updated 1/25/2005 3:50:45 PM ET 2005-01-25T20:50:45

Guests: Rich Little, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Ray Borane, James Gilchrist, Wesley Clark, Christopher Hitchens

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight‘s top headlines, there‘s good news in Iraq, whether the mainstream media wants to tell you or not.

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

A new poll shows, 80 percent of Iraqis say they‘re going to vote in next week‘s election.  We‘re going to get the very latest on the battle for freedom in Iraq with General Wesley Clark, who has just returned, and from journalist Christopher Hitchens. 

Then, is it time for vigilante justice on the borders?  We‘re going to be talking to one man who says he‘s ready to take the law into his own hands. 

And the man who made America laugh for 30 years passes away.  A SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY tribute to the late-night king, Johnny Carson. 

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

SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome to the show. 

As you know, the Iraqi election is six days away.  And prisons are near capacity with terrorists who want to disrupt the balloting.  And today, the interim government announced the arrest of a man believed to be a bomb-maker for al-Zarqawi.  Now, is all this good news for a nation that‘s on the brink of democracy? 

With me now, once again, General Wesley Clark.  And we have “Vanity Fair”‘s Christopher Hitchens, author of “Love, Poverty and War.”

Christopher, I want to begin with you.  You were over there.  Tell me, are Iraqis feeling good about this election?  Do they believe that it is going to go off fairly successfully? 

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, “VANITY FAIR”:  I had a very charming e-mail from one of Dr. Ahmad Chalabi‘s chief aides a few days ago saying that while “The New York Times” had had a picture of Chalabi addressing a very large Shia rally in southern Iraq, what the story had not said was that he had brought with him two important Sunni leaders and introduced them to the crowd to show to them and each other that the list he‘s running for is not sectarian, and had then taken them to the shrine in Imam Ali in Najaf, the main Shia holy place, which they had never in their lives seen before. 

There are inspiring things of this kind are going on, but the way that it‘s presented, that everyone is either a Sunni or a Shia or a Kurd, and people wouldn‘t know from this that the Kurds are 20 percent of the population.  They‘re also mainly Sunni, formerly Sunni.  It just gives a false picture.  And then the relentless focus on violence has led to people saying, look, we would have to postpone them because, A, of violence and, B, of confessional and ethnic differences.

Well, if you postpone because of violence, that is a direct surrender to Zarqawi.  And if you postpone because of confessional and ethnic differences, that would be an argument for never having an election in Iraq in the first place.  So, it‘s a very good thing that they‘re going forward.  And it‘s very nice to see that the Iraqi voters and the Iraqi people have a clear idea of it and have a genuine enthusiasm about it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  General Clark, obviously, you‘ve been concerned from the beginning about the way the United States got into this war.  A lot of Americans have shared that concern.  They also have shared your concern about what the Bush administration did to bring peace to that area or their failure to bring peace to that area. 

And yet, we have a poll out showing 80 percent of Iraqis are excited about this opportunity to vote.  You see more and more evidence that the turnout is going to be high; 80 percent say they‘re likely to vote; 12 percent say they‘re unlikely; 4 percent say they don‘t know.  And international observers say that the world‘s going to be shocked by the turnout.  Is that good news? 

WESLEY CLARK (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I think it‘s great news.  And I—you know, we all welcome the election. 

The question is what really happens after the election.  Clearly, a lot of Iraqis are going to vote.  Clearly, some won‘t vote.  And after it, some won‘t accept the results.  And the question is will a large turnout in and of itself invalidate those who are fighting against the idea of a democracy in Iraq? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Like Zarqawi? 

CLARK:  Like Zarqawi, will it do that?  And the odds are that it will not invalidate them.  The odds are they will continue to still make bombs, still attack people, and still have the passive support of large numbers of the population. 

Remember, if you‘ve got 80 percent that are going to vote, that‘s five million who aren‘t sure they‘re going to vote.  And why is it that there are five million who aren‘t sure they‘re going to vote?  If you look at insurgencies historically, it doesn‘t take a very large insurgency to cause a great deal of difficulty for an established government. 

(CROSSTALK)  

CLARK:  And what we‘re trying to do in Iraq is establish a government

·         is we‘re trying to establish a government in the face of an insurgency. 

It‘s an extraordinary difficult task. 

So, I‘m really happy with the good news.  I hope it all works.  I just hope that we‘ll approach this with a little bit of caution, because we‘ve got a long way to go in Iraq.  And the administration‘s record honestly is not very good at delivering on the potential. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second.  Hold on a second. 

General, if we have an 80 percent turnout, if we have a 70 percent turnout, if we have a 65 percent turnout, that‘s still a heck of a lot higher than we have in the United States of America.  For the first democratically held election in an Arab state like Iraq, that‘s great news, isn‘t it? 

