updated 5/31/2006 12:53:34 PM ET 2006-05-31T16:53:34

Guest: Brad Blakeman, William Barber, Lynn Edlen-Nezin, Max Kellerman

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Thanks to you at home, too, for tuning in.  We appreciate it, as always.

Tonight, the investigation into what happened in Haditha.  Did U.S.  Marines go on a deadly rampage, killing unarmed men, women and children in cold blood, and conspire to cover it up?  Or is there more to this story?  We‘ll talk to a former general who just returned from a briefing with President Bush.

Also ahead, television royalty under fire.  We‘ll tell you who‘s taking aim at Oprah Winfrey and why. 

And a shocking crime that rocks the campus of Clemson University.  A 20-year-old student is found murdered, strangled with her own bikini top.  The latest on the hunt for her killer. 

But first, the growing Haditha scandal.  The Pentagon is investigating an incident in November that left as many as 24 Iraqi civilians dead in the farming town that‘s about 150 miles northwest of Baghdad. 

According to “TIME” magazine, U.S. Marines fired on men, women and children after one of their own was killed by a remote controlled IED.  Now several Marines could face capital murder charges, and there are allegations of a cover up.

Meanwhile, CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier is in critical but stable condition tonight at a military hospital in Germany after a car bombing in Baghdad killed two members of her crew. 

So are these random acts of violence, or are they a sign that Iraq is spinning even further out of control? 

Retired General Barry McCaffrey is an NBC military analyst who met with the president this morning on the state of Iraq.  He joins us tonight from Arlington, Virginia. 

General McCaffrey, thanks for coming on. 

GEN. BARRY MCCAFFREY (RET.), NBC NEWS MILITARY ANALYST:  Good to be with you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  You‘ve been, I think, a really thoughtful critic of the war in Iraq.  And I‘m wondering if your conversation with the president moved you at all on the subject.  Did he say anything that you didn‘t know or were surprised to learn about Iraq?

MCCAFFREY:  Well, I think, Tucker—he had in six people with very different viewpoints and three very distinguished academics, Wayne Downing, another NBC commentator, retired four-star; and Mike Vickers with CIA background.  And I think he was—genuinely wanted to hear viewpoints about going forward.  What‘s the situation?  What did we think about it?  You know, what were some insights might be helpful to him in the enormous burdens he bears on this war. 

CARLSON:  Did he mention anything about this growing—I don‘t know, scandal may be strong—but the investigation into what happened in this town northwest of Baghdad?

MCCAFFREY:  No.  No, that did not come up.  This was really the politics, the economics, the security situation in Iraq and going forward what do we think about it and what do we do?

CARLSON:  What—what was your sense of the president‘s mind on Iraq right now?  Was he positive?

MCCAFFREY:  Well, I think he‘s—you know, first of all, I‘d be reluctant to characterize what his mindset was.

CARLSON:  Yes.

MCCAFFREY:  But you know, I think he was genuinely listening to a variety of viewpoints.  I think he feels a tremendous sense of responsibility, obviously.  You know, we‘ve got 20,000 killed and wounded.  This is a $300 billion war.

We‘re in a very difficult position because we‘re now hoping that we can help the Iraqis create a government that will have some legitimacy and then stand up a security force and start to withdraw coalition forces.  So a very tricky position.  The next six months to a year, it will be very crucial. 

CARLSON:  The allegations against these Marines, I think three in this town Haditha, north of Baghdad, that they killed 24 civilians, including at least 10 women and children after one of their fellow Marines was killed in an IED attack. 

Do you know anything about this that we haven‘t read in the press? 

And do you think the investigation is a serious investigation into this?

MCCAFFREY:  Well, no, I don‘t.  And you know, first of all, Tucker, let me underscore that, you know, the U.S. Marine Corps is one of the premiere fighting forces on the face of the earth.  It‘s enormously disciplined.  Their values are America‘s values. 

So what we‘re looking at, it‘s an anomaly, an alleged crime of murder, mass murder by a limited number of Marines. 

And then a legitimate question, follow on would be OK, was it adequately investigated?  Is it transparent?  Are they going to do the right thing, yes or no?  And before we‘re done with it, we‘ll know what happened and we‘ll take—I‘m sure the Department of Defense will take corrective action. 

CARLSON:  There‘s a lot we don‘t know.  We do know that apparently in November this group of Marines was in a suburban area in this town, a very hostile town, to the United States, anyway.  There was an explosion and these people were killed. 

We don‘t know a lot more than that, and yet some people are jumping in and claiming a cover up, among them Jack Murtha, a congressman from Pennsylvania.  Described this as a cover up that was worse an Abu Ghraib.

From what you know, was that—do you think that‘s a fair thing to say?

MCCAFFREY:  Well, look, first of all, we‘ve got to wait until the investigation is done.  Hopefully, it will identify anybody that committed a crime against the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  And equally important, exonerate those who didn‘t.  So we‘ve got to hold fire. 

The world will judge us.  The Iraqis will judge us not on whether we had some handful of Marines commit murder under pressure, a violation of our criminal code, but what we do about it. 

So again—by the way, I would not compare this to Abu Ghraib.  Abu Ghraib was a terrible blot on our military honor based on bad policy, bad leadership, systemic abuse.  It went on for, I think, over a year in various places.  I think it‘s now corrected, but that was I think that was the worst thing that‘s happened since My Lai in Vietnam. 

CARLSON:  Yes, I agree with that. 

Now, there have been over 70 reporters killed in Iraq so far.  But recently a number of them have been killed or wounded while embedded with the U.S. military, mostly recently those two, sound man and a camera man, from CBS and the correspondent now gravely injured.

