updated 9/22/2006 11:23:45 AM ET 2006-09-22T15:23:45

Guests: David Wild, Paul Waldman, Rachel Sklar, Assad “Sam” Suleiman, Rosa Suleiman, Jill Dobson, Courtney Hazlett

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, Bill O‘Reilly tells ABC News he‘s on al Qaeda‘s hit list.  Is the king of cable news in danger or delusional?  Only Osama bin Laden knows for sure.  And we‘re going to tell you what public figures do have a price on their heads.  Plus, Bill Clinton takes center stage to tell Americans how he would treat the most dangerous man in the world and whether George Bush has it all wrong.  And later, a couple caught on tape beating up a reporter is now demanding an apology from that bloodied reporter.  I‘ll interview them and we‘ll find out why.

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  No passport required, no assaulting cable news hosts allowed.

We have all that ahead, plus a lot more, but first up tonight, Fox News host Bill O‘Reilly has been having a long-running feud, as you know, with our own Keith Olbermann, but apparently, that the least of his problems.  During an interview with Barbara Walters that‘s set to air tomorrow night on ABC‘s “20/20,” the king of cable news—and of course, he‘s a Fox host—Bill O‘Reilly, says that his fame and success have come with a price.


BILL O‘REILLY, HOST, “THE O‘REILLY FACTOR”:  The FBI came in and warned me and a few other people at Fox News that al Qaeda had us on a death list.


SCARBOROUGH:  We contacted Bill O‘Reilly to get a comment, but we couldn‘t get a comment from him because he says he hasn‘t seen the “20/20” interview yet.  Now, critics are going to claim—and Bill O‘Reilly has a lot of them on the left—that O‘Reilly is using this al Qaeda story as a way to pump up sales of his new book that‘s going to be released on Monday.  But you know, since all of Bill O‘Reilly‘s books are bestsellers, I don‘t think that theory holds water.

Terror analysts like NBC‘s Roger Cressey say, to their knowledge, a celebrity‘s never actually made al Qaeda‘s hit list, despite what Russell Crowe says and what he told the world a few years back.  But critics claim this is nothing more than Bill O‘Reilly letting his ego do the talking.

Here are some scenes from his show that easily outrates all other cable news programs.


O‘REILLY:  You and I are powerful guys.  I mean, we get people on television and we can ruin their lives in a blink.  We can ruin their lives!

Now, I have to tell you I don‘t care.  I don‘t care.  I don‘t care if men are smarter than women, women are smarter than—as long, Kirsten (ph), as I‘m smarter than everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And you are, Bill.  You are the smartest...

O‘REILLY:  That‘s all I care about!  So I just think this is just a bunch of hooey.

So we‘re going to build a wall, but that‘s not enough.  The Mitt Romney memorial wall?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, it may be (INAUDIBLE) I‘ll call it the Bill O‘Reilly special.

O‘REILLY:  Then nobody‘ll come...


O‘REILLY:  Nobody‘ll come.  They go, O‘Reilly wall?  Ain‘t coming.

If society would condemn it, Lafave would be in jail for five years, as she should be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  If you‘re in a jury box, Bill, how are you going to convict her...

O‘REILLY:  Easy!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  ... when he comes and says...

O‘REILLY:  Doesn‘t matter!


O‘REILLY:  He‘s a child!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  ... and he had sex.

O‘REILLY:  He‘s a child!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You‘re going to have a hard time...


O‘REILLY:  Hey, 10 seconds it would take me to give that woman five to ten!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I wouldn‘t put you on the jury.

O‘REILLY:  Ten seconds.  You bet you wouldn‘t!  You‘d be out of business.


SCARBOROUGH:  Here‘s Roger Cressey.  He‘s, of course, NBC News terror analyst.  We also have Paul Waldman.  He‘s a senior fellow at Media Matters for America.  And we have David Wild.  He‘s a contributing editor for “Rolling Stone” magazine.

Let‘s begin with you, Roger Cressey, and ask the obvious question.  Do you think Bill O‘Reilly‘s life is in danger from Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda?

ROGER CRESSEY, NBC TERRORISM ANALYST:  No.  And Joe, it sounds like this is a status thing.  You know, you get the fast cars, fast women, best-selling author, but until you make the al Qaeda hit list, you‘re not really somebody.

SCARBOROUGH:  But you know, Russell Crowe went out, and what did he crow about?  That he was on al Qaeda‘s death list.

CRESSEY:  Yes, you know, there‘s a delusional aspect to all this that is kind of baffling because, like you said, O‘Reilly‘s a best-selling author.  He doesn‘t need anything more to pump up his book.  So one really has to try and determine what he‘s really getting at here because there is no al Qaeda hit list.  Frankly, you know, al Qaeda has better things to do with its time than worry about media types.

