Guests: Lanny Davis, Michael Barrera, Albert Wynn, Joan Rivers, Jim Tracy
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”: That‘s all we have tonight. THE SITUATION with Tucker Carlson starts now. What‘s the situation tonight?
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Michael, good show, by the way.
SMERCONISH: Thank you.
CARLSON: Thanks to you at home for tuning in. We always appreciate it.
Tonight, President Bush goes on trial before a court of justice for war crimes. That court, incidentally, is inside a New Jersey high school classroom.
Meanwhile, across the country, a Colorado teacher compares the president to Adolf Hitler and is caught on tape doing it. Is political propaganda replacing education in America‘s schools? We‘ll debate it.
Also, NBC News has obtained never before seen footage of former FEMA director Michael Brown praising President Bush the very day Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. But wait, doesn‘t that contradict Brown‘s recent statement that nobody listened to his pleas for help? We‘ll sort it out for you.
Plus, “Brokeback Mountain” is expected to be the big winner at Sunday night‘s Oscar awards. But who will reign supreme on the red carpet? Who‘s got the best dress? We‘ll get a preview from the one, the only, Joan Rivers. She joins us in just a few minutes.
But we begin tonight with the port storms suddenly surrounding Bill and Hillary Clinton. Just before Hillary Clinton proposed legislation to block the deal that would have allowed a Middle Eastern country to manage six major American seaports, her husband, it turns out, was advising Dubai‘s leaders on how to preserve that very deal. And yes, the former president also says he still supports his wife‘s position, saying, quote, “Ideally, state-owned companies would not own and run U.S. ports.”
So why is a former president of the United States working on behalf of the United Arab Emirates? Here to help us understand, the former special White House counsel to the president, President Clinton, and a man in close communication with both Clintons, Lanny Davis, who joins us tonight from Washington.
Lanny, I‘m glad you‘re on. Thanks.
LANNY DAVIS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: Hi, Tucker.
CARLSON: That‘s the question: why is a former president of the United States working on behalf of the United Arab Emirates? It seems awfully weird to me.
DAVIS: Well, it‘s an exaggeration and not accurate to say he‘s working on behalf...
CARLSON: OK. He‘s taking money from the government of the UAE, and he‘s representing their point of view in Washington. That sounds like working on their behalf to me.
DAVIS: Well, he made some speeches where he was paid. So taking money isn‘t exactly...
CARLSON: Well, no. The government of the UAE also gave a great deal of money to his presidential library. So he has taken dough from them, and he‘s—he‘s flacking for them. He doesn‘t need the money. Why is he doing this?
DAVIS: I don‘t have to accept your spin, do I?
CARLSON: Yes, you do.
DAVIS: They‘re contributing to the foundation, along with lots of others.
DAVIS: It‘s not President Clinton taking money. And his point of view, which I think is pretty consistent with what I‘ve heard you say and is consistent with what most people feel, is that we need to be building bridges to Islamic states in the Middle East, who have been allies on the war against terror, especially in the United Arab Emirates.
But he also supports Senator Clinton‘s position that we should not be rushing into a contract where the government runs our ports, especially a government where there was money laundering that occurred that should first be preceded by careful investigation. That‘s what Senator Clinton is saying.
CARLSON: I get it. I get it. I didn‘t understand it before. So he‘s both for it and against it.
CARLSON: He both lit the joint but didn‘t inhale. He is taking the side of a company—I mean, rather, of a country, that wants this contract very badly, and the billions it represents, right?
CARLSON: He‘s at the same time saying he supports his wife‘s position, which is, and I‘m quoting now, “We should not surrender our port operations to a foreign government.” So those are diametrically opposed. How can he be on both sides?
DAVIS: Well, they‘re only diametrically opposed if we accept your version of what he has said, but they‘re not diametrically opposed if we accept his version, which is the only version that I can speak to.
He is saying, as is President Bush, as are many responsible Americans, that the United Arab Emirates should not be treated as an enemy and that we should be building brings to Islamic nations that are antiterror and that are friendly to the United States. That‘s what he is saying.
CARLSON: OK. But...
DAVIS: But he also thinks that this contract is unwise to rush into, as does Senator Clinton, without a full and thorough investigation.
DAVIS: Those are not contrary positions.
CARLSON: Mrs. Clinton‘s position, and again let me read it. This is verbatim: “We cannot afford to surrender our port operations to foreign governments.” Period. UAE, foreign government. Our port operations being surrendered to that foreign government.
President Clinton trying, in his Clintonian way, and I don‘t mean that as an insult, to facilitate the deal. You know, we‘ll wait 45 days, Congress will cool down. He‘s on President Bush‘s side. President Bush...
CARLSON: ... has, as you just said, the same position as former President Clinton. That‘s not an insult, but they have the same position. Mrs. Clinton has a completely different position. You can‘t be on both sides.
DAVIS: You—you have a magical ability of taking words that I say and slightly changing them.
CARLSON: Come on.
DAVIS: So let me go back...
CARLSON: Let‘s get reality based (ph). I mean, come on. OK.
DAVIS: Let me go back to the accurate position as opposed to your characterization, which not is entirely accurate.
President Clinton, as I said, believes that we should be building bridges to antiterrorist Islamic states, and the United Arab Emirates have shown that position.
He‘s saying that—as is Senator Clinton—you took a statement nakedly out of context. She‘s not saying never should there be a port contract with a foreign government. We already have some foreign governments who are running the ports in the United States.
She is saying don‘t rush into this one. Behind the shroud of secrecy, there should be a full investigation. That‘s all Senator Schumer and she have been saying. This 45-day period should have occurred first, rather than somebody blowing the whistle on, I think, a serious mistake by the Bush White House in being politically tone deaf in rushing into this under a shroud of secrecy.
CARLSON: This is unbelievable.
DAVIS: That‘s the issue.
