Guests: Joan Walsh, Lawrence O‘Donnell, Esther Tognozzi, Frederic von Anhalt, Drew Pinsky, Katrina Szish, David Caplan
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Well, she‘s not a girl, not yet a woman. But whatever she is tonight, Britney Spears is as bald as Kojak. We‘re going to talk live with the stylist who opened her shop up so Britney could shear it all off. And yes, she‘s bringing the hair. And we‘re going to ask why she did it as we talk about a pop star in freefall. That story straight ahead.
But first: The president and Congress play politics while America‘s deadliest enemy rearms. Today, Washington politicians pontificated after the Senate proved itself so impotent over the weekend that the august body couldn‘t even debate a resolution that carries no legal force. And while Washington bickers, threatening to really do something when it comes time for funding, the streets of Baghdad run red with blood, with more American soldiers killed, along with 40-plus Iraqis.
But miles away from the front lines in Iraq, chilling news, American officials now admitting to “The New York Times” that al Qaeda is getting more powerful by the day, confessing that somehow, the group that did attack America on September 11 has regrouped and is now planning new worldwide attacks. So while this president and a do-nothing Congress debate whether to debate the war in Iraq, is America on the verge of losing the real war on terror?
Here now to talk about it, political analyst Lawrence O‘Donnell, Salon.com editor-in-chief Joan Walsh and MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan.
Lawrence, is this what you and all the president‘s critics have been warning us about for four years now, about taking our eye off the ball of the real war on terror that really matters to America‘s safety?
LAWRENCE O‘DONNELL, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I‘m not one who‘s been smart enough to warn about it for four years. But obviously, we did take our eye off Afghanistan and we did divert resources. And we actually very formally pulled resources out of Afghanistan and sent them into Iraq.
And it‘s fascinating to me that “The New York Times” would have this as a page-one story today, exclusively from government sources. There is, when you read the story, no actual original reporting by “New York Times” reporters going in to the border regions of Pakistan and finding these camps that they‘re reporting. It‘s all being handed to them by intelligence officials, apparently.
And I‘m not sure what the agenda is on this. I‘m not sure whether the president wants us to know this in order to explain what may be a future ramp-up of a military—more of a—a bigger military investment in Afghanistan, or if there‘s some other reason. But it‘s a very interesting development journalistically that the government has just, with blind sources, supplied all this information to “The New York Times” at this point.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, and you know, Joan, I know that a lot of people that have been writing for Salon for some time—and other publications—have been saying, in fact, that we shouldn‘t be fighting the war in Iraq, we should be fighting the war in Afghanistan. And that‘s where al Qaeda came from. That‘s who shielded Osama bin Laden on September 11. And that‘s where our attacks can again.
So tell me, Joan, do American leaders now risk making our country vulnerable to attack from al Qaeda again, since we‘re more focused right now on fighting Iraqi nationalists?
JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Tragically, Joe, I think that is the danger. I think that‘s really what‘s happened. You know, I agree with Lawrence, that was an interesting form of sourcing of this story. Clearly, there are elements within the administration that do want us to know it and have gone to “The New York Times” with this information. But it‘s—you know, it‘s pretty much confirmed by people who have been working in Afghanistan and in Pakistan for a long time.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, what does that mean to us, Joan?
WALSH: I think it means to us that there is increasing warfare within the administration about—you know, there are people who know where the real threats are and want us to know about them and are waging war with other people who are trying to keep the resources focused on Iraq, you know? And the president...
SCARBOROUGH: And again, I hate to—I hate to keep pushing you all on this point—I think a lot—I think you and Lawrence are being a bit polite. I‘ve been hearing for the past—the better part of four years, almost, people saying, Joan, that by going to Iraq, we‘re diverting military resources, we‘re diverting money, we‘re diverting intel resources that should be in Afghanistan, that should be looking for bin Laden, that should be busting up these al Qaeda networks, which we have done. But now it seems even the White House is admitting al Qaeda‘s on the comeback trail.
WALSH: Right. We busted up the training camps. We busted up the networks. We busted up the funding. We busted up their cell phones. You know, they were having a very hard time getting out timely videos bragging about whatever they were going to do next. And now that‘s not such a problem anymore. They are training—according to this story, they are training people again. They have functional camps where they can train people.
And yes, a lot of us did warn that this was an optional war that the president sold based on false intelligence about both weapons of mass destruction and false ties to al Qaeda. We were sold a bill of goods. Many of us knew that it was not true. Many of us doubted the intelligence and said it was a terrible war from the beginning.
And yes, I‘ll be bolder and brassier than Lawrence. Yes, we were saying this, and we were right and—but it‘s not a fun thing to say we‘re right, Joe. This is tragic. Our country...
WALSH: ... is in more danger.
