Guest: Ralph Meyer, Ken Bell, Charlie Gasparino, Rachel Maddow, Max
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST (voice-over): Washington's new Deep Throat. Did a White House insider leak CIA secrets to the press?
And unneighborly words from Chirac. Can the British maintain a stiff upper lip?
Plus, why Japan truly relishes July 4.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unbelievable.
CARLSON: Lived 8, why Madonna and friends failed to rock the critics.
And is P. Diddy hip to Ronald's plans to dress for success?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The clothes are terrific.
CARLSON: Yes, I've got a problem with authority. I'll admit that, in a cheery way. Not everyone likes the bow tie, I'll be honest. But I like the bow tie. I respect people who believe something, even if I don't agree with them. It's my opinion, wrong as it may be.
CARLSON: Welcome to THE SITUATION. I'm Tucker Carlson. I hope you had a great Fourth of July weekend.
It's time to unveil tonight's stack of stories, which includes jail time for kids playing hooky, why divorce hurts men much more than it hurts women, and a conversation with two of the men responsible for jailing a Texas man who had reportedly just saved a drowning man's life.
Joining me to discuss these stories, Air America's superstar Rachel Maddow and Mr. Olympia in the journalist division, “Newsweek” business writer Charlie Gasparino.
Thank you both.
CHARLES GASPARINO, “NEWSWEEK”: Pretty good intro.
CARLSON: Yes, well, you know, thought of it this afternoon.
CARLSON: First up, the stormy situation surrounding the infamous leak of CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity. Writer Lawrence O'Donnell declared over the weekend that the leaker identified in the notes of Matt Cooper and Judith Miller was none other than White House political guru Karl Rove.
Rove's lawyer categorically denied the charge. O'Donnell stuck to his guns. And this afternoon, House Democrats, apparently taking O'Donnell's word for it, circulated a letter demanding either Rove's explanation or his resignation.
I'll say, Charlie, I don't really care.
GASPARINO: I don't either.
CARLSON: Whether it was Karl Rove or not.
Let's just go back to the very beginning.
GASPARINO: And, by the way, I like leakers.
CARLSON: I like leakers, too, of course.
GASPARINO: That's how I make my—my living.
CARLSON: Americans, with a few exceptions, ought to like leakers.
GASPARINO: Right. Right.
CARLSON: Because I think they're good. They disseminate information.
CARLSON: But the question, whether this was a crime in the first place. Valerie Plame, no attack on her.
CARLSON: But this is a woman who posed for a two-page spread in “Vanity Fair” magazine.
RACHEL MADDOW, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Oh, come on.
CARLSON: I'm serious.
MADDOW: That's not fair.
GASPARINO: By the way, this wasn't—most—most journalists knew about this person, didn't even think this was a story. “The New York Times” didn't even run it.
CARLSON: But it's an open question whether it was a crime.
CARLSON: It's a very open question.
CARLSON: The people wrote the law...
CARLSON: ... back in the '80s...
CARLSON: ... in the '90s suggested maybe it's not even a crime.
GASPARINO: Well, I'm not a lawyer.
But it seems to me that Karl—if Karl Rove did give up this information, he's probably in for some trouble.
I mean, it's one thing to say Valerie Plame has been in “Vanity Fair.”
That was after she was outed...
CARLSON: That's true.
MADDOW: ... by somebody in the Bush administration as political retaliation for something her husband did. I want...
GASPARINO: Boy, that's great political retaliation. Now we all know who Valerie Plame is. Isn't that amazing?
MADDOW: No, it's not. This is a serious thing.
GASPARINO: These guys are really tough.
MADDOW: Listen, if you are a covert operative working on behalf of us...
MADDOW: On behalf of the United States.
GASPARINO: She was a covert operative?
MADDOW: She was a covert CIA operative.
GASPARINO: She was a glorified clerk.
MADDOW: She was a covert operative. That's a matter of fact.
GASPARINO: Doing what?
MADDOW: If you want to deny that she was covert, that's one thing.
GASPARINO: Doing what? Doing what?
MADDOW: She worked for the CIA on weapons of mass destruction.
MADDOW: She was outed...
GASPARINO: Janitors work for the CIA.
CARLSON: Let's get to the crux of this. And that...
MADDOW: She was outed as a covert operative in retaliation...
CARLSON: Look, I lived in Washington a long time. I have some sense how this worked.
Bob Novak called—who wrote the original column on Valerie Plame's identity, called CIA and said, I'm going to describe Valerie Plame as an employee of CIA.
CARLSON: They said, please don't do that, which is code for, we don't want you to, but you can.
CARLSON: When they don't want to, if it's going to affect national security, they tell you. They tell you point blank. I've been told that. Everyone who works in Washington has been told that. And you don't print it.
The CIA itself was not—you know, didn't stand in the way of this column. So, how—you know, how damaging was it to national security?
MADDOW: Why was it published in the first place? What was the motivation for publishing it?
CARLSON: The motivation for publishing it was, the White House wanted to—wanted to cast doubt on her husband Joe Wilson's trip to Africa.
CARLSON: They wanted to say it was basically a junket, because his wife works at CIA and she got him the gig. That's what they wanted to say.
MADDOW: And damn national security in order to do it.
GASPARINO: Oh, come on.
MADDOW: We need to cast doubt on our critics and out a CIA operative to do it.
MADDOW: This is a serious...
GASPARINO: Who was doing very high-level work, who was doing very high-level work.
CARLSON: Well, the first person who can explain in specific terms how it damaged national security will have me apologizing on the air.
GASPARINO: Right. Me, too.
MADDOW: The first person who defends outing covert operatives for political reasons is a traitor. I mean, that's obnoxious.
CARLSON: A traitor?
GASPARINO: A traitor?
MADDOW: It's absolutely...
GASPARINO: Karl Rove, traitor?
MADDOW: I believe it.
GASPARINO: You believe Karl Rove is a traitor?
MADDOW: If you put the national security of this country under the bus for political reasons...
GASPARINO: Valerie Plame is...
MADDOW: ... you ought to be run out of the country on a rail.
CARLSON: What about I switch topics?
GASPARINO: All right.
CARLSON: If—we're calling people traitors.
MADDOW: I honestly believe it.
CARLSON: We're only in the first four minutes of the show.
GASPARINO: Get the handcuffs out for Karl.
