Guests: Matthew Ryan, J.D. Hayworth, Laura Chick, Jenice Armstrong
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Thanks to you at home for tuning in to THE SITUATION‘s preelection tour of the northeast, coming to you all this week from very soggy Bethel, Maine. It‘s good to have you with us.
Tonight, Harvard gets stiffed. An Internet tycoon changes his mind about giving the university $115 million. But here‘s the larger question: why do rich people give anything to all to an institution that‘s richer than many countries?
Also ahead, Hooters under fire. The city of Los Angeles says thanks but no thanks to a fundraiser featuring the Hooters girls. Yet another victory for the P.C. police. Oh, yes, we‘ll bring you details.
And Star Jones burns her bridges. Now she is banned from “The View”, the show that made her a household name. Was Barbara Walters right to blast one of the most annoying characters in television history? Of course she was. More on that ahead.
But first the latest on the fatal flood waters that threaten communities across the northeastern United States tonight. At least 12 people are dead, including an 8-year-old girl who was reportedly swept away in a flooded creek. Thousands of people in New York, New Jersey and Delaware have been ordered to evacuate as heavy rain swelled rivers far above flood stages.
Binghamton, New York, got four and a half inches of rain yesterday. That‘s the most ever received in a 24-hour period. It prompted the mayor to declare a state of emergency.
CARLSON: Joining us now from Binghamton, New York, the major of that city, Matthew Ryan. Mr. Mayor, thanks for joining us.
MATTHEW RYAN, MAYOR, BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK: Thank you for having me.
CARLSON: Can you describe the scene there now with the flooding?
RYAN: Yes, well, we—we feel very fortunate today, even though we had substantial amount of flooding. When I woke up this morning, the river has risen nine feet in just a couple hours. They were projecting 30-foot flood stage, and we would have been really devastated.
Back in the ‘40s, they built—the Army Corps of Engineers built some flood walls here, and they really saved the city today, as they have in the past. The flood waters went right up to the edge. They did lap over some, but we were basically saved because of—we‘re hoping we‘ve been saved. I mean, we‘re still optimistic—we‘re very optimistic but cautious in case there‘s some other level of water that comes back through that we haven‘t seen yet.
But right now water stopped just in time to prevent real bad flooding. Obviously, in the background you see that we did have some pretty devastating flooding along the riverbanks, but it could have been the whole city if it was—if we got that extra five feet of water.
CARLSON: And you‘re confident those Army Corps of Engineers flood walls are going to hold?
RYAN: Yes, I mean, obviously, after Katrina everybody always thinks about the worst, but we had engineers checking them all day, and I think we‘re in pretty good shape.
CARLSON: Have you received any assistance so far from the federal government? Have people from FEMA showed up yet?
RYAN: FEMA people have not showed up. However, Governor Pataki was here, and he promised to declare it a disaster area. We‘ve talked to Senator Schumer, Senator Clinton‘s and Congressman Hinchey‘s office, and they all are working to get us all the federal aid we‘re entitled to after this—for this disaster.
CARLSON: How many people have been evacuated?
RYAN: We had about 3,000 evacuees. This morning, we were thinking that we might have to evacuate as many as 15,000, however when the projection started going down, we had the flood maps for the 500-year flood. And we‘re evacuating the lowest lying areas in those first and, luckily, we didn‘t have to go much farther than the real low lying areas.
CARLSON: Was it a forcible evacuation or voluntary?
RYAN: We were—it was mandatory, although we had some people that resisted us, and this river has been dangerous in the past. We had some fireman who lost their lives on it, trying to save people. So we gave people an opportunity to leave. Some decided to stay. And thank God we didn‘t get that other five feet of water, because I don‘t think they‘d be with us tonight if we had got the water we thought we were going to get.
CARLSON: All right. Matthew Ryan, mayor of Binghamton, New York. Thanks a lot, Mr. Mayor, for joining us.
RYAN: Thank you very much, Tucker.
CARLSON: We turn now from flooding to the firestorm over “The New York Times.” Ever since that newspaper published a story last week that revealed government monitoring of banking records, the outcry has been growing. Dennis Hastert, the speaker of the House, upped the ante on Capitol Hill today when he said the newspaper‘s disclosure, quote, “means loose lips kill American people.”
Now, the House is expected to vote on a resolution tomorrow that condemns the publication of classified information. My next guest is leading the effort to punish “The Times”.
CARLSON: Joining us now from Washington, Congressman J.D. Hayworth of Arizona.
Congressman, thanks for coming on.
REP. J.D. HAYWORTH ®, ARIZONA: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: I understand the political utility of beating up on the press in an election year, but treason, that‘s—I don‘t know, that‘s a little over the top, don‘t you think, for this particular story?
HAYWORTH: Well, I didn‘t call it treason. What I did say, however, is that dangerously poor judgment was exercised by the “New York Times”, inherently arrogant judgment in a time of war. And accordingly, I put together a letter to the speaker, now signed by almost 70 members of Congress, asking the speaker to rescind the press credentials on Capitol Hill of the “New York Times”.
CARLSON: But I mean, look, I‘m annoyed by “The New York Times”, as I think many of its readers are, certainly its conservative readers, those who exist—maybe just me.
