updated 6/30/2005 8:57:14 AM ET 2005-06-30T12:57:14

Guest: Jack Tyson, Bethany Hamilton, Marcia Twitty, Claudia DiFolco, Sharon Waxman, Linda Allison, Pat Brown, Mary Fulginiti, Caren Janssen

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAREN JANSSEN, ARUBAN PROSECUTOR:  They spoke about the situation that, when there is no body, you don‘t have a case.  And that was already in the first day after the disappearance. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Boy, shocking news tonight, as the lead prosecutor in Aruba drops a bombshell in the case. 

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANSSEN:  We have not find any traces of a crime.  We are investigating that possibility. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  The lead prosecutor in Aruba gives an explosive interview, claiming she has no evidence a crime has been committed.  Should the U.S. government get more involved in this botched case?  We will have live reaction from Natalee‘s family. 

And it‘s T-Day Across America.  Tom Cruise‘s big movie opens across the nation.  But will the star‘s couch-jumping, his Matt Lauer attacks, and his Scientology proselytizing hurt him at the box office?  Is Tom Cruise facing disaster or another summer blockbuster?  We will have a panel of Hollywood experts to debate. 

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

SCARBOROUGH:  Tonight, developing news out of Aruba, as the lead prosecutor in Natalee Holloway‘s case tells NBC News that the investigation has been obstructed, this as Natalee‘s increasingly desperate family is trying to raise the pressure on the government of Aruba to get this investigation on the right track. 

We are going to have a live interview with Natalee‘s aunt in Aruba in just a minute. 

But, first, let‘s go to NBC‘s Martin Savidge, who had a major, explosive interview tonight with the lead prosecutor. 

Martin, the details obviously shocking the family of Natalee Holloway.  I know it‘s going to surprise a lot of people in America tonight.  What did you learn today from this interview? 

MARTIN SAVIDGE, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, Joe, I have to tell you, first of all, it was just how much information was coming out from the prosecutor.

In a case that has been lacking in information, suddenly, we sat down with Caren Janssen, who is the chief prosecutor, and she began to open up as to exactly what they have and what they do not have.  The first thing you realize is that there‘s a large information that they do have, and there‘s a ton of information that they don‘t.  And that‘s the bombshell there that struck you.  Excuse me.

So, as we sat down, the first question I asked was whether or not she was 100 percent convinced that a crime had taken place.  Here‘s where it begins. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANSSEN:  We are basing our investigation on that possibility, so I can‘t answer your question positively, because we have not find any traces of a crime.  We are investigating that possibility. 

SAVIDGE:  And, again, you seem to allude to it.  You are working under the belief that she is dead, but you have not received anything to confirm that she is dead.  Is that right? 

JANSSEN:  No, no, we can‘t confirm that, because, otherwise, we would have told the family first.  But there are no traces, no facts, no circumstances that we can base the opinion that we are sure that Natalee is not alive anymore. 

SAVIDGE:  And you have not been told anything by the people in custody that she is dead? 

(CROSSTALK)

JANSSEN:  No, no, that‘s true.  They didn‘t tell us that. 

SAVIDGE:  I guess there was a feeling—there is a feeling...

JANSSEN:  Yes. 

SAVIDGE:  ... that with the release of Mr. van der Sloot, Paul, with the release of Steven Croes, that the investigation has reached an impasse.  I know you spoke about that, but you seem to imply that, actually no, things are moving along very well. 

JANSSEN:  Yes.  I don‘t have that feeling that we are in the middle of an impasse or that we are at the end of a tunnel. 

I this positively, because we have many questions.  We have a lot of things we have to search for.  And I think we are in a phase, an important phase in the investigation, a crucial phase, perhaps, by getting those technical information, so we can make a timeline, because it‘s not only the night of Sunday to Monday what is important, but also the days after. 

SAVIDGE:  And these communications you speak of...

JANSSEN:  Yes. 

SAVIDGE:  ... the messaging, the chatting, this is what occurred between the three suspects? 

JANSSEN:  Also, and others. 

SAVIDGE:  After Natalee vanished? 

JANSSEN:  Yes, yes. 

SAVIDGE:  Have you actually been able to read, or do you only understand that they communicated? 

JANSSEN:  No. 

SAVIDGE:  Do you know what they were saying? 

JANSSEN:  We have much more information than only that.  I can‘t tell you the details about that.  I only can say there‘s telephone, e-mail, chat sessions, (INAUDIBLE) messages.  And that‘s the sort of communication that we are investigating now.  And it gives us a clear picture of where they were and how they communicate and what they said to each other. 