CARLSON: So the president—former president agrees with the current president. Clinton agrees with Bush, except he doesn‘t. He disagrees with his wife, except they‘re on the same side. This is amazing. This is bringing me back to the ‘90s.
Final question here. I mean, I don‘t think we‘re going to solve this on the show. But this question...
DAVIS: Not using your words we‘re not.
CARLSON: Why is, honestly—and people can go—it‘s all available on Google, and you can decide for yourself, which side makes more sense, mine or yours.
But a former president—back to my initial question, is acting on behalf of this government, maybe also acting on behalf of ours. But acting on behalf of theirs. And indisputably has taken hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars from this Middle Eastern Islamic government.
Should a former president do that? A former president is seen in the third world, in the Islamic world, in the whole world, as a representative of the U.S. government. Why is he taking money from these people at all?
DAVIS: Well, we know that President Reagan went to Japan and took money from the Japanese business community. I think it was a million dollars.
CARLSON: Well, he shouldn‘t have. I‘m not defending him.
DAVIS: Former presidents have been paid for speeches. So Tucker, to be very accurate, which I know you want to be, all President Clinton has done is taken money for giving speeches. The foundation is a completely separate and very worthy endeavor.
And finally, you mischaracterized his position. He‘s not acting on behalf of anyone. He‘s taking a very reasonable position about encouraging Islamic states to joining us in the war against terror. But he also believes this contract needs to be investigated. And they‘re completely consistent positions, except when you misstate it.
CARLSON: Oh, come on. It‘s unbelievable. I mean, I don‘t think—you know, I‘m not a super high I.Q. guy, but you know, I try. I pay close attention to every word uttered by both Mr. and Mrs. Clinton and by you, and I still don‘t get it. But I appreciate your attempting to explain. Lanny Davis, as always, thank you.
DAVIS: Great, Tucker. Thanks for having me.
CARLSON: Well, for more on the Clintons‘ remarkable Dubai double speak, we bring in our old pal, Rachel Maddow of Air America radio.
RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO: Tucker, hi.
CARLSON: I mean, look, this is not an “I did not inhale” moment, but I want to just get—in my view. But I want to get back to the larger question, which is why—and I asked this four times of Lanny, whom I love, but still, he didn‘t answer. Why should a former president be accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from a foreign country, much less acting on their behalf? I know Reagan did it, Bush. I don‘t care. I‘m against it in every case, always.
MADDOW: Would you be against, you know, people who are former administration officials also working for other countries? Is it just presidents? Where do you draw the line?
CARLSON: I think that that‘s creepy. I think the existence of registered foreign agents in this country, American citizens working on behalf of foreign governments, is creepy. But I think the president doing it is far and away different and worse, because the president—
Republican, Democrat, doesn‘t matter—embodies the United States. Right? He is a representative of the U.S. government for the rest of his life, whether he wants to be. He travels with secret service for the rest of his life. You shouldn‘t take money, particularly not from the UAE, but from anybody.
MADDOW: But as you said, lots of presidents do this. This is what presidents do. It‘s kind of a standard of conduct they have.
CARLSON: ... have done it.
MADDOW: The question, though, is the outrage specifically on this issue with the Clintons? And so we‘ve got Bill Clinton giving speeches for money in Dubai. We‘ve got Hillary Clinton raising flags about the Dubai ports thing. We‘ve got him advising that company.
You know, we‘ve also got Bob Dole as a registered lobbyist for that company while his wife, the senator, is raising red flags about that deal. It seems to me that if we‘re outraged at Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton having double speak on this, we ought to be just as outraged about Bob Dole being a lobbyist for that company while his wife is...
CARLSON: As I just said mere seconds ago, I think it‘s creepy. I‘m not for representing any other country if you‘re an American citizen. I‘m not for dual loyalty; I‘m not for dual citizenship, which I think is wrong, frankly.
But there is a huge difference between Bob Dole, who also sells Viagra, and former President Clinton, who seeks to be this world leader. Moreover, Clinton is pitching the government of Dubai, not really a government, a ruling family—it‘s an authoritarian government—trying to get his friends jobs there. Joe Lockhart, his old spokesman, he tried to get Joe Lockhart a job, flacking for this Dubai ports deal. The whole thing is so gross.
MADDOW: But the way that you phrase this is that the problem is not just Bill Clinton has conduct unbecoming a former president. You‘re saying this is a problem with Hillary Clinton. Why is it not a problem with Elizabeth Dole?
CARLSON: I‘m not saying it‘s a problem with Hillary Clinton. I‘m saying—no, I‘m not attacking Hillary at all. Actually, I‘m on Hillary‘s side on this. I think she‘s had a consistent position.
I‘m attacking the former president, who‘s paid by this government, is acting on its behalf and then has the gall to look at the American people and say, “Actually, I agree with my wife, whose position is diametrically opposed to mine.” It‘s insane.
MADDOW: I think that in the globalized economy, with the kind of business ties that you see, both in the Democratic Party but especially in the Republican Party, if you want to say never represent a foreign government and never represent a foreign company, you‘re going to be taking on a lot.
CARLSON: How about this? When we have a war going on, right, be careful before you represent a Middle Eastern country, whose population is not so on our side. I don‘t know.
MADDOW: Who‘s the war between? Who‘s the war on?
CARLSON: Well, we have a war in Iraq. We have a global war on terror.
MADDOW: And the war in Dubai?
CARLSON: I don‘t know. You‘ve got to get home delivery (ph).
MADDOW: What‘s with the war in Dubai?
CARLSON: There‘s not in Dubai?
MADDOW: Right. It‘s just a war on Muslims.
CARLSON: No, it‘s not a war on Muslims. I‘m saying many residents of the UAE are now fighting us in Iraq and are opposed to us.
I‘m just saying common sense tells you slow down. Maybe you can make $300,000, Mr. Greedhead, former president, but maybe you shouldn‘t. Maybe you should control yourself for once. Just my view.
