Guests: Richard Wolffe, Michael Crowley, Steve Adubato
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY: Nancy Pelosi
in at the White House, George Allen out in Virginia, Democrats in control
of the Senate, John Bolton out at the U.N., global warming in with new
Democratic leaders, Charlie Rangel out—of his mind? Breaking news,
progressive views and conservative who lose straight ahead as we bring you
the latest on the election night that‘s going to reshape America, the Iraq
war and the way George W. Bush is remembered.
But tonight, there is little doubt how the GOP base is feeling right
now, dazed and confused, beaten by Democrats and betrayed by their own
party. This Republican Party that‘s been so sure of itself since the
Reagan revolution was launched a quarter century ago is now unmoored, angry
at its leaders and unsure of its future.
To talk about how fear and loathing in the GOP ranks has reached
almost Thompsonian (ph) levels is Richard Wolffe. He is, of course,
“Newsweek‘s” senior White House correspondent. We‘ve got Pat Buchanan,
MSNBC political analyst, and Michael Crowley, senior editor for “The New
Well, Michael, the big news today, arch-conservative George Allen, a
man loathed by many progressives, goes down in Virginia, and that means
Democrats officially will be controlling Congress. Are they already
flexing their political muscles?
MICHAEL CROWLEY, “THE NEW REPUBLIC”: Yes. Well, first thing I want
to say is it‘s really palpable, the joy that Democrats are feeling. I
mean, you know, like in basketball, you know, a lay-up is worth 2 points
and a slam dunk is worth 2 points, but when you dunk over a guy who‘s
fouling you all night and driving you crazy, and dunk in his face, it feels
really sweet. And that‘s the reaction that I‘ve been hearing from
Democrats all day is just this really kind of joy. I mean, Allen became
such a villain for them. So it‘s this added bonus. They‘ve got the
majority and they‘ve vanquished this guy that I think they really came to
loathe. You know, and we‘ll see if they flex their muscles. They‘re
trying to—they‘re trying to act...
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you say...
CROWLEY: ... as though they‘re going to be conservative about it,
SCARBOROUGH: We‘ll see if they flex their muscles, but you‘ve got
George Bush yesterday getting rid of Donald Rumsfeld, who really had to be
at the top of the list of who Democrats loathe. You had George W. Bush
today basically bowing and scraping to Nancy Pelosi, talking about reaching
out to the Democratic Party and working with the San Francisco Democrat.
You‘ve got George Allen, again, being booted out. And now we‘re hearing
tonight that John Bolton may be out at the United Nations.
My gosh, this is happening so quickly. It‘s the domino effect that
Ike warned Republicans about 50 years ago.
CROWLEY: I mean, there‘s no question that Democrats are feeling
swagger, that they‘re ready to flex their muscles, but I think, you know,
they want to be careful and I know that they‘re saying to themselves, We
got to be careful that we don‘t get carried away. We talked about this a
night or two ago, I think. They remember that the Republicans, Joe, some
of your friends back in the 1990s, got a little carried away, and the
public soured on them.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, it‘s very nice of you to say some of my
friends instead of me.
SCARBOROUGH: Really nice of you. I had all the subtlety of, like, a
canon. I had the subtlety of Pat Buchanan after winning the 1996 election
SCARBOROUGH: It was very exciting. So you know, Richard Wolffe, with
George Allen conceding in Virginia and with Bolton possibly leaving, with
Rumsfeld out, with all of these things happening, it reminds me of what
John McCain said after the 2004 election, that elections do have
consequences. But my gosh, we‘re seeing these consequences come about at a
RICHARD WOLFFE, “NEWSWEEK”: Yes. And to some extent, you know, I
expected Rumsfeld to go anyway by the end of the year. The president was
clearly going to have to meet the mood of change. But things have been
accelerated here because of the scale of the defeat.
Now, you‘ve got to give the White House some credit here for getting
ahead of the change. You said, Are Democrats flexing their muscles? Well,
he‘s not waiting for them to flex their muscles, he‘s trying to take
control and trying to say, you know, in Bill Clinton‘s term, he‘s still
relevant and show that he can set a path here.
And remember, for this president -- - there‘s a lot of talk about
Austin and how he was bipartisan then. More relevant is how he campaigned
in 2000. Remember, he said he was a different type of Republican, and what
he meant by that was not the Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich kind of Republican.
That‘s what he‘s really reaching back to now.
SCARBOROUGH: He was going to be a uniter, not a divider, and how long
ago that seems. Of course, things changed very quickly after he got in
power and 9/11 hit, and he had a different approach to the age of terror,
of course, than the Democrats, and that‘s caused so many of the battles
between the two.
Pat Buchanan, let‘s talk about the way the White House is handling
this. Richard brings up a great point. You had Bill Clinton, beaten by
the Democrats (SIC) in 1994. That was in November. It took him almost six
months to get his bearings. It took him until April or May to start
fighting back. Even in April, he was saying, I‘m still relevant. But here
you have George Bush moving very quickly. Is that a good move, or is he
showing weakness? It‘s certainly not something Nixon or Reagan would do,
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I think he‘s gone a bit too
far, in my judgment. Look, there‘s no doubt Rumsfeld was going to go, but
• and he brought him in and he moved preemptively and he struck and took
down one of his best friends, and he did it in a very brutal fashion. And
he‘s brought her in and he‘s now talking about compromise on issues like
Joe, the American people voted against Republicans to throw them out.