SCARBOROUGH: ... you know, the thing is, it‘s not just—you know, let‘s forget about looking back. Let‘s look forward. And as we look at Iraq and we‘re talking about ramping up in Iraq and we‘re looking at a possible war in Iran, we still have problems with Afghanistan...
WALSH: And Pakistan.
SCARBOROUGH: ... and probably the most dangerous—I was going to say the most dangerous country on the planet right now, Pakistan. You want to talk about a country, Pat Buchanan, that has nuclear weapons, that has a leader in Musharraf that could be dead at any moment, that has Islamic radicals. This is a dangerous region. These are the people that could end up causing massive deaths in the United States.
And Pat, I want you to take a look at the president a few months back talking about al Qaeda in Pakistan and in Afghanistan, and then let‘s look at what he‘s saying now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It‘s a hard struggle. No question about it. And it‘s a different struggle. Absolutely we‘re winning. Al Qaeda is on the run.
Taliban and al Qaeda fighters do hide in remote places of Pakistan. This is—this is wild country. This is wilder than the Wild West. And these folks hide and recruit and launch attacks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan, his tone‘s changed. What‘s going on in Afghanistan?
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, what‘s going on, Joe—we‘re getting a little feedback in the earpiece here. What‘s going on in Pakistan right now is that—people argue that Musharraf has basically—and the Pakistani army has pulled out of Waziristan and the critical regions, and not only the Taliban but al Qaeda are organizing in there uninhibited. And they‘re preparing—the Taliban are preparing for a spring offensive in Afghanistan. That‘s why you got the surge of 3,500 American troops...
SCARBOROUGH: Well, so Pat, tell me, why are we talking—why is the president talking about this now? Why do you have John McCain coming out, warning about an Afghanistan version of a spring Tet offensive? It sounds like they know this is coming.
BUCHANAN: Well, they are. The Taliban is preparing for this. They know—look, a lot of NATO troops won‘t come south to fight, the Germans in particular. The Americans are the bulwark of the forces there. Karzai‘s government is not strong. It has no writ far beyond Kabul. And they‘re looking at this.
Joe, the fundamental problem in the administration has been two things. One, we took our eye off the ball and invaded a country that did not threaten us, did not attack us, did not want war with us, to deprive it of weapons it did not have. We‘ve lost 3,000 men there. We‘ve put $400 billion into there. And the terrorist threat comes from the border regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and it‘s growing more serious.
And you are dead right, the real danger for me, even more than Iran, more than North Korea, is the Pakistan nuclear weapons and if something happens to President Musharraf. You got a country of a 140 million, 150 million people, militantly Islamic, pro-Taliban, with nuclear weapons.
SCARBOROUGH: And of course, if five years from now there is a nuclear attack on the United States, chances are very good that would come from a post-Musharraf government, again, in Pakistan. I have yet to talk to anybody that really understands what‘s going on across the world when it comes to nuclear weapons, nuclear proliferation, Lawrence O‘Donnell, that really believes that Iran or North Korea is going to plant a nuke in Manhattan or Washington, D.C., or sell it to somebody else that could use it, whereas, obviously, Pakistan causes a real problem.
But again, we‘ve got the Senate right now—instead of talking about that, instead of talking about losing the real war on terror, we‘ve got the Senate, Lawrence, debating whether they can even debate on whether Iraq is the right war or not.
Now, I want you to look at Saturday‘s “New York Post,” which characterized the non-binding resolution on Iraq—they called the vote “treason,” saying, quote, “It provided aid and comfort to the enemy in wartime” and it‘s treason. It‘s not just politics, again, it‘s treason. Is this perhaps why the Senate is so scared to move forward and debate this, that you‘re having these type of vicious attacks for just debating a war that something like 60 percent, 70 percent of Americans now oppose?
O‘DONNELL: Well, I don‘t think the Senate is afraid of debating it. What the maneuver was about, Joe, as you know, was getting cloture so that you could actually have a vote on the actual resolutions, as opposed to the procedural vote, which was all they had. They got 56 votes, which are basically 56 votes against the president‘s policy. That got recorded on Saturday. That‘s a pretty important stage of the evolution of this debate.
I think you can look to Joe Biden and I think you can look to other chairmen in the House to have hearings over what we‘re talking about right now, which is what is the progress in Afghanistan, how much ground are we losing in...
SCARBOROUGH: Well, are Democrats being intimidated right now? Are Democrats being intimidated by, like...
O‘DONNELL: I don‘t think so.
SCARBOROUGH: Let‘s show “The New York Post” again, “The New York Post,” again, accusing anybody that opposes the president‘s policy, the ramp-up, saying it‘s treason. What do you think about that?
O‘DONNELL: I think they got Ann Coulter to write their headlines this weekend, Joe. Nobody on the Democratic side worries about what “The New York Post” is going to say. “The New York Post” is always opposed to Democrats. They all know that. And many times it‘s just a caricature of the American press.
