Guests: Mat Staver, Jesse Lee Peterson, Heather Veitch, Max Kellerman, Ferdie Pacheco
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”: Coming up next, THE SITUATION with Tucker Carlson. It starts right now. Hey, Tucker, what‘s THE SITUATION tonight?
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Oh, Joe, I have a ready answer as always.
SCARBOROUGH: Thank you.
CARLSON: Thank you. Thanks to you at home for sticking with us. We always appreciate it.
Tonight President Bush fires back at Howard Dean, who said yesterday the war in Iraq was unwinnable. Are Democrats prepared to become the party of defeat and humiliation?
Also from Las Vegas, stripper to “porn again Christian.” We‘ll speak live to a former nude dancer, who‘s founded ministry for strippers, porn stars, and drug addicts. You see her right there.
Plus, we‘ll talk to a black preacher who believes Kwanzaa is racist scam, founded by, quote, “a Marxist ex-con, who served four years in prison for torturing two women.” Again, that‘s a quote.
We begin tonight with yet another story of political correctness run completely amuck this Christmas season. A Wisconsin school district not allowing Christmas carols to be sung in musical programs. According to the Glendale River Hills School District, songs with, quote, “dogmatic religious statements are strictly forbidden.” That means “Frosty the Snowman” is acceptable, “Silent Night” is not. Reportedly, however, Hanukkah songs are allowed.
Well, on behalf of a 9-year-old student who objected to the ban, the Liberty Council has written a letter to the district demanding the policy be changed, and saying failure to respond could lead to a lawsuit.
Here now to discuss this musical controversy, the Liberty Council president, Mat Staver. He joins us live tonight from Orlando, Florida.
Mat, thanks a lot for coming on.
MAT STAVER, PRESIDENT, LIBERTY COUNCIL: Thank you. My pleasure to be with you, Tucker.
CARLSON: So do I have that right, the school district has said Christian songs, about Christmas not allowed, Hanukkah songs, allowed?
STAVER: Unfortunately, you do. This started when Barbara Wheeler, on behalf of her 9-year-old daughter, noticed last year and the year before there were no religious Christmas songs. And so when she inquired about that, she was told that there‘s a policy.
And sure enough, there‘s a written policy that says no Christmas songs are allowed, but they allow Hanukkah. So as you said, “Frosty the Snowman” is in, “Mr. Dreidel” is in, but “Silent Night” is out.
CARLSON: So I mean, even bad ideas have justifications. What‘s the justification for this obvious double standard?
STAVER: You know, there really is no good justification for this. In defending this policy, the school says, “Well, Hanukkah songs are more cultural than spiritual,” and so they clearly want to eliminate any spiritual songs. But you know, “Silent Night” certainly is a spiritual song, but it is certainly cultural as well.
Ninety-six percent of Americans celebrate Christmas, but apparently in this school district, they want to pretend like the national holiday is like the ghost of Christmas past. There‘s really no justification.
So what we did at Liberty Council, on behalf of Barbara Wheeler and her daughter we sent a letter outlining that this policy is unconstitutional, viewpoint based discrimination. It allows certain songs of the holidays, but not the viewpoint of the Christian holiday songs, and that‘s unconstitutional. We‘ve asked them to rescind that policy and to change their practice. Otherwise, they will be subjected to a federal lawsuit. We hope that they comply.
CARLSON: Well, that‘s—it is just pure bigotry, because most Christmas carols have no obvious religious content, or at least that‘s noticeable to most people. I had to recite “Silent Night” earlier tonight even to recall that it has specific Christian references. I mean, it is almost by definition, a cultural phenomenon, all these songs, even though they point to this very religious holiday. They‘re not religious songs in effect anymore.
STAVER: Well, you know, there‘s no question that people walk through malls and they‘ll hear the songs. We‘ve grown up, all different people of faith. We‘ve sung these songs. They are very well known. When you hear the tune, you know exactly what the song is. And it gets you into the holiday spirit.
But apparently in this particular school, they‘re playing the role of the Grinch. I think it‘s wrong. It‘s unfortunate. We intend to change it.
CARLSON: Well, as you point out, Christian students in this school district, as in most in this country, comprise the overwhelming majority. I‘m always amazed by how seldom they complain, though. I guess you took up this case because one 9-year-old‘s parents did complain. Do most parents complain?
STAVER: Well, you know, in the past a lot of these parents have been silent. But I think this year, more than any other year, we‘re seeing people who are saying enough is enough.
You know, we saw the early part of this holiday season begin with the Christmas trees being renamed to a holiday tree. I think that just really tipped the keg over, so to speak, and people have said, enough is enough. This is time to speak up. And I think people are now speaking up.
To children in this school, to Barbara Wheeler‘s 9-year-old girl, this policy essentially says that her Christian faith is something that she must be ashamed of. She can‘t take it to school. And she must carry around in a brown paper bag.
CARLSON: Now just to make sure we have this absolutely clear, you‘re not against the Hanukkah songs?
STAVER: No, absolutely not.
CARLSON: You‘re not trying to prevent the school from allowing kids to sing the Hanukkah songs? Are you aware, thought, that that is a possibility, that the school will say, “OK, fine, we‘re not having any songs with religious overtones at all.” And how would you feel about that?
STAVER: Well, I think they‘d be playing the absolute role of the Grinch to do that. This is a great season for so many different people. We have great secular songs, “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “I‘m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” So many. We have Hanukkah songs. Let‘s celebrate them, but certainly, let‘s also celebrate the great Christian heritage and the great Christian songs that make up this holiday season. And I think that‘s really what we‘re in favor of.
