'Rita Cosby Live & Direct' for June 15

Guests: Victoria Campbell, Dean Tong, Dennis Hof, Chuck McGee, Rachel Lang, Ron Boone, Christian Lang-Poplin, Sam de la Torre, Sid Heal, Milton Grimes, James Stein, Katrina Szish, Suzy Byrne

RITA COSBY, HOST:  And good evening, everybody.  I‘m Rita Cosby. 

Right now, late-breaking developments in the all-points bulletin for sniper suspect Darren Mack.  He‘s the fugitive accused of killing his wife and shooting a judge.  Tonight, we have new details about a bizarre lifestyle this well-known businessman was apparently leading in secret.  We‘re going to have that exclusive information in just a moment. 

But just into us, startling information, including the 911 tapes from the day of the shootings.  Joining me live from Reno is KRNV reporter Victoria Campbell. 

Victoria, what do we know about these 9/11 tapes and also the time line that happened that day of the events? 

VICTORIA CAMPBELL, KRNV-TV REPORTER:  Well, the 911 tapes do establish a time line that we were unaware of before, and it is kind of a strange one. 

What we know is this, and we had known this before:  Charla Mack showed up at the home of her ex-husband, Darren Mack, at about 9:10 on Monday morning.  Sometime between 9:10 and 9:30, she was stabbed to death in the garage of that home. 

A roommate of Darren Mack was at the home at the time.  He said that he was there to pick up the little girl and take her to her grandmother‘s house, at Darren Mack‘s request, that he had let his dog out of the car—and we‘re talking a large dog, a mastiff—that the mastiff, the dog, was in the garage and actually came out of the garage covered with blood. 

The roommate told us that Darren Mack walked out of the garage and headed up the stairs without saying anything to the roommate, that he had his hand wrapped in a towel, that the man feared for his life and he left the home with the dog and with the little girl. 

But what the 911 tapes‘ time line is telling us at this point, he left the house at 9:30 a.m. on Monday.  But what the time lien is telling us now is sometime between 9:30 and 10:30 Darren Mack called this man and said that he wanted to meet him and his daughter for coffee, and they actually met for about an hour there on Monday morning, after the dog was found covered with blood, after this man said that he worried about the fate of Charla Mack. 

That was from 9:30 to 10:30.  Moments after 11:00 is when Judge Chuck Weller was shot in the courthouse downtown.  So there is kind of some unaccounted time there in the middle.  After that, of course, a number of 911 calls came in. 

But there is about an hour there that we didn‘t know before, that for some reason Darren Mack and the roommate met for coffee, allegedly after Darren Mack had stabbed his wife to death.

COSBY:  What bizarre behavior.  You know, I also understand that police found something on the side of the road.  What is that? 

CAMPBELL:  Well, last night we heard on the police scanners that Reno police were looking on the side of the road on Interstate 80 leading west out of Reno.  This would have been the route that Darren Mack allegedly would have taken on his way to Sacramento.  Of course, that‘s where we know that his credit card was last used was at the Sacramento airport on Monday afternoon. 

But last night, Reno police found what they‘re calling some belongings of Charla Mack.  They are not telling us tonight what they are, but it is entirely consistent with the suspected behavior of Darren Mack, that he may have thrown something out the car window.  It was found—those belongings found along the side of the road. 

Officers are telling us tonight that it was not the murder weapon, suspected to be a knife, of course, but it was some belongings of Charla Mack. 

COSBY:  And, real quick, I understand you have the divorce papers.  What‘s the most sort of interesting piece of nugget in there?  I understand there‘s a lot about his finances? 

CAMPBELL:  A tremendous information about his finances.  He was partial owner of a pawn shop in downtown Reno, Palace Jewelry and Loan.  And according to these divorce papers, his take-home pay, his net income per month, was just over $44,000.  Charla Mack, on the other hand, had no income.

COSBY:  Wait, wait, wait, $44,000 a month? 

CAMPBELL:  Yes, $44,014 per month.  Charla Mack‘s income was zero.  According to court documents, she was awarded $10,000 a month spousal support.  He also paid the state limit of $849 a month for child support, for the child they had together, now an 8-year-old daughter. 

But we also understand that he was told to pay the first and second mortgage on the home that she was living in, as well as all expenses tied to that home, everything from garbage, pool and Jacuzzi, TV, satellite, water, lawn care, all of that.  So he was responsible for virtually all of her expenses, as well as child support and spousal sport. 

At one point last year, according to court documents, he actually declared bankruptcy.  She then took him to court and asked to have him declared in contempt of court for failing to pay spousal support, the child support, and everything he had been ordered to pay by the courts. 

COSBY:  And, of course, that‘s when things started to get contentious between the two.  Both of you, thank you very much, Victoria.  We appreciate it.  Let us know if there‘s anything else, you know, if those 911s, the actual tapes come in, please come back to us later on in the show.

And we‘re now learning more and more about the kind of life that Darren Mack really led, particularly when it comes to his underground sexual lifestyle of swapping wives or more commonly known as swinging. 

With me again tonight is forensic trial consultant Dean Tong, who Mack hired for his vicious child custody battle we just heard about from Victoria.  That‘s the one with his second wife. 

We have with us now Dennis Hof.  He‘s the owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch.  That‘s the brothel right near Reno where, ironically, Darren Mack, we‘ve just learned, was spotted a few days ago. 

And on the phone with us right now is Bunny Ranch shift manager Ruth who was on duty that day. 