But I think you‘re going to see, Joe—and I think this program tonight and “The New York Times” day is going to lead the Democrats into focusing on Afghanistan. I think that is a rich potential area of attention for them politically, that there‘s a lot of political points to be scored by saying, We‘re going to go tougher on going after the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Look, John Kerry used to make that argument in 2004, and he didn‘t get any real traction with it because we were all so focused on Iraq. And I think you‘re going to see the Democrats take a step back to focus on Afghanistan.
BUCHANAN: You know, Joe, this is a real...
SCARBOROUGH: And Joe, do you—go ahead, Pat.
BUCHANAN: This is a developing war. This is a real developing war. I think last year, 2006, the number of Taliban attacks on Americans and Afghan forces and NATO forces quadrupled in one year. And What you‘ve got is a big vacuum down there in the southeast of that country, and now along the border, a privileged sanctuary. Joe, can you name a guerrilla army and a guerrilla force that‘s had a privileged sanctuary next door that really ever lost the war in the long run? I can‘t.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, they just don‘t. And unfortunately, though, that‘s exactly what‘s happening in Pakistan and it has been happening in the past in the British (ph) areas, in pockets of Afghanistan.
Joan, what do you think about this? Do you think Democrats are going to be intimidated by being called traitors, by being called treasonous not only by “The New York Post” but also, of course, the suggestions by some Republicans, some conservatives? Or do you think that they‘re going to ignore that, fight the president on Iraq, and then start making the argument that we‘re losing the real war on terror because where it really counts the most because we‘re focused on the wrong country?
WALSH: Yes, Joe. The Democrats are united. They lost two House members on Friday, and they lost—you know, no surprise—Joe Lieberman on Saturday. The Democrats are not the problem right now. The problem seems to be Republicans, who seem cowed by this rhetoric, who do seem to be playing politics and who do seem, I think, not ready to step up to the plate. Your friend John McCain thought it was more important to go campaign for the presidency than come to the Senate and argue against this resolution, which he opposes. How contemptuous. That was really outrageous for him. So...
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m sure, Joan, Democrats would never campaign—I‘m sure Democrats—Democratic candidates will never go to Iowa or New Hampshire at a critical juncture...
WALSH: But as a matter of fact, they came back for the vote, Joe, and John McCain didn‘t. And I think that‘s a real difference, and I think he‘ll regret it.
BUCHANAN: You know, Joe, the real problem...
WALSH: So I don‘t think tonight the probably is Democrats. The problem is Republicans, where I sit.
BUCHANAN: Joe, the real problem is the president‘s fundamental strategy. He thinks you‘ve got to democratize Iraq and democratize Afghanistan in order to make us safe in the war on terror. The strategy has proved enormously bloody and costly...
WALSH: And wrong.
BUCHANAN: ... in menu and everything else, and the wrong strategy entirely. We should have defended ourselves against terror, which the president‘s done a good job on, and then go target these guys where they are and stop worrying about reforming an Islamic world of a billion people that doesn‘t want to be reformed by the United States.
SCARBOROUGH: They don‘t want it. They‘ve proven it over the past several years. It‘s time for us to defend ourselves and go out and win the real war on terror. And we all know exactly where that is. Thank you, Lawrence. Thank you, Joan. Thank you, Pat. Greatly appreciate it.
Coming up next: It‘s a scene out of “Armageddon,” a killer asteroid on its way to earth, but this is real. Why scientists are so concerned that they‘re now asking the United Nations to launch a mission to stop it now.
And Anna Nicole‘s mother and two of the men claiming to be the baby‘s father set to meet face to face in court tomorrow. We‘re going to get the latest and talk to the prince who says he could also be the father.
Plus: Pop star Britney Spears‘s self-made major makeover. What happened? We‘ve got the first live interview of the owner of the salon where Spears shaved her head, and she tells us all about it. Plus, she brought the hair.
SCARBOROUGH: “Armageddon,” it‘s not just a movie anymore. Over the weekend, a group of scientists warned a massive asteroid is headed in our direction, and they‘ve even set a date for possible impact, April 13, 2036. Now, tonight these scientific experts are urging the United Nations to get involved and take drastic measures to redirect the asteroid. The good news is there‘s not an overwhelming chance this asteroid will collide with the earth, but the bad news is it may just be a matter of time before it does.
NBC‘s Matt Lauer shows us what will happen if these scientists‘ warnings prove to be prescient.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, “TODAY” (voice-over): A enormous comet hurtles toward earth, threatening to wipe out New York City. It‘s a scenario most people think exists safely in the realm of movies like “Deep Impact.” But the threat of comets and asteroids is frighteningly real.
NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON, AMERICA. MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY: We are in the middle of a shooting gallery. And eventually, a collision will take place. It‘s just a matter of when.