CARLSON: Yes, and also, how about this, get a life. I mean, you know, a lot of problems in this world. If you‘re really worried about the effect of “Silent Night” on the kids, you need a hobby or something, and I‘m glad you‘re pointing that out. Mat Staver, thanks a lot.
STAVER: Thank you. My pleasure.
CARLSON: Here now to discuss this latest Christmas controversy is the ghost of our Christmas present, Air America star, Rachel Maddow.
RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO HOST: I want to be the ghost of your Christmas future, too.
CARLSON: Of course. Come on, that goes without saying. This Christmas season, this is like so indefensible, I‘m not going to argue it. I assume you‘re not going to defend taking out of Christmas songs and keeping Hanukkah songs.
One thing that I was thinking about right before the show, though. It is kind of heartening, I think, for Christians to see this, all this outrage, all this fear at Christmas time, you know, Christmas tree, Christmas carol, “Silent Night”—oh, that‘s a, you know, that‘s a subversive song—because it means that Christianity isn‘t dead. It still has the capacity to scare people. It still gives people the creeps, which means there is still some power behind the religion, as sort of watered down as it can be.
MADDOW: As you know, I‘m a liberal, and so you know that means that I‘m a soldier. I‘m a foot soldier in the war on Christmas. And the war on puppies and sunshine.
CARLSON: Honestly, a lot of liberals are foot soldiers in the war on Christmas.
MADDOW: The war on Christmas. This is the most ridiculous right wing talking point I have ever lived through...
CARLSON: Maybe it‘s real.
MADDOW: ... the war on Christmas. The idea that liberals want to get rid of Christmas. First of all...
CARLSON: I never used—hold on. I never used the word “liberal” in that interview.
MADDOW: All right.
CARLSON: This is a very, very specific...
MADDOW: Not as such. Humor me (ph).
CARLSON: I didn‘t use any—I didn‘t use any term at all. It‘s the school district is the term I used. And this is a discrete, specific case where a school district has this as a policy.
CARLSON: So I‘m not attacking liberals with a broad brush. I try not to, even though they may deserve it, and I‘m not attacking you or any liberals. Now I‘m just saying, isn‘t this a ridiculous instance?
MADDOW: No. You and Mat Staver both mischaracterized the facts of the case, which is that the school district, public school district says, “We will not allow songs with religious overtones.
As you mentioned, we will allow “Frosty the Snowman,” we will allow the “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel” song, but you can‘t sing “Silent Night,” you can‘t sing the Jesus song, and you can‘t sing any Torah songs there might be.
They won‘t allow religious overtones at all. They will allow things that recognize that there are holidays, and those are culturally accepted. So it‘s a no religion in the school situation, not a war on Christmas situation.
CARLSON: Actually, I‘m not—I don‘t think it‘s at all clear that the Hanukkah songs are restricted to the single dreidel song, and that all Hanukkah songs have undergone a kind of religious cleansing process in the way that the Christmas songs have. I don‘t—I don‘t accept that as a fact in this case at all.
CARLSON: I think it seems to me, from the known facts, the Hanukkah songs we‘ve got in the past. And I want to make it really clear, I‘m not against the Hanukkah songs. I like Hanukkah songs. I grew up with Hanukkah songs. I‘m not opposed to Hanukkah or the songs that accompany it, at all. I think they ought to keep it. I‘m merely saying it‘s a double standard and a ridiculous one.
MADDOW: But what these guys are saying, what the group—the group that you just hosted, what Mat Staver‘s group is saying is that we don‘t want to get rid of the Hanukkah songs, but we want to make sure, we want to make the school district put religious content in its music programs.
MADDOW: Yes, they are saying that.
CARLSON: Singing “Silent Night”?
CARLSON: I mean, I want to be blasphemous. Let me say Jesus, Rachel, come on. Lighten up. I‘m serious. What is wrong with “Silent Night”? I mean, is that really going to hurt children? And if you are taking the side against “Silent Night,” let me just suggest it‘s not a winner in the court of public opinion. I think people look at you and say, “Wacko.”
MADDOW: Oh, my God, liberals hate Christmas.
CARLSON: Yes. That‘s the impression I‘m getting.
MADDOW: This is what liberals say. Liberals say that we are secular country with a majority of Christians, absolutely.
CARLSON: We‘re not a secular country.
MADDOW: We are.
CARLSON: We‘re a very religious country; the government‘s secular.
MADDOW: Yes. We have a secular government in this country. We are a country that‘s very religious. Americans are incredibly religious as a nation, and we have gotten that way by having the government stay out of religion and say religion is a private matter. The government doesn‘t take sides. Public schools don‘t promote or denigrate any religion.
That‘s the way we do it. That‘s what our Constitution is founded on.
MADDOW: And if you want to change that, if you want to make the government take a religious side, then make the case, it should be Christian republic.
CARLSON: It is—it is liberals who are changing it. People have sung “Silent Night” for many decades in this country.
MADDOW: Not public schools.
CARLSON: Yes. You‘ve got to be kidding. I—I would be very interested to find a viewer over 30, who did not sing “Silent Night” in school.
MADDOW: I went to public school in California. Oh, my God, California liberals, and didn‘t sing “Silent Night.”
CARLSON: OK. OK.
MADDOW: And you shouldn‘t have religion in government. That‘s not right.
