updated 9/26/2006 10:53:54 AM ET 2006-09-26T14:53:54

Guests: Jennifer Palmieri, Rob Boston, Mike Papantonio, Leslie Sanchez

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Welcome to the show.  I‘m Tucker Carlson.

Lots to get to today, including more deviltry in American politics.  This time it‘s Jerry Falwell comparing Hillary Clinton to the Prince of Darkness. 

Also ahead, an anonymous attack on Ann Coulter. 

But first, the top story of the day, Bill Clinton‘s FOX News dustup, his meltdown on air.  An interview turned into a battle when FOX‘s Chris Wallace asked the former president why he didn‘t do more to take down Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. 

Here is part of their exchange. 


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS:  Do you think you did enough, sir? 

WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  No, because I didn‘t get it right.  But at least I tried.  That‘s the difference in me and some, including all the right-wingers who are attacking me now. 

They‘ve ridiculed me for trying.  They had eight months to try.  They did not try.

You did FOX‘s bidding on this show.  You did your nice little conservative hit job on me.  What I want to know...

WALLACE:  Well, wait a minute sir.  I‘m asking a question.

CLINTON:  No, no.

WALLACE:  You don‘t think that‘s a legitimate question?

CLINTON:  It was a perfectly legitimate question.  But I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of. 

You‘ve got that little smirk on your face and you think you are so clever.  But I had responsibility for trying to protect this country.  I tried and I failed to get bin Laden.  I regret it, but I did try. 


CARLSON:  Conservative hit job.  Well, someone in that exchange lost control of himself completely, but was it Chris Wallace?  Was it President Clinton? 

Joining me now from Washington, Jennifer Palmieri, former deputy press secretary during the Clinton administration.

Jennifer Palmieri, thanks a lot for joining us.


Always good to be with you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  I‘m a little shocked by Clinton‘s behavior here.  I mean, you know, Chris Wallace is asking—no, no, I‘m dead serious.  It is a legitimate—it is a legitimate question, and Clinton immediately goes into partisan mode and accuses him of waging partisan warfare on him.  It‘s completely over the top. 

What explains that kind of behavior? 

PALMIERI:  Well, it‘s the truth.  I mean, this was—I think the president‘s response was a long time coming.  Not form him, per se, but from progressives and people on the left in general.

You know, the—I mean, what the president—what the president said was a perfectly legitimate question.  What he questioned was the—you know, what prompted the question, first of all.  And second of all, the fact that Chris Wallace and the people at FOX News haven‘t asked the Bush administration the same questions. 


CARLSON:  What a whiner he is.  I mean...

PALMIERI:  What a whiner?  You guys...

CARLSON:  I‘m totally serious.  What do you mean—what do you mean “you guys”?  I‘m not hear to defend FOX News.

PALMIERI:  No, but you‘re saying...

CARLSON:  I don‘t work there.  I don‘t care for FOX News.  But I‘m merely saying, the guy was president for eight years...


CARLSON:  ... during which al Qaeda planned 9/11.  He should be able to talk about it without screaming at the guy who asked him a simple question.  Don‘t you think? 

PALMIERI:  Well, he—what I said about “you guys,” I mean, you know, you, yourself, are having me on this show to talk about it...


PALMIERI:  ... because the conservatives are flipped out that somebody pushed back on FOX—push back on FOX News and they can‘t handle it. 

I mean, the things that Clinton—you know, what the president said that is so important to hear—and I think it was quite illuminating, actually, because he answered the question but he also pointed out that—all the things that he did to get Osama bin Laden and to track down al Qaeda.  He pointed out the fact that when our embassies got hit in August of 1998 we responded.  He pointed out that the Republicans in Congress criticized him for those air strikes because they said it was in reaction to, you know, trying to do “Wag the Dog” and distract attention from... 


CARLSON:  Well, wait.  I want to stop you there because I want to interject facts here. 


CARLSON:  He said—you‘re right, he said, “I think it‘s very interesting that all of the conservative Republicans who now I say I didn‘t do enough claimed I was too obsessed with bin Laden at the time.”  And yet, Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott both took to the floor of the Congress...


CARLSON:  ... the House and the Senate, to say, you know what?  We‘re on your side.  You‘re doing the right thing.  Good for you, Bill Clinton.  That‘s actually not true. 

PALMIERI:  No, but...

CARLSON:  It happened.  I mea, that‘s—do you know what I mean?  That‘s - - the leadership of the Congress...

PALMIERI:  But it did happen. 

CARLSON:  ... supported the president.  I was here.  I remember. 

PALMIERI:  Right.  Well, it‘s not true for—it‘s not true universally in conservatives.  This is not true universally in conservatives in Congress. 

As a matter of fact, if you want to go thinkprogress.org, our blog (INAUDIBLE), we will show you all the conservatives who—who came out and said that Bush was—excuse me, President Clinton was wrong to have launched those air strikes in August of ‘98 in response to the al Qaeda bombings of our embassy.  

CARLSON:  Oh, OK.  But here‘s—here‘s really all you need to know.

If you are asking—it‘s the question is, what did the Clinton administration do right, what did it do wrong in its hunt for Osama bin Laden?  Here‘s really the quote that I think sums it up.

“At the time in 1996, he, Osama bin Laden, had committed no crimes against America.  So I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America.”

That‘s Bill Clinton describing his own lack of action, his own unwillingness to take Osama bin Laden into custody...

PALMIERI:  Right.  And the reason why we‘re talking about that...

CARLSON:  ... in 1996.  That‘s shameful. 

PALMIERI:  Yes, but Tucker, the reason why we‘re talking about this is because he has publicly said that.  And he answered Chris Wallace yesterday when Chris Wallace asked him—you know, the president said, I wished I had done more.  I mean, I‘m paraphrasing him—but I wish I had done more. 


CARLSON:  He didn‘t say that. 

PALMIERI:  But he said...

CARLSON:  I‘ve got the transcript right here. 

PALMIERI:  I know you have a transcript.

CARLSON:  It‘s an endless self-justification.  It‘s, you right-wingers are

you‘re a right-winger, you‘re right wing!  I mean, come on. 

