Guests: Michael Crowley, John Ridley, Steve Adubato, Don Cheadle, John Prendergast, Adam Carolla
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Tonight, the congressman versus Fox News. One black congressman refuses Fox‘s apology for accidentally indicting him. Was it a mistake or something bigger? We‘re going to have both sides‘ take on the big mix-up.
But first, Iraq on the edge as thousands of Turkish troops storm the northern border of Iraq, threatening to ignite a country that‘s already in the grips of chaos. In what could be its first major incursion into Iraq in over a decade, hundreds of Turkish commandos backed by thousands of Turkish troops on the border crossed into Iraq to chase down Kurdish rebels in what Turkish officials are calling hot pursuits.
It‘s a provocative action that some fear could trigger larger, wide-scale operations across the border, perhaps proving Bush‘s war critics correct, who predicted an American invasion of Iraq would spark a larger and larger regional conflict. With Turkey bearing down from the north, Iran sending in insurgents the east and Syria aiding al Qaeda from the west, Mr. Bush‘s nightmare scenario could be coming to fruition.
But while the Kurds found themselves attack from the north, U.S. troops were under fire yet another day throughout the streets of Baghdad, wit the U.S. military announcing the deaths of four more American troops. The escalating violence led to the president‘s ambassador to Iraq offering this sober assessment of the conflict there.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
RYAN CROCKER, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: I don‘t see an end game, as it were, in sight.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Meantime, Mr. Bush is traveling overseas, but he remains under siege from members of his own party here at home, with Republican presidential hopefuls taking direct aim at the commander-in-chief during last night‘s debate and congressional Republicans who aren‘t running the Oval Office urging him to change his strategy and finally adopt a bipartisan approach. Now, a growing number of Republicans are also now signing onto legislation that would make the Iraq Study Group‘s recommendations the law of the land.
So with Iraq in flames and under attack from all sides, will Congress be able to force the president to changes course in Iraq? Here now to talk about it, Michael Crowley—he‘s the senior editor from “The New Republic” -- “Boston Herald” columnist and MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle and two-time presidential contender and former White House communications director Pat Buchanan.
Pat, let‘s start with you. You are the one who‘s been warning from the very beginning that if we get out of Iraq quickly, we‘re going to cause a regional meltdown, and yet here we have the start of a regional meltdown while 140,000 to 150,000 troops are already there.
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, this is a different situation. The Turks have been warning us for a long time to get the Kurds under control. The PKK, which is that workers‘ party in the Kurdish part of Turkey, has engaged in at least two terror attacks. And the Turks have warned us, and now they have moved in to take care of the problem themselves, Joe, and you can hardly blame them.
And I do think a real problem is being presented because this year, the Kurds are demanding an election in Kirkuk, which is the oil-rich region, an election they almost surely will win. The constitution demands it. And if they do, I think you‘ve got a permanent conflict between an nascent independent Kurdistan and Turkey, with the United States having two allies in the fight.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, but thing is, Pat, obviously, Turkey has been a fairly loyal ally through the years. They warned us, If you go into Iraq, all you‘re going to be doing is emboldening the Kurds up north, and predicted this sort of thing was going to happen, and sure enough, it‘s been happening. I mean, don‘t we have a chance of upsetting yet another ally with the Turks if this continues and goes to fruition, like you said?
BUCHANAN: Look, the Turkish-American relations have been bad ever since the Turks denied America‘s 4th Army the right to come in from the north. And they had to move all the way around to the south, and they weren‘t much help in the initial action.
You got a real problem with Turkey, Joe. In Europe, they wanted to be part of the EU, but Merkel and Sarkozy are saying no, so they‘re looking to their own region of the world, the Islamic region. They see this terrible problem arising in Kurdistan. And they‘re saying, Look, the Americans aren‘t solving it for us. The Kurds won‘t deal with it. We‘re going to solve it ourselves. The political government in Ankara is responsive to the Turkish military, which is very hawkish on Kurdistan.
SCARBOROUGH: I tell you what, Mike Barnicle, if you saw the Republican debate last night, I mean, this wasn‘t even part of the news last night. And of course, this is going to make Republicans even more nervous. But you saw it, George Bush himself was a hot topic among GOP presidential hopefuls last night.
Here‘s what some of them had to say. And they‘re talking here, Mike...
MIKE BARNICLE, “BOSTON HERALD,” MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes.
SCARBOROUGH: ... about the leader of their own party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOMMY THOMPSON (R-WI), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I certainly would not send him to the United Nations.
MITT ROMNEY (R-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I supported the president‘s decision based on what we knew at that time. I think we were underprepared and underplanned for what came after we knocked down Saddam Hussein.
REP. DUNCAN HUNTER (R-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This administration has a case of the slows.
REP. TOM TANCREDO (R-CO), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have been so disappointed in the president in so many ways since his—actually, for the last several years, not just the immigration issue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: I mean, my gosh. I mean, here you have—you know, he‘s unprepared, he‘s got a case of the slows, been disappointed in the president in so many ways, Tommy Thompson very harsh, making a joke about not sending him to the United Nations, like he couldn‘t be trusted there. He‘s running our country! He‘s running their party. How bad is it for George W. Bush?