Dean, first to you.  What do you know about this alternative lifestyle he was leading?  What can you tell us about it? 

DEAN TONG, FORENSIC TRIAL CONSULTANT:  Well, he intimated it to me, Rita, that he was doing this, that she acquiesced to the same.  And after the child was born and the tender years kept going, she became three and four, she got tired of it and wanted out of it.  That was one of the arguments that her lawyer pled in the divorce papers for the dissolution of marriage. 

COSBY:  Dean, do you know how long he was involved in it? 

TONG:  I would say years.  I mean, you know, it‘s also alleged in the papers that he was with some lady in Mexico the day he filed for Chapter Seven bankruptcy last August. 

So, apparently, this guy had a secret life.  He, you know, sowed his oats beyond his marriage.  And apparently she acquiesced to it, you know, for the first few years, but then, you know, she said it was unhealthy for the kid.  It was not in the child‘s best interest.  They need to either, you know, get it worked out or split, because, you know, she didn‘t want that type of life around the child.

COSBY:  And, Dean, do you know—did they have like swinger parties? 

Was it regular couples or just...


TONG:  You know, I don‘t know any of the details there, Rita.  You know, as I alluded to, we had him tested for sexual deviancy, perversion, reasons.  There was no inkling that he was into any type of (inaudible) or sexual deviancy or forcible rape or sexual violence.  All of his sexual interests were normal. 

So I have to assume that he just had a very elevated testosterone level and, you know...

COSBY:  Yes, to say the least.

TONG:  ... and he did this for sexual gratification purposes.  Of course, it was, I guess, consensual infidelity until Charla Mack got tired of this.

COSBY:  You know, Dennis, you also have some pretty stunning information  You found out—you‘ve learned from the folks at the ranch he was there how many days ago? 

DENNIS HOF, OWNER, MOONLITE BUNNY RANCH BROTHEL:  Well, it was about 10 days ago, the Sunday morning out with a bunch of his buddies.  And the buddies didn‘t want to party, but he did.  They said he was getting over a tough divorce that he went through.  And the swinger lifestyle, a lot of them come to the Bunny Ranch and... 

COSBY:  Same type of crowd that does the swinging also comes to the Bunny Ranch? 

HOF:  Absolutely.  Because, what happens if the wife doesn‘t want to do something, then they can come to the ranch and do it on their own or they bring the wife.  And I don‘t know if the wife had ever been there, but it fits.  And a lot of them come to the Bunny Ranch.  It‘s the party place in northern Nevada.  And...

COSBY:  And a lot of people who come there are married. 

HOF:  Yes, a lot of couples come there.  A lot of couple comes to the party.  But that night, his buddy did not want to party.  The buddy said, “You know what?  He‘s having a tough divorce, and he needs to have a good time.” 

COSBY:  You know, it‘s wild to hear that now, especially in light of what was going on.  It sounds like he just was having wild sort of sexual experiences all over the place. 

Ruth, you were on duty when he came in.  Do you know about what time Darren Mack came to the Moonlite Bunny Ranch?

RUTH, SHIFT MANAGER, BUNNY RANCH:  It was early in the morning that day. 

COSBY:  And why does he stand out to you? 

RUTH:  Well, when he walked back to the bar area where he was, him and his friends were out there drinking, I noticed he was a very handsome man.  He had a great smile.  So he kind of caught my eye, and the girls were all laughing with him.  They had bought the girls drinks. 

COSBY:  And how many of them came in?  Dennis was saying he came with some relatives.  How many people came in?

RUTH:  Yes, there was like three or four of them. 

COSBY:  And what did they say to the girls? 

RUTH:  Mostly just chit-chat.  I come out and check periodically, check on the parlor and the bar area, so I didn‘t get into a lot of the conversation.  But I did hear the one girls were trying to get one of the gentleman to tour, and they kept saying, no, that they were happily married.  They were just there for their buddy.  They said that he was going through a really rough divorce and he needed to kind of cut loose and...

COSBY:  And the buddy is Darren Mack, who you were saying—Darren Mack was the one who partied, had the sexual experience with the girl that day? 

RUTH:  Right. 

COSBY:  Did he pay cash?  Did he pay credit card?  Do you know how much?

RUTH:  I believe it was cash.

COSBY:  Do you know how much he paid? 

RUTH:  I cannot remember, to be honest. 

COSBY:  Do we have any idea of—was it kinky?  Was it wacky stuff? 

Did he... 

RUTH:  No, it wasn‘t a really huge party or I would have remembered it.  But they did—they were here for a couple hours.  Like I said, he had a great smile.  He was very well-spoken, well-mannered.

COSBY:  What‘s your reaction to what you‘re hearing, you know, that this guy is now accused—a massive manhunt now for him, now to find out that guy was in the place and he had killed, you know, his own wife? 

RUTH:  Oh, I was really shocked.  I couldn‘t believe it.  When his face came on the news, I watching in the morning before I came to work, and I just—I kept staring at him.  I couldn‘t believe that was him. 

But I had noticed, like I said, he had a great smile.  He was very well-spoken, very well-mannered, dressed nice, and I couldn‘t believe it when I saw his face come up on the screen. 

COSBY:  You know, you must have just been astounded, too, Dennis.  You also know Darren Mack?  You‘re from Reno.

HOF:  That‘s right.  Mrs. Mack, the mom, used to live next to me.  And I used to see all the kids come over there, great family, well-respected in the community, big pawn shop owners.  I bought some from—everybody in Nevada has bought things from them.

