Guests: Al Sharpton, David Vise, Willie Geist, Jeff Clark, Rachel Maddow, Max Kellerman
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”: Hey, that‘s all the time we have for tonight. Stick around, because THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON starts right now.
Hey, Tucker, what‘s THE SITUATION tonight?
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Joe, thanks.
Thanks to you at home for tuning in. We always appreciate it.
Tonight a column in the “L.A. Times” about U.S. troops in Iraq sparks outrage. What did Joel Stein write that has one conservative columnist calling him, quote, “one of the most loathsome people in America”?
Also an Arizona group teams up with the Mexican government to help illegal aliens enter this country. Of course, it‘s wrong, but is it even legal? We‘ll tell you.
Speaking of illegal aliens, what did this former Playboy playmate do that got her kicked out of the country? What is she doing to get back in? Should hot women get an exemption from immigration law? That‘s the question. We‘ll debate it.
We begin tonight with controversy from, of all places, the cartoon world. Black nationalist commentator and cartoonist Aaron McGruder has raised eyebrows before. Here‘s a sample of his show, “The Boondocks,” which airs on the Cartoon Network.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REGINA KING, VOICE ACTRESS: Excuse me. Everyone, I have a brief announcement to make. Jesus will black, Ronald Reagan will the devil and the government is lying about 9/11. Thank you for your time and good night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Well, tonight McGruder is under fire again, this time for a Martin Luther King Day episode of “The Boondocks,” in which the slain civil rights leader comes out of a coma into a post-9/11 world and is accused of being a terrorist sympathizer. The show also has King using the “N” word repeatedly.
Reverend Al Sharpton is demanding an apology from McGruder and the Cartoon Network, threatening a protest if they don‘t comply. He joins us live tonight in studio to tell us why he‘s mad.
Why are you mad at Aaron McGruder? Now I know you all have gotten into it before, but you‘re on the same side, essentially. The Cartoon Network says it wasn‘t trying to beat up on Martin Luther King.
REV. AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: You know, I respect Aaron McGruder. I like a lot of his work. But I think that to have Martin Luther King cursing and using the “N” word at a time that a lot of people are trying to desecrate his image just plays into the whole attempt by the right wing to demonize Dr. King.
CARLSON: Wait a second. Aaron McGruder is as left wing as you can get.
SHARPTON: Yes. But I think that he‘s trying to make this kind of image of Dr. King at the complete expense of the fact that he knows he couldn‘t have went to that Cartoon Network and done that with people of other communities and gotten away with it like that. Not an icon, an historic figure like Dr. King (ph).
To take his “I have a dream” speech and use that to have him curse out blacks using the “n” word and talking about things in a derogatory way I think is a little over the line.
CARLSON: Well, I‘m against the use of the “n” word in any context, and so I agree with you there. But Martin Luther King will a flawed man. I mean, he will a great man, but he will a flawed man. He was a plagiarist. He was a man with a complicated personal life. And isn‘t recognizing the real Martin Luther King, for all his flaws and his greatness, a better way to remember him, rather than sanctifying him in a phony way?
SHARPTON: I do not think that what we were dealing with is an analysis of his flaws by having him say things publicly in his “I have a dream” speech that he never said.
To fabricate that Martin Luther King would curse out black people and use the “n” word is not to have an analysis of his flaws. It‘s to distort the public image of Martin Luther King and the meaning of his “I have a dream” speech. And I think that Cartoon Network and McGruder need to deal with the reality of that point.
You can‘t have it both ways. You can‘t say we‘re going to fight to have a national holiday and remember the great sacrifice that Martin Luther King made, but we‘re going to ridicule it, mix it in with the “n” word and have him talking about things that are, in a very profane way, that cause actual bloodshed and ultimately his death. I don‘t think that that‘s something that we can tolerate.
CARLSON: In the end, I don‘t like Aaron McGruder.
SHARPTON: I do.
CARLSON: I think his strip is stupid, and I hope you go after him and wreck his day and the day of the Cartoon Network. Good for you.
Speaking of things that you can‘t say out loud, Joel Stein, a columnist for the “L.A. Times” today wrote an op-ed that began with these words, “I don‘t support our troops.” He goes to say, “We shouldn‘t be celebrating people for doing something we don‘t think will a good idea. We shouldn‘t blame the president either, he says, because in the end, it‘s the troops who are doing it. The people who pull the triggers are ultimately responsible, whether they‘re following orders or not.”
What do you—I want it know what you think of this as someone who opposes the war. How can you say you support the troops?
SHARPTON: Well, I support the troops in the sense that—if you read the whole article, he wrote...
SHARPTON: Stein said he supports them coming home, getting health care...
SHARPTON: ... being reunited into the community. What he doesn‘t support is saluting and acting like what they did will heroic, because he felt that they were in a war that will not justifiable.
SHARPTON: I don‘t feel the war is justifiable, and I think that he is correct to say that to have parades that would act like what they did will necessary is wrong.
I happen to think, though, that the troops are not at fault. The troops are operating under the orders of the commander in chief. The commander in chief is wrong. And I don‘t think you blame the commanded for the commander.
CARLSON: Well, wait a second. This is an all volunteer army. A lot of these guys—I don‘t know the percentages, but I would say a large percentage of them joined after 9/11 and even after the Iraq war. It‘s been almost three years.
