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updated 3/11/2004 11:32:00 AM ET 2004-03-11T16:32:00

Guests: Sarah Eltantawi, Aaron Dyer, Larry Brooks, Patricia Ireland, Ken Daneyko, Greg Mueller, J.D. Hayworth, Tad Devine, Roy Black

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, will it be Bush-Cheney vs. Kerry-McCain this November?

You‘re about to enter SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  No passport required, no old grudges allowed. 

John McCain said he would consider jumping across the aisle to join John Kerry‘s ticket if he was asked to be V.P.  Is the Arizona senator trying to get back at George Bush for wounds still left over in 2000?  We‘ll debate that. 

And then, Florida prosecutors are after Rush Limbaugh over his prescription addiction.  But they have completely ignored other public figures with the same problem.  Evidence of a double standard seems to be building.  And Rush‘s attorney, Roy Black, is going to be in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY tonight. 

And a vicious attack on the ice leaves a hockey player in a pool of blood with a broken neck.  Is this just part of the game or a criminal act?  We‘re going to ask Stanley Cup winner Ken Daneyko if violence in hockey has finally gone too far. 

But, first, John McCain is proving once again that revenge is best served up cold.  It‘s time for tonight‘s “Real Deal.” 

Arizona Senator John McCain sent shockwaves through the White House and across the nation‘s capital this morning when he said he would consider being on Democrat John Kerry‘s vice presidential ticket.  This is the Vietnam War hero in his own words:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA:  John Kerry is a very close friend of mine.  And we‘ve been friends for years.  Obviously, I would entertain it, but I see no scenario, no scenario, no scenario where—I foresee no scenario where that would happen. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  No scenario, but he would entertain it. 

Now, John McCain is a smart man.  He knew then, and he knows now, that leaving open the possibility of running against a Republican president on a Democratic ticket would create shockwaves and would be considered the political equivalent of treason.  But John McCain couldn‘t care less.  You know, he‘s one of the few politicians I‘ve ever met in Washington, D.C. who walks to the beat of his own drummer, instead of listening to party boss. 

But his peers also tell me he‘s a gritty fighter, who never forgives or forgets when he‘s wronged.  And get this.  John McCain will remember the beating the Bush team gave him in South Carolina four years ago until the day he dies.  And anybody that tells you that bitter campaign didn‘t play into this morning‘s drive-by political shooting either doesn‘t know Washington politics or is simply lying to you. 

John McCain is punching back four years later.  The only question is whether the punching‘s going to stop or whether he‘s going to keep on and whether he‘s going to try to land the knockout blow on George Bush this fall, when George Bush really needs the support of his old enemy. 

Tonight, John McCain is the only person who knows whether that help will ever come.  And that‘s tonight‘s “Real Deal.” 

With me now is John Kerry‘s senior adviser, Tad Devine. 

Tad, thank you for being with us tonight. 

TAD DEVINE, SENIOR JOHN KERRY CAMPAIGN ADVISER:  Good to be with you.

SCARBOROUGH:  Obviously, this morning, John McCain set off shockwaves in the nation‘s capital and around America by suggesting he may be open to being John Kerry‘s vice presidential candidate.  Respond. 

DEVINE:  Well, I understand this afternoon, Senator McCain‘s chief of staff put out a pretty unequivocal candidate saying that he would not be a candidate for vice president.  And I suspect that is going to be the case. 

SCARBOROUGH:  John Kerry said this after a campaign event when he thought the microphone had been turned off.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We‘re going to keep pounding, let me tell you.  We‘re just beginning to fight here.  These guys are—these guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group of people I‘ve ever seen.  It‘s scary.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Don‘t you think that statement was over the line, calling George Bush and his administration crooks and liars? 

DEVINE:  Well, Joe, I don‘t believe he called the president and his administration crooks and liars. 

I believe he was referring to the same people who, four years ago, did what they did to John McCain, you know, in South Carolina, the same people who two years ago did what they did to Max Cleland, an American hero, in Georgia.  And I think what he was trying to express and I think did express is a simple fact.  In this campaign, the Kerry campaign, we‘re not going to take it. 

And if the attacks come, the underhanded attacks, we‘re going to respond to them and we‘re going to stand up and fight.  And what we want to talk about in this campaign are the real issues of jobs and health care that people care about, but the attacks are not going to—we‘re not going to sit there and be run over by them. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, yes, but not being run over by somebody and calling him a liar and saying he‘s crooked, those are two different things.  I know the Bush administration had this to say about his remarks.

They said: “Senator Kerry‘s statement today in Illinois was unbecoming of a candidate for the presidency of the United States of America, and tonight we call on Senator Kerry to apologize to the American people for this negative attack.”

Will Senator Kerry apologize for calling the president of the United States a crook and a liar? 

DEVINE:  First, Joe, I didn‘t hear him call the president of the United States a crook and a liar. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  What did he do?  Who are the liars?  Who are the crooks? 

DEVINE:  I‘ll tell you exactly who they are. 

