updated 5/17/2006 11:40:00 AM ET 2006-05-17T15:40:00

Guests: Brian Darling, Richard Polk, Max Kellerman, Willie Geist

RITA COSBY, HOST, “LIVE AND DIRECT”:  That does it for me.  I‘m Rita Cosby.  Let‘s go to the birthday boy, Tucker Carlson—Tucker. 

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Thank you, Rita.  I‘m blushing.

And thanks to you at home for tuning in.  It‘s good to have you with us, as always. 

Tonight Colorado‘s hate hotline.  Has someone offended you lately, expressed an opinion you don‘t like?  Told a joke you found offensive?  Now there‘s a handy government number you can call to report your neighbors, turn them in.  We‘ll talk to the man behind this Orwellian idea. 

Plus, more propaganda in the classroom.  High school students are told to fill out a survey with questions like “If you have never slept of someone with your same gender, then how do you know you wouldn‘t prefer it?”  Some parents are calling it sexual harassment by teachers, and rightly so. 

And also, crucifying “The Da Vinci Code”.  The first reviews of the movie are in tonight, and they are harsh.  We‘ll tell you if they‘re accurate. 

But first, a shocking statistic that‘s been lost in the immigration debate so far, 193 million.  One hundred ninety-three million.  That‘s how many new immigrants could legally enter this country in the next 20 years if a bill now in the Senate becomes law, 193 million.  That‘s a number greater than 60 percent of the entire current U.S. population. 

The figure comes from the Heritage Foundation, which conducted a study of the effect of the proposed bill.  Joining me now from Washington, Brian Darling.  He‘s the director of the Senate relations for the Heritage Foundation. 

Brian Darling, welcome. 

BRIAN DARLING, DIRECTOR OF SENATE RELATIONS, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: 

Thanks for having me on. 

CARLSON:  A hundred and ninety-three million.  I mean, that‘s almost unbelievable.  How did you come to that number?

DARLING:  We actually have put together the numbers, and if you add up the 10 million estimated individuals that would qualify for amnesty under the bill.  You also add up the fact that they will be allowed to bring in relatives, which would add the numbers quite a bit higher.

You‘re also talking about a temporary worker program that would be set up that would have new immigrants coming in that may add up to as many as 100 -- 100 million people in the next 20 years.  And if you project it over longer periods of time, you‘re talking about numbers that people really don‘t understand, can‘t get their arms around. 

CARLSON:  You‘re talking about completely—completely changing the nature of the country. 

DARLING:  Right.

CARLSON:  In other words, more than half again as many people in this country in the next 20 years. 

You mention that this bill would allow the relatives of immigrants to come here as well.  As I understand it, the current bill in the Senate, bipartisan, the president has endorsed this bill, would allow the parents of immigrants to come to this country.  Is that right?

DARLING:  Yes.  It would allow parents.  It would allow children.  It would allow extended family.  And it would allow some of the people that would get amnesty.  Some of them would be allowed to have family. 

And also, it would have this new category of individual, H1C visa, where you would have all these individuals come into the country.  And the explosion in immigration would be through the extended family members that qualify for this program.  And that‘s what the concern is.

What‘s going to happen with welfare costs?  We project between $16 and $30 billion over the next 20 -- I‘m sorry, on an annual basis once this program kicks in and these individuals are granted citizenship and permanent rights in the 11th year.  It‘s really staggering what this 600-plus page bill, how dramatically it would change our nation. 

CARLSON:  You mention welfare.  One of the most shocking elements of

the bill to me is the proposal to eliminate language that is currently law

in the United States that says essentially that if you‘re likely to come

here and not work, be indolent, go on welfare, if you‘re likely to become a

I believe, a public charge is the exact word, basically if you‘re going on welfare, you‘re not welcome.  Which is fair.  Any society would have a rule like that. 

This bill would eliminate that language, thereby making everyone explicitly eligible for welfare upon getting here.  Why would they do that?

DARLING:  It just doesn‘t make any sense.  You‘d be eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, Social Security once you paid in.  It‘s just staggering the amount of money. 

And what happens if our economy doesn‘t do so well in the next 20 years and we have a downturn?  How are we going to absorb and assimilate this estimated 100 million new individuals into our society if we have an economic downturn where there are not enough jobs for the temporary workers that are here that aren‘t going to leave and for the Americans?

CARLSON:  You‘re essentially—you‘re essentially guaranteeing a downturn with a plan like this, because you‘re not simply allowing able-bodied, as the president always puts it, willing to work people come to this country.  But also, their elderly, potentially infirm relatives to come, too. 

Again, let me repeat the question, because I honestly don‘t understand.  What is the rationale behind this?  What‘s the public justification for allowing something this insane to become law?

DARLING:  There is none.  I mean, you look at the justification for it. It‘s a pathway to citizenship.  We‘re going to allow these individuals who have been here illegally for five-plus years to spend 11 years in the system and then they will be granted citizenship.  They‘ll be allowed to vote.  They‘ll be allowed to get welfare benefits.  They‘ll be allowed everything that all other citizens are allowed to have. 

And that is a problem.  And there is no provision, other than people who are here for less than two years are supposed to be kicked out of the country.  And that‘s a mere 15 percent of the individuals that are in this country illegally now. 

