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'The Situation with Tucker Carlson' for July 10

Read the transcript to the Monday show

Guests: Mike Papantonio, Jesse Diaz, Mark Potok

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Welcome, I‘m Tucker Carlson, taking over the time slot recently vacated by Dan Abrams, his program about justice.  Well this is a program about injustice, on the left, on the right, anywhere we find it.  No secrets agendas on this show.  I‘ll tell you exactly what I think no matter what, always. 

Well coming up, many on the left are crowing about the end of so-called cowboy diplomacy, but who says it‘s bad?  Who says putting America first is such a poor foreign policy idea?  I‘ll tell you why it‘s in fact Bush at his best.

Also ahead, one interest group claims white supremacists are infiltrating the U.S. Army.  There are extremists in the military, but they‘re not neo-Nazis.  We‘ll tell you who they are.

And France goes down to ignominious defeat in the World Cup yesterday, but that doesn‘t even crack the top five reasons for France to be ashamed of itself.  That story is ahead. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Which missteps—mistakes of your own you most regret. 

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Saying bringing it on.  Kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people.  That I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner. 


CARLSON:  That was our president in May of this year talking about toning down his war of words with the rest of the world.  Now “TIME” magazine has a cover story this week blasting the White House for cowboy diplomacy.  They say it like it‘s a bad thing. 

Actually, President Bush‘s bravado is the best thing about him, one of the few redeeming things about him, in fact telling the truth is exactly what‘s needed around the world, particularly in places like Iran and North Korea.  My next guest does not agree. 

Mike Papantonio was the co-host of “Ring of Fire” on Air America radio, Saturday at 5:00 p.m.  He joins us from Pensacola, Florida tonight.  Mike, thanks for coming on.


CARLSON:  What‘s wrong with an American president saying that his enemies are bad?  Bush, for instance, saying that Osama bin Laden ought to be caught dead or alive.  Who disagrees with that?

PAPANTONIO:  Well I mean this tough guy policy, Tucker, has cost us 2,000 -- what‘s approaching 2,600 American lives, all for the sake of politics.  It was great when he could get on a carrier and he could act like a tough guy, say mission accomplished or bring it on.  But here‘s the problem, Tucker.  Right now you have North Korea launching real missiles at us.  It‘s not phonied up weapons of mass destruction, real missiles.  You have Iraq in an absolute chaotic display, an abyss...

CARLSON:  Right.  OK, so I get it, Mike.  The world is a tough place and the war in Iraq is bad...


CARLSON:  ... but why does that make tough rhetoric unacceptable?  The war in Iraq isn‘t the result of Bush‘s big words; it‘s the result of a bad policy...

PAPANTONIO:  No, no...

CARLSON:  ... but the idea that the United States can go it alone when it has to, that‘s not in itself a bad idea. 

PAPANTONIO:  Well, it is.  Look, we can‘t go it alone.  This is not Teddy Roosevelt we‘re talking about.  Karl Rove is trying to create in Bush this new Teddy Roosevelt image.  The truth is most Americans have an image of Bush as slim pickings riding a nuclear missile to the heart and center of America, like a weird scene out of “Dr. Strangelove”.  That‘s of the image they have of Bush. 

CARLSON:  OK, well look...

PAPANTONIO:  You know what...

CARLSON:  ... Bush may be an imperfect vessel for this idea.  But let‘s just consider the idea for a second.  I‘m not even here to defend Bush, but the idea that Bush has is the same one that Teddy Roosevelt has and that is that America is morally superior to the rest of the world.  Now the left hates that idea.


PAPANTONIO:  Well, first of all...

CARLSON:  And that‘s what‘s going on here, as you know.

PAPANTONIO:  First of all, Tucker, you have to have a world community in times that are—like they are right now.  I mean we have the Israelis and the Palestinians getting ready to blow up in the Middle East again.  You‘ve got Iran thumbing their nose at President Bush because they know that President Bush does not have any support in the world community.  And you have a U.N.—here‘s where it really gets ugly, Tucker—you have a United Nations that could care less about helping the shrub and helping Dick Cheney...

CARLSON:  Wait a sec.  Wait, wait...

PAPANTONIO:  ... and helping Rumsfeld out of the mess that they‘ve got the world in right now.

CARLSON:  Who‘s the world‘s community?  Are you talking about the United Nations?  Cuba...


CARLSON:  ... is on the United Nations Human Rights Commission, right? 

I mean...

PAPANTONIO:  Well here‘s—no, no, no...

CARLSON:  ... the United Nations...

PAPANTONIO:  Listen...

CARLSON:  I want you—wait.  Hold on.  I want you to point...

PAPANTONIO:  OK, go ahead.

CARLSON:  ... to one brewing conflict the United Nations has kept under control.  Would it be the one you just pointed to in Palestine?  I don‘t think so.

PAPANTONIO:  Can I tell you something?  Tucker...


PAPANTONIO:  ... can I tell you something? 


PAPANTONIO:  Had we—had Bush had enough sense not to be a tough guy, like Karl Rove was telling him to be, had Bush had enough sense to do what the United Nations told him, we wouldn‘t have the trouble we‘re having in Iraq.  We wouldn‘t have lost 2,600 American soldiers.  We wouldn‘t be almost $1 trillion in debt to a war that‘s going to be—that‘s going to cost us $1 trillion.  We wouldn‘t have the problem with North Korea, because the U.N. told us to sit down with North Korea almost three years ago. 


PAPANTONIO:  They told us to sit down with Iran three years ago. 


PAPANTONIO:  But tough guy...

CARLSON:  One gross distortion at a time here, Mike. 

PAPANTONIO:  No, it‘s not a gross distortion, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  No, no, no...

PAPANTONIO:  You know it‘s not. 

CARLSON:  Hold on.  I mean.  The idea that...

