updated 6/30/2004 1:15:40 PM ET 2004-06-30T17:15:40

Guests: James Hirsen, Chris Finan, Jed Babbin, Dan Savage, Pam Bondi, Lisa Bloom, Tom DeLay, Margie Omero

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight‘s top headline:  Some Democrats are diving into the dirt with Michael Moore.  The “Real Deal”:  Political hate speech doesn‘t sell in middle America. 

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, where no passport is required and only common sense is allowed. 

“Fahrenheit 9/11” is the darling of the nation‘s elite media critics, the very same ones who blasted “The Passion,” and despite its R rating, some theaters are letting kids in anyway.  More media hypocrisy?  We will debate that.

And another teacher is busted for having sex with a student all of 14 years old.  And it‘s not an isolated case.  Are our kids not even safe with their teachers?  We‘re going to bring you some shocking government statistics tonight that say they are not. 

And the showdown over porn.  The Supreme Court strikes down a law to protect our kids.  So why did the court side with pornographers, anyway?  We are going to bring you that story and get reaction from both sides tonight. 

ANNOUNCER:  From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all.  Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, welcome to our show tonight.  I‘m Joe Scarborough. 

Porn in the USA.  I‘ve got to tell you, we are going to be talking about what the Supreme Court did earlier today.  You are not going to believe it. 

But, first, Democratic leaders bow to a man who seems to bring cheer to our enemies.  It‘s time for tonight‘s “Real Deal.”

Now, for responsible Democrats—and there are an awful lot of you out there—it‘s got to be an ugly sight seeing your party leaders sing the praises of a man who goes overseas and declares that Americans are the stupidest people on the planet or go overseas to claim that the United States got what it deserved on 9/11, or went overseas to compare terrorists killing young American troops in Iraq to American‘s founding fathers, or declaring that the United Nations should stay out of Iraq so more American troops can die in combat, so we can learn our lesson. 

You know, Michael Moore has made so many outrageous comments that so many people think are anti-American that “The New York Times”‘ David Brooks didn‘t even have the space to fit them all into his column this weekend, revealing to readers what the filmmaker thinks of America when he goes overseas.  Moore says we are not fit to lead the world.  He even tells the Germans, don‘t be like us. 

Telling Germans, don‘t be like us?  I think any Democrat who embraces this man‘s hateful message is not fit to lead America.  Now, here‘s the thing.  I am challenging John Kerry tonight to have courage, to separate himself from these politics of hate, much like Bill Clinton had the courage to do to Sista Soulja in 1992, because I know that John Kerry agrees with me, that Americans can disagree with their leaders without spinning conspiracy theories that end up coarsening public debate and gives aid and comfort to our enemies. 

Here‘s hoping that John Kerry attacks Michael Moore for his venomous movie and his vicious attacks on the American political process while overseas and while also attacking the character of the American people.  We are not stupid and we are not terrorists, and I challenge politicians of both parties to tell me whether they agree with Michael Moore‘s dark vision of America or whether they have the courage to reject it. 

And I‘ll tell you what I am going to do.  To make their job easier, I am going to be sending every politician on Capitol Hill, every congressman and every senator on Capitol Hill a questionnaire.  And in that questionnaire, I am going to be asking, do you agree with Michael Moore‘s vision of America or not?  I am going to send them to you.  I am going to await your response.  And then I am going to report it to the American people. 

And that‘s tonight‘s “Real Deal.” 

Well, “Fahrenheit 9/11” is still making news. 

Democratic pollster Margie Omero is here.  She‘s the president of momentum analysis.  We also have James Hirsen.  He wrote “Tales From the Left Coast: True Stories of Hollywood Stars and Their Outrageous Politics.” 

Margie, let me begin with you. 

I am going to tell you briefly a little story.  When I was in Congress, as you know, Republicans were after Bill Clinton.  I would sit back in the cloak room and I would sit and listen to what some Republicans, the most extreme right-wing Republicans would say about Bill Clinton.  And they were against everything he did, every economic policy, every bill, every war.  And, at times, it seemed like they were actually rooting against what American troops were doing overseas. 

Michael Moore seems to be doing the same thing and Democrats are embracing him.  Do you agree with me that Democrats need to back away from some of Michael Moore‘s more extreme comments? 

MARGIE OMERO, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER:  Well, you actually took my first point, because I was going to say, as a Republican congressman, didn‘t you have colleagues engaged by the definition same hate speech against Bill Clinton. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, I did. 

OMERO:  So, right.

And so I think that some of Michael Moore‘s comments were wrong, but that doesn‘t mean people can‘t enjoy his movie and it doesn‘t mean that the Bush administration shouldn‘t be worried about the fact that people are lining up at this movie not just in D.C. and New York, but in battleground states.  I was in a battleground state over the weekend, and all the theaters that were showing this movie were sold out for every single showing. 

