updated 11/9/2005 8:51:45 AM ET 2005-11-09T13:51:45

Guests: Lesley Vance, Richard Durbin, Max Kellerman, Kim Hammond

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”:  That‘s all the time we have tonight, but stay tuned, because THE SITUATION with Tucker Carlson starts right now. 

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Welcome to THE SITUATION.  I‘m Tucker Carlson. 

Thanks a lot for joining us. 

It‘s election night tonight from Virginia to California.  We‘ll give you the latest breaking results in those races.

We‘ll also show you remarkable footage of sexual predators caught in the act of trying to molest kids. 

But first, a truly odd development in a story we haven‘t covered much on this show, the Natalee Holloway disappearance.  Earlier today, the governor of Alabama called for a nationwide boycott of the island of Aruba on behalf of Natalee Holloway‘s family.

Holloway has been missing since May 30, and her mother, Beth, who joined the governor for the news conference today, says the Aruba government is not fully cooperating with the investigation into her disappearance. 

Joining us live right now to discuss the boycott is someone who spoke at today‘s press conference.  He‘s Alabama state representative, Lesley Vance. 

Mr. Vance, thanks a lot for coming on. 

LESLEY VANCE, ALABAMA STATE REPRESENTATIVE:  Thank you, Tucker, appreciate it. 

CARLSON:  I admire the determination of the state of Alabama, not to forget one of its residents, and I admire I think the instinct that led to this boycott, but I guess I disagree with the means. 

The people of Aruba aren‘t responsible for Natalee Holloway‘s disappearance.  Neither are the hotel owners or the tour guides.  Some animals, one or more, kidnapped and hurt this girl, it looks like, but the country of Aruba didn‘t do it.  Why punish the whole country?

VANCE:  Well, Tucker, as we had indicated before and we said at news conference today in Montgomery, we have nothing against the people, the citizens of Aruba.  Our concern is with the leadership and the government officials in Aruba.  We don‘t believe they have come forward.  They should have.

And Natalee Holloway was an Alabamian, first of all, and we just want to let those people in Aruba know that we‘re not happy with what‘s been going on down there.  And I believe this is one of the ways that we can express ourselves to them as Alabamians, that we want some kind of answer, and we want it now.  You know, 78 percent of their income in tourism comes from the U.S.

CARLSON:  Yes. 

VANCE:  And a good bit of that money comes from Alabama. 

CARLSON:  Well, I understand, absolutely, understand, again, your frustration, and I admire the fact that you‘re not forgetting and that you‘re trying to do something about it. 

But if you think that the government of Aruba has committed a wrong here, a crime, has been negligent in any way in the investigation into Natalee Holloway‘s disappearance, why not really do something about it?  Go to Washington, get the State Department to issue some sort of statement, maybe institute sanctions against Aruba?  Why not even send the military to Aruba?

VANCE:  Well, you know, Tucker, this is one of the things that we have also that we can do a little bit later on, but we are hoping that what we are trying to do now by the boycott of Aruba will certainly bring the officials down there to the table, so to speak, and do something and bring those who are responsible for Natalee Holloway‘s disappearance, bring them to justice.

And that‘s all we‘re asking, is bring those who are guilty and bring them to justice, and then we can all get on with our lives. 

CARLSON:  Yes, but Mr. Vance, I mean, to be fair, look, I am certain that the government of Aruba is incompetent, as most governments apart from ours are, as all governments are, to some extent.  They‘re incompetent.  That‘s what governments are.

However, again, the government didn‘t do this.  And it‘s a pretty high standard, it seems to me, to hold the Aruban government, or any government, to.  Our government let O.J. Simpson off.  There was a—not a very effective prosecution.  He got off.  There are a lot of other guilty people in this country who have gotten off, a lot of missing people who will never be found. 

Do you think it‘s a little unfair to blame the government for something it didn‘t do?

VANCE:  Well, again, you‘ve got the leadership in the government in Aruba, and those are the people who can bring this case to a closure, and that‘s what we are asking for, and that‘s all we want, and just for the leadership, the government officials in Aruba to bring some closure to this. 

You know, this family has been through a tremendous situation since this happened. 

CARLSON:  Well, but—of course. 

VANCE:  All we‘re doing is just asking their leadership to come forward, and let‘s do something.  And bring the people to justice.

CARLSON:  But let‘s be honest.  I mean, this—this case has gotten an enormous amount of attention.  And the investigation has been intense.  The FBI was down in Aruba.  There have been searches of the water around the island. 

Don‘t you think the government of Aruba has every incentive to get this story behind it?  They want to find out what happened to Natalee Holloway probably more than anybody apart from the family, because there‘s a lot of money at stake.  Why would they be obstructing justice?

VANCE:  Well, Tucker, again, if you had been keeping up, and I am sure you have, the family has asked—there have been so many misleading things in the investigation. 

You know, you have some of the young men that‘s been talked to down there about the situation.  They tell one thing one time and then when they go back, and talk to them again, they tell something else. 

So I think it‘s the leadership of the government of Aruba, has got to come forward and say that, yes, we are going to take every step possible, and we‘re going—we‘re going to bring this to a closure. 

CARLSON:  All right.  Alabama state representative, Lesley Vance, joining us live tonight.  We appreciate it.  Thank you. 

VANCE:  Thank you, sir. 

CARLSON:  On now to a developing story out of Washington, D.C.  Could there be yet another CIA leak scandal on the horizon?  It looks that way. 

NBC News has learned that the CIA has asked the Justice Department to look into whether any classified information was released improperly in the “Washington Post” stories last week on the CIA secret prisons around the world, the so-called black sites. 

This comes on the same day GOP leaders Bill Frist and Dennis Hastert called for a congressional investigation into how that information became public in the first place in the pages of the “Washington Post,” something we asked for on this show last week. 

Joining us now to discuss the leak probe, Senator Richard Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, joining us from Washington. 

Senator, thanks a lot for coming on. 

SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  So Senator Frist and Speaker Hastert calling for this probe.  I‘m kind of surprised Democrats, who have so outraged by this Valerie Plame leak, a leak apparently or supposedly classified information weren‘t on this first.  Why not?

DURBIN:  Well, quite honestly, I don‘t know the nature of this disclosure.  The Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee in the ordinary course of business consider these things.  And I think they should consider this.  I don‘t know where it came from.  I don‘t know how the “Washington Post” came up with the story. 

CARLSON:  Right.  Of course, I mean, I don‘t think any of us do at this point, though Senator Lott said earlier today he believed it was actually leaked by a Republican senator.  We don‘t know what he meant by that, whether that‘s true or not. 

DURBIN:  It‘s an amazing comment.

CARLSON:  It is an amazing comment, and I‘ll be interested to know what he meant. 

But we learned a lot just from the “Washington Post,” from this Dana Priest story that ran the other day, exposing what is not a single secret but an entire classified, top-secret operation run by the CIA.

Its disclosure has obviously hurt the United States, its interests abroad.  There‘s no question that that‘s happened.  So it‘s a big deal.  We know that.  Why aren‘t you mad about it?

DURBIN:  Well, of course I‘m upset about.  I‘m upset, particularly, because I asked Alberto Gonzales, as our nominee for attorney general, about this whole process called rendition, where we would take a prisoner and turn that prisoner over to another country, and he told me that was not taking place.  So there are a lot of unanswered questions about it. 

But I am really concerned that the Republican leaders didn‘t rise to the same level of anger when it came to the disclosure of the identity of Valerie Plame, a covert CIA agent whose life was endangered because Robert Novak printed this column. 

CARLSON:  You have no idea if that‘s true, as far as I know, that her life was in danger.  If you have evidence that that‘s true, I‘d be interested to hear it. 

DURBIN:  Well, I‘ll tell you exactly.  I am glad you asked me that because if you will notice the comments that came out of the professional people at the Central Intelligence Agency, they were outraged at this disclosure, this outing of an agent, and they made it clear that it endangered many other people who had been in contact with her.  It‘s something we shouldn‘t take lightly. 

CARLSON:  I‘m not taking it lightly.  I just—again, you didn‘t provide evidence that her life was in danger.  But that leads to my second question which I think is really interesting. 

Why hasn‘t the CIA demanded the DOJ—the Justice Department—investigate this leak?  I mean, there really is—I don‘t think, any sober person, objective person looking at this can conclude that this isn‘t a bigger deal.  This is an entire operation... 

DURBIN:  Tucker. 

CARLSON:  ... that includes hundreds of people. 

DURBIN:  Tucker, let me tell you, there should be an investigation. 

CARLSON:  You bet. 

DURBIN:  You and I both know that what this is about.  Speaker Hastert and Senator Frist are trying to turn the page.  They want to get away from Scooter Libby.  They want to get away from the vice president‘s position on the McCain Amendment.  They want to get away from phase two of the Senate Intelligence Committee Investigation.  They want to move to another issue.  Everybody knows that.

CARLSON:  Well, you‘re right.  You‘re absolutely right.  I think there‘s no question that‘s part of what‘s going on.

DURBIN:  Definitely.

CARLSON:  But I would hate to see partisan politics, in this case, yours, obscure this.

DURBIN:  Wait. Excuse me...

CARLSON:  I asked...

DURBIN:  Excuse me.

CARLSON:  You said—you pointed to evidence you thought of American misconduct in sending al Qaeda suspects off to countries that might torture them.

DURBIN:  Yes.

CARLSON:  You ignored my core question about, you know, how are...

DURBIN:  No, you‘ve ignored my core answer.  And my core answer was yes, it should be investigated, as it has been by intelligence committees in the House and the Senate.  I‘m for it.  I‘m not staying in the way of it.

CARLSON:  Now you—the Democratic leadership has sent a letter to—to President Bush, demanding that he not pardon Scooter Libby.

DURBIN:  That‘s right.

CARLSON:  Doesn‘t this seem a little premature?  Scooter Libby had not even been tried.  We don‘t know exactly what the charges are going to wind up being, who‘s indicted.  But we don‘t know the evidence.  We don‘t know that he‘s guilty.  Shouldn‘t we wait and find out whether he did it?

DURBIN:  Well, of course.  If you understand the dynamic of a prosecution, once someone has been indicted, he faces the prospect of being convicted.  And in this case, Mr. Libby, the possibility of being incarcerated for up to 30 years.

CARLSON:  Right.

DURBIN:  At that point, they sit down with the attorney‘s office and talk about ways that they can lessen the penalty.

CARLSON:  Right.

DURBIN:  If it come to that.  Now, if someone knows, Mr. Libby or others, that ultimately they‘ll be pardoned, what‘s the incentive to work toward finding the truth?  We believe that the president should make it clear at this point that no pardon will be issued to Mr. Libby.

CARLSON:  But wait a second.  You‘re missing half the equation.  I would think as a Democrat, as something of a liberal, you‘d be interested in hearing the other side, the side of the accused, the person who is not guilty, and he‘s got a story to tell.  And we don‘t know what that story is. 

DURBIN:  That‘s right.

CARLSON:  So aren‘t you prejudging all of this..

DURBIN:  he‘s entitled to his defense.

CARLSON:  ... by saying three president ought to foreclose this constitutionally guaranteed option he has, pardons.  No, truly.

DURBIN:  Well, let me just tell you, he is, of course—enjoys the presumption of innocence, which is exactly what Patrick Fitzgerald said.  He can plead not guilty, which he‘s already done.  He can assert his defense.

But if, in fact—you read the indictment...

CARLSON:  Right.

DURBIN:  ... as I‘m sure you have, you understand, this is going to be a hard one to prove. 

CARLSON:  Yes.

DURBIN:  If he received this information from Vice President Cheney on June the 12th, if Mr. Libby then turned and spoke to six individuals about Valerie Plame... 

