Guest: Penn Gillette, Howard Brodsky, Geoff Davis
MONICA CROWLEY, GUEST HOST: Well, it‘s 11 p.m. in Fort Lee, New Jersey, 8 p.m. in Fort Watuka (ph), Arizona, 7 a.m. in Baghdad, and we are live with the latest news.
Tonight‘s THE SITUATION includes the latest Internet porn controversy, a killer granny, who said she‘d do it all over again, and the ongoing turmoil in gossip.
But first, it‘s time to welcome to the program the executive producer of “The Aristocrats,” now playing nationwide, live from Las Vegas, where he appears nightly at the Rio Hotel and Casino. It‘s the father of Moxy Crime Fighter Gillette, the one and only, Penn Gillette.
PENN GILLETTE, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, “THE ARISTOCRATS”: Hey, did you see “The Aristocrats?”
CROWLEY: I have to tell you, I went to see it this weekend, and had a few hearty chuckles, Penn. And we‘re going to talk about the movie in just a few minutes.
GILLETTE: Good, good, good.
CROWLEY: But first up, according to Reuters, Cindy Sheehan‘s anti-war vigil outside President Bush‘s ranch got an unlikely boost today, when one of the president‘s neighbors offered Sheehan his land, which is reportedly across the street from the Bushes‘ church.
Reuters quotes a source close to Sheehan, who says the land comes courtesy of a relative of the man who fired a gun at the vigil last week in protest. That will make your point.
This all comes after a Waco man was arrested for alleged driving his pickup truck over wooden memorial crosses near Sheehan‘s campsite.
Well, Penn, you know, the story continues to get more and more out of control. The president is going to be at his ranch for another couple of weeks, through Labor Day, so you can only tell that this story is going to escalate.
You know, when I look at Cindy Sheehan, Penn, I see a woman who is still grieving over the loss of her son. That loss, I can‘t even begin to fathom, but it seems to me that Mrs. Sheehan‘s anger is misdirected, that perhaps she should be directing her anger more toward the terrorists who took the life of her son rather than the president.
GILLETTE: I think that whenever someone is grieving, almost whatever they do is OK. I don‘t think there‘s any proper way to grieve. And I think that when you‘re grieving, by definition, anger is misdirected. I mean, you can‘t—you can‘t possibly put your energy where it belongs. You can‘t bring people back to life.
And as far as what she‘s doing, I think you just do whatever you believe. And this is a great example of the marketplace of ideas working. Nothing on either side bothers me, except the stuff that‘s illegal, and they‘re taking care of that.
CROWLEY: Yes you know, the point I think here, too, is that we‘re dealing with an all-volunteer force in the U.S. military. We‘re not talking about a draftee here.
And this guy, when he signed up, her child knew what he was getting. He knew that the risks were involved. And also, he chose to go back to Iraq, not once, but twice, knowing that he could, in fact, pay the ultimate price.
So do you think, Penn, that this is the proper way for Mrs. Sheehan to honor her son?
GILLETTE: Well, you know, once again, once someone is grieving, I excuse a lot, but the volunteer thing makes a big difference. I mean, people are taking—it‘s a job that‘s very, very dangerous. It‘s not someone being forced to go. And that kind of separates—her anti-war protest is kind of separate from her son having been killed. I don‘t—as much as they‘re emotionally related, I don‘t see how they‘re logically related.
I mean, it‘s—there‘s nothing worse than losing a loved one. There‘s nothing worse in the world. But he was doing a job, and whether that job should exist is a very different question than her grieving and her pain.
CROWLEY: Yes, and this story is going nowhere, at least for a couple of weeks, while the president stays in Crawford, Texas.
Well, let‘s move on now to another aspect of the war on terror. The Associated Press reported today that babies are among the seemingly harmless air travelers whom the Transportation Safety Authority is occasionally preventing from flying.
The TSA apparently grounds infants whose names are in the ballpark of the names on the government‘s no-fly terrorist watch list. Well, if you‘re a baby and you‘re being grounded, life is pretty rough there.
But Penn, but you know, I understand that there are all kinds of issues with this no-fly list. Spellings come close, they‘re pulling people off. But the bottom line is that these lists could save lives, because No. 1, they could be a deterrent to terrorists, who may want to board an aircraft and pull off a terrorist act. And also, it‘s keeping the rest of us safer, so I‘m for keeping these lists in place. What do you think?
GILLETTE: Well, you know you have me on the show because I‘m a nut, and the nut point of view on this, and I believe it so firmly, but I know that it‘s an odd position, is I believe that we should take New Hampshire‘s slogan and live free or die. I think that I am willing to risk my life in order to have more freedom.
The best way to fight the terrorists is to have the freest country on earth. You should be able to get on an airplane, and people—that will not possibly happen again.
The reason 9/11 happened was not because there wasn‘t enough government intervention. The reason it happened was because people were told to be cooperative. That idea of how to deal with terrorists is now gone. It cannot happen again.
They‘re just closing an ineffective barn door after the cow was gone, and no matter how good it makes you feel, if it makes you feel safer, it‘s just wrong. The idea of this country is freedom, and the idea that there are no-fly lists is really deeply wrong.
CROWLEY: Well, though, Penn, what if I were to tell you that we have evidence, the CIA, the NSA, the Department of Homeland Security all have evidence to suggest that al Qaeda still may be interested in using airplanes as weapons, maybe not in the missile-type attack that we saw on September 11, but perhaps a single-engine jet armed with, you know, chemical or biological weapons to detonate over a major city.
