updated 6/17/2005 8:27:20 AM ET 2005-06-17T12:27:20

Guest: Bernard Miller, Laura Schlessinger, Drew Pinsky, Justin Jaeger, Rod Bernsen


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  There could be as many as five people in the car. 


JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  A high speed chase in Southern California, a terrifying standoff, and a dramatic conclusion to children being held hostage. 

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


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  They are being questioned on a regular basis to determine what really happened that night. 

SCARBOROUGH (voice-over):  Grilling the key suspects, searching for any new clues, but still no sign of Natalee.  As her parents continue to hold out hope that the Alabama teen will be found alive, we‘ll get you up to date with the very latest. 

Then, Dr. Laura.  The nationally known talk show host and author is here in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to tackle the toughest topics. 

Plus, the runaway bride is running to a bank with a new book and a movie deal worth half a million.  And a lot of people in her hometown are saying, it‘s just not right.  We‘ll be there live with the reaction. 


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

SCARBOROUGH:  Good evening. 

Today, in Aruba, I will tell you what, the search for Natalee Holloway continues to go on.  The investigation continues.  They are looking for the young girl and trying to find the missing Alabama teenager.  Now, in a few minutes, we are going to go to Aruba to get the very latest. 

But, first, in California, just a few hours ago, after reports of a kidnapping, a man led police on a wild goose chase at speeds up to 100 miles an hour.  And it‘s a chase that went for almost an hour and a half through freeways across Southern California.  You know, there were numerous near-misses before police cornered the driver. 

But then the driver stepped out of the red Chevy Blazer with a baby in each arm.  After a minute or so, he freed a woman and then he freed one baby and then finally another, before police approached him and grabbed an infant from his arms that he was he was actually—this beast was actually using this infant as a human shield right there. 

They forced him out and they got him onto the ground once he got outside of the truck. 

With me now are KNBC chopper reporter Justin Jaeger, who followed today‘s chase from the air.  And, also, he‘s flying in the chopper right over Southern California tonight.  And also Rod Bernsen, he‘s a journalist who is also a former sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department. 

Justin, let‘s start to you.  Take us through it, 100 miles an hour for almost 90 minutes.  What went on? 


Yes, it was an extremely wild pursuit.  Started in a relatively quiet neighborhood, suburban area of L.A.‘s San Fernando Valley, Woodland Hills, on the side streets.  But this guy got going real fast.  As you mentioned, he had three kids in the car and what we thought was his wife.  Eventually, he got on the freeway and then the chase was on.  LAPD, also San Fernando Valley—or Ventura County officers, also California Highway Patrol, all chasing him north along the coast as he made his way toward Santa Barbara County. 

There, he encountered a heck of a lot of traffic, had to swerve in and out, going to the left shoulder, then back to the right, almost causing almost a ton of accidents.  When finally he exited the freeway, he went off-road, got up on the side, then finally brought the car to a dead end, where they started the standoff.  And what a crazy standoff that was.

He brought one baby out of the vehicle, then had a baby in each arm as he was telling police to back off.  They are not sure exactly what he was doing there.  But it looked as though he was using them as a human shield or at least negotiating devices.  The police were actually able to have him release one of the children, then another children. 

Eventually, his wife came.  And, finally, they made an approach to the vehicle after they decided that he did not have a weapon, was not a further threat, wrestled that infant away from him and then took him into custody.  It was an extremely wild pursuit, Joe.   

SCARBOROUGH:  Unbelievable. 

Let me ask you, Rod.  You‘ve got a punk like this who‘s actually using an infant as a human shield.  What do you do as a police officer?  Because you know what?  They thought this guy might have a gun.  You can‘t charge the car.  But, at the same time, if he is going to cause a little baby problems, you can‘t sit back and wait too long, either.  So, what do you do, Rod?  What do you do? 

ROD BERNSEN, FORMER LAPD SERGEANT:  You know, most notable, Joe, what was interesting is on the wide shot of the pictures that I saw earlier today, the officers did not have their guns out.  There were no officers pointing their guns at the car when the suspect stepped out holding the baby. 

Once they got the other children out of the car and the man‘s wife out of the car, they came up with the tactical plan.  Essentially, they wanted one officer to go for that infant.  That was his job, is to go and grab that baby out of the guy‘s arms.  And then it was going to be up to the other officers to arrest the guy. 

Apparently, there was some sort of an altercation.  It took three or four of them to get him down on the ground.  They did use their Taser gun.  That‘s 50,000 volts of electricity into him, but it still took three officers to finally get the guy handcuffed.  Extraordinary. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And they have to rip this baby out of his arms, also. 

And, Justin, let me ask you something.  This is the second chase we have seen in a few days out of Los Angeles.  The last chase yesterday, a motorcycle chase, just as remarkable.  I‘ve never seen a motorcycle, never seen a chase that has gone at quite these speeds.  Talk about what is going on in L.A.