CARLSON: Next up, the chilly situation as the G8 Summit approaches in Scotland. Security is on a lockdown. President Bush is in that country.
But the splashiest news, French President Jacques Chirac's dinner conversation with German Chancellor Schroeder and Russian President Putin. Chirac joked that anyone who served food as awful as the Britons couldn't be trusted, that as bad as American hamburgers are, British food is worse and that England's only contribution to European farming was the mad cow. Brits are not amused. Poor Chirac.
I'm taking the French side in this. I can't help it.
CARLSON: I'm the only conservative French defender in the world, as you know. He's in Singapore tonight arguing on behalf of France in the Olympics in 2012. I think this is a fair criticism.
If he were to say the Brits are impolite or cowardly in battle, that would be over the line and false. To say British food is bad and worse than French food is a totally fair critique.
CARLSON: I'm on Jacques Chirac's side here.
MADDOW: If there's one thing that the French can claim...
CARLSON: That's right.
MADDOW: ... it is that they have very good food.
GASPARINO: But don't they—but don't they make it easy to hate them?
MADDOW: The British?
GASPARINO: The French make it so easy to hate them.
CARLSON: Yes, but the only thing to like about them is the food.
MADDOW: Really? I hate French food.
CARLSON: Yes, that's the only thing they have.
GASPARINO: It's fattening. I mean, listen, let's face it. If it wasn't for the Brits, they'd be eating wienerschnitzel and...
GASPARINO: Is that German...
MADDOW: You're taking on French food and...
GASPARINO: That's right. That's right.
MADDOW: ... and praising Karl Rove's decision. Unbelievable.
GASPARINO: I like—I like spaghetti. I like meatball Parmesan.
MADDOW: I think that the Brits are so used to having their food made fun of, I don't think this is actually going to be a big distraction. I think, if they called Tony Blair Bush's poodle in the lead-up to the war, maybe that would have been a...
MADDOW: ... distraction.
But it just shows you just how out of step these people are. I mean, they give more reason to hate them than any other country on—on Earth.
CARLSON: Yes, but I don't think this is one. This is like criticizing...
GASPARINO: That's why we—that's why we—that's why we renamed freedom fries, right?
CARLSON: Yes. But I still think their food is—it's like criticizing British dentistry.
CARLSON: I mean, it's fair.
GASPARINO: Is it fair?
MADDOW: Fair enough. And Blair was a poodle.
Well, next situation...
CARLSON: The worthy adolescent pursuit of playing hooky is under attack in Houston, Texas. “The Houston Chronicle” reports today that parents now face fines of up to $500 for their children's truancy.
And a 17-year-old student recently spent the night in county jail for cutting class. The Harris County program allows three days of skipping before a warning letter goes out. Three more days of hooky means fines and/or jail time.
You know, I don't see how it's good for kids to spend the night in jail. If you're worried about a child...
CARLSON: ... losing his way, getting lost, not being served by the school system, sending him to jail is not going to help.
CARLSON: Moreover, we should face the truth that nobody ever wants to face. And that is, school isn't the best for all kids.
GASPARINO: School is boring, too.
CARLSON: Well, for some kids.
GASPARINO: I mean, I cut a lot—I would be in jail every other day...
CARLSON: Well, that's why you went into journalism.
CARLSON: But don't you think some kids ought to be allowed...
GASPARINO: My parents would have been broke.
CARLSON: ... to work?
GASPARINO: Well, you know, listen, I think there's some merit to—to disciplining kids that don't show up to school. Just, the question is, we have jails that are overcrowded. I mean, why put them in jail I think is the question.
MADDOW: I—when I used to cut school, it was because I knew that the consequences of cutting school would not go home, that I could deal with detention. I could even deal in some cases with in-school suspension.
GASPARINO: Suppose your parents didn't care, though. But if your parents really didn't care and you were—you were...
MADDOW: If my parents really didn't care, then I had bigger problems
than whether or not I was going to A.P. calculus or not. I mean, it wasn't
· that wasn't really the issue.
GASPARINO: Well, I think that's the problem here, that a lot of parents don't care.
CARLSON: But you became a Rhodes Scholar in the end. So, obviously, it wasn't that big a deal.
CARLSON: But don't you think there is this kind of a requirement that we all know, you know, every child needs to graduate from high school and preferably college?
GASPARINO: Yes. Yes.
CARLSON: When the fact is, some kids are better served taking time off, working, finding themselves, then going back.
GASPARINO: Or vocational school.
MADDOW: I think that school should be mandatory. I think that parents should be notified when kids cut.
GASPARINO: And put them in jail when they don't show up.
MADDOW: No, but they shouldn't be put in jail, because if you put a 16-year-old in jail, it's not going really going to make them say...
GASPARINO: Whatever happened to detention?
MADDOW: ... you know what? I submit to authority. I bow my head.
GASPARINO: What happened to detention? I miss the good old days of detention.
CARLSON: Well, if you thought eating McDonald's made you fat, wait until you throw on the new McD's threads. The fast-food chain, which is the world's largest youth employer, is trying to woo P. Diddy, Russell Simmons and Tommy Hilfiger into designing new work clothes that ooze hip-hop.
This 21st century makeover could cost more than $80 million.
Maybe they should work on the burgers?
CARLSON: I personally have—I'm a big fast-food guy. I have switched to Wendy's.
CARLSON: Yes, I have.
GASPARINO: Bigger hamburgers.
CARLSON: But the most amazing part of this story, a consultant to McDonald's said today that McDonald's is now—quote—“a lifestyle brand.”
GASPARINO: For whom?
MATTHEWS: What lifestyle is the question.
GASPARINO: I know. It's really—it's really outrageous. I mean, listen...
CARLSON: What does that mean?
GASPARINO: They're obviously targeting African-Americans, who every study shows, a lot of African-Americans eat worse, eat more fattening food.
And if these guys go along with this, they really should—they should be ashamed of themselves.
CARLSON: Well, then the real question, Rachel, is how long before Al Sharpton starts a boycott?
GASPARINO: Yes. That's right.
GASPARINO: ... have him on the show.
MADDOW: The situation—I mean, the situation here is that they will never—McDonald's cannot make a decision to become cool, no matter who they ally themselves. It is never going to happen. It's a really bad job.
The food is atrocious. You smell like fat all day. You get paid really poorly. McDonald's will never be cool, no matter what they do.