This is really a sign that people are looking for more information.  And I think the fact Michael Moore made these comments, even though they may be Wrong, doesn‘t detract from the popularity of this movie. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, it doesn‘t detract from the popularity of the movie.  What concerns me, though, as you say, people are going to see this movie to get facts.  They are not going to get facts from this movie. 

And When I see Terry McAuliffe embracing Michael Moore, when I see leaders of the Democratic Party, leadership in the Senate and the House embracing this man, going into a movie that says the president of the United States cares more about the Saudi Arabian people than Americans, spreading lies about what happened 9/11, lying about what Richard Clarke did on 9/11, lying about what the White House did on 9/11, spreading all these conspiracy theories, it‘s sickening, because, again, it plays to the lowest common denominator.

It coarsens the public debate.  And, in the end, it hurts Americans here and overseas. 

OMERO:  Well, I think some of those points may be taken out of context, or you can infer that he is saying more than what he is and make it seem like he is saying something a little more strong than how he actually says it in the movie. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  What point?  Let‘s talk facts. 

OMERO:  Well, I do feel—I think he makes it more of a question.  Did he care more about Saudi Arabia?  And I don‘t really think that Michael Moore feels that Bush cares more about Saudi Arabia than about the United States.  I don‘t think that‘s true, and I am a Democrat, and I‘m not a Bush supporter by any means.  And I don‘t think that‘s true. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second.

What about his charge that George Bush‘s first business was started by Osama bin Laden‘s family?  Did you think that‘s accurate? 

OMERO:  Well, I think there‘s a lot of stuff—what this is showing, that there are details, is because the Bush administration is notoriously secretive, people are craving information. 

And that‘s breeding wanting to come and grasping at whatever facts are available and trying to make a story out of what‘s available, because the Bush administration is not being very forthcoming.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you believe that? 

OMERO:  I do believe it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I just need facts.  So you believe that Osama bin Laden‘s family started George W. Bush‘s first business? 

OMERO:  I believe, you know, from what I have understood to be true, that there have been a lot of investigators from all over the world that have invested in a lot of Bush‘s companies. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  So do you believe that Osama bin Laden‘s family started George W. Bush‘s first business?  That is such an outrageous claim.  I know you don‘t believe that.  Do you believe that? 

OMERO:  You know, I don‘t know how I stand on that.  I mean, I don‘t—you know. 

(CROSSTALK)

OMERO:  I have heard that‘s true.  Why don‘t you tell me something—show me why you think that that‘s not true. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, show me why you don‘t think that Bill Clinton was an alien that came from Mars.  I mean, I can‘t prove a negative here.  I can make 1,000 crazy claims.  You know, a third claim—and let‘s talk about policy for a second.  I am not picking on you, Margie.

OMERO:  It‘s OK. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I called you on here because I have got great respect for you.  And I just want Democrats to come out and start saying, you know what, this is entertainment, but it‘s not the facts. 

Here‘s the third claim.  He claims that America went to war in Afghanistan not to get rid of the Taliban, which, of course, supported Osama bin Laden, but he is claiming we actually went to war in Afghanistan so an oil company could build a pipeline under Afghanistan.  It didn‘t have anything to do with capturing the Taliban or al Qaeda.  Is that true?

OMERO:  I don‘t think he said that we went to war for this reason.  He pointed out this connection that people may not have known about. 

He did not say—I just saw the movie today.  He did not say, this is why we went to war, and it‘s the only reason we went to war.  We went to war for no other reason aside from this.  He did not say that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Once again, he is leaving an impression in viewers‘ minds.  That‘s exactly the impression he was leaving in viewers‘ minds, just like he was leaving the impression in viewers‘ minds that George Bush let Osama bin Laden‘s family get out of the country, while others, including Ricky Martin, were grounded.

They come back, say, well, no, no, we didn‘t say that.  Yes, but they‘re certainly leaving these impressions in people‘s minds. 

James Hirsen, I want to bring you in and I want to ask you to look at some of these reviews.  This is what “The New York Times”‘ movie reviewer had to say about “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “The Passion of the Christ.”  On one hand, he said: “Mr. Moore‘s populist instincts have never been sharper.  He is a credit to the Republic.” 

But when it came to “The Passion,” the same reviewer wasn‘t so forgiving.  He said: “Gibson has exploited the popular appetite for terror and gore for what he and his allies see as a higher end.”  Sounds just like Michael Moore to me. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second. 

JAMES HIRSEN, AUTHOR, “TALES FROM THE LEFT COAST”:  Sure.

SCARBOROUGH:  Here‘s the “Washington Post” reviewing Moore‘s flick.  He says: “Moore exercises admirable forbearance, his finest artistic moment.”