PALMIERI:  He said, “Did you do enough?”  And the president said, no, because I didn‘t get him.  But, the—but, what he did—but, you know, what is—what‘s important to note is that the Bush administration is never asked these same questions.  And we went back and looked, and it‘s true.  They never asked—they never asked...


PALMIERI:  ... any—any Bush administration official, why didn‘t you go -

why didn‘t you respond to al Qaeda after...

CARLSON:  I‘m sure that FOX goes easy on some Bush people.  I‘m not here to defend FOX.  I don‘t work for FOX.  I‘m talking about Bill Clinton...

PALMIERI:  No, but this is—there is a reason.

CARLSON:  ... who, after all, was the president of the—wait a minute. 

Hold on.


CARLSON:  I‘m talking about the president of the United States.

PALMIERI:  I know.

CARLSON:  And your argument at its core implies this is a man who deserves respect.  And I am saying he is behaving in such a way that does not in any way draw my respect.  I think it‘s embarrassing that he talks this way.

PALMIERI:  Whether or not Bill Clinton deserves respect is not what we should be concerned about.

CARLSON:  Actually, I think it is.

PALMIERI:  What we should be concerned about—no, Tucker.  What he should be concerned about is whether what—what we did in the Clinton administration to try and stop terrorism and stop Osama bin Laden and what the Bush administration did and what we can be doing better.


PALMIERI:  That‘s what matters and that‘s what President Bush—I mean Clinton—was trying to get to.

CARLSON:  That was not actually what he was getting to.  He was screaming about the partisan plot against him.


CARLSON:  He did not respond to the fact that on five separate occasions—and this is not a product of my right-wing fantasizing.  This is a product of the 9/11 report.

PALMIERI:  We don‘t want to hear about your right-wing fantasizing.

CARLSON:  No, you don‘t.


CARLSON:  Five separate opportunities blown to catch Osama bin Laden.

I‘m not defending the Bush administration.  I‘m merely pointing out that the Clinton administration blew it.

PALMIERI:  And I—and President Clinton was merely pointing out that he did what he could, we still didn‘t get him.

CARLSON:  But he didn‘t do what he could.  He didn‘t do what he could.

PALMIERI:  Well...

CARLSON:  He didn‘t do what he could by his own admission.  He said we didn‘t have...

PALMIERI:  No, he did—he did—he did a lot more than President Bush...

CARLSON:  ... a warrant for bin Laden‘s arrest.  You‘ve got to be joking.

PALMIERI:  ... did the first nine months of office.

CARLSON:  He may have, but he still...


PALMIERI:  Tucker, why don‘t you ask—why don‘t you ask the Bush administration, President Bush?  Why didn‘t you respond...

CARLSON:  Are you kidding?

PALMIERI:  ... after you got—after you got the...

CARLSON:  Jennifer...

PALMIERI:  ... the national security memo a month before September 11th saying “Osama bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.”?

CARLSON:  ... every day on this show—but you don‘t get it.  Every day on this show...

PALMIERI:  You do.

CARLSON:  ... I attack the Bush administration for...

PALMIERI:  Oh, I know you do.

CARLSON:  ... failing on national security.  And one time...

PALMIERI:  Yes, but it‘s your brethren.  They don‘t.  They don‘t.

CARLSON:  ... if you point out that the Clinton administration really blew it and our nation suffered as a result, they go completely bonkers.  They freak out—“You‘re a right wing maniac trying to—you‘re in the league with Roger Ailes.”

They can‘t admit a mistake.  Clinton can never admit a mistake.

PALMIERI:  Clinton admitted a mistake!  Read the transcript that you were just reading to me where he say...

CARLSON:  I have it right—I have it.

PALMIERI:  OK.  “Did you do enough?”


PALMIERI:  “No, because I didn‘t get him.  And I regret it.”  That‘s what he said.

CARLSON:  Doesn‘t it seem—the anger—here‘s...

PALMIERI:  And then he goes on and says—well, I think that he has a right to be angry because I think—I‘m just going to go ahead and make a leap here—that the reason why the—that the viewers of FOX News decided to e-mail Chris Wallace and say, why didn‘t Clinton do more to catch bin Laden, has something to do with the fact that ABC aired five hours of primetime network television of a movie that they claimed was “based on recommendations of the 9/11 Commission” and had at least three scenes in it that falsely depicted and poorly depicted the Clinton administration in a manner in which directly contradicted the 9/11 Commission report.

CARLSON:  You know what it is?

PALMIERI:  These things are not accidents.

CARLSON:  The truth is, as you know, a hit dog barks.  And...

PALMIERI:  Yes, and you—and you guys can‘t take it.

CARLSON:  ... the Clinton administration blew it.  Blew it.  “You guys”? 

Like I‘m speaking for FOX or the right?

I‘m speaking only for myself.  I‘m speaking as...

PALMIERI:  No, you‘re speaking for the right wing conservatives.

CARLSON:  No, no.  I‘m speaking as an American whose country was attacked...

PALMIERI:  I‘m an American.


CARLSON:  ... partly because of the negligence of the Clinton administration.  And that‘s just the truth.  That‘s not because I‘m a right-winger I‘m saying that.  It‘s because it‘s totally true.

PALMIERI:  Well, what about...

CARLSON:  And I just think it‘s time to admit that.  And I wish they would admit it.

PALMIERI:  He has—he has said he didn‘t do enough.


PALMIERI:  He said it.  He said he wished he did more.  Why don‘t you get - - why don‘t you get your right wing conservative friends on here, ask them?

CARLSON:  Just, you know, if electing Hillary is going to mean more self-righteous, self-justifying lectures from her creepy husband, I‘m just—

I‘m opposed to Hillary‘s election.

PALMIERI:  Oh my god.

CARLSON:  I‘m honest.  I‘m going to say that right now, no more Hillary Clinton.  I‘m just not for it.

PALMIERI:  You‘re just jealous that Clinton didn‘t come on and tell you to get rid of your smirk.

CARLSON:  Oh god. 

Jen, thank you very much.  You‘re as charming as a Clinton defender can be. 

And I appreciate it.