SAVIDGE:  One of the criticisms that has come from America is, why did it take so long before the three young men, the last men to deal with Natalee...

JANSSEN:  Yes.  Yes. 

SAVIDGE:  ... were taken into custody? 

JANSSEN:  Well, that‘s an important question.  I am glad you asked me that, because everyone in my business knows that, if you have a crime and you do an investigation and you have a certain moment that a person is coming to be a suspect, it‘s—the worst thing you can do is run and arrest him, because, in one hour, you don‘t have anything to speak about. 

You are through your subjects what you can discuss.  You have to investigate around him, have some information, and then, when you have a good solid base, you can go talking with somebody as a suspect. 

SAVIDGE:  Did you survey them?  Did you follow them?  Did you listen to their conversations?  Clearly, you were able to gather information. 

JANSSEN:  Yes.  I can‘t tell you what we did in that time, but we spent it on building up the investigation step by step. 

SAVIDGE:  The concern is that perhaps evidence was lost, that there was time for the suspects to dispose of what could have been evidence. 

JANSSEN:  That‘s not my opinion, no. 

SAVIDGE:  OK. 

The father and—well, let me see if I understood this correctly.  You mentioned that there was harm done to the investigation from Mr. van der Sloot, Paul van der Sloot. 

JANSSEN:  Yes. 

SAVIDGE:  And you said the family.  Are you referring to the Holloway family, when they—could you just clarify what you said, please? 

JANSSEN:  Yes.  OK. 

I said that the investigation was—I think you call it hammered or harmed. 

SAVIDGE:  Harmed is... 

JANSSEN:  Or obstructed by the fact that the father of the suspect, the minor, who has also been arrested, but released...

SAVIDGE:  What did the father do? 

JANSSEN:  Well, the father has spoken with those three suspects.  And he said he give them some legal advice.

But I think the advices were going further than that.  They spoke about the situation, that, when there is no body, you don‘t have a case.  And that was already in the first day after the disappearance.  And, secondly, the father and the mother have asked a friend of Joran, the suspect, the minor suspect, to come to their home, to tell them what he has explained to the police.  And that is, well, I can say, was an obstruction of the investigation. 

SAVIDGE:  The point that the father brought up in the conversation to the boys, if there is no body—and we have been searching all over this island for so long and searching in the water—what happens if there isn‘t a body?  What happens if she is never found?  Can you pursue this case? 

JANSSEN:  Well, we are now in the middle of an investigation.  Everybody is watching, the suspects also.  So, it wouldn‘t be wise to say anything about that possibility. 

We are focusing on the investigation.  We are getting some information.  We are doing it step by step.  It takes not days, perhaps weeks, but we are concentrating on that. 

SAVIDGE:  But you know Dutch law.  I mean, you must know what is required as far as evidence and proof. 

JANSSEN:  Well, the Dutch law is not so many different about than the American system. 

Maybe, when you go to court, in America, you have a jury trial.  And in the Dutch law, it is the judge who makes decision if somebody is guilty or not guilty.  But to build up the evidence, I think it‘s not so different as in the states. 

SAVIDGE:  With the evidence you have today, would you feel confident going before a judge? 

JANSSEN:  We have a long way to go.  We have still a long way to go. 

SAVIDGE:  That implies you may not have a lot.

JANSSEN:  You must give me a chance. 

SAVIDGE:  You have to admit, Joe, that it doesn‘t really end on an upbeat answer there.  There‘s an indication that this case has some problems, perhaps some very serious problems. 

Now, we did learn clearly that they have communication that took place between these three suspects and others, they say.  Perhaps that other includes Paul van der Sloot.  And then we also know now that Paul van der Sloot, Joran van der Sloot‘s father, did meet with these three young men. 

He is an attorney, as well a judge in training.  And he offered them legal advice.  But the prosecutor‘s office clearly believes it went beyond just simple legal advice, talking specifically about the issue, if you have no body, then you have no case.  And to bring that up the day after Natalee Holloway vanishes, to talk so specifically about a body, that has got a lot of people wondering exactly what has happened and if that is not a very damning situation—Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Martin, that‘s—that‘s exactly the part of the interview that I think most Americans are going to key on, that you got her to tell you that that was the key part of the investigation, that they spoke with him.  He said, no body, no case. 

Does she consider that to be damning evidence?  Could he once again be arrested in the future?  Could there be further arrests from what they have learned? 