Does this make you rethink the wisdom of the embed program?

MCCAFFREY:  No, absolutely not.  Tucker, you can‘t move around that country safely if you‘re a diplomat or a journalist or a contractor unless you‘re art of a security force.  And so I think part of the challenge to getting out and covering this story is being able to move from unit to unit where you‘ve got some protection. 

Now it‘s a dangerous thing.  You know, we lose a battalion of soldiers and Marines, killed and wounded, each month.  This is a couple of thousand so-called IEDs a month.  And routinely these forces are being sniped at, mortared, rocketed.  It‘s a dangerous place. 

And thank God they‘ve got great equipment, great training, great leadership.  But it is flat dangerous being in downtown Baghdad or...

CARLSON:  Oh, yes, absolutely.  But I mean, the idea has always been among journalists—this was the idea when I was in Iraq—that the safest place to be is with the U.S. military.  Doubtless that‘s still true, but it‘s getting—the perception of even that is getting so dangerous I wonder if the Pentagon understands that there‘s about to be a lot less coverage of Iraq because of that.  People are just going to pull out.

MCCAFFREY:  I think it is—it‘s a problem.  Cost a lot of money to be there.  We‘ve got this wonderful Richard Engels, tremendously courageous reporter. 

CARLSON:  Yes, he sure is.

MCCAFFREY:  Costs us a fortune trying to keep these guys alive.  I‘ll tell you, though.  Flat, period, no question asked, that the best place to be is with a U.S. Army rifle company or U.S. Marine company.  That‘s your safest place.  But again, tough to get to them, move around with them, and you‘re still in danger. 

CARLSON:  All right.  General Barry McCaffrey, thanks a lot. 

MCCAFFREY:  Good to be with you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  We turn now to the latest on the battle to secure our borders.  The most recent “USA Today” polling numbers suggest that Americans are strikingly divided on the issue of illegal immigration.  About a quarter of Americans think deporting illegals would help the economy.  Twenty-three percent are not worried about the issue at all.  Twenty-seven percent are ambivalent, and an equal percentage welcome illegal aliens to the country.  Pretty well split into quarters.

Can the Congress perform on immigration given this climate?  Joining us to talk about it, Brad Blakeman.  He‘s former deputy assistant to President Bush.  He served with the president from 2001 to 2004.  And he‘s joining us tonight from Washington.

Brad Blakeman, thanks a lot for coming on.

BRAD BLAKEMAN, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  It‘s interesting.  This is not just dividing the country—it clearly is—but dividing the Republican Party.  Most Republicans in the United States Senate voted against the very liberal immigration Bill that the president backs. 

Doesn‘t the resident risk losing his own support or his party losing its own support, its base in the mid term elections coming up, over this?

BLAKEMAN:  I don‘t think he does, Tucker.  I mean, this is the largest immigration reform in the nation‘s history.  It comes at a time when we realize that the two most important things to our country, first is the security; second thing is our economy.  And we have to do something.  Our borders are porous.  And bad guys can get through. 

But on the other hand, we have 11 million to 12 million illegals here in this country.  That‘s a fact. 

We can‘t bury our head in the sand and prepare they don‘t exist.  We have to give them a reason to come out of the shadows that‘s reasonable, and we have to do it now.  And to say that we can pass this on is really not responsible. 

CARLSON:  Wait a second.  Why not give them a reason to go home?  I mean, this Bill in the resident‘s plan gives them a reason to stay.  In fact, it gives them amnesty if you can prove—or sort of prove, anyway, you‘ve been here for a couple, five years.  You somehow are not illegal anymore and you get to stay. 

Why not just make it so if you‘re illegal, you‘re a law breaker.  Go home?

BLAKEMAN:  Why do you think they came here?  They came here out of desperation, for a better life for them and their families. 

CARLSON:  A lot of people want to come here for a better life.  I mean, half of Africa wanted to come. 

BLAKEMAN:  They didn‘t come here because they wanted to come here.  They would much rather—to stay home.  But they had to come here, and you can‘t just tell them they have to leave. 

CARLSON:  Wait, wait, wait.  Hold on.  You could say the same about the entire population of Burkina Faso.  So if it‘s our moral obligation to provide a better life for people from poor countries why have borders at all?

BLAKEMAN:  The fact of the matter is we pretty much allowed them to cross our borders.

CARLSON:  Blaming the victim are we?  It‘s our fault, because we have lax borders, because Bush didn‘t enforce the borders, so now we‘re stuck with it.

BLAKEMAN:  It‘s a fact.  President Bush, Tucker, since his tenure as has turned back six million illegal aliens.  President Bush inherited this problem.  These people didn‘t come here under his watch.  They‘ve been here. 

CARLSON:  Well, wait a second. 

BLAKEMAN:  And you‘re just going to ask them to leave.  That‘s totally unreasonable, and it‘s not going to happen.

CARLSON:  We know that that‘s completely untrue.  We think about a million people get in every year.  So I mean, it‘s not like the 11 or 12 million illegals—we don‘t even know how many there are—all arrived here under Bill Clinton and before.  We both know that that‘s a crock. 

BLAKEMAN:  I didn‘t say that.  I said that a vast majority of them have come here prior to the Bush administration.  Of course some have come during the Bush administration.

CARLSON:  OK.

BLAKEMAN:  But during the Bush administration President Bush was able to turn six million back. 

CARLSON:  That‘s good.  Not quite good enough.  But let‘s get specific quickly about this bill in the Senate that the president endorses.  It would give retroactive Social Security credit to illegal aliens who have been using fraudulent Social Security numbers. 

