updated 10/3/2006 10:53:44 AM ET 2006-10-03T14:53:44

Guests: Clint Van Zandt, Sean Young, Steve McMahon, Joe Watkins, Mike Papantonio, Sydney McGee, Rogge Dunn

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

Lots to get to today, including Mark Foley‘s congressional page scandal which is growing and what that can do to the Republican Party  in November.  It doesn‘t look good.

Also ahead, Bob Woodward‘s revelations about Colin Powell. 

Bit first, our top story of the day, another horrifying school shooting.  In some ways, the most disturbing in recent memory. 

Three young girls between 6 and 13 years old were killed today when a gunman burst in to a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania.  At least seven other girls were injured, some critically. 

Today‘s attack comes less than a week after a teenage girl was killed and several were sexually assaulted by an armed intruder at a high school in Bailey, Colorado.  The similarities are eerie and disturbing. 

Is this a copycat crime? 

For more on that and other facets of this horrifying event, we go now to MSNBC analyst Clint Van Zandt, standing by. 

Clint, what do you make of this? 

CLINT VAN ZANDT, MSNBC ANALYST:  Hi, Tucker.

Well, I agree with you.  You know, as a parent and a grandparent, I‘m just—I‘m just horrified that we continue to see our children acted out against.  I mean, this is the one quasi-bastion of security—we thought we could send our children to school and for that period of time they would be safe, they would be secure.  Well, by my count, Tucker, since August 21st we‘ve had 24 non-fatal injuries due to gunfire within school, and, of course, the ones you‘ve reported on the last weeks, the fatalities we‘ve seen. 

So, what law enforcement has to put together now is the motive, why this individual, why this—this 32-year-old father of two milk truck driver who lives and works in this local Amish community, even though he‘s not Amish, why he would get up this morning, send his three children to school, write suicide notes to them, take a—borrow a pickup truck, put in two by fours, two by sixes, take a shotgun a handgun, take wire ties, take flex cuffs, and goes to this one-room school, barricade himself, basically threatening the lives of children.  And then, Tucker, it‘s just beyond reason.  He ties these little girls up and kills them. 

CARLSON:  In some ways, of course, Clint, we‘ll never know. 

VAN ZANDT:  No.

CARLSON:  Things like this are unknowable just because they‘re so outside the realm of what the average person does or even imagines.  But I wonder, though, if there isn‘t some connection between these two crimes, the one last week in Colorado, which you and I talked about as it was unfolding...

VAN ZANDT:  We did.

CARLSON:  ... and this one.  There‘s no getting around the fact that in both cases a gunman, apparently deranged, separated out the girls from the boys and harmed the girls.  There‘s got to be a connection, don‘t you think? 

VAN ZANDT:  I do, Tucker.  I mean, I always look for order and chaos.  You know, there‘s some reason, even though it‘s outside—you know, it‘s outside my box, it still makes sense to the person who did it.  But I see people who commit a lot of copycat crimes, who the idea isn‘t originally birthed in them. 

And as you suggest, this guy goes into the school, he sends the boys out, he sends the teachers out.  And Tucker, he keeps these—some of these children are just babies, they‘re 6 years old.  And he keeps the female students in there just like Morrison did in Bailey, Colorado, last week, where he kept those six teenage girls. 

Again, this is someone who in the darkest, dankest folds of his mind is choosing to act out against not only innocence, but female innocence.  And why?  I mean, that‘s—that‘s—you know, that‘s a horse that screams in the dark.

CARLSON:  It really is.  And, you know, I have a number of daughters myself, and maybe that‘s why it resonates with me so powerfully.  It makes me want to commit homicide even hearing the story. 

And I wonder, though—I mean, I hate even to say this, but I would hate for the press in its coverage of crimes like this to add to the likelihood of other crimes being committed, other copycat crimes.  Is this something—I‘m not in any way suggesting that any of us are responsible for a crime like this—of course, that‘s ludicrous—but I do wonder how closely are deranged people paying attention to news coverage of crimes and modeling their crimes after the crimes they watch on television? 

VAN ZANDT:  Well, my experience, Tucker, is there is a lot of people who sit on the psychological edge looking down into the abyss.  What the catalyst is that finally gives them the impetus to jump over that edge to commit that horrific crime—you know, someone like this we may never know because, of course, he‘s dead. 

You know, one of the things we‘ve heard is that he had to do a drug test today.  Maybe he didn‘t want to take the drug test.  Maybe he thought he was going to fail it. 

But the other story we hear, Tucker, is that this 32-year-old man allegedly leaves a note suggesting that something that happened to him 20 years ago—Tucker, he was 12 20 years ago—that something that happened when he was 12 years old was the motive for what he did today.

CARLSON:  That‘s—that is absolutely—that is absolutely grotesque. 

Now, this, because it took place in an Amish schoolhouse, sort of invalidates a lot of the conversation that we had last week about, you know, whether the schoolhouse ought to have had metal detectors in it, an increased police presence.  I mean, those precautions are unimaginable, I would think, in an Amish environment, right? 

VAN ZANDT:  Well, I think anything—I mean, you know, the Amish don‘t have television, they don‘t have electricity, they don‘t have the Internet, they don‘t have cell phones.  They‘re not plagued, as they might suggest, by—you know, by technology and by the evils, as well as the good of technology. 

But this is a community that pretty much had removed itself from the rest of the world.  I mean, Tucker, they spoke their own dialect, kind of their own language.  It was this very unique nuclear type of community that in a way felt itself insulated from the world.  And this—this terrible monster brought the world crashing down, not only on just these students and their families—I mean, look at the victims, Tucker.

