Guests: Peter King, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Mike Papantonio, Jack Burkman, Laura Schwartz, Ann Coulter
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Thanks so much. Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, treason at the “New York Times”? That‘s what the president, the vice president, the secretary of treasury have all suggested today as the newspaper blows the lid off of program that is let the feds spy on your bank records.
Then, the blonde bomber Ann Coulter comes to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to answer critics including the Boss, Bruce Springsteen. I will ask Ann if she thinks she hurt the conservative cause by attack victims and widows of 9/11.
And stunning video of a terror plot foiled in New York City. Gotham‘s police commish Ray Kelly is here with details. And he tells us why he may not be able to stop the next terrorist plot.
Forget what you hear from Manhattan or Beverly Hills. You‘ve just entered SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY where no passport required and only common sense is allowed.
We are going to have all of those stories straight ahead, but first the Bush spy scandal takes a nasty turn as the White House turns all guns towards the “New York Times”, accusing the most powerful newspaper in the world of aiding and abetting terrorists intent on killing Americans and harming this country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT: The disclosure of this program is disgraceful. We are at war with a bunch of people who want to hurt the United States of America. And for people to leak that program and for a newspaper to publish it does great harm to the United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: And the president‘s angst was focused on the “New York Times” for revealing to the world for the first time of a top secret program that actually allows the feds to track American‘s bank records and financial transactions. As if a good scolding from the commander in chief weren‘t enough, the vice president also blasted the entire journalistic community for awarding reporters for damaging national security.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT: What‘s doubly disturbing for me is that not only have they gone forward with the stories, but they have been rewarded for it. For example in the case of the terrorist surveillance program by being awarded the Pulitzer Prize for outstanding journalism. I think that is a disgrace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: And the treasury secretary piled on for good measure, telling the editor of the “Times” that his paper‘s disclosure of the top secret program was quote, “irresponsible and harmful to the security of Americans and freedom-loving people worldwide. I‘m deeply disappointed in the ‘New York Times‘.”
Now, Mr. Keller responded in kind by telling the treasury secretary that our founders quote, “rejected the idea that it was wise or patriotic to always take the president at his word or to surrender to the government important decisions about what to publish”.
Now while being battered by the executive branch all day, Mr. Keller can at least list one former president who backed his position. That president, Tom Jefferson.
The Sage of Monticello once wrote, were it left for me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But it seems for at least the time being that we are stuck with both as well as congressmen who are now suggesting that the “New York Times”, the “Los Angeles Times” and the “Wall Street Journal” may be guilty of treason.
Citing the Espionage Act of 1917 which actually made it a crime to reveal information regarding an armed forces operation. They say it may fall in under that.
Well, friends, last month here in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, I warned Americans that this NSA phone records program could lead us to a point where the Feds could then go after bank records. And I actually asked a spy program supporter if that would be permissible in his book. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Memo to the president and congressional leaders who signed off on this lousy program, we don‘t trust you anymore. We don‘t trust you with our phone bills. We don‘t trust you with our bank records. We don‘t trust you with medical histories. From now on if you want to look at Americans‘ private records, get a damn search warrant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: And again, friends, that was before I even knew about or before anybody in America knew about the bank records and the fact that the feds were going after that. So what‘s next? We don‘t know.
And you know what? To my Republican friends, to my Republican friends I sat on the Judiciary Committee with when we were concerned about what Janet Reno and Bill Clinton were doing back in the 1990s, you have got to admit it‘s frightening.
More so to those of us who know how Washington works and know how power can corrupt and know how power can be abused. I believe, friends, we are in danger dangerous times for those of us who believe like Thomas Jefferson that Washington is not to be trusted with unlimited police power.
With me now is Representative Peter King, Republican from New York and chair of the Homeland Security Committee calling for a criminal investigation of the “Times” and Katrina Vanden Heuvel, she is the editor and publisher of the “Nation” magazine. Representative King, you say it was an act of treason for the “Times” to publish this story? Why?
REP. PETER KING, ® NY: This was a very important component in the war against international terrorism. It was being run entirely legally. It was working and saving American lives and would save more American lives in the future and the “New York Times” has compromised that. They knew what they were doing is wrong and they knew all the risks involved but they decided—they put themselves above the law, they decided that it was in the national interest for them to disclose it.
No one elected the “New York Times” to anything. We are in a time of war and to me this clearly violated the Espionage Act. That‘s why today I called upon Attorney General Gonzales to begin a full criminal investigation and prosecution of the “New York Times”, the reporters who broke the story, the editors who worked on it and the publisher and of course those in the government who leaked out the information.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, “THE NATION”: I would put Representative King‘s and Attorney General Gonzales‘ statement about prosecuting the “New York Times” in the context of an undeclared war on a free press by this administration. It‘s part of a campaign, Joe, by the right wing noise machine and others who don‘t respect democratic values to undermine the ability of a free press to hold the executive power, run amok now, accountable and hold our values up to the highest standards Americans believe in.
