Guest: Eliza Leighton, Max Kellerman, Christopher Bensch
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”: That‘s all the time we have for tonight. THE SITUATION with Tucker Carlson starts now.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Thank you, Joe. Don‘t try this move at home.
Thanks to you at home for watching us. We appreciate, as we always do.
Tonight, we tell you about Bill Clinton‘s confusing attack on the Iraq war, Illegal aliens suing for drivers‘ licenses in the state of Maryland, and we‘ll have much more on Professor Steven Jones and his theory about the World Trade Center collapse that got so many of you riled the other night.
But first, a remarkable twist in the CIA leak case. Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Bob Woodward, a central figure in the Watergate scandal that brought down President Nixon 30 years ago, said in a sworn deposition Monday that he learned of Valerie Plame‘s name from an unidentified White House official in June 2003.
The official, according to Woodward‘s testimony, was not Scooter Libby. This is significant, because it contradicts statements made by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who when announcing charges against Scooter Libby, portrayed him as the first high-level government official to reveal Plame‘s identity to reporters, and essentially blamed him for compromising American national security.
Meanwhile, Bob Woodward has apologized to the “Washington Post‘s” executive editor for withholding that information. All very confusing.
For more on this developing story, we turn to a man who has worked on both sides of the divide, in journalism and in the White House. He is MSNBC political analyst, Pat Buchanan, and he joins us tonight live from Washington.
Pat, thanks a lot for coming on.
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Delighted, Tucker.
CARLSON: Now, you would think, my first thought in hearing this news was here the special counsel, Pat Fitzgerald, two years investigating this, interviewed virtually everybody in the city of Washington, D.C. How did he not come across this before this week or last week?
BUCHANAN: Well, clearly, whoever this senior administration official was, did not tell Patrick Fitzgerald if he was questioned in this whole Plame-gate scandal, did not tell him that he was conveyed—or he conveyed this information to Woodward, a month before Bob Novak got it and published it.
So I think whoever that senior official is, I mean, if he were questioned by Fitzgerald and he withheld this, he‘s going to have a problem himself.
As for Fitzgerald, the only explanation, Tucker, is, Fitzgerald probably went through all the logs, the phone calls, and the meetings of all the principals, looked them over, and then went to those reporters and found, I think, six who had been talked to, so my guess is, Woodward somehow wasn‘t on that list.
CARLSON: Well, that is—that is really a remarkable fact, because that‘s my understanding too, that Fitzgerald got his hands on, subpoenaed, or somehow got a hold of logs, phone logs and entrance logs, that record who enters the White House and who leaves, and called every reporter on those lists. He did not call Bob Woodward.
We know from Bob Woodward‘s own sworn testimony, as recounted in the “Post” today, that he met with Scooter Libby at the White House on June 23, 2003. How did he do that without leaving his name in the entry log?
BUCHANAN: That is inexplicable. If he met at the White House, or basically in the EOB, I‘m sure Scooter Saturday is over there in the second floor.
CARLSON: He is, yes.
BUCHANAN: Across from Cheney‘s office, but if you see Bob Woodward there, that name, I mean, you don‘t have to be from Chicago to know it‘s a famous name, and he‘s someone that digs up this kind of information, and you go right to him.
Now, obviously, Woodward didn‘t publish it, so you wouldn‘t have it at that end. But if Fitzgerald saw that, or his people saw that, and they didn‘t call him, that really is inexplicable.
But how do we explain this, Tucker? I mean, Bob Woodward is a journalist. The people have a right to know. For two years, he‘s known that there‘s somebody who‘s been putting this out, who wasn‘t Libby, who wasn‘t Karl Rove, and he has not said a word about it. He has not printed a word about it. And we don‘t know yet who this individual is.
CARLSON: That‘s right.
BUCHANAN: Despite the fact that the “Washington Post” is supposedly in the business of, you know, exercising the people‘s right to know.
CARLSON: What‘s even more remarkable to me is, of course, that Pat Fitzgerald is the one acting against the people‘s right to know. He‘s putting the fear of God into every bureaucrat in the executive branch, none of whom are going to leak at all after this, which means the rest of us are going to know a lot less about the workings of our government, which is a shame.
Journalists, you‘d think, should be incensed about this, but instead, they‘ve been spending all their time beating up on poor Judy Miller. Is it that they hate the Bush administration more than they love their own work? What accounts for this? Why aren‘t reporters pointing this out?
BUCHANAN: I can‘t figure—I mean, the press is, excuse me, hypocritical on this. When the story first broke, and somebody leaked Valerie Plame‘s name, and she‘s a covert agent, and the White House is engaged in all this villainy, the press screamed their head off, “Investigate and find out who‘s doing the leaking.” At the same time, half the reporters in town knew exactly who was doing the leaking.
CARLSON: That‘s right.
BUCHANAN: And then they start saying, “Look, but don‘t question me, because I‘m going to defend my sources. Go find out some other way.”
So I think what we‘ve got here is we‘ve got a problem of press collusion also with sources, where these folks are collaborating, basically. And how much are they reporters and how much are they really co-conspirators, if you will, in what the administration is doing?
CARLSON: Certainly players in the game no doubt.
From the political angle of this, Pat, I was fascinated to see Ken Mehlman, head of the Republican National Committee, this weekend on Tim Russert‘s show on NBC, say that he had, quote, “tremendous confidence” in Patrick Fitzgerald, who we now know today got two central facts wrong in his press conference announcing Libby‘s indictment. Libby was not the first person to leak this name to the press, and the leak itself did not harm American national security.
Why the heck would the Republican Party be espousing profound confidence in this guy? What‘s the political calculation there?
