Guest: Pat Lalama, Loretta Sanchez,LeAnn Rimes, Jennifer Giroux, Bill Donahue, Govindini Murty, Shmuley Boteach
PAT BUCHANAN, GUEST HOST: Could Academy Award judges really choose Michael Moore‘s “Fahrenheit 9/11” over Mel Gibson‘s biblical masterpiece, “The Passion of the Christ”? We‘ll soon find out. And if they do, will there be a red state revolt against Hollywood?
And Martha Stewart is behind bars, but she‘s not going to let that get in the way of her fabulous career. NBC announced today they‘ll be launching a daytime show starring the domestic diva. And, amazingly, her stock is up from a year ago. How do you turn a felony conviction into a pot of gold?
And you‘ve seen enough bad behavior from movie stars and pro athletes lately. Well, tonight on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, country music great LeAnn Rimes is using her vast popularity to advance the cause of needy kids this Christmas holiday.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
BUCHANAN: Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. I‘m Pat Buchanan, in for Joe.
Top story tonight, Hollywood vs. the heartland. In the wake of the election, we have a new red-blue battle shaping up. This time, it‘s for the Oscars. In the red corner, Mel Gibson and “The Passion of the Christ.” In the blue corner, Michael Moore and his “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Gibson and Icon Productions have vowed not to spend a dime on advertising hyping “The Passion” for an Oscar.
But Moore has gone full throttle with advertisements and speaking engagements all over Tinseltown. Will the academy pass over “The Passion” to embrace “Fahrenheit 9/11”? What message will Hollywood send America at the Academy Awards?
Joining me now, radio talk show host Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the director of the Liberty Film Festival, Govindini Murty, the president of the Catholic League, Bill Donahue, and Jennifer Giroux from Women Influence Influencing the Nation.
Rabbi, let me start with you.
What does the smashing success of “The Passion” tell you about America, and do you think Hollywood will swallow, if you full, and nominate it for the Oscar it deserves as best picture?
RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH, AUTHOR, “FACE YOUR FEAR”: Well, firstly, let me just say that I hope that Michael Moore actually wins so we can finally confirm what Hollywood is. Hollywood has become an America-hating bastion that always portrays people in uniform in some sinister role. It‘s always the CIA killing President Kennedy.
And so when I see Michael Moore‘s “Fahrenheit 9/11” and he portrays our soldiers as a bunch of cutthroats who play Metallica while killing Iraqi civilians, let‘s confirm what Hollywood is by giving him this Oscar.
But I‘ve got to tell you, Pat, the fact that Christians around the country be offended if Mel Gibson‘s “The Passion” doesn‘t win best Oscar is shocking to me. First of all, “The Passion of the Christ” was an domination for Christianity. It really should win the World Wrestling Federation Oscar for best movie. It‘s a guy for two hours being kicked, beaten, his blood gushing everywhere. It‘s just a diabolical, criminal, violent mess.
BOTEACH: It really is like Mohammed al-Zarqawi‘s movies on the Internet where a guy gets his head chopped off. It‘s gory. It‘s ugly and it‘s not inspiring.
BUCHANAN: Well, since about tens of millions of Americans saw it, loved it, appreciated it, and honored it, that tells us, Rabbi, I think, what you think of the intelligence and sensitivity of millions of Americans.
Bill Donahue, what do you think about “The Passion of the Christ”? And as a practical matter, even if Hollywood hated the film, it seems to me as an artistic work of art, a smashing triumph, a film of great controversy and interest, it ought to at least be nominated for best picture. It pulled in more money than any other picture all year.
WILLIAM DONAHUE, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: I spoke to Mel a couple of weeks ago about this. And I don‘t think it really matters a whole lot to him. It certainly doesn‘t matter to me. We‘ve already won.
Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It‘s not a secret, OK? And I‘m not afraid to say it. That‘s why they hate this movie. It‘s about Jesus Christ, and it‘s about truth. It‘s about the messiah.
Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism. We have nothing in common. But you know what? The culture war has been ongoing for a long time. Their side has lost.
You have got secular Jews. You have got embittered ex-Catholics, including a lot of ex-Catholic priests who hate the Catholic Church, wacko Protestants in the same group, and these people are in the margins. Frankly, Michael Moore represents a cult movie. Mel Gibson represents the mainstream of America.
BUCHANAN: All right, let me ask you—let me go to Jennifer Giroux.
Now, Jen, Rabbi Boteach and I and you I think would share our views about sort of the anti-Americanism and sort of the contempt for American soldiers, whatever you think of the wisdom of the war, that comes through in “Fahrenheit 9/11.” But he shares a view that‘s not only of the secular Jewish community about “The Passion of the Christ.” But also neoconservatives, who often align themselves with conservatives, were vicious on this movie.
What is your explanation for why the almost among—in the Jewish community, it is almost universal, except for folks like Michael Medved, the contempt and hatred and revulsion at what we consider a beautiful movie?
JENNIFER GIROUX, DIRECTOR, WOMEN INFLUENCING THE NATION: Well, I think way more Jewish people saw the value in this film, the artistic value, the historical value, than is let on in the national media, OK?
