updated 6/30/2005 9:14:33 AM ET 2005-06-30T13:14:33

Guest: Ralph Neas, Charlie Gasparino, John Avlon, Max Kellerman

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST (voice-over):  Testy Tom.  What in the world is his beef with Matt? 

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR:  I can‘t even describe it. 

CARLSON:  Great balls of fire.  Summer in St. Louis gets even hotter. 

Pit bulls, not every man‘s best friend. 

Cops Taser a 13-year-old.  But was she asking for it? 

Plus, lingerie for that special bovine in your life.  You got that in a DDD? 

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. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON:  Welcome to the Friday night SITUATION.  I‘m Tucker Carlson. 

We‘re loaded up with stories tonight, including Tom Cruise out of control on “”The Today Show”” and John McCain‘s first presidential showdown with Hillary Clinton. 

Joining me now, “Newsweek” business writer Charlie Gasparino and columnist for “The New York Sun” and author of the book “Independent Nation,” John Avlon. 

Welcome, both. 

CHARLES GASPARINO, “NEWSWEEK”:  Thank you. 

JOHN AVLON, AUTHOR, “INDEPENDENT NATION”:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  There was news tonight from Iraq and Guantanamo Bay and President Bush and the Natalee Holloway case and in fact dogs in peril. 

But Tom Cruise‘s public meltdown continued in such a curious and spectacular fashion on “The Today Show” this morning that he leads the show.  Here he is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “THE TODAY SHOW”) 

CRUISE:  Here we are today where I talk out against drugs and psychiatric abuses of electric shocking people, OK, against their will, of drugging children, with them not knowing the effects of these drugs.  Do you know what Adderall is?  Do you know Ritalin?  Do you know now that Ritalin is a street drug?  Do you understand that? 

Here‘s the problem.  You don‘t know the history of psychiatry.  I do. 

MATT LAUER, CO-HOST:  Yes, there are abuses and, yes, maybe they‘ve gone too far in certain areas.  Maybe there are too many kids on Ritalin.  Maybe electric shock is...

CRUISE:  Too many kids on Ritalin?  That...

LAUER:  I‘m just saying, but aren‘t there examples where it works? 

CRUISE:  Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, you‘re glib. You don‘t even know what Ritalin is.

You should be a little bit more responsible in knowing really...

LAUER:  I‘m not prescribing Ritalin, Tom.  And I‘m not asking anyone else to do it.  I‘m simply saying I know some people who seemed to have been helped by it. 

(CROSSTALK)

CRUISE:  But you‘re saying—but—this is a very important issue. 

This is a very...

LAUER:  I couldn‘t agree more. 

CRUISE:  And you know what?  You‘re—you‘re here on “The Today Show.” 

LAUER:  Right. 

CRUISE:  And to talk about it in a way of saying, well, isn‘t it OK and being reasonable about it, when you don‘t know and I do, I think that you should be a little bit more responsible in knowing what it is. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Boy.  Am I the only one who feels sorry for Tom Cruise?

AVLON:  You are glib.

CARLSON:  No, you are glib.  You are glib.

(CROSSTALK)

AVLON:  Thank you.  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  He looked like the crazy guy on the bus in front of you.  He looked bad.  This is really hurting him. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  This is breaking the axiom that there‘s no such thing as too much publicity.  I think this is going to hurt his movie.  I think it‘s going to destroy his career.  I think future actors will think twice before hiring their sisters to be their P.R. agents.

And I think Matt Lauer, I have to say—not just sucking up—I think he did a great job, remaining calm.  It would be hard.  

GASPARINO:  Great job. 

I mean, listen, Tom came across as if he needed some Ritalin.  He was insane in this interview.  But he did raise some—let‘s give him some credit.  He raised some decent points.  There is, I believe, an overprescription of this stuff.  You know, people go to the shrink just because they feel sad.  I mean, we do have to take that into account. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  No.  I think it‘s a serious issue. 

GASPARINO:  Right. 

CARLSON:  But if you‘re there to flack your movie...

GASPARINO:  Right.  Well, it‘s a stupid thing to do.

CARLSON:  Can this help? 

GASPARINO:  No.

AVLON:  No.  Look, I want to defend a guy who stands up for what he believes in.

CARLSON:  Yes. 

AVLON:  But there‘s a desperate, unhinged quality about Tom Cruise these days.  And there‘s a line here.  Fanatics is somebody who, what, can‘t change their mind and won‘t change the subject.  And Tom Cruise is careening down that path real fast. 

CARLSON:  And Katie Holmes sitting off stage during this whole interview.  She‘s 26.  She has got her whole life in front of her.  What is she thinking? 

GASPARINO:  He‘s in good shape, the guy, isn‘t it?

CARLSON:  Yes. 

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  I mean, that‘s what she‘s thinking.  Good shape, a lot of money.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  He‘s fit, but he—I don‘t know.  He‘s a little scary looking.  I feel bad for him. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Next situation is Vice President Dick Cheney and Guantanamo Bay and the detention facility there. 

The vice president defended the controversial prison by saying detainees are very well treated, well fed and—quote—“living in the tropics.” 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  Meanwhile, “New York Times” reports today that military doctors have been advising Gitmo interrogators on how to increase stress levels and exploit the fears of their captors.  Tropics, yes.  Club Med, no. 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  I don‘t know.  I‘m not going to judge these doctors.  I mean, these are people—the people being held at Guantanamo Bay—who we believe, for a time, anyway, were actively planning to commit terror in the United States. 

GASPARINO:  Right. 

CARLSON:  And, you know, people who help find out what they know and potentially saved us from terrorist acts are doing a good and patriotic thing, I think.

GASPARINO:  Right. 

CARLSON:  And, by the way, actually, Guantanamo is not so bad.  It‘s not a gulag.  It is in the tropics?

GASPARINO:  You want to go there for vacation?

CARLSON:  No.  But, I mean...

CARLSON:  Let‘s get a little perspective.  It‘s not a gulag.

GASPARINO:  A couple margaritas—a couple margaritas in your cage. 

Listen, if you know any doctors, clearly, the object of torture is to keep someone alive.  So, doctors can clearly play a role in torture.

(LAUGHTER)

GASPARINO:  Though there‘s an issue here that sometimes this is going to conflict with their Hippocratic oath. 

AVLON:  Yes, yes, just a little bit here. 

I mean, look, liberals are going to want to call this gulag.  They have.  They‘re going to want to raise the specter of Josef Mengele.  It‘s not that, but it ain‘t club fed either.  And whenever, whenever doctors, at the service of the government, start violating the Hippocratic oath, first do no harm...

