updated 9/6/2006 11:47:09 AM ET 2006-09-06T15:47:09

Guests: Steve Adubato, Jack Myers, Rachel Sklar, Jeff Corwin, Roger Cressey, Richard Miniter, James Hirsen, Rachel Syme, Katrina Szish, Emily Smith

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, Katie‘s big debut—new set, new outfit and a new direction for “CBS Evening News” when Katie reveals Baby Suri photos.  Is that sound you hear Walter Cronkite weeping?  Then the “Crocodile Hunter‘s” death by stingray.  Tonight, will his final wish of putting that deadly attack on TV be honored by his family?  We‘ll talk to one of his closest colleagues.  And the worst stars in Hollywood?  A secret survey of Hollywood insiders that reveals the biggest nightmares and divas.  Plus, one big-time screenwriter dishes dirt that‘s shaking Tinseltown tonight.

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  No fancy makeover required here,

baby, and only common sense—maybe I could use a little botox right here

allowed.

But first: CBS called it, quote, “one of the most highly anticipated developments in the recent history of network news.”  And I almost said that with a straight face.  So when Katie Couric became the first female to fly solo on network news tonight, we in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY watched with bated breath to experience the dawning of the Age of Aquarius for broadcast news.

Would Katie be able to uphold the grand traditions of CBS News titans Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, who was known as the most trusted man in America?  And could Katie help CBS put disgraced newsman Dan Rather in their cracked rear-view mirror?  And most importantly, friends, for CBS, could Katie compete with ratings winner Brian Williams and ABC veteran newsman Charlie Gibson?

Well, it took less than a minute to see where Katie Couric‘s vision of network news would be taking the network of Murrow.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATIE COURIC, ANCHOR, “CBS EVENING NEWS”:  And in something we‘re calling “Snapshots,” “Vanity Fair” has the baby picture everyone has been waiting for.  And tonight, so do we.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s right, dishing the latest dirt on Tomkat‘s baby.  What‘s next, a segment called Hollyweird?  But wait, we already have that market cornered.  But one thing that Katie showed off at the end of the show that I can‘t compete with, her legs (INAUDIBLE) proud as a peacock on the Tiffany network.

To talk about Katie‘s debut, her editorial decisions and her facial features, here‘s a media analyst Steve Adubato, who‘s also the author of “Speak From the Heart.”  Also with us, Rachel Sklar from Huffingtonpost.com.  And Jack Myers.  He‘s editor and publisher of Mediavillage.com.

Steve...

STEVE ADUBATO, MEDIA ANALYST:  Yes?

SCARBOROUGH:  ... rate Katie Couric‘s debut tonight.  It was historic, we‘re told.  How historic was it?

ADUBATO:  Well, with all the build-up, Joe, and the biggest advertising campaign I‘ve ever seen for any sort of anchor or anyone in our business ever, I mean, look, she was OK.  She was fine.  She read the teleprompter.

All right, but here‘s the problem.  My good friend, Joe, a different Joe, who happens to live in Nutley, New Jersey, said to me, I love Katie Couric.  I was looking forward to this.  I loved her on the “Today” show.  I said, What did you think, Joe?  He said, I ran home to watch her.  He said, I was disappointed.

Here‘s the problem.  He was disappointed because the job, Joe Scarborough, is to read teleprompter copy and introduce other reports.  Katie was never meant to do that.  She was great having fun, doing schtick.  You can‘t do that in 22 minutes on the evening news.  Frankly, she‘s getting big money.  Good for her, first woman.  She‘s miscast in the job.  I don‘t see it working long term.

SCARBOROUGH:  Ten million dollars to read the teleprompter, maybe even more than that.  Rachel, Couric mocked those who were asking about her wardrobe earlier this summer, and yet she showed a lot of leg tonight, and I don‘t want to be catty here, but an oddly frozen face.  Something was askew on air tonight with her.  I‘m not exactly what it was.  But did she look comfortable to you?

RACHEL SKLAR, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM:  I thought she looked very comfortable.  I thought she read the news well.  I thought she seemed to be having a good time.  She seemed very genuine in welcoming new viewers and in talking about her sign-off.  I didn‘t find her face oddly frozen, and I didn‘t find her demeanor frozen.  I thought she did a really good job, considering the intense pressure that was upon her at the network.

SCARBOROUGH:  And let‘s go ahead and go to what you‘re talking about regarding her sign-off.  Obviously, she has an awful lot of people that are working for her over at CBS News, a long history.  They‘ve got an army of producers, and of course, herself.  I mean, she‘s been in the television for decades.  But together, nobody could figure out how to say goodbye, so this is what she did.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COURIC:  If you have a bright idea for a great sign-off, log onto our Web site at CBSNews.com and tell me.  I know we‘ll have a lot of fun reading them, and who knows, maybe one will actually stick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Jack Myers, it looks kind of—I‘m sorry, it‘s just a little gimmicky to me.  What do you think about Katie Couric?  If she‘s the future of network news, does network news have a future?

JACK MYERS, MEDIAVILLAGE.COM:  I thought Katie was fine tonight.  I had a lot of problems with the format of the new “CBS Evening News,” but I thought Katie on a scale of 1 to 10 was an 8.5.  She‘s not the authoritative figure people want in the news, and that may be the problem that Steve‘s friend Joe has.  But she‘s a good facilitator.  She‘s a good guide.  She did a good interview with Tom Friedman.  But I thought there were some real problems with the format.

