updated 10/11/2006 1:39:46 PM ET 2006-10-11T17:39:46

Guests: Judd Legum, Bob Kohn, Joan Walsh, David Caplan, Katrina Szish, Sheryl Crow, John Bourlon, Lisa Bloom, Jill Dobson, Michelle Lee

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, are comics crushing the GOP’s chances this fall?  Thanks to late night stars like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and David Letterman, the left may get the last laugh in November 2006.  Will the punchline be a Democratic Congress?  Well, you know, Republicans needed this Mark Foley scandal like Paris Hilton needed another case of herpes.

What?  Never mind.  Lawyers say never mind.

Anyway, as I was saying, late night comics have been feasting off Republican mistakes for the past two years, and the Foley-flare up has caused the GOP jokes to reach critical mass.  As the Republican sex scandal unfolds in Washington, you can just tell, and for good reason, late night comics are smelling blood in the water.  And with Jon Stewart joining the usual suspects of Letterman, Leno and Conan, 2006 -- I really do think, friends, 2006 may be the first year that comics can sink that death star that Hollywood’s long called the GOP.  Just look at what’s happened since last week.

But I got to warn you, Mom, some of this may be over the top.  Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON STEWART, “THE DAILY SHOW”:  We spent all Friday talking about this issue, knowing it would be our headline today, because really, what else could happen that would be big enough to change our coverage of non-citizens losing the right of habeas corpus?  Oh, right!  Oh, that’s—I see.  (INAUDIBLE) You wanted to be specific.

I’m sorry.  This just in.  I’m being told right now Mark Foley masturbated into the slime tub at the 2004 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.  That’s a new revelation.  I’m sorry, though.  Apparently, in his defense, as his lawyer today noted, 9/11 changed everything.

But the real battle now is how the GOP leadership handled the allegations.  My guess is with some sort of latex gloves.  Now, as we learned after Katrina, Republicans, they’re not the finger-pointing types.

GEORGE WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  One of the things that people want us to do here is to play a blame game.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I’m just not going to engage in the blame game.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (INAUDIBLE) blame game.

STEWART:  Well, that was then.  Today, it’s Republicans own house that’s flooded, and the liquid is apparently jisum.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, good Lord!

Here now, research director for the Center for American Progress Judd Legum.  Also, Joan Walsh, editor-in-chief for Salon.com.  We also have Bob Kohn.  He’s author of “Journalistic Fraud.”

Bob, let me start with you.  You lean center right.  Tell me, do you think that these late night comics may have more of an impact than in years past because so many people are starting to get their news from Stewart, Colbert, Letterman, Leno and Conan?

BOB KOHN, AUTHOR, “JOURNALISTIC FRAUD”:  I’m not so sure.  I mean, first of all, on late night television, Jay Leno and Conan and Letterman, people know that they make fun of both sides.  They’ve made fun of Clinton over the years.  So people, when they do those programs, they expect them to be kind of balanced and they generally tend to be.  Jon Stewart, on the other hand, on “The Daily Show,” he has been, you know, attacking the right quite a bit lately, but you really can’t blame him.  I mean, there’s no one on the left that he can really attack right now.  The...

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, and of course, the bottom line is, Joan Walsh, Republicans control everything in Washington, D.C., right now.  Republicans seem to be the easy target.  So if these late night comics are picking on Republicans for good reason, I mean, voters may stand up and take note, right?

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM:  I think that’s right.  I mean, they’re such a sitting target, Joe.  They’ve done so many things wrong.  It’s really hard to change the storyline.  And surprisingly, I do agree with Bob on this one.

I also think the thing about Jon Stewart is, if you go back to the 2004 election, the Annenberg Public Policy Center did an interesting survey of his audience and found, first of all, that they were better informed than most people who consume, say, network news or even newspapers.  They didn’t ask about Salon, sadly.  But also, he found—his jokes were pretty evenly split in 2004.  Now, I would have to say that they’re not evenly split in 2006, but...

SCARBOROUGH:  But again, Joan, I mean, not only do you have Republicans controlling all the branches, but you also have Hurricane Katrina.

WALSH:  Exactly.

SCARBOROUGH:  You also have Abramoff.  You have DeLay.  You have Foley.  You’ve got all these scandals.  And if you watch this clip, it’s clear to see how some people could actually get their news on the Foley case from “The Daily Show.”  Watch this.

WALSH:  He’s got it all there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART:  Is the Foley scandal the fault of the congressman who was first told about the dirty e-mails by the page’s parents?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We didn’t feel like it was our job to press charges, but we did feel like it was our job to notify those that are in leadership roles so they would be able to address the problem.

STEWART:  Or not address it.  I told them, Not (ph) it (ph).  Is it the fault of one of the guys Alexander told, perhaps the head of the Republican Congressional Committee, Tom Reynolds?

REP. TOM REYNOLDS ®, NEW YORK:  I did what most people would do in a workplace.  I heard something, I took it to my supervisor.

STEWART:  I took it to my supervisor?  Tom Reynolds, congressman or assistant manager at Applebee’s?  Reynolds—he took it to his supervisor.  His supervisor is majority leader John Boehner.  I’m sure he took care of it!

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), MAJORITY LEADER:  I believe I talked to the Speaker, and he told me it had been taken care of.  And—and in—in my position, it’s in his corner.  It’s his responsibility.

STEWART:  That, of course, was John Boehner, speaking on NPR’s hit morning show “Wait, Wait, Don’t Blame Me.”

