updated 5/15/2007 11:41:10 AM ET 2007-05-15T15:41:10

Guests: Joan Walsh, Michael Crowley, John Ridley, Steve Adubato, David Caplan, Jill Dobson

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  And tonight, the Imus effect.  I mean, it is rocking the radio world as two more shock jocks get booted for making bigoted jokes.  Now, some of these bigoted jokes were the same kind that drew laughs and applause for Rosie when she was on Barbara Walters‘s “The View.”  More double standards from the PC police?  Maybe so.  That‘s ahead.

But first, the bitter fight for the future of Iraq is being waged in Congress as Democratic leaders are now vowing two more votes tomorrow that will be aimed at ending the war in Iraq and crippling the George W. Bush presidency.  With Baghdad bombs going off it seems by the minute, and a desperate search continuing for three U.S. soldiers, the vice president and his Republican allies are trying once again to shift their debate tactics on Iraq.  Now, the same man who predicted long ago that the Iraq insurgency was in its, quote, “last throes” is now saying, quote, “I can‘t predict precisely what will happen.”  Talk about stating the obvious.

Meanwhile, the top Republican in the Senate has taken to blaming the Iraqi people and their leaders—their democratically elected leaders—for the chaos that‘s gripping Iraq and has threatened to have U.S. troops leave that troubled land.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER:  Republicans overwhelmingly feel disappointed about the Iraqi government.  I read just this week that a significant number of the Iraqi parliament want to vote to ask us to leave.  I want to assure you, Wolf, if they vote to ask us to leave, we‘ll be glad to comply with their request.


SCARBOROUGH:  That, friends, is what you call a threat.  So will Democrats succeed in ending the war?  Will Republicans follow through on their threat to pull our troops out of Iraq if the parliament there tells us, Get lost?  And will our troops, our lost U.S. troops, be found before they‘re tortured or killed by al Qaeda in Iraq?  The situation is desperate.

Here now to talk about it all, Michael Crowley—he‘s the senior editor for “The New Republic”—Joan Walsh—she‘s editor-in-chief of Salon.com—and Pat Buchanan, two-time presidential contender, former White House communications director and MSNBC political analyst.

Pat Buchanan, it seems like the Republicans are fraying from both ends here suggesting—well, Mitch McConnell suggesting, Hey, you don‘t want us?  We‘re going to get out.  Don‘t ask us twice.  And then you‘ve got Chuck Hagel who said some things over the weekend, where he warned the White House that more Republicans are going to be voicing their opinions against the Bush administration.

Take a look at a little bit of what Hagel said.


SEN. CHUCK HAGEL ®, NEBRASKA:  The president may find himself standing alone sometime this fall, where Republicans will start to move away.  And you‘re starting to see trap doors and exit signs already with a number of Republicans.  The 11 House Republicans who went to see him speak for more than just 11 House Republicans.  That‘s just the tip of the iceberg.


SCARBOROUGH:  Pat Buchanan, are there not trap doors and exits clearly marked for a lot of Republicans that are saying, You know what, Mr.  President?  We‘ve stood with you long enough.  Now it‘s time to get out of Iraq.

PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  There‘s no doubt the Republicans are looking at the exits, Joe.  I think one pistol shot and this herd really stampedes.  We‘ve talked about it before.  I think what is coming is a demand that General Petraeus tell us by the end of summer, is this surge working, how many more troops is it going to take, how long?  And at that point, I think if we get, We‘ve got to stay the course, in effect, roughly the same number of troops or more, I think a part of the Republican Party will shear off and go along with deadlines coming up.

But right now, I will say this.  I think the president is going to win in the Congress.  If the Democrats wanted to cut off funds now, they could.  They want to be against the war, but they don‘t want the responsibility for ending it right now because of the consequences.

SCARBOROUGH:  But you know, Joan Walsh, it seems to me that, again, you‘ve got more and more Republicans coming out every day voicing opposition.  You have Republicans, moderate Republicans, coming out, like Olympia Snow, expressing their concern.  You also have Mitch McConnell basically saying, You know what? Enough‘s enough.  If you want us to leave, you don‘t have to ask us twice.

I want you to listen to this, Joan, one more time.  Let‘s listen to Mitch McConnell.  I think this is very telling about where the Republican Party is. A And remember, this is their leader in the Senate.


MCCONNELL:  Republicans overwhelming feel disappointed about the Iraqi government.  I read just this week that a significant number of the Iraqi parliament want to vote to ask us to leave.  I want to assure you, Wolf, if they vote to ask us to leave, we‘ll be glad to comply with their request.


SCARBOROUGH:  Joan, I almost think the Republican National Committee will write checks to Iraqi leaders if that will somehow sway them to ask the United States to leave as soon as possible because, in the end, the only thing that saves the Republicans‘ hide next year, right?

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM:  That may be.  You know, that‘s the only strategy we haven‘t tried yet, Joe.  So maybe you should write some letters and see if we can get some checks going.

But actually, I heard that—I think I heard that very—very differently from the way you did.  I thought that was an outrageous thing to say.  Are we really saying that we‘re going to take our cues from the Iraqi parliament and leave if they want us to leave, whereas we can‘t really get the wherewithal together and have the political courage to pull our troops home on our own timetable?  It‘s an incredible abdication of power from Mitch McConnell to say something like that.  It sounded downright petulant.  It may have been designed to make him sound like he was talking tough to the Iraqi government, but it really—it really was like shrugging off his responsibility.

