updated 3/3/2005 12:13:37 PM ET 2005-03-03T17:13:37

Guest: Jeffrey Lyons, Lisa Bloom, Shmuley Boteach, Tony Blankley, Pam Bondi, Isaiah Lechowit, Trevor Pincock, Joanne Belknap, J.T. “The Brick,” Stacie Burns

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  A shocking new report alleging sexual assault, drug abuse and secret slush funds, it‘s rocking America‘s college campuses and you‘re paying for it. 

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

Shocking charges rock Colorado University‘s football team, already ensnarled in a sex scandal.  Adding insult to energy, your tax dollars are subsidizing this derelict behavior.  Are you paying for public universities‘ secret slush funds? 

And campus controversy off the gridiron.  Radical professor Ward Churchill keeps preaching his gospel of hate towards the United States of America.  Will public officials finally hold his type accountable?  Or will you continue to pay salaries of professors who aid and comfort the enemy during a time of war? 

And the Michael Jackson circus spirals downward by the day, friends.  Allegations in court today that Jackson and his team want to trash the reputation of his teenage accuser‘s mother, claiming the defense promises to make her look like—quote—“a crack whore.”

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

SCARBOROUGH:  Your tax dollars fund state colleges, but do you know what you‘re paying for? 

We‘re going to talk tonight about the University of Colorado.  But it could be the University of Georgia, Connecticut, or even Alabama.  The University of Colorado is under investigation right now for a sex, drugs and strippers scandal in football recruiting department.  A grand jury report sent anonymously to our Denver affiliate says the grand jury finds, that the use of alcohol as a recruiting tool was widely known among the football players, while the use of sex and marijuana was lesser known.

there‘s also allegedly a slush fund, which, I hear, is commonplace at all these taxpayer-funded universities. 

With me now to talk about what‘s happening in Colorado, we‘ve got professor Joanne Belknap.  And we also have Stacie Burns.  And we‘ve got J.T. “The Brick.”

J.T., slush funds, now, can this school and coach Barnett survive all the allegations that are circling around them? 

J.T. “THE BRICK,” RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Yes, they can. 

Coach Barnett has high integrity.  He didn‘t know what was happening with marijuana and strippers.  He doesn‘t condone that, Joe.  But the point is, with the slush fund, this is where I would be a little concerned if I‘m a Buffalo fan.  Where did the money from the slush fund come from?  If it came from his football camp and registration dues, no problem here.  But if it came from boosters who were funneling the money there and then the money was going out...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Wait, wait, J.T.  This is a public university, though.  The money all, in the end, comes from the taxpayers, not only of Colorado, but taxpayers across the United States. 

J.T.:  You‘re right, but the slush fund didn‘t come from the taxpayers, Joe.  The slush fund came from his football camp.  And they‘re alleging that maybe some of that money got funneled out of the football camp and went other ways. 

But, again, there‘s no way—and I want to tell you here first tonight—Gary Barnett would not support this, just like he wouldn‘t support sexual violations to women, marijuana, stripper or any type of drug use. 

Professor Belknap, what do you think about this college football coach?  I mean, let‘s face it.  He‘s already had problems in the past.  I mean, this is strike two, strike three.  Isn‘t it time to fire this guy? 

JOANNE BELKNAP, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO:  Well, I think it‘s way past time to fire him.  I feel like the comments he made about Katie Hnida alone were such a huge Title IX violation.  I think he should have been fired over that. 

And I think, on top of that, if we look—if we say these things, he didn‘t know about the sex scandals, if we look at the student paper, “The Colorado Daily,” the university paper that came out right after Lisa Simpson first reported her rape in December of 2001, he actually said that he wasn‘t changing how he was doing anything.  He‘s been very resistant, at least publicly, to that I need to know this. 

So, I feel like either he didn‘t know what was going on and he didn‘t seem to care about it and he should have known, or he did know and he didn‘t care or actively covered it up.  And none of these scenarios are really acceptable, I don‘t think, for a coach. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Stacie, let me ask you, on your radio—on your sports radio talk show, are people out there saying this guy should be fired or are they saying, hey, this happens everywhere, no big deal, boys will be boys?

STACIE BURNS, SPORTS COMMENTATOR:  He needs to be fired. 

They are also that, we need to look at the athletic director.  What does he or she know about what‘s going on?  but the way I think of it is, I think of the football program as a business, the coach as the boss, and the employees as the football players and trainers.  If the employees aren‘t doing their part, it‘s the boss‘ responsibility to straighten them out. 

If they continue having these problems, then the boss of the boss, which would be the athletic director, needs to do something with the boss that‘s, you know...

SCARBOROUGH:  So, you don‘t buy what J.T. is saying when he says hey, wait a second, Barnett didn‘t know anything about this, so he shouldn‘t be fired?

BURNS:  I‘m sorry, J.T.  You and I go way back, but he‘s got to know what‘s going on. 

