Guests: John Dickerson, Peter Schweitzer, Debbie Moak, Max Kellerman, Bruce Lubin
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Thanks, Monica. And special thank you to all the veterans who fought to keep this a free country. Happy Veterans Day.
Tonight we‘ll investigate political hypocrisy with best-selling author Peter Schweitzer, revisit the home drug kits that allow parents to test their kids, top off the week with a special guest appearance, from Mikey the chimp.
We start off tonight with President Bush firing back at critics of the war in Iraq. Speaking in Pennsylvania this morning, the president conceded that criticism of the war is legitimate, but he reminded his audience that the White House was not alone in believing Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Almost everyone else did, too.
Here‘s part of what the president said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: While it‘s perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began.
The stakes in the global war on terror are too high, and the national interest is too important for politicians to throw out false charges.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Some Democrats, notably Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Harry Reid, blasted Bush‘s speech, saying Americans need a solution to the problems in Iraq instead of the same old rhetoric.
Here now to discuss the president‘s P.R. campaign, plus whether or not Bush is getting ready to can Karl Rove, “Slate‘s” chief political correspondent, John Dickerson, joining us tonight from Washington.
John, thanks for coming on.
JOHN DICKERSON, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, “SLATE”: Thanks for having me.
CARLSON: So is the president, the White House, reaching its political nadir, fighting back? Is that the strategy? Is there a strategy?
DICKERSON: Yes, there is a strategy. They watched Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist when his counter-part, Harry Reid, closed down the Senate to talk about whether they—we were all duped into the war in Iraq.
And Senator Frist complained about what Reid was doing, and they were pulling their hair out at the White House. They said he should be taking the fight to him, you know, going after these questions of whether the American people were misled into war. And now the president has done that today, and we‘re told that there‘s more of it coming.
CARLSON: It‘s such—it‘s an axiom in politics, if you don‘t fight back, your opponents‘ attacks will be taken as true. Tom DeLay, you know, gets indicted, and the first thing he does is just punch back in the face as hard as he can. And it‘s worked.
Why has it taken the White House so long to do this? It‘s such an obvious move.
DICKERSON: Well, part of it is that they would say they have been doing it and that people just aren‘t listening. And now they‘re doing it, sort of taking on their critics right away.
Also, they would have argued that you embolden your critics by answering them, that the president in previous instances could just assert why the war was important and sort of blow past his critics. In some ways, it‘s a sign of just how much trouble they‘re in at the White House, that the president has to take them head on.
CARLSON: I know I‘ve asked before, and I suspect you‘ll give the same answer, but is there any indication at all that the White House is going to change course on Iraq by, for instance, offering up some time table for withdrawal?
DICKERSON: They‘re not going to offer a time table. There may be some discussion about troops that will be framed as progress, but they‘re not going to—they‘re not going to offer time tables, because the president believes, of course, as we‘ve all heard thousands of times, that if you offer time tables, that you give the enemy a chance to just wait you out.
And I was struck. Even John Edwards, former senator, was saying that he thought time tables was a bad idea.
CARLSON: You wrote a really smart piece the other day, offering up essentially political advice to the White House, not that they‘re going to take it, but for why they probably—why it would be bad idea politically to fire Karl Rove? Tell us why it‘s a bad idea, and tell us if it‘s going to happen.
DICKERSON: In the piece, I presuppose that he didn‘t get indicted.
So if he‘s indicted, then he‘ll resign, as Scooter Libby did.
But if he‘s not, basically the president doesn‘t gain a lot by getting rid of him. A lot of the critics that are complaining about Rove are going to continue complaining even if Rove leaves.
And the president needs him. These elections in the off year of 2006 will be important. Republicans are on the ropes. And there‘s a strong Republican team at the RNC, but no one can really match Karl Rove‘s talents in terms of knowing how to turn out the Republican base. And the Republican base is very angry right now with the president, and the president needs Karl Rove‘s help to try and bring them back into the tent.
CARLSON: I think that‘s a really—I think it‘s a smart point. I don‘t think they‘re going to fire him either.
Now, I‘ve heard all these different analyses of Tuesday‘s election results. One, you know, this is a disaster for Republicans; it was a referendum on Bush. The second, which is kind of compelling, too, is you had two Democratic governors replaced by Democratic governors, and you had a Republican governor in an overwhelmingly Democratic state get it handed to them, and that‘s not a surprise either.
Which—which explanation is the White House believing? Which do they think is true?
DICKERSON: Well, I think they‘re sort of believing both. It‘s a problem. And Democrats—the biggest thing about the election is the Democrats get another piece of good news.
And the Democratic Party has a history of sort of getting into internecine fights, and now everybody who‘s a Democrat is feeling pretty good. And the Republicans are on the ropes, and things are not going well for the White House. So it‘s a great day to be a Democrat after those elections, but you can over-read wildly those election results.
And so the White House thinks we‘ve got to get our act together here and work hard for the 2006 elections. Don‘t be frightened, but recognize this and get everybody together and look for those next races.
CARLSON: We were hearing last night that some Republicans on the Hill, at least one, anyway, was saying on background he believed they‘re going to be up to 80 seats in play in the House a year from right now. Have you heard that? Does the White House think that?
DICKERSON: I have heard that from the Hill, and they were saying that even before these bad election results came in for Republicans, that basically not only is the president at the lowest approval ratings of his presidency, but people are telling pollsters by margins of 15 to 20 points that they would prefer Democrats in control of Congress than Republicans.
Then if you look at issue by issue, Democrats have reseized control of their traditional strong areas and they‘re also into eating into what were Republican—not only eating, have been margins in areas that used to be Republican turf, on spending and budgets. And so it‘s a bad time to be a Republican running for Congress, as far as the polls are concerned.