SCARBOROUGH:  But as for “The Passion...”

HIRSEN:  Ouch. 

SCARBOROUGH:  “The Washington Post” says: “Gibson has exhibited a startling lack of concern for historical context.”  Again, sounds like “The Passion.”

And here‘s “The Houston Chronicle,” the last one.  You are going to love this.  Their movie reviewer said: “Moore is an indispensable treasure and his imperfections are part of the reason, because they mark him as real.”

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  But the verdict on “The Passion,” regarding Gibson and his imperfections when it came to artistic license was this.  They said: “It‘s awful because everything he knows about storytelling has been swept aside by proselytizing zeal.”

Now, James Hirsen, the hypocrisy here is so great, I don‘t have to even explain it to my viewers.  They are smart enough to understand where we are going here, but this is what troubles me.  When I open the newspaper and my family and I look at movie reviews to figure out what movies we are going to go see, which ones are the good ones, which ones are artistically done well, which ones have the great directors, the great writers, the great screenplay, these are the same people I trust.

And yet it looks like political hacks are now writing movie reviews.  What is your take? 

HIRSEN:  They are. 

What‘s happened is, their judgment is clouded by their political point of view.  It‘s clear.  Look, I don‘t know what movie they saw, but I can acknowledge, although I find “Bowling For Columbine” having the same kind of factual inaccuracies, “Bowling For Columbine” was clever.  “Bowling For Columbine” had some moments of entertainment, particularly for those that enjoy Michael Moore‘s point of view. 

Not so with this film.  It looked like it was thrown together, had footage from just a few weeks ago from the 9/11 Commission.  There was forced laughter during the film.  He committed the cardinal sin of filmmaking.  He‘s boring.  You would think, Joe, he would have learned his lesson, because people like you and others have pointed out all of these inaccuracies in “Bowling For Columbine.”

On this new film, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” I think he had it fact-checked by Al-Jazeera.  I mean, it‘s so filled with wrong statements, you have to bring a shovel into the theater to watch it.  It was excruciating for me to watch it. 

OMERO:  Well, at least someone is talking about these issues. 

(CROSSTALK)

HIRSEN:  He said that Saddam Hussein in Iraq never threatened to attack or kill any Americans.  I mean, that is something he said in his postnasal drip narration.

(CROSSTALK)

OMERO:  American citizens. 

HIRSEN:  And the fact is, for 10 years, Saddam Hussein shot at our pilots.  He tried to assassinate one of our presidents, George H.W. Bush.  And, of course, he harbored Abu Nidal.  He sponsored suicide bombers.

And he did say that the reason that we went to Afghanistan was because of this Unocal-led pipeline construction, a debunked urban legend.  And it just goes on and on.  It absolutely is amazing.  So I believe that the same reason that these reviewers are giving these positive statements, people are buying tickets in this film, and some people did that with “The Passion of the Christ,” to make a statement, because they sensed this controversy.

They are taking a stand with their hero, Michael Moore.  But, look out.  What happens if this film is shown in Muslim countries?  What happens if it‘s shown to potential terrorists?  It‘s a recruiting film for terrorists.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you know, James, a lot of people would say, gee, that James Hirsen and Joe Scarborough, they sure are being tough on poor Michael Moore.  But, of course, there was a news report earlier this week that Hezbollah was actually praising this film. 

HIRSEN:  Gave it two thumbs off. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Two thumbs off.

OK, James Hirsen, thanks so much for being with us.  Margie Omero, thank you so much again for being in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  We greatly appreciate it. 

And I am so disturbed by this movie.  I am not disturbed by what Michael Moore has done.  That‘s his right as a filmmaker.  I am disturbed that so many members of the Democratic Party establishment are embracing these bizarre conspiracy theories.  They need to step out, sign my challenge that I am sending to them, and tell Michael Moore that middle America doesn‘t appreciate political hate speech. 

Still to come on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, much more.  Majority Leader Tom DeLay tells us why he thinks Michael Moore‘s movie is hurting the troops and why some Democrats are upset about early handovers in Iraq. 

But, first, a middle schoolteacher is charged with having sex with her 14-year-old student.  We‘re going to bring you the full story of what it means to your kids right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Is your student hot for their teacher?  Well, I will tell you this.  A lot of teachers in America are hot for their students.  The Department of Education is saying that up to 10 percent of American kids are abused sexually by their teachers. 

We‘ll tell you about that right after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, a newlywed Florida schoolteacher has been charged with having sex several times with a 14-year-old male student.  According to the police, Debra Lafave committed the acts in the classroom, at her home, and in her SUV, while the boy‘s 15-year-old cousin was driving. 

But this isn‘t an isolated incident.  There are alarming reports from the U.S. Department of Education—you are not going to believe this—that 6 to 10 percent of the nation‘s schoolchildren have been sexually abused or harassed by school employees. 

