Guests: Frances Townsend, Pat Buchanan, Stewart Clark, Sam Seder, Andrew Wilkow
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Thanks, and welcome to the show.
First today, the politics of the war on terror. President Bush is staking his political future, as well as the future of the Republican Party, on fighting terrorism. Could that be a risky strategy, though, if al Qaeda attacks again on our shores?
Here‘s the president earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Five years after our nation was attacked the terrorist danger remains. We‘re a nation at war. And America and our alleys are fighting this war with relentless determination across the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Are we safer today than we were five years ago? And is the president putting the future of his party in peril by putting all his eggs in the war on terror basket?
Joining me now, Fran Townsend. She‘s assistant to the president for homeland security and counter-terrorism. She joins us from Washington.
Ms. Townsend, thanks a lot for coming on.
FRANCES TOWNSEND, ASST. TO THE PRESIDENT FOR HOMELAND SECURITY: Hi, Tucker.
CARLSON: The lead of the wire story describing the president‘s speech today, a story that will run in scores of newspapers across the country, basically in the second paragraph says this is political. The midterms are coming up, Republicans in trouble, White House responding with a new strategy on the war on terror.
Is that a fair characterization?
TOWNSEND: It‘s not, Tucker. As we know, the war on terror is the president‘s top priority. This is the president on the eve of the fifth anniversary talking to the American people about where we‘re at, what are the enemy‘s goals and objectives, and how are we fighting to defeat them.
CARLSON: He said today—I want to quote him. He said, “We‘ve learned a great deal about the enemy we face in this war. We know what the terrorists end to do because they have told us.”
Do we—do we know why they hate us five years after? What have we learned? Like, what‘s their motivation? I still don‘t understand what it is exactly.
TOWNSEND: They‘ve made very clear by their own statements, and the president went through a number of quotes. We‘ve released a number of documents today through—from the White House, both video statements, audio statements, and then documents that we captured that the terrorists never intended for us to see.
It‘s very clear that bin Laden‘s goal is to establish a caliphate in which they impose their totalitarian and oppressive views on—on the people of this world. And the biggest impediment they see to establishing that caliphate and imposing their view of the world on us is the United States, which is why it‘s important that we retain the will of the American people to defeat this.
CARLSON: So—right. But that doesn‘t answer the question, what is the genesis of their hatred of us in the beginning? I mean, 9/11, of course, occurred long before the invasion of Iraq, long before they claimed to establish a caliphate in Baghdad, if, in fact, that‘s their plan.
So, what have we learned about the root of their hatred for us? Is it our foreign policy? Is it our freedoms, as the president said? And if so, what exactly does that mean?
Like, what‘s the bottom line? Why do they hate us so much?
TOWNSEND: Well, there‘s no question that they view democracy as a threat to their—their vision, their oppressive vision. And we know that from the statements of Zawahiri and bin Laden. But the president also made clear in his speech today that for—for decades America pursued a policy of stability at the expense of freedom and liberty, and that was wrong. And we believe, and the president makes clear in his strategy, that freedom is the ultimate antidote—freedom and democracy are the ultimate antidotes to terrorism.
CARLSON: Do you believe it is the Bush administration‘s policy that‘s responsible for the fact that we have not been attacked since 9/11 in the U.S.?
TOWNSEND: There should be no doubt it‘s a combination of things. It‘s that we‘re on offense, fighting—fighting the away game. That is, fighting them where they are, overseas.
It‘s also a question of our fight here at home and increasing our defenses, making it more difficult for our terrorist enemies to operate and survive, where we attack those things that they need, whether it‘s leadership, foot soldiers, money, weapons, communications, travel. We attack all those things and have made it more difficult for them.
TOWNSEND: But, you know, they only have to be right once and we have to be right all the time. There should be no question in anybody‘s mind, while we‘ve made it more difficult, this most recent plot coming out of the U.K. to blow up planes is evidence, proof positive of their continued intention to commit mass murder.
CARLSON: Of course. And look, I‘m not—I don‘t doubt that for a second.
Here‘s the problem I have with it.
It‘s almost like the economy. If you take credit for the good times, you have to take responsibility for the bad times. If you claim you‘re in control of the economy, as a lot of presidents make the mistake of doing.
If you are saying that the Bush administration and its policies have protected us from another attack, then you kind of have to concede that they‘re partly responsible for 9/11, don‘t you?
TOWNSEND: No. In fact, I find it difficult to follow the logic of that.
TOWNSEND: There should be no—there should be no question that we weren‘t—as you pointed out, we weren‘t in Iraq pre-9/11.
TOWNSEND: There is—they had no—we hadn‘t done anything to provoke them. This was an act of terrorism and mass murder that they visited upon us.
CARLSON: Oh, I agree. So I guess what I‘m saying is, if the White House is saying, look, we‘ve done a great job protecting the country, therefore we haven‘t been attacked—and, I mean, I‘m willing to believe that—won‘t that be a big problem if we are attacked in the future? Won‘t people be able to say justly, with some justification, “Well, gee, you said it was your policy that was protecting us, it must be your policy that let us down”?
TOWNSEND: Well, I think that we have made a lot of gains. But that‘s really the point in saying we are safer, but we‘re not yet safe.