On the other hand, I am glad someone is paying attention to what this administration does. And I think all conservatives ought to be glad that someone is watching out, because the Congress, with all due respect, I don‘t think has done a very good job watchdogging this administration. Don‘t we need somebody paying attention?
HAYWORTH: Yes, but here‘s the difference, Tucker. Let‘s go back through the most recent incident, since the “New York Times” obviously is a serial offender when it comes to jeopardizing our national security.
This whole story about tracking finances, what happened? The administration said, “Please don‘t run the story.” The co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission said, “Please don‘t run the story.” Members who were privy to the information from the respective intelligence committees on both sides of the aisle said, “Please hold off.”
And Bill Keller, in his infinite wisdom, decided this would be in the public interest.
Now look, this is not about violating the First Amendment, or this letter that I have proposed is not putting the First Amendment in jeopardy. The Constitution is a document of limited and enumerated powers. What the First Amendment says is that Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of the press.
HAYWORTH: No, Tucker, you‘re not physically here talking to me. We‘re talking via television. The “New York Times” will be free to cover Capitol Hill, but the physical presence of the reporters would not be allowed. They‘re still able to set up appointments. They‘d still be able to call on the phone, e-mail, fax, do all of those kinds of things, but not be in the speaker‘s lobby and not be in the press gallery.
And I guess it‘s somewhat analogous to a—to a government expelling foreign diplomats. They may not break off diplomatic relations and the communication between the two countries, but it registers the degree of offense taken. And I think that is what it‘s important...
CARLSON: Wait a second. First the specific, then the general.
In this case, Roger Cressey, who worked in the Bush White House, as I‘m sure you know, as a terrorism analyst, pointed out today in a “Boston Globe” piece, that in fact, it was known, if not widely, certainly publicly known that the United States was using—the U.S. government was taking a look at this SWIFT organization, taking a look at international financial data.
The United Nations in 2004 issued a report that said as much. The Patriot Act commands the administration to use international financial institutions, and look at their data to help track terrorists. So I mean, this was not news from nowhere.
HAYWORTH: Yes, but the same Roger Cressey points out that, when you put it on the front page of the “New York Times”, it‘s akin to setting off—and these are my words—setting off a neon sign.
Let me give you another example from history. The late Stephen Ambrose (ph) wrote eloquently of Dwight Eisenhower‘s life, and a particular instance in the pre-spring of 1944, when Ike calls the war correspondents together, and says, “Hey, fellows, just thought you‘d want to know. We‘re going to go in early June.”
And Ambrose recounts that the reporters, to a man, stopped writing and looked at General Eisenhower in amazement. One of them asked, “General, why did you tell us?”
And he said, “Because you‘re good Americans, and I know you would not jeopardize the lives of fellow Americans.” Now, look how much we have changed.
CARLSON: Come on.
HAYWORTH: And that is exactly what is going on here. Do you know what...
CARLSON: I mean, look, I hate to be in the position here of defending the “New York Times”.
HAYWORTH: Sure. Go ahead and defend rank arrogance. Let‘s go.
CARLSON: I believe—I believe—there‘s no question that the “New York Times”—in fact, I would say most of us in the press are arrogant. It‘s kind of the nature of our jobs.
On the other hand, I don‘t think that if the joint chiefs went to Bill Keller and said, “We‘re planning an invasion of X country”—this, in fact, has happened—that you would see it on the front page of the “New York Times” the next day.
But let me ask you this. Do you think—I mean, the implication here is that all good Americans ought to trust the Bush administration sufficient to stop asking pointed questions. And that‘s where I guess I part ways. I think there‘s...
HAYWORTH: No, no, that‘s not what I am saying.
CARLSON: I don‘t know why I should trust them to conduct a war on terror without my knowing anything about it.
HAYWORTH: Look, I‘ve got my problems with the administration, as well. But what did you just point out, according to Cressey and others? We talk in general terms. We have put into law but we have not set off with a neon sign sources and methods of getting things done. There is a difference there.
It would be akin to say to a community that has police patrol, “Well, there‘s only one cop car on duty tonight in this high crime area, so have at it.”
I mean, there are certain things that we understand, but we don‘t go into specifics or into sources or methods or to place it prominently in a situation where those who might want have it have it very easily.
CARLSON: Let me—let me ask you...
CARLSON: Do you wish now, looking back three years, that the press had been a little more vigilant in asking questions about the invasion of Iraq during the run-up to it? Like “Are we certain there are these WMD stockpiles that we‘re using the justify the war? How do you know that they‘re there? What exactly are you talking about, Mr. Powell, in the speech to the United Nations?”
Don‘t you wish the press had been a little tougher on the administration?
HAYWORTH: Do you think—and I can recall from years ago, do you believe that the press briefings given by Secretary Rumsfeld or the press conferences of the White House displayed signs of a compliant, obedient, lapdog fourth estate? I don‘t recall that. And I think if we review the transcripts today, I think attitudinally...
CARLSON: I don‘t think that they were lap dogs.
HAYWORTH: Now, look, you know, we can always go back in retrospect, but I—it has never been my experience to ever have a situation where questions from the press are softballs tossed up. It is always a lively intellectual exchange. I like the intellectual, kind of like you and I are having right now, Tucker.
HAYWORTH: But it is contentious; that is part of it. The question...
