Guest: Dana Kennedy, Wendy Wright, Jennifer Berman, Mike Spence, Carrie Lukas, Edward Headington, David Brock
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Tonight‘s top headline, Hillary‘s latest step towards the presidency. The “Real Deal,” the former liberal first lady sets a path her party would be wise to follow.
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, no passport required and only common sense allowed.
Hillary Clinton takes a page from her husband‘s playbook, moving to the right on the military, on immigration, on public faith, and now abortion. We‘re going to take you inside of the Clinton war room and tell you why Hillary Clinton is the one political figure you need to watch in 2005.
And then, Arnold vs. Hollywood. Some are accusing a group of coastal elites of choosing cheap labor over national security, as 30 Hollywood stars demand driver‘s licenses for illegal immigrants. Is the charge a cheap shot or fair game?
And then it‘s 10:00 Eastern. Do you know where your kids are? Well, wait until you hear the numbers we have from the latest teen sex study. You are going to want to pick up the phone and tell them, hey, time to come home.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, welcome to the show.
You know, a congressional memo is the topic of tonight‘s “Real Deal.” Now, even before the last election was in the books, I told you that New York Senator Hillary Clinton was a political figure to watch in 2005. The reason, well, despite her being identified with the far left in American politics for a decade now, Hillary Clinton has begun moving steadily right on the issue that mattered the most to Americans during the last election. That was national defense.
And as I explained to Senator Kerry throughout the year, national defense remains one of the Democrats‘ top political weaknesses. And his failure to close that credibility gap is one reason why he lost the election. But Senator Clinton figured this out a long time ago. And she stayed away from the rhetorical excesses of Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean and the Democratic left.
Now, since the so-called values election, Ms. Clinton has also become more conservative on issues like immigration. And last week, she told a gathering of Democrats in Boston that she was a strong supporter of faith in the public square, not exactly standard stump talk for any national Democratic candidate in 2004.
And last night, Senator Clinton reached out to—now, get this—pro-life activists, proving that she too had read the Christmas Eve article in “The New York Times” that explained how Democratic operatives like Donna Brazile and Joe Lockhart were urging moderation for Democrats on the abortion issue. And that is exactly what Senator Clinton provided.
Now, I am sure some of you are shocked, absolutely shocked, that a Washington politician would adjust her positions to the prevailing political winds. But get over it. This is, my friends, a tradition as old as American politics itself. It helps explain why the champion of small government, Thomas Jefferson, orchestrated the largest expansion of America ever with the Louisiana Purchase, or, more recently, how, in 1980, candidate George Bush Sr. was pro-choice, but vice presidential nominee George Bush quickly became pro-life.
You know, the issue here is not whether Ms. Clinton is changing her positions, but whether the Democratic Party will be smart enough to follow. With a closely divided electorate and the Democrats coming up three million votes short, despite record Democratic turnout in 2004, reaching out to middle America is the Democrats‘ best chance of recapturing the White House.
And Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to be the one to do that for her battered party in 2008, and so far for her, so good. And that is tonight‘s “Real Deal.”
Now, as I said, our top story is talking about Hillary Clinton moving to the center. As I said, last month, it was immigration. And, last week, the issue was faith in the public square. And, yesterday, she told an abortion right supporters group that we need to seek common ground on the issue of abortion.
And with me now to talk about Hillary Clinton is David Brock. He, of course, is the author of “The Seduction of Hillary Rodham” and president of Media Matters for America. We also have Carrie Lukas from the Independent Women‘s Forum.
Thank you so much for being with us.
David Brock, let me begin with you. You wrote the book on Hillary Clinton in 1996. And she is just a fascinating figure. I mean, everybody studies her, from the left, from the right, from the center. Whatever she does, you can be sure that there are going to be 1,000 articles written on her the next day.
You wrote in your book that Hillary Clinton was a liberal champion to feminists and their causes. This was back in 1996. But now there‘s supposed shift, and the question a lot of people are asking is, which is the real Hillary Clinton? Is it Hillary Clinton 1993, 1994, with what was called Hillary health care, or is this more new and moderate Hillary Clinton the one that people can expect to see in 2008?
DAVID BROCK, PRESIDENT, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA: Well, I don‘t think there‘s such a big adjustment here.
