updated 5/12/2006 11:57:44 AM ET 2006-05-12T15:57:44

Guests: Sara Carter, Nina Perales, Thomas Knight, John Stossel

RITA COSBY, HOST, “LIVE AND DIRECT”:  Tucker starts right now. 

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Thank you, Rita. 

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

Tonight perfection illegal aliens voting in the next presidential election.  Sounds outrageous, but thanks to lawsuits from interest groups, it‘s likely to happen.  We‘ll talk to one attorney who‘s suing to make certain you don‘t have to prove you‘re a citizen in order to vote. 

Also ahead, imagine you got a call saying your teenage daughter had been in a terrible accident and needed your help.  You‘d do anything to get to her side.  So why is the father, who did just that, now facing felony charges?  We‘ve got the story.

And everything you know is completely wrong.  You think polygamy is bad for wives?  You think men cheat more than women?  John Stossel debunks these as well as many other myths and lies in just a few minutes.

But first, more on a story we first brought you last night, the report earlier this week that the U.S. government is tipping off Mexican authorities to the whereabouts of civilian border watch groups like the Minutemen. 

The Department of Homeland Security calls the report inaccurate, but it doesn‘t exactly deny it.  What is the truth here?  Sara Carter broke the story for the “Inwood Daily Bulletin” in California.  She joins us tonight from Los Angeles with more details. 

Sara, thanks for coming on. 

SARA CARTER, REPORTER, “INWOOD DAILY BULLETIN”:  Thank you for having me. 

CARLSON:  Is this true?

CARTER:  Yes, it is true.  I published the report on Monday—actually, I was on a government web site, a Mexican government web site when I saw the reports.  There were three reports published by the Mexican foreign affairs department on the web site regarding vigilantism.  The third report on vigilantism is the one that sparked my interest and got me asking questions. 

CARLSON:  Reports on vigilantism.  And on this web site, the Mexican government indicated, as I understand it, that it had been receiving reports about the whereabouts of the Minutemen, American citizens, volunteers patrolling the border at their own expense, and the American government spying on their own citizens and passing that on to the Mexican government, correct?

CARTER:  Well, yes, in a way.  What happened was the Department of Homeland Security said that because of the Vienna Convention that, you know, all migrants apprehended by border patrol have a right to consul.  That is true. 

But they said that they also disclosed the location where the migrants were found to the consul.  This is not part of the Vienna Convention.  They tried to use this when they—when they tried to say that the story was inaccurate.  It‘s not inaccurate.  The border patrol agents were giving the field reports to the consulate. 

Now the border patrol field agents do their job, and they‘re doing what they have to do because they‘re told what to do by their boss.  This is just unbelievable, though, that we would be relaying information on the whereabouts of the civilian border watch groups to the Mexican government, knowingly and willingly. 

CARLSON:  Well, I mean, the president of the United States himself described their Minutemen, with no evidence at all, incidentally, as a vigilante group.  That appears to be the policy of the U.S. government, that there‘s something odious about the Minutemen.  Is that the view of ordinary border patrol agents?

CARTER:  No, it‘s not.  I‘m on the phone with border patrol agents often.  I go out in the field, and I talk to them.  This is not the view of border patrol agents. 

Unfortunately, you know, for the public, it has been the view from the administration as well as the Mexican government.  The stigma on these groups of citizens, I‘ve been out there often and covered their stories.  And I‘ve never seen any violence. 

And actually, the Department of Homeland Security, along with the border patrol, has never ever had an account of any violence between civilian border watch people, Minutemen, whether it be Friends of the Border Patrol and others, and the migrants crossing the border.  Usually, what it is, is binoculars in the report and a call into the border patrol.  And then, you know, they show up and pick up the migrants. 

CARLSON:  So basically, they‘re doing what the president asked all Americans to do after 9/11 and that‘s remain vigilant, pitch in and lend a hand to law enforcement, help enforce the laws of this country.  Is it your impression—from what you‘re saying, it sounds like it is—that the United States government and the Mexican government are essentially on the same side on the question of illegal immigration?

CARTER:  Yes.  If you talk to law enforcement officials on the front line, if you talk to, you know, people that have connections with the consul‘s office, what you‘ll hear over and over and over again is that the border patrol and other agencies are at the beck and call of the Mexican consulate when it comes to these issues.  As to the reason why, I don‘t know.  Border patrol agents will tell you.

CARLSON:  What does that mean?  Their beck and call?

CARTER:  Whatever they say.  This is what I hear over and over again from border patrol agents.  I mean, we‘ve heard it from T.J. Bonner.  I‘ve reported it from agents anonymously. 

And actually I‘ve even published a report with an agent by the name of Scott James who left in February because he said he was so frustrated and unhappy with the agency that he had to leave his job, because they even built a consulate office inside the Nacco (ph) station.  A Mexican consulate office inside the Nacco (ph) station in Arizona station consuls inside and office where they‘re detaining illegal migrants. 

And so they‘re at the beck and call of the Mexican government.  This is with regards to law enforcement policies and day-to-day issues.  If you look at the variety of stories that we‘ve published over the years, you‘ll see that the frustration is mounting and people are upset.

CARLSON:  I can see why.

CARTER:  And I really think this is the reason why so many of them have gone public. 

CARLSON:  Yes, and it‘s also the reason why the president‘s approval rating is at 31 percent.  Sara Carter, thanks for documenting this.  I really appreciate it.

CARTER:  Thank you, thank you for having me on the show. 

