updated 2/10/2005 2:31:09 PM ET 2005-02-10T19:31:09

Guest: Dustin Ferrell, Dan Savage, Penny Nance, Ruth Westheimer, Bill Owens, Trevor Pincock, David Dreier

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight‘s top headline:  A rising star in the Democratic Party says George Bush‘s budget is like another September 11 attack.  Come again? 

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

Does the Democratic mayor of Baltimore really think the president‘s budget is an attack on the nation on the scale of September 11?  Apparently, he does. 

Then, wards of the state.  More than 1,000 Colorado college students cheer the prof who said the World Trade Center victims got exactly what they deserved.  And he called for more attacks like 9/11.  He also had something to say to me also.  You will get the latest right here. 

And Dr. Ruth enters SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY tonight.  We are going to ask her about the epidemic in our schools, teachers having sex with their teenage students.  And she will answer the question, are your kids safe when you drop them off at school?  

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

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, welcome to the show tonight. 

You know, there‘s a cancer growing at CNN, and it‘s time to cut it out.  It‘s time for tonight‘s “Real Deal.” 

Now, last night, I told you about the noteworthy news coverage of Christiane Amanpour Anderson Cooper while reporting the Iraqi elections last month for CNN.  Some around here may consider CNN a competitor, but I believe all news outlets should be teammates in pursuit of the truth.  That‘s why I praise media outlets when events warrant, or I tell you how they betray consumers‘ interest when bias becomes apparent.

Now, we learned this week that one of CNN‘s most powerful news executives told a group of world leaders overseas that American soldiers had targeted reporters for assassination.  That‘s right.  I will say it again.  One of the top news executives in America spent his time before some of the most influential people on the planet telling them that American men and women deliberately targeted journalists for assassination. 

Now, Democratic Congressman Barney Frank told Michelle Malkin that after Jordan made the comments, he was so troubled he tried to get specific examples from Jordan, but Jordan refused to provide an ounce of proof to support this outrageous charge. 

And Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd, a Democratic leader in the upper chamber, also confirmed Jordan made the outrageous comments.  Now, CNN supporters and others suggested that Jordan deserved the benefit of the doubt.  But this is, after all, the same Eason Jordan who admitted in 2003 that he turned a blind eye to Saddam Hussein‘s tyranny and torture just so CNN could have access to the Stalinist leader‘s government and keep CNN‘s Baghdad office open. 

But there‘s more.  You know, Jordan also told an audience in 2004 that American troops had arrested and tortured journalists in Iraq, but last year‘s charges, like those leveled this year, were not backed up by a single fact by Mr. Jordan.  But you know what?  One fact is not in dispute.  This CNN leader has defamed the honor and integrity of our brave men and women in uniform by reckless charges that were presented in the most cowardly way, behind closed doors in conferences packed by international elites. 

Now, if Eason Jordan believes that U.S. troops are little more than hired assassins, assassins focused on killing journalists, I think it‘s time for him to name names.  Otherwise, these continued attacks constitute slander.  I know troops in harm‘s way in Iraq.  I have heard their inspiring stories when the cameras were turned off and they had babies sleeping on their laps in their living rooms. 

They believe today they are exporting liberty, not assassination squads.  Ironically, it‘s CNN‘s Eason Jordan who is the assassin, blowing away the reputations of 150,000 troops, some of whom don‘t even know tonight whether they will see another sunrise tomorrow morning.  They deserve better from the press.  And CNN deserves better than to have to put up with the likes of Eason Jordan. 

CNN‘s president, Jon Klein, has gotten off to an inspiring start these past few months.  He shouldn‘t allow Jordan to stain his reputation, stain his network‘s reputation, or stain the proud professional reporters who make CNN their home.  Eason Jordan should be fired.  And that‘s tonight‘s “Real Deal.” 

Now the story of yet another person using their position of influence to invoke the tragedy of September 11 for their own personal gain.  Yesterday, Baltimore Mayor and Democratic rising star Martin O‘Malley made the following comments at a news conference—quote—“Back on September 11, terrorists attacked our metropolitan cores, two of America‘s great cities.  They did that because they knew that that was where they could do the most damage and weaken us the most.  Years later, we are given a budget proposal by our commander in chief, the president of the United States.  And with a budget axe, he is attacking America‘s cities.  He is attacking our metropolitan area.”

With me now to talk about this latest slander of our president is Congressman David Dreier of California. 

