updated 3/1/2007 4:20:16 PM ET 2007-03-01T21:20:16

Guests: Arianna Huffington, Lawrence O’Donnell, Kim Serafin, Ted Casablanca

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight, “Newsweek’s” shocking report that Iran may be targeting New York City.  Does New York face another terror attack if George Bush attacks Iran first?  We’re going to get the very latest next.

But first: It was almost four months ago that Republicans were thrown out of office over the war in Iraq.  As if to emphasize just how much America opposed Mr. Bush’s war, Democrats were given the keys to the House and the Senate.  But months after George Bush led the GOP to its worst defeat in 30 years, Democrats have still failed to hold the president’s feet to the fire.  And today they backed down again over a plan to tie Iraq spending to wartime reforms.

So the president who ignored the Baker commission, ignored the election results, ignored polls opposing the surge and continues to ignore Democratic chairmen appears to be without checks and balances because Congress appears to be missing in action.  Many Democrats are saying it’s time for this Congress to step up and show the same kind of courage that troops are showing in Iraq.  If Democrats can’t move on the one issue that put them in power, why did Americans put them in power?

That’s a question we’re going to ask our all-star panel right now. 

Here now, political analyst Lawrence O’Donnell, Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffingtonpost.com, and MSNBC Palestinian analyst Pat Buchanan. Arianna, let me start with you.  Do the Democrats need to do more, fight harder, sweat a little bit more to change U.S. policy in Iraq?

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM:  Yes, Joe, absolutely.  Remember, they did have a mandate in 2006.  And after the 2004 election, the president said that this was his accountability moment and the people had spoken.  Well, 2006 was the Democrats’ accountability moment, and they need now to actually demonstrate that they are going to follow the mandate that was given to them in ‘06.

SCARBOROUGH:  Why aren’t they doing that, Arianna?

HUFFINGTON:  Well, they’re not doing that because unfortunately, they have bought into the ongoing fear that the Republican noise machine is going to go back and use their own talking points that define everything as not supporting the troops, when in fact, we know that the best way for Democrats to support the troops is to get them out of the middle of a civil war...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  ... this is what I don’t understand.  You and I have been around politicians long enough to know that they blindly follow polls most of the time.  Well, most of the polls have been showing for a year now that Americans are actually siding with the Democrats and not George Bush on this war.  They want—they’re against the surge overwhelmingly.  They think that going to war was a mistake.  Why are Democrats still afraid of their own shadows, if all these polls show that Americans are on their side?

HUFFINGTON:  In fact, they don’t just oppose the surge.  They support

56 percent, in fact, support the Murtha plan, which at least has some teeth, about stopping the deployment of further troops without them being prepared, fully equipped, all the things that you would have thought are common sense.  Instead, Democrats want to have a resolution which is going to embarrass the president.  First of all, this president is not embarrassable.  He cannot be embarrassed by anything.  Secondly, that’s not their job.  Their job is...

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Arianna, that’s why Republicans...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, that’s so funny you said.  That’s what we said about Bill Clinton in the 1990s.  But now Democrats—or Republicans are saying—or Democrats are saying it about George W. Bush.  Hey, let me...

HUFFINGTON:  But it is about life and death.  It’s not about sex in the White House, or non-sex in the White House, depending on your definition.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, we’re now (INAUDIBLE) we’ll be a bit more expansive, or I guess more restrictive in Bill Clinton’s case on our definition of sex.

Pat Buchanan, I’m not going to ask you about that.  I’m going to ask you about voters giving Democrats the power in November to change the course of this war in Iraq.  Why aren’t they using that power?

PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Because they don’t have the courage of their convictions.  They think the war was a mistake.  I think most of them believe the war is lost.  But they don’t want responsibility for making the decisions which could lead to the Republicans blaming them for that loss.  They are divided.  There’s a number of Democrats, I think, of the Murtha stripe, who would vote basically to defund the war, get out, take responsibility for it.  But the others are afraid that after they vote to get out—and if we do, it’ll be a complete disaster...

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Pat, though...

BUCHANAN:  ... and the Republicans...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... these people were given...

BUCHANAN:  ... are very good at (INAUDIBLE)

SCARBOROUGH:  ... a mandate.  I mean, the Democratic Party was given a mandate, if I’ve ever seen a mandate, this past fall.  They were given a mandate in the House.  They were given a mandate in the Senate.  It seems every week, when a new poll comes out, whether it’s “The Washington Post” or Gallup or “The New York Times” or NBC/”Wall Street Journal,” they’re given a new mandate.  I mean, you might as well put a neon sign in the middle of the House of Representatives saying, America is on your side.  I mean, what do the Democrats need, for the clouds to part and lightning to strike the Capitol dome?

BUCHANAN:  No.  Here’s what—here’s what the Democrat’s saying to himself.  If we vote to defund the war—which is lost, in my mind, and we ought to defund it.  If we do, by the time it gets to the middle of 2008 and the fall, this is going to be a complete disaster.  And these Republicans are very good at hanging on us, and they will have a case if we give it to them.  The war’s going down anyhow.  Let’s make sure Bush is blamed for it.