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  We don‘t know that they‘re violating it, though.

AVLON:  Well, start walking that edge, Americans should be concerned. 

Period. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Yes.  But wait a second.  There are a lot of doctors who perform therapeutic abortions.  So, I mean, it‘s sort of hard to get on a high horse about their ethics, in my view, anyway. 

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  And let‘s face.  Are they like hooking these guys up to jumper cables?  I don‘t think they‘re doing that yet.  I mean, this is minor sleep deprivation, maybe. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Well, Cheney—and Cheney made I thought a smart point when he said, how many countries take people who they believe are plotting against them...

GASPARINO:  Right. 

CARLSON:  ... and treat them the way we treat the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay?

(CROSSTALK)

AVLON:  In the history of the world, this is far from the worst thing that‘s ever occurred.  Should we be too complacent about it and not care?  No. 

GASPARINO:  We‘re not.  We read about it every day. 

CARLSON:  That‘s true. 

Our next situation involves a theocr—theoretical—and also theocratical, potentially—presidential showdown between Republican John McCain and Democrat Hillary Clinton.  A new Zogby poll has McCain trouncing Senator Clinton 54 percent to 35 percent in a head-to-head matchup.  Not surprisingly, McCain also whipped 2004 loser John Kerry, winning that possible contest by 20 percent.

I‘m not surprised at all. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  I think this isn‘t likely.  I mean, it‘s way to early.  And head-to-head matchups three years out mean very little. 

On the other hand, I wouldn‘t be surprised if these were the contenders.  And I also wouldn‘t be surprised if John McCain, whom I love, turns out to be a less effective campaigner than people think.

GASPARINO:  Right. 

CARLSON:  The qualities that make him a great interview, his willingness to say what he really thinks, are the same qualities that make him not very effective on the campaign trial often.  Her qualities, Ms.  Clinton‘s qualities, discipline...

GASPARINO:  Right. 

CARLSON:  ... foremost, make her a pretty good campaigner. 

GASPARINO:  Right.  And this may be a boring campaign, because I think John McCain is very moderate on so many issues.  I mean, and Hillary is becoming more moderate.  So, you may not see them disagreeing on too many things. 

AVLON:  Well, look, John McCain proves that you can be moderate, but still dynamic and speak to that vital center.  And this polls show the strength of the center in American politics.  We don‘t have to settle for 51-49 races forever.  He appeals to moderates, moderate Democrats, independents.

GASPARINO:  What‘s wrong with that, by the way? 

AVLON:  Republicans. 

Well, I‘ll tell you what‘s wrong with that.

GASPARINO:  Because we do—we do have an airing of the issues when you have a 59-40 -- you know, 50 -- 51-49 race. 

AVLON:  Yes, but I think—you know, the American people aren‘t nearly as deeply divided as our Congress and our political folks.  And they‘re getting sick of it.  And when a John McCain steps up...

GASPARINO:  Although they‘re electing conservatives—electing conservatives and a lot of liberals. 

AVLON:  When a centrist like John McCain stands up and speaks independently and appeals across party lines, he wins elections...

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  Wait until he starts saying his Hillary jokes—or, excuse me—his Chelsea jokes.

CARLSON:  Well, that‘s right.

GASPARINO:  I mean, he has a bizarre—there‘s a bizarre quality other him sometimes as well.

CARLSON:  Well, I mean, McCain is independent in that I think he hates his own party.

GASPARINO:  Right. 

CARLSON:  And that makes him independent. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  But he‘s actually not liberal on a lot of things. 

AVLON:  No, he‘s not.

CARLSON:  He‘s pretty aggressively pro-life.  I don‘t think he‘s ever seen a conflict that he wasn‘t for.  I mean, he‘s always for committing American troops. 

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  He‘s pro-immigration.  And I think that‘s a wedge issue that...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  But will Democrats be able to attack him? 

AVLON:  Look, first of all, it‘s hard to attack a former POW who has broad bipartisan support.  He‘s shown that you can be strong and speak for the center.  And Hillary Clinton is an incredibly polarizing figure.  And Democrats are going to follow her off the cliff if they don‘t have the discipline to say no. 

CARLSON:  Except he‘s, at this point, anyway—and this will change -

·         but he‘s more popular than Hillary Clinton among Democrats in the states that went Democratic. 

AVLON:  Absolutely. 

CARLSON:  Amazing.

Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison wants the right to bear arms in the District of Columbia, where she lives.  She says she has at least 30 co-sponsors of a bill that would repeal all the D.C. gun control restrictions of the last 30 years. 

In a press release about her push for gun rights, she says today—quote—“The rights guaranteed by the Constitution do not end at the borders of Washington, D.C.”

This is exactly the kind of story that has a certain sort of person all atwitter.  My question is, why shouldn‘t a law-abiding citizen, a U.S.  senator like Kay Bailey Hutchison, be able to have a gun in her house?  There‘s nothing wrong with that.  Gun control hasn‘t done a lot for Washington.

GASPARINO:  Right. 

CARLSON:  I‘ll also say, nor Detroit, nor New York, or Los Angeles, or the urban centers that have heavy-duty gun control laws.  Laramie, Wyoming, doesn‘t have any gun control, virtually.  And there‘s almost no crime. 

GASPARINO:  I mean, listen, there should be some standards.

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  And people should be able to, let‘s face it—like, they get a driver‘s license, get a gun license.  To some degree, there should be standards.  And I think most people agree with that. 

AVLON:  Look, I‘d have a lot more sympathy for this story if it was back in the days of Marion Barry, where he used to brag that D.C. had the lowest crime in the country, except for the murders.  But we‘re a long way from there. 

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  Oh, the place isn‘t that—the place isn‘t that good now. 

(CROSSTALK)

AVLON:  Well, but the fact is, you know, that urban America is back from the brink in a lot of ways.

And, in part, it was strategies that took the guns off the streets that helped that crime decline.  Look, this is...

(CROSSTALK)

AVLON:  She‘s trying to score political points.  God bless her for it. 

We‘re talking about her.  But...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  But why shouldn‘t—but here‘s my question.  Why shouldn‘t a law-abiding person be allowed to have a gun in their house?  I mean, would it make the District more dangerous if she had a .357 Magnum under her pillow?

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  Yes.  Listen, I see the—you don‘t want to go too far with this.  But obviously...

CARLSON:  I do.

GASPARINO:  You do?

CARLSON:  Yes.  I want to go too far with this. 

GASPARINO:  Let me see your gun.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  But I think—I honestly think...

GASPARINO:  Don‘t shoot me.

CARLSON:  ... that law-abiding people ought to be able to have weapons if they want. 

