Guests: Al Sharpton, Bernie Ward, Richard Katskee, Max Kellerman
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Thanks to you at home for tuning in.
We start tonight with breaking news. A new 19-minute audiotape believed to be from Osama bin Laden himself has just been posted on an Internet. Is it just a coincidence that this recording was released right before our July 4th weekend? For answers, we welcome MSNBC terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann. He joins us by phone from Florida.
EVAN KOHLMANN, MSNBC TERRORISM ANALYST: Thanks for having me.
CARLSON: What does this tape mean?
KOHLMANN: Well, you know, it certainly shouldn‘t make us think that there is any terrorist incidents that are right on the horizon. I mean, we should know by now that these tapes don‘t seem to be a harbinger for any particular act of terrorism.
But it is interesting to see that bin Laden is jumping on the coattails of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was recently killed in Iraq. And bin Laden is conveniently taking—making use of his legacy, posthumously, which is, you know, quite useful, taking—taking use of somebody‘s reputation after they‘re dead. But bin Laden is very good at that.
And I think he was someone who always had problems with Zarqawi, and in many ways, Zarqawi is more useful to bin Laden dead than alive. He‘s a martyr. He‘s a symbol. And he‘s someone to rally people around the jihad in Iraq.
CARLSON: So who is the audience for this tape? Is Osama bin Laden saying in this tape, carry on the fight in Iraq? And again, to whom is he saying that?
KOHLMANN: Yes, in fact, we can be pretty clear about who the audience here is, because when bin Laden and Zawahiri want these videos to be aired primarily to a western audience, they subtitle them in English. This video was subtitled in no other language other than Arabic. There was a transcript that was put out also by the folks that produced the video. But the transcript was in Arabic.
So primarily, the audience here was people that would be supporters of al Qaeda within the Middle East. The message was that Zarqawi was a lion in Islam, that he was the prince of the martyrs, and that his death, it‘s not a blow to al Qaeda. It‘s just a bump in the road, something that al Qaeda is programmed—you know, it‘s programmed into its mission that we‘re going to lose martyrs. We know that. It‘s part of the calculation. But all it is is a sign that we‘re moving towards victory.
And so it‘s rallying Zarqawi‘s followers, making sure that they know that al Qaeda appreciates his sacrifices, appreciates his role and will continue in the mission in Iraq.
CARLSON: So it sounds like Osama bin Laden agrees with the president‘s characterization that the war in Iraq is the front lines in the battle against al Qaeda?
KOHLMANN: Well, I would have to say, I mean, if you look at this, the commanders that al Qaeda has, there is an al Qaeda military commander in Afghanistan, not Mullah Didilla (ph), not the Taliban commander, but an actual al Qaeda commander, who aspires to be like Zarqawi. A Libyan who goes by the name Abu Faraj al-Libbi.
But needless to say, if you ask most people on the streets who are you more familiar with, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or Abu Faraj al-Libbi, you can pretty much guess what the response is going to be.
KOHLMANN: Zarqawi is the rock star in the world of terrorism, and I think the same way that Zarqawi is a rock star in the world of terrorism, the Iraqi jihad has really become a front line in the war on terrorism, become since we invaded Iraq. I mean, most of the al Qaeda...
CARLSON: Right. No, no...
KOHLMANN: ... that we see in Iraq today has, unfortunately, been built up since we arrived there.
CARLSON: Tell me quickly, Eva. Do Americans have anything to fear from this tape, coming as it does right before July 4th?
KOHLMANN: Well, no, I think it‘s possible that, you know, because there are Americans, actually American recruits involved in producing these tapes, that there is some thought given to the fact that this is coming up on the weekend before July 4, and that video and this audio, rather. It‘s going to get a lot of play on—you know, international media, and never mind U.S. media.
And it‘s going to be playing, again, right up to July 4, so as Americans celebrate the Fourth, they‘ll have this on the back of their minds. I think that‘s certainly a possibility. There‘s no way to be sure.
But again, these folks are tremendously media savvy. They do understand how the U.S. media works, and they have sought in the past to manipulate the U.S. media, so I don‘t think we can put it past them.
CARLSON: What a shame he‘s still alive. Evan Kohlmann, thanks for joining us. We‘ll have more on this. Any developments in the case of the new audiotape from Osama bin Laden as they develop.
Now to our “If you can‘t beat them, mimic them” department. That appears to be the Democratic Party‘s latest electoral strategy, using religious language to win over traditionally Republican Christian voters.
Senator Barack Obama has called for his party to tailor its tailor to people of faith. But he also said, quote, “Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic expressions of faith. The politician who shows up at a black church around election time and claps, off rhythm, to the gospel choir.
But wait, isn‘t that most Democrats? Here to explain the confusion, the Reverend Al Sharpton is one of the organizers of the National Conference and Revival for Social Justice in the Black Church. The Rev. Al joins us tonight from New York City.
Rev., thanks for coming on.
REV. AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Thank you.
CARLSON: So why in the world would evangelical voters who aren‘t already Democrats—most black evangelicals are Democrats, of course. You‘re hoping to win over the ones who aren‘t, the white evangelicals. Why would they pay any attention to a party they perceive, the Democratic Party, as historically hostile to organized religion? Why won‘t they listen to you?
