Guest: Eric Schaeffer, Ben Jones, Rachel Maddow, Max Kellerman
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist was briefly hospitalized with a fever today. He has since returned home. We will, of course, keep you updated with developments in that story as they occur.
Also, on THE SITUATION tonight, we have got Michael Jackson's jurors changing their tunes, a convicted murderer buried at Arlington Cemetery and a possible X-rated career move for Mike Tyson.
Let's meet tonight's distinguished panel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “THE DUKES OF HAZZARD”)
BEN JONES, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: Breaker one, breaker one. Crazy Cooter coming at you. I got my ears on tight, got my eyes pealed, got my pedal to the metal. I've going on your back door.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: You know him as Cooter from the original “Dukes of Hazzard.” You also know him as a congressman, former, from the state of Georgia. He is Ben Jones. And she, of course, played Daisy Duke on “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
CARLSON: It's Ms. Rachel Maddow.
RACHEL MADDOW, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It was the pilot.
CARLSON: It was the pilot.
JONES: You got your ears on.
CARLSON: I think you'd be great.
CARLSON: We begin with two remarkable developments in the London terror situation.
First, al Qaeda's number two, Ayman Al-Zawahri, appeared on Al-Jazeera television, blamed the July 7 bombings on Tony Blair. He promised more terror unless England and the U.S. withdraw from Iraq and other Muslim nations.
The second development, comments from British member of Parliament
George Galloway. Galloway today defended his comments that Iraqi
insurgents were—quote—“martyrs” and that their land was being raped
by the U.K. and the United States.
Here's also what he said. The most interesting line, I thought, from Galloway was this: “It can be said, truly said, that the Iraqi resistance isn't just defending Iraq. They're defending all the Arabs and they're defending all the people of the world against American hegemony.”
Now, it's easy to just dismiss this guy as a crackpot or a pig or whatever. But he's saying something that's resonating with a lot of people around the globe. I think that many on the international left give the benefit of the doubt to comments like this because the insurgency in Iraq is anti-American. They should keep in mind, it's not just anti—American.
It's not just anti—British. It's anti-Western civilization. It's against
t's totally opposed to the liberal values, the values of freedom, that we all enjoy.
MADDOW: I think terrorism is. I think al Qaeda is. But I think the insurgency is actually something a little bit different. I mean, Galloway an opponent of the war. I am. You are. He obviously used language that neither you or I would ever use, totally inflammatory in this case. But he did actually...
CARLSON: And morally offensive, yes.
MADDOW: He made a point that points out the inherent stupidity of something that the coalition is doing, which is saying that we'll stay in Iraq as long—until the insurgency dies down. Well, you know what? The insurgency is in Iraq because we're in Iraq. And so, that doesn't make any sense.
CARLSON: But, look, when you set off bombs designed to kill recruits standing in line or schoolchildren, it's just—it's evil. That's not resistance. It's terrorism.
JONES: That's right. And that insurgency is also anti-Arab, because the people who have died the most there are Arab people.
And those mothers who have lost children are sick of those insurgents, too. But I agree with you. I think the war is tar baby. I think it's quicksand. And I don't think we have an exit strategy. I think it was a mistake to get in. And it's taken our eye off the ball. And now, you know, we're spending a couple hundred billion dollars. And Zarqawi is able to...
CARLSON: That's right. Well, I couldn't agree more with that. I just think...
JONES: I mean, I'm all for Afghanistan.
JONES: I was all for Desert Storm. But this thing, I think—and I said so at the time—I felt it was a mistake. And we've all learned that we went in there for false reasons. And now we have to get out, I suppose with a certain amount of honor, but also with a stable Iraq.
And I don't see that—I don't see the end game...
CARLSON: But even though or even if—and I believe it was—the war in Iraq was a mistake, there's no moral justification for acts of terror against us or anyone else.
JONES: No, there's not.
CARLSON: And I think he's suggesting there are.
MADDOW: No. But the insurgency...
MADDOW: ... is there because we're there.
CARLSON: I just think that's totally—I just think that's completely wrong. I just think that's...
MADDOW: Terrorism and the insurgency in Iraq are separate things.
JONES: What you've got—we're in a civil—that's a civil war. And it's also inviting in a lot of other people, who can take cheap, easy shots with road bombs at our guys.
MADDOW: That's true.
CARLSON: Next situation, flip-flopping jurors from the Michael Jackson case. Two of the jurors who voted to acquit Jackson of all charges now say they believe he is, in fact, guilty.
The jurors, 79-year-old Eleanor Cook (ph) and 62-year-old Ray Holtman (ph) say they plan to write tell-all books about their experiences during the trial. They're going to be pretty short books. I can't imagine what they're going to say. But they figured it out too late to bring justice to the children they now believe he molested, but not too late to cash in through writing these books.
They ought to be ashamed of themselves. I think it's appalling, what they're doing. And I think they ought to donate the royalties from these books to a trust to be held for future victims of Michael Jackson.
JONES: I'm sure they'll take you up on that.
CARLSON: Well, I suspect they won't.
JONES: Boy, I'm telling you, they're watching right now and saying, you know, Tucker is right about that.
JONES: Listen, nobody in that whole deal had any credibility, not Jackson, not the—not the accusers, not these jurors. All—they should all be ashamed of themselves.
CARLSON: But don't you think the jurors should be—I mean, look, if Michael Jackson is a creep and the parents of the boy were flaky, OK. So what? But aren't jurors supposed to be...
JONES: No, they're creeps.
CARLSON: ... you know, above that?
JONES: They can be creeps, too. And this is a shining example of that. Maybe they'll be 10 more books and they'll come up with a different verdict.
MADDOW: I mean, whether or not you think the jury got it wrong, it is
· this is going to be kind of amazing to see just how much hunger we have as Americans for the Michael Jackson story. We devoted all of springtime television to the trial.
And if we all run out to buy the book by juror number 7, I'm going to stick pins in my eyes. I just can't take it anymore. I'm done with it.