CARLSON: I know. But then they‘re back to Natalee Holloway on Monday, and that‘s the problem.
CARLSON: Anyway, I don‘t know. Congressman, I don‘t think we‘re going to solve this here. Just even thinking about that, thinking about the run-up to the war in Iraq, is making me edgy today, but I appreciate your point of view. And I appreciate your coming on.
HAYWORTH: Tucker, always happy to be with you and look forward to getting together again soon.
CARLSON: Still to come, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison decides to cancel his pledge of $115 million to Harvard. Here‘s a question, though: why the hell was he going to give that money to Harvard in the first place? We‘ll answer it.
Plus, the city of Los Angeles backs away from a fundraiser for animals because it features the Hooters girls. And you thought political correctness was dead. You thought wrong. More when THE SITUATION returns.
CARLSON: Still to come tonight, Osama bin Laden is set to release a new videotape. We‘ll bring you the latest details.
Plus, where does the Star Jones/Barbara Walters spat rank in the annals of all time television feuds? Find out next in THE SITUATION “Top Five”.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
It looks like political correctness has triumphed once again in Los Angeles. That city is backing away from a charity event designed to raise money for animal services. The charity bikini contest, featuring girls from Hooters, the restaurant chain, would have funded a campaign called Hooters for Neuters. That is, until city officials objected.
My next guest says, quote, “One of my priorities is to empower women. And this goes against everything I‘ve been trying to achieve. It‘s using woman as sexual objects.”
That quote comes from Laura Chick. She‘s the Los Angeles city comptroller. She joins us tonight from Burbank, California.
Laura Chick, welcome.
LAURA CHICK, LOS ANGELES CITY COMPTROLLER: Thank you. Happy to be here.
CARLSON: Well, this is a tragic story, as far as I could tell. Here Hooters tries to do something right, tries to help animals. I mean, what better cause could you conceive of? And here you, a modern day puritan, wag your finger in their face and say, “No, you can‘t help the animals of Los Angeles”. What‘s your motivation?
CHICK: Well, actually—yes, actually, that‘s not what I did. I‘m very happy to tell you that the event is still going on. I think that all of this has actually brought more publicity. I think that they‘re going to probably make more money than they would have before. And that money is still going exactly to this very wonderful cause, which is having people spaying and neutering their dogs, because over two million cats and dogs and household pets are put to death in the United States every year.
CARLSON: Sure. And that‘s a subject dear to my heart, and I applaud anybody, Hooters included, who would chip in to help those dogs and cats.
CHICK: I do, too.
CARLSON: But why do you think it‘s beneath the city of Los Angeles to be involved with?
CHICK: Because I don‘t actually think it‘s the business of government, and not the business of the city of Los Angeles, to be sponsoring or promoting a bikini contest at Hooters. I think the cause is wonderful, and I thank Hooters for doing it, but what I don‘t think is that the city of Los Angeles should be in the business of promoting, on their web page or in any other way, a bikini contest at Hooters. So it‘s a win, win situation.
CARLSON: Wait a second. I mean, wait a second. I mean, you know, joining in a charity event with Hooters is hardly the most appalling thing the city of Los Angeles does, and you know that.
CHICK: Oh, no, it isn‘t the most appalling...
CARLSON: It‘s a legal—that‘s exactly right, it‘s not. I mean, the city—we could do a whole show on the misdeeds in the city of Los Angeles, done by the government there. But Hooters, I mean, it‘s a legitimate business.
CHICK: It‘s part of my—actually, Tucker, it‘s part of my job. I audit. I audit the city, and...
CHICK: ... I‘m exposed to a lot of the problems, but—but in terms of this is not the worse thing in the world, I couldn‘t agree with you more. Hooters is a totally legitimate business. It‘s that the city of Los Angeles has no business promoting a bikini contest at Hooters. Hooters can promote it. And actually, my being on your show is promoting it.
CARLSON: What, is it offensive to family values? Is this like a Jerry Falwell campaign?
CARLSON: I mean, are you on—Is this like a Christian Coalition position you‘re taking? I mean, I don‘t understand your motivation here.
CHICK: No, it‘s—it‘s a position that government has no business promoting bikini contests at Hooters.
CHICK: By the way, the city of Los Angeles has a whole bunch of policies about anti-domestic violence, anti-sexual harassment, promoting women not as sexual objects, and...
CARLSON: What does that have to do with Hooters?
CHICK: What does that have to do with Hooters?
CARLSON: Wait a second. Wait a second. So you‘re basically—you‘re taking a political point of view. You‘re not afraid of offending people‘s sensibilities. The city is happy to hand out condoms to kids, I‘m sure.
CHICK: No, we don‘t do that, actually.
CARLSON: But there‘s something about Hooters that offends you as a feminist.
OK, you don‘t. I‘m sure you‘d be happy to if you could get away with it.
But as a feminist, you‘re bothered by Hooters, it sounds like. Why—do you get to impose your feminist sensibility on the good Hooters-loving people of southern California?
CHICK: No, no, no. You‘re forgetting what I started with, Tucker.
CHICK: I‘m thanking Hooters, and I‘m hoping that your viewers here locally in Los Angeles, and I understand they do these events elsewhere, that they support spaying and neutering. And I hope the event is very successful.
