Guests: Mort Zuckerman, Brent Bozell, James Warren, Sherrie Lea Laird, Adrian Finkelstein, Bethany Marshall, Kennedy, Tom O‘Neil
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: In the words of Donald Rumsfeld, Oh, dear. Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, we have breaking news as bloody ground battles and air strikes continue to rage in the Middle East, Israeli bombing runs now sweeping towards the Syrian border, while Hezbollah rockets rip deeper into Israel than ever before. Now Hezbollah says its next target may be Tel Aviv, a move that could launch a regional war.
And verbal bombs targeting SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY as a Fox News host goes on the attack against yours truly. And more attacks from a future FOX News host. All that straight ahead. I asked, What part of the truth do they find so offensive?
And we‘ll talk to the Canadian singer who swears she‘s a reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe. The psychiatrist is here, and hopefully, she‘s brought the meds.
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY on a Friday night. No passport required, and no snippy talk show hosts allowed.
Those stories straight ahead, but first breaking news out of the Middle East tonight, Hezbollah rockets exploding within 30 miles of the Israeli capital of Tel Aviv, a target that could spill blood across the Middle East and beyond if it is hit, while Israel is knocking out four bridges, while bombing runs move the Jewish state‘s war machine within striking distance of the country of Syria, Israel also saying today that three of their soldiers were killed in fierce battles with Hezbollah guerrillas. And another Israeli air strike late tonight reportedly killed at least 28 farm workers in a warehouse on the Lebanon-Syria border.
Here to talk about it, MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan and Mort Zuckerman, editor-in-chief of “U.S. News & World Report.”
In the case of this war, when you have little children being carried out—and we talked about this earlier in the week—as many little children being carried out of apartment buildings dead, that image being shot all over the Arab world and all over Europe, I got to say, when I saw those images in Europe -- - and maybe because it‘s I was reading it in European newspapers—that‘s exactly what went through my mind. It was, like, My God, how many new recruits has Israel just given Hezbollah?
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Joe, they‘re demonstrating...
MORT ZUCKERMAN, “U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT”: I don‘t disagree with you, Joe. I think...
BUCHANAN: ... against us not only in Israel, they‘re in Malaysia, they‘re in Indonesia, they‘re in Teheran, they‘re in Baghdad! The people we liberated are burning our flags! And if it continues, Joe, let me tell you, those moderate Arabs—when you get the king of Jordan, the best friend we got, saying Hezbollah is now a hero in this region—those were people who wanted Israel quietly to take Hezbollah out. The Israelis have made a terrible blunder here. I‘m surprised, Mort, you don‘t admit it because they‘re doing the right thing in the last week!
ZUCKERMAN: Well, I think what they are doing—they—look, they naturally try to limit their own casualties, military casualties. And when you are going into an area where the Hezbollah cannot be separated from the civilian population, what the Israelis are doing are targeting those areas where there is firing on them. They can figure out where those targets are. It‘s precision weaponry. In fact, over 99 percent of their ordnance has not caused...
BUCHANAN: They were firing on Israel from the Beirut airport and the power plants in Beirut?
ZUCKERMAN: But the reason why they did the Beirut airport—and you know it as well as I do—is that it‘s a transit point...
BUCHANAN: It is not!
ZUCKERMAN: ... for the rearming...
BUCHANAN: Damascus airport is the transit point...
ZUCKERMAN: It is...
BUCHANAN: ... and they don‘t have the guts to hit that!
ZUCKERMAN: So too—and the farm areas—they‘ve been smuggling in weaponry behind farm produce, and you know that‘s also true.
BUCHANAN: Well, Joe...
ZUCKERMAN: This is not just casually done, and you know it!
BUCHANAN: What you‘re saying, Mort...
ZUCKERMAN: The Israelis are not about killing civilians!
BUCHANAN: They can hit anything—anything in any place in Lebanon can be bombed because a Hezbollah guy could have been there or could be there. That is the kind of indiscriminate attack—OK, it‘s Israel‘s policy.
ZUCKERMAN: No, the...
BUCHANAN: But what concerns me is my country, the USA. It‘s entire image that we‘ve built up in that part of the world for generations...
ZUCKERMAN: Excuse me a second...
BUCHANAN: ... after winning the cold war...
BUCHANAN: ... is being ripped to bits!
ZUCKERMAN: Pat, it‘s what we did in—what do you think “shock and awe” did in Iraq? Do you think we weren‘t bombing civilians in Iraq? We did it in the second Gulf war and in the first Gulf war. We did it in Kosovo, in the war in Kosovo. We did it in Vietnam. We did it everywhere! And it is because in the nature of warfare today, air power is the predominant decisive factor in the war, number one.
BUCHANAN: But you—in a new war, Mort...
ZUCKERMAN: And number two, it is a way to limit American casualties!
BUCHANAN: Mort, we are in...
ZUCKERMAN: And that‘s perfectly all right!
BUCHANAN: We are in a cable television era right now.
ZUCKERMAN: I agree with you.
