Guest: Heidi Bressler, Ruth Robertson, Kent Greenfield, Ric Robinson, Peter King, Jesse Jackson, Julia Reed, Pat Brown, Shirley Lasseter, Shmuley Boteach
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Tonight‘s top headline, will Georgia‘s runaway bride face jail time and big-time debt?
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, no passport required, only common sense allowed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LYDIA SARTAIN, ATTORNEY FOR WILBANKS: This was not something that she planned or that she gave this level of degree of thought to. I mean, she simply was suffering from what was going on with her, and just couldn‘t take anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: The runaway bride‘s lawyer speaks with a new interesting spin on her disappearance. And tonight, a look at a Southern phenomenon and how it may have created this runaway bride debacle.
Then, they are our best and brightest training to protect and defend the freedom we all enjoy. So, why are so many elites on college campuses trying to keep them away? That‘s tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown.
And sexy vixens in music videos, half-dressed girls on magazine covers. Does society hate women? Rabbi Shmuley says yes and he can prove it tonight. We will put him to the test, going up against another strong woman.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome to Scarborough Country.
SCARBOROUGH: The mystery of the runaway bride continues, with many questions remaining unanswered.
Days before she disappeared, bolting bride Jennifer Wilbanks lied to her boss that she needed time off to fix her wedding dress—I have tried that before; it usually doesn‘t work—in an apparent attempt to cover up plans that she was going to flee the state of Georgia. And a Las Vegas television station says that, while police and frantic friends searched for her body in Georgia, runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks was spotted on a casino floor in Las Vegas, Treasure Island, no less.
Did she walk away a big winner or is she now going to have to face up to the music?
Let‘s go to Duluth, Georgia, where Don Teague is giving us the latest.
DON TEAGUE, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Joe.
One week after the search for Jennifer Wilbanks really got under way here in Duluth, Georgia, there‘s still been no sign of her here. She hasn‘t returned home from New Mexico. She has actually been staying at a house several miles north of here, a place called Lake Lanier.
But we do know now that she has hired an attorney to represent her, despite the fact that no criminal charges have yet been filed. And her attorney addressed the media today.
SARTAIN: This was not something that she planned or that she gave this level of degree of thought to. I mean, she simply was suffering from what was going on with her, and just couldn‘t take anymore.
She was experiencing some difficulty. And she thought to herself that if she couldn‘t get through the next few days, that she would have that sort of as a safety net. And, in her view, she didn‘t use it until the last moment. She didn‘t use it immediately. She waited and then just reached a point that she just couldn‘t continue.
I have asked Jennifer, because she very much wants people to know how she feels and to know that she genuinely is remorseful about this and still is suffering from these incidents. I have asked her simply to work on collecting her thoughts and writing those down, what would she have people know. And she is going through that exercise now.
TEAGUE: So we hope to see a written statement from Jennifer Wilbanks herself sometime tomorrow. It‘s expected to shed a little bit of light on why all of this happened. And she‘s also expected to apologize to both her family and the community of Duluth in that statement.
Her attorney, before she addressed the media, did call the mayor of Duluth today to sort of express those same feelings and also to work on or perhaps set up a future meeting, how they might work out repayment for all of that money that was spent searching for Jennifer Wilbanks. That issue is still unresolved at this time. And the big question no one really knows the answer to is when we might actually see and be able to talk to Jennifer Wilbanks—Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, thank you, NBC‘s Don Teague. Greatly appreciate it.
You know, you hear what the lawyer has to say for her, says it‘s not planned. It certainly sounds like it was planned. She lied. She bought the ticket. We hear that she may have erased some incoming cell phone calls off of her cell phone, again, sounds very planned. And why doesn‘t she just apologize to the community? That is what I want to know.
And maybe to help us answer that question, let‘s bring in the mayor of Duluth, Shirley Lasseter.
Thank you so much for being with us, Mayor.
I want to start by asking you about your conversation today with Jennifer—with Ms. Wilbanks‘ attorney. What did you all have to say to each other?
SHIRLEY LASSETER, MAYOR OF DULUTH, GEORGIA: Lydia, her attorney, called me this morning about 11:00, Joe. And she wanted to express to me that Jennifer was very sorry for everything she had done and that Jennifer had actually asked her to call yesterday, but she had not had the opportunity to do that, so she wanted to make sure that she called today to let me know that she was very sorry.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Mayor Lasseter, when I was in Congress, we never had anything like this in my district, but you would have situations where you were trying to balance the interests of opposing parties, and sometimes you would try to keep everybody calm, so public anger wouldn‘t rise too much.
She has had to make your life a lot more difficult as a mayor by not coming out and apologizing earlier. I would guess people in Duluth really feel betrayed right now, don‘t they?