If al Qaeda still has an aviation fixation, why not do everything we can to prevent another attack?
GILLETTE: Because when you say everything we can, then you‘re always going to draw a line. Everything we can is to not have any flight happen in the USA. That eliminates them being able to do that.
So you‘re not saying anything we can. You‘re saying where the line is, and my line is in a very different place.
The most beautiful thing about living in this country is the freedom, and as soon as you lose that, every time you give up a little bit, it‘s a little less great to live here, and I think we should make America wonderful and great and free and just full of joy, and if that means we are taking a risk, I will take a risk.
The patriots that formed this country risked their lives to be free. The least we can do is take a gamble on an airplane now and again for our brothers and sisters in the country to be free.
CROWLEY: All right. Let‘s talk about ever more government intervention. The Justice Department has urged the federal judge in Washington to rule that cigarette companies engaged in a 50-year conspiracy to mislead the public about the dangers of smoking.
According to the government, big tobacco hatched the campaign back in 1953, when it was becoming clear that smoking caused lung cancer.
Well, Penn, do you really believe that an entire industry made up of thousands of people could keep any secret, even an open secret, like the connection between cigarettes and emphysema and lung cancer?
GILLETTE: I don‘t know. I‘m 50 years old, and when I was 6 or 7, I remember my mom and dad saying that cigarette smoking was dangerous. That‘s not the problem.
People smoke for all sorts of complicated reasons, but not because corporations tell them to. This is another issue of just freedom. You don‘t have freedom unless you have the freedom to do stupid self-destructive things.
Anybody will give you the freedom to do good, smart things. We have to fight for the freedom to be stupid, and smoking is one of the best ways to fight for your freedom, to be just as stupid as you can be.
CROWLEY: And speaking of the freedom to be stupid, as of today, Internet pornographers, wonderful people, I‘m sure, were to have a new domain for their services with the dot XXX suffix replacing.com, but the Commerce Department has asked for a hold on dot XXX, citing concerns about creating a virtual red light district. The delay would allow for further scrutiny of the entire idea.
Well, you know, Penn, if we were to ban porn on the Web, the entire Web would wither from lack of porn. If you put triple X as the suffix, then you are allowing parents, then, to put more blocks on their computers to prevent kids from taking a look at this porn, but, you know, with kids and sex and porn, where there‘s a will, there‘s a way, right?
GILLETTE: Yes. There‘s no way al the armies on earth can stop one 16-year-old who starts to have the hormones kick in, get into anything he or she wants.
In 1981, Nicholas Negroponte, at MIT, wrote a book called “Being Digital,” and in it, he said the most important sentence that could be said about all of this. He said bits is bits, and the biggest thing the Web has done for us is shown us that all information is exactly the same. And that personal choice has to be exercised.
What the suffix is won‘t make very much difference at all. When you‘re searching in Google you don‘t look for a suffix. You know, you type in any particular sex act you want, it comes up. The suffix couldn‘t matter to either side. You shouldn‘t ghettoize that.
Information is information, and people should be able to get what they want. And parents, if they don‘t want their children to do that, should stop them from doing it. It‘s not the government‘s job.
CROWLEY: Yes, you know, the government is concerned here about creating a virtual red light district, but there‘s so much porn on the web already, Penn, it‘s like that red light district already exists.
GILLETTE: Every new technology is driven by pornography and sex. The second thing printed on the Gutenberg press was erotic drawings. You know, erotic fiction was done on the Gutenberg press. Technology is run by sex, because it‘s very important to people, both technology and sex.
CROWLEY: Well, speaking of filth, Penn, there‘s a movie now in theaters that you just got to see. It‘s a family picture, sort of, but I don‘t want to give away the plot. It‘s called “The Aristocrats.” Although I believe “The Sophisticates” is sometimes used as an alternative name.
The picture was released without a rating, and at least one national movie chain refused to show it.
Well, I saw it this weekend, Penn, and I have to tell you, I laughed out loud in many places. It‘s a bunch of very famous comedians, all telling the same filthy joke, which originated during the Bob Dylan years. The joke itself is filthy. Do you think that the controversy surrounding this film has actually helped it?
GILLETTE: Well, I have done everything I can to not be part of the controversy. You know, a theater chain says we‘re not going to show it, that‘s like a supermarket saying they‘re not carrying olives. It doesn‘t mean anything.
I don‘t want anybody to be sucker-punched by this movie. It‘s not a Michael Moore, Mel Gibson proselytizing thing. It‘s a bunch of really funny people telling a joke that uses a lot of obscenity.
And I‘m the one that insisted on the poster, go “no nudity, no violence, unspeakable obscenity.” If you are bothered by a word, don‘t go see this. Go see the penguin movie. It‘s really good.
CROWLEY: And when I went to see this movie this weekend, I noticed a lot of people in the theater walked out.
GILLETTE: You have bad neighbors.
CROWLEY: Do you take that as a compliment?
GILLETTE: Not at all, not at all. I take that—I mean, I don‘t know how I could be more clear. I mean, we do have everybody from Phyllis Diller, Bob Saget, Gilbert Gottfried, the Smothers Brothers. There‘s a lot of people who a lot of people want to see, but we‘re seeing obscenity everywhere.
