updated 10/24/2006 10:54:23 AM ET 2006-10-24T14:54:23

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Terrorists tape the assassination of 10 servicemen in Iraq, the images of terror replayed on CNN.  Here‘s Anderson Cooper introducing the self-described exclusive video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR:  So tonight, you‘ll see how some Americans in Iraq are getting killed.  The killings were videotaped by the insurgents and made available to CNN.  There is no doubt the footage is disturbing to watch.  Our decision to run it has not been taken lightly.  This story, shocking as you may find it, is one that we believe needs to be told.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  And they did tell it by showing the murders of Americans.  Now the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and other Republicans want CNN banned from Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DUNCAN HUNTER ®, CA:  For CNN to be the publicist for a propaganda film by the terrorists is unacceptable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This is nothing short of a terrorist snuff film!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  This is not the first time conservative supporters of this president have tried to pressure news outlets from running controversial images of the war.  Less than a year after the invasion, ABC‘s Ted Koppel came under withering criticism for simply showing snapshots of U.S. casualties while they were still alive.  And throughout the war, the administration‘s tried hard to prevent images of flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq, fearing those scenes would dampen wartime morale.

Now, my position in both cases was to show the images, for if Americans couldn‘t bear to view the pictures or coffins of our men and women killed in Iraq, then they couldn‘t bear to continue waging this deadly war.  But now, with the airing of a terror outfit‘s propaganda film, has CNN finally crossed the line?

We ask tonight political analyst Lawrence O‘Donnell.  He‘s executive producer of “The West Wing.”  Also media analyst Steve Adubato, an author of “Make the Connection,” and NBC political analyst Patrick Buchanan.

Lawrence O‘Donnell, did they go too far?

LAWRENCE O‘DONNELL, POLITICAL ANALYST:  I don‘t think they did, Joe. 

I think this is a borderline question.  I could see one news organization deciding not to use this and another news organization deciding to do it.  They did say it was going to be gruesome, it was going to be difficult to watch.  The audience was warned about it.  And this is what‘s happening in Iraq.

They did cut to black.  They faded to black before you see the soldier actually killed.  You hear a shot ring out, but they pulled back.  They did not show this unedited.  But it is part of what this war is, and the fact that the insurgency is videotaping what it is doing is also part...

SCARBOROUGH:  The question, though, of course...

O‘DONNELL:  ... of what this war is.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... Lawrence, is whether we would show propaganda films of our enemies in other wars, whether you‘re talking about the Vietnam war, Korea...

O‘DONNELL:  Yes, I think we should.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... or World War II.

O‘DONNELL:  I think—absolutely.  I think if they were making propaganda films, I would want to see what are the propaganda films that they are making.  I would want to hear that.  I would want to hear what Tokyo Rose was saying.  I can make my own judgment about what that is.  That is news.

And now, the reason not to do it, and the only news reason not to show

there‘s no news reason not to show it, but there is a human reason, and that is the victim‘s family.  That‘s a very serious consideration...

STEVE ADUBATO, MEDIA ANALYST:  Joe?

O‘DONNELL:  ... and I would take—I would take that into consideration, but I‘m not sure that that would control the final decision for a news organization.

SCARBOROUGH:  Steve, I hear you wanting to get in.  I mean, I guess a problem a lot people have might have with this is that, actually, the terrorists gave the tape to CNN.

ADUBATO:  Absolutely.  There are a couple of things, Lawrence, and then let me just tell you how I see it.  First, it is said that the first casualty of war is truth.  Now, it is a painful, difficult truth, and most Americans don‘t really have a sense of what war is, the pain, the gruesome nature of it.  But at the same time, I‘ll say this about CNN.  There is no date.  There is no time.  There is no actual location.  There is no verification.  So I‘m not sure what their motives are.  I‘ll assume for a moment that their motives are to show, as they say, the quote, unquote, “unvarnished truth.”  The problem is, when you can‘t verify when footage comes from the people who gave this footage to CNN, right, what is the arrangement?  What did they agree to show?  What did they not agree to show?  CNN can‘t verify it.  I have a serious problem with that.

SCARBOROUGH:  And this is what Anderson Cooper had to say the night after the video aired and they came under withering criticism themselves.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER:  Well, we made a tough call last night when we chose to air a report from Michael Ware showing sniper teams shooting at American troops.  We did it knowing that it might disturb you.  We know because it certainly disturbed us, as well.  How can anyone look at the images of Americans being literally being hunted on the streets in Iraq and not feel terror and sorrow and outrage?  Not to show it, however, we think does a disservice not to just the truth but to the sacrifice of nearly 3,000 men and women.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat Buchanan, CNN‘s saying that what it did was actually a tribute to servicemen who died over in Iraq.  What‘s your take?

PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Oh, cut it out, for heaven‘s sakes!~  This is an assassination of American soldiers, a series of assassinations of American soldiers.  It‘s not news!  It shows how these people went about killing these Americans.  It is a propaganda film for the enemy to encourage the enemy and show what a fine job they‘re doing killing the imperialist invaders.  That thing should not have been shown.

But worse than that, Joe, what about the reaction—the president of the United States—sons and daughters—these are our fellow Americans over there, and the president is their commander-in-chief.  What does he have to say about CNN, presumably an American network, showing films of how these soldiers who are under him are being taken down and killed and shot to death?