Now, we have got to look at this tonight, as far as the Academy Awards, artistic value. It‘s like comparing the masterpiece of Mel Gibson to the Mickey Mouse documentary that Michael Moore did.
No matter what you think about “The Passion of the Christ,” Rabbi, the acting was so inspiring, so unforgettable. The scenes that he did, including the blessed mother running towards Jesus, the flashbacks, the circular camera that he used at the crucifixion that made you feel like the blood was hitting you in the face, artistic genius.
And what‘s going to happen here is, the academy is going to show itself to have zero artistic integrity if they step over “The Passion of the Christ” altogether. That‘s what I want to make on this is, really, Mel Gibson doesn‘t care, and most people don‘t care about the Oscar, because that isn‘t what the message of that movie was about. The Oscars don‘t matter to people.
GIROUX: Let me make just make this point.
BOTEACH: Jennifer campaigned for a whole year to get the Oscar. Now she says she doesn‘t care.
GOVINDINI MURTY, LIBERTY FILM FESTIVAL: ... Oscars are important.
GIROUX: Pat, if I could just finish.
BUCHANAN: All right, Rabbi, you‘re going to have to let her finish and then I‘m going to go to Govindini.
Go ahead quickly, Jennifer.
GIROUX: Very quickly, the reason I will say that I think it‘s important is I don‘t think we should stand by and let religious discrimination happen against a man‘s talent because he decided to make a religious movie.
That discourages young professional directors from doing something. And we as parents would like good, clean, uplifting entertainment. That is my good.
BUCHANAN: OK, Govindini, let me ask you something.
BUCHANAN: I do think—for example, Maia Morgenstern, who is a Jewish gal, a woman from Rumania, played the blessed mother, I found her powerful and moving. And if she got a nomination for best supporting actress, I don‘t see how anyone could object to that based on grounds of the artistic talent that she showed.
Now, what I want to ask you, though, is, it seems to me if Hollywood nominated for best picture both “The Passion” and Michael Moore‘s show, you would have an audience of two billion people around the world watching this. Hollywood is interested in making money. The advertising revenues would soar. Why wouldn‘t some guy say, listen, fellows, let‘s deal with it, let‘s make as much out of this as we can?
MURTY: Well, there are a variety of issues to raise.
First of all, Hollywood used to be about making money. I‘m not sure it really is anymore. Unfortunately, it has become about political propaganda. And that‘s the moral dilemma that faces the academy today. I think the Oscars are very important. The academy is very important. It‘s a fine old institution. And these things have to be taken seriously, because whoever they give the Oscar to, that is Hollywood‘s message to the rest of the world about what they stand for.
Now, in terms of business vs. art or art vs. politics, I think art should be paramount. And the conflict between “The Passion” and between “Fahrenheit 9/11” is a conflict between art and between political propaganda. “The Passion” is a movie that ennobles and inspires the human spirit. “Fahrenheit 9/11” is a work of political propaganda that incites hatred against Americans and hatred of our own country and of our president.
MURTY: A couple of comments I‘d like to make.
BUCHANAN: All right, quickly.
MURTY: A couple of comments about—I‘d like to address Bill‘s comments just quickly about secular Jews.
Let‘s remember, secular Jews built up our film industry and founded most of our Hollywood movie studios and were very patriotic Americans for a long period of time. So I‘m a little—I feel some concern about the comments about secular Jews.
BOTEACH: That was a different generation.
BUCHANAN: Let me take that to Rabbi Boteach.
Rabbi, I think Govindini has a good point. Look, I think the movies in the late ‘40s when I was growing up, in the ‘50s, many of them made by secular Jews, some of them, like “The Song of Bernadette” and “Going My Way,” were extraordinarily positive about Catholicism, some of that about heroism. The movies, the war movies, the Western movies—I saw somewhere where seven out of the top 20 movies of the 20th century, according to artists themselves, were made in the 1950s.
They were made by secular Jewish folks. And they transmitted values of honesty and faith and courage. What has happened to Hollywood in 40 years?
BOTEACH: I‘m amazed that we‘ve made this a discussion about secular Jews. I have got to tell you that Bill Donahue, who I otherwise love and so respect, ought to be ashamed of himself, the way he‘s spoken about secular Jews hating Christians. That is a bunch of crap, OK?
DONAHUE: Who‘s making the movies? Who‘s making the movies?
BOTEACH: That is a bunch of crap.
BOTEACH: Stop the anti-Semitic garbage, OK?
DONAHUE: Who‘s making the movies? The Irishmen?
BOTEACH: Michael Moore is certainly not a Jew. Let me speak here,
BUCHANAN: Go ahead, Rabbi.
BOTEACH: The fact is that Jewish people are incredibly charitable, good, decent family people.
DONAHUE: I didn‘t question that.
BOTEACH: Hollywood has become a cesspit because it‘s secular, period.
Don‘t this us—don‘t tell us that it‘s secular Jews.
DONAHUE: So the Catholics are running Hollywood, huh?
