Guests: Andrew Goldberg, Drew Pinsky, John Kobylt, Robert Dorigo-Jones
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”: But others proved Dean is guilty of a snow job, and both parties are going to pay for it in the fall. That‘s all the time we have for tonight. Now let‘s go to Tucker Carlson to get THE SITUATION.
Tucker, what‘s THE SITUATION tonight?
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: THE SITUATION is, Joe, we‘re saying thanks to God for Howard Dean, as always.
CARLSON: And for you. Thanks a lot, Joe.
Thanks to you at home for tuning into our show. WE appreciate it.
Tonight, the brewing controversy over “A Million Little Pieces.” The author James Frey lied again and again about his past in the best-selling book. We‘ll ask the man who broke that story.
Also a disturbing new study sheds light on the long-term affects of birth control pills. Can they damage a woman‘s sex drive? Dr. Drew Pinsky stops by to give us some answers to that question.
Plus, outrage in California. Tookie Williams got the support of many in the black community before his execution, so why aren‘t these same people backing clemency for 75-year-old Clarence Ray Allen? He‘s blind, he‘s got diabetes. He uses a wheelchair, and he‘s about to get executed.
We‘ll get to all that in just a few minutes.
We begin tonight with a breaking story out of the state of Florida. Fifteen Cubans, including two young boys, aged 2 and 13, were sent back to their homeland this week after landing on the old Seven-Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys. That, according to U.S. officials, is not technically American soil.
For more on this developing story, we bring in now NBC‘s Mark Potter standing by live tonight in Miami.
Mark, what is going on?
MARK POTTER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, good evening, Tucker.
This is the controversial interpretation of a U.S. immigration provision known as the wet foot, dry foot policy, which only applies to Cuban migrants. Under this law a Cuban who makes it to the U.S. shoreline, in effect with a dry foot, is allowed to stay in the United States for life, usually. But a Cuban who is intercepted at sea, with a wet foot, if you will, is typically repatriated, sent back to Cuba.
So with that in mind, late last week the U.S. Coast Guard found 15 Cuban migrants who had come by boat, standing on the pilings of the bridge that you see here, an old, dilapidated bridge just south of Marathon, in the Florida Keys.
Several large sections of that bridge, as you can see, are now missing over the years, and a middle section, which is no longer connected to the land because of those breaks, is where the Cubans were found.
U.S. officials, after consultations in Washington, decided that, because the Cubans still could not reach the U.S. shoreline, even though they were on that bridge, they still had wet feet under the immigration policy and could not stay in the United States. And so yesterday they were all sent back on a Coast Guard cutter to Cuba.
The irony is that if they had shown up on another part of that bridge closer to the shoreline or if they had landed on the famed Seven-Mile Bridge, which is right next door, running parallel to the old bridge, they likely could have stayed in the United States.
As you can imagine, this caused a great outrage in the Cuban-American community in Miami. U.S. Senator Mel Martinez called for an overhaul of the wet foot, dry foot policy.
U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen argued that, if those Cubans had committed a crime on that bridge, they would have been charged under U.S. law, so she asks why doesn‘t U.S. immigration law apply in kind?
The “Miami Herald” editorialized and, in its reporting, noted that that bridge is owned by the state of Florida.
Now, those who support the government policy say that any softening of the immigration statutes could trigger even more illegal traffic from Cuba to the United States, which is a very dangerous crossing across the Florida Straits. And as always, with families involved here, separated between Florida and Cuba, this is a very painful and emotional argument being heard here.
CARLSON: And it‘s also—of course, I don‘t need to tell you. I know you‘ve covered Ileana. I know you‘ve been in Florida for a long time, covering stories there. It‘s heavily political. And one of the reasons there is this exception for Cubans is because Cubans in south Florida are a political force.
Is there a fear that there‘s going to be a massive exodus of Cubans coming over across the Straits to the United States soon? Is that partly why this policy seems to have changed?
POTTER: Well, that‘s been a fear for a long time. The law that protects Cubans coming to the United States goes back to the 1960‘s, to the height of the Cold War. The concern about a massive influx goes back to the Muriel boat lift of 1980, the Cuban rafter crisis of 1995. That‘s the backdrop for concern in Florida and elsewhere for doing anything to trigger a great outflow from Cuba and a lot of immigrants coming to the United States, particularly Florida.
There is a small example of that actually occurring right now. Just last year, some 3,000 Cubans were intercepted at sea by the Coast Guard. That‘s more than double the amount picked up in the year 2004. Of course, that‘s nothing like those other years that I talked about, 1980, 1995, but that specter is always out there and a concern that many people have.
CARLSON: All right. Mark Potter, from NBC, standing by for us in Langleigh (ph). Thanks a lot, Mark.
On now to a story we brought to you first last night. Author James Frey is under fire after the Smoking Gun web site reported that he fabricated large parts of his best-selling memoir, “A Million Little Pieces.” The book, which was touted nonstop by Oprah Winfrey, was sold as a nonfiction account of his law-breaking, drug addicted past.
Did Frey embellish, even outright lie in the work that earned him millions of dollars and made him a household name? It looks that way.
Joining us now, one of the men who broke that story, Andrew Goldberg, managing editor of TheSmokingGun.com, joining us tonight live from New York. Andrew Goldberg, thanks a lot for coming on.
ANDREW GOLDBERG, THESMOKINGGUN.COM: Thanks for having me on.
CARLSON: So just for people who weren‘t watching the show last night and who haven‘t seen any of the media coverage about this, walk us through quickly, in the most general way, what exactly is wrong with this book, “A Million Little Pieces?”
GOLDBERG: Well, one of the things is it was sold, like you said, as a nonfiction book. And that‘s fine. It came out in 2003. And, you know, maybe it was our mistake that we didn‘t really take a look at it.