COSBY:  And you know the courthouse, too.  You know, what is your reaction to the community?  And you‘ve been in that courthouse so many times... 

HOF:  Well, it‘s a terrible, terrible thing.  And this courthouse, the family justice system in Nevada is very good.  And those judges are the best in the country. 

I‘ve supported my girls all over the United States in divorce, custody hearings, and things like that.  And these judges are wonderful.  They‘re fairly they‘re equitable.  And I can‘t say anything but nice things about these judges in the Reno justice system.

COSBY:  It‘s so sad.  It‘s just such a tragedy...

HOF:  Terrible.

COSBY:  ... what‘s happened to this judge, especially if he was trying to do the right thing and just mediate a case. 

HOF:  Absolutely.  And when you‘re making the kind of money that he‘s making, what‘s the problem? 

COSBY:  Yes, $44,000 a month.

HOF:  Pay her.  You still got money to go to the Bunny Ranch. 

COSBY:  Yes, absolutely.  And, look, if it‘s mutual with his wife, that‘s a whole other separate issue, too. 

HOF:  Absolutely.  She can come by herself.


COSBY:  Dennis, thank you very much. 

HOF:  Thank you.

COSBY:  Always colorful to have you on.  Both of you, everybody, thank you.

And when we come back, for the first time we‘ll talk to the judge who presided over Mack‘s first divorce hearing.  Wait until you hear how close he was to this week‘s shooting that we were just talking about with Dennis.  This guy was there.  We‘ll explain what he saw firsthand. 

That and a whole lot more, coming up.  Take a look, everybody. 


COSBY (voice-over):  Still ahead, an unbelievable story of crime and punishment that is tearing a family apart.  What drove two sisters to beg a judge to put their dad in jail? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Him sitting there for three years is another three years that someone can live their life. 

COSBY:  They join me live. 

And you want the police to keep you safe, but do you want them watching from the sky?  Find out if these spies in the sky are coming to your neighborhood.

And Taylor Hicks beat the competition on “American Idol,” but does he really deserve the top slot on the list of hottest bachelors?  Wait until you see the hunks he beat out. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Now, picture that but everywhere. 

COSBY:  Your celebrity dish is coming up, LIVE & DIRECT.



COSBY:  Tonight, we are getting brand-new details in the all-out manhunt for sniper suspect Darren Mack.  Tonight, we‘re now learning that Judge Weller, the judge who was allegedly shot, says he actually knew he was being targeted by the suspect.  But Mack‘s cousin, Jeffrey Donner, told me exclusively that his cousin never mentioned violence.  In fact, he talked to his cousin just minutes after the shooting. 


JEFFREY DONNER, DARREN MACK‘S COUSIN:  He sounded like he has sounded the last year, the past year, totally preoccupied with the injustice that he felt that he had received at the hands of this judge and asked me that to remember my promise to him that, if anything happened to him, to make sure that I got word out to the public about how unjust, unfair this judge was, not only to him, but to others in the court, so that the public would know, especially the Reno public would know. 

COSBY:  So he‘d been talking to you about his displeasure with this judge for some time, Jeffrey? 

DONNER:  For a year. 

COSBY:  And to the point...


COSBY:  ... where you thought he would do this?

DONNER:  No, never, never.  He was preoccupied with people finding out how unfair and unjust the judge was.  He never, ever indicated there would be any type of violence towards the judge whatsoever, never.

COSBY:  You must have been—what was your reaction? 

DONNER:  His preoccupation was exposing the judge. 


COSBY:  And with me now in his first national interview is Judge Chuck McGee, who is a close friend of Judge Weller and was in the courthouse at the time that Judge Weller was shot. 

Judge McGee, what did you hear when you were in the courthouse? 

JUDGE CHUCK MCGEE, FRIEND OF JUDGE WELLER:  I heard this sound of the shattering of glass and a thump at first.  I was on the telephone. 

COSBY:  And what did you think was going on? 

MCGEE:  Actually, I was clueless.  I thought somebody tripped over a coffee table, a glass coffee table.

COSBY:  And what did you do then?  What did you—how did you respond? 

MCGEE:  Well, there was a scream and someone running down the hall, so I went towards Judge Weller‘s chambers, which are right next to mine.

COSBY:  And what did you see? 

MCGEE:  Well, the first thing I saw was a couple bailiffs with their guns drawn and yelling for me to get down.  And I think that‘s the first time I realized that there had been a shooting.

COSBY:  And then what did you see with the judge?  I understand you were actually with the judge right then for, what, about 20 minutes? 

MCGEE:  About 20 or 25 minutes, yes. 

COSBY:  And how was he?  How was he acting?

MCGEE:  Amazingly composed.  He was preoccupied with the concern over the welfare of his wife and two little girls. 

COSBY:  Yes, what did he say to you? 

MCGEE:  He said, “I‘ve got to get a hold of Rosie.  I have got to get a hold of my family so I can get them out of the house.” 

COSBY:  So he knew that it was someone who was targeting him specifically, that it wasn‘t just a random sniper?  And I understand he also gave you sort of a list of people, he also recounted some names to you, right? 

MCGEE:  He provided that information to a detective and a deputy on the way to the hospital. 

COSBY:  And how many names did he give, and was Darren Mack on that list? 

MCGEE:  I know that Darren Mack was on the list; I can‘t tell you how many names that he gave. 

COSBY:  But Darren Mack was on the list of people he thought...

