Guests: Ira Mehlman, Bill Donohue
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Thanks to you at home for tuning in. It‘s good to have you with us, as always.
Tonight, is the tide turning against “The Da Vinci Code”? It was supposed to be a sure fire blockbuster, but the reviews have been savage. And the outrage shows no signs of abating. Just ahead, the president of the Catholic League tells us why Hollywood hates Christianity.
Plus, is there anything wrong with officially making English our national language? The Senate seems to think so. Senate Minority Leader Henry Reid even thinks it‘s, quote, “racist.” We‘ll bring you the latest on the immigration bombshell that happened today.
Also ahead, as the search for Jimmy Hoffa continues, we bring you America‘s top five unsolved mysteries. Which of these cold cases is heating up once again? Stay tuned for that.
But first, a dramatic courthouse confrontation in the Duke rape case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There go the rapist and his protectors. There go the rapist.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you feeling?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Justice will be done, rapist. Justice will be done. Justice will be done, rapist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: That was a member of the New Black Panther Party heckling Duke lacrosse player Reade Seligmann. Inside, Seligmann‘s attorney got bad news from the judge when he requested a speedy trial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIRK OSBORN, ATTORNEY FOR READE SELIGMANN: We want a trial as fast as we can. This young kid, you know, wants to go to school in the fall.
HONORABLE RONALD STEVENS, NORTH CAROLINA SUPERIOR COURT: UNIDENTIFIED
OSBORN: He can‘t until this is resolved.
STEVENS: I understand and appreciate that. But, again, given the
number of cases that we‘ve got in front of it and everything else, I can‘t
surely can‘t assure of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: We had the author of that story on this program. So is there, just sum it up for us, those of us who aren‘t following this case doomed to turn even—into a bigger circus than it already is, if that‘s possible? And will justice ever be served? Joining me now to discuss both of those questions, former prosecutor and now MSNBC legal analyst, Susan Filan, joining us from Stanford, Connecticut.
SUSAN FILAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Hey, Tucker.
CARLSON: I don‘t understand, Susan—maybe you can explain it to me as a former prosecutor—why would the judge refuse today to lower Reade Seligmann‘s bond from $400,000 when it‘s well known that an accused murderer in Durham got a $50,000 bond. I mean, this is an outrageous bond. This whole case is outrageous. Let‘s just start with that.
FILAN: OK. The bond was set by a judge. And it was at that time deemed to be an appropriate amount of bond. There has to be a change in circumstances in order for a bond to be modified. There‘s been no change in circumstances.
I know, Tucker, you would argue that the case has gotten worse and worse and worse. But legally, that‘s not a meritorious argument for a court. I mean, that‘s really more toward a motion to dismiss. So the judge didn‘t do anything unusual today by denying the bond.
CARLSON: OK. So—so just the fact that there‘s no compelling evidence that Reade Seligmann did anything wrong and quite a bit of compelling evidence that he wasn‘t even there when the alleged rape took place, that‘s not enough to lower the bond?
FILAN: Why would the grand jury indict if this is just a no evidence case? I mean, you really need to understand...
CARLSON: Oh, Susan, please. Oh, now, Susan.
FILAN: ... that the prosecutor and the court...
CARLSON: Are you suggesting that—are you suggesting that grand juries only indict guilty people?
FILAN: I‘m suggesting that grand juries look at evidence that‘s presented to them, and sometimes they don‘t return indictments. Sometimes there is no true bill (ph) returned.
So you really have to get over the fact that there‘s nothing here that happened that‘s wrong. The grand jury found there was enough evidence to indict.
Now if he‘s innocent, he‘ll be acquitted after a trial, or the court will grant the motion to dismiss if the attorneys are able to persuade a court at some proceeding prior to it.
CARLSON: You know as well as I do that $400,000 bond for Reade Seligmann is completely, comically disproportionate. This kid is not a flight risk. Where‘s he going to go?
FILAN: Why are we talking about this, since the guy‘s out? I‘d be much more interested in this if the guy was in jail, sitting in on a $400,000.
FILAN: But he‘s out. So that, to me, of all of your other things that you‘re outraged about, Tucker, this is, ah, because he‘s out.
CARLSON: I don‘t know. Because it‘s symbolic. Well, for one thing, bond costs a lot of money to post. I mean, typically people don‘t have $400,000 sitting in the bank in a checking account. So they pay 10 percent to post bond.
FILAN: He got out.
CARLSON: So it cost you $40,000. OK, right? So it actually does mean something.
FILAN: But he didn‘t pay a bondsman in this case. A family friend put up the money.
FILAN: They‘re going to get the cash back again. What they‘re saying is that they‘re losing out on the interest.
CARLSON: We don‘t know that actually. But I mean, I hope that‘s true for the Seligmanns.
FILAN: Yes, yes. And that was—we do know it, because that was the basis of the bond modification. They‘re saying a friend put it up. They‘re losing out on the interest.
FILAN: It‘s expensive for him to have bonded me out. Can I get the money back so I can keep earning interest on it? I‘m just not that sympathetic to that argument.
CARLSON: I want to—well, I‘m sympathetic to anyone who‘s been falsely accused as I strongly believe Reade Seligmann has, on the evidence. I‘m not grinding a personal axe here. It‘s just that I think there‘s a lot of evidence he didn‘t do this.
And that‘s why we‘re on this story every single day, because it is, in slow motion, a train wreck. And it‘s hard to believe this is happening in America in 2006.