That‘s supposed to happen now and it hasn‘t been happening.  So how is the federal government going to enforce that?

CARLSON:  And of course, how can you prove it?  The people who have been here fewer than two years will run immediately and get fake documents.  I mean, talk about a mess.  Talk about political sanity. 

Brian Darling, thanks a lot for coming on. 

DARLING:  Thanks for having me on. 

CARLSON:  Now to a story from the brave new world department.  The so-called hate hotline.  It‘s the idea of the city council in Boulder, Colorado.  It would give residents a place to tell on people who use insensitive language. 

So if your neighbor tells a racist vote or an anti-gay story you don‘t have to take it lying down anymore.  You can report them to the authorities. 

My next guest says his city has a problem with hurtful speech.  Is this the way to solve it, though?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON:  Richard Polk is a city councilman.  He joins us tonight from Boulder, Colorado. 

Mr. Polk, thanks for coming on. 

RICHARD POLK, CITY COUNCILMAN, BOULDER, COLORADO:  Sure, Tucker.  My pleasure. 

CARLSON:  So can you see why this idea strikes some people, including me, as kind of scary, the city of Boulder helping neighbors report on each other?

POLK:  That really is just an opportunity for us to gather information about what‘s going on in our community, the challenges that people face with the intention of doing a better job than other communities have of perhaps figuring out how to make it better for everybody. 

CARLSON:  Why is it the business of the city of Boulder if people tell offensive jokes?  I mean, why should you be involved in that at all?

POLK:  Well, it‘s not really about offensive jokes; it‘s about bias. 

And 45 states, including Colorado, have bias laws at this time. 

As far as gathering of information, we‘d like this—Boulder is really a pretty terrific community.  We‘ve attacked and conquered sprawl with open space.  We‘ve done a lot of things that are unique and demonstrate leadership.  It‘s a very well-educated community.

CARLSON:  Right.

POLK:  And we‘re really responding to citizen interests and citizen groups and what they‘ve have asked us to do.  Gathering information. 

CARLSON:  OK.  That doesn‘t mean you should—OK, but just because people want you to do something doesn‘t mean, of course, you should do it. 

And the idea that, if I‘m offended by what somebody says, if I think someone doesn‘t like me because of my color, my religion, my sexual orientation and I go and complain to the city about it, it obscures the basic fact, which is you‘re allowed to be biased against people in this world.  Your bias is protected by the First Amendment.  Remember?

POLK:  Sure, sure.  And we‘re not changing the First Amendment.  We have no interest in changing any laws. 

There is a potential sentence enhancement portion of this, but only relative to a few crimes, things that are already illegal.  And the sentence enhancement would only be triggered if specific groups were targeted.  And that‘s really a concept that is pretty conservative.  It was approved by Justice Rehnquist, a conservative United States Supreme Court justice. 

CARLSON:  Well, there‘s nothing conservative about it.  I think it—personally, I think it‘s ludicrous.  I mean, crimes are crimes, regardless of how the person committing them feels. 

But leaving that aside, again, you don‘t see why civil libertarians would be concerned, if not appalled, by the idea of a city encouraging its citizens to rat out each other for thought crimes?

POLK:  We‘re not asking anybody to rat on anybody about anything.  You know, we don‘t collect names.  There is no proposal from any group that suggests we‘re creating a database that includes names.  We‘re more interested in the types of things that offended people so that we can...

CARLSON:  OK.  I don‘t want to make sure that we‘re talking about the same thing. 

POLK:  Sure.

CARLSON:  As I understand it there is a hot line proposed, a hate hotline, people in Boulder who think they‘ve been discriminated against, think someone has said something mean to them that grows out of bias, call this hotline and report that incident to the city.  Is that right?

POLK:  It‘s really more an anti-bias hotline.  The press has characterized it as a hate hotline.  But that‘s correct. 

CARLSON:  Yes, OK.  So basically, people who haven‘t actually committed a crime, they‘ve merely thought something that‘s unpopular.  I don‘t like you because of whatever reason, that‘s totally allowed but, of course, it‘s very unpopular.  They‘ll report it to the city of Boulder, Colorado. 

I mean, how is that so different from, say, East Germany were neighbors were reporting on each other for thinking unapproved thoughts? 

POLK:  The person is not reported; the event is reported. 

CARLSON:  OK.  But don‘t you think, again...

POLK:  If the—in the event that—

CARLSON:  Why are you getting involved in this?  I mean, people have all sorts of funny ideas about this, that or the other thing, but it‘s not really government‘s business to get involved in those ideas, is it?

POLK:  Well, I think it‘s government—well, I think it‘s government business to do what it can to have a great community.  And we have a great community.  It‘s unusual in many ways.  And we‘d like it to be a place where people are comfortable.

CARLSON:  You can‘t force people to think certain things.  You can‘t make people be comfortable.  You can‘t force comfort at the point of a gun.  And you can‘t force people to believe what you believe.  It‘s everybody‘s right to believe whatever he wants to believe, no matter how crazy.  And I just don‘t understand why it‘s the city‘s place to force people to believe a certain thing or not. 

POLK:  Well, I think, like I told you before, this really isn‘t unique.  Well, the anti-bias part.  I guess the hotline is unique. 