CARLSON: Well, let's start a movement not to buy the book, shall we?
MADDOW: All right. Fair enough.
CARLSON: I'm sorry we even publicized it.
MADDOW: Next up, from one controversial entertainer to another, this one, 14-year-old Anthony Latour. Latour is, or was, an eighth grader in a school near Pittsburgh, until he was expelled for allegedly penning violent, threatening rap lyrics and posting them on the Internet.
He has been expelled for the coming school year. But the ACLU, predictably, suing to have him reinstated on the grounds that he wrote those lyrics at home and didn't take them to school.
I think, you know, if you're writing rap lyrics or any kind of lyrics or writing anything and posting it on the Internet espousing violence against other people, I completely understand why the school kicks him out.
JONES: I mean, it's just poetry. It's poetry. And he's a very creative kid.
CARLSON: Is that true?
JONES: Yes, that is...
CARLSON: Have you read—have you read his poetry?
JONES: Yes. I read the stuff. And, you know, yes, yes. It's very typical.
CARLSON: And with the culture that we're in right now, it's kind of mild. And he—you know, it was between him and a friend. The friend was cool with it. Everybody was cool with it, except the people of the school.
MADDOW: I love that his name was M.C. Accident (ph), because...
MADDOW: ... what he's gotten into now.
CARLSON: Well, I think...
MADDOW: Listen, he's a 14-year-old kid...
JONES: Very creative.
MADDOW: ... who wrote “I'm going to kick your butt” raps.
MADDOW: He didn't bring them to school. He didn't—he was—basically, he's saying nasty things about people he knows in his bedroom at home and posting them back-and-forth to his friends, and he gets expelled for it?
CARLSON: No. He's not saying nasty things to people he knows. He's talking about shooting people.
CARLSON: I mean, I'm not usually uptight about this sort of thing.
CARLSON: I almost always take the student's position over the school's position. But in this case...
JONES: I'm going to whip your butt. Ha, ha, ha, ha.
JONES: See, that's where it's at. I mean, that's about the extent of the mendacity involved in this little thing. It's—it—there's nothing to this. You know, tell the kid, hey, you know, keep up that creative writing.
CARLSON: Boy, I just think it's garbage. But...
JONES: Well, yes, it's garbage, but...
CARLSON: But it's also creative?
MADDOW: But parents have always...
JONES: So is -- 99 percent of the poetry that comes out the literary poetry stinks.
CARLSON: That's a good point. That's a good point.
And now a hazardous situation involving one of our esteemed panelists.Not you, Rachel.
“The Dukes of Hazzard,” the beloved CBS TV show, has been made into a movie called—that's right—“The Dukes of Hazzard.” It opens tomorrow. A certain Ben Jones played Cooter in the original series. By all accounts, he's not happy with the sexual suggestiveness and family unfriendliness of the film. He has encouraged fans to skip the theatrical version.
Let me first ask, is that true? Are you unhappy with what you perceive to be the anti-family nature of this film?
JONES: Yes, I am. I am. Our show was the family show for several generations of families.
Now, it's a hit show all over the world and a huge hit in the United States right now. And these folks are trying to capitalize on it, made a $50 million movie. They're throwing $30 million into enticing the kids who watch our show to go see this thing. And this thing isn't like our show at all. It's filled with profanity and sexual stuff and dope smoking. And that ain't what we were about.
CARLSON: But wait a second. In the intro, in the song, you know, they're law breakers, I mean, described that way in the song.
JONES: That wasn't...
CARLSON: And you got Catherine Bach running around in those cut-off shorts, those Daisy Duke shorts. That's why I watched it, for the sex.
JONES: The best legs in the history of legs.
JONES: But it was, you know, a class act. All she had to do was walk past the camera and that would make a bulldog break its chain.
JONES: I mean, that's all it was. She wasn't doing a hoochie-coochie show up there, like the new girl.
But it was Robin Hood. Surely, you remember that one.
CARLSON: Of course.
JONES: You went to college, read that.
CARLSON: Yes, I did.
JONES: Colored in the pictures and everything, didn't you?
JONES: Now, listen, Robin Hood, see, that was the idea. You know, the Duke boys, because the law was corrupt and inept, they were the law.
JONES: They made things right. They always made the right moral choice. And they didn't curse and there was no blood and the good guys won. It was like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. And that's why families trust our show.
This film is dark and it's raunchy. It's for stoners and slackers in the suburbs. So, I'm just telling you, they're spending $30 million trying to get our kids to go see this. And I'm saying, parents, be careful. Don't take your kids to it. Caveat emptor.
CARLSON: Did you...
JONES: Old Cooter speaks Latin.
CARLSON: Did you—did you catch the moral implications and the lessons of the televised version?
MADDOW: Well, I have to say, the Daisy Duke contrast is important, because Daisy Duke, Catherine Bach, best legs ever, did have kind of an interesting role in the series. She would kind of help out. She would always...
JONES: She's a tomboy.
MADDOW: She was a tomboy. She would be there to do some thinking.
MADDOW: When they needed some thinking done.
JONES: Yes, good heart.
MADDOW: Jessica Simpson, not doing any thinking.
CARLSON: This is like an A.P. English course, where we're like deconstructing “Dukes of Hazzard.”
MADDOW: We're deconstructing. But, really, what it all comes down to is, we all love Catherine Bach.
CARLSON: Yes, I—exactly.
CARLSON: We have a lot in common, Rachel.
CARLSON: Rachel, Ben, stick around.
Much more to come on THE SITUATION. Here is some of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “STARVED”)
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I'm Adam and I'm bulimic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Food for thought. Is a sitcom about eating disorders anything to snicker about?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take it.
CARLSON: The Arlington controversy. Does a brutal killer deserve full military honors at the nation's most respected cemetery?
Why cell phones and alcohol don't mix, the sobering shame of dialing while drunk.
Plus, Brazil airs its dirty laundry in public, a peek at the world's biggest underwear.
It's all ahead on THE SITUATION.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just makes you happy. It makes you smile.
