Guests: Kelly McCann, Felipe Alanis, Flavia Colgan, Peter Beinart, Richard Chesnoff
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Thanks, Rita.
Thanks to you at home for tuning in. We appreciate it as always.
Tonight, the Haditha scandal. The uproar over the killings of Iraqi civilians is growing even as the military investigates a possible cover-up. We‘ll talk to a former Marine officer who can shed some light on what might actually have happened that day in Iraq.
Then jailhouse outrage, a convicted killer serving a life sentence for killing his wife wants taxpayers to foot the bill for what he says is a medically necessary surgery: his sex change operation.
Also ahead, why immigrant students in Texas could soon be getting their diplomas from the government of Mexico at your expense. We‘ll talk to the educator behind this plan in just a few minutes.
But first tonight the White House response to Haditha. Here‘s the president earlier today in his first public comments on the deaths of some two dozen Iraqi civilians last November. It‘s an incident that some are charging was an unprovoked attack. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If in fact the allegations are true, the Marine Corps will work hard to make sure that that culture, that proud culture will be reinforced. And that those who violate a law, if they did, will be punished.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: What do we really know about what happened that day in Haditha?
Joining me now, a man who has experienced the chaos of Iraq firsthand a number of times. Kelly McCann is a former Marine officer and currently the president of the Kroll Security Group. He‘s one of the country‘s foremost experts on antiterrorism and counterterrorism, also one of my favorite people. He joins us tonight from Stafford, Virginia.
KELLY MCCANN, PRESIDENT, KROLL SECURITY GROUP: Thanks. Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: It seems to me we don‘t really know a lot about what happened in Haditha. The investigation is ongoing, so we‘re not going to know for awhile. But set the context for us, those of us who haven‘t been in a situation like this.
You‘re on patrol with a group of Marines in a suburban neighborhood in Iraq. An IED goes off. One of your men is killed. What happens next? What‘s the procedure?
MCCANN: Well, the first thing that has to happen is you have to establish local security. So in order to evacuate those that may have been wounded or killed, you‘ve got to make it safe for people to come and render aid.
So right away you‘ve got to set up a perimeter. You‘ve got to call for any support you might need, a medevac or aerial surveillance. And then you‘ve got to push that buffer area out so that you‘ve got a little bit of space to deal with, which may have then meant that the Marines went on foot patrol into the surrounding habitats where Iraqi civilian would live.
CARLSON: So you go into people‘s houses to make sure that there aren‘t people trying to shoot at you from the houses?
MCCANN: Well, it depends. I mean, it depends on what kind of input that Marine is receiving on the ground at the moment. If he sees motion, anything could be a threat.
I mean, combat breaks down into immediate danger areas. And those immediate danger areas could be a dark doorway. They could be a flash movement behind a window. It could a furtive movement by someone on the street. All of that has to be accounted for or it could be another threat ready to engage the Marines as they work on wounded and try to medevac.
CARLSON: How chaotic and confusing is it in Iraq? I mean, if you—if go—if you‘re a Marine, you go into a house. There‘s just been an explosion. You go into a house and there are eight people in the house. Some are men, some are children, some of women. Is your expectation that they‘re friendly, that they‘re hostile? What do you expect from these people?
MCCANN: At that moment what you‘re really looking for is furtive action, because it‘s not as simple as people might think it is to discern a threat target, if you have a lot of potential targets.
First you‘ve got to discern what‘s furtive movement and is that a threat. And this happens in literally milliseconds in varying conditions of light, with movement. There‘s a language issue. I mean, there isn‘t an interpreter with every Marine. So there is that issue.
There‘s fear both—on both sides. Both with the civilians that are looking at this foreign armed serviceman coming into the house. And also on the Marines‘ side, because they don‘t know what‘s in store for them when they go in that space. Those uncleared spaces are very, very dangerous.
CARLSON: There‘s been a lot of commentary about this events or these series of events. Do you think there‘s a rush to judgment in this case?
MCCANN: I think that combat is one of the most confusing situations that exists. And I think that you encounter situations in combat that you wouldn‘t encounter in any other situation you can find yourself in.
I think that people at their leisure, with much time, have the tendency to look back over a three-month period to investigate something that might have taken place over minutes.
Now some of the investigators have said that it appears that the bloodshed occurred over three to five hours. But that‘s not a fact yet, I don‘t think. A lot of the combat would take place very quickly. And each one of those segments of combat, again, happens so fast. It is a flash. And later you can dissect it all you want, and it is probably not fair to the combatants that there‘s that disparity in time.
CARLSON: Are we even certain that the people who are killed, the 24 Iraqi who were killed, were shot by Americans?
MCCANN: No. I mean there—I think that there‘s indications that would happen, but let‘s not forget that it is a guerrilla war and that the tactics, techniques and procedures used by the adversaries; side could extend to what we call a pseudo operation where they might engage their own civilians to make it appear that Americans killed them. I mean, we simply don‘t know. But that‘s certainly within the realm of possibility, Tucker.
CARLSON: So the insurgents could murder Iraqis to make it look as if Americans were murdering civilians? Similar incidents took place in Vietnam, I think.
MCCANN: That is possible. I mean, it‘s happened before. Again, it‘s a tactic. Whether that happened here or not is unclear.
