Guest: Rachel Maddow, Pat Brown
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”: THE SITUATION with Tucker Carlson starts right now. Monica Crowley sitting in for Tucker tonight. Monica, good evening. What you got going?
MONICA CROWLEY, GUEST HOST: Hey, Joe, thanks so much.
Well, it‘s 11 p.m. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 8 p.m. in Pittsburgh, California, and 4 a.m. in Hamburg, Germany. And we‘re live with the most interesting news from all points in between.
That includes a fraternity hazing death out west, Bill Clinton in the record business, if you can believe, and we‘re also following the developments in Japan, where a magnitude 6.8 earthquake minutes ago has triggered a tsunami warning.
Now here to break down the top stories at this hour is the very fabulous Rachel Maddow from air America.
RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO HOST: Hi, Monica. Good to see you.
CROWLEY: Thank you for staying up late with us tonight.
MADDOW: I‘m very happy to. Thanks.
CROWLEY: Great to see you as always.
Well, first up tonight, an historic moment in the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate. The Israeli army has served eviction notices to Jews in 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip, and four enclaves in the West Bank. Some settlers have resisted, tearing up the notices, but they have 48 hours to leave before soldiers consider their forcible removal.
Well, you know, Rachel, looking at this, this is really a historical moment for the state of Israel, as well as for the Palestinian people. I think that the Palestinian prime minister, Ariel Sharon (sic), looks at this, and at least hopes that this is a moment for greater security for Israel, but it also has the potential to be a catastrophic security blunder.
And by that I mean that if the Israelis withdraw from Gaza as they are planning, they could create a vacuum, and that vacuum could be filled by a terrorist organization like Hamas, which has already expressed its interest in taking over the Gaza Strip and has already made actions and movements to that end.
So if you have this power vacuum in Gaza, if Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, cannot control these terrorist groups, you could essentially have the Taliban on the Mediterranean.
MADDOW: At the same time, we‘re talking about a strip that‘s six miles by 25 miles; 1.3 million Palestinians in it, 8,500 Israelis. The security burden for the state of Israel for maintaining the settlements in Gaza is just untenable. And so to be devoting that much resources to keeping these heavily fortified settlements, to devoting that much resources to fighting what is demographically an insane battle every day there, doesn‘t make sense.
And I think Ariel Sharon to come so far in his career—he always defended the settlements. Now he‘s that getting them out of Gaza. He‘s probably the only one who could have got them out of Gaza, but I think that, as a security measure, you kind of really can‘t argue with the numbers.
CROWLEY: Well, let‘s say the Gaza Strip gets turned over, as is planned, and Hamas does take over the Gaza Strip. If there‘s attack against the state of Israel and it is found to have originated from Gaza, how do you think Israel would respond to that?
MADDOW: The exact same way they would respond from a Hamas attack anywhere else. I mean, Israel is saying, at this point, listen, Israelis no longer live in Gaza. We‘re handing it over to the Palestinians. They make up 99 percent of the population there anyway. And this is—this is hopefully the basis of a peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians.
CROWLEY: We hope. We hope.
MADDOW: If Hamas is going to attack from anywhere, which they could do from anywhere at any time, Israel is going to respond, regardless. It‘s not going to make a difference with the settlements.
CROWLEY: Well, this is certainly a story we‘re going to be watching unfold in the course of the next week.
Moving on now, Howard Dean and television cameras have again proved to be a provocative mix. The chairman of the Democratic Party put his criticism of the Iraq war in stark terms on CBS‘s “Face the Nation.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD DEAN, CHAIRMAN, DNC: As of today, it looks like women will be worse off in Iraq than they were when Saddam Hussein was president of Iraq.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Well, Rachel, that comes as news to the thousands of women who were raped, tortured, and murdered over the decades of Saddam Hussein‘s murderous regime, don‘t you think?
MADDOW: I think Howard Dean is absolutely right, and you‘re absolutely wrong, Monica. I think you‘re a very nice person, but listen. Saddam was a monster, no question about it. Nobody in the world will argue that he was anything other than a monster, except the people who are still under his control in some way, right? But he happened to be a secularist, and it is a matter of factual record that women will have more rights of marriage, inheritance and family law under Saddam than they will under the new Islamist...
CROWLEY: What about all of the rape rooms, Rachel? What about the women who were held accountable for the crimes, so-called crimes that Saddam Hussein‘s regime perceived against the men in their lives? Saddam Hussein‘s regime would take these women, rape, torture, and then kill them as a way of punishing the men.
MADDOW: Saddam did horrible things to women. Saddam did horrible things to men. He did horrible things to minority groups in Iraq. He was a horrible dictator. He was a really bad guy. There‘s a lot of bad dictators all over the world. We will now have a new Iraq after our invasion.
CROWLEY: It‘s going to be a functioning democracy.
MADDOW: It will be an Islamist constitution, and women will have fewer rights, honestly, than they did under Saddam. It doesn‘t mean with Saddam that everything was roses. But literally we‘re right.
I mean, did we—could we have justified the war from the beginning if we had said, what we want to do, is Saddam doesn‘t have any weapons. He doesn‘t have a nuclear program. He‘s not actually helping the terrorists. But we want to go in there. We want to spend 1,800 U.S. Lives and hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars so we can have Islamist constitutional democracy. Would the Americans have been...
CROWLEY: That is not where the Iraq—Iraqi constitutional process is moving right now, Rachel. And we‘re talking about a functioning democracy. It‘s not going to look like a Jeffersonian democracy, but it will look like a democracy of the kind we haven‘t seen yet in the Middle East. That‘s great progress.