BUCHANAN: You got to know that. You‘re a media man yourself!
ZUCKERMAN: I agree with you.
BUCHANAN: You know the pictures. What Joe‘s talking about. You haul out those body after body of little kids and see crying people—al Jazeera‘s got that in every room in the entire Middle East day and night!
ZUCKERMAN: I agree with you. And if we were being bombed and missiles sent in from Canada or from Mexico into San Diego or Seattle, I guarantee you our response would have been through air power just as quickly.
BUCHANAN: We would not have bombed...
ZUCKERMAN: In any conflict—just a moment!
BUCHANAN: ... Acapulco, and we would not have bombed the power plant in Mexico City!
ZUCKERMAN: If that‘s where the source of these rockets were—Israel is not bombing just anywhere, they‘re bombing only from where the places from where the rockets are being fired! And that‘s exactly what‘s been going on, and that‘s...
BUCHANAN: They fired a rocket...
ZUCKERMAN: ... the sad part of this!
BUCHANAN: ... from the lighthouse?
ZUCKERMAN: Excuse me a second. With all due respect, the rockets and military—these have been the sources. Just think of it, 99 percent of them have created no fatalities.
BUCHANAN: Mort—Mort, there was no rocket fired at Israel until Israel launched the air war!
ZUCKERMAN: Excuse me a second.
BUCHANAN: When they took the—took the hostages—if you‘d gone in and—look...
BUCHANAN: ... when Israel stopped...
ZUCKERMAN: ... they fired rockets...
BUCHANAN: When Israel stopped bombing...
ZUCKERMAN: They have been firing...
BUCHANAN: ... the rockets stopped for two days!
ZUCKERMAN: They have been firing rockets for the last six years.
They didn‘t just start...
BUCHANAN: All right, well, answer me this...
BUCHANAN: Israel had a 48-hour pause. No bombing from the air. At the same time, Hezbollah stopped all rockets going in.
ZUCKERMAN: That is not the case. That is not the case.
BUCHANAN: Why didn‘t they maintain that?
ZUCKERMAN: That is not the case. The rockets did go down. The rocket firing did go down. But you have to understand, Israel cannot stand here and let Hezbollah just continue as if nothing has happened.
BUCHANAN: Nobody has asked you to do that, Mort!
BUCHANAN: We are talking about the war you‘re fighting. Nobody denies that you‘ve got a just cause and a just war and you have a right to go in there, you have a right of hot pursuit, you got a right to get your guys, you got a right to kill Hezbollah, not kill Lebanon!
ZUCKERMAN: But the problem—it‘s not—it‘s not Israel‘s fault that Hezbollah is hidden behind the women and children of that country! It is not—Israel has no choice, anymore than we would have if the people we were fighting against were hiding behind the women and children...
BUCHANAN: All right, why have they...
ZUCKERMAN: ... of the country that...
BUCHANAN: ... killed 900 women and children, as compared to one—I mean, for 100 Hezbollah?
ZUCKERMAN: They didn‘t kill—they didn‘t kill 900 women.
BUCHANAN: It‘s 9 to 1 civilians to—to Hezbollah deaths.
ZUCKERMAN: Even the Hezbollah, which exaggerates the casualties, as they did in—in Qana, where even the Human Rights Watch came back and said it‘s not 58, it‘s 29 or 28 -- so there is an exaggeration of those casualties. I‘m not trying to diminish—every casualty is a tragedy, but you‘re in a war, and war is hell. And there‘s no way of separating out the civilian casualties...
BUCHANAN: Let me ask you, Mort...
ZUCKERMAN: ... from the military casualties.
BUCHANAN: If you had...
ZUCKERMAN: We never found a way to do it. We, after all...
BUCHANAN: Mort—Mort, let me ask you something.
BUCHANAN: If this—if we‘re starting off again, it‘s day one, they‘ve taken those soldiers, they‘ve killed the four Israelis, then they killed the four more in the tank, and you‘re advising Olmert, would you tell Olmert to do what he did those first two weeks, where he smashed the infrastructure of Lebanon and drove out all the Westerners -- 15,000 Americans are gone, the Italians are gone, the Brits are gone. Would you have told him, This is the war you want to fight?
BUCHANAN: Or would you have said go in with the ground forces and clean out Hezbollah? They‘re our enemy, not Lebanon.
ZUCKERMAN: You can‘t just do it with just ground forces here. The Israeli army could not have just gone in. They‘re trying to limit the amount of incursions they‘re making because the ground warfare is—would have been more devastating to the civilians than anything else. You may not think so, but this is the most precision and accurate way...
ZUCKERMAN: ... that they have to fight this war!
BUCHANAN: All right, you tell me...
ZUCKERMAN: Hold on a second! Let me—you asked me a question. Let me answer you, OK? And the answer is, I don‘t know enough about the military aspects of this thing to make those kinds of judgments, but I do know—and I‘ve spoken to people about this—they believe they would have had many more casualties on both sides if they‘d gone in just with ground forces. And so would we, if we had gone into any war where we were fighting the people!