Thank you.

PALMIERI:  Thank you.  My pleasure.

CARLSON:  Still to come, speak of the devil.  Is a vote for Hillary Clinton a vote for evil?  Why Jerry Falwell says the junior senator from New York is worse or maybe better than Lucifer himself.

And the top-secret intelligence report that says terrorism has gotten worse since 9/11.  Has the White House officially bungled the war on terror?

That story when we come back.


CARLSON:  Still to come, guess which cable news channel is giving sex advice to kids?  It‘s not who you think.  The surprising answer on “Beat the Press” when we come back.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.

Last week it was Venezuela‘s Hugo Chavez calling President Bush “the devil”.  Not to be undone, the Reverend Jerry Falwell reached for the satanic metaphor himself at a Value Voters Summit over the weekend.

Here‘s what he said about Hillary Clinton and her possible run for the White House.


REV. JERRY FALWELL, JERRY FALWELL MINISTRIES:  I certainly hope that Hillary is the candidate.  She has $300 million so far.  But I hope she‘s the candidate because nothing will energize my (INAUDIBLE) like Hillary Clinton.  If Lucifer ran, he wouldn‘t.



CARLSON:  Well, of course the controversy didn‘t end there.  Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State rose to the bait immediately.  He said, “Falwell was calling Hillary Clinton a demonic figure and openly arguing that God is a Republican.”

Joining me now to explain, the author of “Why the Religious Right is Wrong About Separation of Church & State,” Rob Boston, of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.  He was at the Value Voters Summit.  He joins us now from Washington.

Rob, welcome.

ROB BOSTON, AUTHOR, “WHY THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT IS WRONG”:  Thanks for having me on, Tucker.

CARLSON:  I hope you‘ve got a better sense of humor than Barry Lynn and you can recognize a joke when you hear one.  Falwell was joking.

Why are you so upset?

BOSTON:  Are you saying it‘s OK for Hugo Chavez to call Bush a devil and everybody‘s up in arms about that—as, frankly, they should be—but Falwell can call Hillary Clinton a devil, or worse than a devil, really, and that‘s just a joke.  I don‘t understand your reasoning there.

CARLSON:  OK.  Rob, deep breath.  Lighten up.

I don‘t think he was calling her the devil, at least from the clip that we just played.  He said that Hillary Clinton will energize his base—that is, Christian conservatives—more than Lucifer would, than Satan would...

BOSTON:  Right.  So he was saying she was actually worse than the devil is actually what he said.

CARLSON:  ... were he to run in the Democratic primary.  No, not worse, but the...

BOSTON:  Worse than Satan.

CARLSON:  Look, it‘s a joke.  The point is, Christian conservatives dislike Hillary Clinton more than anybody.  Right?  That‘s all he‘s saying.

He‘s not saying God is a Republican.  And you know that. 

Moreover, Jerry Falwell is a marginal figure in American life, even in American Christian life.  He exists really only as a fund-raising device for you on the left.  Isn‘t it time to admit that?

BOSTON:  Tucker, if you want to defend the guy two days after 9/11 that America got what it deserved, you go right ahead.

CARLSON:  Whoa, whoa, whoa.  I‘m not going to have you repeat that quote...

BOSTON:  I‘m not going to defend him.

CARLSON:  ... because I have attacked Jerry Falwell to his face over that quote, and, indeed, I‘m attacking him now.

BOSTON:  Well, good for you.  I wish more people would attack him.

CARLSON:  I am saying—I am saying what‘s true.  And it is that he is a marginal figure.

BOSTON:  I don‘t think so.

CARLSON:  And you don‘t want to admit that because...

BOSTON:  I disagree.  I disagree.

CARLSON:  ... you raise a lot of money that pretending that he runs America.  And he doesn‘t.

BOSTON:  Tucker, the Value Voters Summit was the preeminent meeting of Christian conservatives this year.

CARLSON:  Oh, come on.

BOSTON:  Two thousand people attended it.


BOSTON:  Newt Gingrich was there, Senator George Allen...

CARLSON:  Right.

BOSTON:  Senator Santorum sent a DVD. 

CARLSON:  Oh, he sent a DVD.

BOSTON:  Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney from Massachusetts.  All of the leading Republican presidential candidates for 2008 needed to put in face time at this event.  It‘s not some marginal group of malcontents.

I know that more sensible conservatives...

CARLSON:  Jerry Falwell is a...

BOSTON:  ... would like to distance themselves from this group.  And, in fact, they have a lot of power in the Republican party.  Why can‘t you just admit that?

CARLSON:  You know nothing.  You know nothing, Rob.

BOSTON:  I know nothing?

CARLSON:  Let me read you this quote.  I want to—wait, I want to see—this quote is a test of whether you are a man of principle or merely a lackey for the Democratic Party.

Here‘s this quote.  This is a member of the U.S. Senate attacking an immigration bill.

“It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the scripture,” said this senator, “because this bill would literally criminalize the good samaritan and probably even Jesus himself.”

Now, obviously that was uttered by some right-wing Christian wacko, correct?  No.  Hillary Clinton said that.  Where were you?

BOSTON:  My guess—my guess, it was the Democrats trying to play the religion card, which I think is a mistake, just as the Republicans are trying to play it.

CARLSON:  A mistake?  Did you issue a press release attacking her when she said that?

BOSTON:  What I would like to see, Tucker, is our laws based on secular rationale as our Constitution commands, not somebody‘s interpretation of the scripture.


BOSTON:  I don‘t want to see the Senate become a forum for proof-texting and holding up the bible and arguing about which passage we‘re going to base our laws on.

CARLSON:  Oh, I don‘t think anybody...


BOSTON:  Let‘s base them on the Constitution.

CARLSON:  OK.  Rob, you‘ve got no disagreement there.  Here‘s the point, though.

You have a vested interest in portraying the religious right as more powerful than it is, and at the same time ignoring the left when it panders to the religious, as Mrs. Clinton has.  She‘s been giving speech after speech describing herself as “praying person”—“I‘ve always been a praying person.”

