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updated 6/2/2006 11:11:47 AM ET 2006-06-02T15:11:47

Guests: Bobby Ghosh, Peter King, Ibrahim Hooper and Robert Kennedy Jr.

RITA COSBY, HOST, “LIVE AND DIRECT”: THE SITUATION with Tucker Carlson starts now. Tucker, what do you think about my new friend, Ross the intern?

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: I’m so in awe, Rita, on so many levels. I want to go on vacation with you.

COSBY: Yes, you’ve got to catch up with — only if you bring, like, 10 cameras, you know.

CARLSON: Unbelievable. Thank you, Rita.

COSBY: Thanks.

CARLSON: Thanks to you at home for tuning in. It’s good to have you with us as always.

Tonight the firestorm over Haditha grows. The president has vowed to punish any Marine found guilty of crimes on the battlefield. But will heads roll in Washington, too? There are already calls for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld. We’ll talk to a spokesman for one Muslim group that’s demanding the secretary of defense step down now.

Also ahead, was the 2004 presidential race rigged? Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says he’s uncovered irrefutable evidence that Republicans stole it.  He’ll join us in just a minute.

And can we beat Osama bin Laden by raising gas taxes? Some are taking that idea seriously. We’ll tell you more about it.

We begin tonight with a growing scandal over civilian deaths in Haditha, Iraq. A military commander in Iraq today ordered combat troops to be trained in moral and ethical standards on the battlefield.

But we still don’t know exactly what happened there in that Iraqi farming town last November. Was there a massacre and a subsequent cover- up? And what should happen now? Here with more details, the man who broke the story, Bobby Ghosh, the co-author of that report for “TIME” magazine.  He joins us live tonight from Baghdad.

Bobby Ghosh, thanks for joining us.

BOBBY GHOSH, “TIME” MAGAZINE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Tucker.

CARLSON: You, of course, wrote the first story on this. “TIME” magazine broke this story. There have been a number of subsequent stories including one today in the “Los Angeles Times” that are pretty detailed.  They sent an Iraqi reporter into the town to interview witnesses or people who said they were.

How reliable at this point, months after the event, are the accounts of it going to be? Has the story changed at all?

GHOSH: Well, we’re getting more and more detail than we did three months ago when “TIME” magazine first started investigating this story.

As you can imagine, this was a — this was a deeply traumatic event for everybody concerned. And as such, it’s sort of burned into their memories. Now, there’s always going to be — six months after the event, there’s always going to be a few details that slip here and there, but I think that because the people there endured it at firsthand, their memories are fairly reliable.

CARLSON: We keep reading reports here in the United States that this story is not getting the publicity you’d imagine it would get within Iraq.  Is it being used for propaganda purposes by the insurgency, for instance, or by political organizations in Iraq?

GHOSH: You know, it’s surprising, but the answer is no. It tells you something about the quality of politician in this country, and it tells you a little bit about the distance between political leaders and the people.  But very few political parties, even the Sunni parties, who you would expect would love to have something like this with which it beat on the U.S. military here, have not really taken this up.

It was only yesterday, six months after the event, that the Iraqi government announced that it, too, was going to launch an investigation.

We know that one insurgent group has mentioned Haditha in some of its postings online, and one jihadi group congratulated the residents of Fallujah for bringing the story to the world, but even they haven’t really gone to town with it.

CARLSON: Interesting. You say there’s a disconnect between the politicians and the people. Is there evidence that the people, groups of people, are aware of this story and mad about it? Have there been demonstrations, for instance?

GHOSH: There have not yet been demonstrations. That would require, I suspect, a political group to organize, and it’s far too dangerous for groups to gather anyway in this country, but people are talking about it.  The Arab media has covered it extensively, and all the Iraqi TV channels have picked it up. The videotape that was taken by a local man the day after the event has aired on most Iraqi channels.

And every Iraqi I have spoken to has expressed outrage but not a lot of surprise. There is so much death in this country, in so many different ways, that it seems that 24 innocent Iraqis being killed, sad to say, is just another day in Iraq.

CARLSON: I believe it. Now, but it’s not just another day for the United States Marine Corps. How have they responded to you, and to “TIME” magazine, after you wrote this story?

GHOSH: Well, since we broke the story, we haven’t heard a lot from them. At the start of our investigation, they were quite hostile towards us. They accused us of buying into enemy propaganda.

When the evidence mounted that that was not the case and that something terrible had happened, we began — they began to open up a little more. We were given access to military sources that told us the report, of the first preliminary investigation. And our relations with the rest of the military have not been affected in any significant way.

CARLSON: What’s your reaction to this? You’ve been there a long time. You’ve dealt with the armed services a lot. Is this consistent with the behavior of the Marine Corps as you’ve seen it?

GHOSH: No, it is not. It is clearly an exceptional incident. The vast majority of the Marines do their job with dignity and honor, and there is no reason to tar everybody with this brush.

But that’s all the more reason why I think it is important for the U.S. military to take action in this case, to show the Iraqi people that when an event like this happens the U.S. takes it seriously. People are called to justice and punished when found guilty.

And that’s the difference between good guys and bad guys in this very dirty war, and I think the military is right in pursuing this with the kind of energy they have.

CARLSON: It sounds like they’re going to. Bobby Ghosh from Baghdad, thanks very much.

