updated 2/4/2005 6:39:50 PM ET 2005-02-04T23:39:50

Guest: Pat LaLama, Leslie Sanchez, Jack Burkman, Jennifer Palmieri, Libby Gray, Jennifer Berman, Bob Jensen, David Horowitz

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WARD CHURCHILL, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO:  I am going to think about my class.  Get out of my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) face. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  The best and the brightest. 

Tonight‘s top headlines, college Professor Ward Churchill crumbles under pressure after writing a hateful essay about September 11 victims that caused a national firestorm.  The “Real Deal”?  His radical views just don‘t fit well with American taxpayers. 

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

He is under fire for comparing September 11 victims to Nazis and now Professor Ward Churchill is surprised by all the media attention he‘s gotten?  Hey, and he isn‘t the only person who‘s spreading hateful rhetoric at universities around America.  We‘re going to uncover the rampant radicalism on college campuses, how you‘re paying for it and what you can do to stop it. 

Plus, a new study says your kids are more likely to have sex after taking abstinence-only classes.  Does it make sense?  We‘ll get to the bottom of it. 

And an emotional moment during last night‘s State of the Union address, the mother of a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq and an Iraqi woman whose father was killed during Saddam‘s rule.  It underscores Iraq‘s appreciation for the sacrifices of our troops.  But some Democrats don‘t like it. 

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

More developments in the case of the University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill.  Now, yesterday, the Colorado House passed a resolution that says Churchill‘s remarks struck a—quote—“evil and inflammatory blow against America‘s healing process after 9/11.”

Campus activists caught up with Churchill.  Again, take a listen to what happened while Churchill was walking across the campus surrounded by TV cameras. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You‘re not paid to represent this college?  And you‘re (UNINTELLIGIBLE) 

CHURCHILL:  I‘m going to think about my class.  Get out of my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) face. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  There are also reports out today that his pickup truck was vandalized and that he received death threats. 

Now, tonight, the board of regents at the University of Colorado is behind closed doors discussing whether or not they should fire the tenured professor. 

And with me now are David Horowitz.  He‘s of course from the Center For Popular Culture.  And we also have University of Texas journalism professor Dr. Bob Jensen. 

David, we‘re going to start with you. 

I‘m going to ask you a simple question.  A lot of Americans out there, a lot of taxpaying Americans believe Ward Churchill encourages terrorism against the United States.  Is that a bit of an overstatement? 

DAVID HOROWITZ, EDITOR, FRONTPAGEMAG.COM:  No, that is exactly right. 

And of course, Ward Churchill is not—you know, this is not about an individual.  It‘s not like he was, you know, revealed to have been a closet kleptomaniac and just exposed by an act.  This is a man whose views have been and perspectives have been reviewed for a 30- or 40-year period by Ph.D. committees, by hiring committees, by tenure and promotion committees.

And he would never have gotten to be the head of the Ethnic Studies Department at Colorado if his views didn‘t reflect that of other professors. 

SCARBOROUGH:  David Horowitz, that is the disturbing thing.  We‘re not just talking about a college professor here.  We‘re not just talking about a guy that has been hanging around the campus for a long time.  We‘re talking about a guy that was named the head of a department.  How does that happen, David Horowitz, in 2005?  This ain‘t 1968. 

HOROWITZ:  Well, what‘s happened is, over the last 30 years, radicals have moved into the university and they control the hiring process.  And they have a political litmus for professors.

And the university, you know, has moved way off the center of the spectrum.  It‘s become a politicized institution.  And professors like your other guest feel very free about expressing hate-America views and support for the terrorists enemies. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We‘ll let Dr. Jensen defend himself in a second. 

But, first, do you think Dr. Ward Churchill should be fired? 

HOROWITZ:  No, I don‘t. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Why? 

HOROWITZ:  Well, because, first of all, we have a principle of First Amendment in this country.  And you can‘t fire a professor for something...

SCARBOROUGH:  Wait a second.  Wait a second.  Taxpayers are paying for that right.  If Ward Churchill wants to go out and compare 9/11 victims to Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Holocaust, he can do it on the street corners of Boulder.  But why should I, why should you, why should people in Colorado pay for his salary?  That ain‘t free speech.  It‘s subsidized speech. 

(CROSSTALK)

HOROWITZ:  You‘re punishing him for speech.  You just can‘t do that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Not punishing.  The guy can speak wherever he wants.  I don‘t want to pay for it. 

Dr. Bob Jensen, let me bring you in here.  We just heard David Horowitz saying that radicalism, anti-Americanism is rampant on college campuses.  What do you say? 

DR. BOB JENSEN, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS:  Well, first of all, to call a critique of U.S. policy anti-Americanism is to abandon democracy. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, to call that critique is to abandon common sense.  The guy said 9/11 terrorists were the equivalent of Adolf Eichmann.  Do you agree with that? 