In the aftermath of the statement, I believe the campaign specifically clarified he was not referring to the president or the vice president.  He was referring to, as I just stated a minute ago, the right-wing attack machine that conducted a scurrilous campaign against John McCain four years ago, scurrilous campaign against Max Cleland two years ago.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Name names.  Who‘s that right-wing attack machine?

DEVINE:  I‘ll tell you, Joe.  The great thing about naming names of some of these people who were floating this stuff around the Internet today is that that‘s just what they‘re looking for, to be elevated in this process.  I think anyone who‘s familiar with what‘s going on in this campaign has seen the scurrilous attacks floating around against John Kerry questioning his patriotism, questioning his service to this nation.  We‘re not going to take it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thank you so much for being with us, Tad Devine.  We appreciate it. 

DEVINE:  Nice to be with you.

SCARBOROUGH:  And with me now is Congressman J.D. Hayworth of Arizona.  We also have former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan and Greg Mueller, who has worked on two presidential campaigns. 

J.D. Hayworth, let me begin with you. 

Why would your Republican senator, John McCain, even consider for a minute being the vice president to the most liberal senator in America?  That‘s got to be shocking to his Arizona constituents. 

REP. J.D. HAYWORTH ®, ARIZONA:  Well, I‘ll tell you what, if he were serious about it, I would presume, Joe, I would have gotten a call today as the former national co-chair of his presidential campaign in 2000.  I think he would have called people who have been involved with his efforts on the national stage. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You had to be shocked, though, J.D.  You had to be shocked that he said he was considering it. 

(CROSSTALK)

HAYWORTH:  I just saw the particular interview in the segment for the first tonight.  But I first him say—now correct me if I‘m wrong, Joe—no scenario, no scenario, no scenario, no scenario where that would happen. 

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on, J.D. Hayworth.  Buddy, listen, hold on now.

Listen, I hate to sound like O‘Reilly, OK, but I‘m so dizzy, the spinning out here.  You and I both know, J.D. Hayworth, that smart politicians like John McCain and yourself don‘t go on “Good Morning America” and say they would entertain being vice president of the United States to a member of the other party unless they‘re trying to send a message.  What type of message is John McCain trying to send George Bush? 

HAYWORTH:  Call John McCain and ask him. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  That‘s outrageous, though, isn‘t it? 

(CROSSTALK)

HAYWORTH:  I learned a long time ago not to try to answer for John McCain.  I will let his words stand for himself. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Patrick Buchanan, let me bring you in here. 

There‘s a lot of spinning going on in Washington, D.C., from the McCain camp earlier today, from the Bush camp, from the Kerry camp.  What in the world is John McCain up to?  This is a sucker punch, isn‘t it?

PAT BUCHANAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Let me tell you, Joe, Tip O‘Neill said all politics is local.  When you get to John McCain‘s level and what was done to him in South Carolina, all politics is personal. 

This fellow was rattling the cages of the White House.  When he puts out the word, yes, certainly, I would entertain an offer of the vice presidential nomination from the president‘s mortal enemy here, he‘s sending a message to the White House.  There are guys in that White House who John McCain feels about as well as, as he does to the maitre d‘ of the Hanoi Hilton, Joe. 

This guy really went through a rough time.  And I think—quite frankly, I think he‘s going to help the president, but I think he wants something.  And the president of the United States and that White House crowd, he doesn‘t look upon those fellows as friends.  They are allies of necessity and allies of convenience. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat Buchanan, this is unprecedented, isn‘t it?  Can you think back over all your years in Washington, D.C., growing up there, following politics as close as you have, that a senior senator like John McCain has ever come out and said I would entertain being the vice president on the other party‘s ticket, especially with an incumbent president? 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  I‘ll tell you what.  One occasion I would have seen that, if Bobby Kennedy had been nominated in 1968 when LBJ was there, Joe, I think John Connally would have joined Richard Nixon‘s ticket.  They would have come across.

But I have never seen this before between two folks who are supposed to be the senior members of the same party and allies in this battle.  And it raises a question of what John McCain‘s going to be doing in the summer and in the fall.  They have got a guy walking around with nitroglycerin here. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, they sure do.

Now, John McCain had some nitroglycerin when he famously snapped at NBC‘s Maria Shriver on the way to conceding the Republican nomination to George Bush on Super Tuesday 2000 four years ago. 

Let‘s listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIA SHRIVER, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Senator, how do you feel?  How do you feel?

MCCAIN:  Please get out of here. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Greg Mueller, wasn‘t a happy man then. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  He smiled for four years.  But he‘s getting his revenge, isn‘t he? 

GREG MUELLER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  I think so, Joe. 

Look, this is nothing more to me than a “Saturday Night Live” skit.  Look, John McCain did this for two reasons.  One, he is very frustrated and a little bit bitter over that 2000 primary and caucus season, where he had it out with George Bush.  And he doesn‘t forget.  He‘s a man that holds grudges.  A lot of people in Washington know that. 

No. 2, he‘s like Bill Clinton.  He loves the limelight, Joe.  He loves

it.  He has to have the klieg lights on, the camera rolling, and he will

say anything to get it going.  But, listen, I don‘t care if they try to put

John McCain on the ticket.  Nothing is going to bring John Kerry to the

center of American politics.  He just got voted—or ranked, I should say

·         by “National Journal” the most liberal senator in the United States Congress, edging out Ted Kennedy and Senator Hillary Clinton. 