CLARK:  Well, I think it‘s great news, but you‘re not going to compare Iraqi democracy with an American democracy, surely, Joe.  I‘m not going to do that. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, if we have a higher turnout, then I think that‘s a damn positive development. 

CLARK:  If you look at the polling that‘s been done, you‘ll see the turnout‘s like 95 percent among the Kurds and the Shia.  They think they‘ve got a lot to gain.  If you look at the turnout...

SCARBOROUGH:  They do. 

CLARK:  ... percentages projected from the Sunnis, the figures I‘ve shown show it‘s about 20 percent.  Now, the Sunnis are a small part of the population.  So overall it looks really good. 

But if you end up after the election with a very angry, dispossessed Sunni group in the middle of Iraq, that‘s not a positive outcome.  That‘s why people like Chalabi are trying to offset the idea that it‘s—the election is only about sectarianism. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, though, Christopher Hitchens, for the Sunnis to claim that they are dispossessed, after this 20 percent minority has had their boots on the throats of the 80 percent majority, seems like the height of hypocrisy. 

HITCHENS:  Well, it would be if it was true.  But, for example, the current president of the country is a Sunni, a very prominent local tribal leader with a good record. 

There are a number of cities who know that Baathism is over, is not coming back, and that the importing of jihadism and bin Ladenism by a Jordanian thug and mercenary like Mr. Zarqawi is likewise a death trap for them. 

I think General Clark is flat-out wrong about insurgences in history.  There‘s never been a successful insurgency based on a minority of a minority and one that, by the way, doesn‘t have a large country nearby that is regularly resupplying and reinforcing it either.  The fate of it is foreordained.  A group like that will inevitably be defeated by the coalition forces, however long it takes.

(CROSSTALK)

HITCHENS:  The turnout doesn‘t matter...

(CROSSTALK)

CLARK:  What we haven‘t heard from the administration is what the real strategy is. 

There‘s an excessive focus here on the turnout as the measure of success in election.  I‘d suggest that here‘s the way you should look at this.  The election is productive if it leads to the creation of a legitimate Iraqi political body that can take away from all elements of Iraqi society the idea they have something to fight against, that can take away the idea that they‘re being occupied by the Americans, the idea that the Sunnis are dispossessed.  That‘s the standard, not the percentage of turnout. 

(CROSSTALK)

HITCHENS:  Well, I agree with you about the percentage, because it is important, above all, that an election is taking place at all, as it was among the Palestinians going forward, and as it has been in Afghanistan. 

CLARK:  Furthermore, there‘s another thing here, Christopher, we ought to talk about.  What we really haven‘t seen from the administration yet is, what is the real strategy?  Of course we‘re going to have an election.  But the strategy, what is the end state we‘re after in Iraq?  We‘ve never laid out the end state. 

(CROSSTALK)

HITCHENS:  Well, the administration has put all its egg in the Allawi basket.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second. 

General, you speak tonight as if an election is a footnote.

CLARK:  That‘s right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  That a democratic election in a totalitarian state is a footnote.  I think that‘s a good place to start. 

And, Christopher Hitchens...

(CROSSTALK)            

CLARK:  I think an election is a great place to start, but what is end state we‘re after.

SCARBOROUGH:  What I‘m hearing from soldiers that e-mail me day in and day out, it‘s the same thing, that mainstream media keeps burying the lead on the Iraqi vote. 

I want you all to look at this headline.  And this was the day after George Bush delivered his address.  “Washington Post,” above the fold, A-1, “Arabs Say U.S. Rhetoric Rings Hollow.”  Now, of course, they don‘t quote a single person on the first page.  But buried on page A-13 under the headline “At Unity Against Violence, Not on Vote,” this came from a Shiite leader—quote—“Whatever they do, it will not change the outcome, because there are only 10 days separating us from the day when we will say no to dictatorship.”  And the article went on to say that worshipers chanted inside this bombed-out mosque, “We will go to ballot boxes even if we have to crawl.”  This is historic.               

HITCHENS:  Yes, it‘s very inspiring.

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Christopher Hitchens, the story is not being told on A-1, like it should be. 

CLARK:  I think it‘s being told in many newspapers, Joe.  I‘ve seen it in every newspaper in America.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  General, will you let somebody else talk?  I know you don‘t like the good news getting out there.  We‘re getting it out there tonight.

(CROSSTALK)

CLARK:  I do like the good news.  I‘ve been in favor of our troops and in favor of the success of this mission from the beginning, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Christopher Hitchens, talk. 

HITCHENS:  The question was to me.

