updated 5/13/2005 2:08:12 PM ET 2005-05-13T18:08:12

Guest: Bob Dole, Wendy Heath, Steve Clark, Stacey Honowitz, Steven Greenberg, Andrea Peyser, Rod Bernsen, Steve Adubato

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He is running.  He is running.  (INAUDIBLE)  He has got a gun.  He has pulled the weapon.  They are shooting him. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight‘s top headline, gun fights in the City of Angels, as a car chase ends in grisly death.  And a deadly highway shooting shows no sign of letting up.  Is Los Angeles becoming the new wild, wild west? 

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

Another high-speed chase through crowded streets ending in a shooting death, all on live television, just the latest gunfire in Los Angeles.  Are we all watching a city almost out of control? 

Then, the runaway bride.  Newly released documents reveal an incredible, an incredible web of lies that she spun.  And how those lies she told could get her prosecuted, that‘s going to be tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown. 

Plus, after Macaulay Culkin took the stand, things looked pretty good for Michael Jackson.  But now desperate prosecutors want to bring in new evidence from an old case to try to turn things back in their direction.  Is this the information that could have Michael Jackson and his legal team sweating? 

Plus, we will tell you what LaToya Jackson said that could land her brother Michael behind bars. 

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, good evening and welcome to the show. 

It‘s the high-speed chase that everybody is talking about tonight.  Now, last night, a man in a stolen car led police on a 50-minute race through the streets of Southern California, as television choppers followed every mile of it live on the air.  When it ended, the suspect pulled a gun and was shot dead by police in a parking lot. 

We are not going to show you that, but viewers in California watched the entire graphic scene play out live on their TV sets. 

Here with more on the chase, the shooting, and the aftermath is KNBC‘s Jennifer Bjorklund. 

Jennifer, what‘s the very latest in California? 

JENNIFER BJORKLUND, KNBC REPORTER:  Well, we are standing here in the parking lot, where this pursuit came to an end. 

You can see right here the windows boarded up at El Pollo Loco.  There are some schoolchildren in this parking lot.  There‘s a storefront school here that also has bullet holes through it.  We are told that there were about 10 customers in El Pollo Loco when this pursuit came to an end.  Police pulled their guns out after they saw the suspect jump out of the car.  He was a suspected car thief who apparently had stolen a car sometime on Monday in a home invasion robbery.  That‘s the information we have. 

The pursuit went through four or five communities in the Long Beach area.  It was about 40 minutes long, reaching speeds of 100 miles an hour.  The car crashed once and continued, pulled into El Pollo Loco parking lot here.  The suspect had a gun in his hand.  Officers fired at him when he jumped out of the car.  Then we are told the suspect reached into his pocket and officers fired again. 

Long Beach Police say another handgun was recovered from that man‘s pocket.  One bullet went into El Pollo Loco.  Again, about 10 people were inside there waiting for their food, having dinner.  Witnesses say everybody hit the floor.  During this pursuit, a man and a child were nearly run over when the car jumped up onto a curb.  And also, during the pursuit, officers along the way had spotted a gun inside the car.  They knew that the suspect was armed. 

They had radioed that out, so they knew what they were faced with when this pursuit finally did come to an end.  And, in fact, when the suspect jumped out of the car, you heard it from the chopper reporter there saying, the suspect has a gun.  Officers fired at him.  He was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.  Right now, they still have not released the suspect‘s name.  They say they are making notifications of next of kin, and they are going to get the name to us, again.

But we don‘t know very much about him, other than the fact that police say he was a suspected car thief—back to you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Jennifer, you have covered a lot of these, obviously, in Southern California.  What is it about the Los Angeles area?  We don‘t see this happening around New York.  We don‘t see it in Chicago, Atlanta, other major metropolitan cities.  But, for some reason, in Los Angeles, ever since we saw O.J. Simpson slowly move away, going down the highway, it seems like this happens all the time in L.A.  Why? 

BJORKLUND:  It does. 

You know, I have been covering L.A. for eight years.  I got to tell you, you are not the only one that thinks it‘s wild.  You see on the front of “The Long Beach Press-Telegram” here, “Wild in the Streets” is the headline.  They have little excerpts from the end of the pursuit. 

Yesterday, I can tell you, was just about one of the very first warm days that we have had in the L.A. area.  Things seem to heat up when the weather heats up.  This is a car culture.  We are connected by our freeways here.  Everybody is in their car most of the day, it seems like, so maybe that has something to do with it, but why?  Don‘t have that answer for you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Is there a—is there a sense of people living in the Los Angeles area, as you do, that things are getting out of control in L.A., not just in this car chase or the other car chases?  But, it seems over the past several weeks, L.A. has been in the news day after day after day because of something else bizarre happening. 

BJORKLUND:  Well, you do kind of tend to get used to it after a while. 

