updated 8/3/2006 11:07:21 AM ET 2006-08-03T15:07:21

Guests: Jill Dobson, Tom O‘Neil, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Jennifer Giroux, Steven Rogers, Ian Williams, Mort Zuckerman

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY: Mad Mel is charged.  His drunken night out on the town could land him in jail.  The mega-star blames booze for his anti-Semitic smears.  Well, tonight, we match Mel drink for drink to see if his alibi holds water or wine, a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY experiment you‘re not going to want to miss.

Then: Israel turns up the heat in Lebanon, blasting Beirut while America sits back and plays the waiting game.  Are efforts to help Israel hurting America?

And this model and documentarian has gotten very close to a serial killer and says, He ain‘t heavy, he‘s my buddy, who‘s just misunderstood.  We‘ll see.

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  No passport required, but breathalyzers allowed.

All right, let‘s talk first about Mel Gibson busted, Mad Mel now facing charges of DUI, blowing a .12 in a breathalyzer and having an open bottle of tequila in his car.  That‘s illegal these days?  It all happened after Gibson was filmed with a cell phone camera at a Malibu bar.  Two hours later, he was busted on a California highway, where he went off on that drunken anti-Jewish tirade.

Now, during the arrest, Gibson attacked Jews, saying that, well, the “F-ing Jews” were responsible for “all wars in the world.” And then he asked the arresting sheriff‘s deputy, “Are you a Jew?”

Gibson later blamed all of his problems on alcohol, saying that because he had a blood alcohol content of .12, he in effect couldn‘t control the anti-Semitic smears that spewed from his mouth after the arrest.

Now, I don‘t buy it for a second.  As Mike Barnicle told me earlier on “Hardball,” most Boston politicians work in the legislature with more liquor in their bloodstream than that.  I don‘t know if that‘s true or not, but I do know that tonight on live TV, we‘re going to challenge Mel‘s alibi by having one of my producers match Mel drink for drink until his blood alcohol level is the same, a .12.  And he‘s going to be blogging live on line and responding to your e-mails throughout the hour to show you Mel‘s state of mind at the time of his anti-Jewish attacks.

And we have a sheriff‘s deputy here, too.  Don‘t worry, Mom.  Everything‘s been taken care of.  We got the cops standing by.  We got the breathalyzer.  He‘s been cleared by the doctors.

But seriously, because I want to make a serious point here, and that is that you can‘t go off and make the type of anti-Semitic remarks that Mel Gibson made and then turn around and just blame it on alcohol, especially if you‘re blowing a .12.  Again, we‘ll talk about that and show it to you throughout the show.  And I‘ll interview Mike at the end of the show and show you the state of mind Mel Gibson was in at the time.

But first, let‘s get the latest news on the charges against Mel Gibson

from NBC correspondent—and a very sober correspondent—Jennifer London

Jennifer.

JENNIFER LONDON, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Joe, the headline today, actor Mel Gibson has been formally charged with driving under the influence, driving while having a .08 percent or higher blood alcohol level, and also for driving while having an open container in the car.  At this time, no public reaction yet from Mel Gibson‘s camp with regard to the charges.  He will be arraigned at the end of September.  If convicted, he could face up to six months in prison.

Meantime, the investigation into whether the sheriff‘s department gave Gibson star treatment before, during or after his arrest—well, that investigation continues.  The department is facing claims that it altered an arrest report by omitting some of Gibson‘s belligerent behavior and offensive language.  Joe, that is a claim the department denies.  Now back to you.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  And to cover all the angles, here‘s Jill Dobson from “Star” magazine.  We got Tom O‘Neil from “In Touch Weekly,” Jennifer Giroux, president of Women Influencing the Nation and founder of the Web site Seethepassion.com, and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, host of “Shalom in the Home” on TLC.

Tom, what does these charges against Mel Gibson mean for his career?

TOM O‘NEIL, “IN TOUCH WEEKLY”:  Well, I think he‘s in serious trouble for far more than just these charges, of course, because we have a very religious, pious person accused of outrageous religious hatred here, for one.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  And that‘s the bottom line.  I mean—I mean, you would

Tom, it‘s much easier to sit in jail for six months in California and survive that in Hollywood than it is to be seen attacking Jews.

O‘NEIL:  Say that again?

SCARBOROUGH:  I said, would it not be easier for Mel Gibson if he were to sit in jail for six months on these charges?  That would have less of an impact on his career than being seen as somebody who hates Jews.

O‘NEIL:  Oh, I know.  You betcha.  It‘s already had a terrible impact on his career in terms of losing that ABC mini-series.  And now he‘s got this odd movie coming out December 8 called “Apocalypto.”  It‘s about, you know, Mayan Indians 600 years ago who rip out throbbing human hearts from the chest and hurl the bodies down those pyramid steps.  And he‘s got 60 million bucks sunk into this.  The only thing that could save him—and there are no stars in it, by the way.  The only thing that could save him is Disney, his distributor, really getting behind it with big promotion.  Well, you know, how much money is Disney going to put behind this now in this situation?

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, I‘ll tell you, it‘s tough.  And Jill Dobson, though, it‘s interesting.  He could be facing six months in jail.  He‘s been charged with making some anti-Semitic remarks, outrageous anti-Semitic remarks.  And yet most of Hollywood is keeping quiet.  Are they scared of Mel Gibson because he‘s so powerful?