But I want to—I want to get to something really interesting. And that is the perception of the lacrosse team as a group. Some of these guys have lost out on jobs. They graduated. They‘re supposed to work. They‘ve been accepted as employees at various companies. They were unaccepted, they were fired, essentially, because they were on the lacrosse team. The perception has been from the beginning they‘re elitist, they‘re macho, they must have done something wrong.
Kathleen Parker has a fascinating column today in which she cites the following statistics. A hundred percent of the lacrosse team graduates college. Sixty percent have a 3.0 average or above. During the past four years, 80 percent made national honor. Members regularly volunteer at community service and homeless soup kitchens. Lacrosse team gave more money than any other organization on campus to the Katrina relief fund.
The point is not that they didn‘t commit rape. The point is that because they‘re on the lacrosse team doesn‘t make them animals. In fact, it seems to be just opposite.
FILAN: Well, I think that if you are an athlete at a university like Duke, it‘s a position of privilege. It‘s also, to some extent, a position of power. And it shouldn‘t—you should be a leader, you should be something that people look up to. It‘s unfortunate that this team has a history of bad behavior. Like it or not, they do?
CARLSON: Bad behavior?
CARLSON: 60 percent on the national honor roll.
FILAN: They‘ve been cited for ordinances. Some of these kids are on some sort of probation, which has been revoked during the proceedings of this case. It‘s so bad that the coach resigned.
And the university has said, lacrosse is out of control. That being said, I don‘t agree that you tar everybody with the same brush and that, as an employer, you say, “Oh, Duke lacrosse, I‘m not going to hire them.”
CARLSON: But you know exactly what‘s going on. People—we are
using stereotypes in order to understand the players in this story. As
Kathleen Parker—I going to this because I think it‘s true and compelling
too easily we convict alleged perps in the court of public opinions when they fit our templates of good and bad.
Black strippers are good because they can‘t help it. White males are bad because they‘re white. White males, descendent as they are of the imperialistic, colonizing, native raping patriarchy, are the new culturally approved targets of the lynch mob. You know, that‘s a little overstated but not much. That‘s true.
FILAN: I think that‘s vial and disgusting. Any time you make any kind of a generality—black is good, white is bad...
CARLSON: I agree. I couldn‘t agree with you more.
CARLSON: It is. And it‘s going on in this case.
FILAN: Well, look, here‘s the only good thing I can say, Tucker.
Because I hate—I hate racial stereotyping.
FILAN: The only thing that I can say that‘s good about this case is if it has brought the painful past of racial inequality in this country to a head, if it has lanced the poisonous boil.
CARLSON: What the hell does this have to do with the history of racial equality? We‘re talking about a specific day on which a specific crime either occurred or did not occur. It has nothing do with Bull Connor and the civil rights movement and the history of America. It has to do with one day in Durham, North Carolina.
FILAN: I couldn‘t agree with you more. But what it has done is it has opened up a debate about race, right or wrong. Why are the Black Panthers out? Why are they screaming in front of the courthouse?
CARLSON: Good grief. Good grief.
FILAN: That‘s out of control. But the only thing, and I‘ll say it again, at least we‘re talking about race and maybe in a way that will be constructed where it will do some healing and some good.
CARLSON: Boy, I don‘t—I don‘t see any healing or good coming out of this at all. But I hope I‘m wrong.
Susan Filan joining us from Stanford. Thanks a lot, Susan.
FILAN: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Now the latest skirmish in the border war over immigration. Mexico is protesting American efforts to keep the illegal immigrants out of this country, including new plans to build a wall seven—rather, 370 miles long and send members of the National Guard to the border.
Mexican government spokesman Ruben Aguilar took this jab today, quote, “Most countries want to bring their people together and tear down physical, commercial and cultural barriers. Anyone who proposes separating them is out of line.”
In other words, we‘re out of line. Americans are out of line, says the Mexican government.
Then as President Bush was visiting the border in Yuma, Arizona, the Senate voted to make English, quote, “our common and unifying language.” That instead of the more accurate but politically incorrect national language.
Well, Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat of Nevada, responded angrily, saying, quote, “I really believe this amendment is racist. I think it‘s directed basically to people who speak Spanish.”
So is calling English our national language racist? Are we at that point? Let‘s ask Ira Mehlman. He‘s the media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform. He joins us tonight from Los Angeles, California.
Ira Mehlman, thanks for coming on.
IRA MEHLMAN, MEDIA DIRECTOR, FOUNDATION FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRATION
REFORM: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Is it racist to call English our national language?
MEHLMAN: No, of course it isn‘t racist to call English our national
language. And you know what? What the Senate is doing now, it‘s not going matter anyway. Because if the kind of bill that Harry Reid is trying to push through the Senate ever becomes law of this country, it‘s not going to matter because we‘re not going to have a country.
We‘re going legalize 20, 25 million people. They‘re going bring in, probably, another 25, 30 million relatives. We will lose control and by default, we will lose the national language of this country. We‘ll lose anything that keeps us together in this country.
You‘re essentially—that‘s a bleak picture. You‘re saying the debates about our language are kind of immaterial at this point, because we‘re becoming a country of not our own choosing, no matter what?
Well, is there—sum it up for us, those of us
MEHLMAN: The debate is about the future of this country. What the Senate is debating this week whether we‘re going have a country in the future. What we‘re talking about is an amnesty—they estimate there are 12 million people in this country illegally. There will be massive fraud. Because there‘s no way that this agency that now controls immigration policy can possibly sort out legitimate applications from illegitimate ones.
