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'Scarborough Country' for August 18

Read the transcript to the Friday show

Guests: Jeralyn Merrit, Mark Klaas, Michael Raines, Wendy Murphy, Jill Dobson, Courtney Hazlett, Whitney Pastorek, Ant, Carla Stroud-Creekmore, Meredith McCannell, Pam Paugh

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening and I must say I will never think of the words giving up and sex the same way again.

UNGER:  I love handing off to you this way.  I think .

SCARBOROUGH:  Thanks a lot.  I appreciate it too.  Even though I can’t hear you because I have got this incredible echo in my ear.  What a professional I am.

Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, the pageant murder mystery takes another turn when Bangkok police releases information that makes Karr’s guilt more plausible.  Tonight there is some shocking emails.  You are not going to believe these e-mail that have surfaced.

Plus we are going to show you Karr’s sleazy secret life in Bangkok.  Then, did JonBenet’s pageant career make her a target?  We’re going to take you inside the world of child bite pageants and I will tell you what I know personally about them.

And we’ll change gears and I’ll show you what happens to Hollywood stars and talk show hosts when management questions their artistic vision.  Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  On a Friday night, no passport required. 

What was that about?  Only common sense allowed.

We are going have a lot for you tonight.  An absolutely packed show.  But first new details and more questions about John Mark Karr.  First he is the man who said he killed JonBenet Ramsey.  Residents of his hometown in Alabama said Karr was known for odd behavior as a substitute teacher for driving a red DeLorean and marrying two teenagers.

But could he have brutally murdered JonBenet Ramsey?  Today more questions about his confession, about his e-mails to Patsy Ramsey and his obsession with child killers.

Tonight, authorities in Thailand are backing off claims that Karr said he drugged JonBenet.  This is important of course because JonBenet was not drugged the night she was murdered.  Others question how Karr could have had an inside knowledge and found the small room in a remote corner of the basement to carry out the killing.

For more on the bizarre life of John Mark Karr, here’s Ian Williams of ITN in Thailand.


IAN WILLIAMS, ITN CORRESPONDENT:  Bangkok, bars, nightclubs and no questions asked.  It’s the kind of city where people come to hide from their past and start a new life.  This is where John Mark Karr moved last year.  A budget apartment building in a seedy neighborhood.

(on camera):  Investigators had John Mark Karr under surveillance for three weeks before the arrest.  They even rented their own room and the rooms here rent by the month, by the night, even bite hour.  His lonely existence hardly registered with neighbors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Everybody is quiet here.  Normally people don’t even say hello to each other.

WILLIAMS (voice-over):  The key link may have been found at this internet cafe behind his apartment building.  The manager recalls Karr constantly checking if anyone was looking over his shoulder whilst on the Internet.  Karr’s e-mails may have raised suspicions about his involvement in the Ramsey case.

Karr, who was arrested in 2001 for having child pornography on his computer, but never appeared in court found the job in June at this elite Bangkok boy’s school teaching first great English.  He was fired two weeks later because students said he was too strict.

We don’t know what brought Karr here, but Bangkok is widely considered to be the sex capital of Asia with tens of thousands of prostitutes.  Experts say as many as 80,000 may be children.


with  a serious problem of child sexual exploitation.  Although there are better laws, there is still a lot that has to be done.

WILLIAMS:  Thailand has tightened laws on exploiting children, but it’s difficult to know who is entering the country.

LT. GEN SUWAT TUMRONGSISKUL, HEAD OF IMMIGRATION POLICE:  We are open to tourists, all tourists who come to Thailand.  But there are good and bad people anywhere in the world, you know?  We cannot check them all.

WILLIAMS:  Tonight U.S. officials are making plans for Karr to be sent back to the U.S. over the weekend.  Ian Williams for NBC News, Bangkok.


SCARBOROUGH:  Let’s bring in Michael Raines.  He’s representing John Karr’s ex ex-wife Lara who claims there is no way he could have been the killer.  Thank you so much for being with us, Michael.  Is your client’s recollection of the Christmas when this occurred that her husband was with her in Alabama and not off in Colorado killing JonBenet Ramsey?

MICHAEL RAINES, LARA KARR’S ATTORNEY:  Well that has been her best recollection and continues to be her recollection but she is right now searching through records, photographs and things like that to see if her initial thoughts and her initial recollection was accurate.

SCARBOROUGH:  Does she believe and has she told you as she told friends her ex-husband is lying about killing JonBenet, that there is no way he could be the murder.

