updated 6/13/2006 12:46:10 PM ET 2006-06-13T16:46:10

Guests: Sara Carter, Brent Wilkes, Jack Burkman, Mike Papantonio, Bill Fallon, Michael Gross, Chris Wellman, Alex Mar

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY: Bush border wars breaking our way.  A new study shows troops may be winning the war against illegal aliens, but will politicians now drop their amnesty agenda?

And Ann Coulter banned.  That‘s what two New Jersey legislators are demanding tonight as the backlash against the blond bomber grows to a frenzied pitch.

And the Dixie Chicks (INAUDIBLE) facing furious former fans and suffering slow sales for a string of shows in middle America.  “The Wall Street Journal” reporter the Chicks are plummeting to earth, may have to cancel concert tours, and they ask, Are they ready now to make nice?

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

We‘re going to have all that tonight, but first, the Associated Press is reporting that the president‘s plan to send troops to the border may be working.  In the first 10 days of June, detentions along the U.S./Mexico border are down 21 percent.  In Arizona alone, detentions down 23 percent.  Now, opponents of tough law enforcement call this crackdown cruel and inhumane, saying illegal immigrants will just travel to more dangerous routes, making it more dangerous for them to get to America.  Meanwhile, more Guards and troops are still streaming to our border, ensuring this debate‘s only going to get more intense in the coming weeks.

So is the president‘s plan working?  And if sending troops and building walls is keeping illegal immigrants out of America, will Washington politicians keep pushing for amnesty for 40 million illegal immigrants?  The answer: Of course.  Which is why mayors and other local leaders are now talking about taking matters into their own hands, cracking down on illegal immigrants in a way that Washington still refuses to do.  So what does it mean for Bush‘s war at the border?

Let‘s bring in Sara Carter.  She‘s an investigative reporter who covers the border extensively.  Sara, are our troops actually cutting way back on illegal immigration tonight?  Is this plan working?

SARA CARTER, “INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN”:  Well, it‘s certainly a deterrent.  We can see that in the first 10 days.  But we‘re not able to tell yet.  I mean, we‘ve only seen the first 10 days of June.  So we have to wait a little bit longer to see how it‘s actually going to pan out because once again, we need more time to see.  We have very few troops right now in Arizona, but it looks like just the rumors alone have been a deterrent.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, and that‘s the thing, Sara.  I remember back in the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan granted amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, a lot of people said that was going to cut back on traffic to the United States.  Actually, all it did was sent the word down to Mexico that American borders were open.  Come on in.  You don‘t get punished.  That was the problem, of course, as you know, because you‘ve been reporting along the border.  When people started thinking that George Bush was going to grant amnesty, more illegal immigrants came in.

So you‘re saying, from what you‘re hearing at the border, from talking to the border guards, from talking to all your sources up and down the border and in Mexico, that actually, the word that troops are on the border may be enough to deter illegal immigrants from coming into America.

CARTER:  Yes, but only for a small time.  What you have to remember is that smugglers are very swift.  They understand that the National Guard isn‘t going to be out there really patrolling the border.  They‘re going to be in the background.  So as soon as the smugglers start to figure out what routes are going to be more open, then I believe that what we‘re going to see is a balloon effect.  We‘re going to see migrants making their way more through Texas or maybe more through San Diego, which they have been doing, I mean, over the last year.  Border Patrol agents were up in Arizona over the last year, and we noticed a decrease anyways over the last year in the amount of migrants that were going through Arizona.  So this really is nothing new.

But what we are seeing is a significant—a little bit more than the 10 percent over the last year.  So we‘re going to have to wait and see.  San Diego, we‘ve seen a lot more migrants try to make their way through San Diego this year, and a lot more through Texas, certain parts of Texas.  Right now, it‘s a wait and see game.  As far as, like, where...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘ve got the National Guard, and like you said, when they figure out where the Guard is, they just go to different place, which, of course, would make others say, Well, let‘s just send more National Guard troops down.

I want to bring in—stay with me, Sara.  Right now, I want to bring in MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan and also Brent Wilkes from the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Brent, I say send more troops down there, lock down the border, build up walls keep illegal immigrants out.  Why is that a wrong-headed approach.

BRENT WILKES, LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS:  Well, we‘ve long opposed the use of troops on the border in actually an enforcement role because we believe that they‘re not trained to do that job.  The Border Patrol are trained to do that job.  The troops are trained to fight wars.  So it‘s dangerous to put them into contact.  And the last time we did use troops in that capacity, a young man who was a citizen of the United States was shot while he was herding his goats.  And that‘s the kind of than could happen if you have untrained people doing a very dangerous job and enforcing the border.

We believe in enforcing the border.  We do support the Border Patrol.  And the president‘s plan, which is to put people in a back-up role with the National Guard, is not bad idea.  We‘re not exactly in favor of that, but we certainly understand what he‘s doing, and it seems to be having some effect.  So we‘re not against that.

But actually putting people in the capacity of being on the border and enforcing the law who don‘t know what they‘re doing is a dangerous idea and could cause increased deaths, and it will also drive immigrants to be in more dangerous areas.  So we just don‘t think that that‘s the answer.  The real solution...

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat...

WILKES:  ... immigration reform.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  Let—Pat, is it dangerous to just militarize the border with Mexico, to just send National Guards troops, or do you have to also give the carrot along with the stick and allow these guest worker programs that a lot of people are calling amnesty?

PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  No, we don‘t need any guest worker program.  But I do agree with Brent to this extent.  You don‘t want a permanent militarization of the border with troops all along it.  That‘s not why you have an Army or a National Guard.  What they need, Joe, is a 2,000-mile security fence all along, along the gatekeeper (ph) area, 14 miles.  It stopped about  100 percent of the truck traffic.  It stopped a lot of the smuggling going in, 98 percent of the people along those 14 miles.  If you have a 2,000-mile security fence with 200 openings for tourism and trade and there st of it, the Border Patrol can handle it.  And frankly...

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Pat, what do you have to say, though, about these stats?  Are you surprised by them?

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  ... politicians for a long time to police the borders.  We find out now that just in the past couple weeks, traffic‘s down 21 percent...

BUCHANAN:  Sure.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... across the entire border, 23 percent in Arizona alone.  That founds fairly dramatic.  I mean, that‘s almost a...

BUCHANAN:  Well, Joe, you know...

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  ... 5,000 a day were being caught in the first five months.  Now you‘re telling me it‘s down to 4,000 a day.  Also, a security fence, Joe, will save -- 3,000 determined, desperate people have been found dead along the mountains and desert areas coming in from Mexico.  They will not try to cross that area if there‘s a fence that stops them.  And so...

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, but Pat, hold on a second...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat, Pat, though, here‘s the deal, though.  I mean, and Brent...

BUCHANAN:  Sure.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... I‘ll will give you a chance to talk about this in a second.

WILKES:  All right.

SCARBOROUGH:  But here‘s my underlying point.  Pat, I don‘t think it matters whether immigration‘s completely cut back with troops, I don‘t think it matters if illegal immigration is cut back with this border wall that you‘re talking about.

BUCHANAN:  Right.

SCARBOROUGH:  I think politicians in Washington, D.C., will still push for amnesty because I think there‘s a political up side to it.

BUCHANAN:  Right.  Let me show you the amnesty, Joe.  Here‘s a statement by the senator, U.S. Senator Grassley, right in “The Washington Post” in a letter.  He says, Title VI of the immigration bill—that‘s the Senate bill—absolves all employers of all civil and criminal tax liability.

SCARBOROUGH:  Which means that if...

BUCHANAN:  This is...

SCARBOROUGH:  If you‘re a businessman...

BUCHANAN:  It‘s a blanket (INAUDIBLE)

SCARBOROUGH:  ... or a business woman—yes, it‘s blanket amnesty for these businesses...

BUCHANAN:  That‘s the key!  That‘s...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... that are hiring people illegally, right?

BUCHANAN:  That‘s the ones that are really pushing this thing, that are more desperate than anybody else.  The illegal aliens know if they‘re caught, unless they‘re a criminal, they‘re just going to turn them back.  These guys are desperate, Joe, that people are going to come in and they‘re going to fine them and put them in jail!

SCARBOROUGH:  And Sara, isn‘t that the case, that in the end, the—you know, a lot of people are talking about, Oh, but we want to grant this guest worker program or amnesty, as other‘s call it, because we want to help the illegal immigrants.  This isn‘t about helping illegal immigrants or the—this is about helping businesses that want cheap labor!

CARTER:  That‘s absolutely the reason.  The businesses are benefiting from this and.  They don‘t really—you know, what Pat said is true.  There are hundreds of deaths along the border every year, migrants dying, smugglers bringing them in under the most horrific conditions.  Right now, it‘s one of the hottest times of the month in the Sonoran Desert.  We‘re going to find a lot more bodies, people trying to come into this country.

But in all reality, the amnesty plan really benefits the big businesses that use cheap labor.  And unless there is a stop to that—really, out of all the research and everyone I‘ve talked to, unless you can stop the pull from economics, you‘re not going to stop the migrants from coming in.

BUCHANAN:  Yes.  Joe...

CARTER:  And basically...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Brent, let me ask you the same question about that because, again, I think—and maybe I‘m just cynical because I‘ve been in Washington, D.C., too long.  I don‘t think anybody cares about these illegal immigrants.  Or only a few people care about these illegal immigrants.  I think it‘s about helping campaign contributors and PACs and big businesses that benefit from being able to hire illegal immigrants.

WILKES:  I absolutely disagree with you, Joe, but I do agree—I‘m glad to hear that you and Pat are very concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants along the border.

Let me tell you, though, if you want to help them, here‘s the best approach.  Certainly, border enforcement is part of the solution.  But there are other parts, as well, and the other parts are, first of all, let‘s help impact the sending areas.  Let‘s provide some aid to Latin America that‘s a fraction of what we do in the rest of the world, but let‘s give a little aid for a change and try to help improve those economies.

Second, let‘s create a legal avenue for folks to come in that meet our needs because we do use their labor.  We are benefiting from their labor, and we need to have a legal avenue...

BUCHANAN:  Brent, the problem for...

WILKES:  ... for them to come in.  And third, let‘s help the folks that are already here, working hard—they‘ve been doing...

BUCHANAN:  Brent...

WILKES—nothing wrong but a civil misdemeanor of the immigration...

BUCHANAN:  All right...

(CROSSTALK)

WILKES:  ... and give them a chance to be here legally and to contribute to our economy.

BUCHANAN:  The problem is, they‘re coming in and they‘re driving down the wages...

WILKES:  No, they‘re not.

BUCHANAN:  They are!