But it‘s just a matter of collecting information in the aggregate so that we can later look at the characteristics of our community, the pressures that people live under and do what we can to have a great place to live for everybody, regardless of affluence or what group they might be a part of.  It‘s really not unusual. 

CARLSON:  It‘s certainly unusual in the world I live in, but apparently not in Boulder.  Mr. Polk.

POLK:  Maybe we care a little more here. 

CARLSON:  Maybe you‘re willing to use force in ways I‘m not comfortable with.  But in any case...

POLK:  No force.  No force.

CARLSON:  Mr. Polk, from Boulder, Colorado, thanks for joining us. 

POLK:  My pleasure.  Thank you for your interest. 

CARLSON:  Thanks. 

Still to come, high school teachers are under fire tonight after allowing a heterosexual questionnaire to be taken in their classrooms.  Some of the questions asked in the survey, pretty over the top.  We‘ll tell what you they were. 

Also, Christian groups around the world continue to protest the premier of “The Da Vinci Code.”  Are these demonstrations much ado about nothing?  We‘ll give you the early reviews. 

Plus, a rape case against three Duke lacrosse players continues to fall apart.  We‘ll bring you the very latest.  Plus let you know who thinks the esteemed North Carolina University is, quote, “just another spoiled jock school.”  Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

CARLSON:  Still ahead, details on the high school heterosexuality questionnaire.  Why some are calling “The Da Vinci code” an attack on Christianity itself.  Is it?  Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Tonight‘s “Under the Radar” segment comes to us from Port Washington, Wisconsin.  High school students there were recently asked to complete a sexual orientation survey.  The survey included questions such as, quote, “If you have never slept with someone of your same gender, how do you know you wouldn‘t prefer it?”  And “What do you think caused your heterosexuality?” 

Parents there are mad, and they‘re asking is this an appropriate topic for the classroom?  Why are teachers talking to their kids about sex? 

Here to help us answer that question, from Air America Radio, Rachel Maddow.  She joins us tonight from New York City. 

Rachel, welcome.

RACHEL MADDOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT:  Hi, Tucker, you do not look a day over 45.  Happy birthday. 

CARLSON:  I said it before, I‘ll say it again, thank you, Botox. 

This is propaganda.  I mean, this is the definition of propaganda. 

MADDOW:  Wow.

CARLSON:  And I don‘t think there‘s a place in the classroom. 

MADDOW:  Why do you think these teachers allowed this survey to be distributed?  Why do you think the student group distributed this questionnaire?

CARLSON:  Because I think they have strong beliefs about gay rights which may or may not be right or morally justified.  I‘m not even going to take a position on that. 

But they have a point of view, and they‘re imposing it on the kids.  And I that that‘s wrong.  I think it would be wrong if they imposed their point of view on abortion or the death penalty, or gun control or any other political or widely-disputed social issue. 

But when it‘s about sex it‘s particularly creepy.  If I walked up to a high school student or an underage person and started asking them about their sex life or her sex life, I‘d go to jail for that.  I don‘t know why the teachers don‘t. 

MADDOW:  This is a social studies class.  This is a questionnaire that‘s aimed to get at, basically, basic questions of gay rights.  Clearly, you would admit that gay rights should be discussed in a social studies class?

CARLSON:  I think gay rights as a historical phenomenon, sure.  But I don‘t think teachers should take a position on gay rights.  No, I don‘t.

MADDOW:  It is a huge, contemporary political issue, thanks to, you know, Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman and people like you getting all fire and brimstone about it.  Gay rights is a huge contemporary political and social...

CARLSON:  I don‘t think I‘ve ever gotten fire and brimstone with gay rights.  I‘m not against gay rights.  I just—I am totally—and I don‘t do a lot of gay issues on this show, and I don‘t beat up on gay people on this show.  But I do beat up on gay activists who impose their agenda on children, and that‘s what‘s happening here. 

MADDOW:  This is not gay activists imposing an agenda on anybody, and neither was the Easter egg roll, with gay people showing up to participate in that, either.  And you definitely got fire and brimstone about that. 

CARLSON:  Oh, that was awful.  That‘s not this issue.  Let‘s get back to this. 

MADDOW:  Yes.

CARLSON:  Have you read the questions on the questionnaire?

MADDOW:  I have read the questions on the questionnaire, and I have taken questionnaires like this in the past.  These things have been around for very long time. 

CARLSON:  I‘ve seen them, too.  And I was offended then and I‘m offended now.

“Have you ever slept with someone of your same gender?  How do you know you wouldn‘t prefer it?”  I don‘t know.  If a teacher asked my kids who they were sleeping with, suggested maybe they get together with someone of their own gender, someone of a different gender, I think I‘d go to school and punch the teacher out, because I think that‘s just so wrong. 

MADDOW:  Tucker, here‘s what‘s going on.  You hear something that‘s about gay rights you and you think it‘s about sex.  This is the same—this is the same...

CARLSON:  Well, it is about sex.  They‘re saying who you slept with. 

It‘s about sex. 

MADDOW:  These have been around for a long time.  You know what this is.  You‘re smarter than what you‘re saying right now.  What you know this is is this is a walk a mile in my shoes exercise.  Right?

I, as a gay person, have constantly been asked in totally inappropriate venues, what do you think caused your homosexuality?  When did you first decide that you were homosexual?