JILL DOBSON, “STAR” MAGAZINE:  I think they‘re scared of missing out on a piece of all the money that he‘s able to bring in.  And Hollywood is such an incestuous place.  Everyone knows everyone.  So people want to stay on good terms with Mel Gibson and his agent and...

SCARBOROUGH:  And again, Mel Gibson makes $600 million on “The Passion of the Christ.”  And I would guess people are going to be—the people that saw “The Passion” are going to stick with him through this, aren‘t they.

DOBSON:  The fans will probably be a little upset with him for a while, but it seems like everyone in Hollywood is forgiven eventually.  I mean, Roman Polanski went on to win the Academy Award, so it seems like people get forgiven in Hollywood.  There was one full-page ad taken out by a TV producer, Marv Adelson (ph), that said, Let‘s make ourselves proud and not support this jerk in any way.  But other than him and just a few others speaking out, people on the whole are keeping very quiet.

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, Jennifer Giroux, you think Hollywood and others that have been attacking Mel Gibson since “The Passion” really pushed him into a corner, put him in a fragile state where he was under attack all the time—do you think the California police officers now are going to try to make an example of him?

JENNIFER GIROUX, WOMEN INFLUENCING THE NATION:  I hope not.  But you know, Joe, the amazing thing to me is the piling on keeps going.  You know, here we are.  This guy is in a very fragile state.  For anybody that understands alcoholism—and the people in America do, versus those that are writing the magazines—their heart goes out to him.  They‘re praying for him.  They‘re hoping he regains his physical and spiritual health back.  And they understand the concept of spiritual warfare, which probably he‘s undergoing right now.

And let me go ahead and say this to the rabbi, who has joined us here, and to the ADL, who spent months and months piling on with their bigoted comments against—for the Christian faith, my Christian religion, my God, millions of people, and they did it sober, Joe, and were never accountable for an apology for that.

So I do not defend Mel Gibson‘s comments, but I‘ll make a prediction here.  Mel is going to come back.  On your very own Web site, 74 percent of people, when I looked yesterday, said they will judge Mel Gibson‘s movie coming out by their own merits, not by what happened now.

So we got to pray for Mel, and I will not be the first one to cast a stone because not one of us here—or shall I ask the first one to step forward that (INAUDIBLE) one time of their life they would wish they could take something back.

SCARBOROUGH:  Rabbi Shmuley...

GIROUX:  Go ahead and cast the first stone!

SCARBOROUGH:  Rabbi Shmuley, I‘ll be the first to say I don‘t cast the stones.  What do you say to Jennifer Giroux?

RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH, HOST, “SHALOM IN THE HOME”:  You know, Joe, the

ancient rabbis of the Talmud said that a man is known through three things

what he says when he‘s drunk, what he says when he‘s angry, and what he spends his money on.  When Mel Gibson got drunk, the Jews cause all the world‘s wars.  When he got angry for being arrested, he accused the deputy of being Jewish.  And finally, he spent $25 million making a movie showing that the Jews are God-killers, decides.

Now, I‘m not going to pile anything on.  He‘s a very disturbed man.  I really pity him.  I pity any man whose hatred erases their humanity.  It‘s said that he‘s the most—at least visibly—religious man in Hollywood, and he thereby undermines religious commitment in what is really a secular city.

Jennifer Giroux does the same thing by showing that when it comes to one of her favorite stars—and I think she‘s a bit too enamored of Hollywood celebrities in general—she is prepared to overlook their immoral behavior in order to support them, when really, she should be condemning Mel Gibson‘s remarks while supporting his need for treatment and rehabilitation.  This is a man who needs...

GIROUX:  Rabbi, let me respond to that.  Let me respond to that!

(CROSSTALK)

BOTEACH:  This is a man who needs real healing.

GIROUX:  This man...

(CROSSTALK)

BOTEACH:  He needs real healing for his spirit, for anti-Semitism.

GIROUX:  This has nothing to do with the movie.  It has nothing to do with me being enamored by anybody.  I defended this movie because it‘s true to the Gospels.  It stands on its own merit.  Leave the movie alone, Rabbi~~!  That‘s what the viewers are saying.  Because you have a problem with history and try to rewrite it, you go after the movie and you go after the religion of Christianity altogether!  The movie has nothing to do with this very sad, very tragic incident that happened to Mel Gibson.  I‘m not in the mind of Mel Gibson, and neither of you, and we...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me bring in here Tom O‘Neil real quick.  Tom, Mel Gibson—we had these debates all last year, and what did these debates do?  They generated ticket sales to $600 million.  I hate to sound cynical here, but geez, we‘ve seen this story so many times before in Hollywood.  Could this, in the end, actually help Mel Gibson‘s career?

O‘NEIL:  You know, in a way, that‘s a very interesting point because I think it really could.  There‘s a lot of sympathy for the underdogs that we have, and we know that this guy is in real trouble here.  But I fear of what‘s coming up ahead.

You know, one of the most curious things he said all night of the

arrest, he said to some of the people at the Moon Shadow (ph) restaurant—

he kept saying what a saint his wife Robin is, of 26 years.  You know, how

he kept saying, What a saint, what a saint, what a saint.  And then when he was arrested, the very first thing he said to those officers was how screwed over he said—it was a more colorful word than that—his life is.

GIROUX:  Well, why is that a mystery, Tom?

O‘NEIL:  There is something dark back there.