But it was selected as the Oprah book pick. She returned back to picking contemporary authors and chose this one. And she sat there and she said, “Look, this is a contemporary author that kept me awake at night. This is a nonfiction book, a harrowing account.” And she said, “I had to keep looking at the back of this book to say, ‘God, this guy is still alive.‘ I can‘t believe it.”
So what it tells is his days as a drug addict, an alcoholic and a criminal with a capital “C,” as he describes it in the book numerous times and in interviews.
And people have taken sort of looks at other parts of the book because many of it—much of it is so fabulous, you know, that you can‘t believe it actually happened. We decided if we were going to look at anything it was going to be things that we could independently prove on our own, find documents on, so we looked at the capital “C” criminal part of the book.
CARLSON: You certainly did. I want to put up on the screen a short excerpt from the book describing an incident Mr. Frey says he had with police in October of 1992 in Granville, Ohio.
He says, “I drove onto a sidewalk and hit a cop who was standing there. The cops asked me to get out of the car. I said—I called them F-ing pigs. The cop started swinging and hit me with a billy club, beat me up. I was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, assaulting an officer, a felony DUI, resisting arrest, possession of a narcotic with an attempt to distribute, sentenced to three years in prison. Got off with three months.”
That‘s his account.
Here‘s what you found. In fact, this incident, he was merely issued two tickets for DUI and driving without a license. He spent less than five hours in custody and my favorite line in your entire piece, the patrolman who arrested him described him as, quote, “polite and cooperative.”
GOLDBERG: He was issued what‘s known as minor misdemeanors, actually. Three of them, one for having an open bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon. He describes that in the book, of course, as a crack-fueled melee that basically broke out.
But to us what was interesting. Even at that point, we hadn‘t seen a police report. But we went to Bob Becker, who‘s the prosecuting attorney in Lincoln County, Ohio, where this would have taken place in the book, and we showed him the pages.
And you know, he came back and he said to us many of those things he describes weren‘t on the books at the time or didn‘t even exist and still don‘t today, as things that anyone could possibly be charged with in Ohio. So that in itself raised questions for us. And that was before we had seen a police report.
CARLSON: It should have raised questions for the publisher. I talked to a good friend of mine today who went to college with James Frey, and he said—and he knew him and drank with him. And he said, yes, he was a partier, but it‘s not like he was Jim Morrison or anything. And that people who went to Dennison have been saying—went to college with this guy—have been saying for a long time that the book is a crock.
Why did it take you all, years after the fact, after publication, after he‘s become this international celebrity, to find out that he lied?
GOLDBERG: Well, I mean, we didn‘t actually target the guy. We basically got an e-mail after he appeared on “Oprah” by somebody who said, “Hey, we saw this guy on ‘Oprah.‘ He‘s on the best-seller list. Why don‘t you add his mug shot to your web site?” Like we do with so many other mug shots.
And when we started to look for them, we ran into problems. And you know, we‘re sort of obsessive compulsive people, so if we run into problems where we think we shouldn‘t find problems, suddenly we start to pursue more and more.
And we spent six weeks on this and it‘s sort of a very intensive examination of this guy and his life. It goes back to things that happened in Michigan.
Remember, I mean, in the book, if you haven‘t read it, he says he had warrants out for him in North Carolina, Michigan and Ohio, when he entered rehab. We could find no proof of any of those warrants.
Now, we also found out down the road that he had had some of these records expunged, which means that he went in after the fact and had his slate wiped clean, you know. They were sealed up, and then they‘re not public documents. The court records.
We thought if you‘re a guy who lays out your life in a memoir, why would you want to expunge the record?
CARLSON: Well, yes, if you‘re making millions off bragging about, you know, what a tough guy drug addict hardened criminal you were, why would you want to expunge it? It‘s a great question. You confronted him with what you found. What did he say?
GOLDBERG: We had a number of conversations with him. We had—we spoke to him the first time December 1. It was a very quick conversation. We sort of, you know, indicated—because we went to him not even thinking much of it. None of us had actually read the entire book at that point.
And we said, “Hey, we‘re looking for a mug shot.”
He said, “Oh, you know, you can definitely find one in Michigan,” which is an incident he describes in the book as a time when, you know, he was in high school, 18 years old, spent a week in jail and set a county record with his blood alcohol level. That‘s not true. I don‘t even think counties keep records, but it‘s not the way he says it in the book.
And he didn‘t spend a week in jail, because he had chicken pox at the time, and the jailer didn‘t want him around the other inmates at the time. So he sent him home to his parents.
We did find that one without a problem. But then he sort of said, “Well, you‘re not going to really find much in Ohio,” which suddenly says to us why aren‘t we going to find much? Now we want to find something, when you tell us we‘re not going to find it.
CARLSON: And boy, did you. This is truly one of the most devastating investigative pieces I have ever read, ever. It‘s a great read. A long read, but well worth it.
Andrew Goldberg, TheSmokingGun.com. We await, by the way, Oprah‘s response to all this.
GOLDBERG: We do, as well.
CARLSON: We do. Thanks a lot, Andrew.
GOLDBERG: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: Still to come, an alarming story about birth control pills and the devastating effect they can have on the female sex drive. Do the pills actually wind up doing more harm than good? I‘ll ask Dr. Drew Pinsky about that after the break.
Plus, Tookie Williams was finally put to death in California but not before a public outcry from many in the black community there. Where are these same people when a legally blind, wheelchair-bound, 75-year-old man, only a week away from execution? That‘s what our next guest wants to know. Stay tuned.
CARLSON: Still ahead on our show, hidden dangers of the birth control pill. Find out facts your doctor may not have told you, from Dr. Drew Pinsky.