JAEGER:  Well, that one was extremely dangerous, too.  That motorcycle got up to about 160 miles per hour and eventually actually eluded officers.  They backed off because they were nervous about him causing more problems at those high speeds. 

He drove into a garage.  And, you know, the interesting thing about that one was, he actually called in his bike as a stolen vehicle.  But the LAPD had witnesses of him getting off the bike.  And they were able—when they went over to make their police report, they were able to take him into custody. 

Now, these pursuits, they happen.  Sometimes, there‘s a rash of them.  People—people will see them here and there and they think they can get away.  But the fact of the matter is, once we see them, once they get under pursuit, they always get their man on those things. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, we are looking—we‘ve been looking at V.O. 

Now, amazingly, some of these clips that we‘re showing just from today are of these automobiles going slower.  I was watching that motorcycle incident yesterday.  And that guy was going at remarkable speeds.  I couldn‘t believe how danger it was.  You know, there are going to be people not only in Southern California, but across America who are going to get hurt or killed in these type of pursuits.  What can be done to protect Americans on the road from this? 

BERNSEN:  It all begins and ends with the state legislature. 

Here in California, if you run from the police, it‘s either a misdemeanor or a felony.  It‘s called a wobbler.  They can file it as a misdemeanor or felony crime.  If you are convicted of the felony in California, the minimum sentence is three years in state prison.  But what normally happens, Joe, during a plea bargain, it goes from a felony conviction, three years in state prison, but they serve their time in L.A.  County jail and by law they will do no more than one year in county jail. 

SCARBOROUGH:  The law is just not tough enough. 

BERNSEN:  Absolutely.

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, as long as you don‘t discourage creeps from using babies as human shields and flying through there with three kids and they know that they are just going to get a slap on the wrist, or this guy yesterday, how many children could he have killed out on the interstate yesterday, when he was going at speeds over, what, 120, 130, 140 miles an hour?

BERNSEN:  Absolutely.  It‘s a felony to possess a weapon.  But it‘s only a misdemeanor to drive a 2,000-pound deadly weapon at breakneck speeds through the streets of our local cities. 

It all comes down to whatever the state law is.  There should be a mandatory strike.  This should be a serious felony.  You run from the police, you‘re going to get a strike.  If you have a prior strike conviction, that means an automatic 10 years in jail, Joe.  You have the original charge and the sentence.  But on top of that, you would get an additional 10 years.  That‘s the only way to stop these pursuits. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘ll tell you what.  You are exactly right, Rod.  And you got to pile that up.  And if somebody knows they are going to spend a decade behind bars if they put somebody‘s lives in danger on the road, well, you know what?  Maybe that will stop it. 

Rod, thanks for being with us, as always. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Also, Justin Jaeger, thank you.  We greatly appreciate it. 

Now let‘s move on to the latest in the search for Natalee Holloway.  It has been over two weeks, two weeks now since the Alabama teen disappeared on the tiny island of Aruba.  And the search continues tonight. 

With us live from Aruba with today‘s latest developments is NBC‘s Martin Savidge. 

Martin, get us up to date. 

MARTIN SAVIDGE, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Good evening, Joe.  Yes, hard to believe.  It‘s over two weeks and still no sign, no indication of where Natalee Holloway is or what has happened to her. 

Most of the action today took place not out in the search areas, but in a courtroom.  There are a number of developments that are being worked on.  It looks like it will be tomorrow when we hear what will be the final say.  One of them is this rather peculiar situation.  You have the 17-year-old suspect, Joran Van Der Sloot.  His father, Paul, is a legal official on this island.  Everyone knows this now.  He‘s also an attorney. 

He has been battling to go visit his son in jail.  Normally, it wouldn‘t be a problem for a parent to do that.  This is a juvenile.  And he is being held as a juvenile.  But because of his high-ranking officialness, investigators are very worried that, if he gets in that prison cell and starts talking with his son, maybe he will try to influence what his son says to investigators. 

So, it‘s already being handed over to a judge in Curacao to try give it the feel that there is no favoritism being played out here.  We expect a ruling tomorrow.  Also tomorrow, all three suspects are expected to be back in court.  What‘s it for?  It‘s a routine hearing.  Basically, there will be a review of all the evidence gathered so far against them.  

A judge will determine, is it strong enough to continue holding them?  At this time, there is always the question and always the possibility a judge could say, no, it doesn‘t add up and let them go.  Few people are doubting that‘s going to happen tonight though, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thanks a lot, Martin Savidge in Aruba.  We greatly appreciate you being with us. 

Coming up next, more on missing Natalee.  We are going to inside the mind of the main suspect, Joran Van Der Sloot.

