updated 7/13/2005 10:12:57 AM ET 2005-07-13T14:12:57

Guest: Robert Menendez, Charlie Gasparino, Rachel Maddow, Max Kellerman

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST (voice-over):  Is the Bush administration thumbing its nose at the Karl Rove investigation?

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  The White House isn't going to comment on it. 

CARLSON:  Why is the BBC refusing to call this the work of terrorists? 

Minority reports.  Should a seat on the high court be reserved for ethnic diversity? 

The WWE wrestles with political correctness. 

And all systems go for Discovery, but is she spaceworthy? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We believe we're safe.

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 our Tuesday night SITUATION.  I'm Tucker Carlson.

Plenty on the docket tonight, so let's unveil our stack of stories, which includes safety concerns at Cape Canaveral, psychos in the boardroom, plus, why one-third of all Americans are ready speed-dial the Ghostbusters' hot line. 

But, first, joining me once again is Air America radio star Rachel Maddow and, from “Newsweek” magazine, a man among men, Charlie Gasparino.

Thank you both. 

RACHEL MADDOW, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Thanks, Tucker.

CHARLES GASPARINO, “NEWSWEEK”:  Thanks for the intro. 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  Well, you're welcome, Charlie. 

First situation, blood in the water at the White House, Karl Rove, whose role as leaker in the Valerie Plame CIA case has Democrats lathering like they haven't lathered since Bush I said, read my lips.  From Hillary Clinton to John Kerry, Democrats today called for Rove's firing as Bush number two chief political adviser.  That shows no sign of happening, though.  When the president broke his silence through spokesman Scott McClellan today, it was to stand behind Rove. 

Now, I've made it really clear in the last couple nights I consider this story contemptible in its essence.  The story itself isn't really there.  I think it's ridiculous and much ado about very little. 

However, that said, the political implications of this, I believe, are huge, because they get to the very core of the president's appeal.  People like Bush not because they agree with him, because they think he's a straight shooter.  Therefore, now that he said, anybody in my administration caught up in this at all, he's bounced out, I think he's bound by his word to bounce Karl Rove out of here. 

GASPARINO:  I think you're going to—listen, I like this story as a journalist.  It's very juicy.  E-mails, e-mails are always great for journalists.  You know, you get to quote people exactly how they are. 

But Karl Rove, I don't think, did anything wrong. 

CARLSON:  I agree. 

GASPARINO:  He had to knowingly reveal this.

Think of it this way.  I think any journalist really knows this is a nonissue, because we love people who talk to us, who give us stuff.  And it looks like he didn't initiate the calls.  It looks like he was the one being called. 

MADDOW:  What we know is that, before Bob Novak ever published Valerie Plame's name, Karl Rove was talking to journalists about it and talking about Valerie Plame as a person who worked for the CIA. 

GASPARINO:  But that's a good thing. 

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  Karl Rove talking to journalists is a great thing.

MADDOW:  Talking to journalists.

GASPARINO:  When people call him up, talking to him.

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  And the Republican argument so far has been, listen, he was trying to avert Matt Cooper, who seems like a nice guy, from saying wrong things, from publishing falsehoods. 

Well, even if he was doing the most noble thing in the world, what he did in order to get to that point was out...

GASPARINO:  He...

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  Wait—was out an intelligence source who was operating covertly for the U.S. government. 

GASPARINO:  Who he didn't know—he probably didn't know was operating covertly. 

MADDOW:  How can you say that?  Why do you think that?

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  Why do you think he did?

CARLSON:  May we get to the facts of this very quickly here? 

Operating covertly, that phrase has been thrown around all day long. 

MADDOW:  Yes, that's right, because it's a fact.

CARLSON:  Someone who commutes to and from Langley, CIA headquarters, may, in some technical sense, be covert.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  But, in a practical sense, this person is not covert. 

That's simply a fact.

MADDOW:  But, listen.

GASPARINO:  She was a clerk.

MADDOW:  But why did the CIA, then, ask the Department of Justice to investigate this on the basis that a crime would have been committed, when the crime they wanted investigated was disclosing the identity of a covert agent? 

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  Why would the CIA ask for that? 

CARLSON:  No, no, no.  It was the possibility that a crime may have been committed. 

MADDOW:  Right. 

CARLSON:  We don't know why they asked it.  We do know that there was a—there was a tremendous lag between the time Bob Novak's column ran and the time they filed their request. 

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  Rachel, what was the crime?

MADDOW:  How could a crime have been committed—how could a crime have been committed if Valerie Plame....

GASPARINO:  What was the crime?

MADDOW:  ... was not a covert agent?

GASPARINO:  But what was the crime?

MADDOW:  The crime was outing a covert agent.

GASPARINO:  No, you have to knowingly do that.

MADDOW:  Right.  Right. 

GASPARINO:  Do you think he knew?  How do you know that?

MADDOW:  You think that Karl Rove didn't know? 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

GASPARINO:  Yes. 

MADDOW:  You think Karl Rove just thought...

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  It looks like he was answering somebody's question, based on everything we know. 

CARLSON:  It's not incredible once you understand the context.  The question is, how did Ambassador Wilson get sent to Niger?  Why is this guy sent to Niger?  And the answer is because his wife worked at the agency that sent him.  Simple.

MADDOW:  Listen, the way that this problem emerged...

GASPARINO:  Right. 

MADDOW:  ... for the Republicans is that the Republicans decided to in

·         to—to—to—to distract attention from the fact that Joseph Wilson disproved the uranium in Niger claim by casting aspersions on Joseph Wilson. 

CARLSON:  I guess we're...

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  Which is where you guys have brought it back to.

CARLSON:  OK.

GASPARINO:  Republicans shouldn't talk to the press, is what you're saying.

MADDOW:  No, what I'm saying is that Karl Rove ought to go to jail. 

CARLSON:  You know, that's so over the top. 

MADDOW:  It absolutely is not.  Republican silence on this is deafening.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  It's one thing to have political enemies.  It's one thing to disagree with someone.  It's one thing to be upset about two elections that were won against your wishes.

MADDOW:  This has nothing to do with that.

CARLSON:  But to suggest that someone ought to go to jail for crimes totally unproven...

GASPARINO:  But what—come on, what crime?

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  Bush's dad in 1989 said anybody who outs a covert intelligence source...

CARLSON:  Right. 

MADDOW:  ... in this country is the most insidious of traitors.  That was George Bush the first. 

CARLSON:  OK.

MADDOW:  I agree with him on this. 

CARLSON:  I don't think—I don't think you with a straight face can explain to me how his conversation with Matt Cooper, Judith Miller or Bob Novak or anyone else has endangered American national security, because it hasn't.