Now, there‘s two investigations. There‘s an NCIS investigation done by the naval investigative service and also by one of the senior Army generals so the Marines wouldn‘t have the appearance of impropriety in the investigation. They‘ve opened the kimono, so to speak.
So I think that probably the facts will come to light or the majority of facts. It‘s probably also true that all of the facts simply won‘t see ever the light of day.
CARLSON: It‘s Tough for the Marine Corps no matter what.
Kelly McCann, joining us tonight from Virginia. Thanks a lot, Kelly.
MCCANN: You bet, Tucker.
CARLSON: Tonight‘s “Under the Radar” segment comes to us from Hidalgo County, Texas. That‘s where some students could soon be getting their high school diplomas from Mexico.
A new taxpayer financed program would allow Spanish-speaking students to take some courses in Spanish and even receive their diplomas from the Mexican government.
My next guest says it‘s an incentive for students who otherwise would drop out.
Felipe Alanis is associate Dean at the University of Texas, where he joins us tonight.
Mr. Alanis, thanks for coming on.
FELIPE ALANIS, ASSOCIATE DEAN, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS: Good to be with you.
CARLSON: Why not—I mean, the rationale here, as I understand it, is these are students who don‘t speak much English and were frustrated, as a result, with taking classes in English and drop out. Why not spend this money, these precious resources on teaching these kids English?
ALANIS: Actually the intent of the program is to do just that, Tucker. We are planning to get them to learn English as quickly at possible. That‘s one objective. The second objective is to get them to graduate from our Texas high school.
Currently we have a large number of dropouts in our school system. We feel allowing them to just transition with these courses on the short-term through a first semester, two semesters at the most, that they, in turn, can transition into our school system as quickly as possible and do it successfully.
CARLSON: But I mean, Mexican schools, I don‘t mean this in a pejorative way, but they‘re not world renowned. Right? I mean, that‘s why a lot of these families come to the United States in the first place, because education in Mexico is not as good as it is in the United States. Why in the world do we want students in our schools getting educated by the Mexican government?
ALANIS: To our surprise and perhaps because we felt, as you said, that they were not as rigorous as ours, we discovered that their math and science is very, very strong if they go through their equivalent to our high school program.
CARLSON: OK. Then using this principle, why not allow all immigrant groups to do this? I mean, there are a lot of kids who arrive here from China speaking no English. Why not let them get their diplomas from Chinese-run high schools? Why not let kids from Africa get their diplomas from African high schools? I don‘t understand why we‘re just limiting this to one group of immigrants.
ALANIS: We hope that we wouldn‘t limit it in the future if we had access to the web-based courses in other languages, as well. But the objective is not necessarily—the primary objective is not to get a diploma from their home country. The objective is if they get here with one or two courses left on their high schools—say they‘re seniors and they‘re—in Mexico. They come here—or Central America and they need one or two credits. We‘d rather have them have a diploma than to have either a GED or no diploma at all than drop out.
CARLSON: I was just actually bringing up those examples as a way of pointing out what‘s wrong with this. And it‘s this: the American education system is what holds us together as a country, that and our common language. We don‘t share a common religion or race or ethnic background. We share a common culture, which is based on education and language.
Aren‘t you—aren‘t you undoing the glue, diluting the glue that holds the country together when you allow students to get educated by foreign governments?
ALANIS: Well, not necessarily. They‘re not getting educated by a foreign government. They‘re actually getting educated here in Texas with Texas teachers, getting a high school diploma and requiring...
CARLSON: Wait. I thought you hired teachers from Mexico?
ALANIS: Actually, the courses have a teacher in Mexico, a certified teacher who would support the instruction here in the United States. Currently, we have a large number of our districts seeking bilingual teachers or teachers who know Spanish in order to teach these students.
What these courses would do is be just a support system and supplemental to the regular instruction in English.
COLMES: OK. Well, look, you‘ve got to believe, and I‘m sure you don‘t keep track of this, but you‘ve got to believe that a large number of these students are here illegally. And you‘ve got to wonder why federal—
I think there are federal dollars in this, too—why precious federal education resources ought to be going to students who aren‘t even here legally when those dollars could be going to American citizens to be taught in English. Doesn‘t it seem like kind of a weird appropriation of moneys here?
ALANIS: What we do know is that, for the limited English proficient student that needs help in learning English as quickly as possible, if we can get him to graduate and graduate on time, the return economically to the state would be tremendous.
COLMES: Assuming they stay. And again, just to my first question last. Why doesn‘t it make sense to just take all of our resources and teach English to students who don‘t know it? Kids who graduate high school who don‘t even speak English are unlikely to succeed in this country, no matter what diploma or document they have in hair hands?
ALANIS: We agree with you. We have to start from the base of language that they know to transition them as quickly as—as quickly as possible. When they know the content and know what the content is then the quicker is than the quicker it is that they‘ll learn. That‘s our objective. Our objective is to try to get them into an English functioning society as quickly as possible.
CARLSON: Well, I disagree with your means, but the objective I agree with. Mr. Alanis, thanks for coming on.
ALANIS: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Still to come, Hillary Clinton begins to lay the groundwork for a 2008 presidential campaign. That happened today. Can she convince her own party that she is the one?
