updated 8/31/2006 10:33:41 AM ET 2006-08-31T14:33:41

Guests: Frank Gaffney, Mark Shurtleff, Neal Boortz, Jenny Backus, Jerry Springer

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Thanks and welcome to the show.

First, the White House declares war on critics of its Iraq policy.  “The Wall Street Journal” reports today that President Bush is launching a major public relations campaign aimed at stirring up support for the troubled war in Iraq.  Bush gets under way with a speech tomorrow at the American Legion convention in Utah, but in a preview two administration heavy hitters came out with guns blazing yesterday. 

Here they are. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE:  Any kind of moral or intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong can weaken the ability of free societies to persevere. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Every retreat by civilized nations is an invitation to further violence against us.  Men who despise freedom will attack freedom in any part of the world, and so responsible nations have a duty to stay on the offensive together to remove this threat. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Secretary Rumsfeld went on to compare the war in Iraq to the struggle against fascism in the 1930s and 1940s.  And to criticize the war in Iraq, he implied, is very much like trying to appease Adolf Hitler.  In other words, there is no responsible patriotic way to oppose the war in Iraq, for instance, because you believe, as I do, that it hurts American interests. 

Nope. 

According to the White House, if you‘re against the Bush administration‘s Iraq policy, you‘re not simply mistaken or dumb.  You‘re immoral.  You‘re an apologist for evil.  You might very well be un-American. 

Well, here to explain further, Frank Gaffney.  He‘s the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy.

He joins us from Washington. 

Frank, welcome. 

FRANK GAFFNEY, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR SECURITY POLICY:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  I‘m offended by this.  I‘m offended by the implication that because I think the war in Iraq is bad for America—and I think it is sincerely—that I‘m like a Hitler appeaser.  What an outrageous thing to suggest. 

GAFFNEY:  Well, I think you have misconstrued what they are saying.  And unfortunately that‘s really part of the problem here. 

I think everything that you have just described with reference to the war in Iraq actually should have in place of the war in Iraq the war for the free world, because I think what the administration is now saying, at long last—it‘s long overdue—is we‘re in a global war against an ideology.  Iraq is one front. 

You may be completely right about Iraq, Tucker.  I happen to think you‘re dead wrong.  But you may be completely right about Iraq.  But you can still, I hope, appreciate that we‘re up against a political totalitarian movement, I think properly described as Islamofascism. 

CARLSON:  Appreciate it?  We devote our show to it most days.  I mean, we‘re one of the few shows that harps on this every day. 

GAFFNEY:  Is it at work in  Iraq and elsewhere.  And were we to lose on any of the battle fronts in this global war, it would constitute a threat and a setback that would be akin to getting it wrong in World War II. 

CARLSON:  That‘s very smooth, Frank.  But, in fact...

GAFFNEY:  No, it‘s not smooth.  It‘s the facts.

CARLSON:  No, it is—it is smooth...

GAFFNEY:  Well, thank you.

CARLSON:  ... it‘s the White House that‘s conflating the war in Iraq with the global war on terror. 

GAFFNEY:  I disagree.

CARLSON:  They have been talking about GWAT from day one, war global on terror.  I mean, that has been in the administration‘s vocabulary for the past five years.  I remember well when they tried that phrase out.  And was for it then, and I‘m for it now. 

But if you...

GAFFNEY:  I think it‘s wrong.  And I think what they are trying to do is actually get it right.  And that is, terror is not, as you know, an enemy.  We are not fighting terror.  We are trying to defeat the people who use terror against us, some of whom are in Iraq and many of whom are elsewhere, including in our own country. 

CARLSON:  But Frank...

GAFFNEY:  And we cannot—we cannot accept the idea that a defeat in one theater of this war is going to conduce to anything other than a disaster for us elsewhere. 

CARLSON:  But let‘s be—let‘s be real here.  The administration finally seems to be on the cusp of admitting that we‘re fighting Islamic extremism.  There are all sorts of euphemisms, and we don‘t want to offend Muslim groups.  But let‘s be honest, we‘re fighting Islamic radicals, people who... 

GAFFNEY:  The president said that. 

CARLSON:  Yes, OK.  That‘s right.  And good for the president.

GAFFNEY:  Finally.

CARLSON:  Iraq was not governed by Islamic radicals.  It was governed by a secular, very bad, but very secular regime. 

GAFFNEY:  Yes, but you know what? 

CARLSON:  So, I mean...

GAFFNEY:  You know what about that? 

CARLSON:  That‘s changing.  We invaded.

GAFFNEY:  There‘s a report that‘s just—there‘s a report that just came out on the Middle East Media Research Institute‘s Web site. 

CARLSON:  Right.

GAFFNEY:  A translation of an interview with one of the senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard officials who has defected to the West and who said, “We were collaborating intensively with Saddam Hussein,” as was al Qaeda, as were every other terrorist organization on the planet.  And that‘s why the fact that there were secular elements to it and Islamofascist elements made Iraq target number one for taking the offensive to the enemy.  After Afghanistan, of course.  This is critically important strategic thought. 

CARLSON:  This is such a circular and frustrating argument. 

GAFFNEY:  It‘s not circular.

CARLSON:  Yes it is.

GAFFNEY:  It‘s direct. 

CARLSON:  Well, then let‘s get very specific then.  I want to quote something that the secretary of defense said. 

Now, I generally defend the secretary of defense.  I like his style.  I admire his intelligence.  I‘m impressed by his resolve, his wit, his droll responses. 

GAFFNEY:  I commend you.

CARLSON:  But this is just stupid.  Listen to this.

“Can we truly afford the luxury of pretending that threats today are simply law enforcement problems, rather than fundamentally different threats requiring fundamentally different approaches?”

What is fundamentally different about invading a country like Iraq with land forces and occupying it?  That‘s been going on since the beginning of time.  We have done that in war after war.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn‘t. 

It‘s not the new approach.  In fact, that‘s the problem with it.  It‘s yesterday‘s approach to the war on terror.  That‘s why this is such a ludicrous war. 

GAFFNEY:  Well, may I respond? 

CARLSON:  Please. 