CHICK: And by the way, I understand that one of the reasons they do this event is because they‘re trying to attract men, who are the least likely to participate in spaying and neutering their pets. So I hope a whole bunch of guys are listening.
CHICK: And that they realize that it‘s good for animals. It‘s not cruel, because animals are getting killed.
CARLSON: Well, I think—I think men, just to give you some insight into the male psychology, men are very uncomfortable with the idea of neutering, really, in any context.
CHICK: I know.
CARLSON: But quickly, if you could—yes, and they ought to be. But can you sum up for me, though, why do you think, if Hooters is so anti-women, degrading to women, why would women voluntarily work there?
CHICK: Well, I actually, I didn‘t say that they‘re so degrading to women. What I‘ve been saying repeatedly is that I don‘t think the city of Los Angeles should be promoting a bikini contest at Hooters. I think it goes against our policies, our practices and our philosophy. And that‘s all I‘m saying. It‘s really very focused.
CARLSON: All right. OK, Los Angeles, the city of clean living. That ought to be your new motto. Laura Chick, thanks for—thanks for coming on. I appreciate it.
CHICK: We‘re kind of a fun city, actually. Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Yes, I know you are.
Still to come, Howard Dean gleefully predicts that America is about to relive the 1960s, and as if to prove it, Cindy Sheehan says she‘ll embark on a two-month-long hunger strike to get U.S. troops home from Iraq. Ready for some deja vu?
Plus, a Star is scorned. “The View” is not so rosy for Star Jones as she‘s torn apart on national television by former boss, Barbara Walters. But does Jones deserve such harsh treatments, or maybe worse? We‘ll find out when THE SITUATION continues.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
Quick quiz. What decade is it? Well, according to DNC chairman Howard Dean, it could be the 1960s again. Dean told an audience recently he is, quote, “optimistic” that America is about to enter another decade like the 60‘s, though hopefully without the race riots.
Cindy Sheehan, meanwhile, has announced she‘s going on a very old-fashioned sounding hunger strike for two months, beginning July 4, to protest the war in Iraq.
All very nostalgic. But is flower power really what voters are looking for in a modern political party? Here to tell us, MSNBC contributor Flavia Colgan, joining us tonight from Burbank, California, the Hooters-free city.
FLAVIA COLGAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Tucker, for having me.
CARLSON: Flavia, this is why Baby Boomers should not be allowed to run for president or even speak in public. Because they constantly return to a series of about eight cliches. They repeat endlessly about Woodstock, the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War. “We took to the streets; it was a war we couldn‘t win, the first war we saw in our living room. The music died when Jack was killed,” et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
The idea that Howard Dean, who is a living cliche, wants to bring back the ‘60s, a time, quote, “when everyone was is in it together,” he said to this audience. I mean, this is so lame. I‘m embarrassed for Democrats to have this guy running the party. Aren‘t you?
COLGAN: I do have to say, before I even talk about Howard Dean, I‘ll tell you what I think is really lame and was very infuriating to me, that for the last couple of days a bunch of religious leaders got together to shine light on an issue that obviously numbers and prose can‘t even approach doing what Katrina did for it, which is poverty. Thirty-seven million Americans in an abundant country, living in poverty. Twelve percent more children the last couple of years.
And I find it outrageous that, in all of that, and in the larger discussion of what we need to do in terms of the minimum wage, and my party finally being able to frame these issues in a moral way. What could be more moral and life sustaining than a working family being able to be paid a wage that can support its members?
CARLSON: I mean, Flavia, you know what I find obnoxious?
COLGAN: And this is all they find out of a question and answer period? I‘m sorry, Tucker, but it‘s frustrating for me.
CARLSON: People—people—hold on. People—oh, give me a break. People say the religious right is annoying, and they are annoying. Nowhere near as annoying as the religious left.
Here you have Howard Dean becoming a televangelist. “This is a moral nation; we want it to be moral again.” Howard Dean giving us a moral lecture. If you don‘t want a moral lecture from Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, then don‘t mount your own so-called moral crusades, or raise the minimum wage or make veganism mandatory, or whatever the kick of the moment is. Knock off the religion if you don‘t like religion, if you see what I‘m saying.
COLGAN: Well, I don‘t think 86 percent of Americans want to make veganism mandatory, but they certainly do want to see American workers getting a raise, just like Congress decided to give itself.
But what Howard Dean actually said, if you look at the overall speech...
CARLSON: I did.
COLGAN: ... is talking about how it‘s not going to be—how it‘s not going to be politicians. It is, in fact, going to be religious leaders and progressives. A lot of the greatest progressive movements in this nation, whether it‘s abolition, civil rights movement, suffragette movement, was founded and started by those on—in the religious community.
And what he was talking about is that when we saw those images in the 60‘s, whether it was children being jeered going into schools, that it mobilized the conscience of the American people. And what he was talking about is gathering that energy and that activism to have a clarion call...
CARLSON: OK. I get it. I‘ve heard the slogans.
COLGAN: ... environmental, economic justice...
CARLSON: Look, I went to a liberal school. I had this stuff drummed into my head since day one. I get it.
My point is, if you don‘t like people marching in the streets calling abortion a sin, if you don‘t like people pushing for creationism in the schools, if you attack them as religious nuts, then it‘s kind of hard to turn on a dime and start pounding the pulpit for a higher minimum wage on the grounds that God is for it, if you see what I mean. If you don‘t want religion in the public discourse—and the left doesn‘t—then don‘t enter it into the discourse, as they‘re doing now.