SCARBOROUGH:  (INAUDIBLE) and of course, because we are the most insignificant of all types in the pecking order of American culture.  But Roger, you know, obviously, we‘ve heard in the past Muslim extremists targeting certain people.  I mean, we could talk about Salman Rushdie, right?

CRESSEY:  Absolutely.  In all seriousness, there are individuals,

kooks, as O‘Reilly said, some sort of self-styled jihadist who decides he

wants to go after O‘Reilly.  That type of crazy individual phenomenon is

certainly out there, but the idea that as part of the global al Qaeda

network, they are targeting individuals like Bill O‘Reilly for elimination

that I think is a stretch.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, but—it is a stretch, but again, when we‘re talking about the kooks that targeted Salman Rushdie, we‘re actually talking about the leader of a terrorist state, Ayatollah Khomeini, and of course, the last time I checked, Salman Rushdie‘s life was still on the line.  So again, I‘m not saying that O‘Reilly is on any special al Qaeda list that‘s tacked to a cave, in fact, in Afghanistan, but isn‘t it possible that if somebody angered leaders—Muslim extremist leaders enough, they could find themselves on a list, like Salman Rushdie or Van Gogh?

CRESSEY:  Well, in the case of Rushdie—he wrote “The Satanic Verses”—the Iranians issued their equivalent of a fatwa against him, sanctioning his murder as a justifiable act, which resulted in Rushdie going underground.  I mean, that was one step removed from an act of state-sponsored terrorism.  What we‘re talking about here is not like that, Joe.  It is the individual who believes he is being threatened by al Qaeda.  So until we get the FBI saying, yes, in fact, we did get some intelligence or we do have some reason to believe, we got to be careful about giving Mr.  O‘Reilly too much credit here.

SCARBOROUGH:  And talk about the Van Gogh story because that‘s a good example of a filmmaker, Theo Van Gogh, a filmmaker who was brutally murdered because of art that he—he produced.

CRESSEY:  Well, that‘s right.  And that‘s probably a better example here because Theo Van Gogh he put out a movie that did rile up the local population in that country, and then a couple individuals, one in particular, decided to take it upon himself to kill him.  There was no fatwa issued.  There was no central instruction.  It was not part of a broader terror network plot, but it was one crazed individual, one jihadist, who decided to do this.

So for anybody who‘s in the public domain, anybody who‘s in the public spotlight, certainly, that type of potential threat is out there, just as it is with any kook whose might try an do something.

SCARBOROUGH:  And David Wild, it was—it was particularly brutal—

I think they actually tracked him down, beat him up and stuck a letter on his chest and then drove a knife through his heart.  So obviously, public figures, even artists, filmmakers, don‘t know about cable news show hosts yet, but certainly, a lot of people have something to fear by Muslim extremists, right?

DAVID WILD, “ROLLING STONE” MAGAZINE:  You know, that was a tragedy, but you know, I think that couldn‘t happen to Bill O‘Reilly because you‘d have to actually have a heart for that to occur.

SCARBOROUGH:  David, David, David.  But talk about the—talk about your take on O‘Reilly‘s suggestion that his life is in danger.

WILD:  Well, to me, it‘s just sort of—you know those maps of the world, where the whole—you know, three quarters of it is New York City?  I think O‘Reilly sees the world that way, except it‘s all O‘Reilly.  I think this is just further proof that, you know, he sees the world—it‘s not just a—you know, the war on O‘Reilly is not equal to the war on terror.  And you know, I‘m just concerned that, you know, if someone in the al Qaeda is being forced to watch O‘Reilly‘s show, that that will violate the Geneva convention on some level.

SCARBOROUGH:  Paul Waldman, your group, Media Matters, is a liberal media watchdog group, I would have to guess that you guys have Bill O‘Reilly at the top of your list of people that you check night in and night out.  What‘s your take on Bill O‘Reilly doing this?  I mean, you don‘t really think Bill O‘Reilly needs more publicity to make his book a number one bestseller?


SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s going to be number one anyway, right?

WALDMAN:  I‘m sure it will be.  He‘s got a lot of means to promote it. 

And I don‘t think it‘s just a publicity stunt.  If you read his new book, which is coming out next week, you see this kind of paranoia coursing through it.  He talks about people who are out to destroy him, how he‘s angered powerful people and they‘re angry about it, and how there‘s all these forces out there that are coming after him, that he can‘t have a conversation with a stranger, his phone calls are monitored.  You know, so he alternately portrays himself as this kind of victim and as a hero, that he‘s the only thing standing between...

SCARBOROUGH:  But Paul, you have to...