PAPANTONIO:  Listen, the U.N...


CARLSON:  Answer this question.  You brought up the United Nations and North Korea. 


CARLSON:  How in what way specifically is the United Nations going to reign in North Korea at this point?  We need the U.N. in North Korea. 


CARLSON:  We have a country that‘s completely out of control...

PAPANTONIO:  Here‘s the problem...

CARLSON:  It‘s a rogue nation with nuclear weapons. 


CARLSON:  What‘s the United Nations going to do?  Nothing, you know.


PAPANTONIO:  Listen, you don‘t wait until the last minute.  You don‘t get on TV and say bring it on to a country like North Korea.  You sit down with North Korea, like the United Nations told George Bush to do years ago, and instead, he thinks that he‘s infallible.  He believes he‘s—he honestly believes he‘s above the international fray.

CARLSON:  You know what?  This is why people don‘t—with all due respect, this is why people don‘t vote for Democrats for president. 


PAPANTONIO:  Oh, come on.

CARLSON:  I‘m serious. 


PAPANTONIO:  Let me tell you something.  If we had...

CARLSON:  But when it comes to foreign policy...


CARLSON:  ... and I want you to counter it.  People believe that if you are pointing to the U.N. as the body that‘s going to straighten out the world...


CARLSON:  ... you‘re not a very serious person when it comes to foreign policy...

PAPANTONIO:  No, no...

CARLSON:  ... and they‘re right.


PAPANTONIO:  Do you know why there‘s some attraction to progressives on this issue?  Because people are afraid of your president, Tucker.  They‘re afraid of Karl Rove.  They‘re afraid of Dick Cheney. 


PAPANTONIO:  They—listen.  Let me just tell you this.  Here‘s what they think of him.  He‘s another Barry Goldwater.  You realize when Lyndon Johnson ran the campaign against Barry Goldwater, dropping a nuclear missile in the heartland...

CARLSON:  No, actually that was five years before I was...

PAPANTONIO:  ... of America, it scared the hell out of...


PAPANTONIO:  Wait a second.  Wait a second.  Wait just a second, Tucker.  It scared Americans.  Americans are afraid of this president.  They are terrified...

CARLSON:  You may have an excellent point. 

PAPANTONIO:  ... that this guy...


CARLSON:  I‘ll concede...


CARLSON:  You don‘t need to go on, because I agree with you.  Look, I‘ll just say you‘re absolutely—Mike, you are right...


CARLSON:  ... but you are making two arguments simultaneously that contradict one another, so I want you to pick one.  You just said a minute ago...

PAPANTONIO:  OK, let me...

CARLSON:  ... that we invaded Iraq...


CARLSON:  Let me recount what you said.  You said we invaded Iraq...

PAPANTONIO:  Go ahead.

CARLSON:  ... because Karl Rove had some diabolical plan to bump the president‘s approval rating by invading Iraq.  You are saying at the same time that invading Iraq was a public relations disaster, so...

PAPANTONIO:  It was, yes.

CARLSON:  ... both can‘t be true.  I mean it can‘t have been done for political reasons...

PAPANTONIO:  Well no, it can‘t...


PAPANTONIO:  You know why? 


PAPANTONIO:  You know why it‘s true, Tucker?  It‘s true because Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and Rumsfeld were so intent on getting political capital out of the lives of our American soldiers that they didn‘t listen to the generals who said this is a disaster.  Don‘t do it.  They didn‘t listen to the CIA who said don‘t do it.  And that comes from the political tough guy...

CARLSON:  OK.  I think...

PAPANTONIO:  ... this whole political tough guy...

CARLSON:  I think your analysis is totally wrong, but I agree with you that the war was a mistake...


CARLSON:  ... but let me—I just want to get—pin you down on one quick thing here. 

PAPANTONIO:  OK, go ahead.

CARLSON:  You keep pointing to the world community, our friends and allies...


CARLSON:  ... the United Nations out there...


CARLSON:  ... because like many on the left...


CARLSON:  ... you find it embarrassing when somebody says the United States is good enough...


CARLSON:  I want to know...


CARLSON:  I want to know who those friends and allies are. 


CARLSON:  I want to know who specifically is going to help us with North Korea. 


PAPANTONIO:  I have a child that I don‘t want to raise in an environment that this president has created...


PAPANTONIO:  ... for all of us in America. 

CARLSON:  You hate Bush, I get that, but tell me who is going to help us with North Korea.

PAPANTONIO:  No, no, wait, wait, wait.  It‘s beyond that.  Wait.  Let me just...


PAPANTONIO:  Can I finish here just a second? 

CARLSON:  Please.

PAPANTONIO:  Here‘s a president that sends Colin Powell to the United Nations to lie about weapons of mass destruction.


PAPANTONIO:  He then pulls us out of an international anti-ballistic missile treaty, because he wants to be mister tough guy.  He then trashes...

CARLSON:  Mike, I‘m sorry. 


CARLSON:  I would love to hear the rest of your litany of sins of George W. Bush, we‘re all familiar with, and I agree with some of them, but that doesn‘t answer the important question, and that is North Korea.  It‘s brewing, they‘ve got weapons.  They may use them against us. 


CARLSON:  Who is going to help us in the world?  Just quickly...

PAPANTONIO:  Well I‘ve got to tell...

CARLSON:  ... who is going to help us specifically, China, Japan? 

Tell me.

PAPANTONIO:  I‘ve got to tell you this.  Do you know what‘s happening, Carl—you know what‘s happening on this, Tucker?  The world is not even counting on George Bush right now.  The world is counting on trying to solve North Korea by itself because they know that George Bush and this administration are a bunch of war-crazed bumpkins who have shown that they don‘t have the ability...

CARLSON:  See, Mike...

PAPANTONIO:  ... for world leadership.

CARLSON:  ... it‘s always America‘s fault. 