Tonight, we‘ve got Pam Bondi with us.  She‘s a Florida state prosecutor.  She‘s involved in this case right now.  It‘s in her jurisdiction.  Lisa Bloom is a victim rights attorney and a Court TV anchor.  And Dan Savage is a columnist for “The Village Voice.”

Pam, let‘s begin with you.  Tell us about this case that‘s going on in your jurisdiction. 

PAM BONDI, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR:  Yes, Joe, we have got a 23-year-old married schoolteacher who is charged in our jurisdiction with two counts of a lewd and lascivious upon a child. 

Those are both second-degree felonies, and she is charged with having sex with a 14-year-old child, one of her students.  And then she has two more cases pending in a neighboring county for the same acts. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Pam, we see some of these horrible made-for-TV movies about other women that have done this or men who have done this to students.  But the statistics out there of the number of times that we send our kids to school and they are abused by their teachers or coaches or school employees, it‘s unbelievable how many times this is occurring.  I mean, are you running into this more and more in your job as a prosecutor? 

BONDI:  We are.  We are.  In fact, Joe, we have a similar case pending in our county.  I think this one got a lot of publicity because of the way she looks.  I mean, she is a very attractive woman.  And I think our case got a lot more publicity because of that, but, sure, we are seeing it more and more.  And I think especially crimes involving female adults and young boys are underreported. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Why is that? 

BONDI:  Because you have young boys who are less likely to report it.  And thank goodness this boy‘s mother got involved.  She found out about it, and she is the one that called the police. 

You know, it‘s a different outlook, I think, when you have young boys, and it shouldn‘t be.  But if we look at it as adults, it doesn‘t matter what sex you are.  If you are an adult preying on a child, you are a sexual offender. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Lisa Bloom, the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church was front-page news for every media outlet in this country for months, and it should have been. 

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV ANCHOR:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But there‘s an interesting comparison that the mainstream media seems to have missed.  Now, look at this.  In the priest sex abuse scandal, it uncovered 11,000 kids who had been abused over a 50 years, which is about 220 per year.  But according to the latest studies, 290,000 children had been abused by school officials between 1991 and 2000.  That‘s 32,000 per year for only nine years, 150 times the amount of kids being abused by schools than were abused by Catholic priests. 

Why aren‘t we hearing about this more, and should I as a parent with three kids be worried when I send my children to school? 

BLOOM:  Well, first of all, good for you for bringing these statistics to light, Joe.

And I can tell you, I was involved in cases against the Catholic Church in the early 1990s.  Nobody paid attention to it then.  It‘s only in the last couple of years that it did explode in the media.  And perhaps you are just ahead of your time, and the rest of the media will catch up with you in a couple of years. 

Look, schools have all of our children, so they have a much bigger pool than the Catholic Church, which just has Catholic children.  This is clearly a problem.  There are kids bringing lawsuits for sexual harassment and sexual abuse in the schools all the time.  Good for Pam Bondi for bringing this prosecution against a female teacher. 

There‘s definitely the sexist attitude out there that, oh, this boy has got it good with this beautiful older teacher, that that‘s just a typical male fantasy.  But it‘s not.  This is harmful.  A 14-year-old boy is a child, just like a 14-year-old girl is.  It‘s too young to have sex with anybody, and it‘s especially too young to have sex with an adult.  There‘s a huge power imbalance.  It‘s damaging to those children later on. 

They feel the consequences of it in their adult lives in their sexuality, in depression, and all kinds of psychological problem.  It‘s got to be brought to light.  Good for you for doing it, and it‘s got to be prosecuted. 

SCARBOROUGH:  According to police reports, the boy was actually going around bragging to his friends that he had a—quote—“hot teacher who liked him” and he would—quote—“prove to him that she liked him.”

Want to bring you in here, Dan Savage.  We heard before Pam Bondi talking about how these cases are underreported when it is a teenage boy that‘s having sex with an older teacher.  Why is that?  You think that‘s because the teenage boy is actually proud of it and bragging to his friends about it? 

DAN SAVAGE, “THE VILLAGE VOICE”:  Well, there are some physiological differences between—you are talking about male teenagers and female teenagers, around risk, risk of pregnancy, risk of disease.  Also, the psychological implications of being the person who is penetrated are greater.

And there‘s some problems with the way we‘re talking about this.  To compare this, the scandal in the schools, and it‘s a scandal when kids are sexually harassed or abused, but don‘t lump harassment and abuse in together, as this report does.  It magnifies the problem.  Harassment can be, a teacher made an inappropriate comment.  And lumping that in with a teacher who had sex with a student is just—excuse the report, in favor of sort of a panicky response. 