BARNICLE: Well, you know, Joe, it reminds me, in a sense, a much lesser sense, of 1968, another fellow Texan, George Bush, Lyndon Johnson, president of the United States, couldn‘t come out of the White House, was due another term, couldn‘t run for another term, withdrew from the race rather than running for another term because he had every member of his party—nearly every member of his party after him over the conduct of the war in Vietnam.
And now, nearly 40 years later, we have a similar president, a Republican president, George Bush, getting, I think, rightfully hammered by his party and others for the total mismanagement of this war. I mean, my head was ready to explode, listening to Pat and you talk about the latest conflagration on the Turkey-Iraq border.
I mean, this is—his father, George Bush‘s father, must be sitting up there in Kennebunkport, wondering to himself as he hears the Republican candidates for president talk about his son, as he reads and sees the news of a Turkish invasion of Iraq, saying to himself, Why didn‘t this kid listen to Brent Scowcroft? Why didn‘t he listen to me? Why didn‘t he listen to Jim Baker? And I bet in the private moments that the president might have, when he puts his obstinacy to the side, he might wonder that himself now.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know—you know, Mike Barnicle, not only, though, did Bush 41 have Turkey on his side, as everybody likes to say, he also had Syria on his side.
SCARBOROUGH: Now this is a president who appears to be close to standing alone.
BARNICLE: Close to standing alone, and close to standing alone presiding over multiple civil wars within Iraq, with this latest eruption on the Turkish border, with the threat of the Saudis coming in in defense of one aspect of the internal strife in Iraq, the Iranians coming in on behalf of another segment, the Syrians sitting there, wondering what they‘re going to do. The entire region is so volatile, and it‘s all happened under this president, all happened against the continued advice of so many people who knew so much more about the situation than he did.
SCARBOROUGH: And Michael Crowley, it looks like the switch has turned on for a lot of Republicans. You know, these guys that were up on the stage last night, they‘re not college professors. They‘re not debating, you know, the nuance of foreign policy. They want to get elected president of the United States, and they know the only way they do that is by winning more Republican votes than anything (ph) else. And yet they‘re going after George W. Bush. Do they know something that other Republicans don‘t? Do they understand that they‘re not going to be able to embrace this president even more, even in their own party primary process?
MICHAEL CROWLEY, “THE NEW REPUBLIC”: Well, yes. I mean, there are still hard-core Republicans who stand up for Bush and I think feel like he needs to be defended precisely because everyone else is ganging up on him in the, quote, unquote, “liberal media” and the Democrats. But these Republicans also know that they got to—if they get nominated, they have to run in the general election, and they have to watch what they say about Bush now.
That said, Joe, I‘m surprised—you know, there were a couple of lines in there—these guys are not running away from the war. I mean, John McCain was doing his whole thing, We got to win, we can‘t bail, we got to persevere. They asked him, if Petraeus comes up in September and says the surge isn‘t working, what then? He didn‘t give a direct answer, but his clear implication was, basically, I don‘t care what he says, we got to stay there.
And to me, Joe, actually, the most striking moment in that debate, which I didn‘t think got a lot of attention, was when Rudy Giuliani was asked, Knowing what you know now, was the Iraq war a mistake? Mitt Romney previously wouldn‘t really give an answer, was sort of mealy-mouthed. He had this dumb, That‘s a null set, non sequitur question. Rudy Giuliani said, No, I would do it again, knowing what I know now, it was the right thing to do. I thought that was very striking.
So they‘re playing a little bit of a game, playing off of Bush. But I‘m surprised the extent to which they‘re willing to stick with the war right now.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, two of the president‘s closest allies in Congress are now endorsing the Iraq Study Group‘s recommendations. Senator Judd Gregg says, quote, “What we have here is a roadmap for consensus. That‘s what we need.” And Senator Robert Bennett says he hopes the proposal is a nudge for the president.
Michael Crowley, that‘s also dramatic, isn‘t it.
CROWLEY: That‘s very dramatic, too. I mean, this is—things are happening on different levels, and the politics right now are so complicated. And I think in the Congress, it is a different story. In the Congress, people are starting to run for cover.
And I think what you‘re seeing now is, for a lot of these members who
who are—who—a lot of these members are now using the Iraq Study Group report, which came out months ago, but now has been kind of been resurrected, as a way of saying, you know, Let‘s embrace this. I can see them trying to get votes in the Congress that sort of associate themselves with the Iraq Study Group or vague ideas about drawing down, starting to wind down our intervention over there. But it doesn‘t really commit them to anything hard. It doesn‘t actually box the president in all that much.