GIROUX:  Why is that a mystery?

O‘NEIL:  Well, let me just—let me just...

GIROUX:  He‘s blessed by his wife.  And the man obviously is probably going through self-hatred, remorse, sorrow.  He probably had tears of regret.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Tom...

GIROUX:  And everyone keeps piling on him right now!

O‘NEIL:  The point I‘m trying to make is that...

(CROSSTALK)

BOTEACH:  Jennifer, you have yet to condemn his statement even once. 

You are a religious...

GIROUX:  Not true!

BOTEACH:  You are a religious woman—wait one moment!  Jennifer...

GIROUX:  I condemned his statement...

(CROSSTALK)

BOTEACH:  You are a religious woman, and religion is supposed to stand, above all else, for right and wrong.  And yet you are so enamored of Mel Gibson, who you think is the pope—you think he‘s a priest!  He‘s not!  He‘s an actor!

GIROUX:  No, as a matter of fact...

BOTEACH:  He‘s a director!

SCARBOROUGH:  All right...

BOTEACH:  You are so enamored of this man...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  We got to do this one at a time!

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  We got to bring this in for a landing.  Jennifer, I‘ll give you a quick response, then I‘m going to wrap it up.  Go ahead.

GIROUX:  Rabbi, you‘re right.  He is human and not divine.  And everybody elevated him to a higher place than he should have been.  His movie touched many lives, but he is human and he needs our prayers.  And he will obtain the forgiveness of those who...

BOTEACH:  Correct, but...

SCARBOROUGH:  All right...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second.  Tom O‘Neil, I‘m going to ask you, so in the end, do people feel sorry for Mel Gibson, get behind him?

O‘NEIL:  Yes.  But I think that—the point I was trying to make here is he was referring to demons that this man has that will now be dug up by these armies of tabloid reporters that are now digging into his life.  I think this is just the start of his troubles.

SCARBOROUGH:  And you agree, also, Jill?

DOBSON:  I think that this is going to be a tough road for him, although I do feel like he‘s handled it well since it happened.  I think making the second apology was a great move.  I think he will be forgiven eventually, either because people are forgiving or because they want to make some money off him and enjoy his films.

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s right.  Now I‘ll do the McLaughlin thing or the Bill O‘Reilly thing, or whatever, and tell you all what‘s really going to happen.  If he makes good movies, people will go see it.  You know, Peter Frampton committed a heinous sin back in the 1970s.  He was in a movie called “Sergeant Pepper‘s.”   Everybody said it ended his career.  No, he just stopped making great music.  So same thing.  You know, if you make great movies, people will come.

Thanks a lot, Jill Dobson.  Thank you, Tom O‘Neil.  Jennifer Giroux and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, as always, we appreciate you being with us.

Coming up: Beirut being blasted by Israel tonight as the Middle East meltdown reaches new dangerous levels.  And later: Serial killer Wayne Adam Ford (ph) is behind bars for brutally murdering four innocent people.  So why is one actress befriending this savage killer?  She‘ll tell us.

And next: Mel Gibson blames liquor for his hate speech against Jews, but just how drunk was he when he slandered the Jewish race?  Well, we‘re conducting a special SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY experiment with a producer matching Mel drink for drink.  Kids, don‘t try this at home.  We‘ll explain the method to our madness straight ahead.

And make sure you go to our Web site, joe.msnbc.com, where our happy lab rat, Mike Yarvitz, will be answering your e-mails live as he goes up, up, up on the Mel-meter.

But before we go to break, I just want to say let he who is without sin, like Jennifer Giroux said, cast the first stone.  Mel Gibson‘s been on the cover of a lot of tabloids lately, but you know what?  He‘s not the only one who‘s been seen drinking with the ladies recently.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Should Mel Gibson be forgiven?

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Is that you and Gregory standing back there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (INAUDIBLE) Mel Gibson (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I can‘t year you.  I‘m over 60, just like you.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Everybody having a laugh about Mel Gibson, but it‘s pretty serious business.  And you probably heard Mel Gibson‘s excuse.  And you know, one of the reasons I‘m doing this is because all last year, I defended Mel Gibson against attacks in the press.  People said that he was anti-Semitic.  I said that wasn‘t the case.  I hold no grudge against him, but I just don‘t want a guy to be able to go out and drink for a couple of hours and then have these anti-Semitic slurs go out of his mouth and then be like the Olson twins, go to rehab for a couple of weeks and then be forgiven.

Bottom line is, he said the anti-Semitic rants he made at the LA County Sheriff‘s Department last week were made because the bottle made him do it.  Well, I don‘t buy that.  If you‘re an alcoholic, like Mel Gibson, will a few drinks really cause you to make these racist comments?  This is a guy who said he used to have six beers before breakfast.

Well, we decided to put it to the test, and I‘ve enlisted the help of one of my producers, as I said, Mike Yarvitz.  He‘s going to be drinking throughout the show, a very controlled experiment, Mom.  But we‘re going to see if he can reach Mel Gibson‘s level of drunkenness of .12 on the breathalyzer test.

We‘ve also got Detective Lieutenant Steven Rogers here from the Nutley, New Jersey, Police Department.  He‘s going to be administering the breathalyzer test, making sure Mike doesn‘t try to make any escapes, like Mel did.  And I‘m going to talk to Mike and show you live how drunk Mel Gibson was at the time of his anti-Semitic remarks, and I‘m going to let you decide whether his alibi is legitimate.