CARLSON: If Democrats are being Republicans on the question of spending, they‘re just going to get creamed in 2006, I think. Not that I want it to happen.
DICKERSON: That‘s right, and Republicans are having a tough time even passing a Bill that would help improve their image on spending. They can‘t get moderates in line. They have had to shelf this cut, so make up for the Katrina disaster relief, so they can‘t get the team in line to improve their image, so the best thing Republicans can say right now is that we‘re a year away from the elections.
CARLSON: This is going to be a really interesting year. John Dickerson from Washington. Thanks a lot.
DICKERSON: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: President Bush‘s speech today was certainly heard and noted by liberal and “Fahrenheit 9/11” director, Michael Moore. Moore, whose outspoken criticism of the war in Iraq sparked national debate last year, is joined by Barbra Streisand and Ted Kennedy, along with many others, as targets of Peter Schweitzer in his new, bestselling book, No. 8 on Amazon, as of tonight, called “Do as I Say, Not as I Do, Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy.”
Peter Schweitzer joins me now from Tallahassee, Florida.
Mr. Schweitzer, thanks for coming on.
PETER SCHWEITZER, AUTHOR, “DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO”: Thanks for having me, Tucker.
CARLSON: I‘m always nice to book authors and say, you know, “Your book is great,” and I always mean it. But your book really is great. I actually read it. It was great.
CARLSON: And it‘s amusing as hell. You have these—have amazing examples of hypocrisy. Barbra Streisand, you point out, and did I misread this? Could this really be true? This environmentalist, Barbra Streisand, spends 20 grand a year watering her lawn? How do you know that?
SCHWEITZER: Yes, it‘s public record; $22,000 a year is her water Bill. And she lives in a compound, just her and her husband, James Brolin, that has five homes, and a 12,000-square-foot air conditioned barn, if you can believe it.
CARLSON: That‘s—that‘s a major violation of the principles of ecology, it sounds like. Has she ever responded to this?
SCHWEITZER: She hasn‘t. And what is so funny about it, Tucker, is that, you know, she‘s constantly lecturing the American people on what she calls excessive consumption and says that, you know, the American people need to give up their SUVs, and they need to hang their clothes out to dry instead of using the dryer.
So it‘s ridiculous, you know. The gap between what she claims she believes and what she actually does is huge.
CARLSON: Yes, I‘d suggest that she be quiet, but it‘s so amusing when she talks, I hope she keeps yapping.
Michael Moore, a hypocrite according to you. Give me examples.
SCHWEITZER: Well, you know, Michael Moore has said at least half a dozen times in his books, on C-SPAN, and in interviews with newspapers and magazines, that he doesn‘t own a single share of stock, because he considers Wall Street money to be dirty.
Well, he may be technically correct, Tucker. He doesn‘t own a single share; he owns tens of thousands of shares of stock. And a lot of people that listen to him would probably be interested to know that among the companies he‘s owned shares in include pharmaceutical companies, off-shore oil drilling companies, defense contractors, and believe it or not, in recent years, he‘s also been a shareholder in Halliburton.
CARLSON: But he must have lost money on Halliburton.
SCHWEITZER: No, actually he took a 15 percent capital gain on some of the stock in Halliburton that he sold.
CARLSON: That is just amazing. You‘ve got a portion of your book where you quote Michael Moore calling other people racist for not having diverse enough staffs. And according to Michael Moore in one of his books as saying he‘s never going to hire anybody but black employees from now on. Has he lived up to that pledge?
SCHWEITZER: No, he hasn‘t. I mean, he and Al Franken both have abysmal records. They criticize conservatives and corporate America for a lack of diversity and say that they‘re racists and bigots because they don‘t embrace affirmative action.
But if you look at the credited people that Michael Moore has hired since 1990, he‘s hired 134 people. A grand total of three were actually black.
For Al Franken, he‘s hired 112 people during that time period. A grand total of one was actually black. So they both have abysmal records when it comes to what they profess they believe in.
CARLSON: Ouch. Now, to be fair, I‘m not personally all that against hypocrisy, because I think that everybody falls short of his own ideals. And if you live up to your ideas, you probably have pretty low standards. We‘re all hypocrites? Are you making the case that liberals are more hypocritical than conservatives?
SCHWEITZER: Well, I really—I think there‘s two differences. Yes, we are all hypocritical. That‘s very true. But I think, first of all, you never hear about liberal hypocrisy. I mean, you hear about it with conservatives all the time. Liberals get a free pass.
You know, they advocate taxes, but then they work to avoid paying the very same taxes. You never hear about that.
But the second distinction I think is even more important, Tucker. When conservatives abandon the principles and are hypocrites, what ends up happening? They get hurt; they damage their families; they damage their lives. With liberals, you find something very interesting.
I would argue their ideas are so bad that when they become hypocrites and abandon their principles, they actually improve their lives.
CARLSON: Interesting. Now, Ted Kennedy, I mean, I was a little bit surprised to hear you call him a hypocrite. Sum that up for us, that case.
SCHWEITZER: Well, in Ted Kennedy‘s case, I mean, for 40 years, he‘s been advocating higher taxes. His pet cause now is the inheritance tax. He says it‘s socially just and fair for the American people to pay 49 percent when they die to the IRS.
The irony is that Ted Kennedy and his family have been massively successful at avoiding paying that very same tax.
According to the Kennedy family‘s own numbers, they have transferred between $300 million and $500 million from one generation to the other. On that money, they‘ve paid a grand total of $134,000 in taxes. Tucker, that‘s less than 1 percent.
