updated 6/1/2006 12:14:06 PM ET 2006-06-01T16:14:06

Guests: John Stossel, Brent Bozell, Kinky Friedman, Juan Jose Gutierrez, Laura Schwartz

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, the president and the Senate supports 40 million new immigrants flooding into America.  We‘ll tell you why the media has not been reporting that explosive fact and reveal poll numbers on immigration you‘re not hearing anywhere else.  And tea for two, the president and the senator side by side as Hillary kicks off her campaign for 2006, or is that 2008?  And everything you know is wrong, from global warming to price gouging to making out with your cousin.  The world according to John Stossel.  He‘s here set us straight on everything from public schools to polygamy.

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  No passport required, only common sense allowed.

We‘re going to have those stories straight ahead, but first here tonight, shocking facts unearthed by “The Washington Post” columnist Robert Samuelson, who brought to light startling statistics about the president‘s and the Senate‘s immigration plan and its impact on America.  The bill that was passed last week by the Senate will actually double immigration to 40 million in the coming years.

You heard that right.  If the president gets his way, and this Senate bill becomes law, America‘s going to be faced with 40 million new immigrants over the next two decades.  The economic impact of that‘s going to be staggering.

And the “Post” columnist also cited a recent Pew poll that reported that an overwhelming 77 percent of Americans either want to freeze immigration levels where they are or decrease the number of immigrants coming to America in the future.  And look at that number at the bottom, friends.  Only 17 percent of Americans favor increasing immigration levels at all.

Now, one wonders if even 5 percent of Americans would support the president and the Senate‘s radical immigration approach that would open the borders to 40 million new immigrants coming to this country.  So what‘s really going on here, in a debate where Washington politicians and reporters overwhelmingly support a law that four out of five Americans oppose?  And what does it mean when “The New York Times,” “The Wall Street Journal” and America‘s most powerful media outlets basically brand 80 percent of Americans as bigoted xenophobes?

With us here to discuss the dramatic disconnect between Washington and the people they represent is Kinky Friedman.  He‘s the independent candidate for the governor of Texas, and we‘re going to be talking immigration politics with him in a moment and see what he wants to do for Texas.  But first let me go to Brent Bozell.  He‘s the president and founder of the Media Research Center.

And Brent, the “Washington Post” column I cited suggested that the media considers basically 80 percent of Americans who oppose the president‘s immigration plan as, quote, “small-minded, stupid or bigoted.”  Is the media really that out of touch on immigration?

BRENT BOZELL, FOUNDER, MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER:  Well, I really think they are.  Either that and/or they‘re utterly incompetent.  Robert Samuelson deserves a tremendous debt of gratitude for what he wrote today, and it took an awful lot of guts, and I can guarantee you he‘s off quite a few Christmas lists this year because of what he wrote.

Look, you know, in journalism, you‘re taught to report the who, what, where, when and why.  We have about 40 million who‘s, the what is the United States, or the where is the United States, the when is right around the corner.  Why?  Because the Senate and the White House want it.  And that‘s not a part of a news story on immigration?  It‘s unbelievable.  And yet he points out exactly how that‘s happening.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know what‘s surprising about this, Brent, is the fact that all he did was cite the White House numbers.  I mean, that 40 million immigrant number?  That‘s the White House number, 40 million immigrants to be let into America if the president and the Senate gets its way.  Why didn‘t—and I think this is the pressing question here tonight.  Why didn‘t Americans learn that from the mainstream media until this morning?

BOZELL:  Well, you know, that 40 million number is also conservative, according to the Heritage Foundation, probably the most respected conservative think tank in America today, that puts that number at over 100 million that are going to be coming.  Why aren‘t the media telling them?

Look, why aren‘t they reporting the fact that the only way that you‘re going to reduce gas prices is increasing consumption—or the flow of oil to this country, and the Democrats have stopped it at every turn?  Why aren‘t the media reporting, when they do 98 stories on “The Da Vinci Code,” why are only six of them focused on the fact that this is a movie that attacks the divinity of Jesus Christ, therefore is an attack on Christianity?  They‘re very selective on what they‘re reporting these days.

And I‘ll tell you something else, Joe.  This is fascinating.  You will get more news from talk radio than you will get from the news media today because in a truncated five-minute news fluff format on CBS News, there just isn‘t any substance being reported.

SCARBOROUGH:  But Brent—but hold on, Brent.  They call Rush Limbaugh, they call Sean Hannity, on TV they call Pat Buchanan, they call Lou Dobbs all bigots because if you‘re against this immigration bill, you are a bigot!  And yet 80 percent of Americans—and “The New York times” and “The Wall Street Journal,” a paper I usually love reading, they don‘t want to admit that 80 percent of Americans are with Rush Limbaugh, they‘re not with the editorial pages of “The New York Times” or “The Wall Street Journal”!

BOZELL:  That is exactly right.

SCARBOROUGH:  So does that mean—do these people really believe 80 percent of Americans are bigoted?

