Guest: Tony Potts, Jay Severin, Rachel Maddow, Max Kellerman
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Teens gone wild. Is this to blame?
And the ongoing mystery behind a paradise lost.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need answers.
CARLSON: From the mouths of babes comes, charge it. Priceless.
And why does this porn queen have the GOP squirming?
Plus, Michael‘s wakeup call. What will become of his sleepover pals?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He‘s not going do that anymore.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Yes, I‘ve got a problem with authority. I‘ll admit that, in a cheery way. Not everyone likes the bow tie, I‘ll be honest. But I like the bow tie. I respect people who believe something, even if I don‘t agree with them. It‘s my opinion, wrong as it may be.
CARLSON: Welcome to THE SITUATION. I‘m Tucker Carlson. Happy Flag Day.
It‘s time to unveil our nightly stack of stories on the left side of your screen. They include news on the search in Aruba for Natalee Holloway, plus a Hello Kitty credit card that targets preteens.
Joining me now, New England radio talk show host and a great man, Jay Severin. And from Air America Radio, Rachel Maddow, it goes without saying, a great woman.
RACHEL MADDOW, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Cheers.
JAY SEVERIN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Tuck.
CARLSON: First situation, did you feel different today? It was day one post-Michael Jackson verdict. And the most interesting development of the new era was an assurance from Jackson‘s lawyer, Tom Mesereau, about the king of pop‘s habit, including having young boys in his bed.
Here‘s what he said.
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THOMAS MESEREAU, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL JACKSON: And he‘s not going to do that anymore because of the false charges that were brought here. He‘s allowed people to come into his life and run freely through his home. And that‘s going to change. He‘s not going to make himself vulnerable to this anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: You have got—you have got to be kidding.
CARLSON: Michael Jackson was first accused of molesting a child in 1993. He kept sleeping with boys, by his own admission, in his bed until at least 2003. He didn‘t stop the first time. Why? Because he couldn‘t help himself. It‘s clearly a compulsion. That tells you all you need to know about Michael Jackson.
MADDOW: You know, it may—you may think it‘s a compulsion. We don‘t really know.
CARLSON: Oh, come on. Yes, we do.
MADDOW: He is not a friend of yours.
What is he, $270 million in debt? And to have this near mess—near miss in criminal court. I think that the low-hanging fruit has been picked on Michael Jackson. And the next people that want to sue him are going to have to go for something more interesting.
SEVERIN: Interesting choice of words there with the fruit. I think so. The fruit has been picked.
MADDOW: That was for you, Jay. Here‘s your softball.
SEVERIN: Michael sleeping alone, but only for five years, until his lovers reach the age of majority, until they turn 16.
SEVERIN: And better news. The manufacturers of Nicorette have come up with a new product for Michael, Kidorette. He‘ll be chewing that to break his habit.
CARLSON: That is disgusting.
CARLSON: And, you know, actually, there was something that I found. I have to say, I think of myself as beyond being offended a lot of the time. But I was offended by the notice on his Web site today, Michael Jackson‘s...
SEVERIN: Oh, yes.
CARLSON: That compared his acquittal to the birth of Martin Luther King, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the release of Nelson Mandela. It‘s the same line we were hearing yesterday from Jesse Jackson, Michael Jackson, civil rights hero. Someone ought to stand up and say, this is wrong. He‘s not a civil rights hero.
MADDOW: Michael Jackson lives in a bubble of his own making. Nobody denies that. Like, Michael Jackson lives in a universe of his own making. He occasionally runs into the real world. But it‘s never pretty. But he sees himself as being in line with all these people, the self-aggrandizement. The people around him don‘t do him any favors.
SEVERIN: Well, the only Web sites that should mention this are law school Web sites. They ought to have the acquittal of O.J. Simpson and then the acquittal of Michael Jackson. That‘s the parallel.
Our next situation is a mysterious one. The two-week-long search for missing 18-year-old Natalee Holloway continues tonight in Aruba, with police now blanketing an area near the beachfront hotel. Three suspects are still being held in the case, but two hotel security guards, Abraham Jones and Mickey John, were released from custody last night. They‘re no longer considered suspects.
Jones and John now say their arrests were discriminatory because they‘re black. Now, maybe they were. I‘m struck, though, that by—at the very beginning of this case, you were hearing people try to make a racial case out of it, that it‘s targeting—there‘s—reporting the story because she‘s white. Now these guys are claiming discrimination.
Maybe it is discrimination. But I don‘t think that really matters, compared to the gravity of the fact this woman is missing. The story is not a race story. It‘s a missing girl story.
SEVERIN: Racism. Twaddle. It was proximity. It was logic. It was police work.
I think this is a case, a heartbreaking case of youthful sense of immortality and maybe a little bit of American tourist hubris. You can go anywhere and do anything and I‘ll be OK.
CARLSON: Yes. That‘s right.
SEVERIN: And it‘s just a heartbreaker.
MADDOW: This case is a total heartbreaker. It‘s absolutely upsetting. We don‘t know what happened. It‘s been a long time now. It‘s very scary.
But I think to say it‘s twaddle in terms of total racism is off the mark, because, honestly, you have to admit we wouldn‘t know about this missing persons case and would not have had wall-to-wall coverage about it had she not been a pretty white American girl missing overseas. The race did play a factor at how much media it‘s gotten.
MADDOW: That doesn‘t mean it‘s not a tragedy.
SEVERIN: Well, Michael Jackson‘s trial wouldn‘t have been on television if he hadn‘t been a famous song maker worth $270 million.
SEVERIN: Crime is committed every day.
CARLSON: And the fact is—I agree with you that her race did play a large role in the fact that we‘re covering it.
However, young affluent white girls are about the least likely of any group in America to be victimized by violent crime. That‘s just true. This is an unusual story just factually.
MADDOW: But we don‘t cover it wall to wall because of the statistical anomaly.
CARLSON: You‘re right.
SEVERIN: No, you‘re right about that.
MADDOW: We cover it because she‘s a pretty white girl. And we do that.
SEVERIN: When Chandra Levy went missing—is that the name of the intern? Do I have that right?