So these are people who, by their actions, appear to support the Iraq policy. They are out there doing things that you, by your own definition, believe are immoral.
Isn‘t it having it both ways by saying this war is wrong, it‘s immoral. But of course, I don‘t want to be called unpatriotic, so I support the troops. Why not have the courage of your convictions...
SHARPTON: It depends on what you‘re saying when you say that you support the troops. Does it mean that you‘re anti-troops or do you mean you‘re anti-what the troops are being led to do? So to say you support the troops doesn‘t mean you support them in their particular assignment.
Then again, if they voluntarily joined the army, they didn‘t voluntarily set the policy.
SHARPTON: Many of them that joined post-9/11 were told we were in imminent danger. That‘s why we‘re going into Iraq. And we were not in imminent danger. So I think that you can say—I can say that I‘m for Tucker Carlson having a job, though I think you misuse the job by saying 80 percent wrong things on any given night.
CARLSON: But you know what the truth is, Rev. The truth is that Democrats are deathly afraid of being called unpatriotic and weak on defense?
SHARPTON: Because they‘re not unpatriotic. They‘re...
CARLSON: I‘m not claiming they are.
SHARPTON: ... doing what‘s best for the country.
CARLSON: But they are taking a position that is moral nonsense, because they are not courageous enough to stand up and say what they really think. And I bet you that a lot of liberals think exactly what Joel Stein said today, “I don‘t support the troops.” And I just with they had the cajones to come out and say it out loud.
SHARPTON: I think what they‘re really saying—I know what I‘m saying, is I don‘t support what the troops are being made to do. But I certainly don‘t not support having people that are voluntarily putting their lives on the line and defending the country. I think they‘re being misused.
That‘s not—people like the anti-police brutality movement. We support police. We don‘t want to have our communities not policed. We just don‘t agree with police that engage in unlawful acts of brutality. That‘s not having it both ways.
CARLSON: Should the troops have parades when they come home? Joel Stein says today there should not be parades when they come home.
SHARPTON: There ought to be Veteran Day parades for anybody that put their life on the line for the country. If you‘re going to have a parade for Iraqi troops, no. Because that‘s saying that you agree with that policy. But I agree that we should salute any veteran that put themselves in harm‘s way for this country.
CARLSON: Even though in your analysis it‘s not really for the country. It‘s not helping America when they put their lives on the line.
SHARPTON: No, but that may have been the reason they went in. That‘s why distinguish if you‘re going to have a parade around a particular war or whether you‘re going to have a parade around veterans.
Again, the people in the armed services, Tucker, don‘t decide the policy. They may volunteer to go in, but they‘re not going in voluntarily setting the policy.
CARLSON: See, I think we should support your troops because they‘re American. And this war may be immoral. It may be wrong. It may be contrary to, you know, our best interests in the long run, but it‘s us versus them and we ought to support us, in my view.
SHARPTON: I have no problem supporting us, as long as we‘re going to say us could be used wrong sometimes.
CARLSON: Yes, well, I think that‘s true.
Harry Belafonte, a man who has had a long career in entertainment, now he‘s some sort of political commentary—commentator. He‘s clearly gone off the deep end. I mean, let‘s be totally honest here.
SHARPTON: The deep end of what?
CARLSON: The deep end of sanity. This is a guy who got up and he compared the U.S. government to the Nazis, who called the United States of America a terrorist nation.
SHARPTON: No. Here‘s a man—first of all, that is why I don‘t want to see people play with Martin Luther King. Martin Luther King said in ‘68 this one will the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today. You would have said Martin Luther King will off the deep end. You would have said...
CARLSON: I think it‘s an offensive and ridiculous statement. I don‘t care who said it. It will wrong in 1968, and it‘s wrong now.
SHARPTON: No. It will right in ‘68.
CARLSON: What about the Soviet Union, which will funding guerilla groups around the world? That‘s like an insane statement and an ignorant one.
SHARPTON: The Soviet Union did not engage, and King will right, in the violence we were at that time. Harry Belafonte said that this nation is right now engaged in a war that will unprovoked and unjustified.
SHARPTON: There will no connection to al Qaeda, so we were not reacting to being attacked and there were no weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, he says, if you define terrorists as people engaging in violence, state violence, unprovoked with no rationale, if you define terrorists that way, you have to say what we‘re doing is terrorism.
CARLSON: Do you believe that?
SHARPTON: Define terrorism.
CARLSON: I think a terrorist is someone who intentionally targets civilian populations for political ends. And that is not what we are doing, at all.
SHARPTON: What are we doing?
CARLSON: We are waging a war for reasons that, in the end, are very hard to justify, because we were wrong about the threat Iraq posed to us. We are not targeting...
SHARPTON: We are waging war in a way that‘s what?
CARLSON: We are not targeting civilian populations to order to achieve political ends.
SHARPTON: Are civilians being killed over there?
CARLSON: We are not killing woman and—of course, they are, as they are—as they are in any war.
SHARPTON: Are civilians being killed over there?
CARLSON: The key term here is targeting. It‘s targeting them.
SHARPTON: Yes. Just a minute, Mr. Carlson. Are we not saying that we cannot prove that we are operating in retaliation since we were not attacked by Iraq?
