Guest: Kathleen Walker, J.D. Hayworth, Stacie Burns, Tony Perkins, Kennedy, Ann Coulter
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL”)
NICOLETTE SHERIDAN, ACTRESS: Terrell, wait.
TERRELL OWENS, NFL PLAYER: Oh, hell. Team‘s going to have to win this one without me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL POWELL, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION CHAIRMAN: Well, I think it just sort of very disappointing. I wonder if Walt Disney would be proud.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAT BUCHANAN, GUEST HOST: The FCC, along with many parents, were shocked when ABC kicked off its coverage of “Monday Night Football” with that steamy promo before the game. Did ABC cross the line with a desperate attempt to spice up its ratings or are sex and violence just part of the culture of prime-time network TV?
Then, a captured al Qaeda operative says the terror organization has looked into smuggling weapons of mass destruction into our country across the Mexican border. So what is our government doing to thwart those plans before it‘s too late? Our all-star panel debates the possibility of a terrorist strike coming from south of the border.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
BUCHANAN: Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. I‘m Pat Buchanan, in for Joe.
First up tonight, on November 2, Democrats got the memo on the culture war. Moral values matter. But the television networks did not. Sex and violence go from cable TV to prime-time programming. Even ABC‘s “Monday Night Football,” the family get-together sports show, can‘t escape a sex and sleaze scandal.
Here is the opening to this week‘s big game.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL”)
OWENS: Baby, it‘s “Monday Night Football.” Game starts in 10 minutes.
SHERIDAN: You and your little games. I have got a game we could play.
OWENS: Hey, this is major. We‘ve got Parcells and the Cowboys. And Donovan needs me.
SHERIDAN: Terrell, wait.
OWENS: Oh, hell. Team‘s going to have to win this one without me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BUCHANAN: Stunned viewers flooded ABC with angry e-mails. Did that promotion cross the line? Or should parents just have to accept sex and violence in prime-time television?
Joining me now, syndicated columnist Ann Coulter. She‘s also the author of “How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must).” We also have MTV host Kennedy.
Kennedy, let me begin with you.
It seems to me, look, if people want to look for things like that, there are plenty of channels on cable they can go to, Playboy Channels and the others. But isn‘t this egregiously offensive when you have got a family sitting down to watch “Monday Night Football,” some father and his two or three sons sitting down together to watch the game and this type of sleaze starts it off put right their face?
KENNEDY, FORMER MTV DEEJAY: If you‘re asking me if it is egregiously offensive, I don‘t think it is egregiously offensive. I think those are some pretty strong adjectives.
What I do think is frightening is the idea of Pat Robertson being in charge of entertainment and somehow leading the cause in a moral dictatorship in this country. George W. Bush didn‘t necessarily win because people were flexing their moral muscle. George W. Bush won because people didn‘t want to switch presidents during the middle of a war and no knew who John Kerry was.
BUCHANAN: Thanks for the political analysis.
Now, I want to ask you again, do you think when a man, say, and his wife and his sons and daughters, they sit down for an evening—it‘s “Monday Night Football.” It‘s the family entertainment, the family sports show. The kids can stay up late. You got the famous commentators and the others there. And he starts off and they get that right in the face. Don‘t you think that‘s a stinking thing for ABC to do, that it is both salacious, offensive, in your face and does not belong there?
And if you could answer without mentioning Pat Robertson, that would be fine.
KENNEDY: Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, you know what? You‘ve all become the same. You all give yourselves a pat on the back for something that is not necessarily deserved.
What I will tell you is that I thought the spot was clearly a parody. All you saw was Nicolette Sheridan‘s back. And believe me, an Herbal Essences commercial where a woman is feigning orgasm in the shower, that‘s got far more sexually charged content than this clear parody of “Desperate Housewives,” which, they‘re not desperate for ratings. It‘s one of the top-rated shows in the country.
And you know what? Yes, there‘s a time and a place for sex. Was it little bit over the line to start the show with it? I will give you that. But saying that, because George W. Bush won gives moral conservatives a mandate in this country is totally off base. And it has sent people away from the Republican Party.
Let me read two statements, Ann, before we get to you. Let me read two statements, the first from ABC—quote—“We have heard from many of our viewers. We agree that the placement was inappropriate. We apologize.”
The NFL responded, “While ABC may have gained attention for one of its other shows, the NFL and its fans lost.”
Ann Coulter, do you think ABC‘s apology is sincere or fraudulent?
ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, “HOW TO TALK TO A LIBERAL IF YOU MUST”: No, I think the financial figures would explain whether or not it‘s sincere.