RAINES:  No, she has not made those statements in those terms. One thing that she has said and this should be clear, she does not support her ex-husband.  She has nothing good to say about her ex-husband.  They had a horrible life together and he is a horrible man, however her best recollection has been that around Christmastimes while they were married, he was there with the family and not somewhere else.

SCARBOROUGH:  Every single Christmastime she can recall he was there and obviously it’s a very important time of the year.  So she does not believe he could have been in Colorado at the time of this murder, right?

RAINES:  Remember, we are going back 10 years in time from today to the date of this murder.  And so it’s the reason that I told her to go through records and photographs and let’s make sure her recollection is accurate.

But just off the top of her head, she could not think of a single Christmas where he was not around and with the family.

SCARBOROUGH:  Let’s bring in Jeralyn Merrit, too, she is a criminal defense attorney and also Mark Klaas, he’s the father of Polly Klaas.  Gerilyn, what do you make of the events today?  Mainly that you have these police officers in Bangkok backing off all of these statements that they made earlier that would have suggested that there were too many inconsistencies for this guy to be the murder.

JERALYN MERRIT, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  I was saying yesterday the only statements I believe John Karr made are those that the whole nation heard him say on television.  And that didn’t include the statements that he drugged JonBenet or that he had sex with her.  That always had come only from a Thai policeman and reports I read said that that Thai policeman was not even present at the interrogation.  He got his information from another policeman.  So to me that was never all that credible.  And I’m not surprised.

SCARBOROUGH:  So there not inconsistencies that many people thought two days ago proved this guy was lying just to get out of Thailand.  And we also heard early on he was arrested in Thailand and that’s why he wanted to get out, so he didn’t serve a jail sentence over there.  Now we are learning that he was in fact under arrest, he had been detained though simply because of what the Boulder D.A. was looking for, right?

MERRIT:  That’s exactly right.  Bangkok or Thailand has not charged him with any crimes.  He was not in a Thai jail and the police arrested him at 6 a.m.  in the morning at his apartment because of the Boulder warrant.  And instead of all of this stuff about him being extradited, what happened is because he was charged in Boulder, they decided he was an undesirable and should be deported.  And that’s why he went to immigration custody.  He’s waiting for the United States to take him back.  There was never any criminal charges in Bangkok that we know of.

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me bring in Mark Klaas.  Mark, a series of e-mails sent to Michael Tracey, professor at the University of Colorado give us a glimpse into this man’s sick mind.  Tracey was working on a documentary about JonBenet when Karr wrote to him, asking Tracey to read the following at JonBenet’s gravesite.

Quote, “JonBenet, my love, my life, I love you and shall forever love you.  I pray that you can hear my voice calling out to you from my darkness.  This darkness that now separates us.”

And Mark, of course you got grim news today that this guy had actually been in contact with the murderer of your beautiful daughter.

You’ve made this your life to try to figure out these beasts and why they do what they do.  Take us inside the mind of this guy.  Why is he doing what he’s doing?

MARK KLAAS, DAUGHTER MURDERED:  I’m sorry, you are asking me to go in the mind of this character?  Joe, come on .

SCARBOROUGH:  You’ve made it your life .

KLAAS:  That’s true.

SCARBOROUGH:  . to try to stop this from happening and to understand these people, and you understand them in a way that 99 percent of Americans don’t.

KLAAS:  What I can tell you, Joe, is there other individuals who insert themselves into crime waves or into crimes for whatever thrill they do.  We had a situation here in the Bay Area in the late ‘80s and the early ‘90s where little girls were disappearing in the East Bay on a regular basis.  And one individual continually inserted himself into all those crimes to the point that he became the chief suspect in several of the crimes.

He was obsessed in every single way that you could imagine with these things.  When my own daughter went missing, he tried to insert himself into our situation too.  So we contacted his lawyer and said we don’t want him anywhere near us.

So I don’t know why they do what they do.

SCARBOROUGH:  You still think, Mark, this is a hoax?

KLAAS:  I don’t know that it’s a hoax.  Perhaps in his mind he really believes that he did do it.  I think the one thing we can agree on, Joe, is this is an extremely sick individual who has absolutely no business being around any type of civilized society let alone children.  I think we can agree on that that.  It’s all of these inconsistencies and revelations coming almost hourly.  And we’re not sure what the sources are to the point where people are moving forward and they’re stepping back.  It’s almost like some kind of a waltz going on around this character.