I mean, look, if they‘re going to play the Al Jazeera game, they ought to be treated like Al Jazeera on the battlefield and in the White House and everywhere else!

ADUBATO:  Joe?

BUCHANAN:  I find this really—I mean, this is appalling!  Look, I‘m not for this war.  This is a snuff film, is what it is!

ADUBATO:  Pat?

BUCHANAN:  I heard it on a radio show—yes?

ADUBATO:  But Pat, if it‘s a snuff film—and listen, I have my problems with CNN on this and I‘m sort of mixed about it, but I‘ll say this.  If it‘s truly a snuff film, as the congressman said before and as you‘re saying now, why black out the actual moment when the bullet allegedly—and I have to say allegedly—strikes the target, an American soldier?  You don‘t see the face.  You don‘t see the name.  Why black it out?

BUCHANAN:  Why would you show...

ADUBATO:  I don‘t think you should.

BUCHANAN:  Well, turn that around!  Turn that around!  Why would you show—here‘s where we‘re going, here‘s just about where we got him and here‘s where we got him and we‘re not going to (INAUDIBLE) Why would you show the rest of this stuff?  What is the purpose of that?

ADUBATO:  Well...

BUCHANAN:  Is that news?

ADUBATO:  Well...

BUCHANAN:  You said yourself we don‘t know where or when...

ADUBATO:  Pat?

BUCHANAN:  If this was a battle—yes?

ADUBATO:  Pat, when the Defense Department in 1991 provided during the first Gulf war to all the networks that were around—provided the so-called video, raw video of the smart bombs, they said 90 percent hit their target and 90 percent missed their target.  And I‘m not comparing the Department of Defense to these—these insurgents in Iraq...

BUCHANAN:  Well, look...

ADUBATO:  ... but the fact is, when you can‘t verify raw footage, I have a serious question as to whether you should go for it, regardless...

BUCHANAN:  But look, I...

ADUBATO:  ... whether it‘s CNN or anyone else.

BUCHANAN:  Well, I can understand why Americans—we show our guys going into combat.  During World War II and things like that, you didn‘t show American dead, blown apart on the battlefield!  You didn‘t show Japanese—I mean, suppose you‘d gotten film of the Japanese setting up an ambush of an American parole, then you had put it on TV—or put it on in the United States in newsreels, they would have shut down the movie theaters!

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me bring in Lawrence O‘Donnell.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second, Lawrence.  Pat brings up World War II.  Obviously, one of the top movies this week is Clint Eastwood‘s “Flags of Our Fathers.”  I remember reading that book two, three years ago and being stunned by the descriptions of the terror that our troops went through.  And I was thinking, as I was reading “Flags of Our Fathers” about all these Americans being cut in half by Japanese artillery that if we had 24/7 newscasts, we may not have won that battle.

I mean, is it a good thing...

O‘DONNELL:  Well, I think...

(CROSSTALK)

O‘DONNELL:  I think we would have.  See, Pat is presuming that every American in the audience has a certain reaction to this, presuming that this is a propaganda film, meaning that the insurgents can change my mind about what‘s going on in Iraq by showing me this video.  If we had news coverage of Pearl Harbor, it would have incensed Americans.  It would have helped with enlistment.  It would have made people run into the military saying, We want to go fight this.

Now—so you can‘t insist...

BUCHANAN:  But Joe—excuse me, Lawrence...

O‘DONNELL:  ... that showing soldiers being killed is somehow helping the enemy.

BUCHANAN:  Lawrence, look—well, look, Lawrence, look, why would the other side make this film?  It‘s to show their guys...

O‘DONNELL:  Pat...

(CROSSTALK)

O‘DONNELL:  ... more sympathetic to the enemy in Iraq?

ADUBATO:  No, it makes them look offensive.

(CROSSTALK)

O‘DONNELL:  Do you think there‘s an American out there who‘s more sympathetic to the enemy in Iraq...

BUCHANAN:  I‘ll tell you...

O‘DONNELL:  ... having seen this, or do you think everyone out there is outraged at the enemy in Iraq, having seen this?

BUCHANAN:  I think everybody out there is outraged that CNN is showing this!  I know Americans...

O‘DONNELL:  No, they‘re not.

BUCHANAN:  ... are being sniped and killed!

O‘DONNELL:  No, they‘re not.

BUCHANAN:  And look—listen, I‘ll tell you!  Anybody with any kind of spleen and heart who watches and hears this guy‘s creeping up and shooting this American kid to death, who...

(CROSSTALK)

O‘DONNELL:  You don‘t see anyone killed in the video!

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Don‘t tell me people aren‘t (INAUDIBLE) on CNN on this!

O‘DONNELL:  Thousands of American soldiers...

BUCHANAN:  Let me ask you, Lawrence...

O‘DONNELL:  ... have been killed in Iraq.

BUCHANAN:  Be objective~~!

O‘DONNELL:  We have not seen one of them...

BUCHANAN:  Be objective!

O‘DONNELL:  ... killed yet.  We still haven‘t seen it.

BUCHANAN:  Be objective, Lawrence!

O‘DONNELL:  This person is not shown being killed.

BUCHANAN:  All right, look, stop talking for a second and listen!  What do you think the reaction of Americans who see this?  Because I‘ll tell you what‘s going to be most of them.

O‘DONNELL:  I think they‘re outraged at the insurgency.

