updated 7/18/2005 8:09:05 AM ET 2005-07-18T12:09:05

Guest: Karen Hunter, Charley Gasparino, Max Kellerman, Bassam Khalaf

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Welcome to the Friday night SITUATION.  I‘m Tucker Carlson.  Our menu is filled with some very spicy items, including a drunk mom arrested for DWI, delivering while intoxicated, a nuclear threat against the U.S. from China, and old-timers having a gay old time at the nursing time.

Joining me on the panel tonight, “Newsweek” business writer and author of “Blood on the Street,” a terrific book about financial scams during the stock market bubble, Charley Gasparino.  Also here is talk radio host and best-selling author Karen Hunter. 

Thank you both.

KAREN HUNTER, AUTHOR/RADIO HOST:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  First up, more intrigue in the Karl Rove-Valerie Plame situation.  It was revealed today that Rove may have first learned that Plame was a CIA officer not from an illicit search of her classified personnel files, but from a journalist who called Rove and told him. 

That‘s Rove‘s story, any way, when he told the federal grand jury looking into the matter.  If that‘s a lie, he‘ll be in deep trouble, likely will go down on perjury charges.  But if it‘s true, how can Rove be charged with a crime?  These are the questions that grip Washington tonight. 

CHARLES GASPARINO, “NEWSWEEK” BUSINESS WRITER:  Grip Washington. 

CARLSON:  They do.  They do grip Washington.  I mean, I got about 10 calls today from friends of mine in Washington, you know, mulling over different parts of the case.  People already yelling at each other.  It‘s almost like impeachment in that way.

I think this is a great day, actually, for Rove.  We learned early today in one of the newspapers in Washington that Valerie Plame‘s former supervisor at CIA is saying on the record that she told people, people she didn‘t know very well, that she worked at CIA.  So she was not that undercover, according to her former supervisor. 

GASPARINO:  But she didn‘t care that she was known, obviously?

CARLSON:  Well, that‘s what her former supervisor says.  And we also learned that Karl Rove didn‘t tell Bob Novak this.  Bob Novak told him.  It‘s hard to see how Rove...

HUNTER:  Do you believe that?  Do you really believe that?  By the way, I‘m working on my next book, “Karl Rove is a Big Fat Liar.”

CARLSON:  Well, look.  Let me put it this way:  If it‘s not true, Karl Rove could go to prison. 

HUNTER:  Well, I don‘t think it is true.  And here‘s what I don‘t believe.  I find it hard to believe that Karl...

GASPARINO:  Are you saying that Bob Novak isn‘t a good reporter?  Come on. 

HUNTER:  No, I find it hard to believe that Karl Rove, who has secret service clearance, who has intimate knowledge of the FBI information, CIA, has to get information from Bob Novak?  Is that what we‘re to believe? 

CARLSON:  Well, look, the story is that he didn‘t know and that reporters told him.  And everyone knows everything about everybody in Washington.  And that some other reporter, in the course of a conversation with Rove said, “By the way, Joe Wilson‘s wife works at CIA.”  I think it‘s plausible. 

HUNTER:  It‘s plausible, but do you believe that? 

CARLSON:  Yes, I do actually. 

GASPARINO:  Here‘s why I believe it.  Because who was Judith Miller‘s source?  It obviously wasn‘t Rove, or else she would have given him up by now, right?

HUNTER:  Maybe not.  Maybe she wants to go to jail for the book money, because you know how lucrative that is...

CARLSON:  I‘ll tell you this.

GASPARINO:  She likes the cooking in jail, right?

HUNTER:  Didn‘t hurt Martha Stewart.

CARLSON:  If Karl Rove is lying, and it can be determined that he‘s lying...

GASPARINO:  ... beyond belief.

CARLSON:  He‘s toast.  I mean, he‘s going to do time in prison. 

HUNTER:  I think there‘s a larger issue.  And this is “the architect.”  This is the man who was so close to our president, and who was responsible for making him president twice, OK?  Are we comfortable with someone who has suspicious ways of handling things that aren‘t favorable to the administration?  Are we comfortable with that? 

CARLSON:  Well, ultimately, Karl Rove is a political consultant.  And political consultants do a lot of things that, you know, probably are best not seen by the light of day.  However, in this specific case, I don‘t think there‘s evidence yet that he committed a crime.  But we will know. 

GASPARINO:  But isn‘t the prosecutor saying he‘s not a target?  I mean, by now...

CARLSON:  But I mean, he‘s a person of interest, any way. 

HUNTER:  Well, I‘ve gone on record to say that nothing will happen to him.  But I do think that he‘s a problem for this administration and does highlight some issues there. 

CARLSON:  All right, next up, war on terror in London and around the world.  In Cairo, police have detained an American-trained biochemist who worked in Leeds where the plot to bomb the London Underground appears to have been developed. 

Meanwhile in Pakistan, authorities are investigating possible ties between the bombers to terrorist organizations in that country.  Also, a Pew global attitudes poll revealed a decline in Muslim support worldwide for both suicide bombings and For Osama bin Laden.  But not surprisingly, the declines were highest in countries like Morocco and Lebanon where extremists have attacked. 

I actually think that the reverse is true about these polls.  And I just want to take a quick look at them in some detail.  In Jordan, Pakistan, Indonesia—these are relatively well-developed countries—only 18 percent, 12 percent, and 10 percent, respectively, of people thought that Osama bin Laden was a disreputable person. 

The rest supported him in one way or another.  What does this tell you?  These countries have almost nothing in common.  They have not language in common, they don‘t have geography in common, they don‘t have ethnicity in common.  One thing they have in common, religion, which is another way of saying, this is not a fringe group.  The mainstream of Muslims in these countries are misinterpreting their own religion.

GASPARINO:  And they also have Al Jazeera...

CARLSON:  Yes.

GASPARINO:  ... which is essentially a propaganda arm, you know, maybe for Al Qaeda, but obviously for the far, sort of extreme elements. 

CARLSON:  But they‘re buying it.  I mean, there are fringe elements in every country, including ours.  But to have the majority of people in a civilized nation support Osama bin Laden or at least not consider him evil tells you something very troubling about those populations. 

HUNTER:  I don‘t think this is about Islam, because Islam does not practice blowing up yourself.  Islam is not about going out and becoming a suicide bomber...

GASPARINO:  There are some interpretations out there, though. 

HUNTER:  But it‘s not true of Islam.  And as anyone worth their salt who really practices Islam can attest to this, that is not Islam.  So these people are—in my opinion, it‘s religion, but it‘s Satanism. 

CARLSON:  I absolutely agree with you.  It‘s not how Islam has been traditionally historically practiced, I don‘t think, but these are Muslim countries.  I mean, these are some of the biggest Muslim countries in the world, and the majority seems to support Osama bin Laden.  What does that tell?