If people—random people know about these slush funds, then he knows about the slush funds.  And I don‘t find that acceptable at all.  I think they need to can him. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Go ahead, J.T. 

J.T.:  Joe, I‘m just telling you this.  If the guy gets caught with his hand in the slush fund or he knew about it, he‘s going to get fired.  We know that.  They‘re doing a thorough investigation. 

But this is another example.  We talked about the grand jury leak in the Bonds case.  This is another grand jury leak.  Coach Barnett has not been able to come out and tell his story.  And, Joe, the last time he came out and told his story, he was cleared by the university and he was reinstated and became coach of the year in the Big 12 and his players played hard for him. 

So, again, if he‘s cheating and he‘s breaking the rules, he‘s definitely going to get fired.  But if he doesn‘t get caught and he has the right to clear his name, let‘s hear what he has to say.

SCARBOROUGH:  Professor, let me ask you, do you think this coach is going to be fired?  Is Barnett going to survive this or are we looking at an imminent firing?

BELKNAP:  Well, I always say, every time I think things can‘t get any worse with this case, I‘m always wrong and they get worse.

To me, even more upsetting than the slush fund, which is upsetting, is this thing that has come out about the assistant coach having sexually assaulted—in the grand jury report, that two female trainers that are staffed with the football department reported being assaulted by a football coach, an assistant coach. 

And, again, some of the other things that came out before this where one of the women reported it and he said to her that he was going to side with the player.  And when she reported it to the medical director within the athletic department, he didn‘t—they were both required to report it to the upper channels of the university and neither of them did it. 

(CROSSTALK)

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

BURNS:  I just think that, to put a positive, I guess, rep on the school, they need a clean house.  They really need to look at what‘s going wrong, why is it that there‘s so much negative publicity on this university, and really consider wiping out all of the bad, you know, people and things in that university. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And I‘ll tell you what.  It‘s been going on and on now. 

We were reporting about this a year ago.  And it continues.  I agree with Stacie and I also agree with the professor.  I usually agree with J.T., but I think the professor and Stacie have it right.  It‘s time to clean house in Colorado. 

Hey, I appreciate all of you being with us tonight.  We‘re going to continue following this story and ask you all back.  We greatly appreciate it. 

Now, for the past month or so, we‘ve also been talking about the dangers of radicals on college campuses, professors whose paychecks come straight from your tax dollars.  And these are professors who spew hatred, like C.U.‘s Ward Churchill, who was at it again last night in Wisconsin.  Take a listen. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WARD CHURCHILL, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO:  Nothing distinguished him from the mass.  He was a little gray mouse.  And she concluded the horror of Eichmann is not that he was a Nazi.  Of course, he was.  But on the basis of understanding Eichmann, you understand that anyone messed up in a system that generates carnage, who does their job in a bureaucratic fashion proficiently, could be a Nazi. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Unbelievable. 

This guy is still, still comparing the people that died on 9/11 to Adolf Eichmann. 

With me now to talk about this more and talk about Professor Churchill are students Isaiah Lechowit.  And we also have Trevor Pincock.  And we have got Matt Ginsberg.  

Trevor, we‘re going to start with you.  You defend Ward Churchill. 

Why? 

TREVOR PINCOCK, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO STUDENT:  I absolutely defend him, because I think a professor‘s right to exorcise his First Amendment, his freedom of speech, is imperative to education at the university. 

I also think that Ward Churchill has expressed a lot of concerns over American foreign policy that we need to assess, that we need to analyze.  The best way to end violence abroad and at home is by evaluating the causes for violence.  And that‘s what I read out of his essay immediately following the events of September 11, is that American citizens are culpable for the actions of our government abroad.  And we have to take responsibility for them.

SCARBOROUGH:  So you think it‘s our fault.  You think it‘s my fault.  You think it‘s your fault.  You think that it‘s the people that were in the tower on 9/11.  You think it‘s their fault for being slaughtered on that day? 

PINCOCK:  Not solely, but I do think that...

SCARBOROUGH:  Not solely, but you think in part?

(CROSSTALK)

PINCOCK:  We need to be more responsible citizens of the world.  We need to be more responsible citizens of the world if... 

(CROSSTALK)

PINCOCK:  ... to secure the peace...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, we‘re being irresponsible in the Middle East right now?  What‘s about what is going on in Lebanon?  What about in Egypt?  What about in Iraq?  What about in Afghanistan, where democracy is spreading across the globe because of what we were doing?

PINCOCK:  If we were to spread democracy with the olive branch, rather than with bombs, then I think we would have more effect.  I think right now, our international reputation...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  I think we‘re having a pretty darn effect right now.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, well, talk to people in Lebanon on the street and ask them whether they think that‘s the case. 

And the international community, by the way, just to give you a quick lesson...