Quoting the bible, implying that her opponents, the Republicans, are less good in the eyes of god.  Isn‘t that—isn‘t that basically like Jerry Falwell?


BOSTON:  I would like to see them all stop.  But I‘m tired of hearing about religious Obama is.  I‘m tired of hearing about how religious Hillary Clinton is.

What I want to hear is how someone is going to run this country under our non-religious, god-free, secular Constitution.  But the fact is, because the religious right has been so powerful over the years, the Democrats feel they have to push back.

CARLSON:  Oh.  So when Hillary Clinton panders to the religious, it‘s Jerry Falwell‘s fault.  I get that.  When will you stop making excuses for the left?

The fact is that you are a left-winger.  You‘re sympathetic to Hillary Clinton and you hold her to a lower and easier standard than you do—than you do for conservatives.

BOSTON:  The fact is, right now these organizations have a lot of power, Tucker.  Look at the debate over stem cells.  We cannot get anything done there—we can‘t get anything done on stem cells because Bush...

CARLSON:  Oh, come on.

BOSTON:  ... vetoed the bill because the Family Research Council and Dr.  Dobson told him to.  The state of South Carolina—or South Dakota has just banned all abortions. 

CARLSON:  Rob...

BOSTON:  That‘s the power of the religious right?

CARLSON:  Not a single abortion—wait, let me just say I don‘t believe a single abortion in the six years President Bush has been in office has been averted, has been stopped because Bush was president.  He has done an...


CARLSON:  Oh, give them one more—it‘s always...

BOSTON:  Give them one more vote on the Supreme Court, Tucker.  Then you‘ll see what happens. 

CARLSON:  See, now you‘re writing ad copy.

BOSTON:  All right.

CARLSON:  You‘re trying to scare dumb people into giving you money by telling them that we are on the verge of a theocracy when you know—because you‘re sophisticated enough to know that that‘s just not true.

BOSTON:  I‘m telling you like it is.  You don‘t want to hear it because you like to think that your Republican Party is reasonable and sensible...

CARLSON:  My Republican Party?  I left them a long time ago.


CARLSON:  No, no, because you know what?  I‘m too—no, they‘re not extreme enough.  They don‘t believe what they say.  They don‘t have any values, they don‘t have any principles.  I‘ve left them because I actually do believe in things.  And so I‘m not longer a Republican.

BOSTON:  Do me a favor.  Do me a favor...

CARLSON:  ... I‘m not fighting (ph) for them.

BOSTON:  ... get out of the Beltway.  Drive out of the Beltway, go out into the real country, walk into a public school and ask what they‘re teaching in that school about evolution.

CARLSON:  Right. 

BOSTON:  Do it and I be you‘ll find that they‘re not really teaching anything about evolution...

CARLSON:  You know what?  It‘s—it‘s just—it‘s the typical...

BOSTON:  ... because the pressures from the religious right—you can‘t deny that that power is there and that they are holding more political power than they‘ve ever held in this country since the latter half of the 19th century.

CARLSON:  You know what?  That‘s the fantasy that every upper West Side liberal goes to bed worrying about, you know, that the crazy Christians are in control of the rest of the country.  And it‘s just a crock.

BOSTON:  Tucker, get out of the house.


CARLSON:  I bet you do, Rob.  I bet you go to Berkeley and Eugene and Cambridge and all the hotspots, don‘t you? 

BOSTON:  No, I go to places like Columbus, Ohio, North Carolina, Minnesota, and find out what people are really thinking in these communities. 

CARLSON:  Well, maybe I‘ll run into you on the road.

BOSTON:  Let me tell you, they‘re tired of the interference of the religious right in their schools and their private lives, in their libraries. 

CARLSON:  No.  You know what they‘re going to tell you, Rob?  You know what they‘re going to tell you?

BOSTON:  It‘s a reality.

CARLSON:  They‘re going to tell you they‘re tired of having Hillary Clinton wave the bible in their faces.  I know I am. 

You tell her Hillary Clinton, knock it off, baby.  Leave the religion at home. 

Thanks, Rob.  We‘re out of time, unfortunately. 

BOSTON:  Take care.

CARLSON:  But if you could help me with Hillary I‘d appreciate it.  Thanks.

Coming up, the anonymous authors of the book called “I Hate Ann Coulter,” the season‘s most subtle read, explain why they are afraid, so afraid, they refuse to reveal their real identities. 

What‘s that about?  We‘ll tell you.

And a suicide note from the mother of a missing toddler.  Does it blame Nancy Grace for pushing her over the edge to kill herself? 

That story when we come back. 


CARLSON:  Time now for “Beat the Press.” 

First, Nancy Grace in a story she just can‘t get away from.  Just hours after Grace taped an interview with Melinda Duckett—that‘s the mother of a missing 2-year-old—Duckett committed suicide.  Grace‘s interview drew harsh criticism, with many saying she helped drive the woman over the edge.  Grace denied that, of course.

Now we have Melinda Duckett‘s suicide note which was released over the weekend.  Make your own judgments.  Here is part of what the note says. 

“Your focus came off of my son.  I love him and only wanted him safe in my arms.  You created rumors and twisted words.  I only wish you do not push anyone else.  There were many errors you made in understanding me.”

Melinda Duckett of course is not here.  She‘s dead.  She killed herself. 

We don‘t know exactly what she was talking about.  You be the judge.

Did it sound like she was talking about the person who conducted the only media interview with her, Nancy Grace?  Yes, it does.

Why is Nancy Grace still on the air?  One reason.  Good ratings.  People like to watch that.  Who knows why.

Up next, breaking news from foxnews.com.  Let‘s say your kids logged onto FOX to learn about sex.  What kind of advice would they get?  Hmm.  Watch. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  If you‘re comfortable with your sexuality and it means having different partners, I honestly don‘t think it‘s a bad thing as long as everyone is practicing safe sex and it‘s consensual. 


CARLSON:  Yes.  That‘s right, baby.  Get some.  Go ahead and play couch ball (ph), says foxnews.com.

Don‘t worry about.  Multiple partners?  That‘s cool. 

Just practice safe sex.  You know, as long as it‘s consensual.  We‘re down with that.  We‘re hip.