CARLSON:  Now to a story that affects every American whether you know it or not.  If you want to vote in an election in this country, you have to be a citizen.  That‘s the law. 

And in Arizona, thanks to a recently passed proposition, you have to prove you‘re a citizen or at least a resident of the state.  Seems like a pretty reasonable requirement but my next guest says it is unconstitutional and wrong.  Nina Perales is southwest regional counsel for MALDEF, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.  She joins us tonight from San Antonio, Texas.

Thanks for coming on. 

Thank you. 

CARLSON:  What could possibly be wrong with demonstrating that you‘re an American citizen before you vote?

NINA PERALES, SOUTHWEST REGIONAL COUNSEL, MALDEF:  Well, in Arizona the problem is that it is blocking U.S. citizens from registering to vote and also voting.  That‘s the people on whose behalf we‘ve brought the lawsuit, all U.S. citizens. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t understand how that works.  I spent the afternoon reading about the requirements to vote in the state of Arizona, and they‘re about as liberal as can be. 

In order to vote, you need a picture I.D. or two forms of other I.D.  It can be basically anything, a utility bill for gas, electric, solid waste, sewer, telephone, cell phone, cable TV.  You can use your car registration.  You can use your property tax.  You can use your car insurance card.  You can use your census card, your bank statements.  Basically, all you need to do is show that you have an address in the state of Arizona.  Why would you be against something like that?

PERALES:  Well, because these requirements, which haven‘t been used before, mean that some people who don‘t have that paperwork can‘t go and vote when they‘ve been loyal voters for many years. 

CARLSON:  Don‘t have any paperwork at all with their name and address on it?  You‘ve got to be kidding?

PERALES:  Well, for example, the person who we respect in the lawsuit who is a loyal voter, has been voting for years, Vietnam veteran.  His license has a P.O. box on it, which is very common in Arizona, and he can‘t use it for voting.  So that‘s one of the problems that‘s been raised by the law.

CARLSON:  As I just said and you can find out yourself in about 15 seconds from just going to the secretary of state‘s office web site from Arizona, you don‘t need a driver‘s license.  You can have basically any—even sort of official document with your name and address on it. 

It seems to me pretty clear that you want to make it easier for people who are not citizens to vote.  Else, why could you possibly be against this very, very basic precaution against illegal voting?

PERALES:  I think you‘re mixing up, first of all, the requirements for voter registration, which is the proof of citizenship, and the requirements for I.D. at the time of voting. 

The issue with respect to the time of voting that is that there are people in Arizona who are registered voters who don‘t have the paperwork.  And because of that, and they‘ve called the county and the county has told them you can‘t come and vote. 

And the person that we represent in the lawsuit doesn‘t have a utility bill in his name.  He doesn‘t have the other documents, but he‘s a patriot and a loyal voter, and he wants to be able to vote. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  I think it‘s not credible that an American citizen would have no documentation showing that he lives in this country and his name is what he says it is.  That‘s just not believable.  I‘m sorry.  I don‘t believe it.

PERALES:  Well, I can introduce you to the client. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t believe you and if he exists, he is unique, I would suspect.  Do you acknowledge that there is a terrible problem in this country with people voting illegally and that the citizens of country have a right to demand that our voting is safe and secure and that people who are voting are American citizens?  How else can we ensure that?

PERALES:  There actually aren‘t any examples in Arizona of an undocumented immigrant fraudulently registering to vote.  And one of the issues that we want to bring forward with the lawsuit is that good public policy is based on an identified problem. 

There isn‘t a problem in Arizona with undocumented people voting.  But the law is blocking citizens from voting.  And the people that we respect are not unique.  It is possible—in fact, many times when your license and the address on your license doesn‘t necessarily match your voter registration or you don‘t have a license and then you don‘t have utilities in your name or a bank statement. 

CARLSON:  You don‘t have—you don‘t have a birth certificate?  You don‘t have any documentation showing your relationship with the federal government?  You don‘t have a Social Security number?  You don‘t file taxes?  You‘ve never filed taxes?  You‘ve never served in the military?  It‘s just not—it‘s just not believable...

PERALES:  The examples that you‘re giving are not relevant to the lawsuit.  The lawsuit has nothing to do with whether or not you have a Social Security card.  We‘re not talking about mythical people.  We‘re talking about real people with real lives, real citizens who can‘t register and can‘t vote. 

And the other problem with it is that if you don‘t happen to have this kind of paperwork and you‘re really determined to vote, you‘re going to have to pay a fee to go somewhere and try to generate some of this paperwork. 

CARLSON:  But I hope you will concede that the rest of us, that despite your false claim that there isn‘t a problem in Arizona or anywhere else with illegal aliens voting, in fact there is.  And you know...

PERALES:  Well, don‘t call my claim false.  It‘s not a false claim. 

CARLSON:  Actually, it is.

PERALES:  There‘s no example of an undocumented immigrant registering to vote fraudulently in Arizona.  And if you had one, you would have brought it forward.  It‘s simply not a problem that exists. 

And this law goes so far that it stops actual citizens from voting and registering.  Our clients are citizens who want to vote. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t believe it for a second, but I appreciate your point of view.  Thanks for coming on. 

PERALES:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, President Bush says his brother Jeb would make a great commander in chief.  Could there be another Bush in the White House in two years?  We‘ll bring you the latest on that possibility. 