BUCHANAN:  They‘re outraged at CNN for doing it!  I worked for CNN.  I like the place.  I think Anderson Cooper‘s a good guy.

O‘DONNELL:  Do you think—do you think Americans don‘t think...

(CROSSTALK)

ADUBATO:  Guys...

O‘DONNELL:  Do you think anyone doesn‘t think we‘re being shot at this way?

BUCHANAN:  Oh, for God—you know better than that!

ADUBATO:  One second, guys!

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, guys...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on.  Hold on.  Why don‘t we bring (INAUDIBLE)  I‘m going to read what a CNN executive had to say.  But first, before I say that, I do find it interesting listening to this debate that while it‘s OK for us—hold on!  Hold on!  While it‘s OK for us to show—possibly show these insurgents killing our troops, there are a lot of news networks, a lot of news executives, including the last one that worked at MSNBC, who was our former president, who wouldn‘t let us show images of 9/11 because he thought it was too disturbing for American viewers, and yet it‘s OK for CNN to show these terrorists...

ADUBATO:  It‘s a great point, Joe...

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Let me say something!  Let me say something, Joe!

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on.  Hold on.  I want to read what the CNN executive who worked on Anderson Cooper‘s show had to say.  And I‘m not judging Anderson Cooper or CNN yet.  I want to finish this debate.  He said, “Our goal, as always, is to present the unvarnished truth as best as we can.”

I—I—you know what, thought?  I don‘t want to judge him, but I think that‘s a load of crap!

ADUBATO:  I don‘t buy it, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  Because there‘s a—there‘s a lot of unvarnished truth that we don‘t see.  We haven‘t seen Americans falling to their death on September 11 because it may offend the sensibilities of viewers.  We don‘t see people being executed...

(CROSSTALK)

O‘DONNELL:  Joe, we saw everyone in those planes killed!

ADUBATO:  Joe, we have the footage of Nick Berg...

O‘DONNELL:  We saw the moment everyone those airplanes was killed by hitting the World Trade Center.

ADUBATO:  Lawrence—Lawrence, but there was footage...

O‘DONNELL:  And we‘ve all seen it hundreds of times.

ADUBATO:  Lawrence, but there...

O‘DONNELL:  Hundreds of times.

ADUBATO:  Lawrence, you know and I know and Pat and Joe knows that there‘s footage of people jumping from the World Trade Center.  There‘s absolutely no reason to see it because it...

O‘DONNELL:  How many times have you seen the Zapruder film?

ADUBATO:  Listen...

O‘DONNELL:  How many times have you see the Zapruder film...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  One second, guys.  We‘ve got to let one person talk at a time.

BUCHANAN:  Well, let me talk...

SCARBOROUGH:  Steve, finish your thought.

ADUBATO:  Here‘s my point.  Not only don‘t we see the people jumping from the World Trade Center, we don‘t see the beheading of Nick Berg.  We know it happened, but we don‘t see it.  Even though it‘s the unvarnished truth, the reality is, CNN and most networks understand it‘s horrific and we don‘t need to see it, but we know it happened.  I‘m not convinced that CNN‘s motives were the right ones here, even though I‘d love to see Americans to see more of the truth in this war because we‘d have a more realistic view.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Go ahead, Pat.

O‘DONNELL:  Do we need to see President Kennedy‘s head blown off again?

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on, Lawrence, please!

O‘DONNELL:  How many thousands of times...

SCARBOROUGH:  Lawrence—Lawrence~!

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Lawrence...

O‘DONNELL:  Every network has shown President Kennedy‘s head being blown apart.  Every one.

SCARBOROUGH:  Lawrence O‘DOnnell, I‘m going to—OK, Lawrence, I‘m not going to give you your last 15 seconds.  Pat, you wrap it up because Lawrence took his.  Go ahead.

BUCHANAN:  I will.  Look—look, “the New York Times” has a saying, “All the news that‘s fit to print.”  I don‘t to want to see those guys falling out of that tower.  I don‘t think American people should see it.  We know it happened.  What‘s wrong with this is this is not news.  This is a little propaganda piece.  It‘s titillating.  It‘s exciting.  And it‘s appalling and disgusting because it shows people have no concern or care!  All they‘re going for—they‘re going for titillation.  They‘re going for audience.  And to show this type of thing—and frankly, I object to the government of the United States—these are our soldiers, whether you like the war or not...

SCARBOROUGH:  All right...

BUCHANAN:  ... and you shouldn‘t show this sort of thing!

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, we‘ve got to go, but Lawrence, I want to give you 15 seconds uninterpreted.  Go.

O‘DONNELL:  Look, it‘s—the Army is at war, America isn‘t.  You talk to anybody in the Army, they feel that they are enduring suffering that the rest of the country doesn‘t know about.  This is taking the country closer to that suffering.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  And the Army does believe that.  I hear it every day.  Lawrence O‘Donnell, Pat Buchanan, Steve Adubato, thank you so much.  We appreciate it.

And coming up next: The global sex trade is deadlier than ever.  Next, an NBC undercover investigation that busts an American man in Asia who mistakenly thought he was beyond the long arm of the law and “Dateline‘s” Chris Hansen.  he was wrong.  Our disturbing hidden camera investigation next.

Plus: Heather Mills‘s smear campaign against former Beatle Paul McCartney and secret audiotapes and new claims that McCartney beat his first wife, Linda.  The latest on that billion-dollar battle coming up.