Then, on top of that, there are going to be millions of family members getting in line to join relatives who have gotten amnesty. The Heritage Foundation came out last week saying that over the next 20 years we could see 100 million immigrants coming into the United States.
CARLSON: Or more, yes. More than 100 million. We had the author of that study on this program.
So I mean, is there—sum it up for us for us, those of us who are not following this as closely as you are—is this going to happen? Are we going to get a law out of Congress that gives am necessary to the millions of illegal alien now living here?
MEHLMAN: Well, we certainly better hope not. And the citizens, we‘d better make our voices heard. The Senate and the Bush administration seem determined to push through an amnesty.
The House, however, has passed an enforcement only bill, the kind of bill that the recent Zogby show that 65 percent of the American public wants. The House is going to have to stand its ground between the Bush administration and against the Senate. It‘s going to be a tough fight. But you know, the future of this country really is at stake.
CARLSON: Now, we heard yesterday that Mexico may be planning to sue the United States—hard to see how it would get standing to do that—over the proposed 370-mile long wall, and the proposal that sent some National Guardsmen to the border.
We hear today, it‘s been reported that Mexico rather than suing in open court will secretly fund lawsuits by Mexican citizens living in this country trying to stop those plans. Do you think that‘s likely to happen?
MEHLMAN: Yes, the Mexican government has been meddling in the fairs of the United States for a very long time. And the Bush administration and also previous administrations have not told them to keep their noses out of our business.
CARLSON: OK, well give me—hold on. Give me a quick example of how Mexico has meddled in our business.
MEHLMAN: They have gotten involved in the Proposition 200 campaign in Arizona in 2004. They funded opposition to that.
CARLSON: The government of Mexico funded—are you sure? The government of Mexico?
MEHLMAN: yes. The Mexican government was openly advocating against Proposition 200 in Arizona, against Prop 187 in California in 1994.
CARLSON: Is that legal? Are foreign governments allowed to spend money on campaigns?
MEHLMAN: No, this is a clear violation of all diplomatic protocol. And our government—and this goes back over several administrations—has consistently failed to call them on it.
We have not heard a peep out of the State Department criticizing the Mexican government for really interfering in the domestic policies with the United States. They claim that this is a bilateral policy. It‘s not. It‘s...
CARLSON: I hear people say this. Just sum it up very quickly for me. I always hear people say that—I believe you and everyone else who says it, that our government stands by and does nothing as Mexico interferes in our internal affairs. But why? Why wouldn‘t we pipe up and say, “Hey, it‘s our country. Back off. What you‘re doing is illegal and wrong. Why wouldn‘t we say something about it?
MEHLMAN: You know, you‘d probably have to ask the Bush administration or Secretary Rice about this. It‘s been quite clear from the very start that President Bush has wanted to tear down the border. He‘s essentially wanted open borders with Mexico, unlimited amounts of labor coming into the United States this. This is his policy. It‘s not shared by the vast majority of the American people.
But I do think that he and Vicente Fox are very much on the same page about this. And so the administration has not said a word as Mexico repeatedly interferes with the domestic policies of the United States.
CARLSON: It‘s really, really upsetting, this more than almost anything else I think is responsible for Bush‘s low approval ratings. Because I think when people learn that, they‘re deeply offended as I am.
Ira Mehlman, thanks very coming on.
MEHLMAN: Thank you.
CARLSON: Still to come, disgust over the new “Da Vinci Code” movie. Catholic League president Bill Donohue joins us to explain why the film ought to come with a disclaimer.
Plus, how does the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, relate to the legendary case involving the infamous Zodiac Killer. For one, they‘re both part of tonight‘s top five unsolved mysteries. Stay tuned.
CARLSON: Still to come, the latest on the heterosexual questionnaire that a Wisconsin high school forced on its students.
Plus, the mysterious link between Natalee Holloway and Jon-Benet Ramsey, maybe Bigfoot in tonight‘s “Top Five.” Stay tuned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IAN MCKELLEN, ACTOR: My dear, you close your eyes.
TOM HANKS, ACTOR: Save us the further tricks.
MCKELLEN: You asked for my help, I recall. Allow an old man his indulgences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: That‘s a clip from the new movie, “The Da Vinci Code”, a film that has my next guest and many others infuriated. The movie‘s been roundly panned, with critics calling it everything from lifeless, to utterly clueless to plodding, tedious, and deathly dull.
Though the movie may be dull, the controversy around it continues to boil, with protests planned around the country.
Joining me now, Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League. He has described “The Da Vinci Code” as malicious lies. He calls director Ron Howard, quote, “an utter failure.” Bill Donohue joins us from New York tonight.
Bill Donohue, thanks for coming on.
BILL DONOHUE, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: Thank you for having me.
CARLSON: So what makes you mad about this movie?
DONOHUE: The fact that it‘s based on a book which is all lies about the Catholic Church. It opens up with three historical facts, none of which are historically accurate.
And then Dan Brown goes on TV shows and says that, yes, it‘s based on historical documentation. Can‘t produce any evidence. No, it‘s pernicious.
It basically says this: that there is no such thing as Christianity as such. The whole thing is built on a lie. Now, if you want to sell that thing as pure fiction, that‘s one thing. When you try to play both sides of the street, you‘re going to anger people like me.
CARLSON: But I mean, almost every Hollywood movie is anti-Christian implicitly anyway. Why—why is this one getting your blood pressure so high?