GASPARINO:  OK.

To some extent, I do.  But, I mean, there needs to be standards.  And there aren‘t—she didn‘t articulate any standards. 

AVLON:  I‘m pretty sure she‘s not a grave danger in the Senate. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  Probably not. 

Coming up, a 13-year-old Florida girl was drunk, stoned and hostile, but did she really deserve to get Tasered by a sheriff‘s deputy?  We‘ll break that down in our outsider segment. 

Plus, it was an amazing week and a historic time in the Supreme Court.  With its future in flux, a central player in the politics of American justice joins me next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  If Chief Justice Rehnquist retires on Monday, who will replace him?  One man will oppose any of President Bush‘s nominees.  The leader of People For the American Way joins us next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

Chief Justice William Rehnquist hasn‘t announced his retirement from the Supreme Court or even his intention to announce his retirement.  That day will come, possibly sooner rather than later.  And when it does, People for the American Way will be ready.  The liberal group has spent the last four years preparing to oppose President Bush‘s first nominee to the high court, whomever that nominee turns out to be. 

With us tonight, the president for the People for the American Way, Ralph Neas. 

Ralph, thanks a lot...

RALPH NEAS, PRESIDENT, PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY:  You‘re...

CARLSON:  ... for joining us. 

NEAS:  Thank you, Tucker.  It‘s great to be back with you. 

CARLSON:  Thanks.

So, shouldn‘t you find out who the nominee is going to be before you prepare to oppose them? 

NEAS:  You know, I was just going to ask permission to correct your opening. 

We‘ve been preparing for a possible Supreme Court vacancy.  But, hopefully, we don‘t have to oppose who the nominee might be.  If Chief Justice Rehnquist does decide to retire, to resign, we hope, pursuant to that memorandum of understanding with the gang of 14, that there will be some bipartisan consultation, which could lead to a bipartisan consensus, sort of a Sandra Day O‘Connor-type nomination that wouldn‘t warrant any opposition. 

And in this time of war, in this time of great uncertainty, it would great to have a unifying moment like this and have a person supported by both Democrats and Republicans. 

CARLSON:  So, what would you do at that point?  Apparently, you have got all these researchers working on preparing for this battle, if it should occur.  Would you just shut down and go home at that point? 

NEAS:  Tucker, we‘ve been preparing, as you know, every day since I took over in January of 2000 for possible Supreme Court vacancies. 

And, of course, we just came through a tremendous effort with respect to defeating the nuclear option.  And George W. Bush said back in September he would have—and we didn‘t know about Rehnquist at the time—but he said on a particular luncheon program that he would probably have a late spring appointment and three others before the end of his second term if he were reelected.  For once, he and I were in agreement. 

CARLSON:  OK.

NEAS:  Every 15 or 20 years, there are three or four vacancies. 

CARLSON:  So, how, Ralph, will you know if the nominee the president puts forward is unacceptable?  What specifically is unacceptable to you? 

NEAS:  What the president has said on various occasions, before he became president and after he became president, is that his favorite justices were Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. 

Those were code to his friends on the radical religious right, like James Dobson and Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, for justices who would have a right-wing philosophy, who would want to turn back the clock on civil rights and equal opportunity. 

CARLSON:  Well, right.  I know—I know—I know all the slogans.  But let‘s get really specific.  What would a justice or a potential justice, a nominee put forward by Bush, have to believe for him to be acceptable to you?  And what would be unacceptable, specifically on issues?

NEAS:  He, as I was about to say, would have to have a commitment to equal opportunity under the law  He would have to have a—or she—a commitment to privacy, to protecting clean water and clean air, to reproductive rights. 

But it‘s a judicial philosophy, Tucker.  It‘s really not one issue. 

CARLSON:  But, but, Ralph, you know as well as—I mean, look, nobody is for dirty water.  Nobody is against civil rights.  This boils down to abortion, doesn‘t it? 

NEAS:  No, that‘s...

CARLSON:  You don‘t want to see a nominee who is opposed to Roe vs.

Wade. 

NEAS:  Nothing could be further from the truth, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Then would you accept a nominee who was opposed to Roe vs.

Wade?

NEAS:  Tucker, we would look at the nominee‘s public record.  We would look at all of the issues and his judicial philosophy.

The right to privacy and reproductive rights would certainly be one of the most important issues we would look at, as would be equal opportunity laws, as would be environmental protections, as would be religious liberty and separation of church and state.  We don‘t have a litmus test.  What we look at is a person‘s judicial philosophy, how he or she would interpret the Constitution.  That‘s what the battle is about, not one issue. 

CARLSON:  Then, can you name a single sitting judge right now who is opposed to Roe vs. Wade who would be acceptable to you? 

NEAS:  Tucker, I have mentioned Sandra Day O‘Connor, because she is safely ensconced on the court.  And I would love it if there was a possibility to get a Reagan conservative like Sandra Day O‘Connor to be chief justice. 

If I mentioned a lot of Republicans who would have a good judicial philosophy, who would not turn back the clock, it would be the equivalent of a political kiss of death.  So, I‘m not going to mention any names on television. 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  OK.

Well, finally, do you think—I mean, you follow this really closely, Ralph.  When do you think Rehnquist is going to retire?  I know it‘s unknowable.  But what is your guess? 

NEAS:  My guess is, it‘s at the end of the term if he doesn‘t have a green light from the doctors.  I know he‘d love to continue.  He doesn‘t want to disrupt the court. 

He loves the court.  He‘s been a great chief justice, not because I agree with his judicial philosophy, but because of his collegiality and his administrative skills.  He doesn‘t want to hurt the court.  That is why he wouldn‘t continue if he‘s too sick.  So, I would think late June for the court to end.  And within a week or so, if he does retire, President Bush will put someone before the Senate. 

CARLSON:  Ralph Neas, president for the People for the American Way, thanks.  We appreciate it. 

NEAS:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Coming up, a majority of Americans want at least some of our troops in Iraq to come home soon.  Will President Bush listen to the people or just keep on keeping on? 

Also, an explosion for the ages today in St. Louis.  How did this fireworks display end?  The answer for you when THE SITUATION rolls on. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

Time now for “Op-ed Op-ed.‘  We‘ve read almost every editorial page in this country.  We‘ve chosen three of our personal favorites, to which Charlie, John and I will offer our own 20-second opinions. 

Ready? 

AVLON:  Let‘s do it. 

CARLSON:  The great David Brooks writes today in Helena, Montana‘s “Independent Record” that polls aren‘t appropriate in times of war. 

