updated 9/8/2006 11:51:35 AM ET 2006-09-08T15:51:35

Guests: Rachel Sklar, Judd Legum, John Fund, Billy Bush, Tony Potts, Courtney Hazlett, Jill Dobson

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, President Bill Clinton pressures ABC.  ABC caves, and now a former president‘s angry reaction to the 9/11 film moves Disney‘s CEO to censor that movie.  Should politicians be allowed in Hollywood editing rooms?

Then, developing news on the death of the “Crocodile Hunter.”  We go down under for the latest from his fans and his family.  Plus, how the race for ratings are driving daredevils like Steve Irwin toward a very public suicide.

And watch out, Tucker.  You‘re not the only one lobbying for votes for “Dancing With the Stars.”

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

We‘ve got all that and a lot more tonight.  But first up: All the president‘s men continue their preemptive strikes against ABC‘s controversial miniseries “The Path to 9/11.”  And tonight, it looks like they‘re about to intimidate ABC‘s bosses into censoring that film.  Sources are telling me and “The Los Angeles Times” that ABC, quote, “toned down but did not eliminate entirely the most talked-about scenes involving Clinton‘s national security adviser, Sandy Berger, calling off an operation to capture bin Laden.”

But in a statement released today, ABC said this.  Quote, “No one‘s seen the final version of this film because the editing process is not complete, so criticisms of the film‘s specifics are premature and irresponsible.”

But sources very close to the this story are telling me that Disney CEO Robert Iger is furious that the 9/11 movie portrays Bill Clinton and his administration in a damaging light.  He plans to force the company to strip the movie of all offending parts.  Meanwhile, Scholastics is also caving to pressure from all the president‘s men, or the ex-president‘s men.  They are now dropping it from the classroom companion guide to the ABC docudrama.

Here now to talk about it, John Fund.  He‘s a columnist for “The Wall Street Journal.”  Rachel Sklar from—the media editor for Huffingtonpost.com.  And Judd Legum.  He‘s research director for the Center for American progress.

Rachel, let me begin with you.  Are you surprised—forgot the fact for a second this is a Democrat.  Are you surprised that a TV network or a Hollywood studio would allow a politician to edit their movies to take out offending parts?

RACHEL SKLAR, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM:  No, I‘m surprised that they would make a miniseries based on 9/11 and load it with fiction.  I mean, do they need to make it more dramatic?  It wasn‘t a compelling enough experience?

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Rachel, I mean, my gosh, I guess if you saw Richard Nixon, the portrayal of Richard Nixon in Oliver Stone‘s movie, you‘d agree that G. Gordon Liddy should be able to go in the editing room and tell Oliver Stone to take out whatever parts that he engaged in artistic license in.  “Apocalypse Now”—why don‘t we tell Francis Ford Coppola that really didn‘t happen in Vietnam, so why don‘t we cut that part?  I mean, come on!  You have got to admit...

SKLAR:  These are apples and oranges.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... this is a—no, it‘s not apples and oranges!  It‘s not—I guess it is because this portrays Bill Clinton in an unfavorable light.  That Nixon movie by Oliver Stone portrayed Nixon in an unfavorable light.

SKLAR:  I think I lost my earplug.  I can respond to that, in any case.

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, go ahead.

SKLAR:  Well, I mean, I think that we‘re talking about 9/11 here.  It‘s the fifth anniversary.  It‘s still very fresh.  And how did we get to this point?  Just a few months ago, “United 93” just came out, and the emphasis was on—it was very fact-based.  There were no romantic sub-plots, not character arcs.  It was just based on the facts, and it was still extremely controversial.  Now we fast forward it to here, where we have to make it more dramatic and you have to improvise scenes that never happened?

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You can say the same thing about a thousand political movies, Rachel.  And of course, I‘ve been saying all week that 9/11 was not just Bill Clinton‘s fault, it was Bill Clinton and George Bush‘s fault and people that work in both of those administrations.  I find this to be a stunning precedent, and if Karl Rove were calling Iger demanding that they change parts that didn‘t exactly...

SKLAR:  Why isn‘t Karl Rove calling him?  Why isn‘t everybody calling and demanding that...

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you really want that to happen?

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you really want politicians to call movie directors and call movie studios and tell them how to edit movies?

SKLAR:  I think that that‘s not what we‘re talking about here.  We‘re talking about...

SCARBOROUGH:  We are talking about that!

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You just said that Karl Rove should call Iger.  If Karl Rove called Iger...

SKLAR:  In this specific situation...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... and tried to edit this movie or any other movie about George Bush, I would be just as concerned!

SKLAR:  You don‘t think that he would?  You don‘t think that they‘d be on the phone immediately?

SCARBOROUGH:  No~!  I don‘t think so.  I—and if they did call Iger, there‘s no way that Iger or any other studio boss would allow Karl Rove to go into the editing room and take out the parts that they found offending!

SKLAR:  They‘re presenting this as fact.  They‘re saying that it‘s based on the 9/11 commission report.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, and again, there are a thousand political movies that present things as facts that are just not facts.