BOTEACH: Soon, you‘re going to start telling us that the NBA is violent because it‘s black people, all right, Bill? No, no, no.
BOTEACH: When people behave badly, just hold them individually accountable.
Now, let me just say one thing.
BOTEACH: Pat, the reason why many Jews—I‘m not among them—are fearful of Christianity is, they‘re tired of Christians saying that we‘re a bunch of Christ killers. They‘re tired of the lie that we killed Jesus.
DONAHUE: How far back do you got to go back in history to get this?
BOTEACH: Pontius Pilate—I‘m almost done. I‘m almost done.
BUCHANAN: All right. OK.
BOTEACH: Pontius Pilate killed Jesus. And the sin of Mel Gibson is the same sin of Michael Moore. They both whitewash tyrants. Michael Moore whitewashes Saddam Hussein, and Mel Gibson whitewashes Pontius Pilate, who was the Saddam Hussein of the ancient world. That‘s why Jews are afraid of Christians.
MURTY: I have to disagree here, if I might make a...
BUCHANAN: I know you can disagree, Govindini, but I‘m going to have to take a break and we‘re going to have to get Bill Donahue a chance to respond.
When we come back, will an Academy Award for Michael Moore create a backlash against Hollywood? From what I‘m hearing, maybe.
And, also, country music star LeAnn Rimes has got a brand new holiday album. She plans to use it to make the Christmas season a little bit brighter for some kids in need.
SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY will be right back.
BUCHANAN: It is “Fahrenheit 9/11” vs. “The Passion of the Christ.”
If the academy backs Michael Moore, will there be a red state revolt?
More of that debate straight ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER/AUTHOR: The good thing about Americans is, once they‘re given the information, they act accordingly, and they act from a good place. The hard part is getting through with the information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BUCHANAN: That was the great man Michael Moore before the election, obviously, but he has not issued any retractions lately.
Now, welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. I‘m Pat Buchanan. I‘m sitting in for Joe.
Is it time for Hollywood to dump Michael Moore, and how will the red states react if Tinseltown awards Michael an Oscar this year, and he trashes the president again in front of a TV audience of a billion people on Oscar night?
I am back with my panel, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Govindini Murty, Bill Donahue and Jennifer Giroux.
Bill Donahue, I said I would give you the right of response to the Rabbi‘s remarks before the break. The floor is yours.
Obviously, he‘s concerned about secularists. I‘m talking about secularists in Hollywood. They‘re not Rastafarians. They‘re Jews. Just pick up any copy of the Jewish...
DONAHUE: And you‘ll learn that.
BOTEACH: Those Jews.
DONAHUE: Now, the fact of the matter—I didn‘t say those Jews.
BOTEACH: Them Jews.
DONAHUE: No, no, no, hold on here. Don‘t try to play this game with me here. To say that Hollywood...
BOTEACH: What a ridiculous statement.
DONAHUE: Wait a minute. To say that Hollywood...
BOTEACH: In 2004 America, the Jews, still. Come on, Bill.
DONAHUE: You‘re going to tell...
BOTEACH: Come on, Bill. Come on. You‘re too smart for this.
DONAHUE: You‘re going to tell me that the Chinese don‘t live in Chinatown, right? To say that Hollywood is dominated by secular Jews...
BOTEACH: You know, Bill, that whole drug problem in the NBA is because there are black people, right, Bill? Come on. Secularism is the problem, not Jews, Bill. You are the one who scares Jews.
BOTEACH: Bill, you scare Jews unnecessarily.
BUCHANAN: Hold it.
Right now, we‘re going to move. OK, we‘re going to move into Jennifer Giroux.
You want to sort this out, Jennifer?
GIROUX: I would like to try.
This is very sad. Let‘s get back to focus on what we‘re talking about here. There are people of all faiths out in Hollywood that are putting smut out for our children to see, pushing sex out of Hollywood. It‘s not just coming from one ethnic background. It‘s coming from people that have bad will, that have full intention of flooding the airwaves with trash. Now, having said that...
BUCHANAN: Jen, let me interrupt you right there.
And, as I pointed out, though, in the 1950s, there were people from all backgrounds who were producing wonderful, positive, uplifting movies about courage, about Christianity, about Catholicism. Many of them were just extraordinarily positive. Something has happened in the interim. What was it?
GIROUX: Well, I think it‘s a culmination of many things.
I constantly hear that there is a very, very strong homosexual push on Hollywood. I think it‘s the result of the sexual revolution. The decency laws, they keep pushing the envelope on that. What really makes me sad, here we are 10 minutes later, is that the Rabbi continues to pull out the anti-Semitic card, when, in fact, the pope himself, Billy Graham, all the religious leaders that lead millions around the world, have all come out and said, a beautiful movie, true to the Gospels. We all look inward and see what our part was. Pontius Pilate was conflicted.
BUCHANAN: Govindini, go right ahead.
MURTY: Thank you. Thank you.
If I might address two issues, first of all, Hollywood became liberal 35 years ago because a group of very talented, creative individuals...
BUCHANAN: But it‘s always been liberal. It‘s always liberal.
