updated 9/15/2006 12:55:41 PM ET 2006-09-15T16:55:41

Guests: Jennifer Pozner, Jack Burkman, Rachel Sklar, Clint Van Zandt, Pat Lalama, Michelle Lee, Katrina Szish

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY: Rosie O‘Donnell takes on Christianity.  Is it a religious war brought to you by ABC?  A media firestorm has erupted since “The View‘s” new host compared Christians to Islamic terrorists.  Could advertisers force ABC to fire Ms.  O‘Donnell since Christian groups are now up in arms?

Plus, Nancy Grace says she‘s not guilty in the case of a grieving mother‘s suicide, the same mother who Grace attacked on her show right before that suicide.  Get this.  Grace is now attacking the dead woman.  Why journalists at CNN wish she would just go away.

And Debra Lafave says, Lock her up and throw away the key.  Part 2 of our exclusive interview with the teacher who had sex with her student because, she says, he wanted it.  And she never served a day in jail after giving it to him.

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  No passport required, and no liberal judges allowed.

We‘re going to have all that and more, but first: Rosie rants against Christians, saying followers of Jesus Christ are as dangerous to America as radical Islamic terrorists who attacked us on September 11.  Rosie also accused Christians of dropping bombs on foreigners.


ROSIE O‘DONNELL, CO-HOST, “THE VIEW”:  We are attacked not by a nation, and as a result of the attack and the killing of nearly 3,000 innocent people, we invaded two countries and killed innocent people in their countries.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  But do you understand that the belief funding those attacks, OK, that is widespread.  And if you take radical Islam and you want to talk about what‘s going on there...


O‘DONNELL:  Just one second.  Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America...


O‘DONNELL:  ... where we have a separation of church and state.  We‘re a democracy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We‘re not bombing ourselves here in the country. 

We were attacked.

O‘DONNELL:  No, but we are bombing innocent people in other countries, true or false?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Christians are not threatening to kill us~!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  No, we‘re talking about...


O‘DONNELL:  Well Iran never threatened to kill us, and Iraq—Iran is a danger.  Iraq and Afghanistan never threatened to kill us, ever.


SCARBOROUGH:  Oh!  The reaction was swift, with one Washington minister calling the comments dangerous and demanding an immediate apology from Rosie and ABC.  Now, I was flooded with e-mails agreeing with O‘Donnell and suggesting she was being attacked because of her sexual orientation.  Of course, were Rosie O‘Donnell to deliver such a rant in an Islamic republic, chances are very good  she‘d be flogged for her words and stoned to death in a soccer stadium for being a lesbian.  Here, we can all thank God that even people like Rosie O‘Donnell have the right to say what they want, as do we, which we‘ll do right now with Jennifer Pozner.  She‘s a media analyst and founder of Women in the Media.  We also have Rachel Sklar.  She‘s media analyst for the Huffingtonpost, and Jack Burkman.  He‘s a Republican strategist.

Jack, I‘ll start with you. Your take on Rosie‘s comments.

JACK BURKMAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Boy, Joe, I think it‘s one of the most mindless and terrible things ever said on American television!  I think this is so serious, I‘m shocked that she‘s still on the air.  I‘m shocked that that show is still on the air.

SCARBOROUGH:  Wait, wait, wait!  Wait.  Hold it a second.  Why are you shocked?  Because after she said—well, first of all, I got a lot of e-mails last night from people who supported Rosie O‘Donnell, and when she made that statement—there you go.  You hear that audience applauding?

BURKMAN:  Well...

SCARBOROUGH:  The audience actually applauded.

BURKMAN:  You have a lot of very sick and mindless people in that audience and perhaps in that area.  You know, I saw your interview with Bernie Kerik Monday night.  What a good job.  She‘s spitting on the graves, Joe, of the thousands of people who died in the World Trade Center.  Just thinking of my friend, Barbara Olson, of those people...

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, how is she doing...


SCARBOROUGH:  How is she doing that?  Because, I mean, she‘s attacking Christians, but...

BURKMAN:  Al Qaeda!  Al Qaeda, Joe, is a group that killed thousands of people.  They would, if they could, nuke every city in the United States, perhaps the Western world.  If bin Laden could, he would...

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, no doubt...

BURKMAN:  ... he would kill—he would kill tens of millions of people!

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt about that.  You‘re arguing—you‘re not—you‘re arguing a point that I think most of us would agree with, that they want to kill as many of us as possible.

BURKMAN:  But the comparison.  And that‘s on the one side.  For her to suggest that people who would attack abortion clinics of whatever kinds of things they‘re doing in this country, for her to make the equation, my goodness gracious!  That‘s the moral equivalent of coming out on national television and saying you love Adolf Hitler!

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, there is...

BURKMAN:  Joe I would—I would...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... absolutely—there‘s no absolutely—there‘s absolutely no moral equivalence there.  But Rachel...

BURKMAN:  But she has made that!~

SCARBOROUGH:  No, I know she has.

BURKMAN:  She has made that.

SCARBOROUGH:  I know she has.  And Rachel, I want to ask you, you analyze the media a good bit for the Huffingtonpost.  I mean, that‘s your job.  Do you think Rosie O‘Donnell‘s words rose to the level of bigotry by today‘s media standards?

RACHEL SKLAR, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM:  Not at all.  I mean, she did not come out against Christianity.  She came out against radical Christianity.  She came out against radical extremism of all forms, and...