It makes you laugh.
CARLSON: Still to come, are you sick of carping yuppie environmentalists telling you what a terrible person you are because of the car you drive? Of course you are. Let's fight back in “Op Ed Op Ed” next.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
Time for “Op Ed Op Ed.” We've spent all day reading virtually every editorial page in this nation. We've picked the three most interesting, to which the three of us will respond.
First up, today's “Baltimore Sun” says Russia was wrong to expel ABC News from the country after the network aired an interview with a controversial Chechnyan warlord on “Nightline”—quote—“Expelling a news organization as a matter of national policy is wrong, and it's childish. Russian officials are angry because they've been trying to find Mr. Basayev for years. The Kremlin has effectively brought most of the
Russian press to heel through intimidation and blackmail; now it's trying to punish a foreign news operation.”
Every word of that is absolutely true. You know, ABC, CNN both interviewed Osama bin Laden before 9/11, but, after he declared war on the United States. And, you know, they weren't seen as traitors for that. It's a news organization. And the bottom line here is that freedom of the press is disappearing in Russia.
JONES: How would you feel, though, if CNN or ABC interviewed Osama bin Laden today?
CARLSON: I'd be offended. But the suggestion...
JONES: And didn't reveal where he was, this man who was killed thousands of people...
CARLSON: Well, I mean, news organizations, including this one, air tapes from Zawahri, as we said at the beginning of the show...
JONES: Yes, but you don't know where he is.
CARLSON: ... and Osama bin Laden. I agree, I would be offended. But that's—being offended is different from expelling the news organization from your country.
JONES: We've got—we've got a reporter in jail right now in this country. And while she's in jail, I think we're all in jail.
CARLSON: Well, I—I—you'll get no argument from me on that. I think it's an outrage. And I think Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, ought to be ashamed of himself.
JONES: Yes, but this goes a little bit further. These are the—these are—this is the guy who—who—who blew up that school full of children.
CARLSON: Right. He did it.
CARLSON: Not ABC. ABC didn't kill anyone.
JONES: Yes, but ABC is complicit. They know where he is. It's just like this guy—Al-Jazeera, they know where that guy is.
CARLSON: I don't think they do.
MADDOW: I'm totally opposed to Russia treating ABC the way it has treated it homegrown media. I agree with that, if they know where Zawahri -- if they knew where the guy who they interviewed is, they should disclose it.
MADDOW: But the—if you—the—when the reporter talks about meeting with them, he doesn't actually know where he was. He was brought there by a—and it was this—kind of this cloak-and-dagger thing.
JONES: One of those deals. One of those deals.
JONES: Well, then, you know, I missed that part.
MADDOW: Well, but I—I hope that this has the effect of pointing out to the U.S. government what is actually going on in Russia. Right now, our foreign policy towards Russia is totally based on Bush looking Putin in the eye and telling he's a good guy.
CARLSON: No, that's—come on.
MADDOW: We're not..
CARLSON: That was five years ago. I think we've advanced a little farther from there.
MADDOW: What are we doing about press freedom in Russia, though?
CARLSON: Thank God.
MADDOW: We're talking about it here because of ABC.
CARLSON: OK. Let me just ask the obvious question.
JONES: It's—a reinstatement of the Russian police state is going on.
CARLSON: I think we all agree on that.
JONES: And we're all saying it doesn't matter anymore.
CARLSON: An American reporter from “Forbes,” Paul Klebnikov, was murdered in Russia for his stories about the banking system there.
I guess my question would be, what can we do, invade Russia? No, I mean, we can complain about it.
MADDOW: No, but we need to be taking it seriously.
CARLSON: And we're complaining about it on this show.
Well, “The Orange County Register” today by Steven Greenhut telling environmentalists and other liberals to lay off our cars. He wrote this:
“There's a reason people stand outside their homes lovingly waxing their cars. They love their cars, the mobility they offer, the freedom that mobility endangers. Cars let us live where we choose, away from the failed urban experiments that the puritans don't want us to so easily be able to flee.”
Every word of that, I'm going to have that tattooed on my arm.
CARLSON: I agree with every bit of that. It's the same people who want to control where you live, what you drive, what you eat, what you smoke, how much water is in your toilet. Buzz off.
JONES: You ever notice those tree-hugging, tofu-sniffing, bark-eating old environmentalists that we love, they hop in those big old muscle cars and stand on it.
CARLSON: Or fly in their private planes, right. Exactly.
JONES: Maybelline. Roll it.
MADDOW: Tucker, this is the third time since I've been on THE SITUATION that you've put out for us to discuss an argument defending cars against...
MADDOW: ... a mysterious liberal threat to them.
CARLSON: It's not mysterious. It's real and present.
MADDOW: Liberals drive. If anybody wants to give me a Ford G.T. or General Lee, I would be very happy.
MADDOW: But liberals also think that using too much oil and gas makes us conduct our foreign policy from inside Saudi Arabia's pants.
MADDOW: And it's a national security problem.
MADDOW: And so—but nobody wants to...
CARLSON: It's not a national security problem. It's a very sophomoric way of explaining an incredibly complex problem. Part of what you say is true. But your decision about whether or not to drive a Prius vs. a suburban not pivotal in that.
MADDOW: No. But, listen, whether or not we use too much oil and gas as a nation does affect our national security. Liberals care about that.
MADDOW: Nobody is trying to take away your minivan, Tucker. This is not about liberals...
CARLSON: First of all, I don't have a minivan, as you know. And that's an awful thing to suggest.
MADDOW: Well, you shouldn't call me sophomoric.
CARLSON: That's the worst slur. That's the—OK, you got me back.
MADDOW: All right.
CARLSON: You accused me of driving a minivan. I hereby apologize for...
MADDOW: I will never accuse of wearing pleated pants until I see them. But we're on even ground here.
CARLSON: Oh, you're hurting me.
CARLSON: OK, in today's—I can barely recover—in today's “Chicago Sun-Times,” Richard Roeper warns about the growing epidemic of drinking and dialing.