You know what?  I usually consider in politics, David, anything is fair game.  But it just seems that, every day, whether it‘s Professor Ward Churchill or whether it‘s this mayor, who a lot of people are saying is the up-and-coming star in the Democratic Party, they are willing to use the tragedy of September 11 to slander and dehumanize their opponents.  What gives? 

REP. DAVID DREIER ®, CALIFORNIA:  First, let me just comment on the first story that you were just talking about, the Jordan statement. 

As you were giving commentary, though, Joe, I will tell you, the day before yesterday, I went out to Bethesda Naval Hospital to visit Marines who were wounded, one of whom today is actually having his leg amputated.  He just decided that.  And just the prospect of launching that kind of vitriolic attack on our men and women in uniform is to me reprehensible, so I couldn‘t agree with you more on that. 

As I listen to Martin O‘Malley‘s statements, you said he is a rising star, I just...

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, he was. 

DREIER:  Yes.  If that‘s the kind of thing that is going on, it is to me absolutely outrageous.

One of the things that we have been trying desperately to do is to try and increase a modicum of civility.  And the sad thing that I have observed is, rather than engaging in a debate of ideas, which we believe is a very important thing to pursue, we have this kind of hyperbole coming from lots of people.  And that statement that was made by Mayor O‘Malley was obviously the ultimate, to try and compare a budget proposal to acts of terror. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Just a bland budget proposal is sent to Congress.  It‘s the beginning of a debate.  And the vitriol, like you said, I guess it‘s desperation.  I am not exactly sure what it is. 

I do know this, though.  I think most Americans were like me.  They saw those people coming out of the World Trade Centers, coming out of those areas, and they had dust over them.  You couldn‘t even see their face.  You couldn‘t recognize their features.  And you couldn‘t tell whether they were white or black or Hispanic or Asian. 

DREIER:  They were from all over the world.  It was the World Trade Center.


SCARBOROUGH:  They were from all over the world.  But you know what?  I thought that was the great leveler.  At that point, I said, you know what?  I think more Americans are going to use this event to unify us moving forward. 

DREIER:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And yet, here you have three years later, again, a guy who was considered the odds-on favorite to be the next governor of Maryland, to be an up-and-coming star, again, you have him using these attacks actually for political gain.  Do you think it‘s the end of his political career because of this? 


DREIER:  I mean, I never make predictions about people‘s political careers.  But I will tell you, one thing is, your buddy and mine, Bob Ehrlich, I think has seen his chance enhanced of staying.  He‘s doing a great job and enjoys bipartisan support as governor of Maryland. 

If you look at the proposal that he was attacking, Joe, it was basically the 30-year-old Community Development Block Grant Program.  And we know that, in our communities, you in yours and I in mine, have cities that are requesting CDBG funds.  And, frankly, it‘s a program that has been riddled with all kind of abuse.

And all the president proposed was streamlining, an improvement in management.  And with his budget, he goes from a $5.7 billion level to 3.7, believing that, with a change in management, there will be greater efficiency and it will be helpful for these communities. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  And, you know, David, again, we can debate whether that‘s a good idea or not. 

DREIER:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But we just can‘t bring it to this type of personal attack.  This sort of vitriol, it cheapens public discourse and it‘s bad for America. 


SCARBOROUGH:  David, I appreciate you being with us tonight. 

DREIER:  You bet.  Always good to be with you, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s always great to be with you.

And I just want to tell our viewers out there, David is exactly right, but let‘s debate it in a humane way.  And this isn‘t the first time that O‘Malley has actually used this type of vitriol to level attacks.  He has also used 9/11 in other ways to attack the president.  And it‘s just unfortunate. 

Now, this week, we have been telling you about a botched CIA anti-drug operation in 2001 that ended in the tragic death of a Baptist missionary from Florida and her seven-month-old daughter.  Tonight, we want to give you the very latest on the story.  While Roni Bowers and her daughter, Charity, were killed by bullets fired from a Peruvian jet fighter, her husband, Jim, and their son, Cory, survived. 

We tracked down Mr. Bowers, who is now living in Mozambique, and spoke to him earlier by phone today.  He would not allow us to record him, but we were able to get the comments.

He told us, on the fateful day in April 2001, he and his son, Cory, were—quote—“watching out of curiosity as a Peruvian fighter jet swept past our plane several times.  Then I saw a puff of smoke coming from the front of the fighter and a split-second later, our plane was being rattled by bullets and it was on fire.  It was loud.  And when I saw Roni and Charity, all I could think about was, can we land this plane?”