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  It‘s down 8 percent!

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, hold on a second.  Hold on a second.

BUCHANAN:  You got millions of people who never graduated from high school, and their wages are being driven down...

WILKES:  No.  That‘s not true.

BUCHANAN:  ... and their jobs are being taken!

WILKES:  They have not seen any impact.

BUCHANAN:  I‘ve seen it!

WILKES:  And not only that, they‘re giving $890 billion impact on the U.S. economy...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second!  One at a time!

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Let me give you an example...

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on!  Stop!

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Everybody‘s talking at the same time.  Brent, there is no way that you can tell me that illegal immigrants flooding this country doesn‘t depress real wages for working-class Americans!  You cannot say that with a straight face!

WILKES:  I am absolutely saying that with a straight face.  That‘s exactly what the statistics have shown.

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s shocking.

WILKES:  Even the worst case example, a 1 percent decline in the folks without high school degrees.

BUCHANAN:  Joe...

WILKES:  That‘s hardly anything.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  ... economist on TV, but Pat, that just doesn‘t make sense to me.

BUCHANAN:  It doesn‘t make sense.  Let me give you a single example.  I campaigned in Iowa.  Iowa beef packers—it‘s now called IBP.  Wages were cut 40 percent.  The Iowans left, the illegal aliens came in.  They‘re doing the job, 40 percent less.  The guy running the place, his salary went from $400,000 to $4 million a year, a 1,000 percent increase!  You cannot tell me 12 million illegals, many of whom will work off to books and under the minimum wage, do not drive down wages!  It is supply and demand!

SCARBOROUGH:  It is supply and demand.  Pat Buchanan, Sara Carter, Brent Wilkes, thanks for being with me.

And friends, I‘ve just got to tell you how I saw it firsthand in Pensacola, Florida, after Hurricane Ivan.  You had a lot of contractors that were being called out to the thousands of homes.  We had all the blue roofs and blue tarps on our roofs.  We were asking contractors to come out.  They said, We can‘t do it.  We‘re too backed up.  The prices were going through the roof.

And all of a sudden, illegal immigrants showing up in station wagons, in vans, started streaming into northwest Florida.  They started doing the work, and pretty soon, you found out very—I mean, you just found out, if you wanted the job done in the next week and you wanted it to be done at 50 percent of wages, well, you just called the people and they would be coming into your neighborhood in no time flat.  The job got done.

I talked to contractors that had been in business in northwest Florida for 30 years, and they told me, There‘s just no way we can compete with them.  They don‘t pay minimum wage.  They don‘t pay health benefits.  They don‘t—they don‘t pay OSHA.  They don‘t have to comply with any of the rules and regulations that we are strapped with as small business people.  It‘s just not fair.

And friends, that‘s happening in northwest Florida now.  The construction racket is happening across America, and it‘s been happening in California and Texas and south Florida for years.  Don‘t tell me that real wages for working-class Americans are not really depressed because they are.

Now, when we come back, banning Ann Coulter.  Lawmakers are actually pushing to ban the blond bomber after she slammed 9/11 widows.  That‘s tonight‘s “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY Showdown.”

And later: voyeuristic videos of young cheerleaders for sale on the Internet.  It‘s legal, and it‘s causing a war of words in California, an investigation and possible legislation—coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  In tonight‘s “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY Showdown,” banning Ann Coulter.  Tonight, a pair of New Jersey Democrats are actually calling for Ann Coulter‘s book to be banned from the state‘s bookshelves.  They issued a press release saying, quote, “She is a leech trying to turn a profit off of perverting the suffering of others.  We are asking New Jersey retailers statewide to stand with us and express their outrage by refusing to carry or sell copies of Ann Coulter‘s books.

Now, Coulter‘s comments about 9/11 widows launched a flurry of newspaper editorials, including articles in today‘s “New York Times” and “Washington Post.”  Well, the backlash against America‘s top conservative lightning rod is reaching a fevered pitch.  Through it all, Coulter remains number one on Amazon.com‘s best-seller list.

So is the mainstream media playing right into Coulter‘s hands, as Howie Kurtz suggested earlier today?  And what happens if the New Jersey legislature is able to get enough Jersey book stores to follow them with this book ban?

With me now to talk about, Air America Mike Papantonio and Republican strategist Jack Burkman.  Jack, let me start with you.  What‘s wrong with New Jersey‘s legislators pushing for a book ban?  A lot of conservatives, according to liberals, don‘t care for the 1st Amendment anyway.

JACK BURKMAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Well, they‘re taking away her 1st Amendment rights.  It‘s just silly.  It‘s a hideous restriction on free speech.  I‘ll tell you this, though, Joe.  Her next book advance is going to be about $15 million.

You know, Joe, the one thing I would ask—let‘s make some news tonight here.  Nobody is asking the basic factual question.  The focus is on Ann Coulter, and I certainly support everything she‘s saying.  But let‘s have some questions about these widows, these witches of New Brunswick.  Is it the case that they hired PR agents in the days after?  How long did they wait?  Did they wait two days?  Did they wait a month?  I think it was done in the first week, and I think there‘s evidence that they had lawyers, PR people, literary agents, all of these folks telling them to go out there.

And so I say to the news media tonight—and I will throw down the gauntlet right on this program and challenge all four of those women to a debate.  I challenge you to tell this country when you did what you did.  But they won‘t.  They won‘t because they have a lot to hide, and they don‘t want the nation to see that within hours of those towers going down, these women were ready to make money and exploit this tragedy!