PAPANTONIO:  I mean that‘s the truth.

CARLSON:  Isn‘t it?  Look, you‘re good at the beating up the Bush thing...

PAPANTONIO:  No, it‘s George Bush‘s fault...

CARLSON:  ... and you‘re not entirely wrong...


CARLSON:  You‘re not entirely wrong, but when it comes to like what should we do next, you like the Democratic Party, no clue, but I appreciate you coming on anyway.  Thank you, Mike. 


CARLSON:  I appreciate it.

Still to come, Larry King intrepid reporter.  Why the talk show host was on the scene of a building collapse in New York City this morning.  It‘s all because the 72-year-old legend just got his very first cell phone. 

Our “”Beat The Press”” segment ahead. 

And one Texas hostel has the right idea, sending a bill to Mexico to cover the cost of health care for illegal immigrants.  That‘s coming up, too.  Stay tuned.


CARLSON:  Still to come, more rumblings about Rudy Giuliani.  Is America‘s mayor on the road to the White House?  And another hard hitting interview from Anderson Cooper.  This time he invites Dave Chappelle over to his house.  Stay tuned.


CARLSON:  Back to our show.  It‘s time for Mexico to pay up.  That‘s what one Texas hospital is saying.  Dallas‘s Parkland Hospital lost $27 million last year by paying to treat poor people from outside that city.  Now the hospital wants to bill those patients‘ hometowns and home countries.  Those include Mexico. 

The plan is not going over well south of the border.  One Mexican diplomat called it—quote—“an act of discrimination”.  My next guest says—quote—“Why punish Mexico?  Mexico should not be scapegoat.”  Jesse Diaz is the president of the Dallas chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens or LULAC.  He joins us tonight from Dallas.  Jesse, thanks for coming on. 


Thank you for having me. 

CARLSON:  So we know that a lot of the patients who are being treated at this hospital in Dallas are illegal aliens from Mexico.  We know that the government of Mexico has encouraged it‘s citizens to come here legally or illegally to seek work and to use government services because it saves them money, so why shouldn‘t the Mexican government which is benefiting greatly from illegal immigration, that‘s why they support it, pay for some of the costs that we as Americans incur from it?

DIAZ:  That‘s a good question.  Number one, we don‘t know if they‘re illegal.  Parkland Hospital is not allowed to ask you what country you‘re from.  Now, I‘m a fourth generation Mexican American.  If I go to Parkland, and I‘m admitted there, they don‘t know if I‘m here legally or illegally.  And so when I ask a person—when I ask, how do you know if these people are here legally or illegally, I was told that we have our ways, but they could not develop it—they could not tell me how they know if they‘re here legally or illegally.

CARLSON:  Yes, I would like to see that—I am familiar with what you just said.  I would like to see that challenged in court.  It‘s pretty outrageous that a hospital which winds up charging the public for the care of indigent patients can‘t even ask if those patients are from this country or not.  That seems to be ripe for a Supreme Court challenge, a new one in any case.

But the point is—remains the same.  We know for a fact that the vast majority of women, for instance, who give birth at Parkland Hospital, are foreigners.  They‘re not here—they‘re not American citizens and most of them are illegal.  There are about 11,000 babies born to immigrant mothers at Parkland every year.  We got those numbers from the CEO of the hospital, whom we called today, and he says he is certain of those numbers.

So look, we know it‘s happening.  We know it‘s happening in huge numbers.  The evidence is there and you know it too.  Why not bill Mexico?  It‘s an obvious question.  What‘s the answer? 

DIAZ:  I agree, but not just Mexico.  If we‘re going to bill somebody, let‘s bill all of the countries, but I think what‘s important for your audience to know is only 55 percent of the illegals are of Mexican descent.  We never talked about the other 45 percent.

CARLSON:  Not in Dallas, Texas.


CARLSON:  Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.  Hold on.  Not in Dallas, Texas.


CARLSON:  Those may be—nationally those stats may be correct.  You may have—you may be counting Hispanic immigrants from Puerto Rico or Cuba, but those two countries make up less than one percent of the Hispanic immigrants in Dallas, Texas.  It‘s overwhelmingly for Mexico and the rest are overwhelmingly from Central America who cross the border over from Mexico.  In other words, they‘re all coming from the country of Mexico which wants them to come here because it benefits, so this we know and this you know too, so let‘s get real. 

DIAZ:  OK.  But—OK, when a person is admitted at Parkland, we don‘t know if they‘re from El Salvador, from Honduras, or from Mexico, number one.  Number two, you have to remember we have a lot of people here who are resident aliens and they speak broken English, and some of them don‘t speak very good English at all, even though they‘re resident aliens.  Now, they have good Social Security.  They‘re paying income taxes, so you have no way of knowing if these people are illegal and that‘s the point that I‘m trying to make...

CARLSON:  Some of them are paying—whoa, whoa, what do you mean they‘re paying income tax?  Some of them are paying income taxes.  A lot of them aren‘t paying income taxes.  A lot of people including a lot of people I know personally and I‘m sure that you know personally don‘t withhold taxes for their illegal employees because they don‘t have to.  That‘s a total crock and you know it. 

They‘re not paying taxes a lot of these people.  But look, here‘s the point.  Mexico is benefiting from something that‘s hurting us.  Here are some numbers, you know them.  Every year $2.5 billion in Medicaid goes to illegal immigrants; 2.2 in medical treatment, that‘s billion dollars by the way; 1.9 billion in food assistance; 1.6 billion in prison and legal costs.  This is a lot of dough coming from our pockets, Mexico is benefiting, why the hell aren‘t they contributing?

DIAZ:  OK, let‘s talk about that.  These people are contributing to the economy of the United States.  If you were to round them all up, and send them back to their country, just think what it would do to the economy, especially here in Dallas and in California.  But again, these people, they‘re not crossing the border, receiving free services, and then going back to Mexico.  These people are staying here.  They‘re buying houses...