Now, I want to have everybody take a listen to what Rush Limbaugh said on his show earlier today.  Limbaugh, of course, has seen this show.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  What is it with you Clinton people!  The world resolves around you?  See, the fact that they think they should have gotten an advanced copy means that they think that there is a right-wing conspiracy inside of ABC to shaft them, just because I got a copy, because I know Bob Iger, because I know Cyrus (ph) and the rest.  Well, I don‘t hear anybody else complaining!  I don‘t hear the Bush people complaining.  I don‘t hear Condoleezza Rice complaining.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, and of course, Bob Iger is a lot closer to Bill Clinton‘s politics than Rush Limbaugh.  Anybody who knows Bob Iger knows that.

Hey, Judd, just for argument‘s sake, I need you to trot out for me all of the inconsistencies in this movie.  I‘m not sitting here tonight saying that there are not inconsistencies.  There are.  I‘m just concerned about politicians censoring films.  Give us—give us the top three inconsistencies that Americans watching tonight should be concerned about.

JUDD LEGUM, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS:  I‘d be happy to.  And I think real problem here is they‘re not saying this is a drama, they‘re saying this is based on the 9/11 commission report.  But there are several scenes that not only aren‘t base3d on the 9/11 commission report, it‘s the exact opposite.  So that Sandy Berger scene you referenced earlier shows on the—it shows the Northern Alliance, the CIA.  They have bin Laden down at the barrel—looking down the barrel of a gun.  Sandy Berger says, Pull the plug.

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, Judd—and that‘s the most dramatic part of this.  This is the—that‘s the most offending part to the Clinton administration, right, that they had bin Laden in their scope, and they didn‘t take the shot.

LEGUM:  Yes.  And in fact, that doesn‘t—that isn‘t what happened.  And in—the reality is, if you actually read the 9/11 commission report, that Bill Clinton authorized the CIA to go get bin Laden, to either capture him or kill him.  And every time there was actionable intelligence, that‘s just what the CIA...

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, Judd...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Judd, you‘ve studied the 9/11 report, right?

LEGUM:  I have.

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  Wasn‘t there a part in chapter four of the 9/11 report where the CIA gave the Clinton administration actionable intelligence, saying that bin Laden was at a hunting camp, if they went ahead and delivered missile strikes against that hunting camp, they would kill bin Laden, but the Clinton administration pulled back?

LEGUM:  No, that‘s not what happened.  I mean, if you look at this—that particular incident...

SCARBOROUGH:  Right.

LEGUM:  ... in the 9/11 commission report, George Tenet takes responsibility and says it was his decision, that there was not actionable intelligence.  Every time there was actionable intelligence—you read this or you talk to...

(CROSSTALK)

LEGUM:  ... hero of this movie because the hero of this movie...

SCARBOROUGH:  All right...

LEGUM:  ... he says, Any time there‘s actionable intelligence.

SCARBOROUGH:  Help me out here, though, again, just so we‘re completely accurate here.  And you‘re right, Tenet did say that.  But the CIA—the guy that was in charge of the bin Laden unit for the CIA said it was actionable intelligence, right?

LEGUM:  Well, but George Tenet‘s in charge of the CIA, so he‘s the one who speaks for the CIA.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, and George Tenet‘s the same guy that was waving his arms around, telling George Bush that it was a slam dunk that there were WMDs in Iraq.

LEGUM:  Yes, and he‘s the same guy George Bush gave the Medal of Freedom to.

SCARBOROUGH:  And he‘s the same guy that George Bush should have fired instead of giving the Medal of Freedom to.  I would never listen to George Bush—or George Tenet when it came to actionable intelligence.  If I have the guy in charge of the bin Laden unit telling me I can take out Osama bin Laden, I‘m going to listen to I mean.

Let‘s look at another clip of this 9/11 movie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So what‘s the word?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (INAUDIBLE) Keep up the training, the rehearsals. 

Get them sharp and ready.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (INAUDIBLE) go?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They‘re worried about political fall-out, things go wrong—legalities.  You know the drill.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (INAUDIBLE) presidential finding that would allow for the possibility of UBL being killed accidentally (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m not advocating assassination.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (INAUDIBLE) clear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They‘re looking for protection (INAUDIBLE) 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:  All right, John Fund, let me turn my targets on you.  Don‘t you agree with me that if that scene never really happened, and we know it never happened and the 9/11 report tells us that it never happened, we shouldn‘t show it to Americans because I don‘t want kids growing up believing that Bill Clinton had a shot at bin Laden when he didn‘t.

JOHN FUND, “WALL STREET JOURNAL”:  Joe, I‘ve never thought docudramas were the way to educate people on history.  Look, we—they don‘t know where “West Wing” ends and where history begins if we do it this way.

But I want a consensus here.  It would be nice if people felt the fidelity to the facts were most important than politics.  The same people who are complaining about this Clinton document—docudrama are the same people who were largely silent when Ronald Reagan was trashed in that CBS docudrama a couple of years ago.

In addition, I understand from people who worked on this film that both the Bush and Clinton administrations would have complaints about this.  Both of them had intelligence failures, and both of them apparently have scenes that are fictionalized.  It would be nice if the complaints were, shall we say, bipartisan.  If we had fidelity to the facts and...

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, so John Fund...

FUND:  ... we all agreed...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... you wouldn‘t have a problem if Karl Rove called Iger up and said, OK, you‘re going edit the Clinton parts out that they don‘t like, we want you to edit out these five scenes.