SAVIDGE:  Well, you know, I asked her that specifically.  I said, don‘t you think that‘s fairly implicating there?  And she said, well, I will let you draw your own conclusion.

But she was already drawing a conclusion on that one.  She felt quite strongly that that implies more than just a simple legal advice.  Keep in mind, she was the one that asked for the father to be arrested.  It wasn‘t her that let the father go.  It was a judge that let the father go.  Now, the real question is, why would a prosecutor speak out at this particular time?  Why is she revealing this information after being so tight-lipped? 

Here‘s one possibility.  They have already gone before a judge, just today, and requested that these three suspects now be held for 60 days, not the eight-day periods we have grown accustom to, but 60 days.  In order to do that, you need some very strong evidence, hence, why they are bringing forward the information about the—perhaps the wiretaps, the e-mails, the chat sessions that they have overheard. 

They know that if they don‘t get a judge to go along with them, these suspects could be set free and set free at this particular juncture.  We already know what one judge did when it came to Paul van der Sloot.  He walked. 

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt, Martin. 

Martin Savidge, thanks a lot for bringing us that great interview.  Obviously, this interview is going to help bring up—well, actually, not clear up a lot of questions, unfortunately, going to bring up a lot more questions. 

Coming up next, we are going to go back to Aruba, live, and we are going to talk to Natalee‘s aunt.  We are going to get the family‘s reaction to the fact that the prosecutor believes that, yes, the father obstructed justice. 

Also coming up, senators sent running for the exits, the White House in a code red, the president evacuated.  You are going to see what happened tonight in Washington and why. 

Then, later, his big movie opened tonight, but will Tom Cruise‘s loose lips sink “War of the Worlds” at the box office?  We are going to tackle that with our all-star panel. 

It‘s a big night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, and we are just getting started.  So, stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  While America prays for Natalee, it appears the suspects have been trying to figure out a way to get rid of the evidence.  The father says no body, no case.  Now we are going to see how Aruban authorities respond.  And we are going to go to the island to talk to the family next on the search for Natalee. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  The van der Sloots were on Aruban TV today proclaiming their son‘s innocence.  But Aruba has been rocked by Paul van der Sloot‘s, no body-no case pointer to the key suspects in Natalee‘s disappearance. 

With us now live from Aruba, Natalee‘s aunt, Linda Allison.

Linda, thank you so much for being with us tonight.

I have just got to ask you, what‘s your reaction to what you have heard tonight from the father of the key suspect and his advice to them that, if there‘s no body, there‘s no case? 

LINDA ALLISON, AUNT OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY:  Well, obviously, listening to that just a few minutes ago was the first that I had heard of that.

And it does come maybe a little bit disappointing, if there is really not the evidence there that we were expecting or anticipating.  Yes, we do felt like this father is involved.  If he continues to do the sort of things with the coaching of his son—and I have heard rumors that he also was responsible for getting the attorneys for the brothers.

So, he may have a lot to lose here if he is not covered, as far as his attorney being able to sufficiently look out for his best interests. 

ALLISON:  Go ahead. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Go ahead. 

No, I was just going to say, the thing is...

SCARBOROUGH:  We have got a delay here.  And I‘m sorry. 

I will let you finish in a second.  What is so disturbing to me here is, you have got a guy who is a court official.  And he seems to know everybody down there.  And the day after Natalee disappears, he is passing out this type of advice.  And maybe—you know what?  I mean, Natalee‘s mom seemed to know exactly what was going on.  The second she saw this guy, she had, he knows more about my daughter than he is saying. 

ALLISON:  Yes, we do feel like that he has some knowledge, that he has known something from the beginning, visiting with his son, possibly later that morning, early morning hours.  The mother was not around.

So, she can get on the TV and talk with confidence about what a good son he is and how she just thinks that he is not guilty, but she may truly not know what‘s going on or be naive as to all what her son could be potentially capable of doing. 

SCARBOROUGH:  How is the family holding up tonight with this new information?  How are they holding up with the search?  Obviously, we talked to one of the key searchers brought in from Texas.  He seems like he‘s tired and he seems like he‘s discouraged. 

ALLISON:  Well, with EquuSearch being here, of course, we are continuing to cover the island and go through as much of the territory as we can. 

We have a request in for the Dutch Marines.  And I got a late phone call this afternoon saying from the prime minister‘s office that the paperwork has been processed for the Dutch Marines to be activated.  And I don‘t know if it‘s, at this point, just the logistics of getting them out there.  And, hopefully, there‘s not going to be a holdup, that this—

Dutch Marines will be activated just hopefully tomorrow or the next day. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Boy, let‘s hope so.  Obviously, we are all looking for a big break in this case.  Linda, thanks so much for being with us again.  And know our thoughts and prayers remain with you and your family. 