“Everyone knows you shouldn't put yourself in a DUI situation,” he writes, “dialing under the influence, that is. Since the invention of the telephone, over-served individuals have been making ill-advised phone calls when they should be sleeping it off.”
I have to say, P.J. O'Rourke wrote the funniest thing and truest thing ever about this a couple of years ago. He said, if the phone companies wanted to make millions, they'd mail every man in America a bottle of Jack Daniels and he'd spend the next four hours on the line with his former girlfriend in Albuquerque.
CARLSON: And, you know, as someone who used to drink and quit, I know the feeling of waking up and checking your outbox in your e-mail to make certain you didn't do something appalling and finding that you did.
This is—this a national epidemic that someone needs to do something about.
JONES: I don't think it's a new thing.
CARLSON: It isn't a new thing. It's an old thing.
JONES: Yes. I drank enough liquor to float a battleship. And I done quit. But—but, you know, the liquor industry is pretty unbridled. And it's shoving that stuff on kids. And better that they're at home staggering around calling people, than out in an automobile on a cell phone calling people.
CARLSON: That's true.
MADDOW: I work overnights at Air America, because my show is on at 5:00 a.m. So, after I leave here, I go there. And all my friends all over the country know that they can reach me at work at 3:00 in the morning.
So, I get a lot of, like, kind of drunk confession calls and stuff. But they're calling me at a radio station, so I can record them. And that is deterrence.
MADDOW: To have that stuff played back to you, it cures it like that.
CARLSON: But are you bold enough to use it on the air?
CARLSON: All right. I hope you do.
CARLSON: All right. We'll be back in a minute.
Coming up, a male nurse sues for sexual harassment in the workplace because his female co-workers were mean to him, hurt his feelings, made him want to cry. Could he get rich as a result?
Plus, a situation comedy about eating disorders comes to cable television. Is “Starved” in bad taste? The man who created it joins me live in the studio right after the break.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
Is there anything funny about an eating disorder? One network is betting there is. FX is premiering a new comedy tonight that pokes fun of the illness. “Starved” is the story of a 38-year-old single man obsessed with his weight. A group called the National Eating Disorders Association thinks the show is outrageous.
Joining me now is the star and creator and writing of starved, Eric Schaeffer.
Thanks a lot, Eric.
CARLSON: Yes, the National Eating Disorders Association, I guess, a lobby group for people who've had bulimia or something—I didn't know they had a lobby—calls your show dangerous, says that it will lead people suffering from bulimia to think that bulimia is a good thing or that anorexia is appealing.
ERIC SCHAEFFER, CREATOR, “STARVED”: Yes, I'm very suspicious of that organization's motivation in attacking my show, to be honest with you, because, if you watch my show, which they have, their allegations are bombastic.
I mean, my show is a heartfelt, honest portrayal of four people who have eating disorders. And it's a show about people who are trying to recover from them.
CARLSON: Well, but people have said about your show that, you know, would you do a sitcom about schizophrenia? Would you do a sitcom on cancer or terrorism or anything where people die? It's just inherently unfunny.
SCHAEFFER: Well, I think, when people hear sitcom, they think sort of proscenium stage four camera, you know?
SCHAEFFER: Which—my show is—is a film-style show shot on film, with a single-camera style. So, it looks very much like a movie.
And, and, there's no way that anybody—it's just—it's a whole different experience, my show, than a sitcom. So, inherent in any kind of real human experience, you have tragedy and you have comedy. You have many colors in the spectrum of human experience.
CARLSON: But what is funny about—what could possibly be funny about an eating disorder?
Do I think bulimia is funny? No. Do I think that people who have bulimia can have moments that are funny in their lifetime? Of course. I mean, in the pilot, for instance, there's a scene where a bulimic cop binges on food and then finds an alleyway in which to purge. He goes down the alleyway and he's alone in a bunch of pile of garbage. And he vomits on the pile of garbage, which wakes up, because the pile of garbage is, in fact, a homeless man. So, he's vomited on a homeless man.
CARLSON: So, you have a bulimic cop throwing up on a homeless guy?
CARLSON: Wait. Here's my question. How many bulimic cops are there? How many bulimic men are there? Three of the main characters in the show are men. And it's my understanding that about 10 percent of people with eating disorders are men. Isn't that kind of disproportionate?
SCHAEFFER: Well, 10 percent have come out.
I mean, let's—obviously, a shame-based disease, like an eating disorder, men are not going to sort of rally around the idea of admitting that they have that. So, I think that that's—the number is completely disproportionate to the amount of men that actually suffer from the disease.
CARLSON: So, a lot of people have it?
I think a lot of people have trouble taking eating disorders seriously. I mean, the effects are obviously serious. A lot of people die from eating disorders. But I think people say, well, gee, you know, why does no one in Sudan have an eating disorder? I mean, there are no eating disorders in Africa or poor—in India and countries where people don't have enough to eat. Why it is just among upper-middle-class people in the West that eating disorders are prevalent? Why is that?
SCHAEFFER: Well, I—I don't know that that is true.
I mean, all I can tell you is that it's a disease like alcoholism and like drug addiction. I have all three. I've been recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction for 22 years. My eating disorders that I'm recovering from are sort of a more slippery slope to recover from, because, unlike alcohol and drugs, which you can just eliminate from your lifestyle, food, obviously, you have to eat.
SCHAEFFER: So, it's like ingesting the very agent of your disease into your bloodstream every day.
CARLSON: But alcoholism and drug addiction, I mean, there's some evidence that there's a sort of internal component to them.
CARLSON: You know, that you have a predisposition to either one of them.
CARLSON: But don't you think eating disorders are purely cultural? I mean, again, I—I don't think there's any evidence than anybody on the entire continent of Africa has ever had bulimia.
SCHAEFFER: Well, all I can tell you, Tucker, is, you know, I don't set out every day to starve myself in the daytime...
SCHAEFFER: ... and then set myself up to eat 80 cookies at night. Do you know what I mean? I would love to have...