FUND:  Look, people complain about books before they‘re published all the time, if they‘re inaccurate.  Now we‘re moving that to television.  My problem is this.  At least books, hopefully, are distinguished between factual books and fictional books.  The docudrama is a blend.  And unfortunately, you don‘t know where things end and where things begin.  I think we should all get together, because it‘s in all of our interests to have history reported accurately, and say, Let‘s agree, Democrats and Republicans together, let‘s take out all of this, and let‘s make them responsible.  There‘s enough drama here...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  And I agree with that, too.  And Rachel, you brought up the fact that we‘re coming up on the five-year anniversary.  This is a time that we all come together, figure out what Clinton did wrong, figure out what Bush did wrong, figure out what America needs to do in the future.

What‘s your prediction?  Do you think ABC‘s going to substantially edit this movie?

SKLAR:  You know, I really hope that they don‘t run it at all.  They can‘t—they can‘t go through it and make it absolutely 100 percent true.  They can‘t edit out all these—the little pieces of information all scattered throughout the film.  You have the screenwriter talking about how it was improvised in places and how they were going with the flow.  I mean, there were—it should be so simple.  Find out what happened, fact check it, and then shoot accordingly.

FUND:  Well, Joe, you know, it would have been nice if the Reagan docudrama a couple of years ago would have been handled that way.  But at least when they finally showed it on Showtime, they had a panel discussion on the end, where they brought in the Reagan administration officials and had them confront their critics.  I hope ABC does the same thing here.  Let‘s have Sandy Berger and Madeleine Albright go on television in a panel discussion afterwards, and regardless of what‘s on there, they can debate and they can bring out what really happened.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right...

LEGUM:  Why would they go and speak after a film that slanders them with something...

FUND:  Excuse me!

(CROSSTALK)

FUND:  The Reagan administration officials did it after the Showtime docudrama!  Are you going defend the Reagan docudrama?  Please don‘t!

LEGUM:  Well, what did they do...

(CROSSTALK)

LEGUM:  What did CBS do—what did CBS do with the Reagan...

FUND:  Showtime aired...

(CROSSTALK)

LEGUM:  They took it out.

FUND:  ... a panel discussion at the end which actually represented real people discussing real history, trying to express exactly what happened.

SCARBOROUGH:  And of course, Showtime...

FUND:  And I‘m hoping ABC will do the same thing here.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... also owned by Viacom, ran the entire...

FUND:  Yes.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... miniseries in its entirety, and then they had the panel discussion afterwards.  But I agree with Judd.  If I‘m misrepresented in a film, I ain‘t talking about it afterwards.

John Fund, thank you for being with us.  Rachel, as always, we appreciate it.  And Judd, really appreciate your insights, too.  We‘re going to continue this conversation next week, and I hope they can come back and talk some more about it.

But still ahead, from Washington, D.C., to down under.  Did the “Crocodile Hunter” set a dangerous example for other animal handlers?  Why critics say his brand of close-encounter TV should be an endangered species.  And we‘ll get you up to date with the very latest on his tragic death.

Plus, part two of our exclusive investigation, why government contracts may be costing U.S. troops their lives.  We‘ll show you some startling new evidence from Lisa Myers.

And later: What caused this weatherman to freak out on the air?

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s “Must See S.C.” on its way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, my God!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  ... heavier rainfall, and eventually (INAUDIBLE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back.  Tonight, the world is preparing for a final farewell to “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin.  Of course, Irwin was killed Monday after being stung in the heart by a stingray while he was out shooting a documentary.  His fans have created a memorial to him outside the gates of his Australian zoo, and the prime minister of Australia even offered a state funeral for the man who quickly became an international ambassador for that country.  Irwin‘s family turned down the offer, saying their son just wanted to be remembered as an ordinary bloke.

Robert Ovadia with our Australian partner Seven News has more on how Australia and the family is remembering the “Crocodile Hunter” tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERT OVADIA, SEVEN NEWS (voice-over):  Australia Zoo, a sea of flowers and tributes and emotion, much of it on the faces of blokes in bush hats and khaki shorts, blokes like Steve Irwin‘s father, Bob.

BOB IRWIN, STEVE IRWIN‘S FATHER:  I‘m not sure whether I‘m going to be able to get through this.

OVADIA:  It was tough, and just as tough for his daughter-in-law.

IRWIN:  Terry‘s holding up very well, considering.  She‘s extremely concerned for her children, Bindi and Robert, obviously.

OVADIA:  Steve, he said, died doing work he loved.

IRWIN:  And that‘s a lot better than getting hit by a bus.

OVADIA:  Bob Irwin has lost a son and a friend.

IRWIN:  I‘ll remember Steve as my best mate ever.  I‘m a lucky, lucky guy that I‘ve had the opportunity to have a son like Steve.

OVADIA:  And no, they don‘t want a fancy state funeral for Steve. 

Why?

IRWIN:  Because he‘s an ordinary guy.

OVADIA:  Steve Irwin‘s body came home from Cairns last night, a six-hour flight, his friend and manager, John Stainton, riding alongside the coffin.

JOHN STAINTON, STEVE IRWIN‘S MANAGER:  For five hours, I couldn‘t stop crying.  It was, like—it was devastating!

OVADIA:  A funeral date hasn‘t been fixed.  It‘s likely to be private.  One of the last pictures of Irwin and daughter Bindi is in the current issue of “Marie Claire” celebrating Father‘s Day.  “He‘s funny, he‘s entertaining and he‘s always there,” Bindi said.  “I‘m proud to have a dad like that.”