Here‘s what he says—quote—“There‘s a reason George Washington didn‘t take a poll at Valley Forge.  It‘s just wrong to seek withdrawal now, when the outcome of the war is unknowable and when the consequences of defeat are so vast.”

I love David Brooks.  He‘s a great guy and great writer and a great thinker.  And I sort of agree with this in that, you know, a hasty retreat is a bad idea.  On the other hand, polls actually do matter.  Public opinion matters, both because we have a volunteer army.  People have to support the war.  And by supporting it, they join up.  And also because the president I think has an obligation to explain why the war is a good thing and to bring the rest of us on board, to make the case.

AVLON:  Exactly. 

Look, pulling up a blanket up over your head doesn‘t make anybody safer.  Polls are snapshots in time.  You don‘t make governmental decisions or military decisions on them.  This administration certainly doesn‘t.  That said, there‘s an ailment of the pro-war movement now that doesn‘t want to hear dissent.  It makes them nervous.  And that‘s a dangerous impulse.

It‘s good to question these things.  It‘s good to take the pulse of the American people while we‘re at war. 

GASPARINO:  I mean, I agree with that, essentially. 

But, you know, some of these polls are ridiculous.  Do you like the war?  Do you want more killing? 

CARLSON:  That‘s right. 

GASPARINO:  I mean, these are some of the questions they ask. 

If you ask somebody, should we run like hell and get out of Dodge, they would say no.  I mean, I really think the American people, when you frame it that way, is for this war.

CARLSON:  That‘s right. 

And there are some, you know, foreign policy questions that actually are too complicated for ordinary people very much, including me, to fully understand. 

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  Or to distill into yes or no.

CARLSON:  However, you need the people to be behind it. 

Well, any have been punished or demoted over the years over the Abu Ghraib scandal following the release of those horrible pictures.  But “The Baltimore Sun” wonders what judgment will be meted out to those in charge. 

Quote: “Next month, Rumsfeld will decide what to do with Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, who was in charge in Iraq during the Abu Ghraib scandals.  One idea is to give him a promotion.  Political genius, if all you care about is embarrassing Democrats.  A huge blunder if you stop and think about America‘s tattered reputation.”

I don‘t know about the political angle of this.  I don‘t think it has anything to do with Republicans or Democrats.

GASPARINO:  Right. 

CARLSON:  But I don‘t think that our behavior in Iraq has all that much to do with how the Muslim world feels about us.  I think we‘re hated for other reasons.  We‘re not Muslim, for one.  We support Israel, for another.  They hated us long before we got to Iraq. 

GASPARINO:  Right. 

CARLSON:  And I think we ought to make this decision based on who is the best general. 

GASPARINO:  Who is the best—and I think most Americans are sick of Abu Ghraib.  I mean, we‘ve been saturated with coverage.

We know that we‘re not as bad as they are.  And we know there was some mistakes there.  And it‘s basically, you know, we‘re dealing with it.  And I—you know, what—I do have a problem, though, with Lorie English (sic) and some of these poor schlubs going to jail and their higher-ups not getting any penalties. 

AVLON:  Yes.  This is about accountability, or it should be.  You know, what goes on under your watch, that‘s the idea. 

And there‘s a tendency in this administration to elevate folks at a high level, even if decisions turned out to have been flawed. 

GASPARINO:  Right. 

AVLON:  We have seen this pattern.  Lorie English (sic) goes to jail.  A lot of those other folks go to jail.  Did they deserve to?  Yes, it looks like it.

But we shouldn‘t ignore the fact this is not one of the great shining moments in this chapter of our history.  And reward seems like an odd response. 

CARLSON:  Well, yes.  I mean, it‘s definitely—it‘s bad for us, but it seemed...

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  I mean, let‘s face it.  It‘s overkill. 

CARLSON:  But, also, to quote Tom Cruise...

GASPARINO:  Right. 

CARLSON:  ... it seems a little glib...

AVLON:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  ... to ascribe all the hatred we face from the rest of the world to this one incident, or Guantanamo Bay, for that matter. 

I don‘t think we‘ve ever gotten to the bottom of the most interesting question of all, which is, why did they attack us on 9/11?  Why do they hate us?  I never hear people ask that question.  Now, I haven‘t heard a satisfactory response. 

AVLON:  I‘m not interested in too much navel-gazing about that.  Let‘s just deal with...

CARLSON:  Well, I am sort of am.  It would be sort of nice to know. 

GASPARINO:  Right.  Well, you don‘t know?  A lot of them hate us. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

AVLON:  Yes. 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  They do.  But why?  I don‘t know.

GASPARINO:  Well, that‘s a... 

CARLSON:  I don‘t think it‘s because of Abu Ghraib.  But, you know.

Well, forget the real estate bubble.  It‘s the celebrity bubble that‘s about to burst, according to Eugene Robinson of “The Washington Post.” 

Here‘s what he writes: “It‘s a sign of the celebrity-market bubble that a bona fide, top-gun movie star has to make such a spectacle of himself just to stand out from the crowd.  There‘s such a glut of celebrities that they‘ll soon have to begin storing the surplus in silos in Iowa.”

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  That‘s true.

I mean, when I started this job, I‘ll confess, I didn‘t know a lot about popular culture.  I subscribed to “Us” magazine and “People.”  There are a lot of celebrities I‘ve never seen before. 

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  It‘s fun to read about them.

CARLSON:  Yes, they‘re—well, I don‘t know who they are, a lot of them.

But I think this may be giving Tom Cruise too much credit.  The idea that this was a calculated career choice that he made on “Oprah” and this morning on “The Today Show.” 

AVLON:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  That he‘s doing this for publicity, I suspect, I fear that maybe he can‘t help himself.  Maybe he‘s just doing this because that‘s the way he is. 

AVLON:  Well, it does appear that he‘s off the rails in more ways than one.

But, you know, it‘s not news to say that we‘re a celebrity-obsessed culture.  Absolutely.  The tail is still wagging the dog.  What bothers me is that you get more Americans voting for “American Idol” than for who their congressman is, more knowledge about some obscure detail about a B-movie starlet than their governor or senator.  That‘s an issue. 

GASPARINO:  Well, it does bother me that we give too much credence to what the celebrities have to say.

I mean, I watch some programs where interviewers asked celebrities, you know, what‘s your favorite novel?  Like, I mean, who cares what their novel is?  They‘re there essentially to entertain us.  And leave the politics aside.

CARLSON:  But, on the other hand, it is—you often hear people say, the average person is more interested in Lindsay Lohan—see, I do know who she is...

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  Than Joe Biden. 

GASPARINO:  Who are they interested in... 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Who—God knows.  She just turned 19, I think.  But, in some ways...