They‘re being asked to pay the fine that would be the equivalent of me being asked to pay a fine of a nickel. Meanwhile, they‘re getting millions of dollars of free promotion. I think it‘s time for the FCC to exercise—try to create a chilling effect by revoking one of the big three licenses.
BUCHANAN: Well, you know, this is exactly what I was going to ask you. It seems to me, you know, you got a few thousand dollars fine. I think it was about $500,000 fine for that scene, that Janet Jackson scene at mid-time of the Super Bowl, halftime.
And I think if the FCC had the authority in fines like this to simply revoke the license of one of ABC‘s, you know, television stations, a real couple hundred million or billion dollar fine, something like that, this stuff would stop overnight, Ann.
COULTER: Yes, I‘m sure that‘s right. And I don‘t think there‘s much danger of Pat Robertson running Hollywood any time soon. Yes, there‘s plenty of schlock on TV and commercials on all sorts of TV stations, as Michael Medved showed a long time ago and now is roundly accepted.
What we laughingly refer to as the entertainment industry keeps foisting movies on the country that don‘t do particularly well. They‘re like pro bono movie projects, a lot of smut. And, meanwhile, no one sees the commercial appeal of “The Passion of the Christ.” The idea that these people are only in it for the money is absurd.
No, they specifically want to foist smut on the American people. And unless the FCC does something serious, I don‘t think it‘s going to change.
BUCHANAN: Kennedy, go ahead.
KENNEDY: I don‘t know what you want me to say, Pat. It‘s not just about these isolated incidents.
And conservatives are always claiming, rightly so, that liberals often complain without offering solutions and alternatives. And I just want to know what some of the alternative programming that you, Mr. Buchanan...
KENNEDY: ... and Ann Coulter have in mind.
What shows—what sort of a memo would you send to the writers and producers?
BUCHANAN: Let me lay it out for you. OK, I think you got a good point, Kennedy. Look, all I was asking you basically was, look, would you agree that if you‘re sitting down to watch a football game, “Monday Night Football,” traditional thing, been on for decades now, you ought not to be slapped in the face with this if you‘re sitting there with your kids or with your wife. You don‘t want to be offended.
Now, I‘ll agree with you this. Look, there are cable channels that have this sort of thing. There are shows. When you go to the movies, some of these movies, you can read. It says, look, offensive language, nudity, things like that. Mature adults can go in there.
All I‘m saying is, is show a decent respect for folks with whom you disagree. There‘s an awful lot of people in America who do believe there‘s a lot of sleaze and garbage that is thrown into their face when they don‘t want it. That‘s all we‘re asking.
KENNEDY: OK, what about the sponsors who, you know, pay good money for airtime during “Monday Night Football” and other broadcast network shows? What about the recent ad I saw for Viagra where the husband is walking past the lingerie shop with his wife and he develops two blue horns that happen to be the tops of the V in the Viagra ad? What are kids going to say to that? Are they going to say, mom, dad, what is erectile dysfunction?
BUCHANAN: You know, Kennedy, I have got to agree with you on that one. I don‘t think those things should be thrown in, in the middle of prime time either.
KENNEDY: Well, they are.
KENNEDY: The Super Bowl, Janet Jackson showed her booby. And it was clearly orchestrated on her part. She knew exactly what she was doing. And that was bad taste. But that Super Bowl was loaded with erectile dysfunction ads.
BUCHANAN: I find that less offensive, though, than this, because I‘m not sure everybody at CBS was in on that Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson event. But this thing looks programmed. I think, Ann Coulter, I think you‘re probably exactly right. I think ABC is probably laughing all the way to the bank. They‘re getting tens of millions of free publicity for this thing.
Do you think, given the fact what happened in the election, the Democrats‘ concern that they‘re on the wrong side of the moral values issues—Tipper Gore at one time and Joe Lieberman and Bill Bennett were all together at one time on this issue. Do you think they would do anything to empower the FCC to do something like you suggest?
COULTER: I‘m not sure it matters anymore since the Democratic Party appears to be going the way of the Whigs. The House and Senate can certainly do something about it. The House passed a bill I think in the last session—I don‘t know what happened to it in the Senate—but already giving the FCC power to revoke licenses.
And Kennedy said we‘re not offering solution. I offered a solution straight out of the bat here, and that is start revoking some licenses. And liberals certainly understand the advantages of having a chilling effect when it comes to guns.
BUCHANAN: Listen, they understand money.
BUCHANAN: You tell them one of the big television stations is going, and you‘ll get Mr. Eisner‘s attention pronto.
Let‘s bring in Tony Perkins now of the Family Research Council, which champions the values of marriage and family.
Tony, I know a couple of years ago, I think the Baptists got together and other Christian groups, and they declared a boycott of Disney.
TONY PERKINS, PRESIDENT, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Right.
