updated 1/5/2007 10:30:28 AM ET 2007-01-05T15:30:28

Guests: Steve Adubato, Heidi Bressler, Laura Schlessinger, Dawn Yanek, David Caplan

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight: Bill O‘Reilly says everybody—and I mean all of you, all of you in here—everybody hates President Bush.  There‘s not a single conservative at NBC.  He said it an hour ago.  Oh, really, Bill?  Well, we‘re going to hear Bill O‘Reilly‘s latest tirade against this network coming up.

But first, we are here in Washington tonight, where Democrats take back the reins of power.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  I accept this gavel in the spirit of partnership, not partisanship.


SCARBOROUGH:  Today, Nancy Pelosi walked into the history books, becoming the highest-ranking elected woman in U.S. history, just two heartbeats away from the presidency, the 110th Congress sworn in with pomp and circumstance.  But behind all the talk of unity, a partisan battle is brewing.  The issue, of course, that dominates, the war in Iraq.

Tonight, President Bush announced that he will make a speech next week announcing his plan for the war in Iraq.  That plan will almost surely include sending 20,000 to 40,000 new troops to that troubled land.  Now, the big question tonight in the nation‘s capital is whether the Democrats are going to use their new-found political power and capital to block Bush‘s plan.

Here now with insights on this historic day, Michael Crowley—he‘s senior editor for “The New Republic”—Anne Kornblut—she‘s with “The New York Times”—and “San Francisco Chronicle” editor Phil Bronstein.

Now, Michael, on this great day for Nancy Pelosi and the new Democratic majority, there really was only one issue out there, one issue that really sort of hovered over all other issues, and that was, What in the heck was Barney Frank doing in the speaker‘s chair?


MICHAEL CROWLEY, “THE NEW REPUBLIC”:  Cognitive dissonance.  I saw it on a TV, and it took me a minute to figure out what‘s going on.  You know, the House has gone upside down.  I mean, the whole mood in Washington is totally different today.  You walk around the House, and I think you were seeing Democrats were smiling and Republicans had long faces.  It‘s...

SCARBOROUGH:  When you see a picture like that—you know, you had made some reference, some basketball reference.  To me, it was like when I see O.J. Simpson running in a San Francisco 49ers uniform.  I was, like, What?

CROWLEY:  For me, it‘s...

SCARBOROUGH:  What‘s going on?  But Democrats have taken control, and of course, the issue, if you look at the polls, Iraq, Iraq, Iraq.  That really—they can talk about the 100 hours, what matters is what happens after the 100 hours.


SCARBOROUGH:  What are they going to do to stop the president‘s surge plan on Iraq?

CROWLEY:  Well, it‘s not going to be easy.  I mean, the president can tell the military to do what he wants it to do.  And they have—basically, their power is over public opinion.  They can‘t interrupt the order of the commander-in-chief, but what they can do is—they have the bully pulpit now.  They can hold hearings—Joe Biden in the Senate is going to hold days and days of hearings—drive public opinion, try to...

SCARBOROUGH:  But public opinion‘s already against him.  You can hold All the hearings you want, but if the president says he‘s sending 40,000 new troops to Iraq, the Democrats have some tough choices to make or else there are going to be a lot more Cindy Sheehans shouting at them.

CROWLEY:  Well, that‘s the problem that they face, Joe, is that they have a certain—there‘s a certain limit to their powers.  And there are some people who are going to want them to really do nothing but rail against the president, demand that he not do this, really kind of cause a scene.  And I don‘t think they‘re prepared to do that, as you‘ve seen from the fact that the first 100 hours makes no mention of the Iraq war.  I mean, I think they‘re not exactly sure what they can do and what they should do.  So it‘s not easy, and I think you‘re going to see more of the dynamic where you have a Cindy Sheehan kind of crashing their party.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  And Anne, a new Gallup poll shows Americans are

interested in one issue being resolved and that is Iraq.  Look at this poll

72 percent say Iraq is the top issue, economy 16 percent, health care 12 percent, immigration 10 percent, education a lowly 5 percent.  Anne, talk about Democrats, the mood in Washington today, and whether there‘s going to be a very short honeymoon, with a lot of little kids running around, before their own Democratic base demand real changes on Iraq.

ANNE KORNBLUT, “NEW YORK TIMES”:  Well, it‘s interesting.  I already heard some grumbling in the elevators today from, you know, all the Democratic supporters who are out here, especially from San Francisco, asking the question, Are the Democrats going to cut off funding for the war in Iraq?  Can they prevent...


SCARBOROUGH:  And you heard that on day one?

KORNBLUT:  Before the swearing-in this morning.

SCARBOROUGH:  And let me take you back 12 years.  I promised my staff I would never talk about when I was in Congress...

KORNBLUT:  Oh, please.  Indulge us.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... but my first day—my first day—I had been told by people in my district, Follow around David Dreier.  David Dreier‘s the only true conservative up there, votes against all the funding bills.  The first day, I get off the elevator and somebody pulled me aside from my district and said, You see David Dreier voted on that first vote?  Stay far away from him.  Stay far away from him!


SCARBOROUGH:  And it‘s already happening here, right?

KORNBLUT:  Oh, yes.  Absolutely.  So I think you will see—I mean, the first 100 hours is going to knock off some of the other, I would say easier issues, although they‘re also issues that they ran on in November.  You know, we saw today ethics reform was already out there.  They‘re putting freshmen out on the floor to talk about issues that they know won big in November.

Iraq is much more difficult and I think made more so by the fact that you have, you know, 9,000 people in the Senate running for president, and all of them are going to take a position, especially the Democrats who are running, that‘s careful not to make them look soft on foreign policy.  I think the biggest nightmare for some of the Democrats in the Senate would be a Democratic Party that looks as though it just wants to—the words from 2004 -- cut and run.