I mean, this is—there‘s nothing more American than a dirty joke.
It‘s freedom of speech and it‘s comedy, two things that Americans love. But there‘s a lot of people that should not see this movie. What else can I tell them?
If you want to go in with 104 comedians who are really funny but using every obscenity you‘ve ever thought, and some you‘ve never heard, come on and see the movie. If those little words bother you, don‘t.
We are the highest grossing per screen in the country, but we‘re not on many screens, because of that guy at AMC (ph) who won‘t let us on a lot of screens. He‘s a wonderful gentleman, I‘m sure.
CROWLEY: There are many, many very funny moments in this movie. It you can handle the unspeakable—unspeakable obscenity, go see it.
GILLETTE: You can‘t even say “unspeakable obscenity” without choking.
Penn Gillette, from Las Vegas, thanks so much. Great to see you.
GILLETTE: Thanks a lot.
CROWLEY: Still to come tonight, “The Outsider,” Max Kellerman will join me to debate curfews, tabloids, and cold, hard cash.
Hey, Max, is your head still spinning from last night?
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN: I don‘t know, Monica, when you compared me to the world‘s ugliest dog.
CROWLEY: You know, I said that with love, Max.
KELLERMAN: Thank you very much.
CROWLEY: All right, get your cute tail back out here.
Plus, BTK killer Dennis Rader is about to be sentenced in front of the families of his victims. After the break, I‘ll talk to a renowned psychologist who profiled Radar for police and believes the mass murderer is about to be humiliated. Stay tuned.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ahead on THE SITUATION, can lots and lots of dough really buy you happiness? Max Kellerman seems to think so. He‘ll put his money where his mouth is when THE SITUATION continues.
CROWLEY: And welcome back. Time now for tales of wrongdoing and justice served. It‘s THE SITUATION “Crime Blotter,” our nightly summary of who done it and who caught them.
First up, a terrorist plot to bomb military and Jewish sites around Los Angeles this fall has been foiled inside the California prison where it was hatched. ABC News now reporting that two inmates, Peter Martinez and Kevin James, recruited as many as 13 others for jihad against the United States. They made their plan inside the Fulsome State Prison near Sacramento, where Martinez and James are now in special confinement.
Well, there‘s plenty of evidence in our next case, which could be subtitled, “If at first you don‘t succeed, you‘ll probably fail again.” Police say Christopher Hor, who‘s behind bars after confessing to hiring a hit man to kill his wife, recently tried it again.
This time, however, Marcia Hoar reportedly worked with police, posing as dead, complete with fake blood, for this digital image that you just saw right there, meant to convince her husband that he had succeeded. He hadn‘t, but Mrs. Hoar is now under police protection.
And in Atlanta, evidence that there‘s no expiration date on crimes of passion. Seventh-eight-year-old Lena Sims Driskell was indicted on murder charges today for alleged shooting and killing her 85-year-old ex-boyfriend as he read a newspaper in a senior citizens home.
Police say Driskell found out Herman Winslow was seeing another woman.
She alleged told officers, quote, “I did it, and I‘d do it again.”
Sounds like a modern day Velma Kelly.
On to tonight‘s “Crime Blotter.” Our guest is an expert on a case that has fascinated and repulsed many in this country. Wichita‘s BTK killer will be sentenced this week, and could spend the rest of his life in prison for 10 murders committed between 1974 and 1991.
Howard Brodski is a psychologist who helped to profile BTK, back in the 1970‘s.
HOWARD BRODSKY, PSYCHOLOGIST: Good evening.
CROWLEY: Well, take us into the mind of a serial killer. What leads somebody to kill repeatedly?
BRODSKY: You know, this is a guy who has been doing this his entire adult life. This is something that‘s gone on three decades in his life.
And we‘re finding out that he really nurtured this, that he had some impulses that go back to childhood. And it appears as though he just kept focusing on them, thinking about them, fantasizing, and on and on it went until he started doing these awful, awful crimes. Through this nurturing, he built a fantasy world, and he acted it out in the most atrocious ways, and tomorrow we are going to hear the details of how he acted it out.
CROWLEY: Howard, are serial killers born with something in their brain that then gets activated at some point in their childhood, some sort of trauma?
BRODSKY: You know, I know some people believe that. I don‘t think this case requires that belief, though. I think we do find that he realized within himself at a young age that he did have deviant thoughts, and instead of doing reasonable things to take care of those, he did the unreasonable, he fantasized and dwelled on them. He really nurtured them until he was totally focused on them and was willing to risk everything in his life and everybody important in his life in order to act them out.
So I don‘t know that this was something he was born with.
CROWLEY: Is the BTK killer, Howard, a sociopath or a psychopath, and what‘s the difference?
BRODSKY: Well, really, at this point, the terms are really interchangeable. And fashions have changed over the years, and the terms have shifted in their usage, so we can use either one to describe this guy. And that‘s what this guy does appear to be.
There‘s things that go back before age 15, acts of some cruelty, cruelty to animals. His lack of remorse, his lack of any kind of sense of conscience, his lack of concern about how his behavior affects others. These are classical things which describe a sociopathic personality disorder.
CROWLEY: You know what‘s so amazing about this story and so many other serial killers, Howard, is that this guy led a relatively normal life. He was very involved in his community, in his church life. How do these killers go about leading a double life?