SCARBOROUGH:  What were the problems?

MYERS:  Well, first of all, I thought—it‘s time to speed up the news program, first of all.  It‘s only 20 minutes.  It‘s not the “Today” show.  Let‘s get more stories in.  We‘re not all just looking for context.  There are some people who watch the news to actually learn the news, not just find out what they think about the news.

ADUBATO:  Joe...

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, Steve?

ADUBATO:  ... here‘s the thing.  Let‘s be honest—and I appreciate what‘s being said, but here‘s the problem.  Katie was all right.  Nothing special.  But you‘re not supposed to be anything special as a network news anchor.  Listen, I‘m not here to flack for Brian Williams because he‘s on the network, but he‘s really good at this.  He was trained to do this.  He was groomed to do this, and that‘s what he does.

Katie Couric got people to love her, to be America‘s sweetheart not by reading the news into someone else‘s package.  It‘s by showing personality, doing long-form interviews, dancing with Antonio Banderas.  My friend Joe is disappointed in New Jersey because he wanted that, and that‘s not what you‘re going to get with Katie.  And frankly, asking people to suggest a sign-off is totally gimmicky because they have one.  And what are they going to do, have Joe from Bloomfield, New Jersey, or somewhere in Staten Island come up with a recommendation?  It‘s a joke, and they need to do that because when you‘re third, you have nothing to lose.

SCARBOROUGH:  And Rachel, isn‘t this what Katie Couric‘s all about, and these gimmicks and Baby Suri and everything else, it‘s getting a third place network to first place in the news, right?

SKLAR:  Oh, come on!  Who wouldn‘t want the Baby Suri scoop? 

Everybody‘s been after...

(LAUGHTER)

SKLAR:  ... those pictures.  I mean, CBS had a brilliant masterstroke here.  They had the one thing that could upstage Katie Couric‘s newscast.

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, but on the first night, though?  I mean, think of all the capital J‘s over at CBS News that are just rolling over right now, not believing that 10, 15 seconds into her first newscast...

MYERS:  Oh, Joe, come on!

SCARBOROUGH:  ... she‘s talking about Tomkat photos!

ADUBATO:  Joe, these guys are trying to say that you‘re doing it over the top.  And again, you got to watch this because we‘re on MSNBC and she‘s on a competing network, but she led into this by saying the photos that everyone‘s been waiting for.  Really?  In the news business?  In the media business?  This is what we‘ve been waiting for?

MYERS:  People have been waiting for that story, and that is news today.

SKLAR:  Everyone has been waiting for this story!  Who are you kidding?

ADUBATO:  What‘s the story?  What‘s the story?

SKLAR:  The story is the Suri pictures.

ADUBATO:  No, what‘s the story?

SKLAR:  The story is...

MYERS:  The story is the fact...

(CROSSTALK)

SKLAR:  ... have not been available for months.

MYERS:  Exactly.

ADUBATO:  Oh, the story is that there actually is a little girl.  I didn‘t realize it was so news-breaking.

(CROSSTALK)

MYERS:  ... world of entertainment, and entertainment is news today, and news is entertainment.  That‘s the way it works.

SCARBOROUGH:  And there is the point, is it not, that—that—you know, I had a friend who‘s in the media business telling me earlier everybody used to make fun of “USA Today” because “USA Today” would have shorter articles, two years later, the top newspapers screaming at the reporters, We need shorter articles!  And now you‘re having the same thing happening in broadcast news.  They make fun of cable news because we do a mishmash of things from hard news to pop culture, and now that seems to be affecting broadcast news also, right?

MYERS:  But the show did have some long, hard news stories in it.

ADUBATO:  Sure.

MYERS:  And the fact that it has one feature is certainly not a problem, and it was an important and good feature.  And if any—as Rachel said, anyone who could have had that scoop would have taken it.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, then, Rachel, you‘re the—out of four people, I‘m ashamed we only have one female speaking tonight.  And I just—I‘m going to go back and ask you about Katie Couric tonight and her performance because so much of what they do, these broadcast reporters, is how they connect with Americans.  You really thought she looked natural on TV tonight?  You didn‘t think her face looked kind of frozen through here and up here?

SKLAR:  Just because you ask me twice doesn‘t mean I‘m going to agree with you.  I thought she looked fine.  I thought she looked great.  She looked very comfortable.

SCARBOROUGH:  It didn‘t look like she had any injections in any parts of her face?

SKLAR:  No~!

ADUBATO:  You‘re being mean, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  I am not being mean!

ADUBATO:  You‘re being mean, Joe!

SCARBOROUGH:  I am not being mean!

ADUBATO:  Oh, come on, Joe!

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  If these people—I think it‘s fair to ask, does it look like she had botox injections?  And if she did...

ADUBATO:  No.

SKLAR:  Well, I don‘t know.  Does it look like Brian Williams has botox injections or look like Charles Gibson has botox injections?

SCARBOROUGH:  No.  I mean...

SKLAR:  Would you ask that question about them?

SCARBOROUGH:  Their facial features—by the way, have you ever seen Charles Gibson?  Doesn‘t look like he‘s had any work done on him!