JENSEN:  I am not defending that particular statement that Ward Churchill made.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Is that a critique?  Do you define that as a critique? 

JENSEN:  I‘m trying to make a point.  I reject that particular aspect of Ward‘s piece.

But I think, No. 1, if people aren‘t free to critique U.S. policy more generally, you don‘t have democracy.  It is not anti-American to say that you reject the policies of the United States government.  And, in fact, you would want not only citizens, but you‘d want professors to engage in that kind of debate.  That is a healthy intellectual environment. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Certainly, but isn‘t there any subtlety of thought here?  Are we just absolutists?  Can you just say absolutely anything?  Can you compare 9/11 victims to terrorists?  Can you compare the terrorists to Army heroes, which is what this guy has done?  Is it all or nothing?  Is there no subtlety of thought here? 

JENSEN:  Yes. 

But, by that standard, what about the many professors over the years who have justified American war crimes and in fact who sometimes celebrated them?  Now, that is extremely offensive to me, but I don‘t suggest that they should be punished for it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Give me an example of that. 

JENSEN:  Oh, much of the American intellectual establishment have been supporters of many of the American wars that have been fought. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Give me an example. 

JENSEN:  The Vietnam War had substantial support early in its especially early years from the academic...

SCARBOROUGH:  It had substantial opposition.  In fact, college campuses ended the Vietnam War.

JENSEN:  Yes.  But you‘re making my point for me.  Wouldn‘t you expect there to be some freedom on a campus, intellectual freedom, so that people... 

SCARBOROUGH:  Sure, yes.  

JENSEN:  OK, but you want to punish one side of a debate.  Now... 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  No, I don‘t punish one side of a debate.  If somebody came out and made racist, right-wing, fascist views, I would also say they had a right to make fascist statements on the street corners of Boulder, Colorado, but I would not want to pay for right-wing extremism that was destructive to America‘s national goals. 

JENSEN:  First of all, you have to distinguish between racist comments the might be made in a classroom which create an extremely hostile climate for students, which is unacceptable, from expressions of political opinions. 

Now, Ward Churchill didn‘t go into his classroom and make those comments.  He did it in a publication, an online publication.  Now, professors, if they are forbidden from expressing their views in public, are essentially useless, it seems to me, to the culture.  You should want professors to go out in public and articulate views. 

Now, if you‘re going to punish one side of those debates, then you don‘t have intellectual freedom and you don‘t have—I hate to say that David Horowitz...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re defining intellectual freedom as absolutely everything on all sides of the political spectrum.  There is extremism on both sides, some of it very destructive.  And these comments encourage terrorism against the United States. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  David Horowitz.

(CROSSTALK)

HOROWITZ:  You know, look, let‘s not give Robert Jensen a free pass here.  He is rooting for the enemy, too. 

JENSEN:  That is ridiculous. 

HOROWITZ:  That is...

JENSEN:  If you want to distort my views, sir, that is your right, but I do not root for the enemy.  I try to hold the United States to principles. 

HOROWITZ:  Listen, I didn‘t interrupt you. 

(CROSSTALK)

JENSEN:  I didn‘t lie about you either. 

HOROWITZ:  Well, fine. 

Robert Jensen has said that America has lost the war in Iraq and that is a good thing, because it‘s a dismantling of the empire.  His views are identical to those of Ward Churchill.  These leftists believe that America is the great Satan, that it is an oppressive, imperialist power, and that the terrorists in Fallujah and Iraq are resisting the American empire. 

And Robert Jensen has written a ton of stuff expressing these views.  And the fact of the matter is, at our universities today, faculties support people like Robert Jensen and Ward Churchill.  And, yes, they hate America.  You could not, not hate America and support Zarqawi and the terrorists against us and call America an oppressive empire.

JENSEN:  You‘re lying again, sir. 

(CROSSTALK)

HOROWITZ:  We just liberated 50 million people in two Muslim countries.  Anybody who doesn‘t recognize that to begin with has a real problem with reality. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Robert Jensen, respond. 

JENSEN:  First of all, Joe, we‘ve had this argument before on this show.  Who have we liberated? 

SCARBOROUGH:  The Iraqi people.

JENSEN:  We have extended American dominance in the Middle East for the strategically crucial oil resources. 

Now, we can have a debate about that.  But my opinion is not defined, can‘t be denied as lunatic, unless you think most of the world is lunatic.  David Horowitz is lying overtly about my record.  I have written against American imperialism.  I have written against illegal U.S. invasions of other countries, because I hold the U.S. to principles.  I believe that international law matters, that basic moral principles matter.

And I try to apply them uniformly to other nations, as well as my own. 

To say that I support al-Zarqawi is just slander. 

SCARBOROUGH:  David...

JENSEN:  David Horowitz can do it.  He can also claim that universities, which are for the most part reflective of the power structure in the society—I work at the University of Texas, one of the largest in the country, where a centrist- to right-leaning administration basically follows the lead of power. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second.