SEVERIN: When Chandra Levy went missing, someone said, how many young women of color in the course of a month or two may have been murdered or gone missing?
SEVERIN: You didn‘t see them in “The New York Times.”
CARLSON: And if you think that was scary, onward to the dicey situation in North Korea and just how crazy and dangerous Kim Jong Il is.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told HARDBALL‘s Chris Matthews, she doesn‘t know if Kim is crazy, because she doesn‘t know him. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell today said, he doesn‘t think North Korea will use its nuclear arsenal because—quote—“They‘re not suicidal.” That was meant to be reassuring.
CARLSON: We know they‘re homicidal.
CARLSON: Short hop from homicidal to suicidal, it seems to me. We have two choices. We can either pay them off, so they can—to stop their nuclear weapons program, which essentially is the tack South Korea takes, paying off North Korea to do anything, or we can try to replace the Kim dynasty. But those are really our only two choices. I don‘t think we can sort of rest easy in the knowledge they‘re not homicidal. Do you? Or suicidal.
MADDOW: See, I think the thing that is upsetting about the whole North Korea situation is that, at this point, our strategy is to count on the fact that he‘s too rational and sane to actually consider using a nuclear weapon. That would be suicidal.
MADDOW: We‘re counting on that. Our policy towards North Korea is an absolute mess. It‘s ridiculous.
SEVERIN: There is no policy.
MADDOW: That‘s right.
SEVERIN: By the way, the Japanese were counting us on being rational at the end of World War II. They‘ll never do it, you know?
SEVERIN: This is—now Colin Powell. This is a policy? It‘s like the old cartoons where they say, I dare you to cross this line. All right. I dare you to cross this line. Now you‘re really making me angry. I dare you to cross this line. This is a policy? Colin Powell is now apparently a four-star psychiatrist, in addition to being a four-star general.
SEVERIN: Or he‘s nuts. How does he know?
CARLSON: Well, he had this line in there. Colin Powell said—I‘m quoting now—“We want to help them make a better life. I‘m thinking, you know, helping North Korea have a better life, not even on my top-10 list of priorities for American foreign policy.
SEVERIN: No fooling.
CARLSON: Exactly. It‘s our responsibility now that they have a better life?
MADDOW: That‘s going to be the argument they start to make, with Bush meeting with this dissident yesterday and Condoleezza Rice provoking and saying, Kim Jong Il is insane, they‘re going to start to make the case that we need to do something about North Korea to help the North Korean people, which is a ridiculous premise for what we‘re going to do.
CARLSON: It‘s not going to sell me at all.
SEVERIN: Though Kim has leaked to aides that he would like to date Condi, so that could help.
CARLSON: Well, if you thought it was rough watching doc walking around in his shorts on “The Love Boat”—and it was—consider the ordeal of two dozen passengers on an April cruise out of New York City.
These vacationers claim they underwent torturous conditions, including getting drilled by a 70-foot-high wave as the ship sped for port to appear on a special episode of “The Apprentice.” And so, naturally, the passengers are filing a $100 million lawsuit against Norwegian Cruise Lines, $100 million for 24 people. That‘s $4.1 million a piece.
You‘d have to work 95 years at the average wage in this country make $4.1 million.
CARLSON: And you still wouldn‘t get it in a lump sum. This is disgusting. And these people ought to appear on television to explain why they deserve $4.1 million for getting seasick.
SEVERIN: About what they would have to pay me to go on one of those cruises.
I saw the story. And I said, here is the rugged American pioneer spirit alive, huh?
SEVERIN: You go to sea. There‘s absolutely no assumption of risk anymore? Everything is protected? Although there‘s the doctrine of contributory negligence. If they turned that boat the wrong way or at a certain time in order to meet a profit-making deadline, then they‘re in trouble.
MADDOW: I mean, that‘s—that‘s the case, right? Because if you go on a boat, even if it is a big cruise ship, it‘s a boat. And you‘re going in the ocean.
CARLSON: Good point.
MADDOW: You can‘t sue for big waves. You can‘t sue for—what are you going to do? Sue the gods of the sea for sending you a storm? It doesn‘t make any sense.
SEVERIN: Yes, well, you can. If you have got a good lawyer, you can.
MADDOW: You can‘t sue the gods of the sea.
CARLSON: That‘s right.
MADDOW: Then you can date Condi.
CARLSON: Well, next situation, the good folks at “Consumer Reports” are furious at the industrious folks at Michigan-based Legend Credit Corporation. They produced the Hello Kitty debit MasterCard. It‘s a prepaid credit card which parents buy for their young kids, who, in theory, use it to learn about money management.
“Consumer Reports” is steamed not on principle, no pun intended, but because the fees associated with the card are relatively high, just like adult cards.
I‘m totally offended by this.
MADDOW: You‘re offended by the cards or by the offense?
CARLSON: I am. I‘m offended by the idea that anybody is trying to acclimate kids to the use of credit cards, because credit cards disassociate in a child‘s or adult‘s mind the connection between money and work. And you want kids to know, money is hard to make. You‘ve got to work to get it. And credit cards work that.
MADDOW: This is Joe Camel for the credit card industry.
MADDOW: This is to get kids used to the idea of being in debt. It‘s crazy.
SEVERIN: To manage money like their folks.
SEVERIN: As you mentioned.
Also, I understand it‘s the—the first one is the Hello Kitty crushing debt card.
SEVERIN: And if you do pretty well with it, then you get the Hello Kitty platinum bankruptcy card.
CARLSON: It‘s all preparation for the SpongeBob SquarePants mutual funds.
MADDOW: You know, on a serious note, though, I think that somebody ought to be making a political issue about the fact that having so much consumer debt in this country is really bad for the country. It‘s bad for our security as a country. It‘s bad for our economic future.
And Congress keeps rolling over and just giving the credit card industries everything—credit card industry—everything they want with every new tactic they try. Somebody needs to stand up on this.
CARLSON: People ought to pay their own bills, though.
MADDOW: People ought to pay their own bills.
MADDOW: But the credit card companies ought to be held to account for the tactics they use to get people into debt. I think it‘s usurious.
CARLSON: I tend to sort of agree with that.