If we want our troops home, bring them home.  They‘ve been arguing that if we don‘t fight them there, they‘ll follow us home.  So you know, that gives the lie to that point of view, if we‘re ready to pull them out if they say so.  So I think there‘s an incredible act of cowardice here on McConnell‘s part.

I also want to say to my friend, Pat, who I missed last week—Pat, you keep saying that the Democrats could defund this war, and they simply can‘t.  They do not have the votes in their own caucus.  And even if they did, they do not have a veto-proof majority.  They have gotten tougher and tougher.  And it‘s really these Republicans who want to change the rhetoric but not really change direction, who you guys are kind of giving a pass.  When are they going to step up and say what their plan is?


BUCHANAN:  Well, look, the Democrats control both houses of Congress. 

I agree, they...

WALSH:  But they don‘t have a veto-proof majority.

BUCHANAN:  Well, they‘re not—but look, they—all they got to do is not vote any funds for the war.  Vote $20 billion.  Say, That‘s it, Mr.  President.  Get them out.  We‘re not giving you any more.  The president could veto it, they don‘t give him any more.  They end the war.

WALSH:  And they don‘t have the votes for that.

BUCHANAN:  They certainly got the votes (INAUDIBLE) got majorities in both Houses, for heaven‘s sakes!


BUCHANAN:  They just don‘t have it in their caucus!

SCARBOROUGH:  What you are suggesting, Pat, is the equivalent, the 2007 equivalent of what Republicans did in 1995, when the government shut down, where you just don‘t give the president the money that the president is asking for.

BUCHANAN:  Exactly!

SCARBOROUGH:  And instead of talking about giving Bill Clinton money to run the government, you‘re talking about not giving the president the money he needs to fund his war plan.

BUCHANAN:  Exactly.  You say, The war isn‘t working, Mr. President.  We‘ve gone long enough.  Here‘s $20 billion.  It‘s to get them out.  We‘re not giving you any more.  If you veto it, you‘re not getting any more.  And get us out of there.  Why don‘t they do that?

WALSH:  We may yet see that.  We really may yet see that.  You‘re the one who thought that they wouldn‘t come back at the president again with timelines.  They are getting tougher.

BUCHANAN:  They‘re going to him the money!

WALSH:  But you guys are asking nothing of the Republicans.

BUCHANAN:  They‘re going to give him the money, and you know it as well as I do, Joan.

SCARBOROUGH:  Michael Crowley, do you think the president, in the end, is going to get the money that he needs from the Democratic Congress?

MICHAEL CROWLEY, “THE NEW REPUBLIC”:  I think so, Joe.  I mean, I think in their heart of hearts, a lot of Democrats, even ones who are talking about wanting to end the war right away and get out—you know, I‘ve seen signs of this.  You know, once or twice I‘ve heard it sort of in an off-the-record basis, that I think they really are kind of queasy about doing it.  And part of it is the politics.  I think maybe you have a little bit of a dynamic where Democrats feel like, nationally, the poll numbers are with them, but they do have some members in vulnerable districts, maybe pro-Republican districts, and they worry about the effect on them.  So the caucus and the national polls are one thing, but some of their vulnerable members, I think, you know, influence what they end up doing.

SCARBOROUGH:  But Michael, if I can, just for one minute—I think it‘s a very important distinction to point out here because a lot of people will say, Well, you know, the Democrats in the Senate won‘t go along with what the House wants to do, what Nancy Pelosi‘s House wants to do, because of course, the House members are a lit more liberal than their counterparts who run the United States Senate.  But if the House of Representatives decides they‘re not going to fund this war, there‘s not a darn thing that Democrats in the Senate or George W. Bush can do about it, is there.  The Democrats in Nancy Pelosi‘s House of Representatives, in the end, have the power to freeze all funding for this war, if that‘s what they choose to do.

CROWLEY:  No, that‘s true.  You can‘t just create the money out of nowhere.  It doesn‘t grow on a tree.  And you know, I will say that I think that there were some Democrats—the Democratic caucus has been moving to the left on this steadily.  And I think some Democrats in the votes we saw a few days ago actually cast votes that were surprisingly anti-war.  You actually had a handful of Democrats who were in, I believe, what may have been pro-Bush 2004 districts who were voting for firm timelines to end the war.  So that is the direction they‘re moving in.  But I just think they‘re not quite at the point where they‘re really ready to cross the Rubicon.

SCARBOROUGH:  But I think what‘s happening here, though, is you are having not only Democrats moving to the left, you‘re also having Republicans moving to the left.  Since we started this discussion, since Democrats passed this bill the first time, you‘ve had some Republicans bolting this weekend.  I mean, again, you‘ve had...

BUCHANAN:  Yes, but Joe—Joe, look, here‘s...

WALSH:  But they don‘t bolt when it‘s time to vote.

BUCHANAN:  Joe, here‘s your problem, Joe.  Here‘s the problem.  Look, these guys do have the power, Republicans and Democrats, if they get together, to defund the war.  Bush vetoes it, and what he says, in effect, I‘m responsible for the war.  It‘s Bush‘s war.  But you guys are responsible for the defeat.  That‘s what you voted for.  And they are looking at that, and they‘re saying, Uh-uh, we don‘t want that.  Let‘s make a gesture against the war and then give him the money.  It‘s his war.  Let it be his defeat.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you know, and Joan, the thing is, Republicans, though—again, you‘re exactly right.  Republicans are not voting the way that...