MADDOW: Osama bin Laden was almost as opposed to Saddam as he is to the west. If Osama bin Laden is looking right now, what‘s going on in Iraq, he‘s happier with Shariala (ph) in Iraq than he was with Saddam.
CROWLEY: For Howard Dean, though, to have this moral equivalency going on between Saddam Hussein‘s regime and the way Saddam treated women and men, for that matter, and the democracy that‘s blossoming, is outrageous.
MADDOW: You‘re the only one saying that, Monica.
CROWLEY: Moving on now, Roberto Hernandez used to be ad salesman for Univision radio. That was until a show on Univision staged a prank that outed Mr. Hernandez as a gay man.
He had not at that point told his family or co-workers that he was gay. And he has been since awarded $270,000 from the network for the emotional distress he says the prank caused him.
You know, Rachel, I find this absolutely horrifying. It‘s I think it‘s disgraceful. I think everybody in the United States has the right to live their own lives, their own private lives in private, without fear of somebody outing them or talking about it in public.
MADDOW: I think that this guy should have won his case, and I think that, you know, he stumbled into this thing through no fault of his own. They outed him. It turned his life upside down.
And I think that, personally, I think that all gay people should come out of the closet. I think that if you don‘t come out of the closet, you have a right to stay closeted in your life. I think you‘re going to have a sad life, but you have that right.
There is an exception, though. I do think that if you are living privately as a gay person and in your public life you are hurting gay people, you‘re hurting the gay community, if you—if Rick Santorum was gay, which he is not, by all accounts, but if he was, I think he should be outed, because he is hurting gay people.
CROWLEY: What right of is of anybody‘s to out somebody‘s sexual preference?
MADDOW: It is—if you are living privately as a gay person, and if you are living your life in the way that builds on what the gay community has accomplished by people coming out, and then you‘re putting people down.
CROWLEY: Rachel, isn‘t that subjective? Like you‘re saying, well, if they‘re out there hurting the gay community somehow. Isn‘t that a subjective judgment?
MADDOW: Yes, and the gay community makes it every day.
CROWLEY: Right. But why does it lie to anybody, then, to make that judgment and then out somebody‘s private life?
MADDOW: Somebody like this guy, who‘s just, from all accounts, kind of a sad sack, just a closeted guy, not hurting anybody, I agree with you.
But somebody who is living in their public life in a way that is always attacking the gay community. Roy Cohn (ph), for example, in the McCarthyism era, right? Rick Santorum, James Dobson, somebody else who is making their career on demagoguing gay people and hurting gay people, they deserve to be outed. I believe it.
CROWLEY: All right. Very controversial in the gay community, too.
MADDOW: I know. I know.
CROWLEY: All right. Well, I did a double take on this next story. Ted Turner, who by the way, invented cable news and deserves much respect and gratitude for that vision, is in North Korea, of al places tonight.
He is meeting with North Korean leaders to discuss the protection of—get this—plant and animal life in the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas and the possibility of turning the DMZ into a peace park. Well, you can hear the chuckle in my voice here.
Rachel, if Ted Turner wants to go to North Korea, more power to him, however, the North Korean regime is killing hundreds of thousands of people every year through starvation, outright slaughter, torture chambers, gulags, and the rest of it. And Ted Turner is concerned with the plant and animal life at the DMZ zone.
CROWLEY: If he‘s going to go and try to make a political statement, shouldn‘t he be really lecturing the North Korean regime about the murderous nature of their regime?
MADDOW: Well, I don‘t know that any of us can tell Ted Turner what to take as political stands. He picks his stands, and he has a lot of money and he does what he wants to do. I think sure, the plant and animal life in the DMZ, I‘m not opposed to it being protected.
CROWLEY: He wants it to be a peace park. We‘re talking about a regime and the north that has nuclear weapons, Rachel.
MADDOW: And at the same time, I honestly don‘t care if it‘s Daffy Duck going over and talking to the North Koreans. It would be more effective than what we‘ve had so far, which is John Bolton screaming at them and all but daring them to attack us or attack Japan. I mean, our approach to North Korea so far has not actually been so fruitful.
CROWLEY: Ted Turner is not a representative of the United States government. And a good thing. Is he crazy, seriously, Turner?
MADDOW: I don‘t think that he‘s crazy. I think John Bolton is crazy and he is a representative of the U.S. government. That‘s the problem.
CROWLEY: He is going to surprise you, mark my words, Rachel.
MADDOW: Oh, my God. He‘s already surprising me.
CROWLEY: All right. Moving on to a different character, Bill Clinton knows a thing or two about improvising, and his love for the craft has led to this, a brand-new CD of the former president‘s favorite jazz cuts. Yes, that‘s right. Among the featured artists and Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Judy Collins.
Not among them—well, no surprise here—is Bill Clinton himself.
MADDOW: Thank God.
CROWLEY: Whose public solo career began and ended with this famous appearance on the “Arsenio Hall Show” leading up to the 1992 election.
So I bet you can hardly wait to get out and buy this CD, Rachel.
MADDOW: I have to say, it‘s kind of cool to have a president who likes Miles Davis. It‘s kind of cool, you have to admit. I know you hate the Clintons more than life itself. But come on.
CROWLEY: No, no. Is this Bill Clinton‘s greatest contribution as a former president? You know, we‘ve had a lot of former presidents who have gone on to do great things out of office. Richard Nixon traveled the world, advised heads of state and all of his successors. You know, you have Jimmy Carter out there with Habitat for Humanity, actually making a contribution. Bill Clinton with jazz CD? I don‘t see it.