BUCHANAN: Mort, you said—OK, you said southern Lebanon, you know, we‘d have had more casualties if we did it the way I suggest. You said yourself Israel has fired 30,000 artillery shells into an area between the border and 15 miles north. They‘ve dropped bombs in there. Virtually everybody that can get out has gotten out and is a refugee. How could you have done more damage...
ZUCKERMAN: Hey, there are...
BUCHANAN: ... to southern Lebanon than you did?
ZUCKERMAN: There are refugees on both sides. There are over a million refugees on both sides because of the rockets are going by—I don‘t hear you protesting that the Hezbollah is sending all of these rockets into civilian areas in Israel indiscriminately, and have been doing it for years. Where was the world opinion on all of this when Israel left the country, they left behind a defined border. The U.N. sanctioned it, and they were subject to a continued series...
BUCHANAN: I‘ll tell you...
ZUCKERMAN: ... of attacks! And if I may say so...
BUCHANAN: I‘ll tell you, Mort...
ZUCKERMAN: ... what is more, they have been armed—and we didn‘t know about this...
BUCHANAN: I‘ll tell you where world opinion...
ZUCKERMAN: They have been armed by missiles and have been attacking Israel, that had this happened...
BUCHANAN: All right, Mort...
ZUCKERMAN: ... just think what would have happened between (ph) five years later? They would have destroyed Tel Aviv...
BUCHANAN: All right, Mort...
ZUCKERMAN: ... the nuclear power plants and the air force!
BUCHANAN: You asked me a question.
ZUCKERMAN: Yes. Fair enough.
BUCHANAN: You said, Where was world opinion? World opinion at the beginning of this thing was 100 percent behind Israel. Even the Arab states—yourself, you mentioned Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt—go in and take these guys out for what they did.
BUCHANAN: Now world opinion is 180 degrees. The whole Arab world is inflamed. And you‘re telling me it‘s not Israel‘s fault at all. They did it all right. Whose fault is it?
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, Mort, I‘m going to ask you to wait until we come back for a very short break and let you answer that question. Then we‘re going to find out whether America‘s reputation is being smeared around the world because of Israel‘s actions tonight.
Plus, I‘m going to respond to critics who are actually trying to defend Mel Gibson‘s behavior after he proved it was inexcusable.
And later, a Hollywood legend reincarnated—no, we‘re not talking about Shirley McLaine. I think she‘s still alive—but somebody who says she can prove she‘s Marilyn Monroe reborn.
SCARBOROUGH: Welcome back. The battle between Israel and Hezbollah is spilling ever closer to the Syrian border tonight, as pressure mounts on the United Nations and the United States to broker a ceasefire. More than 30 people were killed today when an Israeli air strike on a farm near Lebanon‘s border with Syria spilled into that region. Also, Hezbollah is stepping up its rocket attacks on Israel, hitting further south than any point in the fighting. Police say at least three Hezbollah rockets hit the Israeli town of Hadira (ph) today. That‘s about 50 miles south of the Lebanese border, while terror leaders are now saying their next target may be Tel Aviv.
Let‘s go back to our panel. Mort, we went to break with Pat asking why Israel isn‘t to blame for this latest conflict. What‘s your answer?
ZUCKERMAN: This war was not—was provoked by Hezbollah, a terrorist organization bent on the destruction of Israel. Everything Israel does here is to try and protect—this is—they‘re trying to protect their homes, OK? Now, war is terrible and every casualty is disastrous and war is hell. There is no easy way—there‘s no easy way to resolve these issues. I regret every civilian casualty, and the Israelis do, as well, and have apologized where there have been these kinds of civilian casualties, instead of what you see amongst the Hezbollah and the terrorists, where they dance on the roofs when they see Israeli casualties. There is no moral equivalence, here, if I may say so, even though I regret the casualties on both sides.
SCARBOROUGH: What should the United States do today, as this war continues to escalate?
BUCHANAN: I think what the United States should do, Joe, is to tell Olmert, Look, you‘ve got to get this over very, very fast and stop moving so slowly into southern Lebanon because politically and strategically and diplomatically, we are being hammered across the Arab world because of our uncritical support for you, because we‘re providing you the bombs. And every time you have a Qana or this fruit warehouse blown up, with 25 or 30 civilians killed, we are having a hellish time. Moreover, Shias are demonstrating against the United States and burning our flags right in downtown Baghdad.
SCARBOROUGH: And Pat, you say this is all because you‘ve been critical of the United States government for some time for their uncritical support of Israel. You think our Middle East policy is unbalanced, and my guess is you would say this is the worst example of that.
BUCHANAN: What I would say, this—look, Joe, we got to—we have to back Israel. Israel was provoked and attacked here, and they got a right to respond and get their people back. But we have to have the foreign policy of a great power. We‘ve got to talk to Iran. We‘ve got to talk to Syria. We cannot give Israel veto power over whom we talk to. And we got to place restrictions on what they do with weapons we give them, if we want to have a reputation in the Middle East other than the one that Mr. Olmert has today.