MURTY: No, it has not always been liberal. Every major Hollywood studio was founded by Republicans.
And John Wayne and John Ford and Alfred Hitchcock and Cecil B. DeMille, the major directors, were conservatives. The Republicans founded Hollywood. It became liberal 35 years ago. And it became liberal because a new talented group of people came in, like Scorsese and Coppola and Lucas, who had—kind of conquered Hollywood through talent and creativity.
Now we are in a similar situation where we have a new creative group of conservative filmmakers who are going to come in. And Mel Gibson is a perfect example of this, because he‘s doing it through creativity, not political propaganda.
BUCHANAN: But Mel Gibson is isolated. Gibson is isolated. He‘s a courageous guy. But he had to stand up.
MURTY: He‘s not isolated. There are a lot of other people following in his footsteps. Let me just finish something.
BUCHANAN: Hold it. Why did Hollywood not back this film? You have got a great actor here. You have got a director. You‘ve got a famous name. He‘s going to put his money on the line. Why didn‘t other people in Hollywood say, look, Gibson‘s behind this thing? This thing‘s going to go. We‘re taking a bit of a chance, but that‘s what we do here. He‘s a great artist. Let‘s go with it. Why didn‘t Hollywood back it?
MURTY: Liberal Hollywood won‘t because they really hate conservatives and because they‘ve completely become a political propaganda machine.
MURTY: But let me address the anti-Semitism, please.
Let‘s face it. Let‘s look at the empirical evidence. What anti-Semitic acts have there been after “The Passion” came out? There have been none. In fact, there‘s a beautiful movie by Tim Chey called “Impact: The Passion of the Christ” that we showed at our recent Liberty Film Festival in Los Angeles.
MURTY: In which he traveled—Tim Chey traveled all around the world interviewing people about the impact “The Passion” had on their lives.
BUCHANAN: Govindini, I‘m going to cut in here because I want to take that question right to the rabbi.
Rabbi, there were predictions by folks at the ADL and everywhere that was going to cause horrible reactions, the Jewish folks were going to get beat up, that it would breed hostility and anti-Semitism. Despite the fact that literally tens of millions of people saw this movie, it appears to have moved some criminals to come in and to confess. I don‘t know a single incidence of violence as a consequence of this film.
Were the folks that predicted violence and everything, were they not dead wrong?
BOTEACH: Pat, every day Al Jazeera portrays American troops as S.S. gestapo. That doesn‘t lead to attacks on Americans on U.S. soil. But that doesn‘t justify...
BUCHANAN: Are you comparing this movie to Al Jazeera?
BOTEACH: You have to let me answer you.
BUCHANAN: You are comparing it to Al Jazeera.
BOTEACH: No, I am making a very simple point.
Slander is slander, whether it leads to violence or not. “The Passion of the Christ” was historically fictitious, deeply libelous and slanderous movie portraying Jews killing one of their own. Jesus was an Orthodox Jew. He looked like me. He thought like me.
DONAHUE: Oh, please.
BOTEACH: He studied the same texts as me.
BUCHANAN: We‘re going to have to start cutting microphones off.
BUCHANAN: Rabbi, I have got a question for you.
BOTEACH: Yes, Pat.
BUCHANAN: Did not the Jewish establishment want this man who said he was the messiah, who said he was the son of God, who said he was coming to bring a new religion, did they not want him out of the way?
BOTEACH: Of course not.
They saved his life in Luke Chapter 13, Verse 31.
BOTEACH: Hold in. And they saved the apostle‘s life in Acts Chapter 5, in Acts 23.
BOTEACH: I know the New Testament.
DONAHUE: It was the Puerto Ricans that did it.
BOTEACH: Every time I quote the New Testament, you guys respond with ignorance. I know the New Testament backwards to forwards.
BOTEACH: The fact is, the New Testament says that the rabbis and pharisees saved Jesus‘ life over and over again. The fact that Bill Donahue is ignorant of the New Testament is not my fault.
BUCHANAN: Rabbi, you‘ve made your point. Let Bill Donahue make his point.
DONAHUE: Oh, my, where do you begin?
Look, I like the rabbi when it comes to the culture wars. He‘s pretty good. But the hypersensitivity here to try and censor Christians who have a problem with secularists—and when it comes to many parts of the country, he‘s right. There are secularists from every ethnic and religious stock. But when you talk about Hollywood, again, let‘s face it. You‘re talking mostly about secular Jews.
BOTEACH: Scorsese, Coppola, Lucas, are those Jewish names? Scorsese, the Jew, Coppola, the Jew, Lucas, the Jew? Which Jews? Who are you talking about? Get it out of your head. Leave the Jews alone. You are fixated.
DONAHUE: I like Harvey Weinstein. How‘s that? Harvey Weinstein is my friend.
BUCHANAN: Jennifer, you want to come back in here.
GIROUX: I would love to.
MURTY: I would like to say something, which is, you know what? I‘m not Jewish and I‘m not Christian. I‘m Hindu. And I liked “The Passion.” So there are a lot of different ethnicities working in Hollywood today.
Please face that.