SHARPTON: One of the reasons that we, in National Action Network and others, have this two-day conference in Dallas, is because what evangelicals must do is embrace more than a narrow view of morality.
In the past the morality has been defined by the right as only dealing with issues of the bedroom: who you sleep with or who you feel is the certain way in terms of women‘s rights to choose. What about the moral issues of poverty, of war, of children being uneducated?
What we did in this conference in Dallas that had everybody there, several scores of ministers, Rev. Jesse Jackson and all, is say social justice must be the moral agenda in the midterm election, not just some narrow convenient right-wing kind of morality that doesn‘t address the moral issues of most people.
CARSON: The moral issue as defined by you, but again, you haven‘t answered my question, and you‘re telling evangelicals, hey, don‘t care so much about abortion. Why would they listen to you? The Democratic Party gets a ton of money from people who perform abortions. Why would they care what you think?
SHARPTON: No, what I‘m telling—what I‘m telling evangelicals—
I‘m not telling them evangelicals, as you define them, anything. I‘m telling people to come out of historically religious backgrounds that if you look at the movements of Martin Luther King, if you look at the movements of William Sloan Coughlin, if you look at the anti-war of Vietnam, many of them were church based.
What is being done today in the name of being church based does not embrace the real moral issues that are critical to the human and—condition. And the American problem.
It is just as immoral to deal with people hungry, to deal with a war that is unjustifiable in killing people, and that‘s what we are trying to do is get the church back on track rather than detour.
You‘re defining a group of Christians. You‘re not defining a Christianity that have been broadly and effectively dealing with issues of justice so long.
CARLSON: Let‘s get the most basic definition here. Exit polling from the 2004 election. We all agree, exit polling is accurate. It showed a bunch of things and here is one of them. The more likely you are to go to church, the more likely you are to vote Republican. People who go to church once a week, are much more likely to vote Republican than people who don‘t go at all. If you go once a month. If you go three times a week, you‘re almost certain to vote Republican.
This is not something I wish. These are the facts. Let me explain that. People who are self-identified religious people vote right-wing. Sorry, they do.
SHARPTON: Well, I don‘t know where those polls—Tucker, I don‘t know where those polls are. In the African-American community, overwhelmingly the amount of people that go to church do not vote right-ring or Republican.
CARLSON: That‘s right.
SHARPTON: Because most of the right wing Republicans, particularly the Christian right, are anti-a lot of the things that are in our interests, things like not having wars that are unjustifiable, things like abandoning people in New Orleans, things like affirmative action.
CARLSON: Yes, but here‘s what I don‘t get. Here‘s what I don‘t get, Rev.
SHARPTON: You must remember that much of the white churches, as you called them.
CARLSON: Yes, segregation. I know the—I know the history lesson. I know what America was like 40 years ago. I‘m talking about right now, and here‘s what I don‘t get.
SHARPTON: I‘m talking about right now. I‘m talking about when you have your evangelicals on, Tucker, you should ask your evangelical leaders where they are on affirmative action, where are they on voter rights. These are issues that are concerns...
CARLSON: OK. It‘s bigotry. Let me ask you a serious question here.
You know a lot of...
SHARPTON: That‘s not serious?
CARLSON: I want to know, how—no, that is serious, but affirmative action is obviously bigotry. It‘s all separate—a whole separate debate. How can you sit there in—how can you handle being patronized by Democrats?
SHARPTON: Bigotry—bigotry is...
CARLSON: How can you handle being patronized by the Democrats? That‘s my question. Hillary Clinton shows up in a black church right before election, starts quoting the Bible and stuff she clearly got the sheet, the talking points. It happens every four years, and black voters still vote Democrat. So patronizing it. Why do you put up with it?
SHARPTON: You cannot make one person synonymous. Blacks voted Democrat because Democrats were responsive to voter rights in other issues. Blacks are questioning Democrats.
CARLSON: Yes, that was four years ago.
SHARPTON: Blacks are questioning Democrats now because that commitment seems to go back and forth, which is one of things that we‘ve accomplished. But what is more hypocritical is for George Bush to show up at some of these mega-churches, after sending lawyers into the Supreme Court three years ago against affirmative action, after not using the bully pulpit of the White House last week to get the Voter Rights Act renewed, and acts as though to raise some bedroom issues is to deal with morality. That‘s hypocritical. So I think that we‘ve got assess both the hypocrisy of Democrats and Republicans that misuse the church.
CARLSON: Let‘s very quickly get to the first set of hypocrites that you just mentioned, the Democrats. I think this is a party—and I mean this sincerely—crying out for you, Al Sharpton, to run for president once again. You suggested recently that the party doesn‘t address the social issues in the way you want it to. You might run. Are you going to run? Will you announce it now?
SHARPTON: What I‘ve said is that there—if they don‘t address them that someone should run to raise these issues. I‘m not saying it would be me. It would certainly come from a coalition of all of us. I‘m clearly saying that we need to challenge the party, and we need to challenge them to raise the moral issues of hunger, of war, of bigotry.
