Video: Screwing up

What does Anna Nicole Smith have in common with Ted Kennedy?  According to Bernie Goldberg, they are just two of the 100 People Who Are Screwing up America.  In his new book, he lists off the people who he says bring the country down.

Bernie Goldberg joins MSNBC-TV's Joe Scarborough to discuss the who and why of his list. 

JOE SCARBOROUGH, 'SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY' HOST: I just got to ask you, what's the common thread between Cameron Diaz, Ted Kennedy, Michael Savage, and the publisher of The New York Times? 

BERNARD GOLDBERG, AUTHOR 100 PEOPLE WHO ARE SCREWING UP AMERICA: In their own way, they're all screwing up America.  Teddy Kennedy, for instance, isn't on the list because he's a liberal Democrat.  I don't care what his politics are. 

You have to rise to a certain level of indecency to get on the list.  When he tried to wreck the reputation of Judge Bork, saying that, if Bork were elevated to the Supreme Court, women would resort to back-alley abortions, black people would have to eat at separate lunch counters, and rogue cops would break down our doors.  You don‘t believe that, Joe. I don‘t believe that, and most importantly, Teddy Kennedy doesn't believe that. 

But he was willing to wreck a man's reputation because he didn't want another conservative on the bench.  I can‘t wait to see what happens with Judge Roberts now. 

SCARBOROUGH: All right, Bernie, let me stop you there, because, obviously, a lot of people out there are saying Bernie Goldberg's a right-winger.  But you go after Michael Savage.  Why do you go after Michael Savage? 

GOLDBERG: Yes, well, first of all, I'm not a right-winger.  I consider myself an old-fashioned liberal.  I'm a liberal the way liberals used to be when they looked up to JFK and before they started looking up to Michael Moore. 

But Michael Savage is on the list.  He's a conservative radio talk show host with a big, loyal following.  Trust me.  I‘ve heard from every one of his followers by this point. 

The main theme of the book, Joe, is that the culture has gotten too angry, and too nasty, and too vulgar.  If I care how angry and nasty the culture has gotten, I can‘t ignore somebody like Michael Savage. 

It isn't his politics.  I probably agree with him on a whole bunch of things, probably on taxes, and immigration, and things like that.  That's not why he's on the list.  But if you disagree with him, you‘re either a moron or a stupid idiot.  And that just cheapens the conversation.  That's why he's on the list. 

Seriously, I think I‘ve heard from every one of his loyal supporters.  They're not happy with me. 

SCARBOROUGH: I wouldn‘t think they would be.  Let‘s talk about Paris Hilton.  I find Paris Hilton fascinating, because you can talk about how Paris is helping in the coarsening of American culture, and yet Paris sells.  Why does Paris sell?  Because that's what Americans want to see, right? 

GOLDBERG: Oh, absolutely.  And Paris is not on the list, but number 100 on the list — even though there aren't two people in the whole country, Joe that will agree with all the names on the list, number 100 I think everybody has to agree with. 

I don't care if you‘re a liberal, or a conservative, or a Democrat, or a Republican, number 100 are the worst parents in the United States of America, in my humble opinion: Rick and Kathy Hilton.  If they gave out Nobel prizes for the worst parents, these two would be on the way to Stockholm right now to pick up their medal. 

I mean it's one thing to love your daughter, but Paris Hilton, to say you're proud of that woman?  Sorry. 

SCARBOROUGH: Yes, it seems like they're reveling in all of Paris' bad exploits.  I want to ask you about your reaction — the reception that you've received since writing this book. Obviously, when “Biased” first came out, you were shut out of so many interviews.  It seems a couple of places you‘ve gone, whether it's “The Daily Show” or whether it's the CNBC show, you got absolutely hammered by hosts that just didn't appreciate what you were saying about these 100 people.  Talk about it. 

GOLDBERG: Unsuccessfully hammered, Joe.  There's an incredible disconnect out there in America about the reaction to this book.  It's a disconnect that you see in a lot of things involving regular, ordinary Americans on the one hand and the cultural elite on the other. 

SCARBOROUGH: Peter Jennings passes away.  A lot of people are saying that's the end of evening news.  What's your take? 

GOLDBERG: It's a terrible tragedy and sadness that a man that young would pass away.  But I think the evening news has been on a downward spiral for a long, long time.  They're less relevant this year than they were last year, and they'll be even less relevant next year than they are this year. 

The idea that you have to be someplace at a certain time to watch the news is an idea whose time has come and gone.  You can get the news now on MSNBC at any time of the day or night and several other places.  You don't need a half-hour newscast that you must be there or you miss it.  It's an idea that's past. 

Catch 'Scarborough Country' each weeknight at 10 p.m. ET

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