BUCHANAN: Now, I thought that was a mistake for the reason that Disney owns half the world. And everywhere you go, you‘re buying—I think History Channel, which I watch, is—I think they got that. And they‘ve got the Angels and other teams like that.
It seems to me, though, that another effective way would be to take a single product being advertised, which—of a weak company being advertised on a Disney show which isn‘t doing too well and declaring a national boycott of that product, sinking the company. That would have the kind of effect that these people would understand.
PERKINS: The bottom line is money. And boycotts work in some circumstances. And you‘ve got to be very targeted in it.
PERKINS: But I think there‘s an effort here to push the envelope. And was this illegal activity on Monday night? Probably not. Was it inappropriate? Absolutely.
People are watching the TV. They‘re used to Hank Williams Jr. coming on and they get hanky-panky instead.
PERKINS: And I think there‘s this effort to keep pushing, pushing and pushing. The way is what Ann said. If we start revoking some licenses, we increase the fines that can be placed on them—and when they get one ad, when they get the amount of money they get for one ad, the fine that they‘re paying right now, it‘s just swallowed up in the fee that they get from that one 30-second spot.
BUCHANAN: Well, sure, those “Desperate Housewives,” I guess, this show which is probably being pushed here, has got a tremendous boost out of this. We‘re all talking about this thing and the rest of it.
Kennedy, how would you feel about that, that, if these networks do go too far—they‘re big corporations. You must be a good liberal. What about taking away one of their television stations by removing its license, putting the license up for auction?
KENNEDY: Pat Buchanan, I‘m not a liberal. I‘m not a liberal. I‘m a registered Republican. I‘ve been a Republican for a long time. And your party is forcing me out. I don‘t agree with your form of conservatism.
BUCHANAN: I thought it was your party. I‘m not a Republican.
KENNEDY: What do you mean?
BUCHANAN: Let‘s not get into that.
KENNEDY: Oh, that‘s such a hoot. Oh, my gosh. I love conservative humor. It is just great. It is so rich. And you know what? It is so much better than the parody we saw on “Monday Night Football.”
But you know what? You guys, you have become the humor police. And you‘re using the liberalization of governmental controls in broadcasting the way that liberals do with the war on terror and guns. And any other time the left wants to squash liberties, you know, conservatives, they start barking up the tree of freedom. But all of a sudden, you know, you‘re doing the exact same thing. And it‘s very hypocritical. What happened to the libertarian bent in the Republican Party?
BUCHANAN: Ann, what happened to the libertarian bent in the Republican Party?
COULTER: Well, if I could reply to something I think is a little more pressing, that is the idea that there would be nothing entertaining on TV if we didn‘t have juvenile locker room humor to appeal to impotent nose pickers.
Somehow, we managed to have entertainment basically from the beginning of time until roughly 1970 without a lot of juvenile locker room humor. Nobody looks at “The Godfather” or Alfred Hitchcock or “All in the Family” and says, gosh, that was good, but we need a little more smut in those. No entertaining value there.
This is what Michael Medved has demonstrated and subsequent studies have. This is not responding to the free market, to the libertarian values of what the people want and having the market provide it. These are specific ideologues trying to bring down the sort of standards and morals of civilized society.
A naked woman and a football player aren‘t the only two things getting ABC into trouble. Up next, we‘ll tell you why the network is under fire for running the Oscar-winning film “Saving Private Ryan” on Veterans Day. Tony Perkins thinks it‘s got too much violence and swearing in it, unfit for prime time.
BUCHANAN: Sex and violence are sneaking their way into the family hour. Is there anything families can do to stop it? More on that next.
BUCHANAN: Sex and violence in prime-time television, how much is too much? Should there be a zero tolerance policy?
Our panel is back with us. And joining us now, Stacie Burns, also known as Stacie the Sports Chick.
OK, Stacie, what are your listeners—are they talking about this after “Monday Night Football”? And are they calling in volunteering? What are they saying, by and large?
STACIE BURNS, SPORTS COMMENTATOR: Well, I‘m from Texas. And I think a bunch of them are wishing they didn‘t have Terrell Owens being the big guy doing it. I don‘t think anybody really likes Terrell Owens too much in Texas.
BURNS: After Monday night.
But Nicolette Sheridan, I think—or Nicolette—I don‘t know her last name. I love the show. I think—and they didn‘t have “Desperate Housewives” on Sunday night because of the AMA‘s, so I got a little taste of “Desperate Housewives.” The target audience is for people that are my age, not for 5- or 6-year-olds. So I don‘t think any of my listeners minded too much.
BUCHANAN: They didn‘t mind, huh?
BUCHANAN: They didn‘t call and say, what are they putting that stuff on there for?