MADDOW: Oh, my God.
CARLSON: Sort of.
CARLSON: Coming up on THE SITUATION, there was chaos outside the courthouse when Michael Jackson‘s fate was revealed. Wait until you hear about the chaos behind the scenes. It‘s amazing. It‘s next. And the press was responsible for it.
Plus, maybe Howard Dean should be a little bit more like Ronald Reagan. There‘s a Dean sympathizer at “The Houston Chronicle,” sort of, who thinks so.
Titillated? Stick around.
CARLSON: Coming up, you saw the unbridled chaos in Santa Maria after Michael Jackson was acquitted. Now hear about the crazy situation going on behind scenes when we come back.
CARLSON: Welcome back to THE SITUATION and our “Free Speak” segment.
The media chaos continues after the end of the Michael Jackson case. Newsrooms across the country are still booking guests for their post-trial coverage, including here.
Tonight, I‘m happy to welcome Tony Potts. He‘s the weekend co-anchor and correspondent for “Access Hollywood.” He‘s covered the Michael Jackson case, especially the media and its aggressive pursuit of...
TONY POTTS, “ACCESS HOLLYWOOD”: Yes.
CARLSON: ... of the principal players in this story.
Tony, thanks a lot for joining us.
POTTS: You‘re welcome, Tucker. Great to be here.
CARLSON: What was it like yesterday? You were there after the verdict came down.
POTTS: It was absolutely crazy. It was chaos.
I‘ve covered a lot of major events in the sporting world as well, Super Bowl, things like that. When that ends, people go crazy, run around. It was like that. I actually was witnessing after the verdict—they took all the jurors into these two white vans. They did it every day. And they took them out the back. And they drove them to a specified spot where they parked. It was enclosed by a fence and barbed wire.
And then, when I got there, all the bookers from all the major networks—and there were a number of them—were all there with all these envelopes in their hands, all these wonderful envelopes. And there were bookers from around the country—around the world as well for international journalists.
And they were waiting patiently as one by one each one of these jurors drove out in their cars. And they rushed up to them and all screaming at them. And it was almost like they were throwing lottery money at them. Here, here, take my envelope. Here, talk to us. I‘m from—I‘m from “GMA.” I‘m from “The Today Show.” It was absolute...
CARLSON: Were they pushing each other out of the way?
POTTS: They were pushing—yes. Well, not physically, like this.
But they were actually pushing each other, trying to muscle in. You had cameras above trying to get the angles. And it was interesting to see as they left and drove one by one. They were a little shocked, I think, about what happened. But you could see the drivers, the jurors, put the envelopes and put them down, put the other envelope and put them down.
What I think is amazing, Tucker, is how “GMA” was able to get the Disney jet and get those jurors on that chartered jet all the way to New York. But, then again, you think about it. Who can say no to Mickey Mouse, right?
CARLSON: Well, that‘s—that‘s a great point.
CARLSON: What was in the envelope? Are you saying there was cash in the envelopes?
POTTS: No, no, no.
But what I‘m saying is, it‘s like a lottery. If these people go on television and—and—and to get this kind of exposure is like winning the lottery. People would love to have this. In the envelopes, from what I understand, could be and might have been letters from the major anchors, the talent, maybe a Matt Lauer, maybe a Katie Couric, a Diane Sawyer, saying, hey, we‘d really like you to be on our show. It‘s this, that and the other thing.
We‘ll take care of you. We‘ll treat you right, what have you. We‘re honorable broadcasters. Those are the kind of letters that are in there to kind of swoon those jurors, because—or sway them as well—because here‘s the deal. How many people get a letter from Katie Couric signed on the dotted line like that? So, that‘s—that‘s part of the allure on that.
It was absolute pandemonium. And then they all drove away. And then stage three after that. They followed them to their homes. And, by the way, up until this verdict, they had been researching where they live, who are their best friends, who are the neighbors, doing all this research. It was absolutely incredible to watch this chaos erupt and see the pressure.
And I can tell you, your viewers another thing. I was up at 3:30 this morning, West Coast time. As you know, “The Today Show” got Tom Mesereau exclusively at 7:00 East Coast time, so, 4:00 our time. We‘re there. It‘s in this mall in little Santa Maria, California, right? We‘re waiting outside.
There‘s Mesereau there. You can see Mesereau. He comes out after “The Today Show” interview. Who is standing by in a car sweating bullets waiting to take him to the next thing? A “GMA” producer, who says to me, Tony, you‘ve got to let me have him right now. Don‘t ask him a question. I have got 11 minutes, man, to get him over to my show. Just let him go.
So, we talked a little bit, let him go. But it was—you would see this poor guy. It was like he had his job on the line. And that‘s what people don‘t see, under the cover of darkness, the booking wars between “GMA,” “The Today Show” and, to a lesser extent, but still the same, CBS. And it happens in the middle of the night a lot of times rushing the guests from here to there.
CARLSON: So, let‘s say—I mean, it seems to me, the great booking of all out of this story will, of course, be Michael Jackson.
CARLSON: What would the—what would the pitch be? Let‘s say you wanted to book Michael Jackson. What would you say to his handlers?
POTTS: Well, I think—I think the pitch would be to treat him fairly and to understand that we‘ll have full editing powers. I‘m sure he would want that. And that may be a drawback for us. But we would treat him fairly. We would do probably five pieces.
We would probably do an entire week‘s worth of Michael Jackson, covering each individual segments and what have you. I don‘t think we would—we would not allow him to approve questions at all. I think what‘s going to happen...
CARLSON: Well, that‘s not much of a pitch, Tony. I mean, you‘re not giving him any control and you‘re not paying him any money? Why would he want to go with you?
POTTS: Because, A, we can‘t—we don‘t pay money. B—and, B, he needs positive publicity, any which way he can go. I think what is going to happen is that I see Geraldo out of the corner of my eye slithering up through the hills.
POTTS: I do.
CARLSON: Well, was does Geraldo have that you don‘t have?
POTTS: Geraldo has—that‘s a loaded question.