PINCOCK:  In the last 15 years...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  The international community right now understands that America brought peace to Eastern Europe.  We saved Western Europe from the Nazi, Eastern Europe from the Soviets.  We saved Central America from the Soviets. 

Isaiah, please, help me understand, why do people out there blame—do you blame?  Does everybody on the University of Colorado campus blame Americans for the deaths that occurred on 9/11? 

ISAIAH LECHOWIT, Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there who have this crazy idea that somehow you‘re responsible for the 9/11 deaths and attacks.  And one of those people is Ward Churchill. 

He says that we‘re all little Eichmanns.  We chose this way of life and we are just getting what we deserved.  If he is out there saying that, hey, all these women that are being raped on C.U., they‘re just getting what they deserved, there would be no question as to whether or not to fire this guy.  And there should be no question as to whether or not we should fire him for what he‘s doing for the fraudulent actions that he‘s been committing. 

This man is an absolute lunatic.  And his following is really unique to Boulder itself.  There‘s a Boulder bubble, where...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s all over the place, Isaiah, but let me ask you this.  Are you a Colorado resident? 

LECHOWIT:  Yes, sir. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What do your parents think about funding a hate speech from a guy that basically is aiding and comforting the enemy by his words? 

LECHOWIT:  Well, my parents, my family, the whole lot of them, they all think that it‘s absolutely insane that we‘re putting any money towards this man‘s $90,000-a-year paycheck, which he‘s out there, you know, going against this technocratic corps and these businessmen and capitalists, but then he collects his paycheck.  He writes books.  He forces his students to read them and buy them. 

He goes to these speaking engagements and collects thousands of dollars.  What‘s he doing with this money?  Is he not a capitalist then?  Apparently, by his own definition, he‘s a little Eichmann. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  He is a little Eichmann, Isaiah.

(CROSSTALK)

LECHOWIT:  This is hypocrisy.

SCARBOROUGH:  Isaiah, Trevor and Matt, thanks a lot for being with us tonight. 

And you know what?  Isaiah makes a great point.  The fact of the matter is, this guy is being funded by the very system that he hates.  Hey, Ward, if you hate America so much, stop getting paid by American taxpayers. 

Now, coming up, shocking claims in the Michael Jackson trial that his defense team promised to make the accuser‘s mother look like—quote—“a crack whore.”  She‘s not even a member of Congress.

We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Did Michael Jackson‘s defense team plan to wage a vicious public relations war against his accuser‘s mother?  You bet he did.

We‘ll give you the details coming up in a second.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back. 

More crazy testimony today at day three of the Michael Jackson molestation trial.  The heat is really coming on.  Right now, the prosecution‘s star witness, P.R. specialist Ann Marie Kite, is saying that the Jackson‘s team is out to smear the victim‘s mother. 

In today‘s testimony, Kite said this—quote—“Jackson‘s attorney, David LeGrand, said that they no longer needed to worry about the mother because they had her on tape and they were going to make her look like a crack whore.”

Kite was a crisis management expert who worked for the Jackson camp for six days.  She was hired to handle the fallout from the damaging documentary “Living With Michael Jackson.”  Kite says Jackson‘s attorney, David LeGrand, told her that the boy‘s mother would no longer be a problem.  She says he was referring to a videotaped statement the victim‘s mother made on February 19, 2003, in which she actually praised Michael Jackson. 

With me now to talk about today‘s developments in the Jackson trial, we‘ve got Court TV‘s Lisa Bloom, Florida prosecutor Pam Bondi and former Jackson friend and spiritual adviser Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.  He‘s the author of “Face Your Fear.”

Lisa, let‘s begin with you today. 

Are you surprised that the Jackson camp is trying to slime this mother? 

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV ANCHOR:  I‘m not surprised, but I am disgusted. 

And I‘m glad the rabbi is here with us to weigh in as well. 

I mean, come on.  This is what happens if you come forward against a high-profile celebrity in today‘s America.  They are going to go on the attack.  They‘re going to come after you.  And here, we have a Jackson insider, Ann Kite, who actually worked within team Jackson, saying that this is how this was discussed.  We‘re going to make mom look like a crack whore. 

Now, say what you want about this mother.  There‘s no evidence that she was ever a prostitute, that she ever did drugs.  She‘s got some petty incidents in her past.  And the defense is trying to smear her now in the trial.  And I hope everybody sees it for what it is.  It‘s vicious retaliation against the mother of a kid who says he was molested.  And they were out to get her from the beginning. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Rabbi, isn‘t this what happens whenever you go after a Hollywood star?  They have got the sycophants around them that say, we‘re going to do whatever we can do to make sure they don‘t kill the golden goose.

RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH, AUTHOR, “FACE YOUR FEAR”:  What Michael‘s people have never understood, Joe, and what Thomas Mesereau still doesn‘t understand, is that this case is about one thing and one thing only, morality.  Is Michael a moral man?