ALLISON:  Thank you.  Thank you so much. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now let‘s turn to our criminal experts.  With us now are Pat Brown, who is a criminal profiler, and attorney Mary Fulginiti, who is a former federal prosecutor. 

Pat Brown, let me begin with you.

Is it against the law to tell your son, to tell your clients, hey, if they don‘t have a body, then they don‘t have a case against you? 

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER:  Well, Joe, I am not sure what Aruban law says about that kind of advice.  They call it obstruction of justice. 

What I find, it‘s very, very interesting.  And it tells us a whole lot.  First of all, if you are a father and your son has come to you and said, dad, I‘m innocent, you are not going to say, don‘t worry, if they don‘t find a body, you don‘t have a problem. 

You know, you would say, well, of course, if you are innocent, there‘s nothing to worry about.  Let‘s go help the family out as much as we can.  You don‘t say, if no body, no case, son.

And, on top of that, why did he bring the Kalpoe brothers into this?  If his son was alone—but that he was the last one with Natalee, and the Kalpoe brothers know nothing, why would he take a chance of talking to them about this situation, unless he knows they helped his son do something?  My guess would be get rid of evidence. 

And, therefore, he knows what happened to Natalee.  He knows how his son is involved.  He knows how the Kalpoe brothers are involved.  And I think this is a great break, because he has pretty much admitted, I know what happened.  And, therefore, something did happen.  And we know who did it and we know who helped. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Mary Fulginiti, let me ask you, how many times—because I can tell you, I have talked to a lot of prosecutors.  I have been in a lot of courtrooms where everybody in the court knew that the guy sitting at the defense table was guilty, and yet they didn‘t have the evidence.  They didn‘t have the body.  They didn‘t have the weapon, so he walked.  That happens a lot, unfortunately, doesn‘t it? 

MARY FULGINITI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR:  You know, unfortunately, it does. 

I mean, just because we think somebody is a criminal and just because there may be sufficient evidence to put them in front of a jury or a judge doesn‘t mean there‘s sufficient evidence to get them over that bigger hurdle, which is, in our particular country, beyond a reasonable doubt.  So, it is very frustrating.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, but, but, Mary, is it—I mean, this sounds—it sort of sounds like something out of “The Godfather” or out of “Sopranos,” where the Godfather boss says—you know, says to somebody working for him, hey, no body, no case. 

What if I as a criminal defense attorney said to somebody sitting in my office, you know, I have got this problem; they are looking at—looking at me as a possible suspect in the disappearance of a young woman, and I say to them, hey, if they can‘t find the body, they don‘t have a case against you?  Am I in trouble?  Is my client in trouble? 

FULGINITI:  You know, no, not necessarily. 

Obviously, criminal defense attorneys I think in certain circumstances have many conversations with clients about what the evidence is or isn‘t.  And, in weighing that, and the reality of whether or not you will get charged if they do find a body or don‘t—so, no, I don‘t think that that is, in and of itself, a crime. 

I think, however, as my co-panelist here has indicated, is a very good fact for the prosecution, because an innocent person certainly doesn‘t sit there—or—and the father doesn‘t coach that person or say to that person, well, if there isn‘t a body, there isn‘t a crime.  So, it seems like there‘s a problem here.  And it‘s a critical piece of evidence that will hopefully be used to put the pieces of this puzzle together at some point in time. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, you know, Pat Brown, the interesting thing about this investigation is this.  This father went in.  He was being—he was being investigated. 

He told the prosecutors, yes, I told my son and the two boys, if they don‘t find a body, then there ain‘t no case against them.  Now, this tells me one of two things.  Either he had somebody inside the prosecutor‘s office or inside the legal system saying, hey, they have bugged you; they have got you on tape saying, no body, no case, so, don‘t deny it, first of all.

BROWN:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Or, secondly, the boys are talking, not his son, but the other two boys are saying, they are trying to pin it on us.  Let me tell you what his father told us.  If we get rid of the body, they can‘t throw us in jail. 

I mean, there‘s a breakdown in the system here somewhere.  And the father knows that he has been fingered. 

BROWN:  Oh, absolutely.  The father is trying to fix the situation.  And he may be called an accessory after the fact, so that is a—that will be an important thing to find out.