SCARBOROUGH: Mort Zuckerman, is Pat Buchanan right? Is Israel hurting our reputation in the Middle East? Do we need to be more concerned about what the Syrias and Irans think of us?
ZUCKERMAN: Well, let me just—let me just comment on both parts of what you just asked Pat about. Let me do the latter first. Israel is not the country that‘s stopping the United States from speaking to Syria or Iran. We haven‘t spoken to Iran since they seized the hostages back in 1979, going through all kinds of different administrations. We do have a consulate in Damascus, and of course—what our concern is about speaking to this government of Assad is not only do we believe he has assassinated the president of Lebanon but that he‘s the host country for dozens of terrorist organizations. So we are having conversations with him, but at a lower level.
I certainly do think we ought to speak to Syria. I agree with Pat in that respect. I don‘t know how we would speak to Iran and come up with anything other than when we‘ve just been part of a six-party—six-country group that‘s made a proposal to Iran and agreed to sit down with them to discuss it for the first time since 1979. So I don‘t think it is entirely true that it is Israel that is stopping us. This is an American policy, not to talk to these people. You can debate it one way or the other, but it‘s certainly not being vetoed by Israel.
Now let‘s go to the other side of it. I would support any way that we could end this war earlier, short of leaving Hezbollah in a position to be rearmed by Iran so that within two or three years, with longer, more accurate and more lethal missiles, that you could have another catastrophe in Israel...
BUCHANAN: Well, Mort—Mort...
ZUCKERMAN: This is, after all, something that...
ZUCKERMAN: ... started by Hezbollah. When Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000, there was no territorial issue, no occupation issue. It is not just this last thing that Hezbollah has done. They‘ve been attacking Israel with rockets for—ever since they left...
BUCHANAN: But Mort...
ZUCKERMAN: ... and this government has to respond...
SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan, if you talk to any supporter of Israel, strong supporter of Israel, they will tell you if Israel calls for a ceasefire now, agrees to a ceasefire, all they‘re doing is allowing Hezbollah to rearm and reorganize.
ZUCKERMAN: Right. Right.
BUCHANAN: Well, Joe, let me tell you something. That‘s right. Israel‘s strategy was stupid to begin with. It was wrong. It was air force-oriented. It was designed to destroy the nation of Lebanon, its economy, its airfields, power plants, instead of going after the people that attacked them, Hezbollah. If Israel had done in the first week what it started doing in the fourth, which is moving into southern Lebanon, it would still have the world on its side. It has given away the moral high ground. It has given away a tremendous amount of support. It has embarrassed and damaged the United States.
And part of the reason is this blank check the administration gives to Olmert and Israel. We got a situation where a secretary of state of the United States is sitting in Tel Aviv and can‘t go anywhere else in the Arab world because nobody else wants to talk to them. I think the—I agree with Mort to this extent. The problem is not Israel, the problem is the weakness on the part of the president of the United States and this government, which cannot stand up and say no to Israel, we‘re going to do something else, we‘re going to have an American policy in the Middle East.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. We‘re going to have to leave it there. Mort Zuckerman and Pat Buchanan, thank you so much. Greatly appreciate it. A fascinating debate.
And coming up next: Mel Gibson‘s supporters coming out of the woodwork (INAUDIBLE) defend the actor and really enjoying attacking me in the process. We‘ll talk about a Fox News reporter that did that and a future Fox Newser. And later: How‘s this for parenting skills, actress Melanie Griffith lighting up cigarettes for her teenage daughter. Thanks, Ma. That‘s coming up.
SCARBOROUGH: Time for tonight‘s “Must See S.C.,” some video you just got to see. First up, move over, Twiggy, the water-skiing squirrel. You‘ve now got competition. Twiggy, meet this 22-month-old Minnesota toddler who can match you turn for turn. The Toddler‘s already mastered tubing and disc (ph) skiing. And now Junior can cross water skiing off the list, as well, all before he learned to ride a bike.
And you know, the heat wave that‘s gripped the nation this week seemed to affect just about everybody, but we certainly never thought it would claim our own very well-pressed Brian Williams.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY LENO, HOST, “THE TONIGHT SHOW”: You know, I thought Brian Williams was going to lose it doing the news. Did you see him earlier tonight doing the news? It was so hot in the studio. Well, show it. Take a look. Take a look.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, ANCHOR, “NBC NIGHTLY NEWS”: It has been so punishing, so widespread and has lasted so long, you hear a lot of people saying it didn‘t used to be like this, didn‘t used to be this hot, and because of global warming, we‘ve done this to ourselves. But is that indeed the case? NBC‘s (INAUDIBLE) has a reality check.
LENO: I was stunned!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: You know, it has to be hot in those studios up there, but I just never imagined it being that hot.
Speaking of hot, still ahead, a Fox News host and a future Fox News host decide the best way to defend Mel Gibson is to attack me. I‘ll have my not so gentle response for them coming up next. Plus, Marilyn Monroe reincarnated? Well, it sounds crazy. We‘re going to be meeting the woman who says she‘s the former Ms. Monroe and the doctor who says he can prove it.
