updated 8/16/2006 11:21:01 AM ET 2006-08-16T15:21:01

Guests: John Fund, Jason Thomas, John Stossel, Megan Quinn, Tyson Slocum, James Hirsen, Flavia Colgan, Jill Dobson, Tom O‘Neil

JOE SCARBOROUGH, SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY:  I tell you what!  Boy, look at Keith, man. He is turning it off. I have one here, too. I am not happy about it. Thank you so much, Keith. 

And, Keith, when you get back from that computer you may want to stick around and watch SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY tonight, because we‘re asking:  Is our president an idiot?  It is not just the opinion of a has-been pop star, it‘s rally cries of liberals and some conservatives world wide.  Is George Bush playing dumb or is he just plain dumb? 

Then, exclusive, a mystery 9/11 hero reveals his identity after seeing his heroics in an ad for an Oliver Stone movie.  And emotional interview with Rita, coming up.

And the 16 most obnoxious celebrities from News Max. See who made the list, and why.

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

We have those stories and a lot more, but first former pop star Linda Ronstadt, you remember, “You‘re no good, you‘re no good, baby, you‘re no good.  Well, Linda has joined the long list of celebrities and other public figures who berated President Bush for his lack of intelligence. But it is not just singers and movie stars who are suggesting that George Bush‘s mental weakness is damaging America‘s credibility at home and abroad.

Ronstadt said this earlier:  “The Dixie Chicks said they were embarrassed he was from Texas.I‘m embarrassed George Bush is from the United States [The president] is an idiot.He‘s enormously incompetent, on both the domestic and international scenes.”

That is, no doubt, a sentiment that is shared in some of the capitals of our friends and foes alike. Maybe because the president has such a long history of public gaffs, but is that evidence that George W. Bush is stupid or just inarticulate.

Take a look, and decide for yourself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP MONTAGE) 

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I think tide turning

as I remember it, I was raised in the desert, but tides—it is easy to see a tide turn. Did I say those words?

No question that the enemy has tried to spread sectarian violence.

They use violence as a tool to do that.

We need an energy bill that encourages consumption. 

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking of new ways to harm our country and our people.  And neither to we; we must never stop thinking about how best to defend our country.

I am the decider, and I decide what is best.

The United States of America is engaged in a war against an extremist group of folks.

Families is where our nation finds hope; where wings take dream.

If you don‘t stand for anything, you don‘t stand for --   anything. 

If you don‘t stand for something, you don‘t stand for anything. 

Fool me once, shame on you—fool me—you can‘t get fooled again.

In my State of the—my State of the Union—my speech to the nation, whatever you want to call it.

At the high school level and find out that the literacy level of our children are appalling.

I hear there are rumors on the Internets that we are going have a draft.

You are working hard to put food on family.

I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.

Tribal sovereignty means that, it‘s sovereign.  If you a—you‘re a -

you have been given sovereignty, and you are viewed as—a sovereign entity.  And, therefore, the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities.          

They muster—mis-underestimated the compassion of our country.  I think they mis-underestimated the will and the determination of the commander in chief, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP MONTAGE) 

SCARBOROUGH:  Sounds like me.

So, is the president intelligence?  Do we need a brilliant president or just somebody who surrounds himself with the right people?  Here to help us answer that question, Lawrence O‘Donnell, a political analyst; also John Fund, from OpinionJournal.com.

Now, John, this isn‘t just about Linda Ronstadt, I‘ve heard Republicans, and Democrats start saying this privately.  Liberals and conservatives, heck, Frenchmen and friends alike, talk privately about George W. Bush, and they are saying what these music stars and rock stars are saying, that George Bush‘s lack of gravitas is hurting America at home and embarrassing us abroad. Is that a fair question to ask?

JOHN FUND, OPINIONJOURNAL.COM:  It‘s the wrong question.  Look, George Bush wakes up every morning and for the whole day he arm wrestles the English language and he often looses.  He‘s inarticulate, that is the not the same thing as being stupid. The inarticulate can often be shrewd and the fluent can often fatuous.  I think one of the people he‘s—

SCARBOROUGH:  So, he just has a failure, he cannot communicate well. 

That‘s what you‘re telling me?

FUND:  Well, look Voltaire once said that common sense is both rare and a lot more important to successful leadership than intelligence.  And I agree.  Here‘s the thing, the author of “Bushisms”, Jacob Wiesberg (ph), who is the liberal editor of Slate.com, he has plowed through almost everything George Bush has ever said. He concluded that Bush has a linguistic deficit, and he said that‘s no sign that there is any lack of mental capacity there.

SCARBOROUGH:   Well, there is not, but -- 

FUND:  There are two different problems here. He‘s inarticulate, but he‘s not stupid.  And I have to tell you, you know, our foreign policy may be in a little bit of trouble right now, but we are presiding over a nation with 4.8 percent unemployment and 2.5 percent inflation.