I—I—I started off in journalism way back when and—and have had a set of ethics and a set of things that I will not do. I will not say positive things about people, so, later, I‘ll be able to get the interview. I will not do—I just can‘t do that kind of stuff. I have to be able to look at myself in the mirror at night and sleep soundly.
And there are certain things that I won‘t do. Whether Geraldo is doing them or not or has done them in the not or past—in the past—you can be the judge of that.
POTTS: But I saw Geraldo at Neverland Ranch. I was on Neverland Ranch about two months ago.
CARLSON: All right.
POTTS: And I saw how he saddled up to—to—to Michael.
So, Geraldo is in there. But, also, Mesereau did—Mesereau did “The Today Show” this morning because of Katie Couric.
CARLSON: All right.
POTTS: So, do not count out Katie Couric...
CARLSON: Well, Tony, I hope—my personal favorite for this is you.
I hope you book Michael Jackson and beat out Geraldo.
POTTS: I would love to.
CARLSON: Tony Potts, thank you. We‘d love to see it.
POTTS: Thank you.
CARLSON: We‘ll play it on our show. Thanks a lot.
Still ahead on THE SITUATION, an arrest warrant is out for a polygamous sex leader who arranged the marriage of a 16-year-old girl. So, why won‘t a local sheriff bring him in? We have the details.
And porn-star-turned-politico Mary Carey is causing a ruckus at a Republican fund-raiser. She‘s paid and she‘s going, but not everyone wants her there, if you can imagine..
We‘ll be right back.
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MARY CAREY, ADULT FILM STAR: I like Arnold. He‘s Republican. And I think that—I don‘t think I could beat him. So, I think I want to run for lieutenant governor with him. And I have noticed lately he has been down in the polls. So, I definitely can help him get back up in the polls.
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CARLSON: Welcome back to THE SITUATION.
Time for “Op-Ed Op-Ed.” We read literally every editorial page in America, or most of them, anyway. So you don‘t have to. In any case, we have got three of the best to which Jay, Rachel and I will offer our retorts.
MADDOW: Very good.
CARLSON: First up, Neal Justin with “The Minneapolis Star-Tribune” writes about the media circus of the Michael Jackson trial. He writes this: “You could practically hear the anchors salivating into their mikes, hoping for guilty verdicts. That result would have made for a real thriller. Just imagine if Jackson faints or tries to kill himself or, oh, the tragedy, oh, ratings.”
In other words, Michael Jackson slept with boys. The fans are creeps.
But you know who is really bad in this case? The press. Give me a break. It‘s ridiculous. Moreover, to the point, this was a circus and covered like a circus. Of course, it was covered like a circus. It was intrinsically a circus.
MADDOW: But, you know, I think it‘s important to know that, out of all the anchors and all of the TV commentators who made predictions about what the verdict was going to be, basically, everybody predicted he was going to be guilty.
And what that says to me is that the media couldn‘t get in there to televise the proceedings, decided instead to report on what they knew about him publicly, which is that he‘s a weirdo, and then reported on that verdict, rather than actually reporting on the court‘s verdict. I think the media believed its own hype.
SEVERIN: Guilty on two counts.
One, I wanted to see the sheer theater, the melodrama of his being found guilty. And I wanted to see his fans run amok. Yes, I‘m guilty of that. And, number two, there‘s a little bit involved here, too, with the justice, the sense of justice. This guy sleeps with children. And that sort of equates to me to wanting to see a guilty verdict, guilty on both counts.
CARLSON: I‘m glad you admit it. That‘s the first step.
SEVERIN: Thank you.
MADDOW: I convicted...
SEVERIN: One segment at a time. One segment at a time.
CARLSON: Today‘s “Washington Post” weighs in on the Senate‘s long overdue apology for its inaction over lynching—quote—“The resolution adopted yesterday in the Senate apologizing to the victims of lynching and their descendants for the Senate‘s failure to pass anti-lynching bills could have been approved any time during the past 65 years.”
Look, I object to this. As much as lynching, obviously, and every American agrees with this is a crime of unimaginable magnitude, I object to this on principle. You can only apologize for things you have done. You can‘t apologize on behalf of dead people, on behalf of their victims who are also dead. It just doesn‘t work. In America, you‘re responsible for what you do. Moreover, the Senate never lynched anybody. If there‘s any apology to be made, it‘s from the small towns in the South that allowed lynching to go on.
MADDOW: Of the thousands of people who were lynched in this country, less than 1 percent of them ever had people go after them for committing those crimes.
And the federal lynching legislation could have a made a difference there. The Senate, as an institution, does deserve to give an apology on this. What I want to know is why did this happen on a voice vote instead of a roll call vote? Why did 20 senators decide not to co-sponsor this thing? And why didn‘t the two senators from Mississippi, including Trent Lott, which has had the most lynchings of any state, why did they not co-sponsor this resolution?
SEVERIN: I disagree with you, Tucker. If the United States Senate was the United States Senate of 100 years ago, I would say that this is fluff.
But America‘s great deliberative body regularly convenes to establish, like, national cheese ball day.
SEVERIN: And I think that, if they‘re in the business of doing that, then it behooves them to recognize and express regret for racism and murder. I think it‘s entirely appropriate.
CARLSON: All right.
Kathleen Parker of “The Houston Chronicle” says the problem with Howard Dean isn‘t with his message, but in how he delivers it—quote—
“It‘s not the something, in other words, so much as the messenger. Put Dean‘s same words in the mouth of a Ronald Reagan and no one would blink. Like Dean, Reagan said what he thought. But he didn‘t give the impression he was about the pop his buttons with a sort of earnestness that makes you want to hand him a Valium.”
Actually, Howard Dean said—quote—“I hate Republicans and all they stand for.” You cannot imagine Ronald Reagan saying that. You can‘t imagine most sane people saying that. The message of that is that you are a member of the other political party. I hate you. You‘re evil. You‘re criminal, essentially.
That is literally revealing of an authoritarian caste of mind. If you disagree with me politically, you‘re less than human. I can‘t imagine any mainstream politician saying that, Democrat or Republican.
MADDOW: Oh, come on. Come on. Oh, you go first.
SEVERIN: May I nominate for co-chairmanship of the Democrat National Committee Kathleen Parker.