Plus, did Judge Sam Alito say anything today that could ruin his chances of becoming our next Supreme Court justice? The answers when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT LAUER, “THE TODAY SHOW”: But did you take any poetic license with some of the stories of what happened to you in that clinic?
JAMES FREY, AUTHOR, “A MILLION LITTLE PIECES”: No. I cut out all the boring stuff, but I didn‘t invent anything. Everything I wrote about happened. And I didn‘t want to write a book that would bore people, so I took out everything, you know, the days where we just sat there and smoked cigarettes. Nobody wants to read about that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Tell us another one, Jimmy Frey. That was best-selling author and Oprah con-man James Frey, doing what he appears to do best, taking profound liberties with the truth.
Joining me tonight from Burbank, California, to talk about some of the potential damage his alleged lies may have done, as well as some of the major problems with the birth control pill, Dr. Drew Pinsky. He‘s the host of “Love Line,” the radio show and also “Strictly Sex with Dr. Drew” on the Discovery Health Channel.
Dr. Drew, thanks for coming on.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, “LOVE LINE”: My pleasure.
CARLSON: We were just saying a minute ago that almost nobody suspected this guy was full of B.S., but you did suspect it, didn‘t you?
PINSKY: I suspected something. I have to tell you, the first thing that caught my attention was he was so glib about recovery. And I‘ve been running an addiction service in a psychiatric hospital since 1991. And I have—I‘ve got to tell you, I‘ve never seen somebody with severe, advanced addiction treated in a psychiatric hospital who didn‘t either, A, continue using or, B, get actively involved in recovery.
So for him to say, “I‘m doing neither. I‘m just controlling this,” it immediately didn‘t ring true for me. So I thought, gee, maybe some of this is, as you say, he‘s taking great liberties with the story, or he‘s actively using. I don‘t know the man, but immediately I had trouble with it.
CARLSON: Well, spend an hour at TheSmokingGun.com, and I think it will convince you beyond a shadow of a doubt.
PINSKY: Yes, I did. The six pages. I read them all. I‘ll tell you, here‘s my gravest concern was that the message he‘s giving out is you can be a profound addict with a severe, life-threatening disease and you don‘t need any of those treatments that the doctors have to offer you. That is a very serious problem.
CARLSON: I mean, far be it from me to defend this guy, who I think has really hurt the book business, among many other things, but his point seems a little more nuanced. He doesn‘t say that you don‘t necessarily need to go to AA. You don‘t have to involve yourself in a 12-step program to get better.
And I actually know people who have gone off booze, for instance, without going to AA, and it‘s worked for them.
PINSKY: There is such a thing as natural recovery. And early in addiction, that can work. But when people are profound—what he described, that doesn‘t happen. You have to be actively—what he described is a chronic psychiatric disorder that requires daily treatment from then on.
Now, he described a particular thing. If he had mild disease, like you‘re talking about, where somebody‘s sort of a functional alcoholic and is able to sort of get it under control, that happens.
PINSKY: But what he describes, that just—I‘ve never seen it happen and I‘ve been in the field for 15 years.
CARLSON: I absolutely take your word for it. It‘s not the only lie he told, apparently.
Now to the birth control pill, very, very disturbing, at least from my point of view, series of reports recently that long-term use of the birth control pill can affect a woman‘s sex drive. Even after she goes off it, though most women cycle on and off the pill, or many do throughout their lifetimes, even when they go off it, they have decreased sex drive. Do you think this is accurate, these findings? What do you think of it?
PINSKY: Yes, I absolutely do. I think we, as physicians, have been somewhat irresponsible in terms of not discussing this in great enough detail with our women—our female patients.
CARLSON: Somewhat irresponsible? This is a big deal.
PINSKY: Well, it is a big deal. And understand that the birth control pill we‘ve always known can affect sex drive and sexual functioning on various levels. And we sort of, you know, we pay attention to it, but we really don‘t counsel women about this very aggressively.
And for instance, I deal a lot with young adults and young people and the Depo-Provera shot is something that‘s used very, very frequently. It‘s a very affective contraceptive, but it almost always affects mood and libido. And we never really talk about it.
Now here‘s evidence that not only are these people going to have affects while they‘re taking the medicine, but it may go on for months and we really don‘t know how long after.
Unfortunately, I‘ve seen the same thing with antidepressant medicines, too. It‘s another thing we commonly prescribe for patients. And we really don‘t counsel them in great detail, the potential affect on their libido.
CARLSON: Well, I think that‘s widely known—at least in my experience, in talking to people. I think it‘s widely known that if you go on certain antidepressants, it can affect your libido, but I have almost never heard anybody say that the pill, which—I don‘t know. What is the percentage of American women on the pill, by the way? Do you know?
PINSKY: I don‘t know the number off the top of my head. But I‘ll tell you, there is a lot of interesting anthropology out there about the pill. There‘s a biological anthropologist named Lionel Tiger who took chimpanzee pods and put the female chimpanzees on the birth control pill and watched how the pod behavior was so profoundly affected.
And one of the most prominent things he saw is the female chimpanzees were no longer interested in the males. They were no longer interested in reproducing. And what it caused was all kinds of aggressive acting out in the male chimpanzees. So we may be affecting our culture in ways that we haven‘t really come to terms with yet, in ways that we haven‘t seen and really aren‘t blaming on the birth control pill that may have something to do with it.
CARLSON: Is—is people who look to evolution to explain human behavior might say the root of this is the females desire sex because they want to get pregnant, which is their evolutionary job, of course. And once their body knows it can no longer get pregnant, then what‘s the point of having sex? Do you think that‘s at the root of this?