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, you are talking about foreign policy, though.  John, one of the president‘s former aids, who worked with the president on foreign policy, has been close with him for a long time, told me recently that he‘s intellectually shallow and one of the most incurious public figures this man had ever met.  We hear that from congressmen. I hear from the senators.

FUND:  Joe, let me tell you what I hear—

SCARBOROUGH:  I from staff members, shouldn‘t that concern us?

FUND:  Yes.  Let me tell you two things that do concern me.  Someone once told me a long time ago George Bush is a great guy, but the smirk is real.  There is a smart aleck nature to him.  I would say that while he‘s intelligent he is always imaginative. I wish there were a little bit more imagination and curiosity.

SCARBOROUGH:  I agree with you. You know, we‘re not the only ones who‘ve noticed George Bush‘s blunders.  Recently “The Daily Show” picked up on his obsession with food.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

JON STEWART, THE DAILY SHOW:  President Bush was overseas, in Germany, as events unfolded here is his press conference Chancellor Angela Merkel, in Germany, where he wasted no time addressing the many troubling developments.

BUSH:  I‘m looking forward to feast you‘re going to have tonight. I understand I may have the honor of slicing the pig.

STEWART:  I am just going to assume that is some kind of euphemism for solving the Middle East crisis.

BUSH:  And I guess that is about all—we have discussed a lot of things in other words.  And thank you for having me, looking forward to that pig tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:   Does it concern you that the Beirut airport has been bombed?  And do you see a risk of truly a wider war?  And on Iran, they have so far refused to respond. Is it now past the deadline? Do they still have more time to respond?

BUSH:  I thought you were going to ask about the pig.

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Lawrence, Democrats and liberals love to talk about how stupid Ronald Reagan was; and then this book came out of Regan‘s letters and they changed their opinion overnight.  Do you think the same thing could happen with George W. Bush?

LAWRENCE O‘DONNELL, POLITICAL ANALYST:  Well, boy, this guy is so easy to make fun of.  I mean, possibly, the easiest ever, at this point.  The prejudice against Reagan, Joe, was almost entirely the fact that he was an actor.  There was a presumption that he‘s dumb because he used to be an actor. 

There was not any real overt evidence there. You could run this kind of set of clips on Ronald Reagan. You just didn‘t get this kind of gaff from him, in a consistent basis.

You know, I mean, John Fund wants to say the president is intelligent.  I don‘t know the president. I don‘t know how you can make the judgment that he is intelligent without working very closely with him, because he doesn‘t make a lot of public exhibition of a dazzling intelligence.  It just isn‘t there.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Lawrence, it is interesting. If you look at clips of George Bush, though, when he was governor of Texas, he seemed so much more confident. He seemed so much more self-assured.

O‘DONNELL:  I agree.

SCARBOROUGH:  And it is almost like the more he stumbles over his tongue, the more he realizes that he‘s maybe overmatched by the English language, and it seems he is losing confidence, by the day. He is getting worse instead of better.

O‘DONNELL:  It looks like he is overmatched by the job. It looks like he‘s overwhelmed by it and it is just out of his league, especially ever since Katrina. From Katrina onward, his imagery feeds a level of incompetence that is very unusual.

And so everything he does now, he is allowed no margin of error on these kinds of gaffs now, where as if he had had a bunch of real policy successes to point to, and if  Iraq—look, if Iraq was a real policy success, that guy could fall down everywhere he went and he would be getting standing ovations.

SCARBOROUGH:  And nobody is—

(CROSS TALK)  

FUND:  Joe, ultimately, we‘re having this conversation, because -- 

SCARBOROUGH:  Wait, hold on one second.  I want to ask you this, though, John.  You can talk about that, but also talk about how Republicans, it seems like most Republican presidents, we just showed a shot of Gerald Ford.  He was painted as a dunce.  Ronald Reagan painted as a dunce. 

O‘DONNELL:  Eisenhower.

SCARBOROUGH:  I remember Eisenhower, hearing how stupid Eisenhower was, which, of course, the guy was about as shrewd and calculated as you could be. And now they‘re saying that about George Bush, but I think George Bush is in a league by himself. I don‘t think he has the intellectual depth, as these other people, but do we need that as a president?

FUND:  I think we would be a lot better off criticizing the policies.  I‘ve criticized many of the policies.  But you know, let‘s put this into perspective. You mentioned all the Republicans what have developed a reputation for being dim witted. I just have a question. 

Obviously, intelligence is not congregated on just one side of the political spectrum, can anyone name me a well-known Democrat, in modern history, who has ever developed a poplar media image as being stupid or dimwitted.  You can‘t come up with one.  They‘re aren‘t any.  So, it‘s only Republicans who develop this dumb image. Some of them really are dumb. But some of them is just a substitute for argument, because you don‘t want to argue their policies so you dismiss them as being stupid.  There are no Democrats who have this image.

SCARBOROUGH:  This is a fascinating conversation. I would like to continue it later. Lawrence O‘Donnell, John Fund, thanks for being with me.