WALDMAN:  ... us and national oblivion.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... admit, though—I mean, whether somebody likes O‘Reilly or not, whether they hate him, even, you have to admit that he is loathed by so many people.  He‘s attacked by a bloggers on the left night and day.  He goes on David Letterman and—I mean, David Letterman, a guy who I just love and watched every night since the early 1980s—his fangs come out.  I mean, if—as the old saying goes in Washington, D.C., just because you‘re paranoid doesn‘t mean that everybody‘s not out to get you.  Couldn‘t that...

WALDMAN:  Yes, but he‘s a guy who makes his...


SCARBOROUGH:  ... Bill O‘Reilly?

WALDMAN:  He‘s a guy who makes his living at people and insulting people, and he has extraordinarily thin skin.  You know, he refers to Media Matters for America as a “smear site,” says we‘re defaming him.  And what do we actually do?  Well, we listen to what he says, and when he says something outrageous or something that‘s false, we put up the video or the audio and the transcript on our Web site.  And for that, he says we‘re defaming him, and there are all these smear sites that are out to get him.  Any kind of criticism, he just can‘t take it.

And you know, for somebody who calls people cowards when they won‘t appear on his show—you know, for instance, we at Media Matters have asked many times to come and answer the charges that he‘s made against us, and he refuses to have us on his show, although if there‘s someone that he wants on his show and they won‘t come, he says they‘re a coward.  So he‘s extraordinarily thin-skinned, and any kind of criticism, whether it‘s substantive or not, is taken by him as some sort of personal assault that puts him in danger.

SCARBOROUGH:  Roger Cressey, let‘s talk about the culture war because, obviously, there are a lot of—lot of Muslim extremists that hate America, not be of freedom but because of the culture that we transmit they would consider to be trash that we transmit across the world.

Is there some element there, whether you‘re talking about—we‘d heard earlier—when I was in Coast Guard, I heard reports that Disneyworld may be bombed by terrorists or Hollywood studios.  What have you heard about—what have you heard about that?  Any possibility that—that culture wars could extend to Muslim extremists and they could start targeting movie studios or TV hosts or—or movie stars?

CRESSEY:  Well, Joe, I think this is a serious issue in the following way, that al Qaeda, its affiliates, the broader movement is all about attacking symbols of American power—political, military, economic.  So it‘s not that big of a stretch to argue that if they do have the capability to attack cultural symbols, then one potential target is the media industry, the entertainment industry more likely.  And there have been some threats, completely uncorroborated and unsubstantiated, about potential threats against Hollywood, against even Disneyworld, as you talk about.  But those things have never risen to the point where they became truly credible threats.

But when you think about the symbolism issue involved, then certainly, it is a possibility, although as far as I—as far as I‘m concerned, they‘re still going to go after the political, economic and military symbols because that‘s what America‘s might is all about.

SCARBOROUGH:  Go there first.  All right, thanks a lot, Roger.  Thank you, Paul, and thank you, David Wild.  Greatly appreciate it.

And Coming up in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, the second coming of Clinton.  How will a Hillary presidency cut into Bubba‘s social life?  We‘ll hear from the former vice—the former president next.  Plus, the real story behind a shocking fight that was caught on tape.  A couple accused of attacking that reporter tells me they‘re the ones who deserve an apology.  And later: America‘s enemies bash President Bush on U.S. soil.  Why is Rush Limbaugh blaming Chris Matthews and the news media for our enemies‘ actions?


SCARBOROUGH:  Former president Bill Clinton is back.  You know, he‘s been everywhere this week, pushing his global initiative.  And he stopped by “The Daily Show” Monday night to encourage the kids to get involved.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Everybody that sees this show, gives $10 or $15 or $20, not big money—if they all do it, you could change the world.

JON STEWART, “THE DAILY SHOW”:  You might want to cast a wider met.




CLINTON:  My daughter says that it‘s the new source of choice now for all discerning young people.


STEWART:  Well, we‘ll see about that!


SCARBOROUGH:  And yesterday, Bubba rubbed elbows with the first lady, Laura Bush, in New York City.  His media tour also took him to the “Today” show this morning, where Meredith Vieira peppered him with questions on a wide range of topics, including his reaction to Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez‘s recent attacks against George Bush.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  And I think that Hugo Chavez said something that was wrong yesterday, unbecoming of a head of state, and...

MEREDITH VIEIRA, CO-HOST:  By calling Bush a devil?

CLINTON:  All the—yes, all that name calling, you know, it‘s undignified and it‘s not helpful and it‘s not true.  But on the other hand, what we should think about is not him but the masses of people all over the world who find it always easy to resent the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world.  So have to give people a sense that we‘re pulling for them and that we—we may have to do things that are unpopular from time to time, but we want to work together whenever we can.  I think it‘s...

VIEIRA:  Well, then, let me ask you...

CLINTON:  ... the message you send out, you know?

