updated 6/29/2006 10:42:25 AM ET 2006-06-29T14:42:25

Guests: Tom O‘Neil, Tina Dirmann, Ruth Hilton, John Stossel, Tyson Slocum, Debbie Schlussel, Emily Smith

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST:  SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  America as well as Keith talking about the battle of the divas.

The Barbara Walters-Star Jones smack down.  Hold on to your seats.  It gets even uglier as Jones blames Walters, Walters blames ABC and ABC blame blames the viewers and well, we will go ahead and score the rest of the cat fights straight ahead and then senators accuse Al Gore of lie being global warming.  Newsman and bestselling author John Stossel is here to separate fact from fiction in our SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY “Showdown.”

And up in the sky, it‘s a bird, it‘s a plane, no, it‘s a politically correct Superman.  Forget about it, America.  This man may be a gay globalist, Lois Lane a slut?  That‘s what angry reviewers are saying in a strange twist on an American classic.

That‘s coming up.  Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  No passport required, only common sense allow allowed.

We have all that straight ahead, but first diva wars at the Disney network as ABC‘s journalistic icon Barbara Walters has become ensnarl ensnarled, well, in a hissing cat fight.  With daytime Diva star Jones.  Miss Walters‘s, TV news‘ original diva attacked Jones for her sudden resignation from the hit show, “The View.”

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STAR JONES, TV PERSONALITY:  Excuse me one minute.  I have to apologize for interrupting you.  Something has been on my heart for a little bit and after much prayer and counsel, I feel like this is the right time to tell you that the show is moving in another direction for its 10th season and I will not be returning as co-host next year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  That‘s shocking to me.

JONES:  I am going to hold your hands right now because as you might imagine this is a hard thing to do.  It‘s been the most amazing nine years of my entire professional and personal life, Barbara, I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to sit at this table and sit with you guys.

My co-hosts, Joy and Elizabeth and my Meredith in absentia, we have a lifetime of memories together .

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  A lot of fun.

JONES:  . and I‘m going to take all of that in the respect that I have for all of you with me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s shocking.  Who could have ever seen it coming?  Shocking, Michael, shocking.  Today Walters wiped clean her relationship with Jones.  A former NBC legal correspondent, when she announced that Star would forever be banned from the show that she had helped build into a ratings success.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARBARA WALTERS, TV PERSONALITY:  This is truthfully a very difficult day for us and it‘s a sad day for us.  If you were watching the program yesterday, you would have heard Star announce that she is leaving “The View” and will not be on the program next fall.  We didn‘t expect her to make the statement yesterday.  She gave us no warning and we were taken by surprise.

But the truth is that Star has known for months that ABC did not want to renew her contract and she would not be asked back in the fall.  The network made this decision based on a variety of reasons which I won‘t go into now.

But we were never going to say this.  We wanted to protect Star.  And so we told her that she could say whatever she wanted about why she was leaving and that we would back her up.  She worked closely with her representatives and we gave her time to look for another job and hoped then that she would announce it here on the program and leave with dignity.

But Star made another choice and since her announcement yesterday, she has made further announcements that have surprised us.  So it is becoming uncomfortable for us to pretend that everything is the same at this table.  And therefore regrettably Star will no longer be on this program.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  We hoped she would have left with dignity, but she sucks.

The ABC icon apparently didn‘t care for Star Jones quitting before Walters had the chance to fire her, but Jones fired back and got in the last word, at least for now.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

JONES:  If anyone should feel betrayed, then it should probably be me because in the same week that I was told that I was not being renewed, that‘s the same week that Rosie O‘Donnell vilified me in the media and the exact same week that Barbara, my mentor and friend and colleague of nine years call called her and invited her to be a co-host on “The View.”

RYAN SEACREST, TV PERSONALITY:  Right.  You feel like she didn‘t have your back.

JONES:  Well, she didn‘t have my back.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  My mentor and friend and co-host, boy, I will tell you what.  With mentors and friends and co-hosts like that, you need to start looking for some enemies.  With me to talk about the Disney divas nasty TV battle, Tom O‘Neil with “In Touch Weekly”, Ruth Hilton from “OK! Magazine” and Tina Dirmann from “Star Magazine,” Tom, let me begin with you.  This is much bigger than just a cat fight between two daytime divas, isn‘t it?

TOM O‘NEIL, “IN TOUCH WEEKLY”:  It really is.  This fight has been going on behind the scenes for a long, long time.  And let‘s face it.  Barbara Walters is a lady and she is well-known for being diplomatic and having great reserve.  For her to pop off like this, Star really got under her skin.

