Guests: Brad Blakeman, Georgia Goslee, Dan Ephron, Reverend Al Sharpton, Norman Pardo
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Welcome to the show. We‘re coming to you today from MSNBC‘s global headquarters.
It‘s good to have you with us, as always.
We cover all the bases on this show from the latest outrage in the Duke rape hoax to an uncensored O.J. Simpson.
But first, indisputably the top news of this day, the conflict in the Middle East.
On one of the bloodiest days since fighting broke out, at least 25 people died in Israeli airstrikes on Lebanon, while Hezbollah rockets continued to rain down on northern Israel.
Here‘s NBC News‘s Martin Savidge with the very latest from Beirut.
Marty, what‘s happening there?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, good evening, Tucker.
There are now at least 10 people that have been reported killed as a result of a bombing raid that took place here in Beirut actually just after the sun went down. The think that‘s notable about this particular attack was that you know for days and days and weeks now, the southern suburbs, the Hezbollah stronghold has been struck. This was outside that area.
This was actually a neighborhood that was called Chia (ph). It is a Shiite neighborhood sympathetic to Hezbollah, but it‘s not a Hezbollah neighborhood. And that‘s why it was occupied. And that‘s why you saw the casualties that you have.
An eight-story building flattened. Attempts are still under way at this hour to try to rescue others that may be trapped in the rubble.
Meanwhile, moving on to southern Lebanon, where tonight, a curfew has gone into effect. This is actually a warning that went out from the Israelis, and they said to anybody in southern Lebanon tonight, if you are out and about, you could be considered Hezbollah or someone attempting to launch rockets into northern Israel and that will not be tolerated.
Israel did not say when that curfew would be listed. In other words, they‘re implying that‘s the way it‘s going to remain from now on.
Also, the Lebanese government has called up 15,000 army reservists. Presumably, they are being called up so that they can be sent to the south of Lebanon to help enforce a cease-fire, but only after the Lebanese government says that Israeli troops leave.
And finally, there was a meeting of the Arab League, actually the foreign ministers in Beirut. They concurred with Lebanon that the cease-fire agreement that‘s being talked about at the U.N. does not work for them. They are sending their own delegation to New York to negotiate on behalf of Lebanon—Tucker.
CARLSON: Marty, this is a subjective question, but I would love to know your perception of it. Has Hezbollah been badly damaged militarily by the last 26 or so days of this offensive?
SAVIDGE: Well, you know, that is a difficult one to assess right now. Clearly, their capability of launching missiles does not seem to have been degraded significantly, not with the strike that they were able to carry out yesterday, and including all the way up to Haifa last evening.
So militarily, they are thought to be holding their own against the ground offensive on the part of the Israelis. The Israelis have only moved a couple of kilometers north from their border down there and into southern Lebanon.
The perception is amongst the Arab nations that Hezbollah has fought Israel to a draw on this one and, as a result, it‘s perceived as a victory, at least to the stature of Hezbollah. Many people outside of Lebanon believe that Hezbollah has made a significant gain against the Israelis. In fact, they would say a heroic gain—Tucker.
CARLSON: Well, you said a moment ago that Israel has said anybody moving about in southern Lebanon after dark will be considered Hezbollah or a sympathizer and is fair game. What about the many journalists who are covering the war from southern Lebanon, and what about the aid workers who are trying to get aid to the refugees and displaced people down there?
SAVIDGE: Yes, I would have to say that certainly it is the aid that is the greatest concern. And it‘s not just an issue of not being allowed to move after dark.
The Israelis imply you will not be allowed to move at all. And we know that there are tens of thousands of people that are still trapped in many of the cities, as well as many of the villages down there. They were afraid to move before; now they‘re definitely going to be afraid.
The U.N. says it cannot move any of its food convoys down there. And a number of other relief programs have said, look, this is essentially a blockade. No one is going to be able to move safely, no one will even attempt to move now. And there could become a humanitarian crisis beyond what is already happening in Lebanon.
CARLSON: Just remarkable.
Martin Savidge in Beirut.
Thanks a lot.
The White House frames the war between Israel and Lebanon as a battle between democracy and Islamic extremism. Here‘s President Bush talking about what he calls an “unfortunate incident” in the Middle East.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of the things that—one of the things that came out of this unfortunate incident in the Middle East is it is a stark reminder that there are those who want to stop the advance of liberty and destabilize young democracies. And they‘re willing to kill people to do so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: The “they” in that sentence is, of course, Hezbollah, but in one of the great unintended ironies of recent history, hasn‘t this war made Hezbollah itself even stronger? Indeed, it has.
Joining me now, Brad Blakeman, former deputy assistant to President Bush. He comes to us from Washington.
BRAD BLAKEMAN, FMR. DEPUTY ASSIST. TO PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you.
CARLSON: I don‘t think—again, as I‘ve said many times on this show, I don‘t think there are many Americans who don‘t understand why Israel went to war with Hezbollah. Of course. And America is on Israel‘s side, and I think we‘ll always be. But let‘s get real here.
This war at this stage is helping Hezbollah. And this administration at this stage has done nothing but abet that—this war. And by doing so, made Hezbollah stronger. Total disaster.
BLAKEMAN: Totally disagree with you. What happened here is that Hezbollah went too far, and they got what was coming to them.