And I‘m clearly saying—I don‘t think any of us ought to decide on a candidate until after the midterm elections. We need to go into the booth during the midterm and deal with real moral issues, not just bedroom issues.
CARLSON: Well, speaking of moral issues, every single journalist I know, atheists included, is on his knees every single night praying you‘ll run for president, and I‘m not ashamed to say I‘m one of them. Al Sharpton, hope you run.
SHARPTON: At least I got you praying. That‘s a step in the right direction.
CARLSON: OK. Thanks.
Still to come, Howard Dean accuses the Republican Party of being insensitive to illegal aliens. And Dean may be right for once. The question is, so what? More on that after the break.
Speaking of verbal trashing, former “View” co-host Star Jones continues to take it on the chin. We‘ll tell you who‘s ripping her now and who‘s set to replace her now skinny self. That‘s all when THE SITUATION comes back.
CARLSON: Still to come, the Sears Tower was in their sights, but which other American buildings were seven Miami terror suspects planning to attack? We‘ll give you the frightening details.
Plus, newly minted Viagra icon Rush Limbaugh is spotted kissing a nubile young actress. We‘ve got her name, if not her number when THE SITUATION continues.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
It seems there is no keeping Howard Dean out of the headlines. The head of the Democratic Party yesterday lashed out at Republicans, saying, quote, “They‘re trying to do to immigrants what they did to gay and lesbian Americans in 2004, and that is wrong. Immigrant bashing and scapegoating of any American is wrong, and we won‘t do it.”
But wait. Since when are illegal aliens Americans?
Here to tell us, Bernie Ward. He‘s a talk show host with KGO-AM in San Francisco, from where he joins us.
Bernie Ward, thanks for coming on.
BERNIE WARD, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, I think that Howard Dean is saying that the Democrats unlike the Republicans are not going to try and win elections on the back of poor people. They‘re not going to try and win elections on the back of a southern strategy, an overall strategy appealing to white voters, at the expense of brown voters.
They‘re not going to do what Pete Wilson did, which was run ads of brown people running across the border in order to get white people to vote for him in California, which as you know, damaged the Republicans tremendously in this state.
CARLSON: But, let me ask you—well, that‘s totally open to debate right there.
WARD: That‘s not open to debate.
CARLSON: I wonder if—I wonder—hold on. Demographics are the big difference, and as another native California, we can argue this off-air. But let me get to the central question here about illegal immigration.
It seems to me it‘s Democrats who are selling out the poor in this case. Illegal immigration depresses wages, thereby hurting the working poor. That‘s historically the constituency of the Democratic Party. Democrats haven‘t said boo about it because they hope to get new voters.
CARLSON: So the poor are hurt by illegal immigration more than anyone. The rich benefit from it; they get cheap servants.
WARD: Well, actually the studies will show that there is some marginal effect, as you talk about, right around the minimum wage, which of course, the Republicans refuse to raise.
But in the long run the transition of illegal immigrants into the society is an upward transition, and as they participate more in the society, their wages increase.
In fact, what‘s most interesting to me is that the Republicans are willing to bash illegal immigrants coming across the Mexican border while they push for more H1V visas to bring in more foreigners from India and other places into the high tech industry, and they don‘t seem to have any problem with that at all. So if it‘s a concern about wages.
CARLSON: No. Because the idea is America needs—America needs skilled workers.
WARD: NO, because it‘s about driving down wages. That‘s exactly what H1V visas do.
Let me ask you the basic political question here, then. If the Republicans are so mean, to be insensitive to this put upon group known as illegal aliens, I wonder why Democrats aren‘t going to stand up in this midterm election and defend illegal aliens, because you know as well as I they‘re not going to defend illegal aliens?
WARD: They‘re defending them against—excuse me, Tucker.
CARLSON: They‘re not going to say what you‘re saying because they‘re not going to get elected if they say it.
WARD: Tucker, excuse me. The Democrats have stood up and said guess what? Mr. Sensenbrenner, we don‘t agree with you. We don‘t think that you‘re a felon. More importantly, we don‘t think churches should be felons for assisting poor people. We don‘t think good Samaritans should be felons for assisting poor people. The Democrats have stood up and said, “You Republicans...”
CARLSON: What a marginal argument.
WARD: It‘s not a marginal argument. You entire House—Tucker, your entire House of Representatives, Republicans, said that anybody who helps out a poor immigrant, illegal immigrant or not is going to be a felon.
CARLSON: I‘m for legislation, Bernie.
WARD: Is going to be a felon. You tell me.
CARLSON: Here‘s what I enjoy—here‘s what I enjoy about that position. It‘s straightforward. This is what we believe. We‘re pushing for a law that reflects our belief.
WARD: You‘re right. You‘re right.
CARLSON: On the flip side, you‘ve not—slow down, you have not—call it what you want. They have the courage of their convictions in this one case. Democrats, by contrast, have not said we need open borders, because open borders bring in more illegal immigrants, who will turn into Democratic voters, which is of course the core strategy behind open borders, as you know. Why don‘t they have the courage to say that?