CARLSON:  OK, but...

MADDOW:  If you haven‘t slept with a man, how can you know that you‘re gay?  I get asked those things all the time.

CARLSON:  You‘re missing the key distinction here.  You may be asked those things by people in your life.  If you were asked those things by your social studies teacher, I‘d be the first to jump up and say, “Hey, Mr.  Social Studies Teacher, knock it off.  It‘s not your place to ask Rachel Maddow about who she sleeps with, OK?”  Because that‘s the difference.  This is a teacher doing this, a teacher pushing his or her agenda on little kids.  Knock it off.

MADDOW:  Little kids.  This is a high school...

CARLSON:  They‘re underage.  They can‘t vote.  They can‘t drink.  Most of them can‘t drive.  They‘re kids. 

MADDOW:  Tucker, this is not a questionnaire that‘s aimed at getting literally at people‘s sex lives.  This is a questionnaire that‘s designed to make people realize the kinds of situations that gay people are put into.  This is an empathy exercise, basically.  And it gets right at—without taking a position on it, it gets right at the brass tacks of what the argument is for gay rights. 

CARLSON:  But it‘s pushing—exactly.  It‘s making the argument for gay rights. 

MADDOW:  It‘s not making the argument for it.  It‘s...

CARLSON:  You said it was.  You‘re slippery tonight.

MADDOW:  Listen to me, Tucker.  It‘s not about trying to make the argument for gay rights.  It‘s about trying to understand the argument for gay rights. 

The argument for gay rights basis is “I as gay person know that I‘m different.  I know I‘m not in the majority.  I know that I‘m in a minority.  But I believe the way that I‘m different should not deny me the rights of citizenship.  It shouldn‘t make me liable to discrimination or bias.” 

CARLSON:  I think everyone understands pretty much what, basically, gay rights are.  Are they going to make the case against gay rights?  Because there is such a case.

MADDOW:  Sure.

CARLSON:  But they‘re not making it.  They are pushing gay rights. 

They‘re pushing a political agenda on these kids. 

MADDOW:  No, they‘re not.  Just by talking about what the argument is for gay rights doesn‘t mean that they‘re taking it. 

CARLSON:  You said it‘s an empathy exercise.  You said.

MADDOW:  Imagine that you are in this minority.  How does that make you feel about the argument that people in this minority still have citizenship rights?

CARLSON:  It‘s an editorial, in other words.  It‘s an editorial that you agree with.  I may agree with you.  It doesn‘t matter.  No editorials in class. 

MADDOW:  If you read a letter from Birmingham jail in a civil rights class are you taking a pro-civil rights position?

CARLSON:  Yes.  Yes, you are. 

MADDOW:  Wait, wait, wait.  You can‘t learn about the argument for civil rights without taking that side?

CARLSON:  We take an explicit pro-civil rights position in American schools.  Because American society, 99 percent of Americans say out loud, “I‘m for civil rights.” 

We do not have that same position on gay rights.  A lot of people don‘t support gay rights.  Maybe they should.  Maybe they shouldn‘t, but they don‘t.  It‘s a contested social issue.  That‘s why teachers have no place pushing one side of it. 

MADDOW:  Teachers are not pushing one side of it in this regard.  Learning about the—Tucker, learning about the arguments for gay rights doesn‘t mean that you are making those arguments, and you‘re smart enough to know that. 

CARLSON:  As long as they give equal time to the arguments against gay rights.  And I‘m sure they will.  It will be gay bashing next week, right?  I don‘t think so, Rachel.

MADDOW:  This is not an argument for gay rights.  You are hysterical.

CARLSON:  I‘m not hysterical.  Rachel Maddow. 

MADDOW:  Happy birthday, Tucker.  Nice to see you.

CARLSON:  Thanks for coming on, Rachel.  I appreciate it.

MADDOW:  Thanks.

CARLSON:  Still ahead, racy pictures of the Northwestern women‘s soccer team posted on the Internet.  Does this hazing incident really warrant a suspicion?  Or an A plus?  We‘ll debate it.

Plus, the “American Idol” finalists have nothing on these guys.  The Tucker Carlson Trio, named after some obnoxious TV host I‘ve never heard of.  They stop by to perform a classic tune.  Be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back to THE SITUATION.

While Duke lacrosse captain David Evans proposes for his next court date in June, Duke University itself is under attack for going soft on the athletes accused of rape.  Falsely accused, by the way. 

In fact, Gwen Knapp of the “San Francisco Chronicle” is calling Duke, quote, “another spoiled jock school.”  She goes on to say, “It‘s easy to imagine privileged athletes at an elite college segueing from national championship contention to DNA sample collections.

Here to talk about what that means and what this case is really about, former prosecutor, now MSNBC legal analyst, Susan Filan, joining us tonight Stanford, Connecticut. 

Susan, welcome.

FILAN:  Happy birthday. 

CARLSON:  Thank you so much.  What a bigot Gwen Knapp is, and a bad writer, by the way.  Her column made almost no sense.  But the first couple graphs kind of sum it up. 

And that is, these guys, rich, privileged white kids, not surprising at all they committed rape. 