So I think what you‘re largely going to see in the next few months is Republicans kind of running for symbolic cover, but in fact, I‘m not sure that they‘re really prepared to push the president really to start getting us out of Iraq.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat, what do think about all this? What do you think about, again—I mean, you‘ve stood up there on that stage. You‘ve been talking to Republican audiences before. It‘s awfully attacking the head of your own party, but that‘s what this group was doing last night. And it now looks like Congress—Republicans in Congress are getting weak knees.
BUCHANAN: Yes, well, they were invited, of course, by Wolf Blitzer, to say something—Where do you disagree with the president? But what I thought was telling was both Ron Paul and then Tom Tancredo said, in effect, Look, I don‘t—I wish it would work, Petraeus‘s plan. I don‘t think it‘s going to work. And if that‘s the case, he was saying, I‘m going to pull out. I would vote to pull out. And he got a good round of applause, not like McCain, and so did Ron Paul. And this is a Republican-independent audience.
SCARBOROUGH: I was going to—I was going to ask you about that. I thought that was one of the more telling moments, where somebody talked about getting out of Iraq, Ron Paul, and he gets applause from a Republican audience.
BUCHANAN: Right. He does, and so did Tancredo. And what this tells me, along with that—what you mentioned, the Alexander, Judd Gregg, Salazar, Baker study group—this tells me that when we come to the Petraeus report, all the Democrats again will vote for a deadline, and some Republicans will go with them, not enough to sustain a—to overturn a presidential veto. Some Republicans I think will be moving with them, Joe. So we are coming back in September to where we were in May, and the “start out now” forces will be stronger and will have some Republican support.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, and Mike Barnicle, you look at these states where these Republicans are pushing the president, you look at New Hampshire—that‘s—I mean, that‘s a very conservative state. Let‘s talk about Tennessee for a second, a very conservative state, where Republican senator Lamar Alexander there is openly urging the president to take up a new strategy in Iraq. And he said, quote, “The president needs bipartisan support if the United States is to sustain a long-term position in Iraq.” I mean, that‘s—that is very dramatic, again, and we‘re talking about going into the deep South, where some of these deep South Republicans are even starting to question the president‘s wisdom on the war.
BARNICLE: You know what‘s truly pathetic about this, Joe, is not only last night, but for months now, we‘ve had so many politicians in Washington, from the president on down, in both parties who have skirted the truth about the war in Iraq. You announced at the top of the hour four more American military personnel killed today in Iraq. The truth of it is probably closer to the fact that no matter what happens during the summer, no matter what is in General Petraeus‘s report, we are going to have a presence, an American presence in Iraq for 5 to 10 years perhaps, and nobody is talking the truth about this.
And the American people have a sense of it. They have a sense that the war is a disaster. It‘s been horribly mismanaged. But there‘s no way on God‘s good earth that we‘re going to be able to get every American soldier, every American Marine out of Iraq by this weekend. It‘s not going to happen. They sense it. They know it. They just want the truth about the war. They want the war run better. They us withdraw to certain points in Iraq. They want the casualties cut down. And nobody talks the truth in debates or anywhere else.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Hey, we got...
BUCHANAN: You know, Joe...
SCARBOROUGH: We got to go, but Michael, I‘ll give you the last word.
CROWLEY: Well, Joe, I just think that‘s increasingly right. I mean, I‘ve been asking people I know on the Hill, What Democrats are really thinking? They‘re going different directions. It‘s hard to pin them down. And I think—I‘ve been surprised to find, more than I expected, people say, I think Democrats are resigned to this being a long haul. There‘s a limit to what they can do, and a lot of them think we shouldn‘t get out too soon.
SCARBOROUGH: That is fascinating. Sounds like—yes, Mike Barnicle, you have it nailed. Michael Crowley, Mike Barnicle and Pat Buchanan, who‘s also been predicting that for a long time, thank you so much for being with us.
And a reminder, pulling double duty this week—join me bright and early for “MORNING JOE,” starting at 6:00 AM right here on MSNBC. I‘m going to be joined by John Ridley and Mika Brzezinski, and our guests include political consultant and author Bob Shrum, and also Doug Brinkley, editor of “The Reagan Diaries.”
Still ahead here, the search for 18-year-old Kelsey Smith is over. Police believe her body has been found tonight. What they‘re saying about a possible suspect.
And later, “Ocean‘s 13” star Don Cheadle on the crisis in Darfur, what he says we all need to know about the 21st century‘s first genocide and how we can stop it.
Then, a black congressman refuses to accept Fox‘s apology for mistaking him for another black congressman who was indicted. Why John Conyers says it‘s just the latest history (ph) of inappropriate on-air mistakes by the network that he says is neither fair nor balanced.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, Dan Abrams brought you this story last night. Unfortunately, it‘s a very disturbing end for the search for missing teenager Kelsey Smith. Police say they found her body four days after she was apparently abducted from the parking lot of a Target store, such a sad, tragic story.