BRODSKY: Well, you know, this guy had a knack for being able to go undetected. I think it may well be that he filled up his life with some people who were kind of naive. This community was on a search for this guy for quite a while, and as far as I know, nobody turned him in. Nobody suggested, “Hey, why don‘t you take a look at this guy up in Park City. It seems as though he‘s got some eccentric behaviors.
So he did very well at hiding what was going on inside of him. He never shared it with anyone, and may well have filled his life with people who didn‘t want to look too close, who didn‘t really want to see what was beneath the surface.
CROWLEY: Howard, you have said that you believe that he is going to be humiliated when he faces his sentencing tomorrow. But if you believe that serial killers lack a sense of conscience, shame or guilt or remorse about what they did, how can they feel that humiliation?
BRODSKY: Well, I think that is the explanatory thing which kept him from revealing anything all this time, that he wants to be the guy on top. He wants to be the know it all. He wants to be the master of his craft.
And tomorrow, when we hear the dirty dealings that have been going on, when we look at the evidence, when we look at, really, just despicable thing after despicable thing, he will be humiliated. And I think you‘re going to be able to visibly see in his demeanor, during the course of the day, that he goes into from a full-sized guy into looking like someone very, very small, very, very petty.
CROWLEY: Howard, one last question for you. This entire episode is now over. He‘s in jail. He‘s going to be sentenced. He‘s never going to see the light of day again. Does the killing impulse stay in these serial killers?
BRODSKY: Well, the way this guy thinks, and you know, without any therapeutic intervention, he may well stay with that mind-set. But I don‘t think this is the kind of thing that a person, if they experience some kind of impulses that are deviant, they shouldn‘t automatically jump to the conclusion that they can‘t are cured. They should show effort at making some changes.
That‘s what‘s notable about this guy. There is no record of trying to change his behavior. He just kept doing it. He kept killing people.
CROWLEY: Well, Dr. Howard Brodsky, we‘re going to leave it there.
Thank you so much for your time tonight.
BRODSKY: Thank you.
CROWLEY: And coming up, a voice mailer reveals his it‘s so hideous, I can‘t turn away feeling, about Sam, the world‘s ugliest dog, featured on last night‘s program. His public outcry and much, much more, coming up next.
CROWLEY: Time now to welcome “The Outsider,” a man who gets his news from the billboards on the Long Island Expressway, on his way to the Hamptons, yet still wants to challenge me on a series of topics. Does he dare? Yes, he is—does.
And here he is, straight from the Columbia (ph) bat look alike convention, I didn‘t write this, don‘t hold it against me, I didn‘t write this—in Sioux Falls Idaho, its EPSN radio and HBO boxing host, my pal, Max Kellerman.
KELLERMAN: I won that convention, by the way, I came in first place.
And the billboards on the LIE, very, very informative. Very informative.
You‘d be surprised
CROWLEY: Not misleading at all, right?
CROWLEY: Well, welcome back. You dared to come back, Max. You dared to come with me after last night. Very courageous.
KELLERMAN: They told me I‘d get to be back in the studio with you.
CROWLEY: All right. Well, you never would have made it as a teenager in Rockford, Illinois, Max, because the city of Rockford has imposed a daytime curfew, which prohibits kids under 18 from hanging out without supervision in public from 9:30 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon on weekdays. The idea is to cut down on truancy from school.
My point is, why does the town have to pay attention to what these kids are doing? Where are the parents?
KELLERMAN: Yes, well, sure, the parents it‘s better if the parents handle it. However, the bottom line is results, right? So if the parents can‘t get their kids to stop being truant, let the city take care of it.
CROWLEY: They got one job to do: raise their kids. Pay attention to what they are doing. Make sure they‘re in school. The parents aren‘t doing it. Why is it the town‘s responsibility?
KELLERMAN: Do you remember how easy it was to pull the wool over your parents‘ eyes?
CROWLEY: Oh, I never did that. Hi, Mom.
KELLERMAN: Well, I certainly did. It‘s easy, but if there‘s a cop and he sees you, and he says, “Let me see some I.D.,” and you‘re under 18, hey, you can‘t be out on the street.
CROWLEY: Come on, towns should be focused on snow removal and lighting the streets, not parenting your kids.
Best things in life are free, and money can‘t buy you love. Well, sometimes it can, and Max, by the way, I said love.
However, researchers at Penn State University have determined that folks with more money are generally happier with their lives. And money especially buys those people happiness when they feel that they‘re keeping up materially with the people in their own age groups.
It used to be called keeping up with the Joneses. Around here, we call it keeping up with the Kellermans. You must have a great agent there, Max.
KELLERMAN: Boy, shot after shot.
CROWLEY: What do you think? You know, if you‘ve got money, obviously buys you nice things. You can get a nice suit. You can get a nice car, but that‘s all temporary. I‘m talking about inner happiness.
KELLERMAN: Well, you just keep buying things if it‘s temporary. Right? Did we really need a study at Penn State for this one? Let me get this straight: after years of this study, they‘ve concluded that if you‘re richer you‘re happier.
CROWLEY: No, richer than your friends. See, it‘s all relative.
KELLERMAN: It‘s a competitive thing.
CROWLEY: It‘s all relative.
KELLERMAN: Yes. I have been studying the exact same issue in New York State over the last 32 years. I came to the exact same conclusion. If you‘re—but I don‘t even—yes, it‘s true, it‘s relative. It‘s all bourgeois concerns. It‘s competitive.