Plus a kidnapping caught on tape in broad daylight. Attorney Sandra Gregory is found safe in an Alabama hotel tonight. We‘ll bring you the very latest on the man who abducted her when we come back.
CARLSON: Still ahead, are liberals really cable of winning the war on terror? I‘ll ask Peter Beinart. He‘s the author of a new book, “The Good Fight”.
Plus, why are the frogs so arrogant? We‘ll investigate the love-hate relationship between the United States and France when THE SITUATION returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: Look, I knew I was taking a big risk, and I knew that it would get really hard, really ugly even.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She could have had a much easier and more lucrative life. But it wouldn‘t have been her life.
H. CLINTON: The United States Senate is where decisions are made that affect people‘s lives. Why should I shrink away and not do that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Welcome back.
Hillary Clinton launched her campaign today. Strictly speaking, it‘s a campaign for reelection to the U.S. Senate. Although given the rapturous reception she got at New York‘s state Democratic convention, you wonder if it‘s more like the unofficial start of her run for the White House, and of course, it is.
But is that a good thing for the Democrats or for this country? Here to debate those questions, MSNBC contributor Flavia Colgan. She joins us tonight from Philadelphia.
FLAVIA COLGAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you. Good evening, Tucker.
CARLSON: So the conventional question here is, can Hillary win? Will her husband help or hurt her?
My question is pretty simple. Is she impressive enough to be president? Why exactly should Hillary Clinton run for president? The more I thought about it, the more I couldn‘t answer that question. Could you?
COLGAN: Well, of course, I think she‘s impressive enough in terms of her gravitas, her experience.
CARLSON: Her experience as what? She‘s been a senator for six years along with 99 other people. I mean...
COLGAN: Well, and what was George Bush‘s experience going to...?
COLGAN: Probably a lot more than that. I think.
COLMES: Not to defend Bush, but he was governor for eight years.
COLGAN: Well, I think the bigger problem for Hillary Clinton is—I mean, you saw the poll that came out today, which has her at 42 percent of Americans saying they will not vote for her.
So that—I mean, just from a pure numbers standpoint that is such an uphill battle. Because you‘re saying the undecided; 80 percent of those people the have to decide to vote for Hillary Clinton.
COLGAN: So as a Democrat—you know, she has a really big issue with electability. And she‘s always known that that‘s been her Achilles‘ Heel. But fortunately, in trying to make amends for that and trying to show a very desperate Democratic Party, desperate for a win, I mean, that she is electable. She‘s been selling out a lot of her base by, you know, her lack of a position on Iraq, certainly not the right position.
And unlike Murtha or even Biden or other people or Edwards, who have come out and state the claim—or said that when he would do in Iraq, she‘s been hugely silent. Also she‘s been very silent on a number major issues, only authorizing a bill on flag burning? There were, like, 12 flag burnings last yea. Is everything safe in this country?
COLMES: That‘s an interesting thing here, Flavia, is that if you think about it, we know little about what Hillary Clinton believes. I was thinking about it today, and the last time I could remember Hillary Clinton really opened up and told us about her world view, her philosophy was 13 years ago this month when Michael Kelly of the “New York Times” magazine, unfortunately later killed in Iraq, wrote this piece about Hillary Clinton and what she believes.
I want to read you quotes from Hillary Clinton, just to refresh your memory in case you don‘t remember.
“What do our government institutions mean?” Hillary Clinton wondered aloud. “What do our lives in today‘s world mean? What does it mean to be educated? What does it mean to be a journalist? What does mean in today‘s world to pursue not only vocations but to be part of institutions, to be human. We are breaking new ground. It‘s not going to be easy to redefine who we are as human beings in this post-modern age,” end quote.
That‘s garbage. That‘s sophomore in college stuff. I mean, I‘m getting to my original point, which was where is the evidence Hillary Clinton has interesting, thoughtful ideas about the world? I don‘t see any.
COLGAN: Well, the problem is that when you‘re trying to be cautious all the time and trying to sort of follow the inside of the beltway, what consultants tell you. And a lot of pundits marvel that she is able to triangulate. She certainly doesn‘t triangulate as well as her husband.
And you really hit on the core. Whether it‘s Iraq—I can name a number of issues that the left is upset with her about and the right certainly will never take her as a moderate. They still have the vision of her in Coke bottle glasses.
But more than that, sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. And I think that there is a visceral gut reaction by a lot of Americans, whether this is fair or not. I can‘t look into her soul. But that she doesn‘t have an authenticity about her. That she makes decisions based on political calculus.
CARLSON: See, but that wasn‘t the idea. The idea was that she was this screaming liberal. And as she come out as Russ Feingold, I‘d be the first to stand up and say, “You know what? I disagree with what you‘re saying, but I appreciate and respect the fact you believe something.
COLGAN: Right. You‘re echoing what I...
CARLSON: She‘s hurting herself by not doing it.
COLGAN: You‘re echoing what I said, which also points to another problem that she has, which is right now, we see a huge sentiment, an anti-incumbent sentiment, but also a sense that people are disenchanted, not just with Republicans, but with Congress in general.