MADDOW:  Outing an intelligence source endangers national security.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  All right. 

MADDOW:  If you mention Valerie Plame's name, you're going to jail.

CARLSON:  We're going to have to—we're going to have to something genuinely scary, not simply theoretically scary.  And those are the London terror attacks of last Thursday.

British authorities have identified four suspects from surveillance tapes taken 20 minutes before the explosion.  They believe that at least three of those men were Pakistanis, one a teenager, one about 22 years old.  And at least one of the bombers died in the blast, maybe as many as three.  So far, police have made one arrest, but didn't say how the detained man was involved.

Meanwhile, the BBC disclosed its broadcast substituted the word bombers for terrorists shortly after the tragedy, in an effort, no doubt, to be sensitive to the terrorist community. 

(LAUGHTER)

MADDOW:  Oh, come on.

CARLSON:  Look, here's why—here's why this is a huge development today.  It looks like at least three, probably four, of these guys were native-born.  They were British.  They were not an element from outside.  They didn't fly in from Saudi Arabia. 

They were raised there.  This is important for two reasons.  One, it shows there's a fifth column, literally a fifth column, in Great Britain.  That country is raising up its own terrorists, which is terrifying.  Second, more significant to us, it means these people, like the people who committed these attacks last Thursday, can fly to the U.S. with no visa.

British citizens can enter this country quite easily without getting a visa.  It's a threat to us that this is happening. 

GASPARINO:  Right. 

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  I think the thing that...

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  Go ahead, Charlie.  Go ahead.

GASPARINO:  Thank you. 

MADDOW:  You're welcome. 

GASPARINO:  And political correctness stops people from criticizing when they're fomenting their hatred.  And I'm sorry.  And this same political correctness is preventing the BBC from, like, calling it as it is. 

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  OK.

But I think the most important thing here is that these—it turns out these guys were suicide bombers.  And that, to me, on the one hand, it's—it's reassuring, because you think, OK, they're not still among the populace in London ready to strike again, because, honestly, the fact that they hadn't caught these guys, they didn't know they were suicide bombers right afterwards, was very scary.  They could be among any place in London.

GASPARINO:  Well, they're still there.

MADDOW:  So, that's—right.  That's the one hand.  The other—on the other side, the fact that they were suicide bombers means that there's just that much more difficulty in stopping this as a terrorist act. 

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  It's almost impossible. 

CARLSON:  It also means, here are people who have grown up enjoying the fruits of freedom in Great Britain, which is very much like the United States in its freedoms, and they still have decided it's worth killing themselves to help destroy the system. 

Meanwhile, you have the BBC essentially unwilling to take a stand against them. 

MADDOW:  No.

CARLSON:  This is why the West is ill-prepared to fight terrorism, because we're too guilty.   

MADDOW:  No.

CARLSON:  We would rather die than offend someone.  That's true.

MADDOW:  The BBC didn't do this to not offend the terrorist community.

GASPARINO:  Oh, sure they did.

CARLSON:  However funny that may be. 

The BBC did this to be precise in their language.  And there's nothing wrong with that.

GASPARINO:  Are you saying they're not terrorists? 

MADDOW:  I'm saying that they were bombers, just as much as they were terrorists.

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  Bombers.

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  What does it help you to...

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  Terrorist bombers.

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  What does it help you to use that word?

GASPARINO:  Terrorist bombers.

CARLSON:  Because I'll tell you.

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  Fair enough.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Let me answer your question, as someone who is interested in the language, because it's more precise. 

MADDOW:  It's not more precise. 

CARLSON:  Yes, it is.

MADDOW:  What we knew is that they were bombers.

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  We had no idea what the motivation was when it happened. 

GASPARINO:  You don't think they're trying to cause terror?

MADDOW:  Why not call...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  When four bombs—because we make assumptions in journalism, something I've learned in 15 years.  We make assumptions.

When four bombs go off simultaneously in crowded public transit in—at one time, we can—we can guess, it's terrorism.  That's a fair assumption.

MADDOW:  If you want to argue one word against another, that's fine.  But to say that the BBC is soft on terrorism because of that word choice is a ridiculous... 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  It's to say that Western civilization is ill-prepared. 

GASPARINO:  Why don't you think they want to use that word?

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  Because they're trying to be precise. 

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  The same reason you use alleged when you're talking about a defendant where everybody knows they're guilty.  It's the same reason. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Next up...

MADDOW:  It's a decision.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  ... an unsettled situation at Cape Canaveral.

A cover over the cockpit window of the space shuttle fell loose this afternoon, damaging some protective heat tiles.  NASA says technicians can switch out the tiles in time for Discovery's scheduled launch tomorrow at 3:51 Eastern time precisely.  MSNBC's live coverage is set to begin tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

But today's mishap does once again raise safety questions.  Last month, a NASA panel conceded that—quote—“It's impossible to drive the risk to zero.”

You know, 111 out of 113 of the last shuttle flights have landed safely.  And, for that reason, it's very easy to forget that the people who get on these things in tiny enclosed spaces and fly out into orbit are really brave. 

GASPARINO:  Right. 

MADDOW:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  Really brave.  I wouldn't do it. 

GASPARINO:  Well, listen, you can walk across a street and get killed. 

So, let's face it.  You're never going to get the thing down to zero. 

The one thing is, though, I don't understand why we're doing this.  I don't understand what all the money being is used for.  They never really explain that to anybody. 

MADDOW:  Why to have a space program? 

GASPARINO:  Yes. 

MADDOW:  I think we have a space program for the same reason...

GASPARINO:  I'm asking them, not you.

MADDOW:  It's for national pride and patriotism.

GASPARINO:  Thank you. 

MADDOW:  I mean, I don't—I don't know.  Actually, I'm a little torn about whether we should have a space program.  I very much support basic science.  And a lot of good basic science comes out of necessity from having a space... 

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  They never explain what it is.

CARLSON:  All right. 

MADDOW:  Well, basic science.  We're not supposed to understand it. 

You and I are...

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  ... when it comes to...

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  Basic.  Basic.

CARLSON:  The purpose of it, we look at the space shuttle launch and we learn two things.  One, there are some Americans who are really brave.  And, two, this is this amazing thing that our country has pulled off.  I don't know.  It's expensive, but...

GASPARINO:  You have to spend billions for that? 

CARLSON:  Yes.  I think you do. 

GASPARINO:  OK.  I'm brave to be on this show.  Come on. 

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  I'd spend the billions for the basic science, but not for the blowhardness.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  Oh, the blowhardness.  The symbolism is what really matters in the end in this, like in so many cases.