COLGAN: No, I think the left, and I think a lot of Americans feel uncomfortable about a lurch towards theocracy, but I think there‘s nothing wrong, and I think it shows the Democrats are making a little bit more progress, to show that, for most Americans, they want to hear about issues discussed in terms of their values and in terms of morals, because that‘s how a lot of Americans, you know, feel about their personal life and the issues that confront this nation.
CARLSON: But that‘s not how Howard Dean feels. This is such—I believe that...
COLGAN: And I don‘t want to waste—I don‘t want to waste time talking about Howard Dean‘s foot-in-mouth disease, which I think has been on display for years and we all know that. Would I—you know, would I have phrased it in exactly the same way? Absolutely not.
But I think what came out of that conference and what came out of those remarks, from him and Obama and others, for me as a Democrat, are more encouraged than discouraged to see that they‘re willing to make coalitions with communities, with people of faith in trying to ring the issues to the forefront and shine the light...
CARLSON: All right. Good, then—then I—I hope—OK—I hope you won‘t mind next time Pat Robertson gets up there and starts talking about how God has told him this, that or the other thing about the next election. Hope you say...
COLGAN: Or how—or how Teletubbies are gay or we should assassinate foreign leaders.
CARLSON: All right. That‘s right. Hey, man, it‘s...
COLGAN: I don‘t think we need to correlate Pat Robertson to this conference about a very important issue, namely poverty, which doesn‘t get nearly enough coverage.
CARLSON: All right. All right. Flavia Colgan from Burbank, California. Thanks, Flavia.
COLGAN: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Still to come, the U.S. Senate tells pimps to pay up. But will taxing prostitutes and their bosses amount to the government endorsing their legal business? Good question.
Plus THE SITUATION digs up dirt on the ugliest public feuds in America. Which of these stars was finally able to bury the hatchet? We‘ve got the answer. We‘ll reveal it to you on tonight‘s “Top Five”. Stay tuned.
CARLSON: Still to come, the ugly but in the end pretty amusing brawl between the ladies on “The View”, plus nude pictures of Britney Spears. But first here is what is going on in the world tonight.
MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC ANCHOR: Hello, I‘m Milissa Rehberger and here is what is happening. Rivers and streams are still rising in parts of the Northeast hit by widespread flooding after record rain. At least 12 people have been killed, and up to 200,000 people have been ordered to evacuate in the Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania area. More evacuations were ordered in western New Jersey, Upstate New York and Maryland.
A Palestinian militant group says that it executed an 18-year-old Israeli settler kidnapped in the West Bank and Israel confirms his body has been found.
The group had threatened to kill the settler if Israel did not halt its incursion into the Gaza Strip. Instead, Israel widened its offensive, launched new air strikes and arrested members of the Hamas-led Palestinian government. It is all meant to pressure Palestinian militants to release a kidnapped Israeli soldier.
And the weather is threatening Saturday afternoon‘s launch of the space shuttle Discovery. The forecast is for a 60 percent chance of clouds that could produce lightning and it‘s the same for Sunday and Monday. Now back to THE SITUATION.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA WALTERS, “THE VIEW”: Since the announcement yesterday she has made further announcements that surprised us, so it is becoming uncomfortable for us to pretend that everything is the same at this table, and therefore regrettably Star will no longer be on this program.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: That was the announcement from Barbara Walters on “The View” this morning. More in sorrow than in anger. Walters went on to say the show, she and her co-hosts and co-producers helped make Star Jones a star.
Meanwhile, Star fired back saying she was the one betrayed, not Ms. Walters and quote, “Barbara did not have my back.”
Here to tell us why she is on Star‘s side, “Philadelphia Daily News” columnist Jenice Armstrong. She joins us tonight from Philadelphia. Jenice, thanks for coming on.
JENICE ARMSTRONG, “PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS”: Hey, thanks for having me, Tucker.
CARLSON: You may be the only person in America on Star Jones‘ side
ARMSTRONG: I don‘t know about that. I‘ve got lots of friends.
CARLSON: Why are you on Star Jones‘ side?
ARMSTRONG: She is good TV. She is fun to watch. She gives a reason every day to tune into “The View” to see what she‘s up to. To see what her hair looks like, and see how she is going to be over the top. She is great TV. You know , I have lots of friends ...
CARLSON: She is great TV. But doesn‘t Barbara Walters have a point here. Barbara Walters point is look, we made Star Jones? Nobody really had heard of her before “The View.” She certainly wasn‘t a household word.
ARMSTRONG: No, we had heard of her. She came to prominence during the O.J. Simpson trial. On Court TV. She was all over TV, to the point where you were watching her and saying who was this woman, other than Oprah, who on TV looked like Star Jones, so once you saw her you could not forget her. So we knew about her before she was on the view. She just really took off ...
CARLSON: But “the View” made her. Here is my question ...
ARMSTRONG: She also made “The View.”
CARLSON: She may have, but “The View” will continue long after Star Jones is gone.
