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'Scarborough Country' for June 23

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

Guest: Govindini Murty, Arlene Ellis-Schipper, Rob Dinan, Candice DeLong, Mariaine Croes, Karl Rove, Marcia Twitty

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Developing news out of Aruba, as the father of a key suspect is arrested.  Did he and his son have a hand in Natalee Holloway's disappearance? 

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  No passport required, only common sense allowed. 

Paul Van Der Sloot, the justice official whose son Natalee—last saw Natalee Holloway, is now behind bars.  We'll have reaction from Natalee's family.  And we are going to go live to Aruba for the very latest. 

Then, Karl Rove, the president's closest adviser, outraged Democrats in a speech he made last night in Manhattan.  Now Hillary Clinton wants him fired.  Tonight, though, he's in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

Plus, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Kidman, even Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes all starring in summer blockbusters that are more than a little familiar.  Why is Hollywood in a creative freefall? 

ANNOUNCER:  From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all.  Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

Hey, welcome to the show tonight, live from West Palm Beach. 

Now, in a few minutes, we are going to have my live exclusive interview with White House adviser Karl Rove.  He has kicked up a storm with comments he made last night about the Democrats after September 11. 

But, first, a dramatic development today in the search for the fatheractually the Aruba search.  The father of 17-year-old suspect Joran Van Der Sloot was arrested on—quote—“suspicion that he was involved in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.”

Tonight, it appears Joran himself has again changed his story. 

With us now from Aruba live with the very latest is NBC's Ron Blome.

Ron, bring us up to date. 

RON BLOME, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, it was a stunning development here. 

The witness becomes a suspect, and now both father and son are behind bars, both arrested for the same thing, suspicion of being involved in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.  The arrest came at 2:00 this afternoon, as Paul Van Der Sloot was coming home with his wife from visiting their son on the other side of the island.  Paul didn't get to see him.  The wife did.  They were coming back.

A neighbor said, there's a lot of activity at your house.  The police are here. 

They drove to the police station.  Obviously, he may have been expecting it.  Just last weekend, he was interviewed for seven hours as a witness.  But, as we said, he has turned into a suspect now.  Natalee Holloway's tonight family reacted very positively to this.  They said they had been hoping for this.  They are happy about it.  They think it may advance the investigation.

But some of the neighbors of the Van Der Sloots and friends of theirs say this arrest was prompted only by intense U.S. media pressure. 

For instance, listen to these comments from friend and neighbor Bob Schlowsky . 


BOB SCHLOWSKY, FRIEND OF THE VAN DER SLOOTS:  Some of the people in the American media have just jumped on this and said, oh, now, they arrested dad.  This whole family is guilty.  That's wrong.  That's just the wrong way to treat people.  It's the wrong way to treat the investigation, and it's the wrong way for people to lose their civil liberties. 


BLOME:  Let me tell you about another development that has the Holloway family on the upside to now. 

And that is the arrival of Texas EquuSearch.  Four members of a lead team came in tonight.  It's a volunteer group from Texas.  They claim a 70 percent success rate in solving cases and finding people; 17 more will arrive tomorrow, along with dogs, sidescan sonar.  They are going to make a very intensive search of the island.

And their leader, Tim Miller, says they are going to do this with the cooperation of the Aruba government, their blessings. 


TIM MILLER, TEXAS EQUUSEARCH:  I think people are going to be surprised how we are going to be working with the authorities, hand in hand.  And everybody is going to be here for one reason.  And that's to find Natalee. 


BLOME:  And, Joe, Tim Miller says he expects to have this wrapped up within five days.  He is very optimistic that they are going to find something—back to you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Ron, fascinating developments today.  Thanks so much for your report. 

Now, earlier today, an emotional woman Anita Van Der Sloot talked about her husband and son, who are now both in custody. 


ANITA VAN DER SLOOT, MOTHER OF SUSPECT:  My thoughts are with the family.  My thoughts are with Natalee.  I know she is alive.  She is somewhere.  She is alive.  And I should have brought her to a responsible adult.  That, I blame myself and I will blame my whole life.

But the truth will come out, and I will be out of here soon. 

That my husband, who is a man full of integrity, who worked for 15 years in the (INAUDIBLE) department, that he got taken like this, without any evidence, without any—without anything?  That—I was just furious. 


SCARBOROUGH:  What a remarkable, tragic story. 

You know, when we first broke this story, nearly a month ago, we spoke the first night to Marcia Twitty.  She's Natalee's aunt.  And she is with us again. 

Marcia, thank you so much for being us.  How is the family reacting to the arrest of Paul Van Der Sloot and what do you make of it? 