I just want to say one other thing. Sometimes you can have somebody like Michael Dukakis, that gets too far down in the weeds. And Jimmy Carter -- I remember hearing stories about Dukakis, reading Swedish land-use books while on vacations, or becoming so depressed after reading about SALT II treaties, that he basically had to go to bed for a couple of days. We don‘t want that either. But we do need a president who, I think, is intellectually curious. And that is a big question, whether George W. Bush has the intellectual curiousness—if that‘s a word—to continue leading this country over the next couple of years? 

Coming up next, on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, the mystery Marine of 9/11. He saved victims from ground zero. And he‘s a main character in Oliver Stone‘s new film, but no one knew who he was until now, our exclusive with this 9/11 hero coming up.

Plus, NASA looses the moon landing tapes, but it is not only that one video that has mysteriously disappeared, special SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY investigation coming up.  And later, a picture of the world without oil. No cars, no air conditioning, and no more suburbs. Dire predictions of a Mad Max apocalypse on the horizon.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

SCARBOROUGH:  Curiousness? I just created a Bushism myself.

Coming up next, what is the real reason behind Angelina Jolee‘s charity work? A new list that points the finger at the most obnoxious celebrities.  We‘ll let you be the judge.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back.

The mystery hero of 9/11 has been revealed. Now for years authorities tried to figure out who the mystery Marine was that showed up at ground zero on 9/11. Then helped save a pair of New York City police officers, and quickly vanished. The story of that rescue plays out in Oliver Stone‘s new movie “World Trade Center”.

And now the mystery rescuer has come forward to say that he‘s the many who‘s heroics saved two lives that day.  He‘s Retired Marine Sergeant Jason Thomas, who rushed to ground zero that morning.  He came forward to reveal himself only after seeing a commercial for Oliver Stone‘s film. 

Rita Cosby sat down with Sergeant Thomas tonight for his first NBC interview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RITA COSBY, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Thanks, so much Joe.  And I am now joined by a true hero here in America, former U.S. Marine Sergeant Jason Thomas.

Jason, you know, how do you feel when you found out that the film, “World Trade Center” is about you?

SGT. JASON THOMAS, U.S. MARINES (RET.):  I will not say ecstatic. I wasn‘t, you know, I just didn‘t know they were making a movie about the events that occurred on 9/11.

COSBY:  Then you find out that—you know, your profile, they have been looking for you all this time. All they knew, there is a Sergeant Thomas who helped heroically rescue these two guys. You saw it on a commercial, right?

THOMAS:  Yes, I did.

COSBY:  What was your reaction?

THOMAS:  I was like, wow, that‘s myself and Staff Sergeant Kerns (ph), or these are characters who are depicting us.  And I didn‘t know anything about it.

COSBY:  In fact, the character, the person who plays you, is a Caucasian. They had to sort of pick someone they thought resembled just a character the person. How did you feel seeing somebody dramatically different than you?

(LAUGHTER)

THOMAS:  I—that did not bother me at all. My thing was the message.  The message that movie—I did see all the trailers leading up to. But I just said to myself, you know, the message is supposed to be much stronger.  And the world needs to see this movie. I was happy that movie came out. And I was hoping that New York was ready for it.

COSBY:  And the message is powerful.  I saw the film. I was crying during it. It is very moving. Take us back, though. You were there. It‘s 9/11. You find out what happens. What do you do?

THOMAS:  I took it personally, the attack, personally. That‘s my city.  I felt, you know—I didn‘t think it was an accident. I saw—my mother‘s actually told me about the plane flying—

COSBY:  You were at your mom‘s house?

THOMAS:  I at my mother‘s house, I just dropped my daughter off. And I get to the door she tells me, a plane just flew into one of the buildings.  I said, what do you mean? She is like, a plane just flew into the World Trade Center.

COSBY:  And you throw on your uniform.

THOMAS:  I throw on the uniform and I just head to New York. I get to the city. And the only thing I remember doing was—I‘m sorry—I‘m sorry.

COSBY:  It‘s tough to think about.

THOMAS:  It really is.

COSBY:  What did you see when you got there?

THOMAS:  When I got there I saw the second tower collapse. And it was devastating, you know, to see what these two buildings—this one building collapse, and it meant so much to America. It meant so much to New York.  And you think of how many lives were lost. That‘s the first thing I thought of.

COSBY:  Want to show a clip, too.  Because you get to the point where you‘re actually going through the rubble.

(BEGIN VIDEO MOVIE CLIP) 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:   Get down there with all this gear, buddy. Try this.  Marine K bar, that‘s a snack (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thanks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You got a name, Marine?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Staff Sergeant Kerns.  Do you have something a little shorter?

                UNIDENTIFIED MALE:   Staff Sergeant.

                UNIDENTIFIED MALE:   OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You all right? OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  My wife is Pat Straus. Tell her and my kids that I love them.