And then runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks is running again.  But, friends, this time, she‘s running to a bank. 

And here to talk about everything from the bride to sexual predators is the outspoken Dr. Laura.  We‘re excited.  She is in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY again.  And, as always, no topic is off limits. 

Don‘t move.  SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY is just getting started.


SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up, we‘re going to go inside the mind of teenage Aruba suspect Joran Van Der Sloot and we‘re going to find out what may have happened that night that Natalee disappeared.  That‘s when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.



SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, welcome back. 

Now let‘s bring in clinical psychologist Dr. Drew Pinsky.  He‘s the host of “Strictly Sex With Dr. Drew Pinsky” on the Discovery Health Channel. 

Dr. Drew, thanks for being with us tonight.  I want to ask this...

DR. DREW PINSKY, AUTHOR, “CRACKED”:  Not a psychologist, though, in the interest of full disclosure.  I‘m an addictionologist.

SCARBOROUGH:  Addictionologist.


SCARBOROUGH:  Very good.  M.D.  Very good.

Doctor—that‘s why we call you Dr. Drew. 

Dr. Drew...


PINSKY:  That‘s right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I want to be careful when I ask this question.  But I think it needs to be asked.  One of the things that concerns me as a parent is the fact that so many people from this Mountain Brook neighborhood in Alabama sent their 18-year-old children right after they graduated down to Aruba.

And the person that was in charge of the trip said, one of the reasons Aruba was selected was because the drinking age was 18 down there.  Have any concerns about that situation?  Do you think it may have set up this tragedy? 

PINSKY:  Yes, I do actually, Joe. 

I mean, this is where my addictionology training actually comes into play.  I have a real concern about how casual we are with certain behaviors of young people.  An older adolescent really shouldn‘t be encouraged or be given sort of—it‘s one thing to say, kid will be kids.  They‘re going to try things.

It‘s another thing to create an environment where they can carry this stuff out in a sort of unrestrictive manner.  You are only asking for trouble.  If you look at all the more serious consequences of behavior in young people, death, mortality, morbidity, things related to sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted sexual contact, pregnancy, accidents , they all involve drugs and alcohol. 

Parents need not to endorse that behavior.  It‘s one thing to say, I guess they are going to do this and I have to accept that, but I need to set boundaries and create consequences for that.  It‘s an entirely different thing to say, well, let‘s at least have them do it in a safe environment, where it‘s legal. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Dr. Drew, a lot of people, a lot parents have been talking about this.  We—I‘ve had this debate off-camera with people.

And some people say, well, you know what?  They were going to be going to college in the fall anyway.  And so, they would have been drinking and having sex and doing all the things that they did in Aruba right after graduation.  What would you say to that? 

PINSKY:  I would say that is probably the case. 

But the reality is, there is a difference in a 17-year-old who has been living at home vs. one that is transitioning out into the world.  There is a different process that goes on psychologically when a person is genuinely individuated from the home, moving out into the world on their own.  They make decisions differently, as opposed to one who is really still completely dependent on the parents. 

I can‘t say this strongly enough.  I think parents have great misconceptions about being overly restrictive with children.  Somehow, there is sort of a lore out there that, if parents are too controlling, a child will sort of spring off in the other direction.  The reality is, if you keep yourself out of it, if a child is not responsible for your feelings and your anxieties and your need for them to be perfect, it‘s merely that you set expectations that are healthy for them and, if they violate those, they—they bear the consequences. 

That‘s quite different than being anxious and controlling.  Yes, the anxious, controlling parent will have a child who probably will act out when they hit college, will want to go to Aruba for graduation.  But that doesn‘t mean that that‘s healthy parenting to withhold all boundaries from their kids. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But, you know, a lot of people say, well, look at Natalee Holloway.  She was a great girl, a great high school student, got a scholarship to the University of Alabama.  She was a good girl.  How could this happen?  I mean, if you can‘t trust somebody like Natalee, what child and what adolescent can you trust? 

PINSKY:  Well, the reality, unfortunate reality is, is that accidents happen.  Things happen.  Young people make bad choices that put themselves in very dangerous situations. 

I‘m not saying this—we don‘t really know what happened at all here.  So, to try to connect it to this case specifically I think is probably a mistake and maybe even harmful to the poor parents, who are undoubtedly suffering with this.  But I think there is a lesson to be learned from the rest of us.  The rest of us have an opportunity to learn something here, to really sort of examine our parenting styles and look at the things that we allow young people to do that are unhealthy, that can put them in harm‘s way. 

And, of course, under the best of circumstances, the best of intentions, bad things can still happen. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  I have got a teenage boy.  Actually, I‘ve got two.  But I have got a 17-year-old.  And because he is a 17-year-old, I‘m more concerned right now about him. 