But really, it‘s about the ability to order in food when you‘re hungry, and, you know, and fill your tank with premium gas and not think about it, and buy those beautiful shoes you‘re wearing today, Monica.
CROWLEY: OK. But you know what; it used to be about keeping up with the Joneses. Now it‘s about surpassing the Joneses, just enough so you feel better about yourself. It‘s about dissing the Joneses, isn‘t it?
KELLERMAN: But how great is this country when the vast majority of people, even if you‘re considered poor, are warm in the winter, have enough to eat. And the middle class, the main reason they want more money is not because they lack for material things, stuff. It‘s because simply they feel competitive with their neighbors. That‘s how great America is, Monica.
CROWLEY: That‘s what I am talking about, Max Kellerman. Great to see you.
KELLERMAN: Great to see you as always.
CROWLEY: Thanks for stopping by.
And there‘s still a lot more ahead on THE SITUATION. Don‘t go anywhere. Coming up, how do you think—the king lives, and he‘s all pumped up for a comeback.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God bless you.
CROWLEY (voice-over): A fallen idol feels the pain of pushing 50.
Plus, why this bride has got a thing for Big Macs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pardon me?
CROWLEY: And—back by popular demand. Sam, the world‘s ugliest canine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never show that dog on TV again.
CROWLEY: It‘s all ahead on THE SITUATION.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It‘s great.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: And, welcome back.
Well, North Korea is often in the news for alleged weapons threats and human rights violations but here in the United States a California man has found a source of satire in North Korea. He has launched a website called NK News, which organizes much of the rhetoric and propaganda spread by leader Kim Jong-Il. The rhetoric is blatantly anti-American.
And, joining me now is the developer of that website Geoff Davis, welcome Geoff.
GEOFF DAVIS, CREATOR, NK-NEWS.NET: Thank you.
CROWLEY: So, I checked out this website, NK News, and there are a lot of outrageous things on there, a lot of hilarious things, which we‘re going to get to in a second as well. What made you decide to do this website and focus solely on North Korea?
DAVIS: I was simply looking to build a website as a personal challenge and I wanted to make one that people might want to come visit and I also had a kind of a perverse interest in North Korea and find their propaganda often very unintentionally hilarious. And so, I decided to combine the two and make this website.
CROWLEY: Geoff, what led to this fascination with the North Koreans?
DAVIS: I just think the absurdity of their propaganda was so funny and actually, of course, it‘s a quite tragic situation but I find (INAUDIBLE) a personality like that kind of fascinating.
CROWLEY: Now, Geoff, have you studied other dictatorships, Communist dictatorships and other tyrannies and compared the level of rhetoric to what you‘re seeing coming out of North Korea?
DAVIS: No, I haven‘t really studied much besides that but I remember, of course, as everybody else does the Baghdad Bob guy back in Iraq who had, of course, his absurd propaganda that he was giving even as the U.S. was preparing to invade.
CROWLEY: Quite a character that Baghdad Bob, which leads me to my next question about another character Kim Jong-Il, the leader of North Korea. Do you have the similar kind of fascination with this particular guy as you do with the rhetoric that is put out by his regime?
DAVIS: Well, I just think anybody would find it funny. I mean it‘s a tremendous (INAUDIBLE) personality which apparently exceeds anything ever done by Stalin or Mao even in their primes and so it‘s amazing that one person could get so much control over the 22 million people there.
CROWLEY: Yes, he‘s a strange bird that‘s for sure. OK, so you‘ve taken a look at a lot of this rhetoric coming out of the North Korean propaganda machine. Can you lay some of the best gems on us?
DAVIS: Yes. There‘s a claim, for instance, they have that there‘s been a wall built in South Korea similar to the Berlin Wall, which transverses the entire width of the peninsula and the only problem is there really is no such wall but they keep angrily denouncing it.
And they also one time they took out an ad in “The New York Times,” a full page ad, in which they exonerated Kim Jong-Il and then later on the KCNA, that‘s the mouthpiece of the Kim Jong-Il regime, published an article saying that “The New York Times” was praising Kim Jong-Il as though the article, their ad rather was actually a news article.
CROWLEY: Not a lot of truth in advertising.
DAVIS: No, no.
CROWLEY: From the North Korean regime.
CROWLEY: What about Kim Jong-Il and his propaganda folks talking about President Bush and the Vice President Dick Cheney?
DAVIS: Anybody who critiques that regime, not just in the U.S., gets blasted by the KNCA in the worst manner possible even if the people critiquing the regime were relatively thoughtful and moderate in their criticism. So, they just go over the top in their response.
CROWLEY: Now, do they make fun of President Bush and the vice president? I mean do they call them names?
DAVIS: They definitely call them names, that‘s for sure and that‘s...
CROWLEY: Like what? Can you give us some examples?
DAVIS: They called Cheney I think recently a blood-thirsty beast and I think they called Bush a political illiterate and political dwarf, something like that. You can find that, of course, on my site. You can do searches there.
CROWLEY: Now, we know that the North Korean regime, Geoff, is the most hermetically sealed regime on the face of the earth.
DAVIS: That‘s correct.
CROWLEY: Do we have any sense of how the North Korean people receive this kind of propaganda?