It seems like the news—the news is always very interesting out here. 

What I can tell you is, in—in the last few weeks, we have had more than our fair share, I think, of—of shootings that have made national headlines, that issue of contagious gunfire that the L.A. County Sheriff‘s Department was facing, with those 10 deputies that were shooting an estimated 120 rounds at a car just the other night, that one caught on tape. 

It seems like, I think, there are so many cameras everywhere.  Maybe that‘s what makes it more prevalent in the news, makes it more likely that people are going to be talking about it the next day, because they actually got to see it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Jennifer Bjorklund, thank you so much for being with us and the report.  We greatly appreciate it. 

BJORKLUND:  Sure thing. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So, the question is, has L.A. become the new wild, wild west?  You have got road rage.  You have got drive-by shootings on the freeway, and now another violent car chase. 

Here to talk about that and whether or not TV should be airing this madness on live TV are Rod Bernsen.  He‘s formerly of the LAPD.  And, also, we have Steve Adubato.  He‘s a media analyst and author of “Speak From the Heart.”

Let‘s start with you, Steve. 

What do you think about—obviously, you are in the media.  You know, in Los Angeles, they run all of these—or a lot of these chases live.  And, of course, last night, because they ran them live, you actually had Los Angeles residents seeing a man shot to death by police officers.  What do you think the policy should be? 

STEVE ADUBATO, MEDIA ANALYST:  Well, just put it in perspective, Joe.  You are talking 5:30 p.m.  I have three small boys, and I am thinking to myself, I cannot imagine my boys, my kids, or anyone‘s kids seeing this video. 

If I am not mistaken—I could be wrong, Joe—there was no delay here on the part of the local TV news organizations who ran the video.  And I also read Rod‘s piece.  And, as I understand the article that he wrote, I think he is upset that there wasn‘t enough of a close-up of the shot.  He believes that you should actually see everything graphically. 

I have to tell you, there must be a place for good taste; there must be a place for being responsible.  Yes, the public has a right to know, but exactly what do they have a right to know and when do they have a right to know it?  Not as it happens, because, that‘s about ratings.  That‘s not about journalism. 

ROD BERNSEN, FORMER LAPD SERGEANT:  Joe, let‘s put this in perspective. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Rod, let me ask—yes, Rod, I will ask you the same thing.  Obviously, you are a former member of the LAPD.  Why do you think it‘s important that we do show this, these type of tapes, and that these stations show them live? 

BERNSEN:  Well, more importantly, Joe, for the last 12 years, ending last year, I was a reporter here in Los Angeles for a major television news station.  And I covered dozens, if not hundreds of these pursuits. 

Now, Steve is a media person.  He said that he would be upset if his children at 5:30 in the afternoon had saw this live.  Well, as a parent, I would have to agree with him.  But what about a picture like this on the front page of “The Los Angeles Times”?  To me, what this represents is what journalism is all about.  It‘s a graphic picture, two Iraqis, one of them dead, both covered in blood-stained clothing. 

As journalists, we are responsible for telling the story. 

ADUBATO:  Joe, Joe, time out.

BERNSEN:  Now, I am not—now, I am not saying that there should be a tight close-up as the bullets impact on the suspect.  However, I am saying that, as reporters, we have an obligation to show what is going on.  For instance...

ADUBATO:  Joe. 

BERNSEN:  Can anybody tell me how many officers fired and how many times they fired?  We don‘t know that. 

ADUBATO:  Joe, that‘s relevant information, and I understand what Rod is saying.

But I think what he is actually arguing is, the better the video, the more graphic the video, then go ahead and show it.  Well, here‘s my question.  Well, then, why don‘t we show the beheading of Nick Berg?  It‘s graphic.  You have the video.  It‘s incredibly irresponsible to show that beheading.

It‘s irresponsible if we had two video of the two young girls, the little girls who are killed.

Rod, are you saying, we should show it because it‘s—quote—

“news”?  I don‘t understand where you are going here.  Where‘s the line?

BERNSEN:  Let me turn the question back on you, Steve, and ask you this.  Do you remember the little girl who was burned by napalm as she ran toward the camera and she was nude? 

ADUBATO:  Yes.  In Vietnam, yes.

BERNSEN:  Remember that picture and how it changed people‘s attitude?

What about the USS Arizona exploding on December the 7th, 1941?  Instantly, at least 1,000 sailors died when that happened.  Should journalists not show those pictures?  Should we have some sort of arbitrary decision that we are not going to show the story? 

(CROSSTALK)

ADUBATO:  Let me respond. 

BERNSEN:  Or show the pictures?

ADUBATO:  Let me respond. 

There is a place for being responsible.  There is a place for some—actually some media restraint.  Here‘s my point.  I agree with you about the pictures of the little girl.  It changed public opinion.  But, at the same time, you and I know that, in wartime, the pictures we actually see during the war are not graphic representations of what‘s going on in the war, because we believe, as journalists, we believe, as Americans...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Steve, I have got to ask you this, though. 