DONOHUE: Well, I think it‘s probably because of the fact that, again, he‘s trying to play both sides of the street. It‘s fact on the one hand, and on the other hand, it‘s fiction.
And of course, it‘s a big sell, isn‘t it? I mean, look, it‘s a good read. A lot of people liked it. Many of the people looked at it. Some of the polls indicate that quite a few people in this country, maybe not as much as encountered it in England, but quite a few have read it. They‘re confused.
We live in a postmodern culture where nobody believes in anything such as truth and objectivity. And so, you know, I believe in truth in the advertising. There are too many people in this country who believe that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which says that the Jews are taking over the world—some people actually believe that to be true.
I think we have to counter these kind of malicious lies with historical evidence.
CARLSON: But everybody‘s response, every smart critic, anyway, has the same response to what you just said, and it‘s “it‘s only a movie.” That was the response of Jamie Bernard. She‘s the film critic for “The New York Daily News”. She said, “It‘s only a movie. Get over it.”
DONOHUE: The interesting thing is that Jamie Bernard didn‘t think it was only a movie when she looked at “The Passion of the Christ.” She said children shouldn‘t see it. Adults shouldn‘t see it. We‘ll be at risk. It was the worst thing since Adolf Hitler.
Now, it can‘t be both ways, people. Either movies, like art, like musical scores, like sculpture, like all artistic exhibitions either move people, affect people‘s consciousness, or it has zero effect. And if it has zero effect when it comes to “The Da Vinci Code”, how come it had such tremendous real life effect on Jamie Bernard when it came to “The Passion”?
CARLSON: Well, that‘s actually a great point. And of course, art does move people and does change people‘s minds, and it has a profound affect on the way people think.
DONOHUE: Why else would they do it? Sure.
CARLSON: Needless to say.
I‘m interesting, since you mention “The Passion of the Christ”. That movie, of course, made millions and millions of dollars. In the wake of that, we kept reading these stories about how Hollywood was going to take a new and different look at Christianity because Christian movies sell. Here you have an explicitly anti-Christian movie. What‘s the idea behind it?
DONOHUE: Well, I think that first of all, in this particular case with Dan Brown, a lot of people thought it was a good read anyhow.
But, you know, let‘s face it: the Catholic Church has created some of its own problems in recent years. And so there‘s a willingness to be seduced to believe the worst about the Catholic Church. I think that‘s unfortunate. And that‘s a homegrown problem. I don‘t blame the media or anything on that.
But I think there‘s also the idea of conspiracies. Eighty percent of the people who were polled recently by “The Da Vinci Code” said they loved conspiracies. Why? Because it‘s easy. You don‘t have to think. It‘s kind of a devil‘s theory.
I think there are a lot of reasons for this. I don‘t think Ron Howard is an anti-Catholic bigot. I want to make that very clear. I will say this much, though. That John Kelly, one of the co-producers, said last year, quoted by Sharon Waxman of “The New York Times”, that the movie “The Da Vinci Code” was conservatively anti-Catholic. Now, Ron Howard shouldn‘t be associated with a movie which is bigoted against anybody.
CARLSON: That‘s an excellent point. I mean, how do you think that the hunger strikes and the protests going on around the world against this movie are going to affect the studio and the movie itself?
DONOHUE: Well, I think they‘re rather silly. I‘m not going to get involved in that. I like to eat pizza and drink beer.
CARLSON: That‘s your protest?
DONOHUE: That‘s my protest. No, look. Look, boycotts, I‘ve evoked some boycotts here and there. But you know, they have to—you‘ve got to be prudent. What can you get out of it? When a book has sold tens of millions of copies, 50, 60 million, you can‘t expect it to boycott.
I said, and I‘ve been saying all along, and now that the movie is a bomb, apparently, I‘ll say it again. It‘s bound to do well the first two weekends in May that it comes out because of the curiosity factor and all of the people who have read it.
However, once the word on the street is that the movie is dull, that it‘s too long, that it‘s melodramatic, almost into camp humor, when people laugh at the movie, nothing is worse than laughing at an artist, then the word will get out in the street and the numbers will go south in June. He‘ll do OK, but it‘s not going to be any blockbuster.
CARLSON: You‘ve said the movie is full of lies. Give me an example of one that you think is particularly pernicious that you‘d like to correct.
DONOHUE: Well, the most pernicious of them all is that in the Fourth Century, in 325 at the Council of Nicea, Constantine made up the idea that Jesus was divine and that everybody who came there thought otherwise.
In fact, every historical piece of evidence we have—and you don‘t have to be a Catholic to believe this. You can be an atheist. Every piece of historical evidence we have shows that the people in 325 came there with the question of whether of not Jesus was created by God or whether he was begotten of the father himself. They didn‘t go in there questioning this.
And you see, the idea of selling is basically saying that there‘s no such thing as Christianity. Jesus was a prophet. He was a nice guy. He as a carpenter, probably did his apprenticeship at Home Depot.
CARLSON: Interesting. I bet—my predication is this is “The Bonfire of the Vanities” of the new millennium. Right? You know, the book sold; the movie bombed.
DONOHUE: Well, I‘m delighted about it. You know, if these critics, who are not exactly the people who are on the side of the Catholic League, if you can‘t win them over, what‘s going happen when John Q. Public sees it?
CARLSON: Good point. Bill Donohue from the Catholic League, thanks.
DONOHUE: Thank you.