DAVIS: I think they do it, they just send—the regime sends this propaganda out through the same channels as you might get here in the U.S. barring, of course, the Internet. But what they‘ll do is they‘ll like solder the radios so that they‘re set on the propaganda radio stations. And, for instance, if you get caught in that country with a free tuning radio, the penalties of course are quite severe for that.
CROWLEY: Well, some of the rhetoric that you mention on your website, NK News, it makes the phrase axis of evil pale in comparison and yet there‘s a lot of human cry coming from Kim Jong-Il and his lieutenants about the rhetoric coming from the United States but isn‘t this country just calling the North Korean regime exactly what it is?
DAVIS: Yes, I think so. I mean I‘m not necessarily meaning to endorse Bush. I‘m kind of politically neutral. I‘ve kept my site politically neutral. But I think anybody can see here in the U.S. or anywhere in the world just how ridiculous this regime has become in its propaganda.
And, it would be nice I think to see the world hold this regime to a higher standard. I mean they expect that of the U.S. and other countries, as well they should and I wish they would do the same in North Korea.
CROWLEY: Absolutely, I‘m with you on that. Geoff, your view on Kim Jong-Il, is he really crazy or is he crazy like a fox?
DAVIS: I think he‘s kind of trapped in a corner. He inherited the system from his dad that‘s falling apart and as far as reform goes he‘s in trouble if he reforms but he‘s also in trouble if he doesn‘t. So, I kind of think actually they‘re in desperate straits and that‘s part of the reason for the nuclear crisis is they are trying to survive at this point to sustain the system.
CROWLEY: All right, well I‘ve looked at your website. It‘s really very interesting, Geoff. It‘s nk-news.net. I want to thank you for your time, Geoff Davis.
DAVIS: My pleasure, thank you.
CROWLEY: And coming right up how do you think former President Bill Clinton should be remembered? One angry voice mailer is upset with me and gives us her own opinion coming up after the break.
Plus, more on Cindy Sheehan‘s campsite vigil in Crawford, Texas, what was your reaction to the man who drove his pickup truck over the crosses bearing the names of soldiers killed in Iraq? Find out next.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Still to come, we‘ll bring you the news everyone will be talking about tomorrow.
Plus, why Madonna has the birthday blues. “The Situation” will continue in 60 seconds.
CROWLEY: Welcome back everybody.
Time now to get tomorrow‘s big news right now and for that I turn to our esteemed producer Willie Geist, hi Willie.
GEIST: Hi, Tucker—Monica.
CROWLEY: Well, now that was a God awful Freudian slip Geist.
GEIST: I got confused (INAUDIBLE).
CROWLEY: God awful Freudian slip. Well, we just did the segment on North Korea, your view on Kim Jong-Il?
GEIST: Two things he was great in the animated movie, what‘s it called again?
CROWLEY: “Team America.”
GEIST: “Team America.”
GEIST: He was snubbed for an Oscar in my view. And, also our guest neglected to tell the greatest piece of North Korean propaganda which is that Kim Jong-Il claimed the first time he ever played golf he shot a 34 including five holes in one on his first time out, which a 34 is roughly twice as good as Tiger Woods does on a good day.
CROWLEY: Five holes in one.
GEIST: I find that a little hard to believe.
CROWLEY: Yes, physical impossibility.
GEIST: That‘s right.
CROWLEY: But this is a communist dictator so anything is possible.
GEIST: He can say whatever he wants. Nobody‘s going to call him on it.
Here‘s a little news of tomorrow.
CROWLEY: Oh, very good thank you, Mr. Geist. Well, we want to show you some new video from Gaza where the remaining Israeli settlers are refusing to leave quietly. Israeli defense forces are moving door-to-door in the early morning hours to forcibly remove the settlers.
And, as you can see right there, the soldiers are being met with some resistance and protest. The deadline for Jewish settlers to leave Gaza passed nearly seven hours ago.
Well, there are some resisters, Willie, but it‘s been relatively quiet since the deadline passed which seems to me to be encouraging but the next 48 hours are crucial.
GEIST: That‘s right. They say about half of the settlers are still there, half of the 9,000 settlers and you can understand why some of them are being defiant. They‘re being kicked out of their homes and they don‘t really understand why.
Also, they‘re sacrificing I don‘t know $500,000 or so of a compensation package they were getting, so this obviously means more than money to them.
CROWLEY: We‘re keeping a very close eye on this story...
CROWLEY: ...over the next couple of days.
Well, here we go again. Michael Jackson is expected in a New Orleans courtroom tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time to answer charges made by a man who claims Jackson sexually assaulted him back in 1984. Jackson and his lawyers missed a hearing on the lawsuit last month and if they don‘t show up tomorrow, the judge could hand down a decision without a trial. Willie, make this all go away.
GEIST: Please and Michael...
CROWLEY: When will the story ever end?
GEIST: Michael is going to want to show up for this trial because if they can just levy a decision without him being there, just show up, please just show up Michael. And, also these people are coming out of the woodwork. This happened during the Thriller years and he just got called on it.
CROWLEY: I know.
GEIST: The guy can‘t catch a break.
CROWLEY: Michael Jackson these days spending more time in a courtroom than a recording studio.
GEIST: That‘s right.