SCARBOROUGH: Still ahead on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, many women who love to be like Marilyn Monroe, but one woman says she is the sex icon reincarnated. Skeptics, tune in. Wait until you hear what she and her doctor have the say.
Plus, Britney Spears isn‘t the only celebrity accused of putting her child in harm‘s way. The stunning new picture of Melanie Griffith you‘ll see in our “Hollyweird Round-up.”
Hey, welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. Those stories in just minutes.
But first, as you know on Wednesday night, we conducted an experiment expert here in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, where one of my producers drank enough to get himself to a .12 blood alcohol level. Now, that was the same level that Mel Gibson was at when he went on that anti-Semitic terror.
We just wanted to test whether Mel Gibson‘s blood alcohol level was really the reason he defamed the entire Jewish race. Though a longtime Gibson fan, I didn‘t buy the old “bottle made me do it” routine that I‘ve seen Hollywood actors hide behind. I mean, this rehab routine has been tried so many times that I wanted to sniff out this sorry excuse.
So we tested Gibson‘s alibi, and we saw whether it was the alcohol talking or his own prejudices. So what did we do? We had our producer put himself in the same medical state as “Braveheart.” But our producer‘s reaction was quite different from Mad Mel‘s, who said this to the cops the night they tried to arrest him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (bleep) Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: As they say in tennis, game, set, match. Our experiment proved Mel Gibson‘s alibi was a load of trash, but judging from the howling from conservative circles who still support Mr. Gibson, apparently our experiment was too effective.
This clip was taken from a transcript of FOX News Channel‘s John Gibson‘s radio show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joe Scarborough involved in a cheap stunt last night. Now, I asked Judge Napolitano about this who has presided over countless drunk driving cases. He says you can‘t drink .12 in an hour. You can‘t get there. This just can‘t get any dumber, can it? Talk about empty calories.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: FOX News‘s John Gibson can talk about empty calories all he wants, but if I were him, I‘d be more concerned with empty heads. Now, Gibson seems to be suggesting that a judge would be more of an expert in administrating a breathalyzer exam than a law enforcement officer who actually administers breathalyzer exams. We brought one in of those officers to conduct the experiment, and he did it straight up. But Gibson called us all frauds because we attacked his buddy, Mel Gibson.
I wonder if John‘s really comfortable calling a law enforcement officer a liar. And even if he is comfortable calling a law enforcement officer a liar, is John Gibson really suggesting that a New Jersey judge like Judge Napolitano is comfortable calling a New Jersey police officer a liar?
I know Judge Napolitano, and I‘m pretty damn sure he‘d never call me a liar, and I certainly know he‘d never call a New Jersey police officer a liar who had involved himself in a dishonest stunt. But that‘s what John Gibson said he did.
But Gibson‘s rant was mild compared to the seething rage that still seems to be running through the veins of future FOX News host Laura Ingraham, who has had a hard-on for this network since she was unceremoniously dumped years ago. Now, Laura Ingraham says she likes me, but judging from her embittered attacks, that‘s news to me. I guess she‘s just one more example of this take-no-prisoners, hate first, ask questions later mentality that has rotted the minds of liberals and conservatives alike.
Judge for yourself the words of Laura Ingraham read, not by Ms.
Ingraham, but by an amazing celebrity impersonator.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We must inform you of how low a network can go. If I was Joe Scarborough‘s producer looking at his ratings, I‘d be drinking, too. This is embarrassing. How can you go on the air with this and expect to get ratings? Hello?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Now, if I were Laura Ingraham, I would be careful about judging others‘ ratings at MSNBC. Ms. Ingraham‘s stint at this network was an be abject failure that ended in her firing that was followed by a decade of ill will.
Hey, I‘m very careful not to judge others. I‘m very careful not to cast the first stone. So I don‘t know what personal anger issues Ms. Ingraham has. I would suggest a course in anger management. And I don‘t know why she continues to hold this asinine, longstanding, childish grudge against MSNBC.
But she needs to get a grip. She needs to have a drink. And in the immortal words of John Riggins, you need to loosen up, Laura, baby.
Now, listen, I‘ve always tried to avoid getting into phony fights with politicians and other talk show hosts to pump up my ratings. I think my parents raised me to be better than that. What I‘ve relied on instead has been telling you the truth when it comes to Republicans, telling you the truth when it comes to Democrats, telling you the truth when it comes to conservatives, to liberals, to Christians, to Jews, and to Muslims.
I‘m proud to say I think that‘s what separates me from the overwhelming majority of talk show hosts who read talking points on other networks.
In this case, I turned from being one of Mel Gibson‘s biggest supporters to being one of his biggest critics. Why? Because it was the intellectually honest thing to do to say I was wrong.
And our experiment we delivered Tuesday night was devastating to Mel Gibson‘s argument. That‘s why Laura Ingraham and John Gibson, the apologists for the deliverer of those anti-Semitic smears, are now attacking me, attacking the staff of my show, and attacking law enforcement officers. It‘s a shame.