Now, he went on to say: “It doesn‘t surprise me that the Department of Justice dropped the case.  They want it to go away.  There‘s no way the CIA will ever give up the agents who were involved.  If I thought I could beat the government and get people to hold them accountable, I would.  But people have made it clear to me that it is not safe to fight the CIA.”

I will tell you what.  That is chilling, absolutely chilling, that an American missionary is afraid to hold his own government accountable because he has been warned by people that it‘s a dangerous thing to do. 

I will tell you what.  Despite our repeated efforts to speak with somebody from the Justice Department, the Senate Intelligence Committee or member of Congress that was inside these deliberations, not a single government employee is talking.  They will not discuss this case. 

But we are not going to drop it, so keep your e-mails coming to Joe@MSNBC.com, because we will stay on it until we get answers. 

Coming up, Colorado Professor Ward Churchill says thanks to yours truly.  We will tell you why. 


WARD CHURCHILL, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO:  We ought to be thanking Joe Scarborough.  We ought to be thanking Kevin Flynn.  We ought to be thanking the yo-yos in the local paper.


SCARBOROUGH:  Controversial University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill has some words for me.  I will tell you about it when we return. 




CHURCHILL:  I‘m not backing up an inch.  I owe no one an apology, clarification...



SCARBOROUGH:  That was University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill last night.  He is not sorry.  He is not going to apologize, and he stands by his outrageous assertion that September 11 victims somehow deserved to die.  Over 1,000 students attended a rally on campus last night.

And NBC‘s Michael Okwu has this report for us. 


MICHAEL OKWU, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  This was the night Professor Ward Churchill fought for.  In a speech on the C.U. campus in Boulder, Churchill was defiant. 

CHURCHILL:  I‘m not backing up an inch.  I owe no one an apology, clarification...

OKWU:  But a lot of people think he does.  It all started in the hours after the 9/11 attacks. 

(on camera):  Churchill wrote an essay calling the victims in the Twin Towers little Eichmanns, a reference to Adolf Eichmann, who organized the Holocaust. 

(voice-over):  Last night, Churchill explained he was criticizing America‘s foreign policies and what he called the technocrats who are hostile to people in Iraq and around the world. 

CHURCHILL:  And what I said was, when you treat people this way, when you devalue, demean and degrade others to this point, naturally and inevitably, what you‘re putting out will blow back on you.  And that‘s what happened on that day. 


OKWU:  He became a favorite target on right-wing radio and received hundreds of threatening e-mails.  One person in the crowd expressed disgust. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Where do you get the gall to call the people who died in 9/11 technocrats when you sit around and get a $90,000 paycheck from the government you purport to hate? 

OKWU:  Churchill did say he could have better explained his views and that he mourns for 9/11 victims. 

CHURCHILL:  And for the firefighters and for the food service workers and for the broom pushers and for the random passersby, yes, I do. 

OKWU:  But he says he will not retract what he wrote and will sue the University of Colorado if he is fired. 

For SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, Michael Okwu, NBC News, Los Angeles.


SCARBOROUGH:  Now, as we reported yesterday, Churchill almost didn‘t get to speak last night, citing a security risk.  But Churchill sued, got to speak.  Security was incredibly tight.  Students were frisked.  The professor was flanked by his own private security detail.

And University of Colorado student Trevor Pincock was there. 

Now, Trevor, you support this professor.  Tell me why. 

TREVOR PINCOCK, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO STUDENT:  I support his right for free speech. 

I think the attacks against him are mainly attacks against his history as being an extremist professor.  It‘s unfortunate that he used such hyperbole in his essay, but I think he did make a few excellent points about American foreign policy and how we need to take a look at that if we are to avoid future terrorist attacks. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So it‘s OK for the professor, then, to use basically fascist tactics, where you dehumanize political opponents, you call them little Eichmanns?  Also, what fascists always do, they support violence against internal political opponents. 

You know, he actually—and the Denver newspaper said he actually—in 2004, actually said we needed more 9/11s.  Do you think he has got the right to say that on the public dime? 

PINCOCK:  You know, I don‘t really think it‘s the public dime, necessarily.  In his classroom...

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, they are paying for his salary. 

PINCOCK:  Granted.

And I think that Professor Churchill has the right to say what he sees fit when he is analyzing American policy, when he is a professor of ethnic studies, when he is talking about issues that are relevant in current events. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What if he wears a swastika to class?  Would you draw the line there? 

PINCOCK:  I don‘t think he would wear a swastika. 

SCARBOROUGH:  No, I‘m saying what if he did, though.