DAVID MORRISON, NASA ASTROBIOLOGY INSTITUTE: We know the earth has been hit by asteroids throughout its history, and the easiest way to see that is just to look up at the moon with all those thousand of craters. Every one of those craters is the scar of an asteroid impact.
LAUER: The impact of even a small asteroid hitting earth is hundreds of times more powerful than an atomic bomb. A large asteroid, 10 miles in diameter, could wipe us out entirely. Traveling at extreme speed, up to 20 miles per second, it would release a colossal force of energy upon impact, carving out a huge crater in the earth and vaporizing everything around it. Hot debris would blast out through the atmosphere and rain back down, creating a firestorm that would engulf the whole planet. Asteroids of all sizes have collided with earth in the past, and without any doubt, they will crash into us again.
MICHIO KAKU, CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK: We have to realize that every hundred years or so, an object that could destroy a modern city hits the earth. The last one was in Siberia. The famous Tunguska explosion took place there. If that thing had hit New York City or London, it would have completely flattened everything out for perhaps 10 or 20 miles.
LAUER: The meteor crater in Arizona is one of the most obvious scars that remains tens of thousands of years after a near-earth object hit, obliterating everything in its wake. An asteroid like the one that hit there could hit a populated area at any time.
REP. DANA ROHRABACHER ®, CALIFORNIA: If it lands in an urban area, we‘re talking about hundreds of thousands and millions of people losing their lives immediately. Or if one of these objects would, for example, land in the sea, it would, even though it was small, generate large tidal waves that could kill hundreds of thousands of people who live on the ocean.
LAUER: You might think that given the high probability we‘ll be hit by an asteroid, there would be worldwide interest in tracking them. Think again.
MORRISON: We used to say that there are a number of people working on protecting the earth from asteroids is about equivalent to one shift at a McDonald‘s.
LAUER: David Morrison of NASA is a pioneer in the field of near-earth object impact research. He oversaw a monumental NASA report in the early 1990s, urging Congress to fund a near-earth object hazard program.
MORRISON: Now, I guess we‘d say that there were two or three shifts involved, but it‘s still a very small effort, considering the magnitude of the threat that we‘re trying to protect against.
SCARBOROUGH: Time to call Bruce Willis again. Look for “Countdown to Doomsday” with Matt Lauer as part of MSNBC‘s doc block.
Coming up: What the heck‘s going on with Britney Spears? The pop tart bald as Dr. Evil (ph). We‘re going to get an expert opinion on Spears‘s state of mind. It‘s deteriorating. She was there. The first interview with the owner of the salon where Britney buzzed herself Friday night.
But first: He‘s more than just somebody who just forecasts rain, sleet or snow, he‘s a moving target. Coming up next in “Must See S.C..
SCARBOROUGH: Put down those shears. It‘s time for tonight‘s “Must See S.C.,” some video you just got to see. First up: When covering the weather, many reporters are going to go to extreme lengths, but as Jay Leno shows us, some correspondents have to fight more than just the elements.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) we‘ve seen the cars slipping around. It doesn‘t look great where you are. Oh, the kids are enjoying themselves there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I can show you some children who seem to be having the most fun of all of us here. They‘re—they‘re all loaded up, as you can see!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, enjoy (INAUDIBLE) Martin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They‘re having a great time, as you can see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Oh! That‘s rough duty.
And finally: For those who want their politics dumbed down, there‘s a new show for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: “Meet the Press for Idiots.”
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) John McCain (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We‘re making a bunch of progress in Iraq.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) Iran (INAUDIBLE) Iraq.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, now here‘s my exclusive interview of President Bush, man! Whoa! (INAUDIBLE) How you doing, boy?
GEORGE WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There‘s going to be ample time for the American people to...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Oh! Oh, that is not nice!
Coming up: Anna Nicole‘s mother and four of her lovers are set to meet face to face in court in just hours. Who‘s going to win the battle for the body? And what about the baby? We‘re going to go live to California to talk to one of the men who filed the papers claiming to be the father. The other prince of Bel Air is here.
But first, Britney‘s buzz kill (ph). Pay no attention, kids. The Sinead O‘Connor look is not in. We‘re going to talk live to the stylist who was there for the pop tart‘s meltdown, and she‘s got the hair.
SCARBOROUGH: Anna Nicole‘s mom and two men claiming to be the father of Anna Nicole Smith‘s baby are all in court tomorrow, a new twist for the battle for her body. And we‘re going to be talking live with one of the men who‘s filing the paper saying he‘s the father. That story and much more, straight ahead.
But first, it seems like sheer madness. Amid reports she checked into and out of rehab in 24 hours, Britney Spears walks into an L.A. area salon and shaves her head. That was the scene Friday night, as the pop princess cut her hair off while the paparazzi watched. What was she thinking? Well, let‘s bring in right now somebody who‘s going to help shed light on that situation.