HUNTER:  Were these poll questions—I agree with you, by the way, that the poll is erroneous.  Were these poll questions given in English? 

CARLSON:  No, I don‘t think they were.  I think they were given in the native language of these countries.  “Do you have confidence in Osama bin Laden,” was the question.  Now, you can say it‘s misleading or not, but the bottom line, it‘s an up-or-down on Osama, and they went up. 

GASPARINO:  Isn‘t that an amazing poll question?  “Do you have confidence in Osama bin Laden?”  I mean, it‘s really—listen, I think there‘s brainwashing on a number of levels. 

And I really think that Al Jazeera, if you‘ve ever watched that for a little bit, you‘ll know is part of the brain-washing problem.  I mean, they clearly—if they don‘t overtly take the side, but it‘s clearly they present that side of the argument. 

CARLSON:  Yes, but still, I‘m not even sure that Al Jazeera in shown in Indonesia.  I just think, from one end of the Islamic world to the other...

CARLSON:  ... the support for Osama bin Laden is scary. 

Well, from Muslims to Christians, for our next SITUATION on the Jewish Sabbath.  Of course, that‘s today.  Some conservative evangelicals will denounce the U.S. Supreme Court as hostile to their religion and to their families in a telecast to churches and religious broadcasters.

It‘ll be called “Justice Sunday II.”  It‘ll air August 14th, and it might not make the president very happy.  The Bush administration had asked that the notion of a culture war not be injected into the debate about the next Supreme Court nominee. 

Yeah, right.  I mean, it‘s all about the culture war.  There‘s no way to get around it.  I was struck by the story today in the “New York Times” because it appeared at all.  What‘s the story?  “Interest group pushes to have its views represented on the court”? 

Every group does that.  Why are they writing a piece about evangelicals?  I‘ll tell you why.  Because everybody in the press hates evangelicals.  I‘m serious. 

GASPARINO:  I wouldn‘t say hate.

HUNTER:  What?

CARLSON:  Yes, I do think that.

GASPARINO:  By the way, I work in the mainstream media.  I don‘t believe—I think hate is too...

CARLSON:  Misunderstands, has contempt for, is suspicious of.

GASPARINO:  Suspicious.

HUNTER:  No, I think the—with all due respect, I do consider myself Christian, I think evangelical Christians have inserted themselves on our government in a way that I think is dangerous and damaging. 

CARLSON:  More than secular people? 

HUNTER:  Oh, way more.

GASPARINO:  Everybody else has a lobby.  Why can‘t they?

HUNTER:  What was the election about, the last election?  Gay marriage, abortion, all of these things, which are fundamental issues. 

CARLSON:  Well, they‘re also secular issues.  You have on the one side, evangelicals saying, “We‘re against the issue,” you had the other side...

HUNTER:  The evangelicals were the ones in their churches telling people to go out to vote, people who would not normally vote. People who would not normally vote for George W. Bush voted.  And it was base on a religious edict.  It was not based on, “Well, I really just think it‘s terrible.” 

GASPARINO:  But wait a second.  You don‘t think there‘s a reaction to secularism?  What they feel...

HUNTER:  I look at the movement in this country of evangelical Christians to be on par with the Taliban, in many ways. 

CARLSON:  Wait a second here.  I‘m not even taking a side in this.  I‘m not assigning a value to this.  I‘m merely saying that it‘s valid for all sides to weigh in on a debate. 

And you have secular people, you have atheists, an agnostics, and socialists on the one side, and you have Christians, you know, Christian right people on the other side.  And each side has a right to enter into the debate.  It‘s not illegitimate for the Christians to get involved.

GASPARINO:  Don‘t you think it was great that they thumbed their nose at Bush and the stupid thing that he said, basically not to get involved in this?  I mean, that was—I thought that was absurd.

HUNTER:  But I don‘t see how you guys feel comfortable that we have this country, First Amendment withstanding, that we don‘t have church involved in government, and yet you‘re OK with the... 

CARLSON:  I‘ve spent a lot of time following Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton around, and they give their political speeches in church.  It doesn‘t bother.  That‘s been going on in America for many, many years.

HUNTER:  It bothers me. 

CARLSON:  It does?  Well, you‘re an honest person. 

Our next situation will excite the young and the dorky alike.  At the stroke of midnight tonight, no matter where you are in this world, “Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince” will be made available for your reading pleasure. 

The sixth installment of the series by J.K. Rowling is expected to break sales records around the world.  So if you plan on attending one of those huge, late-night, nerd-infested launch parties, we hope you do.  But expect a crowd. 

HUNTER:  Oh, you hater. 

CARLSON:  I‘m not a hater!  I‘m actually a defender...

HUNTER:  You are such a hater. 

CARLSON:  I‘m a defender of Harry Potter. 

HUNTER:  No, you know what?  As a father of four, you should be the one person rah-rahing this bonanza right now. 

CARLSON:  I think you can be for Harry Potter, as I sort of am, without camping out.

HUNTER:  And maybe I take exception, because I two years ago was at Barnes and Noble. 

GASPARINO:  You never stood in line for rock ‘n‘ roll tickets when you were a kid?

CARLSON:  Yes, I did.

GASPARINO:  There you go.

HUNTER:  Well, I was at a Barnes and Noble‘s at 12:01 two years ago. 

And I will be there in Clifton in approximately three hours. 

CARLSON:  But answer my question then.  I heard today that there is a kind of rivalry between Harry Potter dorks and “Star Wars” dorks.  And the “Star Wars” dorks look down their noses at the Harry Potter dorks. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  There‘s a hierarchy of dorks in this country.  Is that true?

HUNTER:  Well, I‘m not a dork, so I can‘t speak for any dork.  But and then that‘s part of the problem.  Why aren‘t we making this cool?  Why isn‘t this cool? 

CARLSON:  It is kind of cool.

HUNTER:  Come on, Carl... 

GASPARINO:  You don‘t think it‘s cool dressing up like a Jedi Knight? 

Come on!

HUNTER:  What‘s the next topic?  Oh, my god.

CARLSON:  All right. 

HUNTER:  So he‘s dressing up as a Jedi warrior, but for other reasons. 

CARLSON:  I was thinking more as a Wookie. 

But anyway, we‘ll discuss this more as we come back.  Coming up, at least one Chinese general ready to nuke the United States over Taiwan.  We should be afraid, but how afraid?

Plus, Madonna sings a hell of a pop song.  She published quite a “Sex” book.  And she can Kabbalah with the best of them.  Does that give her any right to pop off about world affairs?  One op-ed writer says she should cork it, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for “Op-ed, Op-ed.”  We spent all day reading almost every editorial page in the nation looking for the most scintillating op-eds available.  We‘ve picked three to which Karen and Charley and I will offer our responses.  You ready? 