CARLSON: Now speaking—speaking of what government should and should not do, Barack Obama, freshman senator, much publicized, very famous, actually pretty smart and thoughtful senator from Illinois had this to say about the war in Iraq today, coming after Howard Dean‘s, I believe, reprehensible comments yesterday, about how we‘re never going to win the war. We ought to pull out now. It‘s a disaster, whatever that he said. We argued about it last night.
He said this. It‘s arguably the best politics in ‘06 would be “Let‘s bring the troops home.” Democrats ought to say in ‘06, “Let‘s bring the troops home.” It‘s easier to communicate.
However, whether that‘s the best policy right now, I don‘t feel comfortable saying so. Barack Obama, along with Hillary Clinton, along with the Democratic foreign policy brain trust, all sort of stopping short of that. And I just want to know, what you make of that, this dichotomy, between what the base wants, as represented by Howard Dean, and what the kind of responsible adults in the party want.
MADDOW: And what the majority of Americans want. I mean, a majority of Americans, when polled, 11 or 12 of the last polls have said a majority of Americans have said they want the troops home within a year.
So if that‘s the radical base Howard Dean perspective, that may be, but I mean, what Obama is talking about is the reality that there is not a unified Democratic position on the war. I wish that there was a unified Democratic position on the war. I was that there was a unified American position and everybody agreed with me that we ought to be out of there yesterday. But they don‘t, and that‘s the fact. I mean, he‘s stating a fact about what‘s going on.
CARLSON: Something else he said. He said—he was at a town meeting the other day, and someone asked him, should the president be impeached for lying? This is what Barack Obama said. Quote, “FDR, JFK, LBJ”—all Democratic presidents—“we have a pretty long list of presidents who maybe were not entirely forthcoming with intelligence information before they went to war, so I‘d be cautious against making legal cases against the administration.”
Interesting. Now, obviously it‘s against the law to criticize Barack Obama, in any way. Not allowed at all. But I‘m throwing it out there to see if you‘ll take the bait, if you‘ll criticize Barack Obama, who is defending the administration on the question of its honesty before the war.
He‘s saying, “All these Democrats did it. We can‘t in any way criticize or at least indict or impeach this administration for doing what they did.” What do you think of that?
MADDOW: He‘s saying, “I‘m not going to carry the banner of impeachment, because lots of other people have done bad stuff too.” Fine. If that‘s going to be his argument, he‘s not going to lead that fight, he gets to make that choice.
Do I wish he would? Sure. I wish every Republican wanted to impeach Bush too, but people don‘t agree with this. He‘s stating a fact about what he believes. I don‘t really care.
CARLSON: Where are now on the political question of all this? I was thinking about this today. I actually think there‘s a fair case to be made for withdrawal, and not an anti-American case. I think there are rational people who have reached that conclusion.
However, as a—and I don‘t agree with it, by I way—but as a political matter, don‘t you think the Democrats run a real risk in ‘06, less than a year from now, the mid term elections, which they could do pretty well in, but they could screw it up by becoming the party of defeat and humiliation.
Early withdrawal from Iraq would result in unarguably, defeat and humiliation for the United States. There‘s no question. We would be defeated by definition. We would be humiliated in that defeat. I don‘t think there‘s any other way to argue it. Whether it‘s a good thing or a bad thing is a separate question. Do you think the Democrats want to be the party of defeat and humiliation?
MADDOW: Do I think...
CARLSON: I‘m serious. It‘s a loaded question, but it‘s also...
CARLSON: No, no.
MADDOW: Look at the opposite side of that, though, Tucker. The question—I mean, Howard Dean got all this attention. The president went after Howard Dean today for Howard Dean saying, specifically the quote he said was, “The idea that we‘re going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong.”
He‘s getting attacked by the Republicans, everybody saying, “That‘s ridiculous. That makes us the party of defeat.”
Listen, we won when we toppled Saddam. That was the only clear goal of this war, to topple the Iraqi government. It took about 10 minutes. What we‘re doing now is we‘re occupying Iraq indefinitely. How do you win an occupation? I feel like the more attention to Howard Dean‘s comments, the better, because Howard Dean is actually speaking the truth.
CARLSON: First of all, Howard Dean doesn‘t know that. Howard Dean knows zippo about U.S. military policy.
MADDOW: How do you win an occupation?
CARLSON: And he‘s not God. He can‘t predict the future. And there are other criteria for winning, as you know. And to say at this stage, we‘re not going to win, it‘s impossible we‘re going to win. I mean, tell me that‘s not premature. You can make an argument for withdrawal without saying it‘s certain we are going to lose.
MADDOW: You don‘t need to be a general to be able to say it‘s impossible to win an occupation. Right now, there‘s no goal in Iraq.
CARLSON: But that‘s not what he was saying.
MADDOW: That is.
CARLSON: I don‘t think he‘s a sophisticated enough thinker even to articulate that point, having spent time with him. I can‘t imagine Howard Dean saying something so subtle and nuanced as that.
MADDOW: No. What he said was actually the truth. It‘s not possible to win the war in Iraq the way that it is happening now.
MADDOW: And the straw man they‘ve made out of him on the right by attacking him and calling him crazy, sure, he doesn‘t sound—sure, he doesn‘t sound that rational.
CARLSON: You can‘t make Howard Dean a straw man. He is what he appears to be. And that‘s the beauty of Howard Dean.
MADDOW: You can‘t win an occupation. Howard Dean is right.
CARLSON: Rachel Maddow, thank you.
MADDOW: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: A “porn again” stripper on a mission. Coming up, I‘ll speak to a former nude dancer trying now to spread the word of God one strip joint at a time.