CARLSON: You can really eat 80 cookies?
SCHAEFFER: Of course. I mean, I don't—I don't—I would love to just have a healthy relationship to food.
CARLSON: And not throw them up or throw them up?
SCHAEFFER: No, I don't throw them up.
CARLSON: That's impressive. That's a lot of cookies.
SCHAEFFER: Thank you. You know, I wish that I didn't eat 80.
SCHAEFFER: I wish that I could be satisfied with six, what I call a human portion.
SCHAEFFER: You know? So, it's like, if you're asking me if that's sort of a cultural thing or did I learn that, is that an acquired, learned social thing, you know, I don't know. I don't think so. I'm a fairly bright guy. I'm a guy who is healthy in every other respect.
You know, I've been an athlete my whole life. I'm in recovery from other things. I would like to have a normal relationship to food. It's just a thing—it's a trigger. It's a thing that goes off in me.
CARLSON: Well, one of the reasons I got the sense that I—strong sense that I was going to love your show—I haven't seen it yet, but I plan to tune in—is because some of the critics hated it.
“Boston Herald”: “Starved might just be the most repulsive show to hit the airwaves this year,” etcetera, etcetera. Really, some of these guys went hysterical.
SCHAEFFER: Yes, vitriolic.
CARLSON: Full hissy fit watching your show.
CARLSON: Why? What is it? Is it considered politically incorrect to have a group like eating disorder victims in a show? What makes them so mad about your show?
SCHAEFFER: I think two things.
They think, one, I'm a guy that writes, directs, stars and produces. And I'm a very honest writer. And I think that, if you're somebody that has sort of cowered in anonymity because you read—you wrote a short story when you were in eighth grade and read it to the class and the girl you liked snickered, and you retreated into the safe anonymity of just taking potshots at people who have the courage do to their art...
SCHAEFFER: ... I think I'm not the guy you want to run into.
CARLSON: Right. So, critics are losers and they envy you? Is that what you mean? It's OK.
SCHAEFFER: And the second thing, I would think, is—is—is that, you know, having an honest show that has—that shows people in all colors.
You know, and I think people are so myopic. They want to—they have to grasp on to one thing.
SCHAEFFER: Things can't be two things. And my show is about a lot of stuff. It's funny. It's also tragic. You know, it's about—it's about intimacy. It's about lack of intimacy. It's fidelity, infidelity.
It's about sexual compulsion. It's about alcoholism. And I think these critics will watch it and go, well, wait, what is it? It's not—it's not just funny...
SCHAEFFER: It's not just dramatic, like—and they have a little implosion.
CARLSON: Well, our viewers will be able to decide for themselves tonight. It debuts.
Eric Schaeffer, thanks a lot for joining us.
SCHAEFFER: Thanks for having me, Tucker.
CARLSON: Eighty cookies, that's impressive. It may be wrong, but I'm still impressed.
Coming up, if you have the dough and neurotic compulsion, you can train your toddlers to be baseball stars, college students, ballerinas, just about anything. When is enough enough?
Plus, a controversial burial at Arlington National Cemetery. What matters more, a soldier's service or his criminal past?
We'll break it down as THE SITUATION rolls on.
CARLSON: Welcome back to THE SITUATION. Sitting in tonight for Tom Wolfe, I'm Tucker Carlson.
Let's welcome back Ben Jones and Rachel Maddow. Now, I don't want to be mean, but I know people have had eating disorders and people suffer from them, and people die from them, a lot. I still do wonder why they're not prevalent in countries where people don't have enough to eat. I mean, I do think there—this is one of those illnesses specific to countries with a lot of money and a lot of excess food.
JONES: I don't know. I think it's an emotional response. And a lot of addictive behavior is a way of self-medicating yourself.
You know, what I was thinking about was I don't see the comedy part of that. That is, is “Seinfeld” was shot with one camera. It was a sitcom. This is a sitcom.
And I certainly don't see the humor in it, but if I were—you know, I'm a recovering alcoholic. And I wouldn't want to see a sitcom about a bunch of alcoholics going through the D.T.'s and acute alcohol poisonings, and suicides, and wrecking their cars.
CARLSON: I don't think that would be that funny.
JONES: No. It would not be funny. And I think that this does not remove any stigma or shame from eating disorders. It might add to it.
MADDOW: I think that there's nothing inherently wrong with depicting something that's a problem. But the question is whether you're doing something responsible with it. And it remains to be seen. And I haven't seen the film.
JONES: The whole focus of the thing though, I mean, it's one thing to have a character who is dealing with that and dealing with it in an honest way. It's quite something else to build a sitcom around eating disorders.
CARLSON: I bet there are no...
JONES: It's just a matter of bad taste.
CARLSON: There are no male cops on the NYPD...
JONES: It's enough to make you throw up.
CARLSON: ... with bulimia, I bet you.
JONES: It's enough to make you throw up.
MADDOW: Oh, god.
CARLSON: The situation in Arlington National Cemetery. One Army veteran's final resting place may not be so final after all. The cremated remains of Russell Wagner were placed at Arlington with full military honors last month.
Wagner died in prison while serving two life sentences for the murders of an elderly couple back in 1994. He was honorably discharged, though, from the Army in 1972 after three years, but now the Army may have second thoughts about his burial at Arlington.
There's no defending what the guy did. He shot his landlord and landlady, killed them both, bound them and killed them. He sounds like a monster.
However, he served honorably for three years in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. You know, his crimes later don't change that. I think burial at Arlington is meant to signify your honorable service, and he served honorably. I don't see how you can disinter the guy?
MADDOW: What do you think?
JONES: Well, I think what he did afterwards was dishonorable.
CARLSON: Certainly was.
JONES: And it takes the dignity away from Arlington. And had they known, obviously, beforehand—they did not, they knew nothing of this—he would not be there. And I think he'll be disinterred.
MADDOW: Well, that's the interesting thing, is that it seems like a mistake was made here. Arlington is basically saying, “Had we known about this crime, he probably would not have been buried here.” So he may very well be disinterred.