MARCIA TWITTY, AUNT OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY:  Well, you know, from the very beginning, when this all started, we knew that those—the three kids were the last ones to have seen Natalee, so we felt like they had information.

And if you talked about from the very day she arrived in Aruba, and she had an encounter with Mr. Van Der Sloot, she felt like from the very beginning that he had information as to where Natalee might be.  And to this day, she still believes he has information that could help us find Natalee. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And talk about that first time when she met him.  They talked face to face.  I mean, there was a confrontation.  She believed that the son had information.  She believed the father had information.  Was it just instinct?  Was it just gut?  How did she know that? 

TWITTY:  Yes, I think it was just absolute that mother instinct that you know something that you are not telling me.  And she has never changed her mind, not one time since she has been there.  She really feels like they have information as to where Natalee is.

And hopefully now, with them bringing the father in, that we can hopefully be on the right track and really get to some answers, so that we can find Natalee and bring everybody home. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know what is so remarkable, Marcia?  Again, I remember we talked to you that first night, when I read about this story on the wires, before anybody was really reporting it.  You were on a cell phone.  We could hardly hear you talking.  That seems like a lifetime ago.  Can you believe it's taken Aruban authorities—first of all, it took them 11 days to arrest these guys who were last seen with Natalee.

And now it's taken, you know, what, another three, three and a half weeks to pull this guy in.  I mean, can you believe it's taken Aruban authorities as long as it has to bring some of these people, again, who probably know what's going on in this case better than anybody else, but to bring them inside and to really start applying pressure to them? 

TWITTY:  Yes, three—I guess we are just so used to American government.  and having to learn a Dutch government, I think, has been a huge learning curve for everybody. 

Three weeks seems an extensively long time to so desperately want answers to a missing child.  So, yes, it seems very long.  But, hopefully, now, maybe we are getting somewhere.  This is just another piece of the puzzle that we so desperately have needed. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, you know, Marcia, I was going to ask you how the family's spirits are today.  I mean, it's been bad news day after day after day.

But, today, it actually looks like there may be a little hope about cracking this case.  It seems like Aruban authorities finally getting serious, doing the things that you all know have needed to be done.  And, of course, you have got rescuers coming in, searchers coming in from Texas, 70 percent success rate.  I mean, this actually looks like it may have been the first good day that this family has had in quite some time. 

TWITTY:  It really is. 

I think this kind of—everybody that I talked to today—and it was really only briefly—but when I did, there was this whole sense of hope that we were going to maybe now find some answers.  Beth and the family down there, they desperately deserve answers as to where Natalee is.  Maybe we are going to get them now. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Marcia, final—final question, Marcia.  How is the family doing tonight?  How is Natalee's mom and dad and step-dad?  How are you doing tonight?  This ordeal just keeps going on and on.  You know, miracles happen.  They happened in Utah.  Do you all still believe that Natalee may come home to you safely? 

TWITTY:  You know what?  We all have to believe that.  We do.  You know, the little boy was found.  We can find Natalee.  We are not giving up.  Beth has relentlessly said she is not coming home without Natalee. 

You know, absolutely.  We have hope.  We have hope that we are going to find Natalee.  And maybe now we are getting to a point to where all the things are now kind of clicking and we can get those answers and find her and bring everybody home.  It's time. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thanks a lot, Marcia. 

As always, we appreciate being with us.

TWITTY:  Thanks.

SCARBOROUGH:  And, please, pass along to the family all of our thoughts and prayers.  We continue to think and pray for you and the family. 

TWITTY:  Absolutely.  I'll pass that along.

SCARBOROUGH:  Now let's go back to Aruba. 

All right.  Thank you.

Now let's go back to Aruba.  And we are going to be talking to Arlene Ellis-Schipper.

She's an attorney.

And, Arlene, I appreciate you being with us.  I understand that you know Mr. Van Der Sloot.  Can you tell us about him, tell us about the family, how respected they are on the island? 

ARLENE ELLIS-SCHIPPER, ARUBAN ATTORNEY:  Well, I know Mr. Van Der Sloot is a very quiet, soft-spoken, kind man.  I have had the pleasure actually of working with him.  And we are just very shocked here on the island.  And I am shocked at what has happened today. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you think, as Mrs. Van Der Sloot believes, that this may have been brought about by media pressure from the United States? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  Well, I don't agree with that. 

You know, public prosecution office in Aruba is very careful about what it does, especially with the eye on them, and they have to have suspicion of involvement in a criminal offense to arrest someone and especially to keep him in police custody.  And I think that they are having that suspicion. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So, tell me what happens to him now.  Again, we in America don't understand what goes on in the Aruban judicial system.  How long can they hold him in custody before they have either got to charge him with a crime or release him to go back home? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  Well, I hear the question about charging with a crime, that term, a lot. 

