Guest: Dave Holloway, Robin Holloway, Pamela Davis; Walter Zalisko, Laura Shlessinger, Mark Svenvold
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Tonight‘s top headline, a world exclusive, in Aruba, suspect Deepak Kalpoe talks to our SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY investigator. You‘re going to hear what he says about Joran, Natalee‘s mother, and his shocking comments about taking a lie detector test.
And, the mystery of the missing American groom, from the cabin below the honeymoon couple, a passenger comes to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to tell us the shocking details of the night George Smith, IV, vanished.
And we‘ll show you the letter the cruise line sent looking for answers and ask the question, is this any way to conduct a murder investigation?
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY no passport required, only common sense allowed.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room to the courtroom to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, good evening, and thanks a lot for being with us tonight. What we‘re going to be talking about ahead is going to surprise you, obviously. We, first of all, are going to be talking about the groom
the honeymoon groom, George Smith, IV. New questions about the crew connection to this case. Do they have anything to do with what happened to George that night? Plus, extraordinary testimony from a woman who was on the ship. We‘re going to hear her account of what she heard that tragic night.
And then, a twister‘s tear—as twisters could tears path of destruction across the heartland, tonight, amazing pictures and a man who spent a year chasing nature‘s fury.
And up close and personal with radio talk show host and author, Dr. Laura Schlessinger. You‘re not going to miss that interview. I am telling you, friends, it‘s going to be incredible.
But first, a big exclusive in the case of Natalee Holloway. We go straight to the island of Aruba and former FBI profiler and MSNBC analyst Clint van Zandt who earlier today walked into the internet cafe where suspect Deepak Kalpoe works, and he began an interview that will amaze you.
Clint, thanks for being with us tonight. I‘m telling you, you managed to find out more from this suspect than we‘ve heard since Natalee Holloway vanished 81 days ago. I just got to ask you a question how in the world did you secure an off-camera interview with this guy who nobody else has been able to get him to talk?
CLINT VAN ZANDT, FMR. FBI PROFILER: You know, Joe, this is something just like you or I would. I mean, I went in, you know, this is a 21-year-old boy, basically, man by legal description, but otherwise a boy. And I talked to him like you and I would talk to one of our kids. I mean, I leaned over the counter. I told him, you know, that I was there with the media, and he said, well, I am really not supposed to talk about this, but and then all of a sudden we rolled into a conversation, and it was like, you know, it was almost like a father/son talk. And it was good.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, again, this guy hasn‘t talked to anybody. He‘s had his guard up. Do—I just got to ask you, do they train you how to break down walls of these type of suspects with your FBI training, and did you employ that today? Did you look for a weakness and once you found it, kind of keyed in on that?
VAN ZANDT: I—You know, Joe, that sounds very penetrative, but you know, I went in like a human being. I was concerned. I talked to him about that I thought, you know, Joran was offering him up, and suggesting he had something to do with this case, and that if he was my son, that my advice to him would be, you know, friendship stops when somebody else suggests you committed a crime. And I said, you know, you may well have been caught up in something that was totally not of your making, but I said, you know, you got to find a point, at 21 years old, that you‘re going to carry this the rest of your life, and you‘re going to have to make some big decisions very quick in your life. And Joe, you know, it was like, again, talking to one of your kids. He looked me in the eye, and I understood what I was saying.
SCARBOROUGH: Let me ask you this about Joran. I mean, when you have this kid in front of you, and you say you understand your friend has sold you out. He‘s told the cops that you raped Natalee and then you killed her and then you buried her. Did he have any response to that?
VAN ZANDT: Yeah, you know, I told him I had read a statement that Joran had given. It was signed by four different police officers suggesting he had done just that to her. And I said, you know, this is a friend of yours. This is somebody who offered you up for committing this crime. I said, you know, if he‘s a standup guy, if he‘s a standup friend, he takes responsibility for what he did not—you know, he doesn‘t lay it off on you, and he kind of put his head down, and he said, “You know, I guess you got to talk to him.” But, I said, how about you talked to him? I said, you know, if somebody says I did something I go to them and say, “Why did you say that?” He said, “Well.” I said, “Did you talk to him when you were in jail?” He said, “No, no they wouldn‘t let us talk in jail.” I said, “Well, you know, if I were you,” I said, “Somehow I‘d track that guy down and say, you know, ‘don‘t be saying things, don‘t be saying I did something.‘” I said, “He is accusing you of being the one that had something to do with this girl‘s disappearance.” I said, “You don‘t like that, do you?” And he shook his head, he says, “No, I don‘t.”
SCARBOROUGH: What else did he tell you, Clint? What—did he say anything about Natalee, what went on that night?