BUCHANAN: It‘s this. He hasn‘t indicted Karl Rove.
CARLSON: Good point.
BUCHANAN: You know, Tucker, the first rule in the White House is you don‘t attack a guy who can indict you. He hasn‘t done it yet.
I think Fitzgerald—I‘m very high on Fitzgerald. I think he ran a very strict conservative investigation. He said, “No underlying crime was committed. I couldn‘t find it after two years.”
He gave Rove a break when Rove ran back the fourth time after forgetting Cooper. That was a decent thing to do.
The only guy he indicts is Libby, who appears, as I said, you know, he goes in and contradicts his own—his own—his own diary before the grand jury, which suggests to me, as we said the other night, he‘s going for an insanity defense.
CARLSON: Just really to this day, that is the only explanation that makes sense.
BUCHANAN: I know it, but the thing is, I think I would—I did praise Fitzgerald in the column from the standpoint of I think he‘s not an Archie Cox or Lawrence Walsh who wants to make a great name for himself bringing down a government. He was very narrow, very focused and I thought he did a very honorable job. But whoever senior administration official is, I think has got a problem.
CARLSON: Yes, I believe that. And much speculation about who it is. We‘re not going to speculate here, but in days to come, hopefully we‘ll know.
Pat Buchanan, live from Washington tonight. Thanks a lot.
BUCHANAN: Pleasure. Pleasure, Tucker.
CARLSON: Here to discuss the Bob Woodward bombshell, Air America radio host and our favorite, Rachel Maddow—Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO HOST: Hi, Tucker.
CARLSON: Here‘s what I don‘t—here‘s the headline. I mean, there‘s so much that we don‘t understand. This is one of the most complicated stories I‘ve ever seen. I know almost everyone involved, and I still don‘t get it at all.
Here‘s what we do know. Patrick Fitzgerald came out at the end of last month, October 28, and made a very serious charge against Scooter Libby. He said, “This guy compromised American national security by being the first person to leak the name of this covert CIA officer to the press.”
CARLSON: We know that‘s not true, on at least two levels. We can agree on one. I think there‘s no evidence it harmed American national security, and I think that will be proved. But we can both agree that he was not the first to leak that name. It turns out that, in fact, Bob Woodward was the first person to receive it from a government official who was the first to leak it.
Shouldn‘t that tell you something about this guy‘s competence, two years of looking into this, and you don‘t get that Bob Woodward, the most famous reporter, the most famous recipient of leaks in the world, might be involved?
MADDOW: I don‘t think the take-away message from the Woodward revelations are Pat Fitzgerald is a bad prosecutor. That‘s not what I take from this.
MADDOW: I mean, what he said there was Libby seems to have violated national security, as you said, by leaking the name of Valerie Plame, and we think he was the first to do it. If he wasn‘t the first to do it, doesn‘t affect whether or not he still did a bad thing and still affected national security.
What we know now is that there was another White House official, according to Bob Woodward, who told him first. That means that that person is also possibly in trouble. It doesn‘t mean anything about Libby‘s culpability.
CARLSON: Well, presumably, if Libby was not. Well, first of all, I mean, the macro point is, and this is my question to you, he didn‘t indict. Pat Fitzgerald did not indict on the leak itself, right? The underlying crime, the basis of this entire investigation, has been proved, or shown at least to this point to be not a crime.
MADDOW: It hasn‘t been. We don‘t know.
CARLSON: It has been shown, by admission. He hasn‘t—though he gets up and makes these self-righteous, windy, arrogant statements about American national security, OK, pal, indict on it, and he hasn‘t. What the hell is this investigation about? I‘ve totally lost track.
MADDOW: This is—the indictments so far are about lying to the grand jury. If there is going to be indictment on the underlying crime, we‘ll see it when that happens, and I‘ll get your car when that happens. That may still happen. The investigation is underway. This is going on.
You keep saying that it‘s been shown to have not harmed national security.
MADDOW: Pat Buchanan, among other people, even people on the right and people on the left, have argued that we have no idea if it hurt national identity.
CARLSON: Indeed, we do.
MADDOW: We don‘t, because Valerie Plame, we know that she worked at the CIA. We know that she was associated with a company that was a cover company for other people who worked for the CIA. That‘s now been blown.
CARLSON: We know—we know, based partly on common sense and partly on an interview we did with a former CIA officer on this show the other night, that that company‘s cover was ridiculously thin, provably false on Google.
Any agency in the federal government who would send someone out into a situation of peril using that cover, Brown and Williamson, or Jennings and whatever, Brewster and Jennings and Company out of Boston, that‘s negligent. That‘s insane. That cover didn‘t hold up.
So in what sense is she covert? I...
MADDOW: You can complain about the CIA being bad at people keeping covert, but that still doesn‘t make it OK to blow people‘s identities.
CARLSON: In some cases. In this case, I‘m just not convinced it was a totally bad thing.
Here‘s another story that just kind of blows my mind. Bill Clinton, in Dubai today, right, at the American University in Dubai, Dubai of course, part of the United Arab Emirates, an Arab Muslim country, attacks the U.S. government—yes, attacks the U.S. government—says the U.S.—while on foreign soil, a former president says, the U.S. government made a big mistake in Iraq.
Here‘s the interesting thing. Read his remarks. He is not against, President Clinton is not against taking out Saddam Hussein. He‘s for removing Saddam Hussein from power, he says, to the students in Dubai.
MADDOW: He says he thinks it‘s a good thing that Saddam is no longer in power.