Plus, is the African-American holiday Kwanzaa based on hatred? I will speak to a preacher who says black Americans ought to be ashamed of the entire celebration.
CARLSON: Still to come, a 574-pound crack dealer says he shouldn‘t be sent to prison because he‘s too fat. Does he have a point?
Plus, the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson tells us why Kwanzaa is a farce.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Each year, millions of black Americans observe Kwanzaa, holiday that celebrates the black community and culture. My next guest, though, says Kwanzaa is, quote, “a racist holiday from hell.” The Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson is the founder and president of BOND, a brotherhood organization of a new destiny. He‘s also the author of “Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America.”
Reverend Peterson recently launched a campaign called “Merry Christmas, not happy Kwanzaa.” He joins us live tonight from Los Angeles.
Reverend Peterson, thanks a lot for coming on.
REV. JESSE LEE PETERSON, FOUNDER, BOND: Thank you for having me on.
I appreciate it.
CARLSON: Well, you have described Kwanzaa, and I am quoting now, as not legitimate holiday. It is a platform for race hatred which was started in America by a Marxist ex-con who served four years in prison for torturing two women. That‘s quite a sentence there.
PETERSON: That‘s right.
CARLSON: Can you explain it? Would you?
PETERSON: In 1966, Ron Karenga started or founded Kwanzaa. And I have to tell you, there‘s no such thing as Kwanzaa. You can go up and down the coast of Africa, and you‘re not going to find Kwanzaa.
Ron, prior to that, was the head of a radical, mean, hateful organization, very violent organization called United Slavery Organization, back in the early 1960‘s, and at the same time, we had the Black Panther party, and as we all know, the Black Panther party was a very violent organization. Well, United Slave Organization was worse than that.
As a matter of fact, they were fighting over who would head up the black studies program at UCLA at the time, either United Slave Organization or the Black Panther, and the United Slave Organization ended up killing a couple of the members from the Black Panther Party.
CARLSON: Wait, the founder of Kwanzaa‘s organization committed murder?
PETERSON: Yes. And after that, five years later, after starting Kwanzaa, Ron Karenga later suspected two of the women from his organization. He thought that they had turned on him.
And as a result of that, he beat them with an electric cord. He took
he later took a soldering iron, and he put it in the mouth of one of the black women that he thought had turned on him. He whipped them with karate baton, and then he forced them at gunpoint to take off their clothes, and he took some washing powder, detergent, and he ran some water, put it down the throats of those women.
CARLSON: He sounds like a pretty bad guy.
CARLSON: If he‘s the founder, I‘m a little bit confused here, because if he‘s the founder of Kwanzaa, and you‘re right, he is.
CARLSON: I think he‘s now a professor at Cal State Long Beach, if I‘m not mistaken. He went to prison, four years.
PETERSON: Yes, he went to prison. He went to prison...
CARLSON: If all this is true, why did the president of the United States, George w. Bush, Republican for that matter, issue a presidential message a couple of years ago, extending best wishes to people throughout the globe for a wonderful and memorable Kwanzaa. Why is the president on the side of Kwanzaa if its founder is this monster you described?
PETERSON: Well, you know, this guy is a felon, as you said. He‘s at Cal State, Long Beach. I was very disappointed, very disappointed when President Bush proclaimed Kwanzaa as a national holiday. Prior to that, Bill Clinton did the same thing.
I wasn‘t surprised that Bill Clinton, because Bill Clinton, you know. He is a liar, a perverted kind of a guy anyway, and he is always stroking black folks rather than telling them the truth. But when President Bush did it, I was absolutely disappointed.
Ron Karenga wrote a book back in 1968, and in that book, he said that the reason, part of his motivation for starting Kwanzaa was because he felt that Christianity was the white man religion, and he didn‘t like Jews, and so he made up this lie. And he called it an African holiday because he was concerned that if he didn‘t call it an African holiday, that black Americans would not participate in it.
CARLSON: I want to read a quote from the Kwanzaa information center. It‘s describing the color red in the Kwanzaa flag. “We lost our land through blood. We cannot gain it except through blood. We must redeem our lives through the blood.”
Sounds a little violent. Kwanzaa inspire violence that you‘re aware of? I‘ve never heard that.
PETERSON: What it does, it encourages anger toward white Americans and Jews because the so-called holiday is for blacks only.
And there is no mention of God. Ron Karenga won a national holiday—
I mean, a national—a black nation for black people, he wanted it. White people were not allowed to participate, and because of his hatred of Christianity, and Christ, he doesn‘t want black Americans to participate, and, you know, what is so sad about this is that they have taken Christiandom and Christ out of the public school system and replaced it with Kwanzaa, a godless holiday.
CARLSON: Well, that is—that is amazing. Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson from Los Angeles. That‘s interesting, really interesting. I appreciate your explaining all that. Thank you.
PETERSON: Thank you. I want the people to read about it in my book, “Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America.” Also, go to my web site and get more information about it.
CARLSON: OK. Doubtless people will. Thanks a lot.
PETERSON: Thank you.
CARLSON: Up next, you‘ll meet a Vegas stripper turned missionary, out to save the porn industry. See if she can convert you when THE SITUATION returns.
CARLSON: Welcome back. It‘s not too often you meet a soft porn star willing to give up her pleasure filled life for the gospel, but Heather Beach did just that. And now she wants to reach out to other porn stars through her Christian ministry, called JC, Girls, Girls, Girls.