As our motto at MSNBC has been for—you know, I guess for the 10 years we‘ve been in existence here, We drink and you decide.

Well, let‘s go over right now.  Mike Yarvitz, you blew a .08 before you went to break.  You‘re answering e-mails.  What‘s your current state?

MIKE YARVITZ, SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY PRODUCER:  I‘m at a .08 right now. 

That‘s, I think, legally drunk...

DET. LT. STEVEN ROGERS, NUTLEY, NJ, POLICE DEPARTMENT:  Right.

YARVITZ:  ... in New Jersey.  And you know, I‘m shooting for the .12. 

That‘s where Mel was.

SCARBOROUGH:  And again, the serious point we‘re making here, though, is what—Mel‘s basically saying he was blacked out, he was in such a bad state that you can‘t hold him accountable for things that he would say.

YARVITZ:  Exactly.

SCARBOROUGH:  Obviously, you have no former problems with alcohol, but at the same time, we‘ve all been to bars, we‘ve all had—known people that have been in this state, and they don‘t go around making these outrageous remarks, do they.

ROGERS:  He has his faculties together, Joe.  Obviously, his eyes are bloodshot, face is flushed.  But we‘ve been talking, and he‘s pretty alert.

SCARBOROUGH:  And I‘m going to ask you, when we go—when he gets to .12, I‘m going to ask you if, in fact, somebody at .12 is going to really be passed out and be out of their minds.

And by the way, Mike‘s been volunteered.  He‘s been cleared by NBC doctors.  He‘s got no former drinking problems, even though he may have one later on tonight.  We‘re going to, obviously, take him home tonight.  And again, it‘s a very controlled experiment.  But again, you‘re going to want to see him when he‘s at .12, like Mel Gibson was, and you‘re going to decide.

Now, we have this meter that we‘ve made, and right now—on the meter, you‘ve got sober and then you‘ve got tipsy.  Right now, we‘re at .08, buzzed.  No doubt about it, as the officer said, Mike Yarvitz is buzzed.  But again, he still has his mind about him and is not making today any racist comment.

Now, coming up, we‘re going to talk more about Mel Gibson, but we‘re going to also show you why one actress says it‘s a dream come true to become friends with a serial killer who butchered four people.  She‘s going to tell us why she thinks the guy isn‘t so bad after all, and why she‘s doing a documentary on him.

And up next, the cameras are rolling as buildings burst into flames, some dramatic moments in “Must See SC” coming up next, as this fire is still raging.  We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, it‘s time for tonight‘s “Must See SC,” video you just got to see.  First up, Wayne, Indiana, for an incredible explosion caught on tape.  NBC camera crews were covering a fire at this factor last night when the whole building unexpectedly exploded.  Luckily, nobody was inside that building, but one firefighter had to be treated at a local hospital.

Up next, free Willy.  This was the scene outside of Boston today rescuers worked frantically to free this humpback whale that got tangled up in some fishing gear.  The gear got caught around the whale‘s head, but marine biologists came to its aid and freed the whale, put it back in the ocean.

And finally, we go to Wilmington, North Carolina, where the heat officially made these people crazy—crazy from the heat, baby.  A local ice cream shop offered people a chance to stay cool by dunking their heads in a bucket of vanilla ice cream.  Now, temperatures reached 94 degrees in Wilmington, with a head index of 106.  Sounds like New York City.

Coming up: The fighting between Israel and Hezbollah heats up, but the real casualty of war may be America‘s influence around the world.

Plus: Does the amount of alcohol Mel Gibson drank explain his anti-Semitic words and outrageous actions?  We‘re putting it to the test with one of our producers—under the influence of Mel.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, he dismembered four people back in the ‘90s, but now a British model has befriended the serial killer and says he‘s not a threat to the public.  He‘s just misunderstood.  We‘re going to talk to her about her documentary, coming up. 

And later, the moment of truth in our special experiment.  One of the producers goes drink for drink with Mel Gibson.  We‘re going to see if he behaves better than Mel did when his blood-alcohol level is .12 and how impaired he is.  Because, again, you got to get into the state of mind of Mel Gibson to see why he said the outrageous anti-Semitic comments he made that night.  And we‘re going to see with an officer here just how bad he is.

By the way, I just received an e-mail from his parents.  He‘s not only intoxicated, he‘s also very embarrassed.  That‘s something my mom would have done.

YARVITZ:  It‘s embarrassing. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It is embarrassing.  My mother, when I was running for Congress, used to call the talk radio stations and attack them.  And I‘d say, “Mom, you know, it doesn‘t help that everybody says I‘m too young to run for Congress.  Now you‘re making things even worse by calling up and defending Joey.” 

Anyway, welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  We‘re going to be talking about that straight ahead. 

But first, fighting has hit a fever pitch in the Middle East, and Israel‘s resumed pounding Beirut, going after the suburbs, trying to go after Hezbollah.  And, of course, Hezbollah rockets landed further inside Israel than ever before, even reached the West Bank.  Friends, this is getting dangerous. 

Israel is sending thousands of troops deeper into Lebanon and launch an attack on a Lebanese military base.  And civilians continue to get caught in the crossfire, as pressure mounts from the United States to step in with force and bring peace to the situation. 