The Lebanese people, their government was sold out by Syria and Iran as a surrogate for warfare by those countries using the Lebanese people. And what—look, Israel...
CARLSON: But I agree with you completely.
BLAKEMAN: Israel didn‘t lose anything in this battle, because Israel has the might. They could have wiped out Lebanon in a day if they chose to. They chose not to.
CARLSON: I‘m not attacking Israel for lack of restraint. And god knows I‘m not defending Hezbollah or Iran or Syria. They‘re all bad, as far as I‘m concerned.
CARLSON: And they can all go up in a puff of smoke, and that would be great. But the fact is, they‘re not going up in a puff of smoke. Hezbollah, by any measure, is stronger now than when it started.
BLAKEMAN: I disagree.
CARLSON: So, look, I am emotionally sympathetic to Israel, but I‘m getting the impression Israel has no idea what it‘s doing. It‘s helping Hezbollah. What...
BLAKEMAN: It knows exact what it‘s doing.
CARLSON: And what is it doing? I don‘t get it.
BLAKEMAN: Here‘s what Israel is doing, Israel is protecting their borders. Israel is fighting with one hand tied behind their back. They‘re fighting according to international law.
Israel doesn‘t want to take over Lebanon. What they want to do is enforce 1559. They want a safe border. That‘s what‘s happening.
Hezbollah hasn‘t won. Hezbollah is being pushed back. And it‘s time for the international community to come down on Hezbollah. It‘s part of the international community to enforce U.N. 1559.
CARLSON: I agree with you.
BLAKEMAN: So Israel hasn‘t lost anything.
CARLSON: Brad, I agree with you—I agree with you completely, but you need to keep your eyes on the prize here. And the prize is the degradation, maybe ultimately the destruction of Hezbollah. And if that is your goal, and it ought to be, and everyone claims it is, this is a colossal historic failure for this reason—and you answer this honestly if you can—if an election were held today in Lebanon, today, who do you think would win? Hezbollah would win. Nobody contests that.
That‘s a disaster and a tragedy. Let‘s just admit it.
BLAKEMAN: Look, it doesn‘t matter who will win. The fact of the matter is, no such election is going to take place. Here‘s what‘s going to take place.
Two resolutions are going to be passed in the U.N. Now it‘s up to the international community to step up to the plate and enforce those resolutions, disarm Hezbollah, create a buffer zone, man it with international forces, and maintain peace between Israel and Lebanon, and stop arms from coming in from Syria and Iran.
CARLSON: But wait a second, Brad. I‘m so—I‘m so surprised to hear you say it doesn‘t matter who would win that election, because as you know as an acolyte of the Bush administration, elections are all that matters.
“Democracy,” “freedom,” these are the terms that the president throws around as if they somehow magically make a situation, a complicated situation, simple. Here‘s what he said today.
“We believe democracy yields peace.” This is the president talking about things he has no understanding of at all. “And the actions of Hezbollah through its sponsors, Iran and Syria, are trying to stop the advance of democracy.”
Well, he‘s half right. Hezbollah is bad, so is Iran, so is Syria. But democracy itself, it yields peace? We had democracy in Lebanon. We have democracy in the occupied territories. We got Hamas and Hezbollah.
How does democracy yield peace? I don‘t get that.
BLAKEMAN: Democracy, because of its basic tenets, will bring peace if the people buy into the system. What we had is, in Lebanon, for instance, is we had a democratic process that was well under way to being started, but the Lebanese government itself sold out its own people for terrorists, and that‘s what we‘ve seen. They‘ve allowed this to occur.
CARLSON: Wait—wait a second. Doesn‘t—wait, answer my question. Doesn‘t Hezbollah have seats in the parliament? I believe they have a number of cabinet ministers.
BLAKEMAN: Yes, they do.
CARLSON: So the people of Lebanon chose Hezbollah, just as the people of...
BLAKEMAN: Not in a majority. Not in a majority at all.
CARLSON: Not in a majority.
BLAKEMAN: They allowed a minority to rule like the majority. That‘s what happened.
CARLSON: Well, what about—the Palestinians are now governed by Hamas, Hamas, which was not—formerly a terrorist group, is now a ruling coalition, because of what? Democracy. So, the idea that democracy brings you a peaceful outcome is so stupid, that the idea that the president could say that out loud and not be laughed off the stage baffles me. I don‘t get it.
BLAKEMAN: It‘s not stupid, but sometimes people make very bad choices.
CARLSON: I know. That‘s my point.
BLAKEMAN: And the people—the Palestinian Authority are learning that their choices are not going to bring the peace that should be in that area. And sometimes you have to be—you have to play the hand that‘s dealt you, and Israel right now has given opportunity, has given land to the Palestinian people. And if they squander that, so be it.
CARLSON: No, but I—look, I agree with everything you just said. My only point is, this administration is operating from this premise—let me read it to you again. “We believe democracy yields peace.” That‘s our president today standing next to our secretary of state, and that is a false sentence.
BLAKEMAN: No it isn‘t.
CARLSON: That is provably untrue.
BLAKEMAN: Generally—generally speaking, people want a democratic society. They want freedoms. They want the ability to vote. Something that is, quite frankly, in this area of the world—is not common to these people.