SCARBOROUGH:  Listen, though, Tom.  There no clean hands here.  When Star Jones made her announcement, I—she said I‘m going to be leaving and I prayed to Jesus and I counseled people and the co-host said shocking, shock shocking.  Come on.  It‘s about as shocking as sunrise, right?  Nobody was surprised.

O‘NEIL:  It was shocking because this was supposed to happen on Thursday, not today.  Star has never been a team player and that‘s the problem.  Early on when she was on the floor she was terrific and she got into that repartee with the other gals and there was a sense of camaraderie between the two of them.

But Star really thought she‘ she became a star and let me tell you a story.  A typical example of how difficult she is behind the scenes.  Imagine what they lived through on “The View” day to day.

I do shows with Joan Rivers.  Those red carpet shows.  We did them for 10 years on E, we moved over to the TV Guide Channel and Star replaced Joan at E.  When we were all on the red carpet together and I would see my buddies from E, the producers there, what‘s it like with Star right now, Joe, they were like whipped dogs.  They said this woman treated them with no respect, that she was insulting and demeaning and dismissive.  It was terrible.

SCARBOROUGH:  She does have a reputation for being one of the nastiest in show business.  But didn‘t Barbara Walters stab Star‘s back side even if she was a possibly diva-ish host?

O‘NEIL:  I don‘t know if she stabbed her back side, but what was really startling today in the “New York Daily News”, Barbara admitted she had been lying to Star.  She said that she had been telling Star that everything was OK, that could probably stay on the show until July when she knew that wasn‘t the case?  Wow.

SCARBOROUGH:  Give us the behind the scenes story for people who don‘t know about it.

O‘NEIL:  Well, it‘s complicated.  I really think this is a Star issue.  I think that she simply became just too big for herself and she was greedy in terms of product endorsements and they said stop doing all that Payless Shoe plugging, which is one of her sponsors, on the show.  There were just all kinds of things that simply got out of control and she refused to be reined in.

SCARBOROUGH:  Ruth Hilton, do you agree that, that this is all Star Jones‘s fault?

RUTH HILTON, “OK! MAGAZINE”:  I think that the way in which it‘s now developing is pretty regrettable.  I agree with you that the statement she made, she seemed quite fair.  She wants to take control of her own destiny and wants to take control of her own exit.  And after nine years you can‘t really blame her.

I think ultimately, though, “OK!”‘s readers, the readers of all these magazines around the country, they love a diva smack down, which is how you describe this.  We love the intrigue, we want to really hear what went on behind the scenes, we want to hear about the fights and the rows and part of what kept people tuning in to “The View” was the controversy surrounding Star at times.  They‘ve now decided to take it a different direction.

SCARBOROUGH:  Exactly.  And you are exactly right.  Tina, let me bring you in here.  Is it a fact - we are hearing now that ABC and Barbara Walterss is embarrassed by this garish wedding and the display, but my gosh, last year that‘s all anybody was talking about that watched “The View.”

TINA DIRMANN, “STAR MAGAZINE”:  This is going to be such a boon for the show.  Let‘s get real.  They are embarrassed?  They are loving this.  This is spotlight and attention that a show like “The View” hasn‘t gotten in years.

So it is going to probably rejuvenate the show if anything.  And the fact that Star came out and tried to have this look, I love you, I love you guys, hold my hand, kiss-kiss.  They could have ended it there.  Barbara could have let her just go and have her two seconds there.  The fact of the matter is they hired a new host to replace this woman before she had been officially let go.

SCARBOROUGH:  And Tina, is it .

DIRMANN:  This was dirty.

SCARBOROUGH:  Tina, is it a surprising, the bigger surprise here that Barbara Walters and Star Jones were able to sit on the same stage for nine years because Barbara Walters didn‘t want anybody taking up any of her spotlight.

DIRMANN:  That is exactly right.  Look, Barbara Walters might play nicey-nice when we‘re all on camera, but back stage, let‘s make no mistake who was the boss here.  Barbara Walters was the grand dame of that show and for Star Jones to get up there and steal that spotlight, Barbara wasn‘t going to have it.  So it became an increasing source of tension on and off the set.

SCARBOROUGH:  And you know, Tom, as much of a human train wreck that Star Jones seemed to be or let‘s say maybe a runaway beer truck, as we say, the Redneck Riviera, it was great for rate for ratings.  There ain‘t no way that Rosie O‘Donnell is going to be able to bring those type of viewers in, is there?

O‘NEIL:  Back stage at the daytime Emmys about six weeks ago, there was a

great scene taking place off camera.  This is where they announced Rosie

was going to join “The View.”  And those of us in the press were saying,

hey, Rosie, are you going to really give Star a hard time and are you

looking forward to this?  Can we really expect a great smack down between -

Barbara Walters is sometimes reserved and Rosie you can see was relishing the fight ahead and she was looking forward to this.