The next situation really isn't news to many people.  Many of the country's most prominent corporate executives are psychopaths, literally.  That's according to “Fast Company” magazine, which sites two studies that make the claim.  One of the studies surveyed 39 high-level executives and found them to be egocentric, manipulative and lacking in empathy, all the qualities of your garden-variety psychopath.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  Not included in the survey, but a textbook case, our own executive producer, Bill Wolf (ph).  I'm sorry.  I don't mean to say that.  I got carried away.  I didn't say that out loud.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  Look, clearly, there's some truth in this, that democracy isn't the most effective, efficient way to run anything.  That's why Quaker meetings take forever, right? 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  And more authoritarian religious meetings are faster.  And so, you know, the people who are really effective leaders tend to be authoritarian personality types.  I do think that some of this is a crock, though.  It is a meritocracy in this country.  The people I know who run stuff tend to be—sometimes they're awful, but they're almost always pretty smart.

MADDOW:  See, I think this is a values story.  I think this is a story about—it's not Janet Jackson's breast.  It's the fact that you have to be a psychopath to win the really big jobs, to get the most money, to be the most successful person in our pop—in our—in our culture. 

GASPARINO:  Yes.  But, I mean, listen, these are the—these—they also have a moral compass, the great ones.  I mean, I think Jack Welch is a man that was a great CEO.  Yes, he was tough.  He was probably egotistical.  You know, you're egotistical too, right? 

CARLSON:  Yes, mildly.

MADDOW:  Who are you talking to? 

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  But—but, you know, he also had a moral compass.  And I think most CEOs have that moral compass, that kind of—at least the ones that I know. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Or they ought to.  I mean, the idea that the society is so diseased that, in order to scamper to the very top of it, you have to be the BTK killer, I don't know.  I don't buy that. 

GASPARINO:  Although these guys, the psychopathic ones, make for great

copy. 

MADDOW:  Fair enough.

CARLSON:  Amen, thus making your life easier.

GASPARINO:  That's right. 

CARLSON:  Coming up, should all of America receive anti-terrorism funding, or should it go to the most obvious targets?  A former vice presidential candidate says the hell with Boise.  Protect D.C.  We'll kick that around.

Plus, should President Bush hire by quota as he chooses the next Supreme Court justice?  A once great American newspaper says so.  The debate ensues as THE SITUATION rolls on. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Have you ever seen a ghost?  What about a Martian from outer space?  How about a grown man naked?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to stick around.  We'll tell you why when THE SITUATION continues. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

Time for “Op Ed Op Ed.”  We've gone through almost every editorial page in the country, not to brag, and picked out three of the most interesting, not to say scintillating, op-eds available, to which the three of us will respond in 20-second segments.

Are you ready? 

MADDOW:  Oh, yes. 

GASPARINO:  Go for it.

CARLSON:  First up, “The London Daily Mail” wrote an indignant column about a story that crossed the wires today, U.S. airmen told not to go to London, briefly.  That decision has been changed.  They're now allowed to go to London.

But, in the meantime, the paper wrote this—quote—“The 12,000 U.S. airmen based in Britain have been ordered not to go anywhere near the capital on security grounds.  We trust that the four million Americans who come to London each year are made of sterner stuff than the U.S. Air Force.”

You know, I guess I would just put it simply.  U.S. airmen face risks every day that gin-besotted, dentally challenged British editorial writers can't even understand, even conceive of. 

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  So, up yours.

GASPARINO:  Yes.  One of the most absurd columns I've ever read. 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

GASPARINO:  I mean, let's face it.  We're at war.  They're not brave? 

And, by the way, they are targets, especially after a terrorist attack. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Yes, more than British editorials are. 

GASPARINO:  Yes.  Absolutely.

MADDOW:  That said, I think it's a little bit embarrassing.  I think the order was embarrassing, that we ordered our personnel not to go there.

I think that a case could be made that maybe American military personnel's families shouldn't have gone.  But, even in that case, I mean, every Briton in London was back on the subway the day after these attacks.  And for us to say we're not going to make a public show of support, we're instead going to tell our people to stay home, I do think...

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  How many British editorial writers came here after 9/11? 

MADDOW:  I think a lot.  I think a lot of the British public and the British government made a show after 9/11.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  But hold on.  I think the distinction is made actually in the text of the editorial.  And that is, four million tourists go to London or to Great Britain.  And that's great.  But a U.S. airmen in uniform is really begging to be shot at or harassed. 

MADDOW:  It wasn't about whether or not you were in uniform, though. 

Had they made that distinction, I would agree with you.  But they did not. 

CARLSON:  I think that's obviously the point. 

Next up, Thomas Eagleton, who, you may remember, ran for vice president on George McGovern's ticket in 1972, served for many years as a senator from Missouri, writes in “The St. Louis Post-Dispatch” today that the government should focus its anti-terrorism resources in the major cities—quote—“Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, San Francisco, Miami and a few other cities are considered hubs of the country.  They are where we should be spending the most on homeland security.  Many other places don't need to spend anything.”

Spoken like a man who understands appropriations.  He's absolutely right. 

GASPARINO:  Right. 

CARLSON:  Last year, New York was ranked third lowest per capita in the country in homeland security spending.  This year, New York will receive $15.54 per person per capita on the spending. 

GASPARINO:  Right.  Right.  Right. 

CARLSON:  Wyoming, $28, almost $28. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  This is what happens when you have two senators from every state.  I'm with Tom Eagleton.  We ought to focus the money where it's needed. 

GASPARINO:  Yes.  But, I mean, we're doing a pretty good job, aren't we? 

CARLSON:  We're doing a great job. 

GASPARINO:  And who is Tom Eagleton?  Is he some sort of an expert at this?  I mean, he's obviously stating the obvious.  And what he is leaving out, essentially, is that we're doing a decent job, as is. 

MADDOW:  I absolutely couldn't disagree more.  I think the fact that we have spent, since 9/11...

GASPARINO:  When was the last bombing?

MADDOW:  Since 9/11, we've spent $250 million on train and subway security, increased security to protect us against terrorism on trains and subways.

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  We meaning the U.S...

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  The U.S. government.

GASPARINO:  Right. 

MADDOW:  ... has spent $250 million.  We spend that every two days in Iraq.  That's absolutely embarrassing.  And the fact that our homeland security spending isn't based on threats, but based on pork-barrel politics is embarrassing. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  That's a very clever formulation, but you're just leaving out one thing.  And that's the equation.  And the equation is, there have been 1,700 servicemen killed in Iraq.  There have been how many?  Oh, yes.  Zero Americans killed in acts of terrorism here. 

