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'The Situation with Tucker Carlson' for Nov. 23rd

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

Guests: Max Kellerman, Peter Van Stolk, Al Sharpton

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”:  Stay tuned right now, because THE SITUATION with Tucker Carlson starts right now.  Hey, Tucker. 



CARLSON:  THE SITUATION is that weird turkey sound on your show.  I like it.  Thanks.

Thanks to all of you at home for joining us this Thanksgiving Eve.  We appreciate it, as we always do. 

Tonight, the Reverend Al Sharpton joins us live from Louisiana to discuss Thanksgiving away from home, for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina.  We‘ll tell you why “Teen People” magazine pulled its upcoming profile of 13-year-old neo-Nazi twins known for their hateful song lyrics.  Plus, Thanksgiving dinner in a bottle.  Food flavored sodas that will make your stomach turn. 

We also have news of a huge Hollywood breakup.  That later in the show.            

But first, some serious weather and traffic concerns for the millions and millions of you hitting the road tomorrow morning.

AAA says more than 37 million people will travel by car at least 50 miles from home during this long holiday weekend.  Freezing conditions in the east and Midwest could mean a white Thanksgiving in those parts of the country.  The entire weather situation tonight, we‘re joined now by Bill Karins, who‘s standing by live at NBC Weather Plus—Bill.


CARLSON:  Thanks.  Thanksgiving certainly an emotional for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast.  Reverend Al Sharpton is in Louisiana tonight.  Tomorrow afternoon, he‘ll host a Thanksgiving meal for evacuees. 

The Reverend Al joins us now live from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

Rev, thanks. 

REV. AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST:  How are you doing, Tucker?

CARLSON:  I‘m doing great.  Now you are not only a man of the cloth but a political figure.  And wherever you turn up, there‘s apt to be a political angle to what you‘re doing.  Tell us what you‘re doing down there and how it intersects with politics. 

SHARPTON:  Well, today we toured here in Baton Rouge two trailer parks that FEMA set up right after Katrina.  And tomorrow, as you said, we will be part of hosting thousands that will have their Thanksgiving meal here. 

This is the first time these people will have to go through Thanksgiving not in their homes.  Many of them have been in those homes for generations. 

And I think that the political angle, if there is one, is that they are having Thanksgiving dinner after the government has come out announcing that they‘re putting a deadline on assistance to those in hotels and motels.  Many of them relatives of people here. 

Last night, in New York, I visited one of those hotels.  It is a horrendous thing for people that are victims of government neglect in terms of not taking care of the levees, to get a Thanksgiving notice that you have two, maybe four weeks before...

CARLSON:  Wait. 

SHARPTON:  ... you are forced into homeless shelters. 

CARLSON:  I think that‘s just, in fact, the opposite, Rev.  FEMA had a deadline of December 1, by which point people would have to leave hotels, which are incredibly expensive, and we‘re all paying for it, and move into leased houses or apartments. 

And now FEMA has extended that by a month at huge expense.  How can you say, after we spent $18 billion in the last two months, that the government has forgotten about the people displaced by Katrina?  It seems just the opposite. 

SHARPTON:  Very simply, very simply.  Because what they‘ve said is they must move into housing that is not, in most cases, overwhelmingly most cases, not there. 

For example, in the New York motel I visited last night, these people are in no position to get job applications, job employment.  They don‘t have cars, metro cars to travel mass transit, to seek jobs, phone cards. 

Tell people they have two weeks or four weeks to extend a deadline through the holidays, which is the worst time of the year to even try to find a job, and move into what housing?  There‘s no housing available.  There‘s no housing there.  You act as if people choose to stay in hotels. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t think...

SHARPTON:  ... if they had the option of a house. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t actually think that that‘s true at all.  In fact, the government itself is arranging the movement from hotels to more permanent quarters, but here‘s my question. 

SHARPTON:   To those that are available.  There are many not available. 

CARLSON:  Nobody—there‘s—you know as well as I the federal government is not going to leave anybody homeless after Katrina.  Here‘s my question, hold on, Reverend. 

SHARPTON:  No, no.  I don‘t want you—I don‘t want you to skirt past that, Tucker.  They have not said that.  FEMA has been asked at these gatherings.  What happens if we don‘t have housing?

CARLSON:  Right.

SHARPTON:  What happens when the money stops coming to the hotels? 

And they have not been forthcoming on that, so that is not the case. 

CARLSON:  I think—I think we both know, having been around politics.

SHARPTON:  I challenge that.

CARLSON:  I think we both know that there‘s no way the federal government is not going to make certain that every last person displaced by the storm... 

SHARPTON:  I certainly hope you‘re right.  But...

CARLSON:  Let‘s talk about—hold on.  Let‘s talk about the other responsibility.  The federal government‘s responsibility, we‘ve talked a lot about. 

What about the local government of New Orleans?  I haven‘t heard you or really any of the activists surrounding this issue talk much about, say, Mayor Ray Nagin, or Congressman Bill Jefferson, both leaders from New Orleans, who let their city down in pretty profound ways. 

And I would hate to think that you in any way would be selective in your outrage simply because both those men are Democrats.  Both of them failed in a huge way.  Why is it that you never point that out?