So I think it could have even been better TV.

SCARBOROUGH:  Tom, isn‘t this surprising that Barbara Walters with all of her background, with her history really is a woman that broke barriers in news.  We are looking at shots from the 1970s right now.  Is it surprising that this is how her journalistic career may be remembered in memorial?

O‘NEIL:  No, it‘s not surprising at all.  I stand up for Barbara, here.  She is the boss.  She is the executive producer of this show.  She call calls the shots.  You know what, Star works for her and if Barbara said we are going to say goodbye to you on Thursday, go along with it, Star.  Can‘t you go along on this one thing?

SCARBOROUGH:  But she doesn‘t do that, does she?

HILTON:  No, she doesn‘t and that‘s her great virtue and her great pull.  Love her or hate her, she is fascinating to watch and I am sure we will be seeing many more rambunctious maneuverings in the future.  She is fascinating.

SCARBOROUGH:  And Barbara Walters is also fascinating but as Tom is suggesting, she is the boss and doesn‘t want to compete with anybody, right?

HILTON:  I don‘t know if it‘s as simple as that.  Barbara Walters is the doyen of this kind of thing.  Obviously the character clashes weren‘t working anymore and they are taking it in a different direction and we will have a keen eye on how it works without Star and how it works with Rosie onboard instead.

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s not going to go as well I don‘t think and Tina, I have to ask you.  Why do you think it was necessary for Barbara Walters to forever ban Star Jones today?  That can‘t be good for the show.  Because doesn‘t it make her look petty?

DIRMANN:  It does make her look petty.  I think that‘s why we are all talking about it.  We are shocked to see the woman who showed such control and grace on camera kind of lose it a little bit.  We got a peek in the crack that is probably goes on every single day behind the scenes.  Barbara Walters didn‘t get where she is for nothing.  She is smart, she is in control and you won‘t mess with Barbara Walters.  And we just learned that lesson today.

SCARBOROUGH:  Isn‘t there a chance, here, Tom, that Barbara Walters messed with—there were a lot of times when I was in Congress and when I was an attorney, now I‘m on TV, where I want to fire off an email or a letter or say something and I just bite my tongue.  Because I realize that sometimes digression is a better virtue.  But Barbara Walters caused all of this by coming on the next day and fighting back.  Right?

O‘NEIL:  This really is a rare moment but remember the old days.  You are showing the clips when she was on NBC.  Remember when she was bucking heads with Harry Reasoner.  She didn‘t pull any punches.  She was telling in the press and she was not going to take this chauvinist stuff from Harry and she won that fight.  Years later here she is and we expect more diplomacy because she has been so reserved in the past.  She is entitled to this.  She is the boss and she just had enough of Star.

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  So she had won that fight with Harry Reasoner and let‘s have a quick prediction.  Tom, who is going to win this fight?

O‘NEIL:  Barbara is going to win it.  That show is going to go on for years.  It‘s a great thing and Star will be selling Payless shoes on street corners instead of on screen.

SCARBOROUGH:  Ruth, do you agree?

HILTON:  To me I am a fan of Star so I can say it is going to be a 1-1 draw.  I think we are going to see a lot more from Star and I think Barbara Walters is always going to have the fan base she has.

SCARBOROUGH:  And Tina .

HILTON:  Sorry to be so diplomatic.

SCARBOROUGH:  Now Tina, what‘s your prediction?

DIRMANN:  Absolutely.  It‘s Barbara‘s show.  That show is going to go on.  That show is going to be successful.  People like rosier O‘Donnell and they are going to go on and it‘s going to bring—revitalize the show a little bit and Star Jones, well, she doesn‘t have another job offer.  Apparently she has known this is coming for months as much as six months and she still doesn‘t have a job offer?  That‘s telling.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you so much.

Tom O‘Neil, Ruth Hilton and Tina Dirmann, greatly appreciate it.  And we want to know what you think.  Is Barbara Walters to blame for the cat fight on “The View”?  Go to joe.msnbc.com.  We will have the results at the end of the show.

Coming up next, deadly weather wallops the Eastern U.S.  Massive flooding and mandatory evacuations.  Dozens of counties in a state of emergency.  Is global warming to blame for crazy weather like this?  With me to talk about it, John Stossel, who says Al Gore and a lot of scientists are just plain wrong.

And later, who is watching you?  You are going to be surprised.  My office was stunned to see how easy it is for someone to point and click while you are on the beach.  That‘s right by Pensacola Beach, in fact, in Alabama.  Roll tide.  We will show you about it when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 

This is an invasion of privacy .