WALSH:  That they‘re talking.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... they‘re talking.  Right now, they‘re going to the

White House, they‘re making threats.  But very few of them out there are

talking like Chuck Hagel, who, of course, this weekend was predicting again

that more and more Republicans would be leaving the president.  And then,

of course, you‘ve got the kidnapping right now of these three troops that -

it‘s got to be embarrassing to the White House also.

But I want you to take a listen to Senator Chuck Hagel again over the weekend.


HAGEL:  I‘m not happy with the Republican Party today.  It has drifted from the party of Eisenhower, of Goldwater, of Reagan, the party that I joined.  It isn‘t the same party.  It‘s not.  It‘s been hijacked by a group of single-minded almost isolationists, insulationist power projectors.


SCARBOROUGH:  Joan, he sounds like me, but more and more Republicans are saying that, at some point, the Republican base may actually start pressuring their members in the House and the Senate to follow the Chuck Hagels of the world, right?

WALSH:  Well, I hope that‘s true.  I mean, you‘re right, they do—

the talk is getting tougher.  Hagel has been great for a while.  But no one

has been quite willing to join him by putting their votes on the line, at

this point, except for Gordon Smith.  So you know, I keep waiting to see

it.  I keep trying to give them the benefit of the doubt.  I truly believe

you know, Pat can talk about what the Democrats ought to do and they ought to defund the war.  But it would be really wonderful to see some Republicans step forward...

BUCHANAN:  No, Joan...

WALSH:  ... with some compromise notions about how to do this.

BUCHANAN:  Joan, let me say this.

WALSH:  Sure.

BUCHANAN:  I‘ll tell you what.  Republicans aren‘t doing it, either.

WALSH:  Right.

BUCHANAN:  Both of them realize—look, they feel—let‘s suppose they succeed in defunding the war as of September, and by November, December, this thing is coming down.  There‘s a bloodbath going on, a disaster.  And then Bush turns around and says, You guys did it.  Then they go into the campaign not only with having voted us into war but with a disaster on their hands.  Then they‘re all wiped out!  That‘s what they‘re afraid of, the consequences of doing what they believe they ought to do.

SCARBOROUGH:  And Michael Crowley...


SCARBOROUGH:  Michael Crowley, I think there‘s—I mean, obviously, Democrats learned a terrible political lesson when they took the moral lead to get out of—what they considered the moral lead to get America out of Vietnam.  The American people seemed to be with them, and yet they seem to pay for that for the next 15, 20 years for being weak on defense.  Isn‘t that what, in the end, is scaring the Democrats?  I mean, because you don‘t have all the people out in the streets that you had during—you know, post-Tet during Vietnam, and it‘s—it is—it is—like Pat says, if they vote to defund the troops with a small number of Republicans and things go terribly there, they‘re going to be blamed for that for the next 10 years, right?

CROWLEY:  No, I think that is what they‘re thinking, you know, although what I‘m hearing from Pat at the end is that both parties are casting this through a political prism.  So there‘s been a lot of emphasis on the political calculations for the Democrats, but everyone, I think, in Washington, unfortunately, is thinking about this war in some political terms.

But you‘re right, Joe.  I mean, for a generation, for 30 years, Republicans had a devastating advantage over Democrats on national security issues.  Now, there‘s actually been some interesting—I‘ve seen some people writing that—you know, that maybe the Vietnam effect has been exaggerated, that Democrats actually—I mean, if you think about the class that came in in 1974, that was a great election for Democrats.  But there was definitely something going on in the ‘70s and ‘80s.  So yes, that‘s what they‘re thinking about.

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt about it, they‘ve got to be very scared about that because, of course, they were cast as the party that was against the military.

Now, everybody stay with us because speaking of the military, another top general is now coming forward saying that George W. Bush refused to listen to commanders in Iraq.  Talk about changing the dynamics of military and politics.  We‘re going to ask the panel how devastating these political ads that show generals siding against the commander-in-chief could be for the president and his party.

Plus, two shock jocks fired for a controversial comment, but Rosie O‘Donnell gets a free pass for a similar slur.  We‘ll tell you why when we return.



GEN. PAUL EATON, U.S. ARMY (RET.):  President Bush says he listens to his military commanders.  Well, Mr. President, I was one of those commanders, and you weren‘t listening when we warned you of the dangers we‘d face invading Iraq.  Now our military is overcommitted, and America is less secure.  Mr. President, you‘re being told we need serious diplomatic, not escalation, and you‘re still not listening.  If the president won‘t listen, Congress must.


SCARBOROUGH:  That was General Paul Eaton, a 33-year U.S. Army veteran who served as a commander in Iraq.  It was part of a well-funded campaign targeting Republicans in Congress seen to be wavering in their support for the war.  Will it work?  And what does it mean when career military officers are publicly willing to criticize their commander-in-chief?

Still with us, Michael Crowley, Joan Walsh and Pat Buchanan.  Joan, we were talking about that great advantage that Republicans had over Democrats for years.  I remember when I ran in 1994, you couldn‘t find a general that would support a Democrat who was supposed to beat me.  I mean, the military always came out on the side of Republicans because Republicans were supposed to have understood the military better.  That advantage seems to be taken away by this war, by this president, and now by these ads.