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s a problem.  Phil Bronstein, San Francisco‘s own Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said that the president had the responsibility to put forth a new plan in Iraq.  She said it was his responsibility, but it looks like he‘s not going to do that, he‘s going to call for 20,000 to 40,000 more troops.  So what does Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats do to challenge him next week?

BRONSTEIN:  Well, first of all, Joe, they didn‘t have a plan before, during the election.  Actually, they had about eight plans.  So they don‘t have to worry about in that at the moment because, as your guest pointed out, it‘s the president who conduct war policy, not Congress.

There‘s a bigger issue, however, that‘s important for us at this precise moment, and that is what‘s all this Baltimore stuff?

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, exactly!

BRONSTEIN:  What was all this stuff about Baltimore?

SCARBOROUGH:  I was going to ask you.  I mean, is she from the City by the Bay or is she from, like, the Inner Harbor?  I was confused.

BRONSTEIN:  Well, I was confused, too, especially since I think I‘m only one of three people in San Francisco who‘s not back there for the inauguration.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, there‘s a reason.  You weren‘t invited.

BRONSTEIN:  Thank you for pointing that out.


SCARBOROUGH:  Exactly.  Why do you think that is, though, that Nancy Pelosi embraced her Baltimore roots today, instead of talking about San Francisco, the city and certainly the region that helped catapult her to the speakership?

BRONSTEIN:  Well, I think now she‘s in a position to not pay any attention to those “San Francisco values” commercials that the Republicans were putting out to try and dissuade people from voting for Democrats.  So I think now—you know, it‘s a sentimental moment.  Her family is there.  You know, there‘s a political history that goes back to her grandfather, her father, her brother in Baltimore.

But the truth is, is that she—you know, today she‘d rather be a grandmother from Baltimore than, you know, another nut from San Francisco, although we kind of like those nuts.  And in fact, if you look at it, you‘ve got Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, George Miller, Tom Lantos.  I mean, the San Francisco Congress is really a powerful Congress back there, the delegation from San Francisco.

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘ll tell what you, there are a lot of nuts in that group that you mentioned, and I love them all.  I saw George today, George Miller.  That really is something.  George Miller is going to be able to defund oil companies‘ royalty relief.  And you can talk about Barbara Boxer.  She‘s going to be taking up global warming.  And of course, Dianne Feinstein is going to be a real power in the United States Senate over the next two years.  Yes, San Francisco has an extraordinarily powerful delegation, and I know they‘re all proud of them.

Now, Ann, you were actually in the chamber today to see Speaker Pelosi take control.  From your vantage point, do you think it finally hit Republicans today, after a year of mocking the San Francisco liberal—Oh, the Speaker from San Francisco, and then they all laughed—nobody‘ll ever make her Speaker of the House—do you think it finally hit them today, Oh, my God, she‘s holding the gavel, we really underestimated her?

KORNBLUT:  Certainly, from the looks on their faces, and actually, in some of their rhetoric.  It was interesting hearing them have to applaud her and really having to recognize the historic nature of the day, that is the first woman Speaker.  They haven‘t been able to knock her yet, although they are already complaining about the lack of bipartisanship.  They were, in fact, before the day even started.

But certainly—I mean, we were talking earlier, the Republican side of the chamber was relatively empty—haven‘t seen that before—and the Democratic side was full of not only Democrats but also their legions of children and grandchildren that they brought in...

SCARBOROUGH:  The entourages were all there on the Democratic side.  I walked in the chamber and was sort of, What‘s going on with the Democratic side?  Is somebody—did somebody pass out?  Are these medics?  No, they were people over there.  They were happy.  And you go to the Republican side, and I sat down with my former Republican colleagues—very quiet.

And I‘ll tell you, I will say this about Pelosi‘s speech, also, Speaker Pelosi‘s speech, you know, because I am—despite what Bill O‘Reilly says, I am now a journalist and I try to play it down the middle as much as possible.  I tried not to stand up and applaud, but there were a couple of lines that she said, I just had to stand up and applaud, Whether you‘re talking about supporting the troops or whether you‘re talking about we‘re all Americans or whether she was talking about the fact that this is a historic moment for women.  I mean, as the father of a 3-and-a-half year old daughter, she really struck all the right chords with Americans today.

CROWLEY:  Yes.  And it was funny.  Anne, you made me think of this, and it goes to what you just said, the Republicans realizing who‘s the boss now.  And during her speech, there were some moments where—because Democrats have chosen some very popular issues—their early agenda is very shrewd—she during her speech would lay out some of these agenda points, and the Democrats would stand up and applaud and the Republicans would have to rise up.  But in some cases, these were things Republicans had not been in favor of.  One of them is this “pay as you go” rule, where...


SCARBOROUGH:  We used to be for it...

CROWLEY:  Well...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... until we took over all of Washington, then it was a bad thing.

CROWLEY:  Yes.  In days that now seem prehistoric, compared to the Republican Party we know.  But Pelosi said no more deficit spending, pay as you go.  And Roy Blunt and all these other guys are getting up and clapping.  I mean, they blew a huge hole in the deficit over the past six years.  We had a surplus until they started ramming through their tax cuts.  And they were thwarting Democratic attempts to install—to create “pay as you go” rules in the last couple years.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, not only that...


CROWLEY:  ... they got to stand up and applaud it because she‘s in charge.

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s always a wonderful moment.


SCARBOROUGH:  When Bill Clinton used to say it, you know, everybody kind of stared.  Do we stand up?  He just said we love Jesus and the Constitution.  OK, we got to stand up.  But we don‘t want to.

And Phil, you‘re talking about budgets.  I think it is so hypocritical of this White House to be talking about the need for a line-item veto, to be talking about the need of stopping pork barrel spending and stopping earmarks...


SCARBOROUGH:  I‘ve got to say this again—yes, exactly.  I got to say this again.  I vote for George Bush twice.  I supported this war.  And yet everything they seem to be doing now is so hypocritical and goes against everything Republicans are supposed to stand for.  Where were these Republicans over the past six years?