Mesereau‘s entire strategy is, destroy the accuser, make them look bad.  and He‘s thinking like a lawyer.  And Lisa Bloom sometimes also thinks like a lawyer.  But I think like a parent.  And if I‘m sitting there in the jury, I‘m saying to myself, I cannot let this guy off the hook if he‘s going to go and do this to another child.  I need to hear that he‘s a moral man. 

So Mesereau said yesterday, in something that made my stomach fall, that my client freely admits that he goes out and buys “Hustler” and “Playboy.”  He freely admits?  Even if was caught with it, you mean, he doesn‘t say I‘m embarrassed about this, I‘m not going to do it again?

I mean, Michael Jackson has told the world, Joe, for the longest time that the reason he prefers the company of children to the company of adults is that adults are corrupt, is that children are innocent.  He doesn‘t know why adults want to know him.  Is it because he‘s famous, because of his money?  But children have no agenda. 

And now, is there a whole mass of corruption? 

(CROSSTALK)

BOTEACH:  Neverland is this place for kids and now there‘s like “Hustler” and “Playboy” there.

(CROSSTALK)

BOTEACH:  Gross.

BLOOM:  You know why Mesereau says Jackson likes girly magazines.  He wants the world to think that Jackson likes adult women, when in fact he spends his time with little boys.  And most of the pornography that he has are nude pictures of little boys, not “Hustler” and “Playboy...”

(CROSSTALK)

BOTEACH:  No, Lisa, Lisa, that is one of the most—with all due respect, one of the most ridiculous things I‘ve ever heard.  You want to tell me he‘s trying to establish Michael‘s credibility in the jury‘s eyes by portraying him as a pervert?  Come on. 

(CROSSTALK)

BOTEACH:  What are you saying?  You think that Michael Jackson the pervert is going to be let off the hook? 

BLOOM:  I don‘t think most people consider—I don‘t think most people consider guys looking at “Playboy” to be perverts.  I think most people consider that be pretty normal.

BOTEACH:  No, no, don‘t say most guys. 

You are forgetting the fact that Michael Jackson‘s only explanation

for preferring the company of children to adults—and he said this to me

·         and this is what won me over to him.  He said, Shmuley, I‘m going to resensitize the world to the beauty of kids.  They‘re innocent and adults are not. 

And, I mean, behind the scenes, there wasn‘t—at Neverland, there weren‘t just cartoons playing?  You mean, there was “Hustler”?  God almighty, you want to tell me that‘s a strategy, Lisa?  Come on, you‘re a lot brighter than that.  This is the worst strategy.  He has to establish Michael as a moral man.

BLOOM:  I think you on conflating two different things, Rabbi.

Look, I‘m with you.  I don‘t think it‘s appropriate to have porn around when there are kids in your house.  I don‘t think it‘s appropriate to have alcohol lying around where kids can get it, even if Jackson wants to say they were just taking it on their own. 

But I think most people see that type of pornography as normal. 

BOTEACH:  Not for Michael, no, no no. 

(CROSSTALK)

BLOOM:  And I think that is what Mesereau is trying to do by talking about...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, listen, I‘m going to have to interrupt for a second here, because we‘ve got to bring Pam Bondi in. 

Pam, I want you to see the E! channel‘s reenactment of a part of the Michael Jackson trial last night.  Here‘s the defense questioning the victim mother‘s credibility regarding the case that she brought against J.C. Penney. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  She has admitted lying in that case.  Her son was ill.  The lawsuit was settled.  The family got a total of $152,500.  That‘s the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) family. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Pam Bondi, of course, again, that‘s just a reenactment.

PAM BONDI, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But you can see there also they‘re trying to trash—

Michael Jackson‘s team wants to trash this mother, wants to trash this young child.  Why are they doing it?  You‘re a prosecutor.  Why are they doing it? 

BONDI:  They‘re doing it.  It‘s despicable.  I absolutely agree with Lisa. 

They‘re doing it because that‘s all they‘ve got.  I mean, they‘ve got to ruin this child and his mother, because Michael Jackson is charged with preying on the most vulnerable members of our society, children.  Not only that.  The child had cancer.  I mean, so now they have to attack his mother.  His mother is not on trial.  Michael Jackson is on trial. 

And I agree with what Lisa said also.  They‘re trying to distance him from being a pedophile, because that is the absolute worst thing in our society you can be, is a pedophile.

BOTEACH:  You know, this is..

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  But isn‘t it—go ahead.

BOTEACH:  I will tell you something, Joe.

You have two beautiful women here.  And I‘m just a short, hairy Jew.

(LAUGHTER)

BOTEACH:  But let me tell you, it‘s all about morality.  It‘s the Jewish guy.  It‘s morality.

What Pam and what Lisa don‘t understand is that the only way a jury will not believe he‘s a pedophile is if he comes across a moral man.  I don‘t want to hear that his defense is that he reads “Hustler.”  God almighty.  I‘m amazed that people just don‘t get it.  Michael used to be a moral guy.  He was a Jehovah‘s Witness.  He was religious.  Why isn‘t that in the trial?  Why don‘t they bring his spiritual side?  Why don‘t they try to prove that there‘s some humanity left in this desiccated...