Charging with a crime implies that you know what criminal offense has been committed.  And, at this point, I understand that the authorities simply don't know yet what exact criminal offense has been committed.  What I do know, what I can tell you about our system is that the police custody lasts a total of 10 days.  It is, again, two times, 48 hours, after which the prosecutor can ask for an extension of the police custody. 

After three days, a judge of instructions will assess whether there's enough—whether the arrest was made justfully.  And after the 10 days of police custody, he profoundly assesses the case, whether there's enough probable cause for—to grant a petition of pretrial detention. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  Let me ask you this final question, Arlene.  What are your friends, what are your neighbors, what are other people on the island saying right now about this arrest, about this whole incident?  These things obviously don't happen on Aruba often.  You have got a very peaceful island.  What is the attitude of the locals there tonight? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  Well, I can assure you, everybody was shocked today.  It was on all the radio stations.  The people were just shocked and amazed of this arrest. 

As you know, I am a bystander, like you are.  We don't know what exactly has led to this arrest, but we were just shocked.  Everybody was screaming on the radio about this arrest, and just it was so out of character for the family, Van Der Sloot, to have themselves involved in this. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But a lot of anger?  Is it safe to say a lot of people that live in Aruba were angry with this arrest? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  No, angry is not the right word, just shock and amazement. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Just shocked?

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  Everybody is hoping that there's going to be a resolvement of this case soon. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you so much, Arlene.  We greatly appreciate you being with us tonight.  We look forward to speaking with you in the future as this case moves on. 

Now, in a minute, we are going to be going back live to Aruba.  And we are going to talk to someone from the prosecutor's office about the very latest developments. 


KARL ROVE, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BUSH:  It just shows me that, look, there are a lot of Democrats who haven't gotten over the last election.  They're angry.  They're rage-filled.  Look, they thought they were going to win. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Then, he is the president's top adviser.  And now he is at the center of a political firestorm.  And he's in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, one-on-one with Karl Rove coming up.

And it's deja vu all over again, some of today's hottest stars, movies we saw decades ago.  Why is Hollywood getting desperate? 

Well, we are not desperate.  We are just getting started in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Stick around.  We'll be back.


SCARBOROUGH:  Got a lot more straight ahead in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, talking about the disappearance of Natalee Holloway and why the father of Joran Van Der Sloot is in jail tonight.  We are going to be asking someone from the prosecutor's office in Aruba.  Also, my exclusive interview with Karl Rove coming up. 



SCARBOROUGH:  You know, one of those stories—I just got to say this really briefly. 

One of those stories about the Supreme Court decision, unbelievable. 

We will talk about that in a minute. 

An all-star volunteer search team from Texas has landed in Aruba and they immediately took Natalee's father, David, up in the helicopter to search the island. 

Here to talk about the status of the case is Mariaine Croes.  She's with the prosecutor's office in Aruba. 

Mariaine, thank you so much for being with us tonight. 

And can you tell us, why was Paul Van Der Sloot arrested? 

MARIAINE CROES, ARUBAN SPOKESWOMAN:  I can explain his arrest in general terms at this point. 

He was arrested because, at this point in the investigation, there was a reasonable suspicion that is he somehow involved in the disappearance of Ms. Holloway. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Could it be that he is involved—do you believe he is involved in the disappearance and obviously a conspiracy to cover up that crime? 

CROES:  At this point, I can only state in general terms that he is involved in the disappearance.  The farther we go, and we are in the investigation in his case, the more we can tell about the specific suspicions against him. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Ms. Croes, let me ask you, have all you taken—or has anybody taken these three youths out of the jail and taken them to the scene, where I guess Joran was is now claiming he was with Natalee Holloway alone? 

CROES:  At this point, that would be too specific a part of the investigation, that I cannot confirm or deny yet. 

What I can say, though, that, if it has to happen, it will be done.         

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

There are obviously some people in Aruba that are claiming that the prosecutor's office moved on Mr. Van Der Sloot and his son because of intense media pressure from the United States.  What do you say to Anita Van Der Sloot when she levels that charge against the prosecutor's office? 

CROES:  I would have to deny that charge, because a criminal investigation cannot be led by media pressure or any pressure. 

It's what the investigation tells the police to do.  What is the right action to take at that moment, that is what will be done.  For us, the investigation is what leads us and that is for us priority No. 1. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you so much, Mariaine Croes.  We greatly appreciate you being with us tonight.  And we look forward to talking to you as this case moves forward. 

Now let's bring in Rob Dinan.  He's from the New York City Police Department.  And he's also the author of “Drug-Free Teen.”  And also Candice DeLong.  She's a former FBI special agent and the author of “Special Agent.”

