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'The Situation with Tucker Carlson' for July 21

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

Guest: Terry Abbott, Rachel Maddow, Al Sharpton, Max Kellerman

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  We have a special situation tonight, as the Reverend Al Sharpton joins our panel.  A lot of ground to cover, including the second round of London attacks and O.J. Simpson finding new friends in Washington, D.C.

So, let's get right to it and unveil our first stack of stories.          

Joining me, as I mentioned, the Reverend Al Sharpton and, from Air America Radio, Rachel Maddow.

Welcome, both,



CARLSON:  First situation, late-breaking news from London.  NBC News is reporting That two of the bombers from today's midday terror attacks have been arrested.  Both are of Pakistani descent.  

NBC News has also learned that new evidence links the bombings to those two weeks ago that killed at least 56 people.  Anti-terrorism officials have determined that the knapsacks and the explosive used in today's attack matched almost exactly those that were used two weeks ago.  Today's attackers apparently were suicide bombers, or meant to be.  They expressed surprise when they, along with everyone else, survived. 

I noticed that one suspect was tackled by a bunch of pedestrians in London.  He got away, but they got his backpack.  I think he probably would have been beaten to death in New York, had it happened here. 

Two things about this.  One, it's terrifying.  It happened two weeks ago.  Everyone is on alert.  It happened anyway.  But also sort of reassuring that they were incompetent enough that their explosive didn't go off.  They're not supermen.  They're just terrorists. 

SHARPTON:  Well, I mean, I think, thank God it didn't go off and that something was averted.  I don't know how much confidence we put in hoping that everyone becomes incompetent. 

MADDOW:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  That's right. 

SHARPTON:  I think we really need to have stronger security measures that does not become the way to just lean on people's civil liberties, but really start building real security measures around the United States and in England.  I'm glad it didn't happen today, but I don't take much comfort because these guys were incompetent. 

Obviously, there are still those that are planning to do things around the world.  And we ought to be ready to deal with it. 

MADDOW:  I think we're going to learn a lot more about the potential of this attack.  Obviously, the bombs didn't go off.  There some news that maybe it was the detonators that went off, but not the explosives. 


MADDOW:  We'll learn more about what potentially could have happened today, which is very scary. 

But, I mean, the reason they're doing this is to terrorize us.  They're doing this because they want a holy war.  They want to provoke a holy war.  They want a war between Muslims and Christians.  And most Muslims don't want that and most Christians don't want that.  But they're hoping that, by terrorizing us, they can push everybody to the extreme. 

CARLSON:  Yes, of—of course. 

MADDOW:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  But think about what this means about our capacity to protect ourselves.  London has been worried about a terror attack for 30 years, because of the IRA.

MADDOW:  Right. 

CARLSON:  It's a much more locked-down city than any city we have.  And indications now are that these people walked on the subway, weren't stopped, one on a bus, three on subway, at least, and were able to detonate these explosives. 

MADDOW:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  What does that tell you? 

MADDOW:  It tells us that it's incredibly hard to defend a subway system. 

SHARPTON:  And also tells us that maybe just lockdown isn't the answer.  Maybe intelligence, making allies and friends around the world that increases intelligence.  Maybe the lockdown isn't the only way to deal with it.  Maybe, if we had better intelligence, better relations around the world, it would be harder for groups to grow without people knowing that these groups exist. 

CARLSON:  Well, that appears to be part of the American reaction, which was immediate.  The latest attack on London had, as I said, an immediate effect here in the United States. 

Just today, New York authorities announced that police will perform random bag searches around the city's vast subway system.  The chief of police has asked passengers to avoid bringing backpacks and bulky packages onto trains. 

Meanwhile, in Washington, Congress debated the extension of the Patriot Act.  It seems to me that these are all good measures, but technology, in the end, will not save us, will not prevent future terrorist attacks.  Even a police state is vulnerable to them.  You have to take seriously where they come from.  And they come from people who are Islamic extremists, I mean, just to put it completely bluntly. 

And they do live in the United States.  And it seems to me, we need to serious about paying closer attention to them.  Intelligence means looking more carefully at a very small group of people. 

SHARPTON:  I think, in this round of terrorism, we've seen that.  But what are you going to do with the Timothy McVeighs, who also are terrorists?  They were not Islamic extremists. 

I think, again, locking down, forming police states may inspire more people to become extreme.  I think what we've got to do is definitely have measures that secure us, but we've got to look at the fact that we're not making the alliances around the world that feeds intelligence, that people are growing extensive networks and we have no idea that they're there.

CARLSON:  But—but you make a really good point about Timothy McVeigh.  He was part of that world, the militia movement, you know, up in the Pacific Northwest, partly, and the Midwest.  And it—that movement is infiltrated by the FBI, crawling with FBI agents.  I mean, all throughout the '80s and '90s, the FBI infiltrated those groups, and to good effect. 

MADDOW:  Although it didn't stop him.  I mean, the fact is...

SHARPTON:  Exactly.  

CARLSON:  No, it didn't stop him, but it stopped others. 

MADDOW:  It didn't stop him, but, I mean, look at the—you have to look at the harm that these people can cause.  Yes, you have to stop them before they attack. 

But then you need to make sure that, when they do attack, they're not doing something like hitting a chemical plant or hitting a nuclear facility.  I mean, you have to stop the harm that they can cause to a certain extent.  That is why I was furious that Bush took his photo-op on the Patriot Act yesterday next to a cargo screening machine.  The Patriot Act has nothing do with cargo screening.  And we're still not cargo screening.  You can't use that as your photo-op when you're not actually doing the screening...


MADDOW:  ... of the cargo.

CARLSON:  Right.  So, why—why was he next to a cargo?  Was it a broken cargo screening machine?  We are cargo screening.  The question is, are we doing enough? 

MADDOW:  No.  We're doing about 5 percent cargo screening. 

CARLSON:  Right.  But...


MADDOW:  And so, you can't make a speech on behalf of the Patriot Act, a totally unrelated issue, and somehow tie it to something...


MADDOW:  ... you're not doing anyway. 

CARLSON:  I would say, A, it's not that we're not doing it.  B, I agree we're not doing enough.  Of course it's related.


SHARPTON:  And, C, it's not in the Patriot Act.

MADDOW:  Yes. 

SHARPTON:  I mean, I think Rachel's point is, if you're there to push the reenactment or the extension of the Patriot Act, you ought to be standing next to something that the Patriot Act represents. 


MADDOW:  ... a library. 

CARLSON:  Like a—like—like a patriot. 

SHARPTON:  Like burning the constitutional rights of citizens.

CARLSON:  Oh, come on.  I'd like to see how many Democrats vote against it.  I predict about three. 