LASSETER: Oh, it‘s been a very crazy situation here. It‘s been over a week, and everybody has been very emotional and upset about it. I think now people really just want to get this back to normal. They want to get business back as usual.
We are really all waiting to hear her statement tomorrow. I think the whole world is waiting to hear this statement tomorrow. According to the e-mails I have received all over the country and outside of the United States, they just want to hear from her what her sentiments are, why she would do something like this. And I think they want reassurance that it would just never happen. People are very concerned that it will happen in other areas of the world and there would be no punishment for the act.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, no doubt. And, obviously, when we heard right after she came back to Georgia that she didn‘t feel sorry for what she had done, didn‘t feel like she had done anything wrong, I know that upset a lot of people, not only in your community, but across America.
Let me ask you, do you think at this point a lawsuit against her, against her family is possible, or will you be able to strike a deal with her attorney?
LASSETER: Well, we are going to certainly make an effort as a city to meet with her attorney and with the family and Jennifer and see if there isn‘t something that we can work out as far as restitution financially for the hours that were spent on this that were out of our normal hours, as well as gas and food and everything like that.
And we, of course, would like the apology, which we have already received via the attorney. And we would really like to see some community service work.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Mayor Shirley Lasseter, thanks a lot. We greatly appreciate you being with us, updating on this remarkable story.
And let‘s bring in now Pat Brown. She‘s a former FBI profiler and a woman with some very strong opinions on this issue.
Pat, you have a very harsh opinion of Ms. Wilbanks, of what she did.
You have been out there saying that she should have the book thrown at her.
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Right.
Well, first of all, Joe, I am not former FBI profiler. So, let‘s get that cleared up. I‘m a profiler and I‘m a CEO of the Sexual Homicide Exchange. I work these days.
Secondly, we are not going to hear any truth from now on. People waiting for this apology from Jennifer Wilbanks, waiting for the story are not going to get anything like that. They are going to get totally fabricated fiction from her defense team. So, whatever she says from now on is going to be orchestrated by that particular woman who spoke so eloquently to say, well, we don‘t have a Twinkie defense, but we have a Southern bride defense.
And I think that is just really a sad, sad thing. She has broken the law, and we should just get rid of all of this foolishness and arrest her and let it play out.
SCARBOROUGH: But, you know, Pat, she never lied to Georgia authorities when she left. She just up and ran to New Mexico, never lied to them. So, what do you arrest her for?
BROWN: Well, not exactly, Joe.
Actually, I believe what she did was stage a crime. There‘s a great difference between running away and staging something that looks like you have been abducted. That is exactly what Jennifer Wilbanks did. She purposely set into motion a police investigation by getting this ticket and sneaking out of town with her hair cut, so no one would recognize her. By making sure she left behind things at the house, as though she was just going for a run, and then disappearing during that run, she knew darn well this would kick off a police investigation.
BROWN: Pat, you really think that‘s a crime?
BROWN: Oh, I do believe so.
If you are staging—if you are staging something to look like
something else and you are causing an investigation to ensue after that, I
believe you are responsible for that police investigation. That‘s filing -
· in a sense, filing a false report right from the beginning.
Now, I agree, Joe, I am not sure what Georgia law will support. It may not support that. But I believe if you—let‘s say I was at home and I cut my hand and poured blood on my floor and then walked out of my house and kicked the front door in and then disappeared.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, obviously.
BROWN: Wouldn‘t people be a little upset?
SCARBOROUGH: Yes. No doubt about it. But...
BROWN: And this is no different than that.
SCARBOROUGH: It seems to me that if any jurisdiction could really nail her, it would be New Mexico.
BROWN: That‘s one place.
SCARBOROUGH: But look what they did. They gave...
BROWN: They gave her a teddy bear.
SCARBOROUGH: They gave her a teddy bear. They gave her an FBI cap.
She calls the teddy bear, we hear, Al, for Albuquerque.
BROWN: That‘s so sweet, isn‘t it? Warms my heart.
SCARBOROUGH: What is your make on New Mexico‘s authority basically—authorities, basically, you know, saying, hey, thanks for coming?
BROWN: Well, I think that‘s ridiculous.
Again, I think the police themselves have to respect their own business, which is to uphold the law. And when somebody comes in and files a false police report and lies to you, they ought to nail them right then and there. This girl is—she has pulled the wool over a lot of people‘s eyes. And let me rephrase that. This woman, 32-year-old woman, not a scared little teenager, a 32-year-old woman, who is pathologically lying, very narcissistic, and, my guess, maybe a little bit of Munchausen syndrome going there, where she likes to create scenes where people pay attention to it.