MCGEE:  Yes, that‘s for sure.

COSBY:  ... was planning to target him for some reason and maybe then go after his family? 

MCGEE:  That‘s for sure. 

COSBY:  Where did you go after the shooting? 

MCGEE:  I left the building and went to a prearranged spot where I reconnoitered with his wife and children and got them into police cruisers to take her to the hospital under guard so she could be with Chuck. 

COSBY:  You know, we talked to Darren Mack‘s cousin, as you saw a little clip of.  This is what he had to say, because he said there was just so much anger between Darren Mack and the judge. 


DONNER:  I think that someone needs to look in to what might possibly have occurred in that courtroom with that judge and, possibly, what that judge has done in the last 20 months since he‘s been on the bunch. 


COSBY:  You know, Judge McGee, what kind of judge was Judge Weller and, hopefully, will be again? 

MCGEE:  You think Judge Weller was and is a fine judge, and he‘s a judge in process, in progress.  He‘s learning the ropes, so to speak, because it takes a while in the family court to do that. 

COSBY:  Had you ever heard that he sort of had a republication of being unfair, that some of these bloggers—or do you think it‘s just folks that are in the middle of contentious divorce proceedings and, if it doesn‘t go their way, they‘re just angry at the judge? 

MCGEE:  I‘d like to say two things.  I was in Vietnam shortly after the My Lai massacre, and those combat soldiers that were in stress there, there has to be some kind of a switch that goes off in the back of your mind, I think, and says, “I can‘t do this.” 

Now, I don‘t know how those combat pressures might compare to what Darren Mack was going through, and maybe subjectively he felt the same way, but...

COSBY:  You know, you know Darren Mack, too, right?  You know him?

MCGEE:  I do. 

COSBY:  How?  How did you—what, you played racquetball with him? 

MCGEE:  I knew him officially about 10 years ago when I presided over his first divorce.  And we both belonged to an athletic club together and we would occasionally play racquetball against each other.

COSBY:  And what was his demeanor in that first divorce case?  Was he furious just like this? 

MCGEE:  I don‘t think he was as wound up as he apparently was in this case, but it was a very contentious divorce, as well. 

COSBY:  Judge McGee, thank you very much.  And, before I let you go, how is Judge Weller doing? 

MCGEE:  Judge Weller is doing fine.  And Judge Weller has been unfairly castigated, in my mind, by these people who are so stressed out they can‘t see objectively what‘s going on.  And Judge Weller is going to make one of the finer judges in what Dennis Hof called some of the best judges in the state of Nevada. 

COSBY:  Well, I‘ve heard nothing but good things about him, and our prayers are with him, of course, tonight that he has a speedy recovery.  Thank you, Judge, so much. 

MCGEE:  You‘re welcome.

COSBY:  And now to a heartbreaking story.  An Oklahoma dad is behind bars at this hour after his own daughters of testified against him.  Glen Lang, who some are calling the DUI Dad, will be locked up for the next three years for driving under the influence.  This is his ninth DUI.  His daughters pleaded with the judge to put their father away for his own good. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Him sitting there for three years is another three years that someone can live their life three years longer.


COSBY:  And LIVE & DIRECT right now are Glen Lang‘s daughters, Rachel and Christian, also prosecutor Ron Boone. 

You know, Christian, let me start with you, but I want to play a little clip.  This is what your cousin had to say about testifying, you know, against, of course, your father here. 



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A family member, it hurt to do it, but I felt I did what was right for my family and for the community. 


COSBY:  How tough was it for you, Christian, for you to testify against your own dad? 

C. LANG-POPLIN:  It was really tough, sitting up there on the witness stand, and having to look him straight in his face, and testify against him to throw him in jail to make him stop drinking.  It was really hard. 

COSBY:  I‘m amazed.  He had a breathalyzer that was already, obviously, implanted in his car and he used an air compressor to sort of get around that.  Did it seem like—you know, after nine times, there was no way to stop this man, Christian? 

C. LANG-POPLIN:  There‘s no way to stop him from drinking, unless he is put in jail and he dries out from the alcohol in jail. 

COSBY:  You know, Rachel, did you feel desperate, as well, that this was the only thing to do, was say, “My dad needs to dry out for a few years”? 


COSBY:  And how did you feel testifying against him? 

LANG:  It was the hardest thing I‘ve ever had to do in any life, and I didn‘t want to do it, but once again it was something that had to be done, because, if not, then other people that did nothing to anyone would have probably lost their lives because he wants to drink and drive. 

COSBY:  You know, Ron, how important do you think their testimony was to this case? 

RON BOONE, PROSECUTOR:  I think it was very important.  These girls are very courageous and should be commended for their testimony.

COSBY:  How rare is that, Ron, you know, in all the time you‘ve been prosecuting, you see two daughters come up and say, “Look, I got to put my dad away”? 

BOONE:  Actually, it‘s very rare to actually say that they‘ve got to put their father away.  We have kids come in, we have spouses come in, and say it‘s a cry for help.  The alcohol, drugs, that for these young ladies to come in and say jail is the only thing that is going to take care of his problem, that is fairly rare. 

COSBY:  You know, I want to play—guys, this is a little bit of a quote from your father‘s attorney about his relationship, how he feels about both of you now. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He places no blame, and that is one thing he told them, that he didn‘t blame them, that he still loved them, and he does love them.


COSBY:  You know, Christian, are you amazed by that?  I mean, do you think you‘re still going to have a good relationship with your dad? 