WALSH:  I think these ads are absolutely devastating, Joe.  I mean, I think you‘ve got a situation where you have a commander-in-chief who has completely squandered that Republican advantage with the military.  He‘s mistreated the military.  He hasn‘t listened to the military.  The ad is quite factual.  And one of the things that I like about it, at least this early in the political season, it‘s not trashing anyone.  It‘s not trashing Republicans.  It‘s not targeting John Warner and saying, you know, Let‘s bring down Virginia senator John Warner.  It will play in a lot of those districts with vulnerable Republicans, and it‘ll make a lot of those Republican voters think about whether their guy or gal in Congress is doing enough to make sure the president listens to the military, or if that‘s hopeless, to channel what the military is saying.  So I think they‘re really—this one and the one by General Batiste are very devastating.

SCARBOROUGH:  And Michael Crowley, again, Republicans have had that advantage for a very long time.  You know, I—five (ph) military districts in my—in my—five military bases in my district while I served in Congress.  I know a lot of retired generals, a lot of retired admirals.  They don‘t go out and do things like that.  They usually bite their tongue until it bleeds.  This is so dramatic, it has to have a great political impact in these districts were the ads are running.

CROWLEY:  Well, definitely.  I mean, there‘s such a “man bites dog” quality to it because, as you say, people associate the military establishment with the Republican Party.  And Republicans—you know, that‘s where this whole kind of “support the troops” vibe came from.  It was the Republican Party that felt like it just had total unquestioned credibility and authority...

SCARBOROUGH:  And they did.

CROWLEY:  ... on military affairs.  And they did.  And that‘s why I think they got away, for a long time, intimidating Democrats by saying, You don‘t understand national security, you don‘t support the troops.  And you know, they have completely squandered that through one fiasco after another.

And I think this is very different.  I mean, this ad is talking fairly substantively about the policy.  You know, I was reminded the other day of Jesse Helms in 1993 said the military hates Bill Clinton, and he intimated that members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff didn‘t trust Bill Clinton.  And that was just kind of a sleazy innuendo, whereas this is really talking about the policy, talking about failed military strategy in a more substantive and honorable way, I think.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Pat, it may have been a sleazy comment, but I talked to those generals.  They would come talk to me.  Not talking about the Joint Chiefs so much.  But they didn‘t like Bill Clinton, and the military hasn‘t liked Democrats for 25, 30 years, for the most part.  I‘m over-generalizing, but it‘s just the reality.  The overwhelming number of military men and women, when they get behind closed doors and talk to you, they let you know that they had very little respect for a lot of Democratic leaders.  That seems to have changed.  George Bush—has he not punted away a lot of that advantage because of the mistakes of Iraq?

BUCHANAN:  Well, there‘s no doubt about that.  But this is more serious than that.  I mean, General Batiste is the commander of the Big Red One, and General Eaton, I guess his name is—these people are combat commanders over there in a war-time, and they‘re seeing what is happening to their army, which is being ravaged.

And secondly, I think they‘re looking down at a possible defeat of the United States in Iraq, just like the defeat in Vietnam, and they know what happened.  They‘ve got to be deeply anguished over this.  But politically, this is doing damage, no doubt, to the Republicans.

But Joe, the election is a long way off, and the Republicans, by the time they get there, they‘re going to have broken on this war, if the president‘s continuing on this course.  So I think the real reality, again, is when we get to September, where do we go from there?  And if we are continuing down the road, I think a part of the Republican Party shears off and takes a left turn.

SCARBOROUGH:  I think so.  And I think when they do that, they give the Democrats all the votes they need to do whatever they want to do on the issue of Iraq, at least, and the political ramifications of that, in the end, may actually be good for the Republican Party, whether or not it‘s good for the republic or not.

Hey, thanks a lot, Joan Walsh, Michael Crowley, Pat Buchanan.  So great to have you back.

Hey, make sure to join me tomorrow morning bright and early for “MORNING JOE” right here on MSNBC starting at 6:00.  I‘m going to be joined again by (INAUDIBLE) John Ridley and Willie Geist.  Our guests tomorrow include Dan Rather, Senator Joe Biden and Bob Costas.

And coming up here next: Two more shock jocks fired for offensive comments, but would they have lost their jobs before the Imus firestorm?  Or is it political correctness run amok?  And we‘re going to show you shy Rosie got away with similar racist remarks.

But first: President Bush tries to speak loudly and carry a little stick, next in “Must See S.C.”


SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, it‘s time for tonight‘s “Must See S.C.,” some video you got to see.  First up: NBC announces its primetime lineup for next season, and (INAUDIBLE) some shocking changes in the hit show “Heroes.”  Jay Leno gives us a sneak peek.


JAY LENO, HOST, “TONIGHT SHOW”:  They keep introducing new heroes, new characters, and I guess for the big finale coming up, they‘ve got a new character they‘ve just introduced.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Our “Heroes” come together once again, this time to welcome a new hero with a power unlike anything you‘ve ever seen before.  Laundromatman!


SCARBOROUGH:  And finally: Should the president stick to conducting rather than the speeches?  Well, we‘ll see what the—what is the president doing there?  David Letterman shows us music may be a better fit for the president than words.


FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  ... that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself!

JOHN F. KENNEDY, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!



SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up: Shock jocks beware.  The Imus effect claims two more controversial radio hosts.  So why was Rosie O‘Donnell allowed to stick around after she made the kind of slur?