And why Stephen Colbert is the most feared man in Washington.  All that and more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, it‘s considered among the top destinations for the child sex trade, but now Cambodia is under intense international pressure, forcing the Southeast Asian nation‘s government to crack down.  NBC‘s Chris Hansen has the exclusive story of an American predator who thought he had escaped the long arm of justice but instead found himself uncovered by a “Dateline” sting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS HANSEN, “DATELINE” (voice-over):  This remote seaside down in Cambodia is the perfect place to get away from it all, or hide out if you‘re fugitive.  Behind these gates, this exclusive hidden camera footage reveals a fugitive, a sex offender from Oregon sexually exploiting a young girl.  His name is Terry Smith.  He did prison time in the early ‘90s for a sex crimes involving a 13-year-old Oregon girl.  Then he was charged in a second sex abuse case six years ago but fled the country.  This summer, human rights investigators got a tip Smith was running a bar in Cambodia.

Gary Haugen, head of the International Justice Mission, says predators like Smith are drawn to poor countries with weak law enforcement.

GARY HAUGEN, INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION:  They‘re interested in not only committing these crimes but being able to do it with impunity.  And that‘s why they‘re drawn to a place like Cambodia.

HANSEN:  We first met Haugen and his investigators three-and-a-half years ago in Cambodia.  He found children as young as 5 being sold for sex.  Working with Cambodian police, Haugen‘s team mounted an undercover operation that led to the rescue of three dozen young sex slaves and the arrest of a dozen adults exploiting them.

Since then, Haugen‘s group has helped the Cambodians step up their efforts against child sex traffickers.  The group‘s chief investigator, Bob Mosier (ph), has sent in a team with hidden cameras to check out Terry Smith behind the locked gates of his bar, Plamp‘s (ph) Palace.

BOB MOSIER, INVESTIGATOR:  They have a happy hour between 5:00 and 7:00 at night and that there are now—there are showgirl dancers.

HANSEN (on camera):  Showgirl dancers?

MOSIER:  Showgirl dancers.

HANSEN (voice-over):  Smith vets his customers before letting them in. 

They‘re offered a drink.  Then out come those showgirl dancers, first playing pool, the cue stick‘s taller than the girl.

(on camera):  These girls were 12 and 13 years old.

MOSIER:  That‘s correct.

HANSEN (voice-over):  Mosier says Smith, thinking he was with like-minded people, admitted he was wanted in Oregon, explained how he trained the young girls in his bar.

MOSIER:  He would show these children pornographic videos and when—after watching the videos, he would have these children perform these sexual acts on him as training.

HANSEN:  He says Smith offered to sell the girls for sex for $15.  Smith apparently told the girls to dance for the customer, first with their clothes on, then, shockingly, with their tops off.  This bar owner in the same town says Smith didn‘t exactly hide what he was up to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He went around, walking around town with the two girls in his hand, running from bar to bar, saying, This is what I‘ve got in my bar.

HANSEN:  The human rights group took the evidence to the Cambodian authorities.  This police officer arrested Smith and his girlfriend and says he found tapes Smith made of himself in several Asian countries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator):  I believe that he didn‘t violate only these girls here, I believe he violated many other girls.

HANSEN:  But after just a few weeks, Smith was let out of jail for medical reasons.  Last month, he resurfaced at the U.S. embassy in Cambodia, looking for a new passport.  Instead, he was rearrested.  On October 14, U.S. marshals escorted Terry Smith home to the U.S. to finally face those charges back in Oregon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  And since U.S. marshals removed him from Cambodia, Terry Smith has been in federal custody awaiting extradition to Oregon.

Still ahead, next on “Must See S.C.,” Fox News‘s interview with George W. Bush, not exactly a Clinton-style showdown.  We‘ve got the “Saturday Night Live” clip for you next.  And later, new developments tonight on an incredible story, quite an ending for a man with a rare form of amnesia who had no clue who he was or where he was from.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, wake up Aunt Ethel, it‘s time for tonight‘s “Must See S.C.,” some video you just got to see.  First up: Talk about a softball interview, President Bush and Brit Hume on “Saturday Night Live.”  Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  According to one recent study, the number of Iraqi civilian casualties may run as high as 600,000.  Some also claim that the United States has been unable to provide the Iraqi civilians with any lasting security.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, that‘s right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So Mr. President, considering all these factors, my question to you is, Can we win this war in Iraq?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Absolutely, Brit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That‘s good enough for me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you, Brit.  Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Just a little different from the Clinton interview.

And finally, much has been made over North Korea‘s alleged nukes, but Jon Stewart points out a little known benefit for the North Korean people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON STEWART, “THE DAILY SHOW”:  The nuclear test marked a huge domestic coup for Kim.  North Koreans learned of their country‘s triumph from a Pyongyang‘s lone news ticker.  And then it was party time!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hey, everybody, we‘re all going to get laid!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up, new claims in Paul McCartney‘s divorce says the former Beatle beat his first wife, Linda.  Will the smear campaign against Sir Paul do permanent damage to his reputation?  And next: Who‘s afraid of Stephen Colbert?  The answer?  Just about every politician in D.C.  We‘ll look at why it‘s tough for candidates to get the last laugh, even when they don‘t appear on “The Colbert Report.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s amazing, 24 years.  Coming up, just when you thought Paul McCartney‘s divorce couldn‘t get any uglier, new allegations from Heather Mills‘ camp that Paul not only beat her, but also beat his beloved first wife, Linda.  And she says there are tapes to prove her claims.  Whatever. 