BRONSTEIN:  You know, you could be a San Franciscan.  You could actually be a San Franciscan with that point of view.  Let me just point out...


BRONSTEIN:  Bill O‘Brien (ph) -- yes, we spend no money out here.  Bill O‘Brien concedes you‘re a journalist, Joe, he just thinks you‘re a liberal journalist.

SCARBOROUGH:  Of course.  Of course.  So what do you think about the president‘s sudden sort of new-found belief in cutting the deficit, in balancing the budget, in line-item vetoes?  Do you think Americans are going to buy that, Phil?

BRONSTEIN:  I think—he‘s reading the polls.  I think it may be a little past the time where the majority of people in this country are going to buy that kind of shift.  It‘s a little like the Iraq war, when—you know, when suddenly, the president says, Well, OK, maybe it‘s not a success, maybe it‘s less of a success than we‘d like.  I think it‘s a little late for that.

SCARBOROUGH:  And do you think the Democrats—you talk about all the different plans the Democrats have.  Do these Democrats dare to defund the president when he wants to add 20,000 to 40,000 new troops to Iraq?

BRONSTEIN:  No, but I think your guests are right.  I think it‘s the noise, it‘s the public opinion, it‘s the spin.  And you know, when you have the gavel, as Nancy Pelosi does, you can control the hearings.  And I think it‘s going to be important.  You‘re right, public opinion is already against the president, already against the war.  But I think—and the Democrats, as long as they‘re in Congress, don‘t have to come up with a specific plan to end it, but they can certainly put the squeeze on the White House.

SCARBOROUGH:  And what do you think, Anne, is going to happen next week?  The president‘s going to come out, he‘s going to make his plan to add 20,000 to 40,000 new troops.  Do you think the Democrats are going to be a little less hostile towards him than Republicans were early on to Bill Clinton?  What‘s your feeling about how they respond to Nancy Pelosi?

KORNBLUT:  I wouldn‘t want to bet on that one.  I guess we‘ll have to see.  This will be the first real test of their leadership and their use of the bully pulpit, is the tone they choose to strike after the president speaks and whether they want to do something substantive on Iraq or not.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, we got ask—we‘ve got to (INAUDIBLE) quick questions.  How many children, Anne, I‘m just curious, were on the floor, the House floor today?

KORNBLUT:  You saw me counting.  There were—well, there were at least 76 kids on the Democratic side, including the five grandchildren that were piled on top of Nancy Pelosi, and a mere 41 kids on the Republican side.  But over 100 kids crowding into the House today.  It was really something.

SCARBOROUGH:  Even kids can smell a winner.

CROWLEY:  She had about 30 just up on the podium there at the end of the day...


SCARBOROUGH:  That was—you talk about shameless.


SCARBOROUGH:  Look at that.  You know what?  I can tell you, I teared up.  It was shameless.  And I wish we would have thought about it a long time ago.  That was a great image.

And finally, Michael Crowley, we‘re not usually together—how tall are you, by the way?

CROWLEY:  Well, Joe, if you go by an NBA player guide, I‘m 6-foot-2, but that might be...


SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s what you always say, 6-2.  We‘re going to...


CROWLEY:  Inside joke.

SCARBOROUGH:  Inside joke!  Thank you so much, Michael Crowley...

CROWLEY:  Thanks, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... Anne Kornblut and Phil Bronstein from Baltimore.  We appreciate it.

Coming up next: Bill O‘Reilly goes after NBC News again, saying everybody here hates the president.  That‘s right, everyone.  And he said a lot more in his latest rant.  And later: Talk about under attack, Trump loses his cool live on national television, saying he has no choice but to go after Rosie O‘Donnell.  We‘ll show you his morning TV tirade.  And later, the doctor is in with some advice, very unique advice for married couples.  Dr. Laura Schlessinger says less talk and more sex can save your marriage.  Now, that, my friends, is what we call advice.  Testify, baby!


SCARBOROUGH:  Bill O‘Reilly‘s at it again, saying just about an hour ago on his TV show that NBC News is, quote, “far left.”  Watch this.


BILL O‘REILLY, HOST, “THE O‘REILLY FACTOR”:  You have a major shift in a major news organization.  “Today” show, very powerful, Brian Williams‘ news, they have “Dateline NBC,” two cable networks.  It‘s a business decision to go to the left.


SCARBOROUGH:  And this follows earlier comments made on his radio show today that there‘s not a single conservative at NBC News and everyone at this network hates President Bush.  Listen to what else he said.


O‘REILLY:  Bush can‘t win, no matter what he does!  NBC News, “The New York Times,” “The Washington Post,” they‘re going to say he‘s an idiot.  There‘s no sense of balance or fairness in their reporting.  That‘s activist journalism!


SCARBOROUGH:  Bush an idiot?  I‘ve never said Bush is an idiot. 

Chris?  If I ever said—do you think Bush is an idiot?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Absolutely not.

SCARBOROUGH:  Absolutely not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We would never say that, nor have we ever said that.

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re a Connecticut Republican.  We are conservative people.  OK.  So my question is this.  Why does Bill O‘Reilly hate NBC so much?  Here‘s Bob Kohn—he‘s the author of the book “Journalistic Fraud.”  We also have Mike Barnicle.  He‘s columnist for “The Boston Herald” and an MSNBC contributor, so he, too, must hate George Bush!

Bob Kohn, why does Bill O‘Reilly hate me so much?  Why does he hate NBC so much?

BOB KOHN, AUTHOR, “JOURNALISTIC FRAUD”:  Well, I think Bill O‘Reilly would do well not to use unqualified terms like “everybody,” and I don‘t think that‘s the substance of what he‘s trying to say.