GAFFNEY:  I would suggest to you that what Don Rumsfeld was talking about again was not the war in Iraq.  What he was talking about was the solution that some people who oppose the war in Iraq, perhaps not you, but others who say, you know, if we just stop doing that and go back to fighting this war the way we should have, the way we used to fight it, namely as a law enforcement action because these are criminal elements doing criminal activities and we can just do a better job of fighting them through the court systems and the like, that‘s what Don Rumsfeld is saying is irrelevant to the present conflict. 

CARLSON:  No, no.  You know what?  I‘m sorry, with all due respect, I think you‘re making something of a disingenuous argument.  Because, in fact, the global war on terror is not at the center of a political controversy. 

GAFFNEY:  It is.

CARLSON:  No it‘s not . The majority of the American people are absolutely on board with everything you‘ve said.  They understand we‘re fighting fascism in the form of Islamic extremism.  They get that.

They‘re also against the war in Iraq.  These speeches are being made by members of the administration because they are worrying about the midterms.  Americans are against the occupation of Iraq. 

This is all about Iraq.  And to pretend it‘s not really about Iraq, it‘s about fighting al Qaeda, that‘s not true. 

The administration is worried about support for the war in a very specific country.  It‘s called Iraq.  And it has nothing, in my view, to do with the global war on terror. 

GAFFNEY:  Well, and that‘s where we fundamentally and respectfully disagree. 

CARLSON:  OK.

GAFFNEY:  I believe that—I believe that Iraq is part of the solution to the problem of Islamofascism today as it was before. 

CARLSON:  OK.

GAFFNEY:  And Tucker, this is the critical point.  I think the president is talking about these things now because more and more people are confused about how Iraq fits into a global war for the free world. 

I hope that this conversation has helped clarify it, because at the end of the day, if we lose the front of Iraq, we will suffer a very serious reverse.  Perhaps mortal, perhaps not.  But nonetheless, a very seriously reverse...

CARLSON:  But I actually—I agree with that.

GAFFNEY:  ... in the larger conflict which you say the public gets.  I believe they do.

Don Rumsfeld said something very important.  He said the American people have good inner gyroscopes.  That‘s right, as long as they are properly calibrated.  This is a conversation that‘s important to calibrating them. 

CARLSON:  It‘s more pandering to the crowd.  I mean, look...

GAFFNEY:  No it‘s not. 

CARLSON:  Yes, it is.  Yes, it is.

(CROSSTALK)

GAFFNEY:  This is an informed electorate we‘ve got to have. 

CARLSON:  Then most—most Americans—I hate pointing to poll numbers, because I don‘t think it‘s actually really relevant. 

GAFFNEY:  I do, too.

CARLSON:  I think you do the right thing regardless of how the public feels about it. 

GAFFNEY:  I do, too.

CARLSON:  But the bottom line here is, he is talking about the war in Iraq.  He is trying to convince people that if you are actively against the war, if you think it‘s bad for America, that somehow you‘re for appeasing the Islamic wackos, which is totally unfair. 

GAFFNEY:  You insist in doing something that isn‘t in the text. 

CARLSON:  Well, OK.  Here‘s what‘s not in the text...

(CROSSTALK)

GAFFNEY:  The reason that Don Rumsfeld didn‘t—Tucker, just a second.

CARLSON:  OK.

GAFFNEY:  The reason that Don Rumsfeld didn‘t say the war in Iraq every place you‘re putting it into the text is because he is talking about a global war.  One of the reasons why I support Don Rumsfeld...

CARLSON:  Then why doesn‘t he explain why...

GAFFNEY:  ... is because he gets this bigger war that we‘re in. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Very quick, and explain this...

GAFFNEY:  And that it‘s going to be a long one. 

CARLSON:  Explain this.  Then, if all you are saying is true—and you are giving him the benefit of every possible doubt—why does he not even bother to explain in this speech what the war in Iraq has to do with the global war on terror?  I just read it eight minutes ago.  There is not one sentence in there explaining the direct connection between what we‘re doing in Iraq and winning the war on terror. 

There is nothing.  Why?

GAFFNEY:  I would be happy to refer to the text if you would like me to.  There is, as I recall, an explicit reference to Iraq and where we find ourselves now, whether we wage that war effectively, whether we retreat from that battle front.  And the stakes not only for the people of Iraq, but the people of the region, more generally, and the American people, that‘s where he talked explicitly about Iraq, and the rest of the speech is about a global war for the free world. 

That‘s what the American people need to be focused on, because Iraq is part of the solution.  It is not all of it.  And retreat from it is certainly not part of the solution. 

CARLSON:  Well, I think you can buy one without the other.  You can say, you can believe...

GAFFNEY:  I don‘t.  Honestly, I don‘t.

CARLSON:  ... you can believe that leaving Iraq would be a disaster, as I believe.  Now that we‘re there in this—in the middle of this horrible situation, if we leave, it would be even worse.  But I don‘t—I mean, you can agree with that, because that‘s just obvious without endorsing the war in Iraq, don‘t you think? 

GAFFNEY:  No.  I think it‘s obvious that that‘s true and it is equally obvious that when Saddam Hussein, a hub of terror, a sponsor of it, and a guy who used, as well as manufactured weapons of mass destruction—who, by the way, we now know had plans to send them in aerosol sprayers and perfume bottles to America and Europe once sanctions were lifted—that‘s the kind of guy had you to take out.  And thank god we did, both for the Iraqi people and for us. 

Now we‘ve got to make sure the consolidation of the liberation of Iraq takes place as well. 

CARLSON:  Boy.  Frank Gaffney, founder and president, Center for Security Policy in Washington.

Thanks a lot, Frank.

GAFFNEY:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Still to come, the FBI is trumpeting its arrest of polygamy leader Warren Jeffs.  But are they making the same mistake they made with former Branch Davidian leader David Koresh?  Are we safer with Warren Jeffs behind bars?

And the U.N. deadline for Iran to scale back its nuclear program is tomorrow.  So is there a plan to target Iran?

That story when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  To hear the government tell it, the capture of Warren Jeffs is a major victory.  Jeffs was on the FBI 10 most wanted list, along with Osama bin Laden and Whitey Bulger.  He has been charged with killing 18 people. 