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  I think I actually saw Tom Reynolds at the Applebee’s in Secaucus.

Now, Judd, I want to talk about what Joan brought up about this Annenberg Public Policy Center.  They found in a six-question political knowledge test that people who don’t watch late night TV answer 2.62 correctly.  People who watch late night with David Letterman get 2.91 correct in these questions that are asked of them.  People who watch “The Daily Show,” 2.95 questions correct.  Judd, are people that watch these late night shows more educated because they’re getting their news from comics than getting their news from network news?

JUDD LEGUM, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS:  I don’t really think so.  I think what’s going on is, you know, in the past, you’ve had people who were able to coalesce around, you know, the network evening news broadcasts.  Now anyone who’s interested in news and has a computer pretty much knows what went on that day before the evening.  So what people are coalescing around, the people who do have—the people who are interested in news, is people commenting, like Jon Stewart, who’s commenting on the news, making fun of all the ridiculousness we see today and commenting on it in an intelligent way.

SCARBOROUGH:  And there are a lot of young people out there, obviously, that are getting their news that way, too.  And you know, Jon Stewart may be the new regime, but the network comics obviously are having a lot of fun mocking the Republican Party.  Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, “LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN”:  Ladies and gentlemen, here’s some good news, finally.  Congressman Foley, ex-congressman Foley now, is making steady progress dealing with the drinking problem he’s had since Tuesday.  So that’s coming right along.

JAY LENO, “TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO”:  Well, let’s see what’s going on with the Foley scandal in Washington, or as they’re now calling it, tail-gate.  I think that’s the one (INAUDIBLE) Is that the one they’re calling tail-gate?  What a month this has been for Republicans, huh?  I mean, George Allen’s been on the front page and Mark Foley’s been on every other page.  So it’s unbelievable.

CONAN O’BRIEN, “LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O’BRIEN”:  Former congressman Mark Foley once engaged in Internet sex with a former page while a vote was being taken in the House.  Yes, during a vote in the House, he was doing this, which is amazing.  Yes.  Apparently, instead of voting aye, Foley voted, Oh, God, yes!

LENO:  In fact, Washington is so sleazy now, teachers are now warning children.  A couple of books have just come out for young people.  This is “Jack and Jill, Don’t Go Up Capitol Hill.”  This is exactly what can happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Bob Kohn, we all laugh at it, but at some point, these jokes reach critical mass and the Republican Party becomes the laughing joke of America.

KOHN:  It could hurt—it could hurt in the election, but it’s all really quite fair, given what’s happened here.  And it’s very easy to make fun of white guys, OK, especially when they get in trouble.  What if Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi or Obama, you know, people on the Democratic side...

SCARBOROUGH:  But I mean, Hillary was a punchline throughout the 1990s, wasn’t she?

KOHN:  Well, but you know, They got to be very careful.  She’s a woman, and so is Pelosi, and Obama’s black, and they got to be very, very careful.

WALSH:  Oh, Bob, come on!

KOHN:  They don’t have to be as careful—I do think that’s the case. 

But the facts of the matter is, you know, people on late night television tend to be, you know, older.  They tend to vote.  It’s going to have a greater effect on late night than, I think, on “The Daily Show,” when they’re younger and don’t tend to vote.

SCARBOROUGH:  But Joan, let me show you some white guys that are easy to make fun of.  And we decided to forget the late night shows.  Sometimes, you know, truth is actually funnier than fiction.  Look at this ad, where Republican congressman Sherwood from Pennsylvania says that he’s really sorry for cheating on his wife, but he didn’t abuse his mistress.  Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DON SHERWOOD ®, PENNSYLVANIA:  I made a mistake that nearly cost me the love of my wife, Carol (ph), and our daughters.  As a family, we’ve worked through this because of my deep regret, our love and the fact that the allegation of abuse was never true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, my God!  And you know, I got to—I got to play this again because this is a shocking ad.  This is Tom Reynolds.  Watch this really quick.  This is his defense.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REYNOLDS:  Nobody’s angrier and more disappointed than me that I didn’t catch his lies.  I trusted that others had investigated.  Looking back, more should have been done, and for that, I am sorry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  So, I mean, those are funnier than late night comics, right?

WALSH:  You can’t make it up.

SCARBOROUGH:  You can’t.

WALSH:  You feel like you’re watching a Jon Stewart or a Stephen Colbert skit.  It’s really that bad.

And to go back to what Bob said, of course, people have had a field day with Hillary Clinton, with everything about her.  She’ll be—she’s been a punchline before, she’ll be a punchline again.  I don’t think we can bring race or gender into it.  People have no problem of making fun of women when they screw up.  And I hope she has her—hope she does well enough to become a target again.  But that seems kind of silly to me.

SCARBOROUGH:  Judd, quickly, I mean, can you—can you remember—I mean, was there a precedent in the 1990s?  Did Bill Clinton get these many jokes lobbed at him, or have the Republicans broken all records?

LEGUM:  I don’t think so.  I mean, I think Bill Clinton was a staple of all the late night show, especially Jay Leno, throughout all those years.  I think one thing that’s interesting is Jon Stewart has really risen to prominence over this time, and I think it’s because he is liberal.  You’ve got three 24-our news networks and you’ve got a ton of conservative voices.  In fact, you’ve got a whole network devoted to conservative voices.  But really, besides your colleague, Mr. Olbermann, who comes on before you, not too many identifiable liberals.  So I think he’s tapped into a market for intelligent liberal commentary on cable.  Maybe you ought to think about joining him.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, you know, that’s my problem in the media, working for NBC and all these other networks.  There are just too many darn conservatives that sound me there, Judd.  That truly is funny.  Judd, Joan and Bob, thanks so much for being with us.