You‘ve got the ones that he killed, the ones that are injured.  You‘ve got the family, you‘ve got the community, and you‘ve got the shooter‘s family, too.  I mean, there are victims all over the place after something like this.

CARLSON:  Well, I hate even to—you know, the details of this crime are so appalling and so nauseating, I hate even to repeat them out loud.  But just so our viewers know the scope of this, as I understand it, he shot 10 girls, is that right? 

VAN ZANDT:  It‘s my understanding, Tucker, that he went in, that he chased all the male students and the teachers out, that he tied, bound these girls, their hands, their feet together, made them face the blackboard, and then began shooting them execution style. 

CARLSON:  Really, there‘s really no torment in hell that can be severe enough for this man. 

Clint Van Zandt, I really appreciate your perspective. 

Thank you.

VAN ZANDT:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Well, here with the latest on the survivors of today‘s attack, joining us by phone, Sean Young, spokesman for Penn State Hershey Medical Center.  He joins us now. 

Mr. Young, if you can hear me, what is the condition of the survivors, how many are there? 

SEAN YOUNG, PENN STATE HERSHEY MEDICAL CENTER:  Well, we have received three of the survivors.  Some of the other survivors are at other area hospitals. 

The three that we have, a 13-year-old, an 8-year-old, and a 6-year-old, are all still listed in critical condition.  Obviously their gunshot wound victims.  These are serious injuries.

We‘re doing everything we can do for the—for the children.  But again, this is a devastating situation and these folk are pretty seriously injured. 

CARLSON:  How quickly after the shootings did they arrive at the medical center?  Do you know?

YOUNG:  Well, you know, it‘s always difficult to put together minute by minute this early into a situation, but within 15 minutes of the call we dispatched our lifeline helicopter, which is the medevac unit here at the medical center.  And it was on the scene and began transporting patients. 

So we‘ve been at this since around lunchtime today.  We‘ve had six trauma teams that have been on standby throughout the time the call came in, including neurosurgical, pediatric surgery, pediatric intensive care experts.  And we‘re doing everything we can do to make the best of the situation for these children. 

CARLSON:  Are all of the wounds severe? 

YOUNG:  Every single one from what we‘ve been told.  I don‘t know a

great deal of the specifics of each individual injury, but there‘s nothing

there‘s nothing to be taken under—you know, no underestimation of these injuries is appropriate. 

CARLSON:  Are you—from what we‘re hearing now, the nature of the shootings, “execution style” is the phrase that we‘re using to describe them, are you surprised that anyone survived? 

YOUNG:  Well, it‘s—you know, it‘s always difficult if you‘re not actually at the site or involved in the actual crime scene investigation.  We see our share of gunshot victims as a level one trauma center.  And it always is surprising what the human body can sustain and recover from.  But these are certainly very severe injuries. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  To give our viewers a sense, to put this in time and space context, where exactly are you?  What‘s the nearest big city?  Why would you be seeing gunshot wounds regularly? 

YOUNG:  Well, we‘re located in Hershey, Pennsylvania...

CARLSON:  Right.

YOUNG:  ... which doesn‘t sound like—you know, a center city sort of situation, but we do have a number of urban communities and suburban communities in our area that occasionally see gunshot victims.  We don‘t see them routinely, but we are a level one trauma center.  So if there is a gunshot injury anywhere within a large radius of our organization, those victims often tend to come to our facility. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  All right. 

Well, thank you for the update.  Boy, is that sad.  I appreciate it. 

YOUNG:  Sure. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, Mark Foley‘s congressional page scandal.  The Republican Party is in damage control mode, but will it be too little, too late?  And will the fallout change the outcome of the November midterm elections?  It possibly could.

Also ahead, more revelations from Bob Woodward‘s new book.  Why has Donald Rumsfeld kept his job, and why did Colin Powell lose his?

That story when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DENNIS HASTERT ®, HOUSE SPEAKER:  The instant messages reportedly between Congressman Foley and a former page said in 2003 were vile and repulsive and—both to myself and my colleagues.  No one in the Republican leadership nor Congressman Shimkus saw those messages until last Friday. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  That was Speaker of the House Denny Hastert earlier today.  Outrages growing over Mark Foley‘s congressional page scandal.  It‘s already cost Foley his job.  He quit his House seat Friday in the wake of reports he had sent e-mails and instant messages to young male pages—and by young we mean under 18 -- that were graphically sexual in nature. 

His lawyer says Foley is now in an alcohol rehab center, of course. 

But that‘s not likely to be the end of the story.

The big question, will more Republicans take the fall in November as the result of Foley‘s e-mails? 

Joining me now from Richmond, Virginia, Democratic strategist Steve McMahon. 

Steve, welcome.

STEVE MCMAHON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  Hey, Tucker.  How are you? 

CARLSON:  I‘m great. 

MCMAHON:  You‘re quite a dancer.  You‘re quite a dancer, I saw. 

CARLSON:  Thank you. 

I‘m trying to—look, I am, as I think anybody who takes the time to read these instant messages from Congressman Foley, whom I‘ll say up front I‘ve always liked.  You know, nice guy.  They‘re stomach-turning, they‘re disgusting, they‘re creepy as all hell, and he deserves whatever he‘s going to get. 

I just wonder as a political matter how the Democrats, though, are going to paint this as a scandal of the Republican Party?  So the Republican Party is now the party of gay sex, or what exactly is the Democratic line going to be? 

MCMAHON:  Well, the Republican Party is the party that thinks that the laws don‘t apply to them, that the truth isn‘t important, and that when things like this are brought to their attention they can sweep them under the rug, whether it‘s Osama bin Laden threatening to fly airplanes into buildings, or whether it‘s a member of Congress who is hitting on teenage pages.  I mean, this is a—this is a party that thinks the rules don‘t apply to them, and I think that‘s the scandal here.  And I think the American public, frankly, Tucker, has had enough. 