SHARPTON:  First of all—first of all I think the city, under Mayor Nagin, or for that matter the state under Governor Blanco, where they failed, certainly must be charged, and certainly we have said that. 

We are talking about the fact, though, that this was a federal government challenge because it was a regional crisis.  The mayor of New Orleans can‘t deal with the crisis that impacted three states, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

SHARPTON:  So while I think Mayor Nagin has some responsibility, the solution must be a federal solution.  And we are not talking about an administration in Washington that says we cannot run and cut in Iraq, but we‘re talking about how we can minimize and run and cut and Louisiana. 

CARLSON:  Minimize?  Eighteen billion dollars in two months, there‘s nothing minimal about that.  But speaking of the administration. 

SHARPTON:  First of all. 

CARLSON:  Hold on. 

SHARPTON:  If we spent $18 billion in two months, and you have people sitting in trailer parks here in Baton Rouge or in motels and hotels in 41 states without even transportation, the money certainly didn‘t get to all of the victims. 

CARLSON:  Which is why—which is why... 

SHARPTON:  Where is all of that money going?

CARLSON:  I have said a thousand times on television and in private, you have far too much confidence in the ability of government to make people‘s lives better.  It‘s inefficient at every level. 

But here‘s my question for you.  I‘m sure you saw today in the news that there was a group of protesters arrested, holding a vigil outside of the president‘s compound outside Waco, Texas, where Cindy Sheehan often is.  She wasn‘t there today.  I know you have been to that protest.  Here‘s my question. 

I‘ve spent a lot of time reading the statements of those anti-war protesters.  And some of the statements I agree with, and some I think raise serious and important questions that I take seriously. 

However, here‘s what I don‘t hear.  I never, ever, ever hear those people say word one about the evil of the insurgency in Iraq.  Why is it that anti-war protesters can‘t seem to muster any outrage at all about the terrorists in Iraq killing American soldiers?  Why do you think that is?

SHARPTON:  First of all, I‘ve heard many protesters talk about murder on all sides.  I think what they are raising is the question of we were brought into a war under false information. 


SHARPTON:  Engaged in a war that has been clearly no direction in terms of an exit strategy. 

CARLSON:  I‘ll grant you that.  I agree with you.

SHARPTON:  And we continue to lose American lives and money. 

CARLSON:  I‘ll grant all of it.  I‘ll grant all of that, every criticism, whether I agree with it or not, for the purposes of this conversation, I‘ll agree with it, if you‘re criticizing the federal government‘s response to this war in Iraq.  But I want to ask you specifically about the insurgency, the people who are blowing themselves up, killing thousands, many thousands of Iraqis, and thousands of Americans.  Are they not evil?

SHARPTON:  I do not any level—in any way justify what a lot of what is going on by the insurgents there.  I think that a lot of it is absolutely morally reprehensible but that does not remove the fact that we are there wrong, and we are there, in my judgment, in a way that feeds into some of the vicious activities of the insurgents.  You want to try and divide morality.  You‘ve got to deal with the total picture. 

CARLSON:  Not at all.  In fact, just the opposite.  I think some perspective is appropriate at this point. 

I‘m saying that as someone who opposes the war, but I think as wrong as what we are doing in Iraq is, it pales in comparison to what the insurgency is doing.  We‘re wrong; they‘re evil.  And I wish people like you would say that more often. 

Speaking of our situation in Iraq...

SHARPTON:  I don‘t think two wrongs make a right.

CARLSON:  I‘m not suggesting they do.  I‘m suggesting that to tell the truth, you have to tell the whole truth.  And that is the whole truth, what I just said.

Here‘s what I want to ask you about.  Congressman Jack Murtha said we ought to withdraw the troops from Iraq as soon as we possibly can.  Democrats from across the Democratic spectrum support him, they say, but they don‘t back his proposal. 

Almost no Democrats came forward and said, “I agree with Jack Murtha.”  You didn‘t hear Hillary Clinton say that.  You didn‘t hear almost anybody in the leadership, and I heard, say, “We agree with Jack Murtha‘s plan.”  Why is that?  Why the cowardice?

SHARPTON:  Well, that‘s why you have a terrible show, because you have one Democrat, Al Sharpton, saying I agree with Murtha. 

CARLSON:  Well, good for you. 

SHARPTON:  I think Murtha is right.  I think Murtha is a hero.  I think he‘s paid his dues.  He‘s certainly not on the same wing of the Democratic party I am, and I think he showed great courage and patriotism in what he said.  And most Americans I spoke with admire what he said, and we‘re outraged that there would even be implication or inference that he was some coward. 

I think it took a lot more courage for Murtha to say that “I had one position.  But now I have the courage to say I no longer have, and I think a lot of Democrats that are now equivocating about what Murtha said ought to be, in my judgment, held to task by those of us in the Democratic Party. 

CARLSON:  Good for you. 

SHARPTON:  That say you can‘t have it both ways. 

CARLSON:  Good for you.  Speak truth to power.  I hope you grab Nancy Pelosi by the lapels and straight her straight. 

Now before you go, I just want to ask you about “Sharp Talk” with Al Sharpton on TV 1.  It‘s a show, weekly show you‘re doing, shot in a barber shop, is that right?