MIKE PAPANTONIO, AIR AMERICA RADIO HOST:  Joe, you know, to really understand what he‘s saying, to really understand the whole story, you have to focus on the fact that Ann Coulter has never had a relationship with another person that‘s lasted longer than the gestation period of a fruit fly.

BURKMAN:  Oh, that‘s a crazy insult!

PAPANTONIO:  Of a fruit fly.  No, it isn‘t, it‘s true.

BURKMAN:  That‘s a crazy, sick insult!

PAPANTONIO:  She can‘t appreciate—the truth is, she can‘t appreciate the suffering that a woman that has four children has gone through when she‘s lost her husband in a burning building.  And the same thing here with Mr. Burkman.  He can‘t appreciate it.  The point is this, she has a character disability, Mr. Burkman, like, obviously, you do.  She has a character disability.  She‘s an emotional cripple, and she can‘t understand how much suffering...

BURKMAN:  Mike, I—I...

PAPANTONIO:  ... goes into something like this.

BURKMAN:  I am going to refrain tonight...

PAPANTONIO:  She‘s a 44-year-old woman...

BURKMAN:  I will not respond—let me ask you this...

PAPANTONIO:  No.  She‘s a 44-year-old woman, never been married, never had a child...

BURKMAN:  What in the world does...

(CROSSTALK)

PAPANTONIO:  Let me point this out to you.  A one-night stand simply can‘t be...

BURKMAN:  Oh, Mike, that‘s...

PAPANTONIO:  ... construed as a long-term relationship.

BURKMAN:  You know what, Mike?  You—I must tell you...

PAPANTONIO:  But that‘s the woman who you stand behind.

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  Let me ask you this question, Mike.  I‘ll put your insults aside.  Ann and I are beyond that...

PAPANTONIO:  Well, you can do whatever you want to do...

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  If it is the case that these women hired lawyers and PR agents and literary agents in the 48 hours after the Trade Center attack, if that‘s true, will you join me in joining with Ann and saying she said the right thing?

PAPANTONIO:  There‘s very little I have in common...

BURKMAN:  But answer the question!

PAPANTONIO:  ... with you, Mr. Burkman.

BURKMAN:  Answer the question!

PAPANTONIO:  Let me answer the—I‘ll answer this question...

BURKMAN:  You won‘t answer the question.

PAPANTONIO:  You‘re trying to defend a sociopath.  Mary Matalin—listen to this.  Mary Matalin appeared on the Imus show.  Now, let me just tell you how bad this is.  Mary Matalin appeared on the Imus show to defend Ann Coulter the same way that you‘re trying to defend her.  And you know what that tells me?

BURKMAN:  Well...

PAPANTONIO:  That tells me that this issue has gone beyond just the fringe of the Republican Party...

BURKMAN:  Well, I can see, Joe...

(CROSSTALK)

PAPANTONIO:  And now...

BURKMAN:  You know, Joe...

PAPANTONIO:  Now it‘s mainstream Republican issues...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Time out here for a second.  I want to show our audience part of the heated debate that Coulter had on the “Today” show that set off this firestorm in the first place.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, “GODLESS”:  If they have a point to make about the 9/11 commission, about how to fight the war on terrorism, how about sending in somebody we‘re allowed to respond to?  No, no, no!  We always have to respond to someone who just had a family member die.

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER:  ... then if we respond, Oh, you‘re questioning their authenticity!  No!  The story is...

(CROSSTALK)

MATT LAUER, CO-HOST:  So grieve, but grieve quietly?

COULTER:  No, the story is an attack on the nation.

LAUER:  And by the way...

COULTER:  That requires a foreign policy response...

LAUER:  And by the way...

COULTER:  That does not entail...

LAUER:  ... they also criticized the Clinton administration...

COULTER:  ... the expertise...

LAUER:  ... for their failures leading up to 9/11.

COULTER:  Whoa!  Not the ones I‘m talking about!

LAUER:  No, they have.

COULTER:  No, no, no, no, no~!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Jack Burkman, I just—you know, help me out here, OK?  I mean, a lot of people consider me to be a conservative.  A lot of Republicans don‘t think I‘m a conservative.  But it seems to me there are so many targets out there, why go after 9/11 widows?  I mean, it almost suggests to me that “The New York Times” and “The Washington Post” were dead on today when they said that Ann Coulter knew exactly what she was doing, she was trying to whip up a firestorm so she could sell books.  And guess what?  She‘s number on Amazon.com, and we‘re talking about her.

BURKMAN:  But Joe...

SCARBOROUGH:  Could this just be a cynical ploy?

BURKMAN:  Let me—the reason is simple.  Ann is after the truth.  I think it may shock...

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  But why go after 9/11 widows?

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  Let me answer.  Ann Coulter is a passionate pundit who has sought the truth.  This is a free—she‘s not a stage actor.  “The New York Times” and “The Washington Post” believe that Ann Coulter is doing Broadway.  They think she‘s doing a series.  The think it‘s all a trumped-up joke to get...

(CROSSTALK)

PAPANTONIO:  Ann Coulter is a hate hag.  That‘s what she is, Mr.

Burkman, she‘s a hate hag.

BURKMAN:  Well...

PAPANTONIO:  And unfortunately...