MADDOW:  But which keeps us safer as the American public at home?

CARLSON:  Well, I don't know.  We have been safe.

(CROSSTALK)  

GASPARINO:  We'd be very safe if we put some of the National Guardsmen on the borders.  Are you for that? 

MADDOW:  Americans...

GASPARINO:  Are you for that?

MADDOW:  A majority of Americans believe that the war in Iraq hasn't made us safer.  And the amount that we've spent there compared to what we've spent keeping us safe...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  All right.  Wait.  Wait.  Wait.  Wait.  Wait. 

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  ... is an embarrassment. 

CARLSON:  Lady, gentleman, I'm sorry. 

But before we dive into the deep pool that is Iraq...

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  ... let's move forward to the Supreme Court. 

MADDOW:  Fair enough.

CARLSON:  We could—we could do Iraq for hours.

MADDOW:  Fair enough.

GASPARINO:  Talk about a deep pool.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:   Sherrilyn Ifill writes in “The Baltimore Sun” that the Supreme Court vacancy really ought to be required to be filled by a member of a minority group. 

She writes this: “African-Americans have every right to continue to lobby for the nomination of a Supreme Court justice.  Let's call it the diversity seat filled by someone whose personal and professional life has prepared him or her to powerfully and represent—substantively represent the experiences of the marginalized.”

Huh.  OK.  So I guess, by that—those criteria, Clarence Thomas would be perfect.  Here is a guy who grew up in poverty, self-made, bootstrap kind of guy.  Oh, wait.  He's not the wrong—he doesn't have the approved position on affirmative action.  Therefore, he's a sellout.  He's an Uncle Tom.  And you can make racist statements about him. 

GASPARINO: 

CARLSON:  She is not saying she wants someone of color.  She is saying she wants someone with a very specific political ideology.  And I think it's disgusting. 

GASPARINO:  Right. 

I mean, I think what is interesting here is, if you put up Clarence Thomas' background and Scalia's background, it would be totally different. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

GASPARINO:  Clarence Thomas grew up in rural America.  I think Scalia grew up in urban American.  Clarence—Scalia was rich. 

But the difference is—but they're both the same on many of the issues.  So, they essentially vote the same on every issue. 

CARLSON:  Because it's the ideas that matter, not the color of your skin. 

GASPARINO:  Absolutely.

MADDOW:  That said, I think that one of the best—best recruiting tools that the pro-choice movement has had in this country during Bush's presidency was that day when he signed the anti-abortion bill with a flank, a dozen white men standing behind him and an audience full of white men sitting there applauding him.  There is something about our national—national...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  The bill banning partial-birth abortion, you mean? 

MADDOW:  That's right. 

GASPARINO:  That cost him the election, huh?

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  Well, the fact—no, the fact that this—that was a good recruiting tool for the pro-choice—for the—for the pro-choice movement, because it showed, look it, these are guys who are deciding this who do not have a personal stake in the interest the way that women do. 

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  Wait.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  What does the fact they are white have to do with it? 

MADDOW:  The fact that they were white—just the fact that they were a tableau of 12 guys. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Who cares if they're white?

MADDOW:  If they had been a tableau of a multiracial group of men, it would have been the same effect.

CARLSON:  OK.

MADDOW:  They happen to have all been white guys.  It is better for the country to think that we have a representative court. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

But the idea—the fact is that ideas are more significant than skin color.  That's sort of a basic premise of America.  And it's being incrementally rejected in favor of this notion that someone who shares your skin color must somehow have something in common with you.  And it's just not true.

MADDOW:  If you have got nine white male Supreme Court justices, it's not in the national interest for them to be deciding totally sensitive issues that...

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  Suppose they're all liberal.  If they were all liberal, all lefties...

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  ... you wouldn't be complaining.

MADDOW:  I'm not making the argument that Tucker characterized liberals as making about Clarence Thomas.  I'm not making that argument.

CARLSON:  OK.

MADDOW:  But I am saying we need to have a representative court that looks like America, so Americans trust the court. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  OK.  I'm just saying, we should be moving away from color consciousness, because it's wrong morally.  That's all I'm saying.

MADDOW:  I disagree.  Color consciousness is important... 

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  ... country.

CARLSON:  Still ahead, find out why some wrestling viewers are outraged—more than they normally are, anyway—over a recent sketch from the WWE. 

Plus, has the man behind Bush quickly become a man out the door?  Our guest next thinks that White House adviser Karl Rove needs to—quote—

“walk the plank.”  He'll tell us what he means next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY:  The White House should not aid and abet those within it in exposing CIA agents who work for this country and defend it to danger.  And, therefore, it's time for Karl Rove to walk the plank. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The time of the gentleman has expired.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

The man known as Bush's brain, Karl Rove, should he walk the plank for exposing the name of a CIA officer to “TIME” magazine?  My next guest says Rove deserves exactly that. 

Congressman Bob Menendez of New Jersey, thanks a lot for being here. 

We just showed the tape of you yelling on the House floor today.  Walk the plank?  Shouldn't we find out if Karl Rove is guilty of a crime before we kill him? 

MENENDEZ:  Well, Tucker, the—these—this is the language that the White House used when they said, if someone within the White House was found to have revealed the identity of a CIA operative, that, in fact, they'd be asked to walk the plank. 

And it's clear, whether it's a criminal act or not, that it violates the high ethical standards that the president said he set for all the senior staff in the White House.  And, in fact, this is the language that has been used by so many White House officials, that, in fact, if someone was found within the White House to have revealed the identity of a CIA agent, then that person would be asked to walk the plank. 

CARLSON:  Well, actually...

MENENDEZ:  Clearly, Karl Rove has done that. 

CARLSON:  Congressman, it was even broader than that.  The president said anyone who was involved in this would be banished from the White House.  And I—I agree with you.  This does seem to fall under that category. 

But, still, the hyperbole coming from your party today, really amazing.  I got an e-mail from the John Kerry organization that said that this case has deep and troubling consequences for American national security.

And my favorite, Karl Rove made Valerie Plame's—quote—“already dangerous job that much more dangerous.”

This is a woman doing great things for America, no doubt, but had a desk job as an analyst at Langley.  That's not a dangerous job.  Don't you think we should back down on the hyperbole a little bit?

MENENDEZ:  Well, I think that any time, Tucker, that you expose the identity of a CIA agent, you ultimately put in risk that agent and you send a chilling effect to other agents, saying, when someone has access to knowing my identity as a CIA agent and reveals it for what is clearly not an official process, but for a partisan process, to get an advantage in a story, then, ultimately, that does send a chill down our spine in terms of the people who are out there risking their lives for the national security of the United States. 