CROWLEY: Now this isn‘t technically news from tomorrow but the ripples of P. Diddy‘s announcement today will be felt for generations. He announced that he‘s dropping the P. from P. Diddy and he‘ll only go by Diddy from now on. The rap mogul says he‘s making a change to simplify things and because the P. was “getting between us.” I‘m not sure what that means.
GEIST: I was starting to feel that way, the P. was getting between us.
CROWLEY: I got to tell you, Willie, nobody saw this coming, earth shattering news.
GEIST: No, earth shattering. Do you realize he had the same name for more than four years. I mean we were due for this change.
CROWLEY: I mean this is—you know let‘s take a look at all of Diddy‘s different incarnations.
GEIST: Yes, I think it‘s three.
CROWLEY: Here you go, Sean Combs first name.
GEIST: God gave him that one.
CROWLEY: Birth name, yes, followed by Puffy, followed by Puff Daddy.
CROWLEY: Followed by P. Diddy.
CROWLEY: And now we just have Diddy.
GEIST: There he is.
CROWLEY: So, I guess, you know, keeping it real D.
GEIST: Totally keeping it real. My favorite was Puffy and I was told that people who really knew him called him Puffy.
GEIST: So, I was sort of calling him Puffy before everybody else.
CROWLEY: Yes. Well, we shall see if this helps his career any bit.
GEIST: Well, this might be a publicity stunt because he‘s hosting the MTV awards in two weeks. I don‘t want to say anything.
CROWLEY: Gee, you think?
CROWLEY: Coming up, is it safe to be a hunka hunka burning love while pumping gas? These and other incendiary questions will be answered, as always, on the “Cutting Room Floor.” Stick around.
CROWLEY: And we are back sitting in tonight for Louie Anderson, I‘m Monica Crowley.
Time now for our ever popular voice mail segment where we encourage you to share your thoughts about a story in the news, the show itself, or even Tucker if you please, let‘s take a listen shall we—viewer number one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATTI, HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA: Hi, this is Patti from Huntington Beach, California. This is for Monica Crowley. Your comments regarding Bill Clinton‘s legacy and jail CD completely negate his work with tsunami victims as well as his AIDS project in Africa. You might not like his politics but his social conscience can‘t be debated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: All right, Patti, thank you very much for the call. Well, I still believe that Bill Clinton disgraced the office of the presidency and I also think he broke the law while he was the nation‘s chief law enforcement officer. But I will say this about Bill Clinton, he‘s never dull—viewer number two, hello.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY, BRONX, NEW YORK: Hello, my name is Jimmy Scolacci (ph). I‘m in the Bronx and I‘m calling upon you to retort that these rednecks from Texas that trashed those crosses that represented dead soldiers. I‘d like to see you do something with your point of view.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Yes, Jimmy, thank you for the call. I agree with you. I think that what that guy did was unconscionable. Everybody has a right to their opinion. You can certainly disagree with the president‘s policy in Iraq. That doesn‘t give you an excuse to disgrace crosses trying to represent those who have died there—viewer number three, hi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE, DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA: This is Mike from Delray Beach, Florida. I just saw that story on Posh Spice, she can‘t read, which explains why the Spice Girls are the most (INAUDIBLE) career. In that (INAUDIBLE) I‘m watching it right now that‘s a great way. You go up in the marriage and then it‘s all downhill from there. Thanks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Yes. Good to hear from you. Well I have to tell you that Posh Spice did marry quite well. She‘s married to David Beckham and he‘s quite a hottie. But here‘s a memo to Posh Spice. Never something to be proud of to actually admit that you haven‘t read a book ever and even more so to admit all of that in public. Posh Spice may have married well but she certainly has failed up—next viewer, hi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH, SYRACUSE, NEW YORK: This is Joseph from Syracuse. I‘ve just been watching your show and please or the love of God never show that dog on TV again. I will have nightmares if you show him. I‘m an animal lover but that‘s hideous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: All right, Joseph, yes well I‘m glad you saw last night‘s show and sorry I do feel your pain but we did just show the dog once again -- next viewer, hello.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARLIA, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: You‘ve only been on there for what not even a month yet and you‘re taking two (expletive) vacations already. What the hell is going on? I‘m really disappointed. I hope you get back on the show tomorrow. I really miss you. I love you. I love Monica but I love watching you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: All right, Marlia, yes I agree. You know, Tucker has a vacation week this week and we do have some photographs of Tucker on his vacation. There‘s Tucker at the Great Wall of China, check him out there. Oh, there he is at the Taj Mahal looking like he‘s enjoying himself quite well. And, oh there he is at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. If you‘ll notice, Tucker is sporting the same pose in each one of those photos.
Yes, Tucker did just launch a show and he‘s already on vacation. I launched my show, “Connected,” here on MSNBC back in February and I‘ve yet to have a full on vacation, so here‘s what I‘m thinking that I need Tucker‘s agent.
Let us know what you‘re thinking. Give us a call at 1-877-TCARLSON; that is 1-877-822-7576. That is toll free which means it‘s free to you.
Still ahead on “The Situation,” so you thought your wedding day was classy. I‘ll bet you didn‘t have triple thick milkshakes and super sized fries. It‘s ring around the drive through and right into the “Cutting Room Floor” coming up next.
CROWLEY: Time now to sweep up the “Cutting Room Floor.” As always, our producer Willie Geist has collected the very best of the stories that didn‘t quite make the cut tonight and he‘s back to bring them to us right now, hi again Willie.
GEIST: Hello, Monica.