BUCHANAN: OK, Jennifer, go ahead.
All I can say, Rabbi, is, you‘ve got to concede the fact—and it‘s difficult because we all at times in life have to say, I‘m sorry, I was wrong—we cannot go back and make it that the Hawaiians killed Christ. Mel Gibson and all Christians...
BOTEACH: What are you talking about?
GIROUX: I‘m saying you can‘t rewrite history.
BOTEACH: Jennifer, you are so ignorant, it‘s embarrassing.
BOTEACH: Have you ever heard of the New Testament? Have you ever heard of Matthew, Luke, John?
BUCHANAN: Rabbi—you have got to let people speak, Rabbi.
Go ahead, Jennifer.
GIROUX: If you read the Bible, the Bible and how they treated the Jews that rejected Christ after the crucifixion, it made Mel Gibson look like he was swatting a puppy with a paper.
Truly, if you go and read the Gospels, it tells you that there was a serious problem with those that did not like the message of Christ and wanted to do away with him.
BOTEACH: They were called Sadducees.
GIROUX: Aside from that, the Catholic Church has always taught...
BOTEACH: They were called Sadducees.
GIROUX: And many people that saw it, including Mel Gibson, who made it, have said this is about us looking at our own part. Everyone can look at what happened to Christ and say, if I was there, would I have crucified him?
GIROUX: It doesn‘t matter if you‘re Irish, Jewish or Hindu.
Everybody has to ask that of themselves.
BUCHANAN: Let the Rabbi speak. Go ahead.
BOTEACH: What bothers me, Jennifer, is that you‘re an ignorant peasant who doesn‘t even know Christian text, for God‘s sake.
What the New Testament said is that the high priest, who was a Sadducee, who was an agent of Rome, who worked directly for Pontius Pilate, had a problem with Jesus and reported him to Pilate and had him killed.
GIROUX: And the New Testament also says...
BOTEACH: The pharisees, excuse me, saved his life. Luke Chapter 13, Verse 31, open it right now and read it. You are an ignorant peasant.
GIROUX: And it also says, I am the way, the truth and the life and no one can get to me except through...
BUCHANAN: Rabbi, cut the personal insults, please. Rabbi, cut the insults, personal insults, please.
BOTEACH: Oh, come on, Pat.
BOTEACH: The Jews are ruining the world and you‘re telling me to cut the insults? Come on, Pat. Get real here, OK?
BOTEACH: Cut the anti-Semitism, please.
BUCHANAN: All right, Rabbi...
MURTY: Rabbi, let‘s look at the actual—I‘d like to ask the Rabbi a question. This is an honest question...
MURTY: ... from someone who is neither Jewish, nor Christian.
Let me just ask you, who are the biggest supporters of Israel in America today? It is the Christian right. It is the Christian right.
BOTEACH: Evangelical Christians.
MURTY: And that is the biggest audience for “The Passion.”
BOTEACH: Correct. I love evangelical Christians. They were wrong about “The Passion.”
MURTY: All right.
“The Passion,” in my opinion, and from what I‘ve seen in the evangelical Christian community, is that it‘s brought Christians and Jews together. It has brought them together in the support of Israel.
BOTEACH: Oh, come on. No, it hasn‘t.
MURTY: It has. That‘s what I‘ve seen with my own two eyes.
BOTEACH: I am the rabbi in this country who is closest to evangelical Christians. I love them. I defend them.
BUCHANAN: They love you, Rabbi, but let me ask you a question.
BOTEACH: I love you too, Pat.
BUCHANAN: They love you, I‘m saying.
BUCHANAN: I‘m a tolerant—I‘m a very tolerant...
BOTEACH: You don‘t love me? OK, you don‘t love me.
BUCHANAN: No, I have to. I‘m taught that way.
BUCHANAN: Now, I want to ask you something.
Despite what you say about what the Bible says and the rest of it, there are millions, tens of millions, of folks, Catholics, Protestants, Christians, others, Jewish folks and others, many who went to see this show and said it‘s a wonderful show. Others said it was a moving, powerful, incredible experience. These are your countrymen. They probably agree with you that Hollywood has gone into the dumpster. Almost all of them do, but they disagree with you profoundly.
Many of them are steeped, especially the evangelical Christians, even more so than Catholics, in the Bible, the Old Testament and New Testament. And this was a very Catholic film, I agree. But they loved it. They respected it, admired it, were moved by it, as Jen says. Billy Graham was moved by it. The pope was moved by it. These aren‘t mean, hateful people. Why do you think they all came to a different conclusion than you? Very briefly.
BOTEACH: It‘s simple. It‘s simple.
Because my evangelical Christian brothers and sisters are desperate for any kind of wholesome, religious mainstream movie. And they‘re so desperate, they‘ll even take a violent, gory, bloody mess, which really looks like a World Wrestling Federation movie, in order to...
BUCHANAN: You don‘t have much respect for their sensitivity?
BOTEACH: No, I love them. I understand that Hollywood has pushed them into a corner.
BUCHANAN: I know you love them, but you think they‘re stupid. You think they‘re stupid.