SHARPTON:  Well...

CARLSON:  Next situation, the Supreme Court nomination of John Roberts.  Roberts has never publicly given a clear indication of his personal views on abortion. 

However, “The L.A. Times” today reports that liberal activist groups are worried about the influence his wife, Jane.  Mrs. Roberts provides her name, money and professional service to a small Washington organization known as Feminists For Life.  The group has, among other things, filed legal briefs before the high court challenging the constitutionality of abortion. 

I hope this doesn't become an issue.  It's the man's wife.  It seems to me that is, A, not a very good indicator of his views.  Mrs. Bush is pro-choice by her own description.  Her husband is not.  It doesn't say necessarily anything about his views.  And, B, it's the guy's wife.  Lay off. 

SHARPTON:  I think there's enough there with the guy. 


SHARPTON:  The guy was George Bush Sr.'s guy that helped write the—the brief to go in against Roe vs. Wade. 

You can't dismiss—I mean, this whole thing of saying he was doing his job, that's not his personal view, every job he had, Reagan, Bush—this guy is a right-wing operative that has worked in these administrations.


CARLSON:  Right-wing operative.

SHARPTON:  Administrations that were anti-Roe v. Wade.


SHARPTON:  Anti-affirmative action.  How do you divorce this guy from his own career? 

CARLSON:  Well, he should say it loud, say it proud.  I—I completely agree with you.  He should say what he...

SHARPTON:  He should say it loud.  He shouldn't be too proud. 


CARLSON:  He ought to be very proud, because he's right.  But he ought to be direct about it.  I hope those are his views. 

MADDOW:  Well, the situation with his wife is this. 

I mean, he has got a long record as a lawyer, as you're saying.  He doesn't have a long record as a judge.  And so, there is this ambiguity about what his personal views are.  The fact that his wife is an anti-abortion activist gives you some sense, some indication of what his private views are. 

No, it's not going to become...

CARLSON:  Well, wait a second. 


MADDOW:  Not going to become—people are not going to protest it. 

CARLSON:  Really?

MADDOW:  There's nothing wrong with what she's doing.

CARLSON:  I don't know.  She...

MADDOW:  But it helps you understand what kind of guy he is. 


CARLSON:  Hold—hold on.  He—their family also adopted two children. 

MADDOW:  Right. 

CARLSON:  I mean, you could say—I mean, look, there are a lot of explanations for it.  But should we not, as a matter of principle, say the spouse is off-limits unless the spouse is actively involved in politics?

MADDOW:  Nobody is attacking her.  She doesn't need to be off-limits for us to learn about who she is.  She's a lawyer.

CARLSON:  No, no.

MADDOW:  She's an anti-abortion activist. 


CARLSON:  She's being used to make partisan rhetorical points against her husband. 

MADDOW:  No.  She's not.

CARLSON:  And I just think that is unseemly.


MADDOW:  She's being used to indicate something about what her husband's position is on abortion.  There's nothing...


CARLSON:  Well, all these extremist pro-abortion groups are running around saying he's against Roe because she is. 

MADDOW:  Extremist pro-abortion groups.

CARLSON:  Yes.  That's right. 

MADDOW:  There's not a single pro-abortion person in the country. 

CARLSON:  Is that true?

MADDOW:  Nobody is in favor of abortion.  Nobody has recreational abortions in this country. 

CARLSON:  Pro—if you're for legal gambling, you're call pro-gambling.  I'm merely—the pro-choice terminology means something.  Find a more descriptive phrase and I promise I'll use it.

MADDOW:  If you don't say pro-life, I won't say pro-choice. 


CARLSON:  I never say—I never say pro-life.  I say anti-abortion. 


MADDOW:  All right.  Well, only...


MADDOW:  All right. 

CARLSON:  Next situation, Condoleezza Rice went to the Sudan and all her entourage got was a lousy manhandling. 


ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT:  Can you tell us why the violence is continuing, Mr. President?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

MITCHELL:  Can you tell us why the...



CARLSON:  Well, the scuffle included NBC's Andrea Mitchell.  And it occurred as the secretary of state entered a meeting with President Omar Hassan El-Bashir. 

Security forces roughly presented—prevented, rather—Rice's delegation and members of the press from following. 

It's—it's really unbelievable.  I mean, they were there partly because the Sudan wants to be taken off the terror list and...


CARLSON:  And taken seriously as a country that respects human rights.  On the one hand, you sort of wish that the security detail from the State Department had whipped out their MP5s and said, back off to the Sudanese.  You touch an American, we'll kill you. 

I would sort of like that.  On the other hand, it's sort of—it's—it's almost comic.  The P.R. skills of the Sudanese government, not high.


SHARPTON:  I mean, it would be comic if the Sudanese government was comic. 

I mean, what they've done there in Sudan—and you know I went to Sudan.  You know of the Eddie Harris documentary on it.  It's amazing.  I think this is reflective of an attitude...

CARLSON:  That's right. 

SHARPTON:  ... that they've shown toward their own people, the

genocide that has existed there.  I don't know why anyone would be upset or

·         or surprised, would be a better way, of how they treated Condoleezza Rice.  Look how they treat women in Sudan.


CARLSON:  That's right. 

MADDOW:  Yes. 

SHARPTON:  And children.  So, I think this is reflective...

CARLSON:  And men, for that matter.

SHARPTON:  I think this is reflective of the kind of government that's there.  And, in that light, I'm glad at least the world sees how they really feel about people. 

MADDOW:  That is the—the implication here, is that maybe because this very embarrassing incident happened with Andrea Mitchell of NBC and Condoleezza Rice, and needing the apology, maybe we'll all pay attention to Sudan being a really screwed-up place now and having a really bad government. 

It's kind of weird that this is the thing that gets our attention, not two million people....


MADDOW:  Two million dead.


SHARPTON:  People starving, people being raped.

CARLSON:  Well, that—no, that's true.

SHARPTON:  But Condoleezza and Andrea shouldn't be harassed.  I mean, give me a break.  

CARLSON:  Well, I don't think anybody is saying that.

I do—I do think, though, it would be instructive for everyone who is taping this show to rewind and take a close look at the president's face as that yelling was going on.  Impassive.  He's seen this before.

MADDOW:  Yes. 


CARLSON:  This is not the first person he's...


SHARPTON:  It's mild...

CARLSON:  ... bundled up in handcuffs.

SHARPTON:  ... for what he has seen before.

CARLSON:  That's—that's right. 

MADDOW:  That's right. 

CARLSON:  All right. 

CARLSON:  Rachel, Reverend Al, stick around.  Many more situations to come.