WARD: Tucker, if they‘re so good—the courage of their convictions, why did they try to blame Democrats for that vote? The Republicans came out with a national paper from Mehlman, saying that you should blame Democrats for the vote on the Sensenbrenner bill. They weren‘t standing for their convictions. They were running and covering as fast as they could. They‘re ducking.
CARLSON: Since you‘re a man—since you‘re a man who says exactly what he thinks, let me ask you one question. Let me ask you a question. Do you think, as Harry Reid said the other day on the floor of the United States Senate, that it was, quote, racist to designate English as our national language. Do you think that‘s racist?
CARLSON: To designate English as our national language? You are a
bigot, if you want to preserve our national language as our national
language? You‘re a racist if you want that. That‘s out of step with the
country. Come on. Wake up some
WARD: If, in fact, you had to preserve the language, maybe you wouldn‘t be a bigot, but since we know that that‘s a nonsense argument, the reason for pushing it is bigotry, unless you‘re telling me that you‘re willing to change the names of San Francisco and Los Angeles to something else, because last time I looked those are Spanish names, so...
CARLSON: Good luck. You‘re a talk show host. You don‘t have to run for office. You can say whatever you want. You find me one candidate who actually runs on the platform you just talked about...
WARD: Tucker—Tucker, show me anywhere...
CARLSON: I‘ll give you $1,000.
WARD: Show me anywhere where English is in trouble, Tucker. Anywhere in the world where English is being used less than it‘s being used now. So if it‘s not a problem, and then you make it a problem, it‘s bigotry.
CARLSON: All right. Texas, I would say.
WARD: Stop it. Come on. Nobody...
CARLSON: OK. Sadly, we‘re out of time. I‘m going to give you a homework assignment, as you go back to your talk show life, and that‘s find a candidate that‘s running for illegal immigration, and I‘ll buy you dinner.
WARD: And you find a Republican who will stand up for Sensenbrenner‘s bill.
CARLSON: I will.
WARD: And I‘ll buy you dinner for that.
CARLSON: I appreciate it.
And you probably remember this shocking video of looters tearing apart stores during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It turns out they‘ve been punished severely. We‘ll tell you more in just a minute.
Plus, what childish obsession did these two feared world leaders share? The answer lies in our SITUATION “Top Five”. Stay tuned.
CARLSON: In tonight‘s SITUATION “Crime Blotter”, prosecutors told a judge in Atlanta that a Miami terror cell was planning to blow up Chicago‘s Sears Tower and several FBI buildings as a prelude to overthrowing the U.S. government and replacing it with an Islamic regime. Good luck there.
Officials say they have videotape of the group‘s members swearing allegiance to Osama bin Laden and pledging to carry out the attack. The seven suspects appeared in court today and will be transferred to Miami to join his six co-defendants.
Well, relatives of a Connecticut man who disappeared on his honeymoon cruise are now suing Royal Caribbean for botching the investigation. George Smith‘s family says the cruise line intentionally portrayed his disappearance after a late night of drinking as an accident other than a possible murder. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.
And finally, he may be one of the most recognizable faces in the world, but apparently that did not stop a Jordanian salesman from trying to pass himself off as Brad Pitt. Dubai officials arrested the man for forgery using fake documents and trying to embezzle $22,000 from a money exchange house. The Jordanian man said he had no idea who Brad Pitt was but that he had found his picture on the Internet.
In Washington today, an unusual homage to the king from the prime minister of Japan. During a White House news conference, the prime minister once again displayed his world-renowned passion for Elvis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUNICHIRO KOIZUMI, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER: Thank you very much, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) people for “Love Me Tender”.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: “Love Me Tender.” In fact, the prime minister is so shook up over Elvis that he set aside time from his U.S. tour to visit Graceland in Memphis with President Bush. That‘s tomorrow.
The Japanese leader‘s obsession with the king might seem a little bit weird, but eccentric passions are far from unusual among politicians. In tonight‘s “Top Five”, we expose the closet hobbies of some major world leaders, past and present.
CARLSON (voice-over): Running a nation may be a full-time job, but let‘s face it. Every man needs a hobby. Here now, vivid proof that world leaders do not live by politics alone.
Torture can be such a high pressure occupation. Fortunately, Saddam Hussein found relaxation by taking long dips in the Tigris River. Ironically, you can say that life isn‘t exactly going swimmingly for Saddam these days.
He was once a Palestinian leader. He‘s a North Korean dictator, but the late Yasser Arafat and Kim Jong-Il did share at least one ideological point of view: cartoons aren‘t just for kids. Mr. Kim is nuts about Daffy Duck. Yasser was partial to the Road Runner. Must have been all that desert scenery.
There is no hiding French President Jacques Chirac‘s passion for overweight Japanese men wearing diapers. In fact, Chirac says if he hadn‘t been a politician, he would have loved to have been a sumo wrestler. Or, as we say in this country, vive la France.
Sure when he‘s cruising around the world in Air Force One or zipping around the beltway in a presidential motorcade, George W. Bush is leader of the free world, but put him on a mountain bike and he‘s king of the road. The president‘s passion for cycling has led to a few minor spills. But the Secret Service keeps tight tabs on photo ops of our fallen leader.