MADDOW: I think. Well, Clinton hasn‘t been out of office very long. I think that his legacy remains to be—remains to be seen, and it is being fought out tooth and nail.
I am to the left of the Clintons, as you know. You know me well enough to know this...
MADDOW: ... to know this now, and I‘m no huge Clinton fan. But thing that I think the thing the Clintons have given to American politics are the Clinton haters. And I think they the Clinton haters are some of the most amusing things in politics, and you have a little bit of the Clinton hater in you. I have seen it happen.
CROWLEY: Deny, deny, deny.
MADDOW: It‘s true. But I mean, no other president would have a group of people come out and try to build counter libraries in the same town because they thought the Clinton library was a lie-brary.
CROWLEY: And also, Rachel, no other former president would be putting out a jazz CD.
MADDOW: Well, fair enough.
CROWLEY: Always—the Clintons, always entertaining, I will give them that.
MADDOW: The haters and the jazz CD. It remains to be seen how it‘s all going to sort out.
CROWLEY: Rachel Maddow, Air America. Great to see you.
MADDOW: Thanks, Monica. I appreciate it.
CROWLEY: Well, still to come, “The Outsider,” Max Kellerman, joins me to debate some of our favorite stories of the day.
Hey, Max, you ready to get schooled?
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN: Monica, I was told I got to be in the same studio with you. That‘s the only reason I showed up today.
CROWLEY: Yes, what‘s up with that? I was told the same thing.
KELLERMAN: They are keeping us apart, Monica. I don‘t like it.
CROWLEY: Get your tail in here, OK, Max?
KELLERMAN: You got it.
CROWLEY: Also ahead, mystery surrounding Sunday‘s fatal plane crash in Greece, but why is a text message supposedly sent by one of the passengers causing such a stir? The full details are on the “Crime Blotter,” coming up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Still ahead, fraternity hazing turns deadly, and former Marine shoots to kill. Hot stories off the “Crime Blotter” coming up next.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two...
CROWLEY: Welcome back. Time for tales of wrongdoing and justice served. It‘s THE SITUATION “Crime Blotter,” our nightly summary of who done it, and who caught them.
Coming up first, a mysterious situation in Greece. The plane carrying 121 people that crashed into a hillside on Sunday was reportedly on auto pilot. Two Greek fighter jet pilots sent to intercept the plane said they saw one pilot slumped over the controls but did not see the other pilot.
The leading theory so far, that the plane may have suffered high altitude decompression, but another mystery has been solved. A man who claimed he had gotten a text message from the plane, saying the passengers were freezing to death, has now been arrested. Police say the message was a hoax.
Next up on the “Crime Blotter,” the very sad story of a one-time Marine of the year, decorated for his service in Iraq. Daniel Cotnoir of Lawrence, Massachusetts, is charged with attempted murder after he allegedly fired a shotgun from his apartment window at a noisy group of people outside a night club on Saturday. Two people were slightly injured.
And four California fraternity brothers could be charged with torture in the death of a 21-year-old pledge. A judge compared the alleged hazing death of Matthew Carrington to the torture of the Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers.
The four are accused of forcing Carrington to drink large amounts of water while performing calisthenics in a frigid basement as part of an initiation right back in February. Carrington died of heart failure, and the judge now says torture charges could avoid the ambiguity of hazing laws.
Well, when it comes to crime, tonight‘s guest has pretty much seen it all. Pat Brown is a nationally known criminal profiler and the founder of the Sexual Homicide Exchange, which works to aid law enforcement and families of victims in solving cases.
Pat, thank you so much for joining us tonight. Nice to see you.
PAT BROWN, FOUNDER, SEXUAL HOMICIDE EXCHANGE: Good evening, Monica.
CROWLEY: Let‘s begin with this case of Tamika Houston (ph). She was a young black woman who went missing for quite awhile, in South Carolina, actually, and she had been found by a friend. She was murdered.
A lot of attention goes to the Natalee Holloway case, the Laci Peterson case, Lori Hacking, and so on. Do you think that white women are getting disproportional amounts of media attention in these missing person cases?
BROWN: Well, I would probably say the answer to that is yes, they are, which is unfortunate, but on the other hand, it isn‘t that it‘s doing the cases that much good either. So I think one of the concepts is that because minority women are not getting the press, their cases aren‘t getting solved, but really the fact is, most of these cases aren‘t getting solved anyway.
The simple fact is, everything happens within the first week. You either get really great work done, you get all the evidence, you‘ve got all your suspects in line, you‘ve got huge amounts of resources to put into it, or you don‘t.
And so by the time you get around to national media, it‘s become a little bit more of a soap opera. And we all are fascinated. We‘re hoping to see whether it‘s going to be solved, but quite frankly, that media attention probably is not actually solving the case at that point.
CROWLEY: Pat, thousands of people go missing every single year in this country. Not all of them get this massive media attention, a la Natalee Holloway. Why do you think certain stories like the Natalee Holloway case attract that kind of massive national media attention while other missing person cases remain local cases, and some don‘t even get any media attention at all?
BROWN: Right. Well, Natalee Holloway is kind of unusual in that we can actually point over to this beautiful island. We can take our mind off of America. We don‘t have to think about terrorism. We don‘t have to think about grimy situations. We can bask in beautiful island weather as we‘re watching this case unfold.