CARLSON (voice-over):  A 79-year-old crossing guard is ordered to hit the road.  Wait until you hear why. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Just kind made me mad. 

CARLSON:  Plus, a rare behind-the-scene peak of the Tour de France. 

How did O.J. become a popular Washington swinger? 

And another Simpson reveals how to put the boot in booty. 

It's all ahead on THE SITUATION. 




CARLSON:  Still ahead, British teachers want to replace the word failure on report cards with the phrase deferred success.  Good idea or completely insane?  “Op Ed Op Ed” next.


CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

Time for “Op Ed Op Ed.”  We spent a good portion of the day perusing every editorial page in America, picking the three most interesting, to which the Rev, Rachel and I will reply. 

First up, “Kansas City Star.”  Jonah Goldberg compares the pride most Americans feel in their flag with the faint embarrassment many British feel about the Union Jack—quote—“The fact the burning the flag is considered fighting words by so many in America is a sign that the stars and the stripes still arouses passion and meaning for all Americans.  It's only when people don't care about the flag at all that a country really gets into trouble.

It is true that the British are embarrassed of the Union Jack.  They see it—many of them see it as a sign of colonial—their colonial past.  And it's also true that that is bad, that Western civilization, liberal values are worth being proud of and worth defending and worth fighting for. 

SHARPTON:  I don't think you have to narrow patriotism down to whether it's a flag or some other thing.  I think they have a lot to be embarrassed about colonialism.  And that might be true patriotism, to say that they want the British to represent more than that.  So, I don't necessarily agree with that. 

MADDOW:  I had a British friend come visit me in Massachusetts once.  And, on my town—my town, the little road that I live in, it was Fourth and July weekend.  There's flags, all the way up and down, the flag.  And she said, are we closer to the Canadian border than I thought we were? 


MADDOW:  It's because the idea of flying a flag in Britain means something about conflict with other nations.

CARLSON:  That's right. 

MADDOW:  And that's why you need to state who you are.

I mean, I think that the fact that we have a controversy in this country about flag burning just shows, we, you know, don't recognize that the flag supports your right to burn the flag. 


CARLSON:  No.  But, also, I mean, Americans are emotional about the symbol of their country.  And no matter how you feel about flag burning, I think that's a good thing.

MADDOW:  It's—fair enough.  But flag—the flag burning amendment is a bad idea.

SHARPTON:  Well, it's interesting to me, Rachel.  The right-wingers love to talk about the importance of the American flag.  But when we object to the Confederate Flag, they say flags don't mean anything. 

CARLSON:  I've never made that case. 


CARLSON:  I think the Confederate Flag is super offensive to a lot of people.  And if you want to fly it, fine.  I don't think you ought to fly it at public buildings.  But the American flag is worth defending.

SHARPTON:  But you...

CARLSON:  Always and everywhere.

SHARPTON:  But you're right a right-winger with sporadic sense of being right sometimes. 


CARLSON:  No, no.  I'm just so deeply right-wing that I've just, I think, come all the way around. 

MADDOW:  You sometimes come all the way around, right.


CARLSON:  Well, “The New Orleans Times-Picayune” voices concern over some British teachers wanting to do away with the word failure—buckle your seat belt—and replace it with the phrase deferred success. 

Quote: “Sugarcoating poor academic performance for the sake of self-esteem is a poor”—is a poor editorial choice,” because, in fact, we've chosen the wrong editorial.  So, we're going to put them in the correct order.  We're going to get that in a minute, a little taste, a little tease of the op-ed to come. 

But first...

MADDOW:  That was a right-wing conspiracy right there.

CARLSON:  Thank you.  Yes, it was. 

MADDOW:  Yes, it was. 

CARLSON:  First, “The Philadelphia Daily News.”

Carol Towarnicky writes how Rick Santorum has an idealized and she says false outlook on American families in his new book, “It Takes a Family”—quote—“In his bizarre new book, U.S. Senator Rick Santorum writes, in far too many families with young children, both parents are working, when, if they really took an honest look at the budget, they might find they both don't need to.”

She's outraged at this, partly correctly.  She points out that a lot of families don't have the option to have one parent stay home with kids.  And that's absolutely true.  But I think the point that Santorum is making is, it's a good thing.  If you can, if it's possible, within your reach, and you want to, having a parent stay home and raise the children for that small period of time kids are at home, before they go away to school, is a really good thing.  That's not an offensive statement.  It's true. 

SHARPTON:  Well, I think if you—if you followed the senator to Washington and watch him vote on tax cuts that makes it necessary for both parents to work if they can get a job, it is very offensive.  I mean, given the economy...

CARLSON:  Wait a second.  How do tax cuts...

SHARPTON:  It is also sexist.  Why—why—why don't we have the men stay home sometimes? 

I mean, you can make the same argument that young boys and young girls need their dad at home.  I mean, who decides that?  I think that's crazy.  We're in the 21st century.  Women have the right and obligation to live the lives that they want to... 


CARLSON:  Well, I don't think anyone is suggesting otherwise.  He's just saying that parents are better than day care.

MADDOW:  No, he's saying...

SHARPTON:  That's not what he...


MADDOW:  ... in far too many families, families that are making this decision, are making the wrong decision...


MADDOW:  ... because they haven't looked close enough at their budget. 

That's actually the way that he phrased it. 

And I—I think that's an interesting strategy for getting working families' votes in Pennsylvania next year.  I think this is so politically idiotic of him.


MADDOW:  I mean, he also makes the cases that schools are Satanic and that schools are somehow perverting kids. 

CARLSON:  He doesn't make the case that schools are Satanic. 

MADDOW:  He does.  He says that schools are an aberration and that they are a bad way of socializing kids.  He's so far outside the mainstream, it's ridiculous. 

CARLSON:  No.  First of all, if this is bad for him politically, I think that's great.  It just shows he means it.  Not everything every politician writes is a campaign flier.

MADDOW:  He's...

CARLSON:  Perhaps he actually believes it, in which case he gets points. 

MADDOW:  But you ought to pay attention to the fact that he is saying working families don't understand their own budgets and he knows better. 

CARLSON:  Yes, I think he's saying that life is about choices and this is a positive choice, to stay home with your kids.  And it is a positive choice.

SHARPTON:  But the choice is based on your circumstance. 

CARLSON:  Right.  

SHARPTON:  He was not addressing the underlying circumstances, nor the right of people to make decisions. 

CARLSON:  Well, I don't think anybody is pushing anyone to do anything. 

All right.  This is the op-ed that we teased a moment ago. 


CARLSON:  I know you're waiting for it with great anticipation.