CARLSON: But sometimes they want an anti-American theocracy run by nut cakes in turbans. And that‘s what they want.
BLAKEMAN: And you want to know something? They do it at their peril.
I agree with you, radical Islam is a very, very dangerous...
BLAKEMAN: ... principle that is taking hold in this region.
BLAKEMAN: But, guess what? Iran is not going to have a nuclear weapon. We are not going to be held hostage to radical Islam. And if they‘re going to be dealt with, so be it. But let‘s try and bring the international community and bring some sense to this troubled area and not throw our hands up in the air.
CARLSON: I agree. And let‘s try to bring some sense to this White House and their foreign policy, which is, you know, the more—I‘m just going to say one thing. We‘re out of time.
I‘m going to say, if you have a chance—you watching this program—if you have a chance to read the president‘s comments today, his press conference...
BLAKEMAN: I did.
CARLSON: Yes. I bet you did read it. You can‘t explain that to me because the president himself doesn‘t understand what he‘s saying. It‘s incomprehensible.
BLAKEMAN: No, he does understand what he‘s saying. And what he‘s saying is, look, let‘s—let‘s get the international community involved, let‘s do what the U.N. charter expects of its members, and let‘s make them accountable. That‘s what the president is doing, and it will work, but it‘s not going to work by tomorrow, the next day. This is overtime.
CARLSON: Boy, I wish we had more time, Brad, because I‘d love to—
I‘d love to have you point where the president said that. I didn‘t get that, but I appreciate your coming on. You are more articulate than the man you defend.
Still to come, when you think “Beat the Press,” of course you think Bill O‘Reilly. We won‘t disappoint you today. The big man himself makes his triumphant return just ahead.
And O.J. Simpson uncensored. Simpson proclaimed he was on a man on a mission to find his wife‘s killers. Did you believe him? Well, we‘ve got evidence of what he‘s been really doing coming up..
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time now for “Beat the Press.”
First up, FOX‘s Bill O‘Reilly. On his radio show last week, O‘Reilly discussed the rape and murder of 18-year-old Jennifer Moore. See if you can tell who he thinks is responsible for the killing of that New Jersey girl.
Here he is.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BILL O‘REILLY, RADIO HOST: She was 5‘2, 105 pounds, wearing a mini skirt and a halter top with a bare midriff. Now, again, there you go. So every predator in the world is going to pick that up at 2:00 in the morning.
She‘s walking by herself on the west side highway, and she gets picked up by a thug, all right? Now she‘s he out-of-her-mind drunk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So she‘s got a halter top with a bare midriff and she‘s drunk; therefore, she gets raped and murdered, as if that‘s natural? That‘s what happens when you‘ve got a bare midriff and you‘re loaded? Not in my America, buddy.
Pretty low standards. I mean, I don‘t know if O‘Reilly is attempting to blame her for luring this guy in, or what, but the fact is, it‘s sick all the way around. You ought to be able to wear whatever you want on our streets and not get raped and murdered. Period.
Next up, local California station 10-4 San Diego—that‘s the name of the channel—it looks like somebody there missed the story meeting. Poor Carol LeBeau. The 5:00 anchor didn‘t seem to know what was on her own show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 10 News live at 5:00 is straight ahead.
Carol LeBeau is in the 10 newsroom with a look at what‘s coming up.
CAROL LEBEAU, 10-4 SAN DIEGO: All right. Well, we‘re going to have it all for you, all the news of the day, weather and sports. And I don‘t have a script for you all right now. We‘ll get back to that in just a few minutes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Carol. Appreciate that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It‘s hard to do that without a script.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That script thing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But believe me, there‘s a lot of exciting stuff that‘s happening in the 5:00 newscast.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Yes, it‘s hard to do that without a script. It‘s hard. If you want to know what people work in television fear, you just saw it.
And finally, a disgrace involving a freelance photographer working for Reuters. This photograph by ad man Hodge (ph) was posted on news Web sites on Saturday showing a dark, billowing smoke casting a shadow over Beirut following an Israeli airstrike. But Sunday, Reuters withdrew the photo and replaced it with this one, the undoctored version.
Hawkeyeed bloggers pointed out that the snapshot was altered using Photoshop software. According to the photographer, he was just trying to remove dust marks. Reuters says it will no longer accept Hodge‘s (ph) photos and has withdrawn all of his past pictures from the news agency‘s news wires.
The irony in this story, of course, is the original photo is every bit as dramatic, maybe more dramatic than the doctored photo. There was no reason to change reality, because in this case, rehalt was all the drama you needed.
This photographer, by the way, has come under fire from interest groups in preceding weeks accused of doctoring other photos, staging other photos. We don‘t know if that‘s true or not, but he just blew up his own carer, and understandably.
Well, how would you like to help us “Beat the Press”?
Give us a call and tell us what you‘ve seen. The number here, 1-877-BTP-5876. 877-278-5876. Operators are standing by. Give us a buzz.
Coming up, Senator Joe Lieberman is on the verge of losing his job after three terms. But will his negative Joe-mentum also spell the end of Hillary Clinton‘s hopes for the White House? We‘ll explain the reasoning.