GHOSH: Anytime, Tucker.

CARLSON: We move now to outrage in Washington and New York over the war on terror.

The Department of Homeland Security is slashing counterterrorism funds for New York City by about 40 percent. The claim is that New York has no national monuments or icons that would be at risk of a terror attack.  That, of course, is news to a city where thousands died on September 11, and it’s got some New Yorkers demanding that homeland security chief Michael Chertoff be canned.

My first guest says, “The Department of Homeland Security and the administration have declared war on New York.” Strong words.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON: Representative Peter King is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. He joins us tonight from West Babylon, Long Island.

Congressman King, thanks for joining us.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Good to be with you, Tucker. How are you?

CARLSON: I’m doing great.

I’m pretty much in agreement, I think, with your position on this that New York ought get a lot of money. New York does get a lot of money. But we should be clear that most of the money that comes to New York does not go to New York City.

In 1994 (sic) more than 60 percent went to the rest of New York, including to a bunch of rural areas that probably didn’t need the money.  So why not — why shouldn’t New York just take the bulk of the federal funds it gets to protect itself from terrorism and put them into New York City?

KING: Actually, Tucker, the money we’re talking about that was cut yesterday is money cut from New York City, primarily. That was — New York City was given...

CARLSON: Right.

KING: ... last year $208 million. This year it’s $124 million. It’s an $84 million cut, and that’s just wrong.

And actually, other parts of the state you do have the northern border with Canada. There is a fear of agro-terrorism upstate. But most of the money we’re talking about here revolves around New York City and what’s called the Yowasi (ph) area, which is New York City, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties.

CARLSON: I’m aware of that, but I guess my point is that there are tens of millions of — many tens of millions of dollars of federal money, homeland security money, that goes to New York state, some of which is probably wasted, as it is in other states. Why not take that money and put it to New York City where it’s needed?

KING: Actually, the great bulk of the money does go to New York City.  As far as the other money in the state, I’m not aware of any of it that’s been wasted. And I really mean that.

Jim McMahon is the state counterterrorism director. He does a great job, and there’s been great coordination between the governor and the mayor. And a lot of the money passes through Albany and goes directly to the city.

CARLSON: Really? Because last year $46,908 was given — appropriated by the House to Hampton Jitney. That’s a car service that runs from the city to the Hamptons for rich people. That’s homeland security money that went to basically a limo service. I think that’s wasted. Don’t you?

KING: Yes, and I’m not aware of any of that money was involved yesterday. What we’re talking about is Yowasi (ph) money. This is money which goes to the police, the fire, to emergency management. Any money that’s up there that’s wasted, fine. But I’ll tell you, I’m not aware of one dollar of money that’s gone to New York City which anyone has questioned as far as it being real money, real programs.

In fact, for instance, the City of New York — the police department has 1,000 police officers involved in counter terrorism. There’s nothing like that anywhere in the country. And these guys are putting their lives on the line every day. They’ve made arrests. There was just a conviction last week in federal court for a guy who was trying to blow up Herald Square.

CARLSON: Right. Well, I mean, and could that be part of the problem?  I mean, New York City’s police department is famously effective. The best police department in the country. Everyone says so. Possibly New York has made such dramatic strides in protecting itself against terror that that money should be shunted to cities that haven’t made dramatic strides.

KING: Then you’re penalizing success, because those costs that New York incurs — is still incurring and they’re going to be more and more every year.

In fact, and here’s the thing, Tucker. If they wanted to take that position at least, you know, we could argue that with them.

CARLSON: Right.

KING: But in their analysis that they did, I saw their summary, and they put the NYPD counterterrorism application in the bottom 15 percent.  Out of 467 applications, they said the NYPD counterterrorism was in the bottom 15 percent. So that to me shows the real bias — either a bias or a total incapacity to know what’s going on, and whoever did it should be fired.

CARLSON: Whoever did it. Can you get very specific about who did it?  I mean, who did it? You’re the — you’re the chairman of homeland security committee. Tell me, who did it?

KING: We’re calling hearings on this. They have a peer review panel which is shrouded in secrecy. We’re not certain who was on that. We’re not certain who came up with the formula they claim they used.

And by the way, the department changes their story now about five times over the last 36 hours as to why this was done. And you have then — went to an assistant secretary, perhaps an undersecretary. I don’t even know if it made it to Secretary Chertoff for the final sign-off. I don’t know how they came up with these numbers, how you can be cutting New York City by 40 percent when we are at the very top of every terror threat analysis.

CARLSON: It’s not going to happen, though, is it?

KING: Oh, it is going to happen. This is done. They have — the department has final say. Now, we’re going to hold hearings. There’s going to be pressure. We’re going to be in the White House. We’re going to do all we can to try to restore money, but it’s very difficult once money is allocated to take it away from one city and give it to another.

This is a tough fight we have. I’m been going to try to get money from other sources, but this is a very tough fight. This is a very, very serious blow to New York, and it could involve life and death.

CARLSON: I suspect you’ll win that fight. Congressman King, thanks for coming on.

KING: Tucker, thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON: Still to come, the U.S. investigation of what happened in Haditha, Iraq, is still ongoing. So why is one Muslim group demanding that Donald Rumsfeld resign right now? We’ll ask them after the break.