VIEIRA:  Let met ask you, then, about President Bush refusing to meet with the Iranian president, Ahmadinejad, the other day.  He said he would not do that.  They won‘t even be in the same room together.  If you were president today, would you have met with the president of Iran, given the reality that our countries are very polarized right now?

CLINTON:  Well, I think that we should have some contacts with them.  I don‘t know if the way to start is to have the presidents meet, given all the things Mr. Ahmadinejad has said about Israel and the Holocaust and—and the other things he said.  I think on the question of their nuclear intentions, we ought to have some contacts with them.  I‘m not sure president to president is the place to start.

VIEIRA:  You know, when you were president, you were very popular and very concerned with diplomacy, meeting with world leader and trying to solve problems.  And yet the threat of al Qaeda continued to grow up and leading to 9/11.  So some critics of your critics would say, What did all the good will accomplish, in the end?

CLINTON:  Well, it wasn‘t just good will.  We tried to kill bin Laden, and I signed an authorization to that effect.  We nearly got him once, and...

VIEIRA:  Where do you think he is?


CLINTON:  I think...

VIEIRA:  Everybody‘s wondering where the heck he is.  Where do you think he is?

CLINTON:  I think he‘s probably in—I have no intelligence, OK?  I think he‘s...

VIEIRA:  You have lots of intelligence!

CLINTON:  No, I mean government intelligence.

VIEIRA:  I know.  I‘m kidding!

CLINTON:  I think he‘s probably in Waziristan, in the mountainous region of that semi-autonomous area of Pakistan, where they can move back and forth.  And it‘s one of the reasons I think we have to do what we can to support the mission in Afghanistan.  We need to step up our attempts to roll back the Taliban‘s gains in the south and try to intensify the hunt for him.

But I think that he and Dr. al Zawahiri are probably there, hiding in the mountains in a place that‘s very difficult to reach.

VIEIRA:  I‘d like to talk a little bit about Hillary.  I know she said she doesn‘t know whether she‘s going to run for president, at this point.  But the polls say that she is the frontrunner in the Democratic Party.  If she were to run, do you think she would win not only the nomination but the general election?

CLINTON:  I think she would.  Of course, no one knows how an election would come out.  And I know she hasn‘t decided because I‘m sure I would know if she had.  I know this...

VIEIRA:  Do you talk about it?


VIEIRA:  You never talk about it?

CLINTON:  I‘m superstitious about it.  And one of our family rules is, Don‘t look past the next election, you might not get past it.  So I want her to win the Senate seat.  She deserves it.  She‘s been phenomenally effective for New York.  She‘s done more work with Republican senators to do joint things than I think than anybody could have possibly anticipated, and she‘s really done a good job.

But if she ran and won, I think she‘d be a good president.  I think she‘d probably be a great president because she‘s got the right kind of skills and she‘s got a good heart and a good mind and she runs things well, makes good decisions, and because of all the experience we‘ve had.  So that‘s the most important thing to me is whether she‘d would be good for the country, and she really would be great.

SCARBOROUGH:  What about...

CLINTON:  But I have no idea if she‘s going to do it.

VIEIRA:  Yes.  What about the scrutiny that she would be put under, and you, as well?  “The New York Times” recently ran a front page article about your marriage.  Do you think that was fair?  And is it fair game, should she run?

CLINTON:  Well, the politicians don‘t get to decide that.  But I think that—the thing that I think is going to be interesting is whether the American people, after all the problems we‘ve got, really want to see the press basically follow the Republican bloodhounds and do all that sort of stuff again, and whether or not the people that are doing it can escape the same scrutiny.  They have in the past.  It‘s been a free ride.  You know, just pick a Democrat and punch that person.  And I don‘t think that‘ll happen this time.

But I think it‘s a stupid way to spend our time.  You know, the older I get, the more it amazes me that anybody‘d be interested in me in that way, or anybody else, really.


SCARBOROUGH:  President Clinton‘s going to be sitting down with Keith Olbermann tomorrow night, and you can catch that interview on “Countdown” at 8:00 PM Eastern.

Now, coming up next in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY: A rowdy crowd makes problems for reporters, but it makes great “Must See S.C.”!  What‘s going on behind this lady?  We‘ll show you.  Plus: Michael Jackson is sending out a special invitation to your young boys to join him at his new amusement park.  More harmless hugging from wacko Jacko?  The full story coming up.  Keep your kids locked up!


SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, wake up Aunt Elma.  It‘s time for tonight‘s “Must See S.C.,” some video you just got to see.  First up, it‘s hard out there for a female newshound.  Check out what happened to this Fox reporter while she was doing a live shot at a concert.


LISA EVERS, FOX 5 NEW YORK:  Another advantage of this ID system is

that the lines are very, very short—the lines are very, very short, and

OK, obviously, everyone‘s having a good time here.  Back to you in the studio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, Lisa.  Leave Lisa alone, folks.