PINSKY: Well, of course, the birth control pill basically works by tricking the women‘s body into, let‘s say, believing that it‘s pregnant. And the fact is some of those biological changes on testosterone, which is the primary hormone of sex drive in both men and women, and something called a sex hormone binding globulin, which is a protein that circulates in the blood and binds testosterone and other sex hormones, that when that protein is changed, it changes the amount of circulating hormone available, and that then affects sex drive and libido. And that‘s the component that seems to be persisting with time.
CARLSON: I guess here‘s what bothers me. I‘ll say it for the third time, but I think this is a big deal. So everybody‘s on the pill. You know, a lot of American women are on the pill. This is not widely known, at least up until now. The pill‘s been around for 40 years. This just seems like a profound dereliction of duty on the part of physicians who prescribe the pill.
Are there other medications that are being prescribed whose long term affect we don‘t know? And shouldn‘t we know them?
PINSKY: Well, listen, every medication, every time you interact with the medical system, you risk harm. There‘s simply not a medication on earth, whether it‘s aspirin or Tylenol or Sudafed, that cannot harm you. It just doesn‘t exist. So the fact is all medicines can be harmful.
The reality is, though, that the risks of the pill—this is the reality—are far less than the risk of pregnancy. Pregnancy is a diseased state and can be quite dangerous to women. In fact, most women throughout human history could expect to die in pregnancy. So we‘re trying to weigh these various risks.
CARLSON: But at least you get something in the end. I mean, nothing results from a low sex drive. That‘s just depressing.
PINSKY: But I totally agree with you that this is a very big issue.
That‘s why I‘m here talking about it tonight. And we‘ve really just not—
I mean, we‘ve not emphasized this sufficiently. And the fact that we‘ve known it‘s happened while people on are on the pill. We figured, well, we can change the pill, adjust it, figure out what‘s going to give the least amount of side effect.
But now here‘s evidence that it can be persistent, and that‘s the new news. And that‘s what doctors really have not known until now.
CARLSON: Thank you for spreading the word. Dr. Drew Pinsky in Burbank tonight, thanks a lot.
PINSKY: My pleasure.
CARLSON: Still to come, will high school students learn more if they start school later in the morning, get a little more sleep? That‘s the proposal that pits me against “The Outsider,” and it‘s next.
CARLSON: Welcome back to our show.
Celebrities like Jamie Foxx and Snoop Dogg were quick to protest the execution of Stanley “Tookie” Williams. But where are they when a white, 75-year-old stroke victim who‘s partially blind and death is about to be executed?
Clarence Ray Allen is scheduled to die a week from today. John Kobylt is the co-host of the “John and Ken Show” in Los Angeles, the top rated drive time show there. That show dedicated an hour of its daily broadcast to the “Tookie Must Die for Murdering Four Innocent People campaign.” He joins me live tonight from Burbank to talk about this latest Death Row case.
John, thanks for coming on.
Why the disparity in reaction? Is it purely race-based, do you think, that this character who‘s scheduled to die in a week hasn‘t drawn celebrity reporters?
JOHN KOBYLT, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I think all the black civil rights leaders and black celebrities who jumped on the Tookie bandwagon are a bunch of phonies. They‘re just flat-out phonies. You mentioned Jamie Foxx and Snoop Dogg. They both had new C.D.‘s coming out on the day of Tookie‘s execution. And I think that was part of the reason they joined the cause. It gave them a lot of publicity.
CARLSON: Have they said anything about Clarence Ray Allen? I mean, has there been any outcry in Los Angeles or California that you‘re aware of from famous people over this guy‘s impending execution?
KOBYLT: Nothing. Nothing. Absolute silence. There hasn‘t been a word from anybody, not a black leader, not a white leader. Not Mike Farrell, who usually leads the anti-death penalty parades. It‘s amazing, and we‘re only about six days away from the execution. So if they say anything in the next six days it doesn‘t count.
CARLSON: But I mean, it‘s still sort of weird. I mean, other people, other left-wing celebrities I‘m sure had books or CD‘s coming out that they could peg to his killing. Is there something about this guy that‘s particularly odious?
KOBYLT: Well, if you go through the case, he ordered the murders of four people, and he got the death penalty for ordering the murders of the last three.
KOBYLT: And they were all witnesses involved in his crimes or they were working at a place where he committed a crime.
CARLSON: But Tookie Williams killed four people himself. Worse.
KOBYLT: Last year, they executed a white man, Donald Beardsley, in California, and the same thing. There was absolutely nothing from any corner. The execution passed, as if it was utterly ordinary.
I can only explain it that there‘s something about a black man, especially a one that gets some cache because he writes—you know, Tookie allegedly wrote those children‘s books, although I don‘t believe he did. I think Barbara Becnel wrote them. But that—if you enter the world of creativity, if you enter the world of the arts, that gives you some cache with the Hollywood left and some cache with these civil rights leaders. And it‘s—primarily, though, most of it is color.
CARLSON: What do you think of Clarence Ray Allen‘s execution? Are you for it?
KOBYLT: Well, yes. He committed the crimes. I mean, the California Supreme Court today denied his latest appeal. I mean, there‘s no question he committed the crimes. So as long as they‘ve got the death penalty in California, you know, it should be carried out. I don‘t think it‘s all that complicated.
CARLSON: By the way, I completely agree with you. I think it‘s—I think it‘s absolutely a matter of people identifying with Tookie Williams because he claimed to be an author and because he was black. I wonder if you challenge some of the people who came to his defense—Jesse Jackson, for instance—to come on your show...
KOBYLT: We—we had Jesse on the show. In fact, we chased Jesse around the night of the execution at San Quentin. Because he shows up on Media Row, where all the cable outlets have their live shot equipment set up, and as soon as he showed up, it was like bees to honey. They just went “whomp.” They stuck to him. They clung to him. And he walked down this roadway in front of the gates of San Quentin, and all the media listened to him as if he was the second coming.