But the Bush administration is waiting.  They‘re just not going to rush in.  They want to give Israel a few more days to destroy as much of Hezbollah as possible.  And whether that‘s the right strategy or not, that‘s what we‘re going to talk about right now. 

Cease-fire or not, the world knows that Hezbollah is going after Israel, and now Israel is going after Hezbollah.  Here is Mort Zuckerman.  He‘s editor in chief of “U.S. News and World Report.”  And also Ian Williams, from “The Nation.” 

Ian, I read your pre-interview, and I take exception with it.  You say here that Condi‘s statement that it‘s too early for a cease-fire will live forever next to images of charred little children.  Are you saying that those charred little children that died in those attacks, basically their blood is on the hands of Condi Rice and George Bush? 

IAN WILLIAMS, “THE NATION”:  Well, it reminded me of the statement Madeleine Albright made, that there was a price worth paying for Iraqi kids to die.  She‘s regretted it since publicly.  And on this one, remember, this is what the rest of the world is seeing.  It‘s never too early for a cease-fire when people are dying like this.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you say it‘s never too early for cease-fire, but if Hezbollah is allowed to fire rockets into Israel and then call immediately for a cease-fire, then there‘s never any accountability.  They‘re able to retool and...

WILLIAMS:  From a Lebanese, from an Arab point of view, if Israel is allowed to blow up houses in Qana, to shoot up—to bomb U.N.  encampments... 

SCARBOROUGH:  Did Israel start this? 

WILLIAMS:  It depends on where you started from.  If you started from the Arab point of view, their killing of the interior minister in Gaza is the start of the most recent bout of this, but it all goes back.  This is not something that can be solved on the Lebanese border.

SCARBOROUGH:  Does Hezbollah have terrorists in Gaza? 

WILLIAMS:  No, it was Hamas, but they‘re seeing similar—I mean, the best inclinations...

(CROSSTALK) 

SCARBOROUGH:  Why would Hezbollah fire rockets into Israel if there was a problem with Hamas? 

WILLIAMS:  It‘s a bit like arguing about whether the Archduke Ferdinand should have ducked and avoid World War I or not, whoever started this.

SCARBOROUGH:  No, it‘s not.

WILLIAMS:  But if you want to me to come to it, Joe, when it happened, remember that it was Hezbollah attacked an Israeli military target.  The Israelis shot up into Lebanon afterwards, and then the rockets came.  So that‘s the actual sequence.  And I‘m not condoning any of this.  Hezbollah shouldn‘t be firing at civilians any more than the Israelis should be dropping bombs on towns that they claim are Hezbollah targets when it‘s full of civilians. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Mort Zuckerman, as you probably know, I‘ve been one of the fiercest defenders of Israel on TV and also when I was in Congress.  At the same time, you know, I was over in Europe this past week.  And, boy, the press against not only Israel, but also America, after that tragic attack where all those young children died...

MORT ZUCKERMAN, EDITOR, “U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT”:  Qana.

SCARBOROUGH:  It was, you know, civilians that were killed.  It‘s a tragedy.  Isn‘t America really having their image battered because Israel may be taking it a little bit too far over there? 

ZUCKERMAN:  Well, I‘m sure there is some damage to the United States and its image, but I think there‘s also something to be thinking about here, which is that Hezbollah has been a longtime major enemy of the United States.  They were the ones that killed 241 Marines in 1983, the CIA station chief, William Buckley, a couple of TWA hijackings.  It‘s gone on and on forever.  So we are in the center of the war against terrorism, and they‘re clearly a radical Islamist group that is an extension of Iran, which is our principal enemy so... 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, so, Mort, listen, what you‘re saying is this isn‘t just about Israel.  This is about us also allowing Israel to go after people that have targeted Americans in the past, killed a lot of Marines, killed Mr. Buckley, as you said, back in the early 1980s.  So you say what‘s best for Israel in this case is also best for America? 

ZUCKERMAN:  There is a convergence of interests here, because clearly the United States has a major interest in trying to constrain and contain Iran.  And Hezbollah was founded by Iran, is funded by Iran, is trained by Iran, is armed by Iran, and they want to extend their influence into the Middle East. 

This is why the Sunni countries initially publicly, for the first time, and now just privately are totally opposed to what Hezbollah was doing and, in fact, are secretly supporting what Israel is doing, because they are doing the dirty work for all of us in that sense, which is fighting off Hezbollah. 

And I think this is never an easy thing to do; civilians always die.  I mean, in Sarajevo, if you remember back in the war with Serbia, 10,000 people were killed as a result of allied bombing.  This is not something anybody likes to do, but it is a part of the sad and tragic cost of warfare. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, help me out with this, and I‘ll get back to you in a second, Ian. 

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS:  I‘ve got to—but the allies never killed people in Sarajevo.  I‘m sorry. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What‘s that?

WILLIAMS:  The allies never killed people in Sarajevo in bombing.  It was the Serbs who were shelling Sarajevo.

SCARBOROUGH:  Did we not drop bombs?  I mean, again, I don‘t want to

re-fight that war, but a lot of people died.  And it seems to me that, when

Bill Clinton was blowing up bridges in Belgrade, nobody was criticizing him the way they‘re criticizing Israelis. 

