updated 8/25/2006 11:56:56 AM ET 2006-08-25T15:56:56

Guests: Jill Dobson, Perez Hilton, Dawn Yanek, Rob Chilton, Tom O‘Neil, Marissa Marr, Shmuley Boteach, April Beyer, John Fund

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY: CNN in bed with bin Laden?  Well, “The New York Times” says last night‘s CNN special could double as a recruiting video for al Qaeda.  We‘ll tell you how “The Times” believes they were seduced by the world‘s top terrorists.  Then: A new study says men should keep away from career women.  We‘ll give you all the details on why the study says career women are bad for marriage.  And caught on tape—me.  And let me say right up front, I deeply apologize to Tucker, his entire family, NBC Universal, and my patient wife.  We‘ll tell you all about that and much more straight ahead.

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

We‘re going to have all of that and a lot more, but first, CNN aired a two-our documentary last night about Osama bin Laden.  “The New York Times” called it an al Qaeda recruitment video.  This is exactly what “The Times” said.  Quote, “With the heavy rotation of soulful portraits of the soft-voiced prophet of jihad, with super-8-style movies of the warrior on horseback, parts of ‘In the Footsteps of bin Laden‘ could almost double as a recruiting video for al Qaeda.”

In an interview with the Associated Press, CNN‘s Christine (SIC)

Amanpour said she deliberately avoided criticizing bin Laden‘s background.  She explained it this way.  Quote, “It‘s tempting, and there may be other kinds of histories about him, but try (ph) to psychologically profile him, but until we can talk to him or talk to more people, I just felt it was inappropriate.”

I don‘t think reporters said that about Hitler back in the ‘30s and ‘40s.  “The Times” and other critics found Amanpour‘s image boost of bin Laden inappropriate for its one-sided view of 9/11‘s mastermind.  Fawning portraits of the mad killer ran without rebuttal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator):  Most Muslims love him, just like I love him myself.  It was Osama bin Laden who stood up against the biggest enemy in the world, the United States.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  Malika el Arud (ph) loves Osama bin Laden for the same reasons that inspire his followers around the world, bin Laden‘s unquestioned piety, his choice of faith over fortune.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator):  He sets a very good example because he‘s a man of great wealth who shared his money and knew to say, Voila!  Here, this isn‘t mine.

AMANPOUR:  Malika el Arud, a devout Muslim who had emigrated from Morocco as a child, was living in Belgium when she first saw Osama bin Laden on television.  His image mesmerized her and her husband, Adusattar Dadman (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator):  He was watching.  There was a fascination, a love.  It was very clear, and I felt the same.  Osama had a beauty in his face.  It is a stunning face.  When you hear his voice, it makes you want to stand up right away and leave and join him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  What, is the guy running for Congress in Afghanistan or Pakistan?  They should have a campaign disclosure statement on the bottom, The following ad paid for by Osama bin Laden and CNN.

Let‘s bring in right now John Fund.  He‘s a columnist for “The Wall Street Journal.”  We also have Cliff May.  He‘s president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and also a former “New York Times” foreign correspondent.  We also have Evan Kohlmann, MSNBC‘s terror analyst.

Evan, let‘s start at the top.  And we can certainly talk about “The New York Times”‘ criticism of this documentary, saying that it looked like, basically, a campaign recruiting tool for Osama bin Laden.  But was it news?  Because CNN said, OK, OK, it may have been a portrait of Osama bin Laden that may have been sympathetic, but at the same time, Americans should know their enemy.  Did this help us know what Osama bin Laden‘s up to in 2006?

EVAN KOHLMANN, MSNBC TERRORISM ANALYST:  Yes, I think it was a little bit misleading.  I think it was a very interesting portrayal of a certain view of bin Laden, mostly prior to 2001.  But this really did not contain a discussion of what bin Laden has become since 9/11 or what his organization has become since 9/11.

There have been bits and pieces that have been fed out of CNN from this documentary to the news wires, like, for instance, that al Qaeda has a guy named “Abu Reuters,” who‘s the head of their media wing.  Well, that was true in 1992, and it was made public in 1999.  Is that still the case?  No.  I mean, it doesn‘t take a lot to know that al Qaeda is into multi-media.  They put out videos every day on the Internet.

I think, ultimately, some of the big stories here got left by the wayside.  In the same place where Abu Reuters is discussed in open court transcripts, there‘s another al Qaeda operative mentioned who I bet doesn‘t get a mention in this documentary, Asadul al Sindi (ph), a very important al Qaeda member who was murdered by another al Qaeda member, one of his fellow brothers, a guy who was such a stone cold, violent lunatic that Abu Musab al Zarqawi‘s wife wouldn‘t let him stay with them under the same roof in Afghanistan because she was afraid of him!