So it‘s very pleasant for us to actually look away from America. I think it‘s good for us. And we are enjoying the kind of break from the real, shall we say, real crime news that is local and every day we‘re seeing homicide after homicide after homicide in our local jurisdictions, and they‘re not being solved. Let‘s not look there. Let‘s look someplace else, and we don‘t have to pay attention.
CROWLEY: So just because the case isn‘t getting national media attention doesn‘t mean the investigators aren‘t hard at work trying to solve these cases, right, Pat?
BROWN: Well, they are hard at work, but the problem is sometimes we don‘t have the resources for them, and sometimes cases go cold within days. And that‘s one of the problems. Our communities aren‘t supporting our police as strongly as they should, saying, wait a minute, a girl was murdered last week, and a week later it doesn‘t even show up in the newspapers. And we have no idea what the police are doing and we don‘t even know if there‘s any resources being put towards this.
That‘s the way it‘s kind of gone in recent years in America. Most of our sexual homicide cases don‘t get solved. And there is a problem with that. And we need to refocus and find out why that is actually happening.
CROWLEY: All right. Let‘s move on to a different kind of case. Tennessee fugitives, George and Jennifer Hyatte, remember them from last week?
BROWN: Oh, yes.
CROWLEY: They‘re now in custody. Today an A.P. story says that dozens of corrections officers have quit or been fired in the last four years for fraternizing with inmates.
This is remarkable to me, Pat, that these kind of relationships even go on. If you are sent to prison, if you are convicted, you‘re serving jail time, should inmates even be allowed to have relationships like this?
BROWN: Right, Monica. I feel very strongly about this. I‘ve always been proponent of if you are abusing society and they put you in jail, why do you have any contact with them after that?
I mean, the whole point is that you‘re away from society. So why do you get to use women out in society, send love letters, get on these dating sites for prisoners? That is the most ridiculous thing I‘ve seen.
I think you ought to do your time, get your supposed rehabilitation, which isn‘t too good. But anyway, that‘s what you‘re there for. You‘re not out there to make friends and lovers, you know? And it‘s ridiculous that we allow that. That should be cut off completely.
CROWLEY: I am with you 100 percent.
BROWN: Yes, yes.
CROWLEY: Absolutely. I mean, it‘s ridiculous. This should be part of their punishment.
CROWLEY: Not be able to fraternize with members of the opposite sex.
BROWN: Exactly. And don‘t put out, you know, books and all those kind of things and give all kinds of interviews, where essentially you‘re continuing to abuse the victims, you‘re continuing to abuse society. And you‘re supposed to be behind prison walls and getting punishment, but you‘re not.
CROWLEY: I‘m with you 100 percent on that.
All right. Moving on, as mentioned just a moment ago, hazers at Chico State University in California could now face torture charges akin to the charges stemming from Abu Ghraib. Fair? Accurate assessment by the judge? What‘s going on here? Do you think, Pat, that hazing should face tougher criminal penalties in this country?
BROWN: Well, I think the judge is jumping to a bit of a conclusion, to equalize that with Iraq in any way. I mean, that‘s just ridiculous. That‘s not what was going on in this particular case. This wasn‘t a hate crime. This wasn‘t that kind of thing.
This boy was there, somewhat of his own free will. And the question is, when he was there of his own free will, in other words, he wanted to be part of this group, the question really lies in, did they literally force him to do something against his will? Did they pin him down, pour this water down his throat and torture him? Or did they say, “Come on, guys, do more exercise. Do some more exercise”?
You know, a lot of stupid boys do that kind of crap, and we don‘t want them to, but they‘re being stupid and encouraging people to do it, and being stupid to be encouraged to do it. So I mean, where does the fault lie? That‘s what the lawyers are going to have to sort out here, but to equate with Iraq is like...
CROWLEY: Over the top.
CROWLEY: Outrageous, I agree with you. Pat Brown, great to see you. Thanks, Pat.
BROWN: My pleasure, Monica.
CROWLEY: And still to come, Russell Crowe alleged pulled some “Gladiator” style moves on New York hotel employee. Now find out the unbelievable sum the actor may have to pay for his crime.
Also, we have two of the world‘s ugliest dogs. Oh, look at that. Live via satellite for your viewing pleasure. You‘re not going to want to miss this. Stay tuned.
CROWLEY: Well, as advertised, it‘s now time to welcome “The Outsider.” If he had a dollar for every newspaper he reads every day, he‘d be flat broke. And yet, yet he lives to argue news with the news people. Fresh from the wild weekend of lazing about without a care, it‘s ESPN radio and HBO Boxing host, Max Kellerman.
KELLERMAN: Talked my way onto the set, Monica. See how I did that?
CROWLEY: Very wily of you.
KELLERMAN: I need to be close enough to smell your perfume. That‘s my...
CROWLEY: And do you?
CROWLEY: Am I, you know, having a effect?
KELLERMAN: It‘s a tremendous effect. In fact, please get to the story so I can concentrate.
CROWLEY: Focus, Kellerman, focus.
Here‘s a strange but true one, Max, six years ago two families in Argentina mistakenly took each other‘s babies home from the hospital. They didn‘t learn of the error until very recently, and a judge awarded each family about $50,000 for their trouble.
However, here‘s the catch: the families both decided they didn‘t want to swap back to the biologically correct pairings, and the judge reduced the payment to around four grand per family.
All right, Max, so let me get this straight.
CROWLEY: Two couples go into a hospital in Argentina. Both couples have their babies. They‘re deliriously happy. They go home with the babies. A couple years go by, babies are growing up, and all of a sudden, it‘s determined, oh, we have the wrong child. And the couples decide, “Well, we‘re going to hang onto the one we got.”