BURNS: No. No. More skin is shown on prime-time and daytime soap operas than it is...
BURNS: So, it‘s not a big deal. It‘s just a naked back.
BURNS: Come on.
BUCHANAN: Thank you, Stacie.
Sleaze isn‘t the only thing on air during family hour. Tony‘s group,
the Family Research Council, is asking the FCC to punish ABC for airing
“Saving Private Ryan” on Veterans Day. And Associated Press reports—
quote—“Sixty-six ABC affiliates covering nearly one-third of the country
ultimately decided not to air the movie ‘Saving Private Ryan‘ on Veterans
Day due to skittishness over whether the Federal Communications Commission
would deem it indecent.‘
I guess the indecency in there, Tony Perkins, would be in the language.
PERKINS: Well, the language, clearly.
BUCHANAN: In the language, and of course those first 20 minutes of it. I thought it was—I was dubious about whether I would go to the film. I was glad I went to see the film. I thought it was a very dramatic representation of battle on Normandy. It must have been a lot like it was. And there‘s a lot of bad language in the film.
And was that your objection on Veterans Day or was it the violence or what?
PERKINS: Well, it‘s the language.
Clearly, in this case, the law was violated, using the language inappropriate in prime time. I spent six years in the Marine Corps. I tell my kids—they ask stories about what happened in the Marine Corps. I can tell them stories without using those words, which are—yes, does it happen? It is a part of the military life. It‘s a part of the battle scene. But it‘s not supposed to be part of prime time that we‘ve carved out as family viewing for television.
BUCHANAN: What time were they putting the show on at exactly?
PERKINS: This was on in the evening; 8:00, prime time, is when it came on, when families are watching TV.
BUCHANAN: All right, do you have concerns over the violence of that first 20 minutes on the beach?
PERKINS: Clearly, it was a violent movie. I would not let my small children watch it.
But that is one thing. That is within the confines of the law, essentially. But the language is clearly outside the law and violates it. That‘s why 66 stations decided not to play it.
BUCHANAN: All right, Ann Coulter, what‘s your take on “Saving Private Ryan,” which I gather you saw, putting that on in prime time on Veterans Day?
COULTER: I‘d prefer to have this conversation in private with my fellow conservatives, but I completely disagree.
For one thing, unlike the commercials Kennedy was mentioning, the various other smut we described, “Saving Private Ryan” is a movie you know is about war. And it certainly has redeeming value. You know that‘s what you‘re getting in for. You‘re not in the middle of watching a football game when suddenly you see the beginning of a soft porno parody.
And, moreover, the main point, I disagree with, for example, Terry Jeffrey, the editor of “Human Events,” on, is, I think there‘s an enormous difference between violence and smut, sexual content, nudity.
Violence, that‘s been around since “Punch and Judy,” since cowboys and Indians movies. And people understand they are watching a movie, they are not watching an actual person be killed.
COULTER: It‘s not real blood. They‘re not real bullets. When you see, for example, nudity on TV, that‘s a real nude woman.
BUCHANAN: All right.
COULTER: This is specifically corrupting and degrading and things that I think children shouldn‘t see, but it‘s not so bad for children to see violence.
BUCHANAN: Let me say, before we get to you, Tony, I agree with Ann very much on this. I don‘t think they should have that language in prime time.
But, go ahead. Kennedy, what are your thoughts here?
KENNEDY: I think that Veterans Day is the most appropriate place to show a movie like that.
I frankly was surprised when I saw the advertisement for it. But days in advance, when they were advertising the film, they said parental discretion is advised. There was a parental warning days in advance before they showed “Saving Private Ryan.” And this has been one of the cultural highlights of film over the last decade.
I would say because—Veterans Day, it is very true to life, and war is hell. And there‘s no better depiction of wartime than a film like this, which strives to be accurate and drives the message home on Veterans Day, which for most people is a day off.
BUCHANAN: What do you say about that, Tony Perkins?
PERKINS: Well, clearly, the violence is part of the battlefield. And they can warn people of that.
But there are certain standards that we have in place that parents expect. We don‘t expect to hear the F-word 20 times in a prime-time TV show, which is when this was aired. And I disagree with Ann. This is desensitizing. And we put it on Veterans Day and a war movie and say, well, it‘s real life. It‘s the way it should be. Well, they would bleep out...
BUCHANAN: What do you think should be done to...
PERKINS: Well, I think they should be fined for this. I think just as any time that they put inappropriate language on that violates the standards that they use the public airwaves under, then they should be fined.
BUCHANAN: Kennedy, should they be fined if they violated the code?
KENNEDY: I have to actually take Howard Stern‘s side on this, because Howard Stern feels like he‘s been unfairly targeted for some of the material on his program, which is salacious. And he‘s unapologetic about that.