SHARPTON:  We—you know, it is tradition in the African-American community, we do a lot of our talk around barber shops.  And my talk show has prominent guests that go to a shop in Brooklyn, New York, where I grew up, and we talk about issues of the day, and the audience is a real barber shop, people around the barbershop, talking about issues, talking about concerns, talking about those in public life and what their impact or lack of impact has become, in this present day.  We even talk about you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Well, I was going to watch the show anyway, but now I‘m going to TiVo it.  Al Sharpton, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, tonight live.  Thanks a lot for joining us, Rev. 

SHARPTON:  Remember people in Katrina during Thanksgiving. 

CARLSON:  Amen. 

Coming up, huge breaking news from Hollywood tonight, a famous couple officially calls it quits.  We could tell you, but we won‘t.  We‘ll make you wait. 

Also, “Teen People” magazine decides to pull an article on teenage white supremacist twins Lynx and Lamb Gaede.  Why the publication backed down, and what did they promise the singing duo that has so many people outraged?

Plus, many of you outraged over comments I made last night about convicted sex offender Debra Lafave.  Is 25-year-old woman having sex with a 14-year-old male student really a crime?  The debate ensues when THE SITUATION roles on.


CARLSON:  Still ahead, more outrage over those Hitler praising white supremacist would-be pop star twins. 

Plus, how safe are our nuclear plants from a terror attack?  You might be disturbed by the answer.  We‘ll outline extreme cases of homeland stupidity when THE SITUATION continues.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  We‘re grateful for many things this Thanksgiving, but Rachel Maddow of Air America Radio is right at the top of the list.  She joins me now to discuss the day‘s hottest stories. 

Rachel, welcome. 


CARLSON:  One of today‘s hottest stories definitely in blog world, on the Internet, written by Murray Wass of the “National Journal.”  It‘s actually a pretty interesting piece, but the least interesting part has caught the attention of the most people.  And it‘s this.

The White House right after 9/11 received the president‘s daily briefing, the PDB, and in it was CIA assessment saying, A, there was very little evidence that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11, and B, there was also little evidence that Saddam was allied significantly with Al Qaeda. 

MADDOW:  Right. 

CARLSON:  And this is—this information never made it to the Congress, or this PDB never made it to the Congress.  And people are saying, you know, the Congress, if only they had known this, wouldn‘t have voted for the war.  I say that‘s bosh.  Everybody in the Congress knew that. 

Everybody in the Congress knew that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.  And the link between Al Qaeda and Saddam was unproved at best on the day of the vote, and everyone knew it. 

MADDOW:  Well, on September—in September ‘02, Bush said you can‘t distinguish between Al Qaeda and Saddam.  In October ‘02, Bush went to Cincinnati and said Saddam was training Al Qaeda. 

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW:  In September ‘03, Cheney was still saying that there was this connection between the relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda that goes back to ‘90s.  And if they weren‘t trying to makes the case that there was a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda, I don‘t know how you explain it. 

CARLSON:  They were, they absolutely were.  I‘m merely saying, it was an open question then, and it‘s, to some small extent, and open question now, the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda.  I don‘t think they had a significant relationship, personally, but there are smart people who do.  I mean, there are people who debate it who aren‘t crazy.  Trust me, I know them. 

The point is, even if Congress had had this information at the time, I don‘t think it would have change the vote, and I think it‘s another copout on the part of Democrats who voted for this war and were id to just up to it. 

MADDOW:  I think that what happened is, what‘s important about the Murray Wass piece, is that the Bush administration knew there was no connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda, knew that the preponderance of evidence was that there was no connection between Saddam and al Qaeda, and they said there was anyway. 

What matters also about this Murray Watts piece is that they are not letting PDB come to light.  They disclosed that it existed to the Congress only last year—last summer, well after the vote.  The Senate Intelligence Committee still wants to see it.  They still won‘t let it out. 

So the talking point, that Congress and the White House, had all the same intelligence, everybody made the same decision based on the same information needs to die.  It‘s not true. 

LIEBERMAN:  It‘s interesting, because in some sense, you are right.  I want to read you a piece from the “Washington Post,” April 27, 2004.

Here‘s a paragraph.  “In the fall of 2002, as Congress was debating Iraq, copies of a 92-page assessment of Iraq‘s alleged WMD program sat in two vaults on Capitol Hill available to any member who showed up in person without staff but only a few ever did.  No more than six senators and a handful of House members read beyond the executive summary.” 

This is on WMD.  WMD was the central reason we went to war in Iraq.  These guys didn‘t bother to read the report.  So for them to now, you know, almost three years after the war began, come back and say, “We didn‘t know.”  No, you were—you neglected duties and you weren‘t courageous enough to vote your conscience.  That‘s why they voted.

MADDOW:  That does not change the central fact that the White House gave information to Congress that damned Saddam Hussein and kept information from Congress that cleared him.  They said—they keep saying we decided on the same information. 

CARLSON:  It‘s an intelligence briefing; nobody is cleared or damned.  It‘s an assessment.  It‘s in some sense, sometimes are nonjudgmental.  CIA is one of many intelligence agencies.  It‘s not conclusive.  I mean, I think I agree with it.  I don‘t think that Iraq was behind 9/11, but one intelligence report doesn‘t prove anything. 