GASPARINO: But people still—people still—people still eat this stuff and they eat it like crazy.
MADDOW: Yes. But it will never...
GASPARINO: And it's really bad for you, as we all know.
MADDOW: It will never, ever be cool to work there. And that's what they're...
CARLSON: I think it will be cool in an ironic way, like Schlitz beer.
MADDOW: Yes. Fair enough.
CARLSON: You know, ultimately...
MADDOW: Macro-brew, yes.
CARLSON: All right, coming up, with school seemingly dropping recess and phys-ed classes at will, shouldn't your kids at least be allowed to get some exercise and ride his bike to school? Apparently not. We'll tell you why when we come back.
Plus, was the well-intentioned Live 8 concert really an ill-conceived disaster? We sing our own tune in “Op Ed Op Ed” next.
CARLSON: Still to come, a Texas man arrested after reportedly saving the life of a drowning swimmer. Why was he sent to jail? And were the police out of line? We'll answer those questions and more when THE SITUATION continues.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time now for “Op Ed Op Ed.”
We've scanned almost every paper in this country, looking for the most interesting, intelligent op-eds there are. We found three we like. We're going to bat them around, Rachel, Jay (sic) and I. Here they are.
Richard Roeper writes in “The Chicago Sun-Times” that while this weekend's Live 8 concerts were an inspirational global rally, overall, they were disappointing—quote—“They made for the worst eight hours in televised concert history. But it wasn't the poor directing that made this such a spectacularly awful show. The real crime was the utter lack of respect for the music.”
Well, I'll confess, I cannot offer up a—you know, a coherent aesthetic critique of Live 8, because, you know, I didn't spend that many hours watching it.
CARLSON: It does strike me, though, that rock concerts, which I like, especially free ones, which I love, ought to aim a little lower. You know, poverty in Africa, kind of a complicated topic. Not clear that, after the IMF and the World Bank have failed to solve it, that Pete Townshend of The Who is going to.
CARLSON: You know what I mean?
Just aim lower and people will criticize you less.
MADDOW: I think that—I actually am not cynical about Live 8.
Kind of on purpose, I'm forcing myself not to be cynical about it, because I like that celebrities take advantage of the fact that we pay attention to them to direct our attention to a greater purpose. That said, I don't want celebrities to be politicians. And I don't want to lose sight of the fact that we tune into them because they sing and dance and have plastic surgery. So, I want that to be the focus when we actually do get...
GASPARINO: By the way, Mr. Will, did you call me Jay?
CARLSON: I meant that in the best way, Charlie. Thank you, George.
MADDOW: Very nice.
GASPARINO: Thank you. I had to call you—I had to call you that.
MADDOW: It doesn't hurt my feelings one bit.
GASPARINO: OK. OK.
GASPARINO: I hate—I hate rock music.
GASPARINO: I hate it.
MADDOW: Kids these days.
GASPARINO: I hate the bands. I hate the people that go to the concerts.
I really hate the people that comment on them. I have to disclose, I did not, did not see this Live 8 show, but I would have hated it. I probably would have put my fist through—through the television.
MADDOW: Just because you hate music.
GASPARINO: No. I like country music. I like that. How did you guess?
CARLSON: You make me feel so progressive. It's excellent having you here, Charlie. Thank you.
GASPARINO: Thank you.
CARLSON: Well, in “The Rocky Mountain News,” Paul Campos wonders why Americans are richer, but less happy. It's an interesting question. Here's what he writes: “Contemporary America would appear to be, for the solid majority of its citizens, something close to utopia: a land of vast riches, immense personal freedom, and long and healthy lives. So why are we, if anything, less content with our lives than our ancestors were?”
It's interesting. It goes on to say that Americans are twice as rich.
CARLSON: They're much healthier. They're much safer than their predecessors 50 years ago were. What's the problem. He says—quote—
“Why do people with 56-inch plasma screens end up taking Prozac?”
GASPARINO: I do not have a 56-inch plasma screen.
CARLSON: Well, I don't either. But I know a lot of people who do.
CARLSON: And there are a lot of unhappy people.
GASPARINO: ... Prozac...
CARLSON: Part of it is the complaining. Don't you think there's—I mean, not to be mean about it, people complain too much. Complaining makes you feel worse.
GASPARINO: Right. And the news—and, listen, you pick up “The New York Times.” I think it's every three months they do a story about how the richer are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. And there's obviously some truth to that. But the reality is, a lot of people in the middle are moving up. And we don't see those stories. And you basically see that reflected, I believe, in some of these polling numbers.
CARLSON: Why are rich people so unhappy?
MADDOW: Well, I think going from poor to not poor does demonstrably make you happier.
MADDOW: Going from not poor to upper class or even upper middle class doesn't necessarily make you happier. It just makes you a person who has to worry about more things.
GASPARINO: And who cares if rich people are sad, right?
MADDOW: Well, I do think that there's something...
GASPARINO: As long as they spend their money and employ people.
MADDOW: As we become a rich country, I do think we need to take...
MADDOW: Take account of the fact that having a lot of things doesn't make us happy.
GASPARINO: Having a family generally does make us happy.
CARLSON: But, also, that actually America is a pretty good place. And most problems have been solved, not all of them, but most of them. Get some perspective on yourself, on your life.
GASPARINO: Don't people still die?
CARLSON: That's right.
MADDOW: I don't blame people for...
CARLSON: Having to wait in line at Restoration Hardware is not...
CARLSON: You know what I mean?
MADDOW: That is not the thing makes people unhappy, though. I think that the people who are most happy are people who have taken all the resources available to them—and we have zillions—decided the way they most enjoy living and the work they most enjoy doing and made that happen. And that doesn't get very much respect in this culture.
CARLSON: Good point.
CARLSON: Well, with schools dropping recess and phys-ed classes, Richard Louv of “The San Diego Tribune” questions why many schools, at least in San Diego County, have decided to ban riding bikes to school.
He writes—quote—“Some administrators, fearing traffic or strangers, have banned bike-riding to school. The liberating learning machine has been replaced by the five-block SUV commute and the spine-twisting 40-pound backpack.”
It turns out that only 22 percent of kids walk or ride their bikes to school.
CARLSON: As compared to 71 percent of their parents. Depressing.