You know, I saw the article on the front page of “The New York Times” about the speech Senator Clinton gave yesterday on abortion. And when I actually read the speech, I was kind of amazed that it had been front-page news, because, as you said, Joe, I have done a lot of research on Senator Clinton‘s record and her past as first lady.
She has for years spoken about ending the divisiveness on the abortion issue and trying to find common ground. She has worked on that in the Senate, but even going back to the Clinton administration, when you had the national campaign to prevent teen pregnancy. I even—today, I drug up my trusty old copy of “It Takes a Village,” Joe, and page 161, this was almost 10 years ago, she says, “I think we need to do everything in our power to discourage sexual activity and encourage abstinence.”
So, it‘s always been important to her. And both sides I think, can agree on reducing abortion. So I think her message yesterday is very consistent with what she has been saying for years. There‘s no change. And I do think that this is something that the American people, if they really look at the speech, could rally behind.
SCARBOROUGH: Carrie Lukas, what do you say?
CARRIE LUKAS, INDEPENDENT WOMEN‘S FORUM: Well, I do think it‘s an actually very interesting development, because I think what this shows is just what how—to what lengths Hillary is going to go in this next—she gears up to run for president, to distance herself from the feminist groups, the old guard now and feminist majority that really have been her political base.
I think the last election showed that the feminist groups were largely out of touch with mainstream American women. And I think Hillary is trying to rectify that by distancing herself with this, with this softer language on abortion. And I think she is going to do it on other issues as well.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, David, as an observer of politics for the past 15, 20 years, you understand that what politicians do when they want to shift to the center or shift to the right or the left, and they do it on both parties, it‘s not so much what their positions are, but what they emphasize.
And what I found so striking has been what Hillary Clinton has been emphasizing since the so-called values election. I want to read you a quote. And this is what I found fascinating. She said this to a group in Boston about the false division between faith and the separation of church and state. She said: “There is no contradiction between support for faith-based initiatives and upholding our constitutional principles. The faithful must be allowed to live out their faith in the public square.”
Now, you and I both know that, for 90 percent of Americans, that‘s perfectly fine. But for the ACLU and for a lot of activist groups on the left, MoveOn.org, for instance, this is almost blasphemy.
BROCK: Well, you know, the only thing I am really taking issue with here, Joe, is that, if you look back, again, you know, Hillary Clinton was on the cover of “The New York Times” magazine in 1993 with a headline that said, “Saint Hillary.”
Her politics has always been infused with religion, with morality, with ethics; 10, 15 years ago, she talked about how we have to do the best we can with God‘s guidance. So, I think what‘s happening here is just, because of what you said, I think the overinterpretation by the media of how values played in this election—I happen to think it was more on national security—but I think what‘s happening is, there‘s just renewed attention to things that she has said for a long time.
People are pulling that out and trying to make it look like something it isn‘t.
SCARBOROUGH: But, David, you know, again, going back to your book, “The Miseducation (sic) of Hillary Rodham,” you talk a lot about her past. You talk about the environment she grew up in. As you and I both know, and, again, there‘s certainly nothing wrong with this, she was a product of her generation, but she was anti-war. She was—I don‘t know if you can say anti-military, certainly was not a fan of the Pentagon, certainly not a fan of more conservative forces, and yet...
BROCK: Well, you are going back to college. Methodism was always...
SCARBOROUGH: I am going back to college, but...
BROCK: Methodism was always a strong theme, even back then.
You have got mentors of hers in high school and college talking about how she was concerned about bringing religion and having a root of that in her politics. So, again, she was faith-based long before George W. Bush came along.
SCARBOROUGH: So you don‘t think that there is a cynical bone in Hillary Clinton‘s body, that this is all just a natural progression from being the Hillary Clinton of 1993 that conservatives were sort of horrified of, to now being somebody that is talking about, over the past month, faith, talking about getting tough on illegal immigrants, talking about being strong on national defense? She is sounding more conservative than George W. Bush.
BROCK: Well, you know, you may want to characterize it that way. I don‘t really think the labels are that important.
I think the important thing is the consistency of her record, the fact that she has always really spoken about these issues. And I think, you know, she is clearly in the mainstream of America. And there may be some conservatives who feel a bit threatened about that. And that may be the case.