ADUBATO:  Joe?  Joe?  She was a little nervous.  She‘s be fine.  But the fact is, she‘ll never be the Katie Couric that millions of Americans viewed every morning and tuned into every morning because it‘s a totally different format.

MYERS:  But the question is, What will she become, and will she become a viable newscaster?  That‘s the real question.

SCARBOROUGH:  And that‘s the real question.  Does she go ahead of Charles Gibson?  Does she go ahead of Brian Williams?

ADUBATO:  I don‘t see it.  She‘s be an average newscaster and a better teleprompter reader than she was in the past, but she will never be worth that money.  And no disrespect to Katie, she‘s better fit for a talk show.

SKLAR:  She‘s already been worth that money!

(CROSSTALK)

MYERS:  That‘s really unfair, and it‘s too early to judge Katie.  We need to give her at least a year and see where the ratings are and see how she‘s doing.

ADUBATO:  To do what?  To do what?  To become more charismatic on the news?  It‘s not about...

(CROSSTALK)

MYERS:  Exactly.  It‘s about the format of the news.  It‘s about the style of the news.  It‘s about...

SKLAR:  And it‘s about being nimble...

MYERS:  ... the brand extension.

SKLAR:  ... and responsive, and that‘s something she was trained to do on the “Today” show.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, we will see.  And of course, nobody should underestimate Katie Couric.  Certainly, God help me, if anybody goes back and sees my first broadcast on MSNBC, I think I passed out about three segments into it.  But anyway, thanks, Steve, for being with us.  Thank you, Rachel.  Thank you, Jack.  Greatly appreciated it.

And it sounds like we had three fairly positive votes for Katie Couric‘s performance tonight.  I‘m in the minority again.  I‘m in the minority not because of Katie Couric‘s delivery, but I thought it was a little gimmicky.  I thought she was just a little stiff and awkward.  But we‘ll see what happens in the future.

Stay with us because at the end of my show, I‘ve got a new sign-off that was inspired by Katie Couric herself.

But first, the final moments of “The Crocodile Hunter.”  Animal Planet‘s Jeff Corwin talks to us about the shocking death of his friend.  Would the croc hunter want the world to see the videotape?

Plus, an unlikely entry in the 9/11 blame game.  We‘ll show you the new network special that ABC‘s rolling out that suggests Bill Clinton could have stopped al Qaeda if he had only done more.

And later, a new tell-all is sending shock waves through Hollywood, Julia Roberts, Madonna and Sharon Stone‘s worst habits all exposed by a former co-star.  Wow!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back.  He‘s a man who cheated death time and time again, coming up close and personal with crocodiles, sharks, snakes and other beasts of nature.  But tonight, the world is mourning the loss of crocodile hunter Steve Irwin.  One of the animal world‘s best known characters, the man who made the word “Crikey” famous, he was killed yesterday after being stung in the heart by a stingray.  Cameras were rolling as Irwin was struck by the poisonous barb while filming a documentary along the Great Barrier Reef.

Chris Reisen (ph) with our Australian partner Seven News has more on the crocodile hunter‘s life and sudden death.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS REISEN, SEVEN NEWS (voice-over):  For the man who turned “Crikey!” into a catch (ph) cry...

STEVE IRWIN, “The CROCODILE HUNTER”:  Oh, crikey!

REISEN:  ... a national icon in stubbies (ph) and shorts, most of us didn‘t really get to know him until America discovered him for us.

IRWIN:  By crikey, I love me snakes and me crocs, mate!

REISEN:  But his life wasn‘t without controversy.  His unorthodox way of introducing newborn son, Bob, to the world attracted international criticism.  There were all those critics.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Look, he‘s turning animals into circus acts!

REISEN:  Two years ago, they slammed him for disturbing wildlife in the Antarctic.

IRWIN:  At no stage did I ever try and catch the whale.  However, the whales were all over me.  It‘s a big ocean, mate, and I can‘t swim as fast as a whale.

REISEN:  He didn‘t care.  He just loved his work.

IRWIN:  It‘s just like heaven on earth.  It really is.  I was born and raised here.

REISEN:  A career the 44-year-old was born into.  Mum and Dad owned a wildlife park.

IRWIN:  It was a tough existence, but my mum and dad made it work. 

With my help, of course!

REISEN:  He even met American-born wife Terry there, in the crowd in 1992.

IRWIN:  We started talking, and we fell in love right there and then, and it hasn‘t changed.

REISEN:  They have two children.  Before Baby Bob, there was Bindi, now a star in her own right.  His family and fans left to reflect on the irony of a man who courted obvious danger, killed by a creature normally so harmless.

Chris Reisen, Seven News.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  With us now, wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin.  He‘s the host of “The Jeff Corwin Experience” on the Animal Planet network.  Jeff, coming out of that package, it does seem so ironic, doesn‘t it, that your friend was killed by a sea animal that is so harmless most of the time.

JEFF CORWIN, ANIMAL PLANET:  It is ironic.  At the time that I heard of Steve‘s death, I was working up, actually, in Nome, Alaska, working a documentary on bears and musk ox.  And frankly, I couldn‘t believe it.  And then when I found out that his expiration was as a result of a creature that only injures out of defense, and rarely so, it just was—it‘s a terrible tragic irony.