MADDOW:  One intelligence report should have been given to Congress if they really wanted Congress to make a decision based on the same intelligence that they had.  They need to admit that they literally lied.  They literally lied about what they knew about Iraq. 

CARLSON:  The endless debate.  The endless debate.  OK.

MADDOW:  It‘s not an endless debate.  They need to come clean.  That‘s all I am saying. 

CARLSON:  The Democrats need to have some moral courage. 

MADDOW:  Sorry. 

CARLSON:  Speaking—speaking of admitting you‘re wrong, “Teen People” magazine, I know you‘re a subscriber.  I know I am.

MADDOW:  “Teen Beat” as well. 

CARLSON:  “Teen Beat,” that‘s right.  “Teen People,” part of the CNN empire, the Time Warner empire, had prepared a piece, a profile of these two white supremacist twins called Prussian Blue, was the name of their would-be pop band.  Here‘s the amazing thing.

As part of the agreement, the arrangement to get access for the profile, “Teen People,” part of the CNN empire, agreed to avoid the words “hate,” “supremacist,” and “Nazi” in the piece. 

Now, later, they were embarrassed, and they killed the piece.  Here‘s my question.  Can you believe how low these magazines will go, and it‘s not just Teen People, they all do this?  And B, why are they doing a piece on these creeps anyway?

MADDOW:  The idea that—if it was going to be, like, an investigative journalist piece, exposing white supremacy in American pop music or something, maybe you could make a case for it.  But this is ridiculous. 

CARLSON:  There are only four white supremacists in the country, and they‘re all retarded and drunk.  I mean, it‘s not a movement.  There are scary movements.  That‘s not one of them. 

MADDOW:  They‘re trying to make these girls the Ashley and Mary Kate Nazi of the pop world.  It‘s very strange.  But the idea that “Teen People” would agree not to use those words, it‘s like “We‘re going to do profile on Angelina Jolie and agree not to talk about what she looks like.” 

CARLSON:  But the even weirder thing is, I bet you there‘s not one at “Teen People” from the ad department to the editor-in-chief who didn‘t vote for John Kerry.  These are good liberals, each and every one of them.   Not criticizing them.  I‘m just saying I don‘t think they have any sympathy for white supremacy.  Maybe they do secretly.  The idea that they would swallow their own revulsion and go forward with this piece anyway just to sell magazines, that‘s just repulsive. 

MADDOW:  It is repulsive.  But you know what stopped this from happening, because “Teen People” was going to go ahead with it, was liberals protesting outside the offices of Time Warner, making Time Warner find out what was going on at “Teen People.”  So you and I can be thankful to the liberal protesters. 

CARLSON:  They can all eat each other, as far as I‘m concerned.  It‘s just one of those battles.  I want both sides to win at the same time. 

Rachel Maddow, I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. 

MADDOW:  You too.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. 

CARLSON:  Thank you.  Thank you very much. 

Still ahead on THE SITUATION, do you feel more secure when you see a 3-year-old being patted down by airport security?  Getting tough on toddlers.  That‘s just one of the many ways the Homeland Security Department is wasting your money.  You‘ll be shocked when you hear some of the others.  Stay tuned.


CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

If you‘re one of the 21 million people expected to fly this Thanksgiving holiday, you may have watched as screeners aggressively body frisked children and elderly women on the hunt for Islamic terrorists.  Pathetic?  Of course it is. 

But according to my next guest, that‘s just the beginning of the dysfunction in the Department of Homeland Security.  Greg Veis is assistant editor of “GQ” magazine.  The magazine published a piece about homeland stupidity in its latest issue.  He joins me live tonight from Burbank, California.

Greg, thanks a lot for coming on. 

GREG VEIS, ASSISTANT EDITOR, “GQ”:  Thanks for having me, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  I want to put on the screen a couple amazing examples of your tax dollars at work, thanks to the Department of Homeland Security.  Here are a couple.

Five thousand dollars to the Washington, D.C., Police Department so they could buy leather bomber jackets for their cops, for the most inept police department in the world. 

A hundred and forty-eight thousand dollars so the state of Wyoming could purchase a bomb-sensing, hazardous-chemical-handling, shotgun-toting robot named Daisy.

Two others, $3,300 for—so bomb sniffing dogs in Ohio could have Kevlar vests.  And my favorite, $63,000 in county in Washington state for hazmat materials.  Only problem: they don‘t have a hazmat team.  Amazing. 

Here‘s my question.  These are all examples of money to first responders.  We‘re always hearing about how that‘s so important.  The first responders need the money.  They‘re getting the money, and it looks to be wasted.  Do you think that‘s right?

VEIS:  I think that‘s exactly right, and I think it‘s a problem with how we actually allocate our funds.  What we‘re doing—what Congress is doing is allocating funds, 37.5 percent, automatically based upon population instead of on risk.  And risk is really what we‘re dealing with, when we‘re dealing with homeland security. 

So what you end up having is Wyoming having this crazy, you know, “Jetson”-like robot going around, you know, with the shotguns and sniffing, you know—sniffing chemicals, and it‘s in Wyoming.  And meanwhile, I‘m riding a subway every day, in New York, and I feel awful. 