AVLON:  That might be a fair...

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  You know a little too much about Lindsay Lohan. 

CARLSON:  I do.  I read—I‘m an “Us” magazine reader.  I just admitted it.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  But isn‘t that kind of a good sign for the republic, not to be too pretentious about it?  But, I mean, isn‘t it?

Look, in countries where things are just about to fall apart, people are intensely interested in politics because politics really matter, say, in Ethiopia or Sierra Leone.  But here, it‘s such a centrist, placid country...

GASPARINO:  Right. 

CARLSON:  ... that people can relax and let the politicians deal with politics and focus on Lindsay Lohan. 

GASPARINO:  People are doing OK.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Yes. 

GASPARINO:  The country is semi-prosperous.

AVLON:  Appreciated beauty is a good thing.  Appreciation of stupidity, not such a good thing. 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  Yes. 

Well, if I could think of an excuse for Lindsay Lohan or a defense, I would mount one.  But I can‘t...

GASPARINO:  Yes. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Thank you, both.  See you in just a minute. 

GASPARINO:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Still ahead, we know by now that Saddam Hussein has a passion for Doritos and Raisin Bran Crunch.  So, what else could we learn from his about-to-be-released book?  We‘ll tell you. 

Plus, it was National Take Your Dog to Work Day today.  Hope you celebrated.  Only a heartless ogre, like our outsider, could oppose having man‘s best friend hanging around the old cubicle.

Stay tuned for a heated debate.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time to introduce “The Outsider,” a man from outside the world of news who bravely, if foolishly, volunteers to play devil‘s advocate to my reason on a series of stories.  Joining us tonight from parts unknown, ESPN radio and HBO boxing host, the man who single-handedly keeps the hair gel industry afloat, Max Kellerman. 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  Max, welcome.  And I mean that as a compliment. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO HOST:  Who‘s writing for you, Tucker? 

Because those are really good.

CARLSON:  I write my own scripts, Max, and I mean it.

The first story comes from Florida, where a county sheriff used a taser gun to subdue a 13-year-old April Rene Burleson at Lee Memorial Hospital.  Ms. Burleson was kicking and scratching nurses after she was picked up for loitering. 

She was found to be drunk, high on pot, and under the influence of Xanax.  She‘s 4‘9” tall.  She weighs 90 pounds. 

Now, who is this sheriff‘s deputy, Max, is my question?  This is so embarrassing.  If you are so out of shape and cowardly that you need to taser a 13-year-old girl, you should not be in the police department. 

And imagine this guy going home and telling his wife about this.  “You know, I had to deal with bad guys tonight, dear.”  I mean, this is shameful.  This guy should retire from the force.

KELLERMAN:  Well, let me ask you something, I see you‘re taking very courageous positions here, because yesterday you forced me to defend the Japanese at Pearl Harbor.  Today, it‘s the police tasering a 13-year-old girl who weighs 90 pounds. 

CARLSON:  I‘m, indeed, daring you to do it, yes. 

KELLERMAN:  OK, here I go.  Are you ready? 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

KELLERMAN:  What leads to the kind of behavior—you know, she was scratching and kicking a deputy in the chest.  What leads to that kind of behavior, other than the combined influences of alcohol, and Xanax, and marijuana?  Really, not the weed so much, as the alcohol and Xanax.  They don‘t combine well. 

What gives someone a sense that it‘s OK to do that?  You know what it is, Tucker? 

CARLSON:  What? 

KELLERMAN:  I‘m a 13-year-old girl.  You can‘t do anything to me.  Oh yes, actually, missy, we can shoot an electric current through your body.  How do you like that? 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  Wow.  I think you summed up the attitude of the sheriff‘s deputy perfectly.  But he still ought to be ashamed.  In fact, he ought to be in trouble. 

Think of this, Max.  If this girl had pulled this fit, pitched this fit in the middle of Wal-Mart, and her own mother had pulled out a taser gun and shot her with it in the middle of Wal-Mart...

KELLERMAN:  She‘d be arrested.

CARLSON:  ... the mother would be arrested.  Exactly.  And yet, the sheriff‘s deputy probably is going to get some commendation for this.  And the girl, the 13-year-old girl, is the one being charged. 

KELLERMAN:  OK, how about this?  Tasering sounds really bad.  But they do it for a reason.  It actually ensures maximum safety for everyone involved.  No, did that work? 

CARLSON:  It works against, say, like a 400-pound biker.  But this is a 13-year-old girl who weighs 90 pounds.  No, it doesn‘t work. 

KELLERMAN:  OK, Tucker, I just want to say one thing.  She‘s charged with, among the charges, battery by a juvenile on health service personnel.  Where do they come up with these charges? 

CARLSON:  Who knew you‘d have to dig deep into the code to find that law? 

All right, next outrage, ready? 

KELLERMAN:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  The biggest little lawsuit in the world.  Darlene Jespersen was a bartender at Harrah‘s Hotel and Casino in Reno, Nevada, for 21 years.  She was fired for not wearing makeup in the year 2000.  She then sued for wrongful termination and lost. 

But the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard her case again this week.  Harrah‘s contention is that makeup creates, quote, “a professional image” and demands good grooming of both men and women.

In unrelated news, of course, Reno is the biggest little city in the world. 

Hey, this is an interesting philosophical question, Max. 

KELLERMAN:  It is.

CARLSON:  And I think I‘ve settled it.  And here it is.  If I‘m an employer, I get to make you wear whatever I want to make you wear.  If I want to make you wear a French maid‘s outfit, I get to.  And if you don‘t want to, you don‘t have to work for me. 

This is common.  If you want to be a greeter at Disneyland, you‘ve got to dress up like Goofy.  If you want to work at McDonald‘s, you‘ve got to wear the outfit.  I used to work in a bean factory for a summer.  I had to wear a hairnet. 

It‘s a costume.  Employers demand it.  If you don‘t want to wear it, don‘t work there.

KELLERMAN:  I think you just want to see me in a French maid‘s outfit, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  It never even occurred—actually that‘s a chilling thought. 

KELLERMAN:  This is really actually a very interesting question.  This was the court‘s ruling, OK?  The defense attorney argued, as long as the policy is not unreasonable and not inconsistent with social mores, then it‘s OK. 

Well, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has now agreed to rehear it.  But this was the ruling of a three-panel judge, what, three judges ruled on this.  Male workers, as long as they have to be equally well-groomed. 

Well, it‘s much easier—the way social mores are, that‘s really the heart of the case.  Men, what do they have to do?  Get a short haircut, and keep your nails short, right?  Women have to go through this whole elaborate process.  So really, at the heart of this case is, the fact that the social mores are themselves unfair.