“The New Orleans Times-Picayune,” they are upset because, in Britain, some teachers are replacing the term failure with the phrase deferred success.  Now, here it is again: “”Sugarcoating poor academic performance for the sake of self-esteem, it's a poor tradeoff.  Sometimes, lousy grades reflect a lack of effort, not a lack of ability.  If students don't think it matters much what is on their report card, they may defer success indefinitely.”

Nothing like the education establishment to provide just an endless supply of yucks and laughs.  This is true.  Look, teachers...

SHARPTON:  I think they got it from Tony Blair's reelection campaign. 

He said, I didn't fail.  It was deferred success.



MADDOW:  I think that it doesn't really matter at all what they call it.


MADDOW:  You can call it—you know, you can call it poor.  You can call it unsatisfactory.  You can call it failure.  You can call it deferred success.  It doesn't matter.  It matters if you are teaching kids.  And if you're teaching kids, you can call it whatever they like when they do not succeed. 

CARLSON:  No, because words do matter, actually.  Words imply the attitudes behind them. 

And being—holding kids to a high standard, sometimes being tough, being mean, even, in a classroom works.  The teacher I learned most from was the one who whipped a textbook at my face for being lazy.  I was less lazy after that.  It was good.

MADDOW:  But prove to me that calling an 8-year-old a failure makes that kid fail less.  It doesn't do anything.  This is not about our...


CARLSON:  I don't know.  It worked for me.  Being called a failure scared the hell out of me.

SHARPTON:  And deferred—and deferred success can be hard.  If somebody flipped the book and called you someone that had deferred success...


SHARPTON:  ... you would be just as intimidated. 

MADDOW:  It's the whack that matters, exactly.

CARLSON:  I would be maybe just as intimidated, but much more confused.


CARLSON:  What the hell does that mean?


CARLSON:  All right, coming up, an elementary school teacher reportedly forced to resign because she had a portrait of President Bush hanging in her classroom.  One man not outraged by this, Max Kellerman, he is coming up. 

Plus, a 79-year-old crossing guard in Houston fired after 16 years of faithful service for refusing to take a drug test.  A spokesman for the school district responsible for his dismissal joins me after the break. 

Stay tuned. 


CARLSON:  Well, there's a peculiar situation in Texas tonight, where a school crossing guard who's been on the job for 16 years was fired for refusing to take a random drug test.  The guard in question 79 years old.  Frances Light (ph) says he refused initially because he wanted to discuss the policy with an administrator. 

He says he has not had a beer in 51 years.  He says he's never used illegal drugs.  But now he says he's willing to take the test.  The school district says, too late. 

Joining me now, Terry Abbott.  He is the press secretary for the Houston Independent School District. 

Mr. Abbott, thanks a lot for joining me. 


Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Was there any indication that the 79-year-old Mr. Light was, indeed, a drug addict, say, on crystal meth? 

ABBOTT:  Well, we had no idea.  There was no way to—for us to know, because, ultimately, he refused to take the drug test.  And that, of course, is the thing that got him fired in the end.  

CARLSON:  Did you suspect that Mr. Light might...

ABBOTT:  In essence, he fired himself.

CARLSON:  ... be on crystal meth?  I mean, did—did you have any reason to believe he might be addicted to drugs or an alcoholic at the age of 79? 

ABBOTT:  No.  The only thing—no.  The only thing that we knew that he did was refuse to take the drug and alcohol test, which he's required to take as a crossing guard, and which he knows he's required to take.  So, that's the only thing that we can say at this point. 


ABBOTT:  So, we can't speak to what his motives might have been or what his situation might have been.  But he did, indeed, refuse to take the test.

CARLSON:  But don't—but don't...

ABBOTT:  And that means automatic termination. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  Apparently, it does. 

Don't you think, though, Mr. Abbot, that, of all the people who might be likely to be addicted to drugs, a 79-year-old crossing guard probably right at the bottom of the list?

ABBOTT:  Well, we can't make that judgment. 

I've known people at 79 who have plenty to drink.  And there are probably others around the country listening to me right now who—who do, too.  We can't make that judgment.  That's why the random drug testing program is in place.  We have to be able to assure moms and dads every day that their children are safe when they're walking across our streets here.

CARLSON:  Well, I...


ABBOTT:  ... very busy city.

And so, if—if we—if we can't require an employee to—to absolutely take a drug test, if they can outright refuse, then we have zero ability to protect our children.  So, we have to...


CARLSON:  Right.  But don't—don't—don't you think it's your responsibility, as a school administrator, to show some good judgment and not to waste valuable resources testing people who you're pretty certain are going to come up negative? 

ABBOTT:  Oh, it would be—it would be...

CARLSON:  Isn't this very much like pulling little kids out of line at the airport?  It's a waste of money.

ABBOTT:  No.  It would—it would be horrible judgment for us to allow someone to just refuse to take a drug or alcohol test.  That would be terrible judgment.  We would be putting those children at risk if we did that.  And we won't do that. 


CARLSON:  But wait a minute.  You—well, hold on.  You say you'd be putting those children at risk.  Anticipating you might say that, we did a little research this afternoon to find out how many children each year in America die because of drunk or drug-addicted crossing guards.  And the number we came up with is zero, not one, whereas, by contrast...

ABBOTT:  Well, and we want to make...

CARLSON:  By contrast...

ABBOTT:  And we want to make sure that that remains zero.

CARLSON:  .... five Americans were killed last year by falling vending machines.  You're more likely to be killed by a mad dog than by a drunk crossing guard. 

Aren't you trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist?  Where's the evidence this is a problem? 

ABBOTT:  We're not going to—Tucker, we're not going to make a mistake with one of those children. 

I have a 6-year-old boy named Lane (ph) who is home watching me right on television.  He walks across the street every day to his school with his crossing guard.  If I found out that that crossing guard refused to take a drug or alcohol test, I would want him fired right away as a parent.

CARLSON:  Well, apparently...

ABBOTT:  And that's what all parents want. 

CARLSON:  Apparently, you would.  I don't think that is what your parents want, however. 

There are at least 30 parents who have come to Mr. Light's defense. 

They say he was a great crossing guard.  He hasn't had a drink in 51 years. 

This is an upstanding citizen.

ABBOTT:  And no one is saying...

CARLSON:  And they want him reinstated.  Why won't you give this man a second chance?

ABBOTT:  Well, no one is saying that he wasn't a good crossing guard. 

But, in this case, he did the one thing that he knew he couldn't do. 

And that was, he refused the drug and alcohol test. 


ABBOTT:  Back on September 7 of 2004, he signed a statement acknowledging...

CARLSON:  OK.  But hold on.


ABBOTT:  ... that he understood he had to take the test. 