SCARBOROUGH:  So, Jeralyn, is this confession the real thing or is it a hoax?

MERRIT:  You know, I don’t think we have enough information to judge that.  I think what I’m looking for and what I’m hoping is that the district attorney in Boulder would not have issued an arrest warrant and involved the Justice Department, the FBI and a foreign government unless she had proof positive that this man was in Colorado and that someone had looked at his handwriting and said that looks like the ransom note.

If she is just going on e-mails and just going on his supposed confession, then I don’t think that’s enough and I’m afraid she is going to look like the little boy that cried wolf.

SCARBOROUGH:  Think it’s going to be a problem.

MERRIT:  Sure.

SCABROROUGH:  Thank you, Jeralyn Merrit.  Greatly appreciate it and also thank you Mark Klaas for being with us and we also appreciate Michael Raines stopping by to give us that side of story.

Coming up, did the D.A. screw up the investigation again, arresting the wrong man?  Do prosecutors know something about Karr that we still don’t?

The case is putting child beauty pageants back in the spotlight and is it creepy or cute to dress up your child as a supermodel?


SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Disturbing details emerged today about the secret life of John Mark Karr.  Does his seedy past make him a killer?  Or did the Boulder police fumbled the case again?

NBC’s Mike Taibbi is in Boulder, Colorado with the latest twists in this unraveling case.  Mike?

MIKE TAIBBI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Joe, the life story today of the 41-year-old is filling up quickly with piles of ugly details but now there more questions about whether his confession is believable at all.


TAIBBI (voice-over):  In Bangkok, Thailand, a retraction by police officials of their claim that Karr said he drugged his victim before sexual assaulting her and then killing her.  More confusion over the so-called confession that puts more pressure on prosecutors to assemble a believable case.

BOB GRANT, FORMER D.A.:  It all hinges on what happens with the DNA sample.  We are not going to know that for a number of days.  Maybe a month.

TAIBBI:  No DNA match would be a huge problem and bigger would be corroboration of Karr’s ex-wife claim that she is looking for photographs to prove that Karr wasn’t even in Colorado when JonBenet was murdered.

RAINES:  She sincerely believes there was no Christmas any time between 1989 when they were married and the year 2000 when her husband was not with her and her family at Christmastime.

TAIBBI:  Lara was Karr’s second wife and she was 16 when she married him.  She would divorce him when she learned he was being investigated for incidents related to child pornography.  His first wife only 13.  And those facts help paint Karr s a likely suspect.  Along with his claimed work in a half dozen countries as a tutor to girls JonBenet’s age.  And the bad reputation as in Honduras where officials told NBC’s Telemundo that he was a strict, with a bad temper and no friends.

And there were the e-mails to college professor Michael Tracey, some publish published by the “Rocky Mountain News” that is led to his arrest.  In one he talks about “JonBenet, my love, my life.”  In other he writes, “Sometimes little girls are closer to me than with their parents or any other person in their lives.”  An arguably very sick person, but a killer?

LARRY POSNER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER:  This comes together beautifully if he is a murder or falls apart in a hundred ways within a week.


TAIBBI (on camera):  The D.A. is being very, very cautious, but an early test of Karr’s credibility could be a handwriting comparison between the rambling three-page ransom note left at the murder scene 10 years ago and the note he wrote to a classmate in a high school yearbook.  Joe?

SCARBOROUGH:  Thanks so much, Mike.

And with me now is Pam Paugh, she is Patsy Ramsey’s sister and also still with us, we’ve got Mark Klaas and Wendy Murphy.  Wendy, let me ask you whether you think the proof that’s come forward today prove this is guy is more likely to be the murder or not.

WENDY MURPHY, PROSECUTOR:  If what you are asking about is the fact that these e-mails appear to reflect Karr’s awareness of intimate details about the condition of JonBenet’s body which I think is the most interesting information that’s developed today, no, I don’t think it necessarily proves this guy is a killer because there is no doubt he could have gleaned that information from any number of sources.

Remember, Michael Tracey, this guy that did the silly documentaries and reported to prove the Ramseys’ innocent and had been a cheerleader for them had very close contact with Lou Smith and some of the other investigators that worked with Lou Smith who served as support staff for him during the documentary work and Lou Smith had total access to the police file.

I’m not saying Lou Smith told anyone anything, but I’m just saying it wouldn’t be a surprise to me if some of those so-called never released details in fact squeaked out from source or another.  An awful lot of cops involved in the case have left disgruntled and disgusted in some cases.  There is just so many ways that so-called never released information could have been released.