CARLSON: But he‘s against the war. So how can you remove Saddam without a war? I mean, it‘s a “I didn‘t inhale” moment. He‘s not—he is seeming to take a stand but in fact not taking a stand.
MADDOW: I—I hold the same position as Bill Clinton. I am against the war. I think it‘s also a good thing that Saddam Hussein is no longer in power. I don‘t think that we should have gone to war in order to get that aim, but now that we‘ve got it, yes, I‘m happier in a world that doesn‘t have Saddam in it than in a world with.
Do I think we should have gone to war? No. But why are you making such a big deal about Clinton having spoken these words in Dubai?
CARLSON: Because I think at this time in world history, a very sensitive time, when we‘re obsessing, correctly, over the perception of us abroad, particularly in the Islamic world, it sends a very powerful message, and it did today when Clinton did it, to attack the policies of the U.S. government, in an Islamic country.
When Clinton said that, that it was a big mistake, he got a standing ovation from the Arab students in the audience. I think that—I don‘t think that helps us.
I‘m against the war, vehemently, as you know, but I think that that—
I‘m not saying it‘s treasonous or anything, but I think it‘s wrong. I really do. At least—Clinton didn‘t say he was against the war. He said he would have prosecuted it differently. They made big mistakes. His official policy was regime change when he was president. He‘s not against the war.
MADDOW: Well, no, he is. The Republicans for the last week have been trying to make this case that everybody else would have gone to war too. The foreign intelligence agencies and the Democrats and the U.N. and Bill Clinton and everybody had the same information, and we didn‘t lie. And it wasn‘t us that started this war.
And they‘re the ones who have brought Clinton and Clinton‘s judgment about the war into this whole discussion.
MADDOW: So I think it‘s appropriate that Clinton made those comments.
CARLSON: I don‘t know they‘re making that case.
MADDOW: They have made that case.
CARLSON: If they‘re making their case, then that‘s an unfair case, because I don‘t think Clinton would have brought us to war.
CARLSON: I don‘t think he had the courage of his convictions to really do anything. And I don‘t think the Democrats would have brought us to war either, and that‘s to their credit, frankly.
MADDOW: Right, exactly.
MADDOW: To make—let me just say, to make the case that Bill Clinton had the same information as George W. Bush, and thought Saddam was a threat, well, you‘re then faced with the awkward fact that Bill Clinton looked at that intelligence and didn‘t think it was good enough to start a war on.
MADDOW: The Bush administration did.
CARLSON: He did start a war; he bombed Iraq repeatedly.
MADDOW: For four days.
CARLSON: No. Repeatedly. We had—remember the no fly zone? We had—there were—right. But OK, look, my only point is, A, it‘s a bad idea to do it in an Islamic country. And B, you know, tell it like it is. If you‘re against the war, be against the war. Don‘t stake out some stupid middle ground like he always does.
MADDOW: They brought Clinton into the debate. He clarified his stance. I don‘t have a problem.
CARLSON: Clarified it. I still don‘t understand his stance.
MADDOW: His stance is that, you know, it may be great that Saddam is not here, but we‘ve done this in a really screwed-up way. You and I both agree with him.
I also think it‘s weird that you can‘t speak the truth about the American government before a Muslim audience.
CARLSON: Look, I‘m not saying it‘s an indictable offense. I‘m just saying it‘s bad judgment. I wouldn‘t do it when I‘m abroad. When I‘ve been in Dubai, I always defend the policies of my government, because we‘re hated over there.
And someone is always like, “America, America, America.”
And you say, “Look, pal, I‘m American. One more word, I‘ll knock your teeth out.” That‘s your instinctive response when you‘re an American abroad, when your country‘s attacked.
CARLSON: Speak the truth in the United States, speak the truth to Muslim audiences, speak the truth abroad, doesn‘t matter.
CARLSON: No, no, no!
MADDOW: No truth.
CARLSON: Yes to you. Rachel Maddow, I‘m glad you‘re back.
MADDOW: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: Thank you.
Still to come, pain and suffering at the DMV. Are illegal aliens being discriminated against when they try to get driver‘s licenses? Is that even possible? Thirteen immigrants think so, and they‘re suing. Their story next.
Plus, your phone calls and e-mails have not stopped since Monday night‘s interview with Professor Steven Jones. We‘ll hear from someone who says he knows there were no bombs in the trade center towers, because he was there.
THE SITUATION continues.
CARLSON: Still ahead, never before heard details about the Michael Jackson trial from Diane Diamond.
Plus, what exactly is freak dancing? And why is it being banned in Seattle high schools? We‘ll tell you. Stay tuned.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
The Department of Motor Vehicles is notorious for long lines, slow service, and agitated agents, but apparently some people think they have it worse than others. A group of 13 immigrants is suing the state of Maryland motor vehicle administration for alleged discriminating against them.
The plaintiffs say the MVA makes it difficult for immigrants to get driver‘s licenses, and they want the agency to be more Spanish friendly.
Eliza Leighton is an attorney with Casa de Maryland, one of the two immigration advocacy groups filing that lawsuit against the Department of Motor Vehicles. She joins us live tonight from Washington, D.C.
Eliza Leighton, thanks a lot for coming on.
ELIZA LEIGHTON, ATTORNEY, CASE DE MARYLAND: Thanks for having me.
CARLSON: Just to clarify, how many of these illegal—rather, how many are legal of the 13 immigrants? How many are here legally and how many illegally?
LEIGHTON: You know, Tucker, actually the immigration status of the plaintiffs is irrelevant to the suit, and the reason for that is that the law in Maryland is that immigration status is not to be considered.
CARLSON: Well, sure, I‘m fully aware of some of Maryland‘s crazier laws, but it‘s relevant to this conversation, because it‘s morally relevant, in my view. So how many are here illegally?