SCARBOROUGH: Congressman, a lot to respond to. You are part of the right wing noise machine, you don‘t respect constitutional principles and it‘s an all out attack war on the free press. Respond.
KING: First of all, that‘s just unintelligent paranoia. The fact is even the “New York Times” acknowledged there is absolutely nothing illegal at all about this and it‘s being conducted legally and it‘s entirely keeping with the law and to say that the press has all freedom and no responsibility is absolute insanity.
For instance, if we had learned about the atom bomb prior to May or June of 1945, should they disclose it, they should disclose about the attacks on D-day. And the fact is we did not know.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Of course not, Representative King. There is a balance between liberty and security that must be struck at every time in our history, but an attempt to prosecute a publication like the “New York Times” rolls back 215 years of .
KING: No, it doesn‘t.
VANDEN HEUVEL: . constitutional .
KING: It injects common sense into it.
VANDEN HEUVEL: The press has never been prosecuted in our history and we have faced far worse in our history.
KING: Putting American lives at risk is the worst thing they can do.
VANDEN HEUVEL: How are you putting lives at risk, Representative King? What is putting lives at risk is a reckless, chaotic war in Iraq.
KING: Let me explain to you and if you just slow down you, maybe you will learn something for once in your life.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Oh, I have.
KING: I don‘t think so. The fact is what has happened here, al Qaeda did not know the extent to which we had penetrated international financial transactions. Yes, the Treasury Department was saying it was doing all it could. They did not know the extent to which we had done it witch was one of the reasons we were able to get Hambali, who was the architect of the Bali massacre. And they were not aware of it.
Now we have made them aware. They know exactly what we can do. They didn‘t know that before. That is what is going to put American lives at risk and make its different than others. That‘s what makes this different from other transgressions by the press. This is American lives at risk over a program which is clearly legal.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Senator Arlen Specter who yesterday was very concerned about Representative King‘s quick move to suggest prosecution of the “New York Times” is now welcoming oversight by Congress of a program that should have been in oversight. But accountability no longer rules in our Congress so the media and the Fourth Estate needs to play a crucial if we are going to have the strong democracy that we claim to be fighting for.
SCARBOROUGH: And congressman, doesn‘t it say something that if a member of your own party that is in charge of the Judiciary Committee on the Senate side is concerned about this program, then it should be valid for the “New York Times” or any other publication to print it.
KING: There is a difference between having a concern and printing it and making it public in time of war. Especially when there is not even a question of it being illegal. This is life and death we‘re talking about here. I lost a lot of constituents on September 11th. I don‘t want the antics and the attitude of the “New York Times” to cause more deaths because they are so irresponsible.
SCARBOROUGH: Do you not trust yourself with this information, do you not trust your peers? You are the head of the Homeland Security Committee, for God‘s sake. I would hope that you - Listen, what if Hillary Clinton is president two years from now, three years from now, and she is conducting these type of programs. Aren‘t you going to demand to have that type of knowledge ahead of time.
KING: Joe, those who should know were told. Members of the Intelligence Committee, the chairman and the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, the minority and majority leaders in both houses, and speaker of the House and those in responsible positions.
No, Joe, you can‘t have 535 people knowing what‘s going on in time of war. And trust me, if Senator Clinton becomes President Clinton, you support commander in chief in time of war especially when they are following the law the way President Bush is clearly following the law in this program.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Joe, he‘s not - listen, we need accountability and we need oversight by Congress to know whether the president is following the law or this administration.
I think this administration has used September 11th, a traumatic and horrifying day in our nation‘s history as a pretext for doing much of what it wanted. And some of what it wanted was to erode and undermine a free and democratic press which would serve in the public interest.
There is too much use - invoking national security when in fact it‘s really covering their backsides too often. This administration has rolled back government data which has nothing to do with national security. We need accountability.
KING: We‘re talking about international financial transactions, nobody is .
VANDEN HEUVEL: The bankers are being subpoenaed, Representative King.
They are following through.
KING: And subpoenas are lawful. These are lawful subpoenas that were handed out.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Is there evidence that this story has turned away bankers from participating in this program, and by the way, Saudi Arabia .
KING: It makes perfect sense .
VANDEN HEUVEL: . is a purveyor of most of the financing, probably, of terrorist groups but this administration is not going to go after Saudi Arabia for all the obvious reasons, you as a congressman and others in Congress know.
KING: First of all, I don‘t know what she‘s talking about. The fact is that al Qaeda knows what we are doing and that‘s the thing now. Even if businesses continue to cooperate, the fact is al-Qaeda now knows what we can do and they know how to work around it. And that is why the program is compromised and that‘s why American lives can be lost and that‘s why the blood will be on the hands of the “New York Times” and their left wing apologists who will do anything to bring down President Bush, even if involves the loss of American life.