So now that Warren Jeffs is behind bars, the question is, is this a safer country? 

Here to answer that question, the attorney general of the state of Utah, Mark Shurtleff, who joins us from Salt Lake City. 

Mr. Attorney General, thanks for coming on.

MARK SHURTLEFF, UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  I don‘t feel safer with this guy behind bars.  I would much rather you spend your time capturing, you know, rapists and armed robbers and murderers. 

SHURTLEFF:  Well, guess what?  Guess what, Tucker?  Guess what, Tucker?

CARLSON:  Yes?

You haven‘t been victimized by this guy.  I didn‘t do this for you.  You have no idea the thousands of women and children who have been victimized by this guy who we‘ve charged with first-degree felony rape. 

CARLSON:  Whoa, whoa.  Slow down. 

SHURTLEFF:  No, no.  You asked me the question.

CARLSON:  Thousands of women?  Thousands?

SHURTLEFF:  That‘s right.  Do you want to learn or do you want to just spout off? 

CARLSON:  I do.  I do—absolutely. 

SHURTLEFF:  Let me teach you.  Let me teach you why we‘re protecting people. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

SHURTLEFF:  Thousands of women and children for years have been victimized by him.  This is a man who treats women as chattel, they are property, that he can reassign to any man any time he wants. 

He takes children out of homes and gives them to somebody else.  He kicks the little boys out of town, leaves them in the desert to fend for themselves.  He has been charged civilly with child rape.  We have charged him with rape. 

CARLSON:  Wait.  Wait a second.  I‘m sorry.  No, no.  OK, wait.

You have charged him with rape? 

SHURTLEFF:  Yes, we have.

CARLSON:  You charged him with rape, with actually having sexual intercourse with a woman or being an accessory to someone else doing so? 

SHURTLEFF:  Are you a lawyer? 

CARLSON:  I don‘t know.  I don‘t know what the charges are.  We have been trying all day to get answers.  And we just have been calling Salt Lake City and we can‘t find out exactly what they are. 

SHURTLEFF:  Oh, please.  Oh, please.  You know, if you want to do the research, you want to look into it, it‘s all there. 

CARLSON:  I‘m asking you a question.  Give me an answer.

SHURTLEFF:  First-degree felony rape.  It is no difference if you hold the girl down or if you do the rape. 

CARLSON:  Right.

SHURTLEFF:  He is charged with rape.  He will be convicted of first-degree felony rape, we believe.

Here‘s a man who had a whole army supporting him, who thumbed his nose at the law for years, who ran from us, who had people surrounding him with guns, threatening to go down with him.  This is a guy who pulled kids out of school.  This is a guy who taught them to kill animals with their bare hands, slit their throats so they could...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Hey, look.  Hey, look.  I‘m sorry. 

SHURTLEFF:  He is a bad guy.

CARLSON:  I‘m sorry to interrupt your self-righteous lecture here, but that‘s not illegal here, by the way.

A lot of these things are not illegal.  It‘s not illegal to teach children to kill animals with their bare hands.  I‘m sorry you disapprove of it.  But actually, I don‘t think it‘s your place to judge things that aren‘t crimes.  And that‘s not a crime, for instance. 

It‘s not—it‘s also not a crime to convince consenting adults to do things you disapprove of.  So, if he convinces women...

SHURTLEFF:  And Tucker, it‘s not your place...

CARLSON:  No.

SHURTLEFF:  It‘s not your place on TV to sit there without any information...

CARLSON:  I‘m not the one who‘s got the guns.  You are.

SHURTLEFF:  Sir, have you talked to the people, the victims of this crime?  Have you talked to how victimized they have been?  Have you ever heard from them?

CARLSON:  I‘m not defending the guy.

SHURTLEFF:  Yes you are!

CARLSON:  I‘m merely questioning your behavior.  Of course I‘m not.

SHURTLEFF:  You are defending him.  No, you‘re second-guessing the FBI, the entire FBI, all the way up to... 

CARLSON:  I am.  And I‘m allowed to do that as an American citizen, pal. 

I‘m sorry you‘re not aware of that.  And my question is...

SHURTLEFF:  Absolutely, sir.  You can.  And you can spout off all you want, but you need to know the facts. 

And now he‘s not on the list anymore.  So it worked, didn‘t it? 

CARLSON:  OK.

SHURTLEFF:  It brought—and we brought him to justice. 

CARLSON:  I think you‘re fully capable of arresting people on the list.  I‘m not defending the guy.  I‘m sure he‘s a criminal.  He sounds like a bad guy. 

My only question is this: there are 10 spaces on the list.  This guy is accused of doing things that are titillating.  That‘s why we‘re talking about them now.  That‘s why you‘re invested in this case, because it brings you publicity. 

SHURTLEFF:  Oh, please.

CARLSON:  I‘m sure that‘s one of the reasons.  I‘m serious.

SHURTLEFF:  You know what?  You‘re so full of yourself. 

CARLSON:  But is this guy—is this guy one of the 10 most threatening people to America? 

SHURTLEFF:  Yes.

CARLSON:  Are you‘re looking me right in the face and telling me he is? 

SHURTLEFF:  That‘s not the purpose of the list.  He doesn‘t have to be threatening to America.  He has to be a threat to society and individuals...

CARLSON:  OK.

SHURTLEFF:  ... to the point that you need the list to be able to bring him into—bring him under arrest and have him stand—stand trial for those charges, and it worked for this man.  Absolutely, he needs to be brought to justice. 

CARLSON:  So, he‘s more threatening than, say, the Islamic radicals huddling in a basement right now, you know, figuring out ways to blow up airliners or the people working to overthrow the government?  I mean...

SHURTLEFF:  That‘s not the question. 

CARLSON:  ... more than 10 of those.

SHURTLEFF:  You‘ve got Osama on there. 

Look at the rest of the people on your list.  There are people on that list that there have been from time immemorial since the list began who are child abusers, who do hurt children and women, who are sex offenders. 

CARLSON:  OK.