Plus, a new TV ad uses car crashes to sell cars.  You seen Volkswagen‘s new commercial for the Jetta?  If not, stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still ahead, do violent video games create violent kids?  Do low carb foods help you lose weight?  Is a dog‘s mouth really cleaner than yours?  ABC‘s John Stossel exposes myths and slays sacred cows with a machine gun with THE SITUATION continues.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JEB BUSH ®, FLORIDA:  I‘ve been pretty clear that I‘m not running for president.  It was flattering.  I mean, I love my brother, and the fact that he loves me and expresses it to whoever asks is something that I will always remember and be grateful for. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  That was Florida Governor Jeb Bush responding to an endorsement from the president, his brother, George W. Bush said he‘s been leading on the governor, his younger brother, to make a run for the White House.  But Governor Bush is adamant he will not run, at for least now.  Could he change his mind and usher in a Bush dynasty?

Here to talk about that possibility, MSNBC contributor Flavia Colgan, joining us tonight from Burbank.

FLAVIA COLGAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Oh, my, Tucker, you‘re trying to put me into an early grave with this. 

CARLSON:  You know, I kind of like this spot—I mean, actually, you know what?  This is a tragedy, because Jeb Bush is superior in my view in almost every way to his brother.  He is a genuine small government consecutive.  He‘s thought through what he believes.  He‘s articulate as hell.  He‘s smart.  But he‘s also decent.  He‘s a really thoughtful, interesting guy. 

I‘ve talked to him at length a number of times and always come away thinking, boy, I wish he were president.  And now he can‘t be because his name is Bush. 

COLGAN:  So the tragedy is the Bush—no, I mean, it‘s ironic, as a lot of people said, that George W. only got in because of his name, and Jeb Bush certainly wouldn‘t be able to get in because of his name, as well. 

But I mean, it‘s just very strange.  I mean, why the president would choose this moment to, you know, float this lead balloon when his numbers are in the toilet.  Jeb Bush was being nice.  He was probably saying, in his own head, stop reminding people I‘m related to you.  Because that would be the best bet that Jeb Bush would have to win, would be if people didn‘t realize they were related. 

CARLSON:  That‘s what I was saying (ph).

COLGAN:  Even Trent Lott today, when he was asked about this—did you see what Trent Lott said?  Trent Lott said, “Oh, Hillary Clinton could beat Jeb Bush.” 

I mean—and the thing is, it‘s really like you said.  I mean, it‘s really not about Jeb Bush.  It‘s the fact that George W‘s poll numbers right now at 30 percent.  You‘re talking about Watergate-Nixon numbers and I mean, it‘s not just one poll.  It‘s a trend, and it‘s all across the board.  And I just don‘t see that this, you know, this country would be willing or like to have another Bush on top of that.  I mean, didn‘t we fight a pretty bloody war over not being too enthusiastic on monarchies and royal families...

CARLSON:  Well, sure.  But I mean, look, it‘s still—it is still a democracy.

COLGAN:  So I don‘t—I don‘t think people are going for monarchies (ph) anyway.

CARLSON:  I‘m sorry, the left-wing blogosphere aside, it is a democracy.  We choose our presidents by popular consent, pretty much.  You know, nobody is imposing a monarchy here, but I feel think that Jeb Bush is more impressive than anyone I can think of off the top of my head who may be running for president as a Republican in 2008.  I‘d like to see him get in. 

I don‘t know.  I think it would be kind of bold for him to do it.  What else is he going to do?  He‘s been term-limited out by stupid anti-democratic term limits, by the way.  You ought to be able to vote for a governor as often as you want to, and you can‘t in Florida, because a Republican thought that was a good idea a while back, foolishly.

I don‘t know.  I think he should run. 

COLGAN:  I just—I just don‘t think—in terms of I‘m used to President Bush‘s rhetoric not matching reality, and this is yet another one of those cases.  I mean, there‘s no chance that any person whose last name is Bush being president.  Not this election.

And I have to say, given the performance of his brother, I‘m sure he would love to have—have him come in and clean up the little brother‘s mess for him and restore the family name.  But I just don‘t think that it‘s a political reality.

CARLSON:  Did you think Hillary could beat him?

COLGAN:  Yes.  I think that—I think that right now the Republicans are going to have a hard time getting people elected that are even in the same party as President Bush let alone someone who has the same last name as him. 

And as you know, I certainly don‘t think that Hillary Clinton is our strongest—our strongest contender.  I do not feel that she—you know, has the bold vision and has the ideas that really—that really the country is looking for, which is leadership and vision.  Not a connection to political ambitions.  Someone who is bold enough...

CARLSON:  Well, there‘s the understatement—there‘s the understatement of the year.  You don‘t think she has the bold vision required?  To put it mildly.

COLGAN:  Well, I don‘t know what her vision of America is.  She‘s too concerned with  molesters are telling her play it safe, you foe, get out there and have press conferences with Rick Santorum, put out bills on why you shouldn‘t burn the American flag.  I to want know where this woman stands on Iraq or anything else for that matter. 

CARLSON:  You know what would be—what would be—if Hillary Clinton ran against Jeb Bush, it would be the cable news full employment act.  You know, all of us here would be assured of jobs into the next millennium.  And for that reason and that reason alone, I endorse that match-up.  I hope they both run.

Flavia Colgan.

COLGAN:  Well, I think that you have a better chance of getting the job of president as another Bush does at this point.

CARLSON:  Yes, I probably do.  But it wouldn‘t be half as amusing if I ran.

Flavia, thank you very much. 

COLGAN:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, why was this Florida doctor arrested and charged with a felony for desperately trying to reach his seriously injured daughter?  We‘ll bring you the details in just a minute. 