MSNBC‘s Monica Novotny joins us now with the very latest in this case
MONICA NOVOTNY, MSNBC: Thank you, Joe. Well, just about an hour ago, there was a service for Kelsey‘s family at their church in Prairie Village, Kansas, and this comes just hours after police held a press conference to release some details about the investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF JOHN DOUGLASS, OVERLAND PARK POLICE DEPARTMENT: At approximately 1:30 PM today, investigators discovered a body in the search area. Pending completion of forensics examination, we have reason to believe that we have found Kelsey‘ Smith.
I want to express my sincere condolences to Kelsey‘s family and friends for her loss. I promised them that we will continue to exert every effort to solve this case and bring those involved in her abduction and death to justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOVOTNY: NBC‘s Ron Mott is live in Prairie Village, Kansas, with the very latest, including what Kelsey‘s parents are saying tonight. Good evening, Ron.
It looks like we‘ve got a technical difficulty—here it goes.
RON MOTT, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Monica, good evening to you. As you might imagine, there are a lot of heavy hearts here in Prairie Village, Kansas. You might see some folks filing out of the church you see behind me. They were here to gather with the family to show their support.
Now, this, of course, follows an agonizing four-day search for Kelsey Smith that ended unfortunately today with the discovery of her body. Hundreds of volunteers have fanned out over this part of the metropolitan area of Kansas City, looking for this young woman, who disappeared after being taken away from that Target store parking lot over the weekend. Saturday night, to be exact. And they have been looking and hunting for her with full confidence that she would be found alive.
Before this service got under way, her family addressed the media to thank a lot of their supporters. Let‘s take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREG SMITH, KELSEY‘S FATHER: The outpouring of help and support was a testament to how deeply Kelsey was loved. She could walk into a room of strangers and walk out with a roomful of friends. Her excitement and passion for life was unmatched. She lived more in 18 years than many people do with a great deal more time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOTT: And obviously, they had a lot of hope here that she would be found alive, so this was a devastating blow not only to this family but this community at large. A lot of the young people—Kelsey just graduated high school about 12 or 13 days ago. A lot of her classmates will be meeting later night after this service to celebrate her life. In the morning, although classes have ended for this school year, counselors will be made available for some of the students if they need to speak with grief counselors to get over what is a shocking loss to their school community and to this community at large where Kelsey grew up and spent most of her young life. Monica, back to you.
NOVOTNY: All right. We had a little bit of a technical difficulty there, but Ron Mott, thank you so much for that report. Just to update you then on the very latest, obviously, here, police have announced earlier this evening that they did find the body that they believe to be that of a teenager who disappeared four days ago, Kelsey Smith. Again, that is the very latest. It‘s a tragic end to four days of searching. Joe, back to you.
SCARBOROUGH: Thanks, Monica.
And still ahead: Sometimes “Sorry” isn‘t enough. Why a black congressman refuses to accept Fox‘s apology for accidentally indicting him, saying this type of disrespect for people of color should no longer be tolerated.
But first, the president forgets to practice what he preaches, coming up in “Must See S.C..”
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, wake up Grandma, it‘s time for tonight‘s “Must See S.C.,” some video you just got to see. First up: Miss USA was on the receiving end of anti-American heckling at the Miss Universe pageant, but Jay Leno shows us that she wasn‘t the only person who felt out of place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY LENO, HOST, “TONIGHT SHOW”: And the Miss Universe pageant was this past week. One strange contestant...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes?
LENO: ... one really odd one. Take a look.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) 21, Egypt.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) 22, El Salvador.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Victoria (INAUDIBLE) Estonia.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Dennis Kucinich, congressman from Cleveland, Ohio (INAUDIBLE)
SCARBOROUGH: And President Bush continues to add—I mean, it‘s every night. They have this guy on every night. David Letterman should be paying him because once again last night, David Letterman had the president in another great moment in presidential speeches.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself!
JOHN F. KENNEDY, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!
GEORGE WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... hold the job, maintain a clean record, and eventually earn English—learn English.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Still ahead, Don Cheadle‘s here to talk about his new movie, “Ocean‘s 13,” and a cause close to his heart. How the actor is using his star power to focus on the crisis in Darfur. Would it be so ignored if it weren‘t happening in Africa?
But first: Fox gets it wrong, mistaking an African-American congressman for another one who was indicted. But their apology is not enough for John Conyers. Tell you what, we‘ll report and you decide. I‘ve already made up my mind, I‘ll tell you that right now.
SCARBOROUGH: Coming up, actor Don Cheadle on his new movie “Oceans 13,” and a cause he‘s pushing hard to get into the spotlight, the crisis in Darfur, and why he says it‘s being ignored. That story and a lot more, straight ahead.
But first, apparently FOX News Channel can‘t tell the difference between two African-American congressmen. That‘s at least what John Conyers says. On Monday, FOX News ran a tape of Congressman John Conyers while reporting on the indictment of Representative William Jefferson on bribery charges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN WILSON, FOX NEWS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We expect that, late this afternoon, an indictment will be returned against Congressman William Jefferson, a Democrat from Louisiana. So a variety of bribery charges and likely to include charges of honest services fraud, which is a catch-all phrase often used by federal officials in such cases. That‘s the latest information from Washington. Back to you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, Brian Wilson, thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Well, of course, no news organization should throw the first stone. Everybody makes a mistake. But tonight, some people are asking if this was just an innocent mistake or exactly the reason Democratic presidential candidates don‘t want to debate on FOX News.