So he‘s not in any position to lecture anybody on the need to pay taxes until he starts doing it himself.
CARLSON: Who is his accountant, do you know? Might be interested in signing up with that program.
SCHWEITZER: Yes, he‘s got a whole team of them. What they‘ve done is they‘ve set up trusts in estates all across the United States. In fact, Merchandise Mart, you know, the large real estate holding that they used to own, that was actually domiciled in a trust that was set up on the island nation of Fiji, if you can believe it. Yes, so very creative accounting, to say the least.
CARLSON: So he‘s one of those corporate Benedict Arnolds Kerry was always lecturing us about. Peter Schweitzer, author of “Do as I Say.” Excellent book. Thanks a lot for joining us.
SCHWEITZER: Thanks for having me, Tucker.
CARLSON: Well, we‘re going to get the liberal perspective on all of this from a fired-up Rachel Maddow in just a minute.
Still to come, we discussed it last night, but now we have a guest on to tell us all about it. Parents armed with drug testing kits. Is this really the best way to prevent your kids from getting high?
Plus, being stuck in traffic isn‘t frustrating enough. Imagine having to pay extra to go nowhere. It‘s a proposal that‘s certain to cause road rage in New York City. We‘ll tell you about it—all about it when we come back.
CARLSON: Welcome back. In our last segment, we heard from author Peter Schweitzer about liberal hypocrisy in Washington and Hollywood. We figured it was a good idea, only fair, to get the liberal counterpoint from our very own Rachel Maddow—Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO HOST: Hi, Tucker.
CARLSON: That was devastating.
MADDOW: It would only be a liberal counterpoint if I was one of the people he was attacking. I can only hope to be a big enough liberal that I get attacked by these guys some day.
CARLSON: No, because you know why? Because you‘re not a self-righteous liberal. And that‘s one of the reasons I like you, and like having you on, is you‘re not self-righteous. You make your point but you never imply that you‘re a better person than your opponents.
And yet the people he singled out, in some cases, certainly Michael Moore, certainly Barbra Streisand, both sort of mix their own personal virtues or the illusion of their personal virtues, into their political arguments: “I‘m a better person: emulate me.”
MADDOW: I think you think that about them, because you just hate them. You just hate—I think you viscerally dislike them so much, that you have read all this stuff into them. And I honestly think—I‘ve been on THE SITUATION with you this week three days.
MADDOW: Two of those days, you‘ve had “I hate liberal” book authors on to talk about how bad liberals are. You had two pieces against Al Franken. We‘ve had anti-Michael Moore stuff, anti-Barbra Streisand stuff.
CARLSON: Hold on, the first Franken book, we had this guy, the hit job on Al Franken; I wasn‘t sold on the book. And I didn‘t—I figured it was fair to have the guy on. Al Franken gets a lot of publicity. So we had someone who‘s against Al Franken.
I didn‘t think the book sounded very convincing. I didn‘t attack Al Franken.
MADDOW: In that case, why wouldn‘t you just read the book and then have Al on and you to confront him with what you think was useful out of the book, instead of having what you find to be not a useful book promoted on your show?
CARLSON: I don‘t know. I wasn‘t necessarily promoting the book. I just thought it‘s only fair. I mean, you know, part of the critique from the right is that liberal authors are treated in a politically neutral way. And that‘s true. They go on the morning shows, and they‘re not attacked as politically motivated, necessarily.
And yet conservative authors are always sort of pushed off into the, you know, right-wing ghetto, and sometimes it‘s deserved. And I think in the case of the book attacking Al Franken, it‘s not a great book, actually. I‘ll be honest. I read it and I didn‘t—I was not that impressed. But I hadn‘t read it, as I said on the air, when I came on.
But this is all a dodge from the point I‘m making, which is if Michael Moore is going to get up and say, “Halliburton is evil,” he shouldn‘t own stock in it. If he‘s going to say “America‘s racist; we need more affirmative action,” he should hire some black people. That‘s fair, isn‘t it?
MADDOW: I don‘t think it‘s a dodge. Because I think the point here is that you should tell Michael Moore that, instead of inviting Mr. Stone Thrower on to do that. I think it makes you look like a wuss.
CARLSON: Hold on. I‘m happy to tell Michael Moore that. Michael Moore can sit on the show every single night. I would love it, I think he‘s too busy giving $50,000 speeches in Europe.
But my point is, this guy did real research, and I actually don‘t support things that I think are phony or flimsy. And again, for the fourth time, I wasn‘t touting the Michael Moore book.
I am touting this book, though, because I think it‘s real, and I think he‘s dug up some really interesting facts that are kind of hard to refuse. There are a lot of hypocrites on the right, absolutely, but as he pointed out, they get destroyed. Destroyed. Jimmy Swaggart, destroyed; Bill Bennett, destroyed.
MADDOW: Bill Bennett destroyed? What are you talking about? He‘s coming out with a new big two volume book, history of the United States. I mean, these people, you point out hypocrisy, left and right, I don‘t think there‘s a partisan nature to whether or not that‘s accepted.
But I do think that—I don‘t think it‘s smart to attack Barbra Streisand‘s lawn care bill without having Barbra Streisand here to answer. You want to confront her about it, confront her about it.
CARLSON: Day one—well, first of all, we critique people all the time without having them on. We‘ll continue to do so, because not everyone is willing to come on.
MADDOW: You‘re not critiquing her. You‘re hosting the guy who wrote a hit piece about her. And thereby promoting...
CARLSON: As we do all the time, as we host you every night to take jabs at George W. Bush, who also is not on this program. That‘s the way it works. Barbra Streisand, since day one has had a standing invitation, not only to come on this show but to have dinner at my house and I hope she will.