ADUBATO:  Go ahead, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We are East Coast guys.  This doesn‘t happen a lot. 

I have got to tell you, though, if this were happening in my hometown, if this were happening in New Jersey, where you live, and you had cars flying through the streets, around your neighborhoods, down interstates that adjoined your neighborhoods, wouldn‘t you, wouldn‘t your wife, wouldn‘t your family want to know where those cars were going? 

ADUBATO:  Joe, I agree that we would need to know.  We would need to understand to protect ourselves.  But that has absolutely nothing to do with seeing the chase live, seeing the guy get shot live. 

BERNSEN:  Steve, let me interrupt.  Steve, let me interrupt. 

ADUBATO:  No.  Joe asked me a question, Rod.  Here‘s my answer in the next 10 seconds. 

(CROSSTALK)

ADUBATO:  I think we need to know, Joe.  It‘s a question of how you get told.  I don‘t need a graphic video of the guy being shot. 

Bill Bratton, the chief of police out there, says, by showing this stuff, you encourage these criminals to flee the police and make it worse. 

BERNSEN:  I know of no study that proves that.  However, it doesn‘t take a brain surgeon to figure out, you are probably right. 

But answer me this.  A gentleman was watching a pursuit live on television here in Los Angeles.  He took time to shower, change and then drive to a job interview.  He never made it.  The reason is, is the suspect in that chase that he was watching carjacked him.  Now, you don‘t think that the motoring public wants to know whether or not this is going on? 

And besides that, doesn‘t it—isn‘t it our role as journalists to explain to people what is happening, why it is happening, and what they should do if they find themselves caught up in that situation? 

ADUBATO:  Rod, I agree the public has a right to know.  I will argue again my point.  The question is when.

Do you actually believe in a five- or 10-second delay, so a news organization should show—could show some restraint, some news judgment?  Or do you need to see it as it happens? 

BERNSEN:  No.  I think that a five-second delay is perfectly fine. 

In fact, the news director here in Los Angeles at KNBC, he made a conscious decision not to show the pursuit live.  It was his editorial judgment that they were not going to do that.  I can‘t argue with that.  But what I am arguing is, if you are going to show the pursuit, then show the whole pursuit. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Steve, let me ...

BERNSEN:  Show people who are going to run from the police that there are consequences. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me get in here.  And, Steve, I want to read you this really quickly. 

ADUBATO:  Go ahead, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  This is a statement by KABC-TV in Los Angeles, which actually did cover the chase live. 

And this is what they said—quote—“Live breaking news is always unpredictable.  Our news staff was aware of the increasing danger and violence.  We responded accordingly.  Obviously, no one knew shots were going to be fired.  The instant we did, we went to a wide shot.”

Steve, is that enough? 

ADUBATO:  No, it‘s not, because, I have to tell you, when you mentioned the O.J., the Bronco chase before, Joe, you and I know it.  You were in politics at the time.  But now you‘re in the media and you know it.

There are people in our business who were actually hoping that O.J.  killed himself, killed himself.  There are people in our business who actually hope for even more dramatic video.  So, don‘t tell me that because they said we pulled back—they pulled back after the guy was shot.  They knew—a lot of media people and police said they knew this was going to end badly.  Where is the restraint?  I am not saying we should never know.  I just say that this is the wrong way to find out.  It was incredibly irresponsible. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Steve, thanks a lot for being with us.  We appreciate it. 

Rod Bernsen, thanks, again, also, for being with us in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Appreciated your insights also. 

Coming up next, the runaway bride, new details about what she told the police before her story unraveled, her description so precise, it‘s going to bring up new questions about just how planned out her run from the altar really was and whether she should go to jail.  That‘s the latest coming up next.

And also coming up, reports of a last-minute move by the DA prosecuting Michael Jackson.  He‘s in trouble, and he knows it.  A desperate sign.  We are going to tell you what his latest desperate moves are and whether they are going to work getting Michael Jackson behind bars.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  The latest on the runaway bride coming up next.  Police reveal new details about all the lies she told when she surfaced in New Mexico.  The question is, does it mean now she is more likely to be behind bars?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks was extremely detailed in the description she gave Albuquerque, New Mexico, police about a couple that she claimed abducted her. 

Take a look at this description of the abductor: 5‘9“, medium build, short hair, rotten teeth, spoke Spanish.  Description of assault: “Male did not use any force, but he did not use foreplay either.” 

OK.  Well, now that we have cleared that up, with us to talk about Jennifer Wilbanks‘ statement to police and what it means is “New York Post” columnist Andrea Peyser.  She has written about Jennifer Wilbanks.  Also with me is defense attorney Steven Greenberg. 

Andrea, let‘s go to you first. 