And the Duke rape case has been full of holes since day one, an obvious hoax. But still, the D.A. there refuses to drop it. We found a prosecutor who says Mike Nifong will win in the end.
That story when we return.
CARLSON: So what will it take for Durham D.A. Mike Nifong to drop the Duke rape case, concede what everyone else knows, that it‘s a hoax? The accuser reportedly gave at least five different versions of the assault to police and medical personnel. And according to one officer‘s notes, she said ID‘ing the suspects was “harder than I thought.”
Despite all of this, the D.A. refuses to drop the case. My next guest says he could even win it.
Former federal prosecutor Georgia Goslee joins us from Washington.
GEORGIA GOSLEE, FMR. FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Hi, Tucker.
The purpose of this segment really—this segment was inspired both by the fact that we‘ve been on this case since the very beginning, and I think have shown pretty conclusively it‘s a hoax, but also there‘s a devastating new “Raleigh News & Observer” piece he about it, really pretty definitive piece in yesterday‘s paper, that brings to light a number of facts that are hard to contest, such as this woman gave at least five different versions of the assault to police and medical personnel, she was unable to from day one, I.D. the people she claims raped her. And, of course, she made a similar claim about a group of men years before that was unproven.
Why do you think that she is telling the truth?
GOSLEE: I believe she‘s telling the truth because of a number of things that I draw from—not only from my professional experience as a trial lawyer over the years, but just from applying—looking at the evidence through my vantage point as a former federal prosecutor and as a criminal defense attorney. There are a lot of things that I just draw upon common sense.
For example, you have young 19, 20-year-old men who have been drinking Jack Daniels, Tucker, all day long. They‘ve been drinking all day, partying, celebrating, and they decide that they‘re going to hire women to come in and have these sexual dances, or whatever.
They disguise their names when the women come in. And all of a sudden the women—this particular woman is claiming that she was raped. The other dancer, Kim Roberts, in the story I read today, says that she actually believes that they‘re guilty. And remember, there was an opportunity for this woman to be raped...
GOSLEE: ... because Kim Roberts repeatedly said that she left the bathroom...
CARLSON: ... now, I don‘t want to be mean here, but you know...
GOSLEE: Well, you don‘t have to be mean.
CARLSON: ... but hold on. First of all, the behavior of the men you just described could apply to, I would say, probably 80 to 90 percent of the men in this country. You‘re young, you get loaded, you invite strippers over. That does not imply, much less prove, rape.
Moreover, Kim Roberts, the other stripper there, we know, from the “Raleigh News & Observer,” this piece worth reading, told police that she didn‘t think there was—she had no idea of any assault that took place.
GOSLEE: So you‘re assuming that because she made that statement that it didn‘t happen? You‘re believing everything Kim Roberts says?
CARLSON: I don‘t know. You just—you just held her up as evidence that this woman was raped.
GOSLEE: No, I‘m not holding her up as evidence. I‘m talking about what she said as it relates to an opportunity for the young lady to be raped. And we all know that she made a call to a New York public relations firm trying to get her 15 minutes of fame.
CARLSON: Let me ask you a really simple question here. We know that the accuser in this case told medical personnel directly after the rape allegedly occurred that she was raped by three men in various ways and that they weren‘t wearing condoms. And that they—that the sex act resulted in completion here.
Why do you think there is no physical evidence of any kind, no DNA evidence, and, frankly, no physical evidence, no abrasions consistent with rape?
GOSLEE: Well, first of all, that‘s not true. There is evidence. There was evidence of DNA of Seligman who lived in that house. There was two or three other specimens of semen found on a towel and some other areas of that house.
CARLSON: Well, I mean, on the victim.
GOSLEE: There was DNA under her fingernail found in a trash can where she was raped. So I would not say that that‘s no evidence. Remember, Tucker, you have a seasoned prosecutor...
CARLSON: Wait. Wait a minute. I‘m sorry, I can‘t let you—I can‘t let you go with that, with all due respect.
CARLSON: I am pretty certain, unless something happened in the last eight or nine minutes before we came on this show, that no DNA evidence was taken off the woman herself. She says she was raped by three men physically, they had physical contact with her body, and there‘s no DNA evidence to suggest that actually happened.
Do you have evidence that none of us have heard of until now?
GOSLEE: No. I remember reading a story that the accuser‘s mother said that she was a little concerned that the DNA didn‘t show up because it was actually tested by some of the people involved at Duke University. I‘m not saying that‘s the case. That‘s what the mother of the accuser has said.
The only thing I‘m saying is, I believe and I‘ve always believed that the young lady is not so naive to—and stupid to make an allegation of this gratitude, of this gravity, and then not follow through.
GOSLEE: She he was offered $2 million, Tucker. And why would she be offered $2 million by the Duke alumni if nothing happened?
CARLSON: Look, if there was evidence that these kids raped her, I would be—I would be for putting them in prison until they die. Rape is such a horrible crime. I just don‘t believe there‘s any evidence at all.
GOSLEE: Well, why are there four or five different people...
CARLSON: And if some comes to light, I will change my—my view on a dime.
GOSLEE: Why are there four or five different people, other than Nifong? We have a bail commissioner, we have two or three judges involved, we have police officers, we have a nurse, all who say her trauma was consistent with rape.