KELLERMAN: You don‘t like that? You think they should trade?
CROWLEY: Listen, out of these four people, two couples, man and woman in each couple, four people, not one with common sense.
KELLERMAN: Wait. The common sense position is to trade—swap the babies back?
CROWLEY: To have your biological child.
KELLERMAN: After you‘ve been raising another kid five or six years?
CROWLEY: You can go visit the other kid. Come on.
KELLERMAN: This is like something—this is Solomon splitting the babies or something. What I don‘t understand is why does it go down from $50,000 to $4,000? That kind of seems arbitrary.
CROWLEY: The judge—yes, the judge should not have lowered the settlement payment in this case just because both couples were happy with each other‘s babies.
CROWLEY: Because it was essentially a judgment against the hospital for screwing up.
KELLERMAN: I could tell you, I have experience with this. When I was 23, my parents actually found that I had been swapped, and they tried to swap back, and it‘s very emotionally damaging.
CROWLEY: And they didn‘t have any luck.
KELLERMAN: No. No, they didn‘t. But you know...
CROWLEY: Sorry to the Kellermans. Sorry to the Kellermans.
All right. Hold onto the phone on the Russell Crowe settlement with the Mercer Hotel in New York, Max, because yesterday, a British tabloid reported that the movie stud had agreed to pay $11 million to the hotel clerk, at whom he allegedly threw a phone in June. I should tell you all that what you‘re seeing here is a reenactment, repeating, this is not the actual incident.
KELLERMAN: Well, Monica, he‘s taking that phone in the face.
CROWLEY: Yes. That doesn‘t look anything like Russell Crowe. Anyway, the “New York Daily News” made a couple of calls today and got flat denials from lawyers on both sides. That is a really pathetic reenactment, by the way.
KELLERMAN: He‘s taking that phone in the face. How do they do that?
CROWLEY: You know what? Because the phone was made of foam.
KELLERMAN: I don‘t know.
CROWLEY: You know, that‘s really pathetic. We need a bigger budget here on THE SITUATION so we can actually do a decent reenactment. Look at that.
What do you think here? Eleven million bucks is—I don‘t know if it‘s true or not. Lawyers on both sides are denying this, but that‘s pretty outrageous for throwing a phone. Don‘t you think?
KELLERMAN: That‘s the price of doing business. The cost of doing business if you‘re Russell Crowe. He has this bad boy image. They parodied it on “South Park.”
Probably one of the reasons he gets $20 million a picture, right? So it‘s like a tax write-off.
Russell Crowe goes around. “South Park” had a whole episode about Russell Crowe picking fights around the world. He throws a phone at somebody‘s face, it‘s going to cost him 11 million bucks.
CROWLEY: Because he doesn‘t want to go to trial. He doesn‘t want to deal with all that, right? But you know, I mean, this hotel employee, I feel bad for him he got hurt, but it‘s not like he lost an eye or anything. Eleven million bucks?
KELLERMAN: You know, I operate in the boxing world sometimes. Sometimes a fighter will get mad at me for something I said or something. And if it‘s like Oscar De La Hoya, please take a shot at me. Please take it. Eleven million bucks here we go.
CROWLEY: You‘re trying to bait them.
KELLERMAN: I‘m a little bit litigious.
CROWLEY: And after that—after this segment, Max, your HBO contract is going right out the window.
KELLERMAN: The point is when a rich person hits you—the best thing about America is that if a rich person hits you, you‘re rich. You‘re paid.
CROWLEY: The beauty of American capitalism.
KELLERMAN: Yes, it is.
CROWLEY: Max Kellerman, great to see you.
KELLERMAN: The beauty of Monica Crowley.
CROWLEY: Thank you. Oh, that‘s why you like it when I sit in for Tucker. Good to see you, Max.
KELLERMAN: You too.
CROWLEY: And, still plenty more ahead on THE SITUATION. Don‘t go anywhere.
CROWLEY (voice-over): Almost live, the face only a strange person could love, Sam the world‘s ugliest thing.A music has been admits she‘s no intellectual wannabe. Plus, a world chomp champ tells the competition “Bite me.”The runaway bride mowed down by a cutting remark.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I just want to slap her.
CROWLEY: And, from Finland, sweaty, half naked men contemplate the true meaning of life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know Zen?
CROWLEY: It‘s all ahead on THE SITUATION.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are very crazy.
CROWLEY: Welcome back to THE SITUATION.
Well, you have to be a very devoted pet lover to recognize the real value of the dog Sam, who for the past three years has won the coveted title of World‘s Ugliest Dog.
Sam is 14 and a half years old and hairless, as you can see there. His skin is littered with blackheads, brown warts and moles but his owner knows beauty is only skin deep and treats Sam as if he were her own child.
Joining me now are Sam and his owner Susie Lockheed. Also with Susie is her other dog Tater Tot acting up there, who won second place in the ugliest dog contest.
Well, Susie, I guess congratulations are in order. You own the top two ugliest dogs in the world.
SUSIE LOCKHEED, SAM‘S OWNER: I do. Actually, Sam is an three time undefeated world‘s ugliest dog champ.
CROWLEY: Well, Susie, how did you find Sam and what possessed you to want him?
LOCKHEED: Sam was a rescue dog. I took him in about six years ago. The owner could not get him adopted from any of the agencies. They all said he was un-adoptable and couldn‘t place him. And she had heard that I had Tater Tot, a hairless dog, so she contacted me somehow and I said I would take him in on a 48-hour contingency plan.