SCARBOROUGH:  And cameras were rolling as Irwin brushed paths with the stingray that took his life.  Irwin‘s manager has seen the footage, and listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN STAINTON, IRWIN‘S MANAGER:  I did see the footage, and it‘s shocking.  It‘s a very hard thing to watch because you‘re actually witnessing somebody die.  And it‘s terrible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, Jeff, those of us who don‘t live like Steve or you could never understand why somebody who died on camera might even want the world to see that, and reports are that Steve actually does want the world to see, and said before that if he were to die on camera, he‘d want the world to see it.  Why would he—why would he want that to be seen by so many people, that horrible moment?

CORWIN:  Well, I myself haven‘t heard that he wanted people to witness

the moment of his passing, but you know, perhaps, as a witness to the way

he was interacting with that animal because, you know, he is a celebrity,

because he is a character and he has a very electric effect with people in

the way he presented his material, maybe it‘s a chance for—you know, to

for some sort of vindication, to say that, Look, I was following the rules.  I was doing the right things, and unfortunately, this rare, nearly impossible event became possible and caused his death.

Personally, myself, I don‘t want to see it and—but, you know, in my mind, hearing how it unfolded, you can see how something like this could occur.  He‘s just skirting on top of the animal, giving it its distance. 

Something spooks that ray.  That ray goes up, maybe gets too close to him,

and then the barb goes up near the sternum or just below it.  And it‘s just

it‘s just a frightful, frightful thing.

But I think what people have to remember is that this was a guy who loved his job.  Whether you liked him or whether you didn‘t like him, whether you want to criticize him or not, one thing you can‘t question is that he had an effect, that people were definitely plugged into him whenever he was doing his deliveries (ph), and he had an impact, as well.  This guy created a bridge, a bridge that connected the natural world to the human world, and he allowed information to go back and forth, enlightened people, excited people.

You have to remember, for hundreds of years, human beings have vilified crocodillians and snakes.  Because of Steve‘s work, and other people that are on television as naturalists, eyes have been opened.  And perhaps sometimes moments have been polarizing, but in the end, he educated people, he got them excited about nature.  And in Australia, he carved out huge amounts of habitat that will forever be protected.  And that doesn‘t even mention his zoological center.  How many millions of people have walked through there?  And you know, kids who live in the city of Brisbane who will never see the wilds can go to that place and experience the wildlife of Australia.

SCARBOROUGH:  And what a great, great legacy he left the people of Australia, and of course the world.  Jeff, thank you so much for being with us.  We really appreciate it.

CORWIN:  Thank you.

SCARBOROUGH:  And still ahead: Did Bill Clinton blow a chance to kill Osama bin Laden?  A firestorm over a new ABC 9/11 special that‘s headed to your TV set next week.

But first, “Must See S.C.,” one of the funniest TV interviews that wasn‘t supposed to be.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Time for tonight‘s “Must See S.C.,” some video that you just got to see.  Now, first up, talk about a close call.  Two local news photographers out in Iowa became part of the story today.  They were covering this high-speed chase through Des Moines when the suspect‘s car came racing right toward them.  The car skidded past the side of their van, and they narrowly missed being taken out by a police cruiser.  Police finally captured the felon, but not before two police officers suffered minor injuries.

The next—it‘s really hard to know how to set up this next clip.  It‘s from a Dutch TV show about surgeries gone terribly wrong.  This anchor reacts while interviewing a man who mistakenly had his testicles removed.

(VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh!  I knew some guys in Congress who talked that way. 

Now I know why.  The clips were bouncing around the Internet for months.  Some bloggers are even suggesting those people are actors from a Belgian parody show.  But we don‘t care.

Coming up next: A new look at the 9/11 blame game.  ABC TV is having a special pointing fingers at Bill Clinton, and now some big names are already in damage control mode.

And later, an indecent proposal for a reunion between Jennifer Aniston and Brangelina.  It‘s custom made for Hollyweird.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Still ahead on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, Suri Cruise has finally made her television debut.  Now that we have the scoop on why her parents waited so long to have her go public, we‘ll pass it on to you.

Plus, a secret survey exposes Hollywood‘s biggest headaches from Val Kilmer to Lindsay Lohan and some surprise names you won‘t be able to guess.

Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Those stories straight ahead.

But first, should President Clinton take responsibility for 9/11?

An ABC docudrama based on the 9/11 Commission Report seems to suggest, at times, that the president should.  The Democrats are calling the docudrama a mix of fantasy and deliberate distortion.

Here is a quick look at a part of the controversial movie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So, what‘s the word?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You go back.  Keep up the training, the rehearsals, get them sharp and ready.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Is that a go (ph)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They‘re worried about political fallout if things go wrong - legalities.  You know the draw (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do they want to get bin Laden or not?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They want a presidential finding that would allow for the possibility of UBL being killed accidentally (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m not advocating assassination.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Let‘s make that clear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They‘re looking for protection in case these tribals cross the line.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I don‘t get it.  Everybody in that room agrees that we‘re at war with this guy.  But they flinch at the idea of whacking him?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Here now is NBC terror analyst, Roger Cressey, who was a counterterrorism official at the National Security Council under Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush.

Also, Richard Miniter.  He‘s the author of “Losing bin Laden: How Bill Clinton‘s Failures Unleashed Global Terror.”