Later in “Hollyweird,” K-Fed takes on the Bard, the latest news that‘s got Shakespeare turning over in his grave. 

Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Those stories and more, straight ahead.  But first, even with the midterm elections just about two weeks away, some politicians are refusing to take free time on the wildly popular show, “The Colbert Report.”  Why?  Well, according to the “L.A. Times,” some candidates simply fear looking dumb.  The show boasts an audience of over a million people every night, many of them young voters, but questions like these give campaign managers the chills.  Take a look. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, “THE COLBERT REPORT”:  Let‘s talk Detroit. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes. 

COLBERT:  Do we still need it? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Absolutely. 

COLBERT:  Have you ever seen a naked woman? 

Congressman, how does this feel? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It doesn‘t matter to me. 

COLBERT:  You should have that looked at. 

You‘ve been called the Mike Tyson of the House of Representatives.  Whose ear would you like to chew off?  How about this one?  I‘ve been told this one looks tender.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Here‘s Bob Kohn.  He‘s the author of the book “Journalistic Fraud.”  Matthew Felling, media director for the Center for Media and Public Affairs.  And Steve Adubato, media analyst and author of the book “Make the Connection.”

Steve, I want to start with you, because you actually have clients who you tell to swear off “The Colbert Report.”  Why? 

STEVE ADUBATO, MEDIA ANALYST:  Yes, I want to make it clear, Joe:  My clients are not politicians.  I only coach people in the corporate world. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But if they were politicians, would you let your candidate go on that? 

ADUBATO:  No.  No.  Joe, you know—one of your former colleagues, I guess, Congressman Robert Wexler, Democrat in Florida.  He was running unopposed, so Colbert‘s people said, “Oh, come on the show, say anything you want.  You‘re running unopposed.”  So he said, “OK, I enjoy coke and prostitutes.  They‘re a lot of fun.” 

How about this?  Congressman Westmoreland from Georgia comes on.  He‘s sponsoring legislation to have the Ten Commandments placed in the U.S.  Capitol.  So Colbert says, “Could you name a few?”  He names three, can‘t remember the other ones.  He looks like a jerk.

The problem is, you go on the show, you better be a professional, you better be able to laugh at yourself, you better have a sense of humor.  Most of my clients don‘t.  Most members of Congress, Joe, don‘t.  You went on the show.  You did great.  You‘re the exception.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, let‘s look at a clip from my old friend from south Florida, Robert Wexler.  Boy, he got in trouble falling into Colbert‘s trap. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLBERT:  I enjoy cocaine because...

REP. ROBERT WEXLER (D), FLORIDA:  It‘s a fun thing to do. 

COLBERT:  You do it.  “I enjoy cocaine because it is a fun thing to do.”

WEXLER:  I enjoy cocaine because it‘s a fun thing to do. 

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT:  “I enjoy the company of prostitutes for the following reasons.”

WEXLER:  I enjoy the company of prostitutes for the following reasons. 

Oh, because it‘s a fun thing to do. 

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT:  OK.  Much like cocaine. 

(LAUGHTER)

WEXLER:  Much like cocaine.  If you combine the two together, it‘s probably even more fun. 

COLBERT:  Wow!  You realize there is no amount of damage control for you at this point.  We better finish this interview quick, because I‘m not sure how long you‘re going to be in Congress. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  I have no idea what he was thinking.  Bob Kohn, should politicians stay away from this man?

BOB KOHN, AUTHOR, “JOURNALISTIC FRAUD”:  Well, most of them should, but it‘s not because of what Colbert does.  It‘s what happens in the mainstream media afterwards, how they take it out of context. 

The people watching the show, watching the “Colbert Report” already have the context.  They get the joke.  And I think a lot of the congressmen serve themselves by going on the show.  I think they endear themselves to the audience.  It‘s what happens afterwards that‘s a lose-lose situation. 

Either you‘re going to be made fun of or you‘re going to be made to say something stupid that will be taken out of context.  It really is lose-lose.  I think the advice is, don‘t go on, unless you‘re immune to what happens in the mainstream media.  If you were John McCain, for example, who is used to going on these shows—he‘s been on Jon Stewart‘s show.  He‘s been on Dennis Miller.  He‘s a funny guy.  And nothing could be taken out of context for him.  They can‘t make fun of him on the mainstream media.  But take an unknown congressman, and watch out.  He probably shouldn‘t be on the show. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And Robert Wexler is one of those who‘s actually pretty well-known, and he‘s a liberal Democrat, and yet he got skewered in the press.  You know, though, choosing not to go on “The Colbert Report” isn‘t always a safe route either.  Take a look at what happened when Republican Congresswoman Sue Kelly turned down Colbert‘s interview request. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLBERT:  I wanted to interview her, but like Velveeta, she melted at the first sign of heat.  So instead I sat down with her challenger, John Hall, the fighting Hall. 

I oppose everything that you stand for, but you were willing to talk to me and your opponent, Sue Kelly, was not.  So let‘s move your numbers right here.  Let‘s smear your opponent.  Just pick a card.  These are smear cards.  Pick any card at all.  There you go.  What‘s say? 