They owe us all an apology. And if they were man and woman to admit that, like me, sometimes they make mistakes, that‘s what they‘d do. But in this political environment, it doesn‘t seem like intellectual honesty is in great form.
Meanwhile, the battle lines in Hollywood over Gibson, whether you‘re for him or against him, continue to grow. Today, some of Mel‘s closest friends came out to support the embattled star, including pal Jodi Foster, who told the “L.A. Times,” quote, “Is he an anti-Semite? Absolutely not. But it‘s no secret that he‘s always fought a terrible battle about alcoholism.”
But are those who have come out to attack Mel Gibson Hollywood hypocrites? With me now to talk about it, Brent Bozell. He‘s president of Media Research Center. And Jim Warren, from the “Chicago Tribune.”
Brent, I read your column that you wrote, and, I‘ve got to say, I agree with you 100 percent. You have all these people—and I‘ve been attacking Mel Gibson for the words that he said. But it seems to me these same people that have been attacking him for his anti-Jewish remarks are strangely silent when you have media types attacking Christians. What‘s up with that?
BRENT BOZELL, MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER: Well, Joe, you know, if you look at the past five years, it‘s rather an awesome thing. Look, what Mel Gibson did is indefensible. No one‘s going to ever defend that, and he should have been condemned for that, and he apologized for that, and that apology should be accepted.
That being said, for years we have seen some of the most vicious anti-Christian, anti-Catholic bigotry coming out of Hollywood from people who not only say these things but they script these things. And the things that they script, as I put in my column, I gave about 20 examples. Each one of them is far worse than anything Mel Gibson has said.
So if we‘re going to spend a week condemning Mel Gibson for what he did, where is the world is the press condemning anti-Christians and anti-Catholics?
SCARBOROUGH: Now, give me specifics, because people are going to say that you‘re just exaggerating, that you‘ve got this persecution complex. Tick them off very quickly.
BOZELL: Sure. How about this? How about this? Penn and Teller, during a skit on HBO about Mother Teresa, arguably the holiest woman walking the face of this earth, called it Mother F‘ing Teresa.
Comedy Central does a special, “Merry F‘ing Christmas,” where the creator calls the Christmas story bull (bleep) and says that, nine years before he was born, someone knocked up his mom, on and on and on the examples go. And I‘m telling you, each and every single one of them is far more vicious than the despicable things that Mel Gibson said.
If we‘re going to say what Mel Gibson said was despicable—and we should—then it also stands to reason that we should condemn anti-Christian bigotry or we‘re hypocrites.
SCARBOROUGH: Jim Warren, why does it seem that every time somebody comes on and tries to raise a question of anti-Christian rhetoric out there, they‘re painted as some right-wing wacko, evangelical or reactionary Catholic, but here Mel Gibson goes out and says some truly shocking things that should be condemned, and all of a sudden all of Hollywood is united with this angst against him that somehow was missing when you attack Christians?
JAMES WARREN, “CHICAGO TRIBUNE”: First of all, Joe, I‘ll buy you a drink if you can answer the trivia question: Who was the original co-host of that just-belittled Laura Ingraham cable TV show in Washington? If you can figure that out by the end of the segment, I‘ll take you out next time in D.C.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m sorry. Ask me that—no, hold on. Ask me that question again.
WARREN: Who was the original co-host of that Laura Ingraham show you so belittled?
SCARBOROUGH: Would that be you, Jim?
WARREN: Yours truly.
SCARBOROUGH: Maybe that‘s why she‘s not working at MSNBC anymore, Jim...
WARREN: Oh, gosh. OK, a couple of things. Listening to Brent, whose writings I‘ve followed for a long time, he does seem a little bit like a lounge singer with a repertoire of one, maybe two songs, all of them about bashing the liberal media.
I will stipulate that a majority of folks in Hollywood are social and cultural liberals. And I‘ll definitely stipulate that there‘s tons of hypocrisy on the liberal side. But, Brett, even in what he just wrote today or the last two days on this, you know, shows no small amount himself as he exhibits vitriol in going, for instance, after British actor Ian McKellen, who was critical of “The Passion of Christ.” He goes after him with the same, I think, gratuitous vitriol as he is perceiving some liberals are going after Mel Gibson.
And when it comes to his McKellen versus liberals criticizing Gibson comparison, I think there is a difference between dissent and what I might argue in the case of Gibson is unadulterated hate speech.
SCARBOROUGH: Brent Bozell?
BOZELL: Let me respond to that. Number one, not once in that column will you ever see me, I believe, ever use the word liberal or conservative, because in this case it‘s not a liberal or conservative thing.
Number two, go to the Ian McKellen quote. What did he say? He said about the Bible, he said there should be a disclaimer on this book that it‘s a work of fiction. You may not understand this, Jim. This may not mean anything to you, but let me tell you something: For tens of millions of Christians, that‘s an insult.