Let‘s look back in her past. I think we‘re going to find that.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes. She has certainly done that, Pat.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat, thanks a lot for being with us. We greatly appreciate it.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, there‘s some—we heard Pat talk about the Southern belle defense. If you look at the front cover of today‘s “New York Post,” a quote from Andrea Peyser right there on the front cover:
“Jennifer Wilbanks hails from a slice of the South where 32-year-old never-married women are either insane, in prison or gay.”
One woman who has a unique perspective on all of this and on Southern women is Julia Reed of “Vogue” magazine. She‘s the author of the truly Southern classic already, “Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena.” I spoke to her earlier this week and got her take on the so-called Southern wedding.
JULIA REED, “VOGUE”: Everything is a pageant in the South, and weddings are definitely that, especially if you are not old enough, as I was the second time I went—well, actually, the first time I went through with it. I too called off a wedding, but I did have the sense to stay in town and not get on a bus and sort of faced the music, so to speak.
But I mean, it‘s heavy duty. I mean, people were just very furious with me because I was like depriving them of this huge social event.
REED: All these people had bought like about a million dollars worth of wardrobes, plane tickets. It was unbelievable. My mother had invited 1,000 people to this wedding.
But, as I said, the only problem—and I have sympathy for this woman a little bit, but I think she is just—I mean, the tipoff that she is nuts is that she still doesn‘t quite get that getting on a bus, leaving your cell phone and everything behind, and shards of your hair, like little crumbs in the woods, might upset a few people.
SCARBOROUGH: She is 32 years old. She is past that line of demarcation. It reminds me of the scene—and you are exactly right—in “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” You remember the scene where they asked the lady who‘s over 30, are you married? She says no. And the person goes, what‘s wrong with you? Are you a lesbian?
REED: No. Exactly.
SCARBOROUGH: She just sits there.
So, that happens at country clubs across Southeast every Sunday, except they are too polite to say it. They think it. So, this 32-year-old lady decides she is not going to get married after all, again, just adds to her stress.
REED: No, there would have been a lot of pressure. Like I said, this would have been a classic one. It would have been great screenplay, but for the fact that she has likely got some other issues, as her family keeps saying, you know, because I do think that she could have maybe realized that one or two people would have been worried about her. That‘s the only problem.
SCARBOROUGH: Much thanks to Julia Reed, author of “Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena.”
Now, when we come back, it‘s a videotape that stunned America. Now a new twist to the case of the 5-year-old girl handcuffed by police, the Reverend Jesse Jackson jumping in. Why? We will ask him coming up next.
Plus, the war on campus. Why are some elite schools trying to keep the military off of their campuses? We will find out what the “Real Deal” is behind their agenda when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: He‘s gotten involved in international crises all over the world, so why is Reverend Jesse Jackson now jumping into the battle over an arrested 5-year-old girl? We‘ll ask him coming up next.
SCARBOROUGH: The controversy over the girl handcuffed in Florida just got more complicated. Now, you have seen the video. And you likely have heard both sides, that the school was right and the police were correct to handcuff the unruly child, or, as others maintain, as well as the mother, that it was cruel and unusual punishment.
Now, last week, last Wednesday, in fact, Inga Akins, the mother—the girl‘s mother, appeared with Reverend Jesse Jackson. And now, nearly a month after the incident, she has ditched her previous attorney and hired a powerhouse legal team and plans to sue both the police and the school. We are going to be talking to the Reverend Jesse Jackson in just a minute.
But, first, let‘s hear from Ric Robinson. He‘s a former teacher who spent 20 years as a state police investigator.
Ric, we have talked about this before. But, I mean, come on. Let‘s look at this situation for a second. The girl was cuffed, 5-year-old girl, surrounded by three police officers. She was cuffed and she...
RIC ROBINSON, FORMER STATE TROOPER: Actually, four police officers.
SCARBOROUGH: Four police officers. Then she was cuffed and then she was stuffed in the back of a police cruiser. You can‘t be surprised, can you?
ROBINSON: Not exactly the way I would categorize it.
SCARBOROUGH: That they are now being sued by this mother?
ROBINSON: Well, no, of course, I am not surprised, because I thought, from the very beginning, there was a likelihood that there would end up being a lawsuit over this, and that there would be national coverage.
I am incredibly surprised to hear that the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who I have got a great deal of respect for, has decided to become involved in this.
SCARBOROUGH: Why does that surprise you?
ROBINSON: I would hope—I‘ve—listening to his radio show, he talks about taking personal responsibility for your actions. And that‘s one thing that I don‘t think this little girl has learned from her mother.