               

(CROSSTALK)

MUELLER:  John Kerry has got some big problems.  And John McCain and his “Saturday Night Live” skit aren‘t going to solve them. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Greg, I have got to say one thing, though.  I would never, ever compare John McCain to Bill Clinton.  They spent the ‘60s in very different ways. 

J.D., I want to bring you back in here.  Do we have the John Kerry clip, because I want to play this again?  Do we have the clip?  A yes or no from the control room will suffice.  Oh, good, that‘s a yes.

OK, J.D., I want you to hear this clip of John Kerry earlier today.  I was shocked by it.  Let‘s run it. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY:  We‘re going to keep pounding, let me tell you.  We‘re just beginning to fight here.  These guys are—these guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group of people I‘ve ever seen.  It‘s scary.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, J.D., in the 1990s, there was a lot of animosity between Republicans and Democrats.  I‘ll tell you what, it never reached that level with presidential candidates.  Calling the president of the United States a liar and a crook, isn‘t that unprecedented? 

HAYWORTH:  Well, what you got going on right now here is a situation that shows us just how far hate can carry you in a campaign. 

In Kerry‘s situation, you know, we talk about the peaks and valleys of a campaign, about a June swoon.  Well, Kerry‘s having the soon swoon.  He can‘t stand up to national scrutiny.  You heard Tad Devine trying to make the best of less than a divine situation.  As we take a look at John Kerry‘s record, the fact that he voted to cut billions from the intelligence budget, the fact that, on John Kerry‘s world, there would be no Apache attack helicopter, the fact that John Kerry earlier this week said, hey, the guys in Europe really want me to be president. 

Hey, memo and bulletin to Tad Devine and John Kerry.  Look, Americans select the president of the United States, not the French, not the Germans. 

(CROSSTALK)

HAYWORTH:  So Kerry is into the soon swoon, and he has just compounded his difficulties today. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat Buchanan, of course, during the ‘90s, there were a lot of Republican congressmen, a lot of political consultants that went after Bill Clinton with a vengeance and said that sort of thing.  But I have never heard presidential candidates of major parties call other candidates liars and crooks.  Is that outburst unprecedented? 

BUCHANAN:  That is really unprecedented to be on camera like that or be caught saying something like that eight months out.  I think it was stupid.  I think it reflects a certain bitterness. 

But I think it reflects something else here.  I saw a poll today where already—Kerry‘s not known by something like 40 percent of the country, but 40 percent of the nation already thinks this guy will flip and flop and do anything, change his positions for political reasons, and 21 percent think he‘s a Massachusetts liberal and can‘t go for him. 

So the president‘s message, their attack message is beginning to take hold.  I think this guy senses it.  And we‘re finding out that John Kerry, under real pressure, it looks like this guy is getting angry and bitter and maybe can‘t handle it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, we will see, Pat Buchanan.  Thanks so much for being with us.  We always appreciate you here.

Also, Congressman J.D. Hayworth, you‘re looking great.

And Greg Mueller, thank you for being in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

Now, speaking of dirty politics, there are plenty of high-profile figures in Palm Beach County who have been addicted to prescription drugs.  They haven‘t been harassed by prosecutors, though, but Rush Limbaugh has.  And his attorney is here to talk about it and about that apparent double standard. 

And then hockey and violence has always gone hand in hand with run play.  But when a player‘s neck gets broken and he‘s left lying in a pool of his own blood, it‘s time to say enough is enough.  We‘re going to talk to an NHL great about the latest mauling on ice. 

So stick around. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  The evidence mounts that Rush Limbaugh continues to be the victim of prosecutorial misconduct and a double standard.  His lawyer, Roy Black, is in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY in a minute to tell us why.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Is there a double standard of justice in the Palm Beach prosecutor‘s office when it comes to Rush Limbaugh? 

Well, Rush Limbaugh thinks so.  And this is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  It seems there was a judge in 2002 that was addicted to painkillers for eight years.  He admitted his problem, went to rehab.  They had—he left the court, had some problems after rehab.  There was no investigation. 

There was no seizing of medical records.  His doctor‘s offices were not raided.  And the media‘s ignoring it.  They all know about it, but they are ignoring it.  So it just points out the special treatment and the different treatment that certain people get in the legal system here.  In this case, it was a judge. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  With us now is Roy Black.  He‘s Rush Limbaugh‘s attorney.  He is also an NBC analyst. 

Roy, you know what?  Not only have I been a politician in Congress, so I understand the politics of the state attorney‘s office in the state of Florida.  I have also been a lawyer in the state of Florida.  But it is beyond me—it is beyond me—how a state attorney in the state of Florida, or any state, could allow a judge who was addicted to the same prescription drug medication that Rush Limbaugh‘s been addicted to, could be on it for eight years, not even be investigated, and have beautiful stories written about him in the local papers about having the courage to face his addiction, while Rush Limbaugh, let‘s face it, this guy has been drug through the mud for the past six months. 