SCARBOROUGH: Wait. Wait.
Hey, Carrie, I will give you the last word in a second.
I have just got to say this, though, David. You are exactly right. She is moving to the mainstream of America. The problem may be, she is not the mainstream of her party, but that‘s where her party needs to go if they want to win.
Carrie, I‘ll give you the last word.
LUKAS: Boy, I think it‘s a real stretch to call Hillary in the mainstream. A lot was made over John Kerry being the most liberal senator in “The National Journal” ratings last year. But Hillary wasn‘t far behind. She was at eight.
So she is not a moderate. She is a woman who tried to nationalize our health care system and has remained a staunch supporter of higher taxes. I think that there‘s going to have to be a lot more of a moderation on her economic views for her really to enter the mainstream of the American public.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Carrie, we will have to leave it there.
Carrie, thank you for being with us.
David Brock, greatly appreciate it.
SCARBOROUGH: And Carrie was saying that she is not a moderate. I am just—I am judging her by what she has said over the past month.
When you talk about people, the faithful need to be allowed to live out their faith in the public square, I‘m telling you, that sounds like George W. Bush, not like any Democrat I have heard in 30 years. And, also, I don‘t think that we have protected our borders or ports and talks about needing to get tougher on illegal immigration, again, I have got a stack of quotes from Hillary Clinton that doesn‘t sound like any national Democratic candidate I have heard in a long, long time. It‘s going to be a fascinating four years.
Now, coming up next, Hollywood has chosen the top five films of the year, but they snubbed a lot of Americans‘ favorite movie. You may be surprised which one it is.
But, first, why are a group of Hollywood celebs trying to get Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to go back on a campaign promise? We will talk about illegal immigrants and the nanny state of California when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: Hollywood stars are outraged. It seems their illegal immigrant nannies can‘t get driver‘s licenses. We‘ll talk about that when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: Five hundred dollars bond? Boy, that‘s going to hurt them. You know, illegal immigrants, Governor Schwarzenegger...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER ®, CALIFORNIA: Therefore, it is dangerous for the security of California.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Now, you know, there are some Hollywood stars out there that are very angry, and they want the governor of California to break his promise. As you know, Schwarzenegger delivered on his promise in the campaign to repeal a law allowing illegal aliens to obtain driver‘s licenses.
But 30 Hollywood stars say, if they trust their nannies with their own children, then we should trust them behind the wheel of a car. Is Hollywood out of touch with the security needs of California and the rest of the nation, or are the state and government officials out of touch with the needs of the people?
With me now, we‘ve got Mike Spence. He‘s the president of the California Republican Assembly. And we‘ve got Edward Headington. He‘s the communications director for the state senator who is the author of the driver‘s licenses bill for illegals.
Mike, let me start with you. What is wrong with these Hollywood stars not being able to have their nannies drive cars?
MIKE SPENCE, CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN ASSEMBLY: Well, this ad is a prime example of how Hollywood is out of touch with what is going on in California.
They view illegal aliens as a way to exploit cheap labor, as nannies, to clean their mansions, to take care of their gardens, and they don‘t realize the cost to California taxpayers or the security of regular Americans.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Edward, the thing that I think most Americans have to be shocked with that don‘t live in California is the fact that you have got Hollywood stars who are admitting publicly that they are breaking the law, that they have hired illegal aliens to take care of their children, to take care of their gardens, to take care of—to clean up their homes. They are breaking the law.
That is the thing we don‘t get in middle America, how people can be so brazenly breaking the law, and yet you have actually got members of the California state Senate that are saying, we need to give them driver‘s licenses. We need to give them all the rights that law-abiding American citizens have. What is wrong with this picture?
EDWARD HEADINGTON, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR GIL CEDILLO: Well, I think that‘s the easy language.
I think the truth of the matter is that what we are trying to do in California is create a bill that strengthens national security and public safety, while, at the same time, promoting immigrant responsibility. Now, the ad was just an outgrowth of the organizing that Senator Cedillo has done in the last several years. There‘s significant law enforcement support behind the driver‘s license reform bill, Senate Bill 60, as well as the business community, now Hollywood.
So it‘s just a reflection of the broadening of the coalition, the deepening of it, and also the fact that most...