My gosh, rotten teeth, short hair, medium build, no foreplay, a lot of description that this runaway bride had.  What does it mean?  What does it mean? 

ANDREA PEYSER, COLUMNIST, “THE NEW YORK POST”: Well, she certainly was trying to say that she was kidnapped.  She meant it.  She did not want anyone to think that she went away willingly. 

I don‘t know.  I don‘t know what she was working out in her head, no foreplay.  Perhaps she was describing her fiancee.  I don‘t know what she was running from.  But this woman, I don‘t know.  She wants you to believe she is disturbed, that she‘s crazy.  She has checked herself into a nuthouse.  The truth is that these were premeditated acts designed to throw the police off the trail, which leads back to Jennifer Wilbanks.  She should be punished. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I was going to say, because—I mean, because of this description, it certainly looks so calculated.  You have her buying the ticket a week beforehand.  You have her making plans, getting on the bus in Atlanta.

And, then again, she gets to New Mexico, and it‘s not—it‘s not the way we were told, I mean, right after—right after she turned herself in to authorities.  It seemed like she was scared.  She—but, again, doesn‘t this make it look so much more calculated, that she actually may be more likely to face charges, if not, universal scorn? 

PEYSER:  Yes, I don‘t know.  Maybe there was some—maybe she was seeking attention, wanting to make herself seem like the victim. 

STEVEN GREENBERG, DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  But this is after the fact. 

PEYSER:  After the fact?

GREENBERG:  Joe, this—and Andrea, this is after the fact, that she is talking to the police.

She talking to the police in New Mexico.  And, by then, the ruse is up. 

PEYSER:  Well, well, well, now, but...

GREENBERG:  I mean, why would we prosecute a lady—why are we going to prosecute a lady who is scared to get married, obviously scared to get married, because she didn‘t get married the first time?  She ran away scared. 

PEYSER:  Well...

GREENBERG:  She didn‘t get married this time.  And so we are going to prosecute her for it? 

(CROSSTALK)

GREENBERG:  I am not saying maybe they shouldn‘t be able to recover the cost of the chase, the cost of hunting, but do that civilly.  But are we going to send her to jail because she can‘t manage her personal love life? 

PEYSER:  OK.  Well, she is giving some very detailed descriptions that could fit a large number of people. 

(CROSSTALK)

GREENBERG:  That‘s so they‘re not detailed, so, the wrong people don‘t get arrested.  So she is caught in this lie, and now what is she supposed to do?  She is supposed to say, oh, I lied.  Her first reaction is going to be a defense mechanism.  I made this stuff up, but now I‘m going to have to go further into making it up. 

PEYSER:  Well, sir...

GREENBERG:  So she‘s going to give this description.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

PEYSER:  I‘ll tell you something.  If I were—if I were...

SCARBOROUGH:  Let Andrea respond. 

PEYSER:  If I were a Hispanic male, if I were representing Hispanic males, I would like to see her locked up.  I mean, she could have led to many people locked up, questioned. 

It‘s only—it‘s fortunate that that did not happen.  But that‘s only luck that that did not happen.  Girl comes in, hysterical, says she was raped, no foreplay.  For goodness sake, they could lock people up just for that alone.  It‘s lucky that it didn‘t happen.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Steven, isn‘t that the real problem, Steven?  Because, when we all first heard this, we were like, my gosh, this is obviously a disturbed woman.  She was scared.  She ran away, went to Vegas.  Didn‘t work out.  Went to New Mexico, talked to authorities. 

But now we are finding out again, from this 10-page police report, she

had, the guy is 5‘9“, medium build, short hair, rotten teeth.  He speaks

Spanish, had sex, no force, no foreplay.  I mean, doesn‘t that—doesn‘t -

·         I mean, how many lies has she just told law enforcement officers?  Are you telling me that this woman and others should be told, hey, it‘s OK to lie to the police just so long as...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Go ahead. 

(CROSSTALK)

GREENBERG:  ... decide by each case.

But look at what she said.  What she said—you can tell—any experienced police officer could probably look at that and tell that that was just total poppycock, that it was totally false, no bruising, no scraping, no foreplay, no nothing.  I was kidnapped by this person.  I was taken halfway across the country.  I have nothing to show for it.  I can‘t describe the vehicle I was taken in.  I can‘t describe where I was taken to.  I gave a description that could fit half the people in America.  That‘s not going to get anyone in trouble.

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  But, I mean, just because she is not a convincing liar—you know, people get arrested for perjuring themselves because they are unconvincing liars.  I mean, are you saying, because she is a bad liar, she gets to walk? 

GREENBERG:  The only person I have ever seen prosecuted for perjury, successfully prosecuted for perjury, was in the Martha—Martha Stewart trial.  And they used his perjury testimony, said it didn‘t make a difference.  They don‘t prosecute anybody for perjury in this country.  They let people perjure themselves every day, and they say, oh, well, we didn‘t know.  They never prosecute people for perjury. 