C. LANG-POPLIN:  I don‘t think I‘m going to have a good relationship with him.  We‘ve really never had a relationship with our father.  He‘d call every now and then to check. 

COSBY:  Could this be the start, you know?  Do you think that maybe now he‘s going to open up in jail? 

C. LANG-POPLIN:  This could be, if writing letters back and forth and going to see him when we‘re ready to go see him, and when he‘s ready for us to come see him, then, yes, it will possibly start a relationship with him. 

COSBY:  You know, Ron, are you amazed that he wasn‘t locked up before, I mean, especially for a substantial amount of time?  This is his ninth DUI.

BOONE:  Yes, I am, to some extent.  One of the things that the state of Oklahoma has done is made it where offenders like him can‘t get by the system.  About three years ago, we changed the laws that a municipality can only have one DUI, or a person can only have municipal DUI offense. 

COSBY:  And he‘s about eight passed that.  You know, Rachel, you know, what did you think is ahead for the future with you and your dad? 

LANG:  I think that—hopefully he‘ll do good for himself while he‘s in prison.  And, hopefully, I‘ll be able to go visit him and we won‘t have as much frustration as we had in the past, because I‘m almost 18.  And he hasn‘t been around for about 13 years. 

But he doesn‘t—I told him I didn‘t hate him.  And I told him that I loved him very much, and that‘s why that I did this for him and not to him.  And I wanted him to understand that, but he understands it now.  And I‘m going to write him and everything like that, so we‘ll just see what happens. 

COSBY:  Well, I wish all of you the best of luck.  And I hope he gets a hard lesson there behind bars and hopefully restores that relationship with both of you.  Thank you very much.  And, Ron, too.

And still ahead, everybody, is this the next step in police protection, flying robots on the lookout for crooks and thugs?  Some police want them, but will it steal your privacy? 

And later, the celebrity press is already pouncing on Britney Spears for her “Dateline” interview.  Find out why some say she should have tried harder to clean up her act.  That‘s coming up.


COSBY:  And now to a very controversial method of law enforcement.  You‘ve probably heard about them used in war zones, but now look up in the sky, because soon drone aircrafts may be coming to your very own neighborhood.   Los Angeles is now testing a high-tech device known as the skyseer which will help police track down criminals from the air.  But the big question is, will it also invade your privacy?  We‘re joined now by Commander Sid Heal of the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department and also Sam de la Torre.  Sam, I understand you have a demo of this with you.  Show us the drone and how does it work? 

SAM DE LA TORRE, SKYSEER INVENTOR:  Yes, actually we have one right here Rita.  As you can see the aircraft has a forward looking camera.  It also has a side looking camera.  The side looking camera is a pan and tilt.   It has a quick release battery system.  See the pan and tilt is coming to life.  It has 160 degrees on a pan and roughly 90 degrees on a tilt.  Both cameras have about a 25 degree field of view.  This is our daylight version. 

COSBY:  What is the difference between daylight and night time? 

TORRE:  The daylight can see of course during the day color images at about 480 lines of resolution.  We also have an I.R. that can see heat on objects. 

COSBY:  You know, you are looking, it is still fairly small.  You are able to hold it up and so forth.  How is that going to be able to keep an eye on crime in a major city like L.A.  You only have one of them, right? 

TORRE:  Actually, we have self-these air crafts, but, yes, for the beta testing with the L.A. Sheriff‘s, we‘ll provide them with one full system. 

COSBY:  And do you believe it will have an impact. 

TORRE:  I believe so.  Some of the images that we‘re getting are just incredible.  What makes our aircraft different from other aircraft is that we have the pan and tilt in a less than five pound package.  This allows the aircraft to circle a point of interest at about 250 feet.  You can‘t hear it, and it can actually track that object and stay on it. 

COSBY:  And you know, it is amazing Commander when I see these pictures.  You heard Sam talking about the heat sensing.  Great for night time.  Also when burglars are on the roof, you can see them.  You don‘t have to find a guy to go up from below.  Do you think this is going to help or is it a fancy toy, Commander? 

COMMANDER SID HEAL, LOS ANGELES SHERIFF‘S DEPARTMENT:  We don‘t know yet because we haven‘t gotten it in the field trials.  But, we also see advantages with the I.R., for instance, in our desert and mountainous areas for missing hikers and lost children.  So, in that respect it has substantial advantages. 

COSBY:  So, Commander, what do you say to people who say look I‘m sitting in a restaurant or in my backyard doing something.  Could you guys be zooming in on me?  Is it infringe on my privacy? 

HEAL:  Well, for one thing we‘d never take it any place we weren‘t authorized and the second thing is the only thing this is going to be used is in situations we‘d be able to use a helicopter anyway.

COSBY:  So the helicopter would supplement it. 

HEAL:  Well, actually, it has advantages over the helicopter, although a lot of the pilots don‘t want to admit it.  Not the least of which, it is lighter, it‘s very easy to fly, but it‘s very, very quiet.  One of the big disadvantages of helicopter, particularly in tactical situations, is the ambient noise is so intrusive.  In many cases we‘ll have them pull up or pull out so we can have ground communication. 

COSBY:  Alright, well, both of you, fascinating stuff.  Thank you for sharing with us.  And joining us now on the phone is civil rights attorney Milton Grimes.  Milton, what do you think of this drone.

MILTON GRIMES, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY:  All spies especially the domestic situation.  I appreciate the tip of law enforcement to protect our society, but I do believe our civil rights have to be respected.  And I‘m just afraid it is going to be abused. 