SCARBOROUGH:  What is radical Christianity?

SKLAR:  ... that is the common denominator.  Radical Christianity is someone like Fred Phelps (ph), standing at military funerals and holding up signs saying, “God hates fags.”



SCARBOROUGH:  OK, hold on a second.  Rachel, fine.  That is extraordinary offensive.  It‘s offensive because he‘s using those funerals, basically, blaming American troops that have died for...

SKLAR:  But we‘re talking about the extreme.  We‘re talking about the extreme...

SCARBOROUGH:  I know we‘re talking about the extreme.  But idiots like that aren‘t responsible for the death of 3,000 people on 9/11 or 2,000 people injured in Madrid or...

SKLAR:  Yes, but Joe...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... or 55 people killed in Britain or...

SKLAR:  But Joe, it is like that on the extreme side of the fringe bastardizing Christianity...


SKLAR:  ... who consider themselves and call themselves and are very well funded radical Christians are responsible for the deaths of many people over a number of years...

BURKMAN:  But Rachel, are you—


SCARBOROUGH:  Hold it a second.  Let me stop right here.  Hold on. 



SCARBOROUGH:  Give me numbers.  I don‘t want speeches.  I don‘t want stories.  How many Americans have been killed by Christian extremists this year?

POZNER:  This—I—the statistics that I have are between 99 and 2000, there were—you know, I had them at my fingertips yesterday, but there were somewhere between 20 or so bombings and somewhere around 8 attempted murders and deeply, gravely wounded people...


POZNER:  ... but over a decade, 500 -- you remember—Joe, do you remember after 9/11, when we in the media were all in a panic about the anthrax letters that had been sent to...


POZNER:  ... media outlets?  Well, for—if we in the media had paid attention to the terrorism on America—on American soil, home-grown terrorists have...

BURKMAN:  Joe, let me...

POZNER:  ... sent 500 anthrax letters before 9/11...

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, I want to...


SCARBOROUGH:  OK, guys, I want to—OK, hold on, Jack.  Here‘s my point.  It‘s certainly not that Christian extremists should be forgiven.  They are—Christian extremists that go out and threaten to bomb abortion clinics are despicable.  But at the same time...

POZNER:  Right.  We all agree.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on.  But at the same time, we‘re talking about Rosie O‘Donnell saying that Christian extremists are as much a danger as Islamic extremists, and “The New York Times” just reported a few months ago that Muslim radicals killed on average 110 civilians every day, on average, in Iraq.  That‘s 110 people killed every day not by American bombs but by Muslim extremists.

POZNER:  So...

SCARBOROUGH:  And if you add up all of the people that have been killed by Muslim extremists through the years, there is just no—there‘s no proportionality.  There‘s no balance~!

BURKMAN:  But Joe, I think we should get a “yes or no” answer from your guests.  Are they suggesting—are they arguing that there should be a direct comparison between al Qaeda and radical Christians who would bomb abortion clinics?  And I want a “yes or no” answer from each of them~!  Is that what they‘re saying?

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, before they answer that question, Jack, let me ask you.  Do you think radical Christians who blow up abortion clinics are doing a morally reprehensible thing?

BURKMAN:  Oh, absolutely...


SCARBOROUGH:  OK, so you agree with that.  But...

BURKMAN:  Oh, there‘s no question.

SCARBOROUGH:  But we‘re talking about proportionality there.  Do you think, Rachel Sklar, that there‘s a proportionality between Islamic extremists who just, again, kill thousands of people every month, and radical Christians, a few scattered freaks that blow up abortion clinics maybe once every two or three years?

SKLAR:  I‘m not going to get into proportionality discussions...


SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on.  That‘s what this is about because...

SKLAR:  I don‘t think that is what this is about!

SCARBOROUGH:  ... Rosie O‘Donnell compared Christian extremists to Muslim extremists, said they were just as dangerous to America.

SKLAR:  Radical to radical, and well they are dangerous to America. 

They‘re extremely dangerous to America.

SCARBOROUGH:  Are they as dangerous to America...

SKLAR:  Anti-abortion...

SCARBOROUGH:  Are they as dangerous to America...

SKLAR:  ... anti-condom use...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... as Islamic extremists?

SKLAR:  Check.

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, come on.  You got to answer my question.  Rachel Sklar...

SKLAR:  Are they as dangerous...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... are Christian extremists as dangerous to America as Muslim extremists?

SKLAR:  I‘m going to stick to my guns and say that radical extremism in any for any religion...


SKLAR:  ... taken to the extreme...


SKLAR:  ... is dangerous.  Now, are we going to...

SCARBOROUGH:  Is dangerous?

SKLAR:  Are we going to say—obviously, we have a very obvious example here of al Qaeda and Muslim extremism, and I‘m not going to sit down here and argue that that‘s not...

BURKMAN:  Rachel, do you know of any...

SKLAR:  ... a huge concern.

BURKMAN:  ... Christians—do you know of any Christians who would like to see nuclear—even the radical ones, even the ones who hit abortion clinics—do you know of any of those who are involved in systematic, deliberate and concerted efforts to obtain nuclear devices to kill millions of people in cities?  Do you know of any?

SKLAR:  I‘m happy to say that they don‘t...

POZNER:  You know what...


SKLAR:  ... my acquaintance, no.