Jennifer Wilbanks, you were talking about, the runaway bride, has not learned how important to know it is to know that there are consequences for your actions. I saw her mom crying, like her heart was broken. And I have seen the mother of this little girl talking as though her child didn‘t do anything wrong. We have seen it all across the country. And law enforcement has been keenly aware of these problems involving children.
And when we hear about a kid getting shot at 2:00 in the morning and we hear about children on drugs, 12-year-olds having children, they‘re 14, they have a second child, it‘s because they haven‘t learned that there are consequences for your actions.
SCARBOROUGH: OK. Consequences for your actions, I understand. A lot of Americans would say, though, as unruly as this young girl has been, why don‘t you call the mother, say, you know what; we can‘t control your child anymore; come pick her up, and you sit there and you wait with the girl in the principal‘s office until it happens, instead of calling police officers?
ROBINSON: Well, you know, I don‘t think it‘s a great idea to call law enforcement in to discipline children, because really that‘s what it basically boils down to.
SCARBOROUGH: So, you think this was a mistake?
ROBINSON: In this particular case, the mother told these teachers, assistant principal, don‘t you lay a finger on my child. Now, I have got three daughters.
At no time have I ever felt the need to even say that. I taught school for 5 years as a substitute. And you can imagine how difficult that is. I never heard anything about any children that the parents said, don‘t put a finger on my child. It‘s because there was a history with this child, because she doesn‘t know anything about respecting adults, respecting teachers, respecting other people‘s property, and respecting herself.
She is a beautiful little girl with the right amount of discipline. The mother, who needs parenting skills—maybe the best thing for everyone concerned is for that child to be put in state custody, so that she can be placed with somebody who teaches this child how important it is to do the right thing.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, thanks a lot, Ric. We greatly appreciate it.
Now with me, the Reverend Jesse Jackson.
Reverend Jackson, thanks for being here.
You know, when this first broke, I was shocked, like a lot of people, about the images on the TV set. I thought it was overkill. At the same time, though, this little girl later said she wanted to hurt her teacher. Shouldn‘t there something be said, as our last guest said, about personal responsibility?
REV. JESSE JACKSON, FOUNDER, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: And maybe even emotional disturbance.
A 5-year-old child in kindergarten having a tantrum or maybe having some emotional problems, for that, you call a psychologist. You call a psychiatrist. You visit the child‘s home to find out what‘s going on in that 5-year-old child‘s life. But to then, in fact, put that child‘s hands behind her back and handcuff her and traumatize and criminalize her, and then they step further, bring in four police to put her in the back of a car and handcuff and shackle her, that is the overuse or the excessive use of force, not warranted.
SCARBOROUGH: Reverend Jackson, a lot of police officers, after they heard me criticizing these police officers for their actions, said, well, what we were doing actually was safer for the little girl because we put her in handcuffs. She was swinging wildly. She could have hurt somebody. She could have hurt herself. She could have bruised herself. It was a lot safer to handcuff her, restrain her, and then take her out to the car until her mother came.
What do you say to that?
JACKSON: You know, when you saw the kid on TV, she was sitting there calm. They put her hands behind her back. That‘s what you—you saw a calm child whose temper tantrum, emotional disturbance, was over.
They took her to that car, put her in the back of the car and put handcuffs on her hands and shackles on her ankles. When her mother did come, she stood there another two hours, she reports to me and to the lawyer, waiting for them to release her daughter, while they were trying to build a case for assault and battery. When they could not make that case, they released her child to her in her custody.
Can you imagine watching your 5-year-old child in handcuffs and in shackles in the back of a police car waiting as she cries out for you?
SCARBOROUGH: Reverend Jackson.
JACKSON: This is so inhumane, unnecessary and unloving.
SCARBOROUGH: Reverend, Reverend Jackson, I know you have got children. I can tell you, if my kids—if 5-year-old was in the back of a police cruiser, she wouldn‘t be sitting there two hours. You know what? I got to tell you, I think it‘s outrageous.
So, what do we do? I understand there‘s going to be a lawsuit.
Should this really be about money or should it be about justice?
JACKSON: Well, that too, in the sense that, first of all, it‘s a question about school policy.
There are a couple of other cases you are going to hear about in the next few days that happened at that same school. Is it about school policy? Is it about police policy, about Family Privacy Act, putting a 5-year-old child‘s picture on television? In many ways, this 5-year-old child has been traumatized and criminalized.
I submit to you it was excessive use of force and unnecessary. And I would hope that one outcome of the lawsuit would be not just about money, but to end this kind of behavior towards our children.
SCARBOROUGH: All right.
Thank you, Reverend Jackson. I can guarantee you, there are a lot of people out there looking at the video of her swinging away at the teachers who think the police officers did the right thing. I just think there may have been a more humane way to take care of it.