MADDOW: Barbra, Michael, Al, you‘re all invited.
MADDOW: I look forward to them.
CARLSON: I mean it. I honestly mean it.
President Bush today finally strikes back at his critics. You don‘t hear me defending Bush‘s Iraq policy ever, because I think it‘s terrible. But he made this point. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community‘s judgments.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: He‘s absolutely right. He‘s absolutely right. I think the
war in Iraq was a mistake, but to go back and say it was result of lies,
no, it wasn‘t. It was just—it was a result of dumbness, in which every
a lot of people, different people participated. Shouldn‘t we be focusing on what to do next? Isn‘t that much more useful?
MADDOW: I think that it was—I think that it was politically damaging and a weird decision for him to bring up what the Senate Intelligence Committee found about him.
Because we‘re still waiting for phase two, right?
MADDOW: Phase two was looking into White House culpability. That‘s what the Senate—Democrats shut down the Senate for in the past week. But phase one actually said, you know, when the White House released the National Intelligence Estimate, some people could assess what the threat was from Iraq, they took out the footnotes that said, “Oh, by the way, there are parts of our government who don‘t believe this is true.”
They took out all the “might be‘s” and “maybes.” They took out all of this information out of the National Intelligence Estimate to make it look like the facts, that they‘re a policy. And they didn‘t.
CARLSON: I think that‘s right. However, the core charge is that they manipulated the intelligence itself. And that—and the congressional report says—we spoke to over 200 intelligence analysts who work in government, and interviewed them individually, and not one said he was pressured to change his conclusions about Iraq‘s weapons program. That‘s significant.
MADDOW: But telling the analysts what to say is one thing. Lying about what the analysts said when you present the case to the Congress and the American people is another thing. And they have not rebutted those charges.
CARLSON: I just think it would be much more useful at this point—I think almost everybody agrees it was a mistake to go into Iraq. I think even the White House understands it was a mistake, but it‘s too late. I think the Democrats should focus on what to do next, like when do we bring the troops home. They would win on that.
MADDOW: I want the Republicans to explain why it was worth all this mess. Why did they stretch it so far? Why did they manipulate? Why, in my view, did they lie? What was so attractive about going to war to them that they went through all this?
CARLSON: Interesting. Personally, I don‘t think they lied, but I would like to know what their motives were, honestly.
Rachel Maddow, happy weekend.
MADDOW: You too.
CARLSON: Thank you.
Still to come, the school system is not good enough for them, so should home school children be allowed to play in extracurricular activities? THE SITUATION joins the debate team next.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
School officials in northwest Texas are handing out free at home drug testing kits so parents can make certain their kids don‘t abuse drugs. The program is part of Project 7th Grade, named so because 7th grade is now the average age when kids begin experimenting with illegal drugs.
Debbie Moak is the president of Not My Kid, Incorporated, a company committed to protecting the health of children. She joins us now from Phoenix, Arizona, to talk about this project.
Debbie Moak, thanks for coming on.
DEBBIE MOAK, PRESIDENT, NOT MY KID, INCORPORATED: Thanks for having me, Tucker.
CARLSON: I don‘t question your motives, of course, which I‘m sure are good. I just question the effectiveness of this tactic. It seems to me one of the reasons kids use drugs is because they‘re alienated from their parents. Confronting a child with a drug testing kit seems a perfect way to alienate them even more.
MOAK: Not at all, Tucker. Actually I speak to both parents and kids, thousands of them every year, and kids tell me that they don‘t want to use drugs, by and large, and they‘re happy that their parents are setting boundaries and verifying that they have a way out from being pressured into the use of drugs.
CARLSON: So in other words, kids can tell their peers, “I can‘t get high because my parents are going to test me”?
MOAK: Absolutely, and I‘ve had kids come back to me and say, “My parent heard this program, and she‘s not following through. Would you talk to my mom?” Yes, so...
CARLSON: Test me before I use again.
MOAK: No, kids are actually saying, “Set a boundary, be my parent, and give me a way out of this situation, because I‘m being pressured on a daily basis...”
MOAK: “... to use drugs. And I need an acceptable way to tell my peers I can‘t participate. In other words, my mom tests me, and when she finds out, I‘m busted, and she is calling your mom, too.”
CARLSON: That‘s interesting. I hadn‘t thought of that. That‘s, I think, a smart point and a fair point. But those are, again, the kids who are telling you about it, which is a self-selected group, it seems to me.
A lot of kids—I know in my own case when I was 15, if my parents had said, “We‘re going to give you a drug test,” I would have been deeply, deeply resentful. I would have hated it. And I think a lot of parents would hate their kids for doing something like that, because kids are all caught up in this do you trust me, you‘re not treating me as an adult. You‘re treating me like a child. You know how kids are.
MOAK: But Tucker, the first thing I would say is then your parents waited until you were too old.
MOAK: It was too late to start. That‘s why Project 7th Grade is a middle school program, because this is a prevention program. It‘s—drug use triples between 6th and 8th grade. So we want to work with parents and kids, and we‘ve given them a tool, quite frankly, a tool that didn‘t exist just a few years ago. And a way for parents to build trust, to deter drug use. And we know that it‘s effect—yes.
CARLSON: You know that it‘s effective. You have proof that it‘s effective. And I haven‘t seen it, but I‘m willing to believe you do, or say you do, anyway. That‘s a different question.
But is it—but the idea that it—it sparks trust or creates trust between parent and child is kind of hard to swallow. I mean, why wouldn‘t you just talk to your kids about it? Testing is something that law enforcement does and the cops do?