But comparing it to Catholic Church scandal is apples and oranges.  The Catholic Church scandal was not that—it was magnified by the fact—the real scandal was that the church hierarchy facilitated the abuse, hid the perpetrators from the authorities, and made it possible for priests to become serial abusers and move from parish to parish abusing students, with the help of the bishops.

Principals, school boards, city officials, when they find out that a teacher has abused a student, they come down like 10 tons of the proverbial excrement and prosecute, as this woman is being prosecuted.  They don‘t hide it.  School boards and principals don‘t hide and help and facilitate the abuse.  They attempt to root it out. 

And teachers don‘t claim to be Christ‘s representatives on Earth, which created a whole level of spiritual harm for the victims of priestly sexual abuse that doesn‘t exist when you are talking about teachers. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me bring in Lisa.

BLOOM:  Lisa, let me have you respond to some of these.  A lot of things have been thrown out there, but I find it hard to believe, 290,000 cases of abuse report, and the school boards immediately coming out, the principals immediately coming out and telling the public what‘s going on.  Is it really that transparent in our schools? 

(CROSSTALK)

BLOOM:  No, it‘s not transparent at all.  And, by the way, harassment is not just one little comment.  Harassment, to be defined as such, has to be pervasive and continuing.

And a lot of kids are very damaged by sexual harassment by teachers.  I wouldn‘t take that lightly at all.  And, you know, 14-year-old males may at the time think this is a great thing to have sex with their teacher.  Believe me, years later, they don‘t think it‘s a great thing.  There‘s a huge disparity in power between a 23-year-old and a 14-year-old.  A 23-year-old can vote, drink, drive, have a job, own an apartment.  A 14-year-old can‘t do any of that.

If a 14-year-old is going to have sex, which I don‘t think is a good idea, but if they are, at least it should be with somebody with their own age, where they are experimenting, where there‘s an even playing field between the two of them.  This is a woman who said she wanted a forbidden relationship.  She sought out this relationship for her own ends.  She is the worst possible role model.  And I hope she rots in jail. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thanks so much. 

Appreciate all of you being here, Pam Bondi and Dan Savage and Lisa Bloom.

Stick around, because, coming up next, the Supreme Court seems to be more worried about pornographers‘ rights than protecting children‘s rights.  We are going to take look at the high court‘s bizarre decision today on Internet porn. 

And then we are going to be pulling back the curtain on the U.N. oil-for-food scam.  It was a $10 billion con job, and your former undersecretary of defense, Jed Babbin, is going to be here to tell us why it‘s even worse than you think. 

So stick around.  That‘s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  The U.S. Supreme Court protects pornographers who are targeting your children, gives them a free pass.  We are going to be talking about that in a second. 

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

(NEWS BREAK)

ANNOUNCER:  From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all.  Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

SCARBOROUGH:  The Supreme Court said today that efforts to protect your children from online pornography encroaches on pornographers‘ right to free speech. 

Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that, if the Child Online Protection Act is passed, there is potential for extraordinary harm and a serious chill upon protected speech.”

Meanwhile, 74 percent of pornography sites display free teaser images; 66 percent do not include a warning of adult images.  And only three percent require adult verification.

Lisa Bloom is back with us.  We also have Chris Finan of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. 

OK, so, Lisa Bloom, let‘s just say right up front, there is really no political right or left in this.  You have for the majority, writing for the majority the position, I‘d say they‘re protecting pornographers, Thomas, Kennedy, Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg. 

BLOOM:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s a mix.

What do you think about this decision to basically put First Amendment rights of pornographers‘ ahead of protecting our children? 

BLOOM:  Yes, I‘ve got Breyer on my side, but also Scalia and Ashcroft.  So it‘s very confusing, I have to tell you. 

Look, how does the Supreme Court say that it‘s too much to ask that porn sites put up an age verification screen?  That‘s what the case is all about.  If you want to go online and look at pornography, you have to first have a screen put up by the pornographers, which after all make a living doing this.  And to get on, you have to show verification of your age.  That‘s it. 

I think that is the most reasonable type of restriction.  It‘s an electronic bouncer.  It‘s checking I.D.s at the door.  The Supreme Court says, oh, too much of a restriction on the First Amendment rights of pornographers and people who want to look at pornography, the rights of children completely lost in this decision today. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Chris Finan, writing a dissent, Justice Sandra Day O‘Connor had this to say: “At a modest additional cost to those adults who wish to obtain access to a screen program, the law would bring about better, more precise blocking, both inside and outside the home.”

Now, Chris, I have been a champion of First Amendment rights since I went to Congress when I served on the Judiciary Committee.  This is much ado about nothing.  If you are an adult and you want to look at porn, that‘s your business, but what‘s wrong with forcing adults to verify their age?  How is that a violation of First Amendment rights? 

