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Yarvitz Country

Ever heard the expression "drunk with power"? That's how many of my "Scarborough Country" colleagues describe me these days.
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Yarvitz Country
(Mike Yarvitz, "Scarborough Country" Producer)

Ever heard the expression "drunk with power"? That's how many of my "Scarborough Country" colleagues describe me these days.

Between radio interviews, Internet write-ups and YouTube appearances, they claim the fame from my Mel Gibson drinking experiment this week has gone to my head.

Last night's show displayed in all its glory how unfazed I've become from all the attention. Sure, there was that incident where I mistook Joe's office for my own cubicle or the confusion that ensued when I took my Executive Producer's reserved parking spot, but I swear, one night of drinking has not created a monster!

My agent tells me there's no such thing as bad publicity and I think he's right-- Damn, my egg timer just rang, I think my 15 minutes are up...


Mission accomplished
(Mike Yarvitz, "Scarborough Country" Producer)

Just finished the Mel Gibson experiment and it seemed to be a success.

We realize we couldn’t replicate the same situation Mel was in, but the larger point we were trying to make was that a .12 breathalyzer test may not be an excuse for anti-Semitic rants. As you heard the police officer say during the show, New Jersey’s blood alcohol limit used to be a .10, it only recently got lowered to a .08.

For those of you who understood the point of our experiment, thank you. While I was legally drunk and would have probably failed a field sobriety test, I still felt I had my cognitive abilities and could control the words coming out of my mouth. I’ll admit I was at the point where I should not have been driving, but I still had a level of awareness of my surroundings and knew what I was saying. 

Anyway, thank you for all your emails and thanks for watching. Off to be driven home now (don’t drink and drive). Be sure to tune in tomorrow.


Adorable, adorable, adorable... 
(Mike Yarvitz, "Scarborough Country" Producer)

This just in from Irena…

Mike, you are adorable, adorable, adorable...  There is one good thing that came out of Gibson’s drunken encounters - we got to meet you!!!

Great job on the experiment...

Irena,  Thanks for the email... Glad something good could come out of Mel Gibson’s drunken fiasco... Hopefully you’ll be seeing more of me on the air soon and glad you enjoyed the experiment. Thanks for watching

Aug. 2, 2006 | 10:33 p.m. ET

It took about 4-5 drinks
(Mike Yarvitz, "Scarborough Country" Producer)

This just in from Samantha…

I have to say, this is an absolutely great experiment, but I think someone needs to get you riled up in order for anything outrageous to come out of your mouth. You may be composed right now, but put yourself in a party or a bar situation... Wouldn’t that change things? You’re on national TV, so I’m sure you are watching what you say. How many drinks have you had at this point? I hope you made them buy you top shelf liquor and you aren’t drinking something cheap! Have a good time with this experiment! It’s not everyday a host lets their producer drink for free ;)

Samantha, thanks for the email... To answer your question, it took me about 4-5 drinks to get to a .12 on the breathalyzer test. Your point is a fair one, we coudn’t replicate the exact situation Mel Gibson was in, but the thing we were trying to get across was that a .12 (while certainly impaired), may not be enough to start spouting out anti-semitic comments. Thanks for watching...

Aug. 2, 2006 | 10:22 p.m. ET

Time for viewer mail
(Mike Yarvitz, "Scarborough Country" Producer)

We’re done with the show and I’ve got some time to check out the viewer mail.  This just in from Veronica….

I just saw on the show where people are saying it isn’t a fair comparison.  True - to be fair they needed to have an alcoholic do the test.  The alcoholics that I know don’t even seem impaired at all at a .12 (we have the same alcohawk that you are using!). 

You proved the point even better.  The alcohol at .12 affected you MORE than it could have affected Mel, and you were completely in control of your mental faculties.

Nice try Mel.

Thanks for the e-mail, Veronica... Glad to hear you have the same Alcohawk breathalyzer test that we used.  I’m glad you understood the point of our experiment... if Mel Gibson is an alcoholic and made those statements at a .12, then something is seriously wrong. Thanks for watching, and I’m glad our point was not lost on you.