Whether or not that should be the policy, I think I'm with you. I mean, you're not testifying by burying somebody at Arlington that somebody is a good person. You're testifying that they did a good thing by serving their country, and you can't vouch for everything everybody else did in their life, even though this guy did a horrible thing.
CARLSON: The last person disinterred from Arlington, I remember, was Larry Lawrence, who was an ambassador under President Clinton. And he pretended that he had this World War II service in the Merchant Marine. And it turned out he, at the time, was at John Wayne, Jr., College in Nebraska or something like that, and they disinterred him because he didn't serve.
But it turned on the question of his service.
MADDOW: Yes. Maybe it ought to.
CARLSON: Casey Stengel used to say, “You could look at it up.” Well, not in New York. Not in a jury room, anyway. Not in Manhattan.
A judge there set aside a verdict in a $30 million NYPD sex harassment case because of jury misconduct. The misconduct? The jury foreman looked up the word “preponderance” in the dictionary and read the definition aloud to his fellow panelists.
OK, so if you don't know what the word preponderance means after you've been seated on a jury, you shouldn't be on the jury. A, they're supposed to explain that to you. B, you'd think, you'd hope that jurors deciding something this important, a $30 million case, would know the meaning of preponderance already.
MADDOW: But they did explain it to them. And the jurors needed a refresher and went back to the dictionary. And it doesn't seem like it's that big of a deal.
But you can't really consult stuff that isn't OK through the jury process. I mean, if they had instead looked it up on Google—just for kicks, I looked up, I typed in “guilty” into Google. The first thing that came up was something in Japanese. The second thing that came up was something about Scott Peterson. And the third thing that came up was a Barbra Streisand CD.
CARLSON: That actually makes some sense.
MADDOW: Fair enough.
CARLSON: She is guilty.
MADDOW: It's poetic.
MADDOW: But, I mean, you can't actually let people consult anything if you can't vouch for what they're consulting.
JONES: Well, if it was a dictionary—it wasn't Google.
JONES: And I assume that...
MADDOW: What if it was a bad dictionary, though? What if it was a dictionary that had...
JONES: It's pretty hard to miss “preponderance.”
MADDOW: The definition they came up had three different definitions, none of which were what the judge had told them.
CARLSON: I must say, Rachel, you're very brave to defend that.
You're very brave. And you get points for that, I still think.
MADDOW: I had Google on my side.
JONES: But the preponderance of opinion...
CARLSON: Yes, is that you're completely, sadly wrong.
MADDOW: It depends on what is means here.
CARLSON: Money can't buy love...
JONES: What it is.
CARLSON: ... but increasingly you can put a price tag on parenting.
And many people are.
Writing classes for your pre-kindergartner? $50 an hour. Baseball lessons for a 5-year-old with a former major leaguer? $44 bucks a session. Consultants who gives you toilet training tips? That's $120 an hour.
Parents apparently you get what you pay for. One woman said of her 5-year-old, quote, “We want him to know we support him, but that average is not good enough.” She really should say, “We want him to know that he's going to spend the rest of his life in therapy having to deal with our over-weaning protectiveness.”
MADDOW: Or eating 80 cookies a day.
CARLSON: That's exactly right. I mean, this sort of neurotic, yuppie approach to parenting is going to have a huge affect on the next generation of upper middle-class kids who grow up on the coasts. It is. I think they're going to be wounded by it. I think it's bad.
MADDOW: But, Tucker, at the same time, you were just saying that that school outside Pittsburgh was right to kick out that 14-year-old who had bad rap lyrics, and I think that...
CARLSON: Who had violent rap lyrics.
MADDOW: Violent rap lyrics, right.
CARLSON: Right. The violence was the problem for me.
JONES: That's so liberal of you.
CARLSON: I am screaming liberal.
MADDOW: There are so many things that kids get in trouble for now that they didn't used to get in trouble for. You get kicked out of school for all sorts of things.
CARLSON: Crystal meth and murder, the whole thing, I know. We're cracking down.
MADDOW: No, but I mean, kids get kicked out of nursery schools for not being able to use scissors properly. I mean, we have a very, very combative culture towards kids bad behavior now.
CARLSON: But it's not just combative. It's intensely competitive. The idea is that my child, my 4-year-old, is going to do this, that, and the other thing. He's going to be a concert violinist. And he's going to, you know, become a handball champion. He's going to learn to speak Serbo-Croat, because he's going to Harvard. And I think that level of pressure on kids is demented and bad.
JONES: Well, but there have always been those things and those parents that want the best of their kids and who are going to have tutors, and little league coaches, and tutors for this or that, those things that fill out a child's education.
It's when it goes too far, and that child is being pushed in ways that the child doesn't wish to be pushed at all, and needs to just lead a normal childhood. But a normal childhood includes all those things.
CARLSON: I don't think a normal childhood includes a $120-an-hour toilet training.
JONES: No. No. No. No. No. It shouldn't cost that much.
MADDOW: But the achieving side of it, whether it be toilet training or speaking Serbo-Croat...
JONES: And they've always—you know, like, particularly people of wealth, have always had nannies. You know, they have nannies to take care of their kids. That's nothing new. And the way some folks are having to work two jobs, well, you know...
CARLSON: If you're working two jobs to pay the bill of the professional toilet trainer that you've hired, right? Or to teach your child Japanese is...
JONES: Well, at those rates, it'll take at least three jobs.
MADDOW: But what about the kid with the inveterate biting problem who bites everybody in school and can't be around other kids? And the kids are never going to be able to send their kid to kindergarten, because you can't allow biting kids to go kindergarten.
JONES: And they brought in a biting kid expert...
MADDOW: So they bring in a biting kid expert.
JONES: ... to solve the problem.
MADDOW: Solve the problem.
CARLSON: That's actually a growing industry.
JONES: They get 80 cookies.
CARLSON: Ben Jones, thank you very much.
JONES: Well, you're very welcome.