Heather Veitch joins us now live from Burbank, California.
Heather, thanks for coming on.
HEATHER VEITCH, FOUNDER, JC, GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS: Thank you.
CARLSON: So what was the turning point for you? What was the exact moment you went from stripper to missionary?
VEITCH: Actually, I think it was in 1999, you know, the millennium was coming, and I started thinking about making a change in my life, and had had enough. I had been into the stripping for six years, and done soft porn and all these things. And it just started adding up on me. And so I ended up giving my life over to God in September of 1999.
CARLSON: Now, what does your church think of your past? Anyone you worship with uncomfortable with what you‘ve done?
VEITCH: Well, you know, when I first walked into a church, I was judged heavily for my life, and how I had lived, and that‘s part of the reason why now I am trying to make a change in our churches, because what happened was it was almost like something I had to keep secret, when in reality, Jesus himself hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors.
VEITCH: And reached out to them. So I knew that this wasn‘t right. So that is one of the biggest reasons that we have started this ministry, is to open the minds of the church and remind them that these are the exact people that Jesus himself reached out to.
CARLSON: Well, that‘s an excellent point, and I mean, from all the evidence we have, the prostitutes Jesus hung out with were still working as prostitutes when he was hanging out with them. Certainly, the tax collectors were still collecting taxes.
Do you require that porn actresses, for instance, that you are ministering to, leave the industry before joining your group?
VEITCH: No, we don‘t. And in fact, what we ask them is to come, try out a relationship with God, start going to church, at least develop a relationship with him, and then let him be in charge of them.
I definitely do not want to police every girl out there, or tell them what they can and cannot do, but I know that God will do that. And God wants to be in their life and be in control of their actions and allow him to guide them through their life.
CARLSON: What kind of reaction do you get from people you used to work with, when you tell them you‘re now a missionary?
VEITCH: Well, you know, the funny thing is, the people I used to work with are all not doing so well, so it‘s been hard to even get in contact with them.
What started this was three years ago, I lost a dear friend of mine named Jeanine (ph), and we were dancing together. And I didn‘t know that she was sick because I had turned my back on the industry.
Meanwhile, she was an alcoholic, and she died from alcoholism. So what ended up happening is I found out that she had passed away, and when she passed away, she was very lonely. She was dating a man something like 40 -- 40 years older than her.
CARLSON: Oh, that‘s too old.
VEITCH: It was—well, maybe not for all people, but I know in—just from being her friend, I know that she had just spiraled down. And I just started thinking, I wonder if she knew that there was a way out, that there was forgiveness for her, and that it‘s never too late.
And that‘s when we started—I started thinking about, you know I need to build a team. And let‘s go into the strip clubs, and let‘s tell these girls that it‘s never too late, that God still will forgive them at any point in their life.
CARLSON: You must surprise the heck out of the patrons when you come rolling into the strip club with your message. Heather Veitch, I really appreciate your coming on. Good luck.
VEITCH: Thank you.
Still to come, if dogs are a man‘s best friend, why are the cops putting cameras on them and sending them into harm‘s way? An effective way to fight crime or a blatant case of animal cruelty? We‘ll debate with “The Outsider” next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. “The man who alters his way of thinking to suit others is a fool.” Our quote of the day is, from of all people, the Marquis de Sade, the most infamous writer in all of French literature. And by the way, if you recognized that quote, you‘re sick.
Joining me now from Las Vegas, the Outsider, ESPN radio and HBO boxing host Max Kellerman. Did you recognize that quote, Max?
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO: I did not, Tucker.
KELLERMAN: And yet, I‘m sick, so.
CARLSON: You got to—I‘d stay away from de Sade.
First up, the party is over for underage drinkers at one East Coast college. Undercover cops will be on the lookout at Colby College in Maine, trying to catch minors with booze. About 60 Colby students have been arrested, or issues summons for alcohol violations this fall, according to deputy police chief Joseph Massey (ph), who is wasting his time.
In the first sweep, Max, they arrested a bunch of girls from the Colby lacrosse team. In other words, the people least likely to abuse alcohol in America. They are all over 21. They were arrested for furnishing a location for minors to drink. A very long way of saying, a pointless exercise that resulted in arresting exactly the wrong people. Why don‘t they go out and arrest people who are committing actual crimes? Why not? Because it‘s boring and difficult to do actual police work, so they hang around sorority houses.
KELLERMAN: Well, it probably has become a problem. A lot of—you know, you get enough drunk kids, and someone shines a light on it, police have to do something about it.
Here‘s the issue, really. Why is the drinking age 21? Which is clearly too high. It‘s not—you know, 18-year-olds go off to fight in war; can‘t get a drink. Ridiculous. The reason the drinking age is 21 is because of insurance companies, because of drunk driving accidents. Between the ages of 18 and 21, a disproportionate number of drunk driving accidents occur. So insurance companies made it so prohibitive that the state law was changed, 18 to 21.
CARLSON: That‘s right.
KELLERMAN: And so really it‘s a safety issue. You mean, these kids are under age, and they are in college, they are likely to be driving. They are likely to get drunk. And they are likely to become hazards on the road.
CARLSON: Yes, then you should punish them for being hazards on the road, not for drinking. But here‘s the...
KELLERMAN: Preemptive measures.
CARLSON: Here‘s the destructive element in this story, and it is the undercover part. You ought to go undercover, if you are a government agent, to stop al Qaeda. You shouldn‘t—I mean, going undercover is destructive of society. It makes people distrustful of one another. You can‘t be certain who is a narc, who is a friend. Right?