They‘ve used forged documents, and now we‘re giving them credit for Social Security.  This will cost, I don‘t know, name a number, $100 billion it will cost Social Security and a system that is already overtaxed.  Why is this a good idea?

BLAKEMAN:  I‘m not saying that that‘s necessarily a good idea.

CARLSON:  OK, good!

BLAKEMAN:  There are lots of things in the Senate bill and there are lots of things in the House bill that are not going to see the light of day when the bill reaches the resident‘s desk.  It‘s going to come down to compromise.  That‘s what it‘s going to take to bring this bill to the president?

CARLSON:  How about allowing illegals in this country who will be offered amnesty under the president‘s plan the opportunity to bring their relatives, say their parents, from their country of origin?

BLAKEMAN:  Tucker, the resident is not creating an amnesty program.  What he is doing is recognizing the facts as they exist today.  He‘s offering opportunity to those people who will come out of shadows, meet the criteria, pay their taxes, register properly. 

And those who can‘t do that and not meet that criteria are going to have to go back.  And we‘re also putting the burden on the employers to do a better job of screening the people.  Come up with a computerized program.  Now, not waiting six years as the House bill want to do to implement. 

We‘ve got to do these things and do them now.

You can‘t deny...

CARLSON:  I agree with that—I agree with that.  I don‘t agree we owe a better life to the world, though.  But you know.

BLAKEMAN:  America is made up primarily from immigrants.

CARLSON:  Yes.

BLAKEMAN:  But people who have come here legally.  But the fact of the matter is the 11 million men are here, you can‘t tell them, “Hey, everybody.  You need to go home.”  They‘re just not going to do it. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t know.  Actually you can.  And if I were president you‘d get to watch me do it but sadly, I‘m merely a talk show host. 

Brad Blakeman, thanks for joining us.

BLAKEMAN:  OK.  Take care. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, the very latest in the Duke rape investigation.  The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP painted the accuser in that case as a modern day civil rights hero.  We‘ll talk to the president of the group in just a minute. 

Plus, she‘s had lying authors, child molesters, even a CNN anchor on her show.  So who isn‘t good enough for Oprah Winfrey to talk to?  One group is steaming mad.  We‘ll bring you the details on that feud when THE SITUATION returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still ahead, has Senator Barack Obama surpassed Hillary Clinton as the face of the Democratic Party.  Is he now the frontrunner for the 2008 presidential nomination?  The answer is here when THE SITUATION continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

Now to the latest on the Duke rape investigation.  The NAACP is asking for a gag order in the case in an effort to keep attorneys for the accused lacrosse layers from speaking out.  But is that any way to get a fair trial?  And what about the First Amendment?

Here to tell us, the Reverend Barber.  He‘s the president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP.  He joins us tonight from Goldspur, North Carolina. 

Reverend Barber, thanks for coming on.

REV. BARBER, PRESIDENT NORTH CAROLINA CHAPTER, NAACP:  Thank you so much, Tucker, for having us on tonight. 

CARLSON:  Thank you.  And I understand that you don‘t care for some of the things the defense team has been saying in public and leaving to the different media outlets, of course. 

On the other hand they have a First Amendment right to say what they want to say and to give their opinions about this case.  I mean, it‘s in the Constitution.  Why in the world would you attempt to stop them from speaking?

BARBER:  Well, surely, you have a right to a First Amendment right.  But lawyers also have codes of ethics and codes of conduct.  And one of the things that the maw says that lawyers involved in cases like this should not do things like this that would have a substantial chance of materially prejudicing the judicial process. 

What we‘re talking about is we need a level playing field and a fair fight, not a P.R. machine.  Take this case to trial.  Take it into court.  We‘ve had a grand jury and an indictment.  Take it to court where it ought to be and let it be examined—examined by a judge and jury. 

CARLSON:  The prosecutor in this case, Mr. Nifong, gave dozens upon dozens upon dozens of press statements after charging the first of these two Duke lacrosse layers with felony sexual assault.  Were you bothered by that?  Did you think he ought to be gagged, too?

BARBER:  Well, what—what we‘re looking at, our lawyers did look at those statements that he made.  And the majority of them were given the basic things about the case. 

What we have now is a situation, defense, where Defense lawyers will

fire a motion,

CARLSON:  As I understand your position, the prosecutor ought to be able to lay out his case as he sees it, and the defense ought to be quiet like a good little defense and just wait for the government to beat...?

BARBER:  Oh, no, no.  No, in fact, we‘re calling—our lawyers are working on a piece now that will call for an examination across the board. 

But the prosecutor did not lay out his case.  In fact, many of the things that have come out from the defense attorneys, the prosecutor never said.  It seems as though there is some exempt to—maybe dirty the jury pool and ask for some kind of move of venue.  We‘re asking for a fair fate and a fair playing field.  Don‘t demean.

CARLSON:  Doesn‘t sound like you want a fair fight.  I‘m going—I looked at your web site this morning.  This was the North Carolina web site this afternoon.  This is a posting from Friday, May 19.  From the Rev.  Courtesy Gatewood (ph).  This is on your site. 

The defense team is using the crooked media outlets as part of their demonic strategy to strip the so-called stripper of every measure of dignity and psychoactively reraping her for having the audacity to challenge white supremacy.

Why is this a case about white—I mean, in other words, you are making the accuser in this case some sort of modern day civil rights hero, and I just can‘t imagine why. 

BARBER:  Well, he issue, first of all, in this case have to do with gang rape, racial hate crimes, sexual violence, underage drinking.  But also let‘s flip that over, Tucker.  Why for weeks did the media portray this girl as a black stripper, said nothing about her being a student, 27-year-old Navy veteran.  Simply a black stripper.  And then...