Now, the debate over the Katrina response and whether or not it was adequate or not yesterday was inflamed by these tapes...
CARLSON: ... of President Bush being, typically, incurious, not asking a single question, which I thought was very troubling. Today we have new tapes NBC has found. Here is former FEMA director Michael Brown talking about Bush‘s response. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BROWN, FEMA DIRECTOR: Questions about performance (ph) of breaches. He asked me about hospitals. He was really engaged, asking a lot of really good questions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: He‘s asking a lot of good questions. I mean, maybe he was, maybe he wasn‘t. I‘m very cynical of the president asking any questions at all.
CARLSON: However, why these tapes are interesting doesn‘t even pertain, necessarily, to Mr. Brown, who clearly hates the administration, but to the governor, Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana, who really ought to be in a position to know a lot more than FEMA. It is, after all, her state.
She says on the tapes the levees have not been breached. The levees have not been breached.
CARLSON: She had no idea the levees in her own state, sort of at the very center of where people feel hurricanes might hit land, had been breached. I don‘t know. I think...
MADDOW: The hour before her statement or so, there had been a breach, and she didn‘t know about it at that point. Right?
CARLSON: She didn‘t go around the state (ph). I mean, you know what I mean?
MADDOW: She was off by an hour.
CARLSON: I‘m not defending Bush.
CARLSON: I think the federal government screwed up. I think the federal government often screws up. I just think you‘re responsible for your own state. You‘re responsible for your own city. You‘re responsible for your own house, if you‘re a homeowner. This tendency to blame the federal government for not rescuing us from everything bothers me.
MADDOW: The problem with these tapes, though, what‘s happening here, is that what we get to see, we get the actual images of Bush being warned over and over and over again that this is a really big problem, this is a really dire circumstance, this is the big one.
His response is everything‘s fine. We‘re fully prepared, he says.
Everything‘s taken care of. We see him not ask questions.
MADDOW: And then—what happens in Bush‘s record at that point? What does he actually do? The day of the storm, he goes to Arizona and gives a speech at a resort. He goes to John McCain‘s birthday party.
MADDOW: Goes to California and gives another speech. The day after the storm hit he goes back to—he goes and plays guitar with Mark Willis. And then that night he decides to take another day of vacation.
All of this happening when he‘s had all these warnings, when he says we‘re fully prepared, when the National Guard troops are not there, and meanwhile, 1,300 people are on their way to die.
CARLSON: I mean, it‘s not like you could stop the storm. I agree with you, his response was inadequate. I agree with you that he is incurious and, in some ways, not a very effective president.
CARLSON: But in this case, I think if it‘s your state, you‘re the governor, you‘re the mayor, the pathetic mayor they have down there in New Orleans, ultimately, it‘s your responsibility. And I just think we too quickly in Republican and Democrat administrations point to the federal government and say, “Why aren‘t you saving me?”
MADDOW: I think it‘s incredible to look at what Bush did and see what we‘re seeing in these tapes and say, “God, I‘d really like to find another way to blame the local Democrats.” At this point, Bush has a lot to answer for...
CARLSON: That is an unfair and silly thing to say. I‘m not blaming them because they‘re Democrats. I‘m blaming them because philosophically I believe always, in every case, the local authorities and the local people have the first responsibility to deal with their own lives. That‘s my world view.
MADDOW: When a Category 5 hurricane wipes an American city off the map, I want the president to know something about it and stop...
CARLSON: I do, too. I still think Blanco‘s worse.
Anyway, Rachel Maddow.
MADDOW: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: Thank you. Have a great weekend.
MADDOW: You, too.
CARLSON: Still to come, should a geography teacher who said this to student be canned?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‘m not saying that Bush and Hitler are exactly the same. Obviously, they‘re not. OK? But there are some eerie similarities to the tones that they use.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: They‘re not exactly the same.
Plus outrage over a new federal plan that might actually enforce the law against illegal aliens working in this country. Details when we come back.
CARLSON: Still ahead, the president is compared to Hitler, and a Bush war crime trial is now underway in a New Jersey high school. Have teachers finally crossed the line? Classroom controversy when we come back.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
We‘re only two months into the year, and the border patrol already has intercepted more than 400,000 people trying to cross into this country illegally.
Today, the Senate got to work on an immigration bill that would limit illegal aliens‘ ability to work in America. One of the plans under consideration would employers to check every worker‘s Social Security number or immigration work permit against a new federal database.
Here to tell us why this is not a good idea is Michael Barrera. He‘s the president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He joins us live from Washington tonight.
Michael, thanks for coming on.
MICHAEL BARRERA, PRESIDENT, HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
CARLSON: I don‘t understand exactly the problem with this. It‘s against the law for people who are here illegally, no matter where they‘re from, to work. Right? They need a work permit or they need to be citizens. They need a green card or they need to be citizens. What‘s wrong with enforcing that law?
BARRERA: Well, I think the thing we‘ve got to realize, Tucker, is that right now we are a country that needs workers.
BARRERA: And right now we have a country that‘s running out of workers to fill a lot of jobs that people won‘t take.
I think one of the things that—in fact, Houston reported this (ph),
is that we have a big problem with Social Security right now. It‘s running
out of money. In two years, 77 million people, the Baby Boomers, will go -
start going to Social Security. By 2015 it starts going in the red. By 2030, 2040 Social Security goes bankrupt. So we need someone to start—we need young workers. We need workers to start filling those roles for Social Security.
CARLSON: I mean, that‘s a completely valid argument that we need more immigrants in this country. You may absolutely be right. I‘m not sure you are, but I think it‘s a fair point of view to have.
Why not change immigration law, then? We‘re not arguing about whether we need more immigrants. We‘re arguing about whether or not we ought to enforce existing laws against illegal immigration. Why not enforce those laws?