So I don’t care whether this guy thinks he knows details that have never been released before.  That’s not remotely near enough to justify believing this rather kooky confession.

SCARBOROUGH:  Pam Paugh, does the family think this vindicates your sister and John Ramsey?

PAM PAUGH, SISTER OF PATSY RAMSEY:  No, we have never been really looking for vindication.  They are not guilty of anything.  Something I would like to point out and that is this.  This gentlemen believes I think in earnest that he is JonBenet’s killer.  We don’t know if he is, we don’t know that he isn’t, only the professional professionals know that.

One thing I would like to point out that struck me as odd with the e-mails is not necessarily the content, but the length of them and the extent to which he writes.  It seemed to me that those that were shown to me were very prolific, they were very poetic and it didn’t seem like the writings of a mad man, though it seemed the writings of someone operate operating on another plane.

And I’m recalling then a two and a half page ransom letter that might have had some of the same characteristics.  I’m not saying now—don’t say that I am because I’m not say saying that I draw the conclusion that he is our man.  All I’m saying is we can spin these things either way.

So what’s the best route to take at this point?  Let’s agree that he probably does have issues and I don’t think he is playing with necessarily a full deck, but I believe Mary Lacy is play playing with more than a full deck and she would not have politically or from a justice standpoint taken this move had she not known a few key pieces to the puzzle that none of you out there know and there a lot of those pieces.  And those are the kinds of thing that is as they unfold, we will know more about the story.

SCARBOROUGH:  And that’s what I was going to ask you, Mark Klaas.  Could it be that the Boulder D.A. and the Boulder law enforcement could be so stupid that they would pull this guy in from Bangkok to Colorado and get the world’s attention diverted to what they were doing and not there have their man?  That would make them the Keystone Kops of the 21stt century, wouldn’t it?

KLAAS:   They established that for themselves years ago when the case first broke.  I’m not saying that every police officer that was involved in the case was a bad cop by any means, but the leadership in both the D.A.’s office and the police department was rather dizzy abysmal and a lot of things fell through the cracks to the point where 10 years later we don’t know even what happened.

However, listen, Joe, I wish if that if this case were as thoroughly investigated as they are saying it was, that somebody had contacted his ex-wife to see what she had to say regarding his whereabouts on that fateful Christmas Eve.  And apparently to this day nobody had con contacted this woman.  And I find that rather disturbing.

SCARBOROUGH:  That is rather disturbing.

MURPHY:  That is—That is unbelievable.  Joe, that is unbelievable.  I’m glad Mark said that.  I was going to raise that question.  If his ex-wife who would have known whether he had a perfect alibi never got a call from the D.A.’s office, this is Keystone Kops just as you said in an unprecedented manner.  It is irresponsible.

I can’t imagine, I cannot imagine that anyone would think this guy should be taken from Thailand and all the press that’s been done about this case and all the brouhaha and no one made a phone call to see if he was in the damned State of Colorado?  Are you kidding?  I don’t believe it.  It’s just unbelievable.

SCARBOROUGH:  We will find out a lot more in the coming days and weeks.  Wendy Murphy, Pam Paugh, Mark Klaas, thank you so much for being with us.  And certainly if the D.A.’s office didn’t know whether he was in the right state or not the night of the death, there will be more big problems, more big problems for officials in Boulder, Colorad.

Now coming up, are child beauty pageants like the one we have seen JonBenet in perverse?  Some mothers say it’s good for their kids and I will tell you what I know about them.  When we come back.

And alter, changing gears, what happened when you question the judgment of smart talented sirs like myself.  Let’s just say it is not a pretty sight, baby.


SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, welcome back.  You know the media has been battered this week for the minute to minute coverage of the JonBenet Ramsey arrest.  When it comes to lampooning the press, nobody does it better than “The Daily Show’s” John Stewart.

Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Who is John Mark Karr.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Could he really be the killer?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He is from Georgia.  The Ramsey family is originally from Georgia.  Again, we don’t know what connection that is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Is there a chance this is a false confession?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Was it simply he was a pedophile?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Is this John Karr went around and got to know other children?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We believe that he may be some kind of a scientist, maybe has something to do with molecular biology.

JON STEWART, TALK SHOW HOST:  I heard he works as a cobbler.  And that his parents are leprechauns and he lives in a magic pumpkin.  How do I know?  I don’t.  Does it matter?  No, I just took up 30 seconds.


SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, Jon, you are absolutely right.  We will stop with the coverage.

All right.  Coming up next, our continuing coverage of the JonBenet murder arrest and actually we are not going to do that anymore, but we are going to be talking about “Snakes on a Plane, it hits theaters.  But will audiences turn out for a movie that many says is intentionally bad?

And later, SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY unplugged.  The shocking video of the setback that nearly drove me over the edge.



SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up, “Snakes on a Plane.”  It slithers into theaters.  Is it really the best bad movie of all time? 

And later, is the bitter Beatle break up coming to a TV set near you?  Reports that Heather Mills is planning to turn her nasty divorce with Paul McCartney into a reality TV show. 

Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  We’re going to be talking about those stories in minutes.  But first, as investigators continue to put together John Mark Karr’s confession, many are wondering whether JonBenet’s participation in young children pageants exposed the girl to the admitted pedophile and made the Ramseys themselves easy targets for suspicion. 

With us to talk about it, Ms. Montana 2002 Meredith McCannell and also a judge of child pageants, we also have Carla Stroud-Creekmore.  She’s the owner of “Pride of Pageantry” magazine.  Her daughter also competes in child pageants.  And former sex crimes prosecutor Wendy Murphy. 

Before we go to questions, I want us all to look at this clip from Bravo’s “Show Biz Moms and Dads.” 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You want to go home?  How are you going to pageant looking like this?  Look in the mirror.  Stand up.  Do you think that’s a pretty girl?  Do you think that’s a pageant pretty?  No, it’s not pageant pretty, is it? 

Oh, hush.  Why don’t you put your phone back in your mouth?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I don’t want to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Emily is not a morning person.  She’ll be riled and ready to go when it’s time for the pageant, but Emily does not do well in the mornings.  Do you want candy?  No?  All right, stop crying.  Come on, let’s go wash your face. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Meredith, it breaks a lot of people’s hearts when they see this type of inside look on these young children’s pageants.  Do you think it’s really good for little girls to be involved in this type of event so early, Meredith? 

MEREDITH MCCANNELL, MISS MONTANA 2002:  I don’t really think that pageants are the problem.  I think that parents push their children, whether it’s into piano lessons that they love or hate, tee-ball, ballet, football, just like Dad played.  And a good parent though knows when it’s time to say, “OK, we gave it a try.  They’re miserable.  It’s time to give it a rest.” 

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you think it’s possible, though, also, as we saw this JonBenet—obviously as this JonBenet murder unfolded, a lot of people thought that the Ramseys were guilty at the very least of sexualizing their child at a very young age.  Do you see any danger in that with these sort of kiddie pageants? 

MCCANNELL:  I don’t think that we should be a society where we force our children to be in bubbles, because pedophiles can view children in church, at school, at soccer practice.  There are a variety of places that they could see them, and I don’t think pageants are necessarily the problem.  Because even with the dance and cheerleading, and things like that, little girls are wearing makeup, and they’re doing their hair, and they’re dancing in seductive ways.  So pageants aren’t the problem here. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Wendy, it’s not just in pageants.  Meredith’s right: 

You also get this with cheerleading and other events.  Do you think that—let’s say in JonBenet Ramsey’s case—that maybe those pageants sexualized her at a very young age and made her a target for a pedophile in a way that, let’s say, cheerleading and dancing would not have? 

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR:  There’s no question she was sexualized, objectified, treated like a sex object and tarted up.  I mean, she was half-naked wearing high heels.  You know, her belly—she looked like a grown-up, a little grown-up. 

And, you know, let’s not forget Pat Ramsey bleached her child’s hair to make her look so adorable.  Now, it may well be true, as Meredith said, that pedophiles are looking for kids in church, and the sandbox, and also at these kinds of pageants, but you know what?  You don’t dangle a piece of raw meat in front of a mad dog and then blame the dog. 

The fact is, this is part of the problem, and it’s not limited to pageants.  It’s our culture.  We teach little girls at a very young age that they are valuable if they are sexually attractive to men.  And we don’t really care whether the man is a heterosexual adult or a pedophile.  We do it, and we do it in a variety of ways.  Pageants are one of the worst ways, and JonBenet was absolutely victimized by her parents, no doubt about it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Carla, let me ask you whether you think it’s dangerous for 4-, 5-, 6-year-old little girls to be in these types of events, which your daughter, you say, is in?