PINCOCK:  I would not go there.  I wouldn‘t go to his class if he wore a swastika. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But would he have the right to do that?  I‘m just seeing how absolute this right for professors is.

PINCOCK:  I think that he would have right to wear a swastika.  I am not advocating that people should wear swastikas or be fascists.  

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, I know you are not.  I know you are not. 

I am just curious about how absolute.  What if he uses the N-word in class talking about African-Americans and saying that he supports slavery?  Should he have the right to say that?  Should his freedom of speech be that absolute? 

PINCOCK:  You know, I think that the best way to counter offensive speech is with more speech.  I don‘t think administrative action is the solution here.  He is a tenured professor.  He has had an esteemed career at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  He has taught there since 1981, and he has been a valued member of the faculty. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So if a tenured professor uses the N-word in class, wears a swastika, that‘s their right as tenured professors? 

PINCOCK:  You know, I think the decision should lie in the university.  I don‘t think political officials should weigh in on it.  If there‘s outcry from the students, they don‘t appreciate the professor‘s actions, if there‘s reason to dismiss him, then, yes, he should be dismissed. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  All right. 

Thanks, Trevor.  We appreciate you being with us tonight. 

I would say politicians should weigh in because they are using tax dollars at a public campus.  But that‘s my opinion.

PINCOCK:  Well, I don‘t think that—I think in the Supreme Court case of West Virginia vs. Barnette, it was ruled that politicians don‘t have the right or the jurisdiction or the place to say what should be held as popular opinion. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, again, well, politicians do make that decision every day, and they decide how to use tax dollars.  And if they decide to fund University of Colorado at Boulder and Ward Churchill, then taxpayers have a right to say, we are not going to support that.  It‘s called democracy. 

PINCOCK:  My only concern is, you silence somebody who says something you don‘t agree with, you run the danger of eventually being silenced yourself. 

SCARBOROUGH:  He‘s not just saying—I mean, listen, it‘s not just that he has made some political comment against the president of the United States.  He is saying that the people on 9/11 deserved what they got.  He is also saying we need more September 11s. 

PINCOCK:  I think what he is arguing there is that the American citizens are culpable in American foreign policy, that we should pay attention to the things this administration does, and any administration, so that we can avoid September 11. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Trevor Pincock, thanks for being with us tonight in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

During his 40-minute-plus diatribe, Ward Churchill took time out to thank a few people who he said, sarcastically, I may add, taught him a thing or two about his rights. 

Take a listen.


CHURCHILL:  We ought to be thanking Joe Scarborough.  We ought to be thanking Kevin Flynn.  we ought to be thanking the yo-yos in the local paper, and we ought to be thanking the board of regents and Governor Owens as well. 



SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Governor, you are in pretty good company. 

Governor Bill Owens joins us now.  Governor, he mentioned both of us. 

And I don‘t know whether to take that as insult or a compliment. 

Obviously, we have gotten under his skin, but... 

GOV. BILL OWENS ®, COLORADO:  I like to say consider the source, Joe.  

SCARBOROUGH:  Exactly.  My mother always said, when I got into politics, never judge your character by your friends.  Judge them by your enemies.  I am feeling pretty good tonight, Governor. 

OWENS:  That‘s a very good point. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, Governor, I want to play another clip from Churchill‘s speech last night where he attacks you.  Take a listen. 


CHURCHILL:  Bill Owens, do you get it now?  You can count on your toes.  You will be able to count the percentage points of contribution to the budget of the University of Colorado you and your ilk have reduced taxpayer contribution to.  It comes to seven.  I do not work for the taxpayers of the state of Colorado.  I do not work for Bill Owens. 



SCARBOROUGH:  And therein lies the problem with people like this.  I knew when I got paid by the citizens of America that I worked for them.  I was their employee. 

OWENS:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  This guy gets paid by taxpayers in Colorado and across the country indirectly, and yet he says he is not employed by the state of Colorado.  Who writes his checks? 

OWENS:  You know, he is a hypocrite.  The state of Colorado writes his checks.  And I will be glad to tell all of your viewers this evening, he cashes those checks.  They are a state of Colorado check.  Every month, Ward Churchill takes the time to cash his own check.  He does work for the board of regents.  He does work for the state of Colorado. 

And that‘s really the issue here.  As you mentioned at the start of this segment, he has every right as an American to say almost anything he wants to say.  But as a professor at the University of Colorado, I don‘t believe he has that right.