Go to it, man.  Wow.

Well, maybe that‘s what they‘re thinking over at foxnews.com.   Maybe that accounts for what happened today. 

Millions of people tried to sign on to FOX to see that video of Chris Wallace debating former president Clinton.  Basically, too many people for the site to handle.  So foxnews.com was forced to send many of those people over to YouTube. 

Oops.  Ouch.

And finally, a marijuana moment over on “Good Morning America” Saturday. 

Listen and see for yourself. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Now for the weather, (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Thank you so much, Ron.  Good morning to you.

Good morning, everyone. 

Well, today is the very first day of spring as of 12:03 this morning.  So get out there and enjoy the colors. 


CARLSON:  Yes, it‘s always bring on “Good Morning America,” even in the middle of September.  Impressive.  What a sunny show that is.

Still to come, Mel Gibson weighs in on the war in Iraq.  And this time he may be right.  But will anybody notice? 

And the controversial feature film that has outraged audiences and is pitting Christian evangelicals against one another.  We‘ll talk to one critic who appears in that film when we come back. 


CARLSON:  Still to come, remember those deadly anthrax attacks in the wake of 9/11.  The culprit was never caught.  It now turns out the FBI may have been looking in the wrong place the whole time.  Also ahead, an anonymous attack on an Coulter.  We‘ll get to that in just a minute, but right now, here‘s a look at your headlines. 

MARGARET BRENNAN, CNBC ANCHOR:  I‘m Margaret Brennan with your CNBC market wrap.  Stocks up despite declines in the housing market.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average closing the day up more than 67 points.  The S&P 500 up just short of 12, the NASDAQ up 30 points.  August marking the first year over year decline in existing home prices for the first time in 11 years.  Analysts hoping falling prices will at last spark sales which fell again last month by a less than expected half percent.  A judge in New York granting class action status to a lawsuit against makers of light cigarettes.  The $200 billion suit charges tobacco companies with falsely claiming that light cigarettes were safer, those tobacco stocks taking a tumble on that news today.  A month after dumping Tom Cruise, Viacom‘s Sumner Redstone gets a pay cut of sorts.  Viacom restructuring Redstone‘s pay, cutting his cash and salary bonuses and linking most of his pay to that company‘s stock performance.  And ahead on Tucker, a big payday for the queen of all media who stopped by Wall Street today.  Now back to the show. 

CARLSON:  Time now for three on three where we welcome to of the sharpest people we know to discuss three of today‘s most interesting stories.  Joining us from Pensacola, Florida, the co-author of “Air America the Playbook”, Mike Papantonio, co-host of (INAUDIBLE) on Air America Radio.  Great, thank you. And from Washington, D.C., Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez.  Welcome both. 

First up, the war in Iraq has made the terror threat worse, that‘s according to a top-secret report by 16 spy agencies within the U.S.  government.  According to one unnamed intelligence official, “The Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse.  Leslie this—I mean I‘m saying this as someone who is conservative.  This is really news from nowhere don‘t you think?  I mean, at this point, even people who support Bush, don‘t you believe recognize the Iraq war has made the terrorism problem worse. 

LESLIE SANCHEZ, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Yeah, I think practically speaking nobody‘s going to deny that by stirring up terrorists in one area, you‘re not going to spur them in another. But the bigger question is, what was the alternative? I think the fact that the United States has been safe for so many years, that fact that we continue to build alliances and make progress in that region is probably the most important part. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t know, cold war is the alternative.  I‘m all for—seriously, cold war is a great model.  Everyone bemoans the cold war, fewer people died in the end.  You know, stability won out and we won.

SANCHEZ:  Tucker, seriously though, the stability that we have had in the United States  in the last five years, thankfully not being attacked on U.S. soil.  I mean people pull away from that.  And also with respect to this very strategic leak is that it‘s a very limited amount of information.  We don‘t know the full context of this policy report.

MIKE PAPANTONIO, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  I think we do have—we have the full context.  General William Odom years ago told this—by the way, he was the former head of the NSA under the Reagan administration.  He told the Bush administration this years ago.  That if you‘re not careful, what you‘re telling the American public is going to turn out to be a lie just like every other lie you‘ve told them about.  Well wait, wait a second.  The lie about weapons of mass destruction, the lie about Saddam.  Now the other lie from this administration is we‘re going to stop terrorist training by going to Iran—excuse, me by going to Iraq, Iran is the next.  But in the process Leslie, what‘s happened is we have created a new generation of terrorists.  These aren‘t the same terrorists that you‘re talking about.  These are different, this is a new generation, a new class of terrorists that doesn‘t have anything to do with al Qaeda, doesn‘t have anything to do with bin Laden.  These people are breaking out on their own all over the world because of this madness in Iraq Leslie that‘s the problem.

SANCHEZ:  The one thing I would say about this is, this is where the Democrats are most out of touch.  You act as if they‘re an Ostrich with their head in the sand, as if this is not going to form naturally.  There are already elements—radical fundamentalist elements that never liked the United States.  This has spurred them and I would argue that these individuals as we saw from some of this report had every intention of doing harm to innocent Americans and killing innocent Americans.

PAPANTONIO:  Leslie, there‘s 21,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan right now.  There‘s  140,000 troops in Iraq.  Now listen to this.  We used to say that Afghanistan was the breeding ground for terrorism.  Now we have 140,000 troops in Iraq because now that is the new breeding ground, that‘s problematic. 

CARLSON:  Ok well speaking of breeding grounds of hate.  Afghanistan, Iraq, the American publishing industry.  The authors of a new book entitled “I Hate Ann Coulter,” has chosen to remain anonymous.  Why will this guys not say who they are, because they claim they fear for their safety.  One of the weaselly authors told “The New York Post”, quote “None of us want our real names in the hands of gun toting abortion clinic bombing self proclaimed wing nuts who follow Coulter.  Now Mike I hope, you know for all of your misguided politics you‘re not a whoos, and I think you can see that anybody who would write a book -- 

PAPANTONIO:  I didn‘t write this book.

CARLSON:  I hate Ann Coulter and then not reveal yourself, you‘re not a man.