CHRIS FINAN, AMERICAN BOOKSELLERS FOUNDATION:  Well, Joe, I would like to go back to your original point, which is that this is a decision that has broad support from both sides, both sides of the political spectrum, as represented on the court. 

You have got—the man writing the decision, Anthony Kennedy, is a Reagan appointee.  He is one of the most conservative justices on the court, so, obviously, if he has got a problem with this law, there‘s more than just pornography at stake.  And we have to, I think, realize that

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  What else is at stake here?  How can the First Amendment be at stake, when all you have to do, if you want to look at porn as an adult, you just verify your age through certain techniques.  It doesn‘t cost you much at all.  You get on the pornography site and we protect kids from doing that.  What cost is that for you? 

FINAN:  Joe, I work for bookstores.  And I work for mainstream bookstores, not adult bookstores.  They have a wide range of mainstream material that they are afraid they cannot post on their Web sites as a result of this law. 

This law creates a Draconian penalty for displaying material that‘s harmful to minors on Web sites, including descriptions and depictions of nudity that are not obscene and therefore are protected by the First Amendment. 

BLOOM:  Well, that‘s just not true.  The law is very clear in describing what pornography is.  It‘s the type of images that we are looking at right now on our screen. 

And any attorney who understands this field and looks at this law knows it doesn‘t apply to mainstream works.  And, again, all we are asking for is age verification.  No one is trying to ban these works.  Nobody is taking them off the market.  What we as parents have to face is that filters alone are not enough; 70 percent of teens say they have accidentally come across porn on the Internet. 

This is a real problem.  This is a problem for a lot of children accidentally or intentionally coming across materials that are just not appropriate for them at their age.  This is a very reasonable solution that was passed by Congress twice.  And it just boggles my mind as a mother of two adolescents that the Supreme Court says, it‘s too much to ask to check a little I.D. at the door before you see some of these images that are so vile and degrading to women. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Lisa Bloom, you are exactly right.  It is the equivalent of checking I.D. at the door before allowing somebody into a bar, before somebody allowing somebody to see an R-rated movie, which, of course, they are not doing in some places for Michael Moore. 

BLOOM:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And also before going into adult Web sites that, as you say, have extraordinarily violent and degrading images of women. 

Lisa Bloom, thanks for being here.  We greatly appreciate it. 

BLOOM:  Thank you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Chris Finan, thank you also for being with us tonight. 

And coming up, my interview with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.  We are going to find out what he thinks about Michael Moore and get his take on the early handover of power in Iraq. 

Plus, the triumphant return of “Joe‘s Got Issues.”  And, boy, do I have issues tonight.  So stick around.  We‘ll be right back.

ANNOUNCER:  Tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge:  Before “Bowling For Columbine,” what John Candy film did Michael Moore write and direct?  Was it, A, “The Great Outdoors,” B, “Delirious,” or, C, “Canadian Bacon”?  The answer coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER:  In tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge, we asked, before “Bowling For Columbine,” what John Candy film did Michael Moore write and direct?  The answer is C, “Canadian Bacon”?  The film‘s plot centers around a president who, to boost approval ratings, tries to start a cold war with Canada. 

Now back to Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  Proving again that I am a uniter, not a divider.  I like that movie.  I saw it on HBO, a very funny movie.  We invade Canada.  Very good stuff. 

Anyway, well, it‘s been a long, long time, but, as you know, I‘ve still got issues. 

My first issue, how could any American supporting our efforts to bring peace and freedom to Iraq not have issues with “The New York Times”‘ editorial page?  After a year of pessimism and all these postings on their editorial page, “The Times” used the historic handover of Iraq to dismiss their newfound freedom as—quote—“hollow and uncertain.”

This is the same “New York Times” that‘s written 90 editorials on Iraq this year, and only two of those have been positive.  And those two referred to the United Nations.  Now, mark my words, history is going to judge “The New York Times” harshly as the newspaper that did more than any other in America to undercut our efforts to bring freedom and democracy to the Middle East. 

And just as they were wrong during Reagan‘s war against the Soviet Union, those writing “The Times”‘ editorials now are going to find themselves again on the wrong side of history, because freedom will ring in Iraq and across the Middle East. 

Now, papers across SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY also wrote about the hope for the future of the Middle East yesterday.  This is what we got from “The Arizona Republic.”  They said—quote—“The path to security and democracy is uncertain, but no one should mistake that for impossible,” of course, unless you work for “The Times,”

“The Indy Star” wrote this: “For the Iraqis, it‘s a chance to put decades of oppression behind them and finally secure freedom.”         