Howard Dean is failing because Reagan‘s beliefs and values resonated with voters and Dean‘s do not. It‘s not a stylistic matter. It‘s a substantive, guts, heart and mind matter. And that‘s why Dean is killing them with voters in the red states, without which they‘re going to lose again and again.
MADDOW: I disagree with both of you, which is why I‘m here.
MADDOW: But I have to say that you‘re wrong about...
CARLSON: One of the many reasons.
MADDOW: Thank you. Cheers.
And my charm, I know.
But, listen, Dick Cheney was the one who came out to criticize Howard Dean and started impugning Howard Dean‘s mother recently. I mean, it‘s not like Democrats have a monopoly on taking on the other party in harsh terms.
But the situation with Howard Dean, you know, the Democrats elected a fire-breather as their chair. They knew who they were getting. And so, we have got Howard Dean. And establishment Democrats and Republicans don‘t like what he‘s saying. But I think that his message is resonating. And I don‘t think you can count him off...
CARLSON: Well, that‘s a shame.
MADDOW: ... because Republicans tell you to.
CARLSON: That‘s a shame. And the next time a Republican or independent or Green Party voter or anybody gets up and says, I hate all people who are in the other party simply because they‘re in the other party, I will denounce that person on this show, because I think it‘s wrong.
MADDOW: Fair enough.
CARLSON: Rachel, Jay, stand by.
Coming up, everyone knows you shouldn‘t smoke, but is it fair for a big city government to say you can‘t smoke in your own home?
Plus, will playing video games filled with blood and gore turn our kids into violent criminals? Our outsider gives—gives us his take next.
So, don‘t, under any circumstances, change the channel. It‘s worth sticking around.
CARLSON: Welcome back to THE SITUATION, where around this time every night, we‘re going to refresh our stack of stories and dive right back into the news. Joining me once again, radio legends and friends from way back, Jay Severin and Rachel Maddow.
First up, Rulon Jeffs, a leader of a polygamist sect in the Southwest, has reportedly moved from Arizona to El Dorado, Texas. The rub is that Jeffs is facing indictment in Arizona for arranging a marriage of a 28-year-old man with a 16-year-old woman, or a girl, depending on your point of view. Though aware of Jeffs‘ presence in his West Texas County, the local sheriff told the “Houston Chronicle” he will not pursue Jeffs on the Arizona charges.
And I sort of—I mean, leaving aside the Jeffs, it brings up the question of, why is polygamy wrong? If you‘re for gay marriage, and a lot of Americans are, it‘s kind of hard to argue against gay marriage, isn‘t it? Once you accept the notion that marriage should not be limited to just one man and one woman, what exactly is the argument against polygamy among consenting adults? And in many states, 16 is the age of consent. So she‘s not a child in this state.
SEVERIN: Well, I was just going to say, point of order here. One of the at least equally important issues is, it‘s not our opinion whether or not she is a child or was a child. She either was or was not, based on the state of her residence.
CARLSON: Right. But what I‘ve always longed to hear, the argument against polygamy from people who support, you know, redefining marriage...
MADDOW: Why are you dragging my people into the polygamous—we have nothing to do with this. This has nothing to do with gay marriage.
SEVERIN: I agree.
MADDOW: Gay marriage says, listen, if you recognize unions between one person and one other person as a civilly recognized thing that gives you thousands of federal rights, then you should give that to two people who fall in love because of they‘re...
CARLSON: And I do not, in any way, mean to open up a conversation about gay marriage. Beyond this, though...
MADDOW: But you did.
CARLSON: Well, tell me this, what is wrong with polygamy?
MADDOW: Polygamy is something that we don‘t recognize in our culture.
CARLSON: But why shouldn‘t we?
MADDOW: Well, if you want to have a public debate about it, you can make the case. And we can see how it goes.
CARLSON: I‘m hoping to start one here.
SEVERIN: People regard it as a religious right, I mean, a deeply religious right among some very religious people.
MADDOW: If they want to legalize polygamy, they can make that case. In this situation, we‘re talking about a 16-year-old girl having an arranged marriage...
SEVERIN: Well, she‘s not a girl. Depending on the state of her residence, she may not be a girl. She may be a woman.
MADDOW: And in the state of residence, is that the basis on which this one is being decided? I‘m not sure it comes to it...
CARLSON: If you thought that was controversial and blood-pressure elevating, listen to this. There‘s an ongoing situation involving the U.S. Armed Forces and their dwindling number of recruits. So can American afford to discharge soldiers who are gay? A new report by a gay rights group claims the Armed Forces are losing critical specialists under the military‘s don‘t ask, don‘t tell ban on gay personnel.
I have no doubt that the military, like all big bureaucracies, makes the wrong call and probably singles out people who don‘t deserve it and discharges them for the wrong reasons, and so it‘s a messy situation. I am, however, comfortable with allowing the military to make that decision, the decision being what‘s best for them, because in the end, they‘re not there to foster individual rights, but to win wars. If they think it helps them win wars, I think we should let them.
MADDOW: But this is the statistic that gives lie to their whole argument on that. Since 9/11, the number of people discharged under don‘t ask, don‘t tell has dropped by 47 percent. We‘ve been at war, basically, since 9/11. So if we let the military make this decision, they‘ve always said, we don‘t want gay people serving hope openly in the Armed Forces because it hurts military readiness, it hurts unit cohesion.
Well, you would think that, when we‘re at war, they would especially want those people who are dangers to military readiness and cohesion out. But instead, while we‘re at war, they‘re keeping them in. The military is keeping gay people in the military while we‘re at war. That gives lie to the whole argument against it.
SEVERIN: I‘m afraid talking about this as a matter of social work really diminishes what we‘re really talking about. It‘s killing people, and the ability to kill people better than other people. To defend us, welcome all qualified warriors, no gender-norming, no sexual orientation. Everybody who is big and bad and can kick butt should be in uniform, if they want to be.
I don‘t care their gender. I don‘t care their sexual orientation. I don‘t care if they‘re from Neptune. Give me the biggest, baddest soldiers there are. But don‘t norm anything, don‘t give anyone any breaks. Welcome warriors. Disqualify those who are not qualified.