It seems to me, it's—obviously, it's fear and school administrators ever fearful a lawsuit, but also fearful of scary things, like crime, and parents, too, too afraid to send their kids to school alone. And it strikes me, this is, again, America not having real perspective on itself. It's a pretty safe country.
And the press—I defend them all the time, but does focus on these random crimes, to the extent that people really believe their kids are going to be kidnapped and killed, when the likelihood of that happening is almost zero.
MADDOW: But there—there is a structural and political thing here as well.
And that is that our—our—our—our cities and our—and our towns and our suburbs in particular have become less able—the places where you're less able to ride a bike or walk. There are no sidewalks in a lot of—in a lot of suburbs.
GASPARINO: Oh, come on. No sidewalks?
MADDOW: There really aren't sidewalks in a lot of new developments.
GASPARINO: In suburbia?
MADDOW: That's right. Everything is designed for cars. And so, there aren't safe places for kids to ride a bike and walk.
CARLSON: Is that what you've heard?
MADDOW: My parents live in suburbia. I mean, go to Atlanta. If you go to downtown Atlanta...
GASPARINO: I have once been to suburbia.
MADDOW: If you spend time in Atlanta and you want to get...
GASPARINO: And there are sidewalks in suburbia.
MADDOW: If you want to get somewhere a half-mile away, there's no way to get there except by driving, unless you walk in the street. That's a bad design.
GASPARINO: We live in a steadily encroaching nanny state, obviously, where people are worried about their kids 24 hours a day. And, listen, worry about them less. They might grow up a little better, I think.
CARLSON: I agree with that. They actually wear helmets.
GASPARINO: Yes. Can you imagine that?
CARLSON: Kids in my neighborhood where helmets riding their bike.
I'm not mocking that, for fear of all the nasty letters...
GASPARINO: By the way, I would have gotten mugged if I wore a helmet where I grew up on a bike.
CARLSON: And for good reason.
CARLSON: Coming up, President Bush defends his attorney general against sniping from the right. But does Alberto Gonzales have a shot at a Supreme Court nomination?
Plus, a fire marshal who was on the scene and a top cop from San Marcos, Texas, join THE SITUATION to explain why someone who reportedly pulled a drowning man to safety spent the night in jail for his troubles. Don't miss it. It's coming up.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
Our next situation comes from San Marcos, Texas. A man who allegedly rescued a swimmer caught in swirling river currents found himself in hot water. On Sunday, Dave Newman was arrested and charged with interfering with public duties. Police say the 48-year-old Newman disobeyed repeated orders by emergency personnel to leave the water.
As he was being thanked by the man he rescued, he was handcuffed by the police and carted off to jail. He was later released on $2,000 bail.
Joining me to describe what happened this past weekend and why the alleged rescuer was arrested are San Marcos Fire Marshal Ken Bell on the left and Texas State University Chief of Police Ralph Meyer on the right.
Thanks a lot for joining us, both of you.
Mr. Bell, I'd like to ask you first, what was Mr. Newman doing wrong?
KEN BELL, FIRE MARSHAL, SAN MARCOS FIRE RESCUE: Well, sir, a little quick setup on this.
There's several crowds and groups of people that have gathered at our San Marcos River—it's a beautiful river—on this July 3, right in the midst of our holiday weekend. And we had a report of three persons who were basically trapped, one underneath the falls, or an added person under the falls. We still had not figured that out until arrival.
And when our crews arrived at the scene, essentially, we were met with resistance from folks that were in the water that were not clearing the way for rescue efforts that needed to happen at that point.
CARLSON: Did—so were—did rescuers get in the water?
BELL: By the time the rescuers arrived—in fact, I arrived fairly early with the first incoming rescue squad—I went to the bank. Our swift water rescue team members had just walked up to the bank and up pops this third person. Mr. Newman looks back and says, problem solved.
But, at this point, as you can imagine this evolving scenario with crowds of people that weren't being cooperative and the...
CARLSON: So, as I understand—as I understand it, Mr. Newman was in the water, he says, helping to rescue the man who was drowning. There were no emergency personnel in the water. He was the only guy in the water.
In what way did his presence in the water impede your efforts and to do what?
BELL: Basically, we can't get in the water in this particular space, based on the water dynamics and flows, without adding more to the problem with these folks that were already on board or in—on scene.
What ended up needing to occur was information exchange. And Mr. Newman was probably the best person that knew more about what was going on in that particular scenario than any other person out there. And he was the least forthcoming with information. And...
But, Chief Meyer, help our viewers understand exactly why this man deserved to go to jail. From the perspective of your average newspaper reader, a man is drowning. This guy, Dave Newman, jumps in to help him. He says he does help him. The man says he was rescued by Mr. Newman. No emergency personnel are in the water. It's not clear. Why was he arrested? What did he do wrong?
RALPH MEYER, CHIEF OF POLICE, TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY: OK.
In order to contain the scene, he had—the fire department and rescue people had to—to get information as to whether there was anybody else in there or not. We received a report of three people in a bad situation, plus a fourth one under the—under the—under the building.
And we could only find account for three people. And these—these individuals were very critical in giving us the information. Fire rescue threw them numerous times, five or six times, threw them a rope to try to get them to pull them out from where they were hanging on the side of the building on railing to come back to show where we were at, approximately three 30 -- 30, 40 feet away. He, Mr. Newman, refused to do that. And...
CARLSON: Is that against the law? Is refusing a rope against the law in Texas?
BELL: In this particular scenario, we have a active rescue that's in progress from our side of the fence, based on the perceptions that we have and the information that's afforded us through radio dispatch, that sort of thing.
And we have citizens and helpers that do contribute to this in every case.
BELL: We have several cases where people help us out. And it's wonderful. We enjoy it. The—in this particular situation, we're still under the impression there's a person, a fourth person...
CARLSON: Right. No, I understand. I understand, Mr. Bell, absolutely, why you'd be confused, absolutely, and why Mr. Newman was making it more confusing. But my—still, my question...
BELL: Oh, he very much made it very confusing.
CARLSON: I'm sure that's right.
BELL: The dynamic changes even further.
We were—had been visiting with the victim of this particular incident for almost a minute and a half, two minutes, and he's still in the water and refusing to come out to make...
CARLSON: OK. But—but my question, again, to Chief Meyer.
MEYER: Yes, sir.
CARLSON: The victim in this instance says he was saved by Mr. Newman.