That’s their thinking.  They’re not looking at right now, they’re projecting where they’re going to be in the fall of 2008.  And I can understand why they’re being mildly cowardly about it.

SCARBOROUGH:  So Lawrence, are Democrats being cowardly about it, as Pat Buchanan said?  Are they just protecting their backsides?

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL, POLITICAL ANALYST:  Can you, first of all, clarify for me what you and Arianna are referring to when you say a mandate?  What was the mandate?  And I don’t mean it in a challenging way.  I mean, let’s decide.  What do we think the mandate was in November in the polls for the Democrats?

SCARBOROUGH:  The mandate was to change the course of the war in Iraq.

O’DONNELL:  OK.  Let’s assume that.  I would say, at minimum, the mandate was, Don’t be like those Republicans in Congress who say absolutely nothing about what Bush is doing in Iraq.  So what the public now has said is, Yes, we’re against the war.  A big majority says we never should have done it.  And that same majority says, Do not defund the troops.  Do not do anything to harm the troops in the field, which is what the Democrats are trying to figure out (INAUDIBLE)

SCARBOROUGH:  But you know, Lawrence, though, the Democrats can’t even get a resolution on the Senate floor.

O’DONNELL:  Well, they have...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You say the Republicans didn’t speak against the war, but look at the Democrats.  They can’t even get a non-binding resolution—not passed, voted on.

O’DONNELL:  Right.  Well, that’s because the Republicans filibuster. 

They got 56 votes for it, but they needed 60 in order to get it...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  ... and you know how the Senate works.  If they had struck a deal with the Republicans and said, OK, you can put your resolution out there, we’ll put our resolution out there, then they would have been able to get that vote.

O’DONNELL:  Yes, and they wanted to get their vote clean and they didn’t want to do that.  That’s a tactical thing.  Everybody—there are 99 senators who think they would be a better majority leader than the majority leader, and that’s true every day...

(CROSSTALK)

O’DONNELL:  That’s right.  And so they’re in a—they’ve got a real difficult problem.  We’re in a war that we shouldn’t have gotten in.  America has decided it’s in a war they shouldn’t have gotten in.  Now, how from the Congress do you deal with a war that we shouldn’t have gotten in?  They don’t know.  That isn’t surprising, that they don’t know.

SCARBOROUGH:  But it’s not like...

O’DONNELL:  And the American...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... they woke up, though, the day after the election and said, Oh, my God, we won, and gee, Americans want us to do something on Iraq.  They knew the (INAUDIBLE) They campaigned on this.

BUCHANAN:  But you know, Joe, what the American people said...

O’DONNELL:  They never campaigned on get out.

SCARBOROUGH:  No, but...

BUCHANAN:  What the American people said was, Look, start out of Iraq, but don’t lose the war.  Something like 60 percent don’t want to lose the war, but they want to start out.  It’s very tough to accomplish the message the American people are sending because the message is contradictory.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, but it seems to me if you take all the polls—

and Lawrence, I want to go back to a presidential poll, and then I’ll talk

talk to Arianna about it.  I talked about all of these polls that keep coming out that show Americans are against the surge, against the Bush plan in Iraq.  They want us to start moving out of Iraq.

Look at the presidential polls that came out today, just stunning polls on—on—John McCain—let’s start with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  Barack Obama’s storming ahead of Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side.  Let’s go to the Republican side, and on the Republican side, you can see John McCain is losing as much ground on the Republican side as Barack Obama is gaining on the Democratic side.  And of course, these two couldn’t be any more polar opposite on the issue of the war.  It seems that if you were against the war, you’re going up in the polls, if you’re for the war, you’re going down.

O’DONNELL:  Yes, but each one of those candidates still has minority support among the entire electorate.  There isn’t somebody out there who has 56 percent of the entire electorate right now and you can say this is where they’re going.  Pat’s right, there is a mixed message.  The public is confused about what to do in Iraq because it’s a very confusing set of options.  Do you...

By the way, as Joe Biden pointed out last week, there’s not a single Democratic candidate, even the ones who people think are for withdrawal, who would not leave at least 30,000 troops in Iraq on these so-called withdrawal plans from Iraq.

SCARBOROUGH:  But you know, they do have a clear-cut choice, though, on this surge.  They could get out...

(CROSSTALK)

O’DONNELL:  They’re all opposed to the surge.  They are in a uniform way opposed to the surge.

BUCHANAN:  But they’re not going to vote to defund it because the decider’s decided.  He’s got the courage of his convictions.  And they don’t have the courage of their convictions.

SCARBOROUGH:  Arianna, would you...

HUFFINGTON:  Yes, I...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... agree with Pat Buchanan on that point?

HUFFINGTON:  I agree with Pat, actually.  I believe that once again...