CARLSON: We are not blowing up bus stops to kill men, women, and children who are not combatants, as terrorists do.
SHARPTON: Are civilians killed?
CARLSON: Civilians are killed in every war. The question is one of intent, and we‘re not intentionally killing them.
Moreover, I can‘t believe you, as a rational, decent man, would support Harry Belafonte‘s statement that our government is like the Nazi government. That‘s an outrageous thing to say.
SHARPTON: As outrageous that your misstating what he said. What he‘s saying is the Homeland Security Office is using Gestapo tactics. They‘ve gone after him and others—they‘re publicly talking about doing illegal wiretapping. What do you mean, that‘s not Gestapo tactics? What is it?
It‘s a wrong, possibly illegal—they‘re not throwing anybody in concentration—Harry Belafonte needs help and you‘re the man to help him. I need to...
CARLSON: And say on behalf of myself and our viewers, talk to Mr.
Belafonte. Bring him down.
SHARPTON: I have talked to him. He‘ll following—modeled the king of—last Monday. And he explained it very clearly what he said. And I think that if you would listen to his speech, you‘d have a hard time, as you had tonight, trying to argue against it. Because you still, I mean, you, with all of your erudite ways.
SHARPTON: You‘re crushing me. You‘re killing me. I guess up; I cry uncle.” And you wear a bowtie.
Yes, sir I did. Eloquence, one of our all time favorite guests.
SHARPTON: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Why are some kids having the summer vacation shortened by an entire month? Isn‘t that immoral? I‘ll speak to one parent who says it is when we come back.
Plus, we‘ll have more on that Joel Stein column that has infuriated middle America. If you oppose the war, should you support the troops? The question, stay tuned.
CARLSON: Still to come, Google. Defending your privacy against the federal government. Is the company trying to protect you and are those massive porn revenues.
Plus, your domestic partner‘s need to prove they have sex in order to receive health benefits. And if so, how should they prove it? We‘ll tell you. We‘ll be right back.
CARLSON: That was Alice Cooper, of course. Welcome back.
There are a few things kids can look forward for in life after homework and chores are done, summer vacation is at the top of that list. But here‘s a disturbing trend growing in America even as we sleep: cutting summer vacations short, in some cases very short.
My next guest has had enough of that. Sherry Sturner is a mother of two who has embarked on what she calls a mission to save our summers. She founded a group of the same name, and she joins us tonight live from Miami, to talk about her work.
Sherry Sturner, thanks a lot for joining us. This is something out of a horror movie. First they go after Christmas and now there‘s actually a move afoot to cut short summer vacation. It can‘t be real. Is it?
SHARI STERNER, PARENT: Well, in someone way it is. I mean, they‘re not exactly cutting edge sort, but they‘re just shifting the summer. We are now starting school in the beginning of August. And so basically it feels as summer is being cut short, because summer doesn‘t start for the rest of the country until June. So we really only have two months, even though our summers begin in the middle of May.
CARLSON: It‘s just grotesque. It seems to me that the people who run schools—the administrators, not the teachers but the people, you know, who never actually teach a class—have no respect for the learning and the pure joy that can take place during summer vacation. Is that the problem or is there some other reason they‘d want to cut summer vacation?
STERNER: Yes, well, it seems that what prompted and motivated the movement will the F-CATs and counties wanting to...
CARLSON: And just to clarify, F-CATS. They‘re the standardized tests and every county will competing with the next, saying, “Well, we‘ll start a week earlier, and we can get an extra hour of studying. And it‘s really gotten to the point that next year Seminole County is starting 31, believe it or not.
So what‘s the rationale against this? I mean, some people watching will likely say, “Look, in Florida must take is that right?”
You know, it‘s the thing. You know, it‘s the key to success and later in life. And you know, if you go to every county, some are short by three weeks. So what if you get to go to Harvard?
What is the argument against cutting the vacation sort?
STURNER: Well, when I started this, that was exactly what I researched. I said, listen, you know, if it‘s good for our academics, then I won‘t fight it. But otherwise, I see no reason.
Well, the more I looked into it. There is no research backing the day that that—staring earlier. And improves test scores. Actually, no research benefiting any of that information.
In fact, the top 10 -- the top academic states in this country all start with earlier and have their mid-term exam, after get an extra week, which is a real reason that proponents of starting lawyer of studying.
They want the Next year Seminole county is starting July 31st believe it or not.
Which is another reason that pan, starting earlier. They want their midterm exiles. What‘s the next thing? Education is the key to success later in life. So both have been able to... if you have to cut summer short, so what if you get to go to Harvard. What‘s the argument against cutting summer short?
STURNER: If it‘s good for academics, I don‘t fight it. The most reason I looked into it, there‘s no research that shows that earlier, that improved test scores improve.
You know, the amount of money that we can shove. I‘m not marry little, four weeks dozen than we‘re doing something that ray.
CARLSON: And should they have happier kids? My theory, Ferry, is that this is the product of the same uptight, Yummy mentality that has shown many different bad things in my mirror. The kind of parents who sign their kids up for Chinese at ago 3 and give them these phony New Age names and press them, you know, with all these dumb extracurricular activities. Never allowing them time to just go and play with rocks in the back yard or messing around with their friends.