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  And Evan, that‘s a great point, too, and “The New York Times” talked about how they showed Osama bin Laden and those following him as these pure-of-heart Arab Muslims who were driven only by motivation of justice.

I want to show you all another clip from CNN‘s documentary that, of course, doesn‘t show the dirty side of Osama bin Laden or al Qaeda.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR (voice-over):  What if bin Laden were eliminated?  What then?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  In the longer term, I think it would give a tremendous boost to the power of bin Laden‘s ideas because this idea of martyrdom is such a powerful one, I think it would increase that mythical persona.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Cliff, it is the Obi Wan Kenobe theory of murder—of martyrdom, where, Strike me down and I only become stronger.  CNN‘s basically giving us a message, If he lives, you lose, if he dies, he only gets stronger.  It‘s straight out of “Star Wars.”

Now, you know CNN.  You worked for “The New York Times” also, but did a lot of work for CNN.  What is it with this culture that they‘re so interested in being straight down the middle that they forget that they‘re dealing with a madman every bit as dangerous as Adolf Hitler was?

CLIFF MAY, FOUNDATION FOR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES:  I‘m not sure, but you may have put your finger on it when you say they have to be right down the middle.  It‘s called the fallacy of the 50 percent, the idea that some journalists have that between any two positions right in the center, that‘s where you should be.  So if you‘re judging between a fireman and an arsonist, well, you‘re not really sure who‘s correct.  And so if you‘re looking at bin Laden, who is a—the only thing he‘s ever accomplished in his life is to kill thousands of innocent men, women and children on a single day.  But we‘re not going to be judgmental about this.

You know, in a way, I don‘t know what they were trying to do with this.  Christine (SIC) Amanpour says what she didn‘t want to do.  What did she want to do?  They interviewed no Arabs or Muslims who are critical of him.  They have all these people who knew him in his childhood, who are worshipful.  I think the segment you showed with that woman was like a Jimmy Kimmel parody.  You have things that—look, let me just give you an example.  You have Amanpour saying, It is something of a mystery why this son of a wealthy family was drawn to such rigid religious beliefs.  Yes, and that mystery is not unraveled.  They have a friend of his saying, He loved horses a lot, especially the Arabian horses...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Everything was positive in here, and like you said, there was no Arab dissent.  We didn‘t hear a single Arab person, a single Muslim coming on criticizing him, when we all know that there are millions of Muslims that are horrified that this is the face of radical Islam that Americans and many in Western Europe believe is actually very, very in line with what most Muslims would.

Let‘s watch one more clip from CNN‘s special on bin Laden.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR (on camera):  Dead or alive, what will the future of Osama bin Laden‘s jihad look like?  Those who know him believe that his holy war and the violence it‘s ignited will continue long after he‘s gone.  And all over the world, people are wondering where he will strike next.  Bin laden himself is already writing the next chapter.  He wants his own children to carry on the fight.

(voice-over):  From one generation to the next, a legacy of terror. 

For Osama bin Laden, his holy war is far, far from over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  John Fund, “The New York Times” said—and I‘m quoting here—that “CNN was seduced by the bin Laden legend.”  And of course, CNN‘s had problems before dealing with madmen in the Middle East.  Why do you think they were seduced by the legend of a man who killed 3,000 Americans on September 11?

JOHN FUND, “WALL STREET JOURNAL”:  Look, I believe this was a good documentary on one level.  They got interviews that no one had gotten before.  They went to locations that no one had gotten before.  I learned a lot.  The problem is the documentary is woefully incomplete.  I mean, there‘s a reason why it sort of ends in 2001, because since then, bin Laden has not been seen.  They should have filled in those gaps, though, by going and interviewing people from the Muslim world, explaining what the impact of bin Laden has had, how he‘s warped so many, how he‘s destroyed the hopes for liberal democracy in many countries...

SCARBOROUGH:  But John, it‘s been so one-sided!  I mean, you heard no Arab dissent whatsoever!

FUND:  Well, that‘s—that‘s—let me tell you the clue was in the first three minutes.  They go through a montage of people discussing bin Laden in neutral terms, and then they say, And we will hear from people who revered him—and revere him.  And then they have a couple quotes, and they never go to the part where they say, And here are people who revile him.

It‘s clearly a slanted documentary.  It‘s about half an hour short, and it has absolutely no criticism of him for any quarters.  And I have to tell you, I think it was done because they probably assumed, Well, all the other documentaries that are going to mark 9/11 are going to be negative, so we‘ll do something different.  Well, something different doesn‘t mean it‘s actually fair or provides a complete picture.  This one, I learned a lot from it, but you can see the holes through it like Swiss cheese.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you so much, John Fund, Cliff May and Evan Kohlmann, fascinating discussion.  And of course, a lot more people are going to be talking about not only the CNN documentary but “The New York Times‘s” scathing review of it.  It is a disturbing one-sided portrait, and for the life of me, I can‘t figure out why CNN allowed it to air, at least without a campaign disclaimer.