BURKMAN:  But do you know of any?

SCARBOROUGH:  But—and of course, the point—Jack, actually, your point is, again, that you do have Osama bin Laden, you do have other Muslim terror groups that would like to acquire those weapons, that are trying to acquire those weapons so they can kill millions of people in New York...

POZNER:  Joe...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... and Los Angeles...

POZNER:  Can I jump in here?


POZNER:  I‘d like to jump in here, Joe.


POZNER:  Because I—around—on this issue, I think that we‘re conflating a number of things.  If you—it‘s really an issue—if you‘re saying it‘s an issue of scale, then it‘s about a matter of who you are.  If you‘re a woman in Pensacola, as you said yesterday, you‘d seen those bombings in Pensacola abortion clinics—if you‘re a woman in Pensacola or in any number of states that have been subjected to this kind of anti-abortion terrorism in this country carried out in the name of...


POZNER:  ... a bastardized version of Christianity, you fear for your life...



SCARBOROUGH:  But let me tell you this...


SCARBOROUGH:  OK, but hold on.  And I‘m glad you brought up Pensacola because I live in Pensacola.  I‘ve got three children in Pensacola.  I‘ve got two in Pensacola.  And now I‘ve got one that goes to college in New York. If I had to weigh the dangers between my children living in Pensacola or my child that goes to school in New York, I‘m a little more concerned about the student that goes to New York because of the terror attacks...

POZNER:  But it depends.  If you‘re...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... in New York.

BURKMAN:  Joe, this is so serious...

POZNER:  But if your kid were in Pensacola...


POZNER:  ... was 17, if she had to go to a women‘s health clinic...

SCARBOROUGH:  All right...

POZNER:  -even just for a check-up, right...


POZNER:  ... and then there were those people who would bomb...

SCARBOROUGH:  I understand, and that‘s a good point.

POZNER:  ... that clinic...

SCARBOROUGH:  And let me answer that question, too.  If I had a daughter who was 18 years old, she went to an abortion clinic or she went to a women‘s health care clinic...

POZNER:  Even just for a check-up.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... in Pensacola, Florida, I would not be nervous because I would have to go all the way back to, I think, like, 1992, 1993 to find an instance where an abortion clinic was bombed.  And I mean, that‘s a huge difference.  Whereas all I have to do is look in the newspapers today, and I can show you an instance of where 55 people were blown up by Muslim terrorists today.

POZNER:  All over the country...

SKLAR:  I don‘t think any...


POZNER:  All over the country, there are these instances of violence.  And Rachel‘s absolutely right.  Nobody is saying, Rachel or I—neither of us, and I don‘t think anyone who supported Rosie‘s comments—are saying that there was any excuse in any way, shape or form for the terrorism that was carried out on 9/11 and the terrorism that is carried out in the name of Islamic fascism.

BURKMAN:  Well...

POZNER:  But we‘re also saying that, as Rosie said and as the discussion on “The View” was a little broader, that the response to that terrorism by U.S. foreign policy has been to kill other innocent people, and that‘s...

BURKMAN:  No, wait!  Are you...


SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second!  Hold on a second!  The response right now in Iraq—our biggest problem in Iraq is not that Americans are shooting at and killing Iraqis.  It‘s that Muslim extremists are blowing up children, Muslim extremists are blowing up women, Muslim extremists are blowing up any civilians...

POZNER:  As are U.S. bombs!

SCARBOROUGH:  ... they can blow up.  No, they aren‘t!  Shi‘ites are killing Sunnis, and Sunnis are killing Shi‘ites.

BURKMAN:  Joe, if I...


SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second!  Stop!  The Brookings Institute says that 75 percent of the deaths that are occurring in Iraq every day are occurring because of sectarian violence, Muslim extremists killing Muslim civilians.  Now...


SCARBOROUGH:  I need a yes or a no answer, and then we got to go.  Rachel, yes or no.  Do you believe that Christian extremists pose as much of a threat to American safety today as Islamic extremists?  Yes or no.

SKLAR:  I don‘t believe that, but I also believe that if you adopt...

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, well, you mention...


SCARBOROUGH:  We all agree—you‘re saying something we all agree.

SKLAR:  Oh, good.

SCARBOROUGH:  We all agree that Christian...

SKLAR:  I‘m so glad.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... extremists are dangerous.  We set that out at the beginning.  Jennifer, I‘ll ask you the same question, yes or no.   Do you think Christian extremists pose as much of a threat to the safety and wellbeing of Americans as Islamic extremists today?

POZNER:  It depends on which American safety you‘re talking about.


SCARBOROUGH:  Any American safety.


POZNER:  It really depends.  If you‘re a woman who needs health care, then—then yes, but if...


POZNER:  But if...

SCARBOROUGH:  Jack Burkman...

POZNER:  ... you‘re a New Yorker, maybe not.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Jack Burkman, I know your answer.  I‘m going to ask you this question.


SCARBOROUGH:  Do you think there will be a boycott against ABC by advertisers and Christian groups that will force Rosie O‘Donnell to either apologize or get off the air?

BURKMAN:  Oh, probably not because everybody wimps out.  But I‘ll tell you, Joe, let‘s start one right now.  I‘ll call for one right now.  If she‘s not off the air in seven days, will you join me right now in a—in calling for a national boycott?

SCARBOROUGH:  You always...