David Horowitz, first of all, let‘s talk generally about college campuses briefly.  And they seem to be the last bastion of liberal extremism for a lot of people. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hatem Bazian, the U.C. Berkeley professor who called for an intifada in the United States last spring, is still paid by taxpayers. 

There‘s Sami Al-Arian, the University of South Carolina professor currently jailed for alleged ties to Islamic Jihad,  Bernadine Dohrn, who was the head of the Weather Underground, mastermind for a plot for bombing the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon.  She now teaches at Northwestern University.  And former Black Panther Angela Davis, once on the FBI‘s most wanted list, ran as V.P. for the Communist Party in 1980, she is now a professor at U.C. Santa Cruz. 

How—in 30 seconds, can taxpayers say enough is enough; if you want to teach at private schools, fine, but we don‘t want to fund this? 

HOROWITZ:  I have sponsored an academic bill of rights to promote intellectual diversities on campuses.  I think that these administrations need to be held responsible, that they need to encourage the hiring of a divers faculty, not just a left-wing, extremist faculty. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, David Horowitz and Bob Jensen, we are going to have to leave it there. 

But coming up next, the government is spending millions of dollars to sell the idea of abstinence to your kids.  But with nothing but smut on the tube, are they going to buy it? 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, teens keep having sex, while the government keeps spending your tax dollars to try to get them to stop.  We‘ll be back with that in a second.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  The federal government is going to be spending $130

million of your money this year to promote abstinence-only courses in

schools from coast to coast

But according to a new study from Texas A&M University in the president‘s home state, teenagers in 29 high schools are more likely to have sex after taking these type of classes.  Does teaching abstinence work with kids and should your tax dollars pay for it? 

With me now to talk about it, Dr. Jennifer Berman.  She‘s of the Female Sexual Medicine Center at UCLA University.  And also Libby Gray from Project Reality. 

Let me begin with you, Dr. Berman.  Are you surprised by these study results? 

DR. JENNIFER BERMAN, FEMALE SEXUAL MEDICINE CENTER:  No, I‘m actually not surprised. 

In my opinion, knowledge is power and information does not mean permission.  And I don‘t think it‘s the abstinence-based education that is causing these teens to have sex, but really the lack of information.  And what the studies have shown is that not only are they having sex, but they‘re having unprotected sex.  And the risks of sexually transmitted disease, as well as pregnancy, are a lot higher. 

So, I think, if we are teaching abstinence, we at least have to inform them of safer sex practices and risks of pregnancy, including risk not only related to pregnancy, but also sexually transmitted disease. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Doctor, it just seems counterintuitive, though.  You teach these high school kids, middle school and high school kids, about the importance of abstinence and then they go out and start having sex with other kids?  Again, explain that to us.  Why? 

BERMAN:  Well, I think that what the program does is these virginity pledges and promises.  And what happens is that they may delay having sex, but ultimately at the age of 15 or even 18, it‘s hard enough to promise that you‘re going to come home on time, much less, you know, when your hormones are flying, never have sex. 

So, I think it‘s placing unrealistic expectations on children, teenagers, that potentially will be and can be sexually active.  It is not wrong what they are doing, but what they need is information.  And they don‘t need it when they‘re, you know, at puberty.  It needs to start a lot earlier.  And teaching them about not having sex, not having sex is a option.  But it‘s not the only option.

And we really need to be able and comfortable and willing to inform them about health, wellness and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, as well as pregnancy. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, let‘s take a look at the results of this study, again, which was conducted by Texas A&M and focused on 29 high schools in Texas, a fairly conservative red state. 

Before taking sex ed classes that stressed abstinence, 23 percent of the girls age 13 to 14 said they had sex.  After the class, the numbers shot up to 29 percent.  With boys, the number is even more pronounced, with 24 percent of the boys age 14-15 saying they had sex before taking the class, and after learning about abstinence a full 39 percent said they had sex. 

Now, Libby Gray, the numbers seem to be damning to supporters of these abstinence-only programs.  Taxpayers looking at these numbers may be saying, hey, we‘re about to basically waste $130 million on these type programs.  What do you say to them? 

LIBBY GRAY, PROJECT REALITY:  Well, first of all, let‘s clarify that this study was flawed.  And the author himself of the study admits that it‘s flawed.  And I don‘t even know why we‘re talking about this study. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, how is it flawed? 

GRAY:  Because there are so many studies.

SCARBOROUGH:  How is it flawed? 

GRAY:  First of all, they only looked at—they only looked at 11 percent of the kids in the program.  And they also didn‘t compare the kids to a control group.  So, basically, you‘re looking at a study—and he said himself, the author said, that you can‘t apply these results to the larger culture. 

There are over 10 studies that have shown that abstinence education works. And we know that when teenagers practice abstinence that it is 100 percent effective...