Here now, in her first live interview, the owner of the salon where Spears shaved her head, Esther Tognozzi.
Esther, thank you so much for being with us. Tell us, what happened to you on Friday night? How did this pop icon come into your store?
ESTHER TOGNOZZI, OWNS SALON WHERE SPEARS SHAVED HEAD: Well, my assistant and I had just locked up the salon. We were getting ready to leave. And all of a sudden, we noticed that there were tons of lights outside. And somebody was knocking on my door, saying to let Britney Spears in. So I went to unlock the door, and two bodyguards and Britney Spears came in. So she went...
SCARBOROUGH: You never met her Britney Spears before, she just picked your salon out randomly?
SCARBOROUGH: Wow. So what happened next when she came in?
TOGNOZZI: Well, she sat down in my chair, and she asked me to shave off her hair. And I thought it was a joke, and I said, “You‘re kidding, right?” She said, “No, I want my hair shaved off.” So I automatically told her that she might be having a hormonal day and that tomorrow will be a different day and she‘d feel differently about it. And I tried to talk her out of it.
SCARBOROUGH: And what did she say to you, when you tried to talk her out of it? Did you talk to anybody that was there with her, saying, “Hey, listen, I‘m just not going to take part in this”?
TOGNOZZI: Well, I talked to the bodyguards, and I said, “Is this OK that she‘s shaving her hair off?” And one of them responded by saying, “It‘s her hair, her body, she can do what she wants.” So as I was talking to the bodyguard, she picked up the neck trimmer and started buzzing off her own hair.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, you actually got the hair and you brought the hair with you tonight, right?
SCARBOROUGH: Can you show it to us? Did she have long hair? Was it...
TOGNOZZI: Well, her real hair is pretty short. It‘s about four inches. And the rest of it is extensions.
SCARBOROUGH: Just four inches?
SCARBOROUGH: Wow. So tell me, what are you going to do with that hair now? I mean, I would guess that you‘ve just been inundated by phone calls from the media, not only all across the United States, but all over the world.
TOGNOZZI: Oh, I had somebody call me from Ireland today.
SCARBOROUGH: So do you know yet what you‘re going to be doing with the hair?
TOGNOZZI: Well, we have an idea of what we want to do with it. We would like to sell it and have some of the proceeds go to charity. I would like to have some of it go to an orphanage in Armenia and then donate some of the proceeds to Locks of Love, which, as you know, it‘s an organization that provides wigs for children that are going through chemotherapy.
SCARBOROUGH: I think that sounds like a great idea, Esther. Let me ask you, finally, in closing, what was Britney Spears like that night, emotionally? Did she seem upset? You said that some women come in, and they may be hormonal, and so you want to be very careful in how you treat them. How was she that night?
TOGNOZZI: You know, she just looked like a tired, little girl. And she just had her mind set on what she wanted to do. And she was a woman with a mission, and she just went ahead and did it.
SCARBOROUGH: Did she say anything at all? I‘d heard that she might have said something about her mother.
TOGNOZZI: Well, when she looked at herself in the mirror, and she realized that she shaved her hair bald, she said that her mom was going to be mad that she did this, and she got a little bit teary-eyed. That was the only time I saw any emotion on her face; otherwise, she was just, you know, tired-looking.
SCARBOROUGH: Tired, and you said pretty stoic and pretty determined, that she was on the mission and was going to shave her head.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Hey, Esther, thank you so much. Greatly appreciate you being with us tonight and sharing this story.
TOGNOZZI: Thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: Really appreciate you being here.
Now, this is just the latest bizarre turn for Britney, a young woman who grew up with the public and the paparazzi watching her every move. Let‘s take a look at how she got here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRITNEY SPEARS, MUSICIAN: Kevin, where‘s the baby?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: So are we watching a Britney meltdown, or can the pop princess turn it around? Here now to talk about it, professor of psychiatry at USC and the host of “Loveline,” Dr. Drew Pinsky. He‘s also the author, of course, of “Cracked.” And also contributing editor for “US Weekly,” Katrina Szish.
You know, let me start with you, Dr. Drew. We joke on this show an awful lot about celebrities. Everybody likes to make fun of celebrities; everybody likes to make fun of politicians, just instinctively, when they stumble. But in this case, this seems like a real tragedy that‘s unfolding with Britney Spears.
You know, most of the time, I just kind of roll my eyes at some of these multi-zillionaires, but when I saw her hair, saw her head, I was just genuinely sad for this young girl who‘s apparently very mixed up and in some sort of trouble. Talk about it.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, “LOVELINE”: Joe, I‘m really glad you sort of framed this discussion in that context, because I get disturbed by how sort of lightly we take these very serious issues. We have people checking into something called rehab.
But, look, if you‘re going to be checking into a chemical dependency hospital or unit, you have to meet criteria of serious psychiatric illness. Now, in her case, she left abruptly, which in my experience is a very bad sign. And then she engages soon after that in bizarre behaviors.