CARLSON: I don‘t understand—I don‘t understand people‘s motives, but I will say...
GOSLEE: And just because you don‘t understand their motives, Tucker, doesn‘t mean it didn‘t happen.
CARLSON: ... in this case, I think—I think—I think you‘re on the wrong side of this one, Georgia.
GOSLEE: No, you‘re on the wrong side.
CARLSON: But I appreciate your coming on. Thank you.
GOSLEE: And we‘ll see in the end.
CARLSON: Yes, we sure will.
Still to come, was this the kiss of death from the president and the beginning of the end for Joe Lieberman? And could his Joe-mentum be the death of the Democrat Party‘s hopes for the White House in 2008?
We‘ve got that story. We‘ll show it to you when we return.
CARLSON: Still to come, the Reverend Al Sharpton tells us why a Joe Lieberman loss could mean the end of Hillary Clinton‘s presidential hopes.
Plus, the real O.J. on tape. You‘ll meet the man who shot more than 80 hours of behind the scenes footage of O.J. Simpson. We‘ll get to that in just a moment, but right now, a look at your headlines.
(STOCK MARKET UPDATE)
CARLSON: Welcome back. Hezbollah is relatively new to most Americans, but then, before September 11th, so was Al Qaeda. That‘s the point of a new report in “Newsweek” magazine. “Newsweek” suggests that Hezbollah may already have a terrorist network in place here in the U.S. that could strike quickly if called upon.
Dan Ephron is the national security correspondent for “Newsweek.” He joins us from Washington with more on his report. Dan, welcome.
DAN EPHRON, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, “NEWSWEEK”: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: You think this is a real threat, and if so, outline quickly the scope of it.
EPHRON: I think what‘s going on is that Hezbollah has people here who raise money for the organization, people who deal in credit card fraud and cigarette smuggling. And they send the money back to Lebanon, to Hezbollah.
I think that the people we spoke to in putting together this story were very adamant about the fact that Hezbollah is not planning an attack on U.S. soil and that there has not been a change in Hezbollah policy, which for at least for a decade, has been not to target Americans either abroad or here for strategic reasons, for the benefit of their own group.
CARLSON: Yes, that was kind of my understanding, I mean, that Hezbollah, however you feel about it—and I think it sounds like an evil group—but is a player in the regional conflict, is a group that is fighting Israel and not the United States. Is there reason to believe that could change?
EPHRON: Well, Hezbollah is a player in a regional conflict, and Hezbollah‘s main enemy is Israel. But Hezbollah is also a proxy of the Iranians,. I think I that‘s certainly the kind of thing that Israel has been saying for years. And probably the conclusion we can draw from the last month of fighting and from the kind of weaponry we‘ve been seeing in Lebanon.
As such, the issue of Hezbollah striking at Americans really depends on the kind of American policy towards Iran down the road. And the scenario that people worry about is that the more pressure the United States puts on Iran, say, over its nuclear program, the nuclear weapons program, depending on who you believe, the more likely Iran would be to employ Hezbollah, to push Hezbollah, into carrying out attacks against Americans, maybe abroad, maybe on soft targets, in places like South America where Hezbollah has operated in the past, or in Europe, or maybe on U.S. soil.
CARLSON: If we know that there are members of Hezbollah in this country, why can‘t we do something about it? And can we? I mean, could I just announce that I am a member and-or supporter of Hezbollah? Is that illegal?
EPHRON: Well, Hezbollah is declared a terrorist organization by the United States, so supporting Hezbollah is a criminal act. And we are doing things about it. Security people are doing things about it. There have been indictments against some of these groups, including a group in Detroit that was running cigarettes across state lines from North Carolina to Michigan that was engaging in credit card fraud.
We saw some of these indictments earlier this year, but it‘s difficult to do. And law enforcement people are the first to say that it‘s very difficult to crack down on financial crimes. And that some of this goes on, and it becomes a fairly lucrative business for the group back in Lebanon.
CARLSON: Is it your perception that the war against Hezbollah being waged by Israel has hurt or helped, made weaker or stronger, Hezbollah?
EPHRON: It‘s probably hurt and helped Hezbollah. I think it‘s hurt Hezbollah militarily. For a month, almost, Israel has battered Hezbollah and probably wiped out some portion of its arsenal, of its military capability.
But I think as these things go, with Israel and with us here in the United States often, the tougher we get against some of these groups, the more popular they grow in their own constituency and across the Arab world. So I think it‘s a double-edged sword.
CARLSON: So is the belief that this war will help Hezbollah‘s fund raising in the West?
EPHRON: I think that probably is the right assumption. I think that in communities across the United States, Arab-American communities and certainly Lebanese-American communities, there is much more sympathy for their brethren in Lebanon, generally for the civilians that are getting killed and so on.
And often, that translates into support for Hezbollah. You know, many of the Lebanese-Americans—many of the Lebanese community here in the United States are Christians. And Hezbollah, an Islamic group, wouldn‘t be their natural choice for support. But we‘ve seen at least statements of support for Hezbollah in the past few weeks, and I think that‘s a result of the war that‘s going on there.
CARLSON: From Christian Arabs. That‘s about the worst sign you can imagine. Dan Ephron of “Newsweek.” Thanks a lot, Dan.