SCARBOROUGH:  By the way, I don‘t mind if people try to shove money down my chest.

And finally, if you thought President Bush‘s reception at the U.N.  was, well, icy, you‘re not alone.


GEORGE WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  The people of Iraq, nearly 12 million of you braved the car bombers and assassins last December to vote in free elections.  The people of Afghanistan, together we overthrew the Taliban regime.

STEWART:  Does that sound like Bush walked into a room and found out he was about to get whacked?  Oh, Saudi Arabia.  Our children go to school together!  How can you do this?  Kuwait, our wives play tennis!  Why are you doing this to me?


SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, you know, we‘ve been friends a long time.  Anyway, that‘s a little fish reference from “The Godfather.”  I‘ll tell you about it later.

Coming up: The leaders of Iran and Venezuela launch a PR war against President Bush.  Some think the mainstream media is giving a free pass and comfort to America‘s enemies.  We‘ll tell you why Rush Limbaugh agrees with them.  Plus, Paris for dummies.  The celebrity heiress admits she‘s no rocket scientist, and we have the tape to prove it.  No, not that tape!



SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up, a couple caught on tape beating up a reporter says they‘re innocent and are owed an apology.  We‘ll ask them how that‘s possible in our exclusive interview. 

Plus, if you thought the movie “Leprechaun” was scary, well, wait until you hear this one.  Michael Jackson wants to build a new leprechaun theme park.  Talk about a story custom made for “Hollyweird.”  That‘s coming up.

Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Those stories straight ahead. 

But first, the United States‘ enemies, as you know, they have spent the last week launching vicious anti-American screeds on U.S. soil that, of course, we‘re paying for at the United Nations.  Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, of course, called President Bush the devil, while Iran‘s radical leader went out of his way to thumb his nose at the United States and their commander in chief, raising the question, why do dictators feel so darn comfortable in America, trashing America‘s commander in chief, while they‘re treated like conquering heroes by people like Danny Glover?

Well, Rush Limbaugh blames the media and Democrats, who he says have spent the past three years going well beyond being the loyal opposition and instead calling the president names that are at least as offensive as Mr.  Chavez‘s attacks.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  You know who is going to be jealous of this speech that Hugo Chavez gave, ladies and gentlemen, Frank Rich and Maureen Down of “The New York Times.”  There‘s a reason why these guys feel comfortable and even emboldened coming here saying these things, and I‘m not going to pull any punches.  It‘s because they‘re just echoing the president‘s enemies in this country, be they the American left, some members of the Democratic Party, and all of the Democrat left-wing blogosphere.  Many university professors had their sentiments echoed today by Hugo Chavez. 

What is different in Hugo Chavez saying that we need a psychologist to analyze Bush and the American left saying that he‘s an insane lunatic and what have you?  It‘s the same stuff, just with different words, the rage and the hatred.  And Chavez, this is the sickening part—the sickening part to me is that Chavez comes here, says it with confidence, because he believes the vast majority of the American public is going to agree with him, because he obviously listens to the U.S. drive-by media in the way they deal with Bush. 

He sees the way Ahmadinejad treated with great respect all over American television yesterday and last night.  He can contrast that with the way George W. Bush is treated as a suspect, as a guilty suspect being interrogated each and every day by the drive-by media.  There‘s no doubt he feels that he‘s in friendly ground, friendly territory, particularly inside the bar there on the “Star Wars” set. 


SCARBOROUGH:  With us now, Rachel Sklar.  She‘s the media editor for the HuffingtonPost.com.  Rachel, what‘s your take on Rush Limbaugh‘s view of the American media and how they may have contributed to the president being bashed this week at the United Nations? 

RACHEL SKLAR, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM:  Well, I mean, I think the “blame the liberal media” thing gets really old, but what I found very interesting was the long, long list that Rush reeled off of all the so-called offenders of people who had expressed their feelings about President Bush.  I mean, that‘s a very, very long list. 

So what does that indicate?  That indicates a large proportion of people who have things they have to say about the president, things they want to say about the administration, they have grievances.  And as far as I can recall, that‘s kind of the whole purpose of the First Amendment.  So...

SCARBOROUGH:  Right.  But at the same time—I mean, let‘s look at what Hugo Chavez said yesterday. 


HUGO CHAVEZ, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (THROUGH TRANSLATOR):  The devil came here yesterday.  Yesterday, the devil came here, right here, right here.  And it smells of sulfur still today. 


SCARBOROUGH:  And, of course, a lot of people were laughing at him, but doesn‘t it concern you that a foreign leader has no problem coming to our country, standing in front of the United Nations, and calling the president of the United States the devil and, basically, being treated with kid gloves for it?