SCARBOROUGH:  We got to go.  We got to go.  Thanks so much, Jennifer,

Rachel, Jack.  No, Jack, I won‘t call for a boycott, but I will tell

everybody to call ABC right now, write ABC, send e-mails to ABC and make

Rosie O‘Donnell apologize for those outrageous comments that showed—I

mean, they were stupid, but they were also dangerous.  They showed a

bigotry and an intolerance that ABC needs to apologize for.  Bigotry and

intolerance!  Bigotry and intolerance!  That‘s what Rosie O‘Donnell was

guilty of!  Coming up—the same type of bigotry and intolerance that she


Coming up: Nancy Grace under fire.  She steps up her campaign against a guest who committed suicide after being beaten around on her show by her.

Plus, was Anna Nicole Smith‘s son murdered?  We‘ll tell you about new twists in this already bizarre case.  And later: Why is Debra Lafave walking free and bragging about what she did with this teenage kid, even when she thinks she belongs in prison?  Part 2 of Matt Lauer‘s exclusive interview with the teacher who seduced a student.  Plus, an exclusive.  The boy‘s mother speaks out, and she‘s angry.


SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back.  Nancy Grace continues her attack on a young grieving mother who killed herself after appearing on Grace‘s CNN crime show.  Last week, Melinda Duckett, the mother of a missing Florida toddler, committed suicide after taping an interview that was set to air on Grace‘s CNN Headline New program.

Let‘s watch the interview that Nancy Grace decided to run even after they found out that this young mother, whose death her parents blame on Grace, was dead.


NANCY GRACE, HOST, “NANCY GRACE”:  I mean, if you went shopping, you had to go into a store.  What store did you go into on Sunday?

MELINDA DUCKETT, MOTHER OF MISSING 2-YEAR-OLD:  We went throughout the county.

GRACE:  Any store.  I‘m thinking videocameras, Melinda.  I mean, maybe they have a picture of someone watching you, following you back out to your car.  I mean, what store did you go to, Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney‘s, what?

DUCKETT:  I‘m not able to get into any specifics.

GRACE:  Why?

DUCKETT:  Because I‘m not dealing with the media very well.

GRACE:  Well, can you remember where you were that day?

DUCKETT:  I can remember perfectly well where I went that day.  And yes, I got spoken to the FBI with it, but as far as anything else goes, we haven‘t had very good dealings with media...

GRACE:  Well, don‘t you think it would be a great idea, for instance, if you were at a local J.C. Penney‘s or Sears Roebuck, to tell the viewers right now, This is where we were?  Did you see anything?  Did you notice anything?  Here‘s your child‘s picture.  Here‘s my picture.  Help me.  I mean, where were you?  Why aren‘t you telling us where you were that day?  You were the last person to be seen with him~!

DUCKETT:  And we‘ve already gone out and distributed the flyers and...

GRACE:  Right.  Why aren‘t you telling us and giving us a clear picture of where you were before your son was kidnapped?

DUCKETT:  Because I‘m not going to put those kind of details out.

GRACE:  Why?

DUCKETT:  Because I don‘t have to.

GRACE:  Ms. Duckett, you‘re not telling us for a reason!  What is the reason?  You refuse to give even the simplest facts of where you were with your son before he went missing!  It is day 12...


DUCKETT:  ... media.


SCARBOROUGH:  You know, she‘s acting like she‘s still in a courtroom and she‘s a prosecutor and she actually knows the facts of this case, when she doesn‘t.  She‘s unbelievable!

Here now, MSNBC analyst and former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt.  He‘s the author of the new book “Facing Down Evil,” and celebrity journalist Pat Lalama, who‘s a regular on “Nancy Grace.”

Clint, you know, I get more angry every time I see that.  We don‘t know—you know what?  Maybe that lady was going out and maybe she was hanging out with people that she didn‘t want to hang out with.  Maybe she was smoking pot.  Maybe she was doing something that was not what she‘d want the world to know she was doing, but it certainly didn‘t lead—couldn‘t have led to the implication naturally that she kidnapped or killed her own son!  I mean, isn‘t it disgraceful that Nancy Grace is conducting this type of interrogation and then continuing to attack this lady after she‘s dead?

CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI PROFILER, MSNBC ANALYST:  Joe, during the part of that interview, Melinda says, I‘ve already talked to the FBI.  Nancy Grace is demanding that she tell her.  Why does this woman owe Nancy Grace anything?  She said, I‘ve talked to the police.  She said, I‘ve talked to the FBI.  This is the most insensitive, unprofessional interview!

Joe, when I watched Nancy‘s show yesterday, she asked one of her guests, Well, did Melinda kill herself in her car?  Everybody knows Melinda went in her grandparents‘ house, took a shotgun and blew her brains out.  Nancy didn‘t even have the facts of this case.  And then to hammer this woman—and Nancy‘s made a big deal out of this woman, that she has suicide ideation.  Well, Joe, if you‘ve got a fragile 21-year-old woman whose son is missing, who may or may not have some role in it, as an investigator with 35 years interview experience—and Nancy Grace is a prosecutor, although she shouldn‘t be an interrogator—the last person you want to hammer and beat up emotionally is that fragile woman, who could crack at any moment.