And, you know, Michael Moore‘s hometown newspaper, the Flint, Michigan, “Journal” may have said it best.  They wrote—quote—“Let‘s appreciate the handoff of political power in Iraq in terms of what this could mean for the citizens of that long-suffering nation and not how the event might affect this fall‘s presidential race.”  Amen.  “This revolutionary change, the freedom and the well-being that would result would make the region and the world profoundly more secure.”

Why doesn‘t Michael Moore read his own hometown paper? 

New images of unborn children released yesterday I think are going to have a definite impact on the abortion debate this fall.  New technology shows a 12-week-old fetus stretching and making kicking movements with its feet, in what looks like walking.  Elsewhere, a 14- to 15-year-old fetus sucks its thumb, then opens its eyes, while, at 18 weeks and at 22 weeks, an embryo appears to smile.  These remarkable images cannot be ignored. 

One other thing.  When I was in Congress, I believed almost all members were working together for the common good of America.  Now, we may have differed on issues, but we were united in our love for country.  But, sadly, after yesterday‘s historic handover in Iraq, I am afraid some Democratic officials hate George Bush so much that they are finding themselves cheering for the success of our enemies overseas, like al-Zarqawi.

They ridiculed the handover.  They mocked efforts to beat terrorists to the punch, and they have willingly embraced as a party a filmmaker who calls America stupid, who says USA got what they deserved on September 11, and compared terrorists like al-Zarqawi to our founding fathers.  How sad that the party of Terry McAuliffe and the increasingly radical left have embraced such a hateful agenda. 

I love this country, and I still believe America is like a city that‘s shining on the hill for all the world to see.  I just hope again that John Kerry‘s vision of America is closer to mine and yours than Michael Moore‘s. 

You know, I spoke with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay about this strange response to the Iraq war by critics and what they said about the surprise handover yesterday, and why were some Democrats and news outlets actually attacking America for handing over sovereignty to Iraq early. 

This is what the majority leader had to say. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. TOM DELAY (R-TX), MAJORITY LEADER:  I think it‘s such an insult to the courage of the leaders that have taken over sovereignty in Iraq.  These leaders are in the crosshairs of terrorists and insurgents and people that don‘t want to see freedom come to Iraq. 

These people live in fear all day long, but they are able to stand up and understand that they have got to take freedom if they want it.  And they are willing to do that.  And for people in the United States, in the comfort of their offices and their homes, to be criticizing and insulting their courage, I just find this so sad, when we ought to be celebrating what is going on in Iraq. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I want to ask you this.  I don‘t want to get inflammatory.  But I think this is a fair question to ask. 

If Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership in the House, if Tom Daschle and the Democratic leadership in the Congress, if “The New York Times,” writing 47 out of 49 editorials are critical of troops overseas, if Michael Moore puts together a documentary that attacks our troops, shows pictures of dead Iraqi children, then shows Americans, American soldiers laughing in the next scene, if they all do this, is it fair to say that they are not supporters of the troops, that they are not supporters of the United States‘ foreign policy, and, in fact, they are playing into the hands of Zarqawi and our terrorist enemies in Iraq? 

DELAY:  Absolutely. 

I think especially Michael Moore and what he has done undermines our ability to fight this war on terror.  He goes over to Europe and he talks about the United States as if it were his enemy.  All of this undermines.  I mean, that soldier sitting out in the heat, wondering whether a grenade is coming his way, with flies all over him and biting insects, trying to do his job and fulfill his mission, to hear these kinds of things, that undermines his morale, makes him start questioning what he is doing.

And it is undermines the resolve that we have for fighting this war.  But we‘ve got to tell you, the best part about that is everyone that you named is in the minority in this country.  The majority understands what we are doing, why we are doing it, and support the war on terror. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I do want to read you what John Kerry had to say.  He criticized President Bush on the day of the handover and said this: “I believe it is critical that the president get real support, not resolutions, not words, but real support of sufficient personnel, troops and money to be able to provide adequate security on the ground.”

Tom, again, I am not—I think it‘s unfair to compare Senator Kerry with Michael Moore and a lot of the other preachers of hate out there.  But, at the same time, it seems quite unbecoming of any presidential candidate on such a historic day to turn that day into political theater.  What‘s your response? 

DELAY:  And particularly with the president in a dangerous part of the world, in Turkey, trying to bring the international community together, at the same time we are turning over sovereignty to Iraq, it‘s really, really unfortunate, but it‘s not surprising, because John Kerry‘s record is to the opposite. 

I mean, he voted against more troops.  He voted against more resources.  He has voted against anything that might bring us victory in this war on terror, because, I guess, he is just—whatever the President Bush is for, he‘s against. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Majority Leader Tom DeLay, thanks for being with us.  And thanks for keeping up the good fight there, not for Republicans, not for conservatives. 

DELAY:  For America. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But for Americans who remember what happened on September 11 and understand the nature of our enemy.  Thanks so much. 