SCARBOROUGH: But they are breaking the law. You say it‘s easy language, but the truth of the matter is, the truth of the matter is that, if they are illegal aliens, they are in California and in America illegally. So why do we want to give them any benefits?
HEADINGTON: Well, I work for one the most liberal senators, state senators in California and for one of the bluest state in the nation. And we stand with President Bush in saying that immigrants are the hardest-working—some of the hardest-working people in America and doing the jobs that Americans won‘t and that family values...
SCARBOROUGH: You mean illegal. You mean illegal immigrants. You mean illegal immigrants, right?
HEADINGTON: Well, I am referring to undocumented immigrants. I don‘t want to get into semantics here, but we are talking about the same community.
SCARBOROUGH: Wait. Hold on a second. When you say undocumented, you mean people that came into the country illegally?
HEADINGTON: Yes, we are talking about the same community.
SPENCE: No, actually, he blurred the language there. If you notice, there‘s a difference between legal immigrants and illegal immigrants.
SPENCE: And he want to lump them together.
HEADINGTON: Well, I don‘t think there‘s a great benefit here to get into semantics.
And let me explain why. When we did polling back in May to hear from voters where they felt on the issues, we used the term illegal immigrants. And we said, look, will you support driver‘s licenses for illegal immigrants if it has certain restrictions? And 54 percent of California voters will do that.
The question is, how do you bridge the gap between encumbering immigrants with more responsibility, while at the same time strengthening national security and public safety? This bill does that. And that is what this ad is about.
SCARBOROUGH: All right.
But, gentlemen, I want to show our audience the ad. And it shows the picture of an illegal immigrant worker with the headline, “Nominated Best Nanny in a Supporting Role.” And it reads: “I am trusted every day to use my hands and my heart to nurture and care for children who are not my own. I am welcomed into the most personal parts of people‘s lives, but I‘m not trusted with a license to drive a car.”
And, Mike Spence, I would say the reason why they are allowed in the homes is because they are hired illegally, and the reason why they are not allowed to get driver‘s licenses is because they are here illegally. Explain it to me. As Denzel Washington said in “Philadelphia,” explain it to me like I am a fourth grader, because I don‘t understand.
SPENCE: When you break the law, you shouldn‘t be rewarded with a driver‘s license or any other state benefit. And that is why hopefully voters will get to solve this issue in a special election with the Save Our License initiative that will ban driver‘s licenses forever, as well as other services for people breaking the law.
There‘s a right way to do something. That is to come here legally, become part of America. You can work here legally. The answer isn‘t to come here illegally, get hired by Hollywood or whoever and continue to break our laws. If you look at that ad, it also talks about help us obey the state law, ignoring the fact that if you are working illegally, you‘re here illegally, you are breaking all kinds of other laws.
SCARBOROUGH: Mike, let‘s talk about Hollywood for a second and talk about why they are getting involved in this campaign. The guy who wrote “Million Dollar Baby” said this—quote—“A lot of us in the entertainment business are terribly spoiled and we live in a world where we are overprotected and overpaid. At the same time, I think we have a duty to give voice to those who perhaps haven‘t had the same access. It‘s about basic fairness.”
Mike, is it about basic fairness?
SPENCE: Well, it is about fairness. There are people who came here legally and there are people who came here illegally. And we should never give a benefit to someone here illegally. That‘s fairness.
He would feel differently, too, I think, if we could hire someone here illegally to do his job at about a third the cost. I think they might start having a different perspective about jobs and about this particular issue.
SCARBOROUGH: What about national security? Ed brings up the issue of national security. A lot of law enforcement officers say, you know what, if they are illegal and they are here, we are going to want to know where they are, not because of these Hollywood stars that want their nannies to have driver‘s licenses, but because it‘s safer for us to have them documented. What do you say to that?
SPENCE: Well, the reality is, we can never prove the kinds of documentation necessary on who they are. Many of the countries people come from don‘t have sophisticated databases, and, in fact, many of the people coming here could be fleeing law enforcement in their home country, and we would never know that, no matter what kind of background check we did.
It makes no sense to have someone go into a government office, say, hi, I am breaking the law, and then we give them a legal document, so they can stay here, get benefits, have the right to vote, of course, illegally, all those things, but to give them access to those things. That makes no sense from a national security perspective.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Edward, I will give you the last word.