And they never prosecute people for lying to the police.  We don‘t want to be in the position of trying to be clairvoyant or truth testers and prosecuting people in these situations.  They are going to arrest you now for cutting off your mattress tag.  They are going to arrest you for not lifting up the toilet seat.  I mean, where does it stop?

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  I think it‘s a little bit different. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  What she is doing is, she is lying to police officers. 

Andrea, I want to show you the cover of “The New York Post,” a story that you wrote some time back, a couple of weeks back.  And you said that she hails from—“Jennifer Wilbanks hails from a slice of the South where a 32-year-old, never-married woman is either insane, in prison, or gay.” 

You have had a couple of weeks to think about it.  Which is it? 

PEYSER:  Well, I don‘t believe she is insane.  She wants you to believe that she is insane.  That‘s why she checked herself in.  That‘s the best thing to do.  I was crazy.  I was not responsible. 

She is definitely responsible for her actions.  They were premeditated.  They were vicious.  Now, I just want to—we are having fun and games with this all the time, but I do—one of the motives that she gave for possibly running away was that her fiancee wouldn‘t sleep with her, because he was a Baptist.  I mean, this is just—this is just really quite a crazy case. 

But there are some very serious issues here.  And one of them is that there are cases of missing persons, many of them involving children, some of them involving women.  We have Amber Alerts.  It‘s critical that we take them seriously.  Now, when a Jennifer Wilbanks gets national attention when a lovely bride-to-be, who is all excited about her wedding and everybody says, oh, she couldn‘t have run away, she had to have been kidnapped, and God knows what happens to her, now, what happens the next time?

This creates skepticism for cases that could be genuine emergencies.  Look at the case of those two beautiful children in Illinois.  Are we going to think, next time, well, they could be lying, making it up; let‘s not jump to conclusions?  Somebody could die because of Jennifer Wilbanks.  And that is what I...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re exactly right.  I feel the same way.  Just today in Florida, we had another Amber Alert.  And, again, you have people doing things like this, you‘re distracting law enforcement officers.  And, again, the rest of us aren‘t quite as on guard, because we think that the next time something like this happens, it, too, may just be a hoax.

Hey, thanks a lot, “The New York Post” columnist of the year Andrea Peyser and also Steven Greenberg.  We greatly appreciate you being with us tonight.

And, coming up, we‘re just learning tonight about a prosecution move in the Michael Jackson case.  We‘re going to be talking about that and just how desperate Tom Sneddon has become.

Plus, good for business or bad taste?  A businesswoman is causing is causing quite a stir with her new billboard in Los Angeles.  America is talking about it.  So we are, too. 

Coming up in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up later in the show, my interview with Bob Dole. 

Plus, we are going to talk about the latest in the Michael Jackson case. 

We told you last night the prosecutor was desperate.  Today, he proved it. 

We will tell you how. 

But, first, here‘s the latest news you and your family need to know. 

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Now for the latest in the Michael Jackson case.  A smart move or a Hail Mary from the prosecution?  They are trying to broaden the prosecution, introducing new witnesses and details to this case. 

MSNBC‘s Jennifer London is standing by with the very latest. 

Jennifer, what have you got for us? 

JENNIFER LONDON, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Good evening, Joe. 

According to a prosecution motion made public late last night, the prosecution wants to expand its case by calling new witnesses and introducing new evidence relating to past allegations against Jackson, included in the new evidence, a statement from Michael Jackson‘s sister, LaToya, that she allegedly witnessed a million-dollar payment to silence another accuser.  If that is true, that would be the third settlement that Michael Jackson made with three separate accusers. 

The prosecution is also asking the court to allow them to introduce evidence that Michael Jackson took a number of children into his bedroom while he was under the influence of controlled substances. 

Now, Joe, it is worth noting that a lot of things are happening behind closed doors at this trial.  So, we really have no way of knowing if the defense has responded to this motion or if the judge has ruled on this motion or if he has any intention to do so.  And in other court news, today, the jury heard from a former Jackson attorney, David LeGrand, who said he had no knowledge of any conspiracy to hold the accuser and his family against their will. 

And more news about another one of Michael Jackson‘s former attorneys, Mark Geragos, today, the judge saying if Mark Geragos does not appear at the courthouse tomorrow, he will issue a bench warrant for his arrest.  We understand the defense has already issued two subpoenas for Mark Geragos.  Apparently, there is a scheduling conflict, and the judge saying, I have no tolerance for that, and Geragos must appear tomorrow.

SCARBOROUGH:  Jennifer, this sort of sounds like the end of all those Schiavo appeals, where the Schiavo attorneys kept appealing time and time again on issues they had already lost.  I mean, hasn‘t the prosecution already tried to get in evidence of these 1993 payoffs and been unsuccessful? 