CARLSON:  Well some of them are...

DIAZ:  ... and they‘re buying groceries.

CARLSON:  Some of them are, some of them aren‘t.  But look, why are you defending the government of Mexico?  I‘m not even attacking illegal aliens now.  I‘m merely saying the government of Mexico has a political motive to send its unwanted citizens here.  We pay for that.  They don‘t.  Why shouldn‘t the government of Mexico chip in?  I don‘t get it at all.

DIAZ:  I have no problem with that, but how are you going to document it?  If I go to your house and I work and I give you have a bill for $5,000 of work that I did at your house, you‘re going to ask me for documentation.

CARLSON:  No.  No.  No...

DIAZ:  How can you bill Mexico...

CARLSON:  No.  No.  I—here‘s -- (INAUDIBLE) here‘s a radical—I want you to buckle your seat belt in fact, Jesse, because this is so over the top, so radical, so revolutionary I can get pulled off the air by the FCC for even suggesting it.  Here‘s what it is.

Next time someone comes to a hospital for treatment of any kind, to have a baby, have a hernia fixed, no matter what, if he can‘t pay, he can be asked, are you a citizen of this country, that‘s it.  They treat him anyway, but then we know check the—hey, another illegal getting treated at our expense.  Let‘s bill Mexico.  Put it on their tab.

That‘s my solution.  And I know you agree with me, so I‘m not even going to ask you.  Jesse, thanks for coming on. 

DIAZ:  Sure.  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Thanks.  Still to come, charges that the U.S. military may be harboring the next Timothy McVeigh.  Hold on.  There‘s more to that story.  I‘ll tell you what‘s really going on in just a minute. 

And why conservative Utah Senator Orrin Hatch helped Michael Jackson‘s music producer beat a cocaine wrap in Dubai.  You couldn‘t make that up.  It‘s real though.  We‘ll be right back.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Today we introduce a segment we‘re calling “Beat The Press”.  It‘s a look at how well and how not so well we in the media cover the news.  Even if you‘ve only seen a few minutes of television today, you probably heard about the explosion and subsequent building collapse on Manhattan‘s upper east side.  At least 15 people were injured and police are investigating the possibility it was all a failed suicide attempt of some kind.  It was a big story, but was it really big enough to rate screaming alert banners eight times in less than an hour?  We counted and that‘s how many times the FOX News channel alerted the story right after it broke.  Here‘s how their coverage played out. 



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And this FOX News alert.  Firefighters in New York City have their hands...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And this FOX News alert.  There are reports...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Keep an eye in this FOX News alert on what‘s going on on Manhattan‘s upper east side where a...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A FOX News alert, and firefighters...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A FOX News alert.  And what is sounding more and more like...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A FOX News alert and keeping an eye on...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A FOX News alert.  And an absolutely terrifying incident...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Breaking news now on FOX.  A thunderous explosion rocks the upper east side of Manhattan. 


CARLSON:  Eight times in one hour.  Even by the low or maybe high standards of cable news and we all do it, that is, I think it‘s fair to say, excessive.  One alert every 7.5 minutes.  My question it‘s not about the network.  They‘re trying to get all the viewers they can, but about the viewers, viewers who watch for more than 7.5 minutes say do they notice that though nothing has happened in the story, we‘ve learned nothing new, the alerts keep coming and does it bother them?  Apparently not.

Well that building collapse was such a big story for CNN, that cable network brought out its biggest of its big guns.  No, not Anderson Cooper.  We‘ll get to him in just a minute.  Talk show host Larry King made his debut as a shoe leather reporter, phoning in his eyewitness account from the scene.  There he is.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It must have been the newsperson in you, Larry, we hear the explosion, you think it‘s terrorism, and you head out of your hotel on to the streets.

LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR:  That was the old—I got on my cell phone, I‘ve only had a cell phone for a little over a year, I don‘t like cell phones, because they go a bad a lot...


KING:  ... but CNN made me have one, and so they benefited from it today because I know I was the first.  In fact, all the local channels, I did a lot of reports for the local channels here in New York, because I knew I had to be the first one. 


KING:  (INAUDIBLE) and I went down on the streets, so I became a reporter and an on the scene person. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You see that?  There just might be a reporting career in there for you. 

KING:  At my age, Dana, it will be a new start. 


CARLSON:  You know everyone beats up on Larry King, people say mean things about Larry King, especially at CNN, they do, I can tell you firsthand, but the truth is Larry King actually did a pretty good job this morning and unique among anybody I‘ve ever met on television, he‘s willing to be self-deprecating.  I never had a cell phone until last year he said.  Good for Larry King. 

Notice when he got mildly patronized in the response from the correspondent.  That‘s a shame.  Well now to one of CNN‘s actual correspondents, the silver haired Anderson Cooper.  Cooper is well known for reporting from a place he calls the edge.  Where exactly is the edge, you ask?  Well it‘s not Rwanda or Baghdad or Darfur. 

No, this week the edge is somewhere in the vicinity of comedian Dave Chappelle.  In this clip Cooper is asking some very edgy questions about three never before seen episodes of Chappelle‘s “Comedy Central” show and in the process, making one very edgy offer. 


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR:  Do you want your fans—do you wish your fans would not watch that vis-a-vis so-called last episodes? 


COOPER:  Are you going to watch them? 

CHAPPELLE:  No.  Yes probably at some point in my life...

COOPER:  Right.

CHAPPELLE:  ... I will watch them, but...

COOPER:  Not now. 

CHAPPELLE:  Actually, I don‘t know.  I don‘t know the answer to that question.  Yes, I‘ll watch them.  Shoot, you know...

COOPER:  You can come over to my house...

CHAPPELLE:  I‘m not going to lie.  Yes, I‘m going to watch...