And his message is, if you are going to fine me hundreds of thousands of dollars, then you better go after the broadcast networks, because why should we make an exception? And...
BUCHANAN: I think there‘s a point there that Howard Stern is the one guy being hammered and everybody else escapes.
All right, here‘s what FCC Chairman Mike Powell thinks. Networks push the envelope to make a buck.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POWELL: It would seem to me that while we get a lot of broadcasting companies complaining about indecency enforcement, they seem to be continuing to be willing to keep the issue at the forefront, keep it hot and steamy in order to get financial gain from the free advertising it provides.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BUCHANAN: All right, Ann Coulter, let‘s get back to that steamy scene. Do you think this is going to get the same kind of reaction that the Super Bowl halftime thing did for the same reason that people were just sitting there and here comes this, as you said, you know, the parody of a porn movie comes on right in their face?
COULTER: I think we‘ll see.
I mean, I think the Super Bowl halftime show was a little bit more shocking.
COULTER: But I agree with you that the point here is, there were probably some CBS officials that were surprised by the halftime show, whereas ABC, this is something that‘s produced by ABC. They...
COULTER: ... had full knowledge in advance.
BUCHANAN: When they apologize, Ann, do you think anybody‘s been fired or do you think the apology was prepared before they put it on the air?
COULTER: No. I think as long as Mary Mapes and Dan Rather are still employed, they all are still employed at ABC.
BUCHANAN: Where is Thornburgh when we really need him?
OK, Kennedy, go ahead.
KENNEDY: I was just going to say, I want to know from you and from Ann specifically, what was most offensive about this?
BUCHANAN: All right.
KENNEDY: Like, what was the most offensive significant thing, that she was somehow inferring that they were going to play games, meaning, you know, feed the kitty or something like that? I‘m not sure exactly specifically...
BUCHANAN: All right, I‘ll tell you what. It‘s a lewd, suggestive thing that they‘re going to have sex in the locker room. And here‘s a nude woman jumping into his arms. And you got 10- and 12-year-old kids sitting down with their parents who are embarrassed by this garbage.
And it‘s thrown right in their face. I think that‘s as offensive as anything. You know, if you‘re searching for the Playboy Channel and you come across something like that, it‘s your own fault. But that‘s my objection.
Ann, what was yours?
COULTER: Sorry. There was something odd in my audio just then.
Well, I didn‘t see it until I saw all the press coverage for it. I agree with you. And, also, I‘m offended at the idea that this was a mistake, as opposed to a specific plan to try to increase ratings actually for their “Monday Night Football”, which has low ratings, as opposed to “Desperate Housewives,” which has high ratings.
This was an ad. They got millions of dollars in free advertising. But this is not that much worse from, as I say, a lot of the other schlock you see on TV. But I think this is a problem that‘s been getting worse and worse and worse. And nothing—certainly, boycotts don‘t work. I also agree with your point on that. They‘ve never worked, not for anything—on TV, that is to say.
And so, I mean, what is the FCC for? They grant these licenses. ABC, CBS, NBC don‘t own their TV stations. They are essentially renting them from the government. What is the point of having that if the government doesn‘t respond after 30 years of it getting worse and worse and worse?
BUCHANAN: All right, Tony Perkins, are you going to get the government to respond?
PERKINS: Yes. And I think they should.
What we see here is, there‘s a push. They‘re pushing the envelope
until there‘s no pushback. And when we stop pushing, that‘s how far
they‘re going to take it. And so every time they push it, we should push
back and we should call on the FCC to fine them, to yank a license until we
can get the Senate to pass a measure that would increase the fines, make
BUCHANAN: Let‘s hope Kennedy‘s Republican Party will get around to that.
OK, Ann Coulter, Tony Perkins, Kennedy, Stacie, thank you all for being here.
Up next, does al Qaeda have its eye on our southern border? We‘ll be talking about that when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
BUCHANAN: Will al Qaeda use Mexico as a back door into the United States? New intelligence says they just might. We‘ll get to that in a minute.
But, first, let‘s get the latest headlines from the MSNBC News Desk.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
BUCHANAN: A new threat on the Mexican border.
“TIME” magazine reports that a key al Qaeda operative seized in Pakistan in August has told authorities that al Qaeda not only wants to hit the United States with weapons of mass destruction, but has considered smuggling these weapons into Mexico and across the open U.S. border. Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge went to Mexico to discuss border security and smuggling rings that al Qaeda might use.
This follows news that, on November 1, a crop-dusting plane was stolen just south of San Diego and still has not been found.
Joining me now, Arizona Republican Congressman J.D. Hayworth and Kathleen Walker from American Immigration Lawyers.