EPHRON: Thank you.
CARLSON: Well, in six short years, Joe Lieberman has gone from would-be vice-president to incumbent senator fighting for his political life. Lieberman is trailing businessman Ned Lamont in the polls ahead of tomorrow‘s primary election in Connecticut.
The three-term senator has taken heavy criticism for his support of President Bush in the war in Iraq. If Lieberman loses, what does that mean for other Democrats, Democrats like Hillary Clinton, who voted for the war along with Joe Lieberman?
Here to help answer that question, the founder of the National Action Network, a man who in actively working against Joe Lieberman, the Reverend Al Sharpton joining us from New York. Reverend Al, thanks for coming on.
REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: Thank you, tucker.
CARLSON: So what‘s your problem with Joe lieberman? I mean, he‘s pretty liberal, actually. He‘s no right-winger on domestic policy. Why are you...
SHARPTON: Well, I think that the critical issue that‘s facing voters this season will be the war. And I think that Joe Lieberman has consistently supported the president and has consistently defended the president.
And I think that when you look at his record and look at the fact that the people of this country has overwhelmingly now said what many of us said years ago, that this war was based on flawed and false information, Joe Lieberman should expect that people are not going to have confidence in him.
This is about the war. This is about the Bush policies. We didn‘t choose to align Mr. Lieberman with George Bush. He did. As you know, I ran against him in the presidential primary. He defended the president in every Democratic debate. He can‘t turn around now and act like he‘s not the same Joe Lieberman that was with George Bush all along.
CARLSON: You‘re right. You‘re right. You‘re totally right. I mean, look. It‘s hard on one level to argue with your point. The most important issue is the war. Joe Lieberman has been very clear, noble, in fact, in his clarity, in support of this war. And why shouldn‘t he pay the consequences for it, considering his own party hates the war?
All that I completely agree with you on. However, isn‘t this terrible for your party? If the Democratic Party becomes the anti-war party—I mean, that‘s happened before; we know he what happens then—you‘re going to lose.
SHARPTON: Absolutely not. I think that if the Democratic Party becomes the party that says, “We can come out of this war that we should have never been brought into and return our dignity around the world,” it becomes the party that can‘t be beat.
I think the party that is losing is the party headed by a man who‘s so low in the polls that he doesn‘t even know what policy is. There are people in the Republican Party running away from George Bush. Why would Democrats be running toward him?
CARLSON: I‘ll tell you exactly why. Because it‘s much more difficult for Democrats to be the anti-war party because they very quickly become the Jackson Browne Party. Do you know what I mean? They become the peacenik, the dippy, soft party that doesn‘t really know what it‘s doing.
I‘ll give you an example. I want to read you a quote. This was in the “Wall Street Journal” today in a really interesting piece by Marty Peretz in “The New Republic.” Wrote this piece about Mr. Lamont, who is the challenger to Joe Lieberman. Looks like he‘s about to win.
This is Mr. Lamont on the question of Iran, what we should do about Iran‘s nuclear program. Quote, “ We should work diplomatically and aggressively to give them, Iran, reasons why they don‘t need to build a bomb, to give them incentives.”
In other words, he has no clue. I mean, the point is, look, it‘s very easy to be against a war. I‘m against this war. I get that. But a peace candidacy, like a peace party, is too simplistic an answer, and it makes voters nervous.
SHARPTON: First of all, if that was the answer of the Democratic Party, and that was the answer of the Lamonts all the way to those who run ‘08 (ph), you might be right. That is not necessarily the answer. You can‘t take a quote from a right-wing editorial page and make that our answer. The problem is that...
CARLSON: It‘s a quote from the candidate. I mean, it‘s not like...
SHARPTON: I think he‘s a very serious guy. I think that when you look at Ned Lamont from universal health care to dealing with public education where he‘s been a volunteer teacher in Bridgeport schools all the way to international policy, he‘s been very serious.
And I think that the Lieberman forces have been trying to reduce him to sound bytes because they can‘t justify their own. The fact is, what has been President Bush‘s policy in Iran other than trying to say, “Let‘s try to talk this out and not try to deal with it as quickly as I did in Iraq”?
CARLSON: You may be right that Bush‘s policy in Iran...
CARLSON: I‘m not defending it. I‘m merely saying it‘s very different for Democrats. Democrats are very quickly perceived as weak and hapless, as Mike Dukakis, as Jimmy Carter, as wet noodle loser wimps.
SHARPTON: I think that worked, Tucker, until the Republican—may I say something?
SHARPTON: I think that worked until the Republicans brought us in a war, could not come up with the weapons of mass destruction, could not find bin Laden. It‘s going to be very hard to make us look weak when you can‘t find bin Laden almost on the fifth anniversary, when you can‘t resolve the war in Iraq. I think that the Republicans are looking very loony and looking at some...
CARLSON: I would give you half of that, but here‘s where it falls down, Rev. You talk to Democrats about the war on terror, and they, I think, fairly critique the president‘s policies as disastrous. I believe they‘re disastrous. But the difference between the Democrats and...
SHARPTON: The people in Connecticut should not vote for disaster tomorrow.
CARLSON: At least Bush understands that we face a threat from radical Islam. Democrats don‘t have the cojones to stand up and say, “We are threatened. Our lives, our way of life are threatened by radical Islam.”