BOZELL:  No, no, they don‘t, but they want to create that.  Look, this is an activist press.  They want to create a momentum for this agenda.  The Senate—meanwhile, you know, why does the Senate vote against the wishes of 80 percent of the American public?  Why?  Because they think they can get away with it.   Why?  Because the media won‘t report the facts of what they‘re doing on Capitol Hill.  And so I‘m saying, thank God for talk radio.  Thank God for the Internet.  Thank God for the occasional columnist like Robert Samuelson, who‘s telling the truth about this.  But you just won‘t get it from the news media.

SCARBOROUGH:  And of course, what Robert Samuelson again reported today is the press, even though they had that figure from the White House, refused to use it because it didn‘t play into the story that they were telling.  Brent, stay with us...


BOZELL:  ... Scarborough, if you suggested—if you were in Congress and you offered up a bill tomorrow morning to reduce immigration by one million illegal immigrants a year, do you think a news story dealing with your bill would omit the one million figure?

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  Of course.  Well, I—well, no...

BOZELL:  Never in a million years~!


BOZELL:  They would point out how Joe Scarborough...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... a bigot!

BOZELL:  ... is trying to deport one million illegal immigrants!

SCARBOROUGH:  Right.  They would call me a bigot, and they would...

BOZELL:  Exactly!

SCARBOROUGH:  They would shape it the way they wanted to shape it.  That‘s exactly what‘s going on here.  Brent, stay with us.  I want to bring in Kinky Friedman right now.  He‘s the independent candidate for governor of Texas, and also Juan Jose Gutierrez.  He‘s the director of the Latino Movement USA.

Juan, I‘m going to get to you in a second because I want you to tell me what these numbers mean to you and your organization.  But Kinky, you‘re on the ground.  You‘re actually in the state that‘s ground zero in this fight.  Tell me, how are voters, where you‘re campaigning, how are they responding to this immigration issue?

KINKY FRIEDMAN (I), TEXAS GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE:  Well, it‘s—Joe, I think the Hispanic voters in Texas feel exactly the way that I do about it, which is the policy, the immigration policy, is “Remember the Alamo,” really.  It is that Travis (ph) drew the line in the sand, and that meant that the line that‘s the border, the Rio Grande, should be inviolate.  It should be—should be sacred.  I mean, we should not give citizenship freely to people who cut in line, when too many people have died trying to become Americans.

SCARBOROUGH:  So Kinky, what do you do?  You‘re running for governor.  People want answers.  This has to be one of the top issues not only in Texas but across all the border states.  What‘s the solution?

FRIEDMAN:  Well, I suggested over a year ago the “five Mexican generals” plan.  Are you familiar with that, Joe?

SCARBOROUGH:  I know a little bit about it.  It involves taking money away from them every time illegal immigrants come into America.

FRIEDMAN:  Yes.  We divide the border into five sections and we appoint a Mexican general in charge of each section, and we give him a million bucks, which we hold for him in a bank account.  And every time we catch an illegal coming through his section, we withdraw $5,000.

Now, I was telling this plan to George 41, George the elder, who was at Texas A&M University last month, introducing John McCain.  And George—the president was chuckling about the five Mexican generals plan, and John McCain came up and he said, You know, the five Mexican generals plan is probably better than anything we‘ve got going right now.


FRIEDMAN:  And that‘s about the way it is.  We need to focus a lot of attention on the border, I‘ll tell you that.

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt about it.  Juan, I‘ll let you talk about Kinky‘s plan.  But first of all, respond to the fact that only 17 percent of Americans, according to this Pew poll, want immigration levels to increase.  I guess what I‘m asking is, why should Washington ignore about 80 percent of Americans to pass this bill that you and the president and the Senate support?

JUAN JOSE GUTIERREZ, DIRECTOR OF LATINO MOVEMENT USA:  Well, look, the first issue is, do we want to bring effective immigration control to our immigration policy?  If the answer is yes, the first reality that we have to deal with is that unless you increase the number of individuals that you allow into the country legally, you‘re going to have many others that are going to continue to come in without documents.  And so the problem will never go away.

I don‘t know where these figures were gotten from.  You mentioned the White House, by the writer of that published the article in “The Washington Post.”  however, if that were a fact, you know, I would suggest to you that if, over the last 20 years, on average, about 600,000 people came into the country without documents, and so now we have about 12 million or so undocumented workers that we‘re trying to figure out how best to bring into the mainstream—you know, if you were to increase the total amount of visas available to people who want to come into the country to work, then if this fact that was published today in “The Washington Post” is, in fact, proven to be a fact, then you know, the undocumented problem would go away because we would double the actual number of people coming in now from a million to about two million.

So if you really stretch it out over, you know, 20 years, you‘re talking about two million people every year for each one of the next 20 years, that really doesn‘t seem to me to be, you know, something that we couldn‘t deal with.  I don‘t know what the big fuss is about.

The other point that I‘d like to—you know, throw out is that after the president spoke a few days ago, there was a poll taken.  It was published in—you know, in some of your competitor television stations.  I don‘t know if I should mention it, but CNN did publish something, you know, that indicated that somewhere in excess of 80 percent of the American public that got polled actually favor some kind of resolution to the undocumented problem.