JESSICA PARRY, “MARIE CLAIRE” REPORTER:  Just that beautiful bond that they had, and I knew that that little girl would be so devastated.

OVARIO (on camera):  In November, Steve Irwin was to be named Australia‘s tourism ambassador.  Ironically, worldwide interest in his death could create a surge of visitors here.  And judging by tourists we spoke with today at Low Isles, that‘s even likely.

(voice-over):  Low Isles is 14 kilometers off Port Douglas.  It‘s where Irwin‘s body was taken before being airlifted to Cairns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It is a great place for anyone to grow up.  And you can only think that‘s what Steve would have probably wanted.

OVADIA:  It remains to be seen whether visitors are frightened off.  And Irwin‘s fans have been warned about scam artists trying to collect donations in his name.  Irwin‘s family says the only legitimate site is Wildlifewarriors.org.au.

IRWIN:  Steve would want his work carried on.

OVADIA:  Robert Ovadia, Seven News.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  And Steve Irwin was a founding father of a new kind of television format, close-encounter TV.  He turned up close and personal interactions with deadly animals into an art form, and it was that deadly dance that ultimately let to his death.  Now, in the wake of Irwin‘s shocking death, a lot of people are asking the question whether these shows go too far.  NBC‘s John Larson has that story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEVE IRWIN, “THE CROCODILE HUNTER”:  Oh!  See the way, when he flattens his neck out...

JOHN LARSON, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  Can you remember the first time you saw him?

IRWIN:  What he‘s doing is, he‘s saying, I‘m venomous!

LARSON:  He was fun.

IRWIN:  I‘m wild, and I‘ll bite you!

LARSON:  Almost impossible to ignore.  But it wasn‘t just his enthusiasm, it was the nagging fear that one day, Steve Irwin might get too close.

IRWIN:  I do think about my own mortality a heck of a lot because I‘d hate to think that Bindi grew up without a dad.

LARSON:  Of course, the unpredictability of wild animals has always been entertaining because you never quite know what‘s going to happen.  But then there are the horrible accidents—Roy Horn‘s tiger mauling in Las Vegas.  He survived but badly injured.  And now Irwin the “Crocodile Hunter” killed by a stingray stab to the heart.

(on camera):  The problem, say critics, is that danger not only made Irwin an international celebrity, but it also started a new kind of television.  Before Steve Irwin, there were only two wildlife shows in the United States.  But after him, almost 30.

(voice-over):  Shows like Animal Planet‘s “They Shoot Crocodiles, Don‘t They?” exploits close encounters.  Even National Geographic‘s Boyd Matson feels the pull of getting very close.

BOYD MATSON, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC:  I‘ve made this mistake sometimes myself.  I‘ve thought that, All right, this is really good, but I could get a better shot if I got a little bit closer.  And it‘s not always with a wild animal.  Sometimes it‘s about standing on the edge of a cliff face or the edge of an active volcano.

LARSON:  But what started with Irwin, critics say, has gotten out of hand.

DIANE GUERRERO, ANIMAL BEHAVIOR CONSULTANT:  The trend these days is towards edu-tainment, which is education combined with entertainment, and sometimes ratings get in the way of safety.

LARSON:  Look no further then “Grizzly Man, the award-winning documentary which tracked bear lover Timothy Treadwell into the wilds of Alaska.  The danger, obvious.  But it was the terrifying you-knew-it-was-going-to-happen ending, in which both Treadwell and his assistant were killed by a bear, that audiences to see “Grizzly Man.”

IRWIN:  Terry and I have caught a couple of crocs.  They‘re a little bit too naughty.

LARSON:  Fans of Irwin hope he‘ll be remembered as the passionate conservationist that he was and not some daredevil dying to please his audience.

John Larson, NBC News, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  And coming up, the “Must See S.C.” weather moment you got to see.  And later: Paris Hilton busted for allegedly driving under the influence.  The big surprise isn‘t that she was drinking but where she was heading.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Time for tonight‘s “Must See S.C.,” some video you just got to see.  First of all, a weatherman at a 24-hour cable TV station in southern Florida is attacked by a cockroach, all while taping his report.  Let‘s take a listen to his reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  ... pushing across central Florida, so places like Orlando, Daytona Beach, the Cape Canaveral area, Vero Beach, will be getting in on the heavier rainfall, and eventually—oh!  I am so sorry, Bill.  Oh, my God!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What the hell just happened?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh!  This is what just happened!  That thing was crawling on my leg!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  What was it, 12 feet tall?  But that‘s not all.  It looks like the cockroach may have come back for more three hours later.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, God, if that—oh, my God!  There it is! 

(DELETED)  Oh, my God!  Oh, no!  Right at the wall from me!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  That sounds like my director.

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  Anyway, the joys of reporting.  We got it from the Internet, so we don‘t know if it‘s fake or not, but friends, as always in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, we don‘t care.

Coming up next, more of our NBC News exclusive investigation—getting serious very quickly—why some in the Pentagon may be putting the interests of government contractors over the safety of our troops.  And they are doing it, according to this disturbing new report.  You‘re not going believe it.  Plus, dumped by Trump, or was she?  “Apprentice” co-star Carolyn Kepcher is here.  She tells us what really happened in the boardroom when the Donald let her go.  And here‘s a hint: She says she quit.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back.   Last night we showed you part one of the NBC investigation into the Army‘s apparent opposition to a weapons system that could save the lives of our American troops in Iraq.