HEADINGTON: This bill is about strengthening national security and public safety and bridging the gap between immigrant responsibility. And that‘s what we are trying to do here in California. This is the center of the national debate. This is what everyone is talking about.
And it goes to the heart of what we are as Americans. Are we going to find ways to bring us together or find ways to divide us? That is the track that Mike Spence is on and his extreme faction of Republican Party that seems hell-bent on taking care of the immigrant problem in California on their own, when, in fact, we can do more at the federal level and do what we can here in California, just like the other 10 states that allow undocumented immigrants to drive.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. All right. Thanks a lot, Ed Headington.
And thank you, Mike Spence. I appreciate both of you being here.
Now, I don‘t think it‘s divisive. Again, just my opinion. I don‘t think it‘s divisive to make sure that, when people come to America, they come here legally. That‘s what people have to do from Europe, from Asia, from Africa, from across the world. If they have got to play by the rules, then immigrants from Mexico need to play by the rules also. That is fair.
And, by the way, he is right. Mr. Headington is right. Their position is the president‘s position. And the president is wrong, too.
And now a look at some of the stories in the flyover space between Manhattan and the West Coast, of course, stories that aren‘t covered by the mainstream media.
First, in Wisconsin, an Election Day mystery is solved. Now, you remember the story of the 25 Wisconsin GOP vans that were rented to drive Bush voters to the polls, that is, of course, before their tires were slashed? Well, it seems the political whodunit was solved today, as the Wisconsin police arrested the son of a Wisconsin Democratic state senator. The old chip off the block was charged with vandalizing the vans. He‘s now probably facing jail time.
And, in Ohio, the former police chief is going on trial next week. And his charge is paddling juveniles for traffic violations. The trial starts Monday, and the paddling policeman faces 50 felony and misdemeanor charges.
And, in South Carolina, Armstrong Williams returns. He delivers a speech to about 225 people at the Mullins Chamber of Commerce banquet. Now, Williams called the probe into his $240,000 payoff from the Bush administration a—quote—“witch-hunt.” The crowd gave him a standing ovation.
You know, it‘s got to be nice to be on public dole and still preach about the virtues of free enterprise. Good job if you can get it.
And coming up on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY next, a new sex study shows that parents think that they are teaching their kids about sex. The problem is, teens don‘t agree. And they say they are getting it from TV and Britney Spears. We‘ll tell you about that and some of the other shocking results.
And then, the Oscar nominations are out. But guess who is not in the running for the big prizes? Mel Gibson and “The Passion.” We are going to be talking about that a little bit later.
So, don‘t go away. SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY will return.
SCARBOROUGH: There‘s a new sex study out. And we will tell you the shocking news when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
But, first, let‘s get the latest news that your family needs to know.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: Sex sells, especially if your target audience is teenagers.
Now, that is true whether you are talking about music, movies, or prom dresses. And these little numbers were featured on “The Today Show” as some of the favorite outfits for the 2005 prom season, which, of course, may explain some of the troubling numbers behind an extensive study on teen sex released by NBC and “People” magazine. The study reports that three in 10 kids between 13 and 16 say that they are—quote—“sexually active,” engaging in everything from oral sex to intercourse.
Here to talk about this stunning development are Dr. Jennifer Berman of the UCLA Female Sexual Medicine Center and Wendy Wright from Concerned Women For America.
Doctor, let me begin with you. I have got kids. I have got a 14-year-old. I have got a 17-year-old. I got a baby daughter. I am going to tell you, I am laughing, but this stuff scares me to death. Is this part of a trend? Are things getting better? Are they getting worse? Give me some good news as a parent of two teenagers.
DR. JENNIFER BERMAN, FEMALE SEXUAL MEDICINE CENTER: Well, I have got two little ones, but I do pity you with a 17-year-old.
The point is, is that, in terms of the way this study was designed, they interviewed the teenagers, as well as the parents in the same home. And what they found was very optimistic, at least from the parents‘ perspective, results, that teens really seem to be informed and aren‘t really having sex as much as we think they are.
This is really quite different from previous studies that we have seen where the, by definition, youngsters are definitely engaging in a wide variety of sexual activities, from anything from oral sex all the way into intercourse. So, the point is, is that while this study is optimistic, I think it‘s really important to get the message out to children, the teenagers, as well as the parents, that kids are experimenting. It‘s all over the media, all over the Internet, all over the television and the television shows.