Coming up next in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY: Remember those old TV shows where the wife stayed at home all day to take care of the kids while dad worked?  Boy, times sure have changed, haven‘t they?  Well, maybe not.  Find out why “Forbes” magazine and a study shows marrying a career woman can be hazardous to your marriage.

And later: Paramount dumps Tom Cruise, but now the former top gun is firing back.  Tonight, we‘ve got new details on why Paramount‘s move may have been a big mistake.

Plus: If you thought George Allen‘s recent caught-on-camera comments were bad, you ain‘t seen nothing yet.  We‘ll show you what Youtube caught me saying when they didn‘t—I didn‘t know the cameras were on.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  If a woman works, does that make her a bad wife?  It‘s a question that‘s actually getting a lot of attention tonight, thanks to a Forbes.com article that gave this piece of advice to men: Don‘t marry a woman with a career.  It went on to say recent studies have found professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and if they do have kids, they‘re more likely to be unhappy about it.  Wow.  I mean, talk about an inflammatory article!

Right now, let‘s bring in Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.  He‘s the host of

TLC‘s “Shalom in the Home.”  He‘s also the author of “Hating Women:

America‘s Hostile Campaign Against the Fairer Sex.”  Also, relationship coach April Beyer, and Washingtonpost.com columnist Leslie Morgan Steiner.  She‘s also the editor of “Mommy Wars.”

April, let me start with you.  You‘re a professional matchmaker of sorts.  Are men afraid of career women?  Do they want to have anything to do with professional career women?

APRIL BEYER, RELATIONSHIP COACH:  Yes, I think they do.  Men are not turned off, Joe, by women that are bright, educated, intelligent, successful.  I‘ve never had a man come to me and say, You know what, April, she just made too much money and she was just too busy and she was just too successful.  I think men are put off and turned off by the tough exterior that comes with, I think, some of these women with these power jobs.  But no, meeting a woman and being in a relationship with a woman that‘s smart and savvy and successful and has her own life can be a benefit to men, especially successful men.  Absolutely.

SCARBOROUGH:  So Rabbi Shmuley, you can be a great professional working woman and a great mother, right?  Women can have it all?

RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH, HOST, “SHALOM IN THE HOME”:  Of course, you can.  But Joe, the problem is not women having a career, He problem is when women become as stupid as the men to enjoy the career and prioritize career above the family.  I mean, for thousands of years, wives have waited for their husbands to come home and have said to them, Come on, OK, so you go out and you have this job, but your children need you and this is where you should really invest your creative energy.  And men have said, No, no, the home is so boring.

And now women are making the exact same mistake, not by having careers but by enjoying them more than their children, by investing more creative and mental energy into their jobs than in their children, into their marriages.

The utter desensualization of the American home, Joe, is catastrophic for America!  It is more important than terrorism.  It is more important than the economy.  We are raising kids who‘ve never seen love!  We are raising kids who think that romance was invented by Walt Disney.  They don‘t see their parents expressing it.  They think it‘s a myth.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Leslie, we‘ve seen—we‘re showing images right now of Mary Tyler Moore from her ‘60s sitcom, “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” and then, of course, before, we showed Mary Tyler Moore in her ‘70s sitcom right there, where she was the very liberated woman.  Maureen Dowd wrote a book recently that basically said the women‘s liberation movement of the ‘70s has basically been smashed the rocks of the 21st century American culture.  What‘s happened?  Why are women now going back into the homes?  And why are we having people even bring up this question of, Can you be a good mom and a good professional working woman?

LESLIE MORGAN STEINER, “WASHINGTON POST”:  Well, this article is just the latest in a long history of media coverage that tries to make women who in any way step outside of the American tradition of ideal womanhood feel really bad about themselves.  And all we have here is one white, very well-educated, powerful editor at a national magazine who is completely out of touch with the 80 million moms in America and the 63 million working women.

And there is no study that says what he is alleging.  He has picked up little bits here and there from different studies, some of them credible, some of them not, and it does not add up to anything negative about career women.

And the truth is, is that 70 percent of moms in America with kids under 18 have to work today.  So this type of piece is just designed to make women who don‘t have any choice feel really terrible about themselves.

BOTEACH:  But Leslie, don‘t you think there‘s a difference between working to live and living to work?  I believe in women having a career.  Women should feel professionally accomplished.  But our problem is that women today, just like men before them, find the family boring.  By the time they come home, they‘re spent, they‘re exhausted.  Couples have no...