CLARK:  So I‘m not going to be painted in the other corner. 

HITCHENS:  The question was to me.  The question was to me.  Thank you.    

CLARK:  No, it was personal to me, Chris.  And I don‘t like the idea...

HITCHENS:  Christopher.

CLARK:  Look, I‘ve been in favor of the mission, the success of the mission from the beginning, Joe. 

HITCHENS:  The question was to me.  The question was to me. 

CLARK:  I want like to see...

(CROSSTALK)

CLARK:  ... make a success. 

HITCHENS:  The question was to me. 

SCARBOROUGH:  General, you were filibustering, General.  Let Christopher Hitchens respond. 

HITCHENS:  The question was to me.

Look, the administration doesn‘t come too brilliantly out of this.  If, through the CIA, installed a man, Mr. Allawi, a very dubious character indeed, who has been smuggling U.S. dollars out of the country that don‘t belong to him, who has been using the media in Iraq as if they belong to him personally, and who has been acting in a generally all-around thuggish way, the CIA has never got anything right in Iraq and continues to get things wrong on our dime, in our name and at our expense. 

SCARBOROUGH:  General, I‘ll give you the last word. 

CLARK:  All Americans want this election to succeed.  We want our troops to be safe.  We want the mission to be accomplished.  We want our troops home safely. 

And this election is part of the process of getting them there.  But I think we also have to look realistically at the election.  The point is not just the level of participation, but who is participating and what happens next.  And what I‘d like to hear a little more of is what the administration‘s strategy is.  What‘s next?  Are we going to let the Iraqis invite us to leave after the election?  Are we going to stay there for a long time?  What are the standards for the success of this mission? 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

CLARK:  I don‘t think it‘s asking too much to ask the administration to lay that out.  That‘s what our soldiers and their families need to hear, and I‘m speaking up for them. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, General, I‘ll meet you halfway on it.  I still agree this administration doesn‘t have an exit plan.  That‘s a terrible mistake.

But regarding who votes, I don‘t give a damn whether the Sunnis vote or not.  They‘ve oppressed this nation since 1934.  If they don‘t want to vote because they‘re finally going to have to live in a representational democracy, tough luck. 

We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Vigilante justice breaking out on the Mexico-U.S. border because some Americans are simply fed up with illegal immigration.  A debate on that war coming up next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, where, as you know, no passport is required.

Now, of course, if you look at these numbers, you can say the same for the illegal immigrants that cross the U.S. border every day.  In Arizona alone, 10,000 illegals a day come into America.  Over three million each year make the trip.  And only one-third of those are ever apprehended by the Border Patrol. 

Now a new group has announced it‘s going to patrol the border for a month to demonstrate Washington‘s failure to deal with this problem. 

With me now are James Gilchrist.  He‘s a combat-wounded Marine and Vietnam veteran, who founded the Minuteman Project.  And we also have the mayor of Douglas, Arizona.  He‘s Ray Borane.

James, let me begin with you.

Why are you doing this?  This sounds like vigilante justice to a lot of people.

JAMES GILCHRIST, MINUTEMAN PROJECT:  Joe, we‘re doing this for twofold reasons. 

One, we want to bring national attention and awareness to this illegal alien crisis that‘s just grown out of hand.  No. 2, we want to aid an underfunded and undermanned U.S. Border Patrol in the conduct of their job. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Mr. Mayor, you think this is dangerous.  Why? 

RAY BORANE, MAYOR OF DOUGLAS, ARIZONA:  I‘ve seen a litany of these guys come through my community.  And they‘re nothing but fly-by-nights, adventure-seekers looking for a little bit of recognition and headlines that accomplish absolutely nothing.  As a matter of fact, they get themselves in trouble most of the time.  And, quite frankly, I‘m concerned about the kind of people that they draw to our community. 

SCARBOROUGH:  How do they get themselves in trouble?

GILCHRIST:  Quite frankly, Mayor, I can assure you that my people are pretty well screened.  We have—their average education is at least a bachelor‘s degree.  They‘re retired career law enforcement officers, retired career military, chemists, teachers, etcetera.  The litany goes on and on. 

BORANE:  I don‘t know how you can equate their education to enforcement on the border.  You‘re asking people to go down where it‘s a military operation. 

People who are trained, as the Border Patrol is, to deal with immigration law, that knows immigration law, they know how to detain, they know what to do after the detention.  And they know how to deal with these people.  And, for the most part, they recognize the demographics of the community as being bilingual and bicultural.  That‘s an international situation down there.

And I couldn‘t care less about how educated your people are.  If they don‘t have the proper training, they‘re going to get...