And we need to inform them and educate them about safer sex and risks of sexual activity.
SCARBOROUGH: Wendy Wright, what is your take on this latest study, the latest information?
WENDY WRIGHT, SENIOR POLICY DIRECTOR, CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA:
You know, it actually is encouraging that only three out of 10 are sexually active, and sexually active being not only penetration. It could be less than that, activity less than that.
That‘s encouraging because the sexperts, the sex experts, are always telling us that kids are all doing it, and so, therefore, we need to accommodate them. We need to be buying materials and buying services, especially government-paid services, whether it be contraception or sex ed materials, to accommodate these kids and teach them graphic ways of experimenting with sex.
WRIGHT: The fact that it‘s only three out of 10, but actually, it‘s only 12 to 13 percent that are involved in the ultimate forms of sexual activity is encouraging.
What I also find extremely encouraging about this survey is that the kids who are not sexually active, the majority of them say they made a conscious decision to not be sexually active. And many of them said, it‘s because of their parents. Parents, you need to be encouraged. Now, here‘s something very interesting. Most of the kids, 70 percent said that the information...
BERMAN: Wendy, do you have children of your own or—at 13, because
· maybe I am in California and things are different out here, but I was just at a bar mitzvah a week or two ago and was shocked and verging on repulsed by the sexual behavior, sexual dancing, and discussions about oral sex going on in the bathroom, under the table, and everything else. These were 13-year-olds.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, how old—Doctor, they were 13-year-olds, you say?
BERMAN: Thirteen, a bar mitzvah. How old are—they are 13.
SCARBOROUGH: This is what shocks me. Doctor, this is what shocked me. Again, and I know any of my kids‘ friends hear this, they are going to kill me tomorrow—my kids are going to kill me when they come home from school. But I threw an eighth grade graduation party for my 17-year-old son back when he was in eighth grade. I guess he was 13, 14 years old back then, my oldest son. I played in rock bands from the time I was 12 years old.
BERMAN: Been around the block a couple of times?
SCARBOROUGH: Been around the block. I am not easily shocked. I was absolutely stunned by what these 13-year-old girls were wearing in public and what they were talking about at this party. Now, this is a new development, isn‘t it, a more aggressive female teenager?
BERMAN: More aggressive, more aggressive, more empowered, the dancing, the dirty dancing. They dance as if they are having sex. So, granted, maybe the penetration isn‘t happening, but the dancing and gyrating that is going on, and that is coming from the media.
So, yes, the empowered woman, the assertive woman, and the sexually aggressive woman is the direction that we are heading towards. And this study contradicts all of that. I don‘t really know why that is or where that‘s coming from, but I think it really needs to be validated and expanded upon.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, there‘s a part of this study that talks about where teenagers get their information; 70 percent say they do get the information from their parents; 53 percent say they get it from friends, teachers, school counselors, or the nurse.
And this is scary, that 51 percent of these kids say they get sex education from TV and the movies. Only 19 percent say they go online for information. Only 12 percent say they talk to a religious person about sex.
Wendy Wright, don‘t you think it‘s just wonderful that teenagers are learning about sex from the likes of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and those type of wholesome role models?
WRIGHT: What I do think is amazing is, these kids are bombarded with these media messages and these role models, and yet, according to this survey, we are finding that they are not following the example all the way.
Now, I think that you do find pockets, and certainly the kids do talk a lot about sex, and I think it‘s because they feel that they are expected to. Another thing I found very interesting in this survey is that the kids say that their parents are very influential in their decision-making, but the parents feel that they don‘t really...
SCARBOROUGH: We got a picture of Paris Hilton up here. Here is somebody that has just risen to the top of America‘s sort of pop culture platform, and a lot of teenagers look up to her as somebody who is famous. And yet, of course, she got famous primarily by having a porn video and having it released.
BERMAN: She has very conservative, very wholesome, very involved parents. So what children do and how they behave isn‘t always a direct consequence of what the parents are doing or not doing.
WRIGHT: But I think kids do learn from that. They see the kind of negative response when it came out that she was involved in this porn video. And, yes, they may look at her somewhat as a role model, but they don‘t want that reputation.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, you know, Jennifer...