Switch the descriptions in that sentence or in that sentiment.  They‘re poor black kids, no wonder they are accused of rape.  They‘re probably racists.  I mean, that‘s just bigotry.  That‘s stereotyping people assuming they did something because of factors they can‘t control like their ethnicity.  It‘s outrageous.

MADDOW:  I think that there is a culture—a culture of entitlement when it does come to athletes.  And I think that what people are at last saying is some of these colleges they‘re kind of enabling bad behavior by letting this boys will be boys, jocks will be jocks, athletes will be athletes, getting away with bad behavior. 

I mean, this team certainly had a pretty poor history of complying with rules.  They had ordinance violations; they had misdemeanor arrests.  Some of their probations have been violated.  The coach was essentially fired. 

CARLSON:  Come on, I had more—I had more problems than that in college.  A lot more problems than that in college.  Dumb, drinking-related stuff, making noise.  Pubic derangement.  I mean, that‘s nothing.

FILAN:  That‘s no brag, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  I‘m not bragging at all.  I‘m merely saying that anybody who drank a lot in college has had run-ins like that.  They amount to, let‘s see, oh, yes, nothing.  They amount to nothing.  They don‘t make you a rapist.  And the suggestion that they do is outrageous. 

FILAN:  I have to agree with you on that.  But I think what you‘re basically saying is while you‘re in college, put a white picket fence around you, drink as much us a want, do as many bad things, and when you get out you‘re then supposed to know how to be a responsible, law abiding adult, who can be a productive member of society and raise law-abiding children.  I mean, that mixed message, that double standard is, I think...

CARLSON:  College drinking may be excessive, and you could make a case for that.  And I probably would agree with you.  Maybe people should study more in college.  I agree with that, too. 

But none of that suggests that you‘re a rapist.  And I think here—I think it‘s really clear that there‘s culture bias going on here.  And I know it‘s unpopular to stand up for the rich, white kids.  But I don‘t care, actually, because these guys are innocent, it turns out. 

FILAN:  What about that deal, though?

CARLSON:  Hold on.  If they were disadvantaged students of color, the Justice Department would be in Durham, North Carolina so fast, it would make your head spin.  This would be a civil rights case.

These kids never would have been indicted.  And if they were invited, they were going to be sit-ins in Nifong‘s office until they were unindicted.  And you know that‘s true. 

FILAN:  What about that e-mail, though, from that Duke lacrosse player basically saying we‘re going to get us a stripper and we‘re going to skin her.  I mean, basically.

CARLSON:  The kid is an idiot.  He‘s like a drunk dummy who wrote an appalling e-mail.  It doesn‘t make him a rapist, though.  See, there‘s a difference between being a boorish jerk and being a sex criminal.  You know that.

FILAN:  Yes, I do.  And I think that, actually, as much as it kills me

and I‘ll give this to you as a birthday present, too.  You‘re right about that. 

But I think that what we do need to be aware of is there is something going on in colleges and there is something going on in teens.  We‘ve got to send messages to these kids.  It‘s a privilege to be in college; it‘s a prejudice to be on the team.  Don‘t act so irresponsible that you tarnish the reputation of the team and your school. 

CARLSON:  I tend to agree.  But there‘s a deeper lesson here.  And that is that when an elected prosecutor such as this Nifong character gets power, he can misuse it.  And there‘s nothing scarier than the power of government misused. 

Here you have a guy who‘s indicted someone who‘s identified by a woman who thinks he had a mustache.  He never had a moustache.  This whole thing is crazy.  You know it, I know it.  Everyone who‘s played close attention to this case knows it‘s a colossal miscarriage.  It‘s going on anyway.

FILAN:  But it is—what it is, is it‘s a real mystery.  Because Nifong didn‘t indict these three boys, a grand jury did.  So something must have been presented to them that was persuasive to them. 

And it was the woman‘s account, but there was also a medical examiner‘s could be ration by the examination that there were injuries consistent with forced sexual rape. 

Now that‘s not—I don‘t know what happened at that party. 

CARLSON:  Right.

FILAN:  And some of the things that I‘ve heard make me question whether this is a case that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  But indictments don‘t happen on absolutely nothing. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

FILAN:  The prosecutor can‘t personally go in there and say, “I want you to indict.” 

CARLSON:  We‘re getting back to the ham sandwich axiom, as you know, which is everyone always says you can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. 

FILAN:  That‘s not true.

CARLSON:  I think this could be a ham sandwich.  Anyway...

FILAN:  If that‘s true, why are there no bills returned?  Not every case that‘s presented to a grand jury comes back. 

CARLSON:  Not everyone indicted is guilty, and in this case they‘re not. 

FILAN:  Well, they‘re presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

CARLSON:  Well, in this case I really believe they are innocent, at least two of them are innocent.  Anyway, Susan Filan, thank you so much for coming on.  We will see you again, no doubt. 

FILAN:  Good-bye, Tucker.  Have a great birthday. 

CARLSON:  Thank you. 

Still to come tonight, late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel freaks out his audience by faking a snake bite on the air.  The star of tonight‘s top five list can only hope to be so lucky. 

Plus, why are people going on hunger strikes and planning massive protests own “The Da Vinci Code”?  Can a work of fiction really hurt the Catholic Church?  We‘ll debate that when we come back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, the most memorable maulings of all time.  A Komodo dragon and a white tiger make the list.