BARRERA: Obviously, the laws aren‘t working, Tucker, because if they were, we wouldn‘t be addressing it right now. There‘s a lot of people who are addressing it, whether it be the House or the Senate.
And I want to congratulate the Senate. The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce commends the Senate, at this point, for actually addressing the law. And not only addressing the law, but making sure it‘s a comprehensive law that we‘re addressing. Right now, just enforcement only will not work.
CARLSON: How do we know that? Because the law, of course, is not enforced. If I‘m an illegal alien, I can get a job easily, and no one does anything about it. And even if someone does do something about it, the person who hires me is not punished. Businesses get away with this.
Now, we can argue the macro point about whether or not we ought to have these laws in the first place. But it‘s hard for me to believe that with a straight face you‘re arguing we should ignore federal law just because it helps businesses.
BARRERA: Well, I think—I don‘t think we‘re arguing that we should be ignoring it. I think we‘re arguing that there should be a better law that actually works.
Any type of laws that you have to make sense. And I think we all have to use common sense in this thing.
You were just talking about New Orleans. Who do you think is rebuilding New Orleans right now? It‘s those immigrants are coming and rebuilding that city. I don‘t think anyone can argue...
CARLSON: There‘s a lot of resentment about that, by the way, from people who are from New Orleans who have been displaced by that storm, who‘ve seen jobs they think they‘re entitled to taken by people who aren‘t even residents of this country. There‘s a lot of anger from native born Americans about that, as you may or may not know.
So—but again, that‘s another conversation. If you feel that way, why aren‘t you agitating to change immigration law? Why? Because you‘ll never get it done, because the population doesn‘t want it. Business wants it, because you get cheap labor.
BARRERA: When you say that the population—that‘s not really true.
And we‘ve got to be common sense about this. Let‘s talk about immigration.
Now, many years ago people didn‘t want Italians here. Many years ago people didn‘t want the Irish mere. Many yeas ago, they didn‘t want the Asians here. But they‘ve all contributed a lot to this country. And right now the Mexican immigrants, and actually immigrants from south of the border, seem to be the du jour group that we want to be against. And we‘ve got to be smart about this.
CARLSON: Wait a second. Slow down. That‘s—first of all, that‘s unfair, because the implication is people don‘t like illegal immigrants because of where they‘re from.
BARRERA: Now, I don‘t think it has to do with...
CARLSON: It has nothing to do with whether they‘re Hispanic or Asian or African or Middle Eastern. The question only is should we tolerate people breaking our laws? That‘s the question.
BARRERA: You talk about toleration. I think that‘s what‘s great about this country; we‘ve always been a very tolerant country that actually invites people in it to do what we need to do. And again, Tucker, if everything was perfect...
CARLSON: We didn‘t invite them; they snuck in.
BARRERA: If everything was perfect, we wouldn‘t be addressing it. And right now, we are addressing the laws, to make it a comprehensive immigration reform, because it is needed.
CARLSON: All right.
BARRERA: Because right now what we have now just doesn‘t work. And I think everyone would agree, just—what we have now just doesn‘t work.
CARLSON: Some of us would like to see the laws enforced. And you know, we‘ll see if they work. But we‘re out of time.
BARRERA: Well, I appreciate it.
CARLSON: Michael Barrera, thanks for your point of view. I appreciate it.
BARRERA: Thank you.
CARLSON: Still to come, Jessica Alba is this month‘s “Playboy” cover girl. And that‘s got her steaming mad. We‘ll explain when we come back.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
Black Americans came out in droves to support Democrats in 2004, giving presidential candidate John Kerry 88 percent of their vote. But now a prominent member of the Congressional Black Caucus says, quote, “Black voters can no longer be taken for granted by Democrats.”
Here to explain what he meant by this is Maryland Congressman Albert Wynn, one of my favorite Democrats. He joins us tonight from Washington, D.C.
Congressman Wynn, thanks for coming on.
REP. ALBERT WYNN (D), MARYLAND: My pleasure.
CARLSON: So what do you mean by this? Eighty-eight percent for John Kerry, 90 percent for Gore. Those are the numbers for black voters, according to Democrats. It‘s overwhelming. It‘s at North Korean levels, and you‘re saying it‘s about to change. Is this true?
WYNN: Well, I‘m saying it could change. I‘m saying the Democratic Party might be looking at some flashing yellow lights.
I think there is a concern over the last few years that maybe this degree of loyalty that‘s been expressed by the African-American community toward Democrats has been somewhat taken for granted. And at the same time you‘re seeing Republicans making an outreach in terms of statewide candidates and other outreach efforts to say why don‘t you give us a look? I think these two factors combined suggest that maybe the Democrats will get a lot more competition in terms of the African-American vote.
CARLSON: Well, I agree with you on the first part. I think that—I do think black voters are taken for granted by the Democrats. I‘ve seen it first-hand, and it bothers me.
But I wonder if there is going to be a kind of shift. You notice what happens to black Republicans and the amount of grief they take, the abuse, the personal abuse they take. Michael Steel in Maryland, obviously, Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court. Called all these names, traitors to the race and all these horrible things. That‘s not the behavior of people who are looking to switch parties.
WYNN: No, but you‘re seeing some subtle changes. First of all, you‘ve got a generational change. Younger African-American Democrats are not as affiliated with the Democratic Party, don‘t have the same civil rights tradition and associations as some of the older brothers do. So that‘s an area where Republicans might try to make inroads.
The other thing is, there‘s a kind of growing frustration. The Congressional Black Caucus met this morning with Mr. Dean, who‘s head of the DNC. And one of the things we talked about was how we can have greater involvement in the Democratic Party.
A lot of people are concerned that we‘re providing the votes, but we‘re not necessarily sitting at the table, making the decisions. So these are factors that could lead to some shifts. I don‘t think they‘ll be dramatic shifts, but they may not need to be. Even a subtle or a slight shift could change the outcome of some elections.