Before he began pitching socialism, Fidel Castro dreamed of playing in the big leagues. Legend has it that the Pittsburgh Pirates once considered him a prospect. Now, at the age of 79, Fidel still has some swat in his swing. His coordination, though, ain‘t what it used to be.
MEL BLANC, VOICE OF PORKY PIGS: Th-th-th-tha‘s all, folks.
CARLSON: Still to come, does hanging a picture of Jesus in school amount to religious persecution? You‘ll meet a man who says the portrait is so terrifying it must be removed immediately.
Plus, Rush Limbaugh caught in a public embrace with a young woman.
Who is she, and is she the inspiration for the Viagra prescription?
CARLSON: Still to come tonight, Katrina looters pay a very heavy price for stealing. Plus, a Chicago council member wants to force restaurants to serve more healthy food: health at the point of a gun.
We‘ll get to all that in just a minute, but first, here‘s what else is
going on in the world tonight.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Tonight‘s under-the-radar segment comes
to us from Harrison county West Virginia. That‘s where school officials
are being sued for hanging a portrait of Jesus outside of the principle‘s office. The painting has been in the school for at least 30 years. But my next guest says it‘s providing a, quote, “shoddy civics lesson to students.” Richard Katskee is the assistant legal director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He‘s lead counsel on this case. He joins us tonight from Washington. Mr. Katskee thanks for coming on.
RICHARD KATSKEE, ASSISTANT LEAGAL DIRECTOR, AMERICANS UNITED FOR
SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE: Thank you, Tucker. It‘s nice to be here.
CARLSON: I suppose what really bothers me about this, the suit that you are involved in, is that it is taking time and money away from a school that needs both time and money. That time and money could go toward educating students, and I wonder why you don‘t back off and let them educate the kids?
KATSKEE: Actually, I think it goes the opposite way. This portrait has caused controversy in the school community for over a decade, and it‘s interfering with the students‘ ability to learn and concentrate on learning English and math and history and all the things students are supposed to do. The reason for that, Tucker, is when students walk past the principal‘s office or walk into the principle‘s office or go to the cafeteria or the auditorium or anywhere else, and they pass the portrait of Jesus, and they know that the school district has put it there, they know that the school district is trying to send them a message about what the district thinks is really important. And that‘s not.
CARLSON: You‘ve got to be kidding. Wait, you‘re telling - wait, slow
down. You‘re telling me, you don‘t live in this county in Kentucky, and I
doubt you‘ve spent a lot of time there. I‘m sure, you weren‘t educated
there, but you‘re telling me that somehow your lawsuit against this
school district is somehow helping the kids learn when it‘s sapping time
and money from the school district? That defies common sense so
completely, I can‘t let that stand
KATSKEE: Well, listen. Parents and students have been complaining
about this situation for years. When we came into the case, some parents
asked us to come in and try to help them get the situation resolved so that
they did not have to worry that their kids were being pressured to accept
religious teachings that they don‘t necessarily agree with or that they
don‘t think the school district should be in the business of providing
CARLSON: Wait a second. As far as I know, there is no evidence that anybody was proselytizing, that anyone was forcing the doctrine or the tenets of Christianity on anybody. Schoolteachers weren‘t having altered calls during science class. It‘s a painting. It‘s a piece of art. And many pieces of art, as you know, have religious symbols in them.
KATSKEE: Of course, this is a devotional work, that‘s what it was painted as, and that‘s also why school officials put it there. And we know that because the school officials have told us that. The school officials have explained why they have done it, and they have said so in public board meetings, they have said so in the newspapers.
This is an intentional attempt to get religion into the schools, and to send a message about what the district cares about, that the district cares about the kids being Christian. And that sends a message to students who are not Christian, number one, that they are outsiders, that they are not equal to their classmates. That they are not respected in the same way that their classmates are, and it also sends a message to even the Christian students and their parents that the school is in the business of promoting religion and not so much in the business of teaching.
CARLSON: Come on. That is such a grotesque overstatement. You may not like the painting, not to get into art history but as you are aware, almost all western art before 1850 or so had religious subject matter. It was basically all religious art until relatively recently. So not every piece of art that has a religious topic is a part of an effort to proselytize. And again, you have showed no evidence whatsoever, that the school district is forcing Christianity as a religion on anybody. And if you could show it the Justice Department would be there in a second, as you know.
KATSKEE: Well, actually, those aren‘t the facts of this case. The facts of this case are: here is a portrait of Jesus—a reproduction of a portrait of Jesus, rather, that‘s hanging bolted to the wall outside of the school principal‘s office. There is nothing else there, the portrait stands alone, and it sends a message. It sends a message to students, and we know that because students have complained about it. It.
CARLSON: Really, so do you have evidence that a kid, say, failed French or got lower on the math section of the SAT because of this terrifying portrait of Jesus, a terrifying man. Do you have any evidence that someone got into Skidmore rather than Harvard because of this painting.
KATSKEE: What we have is evidence that students don‘t feel
comfortable, they don‘t feel equal to their classmates, and that their
parents also feel like the school is usurping their rights as parents to decide what religious instruction their children get. Now.