CARLSON:  I don‘t know what papers you get, Reverend, but every account I read said that she was a mother of two and a college student. 

BARBER:  No, no many of them.  But even some of the ticker tapes that ran always said black stripper and Duke lacrosse team. 

CARLSON:  But apart from her color, why are you taking her—why are you taking her side?  There‘s been a great deal of evidence proffered that, in fact, her case is very flimsy.  And but why are you instinctively taking her side, apart from her skin color?  Is there a reason?

BARBER:  Well—well, no.  We‘ve taken—the NAACP has traditionally

we know what it‘s like to be accused.  We‘ve been on the side where black men have been accused falsely of rape.  We‘ve also been on the side where white and black women were raped and it was dismissed. 

The fact of the matter is, this is the indictment.  The grand jury has indicted.  It needs to go to the courts and be settled in the courts and not on the front page of the paper or the sports age. 

CARLSON:  Or on the North Carolina NAACP web site?

BARBER:  Yes, there are many, many.  And go to Our Hearts World.  Go to Our Hearts World.

CARLSON:  I‘ve been there.  I‘ve been there, and you are definitely making a case for the accuser in this case.  But I hope, Reverend, that you will be a peace maker in this case and not accuse people of raping anyone... 

BARBER:  Well, we‘ve been one.

CARLSON:  ... because that‘s pretty overheated rhetoric for a man of the cloth.  But I appreciate your coming on.  Thank you very much.  Reverend William Barber II of the North Carolina NAACP.  Thanks.

BARBER:  Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON:  Still to come, Hillary Clinton seems to be the flavor of the month for Democrats.  But is Senator Barack Obama really the party front runner in 2008?  We‘ll bring you the latest presidential scuttlebutt.

Plus a horrifying murder on the campus of Clemson University.  Have police identified suspects behind the bikini strangulation of Tiffany Souers?  “THE SITUATION Crime Blotter” is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

You‘d think the resident‘s rock-bottom approval rating and America‘s growing animosity toward incumbents would give Democrats a pretty clear shot at winning back Congress this fall.  But leading analysts like pollster Charlie Cook say it may not happen.  Democrats may gain a few seats but not enough to tip the balance of power.  That‘s his opinion, anyway.

With that bleak outlook for 2006, it‘s no wonder Democrats are turning their attention to 2008, floating names like Hillary Clinton, Al Gore and, yes, even the newcomer, Illinois Senator Barack Obama, as possible contenders for the White House. 

Here to talk about the roster of Democratic hopefuls, Air America radio host, Rachel Maddow—Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO HOST:  Tucker.

CARLSON:  Let me say, I actually don‘t—I think that Charlie Cook, who knows a lot more about this than I ever will, may be a little bit too optimistic on the Republican side.  I actually think they should be in trouble. 

MADDOW:  He certainly stands alone.  He‘s not in the mainstream.  I think most people think, though, Democrats have a pretty good shot at taking back the House. 

CARLSON:  Possibly.  They could screw it up.  I mean, they‘re a pretty unappealing party when it comes to...

But let‘s just talk about 2008.  Barack Obama.  This sounds like one of these media creations, where we all decide, “Oh, Barack Obama.  Is he the one?” 

Actually, he‘s hired a very famous Democratic consultant in Washington to start this PAC, he‘s writing a book about his political ideas, whatever those may be, and he‘s being encouraged by people like Dick Durbin, the senior senator for his state, to run for president. 

Barack Obama, 44 years old.  In the Senate fewer than two years.  Are the Democrats serious about this?

MADDOW:  Whether or not Obama really could win, his age and the fact that he hasn‘t been in the Senate very long are probably good things for him, not bad things for him. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

MADDOW:  I mean, he‘d be older than Clinton was when he took office if he won in 2008. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

MADDOW:  And frankly, the longer he stays in the Senate, I think the less electable he becomes. 

CARLSON:  But Clinton—I mean, to be fair to Clinton, whom I don‘t care for at all.   But he had been governor for a long time, since 1978.

MADDOW:  Yes.

CARLSON:  So I mean, he couldn‘t had done a lot, even for a young man.

MADDOW:  George W. Bush, he you know, had been the owner of the Texas Rangers and had traded Sammy Sosa, and had been the governor of a state two terms that had the least powerful governorship in the entire...

CARLSON:  Still, I think governor any state, even Wyoming, is a complicated job, more complicated in some ways than many ways being senator. 

But look, the point is, is this—I mean, just seems kind of weak. 

So here—let me read you the lineup people are talking about. 

Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, Russ Feingold, John Kerry, Evan Bayh, current senators.  Former senators, John Edward, Tom Daschle, Iowa Governor Tim Vilsack, former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, Hillary Clinton—are you tingling in anticipation yet?  I mean, that‘s kind of a lame lineup, you know?

MADDOW:  Both of the governors there I think are potentially good. 

I mean, what‘s happening right now, two years out there‘s two things happening.  On the one hand the candidates who are kind of kissing the ring of all the appropriate special interests and activists.  And that‘s happening on both sides.  That‘s why you‘ve got Giuliani campaigning for Ralph Reed.

CARLSON:  Of course.

MADDOW:  And that‘s why you‘ve got John McCain kissing Jerry Falwell‘s ring.  And that‘s why on the left you‘re going to see some Democrats taking some stronger anti-war stance. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

MADDOW:  To cultivate the activist base.  That‘s what‘s happening in public.  In private it‘s the real game, and in private it‘s wooing the big fat cat donors and fundraisers. 

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW:  And so it‘s our job as pundits to figure out who those fat cats want, because that will really... 