CARLSON:  That‘s right. 

DURBIN:  ... the CIA agent, and then said to the FBI in grand jury that the first he heard of it was in a conversation with Tim Russert in July. 

CARLSON:  I agree. 

DURBIN:  He denies the conversation. 

CARLSON:  I agree.  It looks...

DURBIN:  It‘s a hard case. 

CARLSON:  It‘s a tough case.  It looks bad for Scooter Libby.  If I had to bet, I would bet overwhelmingly he‘s going to be convicted and face jail time. 

DURBIN:  But if you knew...

CARLSON:  But you want to keep open mind.  Don‘t you?  It doesn‘t seem like you are. 

DURBIN:  I‘m trying to keep an open mind. 

CARLSON:  Me too. 

DURBIN:  But if you know that the hold card is an ace, that is a pardon, then what is the likelihood that you will really cooperate with the government to get to the bottom and find out who‘s responsible for this?  Who was it that called Robert Novak in this act of political retribution?

CARLSON:  Well, we don‘t know it was an act of political retribution, but there‘s a lot we don‘t know.  We will find out—Robert—Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, thanks a lot for joining us. 

DURBIN:  Thanks, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Still to come, election night is wrapping up across this country.  What do the results in California, Virginia, and New Jersey, say about the current state of the Bush administration?  Is it an ominous sign for the president?  It looks that way.  We‘ll break it down. 

Plus, NBC goes undercover to expose Internet pedophiles.  Would you recognize someone who was preying on your kids?  An eye opening, a terrifying investigation, when THE SITUATION returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Still to come, Howard Stern gets tossed off the air.  You may be surprised to find out why.  Plus, why are two North Dakota numbers so upset over a Jon Grisham novel, apart from the fact that it‘s not very good.  THE SITUATION unravels both those injuries, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  If you have kids and computers in your home, pay close attention to this next segment. 

At any given moment, there are about 50,000 predators online, waiting to strike up a conversation with children.  “Dateline NBC” went undercover to expose creeps, and caught 19 of them like that.  Here‘s one correspondent Chris Hanson had in a meeting house after an online chat. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS HANSON, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Could you explain yourself?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m sorry?

HANSON:  Why don‘t you go ahead and cover up. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Certainly.  I‘m sorry. 

HANSON (voice-over):  The man‘s name is John Kinnelly (ph).  He tells me he‘s 29 and a bus driver.  Then he changes it to a teacher. 

(on camera) What kind of conduct is this for a high school teacher? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Sir, I‘ve never done this before. 

HANSON:  So you just woke up this morning and said, “I am going to get involved in an Internet conversation with a 14-year-old boy.  I am going to go to his house, strip naked, and walk in with a 12 pack of beer?” 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, sir. 

HANSON:  What were to happen, John, if I wasn‘t here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I probably would have chickened out. 

Sir, I just came to get something to eat. 

HANSON:  I don‘t even know what to ask you first. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I just came to get something to eat.

HANSON (voice-over):  He later changes his story.

(on camera) Last night, you walk into a house in suburban Washington naked with a 12-pack of beer, yes or no?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes. 

HANSON:  Today, you‘re on the Internet again.  You have an inappropriate conversation with a boy you think is 13, and you set up a meeting here at this fast food restaurant.  What was your intention?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I don‘t know. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON:  Wow.  Say what you want about TV, but only television can bring you stories like that.  It‘s an amazing medium. 

Teachers, rabbis, even a New York City cop were busted in that story. 

It ran on “Dateline NBC.”  Doubtless, it will be rerunning. 

Here to talk about how to protect your kids from these predators is Sari Locker, teen educator and author of “Sari Says: The Real Dirt on Everything from Sex to Schools.”  She joins us now live from New York City. 

Sari, thanks a lot for coming on. 

SARI LOCKER, AUTHOR, “SARI SAYS”:  Thank you so much for having me here, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  So creepy, so mind-blowingly creepy.  A lot of kids have to use computers for school, even young kids.  They have to go online.  They‘re required to. 

LOCKER:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  So how do you prevent naked guys like this from showing up at your house?

LOCKER:  Well, parents need to make rules for how their children are going to be using computers.  I think the first issue is where the computer is located.  I don‘t see any reason why a computer needs to be in a child‘s room.  I also don‘t see any reason why a child needs to be on the computer without their parents‘ supervision. 

So I think make these sorts of rules about whether your child is even allowed to go in a chat room or is even allowed to send instant messages.  And write down the rules.  Put a little note right on the computer, and talk to your child about it, so your child knows the hours they‘re allowed to be on the computer, if the parent needs to be present, and who they‘re allowed to e-mail with or send instant messages with. 

CARLSON:  Yes, you know, it seems to me a fine line.  I mean, obviously, you want to protect your children.  That goes without saying.  On the other hand, you don‘t want to terrify them and give them the impression the world is filled with guys, you know naked men carrying six-packs. 

LOCKER:  I agree.  And it‘s so common for parents to say to their children, don‘t talk to strangers. 

CARLSON:  Right.

LOCKER:  And they have to realize, it‘s not just talking to strangers when they walk down the street.  It‘s also about what they‘re doing online. 

The other—some of these other rules that parents need to start having is that the parent needs to help the child decide what the screen name is going to be that the child uses.  I see far too many young people who are using screen names, teenagers and children, screen names that have their age or their birth date or that has some kind of sexy word in it. 

CARLSON:  Really?

LOCKER:  And I think parents need to control it.  Absolutely.  I get e-mails from teenagers asking me advice, and their screen names have something like “sexy girl.”  And they do it because they think it‘s cool or cute.  And I don‘t understand where their parents are in this equation. 

Parents also need to understand how the Internet works.  If they have something like America Online, it‘s very easy to learn how to block the buddy list or block the chat rooms, so that your child can‘t be involved in these behaviors at all online. 