And coming up next: Mel Gibson opens up, but will his interview with Diane Sawyer be enough to make the public forgive and forget?  We’re going to show you the first clips of what Mel has to say.  Plus, it’s the runaway bride versus the man she left at the altar humiliated.  That’s right, Jennifer Wilbanks is now suing that poor schmuck she humiliated for half a million dollars.  We’ll tell you about it.  Also, Barbra Streisand gets into a four-letter fight with one of her fans.  Her Bush-bashing schtick led to an angry F bomb.  And later, rock star Sheryl Crow comes to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY for a rare interview.  She tells us what she’s doing to help Rock the Vote in November and a possible career change.  Sheryl for president?

A big night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Don’t miss a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, mad Mel’s back, and he wants you to know he’s sorry, he’s really, really sorry, the “Lethal Weapon” star speaking out for the first time since his now infamous drunk driving bust, and he chose ABC’s Diane Sawyer for his first TV interview.  Mel got into hot water, of course, for the drunken anti-Semitic tirade after he got stopped by Malibu cops.

Take a listen to what Mel said as performed by one of our SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY producers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I own Malibu.  (DELETED) Jews!  The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world!  Are you a Jew?  What the (DELETED)  do you think you’re doing?  What do you think you’re looking at, Sugar (DELETED)?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  He said all of that to cops!  Now Mel’s clearing the air.  I don’t know how you clear the air after you say that!  He sat down with Diane Sawyer to talk about those comments, and here’s part of what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DIANE SAWYER, CO-HOST, “GOOD MORNING AMERICA”:  What do you think it was?

MEL GIBSON, ACTOR/DIRECTOR:  It was just the stupid ramblings of a drunkard, you know?  And what I need to do to heal myself and to be assuring and allay the fears of others and to heal them, if they have any heart wounds from something I may have said.  So this is the last thing I want to be, is that kind of monster.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  So will mad Mel’s mea culpa save his career?  Here now, “Star” magazine’s New York bureau chief, David Caplan.  Also Katrina Szish from “US Weekly.”  Katrina, talking about Mel, is this going to work for him?

KATRINA SZISH, “US WEEKLY”:  I think it will work for him because the public has a very short memory.  He’s apologizing for something that was terrible.  He’s tidying it up.  And now the time—by the time his film, “Apocalypto,” comes out in December, everyone will have forgotten.  It will be something that was history...

SCARBOROUGH:  But you know, the reason why we played that first clip is because it’s so horrendous, what he said.

SZISH:  Oh (INAUDIBLE) Yes.

SCARBOROUGH:  But people—you think, again, he’s such a big star, people will forgive, forget?  So he made some anti-Semitic remarks, made some anti-woman remarks?

SZISH:  Well, it’s certainly nothing to be—certainly nothing to be taken lightly, and there will be some people out there who will never forgive him, who will boycott every Mel Gibson film that ever comes out.

SCARBOROUGH:  Right.

SZISH:  However, Mel still has the respect in Hollywood as someone who’s a powerhouse, who makes great movies, who makes blockbuster movies, and I think people will...

SCARBOROUGH:  It’s about money.

SZISH:  ... forgive and forget.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, forgive and forget, and...

(CROSSTALK)

SZISH:  Well, maybe not forgive, but forget selectively.

SCARBOROUGH:  And make millions of dollars.

David Caplan, what’s this all about?  I mean, is this—is Mel Gibson doing this “GMA” interview, and he’s going to do other interviews to lead up to his next film, so he hopes by Christmas, everybody has forgiven and forgotten?

DAVID CAPLAN, “STAR” MAGAZINE:  I mean, absolutely.  This is a huge publicity effort by Mel’s camp because by having the interview on “GMA” now, it’s essentially paving the road for the publicity for his upcoming film.  We’re about a month-and-a-half away or so from the release of his upcoming movie.  So Mel does the interview with Diane Sawyer this week, and then in a few weeks, you’re going to see a publicity blitz for this film, which, of course, not coincidentally, is being produced by Touchstone, which is owned by ABC parent company, Disney.  So there’s—this is really a huge, you know, project being, you know, worked on by...

SCARBOROUGH:  So wait—wait a second.  You’re saying this is all sort of an inside deal, ABC helps out because Touchstone is owned by Disney and...

CAPLAN:  Absolutely.  I mean, you can’t ignore that.  I mean, Mel Gibson has a long-standing relationship with Disney/ABC.  His films are distributed by their sort of production companies...

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.

CAPLAN:  ... and he’s doing it now with Diane Sawyer.  And you know, we haven’t seen any publicity yet for this film.  I guarantee that following this interview, we’re going to see it.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, it’s an inside deal.  So he gets...

CAPLAN:  Absolutely.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... this sort first interview and—and we’re talking about it and he’s framed the way he wants to—wants it done.  Now, the full Mel Gibson interview’s not going to air until later this week, but ABC’s released some excerpts that we put together as a pre-enactment (ph).  Now, this clip is Mel commenting on the people in Hollywood who say they’ll never work with him again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  “I feel sad because they’ve obviously been hurt and frightened and offended enough to feel that they have to do that.  It’s their choice.  There’s nothing I can do about that.”