SCARBOROUGH:  I know that hurts, but...

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  ... thank you for testifying that you agree with Pat.

BUCHANAN:  Thank you, Arianna!

(LAUGHTER)

HUFFINGTON:  You know, I really feel that once again, with a few notable exceptions like Jack Murtha, like Russ Feingold, Democrats are buying into the Republican talking points.  They did it in 2002, which is why the majority voted to authorize the resolution to go to war.  They did it in 2004, which is why John Kerry lost.  He could not utter one unequivocal sentence on Iraq.  And there they go again.

And to answer Lawrence’s question about what was the mandate—

Lawrence, if you go to race after race—just look at the two Murphys in Pennsylvania.  Lois Murphy did not make the war in Iraq and getting out a central part of her campaign.  She lost.  Patrick Murphy—remember, he was underfunded and very much a long shot—won.  And he actually said one of the most important things during the House floor debate when he actually said that on the wall in the Vietnam memorial, half the names there are there because the leaders did not do what they knew they had to do and end the war...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  ... I want to stop you right there, Arianna.  And I want to ask everybody here—just a simple yes or no.  If we, in fact, have a war memorial for the Iraq dead 20 years from now, do all of us believe that there are going to be possibly double the names on that wall, despite the fact, at this point, from this point forward—despite the fact that we all agree that we’re not going to win in Iraq?  Does anybody here really believe we’re going to win in Iraq?

Lawrence, are we going to win in Iraq?

O’DONNELL:  No.

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat, are we going to win in Iraq?

BUCHANAN:  No, I don’t believe so, in the long run.

SCARBOROUGH:  Arianna, are we going to win in Iraq?

HUFFINGTON:  No, we’re not going to—we lost in Iraq.  I mean, let’s be frank.  This is a civil war.

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, and...

HUFFINGTON:  It’s not a winnable war.

SCARBOROUGH:  I Think that most of Americans agree with that.  If that is the case, then why don’t we have anybody in the United States Congress, that has the power to stand and say—Americans know—Lawrence, I’ll ask you—Americans know we have lost this war, just like a lot of Americans knew in the early 1970s that Vietnam wasn’t going to end up well for us.  At what point do you say enough is enough?

O’DONNELL:  Well, it’s a very difficult situation because extricating ourselves from there is much more complicated than extricating ourselves from Vietnam.  Look, it were up to me, I would go with the life-saving approach of just getting ourselves out of there and out of the line of fire.  But I understand full well people who have real concerns about how we pull out and when we pull out and the timing of all of that.  I don’t think that the Democrats in the Senate who aren’t ready to pull out immediately are in some way lying about what they really think.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  And Pat, I’m not saying that we get out of there in the next six months or the next year, but certainly, an 18-month timeframe.  And really, quite frankly, I don’t give a damn what the Saudis think.  If the Saudis are so concerned about the Sunnis in Iraq, then let them start worrying about it right now.  I don’t want Americans from Kansas and California and Massachusetts to die because the Saudi sheikhs are afraid that the Shi’ites might gain a little too much power over there.

BUCHANAN:  Well, I don’t think that’s what worries people.  Let me tell you why...

SCARBOROUGH:  I think it is.

BUCHANAN:  Let me tell you why.  I think it’s this.  It’s two things.  One, I was sort of hesitant when I said, No, I don’t think we’re going to win.  I think there’s a chance that we can do much better.  I also think there’s a possibility that if we stay a little longer, we can preserve something so it doesn’t collapse in the nightmare scenario.  That’s the only reason I say you should hold on.  If I thought it’s completely gone down the tubes, then I would agree, defund it, get out, take our hit, set up a new line of defense somewhere else.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you know, unfortunately, Arianna, it seems to me,

at this point—and most Americans haven’t paid attention to the details -

we have a choice.  Do we allow the Iranians to win, or do we allow the Sunni extremists that Sy Hersh is writing about—do we allow them to maintain power in Iraq?  I mean, it is a no-win situation.

HUFFINGTON:  The truth of the matter is that it is their civil war.  And for us to be arrogant enough to think that we can actually impose stability and democracy in a country that has not at the moment appeared to want it is really simply to completely ignore the history of this country and the current reality.  Our very presence there is making the situation worse, and that’s what we have to keep remembering.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know...

HUFFINGTON:  We are the occupier.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  ... thinks you’re going to have a democracy, Joe.  I don’t believe anybody believes that.

SCARBOROUGH:  I’m proud of our troops.  I’m proud of what they’ve done.  I’m proud of the three elections.  I’m proud of the sacrifices they’ve made.  I’m proud of the fact that they get to Baghdad as quickly as anybody’s ever gotten anywhere in a war.  I’m proud of the fact that they took down the most bloodthirsty dictator in Middle East history.  And I’m glad that he’s dead.

But I’ll tell you what.  At some point, we’ve got to figure that we’re not going to win this war, and it’s time to bring our troops home.