(CROSSTALK)

GRAY:  ... STDs and teen pregnancy.

SCARBOROUGH:  What is the most renowned study supporting abstinence?  If people are home watching this and they want to go to the Internet and check it, give us your best shot. 

GRAY:  Well, first of all, if you go to the Heritage Foundation‘s Web site, you‘ll see their analysis of the 10 studies that have shown that abstinence education programs are effective.  And our own programs, which are featured in the Illinois schools and across the country, have been proven to be effective by Northwestern University‘s medical school. 

And, in fact, in one of our programs, over half the kids who had been sexually active before the program, a year later, were no longer sexually active.  Secondly, if you look at the...

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN:  It delays them having sex, but not—it delays when they might initially have sex, but it does not delay or prevent them from ever having sex.  So—and there have been multiple studies that have shown that.  It delays it, but it doesn‘t delay it forever. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Libby, I want to show you something. 

Now, if the school wants some of this money, an additional $30 million the federal government is going to plan to spend on abstinence programs, here‘s what they have to agree to do.  “To be funded as abstinence education, programs, they can‘t provide instruction in birth control, outside factual information about contraceptive methods, such as failure rates that are associated with the different methods.  An abstinence program must have as its exclusive purpose teaching the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity.”

But, Libby, let‘s talk.  I mean, I‘m a parent.  I‘ve got teenage boys.  I tell them, abstinence is preferred morally because of what we believe as a family, because of our religious faith.  But, at the same time, shouldn‘t I also be telling my kids, but if you make that mistake, you better know what you‘re doing and you better have a backup plan?  What is wrong with that? 

GRAY:  Well, two things.  First of all, let‘s look at the data on condom effectiveness.  The National Institutes of Health have done studies.  They have looked at studies of all kinds of data on condoms. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, so let‘s say condoms only have a 70 percent rate, which is probably where you‘re going.  What about birth control pills?  Ninety-nine percent.  Shouldn‘t our kids know about alternatives? 

GRAY:  As you just said, abstinence programs do talk about contraceptives.

The difference is—and this is true for every other prevention program.  We don‘t recommend that kids participate in behavior that could harm them and could cause them to get a disease or get pregnant.  So, abstinence programs look at the root cause of the problem.  And when we talk about smoking, when we talk about drug prevention with kids, we don‘t say don‘t use drugs, but, if do you, here‘s the way to get around it.  We talk to kids about the healthiest and best.  And that‘s—we believe that teens respond to that.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Speaking about drugs, we‘re showing pictures that kids see every day on MTV and the movies.

And, Jennifer Berman, I‘ve got to say, talking about drugs, you know, if you let a kid walk past drug dealers on the way to school every day for 15, 18 years, they‘re going to probably take drugs.  If they are inundated with...

BERMAN:  That is not true.  No, no, no, no.

SCARBOROUGH:  If they‘re inundated with sexual images on TV morning, noon and night, it‘s pretty hard to say that they—it‘s pretty hard to say that they‘re going to be able to abstain from sex, isn‘t it? 

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN:  No.  Again, where the values start and where the information needs to come from is home. 

You, yourself, said that the values you‘re placing on your home in terms of sexuality with your children—I‘m sure you‘re doing the same thing in terms of drugs and risks related to drugs and the harm that drugs can have, the effect that they can have and what the long-term effects are and what the health effects are and what the drugs are. 

And you do that.  You inform your children, provide them with information.  Knowledge is power.  It helps them make safer choices, smarter choices, and protect themselves.  We‘re doing that with drugs and we should do that about sex. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you know, Jennifer, the whole just-say-no program in the 1980s proved to be very successful.  Why wouldn‘t it be just as successful on sex?  We‘ll say, hey, you know what?  We‘re going to take an absolutist position.  Just...

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN:  I don‘t think 13-year-olds should be having sex.  No is good. 

We all say no. 

However, mistakes happen.  Things happen in the heat of the moment.  Things happen that might be unwanted, things—you know, you might fluctuate.  You might think you‘re in love and make a mistake.  If that‘s going to happen, you need to inform them of risks, health risks.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Libby Gray, what‘s wrong with that?  What‘s wrong with educating your children?  Again, I, as a father, I mean, just—I have got to reveal it.  I take this from a very absolutist point of view.  Just say no.  There is no compromise. 

But, at the same time, what is wrong with telling your 16-, 17-year-old kid, listen, you better not do this, but, if you do, you better know what you‘re getting yourself into; you better understand the side effects of it; you better understand the diseases you can take; you better understand what will happen if you get your girlfriend pregnant; you better understand about contraceptives?  What‘s wrong with a parent, what‘s wrong the government saying that? 

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN:  And the psychological and emotional consequences. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  And emotional consequences.

Libby, respond to that. 