BURKMAN:  Mike, you—you really are not...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Mike, hold on a second.  Now, do you really think that Ann Coulter believes absolutely everything she writes?  Could it be that she could be like Robert Bork, who sometimes would admit that he would write certain things to start a debate?

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Perhaps maybe she‘s just trying to fan the flames so people will debate issues and people like Jack Burkman will come out and say, Well, let‘s look a little closer at these 9/11 widows...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  ... more than mainstream media has looked at.

PAPANTONIO:  You know what, Joe?  I hope Ann Coulter makes as much money as she possibly can on this book.  I hope she—and I hope every dime that she makes is taken away from her in a “false light” slander lawsuit.

(CROSSTALK)

PAPANTONIO:  That‘s what‘s going to happen here.

BURKMAN:  You know what?  I‘ll tell you, though...

PAPANTONIO:  Let me just tell you something.

BURKMAN:  I‘ll tell you, Mike...

PAPANTONIO:  There‘s a $19 million—Mr. Burkman, you probably don‘t know this because...

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  Let me tell you something, Mike...

PAPANTONIO:  Let me just say this.  There‘s a $19 million lawsuit for “false light” slander...

BURKMAN:  Bring it on!

PAPANTONIO:  ... that exists in Florida right now.  And you know what the good news is?  It‘s my thought that one of these widows is going to sue her, and she‘s going to be hurt where she hurts the most, and that‘s in her pocketbook, because all this is, Mr. Burkman, is blood money.  You know what?  You might use this woman as your poster child for Republican hate, but in her mind, she‘s using this to make money.  And the truth is, the only thing that‘s going to stop Ann Coulter is a good slander suit.

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  Spoken like a true lawyer.  Mike Papantonio, Jack Burkman, thanks so much for being with us.

And coming up next: High school cheerleaders are unsuspecting stars of a disturbing video that was for sale on the Internet that police say there‘s nothing they can do about it.  Why the man behind the tape can‘t be stopped yet.  The investigation is straight ahead.

And are furious fans still punishing the Dixie Chicks?  Do slow sales for a string of a shows in middle America mean the trio needs to rethink their anti-Bush ways.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  The Dixie Chicks canceling tour dates because they‘ve offended their fans?  Well, that‘s according to a hot, new report.  We‘ll have that straight ahead. 

And (INAUDIBLE) Paris Hilton deciding she‘s above on the law?  It‘s part of “Must See SC.” 

Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Those stories straight ahead.  But first, it‘s street legal, voyeuristic videos of cheerleaders for sale on the Internet.  These high school cheerleaders had no idea they were being filmed until the tapes went up for sale on eBay.  But now lawmakers are pushing legislation to stop the seedy filmmaker from peddling his tapes in the future. 

Ana Garcia from our NBC station in Los Angeles has this special investigation. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANA GARCIA, KNBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  He goes unnoticed, sitting in the stands with a video camera, among the family and friends of the local high school football team, the band and the cheerleaders.  But he, or maybe she, is taping just one thing:  the cheerleaders, focusing on their mouths, breasts and crotches, freezing shots under their skirts during kicks or splits.  Tapes sold on eBay as “Hot Cheerleader Videos” going for upwards of $70 each. 

CHRISTINE THOMPSON, CHEERLEADER:  I think they‘re sick, and there‘s definitely something wrong with him. 

GARCIA:  The Thompson family of Oxnard is seeing it for the first time. 

BETH THOMPSON, MOTHER:  Look at this.  Look, Robert. 

GARCIA:  You can feel the discomfort in the room and you can see it on their faces because, for the first time, they‘re saying their child through the eyes of someone else. 

BETH THOMPSON:  I don‘t want that out on the Internet.  That‘s my daughter.  I don‘t want—this is really upsetting. 

GARCIA:  Christine is a varsity cheerleader at Rio Mesa High School. 

CHRISTINE:  I think it‘s embarrassing, like, they can see your face. 

And if they really wanted to find you, it‘s not that hard. 

GARCIA:  “They” would be the 600-plus happy buyers who have left positive feedback for the seller, “Cheergirls.”  The tape we have is one of 20 advertised.  This one features cheerleaders from high schools in and around Santa Barbara.  Rio Mesa, Dos Pueblos, Bishop Garcia Diego, and Carpinteria. 

SUPERINTENDENT PAUL CORDERRO, CARPINTERIA SCHOOL DISTRICT:  This is the first time that this has been brought to my attention. 

GARCIA:  Paul Corderro is the superintendent of the Carpinteria School District whose warriors are prominently featured. 

CORDERRO:  This is obviously exploitative.  I would consider it predatory. 

GARCIA (on camera):  Do you think this time crosses the line? 

(voice-over):  We asked Los Angeles sex crimes prosecutor Deborah Sanchez to examine the tape. 

DEBORAH SANCHEZ, PROSECUTOR:  I would consider this tape in the category of child erotica or child pornography. 

GARCIA (voice-over):  But Sanchez cautions...

SANCHEZ:  Now, whether or not there would be enough evidence or could we prove a case beyond a reasonable is a different standard. 

GARCIA:  When are the seller discovered a producer from Channel 4 News placed the winning bid and paid for the video, the seller posted this, “Don‘t trust this Hollywood producer-type” and refused to send us the tape.  We eventually obtained one. 

We traced the return address on the videotapes box to this post office in Goleta, not far from where the girls go to school and live.  The seller, according to this e-mail from Cheergirls, is Kathleen Arredondo, but the return address and P.O. Box is listed to Eric Arredondo, who we found at this home in Goleta.