Now, that‘s something that also needs to be taken into account if we‘re going to be talking about resolving this issue effectively.

SCARBOROUGH:  Brent, how do you respond to that?

BOZELL:  I‘m all in favor of addressing this problem.  And I think the way you address it is by recognizing that there are laws in this country.  We are either are or we aren‘t a nation of laws.  Look, what your guest just said was basically the same argument that was put forward in 1986, and we gave amnesty in 1986, and look at the mess we‘re in today because of that.

You‘re got some senators, like Chuck Grassley, who are coming forward and saying that they would never support this bill, this new amnesty bill, because we went through it once already, and it was a disaster.  And we‘re asking for a disaster again.

Now, if this country wants a disaster, well, that‘s democracy.  But you don‘t have democracy when 80 percent of America wants one thing and the Senate and the White House are going in another direction, and the media aren‘t telling the public what the facts are.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Kinky, again, you‘re on the ground there and you‘re talking to voters, again, at a place that‘s ground zero.  Talk about whether—because my sense is this isn‘t really a Republican issue or a Democratic issue.  When you‘ve got 80 percent of Americans opposing any new immigration to America, that means you‘ve got Republicans, Democrats and independents basically looking at Washington like they‘ve lost their minds.

FRIEDMAN:  Joe, the only problem is that the politicians are afraid to offend people.  And that‘s why you got the problem with the Crips and the Bloods right now, the Republicans and Democrats, all those big marches with half a million Hispanics in Dallas and LA, and they don‘t want to offend them for political reasons.  And the only one who‘s doing well right now is Vicente Fox and Pemex oil and the Mexican government.

And Texas is—south Texas, the hospitals or overrun with illegals.  I don‘t mind us paying for their health and their education, I just want the Mexican government and Pemex Oil, one of the richest entities in the world, to step up and pay their fair share.  And if they don‘t, well, then, I‘m afraid we‘re going to have to ask for an Israeli discount.  We‘re going to have to do something about the situation in Texas.

SCARBOROUGH:  Final question, Kinky.  Is this going to be one of your top issues in the campaign this year?

FRIEDMAN:  Absolutely.  Our governor has been busily banning gay marriage for the past four years, and he‘s neglected the border.  And that‘s why you find dead bodies in the back of cargo container trucks.  That‘s why we got the mess.  We need to talk to Bill Richardson.  We need to talk to Janet Napolitano. We need to come up with a coherent policy with the other border states because I don‘t think the cavalry is really coming to save us.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you, Kinky Friedman.  Thank you, Brent Bozell.  Thank you, Juan Jose Gutierrez.  I wish we had more time.  Great information tonight.  I appreciate everything you all brought to our show.

Now, coming up next: Hillary Clinton‘s kicking off her campaign today, and she‘s sounding a bit like President Clinton.  Why some Democrats are already saying enough may (ph) be problems (ph) for Hillary.  And who supports price gouging during hurricanes?  Quite possibly ABC‘s John Stossel, who will also tell you why marrying your cousin is not such a bad thing after all.


SCARBOROUGH:  Hillary Clinton announcing today that she‘s running for reelection for the United States Senate.  But the giant pink elephant in the room—or should I say donkey—that nobody can ignore is the former first lady‘s plans for 2008.  Hillary Clinton will be able to easily outpace her presidential opponents in fund-raising and organization.  But will she be able to outrun the oversized shadow of her presidential spouse?

MSNBC chief Washington correspondent Norah O‘Donnell has this report.



The star of the Democratic Party, Senator Clinton.  In Washington, busy talking energy policy, but coy about her own political ambitions.

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK:  We‘ll just have to let the future be the future, whatever that might turn out to be.

O‘DONNELL:  Even as the first lady-turned-senator weighs her own White House bid, the state of her 30-year marriage faces scrutiny on the front page of “The New York Times.”

PATRICK HEALY, “NEW YORK TIMES”:  There‘s probably no marriage that‘s as dissected in America as Bill and Hillary Clinton‘s.  Will the baggage that he brings, both good and ill, trip her up in some way?

O‘DONNELL:  Since leaving the White House, the Clintons have led busy and sometimes separate lives.  While she‘s in Washington, a power broker in the Senate, he‘s globe-trotting to tsunami-ravaged south Asia or talking AIDS in Africa.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  My wife said to tell you hello tonight.  But you know, she‘s a big-time politician now and...

O‘DONNELL:  It‘s rare that they appear in public together, and he says his goal is to help her politically.

PRES. BILL CLINTON:  I try never to do anything that causes her any problems.

O‘DONNELL (on camera):  Advisers to the Clintons decline to talk about the marriage, saying only that the two work very hard to spend time together.  But intimate details of their marriage have long been public.

(voice-over):  In 1992 they went on “60 Minutes.”

GOV. BILL CLINTON:  I have acknowledged causing pain in my marriage.