Aug. 2, 2006 | 9:43 p.m. ET

just took another breathalyzer test, i’m at .10... not feeling any anti-Semitic urges coming on, but that may be because I’m Jewish. The emails have been pouring in with some criticism of our experiment, but we’re trying to make a larger point... I’ve reached a .10 after just 3 drinks... obviously alcohol affects everybody differently, but to blame anti-Semitic remarks on a couple of glasses of alcohol is a cop out

Aug. 2, 20069:2

Answering to mom and dad
(Mike Yarvitz, "Scarborough Country" Producer)

9:28pm and my parents have just written in to make sure I’m doing okay....

You look pretty good. I just hope that you don't say anything embarrasing. Tell Joe that we're watching closely (ha-ha). I'm sure that this will be no different that a Saturday nite at Syracuse. Seriously, hope you feel ok....
Mom and Dad

They’ve warned me not to say anything too embarassing. Still at .08 for the moment, which means I’ve got about 20 minutes to get to Mel status. Mom and Dad, I’m doing fine... I’ll be at .12 soon

Aug. 2, 2006 | 9:22 p.m. ET

Legally drunk

It’s 9:22pm, 2 drinks into the Mel Gibson experiment, and I’m at a .08 on the breathalyzer test. That’s legally drunk in New Jersey, and I’m heading towards Mel Gibson’s .12. I just passed a field sobriety test administered by one of Nutley New Jersey’s finest officers. Will keep you updated on my progress…

(Mike Yarvitz, "Scarborough Country" Producer)

Aug. 2, 2006 |

It was the booze talking!
(Mike Yarvitz, "Scarborough Country" Producer)

Mel Gibson's claim that the booze was responsible for his now-famous anti-Semitic rant just didn't add up to us here in "Scarborough Country." Could alcohol alone turn a once-sane person into a raving mad, misogynistic, religious-epithet screaming loony?

We've decided to put Mel's defense to the test live on "Scarborough Country" tonight. With the help of a trusty bottle of whisky (sorry Mel, I'm not a wine guy) and one of Nutley, New Jersey's, finest, we'll find out if a Blood Alcohol level of .12 is really enough to send someone (me) over the edge.

Starting at 9 p.m. ET, I’m going to match Mel drink-for-drink, and see if I completely lose my sanity by the end of the show.  The breathalyzer test will be on-hand and we hope to "blow" a hole right through Mel's defense!

If you've got a question for me about tonight's experiment, send me an e-mail at with the subject, "Hey Mike."

July 6, 2006 | 7:22 p.m. ET

Joe, you’re no Dutch
(Joe Scarborough)

I am not an expert at winning Democratic primaries in Connecticut, but were I in Joe Lieberman’s shoes, I would stay away from Ronald Reagan quotes. But early in tonight’s debate, there was the candidate the left loves to hate telling his upstart opponent, “There you go again.”

That well-rehearsed line helped the Gipper bury Jimmy Carter’s re-election hopes in 1980, but it may not be as effective in a Democratic contest for the heart and soul of the party 26 years later.

While very few outside D.C. are focused on this Connecticut race, the results have broad implications for the Democratic Party. If the man who received more votes for vice president than any other Democratic candidate just six years ago ends up being rejected by his own party, the war debate will be yanked leftward overnight.

That will be great news for the president, Karl Rove and the swarms of GOP candidates running for president in 2008.

When it comes to matters of war, Democrats can’t follow their hearts any more than they can follow the latest polls. They are still the party of George McGovern and defeatism to millions of Middle American voters — who still blame them for losing the Vietnam War.

Hey. Don’t get snippy with me, Alger. I’m just giving you the facts from Red State America. Follow Ned Lamont if you want. Just don’t be surprised if your little parade dead-ends into another six years in the minority.

There you go again!

Comments? Email

June 28, 2006 | 2:50 p.m. ET

Bush and Rove’s political stunt (Joe Scarborough)

The Senate has just finished a heated debate of flag burning, an act that some Republicans say is an attack on American troops. Democrats blasted back, saying the constitutional amendment to ban flag burning was pure politics. Ultimately, the amendment failed by one vote.