And, also, I think one advantage Aruba has over America is, they have a judge system and not a jury system.  When you have a jury and you go in front of them with not enough physical evidence, most juries are just too reluctant to convict anybody, because they‘re—they say, well, that—it‘s just too much doubt for me.  They‘re not professionals.  They don‘t know how to look at a case and say, well, absolutely something happened.  And this is—and—and a homicide is what it is.

But a judge, on the other hand, has a lot of experience.  And so he is not going to be so easily swayed.  So, they have a bit of an advantage, Joe.  And I‘m hoping that something will come up that... 

SCARBOROUGH:  Mary, final question to you for now.  I have got to ask you this.  We have been attacking the Aruban government for letting these people go for 11 days.

My question is this.  Tonight, we are hearing that they were possibly bugged, that they possibly got their transmissions and cell phones, pagers, e-mails, etcetera, etcetera.  Could it be possible that they let them go, that they got surveillance on them and actually letting them move around for 11 days could actually end up helping them break this case?  Or is that just wishful thinking and spin on the part of the Aruban authorities? 

FULGINITI:  No, absolutely, Joe. 

And, you know, you have to understand, you know, in many—in many instances where there‘s a disappearance or even a crime that‘s committed, people that are initially interviewed, you know, even though they don‘t have sufficient evidence at that point in time to detain them, which you have to have, right, in order to hold them in custody, doesn‘t mean that later on, like we have now, you know, they could be further detained, and doesn‘t mean that later on they wouldn‘t be arrested.

I mean, look at O.J. Simpson.  Look at Scott Peterson.  Those investigations went on for periods of time.  They were initially interviewed.  And it wasn‘t until sometimes months later that they were ultimately arrested for the crime.  So, you are absolutely right.  They did it in the Peterson case.

They surveyed him.  They were able to watch him go back and forth to the scene of the crime or where the body was dumped.  And, hopefully, in this case, maybe they were able to gather some similar types of evidence. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s hope so. 

Pat Brown, Mary Fulginiti, thank you so much for being with us.  We really appreciate it. 

I am telling you what.  This case may be, may be on the verge of breaking wide open.  And I will tell you what.  When it does, it‘s going to be the father who is going to find himself looking into the spotlight.  It‘s going to be ugly. 

Speaking of spotlights, will Tom Cruise‘s public rants about psychiatry and about Scientology keep people away from “War of the Worlds”?  His big movie opened tonight.  And our all-star panel is going to weigh in coming up next.  You are not going to want to miss it. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  His new fiancee, Scientology, psychiatry.  When it comes to Tom Cruise, people are talking, talking about everything, except maybe his movie.  Will Tom‘s wacky behavior damage his career?  Our all-star panel is going to be answering that one.

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

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  In Mountain Brook, Alabama, the wall of hope that has sparked a new campaign on Natalee‘s behalf continues to grow.  Natalee‘s aunt, Marcia Twitty, is now asking Americans to send letters to the Dutch government asking for more help. 

Now, tonight, I spoke with Marcia Twitty and I asked her about her efforts. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARCIA TWITTY, AUNT OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY:  You know, people keep asking us, what can they do?  So, what we are asking is that, for 37 cents, if they would write a very polite letter to the Dutch ambassador to the United States, asking for continued support from the government in Holland to please help us with the investigation in Aruba.  So, that‘s what we are asking people to do. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I know, obviously,the family is working with the Aruban government.  And you certainly don‘t want to offend anybody, especially while everybody‘s focus is on finding Natalee.

But what specifically has the Aruban government not done that—well, let‘s just face it—they need a little push on, they need a little help on from this letter-writing campaign? 

TWITTY:  Yes, maybe perhaps if we could get some other state-of-the-art technology down there from the Holland government involved, more perhaps pressure to find some answers as soon as we can, anything that we could ask the Dutch ambassador to do to continue to keep this on the forefront with his colleagues, to let them know that this is very important to Americans. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And you know, Marcia, you all have known from the very beginning.  It‘s like you have almost had this sixth sense.  And, of course, you have got a mom, who always sort of has that sixth sense about her daughter when she is in danger.

And she said, that very first night when she talked to the father, she knew something was wrong.  And, if she knew that, I just—I am just wondering, why is it taking them so long?  It‘s got to be so frustrating for you and so frustrating for your brother and so frustrating for all of Natalee‘s family. 

TWITTY:  I mean, you know, the very—the next day when I talked to Beth, the very next day, she said, the Dutch kid and the dad know something about Natalee.