CARLSON: If I were Howard Dean I would definitely meet with you—if I were head of the DNC I would meet with you, and I would say, “Mr. Wynn, I really appreciate your input on that.”
But then I would think to myself, black voters are going to vote for us anyway, no matter what we do, so I‘m not going to spend a lot of time paying attention to them. I‘m going to go after Hispanics. There are more Hispanics in this country than there are black Americans. It‘s a much faster growing demographic, and they‘re not spoken for yet. Right?
So I would be focused on them, not on black voters.
WYNN: Well, I think you have to do both. I think Howard Dean deserves credit, because he‘s done a good job of outreaching to African-Americans, relative to some of the staffing that‘s occurred down at the DNC. I‘m sure there‘s a lot more that needs to be done, obviously. I don‘t think it‘s either/or.
The fact of the matter is for Democrats to be successful they have to broaden the coalition, to make sure that they bring in the Hispanic, they bring in the African-American vote and that they keep that and they retain that vote.
Meanwhile, on the Republican side, they‘re fielding some attractive African-American candidates in big, high profile races. Ken Blackwell in Ohio.
WYNNE: Yolind Swann (ph) in Pennsylvania. Michael Steel in Maryland. So that‘s giving them an opportunity to showcase folks and say wait a minute, look at what we have to say. Look at how we‘re profiling or showcasing some African-Americans. So that may make it attractive.
I think, and I‘m hopeful that the Democratic Party will say, “Look, we have to make sure that we reach out and include the African-American voters, the African-American leadership, in decision making and make sure people don‘t feel that they‘re being taken for granted.”
CARLSON: Well, then isn‘t it—don‘t you think, though, it‘s time for the Democratic leadership to stop claiming, suggesting, certainly implying that all Republicans are racist? I mean, sure, there are some racist Republicans, just as there are some racist Democrats. But that‘s a complete slander, and you know it. That‘s an utterly unfair thing to say, and they say it every election. Shouldn‘t they stop?
WYNN: Well, I call that bogeyman politics. I think saying that every Republicans are racist or saying that any black Republican is a sellout is just flat out bogeyman politics.
And the thing—the point that I‘ve been making to people is that‘s not going to continue to work as we go forward, because African-Americans, particularly younger African-Americans, who don‘t have this same history, are saying, “Wait a minute. Let‘s look at the facts and look at the issues. Let‘s look at what people have to offer.” And particularly on the areas of economic development, they‘re willing to listen to other points of view.
CARLSON: Congressman Albert Wynn of Maryland. They ought to listen to you, whoever they are.
WYNN: I agree.
CARLSON: Thanks for joining us tonight. I appreciate it.
WYNN: Thank you.
CARLSON: Still to come on our show, students walk out after a high school teacher compares President Bush to Hitler. Believe it or not, they‘re on the teacher‘s side.
Plus is this the worst Oscar dress of all time? We know that Joan Rivers won‘t hold back. She‘s here next on THE SITUATION.
CARLSON: While the rest of the world will be fawning and drooling over the movie stars at Sunday‘s Academy Awards, my next guest will be tearing them to shreds. Joan Rivers once again will be on the red carpet, ruthlessly making the biggest celebrities in the world feel insecure about their sense of style, and good for her. You can see Joan Sunday night on the TV Guide Channel. It‘s the best part of the Oscars, if you ask me.
We are thrilled to be joined, from New York tonight, by the great Joan Rivers.
Joan Rivers, welcome. You look great, by the way.
JOAN RIVERS, COMEDIAN: Well, thank you. And it‘s wonderful to talk to you. I‘m a big fan.
CARLSON: Thank you. Thank you. Now, are celebrities on the red carpet a big fan of yours? I can never tell whether they‘re happy to see you or afraid of you.
RIVERS: It depends. You know, some of them hold a grudge. Like you‘ll say something like they look like a big, fat, disgusting pig, and you put an apple in their mouth, and next time they won‘t talk to you.
CARLSON: I wonder why.
RIVERS: I wonder why. No, most of them are big fans, and it‘s funny and it works beautifully. You know that. You know that the bigger the star, the more humor they have and they don‘t give a damn.
CARLSON: That‘s right. Is there anybody, though, at the higher levels of Hollywood‘s stardom who avoids you actively and won‘t talk to you?
RIVERS: Well, Jessica Simpson, but you can‘t blame her, because I stumped her with a question, which was what writer is the movie “Capote” about? And that just—she hasn‘t come near me since then.
CARLSON: Now, you‘re—you‘re famous for critiquing people‘s appearance, their fashion sense. Who is the most reliably badly dressed person there? Who can you every year just be certain is dressed badly?
RIVERS: You know, the most reliably good are easy, because it‘s always Nicole Kidman and Halle Berry. On and on and on, it goes on. Julia Roberts.
Bad, not always the same, because they change, but sometimes Courtney Love has had, like, a bad day or a tragic phone call right before she comes on that carpet. And she‘s just dressed wonderfully.
RIVERS: For me. One year she came down dressed in a garbage bag and that‘s the kind of stuff you go, “Thank you, God.”
CARLSON: She also looks kind of loaded. I‘ve always wondered how many celebrities who walk onto the red carpet are drunk? Do you have any idea?
RIVERS: It‘s hard now, because with Botox, you can‘t tell. They‘re just there.
CARLSON: Isaac Mizrahi, that incident at the Golden Globes, where he was running around groping people, or at least Scarlett Johansson. Are you going to be able to look out for him? What was that about?
RIVERS: Well, you know, we‘re on “TV Guide.” We‘re both doing the pre-shows.
RIVERS: You have to know whose boobs to push and whose boobs not to push. And he just got the wrong girl.
CARLSON: Well, whose boobs to push? I mean, who has pushable boobs?
RIVERS: I would think Pamela Anderson.