Candice, let's start with you.  You predicted this.  I mean, on Monday, when we talked to you, you said, you know what they have done?  They have taken the father in.  They talked to him for seven hours.  They are going to dig into what they get from him.  And when they find an inconsistency, they are going to bring him in.  How did you know? 


Well, you do this kind of thing for 20 years, you see this happen over and over.  When they kept him for seven hours and then he ducked and dodged out the back of the church and didn't make a statement in front of cameras, as his wife has been doing, I knew something was up. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Rob, let me ask you a question.  What do you do?  Obviously, you're with NYPD.  You have done investigations when you have family members together like this.  It's got to be harder to crack the father and crack the son if they are the only two people that know the truth about Natalee Holloway's disappearance.  How do you do it? 

ROB DINAN, AUTHOR, “DRUG-FREE TEEN”:  Well, that's true, Joe.

But with normal investigations and investigations into a crime scene like this, you are mainly looking to separate the two individuals.  And, meanwhile, in this case, they really haven't had the opportunity to do that, because they had the son in custody, and then released the son later that week. 

So the father and the son did have the opportunity to speak and come up with a story that would...

SCARBOROUGH:  For 11 days.  They gave them—they gave them 11 days to get rid of the evidence.  They gave them 11 days to get their stories straight.  And then, when they talked to the father on Sunday, they gave him four more days before they brought him back in.  I mean, so much evidence can be destroyed in that amount of time, can't it? 

DINAN:  Oh, that's true.  I mean, the crime scene needs to be protected right away.  And not protecting the crime scene, not knowing exactly where the crime scene was here in Aruba, and with their current status with investigations, they seem like they haven't done such a good job on protecting the crime scene itself. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  They have done an absolutely—they have done an absolutely horrible job at that.  You are exactly right. 

Candice, let me bring you back in and ask you this question.  We hear from the mother, Anita Van Der Sloot today, that her son is now admitting that he was on the beach with Natalee the night she disappeared.  Changed his story.  According to reports, this is the second or third time that he has changed his story. 

First of all, what does it mean that he keeps changing his story?  Secondly, what does it mean to police officers that he has now put himself at the scene by himself with this missing girl? 

DELONG:  Well, of course, to me, the fact that he keeps changing his story indicates that he has at least lied about the first—you know, he has lied about probably the first two stories.  Now the third story, third that we know of, he has actually apparently named a place on a beach where he was.  The first thing that occurred to me when I heard that was shades of the Scott Peterson case. 

Scott deliberately put himself at what turned out to be the crime scene.  We know now because he suspected he might have been seen by some other fishermen.  But, of course, Scott never thought that body was going to float up.  Now we have Joran saying, OK, well, what I told you before wasn't really true.  But, OK, I was with her on this beach. 

What occurs to me is that he thinks maybe he had been seen or perhaps something is going to turn up that is going to put him at somewhere where he said he wasn't.  And now he can always say, well, yes, I know you found her shoe there, but I told you I was there. 


And let me ask you this, Rob.  What do you do next?  What are we missing here?  What are the Aruban authorities missing here?  What do we do to crack this case? 

DINAN:  Well, obviously, with the two individuals who are now the main suspects, the father and the son, you really need to separate them.  And then the mother is having the visits, which is really not a proper cause of action for the Aruban authorities. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Why not?  Because she can pass information back and forth? 

DINAN:  She can pass information back and forth to both individuals.  And separating them and having their stories clear and concise, what they are saying, which they are really not saying the truth at this point.  But...


SCARBOROUGH:  So, Rob, you keep the mother away from both of them, so she can't see her father or her son. 

DINAN:  That's correct. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It sounds like strong medicine, Candice.  Do you agree that's what you need to do? 

DELONG:  Unless, under the system of law they are dealing with, they can wire the room up and surreptitiously record what is going on.

But if they are not doing that, I would say definitely they should not be allowed to visit, with the same person visiting both of them.  She has an interest in the well-being of both of them, wouldn't you say? 

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt about it, Candice.  Thanks for being with us, Candice DeLong and Rob Dinan.  Greatly appreciate it. 

And I will tell you what.  The first thing I would do is, I would drag the young kid out to the scene of possibly the crime and make me show—have him show me where he last saw Natalee, and then start the search there.  You just don't know, though, with these Aruban authorities, whether they are doing that or not.  We will be following it, though. 

Now, as you know, you can't turn on a TV today without seeing my next guest.  The president's key adviser, Karl Rove, is at the center of a Washington firestorm.  And he is in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY tonight. 