They‘re the ones who, moreover, would be happier to rather have their kids and being taking care by teachers, rather than having to deal with them. They‘re the ones who are bringing it upon the rest of us.
STURNER: Well, actually, funny enough, it‘s really not the parent. I mean, when we started this—we have 8,000 supporters of our web site in a matter of five months.
And we commissioned a poll, to find out what people think. Seventy-four percent of voters are for the later school start. So it‘s actually not the parents. It‘s—for some reason, the superintendents and the school boards—those are the ones we‘re fighting. And you know, that‘s why we wanted the state law. Because at least that will take it out of the hands of the school board.
CARLSON: Boy, I hope it does, because education is important, obviously, but nothing is more important than spending time with your family and with your friends.
STURNER: I agree.
CARLSON: It‘s a lot more important than any French course you take.
Sherry Sturner, I hope you are doing the lord‘s work, and I hope you win.
STURNER: Thank you so much.
CARLSON: Thanks for coming on.
Still to come, of course Google is a rich company. But you know how much of that money comes from porn? We‘ll ask the man who wrote the book on it, next.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
Automobile giants Ford and Chrysler have kicked it in reverse lately, but there is one American company still speeding full steam ahead. Google, the Internet search engine, has generated billions over the last several years, becoming a verb in the process.
The company has also become famous for its corporate slogan, “Don‘t be evil.” But as it expands, can Google live up to its motto?
Here to tell us the Google story, the man who wrote the book of the same name, Pulitzer-Prize winning “Washington Post” reporter David Vise. He joins us live tonight from Washington. David, thanks for coming on.
DAVID VISE, AUTHOR, “THE GOOGLE STORY”: Thank you. It‘s great to be here.
CARLSON: The news on Google tonight, it‘s expanding to China and in so doing apparently has signed an agreement with the Chinese government to censor the results on its search engine. That sounds like of evil to me.
DAVID VISE, AUTHOR, “THE GOOGLE STORY”: Well, Tucker, actually it‘s -
you have got it half right and half wrong.
VISE: You‘re absolutely right that Google is opening up shop in China. China‘s got the second largest Internet market after the United States over 100 million users and growing fast.
But what Google is doing is is serving China in a way that believes lives up to the mantra, don‘t be evil. And when I saw that, Google is not going to give information to the Chinese government that could identify any individual users, because it‘s not going to put services there like e-mail and other things. It‘s only going to start out with things like search that can‘t be identified for any individual.
And Google is required in Germany to censor certain Web sites that have to do with hate crimes and Nazis and neo-Nazis. You have got to live by the law of the land where ever you are.
So in china, Google‘s strategy, where it has to censor information is to post something—and they‘re the first company to do this—that says to the user, you‘re looking at a page that has been removed, blacked out, some stuff is missing.
And the theory here is that look, China is changing. China is growing. There‘s two strategies you can adopt. One is, because of censorship, you can say we‘re just not going to go there at all, or you can go there and try to do the best job possible and try to be part of a process of change.
CARLSON: What sorts of things will Google be required to filter out?
VISE: Well, the Chinese government has a very extensive system of filtering out things that have to do with anti-government sentiment, pro-democracy sentiment, and a whole host of other things that it considers to be a threat to the ruling regime. And those laws and rules apply to everybody.
But, you know, I have to say this. If you like using Google, I think you‘ll love reading “The Google Story,” and the reason is because they really do take this motto, don‘t be evil, seriously.
And somehow, they are able, I think, to do things in a considered way and in a thoughtful way and at the same time, be a company that is so competitive and growing so fast, that they are actually—the company is now worth now more than Ford, General Motors, Amazon, Disney, the “New York Times” Company, the “Washington Post” company, and Dow Jones, publisher of the “Wall Street Journal” combined.
CARLSON: That‘s amazing. And it is a really interesting book. I actually read it and thought it was very well written.
But I wonder about this report—there was a piece in “Forbes” I think today, about the Department of Justice tangling with Google. The DOJ has asked all these different search engines to send up examples of their search requests over the period of month in an effort to—it‘s kind of a complicated story, but to enforce an anti-pornography, child pornography law that‘s gone before the Supreme Court.
Google has refused to give up this information to the federal government. “Forbes” makes the point that Google doesn‘t want to give up that information because they don‘t want anyone to know what percentage of the requests that have to do with porn, that a lot of people go into Google looking for pornography, and Google doesn‘t want you to know that. A, is that true; and B, what percentage of Google‘s revenue comes from porn?
VISE: Google doesn‘t disclose how much of its revenue comes from pornography, but Google handles more searches than any other search engine. People use Google zillions of times a day. So lots of people look at pornography on the internet. So more people get their pornography through Google than they do through any other search engine.
What they‘re doing in this particular case though, is refusing to comply with what they believe is an overly broad Justice Department subpoena. They‘ve asked for every Google search for a week, they‘ve asked for a million Web sites and all these other things.
CARLSON: I agree. I mean, I don‘t think there‘s any defending what the government has asked Google to do. Good for Google.
VISE: Google is basically saying, look, you know, this is an overly broad request and we‘re going to protect the privacy interests of our users. But it doesn‘t have anything to do with hiding for pornography.