CARLSON:  Maybe you could watch at my house.  Well here‘s Anderson Cooper talking to a reporter at some point during the endless self-promotional campaign of the last two years about what he does for a living.  Quote—“To me, there is value in bearing witness to what is happening to people who are living their lives with great dignity in the face of horror.”  Here‘s what he said after Hurricane Katrina. 

Quote—“This is life and death.  This is not some blow-dried pundit standing outraged for some ratings, which is often what cable news boils down to.”  Or Dave Chappelle interviews, in which the correspondent invites Dave Chappelle back to his house to look at the lost episodes of Dave Chappelle‘s “Comedy Central” show.  I mean here‘s the point.

There‘s nothing wrong with interviewing Dave Chappelle.  There‘s nothing wrong with being the modern reincarnation of you know some hard bitten news man of the ‘40‘s, right, Ed Murrow, but it‘s impossible to be both at the same time.  So you‘re either Ed Murrow or you‘re Pat O‘Brien from “The Insider”.  Pick one. 

Still to come, are America‘s CEOs killing this country?  Enron‘s Ken Lay died before being sentenced, but some say executives like him are what is wrong with the nation. 

And what‘s wrong with France, speaking of nations?  Two names, Zinedine Zidane and Jerry Lewis, more reasons for France to hang her head in shame as if she needed more.  That‘s all coming up. 


CARLSON:  Still to come, is the U.S. Army crawling with neo-Nazis?  That‘s the claim.  Plus, Senator Orrin Hatch bails out Madonna‘s music producer after he‘s caught with cocaine in Dubai.  Details in just a minute, but right now here‘s a look at your headlines.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for a quick look at the people and stories making news today.  Rudy Giuliani is running for president.  Columnist Bob Novak says close friends of Giuliani told him the former New York City mayor will seek the Republican nomination in 2008.  Giuliani is popular with everyone, almost, but he‘s a big liberal on abortion, gay marriage and gun control.  In fact, if you want to get right down to it, and what the hell, why don‘t we, he‘s more liberal than Howard Dean, at least Dean is against gun control by and large. 

Not an attack, merely an observation.  The question is, can you win a Republican primary if your social positions are to the left of the head of the Democratic Party?  Answer, maybe.  Deeper answer, if so, what does it mean if you‘re a Republican anymore?  I don‘t know.  I give up at that point. 

Well, Ken Lay‘s death has put money grubbing CEOs back in the news tonight.  Many people are wondering what they do to deserve the absurd amount of money they make.  Chief executives of major public companies now make 180 times more than the average line worker at their companies.  And as people are laid off and pensions frozen at companies like G.M., the suits are getting richer than ever. 

The question is why and why the complicit boards of trustees that allow this.  The onus it seems to me ought to be on CEOs to explain why as foreign countries—companies are outpacing our own, they‘re worth it.  Why should an American CEO make $100 million a year, especially if his company makes a product he didn‘t invent himself.  Good question, hard to justify.  I‘d like to see them justify it, soon.

Well noted hip-hop enthusiast Orrin Hatch who also happens to be a Republican senator from the state of Utah, helped free an R&B music producer who was being held in a Dubai prison on drug charges.  Hatch used his hookups in the United Arab Emirates to secure the release of Dallas Austin.  He‘s a Grammy winning producer, who‘s worked with Madonna and Michael Jackson. 

Austin was arrested in May for carrying a little over a gram of cocaine in the Dubai airport.  Good for Orrin Hatch.  You don‘t have to be for drugs or drug legalization to see how bad it can be for Americans busted abroad.  They‘re often treated so unfairly, often on trumped up charges.  At that point, I don‘t care.  I don‘t care what you did if you‘re an American rotting in a prison in an Arab country in the Gulf, I want to do everything we can do to get you home.  Good for Orrin Hatch.

Well, how much do you want to bet Katie Couric is a success at CBS?  No, seriously, how much do you want to bet?  The gambling Web site is inviting betters to lay money on Couric‘s chances of drawing more than 8.4 million viewers to her first evening news broadcast.  That‘s on September 5.  That‘s the numbers she drew on the “Today” show finale.

The numbers are actually at least in the betting so far looking pretty good for Katie Couric and not surprisingly, but it can‘t come a moment too soon.  I have a graph for you.  I was going to put it up on the screen but it‘s too depressing.  Those of you at home can see though straight down, viewer ship of the network news over the last 25 years, a well known trend, it‘s not getting better.  If Katie Couric makes it better, makes people interested in news, I‘m for Katie Couric and who knows, she might.

Well, is the United States military becoming a training ground for neo-Nazi and other extremist groups?  An organization called the Southern Poverty Law Center says oh, yes.  That group claims white supremacists are taking advantage of relaxed recruiting standards to join the armed forces where they get weapons training and explosive training.  Are we breeding a new generation of Timothy McVeighs?  That‘s the question.

Who knows, but I will point out the obvious point, that the Southern Poverty Law Center raises quite a bit of money pedaling the notion that indeed, it does.  That the military does harbor potential Timothy McVeighs.  So let‘s ask someone who‘s intimately involved with The Southern Poverty Law Center, which incidentally has called the defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, to do something about this.  Mark Potok is joining us now from the Southern Poverty Law Center to explain why he believes the military is being infiltrated by white supremacists.  Mark, thanks a lot for coming on.

MARK POTOK, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER:  Well thanks for having me.

CARLSON:  It seems like you have no evidence at all that this is actually true.  Do you?

POTOK:  Well, I think that‘s completely false.  You know...


CARLSON:  How many white supremacists are in the military then? 

POTOK:  Well, listen to what I have to say.  First of all, you might want to remember that back in ‘96, as well as ‘86, there were two scandals, two major scandals having to do with extremists in the military. 

CARLSON:  Yes, I remember.