Tonight, NBC Senior Investigative Correspondent Lisa Myers has part two of this disturbing story you just have to see—Lisa?  

LISA MYERS, NBC NEWS SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT:  Joe, Pentagon sources and internal Army documents raise serious questions about how Raytheon won this $70 million contract, beating out competitors with more proven systems.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MYERS (voice-over):  The Army program to field an RPG defense system is run by Colonel Donald Kotchman.  

COL. DONALD KOTCHMAN, U.S. ARMY GROUND COMBAT SYSTEMS:  The reason the Raytheon was selected was because of its systems engineering expertise and the discipline which they used in analyzing requirements, threats, and potential solutions to deal with those.  

MYERS (on camera):  And was the selection process neutral and objective?  

KOTCHMAN:  Absolutely.  

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MYERS:  However an NBC News investigation of the Army selection process, including confidential Army documents, reveals that, at almost every turn, Raytheon was given a significant competitive advantage over other defense contractors.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MYERS (voice-over):  First the testing.   The Army planned a Shootoff last year to test competing RPG defense systems.  But Raytheon‘s system was still on the drawing board and the Army cancelled the Shootoff.  

(on camera):  Was the Raytheon system tested by the Pentagon?  

KOTCHMAN:  The Army did not specifically test the Raytheon system.  

MYERS (voice-over):  Instead, Raytheon tested its own system this February.   What is more, this video, obtained by NBC News, shows that Raytheon‘s system was not tested under the most trying of conditions.   It was mounted on a test stand and not on a moving vehicle.  

(on camera):  How well did the Raytheon system do on its own testing?  

KOTCHMAN:  I don‘t have that information. 

MYERS (voice-over):  Another office in the Pentagon did test a competing Israeli system called Trophy, and found it at least 98 percent effective against RPGs in near battlefield conditions.

Several Army generals were supposed to attend those tests, but canceled.

This e-mail from one senior Army official, who didn‘t show up, says, “Focus all efforts towards supporting the fielding of the Raytheon RPG Defense solution.   I don‘t want anyone to think I am supporting Trophy.”

Second, the selection team, a technical team assigned to evaluate competing RPG Defense Systems.  Here, again, Raytheon had an advantage.  

(on camera):  Do you know how many of the 21-person technical team worked for Raytheon?  

KOTCHMAN:  To the best of my knowledge, none.  

(voice-over):  In fact, Army documents obtained by NBC News reveal that nine of the 21 experts, as well as all the administrative personnel, were from Raytheon.  

(on camera):  It appears as though Raytheon was allowed to select itself.

KOTCHMAN:  I don‘t know that to be a fact.  And so I really can‘t comment on it.  

(voice-over):  The Army later told us that there were 30 members of the technical team and two administrative assistants, and a total of eight were from Raytheon.  

PHIL COIL, FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE PRINICIPLE ADVISOR:  That sure doesn‘t look like an objective panel to me.  

(voice-over):  Phil Coil is a former principle advisor to the secretary of defense on weapons testing and evaluation.  

COIL:  It just does not pass the (inaudible) test when you have that many people from one company on the selection panel and then that company is the one that is chosen.  

(on camera):  Pentagon officials we spoke to said that the Army, quote, “cooked the books” on this.  

KOTCHMAN:  I don‘t know the basis of their assertation that books were cooked.  And so I can‘t confirm that.  

(voice-over):  How can this happen?   Senior Pentagon sources cite the coziness between military brass and defense contractors, as well as an Army practice that essentially lets the companies building the weapons tell the Army which weapons to buy.  

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MYERS:  In a slap at the Army, the Senate recently ordered Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to put together a new independent team to evaluate all RPG defense systems, foreign and domestic—Joe?  

SCARBOROUGH:  Thank you so much, Lisa.

And I hope you at home understand exactly the import of this investigation.  We have a system right now that has a 98 percent effectiveness kill rate. 

And yet, the Army will now allow that system to be fielded because it might hurt Raytheon‘s bottom line.  And they won‘t be ready for their system to be in the field for another ten years.  

Can you imagine how Americans will die on battle fields if the Army gets its way?   It‘s a disgrace.

And thanks again to Lisa Myers for that shocking report.

Now, on a much lighter note, fans of the “Apprentice” were shocked last week to hear that Donald Trump fired “Apprentice” sidekick Carolyn Kepcher.  And Kepcher says the media has the story all wrong.

MSNBC‘s Rita Cosby talked with her about her life after Trump.  

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, FINANCIER:  You‘re fired.   You are fired.  You‘re fired.  You‘re fired.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Don‘t say it, Mr. Trump.  

TRUMP:  You‘re fired.

(END VIDEO CLIP)  

RITA COSBY, MSNBC HOST:  What is the story?   Were you fired?  Did you quit?  Did you hear those famous words, “You‘re fired,” that Trump always says?

CAROLYN KEPCHER, FORMER TRUMP SIDEKICK:  Oh, I know the media is having such a field day with this.  

You know, as I said, the fact of the matter is I have been with Donald for 11 years.  And I have two very, very successful golf properties.   And it really is a time for me to move on.  I am very happy.   I am looking forward to new opportunities.  

I‘m sure Donald—I hope he misses me.  But I am sure things are going work out fine.  