Here now to talk about it, screenwriter and commentator John Ridley and MSNBC media analyst Steve Adubato. Steve, you‘re the media analyst. I mean, FOX—let me read you what FOX said. They said, “We‘re deeply sorry and, in fact, mortified at the mistake. It occurred because of the actions of a very junior member of our library staff in New York. This egregious mistake is getting the attention at the very highest levels of our company.”
Shouldn‘t Conyers accept their apology?
STEVE ADUBATO, MEDIA ANALYST: You know what, Joe? I‘ll tell you what. If I were John Conyers, and I were the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and I served all these years in Congress, and I were a head shorter than William Jefferson, and 20 years older, and no connection, and they put my picture up there, I‘d be pretty peeved. My point is, I understand I‘m not accepting the apology.
And also, with all due respect to FOX, by saying it was a low-level person, you have to pass the buck up, not down, Joe. My point is, there‘s got to be a vetting system before something gets on the air. Of course mistakes happen all the time. I‘m concerned that, when you say you‘re fair and balanced, you put a bull‘s-eye on your back, and the standard is higher, particularly when it comes to a community that is somewhat suspect of your work on the air. And I think this could have been avoided.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, let me read you what FOX News—or actually what John Conyers said, John Ridley, to FOX News. “FOX News has a history of inappropriate on-air mistakes that neither fair nor balanced. This type of disrespect of people of color should no longer be tolerated. I‘m personally offended by the network‘s complete disregard for accuracy in reporting and lackluster on-air apology.” That, of course, is from John Conyers.
I mean, John, my gosh, you read Brian Wilson, I mean, he did everything but lick his shoes. What else does FOX have to do?
JOHN RIDLEY, MSNBC COMMENTATOR: I don‘t know. You know, I don‘t like FOX News. You‘ve got John Gibson over there who might as well go to work with a white hood on his head. But the reality is...
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s awfully harsh.
RIDLEY: You know, listen, when somebody is saying we need more white babies to save America, and talking about “ooga-booga” disease, no, I‘m sorry, John Gibson should go to work with a white hood.
But saying that, look, CNN—and I‘ve been tracking this since January—has made these same kind of mistakes with Barack Obama repeatedly. In fact, one of their on-air personalities that I was talking to with about Barack Obama said Barack Osama, alluding to Osama bin Laden. It was a mistake. Nobody was jumping on CNN; nobody was saying, you know, you need to make these kind of on-air apologies.
I was trying to do it, but a lot of people weren‘t tracking that kind of thing. Now, FOX does it—and, yes, FOX has a reputation, but, you know, John Conyers, he acts like somebody is trying to torpedo him, like he‘s Valerie Plame or somebody. It was a mistake. It‘s the kind of mistake that, quite frankly, you know, black people, we deal with every single day. There‘s a phrase in our community that, to you guys, we all look alike. So for John Conyers to act like this is some kind of insidious plot to destroy him for some odd reason, you know, take the apology and move on.
SCARBOROUGH: But, you know, I mean, the thing is—I mean, in your community, you say white people think that all blacks look alike. I want to show you a mistake that I made on this show when I was talking about William F. Buckley a few weeks back. And, of course, William F. Buckley is a guy that has been around for, what, 40, 50 years, one of the best-known conservative voices. Let‘s roll the tape of the screw-up we made.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Look what William F. Buckley wrote. He said, “How can the Republican Party, headed by a president determined on a war he can‘t see an end to”—that‘s obviously the wrong William Buckley.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: And, of course, I mean...
RIDLEY: That was wrong? That was the wrong guy?
SCARBOROUGH: Steve Adubato, does that mean I hate the white man, because I put up the CIA bureau chief in Beirut that was murdered in the 1980s instead of William F. Buckley? These mistakes happen.
ADUBATO: Joe, knowing you, you potentially can make mistakes, as close to perfect as you are. But here‘s the problem. The problem is, you have a small number of African-Americans in Congress. There‘s a Congressional Black Caucus. John understands this better than I do, but I‘ll tell you what...
SCARBOROUGH: There are a lot more African-Americans in Congress that there are people named William Buckley that we have in our file.
ADUBATO: I understand. Joe, I appreciate you stepping up. Here‘s my point. When you play the fair and balanced game—and, look, I spent some time there on the air, and I respect a lot of those people there, but the problem is they‘re trying to hold a debate. They‘re trying to hold a debate with presidential candidates on the Democratic side. The fair and balanced thing puts the bull‘s-eye on your back, raises the standard. And, frankly, I don‘t see how John Conyers could have been put up there in that mistaken fashion.
And, by the way, I don‘t believe, Joe—and maybe I‘m missing—I frankly believe the on-air apology could have been more aggressive. Are you seeing it differently than I see it?