Hey, coming up next, a lot of people out there right now are wondering why a long list of elite schools want to keep our best and brightest off the campuses. We are going to come back and tell you what the “Real Deal” is about elite schools taking on the military.
And then, when Senator Kerry goes to a Red Sox game, who pays the bill? I have got issues coming up next.
SCARBOROUGH: If you look at the way American pop culture depicts women, you may ask yourself, does America degrade their own women? Rabbi Shmuley says, yes, it does and he can prove it. He is going to be facing off with a strong woman straight ahead.
But, first, here‘s the latest news your family needs to know.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, I‘m Joe, I pitch from the mound, and I have got issues.
First of all, I have got issues with Senator John Kerry. Records show that the former presidential candidate billed his campaign for more than $3,000 in Boston Red Sox tickets for a single game. Now, this was a game where he threw out the first pitch. Take a close look. The tape shows that Kerry should have spent more time learning how to throw a baseball like a man.
Now, here‘s President Bush, a Texas kind of guy, throwing out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals game, throwing like a man in mid-season form and also clearing home plate.
And from the president to a wanna-be, I have got issues with Jennifer Lopez. The star of “Monster-in-Law” said: “I would like to become first female president. That would be really cool. The first thing I would do is redecorate the White House.”
Hey, Jennifer, way to strike a blow against feminism without even trying.
And, finally, I‘ve got issues with a performance on “Jay Leno” Monday night. Bright Eyes, one of my son‘s favorite bands, from Omaha, Nebraska, performed “When the President Talks to God” on the show. The song‘s lyrics whack the president‘s relationship with God, finishing with this moaning refrain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): When the president talks to God, does he ever think that maybe he is not, that that voice is just inside his head when he kneels next to the presidential bed? Does he ever smell his own (EXPLETIVE DELETED) when the president talks to God? I doubt it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Wait. That wasn‘t my son‘s favorite group. That was my son‘s group. What are they doing booking them on “Jay Leno”? Anyway, that‘s tonight‘s issues.
From knocking the president to knocking the military, we just marked the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. And while most of those wounds have healed, the anti-war movement today is employing a modern strategy. They are suing the Pentagon in effort to ban military recruiters from college campuses. The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case which will determine if the federal government can deny funding to schools that ban recruiters.
The schools say the militaries shouldn‘t be allowed on campus because they discriminate against gays. The question is, is this legitimate case or another example of elites trying to keep our bravest heroes off of U.S. campuses?
Here to talk about it, we‘ve got retired General Barry McCaffrey. He‘s MSNBC military analyst. We also have Congressman King, a Republican from New York. We have Kent Greenfield. He‘s the president of FAIR, the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, the group that is suing the Pentagon. We also have Ruth Robertson. He is of the Peninsula Raging Grannies, an anti-war group from San Francisco.
Let‘s start with you, General.
This is nothing new, is it? It‘s been probably about 30, 35 years since college campuses have tried to keep military recruiters and ROTC types off of college campuses. What do you think?
RET. GEN. BARRY MCCAFFREY, NBC MILITARY ANALYST: Well, there‘s a lot of issues out there that are legitimate for a campus to debate. It seems to me, though, the fundamental question at stake is civic responsibility.
The defense of the nation is one of shared responsibility, article 1 of the Constitution, Congress, the American people, and finally, those who are privileged to wear the uniform of the United States. So, what I want us to understand is, defending the nation is not the job of Marine Corps and Army recruiting sergeants. It‘s the job of all of us who want to see America‘s institutions protected.
And any of these campuses that don‘t feel that way, it seems to me, our bipartisan Congress ought to tell them no federal money.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Kent Greenfield, you run an organization obviously suing the Pentagon.
KENT GREENFIELD, PRESIDENT, FORUM FOR ACADEMIC AND INSTITUTIONAL
SCARBOROUGH: Respond to what Barry McCaffrey says, because what the general says is something that a lot of Americans believe, that you sue under our Constitution, under our laws, under our government. You have that right because our military protects that right for you. Isn‘t there a disconnect there somewhere?
GREENFIELD: Well, I can see that point.
But here, in this case, what we are trying to do is actually fighting for the rights of all of our students to serve their country, whether they are gay or straight. What‘s happening is, the Defense Department is coming onto our campuses and wanting to recruit, but wanting to discriminate against gay and lesbian students. And what we are saying is that discrimination is wrong, and we wouldn‘t—we don‘t have to be a party to that.
We want to apply the same policy that we apply to every other employer to the military. If you discriminate, we won‘t help you. If you don‘t discriminate, we will do everything we can to help you recruit our students.