COSBY:  Was it a discussion, a continual discussion, or was there one sort of final discussion where he said this is how I feel, this is how you feel?  

KEPCHER:  No, we‘ve been talking about this for some time.   And I‘ve been talking with my husband about this for some time.  So I certainly missed out on some good family time.  So that is one thing I certainly look forward to doing, which I‘m doing now which I appreciate.  

COSBY:  How tough is it?  People are going around saying Trump said you are fired.  How tough is that for you to hear?  

KEPCHER:  Oh, like everything else, it is tabloids, it is media.   The people who know me, the people I worked with, they are very, very supportive.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  As always, Carolyn and George will be my eyes and ears.  Good luck.

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

COSBY:  Carolyn, I actually just ran into your co-star, George Roth.   He has a new book out.  Meanwhile, he‘s been criticizing you, saying that you were spending so much time on speaking engagements, looking at your fame.   What is your reaction?  

KEPCHER:  Well, ironic.  I didn‘t realize he wrote another book.  

COSBY:  What do you think of his comments?  

KEPCHER:  Well, obviously, I disagree.  

COSBY:  Do you find it ironic he has a new book out?  What‘s your reaction to his comments about you?  

KEPCHER:  I‘m shocked.  I find it very ironic to say the least.   But again, good for George.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  Carolyn, who would you fire?  

KEPCHER:  I would have to say Felicia?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  What was it like rising through the ranks of the Trump organization?   You became one of the highest ranking women.  How tough was that?  

KEPCHER:  Yes, it was tough, but I enjoyed it.   Why I lasted so long, and I believe why I was successful, I really enjoyed what I did.  I had such a passion for it.  

COSBY:  Were you surprised how famous you became?   Here you are this working woman, working mom and then you are thrust in the limelight of one of the hottest shows.  

KEPCHER:  It definitely hit me.   It shocked me.   I enjoyed it.  That certainly was not in my job description when I started with Donald years ago.   But it has been a wonderful experience.  And I wouldn‘t change it for the world.  

COSBY:  What‘s ahead for you?  I am sure you are getting lots of offers.  

KEPCHER:  The phone‘s been ringing.  

COSBY:  What kind of things are coming your way, what types of things? 

KEPCHER:  Well, certainly I have had some calls and e-mails from the gold industry, the PGA.  I‘ve had some from—they call it—the TV world.   I have certainly had some from radio shows and news articles.  

Again, they are all very, very exciting.  And I would like to sit down and think about it before I really entertain anything.  

COSBY:  You know, Trump even says on the show, he said, “learn from bumpy times.”   What have you learned from this?  Do you think you‘re going to come back stronger and better?  

KEPCHER:  You know what, Rita?  I have a lot of confidence in myself.  And I know what I have done for the Trump organization.  And I think I have done very successful things for the organization.   I am a business person.   And I am very proud of myself.  I‘m proud of my accomplishments.   I‘m a proud person.

So am I going survive this and go forward?   Absolutely.   Not a doubt in my mind.

(END VIDEOTAPE)  

SCARBOROUGH:  Thank you so much, Rita Cosby.

Still ahead, robbers target Lindsey Lohan.  And we have the brand new video showing her tearful reaction.  That‘s coming up in “Hollyweird.”

Plus, Al Sharpton endorses my rival, Tucker Carlson for “Dancing with the Stars.”  So we‘re fighting back Scarborough Country style.

And next, Paris busted for DUI.   She claims she only had one drink.  And what a big drink it must have been.  But did she tell the cops the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the slutty truth?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  

SCARBOROUGH:  Paris Hilton gets busted for allegedly driving drunk. 

And it‘s the biggest news in Paris since, well, the Paris Hilton sex tapes.

How drunk was she?  Where was she and Rod Stewart‘s daughter going?  

Well, for all the answers on the hell raising hotel heiress, let‘s turn to Billy Bush and “Access Hollywood.”  

BILLY BUSH, “ACCESS HOLLYWOOD”:  Joe, Paris Hilton is famous for doing nothing but being famous.  You‘ve heard that before.  Tonight, she‘s famous for doing something. 

But unfortunately for her, that something was allegedly driving under the influence of the alcoholic beverages.

With more on Paris‘ brush with the law, here is our Tony Potts.  

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hi, Nikki.  Is she OK?

NIKKI HILTON, SISTER OF PARIS HILTON:  Yes.

TONY POTTS, “ACCESS HOLLYWOOD” (voice-over):  That is Nikki Hilton leaving her sister‘s home today following Paris‘ early morning arrest.

Just after midnight last night, Paris was cuffed and tucked neatly into a police car, arrested on suspicion of DUI.  

RYAN SEACREST, RADIO PERSONALITY:  Thank you for listening this morning.  What are you doing? 

POTTS:  Now this morning, Paris spoke out in her own defense to Ryan Seacrest on LA‘s KISS FM.  

RYAN SEACREST:  There is no DUI charge for Paris Hilton.  That‘s the bottom line, no charge.  

PARIS HILTON, HOTEL HEIRESS:  Yes, they were really nice.   And, you know, it was cool.  And they understood that I had been working all day and.  

POTTS:  But here are where the discrepancies begin.  Two minutes earlier in her interview with Ryan Seacrest, Paris said she had eaten.