CARLSON:  Yes, but the money does, I mean, follow the success.  I mean, Howard Dean—I mean, I‘ve watched this unfold intimately many times.  And as a person builds this perception that he‘s a potential winner, the money flows.  I mean, it just happens.

MADDOW:  On the margins.  On the margins.

CARLSON:  But here‘s the thing.  If it‘s all about money, then Hillary Clinton has more money than the rest of these guys put together, probably squared.  She‘s got a ton of dough.

MADDOW:  Yes.

CARLSON:  No real challenger in the midterm in 2006 this year.  Why isn‘t she the heir apparent, and why are people even talking about Barack Obama?  Because Democrats think she‘s weak.  That‘s why.

MADDOW:  She‘s the presumptive front-runner, and that means she has a

big bulls eye on her right now.  And that means she‘s going to get attacked

by the activists and special interests.  She‘s also making a mint for

right-wing authors writing nasty scary books about her.  I mean, she just -

right now, her job is to carry the bulls eye around.  That‘s basically what she‘s doing.

CARLSON:  She‘s a martyr for the cause?

MADDOW:  She‘s a martyr for the cause.  I don‘t think she‘ll be the nominee.  I mean, right now, she‘s taking all the heat so that nobody else does. 

CARLSON:  It‘s a cause not worth martyring yourself, as far as I‘m concerned.  There are no 72 virgins at the end of that jihad, unfortunately!  Barack Obama, do you think that‘s real?  Do you think the Democratic Party would actually—they feel that Howard Dean, they‘re capable of anything, obviously.  But do you think he‘d be a good candidate?

MADDOW:  The question, I think, really is who do the fat cat big donors want?  On the right they want more of the same.  They want somebody who‘s more like Bush.  And so I think on the right, those donors will want somebody like Jeb.  Or they would love Cheney. 

On the left the question is who is going to be the party who represents a big break from Bush, a big change?  And I think that‘s not good news for any candidate who‘s currently in the United States Senate.  Any senator has a big mark against him.

CARLSON:  Maybe even in the United States.  Maybe they‘ll run a Canadian. 

MADDOW:  That‘s a great idea.

CARLSON:  It‘s unconstitutional.

MADDOW:  They could run my mom. 

CARLSON:  Too bad.  They would.  They‘d be happy to run a Belgian if they could get away with it.  Rachel Maddow.

MADDOW:  Schwarzenegger maybe?

CARLSON:  Thank you.

MADDOW:  Cheers.

CARLSON:  Still to come, no need for good grades or even a diploma.  Colleges are now admitting high school dropouts and giving them financial aid?  Wow.  What‘s happening to our schools of higher learning?

Plus, a gruesome car crash in Connecticut over the holiday weekend.  Who chased the driver and her four passengers to their fiery deaths?  We‘ve got the answer.  We‘ll give it to you when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, rap artists are no strangers to brawls.  This time they‘ve picked a battle with talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, though.  We‘ll tell you what‘s got 50 Cent and Ice Cube steaming mad.

But first, here‘s what else is going on in the world tonight. 

(NEWSBREAK)

CARLSON:  Crime blotter.  Police in South Carolina continue to investigate the death of a Clemson University student who was strangled with her own bikini top.  Tiffany Marie Souers was found in her apartment by a former roommate Saturday morning.  There were no signs of a struggle or of forced entry.

A crazed ex-boyfriend may be to blame for a fiery crash that killed five people in Connecticut over Memorial Day weekend.  Police say Kevin Calas admits chasing his former girlfriend at speeds of more than 100 miles an hour before she lost control of her car and slammed into a tree.  All the victims in her car were 21 or younger.  Calas‘s car also flipped over, but the three people inside his car walked away from the scene of the accident.

And finally, if a death sentence isn‘t enough for serial sniper John Muhammad, today he was convicted of six more murders in the D.C. area, and his former partner in crime testified against him.  Lee Boyd Malvo said his mentor laid out a plan for six shootings a day for a month, followed by a wave of bombings targeting schools and hospitals.

Muhammad, who believed he was acting in the name of Allah, faces a maximum of life in prison without parole for his crimes. 

We turn now to a man who knows personally almost every individual mentioned in the crime blotter.  He is “The Outsider”, ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host Max Kellerman.  Welcome, Max.

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO:  I don‘t know any of those guys anymore, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Good.  Good man.

KELLERMAN:  I traded them in for some snappier companionship. 

CARLSON:  Good.  You‘ve good taste in friends, Max. 

Well, it‘s generally not a good idea to clash with Oprah Winfrey, but there‘s a growing group of hip-hop artists who are publicly taking her to task.  Rap superstars Ludacris and 50 Cent have criticized Oprah for her reluctance to book hip-hoppers on her influential show.  50 Cent said, quote, “She caters to old white women.  I could care less about Oprah or her show.”

The latest to join the chorus is Ice Cube.  In a new magazine interview, he says, quote, “She‘s had damn rapists, child molesters and lying authors on her show.  If I‘m not a rags to riches story, who is?”

Oprah, meanwhile, denies having anything against hip-hop, even says she had some on her iPod.

I‘m on Oprah‘s side here, Max.  It‘s her show.  You, needless to say, are standing with Ludacris, 50 Cent and Ice Cube.

Max, typically I‘m not on Oprah‘s side.  I‘ll just say that right up here.

KELLERMAN:  Who could it be that polarizes Tucker so that he‘s actually arguing for Oprah?

CARLSON:  Well, no, it‘s not even that.  I actually agree—no, I‘m on her side because I agree with 50 Cent completely—a phrase I‘ve never uttered before.  Her audience is older white women, middle class white women.  That‘s Oprah‘s bread and butter.  Oprah‘s a billionaire, thanks to middle class women.  That‘s her audience.  I‘m not criticizing her.  It‘s just true.  That‘s the demographic. 