Plus, Elvis night was cruel to the “American Idol” contestants tonight.  Which member of the quartet got dumped on the show?  It‘s a shocker.  We have the news.  We‘ll tell you about it when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Tonight‘s “Under the Radar” segment comes to us from New Port Richey, Florida.  That‘s where a frantic father who happens to be a physician raced to the scene of an accident last week involving his 18-year-old daughter. 

According to reports, Carl Swanson forced his way past a sheriff‘s deputy, narrowly missed a medical chopper and pushed an EMT and trooper out of the way.  Sound reasonable for a man who thinks his daughter might be dead. 

Well, now Karl Swanson faces felony charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and battery on a medical—emergency medical provider.  Here to explain why authorities will not drop the felony charges, Major Thomas Knight, troop commander for the Florida Highway Patrol.  He joins us tonight from Tampa. 

Major, thanks for coming on. 

MAJ. THOMAS KNIGHT, TROOP COMMANDER, FLORIDA HIGHWAY PATROL:  Thank you, how are you doing?

CARLSON:  I‘m doing fine.  I‘m confused by the story, though.  This man believes his daughter is critically injured, turns out she is critically injured.  He tries to get to her.  Police stand in his way.  He pushes them out his way, gets to his daughter and now you‘ve charged him with a felony?  How dare you do that? 

KNIGHT:  Yes, we had never made contact with him.  We don‘t know who made contact with him.  We know her cell phone was utilized, but we had never advised him that she was critically injured.

CARLSON:  Well, she was critically injured, wasn‘t she?

KNIGHT:  No, it didn‘t appear to be.  She had a broken jaw and she was stabilized in the back of a paramedic van with the appropriate medical care being applied to her by the EMS personnel. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Well, this man believes—well, she‘s injured.  I believe she‘s still in the hospital.  She was there certainly for a couple of days, at least according to the news accounts of the story. 

He believes she was critically injured.  He wants to reach her.  It is his daughter.  He‘s a physician, incidentally.  No one else on the scene is a physician as far as I know.  Why in the world would you charge him with a felony because he pushes people out of way to get to his own daughter?

KNIGHT:  My understanding at the time of incident, we weren‘t aware that he was a physician.  He had announced that at some point in time.  There is a whole set of dynamics that go along with this.  There‘s a perimeter set up preserving the crime scene, and we‘re working up the criminal investigation, the troop on the scene was. 

In addition to that, there‘s a helicopter on the ground waiting to transport some patients want local law enforcement agency is there providing assistance and they have the perimeter set up. 

Unbeknownst, though, to the persons on the scene, the law enforcement on the scene, a vehicle comes up, goes around a patrol vehicle, a marked law enforcement vehicle, jumps the curve, pulls up within 10 feet of the rear of the rotor of an emergency helicopter.  An individual jumps out of the window of a car and rushes to the rear of an EMS Vehicle. 

CARLSON:  OK.

KNIGHT:  Now when he passed the original patrol vehicle, the law enforcement officer there yelled for him to stop.  He didn‘t do that.  So you‘ve got to look at the total dynamics.  We have a vehicle jumping the curb.

CARLSON:  But so what?  So what, so what, so what and so what?  I mean, he disobeyed your precious rules and procedures.  But it‘s his daughter who‘s injured.  I know that the police are very intent on making certain they‘re obeyed, but who cares about whether they‘re obeyed in this case?  His daughter is really hurt.  He can help her. 

Shouldn‘t you kind of back off and allow your pride to be wounded a little bit to let the man to get to his daughter?  If your daughter was injured, wouldn‘t you push people out of the way to get to her?

KNIGHT:  No, his daughter was very safe.  She had a broken jaw and she was being tended to by the emergency medical services of Pascal County (ph).

CARLSON:  By doctors? 

KNIGHT:  By emergency medical technicians.

CARLSON:  Not by doctors.  He is a doctor but you‘re charging him with a felony for trying to get to the patient, who happens to be his daughter.  I mean, you see the absurdity here, right?

KNIGHT:  Well, I wasn‘t at the scene.  The dynamics would seem that

way, but when he pushes an EMS personnel out of the way who‘s standing at

the rear of a paramedics van, opens it up and the trooper asked him to step

to the rear, he forces I had way into the van and into the—but

CARLSON:  But see here‘s the problem, with all due respect.  Cops can‘t handle it when they‘re disobeyed.  The trooper says, “Stop, sir.”  Who cares what the trooper says?  The trooper‘s not God.  OK? 

It‘s this guy‘s daughter.  It‘s his kid.  And the trooper is mad because someone is not—a civilian is not obeying him.  And I guess my point, and I think any father can relate to this.  I‘m certain if you‘re a farther, you can relate, too.  You don‘t care whether the guy has a badge and a gun or not.  You want to get to your child.  I mean, that‘s just human nature.

And the fact that he‘s a doctor who is better suited to treat her than the cop, than the EMT, than anyone on the scene, all of it adds up to a justifiable disobeying of orders, it seems to me.  And I just think anybody who put this guy up for a felony ought to be ashamed of themselves.  Don‘t you agree?

KNIGHT:  No, I don‘t.  And I‘ll tell you, speaking with the personnel up in the county, the troopers up in that area and the supervision, he announced he‘s a physician.  We didn‘t know what type of physician he was.  We don‘t know if he‘s a emergency medical physician, the type of training he has. 