CARLSON: It‘s not worth it to do that to stop kids from drinking.
KELLERMAN: My favorite component of your political outlook is, or maybe personal outlook, is how much you despise tattling and undercover work.
CARLSON: Yes, I do.
KELLERMAN: And kind of deceit in law enforcement. And about that, we agree. However, drunk driving is actually—it‘s really a pet—a special issue with me, because it‘s not so much that these kids are endangering themselves when they are behind the wheel drunk. They are endangering innocent people on the road.
CARLSON: Look, wait, wait, wait, slow down. Nobody—just for the record, nobody, at least sitting in my seat at this moment, is defending drunk driving. Period. I am not for drunk driving.
CARLSON: Officially, as a good American.
KELLERMAN: OK. So you‘re not for drunk driving. That‘s not...
KELLERMAN: And I‘m not saying you are.
CARLSON: I‘m not. And I am for children, by the way.
Police in Great Britain putting man‘s best friend in the line of fire to fight crime. Dogs outfitted with miniature television cameras on their heads being used during armed standoffs to search for suspects. Some of them are even trained to leave a mobile phone at the front door of under siege premises, so that officers can negotiate with suspects.
I am proud to say, Max, this is taking place in the United Kingdom, not so far as I know here in the United States. This is pure cowardice. Here you have police officers, trained to do a job, to defuse hostile situations, to fight terror, to lead armed standoffs against bad guys, and they are shirking their responsibility and turning it over to a German shepherd, because they are fraidy cats. They are cowards, so they would rather put the dog in jeopardy than do their manly duty and face danger head on. It‘s despicable.
CARLSON: You know what? OK, fine, look, I will be a cop in England defending myself. OK, fine, I‘m scared. You can call me names. That‘s right, I don‘t want to die. I don‘t want to get shot. And I would rather have a dog do it. Yes. And you know what, Tucker? I think that‘s a perfectly legitimate argument. Dogs, you know, they are intelligent beings; they are not human beings. The life of a dog—there‘s no equivalency with the life of a person, and if you are putting a dog in the line of danger to save human life, and they can do the job reasonably well, I mean...
CARLSON: Have you no—I mean, seriously, what about dignity and self-respect? I feel like going out to dinner, I think I will have my cocker spaniel host the show tonight. No. It‘s my job. It‘s my show. It‘s my duty to do it. Right? Because that‘s what I do for a living.
KELLERMAN: I will say, Tucker...
CARLSON: These are cops. And they somehow just don‘t feel like dealing with the bad parts of the job, so they get the dog to do it. I think it‘s reprehensible.
KELLERMAN: Tucker, it‘s funny you bring that up, because you weren‘t on the show one day, and you had me host it. So you know, it flies in the face of your argument.
CARLSON: You can‘t roll over a hill, though, Max.
KELLERMAN: No. And I won‘t.
CARLSON: Max Kellerman, live from Las Vegas.
CARLSON: Taking those casinos for all they are worth.
KELLERMAN: Trying my best.
CARLSON: Stay tuned. Still plenty more ahead on THE SITUATION.
CARLSON (voice-over): From our stupid suspect file, the bizarre case of one woman‘s nearly fatal attraction to a block of Mexican cheese.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because it excited her so much.
CARLSON: We will tell you about a criminal heavyweight who swears there‘s not a prison that can hold him.
Plus, one giant leap for commercial travelers. Virgin prepares to boldly go where no airline has gone before.
And, a 225 pound man-eating tiger learns why you should never bite the hand that treats you. It‘s all ahead on THE SITUATION.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Boxing is a sport full of colorful characters. Muhammad Ali, Don King, Max Kellerman, just to name a few. My next guest is one of the sport‘s all-time great characters and a Renaissance man. Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, known as the fight doctor, sat in Muhammad Ali‘s corner for 17 years. He‘s also a fight commentator, a painter, and an author. His latest book, “Blood in my Coffee.” Great title. He joins us live tonight from Miami. Dr. Pacheco, thanks a lot for coming on.
DR. FERDIE PACHECO, AUTHOR, “BLOOD IN MY COFFEE”: Thank you. And thank you for calling it a great title. I get a lot of criticism because nobody knows what it means.
CARLSON: I don‘t know what it means either, but I love it anyway.
PACHECO: Let me tell you what it means in one second flat. I had an
announcer work with me, Marv Albert, who has a phobia about germs. I used
to put a cup of coffee down, I‘d wait about two rounds, you know, the cup -
coffee is right at the edge of the ring. And I‘d slap my forehead, and I‘d say, you feel that? He would say, what? I say, I think there was a speck of blood on me. You didn‘t cover your coffee? And that was it, he never could drink his coffee for 10 years. He never drank a cup of coffee next to me.
CARLSON: Excellent. So I mean, I love boxing. Some people don‘t like boxing, though. Just give me the short pitch for the appeal of boxing. What‘s good about boxing?
PACHECO: Oh, that‘s—aggression, it‘s the next thing to war, except you don‘t get killed. Aggression is what you have every day with your wife. Aggression is what you have every day at the office. Aggression, you have every day in the streets when you are driving.
This is a legalized form of aggression, where the ending is well-defined, the combat is well-delivered, and you got 10 rounds of two equally-sized fighters fighting aggressively to hurt each other. And the answer is at the end of 10 rounds, what you got, unless you have a knockout, of course, and so what you are doing is you are really packaging aggression in its most palatable form.
PACHECO: Some people that don‘t see it as palatable, they shouldn‘t watch boxing.