RIVERS: You‘ve got to know. A big hot sex symbol, like peek-a-boo, it‘s OK. And you have to know who thinks they‘re an actress, and you leave those—you leave those alone.
CARLSON: I mean, do you think groping people—I mean, are you going to try that?
RIVERS: Yes, but you have to know. Like Madonna.
RIVERS: You know, she‘s an old tramp, so you might do it with her. Instead of earrings, one year she came with two jars of Vaseline hanging from her lobes. So you know, she‘s ready for fun.
CARLSON: Do you think—I mean, it seems like the most interesting part of the entire night takes place outside.
RIVERS: I think so. I swear I think so. Because inside everyone is so stiff and so tense, and outside they‘re relaxed and they‘re going in. As my daughter, Melissa, says, there‘s hope, I might win. That‘s a whole different mindset than coming out, going “Those sons of bitches. Pick a finger.” Coming out they‘re really angry.
CARLSON: Now, where are you, I mean, after—after the program, as they come out. Do some people go out the back door?
RIVERS: A lot go out the back door, you know, because it‘s that mad scramble for the limos. And then they all go to the parties, and it‘s which party are you going to? Very important.
CARLSON: Which is the best one this year?
RIVERS: Usually the Elton John or the “Vanity Fair” or the Tupperware.
RIVERS: I try to get to the Tupperware, because at least you come home with something.
CARLSON: That‘s an excellent point. What‘s the nastiest thing anyone said to you at these things?
RIVERS: Where do you want to start?
CARLSON: I don‘t know.
RIVERS: Joan, it‘s a formal event, you should have shaved your back.
CARLSON: That‘s pretty good, actually.
RIVERS: That was a good one.
CARLSON: Who said that?
RIVERS: That was my daughter.
CARLSON: Oh, OK. That sounds kind of painful. Are there—how many of these people are witty? I always wonder that. I mean, when they‘re totally ad libbing?
RIVERS: Tucker, there‘s so many of them. And those are the ones you wait for. Tom Hanks, hilarious, smart, funny. Julia Roberts, great sense of humor. Nicole Kidman, very funny. Robin Williams, of course. A lot more. George Clooney, God love him, gets it. You know what I‘m saying?
CARLSON: Yes, I do. I agree with that.
RIVERS: Just there‘s so many. And those are the ones you go—
Dustin Hoffman, you wait for them to come over.
CARLSON: Is there—is there a hall of fame in your mind for the worst dressed of all time? And Courtney Love is obviously at the top, but apart from Courtney Love.
RIVERS: No, no, no, come on. Bjork, dressed as a chicken. I mean, you can‘t—you can‘t write that. Bjork, when she came down the—dressed as a chicken?
CARLSON: That‘s either brilliant or horrifying?
RIVERS: But you know, we remember her, don‘t we? So who‘s smart and who‘s stupid?
We remember Lara Flynn Boyle as the little, you know, S&M ballerina. So these women are very smart. Yes, I dance for you and then I strike you in the mouth. You remember these people, and I think they‘re very smart to do that.
CARLSON: Kind of appealing. Joan Rivers, TV Guide Channel, Sunday night for the Oscars. I will be watching along with millions of others. Thanks a lot.
RIVERS: And I watch you all the time. A pleasure to talk to you.
CARLSON: Thanks a lot.
CARLSON (voice-over): There‘s plenty more ahead on THE SITUATION.
Overexposed: a revealing peek at why this “Playboy” bunny pose has Jessica hopping mad.
JESSICA ALBA, ACTRESS: It speaks for itself (ph).
CARLSON: Plus, Internet freaks and geeks, in the mood for a little cyber-nookie? We‘ll help you connect with your dream nerd.
STEVE CARREL, ACTOR: I hope you have a big trunk, because I‘m putting my bike in it.
CARLSON: And a bizarre undercover expose of unsafe sex. We‘ll show you why love really hurts. It‘s all ahead on THE SITUATION.
ALBA: I think it‘s going to be fun.
VANESSA MCDONALD, PRODUCER: Coming up, Jessica Alba is on the cover of the new “Playboy.” We‘ll tell you why she‘s not happy about that.
Plus, just how weird can Internet dating get?
CARLSON: Pretty weird, trust me. THE SITUATION returns in just 60 seconds.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
Lao Tse, the ancient Chinese mystic philosopher, once said, “Wise men don‘t need to prove their point. Men who need to prove their point aren‘t wise.” Joining me now, our own wise man, “The Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO: A lot of quotes from the Far East recently.
CARLSON: We‘re going heavy on the Asian mysticism this week. It‘s Asian Mystic Week here on THE SITUATION.
First up, do America‘s schools deserve a failing grade? You may think so after you hear what‘s going on in two public schools, one in New Jersey, the other in Colorado.
Students walked out of Oberlin High School in Aurora, Colorado, when a teacher was suspended for comparing President Bush‘s rhetoric to that of Adolf Hitler.
And at Parsippany High School in New Jersey, President Bush is being tried for, quote, “crimes against civilian populations, inhumane treatment of prisoners,” with students arguing both sides before a five-teacher international court of justice.
What a bunch of losers, Max. This is what makes people cynical about the whole enterprise of education, when teachers can‘t control themselves sufficient to keep their own dumb, maybe even not so dumb, political views out of class. I don‘t want to know what you think about politics. Be quiet and teach my kid grammar.
KELLERMAN: Well, I think it‘s an exercise actually. Look, put it this way, there‘s a prosecution and a defense. I think it‘s fair. And I think it‘s an exercise in terms of...
CARLSON: Wait, wait, wait. That‘s like saying, “We‘re going to put you on trial for felony sexual assault, Max.”
You say, “I never committed it.”
“We‘re going to put you on trial. We‘re not saying you‘re guilty, just the trial of Max Kellerman for rape.” That wouldn‘t bother you, would it?