Plus, the Northwestern Wildcats show us just how wild the women‘s soccer team can get at a hazing party.  We‘ve got it all next.  But first, here‘s what else is going on in the world tonight.

(NEWSBREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  We turn to a man whose research for this segment consists entirely of Googling himself.  He likes what he sees.  He‘s “The Outsider”, ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host, Max Kellerman. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO:  Except for that one guy on the message board.  Boy, he ticks me off, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Those message boards.  Not that I‘ve ever actually seen one. 

Well, the much hyped movie version of the best-selling book, “The Da Vinci Code”, opens this week.  It‘s already being panned by critics in America.  “Varity” calls it a stodgy, grim thing. 

It‘s also being released to massive worldwide protest.  The movie, which stars Tom Hanks, has drawn fire from Christian and specifically Catholic groups that say it falsely portrays their religion. 

The most controversial part of the film is the speculation that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene, a prostitute, and that the couple has descendents who live even today. 

The Vatican has condemned the movie.  Boycotts and even hunger strikes are planned in South Korea, India, Thailand, Greece and around the world. 

So are the protestors making too much of the movie?  I don‘t think so, Max.  “The Da Vinci Code” is a direct assault on their beliefs, whether you like it or not.  You, meanwhile, take after the film (ph).

Look, the point is, Max, leaving aside the merits of the book, not many, and the movie, I haven‘t seen it, sounds bad, this is an attack on the fundamental tenets of Christianity.  Now you may not believe in the fundamental tenets of Christianity, but about a billion or more Christians do.  And you can see why they‘d be exercised and why they‘d be fighting back.

KELLERMAN:  Well, a couple things here.  First, the idea of belief, I‘ll get to that in a second.  But the book, you‘ve read the book, Tucker?

CARLSON:  I have not, no. 

KELLERMAN:  OK.  I read the book a couple of years ago when it first came out.  It‘s a page turner for about 100 pages and it‘s not very good.  Most of the characters are, like, the romantic fantasy of an academic.  That‘s the way they appear.  A guy with a stake in feminism somehow and is trying, you know. 

But the premise is really not that controversial.  Here‘s the premise.  There is a secret at the bottom—at the end of this chase that will rock the foundations of western civilization to its very core. 

And you know what the premise is, Tucker?  You know what they finally discover?  The Bible is not a history book.  Really?  I thought the Bible was a history book.  That‘s the problem with belief.  Faith is, by definition, belief in the absence of evidence.  In the absence of evidence.  That‘s what it is.

CARLSON:  Well, wait a second.  There is historical evidence for some things that happened in the New Testament.  For that matter, the Old Testament. 

KELLERMAN:  Sure.  Yes. 

CARLSON:  And so wait, but hold on.  I mean, there are a lot of things that we take on faith that we call facts, but are, in fact, faith.  And I could—I could name some of them, but I don‘t want to be too controversial here.  But there are a lot of things we assume we know, but we actually are kind of believing in them.  We want to believe that they‘re true. 

And if you go in other words, going at other people‘s sacred cows, I don‘t know.  You can‘t expect them to like it.  Moreover...

KELLERMAN:  But the difference—the difference is faith only exists in the absence of evidence, Tucker.  You must believe.  Once you have evidence for it, then it‘s no longer faith.  You believe it based on something else.  Right?  Based on logic or something else.

And so when a book comes out—I took a history course at Columbia once that talked about the Old Testament, the various things that have been shown historically to be highly unlikely in the Old Testament.  For instance, that there was even such a thing as Jews in Egypt.  And of course, the Holocaust deniers out there.  Jewish people are scared to even go near that. 

But of course, it‘s not—the Bible is not a history book.  And that‘s all this is really about. 

CARLSON:  But on the other hand, neither is “The Da Vinci Code”.

KELLERMAN:  That is true. 

CARLSON:  And it is going to be taken by people as one.  And I think people who have a stake in Christianity have every right to attack it as schlock.  And by the way, I didn‘t read it, but I sat in bed night after night with someone who was reading it, and it sounded awful. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, let me put it this way.  In my opinion, it‘s two works of fiction.  One, the Bible, is significantly better. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Nicely put.  I disagree you, but still. 

Northwestern University suspends the women‘s soccer team while the school looks into allegations of hazing, hazing that was caught on camera.  Pictures posted on the Internet this week show players wearing only T-shirts and their underpants while blindfolded with their hands behind their backs.  There‘s also writing on some of the women.  We can‘t read what it says, but it‘s probably mean.

The university says it learned of the incident on Monday and immediately launched an investigation.  The team will not begin its fall season until that investigation is complete. 

The school, of course, completely overreacting to some harmless initiation rights, Max.  No one got hurt.  I know you object to seeing co-eds in their underwear.  You‘re offended on moral grounds.

This, I can‘t imagine a bigger overreaction.  If you want to be upset about college, be upset about the tremendous waste of money it is for most people, right?  And the tremendous amount of pointless boozing that goes on.  But harmless stuff like this?  Come on, lighten up.

KELLERMAN:  You call that boozing pointless, in fact, Tucker?

CARLSON:  Well, I mean, sometimes it has a point.  Often it doesn‘t. 

KELLERMAN:  Listen, I have no personal objection to this, but here‘s the argument against it. 