J.D. Hayworth, why will the president of the United States not defend America‘s borders from what is an invasion of this country?
REP. J.D. HAYWORTH ®, ARIZONA: Bottom line is this, and this is the appeal we have to make to the president. This is what every fair-minded American has to understand.
National security is synonymous with border security. We ignore the borders or we send conflicting signals at our own risk. And we have to get this straight. And this is one area where I‘ve been vociferous in saying to the White House, let‘s get a grip and understand, just as we saw that report this week in “TIME” magazine, al Qaeda wants to exploit vulnerabilities. This is one of the biggest vulnerabilities we have.
BUCHANAN: All right, J.D., one more quick question. Look, if these terrorists come across the Mexican border and perpetrate some horrible atrocity in this country, the president and Tom Ridge will be blamed and held accountable for not doing what they should have done to defend this country. They will be held accountable by history.
For the life of me, even if he‘s got an amnesty program for people here, I do not understand why they don‘t secure that border.
HAYWORTH: Nor do I.
I‘ll give you an example. Down in Nogales, on the Arizona border, they told me, the Border Patrol officials told me the day prior to my visit an Iraqi was picked up, an Iraqi who claimed to have come to America in the late 1970s, claimed to have a green card. Interesting thing about the Iraqi, however. He was much more fluent in Spanish than he was in English.
We‘ve seen reports about folks coming in from a variety of different places, planning to use Mexico and Central America, again, exploiting this vulnerability. The bottom line is this. Everyone, regardless of partisan stripe, better understand what is at stake. This is not xenophobia. This is reasonable, rational protection of the American nation. Border security is synonymous with national security.
BUCHANAN: All right, Kathleen Walker, let me ask you—look, I know we can argue about the guest worker program and the rest of it.
But when you‘re getting reports, as the congressman indicates, you‘re picking occupy Iraqis down there, you‘ve got reports al Qaeda is looking at the border, isn‘t it imperative for conservatives, liberals, whatever on this issue, to at least say, let us secure and defend those parts of the open border where people are walking into the United States and let us check out the cargoes that are coming into the United States?
KATHLEEN WALKER, AMERICAN IMMIGRATION LAWYERS: Well, Pat, thank you for the opportunity to speak again on the program.
And this issue has been near and dear to my heart for almost 20 years of being here on the border between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. We‘ve been working from a lobbying perspective on trying to get appropriate infrastructure down here to be able to conduct efficient inspections and be able to increase the flow of trade, but at the same time increase security.
And what, unfortunately, President Bush has on his plate is something that‘s been created over many, many years, decades, in fact. So what you‘re dealing with is catch-up in a very difficult time frame. And of course, we all want better security, but we want smart security. And when we sit here and deal with redundant checks, we‘re wasting valuable resources. So, to me, the focus is trying to allocate your resources properly, so that you have the best chance that you can to interdict malfeasors, but to also at the same time not strangle us from the perspective of our economic growth, which we‘ll depend upon in order to be able to pay for our enhanced security.
BUCHANAN: J.D., I want to ask you. The Proposition 200 in Arizona, as I understand, all it required was that if folks are going to get benefits, welfare benefits or other benefits, they got to show a valid I.D., just like you and I have to show it if we‘re going to cash a check or get on an airline.
And yet the senior Republicans, Kyl and McCain, opposed it, as did the governor, even though it carried by 56 percent. What is going on in the Republican Party in Arizona?
HAYWORTH: Well, in fairness, let me explain, I likewise opposed it.
Here‘s the reason why, Pat.
Border security is a federal responsibility. We can‘t have one border policy in Phoenix, another in Sacramento, a third in Santa Fe and then a fourth in Austin. But what the voters of Arizona are saying, very true. They‘re saying not only in the aforementioned areas you talked about, but in the most elemental area, voting. You have to be who you say you are. You have to be valid and qualified to receive these benefits; 56 percent of the electorate, according to exit polls, almost half of self-identified Hispanics, voting in favor of Proposition 200. I‘m listening to the people of Arizona. And, again, this is not xenophobia. This is saying this an unfair drain on our scarce and precious resources.
BUCHANAN: All right, Kathleen, can we get agreement on that, that at least the—all the people in the country should be required as this proposition indicated to show valid identification before you get benefits, just like you and I do before we get on a plane?
WALKER: Well, now, wait a minute, Pat.
BUCHANAN: Including voting.
WALKER: All right, let‘s go ahead and get to the bottom line here.
And that‘s that we do have a problem. And the 9/11 Commission report clearly states it on the fact that we have breeder documents and we have an issue in the United States on establishing identity for driver‘s licenses, establishing identity for birth certificates, which are incredibly important documents, which then can enable one to have certain travel benefits. That‘s an important thing and we need to address it.