This is somebody who has very serious illness, who has—if, indeed, she‘s an addict, which she was admitted to an addiction program, her prognosis is similar to a cancer patient. And, look, we make light of this, but the fact is, these are young people with very serious illnesses. We recently lost a young woman to the same condition. This stuff needs to be taken very, very seriously.
And I‘m so disturbed by the bodyguard saying things like, “Well, she can do whatever she wants.” That means there‘s simply no limits on her behavior and no one on her behalf steps in and goes, “Hey, we‘ve got to take care of this. You‘re seriously in trouble here. We‘ve got to help.”
SCARBOROUGH: And, Drew, she relies on her hair, she relies on her looks for her livelihood, for her career, right?
PINSKY: Yes, this is a very aggressive act and a bizarre act. But, you know, add up the score. She was recently admitted to a hospital for chemical dependency. She has two recent pregnancies, a recent divorce, God knows what other pressure she‘s under for her career. I mean, there‘s a tremendous amount of stress here. And if you add in postpartum depression, substance use, I mean, you‘ve got a recipe for very serious trouble here.
And I‘m very concerned about these young women that we‘ve been seeing a lot in the press lately. And, unfortunately, one of them just died, and it could easily happen to another one of them.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, Katrina, you know, it‘s something. Last week, we were talking about doing a segment on Britney Spears, somebody had claimed she was going to be the next Anna Nicole. It seems like she‘s headed down a very serious path, doesn‘t it?
KATRINA SZISH, “US WEEKLY”: It scares me to even mention both of those women‘s names in the same sentence, because it is so eerily similar.
Again, I think that the fact that we are—the three of us right now are
talking about this in a more serious way is very important, because this is
most people are like, “Oh, she‘s crazy. Who cares? She‘s bald. She looks terrible.” People really make light of this, and the media scrutiny is something that affects these young women so intensely.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, again, you‘ve got media scrutiny. You‘ve got apparently drug addiction.
SZISH: Even if it‘s not addiction, substance abuse.
SCARBOROUGH: On and off the record, substance abuse.
PINSKY: And, Joe, let me say...
SCARBOROUGH: And chaos.
PINSKY: I‘ve got to say, Joe, if I might, that, you know, people believe that for some reason, because someone is a celebrity, they have a different set of potential sort of emotional standards. Hey, look, I treat a lot of celebrities, and I don‘t use some separate standard or evaluative scale for celebrities.
These are human beings with psychiatric conditions, just like anybody else. And, believe me, it‘s no different than any other human being that manifests these sorts of behaviors, except that, again, I bring up this bodyguard that was so distressing to me. There‘s no one there to say, “Hey, hey, this is it. Let‘s go. We‘ve got to get some help now.” They continue to...
SCARBOROUGH: The thing is, you talk about different standards, though. I mean, if you look at the pressure that these people are under, we all think it‘s—again, but whether you‘re talking about politicians, when you‘re talking about pop stars. These people live under pressures that accountants, lawyers, doctors I mean just can‘t understand, different pressures, but pressures all the same.
And everywhere you walk, people are taking pictures of you. I mean, it‘s a terrible situation. It really does seem like she‘s about to crash and burn, right?
SZISH: I think so.
PINSKY: I‘m afraid so.
SZISH: I mean, I think these are real people, Joe, as you mentioned. And just because you‘re a celebrity, just because you may be beautiful, just because you may seem to have an endless supply of money, and people seem to be worshiping you, that does not mean that doesn‘t come with a ridiculous amount of pressure. And what it...
SCARBOROUGH: No doubt about it.
SZISH: ... may seem like from the outside, it‘s obviously not on the inside. And I think we need to realize, listen, Britney is a 20-something...
PINSKY: And, Joe, I‘ve got to throw in there, the one, big pressure most of them experience, the ones that I treat, is a fear of losing all that. And that‘s the huge pressure experience.
SCARBOROUGH: Exactly. Exactly. And I can tell both of you and everybody out there, if beauty and fame brought happiness, I‘d be the happiest guy on the planet. That‘s just not the case. It‘s not the case. My hair‘s staying on, though.
Dr. Drew, thank you so much. Katrina Szish, stick around. Coming up, much more. Jessica Simpson can never be accused of being cheesy. We‘re going to tell you all about her apparent case of false advertising, coming up in “Hollyweird.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY SEIDLIN, BROWARD COUNTY JUDGE: The body belongs to me now. It‘s cold, but it won‘t decompose so fast. That baby is on a cold, cold storage room. It‘s not decaying so fast. I can go over there now and look at it and I go back in a month and still look at it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Did that guy even graduate from law school? That was a judge set to take center stage in Florida tomorrow deciding who wins the battle for Anna Nicole Smith‘s body. Anna Nicole‘s estranged mother vows to the body home to Texas, but Anna Nicole‘s lawyer-turned-lover Howard K. Stern says she wanted to be buried next to her son in the Bahamas.