COSBY:  Now, why so Milton?  We just heard from the commander.  He was saying it is going to be in places where some helicopters would be.  If it helps on a missing child, if it helps locate a burglar on a roof. 

GRIMES:  I can hear a helicopter.  I know it‘s there.  I see it is come.  I might be able to do things I wouldn‘t normally do in plain view if I knew a helicopter was coming.  Here the silent plane, I‘m entitled to privacy at my home.  I don‘t know what I may be doing on my deck that I don‘t want the public to know or see.  That doesn‘t mean it is a crime.  That just means I want my privacy. 

COSBY:  Some authorities say, you know, this is part of life, especially when you live in a big city like L.A.  Do you think you sort of relinquish your right of privacy, especially when a crime is taking place nearby. 

GRIMES:  I think that my right of privacy has to take some precedent and I think that it should take precedent over this type of intrusion. 

COSBY:  Alright, Milton Grimes, thank you very much, we appreciate it. 

I think a lot of people probably feel the way you do, too, as well. 

And there‘s is lot more coming up on MSNBC tonight.  Let‘s check in with Tucker Carlson.  First of all Tucker, how do you feel about these drones? 

TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC ANCHOR:  How do I feel about the drones?  As long as they‘re not loud I‘m not against them.

COSBY:  You don‘t feel it is an intrusion. 

CARLSON:  Of course I feel it‘s an intrusion, but less intrusion than a helicopter waking me up at 4:00 in the morning. 

COSBY:  Yes, good point, do you have a lot of those? 

CARLSON:  Not where I live. 

COSBY:  What do you have for us in store tonight?

CARLSON:  Tonight Rita, the cheese steak controversy.  A Philadelphia  cheese steak institution posted a sign order in English and is accused of bigotry by the city of Philadelphia.  We‘ll have the owner of the cheese steak establishment tonight. 

Then, your house is leveled by a hurricane, who do you call?  The federal government, no; charities, no; the women of Hooters Incorporated.  That‘s right, the hooters girls donating money to Katrina relief after the revelation that FEMA wasted more than a $1 billion, Hooters comes to the rescue. 

COSBY:  Alright, we‘ll be definitely tuning in.  Cheese steak and Hooters, thanks so much. 

And still ahead, everybody, everyone is holding their breath after the surgery the separated two twin baby girls.  Tonight the surgeon who performed that miracle surgery tells me how he did to. 

And speaking of separation, it is pears that Jessica Simpson‘s separation from Nick la Shay has been changing some big changes for her.  Wait until you hear what she is telling “Maxim Magazine” and what she‘s wearing, coming up. 



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated on screen):  Felt lots of emotion.  Very nervous.  At the same time, we are very thankful to the doctors and everybody that participated, especially to all of the blood donors.  And we continue to urge people to continue to donate blood for our daughters. 


COSBY:  And those are of course the parents.  And everyone else—well, tonight, twin girls once conjoined from the chest to the pelvis are recovering after doctors performed painstaking surgery to separate them.  In two procedures that lasted more than 20 hours, surgeons at the Los Angeles Children‘s Hospital separated little Regina and Renata.  I spoke to the doctor who performed the medical miracle on the twins and asked him how they are doing tonight. 


DR. JAMES STEIN, L.A. CHILDREN‘S HOSPITAL:  They‘re actually—they‘re doing great.  I saw them just a little bit ago.  They‘re starting to wake up from their anesthetic.  They‘re moving, they‘re opening their eyes.  They are really doing quite well. 

COSBY:  How many medical personnel were involved in this and how long was the actual sort of surgery process? 

STEIN:  All in all, we figure over the course of the 22 and 23 hours for each, there were about 80 people involved of which about two dozen were surgeons.

COSBY:  How did you separate them?  I mean, it‘s pretty incredible, because they were attached, what, from the chest to the pelvic area.  Especially with the larger organs involved.

STEIN:  Right.  We basically—we start at the top at the breast bone, and divide the breast bone first.  That gives us a chance to get at the liver, which needed to be separated, and then kind of work our way down, through the intestines, through the pelvic organs, down to the pelvic bones.  Then we get to the point of separation, then we‘ve got to put it all back together again.  So that‘s where the time all gets spent.

COSBY:  Were you nervous at all?  I mean, there is a lot of attention on this? 

STEIN:  I think there‘s a little bit of anxiety.  Mostly, you have to have confidence going in.  That‘s what makes everybody comfortable.  And everybody around you has to feel comfortable when you‘ve got a team that large.  So would I say I was nervous?  Yes.  It was cautious concern, but I would never say we were nervous or afraid. 

COSBY:  And when it was done, I bet there were a lot of cheers in the room? 

STEIN:  It‘s always exciting.  By the time, obviously there are a couple of different points.  There is the beginning, there‘s the middle, when the kids actually get separated and go to different rooms.  And then during the next process, we‘re all in two separate rooms working on the kids, and that is why one case takes 22 and one takes 23 hours.  But all in all, yes, everybody is very excited when we get to the end and the kids are doing well.

COSBY:  You know, the kids are 10 months old.  Why wasn‘t this operation done earlier?

STEIN:  In some ways, it potentially could be—what we found is that the kids are very good size.  Their blood volume is reasonable, so that we don‘t suddenly fall behind.  They tolerate anesthetics very well.  Yet their tissues are still soft, pliable and very easy to work with.