(END VIDEO MOVIE CLIP) 

COSBY:  You know when you that, and that‘s when you realized at that moment, someone is live down there.  How did you realize?  What was—was there a sound or a voice?

THOMAS:  I knew that people were—I knew at that stage that there

were people already in the hole. That part there showed—it made it feel

that we didn‘t know that there was someone down there. We knew, myself and

Staff Sergeant Kerns, that there were two officers down there.  We heard

them call out. And I heard -

COSBY:  Because you heard them, sounds like.

THOMAS:  We heard them call out and heard—

COSBY:  What a feeling that must have been?

THOMAS:  It was, but I started to second guess myself. I was there all day helping out, helping setting up triage, putting out fires and that sort of thing.  I didn‘t think that they—I second guessed myself. I had to ask Sergeant Kerns. I said, I think, I heard a voice. He ended up running over to the beam, that we were on, and laying on our stomach. And we both called down in the hole. And we heard a voice. And at that stage I really didn‘t recognize what was being said. But all I knew was that we got someone. We got a person down here that need our help.

COSBY:  Why didn‘t you come forward sooner? And do you think you‘re going to see the film?

THOMAS:  When the event occurred, I don‘t think it was something that I should bring out. I was doing a job. I was doing my job as a Marine. You know, I kicked in that Marine mentality. I was fresh out of the military. I had all this training.  And my whole thing was I wanted to help. And once I did, I felt mission accomplished, that‘s it. Let me go back to my life.

COSBY:  You are going to see the films, now that it‘s out?

THOMAS:  I am not going to see the film at this time. That clip really

it‘s very emotional, you see, just to see that clip. It may not be as accurate—as the events were, but—not yet ready for it.

COSBY:  Sergeant Thomas, you‘re a real a hero, and inspire a lot of Americans to be a hero.

THOMAS:  No, I‘m not a hero. The people who lost their lives in that building, they are the heroes. The people that ran back in the buildings to help others, they should be shown, you know, recognized for their heroism.  I was just doing—a mission. I was on a mission, God‘s mission. That‘s it.

COSBY:  Thank you for everything you did.  Thanks so much.

THOMAS:  You‘re welcome. Thank you for having me.

(END VIDEOTAPE) 

Well. Whether he calls himself a hero or not, we do, in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Rita, thanks so much for that great interview. 

Coming up, will the end of oil mean the end of civilization as we know it? See how some people are already preparing for a chaotic future after oil.

Plus, a not so hot pursuit caught on tape. A skinny dipping suspect tries to run but he can‘t hide. That‘s tonight‘s must see S.C.!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

SCARBOROUGH:  Time for tonight‘s “Must See S.C. Video”, you‘ve got to see.

First up, Kansas City, Missouri:  Now, we‘ve shown you high speed chases, showed you bear chases, but this one tops the all.  Kansas City Police chase this robbery suspect into the Kansas River, after he tried to outrun them.  The suspect shed all of his clothes and attempted to escape the cops. 

I‘m not exactly sure why, but they he didn‘t manage to swim too far.  The police carefully cuffed him and took him in. Book him, Danno. Put some boxers on him.

And finally, what were those crazy Germans think up next? Apparently bathtub races. They call this event the Annual Bathtub Race, but these don‘t look like any tubs we have ever used in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

The goal of the race is to get your tub from one side of the river, to the other.  And now word yet on how much German beer was consumed during this interesting adventure.

Coming up next, we‘re get Mad Max. Some experts say the real apocalypse is going to start when our oil supply dries up in the not too distant future. How concerned should you be? Plus, NASA claims it lost the moon landing tapes, out there with our lost Laura Ingram tapes? A SCARBOROUGH investigation straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

(NEWSBREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up, Paris Hilton says she‘s unspoiled, and Sean Penn says he‘s a pacifist.  Hollywood‘s top hypocrites and why we love to hate them.

Plus, things are getting desperate at “The View,” as Bree Van De Kamp lashes out at Barbara Walters.  Meow!  If you thought Rosie versus Star was bad, wait until you hear about this desperate fight. 

Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  We‘re going to be talking about those stories straight ahead.

But first, it‘s a nightmare of an apocalyptic scale:  the threat to civilization posed by the eventual running dry of the world‘s oil reserves.  This isn‘t coming from a doomsday cult or a Hollywood movie; it‘s some policymakers who are saying today‘s suburbs could become the slums of tomorrow. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This is the American dream... 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Normal is living in suburbs.  Normal is consuming like there‘s no tomorrow. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  America took all of its post-war wealth and invested it in a living arrangement that has no future. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  There is this specific American dream that got packaged and sold.  It is unsustainable. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Here with us now, ABC newsman John Stossel.  He‘s the author, of course, of the best-selling book, “Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel, Why Everything You Know is Wrong.”  We also have Peak Oil leader Megan Quinn and outreach director for the Community Solution.  We also have Tyson Slocum.  He is the director of Public Citizen‘s Energy Program. 