CARLSON:  No.  At the heart of the case is a bunch of angry liberals striking out against facts of biology, immutable facts you can‘t change.  Men and women are different.  And that‘s what they‘re angry about. 

But it doesn‘t mean that Harrah‘s ought to be held accountable.  Again, I just go back to the principle here.  If I‘m the employer, I can require my employees to wear whatever I want them to wear.  And they‘re not compelled to work for me if they don‘t want to. 

KELLERMAN:  Consider this, Tucker.  One of the complaints is that it‘s a demeaning message that the women‘s faces aren‘t good enough.  They have to wear makeup.  And you and I both know, if their faces aren‘t good enough, what do we—we have to come to work with bags on our heads. 

CARLSON:  Well, wait a second.  As you and I both know, I personally could be fired for not wearing makeup.  I work in TV.  So I‘m not suing. 

KELLERMAN:  You know what else this is?  This is, in a way, also age discrimination, because this woman had been working 21 years as a bartender, OK?  So figure she‘s at least 21 when she starts working there, right? 

So she‘s in her 40s.  Let‘s assume post-menopausal for a second. 

She‘s been around secondhand smoke for over two decades... 

CARLSON:  Oh, please.

KELLERMAN:  And it‘s time—and her bosses are saying, “Look, sweetheart, you‘ve got to put on some makeup.”  That‘s age discrimination. 

CARLSON:  I‘m sorry.  I wasn‘t going to go nuclear on you, but one last thing, she said in her complaint that she, quote, “wanted to be taken seriously as a bartender.” 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  OK, that‘s it.  That‘s the guilt killer right there.  I can‘t take her seriously. 

(CROSSTALK)

KELLERMAN:  They‘re not fair.  They‘re imbalanced between men and women.  I think that‘s at heart of this issue, and I believe that. 

CARLSON:  It‘s the nature of the world. 

OK, Max, you strike me at a cat guy, no offense. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  ... today was National Take Your Dog to Work Day.  I saw precisely zero dogs here at MSNBC world headquarters.  But there were canines at cubicles across the land today.  And it was a good thing. 

Not just a good thing, it‘s such an obviously great thing, that I‘m kind of surprised it isn‘t universal every day that every day isn‘t Take Your Dog to Work Day.  Of course you should be allowed to bring your dog into any workplace you want. 

This is one of the reasons I like France.  They‘re pro-dog.  Most Americans are pro-dog.  But there‘s a small and hard-core group, a splinter group of Americans...

KELLERMAN:  Are they liberals, Tucker?  Are they liberals? 

CARLSON:  I don‘t know if they‘re liberal, but they‘re misguided.  They‘re militantly anti-dog.  And they‘re setting an anti-dog agenda in this country, and I resent it.

KELLERMAN:  I see.  So now I‘m against 13-year-old girls and puppies? 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

KELLERMAN:  OK.  Here‘s the thing about taking your dog to work.  My wife, for instance, loves dogs.  By the way, I‘m a cat guy and a dog guy.  I like them both. 

My wife loves animals.  We can‘t have pets because she‘s extremely allergic.  What about all the people that are allergic at work to the animals?  They have to suffer there with their allergies?  It‘s not, you know—they might like the thing, but it still makes them ill, physically ill. 

CARLSON:  Yes, this is the problem with modern America.  A small group people annoyed by something prevents...

KELLERMAN:  Not annoyed.

CARLSON:  ... prevents everyone else from doing it.  I don‘t like the smell of smoke.  You shouldn‘t be allowed to smoke.  I don‘t like dogs.  You shouldn‘t be allowed to bring your dog.

KELLERMAN:  How about hygiene, Tucker?  Have you ever seen the way two dogs say hello to each other?  I mean, it‘s disgusting.  It‘s just not hygienic. 

CARLSON:  One last point, OK?  Our feelings about dogs in the United States set us apart from the savage nations.  Did you know that they eat dogs in North Korea?  Did you know that, in Iraq, they shoot dogs for fun?  Did you know that, in China, there are anti-dog pogroms almost every single year?

We love dogs.  That‘s what makes us different.  That‘s what makes us American. 

KELLERMAN:  You know what, Tucker?  I hate 13-year-old girls, and puppies, and I support the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. 

CARLSON:  Well, you‘re still a great man, despite it all, Max Kellerman.  Have a great weekend.  See you next week. 

Coming up, it‘s getting harder and harder to be Oprah, and it‘s even more trying to be Madonna.  How bad is it to be a gillionaire superwoman?  Bad enough to be on the “Cutting Room Floor.”  Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back to THE SITUATION.  Sitting in tonight for Abe Vigoda, I‘m Tucker Carlson. 

Plenty more to get to, so let‘s dive right back in.  Joining me once again, Charlie Gasparino and John Avlon.  Welcome. 

First situation, defending Karl Rove.  The man some call Bush‘s brain has been on the hot seat for days now since he told a Conservative Party gathering that, quote, “Liberals saw the savagery of 9/11 and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.”

So some of those very liberals have been demanding an apology.  But today, the White House responded that Rove was talking about filmmaker Michael Moore and Moveon.org, and said there is no need to apologize. 

And if he was, John, I think, talking about Michael Moore and Moveon.org, there is no need to apologize.  Moveon.org two days after 9/11 put out an online petition out there.  Seven hundred thousand people signed it urging the United States not to go to war in Afghanistan, instead to take these guys—Al Qaeda up and put them before the world court or something equally stupid.

So that‘s what he was talking about, fine.  The one thing I object to about his speech, he seemed to conflate 9/11 with Iraq, which I think is unfair, because I don‘t think they‘re related. 

AVLON:  Yes, just to begin with—look, lay off 9/11 to score partisan points.  You want to, you know, criticize far-left activists?  Absolutely.  Did that instinct exist in our heart?  Absolutely.

However, you know, the Congress was united after 9/11, Democrats and Republicans.  Bush spoke with a warm courage of national unity.  The country was unified through Afghanistan up until Iraq.  And to try to trot this out to score cheap political points, that‘s beyond the pale.

GASPARINO:  Although, the Democrats comparing this to Durbin‘s Nazi comment is pretty absurd.  Listen, I don‘t think he should apologize.  This was just a stupid thing to do politically.  I mean, you know, what is Karl Rove running around talking about this for, especially in New York? 

Now, he was speaking to the choir.  New York State‘s the only place with a Conservative Party.  And these people like their red meat.  But it probably wasn‘t...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Well, I think you make actually a good point.  I mean, you know, he‘s supposed to be working for the president, though he‘s got a different title now.  He‘s essentially the president‘s political consultant.  And he‘s becoming the story.  That‘s bad, but common. 