ROY BLACK, ATTORNEY FOR RUSH LIMBAUGH:  Yes, there‘s no question about that, Joe. 

I watched your excellent show last night.  And both Judge Schwartz‘s case was talked about and Mandy Dawson.  And I think there are things we need to point out about this.  With Judge Schwartz, what happened with him, his doctor was under a criminal investigation.  He decided to go into rehabilitation, which he did for a period of time, then came back and there was no investigation at all. 

But, for the next six months, he was unable to sit as a judge because of severe depression and mental problems.  So the chief judge of the county wrote a letter to the Florida Supreme Court.  And the Judicial Qualifications Commission looked into the matter, not regarding his drug use, but whether he was still competent to sit as a judge. 

And when they talked about the medical records that were looked at regarding Judge Schwartz, the Florida Supreme Court appointed a psychiatrist and a psychologist who reported to the court, and those are the records they were talking about.  So Judge Schwartz was never criminally investigated.  I‘m not saying he should have been.  But he was only investigated based on his competency to remain as a judge. 

And there is no question there is a double standard in Palm Beach County when it comes to Rush Limbaugh. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, I found that very interesting, that, actually, “The Palm Beach Post” reporter kept talking about this investigation that took place.  But it was judicial investigation.  It was not an investigation from the prosecutor‘s office.

Have you talked to the prosecutor‘s office?  Have you discussed this with the prosecutor‘s office, say, help us understand.  You don‘t go after judges, you give state senators slaps on the wrists.  And yet here you have a private citizen named Rush Limbaugh who is being held to a higher standard. 

BLACK:  Well, Joe, unfortunately, our method of communication with the state attorney‘s office has broken down since December because of all the leaks they were perpetrating.

And now that we‘ve gone public to complain about it, I‘m afraid we‘re not really having any communication.  So we don‘t know why this is.  Now, I‘m not suggesting the judge should be criminally investigated.  What I‘m suggesting is, why isn‘t Rush treated the same as the judge? 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second, Roy.  That is a good point here.  I almost even hate to bring up this judge‘s name, because I think we all have friends that have had prescription drug problems or have had depression.  This is no indictment on this judge, who faced up to his problem.  And I think he should be commended for it.  This is an indictment on the system of Palm Beach County, isn‘t it? 

BLACK:  Absolutely. 

And if you watched Deborah Norville‘s show right before us here, they talked about Jerry Lewis being addicted to pain medication for many years because of a spinal problem.  This is not anything new.  A lot of people fall into this because they suffer from intractable and chronic pain.  And the only way to get relief is through these types of medications.  And it‘s very easy to become dependent on them. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, I‘ll tell you what.  It is.  As somebody that‘s had back surgery before, it is.  But, unfortunately for me, I got addicted to food instead. 

I want to read you what the state attorney‘s office said.  Back in

December, state attorney James Martz said this in a letter to you—quote

·         “A review of the records indicate evidence that would support in excess of 10 felony counts.”  But then in a brief filed this week, he said this, “The state will not be in a position to know what it can charge, if anything, until these records can be reviewed.”

Ten felony counts?  This guy hasn‘t brought a charge.  They‘ve been leaking all this information; 10 felony counts, that could put your client in jail for the rest of his life. 

BLACK:  Yes, but as they admit, they actually had no evidence of this.  What they are trying to do is to get his medical records, hoping they will find something in his medical records that will allow them to bring a case against him. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, again, they did not—help me out here.  They did not go after the judge‘s medical records? 

BLACK:  No.

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Roy, you go before judges.  You understand how the judicial system works.  Don‘t you think getting information about a judge‘s prescription drug problem may be a tad more important than getting that information from a radio talk show host? 

BLACK:  Well, last night, Joe, you talked about two public officials, and you would think that public officials are held to a higher standard than a private citizen, even a private citizen who has his own radio show. 

And, certainly, while Rush‘s radio show is extremely popular, nevertheless, you remember, we‘re dealing with a judge who rules on people‘s lives, their money, their children, their homes, in fact, their freedom.  So you would think there would be a little bit higher standard there. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And let‘s talk about the state senator in Florida again charged with a felony for forging a prescription.  And, of course, that was later dropped.  She believes that Rush Limbaugh may be getting off easy.  I want to you respond to this quote she made. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUSAN SPENCER-WENDEL, “THE PALM BEACH POST”:  I was arrested and Rush hasn‘t been arrested.  And I think that the difficulty is that he has for some time been very harsh on any types of drug offenses.  And so there‘s a double standard.  He‘s probably gotten away with a lot more than I certainly was able to get away with. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Roy, we got 15 seconds.  Respond to that. 

BLACK:  I have to tell you, Joe, I almost fell off my chair last night listening to this. 

She said there were two differences.  One, she had a valid prescription.  Well, sure.  What she did is, she took an old prescription.  She changed the date, multiplied the number of pills and then passed it off at a pharmacy and they caught her red-handed passing a forged prescription.  The police came and she told them she was a state senator and she was too important to be arrested and she would get them all fired if they dared arrested her.  So, of course, they arrested her.  That‘s why she was arrested.