The American people did not vote for Nancy Pelosi! They didn‘t vote for
amnesty. They didn‘t vote for a guest worker program. Everybody ran
against that. The president better make sure that where he moves with
Nancy Pelosi, like on the minimum wage, the American people have supported
SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan, you know what? And I‘m telling you, just
write it down right now, George W. Bush is going to move very quickly to
the middle. He‘s going to anger his conservative base. He‘s going to go
along with a minimum wage increase. He‘s going to go along with the plan
that you call amnesty.
SCARBOROUGH: He‘s going to go along with Democrats on one issue after
another on the domestic side of things, at least. And conservatives are
going to be very angry, but that‘s the way this guy‘s going to govern.
BUCHANAN: Let me tell you, if he does that, he will—maybe he‘s got
the votes in the left wing of the Democratic Party. If he moves toward the
Pelosi Democrats rather than the Webb Democrats—if he moves toward the
Webb Democrats on judges, taxes, minimum wage, things like that, that is
the winning hand. That is Ronald Reagan. But if he‘s a new kind of
Republican, and that‘s someone who negotiates with Nancy Pelosi, he is
going to have a hellish problem on his hands. And Mr. Mehlman and Mr. Rove
ought to know that.
SCARBOROUGH: Michael Crowley, I want to play you a clip from what
Tony Snow had to say earlier today. Obviously, Tony Snow is the press
secretary over at the White House. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The partisan temperature has
gotten too hot here in Washington over a period of time, and I think maybe
changing the tone—look, the parties are going to disagree. That‘s why
they belong to different parties. But on the other hand, if you can
restore a sense of mutual respect, that‘s a good thing, and I think it‘s
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: And Michael Crowley, of course, he was also asked what
was on the menu today. I think, actually, it was another White House
official who was asked what was on the menu today, the lunch menu with
Speaker-to-be Pelosi. His answer, Crow.
SCARBOROUGH: This is a humbled White House, is it not?
CROWLEY: Yes. I mean, just the images of Pelosi in the Oval Office
were kind of stunning. I mean, if I can just quickly use another sports
metaphor, I thought of, like, when a guy who‘s been on a team for a long
time gets traded and you had see him in a different jersey, it‘s just kind
of like cognitive dissonance. You know, what is she doing in there? And
that‘s got to be humbling for Bush. He a guy who likes to own the room and
have a sense of swagger, and it‘s not often that he‘s kind of forced to sit
there and make nice like that.
And you know, but this idea of, like, changing the tone and somehow
now Democrats are going to have to—Bush is going to, you know, teach
Democrats how to change the tone—it‘s such a crock. I mean, one of the
fundamental platforms of Bush‘s campaign in 2000 was to change the tone in
Washington. And you can say that Democrats were—said some nasty things
and played rough, but Bush did basically nothing to try to—to try to
change the tone or try to change the discourse. He allowed the political
operation of the Republican Party to run vicious campaigns in 2002. So...
SCARBOROUGH: Well, Michael...
SCARBOROUGH: There‘s no doubt about it, Michael, that he didn‘t reach
out to the center. He didn‘t reach out to Democrats. But Democrats have
been pretty tough on him, too. I mean, Nancy Pelosi hasn‘t exactly been
George W. Bush‘s biggest fan. Take a look at what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: I believe that the
president‘s leadership and the actions taken in Iraq demonstrate an
incompetence in terms of knowledge, judgment and experience.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: And of course, she said quite a few more things. I
mean, it has been extraordinarily harsh on both sides, has it not, Pat?
BUCHANAN: Wait a minute, Joe. Wait a minute!~ This is—speaking
of a crock—I mean, George Bush—what about No Child Left Behind with
Teddy Kennedy? He was going to all these—what about prescription drugs?
That was not a conservative Republican initiative. The president did try
to govern like his father with these middle-of-the-road initiatives,
spending projects. That‘s why he‘s in trouble with his base is because he
tried to move in that direction.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Richard, what‘s so interesting, I was talking
to Tom Fiedler early this afternoon. He‘s executive editor of “The Miami
Herald.” And I said it‘s interesting that Jeb Bush in Florida is
extraordinarily popular. He‘s considered a moderate figure despite the
fact he‘s very conservative. But somehow, the opposite effect has latched
onto George W. Bush.
George W. Bush is not conservative, at least economically. You can
talk about the prescription drug benefit. You can talk about the biggest
deficit ever. You can talk about the biggest debt ever. You can talk
about what conservatives call his amnesty program. And yet for some
reason, even when he reached out to Ted Kennedy with No Child Left Behind,
Richard, he was still branded as a right-wing extremist. Why does this guy
seem to get it from both sides?
WOLFFE: Well, partly because his fortunes are down. I mean, you
heard it both sides, just from Pat‘s mouth just now. He said President
Bush would have a hellish time working with Democrats, but he also said
he‘d have a hellish time with Republicans because he‘s done things like No
Child Left Behind and Medicare prescription drugs. I mean, he has tried to
work both sides of it. He has been this big-government conservative.