SHURTLEFF:  It‘s not just for mass murders, Tucker.  Do your homework, do your research. 

CARLSON:  I want to read you a quote.  OK, Mark.

I want to read you a question here.  You said—a quote that you said.  You said, “I think we‘re going to see a lot of changes within the FLDS community”—that‘s the church he leads—“as far as their fear of him, their loyalty to him.  We‘re hoping that loyalty will start to crumble.”

I guess—look, I‘m not endorsing their weird religion.  My point is, it‘s not really your place to decide who runs the church, is it?  You obviously disapprove of their religion.  But as a representative of the U.S.  government, it‘s not really your—your place to, like, decide who runs their religion or who is loyal to this guy, is it?  Aren‘t you overstepping your bounds pretty dramatically? 

SHURTLEFF:  Well, what facts do you base on that I—that I am after their religion? 

CARLSON:  I‘m reading your quote right here.  That‘s what you said.

SHURTLEFF:  This isn‘t about their religion.  This is about—it‘s never been about religion.  It‘s been about a man who has committed crimes, who is charged with committing crimes, serious, first-degree felony crimes, Tucker...

CARLSON:  Right?

SHURTLEFF:  ... who has victimized people.  That‘s what it‘s about. 

CARLSON:  OK.

SHURTLEFF:  And you know what?  For 50 years...

CARLSON:  You‘re dodging my question. 

SHURTLEFF:  For 50 years, Tucker—no I‘m not.  For 50 years, this man and his predecessors victimized people and law enforcement has turned the other way. 

CARLSON:  OK.

SHURTLEFF:  We say we‘re not going to turn the other way. 

CARLSON:  I agree with that.  I—look, I completely—I know that that‘s true.

SHURTLEFF:  So what is your point?  What is your point other than sitting back in your ivory tower and trying to second-guess law enforcement? 

CARLSON:  Here is—here is my point—here is my—OK.  First of all, again, just to school you, this may come as news to you, you have a right to second-guess law enforcement if you want. 

SHURTLEFF:  I don‘t say—I don‘t say you have one, but you sound stupid when do you it, because it doesn‘t sound like you have educated yourself to the problem. 

CARLSON:  My question is really simple.  Please just answer it.

You are saying in this quote here that you think it is your job to prevent the people who follow this man as a religious leader from being loyal to him.  And I am suggesting to you as a conservative, I am saying to you it makes me uncomfortable when representatives of the government such as yourself see it at their view to take someone out of a position of leadership in a religious organization, even if I think that organization is crazy, as I do this one. 

SHURTLEFF:  Well, obviously, you need to reread the quote.  I never said it‘s my job to take him down as a religious leader.  Everything we‘ve said if you go back five years...

CARLSON:  You said, “We are hoping that the loyalty crumbles.”

SHURTLEFF:  That‘s right.  You know why?  So that they will come forward, those other people who are being victimized by him and his lieutenants, will come forward with additional evidence who have been afraid to do so under threat that they will be harmed, that they would be kicked out of the house, that their jobs would be taken away and their families will be destroyed. 

CARLSON:  Well, you know what?  You‘re so defensive here, Mr. Shurtleff, that I wonder if you don‘t know on some level that you are giving undue attention, spending undue amounts of money trying to apprehend this guy when murderers go free.  I think you probably believe that on some level, which is why you‘re getting so angry. 

SHURTLEFF:  Well, of all the—I‘m not.

CARLSON:  This makes you mad.

SHURTLEFF:  Out of all the people that have been interested in this, you‘re the only one who thinks that we—that, you know, who questions law enforcement and doing what they have. 

CARLSON:  I sure I am.  I‘m sure I‘m the only one who thinks a lot of things.  But that doesn‘t—that doesn‘t mean I‘m wrong.

SHURTLEFF:  Yes.  Well, it does in this case because you have—you obviously don‘t have enough experience.  Talk to the victims first before you and your self-righteous (INAUDIBLE) say we did the wrong thing. 

CARLSON:  Enough experience?  In what?  OK.

SHURTLEFF:  That‘s what it is.  That‘s all it is.

CARLSON:  You‘re calling me self-righteous?  I appreciate it, Mr.

Shurtleff.

Thanks for coming on. 

SHURTLEFF:  All right.

CARLSON:  Up next, Brian Williams‘ exclusive interview with President Bush. 

We‘ll give you some of that. 

And your tax dollars at work.  The government spends billions on an anti-drug campaign that has actually convinced some kids drugs are fun. 

And you have heard that CNN anchor‘s open mic bathroom break.  But there‘s more to that story. 

We‘ve got it on “Beat the Press” when we return. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  It‘s time to “Beat the Press”. 

On Monday we told you that Anderson Cooper admonished his TV brethren to give the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina the coverage it deserves.  He said, “It‘s so easy in cable news to move on to the next thing, and shame on any of us if we let that happen.”

So Cooper traveled to New Orleans to, as he put it, keep them honest.  Well, the honesty lasted all of seven minutes last night, at which point Cooper moved on to the next thing. 

Watch the time on the screen in this next clip.  Cooper makes it until 10:07 minutes into his show before the urge to abandon Katrina before Warren Jeffs, the polygamist, overcomes him completely.  He doesn‘t resume keeping them honest until 10:52 p.m. 

Keep an eye on the clock.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER:  Then and now: the horror of Katrina.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, “ANDERSON COOPER 360”  We turn now to a developing story out of Nevada.  Tonight, the massive manhunt for polygamist leader Warren Jeffs is finally over.  The fugitive who was on the FBI‘s 10 most wanted list for months now, someone we have profiled numerous times, was arrested just outside Las Vegas. 

We thought we would look back at some of the images from Katrina then and show you what those same places look like now.  Here is my “Reporter‘s Notebook”.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP:  We want help!  We want help!  We want help!

COOPER (voice over):  One year later, one year.  At times it‘s hard to believe.  So much has happened.  So much seems the same. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Another poetic “Reporter‘s Notebook” from Anderson Cooper. 

Look, it‘s about ratings.  Let‘s be honest.  We just did a segment on Warren Jeffs.  I took a point of view that‘s so unpopular it will probably get terrible ratings.  But the point is, there‘s nothing wrong with it.