(CROSSTALK)

BOTEACH:  They‘re hardly managing to have sex at night!

STEINER:  Not true.

(CROSSTALK)

STEINER:  In my book, “Mommy Wars,” and on my column, which, you know, is read by thousands of people a day, and people comment on it because it‘s a blog—I don‘t hear any women saying what this article alleges or what the Rabbi said.  I don‘t think that women are bored, I think they are stressed out and they‘re...

BOTEACH:  Exactly!

STEINER:  ... trying to do it all.

BOTEACH:  Exactly!  So what we need to do is...

SCARBOROUGH:  But April—April, in the end, though, the problem is for a lot of women, they don‘t have the choice.  It‘s not like they‘re living in a wealthy suburb and they‘ve just decided that they‘re bored at home.  They have to go out...

BEYER:  Exactly.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... and work 40, 50, sometimes 60 hours a week, right?

BEYER:  Exactly.  And here‘s something else we‘re not addressing, Joe, which is, nowadays, people are getting married later on in life.  So when women are graduating from college, they‘re not just entering into a marriage at that time.  It could be a decade or maybe 15 years or more before she finds that man, and then women are criticized, and heavily criticized, for actually going out there and finding a life for themselves and supporting themselves.

(CROSSTALK)

BEYER:  ... are still working are still working, again, because they have to.  Each girl that works these kind of hours calls me and says, Gosh, April, I‘d give anything to be at home.  There‘s not a woman alive that would say, I‘d so much rather be at work than be in the arms of the man I love or at home on the couch with my children, reading a book.  It doesn‘t exist.  It‘s all about what we have to do.

SCARBOROUGH:  What we have to do.  And April, you make a great point.  Of course, in the ‘50s and ‘60s, people were getting married—a lot of women getting married in their early 20s.  But you look at “The New York Times” wedding announcements today, they‘re all in their—or most of them are in their early, mid, late 30s, some in their 40s.  So our entire culture has changed a great deal.

Rabbi, thank you for being with us.  April and Leslie Morgan Steiner, greatly appreciate you being here also.

And coming up next: The Dixie Chicks think they may be an election issue.  You know, maybe they should realize that if they can‘t fill hockey rinks, they may not be able to impact elections.  But we‘ll have that story.

And later: An old-fashioned Howard Stern prank strikes CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer, and it‘s part of tonight‘s “Must See S.C.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Wake up Uncle Fess (ph).  It‘s time for tonight‘s “Must See S.C.”, some video you just got to see.  We start first, Miami, Florida, where an apparently disgruntled adult book store customer took the moral authority into his own hands and tried to burn down the entire store.  The man came out of a video booth and told the clerk he had a guilty conscience.  Then he set the place on fire.  Police are still looking for the guy, but don‘t worry, Tucker.  Your secret‘s safe with us.

And also: Howard Stern‘s minions struck again.  One of the shock jock‘s followers prank-called CNN yesterday, getting through to anchor Wolf Blitzer, who thought he was talking to an old friend of John Mark Karr.  Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR:  When did the e-mail, when did the talk of JonBenet Ramsey begin?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It started in around September of 2001, when he told me that—that he knew more about the JonBenet Ramsey case than what anybody else had known and that he was instructed to kill JonBenet by Howard Stern.

BLITZER:  All right.  Well, that sounds like we‘ve just been Howard Sterned, as they say, so we‘ll have to leave that alone.  Wendy—not Wendy Hutchens, but clearly a crank phone call.  Thanks very much, in any case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Thanks for what?  Thanks for nothing, buddy!  You notice we don‘t take phone calls here in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, Howard.

Coming up next: Hollywood‘s top gun canned, but is Paramount‘s chairman actually crazier than Tom Cruise when it comes to the bottom line?  And talk about embarrassing video, you thought Senator George Allen‘s comments were bad?  You ain‘t seen nothin‘ yet!  We‘ll show you my political gaffes, all 20 of them, on Youtube.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up, the Dixie Chicks‘ Bush-bashing comes to the big screen, and it‘s going to come out right before the November elections.  Will the Chicks sway votes?  Believe it or not, some people say yes.

Plus, Paris hacks into Lindsay Lohan‘s voicemail.  It could only happen in “Hollyweird.”

Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Those stories and much more in just minutes. 

But first, tough day for Hollywood‘s top gun.  A new Zogby poll suggests President Bush—oh, my God, call my agent—President Bush is more popular than Tom Cruise.  Sixty-nine percent of Americans say it is unlikely they will ever go to a Tom Cruise movie again.  And it turns out that couch-jumping, Scientology-proselytizing, and Brooke Shields-bashing is risky business.  But will Tom Cruise have the last laugh? 