JOHN HALL (D), CANDIDATE FOR HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:  My opponent smokes marijuana. 

COLBERT:  That‘s a bold accusation that I think that someone in the press ought to pick up and at least find out about, because it‘s out there now.  It‘s out there now that Sue Kelly smokes pot.  That‘s just out there. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You know...

COLMES:  DEA, check out her house.  Look for grow lights and hydroponics.  I‘m not saying it; he is. 

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Matthew Felling, it‘s a lose-lose situation.  So, you know, the thing is, when I hear people say that these politicians shouldn‘t go on the “Colbert Report,” I think about on Sunday nights watching the British prime minister take some of the toughest questions imaginable.  And he‘s able to answer all of them.  And I just sit there going, “Well, gee, are U.S. politicians so stupid they can‘t answer tough questions or they can‘t go on a comedy show without endangering their political career?” 

MATTHEW FELLING, THE CENTER FOR MEDIA AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS:  Exactly.  I wish I could be your other two guests when I grow up.  I would love to be able to go on TV and tell everybody else not to go on TV.  It‘s a great job move, I think. 

I think that the “Colbert Report” is a win-win.  It‘s not a lose-lose, because the people who watch these shows are 100 percent cynical.  You are the boob.  You are the politician who is going to be made a fool of.  And if you do anything at all possible, it‘s like the Washington Generals scoring a hoop on the Harlem Globetrotters.  And...

ADUBATO:  Yes, but, Joe, it‘s not about—that‘s not the way it

works.  And the reality is—it was said earlier that the comments get

taken out of context.  That‘s ridiculous.  Everything is taken out of

context, because in the 24/7 media world that we live in, in the Internet -

no, on the Internet, you know, driven media situation we have, any excerpt, YouTube, anywhere else, is going to be taken.  So you‘re telling me...

(CROSSTALK)

KOHN:  That‘s why you don‘t—it‘s something that‘s outrageous taken out of context.  That‘s why you don‘t do it.  But I would actually say what‘s happening on the Colbert show is a good thing for democracy because it increases transparency.  You‘re not going to get those kind of ridiculous questions from a normal interview from a Brit Hume, for example.

ADUBATO:  Joe, it‘s a goof.  It‘s not good for democracy.  It‘s just fun. 

KOHN:  Oh, are you kidding?

ADUBATO:  It‘s just fun!

KOHN:  Oh, no, this is a real form of media criticism.  You can‘t discount it.  There are people who watch the show—you get the real person.  When you ask a person some ridiculous question, you get the real person. 

ADUBATO:  Joe, he‘s talking about the real person.  Stephen Colbert is not even a real person.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second.  Let me bring Matthew in here. 

Matthew, go ahead. 

FELLING:  Sure.  I would much rather be somebody who‘s talking to Stephen Colbert on YouTube or something, because then everybody knows that Colbert has set you up.  I‘d much rather be that person than be George Allen saying “macaca” in front of an actual audience and have that run a thousand times.  People are wise to the Colbert phenomenon.  That‘s why I think that politicians should just go on and have fun with it. 

KOHN:  Not everybody.  If you watch the show, you got the context.  If

you watch it on YouTube, you got the context.  If you see a headline that

says, “Congressman tells Colbert he smokes marijuana,” a lot of the public

he‘s got about an audience of a million people.  There are 50 million people in this country.  There are a lot of people who don‘t know who Colbert is and wouldn‘t get the joke.  So it can be taken out of context, and that‘s what‘s dangerous.  And that‘s why they don‘t go on the show.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, let me show you a clip.  I was on earlier, and this clip was replayed so much on YouTube, it‘s just absolutely remarkable.  Look at this clip. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  ... on the Republican side of the aisle, I am the first guess you‘ve had here that‘s actually seen this show. 

COLBERT:  Really? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Every night, my wife and I, huge fans. 

COLBERT:  Wow. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘ve got people in the audience, by the way, that are

just waiting for a good hiss.  You just hear them go—you just hear them

draw it in, draw it in. 

COLBERT:  Why would they—why would they want to hiss? 

SCARBOROUGH:  I don‘t know.

COLBERT:  Why do you want to hiss?

SCARBOROUGH:  There you go.  For some reason, as conservative as you are, you‘ve got a kind of cranky, liberal crowd. 

COLBERT:  No, not at all. 

(APPLAUSE)

No, they are cheering for you.  That hiss is just the first letter of “Scarborough.”

SCARBOROUGH:  SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Oh, OK, OK, because I could have sworn it was for “Karl Marx.”

(END VIDEO CLIP)  

SCARBOROUGH:  Matthew Felling, just played them like a drum, right? 

FELLING:  Exactly.  All this segment is, is a commercial for you for saying, “Hey, everybody follow my lead.  I‘ve got the playbook for beating Colbert.”  We‘re wise to you. 

ADUBATO:  Joe, you‘re right.  The best defense is a good offense.  But I‘ll say it before—not to kiss your butt, because I‘m your friend and I‘m on the show—but that is not how most congressmen, that is not how most members of the corporate world handle themselves in the media.  They‘re too stiff.  And if they weren‘t, it would be a hell of a lot better and a lot more fun.  But don‘t say it‘s good for democracy.  It‘s just good for entertainment.  Let‘s just call it what it is.