SCARBOROUGH:  Respond—respond to the self-described hairy Jewish guy.  What do you say?

(LAUGHTER)

BLOOM:  Yes.  I‘m a nice Jewish girl, so I got no problem with that, Rabbi.

BOTEACH:  But you‘re a lawyer.  But you‘re a lawyer. 

BLOOM:  God forbid, I‘m a lawyer.  Actually, I‘ve achieved my goal of becoming an ex-lawyer.  I‘m a full-time television anchorwoman now. 

But having said that, look, morality, I agree with you.  That‘s in the hearts of these jurors.  But what‘s going to be in their heads as they go to deliberate is reasonable doubt.  And while apparently all of us seem to agree that the attacks on the family seem inappropriate, I‘ve got to tell you that most people out there feel very strongly that this mother is up to no good. 

And if Mesereau has evidence on half the things he says he‘s got on her in his opening statement, that could sway some people on the jury.  And, remember, the defense only needs one.  They only need one holdout on the jury. 

BOTEACH:  No, Lisa.

BLOOM:  The prosecution has to make a clean sweep of all 12 jurors.

(CROSSTALK)

BLOOM:  I think it‘s an uphill battle for the prosecution. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Lisa—Lisa, Pam, Rabbi Shmuley, thank you so much for being with us tonight.  This story will continue and we‘ll get you all back.  Thanks a lot. 

And coming up next, I‘ve got issues with Senator Robert Byrd comparing Republicans to Adolf Hitler. 

And nothing but winners today at the White House.  President Bush honors the world champion Boston Red Sox.  Well, maybe not all winners were there.  Senator Kerry was there also.  We‘ll give you the story when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  “The New York Times” and other major media outlets are starting to understand what I‘ve been telling you for a year and a half now.  And that is that freedom is contagious and that George W. Bush just may be right.  We‘ll be talking about that with the killer B‘s coming up next. 

But, first, here is all the news that you and your family need 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:  “The New York Times” and other publications that have been attacking President Bush over the past year and a half are starting to concede that his—his philosophy about spreading democracy across the Middle East just may be catching on. 

And last night, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nancy Soderberg was on Jon Stewart‘s “Daily Show” and this is what she had to say. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART”)

NANCY SODERBERG, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS:  These guys really could pull off a whole series...

JON STEWART, HOST:  This could be unbelievable. 

SODERBERG:  ... Nobel Peace Prizes here, which—it may well work. 

STEWART:  Oh, my God. 

(LAUGHTER)

SODERBERG:  And it‘s...

(LAUGHTER)

SODERBERG:  It‘s scary for Democrats, I have to say.

STEWART:  He‘s going to be a great—pretty soon, Republicans are going to be like, Reagan was nothing compared to this guy. 

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART:  My kid is going to a high school named after him.  I just know it. 

(LAUGHTER)

SODERBERG:  Well, there‘s still Iran and North Korea.  Don‘t forget. 

There‘s hope for the rest of us.

STEWART:  Iran and North Korea.  That‘s true.  That is true. 

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, those two, God bless them.  God bless them for joking about it. 

There are actually people out there that are rooting for Iran and North Korea, just anything that would stop George W. Bush from succeeding in the Middle East.  That‘s why I watch “The Daily Show.” 

With me now, the killer B‘s. 

(MUSIC)

SCARBOROUGH:  I still really don‘t get that. 

That‘s MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan, “The Boston Herald”‘s Mike Barnicle.  And we‘ve got Tony Blankley of “The Washington Times.”

Pat Buchanan, are you ready to join the love train with Jon Stewart and Nancy Soderberg and the rest of us and say: “You know what, I, Pat Buchanan, was wrong.  George W. Bush was right.  Freedom is sweeping through the streets of Lebanon.  Freedom is in Iraq.  Freedom is in Afghanistan.  How could I have been so wrong?”

PAT BUCHANAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  No, Joe, I don‘t think so. 

Look, as Nancy Soderberg says, we‘ve still got Iran. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  You are cheering for our enemies, just like Michael Moore. 

BUCHANAN:  Let me be serious.

SCARBOROUGH:  Go ahead. 

BUCHANAN:  Let me be serious.  Let me be serious. 

There‘s no doubt, when the Americans invaded and then this election...

SCARBOROUGH:  Liberated.

BUCHANAN:  Which was a tremendous—well, we invaded and we succeeded in the invasion and we ignited an insurgency.  And we have had a tremendous election.

And then the massacre of Hariri in Lebanon and the election in Palestine has unleashed forces in the Middle East, I think, where people power is coming to the fore.  Now, there are tremendously positive elements in that.  The Lebanese are demanding the Syrians get out.  But, Joe, we‘ve unleashed a whirlwind there.  You have the Shia revolution, which—

Hezbollah is the strongest force in Lebanon. 