VANDEN HEUVEL: “The New York Times” is a responsible establishment paper. If there is any blood on anyone‘s hands, Representative King .
KING: The “New York Times” .
VANDEN HEUVEL: It‘s those who have recklessly misled the nation into the gravest of all acts with the consequences we are seeing which is a war in Iraq which is undermining what we are seeing. And killing mill—thousands.
KING: A war which was strongly supported by John Kerry and Senator Clinton.
VANDEN HEUVEL: It wasn‘t strongly supported.
KING: It was strong - John Kerry was asking for it back in 1997 - back in 1997.
VANDEN HEUVEL: I don‘t speak for Democrats, I speak for “Nation” magazine, which from the very beginning understood that this war was going to undermine security our security, not make us safer and that there was no link between al-Qaeda and 9/11 and Iraq.
KING: We can debate the war. You were wrong then and wrong now and you‘re totally wrong in de defending the “New York Times”.
VANDEN HEUVEL: I believe in Democracy, sir.
SCARBOROUGH: We will have to leave it there.
KING: I‘m a representative of the American people.
SCARBOROUGH: Thank you Representative Peter King.
KING: Thank you, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: And thank you, Katrina Vanden Heuvel. As always we greatly appreciate both of you being with us.
And that‘s what happens when you get two spirited New Yorkers together.
Friends, here‘s the bottom line. OK? Let‘s bottom line this one for you.
For me it comes down to double standards. I always apply the test of what we Republicans would have had had this happened during the 1990s. During the Clinton administration when I was sitting on the Judiciary Committee, I tell you what would have happened, we would have raised hell. We would not have trusted Bill Clinton with this type of unlimited power and we have not trusted - we never would have trusted Janet Reno as attorney general with this type of unlimited power.
This is a fight not just between Republicans and Democrats, not just between the “New York Times” and George Bush, but it‘s a fight between conservative Republicans who believe in limited government, those Jeffersonian Republicans and establishment republicans that want to give this administration whatever they ask for.
I told you again back in May it started with the phone records and then it would lead to the bank records. I was proven right when nobody else knew this was going on.
We will find out if it leads to medical records and the records of people who possess guns. Again, the concern—what Republicans believed in 1994 was this - that the government that governs least, governs best. We trust people, we trust individuals, we trust communities more than we trust the federal government.
Well, that‘s all changed in the past 12 years. This federal government is getting bigger and bigger and more powerful all the time. I understand we are in a post 9/11 world, but at what point do we stop sliding down that slippery slope?
I tell you, I agree with Thomas Jefferson. If the choice is between a government or a newspaper telling us what‘s going on, I want that newspaper to always keep the federal government on their toes. Because I just don‘t trust people that want to accumulate more and more power.
You know who wants to accumulate more and more power? People in Washington. Doesn‘t matter if they are Republicans and Democrats. All that matters is that they‘re elected leaders. I have seen it time and time again and we always have to guard against it.
Now, I want to know what you think. Please be part of our poll. A live instant poll. Tonight‘s question, should the “New York Times” be prosecuted for treason? You can go to joe.msnbc.com to vote. I will have the results for you at the end of the show.
Now coming up next, Congressman John Murtha says America is more dangerous to world peace than Iran on North Korea. What‘s this guy thinking? Well, that‘s our hot SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown coming up next.
And later, the blonde bomber herself, Ann Coulter live in SCARBOROUGH
SCARBOROUGH: In tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY “Showdown,” Democrat Congressman John Murtha at it again this weekend in Florida. While repeating his call to bring home U.S. troops, the Congressman took it a step further according the South Florida “Sun-Sentinel” newspaper, saying this, quote, “American presence in Iraq is more dangerous to world peace than nuclear threats from North Korea or Iran”.
That‘s an amazing statement. You know what? Democrats across America may generally agree with Congressman Murtha, but his own party in Washington seems to be running scared.
With me now for tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY “Showdown,” Republican strategist Jack Burkman and Mike Papantonio, he is co-host of “Ring of Fire” on Air America Radio and also my former law partner.
Let me start with you, Jack Burkman. Tough words John Murtha. This man, when I was there, one of the most respected voices when it came to defense issues. This has got to be embarrassing for the president, doesn‘t it?
JACK BURKMAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Joe, I will tell you, I am so outraged. This is worse than Michael Moore. For him to say this, he is openly disparaging our soldiers. And I‘ll tell you something else. This is the man—It‘s time to go to John Murtha‘s back. This is the man .
SCARBOROUGH: Is he attacking soldiers or he is he attacking the president of the United States‘ strategy in Iraq.
BURKMAN: He is allowed to attack the president‘s strategy but when he goes over the line and starts to question the character and fitness of the president and the character and fitness of our military men, which is what he is now doing, that opens the door to question his background and let me tell you what he did.