CARLSON:  I understand that.  You said that.  But I hope you see the internal contradiction in your argument.  You are saying you're doing this for kids and their parents.  Kids and their parents who actually know Mr.  Light want him back on the job.  Why won't you give this man a second chance? 

ABBOTT:  I would hazard a guess that the vast majority of the people in Houston would want us to fire anyone of any age...

CARLSON:  Right. 

ABBOTT:  ... who had a position of safety, taking care of children, who refused to take...

CARLSON:  Right. 

ABBOTT:  ... a drug or alcohol test. 

CARLSON:  But—but you've—you've made your point now.  But now Mr. Light says he's willing to take the test.  He's not, it turns out, addicted to crystal meth.  He'll take the test.  Why not let him have his job back?  Parents and kids want it. 

ABBOTT:  Well, it's a little late for that.  Can you imagine if we had a situation where we have someone who refuses to take a drug or alcohol test and then comes back two days, three days later, and says, OK, I'll take it now?  Sure, you will.  Well, no, we're not going to do that.

CARLSON:  If the person in question is 79 years old, yes, I can imagine. 

ABBOTT:  But, Tucker, are you...


CARLSON:  What I can't imagine is the asinine position...

ABBOTT:  Tucker...

CARLSON:  ... of your school district.  It's unbelievable.

ABBOTT:  Tucker, are you saying...

CARLSON:  But you're awfully...

ABBOTT:  Tucker, are you saying that—are you saying that a 79-year-old man couldn't possibly be drunk at work? 

CARLSON:  That's not at all what I'm saying. 

ABBOTT:  Is that what you're saying?

CARLSON:  I'm saying—I'm...

ABBOTT:  Come on.  I think you know better than that.  Come on. 

CARLSON:  I'm saying that it's better to think like a human being than like a bureaucrat and each case ought to be evaluated as its own case. 

ABBOTT:  No, no.  Let me—now, let me—let me object to that.  let me object to that. 

What we're thinking here is that our number one job is to protect those—the safety of those children.  And that's what we're going to do. 

CARLSON:  All right. 

ABBOTT:  I don't care if he's 79 years old or 19 years old.  If he refuses the drug test...

CARLSON:  All right. 

ABBOTT:  ... he's out. 

CARLSON:  OK.  Mr.—Mr. Abbot, you obviously don't care.  But I appreciate your coming on anyway.  Thanks very much for explaining it. 

ABBOTT:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  Coming up, real men live with their wrinkles.  Yes, they do.  So, who are all those guys getting face-lifts?  And who can defend it?  A vain metrosexual, perhaps.  Max Kellerman joins us, as THE SITUATION nips and tucks.


CARLSON:  Welcome back to THE SITUATION.  Sitting in for Meredith Baxter-Birney, I'm Tucker Carlson. 

We've got 12 more sizzling topics to address.  Let's get back into it with the Reverend Al Sharpton and Rachel Maddow. 

Now, Reverend, you're a preacher.  So you can see in the man I just interviewed the Pharisees.  Here this guy was arguing a completely legalistic point.  Again, more children killed by falling vending machines than by drunk crossing guards.  He's firing this guy anyway.

SHARPTON:  What I was more impressed with is how you kept swinging like George Foreman in Zaire against Muhammad Ali.  I mean, your arm should be tired.  You had no rest for the other guy.

The guy is representing the school system. 

CARLSON:  Well, he wouldn't just be human about it and say...


SHARPTON:  But he can't change policy on the air.  You know that he's reading the script given him.  Obviously, there must be human considerations made in any policy.  Obviously, this guy does not look like a drug addict or a drunk, but, I mean, you beat up on the poor man... 

CARLSON:  I beat up on the poor man?  

SHARPTON:  His son was watching that.

CARLSON:  His 6-year-old son. 

MADDOW:  His 6-year-old son. 


CARLSON:  ... who's going to be protected because... 


CARLSON:  You've called me to account.  And I appreciate it. 

MADDOW:  Repent, Tucker.  Repent. 

Now here's my question.  Are you against drug testing? 

CARLSON:  I think, you know, if you're flying the plane, if you're driving the school bus, drug testing is fine.  I think, in most jobs, drug testing is unnecessary and unnecessarily invasive.  And I resent it so profoundly I can't even tell you.

MADDOW:  So you want very specific rules for drug testing that don't include crossing guards?

CARLSON:  If you can explain why drug testing is necessary, and it makes sense, I'm for it.  Most of the time, you can't, so I'm against it. 

MADDOW:  I think you should be sentenced to drug testing as part of your parole or something, but other than that, I don't think you should have to do it very often.

CARLSON:  Well, if you're a pilot, you know, I'm just as happy they're drug tested.

Well, next SITUATION, celebrities on Capitol Hill, not unheard of, but one famous face spotted earlier this week is stirring up some controversy.  O.J. Simpson turned up at the Congressional Black Caucus' spouses gala and golf tournament. 

He was mobbed there by young staffers.  But not everybody was glad to see him.  One lobbyist reportedly said, quote, “It's pretty unbelievable.  Here you have a group of congressmen honoring a guy that most likely committed murder.”

Jeffrey Dahmer couldn't make it.  He's dead.  Unabomber not available, either, so they got O.J.  I mean, this is—I don't know.  You know, you want to take—members of Congress are serious people, and you want to take them seriously.  And the Congressional Black Caucus is serious in some ways.

But to bring O.J. shows, it seems to me, a lack of self-awareness that's a little disturbing. 

SHARPTON:  Well, first of all, I think there's a difference between

him attending a golf tournament and mauled by youngsters than being honored

by a caucus.  I don't see where they honored him.


Second of all, if Robert Blake walks in somewhere, he's probably mobbed.  I mean, they're celebrities.  And whether you think the juries that made the decision to acquit them are correct or not, I wouldn't put too much on young people running around. 

CARLSON:  If Tom DeLay's office invited Robert Blake to a fundraiser, I for one would hop up and say, “Eww.” 

SHARPTON:  First of all, I don't know if he was invited... 

MADDOW:  That's the thing.  He wasn't invited.

SHARPTON:  He certainly wasn't honored. 

MADDOW:  The Congressional Black Caucus and the spouse's organization that held this thing didn't invite him.  Other people invited him.  He showed up.  They had the choice whether or not to kick him out.  They chose not to kick him out, which is maybe a bad political move, but he has a right to be there.

CARLSON:  Well, one of the organizers—first of all, he doesn't have a right to be there.  No one has a right to be there.  It's a private event. 

But one of the organizers, the wife of Congressman Sanford Bishop of Georgia, said that she was glad he was there because he helped raise money.  And I just think it's bad P.R.  It shows bad judgment. 

And all of us should say to O.J., “Eww.  Go back to Florida and do whatever you do.” 