PINSKY:  Of course.

SCARBOROUGH:  How do I talk to him about sex?  How do I talk to him about drinking?  How do I talk to him about drugs, so when he‘s 18, when he goes off to college next fall, I know that I‘ve done everything that I can do?

PINSKY:  Well...

SCARBOROUGH:  Obviously, you can‘t catch up in the last year.  I put in 17 years. 

PINSKY:  No, that‘s right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But what do I do with one year to go?  I mean, it‘s the ninth inning, seven game of the World Series.  What pitch do I throw? 


PINSKY:  A fastball. 


PINSKY:  I hope you‘ve done your work to this point. 

The reality is that science suggests that there is a window between the age of about 8 and 12 that you should begin establishing a dialogue with your children.  They will listen then.  Keep it on their terms.  And then, as they move through adolescence, they will start to bring you the more difficult material. 

Assuming you‘ve done that, Joe, which I‘m sure you have, the thing that I have found most effective with young people, particularly in the 15-and-older category, is to really use the consequences of their peers.  Look at other young people their age, relatable sources, and their behaviors and what has happened to them. 

And this particular case, a great case in point, an opportunity to talk with your young adults, your adolescents, about the consequences of bad choices, the consequences of unhealthy behavior.  They really listen much more to the experiences of their peers than the words that you‘re actually telling them. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.

Dr. Drew, as always, we really appreciate you being with us tonight and giving us some insight, not only in this case, but also in the case of my teenage son. 

Now let‘s welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY Dr. Laura Schlessinger.  She‘s a syndicated radio talk show host, of course, the author of the best-selling book “The Proper and Feeding of Husbands.”

Dr. Laura, let‘s talk tonight, though, about the proper care, first of all, of our children.  Obviously, this is a great tragedy.  We have been praying for Natalee and her family.  And we don‘t want to just focus on this family and this possible tragedy.  But what sort of lesson can we parents learn from it? 

DR. LAURA SCHLESSINGER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well, I think Drew said it all.  I don‘t think there‘s anything I could add.  I don‘t think parents are behaving in a responsible way these days at all, quite frankly.

At very young ages, putting them in day care, having them in the care of strangers, not having that eight to 12 years when they are really dialoguing with them because they are too busy marrying, divorcing, their news lives, and carrying on in multi careers inside the family, and all of that. 

I think all of this and the sexualization of children in our society, I mean, you can‘t watch TV with your kids anymore without seeing Paris Hilton getting it on with a car, eating a Carl‘s Jr. hamburger.  And I think all this sexualization of children is leading them to feel more normalized with respect to what we would all consider risky and/or bad behaviors.  And I really hold the parents accountable, because this notion of stranger danger, you know, strangers as an issue in the problematic molestation and abuse of children is very minute portion. 

It‘s anywhere from family to family friends that are the issue.  So, I hold parents accountable for how they have withdrawn from making tight-knit, intact, healthy, functional families and protect their own children. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What do you say to parents in Mountain Brook, Alabama, in this particular case, who say, you know what?  My kids were going to be going off to college three months from now; why can‘t I let them just go to Aruba, blow off some steam? 


SCHLESSINGER:  You know, in three years, my kids are going to be doing this.  In five years, they are going to be doing this.  In 20 minutes, they‘re going to be doing this. 

These are all excuses for being irresponsible.  I think sending 17- and 18-year-old kids where they can drink and gamble is a bizarre way to celebrate an academic achievement.  And I think, as Drew said, it set up an atmosphere which makes things more likely to happen that are untoward, that are unfortunate. 

Let‘s face it.  You can send your kids to party colleges or you can send your kids to local colleges and have them live home.  To say that it is inevitable that they are going to be sexually promiscuous and do binge drinking is an absurdity.  And it‘s more absurd when you start giving them permission to get their feet in the water to do it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Dr. Laura, and I‘m glad—I‘m glad you brought that point up.  I am from old school—I‘m old school Joe.  And I actually am talking to my boys.

And unlike a lot of parents or most parents I know, who say, you know, if you have sex, you have sex, take care of yourself, I told my children—and a lot of people are going to say I‘m irresponsible—I want to know what you think—I have told my boys, you know what?  No excuses.  I‘m not one of these guys who is going to say, you know what?  You shouldn‘t do it, but, if you do, do it, wear a condom. 

Am I putting myself—because a lot of people out there are saying, I‘m setting my children up for a fall and they are going to be more likely to come in with a grandchild for me. 


SCHLESSINGER:  No.  You are absolutely correct. 

The statistics prove it, that, when parents hold a line, hold a moral and ethical line and make it clear to their children that that is the moral, ethical line, the children more likely follow it, than when they say, well, you really should abstain.  But, if not, let me take a carrot and a condom and show you how to do it.