Plus, explosive new allegations from Robert Kennedy Jr. in the upcoming issue of “Rolling Stone.” Was George Bush’s 2004 election victory over John Kerry a stolen one? We’ll ask Kennedy what evidence he has to support that when THE SITUATION comes back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Still ahead, was the 2004 presidential election stolen by Republicans? Robert Kennedy Jr. says he has proof it was. He’ll join us in just a minute.

Plus, our “Top Five” list of the worst politicians in America. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Now to more on the aftermath of the Haditha incident. The Council on American Islamic Relations, the Muslim organization known as CAIR, is demanding that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld step down now, saying, quote, “This stain must be removed from the reputation of America’s military personnel.

Here now to explain his organization’s position is Ibrahim Hooper.  He’s the spokesman for CAIR, and he joins us tonight from Washington.

Mr. Hooper, thanks for coming on.

Mr. Hooper, can you hear me?

Ibrahim Hooper, I can hear you breathe, but I don’t think you can hear me. All right. Mr. Hooper, if you can hear me, why is it that your organization is jumping in with a judgment on a very complicated incident before the investigation of that incident is concluded? You know about as much about this as I do, which is not all that much.

Unfortunately, I’d love to have Mr. Hooper answer that question, but he cannot hear me. So we’re going to go to break and be back in just a second with our technical difficulties fixed. We promise. We’ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Welcome back. An updated on the aftermath of the Haditha story. The investigation into what happened in November in that Iraqi town is not complete. But at least one group is now calling for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. That group is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, known as CAIR.

It’s spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, joins us tonight from Washington. Mr. Hooper, thanks for coming on.

IBRAHIM HOOPER, SPOKESMAN, CAIR: Thanks for having me.

CARLSON: Don’t you think we ought to wait until the investigation is done and we know what really happened before you start calling for defense officials to resign?

HOOPER: Well, first of all, I think it’s pretty clear what happened.  There have been no reports refuting the allegations of a massacre that I’ve seen.

But it’s not just the alleged massacre. It’s the series of blunders and flawed policies that have come out of the Pentagon since Secretary Rumsfeld has been there. The looting that was allowed...

CARLSON: Wait. One news story at a time here, though, if you would.

HOOPER: Yes.

CARLSON: Your organization issued a press release pegged to the story of Haditha, the massacre of that...

HOOPER: In the press release we mentioned Abu Ghraib.

CARLSON: That’s right. However...

HOOPER: We mentioned the looting that was allowed in Iraq. We mentioned Guantanamo. We mentioned all these other flawed policies.

CARLSON: It did low in the press release. But the headline is “in the Aftermath of Haditha we call for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld.”

Now we don’t know what happened. The military has not commented publicly on this, as you’re fully aware. It could be that the stories we have seen in the press are either inaccurate or at best incomplete.

Don’t you think, like the rest of the country, you ought to slow down, take a deep breath and find out what happened before you start weighing in, in ignorance?

HOOPER: I think there have been enough eyewitness reports — really bone-chilling reports of what happened, and even from soldiers who were involved in the incident or in the clean-up of the incident to determine that something happened there. And this is just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

CARLSON: What do you mean, something happened there? That’s good enough for you? You’re a — you’re a public policy organization and “something happened” is good enough for you to just weigh in and call for someone’s resignation? Please.

HOOPER: When you have — when you have babies and women and old men in wheelchairs shot to death with no apparent reason other than people going house to house? Come on.

CARLSON: How the hell do you know? I’m not in any way — I’m not defending the deaths of civilians. It goes without saying. And incidentally, I’d like to see you condemn the deaths of civilians in other instances a little bit more often, as I’ve said before.

But in this case, we don’t know the circumstances under which they were murdered. And I’m just saying are you helping the discourse by weighing in before you know the facts?

HOOPER: Even if for some reason this turned out to be a complete hoax, we have called for Secretary Rumsfeld’s resignation in the past for the long string of other blunders that have occurred on his watch. And this is just the latest one. It’s time for him to go.

CARLSON: But I wonder why your organization, of all organizations, is doing so. You’re not a military organization.

HOOPER: No.

CARLSON: You don’t claim expertise in military affairs. Are you speaking now on behalf of the people of Iraq? It sounds that way.

HOOPER: First of all, we’re Americans. We’re concerned about America’s image in the world. Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, the — all the things that have happened in Iraq and Afghanistan and different places in the Muslim world. These harm our nation’s image and interests. We’re concerned about it, and we don’t want it to continue.

CARLSON: It sounds to me like you’re concerned about America’s sins, real and perceived, because that does seem to be your focus of your organization’s efforts. Not America’s image but America’s badness. I mean, every time we have you on, it’s America has done this wrong with Muslims, America’s done this wrong with Muslims.

HOOPER: Well, you need to call me about good subjects sometimes.

CARLSON: I wonder how much time you spend on good subjects.

HOOPER: We have an entire Muslims CAIR program this summer. Muslims volunteer to do good work in communities all across America.

CARLSON: Let me get right to the internal contradiction of what you just said. You said we’re doing this because we care about America’s image abroad. If you care so deeply about America’s abroad — I’m dubious, but let’s say you do — then why are you sullying that image by weighing in on something about which you don’t really know a lot?

HOOPER: We don’t...