And then she said, well, I had a valid prescription.  Well, it was a forged prescription.  The only person who had a valid prescription between the two of them was Rush Limbaugh.  And the only person who has never been arrested or seized by the police committing any crime is Rush.  So, if there is a double standard here, it certainly is working against Rush, not against the state senator.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, I‘ll tell you what, Roy Black, this is a remarkable case.  It seems almost unprecedented on a national level.  We are going to stay on it.  We appreciate you coming on the show talking about it.  Anything else comes up, please return to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

BLACK:  Well, Joe, thank you so much for giving us airtime to put our point of view out there. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, I‘ll tell you what.  It‘s the fair thing to do and we‘d do it for anybody that was facing this type of prosecutorial misconduct.  It‘s a witch-hunt down in Palm Beach County.  And it ain‘t pretty. 

Up next, a hockey player sucker-punches his opponent, breaking his neck and leaving him in a pool of blood.  Is the NHL waiting until somebody gets killed to crack down on fighting?  We‘re ask three-time Stanley Cup winner Ken Daneyko about his reaction to this unbelievable attack. 

And “Girls Gone Wild” has made millions off of getting teenagers to lift their tops.  But the attorney for “Girls Gone Wild” says his client is the one being harassed, and he‘s here to tell us why. 

But first, let‘s get the latest headlines from MSNBC News Desk. 

(NEWS BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, hockey‘s always been a violent game, but two nights ago, the violence crossed the line.  Todd Bertuzzi of the Vancouver Canucks sucker-punched Colorado‘s Steve Moore from behind and broke his neck.  The NHL will announce Bertuzzi‘s punishment tomorrow, and cops are also taking a close look at the hit. 

Ken Daneyko, you won three Stanley Cups with the New Jersey Devils.  And you know a lot about violence and revenge in the NHL.  Is this just part of the game?  Or did he cross the line?

KEN DANEYKO, FORMER NHL DEFENSEMAN:  That‘s not part of the game. 

Under no circumstances do I want to defend the action of Todd Bertuzzi.  I will say hockey is a very physical game.  Things happen in a split-second.  And I do believe this is an isolated incident.  They happen every once in a blue moon.  I know everybody is going to say, well, do you got to wait until somebody dies?  But, no, do you want this to happen?  Absolutely not.  The game has made great strides.  It‘s got finesse.  It‘s got passion.  It‘s got skating ability. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You also have enforcers, though, right?  You also have guys that are sent out there to level other guys, just like we saw in the baseball playoffs, where you have players throwing baseballs 100 miles an hour at people‘s head. 

DANEYKO:  And is that any different, when a guy throws a 100-mile-an-hour fastball at a guy‘s head?  He can get killed.

SCARBOROUGH:  No, it could kill him.

DANEYKO:  But what I will say is, fighting, to me, still is a part of the game.  It‘s been part of the game for 100 years.  But there is a combination of speed, finesse, physicalness, and they have cleaned up the game a lot, where they have gotten away from the crazy brawls when I came up in the early ‘80s and guys before me. 

So I think they have done a lot in that direction, but you don‘t want to take the physical contact.  But what—Todd Bertuzzi was way over the line.  He crossed it.  And it‘s just a sad situation.  And my heart goes out to Steve Moore and his family.  But I can‘t imagine how Todd Bertuzzi feels right now.  He may have ended his career. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Should he be thrown in jail?  If this guy has permanent physical damage, should Todd and other players be thrown in jail when they commit actions on the ice that would be crimes if they were committed outside? 

DANEYKO:  Well, in my opinion, I don‘t think outside authorities should be involved. 

I think the National Hockey League, they have very, very reputable guys that—Gary Bettman, Colin Campbell, who handles the disciplinarian inactions.  You have Bill Daly, the vice president as well.  So these guys know what they have to do.  And they‘re going to set a precedent.  This is a very difficult situation.  But I don‘t think the police or authorities should be involved.  Hockey has to control it.

Guys have to have more respect for each other.  That‘s what‘s changed to me from when I came in the league in ‘82, is guys lose respect, forget that—I had 2,500 penalties.  I played the game very physical.  I wasn‘t suspended once.  And I had a temper at times.  But I did not want to cross the line if I had respect for the other athlete or our peers of the game. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Right. 

Now, four years ago, of course, Marty McSorley of the Bruins got charged with assault for knocking out Donald Brashear with his stick.  Bertuzzi called that incident unfortunate back then, but, then again, he broke somebody‘s neck coming in from behind with a hit. 

Joe Concha, you cover hockey for NBCSports.com.  Do you believe hockey violence is spiraling out of control? 

JOE CONCHA, NBCSPORTS.COM:  No, I agree with Kenny in that this was an isolated incident. 

You do see fights on a nightly basis, it seems, but, for the most part

·         that clip you just showed, that happened four years ago.  And there really hasn‘t been too many major incidents since.  I do have to agree with Kenny, though, in that I think that he should have been—Todd Bertuzzi should have been arrested the minute that he left the arena. 