Google is a super competitive company and the real truth is—and they say so in their filing—they don‘t want to turn this stuff over to the Justice Department because they don‘t want their competitors at Yahoo! and at Microsoft and AOL to know who does what searches on Google and how often and ...
CARLSON: And they shouldn‘t have to. I totally agree.
We‘re almost out of time. I‘m sorry. I just want to ask you one question that I didn‘t get from the book and I had in my mind when I finished the book, and that is about the executive chef at Google, Charlie.
CARLSON: Exactly. He used to cook for the Grateful Dead. He‘s since left Google. A lot of people got rich at Google. Did he get rich and if so, what did he make?
VISE: Charlie is the only chef with stock options in America. Charlie‘s a millionaire today. He recently came to Washington. He‘s a great guy. Charlie made millions. Charlie has left Google. Charlie is opening his own restaurant.
And he‘s hoping that lots of Googlers will come there and eat. He‘s opening it Palo Alto right near Stanford, and Charlie makes Elvis Presley‘s fried chicken. And that favorite fried chicken is a recipe he learned from a chef at the Waldorf in New York.
And one of the—I think, to me, one of the funniest and most enjoyable things in the Google story is the recipe for Elvis‘ fried chicken that came straight from Charlie. I promise you, if you eat it, you‘ll love it. I‘ve tasted it. There‘s nothing like it.
CARLSON: Not as good as peanut butter and bacon fat though, that other Elvis favorite. David Vise, author of “The Google Story,” a terrific book. Thanks for joining us.
VISE: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Up next, imagine if the minutemen got a hold of this illegal alien? We‘ll ask the outsider if he‘s willing the rules for this Playboy bunny when THE SITUATION returns.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Who would dare admit to not supporting U.S. soldiers fighting abroad? Someone did it today and it‘s causing quite a stir. Here to discuss that among other things, Rachel Maddow of Air America Radio.
RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO: Hi, Tucker.
CARLSON: I think this is such an interesting piece by Joel Stein. And Joel Stein is about to be buried in an avalanche of criticism. Some of it deserved. Before he is, let‘s talk about what he said. “I don‘t support our troops,” he said. I think what‘s important about this piece that he‘s written is it‘s logical. I actually don‘t agree with it at all, but it‘s logical.
And it does raise the question, how can you say I‘m totally opposed to this immoral war in Iraq, but I support our troops. That is a copout for most of the people who say it and it‘s also a lie. I believe a lot of people don‘t support our troops and don‘t have the courage to say it as Joel Stein said it.
MADDOW: I think it‘s a logical piece, but kind of from the other point. I think the point Joel Stein is making is if you have a yellow ribbon made in China on the back of your SUV that says “I support the troops,” and that‘s kind of what you do is you support the slogan, but you‘re not about getting them better pensions and better VA hospitals and you‘re not working literally to get them home, then it‘s kind of a hollow slogan.
The question is not whether or not you support the troops but how you support the troops. One of the things he talks about as a way to support the troops is to get them home out of this endless war that doesn‘t have a point.
CARLSON: See. I even think that‘s beside the point. There are only two sides in the war, there‘s them and there‘s us.
MADDOW: Who‘s them?
CARLSON: Them is the people we are fighting.
MADDOW: The Iraqis.
CARLSON: The Iraqis and the foreign fighters who are joining them.
MADDOW: Who make up less than five percent.
CARLSON: First of all, that‘s unknowable.
MADDOW: That‘s what the military says.
CARLSON: I don‘t believe that for a second. I think for their own political reasons they‘re saying it. But that‘s immaterial is my point. The point is we are fighting foreigners who are killing us. And while that is going on, I‘m on our side. I actually do think—this may be illogical, impossible to defend on logical grounds, but it doesn‘t make it less true.
I‘m on America‘s side. And when Americans are killed, it wounds me as an American and I want to see them kill the people who are killing them, and survive, come home safely. Period. So I am on their side even though I disagree with the war.
MADDOW: Here‘s the thing Joel Stein is saying, though. If you‘re opposed to the war, consider what it means when you say you support the troops. And we support the troops in a hollow way in this country.
I had a friend who started the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of American. Paul Wyckoff. He went out with a tape recorder into “Times Square” and said to people, do you support the troops? And asked them that question. Every single person said yes, talked to dozens of people.
One guy had a concrete answer to his follow-up question which was, how do you support the troops. One guy had an answer for how he supported the troops. He says he owns a bar and sometimes buys vets drinks. We don‘t think enough about what we actually do to support the troops and Stein is making the case that asking for them to come home out of a war that has no end is actually a way to support them.
CARLSON: But he‘s making the case that the left is too cowardly to say what it really thinks.
MADDOW: No. I don‘t think so.
CARLSON: I think he is. That‘s certainly my position. And so Joel Stein will probably be murdered tomorrow for writing this piece. I certainly hope not. I sort of salute him for being honest.
MADDOW: I think he made some smart points.
CARLSON: There‘s nothing smart about what the Mexican government is doing in conjunction with a pro-illegal alien group in Arizona, and that is handing out maps to border jumpers—to would be illegal aliens to come to this country. The Mexican government wants them to come here, it pulls the drain off of their economy. The kleptocracy of Mexico is not self-sustaining so they want all their poor people to come here.