That‘s where we turned the cameras on him.  We saw him carrying shipping boxes like the one sent to us.  Then, our cameras followed him to this post office, where we saw another similar-looking box being mailed to Arkansas.  But it wasn‘t until Cheergirls sent this e-mail that we were sure of a link.

Cheergirls writes, “I can do a way better job of filming someone without them knowing.  I spotted him right away in the post office.  He‘s lucky I didn‘t call the cops.” 

That‘s the list time we heard from Eric Arredondo.  We tried phoning, writing, and then paid him a visit. 

(on camera):  Eric? 

(voice-over):  But there was no sign of him. 

BETH THOMPSON:  I certainly hope law enforcement takes care of it. 

GARCIA:  So we asked the Santa Barbara Sheriffs Office to look at the tape.  After watching for two hours...

SGT. ERICK RANEY, SANTA BARBARA SHERIFF‘S DEPARTMENT:  People may have their own opinions about it and, whether they like it or not, the bottom line is, from a law enforcement standpoint, there‘s nothing that breaks any threshold of any crimes. 

ROBERT THOMPSON, FATHER:  Why can‘t they do anything? 

GARCIA:  Robert Thompson is worried about someone who bought the tape might do. 

ROBERT THOMPSON:  Are they going to try and make contact with my daughter, her friends? 

GARCIA:  If the sheriff won‘t investigate, Rio Mesa High says they are exploring all legal avenues possible to “protect our students and put an end to this illegal activity.” 

CHRISTINE THOMPSON:  I wouldn‘t feel comfortable going out on the football field in my uniform again. 

GARCIA:  And that leaves this family with very little to cheer about. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  Ana Garcia from KNBC in Los Angeles, thanks so much for that report. 

Let‘s bring in now former sex crimes prosecutor Bill Fallon and constitutional attorney Michael Gross. 

Bill, I start with you.  Should these tapes be banned? 

BILL FALLON, FORMER SEX CRIMES PROSECUTOR:  Well, I think we have to find a way to ban them.  I mean, should the pig be able to profit?  I don‘t think so.  Should the pig be prosecuted?  As the sex crime expert said, maybe the law isn‘t there.  I know she called it pornography. 

From what we see, unless those girls—not to be graphic—did not have underwear on, it doesn‘t seem as though you‘re going to have a crime here as it exists.  But, again, there‘s two ways to go, the civil way, so that pigs don‘t profit from their pigginess and purveying this—and it‘s smut.  And it smut.  And (INAUDIBLE) with these girls, they have been victimized, and I think there‘s a way to get criminal charges. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, but, Bill, but, see, here‘s the deal, though.  You say they‘ve been victimized.  And, of course, some of these cheerleaders may have done provocative poses, but they did them in public with their parents seeing what they were doing.  I mean, doesn‘t the responsibility start with their parents and, if they‘re offended by what this guy shoots in a public forum, where there are, what, maybe 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 fans watching, then maybe the parents ought to examine themselves, instead of going after this guy that you call a pig?

FALLON:  Well, I call him a pig because he is focusing on their body parts.  Trust me, pedophiles that we used to prosecute, yes, they did more than this, but they‘d go to little parks, they‘d go to kindergartens, they‘d look at kids, they‘d get the prepubescent kids, and they‘d start focusing on their faces and then their genital areas.  I mean, we know this is the way a predator works.  This guy shouldn‘t be making a profit.

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE:  So, Bill, you think it‘s OK to ban this? 

FALLON:  Well, I think we have to come up with a law to ban it.  But I‘ll tell you what:  I‘d make it so they should get triple damages and they haven‘t authorized it and they should be able to get a kick of the profits.  And if they got the profits and tripled the profits from this, yes, I know it‘s not an invasion of privacy because it‘s in public, but I think you can come up with saying this is some kind of lewd behavior as he‘s done it and at least he‘s civilly responsible.  I think there‘s a way to make him criminally.

GRACE:  Let me bring in Michael Gross.  You know what?  Again, I lay the blame on the parents.  If they don‘t like what‘s going, don‘t let their daughters do it in public.  But at the same time, if this guy is taking shots of these young girls‘ genital areas, they‘re under 18 years old, it seems like the California legislature and other legislatures ought to be able to ban that activity. 

MICHAEL GROSS, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY:  Well, I agree with you, but, of course, he‘s not videoing anything other than what the school, the parents, and the girls—and I don‘t know whether they‘re over or under 18, but they certainly are nubile—I don‘t see anybody being led to cheer. 

I don‘t think anybody watches them except to be entertained by watching them, not by being encouraged to cheer for one team or the other.  Let‘s not kid each other.  When Senator Bob Dole went on television to sell Viagra and drooled over a 15-year-old Britney Spears, he wasn‘t listening to the music.  He was watching the girls‘ bodies. 

(CROSSTALK)

FALLON:  This isn‘t a Viagra commercial. 

GROSS:  And this isn‘t a crime.

FALLON:  And these kids didn‘t do this—and what we‘re saying is, how can we protect kids from this?  And, I‘m sorry, there should be a way. 

GROSS:  If they want to put their pictures in a magazine, as they do in teenage girl magazines, and people look at the magazines and have fantasies, are you going to make it a crime?  Don‘t get into our minds.