PAPANTONIO:  Let me tell you what I would have done.  First of all, I wish I would have written it but I didn‘t.  But to really understand Ann Coulter you have to focus on the fact that this is a woman who has never had a relationship with another person that lasted longer than gestation period of a (INAUDIBLE). 

CARLSON:  Wait a second Mike.  I will not have that, because you know what, I don‘t know how many times you have been married, if at all.  But I‘m not going to find out, I‘m not going to bring it up on the show because it‘s not germane.  Going into people‘s personal lives is out of bounds. 

PAPANTONIO:  Tucker, she has invited this discussion.  She‘s the one that has been now accused if you read the book -- 

CARLSON:  Not on this show.  We‘re not going to talk about people‘s personal lives unless they‘re doing it in public we‘re not talking about it.

PAPANTONIO:  This is a woman who was dropped by the “National Review” because—in a knee jerk very conservative publication, one of the most conservative publications in America she was dropped as a writer because of her hate talk.  That‘s what they said. 

CARLSON:  I didn‘t say it was hateful at all what she said actually, I thought she had some really good points.

PAPANTONIO:  “USA Today” dropped her because basically they thought she was dark and creepy.  So whether you personalize or not you can‘t live in a glass house and say the things that this woman has said about the harpies and the witches of 9/11 without being attacked.

CARLSON:  I want to get Leslie in here for a second.  Leslie, now here I want your theory on this, now Ann Coulter obviously is over the top and she says things that, as much as I want to defend her, are indefensible.  You  know, attacking these—the 9/11 widows and saying that their husband would have divorced them and garbage like t hat.  But what is it about Ann Coulter in a world where a lot of people say extreme things, that makes the left so mad.  Like they genuinely hate Ann Coulter, why?

SANCHEZ:  Because it‘s a fabulous publicity machine.  I would submit to you Tucker that the four anonymous writers are her publicists.  I mean they‘re all lined up together, you know, she is the best self made publicity machine that exists in America.  And honestly I‘m going to wait for the DVD and the movie, because I really think I‘m going to get the whole picture then.  I mean it‘s quite fascinating.

CARLSON:  That‘s actually kind of brilliant.  Mike you‘re a clever man, what do you think of that, you think this is all a way to get her speech fees raised?

PAPANTONIO:  I think it‘s a great publicity stunt.  You know I think that if you really take a look at all of the history involving her, it‘s always involved great publicity stunts.  Now, doubtful that she had anything to do with the book, but it‘s going to sell more books, there‘s no question about it.

CARLSON:  Speaking of publicity, Mike you were in a movie, you were in a new documentary called “Jesus Camp.”  Now the film follows kids during the summer at a religious camp in North Dakota.  In one scene, children pray over a cardboard cutout of George W. Bush, they sob as they plead for an end to abortion.  Many Christians including Mike Papantonio who appears in the film complain that some of the people in the movie make Christianity look scary.  Mike, here‘s my complaint.  That secular filmmakers or left wing filmmakers have a vested interest in making Christianity look scary, making conservative Christians look like nut jobs.  And isn‘t that what‘s going on here?

PAPANTONIO:  Not really at all.  What‘s happening is we forget the point that when religion, any religion, whether it‘s Christianity, fundamental Islam, whatever it is.  When they attach themselves to a political movement the religion rises and falls according to the success or failures of that political movement.  Christianity is no different.  As a matter of fact, C.S. Lewis, great theologian, about 1930‘s and 40‘s, he said that any time you look at injustice in Christianity it has always taken place when that Christian movement attaches itself to politics.

CARLSON:  That‘s right, that‘s undeniably true.

PAPANTONIO:  We can do better as Christians if we allow the grace of God which is the very heart of Christianity to show itself in ways that evangelicals all over this world Tucker, everyday, they cloth people, they feed people, they give people housing.  That‘s the message for Christianity.  That expands—if we want to expand Christianity, that‘s what does it. 

CARLSON:  Well I agree with you.

SANCHEZ:  We agree on that. 

CARLSON:  They have made a huge mistake, Christian conservatives, a huge mistake to the extent they‘ve tied themselves to this or any other administration.  It‘s terrible.  It actually, it doesn‘t pollute government it pollutes religion and it‘s really -- 

PAPANTONIO:  Exactly, exactly.

CARLSON:  However—here‘s my question though, isn‘t it true that the left has this vested interest in making all sincere religious conservatives, some of them are far out and crazy but most of them aren‘t.  But you get the since listening to liberals that they‘re all of (INAUDIBLE). 

PAPANTONIO:  Most of them are not.

SANCHEZ:  Tucker, I‘ll be real quickly.  I would argue that he is exactly on point with that.  Not only do we not know the intent of these filmmakers and if they‘re trying to make these young evangelical children look as if they‘re part of a jihadist fundamentalist movement.

PAPANTONIO:  No, they weren‘t.

SANCHEZ:  We say that—I unfortunately have not seen the film but I would argue that this whole conversation of faith and spirituality in America is the bigger issue.  That many on the left are trying to frame the issue and financially take advantage of it.  It‘s not a coincidence every major movie house in America is looking for good faith based Christian programming because there is a demand in the marketplace.  This is a manipulation of that.

PAPANTONIO:  That is absurd.  That is ridiculous Leslie.  You haven‘t even seen the movie.  You don‘t even know what it is about.  That is absurd. 

SANCHEZ:  No I‘m saying, based on the reports and the conversation we are having.

PAPANTONIO:  These two directors did a wonderful job trying to raise the dialogue about Christianity and religion in politics.  Now go see the movie and you‘ll better understand it. 

SANCHEZ:  I‘m excited about seeing the movie, we don‘t know the context yet. 

CARLSON:  Wish we had clips on the show.  Mike Papantonio, Leslie Sanchez, thanks a lot, very much for joining us. 

PAPANTONIO:  Thank you Tucker.

CARLSON:  An Ohio car dealership announces a jihad sales event boasting that one SUV can seat up to twelve jihadists.  Muslim groups aren‘t laughing.  Should they be?

Plus, Oprah comes one step closer to total world domination.  She and her army of self help experts invade the airwaves when we come right back.