O‘DONNELL:  They have dealt with Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky.  In her memoirs, Senator Clinton admitted she wanted to wring her husband‘s neck for lying to her about Lewinsky and said that, “The most difficult decisions I have made in my life were to stay married to Bill and to run for the Senate from New York.”

Now the woman who first campaigned with her husband touting a two-for-one presidency may hope voters will judge her someday in her own right.


Now, advisers to the Clintons grudgingly acknowledge there will be questions about the extent to which their marriage is a political issue.  President Clinton is the X factor, according to one expert.  Will he be an asset or will he be a liability?  Now, one thing that many agree on is that President Clinton will likely be her closest political adviser and her fundraiser in chief—Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, thanks a lot, Norah.  Greatly appreciate it.

Senator Clinton may be focused on her New York Senate bid, but this morning, she sounded more like a candidate running a national campaign against George W. Bush.


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON:  They don‘t want to hear the real-life concerns of people.  It‘s an environment where it‘s more important to say mission accomplished than actually accomplish the missions.


SCARBOROUGH:  There‘s a good line for (INAUDIBLE) That‘s actually a very good line.

Here to talk about Hillary Clinton‘s announcement for Senate or president is Tucker Carlson.  He‘s the host of MSNBC‘s “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON.”  And also Laura Schwartz.  She‘s a former adviser to Hillary Clinton.

Tucker, I want to start with you, and the package—Norah‘s package talked about this marriage and Bill Clinton‘s problem in the past in this marriage.  I hate talking about this stuff because I think the Clintons have been through the ringer enough.  But if she‘s going to run for president, my question is this.  Does that hurt Hillary Clinton, or does it make her a more sympathetic figure?

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION”:  Well, I mean, her marriage?  I mean, she...


CARLSON:  She wouldn‘t be U.S. senator.  She wouldn‘t be taken seriously as a presidential candidate if she hadn‘t been married to a president.  I mean, she...

SCARBOROUGH:  I know, but I‘m talking about her marital problems.

CARLSON:  Right.  No, no, no~!


CARLSON:  Of course they...


SCARBOROUGH:  ... “New York Times” was hinting around about.

CARLSON:  ... they help.  They help.  And all the talk about how she‘s going to be attacked on those grounds by Republicans—only if Republicans are even dumber than we think they are.  I mean, every time her marriage makes a public appearance, it helps here.  I mean, the fact that she was betrayed by her husband and is seen by—as a victim by a lot of people redounds to her benefit.  I mean, that‘s—that‘s the basis of her career in politics.

Now, maybe after a couple more terms in the Senate, she‘ll become an accomplished senator along the lines of, I don‘t know, Barbara Boxer, at which point you can say she‘s really made it on her own.  But at this point, her husband‘s infidelity I think is at the core of her appeal.

SCARBOROUGH:  Laura Schwartz, 42 percent of Americans, according to a recent ABC/”Washington Post” poll, say they could never vote for Hillary Clinton as president of the United States.  Do you think that concerns the Clinton campaign, or do they understand that, like George W. Bush in 2004, she‘s going to be a divisive figure, she‘s just got to bring her base out to win?

LAURA SCHWARTZ, FORMER CLINTON ADVISER:  Yea, because that still gives her the majority that could vote for her and bring her a win in 2008.  You know, a lot of people were saying the same thing in 2000, when they didn‘t think that she could become a senator.  And there were some others—and I think Tucker might remember this—that thought she could never sell a million copies of her book, but she did.

And I really believe people are seeing that her core issues are issues that she‘s fought for for the last five years.  And she‘s been an amazing senator.  She came in with 30 percent approval.  She now is in the high 60s.  And that same ABC News poll showed her as a strong leader and strong family core values.  So I think she‘s got a really good chance.

And you know, about her talking today on a lot of national issues—this is a national campaign for all Democrats around this country.  You know, they‘re telling everybody, Remember nationally, even though the Republicans are back in the districts saying, Think locally, think locally, because Republicans have lost faith with the face of their party, and it‘s really going to work to the benefit of not just Hillary Clinton in New York for a landslide victory, but for Democrats across this country to take back the House.


CARLSON:  ... I think it‘s a bit of an overstatement, though, to say she‘s been an amazing senator.  I think she‘s been a competent senator.  I mean, she‘s been better than her most profound enemies imagined she might be.  She hasn‘t turned into...

SCHWARTZ:  (INAUDIBLE) expectations.

CARLSON:  ... any kind of left-wing wacko or anything.  But she‘s been, I mean, I think you‘d have to say a pretty average senator, actually, and a much more hawkish senator than I think a lot of Democrats would like to see.  She‘s a big Iraq war supporter.  But if—could you point to a sing discrete accomplishment of Mrs. Clinton‘s in her six years in the Senate?  No.  She‘s not alone in that...


SCHWARTZ:  ... being the only senator asked to join the Pentagon, to look at the reformation of their guidelines and transformation.  They picked her out of everybody else...


O‘DONNELL:  ... New Yorker to sit on the Armed Services Committee. 