And the entire time she has been down there, which is over a month now, Beth has never, not one time has she wavered from the fact that she—she knows.  She knows they have information that she needs on trying to find Natalee. 

And, you know, even when she went in the house one night, she came back, and I asked her, I said, did your heart change?  And she said, no.  I know now even more that he has answers that I need as to where Natalee is. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Thanks so much for being with us.  Obviously, all of our prayers are going to remain with you and the family.  And if we can ever do anything for you all, just let us know. 

TWITTY:  Thanks a million.  Hopefully, we will have answers soon. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  God bless you. 

TWITTY:  Thanks. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, if you would like to learn more about this letter-writing campaign, you can go to my Web site at Joe.MSNBC.com. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR:  The BET Award goes to—Who do you think? --

Jamie Foxx. 

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) 

CRUISE:  Hang on, hang on.  Maybe—let‘s see if I can‘t give him a call here. 

JAMIE FOXX, ACTOR:  And to my man, Tom Cruise, baby, you hold it down for them.  I am jumping up and down on the couch right now in my room.  It‘s going (AUDIO GAP) beep. 

CRUISE:  Much love. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Nice to see a smile on his face, finally.  That was Tom Cruise at last night‘s BET Awards presenting an absent Jamie Foxx with his award and laughing at his own expense for the now infamous couch-jumping episodes on “Oprah” and “Jay Leno.”

Tom, along with his new fiancee, Katie Holmes, is everywhere these days—are everywhere these days, as “War of the Worlds” opens up today.  But will the movie suffer for Cruise because of outbursts like this one on “The Today Show” just last week? 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “THE TODAY SHOW”) 

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

If you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, Matt, OK?  That‘s what I‘ve done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  And here‘s more of Tom lecturing Matt Lauer about his position on psychiatry.  Don‘t have that right now. 

I‘ll tell you what.  Let‘s do this.  We will get back to that later on. 

Right now, let‘s bring in our panel talking about the movie and also, Tom Cruise.  We have got Sharon Waxman, Hollywood correspondent for “The New York Times” and also author of “Rebels on the Backlot.”  Also with us, NBC entertainment editor Dana Kennedy and Claudia DiFolco from “MSNBC at the Movies.”

Sharon, let‘s begin with you.  I want to ask you two questions.  What is going to be the short-term impact on Tom Cruise‘s movie this week?  What is going to be the long-term impact on his career? 

SHARON WAXMAN, ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR, “THE NEW YORK TIMES”:  Yes, that‘s the way to ask the questions, really, because there‘s two different things going on here.  One is the impact on Tom Cruise and his relationship with his audience.

And then you have a whole separate thing, which is this huge blockbuster Steven Spielberg movie.  So, all the market research is showing that this is a movie that a lot of people want to go see.  The reviews came out today.  They were largely very strong.  And so, you know, they track audience interest.  Audience interest in the movie is huge. 

Now, the longer-term question is whether Tom Cruise‘s antics of late.  You know, his very public relationship with Katie Holmes that a lot of people have questioned the sincerity of, his declarations about psychiatry that have now attracted a lot of criticism, whether that is going to affect some of his fans and alienate them in some way, that‘s a longer-term question, and we are going to wait and see that, but it‘s possible that that could—that that could fray that relationship. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Dana Kennedy, in the short term, obviously, this whole episode hasn‘t hurt Katie Holmes.  “Batman Begins” top movie at the box office two weeks in a row.  Will Tom Cruise enjoy a similar fate? 

DANA KENNEDY, NBC ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR:  Well, let me tell you first, I saw “War of the Worlds” Monday night.  Obviously, as you said, it opened today.

I was very disappointed.  As Sharon said, it got strong reviews.  I read my fellow critics‘ reviews and I thought, did we see the same movie?  It wasn‘t a bad movie.  It‘s not a disaster by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought it was really a disappointment for two people who I admire and like their work quite a bit, Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Why didn‘t you like it? 

KENNEDY:  Because it wasn‘t really scary.  There are wonderful individual scenes, Joe.  I think it plays too much on 9/11 fears. 

I think it panders to it.  And the aliens just were not scary.  They were these big tripod machines in the air.  You didn‘t know why they were attacking.  There‘s a big plot twist at the end that sort of just goes nowhere.  You don‘t know what happens.  And Dakota Fanning, who is 11, steals the movie completely away from Tom Cruise.

But, having said that, I cannot tell you how many of my cynical friends, when I told them I didn‘t love it, were so disappointed.  They want this movie to do well.  People want to go to movies like this and love it, as do I.  And I just didn‘t.