Here‘s what‘s so offensive to me about this. The argument is we‘re just trying to save their lives. No, these maps and this aid that illegal immigrants are getting in the desert from the Mexican government and U.S. aid groups encourages people to cross the desert and come to this country.
MADDOW: What do you think about the fact that the U.S. Border Patrol has rescue beacons in the desert? That immigrants can, if they are in need of rescue, if they are a in trouble and don‘t have water or something, they can go to a U.S. Border Patrol rescue beacon and call for help. What do you think about that?
CARLSON: I think the most compassionate thing you can do is disallow illegal immigration with a wall. With a wall. So I think that policy, like almost all of our immigration policy, is a series of stopgap measures, at best. Inconsistent and stupid at worst, which is most of the time.
MADDOW: Tucker, I‘m on the opposite side of you. Even I would agree it would be better not to have illegal immigrants coming into the United States. I‘m in favor of legal immigration and we‘d all prefer legal immigration over illegal immigration. Nobody wants this. But the fact remains, if you get real, that people are going to come. People are desperate to come into the United States. So, should the Border Patrol have those rescue beacons or not?
CARLSON: They will not come if you don‘t allow them to come. Having those beacons for the short term is compassion. It is bad to allow people to die of thirst. It is bad to allow people to die of exposure on our own streets, and we do and that‘s a shame.
However, in the long term, those things, just like the maps will encourage people to come and that‘s not compassionate, it‘s wrong.
MADDOW: They don‘t encourage people to come.
CARLSON: Of course they do.
MADDOW: They recognize people are coming, it‘s just the same idea of we don‘t want people to go out and get blottered on a weekend and we don‘t want people get completely drunk, but if you do, have a designated driver. We don‘t want teenagers to have sex, but if you do, use a condom. It‘s harm reduction. It‘s recognizing that something that we don‘t want to happen still happens.
CARLSON: Americans get killed buying drugs in Mexico every year. If the American government printed a guide how to buy cocaine in Mexico, the Mexican government would say, know what? You‘re encouraging people to buy drugs in our country and that is wrong. That is exactly what the Mexican government is doing now. They are encouraging people to break our law and I‘m against it. I think we ought to treat the Mexican government as the antagonist that it is.
MADDOW: It is not the Mexican government doing this. And it‘s the U.S. human rights groups and it‘s the U.S. Border Patrol does this.
CARLSON: I‘m not defending the U.S. Border Patrol. I think they‘re carrying out ridiculous policies, supported by this administration which is ridiculous on immigration. I am not a patsy for the Republicans. I think their policy is indefensible as I say so, every night. Growl. Rachel Maddow, thank you.
MADDOW: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Still plenty ahead on THE SITUATION.
Pam cries foul. Wait until you see why her long-time feud with the colonel has finally gone bust.
Then the art of the lawsuit. What is it about this book that has got the Donald all fired up?
Plus, cutting edge art. We‘ll show you why this museum exhibit is absolutely hair-raising.
And then, Japan‘s odd couple. An usual tale of friendship you may find hard to swallow. It‘s all ahead on THE SITUATION.
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DONALD TRUMP, CELEBRITY: Very attractive, very, very smart.
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CARLSON: Welcome back. Quote, “I am the most loved man that ever lived, because there weren‘t no satellites when Jesus and Moses were around. People in far away villages didn‘t know about them.” Those words were not spoken by Max Kellerman in the commercial break. They came from on of his heroes, Muhammad Ali.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO: Muhammad Ali!
CARLSON: That‘s right, Max. Joining me now live in our SITUATION studio, the “Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host, Max Kellerman.
KELLERMAN: And I believe that Muhammad Ali is probably the most famous person who actually ever lived, and who is famous for actually being him and not some mythology built around them.
CARLSON: I would take issue with that whole mythology thing but we can debate that off the air.
KELLERMAN: Well, actually there‘s mythology around Ali.
CARLSON: That‘s an excellent point. Of his own doing.
First up, the story so remarkable, it can only happen in, yes, Florida. The University of Florida is telling its employees they must sign an affidavit pledging they‘re having sex with their domestic partners before they qualify for benefits under a new healthcare plan. Married couples, of course, are not asked for any such pledge. The university‘s vice president for human resources says he will not personally be checking up on couples.
This was bound to happen as soon as you have this domestic partnership ridiculousness.
KELLERMAN: If you just let people get married, it‘s not an issue.
CARLSON: That‘s the point. It‘s exactly the point. Marriage should be the only category that‘s awarded these benefits. If you want to expand marriage to include gay people or polygamous arrangements or people—any combination you want, then you have to take that to the public and make the case and make it law.
But proponents of gay marriage don‘t want to do that, because they know they can‘t win and they don‘t want to be bothered with making the argument, because no one wants to be bothered with making the argument, so instead they sneak in this domestic partnership nonsense which opens up a can of worms. It‘s just—it‘s ridiculous.
KELLERMAN: I agree with the point, but I disagree with the idea that various groups have not tried desperately to get—to allow gay people to get married. It became a major national issue and the argument was laid out.
CARLSON: There are some smart people who have made the case, Jonathan Rausch has made the case, Andrew Sullivan has made—he wrote a book about it—there are some people who have made the case, but by and large proponents of gay marriage have been content to go around the issue.