Thanks a lot, Arianna.  Thank you, Lawrence.  Thank you, Pat Buchanan. 

Greatly appreciate it.

Coming up next: Is Iran planning a terror attack on U.S. soil?  Why New York City police believe an Iranian plot is in the planning stages and why you haven’t heard about it until now.

Plus...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Get on the ground!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I didn’t do anything!  (INAUDIBLE) I did not do anything yet!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  “Dateline’s” hidden cameras head to the Sunshine State for their latest sex sting, and they wind up in a hidden camera stand-off with a suspect who refuses to come inside.

And later: A pathetic desperate to be famous.  An NBC investigation shows how desperate Americans are to get on reality TV shows like “American Idol.”  And we’ll tell you how far some will go and why some have said they would abandon their families for two years—two years! -- to be on that reality show.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You’re looking live at New York City, long considered a terror target even before 9/11.  And now, a new target from an old enemy.  New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly tells “Newsweek,” quote, “We’re concerned that Iranian agents were engaged in reconnaissance that might be used in an attack against New York City at some future date.”

Could Teheran be targeting New York?  Here now, Evan Kohlmann, NBC terror analyst.  And still with us, Arianna Huffington.

Evan, tell us about this report.

EVAN KOHLMANN, NBC TERROR ANALYST:  Well, basically, it stems off of one particular incident, but also a series of incidences that have taken place over the last couple years of Iranian diplomats, or at least agents of the United Nations mission here, engaging in suspicious behavior.  This particular incident was videotaping subway lines here in New York, which is a bit of an unusual activity.  It’s hard to explain what the tourist significance of that would be.

That being said, this is not the first incident, and we know that Iranian and Iranian-sponsored agents have been in this country for a very long time, and this includes people that have received military training from terrorist groups, who have indicated a desire to become martyrs.

But yet despite all of this and despite the fact, again, that these folks have been here for a while, there hasn’t been an attack by Iran or by Iranian agents here in the U.S. and...

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, I mean, if we attack Iran, though, is it likely that that’s when they would retaliate against us?

KOHLMANN:  Yes, I think that’s exactly a kind of scenario where you would see a terrorist attack sponsored by Iran.  They don’t have nukes.  They don’t have ICBMs yet, so that this is their form of retaliation.  This is their way of—you know, of saying to us, Look, if you attack us, we can reach you in the homeland.  And unfortunately, I think you’re going to see a growing number of countries that are going to add this to their arsenal of last-ditch weapons, you know, to resort to if they are invaded by the United States or other major powers.

SCARBOROUGH:  Arianna, is that what concerns so many people about George Bush moving forward and threatening to invade Iran?

HUFFINGTON:  I think that’s one factor.  But I think, Joe, it’s a much deeper concern, which is that we don’t seem to have a coherent strategy to protect this country in the war on terror.  Suddenly—as we just heard, there have been Iranian agents in this country for a long time.  But it’s now that we are focusing on what they are doing.  It’s now that we are focusing on all the perceived involvement of Iran in Iraq and what that does in terms of threatening American troops.  And all these things are being gathered together the way that we were being told before we invaded Iran (SIC), that this was the enemy that we had to defeat.

So right now, everything is being focused (INAUDIBLE) in terms of all these reports of everything that we are hearing on Iran.  What’s happening to Afghanistan?  What’s happening to North Korea with this agreement that we made which even Bolton, the former U.N. ambassador, is criticizing?

So wouldn’t you love to have some coherent strategy which is not just focused on one target at a time instead of on really what we are doing to protect this country, including protecting our homeland with greater enforcement of port and airport security?

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, and the thing is, Evan, you could look at how confusing the situation is not only as we approach Iran, but as we approach Iraq and the Middle East in this war on terror, when you read the “New Yorker” article by Sy Hersh talking about the possibility of us having contingency plans to attack Iran.  Talk about that article.

KOHLMANN:  Well, look, I hope that he’s not right.  There have been a lot of articles recently from such publications as “The New Yorker,” “The Daily Telegraph” suggesting that either an air strike or a military attack by the United States and/or by Israel is in the works.

You know, first of all, I hope it’s not true because I really don’t believe that Iran is the linchpin of the war on terrorism.  If anything, it’s Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and to a lesser degree Iraq.  But either way, I mean, if this is really part of the strategy to confront Iran, publicizing in this way, taunting Iran publicly and putting everyone on edge may not be a good idea.  I mean, we’re putting people that—you know, that feel increasingly confronted on all sides by the United States on edge, people that are trying to develop a nuclear weapon.  It’s just—it’s a tense situation that we should be trying to avoid.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Very good.  Well, thank you so much, Evan. 

Thank you, Arianna.  I greatly appreciate it.

And I’ve got to agree that I think right now, our biggest threat comes from Pakistan, comes from Saudi Arabia, comes from where the terror—I mean, it’s not the Iranians right now that we need to be the most concerned about, it’s the same Sunni terrorists that brought terror and hardship and the death of 3,000 Americans to our shores on September 11.