SKLAR:  OK, well, I don‘t know that he was treated with kid gloves.  I mean, I think it seemed to be pretty universal that his comments were way out of line and a little bit cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, frankly.  But I do think that there‘s a difference between, quote, unquote, “coming to American soil” and where on American soil he came.  I mean, it was the United Nations.  And the U.S. plays host to the United Nations and welcomes the international community there as an international forum. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, sure, Rachel, but, of course, he does this, and then goes out and Danny Glover is hugging him like he‘s a conquering hero.  And there‘s been a long list of people—again, and I think Rush Limbaugh‘s point and my point tonight is that, unfortunately, people hate George Bush so much—and I tried to say this a few nights ago—go ahead and hate George Bush all you want.  That‘s your right as an American.  But at the same time, don‘t forget who the real enemy is. 

And it seems like so many people have.  Like, for instance, veteran reporter Helen Thomas, who is, of course, the so-called dean of the White House press corps, told an editor at “The Hill” newspaper this.  Quote, “The day Dick Cheney is going to run for president, I‘ll kill myself.  All we need is one more liar.”  This is the dean of the White House press corps. 

And then you have Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the most powerful Democrat in the Senate.  He makes an appearance at a high school and he says this, while the president‘s in Russia.  He says, quote, “I think this guy is a loser.” 

And then, of course, you‘ve got college professors, as Limbaugh was talking about, that are actually telling their students that 9/11 was an inside job.  Cynthia McKinney suggests, former Democratic congresswoman, that George Bush knew about 9/11. 

Again, the point is this:  They have that First Amendment right.  We have to protect that First Amendment right.  At the same time, the viciousness and the hatred is damaging this country and sending a message to people like Hugo Chavez that he can come to our country and say the most outrageous things about the president and not be called on the carpet for it. 

SKLAR:  I feel like he has been called on the carpet for it.  I feel like the response has been, both from the Republican and from the liberal side of things—I mean, I think that the response has been pretty uniformly shocked, outraged, and kind of lacking in respect.


SCARBOROUGH:  I have seen absolutely no outrage.  And I could not imagine what would happen if Bill Clinton were called a devil at the United Nations General Assembly in 1999, and then he stepped off the stage after some foreign leader called Bill Clinton the devil, and then he goes and he hugs Charlton Heston.  Could you imagine?

SKLAR:  OK, well, we‘re talking a whole bunch of different things here.  And Danny Glover...

SCARBOROUGH:  No, we‘re not.  We‘re talking about two American presidents, comparing how Bill Clinton being called the devil by a foreign leader, the response that would have gotten, compared to George W. Bush being called the devil. 

SKLAR:  But that‘s a hypothetical, and we‘re dealing with the reality.  And as far as I‘ve seen, I‘ve seen that those remarks were pretty much written off as kind of crazy, like I said before.  I‘m pretty sure Nancy Pelosi came out against them.  I don‘t think anybody wants to be seen as giving credence to them, because they were lacking in any substance, and they were clearly not doing anything to promote healthy discourse. 

And I think that‘s the key.  I think that‘s really the key.  And I think it‘s pretty dangerous for people from the right side of the aisle to make, you know, sweeping, kind of vaguely threatening comments about people on the left side of the aisle demonstrating and expressing their feelings on the administration. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What threatening statements have been made? 

SKLAR:  Well, I mean, Rush‘s statements kind of darkly suggested that the liberal media, expressing their dissatisfaction with the Bush regime, was emboldening other leaders and other countries.

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, but you could express your dissatisfaction with the president of United States.  But I think Limbaugh‘s point is, it‘s been so over-the-top—it‘s the same point I made two nights ago—that it seems like so many people on the left are driven by their hatred of George Bush, again, that they‘re forgetting that George Bush is not the enemy.  George Bush is not the person that wants to blow up Americans, that wants to destroy our buildings, and wants to kill...

SKLAR:  I don‘t think that‘s being suggested. 

SCARBOROUGH:  ... our military men and women overseas.

SKLAR:  I don‘t think that‘s being suggested.  I think that you‘ve got people expressing their feelings on various policies, the way they‘ve been enacted, the accountabilities, the transparency of government.  And think if you‘re going to be talking about vicious invective, I mean, you see it on both sides.  You really, really do.  And you know what?  It‘s not pleasant, and it‘s not productive, frankly, on either side.  But you see it on both sides. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s not productive.  And I appreciate, Rachel, you coming here discussing it, even though we disagree with it.  That‘s why we love having you here. 

SKLAR:  Thank you.

SCARBOROUGH:  I greatly appreciate it. 

Again, as somebody—I want to tell you very quickly, friends—as somebody that was in Congress during the Clinton era, there were a lot of people on the right side of Congress that despised Bill Clinton and were driven by hatred.  And it was very destructive.  Unfortunately, that situation has only gotten worse over the past seven years.  We have got to elect a president in 2008 that can bring us all together. 