RIDLEY: Well, wait, can I just jump in here? Because you know I have nothing but respect for Steve Adubato. But, Steve, when you talk about the low presence of black people in Congress, I mean, what about the low presence of black people in the media? I mean, for crying out loud, if you want to talk about fair and balanced, let‘s open it up. There are more blacks in Congress, there are more people of color in Congress than there are on the cable talk shows.
ADUBATO: That‘s not the issue we‘re debating, though, John.
RIDLEY: But it is the issue we‘re debating, because maybe, if a black person was working at FOX News, they would have actually seen the difference between these two guys. You know, maybe if a black person was working at FOX News, they would have been a better apology. So...
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second, though. No, no, wait a second, John. Let‘s go through the prime time. I mean, I know Shep Smith, and I know O‘Reilly, and I know all the guys, Hannity, Colmes. They all know how John Conyers looks. If they would have seen that, they would have picked it out there. I mean, it‘s not a black and white issue. If I had been there—
I‘m white. I would have looked on and said, “That‘s not Jefferson; that‘s Conyers.” I mean, this really—and I guess this is my point. This isn‘t a black-white issue. This is somebody who made a mistake in the edit room, and it does happen.
ADUBATO: I agree with you, Joe, but here‘s the problem. What if you say that—and, John, you know, here‘s my thing on this. Because it‘s such a sensitive issue with so few African-Americans out there—and, John, please keep the race thing out of it in the media, because I think, even if you had blacks there, there would have been a potential problem, because mistakes happen. All I‘m saying is, they have a perception, a P.R. problem. I think the on-air apology should have been more aggressive and more consistent. And John Conyers has a right not to accept it.
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second. How do we know this wasn‘t an African-American who made the mistake who pulled the tape? There are African-Americans who work at FOX News. I know that may be shocking...
RIDLEY: I‘ll take the bet, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: There are some liberals, but, you know, it happens.
ADUBATO: Should they say it?
SCARBOROUGH: But, again, and I‘m not going to say the name, but we had a white person pull our tape of William Buckley instead of William F. Buckley, John, and that person wasn‘t thinking, “Oh, you know what? All white people look the same.”
RIDLEY: No, but, Joe, here‘s my thing, is you‘re talking about being fair and balanced, and you‘re talking about it as if this is a disenfranchised community in Congress. And, quite frankly, it is. But I‘m saying, if you really want to be fair and balanced across the media, don‘t just say, “Look, this is an issue because we‘re marginalized in Congress.” We‘re marginalized all over.
If you really want to make a difference, let‘s make a difference. And as far as I‘m concerned, you know, with John Conyers, look, I do think he‘s making a lot of hay out of an honest mistake. I do think it‘s an honest mistake. But if you want to make a change, make a change across the board. Don‘t just make this is an isolated issue and talk about John Conyers and William Jefferson.
ADUBATO: He‘s scoring points here.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, and, of course, you know, John Ridley, that‘s what we‘re doing every morning, buddy, making a difference.
RIDLEY: Joe, you‘re making a difference. MSNBC, if only everyone was as open-minded as you guys.
ADUBATO: Oh, no, no, no, don‘t start that.
SCARBOROUGH: You guys?
RIDLEY: You guys.
SCARBOROUGH: What about you guys? What are you talking about?
ADUBATO: I thought we resolved that, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Look at our show! We‘ve got a white guy, and a woman, and a black guy. I mean...
ADUBATO: We don‘t have an Italian, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: I feel like James Watts (ph). We‘re going to be working on that soon.
RIDLEY: Any time. You‘re invited, Steve. You‘re my man.
SCARBOROUGH: Any time, Steve. Thanks so much, Steve Adubato, John Ridley.
ADUBATO: You got it.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘ll see you bright and early tomorrow for a very diverse “Morning Joe.” Still ahead, Don Cheadle is known for blockbuster movies like the upcoming “Ocean‘s 13,” but tonight he‘s here to shift the spotlight on Darfur, one of the world‘s most ignored crises.
And later in “Hollyweird,” bye, bye, Bob. The “Price is Right” star plays his last Plinko. And Adam Carolla is here to remind us to get your pets sprayed or neutered.
SCARBOROUGH: Don Cheadle is best known for his acting roles. His latest film, “Ocean‘s 13,” opens Friday, but Cheadle is shining the spotlight away from the film career and towards the conflict in Darfur. Cheadle teamed up with human rights activist John Prendergast to write the best-selling book, “Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond.” I bought it and read it this weekend, an important book.
And I recently spoke to both of them about Darfur and how Cheadle‘s role in the Oscar-nominated film “Hotel Rwanda” got him involved in this important cause.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON CHEADLE, ACTOR: I am glad that you have shot this footage and that the world will see it. It is the only way we have a chance that people might intervene.