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  (INAUDIBLE)  You know, the thing is, with a beard—and also, did you notice from that interview—and I like—listen, I like Mel Gibson.

SZISH:  Yes.

SCARBOROUGH:  I was on his side throughout the entire “Passion” fight.  But he looks kind of crazy when he’s talking.  He’s got those, like, crazy Tom Cruise eyes.

SZISH:  Wild, wild eyes.

SCARBOROUGH:  Doesn’t he?  Seriously!  It just—he’s—he’s...

SZISH:  No, he really does.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... really on edge, isn’t it.

SZISH:  It was surprising to see that because when I was hearing what his comments were, before seeing the clip, I thought, OK, it’ll be interesting to see how he pulls off the contrite thing, if he really does seem genuine about it.  But seeing that, he does seem a little bit crazed, not...

SCARBOROUGH:  Madman.  Madman.

SZISH:  Yes, not...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Mad Mel, Mad Max.  So David, is he a tortured artist?

CAPLAN:  Yes, I mean, he really is.  He really is this tortured soul.  And really, how often can he apologize?  There was the whole sort of, you know, brouhaha around “Passion,” where a lot of his past sort of, you know, anti-Semitic stuff came up again.  So I just think, how many times can he apologize?  But again, it really does reflect—he’s a tortured soul, and every time we goes through this with him, he sort of wants compassion.  I just think it’s getting a little tiring.

SCARBOROUGH:  And the more he comes out, though, again, the more that people are going to forgive him, and they’re going to say, Well, you know, let’s go see his movie.  Let’s cut him a break.  He’s a human.  Right?

SZISH:  Absolutely.  And I mean, again, I think people might not agree

like Mel Gibson as a person, but again, as a Hollywood movie maker, they are going to continue to support him.

SCARBOROUGH:  And one other thing, too.  I mean, Tom Cruise, I’m sorry, the guy’s just whacked out.  Mel Gibson doesn’t have a whole lot of these sort of X marks against him, does he.

SZISH:  Not in that sense.  I mean, what he did sort of counts for a whole—a whole list of X marks...

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.

SZISH:  ... unfortunately.  But you know, Tom Cruise has the Scientology thing.

SCARBOROUGH:  Right.

SZISH:  He has the...

SCARBOROUGH:  Went after Brooke Shields.

SZISH:  ... Matt Lauer thing...

(CROSSTALK)

SZISH:  I mean, he’s got a laundry list that make him sort of a little bit beyond the Mel Gibson.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  Exactly.

SZISH:  So Mel needs to pipe down and...

SCARBOROUGH:  Pipe down...

(CROSSTALK)

SZISH:  Clean up, Mel.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thanks a lot.  Thank you so much, Katrina. 

Thank you, David.

CAPLAN:  Thank you.

SCARBOROUGH:  Really appreciate it.

And coming up: Barbra Streisand drops the F bomb on a fan who fights back after her Bush-bashing routine.  We’ve got the star-studded reaction to the obscene outburst.  But next, it’s “Must See S.C.” when Jay Leno tries to express himself in those new Gap ads.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Wake up Aunt Betty.  It’s time for tonight’s “Must See S.C.”  It’s some video you just got to see.  First up, you’ve probably seen the commercial for Gap’s new black pants featuring style icon Audrey Hepburn.  I mean, those are—is that a hip commercial or what?  But I’m willing to bet you probably haven’t seen this version.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LENO:  You know something?  I’m going to stop right now because I feel like expressing myself, and I could certainly use the release.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  There’s something terribly wrong with that!

And finally, they say there’s no reasoning with madmen, but don’t tell that to Stephen Colbert.  He stood up to North Korean madman Kim Jong Il last night.  Well, sort of.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, “THE COLBERT REPORT”:  The important thing to know is that there’s nothing to worry about, America.  We need to stay strong.  USA!  USA!  USA!  USA!  USA!  Wait a minute!  Wait!  Wait a minute!  How did this North Korean flag get in here?  Do not let this happen again, Bobby!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  And coming up, the revenge of the runaway bride.  The whacked-out runaway bride, Jennifer Wilbanks, takes her ex-fiance schmuck to court for half a million dollars.  We’re going to ask our legal experts if any jury’s going to give this lady half a million dollars for what she did to that poor guy.  And later, Sheryl Crow comes to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY for a rare interview.  We’re going to talk to the rock goddess about why she’s getting involved in politics, the future of music and if she’s going to run for president.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up, Barbra Streisand loses her cool when a heckler tries to rain on her Bush-bashing parade.  Now, “Hollyweird” is responding to her foul-mouthed outbursts. 

And later, can Sheryl Crow help rock the vote in the midterm election?  She stops by SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to tell us why she’s getting involved in the Senate races, and maybe more. 

Hey, welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Those stories straight ahead, but first, remember Jennifer Wilbanks, the crazy runaway bride?  Well, the Georgia peach is making headlines again.  Now she’s suing her ex-fiance, John Mason, saying she was released from the mental hospital, but afterwards he defrauded her out of her share of the assets they got from selling their story. 

Wilbanks is seeking a total of $500,000, which includes, in part, part of a home bought in his name and also punitive damages.  She also wants him to return her father’s ladder, a gold sofa, and wedding shower gifts.  So should we feel sorry for Ms. Wilbanks or is she just acting like Julia Roberts, the other “Runaway Bride”? 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Bam, bam, bam, bam, oh, help me. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Here’s Lisa Bloom, Court TV anchor, and civil rights attorney John Bourlon. 