In 1980 there is a clear videotape of John Murtha not taking a bribe but negotiating with Arabs, FBI agents posing with Arabs in an Abscam sting taking a bribe. Mike may think bribery is funny, but I don‘t. But nothing can corrode, for this man, I don‘t see how the national media can ascribe any standing or significance to a person of this kind.
SCARBOROUGH: Mike Papantonio, Murtha has come out and he has been against the war. The Democratic base loves him, he says bring the troops home. John Kerry gave the Democrats a chance to do it last week and he only got 15 votes, I think it was. This was an embarrassment for the Democratic Party, isn‘t it?
MIKE PAPANTONIO, AIR AMERICA RADIO: I don‘t think it‘s an embarrassment because in the Democratic Party people can differ, unlike the Republican Party that all have this lockstep mentality.
But let me just tell you about Murtha. This is a guy with a Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and 37 years in the military. While your war sissies - wait a second, while your war sissies like Hastert and Frist and Rove and George Bush himself, while those war sissies were avoiding war, this man was doing what soldiers do. Your war sissies, just like they‘re doing, like they seemed to do in the .
BURKMAN: Let me ask you this, do you agree .
PAPANTONIO: Let me finish what I‘m saying. Hush. Hush.
SCARBOROUGH: Guys, hold on.
BURKMAN: Do you agree with John Murtha‘s comment that the United States of America is worse than North Korea in terms of its .
PAPANTONIO: Let me tell you something.
BURKMAN: Do you agree or disagree?
PAPANTONIO: Answer the question.
BURKMAN: Let me .
PAPANTONIO: I just .
BURKMAN: You refuse to answer the question.
PAPANTONIO: You are misstating the question. Here is the truth. Right now we have 2,500 American soldiers dead because we have a president who doesn‘t know anything—
SCARBOROUGH: Wait a second. I want to follow up on that, Mike.
So I understand, 2,500 Americans dead, right? How much is this war costing us?
PAPANTONIO: Right now, the last figures that came out of the Congressional Budget Office was $1.7 trillion.
SCARBOROUGH: I need to make a point here, though. If this war has cost 2,500 American lives and that number is only going to go up and $1.7 trillion, if that‘s how much this war in Iraq is costing, why did John Kerry only get 15 Democrats to support John Murtha‘s position and his position. And again, as I said before, isn‘t this going to hurt the Democratic Party more than the Republican Party?
PAPANTONIO: Let me tell you why. Right now 70 percent, Joe, 70 percent of the American public say that this president doesn‘t even have a plan in Iraq. Seventy percent of the military serving over there say we are going to get out of there. We need to be .
BURKMAN: If you‘re concerned .
SCARBOROUGH: Let him finish.
PAPANTONIO: Hush. I know you‘ve got a lot to say, but so do I.
General George Casey, the man in charge of the operation saying we need to - as a matter of fact, General George Case is coming up with a plan. Five generals .
SCARBOROUGH: I have your point. Hold on a second. Twenty-five hundred deaths and $1.7 trillion in costs. General saying it‘s time to get out and the majority of Americans saying this war does not make sense. Our troops have to come home. Listen, Jack, I support this war, but at the same time, this sounds like a big loser for the Republican Party this fall.
BURKMAN: The president has not sold the war probably. There has been a complete failure of the public relations strategy. But I will tell you .
PAPANTONIO: How does the president handle it?
BURKMAN: And this is the question and this is a very serious issue. Does this country want to lead the world in the new century? If it does, the answer should be 5,000, 10,000, 50,000.
PAPANTONIO: Let me ask you something, buddy. Are you old enough to sign up for the draft? Why don‘t you carry an M-1 over there and fight in a war that 70 percent of the American public says we shouldn‘t be in. Why don‘t you tell your buddy Karl Rove, that fat little creep, to go over there?
PAPANTONIO: I‘m not attacking the soldiers. And why don‘t you pick up an M-1, Jack?
SCARBOROUGH: Let me ask you, Mike, this question, though. Why can‘t Democrats pick up voting cards, stick them in the slots and vote yes for the Kerry amendment and say you know what? We think too many people have died - hold on - we think it costs too much and we think all of these things show that the Americans are ready to come home. And yet, with 70 percent of Americans on their side, they still don‘t have the guts to do what the Democratic base wants them to do.
PAPANTONIO: Because the Democrats are out of touch just like the Republicans. Only difference is this is going to cost the Republicans this next election cycle. It‘s not going to cost the Democrats. The Democrats are out of touch just almost as bad as Republicans.
BURKMAN: I wonder .
PAPANTONIO: Let‘s see where this is going to go. I‘m wondering this.
How much more money do we have to give to Lockheed?
BURKMAN: What does Lockheed have to do with it?
PAPANTONIO: Because Lockheed Martin gave you your money in the last election. How about Boeing?