GASPARINO:  Go for it.

HUNTER:  Go.

CARLSON:  First up, Charles Krauthammer writes in the “Washington Post” today that Europe has incubated an enemy within, noting that almost all of the recent suicide bombers were born in Europe. 

Quote:  “The fact that native-born Muslim Europeans are committing terrorist acts in their own countries shows that this Islamist malignancy long predates Iraq, Afghanistan and September 11th.”

I think it‘s an excellent point.  I think the deeper point here is about our response to terrorism.  If these are home-grown terrorists, why are we invading other countries or blaming the governments of other countries for their actions?

This has almost nothing to do with state sponsorship and everything to do with the ideas these people have, their creed, their religion as they interpret it.  We need to fight their ideas and fight their twisted version of Islam, not governments.

GASPARINO:  But we don‘t do that, either.

CARLSON:  We don‘t.  We don‘t.

GASPARINO:  I mean, this was a great article.  When I read it, you know, you just got the feeling that people—even in this country, there‘s a degree of appeasement.  There‘s a political correctness where you can‘t call terrorists “terrorists.”  You have to call them bombers. 

And I think that‘s what‘s playing in here to a large extent.  We just you know, we don‘t—in a sense, people don‘t care. 

CARLSON:  I‘m not even sure we understand what they believe or make any effort to.

GASPARINO:  Who cares? 

HUNTER:  Well, I care.  And I think it‘s time to bring back profiling.  Stop bringing the old ladies in the wheelchairs out of the line and stop—there is a clear idea of who is doing this in all these countries.  And let‘s just call it like it is. 

GASPARINO:  Although, you know, there are—you know, let‘s face it, there are John Walker Lindh wouldn‘t have passed the profile. 

CARLSON:  That‘s true.

GASPARINO:  That‘s right, I mean, there is a problem with that.

HUNTER:  Well, with that beard, yes, he would have.  I think that it‘s deeper than...

GASPARINO:  Fake accents...

HUNTER:  They don‘t see themselves as being a part of that culture.  These people did not consider themselves British first.  They consider themselves whatever first. 

CARLSON:  Islamists, yes. 

HUNTER:  And those folks that came here to fly planes into our buildings?  They hung out in nudie bars on the Las Vegas strip.  They assimilated into our culture.  They weren‘t praying to Allah before they did that. 

GASPARINO:  That was the big yahoo...

CARLSON:  But what was interesting was, but the leaders of the 9/11 attacks were largely educated in Europe.  I mean, they didn‘t spring fully... 

HUNTER:  Went to North Carolina State.

CARLSON:  Right, from madrassas in Pakistan, they were educated in Great Britain and Germany.  Interesting.

OK, next.  In the “New York Times” today, a great piece by a man named Jean-Claude Shanda Tonme.  He‘s a journalist in Cameroon. 

He writes that singers and musicians at Live 8 the other day made themselves feel better to assuage their aching consciences but did very little for Africa.  “We Africans know what the problem is, and no one else should speak in our name.  Don‘t insult Africa.  Instead, insult its leaders who have ruined everything.”

He goes on to write, “We didn‘t hear anyone at Live 8 raise a cry for democracy in Africa.  Finding poverty is fruitless,” he writes, “if dictatorships remain.” 

That is absolutely right.

HUNTER:  Eloquent.

CARLSON:  That is absolutely the problem.  No amount of food aid will solve the problem of bad leadership in Africa.  Robert Mugabe, who is killing tens of thousands of his own citizens, just made 1.5 million of them homeless of them the other day.  Nobody says a word about it. 

GASPARINO:  Right.

HUNTER:  We don‘t talk about the Sudan.  We don‘t talk about...

CARLSON:  That‘s right.

HUNTER:  We don‘t talk about a lot of things.  But my question is, what happened to the Live Aid money from before?  Why aren‘t these people eating and not impoverished?  Didn‘t we do this already? 

CARLSON:  Well, I think a lot of it was diverted to armies of warlords in Africa. 

HUNTER:  And a lot of it was embezzled.

CARLSON:  And it fell down into the rat hole—exactly—that so much of this aid has fallen into.

GASPARINO:  It‘s another reason to hate rock music.  Most of these people—they don‘t what they‘re doing.  They‘re not very smart.

HUNTER:  Beyonce was there.  What about Beyonce?

GASPARINO:  She‘s not a rock ‘n‘ roller.  Well, I love Beyonce. 

CARLSON:  Probably for different reasons. 

All right.  From Beyonce to Victor Davis Hanson.

GASPARINO:  No competition.

CARLSON:  Writing today in the “Chicago Tribune,” he discusses how entertainers wrongly assume that their fame, their talent, and their influence gives them natural insight into the issues of the day. 

He writes, quote, “What do a talented Richard Gere, Robert Redford, and Madonna all have in common besides loudly blasting the current administration?  They either dropped out of or never started college.”

HUNTER:  Like Karl Rove. 

CARLSON:  That‘s right, actually.  And overall, I think this is a smart piece.  He reminds us—and we can‘t be reminded enough—of the moment when Barbra Streisand, right before the current war in Iraq, describes Saddam Hussein as the leader of Iran.  OK, that‘s something, I think, never to forget. 

However, his point that you need to go to college is specious. 

GASPARINO:  No, but that wasn‘t his point.

CARLSON:  No, it wasn‘t his point.  This one line did bother me, though, because some of the most energetic, intelligent, thoughtful people I know...

GASPARINO:  Smart people.

CARLSON:  ... including a lot of members of my own family, never made it through college because they were too restless and they wanted to get into...

(CROSSTALK)

GASPARINO:  Too smart to go to college.

GASPARINO:  Well, I mean, listen, I love this point about Cher.  You know, Cher being, you know, put out there as an intellectual, which she‘s obviously not.  And none of these people are.

I think our problem is in, I think, journalism—I‘m a mainstream journalists—is we actually give these people credence.  I mean, who cares about Madonna?

HUNTER:  Well, that‘s what I was going to ask.  I mean, they‘re not running this country last I looked.  I mean, they are running our homes, unfortunately, and maybe we should be more attentive to what they‘re saying. 

GASPARINO:  They‘re not running my home. 

HUNTER:  How do you know? 

GASPARINO:  I know. 

HUNTER:  OK.  We‘ll find out what your kids are listening to.  But that‘s part of the problem.  I mean, we‘re expecting these people to do what exactly? 

CARLSON:  Well, that‘s a good point.  Though I have found, in my own personal appearance, that if you scoff at them on television, you get a lot of hate mail.  People are very offended if you say...