SCARBOROUGH:  But Bob, he did say, though, tonight, he said, There is not one conservative at NBC.  Bill knows that‘s a lie.  He knows he‘s attacking me when he says it.  He knows I‘m saying the same things now that I‘ve said for four terms in Congress and three years on TV.  Why is he lying about my record, to paraphrase Bob Dole?

KOHN:  Well, I said that he shouldn‘t—should not—do that, OK?  He should not use unqualified terms.  And maybe he‘s going overboard, I think, in saying “everybody.”  I don‘t think he‘s specifically accusing you.

SCARBOROUGH:  Isn‘t this really about—he‘s angry at Keith Olbermann.  He can‘t attack Keith Olbermann on the air anymore...

KOHN:  No.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... and so he‘s got to attack all of NBC.

KOHN:  No, no.  I think what he‘s saying is very specific examples of what‘s happening at NBC, and it is moving decidedly to the left.

SCARBOROUGH:  How‘s that?

KOHN:  To give you an example, the other day, this Richard Engel story that was on the “Today” show, on Brian Williams‘s show, and I think you repeated it just the other night—Richard Engel, the NBC News reporter, not a commentator, specifically said in his news report that the execution of Saddam Hussein was a PR disaster.  That was his opinion.

O‘Reilly is seeing NBC take opinion and put that into its news

stories.  That‘s the same criticism that he had—that I had, especially -

with “The New York Times” and others.  So what—he‘s simply a media watchdog, OK?  He‘s a media watchdog, and he‘s simply bringing...


SCARBOROUGH:  Why doesn‘t he watch himself?  I mean, Bill O‘Reilly gives his opinion every night.  I love the guy for it.  I love that he puts himself out on the line.  A lot of people hate him.  I‘ve got no problem with that.  Just like when liberals put themselves on the line, I love that, too.  I like people that fuel the debate.  What‘s wrong...


KOHN:  I don‘t have a problem with you or Olbermann or anybody else or Bill O‘Reilly expressing his opinion.  I don‘t think that‘s what the complaint is.  He is suggesting, and there are examples, clear examples recently, and one I just mentioned, of a news reporter at NBC biasing the news.  That‘s a problem.  I think he‘s got a good point here.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, so you‘re saying...

KOHN:  Using words like “everybody,” accusing you, I don‘t think that‘s correct.

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re saying...

KOHN:  I think he shouldn‘t do that.

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re saying that Richard Engel shouldn‘t be able to look at a situation I think most people would say was a PR nightmare?


SCARBOROUGH:  Today George W. Bush said he wishes it had been handled better.  The Pentagon was embarrassed.  The State Department was embarrassed by it.  A reporter can‘t say...

KOHN:  I think we can argue that point.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... this is a PR nightmare?

KOHN:  I think you can argue that point.  I think—because if you take this and put this into perspective, this was an Iraqi problem.  The Iraqis did it, OK?  This is a fledgling democracy.  We didn‘t do that with Timothy McVeigh because we got 200 years of democracy and experience.

SCARBOROUGH:  And all I‘m saying, you know...

KOHN:  That country...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... we can debate that.  And I don‘t mean to...


SCARBOROUGH:  I don‘t want to cut you off here, but I want to move on to another point, but we can debate that...

KOHN:  And it shouldn‘t be in a news story~!

SCARBOROUGH:  ... but don‘t attack...

KOHN:  It shouldn‘t be in a news story!

SCARBOROUGH:  But don‘t attack Richard Engel.  I don‘t think...

KOHN:  He‘s a news reporter!


SCARBOROUGH:  ... drawing a conclusion that the president‘s drawn and everybody else has drawn.

KOHN:  No, no.  He shouldn‘t be expressing his opinion in a news story.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.

KOHN:  That‘s a big problem.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, let‘s listen to what Bill O‘Reilly said about NBC‘s chief White House correspondent, David Gregory, earlier today.


O‘REILLY:  David Gregory, the White House reporter for NBC, was called out by Tony Snow a few weeks ago and said, Look, you‘re blatantly partisan.  That‘s what Snow said to Gregory.


SCARBOROUGH:  OK, and Mike Barnicle, again, I‘ve always defended Bill O‘Reilly on this show, up until he said we were Marxists, communists or whatever he‘s saying, we‘re against the war, we‘re against the president.  I‘ve supported this war from the very beginning, I just hate how stupidly it‘s been run.

What O‘Reilly didn‘t tell people, that was—that Tony Snow—again, I think a very good man—apologized to Gregory.  Now, take a look at what he said after calling Gregory partisan.


TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  You and I had a conversation last week that got a whole lot of play in a lot of places, where I used the term partisan in describing one of your questions.  And I‘ve thought a lot about that, and I was wrong.  So I want to apologize and tell you I‘m sorry.


SCARBOROUGH:  Mike, you know, Tony‘s a great man for doing that.  We all knew—as soon as “partisan” left his lips, we knew he had made a mistake.  But why would O‘Reilly go on today using words about Tony Snow that Tony Snow had retracted himself?

MIKE BARNICLE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Hey, Joe, I‘ll use the word “everybody,” as Bill did on his program, as in everybody has the right to have a couple of bad days and make a few mistakes in their life.  And Bill made a couple of mistakes here in his broad indictment of NBC News and right there of David Gregory.

The larger issue involved here that you were speaking with Bob about earlier with regard to Richard Engel—Richard Engel needs no defense or lectures on journalism from anyone.  Richard Engel is doing a terrific job at covering a very difficult war to cover.  And by labeling what happened with the Saddam Hussein execution as a public relations disaster is not opinion, it‘s fact-based.

KOHN:  Oh, come on!

BARNICLE:  It‘s fact-based.  And every...

SCARBOROUGH:  You don‘t know the difference between opinion and fact! 

Oh, come on!

BARNICLE:  And every—OK, you tell me why it wasn‘t a public relations disaster, Bob.