TOWNSEND: We had—we have put things in place that have protected the country and helped to ensure that we haven‘t had another attack. But as they continue to plot, they—they evolve and try to get around all those very defenses.
Look at the U.K. plot, where they moved to liquid explosives. They‘re trying to get around the layered defense we have in aviation security now.
We have been fortunate and been able to evolve ahead of them. But we‘re safer. We‘re not yet safe, and they continue to plot against us to have a successful attack.
CARLSON: All right. Frances Townsend, assistant to the president for homeland security, thanks a lot for joining us.
TOWNSEND: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: Well, as we just said, Republicans are pinning their political hopes this season on the war on terror. The question is, will it be enough?
Many voters, particularly conservative voters, are enraged by illegal immigration. But don‘t look to Congress to do anything about this issue, this year, anyway. The Republican leadership has just about given up home of passing immigration reform before November. But why?
My next guest may have some idea. He is the author of “State of Emergency:
The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America.” He is, of course, Pat Buchanan, MSNBC political analyst, and he joins us from Washington.
Why aren‘t the Republicans taking advantage of all the anger that you describe in your book out there about immigration?
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I don‘t know why the president isn‘t. I can understand why he‘s given up on amnesty and why he‘s given up on the guest worker program. Nobody wants it.
Republicans in the House don‘t want it. Half the Republicans in the Senate don‘t want it. And the country doesn‘t want it.
But where he is falling down, Tucker, if he‘s going to run a national security program, he ought to say we‘ve got to have port security, airline security, and border security, and take out of the Senate bill and the House bill all the security elements along the southern border of the United States to stop the invasion from that side.
We‘ve got 2.5 or three million that have come into this country on his watch. That is certainly some threat to our national security.
BUCHANAN: I don‘t know why they don‘t take those aspects of it and ram them right through the Congress.
CARLSON: That‘s literally the conversation I was just having with someone about 10 minutes before the show. It‘s a political gimme.
People say, “Oh, you‘re pandering to the right wing base.” OK, fine, but it is logically justifiable for the president to come out and say, “My job is protecting this country,” and securing our borders, that‘s got to be one or two on the list of things to do to protect your country. It‘s kind of hard to assail that.
Why is he leaving this, I think, terrific issue on the table? It‘s crazy.
BUCHANAN: I don‘t know. I hear the Democrats talking about port security. I would say to them, you fellows are right. We‘ve got to do even more on port security. Give us a hand, we‘ll give us a hand on that.
Give us a hand on border security. Let‘s build a security fence, at least along all the main crossing points. Stop this invasion that‘s coming from the third world and all over the world, people we don‘t know. Give us a hand.
I think the Democrats, as 50 of them did in the House, I think many Democrats would go along with it because they would have to. How are they going to argue against or try to strike down a bill to defend our southern border?
CARLSON: That‘s an excellent question.
Now, how does this—how does the question of immigration break down along demographic lines? I mean, my sense is that most conservative Republicans want tougher immigration standards, they want—they want borders that are more secure.
Are there Democrats who you could conceivably win over, if a Republican could win over if he was tough on immigration?
BUCHANAN: I think I mentioned it. Santorum in Pennsylvania is now within six points by running a tough line on immigration because 79 percent of Pennsylvanians are against amnesty. But, Tucker, get this -- 82 percent in the poll were for a wall on the border. That means probably every Republican, three-fourths of the Independents, and half the Democrats are for a wall on the border.
For heaven‘s sakes, this is a lay-down hand, as we used to say.
CARLSON: Now, the Bush administration, its political strategists—and they‘re very start, obviously—this is their calculation, as far as I understand it: the country is becoming more and more heavily Hispanic, it‘s going to be a majority Hispanic country at some point, probably pretty soon, and you don‘t want to alienate those voters and potential and would-be and someday voters by—by being tough on immigration.
Is that true? Are Hispanic voters pro illegal immigration? What do we know about that?
BUCHANAN: Forty-seven percent of Hispanic voters in Arizona voted for Proposition 200, which says no welfare benefits unless you prove you belong in the United States of America. Not only that. That Proposition 187 in California won overwhelming majorities of African-Americans and Asian-Americans, as well as white Americans.
Tucker, this is the—it is a no-lose issue, border security. The Hispanics in this country aren‘t in favor of this invasion. Many of those border patrolmen are Hispanic-American, second and third generation.
CARLSON: Right. It‘s infuriating to watch the coverage of this subject, which is so dumb, time and again. The assumption underlining all of it is that if you have a Hispanic last name you‘re for legal immigration. And that‘s ridiculous.
BUCHANAN: It is preposterous. We‘ve got Mexican-Americans, Hispanic-Americans serve in the armed forces, love this country, love the opportunities they‘ve got.
They look down there, they see people walking into this country. One in 12, the president says, has a criminal record. They‘re not in favor of that sort of thing, frankly. And if they are, you‘ve got to tell them, we just disagree with you. All the rest of us Americans are going to defend our border.
This, after all, is our common home. And you‘ve got an obligation and a duty to protect and defend it.
CARLSON: Well, that would take political courage, something that‘s in short supply, I‘ve noticed.
Pat Buchanan, the author of “State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America.”