KELLERMAN: Not content. It‘s the only option.
CARLSON: They have been making the case in public for three or four or five, 10 years, let‘s say, up against which you have millennia where there was no such thing as gay marriage. It takes a while to make the case.
KELLERMAN: Let‘s not talk about ancient history and gay relationships.
CARLSON: This category of domestic partnership will always be fraught with questions like are you actually having sex with each other, because it‘s a stupid category.
KELLERMAN: I think we differ in terms of our conclusions that we draw about—or at least our analysis about how much effort is being put forth to get marriage—the idea of marriage to extend to as many people as it actually should but in this particular instance, here this university is being nice by extending what is a privilege of marriage to people who aren‘t married. So if you do that, then you need some kind of proof, right, that they‘re actually in this domestic partnership. Otherwise I can bring my poker buddy down to the university and say he‘s my domestic partner.
CARLSON: Why not? The point is when you have a category like domestic partnership, there‘s no good argument against bringing your poker buddy in. What‘s the difference?
KELLERMAN: And it points to how ridiculous it is that gay people aren‘t allowed to get married.
CARLSON: You may be absolutely right. If you want to change marriage, change marriage don‘t ...
KELLERMAN: I agree, I don‘t know who won that debate, but I know I agree with you.
CARLSON: I don‘t either.
Next, a story about second chances, given to really, really good-looking people. An Argentinean model named Dorismar and her husband were deported from the U.S. a couple weeks ago after they overstayed their visas. Her lawyer is appealing the deportation.
On the ground, buckle your seatbelts now. Dorismar is, quote, “an alien of extraordinary ability.” With a straight face, the attorney cited his client‘s inclusion on the list of the 25 best rear ends in the entertainment business and she has certainly earned that place on the list. I am very tempted to say let‘s let Dorismar in.
KELLERMAN: What does she look like? I forgot what she looked like.
CARLSON: She‘s an Argentinean model. What am I going to say? But first of all, she‘s already married, so she won‘t add to the gene pool here in America. But I can‘t betray my principles. I say I‘m against illegal immigration, even for Dorismar?
KELLERMAN: This should be the exception that proves the rule, obviously. Look, she was not voted a good rear end, she was not voted a great rear end. She was voted one of the 25 best rear ends in the entertainment business.
Now, I can make a silly pun about you know how many asses there are in the entertainment business, however, without even making that pun, come on, you always say what kind of country do we want to have? That‘s the kind of country I would like to have, Tucker. We need more of that in this country. Why do you want to send that away?
CARLSON: You‘re saying keep your eyes on the prize.
KELLERMAN: I‘m saying don‘t look a gift horse in the mouth.
CARLSON: How many other hackneyed cliches can we get in?
KELLERMAN: She‘s been a “Playboy” playmate, a calendar pinup and a purveyor of sophisticated soft core videos. Sophisticated soft core videos!
CARLSON: Sophisticated ones.
CARLSON: Well, then that kind of changes my mine. But I say if a principle is worth having, it‘s worth suffering for. And in this case suffering may mean forgoing Dorismar.
KELLERMAN: If she marries a U.S. citizen, for instance, me, if I were to get divorced from my wife, wouldn‘t that make her ...
CARLSON: She‘d be adding to this thing we call America.
KELLERMAN: I‘m just saying I think I‘ve stumbled upon a solution.
CARLSON: You can come but you can‘t bring your husband, that‘s the bottom line.
Max Kellerman, thank you. Coming up on THE SITUATION, we‘ll take you inside a-foot wave, in the most dangerous surfing contest the world. When THE SITUATION returns.
CARLSON: Welcome back. They call it the Super Bowl of big wave surfing, except in the Super Bowl there‘s very little chance you‘ll fall off a 50 foot wave onto a jagged reef or be eaten by sharks. The Maverick Surf Contest in Northern California has earned the reputation for being the most dangerous competition in the world. Twenty four of the world‘s biggest daredevils get together on 24 hour‘s notices to ride monster waves in near freezing water. Joining me tonight live from San Francisco, Maverick‘s founder Jeff Clark.
Jeff Clark, thanks for joining us.
JEFF CLARK, FOUNDER, MAVERICK‘S SURF CONTEST: Thank you. It‘s good to be here.
CARLSON: Thanks. So for people who haven‘t seen it, tell us what it‘s like. How—Maverick‘s is, by reputation, the most dangerous place to surf. Even places with bigger waves aren‘t as dangerous. Why is it so dangerous?
CLARK: Why it‘s so dangerous is it is probably the best paddling surf spot in the world. You have got waves that stand up 50 feet. Last year we had the biggest paddle-in wave award of the year went to one of the waves during our contest. And between the cold water, the sharks, the rocks, I mean, we‘ve got all the elements that make a lot of people just say no, not for me.
CARLSON: About 10 years ago Mark Fu (ph) was a big wave surfer died -
more than 10 years ago probably—died at Maverick‘s. Have you had other people hurt?
CLARK: Everybody‘s had their licks out there, whether it be stitches, a concussion, a nerve cracking, hold down, drug through the rocks, broken boards. But as far as anybody losing their life, that was kind of a freak accident. We knew it would happen, and you know, we try and take those precautions and keep everybody safe.