That is what he has told reporters.
CARLSON: Mr. Newman didn't appear to have hurt anyone. He refused the rope. He confused rescuers. But why did he deserve to spend the night in jail? What's the crime here?
MEYER: OK. OK.
CARLSON: He seems like he wanted to help.
MEYER: There's two different incidents, the rescue and the part that took place with—with him getting the person out of the water.
The police and—and fire rescue didn't know what else was going on. He, in turn, turned his back and swam to the other side of the river, us not knowing if there's more people in there. He was interfering. Precious minutes were lost by his confusion. Once he—if we could have got into the river right away and he would have come over, that's all well and done.
We just needed the information, because the fire and rescue wouldn't put their people into the—into the water until they had all—the people away from the scene and—and got the proper information.
CARLSON: All right.
Chief Ralph Meyer, Mr. Bell, Ken Bell, thank you both very much. I'm glad everything turned out all right.
MEYER: Yes. Thank you.
BELL: Thank you.
CARLSON: Coming up, Martha Stewart speaks. The domestic goddess not only made friends in the big house. Her jailbird cronies gave her a loving nickname. We'll tell what it was next.
CARLSON: Welcome back to THE SITUATION. Sitting in for Adam Rich, I'm Tucker Carlson.
Still plenty to get to tonight, including Martha Stewart's prison handle, a warning to Africa from Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, and Hong Kong's sexual misfortune, profound sexual misfortune.
I'm joined once again by Charlie Gasparino and Rachel Maddow.
I thought those guys seemed very nice. Everyone from Texas seems nice. I'm completely confused, even after the interview, as to why they had to arrest this guy. The said, “Precious moments were ticking by.” They didn't do anything.
This guy apparently rescued the drowning swimmer. But then he somehow disobeyed something and so they arrested him for it? It seems to me they were just annoyed in the way that we're annoyed by bloggers. You know, “They're not journalists! We're real journalists.”
You know, the rescuers are like, “He's not a real rescuer, so we're going to arrest him.” I mean...
MADDOW: But they had a plan for how to rescue the guy, that his guy kind of got in the way...
GASPARINO: And they were pissed.
MADDOW: And took care of it. And they...
MADDOW: And it made them mad.
GASPARINO: And I mean, there is—you see this a lot, where police are just about arresting everybody for anything, any sort of minor indiscretion, if it doesn't follow the exact letter of the law. I mean, there is a degree where they should be following prosecutorial discretion, but they don't.
CARLSON: I mean, the reason I think this story is a big deal is, as a country, we want to encourage people in their reckless acts of heroism. It's good for the country—it really is—when people just cast aside all concern and dive in, jump off the bridge to save the child.
GASPARINO: And you want to discourage cops from making stupid cases.
MADDOW: But I do think that the analogy here is like getting busted for inappropriate and unauthorized use of a fire hydrant or a fire extinguisher for actually putting out the fire.
CARLSON: That's exactly right.
MADDOW: I mean, it's like you actually have to keep in mind what the rule is there for.
GASPARINO: I guess the question for them would be, why did they do it? What was the public safety...
CARLSON: I tried to—I asked that question repeatedly and got a very polite answer, but not one that I understand.
MADDOW: I hit the rescuer was...
CARLSON: Exactly—but the point is...
CARLSON: We want people to be heroes. Don't be a hero, no. Go ahead and be a hero? That's the American way.
Well, a new situation is the Supreme Court vacancy left by the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor. President Bush promised Monday to interview a wide range of candidates when he returns from Europe Friday.
Already, speculation is the short list includes Attorney General and Bush friend Alberto Gonzales, whom congressional conservatives have already attacked as he's too soft for abortion and affirmative action. The president has already come to his friend's defense, calling for a softening of the anti-Gonzales rhetoric.
He said, quote, “When a friend gets attacked, I don't like it.” To which I guess I would say, “OK.”
GASPARINO: Great guy.
CARLSON: “Great. Not about your friendship, however, it's about his beliefs.” And he's really telling—I think the White House is really telling Evangelicals, to whom he supposedly panders, to shut up. Be quiet. Get out of the way. We don't want to hear your dumb concerns about pro-life issues or whatever. I mean, that's what's going on. He'll never admit that...
MADDOW: I totally disagree.
CARLSON: You totally disagree.
GASPARINO: Of course.
MADDOW: We know Bush likes to appoint his friends to positions. He likes to appoint people he had person connections to. And that's admiral. There's nothing wrong with that. I think that they will never let him...
GASPARINO: Cheney and he weren't friends, right?
MADDOW: No, but I think the Cheney decision was not made by George W. Bush. I think that was made by George Bush's dad's friends who were pulling a lot of the...
CARLSON: Oh, the are Skull and Bones people. Right, the Skull and Bones convention.
MADDOW: I mean, Cheney was appointed to find a presidential candidate. He found himself.
GASPARINO: ... commission is involved here, so...
CARLSON: OK, so back to Gonzales.
MADDOW: Back to Gonzales.
GASPARINO: He would be a horrible choice. You know that.
CARLSON: I'm not for Gonzales at all.
GASPARINO: Let's face it. One of the problems with O'Connor was that she issued muddy decisions. The affirmative action decision, you know, was, like, you know, split 50-50 each way, this thing about religion public places, again, split 50-50 each way.
I think you want someone with a clear direction. I think that's why, in the end, he will pick someone who's basically conservative like Clarence Thomas or Scalia.
CARLSON: Yes. I hope that's true, but Bush's opponents often paint him—I believe incorrectly—as a puppet of the Christian right. Oh that he were, but he's not.
MADDOW: He's a puppet of the Christian right to the extent that he needs to be to get elected. He's not getting elected again. And the question, who really pulls the strings in the Republican Party on the big questions?
CARLSON: Well, you can't have it both ways.
GASPARINO: Liberals should be pulling the strings in the Republican Party?
MADDOW: No, the question...
GASPARINO: That's his base!
MADDOW: They use the religious right for vote. That's where they go to get elected. He's not going to get elected again. And the question is, the Republican Party as a whole needs something other than Bush's reelection now, because of '06 and '08, which is not going to be...
GASPARINO: I've got news for you. The Republican Party needs the conservative base if they want to be reelected.
CARLSON: Yes, they do. They have pure contempt for it.