MADDOW:  Well, not everybody in the country thinks that the jury was wrong.  You do.  A lot of people do.  Not everybody does.

CARLSON:  Who doesn't?

MADDOW:  A lot of people.

SHARPTON:  A lot of people.  You've got the cop that is probably the most responsible for him being acquitted, other than Johnnie Cochran, is writing books and being mobbed all the time.  And he's the most celebrated n-word user in the country. 

CARLSON:  True me, I'm not defending Mark Fuhrman for one moment.  But I just still think in this case...


SHARPTON:  There's a lot of people that...


CARLSON:  And if Mark Fuhrman shows up at a Tom DeLay fundraiser, I'll denounce it.  But I'm—O.J. at the CBC, wrong, I think.

Next situation, Uncle Sam wants you to help stop illegal immigration, or did, anyway.  Yesterday, the nation's top border enforcement official said he was looking into having civilian volunteers work alongside Border Patrol agents. 

The idea, of course, is inspired by the famous Minutemen patrols along the Arizona-Mexico border this spring.  Now tonight comes word that the federal government has squelched that idea. 

According to the Department of Homeland Security, patrolling the border, a job only for professionals.  And I don't know why.  I mean, right after 9/11, the president got up and said, “We need you, Mr. and Mrs.  America.  We need your eyes and ears.  If you see something suspicious, you see scary-looking foreigners running around”...

MADDOW:  Call the officials. 

CARLSON:  ... “we want to know.” 


CARLSON:  So what is wrong?  I mean, they're clearly for P.C. reasons afraid—the administration is afraid to sign off on this.  But what is wrong with Americans trying to uphold the law of their own country? 

SHARPTON:  There's a difference between calling the law and having community watch groups, and the Minutemen, or people that become vigilantes.  And the danger also is—suppose that they're infiltrated by the terrorists themselves.  I mean, there's a lot of questions here. 

MADDOW:  That's an interesting point about infiltration.  I will also say that we've got to be fair about this story and acknowledge that what they were talking (INAUDIBLE) was offering the Minutemen filing jobs so the real Border Patrol could go out there and do the Border Patrol stuff. 

But the vigilante guys don't want that.  They want to be out there armed, armed...


CARLSON:  I think you're being unfair to the Minutemen.  Actually, these are serious people with jobs.  They weren't vigilantes.  They didn't commit one act of vigilantism.  Most of them weren't armed.

MADDOW:  Then they should be happy to do the filing. 

CARLSON:  Now, hold on.  There are volunteer firemen, police auxiliary units.  Ordinary citizens help out their government in many ways everyday.  Why can't they help secure the border?

MADDOW:  Being a fake Border Patrol guard with your own gun is not helping our government. 

CARLSON:  I don't see the difference from being a fake fireman with your own hose.  It's not.  It's helping our country.

MADDOW:  A volunteer fire department is part of the way we fight fires officially in this country.  I'm not going out and setting up my own prison at Guantanamo because I don't like the way the government's running that. 

CARLSON:  Our borders are not being patrolled very effectively.  The federal government says, “We don't have enough money and not enough men.”  Here are people, “Here we are, we'll do it for free.”

MADDOW:  “Here we are, we'll do it for free, but we want to be out there on the border with our own guns.”  We want to help you...


SHARPTON:  And the danger is suppose if some of the people that we are concerned about, as we started at the beginning of this situation, talking about terrorists, decide they're going to be part of those citizens. 

I think you've got to be very careful in these times to how you regulate who has a gun and who's giving the authority to use it in the name of protecting the country. 

CARLSON:  Huh?  Boy, I like my guns. 

MADDOW:  Fair enough.  You can keep them. 

CARLSON:  That's my response.  How's that for a well-reasoned response? 

And the reality TV situation is really heating up.  If you think eating bugs or passing muster with the Donald is tough, wait until you see proposed series “Red, Blue.”  It puts a dozen aspiring political consultants, divided into two teams of liberals and conservatives, in a townhouse in Georgetown that is wired with cameras and microphones, a la the “Real World.”  The winner gets $1 million to spend on a cause or a candidate in the 2006 election.

Boy, they're really going to have to sex this up a little bit.  I mean, they're going to need a lot of sex in this to make it sell, because political consultant are pretty earnest people, actually.  Most people in politics are kind of true believers, ideologues, kind of sweet. 

I mean, you know what I mean?  They actually believe something. 

They're not that cynical. 

SHARPTON:  I always knew you guys would come up with an exit strategy for Karl Rove.  So now you've...


MADDOW:  God, if somebody could only say, “You're fired,” to him. 

Wouldn't that be nice? 

But the thing that's interesting to me about this is, maybe if they can make it sexy, which would kind of be great.  If they could make politics a sexy reality show kind of thing, anything that could persuade smart, politically interested kids from not going into law school, but instead going right into politics, it'll be a good thing. 

CARLSON:  I completely agree with that.  But I think it's going to wind up being like a reality show on the making of an eagle scout.  I mean, most of these people are less corrupt and less cynical than we think. 

I mean, I guess they're going to be...

SHARPTON:  But I don't know if they're true believers and ideologues like you think.  A lot of them were just—some of them work both sides of the aisle. 

MADDOW:  That's true.

SHARPTON:  So I don't have this picture of political consultants... 

CARLSON:  No, no, no.  Well, the sleazy ones are the most fun, and they tend to be my friends. 

MADDOW:  They should do a lobbyist reality show.

SHARPTON:  That would be a majority. 

MADDOW:  They should do a lobbyist reality show for the real sleaze.

CARLSON:  Now, see, that would be good.

MADDOW:  That's the way to do the “K Street” show.

CARLSON:  Duck hunting with the lobby—with, you know, Hugo Chavez's lobbyist or something. 

MADDOW:  He'll do that.

CARLSON:  Thank you both.

MADDOW:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Reverend Al, thank you for coming.

SHARPTON:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Rachel, as always.

MADDOW:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Coming up, Lance Armstrong's not the only guy with a streak going at the Tour de France.  How long did this guy's go?  The naked truth lies ahead. 

Plus, Jessica Simpson remade a 40-year-old Nancy Sinatra song.  And it's already a runaway hit.  Still trying to figure out why.  We'll take a look, and maybe even a listen, on the “Cutting Room Floor.”


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  It's that time, time to welcome the “Outsider,” a man from outside the world of news willing to put his reputation as one of America's most beloved boy banders on the line, every night as he plays devil's advocate on a series of stories. 

The 1990s heartthrob in question, ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing host, Max Kellerman. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO HOST:  Well, thank you very much, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  You look great. 

KELLERMAN:  Boy bands?