I think parents also need to make the effort, if they don‘t understand how Internet chats work and how e-mail and instant messages work, they need to call those 800 numbers at the America Online, or whatever the Internet provider is, and find out how these things work and how they can block them, how they can look up what the temporary Internet files are to see where their child has been going if they‘re not there to supervise. 

CARLSON:  So...

LOCKER:  Yes.

CARLSON:  So to check up on the history of what your child has been doing online. 

LOCKER:  Yes, and talk to your child if you see anything that does seem out of the ordinary or that seems uncomfortable. 

CARLSON:  Does the threat come primarily from chat rooms?

LOCKER:  I believe it does.  Sometimes it comes from e-mails, but primarily it comes from chat rooms.  And sometimes the threat is of these sorts of predators that we‘ve been seeing today on “Dateline” and on MSNBC. 

But sometimes the problems involve other young people who are just harassing each other. 

So I think it‘s important that your child understand there‘s really no reason to be communicating with strangers online.  If they only e-mail an instant message with people who they know in real life, friends from school, for example, friends who their parents have met, that‘s all they really need to be doing.  They don‘t need to ever be communicating with anyone. 

Of course, I think a very important issue also, the parents need to absolutely make sure that their children understand never to give out any personal information about themselves.  And we‘ve all heard this, but a lot of children don‘t know this or it hasn‘t really sunk in. 

Not only can they not give out their name, but they should also never give out their school or what sports team they play on, or where they live in any way, because the predators often do try to find the children. 

CARLSON:  Boy, that is just—that is just unbelievable and terrifying. 

LOCKER:  It is. 

CARLSON:  Sari Locker, thank you very much. 

LOCKER:  You‘re welcome, and it‘s all preventable as long as the parents understand how their children should use the Internet safely.  Thanks for having me. 

CARLSON:  Yes, it‘s hard to pay attention, but it sounds like it‘s worth it.  Thanks.

LOCKER:  Thanks for having me.  I appreciate it, Tucker.  Bye.

CARLSON:  Up next, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger flexes muscles with four initiatives on the ballot tonight.  But will California voters send him home empty handed?  We have an update on the latest election results when THE SITUATION returns. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

An exciting election day, elections on both coasts.  At this hour, Democrats appear to have the lead in Virginia.  The Democratic candidate, Lieutenant Governor Tim Kaine, soundly defeated Republican opponent Jerry Kilgore in the governor‘s race there, the contest the Republican Party has been washing pretty closely for signs of trouble in 2006.  Some disagreement about what it means, but that‘s what happened. 

Democrats also appear to have come out on top in New Jersey, essentially a one-party state, still is tonight.  Senator John Corzine, a Democrat, has about a 10-point lead over Republican candidate, Doug Forrester. 

In the meantime, out west, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is not on the ballot, but might as well be.  Schwarzenegger campaigned hard for four of the eight initiatives on the ballot.  But we don‘t know what‘s happened.  We may have a better sense later in the show, and we‘ll, of course, bring that news to you the second we find out. 

Joining me from New York to talk about the elections and more, actor, economist, prolific—very prolific—author, former presidential speechwriter, Ben Stein. 

Ben Stein, thanks a lot. 

BEN STEIN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL SPEECHWRITER:  How are you?

CARLSON:  I‘m great.  What does this mean, the elections?

STEIN:  I don‘t think it means a thing.  I mean, Virginia had a Democratic state house.  They still have a Democratic state house.  The fellow in Virginia didn‘t run a particularly great campaign.  He focused excessively on the death penalty, which is not really a huge issue. 

The fellow, Corzine is a genius, former head of Goldman Sachs, incredibly smart guy, spent an enormous amount of money.  It‘s a traditionally Democratic state.  It would have been a big upset if the Republican had won. 

CARLSON:  Do you think—do you have any insight into why Jon Corzine would want to move from the Senate, which is a pretty great deal, you know, run once every six years, get your own elevator, everyone treats you like God, to be governor of New Jersey, the state with a lot of problems?

STEIN:  I don‘t know why anyone would want to run for any political office, get your dirty laundry spread before the public, take an enormous cut in pay, be a totally thankless job, have every psychopath in your state angry at you all the time.  I don‘t know why anyone would want to do it.  It‘s a mystery to me. 

CARLSON:  Now the president‘s numbers, there‘s actually a new poll out today that has Bush‘s approval rating down even lower than it was the other day.  Now apparently it‘s at about 37 percent, which I think is almost exactly where President Nixon‘s was during the lowest days of Watergate.  Is this the low point?

STEIN:  Well, I think if they—if Karl Rove can hang on, and if he is not indicted, which I don‘t think he will be indicted.  I think if he is given a little time to get the White House back into array, he‘ll start pulling things around. 

The big joker in the deck is, of course, Iraq, because that‘s a constant drip, drip, dripping of blood, and it‘s a very bad situation.  If he can show that some progress is being made, if he can stay on message about taxes, I think he can turn things around. 

The real bad thing that‘s happened has been this horrible, Stalinesque persecution, not prosecution, persecution of Scooter Libby, this putting the White House on trial for politics as usual, criminalizing defense of the president‘s policy in Iraq.  It‘s just shameful.  You could...

CARLSON:  But it looks bad, though.  I mean, it looks bad.  Here you have a prosecutor who apparently...

STEIN:  Of course it looks bad. 

CARLSON:  ... is holding out for hard time.  You have him claiming he‘s caught Scooter Libby in seven separate documentable lies. 

STEIN:  You know something?  You know something?  If you—I hope I‘m not excessively criminal person, but if you—if you were giving me 30, 40, 50 phone calls a day, conversations with people, then called me in before a grand jury and said to recount what happened in each of those conversations two years later, I‘m sure you would catch me in 700 inconsistencies. 

That is just standard business as usual.  It is standard business as usual to pass out leaks to reporters in Washington.  This prosecuting business as usual in Washington is just a way to break the political process down, and make it into an illegal, criminal process.  It doesn‘t have any role in the Constitution.  This guy is a thug.  This Fitzgerald is a thug. 