GASPARINO: And the conservative base will have a problem if they put Gonzales up.
CARLSON: Yes, so will I.
Next situation, Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi tells Africa to, quote, “Stop begging for charity.” Qaddafi told leaders of the African Union they are not beggars at the doorsteps of the rich. He also said Africans don't like conditions the U.S. and other governments attach to aid, such as maintaining accountable governments free of corruption.
The African Union is setting an agenda before the G-8 summit of the world's richest countries this week. I never thought I'd say this, but I actually agree with Colonel Qaddafi.
GASPARINO: What do you agree with? He's insane.
CARLSON: I do. I agree. I'll tell you what I agree with.
GASPARINO: Please take my money. And you know, just spend it on whatever you want.
CARLSON: No. It's bad for a country's self-respect, for its dignity, to be dependent foreign aid, any country, African countries, Asian countries, America, any country...
GASPARINO: But they need it, don't they?
CARLSON: It's bad. They need it, but it hasn't helped. And I think he also makes a good point. If you want a dictatorship, you've got to pay for it yourself. I mean, you shouldn't...
GASPARINO: Yes, but what he's saying is that we should give less—we should put be less strings on it. That's absurd.
CARLSON: No, he's saying that there's something—that's part of what he's saying. And he's wrong, obviously.
However, to the extent he's urging African economic self-determination, he's absolutely right.
GASPARINO: Oh, yes. But he's not really saying that. He's saying, like, look, if you give us the money, we get to do whatever we want with it.
MADDOW: There's rationale work on both sides of this. On the one hand, the west, the donors countries, are trying to say, “We want to make sure that our money is well-spent.”
GASPARINO: What's wrong with that?
MADDOW: The African countries are saying on the other side, “We want to make sure that your money is well-spent, and we don't want the bad strings that you're putting on it that restrict us from doing the right thing.”
GASPARINO: Then don't take it.
MADDOW: No, there's reasonable arguments on both sides. The strings sometimes hurt their ability to do good with it. And the west wants to make sure the government...
GASPARINO: Listen, if you go to a bank, you're going to have some conditions for your loan. I mean, that's the point.
GASPARINO: Let's get with the program.
MADDOW: If the conditions hurt the efficacy of the loan, then nobody is helped.
CARLSON: But there's a macro-question, which is, is it good for an entire continent to be dependent on the goodwill of strangers?
MADDOW: And they would prefer not to be. They would prefer not to be.
CARLSON: Well, it turns out—this is our sociological segment tonight—that divorce is a much heavier situation for men than it is for women. At least that's what you can gather from an online poll of 3,500 divorced men and women in Great Britain.
Women said they were more likely to feel relieved and liberated by divorce. While men claim to be sad, betrayed, confused, even suicidal. The vast majority of both sides, however, said that divorce made them happier.
This does not surprise me at all. A lot of studies have said this exact same thing.
GASPARINO: Then why are you still married?
CARLSON: Women initiate—wow, I mean...
CARLSON: Because women initiate the strong majority of divorces over 40. They tend to say they're happier than men. Men tend to fall apart. Women live longer.
The bottom line to me is—this is no surprise—women actually have a lot more power than men in American families, which I'm not saying that's bad. I'm saying...
GASPARINO: No, but it depends on where in the country. I mean, I will tell you that I speak to a lot of single women in New York, friends of mine who work in journalism, who say—stop that—who say that, “Let's face it,” there are many more women than men, single men out there, and they have all the power.
And I'll tell that the...
CARLSON: Yes, but that's Manhattan. I mean, that's an anomaly.
MADDOW: There's New York, and there's the rest of America.
GASPARINO: I think that's these folks. I mean, if you're talking Midwest, maybe...
MADDOW: See, I think straight people are weird. I mean, I think what this means is that, in marriage, it seems like marriage is maybe a more satisfying thing than men than it is for women. And so, in divorces, women end up happier than men do.
This is why, I think, the religious right wants to get rid of divorce.
It's they're next target, all this covenant of marriage stuff.
GASPARINO: It's a white male domination here...
MADDOW: Because divorce is good for women, right?
CARLSON: No, no, divorce is bad for children, which is the reason to be against divorce. But my question is, who thought up the women's movement, this idea that women were powerless and at the mercy of men? In my, you know, 36 years on this Earth, I've never noticed that at all. Women have all the power.
MADDOW: It means something that, after a divorce, women are happier
and men are sadder,
GASPARINO: They have my credit card.
MADDOW: Men go right out and find another wife. Women are happy being released from the marriage contract. I think men need to be worried about how marriage is going.
CARLSON: I completely agree with that.
GASPARINO: I agree with that.
MADDOW: I think straight people are weird.
CARLSON: Well, I don't agree with that.
Martha Stewart tells all about the situation she faced behind bars recently. Stewart told “Vanity Fair” magazine that house arrest is, quote, “hideous,” and that her nickname in prison was M. Diddy.
She also says she knows how to take the electronic monitoring bracelet off her ankle. She read it on the Internet. But she didn't say she'd done it. Stewart will be free from house arrest next month and will launch two TV shows, including a version of “The Apprentice” on NBC.
This is more—first of all, her calling it “hideous” is just the greatest line of the year. But this is more evidence that this was clearly a pup-up job. Martha Stewart's career, flagging. Her P.R. people obviously engineered this indictment. She comes out of it looking great. The government looks ridiculous.
MADDOW: She engineered the...
CARLSON: No but, in the end, this has been terrible for the U.S. government, great for Martha Stewart, right?
MADDOW: She's martyred, absolutely.
CARLSON: So who are the morons who thought this up? Who were the guys sitting around a table saying, “You know, I have an idea. Let's make a point to corporate America and indict Martha Stewart”?
GASPARINO: I covered the Martha Stewart trial. I was one of the lead reporters at the “Wall Street Journal” who broke many of the stories about this. And she just gets more bizarre as time goes on. I mean, this sort of martyrdom here is insane. I mean, she's really over the top.
MADDOW: She's M. Diddy now. The martyrdom is a fact.
GASPARINO: Martyrdom Diddy, yes.
MADDOW: I mean, the martyrdom—whatever the impact, the social and political impact of Martha Stewart...
GASPARINO: There is no social or political impact. There's zero.
MADDOW: There is. We're talking about it here. She's now a martyr.
And the people who indicted her look like fools. That's what happened.