LONDON:  Well, Joe, to a certain extent, the prosecution was able to introduce past uncharged allegations against Michael Jackson.  It‘s what everybody has been referring to as the 1108 witnesses. 

The judge did rule that the prosecution could, to a certain extent, introduce some of the past accusations.  And, remember, the jury did hear from a former accuser, who said:  Michael Jackson molested me. 

And the jury heard from former Neverland employees who said they saw Michael Jackson molest a number of young boys, including actor Macaulay Culkin, which is why we heard his testimony for the defense yesterday.  So, to a certain extent, the prosecution has already included evidence relating to past allegations against Jackson.

And, again, because so much is happening behind closed doors, we really can‘t say what the prosecution‘s motive is for trying to enter in new and more evidence relating to past allegations.  And we certainly don‘t know if that will be allowed and how the defense has responded to it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Jennifer, Jennifer, final question.  Is there a sense that the prosecution is feeling a little desperate today?  Obviously, the Macaulay Culkin testimony did not go well, from all reports, out of the courtroom that I heard.  Chances good that the prosecution knows that they are behind the eight ball here and they have—really has to pull out all the stops to get Michael Jackson behind bars? 

LONDON:  Well, I think it was undeniable that, yesterday, after actor Macaulay Culkin took the stand, that it was simply not a good day for the prosecution.  Culkin was very credible, and he flat-out denied.  He said: 

Jackson did not molest me. 

So, certainly, after yesterday‘s testimony, there was a feeling that the prosecution, perhaps when it puts on its rebuttal case, will have to do something if they are going to pull the nose up. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thanks a lot.  Greatly appreciate it, Jennifer London, outside the courthouse in California. 

Let‘s now bring in Stacey Honowitz.  She‘s Florida‘s assistant state attorney for sex crimes and child abuse.  And also defense attorney Steve Clark.  He‘s someone who has had an inside look at this case from inside the courtroom. 

Stacey, I start with you. 

Do you think the prosecution really knows that they are on the defensive here and that they have got a lot to prove when they get another shot at the jury? 

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY:  Joe, you just keep saying through your whole introduction and through this whole segment that they are desperate; they are behind the eight ball; this is Hail Mary. 

You have to understand how a criminal trial works.  What is going to happen in this case is, Jackson is going to parade in a series of witnesses to say that he has a reputation for good character, that, in their opinion, he would never molest anybody, that they—to their own personal belief, he is very good with children.  He is a fabulous parent.

So, what the prosecution is doing is what any prosecutor would do.  They want to ask the judge, if he is going to parade in all these reputation and character witnesses, we want to be able to cross-examine them with regard to prior bad acts and what they know and what they have heard. 

So, this motion wasn‘t filed last night after Macaulay Culkin took the stand because they were feeling desperate.  This motion was filed last week when they knew that these witnesses were going to come forward, and we want to have an opportunity to ask these witnesses in front of the jury, if you think he has such a good reputation, did you know that, in 1993, he paid this one off?  Did you know, in 1994, he paid this one off? 

So, that‘s what these motions are all about.  It‘s not a desperate measure.  It‘s exactly what the prosecutor is entitled to do. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So, Steve Clark, the defense opened the door.  And so now the prosecutors can put forward witnesses that are going to prove that Michael Jackson is a sleazebag.  Is that how it works? 

STEVE CLARK, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  well, that‘s right.  And they did—the defense did open the door, but I think Mesereau knew that he was opening the door.  Tom Mesereau has been ahead of Tom Sneddon this whole case.  And Tom Sneddon‘s big problem in this case is, by making that conspiracy theory the centerpiece of his case, he‘s allowed the Bashir video to come in.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Why did he do that?  I hate to interrupt you, but why did he do that?  That seems like the stupidest idea of the prosecution‘s whole plan.  I mean, why not just prove that this guy was a child molester? 

CLARK:  That‘s what they should have done.  And, for some reason, they tried to get fancy and use this conspiracy theory.  It‘s backfired on them the whole way.  It‘s allowed Mesereau to get into all of this good character evidence now, by way of the video. 

I mean, Mesereau was able to put Macaulay Culkin on the stand and not only say he didn‘t molest me; I don‘t think it‘s consistent with his character.  And so did the other victims. 

So, why would you call three victims to the—evidence about three victims and let them get on the stand and refute everything you are saying?  You have really watered down your case.  And if—trying to show now with character evidence and impeachment evidence about things in 1993, that he held his child outside of a hotel window, we already know all these things.  That‘s not going to do anything in terms of forwarding the case. 

STACEY HONOWITZ:  Well, certainly...

CLARK:  So, I think the prosecution has been behind the eight ball on this case the whole way. 

STACEY HONOWITZ:  Listen, I—I can‘t...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s take a listen to what Court TV‘s Lisa Bloom had to say last night right here in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

And then, Stacey, we will go to you. 