CARLSON: Sow we‘ve been showing tape of some of the waves at Maverick‘s which are huge. If you fall off your board and the wave comes down on top of you, how long are you underwater?
CLARK: It‘s like being caught in the Colorado River at high water mark, it just does not let you go. It will hold you down—the longest we‘ve seen is about 40 seconds. We‘re fearing. When we see somebody being held down that long, we‘re all trying to get to them out of there. But a lot of times there‘s nothing you can do.
CARLSON: Why don‘t surfers wear life jackets like sailors do?
CLARK: Well, if you float, you‘re going to be drug further. So there is an aspect of tow-in surfing that we wear life jackets, but this is a paddle in surfing event. And you need to have—you can‘t be that bulky. You have to be quick.
CARLSON: When you‘re standing on top of a 30 foot wave or even a bigger wave, does it feel like you‘re standing on top of a building looking down?
CLARK: Well, you really don‘t notice how big it is until you have you turn around and you‘ve already made that commitment, you hit your feet and it‘s at that point you realize you‘re at the most critical point, you either make it or—like you said, you‘re jumping off a three-story building.
CARLSON: So this contest, the Maverick‘s Surf Contest, the contestants have a 24-hour warning to get there, when is it and where can you see it?
CLARK: Well, it‘s in Half Moon Bay, and it‘s a on the north tip of Half Moon Bay by Pillar Point Harbor. And you can work your way out along the trail, along the harbor and perch yourself up on the edge of the cliff, with many spectators or go onto Mavericksurf.com and sign up to get on one of the spectator boats.
CARLSON: Is it going to be televised this year?
CLARK: It will be televised. We‘ve got the slot of at Kentucky Derby, which is pretty cool, I thought.
CARLSON: It‘s an amazing thing. These guys who do it, you‘re one of them, some of the bravest people—I was going to say in sports, but really, in the world. It takes a lot of brass to get in the water with a wave like that. Jeff Clark, a hero in the surfing world. Thanks a lot for joining us.
CLARK: Thank you very much.
CARLSON: Still ahead on THE SITUATION, Pamela Anderson‘s bust has always been a hot topic of conversation. Now she‘s getting excited about someone else‘s bust. How is that for titillating? We‘ll tell you whose when we visit the “Cutting Room Floor.” Next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time for the “Cutting Room Floor” and a man who isn‘t technically a big wave surfer, but in the eyes of many of the ladies might as well be, Willie Geist.
WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC PRODUCER: Wow. Totally untrue. Should anyone ever question my commitment to this company, I would merely point them to my new clipboard. That‘s new tonight, everybody.
CARLSON: You can‘t imagine the wrangling required to get that. Thank you, Willie.
As a world-class businessman who‘s been in his fair share of battles, Donald Trump has pretty thick skin. But one thing he will not stand for is to have his status as a billionaire called into question. Trump has filed a $5 billion lawsuit, that‘s billion with a “B” against the author and publisher of the book “Trump Nation.” The book puts Trump‘s net worth between $150 and $200 million. Trump says he‘s worth $2.7 billion.
GEIST: This is such good Trump, once again, Tucker. The book takes shot at his personal life and his family, and there‘s no problem there. But you lowball him on his net worth and he‘s going with a $5 billion lawsuit. That‘s a great figure, too.
CARLSON: He‘s basically been bankrupt for like 30 years. I respect him more that he‘s actually kind of poor. We‘re richer than he is, Willie.
GEIST: Five billion dollars?
CARLSON: Don‘t worry, you‘re not about to see this snake eat this hamster. We wouldn‘t show you that. Actually we would show you that but we couldn‘t find any video of that, unfortunately. Actually the four foot rat snake and the gray hamster live together in a glass enclosure at the Tokyo Kingdom Zoo. The hamster was originally dropped in as a meal, but the snake refused to eat it. The two since have become fast friends.
GEIST: Yeah, they‘re friends. Tucker, let me tell you something.
Snakes are dumb animals with tiny brains. They don‘t know about friends. They know about food. He‘s praying a game with the hamster. The hamster is a dead man, mark my words.
CARLSON: This is not a lion laying down with the lamb.
GEIST: And he‘s playing a game with us, too. It‘s a cute story. No, no, he‘s predatory. He‘s lulling it to sleep.
CARLSON: Creepy. Some people look at the statue of Colonel Sanders and think of crispy original recipe chicken. Others think of baby chickens being tortured at processing plants. Pamela Anderson falls into the latter camp. She petitioned the governor of Kentucky to remove the bust of Colonel Sanders from the state house because of Kentucky Fried Chicken‘s alleged poor treatment of chickens. The governor has now refused that request, calling Colonel Sanders, quote, “A Kentucky icon.”
GEIST: The easy thing here is a Pamela Anderson bust joke. We‘re going to bypass that, recognize it and move on. I want to know why there‘s a bust of a fast food mascot in their statehouse. Does Illinois have Ronald McDonald in their statehouse?
CARLSON: They should. They absolutely should. They ought to have a statue of Ray Kroc but they‘re an ungrateful state so they don‘t.
GEIST: I disagree.
CARLSON: I love the fast food. All right. Thank you will.
GEIST: All right, Tucker.
CARLSON: That‘s it for THE SITUATION. Thanks for watching. Keith is next. See you tomorrow.
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