CARLSON: It‘s a great explanation. You are a physician, obviously, as well.
PACHECO: But I am a dramatist as well.
CARLSON: Yes, you‘re a very good dramatist, I have to say.
PACHECO: I write movies, so—I look at boxing, and I commentated on it, as if I were telling you the story of a movie or a short story.
CARLSON: Well, give us the...
PACHECO: These two guys, the guy in the blue and the guy in the black, and what‘s good about this guy and what‘s bad about this guy, and who is going to win and who is not going to win. And by the time you get through it, every round is an act, until you finally run out of acts, and you get the answer.
CARLSON: Well, give us the medical perspective on the sport for a second, though. How hard is boxing on the brain?
PACHECO: Well, a medical perspective is very—the medical perspective is very dreary and sad. And the first chapter in my book is about death in the ring. Gives you an idea how important I feel about the thing. There shouldn‘t be a death in the ring. There should never have been deaths in the ring, because people—deaths in the ring occur because they don‘t keep up with the records well enough. They are putting mismatches together. The people who are licensed to stop a fight, the referee and the corner, don‘t do it for fear that the audience is going to object to them stopping a fight.
None of that, none of that, none of that has anything to do with the life of a fighter. If a fighter is taking too big of a beating, stop the fight. If the corner doesn‘t know how to do it, the referee should do it. If the referee doesn‘t know how to do it, the doctor should do it. And if none of them know how to do it, they should all be fired.
CARLSON: Well, give us a sense, what‘s the most devastating punch you have ever seen delivered, and what effect did it have?
PACHECO: Well, it‘s not one punch. It‘s never one punch. It‘s an accumulation of punches. I would say the Griffin fight against Peret (ph), was a rage he was in. And he landed like 50 punches in a row. That killed a guy.
You rarely see one punch kill anybody. I mean, Davey Moore died, the first fight I ever worked for the title, my guy fought and was getting killed, and he hit Davey Moore. Davey Moore went down. There was no bottom rope to it. I then put bottom rope to it, when I got in power. Hit his head. One blow, hit his head and died.
But the thing of that fight was his wife had hit him in the back of the head with a baseball bat two or three days before, because he had stayed out too late.
CARLSON: Well, that will do it.
PACHECO: That was what killed him.
CARLSON: And you know, they never factor that in when they criticize boxing. They never take into account the wife and the baseball bat, which is totally unfair in my view.
PACHECO: First of all, first of all, the main thing is, the fight that he had before the fight that he died is where he got hurt.
PACHECO: And then they put him in a hard fight. And that inevitably, the more you look at these fights, the more you come up with the fact that, oh, the fight before, he got killed in some fight.
PACHECO: And so the next fighter took him—thinking it‘s going to be easy, he is easy to kill.
CARLSON: Give us a sense. Everyone talks about Muhammad Ali‘s grace and of course his verbal skills are well known. A lot is known about his life. Give us a sense of how tough he was.
PACHECO: A sense of how tough he was, is just sit down and look at the third Ali-Frazier fight, the Thrilla in Manila. That is the toughest fight I‘ve ever seen two people do, and the closest to death I have seen both of them. And I‘m going to tell you something, don‘t get insulted, but this is an interview about my book, it‘s not an interview about Ali and his fighting, or else we are going to blow five minutes talking about Ali. I have had five books on Ali. Go read my books.
CARLSON: So give us...
PACHECO: Let me say one thing.
CARLSON: Since you are a blunt man, able to sum it up, Dr. Pacheco, and you want to talk about this book, tell me the single most interesting thing in this book. Sum it up for me.
PACHECO: It is how to live life. It is how to live a successful life. I have six different careers, each one of which I was successful in. I was a successful person in life because I helped everybody, because I did not do anything wrong, and in essence...
CARLSON: You did nothing wrong?
PACHECO: ... the whole thing of life is to just keep trying to do good things. Just do good things for people. As for example, I‘m doing tonight. I am doing this for you tonight, to increase the value of your program.
CARLSON: Do you think that will get you closer or farther away from heaven in the end?
PACHECO: Yeah. Look, it‘s a wonderful read. It‘s a lot of fun.
There is a lot of Ali to it, but there‘s much more about me in there.
CARLSON: All right.
PACHECO: Because it is my autobiography. So go get it. Have fun, and you try to have six careers and see how that works out.
CARLSON: Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, a shy man, but we‘re grateful you came on.
PACHECO: Yes. Modest, too.
CARLSON: Thanks. I appreciate it.
Coming up, Saddam had another busy day of maniacal ranting in court, but whatever happened to all his body doubles you used to read about? One caller thinks the look-alikes might be the real criminals. We‘ll explain when we check THE SITUATION voicemail next.
CARLSON: I want to go to Afghanistan with professional wrestlers, I have to say, but instead I‘m here in the studio hosting our voicemail segment where you call in and provide the content. First up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK: Nick from Washington, D.C. I heard you say that college was a big waste of your time, a big waste of four years of your life. Why was it such a waste?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: I think it‘s a waste for most people. Most people, including—very much including me—should not go to college. They ought to work or take a year off, take all that money, and spend a quarter of it to go to Australia for a year and surf. You know, people are served by college when they go, work hard toward a very specific goal, even if that goal is general knowledge. Most people kind of float through, sort of waiting to get a real life. You ought to hurry up and do it. Life is short. You die before you think you‘re going to. Don‘t waste it in college unless you‘re doing something real. My view.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHIRLEY: Shirley from Ontario, Canada. I‘ve been wondering for months and nobody has ever asked this question. Where are all the Saddam Hussein look-alikes? How do we know that‘s the real Saddam Hussein?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: You know, Canadians are always asking the questions the rest of us are afraid to ask. And I think that‘s a great question. What happened to them? My strong suspension, they all shaved their mustaches immediately after the invasion. They are probably all living in Boca under assumed identities right about now, I would imagine, and probably nowhere near Iraq.