GILCHRIST:  I know you couldn‘t care less about the future of this country.  That‘s pretty obvious.  Thus, the Minuteman Project.  You brought this on yourself.  You are a coward, Mayor. 

BORANE:  Oh, absolutely not. 

(CROSSTALK)

GILCHRIST:  No, this is about enforcement of the law. 

(CROSSTALK)

BORANE:  We don‘t need to get into personal attacks. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Listen, let‘s go ahead—let‘s go ahead and cut the mikes for a second.  We‘re not going to get into personal attacks.  Don‘t call the mayor a coward when you don‘t even know the mayor, James. 

But at the same time, you‘ve got to understand, the mayor‘s concerned that you and a group of retired military guys come down into his community, go on the border, and get yourselves shot.  Shouldn‘t we leave this to the men and women who are trained day in and day out to take care of these kinds of situations? 

(CROSSTALK)

GILCHRIST:  Civil Homeland Defense has been doing this for a number of years.  They‘ve never had an incident of a shooting or anyone being injured or shot.  There are several other groups that have done this, some of them more militant, certainly, and they should be excluded. 

We are a passive defensive group.  We‘re down there strictly to bring attention to this matter, which we are doing, and, No. 2, to support Border Patrol by strictly observing and reporting the infiltration of illegal aliens.  We are not taking the Border Patrol‘s job.  This is a chess game.  We observe and report.  The Border Patrol comes in apprehends.

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, fair enough.  Fair enough. 

Mr. Mayor, Mr. Mayor, I want to read you something from Mr.  Gilchrist‘s Web site, because I‘ll tell you what.  I‘ll guarantee you, out there in America tonight, a lot more people agree with Mr. Gilchrist that this is a crisis and something needs to be done with it than agrees with you.  I want to read you what Mr. Gilchrist says on his Web site. 

“At the current rate of invasion, the United States will be completely overrun with illegal aliens by the year 2025, only 21 years away.  Illegal aliens and their offspring will be the dominant population of the U.S. and will have made such inroads into the political and social systems that they will have more influence in our Constitution, on how the United States government is governed.”

Mr Mayor, what‘s wrong, since we do have this crisis, 10,000 illegals a day coming across your state alone in Arizona, what‘s wrong with having people going down there and simply monitoring the situation, as Mr.  Gilchrist claims they‘re going to do? 

BORANE:  They all say that before they come down here.  They eventually get involved.  They arm themselves.  They wear camo uniforms.  They pretend to be the law enforcement.  They scare the daylights out of those people coming across the border.  They have confrontations with the Mexican army. 

These are things that happen every day that I‘m aware of.  Mr.  Gilchrist sits in California, where he should stay, actually, and he doesn‘t know the first thing about what‘s going on here, except what he hears and what he reads in the newspaper.  The FBI shot a man that was affiliated with one of these militia groups very recently in my hometown, shot him in the parking lot for resisting arrest. 

I‘m afraid of the people they attract.  They‘re not trained.  They don‘t know the first thing about immigration.  They end up getting involved.  They like the headline.  They like the media.  And I don‘t just see them causing any—creating anything that‘s beneficial by coming there.  They should stay home. 

GILCHRIST:  I disagree.

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Mr. Gilchrist, let me share you what a county sheriff from Arizona has said, really parroting what‘s just been said by the Mayor, saying this about these type of vigilante groups that you‘re putting together—quote—“They‘re willing to violently challenge law enforcement personnel, so I assure you they‘ll take on anybody.  The potential for violence is very real, and I issued all the cautions I possibly could.”

Are you concerned you may be recruiting some men, possibly women, to come down to Arizona to patrol the borders who may end up getting themselves killed? 

GILCHRIST:  There has not been an incident of someone being killed doing this type of support work.  We screen our applicants as best we can.  No one is perfect.  No screening process is perfect. 

If we have any disruptive behavior, that person will be shunned and ostracized from the group, including the calling of the Cochise County Sheriff‘s Department to make that extraction for us.  We do not want any troublemakers, period. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Mr. Mayor, I‘ll give you the last word. 

(CROSSTALK)

BORANE:  I‘ve heard that over and over.  And I‘m going to tell you, without exception, eventually, there‘s a problem with these people.  They should stay home and do more beneficial things in their community. 

Let the Border Patrol, which trained—and I don‘t agree with what the Border Patrol does, but they are what we‘re living by and what we‘re living with.  Let them do their job.  Stay home.  Volunteer to do something constructive in your community.  That‘s my advice to them. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thank you so much, Mayor Borane.  Thank you James Gilchrist. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  We appreciate you being with us. 