They‘re not hip-hop fans.  So it‘s understandable that she would do show after show about marital rape and breast cancer and very few on hip-hop. 

KELLERMAN:  That‘s—that makes up a large part of the audience.  There are black women in that audience, too, who are and aren‘t middle class. 

But look, she‘s had—when Ice Cube came out with “Barber Shop”, one of the two “Barber Shops”—how many have their been already?  Anyway, they‘re pretty good.  She had Eve on, who‘s a rapper, female rapper.  Cedric the Entertainer, who‘s an entertainer but uses a lot of the same language Ice Cube does.

But the point is Eve was on the show, Ice Cube wasn‘t.  “Barber Shop” is Ice Cube‘s movie.  He‘s the main guy.

CARLSON:  Right.

KELLERMAN:  So she is having a rapper on, but it‘s a female rapper.  Let me just play devil‘s advocate this way.  It‘s a touchy subject, especially for two white guys to be talking about. 

CARLSON:  I can handle it.

KELLERMAN:  From this point of view, from this point of view.  It can be said that Oprah, in her position is in—by not having rappers on, especially Ice Cube in that instance, is an example of a strong black woman emasculating a strong black man. 

Now, black people are in a very bad position in this country, policies that we all know about, and black women have been victimized and it‘s very difficult to point the finger and say, well, part of the problem can be that black women are emasculating black men.  And maybe it‘s not a fair criticism.  But this seems to be an instance where you can argue it falls into that category. 

CARLSON:  No.  You can argue it if you‘re an associate professor of sociology at a junior college, but I don‘t think that‘s the answer.  You‘re not.  So don‘t. 

Look, the bottom line here is you...

KELLERMAN:  It‘s her show.

CARLSON:  ... can sum up Oprah‘s show in one sentence: Men mistreat women.  Oprah‘s show is about the struggle of women to overcome the tyranny and oppression of men.  Now, I don‘t understand the psychology behind it.  I‘m not a shrink.  But that‘s what Oprah‘s show is about.

KELLERMAN:  Well, wouldn‘t it be good in that case, if she‘s concerned about misogynistic lyrics in rap, to bring out an example of someone who mistreats women so everyone can go boo?

CARLSON:  Well, yes.  That‘s the only context in which she could do it.  But then she‘d be betraying, I don‘t know—I don‘t know.  Something. 

KELLERMAN:  Kind of that nice, soft, cuddly feel that everyone gets from watching “Oprah”?

CARLSON:  Yes.  It‘s a show about why men are mean.  That‘s why I don‘t watch it. 

KELLERMAN:  You know, I‘ve got to tell you something.  My wife is a big Oprah fan, and I was always on that party line, the male party line, Oprah.  But I watched it a couple times.  She‘s doing pretty good things.  Making the world a better place.

CARLSON:  You‘re scaring me.  You‘re scaring me.  Do you cry during Meg Ryan movies?  Don‘t answer that.  All right.

KELLERMAN:  Who‘s Meg Ryan?

CARLSON:  Right.  Like you don‘t know. 

Should we be able to go to college even if you haven‘t graduated even from high school?  You may not know it, but there are 400,000 college students who have done just that.  Many schools are now accepting students who have neither graduated from high school nor passed a graduation equivalency exam.              

The 400,000 high school dropouts make up about two percent of all college students.  Critics say those kids are taking back doors into college and cheating students who earn the right to be there.

I say let the kids go wherever they want, high school degree or not. 

Max wants to, as usual, deny young people a second chance at life. 

Max, here‘s why I‘m for this.  I actually think most people are probably wasting their time by going to college, including me.  College is long, expensive and probably not that useful for most people. 

But the idea that you have to have this credential to go to college really is one of the lies that the education bureaucracy sells us.  You have to have this piece of paper to signify you‘ve, you know, checked these boxes.  If you can handle college, go to college.  Who cares where you went to school before then?

KELLERMAN:  Yes, but actually the argument that some are using for letting kids who have not graduated high school attend college is backwards.  By their logic they shouldn‘t let them attend.  By their logic it is that college degrees help you in life landing a job and therefore you should be able to go to college even if you don‘t have the high school diploma because, as you said, it‘s like a second chance in life. 

When in fact, the logic that says that you should be able to attend college without having a high school diploma is that it‘s learning for the sake of learning.  It‘s not a vocational school, and anyone who wants to learn should be able to learn.  But that‘s not the argument.  It‘s—the premise of this argument is defeated by its own—its own premise is defeating the argument before it even gets...

CARLSON:  By its own internal contradictions?

KELLERMAN:  Yes.

CARLSON:  Did you have lunch with a French philosopher today or something?

KELLERMAN:  You know, you stick with me these, you know, with the devil‘s advocate!

Look, the other thing is there should be a common understanding of the world.  At least to a certain degree.  People should be able to do algebra.  They should have some sense of American history or something.

CARLSON:  Right.

KELLERMAN:  If you haven‘t graduated high school what that piece of paper is actually saying is that you have a passing familiarity with these kind of subjects and so, you know, you can be in a place where other people also have that same kind of background. 

CARLSON:  Self-education still exists.  The single smartest person I know or have ever met did not graduate high school. 

KELLERMAN:  And who was that?

CARLSON:  It‘s one of my relatives.  Did not graduate high school.  I don‘t know.  You can teach yourself.  Do you know what I mean?

KELLERMAN:  Yes, I do.

CARLSON:  It‘s possible.  Reading.  I don‘t know.