And one of the big newspapers here, “The Rocky Mountain News,” made the point when it called for his termination. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

OWENS:  When he excuses violence and when he calls for violence, his First Amendment rights don‘t go that far.  And I think we are going to see him terminated, I hope, in the next three or four weeks. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Governor.  I hope so, too.  And it‘s clear-cut.  He has said we need more 9/11s. 

OWENS:  He has said that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Said it.  It was quoted last year.  There are so many more quotes out there. 

Governor, as always, thanks so much for being with us. 

OWENS:  Good to be with you, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And leading this fight to retake our college campuses. 

Great honor. 

OWENS:  Thank you much. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, and coming up next, Dr. Ruth comes to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to talk about all these teachers having sex with their students and how your kids may be in danger. 

Stick around


SCARBOROUGH:  Well, this week leading up to Valentine‘s Day, Dr. Ruth enters SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to talk about some improper conduct between teachers and students that may endanger your children.  Also, we‘re going to have our panel talking about a “Today Show” report on infidelity.

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


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, we have been telling you of the growing sex abuse scandal in public schools.  Last night, we reported that another female teacher was charged with having sex with a teenage student, this one in Tennessee, 27-year-old physical education teacher and boys basketball coach Pamela Turner, charged with having sex with a 13-year-old boy. 

Now, this is just the latest in the number of high-profile cases like this one.  In 1997, of course, there was the case of 34-year-old Mary Kay Letourneau having sexual relations with a sixth grade student.  She went to jail for more than seven years and had two children with him. 

Then, last year, Florida teacher Debbie Lafave was charged with having a sexual affair with a 14-year-old student.  Then, this year, California middle school teacher Sarah Bench-Salorio was charged with having sex with two 13-year-old boys.  And Virginia middle school teacher Melissa Deel was charged with taking indecent liberties with a 13-year-old boy. 

A study sent to Congress last year shows that one of 10 children between kindergarten and 12th grade are targets of sexual behavior by school employees.  That can range from inappropriate comments to physical abuse.  Why the meltdown in our public schools? 

With me now is renowned sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer.  She‘s also the author of “The Art of Arousal.”

Dr. Ruth, thanks for being with us.

DR. RUTH WESTHEIMER, SEX THERAPIST:  Thank you, Joe.  How are you? 

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘m doing fine, other than I don‘t have an outfit quite as colorful as yours tonight. 

WESTHEIMER:  All right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s very disappointing.

Dr. Ruth, we are going to talk about a few things tonight, but let‘s start with an issue that a lot of people have been expressing concern about.  You see in the newspapers now every two or three days usually a woman now having sexual relations with a 12-year-old, 13-year-old middle school student.  Why is this happening?  You have studied sex for years and years.  Why is this happening so much now? 

WESTHEIMER:  I will tell you something.  This has nothing to do with good sexual functioning.

But what makes me very sad, on the one hand, it‘s because we are reporting these issues.  And we should report.  You should report them.  On the other hand, it really is very sad that we have to deal with such improper, really very, very upsetting behavior. 

Now, you are right when you are saying these days, it‘s even more women that are reported on.  We don‘t have any good scientifically validated data about the incidents.  But this doesn‘t matter.  What matters is even that one incident in Tennessee, for example, I think it‘s terrible.  I do hope that somebody like this there is no question should never again be in a classroom. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, this scandal, if you look at the numbers, according to this report from the federal government, it may be as much as 10 to 100 times as big as the Catholic priest scandal.  We will have to just wait and see, but what do you tell parents right now that are concerned?  What should they say to their students?  What should they say not only to their 10- and 11-, 12-year-old boys, but also to their girls to prepare them for the fact they may be targets at their own schools? 

WESTHEIMER:  I think that parents have to be an askable parent.  Parents have to take initiative to say, I heard that on television with Joe Scarborough, Dr. Ruth Westheimer says you must report any improper behavior, any improper touching, even improper talking about the issue of sexuality.

And we have to prepare our children without scaring them.  It‘s not easy, because scare techniques don‘t work. 


WESTHEIMER:  But we have to say to them, look, we live in a strange world.  There is so much talk about sex on television, on radio, in the music.  We have to tell you that sex is and ought to remain a private matter.  And if you know that there is some improper behavior, you the child and you the parent have an obligation to speak up.  You can‘t just...

SCARBOROUGH:  You can‘t keep quiet about it anymore. 

And I am going to read you a statistic, then ask you a final question.  But just for our audience, almost 300,000 students experienced some sort of physical abuse by a school employee between ‘91 and 2000.  And with all the attention, again, that‘s been paid to the Catholic Church, it may be surprising for you to find that physical sexual abuse of students in public schools is more than 100 times more likely than abuse by priests. 