KELLERMAN: But I think in schools current events come into play. I mean, you used to have classes in topics, homework, current events.
And the fact is this country is at a breaking point with President Bush. His approval rating is, what, now: 34 percent, the lowest anyone‘s even heard of. He can‘t do anything right, and then he can never take responsibility. And so he‘s being—it‘s seeped into the culture on all kinds of levels.
CARLSON: I think that‘s totally fair. And if adults who have the opportunity to vote for Bush don‘t want to vote for him or want to speak up against him or do whatever they want against him, short of violence, good for them.
These aren‘t adults; they‘re kids. And they shouldn‘t be subject to propaganda from their teachers, even if that propaganda is, in some cases, correct according to you or even to me. It‘s not—there‘s no place.
KELLERMAN: I don‘t know if it‘s propaganda. Because there is a defense, which you assume, you hope, is equally vigorous as the prosecution this classroom is defending.
CARLSON: But even the note—I mean, even the precept, the idea that Bush is going to be on trial for a crime implies people are accusing him of a crime against humanity. It‘s ludicrous.
KELLERMAN: I agree it‘s over the top, but as an exercise I think it‘s fair, and I think more than anything, as I said, it‘s an indication of where he has landed culturally.
CARLSON: Well, you‘re right.
All right. Speaking of culture, they say you cannot judge a book by its cover. And apparently, that holds true for magazines, as well. Actress Jessica Alba appears in a bikini on the cover of “Playboy‘s” March issue, which might lead you to believe she‘s a centerfold. Not so.
She‘s threatening to sue “Playboy,” saying she turned down their offer to posed nude and never authorized the magazine to put her cover on—picture on the cover.
It‘s a total outrage. She never posed for “Playboy.” She never said they could put her on the cover. She had nothing to do with it. I mean, I actually think she‘s been wronged here.
KELLERMAN: I‘m going to sue Jessica Alba for not posing naked in “Playboy.” That‘s why I‘m really upset. Now look...
CARLSON: I hope you win.
KELLERMAN: She is a public figure who has posed in a bikini for a movie. That‘s the picture they took and used in the magazine. It‘s not as though they Photoshopped her in naked inside. It says “25 Sexiest Celebrities.” I think, you know, if you‘re trying to be as objective as possible, you‘d agree she belongs on that list. It‘s not like they‘re lying about her.
CARLSON: But wait a second. Her image is her commodity. That‘s how she makes money is selling her image. They‘re using her image without paying her to sell their product.
KELLERMAN: But they do that with magazines all the time. They use the hottest, in their opinion best looking celebrities to sell all kinds of magazines all the time. This is a photo that was already out there. I‘m sure they had the right—you know, oftentimes you don‘t even need to get the rights to use it if it‘s in the public domain. In this case, they may have had to go get the rights.
But they‘re not claiming that she‘s he nude inside. And the fact is, even if they were, who do they make look bad? Themselves, because she‘s not posed nude inside.
CARLSON: The only way to set this right, the only way to bring justice to Jessica Alba is for her to pose naked in “Playboy”. I agree with you.
KELLERMAN: I think—I think that clearly is the solution.
CARLSON: Yes, totally. Max Kellerman, a man of solutions. Thanks for joining us.
KELLERMAN: Thank you.
CARLSON: Coming up on THE SITUATION, dating web sites are wildly popular. They‘re getting so specific “Star Trek” geeks can meet other “Star Trek” geeks. Harry Potter nerds can meet other Harry Potter nerds. We‘ll tell you just how weird Internet dating can be when we come back.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
If you‘re a “Star Trek” geek looking to meet your mate, you no longer have to wait for the annual convention to find the man or woman of your dreams. Intergalactic love is now just a click away at the dating site TrekPassions.com.
Online dating web sites are increasingly popular, of course, and as you can tell, they‘re also becoming increasingly esoteric. Jim Tracy is the publisher of “Online Dating Magazine.” He joins us live tonight from Portland, Oregon. He might just have a dating site for you.
Jim Tracy, thanks for joining us.
JIM TRACY, PUBLISHER, “ONLINE DATING MAGAZINE”: Hey, greetings, Tucker. Glad to be here.
CARLSON: Greetings, I like that. Just how specific are these sites?
TRACY: Well, the sites get extremely specific. I mean, you could find sites even like women who want to date men who wear orange bow ties.
CARLSON: Really? That‘s probably a small such subset of an already pretty small subset, I would think?
TRACY: Yes. Well, you know, in all seriousness, there‘s sites for Democrats who want to date Democrats, Republicans who want to date Republicans, Republicans who want to date Democrats. The realm just goes all over the place.
CARLSON: Then the “Star Trek” people.
TRACY: Oh, yes. These “Star Trek” people. I mean, you know, these are serious, devoted fans. And you know, there‘s people who own pets, and the pets are like a son or daughter to them. And the pet must love another person. So you know, AnimalAttraction.com. There they are.
CARLSON: Is this good for the gene pool? I mean, is it good for us to be facilitating meetings between these people? Or should we fling open the genetic windows and let some fresh air in?
TRACY: Let‘s do both.
CARLSON: Let‘s do both. I mean, look, if one Trekkie can very easily find another Trekkie, the odds they‘ll produce a further generation of Trekkies is very high, and is that in the national interest, I guess, is my question?
TRACY: Very good question there. We‘ll have to leave that up to the Federation.
CARLSON: Good point. So let‘s say you‘re got a Trekkie, you‘re just an ordinary person who works a lot and isn‘t married and wants to be. Are you likely to find—are you even at all likely to find a potential spouse on one of these online sites?
TRACY: Oh, my word, absolutely. We estimate that over 100,000 people get married a year as a result of meeting on an online dating service. And eHarmony has actually released numbers of a study that shows that 33,000 of their members in one year got married as a result.
CARLSON: That is—do you think that‘s true?