CARLSON:  OK.  But, Congressman—but, Congressman, I can see the phrase CIA agent has been tested by some pollster and found to be useful.  But the fact is, she was...

MENENDEZ:  No.  She's a CIA agent. 

CARLSON:  No.  Actually, she was a CIA employee working as an analyst at suburban CIA headquarters.  And, in fact, her name was listed...

(CROSSTALK)

MENENDEZ:  Oh, my God.

CARLSON:  That's just true.

MENENDEZ:  Tucker, I can't believe that you're portray at “suburban CIA headquarters.”

CIA agents all the time have different elements of risk. 

CARLSON:  That's right. 

MENENDEZ:  But they all have elements of risk.

To expose unnecessarily a CIA agent is fundamentally wrong.  And if this was another administration, you'd be excoriating it. 

CARLSON:  Well, actually, I said at the very outset that I think that Karl Rove probably will have to go because the president set down sort of his internal rule at the very beginning. 

MENENDEZ:  Well, that's a fair...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  I'm hardly flacking for the Bush administration. 

But I do think this story deserves a little context.  For instance, Karl Rove clearly called “TIME” magazine—or spoke with Matt Cooper from “TIME” magazine, we learned from the e-mail, and answered the following question:  Why was Joe Wilson sent to Niger to—by the CIA to look into this question of uranium there?

And Karl Rove answered truthfully.  He said, we didn't send him here in the executive branch.  His wife got him the job. 

That's true.  There's nothing wrong with telling the truth, is there?

MENENDEZ:  Well, we—we don't—we don't—we don't know that to be true.  I certainly don't know that to be true. 

And maybe the special prosecutor knows that to be true or not true.  But the bottom line is, is that he had no right, no right whatsoever, to be identifying a CIA agent under any form, under any circumstances.  As the deputy chief of staff in the White House, he's given top-secret clearances.  He shouldn't be using those clearances...

CARLSON:  OK.

MENENDEZ:  ... and access to information to reveal the names of CIA agents. 

CARLSON:  Well, Congressman—wait.  Congressman, let me slow you right down there.  There's zero evidence that he or anyone else in the White House used top-secret clearances to get this information.

MENENDEZ:  Well, how else would he know that she was a CIA agent? 

CARLSON:  We don't know the answer and that's my point. 

MENENDEZ:  Well, but the mere fact...

CARLSON:  So, before you allege that, we should have a fact...

(CROSSTALK)

MENENDEZ:  Do you and I know all the CIA agents?  No.  But someone who has top-secret clearance does. 

CARLSON:  No, but I—I—again, I would say just—the fact is that her identity was hardly a national security secret.  I mean, it was hardly a secret that ordinary people couldn't find out if they tried hard enough. 

MENENDEZ:  Well, I don't believe that to be true, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  But, but...

MENENDEZ:  And the bottom line is...

CARLSON:  OK.

MENENDEZ:  ... you shouldn't have someone in a position at the White House doing what Karl Rove did. 

CARLSON:  OK.  But let me...

(CROSSTALK)

MENENDEZ:  And, therefore, he should be called to resign. 

CARLSON:  OK. 

Let me just ask you one final question.  I'll let you—get you to concede one final thing.  And that is, the White House hasn't obstructed this investigation.  You have got to give them that.  The White House cleared the way for this special prosecutor.  Had they not done that, we wouldn't be here today.  And there's zero evidence to date that there's any cover-up of any kind.  You have got to concede that...

MENENDEZ:  Well, what I will concede is that, constantly, there's been stonewalling.  Constantly, there's been a denial that Karl Rove had anything to do to the press and therefore to the public.

And I think that that's fundamentally wrong.  We've heard false statements from the White House before, like the reasons we went to war in Iraq.  And now we're hearing false statements from the White House that Karl Rove had absolutely nothing to do with it.  And, all of a sudden, we found he had very much to do with it. 

CARLSON:  Well, I believe their position is a little different today. 

But Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Democrat in the House, thanks for joining us. 

MENENDEZ:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Coming up, you won't believe how many Americans believe in this.  No, not Patrick Swayze scoring Demi Moore.  Nobody believes in that.  Ghosts.  A supernatural debate with our casts of meddling kids is directly ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back to THE SITUATION.  Sitting in for Nipsey Russell, I'm Tucker Carlson. 

Time to refresh our run-down with the rest of today's news.  Joining me once again, Rachel Maddow and Charley Gasparino.  Welcome back.

MADDOW:  Thanks, Tucker.

CARLSON:  What I took away from the Menendez discussion, Congressman Menendez, was just how overwrought Democrats are about this.  I mean, really.

GASPARINO:  They're insane.  They're foaming from the mouth.

CARLSON:  Right, that this has made our nation more dangerous.  And you know, the obvious political motives are at play here.  But I also I think there's a—not to be a popsicle analyst—but I think there's frustration Democrats feel with their own impotence about the war in Iraq. 

A lot of them didn't stand up when they should of and opposed it.  They weren't a very good loyal opposition.  They were cowardly, essentially.  And they feel bad about that, and this is the way to just work out all their frustration.  They really should be focusing on Iraq, but instead they're focusing on the stupid Valerie Plame story. 

GASPARINO:  I mean, what else do they have?  I mean, they have no other issue.  They're not going to do much on the Supreme Court, or maybe they will.  But you know, they really don't have anything else to really hang their hat on these days. 

MADDOW:  The fact that Republicans have decided that Karl Rove's job is more important and Karl Rove's position in the White House is more important than upholding a law that says it is illegal and wrong to out a covert intelligence operative of the United States is very upsetting. 

GASPARINO:  How about one that's not an operative?

MADDOW:  How about somebody who's an analyst...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  He just called—wait, wait, wait, stop, stop, hold on, hold on, hold on.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  I don't want to go over ground we've gone over, but let me just say, I don't think actually Republicans have—and I don't live in Washington anymore, so I'm not exactly sure—but my sense is they haven't made that decision.  I think Karl Rove, again, could be out.  I think the White House may decide it's just not worth it. 

MADDOW:  Republicans need to speak out against what Karl Rove did here.  The need to, and there's been silence. 

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  ... when you hear Republicans starting to call her an agent, then you know he's gone. 

MADDOW:  She was a CIA analyst working on weapons of mass destruction. 

I don't understand why...

(CROSSTALK)  

CARLSON:  I have a feeling we'll go over this again and again. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  But there's a distinction between an agent and an officer.  It's a small thing, but I always know someone doesn't know what he's talking about when he calls them an “agent.”