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Floodwaters are raging across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states tonight as massive downpours are hammering that region and pushing riverbank riverbanks to their limits.  Eighty counties in five states declared a state of emergency, in Pennsylvania 200,000 residents are being evacuated to safe ground.

Flooding in Maryland was blamed for the deaths of three people last night when they were watched out of a pickup truck strand stranded in high water.  Also in Maryland, rescue crews are searching for two teens reported missing last night.  The parents say the boys went to look at a flooded creek and never returned.

In Virginia an eight-year-old girl is missing after being swept into floodwaters and there is even more rain in that forecast.

So are these weather events, are the hurricanes that is slam my region every summer and fall related to global warming?  Maybe, maybe not.

But in this movie, “An Inconvenient Truth” Al Gore claims global warming will cause more flooding on a catastrophic scale if politicians don‘t do something about it now.  Those claims along with Bill Clinton‘s charge that global warming is causing an increase in hurricanes has senators and some scientists boiling mad.  They claim Gore is getting a free ride from the passive press and selling the world junk science.

With me now to talk about it, John Stossel, he is a correspondent, of course, at ABC News and co-anchor of “20/20,” he is also author of the still best selling book, “Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity” and John I checked the amazon.com and “New York Times” and that book is selling like hot cakes.

JOHN STOSSEL, ABC NEWS ANCHOR:  Good.  Maybe this will help.

SCARBOROUGH:  You talked about global warming in there.  I tell you where I come from.  I always tell my viewers I believe in global warming.  I think it‘s happening.  Fine.

But at the same time for Al Gore and Bill Clinton to say it‘s causing flooding and causing hurricanes and it may have caused Hurricane Katrina, that‘s just ridiculous, isn‘t it.  There is no proof of that, is there?

STOSSEL:  No.  And the serious scientists scoff at that.  The warmer water can encourage hurricanes, but they run in cycles.  But the alarmists always want you to think it‘s man‘s fault so you will turn your life over to them and they can tell you what to do.

SCARBOROUGH:  By the way, when you talk about it going in cycles, meteorologists, scientists all say that.  I remember being warned in Florida five years ago about the next cycle, that from 1900 to 1945, we didn‘t have a lot of hurricanes.  We had a lot of hurricanes and it slowed down for the next 60 years and they said there is a time where the water will heat up again and yet the A.P, other news agencies seem to give Al Gore a free pass.

Why?

STOSSEL:  They do and I went to the movie this weekend and my wife and daughter, they just believed every word.  Oh, my gosh, this is really happening.

SCARBOROUGH:  My sons are, you know, trying to drag me to see it.

STOSSEL:  And it‘s possible, but he cherry picks information and you‘re right, the press is giving him a free ride.

SCARBOROUGH:  The Republican senators sent a press release saying the Associate Press has made the claim that this passes muster with all the scientist that is saw the film.  That‘s not the case either, is it?

STOSSEL:  I‘ve talked to the scientist and Al Gore implies that the argument is over.  There no skeptics.  There no skeptics and the global warming, the globe is warming but climate changes.  Is man doing it?  Is it a crisis?  Would Kyoto do any good?  No.

Even if America signed Kyoto and if every country that did sign it obeyed it which they are not going to do and if China and India were included, which they are not, it would make hardly any difference.  Even the proponents of Kyoto admit that.

SCARBOROUGH:  Here‘s the deal.  A lot of my friends will be angry with me and say Scarborough, you are denying that global warming exists.  I am not denying that at all, but why is it that we live in a country where somebody like Al Gore and a political elite in Washington, DC and New York and L.A.  can go out and say this is the fact.  If we don‘t turn things around in 10 years, we are going to boil the icecaps are going to flood, Manhattan is going to be under water and Florida is going to be under water.  You cannot find scientists who believe that.

STOSSEL:  Some do.

SCARBOROUGH:  Meteorologists who understand and study this, they don‘t believe it, do they?

STOSSEL:  They are much more skeptical, but the alarmists always get the news.  I‘ve covered this over the years.  Killer bees were going to get us, SARS, anthrax, mad cow disease, saccharin, Nutrasweet, scares one after the other.  Cell phones are going to give you brain cancer.  Everyone was convinced about that.  We just like to be scared.  It‘s why we go to horror movies and now we believe Al Gore and global warming.

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘m telling you, those killer bees are coming.  That‘s my prediction.  They will be here.  I have been waiting since 1977.  Let‘s bring in Tyson Slocum.  He is Public Citizen‘s director of energy program, Tyson, jump in and get us, buddy.  Where are we wrong?

TYSON SLOCUM, PUBLIC CITIZEN:  You are wrong on everything.  I cannot believe how irresponsible these comments are coming from Mr. Stossel.