MOAK: Right. Well, first of all, talking to your kids about drug use is very important. That needs to be done on a regular basis. And statistically, you‘ll find that that prevents drug use by 50 percent.
But Tucker, I would ask you, since when is prevention at the level of 50 percent acceptable? You know, parents need to talk to their kids, and we need an action that goes along with talking.
CARLSON: Right. Yes, absolutely, but, I mean, look, the truth is that a lot of kids experiment with low-level drugs like marijuana, and it doesn‘t hurt them in the end. There is a minority of kids whose lives are destroyed by it. And I am in no way minimizing the horror of that. But I am saying, that‘s not typical, and you know it‘s not.
And so is it worth destroying the relationship between parent and child to prevent a kid from smoking pot once in awhile, I mean, honestly?
MOAK: First of all, I don‘t think there is anything more important than a parent preventing drug use with their teen. That—that is what good parents do.
You know, parents ask their kids—on the trust issue, parents, we ask our kids what their grades are going to be on the report card. And Tucker, do we still look at the report card when that—when that card comes home?
CARLSON: The child doesn‘t know what his grades are going to be.
MOAK: Then why don‘t we—then why don‘t we just trust them and say, “Just tell me what your grades are going to be, and that‘s good enough”? No, because we know that good parents set boundaries, and then they follow up.
Then why don‘t we tell our kids, “Hey, your curfew is midnight” and then we don‘t get up to check to see if they‘re home?
Again, we set boundaries with our kids, and we start this process from the time they‘re toddlers. We‘ve been building trust by setting boundaries and verifying that our kids are adhering to those good parenting boundaries.
CARLSON: All right.
MOAK: Drugs—substance abuse is preventable today. If the parent wants...
CARLSON: Debbie Moak.
CARLSON: I was saying, you make a pretty good case, I have to say. I was not expecting to be won over at all by your argument, but I think I kind of am. I need to think about it a little more, but you certainly make a pretty compelling case. Thanks a lot for coming on.
MOAK: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Still ahead, we‘re making history tonight as we use the words Howard Stern and saint in the same sentence for the first time in world history. We‘ll tell you who‘s calling for the elevation of St. Howard, when THE SITUATION continues.
CARLSON: Welcome back. As Bob Dylan put it, let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late. Joining me now, a man who never speaks falsely, however late the hour, the Outsider, ESPN radio and HBO boxing host, Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO: Except when I‘m forced to, to defend a position, because you disagree with that position.
CARLSON: That‘s a good point. But those are just details.
KELLERMAN: That‘s right. Let‘s not get lost in them.
CARLSON: Exactly. First up, what could be more bad news for drivers? You‘ve gotten used to high gas prices and high prices at the parking garage. Now there is a movement afoot to charge you for the time you spend sitting in traffic. New York and San Francisco are reportedly considering charging drivers who enter the most crowded parts of town at the busiest times of day. The idea is based on London‘s congestion charge, which runs drivers roughly 14 bucks a day in the city‘s financial district. The stated aim is to smooth the flow of traffic and improve air quality.
Believe it or not, I am not against this. I‘m not into it...
KELLERMAN: Bless you, Tucker Carlson.
CARLSON: I‘m serious. I actually don‘t like taxes one bit, I don‘t like all the surcharges that sneak up on you and make life much more expensive than advertised. However, if you are going to charge people, and the government always is, you might as well charge the people who are using the services for which you are charging them. Right? And so, if you are upset about congestion, charge the people who are using the streets. It just seems fair and direct to me.
KELLERMAN: First of all, in London, it works in London—in England, you have to make about $100 to clear about $5 by the time they are taking taxes out.
CARLSON: I am not endorsing British economics.
KELLERMAN: This is not—this is—sure. But this is not England, and thank God for that, in that respect.
Why not charge hungry people a starving tax? You‘re hungry, here‘s a starving tax? How about if you are waiting in a restaurant for a cheeseburger, and it‘s taking long. By the time it gets to you, you have to pay twice as much. I mean, this is completely counterintuitive, right? How could you charge people for sitting in traffic?
Furthermore, it‘s supposed to ease congestion. In other words, the people who can‘t afford it won‘t drive their cars in the city, and now rich people get to use the roads and poor people don‘t.
CARLSON: Well, rich people have—life is unfair. And rich people have many advantages that poor people don‘t. They live longer as a result of all those advantages. So that‘s just the nature of the world, and will always be.
But here‘s the point. People are stuck in traffic in congested areas because they are there in the first place. There‘s traffic because there‘s too many people. And so why not...
KELLERMAN: Get rid of the poor ones!
CARLSON: No. Very clever.
KELLERMAN: Very Newt Gingrich of you.
CARLSON: And totally ridiculous. I am just saying, we are all charged for that congestion one way or another, by the poor air quality, by the time it takes us, including poor people, to get from point A to point B. I don‘t know...
KELLERMAN: How do you like the fact that the gas-guzzlers wouldn‘t be exempt but the battery-charged cars would? You like that one?
CARLSON: That‘s a whole other thing.
KELLERMAN: Well, that‘s part of the whole thing, Tucker.
CARLSON: When I have time to think that through and disagree with you, we will bring up that one.
KELLERMAN: Yes, sir.
CARLSON: Well, can you be part of after-school activities if you don‘t go to school? Interesting question. Pennsylvania lawmakers now say, yes, you can. The state‘s 25,000 home-schooled kids will soon be able to participate in sports, music, clubs and other activities at public schools. But the governor says they will have to compete for extracurricular slots just like anybody else. That law takes effect next year.