Here now, Rob Chilton from “OK” magazine.  We also have “Wall Street Journal” Merissa Marr, who broke the story and spoke with Viacom‘s chairman, Sumner Redstone.  And also Tom O‘Neil, he‘s senior editor for “InTouch Weekly.” 

Merissa, let me start with you.  You broke this story by talking to Sumner Redstone.  Tell me about it. 

MERISSA MARR, “WALL STREET JOURNAL”:  Mr. Redstone said that Paramount decided that they don‘t want the renew the deal with Mr. Cruise because they felt that his recent conduct had dented his bankability as a star.  Now, Mr. Cruise‘s company, Cruise-Wagner Productions, have a very expensive deal at Paramount.  Paramount was committed to pay up to $10 million to his company.  And in this environment, the industry is facing a very uncertain future.  Paramount thought that it was not prudent to renew that deal. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Merissa, I was going to ask you, when you spoke with Sumner Redstone, did you gather from your conversation with him and the tone of his voice and everything else that this was more about being embarrassed by Tom Cruise‘s behavior or more about, really, just the fact that they had struck a very bad business deal in this very, very tough environment? 

MARR:  I think it was that his conduct was starting to—they felt his conduct was impacting his movies.  So with “Mission Impossible 3,” they felt that the movie hadn‘t done as well as it should have done.  Mr.  Redstone said he felt that Mr. Cruise‘s his rather odd behavior in the previous two years had shaved off maybe between $100 and $150 million off the box office of the movie.  And going forward, they felt that that wasn‘t acceptable. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, that‘s an awful lot of money to lose because of bad behavior. 

Tom O‘Neil, what do you think about Tom Cruise‘s lawyer offering a disclosure to the “New York Times” that basically admitted that his guy had been fired? 

TOM O‘NEIL, “INTOUCH WEEKLY”:  This is a major development in this story today, Joe.  As of yesterday where we left off, with the “Wall Street Journal” article, Tom‘s partner, Paula Wagner, was saying, “Oh, no, no, we had turned down Paramount.  We were so far out that door and down the street, we‘d even raised $100 million in hedge funds for Tom‘s future projects.” 

Well, Bert Fields, Tom‘s own lawyer, told the “New York Times” today, “Well, no, well, we didn‘t quite actually turn down the deal.  Tom had not yet delivered his decision to Paramount,” which means Paramount, of course, fired him.  And here‘s the other shocker:  In terms of this $100 million, he said, “I think it‘s just talk.  I know nothing about it.” 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Rob Chilton, do you think—because Tom thinks that Cruise‘s career may be over.  What do you think the future for Tom Cruise is? 

ROB CHILTON, “OK” MAGAZINE:  Well...

SCARBOROUGH:  Is his career over? 

CHILTON:  Not at all.  I mean, like many of his film characters, Tom Cruise I think is indestructible.  Paramount is saying that they think they lost about $150 million from his behavior.  Where did they get that figure from?  How can they tell that?

And even if that figure is true, “Mission Impossible 3” still made $400 million, so it‘s not exactly a bad return, is it?  You know, Tom Cruise, maybe he‘ll never work with Paramount again, but I‘ll tell you, there will be a queue of movie studios, a line of them queuing up to get his services. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, of course, I‘m sure you heard about this Zogby poll that came out that said that more Americans approved of George Bush‘s performance as president than liked Tom Cruise.  Now, there was also a poll that 60 percent agreed that Paramount made the right decision.  Nearly half of those people think that Cruise will suffer more now that he‘s on his own.  But 60 percent say they agreed with the decision; 12 percent said no.  And also, of course, more people think Cruise is going to suffer for this than paramount. 

First of all, Rob, I can‘t believe that Zogby is actually conducting this poll, but it has been conducted, and it‘s fascinating.  Looks like the public has turned against him.  And if they turn against him, that is bad news for Tom Cruise‘s bottom line, right? 

CHILTON:  I would say—I think the public‘s reaction to that poll is a knee-jerk reaction.  You know, today it‘s the cool thing to hate Tom Cruise, but when his next film comes out, those same people I‘m sure will be queuing up to buy a ticket for his new movie.  It will make hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars.  You know, you can say all you like about Tom Cruise, but one thing he is not is boring.  And that always brings in moviegoers. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Merissa, could you explain to our viewers something that Rob talked about how, about how “Mission Impossible 3” grossed over $400 million.  That sounds like an awful lot of money, but, with Cruise‘s deal, that‘s not really great for Paramount‘s bottom line.  Explain how that could be. 