And he came in a cage and he was so crazy. He was like Cujo, the rabid dog and I had to literally put food and water, shove it in and run for my life because, you know, he would be like this.
So, after 48 hours, I called her and said, “Listen, I just don‘t know. I think he‘s going to eat my other dogs.” So, anyway I just said let me give it another day or so. I just sort of had a feeling about him and about another two days later he walked out of the cage and after that he was just great and I‘ve never had a dog so in love with me as Sam is. It‘s so unbearable.
CROWLEY: Beauty, Susie, is on the inside as we know. Does Sam know he‘s...
LOCKHEED: It is.
CROWLEY: Does Sam know he‘s a champion? Does he know that he‘s a winner of this ugliest dog contest?
LOCKHEED: Yes. Yes, but I always tell him...
CROWLEY: Has it affected his personality.
LOCKHEED: Not too much. He‘s a little oblivious but (INAUDIBLE).
CROWLEY: He knows you were talking about him, Susie.
CROWLEY: Susie, do you think...
LOCKHEED: He‘s really showing off tonight.
CROWLEY: Would Sam ever consider cosmetic surgery?
LOCKHEED: Well, he could—if you look at his neck here, it would be an amazing ad for a cosmetic thing because this is the before. Now watch doesn‘t he look like a lot younger if you pull that all up?
CROWLEY: Oh, much better, much better. So, Susie, I have to ask you does Sam have a girlfriend?
LOCKHEED: Well, he kind of has three. He has a little harem at home. Tater is one of them. Tater is a two-time ugliest mixed breed champion but sometimes they have lover‘s spats.
CROWLEY: I see them right there. They‘re going at it right now.
CROWLEY: So, speaking of girlfriends, Susie, I understand that through Sam you actually found a boyfriend? Oh, my God, Susie are you OK?
LOCKHEED: I‘ve (INAUDIBLE), I go through this every day. I‘m still here. Sam, yes, Sam played Cupid for me. I signed up on match.com and the photograph that I used, you know, all these girls put up these beautiful photographs of themselves and I put up a photograph of Sam with a small part of my face in the background thinking that anybody who wrote to me would either love dogs and/or have a great sense of humor.
And then, this lovely gentleman Mark wrote to me off and on for three months. We never met and some time went by. We dated some other people and we lost contact. And then on New Year‘s Day the Santa Barbara newspaper printed the top three stories of the year for that year.
And, in the order of reverse importance was that we‘d invaded Iraq. The second top story was that Oprah had moved to Santa Barbara. And the top story of the year was Sam and Mark saw this photograph in the paper and contacted me and said, “How come we never met? I need to meet Sam.”
CROWLEY: So, Susie, Sam is something of a matchmaker huh, a little ugly Cupid for you?
LOCKHEED: Yes. Yes, we met through match.com.
CROWLEY: Susie, has Sam reproduced? Are we passing on these ugly genes?
LOCKHEED: I was going to but he‘s—he was so frisky he was driving me crazy when I got this little female but now a few years after his operation he‘s actually trying to mate with the yellow lab next door. He drives her crazy. But he‘s so blind.
He‘s completely blind that he goes up to her and she‘ll be lying on the ground and he gets horizontal along the side of her over the back of her and tries to mate with her side, so it‘s probably not going to work.
CROWLEY: Well, poor Sam seems to have some issues. Oh, look at that acting up. Well, we‘re going to let you put Sam and Tater Tot to bed Susie.
LOCKHEED: See, here‘s a little...
CROWLEY: But now that I see Sam, he‘s looking a little bit like Max Kellerman. Susie Lockheed thank you so much and beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder.
LOCKHEED: You too and thank you.
CROWLEY: And, Sam like Max is beautiful on the inside.
CROWLEY: Bye guys.
All right time (INAUDIBLE). Getting off that dog segment is going to be a challenge. Time now to bring in our crack producer Willie Geist for a look at tomorrow‘s news right now—hi Willie.
GEIST: I‘m physically nauseated by...
CROWLEY: Are you still recovering from the dog segment?
GEIST: You know when Bob Barker says have your pet spayed or neutered, he‘s talking about that dog. We cannot pass those genes on.
CROWLEY: Oh, come on, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
GEIST: Ah, it was...
CROWLEY: Come on Willie.
GEIST: I‘m sick. I‘m sick about the whole thing, oh.
CROWLEY: All right, moving on now, we told you earlier about the decorated Marine sergeant who has now been charged with attempted murder after he shot into a crowd in Massachusetts on Saturday.
Well, the “Boston Globe” is reporting in tomorrow‘s edition that the State of Massachusetts is considering mandatory mental health screenings for National Guardsmen returning from Iraq. Officials are concerned about the effects of post traumatic stress on soldiers coming home from combat.
Well, you know, I‘m not sure that taxpayer dollars should be going to this, although on the other hand, you know, they are serving their country. They are in a combat zone and a lot of these guys and women too who go into Iraq and Afghanistan for that matter come home and they have psychological issues that need to be dealt with. So, I happen to think if you get these issues in service to your country that perhaps the country should take care of them.
GEIST: Well, they already provide the service to full time soldiers, so this is not—this has a precedent. This is just for now for National Guardsmen and it‘s interesting the Veterans Affairs might have an ulterior motive here because they‘ve spent over four billion last year handing out money to 72,000 cases or so of people that had post traumatic stress, so they kind of want to weed through these and see who really has it and who doesn‘t, so I think there‘s more at work here.