MADDOW:  If she was covert at the CIA, the law was broken. 

CARLSON:  OK.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Prosecutors in St. Louis facing a very serious situation.  There's a chance, however slight, the state may have executed the wrong man back in 1995.  Larry Griffin always insisted he was innocent—no surprise there—of a drive-by shooting that killed Quentin Moss. 

Now, the victim's family thinks he may have been telling the truth.  A prosecutor for the city of St. Louis says if the actual killer is still out there, “I'm going to do everything in my power to give them some closure, even though this individual has been executed.” 

You'll see in the coming days—now you're seeing it—anti-death penalty activists saying this is a reason why we shouldn't have the death penalty.  What a crock!  I'm opposed to the death penalty, but this is a bad reason to be opposed to the death penalty. 

There aren't a lot of Americans who are being executed unfairly. 

There just aren't. 

GASPARINO:  How do you know?

CARLSON:  It's not racially biased.  Actually, because there are people who's full-time job is to study this, and they have not come up with dozens of people who have been executed...

MADDOW:  That's just not true. 

CARLSON:  It actually is true. 

MADDOW:  No.  The exoneration statistics for the past 20 years show that more than 100 people have been exonerated who have been executed. 

GASPARINO:  I'm going to bite my tongue and agree with her on this.  And this is why.  There's a long period of time between sentencing and actual executions. 

CARLSON:  That's right.

GASPARINO:  And during those times, you know, people—they find out stuff, and people do get exonerated.  I mean, listen, if the American people can elect Bill Clinton, they can convict someone wrongly of murder.  I mean, I think it's very possible.

CARLSON:  Yes, OK.  Juries do make mistakes.  I will—I don't believe—I think you're factually wrong that there are, quote, “more than 100 people who have been proved innocent after being executed.”

MADDOW:  More than 100 people who have been freed from death row after being sentenced. 

CARLSON:  Oh, that's a different question.  We're talking about people unfairly—wrongly executed.  But here's my point.  The death penalty is wrong...

MADDOW:  Exonerated after being convicted of a capital crime. 

CARLSON:  No, no, I'm saying—my point was there have not been dozens of people executed, finding out later that they were innocent.  But my point is, the death penalty is wrong because we shouldn't empower government to kill its citizens, except in self-defense.  In principle, it's wrong, and its opponents ought to argue the principle. 

MADDOW:  But you have to—it has to matter that, in this case, the sole eyewitness recanted.  Somebody else in the federal witness protection program confessed to the crime.  All of that happened before the guy was executed, and he was executed any way. 

You can't have that bad of system where the outcome is irreversible death.  You can't have that bad a system. 

CARLSON:  But it's not that bad of a system. 

MADDOW:  It is!

CARLSON:  I'm not even defending this individual case.  I'm just saying the system overall is actually not that bad.  That's not the reason the death penalty is wrong.

MADDOW:  Explain that to Larry Griffin. 

CARLSON:  Well, you can't, because he's dead. 

MADDOW:  He's dead. 

CARLSON:  Good point.  Ha, funny!  I didn't kill him.  I'm not for it. 

Next situation comes from San Francisco, which should be a first clue.  A group there known as the International Socialist Association has submitted a ballot measure entitled, “College not Combat,” that would put the city on record as opposing the presence of military recruiters in public high schools and colleges. 

If the measure qualifies for a November ballot, it would, besides putting schools at risk for losing federal funding, encourage city officials and school administrators to exclude recruiters and to create scholarships and training to reduce the military's appeal to young students. 

This is actually a disturbing story, if you think about it.  The idea here is the war in Iraq is so unjust that it's wrong to send our children off to fight it. 

MADDOW:  Not necessarily. 

CARLSON:  Well, that's one of the ideas.  The fact is, there are a lot of potential wars brewing in this world right now.  We need a strong military to protect us from them. 

Without a strong military, ludicrous groups like the International Socialist Organization, or you know, whatever this group is, would not have the freedom to exist.  This is a—the implication is that there's something dishonorable about joining the U.S. military.  And I think that's a disgusting implication.

MADDOW:  I think that you can make a straw man out of Internationalist Socialist Organization in San Francisco.  But the fact remains that, for years, it's been the policy of dozens of law schools in this country...

CARLSON:  I agree.  That's right.

MADDOW:  ... dozens of law schools in this country who have said, “You cannot military recruit at our campus because the military violates our nondiscrimination policy,” because you can't be openly gay and serve in the military.  And we have a free speech right to set, as our private policy, you can't discriminate and recruit. 

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  I support the right of law schools to do that and I support the right of San Francisco schools to do that. 

GASPARINO:  The reason why you know this is such a joke is because military recruitment doesn't occur in the San Francisco Bay area.  It occurs in rural America.  And you know, who rural American is going to listen to the International Socialist whatever?

MADDOW:  It's not like...

CARLSON:  But you know that's not what's going on here.  It's not a question of the “don't ask-don't tell” policy.  It's that the people behind this object to the nature of the U.S. military.  They object to militarism itself.  They object to the United States. 

MADDOW:  I think that there's a reason that hundreds and hundreds, and thousands and thousands of parents across the country are having their kids opt out of recruiting for No Child Left Behind.  It's because the military recruiting practices, since they've gotten desperate in the past few years, have been odious in some cases.  And parents don't want their kids subjected to that. 

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  Twisting people's arms?

MADDOW:  Yes, they are, in some cases...

GASPARINO:  No, they're not.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Listen, I'm sorry.  We're going to have to move on. 

MADDOW:  The recruiting scandal is for another day, though, because it is important.  It is important. 

GASPARINO:  It's called a voluntary—volunteer army for a reason. 

MADDOW:  We should talk about it, because you're wrong.

CARLSON:  Our next situation, a bit scary.  More than a bit, actually.  Demi Moore certainly learned to believe in ghosts after being visited by the spirit of Patrick Swayze in the movie “Ghost.”  She's not alone. 

According to a new Gallup poll, roughly one in three American adults say they believe in ghosts.  That's right.  A major national polling organization finds that 32 percent of Americans believe in them.  Here's the really interesting part:  They break it down by party affiliation.  Forty-two percent of liberals say they believe, only 25 percent of conservatives do. 

It turns out liberals are also more likely to believe in fairies, and leprechauns, and the...

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  And to be fairies...

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  ... with Leprechaunism in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.

CARLSON:  You know what?  I found this very hopeful.  It's nice that people believe in something beyond what they can see, feel, touch...