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt about it, especially—I mean, I—I‘ve got to be honest with you.  When people come on here and we want to debate politics, that‘s one thing, and we go after it.  I never take anything personally.  I just don‘t.  I learned not to in politics a long time ago.  But my gosh, if I have somebody on my show who‘s a mother who‘s grieving for her lost son, I can‘t even imagine taking that type of tone with a guest.

Now, here‘s a bigger surprise and a bigger shock for me.  Even after Melinda Duckett committed suicide, Grace has continued to point fingers at the mother.


SCARBOROUGH:  Not giving details about the disappearance of your child that could help find him—if, I may add, if he is still alive—I have a big problem with that!

I tried desperately to establish a timeline as to where his mother, Melinda, had taken him throughout the day on Sunday.

The reality is, this child, statistically, is very well dead.  And for that mother not to cooperate and not to give a timeline doesn‘t make sense to me!


SCARBOROUGH:  I cannot believe what I hear there, Pat.  Nancy Grace is angry at the dead young mother.

PAT LALAMA, CELEBRITY JOURNALIST:  Joe, could I tell you, firsthand, I don‘t know that it‘s quite how you see it.  First of all, I‘ve covered crime all my life, including “America‘s Most Wanted” with John Walsh and many times appeared on Nancy‘s show.  I have been in their strategy meetings.  There isn‘t a group of people more dedicated to finding true facts, OK?  They are—I mean, they are the warmest...

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, with what, a sledgehammer, Pat?

LALAMA:  Let me finish!  Hold on!  Hold on, Joe!  Let me just say this, all right?  Let me just say this.  They‘re concerned about facts.  They got the lawyers in the room.  They talk about being sensitive with the guests.  But Joe, with all due respect—and trust me, my heart aches for this entire family!  It‘s just—it‘s mind-blowing!  But when you choose to go on Nancy‘s show, you know you‘re not going to get a slipper thrown at you.

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat Lalama, if I chose...

LALAMA:  There are many shows you can go on...

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on, Pat!

LALAMA:  ... Joe!

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat, if I chose to go on Nancy‘s show and I got beaten up, if you chose to go on Nancy‘s show and got beaten up, if Clint decide to go on Nancy‘s show and got beaten up, then we would deserve it because we understood what we‘d be walking into.  When you‘re a young woman who‘s grieving for your lost son, how do you know what you‘re getting into?   I mean, my gosh...

LALAMA:  Joe!  Joe!

SCARBOROUGH:  ... how do you even complete sentences?

LALAMA:  Your—both your points are very well taken.  I see where you‘re coming from.  But I‘m going to tell you, she—people know her history.  They know Nancy herself is a crime victim.  They know she‘s a former prosecutor.  They know she‘s not always sweet as apple pie to people!

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  You know what?

LALAMA:  No, no!  Wait, wait, wait!  I have to make another point!

VAN ZANDT:  No, Melinda‘s 21 years old...

LALAMA:  A person who‘s capable—Joe...


VAN ZANDT:  ... and she may not know any of this, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  In fact...


SCARBOROUGH:  Pat, I‘ll give you 10 seconds to wrap.  Go.

LALAMA:  All right.  I just want to say, if a person is suicidal, that‘s a horrible thing.  But chances are, something else would have led her to that, not necessarily a talk show alone.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you so much, Pat.  Thank you, Clint.


SCARBOROUGH:  And I got to say this.  As shocking as it may be to Pat and other people who work in this business, there are a lot of 21-year-olds out there who don‘t even know Nancy Grace or Joe Scarborough exist, so there‘s no way that a grieving mother would automatically know that Nancy Grace can be a real SOB sometimes.

Still ahead, our exclusive interview with Debra Lafave, and also more “Must See S.C.”


SCARBOROUGH:  Wake up Aunt Ethel, it is time for tonight‘s “Must See S.C.”  It‘s video that you‘ve just got to see. 

Now, first of all, Martha Stewart revealed her vampire side on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”  Watch closely. 


MARTHA STEWART, TELEVISION HOST:  And then you cut this into other little pieces, like four or five other pieces around the outside. 

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, “LATE SHOW”:  I think I did cut myself. 

STEWART:  Oh, my god!  Oh, Dave.  Here.  Let me here...



SCARBOROUGH:  Mmm, mmm, mmm.  Don‘t worry, mom.  It was just jelly. 

And also, almost seven million people watched Meredith Vieira‘s first day on the “Today” show.  Weren‘t they great?  But only Jon Stewart picked up on this. 


JON STEWART, HOST, “THE DAILY SHOW”:  You know, something struck me when I watched that.  Did not Matt Lauer—let‘s watch it again.  Keep an eye on their hands. 

MEREDITH VIEIRA, HOST, “THE TODAY SHOW”:  ... the kids did.  I was about to go to work, and last night they gave me a...


STEWART:  They were literally—they are a minute into their working relationship.  It is 7:01, and he‘s already—oh, get your (bleep)ing hands off me.  It‘s over.  She‘s like, “It‘s just so nice to be here.”  He‘s like, “You have gonorrhea.”


SCARBOROUGH:  The honeymoon is over.  Coming up, part two of our exclusive interview with Debra LaFave, including why the former teacher says she got off easy. 

And later, is Hollywood‘s king of nice hiding a dark side.  We‘ll tell you about the shocking new expose which may, may change the way you watch “Forrest Gump” forever.



SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up, new twists in the mysterious death of Anna Nicole Smith‘s son, including a criminal investigation in this case.  It is getting really strange.  And we‘ll have the latest.

And later, Harry Potter‘s run-in with airport security.  Why the TSA almost grounded the boy wizard.  It‘s all in “Hollyweird.”

Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  We‘re going to have those stories for you in just minutes, but first the story of Debra LaFave continues to make news.  Last night, we showed you part one of Matt Lauer‘s exclusive interview with LaFave, where she talked about having sex with a 14-year-old male student, a kid.  The boy‘s mother was watching that interview and her outrage at LaFave was clear during an exclusive interview that MSNBC‘s Rita Cosby got.  We‘ll have that for you in a minute, but first let‘s look at part two of Matt Lauer‘s interview with Debra LaFave.


DEBRA LAFAVE, SLEPT WITH MALE STUDENT:  All of his friends were, you know, high-fiving him and saying, “Oh, yes, she is hot, blah, blah, blah.” 

MATT LAUER, “TODAY” SHOW HOST (voice-over):  Debra LaFave, a 23-year-old teacher, was having an affair with a 14-year-old student.  They‘d had sex at her apartment, in her car, in her classroom.

But those friends are going home and telling their friends, “Hey, this young man in question is being visited by his, in your word, ‘hot teacher‘.”   You have to know this story‘s going to get around sooner or later.

LAFAVE:  Well, like I said, that‘s a fog that I was in. 

LAUER (on camera):  At any time during sex with this student or after sex with this student, did you say, “In the eyes of the law, I just committed rape”? 

LAFAVE:  No.  I don‘t think I—no.  I didn‘t say that. 

LAUER (voice-over):  But soon she‘d be hearing it.  The boy‘s mother found out about the affair.  She called police.  The detectives told the boy to invite Debra to his house.  She made him promise his mom wasn‘t home. 

LAFAVE:  Positive?

BOY:  Yes.

LAFAVE:  Promise?

BOY:  Yes.

LAFAVE:  Pinky promise?  Say pinky promise.

BOY:  Pinky promise.

LAFAVE:  OK.  All right.

LAUER:  When Debra arrived at the appointed time, on June 21, 2004, the police were waiting. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You‘re going to jail.

LAUER:  The charge was lewd and lascivious battery, a felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.  What makes Debra‘s story all the more surprising is that she says, at age 13, she was raped by an older boy. 

(on camera):  So how is what happened to you different than what you did to this 14-year-old boy? 

LAFAVE:  I think, first, my rape was a violent rape. 

LAUER:  So because yours was not a violent rape of this student, you think that‘s a big difference? 

LAFAVE:  Well, it‘s a difference.  I don‘t know if it‘s a big difference.  You know, a 14-year-old 10 years ago is different than a 14-year-old today. 

LAUER:  Not in the eyes of the law. 

LAFAVE:  Right, not in the eyes of the law.  He consented, but I should have been the one to say, “Look, you are a kid, and that this is not a good idea whether you want it or not.” 

LAUER:  You should have said it on a number of occasions.

LAFAVE:  Oh, yes. 

LAUER:  You should have said it when you first started flirting with him...


LAUER:  And you clearly should have said it before you had sex with this young man. 

LAFAVE:  Clearly.

LAUER (voice-over):  Three psychiatrists hired by Debra‘s defense attorney found that she suffered from bipolar disorder, severe mood swings, coupled with impulsive behavior.  But was that an explanation or an excuse? 

LAFAVE:  You know what?  I don‘t want to blur the lines between doing something as heinous as what I did and being bipolar.  But, yes, symptoms of bipolar definitely contributed to my mind frame. 

LAUER:  No jury ever had to rule on Debra‘s insanity defense.  Her lawyer negotiated a plea deal in which Debra would serve three years of house arrest, followed by seven years of intense probation, but no jail time. 

(on camera):  You know, you hear some people say, “She should be in prison,” that if the roles were reversed and if you were a man who was 24 and had sex with a 13- or 14-year-old girl, you‘d be in prison.  How do you feel about that? 

LAFAVE:  I think I should be in jail. 

LAUER:  You think you should be? 

LAFAVE:  Yes.  By the standards, you know, what I did, that‘s the law. 

I should have got jail time. 

LAUER (voice-over):  And what about her victim? 

(on camera):  How do you think this is going to impact his life? 

LAFAVE:  I think he‘s going to have a hard time trusting women one day.  I‘m sure he has to be living with the guilt of, quote, unquote, “ratting me out.” 


SCARBOROUGH:  “Ratting me out.”  I‘m sure he‘s also going to be talking about it with his friends for a long time. 

Today, MSNBC‘s Rita Cosby spoke with the mother of the boy LaFave had sex with.  And as you could probably guess, she‘s angry.  She‘s very angry and has a very different story to tell. 


MOTHER OF 14-YEAR-OLD BOY:  She has never been remorseful, and that‘s been very clear from day one.  And as disturbing as that was, to see some of the information, false information that she spoke of during this interview last night that were just outright lies, was extremely disturbing. 

RITA COSBY, HOST:  What did you feel was false from Debra LaFave‘s words? 

MOTHER:  Well, saying that my son was the aggressor.  She was absolutely the aggressor from the very initial moment.  Probably the most disturbing comment is saying that my son actually placed her against the wall, put his hand up against her shirt.  That is absolutely, completely false, and if this had gone to trial, that would have been proven by witnesses. 