Whether Republicans were playing partisan politics with the flag issue is open to debate, but few can argue that this constitutional amendment would actually impact many Americans’ lives.

Last year there were only four reported cases of flag burning; the year before, the grand total was three. In fact, incidents of torching Old Glory have plummeted ever since the Supreme Court ruled that it was OK to set a match to Old Glory.

Still, if the White House and congressional Republicans pulled off a political stunt, it was a popular one. A poll released this month shows that 56 percent of Americans support a flag-burning amendment, while 40 percent oppose it.

And like the marriage amendment that went up in flames last month, this flag-burning proposal is an example of George Bush and Karl Rove setting political traps for Democrats, who can now count on being painted as the party of gay marriage and flag burning.

Not exactly the best way to win back “Red State” America.

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June 27, 2006 | 3:50 p.m. ET

Spying concerns prove well-founded (Joe Scarborough)

The Bush spy scandal took a nasty turn as the White House turns all guns toward The New York Times, accusing the most powerful newspaper in the world of aiding and abetting terrorists intent on killing Americans and harming this country.

The president’s angst was focused on the Times for revealing to the world a top-secret program that allows the feds to track Americans’ bank records and financial transactions.

As if a good scolding from the commander-in-chief wasn’t enough, the vice president also blasted the entire journalistic community for rewarding reporters for damaging national security.

Treasury Secretary John Snow also piled on for good measure, telling the editor of the Times that his paper’s disclosure of the top-secret program was “irresponsible and harmful to the security of Americans and freedom-loving people worldwide. I am deeply disappointed in The New York Times.” Editor Bill Keller responded in kind, telling the treasury secretary that our founders rejected the idea that it is wise or patriotic to always take the president at his word or to surrender to the government important decisions about what to publish.

While being battered by executive branch types all day, Mr. Keller could list at least one former president who backed his position: Thomas Jefferson.

The sage of Monticello once wrote, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

But it seems, at least for the time being, that we are stuck with both, as well as congressmen who are now suggesting that The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal may be guilty of treason, citing the Espionage Act of 1917, which made it a crime to reveal information regarding an armed forces operation.

Last month I warned Americans that this NSA phone records program could lead us to a point where the feds would go after bank records next. I was, unfortunately, correct.

It’s scary, more so to those of us who know how Washington works and know how power can corrupt and be abused. I believe we are in dangerous times for those of us who believe, like Jefferson, that Washington is not to be trusted with unlimited police power.

Comments? Email

June 23, 2006 | 2:20 p.m. ET

Democrats least of Bush’s problems
(Joe Scarborough)

This week, the Senate continued its “fiery” debate on whether to maintain the status quo or to bring our troops home. If it is true, as Abraham Lincoln said in his historic 1858 Senate campaign, that ‘a house divided against itself cannot stand,’ Thursday’s vote showed the Democratic Party’s foundation to be a bit shaky when the Senate voted on John Kerry’s plan.

Only 12 Democrats and one independent voted to set a July 2007 withdrawal date from Iraq. The majority of Mr. Kerry’s party members voted with George Bush, which allowed the measure to be defeated 86-13.

The bitter Iraq debate holds the greatest opportunity for Democrats to retake control of Congress for the first time in 12 years, but once again, the party appears determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Make no mistake of it: George W. Bush’s Iraq war is unpopular. Americans don’t trust the president, don’t think the costs in blood and money are worth it and don’t think the Pentagon has a plan to lead this great country to victory.

And even though I still support this war, it is obvious even to me that the Democratic Party’s unity on this issue would spell doom for the president and his party. Democrats, independents and moderate Republicans would support candidates this fall who promised to bring the troops home in a year. Unfortunately, for John Kerry and the volunteers who run Democratic campaigns, the overwhelming majority of Democrats didn’t even support their own party’s amendments on the Senate floor. And because of that, the party’s road to retaking Congress just got a bit longer.

It’s time the Democrats quit running scared and offered a clear alternative to George Bush. If they choose not to, expect the Republican Party to stay in power, not because it is good at governing, but because the Democratic Party is so bad at running elections.