ARMSTRONG: I‘m not sure about that. I am not sure about that. Look at Rosie O‘Donnell. I think she may be the beginning of the end for “The View.” A lot of people are not feeling Rosie O‘Donnell. She comes off as so caustic and mean. I wrote a column about her not too long ago about how she was attacking Star Jones saying that Star Jones was she was being disingenuous for not talking about her weight loss, but how long was she talking about the fact that Rosie O‘Donnell was gay and she was in the closet?
Rosie O‘Donnell came out when she got good and ready, and Star Jones, if she did indeed have gastric bypass surgery as so many people have alleged, she will come out when she is ready.
CARLSON: Wait, wait, Jenice, slow down. Even to suggest that Star Jones lost 400 or 500 pounds by any other means by diet and exercise is offensive to me so I want to stop you right there.
ARMSTRONG: Well, I don‘t know.
CARLSON: OK. Well, what is Star Jones going to do next? Who is going to hire her?
ARMSTRONG: Anything she wants. Well, you know, if Paris Hilton can get a job in TV, Star Jones can too.
CARLSON: She did a Taco Bell commercial, a Carl‘s Junior commercial. But you ...
ARMSTRONG: Nicole Richie has a show.
CARLSON: Paris Hilton is not exactly a TV star. She is more tabloid fodder.
ARMSTRONG: But she has got her own show. Nicole Richie has a show. What do they do? At least Star Jones is smart, she is telegenic and she made a career this far. I would not be surprised if she popped up someplace. She is a woman people love to hate. And maybe the red carpet, you know, she has got that bite.
CARLSON: Since you‘ve thought about this a great deal. Why do people - let‘s go down the list of the reasons people don‘t like Star Jones. What are they?
ARMSTRONG: A lot of people say that she is overbearing. They say she is opinionated and they say she maybe thinks too much of herself. Maybe she does but so what? So do a lot of celebrities. Who cares. She is outrageous, but that‘s her job.
CARLSON: But wait. Didn‘t she shake down a bunch of companies for free stuff during her wedding and then promised them promotions on air?
ARMSTRONG: What was that about? I don‘t know what she was thinking with that. That was just wrong, and that was vulgar, and I think that‘s really what the beginning of the end for Star. That was a mistake, a big, big mistake.
CARLSON: And what is the story, if you can sum it up quickly and as pithily as you can, what is the story with her husband?
ARMSTRONG: I don‘t know, she says that they discussed his past and she is comfortable with it, and who knows. I think time will tell.
CARLSON: OK. That‘s about has vigorous offense as Star Jones is going to get here or anywhere else ...
ARMSTRONG: She is great TV and she is fun to watch. I will watch when she pops up someplace else.
CARLSON: You are a brave woman, Jenice Armstrong, thanks for coming on.
ARMSTRONG: Thanks for having me.
CARLSON: Well, Jones and Walters are not the first television celebrities to air their dirty laundry in public. In tonight‘s top five, we throw the spotlight on other famous battles of the network stars.
CARLSON (voice-over): Sure TV stars might exchange playful jabs on and off the set but when egos collide the kid gloves come off. And it‘s a tabloid main event and here is a ring side view.
Proof that two heads are not necessarily better than one, in 1993, Connie Chung was hired to co-anchor the CBS EVENING NEWS with Dan Rather, a pairing that had about as much chemistry as Reasoner and Walters.
Needless to say the Chung-Rather experiment went awry, and in 1995 it was anchors away.
This contest of musical talent might attract top ratings but the real competition here is the backstage bout between “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest and judge Paula Abdul. She says he‘s an egomaniac. He says she likes her brandy.
And the better part of two decades, a battle royale brewed between the queen of daytime chat and the prince of late night puns.
DAVID LETTERMAN, TALK SHOW HOST: Please welcome Oprah Winfrey.
CARLSON: Evidently Oprah didn‘t appreciate being the butt of Dave‘s jokes, but last December she finally agreed to bury the hatchet.
LETTERMAN: It means a great deal to me and I am happy that you are here.
OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: Does it really?
CARLSON: They were once pals until Donald Trump and Martha Stewart let a little reality show come between them. The Donald apparently didn‘t enjoy sharing “The Apprentice” spotlight and he told Martha so.
DONALD TRUMP, CELEBRITY: You want me to say I apologize? I won‘t.
CARLSON: But this boardroom brawl did not last long, after only one season, NBC told Martha.
TRUMP: You‘re fired.
CARLSON: We had only to look as far as our backyard for tonight‘s main event. In this corner MSNBC‘s pugnacious Keith Olbermann.
KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC HOST: Oh, here we go.
CARLSON: And in the other corner, the undisputed champ of “Worst Person in the World” designations, Fox News‘ Bill O‘Reilly.
OLBERMANN: Soon I‘ll be getting a visit from the Bill O‘Reilly police. Armed with loofahs.
CARLSON: Coming up on THE SITUATION, it has been more than a year and a half since Osama bin Laden made one of his video tapes while cowering in a cave somewhere in Waziristan, so what threat to the U.S. does he make in his latest release?
Plus the new $200 million “Superman” movie came out today. Will people turn out to watch a poor man‘s Christopher Reeve? I don‘t think so.
And don‘t forget, we‘ll be checking THE SITUATION voicemail tomorrow night. Call 1-877-TCARLSON, let us know what is on your mind. You might hear yourself on the air. We‘ll be right back.