CARLSON:  You've got—ever since you left 'N-Sync, you just look good. 

First up, a New York woman claims that she was forced from her teaching post by an elementary school principal who objected to her Republican activism and last year ordered the removal of a portrait of President Bush which was hanging in a row of presidential portraits from the educator's Long Island classroom. 

In a federal discrimination lawsuit, Jillian Caruso, 26, claimed she was improperly forced to resign her job by the school principal who is the wife of a Democratic state assemblyman. 

You know, this is almost impossible to defend.  But if I can just make one sort of broader point here. 

KELLERMAN:  Go right ahead. 

CARLSON:  This is outrageous and Soviet.  But beyond that, this is the consequence of a one-party state.  Teachers are about the most Democratic group in America. 

In the last cycle, 2000...

KELLERMAN:  Why do you think that is, by the way? 

CARLSON:  I don't know.  It's an interesting question, and maybe another debate, but...

KELLERMAN:  People concerned about the future and the children's education happen to be overwhelmingly Democratic. 

CARLSON:  Because it's run by teachers unions, which are, you know, just organs of the party.  To make my point, 78 percent of money from teachers, 2004, went to Democrats, almost $29 million, much less to Republicans. 

This is the fruit of it:  intolerance. 

KELLERMAN:  Intolerance?  The teachers who are—OK, in this case, I agree.  How can you argue?  She's the wife—the principal is the wife of a Democratic assemblyman from Brooklyn. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

KELLERMAN:  She gets infuriated, apparently, reportedly, and orders a portrait of the current president in a line of other presidents down? 

Here's my only defense.  You want smart people teaching your kids, right? 


KELLERMAN:  You know, if the president of MSNBC—if Rick Kaplan said, “Don't wear yellow shirts and bow ties”—which by the way is a sensible thing to say—then it would be a smart idea not to do that, right?  I mean, just be smart. 

And if this woman is that antagonistic towards authority, do you really want her teaching the kids? 

CARLSON:  In other words, because this woman disobeyed the commissar in her school, because she thought for herself, because she was an independent enough thinker to have her own thoughts separate and distinct from those of her boss, she must be a moron?

KELLERMAN:  Can we get to the next topic please?

CARLSON:  That is about the most inventive I've heard in a long time. 

I stand in awe. 

KELLERMAN:  Thank you very much.

CARLSON:  Next situation, whatever the government can do, the private sector may possibly be able to do a little better.  The “Christian Science Monitor” reports that, as NASA struggles to return the aging space fleet to space on Tuesday, next Tuesday, private companies are finding ways to put people and cargo into space easier and cheaper. 

However, private companies admit they'll need some government infrastructure, such as the Space Station, to further their missions.  You're never going to get people sending large man-carrying spacecraft into space without government's help, at least not in the short term. 

However, the idea that the private sector can do it better than NASA is plausible.  I mean, is Amtrak the best rail service, right? 

KELLERMAN:  Oh, don't get me started on Amtrak. 

CARLSON:  Are public men's rooms more appealing than, say, the bathroom in your own home? 



KELLERMAN:  Now I have to tell a story, because it involves Amtrak and public bathrooms.  I'm taking the train back from Roanoke, Virginia, to Washington, D.C., after a wedding in the middle of nowhere. 

Amtrak three hours late.  I'm with my wife.  I'm figuring, “It'll be nice.  We'll get a sleeper car.”  So we're sitting in the sleeper car facing each other.  All of a sudden I realize, where's the bathroom in this?  Sleeper cars are supposed to have a bathroom. 

And I looked to my right.  And there's a lid.  And it's a toilet.  So essentially, they have you sitting in a public bathroom.  And you pay extra for it. 

CARLSON:  That's exactly right. 

KELLERMAN:  I just had to tell that story.

CARLSON:  OK, contrast that to the Orient Express, and you have my point, maybe private space flight's a good idea. 

KELLERMAN:  Charles Lindbergh's story I saw recently.  I think it was on MSNBC.  I believe it was. 

And he said, you know, they're incentivizing private investors through prize money to come up with crafts that can orbit the Earth.  So they're leveraging, as he says, the money, just as they did with Charles Lindbergh with transatlantic flight.  You're leveraging the money, because you only have to pay out the prize once. 

So let's say you have $1 million prize.  You may have $20 million invested.  However, NASA took, saw what they did, and asked for their help.  And so I think it's better to do it under the umbrella of government, maybe taking something techniques that were innovated in the private sector.

CARLSON:  I understand not a word you said.  I'm still hung up on toilet in the bedroom. 

KELLERMAN:  Really, I insisted on leaving the sleeper car. 

CARLSON:  Let's bull forward then. 

Next up, what's the situation with more men getting plastic surgery? 

I'll tell you what it is:  it's appalling. 

Traditional plastic surgery jumped at least 10 percent for men between 2002 and 2003 alone.  That doesn't even count Max Kellerman's shaving ritual, which does not qualify technically.

Nose jobs, eyelid surgery, liposuction, they were the most popular procedures.  Botox reportedly the most popular non-surgical procedure.  And I'm opposed to all of it, for a bunch of reasons. 

One, just the common sense, men shouldn't get tummy tucks.  It's embarrassing. 

But here's my real problem of it.  It's a betrayal of the contract of manhood.  You're a man, OK?  Part of the deal is all the crummy things you have to put up with.  You don't have to worry so much about your appearance. 

Why?  Because women expect to you sort of, you know, degrade at a certain point and not worry about it.  You don't have to worry about how you look if you're a man.  All of a sudden, these men, spoiling it for everyone, getting nose jobs and hair implants. 

KELLERMAN:  According to reports, the idea is that psychologically middle age has changed.  And the reason you're really against it is because, how old are you, 35? 

CARLSON:  Yes, 36. 

KELLERMAN:  Thirty-six? 

CARLSON:  Right. 

KELLERMAN:  So, you know, when your chin is hanging down over the bow tie, maybe then you'll feel differently.  But right now, you're a young guy.  So we really don't know what it's like to be an 85-year-old who still wants to feel like a human being.

CARLSON:  Well, look.  Obviously, I wear a bow tie.  I'm not so concerned about my appearance. 

KELLERMAN:  Clearly.  You're drawing attention to your ears rather than your... 


CARLSON:  I'm sorry. 

KELLERMAN:  That's a line from a Coen brothers movie, actually. 

CARLSON:  But the point is that the idea that, as you get older you're defined by your appearance, is a kind of treadmill idea.  You'll never look as young as you want to look.  Better to just say at the outset, when you're old, you look old.  Value me for other reasons. 

KELLERMAN:  Agreed.  And I don't like the way it looks.  I don't like the way it looks on men or women, but...