And later: A BBC reporter blows his top at a Scientologist, and it‘s all caught on camera.  Didn‘t mean to be glib, but what‘s up with that?



SCARBOROUGH:  And coming up, these days it seems you can‘t talk about Scientology without somebody losing it.  First, Tom Cruise, now a reporter caught on tape screaming—and I mean screaming—about the religion.  So does Scientology fight dirty, or are they just fighting back for fair treatment?  That story and a lot more, straight ahead. 

But first, the Imus effect claims the radio careers of two more shock jocks, a month after the firing of Don Imus for making racist comments on the air.  CBS Radio has canned more hosts for a prank phone call making fun of workers at a Chinese restaurant.  Take a listen. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You are a very nice Chinese man. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I swear to (bleep) God, probably can‘t drive for (bleep), but who cares?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  All right.  Anything else? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I need shrimp “flied lice.”

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK, a large order or small? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Very large, shrimp “flied lice.”


SCARBOROUGH:  Is this the right call or is there a double standard?  Here‘s John Ridley right now, screenwriter and commentator, also Steve Adubato, MSNBC media analyst. 

Steve, because I think you‘re more awake, we‘ll go to you first.  Steve, tell me what do you make of this firing?  Was CBS right?  Should they have fired this people, or is this political correctness run amok, because everybody‘s scared after Imus? 

STEVE ADUBATO, MEDIA ANALYST:  It could be both.  But I‘ll tell you what, Joe, post-Imus, the rules have changed.  They‘re unwritten, but it is clear that Asian-American groups, when these two guys did this in the New York market, Asian-American groups went to CBS and said, “Look, you did this to Imus.  You fired him.  We want nothing less.”  And they suspended them, I guess, for about three weeks, Joe, first, and then these Asian-American groups said, “If you do anything other than what you did to Imus, we‘re going to be all over you, all over your sponsors,” so therefore the marketplace has changed. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Steve Adubato, was it the right call, yes or no? 

ADUBATO:  Oh, I believe it was. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I want to show you now Rosie O‘Donnell sitting next to Barbara Walters on ABC‘s “The View,” and you judge whether she got away with something that her friends at CBS Radio didn‘t get away with.  Watch this. 


ROSIE O‘DONNELL, HOST, “THE VIEW”:  Ching, chong, ching chong, Danny DeVito, ching, chong, chong, chong, drunk, “The View.”  Ching chong.


SCARBOROUGH:  I want you guys to rack that back up, because I want to run that again. 

Steve Adubato, how in the hell does Rosie O‘Donnell get away with that, which is much worse than what these guys on CBS Radio did?

ADUBATO:  Joe, look, we‘ve been doing the Rosie thing for a year now.  The things that she‘s been saying about 9/11, about the World Trade Center building seven, I guess they‘re so egregious, the conspiracy that the U.S.  government had something to do with it, they‘re so outrageous, they‘re so nutty, that somehow this thing slipped through, which, in my mind, Joe, was actually worse than the things that the New York DJs did that you just ran before, much worse.

SCARBOROUGH:  And that‘s what, Steve Adubato, you‘ve been telling me for some time, that what Rosie said—and I want to run it again—what Rosie said and how she characterized Asian-Americans—she used basically the Asian-American equivalent of the n-word.  Let‘s run Rosie again.  Take a look at this.


ROSIE O‘DONNELL, HOST, “THE VIEW”:  Ching, chong, ching chong, Danny DeVito, ching, chong, chong, chong, drunk, “The View.”  Ching chong.


SCARBOROUGH:  John Ridley, people were laughing.  I don‘t understand.  Again, how does she get away with this on Barbara Walter‘s show, when two shock jocks are fired for doing something far less offensive? 

JOHN RIDLEY, SCREENWRITER AND COMMENTATOR:  I agree with Steve.  Rosie has said so many things that I think this is one of those things that has slipped through. 

This, however, when she said this—and I don‘t want to repeat a single thing that she said—was part of a joke about something else.  It was a small bit of it.  She came on the air a couple days later and apologized profusely.  It was terrible what she said.  As you said, Joe, in the middle of it, it‘s basically like using the n-word for black people. 

However, these other guys, JV and Elvis, they did an extended three- or four-minute piece calling up an actual Asian restaurateur and just basically pilloried this guy and made this poor individual the butt of a joke.  I think—and as I‘ve said before, I think it‘s the individuals who are offended who should be calling for the firing.  It‘s not up to me; it‘s not up to anyone else. 

But I think with the Asian-American community feeling offended by what happened, I would say that I don‘t miss JV and Elvis one iota.  I think there are other people who can fill their shoes quite nicely and much better. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I want to also have you guys listen to what a guest on Opie and Anthony‘s show said last week, but first a warning that some people are going to find this language offensive.  Listen. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘ll tell you what.  What‘s that George Bush (bleep) on Rice, Condoleezza Rice? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Condoleezza Rice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I love that (bleep).  She‘s the (bleep). 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I just imagine the horror in Condoleezza Rice‘s face...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  When she realizes what‘s going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  As you were just like holding her down and (bleep) her. 


SCARBOROUGH:  And, of course, Reverend Al Sharpton, John Ridley, your man, the man who credits himself with getting Imus fired, but last week, just last week found himself in hot water over comments he made about Mitt Romney‘s Mormon religion, called the comments, quote, “ugly and outrageous.”  And said, quote, “My personal feeling is, they should already have been fired.” 