KOHN:  Well, we can debate it, OK?  I don‘t think that‘s the issue.

BARNICLE:  No, no.  No debate.  No debate.

KOHN:  I don‘t think...

BARNICLE:  You tell me why it wasn‘t a public relations disaster.

KOHN:  I don‘t think it was.

BARNICLE:  You accused Richard Engel—you accused Richard Engel...

KOHN:  I don‘t think it was a public relations—OK...

BARNICLE:  ... of injecting opinion into a news report.  Tell me why it was not a public relations disaster.

KOHN:  Let‘s talk about this.  Historically, OK, people are going to remember what Saddam did in his life, how many hundreds of thousands of people he killed, not how he died, OK?

BARNICLE:  No, no.  Let‘s talk about...

KOHN:  That‘s not going to be the issue.

BARNICLE:  Let‘s talk about you maligning Richard Engel.

KOHN:  OK, I‘m maligning Richard Engel because he‘s inserting his opinion in a straight news story.  “The New York Times”...

BARNICLE:  Tell me what...

KOHN:  ... does it all the time.

BARNICLE:  ... opinion...

KOHN:  That‘s a problem.

BARNICLE:  Tell me what opinion he inserted.  You are alleging that the Saddam Hussein execution, the way it was carried out, was not a public relations disaster?

KOHN:  All Richard Engel...

BARNICLE:  That‘s what you‘re alleging?

KOHN:  All Richard Engel had to do was say that somebody else said. 

He could have quoted people.  He could have asked people what they said.  But because he says it and because “The New York Times” says it and other people start repeating it, it becomes a public relations disaster.

I actually think it‘s the opposite.  I think it was a brilliant thing that happened.  As a matter of fact, it was the best thing that...

BARNICLE:  You do?

KOHN:  ... could have happened for Iraq—absolutely—because what the president of Iraq was trying to do was to show, in telling Bush, No, I‘m not going to delay the execution, I‘m going to do it now, he was...

BARNICLE:  How old are you, Bob?

KOHN:  No, don‘t start...

BARNICLE:  How old are you, Bob?

KOHN:  Don‘t start the ad hominem attacks.

BARNICLE:  Let me tell you...


KOHN:  Let me give you my argument, OK?  Let me finish what I‘m having to say.  Because the president of Iraq wanted to demonstrate to the world that he is his own man.  You may not agree with that, but he‘s trying to have his own public relations expression to the world that, I‘m going to make this decision.

BARNICLE:  All right...

KOHN:  Now, he made it.

BARNICLE:  ... here‘s the reality...


KOHN:  I don‘t think it was a disaster!  I think this was good for history...

BARNICLE:  Bob, here‘s...


BARNICLE:  Stop the shouting.  Here‘s the reality of it.  The way he died made Saddam a folk hero among savages whose only intent is to kill Americans.  So more Iraqis are going to have more resolve to try and kill more Americans because of the way Saddam Hussein was executed, like it was a chapter in “Deadwood” HBO!

SCARBOROUGH:  And I‘ll tell you what.  In the end, I guess the thing that made me the most angry about it is not because I‘m a liberal, it‘s because I‘m a conservative.  It‘s not because I oppose our troops, it‘s because I support our troops, because I represented our troops for eight years on the Armed Services Committee!  The people who are going to be suffering on this aren‘t people at Fox News or MSNBC, they‘re going to be the 19-year-old kids that are going to be touring Sunni neighborhoods, trying to keep things in order, and getting blown up because of the sectarian violence that‘s going to continue ripping apart the country, probably at a more intense pace because of the sloppy way that execution was handled!  I think it was a disgrace.  I think it was a PR disaster.  But that‘s just my opinion.

Bob Kohn, thank you for being with us.  Mike Barnicle, thank you for being with us.

Bill O‘Reilly, just attack Rosie.  You‘re way off base on MSNBC, on NBC and certainly on me.  And I challenge you to debate me anytime, anyplace, anywhere, and find one thing I have said on this program over the past year that is not consistent with the conservative congressman who was against military adventurism when I was in Congress, that was against exploding deficits, that was against reckless spending and against turning Congress into the type of swamp that we Republicans have turned it into over the past six years!

That doesn‘t make me liberal, that makes me conservative!  That may make you, though, a suck-up, if you defend the Republicans that have done that to this country and to our party over the past six years!

Can‘t we all just get along?  We‘ll be right back.


SCARBOROUGH:  Angry Joe has left the building.  Happy Joe is here to bring you tonight‘s “Must See SC,” video you‘ve got to see.

First up, after Saddam‘s execution, more information surfaced about the former dictator, namely, he liked rap music.  Take a look at this lost Saddam single.  




SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, that‘s beautiful.  And, finally, Jay Leno shows us why all those annoying commercials can sometimes be effective, and how some companies are trying to imitate them. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Head On, apply directly to the forehead.  Head On, apply directly to the forehead.  Head On, apply directly to the forehead.  Head On, apply directly to the forehead. 

JAY LENO, HOST, “THE TONIGHT SHOW”:  Well, see, other companies saw how effective that was, and they‘re adopting it for their product. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Big Mac, apply directly to your ass.  Big Mac, apply directly to your ass.  Big Mac, apply directly to your ass.  Big Mac is available at restaurants nationwide.


SCARBOROUGH:  You know, it‘s funny because it‘s true.  Still ahead, it‘s a new day for the same old Donald.  He gets all worked up on the air, saying he has no choice but to attack Rosie.  That explosive interview straight ahead.



SCARBOROUGH:  My main man, Trump, loses it in front of millions on morning TV with the premiere of the new season of “The Apprentice” just days away.  But Donald‘s now lashing out at the media, saying he‘s had enough of questions about his feud with Rosie.  And now he just wants to talk about his TV show. 

Take a look at his reaction to Meredith Vieira this morning on “The Today Show.”