WILLIAMS:  Oh, in Kosovo—in fact, I was—“The Nation” did.  We said the bombing campaign was utterly futile and counterproductive, especially since it was conducted at high level.  We supported—or some of us at least supported intervention in Kosovo, but we agreed that you shouldn‘t do it from the air, because of that risk of civilian casualties. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So what should Israel do?  Let‘s say Hezbollah decides -

they have a cease-fire.  And a month from now, Hezbollah fires 100 rockets in, kills Israelis.  Should they just sit back and do nothing, Ian? 

WILLIAMS:  Well, if they hit back at Hezbollah, then that‘s sort of—that‘s war.  But what they‘ve been doing is totally indiscriminate.  And no matter how often they‘ve been warned, they keep on doing it.  Remember, 10 years ago, they did exactly the same thing.  In 1982, Ariel Sharon did the same thing.  And each time, Hezbollah came back stronger.  It‘s not enough to...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Mort, how do you do this?  I mean, I don‘t want to quote the Massachusetts governor and say that Lebanon is a tar baby.  I‘d get in trouble for doing that.  But it seems to me that Israel always gets stuck in the mud of Lebanon, from ‘82 to 2000.  How do they win? 

ZUCKERMAN:  I don‘t know what the answer to that is, but Israel really has no choice.  When they have pulled out of Lebanon, they are now behind an internationally recognized border.  And Hezbollah, since the year 2000, when the Israelis did pull out, they‘ve been building up a huge military infrastructure, including importing a lot of missiles from Iran.  For what purpose?  To attack Israel, which they have been doing off and on for the last six years.  At some point, no democratic country would allow this kind of terrorist organization to be attacking them without responding. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And as I say, Mort, to Pat Buchanan all the time, if Mexico was allowing this to happen to Texas, we would have 100,000 troops in that country by nightfall.

ZUCKERMAN:  Right.  Look what we did with Cuba when they hadn‘t done anything, but we were concerned about the threat which they represented to us...

SCARBOROUGH:  What they might do.

ZUCKERMAN:  ... and this is exactly what we are trying to do here, in terms of the support for Israel, because they are under the same kind of threat.  Just think of what a mess it would be if, three or four years from now, where they would have the longer-range, more accurate, more lethal missiles, and it fired on Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport, and the nuclear power facility. 

WILLIAMS:  Just think of what would have happened in Ireland with the IRA.  The IRA kidnapped people from Northern Ireland, the British soldiers. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, guys, we‘ve got to go.

WILLIAMS:  We didn‘t bomb Dublin. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you so much, Mort Zuckerman.  Thank you so much, Ian Williams.  Greatly appreciate it.

Now from the Middle East to Capitol Hill, where you‘d expect Congress to be working deep into the night on wars, hurricanes, and the price of gas.  But, you know, I really felt sorry for our elected officials when I read today‘s “New York Times” piece that some lawmakers are now angry because they‘re having to share their exclusive Senate elevators with mere mortals. 

Well, let me tell you something:  I feel their pain.  I mean, this adjustment from Congress to MSNBC, it‘s all been very tough for me.  Take a look at what my E.P. has to say. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over):  Sometimes the congressmen doesn‘t understand he‘s not in Congress any more. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Speaking of Lebanon, you want to talk about a hit.  So I‘m staying in the Paris Ritz last week, having tea there.  You know, that‘s where Princess Di did it.  Pretty expensive place, right?  And so...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hey, hold that door.  Excuse us. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You see that game last night?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Unbelievable.  What a shot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over):  Sometimes it gets ugly. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What in the hell is going on here?  This is my elevator.  You know, I didn‘t bust my butt to get elected in Congress—there was a 12-month campaign—to have these people in my elevator.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We‘re not in Washington anymore. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Help me out here.  Where‘s your congressional pin?  I don‘t see a congressional pin on you. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This is MSNBC.  This isn‘t Congress. 

SCARBOROUGH:  This is my elevator.

(END VIDEOTAPE) 

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘ll tell you what:  It‘s tough.  It‘s tough here.  It really is.

Hey, listen, coming up next, it sounds suspicious to me, a model befriending a brutal serial killer.  Now she‘s the one under investigation.  We‘ll explain why, coming up.

Plus, we‘re going to be checking back with our producer, Mike Yarvitz, as he‘s matching Mel drink for drink.  I‘m going to talk to him.  He‘s answering your e-mails live online, MSNBC.com, to tell you what‘s going through his mind right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Serial killer Wayne Adam Ford is in jail.  He‘s convicted of four counts of first-degree murder, not the kind of guy you‘d want to hang out with on hot summer nights.  But he does have a regular visitor, Victoria Redstall.  She‘s a former spokesmodel for breast enhancement supplements and other products. 

Redstall says she‘s making a documentary about the serial killer, but her frequent trips to the jail has Ford‘s own attorney saying she needs to stay away.  I asked Redstall what she hoped her visits to this cold-blooded killer would do positively for society.  This is what she said. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VICTORIA REDSTALL, SPOKESMODEL:  Because a serial killer is made.  They‘re not born.  And it‘s a component, a lethal cocktail, of obviously bad childhoods, abusive relationships, a bang on the head, which he had in 1980.  He had an accident which caused him to go into a coma.  A lot of this hasn‘t come up in the trial.  It hasn‘t been focused on, and I know he wants to get that out. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What do you know about Wayne that convinces you that you can trust him and that he‘s not still a danger to you or to other people that come in contact with him? 