CARLSON: But you’re assuming that American soldiers killed these people in cold blood. You don’t know that, but you’re implying it. Does that help America’s image abroad? I don’t think so.

HOOPER: We — we protect the reputation of our armed forces by holding them and their commanders to the highest standards possible.

CARLSON: Right, and those standards include knowing the facts before passing judgment. Those standards, I think, apply to all of us, even CAIR.

HOOPER: OK. I think if you go back and read the eyewitness accounts...

CARLSON: Right.

HOOPER: ... read the accounts of the soldiers, I think you may have a different idea about how this came about.

CARLSON: Well, we — I’m waiting until we know the facts. Mr. Hooper, thanks for joining us.

HOOPER: Thanks for having me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR RAY NAGIN, NEW ORLEANS: Today is a new beginning. Another beginning for New Orleans. I stand before you, tried, tested, and having weathered the worst of storms.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: Eww. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin takes his second oath of office, ironically on the first day of the new hurricane season and at the very same convention center where, only nine months ago, thousands of Hurricane Katrina refugees waited in vain for help to arrive from Mr. Nagin.

But Nagin still faces a daunting reconstruction effort. The voters of New Orleans apparently think he’s up to the task, despite the fact that the Katrina disaster happened on his watch and was completely mismanaged by him.

But his honor is not the only American politician to be granted mercy by his constituents. In tonight’s “Top Five,” we present our bottom five list of the worst politicians in America today.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON (voice-over): They’re those elected leaders whose noble careers have earned them recognition as certified public servants. Then there are those who are perhaps merely certifiable.

Rock stars have entourages, but Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has literally broken the bank with his lavish lifestyle that extends to family and friends. Before announcing the elimination of 900 public employees last month because of the city’s $230 million deficit, the mayor leased a $57,000 SUV using taxpayers’ money.

MAYOR KWAME KILPATRICK, DETROIT: I feel like George Foreman. He had to go another 17 after 15 (ph).

CARLSON: He’s the longest serving senator on Capitol Hill, but Republican Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is maybe best known for insisting that massive amounts of pork be redirected to his own state, for instance to build his now-infamous “bridge to nowhere.”

SEN. TED STEVENS (R), ALASKA: We’re finally coming into the position where the seniority I have is paying off.

CARLSON: Stevens once furiously threatened to resign from the Senate when he heard that funds allocated for bridges in Alaska might be redirected to aid Katrina victims.

His name bears the pedigree of American politics, but Patrick Kennedy’s seat in Congress isn’t very comfortable. The Rhode Island congressman’s career hit a road block last month when he crashed his car near Capitol Hill. It was his second car accident in a month. Though intoxicated, he somehow escaped arrest and is now in a drug rehab clinic.

No southern wall flower, Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has openly speculated about whether the Bush administration is involved in 9/11. She’s also had numerous run-ins with the law and last March was arrested for striking a Capitol Hill cop who asked for her I.D. McKinney screamed racial profiling.

He may be the most prominent gay politician in America. Barney Frank may also be the most personally unpleasant, quick to scream at anyone who even mildly disagrees with him.

A number of years ago, Frank found himself in hot water when his boyfriend was caught running a prostitution ring from the lawmaker’s apartment. And yet somehow the people of Massachusetts keep reelecting him.

REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I don’t think I’m going to be heavily penalized by the voters for having been suckered by a guy I tried to help.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON: Last week General Motors announced something called the fuel price protection program. Buy a G.M. car between now and next month, the company will guarantee a year’s worth of gasoline at no more than $1.99 a gallon.

Sounds like they great thing, right? Well, that all depends on who you are. If you’re a middle class American who uses an SUV for work or to transport a big family, it could be a godsend.

If you’re a rich liberal intellectual, though, it’s immoral. In a column yesterday, Tom Friedman of “The New York Times” attacked G.M. for offering cheap gas. “Oil fuels terrorism and the insurgency in Iraq,” Friedman wrote. “If you’re burning gasoline, you’re helping the enemy.”

Or as he put it the more Hummers we have on the road in America the more military Humvees we’ll need in the Middle East.

Friedman’s solution, tax gasoline until people can’t afford to use too much of it. Not only is this mindlessly simplistic — oil profits don’t go directly to al Qaeda — it is also pure hypocrisy. Keep in mind that this was all written by a man who flies around the world for a living on jets that consume more fuel than a thousand Chevy Suburbans.

So will Tom Friedman give up his frequent flying? Not likely. You shouldn’t ask a mother of four to stop driving her kids to school.

Still to come, Taylor Hicks’ victory on “American Idol” comes at a price. We’ll tell you about a violent incident surrounding that hit show.

Plus, did Republicans prevent more than 350,000 Ohio residents from casting ballots in 2004, allowing George W. Bush to remain in the White House? That’s the claim being made by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. He joins us after the break, so stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Still to come, are the media anti-Christian? A recent story in “USA Today” suggests so. Plus, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on how the GOP stole the 2004 presidential election. We’ll get to all that in just a minute, but first here is what else is going on in the world tonight.

(NEWSBREAK)

CARLSON: The 2000 presidential election will be remembered as the most bitterly contested in U.S. history, but if you believe one theory we ought to take a much closer look at the results of the 2004 election, as well.