HUNTER:  Well, Tom cruise did have a point about mental illness, though. 

GASPARINO:  But he‘s mentally ill.

CARLSON:  OK, defending Tom Cruise. 

On that note, we‘re going to take a break.  Up next, if your rap handle was the “Arabic Assassin” and the CD you cut contained lyrics promising a new 9/11, would you be a natural for a job in airline security?  I‘ll ask the now-former baggage screener himself in our “Free Speak” segment.  I‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

By day, my next guest was a baggage screener at Bush International Airport in Houston.  By night, he was the “Arabic Assassin,” rapping about flying a plane into the building.  Well, TSA had a problem about that, and, last week, they fired them. 

But Bassam Khalaf says he would never get a bomb onto a plane.  He was only rapping about it to try and get some attention for his new album.  Joining me now, the Arabic Assassin himself, Bassam Khalaf.

Bassam, when did you come up with the lyrics about flying planes into buildings?  Was that before or after you got a job as a baggage screener?

BASSAM KHALAF, RAPPER/BAGGAGE SCREENER:  No, I wrote that way before I got the job.  And like I said, it‘s only one of my songs that I talk about that.  And it‘s only a couple of sentences.  The rest of my songs are just regular, everyday things that you hear in other rap albums, too. 

CARLSON:  Oh, really?  It‘s funny you say that, because actually I took a look through your catalogue of songs.  I can‘t read them because they‘re—you‘ve got so many words there I can‘t say on television. 

But you‘ve got a song here about having sex with a dead woman in her casket.  You‘ve got a fairly long song here about molesting a child, picking up a little girl at a playground and having sex with her.  You‘ve got songs about crashing planes in buildings, sticking grenades up people‘s bodies, things like that.

KHALAF:  Yeah.

CARLSON:  Those are not ordinary songs.  Those are repulsive songs. 

KHALAF:  No, I know, man.  Like, I talk about everything when I, you know, do my rap.  I write for shock value.  That‘s all it is.  And shock value brings attention, because you know people want to hear more.  You know, I‘m not saying it‘s right.  I don‘t support none of that in any way.  But it‘s just entertainment, like I said. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Well, let me just say at the outset that I think what you‘re doing is disgusting.  And I feel guilty for having you on.  I don‘t want to give you anymore attention than you‘re already getting.

But I just—I couldn‘t resist the opportunity to see what you look like after reading your lyrics. 

KHALAF:  OK.

CARLSON:  I‘m feeling sick from them.  And, too, I want to know this more than anything.  Why do you think the TSA hired you?  Of all the people they could hire, why would they hire a guy who writes about blowing up buildings and flying planes into them? 

KHALAF:  I mean, like I said, it‘s just entertainment.  I had a clean background.  You know, I‘m a good, responsible worker.  Even the guy that fired me admitted that I was a good employee. 

I mean, I did my job to 110 percent, you know?  I would never let anything get on the plane.  I don‘t want to hurt innocent people. 

CARLSON:  Huh.  What did he say when he fired you? 

KHALAF:  He was like, you know—he just read the letter to me that he gave me, you know, word for word jus to make sure I understood.  And I was like, “OK.”  And he was like—I mean, that was pretty much it.  It wasn‘t nothing more than that. 

CARLSON:  But you told people at work about your lyrics? 

KHALAF:  No, no.  I told a couple people at work that I do music.  You

know, you can check out my Web site.  And that was basically it.  I never - it was never more than that. 

CARLSON:  What would you say to the families of those who lost relatives on 9/11? 

KHALAF:  I‘m very sorry for you all.  You know, I feel for you all.  I mean, it‘s not just 9/11.  There‘s terrorism going on in every country.  We need to address that.  You know, people keep saying, “9/11, 9/11,” but there‘s terrorism going on every day in other countries, too, so...

CARLSON:  OK.  How about the families of people killed in other countries or this country by terrorism?  If you‘re so sorry, why are you trying to profit from it? 

KHALAF:  Everybody is profiting from it.  Like, after 9/11, you know, on every corner, you see people selling American flags and they‘re talking about patriotism and this.  They‘re exploiting it, too, because if they were really patriotic, they should just give those flags out for free, not sell them for $2, $3 a piece. 

So they‘re making money off of it.  People are making movies out of it.  They‘re making millions of dollars.  Eminem raps about it.

CARLSON:  So wait, hold on.  Slow down.  So you‘re putting yourself—you, as someone who glorifies acts of terrorism, who talks about raping children, are putting yourself into the same moral category as people who sell American flags? 

KHALAF:  Well, because you‘re saying you‘re trying to profit from them.  But like, I‘m trying to prove a point that everybody‘s trying to profit off of something.  I‘m just trying to make a living. 

You know, those are just a couple lines in my lyrics.  I mean, if people really go onto my Web site and, you know, actually look at my lyrics, you‘ll realize it‘s only a couple lines in there.  I‘m not making whole songs about it.

CARLSON:  I read 30 pages of your lyrics this afternoon.  I passed them around the office.  And the consensus was you‘re a pig with no talent.  That was a direct quote from almost everybody on our staff. 

KHALAF:  OK.

CARLSON:  My question to you is, again, do you feel bad about glorifying acts of terrorism that have taken American lives?  I know you want to profit from them.  But do you feel bad about it? 

KHALAF:  It‘s just entertainment.  I feel sorry for the families and everyone that lost their lives, you know, in that situation.  But as far as entertainment, I talk about everything.  I‘m not just talking about this, this and this, I‘m going to talk about everything going on in the world, you know?  I‘ll just talk about every point that I can.

CARLSON:  Do you think your employer had a good reason to fire you? 

KHALAF:  I mean, kind of, kind of not, because, you know, they knew I was a good employee.  And they needed employees, too.  You know, they‘re shorthanded right now. 

CARLSON:  They‘re shorthanded right now? 

KHALAF:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  Do you think if you were a traveler in an airport, would you feel comfortable going through the magnetometer knowing that the guy on the other side was writing lyrics about terrorism? 

KHALAF:  Yes.  Because, like I said, everybody is pointing the finger at me when you know it‘s just entertainment.  You know, there‘s people up there that still haven‘t got their background checks and they‘re still working there. 

The people really need to be worried about them, because you don‘t know what they could be doing.  You know I‘m just entertainment.  That‘s what I‘m trying to tell you all.  I don‘t support that in any way.  It‘s just entertainment.  And people keep coming at me, just giving me all this publicity.  You know? 

CARLSON:  Well, that‘s because you call yourself Arabic Assassin and glorify acts of terror.  Are you sympathetic to terrorist groups? 

KHALAF:  No.  That‘s not cool at all.  It‘s not cool to hurt innocent people at all, man. 