And that‘s what they do in public schools.  And all that does is create a sense that actually we are being taught how to do it, so it must be OK. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s talk about it.  You said something.  I‘m going to be talking about Jennifer Wilbanks, who is cashing in on, of course, breaking the hearts of her family and her bride-to-be—groom-to-be. 

I want to ask you, though.  You said something that I just can‘t pass up.  You talked about day care.  You said that—we were talking, of course, about sending children to Aruba.  But you talked about day care.  Do you think day care is destructive for our children? 

SCHLESSINGER:  Oh, yes.  I think the formative years...


SCARBOROUGH:  But everybody does it, Dr. Laura.  Everybody sends their children to day care. 

SCHLESSINGER:  No, no, everybody doesn‘t do it. 

You listen to my show, you hear one after another:  I am my kid‘s mom. 

I gave up my career.  We changed our lives around.  We live on one salary. 

I think I have done a lot to protect a lot of children by putting them back in the hands of their mothers. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, we will talk about that a lot more with Dr. Laura  in one minute. 

And when we come back, we are going to talk about Jennifer Wilbanks, the runaway bride, who runs for cash.  She‘s going to cash in on her run from the altar.  How is that sitting with the good people of Duluth?  We are not going to only talk to Dr. Laura about this.  We are going to go there live and find out.  It‘s going to be a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY exclusive that I promise you won‘t see anywhere else. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Dr. Laura Schlessinger in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  She is going to be talking about what‘s wrong with our culture that‘s given rights to so many child predators and sex offenders and what you can do to protect your children.

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



Let‘s bring back in national syndicated radio host and best-selling author Dr. Laura Schlessinger.

Dr. Laura, what is wrong with our country?  Why are we seeing so many child molestations occur, abductions, murders, I mean, one poor girl buried alive?  What is wrong with this country? 

SCHLESSINGER:  Well, in terms of the abductions, the rapes and the murders, that is a very, very small portion of all the molestation that is going on.  But it is dramatic and it makes it into the news. 

And you have to understand that—just the FBI estimates that every square mile of the United States of America has a child molester.  Now, you have to distinguish between pedophiles and child molesters.  There are pedophiles who have a predilection for children and they really have in their heads that it‘s kind of a love relationship.  That sound familiar?  Like a pop singing star who sleeps with little boys and says it‘s part of affection?  That is the lingo of a pedophile. 

But the majority of child molesters are not necessarily pedophiles at all.  Whoever or whatever is available.  Children are easy and vulnerable.  And parents who are neglecting them, they become easy prey for sexual desires and—of these sick people.  Do I think this has increased?  Yes. 

I think, when you have the American Psychological Association, as it did some five or six years ago, publish an article which said adult male-young boy sex was OK, as long as the boys thought it was OK, these were guys who had published in pedophilia magazines that think that the only reason there is negativity about adult sex with children is religious nonsense and cultural nonsense, when it‘s really a very good and healthy thing. 

So, I think when you have institutions like the American Psychological Association publishing this and calling it science, it opens a door.  When the American Library Association has a link to “Go Ask Alice,” which gives kids 13 years and older—although I don‘t know how they can keep a 7-year-old off—giving them information about bestiality and sex, violent sex, and all that and saying it‘s part of their intellectual rights, then you have the children more promoted to be sexual. 

You tell the adults that there are no boundaries.  You have the children often neglected and hungry for contact and trusting adults and the parents are not watching them.  Parents drop their kids of at coach games.  They drop their kids off here, there and everywhere. 

I think you would put those two things together and you just have more access.  The things that you mentioned earlier on are really the exception.  The rest of this is the rule. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Unfortunately, it sounds like you‘re telling us that the real story, the big story, goes unreported or underreported every single day.  Somebody—somebody right now, obviously...



SCARBOROUGH:  In fact, many, many children right now probably are being molested as we speak. 

SCHLESSINGER:  Yes, as we speak. 

And when they are 6 years old and under, it‘s mostly by family members, 20 percent of the time, 10 percent to 20 percent, women.  And after that, it turns into family friends and neighbors and coaches and teachers and priests and somebody who takes kids in from another country on the exchange programs and all the rest of this.  I mean, the field is so wide open, because we are not doing enough to protect our children. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, let me ask you something. 

You talked about women, 20 percent women.  Yes, I‘m sure you have also seen in the news, it seems every day or two, you can find a new story about a female teacher, a young female teacher who is preying on young middle school or high school boys.  What is happening there? 


Well, the percentage of women involved in the molestation decreases as the kids get older.  So in the age range that you are talking about, the molestation of the high school kids, that is only about 3 percent.  But, you know, these kids are vulnerable.  The boys idealize them.  It makes them feel terrific.  They are in power.  They are having their sexual urges relieved.  I mean, you know, they are molesters. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So, what do we parents...