Listen, he‘s been conservative on taxes. He‘s been cutting taxes Reagan-
style. He just hasn‘t been a fiscal hawk and tried to balance the budget.
Well, you know, there‘s no free lunch here. And of course, holding
this party together, the fiscal conservatives and the social conservatives,
is not an easy thing, and the war has obviously broken things apart here.
But I think, you know, look at it. The trouble he‘s got into on
immigration—his plan—his problems with immigration now are not that
he‘s going to work with conservatives, it‘s that he‘s going to return to
his original immigration plan, which Democrats supported and his party
didn‘t. So he hasn‘t taken his party with him for the last two years. And
you know, in a way, it‘s surprising they ever voted for prescription drug
benefits in the first place.
CROWLEY: You know, Joe, but prescription drug vote—I mean, that‘s
a great example. They held the vote open in the House until 3:00 in the
morning. There were allegations that Tom DeLay and his cohorts were
actually trying to bribe people on the House floor because they couldn‘t
get any Democrats to come along because they treated Democrats like dirt in
the Congress. That was the Republican leadership in the Congress, but it
all flowed down from Bush‘s attitude. I think No Child Left Behind, yes,
is an exception, but it was an exception that proves the rule.
BUCHANAN: But you know, George W. Bush has not vetoed a single
spending bill to come out of Capitol Hill. And there‘s another thing, Joe,
that deals with Bush. Temperamentally, he is not his brother Jeb. Jeb is
much more conservative, but temperamentally, Bush and those attacks in
2002, basically, on the Democratic Party, on the patriotism issue—I
think that fostered the Democrats‘ -- the big elephant in the room here is
Iraq. On that, the president‘s been extraordinarily tough, and they‘ve
been savage on him.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, they actually—they have been savage on him, but
they have been savage on him since 2002. That really was a dividing line,
and that‘s really when the two parties broke apart and when George W. Bush,
of course, became enemy number one for the Democratic Party.
Richard Wolffe, Pat Buchanan and Michael Crowley, thanks for being
with us. Greatly appreciate it.
And coming up: Who has the best record in politics? Well, when it
comes to getting people over the finish line, it‘s Stephen Colbert. Every
candidate who appeared on his show won. So why aren‘t they thanking him?
Plus, inside infidelity. NBC‘s hidden camera investigation catches
cheaters in the act. We‘ll show you how they got busted.
But next: Now that they own Capitol Hill, should Democrats thank Rush
Limbaugh? That‘s what liberal pundits are saying. We‘ll give you the real
SCARBOROUGH: Welcome back. When Rush Limbaugh accused Michael J. Fox
of not taking his medication before appearing in an ad for the Democratic
Senate candidate in Missouri, Democrats went on the attack. Is it just
payback time for Democrats, who‘ve never forgiven Limbaugh for putting the
Republican Party in power back in 1994?
Here now, MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan and former White House
communication director for Ronald Reagan, and media analyst Steve Adubato.
He‘s the author of “Make the Connection.”
Hey, Steve, is this just sour grapes by Democrats?
STEVE ADUBATO, MEDIA ANALYST: No, but it‘s the Democrats saying thank
you to Rush for bringing attention to the Michael J. Fox spot. He only did
it—he only did the commercial spot in a few states, but if Rush hadn‘t
acted like an idiot and tried to gesticulate all over the place and we
didn‘t have the video of it and he didn‘t turn around and question Michael
J. Fox as to whether he was really acting or not and then not apologize for
about 48 hours, we wouldn‘t have been talking about it night after night.
State after state would not have seen this commercial spot, where it was
never designed to run. You‘re seeing it right now.
I‘ll tell you what, it helped in a state like New Jersey, where, in
fact, Tom Kean actually is supportive of stem cell research, but it helped
Bob Menendez because Republicans were with Limbaugh.
SCARBOROUGH: How do you know that, though? I mean...
ADUBATO: How do I know anything, Joe?
SCARBOROUGH: I was saying weeks ago that New Jersey was going to
break Democratic. It just seems to me, again, that a lot of these people
that have bashed Rush Limbaugh for 20 years—and again, never forgave him
for helping push Republicans over the top in 1994 -- just kind of want to
poke at him and want to accuse him of doing something that neither you nor
I know that he actually did.
ADUBATO: Let me just say this. I can‘t get inside his head. I know
that in ‘94, you, Joe, and some others were very happy that Rush was so
powerful. He did, in fact, help the Democrats get defeated, the
Republicans take control. Great. I have no question as to how powerful he
But here‘s the thing. In 2006, when you act the way he did, when you
make fun of a victim, someone who is suffering from Parkinson‘s—he
didn‘t debate the issue of stem cell research, he challenged the veracity
of Fox. He made greater—he drew greater attention to it, and it had to
help Democrats. You don‘t have to be a genius to figure that out.
SCARBOROUGH: I mean, the thing is, he moved around for a couple of
seconds, and as you and I have both said, we all screw up, we all make
mistakes. This guy talks three hours a day. We made a mistake—and I‘ll
say it right here. We made a mistake. When I was out in Las Vegas doing a
show, we actually ran that on a loop for probably five, ten seconds, making
it look like he was doing it for a longer than he did. And we weren‘t
alone, of course. When we came back and found out it had happened...