SCARBOROUGH: Peter King, that seems reasonable. Don‘t discriminate against gays and we will fight to allow you to recruit on campuses. How do you respond to that?
REP. PETER KING ®, NEW YORK: I disagree, and I will tell you why, Joe.
First of all, no one is forcing universities to take federal money. We are saying that, if they don‘t allow the recruiters on the campuses, they will lose the federal money. As far as the issue of gays in the military, I happen to believe the don‘t ask/don‘t tell policy is the correct one. But what I think is really unimportant. The fact is, that law was passed by the Congress, signed by the president.
It‘s the law of the land. And I don‘t believe universities have the right to use the vehicle of keeping recruiters off the campus as a way to change the law. If they want to change the law, go ahead and lobby for it, do it the way everyone else does. But, until then, that is the law of the land. If the law is changed, I would certainly abide by it.
But the fact is, it is the law now. And universities should be warned, allowing recruiters on campus, it‘s a question of me—to me, it‘s equal opportunity, that students should have the right to listen to the military coming in, to listen to the recruiters. And, as far as the law, to me, it‘s really a ploy to keep the military off, to be using the gay rights issue.
Again, if they feel that strongly about gay rights, that‘s their prerogative. Try and have the law changed, but don‘t take it onto yourself to violate the law .
SCARBOROUGH: Now, the coalition of law schools that are suing Pentagon to ban military recruiters from campuses says the military‘s policy on gays is at the heart of the debate—quote—“If, as the Supreme Court has held, bigots have a First Amendment right to exclude gays, then certainly universities have a First Amendment right to exclude bigots.”
But, you know, Ruth, that‘s tough talk, but, at the same time, like the congressman said, you have had liberal elite campuses for years, for up to three decades, finding a different excuse year after year to keep recruiters and ROTC students off their college campuses. Isn‘t this issue just the latest red herring?
RUTH ROBERTSON, PENINSULA RAGING GRANNIES: You keep mentioning elite colleges.
We—our group supports students in all kinds of academic environments, high schools. San Francisco State has students who are being disciplined right now because they kicked military recruiters off campus, and we stand in support of them. So, this is happening all over. High school PTAs have come up with resolutions to limit the military‘s access to students, because the fact of the matter is, the military uses—they are really pushing ethical boundaries in the way they recruit.
And that‘s of primary concern to us in the Peninsula Raging Grannies.
SCARBOROUGH: But, again, at the same time, though, General, it‘s an issue of tax dollars, right? If they are offended by the military being on campus, then they can throw the military off and forgo tax dollars, right?
MCCAFFREY: Well, yes, sure.
But, again, back to the important point. The important point is the defense of this country. Right now, we have got about 1.5 million men and women in uniform. They‘re volunteers, the best armed forces we ever produced. The responsibility for bringing them into uniform is not Marine and Army recruiting sergeants. It‘s the responsibility of high school principals and anchor people on TV.
We have got to understand our civic responsibility is to impress upon our young people that we will respect and honor these recruiting sergeants and facilitate their work.
ROBERTSON: I would like to question the...
MCCAFFREY: The follow-on question to that is, should they get federal dollars if they don‘t agree? And the answer, clearly, both parties ought to say, no federal dollars, research, educational or whatever, if you won‘t help us defend the nation.
ROBERTSON: I have to disagree with you, Joe.
GREENFIELD: Let me explain the First Amendment argument that we are making here, because I think that is at the core of this case.
What we are saying is that the Defense Department is forcing us to speak. They want to come onto our campuses and want us to gather the crowd and hold the microphone. And we are saying that that‘s essentially coercing our speech and coercing us to be a conduit for a message that we disagree with.
SCARBOROUGH: But, Kent, Kent, let me just ask you that about the message, though. There are so many messages on so many college campuses that offend so many people. Isn‘t that what the free marketplace of ideas is all about?
I mean, there are some pretty extreme messages on both sides of the ideological spectrum on most college campuses.
GREENFIELD: Yes, except that almost every law school in the country has said that one of our core educational philosophies is the equality of our students and the refusal to discriminate.
So, when an employer, whether military or nonmilitary, wants to come
on to recruit, but only a subset of our students, we will say, no, we are
not going to help you. You can come on. They can come on and give
speeches or come on by invitation of suitor groups, but we are not going to
· we do not want to use our resources, affirmatively, to help a discriminatory employer. And that‘s what the First Amendment...
KING: The fact is, the military is fully complying with federal law. If these gentlemen are opposed to federal law, then go and change the law, but until then...
GREENFIELD: Well, no. The federal law is the Constitution.
GREENFIELD: The First Amendment would trump the statute, right? And the question is whether the First Amendment trumps the statute. And we believe it does.
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on. Let the congressman respond. And then we will go to you, Ruth.