But I still think that, with these reviews, it might do really, really well, at least these first five days.  And I don‘t think Tom Cruise‘s career is going to be that affected by all this bad press.  In fact, it might give someone like him, who is rather fading in his box office appeal, some actually extra added interest. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We‘ll see.

Claudia, let me ask you, what are they saying about Tom Cruise in Hollywood, and how do you think it‘s going to play in middle America? 

CLAUDIA DIFOLCO, CO-HOST, “MSNBC AT THE MOVIES”:  Well, you know, Joe, here in Hollywood, the film industry, it‘s a very close-knit, small community at the end of the day.

So, there‘s a bunch of stories going around, as far as he was interviewing girls to be his next girlfriend, from Jessica Alba to Scarlett Johansson.  And she is not even going to be in “Mission: Impossible 3.”  Apparently, she was told about going by the Scientology center. 

He wasn‘t to apparently some Scientology function with her.  And she may have gotten spooked out and just decided not to even do the movie anymore or have anything to do with him.  So, I think all the publicity around this, I think we have to keep in mind that this is not only a Tom Cruise movie.  It‘s also a Steven Spielberg movie.  So, a lot of people are going to be going just to see what—the next thing that he has created.

And, you know, unlike—you know, we are in news.  So, Joe, if you or I get into a brawl in the bar or we get a DUI, we get canned.  But when it comes to stars and athletes, you know, they just become more and more popular.  And, yes, I do think it that definitely does—does fuel their careers and their projects. 

But Tom Cruise is not a guy that we just heard about yesterday.  For 20 years, he has been giving us hits.  And he has been, you know, bringing memorable characters to us.  So, I think he will be the superstar he is for a long time. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Sharon, I want to ask you this question. 

DIFOLCO:  He‘ll be around.

SCARBOROUGH:  A crazy one, but a superstar all the same. 

Sharon, you know, we always hear no publicity is bad publicity.

WAXMAN:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Obviously, if you are Paris Hilton, that‘s the truth. 

But what if you‘re Tom Cruise? 

You know, this weekend, I was just flipping around HBO and all the movie channels.  I saw “Top Gun,” took me back to—you know, I want to say high school, but I‘m afraid it was college.  Also saw him in “Collateral.”  Here‘s a guy.  He has done a remarkable range of pictures.  He overacts in every movie.  But, still, the guy is all-American.  How does it play when you are at the top of the heap and you start behaving erratically like this? 

WAXMAN:  I think that‘s why I think it‘s a really interesting question. 

I can‘t recall where we have had a situation like this, where you have a movie star as big as Tom Cruise, who you think you know.  We have seen him for 20 years.  This is part of the reason why I think the media and the Internet and the fan base and Hollywood and everyone is so fascinated by the story, because here we have a guy who has acted in a way that was familiar to us for practically 20 years.

And, all of a sudden, a guy we think we know is acting in a very, very different way and speaking out about his religion.  And he had been much more private about his personal life, and now displaying his personal life for all the world to see and getting engaged on a publicity tour. 

So, that is a really interesting shift, and to see that evolve.  And I think that that‘s way all of us are so fascinated by it.  But, also, it‘s going to—why I think that this could shift his relationship with his fans. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Bottom line...

SCARBOROUGH:  He shouldn‘t have fired his publicist, you know?

WAXMAN:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Wrap it up.  Go ahead. 

WAXMAN:  No.  I was going to say that that‘s really been the big change, since Pat Kingsley ceased to be publicist, who is a veteran Hollywood publicist, and protected him fiercely for many years and put all kinds of requirements down on journalists who wanted to interview him, and: 

You may not ask this question.  You may not ask that question.

WAXMAN:  Now he‘s basically being surrounded by a group of people from Scientology, including his sister, Lee Anne DeVette, who is his publicist now.  And it‘s a very, very different Tom Cruise that we are seeing. 

KENNEDY:  But it‘s great show business. 

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt about it.

KENNEDY:  I think it‘s fun to see someone have a meltdown, someone who has always been so controlled. 

KENNEDY:  I love that.  You know, why not?  Go, Tom Cruise, I say. 

Give us something to talk about. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Very good.  All right.  Very good.

And I will have a meltdown coming up next.

But, Sharon, thank you.

Dana, Claudia, greatly appreciate you being with us. 

Coming up next, she was simply doing what she loved, surfing, when suddenly she was attacked by a shark.  Coming up next, a follow-up.  We are going to be going live to the West Coast to hear from the brave young woman who barely survived that vicious shark attack and isn‘t afraid to go back in the water.