Finally, let‘s end on a positive note, Dr. Ruth. 

WESTHEIMER:  Yes.  Let‘s talk about Valentine‘s Day. 


SCARBOROUGH:  I was going to say, Valentine‘s Day is coming up. 

WESTHEIMER:  Nothing to do with sexual abuse. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, nothing to do with sexual abuse, of course. 

But what should I give my wife for Valentine‘s Day? 


First of all, you have to give her your love.  You have to tell her how glad you are that she is in your life. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Done that. 

WESTHEIMER:  Then you are going to do—listen to me carefully. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘m leaning in.



WESTHEIMER:  You know, you don‘t have to give her anything except on Valentine‘s Day.


WESTHEIMER:  Either the night before, or that day, you are going to give her such a fantastic time in bed. 


WESTHEIMER:  You are going to use a different position, Joe, and then you are going to call me the next day. 



WESTHEIMER:  You are going to use a sexual position that you have never used before.  And you call me, because then I can teach it to other people.  OK? 


SCARBOROUGH:  Dr. Ruth, thank you so much.  I will get your phone number afterwards. 

WESTHEIMER:  All right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me check that off. 

WESTHEIMER:  I will wait for your call. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, I know you will. 

WESTHEIMER:  Never mind flowers.  Never mind chocolate. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It saves me a lot of money, and the best part is, it‘s not going to be that difficult.  I‘m a boring guy.  So thanks so much, Dr.  Ruth. 

WESTHEIMER:  Thank you.


SCARBOROUGH:  We appreciate you being here, having fun, but, also, again, talking seriously about some critical issues.  Thanks so much. 

WESTHEIMER:  Thank you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now with us now to talk about our conversation about problems in the classroom and other issues, we have syndicated sex advice columnist Dan Savage and Penny Nance.  She‘s the president of Kids First Coalition. 

Let‘s start with you, Penny. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Obviously, a lot of parents concerned about sexual abuse in the schools.  It seems like the very fabric of our public education system is being torn apart.  What is going on? 

NANCE:  You know, Joe, I‘m the president of Kids First Coalition.  And we are hearing more and more about what these kids are dealing with.

And there‘s a lot of issues that we can attribute it to, but I believe, honestly, there is just almost a campaign of normalization of adult-child sex going on in academia, even in Hollywood.  I did some research for this show and found several different things, one, that the words child sex abuse was being returned—not being used. 

Instead, they were using the label child sex misuse in order to somehow make it seem a little more acceptable.  It is always abusive for an adult and a child to have a sexual relationship. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Dan Savage, what is going on here? 

DAN SAVAGE, SYNDICATED SEX ADVICE COLUMNIST:  Well, I think, as Dr.  Ruth said, there‘s more reporting going on, and we are hearing about more of these cases.

And, of course, we do live in a culture, as Dr. Ruth said, that talks about sex too much, which she said right before she started talking to you about sex. 


SAVAGE:  And, also, we look for these stories and we gather them together.  We bundle them into national scandals when they may or may not be national scandals. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, actually, there‘s this national study, again, that was given to the Department of Education that says 10 percent of the students in schools face sexual harassment or sexual abuse.  Are you saying that‘s not happening? 

SAVAGE:  Well, I think there‘s a really broad spectrum that that study talks about, from a comment or a stray comment that a student might have overheard, it might have been directed at a student or student might have misinterpreted, to abuse.  And to lump them all in together I think paints too dark of a picture of what is actually going on. 


Who is to blame for this, Penny? 

NANCE:  Well, there‘s a lot of blame to go around. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, first of all, who is to blame for this cover-up?

NANCE:  Well, you know, I applaud you for having this topic on the air, because it gives us a chance to alert parents to the fact that, you know what?  Just because you pack your little kid off to school to what you think is a safe environment, he or she may not be safe, and you need to ask the tough questions.

And you need to train your children ahead of time that, if there is improper touching or even worse, and that makes them feel somewhat uncomfortable, that they will come to you and talk to you, and you can take appropriate steps. 


NANCE:  The child needs to know, it‘s never their fault.  It‘s always the adult‘s fault. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, unfortunately, one group that has basically dismissed this study, of course, are the teachers unions.  And I think it‘s because they are more interested in protecting teachers than they are students. 

Dan Savage, let‘s change subjects.  “The Today Show” this week is doing a special, a report every day, Valentine‘s Day week—I don‘t know if they are trying to make us insecure—on infidelity.  Tell me, this seems to be a growing epidemic also.  Again, “The Today Show” interviews men and women.  You think that‘s natural.