CARLSON: She does. She makes the government look ridiculous.
GASPARINO: Does she really?
CARLSON: I think she does.
GASPARINO: She's the one who's in jail, or was in jail.
MADDOW: But now she's bigger than she ever was. She's M. Diddy.
GASPARINO: Are you sure about that?
MADDOW: I never liked Martha before. Now that I know she can take off her monitoring bracelet, I think she's cool.
GASPARINO: Do you buy her stuff?
MADDOW: I don't buy any of it. I'm too poor. I work at Air America.
CARLSON: All right.
CARLSON: Coming up—thank you, both, by the way.
MADDOW: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Coming up, teachers make new demands for better pay. Which heartless fink believes they're already paid enough? It's either me or the “Outsider.” So stay tuned to find out.
Also, which celebrity's restaurant did pop star Justin Timberlake choose to party until he puked? The shocking and amusing answer lies where it always does, on “The Cutting Room Floor.” We'll be right back.
CARLSON: It's time to welcome back “The Outsider,” a man from outside the world of news who never lets his better judgment stand in the way of playing devil's advocate to my logic and reason on a series of stories.
Joining us from ESPN Radio and HBO boxing, the well-coiffed and bejeweled Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO HOST: I got no bling. I take the bling off for you.
CARLSON: You took it off in the makeup room.
KELLERMAN: Thanks, man.
CARLSON: Well, the National Education Association, the country's largest teachers union, wants to teach a lesson in giving raises. They're urging school districts across the country to raise minimum salaries for teachers to $40,000 a year.
The average salary now for beginning teachers is around $30,000, but an increasing number of states and districts want to make classroom performance or student scores a bigger factor in determining their pay. And of course, they should. That goes without saying.
But I want to get to even the larger issue of teacher pay. I'm not against teachers. My wife is a teacher. I'm for teachers. I hope they make a lot of money.
But the question is not teachers, kids. What's best for kids? Is there correlation between teacher pay and kids' performance in school? No. Here's some quick stats.
Highest state that pays the most teachers, Connecticut. Where is it on testing for SATs? It's number 32. Second-highest state pays teachers the most, District of Columbia, where are they? 51 out of 51 on the SATs. Meanwhile...
KELLERMAN: The District of Columbia is not a state, but OK.
CARLSON: Close enough. Some people think it is.
South Dakota, the lowest salary—the lowest salary for teachers is South Dakota—they're number two in the SAT rankings.
KELLERMAN: And what do they say science? Correlation equals causality. Oh, oh, no, I'm sorry. It's correlation doesn't equal causality.
CARLSON: No, you're exactly right, but it suggests something.
CARLSON: And the flipside is, if there were a correlation between teacher and a performance, we'd see it, and we don't.
KELLERMAN: OK. What it suggests is that simply paying teachers more doesn't make them better teachers.
KELLERMAN: Kind of people do you want teaching your kids? Do you want people who are not ambitious, who are not able to get a better-paying job so they fall down to teaching? Or do you want ambitious go-getters who are able to make a living in their chosen profession, that being—apparently, I mean, according to the media, right, the most important thing in the world, a teacher.
Or is it an anti-union position, where they should just rely on the largess of management? Because you have a history in this country, any time labor has just relied on the largess of management, everything's worked out fine.
CARLSON: That is a 19th-century storyline. Obviously, if we took education seriously, we wouldn't let the labor unions run public education. That goes without saying. It's a different conversation.
I will just say, you will never get people to go into teaching for the money. You'll always make more money in investment banking. People go into teaching, they should have enough to live, absolutely. I hope they get paid a lot. But the point is, they go into it because they love it.
CARLSON: Money will never lure them...
KELLERMAN: ... twenty-nine grand they're making now, so how could you arbitrarily say that's enough? Maybe they feel it's not enough. I mean, when does labor ever say, “You know what? You've given me enough. No more”?
CARLSON: No. When are teacher unions going to start complaining about kids not knowing enough? That's what they should care about. And they don't.
KELLERMAN: Come on.
CARLSON: When it comes to keeping teenage girls from getting pregnant, nothing works better than abstinence, which is to say shutting down teenage boys, stopping them in their tracks. Still, about 900,000 American teens get pregnant every year. That's more than most industrialized countries.
The American Academy of Pediatrics today says that abstinence counseling is not enough though. In its update Teen Pregnancy Police released today, the academy says doctors ought to encourage abstinence, but should also help ensure that all teens have access to birth control and morning-after pills without a prescription.
Let me say at the outset, obviously, birth control is much better than teen pregnancy. And I'm completely for it.
My question here is, does this bring parents into the equation more, into their children's lives more, or does it exclude them to a greater extent? It excludes them. Also out today is a study ran in the “Boston Globe”—fascinating—and it showed the single most effective way to keep girls from having sex when they're teenagers is to tell them not to. Girls who were told by their parents to be abstinent remained STD-free six years longer than girls whose parents didn't.
KELLERMAN: I don't know, Tucker, I'd have to see the study.
CARLSON: Well, it makes sense.
KELLERMAN: Look, teenagers—I don't think abstaining is a good idea for teenagers. Your body is telling you, as a teenager, “Have sex, boys and girls.” That's what they're bodies are telling them. And abstinence is unrealistic. They find, actually—every study I've seen says it doesn't work.
So is it better to have teenage pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases? Or is it better to try to curb that as much as possible? Because they're not going to stop having sex.
CARLSON: Well, OK.
KELLERMAN: And I don't think they should, either.
CARLSON: You're generalizing from a single sex, boys. Actually, it's not good for 14-year-old girls to have sex. A lot of evidence—it's bad for them, not emotionally prepared. I'm not say it's good for 14-year-old boys. But we know for certain it's really bad for 14-year-old girls. Plus, they're left with the consequences in way a boy will never will be.
So the point is, how could you get parents involved? And allowing girls to get birth control pills without parental consent—they can't get penicillin without parental consent! You should bring the parents in, because it's better for the girls.
KELLERMAN: I like the excluding parents argument. I like that argument. I don't agree with you. But that's a perfectly good point.
CARLSON: All right, well, thank you.
Well, if you live in Raleigh, North Carolina, and many of you do, you'd better mow your lawn or you'll be breaking the law. Overgrown laws are considered by city ordinance a public nuisance. The violation now carries a fine of $100.