CARLSON:  Well, speaking of business as usual, here‘s something that‘s business not as usual at all.  Republicans hauling oil company heads up to the Hill tomorrow... 

STEIN:  Crazy, crazy. 

CARLSON:  ... to quiz them about... 

STEIN:  Insane. 

CARLSON:  ... their profits. 

STEIN:  Insane. 

CARLSON:  Accusing them of price gouging, talking about...

STEIN:  Insane.

CARLSON:  So Republicans who are, you know, defending the free market...

STEIN:  They‘ve lost their minds. 

CARLSON:  ... now all of the sudden they‘re for price gouging laws.

STEIN:  They have lost their minds if they‘re doing that.  Look, the oil companies do not set the prices.  They‘re set on world market.  There‘s no gouging.  There‘s no cabal.  There‘s no evidence at all of illegal price fixing. 

They couldn‘t fix the prices if they wanted to.  They‘re set on a world—world oil and futures market. 

CARLSON:  That‘s right.

STEIN:  It can‘t be done.  And yet to demagogue this issue is just shameful.  It is a real betrayal of the free market.  It‘s shocking that it‘s coming from Republicans. 

CARLSON:  And yet not—somehow not surprising me.  You just—your new book, one of I don‘t know how many books you‘ve written, many. 

STEIN:  I can‘t keep track. 

CARLSON:  “Yes, You Can Still Retire Comfortably.”  That‘s your book.  This seems a departure for you.  What does that mean, and why did you write it?

STEIN:  It‘s not a departure for me.  I‘ve been campaigning about retirement for a long time.  I‘m the honorary spokesperson for the National Retirement Planning Coalition.

It means that you‘ve got to start saving, and saving in a big way right now.  If you are young, say maybe 10 percent of what you earn.  If you‘re in your 50‘s, you‘re going to have to save, like, 30 or 35 percent of what you earn, to get to where you‘re going, unless you already have a sizable nest-egg.

Or like some people, like my very sturdy brother-in-law, you can just keep working forever.  But generally speaking, not everyone can do that, so you‘re just going to have to save, save, save, save, save, and diversified mutual funds, variable annuities, shares, et cetera. 

CARLSON:  Most Americans do that already, I assume. 

STEIN:  No, they do not do that already. 

CARLSON:  I know that. 

STEIN:  Seventy-eight million Baby Boomers, Tucker.  Of that—in that group, average household wealth, below $50,000, unless you include the homes, Then it‘s something like $90,000.  That‘s a joke when you consider that there are basically hardly any private pension plans anymore and the Social Security is in desperate situation. 

CARLSON:  Well, that‘s going to be a huge problem really soon. 

STEIN:  A huge problem.  That is, aside from terrorism, that is the No. 1 problem facing America. 

CARLSON:  Wow.  Well, then, people ought to read your book.  “Yes, You Can Still Retire Comfortably” by Ben Stein.  Thanks a lot, Ben, I appreciate it. 

STEIN:  Thank you.  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Still ahead on THE SITUATION, Howard Stern is off the radio.  That may be good news to you.  What could he have possibly said he hasn‘t already said and done—deserved getting yanked?  And did he deserve it?  I‘ll debate it all with “The Outsider,” Max Kellerman, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Esop once said: “He that always gives way to others will end in having no principles of his own.”  Joining me now, one of the most principled men I know, the Outsider, ESPN Radio and HBO boxing host, Max Kellerman. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO:  Now, you‘re back to—I mean, the quotes are unbelievable to begin this segment. 

CARLSON:  I know they are.

KELLERMAN:  Unbelievable.

CARLSON:  We have a special quote producer, Susan Lang (ph). 

KELLERMAN:  Susan, what a job.  She is good. 

CARLSON:  Well, here‘s something the FCC has never been able to do—silence Howard Stern.  Infinity Radio took the world‘s highest paid radio host off the air today—punishment, it said, for promoting his upcoming gig on Sirius satellite radio.  They say they expect Stern back on the air Wednesday, and some uncharitable observers have suggested, believe it or not, the whole thing was a big publicity stunt. 

And it probably was, but it‘s a publicity stunt that works to Howard Stern‘s advantage, not to the station‘s advantage.  This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.  If you want to give Howard Stern publicity for his switch to satellite radio, they just achieved it. 

KELLERMAN:  Right.  They‘re on THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON, it‘s a topic. 

CARLSON:  Right.  There you go. 

KELLERMAN:  With a nod to Don Imus, who, by the way, talks about me, and Willie Geist, by the way,on his radio show in the morning, appears on this network, and I appreciate it very much.  I grew up—when Howard Stern came to New York, I started listening to Howard Stern, and it was impossible—I was on the radio today—it was impossible to escape his shadow. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

KELLERMAN:  Everything you do.  I brought up my relationship with my wife on the air, I‘m doing the Howard Stern knockoff.  I mean, there is just no way around it.  He is the best.  I love him and everything. 

And he has fought the good fight against the FCC, against Infinity at times, and he has created a radio world where it‘s easier to do good radio, because of him and people like him who fought that fight.  However...

CARLSON:  He stood up for midget, crack-addicted lesbians everywhere. 

KELLERMAN:  Yes.  I mean, this new thing he is doing with—they call it—am I allowed to even say it on the air?  I don‘t know, the new game he‘s going to be playing on Sirius—I won‘t even mention it, but it sounds hilarious.

But part of the price you pay for fighting the good fight—you know, Muhammad Ali had three-and-a-half years of his prime taken away—is sometimes you get suspended.  So, thank you, Howard, for fighting the good fight, but at the same time, this is what happens.  You wind up (INAUDIBLE).

CARLSON:  Muhammad Ali joined a racist cult.  And that was—I mean, that was a self-inflicted wound.  But that‘s a whole another...

KELLERMAN:  No, that‘s not true. 

CARLSON:  He joined the Nation of Islam, man, come on! 

KELLERMAN:  Yes, but that‘s not...