DELAY:  Thank you, Joe. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  And still to come, my next guest says the United Nations is a den of corruption. 

Stick around and find out why.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, as you know, we have been following the U.N. oil-for-food scandal a lot closer than most media outlets, exposing the $10 billion scam that funded Saddam‘s palaces, at the expense of Iraq‘s starving children.

Jed Babbin is here.  He‘s a contributor at “The National Review.”  And his new book is out today.  It‘s called “Inside the Asylum: Why the U.N. and Old Europe Are Worse Than You Think.”

Jed, thanks for being with us again.

Tell me, why is—let‘s just talk about the title of the book.  First, why is United Nations worse than most Americans think? 

JED BABBIN, FORMER DEPUTY UNDERSECRETARY OF DEFENSE:  Well, I think people are focusing properly on the oil-for-food scandal, but, really, the U.N. is corrupt in so many deeper and more important ways. 

It‘s more than just about money, Joe.  The U.N. is completely corrupted about terrorism.  Let me just give you a couple of examples.  No. 1, the U.N. can‘t even agree on what terrorism is.  If you can‘t know what it is, you can‘t fight it.  No. 2, we have evidence in “Inside the Asylum,” right in the book, that shows the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Palestinian areas, in Gaza Strip and West Bank, they are hiring terrorists.  They have terrorists on the payroll from Hamas and Hezbollah. 

No. 3...

SCARBOROUGH:  Wait.  Where did you get—you have got evidence that Hamas leaders and Hezbollah leaders are on the U.N.‘s payroll? 

BABBIN:  I can‘t say that the leaders are, Joe, but have in the book.... 

SCARBOROUGH:  But members of Hamas? 

BABBIN:  In the book, members of Hamas and Hezbollah, we have an affidavit which was submitted in a federal district court, testimony of a fellow who says that the UNRWA people are hiring Hamas and Hezbollah members, regardless of their so-called political affiliation. 

To me, that‘s a lot more than a political affiliation.  For heaven‘s sake, these people are terrorists.  Most important, the U.N. is completely corrupt and soft on terrorism, again, as evidenced by what the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, is turning a blind eye to a nuclearized Iran.  We have the central terrorist nation which will probably be a nuclear power within a year or so. 

The IAEA can‘t bring itself to even say to the Security Council, which is itself paralyzed by the old European eunuchs, that the Iranians are actually developing a nuclear weapon.  It‘s patently obvious to everybody.  Even our State Department, for heaven‘s sake, not just the Pentagon, but our State Department, which is not exactly a bunch of heavy-hitters, they are saying, we are going to have nuclear weapons in Iran. 

That means nuclear terrorism, Joe.  The United Nations is completely corrupt and unable to deal with terrorism. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Jed Babbin, even “The New York Times” is saying that Iran most likely is going to have nuclear weapons.  If “The Times” is seeing it, good lord. 

Now, let‘s talk about old Europe.  You blame a lot of these problems in confronting the world‘s terror problems, these nuclear rogue states, getting nuclear weapons, you are blaming that on old Europe, on the E.U.  Why is that? 

BABBIN:  Well, the E.U., there‘s two problems there. 

No. 1, you have the French.  And I am the guy who first said that going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion.  You leave a lot of noisy, useless baggage behind.  But aside from just simply insulting the French, the French are now our enemy, Joe. 

Old Europe has decided that they can only be powerful if we are weakened.  That‘s what the European Union is about, not just economically, but politically.  You saw it just today.  Chirac is out there putting a sharp stick in President Bush‘s eye every chance he gets. 

We are not going to be able to get NATO to cooperate.  The NATO nations, in fact, with the exception of England—God bless the Brits.  They are out there spending at least at adult level in their own defense.  You have people like Germany.  And you have the Italians, the Spanish, a whole lot of others, they are not even spending enough to defend themselves.

They are breaking the NATO bargain.  And, at the same time, they are paralyzing the U.N. Security Council.  The reason why we cannot get much done at the United Nations, aside from the fact that they are tolerating terrorists, is the fact that the nations of old Europe are voting against us, working against us, and no longer allied with us in terms of values.

The values that we have, the values of defending freedom and cherishing democracy, are no longer present in Eastern Europe.  They are scared, Joe.  And it‘s really a fairly pitiful and appeasing performance. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thanks so much, Jed Babbin.  I‘ll tell you what.  I look forward to reading your book.  And what you are saying is exactly what “The Wall Street Journal” was saying earlier today, that we don‘t have an alliance over there.  It‘s a phony alliance.

Hey, appreciate you being here, Jed.  Make sure to come back, OK?

BABBIN:  Thanks.  It‘s always a pleasure, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, great. 

And we thank you for tuning in.  Want you to tune in tomorrow night, when we talk to Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. 

See you then.  Good night. 

END   

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