CARLSON:  That‘s pretty good.  Is there in fact—I mean, just as a rhetorical line there, you know, kind of sodomy, terrorism in the same sentence, you know good luck with that.  Is there evidence, though...

MCMAHON:  No.  But Tucker, it‘s not sodomy and terrorism in the same line.  It‘s basically—it‘s an attitude that we‘re—that the means justify any ends and that we will do whatever it takes to win, even if it means covering things up, ignoring things, not telling the truth.  And that‘s just a mentality that seems to have gripped the Republican Party.  And that‘s...

CARLSON:  But that‘s—I mean, look...

MCMAHON:  ... the conversation that Democrats will have with voters. 

CARLSON:  But that‘s—I mean, look, I think to some extent you‘re right.  I think the Republicans probably did know.  Everybody knew that Foley apparently on the Hill was a little too friendly with the pages.  And nobody did anything about it. 

MCMAHON:  Tucker—Tucker—Tucker, hold on a second. 

CARLSON:  I‘ve seen exactly this dynamic in schools.

MCMAHON:  Tucker...

CARLSON:  Yes? 

MCMAHON:  I think that there was a—that there was a whisper campaign that Congressman Foley was gay.  But I don‘t think anybody had any idea that he was hitting on teenage pages, except for...

CARLSON:  Well, I don‘t know.

MCMAHON:  ... except for the Republican leadership, which was told last year and chose instead of confronting it to ignore it.  Somebody said over the weekend that when they took—when the congressman who sponsored the page went to Tom Reynolds instead of going to the leadership or to the Ethics Committee...

CARLSON:  Right?

MCMAHON:  ... that was an action designed to protect a member and not an action designed to protect a child.  That is deplorable. 

CARLSON:  But don‘t you think that people would have—and I know that Foley himself would often cry homophobia if people—you know, if people had come up and said directly to Foley, you know, why is it that you‘re having these—these e-mail exchanges with underage pages?  You know, wouldn‘t that person be accused of being homophobic? 

MCMAHON:  No.  I think that person would be accused of being somebody who‘s trying to protect children. 

And Congressman Foley was a guy who was—who was proposing a national registry of sex offenders and sexual predators to protect children from people like him on the Internet.  Congressman Foley would have to register under his own legislation, but yet Congressman Foley isn‘t disciplined by the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives after they‘re told that he‘s hitting on female—or young male pages? 

Look, Tucker, if this were just a guy out cruising gay bars, you know, I think his personal life is his personal life and he‘s entitled to that.  But he wasn‘t.  He was hitting on young teenage boys...

CARLSON:  Oh, wait a second.  Look, I‘m not defending him. 

MCMAHON:  He was hitting on young...

CARLSON:  I think the guy is a full-blown creep.  I mean, look, I totally agree.  I‘m outraged, too.

But there is a homophobic element here.  I mean, Democrats—no there is.  It‘s more than just he‘s hitting on people.  He‘s hitting on boys. 

He‘s a homosexual.  I mean, that—that‘s part of what gives it its charge, this story, no?  Yes. 

MCMAHON:  Well, I think the fact that he‘s hitting on people who are under his charge, there‘s a—there‘s a power relationship here, too, that‘s being exploited, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

MCMAHON:  It‘s not just a 52-year-old man hitting on teenage boys. 

CARLSON:  I agree.

MCMAHON:  It‘s a 52-year-old man hitting on teenage boys who are entrusted—it‘s more like a high school football coach hitting...

CARLSON:  Right.

MCMAHON:  ... hitting on his own football players than it is a man out cruising the bar scene trying to find, you know, homosexual love. 

CARLSON:  That‘s totally right.

MCMAHON:  Which, by the way, if that‘s what he were doing, I don‘t think anybody in town, except, perhaps, in the puritan Republican Party would be critical of him.

CARLSON:  Oh, I doubt it.

MCMAHON:  But that‘s not what he was doing.

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

MCMAHON:  And by the way...

CARLSON:  ... I think the Democrats can be as puritanical as anybody.

But why—why is it—wait, hold on.  You‘ve got to—the one thing you can say about Foley—and I think he deserves credit for this—is that he resigned. 

I mean, in contrast to a number of Democrats I can remember who were involved in pretty unseemly sex scandals, this guy just steps aside.  He doesn‘t get up there and—you know, he doesn‘t bring Jesse Jackson to his office and say, you know what I mean, I‘m undergoing a spiritual rebirth.  He doesn‘t.  He just leaves. 

Can‘t the Democrats learn something from that?

MCMAHON:  And good for him that he left.  And he‘s probably going to end up in jail.  But it‘s interesting, Tucker, that the Republican Congress, which was so interested in impeaching a president for—for an indiscretion with a grown woman, just completely turns the other way and ignores a scandal involving one of their own members and a teenage boy. 

CARLSON:  Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.  What about—look, I have to agree with you.  OK, I think they probably didn‘t do all they could have and, you know, they can go to hell as far as I‘m concerned.

But you just talked about the power relationship, a boss hitting on his charge.  That‘s what Clinton did. 

MCMAHON:  Yes, there was a power relationship, too.  And he paid a pretty heavy price. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  Good.

MCMAHON:  And the Republicans didn‘t sweep it under the rug.  And now

so why would they not—why would they pursue the president so aggressively, and then when a sex scandal involving one of their members and a child, not a grown woman, a child...

CARLSON:  Right.

MCMAHON:  ... is brought to their attention, why would they sweep it under the rug and ignore it? 