Just admit it.  Don‘t pretend that your cable news show is some sort of outlet for your religious crusade.  You know?  It‘s a ratings-getting device.  Just admit it.  I mean, let‘s be honest here.  No more self-righteousness, I say. 

Kyra Phillips‘ nationally televised bathroom break has already reached legendary proportions.  Incase you missed it, the CNN anchor left her microphone on in the bathroom yesterday while the network was broadcasting a speech by President Bush.  Viewers were treated, among other things, to Phillips‘ unflattering opinion of her sister-in-law. 

CNN has apologized to its viewers and to the White House for interrupting the president.  Here is what the network is apologizing for. 

Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR:  Mom‘s got a good vibe?  Good.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  At the federal level and state level and at the local level. 

PHILLIPS:  Of course.  Brothers have to be, you know, protected.  Except for mine.  I‘ve got to be protective of him. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  (INAUDIBLE)

PHILLIPS:  Yes.  He‘s married, three kids, but his wife is just a control freak. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Poor Kyra Phillips, who, by the way, is a very nice person.  I talked to a number of producers today, including two long-time soundmen who knew a lot about audio.  Their conclusion, one of two things happened. 

Either someone at CNN has a lot against Kyra Phillips and did this to her on purpose, which is unlikely because she is, as I said, a pretty nice person, or nobody in the entire network was actually watching what was on their air.  I guess when Bush came on, they all went to the bathroom or something. 

Well, I don‘t know about you, but when I think Hurricane Katrina, two names immediately jump to mind.  They are, of course, Richard Simmons and Don King. 

Well, apparently, the FOX News Channel and I think exactly alike.  As part of that network‘s coverage of the one-year anniversary of Katrina yesterday, FOX enlisted the expert opinions of a fitness guru and a boxing promoter with weird hair. 

Watch. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD SIMMONS, FITNESS EXPERT:  People are depressed here.  They‘re eating.  They‘re drinking.  They‘re smoking.  Some of them are very lost.  And again, it‘s depression.  And when you‘re depressed here in the South, you overeat. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DON KING, BOXING PROMOTER:  And Richard Simmons is one of the greatest exercisers in the world.  I adore him, his energy, his vitality, to be able to exercise.  But in running a country, ignoring all the different idiosyncrasies and appealing to all the people, such as George Bush is doing, Richard should stick with the exercising. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Our civilization, is it collapsing, has it already collapsed?  I don‘t know.  But we‘re determined to be amused on the way there. 

Coming up, is racial profiling a good way to fight terrorism?  You might be surprised by what a majority of Americans think. 

That story when we come back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, how the government spent billions on anti-drug ads, and instead managed to convince some kids that drugs are, in fact, cool.  Also ahead, one of my “Dancing with the Stars” colleagues makes his debut on this program, Jerry Springer.  Get that in just a minute.  But first, here‘s a look at your headlines.

REBECCA JARVIS, CNBC ANCHOR:  I‘m Rebecca Jarvis with your CNBC market wrap.  The Dow finishing the day up nearly 13.  The S&P 500 off marginally and the NASDAQ up more than 13.  Surprisingly robust inventory keeping oil prices lower today.  Crude up just four cents to $69.75 a barrel in New York trading.  The Gross Domestic Product getting an upward revision.  The Commerce Department reporting the economy grew by 2.9 percent, up from the preliminary report of 2.5 percent.  Merck will request a new trial after a federal judge overturned an August 17 verdict awarding $50 million to a Vioxx patient.  The man claimed Vioxx caused his heart attack.  While agreeing with the jury‘s finding of negligence against Merck, the judge said the damage award was excessive.  Now back to Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Time now for “three on three” where we welcome three of the sharpest people we know to discuss three of today‘s most interesting stories.  Let‘s get right to it.  Joining us from Chicago, the former mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, future “Dancing with the Stars” contestant, host of “The Jerry Springer Show,” Jerry Springer himself.  From Atlanta, radio talk show host Neal Boortz, host of “The Neal Boortz Show.”  And from Washington, D.C., democratic strategist Jennie Backus.  Welcome all.  First up, Uncle Sam wants to you support the war in Iraq, so the White House is now rolling out a major P.R. campaign that compares Bush administration critics to those who wanted to appease the Nazis prior to World War II.  Does being anti-war mean you‘re anti-American? Neal Boortz, is this going to work? And what do you think of this as someone who supports the administration on some things, not others, but in general? 

NEAL BOORTZ, HOST, “THE NEAL BOORTZ SHOW”:  Well, I support them on this.  I‘m not happy with their spending.  By the way, I note that you haven‘t been slamming Nancy Grace today, but we‘ll leave that alone.  

CARLSON:  We need to take a break from that sometimes.  

BOORTZ:  I guess.  Look, first of all, it‘s not a war in Iraq.  It is a war against Islamic terrorism.  Iraq is a front.  Afghanistan is a front.  It is just part of a global war against Islamic fascism.  And the people of this country need to get behind it.  There is a real threat there, a real threat and we‘re—life is fat and happy in the United States right now.  We‘re whistling by the graveyard.  And I don‘t know if it will work, but I hope that the president is successful in waking up the American people to the threat that faces us.  I mean look, these Iranians are—they‘re building a nuclear weapon right now.  Are we just going to sit back and let that happen?

CARLSON:  Well that‘s actually a topic we‘re going to broach in just a minute.  But back to Iraq, Jerry Springer, you do have your finger I think on the pulse of America, or part of America.  You certainly come into contact with a lot of people.  Do you think that it‘s possible at this late date to convince people on Iraq?  If you‘re against Iraq, do you think you or your mind will be changed by anything the president has to say about it? 