CARLSON: All right.
Next situation. African leaders tell President Bush, “Thanks for promising aid money. Now please send it.” The presidents of five African nations, quote, “complained bitterly,” end quote, that the administration hadn‘t sped up disbursement money through the Millennium Challenge Account which gives money to poor countries that show commitments to democracy and sound economic policies.
Mr. Bush pledged to speed things up, but I wish he hadn‘t. The president of Botswana complained to the “New York Times” today, that, you know, where‘s the money? This is a guy that was a personal friend of Robert Mugabe‘s in Zimbabwe, who‘s destroyed that country, and some of the neighboring countries.
But the point is, if aid doesn‘t buy us respect from countries in Africa, or Asia, or anywhere, then what‘s the point of giving it? If we‘re going to be treated contemptuously by countries whose leaders show up here and say, “Where‘s the money, pal,” why are we giving them money in the first place?
SEVERIN: Evidently many of the rich African traditions do not include, “Don‘t bite the hand that feeds you.” What‘s the deal with this complaining?
MADDOW: But you guys—you‘re saying giving. You‘re talking about the hand that feeds. Here‘s the problem. We‘ve made these big announcements about the aid that we‘re giving. We told them what they‘re getting. We‘ve told them to get ready for it, and then we haven‘t given it to them. This is a simple matter of us saying, “You‘re getting the money,” and then us not writing the checks.
CARLSON: Well, no, but there are strings attached. It‘s money contingent on commitments...
SEVERIN: Gifts are conditional.
CARLSON: ... of their government. But, look, Africa has not improved over the past 45 years when we‘ve been giving all this aid. Life expectancy has not risen. In fact, it‘s gone down. There have been more wars, not fewer. Don‘t you get the feeling sometimes we give aid to feel better about ourselves and don‘t care about the results of it?
SEVERIN: Absolutely. Also, as a result of not making provisions, not making conditions and strings attached, we‘re underwriting all of these other things, war, and genocide, and everything else. All we need to say is, “Improve the conditions, and we‘ll give you more money.” By giving it with no strings, we‘re giving these guys free reign.
MADDOW: But if we‘re saying we‘re giving it, we have got to give it.
SEVERIN: Well, we don‘t have to.
CARLSON: Here‘s a threat you may not have been aware of: Low blood sugar. It‘s now a murder defense.
Steve David Garcia, Jr., (ph) a diabetic, was convicted of trying to kill his wife by beating her with a hammer then running her over with his car in 1999. His planned defense was, quote, “low blood sugar,” but the first court would not allow it. The Colorado Supreme Court now has sided with him, saying he should have a chance to prove he was involuntarily intoxicated and incapable of following that law.
I know a lot of insulin-dependent diabetics. I had no idea how dangerous they were, never in my life until now.
SEVERIN: This proves that the members of the Colorado Supreme Court themselves are suffering from...
CARLSON: Involuntarily intoxicated?
SEVERIN: And back to the doctrine of contributory negligence, the question is, did this rampage result from his wife‘s cooking? I think that‘s a legitimate question.
MADDOW: What I think is interesting is “involuntary intoxication.” That if you went out and you ate lots of cough drops on purpose to get hammered, then you would be in trouble. But if you had lots of cough drops and didn‘t know it was going to make you hammered, then you‘d be out of the...
CARLSON: Well, you know, we should point out, you were referring to a previous decision by the Colorado Supreme Court that actually determined that you could involuntarily intoxicated from cough drops.
MADDOW: Involuntary, if you didn‘t know you were going to get hammered. It‘s very strange. Sorry about the hammer there. Bad pun, yes.
CARLSON: A.P. writer Elaine Kurtenbach reports that Microsoft, who it should be noted is our corporate partner, has a new China-based Web portal which dispenses scolding messages when users type words like “freedom” and “human rights” into the Internet subject lines.
In other words, to do business in China, Microsoft has yielded to the will of the Chinese government. The advocacy group Reporters without Borders is unhappy, not only with Microsoft, but also with Yahoo, Google, and other companies that do business with Beijing.
And they ought to be. I thought the Web was going to set us free. And the idea that Microsoft, good company in some ways, bad company in others, but would be essentially complicit in the propaganda activities of the communist Chinese government just gives me the creeps. I don‘t care how much money they‘re making. It‘s wrong.
MADDOW: But you know, Microsoft people are tech people. And they‘ve been dealing with the Internet and e-mail and stuff for a very long time. And they know that, really, if the idea is that you can‘t say the word freedom, just like with porn and other things that you get in terms of spam, people will just write them with little squiggles in the middle of them and or make the little asterisks instead of a‘s. I mean, that‘s the way the spammers have always gotten around that.
CARLSON: But there‘s a principle here. They defended themselves by
saying—Microsoft issued a statement saying, “Well, we‘re helping people
build relationships in China.” If you‘re not allowed to type freedom into
your server, I mean, I don‘t know, nothing is worth that. They shouldn‘t -
· if North Korea offered them a lucrative contract to, you know, (INAUDIBLE) the gulags, I mean, come on. Seriously.
MADDOW: The relationship they‘re trying to build is with a lot of...
SEVERIN: It seems you were getting excited here at kind of a low bar. I mean, Bill Clinton was responsible for North Korea‘s nuclear program and for giving Chinese nuclear technology. I don‘t know. This is kind of free trade, fair trade kind of deal? Look, think of what foreigners—think of the bizarre habits foreigners have to adopt to do business in California. So I don‘t know that this isn‘t just the same thing everyone else has to...
CARLSON: All right.
Now, the uncomfortable situation of the porn star dining with the president. It‘s happening. A California gubernatorial candidate and porn star, Mary Carey, is attending an RNC fundraising dinner tonight honoring the president. Joining Ms. Carey is her adult-biz boss, who also happens to work in the business advisory board of the Republican National Congressional Committee.
Some conservative groups, needless to say, are not impressed. The DNC, the Democratic National Committee, is also not impressed. They issued this kind of overheated press release today saying, “This is an outrage,” risking alienating a key Democratic constituency, porn stars.
CARLSON: Lighten up, I mean this is...