CARLSON:  Well, because they don‘t want to...

MCMAHON:  And put the interest of the member...

CARLSON:  ... because they don‘t want to lose the seat.  Why do you think?  I mean, come on. 

MCMAHON:  Well, you know, Tucker...

CARLSON:  Yes?

MCMAHON:  If this were—you know, I don‘t—I don‘t—I don‘t—

I‘m a recovering lawyer.  But it sounds to me a little bit like accessory after the fact.  What about all these other children...

CARLSON:  We‘ll find out. 

(CROSSTALK)

MCMAHON:  ... who were theirs to protect and these guys are letting a sexual predator, a known sexual predator...

CARLSON:  Well, wait a second.  I mean, last time pages got bent over it was the Democrats who were doing it.  I mean, let‘s be honest here.  So, I mean, let‘s not get too self-righteous. 

MCMAHON:  Tucker...

CARLSON:  But I agree.  We‘re going to find out about it.

MCMAHON:  ... the leadership was warned.  The leadership was warned.

CARLSON:  I‘m not defending them.  I‘m saying the Justice Department is on the case.

MCMAHON:  It just sounds like you‘re defending them. 

CARLSON:  I‘m absolutely not defending them.  I think—I think they did probably look the other way.  But we‘ll find out to what extent, because the FBI is on this.  And we will bring you updates as they arise.

MCMAHON:  Culture—culture of corruption, Tucker.

CARLSON:  All right.

MCMAHON:  It‘s a pattern.  It‘s a pattern.

CARLSON:  OK.  Good luck with that one, Steve.

MCMAHON:  It‘s a fact.

CARLSON:  Steve McMahon from Richmond.  Thanks. 

MCMAHON:  Take care. 

CARLSON:  Coming up, explosive charges from a BBC documentary.  Did the pope himself endorse a decades-old cover-up of child sexual abuse—speaking of.

And liberal bias from a “New York Times” reporter.  Buckle your seatbelts.  OK, it may not shock you, but her defense of her comments might.

That‘s our top story on “Beat the Press” when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Time now for “Beat the Press”.

First up, reporter Linda Greenhouse has covered the Supreme Court for “The New York Times” for almost 30 years, since 1978.  For much of that time conservatives have complained her coverage slants to the left.  Now confirmation conservatives may have been on to something.

During a speech at Harvard University this summer, Greenhouse came out of the political closet.  “Our government,” she said, “has turned its energy and its attention away from upholding the rule of law and toward creating law-free zones at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Haditha and other places around the world.  And let‘s not forget sustained assault on women‘s reproductive freedom and the hijacking of public policy by religious fundamentalism.”

Well, it‘s hard to get more conventionally liberal than that.  And yet, when asked about her rant by “The Washington Post‘s” Howard Kurtz, Greenhouse replied that these were “statements of fact, not opinions.”

Now, look, it‘s one thing to have political opinions, even for a reporter to have political opinions.  I understand that.  I have political opinions.  I share them openly. 

But I never imagine that my opinions are “statements of fact.”  I know they are my opinion, because I don‘t live in a tiny, insular, close-minded little world where every single person agrees with my opinions.  And therefore, I can imagine that they are “statements of fact.”  I have enough diversity in my life that I can recognize an opinion from a fact, and the fact that Linda Greenhouse can‘t is chilling and, in my view, makes her reporting suspect.

Next up, once again, Rosie O‘Donnell.  In the past couple of weeks we have chastised Rosie O‘Donnell for using “The View” to share things with us that really should not be shared in public ever, like her habit of letting dogs lick her children‘s crotches. 

We‘ve been tough with our criticism, but somebody had to be.  Well, today, a compliment.  It turns out there is a place even Rosie O‘Donnell won‘t go.  Thank god. 

Watch. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROSIE O‘DONNELL, “THE VIEW”:  I don‘t want to say it. 

JOY BEHAR, “THE VIEW”:  Say it. 

O‘DONNELL:  I had a show for six years and I never had to say it. 

Don‘t make me say it.

BEHAR:  If I  made Diane Sawyer say Sheetzucacapoopoo.  You can say vagina. 

Say it.

O‘DONNELL:  Sheetzucacapoopoo.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  I just—I think I join with every American man in saying, thank you, Rosie O‘Donnell, for not polluting that sacred space, for not defiling that word by using it.  Thank you very much.  You would have hurt all of us had you done that.

And finally, the season premier of “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend was enlivened by NBC‘s own Brian Williams, who was great. 

Take a look. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, “SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE””:  Oh, gosh.  Did you get my messages? 

BRIAN WILLIAMS, “SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE”:  You know what?  I‘ve been crazy busy. I‘ve written a ton of material.  And what did you need? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Oh, Brian.  Oh, we decided to go in another direction. 

WILLIAMS:  Oh.  OK. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  OK. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, “SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE”:  Hey, congratulations on being the number one news anchor in America. 

WILLIAMS:  Don‘t patronize me, son. 

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hey, you know, Brian, feel free to stick around for the rest of the show. 

WILLIAMS:  I‘m going to—I‘m going to head home.  I‘ve got a wife and two kids and someone has to tell them that daddy is not going to be on TV tonight. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Not only an anchor, but a pretty cool guy, actually. 

Still to come, al Qaeda meets Al Capone.  The FBI fears that terrorists are teaming up with organized crime.  Are they serious?  They appear to be. 

And Sacha Baron Cohen strikes again.  The latest on “Borat”.  He‘s offended someone else.