ADUBATO: I remember.
SCARBOROUGH: ... we didn‘t do it again. But we are guilty, too of...
ADUBATO: You apologized, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, we are guilty, too, of jumping—I just think,
Pat Buchanan, that this was a chance to whack a guy that the left has hated
BUCHANAN: Look, Rush has inflicted so many wounds on liberal
Democrats over the years. That‘s exactly right. The Democrats won a big
victory and the Republicans got wiped out, and so now they‘re gloating and
jumping on Rush. I do agree with this, the imitation of Michael Fox for a
couple of seconds—filming it was a mistake. As Rush says, he‘s right
only 98.6 percent of the time.
BUCHANAN: That leaves 1.4, and he shouldn‘t have taped it.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, again—and the thing is, you know, I‘m on my
show one hour a night. I have a lot of guests I can throw to. Limbaugh
talks three hours a day.
BUCHANAN: You know, Rush...
SCARBOROUGH: And in fact, he talked some today and he said he‘s sick
and tired of sticking up for Republicans who didn‘t...
SCARBOROUGH: ... hold on, who didn‘t stand up for themselves, and
that‘s something I agreed with. But when he said something that I‘ve heard
just about every conservative in America say over the past six months, he
got attacked. Take a listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: We defend them. We say what
they really think when they can‘t say it or don‘t want to say it or don‘t
have the guts to say it. And we bail them out. Then when it comes
election time—and they still won‘t say what they are. They still won‘t
be conservative because they‘re afraid of it. And so I‘m simply—if
they‘re not going to go out and articulate their conservatism, I‘m not
going to let them depend on me to get them over the hump! They‘re the ones
running for office, I‘m not. I‘m a radio guy. If they can‘t make the
case, if they can‘t carry the banner, then it‘s their problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Pat, I have heard Republicans say that. What he didn‘t
say—what he didn‘t say was it was George W. Bush who could never
SCARBOROUGH: ... why we were in Iraq. That was all directed—I
can‘t get into his mind, but I‘m pretty sure that was directed at the
president because that‘s what I‘ve—I‘ve been hearing conservatives say
for years that the guy who best explained why we were in Iraq was Tony
BUCHANAN: You know, not only Iraq, though. Let me give you a
pristine example. Ward Connerly, someone with real guts, goes up to
Michigan to overturn that Affirmative Action thing whereby white working-
class kids are kept out of college because of the color of their skin, and
that‘s a Republican principle. He went and fought for it. The Republican
establishment abandoned him. Ward Connerly‘s amendment won with 58 percent
to 42. If Republicans had gotten behind that, saying, Look, we‘re for
equal justice under law, no discrimination one way or another, they would
have carried Michigan. They deserved to lose because they do not stand for
what they believe in, even when it‘s popular with the country, because
they‘re more interested in being popular inside this city!
ADUBATO: I absolutely agree with Pat. And the interesting thing is,
Rush is an extraordinary communicator. He‘s a great broadcaster. But let
me just say this. When you go down the line with the Republican Party and
you make it clear that you‘re not an objective journalist—and he doesn‘t
have to be. He‘s a great broadcaster. He has a loyal audience. But as
soon as this race is over, then he turns around and says, I am no longer
going to defend you guys if you don‘t speak up for yourselves—I‘ll tell
you what. My problem is this. I just wish Rush, while he‘s saying that,
would acknowledge that on some level, Joe and Pat, he contributed—he
didn‘t do it himself, he contributed to hurting the Republicans in a very
close race, where some of these Senate races were judged by just a few
thousand votes and the balance of power was there. He didn‘t help.
And finally, guys, don‘t let him off the hook so easily. He didn‘t
apologize, Joe, as quickly as you apologize when you make a mistake. He
waited almost 48 hours, which meant the news cycle kept running the story,
running the video, running his challenging of Michael J. Fox.
BUCHANAN: Wait a minute, now! He...
ADUBATO: He could have put it away, Pat.
BUCHANAN: You mean—put it away? You mean the news cycle would not
have re-run that footage of Rush as long as they said if Rush said, I
probably shouldn‘t have done that? Come on! We‘re in a political campaign
at the end. They would have rammed that to him as long as they could, just
the way they‘re doing now, long after he said he made a mistake there!
ADUBATO: Joe Scarborough, you know that we ran that footage, we did
those shows with Pat.
ADUBATO: We would not have run them to the degree, Pat—I‘m not
saying not run them at all. We would have not kept running them at
infinitum if he was just saying, Look, I blew it. I was insensitive to a
guy who‘s suffering. I do have a different—by the way, I totally
respect that he has a different point of view on stem cell research.
That‘s not what it was about. He protracted the news cycle even with those
who wanted to be fair.
BUCHANAN: Let me ask you something...
SCARBOROUGH: Listen, we got...
BUCHANAN: Taken all in all, was Rush an asset for the Republican
Party in this campaign?
BUCHANAN: He sure was!