SEVERIN: And fans.
MADDOW: Right. That‘s because Democrats are all porn stars.
CARLSON: No, but I mean, obviously they‘re not. Some of them are Republican.
MADDOW: What do you mean, obviously they‘re not, and pointing at me?
You don‘t know anything about me, Carlson.
SEVERIN: ... porn stars, most of them are big Democratic contributors.
MADDOW: Right, exactly. And Michael Jackson is a Democratic fundraiser.
Listen, if Bill Clinton had gone to a big Democratic fundraiser that was going to be attended by Mary Carey, or by any other fundraiser, it would be the talking point of the year. So the Democrats sending out one press release on this, I...
CARLSON: But are you offended by it?
MADDOW: Am I offended by a porn star being there?
SEVERIN: Personally, she‘d be an intern, if Clinton—the next day, if Clinton went to the dinner. And I think this is entirely appropriate, by the way, because Miss Carey, after all, merely does for a living what the Democrats do the country.
MADDOW: Oh, come on.
CARLSON: On that high note...
MADDOW: What are you talking about?
CARLSON: And equally impressive response.
Thank you. Rachel Maddow, Jay Severin, thanks.
Coming up, is there anyone who is not alarmed about the effects of video game violence on kids? The answer is yes. He‘s coming up next to try to explain himself.
Plus, (INAUDIBLE) behavior can be habit forming? Are the Japanese wise to start them ballroom dancing at such a young age? The answer, on the “Cutting Room Floor.”
CARLSON: Welcome back. It‘s now time to meet “The Outsiders,” someone from outside the cable news realm who bravely defends what we consider the indefensible.
And to do that, I‘m pleased to welcome ESPN radio host and professional contrarian Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO HOST: Professional contrarian. Now you‘re talking.
CARLSON: Glad to have you, Max. I dare to you defend these two stories.
KELLERMAN: Go ahead.
CARLSON: Watching violent television programs or video games may affect children‘s minds, even if they don‘t already have a history of aggressive behavior. According to a new study, non-aggressive children who were exposed to high levels of media violence had similar patterns of activity in the area of the brain linked to self-control, the same as aggressive children diagnosed with disrupted behavior disorder.
This makes complete sense, Max. We‘re shaped by the things that we see and that the things that we hear in conversations we have, the movies we watch, the TV shows we sit through, the books we read. If little kids watch a lot of violent material on television, it‘s going to shape the way they violence. It‘s going to make it more acceptable.
KELLERMAN: The hypocrisy here is stunning, stunning, because it was not 24 hours ago that you were telling me, as it relates to a subject looking for violent behavior in young children, aggressive behavior, that it is part of a large left-wing agenda to stigmatize aggressive behavior in children.
CARLSON: No, no. My point was that little boys are inherently interested in violence.
KELLERMAN: OK, and so...
CARLSON: And post-adolescent boys like pornography. Pre-adolescent boys like violence.
KELLERMAN: OK, so they‘re catering to pre-adolescent boys with violent video games.
CARLSON: It‘s the same impulse, it doesn‘t mean you should cater to it, however. And it does mean that has an effect.
KELLERMAN: This is all based on the premise that coming desensitized to violence is necessarily a bad thing. That seems intuitively correct.
CARLSON: Keep going. I want to hear this.
KELLERMAN: But do you really want your child, especially if all of his peers are becoming desensitized to violence, to be more sensitive to violence? You‘ll wind up wearing plaid shirts and bowties on television, Tucker.
CARLSON: Look, the point is, violence exists in the world. And it‘s OK for kids to know about it, to some extent.
CARLSON: You do want to shield your kids from a lot of realities.
They don‘t need to know everything. They‘re kids.
The problem is violence that‘s decontextualized, doesn‘t have a context, right, doesn‘t have the crying widows, the grieving family left behind, violence that‘s all that appears to be pleasure. You don‘t want kids to think that‘s what violence is.
KELLERMAN: Well, I mean, don‘t know how much of a difference there is between violence in a Clint Eastwood movie where it‘s justified because Clint Eastwood is the good guy and violence in Grand Theft Auto where you‘re actually the bad guy.
The bottom line is, it‘s violence either way. Why is it OK in the Clint Eastwood movie and not in the video game? Or you‘re saying it‘s not OK either way?
CARLSON: I‘m saying that violence for its own sake—and a lot of it with blood and gore—can‘t be good for little kids. And this study suggests it changes their brains.
KELLERMAN: Well, everything changes your brain, Tucker. This conversation today will physically change your brain a little bit. Here‘s the bottom line.
CARLSON: But in a better way than Grand Theft Auto.
KELLERMAN: You have four kids. I have none. So you really care about this. And to me, let the kids play what they want.
CARLSON: You may change your tune.
New Yorkers are already prohibited from lighting up in most public places. If a new bill becomes law, though, thousands of them living in public housing could be banned from smoking in their own apartment. It‘ll require public housing complexes to make 50 percent of apartments smoke-free within five years. Outlaw smoking in all apartments, at that point.
Supporters say the bill protects nonsmokers. Opponents think, correctly, it‘s an invasion of privacy. It‘s an outrageous invasion of privacy. You would think liberals would be up in arms about this—I‘m sure some of them are—the idea that you can regulate private behavior in a home, even if it‘s public housing, that affects no one else. This idea that it‘s going to seep through the walls, unproved. It‘s a crock. It‘s hysteria. It‘s total neuroses.
But the idea that you want to regulate even what poor people do in their private homes is scary.
KELLERMAN: Well, ultimately the argument that what goes on in Park Avenue doesn‘t go on in the projects carries the day. I acknowledge that.
Let me make the devil‘s—I‘ll take the devil‘s advocate position here, because there are several points. One, the right to swing your fist ends at my nose. This is America, right? So you want to maximize liberty but also protect individuals. So the right to swing your fist ends at my nose.
Well, in cigarette smoking, especially secondhand smoke, you‘re hitting me in the nose literally and metaphorically. You‘re hitting me right in the nose. And this has come about, some claim, because enough residents in the projects were complaining of the smell of cigarette smoke.
Now, you say it‘s a crock, but how much time have you recently spent in the projects?