Details when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Recapping our top story.  A 32-year-old milk truck driver barricaded himself inside a one room Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania this afternoon.  Actually this morning, we believe and killed three young girls execution style before taking his own life.  There is a news conference scheduled for 6:00 p.m. eastern time.  We‘ll bring that to you live when it happens.  We‘ll be back with much more but right now here‘s a look at the rest of your headlines.  

(NEWSBREAK)

CARLSON:  Time now for “3 on 3” where we welcome two of the sharpest people we know to discuss three of today‘s most interesting stories.  Joining us from Pensacola, Florida, he is the co-author of “Air America the Playbook,” Mike Papantonio co-host of “Ring of Fire” on Air America Radio.  And in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Reverend Joe Watkins, former aid to the first President Bush and campaign adviser to the current president.  He‘s also a radio talk show host.  Welcome to you both. 

REV. JOE WATKINS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Thanks, tucker. 

MIKE PAPANTONIO, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Thank you.  

CARLSON:  First up, the fallout from the congressional page scandal, it‘s already cost Mark Foley his job but now Republican leaders are deep in damage control mode trying to save as many seats as they can in November.  Is it a lost cause, Joe? It seems to me this could be worst than I first realized for the Republican Party if it turns out they were covering up for this guy?

WATKINS:  Well there are folks that are trying to say they were covering up, but actually there was no such cover-up.  Everything that happened sounds appropriate and apt given what they knew at the time.  They‘ve been told by the fellow that had gotten this page to work on Capitol Hill that there was some inappropriate communications between the page and the congressman and folks were watching him.  And they even warned him, they told him to stop.  Now that‘s about as appropriate as you can find for a member of Congress doing that kind of thing, that is lacking any serious information about what he might be doing.  

CARLSON:  But you know how these things go, though, Joe.  I mean look, because I know that you went to boarding school, for instance, where this stuff, let‘s be honest, is pretty common.  And everybody kind of knows who the creepy teachers are and the ones that prey on little boys.  And his colleagues had some sense that this guy was doing that and why didn‘t they, you know, grab him by the throat and say knock it off?

WATKINS:  Tucker, they did the right thing.  They did the right thing and the congressman did the right thing.  The congressman stepped down which is the right thing to do.  Now I would urge this—for people who are trying to make this -- 

CARLSON:  Hold on, let him finish.

WATKINS:  For democrats who want to make this into some kind of a political statement of the Republican Party, they ought not be so short sided.  Remember in 1982 a Democratic member from Congress was caught having sex with a male page.  He was censored in 1983 but he served in the congress until 1996.  Now how do you make this a statement -- 

PAPANTONIO:  Tucker let me tell you what --  

CARLSON:  Hold on, are you talking about Jerry Studds of Massachusetts? 

WATKINS:  Absolutely.

PAPANTONIO:  For Reverend Watkins to defend this party is absurd.  Let me just tell you what they could have done. They could have reported this to the Congressional Page Board, they knew about it a year ago.  They could have reported it to the House Ethics Committee.  

CARLSON:  I‘m sorry.  What did they know about a year ago?  What, you said they knew about—what specifically did they know a year ago?

PAPANTONIO:  They knew that this is a congressman that had already been making inappropriate advances to pages.

WATKINS:  Did they have evidence to that, hard evidence?

PAPANTONIO:  This was not guesswork.  And I‘m appalled that Reverend Watkins would say what he just said.  Let me just tell you—

WATKINS:  Wrong is wrong, I admit that.  But there was no hard evidence until just recently.

CARLSON:  One at a time, here.  

WATKINS:  They had no hard evidence until just recently.  

PAPANTONIO:  This is a huge problem for a party that calls itself the family values party.  Now Reverend Watkins is here to defend this party.  They knew that this guy had a problem.  This is a man who sits as the chairman of the missing and exploited children‘s caucus.  This is like a fat fox guarding the hen house.  And you know the problem with the Republicans, they don‘t have enough guts to police themselves.  You know why?

CARLSON:  Now wait, you settle down for one second here, hold on for one second.  You‘re saying a lot of really heavy stuff.  And I want you to back up and substantiate the things that you are saying.  I‘m willing to believe—I‘m open minded and I‘m not a partisan Republican.  I‘m willing to believe that the Republican Party covered up this man‘s misdeeds.  But so far you‘ve presented no evidence that that‘s true.  Now I read the emails, I believe what you‘re telling me - wait slow down.  You finished—you are responding to I believe the emails that have been public that they had access to that actually don‘t suggest he was molesting children and it is kind of creepy. 

PAPANTONIO:  Oh come on, Tucker, you‘ve read this, you‘ve read it just like I have.  Go to the internet, read what this pedophile freak was saying to this child.  And you tell me --  

CARLSON:  You‘re being disingenuous here.  The first set of emails was not obviously sexual.  

WATKINS:  This is politics at its best.  This is partisan politics at its best.  That‘s why the—the guy did some inappropriate stuff.  He said some inappropriate -- 

PAPANTONIO:  Oh, inappropriate? 

WATKINS:  Very inappropriate instant messages to a young page.  

PAPANTONIO:  It‘s felony, Reverend Watkins. 

WATKINS:  He resigned—

CARLSON:  One at a time, guys.  

WATKINS:  Well he‘s certainly going to be investigated and I‘m sure whatever happens that‘s appropriate criminally will happen and that‘s fine.  But, to suggest it beforehand—

PAPANTONIO:  You know they could have acted on this a year ago. 