SCARBOROUGH: Well, let me tell you something. If you asked every
Republican, or just go to the head of the Republican National Committee and
ask whether they‘d want Rush Limbaugh out there every day, fighting their
battle day in and day out, talking to 20 million Americans a week or not,
they would take Rush Limbaugh any day of the week.
ADUBATO: But he hurt on this one, Joe. He just hurt on this one.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, I just don‘t think he cost Jim Talent 3 percent of
the vote in Missouri. I just don‘t think there will ever be a survey that
shows that. In fact, Survey USA had a survey that showed just that thing.
Hey, but Steve, I appreciate you being on.
ADUBATO: Thanks, Joe. Thanks for having me.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan, thank you for being with us.
And coming up next, it‘s an all-politics edition of “Must See S.C.,”
as President Bush quacks back at critics who claim he‘ll be a lame duck.
Plus: When can a candidate say they like cocaine and hookers and still get
elected? When they say it to Stephen Colbert. (INAUDIBLE) fake news and a
real impact on who got elected.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, it‘s time for tonight‘s “Must See S.C.” Friends,
this is video you just got to see. First up, the sudden announcement that
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was stepping down surprised a lot of
people. But even more shocking, Rummy‘s next job. Take a look at this
from “The Late Show With David Letterman.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Secretary
Rumsfeld and I agreed that the timing is right for new leadership at the
Pentagon. Don Rumsfeld will bring more than 25 years of national security
experience to become the director for al Qaeda.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: I never saw that coming! And finally, some are
speculating that Tuesday‘s elections will mean that President Bush is going
to become a lame duck. But Mr. Bush went on Conan last night to quack back
at his critics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONAN O‘BRIEN, “LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O‘BRIEN”: Now, sir, it looks
like you‘re just going to have to face facts, you‘re now a lame duck
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me tell you something. Conan, I may be lame,
but this duck can still bark! Meow!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: All right, coming up next, a tip of the hat to Stephen
Colbert, the most influential man in politics. (INAUDIBLE) a look at why
some are crediting Colbert and Jon Stewart with helping Democrats win
Congress because of young voters. And later: Cheaters never prosper (ph).
NBC‘s hidden cameras are there as people get busted trying to cheat on
their spouses. Hurry up. Go!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONAN O‘BRIEN, HOST, “LATE NIGHT”: Now, sir, it looks like you‘re
just going to have to face facts. You‘re now a lame-duck president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me tell you something. Conan, I may be lame,
but this duck can still bark. Meow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: And coming up next, a tip of the hat to Stephen Colbert,
the most influential man in politics? We‘re going to look at why some are
crediting Colbert and Jon Stewart with helping Democrats win Congress
because of young voters.
And later, cheaters never prosper. NBC‘s hidden cameras are there as
people get busted trying to cheat on their spouses. Hurry up, go!
SCARBOROUGH: Coming up, caught in the act. NBC‘s hidden camera
investigation shows how private eyes track down people cheating on their
And later in “Hollyweird,” the latest on Britney and K-Fed‘s divorce,
including what Fed-Ex is now trying to do with Britney‘s money. And I bet
we‘re the first people probably in the world that‘s call him Fed-Ex, and it
makes me feel really clean and warm inside with “Decision 2006” behind me.
Now that we‘ve talked about that story, I can‘t wait to do it.
Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. We‘re talking about those—
doesn‘t that make you feel great to be an American?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, anyway, we‘re going to get to that in a second,
but first, who should the Democrats thank for their triumph in Tuesday
night‘s elections, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Rush Limbaugh? Well, we
already scratched him off the list. Try Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
Young voters turned out in record numbers on Tuesday night, their
highest turnout in several decades, and many of them voted Democrat. DNC
Chairman Howard Dean turned up on “The Daily Show” last night to bask in
the glow of victory.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON STEWART, HOST, “THE DAILY SHOW”: You‘re excited today. Is there
some sort of noise that you could think of, maybe a vocalization that would
convey your excitement over your victory? And go ahead and make that
noise, and I promise I won‘t replay it.
HOWARD DEAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Would it be
something like—would it be something like “Boo-yah”?
STEWART: Boo-yah, well done, my friend. Boo-yah, indeed.
Congratulations, sir, for all your hard work.
DEAN: And thanks to your audience.
STEWART: Howard Dean.
DEAN: Because you guys did it for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: “You guys did it for us.” But, you know, Dean‘s not the
only guy out there that‘s praising Comedy Central. Today‘s “Los Angeles
Times” says, quote, “The biggest winner of this election season has risen
from the parted waters, and it‘s not Nancy Pelosi. It‘s Stephen Colbert.
Every incumbent candidate he interviewed in his notorious ‘Better Know a
District‘ segment was reelected.”
So do the Democrats have Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to thank for
their remarkable election night success? Here now to talk about it,
Matthew Felling. He‘s the media director for the Center for Media and
Public Affairs. And Rachel Sklar, she is a media editor for the
Rachel, talk about the impact that “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert
Report” had on young voters.
RACHEL SKLAR, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM: Well, I mean, one of the things
about “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” is that they really just
had an unfiltered look at the Republican spin machine. They were the first
people to kind of go in there and...
SCARBOROUGH: You think they disassembled it?