Megan, let‘s start with you.  You‘re preparing for the end of American society as we know it, certainly the end of suburban society, this consumption society, when you say our oil reserves are going to run out in the near future.  What you are all doing to prepare for that, and how bad is it going to get? 

MEGAN QUINN, OUTREACH DIRECTOR, THE COMMUNITY SOLUTION:  Well, oil isn‘t running out.  What we‘re doing is we‘re actually reaching the peak of global oil production.  And what that means is that we‘re halfway through the resource.  But from the peak, we have declining oil production.  Meanwhile demand is soaring, as we all know. 

So the peak actually is the fundamental change from a society of cheap and abundant oil, a society that is allowed to grow into the suburbs, to an era of scarce and expensive oil.  And that‘s what people are starting to prepare for around the country. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, according to this month‘s cover issue of “Harpers” magazine, titled “Imagine There is No Oil: Scenes from a Liberal Apocalypse,” peak oilers say, quote, “Violent chaos will rule after the collapse of oil production, and the oilers‘ hope is to ride this time out in self-sufficient interim communities they call lifeboats.” 

Megan, here‘s a drawing from your organization of a planned lifeboat where each home will be smaller than 1,000 square feet and will be built with straw bales, cordwood and stick adobe.  And there will be no driveways, garages, streets, lights, or air-conditioners.  There will be only wood bathroom per home with a composting toilet. 

Megan, is it going to really come to that? 

QUINN:  Well, violence and chaos, that scenario is a possibility. 

And, you know, we saw it with Hurricane Katrina how bad things got that we weren‘t expecting it. 

So I think what people are doing is preparing for the worst even while expecting the best.  And so these lifeboats that you mentioned is a way that people can, in their communities, start to prepare.  And what they‘re looking at is local food production, local energy production, security for their households and their families, but also security at the community level.  And I think that‘s intelligent to do, no matter what happens. 

SCARBOROUGH:  John Stossel, are we running out of oil, and are we facing an apocalypse like “Harpers” claims we are? 

JOHN STOSSEL, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  No, I don‘t think so.  The doomsayers have been saying things like that for years.  Remember, it was the overpopulation that was going to cause violent chaos and mass starvation in the streets.  I mean, even Megan‘s group said peak oil was going to happen in 1970, and then they changed it to 2000.  But 2006 was record production.  So it will happen someday, but we keep finding new oil. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But it won‘t be the death of the suburban dream, as this film shows us? 

STOSSEL:  Well, we have supplies of coal and uranium to fuel America for a hundred years.  Right now, there is oil shale in just one province of Canada that‘s enough to fuel America for 100 years.  The price is going to go up.  The price is already up.  But at that price, it‘s profitable to pull oil out of the shale. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But we‘ve heard for years that U.S. oil consumption alone is going to dry up all the oil reserves across the world.  Is that one of those myths that you talk about in your book? 

STOSSEL:  Well, we do consume more than other people do around the world.  But it implies so little faith in human ingenuity.  We keep finding more oil in more places and, at today‘s prices, we‘re going to find a lot of new oil. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And so you don‘t think that we‘re facing any sort of doomsday scenario anytime soon? 

STOSSEL:  I used to believe these doomsday prophesies, but I‘ve stopped believing in them.  Remember Y2K was going to shut down all the computers, crash the planes, shut down the electric supply?  The swine flu was going to kill thousands of Americans?  Then bird flu?  It just goes on and on. 

TYSON SLOCUM, DIRECTOR, PUBLIC CITIZEN‘S ENERGY PROGRAM:  John, where exactly are we going to find this new oil?  I mean, the fact is, is that 75 percent of the world‘s oil resources are located in parts of the world that are openly hostile to U.S. interests.  Depending upon a future based upon oil to fuel our economy is a doomsday scenario.  We may not have reached peak oil yet.  But even if we haven‘t, the fact is, is that the United States only has 1.7 percent of the world‘s oil. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Tyson, so does that mean that it‘s going to be the end of the suburban American dream as we know it? 

SLOCUM:  Well, I think we definitely need to change some of our practices to become more sustainable.  Does that entail incredibly radical steps?  Not necessarily.  I mean, all we have to do is start increasing investments in things like mass transit so that more people can have options to do something other than jump in their car. 

We can increase investments in alternative fuels, in electric-powered cars, bigger investments in energy efficiency.  I mean, right now, America‘s energy policy as put together by the Bush administration is giving huge subsidies to oil companies.  That‘s what last year‘s energy bill did.

SCARBOROUGH:  John Stossel, I know you‘re not a big friend of oil subsidies, but those other things that were ticked off, do you think that may be a way for us to avert a coming crisis? 

STOSSEL:  It‘s possible, but no.  They talk in terms of, “Let‘s invest.”  But when he says, “We should invest,” what the left is really saying is, “Give us your money.  We will come and forcibly take your money for a Manhattan Project that will invest in some form of cure that we believe in.”  And these boondoggles have taken billions of dollars from Americans.  Remember the synfuels project?  Time and time again. 