And also NewsMax columnist James Hirsen.  He‘s also the author of “Hollywood Nation.”

Roger, let me begin with you.  Obviously, there are parts of this docudrama that are more drama than fact.  But talk about Bill Clinton and the central premise by ABC, that he should have done more to get bin Laden.

ROGER CRESSEY, NBC TERROR ANALYST:  Joe, what‘s amazing about this, based on what I‘ve seen so far, is how much they‘ve gotten wrong.  They got the small stuff wrong, such as, Khalid Sheik Mohammed instructing Ahmed Ressam to carry out the Millennium attack.

Then they get the big stuff wrong - this fantasy about how we had a CIA officer and the Northern Alliance leader, Ahmed Massoud, looking at bin Laden.  And they breathlessly called the White House to say, we need to take him out, and the White House said no.  I mean, it‘s sheer fantasy.

So, if they want to critique the Clinton administration and the Bush administration based on fact, I think that‘s fine.  But what ABC has done here is something straight out of Disney and Fantasyland.

It‘s factually wrong, and that‘s shameful.

SCARBOROUGH:  But Roger, at the same time, doesn‘t history show that Bill Clinton had several opportunities to go after bin Laden, but the president and his cabinet were afraid to do so, because they may offend some people in the Arab world?

CRESSEY:  Actually, Joe, that had nothing to do with it.

If you read the 9/11 Commission Report, it makes it very clear.  In most of those cases, George Tenet, the director of the CIA, said, because it was single-source intelligence, it was his recommendation to the president not to take the shot.

There was never a case where we had a clear shot at bin Laden, and the decision to take it wasn‘t made.

SCARBOROUGH:  Richard Miniter, I know you‘ve written a book with a differing opinion.  And it seems to me there‘s a part of that book where you talked about how members of Clinton‘s cabinet were afraid of the fallout from a attack on bin Laden.  Talk about it.

RICHARD MINITER, AUTHOR, “LOSING BIN LADEN”:  Well, since February 1993, within 30 days of Bill Clinton being sworn into office, we had the attack on the World Trade Center, which the FBI determined was an attack planned by bin Laden‘s network.

We saw an attack virtually every year of the Clinton administration, and they basically - with the exception of their brilliant defeat of the Millennium plots in 1999 - they basically did nothing.

The former .

SCARBOROUGH:  Did they have a shot at Osama bin Laden, though?

MINITER:  After they had - they had 13 different shots, including a February 1996 offer by Sudan to arrest bin Laden .

CRESSEY:  That‘s flat-out wrong, Joe.  That is factually wrong.

MINITER:  Well, you know what?  Your argument is not with me, but with the 9/11 Commission and with Richard Clarke, your former mentor, who said on the record to me in my book “Losing bin Laden,” that they had opportunities to take out bin Laden that were not - they did not pursue.

CRESSEY:  Mr. Miniter, I read some of your draft.  Mr. Clarke shared it with me.  And you got it factually wrong.  And we went back to you and said, what you wrote was factually incorrect.

So, you are not a credible source here.

I actually talked to the 9/11 Commission and .

MINITER:  Well, first of all, I submitted my drafts to Clarke for accuracy.

CRESSEY:  . (INAUDIBLE) staff (ph).  And they did not say (INAUDIBLE).

MINITER:  And I have the e-mails from Clarke correcting the record.  I also have multiple sources.  Why don‘t you read the final draft .

CRESSEY:  You‘re so (INAUDIBLE) wrong.

MINITER:  . and talk about how accurate it is.

And also, the 9/11 Commission bought 35 copies of my book for research purposes.  And part of the questioning of Clarke was based on that text.

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, Roger, I‘m curious about this.

Obviously, there‘s a big difference of opinion, and I‘m going ask if I can get copies of those e-mails.  We can talk about it before the ABC show.

But it seems to me, Roger, I remember your former boss, Richard Clarke, when he wrote his book he was critical of both the Bush administration and the Clinton administration.  But once he got out and started promoting that book, he was a heck of a lot more complimentary of the Clinton administration.

I thought I heard some testimony where he said there was very little the Clinton administration did the last 18 months, as far as pursuing Osama bin Laden.  Am I misreading that information?

CRESSEY:  I think Dick is on record as saying the Clinton administration made some mistakes.  I think we both - both Dick and I believe we should have struck Afghanistan after the USS Cole was attacked.  I think there were plenty of opportunities to do more.

The question is, were these opportunities like what is being portrayed in this ABC miniseries?  And the fact is, Joe, they‘re not.

And so, ABC is deliberately misrepresenting what was portrayed in the 9/11 Commission Report.

MINITER:  Hey, Joe.

(CROSSTALK)

MINITER:  Hang on, Roger.  I‘ve got a question for you.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold one second.  Hold it a second.

MINITER:  After the attack on the USS Cole .

SCARBOROUGH:  James Hirsen - hold on.  I want to ask James this.

James, why would ABC deliberately put out a docudrama that somebody like Roger Cressey would say is flat wrong - a guy that obviously was very close to these events and was very close to the 9/11 Commission, that studied it from beginning to end?

JAMES HIRSEN, AUTHOR, “HOLLYWOOD NATION”:  Well, Bill Clinton disagrees with Roger Cressey.