Now, if it‘s insulting to Christians, how is it that no one says anything? And here‘s the important thing: Mel Gibson is in a drunken stupor and apologizes profusely. These folks are saying what they‘re saying, refusing to apologize, and repeating it with a devil-may-care attitude. Why? Because it‘s acceptable to do it in Hollywood, Jim.
SCARBOROUGH: And being very sober, right, Jim?
WARREN: If you go back and look at the zillions of words written about the Gibson movie, you‘ll see no small amount of criticism of it. It wasn‘t—you know, and it went both ways. I mean, there were a million op-ed pieces written. I don‘t think there were all these liberals who were, you know, showing political correctness all the time when it came to other matters, either.
And again, I will stipulate that there‘s, you know, no small amount of hypocrisy on the left when it comes to this stuff. But I just think Brent is painting with too broad a brush. And when it comes to Mel Gibson, forget even this last stuff a couple of days ago and how much booze he had in his system.
I might argue that, if you look at the movie itself that was done by presumably a sober director, Mel Gibson, I think what one finds in there was arguably much more dispiriting, as far as possible anti-Semitism, than whatever he said the other night. What he said the other night, I sympathize with the guy. The guy‘s got a huge problem. Drinking‘s a huge problem in this country. Get him into a drunk tank, and why don‘t we use this as a reason why we‘ve got to deal with this problem.
SCARBOROUGH: Brent, I‘ll give you the last word, 15 seconds. Go ahead.
BOZELL: You‘re missing the point. One can have a serious disagreement on matters of faith; that‘s not what I‘m talking about. I‘m talking about insults against the faith. And it‘s not a one-tune thing. Read my column. You said you read my column. I gave about 20 different examples.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thank you so much, Brent Bozell. Greatly appreciate it. Thank you, also, Jim Warren, as always.
And coming up next in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? You better get Mr. Coffee out and have a stiff one. This woman is now saying she‘s Marilyn Monroe reincarnated. Her doctor says he can prove it.
Plus, the queen of controversy is back. Madonna‘s new concert is drawing outrage overseas and from the Vatican, as she sings from the cross. One of our “Hollyweird” wrap-up.
SCARBOROUGH: The ultimate sex goddess of the 20th century. I, of course, the ultimate sex goddess of the 21st century. But in the 20th century, Marilyn Monroe was the icon of Hollywood glamour until her shocking death at the early age of 36. But now Marilyn is making headlines again. Here‘s the twist.
A Canadian singer thinks she‘s literally Marilyn Monroe reincarnated, and newspapers like the “L.A. Times” are writing about it. With me now is that singer, Sherrie Lea Laird. Also her psychiatrist, we have Dr. Adrian Finkelstein. He says the research that he‘s done proves Sherrie Lea really was Marilyn Monroe in another life.
So tell me, Sherrie, when did you get the idea first that you were Marilyn Monroe reincarnated?
SHERRIE LEA LAIRD, SAYS SHE‘S MARILYN MONROE REINCARNATED: When I was very, very little. I was around 5. And it came as flashbacks, and chest pains, and frights. And it wasn‘t a pleasant experience, to be quite honest.
SCARBOROUGH: When you were 5 years old, you had flashbacks that you were Marilyn Monroe?
SCARBOROUGH: What do you remember first about her life?
LAIRD: What I first remembered actually was the servicemen around.
There was a show called “Hawaii 5-0,” and that seemed to be the closest thing towards what I remembered the men looking like, being dressed in suits all the time. And that was something for me, and I felt attracted to them at 5, but that‘s kin of wrong, so I just—and then there was more and more flashbacks constantly, all the way up until I contacted Dr. Finkelstein.
SCARBOROUGH: How specific was it? I mean, do you remember times when you were with Arthur Miller? Do you remember times when you were with Joe DiMaggio? Do you remember times with Bobby Kennedy? Do you remember how you died?
LAIRD: Yes, yes to all of those things.
SCARBOROUGH: OK, how did you die?
LAIRD: I remember it emotionally. By my own hands.
SCARBOROUGH: By your own hands? How‘s that?
LAIRD: Pills, alcohol.
LAIRD: Yes. Marilyn was manic depressive. I don‘t think really anybody said it before. I don‘t think they‘re really zoning in on the fact that she was an extremely depressed person, just like any other person who needs medication or perhaps therapy. She didn‘t get that, and because of her social status, she didn‘t really have time to get that. And she got iller, and she died. That‘s just the way it is. She was suicidal and...
SCARBOROUGH: She was suicidal, and you say you remember she took her own life.
Doctor, you claim that, through your studies you can prove what the “L.A. Times” was talking about, that your patient actually is reincarnated as Marilyn Monroe? How do you do that?
DR. ADRIAN FINKELSTEIN, LAIRD‘S PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I think images speak louder. And I gave a clip of a video with a past life regression I performed on Sherrie in which, under a very deep hypnotic trance, called somnambulistic, after I suggested to her to forget anything that she knew artificially from public record about Marilyn Monroe, and that‘s backed by scientific journals on creating selective amnesia, she responded to hundreds of carefully researched questions by me about the life of Marilyn Monroe, and especially about the Kennedys and how she really died. And it was very dramatic. She was screaming, crying, gripping my hand.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, I‘ll tell you what, Doctor, stay with us. We‘ll be right back on the other side of the break with more SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: Let‘s now bring in psychiatrist Bethany Marshall.