CARLSON:  Time for a look at today‘s stories I just don‘t get.  First Hollywood goes to war.  Less than two months after spewing a drunk and anti-Semitic tirade on a Malibu roadway, Mel Gibson is back.  This time he‘s raising eyebrows from Austin, Texas where he spent the weekend promoting his movie “Apocalypto”.  Drawing parallels between his upcoming film and America‘s situation in the Middle East, the actor told the audience, “What‘s human sacrifice if not sending guys off to Iraq for no reason?”  That is a pretty interesting point if you think about it for a moment, but a point likely to be ignored by the very people who would be receptive to that point. The American left.  They hate Mel Gibson partly for good reason partly for bad reason.  Partly because he‘s religious.  They won‘t even notice when he says something they agree with, that is my prediction. 

Next a deadly case of terrorism goes unsolved. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You can figure out if there was a coating on there and what its composition is, you might be able to figure out where it came from. 


CARLSON:  Anthrax expert Dr. Christopher Cahill on the daunting task of finding who sent mail laced with anthrax to the U.S. Senate, a Florida newspaper and television networks in New York City.  Five people died in those attacks but five years later the FBI remains frustrated in its search for the bioterrorists.  Perhaps more so because investigators now know that the lethal anthrax powder was not as sophisticated as they first believed it was.  That means they‘ll have to widen their pool of possible suspects in scores of countries around the globe.  Still FBI leaders remain confident this case eventually will be solved.  But that‘s not the most pressing issue on the agenda.  The most pressing issue is apologizing to Steven Hatfield, he is the government doctor who was all but accused by the FBI of being the anthrax mailer.  He was described as a person of interest.  He was singled out personally by the then head of the Justice Department, John Ashcroft, the attorney general.  Said this man‘s name in public, thereby destroying his life.  And the FBI has never conceded that actually Steven Hatfield probably didn‘t do it.  Because that‘s the way the government works, they never go back and undo the harm they have done.  And in this case they should.

Finally, why an Ohio car dealership was forced to slam the brakes on a proposed radio ad. 

That is Hollywood‘s version of what it takes to roll them off the lot and it may not be as far fetched as you think.  Dennis Mitsubishi in Columbus Ohio was going so far as to declare a jihad on the automotive market.  The dealership was planning to run a radio commercial offering cars that seat a dozen jihadists comfortably.  Plus free rubber swords for the kiddies.  But under pressure from Islamic interest groups the lot‘s owner decided to pull the plug on his commercial.  He‘s apologizing now for the idea, saying it was only meant to poke fun at radical extremists.  Well I‘m joined now by Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin, she‘s the president of the Columbus chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, that‘s the group whose complaints helped pressure the dealership to yank the ad.  Doctor thanks for joining us.


CARLSON:  I think it sounds like a pretty funny ad.  What‘s the problem?

MOBIN-UDDIN:  Well we felt that the ads were inappropriate on several levels.  They were mocking religion, Islamic culture, Islamic faith, the Pope, as well as making fun of suicide bombing when so many people have died or lost loved ones because of the criminal activity of suicide bombers. 

CARLSON:  What‘s wrong with mocking radical jihadists?  I mean I think it‘s the duty of every American to oppose radical jihadists. 

MOBIN-UDDIN:  Certainly we should oppose radical jihadists, but making a mockery of religion or making fun of these types of issues when people are dying and people are hurt and it‘s causing pain, that we did not think was funny.  And many of the—the way that that ads were run they juxtaposed Islamic either religious items or cultural images next to the issues of terrorists, again confusing the issue. 

CARLSON:  But wait a second, why is your group, which is just an Islamic group as I understand, why are you standing up for jihadists, I don‘t understand?

MOBIN-UDDIN:  We are not standing up for jihadists. 

CARLSON:  Who are you standing up for exactly?

MOBIN-UDDIN:  For the people who are suffering and have been under pain because they or their loved ones have lost people due to all of the activities that are happening and for Muslims and the Christian community who is trying to dialogue and is trying to come together.  We felt that these ads were divisive because they‘re provoking, they‘re exploiting people‘s pain and being hurtful for a commercial gain and we didn‘t feel that that was appropriate.

CARLSON:  They‘re not being hurtful, they‘re joking.  Here is what bothers me about the position you‘re taking.  You‘re acting as if these ads are an attack on Muslims.  And as far as I understand, unless there‘s an add I haven‘t heard, they‘re not.  This is an ad that makes fun of and I guess you could say, attacks religious extremists.  Not people like you, not ordinary Americans who happen to be Muslim decent people, it‘s attacking lunatics.  You know the kind of people who hijacked the planes on 9/11.  I don‘t get that, what‘s wrong with that?

MOBIN-UDDIN:  I understand Tucker. But as they‘re described to us in a way, they haven‘t been released and the way that they were described with sales representatives dressed in burkas head to toe, black attire, Islamic (INAUDIBLE), will seat 12 jihadists in the back.  So you have something from Islamic cultural dress, burkas associated with seating jihadists.  Then they talk about (INAUDIBLE) Fridays and getting free storage for the kiddies as you mentioned.  Well fathwa(ph) is an Islamic religious ruling, so it has to do with the faith.  And pairing that with free storage for the kiddies, again, is not an appropriate time to cause that type of confusion. 

CARLSON:  You have to be kidding.  I mean there are—for one thing I mean Islamic radicals tend to wear Islamic dress, that‘s just kind of true, obviously.  And secondly, there—fathwa‘s(ph) issued all the time.  There was one issued against Solomon Rushti.  I mean there are all sorts of legitimate violent fathwas(ph) I assume you would be opposed to, and yet you‘re attacking some car dealer for making fun of it.  Why aren‘t you attacking say the government of Iran for issuing these fathwas(ph)?

MOBIN-UDDIN:  Tucker we‘re not attacking anybody.  We‘re asking the community to show restraint, to show sensitivity and to work towards dialogue and discussion as opposed to being divisive and to exploiting the hurtful situation that we‘re in.  