LEIGHTON: There‘s varying immigration statuses of our plaintiffs.
CARLSON: Some are illegal?
LEIGHTON: Some—people are here. There‘s U.S. citizens. There‘s legal permanent residents and there‘s undocumented folks.
CARLSON: Illegal aliens. OK, so you are saying that illegal aliens have a moral right, not just a legal right, but they have a right to a driver‘s license?
LEIGHTON: Tucker, actually it‘s a pretty straightforward suit.
LEIGHTON: This suit is about a state agency choosing not to follow state law and the state constitution.
LEIGHTON: Because the law on the books in Maryland is that immigration status does not matter when you‘re applying for a driver‘s license.
LEIGHTON: And MVA has decided, again outside of the law, to set up two very different systems for the way in which people apply for driver‘s license.
One would be for people like you and I, people who have been born in the United States, and the other one is for everybody else, everybody who has not been born in the United States.
CARLSON: I wonder why.
LEIGHTON: Citizens who legal permanent residents and who are undocumented.
CARLSON: Could it be that the fact that at least seven of the 9/11 hijackers carried false drivers‘ licenses, do you think that has something to do with it?
LEIGHTON: I think that national security is a critical issue. And I think that we should be taking intelligence steps to make sure that nothing like 9/11 ever happens again in this country.
CARLSON: OK. So if you believe that, why are you—why are you concerned about the extra scrutiny given to foreign-born applicants, some of whom aren‘t even residents, legally, of this country? I mean, doesn‘t that make sense?
LEIGHTON: This lawsuit is about a state agency deciding not to follow the law and creating their own informal practices that go quite outside of the law, and which quite simply are illegal.
CARLSON: Well, hold on. You say—you say illegal, but you are also are aware that there is a federal law that it seems to me is going to supersede, without getting into a legal conversation, but it‘s going to supersede the state law.
LEIGHTON: No, I think that‘s a really—I think that is an important conversation to have, and the reality is that Real I.D. will not be implemented until 2008, and that‘s two and a half years in which people in Maryland who are entitled to a driver‘s license, who need a driver‘s license to take their children to school, to the doctor, to go to work.
CARLSON: Or commit acts of terrorism against our country. Do you think you are making America safer by forcing Maryland to not give extra scrutiny to foreign born applicants?
LEIGHTON: Well, Tucker, I just want to say, before we move on for that, or to create Maryland streets and highways that are safe for all of us to drive on.
LEIGHTON: So as long as we don‘t keep people—we don‘t allow people to have driver‘s licenses, we‘re not keeping our streets safe for everybody who‘s here.
CARLSON: Hold on, Eliza, you know that that‘s not true. Nobody—the question is not whether people are being prevented from having driver‘s licenses. The question is, do they receive more scrutiny?
When a person shows up and can‘t speak English and is not a resident of this country, is it fair for the DMV clerk to say, “Hold on a second. Show me a little more proof that you need this driver‘s license or deserve to have one, or are legally entitled to one.”
What‘s wrong with that?
LEIGHTON: What‘s at issue here, Tucker, is that the MVA has decided, on their own, outside of all legal processes, to set up their own informal practices that basically put themselves in the position of being immigration officials, of deciding who deserves a license here and who doesn‘t. That‘s not the way that our country operates.
LEIGHTON: We have laws and we have a Constitution.
CARLSON: Well, maybe—hold on. Have you...
LEIGHTON: And if something needs to be changed, there‘s a process to do that.
CARLSON: OK. Just—I guess my position is just because Maryland has a bad law doesn‘t mean you should force them to enforce it. But have you ever considered the possibility...
LEIGHTON: Well, I don‘t think Maryland does have bad laws.
CARLSON: OK. But have you ever considered the possibility that those obstreperous clerks you‘re talking about, who are becoming immigration agents on their own, are maybe just concerned Americans tying to protect our country from would-be terrorists? Doesn‘t—I mean...
LEIGHTON: I‘m not calling into question the patriotism of the people who work in the MVA. All of us are, you know, who are involved in this case are proud Americans who care about public safety issues.
The issue here is that people are being targeted simply because they are immigrants, regardless of their immigration status.
LEIGHTON: What the MVA has done is they‘ve created a process whereby which U.S. citizens, even if they‘re born outside of this country, legal permanent residents, that are here legally, are being denied the rights that they are entitled to.
CARLSON: OK. But...
LEIGHTON: The MVA is acting outside the law.
CARLSON: But they‘re not denying them—just to make it absolutely clear. No one is alleging they‘ve been denied driver‘s licenses. They‘re getting extra scrutiny. And there‘s, I think, a significant difference between the two.
LEIGHTON: So perhaps I haven‘t explained enough, to just you know.
I‘m sorry, I am being told that we are—I‘m getting exercise, as you can see, as much as you seem like a sweet person, I vehemently disagree, and we‘ve eaten up all our time.
But thanks a lot, Eliza Leighton, for coming on.
LEIGHTON: Thank you. Bye-bye.
CARLSON: Still to come, what‘s even more scary than Michael Jackson walking into a roomful of boys? How about walking into a ladies‘ room at a mall in Dubai? THE SITUATION sets off the Jacko Alert next.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
If pop star Michael Jackson wants to make his new home in Bahrain or the United Arab Emirates, he better tell the men‘s and women‘s rooms apart.
The self-proclaimed King of Pop says he didn‘t understand the Arabic sign on the door and walked right into the ladies room at a shopping mall. His girlish looks apparently didn‘t give him any cover. He left the bathroom as soon as he realized his mistake, but according to one witness, not without applying some make-up first.