Also, is Hollywood's summer in freefall?  Yes, you know, actually, it is.  The big question is, why does Hollywood keep recycling old hits and feeding it to us again over and over again?  We will tell you when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 


SCARBOROUGH:  His comments last night about September 11 touched off a firestorm in Washington, D.C., Karl Rove pulling no punches.  He is in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY next doing the same thing.

But first, here's the latest news that you and your family need to know.  



KARL ROVE, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BUSH:  Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war.  Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding to our attackers. 

In the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban. 


SCARBOROUGH:  That was President Bush's top adviser, Karl Rove, at a fund-raiser in New York City last night. 

As you know by now, those comments started a firestorm on Capitol Hill.  And the Democrats are out for blood.  Take a listen. 


SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK:  There's a certain line that you should not cross.  And last night, Karl Rove crossed that line.  He didn't just put his toe over the line.  He jumped way over it. 

SEN. FRANK LAUTENBERG (D), NEW JERSEY:  It is outrageous that he would suggest that those of us who disagree with him politically want to aid the terrorists.  

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK:  The only way we'll know for sure as to what his real intention was last night in New York City is whether or not he retracts these comments and apologizes for them. 


SCARBOROUGH:  You know, that's amazing. 

Here, we have got Democrats that have problems with Karl Rove attacking liberals.  I guess they are saying to us tonight, we are all liberals.  And yet, when Dick Durbin, their leader, their No. 2 person in the United States Senate compared our soldiers and Marines to Nazis, the Soviet communists who ran gulags, who killed 20 to 30 million of their own people and to the Khmer Rouge, none of those people came out telling Dick Durbin to retract their statements. 

I don't understand it.  Maybe they are just being cynical.  I don't know. 

Anyway, the White House says that Karl Rove doesn't need to apologize because, according to spokesman Scott McClellan, Rove was simply pointing out the different philosophies and different approaches when it comes to winning the war on terrorism. 

Now, I sat down with Karl Rove yesterday in New York, right before he gave that speech.  And I asked him about the different approaches that Republicans and liberals have in the war on terror. 


ROVE:  They are dominated today by sort of the wing of the Democratic Party, you know, the Howard Deans, the Dick Durbins, the, the Michael Moores, and saying outrageous things like this. 

I don't know.  I don't understand.  Remember,, in the aftermath of 9/11, ran a huge petition drive, a big ad in “The New York Times” and other newspapers, asking for us to have understanding and tolerance of the Taliban and discouraging any violent response to 9/11.  This just shows how out of touch these people are. 

And when someone takes to the floor of the United States Senate and says that the men and women serving at Guantanamo are equivalent to the Nazis, the Stalinists and the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot, murderers, it's pretty remarkably tone deaf. 


SCARBOROUGH:  But the Democratic leadership doesn't step out. 

ROVE:  No.  No.

SCARBOROUGH:  We saw—like, for instance, we saw with Trent Lott.  Trent Lott makes a statement, off-the-cuff remark, which doesn't put American troops' lives in danger, the entire Republican Party steps out and attacks him because of it. 

You have got Dick Durbin, again, one of the most powerful Democrats in the Senate, making these outrageous comments.  Democrats remain quiet in Washington.


ROVE:  Well, look, this is—this is the way that it goes. 

Nobody—nobody—when Howard Dean goes out and says Republicans are evil, you know, what happens is, he gets rewarded by an on-camera visit with Harry Reid, sitting in the leader's office, smiling for the cameras.  When these vicious attacks are put on American troops in Guantanamo Bay who are putting their lives on the line to guard, I would remind you, several hundred people that we picked up on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan, wielding weapons against our troops and our coalition partners and the Afghan and Iraqi people, I mean, these are not guys that were picked up for, you know, throwing gum on the street. 


ROVE:  These are guys who were wielding AK-47s, trying to kill our people.

You know, to say that the people who guard them and who treat them with utmost respect and dignity—I mean, these are not signatories to the Geneva Convention.  These are illegal combatants. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And Americans get it.

ROVE:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, a Gallup poll out this week says that the majority of Americans, by about 20 percentage points, want Gitmo to remain open. 

ROVE:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What does that tell you? 

ROVE:  It just shows me that, look, there are a lot of Democrats who have not gotten over the last election.  They're rage-filled.  Look, they thought they were going to win. 

SCARBOROUGH:  They hate you.


ROVE:  They thought they were going to win. 

They outspent us by $124 million, if you add what the Democrat 527s, the DNC and Kerry spent, vs. what the RNC, Bush-Cheney, and Republican-oriented 527s spent.  They outspent us by $124 million.  They thought they were going to win.  They have never gotten over 2000.  They will not get over 2004.  And they are just letting their rage work its way through.  And that's not helpful for them or for the system. 