BURKMAN: You‘re down to the military industrial complex .
PAPANTONIO: How about Halliburton, Jack?
SCARBOROUGH: You guys take it out in the hall and I am going to give you 15 seconds to conclude. Don‘t you think Americans have had enough and they are actually are going to vote against Republican candidates?
BURKMAN: I will make a prediction. I think Republicans will gain seats in both chambers. I think all of this talk is overblown. But if somebody like Mike who does nothing on his radio show and Air America but disparage our soldiers on a daily, weekly basis, that‘s what they do for a living, and if somebody like John Murtha, John Murtha is proud of his Vietnam War, his marine record, but I‘ll tell you something else, he came out this weekend and did nothing but disparage our troops, so as far as I‘m concerned .
PAPANTONIO: Jack, you know why you can‘t relate to this because you don‘t have the heart of a soldier. You don‘t have the guts of a soldier. Just like Karl Rove and Hastert, you never picked up a gun. You don‘t know what real war is. When you lose 2,500 human beings, you can‘t have Tony Snow go on and say it‘s just a number. To you Republicans it‘s just a number. You are going to get killed in November.
SCARBOROUGH: We have to leave it there. You guys take it out in the hall. Jack Burkman, Mike Papantonio, thanks so much.
And when we come back, look who is in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. From Springsteen to Schumer, she is a woman the left loves to hate. Ann Coulter live on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to fire back.
That‘s when we come back and later, hidden police video shows how two terrorists planned to attack New York during the Republican Convention and how the NYPD got inside to crush the plot and why the commissioner of New York says he may not be able to do it again.
SCARBOROUGH: Vote now in tonight‘s live poll: Should the “New York Times” be prosecuted for publishing stories revealing secret information about the war on terror? Are they guilty of treason? Go to Joe.MSNBC.com.
And coming up straight ahead, Ann Coulter. But first, here‘s the latest news you and your family need to know.
SCARBOROUGH: Terrorists targeting the Republican National Convention taken down by the best in the business. So why are D.C. bureaucrats now cutting their funding? And a casino shootout straight out of the wild, wild West. We‘ll show you what happened in Sin City, later.
Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. Those stories in just minutes, but first, Ann Coulter, American‘s blond bomber, called a group of 9/11 widows “witches,” says liberalism is the opposition party to God, and that Democrats are, quote, “brain damaged.” And that‘s just some of what she said in her latest best-selling book, which, of course, skyrocketed to number one.
She‘s also landed a spot on Jay Leno‘s couch, where the “Tonight Snow” host asked her a question he would never asked Helen Thomas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY LENO, HOST, “THE TONIGHT SHOW”: Have you ever had sex with a liberal?
ANN COULTER, CONSERVATIVE AUTHOR: No.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: OK. Now, the Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen, is slamming Coulter, calling her, quote, “an idiot,” and says he has about as much right to speak out on politics as Ann does.
Here to respond to that, let‘s bring in Ann Coulter herself. She‘s the author of the best-selling book, “Godless: The Church of Liberalism.”
Ann, thank you so much for being with us.
COULTER: Thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘ve got a lot of questions to ask you, but I want to start with our poll question. I‘m sure you‘ll have a quick response to this. Is the “New York Times” guilty of treason?
COULTER: Oh, the polls—you don‘t have the answers yet? You are asking me?
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m asking you. Do you think the—were you voting in a poll tonight...
COULTER: Yes, they are.
COULTER: Yes, yes, they‘ve done far less than Ezra Pound or Tokyo Rose did, and they were prosecuted. Ezra Pound went to prison for treason for radio broadcasts not even in this country.
He certainly wasn‘t revealing classified programs to the enemy. He was just giving broadcast that encouraged the enemy, and he was prosecuted and tried for treason. Unless this country is going to say that, “Oh, well, since Jane Fonda sat on a Vietnam tank,” that‘s it. We don‘t process for treason. It‘s going the way of, you know, antiquated torts like alienation of affection, and it‘s just something we have on the books but we never prosecute for, yes.
Yes, revealing a classified program, which no one thinks violates any laws, no abuse of power, it‘s a third-party administrator of these transactions, that has led to from suspected terrorists going and, you know, money laundering, that has led to the capture of various terrorists, and to various terrorist money-laundering operations.
If that is not treason, then we‘re not prosecuting anymore.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, well, I‘ll tell you what? We‘ll put you down as a yes.
SCARBOROUGH: So I want to talk about the media firestorm you‘ve been in the past couple of weeks. And I just want to start with the question:
Is there anything that you have said about the 9/11 widows or on any other subject that you wish you could take back or that you may have measured your words more carefully with, or do you stand by everything you‘ve said?”
COULTER: Are you seriously asking that question?
COULTER: Do you want to retract that question?
SCARBOROUGH: No, I don‘t, because I‘m curious. But I‘m curious—go ahead.