During the filming of “Hotel Rwanda,” I became aware of what was happening in Darfur. And we had a screening at MGM in Los Angeles, and Congressman Ed Royce out of Orange County saw this film, and he‘d been trying to sort of rally people‘s attention—a lot of people‘s attention around it, he and Donald Payne. And he thought that the film was a good sort of touchstone and a good representation of what was happening, a version of it happening in Darfur.
And he asked me to accompany he and several other members of Congress on a congressional delegation to the area and see for myself what was happening. And John accompanied us. And we were actually able to stay a little longer after the congressmen and women left, and we visited the camps and crossed over into Darfur. And once you‘re there and kind of see the devastation close up firsthand, it‘s very hard to return—it was for me, anyway—very hard to return to my normal life and just not do anything about it.
SCARBOROUGH: Don, talk about what you saw there. What was one of the more gripping moments for you that really struck home that this is an international crisis that the United States must morally engage in?
CHEADLE: Well, you know, it‘s just—when you listen to the stories from these women there—and it was striking how many of them were similar, about surviving these bomb raids by these Antonov bombers that come in now. They‘re painted white to look like U.N. bombers, have U.N. painted on them.
And then the militia come in, the Janjaweed, these armed Arab horsemen come in, and attacked a village, and then burn everything there. They throw kids on the fires. And the most horrific things you can think of, throwing bodies into wells to poison the water so that no one can drink—no one can return to that village.
Then they traverse these miles and miles of the arid desert with no comfort, no shelter from the environment. And they find themselves in these refugee camps in squalor, with mud huts, tarps put together, and just trying to eke out some sort of existence there.
SCARBOROUGH: John, why are we still talking about Sudan after all these years?
JOHN PRENDERGAST, AUTHOR: Well, there‘s a structural issue in Sudan. You‘ve got a military dictatorship that took power in a coup in 1989. As you point out, it was responsible for a war in southern Sudan that took 2 million lives. Now, they‘re in western Sudan, in Darfur, 400,000 people dead and counting as we speak. Until we lead an international response that‘s meaningful, we‘re going to see the killing continue in Sudan.
SCARBOROUGH: Is this an issue about where the people over there who are dying, who are being slaughtered, who are being sold into slavery, are black Africans instead of white Europeans, so unfortunately enough people in Washington just aren‘t paying attention?
CHEADLE: Well, I think it would be hard to argue against that, if you look at the history. I mean, it‘s definitely very complex in the relationships between why political leaders do things in certain continents or in certain areas, and they don‘t do things it‘s other areas. It‘s definitely an intricate matter.
But if you look at the history, that‘s clearly been the track record, that when these things happen in Africa, they‘re often spoken about, “Well, this is a tribal issue, and this is something that‘s been going on for hundreds of years, and we can‘t really get in there.” But when there is a different look of the people who are the victims of it, we see action.
SCARBOROUGH: Talk about the meaningful steps that people sitting at home tonight, watching you, can take to make a difference to stop the killing in Darfur.
CHEADLE: You can log on EnoughProject.org, which is a project that John started. You can log onto the Genocide Intervention Network. You can get involved with Sudan divestment. You can find ways to organize with other like-minded individuals who are trying to push for change. And we‘re seeing—as John said, we‘re seeing that happening, and a lot of people are coming on board. So get—educate yourself and become a part of this movement, and you‘ll see places where you can effect the change.
PRENDERGAST: Tomorrow morning, if people really care about this, 1-800-GENOCIDE. Just plug it into your phones tonight, 1-800-GENOCIDE. At 9:00 a.m., when the White House operator opens up the lines, you call that number, it goes to a recording, it explains a little bit what‘s going on. Then it links you right to the White House switchboard, and you can let President Bush know that it matters to you. They count those calls every day for all the different issues that come in, and that goes straight up to Karl Rove‘s office. And that matters. We‘ve got to make our voices heard if we really care about ending this genocide.
SCARBOROUGH: Tell me what we‘re going to see in “Oceans 13.”
CHEADLE: Well, we‘re having a ball. And the movie opens soon. We were just in Cannes. The movie opened there. And this one is kind of going back toward the first. It‘s funny, because the second one is the only film that people—John being one of them—have no compunction about walking up to me and going, “Man, ‘Ocean‘s 12‘ sucked. What happened?” You know, so we heard that, and Stephen has even talked about “Ocean‘s 13” being the one that we should have made. I don‘t know if he was joking, but he said it. But it‘s kind of a throwback to the first one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am so sorry. I tried to stop him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It‘s not your fault, sweetheart.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know what Chuck Berry said every night before counting one, two, three, four?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did he say?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pay me my money!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I‘m sure that my people will be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In cash.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHEADLE: It‘s funny that you mentioned it in this context, because one of the things we did there, with the premiere of the movie, was try to, you know, grab international attention, something that‘s been difficult to do, definitely surrounding this issue. And we were able to raise $8 million from just these events that we were doing, these parties that we threw, and meetings that we had. So it‘s—again, as John said, we are astounded at the reaction and at the response that the world community—
America is the best representative of it, but the world community is starting to come together and gather around this and say, “Yes, wait a minute. We all decided that we didn‘t want this to happen again. We all want ‘never again‘ to mean something, so let us try and throw our forces and our efforts together to make that a reality.”