And, also, it‘s happened again, another evacuation in Washington, D.C., more fears post-9/11.  We are going to show you what happened coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Many are asking, is it safe to go back into the water?  There‘s the question on a lot of people‘s minds as they gear up for their Fourth of July vacation. 

My next guests know all too well what it‘s like to be attacked and what it‘s like to operate on somebody who has been attacked.  We got Dr.  Jack Tyson.  He treated eight-year-old Jessie Arbogast when he was attacked right here in Pensacola back in the summer of 2001.  And also Bethany Hamilton, she was attacked on Halloween morning in 2003 while surfing in Hawaii.  She is surfing again and the author of “Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board.”

We are going to go to Bethany in a second.

But, first, Doctor, I want to ask you, you know, some people get attacked by sharks, and they survive with scars.  Others get attacked by sharks, they survive, and don‘t function well after that.  And others, tragically, die, like the young lady in Destin a few weeks ago.  Please tell us, what is the difference? 

DR. JACK TYSON, BAPTIST HOSPITAL:  Well, the big difference is blood loss, Joe. 

When you have rapid blood loss, uncontrollable blood loss, it‘s going to be fatal.  And a lot of it‘s just luck or providence, really.  If an artery is transected, sometimes, it will spasm and stop bleeding.  Veins don‘t do that as well.  And, unfortunately, people bleed to death. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So, a lot of times, you may have the same type of attack on the leg, but the difference between, let‘s say, the young boy you treated, Jessie, and Bethany is, Jessie lost a lot more blood. 

TYSON:  Correct.  It‘s all about blood loss.  And the people at the scene, when they apply pressure directly to wrap the bleeding wounds, they can save a life.  So, that‘s something we want to tell people.  And it‘s about what vessel gets cut. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Bethany...

TYSON:  Go ahead, Joe.   

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  And, no, and then there‘s the blood loss.  And, obviously, that—like you said, that‘s what causes the greatest problem. 

Bethany, let me ask you something.  You obviously survived a shark attack.  You have lived to tell about it, lived to write about it, and you survived.  Do you still think about sharks when you go back out in the water, like you were—you just did a few minutes ago? 

BETHANY HAMILTON, AUTHOR, “SOUL SURFER”:  Yes, I do think about sharks.  But, once I am on a wave, it all disappears. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s a remarkable story you have, though.  Tell us what it was like when you were being attacked.  What did you feel out there? 

HAMILTON:  I guess I was just scared.  And my body just went into shock and—yes.

SCARBOROUGH:  And yet you survived it, and you went back in the water. 

Dr. Tyson, let me ask you, as Fourth of July is upon us, what advice do you give the people, not only in Northwest Florida and across the state of Florida, but up the East Coast and also the West Coast? 

TYSON:  Well, statistically, unfortunately, no offense to Florida, but we do have a high shark attack rate, especially around here. 

Going out during early morning or late at night is inadvisable.  Swimming way out is probably inadvisable.  In general, though, as you also know, it‘s extremely unlikely to be attacked by a shark.  And the water is beautiful. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Doctor, thanks for joining us. 

Bethany, thank you for being with us. 

Tell us quickly, what is your book about? 

Sorry.  Can‘t hear Bethany.  I am afraid we lost her. 

Coming up next, talk about scary moments in the water, some scary moments tonight in Washington, D.C., the Capitol evacuated, the president moved to a more secure location.  We are going to give you all the details coming up next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Some thought it was going to be a scene out of “War of the Worlds” earlier today in Washington, D.C., but it wasn‘t.  We will give you that story, though.

And if you want to know what everybody is going to be talking about tomorrow, start your morning by clicking onto Joe.MSNBC.com.  That‘s where you‘re going to get my morning read.

We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, the Capitol was evacuated late this afternoon.

Congressmen and senators were sent scurrying out of the Capitol and out of Congress in an all-too-familiar scene.  The House and the Senate were both voting, so Americans actually got to see what happened on the Senate floor as the alarm sounded.  Now, it seems a small plane entered the restricted place over Washington again, which triggered the Capitol alarm again.  And fighters escorted the pilot to nearby Winchester.  Same thing happened at the White House. 

But look at those senators running out.  You know why they are upset tonight?  They are upset because they were probably considering yet another congressional pay raise.  The little plane saved us all from that indignity. 

Thanks for being with SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY tonight.  Make sure you are back here tomorrow night.  Until then, see you.

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

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

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,