I got to tell you, the Border Patrol‘s not doing the job.  That‘s the problem.  I don‘t want vigilante justice along the border, but at the same time, the Border Patrol‘s not doing their jobs.  The United States Congress is not doing their job.  The president‘s not doing his job.  Everybody‘s talking—well, they‘re not talking about amnesty, but they might as well be.  They‘re talking about ways to excuse people for breaking the law when they enter this country.  That is wrong. 

And now, back by popular demand, the return of “Flyover Country.”  It‘s of course a look at some of the stories in the flyover space between Manhattan and the left coast that you‘re not going to read in the mainstream press. 

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a 17-year-old high school student went to court saying it was not legal for his math teacher to give him homework over the summer vacation. 

And, in Springfield, Michigan, a man was fined for shoveling his neighbor‘s driveway.  It turns out there‘s a little known law in that area that says you can‘t push snow across the street.  And this good samaritan plowed his neighbor‘s driveway.  Then a cop pulled up and wrote him a ticket.  How about runaway government regulations on that one? 

And what happens in Vegas, well, stays in Vegas.  Good new for some because a judge has ruled that a law prohibiting strippers from fondling customers during lap dances is—and I quote—“unconstitutionally vague.”  Of course, after the judge‘s ruling, MSNBC cameramen could be heard cheering throughout our building. 

Now, coming up next, much more in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Is a partisan attack on Condoleezza Rice just politics as usual or just flat-out racism?  We‘re going to have the SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown coming up next.  You‘re not going to want to miss it.  And you‘re going to be shocked by a cartoon we‘re going to show you of Ms. Rice. 

And later, impressionist Rich Little comes to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to remember late-night legend Johnny Carson. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up in a minute, we‘re going to be talking about desperate people, from desperate Democrats showing their true colors to “Desperate Housewives” and John Madden? 

But, first, let‘s get the latest news from MSNBC. 

(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:  Now, I‘m sure a lot of you have been following Condoleezza Rice‘s confirmation hearings.  But you may not have seen how the left has caricatured her in an ugly way.  Commentators have stopped really at short of nothing, calling her Aunt Jemima and Uncle Tom.  But where‘s the outrage?  Well, recently, some of the mainstream media have suggested that Dr. Rice brought this on herself. 

With me now is Katrina Vanden Heuvel.  She‘s the editor of “The Nation.”  And MSNBC political analyst Monica Crowley. 

Katrina, I want to start with you.  As you know—I know you‘ve read some of these editorials over the weekend in “The Washington Post,” “The New York Post.”  A lot of people very offended by the fact that Condoleezza Rice has been called everything from an Uncle Tom to Aunt Jemima.  There have been very crude, racist cartoons written about her and drawn up about her. 

What is it about Condoleezza Rice that so infuriates the left that they‘re willing to attack her for being an African-American?

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR, “THE NATION”:  Whoa. 

Joe, first of all, you‘re referring to a cartoon and a talk radio host.  Those were insulting and in poor taste.  But what Barbara Boxer did, for example, in the Senate in raising tough questions and treating Condoleezza Rice in a serious way, raising tough questions about one of the key architects of this administration‘s failed, disastrous policies, is what opposition, is what democracy in this country is about. 

We need to have a reasoned debate and review. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I agree with you, Katrina. 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  And Barbara Boxer represents millions of Americans who object to this administration‘s policies. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, Katrina, I agree with you.  Let me show you a couple things, OK, because you make good points.  Believe you me, when I was in Congress, I went against Democrats and Republicans alike. 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s what‘s so great about America.  And I actually—

I salute Barbara Boxer.  If she wants to go after the administration, that‘s fine. 

I want to show you, though, a political cartoon by Pat Oliphant first that I know you‘ve seen.  He made this sketch of the president talking with Condoleezza Rice.  And, of course, she is—it‘s just crude.  It‘s racist. 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  I haven‘t seen it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And it‘s offensive. 

But then I want to read you something from Saturday‘s “Washington Post” saying this about Boxer.  “It‘s hard to imagine a more demeaning and offensive caricature of a prospective secretary of staff, slurring her as a hollow-headed marionette controlled by Bush.”

And that‘s from Colbert King.  And he makes a great point, Katrina.  This is the woman that was brought in to educate George W. Bush back in 2000, when he didn‘t even know who the leader of Pakistan was.  Why are they turning her into this parrot?  Why did Barbara Boxer turn her into this parrot who was basically bowled over by the administration?

(CROSSTALK)

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Again, let‘s separate Boxer from that cartoon, which I haven‘t seen. 