Diane Diamond is a reporter who‘s followed Michael Jackson‘s legal troubles for more than a decade. She‘s written a new book about the child molestation charges against him, the book released yesterday on her birthday, called, “Be Careful Who You Love: Inside the Michael Jackson Case.”
She joins us now, live from New York.
Diane Diamond, thanks a lot for coming on.
DIANE DIAMOND, AUTHOR, “BE CAREFUL WHO YOU LOVE”: Oh, Tucker, my pleasure. How are you doing?
Carlson: Great. The obvious question first, what did you—I mean, were you shocked by the verdict? Did you expect it?
DIAMOND: No, I wasn‘t shocked. You know, I‘ve been covering Michael Jackson since, what, 1993. I learned to never be shocked about anything that happens with him.
CARLSON: You became part of the story in a way. You were the target of a lot of hostility, break-ins to your house. I think your car was messed up. You had to take out a restraining order. Where did that come from? Who are these people who were targeting you?
DIAMOND: Well, my phones were tapped back in 1993 by Michael Jackson‘s private detective at the time, a man named Anthony Pelacono, who I‘m just sort of glad to say is in jail now.
Anyway, yes, it‘s been a long road since I started to cover the story in 1993 until now, and I thought maybe it would die down when I took the story back up in 2003. But it didn‘t, really.
And there‘s—now we have a thing called the Internet, and the threats and the intimidation and the intrigue. I mean, Tucker, I was covering this trial in little Santa Maria, California, and I had a local law enforcement guy call me over and say, “You know, we know where you go to dinner.”
I said, “How do you know where you go to dinner?”
He said, “It‘s on the Internet.”
I said, “What?”
CARLSON: That‘s creepy.
DIAMOND: Yes, the fans were taking pictures of me and other reporters going to dinner and then suggesting to other fans that maybe they would like to go there and intimidate us.
CARLSON: I know...
DIAMOND: Kind of creepy.
CARLSON: ... you‘re a reporter and not a shrink. But maybe you have some insight into the psychology of Michael Jackson fans. The lady was releasing the doves the night of his acquittal. What is the appeal of Michael Jackson after all we know about him, that‘s not appealing?
DIAMOND: You know, she was so angry at me because I started to tell her a story, and she heard that I was making fun of her. Well, I didn‘t make fun of her. I was simply reporting that she was going to release doves.
You know, I don‘t know. I think they‘re so blinded by their adoration of this man, and it‘s one thing that I learned in writing this book, “Be Careful Who You Love.” And I took the title from the “Billy Jean” lyric, “Be—my mama always told me, be careful who you love,” because I think we‘re kind of blinded by the celebrity that we have now.
DIAMOND: They‘re blinded by it. They don‘t know the rules of behavior, and so they behave any way they want. And we‘re blinded by their celebrity, as well, and I think we need to be careful who we love when we love a celebrity like Michael Jackson.
CARLSON: If it‘s Michael Jackson, that‘s for sure. What‘s going to happen to this guy?
DIAMOND: I think he‘ll probably remain overseas, Tucker. Look, he‘s got millions of dollars of lawsuits pending against him here, civil lawsuits.
The Child Protective Services would like to come and see what his children are up to, and if they‘re safe. Debbie Rowe might like to renew the custody battle.
And you know, where the heck does he live that law enforcement is not going to...
CARLSON: That‘s a good point.
DIAMOND: ... put him in the crosshairs. They‘re going to be watching him like a hawk.
CARLSON: And he‘s moved to a part of the world that has far, far more lenient attitudes about sexual contact between men and boys. Do you think that is one of the reasons he‘s relocated or seems to have relocated there?
DIAMOND: Maybe you‘re more cynical than I. I just thought maybe he moved there because they don‘t have an extradition treaty with America, and maybe some other victims might come up.
But you‘re right, they do have a much different viewpoint of men with boys and the sheikhs over there have little boy valets with them all the time. Maybe it was a sort of double-edged reason why he moved there.
CARLSON: Oh, yuck. The book, “Be Careful Who You Love,” the reporter Diane Diamond, climbing up the best seller list even as we speak.
DIAMOND: I hope so.
CARLSON: Happy birthday.
DIAMOND: Thank you.
CARLSON: And thanks a lot for coming on.
DIAMOND: My pleasure.
CARLSON: Up next, the police chief in one North Carolina town is declaring squirrels off limits to hunters, even if the furry animals are in the hunters‘ own back yards. A decision driving some people nuts, when THE SITUATION RETURNS.
CARLSON: Welcome back. The great Muhammad Ali once said, “silence is golden when you can‘t think of a good answer.” Happily “The Outsider,” never at loss for words. Joining me now, ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host, Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO: Quoting Ali. Quoting Ali
CARLSON: Every night, a different quote.
KELLERMAN: What was that woman‘s book called?
CARLSON: “Be Careful Who You Love.”
KELLERMAN: Billy Jean? Have you heard, I know you are into it, Biggie Smalls, or the Notorious BIG, you know, he‘s made a lot of music since he....
CARLSON: Very familiar with his work.
KELLERMAN: The remix with Billy Jean with BIG on it. Oh my, it‘s the best song. You would love it. Best song I have heard in my life.
CARLSON: I haven‘t listened to all his albums. I need to dig deeper.
KELLERMAN: You‘ve got to get the new (INAUDIBLE).
CARLSON: I‘ll do that.