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June 15, 2006 | 2:30 p.m. ET

Bush back in the saddle
(Joe Scarborough)

The swagger is back. George W. Bush says “hell no” to troop withdrawals in Iraq and uses Wednesday’s press conference to tell the world that when it comes to his war policy, the song remains the same.

An upbeat and smiling president succeeded in throwing down the gauntlet for his anti-war critics.

The theme of Wednesday’s event seemed to borrow from Mr. Kerry’s 2004 campaign.  That borrowed from Bruce Springsteen’s “No Retreat, No Surrender.” 

But Mr. Bush’s new attitude may not be welcome by Republicans on Capitol Hill.

While one recent poll suggests 60 percent of Americans now believe Mr. Bush can win the war in Iraq, a clear majority also believe this war is not worth its cost in blood or money, leaving supporters of the president’s policy in a political purgatory, at best.

Comments? Email

June 8, 2006 | 2:45 p.m. ET

Death knell for ‘amnesty’ plan? (Joe Scarborough)

The president’s call to pass his immigration bill gained new political urgency after what was supposed to be a bellwether special election Tuesday in California turned into a referendum against the president’s immigration plan.

Republican Brian Bilbray snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by actually attacking the president’s so-called “amnesty plan.” Bilbray’s opponent, Democrat Francine Busby, also helped the former and future congressman by suggesting last week that illegal immigrants could vote in the election.

Despite the fact that the president’s own party is running from him on immigration, a new Gallup Poll shows conservative support for the president has gone up 9 percent since he began pushing for a ban on gay marriage. But will those gains be offset as the immigration debate grinds on through the summer?

And when will the president concede that his plan to let 40 million to 100 million immigrants into this country stands no chance of passing Congress?

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June 7, 2006 | 2:50 p.m. ET

The immigration disconnect
(Joe Scarborough)

As National Guard troops continued streaming to the U.S.-Mexican border,  President Bush visited a border patrol training facility in New Mexico on Tuesday. He watched recruits as they stopped fake illegal immigrants at a fake border checkpoint.

Mr. Bush then made yet another pitch for his guest-worker plan, which some Republicans call amnesty.

Blame it on the heat or Mr. Bush’s sunny disposition, but gloomy souls who inhabit Washington, D.C., couldn’t help but scoff at the president’s prediction that he might have an immigration bill to sign any time soon.

The House and the Senate remain hopelessly divided, with the Republican Party at war with itself and the media. Still, the Republican House of Representatives refuses to strike any deal that would allow amnesty provisions to be signed into law by the president.

Conservatives are citing a Heritage Foundation study that predicts the passage of the Senate bill would lead to the immigration of more than 100 new immigrants in the next 20 years.

That’s right — 100 million new immigrants coming to the United States if the president’s plan is put in place. This despite the fact that almost 80 percent of Americans want immigration levels frozen or cut back.

In all my years in Washington, I have never seen such a disconnect
between Middle America and the political and media machines that run Washington, D.C.

Comments? Email

June 6, 2006 | 2:15 p.m. ET

Don’t mess with Texas (Joe Scarborough)

With Washington stalled on how to stop the massive flow of illegal immigrants over the U.S. border, Texas Governor Rick Perry and other border governors have decided to take matters into their own hands.

The Texas governor is angry at the federal government for slashing his budget to protect the border by 30 percent.

While National Guard troops are moving to the U.S.-Mexican border, stunning new statistics showing the massive scale of an ongoing invasion of illegal immigrants from Mexico.

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that 10 percent of Mexico’s population is now living in the United States, and that 1 out of 7 Mexican workers migrates to America.

Now there are more concerns that along with the workers come drug dealers, gang members, convicted felons and quite possibly terrorists. And yet, Washington politicians are cutting the budget for Texas to patrol its border with Mexico.

That’s one reason the Texas governor is now spending $5 million on video surveillance cameras to do the job he says Washington politicians refuse to do. The cameras will be placed along the border, will stream images to the Internet and will allow Americans across the country to view the video feeds and report any illegal crossings.

Think of it as virtual Minutemen without the pup tents.

So what does it mean that the president’s successor has more confidence in Radio Shack cameras than the commander-in-chief when it comes to protecting America’s southern border?

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