KING: No, but the fact is, you should know, until that law is declared unconstitutional, it is constitutional. It‘s presumed constitutional.
GREENFIELD: That‘s why we are bringing the case.
KING: That‘s right. But I am saying, in the meantime, to me, the universities have no right to be taking them off campus.
GREENFIELD: We are not excluding them.
KING: And I hope that the Supreme Court does affirm the law.
And if it does at that time, then, fine. Then I assume that the universities will become the recruiters on campus and give then the same courtesies and prerogatives that are given to private companies.
GREENFIELD: Of course.
Just to be clear, law schools are not excluding military recruiters right now. We are obeying the law. But we are doing what Americans do if we think the law is wrong. We are going to court, and we are saying that it‘s our First Amendment right to not obey. But we are obeying the law until the Supreme Court rules.
SCARBOROUGH: Ruth Robertson, let me let you in.
ROBERTSON: Yes. Yes, the—to say that the federal funds, just give up the federal funds, that amounts to, in Alan Dershowitz‘s word, extortion and is probably illegal.
Universities rely on these federal funds. And federal funds are there because our government supports academic institutions‘ right to set their own educational objectives. And that‘s what they are doing, is stating their own educational objectives. And the 3rd Circuit found that, when that—that military recruiting is actually an expression, and that when universities find that expression in direct conflict with their own stated educational objectives, that they have the right to ban recruiters from campuses.
ROBERTSON: And we hope that the Supreme Court will uphold the 3rd Circuit‘s decision.
SCARBOROUGH: General, is it extortion?
MCCAFFREY: Well, you know, I don‘t want to be rude.
I think that‘s ‘70s twaddle of the worst sort.
MCCAFFREY: You know, we have a civic responsibility, 290 million of us, to back up these brave young men and women in the armed forces. These universities and high schools have legitimate issues. You know, my view, the gays in the military argument is probably within a year to five of disappearing anyway.
I think the Supreme Court ruling has trumped it. We are going to end up doing away with that don‘t ask/don‘t tell policy. But so, it‘s not the issue that‘s important to me. It‘s, do we understand it is our collective responsibility as parents and administrators and political leaders to defend America? And if you don‘t agree with that viewpoint, then you shouldn‘t be taking our collective federal dollars. Go do your own thing.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, General.
And, General, thanks a lot for adding a new word to the SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY lexicon, or a phrase, ‘70s twaddle. I love it.
General McCaffrey, Congressman King, Kent Greenfield, and Ruth Robertson, thank you so much for being with us tonight in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
Still to come in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, do girls just want to have fun or are they being demeaned, abused, objectified and everything else? And Rabbi Shmuley is going to tell us coming up next.
Hey, we‘ll be right back in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: Are the images of women in films, in music videos, and on TV a growing cultural campaign to demoralize and demean women? Or are they a reflection of today‘s empowered woman?
With us now to talk about the issue is Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. He‘s the author of new book that is called “Hating Women: America‘s Hostile Campaign Against the Fairer Sex.”
Rabbi, let me ask you right off the top, do you really believe that American media, that American culture hates women?
RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH, AUTHOR, “HATING WOMEN”: Well, civilization, Joe, has traditionally relied on women to civilize men, to teach them the benefits of domesticity and family over aggression and lechery.
We are the first generation ever that has succeeded in making women more sleazy and more vulgar than men. Everywhere you look, from the music axis of evil of Christina Aguilera and Britney and Madonna, who have made the female recording industry into pornography, to the “Girls Gone Wild” video that would have us believe that America‘s college girls would rather flash their breasts than study biology, to the 40 percent of high school girls who “TIME” magazine tells us wear thongs with their underwear bands over their jeans to high school today, the image of the American woman as prostitute is becoming central.
Why are there women in their underwear jumping up and down when men score touchdowns at the NFL? What is the relationship? What is the connection? Why is it that Abercrombie & Fitch and Delia‘s are selling lingerie to high school girls? Why is it that 80 percent of 16-year-old girls in America, supposedly, have lost their virginity?
Is this really what we want? Do we want to create a generation of women who believe that they have nothing but their packaging to offer men? Do you ever notice that, before a woman goes out on a date these days, she would never read a newspaper to form an opinion? She wouldn‘t go to a library to gain knowledge. She sits in front of a mirror, paints her face, or goes to the gym, because, as far as she is concerned, men are trained and sensitized today to only appreciate her body.
The feminist dream is dead. We heard Jesse Jackson today condemning that a 5-year-old girl was handcuffed. Fair enough. Where is his voice to condemn that the B-word, B-I-T-C-H, has become central to rap music? Is that what we want black girls to believe, that they are bitches? I mean, where is his voice? Where are the feminist leaders? Have they gone silent?