We have a tape that NewsMax.com taped of a speech he made in 2002, to a Long Island business association, where he said that he was offered an extradition deal with Osama bin Laden and turned it down, because of legal indications.

And look, Santayana says that those that can‘t learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

There was a law enforcement paradigm in dealing with terrorism.  That‘s very important for the American public to see.  And that‘s what‘s being set forth in this ABC miniseries.

The wall of separation drafted by Jamie Gorelick, the inability of the FBI and the CIA to communicate, and the reliance on lawyers to make military decisions led to Osama bin Laden not being captured.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, James, let‘s look at a - you‘re talking about some things that actually are in the movie.  Let‘s look at another clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You can see from these aerial photos, which you all have copies in front of you, terrain is ideal for an exfiltration of this type.  We can zip in, zip out - no problem.  We can export (ph) utility vehicles at a staging point using a 15-man attack team.  We‘ve already rehearsed this a number of times.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Muj?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thirty-one mujahideen, four members of my special action team will dispose of guards, allowing us to enter from two points - here and here.

My second in command will lead a party that will burst inside the (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What kind of equipment?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  AK-47s, 50-round drums, silenced Colt Woodsman 22s, and thermal night vision goggles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, what are your intentions once you‘ve seized the target?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, we get bin Laden in handcuffs, get him into a Land Rover and get him out of there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  To where?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  To a cave complex 30 miles away, controlled by Massoud.  From there, we‘ll get him into Pakistan with a rendition team and then back to New York City for prosecution.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We‘ve already selected a desert landing site, flown a practice flight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A night landing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Absolutely.  Go in, out, no problems.  We can do this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I hope the indictment is sound.  I don‘t want to get bin Laden all the way back to New York and have some fancy lawyer get him off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The indictment is sound, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Roger Cressey, again, fiction?

CRESSEY:  So, Ahmed Massoud, the leader of the Northern Alliance - and the operative word there, Joe, is “Northern” Alliance.

Whereas, is in Tarnak Farms and Kandahar, where bin Laden was, that was in southern Afghanistan.  Massoud did not control a cave 30 miles near where this potential target was.

It‘s that type of factual inaccuracy that discredits this.  And, Joe, I‘m all for telling and debating the record as it was.  I mean, where are law enforcement issues?

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Roger, go big picture here.

CRESSEY:  Come on!

SCARBOROUGH:  Go big picture here.  So, they got the small facts wrong.

You‘re saying, though, also, they got the bigger picture wrong, that there was never a group like this in the White House debating this topic.  And finally they decided not to go ahead with a get on bin Laden.

CRESSEY:  There were several instances where the CIA came up with proposals, most of which were then shot down by CIA leadership, because they were not viewed as credible.

One, for example, relied on these tribal elements that the CIA had under control, and was ultimately agreed upon by everybody - including the CIA - that this was not a viable plan.

SCARBOROUGH:  And you say that Richard‘s book is fiction also?

CRESSEY:  Richard Clarke?  No.

SCARBOROUGH:  No, no, no, no, no - Miniter‘s.

CRESSEY:  Well, look.  When he wrote his book, he went to Dick about elements of the USS Cole discussion, and the initial draft he sent was factually inaccurate.  And Dick walked through it with Mr. Miniter.

So, he got the facts .

MINITER:  Miniter.  It‘s pronounced Mi-ni-ter.

CRESSEY:  You know, I‘ll tell you what.  The bottom line is, your book made mistakes.

SCARBOROUGH:  Richard, Richard .

MINITER:  My book .

SCARBOROUGH:  Why is it, Richard - what I don‘t understand is - why is, after all of that testimony we heard from the 9/11 Commission, that tonight we can have two very intelligent people on this show, who still can‘t tell us what really happened in the lead-up to September 11?

MINITER:  Well, the reason why Roger is windmilling his arms in his desperate plea to try and defend the Clinton record, is it‘s the past.  It can‘t be changed.

And while this ABC miniseries - Roger is right - in some respects does exaggerate and conflate things, basically, the Clinton record, with the exception of the defeat of the Millennium plots, is not that good.

They had opportunities to take out bin Laden, which they didn‘t take.  And following the attack on the USS Cole, Richard Clarke did present a plan to the Principals Committee for a massive air strike by cruise missiles at al Qaeda in Afghanistan.  And every Cabinet member sitting around that table vetoed it.

SCARBOROUGH:  Richard and .

MINITER:  And I don‘t just have that from Richard Clarke.  I have it from Michael Sheehan and from other sources.

SCARBOROUGH:  Richard and Roger .

CRESSEY:  I know.  I helped write that book.  I helped write that report, so I know fully well what was in it.

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘m going to have you guys back.

James, final question to you.  This is surprising, hearing from people that actually ABC would put together a movie that slanted to the right.

What‘s going on in Hollywood?

HIRSEN:  Oh, look.  This is Disney and ABC.  They‘re not slanting to the right.  They blamed the Bush administration just as much.

And there‘s a hysterical reaction.  They want to see this film stuffed down Sandy Berger‘s pants, for some reason.

They seem to have this reaction that, prior to the Bush administration, historical facts are off-limits.

And the big picture is that the law enforcement - the sole law enforcement paradigm for dealing with terrorists is exactly what the debate is today.  There are people on the left that want to return to that approach to terrorism, rather than using a military counterterrorism and considering this a war.