CARLSON: Look, the point is, if the people who are worried about smoking inside a private apartment and in a project have used their time, their energy, their money worrying about how to make projects safer, people who live in projects would be a lot better off.
You know as well as I do, the only reason they‘re going against smoking in the projects is because cigarette smokers are unpopular. They can push them around, so they do.
KELLERMAN: OK, they can. That‘s a good point. Cigarette smoking is bad. And in New York City, compared to other major cities, cigarette smoking is way down, because you can‘t smoke in bars, you can‘t smoke in restaurants. There‘s a huge cigarette tax.
So you effect change where you can. And the argument to be made for affecting it in the projects, and since it is public housing, you can affect change there. You can‘t on Park Avenue.
CARLSON: Well, here‘s the distinction that people miss. Cigarette smoking is physically bad. It‘s bad for you. It‘s not morally bad. It‘s not a sin. There‘s a difference.
KELLERMAN: Unless secondhand smoke truly does affect other people.
And then it does become morally bad.
CARLSON: But everything, aerosol from the Lysol you spray in the air, every time you open a can of paint, toxic fumes are released. Nobody cares. You toast up a Camel, all of a sudden you‘ve committed a moral sin and you are affecting everyone else...
KELLERMAN: I‘m not a cigarette smoker. And I find the smell of cigarettes disgusting. I don‘t like it. I‘m glad that you can‘t smoke in bars. I‘m glad you can‘t smoke in restaurants in New York City. It‘s made my life much better. And if I lived in the projects, I‘d be happy that I wouldn‘t have to smell cigarette smoke.
CARLSON: I say, let the poor people smoke.
KELLERMAN: I don‘t believe a word of what I just said. I gave it my best shot, though.
CARLSON: One of the great debaters. Thank you.
Still ahead, as the saying goes, you have got to break a few eggs to make an omelet. But in this case, there are now hundreds of broken-hearted chickens. We‘ll find out why all of this is on the “Cutting Room Floor,” next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time now to sweep up the “Cutting Room Floor.”
Our producer, Willie Geist (ph), has collected the very best of the stories that didn‘t make the show, handing them to us in a silver dust pan.
WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER (ph): Tucker, the bow tie‘s undone.
CARLSON: Show‘s over, Willie.
GEIST (ph): I thought you slept in that thing, my man.
CARLSON: I have.
GEIST (ph): Gross. I have got the world‘s biggest omelet and vomit menacing our schools.
CARLSON: Oh, I literally can‘t wait. Thank you, Willie Geist.
Well, luck comes in many different forms. There‘s the find-a-nickel kind of luck, and then there‘s the win-the-multimillion-dollar-lottery-twice-in-six-months kind of luck. Lucky for her, Donna Goeppert has the latter kind of luck. Goeppert won the million bucks on a Pennsylvania lottery scratch-off ticket last week, just six months after she won $1 million playing the same game.
GEIST (ph): Are know where Donna is from?
GEIST (ph): Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The Lord works in mysterious ways, Tucker.
CARLSON: That‘s a good—here‘s my question, Willie. If she already won the lotto, why is she still playing lotto?
GEIST (ph): It was only a million bucks. After taxes, you buy a couple Cadillacs...
CARLSON: That‘s exactly right.
GEIST (ph): ... you have got to win again.
CARLSON: Less than people think.
No, these are not members of Rosie O‘Donnell‘s kitchen staff preparing her morning meal. They are citizens of a small Russian village making the world‘s largest omelet. It took 11,000 eggs and 20 people working in shifts to make the record-setting 1,000-pound omelet. It‘s a big breakfast.
GEIST (ph): Look pretty good. Russian food, notorious to be among the worst in the world. But I guess you can‘t screw up an omelet. So if you‘re going to do something big in Russia, it‘s probably an omelet, right?
CARLSON: I think you could probably screw up an omelet.
GEIST (ph): Have you had Russian food?
CARLSON: I never had.
GEIST (ph): I wouldn‘t even eat a Russian omelet.
CARLSON: Vodka‘s not bad, though.
Well, a former member of Sam‘s Club who was allegedly fired for not smiling enough says she has a good reason. She can‘t. Molly Beavers says her face was partially paralyzed during surgery to treat her dwarfism. And she was left with a permanent frown. Beavers was fired in 2003. And as a dwarf, she has now filed suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
GEIST (ph): This lady had a one-hour commute to Sam‘s Club to hand out pigs in a blanket to customers. You wouldn‘t be smiling either. But I have to say, I feel terrible that she was tossed. I do.
CARLSON: For reasons that remain a mystery to me, ballroom dance is cool right now, and nowhere more so than in Japan, where they are starting them young. Thirty-two couples burned up the dance floor at the Japan International Dance Competition in Tokyo.
Look at those little guys. An 11-year-old boy and his sister won first prize.
GEIST (ph): Ballroom dancing is really hot right now, Tucker. Have you seen this “Dancing with the Stars” show?
CARLSON: I haven‘t. I missed that show, Willie. That‘s what TiVo‘s for, though.
GEIST (ph): I am not ashamed to tell you I TiVo it every week. You haven‘t lived until you have see Evander Holyfield foxtrot. It‘s surreal, let me tell you.
CARLSON: I think Erik Estrada may be on that show, or should be.
GEIST (ph): If you‘re not watching our show, watch “Dancing with the Stars.” Trust me.
CARLSON: Well, there is no delicate way to tell you this story, so I‘ll just lay it right on you. A 17-year-old high school student in Kansas has been charged with battery after he vomited on his Spanish teacher on the last day of school. The student‘s father says his son was sick from the stress of final exams. Prosecutors say the act was intentional and outrageous.
GEIST (ph): That is outrageous. As if we weren‘t having enough trouble recruiting teachers in this country, now they have the threat of being booted on in class? It‘s just, it‘s a sad, sad statement about our society.
CARLSON: I side with the prosecutor in this case.
GEIST (ph): This nation is in trouble.
CARLSON: Willie Geist, thanks.
That‘s THE SITUATION tonight. Thanks for watching. I‘m Tucker Carlson. I‘ll see you tomorrow.
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