Thanks a lot, Pat.
BUCHANAN: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Well, tomorrow is part of MSNBC day-long “Battleground America” coverage of the looming midterm elections. We‘ll have a special edition of our show at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. We‘ll take a look at Hillary Clinton and the state of New York. What can we learn about her presidential hopes from that Senate race?
We‘ll discuss it tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. Eastern. And, of course, we‘ll be back at 6:00 p.m. Eastern live with more.
Still to come today, the latest on the death of “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin. Some critics say he had it coming, if you can even believe that. But was the attack that killed him a fluke?
We‘ll tell you.
And a 13-year-old football player is hit from behind and knocked to the ground by a parent. And it was all caught on tape.
We‘ve got that tape and the story when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE IRWIN, “THE CROCODILE HUNTER”: I am a wildlife warrior, and I‘ll fight, fight to the death for wildlife.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Steve Irwin certainly was fearless when it came to wild animals. He spent his life getting up close and personal with the most dangerous creatures on earth.
He cheated death so many times he seemed immune from it. And that‘s one of the reasons the attack that killed him yesterday came as such a shock. But did he put his life on the line one too many times, or was his death a freak accident nobody could have predicted?
Joining me now, an expert on the danger Steve Irwin faced, Stewart Clark, the vice president of Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida.
Was this a freak accident? I mean, is this something you would have been afraid to do, the thing that killed Steve Irwin?
STEWART CLARK, VICE PRESIDENT, DISCOVERY COVE: Well, how are you, Tucker?
You know, we‘re sorry to be joining you on such unfortunate circumstances, but, you know, as far as a freak accident, I think that‘s a great way to describe it. You know, as you can see all around me here, we‘ve got rays here now. Granted, our stingrays are all debarbed, or their barbs are trimmed far back, but normally stingrays are very defensive in nature and not—not really an aggressive animal.
CARLSON: Is it—is it common to see a person hit with a barb like this?
And have you seen or heard of people dying from it before?
CLARK: You know, the—the idea of a death from it is extremely, extremely rare. And, you know, I don‘t even think you can calculate the probability of that happening.
But the—you know, as far as the barb goes—and, you know, occasionally people are injured by stingrays along coastlines all over the world—again, they‘re a very—you know, it‘s a defensive posture the animal might take. If somebody was to step down on the back of a ray, they have a barb there that could come up and injure that potential predator.
And I think this time—you know, our feeling—and again, not being there to know all the circumstances—but our feeling is this—this couldn‘t be more of a freak accident, really a very unfortunate case for Mr. Irwin and a great loss to the zoological community.
CARLSON: Just give us a sense quickly for those who didn‘t grow up around stingrays, how long are the barbs and how thick?
CLARK: You know, a barb on a—on a full-grown stingray can be up to seven inches long.
CLARK: And so, you know, again, the—you know, it can be -- it can be -
it depends on the size of the ray, obviously. And the rays that you‘re seeing around me here, they would have smaller barbs than that, and we just
you know, like I said before, we keep those nice and trimmed back here.
That‘s why you can see me myself and all the people behind me in the water here.
CARLSON: So it‘s sort of like an ice pick on the back of one of these things. I mean, I can see how that can hurt somebody.
What did you think—tell me—and I know it‘s more difficult to assess someone after his death, but you get the sense that in some quarters Steve Irwin was a controversial person. Give us your sense of his legacy.
CLARK: You know, Steve Irwin was probably one of the most experienced handlers of exotic and potentially dangerous animals. And it‘s definitely been a loss to our zoological community.
I think what he was all about was bringing people closer to animals and bringing animals closer to people. And, you know, that‘s something that we‘re all about in places like Discovery Cove and other zoos worldwide. And really, we want to continue that sort of legacy on.
CARLSON: Well, give—I mean, give us some perspective here. You watched Steve Irwin on television, and he just seemed like one of the bravest people ever. I mean, some of the things he did were very dangerous, is that right?
CLARK: Well, you know, Steve Irwin—you know, the way that he approached some of the species, obviously he was the ultimate showman and definitely did a wonderful job of bringing that interest and bringing those animals into people‘s houses. You know, as far as this case goes, you know, I really think it‘s just a matter of, you know, he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Of any animal in the ocean or any animal that Steve Irwin or anyone else has ever dealt with, you know, I would think stingrays would have been the last animal that you would have guessed that would have been, you know, fatal for him.
CARLSON: Yes. Do people—is there a market for stingrays? Do people eat stingrays?
CLARK: You know, in some parts of the world there‘s—there are some people that do. You know, obviously our market for stingrays and all up and down the coast of Florida and all over the U.S., just people getting out and really enjoying them. And really, you can see them all around me. They‘re awesome animals.
CARLSON: Yes, they sure are.
Stewart Clark, vice president of Discovery Cove in Orlando.
Thanks a lot, Stewart. I appreciate it.
CLARK: OK. Thank you.
CARLSON: Coming up, did you see Rosie O‘Donnell‘s “View” debut? We did, and we‘ve got TiVo. We‘ve got everything you missed on “Beat the Press.”
We‘ll be right back.
CARLSON: Time now for “Beat the Press.”