MARR:  Well, I mean, look at all of his movies.  There‘s very big figures associated with all of his movies.  With “Mission Impossible 3,” $400 million in worldwide box office revenue, the studio only gets half of that, so that‘s $200 million.

The movie cost at least $135 million to make, plus an awful lot to advertise.  And also they have a lot of money going out the back end to Tom Cruise and other talent.  So as it currently stands now, at best they‘ll break even.  Now, they obviously could make money from DVDs later on, and obviously they will, but it‘s—the big figures don‘t tell the whole—the $400 million doesn‘t tell the whole story at all. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you so much, Merissa Marr.  We greatly appreciate you being with us and breaking the story.  Rob, thank you.  And, Tom O‘Neil, as always, you‘re great.  Thanks for being with us. 

Now, by now you‘ve probably seen Virginia Senator George Allen infamous “macaca” comment that‘s taken the Internet by storm.  Well, today Allen personally apologized to the campaign staffer to whom he directed that remark that many people believe was racist.  But when it comes to sticking his foot in his mouth, Senator Allen has nothing on yours truly. 

In fact, I‘ve had so many faux pas in my career that YouTube has an entire video library that‘s dedicated to me, and they‘re calling me their human highlight reel. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  But tell me, Joe, what‘s Tucker really like?

SCARBOROUGH:  Tucker?  Don‘t get me started.  That son of a (bleep). 

“Dancing with the Stars”?  Yes, whatever.  How about dancing with porn stars?  The guy is a porn hound. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I knew it.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, of course.  Everybody knows it.  You look at him, that bow tie.  Those are always the guys you have to worry about.  It doesn‘t matter, whether it‘s straight porn, or gay porn, or bestiality, it‘s absolutely sick.  I‘m disgusted that I have to even share the same bathroom with that guy.  You know, sit down on the toilet, get up with V.D.  He‘s a pig. 

I have brought shame on myself and my family.  And for that, I am truly sorry.  I apologized to Tucker Carlson, his wife and their 14 children.  I‘m sorry.  NBC Universal, “Dancing with the Stars,” those afflicted by venereal diseases, purveyors of porn, and, last but certainly not least, my long-suffering wife, I am sorry, and I will strive to improve my behavior in the future.  Thank you. 

Got a lot to talk about in the town hall meeting today.  First of all, of course, you saw the liberal rags saying I was a small man, quote, “a small man.”  A small man?  I‘m bigger than Jesus Christ. 

Then there‘s also the issue of water management, run-off by (INAUDIBLE) causing some problems with the fisherman that are trying to get their mullet catch.  It‘s down. 

I have brought shame on my family and myself.  And for that, I am truly sorry.  At no time did I ever try to imply that I was more important than Jesus Christ, only taller.  I apologize to my church, my family, James Dobson, NBC Universal, those afflicted with venereal diseases, and, last but not least, my long-suffering wife.  I am sorry, and I‘ll strive to improve in the future.  Thank you. 

Stay with me.  Yes, yes, a documentary.  I was talking on the phone with an expert on the Holocaust, and we should do a—Mel Gibson‘s father.  It‘s a great idea. 

Is everybody ready?  All right.  I have brought shame on myself and my family.  And for that, I am real sorry.  I apologize to Mel Gibson, Rabbi Shmuley, the Jewish race, survivors of the Holocaust, those afflicted by venereal diseases, and, last but not least, my long-suffering wife.  I am sorry, and I will strive to improve my behavior in the future.  Thank you. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  No, Mom, no, no, Mom, I got a show to do.  Right.  No, I did not say I was bigger than Jesus, only taller, and it was just a skit.  OK, hey, I‘ve got Rabbi Shmuley on the other phone.  I‘ll be right back.

Hey, we‘ll be right back in a second with more SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

Rabbi!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  The Dixie Chicks‘ Bush-bashing is now spilling over into the big screen, and some say the country music trio‘s upcoming documentary could have a Chicks effect just in time for the political season.  Co-director of the film, Cecilia Peck, says the film is, quote, “likely to be a hot topic in the approaching elections.” 

“Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing” is due out before November, and it focuses on Natalie Maines‘ negative comments about President Bush back in 2003 and the resulting backlash on the band.  Here to talk about this potential buzz is “Billboard‘s” director, magazine director of the country charts, Wade Jessen, and “Life and Style” weekly editor Dawn Yanek. 

Wade, the Dixie Chicks coming out just in time for the election.  Does anybody really think that they‘re going to have a possible impact on some races? 

WADE JESSEN, “BILLBOARD” MAGAZINE:  Well, as we know, Joe, the public usually determines what the hot topics are.  I mean, there‘s plenty of information out there to choose from, and the Dixie Chicks are just one of a lot of topics.