And we will persevere.  I mean, it gives a short-term gain, gives them long-term disadvantage.  But, more importantly, it doesn't serve the country.  I mean, we ought to be—we ought to let elections be elections, and then, once the elections are past, there ought to be a time where we try and find common cause. 

Now, we have been finding common cause.  The class-action lawsuit reform bill, which took six years to pass, passed quickly this year.  The bankruptcy bill, which had been eight years battling, passed this year.  We passed a bunch of resolution, albeit with no Democrat support, that is going to reduce government spending literally by—we are going to actually—the first non—decline in nondiscretionary government spending since Ronald Reagan was president. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Talking about getting—getting things through the United States Congress, let's talk about not so much about John Bolton, but what the problems with Bolton may mean when this summer, the president may be trying to get a Supreme Court nominee through. 

You had John McCain and six other Republicans team up with Robert Byrd.  And they came up with this anti-filibuster deal.  Did you feel like John McCain and those Republican senators betrayed the president, betrayed the Republican Party, betrayed conservatives across America? 

ROVE:  Look, John McCain, for example, is one of the strongest advocates for an up-or-down vote on John Bolton.  We wish that the issue of judicial nominations had been settled once and for all. 

As you know, for 200 and some-odd years, judges, judicial nominations were not routinely filibustered.  In fact, the only time an appellate nominee faced a filibuster was in—under Lyndon Johnson.  And if you go back and read the words of Democrats and Republicans who were discussing the filibuster, they were anguished-filled, because they felt it was the only way that they could cause Lyndon Johnson to rethink the nomination of a person who had received payments under the table from a foundation while in public service.

And, eventually, for those reasons, Johnson withdrew him, because it became an ethical concern. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So, what happens this summer?  Obviously, you know as well as anybody—you can go back to Thomas in '91 -- Bork in '87.  These summer appointments can be some of the dirtiest political battles that America sees. 

ROVE:  Well...

SCARBOROUGH:  How is the president going to get a conservative through the United States Senate for the Supreme Court if he is having trouble getting John Bolton through? 

ROVE:  Well, first of all, look, John Bolton is going to be the United States ambassador to the United Nations.  We will get either an up-or-down vote or he will be the ambassador one way...


SCARBOROUGH:  A recess—possible recess appointment?

ROVE:  Well, I'm not going to—we have got plenty of options we're going to...


SCARBOROUGH:  But that's one possibility that is open...


ROVE:  The best way for the United States to effect reform at the United Nations is to send a straight-talker to the United Nations.

And if the Democrats think they are doing themselves some favor by blocking his nomination, they are kidding themselves. 

SCARBOROUGH:  They're just not going to succeed?

ROVE:  They are not going to succeed. 

And if there is a—we don't know if there will be a Supreme Court vacancy.  But if there is, I am confident the president will nominate a qualified mainstream conservative, somebody who will strictly interpret the Constitution and not legislate from the bench.  And I am also confident that, because of the ability and talent of that individual, that they will be approved by the United States Senate. 

If the Democrats attempt to filibuster, they will suffer politically, like they did in '02 and '04. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Talk about the guy you work for, the guy you have known for a long time.  I mean, George Bush, even Republicans that love the guy, will watch Will Ferrell on “Saturday Night Live” and watch him and just die laughing. 

ROVE:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  The whole world loves laughing at George W. Bush.

And yet, he shocked the world in 2000.  He shocked the world in 2001. 

You guys shocked the world in 2002, the political world in 2004 also. 

ROVE:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, he is underestimated every time. 

ROVE:  We like to...

SCARBOROUGH:  You always heard that Ronald Reagan loved being underestimated. 

ROVE:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Is it the same thing with George Bush and you?  When you see somebody making fun of George Bush, whether it's Jon Stewart or whether it's Will Ferrell, do you sit back and go...


ROVE:  We like to say misunderestimated. 


ROVE:  Yes. 

No, look—and, first of all, he has a good sense of humor about

himself.  He is not somebody who take himself too seriously, which is great

·         one of the reasons it's great to be around him. 


ROVE:  But, look, I mean, the other side constantly underestimates him.  And they constantly misgauge the response of the American people to his agenda. 


SCARBOROUGH:  And that works to his advantage, right?

ROVE:  Sure.  Absolutely. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Final question.  Let's talk about 2008. 

And I want to ask you about Hillary.  I want to ask you about John McCain.  I am going to ask you about Karl Rove.  Will you—will you pack up your bags from Washington and go home and spend some time with your family, or do you think...

ROVE:  After the 2008 elections?

SCARBOROUGH:  Or do you think it's going to be like “Godfather 3”? 

Are they going to just keep pulling you in?


ROVE:  No.