Rosie O‘Donnell made her debut on ABC‘s “The View” this morning, and you won‘t be surprised to learn it took her only about five minutes to give viewers a serious case of the heebie-jeebies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “THE VIEW”)
ROSIE O‘DONNELL, “THE VIEW”: In our family the rules is—because I know you used to take baths with Jackie, right?
BARBARA WALTERS, “THE VIEW”: It was a good time for us to be together, and I‘ve talked about this before. And I will I‘m sure again, but it was a time when I was able to explain adoption....
WALTER: ... because...
O‘DONNELL: You can explain a lot there in the tub.
WALTER: Because Vivi (ph) always looks at me and says, “When am I getting my fur?”
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Rosie O‘Donnell taken naked baths with her kids, talking about “her fur.” This violates what we in the news business refer to as the breakfast rule. Anything you put on television or in a newspaper that will spoil someone‘s breakfast is verboten, not allowed, can‘t do it. And they violated that rule. And not for the last time.
Every single day “The View” is going to be a breakfast wrecker. That is my prediction now that Rosie O‘Donnell is on it.
Well, next up, the death of “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin is worldwide news today. And, of course, cable news outlets are covering it as closely as anyone is. Well, almost anyone.
Nobody, though, beats The Associated Press for truly blanket coverage. The wire service moved one story with the following headline: “Kelly Ripa Breaks News of Steve Irwin‘s Death to her Children.”
The story began this way: “Just like so many other mothers whose kids were fans of the ‘Crocodile Hunter,‘ Kelly Ripa had to break the news to her 9-year-old son Michael that Steve Irwin was dead.”
Now, this is meta coverage at its most meta. Not simply reporting the news of a celebrity dying, but reporting the reaction of other celebrity‘s children to the death of a celebrity.
So next time a pope passes, for instance, maybe Paris Hilton will merit her own story—“Paris Hilton Reacts to the Death of the Pontiff.”
That is serious coverage. That is leaving no angle unexplored, no potential story unturned.
And finally, Hannity & Colmes over on the FOX News channel. On Friday, the host interviewed a man named Byron Rhodan. He‘s a 4‘1” tall former prison inmate who‘s suing a prison for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act after he fell off a sink while shaving.
Here‘s a clip of the interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BYRON RHODAN, INMATE: I was told by an officer that I had to shave. I didn‘t ask how I was supposed to do so, if I couldn‘t see in the mirror. The officer told me that I was to stand on the sink and do so.
I then asked for a portable mirror. The officer told me that that would not be allowed because I was in segregation. So therefore, I asked how I was supposed to do—how I was supposed to shave, and he told me I would have to stand on the sink.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: As you can see, the interview was sober enough, with both hosts treating their guest with respect.
Now, take look at the graphics that flashed on the bottom of the screen during the show, graphics that the guest probably couldn‘t see—watch. “Justice Out of Reach.” “Short on Justice.” And my favorite, “Shortchanged.”
It‘s like taping a “kick me” sign to the guess that he can‘t see, putting rabbit ears behind his head. You‘re a freak, you‘re short! You‘re short! Short! Shortchanged!
Three of the dumbest most obvious short jokes, but none of them are in exchange with the host. They‘re all on the screen where the guy can‘t see it. That is cruel. That is mean.
Be mean to the guy‘s face. Not in the graphics.
How would you like to help us “Beat the Press”? Give us a call and tell us what you‘ve seen.
Our number, 877-BTP-5876. Operators standing by.
Still to come, is the war on terror a winning strategy for the Republican Party in November? Why it may not be smart for the Republicans to put all their political eggs in one basket.
And how can you worry about global warming when you know Al Gore is on the case? The latest from the environmentalist darling when we return.
CARLSON: Still to come, why so many voters are angry and why that‘s bad news for the Republican Party. Also ahead, the latest controversy over Steve Irwin‘s death by stingray. We‘ll get to all that in just a minute but right now here is a look at your headlines.
ALLISON STEWART, CNBC ANCHOR: Hello I‘m Allison Stewart with your market wrap. Wall Street ends the day on the plus side. The Dow gained 5, the S&P gained 2 and the NASDAQ gained 12. Ford Motor Company has just announced that Bill Ford is stepping down his position as CEO. He‘ll stay on as chairman. Ford will be replaced by Allan Mallaley(ph) who used to be with Boeing. Ford is trying to reverse huge losses and declining market share. A federal judge gives Delta Air Lines clearance to cancel its pension plan. Delta requested the move as it tries to emerge from chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. And brokerage giant Merrill Lynch is trying to become a player in the mortgage market. Merrill Lynch has agreed to buy National City‘s home loan unit for $1.3 billion. And that is your market wrap. I‘m Allison Stewart. Tucker, he‘ll be right back.
CARLSON: Time now for “3 on 3,” where we welcome two of the sharpest people we know to discuss three of today‘s most interesting stories. Let‘s get right to it. Joining us from New York City, Andrew Wilkow, he‘s the host of the Andrew Wilkow show on Sirius Satellite Radio. Also Sam Seeder, host of the Majority Report on Air America Radio. Sam‘s also the author of “Hew Bar, America‘s Right-Wing Nightmare.” Of which I hope I‘m a part. Welcome, both. First up, the White House and the war on terror. The president today announced a new strategy in the war on terror. The stakes couldn‘t be higher. But is Bush taking a risk with future of the Republican Party? Here‘s what he said earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: We‘re on the offense against the terrorists on every battlefront and we‘ll accept nothing less than complete victory.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Nothing less than complete victory. Andrew here‘s the problem I have with this from the president‘s point of view. I‘m not sure what complete victory is. What is complete victory in the war on terror?