BERMAN: Got her a television show and...
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, and a lot of money.
Jennifer, I found something interesting reading some of these studies, and not just this one, but other ones, talking about how teenagers are now bombarded with more sexual images by the time they are 13, 14, 15 years old because of the Internet, because of cable TV, because of a lot of other things, than you or I or any other generation before.
And, in a sense, it‘s almost made them more cynical, almost made them tougher, and almost made them somehow almost get calloused about sex. Do you think there may be a positive aspect of that, that it no longer shocks them and they can almost get bored?
BERMAN: Well, to some degree, it‘s less titillating, novel, exciting, that once you get saturated with that, it loses its novelty and it may be less appealing.
But the point is, is that their brains aren‘t always ready and their maturity level isn‘t always ready, emotional and physical, to deal with those images and to deal with the results and consequences of the emotions that are raised, so, we have—which, again, brings us back to the point that the parents really do need to be involved. We can‘t rely on school. We can‘t rely on church. We can‘t rely on abstinence-based education. It really needs to start at home and before the age of 13.
SCARBOROUGH: And, Wendy Wright, one of the things that parents can tell them is that, if they have sex with one person, they are having sex with every person, in effect, that that person had sex with. Reuters actually released a study today and looked at some compelling numbers, and it was what they called the first teen sex map that was drawn up.
It was a study conducted in one American town, and this is what Reuters claims. “A chain of 288 one-to-one sexual relationships at a high school in the United States Midwest, meaning the teenager at the end of the chain may have had direct sexual contact with only one person, but indirect contact with 286 others.”
Should we all just clip that one off and put it on the refrigerator door to scare our kids?
WRIGHT: I think it would be helpful for kids to understand this.
And that was one of the reasons given for the kids who said they made a conscious decision to not be sexually active. They said it was fear of STDs. What is interesting is the groups that profit off of kids being sexually active, such as Planned Parenthood, they say that by giving this kind of information out, it‘s fear-based, that it‘s instilling fear, and that‘s the wrong kind of information to be giving kids.
WRIGHT: Well, they are wrong.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, I think the information will scare kids. I don‘t know that that is a bad thing.
Dr. Jennifer Berman, Wendy Wright, thanks a lot for being with us tonight. We greatly appreciate it.
WRIGHT: Thanks, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, coming up, never thought I would say this, but I agree with Howard Stern. I have got issues with the FCC, and that‘s coming up next.
SCARBOROUGH: Talking about false alarms, going after McDonald‘s, man, that‘s a false alarm. Keep your hands off my Big Mac.
I‘m Joe Scarborough, and I dig a pony, baby, because I got issues.
First of all, I‘ve got issues with “The New York Times.” What a surprise. It‘s probably just my own fault for reading it every day, but, still, I have got issues. In a front-page article today about next weekend‘s Iraqi elections, “The New York Times” writes that the Sunni leaders have stopped talking about how to delay the election and are now talking about how to participate in drawing up the Constitution. The reporter adds this—quote—“This talk by prominent Sunnis is the most positive sign yet that there is still a chance they will take part in the political process, potentially bolstering the beleaguered American effort to plant democracy in the Middle East.”
Hey, the reason they want to participate in this election is because President Bush and the United States military ignored “The New York Times,” ignored its doom-and-gloom editorials, ignored its leftist columnists, and forced this election to take place on January the 30th. If the Sunnis want to stay at home and complain about the election, fine. But the national—but the nation will finally have democratic elections. And freedom, not tyranny, will be the new order of Iraq ushered in by President Bush and the brave men and women of the United States armed forces.
It‘s got nothing to do with the Sunnis and everything to do with America being resolute.
Now, speaking of new eras, thank goodness there‘s a new era coming to the FCC as well. Chairman Powell is out, after spending his tenure talking like Potter Stewart, telling broadcasters that he can‘t really define indecency himself, but he certainly knows it when he sees it. Hey, gee, Mike, thanks for nothing.
Maybe that‘s why groups like the Parents Television Council filed dozens of frivolous claims against shows like “Friends” and “The Simpsons,” more than 30 of which the FCC summarily shot down. Now, the “Friends” complaint referred to characters talking about fertility treatment. Is that shocking? Is that indecent? Hell, that sounds like Ms. Parker‘s fifth grade health class.