CARLSON: We turn now to a man who has not yet taken a side in the Barbara Walters-Star Jones feud, though he will. He is the “Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host, Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO: I don‘t know. Star Jones wants to make you side with Barbara Walters. But I think that was an excellent defense of Star Jones.
CARLSON: It really was, actually. It was certainly a novel defense. I has never heard a defense of Star Jones before. So I listened intently.
Well, defend this, Max. Harvard University lost a $115 million donation this week, but will the school even notice. Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison pledged last year to give Harvard $115 million dollars to study world health but he pulled back the donation with the news that his friend Larry Summers was resigning as the university‘s president.
The gift would have been the largest in Harvard‘s history. The question is why would anyone give that much money to a school that already has a $26 billion endowment. Good question, Max. These schools do not need a nickel more. Harvard‘s endowment, to give you some sense of how big it is, is bigger than the GDP of 35 out of the 53 African countries. Thirty five of the 53 African countries have a smaller GDP than Harvard has an endowment. That‘s not its operating budget.
KELLERMAN: And yet they are still being taught by T.A.s for some reason. Go figure that.
CARLSON: Exactly. And the tuition is still beyond the reach of middle class people. It‘s disgusting. That‘s just money that is sitting there. I think the whole thing is obscene, and the people are foolish for giving more money to a place like Harvard which needs not another dime.
KELLERMAN: Ah, yes. The priorities argument. The problem with the priorities argument, Tucker, is that if you use that argument, then arts in the schools would never be funded, schools themselves frequently would not be funded, and the only thing that money would go to are starving people and cancer research. Right, and maybe missiles to deflect killer meteors, you know.
CARLSON: No, that‘s not what I am saying. I think schools, and I think museums, I think hospitals, starving children, of course, all deserve money. I don‘t think that schools with enormous endowments, money that just sits there for a rainy day, or sits there to create interest that is then spent, that is obscene. I don‘t have an endowment. Do you? No. No private sector person or business has an endowment. It‘s totally wrong.
KELLERMAN: I might start one.
But, we are not talking about what they are doing with the endowment, clearly if it was put to better use, at least to my knowledge, that would be a good thing. We are not talking about that. We are talking about giving money to schools, in this case Harvard itself, Harvard is certainly a worthy institution to donate money to if you think that they already have a lot, OK, now they have more, and that‘s more good that they can do with it.
CARLSON: It‘s a religion. It‘s the modern church is what it is, I think.
Well, a message to the many pimps and hookers in our audience, the IRS is coming for you. The Senate Judiciary Committee today approved a bill proposed by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa that authorize rises the creation of an IRS unit to prosecute sex workers on tax laws. Senator Grassley says the legislation gives the government a way to track money flowing in to prostitution. Sholdn‘t the government just prosecute hookers for being hookers. Or pimps for being pimps. I am against using the tax code to bust people for doing things illegally already. It‘s Nixonian, Max. It‘s creepy. I don‘t see any defense. If you see somebody breaking the law, bust them. Don‘t get them on tax evasion first.
KELLERMAN: You are missing the point, here, this is good news, by taxing prostitution, the government is implicitly recognizing it as at least quasi legal, and that‘s a good thing because prosecution should of course be legal. How dare the government sanctify the selling of—or even the majority of voters sanctify sex in this way for those who may not feel sex is sacred. It‘s a good thing.
CARLSON: No, that‘s not what they are doing. They are saying, it‘s illegal, therefore we will make certain that we get as much money out of them as we can. It‘s like taxing cigarettes. So cigarettes are $5 a pack. That money is all going to government which simultaneously tells you not to smoke because it‘s bad for you even as it profits from your death. It is disgusting.
KELLERMAN: But this puts—if you want to say there is no implicit recognition of this as any kind of legitimate or moving towards a legitimate activity, it puts the government in this case in a conflict of interest. If they are profiting from the activity, no matter what is said, their interest lies in the continuation of the activity, and it‘s offensive that you can barter all kinds of goods and services in this country for all kinds of things, but the government, or the majority of voters or whatever force is acting in this way is telling people who feel otherwise that sex is sacred in a way that you not allowed to barter your own body for it, and it‘s a move whether the government is conscious of it or not, it‘s a move towards legitimizing the activity.
CARLSON: So you like it, because you think it‘s pro-prostitution?
KELLERMAN: I think that it‘s pro legalizing prostitution.
CARLSON: Yes, but it‘s hypocritical and that‘s the problem.
KELLERMAN: Ah, but didn‘t you just tell me the other day, Tucker, that hypocrisy is part of the kind of social fabric that we have, and even in terms of the way the government polices that social fabric?
CARLSON: Yes. I am for hypocrisy, it just bothers me when the government engages in it, and then profits from it. I‘m for personal hypocrisy not private hypocrisy. That‘s the line I draw. Max Kellerman!
KELLERMAN: Well, I believe consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want to do so long as they‘re not hurting anybody else.
CARLSON: I know that you are, Max, and good luck with that program. Max Kellerman.
CARLSON: Still ahead on THE SITUATION tonight. A couple weeks ago Britney Spears made a tear filled plea to the press to leave her alone. And then she went and got nude for the press. We‘ll tell you why she stripped down when we come back.