SHARPTON: I don‘t think that‘s true at all.
CARLSON: I dare you to say it. I dare you to say that.
SHARPTON: I think the Democrats have said that we understand the threat. We know how to deal with the threat. In the eight years that we had the last Democrat in, we were certainly not wimps. And I think that there‘s a difference between those that try to call people wimps and those...
CARLSON: You even say that on the show. You won‘t even look into the camera and say, “The threat is from radical Islam,” because they‘re too afraid of offending interest groups composed of radical Muslims. You know that‘s true.
SHARPTON: First of all the threat is that the people that attacked America are still at large, and the Republicans have failed to go after the people that attacked us and have gone after the people that didn‘t attack us.
And as long as you have people in the White House and those weak Democrats like my buddy Joe Lieberman that go after people that did not come after us, we will not solve terrorism.
CARLSON: We‘ve got it—can you just wait right there for a minute? We‘ve got a commercial break, but we‘ll be right back because I‘m this close to convincing you.
Still ahead, O.J. Simpson as you have never—and perhaps never wanted to—see him. It‘s an often vulgar behind the scenes look at a day in the life of O.J. We‘ll be back with that, and of course, more Al Sharpton.
CARLSON: Welcome back. I just want to make something absolutely clear. In our conversation with Georgia Goslee a moment ago about the Duke rape hoax, she alleged—or appeared to allege; she was speaking pretty quickly—that Reade Seligman‘s DNA—he‘s one of the accused lacrosse players at Duke—was either found on the victim or at the scene.
As I attempted to make clear, that is completely untrue. And it is completely untrue. So I just want to make totally clear, Reade Seligman‘s DNA not found, so far as we know, anyway—so far as anybody knows—on the accuser. Totally false.
We continue now our conversation with the Reverend Al Sharpton. Rev, welcome back.
SHARPTON: Yes, sir.
CARLSON: Now, you were making, I have to say, some, I thought, pretty fair points about this election. You‘re saying that Joe Lieberman has supported the president‘s position on Iraq pretty much since day one, three and a half years ago, and why shouldn‘t he pay the price for it? I think that‘s a fair thing to say.
Will you apply the same high and probably noble standard to Hillary Clinton? She supported the president on Iraq—the substance of it, anyway—since day one. Why should Democrats support her?
SHARPTON: Well, I think that is a good question. I think that I would certainly hold that same standard to everyone, from Hillary Clinton across the board, as I did in the 2004 presidential primaries when I debated everyone from John Edwards to John Kerry to Joe Lieberman, who had supported it at that time.
CARLSON: So you‘re not going to endorse Mrs. Clinton in her reelection this year?
SHARPTON: The difference is that later, John Kerry and John Edwards moved from that position. Joe Lieberman never moved from that position. Joe Lieberman until this day has stood by the president‘s side, and I think that clearly, anyone that is that inflexible, why would the people, particularly the Democrats of Connecticut, vote for George Bush in the name of Joe Lieberman?
CARLSON: You know what, again, as I‘ve said, I think that‘s a fair point. And if Joe Lieberman, whom I like, who I voted for, actually, in Connecticut in 1988, if he loses tomorrow, I won‘t shed a tear because at least this election is being fought on the issues that matter.
SHARPTON: I‘m very happy to have the endorsement of Tucker Carlson for Ned Lamont.
CARLSON: Wait, but hold on. You are dodging my question.
SHARPTON: No, I‘m not at all.
CARLSON: I said are you going to endorse Hillary Clinton? Maybe you already have. And if you are, how can do you that?
SHARPTON: Enforce her for what?
CARLSON: Her reelection campaign coming up in November.
SHARPTON: I haven‘t endorsed Hillary Clinton or anyone else in that campaign. I think that anyone that supports this president should not be supported by me or anyone that believes in a fair and a just foreign policy.
This president was wrong. He was wrong before. I said it in ‘04. Later, Dennis Kucinich said it in ‘04. Later, Howard Dean said it. We were right. I‘m glad to see Mrs. Clinton come very late and say that Rumsfeld should resign.
CARLSON: Oh, come on. You‘re not—don‘t tell me you‘re being suckered by that P.R. campaign? She basically just criticizes his style, but she doesn‘t criticize the war at its essence. She doesn‘t explain why it was a bad idea to go in in the first place. She‘s still a neo-con.
SHARPTON: Tucker, if you can‘t someone to defend those that have been with Bush, including Ms. Clinton, you‘ve the wrong guest.
CARLSON: Yes, but I‘m just saying, why don‘t you take your sizable constituency—look, you are a walking political action committee. You can get voters to the polls. It matters who you support. And my point is, why don‘t you turn your considerable cash and skills and cache on defeating Mrs. Clinton, and do the rest of us a favor?
SHARPTON: Well, first of all, that is a November question. We have a tomorrow question. And Joe Lieberman called me and asked me to support him. I like Joe Lieberman. I said I couldn‘t support him. I support Ned Lamont. I‘ve always known that tomorrow is more important than three months from now. Whatever cache any of us have, we ought to send George Bush a message tomorrow in Connecticut that we cannot support his candidacy in the person of Senator Lieberman.