COSBY:  How do they become conjoined?  I mean, how did this happen to begin with? 

STEIN:  Conjoined twins, most likely—and we‘re not totally certain of this—occur when an embryo, a set of twins actually fails to separate.  Rather than coming back together.  And they occur in very common patterns. 

But it‘s an assumption, but it seems like a pretty good one. 

COSBY:  What is the long term prognosis for these two little girls? 

STEIN:  We actually expect them to go on and lead very normal lives.  We expect them to be able to walk, which they could never have done.  We expect them to be able to interact with people on a one-on-one fashion, which they never could have done.  So our expectation is they will recover completely and go on to live very normal lives. 

COSBY:  And how are the parents doing tonight? 

STEIN:  They are obviously very excited.  They knew before the kids were born that this was something they wanted to do.  They wanted to have them separated.  Obviously, everybody has to make that choice.  This was their choice, and obviously they are thrilled that things went very well. 

COSBY:  Dr. Stein, thank you so much. 

STEIN:  My pleasure, Rita.  Thank you.


COSBY:  And what a great story. 

And when we come back, why is everyone picking on Britney?  She gives her first interview since becoming a mother and says the world has it wrong about that husband of hers, her baby, and oh, so much more. 

And he may be Mr. Soul Patrol, but does Taylor Hicks really deserve to be America‘s hottest bachelor?  Find out what other hot bachelors he beat out. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Wow, you‘re hot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Why, thank you.  So are you.




JAY LENO, HOST, TONIGHT SHOW:  Very clever how they snuck into Iraq, very clever the way it was done.  To make sure nobody paid any attention to Air Force One, on the side of the plane they painted “Kevin Federline World Tour.” 


COSBY:  Ouch.  Kevin Federline may be a punchline, but Britney Spears is standing by her man.  She tells NBC that the tabloids are wrong and she and (inaudible) are very much in love.  Spears, who once made headlines around the world by kissing Madonna, now says she wants the paparazzi to leave her alone. 

And joining us to talk about Britney‘s bizarro interview is Suzy Byrne with the “Daily Blabber” on I-Village, and also with us is Katrina Szish.  She is entertainment reporter for “Us Weekly.”

Suzy, first of all, did Britney bring this on herself?  You know, for her to sort of feel sorry and try to instill, you know, sentiment now, you know, come on. 

SUZY BYRNE, I-VILLAGE‘S “DAILY BLABBER”:  Absolutely.  I mean, here is the girl who put it all out there on her reality show, talking about her sex life, talking about everything.  Then suddenly she doesn‘t want anyone to talk about her anymore?  Give me a break.

COSBY:  And in fact, you know, Katrina, talk about wanting to maybe even run her own magazine, do all these things.  Should we feel sorry for her or not? 

KATRINA SZISH, US WEEKLY:  You know, I have to say, at this point, I do feel sorry for Britney.  I think we need to give her a break.  She‘s about to be...


COSBY:  ... melodramatic, come on?  

SZISH:  But if you think of yourself in her shoes, with a marriage that is potentially failing, a guy who would rather go out with his friends than hang out with you, you‘re about to have a second kid, your life is sort of falling apart.  No career.  You know, she needs some intervention. 

COSBY:  She probably needs a lot of intervention.  What do you think, Suzy?

BYRNE:  Yes, she needs an intervention before she did the interview tonight.  If you saw what she was wearing, the hot pink maternity bra, come on.  The boobs.  I could barely—you know, I couldn‘t get past the boobs for most of the interview. 

SZISH:  And the gum chewing. 

BYRNE:  Yes.

COSBY:  And speaking of boobs, how do you like this transition, you guys?  When Britney first came on to the scene, there were a variety of things.  She sort of seemed to have a leg up on other pop tarts, like Jessica Simpson.  But take a look at Jessica now.  (inaudible).  My segue.  The recently divorced superstar is on the latest edition of “Maxim” magazine, and she is looking red hot and not wearing a lot.

Suzy, it looks like divorce has been pretty good for Jessica.  Are you surprised at the way she looks and what she‘s wearing?

BYRNE:  She looks fantastic and I think that this is like her final kiss off to Nick.  You know, I look great.  I‘m moving on.  You can make out with Vanessa Manillo all you want but I‘m moving on. 

COSBY:  Yes, what do you make of it Katrina? 

SZISH:  Well, she‘s not divorced yet.  So I think this is actually kind of her final thing to say, you know what, I‘m my own woman now.  I‘m about to be single so all of you guys watch out. 

COSBY:  Look out.  Were you surprised how racy it is?  I mean, let‘s go back to that cover.  Because when we all looked at, I didn‘t even recognize her at first. 

SZISH:  Well, it‘s the wig.  We all knowing she is wearing this red bomb shell wig.  And the interesting thing, which I think is kind of funny, is Jessica is launching her own line of wigs along with her hair stylist.  So this is from her new line.  But, yes, you aren‘t really looking at the wig, you are looking at other things. 

COSBY:  That‘s my question.  Suzy, is she selling any wigs by this? 

BYRNE:  I actually hate the wig.  I hate the wig.  I hate the color. 

I think she looks better with her blonde hair. 

SZISH:  I agree.

COSBY:  You know, in “Maxim,” in the magazine, even though just like playboy you read it for the articles, according to the guys of course.  There is a quote from Jessica, in “Maxim,” this is what she said.  She said: “I love to kiss with my eyes open because I can take in the entire situation and know if I am enjoying it or not.” 