You‘ve got forces all through there, some of them fundamentalists.  Some of them hate Israel, as in Egypt.  Some of them are viciously anti-American.  Some are democratic.  Some are pro-Western.  I think we have a revolution under way.  I don‘t deny that.  And I do believe there are positive things happening right now.  And let‘s play it continues. 

But I tell you this.  The revolution, if it brings down Morocco and Tunisia and Algeria and Jordan and Saudi Arabia, I don‘t know that you can bet all of them are going to turn into versions of the New England states, my friend. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Mike Barnicle, is democracy being unleashed in the Middle East a bad thing?  Are you as nervous as Pat Buchanan about it? 

MIKE BARNICLE, NBC ANALYST:  Well, I‘m glad to hear that Buchanan is optimistic that his pessimism will win out in the long run. 

(LAUGHTER)

BARNICLE:  But, look, freedom is a powerful force.  We all know that.  Pat is absolutely right.  There are forces that have been unleashed just within the past year in the Middle East, that—many of which we have very little control over and won‘t have any control over.  We don‘t know what‘s going to happen a year or two down the road. 

But the larger point here, especially with the reluctant editorials hinting at potential praise for the president of the United States, especially from organs like “The New York Times,” Tony and Pat both realize, as former editorial writers—and Tony is still writing editorials—that editorials are based on opinion and ideology, unlike some of the stuff on the news pages. 

And the opinion and the ideology written, especially like on “The New York Times” editorial page, is basically put together by a group of people who think the president of the United States is a dunce and can‘t believe that this has progressed to the point where it has progressed on the good side. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Tony Blankley, that “New York Times” editorial really was a turning point, I thought.  But you can also read I think Kurt Andersen with “New York” magazine” talking about how elitists in New York are depressed because George W. Bush is doing so well, basically saying, hey, this dunce, this idiot was right all along.  What do we do now? 

TONY BLANKLEY, EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, “THE WASHINGTON TIMES”:  Yes, well, look—by the way, I would say to Mike that I like to think that our editorials have facts in them as well. 

(LAUGHTER)

BLANKLEY:  But what I think Brother Patrick sometimes, well, he doesn‘t forget, but he and I would disagree on, is that the reason why Bush started this democracy project was because the status quo in the Middle East had yielded to terrorist threat that we‘re trying to fight. 

So, the president‘s judgment on it, it was worth trying to change things because it couldn‘t be a lot worse.  Now, most people didn‘t think that Bush was going to be able to get things changed.  Now they‘re conceding they‘re changing.  Pat has certainly a point.  I closed our editorial on the same theme yesterday saying that democracy is the best bet, but it‘s not a sure bet. 

We are unleashing forces.  I think, given the alternative of having a situation that had giving rise to bin Laden and this kind of hatred, this is a bet worth taking.  But we have to try to manage the emerging democracies as well, because we are unleashing horses. 

Nonetheless, I think we‘re much better off than we could have hoped to have been a couple of years ago. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat Buchanan, we‘re looking right now at images of the protests in Lebanon.  How nice to see people waving their own flag, instead of burning the American flag. 

And, you know, also, the Iraqis are saying enough is enough.  Everybody, of course, heard about the car bombing that killed 115 people yesterday.  But I tell you what they didn‘t see.  Roll the tape of this protest in Iraq. 

Pat Buchanan, unlike a year and a half ago, those people are not chanting anti-American slogans.  They‘re chanting anti-terrorist slogans, going after the insurgents, going after the insurgents, saying, this is our country.  You‘re not welcome here anymore.  Come on.  We have won the battle for the hearts and the minds of the Iraqi people, haven‘t we? 

BUCHANAN:  Well, there‘s no doubt.

Look, the Shia have benefited enormous by the American invasion. 

They‘ve been repressed.  They‘ve never run a country in the Middle East. 

Now they‘re going to inherit one of the greatest countries.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat, not to interrupt you, buddy, but the majority of the people there, the 85 percent who are not Sunnis, they have won. 

BUCHANAN:  Joe, Joe, but, look, there‘s no doubt, the Kurds have won.  The Shia have won.  The Sunni, I believe they‘re far better off without Saddam Hussein. 

But, Joe, if you held a referendum in Iraq today on the United States of America, I don‘t think it would be positive.  If Mubarak opens up elections, wonderful.  Is he going to let the Muslim Brotherhood run?  He has to suppress those people. 

What I‘m saying is, the Shia have a vested interest.  They‘re going to take over this country.  What Zarqawi did in murdering those people, those 125, he‘s trying to ignite a Shia-Sunni war.  I credit the Shia...

SCARBOROUGH:  It has not worked. 