STACEY HONOWITZ:  OK.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV ANCHOR:  .... admitted on the stand that his attorneys told both sides he wasn‘t going to give any statement. 

You know—you know what is really lacking here?  The 1993 accuser.  If the prosecution would bring him in, in their rebuttal case, and he will look the jury in the eye and say, I was molested, because he was molested worst of all in terms of the egregiousness of the acts.  His mother has testified, but he hasn‘t testified yet.  That could really put this case away for the prosecution. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Lisa said that last night, Stacey.  You were here.  You heard her say it.  This morning, “The L.A. Times” is reporting that they had planned this last Friday. 

Is that really what this case is going to revolve around, getting that ‘93 kid in and saying, yes, he did it to me; he paid me off?

STACEY HONOWITZ:  Boy, I will tell you something.  That would be the most fabulous evidence that the prosecution could bring in.  But I don‘t know if you recall, many months ago, his uncle was on one of the morning shows and he said that this 1993 accuser was out of the country, so that he wouldn‘t have to testify.  There might be some reason to believe that he is fully aware of what‘s going on in this case, has returned to this country, and might be willing to testify.

And I will tell you something, Joe.  If they are able to bring him in and he is able to kind of shut the door on what happened to him and explain to this jury the salacious details of what went on and why he was paid off, I will tell you something.  You can say you are behind the eight ball all you want or it‘s a desperate measure.  It could lock up the case for the prosecution. 

So, I wouldn‘t be surprised if the prosecution knows where this witness is and they might intend to bring him in, because I am sure there‘s going to be a rebuttal case.  It‘s not going to sit with Michael Jackson‘s wonderful parade of character witnesses.  The prosecution is going to have a rebuttal case. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We will see if they have got a plan. 

Steve Clark, you have been out there.  A lot of people that have been out there, that have been in the courtroom, like you have, have all said the same thing.  When Sneddon, when the prosecution finished up their case, everybody kind of looked at each other and said, is that it? 

CLARK:  That‘s right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, did Tom Sneddon come ready to play this tough, tough legal game? 

CLARK:  I don‘t think—he underestimated Tom Mesereau.  Tom Mesereau is an alley fighter and he is so well prepared.  He knows everything about the case.  He knows what Tom Sneddon‘s witnesses are going to say before Tom Sneddon does.

And he has also overestimated the value of both his conspiracy case and also the evidence from Debbie Rowe.  You remember, he anticipated that she would help him.  She totally backfired on him.  So, everything he has done, he has made a mistake.  So, at this point, I don‘t think he is going to be able to salvage the case.  I think the jury is convinced that Michael Jackson is inappropriate around children.

But I think they are also going to say, you still have to prove this case, and you haven‘t done it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thanks a lot, Steve. 

Thanks a lot, Stacey. 

I got to tell you, my personal feeling is just exactly that.  I think Michael Jackson has been terribly inappropriate around children, but, at the same time, I know that the state has got a burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he molested this child, the way the state said he molested this child.  And I am afraid right now it doesn‘t look like they are doing their best to prove it. 

Coming up next, she is using her best assets to boost business.  And guess what?  It‘s working.  What business is she in?  We will tell you right after the break.  And here‘s a little hint.  The kids, they can keep watching.  Don‘t send them to bed yet. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You may have heard about it by now.  There‘s a billboard out in L.A. that is causing a lot of people to turn their eyes.  A billboard that features real estate agent Wendy Heath—she‘s a former personal trainer—wearing a bikini, alongside the family English bulldog with the words, “Got Real Estate?”

It‘s got people sharply divided over whether it‘s appropriate.  And some real estate agents are up in arms, while others are extremely supportive. 

With me now, the woman who created the billboard and all the controversy, Wendy Heath.

Wendy Heath, thanks a lot for being with us tonight.

Let me start by asking, why did you do it? 

WENDY HEATH, REALTOR:  Well, ultimately, there‘s many, many real estate agents in our area, and it‘s hard to break through and set yourself apart.

So, ultimately, I wanted to set myself apart and kind of shock the shore, and, you know, drive people to my Web site and increase my business.

SCARBOROUGH:  Has it worked? 

HEATH:  Oh, absolutely. 

I had 2,000 people to my Web site yesterday.  And then, since all of the craze with the media, I have had 20,000 folks in the first hour this morning hit my Web site, many, many calls from people that are very, very supportive, and then, of course, a few people that disagree.  But, for the most part, it‘s been fantastic. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I was going to ask you, what type of response have you gotten from people that have been calling?  What kind of response have you gotten from other agents?  Have you had feminists calling you up, yelling at you, saying that you set back the women‘s movement a generation with your one billboard? 

HEATH:  I have had one call like that.  And then all of the other calls are pretty much:  You go for it.  Great way to think out of the box. 