CARLA STROUD-CREEKMORE, “PRIDE OF PAGEANTRY” MAGAZINE:  Yes, that’s correct.  No, I don’t see that these children are sexualized in any way, like Meredith said.  You can go to any dance competition and find little girls, 4- or 5-year-olds, in sexy costumes. 

And, no, my daughter has been competing off and on since the age of 4. 

And most pageants—the pageant community is kept very close-knit.  JonBenet never was sexualized.  People who go to pageants and have children that compete know what they’re getting into. 

So it had nothing to do with her death.  The media just focused on that and ran with it, because the children do look older at times when they’re competing.  But that little girl was a beautiful child, with makeup or without makeup.  And she was probably the first one in the pool when the pageant was over.  These children do not walk out on the street like this; this isn’t a daily thing.  It’s...

MURPHY:  Do you agree that it was appropriate for JonBenet’s mother to bleach her child’s brown hair blond?  Is that appropriate?

CREEKMORE:  Well, I don’t know what color JonBenet’s natural hair color was, if it was bleached or not bleached.  I just think she was an adorable child however she was.

MURPHY:  You didn’t my question.  I said, is it appropriate for parents to bleach their little girl’s, 5-year-old girl’s hair blond so they’ll look even cuter?  Is it appropriate or not? 

CREEKMORE:  I don’t see anything wrong with it.  That’s that parent’s judgment call, not mine, not yours. 

MURPHY:  Well, it’s...


SCARBOROUGH:  Let’s talk about—Meredith, there a lot of people out there that would be asking, well, what is a positive aspect of getting a little 4-year-old girl or a little 5-year-old girl up on the stage?  What’s the answer to that? 

MCCANNELL:  Oh, well, public speaking and being in front of an audience, that’s the number-one fear of Americans, even over death.  So getting a child involved in something like pageants to get that experience, to become comfortable in that type of setting, can help them ease through the awkwardness of middle school and high school and into a job market where they may have to speak in front of people much easier than many adults can do. 

MURPHY:  But they don’t have to be half-naked with the high heels and lipstick at age 5 to feel confident and to learn how to speak on a public stage.  Everything you just said is right, but you didn’t mention...


MURPHY:  ... you know, bare bellies, makeup.  You didn’t mention the things that worry me. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Meredith, respond?

MCCANNELL:  I think you’re generalizing a lot of pageants, because every child pageant that I have judged, there hasn’t even been a swimsuit competition.  There’s been fitness, where they’ve worn sportswear.  And in their evening gown party dress competition, they’re not allowed to wear heels.  So I think we’re taking one extreme of children pageants and using that to generalize them all.  It’s not fair. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Meredith, thank you so much.  I greatly appreciate it, Meredith, Carla and Wendy, thank you so much. 

And my family actually—after my dad retired—my family got involved in pageants, did older pageants, after my sister had been a contestant.  But even we, when this JonBenet case came down and saw the huge curls and how the makeup and everything else, you know it just seemed very disturbing to us for a little 4-, or 5-, 6-year-olds. 

If you’re talking about the type of pageants like Meredith was talking about, where they don’t do that sort of thing, that’s fine. 

Now, this week, comedian Andy Dick had a major meltdown at William Shatner’s roast after being told that his routine was not funny.  Oh!  The comedian ran around the event, screaming, licking guests, urinating in a very public way, and adding new meaning to the word “meltdown.” 

But, you know, I can sympathize with Andy.  My skits have been getting some cheers, but they’ve also been getting jeers.  In fact, earlier this week, I found out that my skits would soon be cancelled.  And I then went on a three-day ego bender that left me disoriented with flashbacks from my time in ‘Nam.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (INAUDIBLE) the skits with Joe, I think we’ve got to call them off, just stop doing them.  I think they’re degrading to Joe.  I think they’re a little embarrassing.  I don’t think they’re funny anymore. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You were the one telling me how brilliant they are.  I mean...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, that’s true, but then I received one e-mail that said they weren’t, and so I’ve changed my mind.  This is television, after all. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What am I going tell Joe? 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, you don’t have to tell me anything.  You (bleep) two-faced piece of (bleep).  You’re fired.  You’re fired.  You?  I’m going to see if I can fire you (bleep).  You know what?  I think that would be a brilliant idea.  Sorry son of a (bleep).  I hope you roast in Hell. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think that went well.  Are we done? 

SCARBOROUGH:  What are you saying?  I am a Greek god!