Prices are high now.  That gets the private sector to search for oil, which is far better than turning our freedom over to government bureaucrats who are going to find the cure. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And you don‘t think the price of oil skyrocketing is necessarily a bad thing, do you? 

STOSSEL:  Well, it‘s bad for a lot of people who are struggling to pay for it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Right.  But just as far as the future...

STOSSEL:  But that‘s the market helping solve the problem.

SCARBOROUGH:  The market solves the problem, because it goes up, people search for more oil, people start conserving oil?  The market drives car companies to make cars that will get 40 miles to a gallon instead of 15 miles to a gallon, is that where the free hand of the marketplace helps solve this problem? 

STOSSEL:  And in the oil sands of Canada, which last I checked was a friendly country, we have enough, says Shell oil, to fuel America for about 100 years. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you, John.  Thank you, Megan.  Thank you, Tyson.  Greatly appreciate it. 

And word out today that NASA can‘t find the raw tapes from Apollo 11.  Can you believe that?  Yes, that‘s the one where Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.  These same people who won the space race can‘t find home movies from America‘s first trip to the moon. 

It would sound shocking but for the fact that we here at MSNBC are a bit sympathetic with NASA right now.  We know how hard it is to keep track of some videotapes.  For example, just look what happened to the tapes of the MSNBC show for Laura Ingraham, a woman who took some very vicious personal shots at me recently. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Bill, I‘m telling you, I have looked through all of these shelves.  I have no idea where the tapes are. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What tapes? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The Laura Ingraham tapes for the 10th anniversary special we‘re doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, yes, yes, 10th anniversary, brilliant. 

Brilliant idea. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, they‘re not here. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, hey, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey.  What‘s up (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What you doing? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Not much.  Not much.  Just getting pension reform tapes. 

Good to see you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, pension reform tapes, brilliant. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Talk to you guys later.  I‘m late.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Brilliant guy.  Brilliant.  Wonderful. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  But where are these tapes? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Take a look at me...

(MUSIC PLAYING)

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hey, Joe, crazy question.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, Chris, what‘s up? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You don‘t happen to know where the Laura Ingraham show tapes are, do you? 

SCARBOROUGH:  The what? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You remember when she was on MSNBC?  I‘ve been looking everywhere for them. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, yes, I do recall that.  No, no, I haven‘t seen them.  Good luck, man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  Well, let me know if you see them. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  Hey, buddy. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes?

SCARBOROUGH:  We ought to try booking her again sometime soon. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did she rate? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Not really, but give the girl a second chance. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  All right.  We‘ll do it.  Bye.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, see you tonight. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, in the words of Krusty the clown, I kid because I love. 

Coming up, Barbara Walters tried to out one of the “Desperate Housewives” on national TV.  Now Bree Van De Kamp is out for revenge. 

And up next, the top 16 celebrities that drive Newsmax crazy, from Angelina Jolie to Tom Cruise and every other obnoxious star in between. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  She‘s a celebrity who‘s most famous for, well, just being famous, but Paris Hilton is also one of the 16 people who made the list of Hollywood‘s most obnoxious stars, that according to “Newsmax” magazine.”

Here is the author of that piece, James Hirsen, who is also the author of “Hollywood Nation.”  Also us with, we have Flavia Colgan, an MSNBC contributor and correspondent for “Extra.”

Let‘s start with you, James.  How did you make up the list? 

JAMES HIRSEN, NEWSMAX.COM:  Well, we have our double-secret methodology using a Newsmax focus group and reader feedback.  And the difference in this list from our traditional magazine list in the summer, where we talk about celebrities, is this one we used 10 criteria, including weird, pretentious, plastic, so—and, of course, maybe perhaps most important, irritating.  So that created some surprises, and it‘s an apolitical list to a great extent.  Politics is not the only criteria.

SCARBOROUGH:  You say it‘s apolitical, but let me read off some names here that I see.  Barbra Streisand, Sharon Stone, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Michael Moore, Harry Belafonte, Cybill Shepherd, Danny Glover, Rob Reiner, Johnny Depp, I mean, the overwhelming majority of these people on the list certainly didn‘t contribute to George Bush‘s campaign.  It seems to me a very political list. 

HIRSEN:  Well, it‘s very hard to put together a list, as you know, Joe, in Hollywood without picking people that have gone left.  But Paris Hilton, as you pointed out, is a good example of the kind of surprise.  Paris Hilton gets an irritating response no matter who you talk to on the political spectrum.  You talk to celebrities; you talk to producers; you talk to experts.  And I think it has to do with her being the personification of Andy Warhol‘s predictions. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And what about Sharon Stone?  What makes her so obnoxious? 