REDSTALL:  Because he wouldn‘t be a danger to anyone coming in contact with him because he‘s on the medication that has made him normal now, completely normal and completely leveled him out.  I understand the way his mind worked when he did these crimes and who he took it out on and why he took it out on these poor, innocent victims. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Why did he do that?  What do you understand? 

REDSTALL:  Well, the thing is, that‘s going into my documentary. 

That‘s the hours of writing I‘ve done and that‘s the hours of time I‘ve spent with him.  So, I mean, a lot of that, it‘s confidential.  In my opinion, it‘s got to be confidential until I raise the financing to do my documentary, which I haven‘t raised yet. 

But there are specific things that I have written down.  And I understand why he did that.  Again, the lethal component, the lethal cocktail that drew him to do this, and just abusive childhood, and so on and so forth.  That‘s what happened.

SCARBOROUGH:  What would Wayne want the families of these victims to know tonight? 

REDSTALL:  That every day of his life, every waking moment of his life, he is in pain and sadness because of the remorse that he feels for each and every one of those victims.  And he lives every day trying to remember the first victim that he killed, because he can‘t remember it right now.  That‘s why he wants a hypnotist to go back and try to remember it for him, or help him remember it. 

The pain that he feels every day, and he feels—also he deserves to be locked up the rest of his life.  And I think that the victims‘ family should be the main focus of this, and that‘s why one day I hope to talk to them about this and try to explain his side and try to hear what they have to say, so that this man can be, you know, given some compassion from me, and from Wayne, and from just the truth being out there, and how things really did go down and how they really did happen. 

SCARBOROUGH: The “Times” talks about the irony of a model for breast enhancement pills seeking out a killer with a breast fetish.  What‘s that all about? 

REDSTALL:  Well, I‘m a spokesmodel for many companies.  One of them happens to be a natural breast enhancer, and that‘s one of the companies. 

And when I met Mr. Wayne Adam Ford, I didn‘t know that that was the extent of—he had a breast fetish.  I knew that he dismembered some of his victims.  So what it is, is, again, slandering the truth and making me look like, oh, I‘ve got to go after him because he‘s into breasts.  Absolutely not.  I dress very professionally in the jail and in the courtroom, and it‘s just a coincidence that people are going to make a story about it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you so much, Victoria Redstall, and good luck in making that documentary.  It sounds like a fascinating subject. 

REDSTALL:  Thank you very much. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, according to the “L.A. Times,” Redstall‘s interest in Ford has caused such a stir the sheriff‘s office in San Bernardino County‘s barred her from jail and is investigating here.  With me now to talk about it, former FBI hostage negotiator and MSNBC analyst Clint Van Zandt. 

Clint, you know, when I talked to her, she seemed to be a very intelligent lady, and yet every expert I talk to seems to say she‘s got her own issues.  Talk about it. 

CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI PROFILER:  Joe, this is the give me a break doctrine.  I mean, you know, this is someone—she is the center of her world and everything else floats around her.  To suggest that a serial killer, who killed four people, dismembered them—the last victim, he sliced off part of her body and carried it around with him—to say that because he got a lump on his head one time, I mean, quit it.  Quit it.  Quit it, people.

When are we going to start accepting responsibility for ourselves and, in her case, quit trying to sell pills and quit trying to claim a relationship with him so she can make a movie?  The guy is a killer.  He is where he belongs:  on death row.  And she needs to be peddling her pills someplace else.

SCARBOROUGH:  Why are some women attracted to these types of killers? 

VAN ZANDT:  You know, it‘s interesting, Joe.  Sometimes there‘s women and men, too, who really want to have attention.  They‘ll do whatever it takes.  They will dress very provocatively.  They will engage in dangerous relationships.  And sometimes there are people who just like to date the bad boys. 

So whatever it is in this particular case, if she thinks she‘s going to rehabilitate a serial killer who slices people up because he‘s on his meds, she needs to be taking pills other than breast enhancements. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And they also say in the “L.A. Times” that, when he is being driven from prison to the jail, I think she will go beside him in a convertible with her hair blowing in the breeze and all this other—I mean, again, it sounds very, very strange.  Do you think the police officers at some point are going to get tired of this routine, and bar her from the courtroom, and keep her away? 

VAN ZANDT:  I would sure hope so.  This is the same woman who stands on top of her apartment allegedly in a negligee and lets helicopters drive over and flash lights on her.  I mean, this is someone who wants to be the center of attention, and she has grabbed onto this guy right now to get more attention. 

You know, we‘re doing it for her right now, which kind of frustrates me, too.  But anyone who stands besides a serial killer and says, “It‘s not his fault.  It‘s society‘s.  It‘s his mother‘s fault.”  No, no, this guy killed people.  He‘s responsible, and she needs to get a life. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Clint.  We will clear you from this terrible assignment.  Thank you so much, Clint Van Zandt, greatly appreciate it. 

VAN ZANDT:  Thanks, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up next, the moment of truth, as our produce, Mike Yarvitz, reaches the Mel Gibson level of drunkenness.  Will he be able to control himself and control what he says?  We‘ll have that story when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY continues.  Looks like a straight line to me.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  And welcome back.  As we‘ve been showing you through the hour, one of my producers, Mike Yarvitz, has been drinking for the past hour to get his blood-alcohol level up to .12.  That was the same level Mel Gibson had when he made the anti-Semitic slurs. 