It‘s really been quite an accomplishment...

CARLSON:  I‘m merely saying...


CARLSON:  I‘m not attacking Hillary Clinton at all.  I‘m merely saying that the hype surrounding her, in the end, doesn‘t help, because truly, what—you know, obviously, Mrs. Clinton, but most people don‘t know much about her in the end.  When was the last time she gave an unscripted interview?  When was the last time she spent 20 minutes in an uncontrolled environment, telling us about what she believes?  I think it was in the early ‘90s, when “The New York Times” magazine sat down and profiled her.  It‘s been a long time.  So I think...


CARLSON:  ... long way to go, actually.

SCARBOROUGH:  And yet, Laura Schwartz...

SCHWARTZ:  And I think...


SCARBOROUGH:  ... I will say this for Hillary Clinton, on the positive side for Hillary Clinton.   if you look at her poll numbers again, like you said, where she started and where she is now in New York state at least, she‘s done extremely well in upstate New York in retail politics.  And since you worked with her, this is something you can tell Americans.  I was so surprised the first time I met Hillary Clinton.  She is an extremely likable person up close, isn‘t she.

SCHWARTZ:  She is.  You know, she‘ll light up a room.  You can feel her presence immediately, but not in an intimidating way but a very loving, very comforting way.  I think people on the campaign trail see her personable.  And like as Tucker mentioned, when was the last time she could really give just a relaxed and sit-down interview?  I think you‘re going to see a lot of that come from her, now that she‘s started her reelection campaign in New York.

CARLSON:  Well, you...


SCHWARTZ:  ... benefit her, too.

CARLSON:  You can‘t—I think her handlers imagine—maybe—I don‘t know what they imagine, but some people imagine you could sort of be president only by giving speeches, and in fact, that‘s not true at all.  You‘ve got more than a year of wandering around, talking extemporaneously, taking really hard questions about what your core beliefs are, something—none of that she‘s ever done.  Most people who‘ve never done that before fail in their first attempt doing it.  Maybe she‘ll be the exception to the rule.  I doubt it, though.

SCARBOROUGH:  What—and Tucker, though, I mean...


SCARBOROUGH:  You and I both believe, even though I remember Joe Klein and many other Republicans don‘t believe it—you and I both believe, though, this woman can be elected president of the United States, can‘t she.

CARLSON:  I do think that.  But I think of Wes Clark, actually.  Wes Clark on paper was this—he was exactly the candidate the Democrats needed.  Plus, he was a pretty nice guy.  I covered him on the campaign trail, and he was an unmitigated disaster because he couldn‘t handle the extemporaneous part of it.  He couldn‘t stand in front of nine reporters in ballroom in Manchester, New Hampshire, and tell them what he believed because he didn‘t have a lot of practice doing it.  Neither does Mrs.  Clinton.  So that would be the Achilles heel, in my opinion, in thinking about...

SCARBOROUGH:  All right...

CARLSON:  ... her running for president.

SCARBOROUGH:  We‘re going to have to leave it there, Tucker.  Thank you, Tucker Carlson, and thank you, Laura Schwartz.  Really appreciate you being with us tonight.

And make sure you do what my wife does every night, tune into “THE SITUATION” at 11:00 for more coverage on Senator Clinton.

And coming up next: ABC Newsman John Stossel says everything you know is hopelessly wrong.  When we come back, Stossel sets us straight on global warming, kissing cousins and polygamy.  And some unlikely songs made it on the list of Rock‘s best conservative tunes.  From the Clash to Leonard Skynyrd, we‘ll check out the list.


SCARBOROUGH:  ABC‘s John Stossel is here to tell you why Al Gore is wrong, why “Big Love” is all right, and why marrying your cousin is not such a bad thing after all, but first here‘s the latest news you and your family need to know.


SCARBOROUGH:  Lance Armstrong cleared.  No steroids used to fuel his seven Tour de France victories, so what happens to that French newspaper‘s indisputable proof?  I‘ve got issues. 

And rock ‘n‘ roll breeds rejects, rebels, and renegades.  So why is a magazine compiled a list of the 50 best conservative rock songs?  We‘ll talk to the author, and I‘ll play you one of the most subversive lines in rock history. 

Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  We‘ve got those stories in minutes, but first it‘s time for tonight‘s “Must See SC,” video you just got to see. 

First stop, Chicago‘s Wrigley Field.  File this one under occupational hazard.  The Chicago Cubs ground crew had to battle more than just elements during the rain delay.  While one crew member slipped across the tarp, another got caught underneath the tarp.  Then, he slipped and fell when he got out from under the tarp, just for good measure.

But the good news:  At least the Cubs weren‘t playing. 

Next up, Fort Worth, Texas—by the way, I love the Cubs—Fort Worth, Texas, where police are on the hunt for this robber they‘ve dubbed the Marlboro Man.  He broke into a convenience store decked out in a Marlboro t-shirt and a mask, swiping only Marlboro-brand cigarettes and made off with $600 worth of smokes.  Then he galloped away on his stallion, or a 1977 El Camino.