He had this gold scarf that get glittered in the TV lights and, you know, he spoke his nonsense. Nobody questioned a thing he said...
KOBYLT: ... except my partner and I. And we were shouting from the back of the media row, and we go, “What are the names of the victims, Jesse? What are the names of the victims?” And he didn‘t know. In fact, we had him on our show. He didn‘t know any details about the case.
CARLSON: Of course not.
KOBYLT: I mean, nothing. I mean, I don‘t have a high opinion of him, but I was really shocked.
CARLSON: No. But he—and I bet you 20 bucks he flew to the execution in somebody‘s private plane. He is one of the biggest phonies in American life today. If I ever wind up on Death Row, I‘m going to specifically request he not stage a vigil outside San Quentin before I‘m killed.
KOBYLT: He‘s a con artist.
CARLSON: He certainly is. Thank you for pointing that out. And thank you for your show, top rated in Los Angeles in drive time. Thanks a lot, John.
KOBYLT: You‘re welcome.
CARLSON: Up next, day one of questioning in the confirmation hearings for Judge Sam Alito. Did he say anything to put his Supreme Court aspirations at risk? You‘ll find out here on THE SITUATION, so stay tuned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R-PA), CHAIRMAN, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:
Starting with a woman‘s right to choose, Judge Alito, do you except the legal principles articulated in Griswold v. Connecticut, that the liberty clause in the Constitution carries with it the right to privacy?
JUDGE SAMUEL ALITO, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: Senator, I do agree that the Constitution protects a right to privacy.
(END VIDEO CLIP0
CARLSON: You heard it. That was Judge Sam Alito speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon. Alito addressed questions on executive power, abortion—you just heard that part—and wiretapping. Did he do enough to satisfy Democrats who are looking for specific answers?
And more to the point, was Rachel Maddow impressed? Joining me now with that answer, the Air America radio host herself, Rachel Maddow—
RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO HOST: The simple answer, no.
CARLSON: What do you want? The guy imagines—look, he wants this job enough to pretend that there‘s a right to privacy in the Constitution. You‘ve got to want the job pretty bad to say something that stupid in public.
MADDOW: But listen. Listen.
CARLSON: He‘s pandering to you. Why don‘t you like him?
MADDOW: What did he say, “I think there‘s a right to privacy in the Constitution.” Then he started talking about unreasonable searches and seizures and your right to privacy in your home.
“Would you turn vote to overturn Roe?”
“I can‘t imagine how I could possibly answer that.”
“Do you believe that you still believe that the Constitution doesn‘t protect the right to an abortion like you said in the ‘80s?”
“Oh, that was a long time ago. And I believed that then, but now I don‘t know. I can‘t say what I believe.”
Oh, come on. This was like watching a mime in a straightjacket. This was one of this the most useless day of hearings I‘ve ever seen in all the hearings I‘ve ever watching in my life.
CARLSON: But this is the best you‘re going to get.
CARLSON: This is a guy who‘s likely, we hope, a conservative, nominated by a president who claims to be conservative, whom you consider conservative.
CARLSON: I don‘t. But he‘s a Republican in any case. This is the best you‘re going to get, a guy who‘s making an effort to say he‘s open-minded on abortion, that there are limits to presidential power. And he‘s saying all the right things. On what grounds exactly can you say he shouldn‘t be a Supreme Court justice?
MADDOW: I think—I don‘t know whether or not Democrats are going to pull out all the stops to stop him. I don‘t know whether there‘s going to be a filibuster.
I think that it‘s time to draw the line and say no, you cannot call this a successful hearing. You can‘t have him up there and have the Republicans all say, “Do you love Mom? Do you love America? Do you hate bad things?”
CARLSON: They always do that.
MADDOW: “Yes, yes, yes.”
And the Democrats say, “There are all these awful things in your record. How do you explain this? How do you explain this? How do you explain this?”
And he says, “Oh, I can‘t talk about that. And that was a long time ago. And that doesn‘t affect my thinking now.” He‘s saying nothing. And you know what? You‘re dissatisfied with these hearings because of it. I‘m dissatisfied with these hearings because of it. And I say forget it. No, you can‘t get approved on a hearing like this.
CARLSON: But that is—as long as there‘s a bipartisan agreement, and there is, that the nominee will not discuss current Supreme Court cases or even cases in the recent past, like Roe V. Wade, and get into the legal reasoning and critique it. Right? And they won‘t. And both sides can say that they shouldn‘t. As long as there‘s that agreement...
MADDOW: But there isn‘t that agreement.
CARLSON: We‘re never going to have—well, we pretend there‘s not the agreement, but when there‘s a Democratic president next time and he puts forward a nominee, the Democrats will say, “Well, he can‘t talk about cases that are going to possibly come before the Supreme Court.”
MADDOW: Well, when that happens, let‘s be outraged about those hearings, too.
CARLSON: I am. I always am.
MADDOW: Right now I feel like these hearings are such a disgrace, they‘re such a sham. It‘s such Kabuki mish-mash mind feeder. That we should just say, you know what? These hearings provide us no information. So let‘s make a decision on this guy based on some information. What have we got information on? His record. I think his record deserves a filibuster.
CARLSON: His record—let me give you an example. There was an op-ed ghost written for Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts in the newspaper not long ago. I think it was this past weekend. In which he pointed to, as one of the five reasons Judge Alito should not ascend to the Supreme Court, his involvement with a Princeton alumni group that had questions about affirmative action 20 years ago.
So that is one of the reasons, because he sent 20 bucks to an alumni group that was opposed to affirmative action? You shouldn‘t be on the Supreme Court? Talk about intellectual fascism. If you‘re against affirmative action, you have no place on the court? I mean, that‘s such...