GASPARINO:  Rachel, are you for affirmative action for ghosts?

MADDOW:  Well, it depends on if they're white ghosts.  It depends on what color the sheet is, really, yes.

No, I think it's amazing that there's polling on this, absolutely. 

But, you know...

GASPARINO:  People that answered this poll were insane. 

CARLSON:  Do you believe in ghosts? 

GASPARINO:  The Holy Ghost, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  And you, Rachel? 

MADDOW:  You know, I sense ghosts sometimes.  I fell like the ghost of Iran Contra is hanging over the Bush White House...

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  The ghost of Demi Moore is here.

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  ... and Negroponte, and Elliott Abrams, and that guy in Gordon England's office.  I feel like there's all these ghosts of Iran-Contra.

CARLSON:  So your politics have invaded your interior life, is what you're saying? 

MADDOW:  I'm scared of John Poindexter. 

CARLSON:  Well, I can say non-ironically, I think ghosts are real. 

MADDOW:  Really?  Why?

CARLSON:  Yep, not even liberal.

MADDOW:  Why do you think that?

CARLSON:  I'll tell you later.

Coming up, the man hug.  It's more popular than ever.  And that makes sensible people more uncomfortable than ever.  The “Outsider” is waiting in the wings to violate my personal space while maintaining his masculinity, as if that were possible, and good luck to him. 

Plus, four words that will follow Pamela Anderson forever:  “Those can't be real!”  They're not, of course, but 400 sets just like them somehow founds their way onto the “Cutting Room Floor.”  Must see TV, as THE SITUATION develops.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  It's that special time in our program.  We have the privilege of welcoming back the “Outsider,” a gentleman from outside the world of news who assumes the delicate role of playing devil's advocate to my virtually unassailable views on a series of news items. 

Joining us is ESPN Radio and HBO boxing host, and apparently a male model of some refute, appearing as did he in the latest issue of “Details” magazine...

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO HOST:  No, are you showing this picture?

CARLSON:  ... Max Kellerman.

KELLERMAN:  No, no!

CARLSON:  Max, what do you call that look, “come hither”?

(LAUGHTER) 

KELLERMAN:  It's called blue steel, Tucker.  I've been working on it for months.

CARLSON:  You know what?  There's no defending that. 

KELLERMAN:  This is an inside job.  This is a...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Yes, I know it was.

KELLERMAN:  Oh, my god.

CARLSON:  All right, to the debate, since you...

KELLERMAN:  I've now been publicly humiliated. 

CARLSON:  Yes, you have.  Redeem yourself, Max. 

First up, a man convicted of robbing 15 banks in Connecticut and two other states says there's a good reason he committed his crimes, stress from September 11th.  Jason Battista, known as the bandage bandit for wearing medical tape over his face during the robberies, is pleading for a lighter sentence because he says he was upset after witnessing the World Trade Center attacks. 

It should be noted that there's precedent for this.  A federal judge in Connecticut let off another bank robber, a woman recently, gave her a lighter sentence for making the same defense. 

I just find this exactly the opposite of reality.  After 9/11, most Americans, in fact, responded by being kinder to each other, nicer, more decent, bigger than they normally were.  This is offensive on the deepest level, because it's exploiting tragedy.  This is why you shoot looters, because it's wrong to exploit tragedy. 

KELLERMAN:  That's a courageous stand of you, Tucker.  Thank you for leaving me the obvious position. 

If there was a day in American history that could cause you to lose your mind if you witnessed it, it would be 9/11. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  Yes.

KELLERMAN:  I mean, seeing—I know someone actually, a photographer, when the towers came down, wound up with a serious drug problem, went from a mild drug problem to a serious drug problem.  You can understand where, if someone wound up traumatized, and on drugs, maybe they would take the wrong path, right?  If there was a day...

CARLSON:  Yes, yes, I can see... 

KELLERMAN:  And there is something as an insanity defense. 

CARLSON:  I absolutely can see that.  I can't see that it would lead you to rob banks.  And I think that this guy ought to have his sentence doubled by the judge.  And if I lived next-door to his lawyer, I would stop talking to him, I'd be so offended by it. 

KELLERMAN:  First of all, robbing banks, so long as no one gets hurt, has always kind of—I think it appeals to Americans in general, but you know, bank robbing movies, and hearing tells of—we make heroes of bank robbers, so long as no one gets hurt.  If this guy didn't hurt anybody, he took a couple bucks, Tucker. 

After 9/11, you've got to give him some slack.  I don't know.  There's no argument for this. 

CARLSON:  No, there isn't.  But you tried gamely, Max.  And I respect you for it. 

Try this one:  The UPN network is on the ropes for broadcasting a WWE “Smackdown” wrestling show in which a wrestler was the victim of terrorist attack by fake Arab wrestlers in masks.  The problem was, it aired Thursday, the same day as the London bombings.  The masked men choked the Undertaker character, while another Arab wrestler knelt in prayer.

The scene was edited out of the U.K. edition of “Smackdown.”  UPON said it couldn't change the episode in time for the U.S. version.  Instead, they ran a parental discretion advisory message across the screen. 

Look, professional wrestling has always had villains.  You know, in the '50s there were Nazis were the villains.  During the oil shock, it was Saudi Arabians.  During the Cold War, it was always Russians on there.  The villains in the modern world are Islamic extremists. 

KELLERMAN:  Listen, this is very serious.  I mean, I'm totally serious about this, and I believe this.

Anything that trivializes terrorists—now in the '50s, the Second World War had been decided.  Nazis were no longer a threat.  You know, Nikolai Volkoff wrestling during the Gorbachev era—Gorbachev was a guy who could talk reasonably with Ronald Reagan.

This is not the same thing.  These people are equivalent to Nazis.  They should be hunted down and brought to justice, in most cases killed, not trivialized by the WWE.  And anything that turns them into caricatures, or—these are not enemies of the last 20 or 30 years.  It's much more serious. 

CARLSON:  I think you make a smart point, actually.  But I think we both know what's really going on here is UPN got complaints from Muslim civil rights groups saying this was insensitive.  And I think, if those groups spent as much time—half as much time squelching hate in their own communities as they did hunting down examples of bias, the world would be a lot better off. 

KELLERMAN:  Yes.  My objection is not along the lines of racial

stereotyping, because they were clearing shown to be terrorists, but they

simulated a beheading.  Not only is it in poor taste, but again, anything -

·         this is a completely serious issue—there's no room for trivialization in any way. 

CARLSON:  Ok, I will concede.  You've won me over.  You're right.  I give up.  Good for you. 