CARLSON: Let me ask you very quickly, a general question... Have you met a student in your life who felt comfortable about anything?
Students by definition feel uncomfortable. That‘s what it is to be a
student. You are uncomfortable at the science test, about your zits,
you‘re uncomfortable about whether you‘re going to get into college, about
whether a girl likes you, and I mean, you‘re just uncomfortable, so the
idea that a kid is uncomfortable with the painting is not grounds for a
KATSKEE: You know, I‘m glad you brought that up. Because it seems to
me that high school was difficult enough. It certainly was for me. It‘s
difficult enough to fit in with all of those things that you talked
about, that when you add to it, the school district saying that it‘s
telling kids what religion that the board of education prefers, and
making kids who don‘t share that religion feel like outsiders, it seems
to me that, with all those other things.
CARLSON: So what you need is a bunch of out-of-towners showing up and
filing lawsuits against your school. I bet that makes you feel more comfortable, doesn‘t it? You‘re making the kids feel a lot more comfortable?
KATSKEE: This isn‘t about outsiders coming in. This is about
people in the community. I am not doing this for myself or by myself. I
am representing parents in the school, I‘m representing people in the
school who have been complaining for years. I am representing a parent
whose daughter is starting at the high school in the fall, I‘m representing a parent who is also a substitute teacher and works in the school, both of whom said.
CARLSON: The bottom line is you are going to win, and you know that, I know that, everybody watching the show knows. You‘re going to win.
Trust me, you are going to win. I want to know five years from now if
you are going to go back to the school and find out how many of these
kids go into Harvard? Did their SAT numbers go up? Are they more comfortable, as you put it? I hope you do a follow-up study, and I bet you find, no, they‘re not more comfortable, and they‘re not going to Harvard.
You‘re still going to win, so I guess, congratulations on those
grounds. We are out of time. Mr. Katskee, thanks for coming on, and
giving us your side of things. I appreciate it
KATSKEE: Well, thank you.
CARLSON: We turn now to a man who has a portrait of himself hanging prominently outside his office. He is the outsider, that handsome devil. ESPN Radio and “HBO BOXING” host Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN AND HBO HOST: I am not facing a lawsuit for it. Tucker, more kids would get into Harvard if they had someone walking up and down the aisles with a cat-o‘-nine tails, you know. But that‘s not a reason to have the cat-o‘-nine tails there, right?
CARLSON: Well, who wants to go to Harvard anyway, do you know what I mean? Actually, I kind of did. I didn‘t get in. Anyway, it turns out, Max, that all the shoes, liquor and television sets looters helped themselves to in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina are not going to be free after all.
A Louisiana judge handed down maximum 15-year sentences today to the three men convicted of attempting to take liquor, wine, and beer from a grocery store six days after Katrina hit. A state law put in place last august sets the minimum sentence of three years for looting during a state of an emergency, the judge said he wanted to send a message that looting will not be tolerated. And a message he sent. As far as I am concerned you cannot put people in jail long enough for people taking advantage of one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit this country. I‘m not for sending people to jail. In most cases, I always argue against prosecutors, but in this case, 15 years is about right.
KELLERMAN: Tucker, 27 bottles of liquor and wine, 6 cases of beer,
and a case of wine coolers. I probably did something worse than that on
the way to the show tonight, and 15 years in prison? 15 years? Let me
tell you something, one of those convicted was hired by the store that
they looted from, that they stole from after the fact, is working for
that store after the fact. So, in other words, the store.
CARLSON: The store is facing a severe labor shortage , is what is really going on, as you know. But look, I agree with you in most cases: I am against mandatory minimums, I am against the three strikes law. This is very specific. This is a very specific case. This is New Orleans post-Katrina. We were there, as you know. The looters made that city unbearable for the people were left behind and who could not get out. They‘re the ones who turned a natural disaster into a human disaster. They‘re the ones who scared the hell out of everybody, and they are, in many cases, the reason people raped and killed. A lot of these guys, after drinking the booze, went off to go victimize other people. It was unacceptable, and it hurt people bad.
KELLERMAN: You know what, Tucker, you were there, I was not, and you told me what a nightmare it was down there, and I think really what is going on here is misplaced anger or displaced anger. What people are really upset about are the fiends who were raping children in the Superdome and places like that. Those people, by and large, were not caught. And so we want to catch someone, you know. You can‘t get bin Laden, or how about Saddam Hussein? Good enough? Ok, you can‘t get the real villains. How about this guy.
CARLSON: You‘re right. You are absolutely right. A lot of this is
displaced anger, on the other hand, the message that is sent is an
essential message, and it‘s this: when everything falls apart, when the
cops run away or join in the looting at Wal-Mart, you can‘t sink to the
level of animals, as people in New Orleans did in some cases. You
KELLERMAN: Stealing does not sink you to the level of animals. Raping children sinks you lower. You find one of those child rapists you cannot do enough bad stuff of them. Somebody who stole a case of beer, 15 years? That‘s a little bit much.
CARLSON: It is a lot. I‘m for it, though.