CARLSON:  And attacked the United States government. 

KELLERMAN:  He was—he was—his titles were taken away and his license was taken away, his passport was taken away before he ever went to trial.  I mean, he was criminalized before he had a trial.  That was the issue there. 

CARLSON:  Yes, but they didn‘t pick him out of the phone book. 

OK.  It‘s hard to defend banning books, but some parents in Fargo, North Dakota may have a point.  They want to eliminate John Grisham‘s novel, “A Time to Kill,” from an English class at North High School.  They claim the book is too graphic in a rape scene.  They also say it does not rise to the level of quality literature. 

Boy, is that the understatement of the year.  Look, I haven‘t read the book.  If I lived forever, possibly I would pick up a John Grisham novel, I‘m not going to live forever so I haven‘t. 

KELLERMAN:  Write a Shakespearian play and pick up a John Grisham novel, the monkey at the typewriters... 

CARLSON:  Exactly.  But the point is, I don‘t even—the question of whether it‘s too graphic is beside the point.  They are studying a John Grisham novel in English class.  OK, now we‘re getting back to this teaching debate we always have. 

KELLERMAN:  Yes.

CARLSON:  Teachers, some of them, are bad.  Any English teacher who would assign a John Grisham novel is negligent.  They shouldn‘t (INAUDIBLE).

KELLERMAN:  OK.  Have you ever read a John Grisham novel? 

CARLSON:  No. 

KELLERMAN:  Neither have I.  Seen some movies.  “The Rainmaker” was based on a John Grisham novel. 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

KELLERMAN:  That was a pretty good movie.  “The Firm” was pretty good. 

I mean...

CARLSON:  I did read half of “The Firm,” which is how I... 

KELLERMAN:  Was it any good at all? 

CARLSON:  No. 

KELLERMAN:  OK.  Was it a page turner?  Because I...

CARLSON:  Not really. 

KELLERMAN:  ... from what I understand, John Grisham is your typical kind of trashy page turner. 

CARLSON:  Right.

KELLERMAN:  However, when you say the word page turner, there‘s a reason you are turning the pages.  And it‘s not because they are bad, it‘s because you want to find out what happens next. 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

KELLERMAN:  I mean, read some really dense, boring literature, and they are not page turners.  They are page closers. 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

KELLERMAN:  So if he‘s a page turner, there must be something to it, right?  There must be some intrinsic value that is—the structure, whatever it is, that is forcing people...

CARLSON:  I think you make a really solid point.  Until I was in 10th grade, the single most compelling thing I ever did in my entire childhood was watch “Scooby Doo,” even though it ended the same every episode.  I could not avert my eyes.  I loved that show.  So by your...

KELLERMAN:  “Scooby Doo” was tremendous.

CARLSON:  So by your criteria, that‘s like the most worthy subject of study kids could (INAUDIBLE). 

KELLERMAN:  I am not saying the most worthy.  I‘m saying like a Mario Puzo novel, or some kind of pulp fiction, there is some value there.  And if you are dealing with a bunch of kids who don‘t want to be reading in the first place, and you can give them something that they enjoy, why not? 

CARLSON:  “Of Mice and Men” is like one of the most compelling books ever written.  “Animal Farm,” same thing.  Easy to read. 

KELLERMAN:  I‘m not going—yes, I‘m not going to argue against...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  ... and teachers unions, that‘s what I say.  Max Kellerman. 

Thank you. 

KELLERMAN:  Thank you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

KELLERMAN:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Stay tuned.  Still plenty more ahead on THE SITUATION. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARLSON (voice-over):  Child rearing by the book. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hi. 

CARLSON:  What this 2-year-old whiz kid can do will amaze you. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  People look at this as why would you do this. 

CARLSON:  A ticklish affair.  Meet an unusual support group with a very serious goal. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We may have 100 people get together and just do this. 

CARLSON:  Plus, a bathroom stall rendezvous leads to phone sex. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Most men want to know all about lesbian sex and what happened. 

CARLSON:  And, Mikey the Chimp joins us live with definitive proof supporting the theory of evolution.  It‘s all ahead on THE SITUATION.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  If you have been watching THE SITUATION for the past few days, you‘ve noticed our obsession with Mikey the Chimp.  Our love affair began when we spotted him on a Baltimore affiliate WBAL last Thursday.  As Mikey‘s handlers admirably attempted to answer questions during a pet segment, Mikey jumped all over the set and tore at the anchor‘s script.  Of course, we could not resist the opportunity to meet Mikey in person.  We‘re honored and humbled tonight.  We‘re joined live in the studio by Mikey the Chimp and his handler, Dr. Kim Hammond.  Dr.  Hammond, thanks a lot for joining us.

DR. KIM HAMMOND, ANIMAL HANDLER:  It‘s a pleasure.  Underscore humble. 

CARLSON:  So the obvious question is, how many TV sets has Mikey wrecked? 

HAMMOND:  Several, and after tonight, probably two or three more. 

CARLSON:  So when he is not—Mikey—hey, buddy.

HAMMOND:  Come here, Mikey.  Come here.

CARLSON:  When he is not wrecking sets, where does he live?  Can he live in a house? 

HAMMOND:  Yeah, he‘s one of our—he‘s sort of an emissary for our (INAUDIBLE).  He travels around the country and does... 

CARLSON:  Whoa! 

HAMMOND:  ... does speaking tours.  And does a lot of TV, he does a lot of movies and commercials, and things like that. 

CARLSON:  Really? 

HAMMOND:  Yes, he will show up at a function as, you know, sort of emblematic of what is going on as far as the environment is concerned.  You know, we will have discussions, ecological discussions based on encroaching environments and his loss of an environment. 

You know, Tucker... 

CARLSON:  So, wait, wait.  So when you are having the meeting, when you are discussing global warming or the melting polar ice caps, is Mikey at the conference table like, you know, eating the mints and sipping from... 