ANDREW WILKOW, “THE ANDREW WILKOW SHOW,” SIRIUS: Complete victory is when we no longer feel threatened, when we no longer feel that another 9/11 is going to occur. I mean its complete victory. We settled for no less than complete victory in the past. Why should we settle for anything less now?
CARLSON: We actually have not settled for—we‘ve settled for much less than complete victory. I mean we spent 40 years during the cold war with partial half victories. Life is imperfect and we recognize that, terrorism is the phenomenon that gives undue power to the individual. As long as there is one person out there who hates us, who has enough money to make a bomb, it doesn‘t take much, we will be unsafe. Shouldn‘t he be more realistic about it?
WILKOW: That‘s always—I think, since the foundation of this
country there have been people that hate us. Ok, so maybe total victory
would be where, again, we feel more safe and more secure. And of course,
you‘re right that there‘s always going to be someone that‘s going to hate
us, there‘s always going to be someone that‘s going to be able to make a
bomb. And these people we‘re dealing with aren‘t nation states. So I
don‘t think that there is a diplomacy, I think until we smash them out of
existence that‘s what we‘re looking at here. We need to smash these people
that would be total victory.
CARLSON: Now, Sam, this it seems to me it‘s no mystery why the Republican Party is focusing on terror. There is I think a mixed record on a number of different issues, but on the question, on the very narrow question of Al Qaeda in the United States, I think the Bush administration has an unblemished record. There has not been a second 9/11. That‘s the measure that matters. What exactly is, leaving aside Iraq, what‘s the democratic alternative to what the Bush administration has done over the past five years?
SAM SEDER, “THE MAJORITY REPORT”, AIR AMERICA: Well first off, I mean it‘s hard to say that the Bush administration has an unblemished record regarding Al Qaeda, because 9/11 happened on their watch and that was Al Qaeda. Now, I think the democrats have a different proposal, which is basically to take our troops, redeploy them from Iraq and go to where Al Qaeda‘s bases are. And they‘re still in western Afghanistan and they‘re still in Pakistan. And I think it‘s really going after using more police tactics, which worked for the British in the latest terror plot. And also to use—to actually fight the ideology, by showing the general population where these people live and act, that --
CARLSON: So you want to send U.S. troops to northwest Pakistan? I mean here you have—
SEDER: No, well, I think we should be on the border of Afghanistan.
And we basically have virtually no presence there anymore.
CARLSON: But maybe we have very little presence there because we‘re worried about destabilizing the very important government of Prevez Musharaf, who‘s really the only thing that stands between us and --
SEDER: And he needs our support, as well. And if you have more American troops in Afghanistan, you cut down their mobility and you have the ability to launch special operations there.
CARLSON: I guess the point I‘m making is, the average American looks at the state of affairs since 9/11 and says you know a lot of things are going badly, Iraq is a disaster, I‘m upset about gas prices. On the other hand, nobody has flown airplanes into buildings in the last five years. They have to be doing something right. It‘s kind of hard to argue with that.
SEDER: Well I mean I‘ll tell you, the American public actually in the latest polls trusted democrats to keep us safe more than the republicans. But that aside, we still haven‘t found the person who committed the anthrax killings and we still have the Bush administration politicizing this. I mean look at this—every time they announce some type of victory on the war on terror, it ends up being like these guys in Miami who turn out not even to be Muslims, and seeking uniforms and boots so they can take over the American government. I mean this is a joke.
CARLSON: Andrew, the numbers on Iraq are even worse than I imagined they would be. I don‘t know if you‘ve seen the new ones today, but it‘s overwhelming. The American public thinks the war there was a mistake, is currently a mistake, it‘s a distraction from the real war on terror. They haven‘t bought anything by and large that the Bush administration has been selling on Iraq. Why?
WILKOW: Well because when you go 24-7 with God knows how many news stories and reporters they‘re going to pound it into the average person‘s head that everything is going wrong. When was the last time you heard about a school or a road or a communications tower or anything good? Has there been any good news in the mainstream press? And then you hear --
CARLSON: So it‘s a media—so you‘re blaming the press—so in other words—
WILKOW: No. I understand --
CARLSON: Everybody‘s lying about the state of affairs in Iraq and the voters are dumb enough to believe it?
WILKOW: It‘s not about lying. It‘s not always what you say, it‘s what you don‘t say. It‘s not always what you report, it‘s what you choose to ignore. And then you know you hear Sam talking about the British prosecution of their terrorists. The day that broke, they were saying well we jumped the gun and Bush pushed them to do that. And we leaned on MI5, now he‘s saying that‘s the great way to do it. So any way Bush does it is wrong and any way that we adapt from the international community is wrong too. This president can do no right in the minds of these people over here.