Now, coming up next, talking about a fight, a couple caught on tape brutally attacking a reporter.  We‘re going to hear their side of the story in our exclusive interview and see why they say they‘re owed an apology. 

Plus, why is Tom Cruise making his wife dress up like a Spice Girl? 

The answer, coming up in “Hollyweird.”


SCARBOROUGH:  It was one of the more stunning incidents we‘ve seen on TV lately.  San Diego reporter John Mattes was working a story about mortgage fraud when the couple he was investigating showed up during the interview and attacked Mattes in broad daylight.  Tonight, I asked the couple to try to explain what happened and how they can possibly be pleading not guilty. 


ASSAD “SAM” SULEIMAN, CHARGED WITH ASSAULTING REPORTER:  In my defense, I came out there.  I heard my wife crying for help.  And, you know, she was being taunted, she was being laughed at.  And this John Mattes reporter, who‘s part of this conspiracy, who‘s the main contribute to this, was there.  I got a phone call from one of my workers.  He wanted to video my building. 

This is a building that I‘ve spent several million dollars, and he wanted to come inside.  And those are the bases that I came there.  And he absolutely had no business coming on my property and additionally going to my neighbor and talking about me.  That had nothing to do with whatever supposedly he was investigating.  That happened to be false after all. 

We haven‘t done anything.  No charges have been filed.  And whatever the hell he was—excuse me, whatever he was investigating, has no basis.  It was very malicious; it was very personal. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And it was very personal to you, Ms. Suleiman?  What was he doing? 


He was invading my life.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, what was he doing? 

R. SULEIMAN:  He was invading my life.  He was bothering my family, my peace.  He came to our property that we worked so hard to remodel this place.  He was trying to get through the gate.  He was not successful at it, because there was a big lock on it.  I went there; I saw him; I asked him to stop what he was doing. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Despite that, do you have any regrets for what you all did to the reporter that day? 

R. SULEIMAN:  Regrets?  Is he sorry for what he has done to us?  No, I have no regrets. 

A. SULEIMAN:  Joe, let me answer that question in a more—I guess in a more political way, if I may.  You know, we are sorry for what happened.  I guess we‘re sorry for the fact that FOX did though pay attention, they did pay any attention to us when we had repeatedly, both verbally and in writing, sent memos to them, sent writings to them by my previous counsel, “Hey, you might want to look into this fax before you (INAUDIBLE)”

I mean, there is only so much a family could take.  These people were out there to destroy me, like I said, socially, economically, professionally.  I mean, we had indicated to them enough is enough.  Before this incident happened—just days before, we had sent a letter to FOX requesting to put an end to this pest, because this is personal.

SCARBOROUGH:  So you feel like it‘s a personal attack against you and Rosa.  You obviously still are very angry about what‘s happened well before this and still feel like this guy has come in and, in effect, almost ruined your life, right?

R. SULEIMAN:  Yes, this is a reporter that is just using his camera and his microphone in a form of a deadly weapon against my life.  I have no other words to describe him.  He just invaded my life, my privacy.  He put personal things on air about me and my husband.  And I just think this is very—it‘s unacceptable for a reporter to do these things to me and to my family.  He owes me an apology to me and my family; that‘s how I feel. 

A. SULEIMAN:  Let me explain it this way.  I mean, this reporter is—he used to work—and I don‘t know if he‘s still there or not—the word is that he‘s been terminated, but we‘ll find out regardless.  I mean, FOX is responsible, having such a reporter.  And this is—and somebody needs to be held accountable for the damage that this gentleman has done, with the damage...


SCARBOROUGH:  Your wife has said that she believes, even after all of this, that this reporter owes you all an apology.  Do you agree with her? 

A. SULEIMAN:  Well, let me put it to you like this, Joe.  I don‘t see

if you could explain this, maybe you could explain this to me, when a reporter starts out to be some kind of a scam, fraud, criminal, all these allegations that he‘s putting, he then goes and interviews with my neighbor.  This gentleman has never bought a house from me.  This gentleman is in a dispute with me over a scaffolding matter on which he wanted to charge me an extraordinary amount of money to put the scaffolding on his property.  In other words, everybody that he has brought on TV to talk bad about me or my family has been people that are in civil litigations with us. 


SCARBOROUGH:  So you think this guy is out to ruin—you think this guy is out to ruin your life and, because of it, you don‘t think you owe him an apology, right? 

A. SULEIMAN:  You absolutely are right.  When I arrived at the scene, not only—Joe, this reporter has already aired us several times, at least half a dozen times before this reporter came.  I was worked extremely hard for this commercial building.  I have spent several million dollars, and I‘m planning to open a top-notch commercial firm in the city with this project that I have. 