HAMMOND:  Right.  Just doing his thing.  But you know, to be a little serious too, you know, these guys are going to disappear.  You know, in 50 years or so, we are going to have half the population, so we really have to sort of figure out ways to save these species and preserve the DNA. 

CARLSON:  Why, is it deforestation? 

HAMMOND:  Deforestation.  There‘s development.  There‘s pollution. 

There‘s all sorts of things.  He likes you. 

CARLSON:  I like him.  Hey. 

HAMMOND:  Oops. 

CARLSON:  Can hey—can chimps—here, buddy.  Can chimps live in the United States?  I mean, is there any habitat here that is suitable for him? 

HAMMOND:  No, they‘re too dangerous.  They‘re too wild.  Certainly the habitat they can live in, but there‘s just not an area of the environment where they can not be involved with humans, and that would be too dangerous. 

CARLSON:  For the chimps? 

HAMMOND:  Yes, and for the humans too, because they get pretty serious.  You know, when they mature sexually, at about eight years of age, they become pretty tough to deal with. 

CARLSON:  What does that mean, tough to deal with? 

HAMMOND:  Well, they become dangerous, you know.  They become—they‘re five foot 1, you know, 250 pounds. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  That can be dangerous.  And are they—do they—are they rowdy? 

HAMMOND:  They are rowdy.  Where is your bunny?  Do you want to do your bunny, a little hop for your bunny? 

CARLSON:  So when they go through puberty...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  ... get acne, or (INAUDIBLE)...

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMOND:  They are totally dangerous.  And they get very strong, they get very territorial, and they are really rough.  And so, you know, at about eight years of age...

CARLSON:  So what happens to them?  So let‘s say you have a research chimp. 

HAMMOND:  Well, that‘s a good question.  You know, there are a lot of these animals, most of these animals are saved because there are a lot of unscrupulous breeders and things like that, or poachers, or so on and so forth, and so there is—there are a lot of good people who are raising them, but when they reach a certain age, we have to find places for them.  And there actually are islands of chimps, islands of monkeys.  There are little areas where we can put these guys. 

CARLSON:  I went to one once, in Colombia, Leticia (ph), Colombia, monkey island. 

HAMMOND:  Exactly.  Exactly. 

CARLSON:  So what is—it‘s called monkey island, but he is a chimp. 

What is the difference between the chimp and a monkey, the obvious ones? 

HAMMOND:  Well, huge difference, huge.  I mean, it‘s different species altogether, and he is a real primate.  This is the real deal. 

CARLSON:  Now, what is it, the drooling in the water glass?  Is that a sign of something?  Is he trying to tell us something? 

HAMMOND:  What do you have in there, Tucker? 

CARLSON:  Just straight water. 

HAMMOND:  Yes, no, he is just curious.  He‘s just being a chimp.  He is a sweet little animal, and you know, he is thirsty. 

CARLSON:  So it‘s true, the whole Curious George thing is actually true. 

HAMMOND:  Totally Curious George. 

CARLSON:  Now, if you were to untether him and take him off the leash and just let him run wild throughout the studio, what would he do? 

HAMMOND:  He would probably not come down for days.  This is a great studio for him, it‘s a chimp jungle gym, and we‘d probably have to call the SWAT team. 

CARLSON:  Is that true?

HAMMOND:  Yeah.

CARLSON:  So what is his normal day like?  He wakes up, and what does he destroy? 

HAMMOND:  You know, he sleeps just like you and I do.  And then he has a huge day of entertainment.  You know, you have to have constant care with these guys.  You have constant handlers, 24 hours a day, with them.  And they exercise and they play and they run around and they just do all sorts of things.  One of the things he does, though, as I said, he travels around the country, and, you know, performs functions at various conventions and so on and so forth. 

CARLSON:  Amazing.  Well, I think he‘s great.  Mikey, it was great to meet you.  Dr. Hammond, thanks a lot. 

HAMMOND:  Pleasure. 

CARLSON:  I appreciate it.  Hey. 

HAMMOND:  Oh. 

CARLSON:  Coming up, to switch topics pretty dramatically, these NFL cheerleaders just lost their job for doing a little team bonding in a bathroom stall.  Our viewers sound off on this great injustice when we check THE SITUATION voicemail, next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  You have got our unlisted number.  We know that because you call us and leave messages.  Let‘s listen to a couple.  First up. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE:  Tucker, Joe from Orange County, California.  Is it just me, or have people gone crazy?  Think about it.  The only people, for the most part, causing problems, are Muslims.  And people just don‘t want to come out and say it.  They are not a group of love.  They are a group of hatred.  They hate Christians.  They hate anything except themselves and their group.  We should just come out and call it what it is, and these people need to be done away with.  Thanks. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Yes, I guess I—I mean, I know a lot of decent Muslims who are actually a force for good in this world, but I think radical Islam, yeah, is the problem.  I mean, I am happy to say that out loud, because it‘s true. 

Next up. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID:  Hello, Tucker.  This is David from Hollow Rock, Tennessee.  I just wanted to comment on the whole terrorist thing and torturing them.  Since we Americans can execute our own criminals, why can‘t we torture foreign terrorists? 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Huh.  I am not a bleeding heart, so I hate to sound like one, but I guess the distinction would be, we execute people who have been convicted of crimes.  So that‘s a difference.  Terrorism is, in fact, a death penalty offense in this country.  I guess we just, you know, we hope that people are convicted before we execute them.  Anyway, next up. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANONYMOUS:  Hi, Tucker.  I think it was pretty mean to hold up that report about the cheerleaders until the very last minute of your program.  Most men, including the people on the football team, want to know all about that lesbian sex and what happened.  So if you have a good article or a story like that, put it on earlier, please. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Oh, you are not the only one who‘s interested.  Penthouse has apparently offered those two cheerleaders a lot of money to pose, but look, Mr. Anonymous, it‘s called a tease.  If we put it at the top of the show, would you have watched all the way through?  I don‘t think so.  Little television trick.  Pretty tricky. 