GRAY:  You‘re talking about exactly what is in abstinence education programs. 

We inform kids about the risks.  We give them factual information about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of contraception.  And we talk to them about the media.  We talk to them about building healthy relationships.  The main difference in our country is that, for years, we‘ve had contraceptive-based sex education...

SCARBOROUGH:  Right. 

GRAY:  ... which has focused on the physical.  And they‘ve gotten four times the amount of funding of abstinence. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘ve got to cut you off there.  That‘s got to be the last word. 

Thank you so much for being with us. 

We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up next on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, the president‘s radical look into the future during the State of the Union address.  And who is getting blamed for the Iraq-U.S. (sic) oil-for-food scandal?

But, first, here‘s the latest news your family needs to know.

(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:  Last night‘s State of the Union address touched off an emotional moment, when two women touched in death in Iraq held each other as the president and the nation and the world watched the mother of the Marine Sergeant Byron Norwood, who was killed in Iraq, and a woman who had three days earlier voted in the Iraqi election.  And she was the daughter of a man brutally killed by Saddam Hussein‘s regime. 

We have a political panel to talk about that, Democratic strategist Jennifer Palmieri.  We have Leslie Sanchez with the Independent Women‘s Forum.  And we have Republican strategist Jack Burkman.

But first let‘s take a moment to just look at that unforgettable scene last night as President Bush introduced the parents of slain Marine Sergeant Byron Norwood. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Ladies and gentlemen, with grateful hearts, we honor freedom‘s defenders and our military families, represented here this evening by Sergeant Norwood‘s mom and dad, Janet and Bill Norwood.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, the touch—the hug touched off a debate between Ron Reagan and myself last night.  Watch this. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, “HARDBALL”:  you know who makes these decisions, the P.R. people around the president. 

RON REAGAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  That‘s right. 

MATTHEWS:  They make the decision about who sits in the box and where they are seated next to who. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Not with this president. 

REAGAN:  Oh come on, Joe.  Come on.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Ron, why don‘t you underestimate him again for another four years and help him?

I mean, this is—again, this is the height of cynicism.  And what disturbs me is...

REAGAN:  Or realism.

SCARBOROUGH:  If this were a Democratic president who had done the same thing, then...

REAGAN:  I would feel the same way.  I would feel the same way. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Ron be saying, it was a wonderful thing.  Wasn‘t it a touching movement?

REAGAN:  I would feel the same, Joe. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Jack Burkman, why is it so hard for some Democrats to cheer for America, to cheer for positive things that happen, not only here, when you have a touching, touching moment?  I will tell you what.  I‘ve been in eight State of the Union addresses now.  That was the most moving moment in all eight years.  And I‘ll tell you what.  Most Democrats out there agree with me.  Why can‘t Ted Kennedy just get over it?  Sunday went well. 

JACK BURKMAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  It‘s a last-ditch effort, because Ted Kennedy is smart enough to know that his party is going down the drain and it won‘t exist at a national entity. 

I‘m surprised at Ron Reagan.  I can‘t believe my ears, Joe.  I will tell you, this should have been a week where they congratulated the president.  If Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi were any kind of people, they would have led off last night with, we congratulate the president for having successful elections, something we didn‘t think possible. 

Be a gentleman.  Congratulate your opponent.  That is what Ronald Reagan did.  That‘s the spirit of what you‘re supposed to do.  Instead of that, though, incredibly, instead of that, they criticized the president for celebrating, celebrating a family whose son had died in battle.  It‘s almost incredible.  This is almost without precedent in American history.

But I would say to people, this is the Democratic Party.  This is—if you‘re voting Democratic, if you‘re in Michigan or Pennsylvania or California or New York, if you‘re voting Democratic, this is what you‘re endorsing.  As to the P.R. side of it, you know, so what if P.R. people—everything is planned, but that doesn‘t mean it‘s scripted. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Jennifer Palmieri, know it was a moving event.

JENNIFER PALMIERI, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And I‘m sure you and a lot of other Democrats across the country were very touched by this scene.  Why can‘t the Democratic leadership, why can‘t Ted Kennedy, why can‘t others just step back, take a deep breath and say, you know what?  That went well in Iraq and we‘re pleased?

PALMIERI:  Well, because it‘s not true that it went well in Iraq.  I mean, it was a really moving moment.  And I‘m very sentimental.  And it definitely made me cry.

But I think that what made me somewhat uncomfortable about it is that I think there‘s lots of parents who have lost their children in Iraq that don‘t feel that it was worth it.  They don‘t think that Iraqi elections were worth $200 billion and 1,300-plus American lives.  And it‘s great that given the fact that 1,300 Americans have given their lives in Iraq, given the fact that we‘ve already spent $200 billion, we‘re glad that the elections went well.

But there is a real question as to whether it‘s worth it.  And I think there are lots of parents who lost their children in Iraq who don‘t think that Iraqi elections were worth it. 