CARLSON:  But isn‘t that a function, too, of the fact that Congress appropriates the money, and will you ever get past pork?

VEIS:  That‘s exactly the problem.  And it‘s really funny what‘s happening in Congress.  It‘s not breaking down on GOP-Democrat lines.  It‘s basically breaking down on small state, big state lines. 

So what you have is Dianne Feinstein and Jon Cornyn, a Democrat from California, and a Republican from Texas, getting together, trying to make it so it‘s based more on risk than on population.  And you have these strange bedfellows.  Right now, what we have is an inept system. 

That‘s what happens when Montana gets two senators, not that I‘m against Montana senators. 

Now here‘s one thing I disagree with pretty strongly in your piece.  You point to the nuclear and the chemical industry as being poorly regulated by the federal government.  And you say the government is not spending enough money to keep them safe, and that their safety is essentially in the hands of the industry itself.  And that‘s a bad thing. 

Yet, in the same piece, you point out example after example of government ineptitude.  Here‘s my obvious question.  Wouldn‘t the industry have a better incentive and maybe a better ability to protect itself than this obviously inept government does?

VEIS:  You would think so, Tucker.  However, the problem is, the industries just aren‘t doing it.  What we have in America is 85 percent of our critical infrastructure, things like nuclear plants, things like chemical security plants, 85 percent of that is in privately owned hands.  And over the last year—since 9/11, they haven‘t really increased that much the amount of money that they spend on security.

So while you‘d think they‘d have an incentive, and while you‘d think that it would be less efficient to have government guidelines, in reality, that‘s not really working out, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  I mean, I do a better job of protecting my house than the federal government does, because it‘s my house.  That‘s the weird thing.

Bottom line it, though, the government, it‘s pretty easy to make fun of, and I do it for a living and deeply enjoy it.  But we haven‘t had a terror attack in this country more than four years.  You got to think the government is doing something right. 

VEIS:  I absolutely hope so.  And that is the big x factor in all this.  Why haven‘t we been attacked since?      Is it because the government is doing something right?  Is it because it takes awhile for Al Qaeda to hatch plans like this?  I‘m not exactly sure. 

And I‘m happy that it hasn‘t happened.  And I hop that our security

system will be strong enough for a good enough—long enough amount of

time where we continue to have this relative safety.  But it‘s a matter of

it‘s a matter of just when.  Not if. 

CARLSON:  Just in one sentence, sum up.  You did all this reporting, talks about people in government.  Is there a recognition at the federal level that patting down elderly women and little kids is not an effective way to fight terrorism?  Are the feds aware of how dumb that is?

VEIS:  You know, you would think they would be aware of that.  But in actuality, when you actually see it going through, and you make the trip from LAX to JFK, it happens every time.  So while they might think it‘s dumb, in reality, what we are getting is just increased stupidity.  It‘s really disheartening. 

CARLSON:  Fred Veis, “G.Q. Magazine.” 

Depressing.  Happy Thanksgiving anyway.

VIES:  Happy Thanksgiving to you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Thanks. 

Still ahead on the situation, have you ever had the urge for a gin and tonic at 7:30 in the morning?  Of course you have.  British bars are now open and pouring 24 hours a day.  Is that a good thing?  “The Outsider,” Max Kellerman, seems to think it us.  Stay tuned.


CARLSON: Welcome back.  The French philosopher Voltaire once said, a witty saying proves nothing.  Incidentally, no one ever accused Voltaire of testing his own thesis.  Joining me, a man out to prove Voltaire wrong, among others, The Outsider, HBO boxing host and ESPN Radio god, Max Kellerman. 

MAX KELLERMAN:  More of a Russo guy? 

CARLSON:  More of a Hobbs. 

KELLERMAN:  You are. 

CARLSON:  Of course. 

Third graders of Madison, Wisconsin, got an interesting homework assignment last week, they are told to start a letter writing campaign in end the war in Iraq.  Third grade. 

The kids are to send letters to parents, other students, and public officials urging an end to the war.  A civics lesson that would also include, in theory, handwriting and composition. 

The principal has since apologized and canceled the project, although the teachers who assigned it have not been punished at all. 

Let‘s put it this way, Max.  If these teachers had urged letter writing campaign against gay marriage or abortion, they would be hanging upside down from a fence in Madison like Mussolini.  They wouldn‘t tolerate this.  Only certain politics ... 

KELLERMAN:  That is also not tolerated.  The principal apologized, made the teachers apologize, they are not going forward with the campaign.  Not tolerated. 

CARLSON:  Politicizing education of little kids ought to be firing offense.  Out of there. 

KELLERMAN:  I agree, but let me state the devil‘s advocate position. 

CARLSON:  Hit me with it. 

KELLERMAN:  First of all, the life of man is nasty, brutish and short, we don‘t need more wars making it nastier, brutaler and shorter.  In general, anti-war position, I guess, is a good thing to teach children, right? 

Be against violence, killing each other.  It‘s good.  Peace is a good thing.  That basic premise is OK.  But there‘s also context. 

CARLSON:  I am not sure that‘s right. 