Lisa Bloom, why should any jury give this nut a dime? 

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV ANCHOR:  Well, if they had a verbal or a written agreement that they were going to split this money 50-50, and he took all the money for himself and bought a house with it, which is what she alleges, then she’s entitled to half.  It doesn’t matter if she was a creep and ran out on him.  It doesn’t matter if she’s mentally ill.  The question is:  Did they have an agreement?

Now, she’ll never get the punitive damages.  That’s absurd.  But if he violated an agreement, she’s entitled to her money.

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, but should she be able to profit off of this scam that she pulled, where she lied to cops, she lied to her family, she lied to her ex-fiance, let everybody think that she was dead?  And then it ends up—again, it seems to me like it’s one of those deals where felons shouldn’t be allowed to profit off of their wrongdoings? 

BLOOM:  Well, guess what?  In the book publishing industry, people can sell the rights to their story, and they can sell it to the television industry, and they can sell it to the movie industry.  That’s what she chose to do.  It’s perfectly legal, just as her ex-fiance sold his story, just as a lot of people sell their story.  We may not like that, but the fact is, if legally that’s her money, she’s entitled to seek it, she’s entitled to get it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But, you know, John Bourlon, yes, I mean, her ex-fiance did sell the story, but that guy was the victim.  That guy was the schmuck.  He was the one that cops were questioning for the first couple of weeks thinking that maybe he had somehow killed her and ditched her when she was running off to Las Vegas, whether she was tracking down an old boyfriend or what.  We still don’t know what’s going on.  Why would a jury give her any money? 

JOHN BOURLON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  Joe, a jury is not going to give her any money.  Let’s look at the facts:  I rarely disagree with Lisa, but I must right now.  Georgia has the Son of Sam law.  Just as you suggest, Joe, you can’t profit from your own criminality... 

BLOOM:  What’s her crime? 

BOURLON:  Her crime, in the state of Georgia, they have a Son of Sam law, Lisa.  It says, if you’re a convicted felon, you may not profit...

BLOOM:  But is she a convicted felon? 

BOURLON:  Yes, she pled no contest to the felony of giving false information to the police detectives.

BLOOM:  OK, but we’re not talking about murder or rape or the kinds of crimes this usually applies to.

BOURLON:  It doesn’t matter.  There’s 42 states, Lisa, that have the Son of Sam law.

BLOOM:  And if she tells her story that goes way beyond this one incident, she’s entitled to that money. 

BOURLON:  She didn’t sell the story, Lisa.

BLOOM:  Why is he entitled to it? 

BOURLON:  Lisa, she didn’t sell the story.  He sold the story.  And they tried to do the sham by doing a power of attorney and this corporate entity.  The statute in Georgia...

BLOOM:  And he’s part of the sham, too.  And, by the way, the word is schlimazel, Joe.

BOURLON:  Was he the guy that was left, Lisa?  Come on, Lisa.  This is a contract. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, it does look like a sham.

(CROSSTALK)

BLOOM:  Yes, it’s a perfectly legal agreement.  If she can prove it, she’s entitled to it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I don’t think she’s going to get the money.  Jennifer Wilbanks and her then-fiance did an interview with the “Today” show right after she came home.  Take a look at this; then, I want to ask you all about it. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATIE COURIC, CBS “EVENING NEWS” HOST:  Someone I know said, “She just wanted to be famous.”  When you hear that, what do you think? 

JENNIFER WILBANKS, RUNAWAY BRIDE:  How can anybody think that that’s what I was trying to gain out of this?  Who in the world wants all of their secrets out there?  Not me.  Not like this, anyway. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  I was looking away because it just hurt too much.  She’s got those crazy Mel Gibson eyes, Lisa Bloom.  I don’t think she’s going to play well in front of a jury, do you?

BLOOM:  No, she’s not going to play well in front of a jury.  Look, nobody likes her.  She probably has a mental disorder, but...

SCARBOROUGH:  Probably? 

BLOOM:  ... what are we going to do, say that every woman who runs out on a husband or a fiance is not entitled...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  No, but that’s not the thing.  She lied to cops.  How much money did she waste?

BLOOM:  Some of us wish we had done that before some of the marriages we’ve been involved in.  Give the girl a break.  Let her earn a living. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, but, you know, John, for those that ran out on their spouses or their spouses to be, again, they didn’t lie to their community, they didn’t to the cops.  They didn’t...

BLOOM:  She should have told her mother.  I’ll give you that. 

BOURLON:  Joe, the city spent $40,000 of valuable resources...

SCARBOROUGH:  Forty thousand dollars, right.

BOURLON:  ... and this woman says, “I don’t want publicity”? 

BLOOM:  So let her have this money.  She can repay the city.

BOURLON:  She’s doing a book.  She goes on national TV.  Come on, Lisa.

BLOOM:  This is her best chance to earn a living. 

(CROSSTALK)

BOURLON:  Lisa, this isn’t the same as a woman that just gets cold feet.  This man stayed with her. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  John, so let me ask you this.  Hold on, John, explain this to me, if you will.  Are you saying that, in Georgia, just so we set this up, they built up this scam corporation so she could avoid the Son of Sam law, so she could get half of the profits, but in Georgia it applies?  So chances are really good, when they go to court, she’s not going to be able to get a dime from this, right? 