Well, coming up next: “Dateline’s” hidden camera investigation heads to the Sunshine State, where they nab a firefighter and a man who teaches young children.  We’re going to show you their latest bust and why one of the suspects refused to come inside the decoy’s home.

But first, Jay Leno shows us the drunker they are, the harder they fall.  “Must See S.C.” coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, it’s time for tonight’s “Must See S.C.,” some video you just got to see.  First up: You know, field sobriety tests can be painful process, but (INAUDIBLE) doesn’t end there.  Jay Leno shows us the headaches sometimes continue even when they get back to the station.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK, take your driver’s license out of your wallet.  Come stand over here.  Place your hands on the tape.  One here—whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  God, it looks like inside our—our (INAUDIBLE)

And finally, Jimmy Kimmel sticks it to the FCC in his most recent edition of “Unnecessary Censorship.”  Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I’ll tell you what it is with you, though.  You know, you’re a very nice girl, and you’re a (DELETED) but...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That’s what she does, she (DELETED)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  ... www.go(DELETED)yourself.blogspot.com.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And it’s feeling love that makes somebody (DELETED) good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  I just never knew Mr. Rogers had that side to him.

Coming up next: A “Predator” sting winds up in an unusual stand-off when a suspect makes a surprise move.  We’re going to show you what happens next as “Dateline’s” hidden cameras head to my home state of Florida.

And later: Is it “Idol” fever or something more contagious?  Wait until you see what people are willing to do just to star in a reality TV show, and a show that doesn’t even exist.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up, how far would you go to see your name in lights?  Well, we’re going to take a look at the surprising things people will do when they think they have a chance of being on a reality TV show.  That story and a lot more just minutes ahead.

But first, “Dateline” took its cameras to my home state of Florida, busting potential online sex predators in the act.  Now, over four days, they nabbed 21 guys who were looking for sex with underage kids.  And all of the men who were caught up in the Florida sting pleaded not guilty.  But you know what?  It’s tough to buy their excuses after you read their graphic online chats, including the one conversation a man had with a young girl who was young enough to be his granddaughter.  

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  There he is.  He’s here.  

CHRIS HANSEN, CORRESPONDENT, “DATELINE NBC” (voice-over):  Despite the cold weather, our next visitor arrived with the top down on his custom convertible. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hi.  Come on inside. 

HANSEN:  This is 58-year-old Charles Gregory Greene, a self-employed repairman and volunteer firefighter.  Online, he uses the screen name GregGreene98 to chat with a decoy who says that she’s 13. 

Greene writes...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Kind of young to be in here.

HANSEN:  The decoy responds...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I guess I don’t feel like I am.

HANSEN:  He goes on to tell the decoy about female orgasms and how a part of his anatomy might be too big to have sex with her.  But then he writes...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Darling, I would love to just throw you on a bed and make love to you, right off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Wow, that would be cool.

HANSEN:  Then he explains about some sexual fetishes and bondage.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  My ex-girlfriend liked to have her wrist tied to the bedposts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Wow, did you do it for her?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Uh-huh.

HANSEN:  He says he’ll try that on her. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  How was the ride?  It’s cold out there today.

HANSEN:  But now, here he is in the house. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What do you want to do? 

HANSEN:  He could take her for a ride in his convertible, but then he thinks better of it. 

CHARLES GREGORY GREENE, REPAIRMAN:  It’s pretty cold for the ride.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I know.  It’s pretty windy outside.

HANSEN:  On the other hand, it’s pretty warm inside.  

GREENE:  Oh, man.  Can I take off my jacket?  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes, go ahead.  I’m going to go grab a sweater, actually.  I’m kind of cold, so I’ll be right back.

HANSEN (on screen):  Why don’t you have a seat back over there for me?  You need to know that I’m Chris Hanson with “Dateline NBC,” and I need to talk to you about why you’re here, sir. 

(voice-over):  Outside, the police are ready. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Get on the ground.  Get on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Just have a seat right there in that chair. 

HANSEN:  Back at the station, Greene tells the investigators he was just joking about all the sex.  He says he was just trying to educate the girl. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You tried to educate her about anatomy.

GREENE:  Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  About oral sex.

GREENE:  She told me about oral sex. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And then about masturbating, how to satisfy herself. 

GREENE:  We talked about that.

HANSEN:  And despite his graphic sexual online chat, Greene says he was not planning on having sex with the girl.  Greene later pleaded not guilty to two felony counts, including an attempted lewd act on a child.

The next visitor is about to arrive.  The cops have everything under control as that second man, William Roach (ph), a tae kwon do instructor, approaches.  He even parks nose-to-nose with our previous visitor’s car.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Come on in.  It’s freezing.  Hurry.

HANSEN:  But he won’t come inside.  And perhaps to prove to himself this isn’t a setup...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Come on here.

HANSEN:  ... he keeps asking our decoy to flash her breasts. 