CARLSON: Still to come, we normally don‘t pay a lot of attention to claims made by Pat Robertson. But his latest comments, well, we couldn‘t resist. You‘ve got to hear him to believe him. Find out what God is whispering in his ear this time.
Also, tonight‘s “Top Five” links the disappearance of Natalee Holloway with the murder of Jon-Benet Ramsey. How are the two mysteries related? We have the answer. We‘ll reveal it when we return.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL ROBERTS, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: The last two years I‘ve been here as the agent in charge. This is the best lead I‘ve seen coming across on the Hoffa investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: He may be dead, but Jimmy Hoffa is never forgotten, especially by the FBI. Federal investigators are using archaeologists to search for the remains of the former Teamsters boss at a horse farm outside Detroit, Michigan. The farm once belonged to another Teamsters official and was reputed to be a hangout for various mob figures.
Hoffa vanished in 1975 on his way to a dinner with a Mafia leader in Detroit. His disappearance remains one of the most notorious and perplexing mysteries in the annals of American crime. In tonight‘s “Top Five”, we scour police blotters from across America for other infamous whodunits?
CARLSON (voice-over): They‘re the type of mysteries even Hollywood couldn‘t dream up, real life whodunits that baffle police and capture our fascination. They‘re unforgettable cold case stories that may never be solved.
January 15, 1947, Los Angeles, California. The body of 22-year-old aspiring actress Elizabeth Short is found in a vacant lot. She‘s been sawed in half at the waist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was in the stratosphere of murder.
CARLSON: Cops dubbed Short the Black Dahlia because of her black hair and wardrobe. Some 150 people confessed to the gruesome murder, but no one was ever prosecuted.
October 30, 1966, California‘s Bay Area. The infamous Zodiac Killer begins a bloody three-year crime spree. All the while, he taunts reporters and police with letters and clues that lead nowhere. Ultimately, he‘s linked to five grisly killings, but claims responsibility for many more. The Zodiac Killer remains at large.
November 24, 1971, Seattle, Washington. A daring hijacker traveling under the name of Dan Cooper flees aboard a Northwest Orient jetliner with $200,000 stuffed in his bags. It‘s ransom money, and once airborne, Cooper bails out over the rugged Pacific Northwest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe he got out, and maybe he didn‘t.
CARLSON: Nine years later, a portion of the loot is recovered, but the man known as D.B. Cooper is never seen again.
Christmas Day, 1996, Boulder, Colorado. Six-year-old beauty princess Jon-Benet Ramsey is found strangled to death in the basement of her family home. Her murder becomes a tabloid sensation as public suspicion focuses on her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey.
PATSY RAMSEY, MOTHER OF JON-BENET RAMSEY: I love that child with my whole of my heart and soul.
CARLSON: Nearly a decade later, though, still no arrest.
May 30, 2005, the island of Aruba. A vacation in paradise turns into a nightmare when Alabama teen Natalee Holloway vanishes without a trace. The three men who saw her last are held and questioned, but no one has yet been charged with her disappearance. Investigators doubt she‘s still alive, but Natalee‘s mother, Beth Twitty, has not given up hope.
BETH TWITTY, MOTHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY: She‘s ready to come home.
Help bring her home.
CARLSON: Coming up, imagine how you‘d feel if the government took away your gun as looters ransacked your house. It happened after Hurricane Katrina, and now the NRA wants cops and mayors to promise never to do it again. Good for them. I‘ll explain why next.
CARLSON: Still to come, are Latino immigrants to the United States entitled to bilingual schools? Some people think so, and they‘re fighting for it.
Should the lottery pay up even if the Powerball ticket has expired? We‘ll get to those stories in just a minute, but first, here‘s what else is going on in the world tonight.
CARLSON: We turn now to a man who throws caution and sometimes common sense to the wind every night in his role as our resident devil‘s advocate. He is “The Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO: Tucker, how are you doing?
CARLSON: Here‘s a question. Should U.S. taxpayers be responsible for making newly immigrated students get a bilingual education? Latino groups in Seattle apparently think so.
A planned $14 million bilingual center may now be left out of renovations to Seattle‘s Garfield High School because of budget problems. And that is not sitting well with Latino activists.
The leader of one education group says, quote, “It‘s like continuing to give us second class status.”
A protest was held at tonight‘s school board meeting.
Max, aren‘t we supposed to making sure new immigrants learn our language? Why are we paying for them not to? Maybe you can explain that.
KELLERMAN: It‘s a little bit difficult, actually.
CARLSON: It is. It is.
KELLERMAN: Our language is English.
KELLERMAN: And our second language, and we are rapidly gaining a second language, acquired a second language, is Spanish. And when a large percentage of newly acquired citizens speak Spanish, it makes sense to facilitate—it makes sense to facilitate that process of becoming assimilated by having a bilingual center.
CARLSON: But wait. They‘re—bilingual education doesn‘t make you -
and this has, I think, pretty well been proved, a better English speaker.
And the fact is that if you speak Spanish, you are by definition a second class citizen. Not because anybody wants you to be, but in reality you are, because that‘s not our language. Our language is English.
And so schools ought to be in the business of No. 1, two, and three, teaching English. That‘s the most important thing they can do.
KELLERMAN: Yes. However, if the kid is already in junior high school or high school and they‘re advanced in various subjects but not in English, then how do you plan on educating the kid in English if they have a, you know, first or second grade English education, but in math, social studies, science, they have, you know, a 10th grade education? You‘re going to put them back in the first grade?