KELLERMAN:  Me neither, but that‘s what I am arguing. 


KELLERMAN:  There is also a basic context.  I was in the third grade, Mrs. Pimouler‘s (ph) class, who, now I think about it, was much more of an activist teacher than I realized.  This is Greenwich Village, 1980-81, third grade class. 

We were taught about how bad this country was to Native Americans, global warming, game hunting is bad.  I formed my own opinions about all those issues since then, not always the same as Mrs. Pimouler‘s, but she did a good job sensitizing us to issues that were popular in that time and place. 

CARLSON:  Did you vote for Bill Clinton?


CARLSON:  That is her legacy.  I think it‘s wrong, frankly. 

KELLERMAN:  Are you saying you voted for Bob Dole? 

CARLSON:  No.  yes, I did vote for Bob Dole.  I liked Bob Dole. 

I don‘t know what legacy. 

CARLSON:  I voted for him despite my left wing creepy third grade teacher.  My third grader, nice, actually, but all my left wing creepy teachers.  No politics in school. 

KELLERMAN:  Basically I agree.  However, again, you are for this majority sentiment.  Right now, once Bush—what is Bush‘s approval rating?  What is Cheney‘s approval rating? What‘s the approval rating for the war in Iraq? 

The vast majority of the country, at least the significant majority, is against the war.  It‘s not like she is standing up and saying, white supremacy. 

CARLSON:  Because it‘s momentarily popular in the polls, it‘s OK. 

KELLERMAN:  Apparently that‘s what devil‘s advocate would argue. 

CARLSON:  Good try.  Still wrong. 

KELLERMAN: So wrong. 

CARLSON:  In the U.K., they are taking novel approach to curbing binge drinking, keeping bars open 24 hours a day.  5,000 pubs in London will now be able to serve alcohol after midnight and later.  A spokesman for the Beer and Pub Association said, “at last in this country, adults are going to be treated like grown-ups, and given a little bit of choice about having  a social life beyond 11:00.” 

He may be right.  This is not why I oppose this.  I oppose it on these grounds.  It‘s bad for England.  England is essentially at this point a wax museum.  What England has are its eccentricities.  You go to England because it‘s different. It‘s old.  People have bad teeth, pubs close early, beer is warm. 

To the extent England gets more like the rest of the world.  They get braces, put beer on ice open bars all night, it becomes like Brussels and Hong Kong and Phoenix, therefore, less appealing to tourists, and England won‘t have anything no place else doesn‘t have. 

KELLERMAN:  That‘s certainly an argument I wasn‘t anticipating. 

CARLSON:  Thank you. 

KELLERMAN:  Let me give you the argument for why it‘s good.  Let‘s leave civil libertarian point of view out of this.  After all, this is not America. 

CARLSON:  They don‘t have a bill of rights. 

KELLERMAN:  However, there are certain things that should be open 24 hours a day.  Coffee shops—Lilly earmuffs, your lovely daughter, . 


KELLERMAN:  Strip clubs.  I didn‘t say that. 

Casinos.  Certain things should be open 24 hours a day.  Bars. 

You should be able to get in there. 

CARLSON:  That‘s New York.  That‘s why people leave New York, hop on planes, fly all the way across the ocean at great expense to go someplace that‘s different, where the people have funny accent and ancient traditions.  Where they have a queen, and people in bearskin hats.  When London becomes New York, will you pay 3, 700 bucks to fly there coach?  No, you won‘t. 

KELLERMAN:  I will.  They speak English.  I can appease my wife, hey, we are traveling.  I studied in Oxford, by the way, for a month of my life, my wife took semester abroad.  Both times to England.

It‘s so easy, it‘s like New York, minus the guns.  It‘s great. 

CARLSON:  I just think you have got low standards.  Keep England eccentric or don‘t keep it at all.  Have a great thanksgiving. 

KELLERMAN:  Happy thanksgiving. 

Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Still ahead huge breaking news involving Hollywood breakup. 

Stay tuned for that.  There is much more ahead, on the way.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  We are looking at tape of the preparations for the Macy‘s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which will dominate New York City tomorrow.  By the time you wake up, it will likely be in progress.  You can, of course, catch it on NBC.  It‘s pretty good. 

I watch it every year. 

Thanksgiving meal can be awfully time consuming.  Depending on level of dysfunction in your family, painstaking as well.  Luckily there‘s a short cut.  Call it Thanksgiving dinner in a bottle. 

A Seattle-based beverage company is offering soda flavors like turkey and gravy, and brussel sprout, and prosciutto and my favorite, smoked salmon pate.  Here to tell us if they have sold even a single bottle of this stuff, the president and CEO of the Jones Soda Company, Peter Van Stolk joins us live from Seattle.  Peter, thanks for coming on. 

PETER VAN STOLK: Thank you, Tucker.  How are you? 

CARLSON:  A little bit shocked and disturbed, frankly.  Who thought of this? 

VAN STOLK:  I have to take credit for this.  The turkey and gravy was an idea that I had three years ago, and to answer your question, yes, we sell an awful lot of this product. 

CARLSON:  Do you really?  You sell, for instance, salmon pate, soda. 