Well the health police have struck in all places, Max. Chicago. Yes, the home of the deep dish pizza and polish sausage is under siege tonight. A city alderman is proposing a ban on trans-fat oils in all Chicago restaurants. Trans-fatty acids have been linked to cholesterol levels and heart disease. Alderman Edward Burke says the ban would protect city residents from trans-fats‘ harmful effects. Mayor Richard Daley, meanwhile, calls the ban unnecessary and wondered, quote, “is the city council going to plan our menus?” Good question, Mayor Daley. The government can keep its hands off my kielbasa, as far as I‘m concerned.
Look, Max, first they try to control what you eat. If you allow the government to control what you eat, one of the very few things adults are allowed to decide for themselves in this country, you give them almost total control. Plus, let‘s be honest, trans-fats taste excellent. That‘s why they‘re there.
KELLERMAN: Well, in the first place, Burke admits that he‘s not so sure this is actually a good idea. He wants to start a public debate, and apparently, like right now, the public debate has started at least on a national level right here 11:40 eastern time, so I guess that‘s a good thing, right? People discussing their health and that‘s really the point of this whole thing.
CARLSON: Oh, he can hold a press conference, or get a sandwich
board and walk around the park at lunchtime denouncing trans-fats if he
wants, but this guy is an elected official. He ought not to be using our legal system, or the way that we pass laws as a way to make a statement about people‘s eating habits. I think the government can stay a way from my menu. It‘s nobody‘s business but mine.
KELLERMAN: Tucker, I agree with you, but, you know, the right will frequently use, and in fact I‘ve heard you use this argument for that guy who wanted to start the catholic town somewhere, the defense of things like that, like hanging a picture of Jesus outside a public school hallway outside the principle‘s office, the defense is usually community standards.
Can‘t local communities set their own standards? And I don‘t see why
that same defense cannot be used by the left here, even though I don‘t
agree with it in either case, and say look, community standards. Let‘s
at least let the people of Chicago, even through their representatives,
decide if in that community if they want to be more conscious about their health.
CARLSON: Maybe they should. But then all the sensible people are just going to get up and move to Wisconsin.
KELLERMAN: And that‘s the market forces argument for the community standards argument.
CARLSON: I guess that‘s right. Max Kellerman, have a great weekend.
KELLERMAN: You too.
CARLSON: Coming up tonight, as the ugly war of words between star Jones and Barbara Walters escalates, star contemplates her next move. Will she put her law degree back to work, or will she float up to infomercial heaven and if she does, what will she sell? We‘ll discuss it when we come back.
CARLSON: Welcome back. It‘s that time again. All week we solicit
your phone calls, and all week, you have a few drinks and you call us late
night. Tonight, the best messages you left all week. First up:
CALLER: Just because the New York Times released this
information, what about all of our classified machinery and everything
that we have in our defense that is classified? Should we all know
about that too?
CARLSON: Look, Josh, every year or so, the federal government
declassifies material that is secret, and it‘s usually material that was
classified sometime around the Crimean War. Or maybe even the War of
1812, the Spanish American War. The point is, they classify everything.
Everything is secret to the fed government. Why? For good reason? No,
because they have a right to know and you the public don‘t. That‘s their attitude. I am always in every way, except in the most extreme cases, on the side of knowing more. It‘s our right, it‘s our duty to be informed as citizens, and we should demand to know about how our government works.
CALLER: What is going on with these republicans and the flag burning issue. Don‘t they realize that people are angry, upset with the government, and they want to protest?
CARLSON: Of course they understand people are angry and upset with the government, but that‘s not a good reason to burn the American flag. I mean, leaving aside the debate about the amendment on flag desecration, the idea that you are mad at the government so you desecrate our flag? I am mad at the government everyday, my job is to be mad at the government. I come on this show every single night for an hour, and rant about the government and why it ought to be doing this and ought not to be doing that, but to burn the flag is to attack your country in the most basic way. It‘s disgusting. Not only is it wrong, it‘s repulsive. I can‘t imagine defending that. People say burning the flag, it‘s the highest expression of love for your country. What a crock. No it‘s not, it‘s an expression of hatred for your country. Like beating your kids is an expression of hatred for your kids. There is no way around it. Sorry.
CALLER: About Rush Limbaugh. It‘s not the Viagra that‘s the
problem. The problem is that he really does sort of think he is above
CARLSON: Give me a break. You just don‘t like Rush Limbaugh because you disagree with him. That‘s fine. I am not even defending Rush Limbaugh, but the guy‘s got a right to have Viagra. Since when is it a crime to have a bottle of Viagra with someone else‘s name on it. Who cares? You are not above the law. I mean, that‘s disgusting. And by the way, the next time some lefty gets caught doing something embarrassing, I will defend them against attacks from the right. Because I don‘t think you ought to attack people on those grounds. Ever.
CALLER: I am really surprised to see the media turn against Star
Jones. Even though she should have kept her promise and made the
announcement on Thursday that she was leaving the show, I believe Star
Jones will bounce back. And yes, Tucker, there are people out here who
actually like her.