SCHLESSINGER:  The kids and...


SCARBOROUGH:  Go ahead. 


SCARBOROUGH:  I was just going to say, what do we parents do? 

SCHLESSINGER:  And what do we parents do? 


SCHLESSINGER:  I think the kind of intense family relationships that we used to have, where we had dinner together every night and we were involved in our kids‘ activities and we knew what they were doing after school, would change a lot of this. 

But, you know, everybody believes they should have their careers and their new love lives and get on with things and day care nannies and baby-sitters are just fine.  And, as long as we keep giving someone else, we parent by proxy to all of these other people, the pedophiles and the child molesters know exactly where to go and what to do to pick up the vulnerable kids. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me ask you what impact—you talked before about Paris Hilton.  And, sometimes, when we talk about Paris Hilton hamburger ads, or when we talk about Paris Hilton being rewarded by shooting a porn video and becoming basically a business empire, so “The New York Times” runs a front-page story called “Paris Inc.” on the front of their business section—we talk about Britney Spears.  We talk about Christina Aguilera. 

And we say that that has an impact.  It doesn‘t shock me.  It probably doesn‘t shock you. 

SCHLESSINGER:  Yes.  Well...

SCARBOROUGH:  But it‘s the children that I‘m concerned about.  What do you say to those people who say, come on, these kids are used to it; they‘re desensitized; it doesn‘t touch them?

SCHLESSINGER:  That‘s it. 

And they become easy prey, because they don‘t even see it as something wrong anymore.  I mean, gosh darn, if people are making a lot of money and being very famous at it, it can‘t be bad. 

And the pornography in the homes, that is also one of the risk factors for children, when there‘s pornography in the home, because that lowers barriers to somebody disciplining themselves.  And, you know, it—our society is becoming so fragmented and so degenerate that it‘s putting our children at risk.  And then, when our children are at risk and they have these experience, you know, about I would say a third of the perpetrators at this point are children, on the school buses, in the school bathrooms.

Their lives are so sexualized.  They are a little older.  They are a little taller.  They are a little bigger.  They are picking on these smaller kids and having—and molesting them.  And people don‘t know about this.  They just know about the odd freak who takes a kid and, God help us, rapes and murders a child.  But these other things, as you said, are going on as we speak. 

Kids, parents watching this, some of your kids are at friends‘ houses or at, gee, this nice man who just liked to spend a lot of time alone with kids.  And he seems like such a nice guy.  They are being molested. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me ask you this final question.  It has been about a year since we talked about your runaway best-selling book about how you properly care for and feed husbands.  It caused a little bit of a dust-up a year or so ago.  But it‘s been a remarkable success, and you‘ve got a lot of wives that have been calling you and talking about it.

What is the one thing that you have learned over the past year that you didn‘t know before you wrote this book about this particular subject? 

SCHLESSINGER:  I—you know, I can‘t say...

SCARBOROUGH:  You can say nothing. 

SCHLESSINGER:  I can say—yes, nothing. 

But I will tell you what got reinforced.  I was of the opinion that women had the basic power to create the atmosphere in the home and the atmosphere in their relationships that we have the power, because men are very emotionally dependent on women since the day they are born with their mommies. 

And I have had this affirmed, affirmed, confirmed and everything other kind of “irmed” for the past year.  It has been remarkable how many people who have been women who have been feminists or not, or this or that, the whole spectrum of women going, you know, I was so mad at him.  I was so mad at marriage.  I was so mad at my life.  I was so unhappy. 

And then I read and I was annoyed with what you said and then I just tried it for a day.  And the whole house mellowed.  I‘m more relaxed.  He is happier and I‘m getting more of my needs met.  So, my theory has been proven. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It has been proven.  And I could have said it all along. 

Men are very, very simple creatures to figure out. 



SCARBOROUGH:  Dr.—that‘s the simple truth. 

Hey, Dr. Laura, thank you so much for being with us.  And I hope you will come back soon. 

SCHLESSINGER:  I will.  Thank you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thanks. 

Turning now to a story that a lot of people are talking about today, Jennifer Wilbanks, the runaway bride, is selling the rights to her story for a reported half a million dollars.  As you can imagine, not everybody is celebrating her sudden windfall.

With me is MSNBC entertainment editor Dana Kennedy.  And also we have Bernard Miller.  I love this.  He is an owner of Great Hair Style in Duluth, Georgia, home of the runaway bride.  And he‘s heard all the gossip down there.  And we‘re going to get up to date on it. 

But, first, let‘s go to Dana. 

Dana, give us the inside story.  Give us the quick and dirty.  This looks like Paris Hilton, part two.

DANA KENNEDY, NBC ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR:  Well, the woman behind this is Judith Regan.  And she is someone that—she is a force to be reckoned with.