And, finally, I have got issues with Hollywood and the academy. I cannot believe they snubbed the best movie of the year, clearly recognizable, not only by its box office gains, but also by its artistic achievement in telling the compelling life story of one man who has defined our culture.
I speak, of course, of “Anchorman,” the life of Ron Burgundy. It‘s a work staggering genius. And, today, Ron Burgundy was snubbed by the Academy Awards.
Now, with us now to talk about the Oscars and this horrible snub of Ron Burgundy is MSNBC‘s Dana Kennedy.
OK, let‘s forget about Ron for a second, Dana, and let‘s talk instead...
DANA KENNEDY, NBC ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR: OK.
SCARBOROUGH: ... about the two movies that America talked about the most in 2004, “The Passion” and “Fahrenheit 9/11,” two huge box office successes. Both won People‘s Choice Awards, both snubbed today by the academy. What does that say about Hollywood? What does it say about the academy?
KENNEDY: Well, in this case, I think Hollywood is playing right into Mel Gibson‘s hands. I don‘t think Mel Gibson is upset at all today that he wasn‘t nominated for an Oscar, as far as one of the big categories.
I think Mel Gibson made a success out of “Passion of the Christ” because he deliberately snubbed Hollywood. He went after the conservatives. He got them. And, in fact, Joe, I would argue that what Mel Gibson did with “Passion of the Christ”—and, as you know, I had my issues with it as far as what I thought was a bias—but I will still say, I think Mel Gibson‘s movie is bigger by the Oscars.
I think, in fact, getting snubbed by them makes the legend of “Passion of the Christ” even bigger. And I really think that‘s what Mel Gibson wanted. In fact, the rise and the incredible success of this movie really presaged the rise of the so-called red state culture in our popular culture and presaged the reelection of George Bush.
SCARBOROUGH: We talked, Dana, so much throughout this past year about “The Passion.” Then we talked about “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
And isn‘t it remarkable? It really did define the split between red state America and blue state America.
Now, we have talked about “The Passion.” When we come back, Dana, I want to talk about blue state America‘s favorite movie, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” and why it got snubbed.
That‘s when we come back in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY in just a second. And you can also give us some predictions.
SCARBOROUGH: Is there a bias in Hollywood, and did it actually work against Michael Moore? That when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: Dana, talk about—if you can, Dana, talk about why “Fahrenheit 9/11” got snubbed. And give us some of your predictions.
KENNEDY: I think it got snubbed because Michael Moore got a little bit too big for his britches this year.
He took his movie out of contention for best documentary, where it may have gotten nominated. It just wasn‘t going to go over for best picture. For best picture, even though “The Aviator” got 11 nominations, I am just not feeling it. I think “Million Dollar Baby” could be the sleeper of this year. I‘m looking for that for best picture. And for best actor, Jamie Foxx of “Ray,” even though Don Cheadle was great.
And best actress, I want Hilary Swank of “Million Dollar Baby” to knock out Annette Bening, the same way she did three years ago. She was really, really great in that movie. And supporting actor, again, I have to say Jamie Foxx. “Collateral,” my favorite movie of the year, thought it was great.
And also, most importantly, best supporting actress, academy voters, listen to me. You have to, have to, have to vote for Virginia Madsen. She was so great. She came out of nowhere. They wrote her off. She‘s like 40-years-plus, so you‘re like history in Hollywood. She was so good in “Sideways.” Please vote for her.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Dana.
KENNEDY: Did I make myself clear?
SCARBOROUGH: Thank you for being here and making yourself clear.
Greatly appreciate it.
My big surprise, Jim Carrey got snubbed, “Eternal Sunshine” got snubbed. I think this is going to be Clint Eastwood‘s year. I think he‘s going to have a big, big night Oscar night.
Dana, thanks, as always.
KENNEDY: My one prediction, Jim Carrey will some day get an Oscar.
It will be the best speech ever, I guarantee you.
SCARBOROUGH: One of these days.
SCARBOROUGH: And I can‘t wait for the facial expressions.
SCARBOROUGH: Thanks for being with us, Dana.
And we will see the rest of you tomorrow night.
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