What is hazing really about?  You said it before: it‘s an initiation.

CARLSON:  Right.

KELLERMAN:  Into what exactly?  The girls on the team already made the team.  They will be initiated when they play.  I mean, they‘ve been initiated by the fact that their athletic prowess enabled them to make the team. 

So then the argument for hazing is, well, it brings you closer together as a unit and it weeds out the week or something.  But that‘s never been demonstrated. 

And so if you take the idea that it, in fact, does not help the team and might even hurt them, why does it still go on?  We all know the answer: because it happened to the girls who are now hazing the new—the new girls, and they‘re thinking, “I‘m not going to be the only one this happens to.  I‘m going to pass the misery on to someone else.” 

CARLSON:  I don‘t think that—I don‘t think that‘s entirely true.  I mean, I personally couldn‘t stand it, because I can‘t stand to be told what to do by anyone.  However, I think there‘s a lot of evidence, evidence that is in ritual.  People do it because it works.  And the evidence is that this does bring people together, and that‘s why it‘s done. 

But the point is...

KELLERMAN:  Well, if you know...

CARLSON:  Whether it works or not is not the point.  It‘s not such a big deal.  Who cares?

KELLERMAN:  Well, the reason—yes, but I‘m trying to make an argument here, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

KELLERMAN:  Really, they had a huge—the reason there are so many anti-hazing rules at a lot of these colleges is because they got, a bunch of years ago, coaches and athletes and educators and everyone together.  And the conclusion that was drawn from a lot of the people who engaged in those rituals in the past was that no, in fact, it doesn‘t help, and it‘s a bad thing that should be avoided.  And that‘s why we even have these kind of regulations now.  Although I know you will argue, and maybe successfully...

CARLSON:  The reason we have regulations...

KELLERMAN:  P.C. run amok.

CARLSON:  ... is it is a bunch of uptight dorks got control of the universities and started imposing... 

KELLERMAN:  Let them blindfold these girls if they want to; they‘re doing it willingly, for crying out loud.  They‘re consenting adults. 

CARLSON:  Plus, the pictures are cute, more to the point. 

Max Kellerman.  Thank you, sir. 

KELLERMAN:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  And now a video featuring the biting wit of late night funny guy, Jimmy Kimmel.  Kimmel had fans rattled during a segment on his show featuring a supposedly live, poisonous shake. 

At one point, the snake appeared to bite strike and bite Kimmel on the hand.  As the studio audience looked on in horror, paramedics rushed the comedian to a waiting ambulance and then to a nearby emergency room. 

Eventually, it became clear that it wasn‘t a real emergency room.  These weren‘t real doctors, but they play them on TV.  Namely, the stars of ABC‘s “Grey‘s Anatomy.”

But Kimmel‘s venomous prank brings to mind some real and definitely not so funny unexpected encounters with members of the animal kingdom.  In tonight‘s “Top Five,” when animals bite the hand that feeds them. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON (voice-over):  They‘re often the source of great family entertainment.  But the fur can really fly when these animals decide they‘re tired of working for peanuts. 

Five years ago actress Sharon Stone thought she‘d treat then husband Phil Bronstein to a Father‘s Day outing at the L.A. zoo.  The trip ended painfully when Bronstein was attacked by a five-foot long Komodo Dragon, which nearly chomped his toe off.  Hey, Sharon, in retrospect, a nice tie might have been a better present. 

SHARON STONE, ACTRESS:  Very low down.

CARLSON:  It was no illusion when one of magician Roy Horn‘s white tigers suddenly turned on his master before a horrified packed house in Vegas three years ago.  The attack nearly killed Roy and forever brought the curtain down on one of the most spectacular shows in Vegas history. 

Another horrific scene, this one in Honolulu when an elephant suddenly goes berserk and kills its trainer during a circus performance in 1994.  The rampaging animal then runs amok in the streets.  Police must finally resort to deadly force.  It took 87 rounds of gunfire to finally bring the beast down. 

From Poland, why grisly bears make lousy TV guests.  This circus bear must have really been in a foul mood that day, because after attacking the woman, he then took on her rescuer.  In the end, no one was hurt, just a little frazzled. 

We conclude with one of the most adored animals in the world.  Well, adored by just about everyone except this guy. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (speaking foreign language)

Maybe the sugarcane scented cologne was not such a good idea after all. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON:  When pandas go wild. 

Coming up on THE SITUATION tonight, a pair of arsonists caught on tape as they torch someone‘s home.  Why did they do it?  Did the videotape do them in?  We‘ll tell you when we come back in just a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANESSA MCDONALD, PRODUCER:  Coming up, the amazing story of a double amputee‘s attempt to climb Mount Everest.  We‘ll tell you if he made history by making it to the top.

Plus, a performance by the Tucker Carlson Trio. 

CARLSON:  Yes, there is a band named after me.  We‘ll see if they live up to their name when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

I‘m not naive enough to think my next guests actually named their band the Tucker Carlson Trio as a tribute to me and everything I stand for.  That would be nice, but I think there‘s an outside chance it‘s an ironic title.  Whatever their motivation, I‘ll take it.  In fact, I hope they become worldwide superstars and sell our stadiums, because I will, of course, expect a cut. 