The second I read it in the paper, I said this was absolute garbage.  Here‘s my producer, Mike Yarvitz.  And we also have Detective Lieutenant Steven Rogers from the Nutley, New Jersey, police department.

So, Mike, first of all, how are you feeling right now?  You were definitely up high on the Mel meter.

MIKE YARVITZ, SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY PRODUCER:  I‘m feeling OK right now.  I‘m definitely impaired.  I probably shouldn‘t drive.  I‘m above the legal limit in New Jersey for being drunk, but I‘m not at the point yet where I feel like spouting out any anti-Semitic comments. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, well, not only that—and, seriously, do you buy the state that you‘re in right now—because most people don‘t know when they have drinks, they don‘t know whether they‘re .06, .08, .12, right now, would you say anything inappropriate, whether you were pulled over by police officers, whether you were in a bar, whether you were in a work environment? 

YARVITZ:  No.  I feel composed right now.  I feel like I still have my cognitive abilities.  I‘ve been able...

DET. LT. STEVEN ROGERS, NUTLEY POLICE DEPARTMENT:  And I gave him a field sobriety test during the break, and he passed it, except he was a little wobbly.  Obviously, he‘d be arrested for drunk driving.  However, he does have his faculties.  He‘s thinking pretty clearly.  He‘s, you know, talking.  He‘s articulate.

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me ask you this, because you do this for a living.  When you hear Mel Gibson saying, you know, attacking the—as he said, quote, “f‘ing Jews”—when you hear Mel Gibson blaming all the wars that ever occurred on Jews, and then turning around and saying, “Well, I had too much to drink.” 

Again, here‘s an alcoholic.  This guy, you know, six beers before breakfast.  He‘s had an alcohol problem his whole life.  Do you buy that, that a .12, where Mike Yarvitz is right now, would turn him into this stark-raving mad lunatic?

ROGERS:  Well, of course, you know, everybody‘s body is different. 

(CROSSTALK)

ROGERS:  However I‘ve seen on high levels of alcohol intake people become very violent and then people who are very calm.  At .12, you know, you‘re just kind of over that limit, so it‘s something to be considered that...

SCARBOROUGH:  And it‘s important to remember, is it not, that, in the state of New Jersey, like the state of Florida, it used to be...

ROGERS:  .10.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... .10, which with Mel Gibson maybe was a half glass of wine above what the legal limit used to be in most states of America.  Again, so the point we‘re making here is, again, Mike Yarvitz is just not that impaired. 

And by the way, Mike, we‘ve got this wonderful e-mail from your parents saying, “You look pretty good.  I just hope you won‘t say anything embarrassing.” 

(CROSSTALK)

YARVITZ:  Mom, I‘m going to try not to.

ROGERS:  ... do this for Mike and his parents.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, here is a moment of truth.  We took the field sobriety test before, Officer, and let‘s go ahead and show it for you right there.  Look at that.  It is a .12, exactly what Mel Gibson—how many drinks did you have to get to .12? 

YARVITZ:  That was about four drinks, between four to five drinks, and that got me to a .12. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Then again, the only—probably the only slanderous comments you would make, since you‘re a man of good taste...

YARVITZ:  Of course.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... would be attacks against the New York Yankees, right? 

YARVITZ:  Well, I‘m a lifelong Red Sox fan. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, well, talk about again—you‘ve also—and we wanted to set it up this way, where people could blog into you at MSNBC.  You‘re going to do, of course, be doing this after the show from your home tonight.  But as people blogged in, you were able to communicate back and forth with them.  What were you hearing from people that were writing in? 

YARVITZ:  You know, the reaction was a little mixed.  There were some people saying it‘s not a fair comparison.  But then, you know, there were a lot of positives things saying, you know, .12, you know, for him to be at that point and to be spurting, you know, anti-Semitic comments are a little ridiculous. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re fairly articulate, by the way, .12 for a Syracuse grad, which I would say would be a bigger inhairment—impairment.  And here I am.  I can‘t even talk, a ‘Bama grad, but that‘s my excuse.  That‘s my impairment.

So, again, bottom line is here...

ROGERS:  Never drink and drive. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You never drink and drive.  He‘s over the legal limit right now, but again barely over the legal limit, and certainly not in a state that would justify that type of outrageous behavior. 

ROGERS:  No, definitely not.  In fact, when he was blogging, he typed every single letter and number right on target.  He didn‘t even have a problem moving his fingers around. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  And, again, he‘s not going to drive home. 

ROGERS:  Oh, no.

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re going make sure? 

ROGERS:  We‘re going make sure. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, can you give real quickly a field sobriety test, again, a .12.  Stand over here, Mike, as we fade to black. 

ROGERS:  Move closer, Mike.

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, Mike, let‘s see.

ROGERS:  OK, fingers like this, fist, fingers out, head tilted back. 

OK, OK, all right.  Left hand, OK. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So he passed that. 

ROGERS:  He passed that.  OK, now I want you to walk, hands out like this.  OK, now, walk a straight line towards me, like I showed you.  There you go. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Look at that.

ROGERS:  Well, he passed that.

SCARBOROUGH:  He passed.

ROGERS:  OK, so...

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, friends, well, the SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY scientific experiment passes.  We don‘t buy Mel‘s alibi.  That‘s all the time we have for tonight.  We‘ll see you tomorrow.

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

END    

Copy: Content and programming copyright 2006 MSNBC.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2006 Voxant, Inc. ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon MSNBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

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