CARLSON:  All right, gentlemen, we‘re going to move on to something that may elevate your blood pressures even higher.  Donald Rumsfeld, he repeated yesterday that will he not resign his job as defense secretary.  But in his new book, Bob Woodward writes that President Bush was advised to fire Rumsfeld back in 2004.  And what about Colin Powell, doesn‘t he deserve the blame for supporting a war he never believed in? Well it seems to be, Mike Papantonio, an interesting question.  Here you have a guy who according to Woodward‘s book knew from day one that this war was most likely a bad idea and yet went before the United Nations and sold it to the rest of us, around the world, in fact.  Why does he take no grief for this? 

PAPANTONIO:  Well I think he is taking grief.  At least you see Colin Powell acknowledging the fact that he became a U.N. pitch man for a lie, he became a media pitchman for a lie.  But now Colin Powell, now what‘s become clear is Colin Powell, just like a half a dozen other generals have told Rumsfeld we don‘t have enough troops on the ground, 50,000 troops more at the very least was needed.  Rumsfeld‘s credibility has always been in question.  He‘s been called indecisive, he‘s been called dishonest, he‘s been called manipulative.  Not just by Colin Powell, but by the very man that Joe Watkins worked for, which is W.‘s dad.  W.‘s dad wanted nothing to do with Rumsfeld because he didn‘t trust Rumsfeld for the very reason that most military advisors doesn‘t trust him.  He‘s a political operative, he‘s not a general.  

CARLSON:  It‘s interesting though, I‘m a little bit confused as to why and I‘ve said this before, Rumsfeld, of all the people responsible for this debacle in Iraq, why is Donald Rumsfeld taking the brunt of the blame for it? He, there‘s no evidence—unlike Colin Powell that he sold the war -- 

WATKINS:  -- any good author, Bob Woodward is trying very hard, of course, to sell books.   He sold a lot of books over the last two decades, of course.  And anytime he comes out with a book, especially a book that comes out, maybe oh a month before the key November midterm elections, of course, whatever he says is going to be carefully examined.  You‘ve got to consider here some of the allegations and then the truth that one of the allegations in the book is that Andy Card, somehow or another led a group of people, was leading the parade to have Rumsfeld fired.  That‘s not true.  The president here‘s from his chief of staff—

PAPANTONIO:  That is true.

WATKINS:  No it‘s not.  The president hears from his chief of staff and other advisers on a regular basis about who they think ought to stay, who they think ought to go.  And Andy Card—and I know because I worked with Andy Card in the first Bush White House, is about as straight a shooter as they come.   He‘s a guy that has no hidden agenda, no ulterior motives except to serve the president of the United States and the people of the United States.  And so Andy Card, in his position as chief of staff, certainly shared with the president what some people were saying but he by no means led, as the book tries to imply, some kind of a movement to dump Donald Rumsfeld.  

PAPANTONIO:  You know it‘s a funny thing.  Republicans love Bob Woodward when he came out with “Bush at War” and when he came out with “Plan of Attack.”  The truth is, you almost can‘t believe Woodward, I have to agree with that.  All Woodward‘s doing right now is positioning himself because he sees a shift in power taking place in Washington, he‘s cozying up to the Democrats now, he cozied up to the Republicans with his two books “Bush at War” and “Plan of Attack.” Now we‘re seeing a side of Bob Woodward where he‘s maybe telling us what he‘s known all along and that is that generals that really understand war have never stood behind Rumsfeld.   They think he‘s incompetent, they think he‘s dishonest, they think he‘s indecisive.  Now, unfortunately, W embraces all that.  

CARLSON:  This has been quite a day for allegations of cover-up of sexual abuse.  Here‘s another one.  The Catholic Church furious about a new “BBC” documentary that accuses the current pope, Pope Benedict, of once overseeing the cover up of child sex abuse claims.  The church calls, “False and misleading” a report that says then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was in charge for 20 years of enforcing a secret document that lays out procedures for dealing with child sex abuse within the church.  The “BBC” says it stands by its program.  Joe, what do you make of this, it seems to be potentially damning.  Here we know for a fact that the current pope was in fact in a position to oversee the response to child sex abuse and the church covered it up.  I mean does this strike you as damning this documentary? 

WATKINS:  Well, the pope I think is making a real effort to try to overcome some of the past ills of the church and has been at least certainly in recent months a lot of transparency in the part of the church with regards to dealing with the issue of some of the child abuse that took place in past decades.  But to try to paint this pope in a negative light because this is one of the areas that he oversaw, think about this.  Here‘s a guy who served for decades before being elected pope last year, and they‘re trying to pen one little area that he ran on him for—for all the past child abuse that went on in the catholic church.  It‘s not really fair. 

PAPANTONIO:  Let me tell you about some of that abuse, so we don‘t lose sight of the ball.  

WATKINS:  Oh, we know there‘s abuse, no, there‘s no doubt about it, there definitely was abuse, no doubt about it.  

PAPANTONIO:  Last year in Philadelphia -- 

CARLSON:  All right gentleman, one at a time.

WATKINS:  -- it‘s not fair.  

PAPANTONIO:  If I can be heard.  Last year in Philadelphia a grand jury came up with these stories.  An 11-year-old girl who was repeatedly raped by her priest and after she became pregnant took her to an abortion clinic.  A fifth grader who was molested in a confessional.   These are stories that this Pope Benedict has had to stand behind—and let me tell you what he did.  This is where he --  

CARLSON:  Wait, now you‘re making me look silly, you‘re making me sympathetic to the guy by your overstatement.  Back up, what do you mean this pope had to stand by—what do you mean?  He in no way endorsed that abuse. 

PAPANTONIO:  No of course he didn‘t, but let me tell you what he did.  He engineered a program that said this, if a member of a congregation or a witness broke the oath of secrecy on this type of pedophile activity, they would be ex-communicated from the church.  This is a pope who -- 

WATKINS: We know that‘s what they all have said, Mike.  But is he the one that engineered it?  Come on, let‘s be real now.  