But Barbara Boxer was raising principled questions about Condoleezza Rice‘s role.  Part of the role of national security adviser, by the way, Joe, is to coordinate and to implement the president‘s policies.  And Brent Scowcroft—what are you going to say about a Brent Scowcroft who is criticizing Condoleezza Rice‘s policies or intelligence officials in Washington who believe she failed in her job in misleading the nation? 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  I agree with you, Katrina.  I agree with you.  If you want to debate issues, there are 1,000 different things that you can attack Condoleezza Rice on if you oppose this war.  And, like you said, about half of Americans do. 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Absolutely. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I think that‘s very legitimate. 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Many conservatives do at this point, Joe.  There‘s a rising chorus, as there should be. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Exactly right.

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Jim Baker, former secretary of state. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, and we had a heck of a debate during the inauguration with Pat Buchanan and other conservatives who are very concerned. 

Monica, I want to bring you in here and let‘s talk about the politics of this for a little bit.  You saw the cartoon, extraordinarily offensive, by one of the most respected cartoonists in mainstream America. 

MONICA CROWLEY, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I want you to take a look at a “New York Post” editorial from this weekend.  And this is what they wrote about the dust-up. 

It said: “Senator Byrd‘s move can be seen as a matter of spite as much as anything.  Robert Byrd‘s presence in the United States Senate is a continuing embarrassment to Democrats in general and to that body in particular.  The mainstream media merely continues to be an embarrassment to itself.”

And, of course, they‘re talking about Robert Byrd, a former Ku Klux Klansman, a guy that voted against both African-American nominees to the Supreme Court.  And, in fact, he‘s the only member, former member of the Klan that is in the Senate now.  He voted against Thurgood Marshall.  He voted against Clarence Thomas.  He filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act for 14 straight hours.

And, of course, he used a racial slur, the N-word, in a 2001 interview.  And now this is the guy, after all these racial slurs against Condi Rice, that the Democrats are putting up to block this nomination.  How could this be?

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY:  Well, Joe, if the situation had been reversed and this had been a Democratic nominee and this kind of racial politics had been played and say it was Trent Lott on the other side who was opposing this nomination of this very accomplished African-American woman, oh, they‘d be screaming bloody murder. 

But the fact that this woman is a very accomplished Republican woman -

·         you know, you raise the racial cartoon, which is flat-out racist and offensive.  You raised some of the other comments that have been made about Dr. Condoleezza Rice.  You know, it just strikes me that this is politics at its worst. 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  It‘s called opposition, Monica.  There‘s no racism at the bottom of this. 

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY:  Katrina, if the shoe had been on the other foot, you‘d be right out there with your liberal colleagues screaming bloody murder, absolutely.

(CROSSTALK)

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Robert Byrd has been a leading principled opponent of this war and the administration‘s policies, Monica.  There‘s no racism involved here. 

CROWLEY:  Katrina, you have a problem with Condoleezza Rice and this administration‘s policies.  That‘s perfectly legitimate. 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  I‘m talking about Robert Byrd‘s problem with this administration. 

CROWLEY:  But to take after her—to take after her because she is... 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  She‘s an architect of the policy.

CROWLEY:  And, by the way, Katrina, where is the NAACP on some of this racial politics and these really offensive cartoons and these slurs of Condoleezza Rice?  And where‘s the National Organization for Women?  This is a highly accomplished woman. 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Of course she is. 

CROWLEY:  Where are the women‘s groups defending her right to get out there and get such a high-ranking position in this Cabinet?  They should be supporting her because she‘s a woman.  But they‘re not because she‘s a Republican woman, because she‘s a conservative. 

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY:  That‘s why you don‘t hear anything from the NAACP either, because she happens to be a black woman who is conservative.  That is outrageous, Katrina. 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  She is a highly educated woman who has been criticized across the board, Monica.  Are you now going to say that Brent Scowcroft‘s scathing criticisms of her policies—she was his protege, by the way—in “The Financial Times” a month or so ago are racist?  You‘re mixing apples and oranges. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  No, no, no. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second.  Hold on, Katrina.  You‘re the one that‘s mixing...

VANDEN HEUVEL:  And the racism issue is trying to deflect from failed policy.

SCARBOROUGH:  No, Katrina, no, no, listen, I‘ve said already, so we don‘t keep talking about her policies, it‘s legitimate to attack her policies.

But Monica brings up a great point. 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Who is attacking her as a woman, Joe?  Who is attacking her as a woman, Joe? 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, they‘re attacking an African-American woman.

VANDEN HEUVEL:  But no one is saying...

SCARBOROUGH:  They‘re using racial stereotypes.  They‘re calling her Uncle Tom.  They‘re calling her Aunt Jemima. 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  But Robert Byrd isn‘t.  Barbara Boxer isn‘t.  Teddy Kennedy isn‘t.  Dick Durbin isn‘t.