BOTEACH: I think they‘re godly, but they‘re dead wrong about a movie that‘s an abomination to Christianity.
BUCHANAN: All right.
Rabbi Shmuley, Govindini, Bill Donahue, Jen Giroux, thank you all for joining me tonight for a polite discussion.
And coming up, as the Democratic Party searches for a new direction, should they be looking for pointers from the GOP? That debate next.
Don‘t go away.
BUCHANAN: Howard Dean is campaigning for the top spot at the Democratic National Committee. But does he think the party should lurch to the left? That‘s coming up.
But, first, let‘s get the latest headlines from the MSNBC News Desk.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD DEAN (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We cannot win by being Republican-light. We‘ve tried it. It does not work.
The question is not whether we move to the left or to the right. The question is not about our direction. We need to start focusing on our destination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BUCHANAN: OK, that‘s former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, as you know, and earlier today.
But after the 2004 election, do the Democrats have a direction, much less a destination?
Joining us now, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Democrat of California, and the host of CNBC‘s “Kudlow & Cramer,” Lawrence Kudlow.
Let me start with you, Loretta.
Loretta, I read—there was a couple of articles today. One of them was Gary Locke, I guess former governor of Washington, Donna Brazile, who is a very bright, tough lady, led the Gore campaign. But I read these things, and what you come up with, and we discussed this last night, frankly, is a lot of mush. Now, I‘ve listed the issues coming out of the exit polls that moved Americans this last election, moral values, gay marriage, war in Iraq, terrorism, lost jobs, illegal aliens.
Doesn‘t the Democratic Party really have to come up with a tough, hard agenda if it‘s going to reach into middle America and those red states?
REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, first of al, thanks, Pat, for having me on.
SANCHEZ: But I believe that Democrats actually have a great mission and some great goals as far as what we stand for, that our values are good. I think the problem that we are having is in trying to figure out the strategies and the tactics by which we win elections and actually talk to Americans.
In other words, when people say to me, Republicans won on the moral standard, well, you know, I can‘t think of anybody more moral than someone like Nancy Pelosi, for example, my Democratic leader in the House of Representatives.
BUCHANAN: All right, let me interrupt you right there, Loretta, just briefly. Look, but you know as well as I, in 11 states, they had this issue of homosexual marriage there, because of Gavin Newsom, because of what happened in Massachusetts.
So 11 states got it on the ballot. Republicans are basically all against it. The evangelicals came out, voted 78 percent for Bush. People on moral values voted 80-18 for Bush. That was the issue. Now, Democrats can say we‘re moral people and stuff. But that was the issue, and Democrats were seen as on the wrong side of it. How do you get on the right side of that burning issue?
SANCHEZ: Well, I think what it was, was a strategy. They worked.
They polled it. They worked it.
They put the information around it, and they got it on the those 11 ballots. We had nothing to counteract that. We had nothing that would inspire people who were going out at the same time that would bring our voters out to say, yes, you know what? A minimum wage is important for us. You know, these environmental standards are incredibly important as Americans, not as Republicans, not as Democrats, not as Latinos, not as blacks, as Americans.
SANCHEZ: So, we strategically let the Republicans talk to people without counteracting that with our own strategy.
BUCHANAN: All right.
But, Lawrence Kudlow, wouldn‘t a wise thing for Democrats have simply been to do, frankly, what Barney Frank said, which was, Gavin Newsom‘s doing a dumb thing and breaking the law out there? And a California law passed 2-1 against gay marriage. He shouldn‘t break the law. And why shouldn‘t Democrats have got up and said, look, judges shouldn‘t decide this issue; we are against homosexual marriage; we don‘t think it ought to be legalized; we believe in equal opportunity and all the rest of it?
They wouldn‘t do it, and that‘s why they got creamed.
LAWRENCE KUDLOW, CO-HOST, “KUDLOW & CRAMER”: Well, you‘re right.
You‘ve got a pretty smart point there, Pat.
And Barney Frank‘s a smart guy, but they‘re not listening to him. Listen, personally, I hope that Howard Dean becomes the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. But, politically, I‘ve heard very sensible things from two Democratic sources that could be the beginning of their rebuilding.
One is from “The New Republic”‘s Peter Beinart. He said the Democrats have to take a strong antiterrorism stand, the way Harry Truman and later JFK took strong anti-communist stands. They should read out of the party Michael Moore and MoveOn.org and George Soros and all these nuts. And I also heard a sensible thing. The Democratic Leadership Council today or yesterday came out in favor of Kofi Annan‘s resignation for his oil-for-food corruption.
That‘s the first break from the U.N. I‘ve heard from the Democrats.
BUCHANAN: All right, let‘s take that right to Loretta.
Loretta, do you think Democrats should come out for Kofi Annan resigning, for being tougher in the war on terror in favor of what “The New Republic” said, nation building, and become a Harry Truman, Jack Kennedy party?
SANCHEZ: Well, first of all, Democrats are tough on terrorism.