CARLSON:  Have you sold a single CD? 

KHALAF:  Well, it‘s not out yet.  That‘s why I‘m looking for a record label.  And I‘m looking for legal representation, too.  My contact info is on my Web site at www...

CARLSON:  I‘m going to have to cut you off there, Mr. Bassam Khalaf.  I appreciate you coming on and telling us about it, but I‘m not going to give you a chance to give your Web site on the air.  Thanks very much. 

KHALAF:  All right, man. 

CARLSON:  Coming up, given history, the odds are he wouldn‘t fight about it, but Jacques Chirac says the French are flat-out better than the British.  Now is the time for the “Outsider” to come to the aid of mother England.  Do not miss that great debate. 

CARLSON:  Welcome back to our Friday night SITUATION.  Sitting in for Ron Jeremy, I‘m Tucker Carlson. 

The stack of stories is locked and loaded.  So let‘s get right back into it once again with Charley Gasparino and Karen Hunter. 

You know, I‘ve been feeling bad all day about having hat creep on the show.  I hate having people like that, fringe people, and then yelling at them on the screen.  But I couldn‘t resist because I did think it was an interesting story. 

And it actually made me feel better in a way because here TSA is doing the right thing.  They‘re not bound by political correctness.  They‘re not claiming he broke the law, but the lyrics are so offensive, they canned him. 

GASPARINO:  Although he made one point.  He said that they were getting away with not giving background checks on some of the other employees.  I mean, I thought that was interesting.  I mean, this guy was probably one of the dumbest people ever on TV. 

HUNTER:  Well, I got concerned when he said the boss had to read the letter to him.  I was wondering, is it because he couldn‘t read it himself? 

CARLSON:  That‘s a good point.

HUNTER:  That‘s what struck me.  You know, this is not music.  He keeps saying, “You know, it‘s music.  It‘s my music.”  This is not music what he‘s doing. 

And I read some of those lyrics, Tucker.  And I grew up in hip-hop.  And this is not hip-hop.  This is not rap.  This is depravity.  And I think they did the absolute right thing in firing him, because would you get on a plane with this guy? 

CARLSON:  No, I wouldn‘t.  And I‘m actually not that uptight about profanity and things like that, but this did go over the thing.  I never say that.  This actually did go over the line.

HUNTER:  Which got it for you, the little girl in the playground? 

CARLSON:  Yes.  I was actually—I really offended by that.  And just the crassness of it.  And I hate the idea that, because he was on this show, he might sell a CD.  I really hope that doesn‘t happen.

HUNTER:  Well, he‘s undermining the whole notion that, you know, NWA and Ice-T, who took a lot of heat for what they said about the police back in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s...

GASPARINO:  “Cop Killer,” right?

HUNTER:  ... Public Enemy.  Yes, but they were speaking out of an experience in certain neighborhoods and communities throughout this country. 

GASPARINO:  Wait, you think it was OK for them to advocate killing cops? 

HUNTER:  No, not to advocate...

GASPARINO:  I mean, I agree with some of it.

HUNTER:  But their expression was born out of something.  You know, I don‘t see this guy being oppressed by this nation.  If he is, go back to Palestine, which is his native origin country, right?  I mean, get out of here. 

CARLSON:  Good for TSA.  More than anything, good for TSA for canning this creep. 

Next situation, a nuclear threat from an unexpected quarter.  Not Korea, not Iran, but China.  A senior Chinese general says his country will have no choice but to go nuclear if the U.S. ever attacks China over Taiwan.  The general said he was expressing his own views, not those of the Chinese government. 

But the U.S. State Department branded that threat, quote, “highly irresponsible.”  And also not at all unusual.  I mean, they‘ve been making bellicose noises about Taiwan for many years. 

You know, the idea is, if we attack them, they‘ll attack back.  That‘s no surprise.  I actually don‘t think we have that much to worry about from the Chinese military.  It‘s Chinese economic power that‘s the threat. 

HUNTER:  I was going to say...

GASPARINO:  I think this was a great story for all my free marketeer friends.  I mean, I know a lot of people on Wall Street that love the fact that China‘s become a more liberalist, in terms of their economic system.  Right now, there‘s—you know, the Chinese government, essentially, wants to take over a U.S. company, Unocal, and look who we‘re dealing with.  We‘re dealing with people that, you know, literally consider us enemies. 

CARLSON:  Right.

HUNTER:  And IBM just sold its PC unit to a Chinese firm.  Every time I look at something, it‘s made in China.  We‘ve sold a great deal of our debt to China.  And I‘ve been arguing this.  We‘re busy in Iraq, and Iran, and North Korea.  China‘s the threat.  They actually have the power to overtake this government.  I don‘t know, for some reason, it‘s just us.

CARLSON:  Every time you look at something that‘s made in China—everything is made in China. 

HUNTER:  Everything.

CARLSON:  Meanwhile, money revenue from those products and others are being redirected as foreign aid by China.  China is a large donor of foreign aid now, buying friends around the world. 

HUNTER:  To Cuba, to the Caribbean... 

CARLSON:  And also to Afghanistan.  China pledged $150 million to reconstruct Afghanistan. 

HUNTER:  And the Sudan.

CARLSON:  You go to Pakistan, and there are billboards everywhere, you know, “The Pak-Sino Friendship.”  You know, this is a bid deal.  China is a world player.

HUNTER:  So why aren‘t we concerned as a nation? 

GASPARINO:  You know what‘s crazy?  You know, Republicans won‘t say it as it is.  China is a fascist state. 

CARLSON:  Right.  They won‘t because a lot of businesses are making a great deal of money there. 

HUNTER:  So whatever happened to “Made in America”?  I‘m a little young to remember that...

GASPARINO:  Unions.  I hate to say this, unions.

HUNTER:  ... but they used to be something very important to us. 

Nothing‘s made in America anymore.  We don‘t care. 

GASPARINO:  It costs too much to make.

CARLSON:  I think, Charley, you‘re onto something.  There is a kind of bipartisan consensus to be silent about this a lot of the times because Republicans don‘t want to alienate big business, which funds their party.  And you know, I think the left is hesitant to make angry noises towards a socialist country so, you know.

Well, our next situation won‘t be a surprise to the parents of Harry Potter, crazy kids.  A new federal report says the typical American 9-year-old reads more each day than a 17-year-old does.  Statistics released yesterday show that 9-year-old‘s reading skills have improved since 1971.  Meanwhile, reading scores of high-schoolers have dipped since 1999. 

You know, there has been a renewed emphasis on reading in schools, not just under this administration but really since the first Reagan administration, the idea that reading is essential to learning.  And I think it‘s bearing fruit. 