Joe, it would be like you leaving the studio right now and you‘re walking out to the parking lot and I didn‘t like the way this interview went, so I sucker-punch you from behind.  I take you by the back of the head and I face-plant you into the parking lot.  I would think that, at that point, the police would come here and arrest me pretty quickly. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re damn right they would.  I‘d make sure they would. 

(LAUGHTER)

CONCHA:  I know you would. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

But, Joe, so you think that this guy should be thrown in jail?  You think he should be arrested, you think he should be thrown in jail? 

CONCHA:  Well, I hear about the Vancouver police doing an investigation right now. 

And, you know, how many more television angles do we have to see?  How many more witnesses in the 18,000 than was in the Vancouver rink last night do you have to talk to know that this already happened?  This is like the Rodney King tapes at this point. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But Ken says, you know what?  Keep it on the ice.  This should stay on the ice.  I brought up, of course, the playoffs last year in baseball, where you had a guy that can throw a baseball 95, 98 miles per hour aiming at people‘s heads. 

Of course, even if they were the New York Yankees, we can‘t smile on that type of activity, can we?  Do you arrest baseball players?  Do you arrest hockey players?  Do you arrest football players that cross the line? 

(CROSSTALK)

CONCHA:  Well, Joe, in this case, it was a premeditated incident.  I think Kenny will agree with me on that.  This was a retaliatory act for what happened three weeks ago against Vancouver‘s captain.  Bertuzzi went out and he was out for revenge. 

And the thing was, you could say, OK, this happened in the heat of passion, that he reacted and hit somebody.  That‘s one thing.  In this case, it was an 8-2 at this point.  It was garbage time.  He had time to think about it.  And he acted.  And he should be arrested for it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Ken, Vancouver police are on this case.  I want you to listen to this and then respond.

DANEYKO:  You got it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH BLOOR, VANCOUVER, B.C. POLICE:  Regardless of the fact that this involves a player in the National Hockey League, this will be a routine assault investigation. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Should they investigate the assault? 

DANEYKO:  Well, I‘ve stated my opinion.  I don‘t think the police should be involved.  They have their right to do that.  The authorities can do whatever they want. 

It was an assault.  And I agree with Joe on the fact it was premeditated.  Absolutely.  This had been going—they played three times, Colorado and Vancouver, each other, in a 10-, 12-day span.  But my point is after—nothing happened because game two, it was close, 5-5 at the time, the second game they played.  The incident was over. 

Steve Moore answered the challenge.  He had a fight in the first period, because there‘s a code in hockey. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

DANEYKO:  And the hit, by the way, on Marcus Naslund was not that dirty at all.  That‘s a problem—the coaches, the players, teammates, your family, you have to say, guys, this game is going to end.  Don‘t take matters into our own hands.  That‘s wrong.  Things like this can happen. 

Now, did Todd Bertuzzi mean to break the guy‘s neck?  Do you want to say that?  No, it was a travesty.  But by no means does he have the right to go from behind and hit him the way he did. 

(CROSSTALK)

DANEYKO:  I won‘t defend that action.  And whenever the league decides his disciplinary action is, I will agree with the National Hockey League, because they have made great strides to clean up the game for those vicious acts. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.

Let me bring in Larry Brooks of “The New York Post.”

Larry, just minutes ago, Todd Bertuzzi, the attacking player, gave this tearful apology.  He said: “Steve, I just want to apologize for what happened out there.  I had no intention of hurting you.  I feel awful for what has transpired.”

Do you think that should be enough to keep this guy out of jail? 

LARRY BROOKS, “THE NEW YORK POST”:  Well, I wouldn‘t say that—I wouldn‘t want to make the decision on whether he should go to jail or not.  I do think that it is warranted for the Vancouver authorities to investigate, and I think there are times where actions on the ice crossed the line, clearly. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Is hockey out of control? 

BROOKS:  I don‘t think hockey‘s out of control.  I think the Vancouver Canucks and Todd Bertuzzi were out of control two nights ago. 

And I think that the coach of the Vancouver Canucks bears a responsibility for this as well.  Kenny Daneyko, a good friend of mine, knows very well that players respect the coaches.  And at that point in the game, it was time for Marc Crawford, the coach of the Vancouver Canucks, to tell his team to dial it down, that it was over, that it was time to go home, pack up and look on to another day. 

I think that the National Hockey League has made a terrible mistake in not holding the coach of the Vancouver Canucks responsible for this attack. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I agree with you. 

Hey, listen, I appreciate you being here.  Ken, thank you so much for being with us.  Joe Concha, Larry Brooks, thank you so much for being with us. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  We appreciate it. 

And just ahead, a Florida judge says taping underage girls who expose themselves doesn‘t qualify as child porn.  We got the attorney for “Girls Gone Wild” coming up next to talk about that. 

We‘ll be right back.

ANNOUNCER:  You‘re watching SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

Now here‘s some Hotwire travel trivia.  What state‘s name is Sioux for “people of the south wind”? 

Stay tuned for the answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER:  You‘re watching SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

And in today‘s Hotwire travel trivia, we asked, what state‘s name is Sioux for “people of the south wind”?  Give up?  The answer is Kansas.