POTOK:  In 1996, a neo-Nazi gang based in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg actually murdered a black couple as some kind of initiation right.  That produced a big scandal, which ended with William Perry, then the defense secretary, issuing a strengthened set of regulations, designed to stop this very phenomenon.  At the time, a study was done by a task force on extremism in the Army and what they found actually was that 0.52 percent of the armed forces, if their survey was accurate, were extremists...



CARLSON:  ... right to the president.  That was 10 years ago...

POTOK:  Well that works out to 7,300 people...

CARLSON:  ... 20 years ago.  How about right now? 


POTOK:  OK, what I‘m talking about...


POTOK:  OK, well let me say my peace. 

CARLSON:  Please.

POTOK:  We did quite a lot of work looking at this and we found a number of anecdotal instances.  Later on as we got into the reporting, we started to talk to actual Defense Department investigators.  Several were not named, one did speak for the record and was named, a man named Scott Barfield and had some fairly amazing things to say.  One of them, for instance, was that he and his crew had identified 320 extremists at one single fort, Fort Lewis, in the state of Washington where he stays.  When the commanders were informed of this, only two were thrown out.

CARLSON:  OK but...

POTOK:  He went on to say...


CARLSON:  I‘m sorry.  You have gone on quite a bit and I guess the reason I sound a little bit agitated is the implication of what you‘re saying is pretty serious. 

POTOK:  I agree.

CARLSON:  You‘re suggesting that the military, the Army is in fact allowing this.  They‘re not doing their best to root these guys out, if in fact they know that there are 300 extremists, whatever that is at one military base, and only two have been brought to justice.  You‘re implying that the U.S. military is in league with white supremacists and that‘s a very, very strong thing to say...

POTOK:  No, that‘s a completely...

CARLSON:  ... and you seem to have no actual evidence...

POTOK:  ... false allegation. 

CARLSON:  What do you mean?  You‘re the one making the allegation. 

POTOK:  Well I‘m not implying...

CARLSON:  And you don‘t have any names.  You don‘t have...

POTOK:  ... that the military...


POTOK:  Do I get to speak on your show? 

CARLSON:  Go ahead.  I‘m waiting for the evidence...


CARLSON:  ... with baited breath...

POTOK:  What we are saying is that the standards have been relaxed by some recruiters and some commanders in some places.  We are not alleging that Secretary Rumsfeld is somehow in league with neo-Nazis, as you seem to have read our report, and is somehow colluding to bring these people into the military.

CARLSON:  I‘m not saying that.

POTOK:  That‘s plainly false.  And that‘s not at all what we suggest.  What we suggest is that there‘s been a lot of pressure on the military in terms of recruiting.  Last year, as you probably know, they failed to make their quotas.  They have made them this year, but this pressure has been ongoing and building since the actions in Afghanistan, of course afterwards in Iraq.

CARLSON:  OK, but you still haven‘t given me an example within the last 10 years.  I can give you two examples and more...


POTOK:  ... man named Robert Lee West (ph) who is right now in the military.  You know we have pictures of him on our Web site holding a bunch of military weapons and posing in front of a swastika flag...

CARLSON:  Wait a second.  We also...


CARLSON:  Sir, let me finish. 

POTOK:  Sure.

CARLSON:  We have a number of examples of radical Muslims in the ranks of the U.S. military killing people.  For instance, there was a soldier, an enlisted soldier in Kuwait...

POTOK:  Yes.

CARLSON:  ... right before the invasion of Iraq, who fragged people in his unit because of Islam.  You had John Lee Muhammad, who is an Army veteran, who was trained in the use of firearms in the military who became an observant Muslim and shot a bunch of people, the famous D.C. sniper...

POTOK:  That is true.

CARLSON:  You could make a pretty compelling case that radical Islam is a problem in the enlisted ranks and instead you‘re claiming that white supremacists are the problem.  And I don‘t see them shooting up anybody.  My only point is maybe you‘re stuck in a different decade.  Maybe it‘s time to kind of update your stereotypes of what the risks are.

POTOK:  Well you may think they‘re stereotypes, Tucker.  You‘ve named me two cases which I know about very well. 


POTOK:  In fact...


POTOK:  ... a number of cases—excuse me. 

CARLSON:  Have you issued a report about the Islamic shooting...

POTOK:  Yes, we‘ve issued a lengthy report about it.  Apparently, you haven‘t looked at it. 

CARLSON:  Haven‘t seen it...

POTOK:  But we certainly have and we‘ve issued a fairly detailed letter to the secretary as well and you know whatever you may think, our purpose is not to sully the armed forces or even to attack the secretary.  Our point is to remind people and in particular, the secretary of defense, that this has been a serious problem in the past, to the point where two secretaries of defense, whatever you may pick, thought that it was a very serious problem and issued regulations, instituted task force studies and a number of other measures...

CARLSON:  Yes.  No, I get it.  I get it.  Look, Mark, I get it.  I get it.

POTOK:  You may recall there were congressional hearings on this matter.

CARLSON:  It was a serious problem—but so was typhus in Washington, D.C. and it‘s not now.  Maybe this is still a problem.  Maybe it‘s not.  I‘d like to see more evidence, but I—in the meantime, I appreciate your coming on.  Thank you. 

French nationalists are mending their wounded pride.  That‘s one day after going down in defeat to Italy in the World Cup soccer championship.  We know you watched that.  Make no ands, ifs, or buts about it, France‘s upset was further dampened by this unsportsman-like move by star player Zinedine Zidane in the final minutes of the game.  But don‘t expect French soccer fans to kick their team too much over this foul maneuver.  France is after all renowned for its unwavering patriotism and good for them, sometimes to the point of outright humiliation.  They‘re now top five reasons the French can keep their pride in check.