MADDOW: He was a member of this group that was opposed to women and minority being increased in numbers at Princeton. And so they asked him today, are you favor of women and minorities at Princeton?
“Yes, I am in favor of those.”
CARLSON: He was never against minorities at Princeton. It was against changing the standards to allow minorities at Princeton, which is an entirely separate question.
MADDOW: Listen, the basis on which I‘m opposed to this guy. In the error where the major government issue of our day is the abuse of presidential power.
MADDOW: This guy said in 1985, “I believe in the supremacy of the executive branch.” The supremacy. We have equal division of power between the branches of government in this country. I don‘t want the supremacy of the president guy on the Supreme Court.
CARLSON: I think—you know, since we‘re out...
CARLSON: If I thought that he meant that, I would chain myself to the gates of the White House in protest against this guy.
MADDOW: Let‘s go! Because we don‘t know anything other than what he‘s written. We‘ve learned nothing from these hearings. Let‘s go. I‘ll drive. Let‘s go.
CARLSON: I‘ve got a show to host, Rachel. I can‘t. And I don‘t think he meant that. But nice try. Great to see you, Rachel Maddow, Air America Radio.
MADDOW: Nice to see you.
CARLSON: Stay tuned, still plenty more ahead on THE SITUATION tonight. Wacky warnings. We‘ll explain why it pays to read the fine print on that new hair dryer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wacky warning labels are a sign of our lawsuit happy times.
CARLSON: And fame‘s fastidious fashion cop back on the beat. Which is these style challenged divas tops his Worst Dressed List?
Plus, the grisly case of a diehard TV fan. Wait until you hear about the body of evidence found inside this creepy house.
And, estranged bedfellows. We go under cover to reveal out why the couple that stays together doesn‘t necessarily sleep together. It‘s all ahead on THE SITUATION.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was lovely.
VANESSA MCDONALD, PRODUCER: Coming up, if you and your spouse aren‘t sleeping in the same bed these days, you‘re not alone. It doesn‘t mean you don‘t have problems. You‘re just not alone.
CARLSON: We‘ll discuss this sad epidemic of solo sleeping with famed relationship guru Max Kellerman. We‘re back in 60 seconds.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
The French writer once said conversation would be vastly improved by the constant use of four simple words, “I do not know.” I don‘t know about that, but joining me now, live in our SITUATION studio, a man whose conversation always lively. He is “The Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing Host, Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, HBO BOXING HOST: You don‘t know about that, do you?
CARLSON: I don‘t know about that.
KELLERMAN: Very good, Tucker. Very clever.
CARLSON: I‘m not sure in these kind of situations, I don‘t know is a particularly effective rejoinder. I never go to it, anyway.
First up, a sign that all is not well in America‘s bedrooms. Twenty-three percent of partnered adults often sleep alone because of a loved one‘s snoring, kicking, or other sleep problems. That‘s according to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation which found that such behavior was causing an average of 49 minutes of lost sleep each night.
That‘s not all. More than a third of those surveyed said disruptive sleep habits had taken a toll on their relationships.
But not as much as sleeping apart takes a toll on your relationship. I understand that someone who snores heavily, chronically, medically dangerously, I understand it‘s a drag to sleep with someone who makes a lot of noise while he sleeps. But it is worth figuring out ways to get around it. You‘re supposed to sleep together if you‘re married. It‘s good for you. I don‘t think it‘s so good for you to sleep apart.
KELLERMAN: First of all, if you have a king size bed, that‘s good for you, because they can be all the way over there.
KELLERMAN: You can be all the way over here. It‘s kind of still in the same area.
But what if you can‘t fit a king size bed in the room? What if you can‘t afford a king size bed? And you‘re losing an hour of sleep a night. First of all, 49 -- sweetheart, when I get separate rooms tonight, I‘m starting that. I feel that way. When I sleep alone, I sleep better than when there‘s someone radiating at 100 watts, incidentally, which the human body does, sleeping right next to me. I sleep better alone.
CARLSON: That‘s sick. That is sick. I‘m looking at you in awe and horror. But leaving aside your own personal problems...
CARLSON: I would just say it‘s worth—I believe so important is it to the happiness of, long-term, of a marriage, I think it‘s worth getting a new job if you can‘t afford a king size bed. I think moving to a new state if you don‘t have enough room. I think it‘s worth getting an operation on your pallet to cure your snoring, if that‘s what needs to be done.
KELLERMAN: OK. If you‘re sleeping alone every night, obviously, I‘d agree with you.
KELLERMAN: But we‘re not talking about sleeping alone every night here. We‘re talking about sleeping alone when you need to sleep. And if it‘s a couple weeks a night, fine. And by the way, absence makes the heart grow fonder, Tucker.
CARLSON: Not at night it doesn‘t. That‘s the whole point of getting married, so you can sleep next to this chick every night.
KELLERMAN; Well, the point of getting married is a kind of social pact made by, I think, weaker males to stop dominant males from monopolizing. To tell you the truth.
CARLSON: Our resident evolutionary biologist, Max Kellerman. All right.
There‘s more news on the sleep front tonight. We cover anything sleep related, of course. It turns out teenagers who are up all night and groggy in the morning have biology on their side.
Researchers have measured the presence of the sleep promoting hormone, melatonin in teenagers‘ saliva at different times of the day. No word yet on who measures the saliva and how, but they do say melatonin levels rise later at night than they do in children and adults and remain at a higher level later in the morning. And it turns out that teens become night owls as a result.
Now some school systems, believing biology is destiny, are starting their high school classes later. And they should. In other words, you should sleep with your spouse. It‘s better to sleep with your spouse than alone. And it‘s better to sleep in than it is to go to school.