We know that we‘re on a scene.  We have a stabilized—the EMS has a stabilized, everything is in control.  She‘s safe, all the parties on the scene are safe.  We have a helicopter on the ground trying to preserve that so nobody walks underneath the rotors or drives a vehicle underneath the rotors.

And we‘re doing the best we can do with the persons on the scene to make sure everybody is safe.  We don‘t need people running to a scene who we don‘t know who they are, we don‘t know what type of training they have, what type of physician he is or if he really is a physician.  We don‘t know that.  We‘re going the way we‘re trained, and...

CARLSON:  But it‘s the girl‘s dad, so that kind of trumps everything in my view. 

KNIGHT:  And I‘ve got to agree with you.  We all have children and I think that‘s first and foremost. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

KNIGHT:  But it‘s unfortunate.

CARLSON:  So I hope they drop the charges.  I think charging him with a felony is probably the most offensive thing I‘ve heard today.  And I know deep in your heart, you agree with me.  I know you‘re probably not allowed to admit it, but I‘ve got to believe you agree. 

Major Swanson (sic), thanks for coming on.  I won‘t even ask you to respond to that but thanks, Mr. Knight, thanks. 

KNIGHT:  OK, have a good evening. 

CARLSON:  See you.

KNIGHT:  Bye-bye.

CARLSON:  Still to come, are women short-changed in a polygamist relationship?  And does buying in bulk at Sam‘s Club or Costco really saving you money?  Reporter John Stossel sets the record straight on some of the most widely held myths in America.

Plus, how to protect your real estate investment.  Is a 50-year mortgage the answer?  We‘ll explore that long term possibility when we come back in the short term.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, do men cheat more than women?  And is the world really running out of room for garbage?  The answers may surprise you.  We will debunk those myths and more with John Stossel next.

But, first, here is a look at what else is going on in the world tonight.

(NEWS BREAK)

CARLSON:  What if you found out that everything you know is wrong?  Prepare yourself, because that is about to happen.  John Stossel of ABC‘s “20/20” is here.  He has written a great new book, in which he challenges and then demolishes every conceivable piece of conventional wisdom, from the notion that the world is overcrowded, to the idea you should not swim after you eat.  The book is called “Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity:

Get Out the Shovel—Why Everything You Know is Wrong.”  It will change the way you think.

John Stossel joins us tonight from New York. 

John, thanks for coming on. 

JOHN STOSSEL, “20/20”:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Probably the piece of conventional wisdom that you bat down that I think will shock the majority of our viewers:  Price-gouging is evil.  You say price-gouging saves lives?  How does that work?

STOSSEL:  Noble Prize-winning economists say that. 

It‘s—this is a tough one to sell.  And some people will hate me for it.  And I have a “20/20” piece on about it Friday, but they do call it gouging.  But that‘s the politicians calling it gouging.  Who gets to decide what is gouging?  Everybody wants to sell something for a profit. 

We have a story about a guy who drove down from Kentucky to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina.  Seeing that people had no power, he bought 20 generators.  He sold them for twice what he paid for them.  They locked him up for four days and confiscated the generators. 

So, the economists say, who does that help?  The point is that gouging, what they call gouging, just is price movement.  And it is a signal to tell people, bring more stuff in. 

If the oil companies are making big profits, that tells other oil companies, drill for more oil; we want a piece of this.  And that brings the price down.  If you cap prices, you get what we got when the—

President Nixon did that years ago.  You get long gas lines, less oil, and we are all worse off. 

CARLSON:  But if you have a kind of monopoly situation, as in Katrina,

where the roads are blocked and very few people can get through, whereas,

with the oil companies, where the infrastructure is so profoundly expensive

that you can‘t start a new oil distribution company, isn‘t—I mean, it‘s

it‘s not an entirely free market.  And, so, you can gouge.  You can take advantage of the limitations of the market, can‘t you? 

STOSSEL:  But there—there are always people who can enter the oil business.  And when prices are high, that‘s when they do t. 

When you say, you can‘t raise prices, then everybody buys all the oil, all the water, all the flashlight batteries.  Nobody is inspired to say, gee, do I really need this?  People stock up on stuff they don‘t need.  The people who come late get nothing.  That kills people.  That‘s why the economists say gouging saves lives.

CARLSON:  That‘s an excellent point.  You will get hate mail, but I agree with you. 

We are drowning in garbage.  You hear this all the time, no more landfill space left.  That‘s not true? 

STOSSEL:  It‘s just a lie.  You could put all the country‘s garbage for 100 years in one landfill.  It wouldn‘t even fill up one of Ted Turner‘s ranches. 

(LAUGHTER)

STOSSEL:  This myth got started years ago, when the garbage barge...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  I would love to see that, by the way. 

(LAUGHTER)

STOSSEL:  I would, too. 

This—this barge was taking garbage from New York to—to Louisiana, and the guy thought, I can save some money.  I will drop it off in North Carolina.  The North Carolina authorities said, no, we don‘t want this garbage.  And they publicized it. 

Then, environmental groups publicized it, saying, we don‘t have enough room to put our garbage.  It‘s just a myth.  Some cities are fighting for garbage.  They make money off of it.  They build ski mountains and golf courses on top of it.

CARLSON:  Well...

STOSSEL:  It‘s a big country. 

CARLSON:  We know, though, that the world itself is far too crowded.  I mean, literally, we have no more room for any more people.  That‘s right, isn‘t it?

STOSSEL:  Again, another myth.

All those new babies are brains that may cure cancer some day.  The population density of New Jersey is equal to that of India.  And New Jersey is doing OK. 