CARLSON: No. By teaching those kids English.
KELLERMAN: But you‘re not going to be able to make up the difference in a year or two.
CARLSON: And if you need special classes in how to teach kids to speak English, amen. I think every America would agree in putting more money into that program.
KELLERMAN: In the meantime, what do you do about their science class and their social studies class?
CARLSON: You can continue to teach them science and history and math, too...
KELLERMAN: In Spanish.
CARLSON: No, that‘s wrong. Because people will not learn English if they don‘t have to. And learning English is the most important thing, unpleasant as it is.
KELLERMAN: I thought I put up a pretty good argument, though.
CARLSON: You did. Not bad. I‘m impressed, wrong though you were.
Well, your lottery winnings belong to you, regardless of when you claim them. That‘s a message a judge sent this week. A Missouri man bought a Powerball lottery ticket in December of 2002 but didn‘t realize it was a winner until his wife found it his pickup truck 11 months later.
The winning ticket was worth 100 grant, but the state‘s 180-day deadline for claiming the prize had passed, so the lottery commission refused to pay. A judge ruled yesterday the state has to pay this man his money.
Of course they owe him the money, Max. It‘s his. You‘d rather see the government squash hard-working Americans.
Look, I‘ve said this before, but I mean it. This is the difference between the government and the Mafia. The Mafia pays. When you run—when you play the mob run numbers, and you win, they pay you. The government doesn‘t.
KELLERMAN: Well, try to collect on those numbers, you know, a year down the line and see how much money you get out of the mob.
Tucker, what is the lottery about? What is it really there for?
CARLSON: It‘s to there to fool dumb people into thinking they can get rich by not working.
KELLERMAN: And what is—the end result is to raise money for the state. That‘s why it exists, to raise money for the state.
Now, in this case, the judge ruled, “Yes, you‘ve got to pay the money anyway, $100,000.” And in this case, the circumstances were convenient, because $100,000 is not going to break the government.
However, Powerball can get up to $300 million.
KELLERMAN: Now let me ask you. If they never pay the $300 million and the next week was $350 million and someone won that. Now that money is gone. And they started over. And it was a $350 million Powerball ticket.
KELLERMAN: Should the state then pay the person that also?
CARLSON: Yes. Because actually, the purpose of the lottery is not just for the government enrichment, but for the enrichment of the people who play.
KELLERMAN: Where‘s the money going to come from?
CARLSON: No, but hold on. If it‘s all about making the government rich, they ought to be honest when they advertise and say, look, this is a tax on foolish, greedy people. OK? Buy your tickets and pay in. We‘re taxing you so we can take this money and waste it on—I don‘t know—Ted Kennedy‘s private plane to somewhere. Right? Let‘s be honest.
KELLERMAN: On it being a tax, basically we agree. But the way you sell the tax is by saying, look, there‘s this huge carrot. There‘s this enormous prize.
KELLERMAN: But if you don‘t cash it in. But let‘s just take that—let‘s say it‘s a $350 million ticket.
KELLERMAN: Where would the money come from?
CARLSON: The money...
KELLERMAN: Because then you‘re really have to raise taxes.
CARLSON: Are you saying that it‘s already been spent by the government? That‘s their problem. And they can unspend it.
KELLERMAN: So either you have to cut things that are already in the budget, which is not going happen. What is going to happen is there will be new taxes.
CARLSON: No. You can hold that money in escrow until it‘s claimed by the person who won it. Sorry, Mr. Greedhead Government Bureaucrat. It‘s not your money.
KELLERMAN: That‘s a good point. Right?
CARLSON: Yes, yes.
KELLERMAN: They should know that the number was actually sold and hit and not roll it over.
CARLSON: I know they‘re not too good at math over at the government, but they should try. Anyway.
KELLERMAN: Two tough ones today, Tucker.
CARLSON: Max Kellerman.
KELLERMAN: I did the best with them.
CARLSON: Man, you defended them anyway. I‘m impressed. Thanks, Max.
KELLERMAN: See you next week.
CARLSON: Speaking of government shortcomings, I will never forget a man my producers and I met in New Orleans in the days after Hurricane Katrina. He was riding his bike alone through the Lower Ninth Ward when we saw him.
For three days, he‘d been trapped in his house as a gang of drunk teenagers roamed through his neighborhood, looting houses and setting buildings on fire. Finally, the thugs had arrived at his house. They had a can of gasoline and a cigarette lighter. He fled for his life.
“I‘ve always been for gun control,” the man said. “But I wish to God I had a gun now.”
The man had always imagined that if something bad ever happened in his the cops would be there to protect him. Instead, a good percentage of the New Orleans Police Department simply took off when the hurricane hit. Some left the state entirely. Others looted a local Wal-Mart, Stole tennis shoes.
Those who remained busied themselves confiscating firearms from citizens who were just trying to protect themselves, which only added to the panic and also to the danger.
Well, the National Rifle Association announced today a campaign to prevent cities from taking guns away from law abiding citizens in the wake of natural disasters.
Many police departments oppose this idea. Tough luck, because in the end, the police may not save you. It‘s your job to protect yourself and your family. And no matter what they claim, you can count on no one else to do it. That‘s the truth.
Well, coming up on THE SITUATION, is a billion-dollar border fence really the answer to our illegal immigration problems? Or are we closing the barn door after the horses have already gone? We‘ll debate it.