SAVAGE:  Well, I don‘t think monogamy is natural.  And William J.

Bennett agrees with me.

NANCE:  Oh, please.

SAVAGE:  He says in his book that monogamy is not natural and it‘s a struggle to be monogamous.  And I think that‘s true. 

And I also think that you shouldn‘t—we shouldn‘t build our relationships on a foundation that we know is shaky.  If we put monogamy at the center of marriage and say a marriage is only truly a marriage and is only truly love if it‘s strictly monogamous forever, we are undermining the long-term survival of our relationships by building it on that shaky foundation, if we know we‘re not good at it.

It‘s like saying, our marriages are only valid as long as we can all breathe underwater.  And we are not very good at breathing underwater.

NANCE:  Oh, please.

SAVAGE:  As evidenced by the statistics. 

NANCE:  Oh, come on. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Penny, open marriage? 

NANCE:  Oh, let me—where do I begin? 


SAVAGE:  Hey, I didn‘t call for open marriage. 

NANCE:  No. 

And you know what?  I don‘t know how many people cheat, and I don‘t know what the statistics really are, or if they are true or not.  But even if everyone is doing it, it doesn‘t make it right.  And cheating is betrayal.  And it is the worst kind of betrayal, because it‘s by the person that you love the most. 


SCARBOROUGH:  But, Penny, Dan says it‘s natural. 


NANCE:  And it hurts kids.  It‘s a bad idea.  It‘s a bad idea. 

SAVAGE:  Divorce hurts kids more than... 


SCARBOROUGH:  One at a time. 

NANCE:  Monogamy is the only appropriate foundation for marriage, because betrayal leads to divorce.  And divorce leads to hurt children.  So it‘s a bad idea. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Dan, final -- 10 seconds.  Let Dan...


SAVAGE:  I think divorce is terrible for children.  My parents divorced.  I think it would have been better and it‘s better for kids, if their parents have an infidelity, for them to patch it together and work it out and stay together, rather than saying, if there‘s an infidelity, there must be a divorce.

NANCE:  Of course, stay together.  Don‘t cheat to begin with. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Dan Savage and Penny Nance, thanks so much for being with us.  We greatly appreciate it. 

Now, coming up, airlines have already cut down on many services they used to deliver.  Now comes one more that I have got issues with. 

We‘ll be right back in a second.



SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, I‘m Joe.  My private jet got repossessed, and I‘ve got issues.

First of all, I‘ve got issues with American Airlines.  The airline announced today that domestic flights will no longer offer pillows to its passengers.  The carrier claims that the cost-cutting measure will save about $370,000 a year. 

Now, airlines have already cut out a lot of their meal service, selling food on flights.  I pay for headphones in order to watch a movie.  I mean, what more can we give?  So, I will tell you what.  I will help the crew with safety announcements if they will just give me a pillow for my aching back. 

Now, I have also got issues with Sarah Jessica Parker.  Like many other celebrities, the “Sex and the City” star has decided to do launch her own fragrance.  Debuting this fall, Sarah Jessica‘s perfume, aimed at women of all ages, will join other scents by Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Celine Dion.  My issue, why do women get a fragrance from the lovely Ms.  Parker, when us men are left with no celebrity fragrance aside from Donald Trump? 

I mean, really, do I want to look like this guy? 


SCARBOROUGH:  And, finally—you like that one, Mike? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It‘s almost....


SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s almost me, yes.

Oh, that hurts. 


SCARBOROUGH:  And, finally, I‘ve got issues with the U.S. military for giving Marines Purple Hearts and then taking them away.  I am not making this up.  At least 11 Marines were awarded Purple Hearts for their injuries in Iraq, only to have the medals taken away when it was determined that the injuries were not combat related. 

And some of them found out a year and a half later, like my next guest.  He‘s one of the 11 Marines, Lieutenant Dustin Ferrell.  The Humvee he was riding in crashed into Army truck in Iraq in March of 2003.  You know, he didn‘t find out his medal was being revoked until more than a year and a half later after he received it.  He‘s with me now from Wilmington, North Carolina. 

Thanks so much for being with us tonight. 

Let‘s talk about, first of all, your injuries.  Explain to Americans what injuries you sustained while you were over in Iraq. 

LT. DUSTIN FERRELL, U.S. MARINE CORPS:  Well, I think the short of it is, I had my face smashed in due to the Humvee crash.  I broke most of the bones in my face from my eye sockets down, lost half my teeth, and required a tracheotomy shortly after being evacuated.  I also bruised a lung and dislocated my left hip. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You actually lost 14 teeth; 14 teeth were knocked out. 