With all due respect, in November the Republican chairman of the House Science Committee asked the National Academy of Sciences to settle this global warming debate once and for all and two weeks ago the National Academy of Scientists with the best scientists available in the United States put together a report that conclusively proved that the global warming is real.  That we have the highest temperatures in the last 25 years over the last 400 year years of recorded temperature history and that these rising temperatures are the direct result of man-made developments.

This is the National Academy of Sciences.  I asked all the viewers out there to do a Google search and go to the National Academy of Sciences report.  The misinformation campaign by the Luddite skeptics is the most irresponsible misinformation campaign since weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

SCARBOROUGH:  Are you a Luddite?

SLOCUM:  Absolutely not.  And this whole thing about Senator Inhofe in the Science Committee in the United States Senate saying that Al Gore‘s movie is ridiculous, that is also very irresponsible.  He is bought off by the oil and coal industry.  The Republicans on that committee that issued that press release criticizes Gore.

STOSSEL:  This is the usual smear.  Anybody who disagrees and is bought off by the oil and coal industry.

SLOCUM:  It‘s true.

STOSSEL:  I would like to see the payment.

SCARBOROUGH:  Tyson, I haven‘t gotten a dime.  In fact, all I do is kick around and I have you on the show and I spend most of my time kicking around oil companies and talking about alternative fuels and talking about how our energy policy is stupid.  John, respond.

STOSSEL:  Well, my earpiece fell out so I missed part of what he said, but the National Academy of Sciences report said we can‘t rule out that this is just natural.  I wish people would look it up and read the whole thing instead of the summaries of the liberal media.

SLOCUM:  They conclusively said it was man-made.

STOSSEL:  They said we think man made.  Man is contributing to this, but we don‘t know.  We can‘t rule out that these are all natural influences.

SCARBOROUGH:  And Tyson, isn‘t that again, you heard the beginning of this conversation with both John and I believe there is global warming, we just think Al Gore and others are being alarmists about it.

SLOCUM:  There is no alarmists that the facts that are on the ground here.  The fact is that NOAA in the federal government has shown that there is conclusive evidence that the tropical waters are getting warmer as a result of global warming and while that doesn‘t lead to more hurricanes, what it leads to is more intense hurricanes .

SCARBOROUGH:  We see these Al Gore shot shots of Manhattan being submerged by water and South Florida being submerged.  Should we not book any vacations in South Beach 10 years?

SLOCUM:  These things are not going to happen over night.  It‘s going to take time.  And there is still time at the federal level to start changing our policies and the fact I is that a year ago .

STOSSEL:  What would those be?  Those changed policies—Gas should cost maybe $10 a gallon?

SLOCUM:  Absolutely not.  We need to stop subsidizing fossil fuels.

STOSSEL:  You are right.  That‘s corporate welfare and it‘s disgusting.

SCARBOROUGH:  And we all agree with you on that.

STOSSEL:  That‘s a tiny amount of money.

SLOCUM:  Absolutely.  So what we need to end the subsidies to the oil and coal industry and start investing in renewable energy and mass transit.

STOSSEL:  That‘s going to make any difference?

SLOCUM:  Of course it‘s going to make a difference.

SCARBOROUGH:  I think we already—isn‘t the problem in the end, though, Tyson, even if America does that, even if Great Britain and the western powers do that, you have China and India and these developing country that is don‘t have any environmental regulation regulations and the polluting coming from that region is going to dwarf what the United States puts out.

SLOCUM:  Actually, China just implemented stronger full economy standards than the United States.  So China is starting to understand it.  They are starting to understand the ravages that there heavy reliance on coal is.

I am not holding up China as a model of environmental activism, but what the reality is that the United States with less than five percent of the world‘s population contributes to 25 percent of the world‘s carbon dioxide emissions.  China, with a billion and a half people contributes 14 percent.  So what we clearly need international cooperation and we cannot deny .

STOSSEL:  Sounds like socialism to me.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  John, I will give you the final word to clear up the myths, the lies, the downright stupidity that Al Gore and others may be giving Americans.

STOSSEL:  That took me 300 pages in the book in the book.  Let me just say that this, at bottom is a hatred of capitalism and a hatred of industrial production.  Yes, it‘s true, we produce more carbon dioxide, but we are also the cleanest country in the world.

As we get wealthier, the air gets cleaner and we can afford to do things that maybe some day if the globe is warming we have to make adjustments, it‘s our wealth that will allow us to save the world.  If we let these socialists control our lives, we will be worse off.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  We will have to leave it there.  Every time Tyson comes on he gets called a Marxist.

STOSSEL:  Jim Kramer called him that.

SCARBOROUGH:  A socialist.  Tyson.  Thank you so much.  I appreciate you being with us.  I will agree with you next time you are on the show.  John Stossel, thank you so much.  John, again, he author of “Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity.  Thanks for being with us.