CARLSON: Well here are - I want to get the American voters in on this. Here are the latest numbers. Voters are mad, that‘s obviously bad news for anybody who‘s in office.
WILKOW: What does that mean, voters are mad?
CARLSON: By a 54 percent majority, American Survey did a recent poll said things in this country are going, “badly.” More than ¾ of those people said they were angry, 55 percent said they were more likely to back the challenger in this year‘s elections. What‘s interesting to me about these numbers, is they‘re the classic numbers you see before a seat change. Before the party is thrown out, they‘re the kind of numbers you saw in 1994. But they don‘t, Sam, imply, much less state, backing for the democrat‘s program. I have no idea what the hell their program is any way. But Americans don‘t seem like they‘re for the democrat‘s program, they seem like they‘re just mad at Bush.
SEDER: Look, I mean the bottom line is the republicans control every aspect of this government right now. And so if the voters feel there is a problem with what‘s going on in Washington, it‘s the republicans who have had total control of every office in our government.
CARLSON: That‘s a fair point, I‘m not denying that for a second. I‘m merely saying that in November democrats are likely to be in control. So at that point it‘s not enough to say Bush screwed it up, at that point you have to say here‘s what we are for.
SEDER: Well listen I think the first thing the democrats should do is hold this administration accountable. I mean, what we‘re really lacking is some type of oversight. The way that they‘re executing all of their policies and their lack of policies need to be accounted for. And I think that‘s what the American people want. I‘ll tell you something, if Andrew believes that there is some type of information that‘s not coming out of Iraq, I suggest he fly over there and spend a couple of hours outside of the green zone and report back to us on all the great progress that‘s happening there.
WILKOW: You know what, the difference between my program and yours is I get military members who are proud of what they‘re doing calling my program.
SEDER: I have military members on twice a week on my program Andrew. And I have news for you, you can find anybody you want. Why don‘t you head over there and tell us the good news.
WILKOW: Just like you can. The fascinating thing is you said that 9/11 happened on Bush‘s watch.
SEDER: Is that not true?
WILKOW: It absolutely is true. But it wasn‘t planned, it was planned during the Clinton administration. And let me ask you this, if the democrats, the party you love so much, take back this power in November and we have another 9/11, are you going to come on Tucker Carlson‘s program and say, well I was wrong, I guess it happened on the democrat --
SEDER: It‘s the Bush administration‘s job to keep this country safe.
WILKOW: And what about Clinton?
SEDER: He didn‘t --
CARLSON: Andrew, come on man, slow down. Before we get back to Bill Clinton --
WILKOW: Are far back are you willing to go Andrew?
CARLSON: Slow down gentlemen, hold on. Here‘s the question. The question is really clear. If democrats take over this November, the House of Representatives and I think they‘re going to, and give me quickly on each of this, Sam Seder do you think they should start issuing subpoenas. They‘ll have the power to do so, you said they ought to exercise some kind of oversight over the Bush administration. Should they start launching investigations as the republicans did in the mid to late 90‘s?
SEDER: Well I don‘t think they should do it the way the republicans did, because I think there are actually legitimate things to investigate here. Absolutely, I feel they should issue subpoenas. We need to get accountability, we need to have this administration, which is basically exercising an executive authority, which is way out of bounds for the constitution. The Supreme Court has told us that in the Hamdan case and I want to see subpoenas, I want to see investigations, of course.
CARLSON: Man, you‘re going to scare the hell out of voters. Andrew, what do you think of that?
WILKOW: This is all—they want more paperwork. They want more logjams. They want to muddy this up with terms. It‘s like when we talk about the FISA court and the oversight that they love so much. You know what, the judge that actually wrote the FISA court law said it wasn‘t broken. But that hasn‘t ended. We‘re still here hearing about Cheney, Rove and Libby and the Plame affair, that‘s over. So when they‘re wrong, we never hear that they‘re wrong. We only want to hear when they‘re complaining.
CARLSON: Speaking of complaining, Al Gore, he‘s still on his global warming world tour in Australia. Also he‘s in Finland, he‘s in Finland today. He told an audience that continued global warming would quote, “Destroy the future of human civilization.” Pretty scary. But then he went on to say, and this is what we really confuses me Sam, that we ought to cut the developing world a break. Now, Al Gore‘s plan for ending global warming, without getting too technical, but as you know, included signing on the Quito Treaty, and the Quito protocols which didn‘t in fact, require China to cut back very much on its use of carbon-based energy. Now how long can democrats blame the United States almost entirely for the emissions of greenhouse gases and global warming without pointing out that China is in fact a much bigger polluter than the United States? How long can they continue to do that do you think?
SEDER: Well, I‘d like to see China more in accord - but let‘s face --
CARLSON: No. Let‘s --
SEDER: Listen, America is the leader of the world. And as we do, other people follow. The bottom line is that we should have shown the path that the 97 Montreal accords have cut clorophocarbons which has actually helped repair the ozone layer. Now I think—you know you have republicans and conservatives who refuse to acknowledge the fact that we can actually get together and do something about these problems.
CARLSON: But why not—what do you mean we? No, no, when you say, hold on. This is what bothers me. When you say we, you only mean the United States and Western Europe, the people that you hold responsible for every outrage in the world.