WILLIAM ROACH (ph), TAE KWON DO INSTRUCTOR:  Flash them?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The neighbors might see me out here. 

ROACH:  Real quick.

HANSEN:  Online, Roach wasn’t quite so suspicious.  Using the screen name, TheNamesTheyGiveAreDumb, he chatted with a decoy who told him she was 13.  Perhaps to make the girl feel more comfortable, the 31-year-old tells the girl he’s also a teenager, just 19.

He asks if she’s a virgin and what sexual things she’s done.  He says he would like to perform oral sex on her and asks her intimate questions, like how large her breasts are.  He sends her a pornographic video and says...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Can I do that to you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes, if you wanted.

HANSEN:  Just like our earlier suspect, Roach sends along video of himself masturbating.  But at the house, he remains wary.  

ROACH:  Is someone in the house? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  No. 

(CROSSTALK)

HANSEN:  And the standoff continues. 

ROACH:  The problem is that I’m afraid to come in. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  (INAUDIBLE)

ROACH:  (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Come on.

ROACH:  Come here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It’s freezing out there.

ROACH:  Come here for a second.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Please come in here.

HANSEN:  Roach decides it’s time to move out, and the Flagler Beach Police moved in.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Get on the ground.  I said get on the ground. 

ROACH:  I didn’t do any thing.  I didn’t do anything.  I did not do anything yet!

HANSEN:  He may think he didn’t do anything wrong, but in Florida he didn’t need to go in the house to commit a crime.  It’s illegal to use a computer to attempt to solicit a child for sex. 

We found out later that, according to Perverted Justice, Roach had a sexual conversation with another decoy during our Flagler Beach investigation.  And in April 2006, he chatted with three other decoys during our investigation in Fort Myers, Florida, 270 miles away on Florida’s Gulf Coast. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I want you to have a seat in this chair right here. 

HANSEN:  At the Flagler Beach police station, Roach tells the investigator he doesn’t remember how old the decoy said she was. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It says right here that you’re hot for 13.  She told you she was 13. 

ROACH:  I chat with anybody.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Do you send just anybody pictures? 

ROACH:  Yes, pretty much. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And of you masturbating? 

ROACH:  Yes, that’s unfortunate. 

HANSEN:  Detective Liz Williams of the Flagler Beach P.D.

(on screen):  Unfortunate?

DET. LIZ WILLIAMS, FLAGLER POLICE:  Yes, which would lend you to believe he’s a little more sorry that he did it for his own self, as well, as far as...

HANSEN:  So, unfortunately, because it was the wrong thing to do or unfortunately because he got caught doing it?

WILLIAMS:  Unfortunately, because he got caught was the impression I got.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What are you doing in Flagler Beach? 

HANSEN (voice-over):  And the police find more as they dig into Roach’s past.  Remember how he kept asking the decoy at the house to flash her breasts? 

WILLIAMS:  There is a pending case now of where he had allegedly grabbed a woman’s shirt and pulled it down to expose her breasts. 

HANSEN:  In that civil suit, two women who worked for Roach at the time allege he also exposed himself to them and touched them inappropriately.  Roach denied the allegations. 

And there’s more.  

WILLIAMS:  Due to the fact that he also works around children...

HANSEN (on screen):  Teaches kids tae kwon do, which is a physical activity.

WILLIAMS:  Correct.

HANSEN (voice-over):  And during his interrogation, Roach tells investigators he has a child of his own.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  How old is your son? 

ROACH:  He’s 8.  He’s with his mom.  She’s dropping him off tomorrow. 

I don’t know what I’m going to do.

HANSEN:  Roach was later charged with four felony counts, including attempting a lewd act upon a child, transmitting pornography to a child, and using a computer to seduce a child.  He’s pleaded not guilty. 

Roach was still listed on the tae kwon do school Web site months after he was arrested, but we were told that he no longer works there. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, make sure you catch part two of “Dateline’s” Florida sting, Tuesday night only on NBC. 

But coming up next here, what would you do to be famous?  How about giving up your friends and family for two years?  How far are most people willing to go just to star in a reality show like “American Idol”?

And later in “Hollyweird,” Paris Hilton in trouble with the law again. 

Will her latest traffic violation land her in jail? 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SIMON COWELL, JUDGE, “AMERICAN IDOL”:  You’re through to the next round. 

RANDY JACKSON, JUDGE, “AMERICAN IDOL”:  Welcome to “Hollyweird.”  All right (INAUDIBLE) welcome to Hollywood.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, “American Idol’s” ticket to Hollywood seems like a shortcut to fame and fortune.  And every year, tens of thousands audition for their chance to come out here to L.A. and makes their dreams come true.  But is the jet-setting, red-carpet lifestyle all it’s cracked up to be?  And how far will people go just to see their names in lights?

Here’s the “Today” show’s Meredith Vieira.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MEREDITH VIEIRA, HOST, “THE TODAY SHOW” (voice-over):  It’s no secret America wants to be famous.  Turn on your TV, and it’s nearly impossible to avoid.  Is this America’s next “Idol” or simply idle behavior?  Are we viewers or voyeurs?