TRACY: Oh, yes. Oh yes, definitely. It‘s phenomenal. But we‘re hearing about this all the time. This is the way to meet people. This is the way to find the love of your life.
CARLSON: Is it also the way to get kidnapped?
TRACY: Well, hey, you know, it‘s very important to think about safety when you‘re online and not give out too much information initially.
CARLSON: Yes. So you don‘t give out too much information, but you also hope to convince a person to marry you. That‘s kind of—that‘s kind of a tricky set of criteria to balance, isn‘t it?
TRACY: Well, I mean, yes. You just take things slowly and when you meet for the first time, you‘re going to meet in a public place. You‘re going to take separate transportation. You‘re going to use a cell phone. You‘re not going to give out your home phone number. Because you know, with the Internet these things are easily traceable to a person.
CARLSON: So do most people tell the truth? I mean, you get the feeling that a lot of the—not that I‘ve ever been on any of the sites. Actually, I was on a site today, preparing for this segment, for people who are asexual. I was surprised. I‘m not mocking anyone. But I was surprised that asexuals were also looking for love of a sort, I guess?
TRACY: Oh, yes. I mean, they‘re everywhere. CelibatePassions.com is an example of people who want to be in platonic—platonic relationships.
CARLSON: Boy, that was sad. Are the people you see on the site accurate representations of the people as they really are?
TRACY: Pretty much so. You‘re going to find that some people do lie a bit, and that‘s really unfortunate.
CARLSON: Lie? Like how? Like give me an example.
TRACY: One of the big problems that we see is people putting up a photo from seven years ago.
TRACY: And then you meet in person and the guy‘s, like, seven years older. We got a couple of complaints today about that, of people who submitted experiences.
CARLSON: Is there a Better Business Bureau you can call if your date turns out to be older and chunkier than advertised?
TRACY: Actually, there is. There‘s a—sort of. There‘s a new generation of web sites being developed, web sites like RelationshipSlip.com, which allow you to rate the profiles of people that you‘ve gone on a date with, judge their honesty, were they honest and so forth.
CARLSON: Boy, you‘re just making me thank God that I‘m married. Jim Tracy, you are doing a great service, though, for people who aren‘t. I appreciate your coming on. Thanks.
TRACY: Yes. Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Still ahead on THE SITUATION, a man could injure himself during a roll in the hay with Pamela Anderson. I‘ll let you think about how that might happen. You‘ll be shocked to hear just how many people are getting hurt during sex these days. The gory tales, and they‘re real, right on “The Cutting Room Floor.” Be right back.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time for “The Cutting Room Floor.”
Joining us a man—I‘ll admit it—I met online. Willie Geist.
WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER: Hi. You have quite a working knowledge of the dating life, I have to say.
CARLSON: I spent a lot of time this afternoon, doing research.
GEIST: A little more than I thought (ph), my friend. This afternoon, right.
CARLSON: Thank you, Willie.
There‘s really no more poignant family scene than that of a group of children gathering to celebrate their special bond, the bond of the anonymous sperm donor, the father they have never met and never will meet. These 11 kids are all the product of donor 401 from the Fairfax, Virginia Cyro—Cryobank. They met for the first time this morning on “The Today Show.”
GEIST: That‘s kind of cool. That guy spent a lot of time at the sperm bank.
Now I have a problem right here. That kid‘s on a leash.
CARLSON: Plus, he‘s wearing lederhosen.
GEIST: That might have been part of the bad batch, like one of those 11 perm donations, that might have been sort of corrupt. Have you ever seen kids, like, around the mall on leashes? I‘m so against that.
CARLSON: I am, too.
GEIST: Like a Golden Retriever.
CARLSON: I‘ve considered it, but then, you know, we all have standards.
GEIST: Are you just accepting that you‘re a bad parent, that you can‘t keep track of your kids?
CARLSON: I think you are.
GEIST: You have to put them on a leash.
CARLSON: I‘m as pro-children as anybody. Something about this story gives me, no offense, the willies. Sorry.
Having sex is a lot like driving a European sports car. If you don‘t know how to handle the machinery, you just might get yourself hurt. A survey conducted by the British erotic retail chain Anne Summers found one in three people routinely injure themselves during sex. Those injuries range from rug burns, to muscle pulls to the disturbingly frequent broken penis.
GEIST: That hurts. That hurts. This is a timely story. You had that ball gag injury last week.
CARLSON: I did, yes.
GEIST: Boy, it hurts your gums.
CARLSON: I hate them. And even a leather face mask is the...
GEIST: You know what, though? The 66 percent who weren‘t injured are not working hard enough.
CARLSON: I agree with that.
GEIST: You have to get a little more unconventional, if you‘re not getting injured.
CARLSON: There‘s more evidence tonight that the world is catching up to the U.S. The International Narcotics Control Board released a report showing the U.K., Britain, now consumes as much cocaine as the U.S. The group found that two percent of U.K. citizens use cocaine. The report attributes some of the U.S. decline in cocaine use to the growing popularity of crystal methamphetamine.
GEIST: You know what, Tucker, when we fell behind in automobiles and we fall behind in steel and information technology, I bit my tongue. But this is just about enough. Come on, America.
CARLSON: But you know what? Drug use finds its natural level, Willie. Cocaine goes down, crystal meth use goes up.
GEIST: That‘s true.
CARLSON: It‘s still a deeply addled country.
GEIST: We should try to keep our edge. The Founding Fathers did not turn back the Redcoats and to have them come right back around and get us on this. Come on, guys, let‘s go.
CARLSON: So sad. It‘s kind of a sad set of stories. I feel kind of melancholy after that.
GEIST: I‘m sorry, Tucker.
CARLSON: That‘s THE SITUATION for tonight. I am on vacation all next week. Chris Matthews‘ show will be in this place. But I can promise you I‘ll be back March 13. So stay tuned until then. Have a great weekend. Have a great week.
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