SEDER: No --
CARLSON: No, it‘s true. Why not hold India and China to the very same standards you hold the United States --
SEDER: I think we should. In fact I think we should and in fact when George Bush goes over and gives India basically a green light to start creating nuclear weapons without holding them to the fire on treaties that have existed for years and years --
CARLSON: India‘s had nuclear weapons long before George W. Bush was president.
SEDER: Yeah, but he‘s giving them an ok and we‘re actually selling materials to them now that are going to allow them to speed up the process.
CARLSON: That‘s a far more complicated dynamic than --
SEDER: You get leverage where you can get it Tucker, you know that.
CARLSON: Trust me, there‘s a lot more going on there than I think you‘re acknowledging. Andrew do you think republicans at some point need to acknowledge that global warming real. Whether it is or whether it isn‘t, whether we can do anything about it or not is an open question. But most people think it is real. Should they come out and just say yeah it‘s real?
WILKOW: Tucker I‘ve been waiting to do this for a while and I‘m probably going to shock Sam. On my program, I don‘t think I‘ve heard anyone do it. I separate environmental science from environmental socialism. And there is a huge difference. I want to hear the science. If their science is in, if they‘re science to be addressed, I want to hear it. What I don‘t want to hear is that well the United States has to cut this and cut back on this, but China, India, and you know what by the way, the “Associated Press” had it out just recently that the dirtiest power plants are in Spain, Germany and in France. Why is it only the U.S., if we‘re in this critical mess, if we‘re at this moment in history—and of course, Al Gore is not flying around in a private jet burning any fossil fuel. If we‘re at this critical mass, where we have to do something now, doesn‘t that include China, India, and the African nations? Now, there was another report out by Greenpeace well they‘re climate policy lawyer said we can‘t expect any African nation or China to scale back, because their economies need it. Is it about economies or is it about science?
CARLSON: Well that‘s an interesting question isn‘t it Sam? I mean if it‘s a moral imperative, if we‘re talking about the future of the human race, as Al Gore never tires of reminding us, then who cares about China‘s economy, who cares about the economy of some totalitarian creepy communist nation? Why the hell would we worry about their economy?
SEDER: Tucker, you‘re not going to do this overnight. I mean the Quito was a good start and you build on that. But we basically, we scuttled it. And so you‘re not getting anywhere.
WILKOW: We scuttled it because we were supposed to pay for everything. A second ago, you know we had this group of people who said we can‘t take down Saddam Hussein without --
SEDER: So you just want to cut and run because we can‘t do it all in one day.
WILKOW: Oh my God, you‘ve got to be kidding me. You have people out there that say we can‘t take action to defend ourselves without the world community, but now Sam just said we‘re the leader of the world community. So which is it? Do we lead or do we follow, or do we go to consensus? If it‘s consensus, everyone comes back all at once.
SEDER: Oh I don‘t think it‘s a difference Andrew between leading and going with our friends.
CARLSON: Gentlemen, on that note, I feel like we‘re literally moments away from solving the global warming conundrum, but sadly, we have to go. Thank you both.
WILKOW: Thank you Tucker.
SEDER: Thank you.
CARLSON: Parental rage at its very worst. The father of a peewee football player runs onto the field and runs amok during a game, hitting a 13-year-old kid. Why would an adult act like this? We have some theories. Plus, in the wake of Steve Irwin‘s death some have implied we shouldn‘t shed a tear for the man who spent his life taunting snakes and wrestling alligators. I‘ll tell you why we ought to celebrate the legacy of the crocodile hunter. That‘s next.
CARLSON: Now that the Valerie Plame CIA leak case has fizzled out, will enemies of the president finally admit it was a witch hunt and a monumental waste of time and money? I doubt it. Plus, what happens when a father rushes to the field and hits a teenager during a football game. See it when we come right back.
CARLSON: Time for a look at today‘s stories I just don‘t get. First up, another low blow for organized youth sports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a parent/coach to come out and attack one of my kids it‘s just something that was terrifying.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Here‘s what that pee wee league coach was talking about.