Let‘s get all these bums out of Washington, D.C., basically is the feeling, certainly here in Pennsylvania, during this primary election. And Hillary Clinton is going to have a very difficult time ever positioning herself as an outsider.
That‘s why I think whether it‘s someone like Governor...
HANNITY: To say the least.
COLGAN: ... Warner who shows he can win in a red state as a governor, as an executive and certainly can run as an outsider. And then my favorite, as we‘ve talked about before, an Al Gore who not only, I think, is a celebrity and fund raising power, but I think when you see this movie and you will get introduced to Al Gore again and he will seem like a visionary.
CARLSON: He is such a zealot. He is such—he‘s such a Bible thumper. I can‘t imagine. But you know what? It would be amusing. And I appreciate your courage in endorsing him.
COLGAN: Oh, no. Now a Democrat has too many family values, and now a Democrat has too much faith.
CARLSON: He‘s a wild-eyed religious nut, and his religion is the environment.
COLGAN: And God forbid he was right on the first Gulf War. He was right on this Gulf war and Afghanistan, on global warming, on fuel efficiency. The list goes on and on. I know I‘ve given a terrible resume.
CARLSON: We‘ll save that for a future show. I just want to congratulate you on your courage for defending the unpopular. But you know, maybe he‘ll turn out to be popular again. Why knows?
Flavia Colgan, thanks a lot for coming on.
COLGAN: Thank you so much, Tucker.
CARLSON: Still to come, liberalism and the war on terror. Are Howard Dean and Michael Moore capable of bringing down Osama bin Laden? We‘ll ask Peter Beinart. He‘s the author of “The Good Fight”. After the break.
Plus, a convicted murderer turned transsexual wants the state of Massachusetts to pay for his sex change operation. It could happen. We can‘t make it up. We‘ll debate it when we come back.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
President Bush did not win the last election because he was smarter or more articulate or better financed than John Kerry, but because in the end many people didn‘t trust the Democrats to fight Islamic terror. My next guest believes that perception can change and will change.
Peter Beinart is the editor at large of “The New Republic.” He‘s also the author of “The Good Fight: Why Liberals and Only Liberals Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again”. Peter Beinart joins us tonight from Washington.
PETER BEINART, AUTHOR, “THE GOOD FIGHT”: Thanks. My pleasure.
CARLSON: “The New Republic” and you, specifically, from the very beginning have described the war on terror for what it is, which is a fight against a specific brand of radical Islam. Many on the left, though, not just the Michael Moore types, but even the mainstream left have been unwilling to call it what it is. Why is that?
BEINART: I don‘t know if I would go that far. I think what‘s happened is that George W. Bush actually set out to polarize the country. The polls showed for the first year after 9/11 there wasn‘t a big partisan gap between how urgent people felt the threat of was, what they wanted to do about it. Most Democrats supported the war in Afghanistan.
But the alienation at the feeling that Bush has used this as a partisan wedge, and over Iraq, is pushing Democrats away from the belief that this is their fight. And that‘s what I think is really dangerous and disturbing. And that‘s part of why I wrote the book.
Because I think ultimately, actually, our values as liberals are even more at stake in this. You want to be a gay person under the Taliban? You want to be a—try to be a liberated woman in some of the Sunni-controlled areas of Iraq now?
CARLSON: I totally agree. Hold on. And I agree with you partly that the president has used the war on terror as a political issue and that‘s partly good and partly wrong. But leaving that—I concede that. But you‘re giving the left a pass on this. I mean...
BEINART: No, I‘m not.
CARLSON: Despite whatever Bush does, shouldn‘t they be focused on the threat to western civilization that radical Islam poses?
BEINART: Absolutely. I‘m not giving them a pass at all. I would compare it to Vietnam. I think Vietnam was a terrible mistake. But the left‘s bad reactions to Vietnam debilitated the left for decades. Led the Democrats to go off a cliff and oppose the Gulf War in 1991.
So my argument to the left is, yes, I agree with you that I think George W. Bush has done terrible things. He hasn‘t responded to this the right way, but that shouldn‘t lead us to think that somehow this is a concocted thing that he‘s just hyping. It‘s a very real threat. The country is genuinely threatened and our values around the world, liberal values are threatened, and we have to stand up and make this our struggle.
CARLSON: Here‘s what I don‘t get, OK? So you supported, and “The New Republic” supported and many people supported the war in Iraq because for a bunch of reasons. But partly also as a war of liberation, to liberate the Iraqi people from the tyranny of Saddam.
So liberals also supported an intervention in Rwanda retroactively. How at the same time do liberals, though, not support liberating, say, North Korea? Why are liberals so mad at liberating Iraq now? Why are some countries worth invading on humanitarian grounds and others are not?
BEINART: My book tries to get at this. We should have high ideals around the world and be the supporters of freedom everywhere. But there are limits to our power. And not only to our power. This is, I think, a key insight from the liberal tradition, different than the Bush administration. There are limits to our good intentions. We don‘t always know what is best for people. And sometimes when we overreach it can be corrupting. And we started to see that Iraq, as you said.
I supported the war in Iraq, but I think I was wrong. And I think what we started to see in Iraq is, in fact, the corruption that takes place when you overreach.