Now here‘s Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  Do drunk and naked teenage girls add up to pornography?  Well, a Florida judge says no, to the relief of “Girls Gone Wild” CEO Joe Francis. 

Aaron Dyer, you‘re actually the attorney for Joe Francis and “Girls Gone Wild.”  Did the judge in Florida just give “Girls Gone Wild” a free pass when it comes to taping nude underage teenage girls? 

AARON DYER, ATTORNEY FOR “GIRLS GONE WILD”:  Well, you know, Joe, let me tell you, “Girls Gone Wild” does not tape nude underage girls.  That is not their purpose. 

What “Girls Gone Wild” does is, they target college-age young women.  That‘s who they put on.  And what the judge said is a very important legal ruling, and that is that, if you have a situation where a woman lies about her age, a young woman, a 17-year-old lies about her age and gets on a video, then there is nothing wrong with that.  There is nothing criminal in taping that conduct.  It didn‘t matter whether you find out later or not.  What the judge says is, that doesn‘t meet the standard under Florida law of child pornography. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, the prosecution obviously is trying to put your client in jail.  Do you believe with this ruling that Joe Francis just got a get-out-of-jail free card and that the state‘s case has collapsed against “Girls Gone Wild”? 

DYER:  Well, I‘ll tell you, it sure is a big step in the defense of this case. 

I think that the prosecution tried to take a case and build it on multiple instances of just what “Girls Gone Wild” engages in, and that is filming women who are around college age.  They tried to take that, and with a few examples turn it into a racketeering claim.  And that is just the most absurd thing I‘ve ever heard. 

There is no question that “Girls Gone Wild” is and has been a legitimate organization that engages in a legitimate business.  And they have tried to take these instances of flashing on the street and claim that that just shows a disregard for the law.  And what this judge says is, you know, what they were trying to build their racketeering on, it‘s not illegal.  And so they have just lost the huge foundation of their case. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

But, Patricia Ireland, you‘re a political consultant now and obviously you‘re the former president of the National Organization For Women.  Are you concerned that this ruling could expose young women or girls, teenage girls, to exploitation in the future? 

PATRICIA IRELAND, FORMER NOW PRESIDENT:  I don‘t think this is a problem that we get to using the law.  And I‘m not sure that the judge‘s ruling was wrong. 

I am very sure that it is exploitation.  I mean, these guys are laughing all the way to the bank.  And they‘re laughing at the young women who are, you know, acting silly, having a good time.  Maybe they‘re on spring break and they let their high spirits lead them into doing something that‘s rather foolish and letting somebody else make money off of them.  The other group that they‘re laughing at is the guys that buy these videos.  And you really have to sort of pity them.  I figure they got nothing else going on, no woman in their life, very little to offer a woman.  So the only people who make out are the guys who are selling this. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Patricia, what do you make of Aaron‘s argument that if a 16 -year-old or 17-year-old girl lies to “Girls Gone Wild,” say that they are 18 or 19 and they‘re taped, that should not be an offense that could land some of these producers in jail? 

IRELAND:  I think if they legitimately don‘t know it‘s a lie, that we are going to be hard-pressed to hold them criminally liable. 

I would rather go after the audience, the buyers of these videos.  I do think that once they find out that these young women were underage, that part of the video ought to be cut out.  Some day, these videos may come back to haunt some of these women, not perhaps like Paris Hilton, but at some point they may be sorry they were so silly as to flash the camera. 

SCARBOROUGH:  The court‘s order reads this, in part—quote—“The mere exposure of the female breast by a minor is not sexual conduct.  To date, our legislature has elected not to criminalize the promotion or possession of images of this nature.”

Aaron Dyer, if that‘s the case, then do you expect the prosecution to drop all of their charges against Joe Francis or do you think they‘re going to keep after him until they get him in jail? 

DYER:  You know, I don‘t know what they‘re going to do with it, how they‘re going to react to this ruling. 

I think that they have shown, from the very beginning, that they—that there is a vendetta against Joe Francis.  And we think that it originates from the mayor of Panama City and that he has really made an effort to go after “Girls Gone Wild,” because he is trying to make an example of Joe Francis.  He is trying to change the image of Panama City, an image that Panama City Beach intentionally adopted, as the spring break haven for wild spring break partying. 

But now he is trying to change that image and make it more family friendly.  And Joe Francis happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time for that.  And they tried to make him a poster child.  But when you talk about the kind of conduct and whether these women are being laughed at and victimized and whether litigation or prosecution is the way to approach them, Mantra Entertainment and Joe Francis do not intentionally use women who are underage. 

And it is Joe Francis‘ policy that that kind of footage, as Ms.  Ireland said, will be cut out if they ever find out that some woman was able to sneak through and get on a video.  That has been their policy all along.  It continues to be their policy, because the people that they intend to use on these videos are of age. 

(CROSSTALK)

IRELAND:  Let me just jump in for a minute and say, I think you protest too much.  I think you guys love this publicity.  I didn‘t know the name of these videos until tonight. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You had never heard of “Girls Gone Wild” until tonight? 

IRELAND:  No.

SCARBOROUGH:  Wow.

IRELAND:  I don‘t read those same magazines, I guess. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, it actually—this past week‘s HBO episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” displayed it at the top. 