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  That doesn‘t bear with any relevance on the discussion.  That is not an argument that the president of the United States, the commander in chief, if he wants to celebrate a family who lost their child, the fact that there are others with different points of views, that doesn‘t...

(CROSSTALK)

PALMIERI:  Who is arguing that they can‘t—no one is arguing that they can‘t celebrate that.  And I don‘t think that you could say that this family was taken—you can‘t that this woman was being exploited.  She wanted—the mother wanted to be there.  It doesn‘t mean...

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  Joe‘s point is that the national party—your national party leaders—and I think this is Joe‘s point and it is a good one—that the national leadership of your party has a different view and national commentators like Ron Reagan have a different view.  Their view...

(CROSSTALK)

PALMIERI:  I hardly think that Ron Reagan speaks for the Democratic Party. 

But it was—it‘s just—it‘s a question of—it is—it is an appropriate thing, if this mother—no one should ever question what this mother wants to say about her son that was killed in Iraq.  And if she wanted to sit in the first lady‘s box—and I think it‘s wonderful that this Iraqi voter wanted to show her respect.  And, obviously, these are two women who had been through real tragedy in their lives.

But it doesn‘t mean one—you know, one grateful mother does not make for a success in Iraq. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  Leslie—let me bring in Leslie Sanchez here.

Leslie, again, here we have somebody else that is saying, well, it was a moving moment, but the election on Sunday wasn‘t worth it, because 1,300, 1,400 Americans have died in Iraq.  What do you say to that? 

LESLIE SANCHEZ, INDEPENDENT WOMEN‘S FORUM:  I say that the president‘s policies are proven right by events, whether they be small events, like the hug that we saw, which had a significant poignant impact, or large events, like the elections on Sunday. 

Either way, that particular hug was a very significant moment, because it said in one frame what the entire effort in America, America‘s effort in Iraq was about.  And I think, when you talk about political theater, it‘s interesting to listen to the Democrats, because these are the folks that, you know, some may aspire to.  They don‘t—the Republicans don‘t think of things in line like the Democrats, like Kerry taking somebody else‘s medals and throwing them over the White House gates. 

That‘s the kind of political drama that I think Republicans are still understudies to. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me bring Jennifer back in here for a second.

Hey, Jennifer, you know, I was at the White House before the Kosovo war began. 

(CROSSTALK)

PALMIERI:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me finish what I‘m saying.

I was at the White House with Bill Clinton before the Kosovo war began.

PALMIERI:  Right.  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And I said, Mr. President, a lot of people are scared after Somalia that, if 10, 20, 50 American troops die, you‘re going to bring the whole troops home.  How long are you willing to wait it out?  He said, Joe, if 100,000 troops die, I‘m going to see it through to the end. 

PALMIERI:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And yet here we are, 1,300 troops die and you say, it‘s time to bring Americans home.  American troops die at war. 

(CROSSTALK)

PALMIERI:  The real lesson from Iraq is that—and this will drive your other panelists crazy—is that the Clinton policy of containment in Iraq worked. 

And we‘ll go ahead and give the first George Bush credit for that, too.  The policy of containment worked and that there‘s a reason why we went into Iraq.  There was no WMD.  And it was because containment had worked.  So, the question is, do you think—is it really—was it really worth doing $200 billion for elections?

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  One at a time.

BURKMAN:  The Democratic Party does not support our troops.  Today, they mouth the platitudes...

PALMIERI:  Oh, that is absurd and you know it. 

BURKMAN:  ... because they know they have to. 

But I think very little in reality has changed since the Vietnam War.

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  I think, if you look at Bill Clinton, eight years of nothing but cuts in the military, he left our military woefully unprepared, if you look at this past election, we talked about it week after week.  John Kerry...

(CROSSTALK)

PALMIERI:  If you want to talk about Bill Clinton‘s record, let‘s go back to...

(CROSSTALK)

PALMIERI:  No.  Let me respond to what Joe said about Kosovo. 

The president was prepared to have—to stay there until the job was done.  But the good news was, it didn‘t—we didn‘t lose 1,300 people finishing the job, because we were able to build a coalition of 19 countries that supported the effort.  We had a very clear goal being in there. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  We built a bigger coalition than that in Iraq.

(CROSSTALK)

PALMIERI:  We had a really clear for going in there.  We met it.  And there aren‘t any troops in Kosovo today. 

(CROSSTALK)

PALMIERI:  Compare that to Iraq.

SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s move on.  Let‘s move on, because I don‘t want to redebate—have another debate about Kosovo.  I mean, we get involved in a three-sided civil war...

PALMIERI:  You don‘t want to talk about Democratic successes.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  ... that has absolutely nothing to do with protecting Americans or American interests. 