And there are cases like in North Korea where the consequences would be horrific. We would have been wonderful if we had been able to liberate Eastern Europe during the Cold War, too. But it would have been over reaching that ultimately would have hurt the United States.
CARLSON: But wait a second. You say overreaching hurts the country. I agree with you completely. I am in no sense a neo-con, so I‘m completely on board with that sentiment.
But you‘ve also argued that we ought to have spent more money in Afghanistan. For instance, rebuilding the infrastructure, making it a kind of model Islamic society for the rest of the Islamic world to gaze upon and say, “Yes, that could be us.”
But maybe the Afghans don‘t want to be a modern society. Maybe they don‘t want roads. Maybe they want to be, you know, stuck in medieval times. And who are we to say, you know, you ought to be modern?
BEINART: No, I think that‘s not the case at all. If you look at when they actually got the chance to go to the polls, I think that there is a huge thirst for economic development and opportunity. And I think Bush is right about this, that freedom is a universal value.
My point was that when America unilaterally acts, when we can‘t convince our democratic allies. Forget the dictatorships, screw them. When we can‘t convince our democratic allies who share our values that this is a good idea, then we have to pause and say wait, why are these people who are also democratized, why can‘t we convince them?
CARLSON: OK, how about a better test. I‘m just not convinced what the Belgians think is material. How about this test?
BEINART: They were right on Iraq.
CARLSON: Is it—yes, they were, but a broken clock, right? So but how about this test—is it worth my son‘s life? Protecting America, say most Americans, is worth my son‘s life? Bringing democracy or freedom to someone I‘ve never met not worth my son‘s life. Is that a fair test? I think it is.
BEINART: That‘s a very important test, but it‘s not the only test. There are times where there are moral values at stake. It would have been worth putting some American lives on the line to prevent what happened in Rwanda. Because that‘s the kind of society we are.
We are not just a typically other run of the mill great power. We are a country with a historic mission to make this a better world. I think George W. Bush is right about that. He just done it in the wrong way.
CARLSON: Peter Beinart. A very smart book. I think the Democratic Party is going to listen carefully to what say. Probably with bad consequences for the country, but good consequences at the ballot box. Peter Beinart, thank you very much.
BEINART: Thank you.
CARLSON: Still to come, if the French hate Americans so much, why did they buy Motel 6 and Wild Turkey Bourbon? We‘ll ask an expert on American-Froggo relations in just a minute.
Plus, should a judge who gave a vertically-challenged sex offender a lenient sentence be removed from the bench for doing so? There is a movement afoot to do exactly that. The details coming up.
CARLSON: We turn now to a man whose considerable skills of devil‘s advocacy will really be put to the test tonight. He is “The Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO boxing host, Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO & HBO BOXING HOST: Tucker.
CARLSON: Buckle your seatbelt, Max, these are tough. First up. A Massachusetts man serving a life sentence for strangling his wife is now demanding the state pay for the sex change operation.
An attorney for Robert Kosilek (ph) says denying his client‘s surgery amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. He has produced testimony from a shrink who says the prisoner will likely kill himself if he doesn‘t receive the surgery.
In 2002, a judge determined the man, who now goes by the name Michelle, was entitled to hormone treatments for his, quote, “gender identity disorder,” whatever that is. But Kosilek now wants the knife.
I am sorry that Robert or Michelle or whatever he is called wants to be castrated, but that is not the state‘s problem. Also, you killed your wife, so hush.
I told you we were going to test you tonight, Max, good luck defending that, the idea the state ought to pay for this guy‘s gender identity reassignment or whatever, castration. It is insane.
KELLERMAN: This is why the left can‘t win the presidential election.
CARLSON: Exactly! Exactly!
KELLERMAN: This is the—no, look, however ridiculous we think gender identity disorder maybe, Tucker, it exists at least in the eyes of the law. I mean, this guy is already receiving psychotherapy. Taxpayers are paying for that. He is also receiving hormone treatments, taxpayers are paying for that.
Ostensibly because they are bringing in experts on the subject who are saying, yes, this guy actually suffers from this disorder, which the law acknowledges as being true.
CARLSON: Right, well, the law has made a couple of mistakes along the way, I think we can stipulate that. I mean, it is a mistake for taxpayers to pay for his hormone injunctions. He has a mental disorder. Anyone who wants to be castrated I think by definition does. I think it‘s fair to say. You can say without being a hater, right?
That doesn‘t mean that the state should aid and abet it. I mean, there is no justification in my view for getting castrated. But there is certainly no justification for implicating the rest of us in your castration.
KELLERMAN: But it is easy to say when we don‘t understand or agree with something like a gender identity disorder, something weird and not.
CARLSON: Yes, that‘s right.
KELLERMAN: It is easy for to us say none of the taxpayers should be implicated in something like that. But this is—and this is where actually the left needs to do a better job articulating more complicated points, but things are not always so simple. Sometimes if you really look into the issue, it is a complicated disorder and maybe it is cruel and unusual.
By the way, Tucker, are we actually—we are saying yes that the taxpayers are already paying for the hormone therapy and everything else.
KELLERMAN: You don‘t want to pay to castrate the guy, a murderer?
You are actually arguing no, I don‘t want to pay to castrate him?