First up, ruling that‘s just plain nuts. The town of Carrie, North Carolina has banned hunting squirrels in your own back yard. The new police chief, a very prissy man who moved to town from Tampa says squirrel hunting is an inappropriate backyard activity. He‘s also banned hunting rats and rabbits, and wants hunters to use traps instead, probably have a heart trap, a very sensitive man the new mayor—police chief of the town.
Look, this is the most offensive and aggressive assault on southern, that is to say, American culture I have seen in a long, long time.
KELLERMAN: American or confederate?
CARLSON: No, I am saying southern, rural culture, right?
CARLSON: You have a right to shoot varmints and squirrels fall into that category, on your own property. And you...
KELLERMAN: Who are you, Yosemate Sam?
CARLSON: I am serious, that‘s America. And you have a right to eat them. And this guy objects on purely aesthetic grounds, on grounds of taste. Ew, shooting squirrels, that‘s mean.
KELLERMAN: Well, OK, first of all, I wouldn‘t call him prissy, because he is the chief of police. I mean, this guy, he has done things in his life that you and I—he is chief of police.
CARLSON: I know a lot of prissy chiefs of police.
KELLERMAN: You know more chiefs of police than I do.
CARLSON: Yeah, I cover cops.
KELLERMAN: Aesthetically, I think his problem with it, from what I have heard, look, of course, you are right. Let me start by saying, you are right. Let me now give the devil‘s advocate point of view. It‘s a jarring sound. He‘s saying lay traps instead of shooting them, because your neighbors don‘t want to hear a gun shot go off.
Maybe it‘s different in New York than it is in the country. When I hear a gunshot, oh, I hear a truck backfire and I get a little bit nervous.
CARLSON: Now, I am not suggesting that Carrie, North Carolina, is any different from Lower Fifth Avenue where you live, but I suspect there‘s probably more open space. And in fact, the whole point of hunting squirrels is shooting them, that‘s the pleasure. I don‘t kill squirrels on my property, but I can see the pleasure in it. And let people have their little pleasures.
KELLERMAN: I don‘t understand hunting. I believe people have the right to do it. I don‘t understand taking pleasure in killing an animal, even if it is a pest. But I guess we can agree to disagree there. I think again—this always boils down to the right to swing your fist ends at my nose, and I think it‘s inversely propositional that right to your ability to shut off that sense.
In other words, if you could see something, you could always look away. That‘s easy. So aesthetically, someone‘s house could be ugly, you have no right to say they can‘t—but it‘s harder to shut off your sense of smell or your hearing. And so bad smells and loud noises are more regulated than aesthetic sensibilities.
CARLSON: You are right to swing your fist may end at the tip of my nose, but it does not end at my squirrel. I can shoot my own squirrel.
KELLERMAN: The right to shoot your gun does not end at that squirrel.
Of course you are right.
CARLSON: Well, high schoolers in Seattle won‘t be getting freaky anymore, not if the school district has anything to say about it. Parents have complained that freak dancing, and bump and grind, can lead to sexual activity, so it shouldn‘t be allowed at school-sanctioned dances. The disctirct defines freak dancing as occurring when—I am quoting now—one dancer bends all the way down and the other thrusts himself toward the buttocks of the person bending down. Mimicing a primitive, if still popular sexual position.
Now look, I am against overregulating anything including school dances.
CARLSON: But I have seen this. I have got four kids. If they had a dance, where this was going on, I would personally stop it. So offensive for kids to be doing this in public. This is kind of thing you are supposed to do in your parents‘ garage when they‘re out of town, not at a school dance.
KELLERMAN: Offensive for kids to be doing it. The offensive is the interesting word, because whose sensibilities does this offending?
KELLERMAN: Are you the person who would have supported the whole Ed Sullivan thing, where they shot Elvis only from the waist up, because they didn‘t want to see him swinging his hips? Because that was the same kind of sensibility.
Offensive, I mean, -- kids are, what I love about this, and I really am—I am against them stopping the freak dancing, if that‘s even what the kids are calling it, because I rember in the “New York Times,” they published an article called—they said, kids like to hang out. They call it wiling. It was never called wiling. But if—I apologize, kids, if it‘s not called freak dancing, but I actually do support it.
It‘s putting in everyone‘s face, these are teenagers, these are sexual beings. They are not having sex. They are just doing something that suggests to adults who would like to deny their sexuality, hey, we are of sexual age.
CARLSON: No, adults don‘t want to deny it. They acknowledge it.
They want to repress their sexuality.
KELLERMAN: That‘s worse.
CARLSON: No, no, it‘s better. It‘s better. And if you have teenage daughters, you will understand the wisdom of it. The point is, sex with your daughters, bad. Bad.
KELLERMAN: Yes, sex with your daughters is bad.
CARLSON: No, I am saying.
KELLERMAN: We can agree.
CARLSON: One young‘s daughter should not be sleeping with anybody, even pretending to sleep with anybody. They shouldn‘t even be mimicking sex with anybody. It‘s just bad.
KELLERMAN: You hit me with a low. That throws me off.
CARLSON: I am getting biblical on you.
KELLERMAN: OK. But they are not having sex. This is sublimating.
KELLERMAN: Transferring that energy to something safe.
CARLSON: All Right.
KELLERMAN: No veneral disease, no pregnancy, Tucker.
CARLSON: I see your point, Max, because micking sex do not insight you to want to have sex. Right?
KELLERMAN: Are you asking me?
CARLSON: Oh, you are not right. OK.
But you are game to try to argue that.
KELLERMAN: I don‘t have teenage daughters so I really can‘t talk about it, can I?
CARLSON: Neither do I, thank God at this point.
Max Kellerman, thank you so much.
KELLERMAN: Tucker, thank you.