PALMIERI:  And are there American troops there?  And are there American troops there today?  No.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, well, we‘ve still got Americans in the Balkans.  The president said we‘re going to be in—President Clinton said we were going to be in Bosnia for one year.  That turned out to be incorrect also.

PALMIERI:  Oh.  And how long—and has the president given us any idea to know how long we‘re going to be in Iraq? 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  I want you to hear the Democratic response.  We‘re going to go from Bill Clinton to Harry Reid.  That is quite a shift. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  Here‘s little bit of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid last night. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MINORITY LEADER:  You know, today is Groundhog Day.  And what we saw and heard tonight was a little like the movie “Groundhog Day”—the same old ideology that we‘ve heard before, over and over and over again.  We can do better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Jennifer, does that embarrass you that is now the voice of your party? 

(LAUGHTER)

PALMIERI:  No.  I think Senator Reid did—Senator Reid did a great job.  Congresswoman Pelosi did a great job.  It is—you know, it‘s impossible to deal with the pageantry—to compete with the pageantry of the State of the Union. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It is.  It is.

PALMIERI:  And it‘s impossible when President Clinton was in office. 

It‘s impossible when President Bush is in office.

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  Don‘t you think it‘s appropriate—don‘t you think your leadership should have congratulated the president of the United States on these elections this past week? 

(CROSSTALK)

PALMIERI:  They did congratulate on these elections.  But that doesn‘t mean it was worth the money, the cost of life.  It doesn‘t mean that it was worth that.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Listen, you all are talking in stereo, making a lot of people nervous.  I mean, it‘s late at night.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘m going to give you solo.  Leslie, I‘m going to give you the last word solo.  Go ahead. 

SANCHEZ:  Thank you.  Thank you. 

Really quickly, I‘d say, what happens in Vegas should stay in Vegas when it came to the Democrats‘ response. 

(LAUGHTER)

SANCHEZ:  The bottom line is, you heard a dichotomy there.  The Democrats are talking about blaming America.  And Republicans are talking about defending America.  And I think when you look at the fact that most of the country is red, in terms of leaning to the right and following this president, he has proven he is a leader.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

SANCHEZ:  And I think a lot of folks are going to continue to follow him. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I want to thank my guests.

I especially want to thank Jennifer.  She was outnumbered tonight.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, Jennifer, we‘re going to send you a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY medal and you feel free to throw it over any fence you want, because you deserve it. 

Still ahead, who‘s hot and who‘s not in Congress.  I‘ll tell you who made the top 10 in good looks department there?  I didn‘t know that sort of went along.

But—you‘re hired.  She hasn‘t gotten out of prison yet and she already has a job lined up.  I‘ll tell you why I‘ve got issues with Martha Stewart coming up next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘m old, my back hurts, and I‘ve got issues. 

First of all, I have got the issues with the bookers over at “Saturday Night Live.”  Now, you know I love “Saturday Night Live.”  And I never, ever miss “Weekend Update” with Ms. Tina Fey.  But this week, reality TV and amateur porn star Paris Hilton is hosting my show.

Today, “The New York Post” even reported that one “SNL” staffer spent all day shopping for a thong, not for Paris, who famously shuns underwear, but for her pampered pooch, Tinkerbell, to wear on this weekend‘s show.  Now, it is one thing for the show to make fun of Paris Hilton, an easy target.  They do it all the time.  You will remember when Jude Law was on as a Hilton sister a few months back. 

But to let Paris Hilton host?  Come on.  That‘s not hot. 

And speaking of not hot, I have got issues with a new Web site that ranks how hot each member of Congress is.  That‘s right.  On adamshoop.org, you see a picture of a senator and then you click on a number from one to 10, ranking how hot you think that senator is.  Now, after thousands of votes—God help us all—Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey is leading.  And Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy are both top-10 picks. 

My issue is not that with the finicky voter opinions that picked that top 10.  I just want to know where that Web site was when I was in Congress.  I mean, come on.  Just look at this profile.  It‘s splendid, I tell you. 

And, finally, I‘ve got issues with Martha Stewart.  You knew I would.  Yesterday, our parent network announced that, after getting sprung from the slammer, Martha is going to host her daytime version of “The Apprentice.”  Now, as long as she is in jail in West Virginia, Martha is forbidden from talking business of any kind. 

After “Apprentice” mastermind Mark Burnett visited the domestic diva in prison, he swears they didn‘t talk shop, only personal matters.  But, yesterday, “The New York Daily News” ran a story that Martha may be breaking in law by speaking in code to her visitors as a way of staying involved in her growing empire. 

Hey, be careful, Martha.  The isonpray uardsgay might know igpay atinlay, ootay. 

So, is Martha Stewart living proof that prison can rehabilitate you?  Stock in her company, Martha Stewart Omnimedia, is reaching an all-time high.  And, of course, she has got that job waiting for her when she gets out of the prison slammer. 

And with me now to talk about Martha‘s life behind bars is Pat LaLama of “Celebrity Justice.”