Is this another example of a double standard by the P.C. police? 

RIDLEY:  Well, once Al Sharpton gets into something, I think double standard vanishes, because it all just becomes this level of hypocrisy.  Al Sharpton has no business getting into the middle of this. 

I think what these two guys, Opie and Anthony, what they allowed on the radio and what they basically suborned by talking about the horror in Condoleezza Rice‘s face—and, by the way, I think Queen Elizabeth and Laura Bush were included in this conversation—it‘s horrible.  It‘s not even funny.  It‘s not close to being—I mean, at least JV and Elvis were attempting to be funny.  You‘re talking about torturing and brutalizing...


RIDLEY:  ... women.  I didn‘t even want to use that word.  I‘ve got two sisters.  I‘ve got a wife.  By the way, this was on XM radio, and even though it‘s premium radio and people are paying for it, who wants to pay for this?  Who wants to pay to hear about the brutalization of women?  This is like a snuff film for the theater of the mind.  That‘s all it is.

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s unbelievable.  And, you know, let me give you one more example of double standard, sort of these P.C. days.  At a graduation ceremony at Howard University on Saturday, Oprah Winfrey said her grandmother told her she hoped, quote, “She would get some good white folks to work for her.”  And then Oprah said to that class, “I regret she didn‘t live past 1963 and see that I did get some really good white folks working for me.” 

Steve Adubato, my gosh, just fill in—pick the race, and just fill in a white person saying that about any other race, and that white person would be off the air, would they not? 

ADUBATO:  In a heartbeat, Joe.  Oprah gets away with all kinds of things because, first of all, she‘s not disgusting, Opie and Anthony, trying to make a joke about what we were just talking about.  But Oprah making a comment like this gets away with it because she‘s the queen of daytime television. 

I have to tell you something.  I was looking at some of these blogs, Joe.  There are white folks across this country and others who are disgusted by what Oprah did, and I believe she thought, because she was at Howard University, a black university, that she could get away with it. 

And the problem is, in this environment and the Internet, everybody got to see it.  She should apologize for what she said.  There was nothing funny about it.  If a white person said it, they would be condemned, as they should.  She should be.  And because she‘s Oprah, she shouldn‘t get away with it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you know, though, John Ridley is laughing right now because he‘s got a white guy working for him every morning from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m.—John?

RIDLEY:  Listen, Steve, I was with you two out of three.  I was hoping to make it three out of three this time around.  The only people who could be offended by this are white males who see the sun setting on their (inaudible) empire washing away. 

ADUBATO:  John...

RIDLEY:  There was something on Media Matters today.  You talk about double standards.  There‘s a 9-1 ratio on news talk shows of white males to anyone else of another gender or color.  The fact that the one black woman who really accomplished in media says, “You know what?  It‘s a nice day and age because I was nice white focus who work with me.”  How many times do I have to hear, “John, you‘re a credit to your race”?  “John, you‘re not like the other guys”?  “John, it‘s so nice to have you here because you‘re so articulate”?


RIDLEY:  Steve, I‘m sorry...

ADUBATO:  Respectfully, John...

RIDLEY:  ... this is not her—this is not her trying to be funny. 

This is her trying...

ADUBATO:  Hey, John...

RIDLEY:  ... to make a point about how far that she has come in the media. 

ADUBATO:  John, let me say this real quick. 

RIDLEY:  Say it real quick, and then we‘ll talk about double standards, and see what you can do about getting more people of color on the news talk shows, because I have two white guys on both sides of me talking about double standards. 

ADUBATO:  John, real quick. 

RIDLEY:  Yes, sir?

ADUBATO:  Anyone who says you‘re a credit to your race, you‘re articulate, you understand what that means.  That is totally inappropriate.  That‘s disrespectful, but that has nothing to do with Oprah making a comment like that.  Look, because she‘s not as egregious as the other clips we saw, John, doesn‘t mean that she can‘t step over the line and say something racially insensitive.  I‘m surprised you can‘t admit it. 

RIDLEY:  I‘m saying, Steve—Steve, I‘m saying is, this is what we live with constantly.  And when the one time that white guys hear this, they‘re freaked out.  She said, “I have nice white people that work with me.”

ADUBATO:  John, some of us are freaked out by any inappropriate comments that have to do with race. 

RIDLEY:  Steve...

ADUBATO:  Whether it‘s Oprah or Opie and Anthony.

RIDLEY:  Steve, the last time I was on this show, what did you quote to me?  Dr. Martin Luther King, not Ayn Rand, not Nietzsche.  You thought that the only thing I would understand is Dr. King. 

ADUBATO:  Oh, that‘s—wait a minute.

RIDLEY:  It‘s all of these...

ADUBATO:  John, I can‘t believe you just said that. 

RIDLEY:  It‘s these little things.  Of course you can‘t believe I just said it. 

ADUBATO:  John, I said that Martin Luther King because I respect him, because I relate to him.  If you happen to, that‘s fine.  But I didn‘t say it because you‘re a black.  You‘re being overly sensitive and also misunderstanding my intent.

RIDLEY:  Of course I‘m overly sensitive.  Because I‘m a black man, and I don‘t understand things like that, is that what you‘re saying? 

ADUBATO:  And only you can understand racism? 

RIDLEY:  I didn‘t say I understand racism, but what I‘m saying is that only you white guys, who own the media empire, who are...