SCARBOROUGH: John Prendergast, Don Cheadle, thank you so much for being with us.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘ll tell you, what a great job that they‘ve done and other people in “Ocean‘s 13,” like George Clooney.
We go from what‘s right about Hollywood to what‘s wrong about Hollywood. And who better to talk about “Hollyweird” and lockup day three than Adam Carolla, here to talk about Paris in prison. And if that‘s not the title of an adult film, it will be soon.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, tell your agent your prison cell is too hot and the food‘s too cold. It‘s time for “Hollyweird.”
First up, it‘s day three in the Paris prison saga. The “New York Post” is reporting she‘s been crying behind bars. Here now to break it all down for us, Adam Carolla, comedian and syndicated radio talk show host.
Adam, I heard Paris had a special visitor yesterday who tried to cheer her up. Who was it, Barney?
ADAM CAROLLA, COMEDIAN: Hey, Joe?
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, buddy?
CAROLLA: Can I say one thing quickly?
SCARBOROUGH: You sure can.
CAROLLA: I was watching Don Cheadle, and he has a very worthy cause in Darfur. And I notice all the celebrities are pulling for Darfur. But out of the other side of the mouth, they say they want us out of Iraq because we‘re not the world police. So which is it? Should we go over to Iraq and do what‘s right and stay in Iraq or get of Iraq and go to Darfur? I‘m just saying, are we the world police, or aren‘t we the world police?
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m kind of confused. I really don‘t know the answer to that, either. I do know this, though. I do know this, though.
CAROLLA: Can‘t have it both ways.
SCARBOROUGH: I do know that all of the world‘s eyes are affixed tonight on Paris Hilton. So what do we do about that?
CAROLLA: I‘m sorry.
SCARBOROUGH: No, is that a crisis that we can take care of?
CAROLLA: We send Cheadle into the prison to break out Hilton.
Meanwhile, we go to Darfur, straighten that out, and Clooney goes to Iraq and settles their hash. I don‘t care. I hope she‘s miserable. And here‘s the whole thing. If she was happy and doing pushups and writing her memoirs, we would all be miserable because she would be happy in prison. I want to hear her crying from my house. I want to open the windows at night and hear her screams of agony come from prison. Otherwise, it‘s not worth it.
SCARBOROUGH: And, apparently, you‘re getting your wish. I‘ll tell you, speaking of screams of agony, it is the end of an era. Bob Barker taped his final “Price of Right” show today. Hundreds of fans camped out waiting to hear Bob Barker say, “Come on down,” one more time. How sad, Adam. It was the last time.
CAROLLA: I know. I passed those people camped out in the morning, and they should all be rounded up and taken away from their children. Could you imagine the mentality of the person that sleeps on the sidewalk to see the crypt keeper do his last game show? And Bob hasn‘t wanted to do that in 70 years, by the way. Do you see when the people come up and hug him, and he gets his Purell out, and wipes himself down? He‘s miserable. He wants to be with animals. And people that love animals don‘t love animals. They hate people. Always remember that, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: I will write that one down. Hey, let‘s talk about “Life and Style” magazine reporting that Nicole Richie is pregnant. Her rep didn‘t respond to a request for a comment, but is she going to be delivering this baby in jail?
CAROLLA: No, I did it, Joe. It‘s mine.
SCARBOROUGH: Is it really?
CAROLLA: I did it. I‘m dropping a bomb right here.
SCARBOROUGH: That is shocking. I mean, this is like Danny Bonaduce coming on talking about his divorce. You come on talking about your love child with Ms. Richie.
CAROLLA: It was me. It was mine. You‘ll see when it comes out. It was either me or that Hungarian count, Zsa Zsa Gabor‘s husband. We were there the same night. It‘s hard to tell. We were both drunk. The details are blurry.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, I understand Larry Birkhead was also there.
CAROLLA: He was there, as well.
SCARBOROUGH: And maybe K-Fed. “Us Weekly” is reporting that Kevin Federline isn‘t going to make his debut on the big screen after all. I mean, we‘re all poorer for this, aren‘t we?
CAROLLA: Well, it was funny. I was reading that story, and I was thinking, “Well, there‘s funny,” and then I realized the movie he was supposed to star in starred or at least co-starred Keanu Reeves. And then I thought, “Is there really a big difference between Keanu Reeves and K-Fed in the talent department?” I mean, really think about that. Don‘t you think if Keanu can act, anyone can act? Have you seen Keanu act?
SCARBOROUGH: You know, my boys are big “Matrix,” fans, so I‘m just going to sit here and smile.
CAROLLA: All right. And when you say your boys, you mean your genitalia or do you actually have kids?
SCARBOROUGH: I mean my children, Joey and Andrew.
CAROLLA: I‘m sorry.
SCARBOROUGH: Adam Carolla, that‘s all the time we have for tonight.
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