A new article in “Rolling Stone” magazine bluntly claims George W. Bush stole that election from John Kerry through a series of Republican dirty tricks at the state and local levels. The piece claims more than 350,000 voters in the battleground state of Ohio were either prevented from voting or didn’t have their votes counted at all.

The article is comprehensive, but is it an accurate characterization of what actually happened? And is it really possible that a conspiracy of this magnitude has been kept quiet for this long?

We have the author of that article, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Welcome.

ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR., “ROLLING STONE” CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks for having me, Tucker.

CARLSON: I read the whole piece. It’s a serious piece, and I take it seriously. But you are alleging a massive conspiracy to, as you put it, fix the 2004 election. A conspiracy of the size you describe would have required the complicity of literally thousands of people. Why have none of those people come forward to admit they were part of it?

KENNEDY: Well, I don’t — I don’t agree with that. I think — first of all, I think it’s indisputable, whether you want to call it a conspiracy or an agreement or whatever you want, that the — high level Republican officials mounted a concerted, deliberate effort to fix the 2004 election, and that there’s strong evidence that they succeeded in doing so, particularly in the state of Ohio.

You know, it’s not just me who is saying this. These are facts that are public. That they have been the subject of a congressional committee hearing — or various congressional committee — various congressional committee hearings and a big report by John Conyers. They have been subject of prosecutions and ongoing prosecutions by public officials — by public enforcers in the state of Ohio. And they’re part of the public record.

CARLSON: But that — see, that’s part of the problem, I guess, here.  I mean, look, I have no doubt, and I don’t think anybody would, that there are voting irregularities in this election as there are in any election, probably some crookedness, as there are in any election, again.

But you’re alleging that in state after state, not just Ohio, but many states, including Florida, New Mexico and others, there were concerted, coordinated efforts to subvert the vote.

And yet, John Kerry, the person who lost in this election, the injured party here, when you talked to him and you said, “Did you think this election was fixed?” said no.

KENNEDY: I don’t think that’s what John Kerry says at this point.  But you know, the issue here is that these facts are on the table, Tucker.  There’s no dispute about the facts. I mean, go through the article and show me a single fact that you dispute.

CARLSON: OK. Whoa, whoa.

KENNEDY: Let me say this. Let me ask you this.

CARLSON: I was going to take you up on your offer.

KENNEDY: The real question here...

CARLSON: Right.

KENNEDY: ... is why did the press not cover this? Even if — I mean, this is not — this should not be a partisan issue, Tucker.

CARLSON: Well, but it is a partisan issue.

KENNEDY: You should be — listen. Wait a minute.

CARLSON: Hold on.

KENNEDY: Let me finish what I’m saying because I let you speak.

CARLSON: OK. Go ahead.

KENNEDY: I let you speak. You should be as outraged and indignant about this as I am. And you know, I can tell you this. That if a Democrat did this or the Democratic Party did this, I would be standing up there with any Republican or anybody who wanted and said this is wrong.

CARLSON: Did what? But did what? I mean hold on.

KENNEDY: Look at all the things. Kenneth Blackwell did — Kenneth...

CARLSON: Now, it’s my turn, Mr. Kennedy. My turn now.

The specifics are the key here. Now speaking of partisan, your piece, I think, not to be a literary critic here, falls down in this regard. It is a purely partisan piece. You quote again and again Howard Dean, John Conyers, Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Neas. I mean, literally, Michael Moore and Ramsey Clark are about the only two leftists you don’t quote.

KENNEDY: No, I...

CARLSON: And my question is, why hasn’t Congress determined that — in other words, if the election were thrown and it were obvious to those who looked carefully, it would be a news story. The press is not going to hide something like that. And neither is Congress. So why isn’t this common knowledge?

KENNEDY: Well, first of all, I called a lot of Democrats in the piece, but I called an equal amount of Republicans. I quote Kenneth Mehlman. I quote Matt Schroeder (ph). I quote the people who were involved in the efforts to expand the Democratic vote and to expand in other ways the Republican vote.

So it’s not a partisan piece. It’s a piece that — and I’ll tell you something, Tucker, I’m surprised...

CARLSON: Let’s get very specific.

KENNEDY: I’m surprised at you, that you are not as outraged about this as I am.

CARLSON: Well, then let’s get — let’s get specific — hold on.  We’ve been very general here. Let’s talk specifically about some of the allegations you make.

Quote, in New Mexico which was decided by a little under 6,000 votes, “Malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots.”

OK. You throw that out there. You don’t provide evidence that that is part of a coordinated campaign to fix this election. Nor do you — nor do you show that that helped Republicans over Democrats. So that — what does that mean? It doesn’t mean anything.

KENNEDY: That’s not part of the — that’s not part of my — that wasn’t evidence that I offered...

CARLSON: That’s in the first paragraph of your piece.

KENNEDY: That’s not evidence that I offered as part of the argument...

CARLSON: Then what’s it doing in the story?

KENNEDY: ... that this was part of a coordinated — listen to what I’m saying.

CARLSON: OK.

KENNEDY: That was not evidence that I offered that this was part of a coordinated attack, that it was coordinated, that it was deliberate, that it was concerted.

That — the evidence for that is the evidence — I picked out one state to focus on. I said that this kind of thing — these kind of irregularities happened in many states. In New Hampshire, for example...