PAPANTONIO:  Wait a second, he signed off on it.  Reverend Watkins, he signed off on it.  You know what, that‘s enough for me.  Here‘s a Pope Benedict, while he signed of on this, he knew that pedophiles are incurable. I used to be a prosecutor, I know how dangerous these people are.  Two hundred and fifty catholic clergy have been accused of child molestation since 1950‘s.  Pedophile priests are moved from one congregation to the other without members in that congregation ever knowing that there is a criminal pedophile in their midst.  This is a church that spent $70 million just in the last 10 years trying to make this go away.  These people—these pedophile priests work in orphanages, they work in catholic schools.  And you know the best thing the Catholic Church can do is say, ok, enough is enough.  Let‘s do the right thing.  Let‘s get rid of these criminal pedophiles.  And you know what, Pope Benedict has not helped that mission. 

CARLSON:  All right.  Joe, Mike, I appreciate you both coming on. 

Thank you. 

WATKINS:  Thanks, Tucker. 

PAPANTONIO:  Thank you.  

CARLSON:  A routine field trip to an art museum gets a grade school teacher canned.  We‘ll tell you why a little nudity cost that woman her job when we come right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Time for a look at today‘s stories I just don‘t get.  First, is it possible members of al Qaeda are preparing to make the Mafia an offer it can‘t refuse.  

But it‘s no laughing matter to the FBI.  The bureau‘s top counterterrorism investigators say they are seriously concerned that mafia members here in this country could eventually team up with al Qaeda.  Forget about it, some might say.  But the feds warn the mafia will do business with anyone, if the price is right.  So far, though, there is no direct evidence linking the two groups, but a recent sting operation did snare a suspect with mob ties for trying to sell missiles to an FBI informant he thought was a terrorist.

Look, the truth is that the Justice Department spends an awful lot of money and an awful lot of time going after the Sicilian mafia in this country.  They keep reprosecuting the same people over and over, John Gotti Jr. on trial again.  What‘s the point of it?  You‘d think it was 1956 if you watched their behavior.  It‘s a lot of wasted time and it could be that in order to justify their behavior, and all the money they‘re spending going after the mafia in this country, they need to make you believe that somehow the mafia is connected with al Qaeda.  They‘re not connected to al Qaeda, there is no evidence they‘re connected to al Qaeda.  And if this government was really interested in stopping al Qaeda and making you safe, they‘d keep track of who sneaks into this country every year.  But they don‘t, which tells you a lot.  Well next, first it was the nation of Kazakhstan, now comedian Sacha Baron Cohen‘s got the anti-defamation league after him. 

Like the Kazakhstan government, the ADL is worried about Cohen‘s upcoming comedy “Borat.” The movie is about a bundling wildly anti-Semitic journalist from Kazakhstan on assignment here in the U.S.  It‘s all a joke, of course, but the ADL isn‘t laughing.  In recent overheated press releases, the group frets that moviegoers might not be sophisticated enough to see the humor.  And that Borat who was created and portrayed by an Orthodox Jew, will somehow inspire anti-Semitism.  Well, the joke‘s on you.  Not one person who watches “Borat” is going to become an anti-Semite or be tempted as he puts it, “To throw the Jews down the well.”  It‘s a joke. And not only is it a joke, it‘s a spoof on anti-Semitisms that makes anti-Semites look like the lunatics and the mouth breeders they are in real life.  This is not going to inspire anti-Semitism and the fact you could write a press release like that in all seriousness, it says a lot about your lack of irony.  

Well finally, the case of the Texas school teacher who got expelled for exposing her kids to art.  (INAUDIBLE) the Dallas Museum of Art, and here‘s the accused perk, 51-year-old Sydney McGee.  After 28 years in the classroom, McGee is now out of a job for taking her fifth graders to the museum.  It turns out the kids were exposed to nude statues and art which did not sit well with one parent.  The field trip had the principal‘s ok and there were four other teachers along for the ride.  The museum‘s director notes that in the past decade more than half a million kids have toured the exhibits and no parent has ever complained before.  This is in Texas, by the way.

Well joining me now from Dallas to tell her side of the story is Sydney McGee, she is joined by her attorney, Rogge Dunn.  Welcome to you both.  Sydney McGee, I read the story and my first thought was, there‘s got to be more to it.  Is there? 

SYDNEY MCGEE, TEACHER FIRED AFTER STUDENT SAW NUDE ART:  Well, the fact that we went on the field trip and the next day there was a bashing by my school principal, and it became a political hot topic, I believe, because we were having a bond election about a couple of weeks away.  And I took the heat for it.  

CARLSON:  Ok, but I mean there was nothing that we don‘t know.  I mean was this a Robert Maple Thorpe exhibit? What is it naked gay men in sadomasochistic poses?  What was the art exactly in question? 

MCGEE:  No, it was classic art.  It was the Dallas Museum of Art.  It was the European collection and the contemporary collection. 

CARLSON:  Ok.  It wasn‘t the transgender collection?  I mean there‘s nothing about this art would offend ordinary people, is that what you‘re saying?

MCGEE:  Absolutely not. 

CARLSON:  Can you give us an example, was it like Rodin sculptures or what was it? 

MCGEE:  There were Rodin sculptures, there was Piet Mondrian.  There was Claude Monet impressionistic art.  So quite a sampling.  Because the children had been with me since kindergarten and had studied these artists. 

CARLSON:  Ok, so one teacher complained, is that right? I mean, rather one parent complained and what was the complaint?

MCGEE:  I originally heard one parent, but later on in some documentation there were   teachers and other parents.  So it‘s unclear to me.  