BOURLON:  Joe, I don’t know if they did this for that purpose, but I know that the North Carolina statute and the Georgia statute both say in that very last paragraph, “Don’t think you’re going to avoid this statute by creating a power of attorney or a corporation.” 

BLOOM:  Then he’s a party to a fraud, too.  Then why’s he entitled to any money?

BOURLON:  There isn’t a fraud—Lisa, she pled guilty. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, if it’s a fraudulent document, then what does the court do?

BLOOM:  He can’t be party to a fraud. 

SCARBOROUGH:  The court throws the document out, and he keeps the money. 

BOURLON:  This is how this is going to work.  Let’s say...

BLOOM:  Why does he get the money if he’s a party to a fraud?  No.

BOURLON:  ... she gets her $250,000, Lisa.  She gets it.  She’s going to have to turn it right back over to the Georgia Board of Victims.  That’s the law.

BLOOM:  That’s fine.  That’s a good think.  As far as I’m concerned, let her repay the community for the costs that they incurred because of what she did.  That’s a win for everybody. 

(CROSSTALK)

BOURLON:  This woman gives lawyers a bad name.  I’d be ashamed to even participate in that case. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  And I’ll tell you what, Lisa, I say don’t get it back to the state of Georgia.  Let the poor schmuck who was humiliated get the money. 

BLOOM:  He’s a schlemiel, Joe.  You’re using the wrong Yiddish world.

(CROSSTALK)

BOURLON:  He was humiliated in the entire world.

BLOOM:  Wrong Yiddish word.  Don’t use that word.

SCARBOROUGH:  Despite this nose, I’m not Yiddish.  Anyway...

BLOOM:  It’s schlemiel is what you have to say.

SCARBOROUGH:  Schlemiel, what does that mean?

BLOOM:  Schlemiel.  He’s the guy that, like, gets the soup spilled on him.  He’s the guy that she runs out on.  He’s a schlemiel.  The other word you’re using...

SCARBOROUGH:  Don’t tell me what it means. 

BLOOM:  ... is a little off-color.

SCARBOROUGH:  I don’t want to know. 

BLOOM:  You don’t want to use that.

SCARBOROUGH:  So what do I call Barbra Streisand?  You were at the concert last night.  What do I call her?

BOURLON:  Rich?

BLOOM:  I would call her a better singer than a comedian, Joe.  Her skits were not funny, and I’m somebody who would enjoy a good George Bush joke.  Unfortunately, she didn’t have them. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And that’s what I heard, and that’s what the “New York Times” said.

Hey, Lisa Bloom, thank you.  John Bourlon, thank you so much, too.

And breaking news, as Lisa said, out of the entertainment world tonight:  Barbra Streisand hates George Bush.  Babs performed in front of a star-studded crowd at New York’s Madison Square Garden last night.  And the highlight?  When “Yentl” cursed out a heckler who had enough of her Bush-bashing routine. 

“Access Hollywood’s” Nancy O’Dell was there and has that story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST:  Got to go, yes.  I’m a big fan of Barbra’s.  I’ve never seen Barbra Streisand in concert. 

NANCY O’DELL, “ACCESS HOLLYWOOD” (voice-over):  Oprah Winfrey had no idea what she was in store for at Streisand’s sold-out Madison Square Garden concert last night.  Babs sang “Happy Days are Here Again” with a President Bush impersonator Steve Bridges and performed some funny banter, not unusual, part of the show.

BARBARA STREISAND, SINGER:  You’re so good you could give up your day job.

O’DELL:  But hecklers in the audience didn’t think it was so funny. 

One man shouted, quote, “What is this, a fundraiser?”

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I was a little upset, because he kept going on and on.  I mean, he wouldn’t let her do her show. 

O’DELL:  Carol Carpa (ph) was sitting about three sections away from the heckler.  Finally, Streisand shot back, saying, quote, “Why don’t you shut the (bleep) up?  If you can’t take a joke, why don’t you leave and get your money back?” 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We said, “All right, girl, you go.”

O’DELL:  The crowd agreed with Carol, cheering Streisand.  The man got up and left, and Streisand apologized to her fans, saying, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have lost it.”  Barbra was also heckled in Philly for the sketch, but didn’t respond there.

WINFREY:  I had to leave my own party to go see Barbra. 

O’DELL:  Oprah and her friend, Gayle King, had rushed out from an earlier party celebrating the brand-new Hearst Tower, where Oprah told Tim she has a corner office.  They left shortly after 7:30 to make Barbra’s 8:00 curtain. 

Also in the audience with the heckler, Tony Bennett, Barbara Walters, and Rosie O’Donnell.

JOY BEHAR, HOST, “THE VIEW”:  I heard that Streisand let him have it.

ROSIE O’DONNELL, HOST, “THE VIEW”:  She sure did, but we’re not going to talk about it today, because Barbara Walters was there, and she’s going to be here tomorrow.  She wants to talk about it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  That’s great.  I mean, isn’t it great?  Oprah and Gayle were there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, how nice.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, isn’t that nice?  That’s all I’m saying.  Where was Steadman?  I mean, Gayle was there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He’s not a fan. 

SCARBOROUGH:  He’s not a fan.  OK.  No, I’m just curious, because why is it that those two are always together?  What’s that about? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (INAUDIBLE)

SCARBOROUGH:  What did Rosie say about them? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I didn’t hear. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I didn’t either.  OK.