KELLERMAN:  Yes, I do. 

CARLSON:  You know what I mean?  Unionize teachers to teach it. 

KELLERMAN:  This is why I have the French philosopher arguments.

CARLSON:  Right.  At lunch.  Max Kellerman.  Thank you, Max. 

KELLERMAN:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Move over, Bob Marley, there‘s a new reggae star in town.  No simply life for this girl.  Not content with just being a hotel heiress, and a socialite and a Page Six fixture, Paris Hilton is now pursuing a career as a recording artist.

Paris says her first album will be a mix of reggae, pop, and hip-hop.  It will feature a new rendition of Rod Stewart‘s 70‘s hit, “Do You Think I‘m Sexy?”  Plus a reggae tune entitled “Stars Are Blind”.  And in some cases tone deaf.

And in tonight‘s “Top Five” we sing the praises of other celebrities who bravely put their vocal abilities to the test and then had to face the music. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEVIN BACON, ACTOR (singing):  Don‘t quit your day job.

CARLSON (voice-over):  Sure we‘re in tune with their acting abilities or their athletic prowess, but when an entertainer‘s career hits a sour note, they often leave fans begging please don‘t quit your day job.

He got a “Die Hard” reputation as an action star, but Bruce Willis really ought to develop a “Sixth Sense” about his singing abilities. 

Maybe Bruce should consider “Moonlighting” in a whole different field. 

Here‘s a tall tale about a basketball champion who apparently couldn‘t make ends meet on as his measly NBA salary.  So Shaquille O‘Neal began supplementing his income as a recording artist. 

Gives a whole new meaning to the term personal foul, doesn‘t it?

Eddie Murphy‘s comedic hijinx on the small and big screen amuse us all, but frankly, this former “Beverly Hills Cop” should have been arrested for impersonating a singer. 

And to think that particular party favor was followed by another Murphy hit, entitled “Put Your Mouth on Me”.

David Hasselhoff‘s career was going swimmingly until he tried to impress us with his musical talents. 

Yes, but they still love him in Germany. 

DAVID HASSELHOFF, ACTOR:  I‘m not one of those people (ph).

CARLSON:  Now here‘s an actor who‘s boldly taken his career where no professional singer has gone before.  William Shatner‘s “The Transformed Man” should have been the final frontier for his musical ambition, but who knows?  This “Enterprising” space cadet may still have a recording career in his future. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON:  Coming up on THE SITUATION, if you‘ve been searching for the answer to a great sex life, look no further than your kitchen.  We‘ve got some red-hot information that will change your life forever when THE SITUATION rolls on.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANESSA MCDONALD, PRODUCER:  Coming up, one of America‘s favorite super heroes comes out of the closet in a new comic book.  Plus, we‘ll tell you why the answer to a better sex life may be curried chicken and peach cobbler.

CARLSON:  Yum.  Order up.  We‘re back in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

Men have been taking women on dinner dates for generations in the hopes that a great meal will lead to great sex.  Doesn‘t always work out, of course.  It turns out Applebee‘s is not the quickest way to a woman‘s heart.  But there is new research that shows the right food could, in fact, be a secret to a better sex life.

Lynn Edlen-Nezin is the author—co-author of the book “Great Food, Great Sex: The Three Factors for Sexual Fitness”.  She joins us tonight from New York.

Welcome.

LYNN EDLEN-NEZIN, CO-AUTHOR, “GREAT FOOD, GREAT SEX”:  Thank you very much.

CARLSON:  So it turns out that the old wives‘ tale is true; certain foods do improve your sex life.  What is the ultimate dinner for romance?

EDLEN-NEZIN:  Well, the ultimate dinner for romance would contain three of our food factor groups, which would be the staminators, which are high protein foods that are low in fat. 

CARLSON:  OK.

EDLEN-NEZIN:  Greens and beans, which are literally what they sound like, so a nice side of sauteed spinach.  And some colorful berries for dessert, maybe a handful of nuts. 

And the real issue here is a very wide variation in food, emphasis low on fat, high in fiber.  And we talk about eating the rainbow.  So what you‘re really trying to do is have foods that cover a broad range of antioxidant values, and those are the deeply colored fruits and vegetables, primarily. 

CARLSON:  Well, what about oysters?  Everybody knows oysters and chocolate are the answer, right?

EDLEN-NEZIN:  Well, actually chocolate is on our diet.  Chocolate is a high source of polyphenols, particularly the dark chocolate.

CARLSON:  OK.

EDLEN-NEZIN:  And it also helps lower blood pressure.  So chocolate is coming into its own.

CARLSON:  Well, who cares about blood pressure?  This is about sex. 

You‘re trying to raise your blood pressure, I thought. 

EDLEN-NEZIN:  Well, actually, for some people high blood pressure is a problem and it actually can be associated with erectile dysfunction. 

What we‘re looking for, really, is a very broad diet but a diet that is composed of these power foods.  So oysters actually fall into the staminator category.  They are high in the compound arginine, and arginine is definitely needed for endothelial function, which is the lining of the blood vessels.  And what we really like to talk about is the whole idea of cardiosexual nutrition. 

CARLSON:  Cardiosexual nutrition?

EDLEN-NEZIN:  Cardiosexual nutrition.

CARLSON:  What‘s a deal killer?  I mean, what kind of food—what‘s the equivalent of saltpeter?  I mean, what kills the sex drive?

EDLEN-NEZIN:  I would say a very high-fat, high-salt meal with a lot of refined carbohydrates.  So one of the...

CARLSON:  Like a Big Mac?

EDLEN-NEZIN:  Well, you know, I was going to try to avoid putting a brand on it but yes, a Big Mac could lead to a big disappointment. 