CARLSON: Bush won by three million votes. OK? Nothing you allege would have made — you say that the Republicans thwarted the popular will.  The popular will was expressed by a margin of three million votes. Nothing you suggest here adds up to a margin of three million or even close.

KENNEDY: Well, first of all, the electoral votes were decided — the presidency was decided in the state of Ohio by 118,000 votes. And what I show is that there are somewhere around 400,000 votes, almost all Democratic, that were stolen in the state of Ohio. So that would have shifted the election to president — to John Kerry.

CARLSON: So this is the problem. You’re overstating.

KENNEDY: But I also do show this. To answer...

CARLSON: You don’t show that they were stolen. You show — you claim that election officials prevented, very indirectly, people from getting registered. OK? That’s different from stealing votes. And I think your overstatement devalues the power of what might be a more compelling piece.

KENNEDY: No, listen. What I show is that there were 350,000 people, mainly from Democratic precincts, who were not allowed to vote or whose votes weren’t counted.

I also show, Tucker, that there were 80,000 people in 12 rural counties who had their votes shifted — and this is stolen — shifted from John Kerry, who intended to vote for John Kerry, but their votes ended up being counted for George Bush. That’s a margin of 160,000 votes, and that easily would have put the election in the — into — to — it would have shifted the election results and the presidency to John Kerry.

CARLSON: Yes, he — OK.

KENNEDY: In addition to that, Tucker, there are another six — six counties which I didn’t even tabulate, because the figures that I used, I tried to keep them conservative. But in those six counties there is strong evidence that the votes — that votes in those counties were also stolen at the same rate that they were in the — in what we call the dirty dozen, the dirty 12 rural counties.

CARLSON: I guess. You know, some of what you say — I’m not saying this piece — we’re unfortunately out of time. Let me sum up by saying I don’t think this piece is crackpot. I’m not suggesting that. I don’t think you’re a crackpot.

I don’t think, though, that you fully make the case, and I just — I can’t get over the fact that Kerry himself isn’t convinced. I hope people will judge for themselves. The piece is in “Rolling Stone.” It’s long. I think it’s worth reading. And I appreciate your coming on.

KENNEDY: Thanks, Tucker.

CARLSON: Thank you.

We turn now to a man who remains adamant in his belief that the 1841 election of William Henry Harrison was, as he says, fixed. He’s “The Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO boxing host Max Kellerman.

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO: I think Don King hired the counters, the vote counters.

CARLSON: Yes. Poor, poor Mr. Harrison.

What place does religion have in professional sports? Not much, it would seem, if you check the crime blotter, but there is one team that apparently does put God first.

A “USA Today” profile of Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies characterized the entire organization, front the front office to the players, as one guided by the tenets of Christianity. The piece says the Rockies pray together, have scriptures posted in the locker room and rarely even swear.

Some says the article blew the team’s collective faith out of proportion. First baseman Todd Helton said, quote, “We’re dirt bags like 99 percent of the world. Maybe worse because we’re baseball players.”

Here’s my question, Max: Why is this a story? “USA Today” is implying the Rockies are a bunch of weirdoes because they believe in God. I’m sure you agree with that characterization, but I think you’ll concede it’s not the mainstream here. I mean, most of the country, like it or not, is Christian, and if you have a team that’s mostly Christians, why is that surprising?

KELLERMAN: Well, the first argument against that kind of behavior — and I am playing devil’s advocate here...

CARLSON: Literally, devil’s advocate in this case.

KELLERMAN: Yes, is Mark Sweeney, the example of Mark Sweeney, who was on the team in 2004, I think it was. He’s a role player — utility player, really, but you know, he wondered aloud how many people are just going along with it in the clubhouse to fit in? Otherwise, you’re not considered a good clubhouse guy. There’s a lot of peer pressure on a team.

When you walk into any bar, you know, what are the two things you’re not supposed to talk about? And bars, by the way, where people watch sports. You know, they’re connected. Religion and politics. People just don’t want to hear it, Tucker. Not in that setting.

CARLSON: Right. Isn’t the team free to — I don’t know, to practice their religion in public without being mocked by “USA Today”? I mean, the whole premise of the story is this: This is weird. It’s weird that there are all these faithful people on a sports team.

KELLERMAN: There’s a — I mean, CEO of the team is making comments like, you know, he believes God sends signs, which a lot of people do, believe in an intervening God. But we’re at war, ostensibly, although obviously not really, against religious literalism right now. And there is a kind of — a form of religious literalism.

When you say something like God sends signs and he’s sending signs to the team that we have a good clubhouse and therefore we’re winning, if that’s the implication, you know, is he intervening for the innocent kid in Rwanda, who’s being killed because that kid is not Christian?

CARLSON: Oh, come on. Only morons and journalists take that position. And you’re not in either category, strictly speaking. And I’m not attacking you but I read in a Denver newspaper today this described as, quote, “potentially dangerous.”

There’s this idea that if you are an observant Christian somehow you’re a threat? The opposite is true, provably truly. You’re less likely to go to jail.

KELLERMAN: Individually, people should practice their religion wherever they want, in their workplace, whatever. And if they want to get together in groups, fine.

But really, it’s not about the freedom of those individuals to practice their religion. It’s about the peer pressure exerted on others in the locker room as a result of those individuals to practice, you know, the other people’s religion in the way they practice it, or else be ostracized.