CARLSON: You know, Rokisha, you are starting to win me over. I am
becoming a bit, just a tiny bit, of a Star Jones fan. But like a mustard
seed, that little bit of love for Star Jones could blossom into something
huge. I‘ll keep you posted. Keep the calls coming. The number: 1-887-
TCARLSON, that‘s 877-822-7576. Leave your messages and we‘ll play the
best ones. No drunk calls, please. Still ahead on the situation, is Bill
Gates sleeping with Lindsay Lohan? Probably not. But the unlikely pair
is being linked in the bedroom. We‘ll explain when we come right back.
CARLSON: Time now for “The Cutting Room Floor.” Willie Geist
is back at Situation World Headquarters. Willie, anything going on at work today?
WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER: Big doings, Tucker, you missed it, you should have been here. THE SITUATION is on the move, starting Monday, July 10, we‘re on at 4pm and 6pm eastern time. Every day. That starts July 10, a week from this coming Monday.
CARLSON: This is the first I‘ve heard, but that is great news, Willie.
GEIST: What does that mean for you, Tucker? That means you have to start getting up before noon and you can‘t go to the dog track in the afternoons anymore, I‘m sorry.
CARLSON: Boy, that‘s kind of a heartbreaker, but I know our viewers will be happy that they don‘t have to stay up late.
GEIST: 4 and 5, July 10.
CARLSON: 4 and 6, see you there.
Well, as we were just discussing, Rush Limbaugh was caught in an airport on Monday with a bottle of Viagra that was not prescribed to him. The first question on many people‘s minds was, who is Rush inflicting his Viagra on? Well, some were speculating that it could be this woman:
She is Mary Lynn Rajskub, she‘s an actress on the show 24 on Fox.
Suspicions were raised when Limbaugh laid his full, mouth-to mouth kiss on
the 35 year-old Rajskub at a Heritage Foundation event in Washington the
GEIST: Wow. If you are going to be with Rush, as a woman,
it‘s a question of how much are you personally willing to compromise to
be with a rich and powerful man, because when Rush Limbaugh is breathing heavily in your face, holding a bottle of Viagra, that is the moment of truth of truth. What is important to you? And I hope she makes the right decision.
CARLSON: You know what that is, Willie? That‘s called love.
GEIST: Oh, is that what that is?
CARLSON: If you are looking for a Better night‘s sleep, you might want to try getting rich. A new University of Chicago study found that the wealthier you are, the more sleep you are likely to get. That would make Bill Gates the Rumplestiltskin of snoozers. Deep pocketed celebrities like Donald Trump and Lindsay Lohan are getting good shut-eye, too. Researchers say people with less money, though, have more worries and live in noisier, less-comfortable places.
GEIST: Tucker, Lindsay Lohan doesn‘t sleep a lot, but that has nothing to do with the wealth. That‘s an entirely different situation. But I think, if you are Bill Gates, having $50 billion in the bank must be like a sweet lullaby every night. It must be really easy to sleep if you are bill gates, wouldn‘t you think?
CARLSON: I wouldn‘t think. Bill Gates looks like the kind of guy that gets up in the middle of the night to play D&D. You know? He seems uncomfortable, unhappy.
GEIST: But a really cool, expensive D&D.
CARLSON: Good point.
Well, no, this is not the ABC cafeteria staff preparing Star Jones‘s farewell cake, and not it‘s not Rosie O‘Donnell‘s “Welcome to the View” snack, either. This is the 2,000 pound creation of Eli‘s Cheesecake in Chicago. It‘s a three tiered chocolate chip cheesecake, decorated with baseball-sized cherries. Eli‘s is using 1300 pounds of cream cheese, 300 pounds of sugar, 150 dozen eggs, to celebrate the store‘s anniversary.
GEIST: Tucker, I wonder how that trans-fat Chicago alderman feels about the 2,000 pound cake. Look at that. Lay off the kielbasa and go after these people. That‘s the killer right there.
CARLSON: That really is. That‘s grotesque, even for my point of view. Speak of grotesque, Willy, and I want you to buckle your seatbelt on this. You are not going to believe this next story, and we can vouch for its truthfulness.
A former judge was convicted in Oklahoma tonight, on charges he used a penis pump, whatever that is, on himself under the bench, while he listed to arguments in court. We‘ll let you absorb that for a second.
The court reporter testified she saw the judge, Donald Thompson, using the pump, and a former juror said he remembers hearing pumping sounds during a trial. Thompson said the device was just a gag and he never actually used it on himself. The jury didn‘t buy it.
GEIST: That‘s a funny gag to use in court, isn‘t it?
This just came down, actually, he got four counts of indecent exposure, one year in prison each. He is going to jail for four years. Do you think it was worth it, for a little penis pump? By the way, there actually are penis pumps. I thought that was like an Austin Powers joke. What do you do with one of those?
CARLSON: Willie Geist, from MSNBC Headquarters. Have a great weekend, Willie.
GEIST: See you Monday.
CARLSON: See you at 6. That‘s THE SITUATION tonight from the Bethel Inn in Bethel, Maine. Thank you for watching.
Again, we‘ll see you Monday at a special holiday time: 6pm ET. That‘s 6pm, and again at our normal time, 11pm ET for Wednesday, if you can keep that all straight. Have a great.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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