She was not in the room alone at the time.  There were two other friends of my son that were in the room when this supposedly happened that were independently interviewed by the prosecutor‘s office.  None of them—they all had the exact same story.  She has calculated, she is manipulative, she‘s unremorseful, and she is a sex offender. 

COSBY:  Yes, she says she isn‘t.  What‘s your response to that?

MOTHER:  She is a sex offender, and sex offenders come in all shapes and sizes.  She was parading around, which I‘m extremely thankful for, with other boys, my son, my nephew, and the boy next door, taking them to the mall, was very open with this.  And that is why we were able to find out about this sexual battery within a three-week period. 

She also, by the way, interviewed at the high school that he was getting ready to attend, since he was leaving eighth grade, because she wanted to follow him there.  So she was absolutely the aggressor, which is proven from many cell phone calls, countless cell phone calls, that are a matter of—that would have been a matter of trial that was never aired. 

COSBY:  How angry are you as a mother to hear that she‘s pointing the finger at him? 

MOTHER:  I‘m extremely—you know, the reason we didn‘t go to trial was not that I did not feel this woman needed to be in jail.  I agree with the one statement she made that she does need to be in jail.  I wish she was in jail. 

But there comes a point you have to weigh the balance at the expense of my son, and you see the publicity this has gotten so far.  And for him to be on the stand and put through what typically a rape victim would be put through on the stand, I have no regrets about the plea deal, because my son is doing wonderful.  He has moved on with his life.  We are trying so much for him to move on with his life.  This will follow her forever. 


SCARBOROUGH:  It will.  It will follow him forever.  I wonder how much her peroxide bill is every month.  That is some bleached hair. 

Anyway.  You know what?  We need to take the judge out back that let her walk free and bleach him.  Anyway, you can watch Matt Lauer‘s entire interview with Debra LaFave right after our show, right here on MSNBC.  And, boy, did she ever cross the line. 

Coming up next, new information in the bizarre death of Anna Nicole

Smith‘s son, including a possible criminal angle to the case.  Plus, what

do Madonna, Paris Hilton, and Lance Bass all have in common?  The answer

coming up in “Hollyweird” 


SCARBOROUGH:  The death of Anna Nicole Smith‘s son grows more suspicious by the day.  From tales of Anna‘s alleged amnesia—she says she can‘t remember a thing—to conflicting stories about what really happened at the hospital in the Bahamas, this murder mystery has some really suspicious elements to it.  For the very latest on that story, let‘s go to MSNBC‘s Michelle Kosinski. 


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS:  Hi, Joe.  It looks like we won‘t know anything about the autopsy results or toxicology tests until at least October 23rd.  That‘s when the coroner plans to do an inquest or a formal investigation into Daniel Smith‘s death.  And that‘s also when authorities will decide whether or not they want to pursue any kind of criminal charges in this. 

Anna Nicole Smith is still in the Bahamas in seclusion.  And today her attorney says she supports this inquest.  In fact, she‘s expected to testify in it.  He also says she is devastated.  And when she discovered her son unconscious in a chair on Sunday, she herself tried desperately to revive him.  He said she was so distraught that she needed to be sedated.  And as a result, she suffered some memory loss and had to be reminded again that her son had died. 

(voice-over):  Daniel Smith, the shy, quiet son who barely uttered a word on mom, Anna Nicole‘s reality show, died an unnatural, suspicious death Sunday in the Bahamas, the coroner there says.

LINDA VIROILL, CORONER:  We are investigating presently is how, when, and by what manner Daniel came to meet his death. 

KOSINSKI:  Investigators want to know if a crime was committed, when Daniel died in his mother‘s hospital room where she had given birth to a baby girl a few days earlier.  Authorities will not say what caused Daniel Smith‘s death.  They‘re waiting for toxicology tests to confirm what they think happened.

And Anna Nicole Smith‘s attorney is cautioning the public not to jump to any conclusions, especially about a Bahamian newspaper report that quotes police sources saying the young man had medications in his system and may have overdosed on anti-depressants.  Her attorney calls that speculation.

Anna Nicole with her baby daughter had just become permanent residents of the Bahamas.  Now, grief and questions hang over her new life in paradise. 

(on camera):  In a case like this where someone dies so unexpectedly at such a young age—I mean, he was only 20 years old—an inquest is standard procedure, and police have said they haven‘t found any sign of foul play, no harm to his body, and no evidence at all that Daniel Smith had used illegal drugs.  So this is still very much a mystery—Joe?


SCARBOROUGH:  Thanks so much, Michelle.

And coming up, why the new Harry Potter book is apparently more important than national security.  Grab your broomsticks, we‘re heading to “Hollyweird.”  Also we‘re talking about Tom Hanks.


SCARBOROUGH:  Polish up the Emmy and tell your limo driver once more around the block, Charles, because we‘re checking into “Hollyweird.”  First up, homeland security makes an expectation for Harry Potter.  The TSA doesn‘t allow passengers to carry-on luggage in overseas flights, but agents in New York recently made an exception for Harry Potter author J.K.  Rowling. 

Here now with all the reason why Harry Potter deserves exceptions we don‘t get, “US Weekly‘s” Katrina Szish and, from “InTouch Weekly,” Michelle Lee.

Michelle, should she have been given an expectation? 