Suzy, what is the real dish?  Who is she kissing now? 

BYRNE:  She is kissing Jared Leto. 

COSBY:  For everybody, he‘s an actor, give us the background? 

BYRNE:  Yes, he‘s a musician, he‘s an actor, he is come out with “Chapter 27,” a movie about John Lennon.  He has romanced a ton of Hollywood stars already, Lindsey Lohan, Ashley Olson, tons of people. 

COSBY:  Should she be bouncing back so quickly with somebody else? 

BYRNE:  I think she should be bouncing back, but not with a guy who‘s sort of potentially known as a womanizer.  She needs a nice guy. 

COSBY:  Is she bouncing back too soon, Suzy? 

SZISH:  I don‘t think it is too soon.  I mean, Nick has gone through maybe four or five different girls since then.

COSBY:  Too soon?  What do you think Katrina?

BYRNE:  Not too soon at all.  She is a single girl.  The reason she is getting a divorce because she has a lot of men to meet.  She‘s got a long life of ahead of her and she should get out there as soon as she can. 

COSBY:  Alright, we‘ve got another topic.  Jessica is not the only one that rejected Nicholas la Shay.  “People Magazine” named Taylor Hicks as the hottest bachelor in America.  We told you all about that last night.  Bypassing Jessica‘s ex for the number one spot.  Katrina, I‘ve got to ask you.  You know Taylor Hicks, very talented, but is this the most eligible bachelor, the hunkiest man in America, Katrina? 

BYRNE:  You know, the surprising thing is I got to have lunch with

Taylor the week after he won and in person he is mesmerizing.  He‘s got

these fringy lashes, there‘s some charisma about him

COSBY:  You would have nominated him?

BYRNE:  After meeting him, yes. 

COSBY:  Suzy, come on.

BYRNE:  It not the most expected but he is fabulous. 

COSBY:  Suzy, what do you think?  Come on, I think a lot of people disagree. 

SZISH:  He‘s puppy dog cute.  He is definitely not sexy.  And I think it is ridiculous that Matthew McConaughey, sexiest man alive, got bumped for Taylor Hicks. 

COSBY:  Yes, is this the best that America could do?  Or is this just swept up in the whole American idol craze? 

SZISH:  Yeah, it‘s just the American Idol craze.

COSBY:  Do you think it‘s caught up in the same thing, Katrina.  What about the purple jacket?  Is that sexy? 

BYRNE:  It‘s not sexy, but it is.  It is puppy dog cute.  He‘s got a corky sexiness to him.  I think he is the guy next door sexy.  New brand of sexy.  Forget Brad Pitt it is all about Taylor Hicks. 

COSBY:  Suzy, guy next door?  Is it like your plumber or like a really cute mail man. 

SZISH:  You know it‘s like the funny, cute guy that you don‘t date.

COSBY:  Let‘s look at some of the hunks that didn‘t get picked.  Guys that probably are not the guys next door.  Nick la Shay, you see a picture of him there.  Jake Gyllenhaal, Matthew McConaughey.  Alright, I‘m going to put you on the spot here Katrina.  If you had to do a date, these three guys or wonderful Taylor Hicks who you met in person, who would you go out with? 

BYRNE:  Jake. 

COSBY:  Even though you picked Taylor?

BYRNE:  I would be friends with Taylor, I would date Jake, if I weren‘t married. 

COSBY:  Your husband is watching, of course.  Suzy?

SZISH:  Matthew McConaughey, hands down? 

COSBY:  Why. 

SZISH:  Cool guy.  Different, you know, hot. 

COSBY:  If you guys could pick the hottest bachelor in America, besides these guys, who would you pick, Suzy? 

SZISH:  That is a good one.  I‘m not sure. 

BYRNE:  I know. 

COSBY:  Go ahead. 

BYRNE:  I would pick Josh Hartnett.  He is dating Scarlet Johansson because he is the quintessential tall, dark and handsome, kind of brooding sexy and also very tall in person.  He‘s not one of these short little fellas.

COSBY:  So cameras don‘t do him justice.  Suzy?

SZISH:  Josh du Mel (ph) from Las Vegas, he‘s pretty yummy. 

COSBY:  But not Taylor Hicks. 

SZISH:  No, two Joshes, no Taylors.

COSBY:  Alright guys, well it turns out that celebrity status has a price in every profession.  A Chicago artist who‘s work was featured in the Jennifer Aniston, Vincent Vaughn movie, “ The Brake Up” turns out there‘s a dark side to fame.  Burglars targeted Francine Turk‘s gallery in the city and took 10 paintings worth an estimated $35,000.  She said having her work feature in the movie has catapulted her career.  Unfortunately you have to take the good with the bad.  Well, we‘ll be right back, everybody. 


COSBY:  Well, lifeguards at swimming pools are supposed to carry whistles, not guns right?  Well, get a load of this guy, it is caught by Cosby.  Take a look, police in Port St. Lucy, Florida are charging Jay Hanson with aggravated assault after he used a gun to enforce the rules at his building‘s swimming pool.  Hanson was apparently on pool patrol and was trying to get residents to put away their beer bottles.  He told them he was a police officer.  It turns out he is not on officer, but insists he does sit on the condo‘s association board.  Well, the judge says not good enough.  Now he may even face charges of impersonating an officer of the law. 

Well that does it for us.  That‘s LIVE AND DIRECT tonight everybody, I‘m Rita Cosby.  THE SITUATION, with Tucker Carlson, starts right now, Tucker?



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