JESSE VENTURA, FORMER GOVERNOR OF MINNESOTA:  I’ve done all of the big three.  I’ve done tobacco, I’ve done alcohol, and I’ve done marijuana, Tom. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Everything all right?  You’re brilliant, but I got a dinner.  See you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let’s kill the wolf.

Hey, what’s up?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It’s time for dinner. 



SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, it was tough, so tough.  But I got out of it in time for the show tonight. 

Coming up next, “Snakes on a Plane” is already a cult classic, but do you have to be on the plane and crazy to see it? 

Plus, it’s not just the title of a song.  Why Britney Spears is actually saying, “Oops, I did it again.” 


SCARBOROUGH:  They’re here.  “Snakes on a Plane,” the hugely hyped movie opened today, but it’s already an Internet phenomenon.  Take a look. 



SAMUEL L. JACKSON, ACTOR:  You know all those security scenarios we ran?  Well, we’re smack in the middle of one we didn’t think of. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Can anybody hear me? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Did you guys hear that? 


SCARBOROUGH:  Was that a gun that Samuel L. Jackson had on that plane?  The movie has been promoted for a year, which has led for some to feel this way. 


JACKSON:  Enough is enough!  I have had it with these mother(bleep) snakes on this mother(bleep) plane!



SCARBOROUGH:  Sorry, it’s so bad, it’s good.  Well, Samuel L. Jackson may have had enough, but has America—God!  Here to help me answer that is Whitney Pastorek from “Entertainment Weekly” and Ant, he’s from the “Last Comic Standing.” 

Ant, you know the old Public Enemy song, “Don’t Believe the Hype”?  Should we believe the hype?  Because I do.  I think this movie may be one of the worst great movies of our time.  What do you think? 

ANT, “LAST COMIC STANDING”:  You know what, Joe?  The A.P. just came out and said it was probably the best movie of the summer, if not the year.  I’m having a little problem with it, though.  I can’t get a thing of Crest and a nail file on a plane, and they got 6,000 snakes on a plane? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Six thousand snakes, and think I saw Samuel L. Jackson at the end pull out a shotgun. 

Now, Whitney, I knew that this thing was comic genius.  I don’t go on the Internet as much as the kids, but I saw your cover last week.  And there was Samuel L. Jackson with a sort of something eating grin on his face holding snakes.  And all of a sudden it hit me:  This is genius.  What is the movie like? 

WHITNEY PASTOREK, “ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY”:  It’s completely brilliant the way they’ve marketed it, and the good news is I think it almost lives up to the hype, although I spent most of it watching like this.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  So was it a good movie?  Well, I say good movie. 

That’s a relative term.  A good bad movie. 

PASTOREK:  It was a great bad movie.  Those snakes jump out at you and scare the crap out of you, I can tell you that firsthand. 

ANT:  Hey, Whitney, hey, Whitney, I hear that there’s a lot of hoo-hoo biting by the snakes.  Is that true?

PASTOREK:  Hoo-hoo biting, sure, if that’s what the kids are calling it now.  The snakes go for some sensitive places, it’s true.

SCARBOROUGH:  It’s all the rage, Ant.

ANT:  I got to tell you, I’m glad it’s the rage, because I’ve been shopping this script, “Ducks on a Rickshaw,” and I think I got a shot at getting it made.

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, there are movies obviously, Ant, that have held a certain place in a moviegoer’s hearts, those cult classics.  Remember, sort of “Planet of the Apes” had the camp thing down, “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”  Do you think this...

ANT:  “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Showgirls,” that was another big, campy one.  Do you eat dog food?  I eat dog food.  OK, I’m getting the hell out of here. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So is that...

ANT:  Yes, I mean, this movie is definitely...

SCARBOROUGH:  You think this is going to go down as one of those classics? 

ANT:  I really do.  I think the movie is living up to the hype.  People are coming out, really enjoying it.  You know, kids these days love things that are viral.  It started on the Internet, that one guy started in his blog, and then, look, MySpace took over.  And I think kids are going to get behind this movie, because they feel really invested in it, and that, you know, is going to lend itself to long-term cult classic status. 

PASTOREK:  Yes, I completely agree.

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, Whitney, I understand, Whitney, that Samuel L.  Jackson got very angry when they changed the movie from the working title of “Snakes on the Plane” to a more traditional thing.  And he got angry and said, “No, no, the only reason I did this project was because of its title.” 