KELLERMAN: Well, I mean, it‘s hard for me to argue with that, but let me just say, going to school, especially high school is—and by the way, this makes a lot of sense to me.
KELLERMAN: I remember, as a teenager, I could not get up and yet I was up all night.
KELLERMAN: Well, I can‘t get up because I‘m up all night. Actually, it turns out maybe there‘s something more to it.
High school is one of these unique experiences in American life, where post- -- in your post-pubescent life, it‘s the only place where you‘re sort of forced to go to a place with lots of other people your own age and socialize, essentially.
KELLERMAN: I think that‘s probably the greatest thing about high school, even in terms of your development as a person, what you‘re going to learn. That‘s probably the most important thing. After high school it doesn‘t really happen again. And so it‘s good to kind of force that to happen, force people to get up from sleeping late and—because otherwise you‘re got going to.
CARLSON: So it‘s like a medical residency. It‘s something you have to go through, and it makes you a better person in the end? It‘s like boot camp?
KELLERMAN: Well, think of college. The college experience, everybody‘s going to college at different times. I scheduled all my classes late in college, so I could sleep as late as I wanted. But I missed being forced into a place where I was forced to socialize with all these people every day for five or six hours.
CARLSON: I‘m all for forcing underage people to do unpleasant things day after day for no reason other than it builds character.
KELLERMAN: Because you had to do it.
CARLSON: This is pointless. The only reason kids have to go to school early is because parents have to go to work early.
CARLSON: It‘s because it would be inconvenient for parents. But I still think we ought to schools much later. Ten-ish is a great time to get going in the morning.
KELLERMAN: I couldn‘t agree more. Let‘s start the school day. This is going to be a great day in American life.
CARLSON: I knew I‘d win you over. Max Kellerman, thanks.
Coming up on THE SITUATION, some people bury their deceased loved ones. Others prop them up in front of the TV for 2 ½ years. We‘ve got the incredible details of a shockingly bizarre story. We don‘t use that phrase lightly. We‘ll tell you what we mean when THE SITUATION rolls on.
CARLSON: Welcome back to our show.
Most of us don‘t need to be reminded not to drink bleach, but there‘s a warning on that label, anyway. To protect themselves against lawsuits from idiots and opportunists, companies put some pretty outrageous warning labels on their products.
For nine years now, the Wacky Warning Label Contest has honored the most outrageous among them. Bob Dorigo-Jones is the head of the Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch, the group that organizes that contest. He joins us live tonight from Detroit.
Bob, thanks for coming on.
BOB DORIGO-JONES, MICHIGAN LAWSUIT ABUSE WATCH: My pleasure.
CARLSON: I‘ve got here a list of the top five award winners this year. The first one—I‘m pretty jaded. It still blows my mind.
Bobcat urine labeled “not for human consumption.”
DORIGO-JONES: That‘s right. Imagine that. You have to be told not to eat this stuff.
CARLSON: Is there—because it‘s powdered bobcat urine?
DORIGO-JONES: That‘s right. Not liquid.
CARLSON: Any clue on how they get the bobcat urine?
DORIGO-JONES: Haven‘t found that one out yet.
CARLSON: Yes. I‘m not going to find out myself. Is there any evidence that there‘s an epidemic of people eating or drinking bobcat urine?
DORIGO-JONES: Haven‘t heard of one yet.
CARLSON: OK. Next one, cookware. What does that say?
DORIGO-JONES: The label on a baking pan says, “Warning, ovenware will get hot when used in oven.” Believe it or not.
CARLSON: Do you ever get the sense that these labels are mocking you, the consumer?
DORIGO-JONES: Well, it‘s not secret that we live in the most lawsuit-happy society on earth. And when, you know, somebody can dunk a basketball, catch their teeth in the neck and then sue the net makers, claiming that they didn‘t warn him of the dangers of mixing his teeth with the net and walk away with $50,000.
Anybody who makes a product in America today knows that they can be sued over anything. So that‘s why we have to slap wacky warning labels on everything.
CARLSON: It‘s disgusting. Trial lawyers are destroying America. I couldn‘t agree with you more.
Do you ever get the sense that some of these warnings are so dumb they‘re a sophisticated jab at you, the consumer? Like, hey, dummy, this gets hot when it gets put in the oven?
DORIGO-JONES: No, actually, we don‘t. And we make a point of saying that he contest is not intended to make fund of those who put wacky warning labels on it. It‘s to point out that we have a legal system that‘s so unpredictable today, that you don‘t know if, for example, somebody spills a milkshake of themselves, if they‘re going to sue.
CARLSON: I totally agree. Well, the next one just blows my mind. A cocktail napkin with a map of Hilton Head, South Carolina, on it. Tell me what does the warning label says?
DORIGO-JONES: It says, “Warning. Not to be used for navigation.”
CARLSON: So there are people out there who might mistake the cocktail napkin for a navigational chart?
DORIGO-JONES: You just never know.
CARLSON: Amazing. Kitchen knife, what does that say?
DORIGO-JONES: The kitchen knife warns, “Never try to catch a falling knife.”
CARLSON: That is very solid advice. That‘s the kind of advice I‘d rather get from my mom, though, than from the knife maker.
And finally, this year‘s first place winner, the heat gun paint remover. What does it say?
DORIGO-JONES: It produces temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees. It says, “Warning: do not use this product as a hair dryer.”
CARLSON: I guess that would be nothing to laugh about, should someone use a 1,000-degree paint removing heat gun as a hair dryer. And I probably shouldn‘t laugh before asking you, has anyone to your knowledge done that?
DORIGO-JONES: No. But one of our previous products, found on a Dremmer (ph) wood router, used by carpenters, says, “Warning, do not use as a dental drill, and somebody did use that, and sued.
CARLSON: That is actually unbelievable.