And I also think, to be totally honest, that 9-year-olds read more than 17-year-olds because they don‘t know about sex, they don‘t know about beer, and they don‘t have driver‘s licenses. 

GASPARINO:  Absolutely.  Chasing women.  What were you doing...

HUNTER:  You don‘t hang out with the 9-year-olds I hang out with, because they know about everything, unfortunately.  But you know, I‘m happy about this, because maybe it‘ll mean that this next generation of kids will be more literate.  And maybe we‘ll actually have a really good leader coming out of this next generation, somebody who could read and think. 

GASPARINO:  Unlike Clinton, right? 

HUNTER:  Or Bush. 

GASPARINO:  Sorry.  I mean, listen, how could you be against people reading? 

CARLSON:  You can‘t be against it. 

GASPARINO:  I can‘t—I love this story.  I love Harry Potter. 

HUNTER:  No, you don‘t.  You‘ve never read one book.  You‘re so full of it.  “I love Harry Potter.” 

CARLSON:  Wait, hold on.  Let me just ask this as a political—I hate to find a political angle on this.  But if Bush comes out on Monday and says, “You know, I‘ve been pushing reading since the moment I got into office”...

GASPARINO:  Which we has.

CARLSON:  ... you know, “Love or hate my Iraq war, I‘m a reading guy.” 

Can he point to this and take credit for it?

HUNTER:  I would give him a book and ask him to read it out loud. 

That‘s what I would do.

CARLSON:  I think he could pull it off.  He did go to Yale.  And at Harvard, he got better grades than John Kerry. 

GASPARINO:  Who got him into Yale though?  That‘s what I want to know. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t know.  I think it was a different time. 

GASPARINO:  Yes.

CARLSON:  Next situation, senior housing for graying gays.  “Encore House,” it‘s a $20 million retirement community in Hollywood, will be the nation‘s first nonprofit senior housing dedicated to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender adults. 

It‘s due to open next year, and it‘s being built with a combination of public and private funds.  Officials claim it won‘t discriminate against heterosexual seniors.  Why is the city of Los Angeles paying for this? 

GASPARINO:  Are they actually paying for this?  That‘s insane.

(CROSSTALK)

HUNTER:  So what‘s the problem with the regular, straight, normal, holistic old folks‘ home? 

CARLSON:  I don‘t know.  I mean, why do transgender...

HUNTER:  No action there?  They can‘t get enough action? 

CARLSON:  I‘m not know how many transgendered elderly people there are.  I‘m not even sure what transgendered is.  But it‘s not clear why they need their own retirement community. 

HUNTER:  Maybe it‘s that they don‘t get enough action?  There‘s not enough choice.  No, I‘m just curious. 

GASPARINO:  Not enough action?

HUNTER:  Well, if the goal—I don‘t know.  Is the goal to be segregated or is the goal to be accepted?  Because if the goal is to be accepted, then by having a separate old folks‘ home, you‘re setting up this...

GASPARINO:  You know what I...

CARLSON:  Well, that question is at the very heart of it.  That‘s exactly right.  And if it were paid for solely by private funds, I believe, if you pay for it yourself, you could have whomever you want or whoever you don‘t want.  You should be able to decide.  It‘s yours. 

GASPARINO:  By the way, I think is an expansion of the affirmative action laws.  I mean, that‘s probably how they got this.  You don‘t think so? 

HUNTER:  Well, I think everybody wants to be a part of affirmative action laws. 

GASPARINO:  I do. 

HUNTER:  I know you do. 

GASPARINO:  I‘m trying.

HUNTER:  Wookies who...

GASPARINO:  Wookies that...

CARLSON:  No, but a wait a second.  I mean, this...

GASPARINO:  I know.  But this is—how do they justify this?  It had to be under some sort of set-aside agreement, which is a problem. 

CARLSON:  See, that‘s the exactly the point that was made by critics of gay rights at the very beginning.  Twenty years ago, they said, if you put these nondiscrimination laws into effect, you‘re going to, in the end, wind up with preferential treatment for gay people. 

And the gay lobby said, “That‘s outrageous.  That‘s ridiculous.  All we want are equal rights.” 

GASPARINO:  That‘s exactly what‘s happening.

CARLSON:  Now, this is one example—and I confess, I don‘t know of a lot of others—but this is one where it does seem like preferential treatment. 

GASPARINO:  You have segregated schools in New York. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

GASPARINO:  I mean, it is...

HUNTER:  Well, is it by design?  What do you mean, female-only schools? 

GASPARINO:  No, no.  I mean, they have their schools for gays and lesbians. 

HUNTER:  That‘s one school. 

CARLSON:  Yes, the Harvey Milk School.  But let me jus ask this question.  I mean, in my experience working in journalism where there are a lot of gay people which seems to me fully integrated in a happy way into newsrooms everywhere, it‘s not clear why you would want to pay for a segregated facility for people who are gay, apart from people who are not. 

GASPARINO:  I would like to know the Los Angeles city charter.  They may have explicitly put gays and lesbians in their sort of city code that says you can‘t discriminate against them.  And so that opens a door for all...

HUNTER:  But not discriminating gets them in—giving them their own...

GASPARINO:  It opens the door.  It opens the legal...

HUNTER:  ... making you and I pay for them to have their own old folks‘ home is a totally different... 

GASPARINO:  Not when it goes before the courts. 

CARLSON:  It does seem bizarre and kind of annoying, actually. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  But I bet it won‘t be challenged.  And the new mayor of Los Angeles says it‘s called “Encore House” for a reason.  This is just the first among many.  You‘re going to see a whole colony. 

HUNTER:  I bet their happy hour‘s real colorful. 

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  No, it‘s probably a fun place for people that live there.

HUNTER:  Come on, y‘all, YMCA, everyone!

CARLSON:  It‘s just I don‘t think the rest of us should have to pay for it. 

All right, coming up, a woman gets ejected from an amusement park for nursing her baby in public.  Is that right or wrong, the nursing and the ejection?  A subject close to the breast of Max Kellerman.  We‘ll debate it next. 

Plus, a 30-pack of Stros, head for the basement, crank up the “Freebird,” and kick out the jams alone in your underwear.  The Air Guitar World Championship hits the “Cutting Room Floor,” as THE SITUATION rocks on.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  It‘s time for “The Outsider,” where a man from outside the world of news puts his reputation on the line every night simply to play devil‘s advocate against me, your blackjack dealer of righteous opinion on a series of stories. 

Why the gambling references?  Because joining us from Las Vegas is ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host Max “Snake Eyes” Kellerman. 

Max, don‘t crap out on me, again, OK?

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO HOST:  Tucker, who do you have, Hopkins or Taylor Saturday night? 

CARLSON:  Taylor, come on, Max. 