CROWLEY: Nice to see you again.
GEIST: I‘d like to apologize for calling you Tucker earlier.
GEIST: It goes without saying you‘re far more attractive than he is.
CROWLEY: Well, you know, I was kind of hoping you‘d come back and say that.
GEIST: I had to. Also, thank you for loaning us your considerable talents from “Connected Coast to Coast,” noon and 5:00 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday.
CROWLEY: That‘s called a shameless plug for my own program.
GEIST: If you‘re not watching it, you‘re making a huge mistake.
And, one more order of business.
GEIST: On behalf of human resources at MSNBC, I apologize for any comments that Max Kellerman might have made to you about your shoes or trying to get your phone number, anything like that.
CROWLEY: Oh, that‘s all right, that‘s just Kellerman.
GEIST: We pride ourselves on being a harassment free workplace.
CROWLEY: Not a hostile work environment.
CROWLEY: Thank you, Willie, so much.
Well last night on “The Situation” we broke the story that today is the 28th anniversary of Elvis Presley‘s death. As you can see, news traveled fast. This man showed up in full Elvis regalia to pump gas today at a Birmingham, Alabama gas station.
With every fill up there, the impersonator handed out a free peanut butter and banana sandwich. That was, of course, the king‘s favorite meal and also, Willie, one of the reasons why he was so bloated.
GEIST: That‘s right and sadly, sadly if Elvis were still alive at the rate he was going he‘d be doing just that pumping gas.
CROWLEY: You know that‘s just sad.
GEIST: Those final years, the final years were not pretty.
CROWLEY: They really weren‘t but in his prime the sexiest man alive.
GEIST: I‘ll leave that to you.
CROWLEY: Elvis Presley. Have you ever had a peanut butter and banana sandwich by the way?
GEIST: Never. I don‘t plan to.
CROWLEY: I have had it, quite tasty.
CROWLEY: I thought it might be disgusting, quite, quite tasty.
GEIST: I‘ll whip one up tonight as a late night snack.
CROWLEY: Only have one though. You don‘t want to end up like Elvis.
After a certain age birthdays just get more painful every year and for Madonna number 47 was the very worst yet. She fell from a horse at her English estate today breaking her hand and collarbone and fracturing three ribs. Madonna was celebrating her 47th birthday with husband Guy Ritchie and her two children when she was tossed from the horse. She was treated and released from a local hospital.
Well I guess, Willie, this means that Madonna won‘t be bogeying her way through the rest of her birthday.
GEIST: No, I don‘t think so but you know what see what happens when you sell out the U.S.A. for a British husband? You want to be the lady of the manor this is what you get honey.
CROWLEY: Yes, but the husband is really cute so I can‘t say that I blame her.
GEIST: Again, we‘ll leave that to you.
CROWLEY: If you‘re having trouble starting your car maybe you should check to see if you‘ve made this month‘s lease payment. A new device being installed in some cars prevents them from starting if the owner hasn‘t paid the bills. When you pay on time you receive a code that enables the car to start and if you don‘t pay, you don‘t get the code and the car is disabled. Well, this is really, this is hitting the limit, huh Willie?
GEIST: This is a cool concept. I have an idea. I wish our executive producer, Bill Wolf‘s (ph) car wouldn‘t start every time he didn‘t pick up the dinner bill. It might teach him.
CROWLEY: Oh, you know, that is a very—there‘s an incentive.
GEIST: Would it kill you to pick up a check every now and again Bill?
CROWLEY: You know if you can‘t start your car, you know, something tells me though that once Bill Wolf hears these comments you‘re going to be out of a job as of tonight.
GEIST: Well, I don‘t think he has that power just yet.
CROWLEY: Listen, if you want to drive pay your lease.
CROWLEY: Pay your lease.
Well, we generally don‘t like to give criminals tips on how to do their jobs better but we would like to pass on this one piece of advise. If you must burglarize somebody‘s home, don‘t call your mom for a ride home from the crime scene. Here we‘ve got yet another beautiful situation dramatic reenactment and here it is. It‘s clearly identifying what‘s going on here.
The reenactment, OK, it clearly shows a Georgia man used the phone in the house he had just broken into to call him mom for a lift. When the victim returned home and found her things missing she hit redial on her phone and the criminal‘s mom was on the other side of the line. The thief was then apprehended shortly thereafter. Well, I‘ve heard of dumb criminals but this really takes the cake, Willie.
GEIST: The best part of the story though that we did not tell the mom refused to pick the guy up and sold him out to the police when they called them, so she taught him a lesson.
CROWLEY: This guy got exactly what he deserved.
GEIST: That‘s right.
CROWLEY: And, last night we showed you a log flume wedding at an Alabama amusement park. And tonight we do you one better. This Pennsylvania couple was married yesterday at the drive-through window of a McDonald‘s. The couple met at that very window four years ago when the groom was placing a lunch order with his future bride. In a sweet tribute, McDonald‘s shut down the drive-through for the ceremony. You know nothing screams romance like a box of Chicken McNuggets, Willie.
GEIST: That‘s right. The log flume was bad but anytime the bridesmaids are making McFlurries in the back you have to question where you‘re having it.
CROWLEY: Yes, it‘s a bad scene. Well, good luck on that marriage.
That‘s “The Situation” for tonight. Thank you so much for watching. I‘m Monica Crowley.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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