And sitting as one of the leading Democrats on homeland security, I can tell you that, over a year ago, during the primaries, I gave a speech in Washington, D.C., that was just about homeland security. And one of the things I said was, the way to beat George Bush a year from now is by making this the No. 1 issue, because, if you really look at the facts, George Bush and this administration has done very little to protect Americans. Unfortunately, you know, not too many...
BUCHANAN: Americans don‘t agree with you. Americans think Bush did a great job on terror; 80-20, 80-20...
BUCHANAN: ... who voted on the war on terror voted for George Bush. They disagreed with him on Iraq if they thought it was separate, but on terror they thought Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, terrific.
KUDLOW: Democrats are in denial. They‘re in denial about this point.
If you‘re talking about a Joe Lieberman, sure, he was tough on the war, but he got clobbered in the Democratic primaries. I think Peter Beinart is a very—he makes a very interesting point. It‘s not just being wishy-washy, which is really, unfortunately, what Mr. Kerry was on the war on terrorism.
But you have root out, read out the Michael Moores and the MoveOn.orgs, by the way, the way Democrats and Republicans read the communists out of various groups at the beginning of the Cold War.
Loretta, are you ready to read Michael Moore out, like the earlier Democrats read the communists out of the party?
SANCHEZ: Well, listen, Michael Moore in one of his books said that I should be one of the Democrats that Democrats should try to get out of the Congress, because I‘m too practical and I work quite a bit with Republicans.
As you know, I represent one of the most Republican areas in the nation, Orange County.
BUCHANAN: Orange County, right.
SANCHEZ: So, like I said, I think we have good values. I believe that we have the right message, which is about opportunity, because, when you look at everything that we work on, it is about creating opportunity for Americans to step up and to make something of their lives, to reach their dreams.
BUCHANAN: All right.
BUCHANAN: Congresswoman Sanchez, thanks for joining us.
SANCHEZ: Thank you.
BUCHANAN: Larry, stick around, because, coming up, commit a crime, go to jail, then come out and get your own TV show. It might not be the SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY way, but it‘s working for Martha. More about Martha Stewart‘s rebound next.
And later, country music star LeAnn Rimes enters SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
Don‘t miss that.
We‘ll be right back.
ANNOUNCER: Tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge: How old was country music star LeAnn Rimes when she released her first album? Was she, A, 11, B, 13, or, C, 15? The answer coming up.
ANNOUNCER: In tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge, we asked: How old was country music star LeAnn Rimes when she released her first album? The answer is A. Only three years later, at age 14, Rimes became the youngest person ever to win the Grammy for best new artist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today, we are pleased to announce that NBC Universal Television and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia are joining together with Mark Burnett Productions to bring Martha Stewart back to daily television next fall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BUCHANAN: Hollywood ending. It‘s a story unlike any other in the annals of American celebrity.
Martha Stewart, who built an empire on Halloween decorations and making the most of your leftover avocados, is now in a prison cell in West Virginia. But just when many thought her star had fallen for good, NBC announced today it will launch a new Martha Stewart show with red hot producer Mark Burnett as soon as Martha gets out of the big house.
Here to explain how things can be working out so well for the lady behind bars are Lawrence Kudlow of CNBC‘s “Kudlow & Cramer” and Pat Lalama, correspondent for “Celebrity Justice.”
Pat, let me go to you first.
What‘s your take on Martha‘s comeback?
PAT LALAMA, “CELEBRITY JUSTICE”: Hey, it‘s fall of the Roman Empire, as far as I‘m concerned, all over again. It‘s the unraveling, the moral unraveling of our culture stitch by stitch.
Before I go completely off the deep end, I want to say...
BUCHANAN: Go right ahead.
BUCHANAN: Others have...
BUCHANAN: ... this show.
LALAMA: But I will have more credibility if I start by doing this.
And that is, she—you know what? The beauty of our society is that if you pay your debt to society, why shouldn‘t she go back into the business that she knows well and do it well? So, OK, she‘s not the problem. Let me just put it to you this way, Pat. To get to the studio from “Celebrity Justice,” I had to take the notorious Sunset Strip, OK?
Here‘s what I saw within a 10-block period, an ad for an album of a gangster rapper who‘s been in trouble more times than I care to talk about. No. 2, Paris Hilton, big Gap for her. We‘ve seen her anatomy in its entirety and she gets a TV show.
Then we see a Calvin Klein ad. And there‘s a young model who looks to be about 14 and a heroin addict, and finally an ad for “Grand Theft Auto,” which is the most deplorable, sexist and violent place or whatever, video game, on the market. So I‘m saying it‘s all part of the culture. We don‘t have a sense of what it means to live a life that‘s above the law. She has street credibility. That‘s what they call it out here, street cred.
BUCHANAN: All right, well, let me tell you something.
I‘m going to have to dissent, because I think Martha Stewart was railroaded. I think she did a stupid thing lying to the feds, but she‘s paying a hellish price for it. She did a wonderful thing in building up that business. She hired people. She did a lot more for folks, I think, than a lot of journalists and politicians do. And, frankly, if she can come back from this and go on a TV show and do that, I‘m all for her.
Larry Kudlow, what‘s your take?