CARLSON: Stay tuned. Still plenty more ahead on THE SITUATION.
CARLSON: Welcome back. You may have heard of the baseball, or the rock ‘n‘ roll halls of fame, but did you know there‘s a holy grail for toys? The National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York, just announced this year‘s inductees. And you might be surprised which games got the nod. Here to unveil the winners, Christopher Bench. He‘s the curator at the Strong Museum, home of the National Toy Hall of Fame. He joins us live tonight from Rochester. Thank you very much.
CHRISTOPHER BENSCH, STRONG MUSEUM: It‘s great being here.
CARLSON: Thank you.
Now, I just want to put up a short list, three of the toys inducted this year: Candy Land, Jack-in-the-box, and the cardboard box. Huh?
The cardboard box, what does that mean?
BENSCH: That‘s our little curve ball in there. Maybe not a wiffle ball, but a curveball, nonetheless. Because cardboard boxes weren‘t created as toys, but they have become incredible toys, and they have cultivated the kind of creativity and imagination that we hope that all the classic toys in the National Toy Hall of Fame promote.
CARLSON: That is clever. I am surprised you didn‘t have dry cleaning bags, and whip cream canisters on there too.
Raises a question, though, of the toys now that just were inducted, how many of them are still popular or are kids now on to Xboxes and things that are far more complicated?
BENSCH: I think kids are on to those Xboxes, but one of the occasions for Halls of Fame is to think of the ones that aren‘t just of the moment, that are toys that have persisted. And that have ongoing interests.
Pity the poor jack-in-the box. It‘s been around more than 500 years, waiting for its turn in the sun. Now it has its time, and maybe it helps people recognize that everything doesn‘t have to have batteries in it, to be a great toy this year.
CARLSON: That‘s for sure. Which leads me to the list of toys snubbed by the hal of fame. And I say that with real vehemence, becuase this is upsetting. Let‘s put it on the screen here.
Wiffle ball, Hotwheels, the big wheel, the magic 8 ball and the easy back oven. Now, these are such obvious—these are the Babe Ruths of toys, and they didn‘t make the list, for induction. How can that be?
BENSCH: They didn‘t make it this year. And this isn‘t like the Baseball Hall of Fame, where you only have a limited window of opportunity to get into the National Toy Hall of Fame. I have every confidence that these clasic toys that are surrounding me here, I bet that eventually all of them are going to get in at the rate of two or three toys a year.
CARLSON: Yes, I would—is there—are there pressure groups, are there lobby groups pushing, agitating, for say the Easy Bake Oven or wiffle ball?
BENSCH: You know, I heard from wiffle ball advocates last year, I haven‘t heard a peep from them this year. What we have heard a lot from are the Hotwheels collectors and fans and recently a huge influx of e-mails from Pez fans. Maybe they should be called Pezofiles.
CARLSON: Pez heads. Now what about—Max Kellerman who is very involved in toys, wanted me to ask you about migo action figures, Batman, Robin, Superman. Any move afoot to get those on the list?
BENSCH: I am not sure they have required longevity yet. That‘s one of the requirements to be in the National Toy Hall of Fame.
CARLSON: What are the criteria?
BENSCH: Longevity, a boy that parents and kids have grown up loving.
BENSCH: Maybe even grandparents.
You also have to be a toy that is an icon, one that is unmistakable. No one would ever mistake Barbie for frisbee, for a hula hoop, for a lego block. Those are all iconic toys. Recognizable.
And finally, these are toys that cultivate creativity, imagination, learning, socialization, these aren‘t the toys that you put a battery in, press a button. It does the rest, and you sit back.
CARLSON: Now, finally, and I want you to be honest here, Mr Bench, what is your favorite? When the lights go down and the tourists go home. And there‘s no one else around the toy hall of fame, what do you play with?
BENSCH: You know, this is my delayed gratification. Strong Museum is filled with great toys, and this is my chance to get all those toys that were on my birthday and holiday wish lists and my parents and grandparents never coughed up with, so, you know, it‘s the array of them that thrills me the most, but I am still pushing for Hotwheels.
CARLSON: You are? Good.
Good. I pegged you for a Hotwheels guy the second I met you.
BENSCH: Absolutely. Matchbox too. It‘s time will come as well.
CARLSON: Christopher Bensch of the Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York. Thanks a lot for coming on tonight.
BENSCH: It‘s great.
CARLSOn: Still ahead, if you watched THE SITUATION last night, you heard me say, do you really believe the U.S. government bombed the World Trade Center, you ought to leave the country. Some of you took umbrage with that statement. We‘ll hear your responses next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time for our voicemail segment, where I take a brief break and let you talk. Here‘s what you said. First up.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: Tucker, shame on you for what you just said about the professor from Brigham Young, that he should leave this country, because he has this opinion that the United States government was complicit in 9/11. What kind of thing is that to say? I think trying to ask questions and bring about the truth is very patriotic.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Oh, I wasn‘t saying it was unpatriotic. Of course it is. I‘m a journalist. I‘m all for challenging your government, or anybody else in authority, or not in authority, and trying to seek the truth. My only point is, not that it‘s unpatriotic to ask the questions, or even to believe that the government did that, is not unpatriotic. If you, however, believe that the U.S. government killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11, how could you live in this country? How could you continue to pay taxes to that very same government know it is that evil? I‘m saying, it‘s inconsisent to sta here. I‘m not saying you‘re a bad person for believing it. I‘m saying you‘re a bad person for believing it and remaining here, because that means you‘re complicit in the crime. Get it? OK.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: This is Mike from New York. I was outside the New York towers during the collapse. I can tell you emphatically that there was no explosion under eiher one of them. And as far as building 7 -- building7 was on fire for several days. So this guy from BYU you had on is definitely a quack.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Yeah, I know, Mike. I know that he was. And it‘s because of people like you that I had qualms about doing that segment in the first place. People who lived through that day or knew people who had relatives, loved ones who died that day. I felt squeamish about doing it at the very beginning. Maybe we shouldn‘t have done it. But he didn‘t seem—he seemed reputable. He‘s a professor at BYU. You never know.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: This is Keith in Santee. Did you fire Willie or is he on vacation or what? And his replacement is a big improvement. But I noticed he took his laptop with him. What‘s the deal?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: It‘s a good question, Keith. No, we didn‘t fire Willie. And the truth is actually far more complicated than that. I‘ll just say this, do you remmeber when Botox came out and it‘s inventors where asked, well, what happens if you take too much? And they couldn‘t answer? Well now we know. But he‘s going to recove soon. And he‘ll be back.