SCARBOROUGH:  Barbara Boxer, Barbara Boxer—and that was the gist of “The Washington Post” editorial this weekend by Colbert King, saying that there were racial overtones to Barbara Boxer‘s attack, saying that she was a parrot, saying that somehow she was too dumb to have her own ideas, that she was parroting George W. Bush‘s, when you and I both know that she‘s the one who educated George W. Bush in 2000. 

(CROSSTALK)

VANDEN HEUVEL:  She took him on as a student, but we‘re talking about the principle of opposition.

SCARBOROUGH:  As a student, exactly. 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  We‘re talking about the principle of opposition in America. 

What Robert Byrd and Teddy Kennedy are doing is about the reasonable review and debate that is required in a democracy of an administration‘s policies. 

CROWLEY:  But wait a minute, Katrina. 

VANDEN HEUVEL:  Are we...

(CROSSTALK)

VANDEN HEUVEL:  ... or a democracy?

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY:  There is a difference between...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Robert Byrd has no credibility at all, no credibility on any race issue. 

CROWLEY:  There‘s a difference between asking the hard questions, Katrina, which I want to see all of our nominees to any Cabinet be asked, and being outright disrespectful and rude and offensive, which is what I see coming from a number of people, including, yes, Barbara Boxer. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Listen, let me tell you this.  I want to do my audience a favor.  I want to show again that cartoon.  I‘ll ask the control room, if you‘ve got the cartoon, if we can put it up.  There it is again. 

There you have a picture of one of the most respected cartoonists in America, making her out, it‘s just—I can‘t even begin to describe it, the racial stereotyping by a self-described liberal, a cartoonist, doing that to Condoleezza Rice.  You add on top of that the fact that you‘ve got people calling her Uncle Tom, you‘ve got people calling her Aunt Jemima, and it leads to one question. 

And that question is, what would be happening if “The Washington Times” or “The Weekly Standard” or a conservative publication had printed that type of cartoon about a liberal African-American?  And it‘s all part of a bigger scheme.  It‘s all part of challenging the Clarence Thomases out there or the Estradas, like the Democrats challenged last year, or other African-American justices who the president has nominated. 

You see, if you‘re a conservative and you‘re in a minority in America, you‘re a fair target.  It‘s just not fair.  And it‘s racism any way you cut it.  And, again, please don‘t bother sending me an e-mail saying we can‘t differ on the war.  I think there are a lot of things in Dr. Rice‘s record that you can criticize.  That‘s fair game, but these racial attacks led by a former member of the Ku Klux Klan is nothing short of offensive. 

Well, listen, Katrina, I greatly appreciate you being here tonight, as always.  I know you were outnumbered 2-1.  It‘s not fair to those of us in the majority, because you‘re such a good debater. 

Monica, thank you so much for being with us tonight in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  We greatly appreciate it also. 

Now, up next, I‘ve got issues with “Desperate Housewives.”  And you‘re

not going to believe who they originally wanted to use in their scandalous

·         I didn‘t think it was that scandalous—“Monday Night Football” promotion.  Stick around to find out the truth behind ABC‘s scantily-clad promo. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, welcome back.  I‘m Joe and I‘ve got issues. 

And, once again, I‘ve got issues with “Monday Night Football.”  Now, you know I had issues with the promotion ABC ran earlier this year featuring Nicolette Sheridan of “Desperate Housewives” dropping her towel and trying to seduce Terrell Owens.  But today, “The New York Post” reports that the original target of Sheridan‘s seduction wasn‘t going to be the Super Bowl-bound T.O.  Instead, they planned on using “Monday Night Football” announcer John Madden. 

Now, ABC got in enough trouble featuring Owens‘ admiration of Sheridan‘s, um, pretty face, but we couldn‘t imagine what would have happened if they had gone with a big fan of the old drumsticks instead. 

Now, from legs to thighs, if turkey isn‘t quite your thing, how about a chocolate J.Lo?  You heard me right.  According to a press report we just received in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, candy giant Cadbury and Madame Tussaud‘s, the British wax museum, have teamed up to create—quote—“edible likeness of the singer and actress.”

Now, of course, what I‘ve got issues with, other than “Gigli,” is the fact that they even referred to her as an actress. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “GIGLI”)

BEN AFFLECK, ACTOR:  Actually, you‘re a very attractive woman. 

JENNIFER LOPEZ, ACTRESS:  You know, this may be a good time to suggest that you not allowed the seeds of cruel hope to sprout in your soul. 

AFFLECK:  I don‘t know what that means, but it sounds beautiful. 

LOPEZ:  It means you‘re not my type. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  That was moving. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  So moving.  That‘s why three people went to see the movie. 