SKLAR: Well, sure. I mean, they blatantly went in there and called
them on it. They put clips side by side to call them out on obfuscations
and half-truths and all of the sin. And I think that was something that
was really galvanizing for the audience.
And I‘ve used that term before, because I just think that that‘s
really what happened in this election. People were galvanized across the
country to make a difference, to make a change.
SCARBOROUGH: And it did make a difference. And also very
interesting, as the “Los Angeles Times” reported this morning, Democratic
challenger John Hall went on Colbert‘s show last month looking for a boost
in his race against Republican incumbent Sue Kelly. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, “THE COLBERT REPORT”: I oppose everything that
you stand for, but you were willing to talk to me, and your opponent, Sue
Kelly, was not. So let‘s move your numbers right here. Let‘s smear your
REPRESENTATIVE-ELECT JOHN HALL (D), NEW YORK: OK.
COLBERT: Just pick a card. These are smear cards. Any card, any
card at all. There you go. What‘s it say?
HALL: My opponent smokes marijuana.
COLBERT: That‘s a bold accusation that I think that someone in the
press ought to pick it up and at least find out about, because it‘s out
there now. It‘s out there now that Sue Kelly smokes pot. That‘s just out
HALL: You know...
COLBERT: DEA, check out her house. Look for grill lights and
hydroponics. I‘m not saying it; he is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: And Hall actually went on to beat Sue Kelly in that
race, and last night he went back on Colbert‘s show to thank him and to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLBERT AND HALL (singing): Oh, say does that star-spangled banner
yet wave? O‘er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
COLBERT: Play ball! Newly elected Representative John Hall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Forget the harmony, Matthew Felling. Does Colbert,
Stewart and Comedy Central get any credit, as the “L.A. Times” suggested
they might deserve?
MATTHEW FELLING, THE CENTER FOR MEDIA AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Forget the
harmony? Come on, man. That‘s a secret talent I had no idea that Colbert
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s pretty damn good.
FELLING: You know, we like it. I‘m going to have to disagree with
Rachel on this. The fact is that all the Republican spin was unspun and
unraveled over August, over September, over October. I mean, we had
Abramoff. Then we had Iraq just finally get to the boiling point, get to
the tipping point, and nobody was going to fall for the “stay the course”
audible in the middle of October. And then, you know, there‘s that thing
about, you know, sending IMs to pages and talking about penis length. I
think that there was nothing...
SCARBOROUGH: For young voters, though, who may not be watching these
type of shows, these type of news shows, they will turn on Comedy Central.
And it‘s sort of like the video equivalent of political cartoons, which
have had impacts over political careers, over, you know, the past century
FELLING: I hate to feel—I feel like the guy at the end of “King
Kong” who says, “It wasn‘t beauty who killed the beast.” But what I really
think that was slayed the beast, the GOP, this year, was YouTube and not
the Colbert-Stewart programs.
YouTube, let‘s face it. Today we had Montana and Virginia officially
go to the left side. And what happened in Montana? We had Conrad Burns on
YouTube, probably viewed a couple hundred thousand times, about the
Guatemalan guy who takes care of his house. And then we had macaca
endlessly throughout August, throughout September. That took Allen from 30
points ahead, 25, down to even.
SCARBOROUGH: And you know what‘s interesting, YouTube also had a
quote—it worked both ways—they had this horrible debate performance
of Heather Wilson‘s opponent in New Mexico. It was up on YouTube; it was
passed around. We played it on this show. She eventually turned it into a
commercial, and I think YouTube helped reelect a Republican, also, Heather
Now, Comedy Central obviously thought its audience was interested
enough in the election to hold, of course, that election special Tuesday
night. Let‘s show a clip of how they announced the defeat of Republicans
Katherine Harris and Rick Santorum.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART: You‘ll remember the Florida secretary of state, Katherine
Harris, earned some notoriety in the 2000 recount. Her Senate run has been
beset by staff defections, campaign trail gaffes, and insanity. But
tonight, incumbent Bill Nelson held off Harris, a defeat that can only be
called deflating, a terrible tragedy.
The number-three Republican in the Senate, Rick Santorum, faced a
tough fight against conservative Democrat Bob Casey. We have the results
right now, and we are ready to announce that—oh, no, what‘s happening?
Oh, my God, he‘s been Raptured. Rick Santorum has been Raptured to a
better place. I‘m assuming a lobbying firm, because tonight Rick Santorum
defeated. Bob Casey...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: No doubt about it there, Rachel, a lot of young people
in that audience. It sounds like most of them were Democrats and most of
Jon Stewart‘s audience young Democrats, right?
SKLAR: But this is the thing. Did you hear that audience? They knew
who Rick Santorum was. They understood the issues; they knew going along.
If you watched Jon Stewart every night or if you watch Colbert, the
audience responds in such a way that you know that they understand what‘s
going on. They‘re aware of the issues; they‘re an educated audience.
And I think that that‘s really important. I think you‘ve got a group
of people who are very energized. And I‘ve got to disagree with Matthew
disagreeing with me, because I do think that the impact of Jon Stewart and
Stephen Colbert is not only in their 1.4 million person audience every
night. It is in YouTube. It‘s in the pick-up in the press. It‘s in the
fact that their sound bites are picked up—I mean, look at this show,
right? We‘re talking about this right now.