KOHN:  These interviews are 2 ½ hours long, and they will just splice the heck out of them.  So the message to all politicians is the YouTube lesson:  You are always on camera.  You are always live, and stay in character, no matter what, even if he makes you feel like you can let your guard down. 

ADUBATO:  You‘re right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So don‘t say—in the end, I guess the lesson is, don‘t say that you like snorting coke and hanging out with hookers. 

(CROSSTALK)

FELLING:  No cocaine or hookers. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, OK, very good.  Let me write that down. 

ADUBATO:  Same here.  I‘m against both, Joe.  I‘m against both. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And coke.  Bob, you‘re against hookers and coke, too? 

KOHN:  No comment. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, very good.  You‘re in San Francisco.  We‘ll let you go with that. 

Bob Kohn, Matthew Felling and Steve Adubato, thank you so much for being with us. 

Coming up next, Paul McCartney‘s divorce gets nastier with secret audiotapes.  We‘ll show you that, when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Forget love.  All you need‘s a lawyer and a good P.R.  agent, and it‘s shaping up to be a nasty, nasty divorce for Paul McCartney and Heather Mills.  Now that bitter battle has sunk to a new low in the British tabloids, after unnamed sources close to Heather Mills claimed former Beatle Paul abused his first wife, Linda. 

That is so outrageous.  The tabloid covers are splashed with details of secret audio recordings that Heather‘s camp says supports her allegations of abuse.  So who is behind the mudslinging?  Nina Nannar of our British broadcasting partner, ITN, investigates the tale of the tabloids. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NINA NANNAR, ITV NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  Another day, another astonishing round of headlines in the P.R. battlefield that is the McCartney divorce.  Unnamed friends, anonymous sources continue to feed the media what one party is alleged to have done to the other. 

After a week that has produced extraordinary claims of violence and abuse leaked by an unknown source to the media, the divorce gets more bitter at every turn.  And today, P.R. experts say the two parties involved are the ones losing out. 

Whilst Phil Hall, Heather Mills‘ P.R. representative and a former tabloid editor, has appeared on TV to defend her, neither Mills nor McCartney themselves have spoken in public to give their version of events.  But this media commentator says, despite their silence, both sides want to win the fight for public opinion. 

KEVIN O‘SULLIVAN, “SUNDAY MIRROR”:  One newspaper will have something very favorable towards Heather; another newspaper will have something very favorable towards McCartney.  And, you know, you know that their teams of people are briefing newspapers.  So there is this strange war going on where both of them are demanding that we like them. 

NANNAR:  This divorce then is not simply about the division of Paul McCartney‘s massive wealth.  And with months go before the case gets to court, more headlines in this increasingly acrimonious breakup are almost inevitable. 

Nina Nannar, ITV News.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  With us now, from “OK” magazine, Ruth Hilton.  Ruth, Heather Mills is now bringing in Paul McCartney‘s beloved wife, deceased wife, Linda McCartney, in this.  And I‘ve just got to say:  Has this woman no shame? 

RUTH HILTON, “OK” MAGAZINE:  I have to say, honestly, I find that so tacky.  It‘s like, whatever they may have to dispute, you know, to go after the—you know, to try and besmirch the image of someone who‘s actually dead and someone who is so beloved—and they did have one of the most beautiful marriages in showbiz.  We know that...

(CROSSTALK) 

SCARBOROUGH:  It was remarkable.  Yes, Ruth, I mean, they lived such an open life.  So often we sit back and try to project our own feelings or thoughts onto rock stars or movie stars, but Paul McCartney and Linda had an open, open marriage—I mean, millions and millions of people knew about it—and it was a great marriage, was it not?  I mean, the kids, you talk to anybody that knew them and they were just madly in love. 

HILTON:  They were madly in love.  I think they spent three nights apart since the moment they met.  I mean, it was one of those beautiful, beautiful marriages. 

And, you know, one of the things that I‘ve been told by people who are very close to Paul is that, really, he‘s only—the big grief of that enormous loss has only just started to hit him.  So it‘s all cascading down at the moment. 

He has kind of had a shock delay, you know, and obviously had this relationship with Heather and, by all accounts, he was very in love with her.  But, you know, that kind of marriage it‘s impossible to live up to.  And in some ways, you can feel a bit sorry for Heather, because all those years together, you can‘t replace the love, that kind of love.  That‘s a love of a lifetime.

And, you know, it‘s very sad, as you say, that this has to be brought up in court.  You know, they need to focus on what happened between the two of them.  Who knows what goes on behind closed doors in any marriage?  But this is...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  How is it breaking in Great Britain?  I would guess that Heather Mills now drawing this card out and throwing it on the table has got to make her extremely unpopular in London and across England. 

HILTON:  I honestly don‘t understand it.  You know, I mean, Heather has done so much good work for charity.  She really has recovered from a lot.  I don‘t—you know, this kind of thing, the kind of allegations that are being made, in the U.K. won‘t make any difference to the divorce settlement. 

The only thing that it obviously does change is the court of public opinion, and then also obviously what the custody arrangements for Beatrice must be.  And it feels so horrible that this 3-year-old child, I mean, who is celebrating her birthday right now, 3 years old, has to—you know, this is all going to be public record.  It‘s so painful that these—you know, that both sides, in fact, are having briefings throwing at each other.  It‘s really surprising, honestly, because, you know, why would they do it to each other?  Why would they do that to their child? 