Coming up next, our interview with rock legend Sheryl Crow.  She comes to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to tell us what she’s doing to help Democrats win Congress in November.  And what about President Crow?  We’ll ask her.

And later in “Hollyweird,” Dr. Phil needs some counseling on how to be a good neighbor.  Why Dr. Phil’s TV house for addicts, racists and other misfits had to be shut down.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

SCARBOROUGH:  What’s your favorite Sheryl Crow song? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  “I Just Want to Be Happy,” or whatever it is. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  A big fan from way back.  I like that.

Grammy award-winning singer Sheryl Crow, you don’t know—you just don’t know music. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Sorry, no.

SCARBOROUGH:  You just know TV.

Sheryl Crow is in New York City tonight presenting the T.J. Martell Foundation humanitarian award to former President Bill Clinton.  Now, this foundation raises money for AIDS and cancer research.  And, of course, Bill Clinton has done an amazing amount of fundraising for AIDS.  But Sheryl Crow is a breast cancer survivor.  She’s also very involved in politics, always has been.

And I asked her, though, how her life changed since her cancer diagnosis.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHERYL CROW, MUSICIAN:  Any time you’re given a diagnosis or your life is changed by an epiphanal moment, that really sort of redefines how you approach the rest of your life, whether it be—obviously, we’ve seen a lot of catastrophes go on in our country this year, with people losing their homes in Katrina, and those are the moments where you really redefine what your life is going to look like. 

And it seems as though everything stands still and life doesn’t look or feel the same again.  And, obviously, my cancer was caught so early that my message, really, to women of all ages, even young women, is self-examinations, knowing your family history, and making sure you’re diligent about getting your mammograms, because that’s really why I escaped having to have chemo or further treatment so far.  I’m six months clear. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let’s talk about politics.  You and Bill Clinton also have something some common.  You’ve been campaigning in your home state of Missouri.  Tell me about it.

CROW:  Yes.  Yes.  Well, big race in Missouri.  I’m from southern Missouri.  I grew up in Kennett.  And a senatorial race right now between Jim Talent and Claire McCaskill is very heated up, and I think it’s one of the—really one of the Senate elections to watch throughout the country. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you feel a responsibility as a musician, as a public figure, to be involved in politics, or would you be doing the same thing were you still a school teacher in Missouri? 

CROW:  Absolutely.  I was involved in politics when I was a school teacher and John Ashcroft was in office.  And, you know, there was a lot of legislation passed in Missouri that cut funding for teachers and for classrooms.  And so I’ve always been extremely involved in it.  And when I turned 18, I was thrilled to be able to vote. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you get a lot of brush-back from fans for being involved in politics? 

CROW:  You know, I do.  But, for the most part, I guess around President Bush’s election against Gore, I had quite a lot of information on my Web site that was heavily backed up.  In fact, I remember you talking about me on your show about what the difference was between what happened with the Dixie Chicks and what happened with me. 

And I’m really careful about the way I present my opinion, because I think for me it’s just more important that people really get the information and that they educate themselves and not just buy into what it is that’s constantly being battered around on TV. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you ever foresee doing a purely political CD? 

CROW:  I’ve written political songs in the past.  For instance, I wrote a song called “Redemption Day” that came out on my second or third record.  And, you know, it’s interesting, because people will hear it.  And if it isn’t a pop song, it doesn’t really—it’s not like the old days where people felt like anthems were being written for them. 

I am more interested in doing it now, because I’m much more less consumed with what’s going on in pop radio.  I think what’s happening in our business—although I feel like it’s slightly karmic, it is what it is.  It’s a failing business.  And we have to figure out new ways to get what I feel like should be messages with integrity out to the American people, or to people in general, because the people are starving for it.  You know, they really are, I think, ready for that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And let me ask you about the industry you’re in.  How have you been able to succeed in this type of environment when others haven’t? 

CROW:  Well, I think what’s going on in the music business is really reflective of the times.  There’s so much money in business that music now has become part of commerce.  The record labels now depend on advertising dollars coming through commercials and through TV programs.  And what we felt like in the old days was something you would never do, like selling out to a commercial, now has become the norm for getting your music heard, because radio will only play six or eight songs in an hour.  And then the next hour, they play six or eight songs, and it’s the same six or eight songs.

SCARBOROUGH:  Where do you want to be in the future?  Do you want to stay in the music industry?  Do you think you may ever get involved...

CROW:  I’m going to run for president, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  ... in politics.  You want to run for president?

CROW:  I can say it right now.  I’m going to run for president.

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  That is awesome.  What year? 

CROW:  Oh, jeez. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You think you might want to get...

CROW:  By the time I run, the planet will have blown up. 

SCARBOROUGH:  No, no, no.  Well, Florida may be underwater...

CROW:  Florida might be underwater.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, but what are you going to do? 

CROW:  I just am going to write about it; that’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to do what I know how to do, and that’s try to make some sense of it and try to give some sort of commentary to it.  And hopefully that will resonate with people, because I think we all experience the same emotions, and we are all experiencing what’s happening right now in the world as a collective. 

And I’m going to write about it, and I’m just going to try to maintain a modicum of peace in my personal life and integrity in my very public life, and go from there. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Sheryl.  Well, good luck.  Thanks so much. 

CROW:  Thank you. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  All I want to have is fun.  What was that?  You are just...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You could warn me sometime.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know what?  Don’t even talk—don’t even talk any more. 