BUCHANAN:  No, it hasn‘t worked.  The Shia are handling themselves brilliantly.  They‘re taking this abuse, these murders, these assassinations, because they see a prize at the end of the road, which is control of Iraq. 

Now, are they going to be pro-American or pro-Iranian?  I don‘t know, Joe.  All I‘m saying is, look, you got one editorial in “The New York Times” and Joe has got his tin drum out and he‘s, this is magnificent, what a great day.  I didn‘t think you had that much confidence in those editorial writers. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me tell you something.  It‘s not just “The New York

Times.”  It‘s not just Jon Stewart.  It‘s not just Kurt Andersen.  It‘s not

·         I mean, all across Europe, Mike Barnicle, European editorialists that have been bashing George Bush for a year and a half are praising George Bush now. 

That‘s why Condi Rice, Don Rumsfeld, George Bush were welcomed to Europe not with open arms, but they were certainly warm, because they are having to face the fact, Mike Barnicle, that Bush just may have just been right.  And, listen, the Shia, they want freedom.  They want democracy.  The Kurds want that, too.  In the words of Paul McCartney, what‘s wrong with that?  I would like to know. 

BARNICLE:  There‘s nothing wrong with that. 

I will tell you what strikes me, off of what Pat just said and others have said.  I correspond on an average during a week with about 15 or 20 troopers on the ground in Iraq.  They send e-mails.  I send e-mails back.  And it is striking me the disconnect between the reality, the coverage of this war, which, because of the lethal terror involved—I mean, I don‘t blame correspondents for not being unwilling—for being willing to leave the Green Zone to cover it.  They can‘t.  They can‘t.  They‘d get killed. 

But you understand from the e-mails that you get from troopers on the ground that we‘re doing an enormous amount of good over there, rebuilding schools, rebuilding water, sanitation things.  And the people want us there.  We‘re the policemen there.  We‘re preventing the terrorists from getting to more people on a daily basis.  They understand that.  They realize that.  No, they don‘t want us there long term, but they like us there now. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  They really—they really do. 

Tony Blankley, give me a quick prediction.  Will democracy take root in Iraq and across the Middle East? 

BLANKLEY:  I don‘t know. 

I think, very quickly, though, what Pat may misassess—and I don‘t know—he may be right—is that these ancient hatreds and passions that could come in with democracy, it may be that, once they have the chance to have a real modern government, with a decent life for people, that some of those ancient passions will be put aside when they see the reality of a possible democracy.  That‘s what we have to hope for.  And, at this point, we have a better chance than any of us could have hoped. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Pat, Mike and Tony, thank you for being with us.  We greatly appreciate it. 

And I‘ll be McLaughlin.  The answer is, yes, democracy will work. 

We‘ll be right back with a former Klansman calling Republicans Nazis. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘m a Boston Red Sox fan from way back, but I‘ve still got issues. 

First of all, I‘ve got issues with West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd.  Now, yesterday on the Senate floor, the former KKK member compared Republicans to Hitler‘s Nazi Germany.  So, what did the GOP do to incur the wrath of the bedsheet Bubba?  They simply tried to guarantee that each judicial nominee sent to Congress will get an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor.  Now, talk about hyperbole.  Byrd actually said that supporting such an up-or-down vote would be on par with the horrors of Nazi Germany. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D), WEST VIRGINIA:  He never abandoned the cloak of legality.  He recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, he‘s talking, of course, about Adolf Hitler.  And citing the Holocaust, Byrd added that Republicans want to do—and I‘m quoting him here—quote—“incinerate the rights of all senators.” 

Nothing like getting a moral sermon from a former member of the Ku Klux Klan. 

And I‘ve got issues with a sex offender getting off scot-free because he has diplomatic immunity.  Virginia investigators who were posing online as a 13-year-old girl were solicited for sex by Salem A. Mazrooei.  Now, I don‘t know if I pronounced his name right, but it really doesn‘t matter, because he‘s not in the country anymore.  He‘s a diplomat from the United Arab Emirates. 

And when he showed up at a set location to have sex with this fictional 13-year-old girl, he was met by deputies and arrested.  But upon showing his diplomatic credentials, the deputies had to release him.  Now, over the weekend, this sex freak returned to the UAE without being tried or jailed. 

Listen, friends, this is simply an outrage.  Instead of facing the 55 years in prison that you would face if you committed this crime, this pervert returns home without even a slap on the wrist.  My question, where is the justice? 

And speaking of justice, I‘ve got issues with the Daytime Emmy Awards.  Now, nominations came out today and Martha Stewart is up for three of the trophies, including one for best service show for her syndicated show “Martha Stewart Living.”  And Martha knows how to serve.  She‘s expected to get out of her West Virginia prison this weekend after serving over five months. 

But in order to attend the Daytime Emmys in May, Stewart is going to have to get permission from her parole officer, as she will still be under house arrest.  But, oh, how well that house will be made up.  Now, as former felon Don King would say, only in America, my friends, only in America. 