Raleigh residents have been crowding city council meetings to appeal the policy and the fees, which are enforceable if your grass is longer than 8 inches, if poison ivy is rampant or if your yard is, quote, “visually unkempt.”
Now, you're really a mensch for standing up and debating the other side of this...
KELLERMAN: Another Yiddish word. (SPEAKING YIDDISH)
CARLSON: You're rubbing off on me. You don't need a law for everything, OK? If your house is out of control, if you've got beer bottles in the front yard, you know, if you're creating a public nuisance by the condition of your yard, fine. Otherwise, this is just a way for neighbors to harass neighbors.
KELLERMAN: This has my libertarian hackles up. But I'm going to play devil's advocate. That's what I'm here to do.
I put a call into my Uncle Al who happens to live in Raleigh, North Carolina. That's what I was doing upstairs when I jumped on the phone, Tucker. And he agrees, look, you know, you can understand where it's a nuisance to people and it's unnecessary.
But he said, you know, he's a homeowner. The neighborhood he lives in, lots of homeowners. They take pride in the appearance of their lawns. They don't want pests running rampant and poison ivy growing out of control. And what's wrong with keeping your lawn looking nice?
CARLSON: Nothing at all. And I take pride in my shined shoes. I don't fine other people or suggest others should go to jail for having stuffed shoes, however...
CARLSON: I don't mistake what I like for what others ought to do.
KELLERMAN: However, you can argue property values. For instance, you invested a certain amount of money in your property. You keep it a certain way. You don't want the neighborhood—you don't want people, because of their negligence of their property, which does affect yours, which does affect the aesthetic of the neighborhood, to negatively affect your investment.
CARLSON: What you're suggesting is that we criminalize bad taste.
And unfortunately, that's not possible.
KELLERMAN: Apparently I am suggesting that...
CARLSON: Max Kellerman...
KELLERMAN: ... though I don't believe it.
CARLSON: ... thank you.
Coming up, the most dominant athlete on American soil today is also the most disgusting. Professional tips on the sport of hotdog cramming from the master himself, on the “Cutting Room Floor” next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time now for the “Cutting Room Floor.” We sweep up all the odds and ends of news we couldn't pack into the show. To do that, Willie Geist.
WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER: Tucker, how are you, man?
CARLSON: Doing great.
GEIST: We asked on Friday—we asked our viewers to please go see the movie “Rebound,” because one of our staff members had co-written the movie.
CARLSON: Did they?
GEIST: They ignored us in droves. The film raked in $6 million.
CARLSON: In New York?
GEIST: No, worldwide. But luckily, our executive producer gets 50 percent of everything. He splits it with Martin Lawrence, so it's no problem.
We've got a couple of good stories here. A lawsuit against NASA by an astrologer and sexually deprived people in Hong Kong.
CARLSON: Oh, that's a must-see.
All right, the hotdog-eating juggernaut that is Takeru Kobayashi continues to roll. The 144-pound Kobayashi won his fifth consecutive hotdog eating contest yesterday by inhaling 49 dogs in 12 minutes. He fell four dogs short of the world record he himself set last year.
The second-place finisher was American upstart Sonya Thomas. She weighs just 105 pounds, but she scarfed down 37 hot dogs.
GEIST: Well, congratulations certainly in order for Kobayashi. But those of us who follow competitive eating closely saw a few chinks in the armor of this great champion. There were a—he struggled getting a few of the buns down. He was four hot dogs shy of last year's total.
And this Sonya Thomas, she's a real up-and-comer. Last summer, she ate 38 lobsters in 12 minutes. That's a true story.
CARLSON: That's impressive.
GEIST: So watch out for her down the road.
CARLSON: And expensive.
Well, in other nauseating food news—we bring it all to you—a report says Justin Timberlake threw up after eating dinner in his own Los Angeles restaurant the other night. J.T. reportedly couldn't make it to the bathroom from his table and vomited his dim sum all over the floor of Chi, the West Hollywood hot-spot he co-owns.
Witnesses say the wait staff discussed selling Timberlake's vomit on eBay. A Timberlake spokesman denied the whole thing.
GEIST: Isn't throwing up on the floor, isn't that a compliment to the chef? Or is that burping? I'm sorry. I get those two confused.
CARLSON: Poor guy. They would sell it on eBay.
Well, it may not be surveillance video, but it's gratuitous nonetheless, and so here it is. This car ended up in the swimming pool of a Cincinnati apartment complex today after the driver blacked out, lost control, and barreled through the fence. The man escaped with only minor cuts and bruises. His car will be in the shop for some time.
GEIST: You know, Tucker, suburbanites take a lot of heat for driving SUVs unnecessarily, but here is a case for one of them. If this guy had an Escalade or something like that, he would have rolled right over and driven out of the pool.
CARLSON: Oh, yes.
GEIST: The suburbs are ridden with obstacles like that.
CARLSON: A Suburban can handle a pool like that.
If you've ever been accused of being a little clumsy in bed, you have friends in Hong Kong, a lot of them. The Hong Kong Family Planning Association reports the number of inquiries to his office grew by 50 percent over last year. Most of the callers say they did not know how to have sex.
A spokesman for the office says, quote, “Some married couples are not familiar with their own body parts. They don't know where their sex organs are.”
GEIST: You know, Tucker, finding your organs are certainly the first step to any successful sexual encounter, in my experience. But how about this, they have a hotline? Where was this when we were 15-years-old? All the answers on a hotline. Do you know how many man-hours we wasted fumbling around in the dark? This would have been great.
CARLSON: Not to brag, I don't think Americans need such a hotline, Willie. There's just no need for it.
GEIST: Good for you.
CARLSON: Well, NASA's remarkable Deep Impact mission climaxed yesterday when an 800-pound space probe slammed into a comet 83 million miles from Earth. One prominent member of the Russian astrology community not impressed. Marina Bai is suing NASA for $311 million because, she says, the experiment ruined her horoscope readings. Bai claims the probe, quote, “ruins the natural balance of forces in the universe.”
GEIST: She may be right, but she's doing a disservice to a noble field, in my opinion. There are a lot of good, hard-working people out there predicting lives in comets. And I don't think we should dump on them.
CARLSON: I completely agree with that.
That's THE SITUATION. I'm Tucker Carlson. Thanks for watching.
“SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY” is right now.
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