HIRSEN:  Well, Sharon Stone‘s promotion of her film, “Basic Instinct 2,” which she sort of peddled as a soft-core film, and her subsequent lecture to young people that they ought to practice safe sex by having oral sex, I think those two things qualified her for the list. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Flavia, you know some people on this list, a good number of people on this list.  What do you think about Newsmax‘s top 16 most obnoxious? 

FLAVIA COLGAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Well, look, I take umbrage with a bunch of them.  I‘m not going to here and defend Paris Hilton, who‘s obviously famous for being famous, but, you know, of course, ironically, James, you know, criticizes most of the people in this list for saying they‘re hypocritical and, of course, is using their names to sell magazines.  But he just brought up Sharon Stone, so let‘s stay on Sharon Stone. 

And I‘m not going to defend everything she‘s ever done.  But, Joe, as you know, I put together a—helped to put together a big concert out here at Camp Pendleton for 50,000 Marines to raise money for their children.  And on two days notice, Sharon Stone shows up, spends the entire evening talking to these soldiers, provides thousands and thousands of shoes for needy children. 

And you know what?  None of us live up to the values and ideals that we espouse every day.  But I‘m not going to then steamroll all over the wonderful and positive things that they do to use their celebrity just because I don‘t agree with everything they say. 

And when you look down this list, it is so hard to think that it‘s not completely political.  It‘s a Democrat after Democrat.  And each one is saying how, you know, it‘s very hypocritical that they don‘t live up to everything.  Well, you know what?  Like I said, none of us do. 

And to imply that Angelina Jolie gives a third of her income and is a goodwill ambassador, you know, for ulterior motives, what, are Namibian children going to buy, you know, tickets to her movies?  It‘s so cynical, and it‘s so hateful, and I don‘t see why we have to tear people down. 

SCARBOROUGH:  James Hirsen, let me bring...

COLGAN:  And I am certainly not in the business...

SCARBOROUGH:  James, let me bring you back in here, because obviously there a lot of people that would see Angelina Jolie on that list and say exactly what Flavia said. 

HIRSEN:  Sure, sure.

SCARBOROUGH:  She gives a third...

(CROSSTALK)

HIRSEN:  There is—look...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... she tides a third to charity.  So people say, you know what, even if she‘s a little quirky...

HIRSEN:  No, and we acknowledge that, Joe.  We acknowledge that in the magazine.  I mean, this is a ribbing list.  There‘s nothing hateful about it.  And the fact is we acknowledge the good things about Angelina and Brad.

But look, you know, Brad Pitt just appeared two days on the “Today” show over something that was all symbols over substance.  It had to do with the homeless in New Orleans.  Angelina Jolie has another side.  I mean, the reason that people are irritated by her is that she had the blood around her neck from Billy Bob Thornton, she had the alleged affair with a model.  She also has sort of been involved with—you know, it‘s her dark side.  I mean, tattoos and removal of tattoos, et cetera.

So, I mean, what this is, is not a list of hating people.  And Tom Cruise is on the list.  Tom Cruise has never been brought up as a political person. 

COLGAN:  James—

SCARBOROUGH:  We‘re not exactly sure where Tom sits. 

(CROSSTALK)

COLGAN:  James, I want...

SCARBOROUGH:  Flavia, I‘ll give you the final word. 

COLGAN:  James, you know, I want to send James to places all around the world with these folks who have raised money and given money for hospitals, and for clothing, and tell those children, “You know what?  I know you‘re fed today and you have a roof over your head, but Angelina Jolie, the person who gave it to you, used to have tattoos.  She might be doing this for ulterior motives.” 

You know what?  It‘s just silly.  There are so many other things.  And I don‘t know why it has to constantly be pushing the negative.  And in your same publication, you have Rush Limbaugh and Bill O‘Reilly and other people that are far more hypocritical than these celebrities, who could be sitting in their gilded mansions eating their Bon Bons, but instead—and sometimes not perfectly—instead decide to go out and make a difference. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We‘ve got to go.  I‘ve got to eat some Bon Bons.  We‘ll be right back.  And you can get that list on Newsmax.com.  Thanks, Flavia.  Thanks, James.  We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, friends, it‘s time to take a trip to Hollyweird once again.  First up, another Hollywood celebrity made at Barbara Walter‘s “View.” 

“Desperate Housewives” star Marcia Cross grabbed headlines when she gabbed with the women of “The View” over a year ago, but now she‘s saying she‘s still angry at Walters for asking her if she was gay.  With me now for all the scoop on why residents of Hollywood need a reality check, we‘ve got, from “Star” magazine with us again, Jill Dobson, and senior editor for “InTouch Weekly,” Tom O‘Neil. 

Hey, Tom, let me start with you.  What‘s Barbara Walters thinking asking this desperate housewife if she‘s gay with no proof of it? 