CROWLEY: Interesting point watching the State of Massachusetts.
Well, tomorrow marks the 28th anniversary of Elvis Pressley‘s death and fans began mourning tonight with a candlelight vigil at Elvis‘ Graceland estate in Memphis.
The King of Rock and Roll died of a prescription drug overdose at Graceland on August 16, 1977. He was only 42 years old. Even 28 years after his death, Elvis is still printing money. Forbes named him the world‘s top earning dead entertainer last year.
Well, Willie, I have to say I‘m shocked by the news that Elvis Pressley is dead. I thought he was still alive.
GEIST: You know I was going to say the same thing. I do not, these commemorations mean nothing to me because it presumes that he‘s dead and I do not accept that.
CROWLEY: Have you ever been to Graceland?
GEIST: I‘ve been to Graceland.
CROWLEY: Yes, me too.
GEIST: I‘ve been to Graceland.
CROWLEY: It‘s an amazing place.
GEIST: The Jungle Room is a little tacky but other than that it‘s a nice spot.
CROWLEY: Oh, I think it‘s nicely done.
Here‘s one more reason tomorrow is going to be a great day, Tommy Lee‘s reality show debuts at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time on NBC. “Tommy Lee Goes to College” follows the former Motley Crue drummer as he enrolls at the University of Nebraska, God help us. Tommy goes to class, plays in the marching band and surprise, surprise, spends a lot of time with a good-looking tutor named Natalie (ph).
You know, Willie, I don‘t know Tommy Lee. I don‘t know that much about him but I‘ve heard he‘s got a great personality.
GEIST: Yes, a large and decent personality.
CROWLEY: A great personality.
GEIST: This must have been a tough sell to Tommy. We‘re going to pay you to go drink and party with 21-year-old chicks. I don‘t know how they got him to do it.
CROWLEY: Yes, I know, it must have been a really tough sell for him—Willie Geist, great to see you.
GEIST: All right, Monica.
CROWLEY: All right, see you soon.
Coming up, sure the runaway bride, Jennifer Wilbanks, now has experience mowing a lawn, there she is, but why does she have one irate voice mailer ready to mow her down?
Plus, you may have seen bratwurst eating champion Sonya Thomas scarf down sausages on this very show but after the break I‘ll tell you how many lobsters she managed to devour in only 12 minutes. Stay tuned.
CROWLEY: Welcome back.
Sitting in tonight for Peabo Bryson, I‘m Monica Crowley.
Time now for our voice mail segment where we encourage you to share your thoughts about a story in the news, the show itself, or even Tucker, if you please, we‘ve got some inflammatory messages so let‘s take a listen shall we?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETTY SILVERSTEIN, MILL BROOK, NEW YORK: My name is Betty Silverstein, Mrs. Julius Silverstein, Mill Brook, New York. I want you to please research the highway bill that has recently been signed for $286 billion of money that we don‘t have because of the national debt as it is. There are 6,087 -- I can‘t read my writing—but something like that, 6,087 pet projects but the worst is Alaska building two bridges that are not necessary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: All right, Betty, great point there. This highway bill is a pork filled extravaganza. Both sides of the aisle, Republicans and Democrats, are both guilty of loading up these kinds of bills to serve their own constituencies. I‘m ready for a tax revolt in this country. Let‘s throw more tea into the harbor.
Coming up next let‘s hear what the second viewer has to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE JONES, WAYNE, WEST VIRGINIA: This is Mike Jones from Wayne, West Virginia. I think you need to do a show, at least a few segments, on the war profiteering in Iraq. Billions of dollars disappeared over there and you Republicans are running the show so what‘s up, Tucker? How are they splitting it up? Is Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld and Cheney getting equal splits?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: All right, Mike, reality check here. President Bush did not go into Iraq to make money for himself. If you‘ve got any evidence of this whatsoever, we‘d like to see it. That is one of the more outrageous claims I‘ve ever heard and now I think officially I‘ve heard everything.
Let‘s hear what the third caller has to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF, ALTOONA, PENNSYLVANIA: This is Jeff calling from Altoona, Pennsylvania and just watching Friday‘s show with Chuck Rangel from New York State and he typifies the reason why Democrats will never win a major election in this country in the foreseeable future because they‘re living in a fantasy world. You know they can‘t see the truth or anything that makes sense even if it bites them on the ear like Mike Tyson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: All right, Jeff, I have to say I‘m with you 100 percent. We like Charlie Rangel. We‘re so glad he came on the program but the Democratic Party is suffering from a girth of ideas on Iraq, on the war on terror, on tax policy, on Social Security, so maybe if they could get their acts together they might start winning presidential elections. I don‘t want to see that happening, I‘m just saying—caller number four, how are you?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTA, LEONA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA: It‘s Roberta in Leona Valley, California. Just wanted to say that I don‘t know about how everybody else feels but I‘m sick of that little mealy mouth runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks. I see her on TV and I just want to slap her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: All right, Roberta, I‘m with you on this too I have to say I‘ve had it pretty much up to here with the runaway bride and at this point I don‘t even care if she gets married. I like that picture of her cutting the grass though and now I want to know does she do windows?
Coming up next...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COSMO, KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI: This is Cosmo from Kansas City, Missouri. My wife and I are hooked on your show man. We watch it every night. You make Gen X proud. We love the tone of the show. We love that even though we never agree with Rachel Maddow or rarely you guys have fun. You guys get along and I think my wife has a crush on Max Kellerman but that‘s OK. We‘ll stick with the show. We love you guys.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: All right, Cosmo, Max Kellerman, yes, I‘m with your wife on that. Kellerman is a hottie but, you know, unfortunately I have to break it to you and your wife he‘s spoken for.