As long as you have economic freedom, we have a long way to go before we have real overpopulation.  Hong Kong is one of the most prosperous places in the world, one of the nicest places to live, has 20 times as many people per square foot as India. 

CARLSON:  Huh.

Speaking of size, in sex, size does not matter to women.  Women don‘t care, correct? 

STOSSEL:  That‘s what they—Masters and Johnson said, it doesn‘t matter, because—can we really talk about this on TV?  The vagina stretches to.... 

CARLSON:  It‘s cable.  We can do it. 

(CROSSTALK)

STOSSEL:  ... adjust to whatever size there is.

But now some researchers say, yes, for some women, size does matter, especially girth.  And height matters.  Women truly prefer taller guys. 

CARLSON:  Good.

STOSSEL:  Sadly. 

CARLSON:  Nice.

Now, speaking of women, everybody knows that men cheat; women are, by nature, faithful.  Men are, for biological reasons, prone to—to cheat on their mates much more than women do.  That‘s true, right? 

STOSSEL:  Well, it‘s more, but it‘s no longer much more. 

Women are catching up, though 80 percent of women say they are faithful to their spouses, and 60 to 80 percent of men. 

CARLSON:  Huh.  So, women cheat almost as much as men do? 

STOSSEL:  Almost, but not as much. 

CARLSON:  Why—why don‘t they get the credit for it?  You mean, you get the feeling that it‘s only men who stray.

STOSSEL:  I‘m also suspicious of this one, because how honest are people on these surveys?  But if they are anonymous surveys—I don‘t have a good answer to that. 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  What—what is—what is the single most shocking myth you

you detail in this book?  What—what—what‘s the thing that you really believed that you found was untrue? 

STOSSEL:  Well, the price-gouging one was a shock to me.  Really had to turn my brain around to—to rethink the idea of—of gouging. 

It‘s hard to—hard to—hard to pick one.  Parenting was a big one for me, that I thought of parenting as instinctive.  And, yet, it isn‘t.  There‘s so much that is counterintuitive.  It‘s instinctive to watch your kids and tell them, no, don‘t do that when they‘re doing something wrong.  But all the experts point out that it is far better to catch your kid doing something right and then say, thanks for not interrupting me when I‘m on the phone.  Thanks for helping to clear the table.  You were really helpful today; 5-1, makes parenting so much easier, because the kids then listen to you when you do say no. 

CARLSON:  Huh.  Interesting, in a book filled with interesting things, “Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel—Why Everything You Know is Wrong,” amazing.

Great book.  Thank you, John—John Stossel. 

STOSSEL:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  John Stossel, one of the great guys on TV. 

Now, we talk a lot about Tom Cruise on this show.  For almost a year, we have covered virtually every twist and turn of Cruise‘s remarkable self-immolation, from his lectures on female body chemistry to the Oprah couch-jumping debacle.  Throughout it all, we have sneered relentlessly.  And we have enjoyed every second of our sneering, until now. 

A new opinion poll out today shows Cruise‘s popularity evaporating.  Only about a third of Americans say they like Tom Cruise anymore.  He is now officially in George W. Bush land, more highly regarded than halitosis, but only by a thin margin. 

In other words, Tom Cruise is now the underdog.  Suddenly, making fun of him feels wrong.  It‘s like kicking Gary Coleman or shoving Tattoo from “Fantasy Island.”  Cruise isn‘t quite that short, but you get the point.  It‘s mean. 

So, from now on, you won‘t hear an unkind word from us about Tom Cruise.  Yes, we will continue to report on his hijinks, but, this time, with a straight face and only in the nicest way.  That‘s our promise. 

Coming up on THE SITUATION, should a car commercial make you jump off your couch?  Does scaring people with a violent wreck really help you sell cars?  We will debate the controversial new Volkswagen ads in just a moment.

And don‘t forget, your voice mails tomorrow night; 1-877-TCARLSON is the number.  Give us a call.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Coming up, a major wireless company decides it might be time to stop selling a ring tone that mocks Mexicans.  Plus, an “American Idol” shocker—we will tell you who got the boot tonight.

CARLSON:  I just hope it wasn‘t Clay Aiken.

THE SITUATION comes back in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  We have breaking news that tomorrow‘s editions of “USA

Today” are reporting that the NSA, the National Security Agency, the spy

agency outside Washington, D.C., has collected the phone records of—

quote—“tens of millions of ordinary Americans.‘

They have been given these records by AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth, and apparently are analyzing them, so says the NSA, to patterns that might lead them to terrorists—again, tens of thousands of phone records from homes and businesses—rather, tens of millions—homes and businesses of ordinary Americans.  These are not recordings of phone calls, say the NSA at this point, but they are the phone records, who you called and when.

And they are being analyzed by this spy agency, which, up until recently, was prevented by its charter from spying on Americans.  That, of course, has changed.  We will bring you—apparently, we will bring you much more on this story tomorrow, as it develops.  And it will develop. 

Welcome back. 

We turn now to a man who has got a little John Stossel in him.  And he works every day to debunk the myth that you can‘t sleep until noon and be successful in this country.  He‘s the “Outsider.”  He‘s ESPN Radio and HBO boxing host Max Kellerman.  And we are glad to have him. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Boy, you got a good show going, Tucker. 

First of all, that sounds like a great book.  I‘m going to read it. 

And, secondly, boy, another great legacy from the Bush administration.  It

the administration, it doesn‘t stop—it doesn‘t—never stops giving. 