CARLSON: Of course, Rachel Maddow, thank you, as always. See you tomorrow.
MADDOW: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Coming up, are you one of those people whose cologne or perfume lingering a while after you've left the room. Are you one of those people who hates that? Perfume bans are popping up all over, but is it fair?
Plus, how low will he go? Mike Tyson reportedly considering a serious and shocking professional downgrade. Our own on-site boxing analyst, Max Kellerman, says it might be the right move for Iron Mike. The grizzly details when we return.
CARLSON: It's that time again, time to welcome the “Outsider,” a man who gets his news from an overhead screen in the departure lounge of the airport but still has the brass to weigh in on the day's top stories night after night.
Joining us live from Las Vegas, the great Max Kellerman. Max, welcome.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO HOST: That last segment really resonated with me personally, because my mother wouldn't go over $50 a session for toilet training. And I've never been the—you know, it ruined me.
CARLSON: Is that what happened? We'll explore that on a future show.
But first, in fragrance news tonight, the state of the Department of Mental Retardation of Massachusetts has instituted a scent-free environment after an employee had an allergic reaction to perfume. Maine and Missouri have done pretty much the same thing. In Canada, lasting excitement but first in frivolity always, a woman with asthma filed a discrimination complaint against her school district for not providing a scent-free workplace.
Max, I see where this is going. It's going to full regulation of odors. My question is, why can't you just ask people not to wear Drakkar Noir, or whatever it is that bothers you? Why do you need to legislate it?
We could not find a single person who had been killed by Old Spice or any kind of perfume. And it seems to me people are perfumed for a reason. You've got a choice between perfume or B.O. And, I don't know, I think it's fair to prefer perfume.
KELLERMAN: Well, we're not Europeans. There's also the shower. You know what I mean? The soap and water also works.
Look, I don't like the idea of legislating taste, either, but you are famously libertarian. And yet the libertarian ethos, it's the right to swing your fist ends at my nose. And what I never understand about your positions, when it comes to cigarette smoking, or odors in general is, you don't seem to respect the nose. You respect the fist.
CARLSON: No, I do respect the nose. And I think that there are odors, cigarette smoke and Drakkar Noir, maybe two of them, that are offensive to people. And I think you ought to make reasonable accommodations.
What I object to is legislating it, is saying, because it bothers me, you're not allowed to do it. It bugs me, therefore it ought to be illegal. A lot of things bug me. I don't make any attempt to outlaw them, because I know they bring other people pleasure. We need to make accommodations with one another.
KELLERMAN: Well, yes, and we should be able to cooperate and not have to legislate it. But what about laws, for instance—it was in Florida, I believe we discussed on a previous show, where if a police officer can hear your stereo in your car from 25 feet away, he can ticket you.
And you supported that. So there are instances where someone's pleasure interferes with another person's life or quality of life.
CARLSON: Yes, yes.
KELLERMAN: There are times that it has to be legislated.
CARLSON: Yes, there absolutely are. I just think that, in many cases, perfume and deodorant, certainly, and even smelly skin lotion is important, because it makes people smell better. And I'm for it. All right.
KELLERMAN: Again, I'm for the soap and water thing, but that's just me. I'm American, what do you want from me?
CARLSON: OK, Max, after listening to the next story, you might be glad you gave up nursing school. I'm glad you did.
A former male nurse in a Maine hospital has filed a lawsuit alleging he was sexually harassed by female nursing staff. Daniel Lufkin, age 41, says he became fed up with comments such as “men are jerks” and “men are idiots.” Ooh.
His lawsuit also alleges he was told to shut up by female coworkers and supervisors when he offered opinions and that he was subjected to or threatened with acts of physical humiliation or aggressiveness by his coworkers.
Basically, he's David Guest. He was getting beaten up by girls. But the point is, he's admitting it.
Here a guy is putting on paper that he feels threatened by women at the office, thereby preserving for all time his wussiness, which is one of the reasons that I have contempt for this.
Second, this guy was not actually sexually harassed. He just said the women around the office were mean to him. If people in the office are mean to you, that doesn't mean you're entitled to money. Come on.
KELLERMAN: Well, there's gender harassment, I guess, at play here. And that way, it's sexual harassment, because it's specifically, “Men are idiots.”
By the way, I believe, if this is grounds for a lawsuit, I can sue my wife. If what I just heard is grounds for a lawsuit, I can sue her. Tucker...
CARLSON: But you wouldn't. You know why you wouldn't sue her? Because she has good reason to say the things she says to you. That's right. And these women had good reason to pick on this guy. He was a whiner, so they had contempt for him. Of course.
KELLERMAN: You know what? And even if they're making those kinds of statements in general, I think sexual harassment laws have gotten out of control.
Again, we're legislating taste and legislating what should be left to individuals and groups, you know, just to cooperate on their own. Government shouldn't have to interfere.
However, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. And we've seen many lawsuits—they're not always won, some are thrown out because they're frivolous—but we've seen many lawsuits where women make similar claims and they win. So here's a guy making the claim, and there shouldn't be a double standard. There should be one standard for everyone.
CARLSON: Yes, there absolutely should be a double standard. If a man gets up before a front a court and says, “I'm afraid of the women in my office,” he should be laughed out of court. That's the double standard I adhere to. Any way, I'm laughing.
KELLERMAN: ... some of these women, Tucker?
CARLSON: I'm not going to respond to that.
Could it be that one of the greatest boxers of all time, Max, might be doing porno movies? Mike Tyson, heavily in debt, reportedly considered becoming a porn star. He claims he's had conversations with the company headed by X-rated movie queen Jenna Jameson.
Now retired from the world of professional boxing, is this the only career option for Mike Tyson? Is there an audience ready and willing to pay to see him naked on screen?
I don't think there is. I think this is a bad idea for him and for the adult entertainment industry, for the following reasons. For one thing, this guy owes probably more than $12 million, reportedly, to the IRS. The average porn star gets $450 per scene. He'd have to do some like 27,000 scenes to pay back the government.