And, finally, I‘m a morning person, so I‘ve got issues with staying up late at night, of course.  But it never felt like I was staying up late when I tuned into “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson. 

Of course, everybody in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY mourns the loss of such a great man, a great institution from the entertainment industry.  And it‘s a great honor right now to have with me to discuss Johnny Carson‘s legacy comedian Rich Little. 

Rich, it‘s a great honor to have you here.  I hate to tell you, I grew up watching you all the time. 

RICH LITTLE, COMEDIAN:  Thank you, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Watching you on Johnny Carson, watching you imitate not only Richard Nixon and other political figures, but watching you imitate Johnny Carson. 

LITTLE:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What was it about this man that made him so popular from coast to coast? 

LITTLE:  People thought, like, he was a member of the family.  They saw him every night.  It was the thing to do, was to watch “The Tonight Show.” 

I can remember saying, after going out late, maybe, to have dinner, oh, my gosh, we got to get home.  “The Tonight Show” starts in 10 minutes.  It was just something you did.  And Johnny had that wonderful ability to save a guest, you know, if he was floundering or didn‘t know where he was going or the story, you know, wasn‘t that interesting.  He was always interested in what they were saying.  I think his main objective was to make the guest look good, and he could do that well. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

And you don‘t see a lot of that these days.  A lot of people talk over their guests.  They want to be the center of it.

LITTLE:  Yes.  How is the general, by the way?  How is the general? 

SCARBOROUGH:  The general‘s doing great. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  But I never...

(CROSSTALK)

LITTLE:  A warm bath would be good, yes.

SCARBOROUGH:  Needs to calm down. 

Now, David Letterman said after he learned about the passing of Johnny Carson that, next to Carson, all of us are imitators. 

But, actually, you were imitating Johnny Carson 20, 30 years ago. 

LITTLE:  That‘s right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  In fact, played him in a movie.  Tell me, what was the secret to imitating Johnny Carson? 

LITTLE:  Well, you know, when I came down from Canada, because I‘m a Canadian, you know—I live up there—three downs and a kick.

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  And I came down in ‘64.  And my career took off after “The Judy Garland Show.”  And they wanted to put me, my manager, my agent, on the “Carson” show. 

And I said, I‘m not going on the “Carson” show until I can imitate him, because they‘re going to say, here‘s a guy who can do everybody.  Can you do me?  And so I literally locked myself in a room for two weeks with a tape recorder and watched old Carson shows.  And I really had a tough time getting him.  And then I remember I was out at the Los Angeles Zoo one day for some reason or other.  And I was looking at the ostriches.  And it suddenly occurred to me how to do Johnny Carson.  Think of an ostrich. 

(LAUGHTER)

LITTLE:  And that‘s how I started—that‘s how I started to do Johnny Carson, was kind of, OK, you know, thinking of an ostrich. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, that does it. 

(CROSSTALK)

LITTLE:  But, you know, Johnny had so many things that you could hook on when you‘re impersonating him.  He was perfect for impressions. 

There was the laugh.

(LAUGHTER)

LITTLE:  Which he stole from—well, let‘s see, who did that laugh first?  I think it was Steve Allen.  Yes, he stole it from Steve Allen.  And then he had the—remember the pencil on the—he would always hit the mug with the pencil. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Right. 

LITTLE:  And then, of course, those looks, like somebody was sneaking up on him.  You know, he was always kind of looking behind him.  And he got a lot of those takes from Jack Benny.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

LITTLE:  And there were other things, you know, the, how cold was it? 

And Carnac. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

LITTLE:  The guy was just a show within himself. 

SCARBOROUGH:  He really was.

Well, Rich Little, you‘ve always been that also.  That‘s why we really appreciate you being with us tonight to talk about the king of late-night TV.  Thank you so much. 

LITTLE:  Well, I just want to say to the general, as Richard Nixon, take an enema. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  We‘ll leave it there.  Thank you so much, Rich. 

We‘ll be right back in a second with a tribute to Johnny Carson. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up, some of the funniest clips from the man from middle America, Johnny Carson, who moved to L.A. and changed late-night TV. 

That‘s when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  As you know, “Tonight Show” legend Johnny Carson passed away Sunday at the age of 79.  We end tonight with a tribute looking back at some hilarious moments with Johnny and unusual guests. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “THE TONIGHT SHOW”)

JOHNNY CARSON, HOST:  I can‘t sit and talk to people with an animal on my head. 

(LAUGHTER)

CARSON:  Was that—was he spitting?  Was that saliva? 

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

Thanks for being with us.  We‘ll see you tomorrow. 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

Copy: Content and programming copyright 2005 MSNBC.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2005 Voxant, Inc. ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon MSNBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

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