COULTER: Nothing about the 9/11 widows. It was about four liberal women in New Jersey cutting commercials for Kerry. I‘ve heard from lots of 9/11 widows who think I wasn‘t harsh enough. They do not speak for 9/11 widows.
In fact, in my book, if you read that section—a small section of the chapter—I demanded to hear from some of the other 9/11 widows, maybe the wives of firemen rather than these four women claiming to speak for all 9/11 widows, while opposing everything Bush is doing in the war on terrorism and promoting the 9/11 Commission that covered up Able Danger and had Jamie Gorelick, the woman responsible for the war that prevented the wall between intelligence gathering, and law enforcement, that prevented the FBI from knowing that some of the 19 terrorists were here in this country.
They were behind that, so this has nothing to do with 9/11 widows. It has to do with four liberal women in New Jersey.
SCARBOROUGH: OK, so since you don‘t regret any questions, I‘ll ask you this. This is another serious question which I will not retract after I ask it.
Do you regret that the controversy about these four liberal women in New Jersey, as you call them, has basically overshadowed a book that talks about a variety of topics that I would guess are a lot more important to you and your belief system?
COULTER: No. Apparently, those arguments will get out, since the controversy did shoot it up to number-one book in the country. So if liberals were trying to prevent people from hearing those arguments, they didn‘t do a very good job.
SCARBOROUGH: Were you surprised by the firestorm that came out? Or some have suggested that maybe you did it intentionally, you used inflammatory language against these four women because you thought it might do exactly what you said, inspire a controversy and cause this book to sell more?
COULTER: No, I think I say a lot worse things about liberals in the other portions of the book. No one anticipated—I mean, yes, of course, we all knew liberals would be hysterical. They‘re always hysterical when I say or write pretty much anything. So, yes, we knew liberals would be hysterical. Which portion they would be hysterical over, no one knew.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, here‘s a part that I would think they would be more hysterical about. “Liberals,” you say, this from “Godless,” you say, “Liberals are for adultery, lying about adultery, killing the unborn, and stealing from middle-class. They are full of cowering, smug, intolerant, self-righteous rage.”
This isn‘t one of those “have you no shame” angles. I‘m generally curious what it is that you carry around in you that allows you to say that. You know you‘re going to...
COULTER: The truth?
SCARBOROUGH: You know you‘re going to be attacked, and yet you say it anyway unapologetically.
COULTER: Right, because it‘s true. That‘s why they‘re so hysterical. As Whittaker Chambers said, people never get upset when lies are told about them; they get angry when the truth is told about them. That‘s why liberals get upset every time I put a book out.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, I mean, this is harsh language. I mean, do you really believe that...
COULTER: Once again, do you want to retract this question?
SCARBOROUGH: No, I don‘t want to retract the question.
COULTER: Yes, I believe in everything I write.
SCARBOROUGH: There‘s a harshness to it that some people would suggest may not cast the conservative movement in the best of light. You would never hear Ronald Reagan say liberals are for adultery, lying about adultery, killing the unborn, stealing from the middle-class, are full of towering, smug, intolerant, self-righteous rage.
You and I both know, if Ronald Reagan ran around saying those things, he would have never been able to be elected president of the United States. He would never have been able to transform the world and bring down the Soviet Union.
COULTER: Well, for one thing, I‘m not running...
SCARBOROUGH: So it seems like a legitimate question.
COULTER: Well, for one thing, I‘m not running for president. For another thing, I think you‘re sugar-coating the way Ronald Reagan talked about liberals. He didn‘t live through the Clinton administration. He did say he lived through the Vietnam War and he didn‘t call Richard Nixon after seeing Walter Cronkite‘s broadcast saying we had lost the war in Vietnam and telling Nixon, if this were World War II circumstances, Walter Cronkite and CBS News would be tried for treason.
Are those soft words? Is that gentle? I think you‘d have him on the program at that point and say, “Oh, do you really think this is treason? Do you really mean that? Do you want to retract that?”
SCARBOROUGH: OK, Ann Coulter, fine. I doubt I ever would. I think there is a harshness—I think there‘s a harshness in some of your language that wasn‘t in that statement that you made, wasn‘t in some of the Ronald Reagan statements.
I guess—what do you see your role as being, not just in the publishing world, but in the political world? Are you sort of the shock troops that go in first and say things that, say, politicians like myself would be afraid to say?
COULTER: I don‘t really sit around thinking about what my role is. I look at the world, and I write what I think is true in amusing way that amuses me and my friends, and apparently it‘s very popular.
SCARBOROUGH: It is apparently very popular. And I wanted to ask you one final thing before we go to break, and I‘m going to hold you over to the next block with Laura Schwartz, talk about the section on science—actually, my favorite part of the book—because I—of course, this won‘t surprise you, because you‘ll probably think I‘m a leftist pig, but I read the “New York Times” religiously.