SCARBOROUGH:  Gentlemen, thank you for being with us.  And I‘ve talked to Roger Cressey an awful lot.  I would not say that Roger Cressey is on the left or the right.  He is an expert when it comes to counterterrorism.  I thank him for being with us.

Also, thanks so much, Richard.  Thank you, James.  I want to get you guys back on and really get this resolved on air.

Coming up next, funny man Jim Carrey‘s apparently anything but funny when he‘s making movies.

A new insider survey of the biggest Hollywood nightmares coming up.  Plus, Julia Roberts, Madonna and Sharon Stone all stabbed in the back by a former co-star?  The new Hollywood tell-all that‘s shocking the movie business.

(COMMERCIAL)

SCARBOROUGH:  Russell Crowe may be an Academy Award winning actor, but in Hollywood he‘s better known for throwing phones and yelling at co-workers.  According to a new survey of Hollywood insiders, he‘s Hollywood‘s top nightmare actor, and he‘s not alone.

Many well-known stars - well, they aren‘t loved on the sets of the movies.

Here now with all the dirt on who‘s hot and who is not, and who‘s too hot to handle, from RadarOnline, the folks who did the survey, Rachel Syme.  And also “US” weekly‘s Katrina Szish.

Rachel, let me begin with you.  Who is Hollywood‘s worst actor to deal with on-set?

RACHEL SYME, RADARONLINE.COM:  Well, we conducted this poll using some of our reporters, most of them Los Angeles based.  And they interviewed 50 or more of the biggest behind-the-scenes heavy hitters, producers, agents, directors, studio heads, ex-studio heads.

And in terms of the most nightmarish actor, what everyone had to say was Russell Crowe.

SCARBOROUGH:  Russell Crowe.  And what made him so terrible to deal with?

SYME:  Well, he just has a temper.  I think that people talked mostly about his temperament.  He has a tendency to throw phones at hotel clerks.  He made lewd gestures on the scene of “A Beautiful Mind” in 2002.  He kind of attacked a producer of an awards show.

He has a temper.

SCARBOROUGH:  Just not a kinder and gentler star.  And also, Katrina, of course, some names that you hear about a good bit yourself.  Lindsay Lohan - hell on wheels, on and off the set.  Why?

KATRINA SZISH, “US” WEEKLY:  Absolutely.  Lindsay is the ultimate party girl.  And I don‘t think that‘s a surprise to anybody.

She really does have talent.  And I think what‘s great about the Radar survey is they‘ve pointed out, this girl‘s got talent, but she has to grow up.

So, it‘s really her late nights, her exhaustion, which we know she‘s been chastised for.  She‘s a party girl who needs to grow up.

SCARBOROUGH:  And, of course, speaking of celebrities behaving badly, a new book, “The Devil‘s Guide to Hollywood” from Hollywood writer Joe Eszterhas, has a lot of juicy and hot and not-so-flattering details on celebrities, including the fact that Val Kilmer nominated scenes from his now - his film “Batman Forever” as one of the best film moments ever.

Katrina, this book is bad for a number of stars out there, isn‘t it?

SZISH:  Oh, it sure is.

It‘s a lot of juice on people who really would probably rather keep things behind the scenes.  You get little tidbits on Michael Douglas - all sorts of celebrities who seem to have it all together, but this guy reveals that they don‘t.

SCARBOROUGH:  And, of course, the danger of that is, for these celebrities who are so beloved, when we find out that they hurl phones at people, it‘s harder for them to play sort of that nice role where we sit back and smile and go, oh, gee, he‘s just like one of us.  Right?

SZISH:  Of course.  We‘re finding out what people are really like, or what celebrities are really like.  But the bottom line is, celebrities are real people, so we shouldn‘t be all that surprised.

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, and Rachel, who were some other runner-ups, as far as celebrities from hell?

SYME:  Well, Lindsay Lohan, of course, you already mentioned.

And also, another really surprising one that we found was Jim Carrey.

SCARBOROUGH:  Really?

SYME:  Which is kind of surprising, given sort of the disparate - he‘s funny and he‘s, you know, on-screen totally zany, but apparently in real life a little more humorless.

SCARBOROUGH:  Very hard to deal with.  Have you heard that before about Jim Carrey?

SZISH:  I have.  And it‘s so hard to believe, because if you think, who do I want to hang out with just once, it would be Jim Carrey.  He‘d be a blast.  But .

SCARBOROUGH:  Other than me, of course, yes.

SZISH:  I - a movie guy.

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, a movie guy.  Not a serious news guy.

SZISH:  No.  Ooh, I almost got in trouble there.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.

SZISH:  No.  But Jim Carrey is one of those guys who‘s very serious.  And people have even described him as depressed in person.  He‘s very different on set than he is in his films.

SCARBOROUGH:  Huh!  Very interesting.  Just like me.  I get very dark and moody after the show.

Rachel, thanks for being with us and .

SYME:  Well, thank you so much.

SCARBOROUGH:  . bringing us the great survey.  And Katrina, thank you so much.

Stay with us.

Coming up next, now that the long national nightmare is over, the real story behind the Suri Cruise baby picture.  That‘s coming up next in Hollyweird.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Whip out the Botox.  It‘s time to take a trip to Hollyweird.