Still to come, be careful next time you do anything.  How the Web is letting the world literally see your every move.  A disturbing story.

And also, they call him the man of steel.  Superman falls victim to the P.C. police.  We will tell you how in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Does the new Superman have the man of steel portraying a gay globalist and as Lois Lane as a nasty slut?  Our next critic—I‘m telling you.  People are saying this.  Michael, you‘ve got to see this movie. 

Stick around.  We‘ll tell you what it‘s all about, when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.  But, first, here‘s the latest news you and your family need to know.  I‘m not making this up. 

(NEWSBREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s a bird, it‘s a plane, is it the P.C. police?  Have they turned Superman into a gay globalist?  Stick around.  That‘s coming up.

And later, bars drunk dry.  Police in the middle of riots.  These are the people who think America is a danger to the world?  What in the hell is going on at the World Cup? 

Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH—Europeans.  I mean, you can‘t live with them, and you can‘t live without them.  Those stories coming up straight ahead. 

But, friends, first, if you‘re thinking about heading to the beach for a little while during your downtime this summer, well, if you‘re in Alabama, millions could be spying on you as you enjoy the sand and surf.  It‘s all part of the latest webcam rage, with beaches all over the world firing up live video available to anybody who has a computer. 

John Paepcke of WVTM in Birmingham reports, it‘s making some beachgoers very uncomfortable. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN PAEPCKE, WVTM CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  There‘s nothing like a day at the beach, whether it‘s soaring towards the clouds, tackling the surf, or tanning under the warm, spring sun.  But what if the world was watching you relax without your knowledge? 

Take a look as this camera zooms in while a woman applies suntan lotion on a friend.  The images were captured by a Gulf Shores beach cam and broadcast over the World Wide Web.  This camera shows a bikini-clad woman sitting on a restaurant deck, and its operator isn‘t bashful, either. 

That brings us to this sunbathing trio.  After they served as the center of attention for a few minutes, we approached them with a laptop and a camera of our own. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Oh, my god. 

PAEPCKE (on camera):  That‘s you on the Web all over the world right now.  How does that make you feel? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Creepy.  Just violated. 

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We feel violated. 

PAEPCKE (voice-over):  Heather Merchant (ph) frequents the same beach and was shocked when we showed her sunbathing live on the Internet. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I don‘t like it very much, because, I mean, they don‘t put a sign up there or anything that says there‘s cameras there and anybody can be looking at you.  I just don‘t think it‘s a good idea because, I mean, it could be abused. 

PAEPCKE:  Now, there‘s nothing new about webcams at the beach, but these offer much more than a static showcase of the shoreline. 

(on camera):  One of the cameras is mounted on a roof of the Pink Pony Pub, with a great view of the beach and everybody sunbathing on it.  So the question is:  Who is behind all of the pans and zooms?  Anybody with a modem and a mouse. 

You see, the camera is remotely operated by somebody just like you sitting at their computer hundreds of miles away.  And everything it captures is available for the entire world to watch. 

(voice-over):  The camera is one of five Alabama beach hotspots.  All appear on a Web site called Bama Beach Cams.  Here‘s how they work:  You click on the camera you want to operate.  After selecting “start control” and waiting for your turn, you can zoom in on anything on the beach for one minute. 

Allan Armstrong is a Birmingham attorney who handles invasion of privacy cases.  He says, since the images are captured on a public beach, the people on camera are not protected.

ALLAN ARMSTRONG, BIRMINGHAM ATTORNEY:  I suspect these people here, if they don‘t know that they‘re being photographed and being sent out the image on the World Wide Web, they may be offended by that, but, from a legal standpoint, the fact that it‘s offensive does not necessarily make it illegal. 

PAEPCKE:  Lance Alexander helps manage the Bama Beach Cam Web site.  He says the cameras were installed to give people a remote glimpse of the beach‘s beauty. 

LANCE ALEXANDER, BAMA BEACH CAMS:  They‘re not designed to be invasive.  They‘re designed for people to be able to look at the beach, look at the volleyball, look at the parasail, look at the jet skis, and look at the ocean. 

PAEPCKE:  In fact, Alexander says they‘ve placed a few restrictions on the cameras.  They include limiting their zoom capabilities and your time behind the controls.  But those measures didn‘t prevent these tight bikini shots or this view down a woman‘s blouse. 

ALEXANDER:  We can go up and actually physically put some sort of guard on the camera dome to keep it from, you know, viewing straight down into somebody‘s blouse. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  And, again, that‘s in Gulf Shores, Alabama, right across the border from where I live in Pensacola, Florida.  I go there all the time, but I will be covered up in a robe the next time I do. 