TOM O‘NEIL, “INTOUCH WEEKLY”:  Well, at this point, also, in the story last year, Marcia was clearly dating a guy.  And Barbara did this while Marcia was there with her parents in the front row of this show.  This is really despicable.  She is famous for doing this.  If you remember Barbara‘s interview with Ricky Martin a few years ago, she was hammering him.  “Are you gay?  Are you gay?  Are you gay?  Are you gay?”  I think she just does this because she knows she‘s safe.  We‘re never going to ask her about her sex life. 

SCARBOROUGH:  God, I hope not.  So what‘s her obsession with gays and lesbians?  And why do you think she would do that?  How cold-hearted do you have to be?  I mean, you know, you could bring anybody on my show, and if their mom and dad were in here, I‘d be nice to them.  I mean, how cold-hearted do you have to be ask her an unsubstantiated rumor with her parents sitting on the front row? 

O‘NEIL:  I think you have to be very insensitive, and I think this is where Barbara really goes over the line for the sake of ratings.  If you saw that Ricky Martin thing, it was really painful.  She wouldn‘t let up.  And she kept plugging him, and he finally kept saying, “Let‘s leave a little bit of Ricky for Ricky.”  And then she finally dropped the question.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, you can leave all of Ricky for Ricky that you want.  So talk about this.  There‘s sort of a follow up where the desperate housewife becomes a housewife and gets the last laugh.  Tell me about it.

JILL DOBSON, “STAR” MAGAZINE:  That‘s right.  Marcia Cross got married on June 25th.  So you know what?  She proved that she‘s straight once and for all.  And not only that, but she handled herself well during the interview.  And I understand why she was upset.  On the other hand, Barbara is trying to maintain that she‘s a serious journalist and is still going to ask the hard questions even if she is hosting “The View.” 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, I mean, that‘s just so way off base.  But, of course, like you said, she got married and, as we all know, there are no gays or lesbians who ever get married.

DOBSON:  Never.

SCARBOROUGH:  Never.  But she did get the last laugh, and it certainly makes Walters look stupid. 

Now, speaking of stupid, I saw the stupidest article.  You know you‘re in trouble when Colin Farrell is calling you up, telling you to straighten up.  Of course, Colin Farrell called party girl Lindsay Lohan to tell her she needed to slow down.  You talk about the pot calling the kettle black. 

Tom, your magazine is reporting on this story.  What‘s going on here? 

O‘NEIL:  Yes, he‘s trying—now that he‘s sober, he‘s trying to get Hollywood sober one ex-girlfriend at a time.  He called her up and he said, “Hey, baby, when I was partying, I never missed work like you‘re missing work.”  And, of course, now she‘s getting yelled at by “Hanoi” Jane Fonda and the others while she‘s filming this movie, and she‘s in big trouble.  But, you know, I wonder about Colin‘s intentions, actually, because he keeps saying, “Well, honey, if you want to get sober, you can lean on me.” 

SCARBOROUGH:  Lean on me, baby.  I bet he‘d like that.  And of course, she is in trouble, isn‘t she?  I mean, here‘s somebody who‘s trying desperately to be taken seriously.  She was on the cover of “W” with Meryl Streep.  She wants to go to Iraq with Hillary Clinton, and yet she can‘t wake up to show up on set on time. 

DOBSON:  Right, that was the problem on the set of “Georgia Rules.”  Of course, the producer wrote her a scathing letter, just reaming her for missing work.  And, of course, what had happened was she‘d been seen out at night clubs and then missed work the next day due to exhaustion and then was out partying again that same night.  So there has been some scandal surrounding Lindsay.  And it‘s probably good advice.  It‘s just a little ironic that it‘s coming from Colin Farrell. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, from Colin Farrell, of all people.

And finally, Britney Spears‘ main man has been named “Esquire” magazine‘s worst dressed.  No, we‘re not talking about Kevin Federline.  We‘re talking about baby Sean Preston. 

Tom, that‘s just hurtful.  A baby, the worst dressed in America? 

O‘NEIL:  Oh, come on, that kid is probably in the same diaper he was born in...

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, ouch.

O‘NEIL:  ... if he takes after his daddy.

SCARBOROUGH:  Ouch.

O‘NEIL:  No, no, who is always—have you ever noticed Kevin‘s always in the same shorts, always in the same tank top, which are I think the clothes that he wore ever since he left that trailer park.  These are not the most stylish dressers.  Kevin, by the way, just got a six-figure deal to model fashion clothes.

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, that‘s...

(CROSSTALK)

O‘NEIL:  I‘ll pay him a few bucks to wash what he‘s been wearing.

SCARBOROUGH:  We‘ve got five seconds here.  That‘s kind of a low cut, isn‘t it, knocking the baby?

DOBSON:  You know, I just think, at least Sean Preston doesn‘t have Kevin‘s cornrows, you know?  As long as he has his own haircut, I‘m with him.  Go Sean Preston.

SCARBOROUGH:  We can thank God for that, and thank you for being with us.  Tom, thank you so much for being with us. 

That‘s all the time we have for tonight.  “THE HITMAN TAPES” starts right now.

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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