CARLSON: No, but the real story is, why won‘t the left give up on things like this? I mean, if you give up on this, you get a higher minimum wage. If you stop acting like a bunch of lunatics, people would vote for you. You get to be president if you stop supporting people who want to be castrated at public expense.
KELLERMAN: Left-center, Bill Clinton is what.
CARLSON: I know you‘re right.
CARLSON: You are totally right. He would have this guy executed. Now an update on a story we first brought to you last week, the Nebraska judge who gave (ph) 5‘1” sex offender a life sentence partly because she didn‘t think he could hack it in prison. Well, she is under fire tonight. An appeal was filed today against Judge Christina Cecava‘s sentence of 10 months probation for Richard Thompson (ph).
The appeal claims the sentence was excessively lenient, Thompson should be in prison instead. A transcript of the sentencing hearing shows the judge, worried that the man‘s size would make him vulnerable to predators in prison.
Well, of course the judge ought to resign. Being short doesn‘t excuse you from being a sex offender, Max. Let‘s see how you defend this one.
KELLERMAN: Well, first of all, I don‘t think I need to defend the judge‘s decision in order to say that the judge should not necessarily resign. I mean, especially as a judge in public—imagine, what if this is the worst—let‘s say it is a very, very bad decision, let‘s agree on that, and say it is the worst moment of this judge‘s life and it has played out extremely publicly.
If any one of us had the worst moment even in our professional lives played out in the most public way possible, everyone would say that person should resign from whatever they do. So that is the—and that is in the first place.
CARLSON: Well, wait.
KELLERMAN: . a very bad decision.
CARLSON: That‘s like saying, I don‘t know, John Wilkes Booth, excellent actor, unfair to judge him for one night.
KELLERMAN: But I don‘t think there is a moral equivalency here. And I also don‘t like the idea that we see in this country—because prisons are out of control, you know, internally, they are out of control, the way prisoners behave, there are rapes going on constantly. I don‘t like the idea that we have allowed as a culture our prisons to be out of control.
CARLSON: I agree with that completely.
KELLERMAN: And then we see the out of control behavior acted upon other prisoners as some kind of justice.
CARLSON: I agree with that completely.
KELLERMAN: You know, he molested children, oh, will he get raped now, he deserves it.
CARLSON: I agree with that adamantly. I think the fact that people are raped and murdered in prison is an atrocity. It‘s something we should all be ashamed of.
KELLERMAN: Well, that is the logic here, Tucker, the guy is 5‘ -- child molesters don‘t fare well in prison, 5‘1” child molesters don‘t have a shot, and I think that is the logic of the judge‘s decision. Faulty though it may be, there is some logic.
CARLSON: Yes. But the alternative is to put him in segregation within the prison, it‘s not let him out and that is what she did.
KELLERMAN: And that is why she is in trouble.
CARLSON: Yes, and she ought to be! Max Kellerman, nice defense, though, very clever. You‘re fast.
KELLERMAN: I tried my best.
CARLSON: That was tough, thanks, Max.
So from Beverly Hills, the tale of a lovelorn woman who went to court because she was not being courted by Mr. Right, 60-year-old Ann Majerick (ph) wanted a match made in heaven, instead, she wound up with a heavenly jury award, $2 million after suing her Beverly Hills matchmaker. Majerick claims she was promised a romance with a so-called cultured gentlemen of considerable wealth. All she got instead though were unsuitable suitors. The matchmaker counters that Majerick is a serial suer and she vows to appeal the award, which brings us to the very unappealing topic of frivolous lawsuits.
In tonight‘s “Top 5”, we scour the dockets of American justice for other cases of disorder in the courts.
CARLSON (voice-over): They say we become a nation of warning labels. If so, blame it on jackpot justice, those outrageous jury awards handed to litigants with a corporate axe to grind.
Take for instance Patricia McCall (ph). This California lawyer has filed more than 30 lawsuits on behalf her favorite client, herself. And she has won a few of them, $1500 for a toe injury she sustained in a grocery, $75,000 for falling down in an department store. Is it any wonder this woman is a media attraction?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you realize that you have just hit me with your cameras?
CARLSON: Uh-oh, I smell another lawsuit. When it comes to corporate cat fights, Kellogg‘s really knows how to take the tiger by the tail. In 1998, the cereal-maker went after Exxon, claiming that the oil company‘s mascot looked a little too much like Kellogg‘s long-time fat cat, Tony the Tiger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They‘re great!
CARLSON: Not so great, however, for Exxon V.P. Jim Carter (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Their tiger at that time was quite slim. You know, maybe it has been bodybuilding or something.
CARLSON: In the end, a judge agreed and declared Exxon‘s tiger the corporate jungle‘s top cat.
Ten years ago, Florida physical therapist and strip bar aficionado Paul Cincones (ph) claimed a dancer‘s large breasts gave him whiplash. He demanded 15 grand in damages, that comes to about $7,500 per breast. But a judge ruled Cincones lawsuit a legal pain in the neck, case dismissed.
Perhaps few frivolous lawsuits are as outrageous as those filed by people behind bars. They cost you, the taxpayer, more than $100 million a year. Take Brooklyn burglar Anthony Malloy (ph), he wanted justice because a prison guard used his jacket to wipe the floor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know I sued this guy for 989 billion-trillion.