KELLERMAN: He has to be Wilt Chamberlain.
CARLSON: That's exactly—I don't even think Wilt the Stilt could pull that off.
KELLERMAN: Yes, maybe not.
CARLSON: Second, it's depressing. This is one step before panhandling, basically. This means he's washed up and he's going to come to a tragic end. I don't think people will watch his movies. And I don't think should he make them.
KELLERMAN: Well, let's take it from the porn industry's point of view. No one watches heterosexual porn for the men, really.
CARLSON: Yes, that's true.
KELLERMAN: No men do it. And that's overwhelmingly the, you know, market and purveyors of pornography are men, for heterosexual pornography.
From Mike Tyson's point of view though, I can say this: Here are the options, if you're Mike Tyson. Get punched by a 270-lb men, have sex with Jenna Jameson. I mean, I think if you ask most people about those two options, they would choose the latter, don't you think? A little more appealing.
CARLSON: I think you make such a compelling case, I think you need to call Iron Mike on the phone and represent him.
KELLERMAN: Well, first of all, Iron Mike will have a whole new meaning now.
CARLSON: Max Kellerman, live from Las Vegas.
KELLERMAN: The great Tucker Carlson.
CARLSON: See you tomorrow. Thanks, Max.
Still ahead on THE SITUATION, busty bar maids are being ordered to cover up for their own good. What on earth could be unhealthy about looking like this? The answer, needless to say, lies on the “Cutting Room Floor.”
CARLSON: Welcome back. It's that time, time for the “Cutting Room Floor,” where the odds and ends of news get swept up by Willie Geist and brought to us on a platter.
WILLIE GEIST, PRODUCER: Hello, Tucker.
GEIST: Since I have walked into this shot, I've now been on the same television program as Cooter.
CARLSON: Yes, you have.
GEIST: I always told my mom I'd be something, and now I am.
CARLSON: Never wash that shirt.
GEIST: I won't. Go get them.
CARLSON: Thank you, sir.
No, this is not Rosie O'Donnell's wardrobe staff laying out her clothes. It's the largest pair of underwear in the world. The briefs are on display in Rio de Janeiro as part of Latin American lingerie fair. That sounds like fun.
The underwear took nine hours to make, and are as tall as a three-story building.
GEIST: They built this underwear, Tucker, in an attempt to attract people to Brazilian underwear. I'm already extremely attracted to Brazilian underwear. Have you seen Gisele Bundchen lately? I'm sold. Don't worry about it.
CARLSON: A Latin American lingerie fair. That just sounds like guaranteed fun.
GEIST: How long does that last? And what are you doing this weekend?
CARLSON: Well, flight attendants tell you to buckle your seat belt and put your tray table up, but is there ever any mention of not opening doors during landing? No, there's not.
So you'll excuse the woman who left her seat and tried to exit the plane on its descent into Seattle yesterday. Flight attendants managed to stop the woman, who may have been under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs.
GEIST: You think?
CARLSON: May have been.
GEIST: Now, Tucker, I was on a plane last week. The movie “Miss Congeniality 2” came on. I tried to do the same thing. So let's wait until the facts come out. Sandy Bullock, not her finest hour.
CARLSON: You know, if you sit through it to the end, it's actually quite rewarding.
GEIST: Is that right? I didn't make it that far.
CARLSON: That's what I've heard.
Everyone knows the Thanksgiving turkey makes the best leftovers in the business, but some Colorado inmates think their prison is making its turkey last a little too long. Prisoners at El Paso County jail went on a hunger strike after being served turkey chili mac, turkey ala king, turkey stew, and turkey sauce and on consecutive days.
They argued the lack of variety was, quote, “unnecessarily cruel.”
Inmates got spaghetti with meat sauce last night.
GEIST: Good for them, so they won.
Is it me, Tucker, or prisoner rights, have they gone too far? I mean, I don't want them tortured or beaten, but when we start complaining about the specials in prison?
CARLSON: And going on a hunger strike? At least Bobby Sands did it for a cause, you know?
GEIST: Right. Well, they got what they wanted. They won. They caved, and they got the spaghetti.
CARLSON: Never negotiate with hunger strikes.
GEIST: That's right.
CARLSON: That's my rule.
Well, hold onto your maps, yogis. It turns out your peaceful relaxation exercise may not be so peaceful after all. A Norwegian high-security prison has stopped giving yoga classes after finding they actually made inmates more aggressive. The warden said many of the prisoners who practiced yoga became agitated, irritable, and had trouble sleeping.
GEIST: Come on, first of all, the larger point, yoga in prison?
CARLSON: It's Norway.
GEIST: What kind of activity is that?
CARLSON: It's Norway.
GEIST: Whatever happened to pumping a little iron and beating the crap out of someone in the prison yard? That's a prison activity.
CARLSON: No, these guys are all there—it's like reindeer...
CARLSON: You know what I mean? They're probably not very dangerous.
Well, it's hard to imagine that a beautiful, busty bar maid could be harming anyone at all. Well, the European Union is forcing big-chested waitresses to cover up for their own safety.
As part of its optical radiation directive—that's a quote—the E.U. wants to ban low-cut tops because it says women run the risk of getting skin cancer on their breasts when they are serving drinks outside. The American Hooters waitresses you see here are still safe, thank goodness, but Bavarian bar maids are furious because they say the law would ruin centuries of tradition.
GEIST: It is a good tradition. I'm no MBA, but I'm pretty sure that's bad for business. Don't cover up the chest.
And I'm also glad the E.U. has their eye on the ball in this case.
CARLSON: Yes, really.
GEIST: Forget war on terror, but let's get to the chest and the cancer risk.
CARLSON: Yes, there's Iranian nukes and there's boob-related melanoma.
CARLSON: Yes. That's THE SITUATION for tonight. Thanks for watching. A reminder: This program goes live at 11:00 p.m. Eastern time beginning this Monday.
Stay tuned, meanwhile, for “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY” with our friend, Monica Crowley, at the helm—Monica?
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