Finally, is there—where is this trend going? Are the warnings becoming ever-more ridiculous? Or do you think we‘re going to reach saturation point at a certain point?
DORIGO-JONES: Every year. I think we‘re going to run out of warning labels, and every year we find more. People from all over the country and the world now are sending these warning labels to us.
In some cases, we see some progress with courts. In Michigan, we have a great Supreme Court, and we‘re seeing fewer frivolous types of lawsuits. In other states it‘s just the opposite. So it happens to be where you live?
CARLSON: All right. Well, just for the—safety of our viewers at home, but should remind you again that the router is not a dental drill.
Bob Dorigo-Jones, joining us tonight from Detroit. Thanks a lot.
DORIGO-JONES: Thank you.
CARLSON: Still ahead on THE SITUATION, what dubious award did Britney Spears win today? No, not Wife of Kevin Federline. She already got that one. We‘ll unveil Britney‘s latest honor on the “Cutting Room Floor,” next.
CARLSON: Ladies and gentlemen, guess who‘s popped in, Willie Geist, for “The Cutting Room Floor.”
WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER: Hey, Tucker.
GEIST: How are you?
GEIST: We‘re going to stay on this “Million Little Pieces Story” tomorrow night.
CARLSON: Of course we are.
GEIST: Sergeant Dave Dudgeon, the Ohio police sergeant who claimed—
James Frey said that he had this whole encounter, where he kicked the...
CARLSON: You pigs!
GEIST: This sergeant says no, actually, he was totally polite and courteous. And he will be on the show to explain himself.
CARLSON: Easy, tough guy. “Hey, you pigs.”
GEIST: We‘re going to ride this story.
CARLSON: I love it. Thank you, Willie.
“The Cutting Room Floor” is normally a bastion of journalistic integrity. We pride ourselves on getting the facts straight about every story that involves elephants playing soccer or people seeing the Virgin Mary on highway underpasses.
So it is with great regret and with some sadness, really, we tell you we got one wrong last night. We reported a mouse had burned down a New Mexico man‘s home. It turns out the mouse did no such thing. The house was actually torched when flames spread from a burning pile of leaves. The mouse did not emerge from the leaf pile in a ball of fire, run into the house, as we reported last night. We‘re sorry for the error.
GEIST: We regret the error.
CARLSON: But “we,” I mean you, Willie, actually.
GEIST: You know, Tucker, you looked bad, but this one‘s on me. My sources inside that New Mexico fire department really let me down.
CARLSON: Yes, they did.
GEIST: We apologize to the viewers, but also to the family, because it turns out your mouse was not a criminal.
CARLSON: That‘s exactly right.
GEIST: He died with dignity.
CARLSON: The whole mouse community.
GEIST: Our apology.
CARLSON: As if being married to Kevin Federline didn‘t make last year painful enough for Britney Spears, Mr. Blackwell has rubbed some salt in that wound. The fashion critic has named Britney the worst-dressed star of 2005. Mr. Blackwell called Britney a tacky terror who looks like an over-the-hill Lolita. Ouch.
What a nasty old guy Mr. Blackwell is.
GEIST: I‘ve never been—somebody explain to me, who is he again?
CARLSON: He‘s a very bitchy man.
GEIST: He is. He is. Britney will use her pregnancy as a crutch in this, but they‘re doing great things with maternity clothes these days. So I‘m not buying it. You can still dress well.
CARLSON: I don‘t like old men who attack women‘s appearances. I‘m not a huge Britney Spears fan—fan. I can‘t get it out. It‘s mean. I like Britney Spears.
GEIST: I agree. I like Britney.
CARLSON: Sunday would have been the 71st birthday of Elvis Presley. As if I had to tell you that. It‘s been more than 28 years since his alleged death, and the king‘s memory lives on in the dignified form of Elvis impersonators. These Japanese Elvises paid tribute in Tokyo during a celebration of Presley‘s life. One of the impersonators even named his daughter Lisa after Elvis‘ daughter, Lisa Marie.
GEIST: That‘s sweet. And Elvis celebrated, as he does every year, enjoying umbrella drinks on the beach in Brazil with Jimmy Hoffa and Jim Morrison. They‘re having a hell of a time down there.
CARLSON: It‘s fine that you celebrate the life of Elvis Presley, but to name your daughter after his ill-fated daughter, Lisa.
GEIST: Who married Michael Jackson.
CARLSON: I know. That‘s a mark on the old record.
Here‘s a sweet photograph of what Johannas Pope looked like before she died, before her family propped her body up in front of the television for two and a half years.
Yes, Pope died in 2003, and according to her wishes, her loved ones left the body in her room with the television and an air conditioner running constantly. Friends and relatives frequently stopped by to visit her mummified remains. Pope‘s sister finally reported the dead body last week.
I hope you don‘t report on this story, too, as untrue, Willie, because this is just unbelievable.
GEIST: No. No, this is amazing. And it‘s bad enough what they did, but the fact that they were parading relatives and friends through to just pop in and say hello, while she watched “Days of Our Lives” is sick. It‘s like the Museum of Natural History, bringing field trips through there, too. It‘s crazy.
CARLSON: Call me a liberal, but I‘m not sure I‘m against it.
GEIST: Excuse me? Against...
CARLSON: I don‘t know.
GEIST: Keeping her alive with an air conditioner?
CARLSON: Well, keeping her dead, but I don‘t know. People get to say hi.
GEIST: She was convinced she was going to come back from the dead.
And that‘s why they kept her alive. So they‘re dishonoring her wishes.
CARLSON: I think I‘m getting too open minded. Need to close that mind.
Willie Geist, thank you.
That‘s it for THE SITUATION tonight. Thank you for watching. Up next, “COUNTDOWN” with Keith. Have a terrific night.
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