KUDLOW: I‘m with you, buddy.
BUCHANAN: All right.
KUDLOW: I mean, heck, if they gave you a show and they gave me a show, we ought to be nice enough to let Martha have a show.
BUCHANAN: They gave our buddy Gordon Liddy a show.
KUDLOW: That‘s right. Gordon got a show. Ali (ph) has got a show.
Martha made a mistake, and she paid for it, as you just said.
KUDLOW: I think that‘s an American story. I think we all believe in a second chance. And I think there is a sense of redemption here. Why shouldn‘t she get another chance?
Eventually, the viewers or the nonviewers of this proposed show will make the decision. Look, if we‘re talking about the degradation and demoralization of Hollywood culture, count me in. I completely agree with that. But I don‘t know what that has to do with Martha Stewart.
BUCHANAN: Pat, I agree with everything you said, but...
LALAMA: But it has a lot to do with Martha Stewart.
BUCHANAN: OK. Go ahead.
LALAMA: The reason why it has a lot to do with Martha Stewart—and, remember, I support her in her efforts after prison—it has to do with the fact that the peddlers of mass media and we the people who buy into it think that when you behave badly that you are a hero.
Maybe it‘s not all over the country, but I live it every day in Los Angeles, California, where you do something that‘s against the law, or above the law, or whatever, that you‘re almost a hero. It‘s like a badge of honor. Martha Stewart, I think, is a different kind of case altogether. The more important thing to me is that nobody seems to think you‘ve got to abide by the rules anymore. And the worst you act, the better it is.
BUCHANAN: All right, Pat, Larry, thanks. I‘m sorry we didn‘t have more time for this. I think it‘s a great subject. We‘ve got to do it again.
Coming up next in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, country music superstar LeAnn Rimes. She rose to fame with no scandal, no drug habit, no X-rated video like Paris Hilton, nothing on the Internet. We‘ll ask her how she did it and who her heroes are next.
BUCHANAN: Well, we‘ve certainly seen our share of celebrities behaving badly lately, so we thought it might be nice to end tonight‘s show with country music star LeAnn Rimes, who seems to be doing something right.
LeAnn, welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
LEANN RIMES, MUSICIAN: Thank you very much.
BUCHANAN: All right. In addition to 25 studio albums, including your latest, “This Woman” and a new Christmas album, you have also released a children‘s book. Tell us how you manage to juggle all the projects.
RIMES: Oh, it‘s been amazing. And I have a really great support system.
And I love what I do, you know? I think that really—it makes a difference. I‘ve been in this business for almost a decade. And, you know, I took some time off to rejuvenate. And I just love what I do now more than ever. So I think that really does keep me driven. And with my husband around and my family, that makes—it makes a big difference also.
BUCHANAN: You know, LeAnn, I heard one of your albums. As a matter of fact, someone sent it to me years ago, because I was a great fan of a lady from Front Royal, Virginia, called Patsy Cline. And “I Fall to Pieces” was my favorite song. And you sounded an awful lot like her.
Do you—I‘m sure other people have told you the same, haven‘t they?
RIMES: Oh, yes. And it‘s definitely a compliment.
I think she was one of the first artists that I ever listened to. And she‘s a huge influence in the way I sing and in my music.
It‘s been a big, tough week for the big department stores, with Target taking a hit for banning the Salvation Army, Macy‘s telling employees not to say merry Christmas as often as happy holidays. But you‘ve teamed up with J.C. Penney, LeAnn, in an effort to help kids in after-school programs. Tell us about it.
RIMES: I have.
J.C. Penney is carrying my Christmas album, “What a Wonderful World.” And 100 percent of the proceeds goes to the J.C. Penney‘s After School Fund, which is a program that J.C. Penney is 100 percent dedicated to helping children reach their full potential in a safe environment after school.
And I was told there were over 14 million children that are left unsupervised and at home alone after school. So it gives them a great place to go and learn and just have fun and meet great friends. And J.C. Penney has really—they have put their heart and soul into this program.
And it really is a wonderful program. So I‘m honored to be involved.
BUCHANAN: Well, it is a first-rate outfit, J.C. Penney. And it‘s wonderful that you‘re working with them.
Do you have any heroes in the music world who were—I know you‘ve got your first album, we just heard, at 11 years old, 25 albums. Any heroes in the music world and outside the music world?
RIMES: For me, the music world, I got to work with one of my heroes, Reba McEntire, who I grew up listening to.
RIMES: And I did a Dr. Pepper commercial with her not too long ago.
RIMES: And I just—I fell in love with her. She‘s amazing. And she‘s always giving me amazing advice.
And someone else I worked with, Elton John, I just love tremendously, so—and my mom. My mom is my hero outside of it all, so...
Elton John just got that big award over at the Kennedy Center.
LeAnn, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
RIMES: Thank you. Nice to talk to you.
BUCHANAN: Nice to talk to you.
That‘s all the time we have for SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, folks.
On “Imus,” tomorrow, former NFL quarterback Phil Simms and “Apprentice” star Donald Trump.
“HARDBALL” is next. Good evening.
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