In the meantime, Venessa McDonald filling in.
Let me know what you are thinking. You can call 1-877-TCARLSON, that‘s 877-822-7576. Operators standing by. You can also e-mail us at Tucker@MSNBC.com. If you want to read still more about the show and my opinions, as if I haven‘t given enough, you can you read my blog which I write everyday—tucker.msnbc.com is the address.
Up next, if you suddenly found $850,000, would you turn it over to the police. One man did that and you won‘t believe what he got in return. The answer next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time for “The Cutting Room Floor.” Willie Geist still on the lamb. Don‘t worry. He‘l be apprehended. But in the meantimes, Vanessa McDonald is here.
VANESSA MCDONALD, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: How are you doing tonight, Tucker?
CARLSON: Thank you. I‘m doing great.
First, a situation corretion. We reported last night taht Paris Hilton had been attacked by her new pet monkey. Now all of us are great fans of Paris Hilton and of monkeys. But journalists integrity demands we set the record straight. Paris‘ new pet is not a monkey. He, she or it is a kinkajew. Here, a helpful illustration. On the left a monkey. On the right a kinkajew. Again, monkey, kinkajew. We apologize for the misunderstanding. The kinkajew community quite upset.
MCDONALD: And that‘s one thing you can always count on us for here on “The Cutting Room Floor” is to correct all Paris Hilton mistakes.
CARLSON: All misperceptions about Paris Hilton, we are your source for corrections.
Now to North Korea—speaking of misperceptions—those charter members of the Axis of Evil are about to unveil the ultimate weapon of mass destruction: the muscles from Brussels. That‘s right, they are calling on martial arts star Jean Claude Van Damm to fight terrorists. This idea comes from Kim Jong-il‘s son and putative heir, Kim Jong-chal who said, quote, “I‘d not allow weapons or atom bombs anymore, I‘d destroy all terrirsts with the Hollywood star Jean Claude Van Damm.” Kim Jong-il is reportedly dismissed his son as, quote, “too girlish to rule the country.
Hey, Kim Jong-il, whose girlish now?
MCDONALD: Girlish or not, a good idea is a good idea. But Jean Claude Van Damm. I mean, come on, Brad Pitt or something. I mean, where did that come from?
CARLSON: They are so stuck in the 80‘s. That‘s cutting edge in North Korea—Jean Claude...
MCDONALD: Even Vin Diesel. They said Vin Diesel, that‘s at least a little bit more...
CARLSON: I don‘t know if he‘s even still alive, Jean Claude Van Damm.
That‘s tomorrow night. Special investigation.
A Wisconsin man taking a detour from Route 666, Ken Housenmuller (ph0 wants to return his license plate. 666, Ken the number of Biblical symbol for anti-Christ was assigned to him at random, but the devilish plate doesn‘t sit well with Ken who doesn‘t want to think he‘s a Satanist. He‘s getting new plates for the family car, a fiery red ‘96 Oldsmobile Cutless Supreme. He claims to stay off the highway to Hell.
MCDONALD: I don‘t know about that, Tucker. It sounds like fate to me. I mean, I wouldn‘t go messing with the devil—changing the numbers—I don‘t know, maybe there‘s a reason for it.
CARLSON: I wouldn‘t either.
MCDONALD: You know? It‘s like.
CARLSON: You got to love a man who drives a fire engine red ‘96 Cutless. That is so cool.
In another case of many unhappy returns, a Florida man learned the meaning of the phrase good for nothing, Don Eating was eating, waiting at a drive thru at his bank when he noticed a deposit bag lying on the ground, inside, $850,000. He did the right thing. He turned in the bag to the police who returned it to the owner. His reward was nothing nada. Not a penny.
MCDONALD: This is just awful. I mean, just buy him a drink or something. I mean, a thank you note? Anything.
CARLSON: It‘s it‘s own reward, Venessa, doing a good thing.
Well, the latest food scare comes to us coutesy from the Land Down Under. Forget mad cow and bird flu, not it‘s glow in the dark pork chops the latest menace. That‘s from the venerable BBC which reports several cases of glowing pork in Australia, prompting fears of radioactive contaminatino. Experts say don‘t panic. The head of the food authority in South Wales says the glow is caused by harmless, (INAUDIBLE), some sort of bacteria. Be advised if it glows, throw it.
MCDONALD: Right. We really needed that advisory.
CARLSON: Yeah, right. Exactly. I was (INAUDIBLE), thanks for warning me. Venessa McDonald, thank you.
MCDONALD: Thank you.
CARLSON: That‘s it for our show tonight. Thanks for watching THE SITUATION. Up next, COUNTDOWN with Keith Olbermann. Have a great night. See you tomorrow.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.