All right, first up, an Oklahoma woman who drank so much she gave birth to an intoxicated baby has been charged with child neglect.  Thirty-seven-year-old Melissa Tanner‘s blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit when she gave birth.  The baby has since been diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome. 

The mother admitted to police she drank regularly and smoked while pregnant.  She‘s in jail.  The child‘s in a foster home.  You should also note, Max, that the baby had a blood-alcohol limit three times level—three times the legal limit in the state of Oklahoma. 

And the mother, when asked by a friend what she was going to name the child, replied “Milwaukee‘s Best.”  I don‘t think there‘s any way to argue the other side of this.  This is a negligent mother who put her child‘s life in danger.  And she ought to be in jail, and I‘m glad she is. 

KELLERMAN:  I like drunk babies, fetal alcohol—I mean, what can I say?  This is the only thing I can say in her defense, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  What can you say?  Hit me with it.

KELLERMAN:  This is the only thing.  If we categorize, if we classify alcoholism as a disease, and this woman is an alcoholic, then she needs treatment for a disease.  That‘s the best I‘ve got. 

CARLSON:  Yes, that‘s true.  We can classify kleptomania as a disease, which it probably is.  It‘s a compulsion beyond the control of many people who suffer from it.  But we can‘t allow them to steal.  And when they do, we put them in jail. 

KELLERMAN:  OK, but here‘s another question:  Where do you draw the line?  Cigarette smoking is bad during pregnancy.  Certain diets are bad during pregnancy. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

KELLERMAN:  Where do you draw the line?  What are you—what is the government going to say women can and cannot do during pregnancy? 

CARLSON:  That‘s an interesting question.  But I think we can both agree that the government has an interest in protecting children and that the baby, even before birth, is distinct from the mother, a separate life.  And you can say that, if a child is born drunk and has been physically damaged by drinking, that the mother responsible for it. 

Let me put it this way:  If the child was born, and three minutes after the child emerged from the mother handed the baby a bottle with beer in it,  you would say that‘s a crime. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, let me just say, send her to jail! CARLSON:  All right, Max Kellerman!

Next up, a subject we will not agree on, France.  In its traditional Bastille Day television interview, the president of France, Jacques Chirac, sought to regain favor with his nation by telling the French they‘re far better off than the British, and had no reason to take lessons from those across the Channel. 

Chirac said the French have more children, spend more on research, fight poverty better, and live longer.  He also pointed out that, after the Finns, the British have the worst food in the entire world. 

You know, I am going to defend France again, Max.  And that‘s heartfelt for a couple of reasons.  You‘re going to say the French are cowards.  Of course, they‘re cowards. 

But let me just tell you a few things you may not know about the French.  The French, above all, are proud of their own culture, their own language, their own food, and they‘re willing to defend it.  They love their own culture. 

We can learn something from them in that regard.  They love dogs. 

They allow their dogs on subways.  They allow them in restaurants in cafes. 

All civilized nations ought to love dogs.  The French do. 

KELLERMAN:  Not in the restaurants and cafes too much.  I‘m very hygienic.

CARLSON:  Yes, yes.  Third, they blew up the Rainbow Warrior.  Twenty years ago on Sunday, they blew up the Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior, in Auckland Harbor.  It was a bold and good thing to do. 

And finally, the French love us.  The French like us more—every opinion poll shows—than the British do.  I like people who like us.  The French like us.  The Brits don‘t.  I‘m on France‘s side. 

KELLERMAN:  The Brits I know are sensible people.  They‘re proud of their culture where there is something to be proud and they are embarrassed where there‘s something to be embarrassed. 

I mean, same thing with Americans, by the way.  The greatest country in the world, America‘s the greatest country in the world.  But you know what?  Slavery, not such a good moment in American history.  Not such a good time.

The Brits are the same way.  They‘re not—now, French are—there‘s sort of a false conceit about their culture and a refusal to acknowledge what is bad about their culture.  Sure, British food—French food tastes better than British food.  The Brits beat the French in every other way. 

CARLSON:  You know, you make a very good point.  The French are a stiff-necked and arrogant people, especially about their language.  But I admire them for that.  And I‘ll tell you what:  That‘s what we need on this war on terror.  We need to have a culture that is willing to defend itself because it is proud of itself. 

KELLERMAN:  Hold on.  Who do we need on the war on terror, Tucker, France or England? 

CARLSON:  Actually, honestly, obviously, the French are natural-born quislings who would abandon us at the moment we need them most.  Of course.

KELLERMAN:  Yes.

CARLSON:  And the British are steadfast.  They‘re our true allies.  However, we can learn from the example of the French, because they (INAUDIBLE) none of this silly Islamic stuff in their country.  If you seem like you‘re against France in the name of your religion, they don‘t care.  They put you in jail.  And good for them.

KELLERMAN:  Bottom line is, Chirac is facing political pressure, and he‘s resorting to jingoism.  And that‘s all that‘s going on here, really.

CARLSON:  Yes.  That‘s the other thing I like about the French. 

They‘re jingoistic.  Long live the frogs. 

All right.  Next up, Six Flags knows amusement.  It‘s an amusement park.  And breast feeding, apparently, is not amusing, at least not for onlookers.  Twenty-six-year-old Rebecca Gray says she was breast-feeding her 4-month-old by pool at Six Flags Great America, but she was asked to move to a private area for breast feeding. 

Illinois, one of 24 states a woman can nurse anywhere they want and have the right to sue any business that tries to stop them.  Cue the lawyers, Max.

OK, I think breast feeding is great.  Totally for breast feeding.  A lot of things are great that you shouldn‘t be doing in public.  Sex is great.  You shouldn‘t be having it in public.  Just because it‘s great, doesn‘t mean you have the right to do it in front of other people. 

KELLERMAN:  OK.  Puritanical values by and large built this country and by and large, they‘re good things.  But they‘re not all good. 

One of the things that‘s not so good is this whole kind of sexually repressed situation we have going on here.  What‘s happening here is reality is imposing itself on cultural mores that are not correct.  The primary function of a breast is to feed, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  That‘s where you‘re wrong, Max!

KELLERMAN:  It‘s not a sexual object.  It‘s to feed.  Now, you claim that child welfare is the most important thing.  Tucker, the baby‘s hungry. 

CARLSON:  Yes, I would say child birth is a lovely thing.  Indeed, it‘s one of the loveliest things we have on this planet.  I don‘t want to see it next to the pool, right? 

I mean, some things that are lovely, and good, and positive shouldn‘t play out in public.  They have a place for you to breast feed in private.  Why not go there? 

KELLERMAN:  If the woman‘s water breaks, she‘s going to give birth if she can‘t get to the hospital wherever that is.  If the kid is hungry—what‘s so interesting to me is this puts it in our face.  This is what breasts are actually for.  They should not be sexualized to the point that they‘re taboo. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t know why you keep saying that.  Breasts have many uses, and that‘s but one. 