CARLSON (voice-over):  It‘s a country rich in culture, history, culinary delights and the arts, so the obvious question is why is this guy the highest paid actor in France? 


CARLSON:  Actually, France began to go downhill in 1940, when it surrendered to Nazi Germany without much of an offensive.  The pro-Nazi Vichy regime remained in power until allied forces liberated France in 1945. 


CARLSON:  Sensible Parisian art critics had a heart attack when this eye sore, the Georges Pompidou Centre, was unveiled in 1977. 


CARLSON:  Neo artists hailed the building as a bold experiment with external framework.  Normal people had a more apt description, an oil refinery in the center of Paris. 


CARLSON:  American Franco relations took a hit in 1978 when the French gave sanctuary to fugitive film director Roman Polanski.  He fled the U.S.  after being accused of with a 13-year-old girl.  Twenty-eight years later, Polanski remains an honored French citizen.  Here in the U.S., he‘s a wanted felon.



CARLSON:  Still not convinced the French are sore losers?  Consider the story they tried to peddle last summer after seven straight losses to American cyclist Lance Armstrong.  His Tour de France invincibility they claimed was the product of steroids. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I can absolutely confirm that we don‘t use open products. 


CARLSON:  And then there‘s this culture shock.  OK, Jerry Lewis may have amused American moviegoers half a century ago, but to the French he remains a highly revered auteur of comedy, a worthy recipient of the Legion of Honor, France‘s highest civilian tribute.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What‘s the matter, Professor?  Cat got your tongue? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, no, the punch bowl has my arm.

CARLSON:  You know that Gerard Depardieu thing is beginning to make a little more sense. 



CARLSON:  Coming up, why do cops waste their time going after people who smoke pot in the privacy of their own homes anyway?  Why are we still fighting that war on drugs?  We‘ll debate all of it. 

Plus, how would you like to be a serious gubernatorial candidate and find yourself trailing in the polls to a dog?  Can‘t be good for fund raising.  More details in just a minute.


CARLSON:  Coming up, Japan considers a preemptive strike against North Korea.  Is the U.S. about to be dragged into the nuclear war of words? 

Plus, I had nothing to do with slavery.  I don‘t know anyone who did, so why should I be held responsible for reparations?  We‘ll debate that when we come back.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time now for our voice mail segment.  That‘s where we pick the best phone messages and play them on the air.  We want to hear what you‘ve got to say, so here we go.  First up. 

CALLER:  This is Ted from Rome, New York.  I think that all African Americans who are descendants of slaves and all who were affected by Jim Crowe laws and segregation, should be given reparations by the government.  It just seems fair to me. 

CARLSON:  It may seem fair to you, Ted, but it kind of contradicts the basic understanding of justice here in the West and that understanding is this.  People who do something wrong ought to be punished for it.  People who are wronged ought to be compensated for it, but you don‘t punish people for things they didn‘t do.  You don‘t punish people for things their ancestors did.  We‘re not North Korea.

You don‘t round up the relatives of the political prisoner and kill them too.  So there are no people living in this country who committed the crime of slavery.  If there were, I‘d be throwing them in prison and taking their money, but they‘re not, so the rest of us shouldn‘t have to pay for something we didn‘t do.  Next up.

CALLER:  My name is Nicky.  I‘m from Toledo, Ohio, and I was wondering, with all the nuclear threats that are coming from North Korea, why is our terror alert not elevated?

CARLSON:  Nicky, that is—kind of an excellent point and I‘m not sure I really have an answer for you.  I mean every time there‘s a threat on a mall in Toledo, the terror alert goes up, but now that there‘s this lunatic Stalinist regime in Asia, aiming warheads our way, it doesn‘t go up.  I don‘t know.  Got to get on that.  Thanks for asking.  Next up. 

CALLER:  Bud, I live in Laverne, Tennessee, and I‘m tired of this war.  And no, I‘m not talking about the war in Iraq.  I‘m talking about the war on drugs, the one that obviously nobody even thinks we‘re a part of anymore.

CARLSON:  Now, let‘s be honest.  Is your name really Bud or is that just kind of an inside joke, if you know what I mean, Bud?  No look, I‘ve got to—it‘s easy to make marijuana jokes about our viewers who are in fact stoned and call in, but I sort of agree with you, it is a waste of time when Chong, Tommy Chong from “Cheech and Chong” got busted a couple of years ago by the Justice Department for selling water pipes, I really thought you know post 9/11, our priorities may be off a little bit.  I‘d be happy to round up some Muslim extremists and leave the bong salesman alone for a while.  All right.  Next up. 

CALLER:  Hey, this is Eric from Staten Island.  I‘ve got a question.  I watch your show and I read about you and it says you‘re a conservative, but a lot of things you seem pretty liberal.  Can you explain? 

CARLSON:  I seem pretty liberal.  (INAUDIBLE) I‘m about the most conservative person I know.  I‘m not a Bush man.  I think the president is liberal and I thought so from day one.  I wrote about the president long before he was president and I said so.  No one believed me.  No one believes me now, but history will record him as much closer to Woodrow Wilson than Ronald Reagan.

Someone who believes in the power of government.  I don‘t.  I would not have invaded Iraq.  I don‘t believe that our job is to bring democracy and prosperity to the world.  I think our job is to bring democracy and prosperity to the United States, so that‘s he‘s a liberal and I‘m not. 

Keep the calls coming.  The number here, 1-877-TCARLSON.  That‘s 877-822-7576. 

Still ahead, the American people prove once again there is no better way to spend a sunny summer day than inside a cold dark movie theater.  “Pirates of the Caribbean” makes Hollywood history, but is the movie any good?  We‘ll discuss that when we come right back. 


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for the “Cutting Room Floor”.  Willie Geist is holed up as a precaution in our fortified underground commander bunker back at MSNBC World Headquarters—Willie.

WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER:  Tucker, how are you?  I don‘t mean to shine a negative light on our production, but blink twice if you‘re being tortured. 


CARLSON:  You must be referring to the backdrop, Willie. 

GEIST:  Yes, just hold up a newspaper, let us know that you‘re still alive.  Good.  OK. 

CARLSON:  I‘m fine.  I‘m fine.

GEIST:  Is that July 10?  Good.  OK.  You‘re fine.  We‘ll get—we‘ll handle that for you. 

CARLSON:  Thank you, Willie. 

Well an alarming number of Americans escaped the beautiful summer weather this weekend to sit inside movie theaters and watch the new “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie.  “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man‘s Chest” shattered the record from the biggest opening weekend in Hollywood history.  The movie that stars Johnny Depp ranked—raked in $132 million in just three days.  That breaks the previous record of $114 million set by “Spider-Man” four years ago.

GEIST:  Tucker, you and I are probably the only two American citizens who didn‘t see this movie, so I can‘t comment on the content of it, but I will say you have to root for the franchise, if only because Keith Richards is going to be in part three playing Johnny Depp‘s father, who actually Johnny Depp modeled his pirate character after Keith Richards.  Keith Richards will be in the next movie.  The more Keith Richards we see on camera, the better in my book.

CARLSON:  Oh, well (INAUDIBLE) he‘ll be in the next 37 movies...

GEIST:  Exactly.

CARLSON:  ... over the next 50 years.

GEIST:  He and the cockroaches after the (INAUDIBLE).  So great.

CARLSON:  Well you may not start to think about Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving, Santa Claus simply does not have that luxury.  Members of the Amalgamated Order of the Red Bearded Santas gathered in where else, Branson, Missouri, over the weekend to compare notes on Christmas toys and trends.  Remember, there are only 167 shopping days until Christmas, so get moving. 

GEIST:  You know, Tucker, nothing says Christmas like Branson in July I don‘t think.  They have some of the workshops here I think scaring children at malls, and hiding a bottle of Jack Daniels in your Santa suit.  I think those are a couple of the important points that we want to touch on, emphasizing this year at the Santa convention. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  You know, I bet in the off season, they probably get a little rusty on some of the...

GEIST:  Yes.

CARLSON:  ... some of the little Santa tricks. 

GEIST:  Well you‘ve got to stay sharp.  It‘s a year-round business. 

CARLSON:  Well if you thought it was a little incestuous when George W. Bush became president eight years after his father held that office, wait until you here what‘s going on in Poland.  President-elect Kaczynski was appointed and he has appointed a relative as prime minister of that country, not just any relative, his brother.  His twin brother Jaroslaw Kaczynski will fill the newly vacated prime minister‘s position and he will rule side by side with his twin brother, Lech.

GEIST:  Tucker, the wire story here says today Poland became the only country with twin brothers as president and prime minister.  You think? 

CARLSON:  Probably one of the few anyway. 

GEIST:  These two were child stars in the 1960‘s in Polish films, clearly setting a precedence and paving the way for the Olson twin ticket in 2032 and I am on board.  They‘ve got the funds.  They‘ve got the name recognition.  We don‘t know where they stand yet, but they have time to develop positions. 

CARLSON:  If I could vote with the polls, I would.  Well in other foreign political news, well it‘s not technically foreign, but it is Alaska, so it‘s basically foreign.  A 2-year-old golden retriever named Brinkley is running for governor of that state, our 49th.  Brinkley‘s owner made her dog a write-in candidate for this year‘s gubernatorial election.  The “Brinkley for Governor” campaign already has sold $4,000 worth of t-shirts.  The dog‘s owner says if Brinkley is not elected governor of Alaska, he will run for president in 2008 and yes, that is a threat. 

GEIST:  Tucker, let‘s be honest.  Alaska is already skating on thin ice.  Puerto Rico, we want to keep it a nice round 50 states and Puerto Rico is making a nice push.  You can‘t be doing things like building bridges to nowhere and running dogs for governor if you want to remain in the union.  I‘m sorry.

CARLSON:  I agree with that.  On the other hand, the fishing is good, but then the fishing is good in Puerto Rico.  Willie, you make a great case.

GEIST:  Exactly.  Deep sea fishing. 

CARLSON:  Willie Geist...

GEIST:  All right, Tucker.  See you tomorrow.

CARLSON:  ... from headquarters.  Thanks Willie.  Well thanks for joining us on our first ever show during daylight hours.  (INAUDIBLE) be right back here at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. 

Joining me now, “HARDBALL‘s” own Chris Matthews.  Chris, I hope you‘re talking about Bush‘s foreign policy getting nicer.  I like the dead or alive stuff, personally.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, “HARDBALL WITH CHRIS MATTHEWS”:  Well I think it might be—you know how they say in Texas, all hat, no cattle? 


MATTHEWS:  I think that may be the definition of our force in the world right now.  So it‘s not a good time, not a bad weekend, not a good weekend for the president.  By the way, your show has been fabulous tonight and I say that with total objectivity.  I mean fabulous.  I have been watching...


MATTHEWS:  I‘ve been watching it in the makeup room.  I watch every...

CARLSON:  ... praying for fabulous.

MATTHEWS:  ... the great franchises, every piece of it‘s interesting.  (INAUDIBLE) it‘s going to be like Letterman‘s top 10.  They‘re going to be looking for this stuff every afternoon, every evening.  You‘re a great lead-in my friend.

CARLSON:  Oh, so why aren‘t you a TV critic, Chris? 

MATTHEWS:  Not since Oprah has anybody had such a good lead-in.  


CARLSON:  Chris Matthews, really probably my favorite person in America.  I‘d marry you if it were legal, but it‘s not, sadly.

MATTHEWS:  We‘ll go to mass tomorrow, OK.

CARLSON:  You got it.

Up right now, it‘s “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews.



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