She‘s basically the most successful publisher in New York.  She‘s done every book from “Howard Stern‘s Private Parts” to Amber Frey‘s recent book.  So, you can‘t really bet against her.  And, in this case, she thinks that Jennifer Wilbanks‘ story is worth half a million dollars.  She has basically bought Jennifer Wilbanks, as far as her professional life goes. 

We are talking about a possible movie, a book, interviews, pretty much everything.  She‘s betting on Jennifer Wilbanks as the new star. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And why not?

But in a statement the Duluth gave SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, she said in part—quote—“Personally, I would love to see all profits from any books, movies or future publicity be given directly to organizations that help find missing children and adults.  These organizations would be worthy recipients of the money she‘s rewarded with for detailing her childish stunts.”

Dana, that is probably not going to happen.  I mean, after all, she never even came out and apologized publicly.  And why?  Because what would have happened if she had come out and done the decent thing and said, you know what; I‘m really sorry for everything I did; I was a child, and then detailed it step by step?  Would that have cost her a lot of money in this book deal?

KENNEDY:  I certainly think so. 

And I think that, these days, Joe, you really have to be—you have to do as heinous an event as possible.  I mean, if you‘re not shameful enough, I don‘t think you really get the money.  Paris Hilton is really where she is today—“The New York Times” wrote a piece on her titled “Paris, Inc.”—really because she began with a sex tape that, of course, she said she didn‘t authorize. 

But she didn‘t really seem that upset about it.  And that basically made her career.  I mean, just three years ago, had you—had someone in her position made a sex tape, it would have ruined her. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, of course, the word on the streets before the sex tape was that Paris Hilton was trash.  After, the word is, Paris Hilton is trash.  But Paris Hilton, very rich, very wealthy, very successful now, trash. 

Let‘s go down to Georgia right now.

I want to ask you, Bernard Miller, what are people saying in your hair salon? 

BERNARD MILLER, OWNER, GREAT HAIR STYLE:  Here in the salon, people are saying a lot of different things. 

But, mainly, because of the media coverage, people are getting more heated, more heated, more upset about the situation, because now she‘s getting a book deal.  And, I mean, basically what Ms. Regan needs to do is send—or get a list of everyone that lives here in Duluth and send them a check, because we are now investors with this situation, because it‘s the tax dollars of the people of Duluth that is being spent for this whole situation. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Give us a breakdown.  What percentage are angry?  Would you say 90 percent angry, 80 percent angry?  Or are there some people that come and say, you know what, she deserves it; she went through a tough time; let her spend the money?


MILLER:  I haven‘t heard anyone say that she deserves it.  I haven‘t heard anyone say that she deserves it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So everybody is angry?

MILLER:  I would say at least 75 -- most people are angry. 

You have some people that are, you know, sympathetic to it.  But I haven‘t heard many, maybe one or two.  But, mostly, the covers that she‘s getting behind it, and mainly, if she had just come out and apologized—that was the big thing. 


Dana Kennedy, what is next?  I mean, you‘re talking about the book deal.  You‘re talking about possible movie deals.  Does this send the message—again, we talked about Paris, now Jennifer.  Does this just send a message, in America, you get rewarded for very, very bad behavior, and Hollywood‘s willing to write you a pretty hefty check? 

KENNEDY:  Well, I think it sends a message, if you do something wacky, like get cold feet before your wedding—and 100 years ago, that just would have been something sad for the family.  And now it is a possible career. 

My only question is, who are the people who are actually going to plunk down $24 or $25, which is what a new book costs these days, in six months?  I cannot believe—even though I just said that you don‘t want to bet against Judith Regan, are you really going to buy that book and pay that kind of money to read about basically this obscure woman from Minnesota who just had cold feet? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Dana, I may not spend that much money.  But I will guarantee you there are a lot of people out there that will.  If you don‘t believe me, just talk to the publishers of “People” magazine and a lot of these other gossipy magazines. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, we‘ll be right back in a second with more SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Stay with us.


SCARBOROUGH:  I‘ll tell you what.  With interest rates inching up, it may be time to get rid of that interest-only loan and get a 30-year fixed.  That‘s my money advice for tonight, brought to you by Joe. 

Let‘s go back to you, Dana Kennedy.  I want to talk about Paris Hilton.  Again, you talked about “The New York Times” article.  I talked about “Paris Inc.”  Couldn‘t believe it was on the front page of the business section.  But you look at the sex tape.  It leads to what?  Sex on tape, basically sex on tape, to sell a hamburger.  Now, when I watch it, when my wife watches it, we say, are Americans really so stupid that they would basically let sex sell a cheeseburger? 

What is the answer to that? 

KENNEDY:  Well, do I say yes?  Let me think about that for a minute. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, it‘s just unbelievable.  I mean, what does sex not sell these days? 