And didn‘t somebody actually in the Humvee die? 

FERRELL:  My driver was killed instantly. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So you get this Purple Heart.  First of all, tell us about how you found out about the Purple Heart that you were actually going to be getting it. 

FERRELL:  I actually found out I was going to be awarded the Purple Heart the morning they awarded it to me.  I would say I had maybe a five-minute warning.

And that was my first day back in Bethesda, Maryland, first day back in the U.S., actually.  And the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps informed me that they were going to be awarding me the Purple Heart.  Prior to that, I‘d had a lot of time to think, had my jaw wired shut, so I wasn‘t talking.  And I wondered whether or not I had met criteria.  But I didn‘t honestly expect it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It had to be a proud moment for you.

But now tell me when you found out that they had actually ripped it away from you, that they had revoked it.  How did you find out? 

FERRELL:  Right. 

Nearly a year and a half later, as you said, December 14 of last year, actually, I returned home from—or I‘m sorry—I returned to work from leave.  And I had a letter sitting on my desk with no explanation.  I opened it up.  And there were two letters, one from the secretary of the Navy and one from the commandant‘s office basically telling me there was an administrative error and that they had, effective immediately, revoked my Purple Heart and that I was no longer authorized to wear it. 

It went on to say:  We understand your disappointment.  Thank you for your service. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  Your face is bashed in.  We understand your disappointment.  You jaw was wired shut for years because you were serving our country in Iraq.  Tough luck. 

Well, did you feel betrayed by the government? 

FERRELL:  Very much. 

As I have said before, I certainly didn‘t ask for the medal.  I didn‘t ask for the honor.  This is a medal that my uncle wears that he was awarded in Vietnam.  It‘s something I take very seriously.  So, I was very proud to be awarded the Purple Heart.  I wore it to two Marine Corps birthday balls and certainly would never do anything to dishonor that medal. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, did you also give your other medals back in protest? 

FERRELL:  Shortly after this happened—I waited about a week to do it—I went in and asked to have three other awards taken off my record, all involved with the Iraq war, being the two Global War on Terror Medals, as well as the Presidential Unit Citation. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And what was the response? 

FERRELL:  A little surprise from the administrators.  It was sort of, OK, we will take care of it.  And a few jaws dropped.  But a couple weeks later, I looked online at my record and they had been taken off. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Lieutenant, that‘s an absolute disgrace.  You know what?  You went over there.  You were serving our country.  You were injured severely.  Again, your teeth were shattered.  Your bones were shattered. 

I will tell you what.  You are a hero, and you did it by putting your life on the line over there.  And we commend you for coming here and talking to us tonight about it.  Unfortunately, I know that you are getting the stonewall treatment on Capitol Hill and with the Pentagon.  But we are going to look into it for you.  We greatly appreciate you being here tonight. 

FERRELL:  Thank you for having me, sir. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Good luck and God bless, sir.  We are proud of you and we are proud of men like you and women like you that serve in our armed forces. 

Now, coming up next, much more.  Stick around.  We‘ll be right back.


SCARBOROUGH:  You can the latest news from SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY by going to my Web site at Joe.MSNBC.com.  And you‘ll also get my daily blog there.  Check ˜2Dit out.


SCARBOROUGH:  A federal judge in Alabama has told Yale Law School he won‘t accept graduates for clerkships anymore. 

Judge William Acker Jr., a Yale graduate himself, credited his decision to block fellow Yale grads because the university blocks military recruiters from its campus.  The judge wrote a letter to the dean of the law school, saying this—quote—“Some of my very best law clerks have been from the law school from which I proudly graduated.  I therefore recognize that this publicly announced decision will hurt me more than allowing military recruiters would hurt Yale Law School.”

I mean, really, friends, think about it.  Here you have these elites, these pampered elites on Ivy League campuses that are being—saying they don‘t want military recruiting on their campuses, and yet compare that with the heroism and the bravery of people their same age half a world away fighting for your freedom and my freedom and the safety of future generations.  It‘s not even a close call.  This is so disappointing.

But, hey, listen, thumbs up to the judge in Alabama.  And who knew that going to Yale would actually hurt your chances of getting a job?  That‘s why I say, “Roll Tide.”

Hey, make sure to send us an e-mail at Joe@MSNBC.com.  We would love to hear from you.

And that‘s all the time we have for tonight.  We‘ll see you tomorrow.     



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