Bethany, talk about reincarnation and what you heard the doctor talk about.
BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Well, I don‘t know about reincarnation, but she really does—this woman meets the criteria for something called delusional disorder, and that‘s where the patient fancies herself to be like usually a famous figure, Christ, Jesus, a celebrity.
Well, with delusional disorder, the delusion is so well-thought-out that often they bamboozle the psychiatrists and the other treatment providers. There is an uncanny relationship between this woman‘s life and Marilyn Monroe‘s, however, in that Marilyn was treated by a man named Ralph Greenson, was taken into his home towards the end of her life, because he so was worried about her. So the first Marilyn 1 and Marilyn 2 both had treating providers who were somewhat swayed by their celebrity and very concerned about them.
SCARBOROUGH: Sherrie, you want to respond to that?
LAIRD: That can fit some people, but I got a lot of people around me who enjoy my company and they think I‘m quite normal. That‘s time consuming, that delusional stuff. So I would think that, no, I‘m OK. It‘s actually just a spiritual thing.
SCARBOROUGH: Bethany, final question. Why do you think the “L.A.
Times” and other newspapers are so fascinated with this type of story?
MARSHALL: Well, we‘re all fascinated with celebrity. We‘re fascinated with Marilyn Monroe. Her psychiatrist is somewhat fascinated by her, because Marilyn 2 may buttress a theory that he‘s trying to support in his writings.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thank you so much. I greatly appreciate it.
Sherrie Lea Laird, Dr. Adrian Finkelstein, and Bethany Marshall.
Now, it‘s time to take a trip to Hollyweird. With me to talk about, from “Reality Remix,” Kennedy.
KENNEDY, “REALITY REMIX”: Hi, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: From “In Touch Weekly,” Tom O‘Neil. First up, another Suri Cruise sighting. We don‘t know if Suri can be reincarnated, because she may not have ever even been born. But, Tom, apparently she‘s alive. Explain?
TOM O‘NEIL, “IN TOUCH WEEKLY”: I don‘t buy this at all. You know, there have been more sightings of dead Elvis than Suri, so when these sightings of Suri surpass dead Elvis, I‘ll buy it. But, no, this comes from Penelope Cruz, Tom‘s ex. You know, he dated her from 2001 to 2004. She said at the premiere of her new movie, “Volver,” in London the other day that she has seen the baby.
SCARBOROUGH: I just don‘t buy it.
Kennedy, I know you don‘t buy it, either, and you don‘t believe that parents like Melanie Griffith should, like, allow their kids to smoke. Take a look at this picture of Melanie Griffith lighting up for her 14-year-old. Those are the type of Hollywood values we love in Middle America, isn‘t it, Kennedy?
KENNEDY: Oh, my gosh. Well, Melanie should not be that close to an open flame. Good lord, she was recently embalmed. I hear that collagen is very flammable, so I would caution her to stay away from that Marlboro light.
SCARBOROUGH: Actually, I guess she‘s 17 years old instead of 14.
Does that make it all right, Kennedy?
KENNEDY: Oh, my gosh, yes, that makes it great. Yes, when Melanie heard that you‘re supposed to teach your kids about smoking, she thought you were supposed to teach your kids how to smoke.
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, I see. I guess all those public service ads didn‘t...
KENNEDY: I‘ve seen Suri Cruise, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Are you a Scientologist, though, Kennedy?
KENNEDY: I will become a Scientologist if it means that I can spend more time with her. But we went over. We had a play date. I nursed her. She‘s alive and well. She looks like a baby.
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s awesome.
And finally, let‘s talk, Tom, about Madonna in trouble again because of that crazy cross thing she‘s doing over in Europe. What‘s Madonna up to?
O‘NEIL: She‘s really ticking off the pope this time, who by the way has condemned her twice before, for “Like a Virgin” and “Like a Prayer.” This is from her latest concert, Sunday night, within two miles of the Vatican. She‘s going to be reared up on that cross and singing a song called—what is it, “Live to Tell.” And the religious leaders are outraged.
SCARBOROUGH: And, of course, she knew they were going to be outraged, didn‘t they, Kennedy?
KENNEDY: Oh, good lord. Come on, the woman is like 57 or something. It‘s like a “Golden Girl” at this point. Get off the cross. That‘s so ‘89.
SCARBOROUGH: That is so 1989. Remember that Pepsi rollout she was...
KENNEDY: Oh, yes.
SCARBOROUGH: ... kissing the black Jesus and every—it‘s just too much for me, Kennedy, too much, Tom O‘Neil. Thanks so much for being with us. Greatly appreciate it.
KENNEDY: Jesus kisses Baby Suri.
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s all the time we have for tonight. We‘ll see you Monday in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Copy: Content and programming copyright 2006 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2006 Voxant, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon MSNBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.