KENNEDY:  Well, what I‘m curious about, Joe, is that pornography is so available on the Internet, so unlike the way that it was 10 years ago, it is surprising to me that an ad like this is so popular, because you almost think, why go here when you can get the real thing also at home?  That puzzles me. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, the shock value goes down.  And that is one of the reasons why you see Paris Hilton scantily clad in this ad and while, when you‘re walking through airports, as I did this, I mean, it is amazing the magazine covers that you walk past on magazine racks. 

I guess the bar has to be continued to be lowered more and more.  And you have celebrities being more and more desperate to grab attention through doing, again, very bad things. 

KENNEDY:  Well, you know, Pamela Anderson says outright—I read a magazine article last week in which she said she thinks of her breasts as props, that she is a businesswoman and they are merely props. 

And Paris Hilton has also been talking about how she sees herself as a brand and as a business woman.  The only thing I would say about that is, I hope they make a lot of money when they can, because I think, once they get a little older, it will be a real shock for them to realize how they have branded themselves doesn‘t last forever. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Whereas my big nose and my little slanty eyes, they are with me forever. 

MILLER:  Timeless.  Timeless. 

SCARBOROUGH:  They‘re timeless.  Exactly.  I never grow out of them. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Now, let‘s talk about—we are in the age of O.J. and other shocking things.  Celebrity can not only get you a lot of money for doing some very bad things.  It can also get you out of trouble.  Got O.J.  out of trouble.  Got Robert Blake out of trouble.  Michael Jackson this week walks. 

Why is the power of celebrity so persuasive, not only in selling hamburgers, but also in getting somebody out of jail free? 

KENNEDY:  All I can tell you, Joe, is, I have interviewed so many famous people, being an entertainment journalist.  And I use that term very loosely. 

And the more famous people there are—and these days, there are 10,000 more famous people than there were, say, 50 years ago—I notice that people are even more impressed.  Even if people aren‘t that talented, or they are someone like Paris Hilton that is known more for notoriety, people seem even more impressed than ever by famous people.  And they shouldn‘t be, because most famous people are not that happy.  But, you know, who listens to me, Joe? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Not happy.  And I‘ll tell you what.  A lot of them I met, total losers. 

Let‘s go back to Duluth. 

Bernard Miller, is there anybody down there, speaking of celebrity, that is excited that there may be a movie filmed in your hometown? 

MILLER:  Say that again. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Is there anybody that you‘re talking to down there in Duluth, Georgia, that are excited that this Wilbanks movie may be made?  And who knows, maybe the cameras will come to your hometown.

MILLER:  No, absolutely not. 


SCARBOROUGH:  So, it‘s just a lose-lose situation for Duluth?

MILLER:  Basically.  I mean, Duluth has nothing to gain from the situation, not at all. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thanks so much, Bernard Miller.  We greatly appreciate it. 

As always, Dana Kennedy, we appreciate you being here in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY and giving your insights on Hollywood. 

Now, Michael Jackson moonwalked out of his criminal trial.  But is he trying to cash in on his misery?  Well, we‘ve got a reality check coming up next when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.


SCARBOROUGH:  Word out of Hollywood is, you may be forced to watch a reality show with Michael Jackson.  Coming up, we‘re going to be talking about that.

Also, make sure you check out my morning read at Joe.MSNBC.com.  Stay with us.  We‘ll be right back.


SCARBOROUGH:  Just can‘t get enough of seeing Michael Jackson in his P.J.s?

Well, the Jackson family feels your pain and they‘re trying to help.  Word in Hollywood is that they are putting all their troubles behind them and shopping a new reality show.  Yes, I know.  Jackson and reality are two words that rarely go together.  But the family is trying to give us a glimpse into what it really would be like to be a member of the moonwalking, wardrobe-malfunctioning, plastic-surgery-loving clan. 

And they want to show the world how they came together to support Michael in his time of trouble.  The problem is, it doesn‘t look like any of the networks are interested.  FOX and ABC have already reportedly turned them down, and so has A&E. 

Keep trying, Jacksons.  You know what?  We in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY love train wrecks and we would be sure to watch it, as long, of course, as it doesn‘t go opposite of us. 

That is all the time we have for tonight.  Make sure to watch “IMUS” tomorrow morning. 

And tomorrow night, I‘ll tell you what.  You are not going to want to miss this story.  A 9/11 widow has been accused, she says falsely, of wasting $5 million that she got in the settlement for the death of her husband.  She is going to come here and fight back.  You are not going to want to miss that story. 

And, if you have something to say to us, please do it.  Send me an e-mail at Joe@MSNBC.com

“HARDBALL” is up next.  Stick around

And we‘ll see you tomorrow night. 


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