The Tucker Carlson Trio, all five members, none of them math majors, are here tonight to perform for us from Cleveland. 

Fellows, do the name proud. 

(MUSIC)

CARLSON:  The Tucker Carlson trio of Cleveland, Ohio.  Thanks, guys. 

Outstanding. 

Still ahead on THE SITUATION, starting to get the feeling that Britney Spears may not be cut out for motherhood?  We‘ll show you the latest incident in Britney‘s ongoing battle with common sense. 

Before we go tonight, it‘s our installment of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.”

The good is actually the incredible.  Forty-seven-year-old New Zealander Mark Inglis reached the summit of Mount Everest yesterday.  That‘s remarkable enough on its own.  But it becomes near miraculous when you consider he is a double amputee. 

Inglis climbed Everest with two artificial legs.  One of his limbs broke on the way up, and he had to repair it with spare parts.  He‘s the first double amputee ever to get to conquer Mount Everest. 

The bad is this pair of arsonists, who were caught on tape setting a home on fire in Sacramento, California.  You can see one man dumping fluid on the house, the other igniting it, both of them running away.  The fire caused $10,000 of damage.  Cops are still looking for the men. 

Now if you‘re squeamish, you might want to turn away from the ugly tonight.  This was the scene at a zoo in Amsterdam earlier in the week when a group of bears killed and ate a monkey in front of four or five visitors. 

The sloth bears and monkeys had peacefully shared the same enclosure at the zoo for years until now.  A spokesman says the monkeys will be moved to a different part of the zoo.  Good call.  The monkeys are behind that.

Tonight‘s edition of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”.  We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  The first 57 minutes are merely prelude to this.  Willie Geist and “The Cutting Room Floor”.

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER:  And the final three minutes of your birthday, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  It‘s true, Willie.

GEIST:  Can I just say, I‘d like to have a band named after me? 

Tucker Carlson Trio, that‘s cool. 

CARLSON:  All five of them. 

GEIST:  That‘s the coolest libertarian band out there right now. 

Now on my birthday two short weeks ago...

CARLSON:  Yes.

GEIST:  ... I received from Carvel, from our director, Dave Wexler (ph), Fudgy the Whale.  Fudgy the Whale is second only to the great Cookie Puss.  Is Cookie Puss here tonight?  There he is.  Cookie Puss.

CARLSON:  Thank you, Mike.  That is terrific.

GEIST:  Happy birthday, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  That is so nice. 

GEIST:  It is sort of an alien life form.  It‘s got your nose.

CARLSON:  You know what?  I bet our cameraman can eat that in about under a minute. 

GEIST:  I‘m not even sure how we‘re going to attack that. 

CARLSON:  I‘m digging in.

GEIST:  We‘ll think about it, though. 

CARLSON:  I‘m honored.  Thank you.

GEIST:  Happy birthday, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Thank you, Willie.  Not as pornographic as Fudgy the Whale. 

I don‘t want to suggest our society needs to take up a hobby or read a good book or anything, but it does seem that we spend an awful lot of time worrying about Britney Spears‘ parenting methods.  And maybe we should.

Our latest concern is that Britney doesn‘t know how to use her 8-month-old son‘s baby seat correctly.  An overhead paparazzi shot shows the pop princess has the car seat facing forward.  Safety advocates say kids under 1 should sit in car seats facing backwards.  Major faux pas.

GEIST:  Tucker, can I just say I am so bored by Britney Spears at this point?  Serious.  No, honestly.  Think about a couple of years ago she was this naughty schoolgirl sex pot.  Now we‘re talking about her car seats?

CARLSON:  I know.

GEIST:  If we‘re talking about your car seat, it‘s over. 

CARLSON:  I know. 

GEIST:  I‘m not interested in you anymore.

CARLSON:  She‘s got the Volvo that doesn‘t have all side-impact air bags. 

GEIST:  I‘m very worried about her.  She‘s a terrible parent.

CARLSON:  I feel so sorry for her.  Poor girl.

GEIST:  She‘s the pigtails and skirt. 

CARLSON:  I mean, she‘s just running to the liquor store for another 12-pack.  And like overhead.

GEIST:  By the way, she had curlers in her hair, too.  She‘s really classing up.

CARLSON:  So cool.

Well, if you live in Walton, Arkansas, and you probably do, and you‘re having trouble paying your water bill, there‘s an easy solution: just have sex with the mayor. 

GEIST:  Oh.

CARLSON:  Seventy-two-year-old mayor Troy Anderson turned himself in today to police after he was caught having sex with his citizens in exchange for money and, in some cases, free hookups to the city‘s water supply.

GEIST:  Wow.

CARLSON:  The mayor faces two counts of abuse of the public trust. 

Good description.

GEIST:  If you‘re having sex with the mayor, you‘re doing it for water?  It‘s an abundant—it‘s an abundant natural resource.  Get cable or something.  Biweekly trash pickup.  Water?  Turn on your faucet, you fool. 

CARLSON:  Three fourths of your service.  What a salesman this guy is.

GEIST:  To sleep with the creepy mayor for water.  Oh, my God.  What, oxygen, is that next?  Good God.

CARLSON:  Willie Geist, thank you. 

GEIST:  Happy birthday.

CARLSON:  That‘s it for us.  Have a great night.  See you tomorrow.

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

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