Next situation, why some people are telling Bob Geldof, “Thanks for nothing.”  Geldof‘s the man behind the 1985 Live Aid charity concerts.  He‘s working on another next month called Live 8. 

But an article in Britain‘s “Guardian” newspaper argues that Live Aid actually did more harm than good and ended up funding a brutal resettlement program that may have killed up to 100,000 people in Ethiopia. 

It‘s a very smart story in the “Guardian” today, and it also makes the point that sub-Saharan Africa is poorer now than it was 20 years ago and more war-torn than it was 20 years ago when Live Aid took place.  So I mean, it does beg the question—I‘m not saying aid is bad—but it begs this question...

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  You think dictators are bad though?

CARLSON:  No.  Well, of course they area.  But do the people who give aid care about the consequences of that aid?  Does the aid actually help people or not?  And I think that‘s a question no one ever asked. 

AVLON:  Well, blaming Live Aid for the poverty in sub-Saharan Africa...

CARLSON:  No, no, I don‘t...

(CROSSTALK)

AVLON:  I think that‘s over the top.  I mean, the point is, look, is there unintended consequence of every charitable action?  Absolutely.  Did a lot of food end up rotting on the docks because the Marxist dictator in Ethiopia did not want to get it to the people?  Absolutely. 

But look, Live Aid was a great moment where—here‘s celebrities actually doing something worthwhile with their energy, raising awareness about an issue that we‘re still dealing with, such as poverty in Africa, plus, U2, did a very good version of “Bad,” which deserves to be remembered.

CARLSON:  That‘s true.  And thank you for noting that, you know, the famine in Ethiopia was man-made.  It was Mengistu‘s fault.  It wasn‘t some natural occurrence. 

GASPARINO:  I mean, listen.  I‘ve covered charities.  A lot of them are scams.  You know, the food doesn‘t get to the people.  The money gets eaten up in administrative costs. 

And let‘s face it.  When these celebrities do get involved in these things, they really don‘t—they worry more about the message and less about how the process really works. 

CARLSON:  Yes, and it‘s—you know, like every place else, every place else, sub-Saharan Africa is a complicated, not a monochromatic place. 

GASPARINO:  Yes, what does Tom Cruise know about it?

CARLSON:  Yes.  And the idea that the West is responsible for its sufferings, you know, too simple.  Stupid, actually. 

Next situation, Big Blue does the math.  And the answer comes up:  “Go east.”  IBM says it will lay off some 13,000 workers in Europe and the United States.  Meanwhile, the company plans to hire more than 14,000 workers in India. 

Critics call it a simple place of shopping the globe for the cheapest labor.  And they say it‘s bad for workers.  It probably is bad for workers in the United States.  IBM says, “Actually, we‘re not going after cheaper labor, just better-educated workers,” as if there‘s necessarily a difference. 

I think the bottom line here is, globalization, for all the good it does, comes at a cost.  It does inevitably drive down wages in this country.  It destroyed the manufacturing base in this country.  It made a lot of people rich.  And that‘s great. 

But it also hurt some people.  And I wish at the outset the people who pushed globalization had been more honest about its effects. 

AVLON:  Yes, look, I mean, nobody should be surprised.  This is straight out of page of Tom Friedman‘s “The World is Flat.”  We have got to live in a global economy.  And IBM‘s reacting to it. 

Now the challenge is, on the part of the American labor force, how‘s it going to react?  How‘s it going to deal with this, on behalf of its workers? 

GASPARINO:  Well, what can it do?  I mean, you know, whenever Alan Greenspan says, “There‘s productivity gains,” this is what he‘s talking about.  We lower the wage rates.  You know, we ship jobs overseas.  And the problem is, you know, American labor and, you know, American business really hasn‘t come to terms with essentially the societal cost of this. 

CARLSON:  Well, I think the good news here though, to be fair to

IBM...

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  ... inflation.  That‘s about it. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Well, sure.  Most of the jobs are being taken away from Europe. 

And I think it‘s a fair point.  If you were given the choice between hiring a Belgian or an Indian, you know, I would go with the Indian.  Good for them. 

The situation in San Francisco could be pretty bleak for pit bulls, that‘s if lawmakers get their way and pass a bill that would force dog owners to sterilize their pit bulls.  They‘d also have to insure their dogs and muzzle them in public. 

It‘s all because of a series of recent attacks by the dogs, one of which killed a 12-year-old boy tragically.  But there is a really—as I said a minute ago to Max—there‘s a pretty active anti-dog caucus out there. 

It seems to me, you know, who‘s to know what a pit bull is versus some other breed? 

GASPARINO:  You don‘t know what a pit bull is? 

CARLSON:  Well, I do know what a pit bull is, but it‘s kind of hard.

GASPARINO:  They‘re weapons.  They are.  I know people with them. 

They are dangerous animals. 

CARLSON:  Because people mistreat them.  People hurt them when they‘re puppies, and then they become violent.  And there are laws against abusing animals, and they ought to be enforced.

AVLON:  This is root cause theory of dog behavior.

CARLSON:  Yes, it‘s true though.

AVLON:  You know, I‘ll tell you, beyond the tragedy, because, obviously, you know, children are murdered, that‘s—you know, no one‘s going to rush up and, you know, get glib about that.  However, there‘s a small irony here that the most permissive city in the country is looking to ban a breed of dog.  This is top of the agenda over there. 

GASPARINO:  Well, when they start killing people.  I mean, listen, I know people with pit bulls.  I‘m not saying all pit bulls are bad.  I‘m not anti-dog or anti-pit bull.  But there is a degree of aggressiveness with these dogs that you don‘t see in, say, Chihuahuas—or maybe you do see in Chihuahuas—but you don‘t see in Shiatsus, you know?  They can kill.

CARLSON:  Yes, scarier than golden retrievers.  I don‘t think San Francisco is the most permissive city.  Actually, I think it‘s kind of an authoritarian city in a lot of ways. 

You know, express your political opinion freely in San Francisco.  I dare you.  Try it.  Good luck.

On to the Saddam situation tonight, plenty of people want to throw the book at him.  But this probably isn‘t what they had in mind.

If you‘re looking for some beach reading this summer, look no farther than the latest novel from the author—that‘s right—the author, Saddam Hussein.  The deposed dictator‘s third effort is entitled, “Get out Damned One.”  The title, which pretty much says it all.  The novel was completed the day before the war in Iraq began. 

Can you imagine? 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  I‘m not going to buy it, but it has been translated into French. 

GASPARINO:  Not surprisingly.