Plus, with the president‘s approval ratings in the tank and ratings for “American Idol” through the roof, is Simon Cowell now more powerful than George W. Bush? You‘ll hear from one demented person who says he is when THE SITUATION rolls on.
VANESSA MCDONALD, PRODUCER: Coming up, Pat Robertson is at it again. You don‘t want to miss his latest words of wisdom. Plus, the “Runaway Bride” gets a taste of her own medicine.
CARLSON: Good to see Jenny Wilbanks back in the news. We‘re back in just 60 seconds.
CARLSON: Welcome back. It‘s Thursday. That means it‘s time for our voicemail segment. Like Christmas here on THE SITUATION, and we‘ve waited all week to hear your voicemails which have accumulated in great number in our voice mailbox. Without further ado, first up.
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CALLER: Richard from California state prison in Corcoran. Border security can be likened to an insurance policy. You can‘t get one after you‘re dead. Likewise, you can‘t have a comprehensive border security program after your country gets invaded.
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CARLSON: Richard, I don‘t know what you‘re in prison for, but I completely agree with you. Doesn‘t mean you‘re innocent of whatever crime you committed, but it does mean you‘re a pretty smart prisoner.
This is absolutely right. And of course, the most important part about border security is security from terrorism. And there is a real risk that our country is being invaded by people who mean to do us real physical harm. And every moment that our border is unsecure means we‘re not safe from terror. Terrifying.
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CALLER: Gregory Wright in Sherman Oaks, California. Tucker, your breathless enthusiasm for Texas‘ proposed 80-mile-per-hour speed limit is more of the usual libertarian claptrap. Breakneck high-speed driving at 80 miles per hour endangers everyone on the highway and the environment. The Texas 80 mile per hour speed limit idea sucks.
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CARLSON: Oh, Gregory. Now Gregory, look, I know libertarian claptrap. I spew libertarian claptrap a lot. This is not libertarian claptrap; it‘s the truth. And you‘re the kind of pale-faced, whiny safety advocate that I hope to offend by my endorsement of the 80 mile-an-hour speed limit.
Look, the truth is a lot of people drive 80 already. Not everyone who drives 80 is a dangerous driver. Most are probably good drivers who endanger no one, who merely get to their destination quicker to see their families, to get to work, to live their lives.
Now, you live in Los Angeles. You live in the San Fernando Valley. So you may not know what it‘s like not to be in traffic. But ordinary Americans don‘t want to get stuck on the freeway. They want to get home to see their kids. And the 80 mile-an-hour speed limit helps that. Therefore, I‘m for it. There‘s no libertarian claptrap, Gregory. That‘s the truth.
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CALLER: Michelle from San Mateo, California. And I was just calling in a comment on the questionnaire that was given to high school students about sexual orientation. I was repulsed by the way that the gay and lesbians are trying to get their political agendas into our high schools with kids being impressionable and confused enough about sexuality as it is.
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CARLSON: Exactly. I mean most people know someone who‘s gay. I think most Americans don‘t hate gay people. Most Americans like gay people. But this is totally—this is pushing a political agenda on students.
It‘s not a matter of hating gays or gay bashing. It‘s a question of not wanting your kids to be indoctrinated with propaganda coming from a specific political point of view.
Incidentally, apparently, one of the teachers who pushed the survey on students has left the school for whatever reason, apparently in connection with the survey. If that‘s all true, amen say I.
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CALLER: Hi, it‘s Gracie calling from Delaware. You know, Tucker, you can laugh all you want at “American Idol”, but my guess is, Simon Cowell has way more sway over the American people than good old President Bush. The fact is, when Simon speaks, millions of people listen and vote. When President Bush speaks, people laugh and just change the channel.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Huh—you may be right that Simon has more influence over the American people. Does Simon Cowell have more influence over the American military is the question? Can Simon press a button and eliminate countries? Can Simon Cowell send 300,000 men into battle? Can Simon Cowell, right—could Simon Cowell hold a primetime news conference and influence world events and move financial markets? No.
So you know, in the end you may not like Bush. But I still think I‘m not going out on a limb by saying he‘s more powerful than Simon Cowell.
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CALLER: Hey, Tucker, it‘s intern Wendy from Jossip.com here in Seattle. I want to wish you a happy birthday, and thank you for the lovely autographed photo. By the way, you and Willie could out-dance Tom Cruise any day of the week. Have a terrific day.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Thank you, Wendy. I felt kind of guilty for sending you the picture. I felt like I was stalking you. Now I‘m glad to see you‘re returning the stalking. Good. Wendy from Jossip.com.
I thought our dancing was kind of good. A lot of people didn‘t like it. But you know what? I liked it. I‘m not ashamed.
Keep the calls coming. The number, 1-877-TCARLSON. That‘s 877-822-7576. We‘ll play the best of your voice mails again next Thursday and every Thursday until somebody stops us.
Still ahead on THE SITUATION, first she slept with her 13-year-old student. Then she performed this infamous Internet strip tease—kind of appealing, actually. Wait until you hear what everyone‘s favorite teacher, Pamela Rogers, is up to now. We‘ll tell you in just a moment.
But before we go to break, it‘s tonight‘s installment of “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”.
“The Good” is the sense of runaway bride‘s fiance to finally break off things for good with his nutcake girlfriend. “People” magazine reports John Mason has called it quits with Jennifer Wilbanks. Mason originally decided to stay with Wilbanks after she famously faked her own kidnapping to get out of her wedding last year. Apparently, he didn‘t see his future when he looked into her googly eyes.