But that‘s different from establishing identity vs. immigration status. And proposition 200, what it focused upon was saying that, for any type—and I know that Attorney General Goddard I believe yesterday indicated that they believe that Proposition 200 focuses predominantly on the provision of welfare benefits. And so it‘s a narrowing of what perhaps was initially anticipated. And I believe that the Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund is also considering a lawsuit concerning Proposition 200.
BUCHANAN: Let me move to another issue.
WALKER: Excuse me, Pat. Yes. I will just as a bottom line there...
WALKER: ... state that proposition 200 is more than establishing identity. It was actually establishing immigration status in order to be able to be eligible to even receive a public benefit perhaps of going in and having a law enforcement person follow up on a crime that was committed against you.
Heather MacDonald, and she‘s a Manhattan institute scholar, an expert on illegal immigration, wrote this in “The City Journal”—quote—“An al Qaeda Web site noted in 2002 that only 5 percent of the flood of people and goods that cross the Mexican border each year are inspected. These are figures that really call for contemplation, al Qaeda added.”
Now, J.D. Hayworth, why is Congress, given the fact the president‘s been slow—he really hasn‘t done the job—why has Congress not picked up the slack on this issue? It seems to me national security is a winner right down the line.
HAYWORTH: Oh, absolutely.
And this should transcend politics. The election is over. We‘re talking about national security and our survival as a free people. Immigration Reform Caucus, we‘ve been on this issue. We‘ve said time and again to the White House and to the Department of Homeland Security, don‘t give us amnesty-light and don‘t try to explain away the problem.
Let me give you the dimensions of the problem in Arizona quickly, daily, 4,000 illegal crossings. We only come up with a comparative few of the folks who are crossing illegally. Over half of the estimated illegal crossings...
BUCHANAN: Four thousand walk into the United States?
HAYWORTH: Four thousand daily.
BUCHANAN: In Douglas, Arizona, every day?
HAYWORTH: Across the border in Arizona. Over half of the illegal crossings occur on the state line with Arizona and the international line between the United States and Mexico that falls in Arizona.
BUCHANAN: Would know how to stop that, if the president asked you, said, in 10 minutes, J.D., how do I stop that? Would you know how? What would you tell him?
HAYWORTH: In 10 minutes, what you have to do, first of all, is have biometric identification to know who is coming in. You have to utilize every asset we have.
Because this is national security, you have to look at the Reserves, the Guard. You have to look at a variety of circumstances to bring to bear to deal with the flood of illegals. And you have to talk to people on the borders, the farmers, the ranchers who routinely have their property assaulted nightly and are not getting the help. The other things you have to do, pass the Clear Act.
We have got over 80,000 convicted felons from other societies here in the United States, here illegally. They need to be rounded up. You have to take local law enforcement and have them involved with a database to check to get those illegals. The other thing you have to do is supply and demand. When it comes to illegal crossing, you have to move past a voluntary program, where employers can voluntarily check.
BUCHANAN: You‘ve got to punish employers who routinely hire illegals.
HAYWORTH: You have got to deal with supply and demand. And you have to make it accountable. That program should be mandatory to check on the documents, to check on the verification. You do those things, vitally important.
BUCHANAN: OK, Kathleen, I‘ll give you a chance to respond when we get back.
BUCHANAN: Right now, we need to take a clean break.
And coming up next, we heard what Congressman Hayworth would do. But what is President Bush going to do about securing our borders? We‘ll invade his immigration plan coming up next.
ANNOUNCER: Tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge: How many Emmys has Hank Williams won for the “Monday Night Football” theme song? Is it, A, three, B, four, or, C, five? The answer coming up.
ANNOUNCER: In tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge, we asked: How many Emmys has Hank Williams won for the “Monday Night Football” theme song? The answer is B, four. In 1990, Williams became the first country music artist to win an Emmy.
Now back to Pat.
BUCHANAN: We‘re back with J.D. Hayworth and Kathleen Walker. And we‘re talking border security.
Kathleen, you heard J.D.‘s plan. Let me put it briefly.
BUCHANAN: If necessary, put the National Guard or the Army on the border in those spaces where people are walking in, strong identification as the border. And some of these people that repeatedly hire illegal aliens, really throw the book at them.
I know you have got probably have ideas for a guest worker program.
But do you disagree with that?
WALKER: I think the answer is more complicated than that.
And, also, I would like to take issue, Pat, with saying that Mr. Bush hasn‘t tried to do his job regarding securing our nation. I believe that he has tried in every way he possibly can to do as much as he can within the time frame. But unless you understand the border and have been dealing with it, and unless you understand what biometrics has been able to achieve, what Representative Hayworth would suggest would strangle trade from the perspective of Arizona.