I don‘t know though.  I really doubt, as serious as the trouble seems to be, or at least if you look at the national polling, about what kind of trouble the incumbents might be in, in this midterm election cycle.  I tend to think that most people probably, whether they‘re willing to admit or not, have probably already made up their mind about the elections, and so I don‘t think the Dixie Chicks are going to have a monumental effect on this election one way or the other because of the documentary, no, I don‘t. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, and, you know, Dawn Yanek, these women are having trouble right now filling up hockey rinks, so it‘s hard to believe that they‘re going to move any undecided voters out there at all, right? 

DAWN YANEK, “LIFE AND STYLE”:  Well, I don‘t know if it‘s the Dixie Chicks themselves who are going to be moving voters, but I think it‘s the media and how the media is going to pose its question to politicians and to the world.  I mean, you know, depending on how the documentary is done, what the tone is of, “Shut Up and Sing,” I think that will perhaps be able to influence voters who are on the fence and also voters who may be disillusioned with the current administration and make people question things. 

JESSEN:  Excuse me, I‘m sorry.  I didn‘t mean to interrupt. 

YANEK:  Not at all.

JESSEN:  Not a lot of people have seen this yet. 

YANEK:  Right.

JESSEN:  I mean, they just barely screened it for the distributors.  So the media has yet to really get a taste of what this says.  We don‘t know what it says.  We don‘t know that it‘s going to bash the president.  We don‘t know that yet. 

YANEK:  Exactly. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But at the same time, Dawn, if you look at the “Time” magazine cover, it seems like the Dixie Chicks have gotten a lot of coverage simply because they‘re opposed to the president, and there are a lot of people in the media that don‘t like the president, haven‘t liked him since he got elected.  So it could sort of channel their dislike for the president through the Dixie Chicks, right? 

YANEK:  Well, absolutely.  And at the least, it‘s going to be a hop topic that may be posed to the politicians who are out there and to the public.  I mean, don‘t forget:  These are issue that deal with freedom of speech, that deal with censorship...

JESSEN:  Good point.

YANEK:  ... that deal with the idea that you might be unpatriotic because you disagree with the prevailing thoughts of the administration.  I mean, certainly there have been plenty of times throughout history that people maybe should have questioned and maybe disagreed with what was going on in the world, what was going on in politics, and they didn‘t because they were afraid to.  So, you know, what is that saying?  So depending on the tone of this documentary and depending on how the media and the politicians play it, I think we actually could see a little bit movement with voters and with attitudes in this country. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, of course, we know that just because you speak out against the president doesn‘t mean you‘re unpatriotic.  Of course, if you speak out against me, you are unpatriotic. 

But, Wade...

JESSEN:  You say that now, Joe, but there was a lot of people in the country three years ago at the scene of the crime or the incident, as the Dixie Chicks say, who were telling people that it was unpatriotic to question the president during wartimes.  And a lot has changed in three years.  It wasn‘t that way three years ago. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you know, Wade?  The thing is—because I don‘t think a single vote is going to be changed because of this, but I do think a documentary that comes out that‘s based on the Dixie Chicks‘ story will, at the very least, soften their image, make them look like they were sort of martyrs for the First Amendment, and may actually help their career.  What do you think?

JESSEN:  That‘s entirely possible, Joe.  And I think we should be open to any possibilities, but I don‘t think we should look at this going in on the front end before we‘ve even seen clips or samples from the documentary in the media and predict any kind of an impact.  I just think it‘s way too early. 

YANEK:  Yes, absolutely.

JESSEN:  It could be wildly successful.  I mean, they‘ve sold a million and a half records in a short amount of time.  It doesn‘t mean the documentary is necessarily going to be successful.  I think they‘re hoping it will be, and their distributors are certainly positioning it as something that has the potential and will be big and successful, but all of that remains to be seen, because that‘s a market factor, and that‘s nothing that a lot of people can control. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You can never predict it.  It‘s like predicting the stock market.

Wade Jessen, Dawn Yanek, as always, thank you so much for being with us.  A fascinating topic that we‘ll come back to later I‘m sure. 

And coming up next, Paris Hilton, a hacker?  Did she really go high tech in her battle with Lindsay Lohan?  Find out in “Hollyweird,” coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Roll out the red carpet.  It‘s time for our nightly tour of “Hollyweird.” 

First up, Mel Gibson is busy working the phones right now, reportedly calling many prominent Hollywood Jews.  TMZ is reporting that Gibson is calling Hollywood power players individually to say, “I‘m sorry,” for his anti-Semitic tirade.

Here now to talk about this and all of Hollywood‘s buzz, we have celebrity blogger Perez Hilton.  We also have, from “Star” magazine, Jill Dobson. 