I know I wanted a hotel like Donald Trump‘s hotel.
CARLSON: And that brings us to a woman whose name has become synonymous with crazy lawsuits, Stella Lybeck (ph). In 1992, she sued McDonald‘s for $20,000 after she spilled hot coffee on her lap.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I put it between my knees to steady it with this hand, and it just went, wooo.
CARLSON: McDonald‘s refused to pay up but it should have. A jury eventually awarded Stella more than $3 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was not in it for the money. It was so other people would not go through the same thing I did.
CARLSON: Indeed, this case proved a very happy meal for Stella and her lawyer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they love it.
CARLSON: Coming up on THE SITUATION, these grandparents hired a hitman to take out their grandchildren. Why in the world would they want their son‘s kids out of the picture? We will have the shocking explanation in just a minute.
And don‘t forget, we will be listening to your calls tomorrow night. The number, 1-877-TCARLSON. Give us a buzz and let us know what is on your mind. You just might hear yourself on the air. We‘ll be right back.
CARLSON: The United States and France disliked each other long before we Americans cleverly changed the name of french fries to freedom fries. The rivalry between the two countries is literally centuries old. In fact, it is hard to recall two allies who have greater contempt for one another.
The french think we are a country of loud, overweight vulgarians, many Americans consider the French to be cheese-eating surrender monkeys. So are these stereotypes accurate? And is there any saving this love-hate relationship?
For answers, we turn now to Richard Chesnoff, he is a veteran foreign correspondent who has lived in France for nearly 20 years. He is also the author of a terrific new book, “The Arrogance of the French: Why They Can‘t Stand Us and Why the Feeling Is Mutual.” He joins us from Marseilles, France, tonight.
Mr. Chesnoff, welcome. Is it true the French hate us? Do they really hate us?
RICHARD CHESNOFF, AUTHOR, “THE ARROGANCE OF THE FRENCH”: I think there is a love-hate relationship that certainly has—goes on for a long time, has gone on for a long time. And I think a lot of it is based on French feelings of inadequacy today. They are not what they used to be and therefore they take it out on us a lot.
CARLSON: The French seem similar to the Americans. We seem in many ways to have more in common with the French than we do with say the British. We both have high self-regard. Have you noticed that?
CHESNOFF: That is very true. Not only do we have high self-regard, but we are probably the only two nations in the world that really today that think that they have a global message for everybody.
And the French have one that is in competition with us. The difference is that we have the power and wherewithal to have it heard and make it mean something. France, unfortunately for France, doesn‘t have that anymore.
CARLSON: Are the French aware that they are the butt of jokes in this country? That people mock them for being surrender monkeys for instance?
CHESNOFF: Sure they do. And they knew all about freedom fries as well. But they—of course, they also make fun of the United States. Listen, this is a very difficult relationship. And I think the French have not come to terms with where they stand in the world today. And that is their problem. It is really a more serious problem for France I think than it is for us, although it may be annoying to us in international conferences and in trying to negotiate world peace or win a war.
CARLSON: So what—tell us what they really say about us. You have been there for 20 years. You must speak good French. You go to dinner parties, presumably, you are around the French in their natural habitat. When the lights are dimmed, what specifically do they say about the United States?
CHESNOFF: Well, they say that we are pushy. They say that we‘re an upstart nation that doesn‘t have much of a cultural history and certainly not as grandiose a history of culture and development as France does.
And how dare we try to rule the world. And this is their gripe. They will very rapidly, unfortunately, forget that this America that they criticize so much is the same America that saved their backsides three times in the past 100 years.
CARLSON: Not many Americans have forgotten that. You have, at the very end of your book, a list of companies in the United States that are owned by the French, in case any of your readers want to join the boycott started three years ago against France.
You have got Dom Perignon, of course, and Evian, obvious. You also have, though, Jerry Springer, his show, Motel 6, Rolling Stone magazine, and Wild Turkey Bourbon. Are these really French companies?
CHESNOFF: They have been purchased by France. They are part of the French globalization. Although the French will tell you that the globalization is bad for the poor people and bad for the Third World. But they are the first to hop on the globalization bandwagon and they have been investing heavily in the United States for the past 25 years.
CARLSON: Do you see an irony though in a country that ostensibly hates us buying, of all things, Wild Turkey Bourbon? I mean, it is hard to imagine a more American product short of Marlboro and Copenhagen. Do they see the irony there?
CHESNOFF: Well, I think they may. I don‘t know how many Frenchmen are really aware of it. But I think the other irony is that despite their disdain certainly for our political leadership and despite their disdain for so many things American, they are absolutely nuts about American culture.
I mean, American films are—Hollywood is God here. They love our fast foods. I mean, I just arrived in Marseilles this evening before the broadcast wanting to get something to eat. The only place that was open around here was McDonald‘s for goodness sake.
So I mean, there is this contradiction and they recognize it as well. I mean, one of the things I write about in “Arrogance of the French” is that our opinions of college students, young college students at Nice University, who talk about how much they love American culture, yet hate America. And it is this crazy, crazy contradiction that goes on here all the time.