FALLON:  No, but I‘m going to make them at least pay for it.  And I‘m going to make them say that, if underage kids are there, their parents or them have to authorize them being used. 

GROSS:  Hey, perfect idea.  I think, if they want to do it, then let them share in the profits.  But if it‘s immoral and you‘re going to criminalize it, then they shouldn‘t be doing it in the first place. 

FALLON:  What if they took them walking to school in their outfits and then just took their breast?  What if walking to school that happened?

(CROSSTALK)

FALLON:  These are not provocative outfits they have on.  This is a pig.

GROSS:  It is so.  It‘s a provocative act.  Who are you kidding?  Have you watched it?

SCARBOROUGH:  Michael, let me ask you, Michael.  Let me ask you, Michael...

GROSS:  It‘s a burlesque show.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... that, if the California state legislature...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, Michael, you got to let me ask you the question. 

GROSS:  Certainly.  Sorry.

SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s bottom line this.  Bill Fallon says there ought to be a way for the legislature to be able to pass a ban on this type of activity.  Do you believe that this activity, of going out to football games, taking inappropriate shots of cheerleaders where you‘re zooming up on 16-, 17-year-old girls and their genital areas, and then selling that on eBay, do you not think that the California state legislature or any other legislature ought to be able to ban this type of activity? 

GROSS:  No, Joe, the camera‘s in the stands.  You can see that from the angle.  The camera‘s not on the ground.  It‘s not under the seats.  It‘s not shooting up.  The girls are jumping up and opening up their legs. 

Give me a break!

FALLON:  They‘re cheering, and they should...

(CROSSTALK)  

GROSS:  They‘re showing you their underpants.

SCARBOROUGH:  Bill, let me—let me tell you what we heard.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, guys, guys—you got to let me conduct traffic here a little bit.  Bill, last week, it‘s very interesting, another show showed a similar type of report, and were flooded with e-mails from people out there saying it was the parents‘ responsibility.  Forget the ban.  It‘s the parents that allow their daughters to do these type of things. 

In fact, they sound a lot more like the ACLU lawyer, Michael Gross, than like you.  What do you say to that?  They‘re cheering in public; they‘re making these moves; they‘ve got to understand that they may have to face the fallout. 

FALLON:  I look at this the same way I look at people who are gymnasts, people who play tennis.  You can do this, you can play a sport, you can have these pig predators go after these kids.  I‘m just saying make them at least civilly liable.  I think there‘s a way, when it‘s under 18, you can make it constitutionally.  And I think parents and kids have a right to say:  You can‘t use my kid in this kind of video unless we agree and we won‘t agree. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And you know what?  I agree with you, Bill.  I agree with you completely.  I think, in the end, if this type of video is going to be sold and if it‘s somebody who‘s underage, then certainly there ought to be some liability attached to it. 

Bill Fallon, Michael Gross, as always, thanks so much for being with us. 

And I‘m joined right now by Rita Cosby.  She‘s host of Rita Cosby

“LIVE & DIRECT.” 

Rita, I want to ask you what‘s coming up, but which—didn‘t you all run that tape last week and you were flooded by e-mails from parents who were saying, “Hey, the parents need to take better care of their daughters”?

RITA COSBY, HOST:  Yes, and we were surprised by the response.  You know, we were the first ones to actually show that video and talk about the issue.  And we‘re going to talk more about it later on tonight, too, because we did get so many e-mails from people saying, “Why are they dressed that way?”  Which was a surprising response. 

Joe, we‘re also going to talk about the first named storm of the hurricane season.  We‘re going to take you live to where the rain and the wind are whipping up. 

Plus, an all-out manhunt for a man who appears to have gone on a shooting spree, allegedly firing several rounds into a family court judge and another person.  We‘re going to tell you who authorities are looking for tonight. 

Plus, a superstar football player is in serious condition at this hour after a terrifying accident.  Why did he not believe in wearing a helmet on a motorcycle?  We‘re going to have that and a whole lot more, Joe, “LIVE & DIRECT” at the top of the hour, plus a lot more on that cheerleader story that you‘ve been covering, too. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thanks so much, Rita.  And a lot of people in Pittsburgh I know are going to be following that motorcycle story. 

COSBY:  Yup.

SCARBOROUGH:  Still to come here tonight, our edition of “Must See SC,” but first the Dixie Chicks blasted in the “Wall Street Journal” today.  Have fans forsaken the controversial trio?  That‘s coming up next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  The Dixie Chicks have had the top-selling CD for two weeks running now, but are they still having trouble selling tickets for their tour this summer?  And although the group is saying they haven‘t cancelled any tour dates, they have said they‘re going to go where their fans are with no regrets. 

Several shows are in jeopardy, according to the “Wall Street Journal,” with at least five up in the air.  With me now to talk about whether the Dixie Chicks‘ tour is going downhill fast are Alex Mar, RollingStone.com news director, and also Chris Willman, senior writer for “Entertainment Weekly.” 

Chris, I want to show you these dates, these tour dates.  According to “Billboard” magazine, there at least five cities up in the air right now. 

The tickets just aren‘t selling.  In St. Louis, in Houston, in

Indianapolis, in Oklahoma City, in Memphis, color that map red.  The Chicks have lost their country music base, haven‘t they?

CHRIS WILLMAN, “ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY”:   I don‘t think they‘ve lost it entirely.  A huge part of their fan base is still the country music fans.  But right now it looks like they‘re going to keep about the first month worth of tour dates where they are.  But if you look at where those dates are, it‘s mostly Detroit, over to the Eastern Seaboard, you know, the so-called blue states.  And then the rest of the  dates are going to be postponed and up in the air, so...