“Hollyweird.”  It’s weird enough in here, but “Hollyweird” is coming up next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  There’s the song.  Now, that’s what I’m talking about, Michael.  You don’t know jack about music, but I got a good song.  Look at this.  Look at this 1970s thing right there? 

All right, gas up the private jet.  Michael’s even doing it.  That’s worse than Tucker’s dancing.  Welcome to “Hollyweird.”

First up, Dr. Phil’s neighbors say not in my backyard.  The “Dr. Phil Show” shut down the Dr. Phil house after angry neighbors complained.  Take a look at what they had to deal with. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. PHIL, TV HOST:  I have a camera here.  I have one here.  There is a camera in every room.  We have six people that hate each other, and they’ve never even met.  An intervention like you’ve never seen before.  Twin girls addicted to crack and heroin.  It’s raw; it’s real—I’m talking to you, right here, right now—and it cannot be missed.  You said, if you’re not white, you’re not right. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Boy, I’ll tell you, bring that to my neighborhood, huh?  With us now, we got “Star” magazine’s Jill Dobson.  Also from “InTouch Weekly” Michelle Lee. 

Jill, my god, wouldn’t you love those people next door?

JILL DOBSON, “STAR” MAGAZINE:  Oh, yes, come on in.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  What’s wrong with Dr. Phil?

DOBSON:  Well, Dr. Phil’s idea was he’ll be right there, he’ll have these cameras, and he can intervene whenever there’s a problem going on, but the neighbors, of course, weren’t too thrilled to have all the people who have the biggest problems in America moving in right into their neighborhood. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, Michelle, we’re talking about crack addicts, we’re talking about bigots.  This is dangerous stuff.  He had to know this wasn’t going to work.  What’s wrong with this guy?  He’s a runaway beer truck. 

MICHELLE LEE, “INTOUCH” MAGAZINE:  Absolutely.  I mean, this is like the dirty side of reality TV, basically.  We’re all fine watching it on TV, but as soon as these people come into our back yards, we don’t want these crazy freaks around. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But he’s supposed to be a counselor.  Is this not even a little low for Dr. Phil? 

LEE:  This has got to be one of Dr. Phil’s lowest points.  Of course, I’m sure there will be something next week that will even top that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And speaking of low points, “Playboy’s” Hugh Hefner may still be going to bed with lovely ladies, but these days he says all they’re doing is playing dominos.  Is the dream over, Michelle?  Is it over?

LEE:  It looks like the dream is over.  I mean, Hef had these quotes saying that he’s bored with sex, he’d rather play dominos with his three young girlfriends.  I mean, he tries to kind of keep the hope alive.  He was on Viagra.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, keep hope alive.  Keep hope alive.

LEE:  He tried to do it.  But apparently, at 80 years old, it is finally over. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, he announces that he’s bored with sex the same week that he’s opening up some sex joint in Las Vegas, right?  That’s the way to bring them in. 

DOBSON:  Yes.  This past weekend, he opened up the Playboy Club in Las Vegas, which is meant to be a place to come, gamble, see beautiful ladies, do some celebrity spotting.  And you’d think he’d want to promote his brand as, you know, very sex-oriented.  And here’s the place to come get.  Instead, he’s like, “Nope, dominos.”

SCARBOROUGH:  Sex is dull, so go into the back room, pay more, and you get to play dominos. 

DOBSON:  That’s right.

SCARBOROUGH:  In Japan, dominos big, also Tom Cruise.  He gets his own national holiday?  What’s up with that?

DOBSON:  That’s right.  They love Tom Cruise in Japan. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Why?

DOBSON:  His film, “The Last Samurai,” really went over very well in Japan, and he apparently went and researched the role, spent a lot of time there, spends lots of time with his fans.  We’ve seen him on the red carpet here.  He’ll spend hours signing autographs and all of that.  People love him in Japan, and they’re rewarding him with his own day. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And the thing is, at 5’6”, he’s not really that short over there, right?

OK, so if we’re keeping score at home, in France, they love Jerry Lewis.  But in Japan, they love Tom Cruise. 

LEE:  And in Germany, they love David Hasselhoff. 

SCARBOROUGH:  The Hoff.  And we’re going to be talking about the Hoff in a second.  Thank you so much for that segue, though.  That was a good one.  But we’ve got to talk about Britney Spears.  She wants to class up her act.  She wants Annie Leibovitz. 

LEE:  She does.  Apparently, Britney was blown away by the “Vanity Fair” cover that Annie shot of Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, and their baby, Suri.  She just thought it was the most elegant and sophisticated thing that made them look really great, so Britney has reportedly asked Annie Leibovitz to shoot her and her new baby, Sutton. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And the big difference is, of course, you know, Cruise, his family is hot, and they also—they don’t always carry around a half-eaten drumstick. 

Let’s talk about the Hoff.  He’s getting hotter and hotter, and he’s got his own fragrance?  What’s this about?

DOBSON:  Yes, he’s putting out a line of colognes and perfumes.  And his quote was, “What better way to start your day than by spraying yourself with me and then heading out to face the world?”  What more can I say?

(CROSSTALK)

LEE:  ... all sorts of images that I just don’t need.

SCARBOROUGH:  Exactly.  Yes, jump in my car, baby, and spray me all over you.

Thank you, Michelle.  Thank you so much, Jill.  Greatly appreciate it.  That’s all the time we have for tonight.  We’ll see you tomorrow in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

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

END   

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

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

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,