Pat, how is this possible, that prison has turned out to be the best career move Martha Stewart has done since turning those pinecones into these wonderful Christmas ornaments? 

(LAUGHTER)

PAT LALAMA, “CELEBRITY JUSTICE”:  Honey, you have to live in L.A. for a while to understand the absolute shallowness of all of this.  You have to do literally nothing for success.  If I had known that, I wouldn‘t have killed myself working my way through journalism school.  You can get a TV show when you act badly. 

Now, I will say, in Martha‘s defense, I mean, come on.  It‘s not like she‘s selling crack cocaine to high school students.  She is not Genghis Khan.  I mean, she lied, they say.  She is arrogant, they say.  Well, they don‘t say.  We know that.  And those are perhaps her worst crimes. 

And when she gets out, she has paid her dues to society.  What is she supposed to do, work in the dry cleaner?  But I will say, I am so disgusted.  On the other side of the issue, I am so disgusted at what it takes now to be famous and unforgettable and, most importantly, forgiven. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Pat, I actually was a big defender of Martha Stewart leading up to this.  I thought it was ridiculous they were sending her to the clink before they even went after Ken Lay at Enron.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  And I could name about 10 other corporate execs that should have been handcuffed and done the perp walk in front of the cameras.

But with Martha Stewart, it seems to me, again, when she went into jail, her media empire was in trouble.  Her clothing line was in trouble.  It seems that she is making the point that Prince Charles got in trouble for making about three months ago, where he said, now it‘s not about accomplishing things as much as it is achieving celebrity. 

She‘s going to come out and like Donald Trump with “The Apprentice” probably reach an all-time high in terms of popularity and earnings. 

LALAMA:  Well, the interesting part about this is really Mark Burnett.  Mark Burnett, who is the guy who comes up with all these ideas, is really the brains.  And he knows how to pick them. 

This guy knows what the public will accept.  And for some reason, people are willing to look at Martha and say, oh, but she‘s Martha.  So there she goes.  What can we say?  When is my show?  That is what I want to know. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  Exactly.  Well, I suppose that you need to go to jail first. 

Pat LaLama...

LALAMA:  Well, I won‘t do what Paris Hilton does, though.  I will tell you that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  God bless you. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  We all thank you for that in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

Pat LaLama, thank you so much for being with us tonight. 

LALAMA:  My pleasure. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We always appreciate you being here. 

LALAMA:  OK.  Thank you.  I love being with you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, in a minute, we‘re going to talk about my newsletter, my blog, and your e-mails.  You can e-mail me at Joe.MSNBC.com and send in your questions and comments to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

But coming up next, more violence breaks down in American high schools.  It‘s getting out of control.  What can we do about it?  That when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Tomorrow night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, has anything changed since Janet Jackson‘s wardrobe malfunctioned during last year‘s Super Bowl?  We‘re going to be talking about where we stand on TV indecency tomorrow.

But we‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, who ever said that chivalry isn‘t dead or that sportsmanship abounds in high school sports? 

Home video captured an all-out brawl at a high school girls basketball game in Alabama.  Apparently, the fight started in the stands between fans and then spread to the floor.  The two teams reportedly have an intense rivalry.  And authorities are saying that the video recording has led to several arrest warrants.

But let me tell you something else.  What these state officials need to do around the nation, because there was a similar fight in Virginia at a high school last week at a basketball game, they need to slap a death penalty on these schools.  Tell the schools, tell the sports teams, tell the fans, if you can‘t behave, we are going to take away your sports programs before somebody gets seriously injured or killed. 

Now, I want to give you a chance to talk about all the things that are going on in your backyard and also all across SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  To do that, you can log on to Joe.MSNBC.com and e-mail me your questions or your comments.  If they are witty, if they‘re nice, if they‘re mean, whatever, we will read them on the air.  You‘re also going to find the latest stories that we are going to be following and what subject I am going to be talking in my daily “Real Deal,” and insight into the mind of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY‘s mayor, Joe Scarborough. 

And last but not least, you can read my blog.  I‘ll be talking about the issues that not only matter to the regular Joe, but to the media elites, who we castigate daily, but who read “Joe‘s Blog” at JoeBlog.MSNBC.com.

Now, tomorrow night, a special treat in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Brian Williams talks to the first lady, Laura Bush.  You are not going to want to miss that. 

And that‘s going to be it for tonight.  But, remember, we got a great show tomorrow night.  With the Super Bowl days away and lingering memories of last year‘s wardrobe debacle, what can we expect to see on TV this weekend?  We‘re going to be talking about indecency and whether or not things have really changed over the past year. 

Coming up next, “HARDBALL” with an old friend of mine, Bill Maher. 

That should be interesting, to say the least.

But, for now, I‘m Joe Scarborough from SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Have a great night. 

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

END   

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.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,