And I absolutely cannot accept a man coming down there, in a matter of minutes, destroying my family and destroying my dream, everything I‘ve worked so hard for, by filming this.  And that‘s exactly what he was doing.  He was invading, he was trespassing on my property.  And at that point when I arrived, I saw my wife in a lot of distress.  She was asking for help. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Thank you, Sam.  Also, greatly appreciate you being with us, Rosa, and best of luck. 

R. SULEIMAN:  Thank you. 

A. SULEIMAN:  Thank you.


SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up, TomKat tries to bend it like Beckham.  Pack your bags, baby, we‘re going to “Hollyweird.”


SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome to “Hollyweird.”  First up, Paris Hilton has never been confused with a Rhodes scholar, but now Paris Hilton has confirmed what many have always expected:  She ain‘t exactly a brain surgeon, and we‘ve got the tape to prove it. 


PARIS HILTON, SINGER:  Like, I really—I don‘t remember.  I‘m not like that smart.  I like forget stuff all the time. 

DET. KOMAN:  Don‘t cut yourself short.

HILTON:  Well, I don‘t remember.

PROSECUTOR CHUN:  And this is not, you know, just an ordinary thing.  Somebody‘s describing, you know, taking a videotape, a compromising videotape, tying up an ex-boyfriend of yours.


SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, not too smart, I agree.  With us now, “Star” magazine‘s editor-at-large Jill Dobson and “OK” magazine senior report Courtney Hazlett. 

Jill, Paris admits she ain‘t that smart.  What‘s this all about?

JILL DOBSON, “STAR” MAGAZINE:  Well, Paris had some court proceedings, and she didn‘t want to implicate herself.  Since they‘re just pleading the Fifth, she tried to say, “I don‘t remember and I‘m not, like, that smart, so I can‘t really tell you what happened.”

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, like, we already knew that.  But if she‘s not that smart, Courtney, why is she so rich? 

COURTNEY HAZLETT, “OK” MAGAZINE:  You know, she knows how to work it in more ways that one, I think we all know.  You know, every time Paris caught in some sort of weird situation and everybody starts to rip her apart, she always says, “You know, that really hurt my feelings.”  And so it‘s a little bit odd that finally she‘s pulling the “I‘m not that smart” card.

SCARBOROUGH:  Exactly.  And speaking of weird situations, Courtney, what do you think about Michael Jackson?  Michael Jackson deciding he‘s going to open a theme park for little kids. 

HAZLETT:  On the one hand, it‘s so Michael Jackson, it‘s almost not odd.  But on the other hand, a leprechaun theme park in Ireland?  Nothing about this sounds like a good idea.  I mean, just run away, run away fast. 

SCARBOROUGH:  No, no.  Yes, on the one hand, that that strange-ass glove used to be on.  And, Courtney Hazlett, I somehow don‘t think many Irish kiddies are going to be going...

HAZLETT:  I don‘t think so.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... to wacko Jacko‘s theme park, do you?

HAZLETT:  No, not so much.  Not so much.

SCARBOROUGH:  And while we‘re in the United Kingdom, why don‘t we talk about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.  They may be returning to the big screen.  England‘s “Daily Star” is reporting that Tom is pitching a movie based on the life of soccer star David Beckham, and Cruise wants Katie to play Beckham‘s wife, former Spice Girl Victoria. 

Jill Dobson, Tom Cruise has done another story over in—well, actually, he was in Ireland, with his last wife, right?

DOBSON:  Right, right.  He worked with Nicole Kidman, obviously, and now he‘s with Katie.  And I guess people would like to see them work together or see a movie that Tom produces and Katie stars in.  But I don‘t see Katie playing a young Posh Spice.  I think that Keira Knightley might be a better choice, because she‘s young enough to play Posh a few years ago, and she‘s super thin, just like Posh, and she already has the accent. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I was just going to say extraordinarily thin.  And, Courtney, what about Jessica Simpson‘s dad wanting Jessica to start up her own “Dukes of Hazzard” restaurant? 

DOBSON:  Well, you know, maybe it‘s a second shot for the “Dukes of Hazzard” franchise, and we all know that Joe Simpson loves his daughters.  So, you know, a little bit more time in the sun for Jessica probably wouldn‘t be a bad thing for her. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Probably not, loves his daughter and loves money. 

DOBSON:  Exactly.


SCARBOROUGH:  And make sure, everybody, watch “Dateline” to get more Paris, “Dateline” on Saturday night.  You know, at this point of the show, we only have about 15 seconds, Jill.  You know what to do.  Go ahead.

DOBSON:  I think we should take it to the Hoff.  Let‘s take it to the Hoff.

SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s take it to the Hoff.

Thank you, Jill.  Thank you, Courtney.


DAVID HASSELHOFF, ACTOR (Singing):  Jump in my car.  I want to take you home.


SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, that‘s all the time we have for tonight.  We‘ll see you Monday in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.



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