HILTON:  I go off at night, or actually last night, at 10:00 p.m.  So then I went and had dinner with my sister and my girlfriend.  

POTTS:  She went for dinner at Simon‘s where the group ordered champagne.

(on camera):  This we know for sure.  Paris spent the earlier part of the day shooting a video for her new CD.  Then, after dinner, she came here to the Dragon Fly Lounge to attend a charity event hosted by Dave Navarro, where she says she had just one drink.  Then afterwards, left with her friend Kimberly Stewart.  

HILTON:  I had one margarita.  Starving, because I had not ate all day

on my way to In and Out, which is probably three blocks away.  

POTTS:  Now, police pulled Paris over in her $.5 million Mercedes-Benz at 12:30 a.m. at this intersection of Selma and Wilcox.   They say she was, quote, “driving erratically.”  

SEACREST:  Now, the reports, if you just flip on the news and look quickly, the reports are that you were recklessly driving, or driving erratically.   Any truth to that?  

HILTON:  No, I was just really hungry and I wanted to have an In and Out burger.  And I‘m in my SLR, which is a little fast.  

POTTS (voice-over):  I‘d say.  You see, Paris‘ Mercedes SLR McLaren, which is currently be held by police in an impound lot, had a top speed of 208 miles an hour and can go from zero to 60 in under 3.8 seconds.  

HILTON:  So, maybe I was speeding a little bit.   And I got pulled over. 

POTTS (on camera):  Police say Paris appeared to be drunk so a sobriety test was issued.  It showed Paris‘ alcohol level was at the .08 limit, meaning the minimum California requirement for a DUI.  

HILTON:  There were a lot of paparazzi around so I think they were trying to make a statement.  And they even said, you know, there‘s people watching.  We don‘t want them to think we are giving you special treatment.  

POTTS:  Now, Paris was taken here to LAPD‘s Hollywood station and booked on suspicion of DUI. 

Now, standard police procedure states that a DUI suspect should be held for at least three hours.   Paris was released after an hour and a half.  

Police say that‘s because what they call a gaggle of paparazzi was gathered outside, creating a traffic hazard.

Now, Paris‘ account contradicts the police‘s report.  

HILTON:  You know, I was in there 15 minutes and out.  And now I am up again in the morning for work.  

POTTS (voice-over):  At 2 a.m., Paris was met at the police station by her sister Nikki, her entourage boyfriend, Kevin Connelly, and her publicist.

She was released without bail.

HILTON:  Oh, my goodness.  Everything I do is blown out of proportion.

Oh, it was nothing.  I was just speeding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Paris, what happened tonight?

POTTS:  Following a quick stop at a Mobil gas station for cigarettes where a smiling Paris waved and blew kisses at the paparazzi, she headed home.

(on camera):  Now, here‘s the final discrepancy.  Paris returned here to her home at 3:00 a.m. accompanied by her publicist.

This morning, at 8:15 a.m., she told Seacrest she was back on the set of her music video in Pasadena.

HILTON:  I am at work now.  

POTTS:  Now, we spoke to Paris; housekeeper this morning who told us Paris is upstairs sleeping.  

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BUSH:  This is not Paris‘ first run in with authorities.   Earlier this year, she was ordered to stay away from an LA party planer who claimed Paris threatened his life—Joe?  

SCARBOROUGH:  Bill, so ugly out in “Hollyweird.”   The only thing we want to know is, when she was drunk, when she was pulled over, did she say anything nasty about the Jewish race?  

And just one drink, I mean, what?  Yes, maybe one drink about this size?  Yes.  That‘s a University of Alabama chug there.

Well, it‘s getting very ugly also over at “Dancing with the Stars.”  Word out of Hollywood that Al Sharpton is actually supporting Tucker Carlson on the show.  And Tom Delay is throwing his support—and he claims the support of the son of man—behind Sara evens.  

You know, I know it is hard to drum up support for this show.  In fact, I was working the phones all afternoon after I heard this shocking news.  Take a look.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, Jim, yes, how‘s it going?  Great, listen, you have heard about this Tucker mess?   He‘s got Sharpton behind him.  

But I‘m trying to figure out, who do I need to reach out to sway some votes my way?  

Let‘s just say Katherine Harris and I have a history.  But I will call her up.  

Hey, Katherine?  Yes, Joe Scarborough.   How you doing?   Hello?  

Hey, Mr. Rove.   Joe Scarborough.  How you doing?  Yes?  Well, I never actually called him an idiot.   That was Linda Ronstadt.  

Hey, Mr. Gibson.   Joe Scarborough.  How are you doing?   Yes, I‘m doing great, doing great.  Listen, I need your help.   You are supporting Tucker?   No, that is fine.   You do what you want to do.   It just sort of surprises me.   Well, because his grandma‘s Jewish.  I mean, that‘s what I heard.   Are you sure?   OK, Mel.   Hey, we‘ll put you down as a supporter.   Thanks a lot.   Yes.   Yes, Jesus rules.   Thank you.   Bye.  

Hey, Anderson, hey.   Joe Scarborough.   How you doing?   Hello?  

Hello?  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hey, ready for the show?   What is the matter?  

SCARBOROUGH:  All my friends, they‘ve forsaken me.  Where have they gone?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What are you talking about?  

SCARBOROUGH:  “Dancing with the Stars.”   I got nobody on my side. 