And speaking of only in America, today President Bush honored the world champion Boston Red Sox at the White House.  How good does that sound? 

With me now to talk about the visit is Red Sox junkie—and, my God, I‘ve talked to this guy on my radio show—he is a junkie—and NBC film critic Jeffrey Lyons. 

Jeffrey...

JEFFREY LYONS, FILM CRITIC:  How are you, Congressman?

SCARBOROUGH:  Boston Red Sox at the White House with the president, how good does that sound?

LYONS:  It was great. 

But the president made a mistake.  He said it was the first time they were there since Woodrow Wilson.  Not true.  Ronald Wilson Reagan also had them in there in ‘86, even though they lost.  So, it was not so far back.  But it‘s the first time as world champions.  And, boy, it looked good. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  I‘ll tell you what.  George Bush took a moment to welcome John Kerry today.  Take a listen to this. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Senator welcome. 

Good to see you. 

Only time—I like to see Senator Kerry, except when we‘re fixing to debate. 

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH:  If you know what I mean.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Interesting that he say said that, Jeffrey, because, after winning the World Series, Curt Schilling came out to endorse President Bush.  Take a listen to this. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CURT SCHILLING, BOSTON RED SOX:  The man we‘re about to reelect for four more years, George W. Bush. 

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Jeffrey, just between you and me, I think those cheers were for Curt Schilling.  I mean, this guy is almost a god up in Boston now, isn‘t he, for what he did in the World Series and what they‘re expecting him to do this next year. 

LYONS:  Yes. 

Don‘t forget, though, that he pitches in Massachusetts, the bluest of the blue states.  So he‘s a hero for what he did in the World Series.  I‘ll say that.  And it‘s just very good to see them there.  And I‘m expecting a back-to-back season for them, another world championship. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Will you talk about what it‘s like to be a Boston Red Sox fan?  We talked about it, again, on the radio show.  But talk about what it was like, the Red Sox down 3-0.  And, look, I can‘t—I cannot stop but laugh every time I see this clip of the Sox winning the World Series. 

What was that like for you and like all—everybody, long-suffering fan in Red Sox nation?

LYONS:  It was the only void in my life, the absence of a world championship during my lifetime for the Boston Red Sox. 

And it was exhilarating, particularly the way they won.  If they were losing in games 3-2 or 2-1, something like that, it would have been great.  If they had beaten Minnesota, it would have been great.  But to come back against Mariano Rivera and have the most famous, what is now going to be the most famous stolen base in the history of baseball, and then to come back from 3-0 down and particularly—I think it was the eighth inning. 

And they haven‘t lost since.   I think it was October 18 or 19.  They haven‘t lost since.  This is something that is unprecedented in the history of any sport.  And it was a long time coming.

SCARBOROUGH:  Jeffrey, Jeffrey, you‘re a great—you‘re a great film critic.  Would anybody believe this story?  If somebody—if you saw a film that had this team coming back from 3-0 after not winning the World Series in 100 years, would you buy that? 

LYONS:  Not at all. 

And, you know, my friend Billy Crystal did a recent promo extolling Broadway, come to Broadway and all this, for our station here in New York, WNBC.  And he said, Boston Red Sox fans don‘t—still needling.  And I sent him a note today saying, I liked your commercial.  I love your show.  But there‘s a mistake in your commercial.  It is world champion Boston Red Sox. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Jeffrey Lyons, thanks so much for being with us. 

Hey, and go, Red Sox, 2005. 

LYONS:  That‘s right.  I‘ll be at spring training next week. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

LYONS:  Can‘t wait. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Say—tell them everybody in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY says hello. 

Coming up next, we‘ve got much more.  I‘ll show you video of this, the greatest sports team in the world, after the Red Sox, of course.  And the donkeys don‘t just play basketball. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you stay up late at night asking yourself, what could possibly be more stupid than donkeys playing basketball?  Donkeys playing baseball, of course—that coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  If you haven‘t already been surrounded by jackasses in your past life on the playing field, try donkey sports. 

Now, check out these guys as they trot down the court in donkey basketball.  Of course, the same rules apply as regular basketball, but you don‘t have to dribble the ball.  And, of course, dunking is impossible. 

Now, if you are more of an outdoor sports kind of guy, there‘s always donkey baseball.  After hitting, you hop on the donkey and round the bases.  And everyone in the outfield is donkeyed up as well.  And, of course, as soon as my back is better, you can count on me being out there. 

Now, that‘s all the time we have for tonight, but make sure to catch my buddy Imus tomorrow morning.  He is going to be without donkey, of course, but he‘s talking to “Apprentice” star Donald Trump. 

Also, make sure to go to my Web site, Joe.MSNBC.com.  You can read my latest blog on “The New York Times” and their take on America‘s progress in the Middle East. 

“HARDBALL” is coming up next.  We‘ll see you here tomorrow. 

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

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