got to picture the guy wondering around the neighborhood and decided to pull it down off the street sign.

CARLSON:  So unbelievably creepy.  And speaking of creepy, you have here that a couple auction off their child‘s name.  A child in utero, and they, to the highest bidder, gave the right to name that child.  What did that go for?

CIHLAR:  Not one but two.  The first one went for $15,100, and the second went for $15,000. 

CARLSON:  And to Golden Palace.  Is the child really named GoldenPalace.com?

CIHLAR:  Yes.  The first one was a girl was named GoldenPalace.com. 

The second one it‘s spelled out, Golden Palace D-0-T Com. 

CARLSON:  Do you think that when they, you know, are in first grade, the roll is going to be called GoldenPalace.com Johnson?

CIHLAR:  Silverman is the last name.

CARLSON:  That is so grotesque.  And eBay doesn‘t make any attempt to regulate?  I mean, could you actually sell a child on eBay?  If you can name a child...

CIHLAR:  EBay has got some regulations in place.  You‘re not allowed to sell human body parts.  One of the more serious ones in Asia, someone tried to auction off two women into slavery in Taiwan.  And that was, of course, pulled, and they went to look for the guy. 

CARLSON:  That is grotesque.  Actually, you say in your book that eBay almost weighs in with their political point of view.  You said somebody tried to auction off a French battle flag, which was actually a white flag, and the number got up to $16,000 until eBay pulled the auction because it was mean to the frogs?  Is that right?

CIHLAR:  Well, that‘s what they said.  They said it was causing racial

country definition, and so they pulled it off. 

CARLSON:  You can‘t make fun of the French on eBay. 

CIHLAR:  Can‘t make fun of anybody on eBay, I guess. 

CARLSON:  Wow.  Do the people who run eBay pay close attention to what‘s auctioned off on their site?

CIHLAR:  One of the chapters is somebody sold eBay, the company for $1.85.  Since then they‘ve been paying more attention. 

CARLSON:  Christopher Cihlar, the book, “Grilled Cheese Madonna and 99 Other of the Weirdest, Wackiest Most Famous eBay Auctions Ever”.  Great book. 

CIHLAR:  Thanks, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Still ahead on THE SITUATION, Tom Cruise has never been accused of having soul.  That accusation even less likely to be made after his dance performance on BET.  We‘ll show you the gruesome video in a moment. 

Before we go to break, it‘s our first installment of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”.  The good is the two Australian gold miners were finally rescued today after being trapped underground for two weeks.  A third miner was killed when an earthquake triggered a rock slide in the mine where the men were working. 

The miners were given food and water through a pipe.  The best part of the story?  The men clocked out before heading to the hospital.  Those Australians. 

The bad news is the news that yes, you can be ticketed for driving under the influence on your riding lawn mower.  As you can see in this police dash cam video, a 51-year-old Ohio man was pulled over while he was making a run to the store near his house, presumably to get more beer. 

The man said, quote, “I can‘t believe you can a DUI on a lawn mower.” 

He plans to fight those charges.  Godspeed. 

And the ugly speaks for itself tonight.  That is not a character from “The Lord of the Rings”.  It‘s a kitten entered into an international cat beauty contest, ironically, we presume, in Bucharest, Romania.  Needless to say, the hairless beast did not win. 

We will be right back. 


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for “The Cutting Room Floor.  You know what that means? Willie Geist is here. 

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER:  Hello.  May I make an obvious point?   Max Kellerman and David Blaine separated at birth.  The only difference, Max is a slightly better magician than David Blaine. 

CARLSON:  Thank you.  Because we didn‘t have a show on Friday night, we were not able to bring you one of the most remarkable pieces of video to come down the pike in a long time.  Last week, Tom Cruise held the New York premiere “Mission: Impossible III” from Harlem.  You can see from BET, Tom fit right in. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Come on.  Hey!  Come on!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You got it, Tom! Ow!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Give it up for Tom Cruise here!




CARLSON:  So Willie are you going to give it up for Tom Cruise?

GEIST:  As I refuse to give it up for Tom Cruise under any circumstances.  Let me say something, as you know, as I want to do, I caught the full 106 in the park on Saturday.  I TiVoed it, it was that good. 

This is taken out of context.  When you put it in context, it‘s actually much worse than it appears.  He spent about 30 minutes on the show.  God knows why he did his premiere in Harlem.  I don‘t know what the point of that was.

CARLSON:  It‘s kind of natural for Tom Cruise, back to his roots. 

GEIST:  Yes, exactly.  It‘s his people.  He—it was much worse.  He was speaking in a manner that was not natural to him, I guess I could say.  And he was affecting this whole attitude, this street lingo.  It was so much worse than you see right here. 

CARLSON:  He was going fully urban, huh?

GEIST:  He was.  He was.

CARLSON:  That is just pathetic.

GEIST:  This is—this is one of the worst things he‘s done in my opinion.  He‘s done a lot of bad ones. 

CARLSON:  I‘m actually—I‘m about to start feeling sorry for him. 

GEIST:  For Tom?


GEIST:  It‘s getting close. 

CARLSON:  Well, history was made this evening on Pat O‘Brien‘s show “The Insider” and not for the first time, by the way.  In a moment school children will some day read about in their textbooks, Mary Jo Buttafuoco and Amy Fisher buried the hatchet and embraced one another. 

Fourteen years ago, you‘ll remember, Fisher shot Mary Jo in the face while she was having an affair with Mary Jo‘s husband, Joey Buttafuoco. 

GEIST:  I know as journalists we‘re supposed to keep this steely facade of indifference.  But sometimes you just stand and applaud.  You know? 

I want to bring up, there‘s probably only one other moment that would

you know, that had this much gravity.  There it is.  There it is, 1993 out on the White House lawn.  I only hope the peace between Mary Jo and Amy Fisher lasts longer than this one did. 

CARLSON:  I hope it does, too.  They need a road map, really.  We need to get some sort of...

GEIST:  A road map to Long Island peace. 

CARLSON:  Multi—I can‘t even say it.  Willie Geist, thank you. 

GEIST:  All right, Tucker.  See you tomorrow.

CARLSON:  That‘s it for us tonight.  Thank you for watching.  We‘ll be back tomorrow.  Stay tuned. 



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