CARLSON: You know, it’s either Christianity or it’s another religion, you know. A secular religion. We all have a religion.

KELLERMAN: Tucker, I don’t care. Let them do what they want.

CARLSON: Well, that’s the spirit, Max. Good. Lecture over.

Well, if you live in Florida and you like feeding your dog under the table we’ve got some great news for you. You’ll soon be able to do it in restaurants.

Governor Jeb Bush says he’ll sign a dining with dogs bill tomorrow that would give restaurants the option of allowing customers to have their dogs with them in outdoor dining areas.

Dog owners and decent people everywhere love the idea of bringing their pets to dinner with them, but there are some who say they don’t want to be eating around animals.

Of course, you ought to be able to bring your dog to dinner, Max. I don’t know how you could possibly dispute that. I have a feeling you will.

And in fact, this is not even a question of being allowed to bring your dog to dinner. This is a question of allowing restaurants to make their own choices about whether they want to regulate dogs or not. It’s not the state’s business in the first place.

KELLERMAN: Let me just think of who I hate more? God or puppy dogs?

CARLSON: No.

KELLERMAN: Here — here is my argument, Tucker. It’s based on three pillars, OK?

CARLSON: OK.

KELLERMAN: The three pillars are hygiene, allergies and smell. I mean, you’re bringing a dog into a restaurant. First of all, lots of people are allergic to dogs, especially once you’re indoors. So you’re infringing on others’ right to have a — or privilege to have a meal without sneezing and without feeling uncomfortable.

Secondly, dogs are dirty. I mean, they’re dirty. You know what they do. You love dogs. You see it all the time. It’s not — they’re not the most hygienic animals in the world.

And thirdly, not everyone’s dog, but some dogs smell.

CARLSON: OK. First of all, they’re cleaner than a lot of friends of mine. Second, I don’t think they smell bad.

KELLERMAN: Do you like to bring those friends into restaurants?

CARLSON: I do, and they’re allowed to go, even in Florida. A ripe dog, actually, I think smells good.

And third, you don’t have a right to go to a restaurant. You’re right, it is a privilege and if you don’t like it you don’t have to go. It ought to be up to the restaurant owner to decide. I mean, some restaurants serve kinds of food I don’t care for. I don’t go to the restaurant. I don’t have a right to get whatever food I want in a restaurant.

KELLERMAN: Taking out those two pillars, what about allergies?

CARLSON: That’s what I’m saying, if you’re allergic to dogs — I don’t know. Some people are allergic to peanuts. Don’t go to the peanut restaurant. Right? I mean, people are allergic to all kinds of things.  Don’t go to the restaurant if you don’t care for it.

KELLERMAN: Health code? Health inspection?

CARLSON: There are insidious anti-dog elements in our society.  They’re always at work. Even as we sleep, they’re thinking of ways to exclude dogs from the common life, and I just want to congratulate Governor Jeb Bush of Florida for standing up for the silent majority here.

KELLERMAN: Bring cats?

CARLSON: No, no cats, just dogs.

KELLERMAN: Boy, that’s a really tough stance for Bush to take, by the way. Let the puppy dogs in.

CARLSON: Yes. Yes, he ought to be president. Max Kellerman, have a great weekend.

KELLERMAN: Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON: Coming up on THE SITUATION, this prison inmate wants the state to pay for his or her sex change operation. Is the whole thing actually a brilliant ploy to spring him or herself from the slammer?  Possibly? We’ll explain.

Plus, a group of teenagers caught on tape beating up innocent people.  We’ll tell you who shot this video and why the cameraman is now headed for jail.

THE SITUATION will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANESSA MCDONALD, PRODUCER: Coming up, “American Idol” turns violent.  We’ll tell you how the “Idol” finale led to bloodshed and an arrest.

Plus, does the idea of Hillary Clinton in the White House frighten you?

CARLSON: Of course it doesn’t. It scares the hell out of you! Stay tuned. We’ll be back in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Hello, welcome back. Time for Thursday night voicemails.  All week you have flooded our inbox with your thoughts. Here are some of them. First up.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

CALLER: Devon McDonald. I’m from Martinsburg, West Virginia. If Hillary Clinton became president, the new president’s musical entrance would change from “Hail to the Chief” to the “Jaws” theme song.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

CARLSON: You know, that is so true. If you step back and think about Hillary Clinton could be president, I mean, I haven’t really taken it seriously until recently, but it is chilling. It is like a horror movie.  I don’t think it’s going to happen, either. It’s too frightening. I won’t allow the possibility into my head.

Next up.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

CALLER: This is Jeff calling from Loves Park, Illinois. I saw your story about the man in prison who wants to get a sex change. If he gets his wish and gets his sex change at the cost of the taxpayers, is he going to a normal prison or is he going to be sent to a women’s prison?

(END AUDIO CLIP)

CARLSON: Well, unfortunately for all the male inmates, he will go to the women’s prison. We checked today. Which is odd, because just because you’re castrated and have a fake set of boobs does not make you a woman.  It makes you a castrated man with a fake set of boobs. I don’t know why they’re sending him to women’s prison, but I guess that’s the rule.