All right.  Please, call us anytime.  We want to hear from you.  That‘s 877-TCARLSON.  That‘s the number, 877-822-7576.  You can also send your questions to our Web site.  E-mail me at tucker@msnbc.com.  You can check out my responses anytime at tucker@msnbc.com.

Still ahead on THE SITUATION, what can possibly be funny enough to make these people laugh this hard?  We will let you in on the joke when we visit “The Cutting Room Floor,” next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Things have fallen completely apart here on THE SITUATION, but it‘s still time for “The Cutting Room Floor.”  With us, as always, the great Willie Geist.

Willie, you can see Willie is tussling with a producer over here.  Oh, thank you so much, Mikey.  You‘re a terrific guest.  One of the most articulate we‘ve had in some time and really one of the nicest.  Thank you. 

And Dr. Hammond, thanks for coming on. 

WILLIE GEIST, THE SITUATION:  Mikey, I‘ll take it from here, buddy. 

Thanks. 

Oh, yes. 

CARLSON:  Mikey—you can see, you can see Mikey is loose in the studio.  All right.  Dr. Hammond is trying to corner him.  We‘ve actually lost control here. 

GEIST:  Tucker, I‘ve been flipping around.  This is the best election night coverage anywhere. 

CARLSON:  Is that true?  We‘ve gotten to the core—you‘re wondering, what do these elections mean.  We‘re here to tell you.  All right.

GEIST:  Carry on somehow. 

CARLSON:  They say laughter is the best medicine.  If that‘s true, these people are heavily medicated.  They are members of the laughing club in Duluth, Minnesota.  The group gets together every Monday morning for some therapeutic laughter.  There are no jokes, just laughing.  Take a listen.

GEIST:  Wow.  Tucker, Mikey (INAUDIBLE) there he is.  I have seen laughing clubs like this before in New York City, but usually they end with the people being rounded up and returned to the institution from which they escaped.  You know what I mean?

CARLSON:  Something kind of sad about laughing with no jokes. 

GEIST:  Forced laughter is not pretty.

CARLSON:  Most people think the reason toddlers can‘t read is because their minds can‘t process information at such an early age.  But it turns out the real reason is because they‘re lazy.  How else can you explain the fact that Autumn Boyd (ph) of Baltimore isn‘t quite 2 and she can already read?  In fat, she began learning to read at 15 months.  She reads street signs, billboards.  She can even read the word “Starbucks.” 

(CROSSTALK) 

GEIST:  Well, they have been planting a chip in every human‘s mind, so it doesn‘t surprise me that much, but it seems to me being able to read at 2 is a little bit like being a child actor.  There‘s probably going to be a E! “True Hollywood Story” about...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  This is going to be a child who grows up to watch a lot of television. 

GEIST:  That‘s going to be sad.

CARLSON:  We got a heavy dote of primate reality on this show just a few seconds ago, thanks to Mikey the Chimp, my new co-host.  I can‘t imagine how the Czech Republic‘s new gorilla reality TV show could ever live up to that, but they‘re going to try.  Following the format of a reality show “Big Brother,” this version will have gorillas performing tasks to win prizes, and 16 cameras follow them 24 hours a day. 

GEIST:  Sorry, Mikey is chilling over here.  Anyway.  What were we talking about? 

CARLSON:  I can‘t remember. 

GEIST:  Just go on to the next story.

CARLSON:  All right.  We haven‘t had a state secede from the union since 1861, but if one Vermont group get its way, the Green Mountain State will be the next to go.  The Second Vermont Republic is pushing for Vermont, which is represented here in the form of maple syrup in Ben & Jerry‘s ice cream, to secede, because it says the federal government, has, quote, “lost its moral authority”—Mikey is out of control—and is unsustainable, ungovernable and unfixable. 

GEIST:  Does anyone have a tranquilizer dart? 

CARLSON:  Yes. 

(CROSSTALK)

GEIST:  Mikey?  Mikey?  Come here, buddy. 

CARLSON:  It‘s not a crisis yet. 

GEIST:  No, he‘s busy. 

Vermont wants to leave? 

CARLSON:  Yes, they do, I believe. 

GEIST:  And we should talk man-to-man.  We don‘t want to see it go, but you have got to do what‘s right for Vermont, and frankly, we still have New Hampshire and (INAUDIBLE). 

CARLSON:  You know what I say, Willie?  If you love a state, set it free. 

GEIST:  Exactly.  Fly away, Vermont. 

CARLSON:  We wouldn‘t be missing much. 

Remember how you simultaneously laughed and felt bad for the man who got himself crazy glued to the toilet seat at a Colorado Home Depot?  Now you can just laugh at him, because his story looks like it might be a crock.  Some fine investigative journalism by “The Rocky Mountain News” revealed today that Bob Dougherty made up the claim about a toilet seat at Colorado visitor‘s center just last year.  Dougherty denies that story.  He‘s suing Home Depot for $3 million. 

GEIST:  It seems like a long way to go to get $3 million.  Isn‘t there an easier way? 

Can I say something?  Mikey has got an eye for set design.  He‘s moving some things around there... 

CARLSON:  Yes, I agree with that.

GEIST:  ... and he‘s making some improvements.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  We‘ve been advocating for a new set, and really it took a chimp to come to prove our point. 

GEIST:  Well, they‘re so much like us, Tucker.

CARLSON:  He‘s putting—do you see, he‘s putting his fist right through those balsa wood walls.  Mikey the Chimp.  All right. 

We can‘t improve on that, ladies and gentlemen. 

GEIST:  I wouldn‘t attempt to. 

CARLSON:  Ocelots tomorrow night.  Tune in.  Willie Geist.

GEIST:  All right, Tucker.  You work well with animals, my friend.

CARLSON:  Thank you.  I‘m used to it.

That‘s THE SITUATION for the night.  Thank you for watching.  We‘ll see you back here tomorrow, Wednesday.  Have a great night.

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

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

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