And, finally, dear lord, another bear caught up in a tree?  This one is in Orange County, Florida, not to be confused with Monday‘s bear that was caught up in a tree in Washington State, or last week‘s bear in Michigan, or, of course, the now legendary trampoline bear who we pulled from the SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY archives.  And, yes, friends, he‘s still OK.

From bears to polygamy and price-gouging, John Stossel is in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to tell you why everything we once thought is wrong.  Marrying your cousins:  OK.  Price-gouging:  good for America.  Global warming is hoax:  Yes, yes, and again yes, says a new book that could make you re-examine everything you were taught growing up. 

Let‘s bring in John Stossel.  He‘s the author of “Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity:  Get out the Shovel:  Why Everything You Know is Wrong.” 

John, thank you so much for being on the show. 

JOHN STOSSEL, “20/20” CORRESPONDENT:  Thank you, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  If you can, tell us what the big lie is that this book destroys, the biggest lie that Americans are told. 

STOSSEL:  Well, the myth book has 145.  It‘s hard to pick the biggest.  Maybe it‘s that the public schools need more money, because we‘re spending $10,000 per student now.  So do the math.  That‘s $250,000 for a classroom of 25.  Think what you could do with that money.  You could hire three great teachers. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But, you know, every time we in Congress would try to get money out of the federal Department of Education and get it back to the states, people would say that we hated children.  Doesn‘t it hurt children when the federal government gets out of education? 

STOSSEL:  Ha, no.  I‘m sorry you couldn‘t get the federal government all the way out of education.  Why is it a federal responsibility?  Why isn‘t it a local responsibility? 

SCARBOROUGH:  You say if you want to marry a cousin, marry a cousin and procreate all you want, baby.  Explain that one. 

STOSSEL:  Another myth that it‘s somehow terrible to marry a cousin and have children—and it is illegal in half the states—but this is just another silly law.  The risk of birth defects if you marry a cousin is less than the risk of a woman having birth defects after age 40, much less, in fact.  You may have to move to a different state, but, go ahead, marry and procreate. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So kissin‘ cousins are fine with you.  What about polygamy?  Obviously, “Big Love” has come on, on Sunday nights on HBO.  It‘s a big cultural phenomenon.  You don‘t have—not a lot of criticism for polygamy.  Tell me why? 

STOSSEL:  Well, clearly, if they‘re enslaving children, that is evil and wrong.  But from my experience—it‘s the joy of working for “20/20.”  You get to go places you normally wouldn‘t. 

And visiting these polygamist communities, these are consenting adults who choose to live this way.  I found that the sister wives tended to like each other more than they liked the husband often. 

Years ago, the government cracked down on these evil polygamous communities, put the children in foster care.  And two years later, as people saw the children languishing in foster care, they gave them back to their parents.  Government controls are worse than polygamy. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Talk about price-gouging.  A truth you assert is that price-gouging saves lives. 

STOSSEL:  That‘s a hard sell, though I got three Nobel Prize-winners to say it on “20/20.”  Yes, it does.  What the politicians call price-gouging is what economists call price movement. 

And prices are more than just money; they‘re information.  And by allowing prices to rise, that‘s what tells other suppliers to rush in supplies and bring prices down.  It‘s because of silly price-gouging rules in your home state of Florida that those blue tarps stay on the roofs for so long after the hurricanes, because contractors don‘t want to come in, because they know they can‘t raise their profits. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Is there a theme that runs through all of these myths that you expose in your book? 

STOSSEL:  I think the biggest theme is the chapter, “Clueless Media,” that people in our business are so smart about so many things, and so good, and courageous, covering wars, and breaking news, and politics, but so ignorant often about economics and science. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Talk about global warming.  Al Gore is obviously out, and he‘s trumpeting this new movie that‘s got great reviews.  People are even talking about his running for president of the United States again, because, as I read this morning, Al Gore has been proven right on the issue of global warming.  You don‘t agree with that, do you? 

STOSSEL:  No.  It‘s possible he‘ll be proven right, but the idiocy of the “Time” cover, “Be Very Afraid,” “Time” and “60 Minutes,” they quote the same alarmist scientists. 

And it‘s possible that these people will be right, but their computer models have proven so wrong so many times that, to wreck the lives of poor people, as some of the remedies would do, on this theory is irresponsible.  But it‘s the alarmists who get quoted.  James Hansen, who‘s constantly quoted, years ago said the West Side Highway in New York City would be underwater by now. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Another myth you have is that foreign aid doesn‘t help poor people. 

STOSSEL:  Foreign aid goes to kleptocracies, to corrupt governments that steal it.  We‘ve spent almost half a trillion dollars on foreign aid on African countries that are poorer now than before we gave the aid.  Private charities have a good record, but foreign aid has been a waste. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Are you telling me that all of Bono‘s work over the past several years has been for naught? 