SCARBOROUGH: They really are, Matthew, are they not? I mean, right
now they‘re at the center of the zeitgeist, the political, and they were in
SKLAR: And that‘s exactly what it is, a zeitgeist.
SCARBOROUGH: They were in 2004 also, Matthew, right, with people like
Ted Koppel and Tom Brokaw lining up to interview Jon Stewart?
FELLING: You know, it‘s funny you bring up 2004, because I think that
all the Democrats in America would exchange the one guest difference from
2004 that they had, where they had John Kerry on “The Daily Show,” but they
didn‘t have George Bush. That didn‘t really work out two years ago.
And you can make the argument that technology and the Internet and
YouTube have changed a whole lot of things, but at the end of the day,
we‘re looking at Casey in Pennsylvania, who beat the heck out of Santorum,
and Santorum was in trouble way before that. I think that we‘re cherry-
picking here with a lot of races. The reason people went on Colbert was
because they were way ahead of the race or unchallenged.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, the thing is, though, if you want to
look at the close races, the two races that made the biggest difference—
and you brought them up—the race in Montana and the race in Virginia,
the loss of Conrad Burns. The guy lost by what, 2,000, 3,000 votes? And
then you have the race in Virginia, where you have Allen who lost by a
couple thousand votes. That could be some young people—and let‘s just
say—that watch “The Daily Show,” that watch “The Colbert Report,” that
go to YouTube, that goes to DailyKos, that goes to the “Huffington Post.”
It‘s new media, I believe, that certainly had an impact on one or two
races, and that made the difference between Republicans and Democrats
controlling the Senate. Hey, Matthew, thank you for being with us.
Rachel, as always, I greatly appreciate it.
And coming up next, inside marital infidelity. NBC‘s hidden cameras
follow private investigators as they try to catch cheaters in the act.
And later in “Hollyweird,” will Britney get fed up now that K-Fed
reportedly wants custody of the kids and alimony? What? His rap career is
not going to pay the bills?
SCARBOROUGH: So how far would you go to find out if your husband or
wife was cheating? Well, today, Meredith Vieira shows us how NBC cameras
went under cover with investigators to track down a possible cheater.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are 60 million couples in the United States;
65 percent of them either had an affair, are currently having an affair, or
plan to have an affair. That leaves a market of almost 40 million people
who will have this problem.
MEREDITH VIEIRA, NBC ANCHOR (voice-over): Meet Tony D‘Lorenzo (ph),
senior consultant for All State Investigations. His business is
infidelity, and business is good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just in the (INAUDIBLE) investigation fields
alone, it‘s a $500 million market. It‘s so lucrative, we get 300 calls a
week for our business now looking for help.
VIEIRA: Private investigators like Tony can confirm your worst fear,
that your spouse is cheating.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have body cameras. We have surveillance vans.
We have monitoring devices. We have GPS trackers. There‘s no one
(INAUDIBLE) very simple thing.
VIEIRA: Security specialist Bill Stanton (ph) visited All State
Investigations to follow along on one of their cases.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here‘s what we have for today. This guy here
hired us to follow his wife. She tells him that she‘s working a lot of
overtime at work.
VIEIRA: Her husband, who asked us to conceal his identity, wanted
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our marriage was really pretty solid up until
about three years ago, and something happened and everything changed.
There was a lot of phone numbers that she was calling. It wasn‘t her
normal behavior. And then she started justifying herself by working so
many hours. And then I started taking notice of her paychecks, and
obviously her hours weren‘t corresponding with the amount of money that she
VIEIRA: To investigate, Tony assembled a team. Another private eye,
Larry, was assigned to the office building where the client‘s wife works.
Bill rode along.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What‘s your end game?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My end game is to get the video that the client
wants, and that is the spouse and the suspect in some kind of compromising
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In many ways, it‘s like going on safari.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. You‘re going out for the hunt, and you want
to catch your game.
VIEIRA: It began as a waiting game at the target‘s office. An hour
later, the target leaves work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let‘s get on the phone...
VIEIRA: And the chase begins. In an attempt to get behind the
target, Larry makes a quick move out of sight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tony, you on the air, Tony? Hey, Tony.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I suspect she—hold on. She‘s going to
pull into the plaza. She has no clue I‘m here. That place is closed.
She‘s coming back. I‘m going to tuck out of sight while she goes by.
If someone can see, let me know what she‘s doing. (INAUDIBLE) I
believe she may take the back roads.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay on the phone. She may be still going the
back road. Yes, 10-4, that‘s her. If it gets to a point that I think
she‘s on to me or I catch her looking out of her mirrors, then you can take
over the lead, but we should be good for right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She‘s five cars ahead of us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, Tony, she‘s five cars ahead of me.
VIEIRA: After nearly losing the target, Tony swerves past a car that
wasn‘t letting our trailing van pass...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There goes our guy.
VIEIRA: ... and reestablished contact. They follow her into a
shopping mall, where she stops at a liquor store.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She‘s at the liquor store here in the complex.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to get her coming out with the liquor.
VIEIRA: The target walks out with what looks like a bottle of wine,
and it‘s back on the road.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, come on, come on, come on!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She‘s at the light. Which way is she going, north
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She‘s making a right. She‘s making a right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just take south. Just take south.