But before we go to break, it‘s tonight‘s installment of “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The good is from the news from a new poll that shows only six percent are paying close attention to the World Cup soccer tournament being played in Germany right now. We‘re calling it good news because it means the will of the American people remains strong in the face of the world‘s force feeding us a game we don‘t like, care for or understand.
The United States team failed to win a single game in the tournament. The bad is a new videotape from Osama bin Laden that will be released this week. An Islamic militant Web site posted a message today saying bin Laden will release a tape brazing the former leader, Abu Musab al Zarqawi. Zarqawi he was killed by an air strike on June 7th, and this will be bin Laden‘s first public videotape since October of 2004.
And the ugly is the scene left behind after a British man bulldozed a couple‘s home in a dispute over money. Cops say they received reports from a man saying a man was bulldozing the neighbor‘s house. When the police got there the 52 year old rammed through police cars on his bulldozer, and he was captured, and a woman inside the house during an attack was unharmed.
That‘s one way to resolve a dispute. That‘s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” tonight, and we‘ll be right back.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Basically the show is one long, maybe over long introduction of the man that you are about to meet next. He is Willie Geist and this is “The Cutting Room Floor.
WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC PRODUCER: Yeah, I‘m glad you said that. That‘s the way that I think of the show. But I was too humble to actually say it publicly. Thank you for saying that.
CARLSON: You are welcome, Willie. It‘s heartfelt. Do you remember, Willie, when Britney Spears was crying to Matt Lauer the other night about her loss of privacy?
CARLSON: Well she seems to have had a sudden change of heart on that subject. Britney will appear in various states of undress for the August issue of “Harper‘s Bazaar” magazine and she died her hair black for the photo shoot and put her naked pregnant body on full display.
GEIST: Let me tell you. This cover is only the tip of the iceberg. I got a look at the pictures inside, which we can‘t show you. You have to buy “Bazaar” magazine, which I know you were planning to do any way.
There is some good stuff inside, and I had a chance to look at it, because I am a television personality who shapes public opinion. I would buy the magazine. I don‘t buy it often but I would buy the magazine. Noticeably absent from these family shots. Kevin Federline does not appear in one of them. I don‘t think that he could get the day off from the car wash, apparently.
CARLSON: You used to say Kevin Federline was living the dream, but left out of the “Harper‘s Bazaar” shoot I don‘t know, the dream has turned into a nightmare.
GEIST: Yeah, that‘s pretty low.
CARLSON: Well, 20 years after Christopher Reeve last donned the blue tights and the red cape, a new Superman hit theaters today. The new man of steel is a guy named Brandon Ruth - Routh, I don‘t know, I‘ve never heard of him, either. Kevin Spacey plays Lex Luthor and Marlon Brando even appears from beyond the grave as Superman‘s father. Neat.
GEIST: That‘s a neat trick. I have not seen it. I actually might see this, Tucker and I don‘t see any movies unless Will Ferrell is in them. This looks good. Usually superhero remakes are terrible. I don‘t know if you saw “Daredevil,” by any chance, or the follow-up, “Electra,” two wonderful pictures. But I might see this. Are you going to see this?
CARLSON: That‘s kind of sad, Willie. I think hobbies are an order. Model airplanes, Dungeons and Dragons, anything, I wouldn‘t go see it.
GEIST: Dungeons and Dragons, that‘s all you.
CARLSON: You have heard of politicians kissing babies on the campaign trail, but what about kissing young boys on the stomach?
The Russian President Vladimir Putin stopped to talk to a kid during a stroll through the Kremlin today, things started to get awkward when Putin kneeled down and grabbed the boy around the waste while they talked, and the president then slowly lifted the boys shirt and kissed him on the stomach before walking a way.
GEIST: Whoa, Mr. President, good Lord. I had a Cub Scout leader do that to me once tucker, and he cannot be within 500 feet of a school any more. That‘s pretty outrageous but that guy just doesn‘t care, does he.
CARLSON: I‘m sorry. I‘ve never before laughed at a pedophile joke, and I never will again.
GEIST: I didn‘t say anything about pedophilia. He just can‘t be near schools.
CARLSON: I am sorry, and I apologize for laughing. I can‘t help myself.
A nine month government undercover operation has nabbed one of this nation‘s most cold-blooded criminals. Yes we finally got that Amish guy who was dealing unpasteurized milk out of his barn in Ohio.
CARLSON: An undercover Department of Agriculture bought milk from Arly Stutsman (ph) last September. Mr. Stutsman‘s license to sell dairy products was later revoked because the milk was raw and unpasteurized and not in a good way. Stutsman who lives in northeast Ohio, home of the world largest Amish settlement said his religious right to share milk was violated by the sting.
GEIST: I didn‘t know there was a religious right to share milk. I have so much to learn. It‘s high time. The Amish been getting a free pass in this country for too long. If you wanted to peddle upasteurized milk on our streets you are going to pay for it. This is the end of that operation, Mr. Stutsman.
CARLSON: You are a hard man, Willie Geist ...
GEIST: Especially on the Amish.
CARLSON: But we love you for it. Thank you.
CARLSON: That‘s THE SITUATION from the Bethel Inn in Bethel, Maine. Thanks for watching. We‘ll be back here tomorrow night. Hope you‘ll join us. Good night.
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