But this is happening all across America, from the West Coast to the East Coast, and, of course, South Florida, too, so just beware next time you‘re on the beach, or actually in any other public place, because Big Brother is watching, and he may be desperate for a thrill. 

The new Superman movie hits theaters tonight, but hold on:  Are the P.C. police beating him to it and are some fans saying the one-time man of steel is just not what it used to be?  What is Hollywood doing with this American icon? 

And later, the beginning of years of therapy for one young child. 

Stick around for “Must See SC.” 

But first, heroes and villains of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Tonight‘s villain is Robert Moran of Boynton Beach, Florida.  Moran‘s idea of a good time was to make a fake distress call to the Coast Guard. 

He claimed his boat was taking on water miles out to sea and said he had nine passengers, including four children.  The Coast Guard rushed to help, diverting researches from the real emergencies during Hurricane Alberto.  They searched a 1,500-square-mile area before they figured out it was a hoax.  Moran was arrested, but his stupid stunt cost taxpayers a cool $350,000 bucks. 

Leading the Coast Guard on a dangerous, wild goose chase and wasting your tax dollars, Robert Moran is tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY villain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  The man of steel is back on the big screen tonight as “Superman Returns” opens all over America.  Now, we‘ve seen a lot of different supermen through the years, from the comic books in the 1940s to the mega-budget movie version of today.  But is the latest edition of the ultimate superhero a less masculine imitation of the original?  Have the P.C. police found enough kryptonite to turn Superman into a wimp? 

Now to talk about it is columnist and radio talk show Debbie Schlussel. 

Debbie, nice shirt.  You‘ve seen “Superman Returns.” 

DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Thank you.  Yes.

SCARBOROUGH:  You think it‘s an attack on our values.  You think that Superman is a super-wimp?  Why? 

SCHLUSSEL:  Well, first of all, he has gone away for five years to find himself and visit Krypton.  In the meantime, Lex Luthor has been released from prison because he wasn‘t there to testify against him, and he‘s fathered a child with single mother Lois Lane. 

And not only is Lois Lane a single mother, but she‘s a slut, because she thinks the father is somebody else who she also is sleeping with.  I don‘t think that those are good values or a good message to send to the children to whom this movie is being very heavily marketed. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, and you also take issue with the fact that they took away the line, “Truth, justice and the American way.”  Talk about that. 

SCHLUSSEL:  Well, they took it away, and yet the movie studio, Warner Brothers Pictures, is still selling posters that do say, “Truth, justice and the American way,” and feature the American flag.  You don‘t see any of that in the movie. 

They do mention truth and justice, but I guess it‘s the neo-slacker superhero way, because that‘s basically what Superman has become, and he‘s been toned down in a lot of ways in terms of his masculinity.  His muscles, a lot of them are gone.  Even the Superman cape and uniform doesn‘t have bright red anymore!  It‘s a muted burgundy tone that you‘d probably see in “Men‘s Vogue.” 

SCARBOROUGH:  So you‘re telling me Superman is wearing a muted burgundy cape? 

SCHLUSSEL:  That‘s right.  It‘s a muted burgundy cape.  The “S” is muted burgundy.  It‘s kind of a dinghy, you know, “Vogue” kind of fashion you‘d see on one of their androgynous models.  And Superman really isn‘t the same Superman that you saw in the Christopher Reeve and even the Dean Cain and George Reeve impersonations. 

What he is kind of a co-star.  The movie really should be entitled

“Lois Lane‘s Feelings” co-starring Superman, because it‘s more about Lois

Lane being upset that Superman left her for five years.  It‘s about Lois

Lane making it very clear that she‘s against marriage.  She‘s living with

somebody who she believes is the father of her child, but they make a point

Jimmy Olsen tells Clark Kent she‘s against marriage, she‘s too busy with her career, she‘s riding the space shuttle. 

In a lot of ways, there‘s a very strong message to young boys and girls who are seeing the Slurpees at 7-Eleven that have Superman all over them and other products that single motherhood is glamorous, you win a Pulitzer Prize.  She‘s won a Pulitzer Prize that is—for an article entitled “Why the World Doesn‘t Need Superman.”  It‘s kind of like something you‘d read in the “Daily Planet‘s” real-life version of the “New York Times” about why Al Qaeda is great. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Already, Debbie. 

SCHLUSSEL:  It‘s kind of the same thing.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Debbie, we‘ll have to leave it there.  Thank you so much. 

SCHLUSSEL:  Thank you.

SCARBOROUGH:  I can‘t wait to go see the movie, and judge for myself, and get one of those t-shirts.  Thanks for being with us. 

SCHLUSSEL:  Thank you.