And, in fact, Patricia, that was my next question I was going to ask you.  Why do you believe it is that these videos—and they have.  They become part of sort of a national, at least, underground cable fabric.  Why do you think these videos are so extraordinarily popular?  Why do you think millions of men go out there and teenagers go out and buy these sort of things?  What does it say about where American culture is in 2004? 

IRELAND:  Well, it doesn‘t give us a very good view of what our culture is and who these guys are. 

On the other hand, you could flip it over.  There is a group of women in Florida who are proceeding with lawsuits and working to go what they call top-free.  Perhaps if we didn‘t hide our bodies so much—the whole point of it, I think, the enticing part is the flash.  And maybe if we had top-free beaches, we wouldn‘t have this kind of video selling so well. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Aaron, final question.  Spring break‘s upon us again.  After all the problems that Joe Francis got into last year, is he going to go out again this year taping teenage girls at spring break? 

DYER:  I think there‘s no question that “Girls Gone Wild” is going to be back out filming. 

And I think what this ruling shows is that they have the ability to do so in a legal fashion.  There are a lot of people in Panama City that don‘t agree with what Joe Francis produces.  The judge indicated that he doesn‘t necessarily agree with it.  And to tell you personally, I don‘t particularly like the product, and I don‘t agree with what they put out, and I‘ve told my client that. 

But this case is about whether it‘s legal to put it out, whether the Constitution protects a person like Joe Francis when he does it.  And what this court has said is absolutely, it‘s legal.  And they have the First Amendment right to do so.

SCARBOROUGH:  That seems to be exactly what the court has said. 

Aaron Dyer, thank you so much for being with us.  Patricia Ireland, we appreciate it, as always, for you joining us in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

And just ahead, a New York congressman enraged Muslims when he said they weren‘t doing their part in the war on terror.  And it created a hot debate on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY last night. 

We‘ve got a follow-up on that you‘re not going to want other miss.

That‘s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Tomorrow night on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, closing arguments coming up in the case against former Tyco chief Dennis Kozlowski.  Are corporate crooks finally going to pay like Martha did?  That‘s tomorrow night. 

But we‘ve got more SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY straight ahead.  And I promise, no more butt shots.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Man, I‘ll tell you, last night, we had a bareknuckle SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown, but it was cut short last night. 

MSNBC terrorism expert Steve Emerson was discussing Muslim extremists running mosques in America.  And he said this about one of our guests. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE EMERSON, NBC TERRORISM ANALYST:  Ms. Eltantawi‘s group, Muslim

Public Affairs Council, issued a report several years ago saying that the

1983 Marine barracks explosion against the United States was an act of

resistance that should be applauded.  Now, that‘s not illegal.  But it‘s

extremist and it needs to be exposed.  And her notion that somehow the

congressman is shameless because he talks about the extremist leadership,

she‘s basically deflecting it, like David Duke would deflect any criticism,

by saying he‘s a victim of hate crimes. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Sarah Eltantawi, thank you so much for coming back tonight and actually making it through our last segment. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Your organization represents American Muslims.  I want you to respond to those charges. 

SARAH ELTANTAWI, MUSLIM PUBLIC AFFAIRS COUNCIL:  Well, let me respond to two things specifically. 

First, on the charge that I am David Duke, next, I think he‘s going to call me Superman or Snow White.  It‘s ridiculous. 

Secondly, on the specific charge of the Marine barracks, you know, it simply was never said.  My organization never cheered those bombings.  And so this type of commentary that passes as analysis is part of the challenge with counterterrorism now.  When we use an entire community that is innocent in order to basically cash in on counterterrorism policy now, that is really a problem.  It‘s a disservice to America. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What about the underlying argument that Muslims just aren‘t speaking out enough?  I‘ll be honest with you.  I‘ve heard a lot of people say that.  They say, why don‘t clerics go out there and condemn the bombings, condemn the attacks?  Is that an unfair charge? 

ELTANTAWI:  It‘s a very unfair charge.  I really believe it‘s a canard.

As I was saying last night, our organizations are working overtime, working on counterterrorism policy, partnering up between law enforcement and the community to make sure that we are doing our part. 

And I want to say something to your viewers about American Muslims.  This community is a valuable asset to America.  We have above-average education levels.  We have above-average rates of paying our taxes.  We have above-average income.  We are civically responsible and law-abiding citizens.  And for people like Steve Emerson and for Representative King to come on television and to smear this entire community to either sell books or to make money on counterterrorism is absolutely reprehensible and it does not serve our interests. 

In fact, it takes our eye off the ball, because what we need to be doing is concentrating on the very small percentage of extremists in the Muslim community and in other communities that are endangering us all and not wasting any resources, any time, on innocent people, on harming innocent people or distracting us from the reality. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  All right, thank you so much, Sarah.  And, of course, we all remember so many Muslims in Detroit and so many others waving American flags when Saddam Hussein was taken out of power.  We‘re in this fight together.  We‘ve got to remember that. 

Hey, have a good night.  We‘ll see you tomorrow in SCARBOROUGH

COUNTRY.END   

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