CARLSON: But finally, you would not, Rev, ever pull your punches on Mrs. Clinton simply because she‘s rich and famous, would you? I mean, I‘d hate to think that.
SHARPTON: I think that Joe Lieberman is rich and famous.
CARLSON: Not as rich and famous as Hillary Clinton.
SHARPTON: I think George Bush is rich and famous. I don‘t pull punches for anyone. But I think this war is so serious, and we‘re in such a critical problem, we need to send a real message tomorrow. And I hope the people of Connecticut tomorrow does that for all of us in America.
CARLSON: You know, I hate to say this, I kind of agree with you. It‘s not my primary. I‘m not voting in it. But I kind of agree. I mean, let the principled candidate win, you know? Al Sharpton, good luck.
SHARPTON: Thank you.
CARLSON: Coming up, just when you thought you couldn‘t dislike O.J. Simpson any more than you already do, you can, it turns out. We‘ve got a new behind the scenes look at his private life. You‘ll meet the man who spent years videotaping O.J.‘s every move, if you can imagine that. We‘ll be right back.
CARLSON: That‘s just one nauseating private moment. More than 80 hours of new footage that have been posted on a new Web site called Judgeoj.com. My next guest spent four years shooting on and off with a video camera shooting O.J. Simpson in his private life. Norman Pardo joins me on the telephone to reveal more of O.J. behind the scenes.
Norman, are you there?
NORMAN PARDO, WWW.JUDGEOJ.COM: Yes, I am.
CARLSON: How in the world did you wind up spending four years of your life photographing O.J. Simpson at bus stops and strip clubs? Did you grow up wanting to do that? How‘d you do that?
PARDO: Well, it wasn‘t something I really grew up wanting to do. But I went to Miami. He was introduced to me. I was curious. So I came up with a concept of putting him in places, I‘d film it, he‘d back out. It‘d be a win- win situation.
CARLSON: How would it be a win situation for O.J. Simpson? Were you going to pay him? Have you paid him?
PARDO: No. It was a winning for him because, at the time, he had no work. You‘ve got to imagine, he wasn‘t getting a lot of movie deals. So for somebody to come in and say, “I can get you some shows and maybe get you back out and get you doing things and get you off the golf course,” I thought that would be win-win.
CARLSON: Yes, have you...
PARDO: He felt the same way. He felt OK.
CARLSON: Have you paid him for...
PARDO: No, I never paid him anything. Not one dime.
CARLSON: Are you going to pay him from the proceeds from this Web site?
PARDO: No, that‘s mine. We‘ve already been fighting over that. He fought for the tapes—well, he‘s fought numerous times for the tapes. His attorney came out a few years ago to try to get the tapes from me. But I‘m not going to give up the tapes. The tapes went further than he had expected. He thought we‘d just film, you know, something, but I filmed everything.
CARLSON: So what was it like hanging around with O.J. all that time?
PARDO: It was interesting. It was challenging. You know, just getting—the events that took place, just getting clubs, you know, getting the people to have him host their clubs and the death threats that the club owners got. And some of the clubs were shut down. The government shut them down because they didn‘t want O.J. in their town.
CARLSON: Let me start where I should have started, Norman, by asking you if you think he killed his ex-wife and Ron Goldman?
PARDO: I‘m not even going to give that—that‘s not—my opinion would destroy the Web site.
CARLSON: Why is that? I mean, the only reason we care about O.J.
Simpson is because most people believe he killed two people with a knife. And it seems to me—the obvious question, do you agree? Do you think he did it?
PARDO: I cannot give my opinion on that one, not and keep an open mind for the Web site.
CARLSON: Do the people around O.J. Simpson, his friends, the hangers-on around him, believe he‘s innocent or guilty?
PARDO: I think everybody‘s mixed, and I think that‘s why I‘m doing what I‘m doing, to find out. There‘s a lot of mixed feelings about O.J. Simpson. There‘s no straight down-the-line this-or-that, I‘m finding out. There‘s a lot of mixed people and a lot of mixed emotion. And I wanted to catch all of that on film.
CARLSON: Well, it sounds like you have. The tapes that we‘ve—we‘re showing one right now—that we‘ve shown on all air all day suggest that O.J. Simpson has a pretty good life. I mean, smoking cigars, hanging around in strip clubs, getting lap dances from three girls at a time. Is that what O.J.‘s life is like?
PARDO: It really is, but it‘s a different life than what he was used to. It‘s not the same life he was used to. It‘s not the same O.J. Simpson as it used to be. He has changed. I think the circumstances changed him, and I wanted the people to see, this is the side of O.J. Simpson that really exists now.
CARLSON: How much are you getting for these tapes?
PARDO: I‘m not selling them.
CARLSON: Well, but I mean, obviously, you‘ve...
PARDO: Free online. You can go online and download them for free. The online version—what I‘m doing on line is finishing the last chapter of the book. I‘m going to find out online now, with millions of people going through there—they‘re going to get to vote guilty, not guilty, or undecided, and that will finish the chapter.
CARLSON: Undecided? I‘d be really interested in talking to someone someday who‘s undecided. Norman Pardo, thanks a lot.
That‘s the show for tonight. Thanks for watching. Up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews. Here he is.
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