DONALD TRUMP, HOST, “THE APPRENTICE”:  It‘s not that I want to do it.  It‘s not that I want to waste my time.  I‘d love people to stop asking me questions.  I mean, here we are talking about “The Apprentice” and you don‘t talk about “The Apprentice.”  You talk about Rosie.


MEREDITH VIEIRA, HOST, “THE TODAY SHOW”:  Wait, wait, wait, I‘m going to talk about “The Apprentice.”  But you...

TRUMP:  Then you shouldn‘t mention them in the same breath.

VIEIRA:  Well, but you‘re fueling the fire with it, with Rosie. 

TRUMP:  Excuse me.  But you asked me a question about Rosie.  What am I going to just say, “Meredith, I have no comment.  I don‘t want to talk about Rosie.”  You just said Rosie.  So what am I going to do?

I‘d love not to talk about her.  She‘s not worthy of talking.  And, you know, you asked me the questions.  Every time I go on an interview, people ask me about Rosie, so I respond by saying she‘s not very intelligent, which she‘s not.  She‘s had many failures in her life, which she has.  And I respond.  And I get on this show, which is about “The Apprentice,” and the first question you ask me is about Rosie.  And I love you very much, but what are we wasting time for?

VIEIRA:  But it‘s also what everybody‘s talking about.  And...

TRUMP:  Well, you‘re asking me, “Why do I talk about Rosie?”  Now you‘re saying that‘s what everyone‘s talking about.  So give me a break.  You can‘t have it both ways. 


SCARBOROUGH:  You can‘t have it both ways.  Exactly.  Here now to talk about, former “Apprentice” candidate Heidi Bressler.  She‘s the director of advertising for “Trump” magazine.  And also, MSNBC media analyst Steve Adubato. 

Steve, the Donald says you can‘t have it both ways.  What do you think? 

STEVE ADUBATO, MEDIA ANALYST:  I think Donald meant that Meredith can‘t have it both ways, and he didn‘t realize that he may not have started this fight, but he‘s fueled this fight.  Donald says he only responds to questions.  Joe, we know that‘s not true. 

He picked up the phone and called Larry King.  He‘s picking up the phone and reaching out for certain celebrity shows and calling her a fat pig and a slob and ugly and her girlfriend probably wants him and she‘s a loser. 

He started it.  He‘s driving it.  And from a public relations point of view, I‘ve got to say, Heidi, your former boss, or your boss right now, they say he‘s a P.R. genius.  I think he‘s been a boob in all this, because he‘s made it worse.  And now he can‘t focus on “The Apprentice,” because you can‘t turn off the spigot, Heidi.  It‘s too late. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Go ahead, Heidi.

HEIDI BRESSLER, FORMER “APPRENTICE” CANDIDATE:  Well, I agree with that.  If it were not for this feud, no one would even know “The Apprentice” was airing on Sunday.  So it‘s genius. 

ADUBATO:  Wait a minute.  But don‘t you see?  People are turning against Donald.  And actually Rosie, by shutting her mouth, Joe, and after that last blog I guess about 10 days ago, the window of opportunity has closed for Trump.  About a week ago, if he had shut his mouth and acted like a gentleman, and I said it here before, he could talk about “The Apprentice.”  Now there‘s less interest in “The Apprentice.”  And, by the way, Heidi, more people are not going to watch because he‘s got a feud going with Rosie.

BRESSLER:  No, no.  That‘s not true.  She‘s not talking about it because she has a boss to answer to.  Barbara probably said, “Cool it.”  Donald has no one to answer to.  He can do whatever he wants. 

ADUBATO:  He has no one to answer to? 

BRESSLER:  No, who does he have to answer to?  He‘s his own boss.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, though, Meredith Vieira did ask Trump today if he thinks some of his insults crossed the line.  Take a look at what he said.


VIEIRA:  You called her crude.  And the reason I ask that...

TRUMP:  Crude?  She‘s more than crude. 

VIEIRA:  Well, you also have called her a fat pig.  You called her desperate.  You called her a lot of things. 

TRUMP:  Excuse me.  Excuse me.  Am I being honest? 

VIEIRA:  Well, but it‘s very derogatory comments.  And if you‘re calling somebody crude...


TRUMP:  Well, she said I had bad hair. 

VIEIRA:  Well, come on.  Bad hair versus fat pig?

TRUMP:  OK, she said I had bad hair.

VIEIRA:  Whatever.

TRUMP:  I don‘t know.  Which is worse?  I think I‘d rather probably be fat. 



ADUBATO:  Come on, Joe, you‘ve got to be kidding me.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, I want Heidi to defend that.  Heidi, go ahead, defend your boss. 

BRESSLER:  Exactly.  Well, you know what?  The bottom line is, he‘s going to say what he wants to say.  And he‘s at least honest about it.  And you know what? 

ADUBATO:  But Heidi? 


ADUBATO:  Our job is to analyze what he says and how it‘s being perceived in the public.  Let me ask you this:  If you didn‘t have the relationship...


ADUBATO:  ... what would Donald have to do for you to say, “Hey, he really didn‘t handle that well and he blew it”?  What would he really have to do for you to say that.

BRESSLER:  He‘d probably have to fire me again. 

ADUBATO:  But, Joe, I don‘t work for him.  And whether I worked here at MSNBC or not, I‘ll tell you, he‘s handling it poorly. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Heidi, though, hold on a second here.  I guess the point is this.  When he first started going after Rosie O‘Donnell and sort of insulting her, that was one thing.  But it‘s getting so harsh and it‘s gotten so personal that even people that have always disliked Rosie O‘Donnell are now being made uncomfortable.  Does Trump have nobody around him to say, “Hey, Donald, you need to shut your mouth, cool it”? 

BRESSLER:  No, but I don‘t think they are saying that.  At the end of the day, people are paying attention to Donald.  I guarantee you this fight will dissolve by next week after “The Apprentice.”  Everyone wants to tune in to see the Donald, because...