CARLSON:  Really?

EDLEN-NEZIN:  Yes.

CARLSON:  But what about—I mean, you mentioned erectile dysfunction

I love saying that—hasn‘t Viagra and the various drugs like Viagra alleviated the concerns about that?  I mean, who cares?  They have pills for that now.

EDLEN-NEZIN:  Well, what—what actually is interesting about our book is that we have taken the biochemistry behind drugs like Viagra and actually introduced readers to the dietary bases of that.  So, even though drugs like Viagra have helped many men regain function, it still is a temporary fix.  And what we‘re really looking to help people do is revamp their diet, so that they can have a permanent function.

CARLSON:  Well, sex is a temporary condition.  I mean, so you‘re looking—by definition you‘re looking for a short-term answer, right?

EDLEN-NEZIN:  Well, we‘re looking for a short-term answer, but we‘re looking for long-term health benefits.  And yes, sex is definitely a short-term answer.  But our real issue is that our country has become really oversexualized but undersexed.

CARLSON:  Yes.

EDLEN-NEZIN:   So we‘re very concerned about sex.  We‘re focused on sex.  We use sex to sell everything in marketing from sneakers to remote controls. 

CARLSON:  To books. 

EDLEN-NEZIN:  And our book, hopefully. 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

EDLEN-NEZIN:  But the actual sexual function of our country is on the decline. 

CARLSON:  Well, I‘m glad that you are there, Lynn Edlen-Nezin, to help America.  You know, I was going to pick a metaphor but I‘ll stop.  To improve America‘s sex life.  And we appreciate it very much, your coming on.  Thank you.

EDLEN-NEZIN:  Thank you so much for speaking with me. 

CARLSON:  Thanks.

Still ahead on THE SITUATION, the chosen one now lives among us.  There is news tonight about what Brad Pitt did to help Angelina Jolie deliver their super human baby.  We‘ll take you inside the delivery room when THE SITUATION returns in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  He‘s tan, he‘s rested, he‘s ready, he‘s running for national office.  Willie Geist is here for “The Cutting Room Floor”.

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER:  The new spray tan.  If I may so, I think it‘s working.  Not a bad look.

CARLSON:  You may say so.  I‘m not sure I‘m going to agree.

GEIST:  One quick comment.  We did a little piece about the top five people going on to music careers. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

GEIST:  Our own Max Kellerman in 1994 -- true story—put out a rap single called “Rumble”—“Young Man Rumble”, a reference to a Muhammad Ali quote.  He claims it was No. 3 on the Philadelphia dance charts that year.  It‘s a good claim to make because there‘s no way of checking it.  And there‘s no way of finding the song.

CARLSON:  I‘ll just pull that up on Google, the Philadelphia dance charts.

GEIST:  I tried.  You can‘t.

CARLSON:  I love Max.

Well, genetic lottery winner Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt was born in Namibia this weekend to parents Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.  Today the couple‘s doctor told “People” magazine the baby girl was delivered by C-section and Pitt cut the umbilical cord.  “People” also reports Pitt and Jolie made a $300,000 donation to improve the maternity wards at two Namibian hospitals. 

GEIST:  Kind of a backhanded donation, isn‘t it?  Thanks for the hospitality.  Here‘s 300 grand.  Clean yourself up a little bit, where they have the baby.

Weirder life, Shiloh or Suri Cruise?  Your predictions?

CARLSON:  Oh, Suri Cruise.  At least in Shiloh‘s case the parents actually created the child.  You know, you can believe that. 

GEIST:  What are you suggesting?

CARLSON:  I don‘t even know what I‘m suggesting.  You know why?  My imagination isn‘t flexible enough...

GEIST:  You‘re right.  Your answer is right, Suri.

CARLSON:  ... to encompass what might have actually happened.

GEIST:  Yes, we‘ll let that go. 

CARLSON:  We all have our suspicions about Batman and Robin, but there have not been, officially, anyway, any gay super heroes until now.  D.C.  comics is about to reintroduce Batwoman as a lesbian crime fighter.  Yum.

The new Batwoman will be a socialite who has a relationship with a former police detective named Renee Montoya.  Batwoman has not been heard from since 1979, when she was, of course, killed by a league of assassins and the Bronze Tiger. 

GEIST:  Of course.  This is not newsworthy, Tucker.  Have you been around the Hall of Justice lately?  There are a lot of capes, tights, booties.  They‘re all gay!  Of course they are.  I thought we all agreed on that.

CARLSON:  It‘s never been quite as appealing as it is now.

GEIST:  Batman and Robin made it OK for Batwoman to make the scene (ph). 

CARLSON:  I don‘t think they‘re OK.  I think Batwoman‘s OK.

GEIST:  All right.

CARLSON:  There‘s a big difference.

Someone is finally standing up for the health of the police, police who insist on taking away our right to smoke in public.  Wow.  That someone is Australian hookers.  The new laws were just put in place that ban smoking in bars and brothels in Australia‘s southern state of Victoria.  That includes Melbourne.  The Australian adult entertainment industry wants those laws overturned.  The group claims that no smoking laws hurt business because, quote, “people smoke when they fornicate.”

GEIST:  You know, Tucker, we always—almost always come down on the side of the hookers in these stories and this just confirms that we‘re right.  This libertarian streak.  You‘re not going to tell me when and where I can smoke or have sex.  Hookers, right again. 

CARLSON:  So you‘re a hooker.  I mean I‘m not passing judgment.  I‘m just saying if you‘re a hooker smoking is the least of your problems.  Not to be mean.

Thank you, Willie.  Willie Geist.

That‘s THE SITUATION 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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