CARLSON:  But it's much more embarrassing on men.  You'll concede that it's much more embarrassing.  If you're a man with a ton of plastic surgery and face-lifts... 

KELLERMAN:  You know what, I will agree.  But the bottom line, I think, is, if it makes you feel better about yourself, go and do whatever makes you feel better. 

And a lot of times, how you look on the outside makes you feel a lot better, you know, on the inside.  I'll explain it to you one day.

CARLSON:  It's that what the whole beard thing?

KELLERMAN:  That's why I spend an half-an-hour shaping up the beard. 

CARLSON:  And you do a great job. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, thank you very much.

CARLSON:  Max Kellerman, as always, thank you. 

KELLERMAN:  Up next, a little guessing game for you at home.  Try to figure out why this Ohio man was arrested.  The answer, as always, lies on our “Cutting Room Floor.”


CARLSON:  Oh, yes.  Time now for the “Cutting Room Floor.”  We sweep up the odds and ends of news we couldn't use and bring them to you. 

Willie Geist has them—Willie?


First and foremost, we want to thank the Reverend Al Sharpton, an American hero and now hero to THE SITUATION.  He was awesome. 

CARLSON:  Yes, we do, our first guest. 

GEIST:  That's right.

And second of all, you mentioned that Max was in 'N-Sync earlier.  I have a correction.  He was in the band, Color Me Badd.  I don't know if you remember that, late-'80s.  And he was actually a backup dancer.  He likes to exaggerate.  Color Me Badd had two Ds, by the way.

CARLSON:  They sound “Badd.” 

GEIST:  Good stories tonight. 

CARLSON:  Good.  I literally can't wait.  Thanks.

The anti-climatic outcome of the Tour de France has been decided since last week, so now only the real drama is when the next streaker will appear.  Well, it happened today, during the tour's 18th stage, when the man on the left of your screen offered some nude support to Frenchman Carlos Da Cruz, as he cycled through the mountains. 

The streaker accented his pasty backside with dress shoes and a yellow foam hat.  Looking sharp. 

GEIST:  What is the deal with Europeans and sporting events?  If they're not rioting at soccer games, they're getting nude at the Tour de France.

CARLSON:  They're kind of scrawny, too.  We could beat them in a war. 

GEIST:  Totally.  I have seen more European can than I could ever care to see.  Get a hold of yourselves. 

CARLSON:  Well, Jessica Simpson's gifts are many.  Talented singer, terrific wife, and who knew, one heck of a waitress. 

GEIST:  Oh, boy. 

CARLSON:  Oh, boy.  The new video for Simpson's cover of Nancy Sinatra classic, “These Boots were Made for Walking,” in which Jessica plays her Daisy Duke character from the “Dukes of Hazzard” movie got a full write-up in the “New York Times” today, something about the blending of pop and country music. 

We here at THE SITUATION appreciate Jessica's work for more obvious reasons. 

GEIST:  Boy, Tucker.  You know, I remember Jessica when she was just a young Christian girl from Texas with a guitar and dream.  She's come so doggone far. 

CARLSON:  Got on that Trailways bus headed for the big city. 

GEIST:  Oh, I am so proud of her. 

CARLSON:  I'm looking more at the deep culture significance of it all. 

GEIST:  What is that exactly? 

CARLSON:  I don't know.  Let me re-read the “Times.”  It was really over my head first.

Americans are drinking more wine than ever these days, but even the most willing palates will be tested by the latest offering from China:  fish wine.  Winemakers gut, wash, and boil eight different kinds of fish and then let them ferment for about a month. 

The wine that results sells for about six bucks a bottle. 

GEIST:  If you're buying $6 wine made from fish guts, you need to re-evaluate your situation.  Just spend the nine bucks on the Franzia box wine.  I mean...

CARLSON:  Franzia box wine?  How about kerosene?  You can heat your house...


GEIST:  That might be better.  And there's no bones in that, also. 

CARLSON:  That's a good point. 

Well, we don't encourage anyone to become a bank robber, but if you're thinking about it, don't use Edward Claxton as your role model.  Claxton walked into a Florida bank and passed a note to the teller that read, quote, “Give me the money.  Don't say a word.” 

He hen reached into the drawer, grabbed $335 in fives, and ran for the door.  Unfortunately for Claxton, his address was on the other side of the note.  Police quickly tracked him to his home. 

Did they recover the $335 that he took? 

GEIST:  They did.  That's not a heads-up play by “Fast Eddie” Claxton.  You know, he might have just been looking for a loan, cut through a little red tape.  He left his contact information.  What's the problem? 

CARLSON:  Well, rates are good. 

GEIST:  Yes.  He got his money back.  What's the problem?

CARLSON:  He's going to do time for that.  Even the other prisoners will mock him.  That's my prediction.

Well, you've heard about being caught red-handed, but how about being caught gold-faced?  Ohio police were alerted yesterday to a man attempting to buy a can of gold spray paint. 

So what was the problem exactly?  See for yourself.  Yes, the man had spent all morning huffing gold paint and he stopped at the general store for a refill.  Police didn't have much trouble identifying the culprit.  They charged him with, quote, “abusing harmful intoxicants,” which was not the man's first booking for paint huffing. 


GEIST:  It's going to be tough for him to talk his way out of that one, Tucker.  That might be the best ever mug shot in the civilian division.  Now I would like to remind you in the celebrity bracket... 

CARLSON:  Are there different divisions? 

GEIST:  Yes, this is the celebrity bracket.  There's your runner-up, the godfather of soul, James Brown. 

CARLSON:  James Brown. 

GEIST:  That's him.  He's the runner-up.

And of course, the undisputed champion, Nick Nolte, everybody. 

CARLSON:  You know, that looks like the post-execution by electrocution shot. 


GEIST:  I would like to know what exactly happened that night that led to that mug shot. 

CARLSON:  That actually—it looks like he partied like a movie star. 

GEIST:  Is he a movie star technically? 

CARLSON:  I think he is a movie star. 

GEIST:  That's a bit of a reach, actually. 

CARLSON:  Those, I believe, are courtesy of the Smoking Gun. 

GEIST:  They are. 

CARLSON:  If we can just put a plug in here for the Smoking Gun.  One of the great web sites in America has, I believe, the world's most comprehensive collection of celebrity mug shots. 

GEIST:  Are you in there perchance?  I know there's been a few run-ins. 

CARLSON:  I am not in there.  I work in cable, Willie.  I don't make the cut. 

GEIST:  That's good.

CARLSON:  All right.  That's THE SITUATION for tonight.  Thanks for watching.  “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY” is next. 

For that, I turn it over to guest host, the great Monica Crowley—




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