And every Sunday, I either read in the “New York Times”—I always read in the “New York Times” about how conservatives hate science, which I, of course...
SCARBOROUGH: ... believe that science actually is going to support the pro-life cause more than anything else in the future, as science continues to advance, viability moves closer to conception. You, of course, can get more of a look at your child in vitro.
But talk about this, because it‘s hammered into my children—you know, they even go to Christian schools, and they come out believing that Darwin is a genius and that evangelicals are basically knuckle-draggers who hate science.
SCARBOROUGH: Talk about that.
COULTER: Right, this idea of the conservative war on science has just become this cliche that‘s drummed into people, like, you know, “Bush lied, kids died,” when, in fact, a casual, a cursory review of history shows, really, a 30- 30-year war by the left on science, because what science is, is looking at the world as it is, which is not always the way liberals would like it to be...
SCARBOROUGH: Give me some example, a quick example...
COULTER: ... from their cancer clusters, the breast implant litigation turned out to be false. Anything that ever shows a difference between races, between gays and straights, between blacks and whites, between races, the attack on Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein‘s “The Bell Curve,” which was...
SCARBOROUGH: I was just going to say—I was just going to say, it‘s
like “The Bell Curve.” I remember the controversy that caused in the late
I think late 1980s.
Hey, Ann, can you stay with us? Because we‘re going to go to break...
SCARBOROUGH: ... and come back with you.
I‘m joined right now by Rita Cosby. She‘s host of Rita Cosby “LIVE & DIRECT.” Rita, what do you have coming up next at 10:00?
RITA COSBY, HOST: Well, Joe, a manhunt is on tonight for a man who went on a shooting spree in a Vegas casino. The shooting was all caught on tape. We‘re going to show it to you and also tell you who police are looking for tonight.
Plus, we‘ll play a shocking 911 call of a man who claims he was abducted at gunpoint and locked in the trunk of a car.
And, Joe, you‘ll love this: What was Rush Limbaugh doing with Viagra under someone else‘s name? We‘re going to have that and a whole lot more, LIVE & DIRECT at the top of the hour.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘ll be honest with you—and, again, maybe I‘m just a left-winger—I don‘t want to know what Rush Limbaugh was doing with Viagra. I don‘t care who gave him—but you know what? That‘s a great tease. I‘m going to watch onto your show, because actually there‘s this dark side of me that really does want to know.
Coming up next, more with Ann Coulter, when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: Let‘s bring in Ann Coulter and also bring in Laura Schwartz, Democratic strategist and former special assistant in the Clinton White House.
Laura, I want to ask you a question I know you have the answer to.
Why is Ann Coulter so popular?
LAURA SCHWARTZ, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I‘ve got to tell you. I‘m a liberal, and I just want to say—to set the record straight—I‘m not hysterical, but I‘m realistic. And I believe Ann when she says that she‘s not running for president, but she is selling books.
Now, I find her comments, especially about the 9/11 widows, a great way to sell books. But I think it‘s damaging, and distracting, and destructive, especially in a time that we need to be constructive as a country. But I think there are going to be a lot of House Democrats out there using her interview on the “Today” show during all their campaign commercials in the midterms, so...
SCARBOROUGH: Ann, do you ever think about that?
SCHWARTZ: ... off the screen.
SCARBOROUGH: Do you ever think about that, that maybe Democrats will say, “Gee, this is the voice of the Republican Party. It‘s shrill, and we can‘t trust this viewpoint with running our country”?
COULTER: Yes, I wish them luck on that. One thing they won‘t be using in their campaigns are the four Jersey girls.
SCARBOROUGH: Why do you think that?
COULTER: I think this has ended the human shield technique of the left. I mean, they may still try to wheel it out. I think it has been effectively—they have been disarmed from wheeling out the human shields anymore. The nation‘s attention has been riveted on this habit of the...
SCHWARTZ: You know, as far as human shields go...
COULTER: ... not allowed to respond to. And, by the way, I heard it being used, as it often is preposterously, just before the segment I was on, where I don‘t know who it was saying that, you know, we can‘t talk about war and peace unless we wore a uniform.
SCHWARTZ: This human shield thing, I am just so sick of hearing about that.
COULTER: Fine, let‘s just do it...
SCHWARTZ: You know, it‘s a pure message strategy for both parties, to talk about people that can perhaps shed light from a personal perspective on something that‘s happened to them in their life.
The Bush campaign, the campaign, put a press release out on October 24th during their election campaign of 2004 of parents of slain soldiers of Iraq talking about the president moving forward and putting their stake in George W. Bush instead of John Kerry. So this is something that‘s been done on both sides of the aisle. I just feel that those 9/11 widows didn‘t deserve to be called “harpies.”
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, Laura, the thing is—well, the thing is, Laura—and, of course, you‘ve heard Ann and I go back and forth on this, whether she used language that I would think would be appropriate, and she asked me whether I‘m serious or not.