CARLSON:  Ok.  Do you think—had you been scolded by the school district before for bringing perversion into the classroom or similar incidents like this?

MCGEE:  No, not at all.  In fact, I had a really good rapport with the school district and the parents and the children.  

CARLSON:  What was the complaint from the parent?  What did the parent say, specifically? 

MCGEE:  I wasn‘t given that information.  Just that their child was exposed to a nude abstract sculpture. 

CARLSON:  Mr. Dunn, tell us about the likelihood that your client will actually be fired and what are you doing, are you suing the school district?

ROGGE DUNN, ATTORNEY FOR SYDNEY MCGEE:  Well, her contract has been not renewed and we‘re waiting on the paperwork from the school district.  Once we receive that we‘ll evaluate all our legal options.  But one of those that I think we will take is to challenge and we‘re entitled to an administrative hearing on the non-renewal of her contract.  

CARLSON:  But I mean typically in these things, Americans sue for tens of millions of dollars.  Are you going to do that? 

DUNN:  Well this is not about money.

CARLSON:  Good.

DUNN:  In fact I‘ve taken the case on a pro bono basis and Texas law does not provide for the teacher to recover economic damages from the non-renewal.  There may be some issues of first amendment free speech rights and damages for that.  But this is not about money. 

CARLSON:  Ok.  Sydney McGee, Rogge Dunn, thanks a lot for joining us.  This does seem like something‘s very wrong in your school district.  I appreciate your coming on to explain. 

DUNN:  Thank you Tucker.

MCGEE:  Thank you, thank you Tucker.

CARLSON:  A new study reveals that Neal Armstrong‘s moon landing was not what we thought it was at all.  So was it really filmed on a sound stage in Burbank?  Is it all a lie?  We can reveal that information when we come right back, so stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  You know what time it is.  It‘s the time for the great Willie Geist who joins us from headquarters.  Willie?

WILLIE GEIST:  Hello Tucker.  I have one question.  Who is the kid who snitched on the teacher for showing the nudie art?  You know all the other kids were like, dude, shhh.  It‘s like the greatest thing that ever happened to a fifth grader.  

CARLSON:  That is such a great point. 

GEIST:  Naked people and nobody is getting in any trouble for it.  

One thing I want to mention Tucker, we have the world‘s smallest horse.  We want to show it to you really quickly, it‘s a little bit disturbing, it‘s 17-1/2 inches.  It‘s a five year old Chestnut Mare and it‘s frightening, frankly.  It‘s from St. Louis, it‘s called Thumbelina, it eats a handful of hay twice a day and it scares me.  So that‘s all I‘m going to say about it.

CARLSON:  That looks like a cocktail party hors d‘oeuvre to me. 

GEIST:  That‘s smaller than a Shetland.  

Tucker in other news, besides the world‘s smallest pony.  From the moment Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon July 20, 1969 and uttered those famous words, that‘s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.  Grammar nerds have been all over him.  Armstrong should have said that‘s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.  Well he claims he did say that.  You can listen for yourself. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEIL ARMSTRONG:  That‘s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. 

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

GEIST:  Well, Tucker, now Armstrong has been vindicated.  An Australian sound expert studied the tapes very closely with new technology and found radio waves from the missing huh and says it is in fact there, he says it was covered by audio static.  He believed Armstrong said, “I find his conclusion persuasive.”  And boy that must be a big relief because that is one line you really don‘t want to blow.  You only get one shot at landing on the moon the first time.  You have to nail that line.

CARLSON:  Yeah I‘m not sure.  I mean I of course repeal Neil Armstrong but I don‘t buy it.  I‘ve heard the tape and I don‘t think Neil lies. 

GEIST:  It doesn‘t sound like there is enough time for him to say it.  But we‘ll give him the benefit of the doubt.  Tucker, George Michael continues to make his case as the biggest celebrity disaster of his generation.  Stop me if this sounds familiar.  Police found Michael passed out at the wheel of his car at a stoplight with drugs in his possession.  Yes it happened eight months ago, but it happened again early yesterday morning.  An officer spotted the former Wham singer slumped over his steering wheel.  Michael was taken to the hospital and a search of his car turned up a little bit of marijuana.  Tucker we ask one thing of George Michael, just stay conscious while you‘re driving that‘s all we ask of you.  

CARLSON:  But you‘ve left out the (INAUDIBLE) factor which is this is in Great Britain where everybody does that every day.  So it‘s—

GEIST:  I guess I don‘t spend enough time over there.  

CARLSON:  That‘s par in London.  

GEIST:  Use a little of the Wham money and get a car service, that‘s all I‘m going to say.  Finally Tucker, reality TV about to conquer a new frontier in tastelessness, speaking of Great Britain.  A British show called birth night live will follow 18 expected mothers into labor. The producers hope at least one of them will deliver during a live two hour show this Sunday.  The mothers have agreed to give birth naturally with no pain relief to really add to the entertainment value.  Tucker I don‘t know what to say.  I know one thing it‘s beautiful when it‘s your child, maybe you have to look at this, but to watch someone else‘s child born, no thanks.  

CARLSON:  Beautiful is a little strong.  You know, profound.  Really there is no group in the world more diabolical than television producers.  

GEIST:  Yes.  I just don‘t understand the appeal of watching someone else give birth. But maybe I‘m wrong, we‘ll check the ratings.

CARLSON:  We‘ll see if they get higher numbers than we do.  Willie Geist.

GEIST:  All right Tucker.

CARLSON:  Thanks Willie.  That‘s it for us tonight, thanks for watching.  Up next, “HARDBALL WITH CHRIS MATTHEWS”, we‘ll see you back here tomorrow.

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

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