CARLSON:  It‘s pretty shocking, I have to say. 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  I mean, it gets my civil libertarian hackles up.  I mean, maybe there‘s—I haven‘t...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Look, we have a wire report about the story at this point.  This—this literally is crossing the wires about 45 seconds ago, right before we came out.  I—so, I haven‘t read more than I just said on the air. 

KELLERMAN:  You got to—you got to tune in to THE SITUATION tomorrow to see what—your fully formed opinion. 

CARLSON:  But, at this point, I‘m offended by the negotiation, but—well, you normally seeing jarring high-speed car wrecks in action movies, not in car commercials. 

A pair of controversial new ads by the Volkswagen Jetta show people calmly talking in the car before slammed into a violent collision.  The German carmarker sells it‘s selling the safety of its cars by showing that people can walk away from accidents.  Critics say the commercials are a cheap use of shock value and a turnoff to potential buyers.

You got to credit Volkswagen with making a memorable ad, but it‘s too much while I‘m sitting on a couch, Max.  I know you wish the ads were a little more gory.  I think they‘re totally counterproductive.  You don‘t sell hamburgers by suggesting they might poison with us, right, because it turns people off to the notion of hamburgers. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, sure.  If you—if you were to show people not walked away from the accident, that would be the equivalent, but they are walking away. 

Look, shock value is—is actually important, if the feature of your product that you are peddling is important.  Safety is a real issue with cars.  I mean, it‘s OK for Mercedes or Cadillac or any carmaker to shock you with the opulence of their car. But if a carmaker wants to shock you into realizing how important safety is—and tens of thousands of car accidents every year—somehow, that‘s offensive.  I don‘t get it. 

CARLSON:  Well, it‘s also dumb.  If I‘m in a car accident, I want to be in a Jetta?  I don‘t think so. 

I want to be in a Ford Bronco.  I want to be in Chevy Suburban.  I want to be in a Cadillac Escalade.  And I want to be in a Hummer.  I want to be in a massive pile of steel.  I don‘t want to be in some little Jetta.  Come on. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, but a—but their point is, no, you don‘t need the Hummer.  You can survive the crash in the Jetta.

You know what?  In terms of shock value, once upon a time, it was shocking to see couples with—you know, in a sitcom, you couldn‘t show a double bed in a room.  It had to be twin beds to show that they—that the people weren‘t actually sleeping together.  “I Love Lucy,” they had to show twin beds.  You know, that was shocking once upon a time. 

CARLSON:  Yes, well, I don‘t know.  Violence is always shocking in a way that sex isn‘t, in my view.  But it‘s also just dumb.  I don‘t want to be in a Jetta in a car crash.  Sorry.  Call me—call me a fraidy cat. 

Well, at some point, they‘re going to just start handing people home loans and saying, just get back to us whenever you get—get around to it.  The latest tricks from banks is the 50-year mortgage.  Fifty years, that‘s right.  The adjustable rate loan obviously offers small payments, since half-a-century to pay it off.  That‘s a long time. 

The downside, though, is the borrower builds equity very slowly and is vulnerable to rising payments, as rates change.  And change they will.  Experts say the cooling real estate market is forcing lenders into such gimmick loans. 

I‘m for this, Max.  Whatever it takes for someone to own a home is fine with me.  I know you prefer to make all real estate purchases with a suitcase full of unmarked, non-consecutive $20 bills. 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  Look, a lot of people are going to get really hurt.  A lot of people are going to find themselves with negative equity when there‘s a downturn in the housing markets.  There‘s already one, but when it gets worse. 

On the other hand, homeownership is really good.  A 50-year-old mortgage, moreover, says you have got confidence in America.  You think this country is going to still exist 50 years from now.  And I think that‘s a positive statement.

KELLERMAN:  There are lots of reasons to like a 50-year mortgage, but here are the reasons not to.

Right now, it‘s tricky, because the real estate market, the—the bubble—and it is certainly a bubble—is a lot of what—is a huge engine in the economy.  And the Fed has to keep raising interest rates in order to check inflation, especially with rising fuel costs. 

CARLSON:  That‘s right. 

KELLERMAN:  So, how you do you balance that?  You don‘t want the bubble just to burst, right, and then the economy really have a downturn because of, you know—because you are trying to check inflation.  Then again, you don‘t want runaway inflation.

A lot of people point to Japan.  Look what happened.  Their real estate market crashed and everything.  But the lesson of Japan‘s real estate bubble bursting is not, at all costs, don‘t let the bubble burst.  It‘s, don‘t keep the bubble alive artificially. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  That‘s right.  No, that‘s a good point. 

KELLERMAN:  So, that‘s what is happening here.  We don‘t want to keep this bubble alive artificially and never let the market—never allow the market time to correct itself.

CARLSON:  No, no, that‘s right.  And I think it‘s—it‘s bad when, you know, condos four blocks from the beach in Boca are going for $2 million.  That‘s obviously inflated, by definition.

But people still need a place to live.  They still need to invest in real estate.  People have an instinctive desire to own land.  And it‘s good for America.

KELLERMAN:  And this will keep prices—and this will keep prices high, Tucker.

But, you know, if just let it adjust, then the prices will come down and more people, maybe, if—you know, you might say, well, the payments will be larger.  But, in theory, more people will be able to afford housing, and they will able do it, you know, responsibly, and there won‘t be as much pain when the bubble eventually bursts and the market corrects. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  I‘m for that. 

KELLERMAN:  That‘s—that‘s the theory, anyway. 