The one thing that bothered me so much was how these four women were seized upon immediately, as basically they were lifted up. It was like the final scene in “O, Brother, Where Art Thou?” where they lift the governor up and ride him out on the rail, except these four people were put in charge of, like, the parade. I mean, everybody lent them so much credence when there were a lot of 9/11 widows out there that actually supported what the president was doing.
SCHWARTZ: And we heard from some of those 9/11 widows, as well.
SCHWARTZ: ... Jersey got behind the 9/11 Commission, the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, of which we still haven‘t adopted anything (INAUDIBLE) they set and we have failing grades going back, you know, 10, 15 years. We need to take that to heart, and that‘s what the Democrats are going to enact immediately if they gain control of the House.
SCARBOROUGH: Ann respond, and then I want to get back to the “New York Times” treason issue. Go ahead, Ann.
COULTER: The point is, these women, Cindy Sheehan, Cleland, Murtha, these are household names. Name the human shields Republicans have used. Name them.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Let me ask you, Laura...
COULTER: I think I‘ve made my point.
SCARBOROUGH: She‘s made—a pregnant pause there. Laura, let me ask you about the “New York Times.” Are they guilty of treason?
SCHWARTZ: The “New York Times,” as far as treason? You know, I think that leakers should be looked at. You know, this is especially because it‘s national security, but from an administration whose policies can‘t hold water, I‘m not surprised that they‘ve got leaks springing up. In fact, they‘re not even patching the ones they have.
SCARBOROUGH: But, Laura, wouldn‘t the Clinton administration go crazy if all of their national security programs ended up on the front page of the “New York Times,” “Washington Post,” “L.A. Times”? And then those papers ended up getting Pulitzers.
SCHWARTZ: Hey, you know, we didn‘t have the same pattern of secrecy and reluctancy to checks and balances that this president did. You know, they had multiple conversations, the “New York Times,” with the government. The government must not have stated their case adequately enough.
You know, going after the economic stronghold of the terrorists is something that this administration talked about right after 9/11. That‘s the way to strangle them at the core, because money talks and money funds terrorism.
Yes, we went after the drugs and after the bank accounts, and we have to continue to do that. That‘s very well-known. And these banks, they‘re all are under subpoenas. So that‘s not going to change. These terrorists are still going on with their activities.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘ll give you the final word, Ann.
COULTER: Bill Keller is not our commander in chief. The commander in chief does not have to make his case adequately to the editor of the “New York Times.”
We‘re in the middle of a war. It‘s not against a country; it is against people spread out throughout the world. The only way we can fight them is through intelligence, and the “New York Times” has just blown a crucial part of this. That is treason, if we still prosecute for treason.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thank you so much.
SCHWARTZ: Ann, your life revolves around the First Amendment. I can‘t believe you‘d defend that.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. We‘re going to have to leave it there. Ann Coulter, author of the best-selling book, “Godless”—you can‘t say she‘s on the fringe if she‘s number one with a bullet—and also Laura Schwartz. Thanks for being with us.
And coming up next, out-of-control brawls in the street. You‘re going to see what sparked this wild World Cup craziness in “Must See SC.”
SCARBOROUGH: Time for tonight‘s “Must See SC,” video you‘ve just got to see.
First up, the Silver Nugget Casino in Las Vegas, where surveillance cameras caught this shootout on the casino floor. The fight started with punches but turned deadly when one man pulled out a gun and started shooting all around the place. One was killed, and police are now on the hunt for the shooter.
Up next, if you‘re not going to watch the World Cup matches, well, the fights in the streets afterwards certainly are “Must See SC” TV. Police had their hands full with these weekend hooligans. After the German and British fans hurled furniture at each other, lit fires, and then, surprise, surprise, wound up in the slammer.
And, finally, it may not be your first choice for a household pet, but don‘t tell that to this 6-year-old Cambodian boy and his 19-foot pet python. The boy says he loves it like a sister and rides on the back of this python, which was only 20 inches long when he got it. The family bathes the pet python and even prays to it. Maybe they can pray for a brain.
We‘ll be right back in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. Stick around.
SCARBOROUGH: The results are in from our live SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY poll. We asked: Should the “New York Times” be prosecuted for publishing stories revealing secret information about the war on terror?
Take a look at the voting. Not even close. A land slide 18 percent said yes; 82 percent said no. So, tonight, the free press wins out.
Now, we meant to bring you our story about New York‘s secret war on terror, and we‘re going to have that story for you later in the week. The documentary premiers tomorrow night on Court TV.
That‘s all the time we have for tonight in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. As always, thank you so much for being with us. We greatly appreciate it. And we‘ll be back here tomorrow night, same time, same channel in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
Rita Cosby “LIVE & DIRECT” starts right now—Rita?
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