JERRY SPRINGER, HOST, “JERRY SPRINGER SHOW”:  No, I don‘t think it is possible.   I think the American people are very smart, and the American people recognize that yes, of course there is a threat against America.  Of course there is a threat in the world.  But us fighting in Iraq makes the threat more dangerous.  Us fighting in Iraq takes away the attention that we should be doing, that we should have in focusing on our real enemies.  When we fight in Iraq, all we do is help recruit people to the terrorist cause.  The Middle East is worse off in every single country since we went to war in Iraq.  The situation in Iraq has totally disintegrated.  Lebanon is a mess.  The Hamas is now more powerful than it ever was and Hezbollah is more powerful than it ever was.  This is a horrible, horrible policy.  And what the American people are saying is of course we‘re afraid of terrorism.  But good Lord, Mr. President, quit making America more vulnerable by this insanity of fighting this war in Iraq.  

CARLSON:  And yet it could be worse, I think.  Jenny Backus, the one thing that the president and his allies consistently say that I agree with is that it could be worse.  That if we were to pull out tomorrow, that country would become even more disastrous than it is.  I don‘t think there‘s any way around that.

SPRINGER:  That isn‘t the only option.

JENNY BACKUS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  But wait, but who are you talking about making that worse for? Right now we have lost almost 2,700 American soldiers in the middle of a civil war where the number of Al Qaeda in Iraq is probably less than the Philadelphia Eagles‘ starting football lineup.  I mean, the terrorists are in Afghanistan. 

CARLSON:  No, I don‘t know, wait -- 

BACKUS:  And I agree with Neal on that that I think that every American supports going into Afghanistan and trying to get—

CARLSON:  Ok.  But what if Iran which borders Iraq, as you know, and has designs currently on controlling southern Iraq anyway, what if it actually did fully control southern Iraq, the Shiite portions of Iraq? 

BACKUS:  But look, if we keep our troops in the region, we can go back in and engage. Why do we have to waste American taxpayer dollars, and more importantly American lives in the middle of the war? 

CARLSON:  Jerry, what‘s the option?

SPRINGER:  There is an alternative that no one is talking about.  It isn‘t a matter of whether we should have our young men and women over there getting shot or given over to Iran.  Why not do the same thing that they are trying to do in the southern border of Lebanon?  In other words, why not an international force? What if we said, what if the president went to the United Nations and said, ok world, you all want us out of there, we‘re giving you a timetable.  A year from now, 14 months from now, whatever it is, we‘re getting out.  In the meantime, it is time to convene an international force to become the protector in Iraq.   Make that happen, because I‘ve got to tell you something, the Arab countries are a lot more scared of Iran taking over the Middle East than even America is.  

CARLSON:  Neal Boortz, I want to ask you about that.  

SPRINGER:  We‘re saying don‘t worry, we‘ll do it all.  So our kids are dying in Iraq for what? 

CARLSON:  Let me ask you Neal, because you mentioned Iran a minute ago.  And that of course is the other trouble spot in the region.  Iran has ignored, completely ignored the U.N. deadline to scale back its nuclear program, blown it off.  Tomorrow essentially is the deadline, and they are going to ignore it.  Should we at this point be preparing to target Iran, though? 

BOORTZ:  Ok. 

CARLSON:  There is a stick involved.  Is it time to exercise it?

BOORTZ:  Tucker, I‘ve got a lot.  First of all, I think Jerry Springer in the time of the Ku Klux Klan would say, let‘s not go after them. We‘ll just make more white people mad.  

SPRINGER:  That‘s not true, why do you say stuff like that.  That‘s not true at all.  That‘s not what I said.  

BOORTZ:  I did not interrupt you, Jerry.  I did not interrupt you, ok?  Thank you.  Ok.  Now, also of course Hamas is doing better.  We appeased them.  Hezbollah is doing better.  We appeased them.  And Jerry is dead wrong on the Middle East.  Right after we invaded Iraq—

SPRINGER:  Oh wait a second.

BOORTZ:  Sorry, Jerry, go ahead. 

SPRINGER:  Let me respond to you.  

BOORTZ:  All right, but I haven‘t yet responded to your comment, but you‘re already jumping to the gun.  Look -- 

CARLSON:  Let‘s not get into that.  Come on. 

BOORTZ:  Muamar Qaddafi, as soon as we invaded Iraq said, that‘s it, no more weapons programs here.  Saudi Arabia started instituting broader voting rights and more democratic reforms in that country.  Things were going fine until the left in this country decided it was more important  to take out their agenda against George Bush than to support him and the war on Islamic terrorism in the Mideast.

CARLSON:  Wait a second.  Hold on.  Let me say—let me just say that is a—I don‘t think that‘s a fair thing—I mean I think that the situation on the ground in Iraq has operated and unfolded independent of anything going on in the United States politically.  Just because the left is against the war and hates Bush --  

SPRINGER:  You think the whole Middle East changed because there‘s a demonstration against Bush and America.  Come on, Neal, you know better than that.  That‘s not the reason.  If it‘s good enough to have an international force in Lebanon, why is it not good enough to have an international force in Iraq?  Why do the American sons and daughters have to fight for the purple fingers in Iraq?  It‘s not making us safer.

CARLSON:  Gentlemen, I want to ask Jenny a pretty simple question here.  

BACKUS:  Ok. 

CARLSON:  There is this country called Iran.  We‘re pretty certain that they‘re building nuclear weapons.  We‘re actually almost positive they are.  Not just republicans, democrats too.  We‘re also certain that that‘s really bad because they‘re crazy, they want to destroy Israel and the United States.  Shouldn‘t we do something about them?  Let‘s be real.  What should we do, should we bomb Iran?  What‘s the democratic idea on this? 

BACKUS:  I think at this point we have to look at the military reality.  And the problem is, and this is another problem with Iraq—is that we‘ve spread our troops so thinly with no plan for—

CARLSON:  I know Iraq is bad, I agree.  But, no, what should we do with Iran?  

BACKUS:  But if you‘re looking at military options our military options about what to do with Iran. 

CARLSON:  But what should we do.  I know what we can‘t do, what should we do?