Our next story is a guy thing.  You won't convince me on this.  Remember handshakes, high-fives?  Kiss them, good-bye.  Perhaps Chris Farley's performance in the 1995 classic comedy “Tommy Boy” sets an evil trend, hugging. 

A story in “Seattle Post-Intelligencer” says hugging among American men is spreading like a deadly virus, but rules are not always defined.  Researchers say the more emotionally charged the environment, the more freedom men feel to hug one another. 

And it's just wrong.  I mean, look... 

KELLERMAN:  Tucker, I'm feeling very emotional right now. 

CARLSON:  I know.  I know you are, Max. 

KELLERMAN:  You know this is coming. 

CARLSON:  It's great to hug your relatives. 

KELLERMAN:  I want a hug.  Can I have a hug?

CARLSON:  You may not, actually.  It's great to hug...

KELLERMAN:  Can you give me one of these?  A little pound? 

CARLSON:  No touching on this set.  That's rule number-one.  You know why?

KELLERMAN:  Because I like it?

CARLSON:  I can't quite explain it why, but it's just wrong.  It's like anything.  It's like having your girlfriend pump the gas, right?  Or having her order off the menu for you?  It's hard to explain why it's wrong, but it is. 

KELLERMAN:  Now, see, I believe this is a white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant upbringing that you're talking, because if you're Jewish or Italian, look, immediate family members you kiss, male or female.  I see my brother, I give him a kiss hello or good-bye. 

CARLSON:  Yes, but that's your brother.

KELLERMAN:  My friend, I hug.  Now, it's not a warm embrace.  It's a man hug.  But we all know what a man hug is.  Sometimes you go in for a handshake, it turns into a thing, you do the little tap shoulder, pat on the back.  That's a hug. 

CARLSON:  No.

KELLERMAN:  You're not making out with the guy, Tucker!

CARLSON:  No, no, here's the problem.  It's not that it's homoerotic or whatever, it's that it's sensitive.  I took a poll in the office today of all the women in our office.  How do you feel when you see men hug, particularly for more than one second?  You know what the unanimous response was?  Uncomfortable.  Women actually don't like it when you're too sensitive. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, that's a very good reason not to hug men in the presence of women.  But I'm not—I think we're talking about two different things here.  Look, let me tell you the kind of hug we're talking about. 

(CROSSTALK)

KELLERMAN:  It's one of these, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Not a chance.

KELLERMAN:  You'll get credibility with the kids on the street, Tucker.

CARLSON:  I'll hug you when the cameras are off. 

KELLERMAN:  OK, fine. 

CARLSON:  Coming up, the Super Bowl champs gave the president a football jersey every year.  What do champion swimmers give him?  Something revolting enough for a French beach and humiliating enough to wind up on the “Cutting Room Floor,” next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time now for the “Cutting Room Floor.”  We gather up all the stories we couldn't pack in.  They're brought to us by our producer, Willie Geist. 

GEIST:  Tucker, we've got to get right to it tonight, but a quick note:  Brad Pitt hospitalized with the flu.  So our thoughts and prayers are sort of with you, I guess.  Here you go.

CARLSON:  He'll be better.  He looks strong.

All right.  First up, President Bush honored the national college championship teams from a number of college sports at the White House today.  The president received gifts from all the schools, but the best came from the Auburn men's swimming and diving team.  They gave him a Speedo bathing suit.  The president said he probably wouldn't wear it, quote, “in public, that is.” 

GEIST:  I certainly hope not.  I think Bush in a banana hammock would do irreparable harm to the office of the presidency, in my view. 

CARLSON:  It would win us points with the French, though, in case we're looking to win points with the French. 

GEIST:  Yes, I don't think we need to. 

CARLSON:  I don't think it's worth it. 

Well, if you're a Japanese diner and you want to eat at one restaurant in China, all you need is a reservation and a willingness to denounce your country's past.  Before they can be seated, Japanese customers at the restaurant located in former Manchuria must apologize for their nation's occupation of China from 1931 to 1945. 

The restaurant's manager says, quote, “We totally love those Japanese customers who can correctly view history,” which is about the way I feel about Japanese tourists. 

GEIST:  Well, that's true.  This mentality sort of explains the rudeness of French waiters, too, right?  If you're hostile to everyone who ever occupied or invaded you, right?  It's all explained here. 

CARLSON:  That's a lot of people, in the case of France.  That resentment lasts a long time, doesn't it? 

Now to the Brazilian police blotter.  Officials in Rio de Janeiro announced today that armed bandits held up a postal van, stealing more than 400 silicone breast implants, much like the ones you see here.  The fake boobs are a hot commodity in Brazil this time of year, because women are having work done in preparation for the southern hemisphere's beach season. 

GEIST:  You know, Tucker, Howard Stern has taught us that people will do anything for fake boobs, so I am not surprised at all that they stole him. 

CARLSON:  Yes, that gun play got involved? 

GEIST:  Right.  It's a hot commodity. 

CARLSON:  Natural extension. 

Well, if one thing doesn't get you, something else will.  A new study finds some patients who take medication to help with their Parkinson's disease turn into compulsive gamblers as the result of it.  Doctors at the Mayo Clinic found in some cases the drugs found patients to engage in compulsive behavior.  One man in the study lost $200,000 in six months of playing slots. 

GEIST:  Aha, this all makes sense, Tucker.  I thought it was a little strange when I caught my grandma laying six grand on the National League as an underdog tonight in the All Star Game.  I knew something was up.  Totally out-of-character move by here, but now it's completely explained.

CARLSON:  It's better than nickel slots, though.  More dignified in a way, isn't it?

GEIST:  Or Keno, for that matter?

CARLSON:  Keno, definitely. 

Well, gay people have always had a style all their own.  This parade is evidence of that.  Well, now they've got a drink all their own, too.  A company in Norway is marketing a pear-flavored pink-colored soda called “Homo Light,” yes, “Homo Light.”  Norwegian gays are hoping to promote tolerance of their lifestyle with the new drink. 

GEIST:  Tucker we have a drink like that here.  It's called Zima. 

Same concept. 

CARLSON:  Zima.  It's delicious.  Willie, what do you say we get one after the show? 

GEIST:  Or Tequiza, wine coolers, whatever you want to do.  We've got plenty of it here.  As usual, the good old U.S. of A ahead of the curve. 

CARLSON:  Well, on that note, we'll be hearing from representatives of Zima, the refreshing malt beverage drink. 

GEIST:  That's right.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  Willie Geist, thank you very much. 

That's THE SITUATION for tonight.  I'm Tucker Carlson.  Thanks for watching.  See you tomorrow.

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

END   

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