And as if this story couldn‘t get more complicated, Larry Birkhead, one of the five men claiming to the father of Anna Nicole‘s baby, will also be in that courtroom tomorrow. Here now to help us sort it all out, David Caplan, “Star” magazine‘s deputy New York bureau chief.
David, what in the hell is going to happen tomorrow with this crazy judge? And why will Larry Birkhead be there?
DAVID CAPLAN, “STAR” MAGAZINE: We‘re going to see huge fireworks tomorrow. We‘re going to have Anna Nicole‘s—her kind-of husband, her mother, and then the ex-boyfriend. And they‘re really going to battle it out with each other, and I‘m sure it‘s going to be very heated.
Why is Larry Birkhead here is an excellent question. And, really, you‘re going to see him siding with Anna Nicole‘s mother, because the two of them do have a bond together. So when you sort of merge Virgie with Larry Birkhead, it‘s going to give Virgie‘s case sort of much stronger, because then they‘re going to really be pitted against Howard K. Stern. And he‘s going to look like the crazy, sort of demonic lover who‘s trying to get Anna‘s body. So it may work well for Virgie to have Larry there, even though paternity won‘t be the main topic that they‘re going to talk about.
SCARBOROUGH: OK, it‘s going to be interesting. David Caplan, thank you for that summary.
And tomorrow, of course, it‘s all about the body. But Thursday another court battle is set to take place, this time in the Bahamas, over who‘s going to get the custody of Anna Nicole‘s baby. We‘re joined now by one of the five men on record who say they could be the father of that baby. He is, of course, Prince Frederic von Anhalt. He‘s also Zsa Zsa Gabor‘s husband. He joins us live from Bel Air.
Prince, why do you think you may be the father of Anna Nicole‘s baby?
And what do you hope happens in these court hearings?
PRINCE FREDERIC VON ANHALT, POSSIBLE FATHER OF ANNA NICOLE‘S BABY:
Well, we met in January 2006. You know, she was here in Los Angeles, and we met, and we‘ve been together. And we had an affair. And this is why I believe I could be one of the guys, you know? And that‘s why I claim the girl.
You see, there are now altogether five men, all right? If I don‘t fight and one of those guys get the girl, and on the end it is mine, it would be terrible if I didn‘t fight for it.
And furthermore, let me say one thing. You know, talking about Howard Stern, a highly educated man, a man who went to law school, why doesn‘t he get all the (INAUDIBLE) from the table? Why doesn‘t he give the DNA test and said, “Look, the DNA test is positive. It‘s my girl. And you guys go to Hell.” Why doesn‘t he do it? Because he is afraid. Don‘t you think so?
SCARBOROUGH: So you think that Howard K. Stern is afraid that, if he actually had a DNA test—and, you know, like you said, he‘s a lawyer, so he certainly has...
SCARBOROUGH: Go ahead.
VON ANHALT: Yes, but why doesn‘t he do the test? He could do it tomorrow. Let‘s do the test and get it over with. Don‘t you think so?
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, certainly, that makes the most sense. Is he trying to block you?
VON ANHALT: It does make sense, does it?
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, is he trying to block you from being tested and everybody else from being tested to find out who the real father of her baby is?
VON ANHALT: He‘s trying to block everybody. He‘s trying to block Birkhead. He‘s trying to block me. He‘s trying to block everybody. You know, and as far as I know, he never had a sexual relationship with Nicole, never, because she didn‘t like him a bit.
The only guy she liked in bed, as she talked to me—I don‘t like to hear that. Actually, I don‘t like to hear that, but she talked about it, was Birkhead. Birkhead she liked. She said he is a cheap gigolo, but a sweet butler. But she liked him in bed.
But with Howard Stern, she never talked good about him, sexually good about Howard Stern. I mean, she used Howard Stern because he was her lawyer, you know, he gave her legal advice. She had lots of problems over the years, with all of the money, with the (INAUDIBLE) so she used him.
But, really, she kept him away a little bit, you know, always a little distance from herself and from the girl. She did that. And also she talked to other people about Howard Stern. She didn‘t want Howard Stern to come so close to her.
SCARBOROUGH: From everything that we‘ve heard, yes, she did not like Howard Stern. Prince, finally, let me ask you, if you end up being the father, will you take care of the baby?
VON ANHALT: I will—if the DNA test is positive, and if I am the father, I will good down to the Bahamas, pick up the kid, and bring it over here to Los Angeles, and it will be here in Bel Air. We have a big house. We have lots of employees. We have the money to raise the baby, and the baby will be in good hands.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Very good.