CARLSON:  I hope it‘s right, for all of us, especially those of us who own homes.

Max Kellerman...

KELLERMAN:  Tucker.

CARLSON:  Thanks, Max. 

KELLERMAN:  Thank you.  

CARLSON:  Still ahead tonight, an “American Idol” shocker—the final four has become the final three, but it‘s not the three anyone thought it would be.  We will bring our team of “Idol” experts on in just a moment. 

But, before we go to break tonight, it‘s our installment of the “Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”

The good is the news that 10-year-old Brandon Shafer left a Chicago hospital today with a healthy kidney.  The boy got the transplanted organ from his fourth-grade teacher, 25-year-old Patsy Donohue.  Shafer thanked his teacher by getting her a new iPod with money he had saved doing chores.  That‘s a nice story.

The bad is the public-relations judgment of Cingular Wireless for offering a ring tone that started with a police siren, followed by a male voice saying “La Migra,” which is slang for “The Border Patrol.”  The message went on to say—quote—“Por favor, put the oranges down and step away from the cell phono.  I repeato, put the oranges down and step away from take telephono.  I‘m reporting you back home-o”—end quote. 

Cingular has pulled the ring tone off its Web site and apologized.

The ugly was the scene in Sweden today, after a circus truck carrying elephants served off the road and flipped over.  One elephant was trapped under the truck, but was freed later without major injury.  The other three elephants just kind of chilled out by the side of road.  And, yes, in case you are wondering, the show did go on.  The elephants performed the circus tonight.  What pros. 

That‘s tonight‘s “Good, Bad and Ugly.”

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for the “Cutting Room Floor.”

Ladies, Willie Geist is here.

(LAUGHTER)

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER:  Ladies?

CARLSON:  Come on.

GEIST:  The Tom Cruise mission statement, does that apply to me?  Do I have to be nice to him, too.

CARLSON:  No.

GEIST:  That was a unilateral...

CARLSON:  Yes, you do.  You do, actually.

(CROSSTALK)

GEIST:  It was a unilateral move.  And I disagree.  I dissent from your opinion. 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  Sorry, Willie.  It‘s legally binding. 

GEIST:  All right, I will try it for a while.

CARLSON:  We begin with a spoiler alert tonight.  If you haven‘t seen “American Idol” yet and you don‘t want to know who got the boot, put on your earmuffs right now.  One, two, three.

OK.  For the rest of you, we are still catching our breath here after the shocking development on “Idol” tonight.  With just four contestants remaining, every‘s famous—Chris Dougherty (sic), I guess...

GEIST:  Daughtry.

CARLSON:  Daughtry was voted out of island.  Or is that another show? 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  Anyway, Ryan Seacrest made the stunning announcement that Daughtry was gone.  The melodramatic gasp of the studio audience and the millions of viewers across the country could be heard audibly. 

GEIST:  Oh.

We spoke in the tease about our team of “Idol” experts that would be joining us.

CARLSON:  Yes. 

GEIST:  That‘s you and me. 

(LAUGHTER)

GEIST:  The one thing about us as experts is, neither of us has ever seen the show. 

CARLSON:  Because we are working on our show during...

(CROSSTALK)

GEIST:  Right.  We are very busy. 

But other people appeared shocked around the office, I noticed. 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

GEIST:  So, that‘s my expert analysis of that.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

GEIST:  A shocker. 

CARLSON:  The custodians had vacant looks on their faces...

GEIST:  Yes.  Right.  Right. 

CARLSON:  ... as they emptied my trash can tonight.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  I know gas prices are out of control, but you simply can‘t steal more than 1,000 gallons from your local service station and expect to get away with it. 

GEIST:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  Shawn William Hoskins of Round Rock, Texas, gave it a shot, though.  Police say Hoskins pretended to be power-washing the parking lots of convenience stores as he siphoned gas from underground tanks and then sold it from his own home. 

GEIST:  Hmm.

CARLSON:  That‘s where cops showed up and arrested him. 

GEIST:  Did anyone notice the guy washing the parking lot was driving a fuel tanker?

(LAUGHTER)

GEIST:  Did anybody catch on?  Did anybody catch on to that?  He just backed his fuel tanker up?

I have heard of stealing Twizzlers from a convenience store.  But 1,000 gallons of gas, that‘s just impressive.  That‘s all that is. 

CARLSON:  When he‘s snaking the hose into the ground?  Right.

GEIST:  Nobody picked up on that.

CARLSON:  Well, what‘s going on with the Ex-Lax pranks on teachers? 

Last night, we told you about the mother who allegedly helped her daughter bake Ex-Lax-laced cookies for a teacher.  Tonight, we have got four high school kids in Arkansas who put Ex-Lax in iced tea in the faculty lounge.  The teachers complained of cramps.  Two of the four students have been charged with abusing teachers. 

GEIST:  School pranks are just getting out of control.  I remember a day when we would just do fun things, like, you know, slashing their tires or...

CARLSON:  Yes. 

GEIST:  ... or leaving threatening messages on their home phones, stuff like that.

CARLSON:  Putting acid in their coffee.

GEIST:  These kids these days.

CARLSON:  Right.  Yes.  I know.

GEIST:  Exactly.  It‘s just out of control. 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  Willie Geist.

GEIST:  All right, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Ladies and gentlemen.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  That‘s SITUATION for tonight.  Thank you for watching. 

Can‘t wait to see you tomorrow.  We will be here.

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

END   

Copy: Content and programming copyright 2006 NBC.  ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2006 Voxant, Inc.  ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon NBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

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