Yes, they have been pretty positive.  And I am absolutely amazed that one billboard could cause so much attention, but I am absolutely elated. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What about fellow realtors?  Have you had some realtors complaining?  Other women, other female realtors especially, do they think this is a cheap way to attract business? 

HEATH:  You know, I would say that most folks are supportive.  There are a few that are flipped out.  And I think, mainly, it‘s because they didn‘t think about it first, or maybe they won‘t invest that kind of money in their business.  It‘s a pretty large investment. 

But, ultimately, it‘s been pretty positive.  And, like I had, there‘s a few people that—and everybody is going to have their opinion.  So, you just let them have their opinion.  And I have big shoulders.  And, hey, I am weeding out the folks I don‘t want to work with.  I can tell you that. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

So, tell me something.  Do you think that—well, let me just ask you.  How did you respond to the person that said, and other people that are going to be saying, that, you know, you cheapened yourself; you shouldn‘t have done this; you are degrading women; you are selling your body and not your mind?  How do you respond to those people? 

HEATH:  Well, ultimately, I am a college-educated female.  I am a mother of six children.  And my husband is supportive of me.  And, ultimately, in terms of women, I mean, if I was up there and, you know, not tastefully up there, then that would be something I would be concerned about, by all means.

But it‘s done tastefully.  I have the dog in front of my body. 

There‘s a little bit of cleavage showing there.  And you know what?

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

HEATH:  I‘m female.  So, guess what?  I have—you know, it‘s just—that‘s who I am. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, just—yes, by judging the billboard, yes, you are female.

And I am going to ask actually my executive producer after the show if he thinks me doing that, wearing speedos, will actually help our show.  Probably not. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  Thanks a lot, Wendy Heath.

HEATH:  Thank you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Greatly appreciate you being with us.

And, in a very smooth segue, coming up next, Bob Dole talking about how he won the war against the Nazis in World War II. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hot on the heels of the president‘s V.E. trip to Europe, a new book out, “One Soldier‘s Story.”  It‘s written by none other than Senator Bob Dole.

Now, earlier today, I spoke with the senator and I asked him about his celebration of the 60th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BOB DOLE ®, FORMER U.S. SENATOR:  My thoughts were with these men and women and orphans and children of veterans.  This was sort of their day, the Victory in Europe.  We‘ll celebrate V.J. Day, Victory in Japan, in August.  And that will really mean the end of the—end of World War II. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, there‘s a battle going on right now in Washington, D.C., regarding judicial nominations.  I saw an op-ed piece that you wrote for “The New York Times.”

DOLE:  Right.

SCARBOROUGH:  Thought it was very effective.  How do you think this battle over judicial nominees and the so-called nuclear test, nuclear option, is going to play out? 

DOLE:  Right. 

Well, first, I think it‘s a constitutional option.  And, as I said in my piece, don‘t mess with the rules unless it‘s the last resort.  And I think Senator Frist and other Republicans in the leadership have made that effort with their Democratic counterparts, so far without success. 

But, if I could offer any advice to Harry Reid, it would be, these aren‘t the important ones.  The important ones are the Supreme Court nominees.  Why don‘t you let these seven or eight or nine go and hold your fire until you get a Supreme Court nomination?  Because there would be a lot more focus, a lot more attention.  I don‘t believe, beyond the beltway, the American people really care much about what we are talking about when it comes to justices. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, when you were minority leader...

DOLE:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  ... in the Senate, when you were majority leader in the Senate, I am sure there were several times when conservatives, very conservative senators, came up to you and said, hey, why don‘t we deny the up-or-down vote by using the filibuster?  It‘s the thing to do. 

DOLE:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What did you tell them and what do you tell Harry Reid and Democrats right now? 

DOLE:  Well, it wasn‘t in our playbook. 

I don‘t—I can‘t remember—I can remember some State Department nominees being held up by Senator Helms, and probably judicial nominations where they—where they put a hold.  In other words, they won‘t let you bring it up right away.  But, generally, after they would check background, maybe get more questions submitted in writing, they would come back and say, let the nomination go. 

And I think I can say, without any fear of inaccuracy, that we never blocked a nomination in the 12 years I was a Republican leader, which I think knocks down all these charges by the Democrats.  What we are trying to do on the Republican side is to maintain the tradition we have had for over 200 years.  The president nominates and the Senate advises and consents. 

And you can‘t consent or you can‘t not consent without having a vote.  I mean, if they have a vote and the nomination is defeated, that‘s fine, but let‘s have a vote. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  Senator Bob Dole, thanks a lot for being with us.

That‘s all the time we have for tonight.  Make sure you watch “The Today Show” tomorrow morning.  Their summer concert series continues.  You‘re not going to want to miss it, Reba McEntire.

We‘ll see you tomorrow.

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

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

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,