VON ANHALT: But on the other side, I would say if I‘m not the father, it would be in best interest to have the girl with the grandmother and Nicole‘s sister.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thank you very much, Prince Frederic von Anhalt. Greatly appreciate you being here tonight to give us your insight on the story.
And as if anything could get weirder, well, “Hollyweird” is next.
SCARBOROUGH: Get your Oscar dress ready. It‘s time up for “Hollyweird.”
First up, Tom Brady, the Patriots‘ quarterback, is going to be a daddy, but the current gal pal isn‘t the mother. Still with us, “Star” magazine‘s David Caplan and also “US Weekly‘s” Katrina Szish.
David, tell us all about it.
CAPLAN: Well, that‘s right. Tom Brady is going to be a daddy. Bridget Moynahan, his former girlfriend, is the mother. And she‘s three months pregnant, but they split in mid-December. They announced it, and they split a few weeks before. So the math is a little fuzzy there. So I think this was their last hoorah, that they conceived this baby.
SCARBOROUGH: And who‘s his current girlfriend?
CAPLAN: Giselle Bundchen, so this baby may have a very gorgeous stepmom, if things go well for Tom and Giselle.
SCARBOROUGH: Goodness gracious. Tell us, Katrina, what have you heard about this?
SZISH: You know, I think this is very interesting. The fact is you can tell it really was a last hoorah. We haven‘t heard anything about Giselle‘s reaction, but, I have to say, any woman up against Giselle is not going to win. Sorry, Bridget. It‘s not going to happen.
SCARBOROUGH: No doubt about it. Let‘s talk about Lindsey Lohan, giving Britney a run for her money. Lohan‘s publicist confirms that she‘s out of rehab, but the paparazzi spotted the actress out partying this weekend. Katrina, we have another little girl in trouble?
SZISH: Well, you know, she was out—she was spotted out partying, but there was no report that she actually had a drink in her hand. So I think that‘s important to mention. She‘s allowed to go out. She‘s a young girl. She‘s 20 years old. But I think if she starts drinking again and going down that path, then she‘s in trouble. But right now she‘s free...
SCARBOROUGH: But these people get in and out of rehab every 29 minutes. I thought you were supposed to stay like 29, 30 days.
SZISH: They‘re so young, they‘re just very resilient, I guess.
SCARBOROUGH: I guess. So, David Caplan, what are you hearing?
CAPLAN: That‘s right. You know, Lindsay was out Thursday day. She went to Teddy‘s, the Roosevelt Hotel, Friday night Les Deux. And then after Les Deux, she actually bumped into Justin Timberlake in the parking lot. So, you know, this is Lindsay‘s stomping ground. All of her friends are there. This is where she socializes. So as long as she didn‘t overly misbehave, I say, why not?
SCARBOROUGH: And why not, especially when you‘re hanging out with a guy who brought sexy back? Let‘s talk about Jessica Simpson. And, by the way, I still don‘t—one of these days, you all are going to have to give me the inside scoop on why Justin Timberlake is popular.
Anyway, this next person, Jessica Simpson, may not be the best spokeswoman for Pizza Hut. It turns out, David Caplan, she‘s allergic to cheese.
CAPLAN: That‘s right. Jessica Simpson is the face of, you know, Pizza Hut, especially during Super Bowl, but the girl is allergic to cheese. But, you know, it‘s not that much of a new phenomenon with celebrities and celebrity endorsements. Every now and then, there are rumors that celebrities hawking diet foods and fast foods that they never tough the stuff. That‘s Jessica‘s case, but, in fact, she‘s also allergic to chocolate and cocoa, or at least she‘s being told to stay away from it. So Jessica may sell pizza, but she‘s not going to be eating it.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, goodness. And finally, of course, I mean, the next thing we‘re going to hear, Katrina, is that she probably has cable instead of that Direct TV stuff. What‘s going on with her? She seems to be endorsing a lot of things these days.
SZISH: She sure does. But, you know, she also has lots of product lines out there. She has a line of shoes. She has a line of beauty products. And, hey, she doesn‘t have a husband on her arm, but she certainly has a pretty impressive bank roll coming in. So I don‘t think it matters if she eats it, if she uses it, if she wears it, she still can sell it.
SCARBOROUGH: So she‘s making a lot of money on the side with these products?
SZISH: Oh, she sure is. I mean, that‘s part of being a celebrity. You get all these endorsement deals, and that‘s kind of what helps furnish your lavish lifestyle.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Calling to Domino‘s Pizza: I am not allergic to cheese. I‘ll be glad to endorse your food product.
Katrina, David, thank you so much for being with us tonight throughout the show. Greatly appreciate it.
That‘s all the time we have for tonight, but we‘re going to see you back here tomorrow night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, when we go deep inside Britney‘s world for a look at how the madness started.
But don‘t go anywhere tonight. We‘ve got a great doc block starting up. Coming up next, “Web of Deceit,” straight ahead on MSNBC.
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