First up, as we mentioned at the top of the show when Katie mentioned the top of her show, the moment‘s here.  Pictures of baby Suri Cruise are in the public domain.

The pictures are still so hot, her lawyers won‘t let us show them to you yet.  But here now with all the details on Suri‘s big debut from “US” weekly, Katrina Szish.  And from “The Sun,” Emily Smith.

Katrina, let‘s talk about this picture instead of Katie Couric, wearing the white after Labor Day .

SZISH:  So glad you mentioned it.

SCARBOROUGH:  . as you pointed out, and wasn‘t even a winter white.

Talk about these pictures.  Big news.  “Vanity Fair” breaks it. 

Right?

SZISH:  Huge news.  Not only did a celebrity weekly not break it, but the biggest magazine in the Hollywood world broke these pictures.

They were artistic.  They were beautiful.  And they were guarded like crazy.  And I think this is the best way to introduce Baby Suri.

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you how much “Vanity Fair” paid for it?  Are we going to ever find out?

SZISH:  We are - I don‘t think we‘ll ever find out.

SCARBOROUGH:  Probably .

SZISH:  (INAUDIBLE) rumors, but I have no idea.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.

Emily, talk about this story.  You‘ve read it, right?

EMILY SMITH, “THE SUN”:  Yes.  And it‘s mainly a picture story.  It‘s a series of very intimate shots with Tom and Katie.  And the baby, who we all feared - it‘s six months old now.  We haven‘t seen it until now.

But I can tell you, the baby‘s beautiful - big pudgy cheeks, big blue eyes and a big shock of hair.  It looks a lot like Katie, actually.

SCARBOROUGH:  It is a beautiful baby.  Anybody that saw Katie Couric‘s show earlier tonight saw it on there.  Very beautiful, and we‘ll see more of it, I‘m sure, straight ahead.

Also, three may be a crowd, but one artist wants to sculpt Hollywood‘s most famous threesome.  Daniel Edwards, the artist responsible for the statue of Britney giving birth on a bearskin rug, is working on a new project involving Brad, Angelina and Jennifer Aniston.

Please, Emily, tell us all about it.  You‘ve talked to him.

SMITH:  Yes.  I talked to him today.  And he didn‘t want to say exactly what the sculpture was going to be like, because he wanted to keep the surprise.

But, yes.  This sculpture features Hollywood‘s most famous threesome.

And he says, so far, he hasn‘t had any frightening letters from the lawyers, but he expects that may be to come.

SCARBOROUGH:  Is he suggesting that the three will be engaged in a physical activity together?

SMITH:  Well, he wouldn‘t go as far to say that, although I did try my hardest to persuade him to tell me.  But he says we‘ll have to wait and see.  He‘s going to unveil it in about a month‘s time.  And he expects it to create as much shock as the Britney Spears sculpture - you remember, when she was giving birth.

SCARBOROUGH:  It was - it was absolutely ghastly.

SMITH:  Yes, it was.

SCARBOROUGH:  And I don‘t want to see these three people together, either.  I mean, these three people couldn‘t even stand or be in the same area code, right?

SYME:  That‘s absolutely true.

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, there is so much bad blood between Brad and Jennifer and Angelina.  Right?

SZISH:  Of course.  But the party line is, we all get along just fine.  But I think, to be immortalized in some sort of questionable sculpture would not be on the top of any of their lists.

SCARBOROUGH:  No, probably not.  And also, not on the top of any actress‘ list.

Actor Rupert Everett, he‘s friends with some of Hollywood‘s leading ladies, including Madonna and Julia Roberts.  But they may not be so happy with him after his - this new tell-all book.

Katrina, he just gets nasty, doesn‘t he?  A little snippy there.

SZISH:  He gets a little snippy.  And he also just lays it all out there for Julia Roberts.  Remember, they were in “My Best Friend‘s Wedding” together.

And what he says is, “Julia always smelled a little bit like sweat, but I found that very sexy.”

So, he‘s really just dishing it out.  Doesn‘t have nice things to have about Sharon Stone.  But the thing is, we‘re talking about Rupert Everett.

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt.

And, Emily, just basically he says Sharon Stone‘s crazy.  Right?

SMITH:  Yes.  He says she‘s impossible to work with - so bad that a number of the crew were spitting in her bathtub before she went in it.  I mean, this quite serious stuff.  We‘re quite surprised, actually.

SCARBOROUGH:  Who else did he dish dirt on?

SMITH:  He was talking about Madonna, as well, saying how difficult she was and who distant, and how, you know, they met in a nightclub and she spent the whole night on her cell phone.

I mean, this is supposed to be a great friend of his.  So, we‘re quite surprised he‘s gone this far.

SCARBOROUGH:  And, obviously, we‘ve got to leave now.  But not a great way to get work with great actresses, is it?

SMITH:  No.

SZISH:  No, not so much.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.

SZISH:  Not good for those future roles with leading ladies.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thanks so much, Katrina, as always.

SZISH:  Thanks, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  Greatly appreciate it.  Thank you so much, Emily Smith, from “The Sun.”

As always, thanks so much for being with us tonight, to get the stories that matter the most to you and America.

I‘m Katie Couric.  Good night.

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

END   

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