ADUBATO:  No, they don‘t. 

BRESSLER:  Yes, they do.  You‘re wrong.  You‘re wrong!

ADUBATO:  By the way, Joe, did you see the previous segment...


SCARBOROUGH:  You know, I do think, though—hold on a second, Steve.  Actually, I‘m going to side with Heidi on this.  I don‘t think there‘s any doubt that Donald Trump—first of all, having the Miss USA blowup and then the Rosie blowup, I just don‘t think there‘s any doubt that that‘s not going to fuel people turning on “The Apprentice” when it debuts. 

And, you know, Steve, Trump also had the chance, though, today to end this feud once and for all this morning, but I don‘t think he wants to.  I think he wants this to continue because he knows that it‘s good for the ratings.  This is how he responded to that chance. 


VIEIRA:  Would you like to see this end now?  How about say right now, on “The Today Show”...

TRUMP:  Would I like to?

VIEIRA:  ... “I‘m not going to bring up Rosie again”?

TRUMP:  No, no, you brought it up.  Would I like to...

VIEIRA:  I‘m just saying—you never answer again another question about Rosie. 

TRUMP:  I would love not to, but when you ask me a question, I have no choice. 

VIEIRA:  How about you say no comment?  You can‘t say no comment? 

TRUMP:  It‘s hard for me to do that. 

VIEIRA:  Try it. 

TRUMP:  No comment. 

VIEIRA:  There you go, Donald Trump.  Thank you so much.  Ivanka, working so hard.


ADUBATO:  Hey, Joe, there‘s another thing you could say.  Tony Snow, you see the last segment he did with O‘Reilly?  Did you see what Tony Snow did when he talked to David?  He looked at David Gregory and he said, “I used the wrong word when I called you partisan.  I apologize.  I was wrong.”  That‘s class.  That‘s dignity.  It‘s something that Donald Trump wouldn‘t know if it smacked him right on the...


BRESSLER:  That‘s not true.  Donald has class. 

ADUBATO:  Just say you‘re sorry.

SCARBOROUGH:  Watch out, Steve.  We‘re going to have another fight with Trump pretty soon. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Steve Adubato, thank you so much.  Heidi Bressler, thank you so much for being with us, too.

BRESSLER:  Thank you.

SCARBOROUGH:  And I agree with Heidi.  I think Trump knows what he‘s doing whether it comes to P.R., and I think a lot of people are going to be tuning into “The Apprentice” exactly because of the publicity that he‘s had going after Rosie. 

Coming up next, the doctor is in, and she‘s ready to save your marriage.  Dr. Laura joins us with her latest controversial advice, including why you should never be too tired to have sex with your spouse. 

And later, testify, baby.  Rachael Ray getting in the way of Oprah and her gal pal Gayle?  The full scoop coming up in “Hollyweird.”  I can‘t wait!


SCARBOROUGH:  Could the answer to a happy marriage in the end be found in the lyrics of an Elvis Presley song?  A little less conversation; a little more action, baby. 

Well, that‘s the key, according to Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who tells millions of Americans how to make their marriage stronger every day on her nationally syndicated radio show.  And now in her new book—and, women, I really think you should buy this book, my professional advice—“The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage,” in it, Dr. Laura tells women the recipe for a happier home life includes—oh, God bless her—more sex and less talking. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  If there‘s any way that we can turn it around still...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Good question.  What to do, what to do...

DR. LAURA SCHLESSINGER, RADIO HOST:  I just had a call today on the air a woman—“I have three kids, and I‘m exhausted by the time he comes home, and I just don‘t feel like it.” 

And my answer to her was, “Honey, what better way to celebrate the end of a frazzling day than to be wrapped up with your husband as he throws you into raptures?”  And, “Oh, yes, well, I don‘t feel like it.”  Well, you know what?  You don‘t feel like going to the grocery. 

You don‘t necessarily feel like talking to his in-laws.  There are a lot of things we don‘t feel like doing, but that is one of the points of the problems of marriage these days.  We only are willing to do what we feel like, as oppose to being very giving and compassionate and sacrificing for our spouses. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Talk about, though, this poll that‘s come out—

“Women‘s Day” poll, they surveyed 3,000 married women in the United States, and they found that, if these women had to do it all over again, about 60 percent would not marry their husbands or were not sure that they would marry their husbands again.

And 76 percent of women said that they fantasize about being with another man other than their husband.  And 39 percent say they flirt with other men constantly. 

Dr. Laura, what does it say about marriage in our country, where we are right now? 

SCHLESSINGER:  It says something about marriage in our country, because when I wrote “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands,” it was for those women.  Because I‘m here to tell you, most all of them—oh, all the ones who said—except for maybe a few who married psychopaths—they‘re lousy wives.  And you know, when you‘re a lousy wife, you‘re not going to have a loving husband. 

SCARBOROUGH:  If a husband is going to take care—you know, proper feeding and care of his wife, what does the man, what does the husband have to do for the wife? 

SCHLESSINGER:  Well, our needs, as females, is to talk.  It‘s built into the wiring.  Our brains are wired differently.  We spend most of our time communicating. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, hold on a second.  You‘re telling me that...

SCHLESSINGER:  Wait, I didn‘t finish.  Hang in there. 

SCARBOROUGH:  ... hold on a second.  If wives have sex with their husbands and husbands actually have to talk to their wives afterwards? 

SCHLESSINGER:  I would suggest before so they can get the afterwards. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Exactly.  No, go ahead.

SCHLESSINGER:  We like to express ourselves, and sometimes again and again and again about the same issue.  And we get very frustrated if you look bored, or annoyed, or say we‘ve talked about it before. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Women don‘t want wimps, do they?  They want real men?