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Rabbi, let‘s bring in Heidi Bressler. She‘s from the first season of “Apprentice.”
Heidi, has Britney Spears killed feminism?
HEIDI BRESSLER, FORMER “APPRENTICE” CONTESTANT: First of all, I would like to say hi to Rabbi Shmuley. We met at a previous television segment, and I always like speaking with him.
BOTEACH: Hello, Heidi.
BRESSLER: Hi, Rabbi Shmuley.
First of all, Britney Spears, you know I‘m going to argue this. She is a powerful businesswoman. It‘s not just about flaunting breast or her belly. Her perfume is the number-one selling perfume in the world. She has a clothes line. She does everything. And it‘s kind of funny. You talk about women being gold-diggers. Her husband doesn‘t even have a job. He‘s the one who is being a gold-digger.
And Christina Aguilera, she has got a beautiful, beautiful voice, but I don‘t see anything wrong with sometimes dressing sexy, as opposed to—there‘s a fine line being feminine and dressing sexy, as opposed to being a slut. And, FYI, wearing thongs out of your pants is so like two years ago. Women don‘t even do that anymore. It‘s out of style, Rabbi Shmuley.
BOTEACH: So now they don‘t wear underwear at all. Is that what you are telling us? You know, Heidi, I find...
BRESSLER: Oh, no, no. Rabbi Shmuley, you are so wrong, because there are so many men that are metrosexuals, that they take more time than women getting ready for dates. So, you bash women about with the rock stars. What about the men? What about Eminem? What about 50 Cent?
SCARBOROUGH: Rabbi, you talk about Abercrombie & Fitch. There are also a lot of semi-nude men in those Abercrombie & Fitch ads, too.
BOTEACH: Well, there‘s two points.
Number one, the Beatles didn‘t have to run around in their underwear in order to sell an album. I didn‘t see that any male recording artist had to flip out their male appendage at the Super Bowl in order to garner attention. Women really have been reduced to having to shock people into getting their attention, because the feminist dream of a woman‘s brain being taken seriously or being valued for her heart is dead, dead, dead.
And even if men were as degraded as women, which they‘re not, I don‘t see any shows called “Who Wants To Marry Multimillionaire?” where the man is being portrayed as a gold-digger? I see “Joe Millionaire,” where the women are portrayed as blood-sucking leeches that want a man‘s credit cards.
BRESSLER: Yes. And he‘s portrayed as an idiot.
SCARBOROUGH: All right Rabbi, Heidi, we‘ll be right back in a second, continue this debate.
SCARBOROUGH: Heidi Bressler, you have Paris Hilton going from a porn video to the front page of “The New York Times” business section, Paris, Inc. Doesn‘t that just prove that American culture degrades women?
BRESSLER: Absolutely not.
I want to make this point very clear. A woman like Paris Hilton or Jessica Simpson, these women are strategizing. They know what sells. They know what men are going to buy, and they‘re laughing all the way to these banks—way to the bank. These women are smart businesswomen. And you know what? At the end of the day, sex sales. Women use it. Men use it. The bottom line, it sells. If you don‘t like it, don‘t buy it, period.
SCARBOROUGH: Rabbi, what do you say to that?
BOTEACH: You know, Joe, I am always amazed when feminists tell me that the ultimate form of female liberation is the liberty to serve as masturbatory material for men. That is not liberating. That‘s the ultimate form of sexual servitude.
BRESSLER: It is liberating.
BOTEACH: Prostitution has been around a long time.
And if women aren‘t ladies, we are not going to have gentlemen. That‘s why women like Heidi, who are beautiful and smart, Heidi, you aren‘t married. And the reason is, even though you like men, you haven‘t found anyone who is good enough, because no man knows how to treat a woman today.
BRESSLER: That is B.S. Oh, my God. They treat me well.
BOTEACH: How many men have you dated, 100, 200?
BRESSLER: I have dated—not 200 men.
BRESSLER: You know what, Rabbi Shmuley? You would be happier if you were gay. I think you would be happier. I am surprised that you are married and you have children. I just want a guy that looks like Bo from “American Idol.”
BOTEACH: I have five daughters. I am raising five daughters.
BRESSLER: I hate metrosexuals.
BRESSLER: Rabbi Shmuley.
SCARBOROUGH: Thank you all so much.
BRESSLER: I love you, Rabbi Shmuley.
SCARBOROUGH: This somehow has devolved into a reality TV show, last three minutes.
Thanks for being with us. That‘s all we have for tonight. Maybe we ought to call them back for an hour tomorrow night, maybe so.
We‘ll see you tomorrow night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
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