After the 2008 elections, I am heading to Texas. 


ROVE:  I am going to be Davy Crockett heading to Texas. 



SCARBOROUGH:  With your coonskin cap, huh? 

ROVE:  There we go.  That's right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Will you help anybody run for office in 2008? 

ROVE:  I have no idea.  I am a Bush man.  I am for George W. Bush.  I will do what the president tells me to do. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What about Jeb Bush?  Are you for Jeb Bush, too?

ROVE:  I love Jeb Bush.  He is a fantastic governor.  He is—I believe him when he says he has no interest in '80.  But he is just—what a fantastic human being and a great governor.  He really is a remarkable person.

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you think he may be president someday? 

ROVE:  I don't know.  Jeb Bush can be anything he wants to be.  He is a really special guy. 

But what I hear him say is, I'm not running in '08.  But he is a remarkable guy.  You know, from being a Floridian, what a change he has helped bring about in that state. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thanks a lot, Karl. 

ROVE:  Great.  You bet. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Appreciate it. 

ROVE:  Appreciate it. 


SCARBOROUGH:  We're going to have more of my interview with Karl Rove next week. 

Now, if you go to a theater this summer, you may think, you may wonder, why is Hollywood using old ideas trying to save the summer box office?  We are going to be tackling that one coming up. 

And here's a new one, a stolen plane by a drunk guy looking for a good time.  But it's not a laughing matter, because it happened over New York.  We'll tell you that story when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 




LINDSAY LOHAN, ACTRESS:  I don't want to race. 

What are you trying to do to me, crazy little car? 


SCARBOROUGH:  “Herbie” fully reloaded, that's what Hollywood is offering this week.  But is it what Americans want to watch?  Hollywood is in its longest box office slump in 20 years, so, some are saying Hollywood is going back to the future. 

Take a look at some of this year's movies.  In May, a remake of “The Honeymooners” opened up.  It bombed.  Yesterday, it's the remake of '60s movie “Herbie: Fully Loaded,” starring Lindsay Lohan.  Tomorrow, Nicole Kidman in “Bewitched” is going to be opening up.  Then, in July, the remake of 1970s TV show “Dukes of Hazzard” opens.

And further out, we're going to be seeing remakes of '60s TV shows, “I Dream of Jeannie” and “Get Smart.”  Will this remake fad, will it save Hollywood?  I mean, there is panic right now in Tinseltown, because box office receipts continue to decline. 

With me to talk about it, MSNBC entertainment editor Dana Kennedy, and, from the Liberty Film Festival, Govindini Murty. 

Let me start with you, Dana. 

What is happening right now in Hollywood?  Why are we going back to the future and they are doing all of these remakes, when you and I both know there are a lot of fat guys in sweatpants writing some great scripts out there?

DANA KENNEDY, NBC ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR:  Well, they are just not using common sense, Joe, because there was an AP-AOL poll last week which indicated 73 percent of American audiences prefer to watch movies on DVD.

So, if you are going to give them movies they have already kind of

heard about, a remake of “Bewitched”—I mean, do you really, really want

to run out and see Nicole Kidman take over for Elizabeth Montgomery, who

many people still really, really think back to and adore?  You are going to

·         actually, you're going to say, no.  That movie is something I can wait for on DVD. 

Hollywood is not paying attention to what is going on in television.  The shows that are really making audiences take notice are innovations, like “Lost,” like “CSI,” like “Desperate Housewives,” like “24.” 

I don't think people really...

SCARBOROUGH:  They are playing it safe, Dana, aren't they? 

KENNEDY:  They are looking for...

SCARBOROUGH:  They are playing it safe.  And it's only going to make the situation worse. 

KENNEDY:  They are looking for brand names.  I don't think it's going to work. 

As we see, “The Honeymooners” totally tanked.  Not a big surprise, because Cedric the Entertainer is not exactly Jackie Gleason, is he, Joe? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, I am not going to answer that. 

Govindini, tell us what's happening in Hollywood. 

GOVINDINI MURTY, LIBERTY FILM FESTIVAL:  Well, as Dana said, they are playing it safe. 

I mean, Hollywood, as we know, is beset now by franchise mentality, and I think the other major problem with it is the studio development process, which just irons out all creativity. 

The average movie has to go through endless committees.  It takes three to five years to develop.  And I think it is very telling that the most interesting movies that have come out in recent years that have also made the most money, films like Mel Gibson's “The Passion of the Christ,” Pixar's “The Incredibles,” George Lucas' “Star Wars” movies, and Peter Jackson's “Lord of the Rings” films...

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, we are watching right now—we are watching clips right now of a remake of “Dukes of Hazzard.”  How is that one going to play?  Or “Herbie”?  How do you compare that to those type of movies? 