I am for this. Everybody who pays property taxes pays for public schools. You pay for it already. Now, you don‘t have to go to public schools if you don‘t want. In a lot of places, parts of Pennsylvania, for instance, they are terrible. And if you have an option, you don‘t go. And a lot of people home-school as a result of their badness. Right?
CARLSON: But you are still paying for, and you still ought to be able to take advantage of the things you are paying for.
KELLERMAN: So if you live in a certain school district and you don‘t like the school and you send your kid to private school, but the private school basketball team isn‘t very good, and your kid is pretty good, he wants to play for the public school basketball team. That would be OK too?
CARLSON: I think it would be. Absolutely.
CARLSON: It‘s another incentive for the public schools, going back to your argument about rich versus poor, public schools, which are really in a lot of places populated only by poor kids who have no other option, it‘s an incentive for those schools to get their act together and become good enough that people who aren‘t poor will go there.
KELLERMAN: Well, how about—in a legalist defense, you are right. It‘s very difficult for me to argue with property taxes, because I agree with you fundamentally. You pay for it, you deserve to use the services.
How about from a kind of moral perspective, Tucker? You are too good to fraternize with—you are too good to be involved with the public school of the area, because they are not good enough for you, until it comes time to, you know, play football and you can‘t play with yourself out in the back yard, you and your mom throwing the football around. So now you want to play on the football team. Doesn‘t that bother you a little bit?
CARLSON: Who said you can‘t play with yourself in the backyard?
Here‘s the point...
KELLERMAN: I said...
KELLERMAN: ... your mom.
CARLSON: It‘s not that you are too good for the school, it‘s that the school isn‘t good enough for you. That‘s the problem. And the school needs to get better, and it won‘t get better until people pressure that school to get better. One, by dismantling teachers unions, and two, by making statements like home-schooling.
KELLERMAN: I will give you the home schooling if you let me keep the teachers unions, how‘s that?
CARLSON: Can‘t, not a fair trade.
KELLERMAN: Then forget about it. I refuse to concede in light of the evidence!
CARLSON: The feud continues. Max Kellerman. Luckily you‘ll be back Monday, we can pick up where we left off. Have a great weekend.
KELLERMAN: You too.
CARLSON: Stay tuned. There‘s still plenty more ahead on THE
CARLSON (voice-over): From the X files of “The Weekly World News,” the shocking story of why alien body invaders refused to stay at the Hilton.
PARIS HILTON: Why?
CARLSON: Plus, Rod Stewart comes clean and reveals why cocaine isn‘t all it‘s cracked up to be.
And, we announce the lucky recipient of this week‘s human and nonhuman dubious achievement award.
TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: I‘m excited.
CARLSON: It‘s all ahead on THE SITUATION.
CARLSON: Welcome back. While you have had your nose buried in “The New York Times” or “The Wall Street Journal,” an entire world of news has been passing you by, buddy. For instance, were you aware that Bigfoot is set to join the cast of “The Sopranos?” That Bill Gates just purchase the planet Mars? Didn‘t think so. Well, it‘s time to wake up, America.
Here to get us caught up on what‘s really going on in the world, representing “The Weekly World News,” Bruce Lubin—Bruce.
BRUCE LUBIN, WEEKLY WORLD NEWS: How are you, Tucker?
CARLSON: I am doing great. Now, I, like a lot of Americans, sadly have missed “The Weekly World News” this week. And I am glad you are here with an update. What is happening...
LUBIN: Shame on you.
CARLSON: What is really happening in the world?
LUBIN: Shame on you. Well, the big news is, is that the White House is turning into the big house. And what George Bush is going to have to do is actually create a prison within the White House. And sadly, it makes sense for him, because everyone is being indicted or is having these legal issues, and he realizes that his posse might be going to the pokey. And so what he thought was, if I create a prison outside the Lincoln Bedroom, they could be incarcerated and still help.
CARLSON: Just cut out the middle man. There‘s Karl Rove. Now, tell me, just as a question of newspaper mechanics, how did you get Karl to pose for that photograph?
LUBIN: Oh, Karl is an old friend. I mean...
CARLSON: Is that right?
LUBIN: He leaks to us like Judy Miller. I mean, really, it‘s fine, it‘s fine. But the point is, for Bush, I mean, he has got these guys, he needs them around him. Bill Frist, now, hasn‘t been indicted, but does have some trouble here. I mean, his drive-by diagnosis of Terri Schiavo was brilliant. The guy is clearly psychic. And as you know, Tucker, every president needs at least one, you know, good psychic on their team.
CARLSON: Of course.
LUBIN: Tom DeLay. I mean, nobody can rejigger a congressional district like Tom DeLay. It‘s like something from Picasso. An I think Bush really understands that and (INAUDIBLE).
CARLSON: There‘s a certain appealing abstractions to gerrymandering.
CARLSON: Now, the president has a lot of enemies, they are out in force. I wasn‘t aware until I read “The Weekly World News” the weather is one of them.
LUBIN: Yes, he has declared a war on weather. And this is a bold move for the president, and it makes sense. Because his poll numbers show, when he shows leadership, like after 9/11, he is great. He clearly has a knack for declaring war, so this goes to the sweet spot of everything that he is good at.
And think about it, Tucker. Everyone complains about the weather.
This is the first president to actually do something about it.
CARLSON: Yeah, that is proactive.
LUBIN: It sure is. And if he pulls this off, and there‘s no tornadoes or hurricanes or droughts, or most importantly, if he alleviates excessive humidity—I mean, think of what we will save in dry cleaning alone.
CARLSON: I completely agree with that. Actually, that‘s something I could get behind 100 percent.