PASTOREK:  That’s completely true.  They were going to change it to “Pacific Air 121,” and Sam Jackson just said, “That’s a moronic thing to do,” you know?  You want to see “Snakes on a Plane,” you’re going to go see “Snakes on a Plane.”  And I think they’re proving that it’s a great decision to change it back. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Ant, final thoughts from you? 

ANT:  You know, I can’t wait to go see it.  I’m all about hoo-hoo biting.  You know, people like—are guys going to go see it multiple times?  And I’m like, I don’t know any guys that do anything multiple times.  But this guy is going to go see it at least once. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Well, very good, Ant.  Come back and report on it next week, if you will...

ANT:  Joe’s like, “What the heck was that?”

SCARBOROUGH:  ... and all the hoo-hoo biting. 

All right.  Whitney, thank you so much.  Ant, greatly appreciate it. 

We’ll be right back in a hoo-hoo-biting-free zone, when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.


SCARBOROUGH:  It’s time to dodge the paparazzi and take a trip to Hollyweird, California.  First up, big Britney baby news.  The pop tart says baby number two, who is due in a month, was an accident. 

With me now to dish dirt on why celebrities aren’t like you and me, editor-at-large for “Star” magazine, Jill Dobson, and also senior report for “OK” magazine, Courtney Hazlett. 

Now, Jill, why do we want to know it’s a mistake?  I mean, can’t Britney just keep her mouth shut? 

JILL DOBSON, “STAR” MAGAZINE:  You know, I think Britney wants to continue the trend of us knowing every detail of her life.  But the funny thing is, this is the least surprising news I’ve ever heard.  Of course the second baby was a mistake.  It’s going to be born almost on the first birthday of Sean Preston.  So most people wouldn’t plan to have babies that close together. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But, Courtney, is it really good for Britney to shoot her mouth off like this?  When her son is 15 years old, he Googles his name and finds out that Mommy told the world he was nothing but a mistake.

COURTNEY HAZLETT, “OK” MAGAZINE:  You know what?  I think this definitely falls under the category of too much information, especially for a child.  But I kind of have to hand it to Britney, because it’s nice to see a celebrity being totally honest about something.  So often they try to back pedal or make an excuse.  It’s refreshing to see that she’s just telling the truth this time. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, of course, big news in the Paul McCartney and Heather McCartney divorce.  Heather is reportedly filming the break-up of her marriage and wants to peddle it as a reality show.  Jill Dobson, how desperate is this lady for attention? 

DOBSON:  I think it’s more that’s she’s desperate for money.  Paul offered her 30 million pounds in order to have a quick divorce and just have it over with, and she seems to be fighting it tooth and nail.  She’s got cameras on her everywhere, and that might be part of her ploy to try to sell her case and try to get more attention and therefore get more money from the divorce settlement. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Courtney, do you think it’s an effort to embarrass Paul McCartney and to give her more money in the settlement? 

HAZLETT:  You know what?  It might be, but a pretty misguided one, in my opinion.  I mean, Paul McCartney, he’s got like Oprah bucks.  He has so much money.  He can make the lawyers stop her from doing this in a heartbeat if he so wants to, so I think it’s kind of just her spinning her wheels at this point.

SCARBOROUGH:  It makes her look stupid.  Speaking of stupid, Beyonce went on a maple syrup diet and lost 20 pounds.  You would not recommend this for kids at home, would you, Jill?

DOBSON:  Oh, no.  And Beyonce doesn’t recommend it.  She says she lost 20 pounds very quickly for her role in the movie, “Dreamgirls,” and then she made a real effort to put the weight back on by eating doughnuts and trying to get back to her curvy body.  So she’s happy being a curvy woman, and she doesn’t recommend the diet.  But she did it, and now people have heard about it and are doing the same thing. 

SCARBOROUGH:  How do you lose weight by drinking maple syrup, Courtney? 

HAZLETT:  Not so bootylicious, is it?

SCARBOROUGH:  No, it is not.

HAZLETT:  Basically, it’s this concoction of maple syrup, and lemon water, and cayenne pepper, of all things.  Sounds great.  Personally, I think it probably just makes you feel so sick that you don’t want to eat anything.  But essential it flushes you out.  The weight melts off, and it worked for her for this movie. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Three great tastes that don’t go so great together.  Thank you so much, Courtney Hazlett, and thank you, Jill Dobson.  We appreciate you taking us on a tour of Hollyweird.

That’s all the time we have for tonight.  Thanks so much for being with me, and I’ll see you Monday night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY at the same time.  But right now, “LOCK UP: RIVERBEND” starts right now.



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