VAN STOLK:  Smoked salmon is new this year, it‘s one of the side dishes in our holiday pack.  As you mentioned, we have brussel sprouts with prosciutto which is very tasty for soda, as well as turkey and gravy, the main course, of course. 

CARLSON:  Have you actually tried any of these beverages? 

VAN STOLK:  Of course.  I can‘t finish a whole bottle of the salmon soda, but I have tried them all. 

CARLSON:  Could you take a sip of it? 

VAN STOLK:  Yes, of course. 

CARLSON:  Can you prove it? 

VAN STOLK:  Yes.  This is smoked salmon pate—Seattle-based company. 

CARLSON:  I Hate to call your bluff on this.  I feel almost bad asking you to drink it. 

VAN STOLK:  That‘s all right.  Let me make sure I can open it. 

CARLSON:  He‘s pouring it in the cup.  Smoked salmon pate soda. 

What is this made out of, incidentally? 

VAN STOLK:  It‘s natural and artificial flavors.  Cheers. 

CARLSON:  Cheers.  All right.  Watch his face carefully.  He is fighting grimace.  How is it, honestly? 

VAN STOLK:  It tastes like salmon soda. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Why not just brew cat urine soda or cow flop cola or something else?  What is the idea behind it? 

VAN STOLK:  We are a small soda company.  We make great flavors, sugar free black cherry, green apple, cream soda.  Throughout the year, we sell these flavors.  During the holiday, we wanted to come up with something different and raise money for charity. 

We have been doing it for three years.  The first year it was a huge success.  People were paying $100 a bottle for turkey and gravy, crazy.  Last year, we had a holiday pack, where people were bidding it up to $500.  Proceeds go to two great charities this year. The first is toys for tots, which is the marine-based charity, we are providing toys to underprivileged children.  And the second is St. Jude‘s research hospital, which is, again, a phenomenal thing, so, you know.

We are a small company, we are not going to be the category leader in cola, but we‘ll definitely leader in meat and fish flavors. 

CARLSON:  I bet you will.  Has there been any inkling of interest from Coca-Cola and Pepsi, both companies I know pay close attention to micro products like this.  Do you think they will come out with a line similar to this? 

VAN STOLK:  No, I don‘t.  I think really it‘s a fun product.  Obviously salmon flavored soda, we don‘t take ourselves seriously.  It‘s fun.  If you get this as a gift, you are going to talk about it, and your friends are going to talk about it. 

There‘s a fear factor, can you drink it?  There‘s a lot of things going on here.  But most importantly, it‘s just fun, and we do make great sodas.  Green apple and sugar-free black cherry are awesome. 

CARLSON:  I believe you.  It looks like—the colors are tremendous.  I judge all my beverages by the color.  I haven‘t had any of the meat or fish flavored sodas.  If you could recommend one, excluding smoked salmon, which I am not going to try.  I‘m sorry. 

VAN STOLK: Try the turkey, it‘s the main course. 

CARLSON:  Turkey and gravy soda.  OK. 

You know, it tastes a lot like turkey and gravy. 

VAN STOLK:  It does. 

CARLSON:  Is it better chilled?  Would you recommend to turkey and gravy soda drinkers, put it on ice, or straight up, neat? 

VAN STOLK:  I think neat is nice.  It gives that better aromas when it‘s warm.  Cold hides some of the notes. 

VAN STOLK:  I tasted feathery note.  Finally, if you were going to recommend a cocktail, made out of turkey and gravy soda, what would you mix it with? 

VAN STOLK:  I wouldn‘t recommend a cocktail made out of turkey and gravy soda.  I wouldn‘t recommend that at all.  Turkey and gravy soda, personally, I can‘t see someone working out and saying, I need a turkey and gravy soda after that. 

CARLSON:  You are an honest man, Peter Van Stolk, I hope you sell thousands of cases.  Have a great Thanksgiving.  Thanks for coming on. 

VAN STOLK:  Thank you very much, and have a great Thanksgiving.   

CARLSON:  Coming up.  Last night, I applauded the light sentence given to Debra Lafave, she is the teacher who had intimate relations with her 14-year-old student.  It seems many of you are not joining in the applause.  We‘ll Check the THE SITUATION voice mail when we come back. 


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Many of you are busy preparing for your Thanksgiving meals tomorrow, but many more are calling in and leaving long messages.  Let‘s listen to a few.

CRYSTAL, DENVER, CO:  Hey this is Crystal from Denver calling you yet again.  I saw your Wal-Mart segment.  I have to tell you, that is the Tucker that I love.  It amazes me that only people that complain about Wal-Mart are people that have tons of money and don‘t have to worry about shopping at discount stores because they don‘t live on fixed incomes to begin with.   

CARLSON:  That‘s right.  100 percent of people that hate Wal-Mart, or who hate it enough to work full-time against it are rich people.  I don‘t care for Wal-Mart myself. I don‘t have to shop there.  The people that have to shop there like it for a reason.  It‘s cheap.  Obvious point, I guess.  Next up.

ANONYMOUS:  Tucker, you are totally wrong.  Debra Lafave is a sicko.  She needs to be locked up.  14-year-olds are more vulnerable than girls are at that age because they are so blinded by their hormones they will do anything or anyone.  So lock her up.  As pretty as she is, she needs to be gone, man. 