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt about it.  Hey, thanks so much, Ruth Hilton.  I really do appreciate you being with us tonight.  And it is just such a sad situation, terrible situation.  But we will keep you all updated as it moves forward. 

And coming up next, Tyra Banks tries to have an Oprah movement, but she ends up looking like Tom Cruise.  Get ready to jump on the couch.  “Hollyweird” is next.  Don‘t do that.  Don‘t do that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, get your masseuse to make a house call, because it‘s time for “Hollyweird.”  First up, former model and current talk show host Tyra Banks, apparently she just can‘t contain her excitement when it comes to giving away beauty secrets.  Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TYRA BANKS, HOST, “THE TYRA BANKS SHOW”:  (INAUDIBLE) Yes, yes!

(INAUDIBLE)

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Good lord.  Here now, the host of VH-1‘s “Celebrity Fit Club,” Ant, and “US Weekly” editor-at-large Katrina Szish.

Katrina, it looked like a bad crack trip on daytime TV.  What was going on? 

KATRINA SZISH, “US WEEKLY”:  I have no idea.  It looks like Tyra was trying to pull an Oprah, but instead of that tiny little box, there being a set of—I don‘t know—car keys, it was a tub of Vaseline, albeit a bedazzled cup of Vaseline.  But I don‘t know.  If I were an audience member, I would have been just a little disappointed. 

SCARBOROUGH:  A little disappointed and a little scared.  Ant, it‘s got to be tough being Tyra.  I mean, Oprah gives away automobiles; she gives away like little containers of Vaseline. 

ANT, VH-1 HOST:  Well, I got to disagree with Trish.  You know, Tyra, I‘m a friend of hers.  She‘s baby Oprah right now.  When Oprah first started, she wasn‘t giving away cars.  She was giving away cupcakes and pizza.  Come on.  Give her a couple more years.

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, so you‘re giving her the benefit of the doubt. 

Fine.  Well, let‘s move on.

ANT:  I‘m giving her the benefit of the doubt.  She‘s showing she‘s got personality.  She‘s showing she can make a fool out of herself and poke fun at herself.  Go, Tyra, go. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, all right.  You sound like her P.R. agent. 

Good for you, boy.  Stand by your woman. 

Now, much to do about Kevin Federline.  Britain‘s “Sun” reports Mr.  Britney Spears is set to star in a Shakespeare movie.  Ant, what‘s next, Anna Nicole Smith playing Lady Macbeth? 

ANT:  I don‘t know.  How do you say “flop” in old English?  That is a disaster waiting to happen.  We should give the money they were going to spend on that movie to those Malawi orphans. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, you know, Katrina, let‘s talk about what this guy‘s been doing over the past couple of weeks.  He got slammed at a wrestling match.  He acted on, I think, an NBC show for about 15 seconds.  Or “CSI,” I‘m sorry, a CBS show.  We had nothing to do with him, nothing.  And then, of course, now he‘s talking about Shakespeare.  What‘s wrong with this guy? 

SZISH:  Well, you know, actually, I think K-Fed is trying very hard to find his place in this world.  He‘s tired of being known as Britney Spears‘ husband, so he‘s trying to find something he‘s good at.  And I guess if you‘re combining Shakespeare with hip-hop, somehow K-Fed seems like type of person to be involved, although Vivica A. Fox and Cedric the Entertainer are also involved.  So who knows?  This finally may be his calling.

ANT:  I have a solution for K-Fed.  If he wants to stop being referred to as Britney Spears‘ husband, divorce Britney Spears and get a talent. 

SCARBOROUGH:  There you go. 

And, Ant, also, a guy that‘s very talented, but he says he‘s over the hill, Russell Crowe.  Apparently, throwing phones takes a lot of energy, because 42-year-old Russell Crowe now says he‘s too old for action movies.  Do you buy that, Ant? 

ANT:  You know, I think Russell Crowe is too old for action movies.  I think he‘s too old to be acting the parts where he gets those young hotties, too.  You know, you‘ve got Harrison Ford who‘s, you know, pushing 65 years old, saying, “Look, I‘m ready to do Indiana Jones the sequel.”  So what‘s up with that guy? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Isn‘t that amazing?  What do you think is up with him, Ant? 

ANT:  You know, I think that he‘s just fat and lazy.  Hit the gym. 

Lay off the McDonald‘s, and you can do action films. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Katrina, do you think this is a career move by Russell Crowe, or does he really feel too old at 42? 

SZISH:  I think he‘s kind of realized he‘s made a ton of cash.  He is Russell Crowe, after all, and I think he really doesn‘t want to go to the gym anymore.  He doesn‘t want to have to worry about his physique.  He‘s kind of pulling an early Marlon Brando on us, and he‘s just warning us, “Hey, listen.  I‘m going to get fat.  I‘m still going to get paid a lot, and I‘m still going to be in these films, but just don‘t expect me to move around that much.”

SCARBOROUGH:  Get fat, get paid a lot.

ANT:  Yes, but the difference between him and Marlon Brando is Marlon Brando was still a great actor fat.

SZISH:  Well, you never know.  I think Russell might be able to pull it off.

SCARBOROUGH:  Got to leave it there.  Thank you, Ant.  Thank you, Katrina.  We‘ll see you tomorrow night 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.

transcript

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

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,