ADUBATO:  “You white guys”? 

RIDLEY:  ... owning the place—are you not a white guy, Steve?

ADUBATO:  You sound like Imus talking about “you people.” 

RIDLEY:  It‘s about time we have black people, and Asians, and other people who can stand up and say things for themselves.  I don‘t understand how you own the media, you guys—and this is Media Matters.  This was on Media Matters today. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You just said “you guys” again. 

RIDLEY:  You guys.  You are two guys.

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘m going to let you guys go it.  I‘m going to just have a little bit of Starbucks. 

ADUBATO:  John, let me just say this.  Italian-Americans aren‘t the white guys you‘re talking about.  I don‘t want to get into back and forth...


ADUBATO:  ... but every group has been discriminated against.  Blacks have not cornered the market on being the only ones, Asian-Americans and others. 

RIDLEY:  I want to be discriminated like you, Steve, where you guys are on the air 24/7. 

SCARBOROUGH:  “You guys”...

RIDLEY:  So, please, discriminate against me to the tune of $10 million a year.  I‘ll be the happiest man on television. 

ADUBATO:  You‘re doing all right, John.

SCARBOROUGH:  Steve, let me just say this to you.

RIDLEY:  Steve, you will be on my show every day.  You‘ll one of the nice white guys working for me.  I love you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, Steve Adubato...

ADUBATO:  Same here.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... let me just say this about you right now, OK, about being an Italian-American and everything else, you—and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, my friend—you are a credit to your race.  You‘re a very articulate Italian-American. 

RIDLEY:  Joe...

ADUBATO:  Thank you, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Ridley, if you‘re keeping score, all right, you‘re probably too tired to keep score, because we‘re averaging about three hours of sleep a night—I count it up, you said like 9-1 ratio.  You can tell your left-wing Marxist friends at Media Matters, next time you‘re in the college dorm room smoking pot with them, that tonight we‘ve had five guys, only three white guys. 


ADUBATO:  That‘s a good score, Joe.

RIDLEY:  You‘re progressive, Mr. Scarborough.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know why that is, John? 

RIDLEY:  Why? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Because in the end, I‘m a uniter, not a divider. 

ADUBATO:  You are, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  There you go, baby.

Steve Adubato, John Ridley—hey, John, by the way, get some rest.  You‘re getting kind of cranky.  And stop saying “you people.”  We find it very offensive, we white men.

RIDLEY:  You guys.  You guys. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You guys.  You guys.  All right, we‘re going to see you, John, bright and early tomorrow morning, starting at 6:00 a.m. right here on MSNBC, 6:00 a.m., that‘s very early.  And tomorrow morning, of course, we‘re going to be having Joe Biden and a cast of millions, Dan Rather, and also Bob Costas. 

Still ahead here, though, another assault on Scientology, but this time, the reclusive believers are bringing up the big guns.  Cue John Travolta, as “Hollyweird‘s” most notorious religious caused one reporter to lose it.  Well, I think you would call that losing it. 

Plus, what goes around comes around, and no one goes around more than pretty boy Justin Timberlake.  He‘s so dreamy.  What do the young and beautiful find so appealing about this guy anyway?  That‘s in “Hollyweird.”  And I mean weird.


SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, it was a Scientology smackdown, the controversial religion now is a topic of a new BBC documentary, but that, my friends, is not what‘s making news.  Instead, a clip of the reporter screaming at a Scientology spokesman is what‘s making its way across the Internet.  Now the religion‘s claiming he had an agenda.  Oh, really?  But he claims they were trying to brainwash him.  NBC‘s Keith Miller has the details on Scientology‘s latest wacky controversy. 


KEITH MILLER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  The BBC documentary on scientology airs tonight, but the reporter on the program is already making news on YouTube. 


MILLER:  John Sweeney, a veteran journalist, lost it during an interview, claiming he felt like he was losing his mind. 

SWEENEY:  No, it‘s your turn to listen to me.

MILLER:  Sweeney was reprimanded by the BBC, but not dismissed. 

SANDY SMITH, “BBC PANORAMA”:  I don‘t approve of that kind of journalism.  I want to bring light, not heat, to subjects, and I regret the way it‘s turned out.  It‘s a personality clash between the reporter and the Church of Scientologist‘s press handler, if you like. 

MILLER:  “What I did was wrong,” said Sweeney.  “I am embarrassed.” 

The Church of Scientology claimed Sweeney had prewritten the documentary.  So, according to a statement, members decided to do a John Sweeney on John Sweeney. 

SWEENEY:  I‘m angry, real angry. 

MILLER:  And the clash between the BBC and Scientology is escalating.  The actor John Travolta, a member of the religion, complained to the BBC in a letter that Sweeney insulted him and screamed abuse.  The BBC says its news crew were victims of something called “fair game,” a Scientology practice of going after opponents and discrediting them any way they can. 

Now the church is claiming that the BBC staged an anti-Scientology demonstration for the program, a charge the BBC is calling “outrageous.” 

The Sweeney blow-up occurred at a Scientology exhibition on the evils of psychiatry, a subject that got the “Today Show‘s” Matt Lauer and Scientologist Tom Cruise into a blunt exchange. 

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR:  Do you know now that Ritalin is a street drug?  Do you understand that? 

MATT LAUER, “TODAY” SHOW HOST:  The difference is, this was not against her will, though.