Next up.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

CALLER: Nick from Washington, D.C. I was on your show earlier in the year in the voice message segment. I asked you essentially why college was a big waste of your time or whatever. And you answered, and your answer really amazed me. And since then I have dropped out of college and have gotten a job and I’m so happy.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

CARLSON: I don’t know. I don’t know if you’re being serious, nick, and you really did take my advice and drop out of college and get a job.  But if you are and you really did that I predict you’ll be a great success.  So Mazeltov, great for you.

Still ahead on THE SITUATION, this woman thought she was being nice by buying her 16-year-old friend a Mercedes. Why’d she get a mug shot instead of a thank you note? We’ll give you the steamy details in just a minute.

Before we go to break, it’s tonight’s installment of “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.”

“The Good” is an arbitrator’s ruling that you shouldn’t be fired for dropping the “F” bomb on television, thank God. Arthur Chen, a local New York reporter, was fired last year after he used the “F” word on live TV.  At the end of one of his reports, Chen turned to some rowdy bystanders and said, “What the ’F’ is your problem, man?” That’s a good question.

Arbitrators ruled he should have been disciplined but not fired. Chen is now working at another New York station.

“The Bad” was the blood between a mother and her son during the “American Idol” finale last week. Twenty-four-year-old Cory Favreau is charged with hitting his mother in the head with a sharp object during a dispute over whether “Idol” winner Taylor Hicks or runner-up Katharine McPhee has a brighter future.

Favreau was charged with second degree assault. He should also be charged with being a grown man watching “American Idol,” but we sense he will not be charged with that, unfortunately.

“The Ugly,” finally, is this group of Jacksonville, Florida, teenagers beating people up for sport and filming it for their own entertainment.  The video shows them (ph) walking up to three innocent people and sucker punching them in the head. One of these geniuses posted the video on MySpace.com, where cops found them instantly.

That’s “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly” tonight. We’ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Welcome back. Time for the “Cutting Room Floor.” What better way to end a work week than the great Willie Geist?

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER: Thank you, Tucker.

That last voice-mail, proof positive that Tucker Carlson changes lives. Usually for the worse.

CARLSON: Drop out of college, you get to work.

GEIST: I’m sure his parents appreciate that.

CARLSON: Actually, it is good advice. Don’t waste your time. If you’re not into it, do something you’re into.  GEIST: OK.

CARLSON: Well, you’ve heard all the rumors. OK, I haven’t either, but apparently, there has been quite a bit of tabloid talk about whether or not Anna Nicole Smith is pregnant. So is the former stripper and current nut case expecting a child? Let’s go right to the chemically imbalanced source.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNA NICOLE SMITH, FORMER MODEL: I have been hearing a lot of gossip in the papers. Is she pregnant? She’s pregnant; she’s pregnant by some guy. Well, let me stop all the rumors. Yes, I am pregnant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GEIST: There it is. There it is. I’m glad she cleared it up, because there was so much confusion in the press about that. And really, no classier way to make the announcement than over the Internet from your pool.

CARLSON: I love that. “Rumors that I have been pregnant by some guy.”

GEIST: Right.

CARLSON: How else do you get pregnant? Is there another way than by some guy?

GEIST: There might be. That’s — well, nothing. But apparently, it’s some paparazzo that did the deed.

CARLSON: Really?

GEIST: Yes.

CARLSON: What about her lawyer, the guy who follows her around?

GEIST: Yes, it was that guy.

CARLSON: Howard.

GEIST: I’ve always wondered about him, Howard K. Stern.

CARLSON: Have you ever been sitting in the back of a cab and thought to yourself, “Boy, I wish I could karaoke right now.”

GEIST: Never.

CARLSON: If you’re ever in Singapore and you get into Jeffrey Tan’s cab, you can. He’s installed a $2,800 karaoke system in his cab for the theoretical enjoyment of his riders. Sadly, Jeffrey often feels the need to karaoke himself. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GEIST: You know, just when you thought a cab ride couldn’t get more unpleasant, your driver starts karaoke’ing.

Can I make an obvious point? The driver is reading the karaoke words while he’s driving? Eyes on the road, chief. Doesn’t that seem a little unsafe?

CARLSON: Have you ever driven in Asia recently? That’s just par.

If you’re a 39-year-old married mother of two having an affair with a 16-year-old boy, you should assume his mother is going to ask some questions when you buy him a Mercedes. Lisa Frodella of Long Island, New York, didn’t think that through, however. She was arrested yesterday for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old high school student.

The kid’s mother called police when her son showed up in a new Mercedes that Frodella had bought for him. Cops say Frodella had sex with the boy several times at Long Island hotels.

GEIST: Wow. I don’t know much about the subject, but it seems to me you should be a little more discreet than buying your lover, whatever it is, a Mercedes. How do you explain to your husband the $50,000 that’s missing from the checking account? You know? Seems like bad business.  Obviously would hurt (ph).

CARLSON: What’s going on, on Long Island?

GEIST: There’s a lot going on.

CARLSON: There’s a lot of this on Long Island.

GEIST: Joey, Amy, the whole group out there.

CARLSON: Willie Geist.

GEIST: All right, Tucker. Have a good weekend.

CARLSON: Thanks, Willie.

That’s it for us. See you Monday.

Watch The Situation with Tucker Carlson each weeknight at 11 p.m. ET

Copyright 2006 MSNBC and Voxant Inc.

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