BACKUS:  We should sanction the heck out of them right now and we should make sure that we play hardball diplomacy with the Soviet Union and China and the other people in the Security Council.  And we‘ve got to make them economically hurt.  And then we can evaluate from there.  But we really don‘t have military options open to us as long as we‘re stuck in Iraq because we don‘t seem to have a plan to get out of there.  One more thing I really, really quickly want to say, which is this attack that Neal had and the president and Rumsfeld have had on calling democratic criticisms of this war, some kind of appeasement ala to the Nazis, that‘s the wrong way to fight a war.  If we are really truly in a war, we have all got to come together as one country and I think we are in a war on terrorism.  And if we‘re in a war against terrorism, we need to all be working together and we don‘t need to be questioning—

CARLSON:  Ok, Jenny.  If you‘re going to say that you know, all of us need to be in this together, let‘s take a look at what the American people that you have been referring to actually think about the war on terror here at home.  There is a new poll out on this, racial profiling, that‘s a controversial weapon against terrorists, of course, but it‘s not as controversial as it seems at least with the public.  A new (INAUDIBLE) University poll suggests that 60 percent of Americans approve of extra security screening for air or rail passengers who, quote, look Middle Eastern.  What do you think of that, Jenny? I mean as a liberal, you‘re always saying the American people want this, the American people want that.  In fact, the American people want pretty gross racial profiling against Arabs. That‘s what they want.  Do you want to give it to them? 

BACKUS:  They answered one poll question on that and I think it showed that people are scared.  I‘m against wide scale racial profiling—but look, in Israel they used some kind of passenger segmenting.  There is ways to do things that stay within the constitution.  But what it really says is that the American people don‘t feel like the administration and the republican congress have done enough to secure our borders.  

CARLSON:  I love that.  

BACKUS:  It does.  

CARLSON:  The American people have opinions you find embarrassing so you blame the Bush administration.  Jerry, do you?

BACKUS:  No, I don‘t find it embarrassing.  I mean I find it, that‘s not a fair characterization of what I said.  I personally don‘t think that we need to profile people if they look Muslim, but I do think we need to use some of the advanced techniques that other countries are using to stop terrorists like the British. 

CARLSON:  You‘re concluding that Israel uses racial profiling, of course everyone knows that.  I was just there, I can promise you, they do.  Jerry Springer, should we listen to the wisdom of the people and use racial profiling in a really obvious way at airports and rail stations? 

SPRINGER:  I think at this point we need to search everyone who is going on an airplane, and the reason is you don‘t think that those people who want to do us harm recognize that gee, if we have a guy that is Middle Eastern and maybe he‘s keeping his eyes down or he looks like he‘s carrying some weapons on board, that he is going to be searched?  No.  The next thing they‘re going to do is they‘re going to find someone who looks like he‘s from Kansas who has got blond hair or a little old grandmother and put something in her bag.  You know, this is an argument which is great for political debate, but it‘s irrelevant to the security.  Right now we need to search everybody who is getting on an airplane because honestly we don‘t know who the next suicide bomber is going to be.  We don‘t know what the next plan is. 

CARLSON:  And yet, suicide bombers have this habit of kind of looking

I must say I have been hearing that argument for five years.  But Neal Boortz, I notice when these guys were arrested in Great Britain, they weren‘t Swedish grandmothers.  Actually they were of Pakistani descent.  I mean they actually kind of fit the profile. 

BOORTZ:  Now wait a minute, you addressed that to me.  Should we get Jerry‘s response first before I start talking?

CARLSON:  Well yeah, I mean what do you think of it, I just wanted to get you in on it.  No, but I‘m serious. Why do they keep fitting the profile? It‘s sort of interesting, don‘t you think?

BOORTZ:  Ok, first of all, back to Iran because I didn‘t get to speak out on this, well I‘m going to go along with Jerry and gang there.  Let‘s send the French over there to negotiate for us. One of these worthless peacekeeping forces maybe to deal with Iran.  And let‘s wait until they are so strong that when we do deal with them militarily, the results will be catastrophic.  Now, on the profiling thing, look -- 

BACKUS:  So does that mean you want to bomb Iran and send troops in tomorrow? 

BOORTZ:  In the profiling thing on Israel, they look for terrorists.  In the United States we look for weapons.  Which tactic do you think is going to be the most effective? 

SPRINGER:  It‘s not an either or.  A certain number of people get on an airplane. There is nothing wrong with searching the people that get on an airplane and searching the luggage.  We have the resources to look at the luggage.

CARLSON:  We all agree on that.

SPRINGER:  Let‘s not look at that person, let‘s not look at that person.  Hey, if I‘m getting on an airplane, I want everybody looked at. 

BACKUS:  And I want to make sure there is enough screeners there and I want to make sure there‘s enough machines there to check people, which we don‘t seem to have. 

CARLSON:  And how about if the screeners have an IQ over 80.  That would be nice too. Thank you all for joining us.  Everyone of whom has an IQ way over 80.  Thanks a lot.  Jerry Springer, see you in a minute.  We have a nasty habit in this country of criminalizing weirdness.  You might not agree with the idea of polygamy, you might think it‘s repulsive, I do, but does that really mean it ought to be illegal?  We‘ll discuss that when we come right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  It looks like the government‘s billion dollar anti-drug campaign may actually have encouraged kids to take drugs.  Oops.  We‘ll explain that one.  Plus Jerry Springer returns to talk “Dancing with the Stars” with me.  We‘re both back in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Time for a look at today‘s stories I just don‘t get.  Let‘s first take another look at the capture of fugitive polygamist and a bad guy.  Bad guy, let‘s get that clear, bad guy Warren Jeffs.  There‘s an angle to this story that I don‘t get.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It‘s illegal and it‘s unacceptable, it‘s intolerable.  And it‘s stealing of their innocence and their youth by marrying them to older people.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  He‘s been on the run for more than a year and on the FBI“s most wanted list for three months.  Now Jeffs is cooling his heals behind bars, accused of, among other things, forcing under aged female followers of his religious sect to marry older men.  Jeffs‘ defense is that he‘s a victim of religious persecution, which is probably a crock.  I‘m not defending Warren Jeffs, let‘s be clear.  He sounds like a bad guy, a total creep.  I don‘t like polygamy.  Here‘s my question, here‘s what I don‘t understand though.  We‘re all for gay marriage, all civilized people for gay marriage.  You don‘t want to be against gay marriage because you know what, Americans, what they do in their private life is not the business of the government.  How can people who make that argument simultaneously say oh polygamy, it‘s bad. 