Perez, let‘s start with you.  What‘s your take on Mel Gibson‘s adopt-a-Jew, in fact, adopt every powerful Jew in Hollywood with his phone calling campaign?

PEREZ HILTON, PEREZHILTON.COM:  Well, Mel Gibson is doing a lot of damage control.  He‘s already apologized, not once, not twice, this is the third way of apologizing personally to the really important people in Hollywood, the ones who hold his future in their hands, the ones that can green light his films, that will determine whether he‘ll work again or not, because you can only go so far producing films independently.  You do need someone to distribute your films.  And that‘s what Mel‘s trying to do, he‘s trying to make amends. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Perez, by doing that, does he give some of these studio executives and other power players cover, because, as we all know, in the end, it‘s about the bottom line in Hollywood, it‘s about making millions of dollars.  And if this guy can make them millions of dollars, it helps that he picks up the phone, gets on his knees, begs for forgiveness.  Then they can say, “Hey, you know, he said he was sorry, so I decided to forgive him.” 

HILTON:  Exactly.  Mel does not want to be the next Tom Cruise.  He doesn‘t want to be ostracized and have his production deal cut off.  You know, because if Tom Cruise‘s last film, “Mission Impossible 3,” did as well as the first two, he‘d probably still be in business with Paramount.  So Mel is trying to cover his bases and make sure that he has a future once he‘s taken care of himself and comes out of rehab.

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt about it.  Now, more news today in the Paris Hilton-Lindsay Lohan smackdown.  There are reports that Paris hacked Lindy‘s voicemail.  Perez, what‘s the deal with these two? 

HILTON:  Well, they‘ve very publicly been on the outs for a while now.  Paris herself has quite infamously had her own phone hacked into.  And now, according to reports, Paris did the same to Lindsay.  She used this service that let her hack into Lindsay‘s phone.  And not only did she do that, but, according to reports, she then started to text message, I.M., and call Lindsay‘s friends.  And I‘m friends with both of these girls, and they‘re not happy right now with each other. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Jill Dobson, that sounds like an understatement.  It is getting ugly.  Who would have ever believed that we would have had a pop tart war that got so high tech?  Let‘s call in the CIA here or the NSA.

JILL DOBSON, “STAR” MAGAZINE:  I know.  And the funny thing is, these two girls both often—you know, especially Paris, people make fun of her, say she‘s not all that intelligent.  But you know?  I don‘t know how to hack into someone‘s BlackBerry and send nasty messages to all their friends.  So maybe Paris is smarter than we all think. 

HILTON:  She is. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What‘s the big feud between these two?  She is? 

HILTON:  Oh, she definitely is.  You know, people don‘t give her credit for the things she has accomplished.  You know, Paris is a brand.  When you say Paris Hilton, you may think of many things, but the last thing you think about are hotels, and that‘s something.  Her brand is worth millions a year. 

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt about it.  “The New York Times,” of course, wrote that famous piece, “Paris Inc.,” put it on the front page of their business section. 

Jill Dobson, why the bad blood between these two? 

DOBSON:  Oh, you know, it goes a long way, and I think the real instigator of the whole problem is the fact that they‘ve dated some men in common.  And, you know, that‘s always going to make a girl angry and make her hold a grudge for a long time.  So they‘ve had a long-standing feud, and it just keeps escalating.  It can‘t stop.

Brandon Davis keeps making these comments about Lindsay Lohan.  He‘s the oil heir.  And then, you know, Paris is always right next to him, laughing alongside, and it just keeps getting worse and worse.  But it‘s fascinating to watch for all of us.

SCARBOROUGH:  Getting very ugly.  And, Perez, let‘s finish it on good news, inspiring news, news that let‘s everybody know that anything is possible.  K-Fed got his GED.  Talk about it.

HILTON:  Well, it‘s a good thing, because it may come in handy.  You know, he has his diploma, but he said in an interview that he‘s nearly bankrupt.  He has no money, despite the $2 million he made off the reality show he did with Britney Spears.  So let‘s hope he puts that to good use, because his music career is probably not going to get him very far. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Jill Dobson, do you agree? 

DOBSON:  Yes.  You know, K-Fed said, “I actually got amazing scores on the GED.  I did pretty well for someone in California.”  You know, he‘s got a lot to brag about.  He bagged Britney Spears.  He‘s made millions.  He got an album out without necessarily a lot of talent.  He should brag about those things and not acing the GED.

SCARBOROUGH:  A lot to be proud of.  Thank you so much, Perez.  Thank you so much, Jill Dobson.

And thank you for being with us.  That‘s all the time we have for tonight.  We‘ll see you tomorrow in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

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

END   

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