MURTY:  It's not going to do very well, because it's the same old thing.  As Dana was saying, you need to innovate. 

If Hollywood is in trouble financially, every industry has to innovate in order to grow.  Why does Hollywood think it can just do the same thing over and over again?  As I mentioned before, the Lucas films and “The Incredibles” and “The Passion,” they are all made completely independently of the Hollywood studio system, because the studio system is broken. 

All they do is do the same old thing over and over again.  And, frankly, all the interesting filmmaking that is making the most money is coming from independent filmmaking in New Zealand or the Bay area or Australia.  And Hollywood really needs to...

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, actually, all over the place. 

MURTY:  Exactly. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, we were up at the Nantucket Film Festival this past weekend, remarkable new films by remarkable young artists that aren't getting the breaks. 

MURTY:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I want to ask you, Dana Kennedy, is this a perfect example of corporations taking over, well, first the record industry, and squeezing out all innovation, because they are worried about their bottom line?  And now it's happening in films, in Hollywood also, where big corporations take over studios. 

Everybody has got to play it safe, because, in the end, the people running these companies, they are not accountable to the moviegoers.  They are accountable to the bottom line and the shareholders. 

KENNEDY:  That's right.

But the good news is that because of video on demand, because broadband is just to really break out now, and because DVDs are coming out two to three months after the movie is released, consumers really are a lot more empowered than you might think.  It's very, very similar, as you said, to what happened in the music industry. 

The music industry kind of is rebounding with things like iTunes.  But Hollywood just is not going to be able to play it safe in coming years.  I cannot believe that, next summer, we are not going to see—I hope we're not going to see, like, six or seven remakes.  But having said that, I heard that Jessica Simpson...

SCARBOROUGH:  Are they panicking, Dana?  Are they panicking now?

KENNEDY:  They are definitely panicking. 

And I wanted to just say, I heard that Jessica Simpson actually is good in the “Dukes of Hazzard” movie, though, just an inside tip...

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, come on. 


KENNEDY:  ... from Hollywood.  You heard it here first, Joe.  I will come back and we'll discuss it once you have seen it, if you see it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I am shocked.  I'm absolutely shocked. 


MURTY:  You know, the other thing, Joe, that I might mention that is really going to change things eventually is the digital revolution. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, no doubt. 

MURTY:  And that's because it's really—yes, it's going to—well, the thing is, that is lowering the cost of filmmaking.  And when they bring in digital projection, a lot more movies will be able to get distribution. 

Right now, the average studio movie costs $60 million, which is another reason that they play it safe.  The movie costs too much money and they are making fewer and fewer of them.  What they need are a lot more movies that are lower priced and, therefore, there isn't as much risk to any one particular movie, and they can do something different.  So, I think digital revolution...


MURTY:  ... really change things. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  All right. 

Thanks a lot.  We greatly appreciate both of you being with us tonight. 

Coming up next, a crazy story out of Connecticut.  Police say a drunk man stole a plane and went on a wild joyride in Connecticut and New York, but that's just half of the story.  Details coming up next. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Police say it was a drunken joyride in the sky.  That's coming up next. 

And for the latest on what's going on in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY—I know

you need to know—you can check out my Web site.  It's Joe—very hard -


We'll be right back.


SCARBOROUGH:  So, let me set the scene for you.

It's 11:30 Tuesday night.  Police say a drunken 20-year-old, Philippe Patricio, and two of his 16-year-old buddies sneak into the Danbury, Connecticut Airport.  Now, the airport is closed for the night.  So Philippe and the boys decide to hot-wire a Cessna plane and take it on a five-hour joyride around the metro New York area. 

Incredibly, the plane goes unnoticed while Philippe gets lost in the air.  Investigators say he was looking for New Haven, Connecticut, but ran out of fuel, somehow landing the plane safely on a closed taxiway at Westchester County Airport.

Police swarmed the Cessna, finding—quote—“a significant number of beer cans.”  Cops took Philippe into custody after he allegedly blew a 0.15 on the Breathalyzer test, double the legal limit. 

Now, Philippe doesn't even have a pilot's license, and he could face 20 years in prison.  But, friends, there's a bigger story here.  Only four years after 9/11, this plane was unaccounted for, again, in the metro New York area, for five hours.  This lack of security is not funny.  Now, the beer can part, that's funny.  But this part about security, very scary.  Somebody is still asleep at the switch. 

That's all the time we have for tonight in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Make sure to watch us live tomorrow night from Flushing Meadows.  You are going to get my interview with the Reverend Billy Graham.

And, also, Tom Brokaw and the guy with the big hair on “IMUS” tomorrow. 



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