VIEIRA: The trail ends at a house the woman was known to frequent.
Larry is there to catch it all on tape.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That‘s the house right up there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here she comes! Here she comes!
VIEIRA: But we still don‘t know who she is meeting there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She had a key, let herself in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirty minutes later, a man arrives on location,
and Bill goes in for a closer look.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, you need help with that? You got that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‘m looking to get to Jones Avenue. It‘s near a
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don‘t know if there‘s a Wendy‘s around here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I‘m screwed. I thought you were doing bad
with the door. Hey, appreciate it. You sure you don‘t need any help? All
right, good luck.
What I want to do is just establish a shot of his face to make—to
get a good eyeball on who and what this guy is.
VIEIRA: The team had the information they needed, location of the
target, I.D. of the man who she was spending time with, and the tape to
prove it. They reported back to their client.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just confirmed everything that I had a feeling
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‘m telling you to weigh this. I don‘t beat
around the bush. Go to an attorney, get advice. Decide what you really
want and then go with it from there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: All right, “Hollyweird” is next.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, warn your publicist about your Vegas wedding,
because it‘s time for “Hollyweird.”
First up, the train wreck that was the marriage between Britney Spears
and Kevin Federline. K-Fed says he‘s going to fight Britney for her money
and their kids. Here now, “InTouch Weekly‘s” senior editor, Tom O‘Neil,
and “Life and Style Weekly‘s” editor-at-large Ashlan Gorse.
I‘m sorry, Tom, does anybody really believe that this guy wants their
TOM O‘NEIL, “INTOUCH WEEKLY”: Neither one of them should have these
kids. Remember, how many times was Britney caught with that first boy not
strapped in properly in the car? The first time she was caught, she was
driving recklessly. This is what a deadbeat dad Kevin is.
You remember those kids he had with Shar Jackson? Well, one of the
kids I remember had a birthday party. He never showed up. He never
called. He never sent a present. It‘s not like dad forgetting the
birthday. That might happen and sometimes. He knew about the party; he
just didn‘t care. That‘s how much he cares about kids.
SCARBOROUGH: And, Ashlan, we heard that he was a disinterested
father. Does this mean that he‘s just trying to get more money in the
ASHLAN GORSE, “LIFE AND STYLE WEEKLY”: That‘s exactly what it means.
He‘s using this kid as a pawn and, really, he needs more money, because he
has to pay off the alimony for his other kids. So Britney is pretty much
going to end up paying for those other two kids.
SCARBOROUGH: And, of course, Ashlan, this guy held a rap concert last
night and nobody showed up. He‘s not going to make any money with his
music or movies or anything else, right?
GORSE: No, not at all. Kevin got booed here in L.A. over Halloween.
He had 70 people show up to his concert in New York, and the event held
1,200 people. So, no, K-Fed is playing with fire. It‘s not so hot.
SCARBOROUGH: Just got burned. And I‘ll tell you who else got burned,
Faith Hill. Now, she‘s saying it‘s all a joke, but the singer is under
fire after she was caught on camera in a less-than-gracious moment at the
Country Music Awards. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the award for female vocalist of the year goes
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you open it? Carrie Underwood!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: And of course, Tom, we all saw the closer scream. It
certainly didn‘t look like an act to me.
O‘NEIL: Oh, it was no act. She‘s playing it, “Oh, I was just kidding
around.” This is one of those classic moments we see at award shows all
the time, when we see how ungracious in defeat these stars are. The
classic, do you remember, Bill Murray losing to Sean Penn at the Oscars? I
thought Bill was going to go out of that chair and grab the Oscar out of
But the greatest moment of a star being caught in a losing situation
was Lauren Bacall, when she lost the Oscar for “The Mirror Has Two Faces,”
and we saw her other face, and it wasn‘t pretty. And Lauren, if you‘re
watching, you‘re never going to even be nominated again.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, Ashlan, I‘m quite a Faith Hill fan, so
I‘m willing to cut her slack and say, “I‘m glad she let us know all how she
felt.” But do you think this may be because she was upset about who beat
GORSE: You know what? I think that actually this was a joke. I
think Faith Hill is a great woman. She‘s got a great sense of humor, and I
think she knew the camera was there, because it was backstage. It‘s not
like it was catching her on the sly. She did it on purpose.
SCARBOROUGH: And do you believe that, Tom? Do you agree with that?
O‘NEIL: No, no, no, no, no, no. I‘ve got to correct Ashlan about
this. Just today, late today, her manager admitted she didn‘t know the
camera was on her. Faith thought she was going to win that; that award
normally goes to veterans, and she was the reigning veteran. She was
GORSE: Well, I guess that‘s what happens when you lose to an
“American Idol” person, I guess.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, actually, I think that‘s what it was all about, a
little ticked about that.
Hey, Tom O‘Neil and Ashlan Gorse, sorry it was such a short time in
“Hollyweird,” but obviously a lot of election news tonight at the top of
the show. But we look forward to having you back with us next week.
And that‘s all the time we have for tonight. A special 10:00 p.m.
edition of HARDBALL with Chris Matthews starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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