And I don‘t think that they can afford to close down their border from a trade perspective. There‘s a balance that has to be remembered in the equation. And for that matter, his colleague Senator McCain, I think that he had an incredibly apt quote, where he said that our nation cannot achieve border security unless we reform our immigration laws.
If we‘re going to crack down on employers, what we need to do is give them an easy way to be able to comply that‘s clear. And that‘s difficult in the immigration context, because we have so many different statuses.
BUCHANAN: OK, let me throw those to J.D.
BUCHANAN: J.D., why didn‘t the president make this an issue? Why didn‘t the president make it an issue?
HAYWORTH: Well, he made it an issue, but he offered what I call amnesty-light. And he offered a plan back earlier this year.
BUCHANAN: And then he ran away from that.
HAYWORTH: It allows guest workers to bring their families with them.
And, under that theory, people would come for a few years and go home.
But, hey, we know the stork visits on both sides of the border.
HAYWORTH: What happens when kids are born here in the United States?
Now suddenly they‘re American citizens. You‘ve got that whole issue.
But, again, the challenge is this. And this is where I have a disagreement with your other guest. Look, you cannot create new laws when you fail to enforce existing laws. That‘s the fundamental problem. We have almost a policy that seems to go back and forth or it‘s a nudge and a wink or saying, well, there‘s no way we can stem this.
The other point I would make is about the pilot program that exists. There are clear parameters for employers. What should happen now is not to make it—no, they check the numbers in the database.
WALKER: It‘s not that easy.
HAYWORTH: And the fact is that—not that easy?
WALKER: No, sir. It‘s not.
HAYWORTH: Well, we better streamline it.
And the other thing we ought to do is hold people responsible when they knowingly hire illegals. After all, it‘s illegal.
WALKER: Absolutely. We don‘t disagree.
HAYWORTH: That means it‘s against the law.
BUCHANAN: All right, you don‘t think it‘s enforceable as it is, though? Is that what you‘re saying, Kathleen?
WALKER: No. I‘m not saying it‘s not enforceable, but here are the issues that realistically you‘re dealing with.
When you call the number, the verification number can‘t tell you pro forma whether or not the person is really eligible to work or not, because they can have petitions filed, pending, etcetera, that convey the work authorization, but Social Security doesn‘t know that. So to sit there and rely upon on the SSA as the panacea to this problem doesn‘t work.
But let‘s talk about the fact that ICE, the Immigration Customs Enforcement bureau, that needs to deal with interior enforcement, actually needs people to be able to do their job and, in addition to that, funding. And you can‘t go tell a police officer to look in some national crime information center index to be able to figure out whether or not someone is a possible terrorist who‘s violated status. It‘s not so simplistic.
So I do not want optical security. I want real security funded by Congress and then effectively overseen by Congress.
BUCHANAN: All right, we don‘t have real security.
WALKER: And, to me, that has not happened.
BUCHANAN: But you have got 80,000 deportees wandering around the country right now.
BUCHANAN: ... felons.
WALKER: Well, if you‘ve got 80,000 deportees, then why are they not providing the appropriate assets to enable them to do their job?
BUCHANAN: All right, good question.
Final thoughts from my guests when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
BUCHANAN: Comments or questions about tonight‘s show? Just send us an e-mail to Joe.MSNBC.com.
SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY will be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ‘
BUCHANAN: One minute left.
Kathleen, you got 30 seconds to say what is the first and second thing you think the president ought to do to fix this problem on the border.
WALKER: The very first thing to me is to go ahead and have the political courage and vision, which he does have, in order to reform the immigration system.
What I‘m concerned about is the trite expression of amnesty-light. I was there back in 1986 dealing with the Immigration Reform and Control Act applications, where we dealt with proof of unlawful presence. That is not in any way what we‘re talking about right now regarding the Bush proposal. McCain, Flake, Kolbe, Cornyn, all of those individuals who have had the courage to go ahead and step out and say what should be done are focusing on dealing with willing workers and willing employers. That is not the same.
BUCHANAN: OK, J.D.?
HAYWORTH: We are a nation at war.
We dare not sacrifice our national security on the funeral pyre of the politically correct. It is important that we understand border security is synonymous with national security. Therefore, clarity, consistency and policy is needed, not a push-me/pull-you hodgepodge that confuses people and not new laws, when there‘s a failure to enforce existing laws. We must enforce existing laws, and we must deal with that problem forthrightly as a national security issue.
BUCHANAN: OK, Congressman Hayworth, Kathleen Walker, both, thank you very much for being here tonight.
That‘s it for SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. We will see you tomorrow night.
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