(LAUGHTER)

GASPARINO:  Who‘s publishing this, by the way?

CARLSON:  I don‘t know.  You know, lunatic publishers of some kind, I think, actually out of Jordan.  But American troops massing on the border, and Saddam Hussein is frantically pecking out the final pages of his novel.

I just want to quickly read the thumbnail review of this page-turner.  “Get Out Damned One” tells the story of a man named Ezekiel who plots to overthrow a town sheik, but is defeated in his quest by the sheik‘s daughter and an Arab warrior.  It‘s apparently a metaphor for a Zionist-Christian plot against Arabs and Muslims. 

(CROSSTALK)

AVLON:  An anti-Semitic pot-boiler by a jailed dictator.

CARLSON:  Yes!

AVLON:  Where do I sign up?  Look, here‘s this guy, he‘s munching Doritos in his jail cell thinking of himself like some Gabriel Garcia Marquez character.  Not that much sympathy for the guy.  I‘m sorry.  Go write your third-grade novel.

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  I think there‘s probably a market for this... 

CARLSON:  I bet you $20 bucks...

GASPARINO:  ... as sick as that sounds.

CARLSON:  ... he will crack the top ten list in France.  It‘s just perverse enough to appeal to the French.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  I may read it.  What the heck?  I don‘t know, in the interest of news. 

Thank you both very much, John Avlon and Charlie Gasparino.  We appreciate it.

Coming up, how fat are the cops in Thailand?  Put it this way:  No one from the Chicago Police Department made the “Cutting Room Floor” tonight.  The Thai cops did, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for the “Cutting Room Floor,” in which we sweep up all the stories we couldn‘t get to and bring them to you. 

And for that, our producer Willie Geist.  Willie? 

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER:  Hey, Tucker.

All right, last night and the night before, we promised Dwayne Dog Chapman, the bounty hunter...

CARLSON:  Yes, we did.  Well, you did.

GEIST:  ... who wants to go after bin Laden.  We get a call this afternoon.  Dwayne has to go out on a bounty hunt, wouldn‘t you know it?  So he‘s out hunting a bounty, and we‘re looking for him. 

So we hope to have him in the very near future.  Monday, I promise, we‘re going to have Ulysses S. Grant on the show, talking about the reconstruction. 

CARLSON:  Terrific.

GEIST:  It‘s going to be wonderful.

CARLSON:  I‘m glad.  I thought he was dead, but I‘m glad to know he‘s not. 

GEIST:  Nope.  Good stuff.

CARLSON:  Thanks, Willie.

All right.  Amazing pictures from St. Louis today as a blaze at a propane gas plant sent giant fireballs rocketing into the sky.  Gas tanks outside the plant blew up dramatically.  Cars parked nearby caught fire.  Miraculously, all of the employees at the gas company are safe and accounted for.  The fire and smoke from the 150-foot flames could be seen for miles around the city of St. Louis. 

GEIST:  Nothing funny about this, just incredible video.  Look at that.  In St. Louis, they postponed the start of the Cardinals game, which, if you know anything about St. Louis, it takes an act of Congress to mess with a Cardinals game.  So this was a big deal.  Incredible video.

CARLSON:  I think that would do it.  Scary.

Well, the luxury goods store Hermes in Paris recently had the gall to refuse to open after hours for Oprah Winfrey.  And boy, are they going to pay for it.  Oprah‘s already canceled her order for a $6,500 bag.  Now she plans to do an entire show about the incident. 

Oprah‘s friend called it, quote, “one of the most humiliating moments of Oprah‘s life.” 

GEIST:  Wow.  You know, I‘m glad Oprah‘s still got her sense of perspective after all of these years.  The most humiliating moment of her life?  This rises to new levels of obnoxiousness. 

CARLSON:  When the Hermes wouldn‘t open after hours?

GEIST:  Yes, after hours.  How could they? 

CARLSON:  She‘s obviously had a pretty happy, placid life...

GEIST:  Correct.

CARLSON:  ... if that‘s the worst moment. 

Now, some news from another diva with a firm grip on reality.  Madonna has reportedly given her 8-year-old daughter, Lourdes, a credit card with a $10,000 limit.  The material girl apparently wants to teach Lourdes how to be responsible with money. 

GEIST:  And what better way, really, Tucker, to teach a child to be responsible for money if you give them a 10 grand a month spending limit?  There‘s nothing better happening in the world right now than Madonna teaching children about responsibility. 

CARLSON:  Oh, it‘s sad to watch it.

GEIST:  It‘s too good.

CARLSON:  A whole new generation of Tom Cruises come on up. 

GEIST:  That‘s right.  She‘s on her way.

CARLSON:  Nothing good can happen.

Well, you‘ve heard all the jokes about cops and doughnuts.  They‘re all true, by the way.  Well, the Bangkok police department has heard enough of those.  Eighty-eight officers in Thailand‘s capital city have been ordered to lose weight and participate in a two-week fitness program.  The officers will be on a strict diet and exercise regiment that includes fat-burning aerobics and yoga. 

GEIST:  Wow.  Look at those belts.  Tucker, you know what I always do when I shed a few pounds?  This number right here.  That does a lot, this number right here.

CARLSON:  I thought Thai food was supposed to keep you slim and fit? 

GEIST:  No, but leave these guys alone.  They‘re traffic cops.  Let them be fat.  They‘re not hurting anybody. 

CARLSON:  That‘s exactly right.

Now for tonight‘s greatest story ever told.  And this might be—this is a big claim, but we mean it—the best one yet.  A Fort Walton Beach, Florida, woman has filed suit against cosmetics-maker Estee Lauder because she says the company‘s anti-aging creams do not reverse the aging process. 

Diane Hutto claims Estee Lauder falsely advertises youth-inducing benefits of its products.  Her lawyer believes a class-action award could reach $5 million. 

GEIST:  Might not have worked for you, Diane, but me, I‘m 71-years-old.  Thanks, Estee Lauder.  The stuff works, what are you going to do? 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  She‘s getting older and blaming Estee Lauder.  That‘s amazing. 

GEIST:  Too good to be true. 

CARLSON:  Too good to be true.  We‘ll keep you updated on that breaking story. 

Willie, before we go, I‘ve got something for you. 

GEIST:  Is that right?

CARLSON:  Check this out.  French cows wearing exotic lingerie.  Look at that. 

GEIST:  Kind of hot.

CARLSON:  This show has a little bit of everything, not to brag. 

All right, thanks for watching.  I‘m Tucker Carlson.  That‘s THE SITUATION.  Have a great weekend.  “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY” is next.  We leave you with the cows.

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

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

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