LUBIN: There‘s something else you need to know. He is now working on this so-called global warming issue, which you in the mainstream media insist exists, but truthfully, Bush, not so sure. Our scientists, not so sure. But if it does exist, he has got a plan. What he is going to do is install a strategic array of parasols around the North Pole. If you think of it, as he describes it, as sort of a gigantic tropical frosty drink. These parasols will actually protect the ice. I mean, it‘s brilliant in its simplicity, isn‘t it?
CARLSON: All you need now is an enormous swimming pool by which to enjoy it.
LUBIN: That‘s right.
CARLSON: Howard Stern, suspended this week from his gig on 92.3 KROK in New York City. A lot of people doubt Howard Stern. You think his fortune is on the rise.
LUBIN: It is on the rise. Our religious reporters have figured out that he is actually up for sainthood. And if you think about it, it makes sense.
CARLSON: In what church?
LUBIN: Well, what—I will tell you. What are the hallmarks of a saint, really? They are tolerant. They perform miracles. And they are persecuted. Well, clearly he is persecuted. He was thrown off the air for no reason whatsoever. Thrown off the air.
As far as tolerance goes, I mean, Stern has a big tent. Whether you are a stripper, a porn star, a stutterer, everyone is welcome with Howard Stern.
LUBIN: And as far as miracles go, the man is getting half a billion dollars to go to the Sirius network. And if that isn‘t a miracle, I don‘t know what it is. Rumor has it, he will be named the patron saint of profanity. Although there‘s also talk that St. Christopher is going to be decanonized, and in effect become Mr. Christopher, in which case Stern would probably be the patron saint of travel. So we‘ll keep you abreast of that.
LUBIN: Yeah, good stuff.
CARLSON: Now, finally, one of the things I go to “The Weekly World News” for is news from the solar system. Aliens.
LUBIN: Of course.
LUBIN: Of course.
CARLSON: Apparently, aliens have higher standards than I realized.
LUBIN: They do, they do. There was an incident this week with Paris Hilton, and that‘s in our “Bat Boy Lives!” week—our “Bat Boy Lives!” book.
Paris Hilton had a really bad week. I don‘t know if you follow it, but I mean, she had the requisite Hollywood crackup of her Bentley (INAUDIBLE), and then a video came out and showed her eating Captain Crunch out of the box and some other carbohydrates. And this is very, very disappointing to her, because...
CARLSON: That is wrong, yes.
LUBIN: Well, I mean, she is on the record as saying she lives on a strict Red Bull and vodka diet. So this is really bad news for her.
But intergalactically, she had a great week, because she was—she was abducted by aliens, but they rejected her. And you know, for me, this is heart-warming story. Because I know you worry about alien invasions and what might happen...
CARLSON: Of course I do.
LUBIN: I mean, most people do. But the truth is, they are more like us than not. And even they find Paris Hilton revolting. And I think it‘s comforting to know that what makes us the same is greater than our differences.
CARLSON: Even body snatchers have standards. Bruce Lubin, “Weekly World News.” The book, “Bat Boy Lives!” And you can find installments of this every week at a decent price at your local supermarket. Bruce, thank you.
LUBIN: Thank you.
CARLSON: Coming up, despite their general apathy, pot smokers might just hold the answer to balancing the national budget. At least that‘s the theory of one very creative caller. We will let him explain when we dial up THE SITUATION voicemail, next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time for voicemails. Many of you have called. Let‘s listen to a couple. First up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORDON: Tucker, Gordon Breyer (ph) again. If you want to balance the budget, make marijuana legal, and tax it. Make prostitution legal, and tax it. Well, thank you very much, and I‘m sure I won‘t hear this on the air.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Well, you‘re hearing it on the air, Gordon. The problem, get government involved in pot and prostitution? You get government involved, your pot is going to have more seeds in it your hookers are going to be uglier. It‘s going to be like the DMV. That‘s the way government works, buddy. Don‘t pray for it, you don‘t want to get it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANONYMOUS: Hi, Tucker. One final saying about toilet butt guy in Home Depot. Who in their right mind sits on a toilet seat in a public restroom without putting paper down or one of the little toilet seat covers? And if you noticed, when he sat down it was lit, wouldn‘t you immediately jump up?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Those are questions that have been absorbing me for the last 24 hours since we interviewed the man last night who claimed his rear end was glued to a toilet seat at a Home Depot, for which he wants $3 million to assuage his post-traumatic stress disorder, something people get from months in Iraq or walking through rice paddies in Vietnam 30 years ago.
I don‘t believe this guy. I think it‘s a setup. We‘re going to have him back on, I bet. The trial is not until next year, so there is a lot of time to mull that over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY: This is Tony Zanuck (ph) from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Tucker, I just had to say that the last remaining journalistic integrity of the show I think disappeared with the kid spinning the pizza on his finger and “The Saber Dance” playing in the background, but I thoroughly approve of this becoming a variety show. Keep up the good work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Well, thank you, Tony. We actually—we don‘t suspend, but we, let‘s just say, loosen some of our journalistic standards in the second half of the show. I mean, it‘s 11:30 p.m. East Coast time, so we figured, you know, we can have the pizza spinner guy on. Wasn‘t that a great segment? I love that kid. He‘s going on to the pizza Olympics. As he said, he just needs a sponsor. If you‘re looking to sponsor a pizza spinner, I can‘t recommend a better one than the kid we had on last night.
Well, thank you for calling in. You can call every night. We hope you will. It‘s 877-TCARLSON. That‘s 877-822-7576. Also, you can, every night, dial up our blog. It‘s a daily blog. I‘m going to write it every day, I promise. I‘ve been forced to, but I‘m going to enjoy it. That‘s tucker.msnbc.com.