Why, because it‘s icky.  No, the reason is, because we don‘t know anyone who‘s polygamist, that‘s why.  Those of us who live in Los Angeles, in New York and Boston and Washington and all the fashionable places where TV is made, we don‘t know a single polygamist, therefore we think it‘s unacceptable and disgusting.  My feeling is, I don‘t know, if we‘re going to expand marriage to beyond one man and one woman, why not include multiple men or multiple women? I don‘t know, why not?  I‘d like to hear the argument.  If you have the argument, you are invited to be a guest on this show.  We‘ll love to have you on. 

Next up, we all agree that a mind is a terrible thing to waste on drugs.  Drugs are bad.  But I really don‘t get why it‘s ok to waste nearly $1.5 billion of your tax money on anti-drug ads.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Thinking of getting high? You better know what you‘re jumping into.  

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Another example perhaps of your tax dollars going up in smoke, because when it comes to Washington‘s drug crusade, it really does not pay to advertise.  In fact, a study has shown these campaigns might actually be convincing some kids it‘s ok to get high.  Yet when it comes to government spending, Uncle Sam just can‘t say know.  President Bush now wants another $120 million to keep the campaign—the anti-drug campaign alive.  Another example of piety crushing common sense.  We‘re all against drugs, particularly hard drugs, they‘re bad, we all know someone who‘s addicted to them.  That doesn‘t mean that anti-drug ads are worth putting on the air.  Anti-drug propaganda doesn‘t work very well, let‘s be honest about it, please, please.  And finally, I presume many of you are demanding an explanation right now about my upcoming moon lighting gig on “ABC‘s Dancing with the Stars.”

Quite simply, John Travolta is not available.  So I‘m being called upon to pit my fancy footwork against that of Vivica A. Fox, Maria Lopez and Jerry Springer, just to drop a few names.  Who‘ll win is any one‘s guess at this point.  But as this sneak peek of my dancing prowess might indicate, I don‘t intend to go down without a good fight.  We welcome now my fellow “Dancing with the Stars” contestant and soon to be nemesis, Jerry Springer.  Jerry, are you practicing? 

SPRINGER:  Tucker.  First of all, I give up. You win. 

CARLSON:  I was giving up, you win.  

SPRINGER:  No. No.  It‘s pathetic.  I am horrible.  Here‘s what I want to know.  I know that at the end of the first night dancing, then the next day people get to vote the first people off.  Have they ever like stopped a dance in the middle? You know how you stop a fight.  That‘s what I‘m concerned about.  That someone‘s going to throw in the towel in the middle of my dance and say get him out of here. 

CARLSON:  Now how much are you practicing?  I mean are you practicing every day? 

SPRINGER:  Oh, no, no, no.  You know, when I met my dancing partner and she‘s very nice, and she‘s a professional dancer, she‘s excellent and all that, and she says what do you want to work on? I said the only thing you need to know is CPR, because it‘s hopeless.  I do a couple of hours a day.  And then I do three days a week, I‘d say about six hours a week is what I practice.  It‘s not going to do any good. 

CARLSON:  So are you good at it. What dance are you learning? 

SPRINGER:  I‘m horrible. But this is—first of all, and this really isn‘t fair, I don‘t mean to be whining, Tucker.  But everyone, including you, is at least 25 to 30 years younger than me.  Unless there is a senior division, you know, it‘s just—this is ridiculous.  I‘ll be out. 

CARLSON:  I think I‘m the next oldest actually on the show.  I‘m voting for you Jerry.  So what dance are you doing and can you give us an above the waist demonstration of yourself?  

SPRINGER:  Above the waist, yeah.  No.  That‘s not it.  I think—the cha-cha.  Are we allowed to say?

CARLSON:  I think we‘re allowed to say.  I‘m doing the cha-cha.

SPRINGER:  Yeah we‘re doing the same dance right?  All the guys do the same dance the first night, isn‘t that true?

CARLSON:  There is no way I will be as stylish as you are.  Jerry Springer, I am actually really excited to see you in Los Angeles13 days from today.  

SPRINGER:  Yeah it will be fun. 

CARLSON:  It will be excellent.

SPRINGER:  It will be a smack down, Tucker-Springer, next. 

CARLSON:  Sell it on pay-per-view.  Jerry Springer, thank you Jerry.

SPRINGER:  There you go, thank you Tucker.

CARLSON:  Blow up dolls and outdoor sports, they go hand in hand.  We‘ll tell you what in the world these people are doing when we come back in just a moment.  Pretty sick.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Just when you think everything is falling apart, the world is  collapsing, there‘s Willie Geist, like atlas, the whole thing on his shoulders keeping it together.  Willie are you there? 

WILLIE GEIST:  You‘re putting a lot on me Tucker, you‘re putting a lot on me.  I have to say our friend Jerry Springer was sand bagging there.  We‘re 13 days away, we‘re inside two weeks away from “Dancing with the Stars,” he‘s saying he doesn‘t practice.  Please, he‘s going to come out like Gene Kelly on the 12th, I guarantee you.  Tucker, one story for you today.  Time for a little family fun Russian style. 150 presumed sexual deviants showed up outside St. Petersburg with their blow up dolls to compete in a river race.  Contestants mounted their inflatable friends and floated down the (INAUDIBLE) river in the one kilometer competition.  Technically there was a winner, but in a group of blow-up doll owners, it‘s hard to figure out who exactly that would be.  Now Tucker this sounds to me like a great excuse for buying a blow-up doll.  You walk out of the store, you run into one of your friends.  This?  No, no, I‘m going on a rafting trip this weekend with some friends.  It has nothing to do with my sexual deviance.  It‘s like buying “Playboy” for the articles.  You know it‘s a nice out. Right? 

CARLSON:  Willie, I think it is kilometer. But the fact that you mispronounced it makes me love you.  You‘re a true American Willie.   

GEIST:  No, in my region of New Jersey we say Kilometer. 

CARLSON:  Willie Geist, thanks Willie.  That‘s our show, thanks for watching.  Up next, “HARDBALL” with Norah O‘Donnell.

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

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