SCARBOROUGH:  So this band has gone from being, you know, the Dixie Chicks, a group out of Texas that did very well in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Middle America, they‘ve turned into a blue state band, haven‘t they? 

WILLMAN:  It seems that way.  You know, I think they‘re appealing more to a NPR, Borders bookstore-buying kind of crowd now.  And, you know, there is a lot of country music fans who are still behind them, but they haven‘t always made it easy, certainly at country radio. 

At country radio, you know, it‘s the chicken or the egg.  Who antagonized each other first?  The Chicks would say country radio started the feud, but now country radio—one part of the problem is that, you know, in these Southern and Midwest states, a lot of fans depend on country radio to tell them dates are going on sale.  A lot of people are saying, “I didn‘t even know the concerts were on sale, because there was nothing about it on country radio.”

(CROSSTALK)  

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, Chris, and I think you‘re exactly right.  I think the end run that they were making around country music radio, by being on the cover of “Time” magazine and getting all this great play elsewhere, “60 Minutes,” in the end just didn‘t help them sell these tickets. 

“Billboard” magazine is reporting so far that ticket counts for the Dixie Chick shows that went on sale a few weeks ago were averaging about 5,000 to 6,000 seats in major cities and less in smaller ones.  Arenas on the tour generally hold 15,000 people.  That‘s a lot of empty seats. 

And Alex Mar, in the end, if country music radio is not promoting your concerts in Middle America, you just aren‘t going to make the $63 million that the Chicks made in 2003 on their concert tour, are you? 

ALEX MAR, ROLLINGSTONE.COM:  Well, the problem right now that we‘re seeing is, I think, the Dixie Chicks are clearly going through some growing pains.  I mean, it‘s not an unusual thing.  I mean, certainly there is a precedent where you have really hot, mainstream, country artists who decide to cross over and really are finding that they‘re being drawn more and more into the classic rock, kind of pop genre. 

And the problem with that is, you know, their new album, it‘s doing really, really well, and yet it‘s a lot more of a kind of rocking album than they‘ve ever put out before.  So you have the country fans who are being alienated, not only potentially by their political leanings as a group, but also by the creative direction they‘re going in now.

And then you have, you know, the pop and rock fans who are buying the album and maybe agree with a lot of Natalie Maines‘ statements, but they‘re not necessarily comfortable yet going to what they‘re seeing as a live country show. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Alex, could you explain to our audience about the economics of the situation?  I mean, they made $63 million back in their 2003 tour.  Music today, you don‘t make the most money by selling CDs.  You make it on the road, don‘t you? 

MAR:  Well, there certainly has been a shift.  A lot of it has to do with digital downloads.  ITunes, of course, has taken a chunk of the market.  And, you know, people are listening to music on their MP3 players.  It‘s a totally different scenario.  People are downloading on the Web. 

So you‘ll find that a lot of bands now are relying on their tour dates and also on their merchandising at those concerts.  So, you know, the thing you have to keep in mind, though, is while the Chicks are not doing that well selling dates in the South in the States, they are definitely going to be selling strong in Europe and in Australia.  And they‘re holding onto those dates in the late summer and in the early fall.  And basically...

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re right. 

MAR: ... they‘re completely in tune with the fact that they‘ve taken risks in the creative direction they‘ve taken, in the statements they‘ve made against this administration, against the war in Iraq.  And they‘re fine with that; they‘re going to live with it.  And, you know, as they‘ve said, they‘re going where the fans are.

SCARBOROUGH:  Alex, I‘m being told we‘ve got to go, Alex.  I‘m sorry.  I think you‘re exactly right, and I think they‘re going to sell very well in blue state America, do sell very well in Europe, Australia, probably not as well in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

Alex Mar, as always, thanks for being with us.  Chris Willman, greatly appreciate it, too.

And when we come back, Paris Hilton caught on tape.  See why a recent trip to the mall is making tonight‘s “Must See SC.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Time for tonight‘s “Must See SC,” video you‘ve just got to see. 

First up, the (INAUDIBLE) is very bad news for everybody‘s favorite hotel heiress.  The cameras were rolling as Paris Hilton hit a parked car while pulling out of a Los Angeles parking garage last week.  “Oops!  Did I do that?” 

Unfazed by the action, Paris rode off without even leaving a note.  The pseudo-celeb‘s publicist said she notified a parking attendant on the way out.  Yes, right. 

Next up, when politicians attack.  Members of Bolivia‘s congress got violent over an argument about a road bill.  This congressman got pelted with spit balls of water after speaking out against the bill and then the fists started flying.  The scuffle was broken up, but not before the congressman took a handful of punches right to the head.  Ah!  Looks like my years in Congress.

And, finally, who needs a World Cup when you‘ve got finger soccer?  My producers dug up this video up online from the fine people at FingerSkills.com TV (ph).  Watch this and enjoy.

Wait a second!  I recognize those fingers.  That‘s my producer.  Come on, get back to work. 

We‘ll be right back with SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY‘s mail bag.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, as always, thanks so much for being with me tonight.  Greatly appreciate it.  We‘ll be back here tomorrow night with more SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

But right now, let‘s go to Rita Cosby “LIVE & DIRECT.”  Rita, what you got?

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

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