CARLSON:  You have made my point for me.  Exactly, 14-year-old boys are blinded by their hormones.  Better they take it out on a 25-year-old than a 14-year-old girls.  I mean it.  So actually I think she was performing an important service.  Next up.

ANONYMOUS:  Hi, Tucker.  This is Cindy (ph) from Nashville, Tennessee. 

I was just wondering if you wanted to go to my winter formal with me. 

Thanks.  By . 

CARLSON:  I am touched.  I cannot make your winter formal this year.  Unfortunately, I have to host a highly rated cable television show night after night.  But thanks so much.  Too bad you can‘t see me dance. 

Let me know what you are thinking.  Call 1-877-TCARLSON, that‘s 877-822-7576.  You can email us any time at  If you‘d like to read the official blog of this show, you can tune in to that as well, it‘s at

Still ahead on THE SITUATION, if you think you‘ll have trouble digesting your Thanksgiving feast, how do you think this woman feels after downing an entire turkey in only 12 minutes.  The gory details can only be found on “The Cutting Room Floor.”  Next. 


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for “The Cutting Room Floor.”  Willie Geist is here.  Willie, I‘m going to skip the customary joke.  I believe you have breaking news. 

WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC:  There is, Tucker.  It brings me no joy. 

Nick LaChay and Jessica Simpson have announced their separation.  This is breaking news.  It just happened.  We have a statement into “Us Weekly” who is never wrong. 

It reads that, “After three years of marriage, we have decided to part ways.  This is a mutual decision of two people with an enormous amount of respect and admiration for each other.  We hope you respect our privacy during this difficult time.”  A difficult time to say the least.  These guys on the floor here, crying over here. 

CARLSON:  I believed in that marriage. 

GEIST:  They taught us how to love again.  Love is very fragile. 

CARLSON:  On Monday, we showed you the king of competitive eating.  He is, of course, Kobiyashi.  He made a mockery of his competition at a hamburger eating competition. 

Today the queen put her considerable talents on display.  105 pound Sonia Thomas, who in fact was a guest on this show some time ago, dominated her seven male opponents by eating an entire turkey in 12 minutes.  She can add that achievement to a resume that includes eating 48 tacos in 11 minutes and wolfing down 167 chicken wings in a mere 32 minutes.

GEIST:  The real story was that big guy.  Clean yourself up.  You are a mess. 


GEIST: I have to bring back the clip when she was on the show, back in August, there she is.  Shoveling bratwurst.  I think she ate 17, and the best part of it was, while she had 17 hot dogs in her mouth, you asked her a follow-up.

CARLSON:  I‘m only 36, if I live to be 105 that will still be a highlight. That was a great day.  I‘d like to see what kind of damage she could do to this monster bird.  It‘s a 42 pound behemoth that‘s going to feed the entire congregation of St. James‘ Church in Lamars, Iowa, tomorrow.  The turkey was raised by a local family on corn, oats and grass. 

GEIST:  That is not a turkey.  That‘s a family dog or something. 

That‘s an ostrich.


CARLSON:  I don‘t think that could feed an entire congregation, though. 

Tom Cruise will be giving thanks this year over the brand new sonagram machine he purchased to monitor the development of his unborn child.  We‘re not making this up.  We couldn‘t.

Cruise tells Barbara Walters, he will personally administer ultrasound tests to his fiancee, Katie Holmes in the comfort of their own home.

Cruise and Holmes got engaged in June and announced her pregnancy last month.  Cruise says he does not yet know the sex of the child.

GEIST:  It is amazing he found time to go to med school during all this. Now he‘s an obstitrician.  And I think there‘s a bird flu vaccine on the way.

CARLSON:  Tom Cruise for president. 

Violent gun-toting rappers apparently make poor bedfellows with vanilla pacifist nations.  An official in the Canadian government has called to have rap superstar 50 Cent to be banned from Canada because he has a criminal record and glorifies gun violence. 

Foreign Minister Dan McTeague is urging immigration officials to deny the rapper a permit for Canadian tour schedule next month.  Nothing could make me side with 50 Cent except a Canadian attack on him.  Back off, Canada.  He may be a violent thug rapper, but he‘s our violent thug rapper. 

GEIST:  Relax, Canada

CARLSON:  Married men just can‘t seem to win.  How is this for a raw deal:  You‘re faithful to your wife for 12 years.  But when she catches you checking out X-rated web sites, she files for divorce, citing “virtual adultery.” 

It happened to a man in Romania.  The wife told the judge she could not continue the marriage because her husband was cheating on her with virtual lovers.  She admitted he was a good husband and father but the porn was too much to bear. 

GEIST:  Can you imagine what he may have been looking at to divorce him.  After a quarter century of marriage and fatherhood.  There had to be midgets and livestock.

CARLSON:  I agree with that.  They don‘t have Thanksgiving in Romania, that‘s the problem.  Happy Thanksgiving.

That‘s THE SITUATION for tonight.  Up next, “COUNTDOWN” with Keith Olbermann.  A quick programming note.  We‘ll be back with a live edition of THE SITUATION Monday.

Have a great Thanksgiving in the meantime.


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