Still ahead on THE SITUATION, there is usually some suspense on Fridays about who the nonhuman and human of the week might be. But this week, let‘s get real. It‘s Mikey. There is not even a contest. We‘ll relive the chaos when we revisit “The Cutting Room Floor,” next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Willie Geist is on vacation next week. These are the last five minutes we‘re going to spend together for quite some time. So enjoy it.
WILLIE GEIST, THE SITUATION: (INAUDIBLE) time together. I resent the guy saying that we‘ve turned into a variety show. I mean, we had a monkey running around the set and a guy with his butt glued to the toilet seat, and a 10-year-old tossing pizza. That‘s hard news where I come from.
CARLSON: I agree with that. Where do you come from?
GEIST: It‘s unclear.
CARLSON: All right, thank you, Willie Geist.
Rod Stewart has vowed never to use cocaine again. Might sound like a noble stand, except he‘s quitting the drug because he says they just don‘t make it like they used to. The 60-year-old rock star told Britain‘s “Daily Mirror,” “I don‘t know why anyone would want to take coke now. It was different in my day, because it was all so much purer.”
GEIST: Well, he ought to do public service announcements. That‘s a sweet message for the youngsters. Doesn‘t he sound like a cranky old man, though?
CARLSON: Yeah, he really does. In my day...
GEIST: Yeah, in my day, the coke was purer.
CARLSON: Exactly right.
GEIST: Yeah, bitterness is not flattering, Rod.
CARLSON: How important is college football in the South? Well, try this story on for size. The annual life and death Clemson versus South Carolina game has been broadcast on TV every year for nearly 20 years, but this year it can be seen only on pay-per-view. The South Carolina State Representative John Graham Altman (ph) spoke for the people of his state when he said, quote, “we need to deport the people who made this decision to Guantanamo Bay. I may very well introduce a bill to do just that.”
GEIST: And you know what‘s scary about this, Tucker? He‘s not kidding. I went to an SOC (ph) school in the South. That‘s how serious they are about football.
GEIST: One point should be made. A pay-per-view college football game costs $9.95, so maybe get one less 12-pack of tall boys, and just buy the game, you know what I mean, if you care that much about the game. $10.
CARLSON: That seems a lot. That seems a lot, though. Or you can go to a bar.
GEIST: Right, exactly.
CARLSON: I (INAUDIBLE).
The lesson of our next story is, if you‘re going to make fun of the police for eating doughnuts, and do it to their faces, don‘t be a wanted criminal. A Michigan man walked into a police station the other day and said he needed a picture of a cop eating a donut for a scavenger hunt. Pretty clever, except officers immediately recognized him as a man wanted on two felony charges of failing to pay child support. He was arrested on the spot.
GEIST: So he essentially turned himself in.
CARLSON: Right. That‘s a cry for help at that point.
GEIST: If you‘re wanted on two felony charges and you walk into a police station, you‘re either more stupid than I can wrap my brain around, or you want to be caught. Clearly.
CARLSON: Mocking the police when you‘re a wanted man.
GEIST: Also, I don‘t think adults should have scavenger hunts. As an aside.
CARLSON: I tend to agree. Probably a bachelor party. That‘s my guess.
Well, it‘s time to name our human and nonhuman of the week. We start with the little guy who really is the nonhuman of the century—to this point, at least. Mikey the Chimp visited us here at THE SITUATION Tuesday night, and we haven‘t been the same since. Mikey certainly wasn‘t the most focused interview subject we‘ve spoken to. He seemed to be more interested in drinking my water and jumping up and down on the desk than in answering my questions.
GEIST: Mikey is a superstar. And you got his name right, by the way.
CARLSON: I did, yeah. I was calling him Mickey.
GEIST: You‘ve been calling him Mickey for a couple of weeks now. But now, he‘s a total superstar. He was cruising around the hallways of the world headquarters here at MSNBC, holding court. We want to make him the official mascot for THE SITUATION.
CARLSON: I agree with that.
GEIST: We‘re talking to his East Coast representation right now, working out a deal.
CARLSON: It was the moment when he relieved himself in my lap.
GEIST: I didn‘t know...
CARLSON: Yes, he did. And at that point, I thought, you know what?
GEIST: You should be commended for that. I didn‘t know we were going public with that, but yes, Mikey did relieve himself in Tucker‘s lap. And the journalist you are, you plowed through the interview.
CARLSON: Didn‘t faze me for a second.
And now, for the human of the week. In her film, “Chimps: So Like Us,” anthropologist and famed chimpanzee Jane Goodall showed us just how close chimps are to people. With that in mind, we‘re giving Mikey honorary membership in the human race. That‘s right, Mikey is also the human of the week. Here he is again, this time all hell has broken loose. Mikey‘s handler let go of his leash during “The Cutting Room Floor” on Tuesday. Willie and I, completely upstaged, as Mikey ran circles around the set.
CARLSON: There was some concern there.
GEIST: You know, that may never happen again, when we hand out the human and nonhuman, but for Mikey, he deserves it.
CARLSON: Well, that may never happen again where we let a large primate loose in the studio.
GEIST: No. If I have anything to say about it, it will happen next week, actually. Mikey has got an open invitation on this show. And they were a little concerned, his handlers, when he did get loose, that he would get up in the lights and would never come down here.
CARLSON: (INAUDIBLE) there was actually some profanity from his handlers, but it didn‘t make it on camera, thank God.
GEIST: All right, Tucker.
CARLSON: See you in a week.
GEIST: All right.
CARLSON: That‘s it for THE SITUATION for tonight. Thanks a lot for watching. Up next, “COUNTDOWN” with Keith Olbermann. Have an excellent weekend.
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