CARLSON: In the end we are conquering them with the Chicken McNugget and I like it. Richard Chesnoff, author of “The Arrogance of the French,” great book. Thank you very much for joining us.
Still ahead on THE SITUATION, there is controversy surrounding the new lipstick lesbian version of Batwoman. What could be wrong with this picture? We will tell you in a minute.
But before we go to break, it is tonight‘s installment of “The Good, the Bad, and Ugly.” The good is the end of a daylong ordeal for a 34-year-old attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. This surveillance tape shows Sandra Gregory (ph) being forced into her car at gunpoint at 8:30 this morning. Police and U.S. marshals traced the woman and her captor to a Birmingham hotel where she was found unharmed early tonight.
The bad is the Iranian reaction to an offer from the U.S. of a face-to-face meeting about that country‘s nuclear program. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she would be willing to talk if Iran puts its atomic development on hold. The Iranian government immediately rejected the offer as quote, “a propaganda move.” Rice says the U.S. is prepared to impose sanctions.
The ugly is a pair of grandparents who apparently hired a hitman to kill their three grandchildren, their daughter-in-law, even the family‘s pet dog, all for a down payment of $100. The plot was hatched from jail by the grandparents‘ son whose wife and kids are scheduled to testify against him in a sexual molestation case. The hitman hired by the couple, it turned out he was an undercover police officer. What a grim story. That‘s “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” tonight. We will be right back.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time for the “Cutting Room Floor.” And for that, we welcome, fresh from the hair stylist, Willie Geist.
WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER: Oh, I knew you were going to say that.
CARLSON: I couldn‘t help it, Willie.
GEIST: It is a subtle hint that some others of us should get a haircut maybe. We are re-entering mullet country, my friend.
CARLSON: Yes, I know we are.
GEIST: You have been hard on the Canadians over the last few months, you have been.
CARLSON: I have been, yes I have.
GEIST: And right or wrong.
CARLSON: But in a loving way.
GEIST: Right, in a loving way. A note-worthy Canadian took notice. Dan Aykroyd, one of the great Canadians, actually, actually was speaking to Rita Cosby tonight, and had a little message for you.
Let‘s hear it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN AYKROYD, ACTOR: Tucker should keep that bow tie off and come up and see that he has got great friends in Canada, and great allies to the United States, and great entrepreneurs in business up there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GEIST: How about that? Dan Aykroyd.
CARLSON: Boy, I am embarrassed.
GEIST: Do you want to take anything back? Dan Aykroyd.
CARLSON: I do, I do, actually. And by the way, I played squash with a Canadian this morning. I like the Canadians, I think they are excellent little people. I think that.
CARLSON: No, I‘m just kidding. Actually I honestly like them.
GEIST: Did you beat him?
CARLSON: No. I didn‘t.
CARLSON: . at all. No, I didn‘t.
GEIST: You lost to a Canadian?
CARLSON: I was crushed by a Canadian, yes I was.
GEIST: That is embarrassing.
CARLSON: Thank you, Willie.
Well, we begin with a “Cutting Room Floor” correction. On last night‘s show, while reading a script researched and written solely by Willie Geist, I said that the new lesbian Batwoman comic book character was the first gay superhero. Thanks to the help of some viewer e-mail, we were able to correct Willie‘s profound error. Tonight everyone knows that Northstar was the first openly gay comic book character. He‘s a member of Marvel Comics‘ Alpha Flight, of course. Northstar came out of the closet in 1992. Willie Geist regrets that error.
GEIST: Not as much as I regret working with you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Thank you, Willie. Can I just.
GEIST: OK. We apologize, we take it back, whatever. I am glad all these comic book people are watching. But Northstar is not a superhero. It cheapens the superhero brand if we call all these people superheroes. I think the superhero spectrum goes out to Green Lantern probably.
GEIST: . and then we work our way back into Superman. You are putting Northstar in the same category as Superman?
CARLSON: If you are in an adult film, you are a porn star. If you are in a comic book, you are a superhero. Those are the rules.
GEIST: No, no, not super, though. It‘s the super part. They are like a good hero.
CARLSON: They are a demi-hero.
GEIST: You know what I mean?
GEIST: Yes. So I‘m right, is that what you are saying?
CARLSON: Yes, I think you are right.
CARLSON: Good point. If you want to see the face of a religious figure in your food, you can sit around and wait for a higher power to bless your meal, as happened in the case of the grilled cheese sandwich that sold for 28 grand on eBay a couple of years ago, or you can buy a Jesus pan.
Jesus pan puts the face of Jesus directly on your food. If you act now you can get two Jesus pans for the low-low price of $29.99. Come on, they are practically giving those away.
Are those real, Willie?
GEIST: They are. It is over at jesuspan.com. You can buy those things. And a stack of pancakes just tastes better with Jesus‘ head on it. Give Jesus credit, by the way, he is the first person with the courage to step into the arena with George Foreman in the grill (INAUDIBLE) category.
CARLSON: It is totally going to devalue all the Christ images on food on eBay.
GEIST: The sightings. That‘s exactly right.
CARLSON: Exactly right.
Willie Geist and the hair.
GEIST: See you tomorrow.
CARLSON: See you tomorrow, Willie.
That‘s THE SITUATION for tonight. Thanks for watching. See you then.
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