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, World Cup soccer fever is taking over the streets of Germany, as British and German fans have been brawling in the street.  The cops also created chaos across the pond in England.  Drunken fans have forced officials there to deploy special mobile emergency rooms to patrol the streets of London. 

Police say alcohol-related emergencies there are up 12 percent since the Cup started.  So what happens if England loses a match against its rival, Portugal, on Saturday?

With me now to talk about the riots and the World Cup, Emily Smith. 

She‘s the U.S. editor for “The Sun” newspaper. 

Emily, try to explain the madness that is the World Cup.  We Americans are so isolated from just how huge this event is.  But, worldwide, why does it cause so many thugs to behave so badly? 

EMILY SMITH, U.S. EDITOR, “THE SUN”:  Well, first of all, the World Cup is the most important thing in England at the moment.  Nothing else matters in the world.  We are gripped by World Cup fever. 

And everybody is backing the team.  When there‘s a match on, the whole of England grinds to a halt, and everybody is biting their nails and hoping and praying that we win.  And if we don‘t win, it will be the end of the world. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And so what—even after you win, we understand that the Germans, the Germans ran out of beer because the British fans there had been drinking so much.  Is it just nationalism on steroids that causes the type of scenes that we‘re seeing on the monitor right now? 

SMITH:  Well, I think so.  And a lot of fans will drink all day before the game and then come out and drink again afterwards.  I mean, Germany is very famous for its great beer, anyway, so there‘s a lot of beer on tap. 

But we‘re hearing scary reports of fans drinking up to 17 pints a day.  So then things get heated.  You know, the rival fans start bashing each other, and unfortunately there is some violence.  But there are a few people who are the trouble makers, and unfortunately they give everybody else a bad name. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, you say there‘s a lot of beer on tap in Germany.  That actually is now past tense.  There was a lot of beer on tap in Germany. 

Again, it seems that the Brits are drinking them dry.  Talk about World Cup soccer and Beckham.  You know, Beckham, as we understand, he‘s a guy that‘s been grabbing all the headlines in Germany.  And this is the most recognized face in the world, despite the fact that most Americans don‘t know who he is.  And yet he came through in a huge way the other day.  Talk about just how big of a star this guy is. 

SMITH:  Well, David Beckham is akin to royalty in England.  Him and Victoria are kind of the king and queen of England, you know, for normal people.  They are great ambassadors for England.  You know, he plays in Madrid. 

He hasn‘t had a very good World Cup so far, but in the last game he scored a phenomenal goal.  So, you know, everyone was really pleased and really proud that he managed that. 

Of course, as well as him on the field, everybody‘s watching what Victoria wears off the field just as much.  You know, the wives and the girlfriends are a part of the soap opera that surrounds the team, and, you know, we like to gossip about them just as much. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, of course, everybody has been snarky because she‘s been wearing nothing but hot pants, which I must say I am shocked and stunned about.  She needs to cover up. 

Hey, thank you so much, Emily Smith.  Greatly appreciate you being with us. 

SMITH:  Thank you.

SCARBOROUGH:  And don‘t touch that dial.  Where else can you see a Dalmatian riding a bike?  It‘s “Must See SC.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

First up, Russian President Vladimir Putin stopped on a walk through the Kremlin to ask a young boy what his name was.  When the boy didn‘t answer, he knelt down, asked him again.  When the boy refused to answer him again, he lifted the shirt and kissed him on the stomach!  What is that, some sort of KGB thing?  Ugh, gives me the creeps.  Tourists just stood around, watching in amazement.  They were wondering the same thing I am: 

Is that some sort of Russian tradition?  I think it had to be the vodka. 

Next up, courtesy of the Internet, we have the Atlanta Hawks mascot riding on a small motor bike.  You know, I think there are three things wrong with this picture.  First, where is the limo?  Second, why is he riding on the sidewalk?  And, third, basketball season is over.  Why is this idiot still riding around in costume in the 95-degree weather? 

And finally, from a hawk on a motorcycle in Atlanta to a Dalmatian on a bicycle in Japan.  Who needs “101 Dalmatians” when have you one on a bicycle? 

We‘ll be right back with tonight‘s mailbag and results of our live poll. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, I want to hear what you have to say about our show and about the state of America and politicians in D.C.  Send me your e-mails at Joe@MSNBC.com.  That‘s Joe@MSNBC.com.  Include your name and hometown.  And also send us your webcam rant about anything.  If you don‘t know how to do it, ask your teenager.  Keep it short, keep it clean, and send it to Joe@MSNBC.com.

That‘s all the time we have for tonight.  Thanks so much for being with me.  I‘ll see you tomorrow night.  Now let‘s go to Rita.

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

END   

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