Let me know what you‘re thinking. You can call 1-877-TCARLSON. That is 877-822-7576. You can also e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read the blog at tucker.msnbc.com. And it‘s pretty good, I have to say.
Still ahead on THE SITUATION, I‘m not sure who I‘m more worried about in this picture—the tiger undergoing the root canal or the dentist performing it. We‘re going to get a checkup when we hit “The Cutting Room Floor,” next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. This world is about change, but this “Cutting Room Floor” is all about Willie Geist, who never changes—Willie.
WILLIE GEIST, THE SITUATION: Tucker, thank you. I don‘t change.
CARLSON: No, you don‘t.
GEIST: It‘s a good thing.
CARLSON: It is a good thing.
GEIST: Ask and you shall receive. We‘re sending you to Afghanistan.
You‘ve got a steel cage match with the Undertaker tomorrow.
CARLSON: I would go in a second and I envy Rita Cosby so much, I can‘t even tell you.
GEIST: She‘s going to be good out there. We‘ll be watching.
One other news note: Barbra Streisand has canceled her subscription to “The L.A. Times.” She‘s protesting the firing of columnist Robert Shear (ph), so I‘m sure that paper will be going under tomorrow, because she‘s so powerful.
CARLSON: That chick is such a drama queen. It‘s unbelievable. I guess that‘s how she became famous.
All right. There aren‘t many occasions when it‘s a good idea to stick your hands into the mouth of an adult Bengal tiger, but luckily, this is one of them. Doctors at Miami‘s Metro Zoo performed a root canal today on a 250-pound white tiger named Natasha. They fixed her cracked upper tooth and did a little cleaning while they were in there.
GEIST: The key to this procedure, in my view, Tucker, is to find an anesthesiologist you really trust, because if the tiger...
CARLSON: That‘s a good one.
GEIST: ... if Natasha wakes up, if you go a little light on the anesthesia, you‘ve got a real situation on your hands. You‘ve got a 250-pound Bengal tiger coming after you when you have your hand down her throat.
CARLSON: That would be bad. Yeah, I would double the recommended laughing gas. No question.
GEIST: Yes, definitely.
CARLSON: If you‘re itching to take that trip to the moon you‘ve always promised yourself but you‘re worried you can‘t afford the ticket, worry no more. You can use your frequent flyer miles. Virgin Airlines has announced a plan to offer its customers space miles that can be used for a free trip on Virgin‘s upcoming space flights. Two million points gets you a seat on the flight to the moon. Without the miles, the ticket costs $200,000.
GEIST: This sounds pretty cool, Tucker, I have to say. But as you know, the problem with frequent flyers, you never get the seat you want, you never get the flight you want, so you end up in a middle seat on a 6:00 a.m. up to the Sea of Tranquility, and that is not a position you want to be in.
CARLSON: This is like the ultimate in unredeemable miles. It‘s not just, well, we don‘t have a direct flight to Houston. No, just wait for the moon flight. You can definitely have that.
GEIST: Exactly, right.
CARLSON: When you‘re 574 pounds, you tend to be pretty conspicuous, so it‘s probably not a great idea to get into the illicit drug business. Just my opinion. 574-pound Michael Washington admitted to storing massive amounts of crack cocaine in his Cedar Rapids, Iowa home for distribution. He argued, though, he shouldn‘t go to prison because he‘s too fat. The obesity defense didn‘t go over very well in Iowa. Washington was sentenced to 14 years behind bars.
GEIST: You know what, I actually agree with Mr. Washington. He should not go to prison, but for this reason: The other inmates, I don‘t care what they‘re in for, should not have to see that man in the shower.
CARLSON: I agree with that.
GEIST: Don‘t you think?
CARLSON: Though I think he‘s safe in the shower.
GEIST: He‘s totally safe.
CARLSON: That‘s the good side of it.
GEIST: It‘s cruel and unusual.
CARLSON: Our next story is a classic case of mistaken identity. A block of cheese mistaken for a brick of cocaine. It can happen, and it did happen in Memphis. A woman visiting the home of four men, when she thought she spotted a huge brick of cocaine on their table. Naturally, she decided to hire a hitman to kill the men so she could steal their drugs. Two problems: The hitman turned out to be an undercover cop, and the brick of cocaine was actually a block of delicious keso fresco (ph) cheese.
GEIST: Wow, Tucker. I don‘t know a whole heck of a lot about keso fresco (ph) cheese, but that seems like a really difficult mistake to make.
CARLSON: Right, a camambert, maybe. You know...
GEIST: Parmesan, fine.
CARLSON: I wouldn‘t go that far for keso fresco (ph), though.
GEIST: No. There has also got to be a better way to get your hands on cocaine. Call the fat guy in Cedar Rapids. He‘s got (INAUDIBLE) in his basement.
CARLSON: Willie Geist. It‘s always a genuine pleasure.
GEIST: All right, Tucker.
CARLSON: Thank you.
That‘s SITUATION for tonight. Thank you for watching. Up next, “COUNTDOWN” with Keith. Have a great night.
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