SIMON COWELL, JUDGE, “AMERICAN IDOL”:  Hideous.

VIEIRA:  Whatever your opinion, it seems nearly everyone wants a piece of the action.  In fact, more viewers watched last year’s “Idol” finals than all three network newscasts combined. 

JAKE HALPERN, AUTHOR, “FAME JUNKIES”:  Reality TV definitely seems to blow open the door and make people think that, yes, fame is within my grasp. 

VIEIRA:  But the only reality is that fame is still something of a long shot.  Just ask 22-year-old Troy Sawyer, who holds his own “American Idol” record. 

TROY SAWYER, SINGER:  I’ve auditioned 11 times, which puts me in the lead.  I’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars, and I’ve traveled thousands and thousands of miles to try to make this dream come true.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t. 

VIEIRA:  In fact, for all of its efforts, Troy has never even made it in to see the show’s judges. 

SAWYER:  That hurts, and I cry, especially the drive home by myself, you know, 11, 12 hours of driving home.  You know, it’s a lot of time to cry.

VIEIRA:  So why keep going?

SAWYER:  I think I am obsessed with this.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give it up.

VIEIRA:  It turns out Troy is something of a reality show junkie. 

SAWYER:  I’ve auditioned from everything from “Real World” to “I Want to be a Soap Star,” “Deal or No Deal,” “Nashville Star,” “Star Search,” “Wheel of Fortune,” even.

VIEIRA:  But experts say the quest for fame can be a slippery slope. 

DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST:  There’s nothing wrong with wanting a stage.  The downside is:  How much do you crave it?  And are you able to live outside of the limelight?

VIEIRA:  Our producers hit Times Square to find out just how far ordinary people would go for their shot at fame.  We created a fictional reality show, “The Fame Game,” and even a bitter, cold February afternoon wasn’t enough to deter these passersby from stopping to fill out an application.

Without even knowing what the show is about, nearly 50 people signed on.  The pressure of an on-the-spot street audition didn’t seem to scare these folks off.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And I am a material girl.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I live in a van down by the river.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I believe I can touch the sky.

VIEIRA:  Nor did our unconventional questionnaire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What kind of vegetable would you be?

VIEIRA:  Fifty-nine percent said severing all ties with friends and family for two years was worth a starring role in a reality TV show. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I would do it without the reality show. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  My family would be able to tolerate it, as long as I didn’t make a fool out of myself.

VIEIRA:  That number jumped to 68 percent when a $5 million prize was proposed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Give me a break.  Of course, $5 million?  It’s better than what I’m doing now. 

VIEIRA:  When asked if applicants would let a group of talented fifth-graders chose your future spouse on national television, on overwhelming majority said, “Yes.” 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  If they’re talented fifth-graders, I will trust them. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I think it’s kind of cute.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I haven’t had a date in five months, so, therefore, I’m cool with that. 

VIEIRA:  And 36 percent said participating in a pornographic film as a means to fame was OK.

HALPERN:  It’s not entirely stupid for someone to say, “I don’t care how I become famous, because once I’m in the spotlight, it will snowball,” because it often it does. 

VIEIRA:  A strategy Troy Sawyer is counting on. 

SAWYER:  I don’t have “American Idol” yet, so I’m going to keep traveling those miles and keep paying those dollars until I get there. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  Wow.  Well, thank you so much, Meredith Vieira, for that report.

And coming up next here, George Clooney says he’s had too much sex to run for public office.  What?  Is that a disqualifier now?  It’s time to get your freak on, baby.  “Hollyweird” is coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, tell your publicist, next time, you want to be on the cover of “Vanity Fair.”  Time for “Hollyweird.”

First up, Paris Hilton.  Now, the heiress was stopped last night and cited for driving with a suspended license.  Though I was in the neighborhood, I had nothing to do with it.  Here now, “InTouch Weekly” senior editor Kim Serafin. And from E! Online, columnist Ted Casablanca.

Thank you all so much for being with us.  Let’s talk, first of all, Kim, about Paris, in trouble again. 

KIM SERAFIN, “INTOUCH WEEKLY”:  Paris Hilton back in the news.  I think I speak for all of America when I say, thank God, because I was sick of crying judges and Britney’s hair being up for sale on the Internet, so all feels right with the world now that Paris is back in the news. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, of course, back in the news for all the wrong reasons.  This girl is bad news. 

SERAFIN:  Well, you know, I kind of feel bad for her in this sense, because she was stopped for driving without her headlights on.  I’ve been in that shopping center where she was.  There are a lot of lights.  This could be a legitimate thing.  You never know with Paris.  Although if you’re driving, which is not really an inconspicuous car, you might want to be careful about the headlights being turned on. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Sounds like the Stockholm Syndrome to me.  You’re relating to your girl too much here.