MICHELLE LEE, “INTOUCH WEEKLY”:  You know, Harry Potter can get through airport security, but, Joe, unfortunately, you and I probably can‘t. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We‘re so pedestrian.

LEE:  You know, when it comes to the boy wizard, he deserves the white glove treatment.  J.K. was trying to get on this flight from New York to London, and they wouldn‘t let her on with the manuscript.  Unfortunately, it was handwritten partly.  She was saying that there‘s no other copy for it.  So I can kind of understand where she‘s coming from, the fact that she didn‘t want to check it and risk losing it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And how much money does she make off of these things, Katrina?  I mean, that‘s like carrying a big, old bag of gold, right? 

KATRINA SZISH, “US WEEKLY”:  It‘s like a gazillion dollars. 


SCARBOROUGH:  I think last time she made like $2.4 bazillion dollars on her last book.

SZISH:  Yes, that was the figure I had, too.  No, I think it‘s like carrying a masterpiece.  It‘s carrying a rare piece of art.  There‘s only one of them in existence, and exceptions do have to be made in certain circumstances.  This did happen to be more of a celebrity circumstance, but I think they made the right call. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, well, I agree with you.  I‘m all for making exceptions for celebrities and cable news hosts.

LEE:  My question is, though, she makes so much money, she makes more money than the queen, why was she flying commercial? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Good point.  Why not have a jet?  There you go.  That‘s the real outrage here.

SZISH:  Because she‘s one of the people. 

SCARBOROUGH:  She‘s just a regular Joe.

SZISH:  Yes, she is.

SCARBOROUGH:  Another guy that‘s a regular Joe is Tom Hanks.  He‘s one of the nicest guys in Hollywood, right?  Well, not according to a new book.  Tell us, Katrina, about this tell-all. 

SZISH:  There‘s this tell-all book, kind of the enigma about Tom Hanks, that he actually isn‘t as nice of a guy as one would think.  Apparently, his ex-wife has claimed that he has harassed her in the past. 

And there are just all sorts of claims that he‘s not the nice guy.

SCARBOROUGH:  Ex-wife?  I mean, hasn‘t he been married to Rita since, like, 1934?

SZISH:  Pretty much.  Pretty much a year after he divorced his first wife, he‘s been married to Rita. 

SCARBOROUGH:  For how long?  I mean, it‘s been—God, how many years has—I mean, it‘s been a long, long time. 

SZISH:  Yes, it is.  This is new information.

SCARBOROUGH:  If this is dirt, this is very, very old dirt on Tom Hanks, right? 

SZISH:  This is fossilized, yes.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  So are you—is anybody going to buy this thing? 

SZISH:  I think people will be interested to read it, but I think somebody like Tom Hanks, who every single thing that he‘s done has been just golden, it‘s going to be really easy to forgive him for this.  And, you know, honestly, his ex-wife, Susan, unfortunately, she can‘t even argue her point because she died in 2002.  So these are really old court documents that have surfaced.  So I don‘t really think it‘s going to have too much of a negative impact on him. 

LEE:  It doesn‘t matter at all.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, I don‘t think it will, either.  I mean, all this stuff happened so long ago.  It‘s our cameramen always tell me, “Heck, everybody was doing cocaine in 2005.”

Let‘s go onto George Clooney.  They‘re really—they‘re dogs, by the way.  Stay away.

George Clooney saves the world again.  The actor was at the United Nations.  This is like—I‘m supposed to do these like guilty pleasures for MSNBC.com, I guess because I‘m a Republican, I‘m supposed to hate this guy.  I really like him.  I love his movies, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”  I mean, of course, he says some crazy things from time to time, but we all do. 

But talk about George Clooney at the United Nations.  Should we breathe easier tonight? 

SZISH:  Oh, God, well, I agree.  I love George Clooney.  However, when a celebrity decides that they are so important that they need to address the United Nations on international policy and they really believe that somehow they will have a bigger effect than anybody else, I think that is the ultimate “Hollyweird” scenario. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, it‘s kind of like me trying to act, you know?  I would never do that.  I‘m pretty good in those skits, though, aren‘t I?  George Clooney, I mean, he‘s a very earnest guy, right? 

LEE:  You have to be kind of thankful for George, who‘s somebody who really does have a cause.  I mean, he and his dad went to the Sudan trying to document all the destruction they saw there.  You know, it‘s thank God there are celebrities out there who aren‘t just concerned about getting a facial and a massage.  He actually does want to make a change in the world. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And I‘ll tell you, especially when you do something like Sudan.  That‘s not so obvious.  And if he can bring that on the front pages of the paper and have us talking about it, that‘s great. 

I‘ll tell you another guy who I think has not only helped the situation in Sudan, but in fact has changed pop culture, David Hasselhoff. 

LEE:  He‘s done so much for us. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s listen to the Hoff. 


DAVID HASSELHOFF, ACTOR (singing):  I‘m stuck on a feeling that you‘re in love with me.


SCARBOROUGH:  What‘s going on in the background there?

SZISH:  I don‘t know.  Angels?

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, that‘s nice.  OK, “Hooked on a Feeling,” all right.  Thank you so much, Katrina.  Thank you, Michelle Lee.  Greatly appreciate it.  We‘ll see you later in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.



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.


Watch Scarborough Country each weeknight at 9 p.m. ET


Discussion comments