KELLERMAN:  That is the primary function of the female breast, Tucker, actually. 

CARLSON:  This woman is holding herself up as the Rosa Parks of breast feeding, right, making this a civil rights issue, when, in fact, Six Flags Great America is privately owned.  And if they don‘t want breast feeding there, it should be up to them to ban it or not. 

KELLERMAN:  I see your point.  If they don‘t want hungry infants to be fed, then they can ban that.  Because that‘s really what we‘re talking about, not her breast.  We‘re talking about a hungry infant. 

CARLSON:  Yes, we are.  We‘re also talking about a law the state of Illinois passed, ridiculously—I believe it was sponsored by a Republican, which makes it even more embarrassing—which says that you can‘t ban it.  And it seems to me, private institutions should be able to ban whatever they want.  they‘re private.  And if you don‘t dig it, then go to Magic Mountain or Disneyland where they‘re pro-breast feeding.  Government has no role in this.

KELLERMAN:  Actually, private businesses can‘t ban jus whatever they want.  You can‘t tell, for instance, a black person that they‘re not allowed to drink at certain water fountains. 

CARLSON:  I knew you were going to say that.  I think there‘s a difference between racial segregation and wanting breast feeding to take place behind closed doors.  But that may be our next topic next week. 

Max Kellerman, have a great weekend in Vegas. 

KELLERMAN:  The Great Tucker Carlson. 

CARLSON:  Thank you, Max.

Up next, Taiwanese diners are now getting to enjoy the latest in cutting-edge culinary technology:  Prepared food eaten out of a toilet.  Look like dreck, tastes like chicken.  It‘s on our “Cutting Room Floor,” stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  It‘s that time, time for the “Cutting Room Floor.”  We sweep up all the odds and ends of news we couldn‘t use and bring them to you.  Willie Geist does that.

Here he is.

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER:  Hello, Tucker.  Two important news bulletins for you.  First of all, Arnold Schwarzenegger caved and ended his relationship with “Fitness” magazine. 

CARLSON:  Oh, despite our best efforts. 

GEIST:  Apparently, your influence means nothing. 

Number two, and more importantly, the cop of the Village People, one of the founding members of the Village People...

CARLSON:  Yes, I‘ve always liked him.  I like the Indian the best, but yes.

GEIST:  ... arrested with crack cocaine and a loaded .45.  But it gets worst.  He used the “Do you know who I am” defense with the cops.  So pathetic. 

CARLSON:  I‘m so not surprised.  In fact, that‘s a better end than I suspected he‘d come to.  I figured he‘d left us already.

GEIST:  It didn‘t work, incidentally. 

CARLSON:  I didn‘t think it would.

All right.  People who believe deep down that rock stars who have no discernible music talent—that would be 99 percent of western civilization—now have an outlet for their frustration.  It‘s called the U.S. Air Guitar Championships.  The creme-de-la-creme of wannabe guitar gods got together in L.A. last night to compete for a spot in next month‘s international championship in, of course, Finland.  Each performer got one minute to show off his stage presence and technical merit. 

GEIST:  I‘d like to read you a quote, Tucker, from the co-founder of the event, Cedrick Devin (ph).  It reads, “It seems that American air guitar is coming out of its infancy and finally being accepted as a serious competition.”  Let me assure you, Mr. Devin (ph), that that is not the case.  And self-seriousness at the air guitar competition is not flattering. 

CARLSON:  But self-seriousness is the essence of air guitar. 

GEIST:  Well, that‘s true.

CARLSON:  That‘s why they always have those grim looks on their faces.

GEIST:  Winners on the “Today” show on Monday, by the way.

CARLSON:  Oh, I can‘t wait.

GEIST:  Synergy.

CARLSON:  Well, as you know, you can count on THE SITUATION for the very latest in gratuitous surveillance video.  It‘s our specialty.  But this next clip is not exactly gratuitous, but you have to see it anyway.

Here it is.  This mother in Manaway, Ohio, left her preschool children in the car while it was running and she ran into a convenience store.  While she was inside, one of the kids got behind the wheel and ran into the store himself. 

Bang!  You can see the mother running outside to the car and then returning with the culprit to complete her purchase.

GEIST:  I love how she gets the kids, runs right back in, like nothing happen.  “Can I still get that Slurpee?”  How about a little apology, honey? 

CARLSON:  Twenty bucks she was buying—that looks like someone who was buying cigarettes.

GEIST:  Parliament Lights, no question.

CARLSON:  Eve Ultra Light Menthol 120s. 

GEIST:  Hard pack.

CARLSON:  They‘re all hard pack. 

Well, if having your toenail clipper confiscated at the airport isn‘t making you feel better about the war on terror, maybe this will.  Janitors are being trained to look for terrorists.  Jani-King, the world‘s largest commercial cleaning company, is teaching its employees to be more vigilant during their shifts.  A company spokesman says the anti-terror training is the company‘s civic responsibility because janitors see areas of buildings others do not. 

GEIST:  You know, Tucker, you can laugh, but janitors have experience in this area.  In fact, there have been some serious acts of terror committed in the restrooms of this very building.  And I want the culprits brought to justice. 

CARLSON:  Not going to respond.  Indeed, I‘m just going to move forward.

From toilet cleaners to toilet diners, a trendy new restaurant in Taiwan serves its meals in toilet bowls while the customers sitting on ornate toilet seats.  Despite the obvious gross-out factor of eating out of the clean, the Martun, or toilet in Chinese, is doing a booming business.  The owners plan to open more potty-themed restaurants around Taiwan. 

GEIST:  Come on, you talk about gratuitous.  Did you see that?  They‘re eating chocolate ice cream out of the toilet?  We get it.  We get it.

CARLSON:  You know, not to brag, there will never be one of those restaurants in this country. 

GEIST:  And there should not be.

CARLSON:  We‘re above that. 

But we send you off to your weekend with some high courtroom drama.  Keep your eyes on the right-hand side of the screen.  We‘ve spot-shadowed a woman waiting for her turn in front of a judge at the Miami-Dade, Florida, courthouse.  She calmly stands up, drops her clothes, and presents her case.  The 24-year-old woman was awaiting a bond hearing on identity-theft charges.  She was covered up and removed by the bailiff. 

GEIST:  That‘s a very interesting legal strategy.  May I suggest she steal the identity of someone with a little tighter body?  A little dumpy.

CARLSON:  That‘s mean, but true, as all truly mean things are. 

Willie Geist, thanks.

That‘s THE SITUATION.  Thanks for watching.  See you Monday.  Have a great weekend.

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