Ted, do you relate also to Paris here?

TED CASABLANCA, E! ONLINE:  Yes, you all feel bad, my butt, really. 

No, I think we’ve got one too many snafus here with Paris, and I do use quote marks around “snafus,” because, don’t forget, the racial insults that were found on the tapes, and now this driving thing, and I think finally, ultimately, even Paris is descending. 

You know, everyone around her is descending, Britney and Lindsay, and

now it’s even touching her.  But that’s only so we can hate her and then

re-love her and love her again.  You know, that’s what we love to do.  Tear

them down so we can build them up. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Exactly.  I don’t think Paris has ever really been built up.  She is what we call in the Redneck Riviera a runaway beer truck. 

CASABLANCA:  And she’s top on the lineup. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, exactly.

Let’s talk about George Clooney next.  He says he’s not going into politics because he’s had too much sex.  You know, maybe, Kim, he just doesn’t know about politicians.  That is not a disqualifier, is it? 

SERAFIN:  No.  Actually, George Clooney, who is the sexiest man alive, not just my opinion...

SCARBOROUGH:  Other than me. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  But go ahead, exactly.  Go ahead.

SERAFIN:  Yes, scientifically proven the sexiest man alive, after Joe.  He has said, when he was asked about his political aspirations, he said, “No, no, no,” in his very self-deprecating way, “I can’t run because I’ve had too much sex with too many women, I’ve partied too much and done too many drugs.”

Now, if all politicians would learn this lesson, they’d actually work out better, because this way he puts it out there.  If any candidate against him says, “No, no, no, he’s had lots of sex,” George will be like, “Yes, here’s the article.  I said it myself.”  I mean, maybe he has the right way of thinking about it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Ted, it’s kind of like the character in “Man of the Year,” when Robin Williams said that, yes, he had sex with a prostitute, and he was so bad she gave him a refund. 

CASABLANCA:  Typical of Hollywood, this is about everything but what George Clooney is saying.  This isn’t about politics; this is him just putting out there that he slept with too many women.  Now, why is that, Joe?  Why do you think he’s trying to get that message out there? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Because he likes having sex with women, and he’s proud of the fact that he can have sex with women anytime he wants to.  I don’t know, Ted.  Why do you think he got it out there? 

CASABLANCA:  He’s not going away from politics by any stretch of the imagination.  I just don’t think that’s what this message is about.  And, besides, if it were, you know...

SCARBOROUGH:  Ted, what’s the message about, then? 

CASABLANCA:  I don’t know.  I think it’s an interesting question, because George is always very cagey with the press.  He’s always got a hidden meaning.  So, again, I throw it back in your court.  Why is he trying to deliver this? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Sometimes, a man means what the man means, right? 

SERAFIN:  I think he’s very serious about politics.  You know, agree with him or disagree with him, he does—people do respect his opinion, and he really does put himself out there.  He puts his reputation as an actor on the line a lot of times, and he’s pretty well-respected.  So you never know.  He’s not closing the door on running for politics. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I think the guy’s going to run for politics at some time.  You know, “People” and “Star” magazine both are reporting more trouble on the set of “Grey’s Anatomy.”  Hey, why can’t these people just get along? 

SERAFIN:  You know, I don’t know if it really matters.  Even with all the Isaiah Washington stuff that happened, their ratings are out of this world.  I mean, people love this show.  It’s really well-written.  It’s really well-acted.  The characters are great.  Who really cares if there is new trouble now?  Because I guess there’s going to be a spin-off with Kate Walsh’s character. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Ted, they keep getting bigger, don’t they?

CASABLANCA:  Yes.  Listen, I’ve got to tell you, this is a story I broke at the Golden Globes, when Isaiah Washington went off, saying, you know, he didn’t call T.R. the f-word.  And it’s kind of like, why does he have to do this stuff?  The set is already divisive enough without him making it even worse, and it’s getting worse.  It’s still very tense on the set, you know, this story notwithstanding. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It’s getting very ugly out there.  Thank you, Kim. 

Thank you, Ted Casablanca.  Greatly appreciate it.

Finally (INAUDIBLE) -- talk about tension on the set—to the NBC show, “The Office,” while out here in L.A.  We’re going to show you the full tour tomorrow night, but here’s a quick preview.  You can pretty much see how much they welcomed me with open arms. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  So I’m hanging out on the set of “The Office,” with my new best friends.  I mean, look, you can tell they’re big fans.  This guy right over here...

RAINN WILSON, ACTOR:  This is network television, and we are, seriously, like, let us do our work.  We’re very serious actors. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I go to iTunes, and I download you guys every night. 

WILSON:  That’s great.  That’s great.  We get a taste of that, so thank you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  You sucked on “Saturday Night Live.”

WILSON:  Oh!  That’s it, buddy!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, well, not everybody loved me, but you’ll see the whole thing tomorrow night.  Hey, that’s all the time we have for tonight.  We’ll see you tomorrow night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Good night.

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