SCHLESSINGER:  Women want a guy who is strong, who can take care of business, who can take care of them, who has character, who they can count on, who will take care of the family, who will be the primary breadwinner.  Women, if we‘re high-powered and out there working, we still can respect better a man who is taking care of us. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Society seems to be breaking that way, where women want real masculine men and men want their women to be feminine.  So feminism...


SCHLESSINGER:  If she goes out to work and runs a John Deere truck, that‘s fine.  It‘s when she comes in the home.  It‘s when he‘s back in the home.  I mean, the scene from “Gone with the Wind,” when he picks her up in his arms and carries her up the stairs, I defy you to find one woman who didn‘t wish she was in his arms. 


SCARBOROUGH:  I know when I saw that scene, the first time I wished I were in his arms.  I‘m just joking.  I‘m joking, honey. 

SCARBOROUGH:  My conversation with Dr. Laura Schlessinger, we have more of it coming up, and a lot of it more online.  This is going to be a great book.  You‘ve got to read it.

And coming up next, Britney gets naked again.  I guess she‘s reading Dr. Laura, except wait, she‘s not married.  And K-Fed gets rejected again.  Pack your bags, friends, “Hollyweird” next. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, tell your plastic surgeon the Botox is wearing off. 

It‘s time for “Hollyweird.”

First up, Britney Spears.  Now, British‘s “More” magazine reports the pop princess is looking for an artist to paint her in the nude.  Here now, “Star” magazine‘s deputy New York bureau chief, David Caplan, and we have editor-at-large for “Life and Style Weekly,” Dawn Yanek.

I mean, what are you hearing, David, about this nude photo or nude painting of Britney Spears? 

DAVID CAPLAN, “STAR” MAGAZINE:  The word on the street is Britney is really liking her new body, post-pregnancy, and she wants to have it immortalized in a painting.  She was inspired by Kate Winslet in the film “Titanic” who was painted. 

But I‘ve got to tell you, Britney missed her window of opportunity.  She looked great the day she announced her split from K-Fed, but now, with all this hard partying, going out to night clubs, she has already lost that slim body.  Her face is puffy.  Sorry, Britney.  She has to go back to the gym. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Time to go back to the gym.  And K-Fed needs to go back to the gym, also.  The guy‘s single again.  “US Weekly” is reporting that he‘s interested in Lindsay Lohan, but I guess she snubbed him, Dawn? 

DAWN YANEK, “LIFE AND STYLE”:  No, reportedly, when Lindsay and K-Fed were partying at Mansion in Miami on New Year‘s Eve, what happened was, he approached her and said, “Hey, you want to hang out?”  She said no. 

And now, Lindsay has made a rash of bad decisions in the past, but it seems like she may have redeemed herself in this one, because, of course, it would have just started another girl feud.  And also, what is K-Fed thinking?  I mean, if he‘s looking for a mommy substitute for his two young sons, Lindsay is probably not the best choice. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, David Caplan, she is not the best choice.  And why would she want a guy that can‘t even get 15 people to go to his own rap concert? 

CAPLAN:  Yes, this is not a guy for Lindsay.  The best part is Lindsay responded back after dissing him, saying, no, Kevin goes back and calls her fire-crotch, that very naughty nickname that Brandon Davis called Lindsay.  So I‘d say this is a new Hollywood feud. 

YANEK:  Indeed.

SCARBOROUGH:  It sound like it.  You know, “Star” magazine is also reporting there may be trouble between Oprah and her best friend, Gayle.  And, David, I understand Rachael Ray is to blame? 

CAPLAN:  I know, innocent-looking Rachael Ray is getting between...

SCARBOROUGH:  She seems so sweet. 

CAPLAN:  Who knew?  She is getting between Gayle King and her BFF, Oprah Winfrey, because Oprah, who‘s retiring in 2011, has decided that Rachael Ray is going to inherit the throne and that she will become the queen of daytime TV.  And, you know, Rachael Ray is already a co-executive producer on “The Rachael Ray Show” with Oprah, so Oprah is already grooming her.  Needless to say, Gayle King is not happy. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Dawn Yanek, talk about that. 

YANEK:  You know what?  Oprah and Gayle are BFFs, like David said.  And even if they‘re having a little bit of a spat right now and a little bit of a disagreement, I think they‘ll be OK in the long run. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, let‘s hope so.  I‘m keeping my fingers crossed. 

YANEK:  Yes.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, the “New York Post” is reporting that Miss USA

talk about keeping your fingers crossed—Tara Conner is considering an offer to pose for “Playboy.”  David, I thought she was supposed to be cleaning up her act?

CAPLAN:  Yes.  That‘s not the greatest move.  “Playboy,” surprise, surprise, has offered to put Tara on the cover of the magazine.  And according to the “New York Post,” Tara and Mr. Trump are thinking about it.  But I don‘t think we‘re going to see Tara on the cover of “Playboy” until her tenure as Miss USA is over, because that doesn‘t exactly go with the Miss USA image, but... 

YANEK:  But you know what?  You know what?  The Donald will be mulling this over for a while, because, of course, he loves the publicity.  I mean, I think in the past they would have just nixed this right from the get-go, but it‘s just generating more buzz about Miss USA.

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Dawn, we were debating this before.  Do you think that‘s what all of this stuff is about, Rosie, Miss USA, now “Playboy,” all P.R. for “The Apprentice”? 

YANEK:  Oh, I definitely think so.  I think Donald knows how to keep his name in the spotlight, absolutely. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What‘s your guess, David?  Is the first night of “The Apprentice” going to be a big hit? 

CAPLAN:  Yes, I think—you know, there‘s going to be a big hit.  A lot of people are going to be watching.  But I bet the ratings are going to plummet after that first episode. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We will see.  I know my family will be watching.  Thank you, Dawn Yanek.  Thank you, David Caplan. 

YANEK:  Thank you.

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s all the time we have tonight from Washington.  But stay where you are.  “Super Size Me” starts right now.  Apply directly...


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