This blindside assault on a 13-year-old football player by an irate father. 36 year old Corey Petero of Riverbank, California is now facing child abuse charges for his unsportsmanlike-like behavior. Cops say he rushed the field after his own boy was hit by the 13-year-old. And the violence did not stop there. Petero‘s actions ignited a wild brawl among fans that lasted for nearly 20 minutes. No one was seriously hurt. Pretty shocking. Anyway, here‘s what I don‘t get. Everybody knows, a, you have to let your boys fight their own battles, and, b, that the overbearing sports fathers screaming from the sidelines, what does he do, he raises very unhappy neurotic children. Everybody knows that. Why do people still do it, I don‘t get it. Next, I really need an explanation about some of the criticisms surrounding the death of the death defying lifestyle of Australia‘s late crocodile hunter Steve Irwin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE IRWIN, CROCODILE HUNTER: I‘m just focused. It‘s just tunnel vision, like, me at the crock. That‘s it.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Irwin‘s zest for adventure and nature earned him fans worldwide, although he did have his fair share of critics. There were those who didn‘t enjoy his larger than life, life, complaining that he was turning wildlife into a circus. Then there was this infamous stunt from two years ago involving his then month old baby boy. Some environmentalists derided his habit of tempting fate. He argued it was his job as a wildlife ambassador. Here‘s the point, Steve Irwin did more for wildlife than any environmentalist I‘ve ever met. Plus he was brave. And bravery actually is a quality, a learned quality we ought to instill in our children. We ought to say look at Steve Irwin, he was a guy who did something he loved and was bold in the way he did it. Good for him. He‘s a hero, as far as I‘m concerned, and I‘m sad that he died. So anybody who criticizes him and says he got what he deserved, please. And finally new insight about the investigation into the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame, has many Americans, including me, demanding an explanation right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was known that a CIA officer‘s identity was blown. We know that there was a leak. We needed to figure out how that happened, who did it.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: That‘s prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald from a year ago. Now comes word that in face he knew who did it from the very start of his investigation. It was this guy, former deputy secretary of state Richard (INAUDIBLE). He confessed back in 2003 and yet Fitzgerald kept his inquiry open for nearly two more years before indicting vice president‘s chief of staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby. (INAUDIBLE) was never charged with a crime. Now the crime, of course, the core crime, supposedly, was leaking the name of this CIA operative, which supposedly was part of an organized administration effort to silence the critics of the war in Iraq. It was all a crock, it was all a lie. It was all a Looney conspiracy theory and it was all abetted by this guy, Patrick Fitzgerald, who we were told and we in the press told you, was the paragon of rectitude. He was the most upright, honest, morally correct person ever to hold a prosecutor‘s badge. He was the guy. Well it turns out he knew the truth from the beginning. He wasted our time, he wasted our money, he destroyed lives. He ought to be ashamed of himself and he ought to be in trouble but he‘s not going to be, because he‘s a prosecutor. He already works for the federal government and he‘s untouchable. The fact is this whole story from the very beginning was a complete waste of time. There was no crime. The Bush administration has done many bad things, invading Iraq is one of them, outing Valerie Plame was not among them. Anybody who said otherwise ought to apologize now that we know the truth.
Last week we told you about the 14-year-old lobbying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world‘s shortest boy. Well there‘s been a dramatic turn in that story, we‘ll update you when we come right back.
CARLSON: Welcome back. No don‘t switch to the “Food Network.”
Why? Because Willie Geist is here. Willie, welcome.
WILLIE GEIST: I‘m so much better than baked Alaska Tucker, admit. Seven days now until “Dancing with the Stars.” One week from tonight Tucker begins his long march to become the biggest dancing star in the world. We‘re so proud of you and Tucker I want to get a look for you at the face of the enemy. Here it is. Mario Lopez is the Vegas favorite. That‘s what he looks like, that‘s the man you‘re gunning for. He must be taken down, Tucker. Do everything in your power, ok.
CARLSON: I‘ll do my best Willie.
GEIST: All right thank you. Tucker the evil Guinness Book of Records has struck again, this time squashing the dreams of a 14-year-old boy who stands only 20 inches tall. The Nepalese teenager had petitioned Guinness to recognize him as the world‘s shortest boy. Well Guinness has declined his request and said he‘ll have to wait until he turns 18 and take another shot, at the title of world‘s shortest man, not shortest boy. Now Tucker I‘m not in the business of saying, I told you so. I think you know that. But last Thursday when we originally discussed this story, this is what I had to say about this guy. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEIST: Isn‘t the world‘s smallest boy an infant. If he wants to come back when he turns 18 and go for world‘s smallest man, talk to me then.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
GEIST: So Tucker basically Guinness is listening to me on my advice on which records to award and not to award. So, I feel pretty good about that.
CARLSON: I can promise you Guinness is listening Willie. You‘ve been on a one man jihad against Guinness for over a year now.
GEIST: I have. And they‘re coming around to my side, I think you‘ll notice by this evidence here. I‘m happy. Tucker, if you needed any more convincing that dog‘s are man‘s best friend, listen to this story. A five year old Boykin Spaniel named Homeless, who ironically has a home in Chickasaw, Alabama, has been trained to open a cooler and fetch beers for his owner. Watch Homeless in action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give me a Budweiser. Go.
Talks today, you have to stay right on them, don‘t you.
Thank you. Bring it here. Thank you, good boy.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
GEIST: That is a worthwhile trick. You know whenever I play fetch with a dog, I always find myself wondering what‘s in it for me? So what I get the sweaty slimy tennis ball back from you? Now there is a reason to play fetch with a dog. And by the way, we didn‘t see it here, he can fetch by brands. Get me a Miller Light, get me a Lowenbrau, get me a Milwaukee‘s Best. He will find it in the cooler and bring it. It‘s an amazing talent.
CARLSON: Get me a Milwaukee‘s Best? He will bark contempt at you when you issue that order.
GEIST: I‘m not sure who would ask that, but I‘m saying it‘s an option with this dog. Get me a 40 of Old English, let‘s see if he can do that.
CARLSON: I dare him.
GEIST: All right Tucker.
CARLSON: Willie Geist, thank you Willie. That‘s our show, thanks for watching. Don‘t forget, we have a special “Battleground America” edition of our show tomorrow at 4:00. Now it‘s time for “HARDBALL” with Chris. See you.
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