Well, I got Mel Gibson on my side, but he doesn‘t count.  Damn, Mel Gibson and a quarter will get you a cup of coffee in LA.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You actually aren‘t on “Dancing with the Stars.”

(LAUGHING)  

SCARBOROUGH:  What are you talking about?  

You saw my audition tape?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, and it was brilliant.  Totally my bad.  You didn‘t make the cut.

SCARBOROUGH:  Call my fricking agent.  I am about to go to war.

Bono?  Joe Scarborough.   How you doing?  

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  It is a tough job out here.   By the way, cast your vote for Tucker Carlson since I am out of the running—very ugly.

We‘ll be right back with “Hollyweird” in just a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

SCARBOROUGH:  Break out the champagne and the Fiji water while you‘re listening to Weazer.  It‘s time to take a trip to “Hollyweird.”

First up, Lindsay Lohan robbed.  Lohan‘s publicist confirms the teen queen had a purse stolen at London‘s Heathrow airport.  They‘re brutes over there.  Today, Lindsay is missing more than lip gloss.  There‘s reports she had jewelry in there valued at over $1 million in the bag.

Here now, “OK” magazine Senior Reporter Courtney Hazlett, and “Star” magazine Editor-at-large, Jill Dobson.

Courtney, big loss and she wasn‘t happy about it, was she?  

COURTNEY HAZLETT, SENIOR REPORTER, “OK” MAGAZINE:  No.  Lindsay‘s really, really upset, as you would be too if you were hauling around a bag jewels, which essentially is apparently what she was doing.

SCARBOROUGH:  A wise thing for the beauty queen to do.

HAZLETT:  That‘s just how Lindsay rolls.  She‘s got a lot of jewelry.  She‘s got to take it with her and look good.  Some are between $1 million and $7 million, they‘re saying is stolen.  

SCARBOROUGH:  As they say in the Redneck Riviera, that‘s a lot of bring.

This is new video we‘re looking at.

Lindsay Lohan cannot stay out of the papers, can she?  

HAZLETT:  No, she can‘t.  She‘s always either getting herself into trouble or, in this case, losing a purse that just happens to have, you know, reportedly up to $7 million of jewelry in it.  

SCARBOROUGH:  $7 million in jewelry.

HAZLETT:  So she was understandably upset.  And her asthma medicine was missing.

JILL DOBSON, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, “STAR” MAGAZINE:  That‘s what was really.

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, well, that‘s really.

HAZLETT:  I think that‘s the real.

SCARBOROUGH:  And at least, let‘s say a prayer for her tonight.

Let‘s also say a prayer for Brittany Spears‘ baby.  We understand Brittany, the pop tart, has decided on godparents.  Who are they?  

HAZLETT:  We have a source that‘s told us that Brittany wants to ask Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera to be her godparents, which of course, she‘s had some tension with both of them.  

SCARBOROUGH:  What a dirty, dirty godmother.  How would you like to grow up with that?  

HAZLETT:  Yes, I don‘t know if Christina is the best role model in the world.

SCARBOROUGH:  But she does, she dislikes both of these people.  So what‘s she up to?

HAZLETT:  Well, right.  She and Christina had a 10-year feud.   And, of course, Brittany and Justin had a relationship that ended very badly.

But these are her childhood friends.  She grew up with these guys, you know, on the Disney channel.  

SCARBOROUGH:  What were they, like mouseketeers or something?

(CROSSTALK)

HAZLETT:  Yes, exactly.  So who else is she going to turn to than her best friends?  

SCARBOROUGH:  Who else, indeed.  And tell me about Clay Aiken.  I understand Clay Aiken has actually been tapped as an advisor by the Bush administration?  

DOBSON:  Yes, he‘s throwing his hat into the political realm, it seems, to represent the people with mental disabilities.  

HAZLETT:  Yes.   Intellectual disabilities.  

(CROSSTALK)

HAZLETT:  Yes, we‘re already befuddled by this.

(CROSSTALK)

HAZLETT:  . has changed.  It‘s was the Committee on Mental Retardation.  And then they changed it to Intellectual Disabilities.  It‘s a confusing title.

SCARBOROUGH:  Which is what I always tell people I have.  I‘m not mentally retarded.  I just have intellectual disabilities.  

HAZLETT:  Intellectual disabilities.

DOBSON:  Intellectual disabilities.

HAZLETT:  And Clay Aiken is there for you, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, it certainly—that seems very appropriate for Clay.

HAZLETT:  He‘s a giver.

SCARBOROUGH:  I finally—he is a giver.  Maybe he cares a little too much.  

Maybe—right here.  Right here.

Speaking of somebody who cares a little too much, Paris Hilton.

Quickly, what‘s your take on Paris?

DOBSON:  You know, I think she is just bad for the burger industry right now.  You know, she had the Carl Junior‘s commercials before.  And now, everything‘s being blamed on an In-and-Out burger.  So McDonalds, watch out.  

SCARBOROUGH:  So now it‘s in?  That‘s right.  You know?

HAZLETT:  I think she is just too skinny.   She can‘t hold her alcohol.  So you know what?  She is just going to have to a have a virgin pina colada next time.  

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  We only have 30 seconds.  If we had more time, we would end our show like Ellen DeGeneres starts hers, by all of us getting up and dancing to The Hoff.

You play the music.  We‘re going to be dancing here.  Let‘s go.

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

END   

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

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