CRUISE:  No, Matt, no, Matt, I‘m asking you a question. 

LAUER:  But this wasn‘t against Brooke‘s will.

CRUISE:  Matt, I‘m asking you a question.

LAUER:  I understand there‘s abuse of all of these things. 

CRUISE:  No, you see, here‘s the problem.  You don‘t know the history of psychiatry.  I do. 

MILLER:  Sweeney stands by his documentary, saying, “I ended up losing my voice, but not my mind.” 

Keith Miller, NBC News, London. 


SCARBOROUGH:  “Hollyweird” is next! 


SCARBOROUGH:  Now, I don‘t know if you saw it last week, but Hillary Clinton said I‘m a very good-looking man, but you should have seen me before all the Botox, friends.  It‘s time for “Hollyweird.”

First up, Rosie O‘Donnell—it seems like she‘s got to be fighting with somebody.  This time, she started something with Ellen DeGeneres.  Here to tell us all about it, celebrity journalist David Caplan and editor-at-large for “Star” magazine Jill Dobson.

Let‘s take a look at what Rosie had to say about Ellen. 


ROSIE O‘DONNELL, HOST, “THE VIEW”:  Why do you talk about being gay all the time and the subject of gays all the time?  Ellen never mentions it.  Ellen‘s not allowed to.  She signed a contract that said she wouldn‘t.


O‘DONNELL:  It was on the heels of my show.  When I—right?  So that‘s why she doesn‘t. 


SCARBOROUGH:  David Caplan, I‘m not going to even ask you who those two women are there with Rosie.  It‘s so bizarre.  What‘s going on here?  Can she not get along with anybody?

DAVID CAPLAN, “STAR” MAGAZINE:  Yes, it looks like Rosie has a bit of a competitive edge here.  There‘s only one room for a lesbian daytime talk show host, and it‘s Rosie.  She‘s saying, “Hey, it was on the heels of my show,” but it seems interesting because Rosie may be doing her own show now, and so there‘s going to be a lot more competition here.  And where‘s she getting this information?  Even the rep for the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” was like, “Oh, really, Ellen‘s gay?  Big surprise.”  So I think Rosie needs to back off.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, come on, Jill Dobson.  I mean, what‘s wrong her?  I mean, Ellen just seems, you know, just a nice, lighthearted person.  She dances, has fun.  Is there nobody out there that Rosie can‘t stop from picking a fight with?

JILL DOBSON, “STAR” MAGAZINE:  Yes, I‘m still mad at Rosie for picking a fight with Kelly Ripa, who‘s never said anything bad about anyone, and Ellen DeGeneres is the same way.  She‘s warmhearted.  She tries to be very open and accepting of everyone.  And just last week on her show, Nathan Lane was a guest, and they talked about how he was involved with a project that Ellen is a big supporter of, and that‘s a suicide prevention network for gay and questioning teens.  So she has talked about gay issues on her show just last week, and I‘m sure there have been other since this, as well.  So I think Rosie is misinformed, but she states everything like it‘s a fact, and she stirs up controversy every time she talks. 

SCARBOROUGH:  She really does.

Speaking of controversy, Patty Hearst is not going to be giving any advice to Paris Hilton.  Rather, she‘s warning her future cellmates about her.  What‘s going on there, Jill Dobson? 

DOBSON:  Well, this is pretty hilarious.  Patty Hearst heard that different people were reporting that she had given advice to Paris on maybe how to get pardoned for a crime that you‘ve been involved in, and Patty said, hey, wait, don‘t mix me up in this.  If anything, I feel sorry for the inmates that are stuck behind bars with Paris Hilton, and I am not part of this.  I‘m not one of her supporters.

SCARBOROUGH:  And, David Caplan, let‘s talk about Justin Timberlake.  He and Cameron Diaz ended their three-year relationship in January, but apparently the guy who brought sexy back is a serial dater.  How can this possible be true?

CAPLAN:  That‘s right, Justin Timberlake was in Manchester, England, and he was at a hotel there, and he was hitting on a bunch of women, and he was spotted with two different women on two different nights, and they were kissing and getting cozy in a banquette.  So it doesn‘t look like he went home alone that night.  The ladies like him. 

SCARBOROUGH:  The ladies love him. 

Jill Dobson, please explain why.  I just don‘t understand.

DOBSON:  Joe, this is one topic where you and I are never going to agree, because I think Justin Timberlake is awesome.  And I know you disagree with me.

SCARBOROUGH:  You think this guy is sexy?  You think this is the guy that brought sexy back to America? 

DOBSON:  I think he‘s very talented, he‘s very charming. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Is he sexy? 

DOBSON:  And he‘s got a great career.  He‘s not my type.  He‘s a little young for me, Joe, but I‘m aging out beyond the Justin Timberlakes, but I do think he‘s talented.  I can see why the ladies like.  And “Star” magazine has reported that he‘s been involved with different people like Jessica Biel and other non-celebrities who are very beautiful. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, I just don‘t understand it, guys.  I just don‘t understand it.  Jill Dobson, David Caplan, thank you so much. 

Hey, and make sure to watch us tomorrow morning for “Morning Joe” right here on MSNBC.  Going to be joined by John Ridley and Willie Geist.  Our guests tomorrow, Dan Rather, Joe Biden, and Bob Costas.  That‘s tomorrow at 6:00.  See you tomorrow.



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