“The Bad” tonight is televangelist turned meteorologist. The Rev. Pat Robertson says God recently told him major storms, possibly even a tsunami, will hit the U.S. this year. On his show “The 700 Club” Robertson said, quote, “If I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms.”
That‘s good to know. We look forward to Mr. Robertson‘s five-day forecast.
And “The Ugly” tonight is a school bus accident in the state of Florida. The driver says a van slammed into the side of her bus, causing her to hit another car and finally to plow into the garage of an apartment building.
The only reported injury was to a child riding in the van that hit the bus.
That‘s “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” tonight. We‘ll be right back.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
Just when you thought it couldn‘t get any more exciting, Willie Geist shows up for “The Cutting Room Floor”.
WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER: I‘m a thrill a minute, Tucker.
CARLSON: Yes, you are, Willie.
GEIST: You said with regard to the dancing, you weren‘t ashamed.
GEIST: I am ashamed.
CARLSON: I know you are. That‘s what separates us, Willie, our self-consciousness. I‘m not ashamed.
GEIST: I‘ve disgraced my family and my friends, actually.
I have an important—actually, a very important news update. Last night we told you the story about the marijuana muffins in a Dallas high school.
CARLSON: Yes, we did.
GEIST: Surveillance video released today, this is the guy dropping off the muffins that made 18 members of the faculty at a Dallas high school sick. Tests revealed they were laced with marijuana. If you‘ve seen the guy in this video, I don‘t know what to do. But I haven‘t seen him.
CARLSON: Call Rita Cosby immediately.
GEIST: Yes. Call someone. Don‘t call the police, actually. Call someone.
CARLSON: Who would eat eight random muffins?
GEIST: It was a gift. They were in the faculty lounge.
CARLSON: I don‘t eat strange muffins. That‘s rule No. 1.
All right. Pamela Rogers recently rose to the head of this year‘s class of hot teachers gone wild when she performed a web cam strip tease for one of her teenage students.
The 28-year-old served time for having sex with a 13-year-old student, and now she‘s back in jail for making this video for the boy. Well, now, you too can own a piece of Pamela in the form of this handsome durable action figure.
CARLSON: The clay figure is wearing the same outfit Rogers wore in the infamous strip tease video. The six-inch doll is being auctioned on eBay.
GEIST: That‘s compelling. She—actually, the latest bid on eBay, $330. That‘s no joke. And I don‘t want to make a character judgment, but I think you would probably have the real thing for $330.
CARLSON: I think you could, $330. I mean, that‘s a lot of lunch money. How old is the guy who‘s bidding, like 11?
GEIST: Yes, probably 11. Well, he thinks he‘s go tan in. It works on the 13-year-olds. Maybe 11 is not too young.
CARLSON: Pretty good. This is an amazing story. No, you are not looking at Ted Kennedy‘s place after a three-day weekend. These are the 70,000 empty beer cans a tenant left behind after he moved out of his Ogden, Utah condominium.
The man lived in the condo for eight years, so do the math. OK, we‘ll do the math: 70,000 cans over eight years. That‘s 24 beers a day, every day. Every single can was Coors Light. That is a little questioning?
GEIST: It sure is. As I understand it—I don‘t have a lot of experience with it—there are a few red flags for alcoholics. One of them is being waist deep in empties in your own apartment on a daily basis. That‘s actually impressive. I mean, I don‘t condone it or advocate it.
But it‘s kind of impressive.
CARLSON: A case of beer every day for eight years.
GEIST: He had friends over, obviously. Once again from the skeptic department, any chance this is a P.R. event by Coors?
CARLSON: Boy, you‘re cynical. You must work in television.
CARLSON: Your odds of outrunning the police in a car chase are already pretty slim. Throw a trailer on the back of your car and you‘ll be giving yourself really not much of a chance.
This guy stole a pickup truck and a trailer full of equipment in Dallas today and then tried to dust the cops. As you can see, things did not go well. His rear tire caught fire before gun wielding policemen grabbed him from his truck.
GEIST: Wow. That grand theft auto just did not go the way he drew it up. Did it?
The trailer turns over, the car lights on fire. And then he gets the hell beat out of him by the police. If he had to do it all over again, he probably would have stolen a truck that did not have a trailer attached.
CARLSON: I notice, if I can just point out, Willie, you‘re always on the criminal‘s side.
GEIST: Always. Always. Without fail.
CARLSON: Well, there shouldn‘t be any doubt about the wishes of 80-year-old Mary Wohlford if she should become incapacitated. Just check the new ink on her chest. The great-grandmother from Iowa recently got a tattoo that reads “do not resuscitate.” Wohlford say she wants to spare her family from having to make the decision to remove her from life support. Medical experts are uncertain if a tattoo is legally binding. What a cheery woman she must be.
GEIST: And there‘s really no more dignified way to go than by having your wishes scrawled across your chest by Billy Ray at the 24-hour tattoo parlor.
Also, can I tell you, resuscitate? Not an easy word to spell. I think I spelled it wrong once today. I think—yes, they got it right there. That‘s—want to get spell check at the tattoo parlor.
CARLSON: Not that it matters. I mean, I think the nurses will get the point.
GEIST: They get the idea.
CARLSON: Yes. Willie Geist.
GEIST: All right, Tucker. Have a good weekend.
CARLSON: You too.
That‘s it for us. We will see you back on Monday. We hope you have a great weekend. See you then.
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