Let us know what you‘re thinking. All you have to do is pick up that phone and call 1-877-TCARLSON, that is 1-877-822 -- and they rolled the prompter and I can‘t see the number, there it is, 7576. Call us up. Let us know what you have to say.
And coming up still ahead on THE SITUATION, if watching sweaty, middle-aged men (INAUDIBLE) together half naked is your thing, baby, do we have a story for you. We turn up the heat on the “Cutting Room Floor” coming up next.
CROWLEY: Well now it‘s time to sweep up the “Cutting Room Floor.” As always, our producer Willie Geist has collected the very best of the odds and ends that didn‘t make it into the show and he‘s back now to bring them to us, hi again Willie.
GEIST: Monica, very nice job tonight.
CROWLEY: Thank you.
GEIST: We want to start this segment, we mentioned the earthquake in Japan right off the top, we have the first pictures of what is now being called a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. In northern Japan they have issued a tsunami warning there, so you‘ll want to stay tuned to MSNBC all night and we will keep you up to date on injuries, deaths and damage coming out of northern Japan.
CROWLEY: Yes, Willie, there are some initial reports of many injuries in northern Japan and they actually upgraded the magnitude from a 6.8 to a 7.2, so a very serious earthquake in northern Japan. Stay with MSNBC all night. We will be following the story.
GEIST: And here‘s a smooth transition now to the “Cutting Room Floor.”
CROWLEY: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Geist.
CROWLEY: If you were watching THE SITUATION last Thursday and we assume you were, you saw speed eating champion Sonya Thomas at work. She showed off the form that has made her the world bratwurst eating and grilled cheese eating champion. On Saturday, the 99-pound Thomas bolstered her resume even further by winning the lobster eating championship in Maine. She ingested 44 lobsters in 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, the undisputed kind of competitive eating and the man Sonya Thomas has in her crosshairs, Takeru Kobayashi, was making a mockery of his opponent at a dumpling eating contest in Hong Kong. He ate 83 steamed vegetable dumplings in eight minutes.
All I have to say to that, Willie, is (INAUDIBLE).
GEIST: Yes, disgusting.
GEIST: Kobayashi is number one, granted, but I think he‘s getting a little complacent playing in these punch and Judy matches, dumpling eating contests while she‘s moving up and down the East Coast getting better every week.
GEIST: He better watch his back.
CROWLEY: He‘s got to watch his back.
CROWLEY: Victoria Beckham‘s recent autobiography “Learning to Fly” is a wonderful read but Beckham herself wouldn‘t know it. That‘s because the former Posh, Spice, has never read a book of any kind ever. She told Spain‘s Chic Magazine “I haven‘t read a book in my entire life. I prefer to listen to music, although I do love fashion magazines.” So, I guess she‘s no rocket scientist. I guess she shouldn‘t expect a call from NASA anytime soon.
GEIST: No, I don‘t think so, illiterate Spice. They should have capitalized on this. They already had sporty spice and slutty spice or whatever it was. They should have gone with...
CROWLEY: Illiterate spice.
GEIST: They should have...
CROWLEY: They would have sold more albums, you know.
GEIST: Right, dummy spice, you‘re appealing to a whole new demographic and there are plenty of them believe me.
CROWLEY: Well, it‘s the kind of wedding day little girls dream of, a beautiful sunny summer afternoon surrounded by close friends and family and, of course, riding a love flume at the local amusement park. Yes, there it is. An Alabama couple tying the knot on Saturday while riding the flume at Vision Land in Birmingham. They were married by the bride‘s father just before splashing down. Well, that just screams romance to you doesn‘t it Willie?
GEIST: Congratulations to the bride and groom.
GEIST: You know I always say you never want your wedding pictures to be those Polaroids they take of you while you‘re coming down the flume. You don‘t want to show your kids that.
CROWLEY: You don‘t want that in your wedding album.
GEIST: No, the reception in the ski ball arcade it‘s not pretty.
CROWLEY: Yes, not very romantic.
CROWLEY: All right. Well, unless you‘re trying to win a million bucks on a reality show, you probably shouldn‘t be eating insects but don‘t tell that to these gourmet chefs at Bug Fest in Raleigh, North Carolina. People lined up over the weekend to taste dishes like chocolate covered crickets, collar wrapped grasshoppers and fire roasted ants. One chef points out insects are protein rich—oh, that‘s good to know—and calls them the green food of the future.
And once again for the second time tonight, Willie, I say blah.
GEIST: That‘s the green of his future but I will say gourmet chefs you got us on the raw fish thing. We seem to be going with that program.
GEIST: We‘re not biting on the bugs. We‘re not going to do it.
CROWLEY: No, we‘re not going there.
CROWLEY: There‘s always been something odd about men sitting in saunas together so there‘s something really odd about men sitting in saunas together for sport. That‘s what they were doing in Finland over the weekend at the World Sauna Championships. The rules are simple. Competitors enter a 110-degree sauna and the last man to leave wins. And, for the third time tonight, Willie, I say blah.
GEIST: Well, there‘s something wrong with men sitting in saunas. I wish you‘d stop judging my social life.
CROWLEY: Too much information, Willie.
GEIST: Stop judging.
CROWLEY: That‘s THE SITUATION for tonight. Thank you so much for watching. I‘m Monica Crowley.
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