CARLSON:  Wait, who‘s being divisive? What about the characters who issued a fathwa(ph) against the Pope the other day, what about the people who murdered the none? You know what I mean, that‘s divisive.  I mean this is some car dealer, you know what I mean, priorities here. 

MOBIN-UDDIN:  We certainly condemn all the violence that has happened as a result of—in the recent days as a result of recent events that have happened.  I mean Islam does not teach violence and we totally condemn that.  But when you are using Islamic—again, things that refer to Islamic dress, things that refer to things within Islamic religion and paring those with the swords and the jihadists and all that.   

CARLSON:  Yeah, no, I get that.  Look I get it, I just think you are unintentionally putting yourself on the same side as the lunatics and you‘re clearly not a lunatic and that‘s clearly not the side on which you belong.  And from my point of view, out looking in, it looks like you‘re taking the side of the extremists and I don‘t think it‘s the side you want to be on. 

MOBIN-UDDIN:  No, absolutely not Tucker.  But we are for the side of sensitivity and for dialogue and for not exploiting situations that cause pain.  And right now there is a lot of difficulty in that area and we need to be moving towards better, more respect, more understanding and not making fun of anybody‘s religion, not making fun of the facts of suicide bombing when so many people have been hurt by that. 

CARLSON:  All right, thanks I appreciate it.

MOBIN-UDDIN:  Thank you Tucker. 

If you have ever been cut off in traffic you know exactly how this guy feels.  We‘ll have the complete blow by blow breakdown of this epic sports brawl.  It‘s all when we come right back.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  We are joined now by a man who will mock anything.  A man for whom sacred cows are merely hamburger, Willie Geist.

WILLIE GEIST:  Speaking of sacred animals Tucker, I have an important update on that story we brought you the cockroach scandal surrounding Six Flags, where if you eat a hissing cockroach you get to jump to the front of the line.  Well it was only a matter of time before PETA stepped in.  PETA‘s not pleased at all of this promotion.  I‘m reading a quote and I‘m not kidding.  This is from a PETA spokesman, it reads, “Cockroaches have been given a bad reputation in our society.  They are gentle complex  animals.”  Now do you think they‘re serious with that? 

CARLSON:  You are making that up?

GEIST:  No I didn‘t make it up.  And they‘re just not complex animals and that‘s all there is to it.  I don‘t know what else to say. 

CARLSON:  They are tasty though I have to tell you.

GEIST:  They‘re delightful and I plan to have one in my local Six Flags.  Tucker there are watershed moments to mark the beginning of the end for every civilization.  Ours came over the weekend when Jackass Number two hit number one at the box office.  Johnny Knoxville and his daredevil disciples raked in an impressive $28 million in their opening weekend.  Jackass nearly tripled the take of the second place movie, Jet Li‘s “Fearless.”  Now Tucker, I will admit I plan to see this movie because whether you like it or not, it‘s funny.  It just is.  You can say it‘s dangerous, it‘s a bad example for the kids.  No, no, it‘s funny.  There‘s nothing I can do about it.  It‘s undeniable. 

CARLSON:  I totally disagree.  It‘s so beyond that.  It‘s not only funny it‘s hilarious.  The first “Jackass” is the greatest film honestly I think I‘ve ever seen in my entire life.

GEIST:  No, and I‘m honestly not even being fasicious.

CARLSON:  I‘m not either, I‘m being dead serious.  

GEIST:  If a measure of a comedy is how much do I laugh, then this has to be considered one of the greatest comedies ever because I never stopped laughing.

CARLSON:  Oh I almost blacked out.  Oh, I agree.

GEIST:  Yeah, any way, that‘s my two cents.

CARLSON:  Me too, amen.

GEIST:  Well speaking of “Jack Asses” Tucker, check out these drivers at a professional stock car race in Toledo, Ohio yesterday.  Michael Simco gets out of his car during the race, look at that, right into the flying drop kick in the front windshield of rival Don St. Denis.  Simco then punched St. Denis through the driver‘s side window.  St. Denis leaps out, he‘s a big man as you can see there.  Comes flying out and starts swinging away.  Simco said St. Denis bumped his car, causing him to spin out during the race.  That is a nice little tango between those two.  Now Tucker you wonder why NASCAR and stock car racing are the most popular sport in this country.  That‘s why.   Because there aren‘t many other fights where a guy, he‘s mad because the guy cut him off in traffic, he gets out of his car and does what everyone of us wish we had the guts to do in real life and beat the tar out of the guy.  Look at that.  Boy he‘s a lumbering man.

CARLSON:  He‘s a lumbering man.  He‘s pretty fast for a big man. This is a little bit of hockey come to NASCAR and I‘m approving.

GEIST:  I am totally, totally - I‘m going to watch more stock car racing if they guarantee fights like that every week.  Well, as you know Tucker, Sirius Satellite radio made a splash by snatching up the king of all media Howard Stern.  Well today, XM began fighting back with the queen of all media, Oprah Winfrey.  The 24/7 Oprah and Friends channel debuted on XM today.  Oprah has collected her favorite pals like Gayle King, Maya Angelou and a stable of lifestyle and self help experts to It did he pude today.   Her favorite pals are on and a   stable of lifestyle and  self-help experts to be on the show.  Oprah‘s little radio side project will earn her $55 million over the next three years.  Nice to see Oprah getting a little walking around money Tucker.  Let me just say, Gayle King chose so wisely when selecting her best friend because it‘s really worked out.  And I love my friends, I think they‘re great, but so seldom do they give me my own radio and TV shows. 

CARLSON:  Oh, you‘re not going to rub me into that.  And Maya Angelou, look I‘m not attacking Oprah because it‘s against the law and it‘s suicidal.

GEIST:  I‘m not either.

CARLSON:  Of course not.  But Maya Angelou is so deeply mediocre, what‘s she doing there?  I mean I don‘t know.

GEIST:  You said it, I didn‘t.  I think the whole Oprah, Gayle, all of Oprah and Friends are terrific.

CARLSON:  They are great.  Willie Geist, thank you Willie.

GEIST:  All right Tucker.

CARLSON:  That‘s our show, thanks for watching.  Up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris, see you tomorrow.



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