STOSSEL:  What so ticks me off about Bono is that he has—at his concerts, you know, it‘s a wonderful cause.  We want to help those poor people there.  But he has people hold up their cell phones to register a vote on a petition to get Bush to do something, rather than saying, “Let‘s us give, you fans who bought these expensive tickets.  You can afford to contribute to a charity that keeps its eye on the money and doesn‘t give it to kleptocracies.” 

SCARBOROUGH:  And finally, my favorite, Republicans—this is the myth—Republicans reduce the size of government.  Fire away, John. 

STOSSEL:  Well, they used to say they would, but they sure haven‘t, and the current administration increased spending faster than Bill Clinton did. 

My favorite example is Don Young in the myth book, who we found footage of him talking to Democrats when they were in power, saying, “If you don‘t think there are things to cut, you haven‘t been here long enough.  And you have been here long enough.”

Well, now he‘s in power and he‘s squandering your money on these idiotic bridges to nowhere, hundreds of millions of dollars, and justifying it by saying, “Oh, it‘s good for Alaska, and it will create jobs.” 

Well, that‘s another political lie, because, yes, it will create jobs for those construction workers and some people on this island that has 50 people, but all that money is taken from other people who then don‘t buy a new shirt or go out bowling, and that kills jobs in the rest of America. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, John Stossel, thank you so much.  The book is “Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity.”  Greatly appreciate you being with us today, John. 

STOSSEL:  Thank you, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘m now joined by somebody‘s who‘s all truth, no myth.  She is Rita Cosby, host of Rita Cosby “LIVE & DIRECT.”  Rita, what do you have coming up next at 10:00? 

RITA COSBY, HOST:  Thank you.  What an intro, Joe.  Well, we‘re going to have new details in a dramatic hostage case which took place today in Alabama.  An attorney is kidnapped in a parking lot in broad daylight then bound and taken to a hotel.  How did she get out alive?  We‘re going to have the very latest. 

Plus, do you believe in UFOs?  Well, a lot of people do, among them actor Dan Aykroyd, who was in the hit film “Ghostbusters.”  Joe, you have to see this one.  He‘s going to be on to talk about his own personal UFO encounters, what he saw, and why he is now a big believer.  Joe, this is an interview you do not want to miss.  We‘re going to have that “LIVE & DIRECT” and a lot more at the top of the hour. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Sounds great.  I will not miss it, Rita.  Never do. 

Thanks so much. 

And coming up next, Elizabeth Taylor doesn‘t have issues with Alzheimer‘s, but I‘ve got issues with Liz.  That‘s next.

And conservative rock, isn‘t that as strange as Cuban ice skaters?  Well, the editors at “National Review” don‘t think so.  They‘re naming the 50 greatest conservative rock songs of all time.  Make sure you bring your iPod.


SCARBOROUGH:  You know, conservatives and rock ‘n‘ roll have just never really gone hand in hand, but a new list from “National Review” argues that the right can rock.  The magazine put together the top 50 conservative rock songs.

And with me now is John J. Miller.  He‘s national political reporter for the “National Review.”  He put the list together. 

And, John, you know, I just have a hard time imagining the Beatles playing at Barry Goldwater‘s 1964 convention.  Is there really such a thing as right-wing rock, and how do you put this list together? 

JOHN J. MILLER, “NATIONAL REVIEW”:  Well, I think there is.  Rock ‘n‘ roll, of course, is mainstream now.  And of the millions of rock ‘n‘ roll songs that have been written and recorded, I think we were able to find 50 that have a conservative theme, that speak to conservatives. 

And I went on—I asked our online readers at NationalReview.com last fall to nominate songs that they thought—rock ‘n‘ roll songs that they thought were conservative, that expressed skepticism of big government or support for traditional value and were also great rock songs. 

And I got hundreds and hundreds of nominations and spent time going through all of those, downloading songs, puzzling over lyrics, and finally coming up with this list of 50. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, I‘ll tell you what.  Let me play conservative Casey Kasem, and we‘ll start with number five on the list.  Let‘s take a listen to the Beach Boys, “Wouldn‘t It Be Nice?”


THE BEACH BOYS (singing):  Maybe if we think, and wish, and hope, and pray it might come true.  Maybe then there wouldn‘t be a single thing we couldn‘t do. 

We could married.  We could married.  Then we‘d be happy.  And then we‘d be happy.  Oh, wouldn‘t it be nice?


SCARBOROUGH:  See, here‘s the problem:  It‘s hard to separate the acid-dropping Brian Wilson in 1966-1967 from this James Dobson line about getting married. 

MILLER:  Absolutely. 

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s what makes it so conservative, isn‘t it? 

MILLER:  Well, it‘s a claim about the song, not about the guy who wrote it or sang it.  It‘s a claim about the song.  And this is a wonderful little love song.  It‘s about the value of abstinence and the importance of marriage.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Let‘s go to number four, a song that you called a tribute to the region that liberals love to hate.  And I‘m from that region.  Let‘s play a clip of one of my favorite songs. 


LYNYRD SKYNYRD (singing):  In Birmingham, they love the governor.  Now we all did what we could do.  Now Watergate does not bother me.  Does your conscience bother you?  Tell me true.


SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s really got to be the most subversive line in rock ‘n‘ roll, actually, a long that‘s in support of George Wallace and Watergate in 1974-1975.  Talk about that song. 

MILLER:  Well, I think it‘s fundamentally about regional pride.  It is a southern rock classic, of course.  And, Joe, you know that a lot of people love to sneer at the South.  They choose to do that.  This song says that we‘re proud of who we are, we‘re proud of our home, and you‘re no better than we are. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, and, of course, one of the great back stories of this is when he Lynyrd Skynyrd attacked Neil Young for attacking Alabama and the South.  Neil Young actually became great friends with the band, because he loved how the guitarist sounded in there.

Now, also on the list, a group that nobody‘s ever accused of being conservative, the Rolling Stones, number three, “Sympathy for the Devil” from “Beggar‘s Banquet.”  Let‘s take a listen to that. 


THE ROLLING STONES (singing):  I stuck around St. Petersburg when I saw it was a time for a change.  Killed the czar and its ministers;

Anastasia screamed in vain.


SCARBOROUGH:  “Sympathy for the Devil,” a surprise.  What‘s conservative about that?

MILLER:  Well, I love the line you just picked out to play there, which, of course, is the devil.  Mick Jagger speaking in the voice of the devil, taking credit for the Communist Revolution in Russia, which leads to the Soviet Union, one of the great monstrosities of the 20th century.  He is the devil taking credit for the rise of the Soviet Union. 

This song is the screw tape letters of rock ‘n‘ roll.  And you have another great line in it about every cop is a criminal and all the sinners saints.  Well, this is the devil lying to us, and this is the devil telling us that we should be moral relativists.  We‘re supposed to reject this, of course, but it is a fundamentally conservative song for those reasons. 

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s fascinating.  Again, and from Mick Jagger, a guy that nobody would consider, at least in ‘68 when he wrote that, conservative. 

Number two, now this song—no one can listen to this song by the Beatles and not say that it‘s an anti-tax, pro-Reagan song.  Let‘s listen to “Tax Man,” from “Revolver.”


THE BEATLES (singing):  If you drive a car, I‘ll tax the street.  If you try to sit, I‘ll tax your seat.  If you get too old, I‘ll tax the heat.  If you take a walk, I‘ll tax your feet.


MILLER:  Joe, that‘s a great song by a great band.  The lyrics are clever and they‘re funny. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, and they go after actually specific former prime ministers, taxman Mr. Wilson and taxman Mr. Heath.  Let‘s go to number one, one of my favorite songs, with one of the great lines of all time, the Who “Won‘t Get Fooled Again.”  Let‘s listen. 


THE WHO (singing):  There‘s nothing in the streets looks any different tome.  And the slogans are replaced, by the by.


SCARBOROUGH:  And, of course, the killer line that I‘ve used in political campaigns from the time I ran in college, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”  John, talk about the Who. 

MILLER:  This is a counterrevolutionary song.  It is about the failure of revolution.  It is about the futility of radical activism, because the new boss is always the same as the old boss.  It‘s about the disillusionment that follows, and it‘s about the resolution not to get fooled again. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you so much, John. 

MILLER:  Thanks, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘ve got to give you credit, buddy, you‘ve got guts.  And it‘s a fascinating list.  And you can find a link to the National Review‘s complete list of the top 50 conservative songs on our Web site, Joe.MSNBC.com. 

Coming up next, investigators are saying Lance Armstrong‘s first win in the Tour de France was on the up-and-up.  I‘ve got issues with the French witch hunts going after this American hero, when we return.


SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back.  I‘m Joe.  I‘ve got a rock band, and I‘ve got issues. 

First up, the French and Lance Armstrong.  Now, the biking superstar was cleared of charges that he was doping during the 1999 Tour de France, despite the fact that the seven-time tour winner was repeatedly accused of doping by French fans and newspapers. 

But the investigation concluded that a French laboratory screwed up the samples and that the world anti-doping agency violated their own rules regarding the testing protocols.  Simply put:  The French are wrong again. 

And I‘ve got issues with Elizabeth Taylor who apparently doesn‘t have an issue with seeing Michael Jackson in bed with young boys.  During a recent television interview, the actress talked about Michael Jackson, her long-time friend who was acquitted last year of child molestation charges. 

But Elizabeth Taylor said there was nothing odd about an older man like Michael Jackson sleeping with boys.  Sure, nothing strange going on with Michael.  Move along.  Nothing to see here.  Whatever, Liz.

Hey, we‘ll be right back with tonight‘s mailbag.


SCARBOROUGH:  Time once again for the SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY mailbag.  We go to Patty in Oklahoma who writes, “The Senate immigration bill is the most shameful, thrown-together bill I‘ve ever seen.  I‘ll do all of my power to make sure it goes nowhere.  Build a fence, secure our borders, and enforce our laws; what‘s so tough about that?”

Hey, I agree, Patty.  So do 80 percent of Americans.

That‘s all the time we have tonight.  Rita Cosby starts right now—




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