VAN ZANDT: No, you know, he stayed away from that. You know, I asked him, Joe, I had, you know, “September 4 is coming up,” I said, “on the off chance that the authorities release Joran,” I said, “is this case going away?” He said, “Oh, no, this is not going away. This is not going away at all, not by a long shot.” And I said, “Well some people suggest there‘s no investigation.” He said, “Well, you know, you don‘t see it, but it‘s going on out there.” And he said something interesting, Joe. He said, “Beth is not going to let this go away.” You know, I mean, he realizes the tenaciousness of this mother, who‘s just—who is not going to leave this island unless she finds out what exactly happened to her daughter. And he says, you know, “The prosecutor—the prosecutor is under a lot of pressure.” He said, “They have got to produce results too.” I said, “Well, you know, we haven‘t seen you on television, how come?” He said, “No, no.” He said, “If I go on some of these television shows, everybody says I‘m a liar. Everybody says I am not telling the truth.” I said, “Is that how you want to be perceived?” And he said “No.” And I said, “Well, you know, look at it this way,” I said, “to me, you‘ve got to find a way where people don‘t call you a liar,” I said, you know, “have you ever heard of a polygraph?”
Now Joe, I am not a big advocate of a polygraph, but the flip side is, I know they‘ve very good paleographers with good interview skills, so I said, “Have you ever been interviewed with a polygraph?” He said, well, “You know, we don‘t use them in here.” But I said, “Hey, how about if the FBI or another agency brought a polygraph in.” I said, “You want the ability to stand up to the world and say, ‘I‘m telling the truth. I‘ not lying about this.‘ What if a polygraph came in, sat down with you, and was able to say, then you could stand up and say that.” I said, “Would you consider a polygraph?” And he said, “Well, I would have to talk.” Talk to who? He said, “Well, my attorney.” I said, “You‘re telling me if you talk to your attorney and he said it‘s OK for you to take a polygraph to prove your innocence, you‘d do that?” And he said, “Yeah, I would talk to my attorney and consider that then. “
SCARBOROUGH: Well, that—I‘ll tell you what, that would be quite a development in this case. And the—like you said before, he understands this case is not going to ever go away until Beth Holloway Twitty gets the truth, until the family of Natalee gets the truth, and until they get the truth.
VAN ZANDT: Absolutely.
SCARBOROUGH: So, tell me, what is next for him? Does he understand that his life as he knew it is over until this case is resolved?
VAN ZANDT: You know, at 21, he has to look at that. You know, I leaned over the counter, and I am looking at him eye to eye, and I said, “You know, you‘re kind of caught in a time warp right now.” I said, “You know, you can‘t move forward. You can‘t move backwards,” I said, “There‘s got to be some answers in this, I said, “Your life is on hold, isn‘t it?”
And he nods his head. And I said, “Well, you know, you‘re 21, you‘re probably getting ready to go to school.” And he said, “Well, I was going to go to college in Florida this year, but,” he said, “It looks like that‘s not going to happen, now.” He said, “I probably won‘t go to college in Florida.” He said, “Maybe Canada or someplace like that.” And I said, “Well, how come?” And he said, “Well, right now,” he said, “there‘s just -I don‘t know what I am going to do.” He said, “The case is not over. It‘s not resolved. Beth is not going to let it go. I don‘t know where I am going in my life.”
I mean, you know, Joe, this case takes you on an absolute emotional roller coaster, for your show yesterday, you know, I sat and talked to Beth, and she and I sat there and cried together about a lost daughter. Today, I am looking across the counter at a 21-year-old young man who could be one of my kids. People make mistakes. Sometimes tragic, tragic mistakes, that affect their entire life. But, you know, you look this guy in the eye. He‘s not a monster, he‘s not BTK or anything like that, he‘s someone who may have had nothing to do with this, Joe, or he may have, as Beth suggests, the answer, the key to this, and when you look at him, Joe, he is confused, he‘s frightened, and he is trying to figure out what to do in his life, just like Beth is, just like everybody else is in this case.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, Clint, and that was going to be my final question to you. You‘ve been a, obviously an FBI profiler, the best in the business. You looked across the desk into this kid‘s eyes. Who do you see there?
VAN ZANDT: Na, you know, no magic hocus-pocus, no body language, Joe. You know, I see a young man who‘s measuring his words, who realizes that his future, his entire life is kind of hanging there right now. It‘s being besmirched by someone else. The entire world, at least half of it, thinks he has something—he‘s had something to do with this young girl‘s disappearance, and, you know, you want to look into his mind, Joe. You want to reach out and say, you know, “Come on. Just move past this. You know, the truth will set you free.” And, you know, he‘s got counsel, and counsel is telling him not to talk, but, you know, this young man, somehow he‘s got to get out of this never, never land. He‘s got to step forward and say, “This is what I know. This is what I did. This is what other people did.” I mean, this is what Beth wants, and I can‘t imagine carrying whatever secrets he has to the rest of his life.
SCARBOROUGH: He‘s—I am telling you, the Holloway family won‘t let him do it. Clint, thank you so much for that exclusive—remarkable. And Clint, I am supposed to say goodbye to you here, but if you can stay with me here for just a minute. I‘m going to keep you there while we go now to Mississippi and talk to Natalee‘s father, Dave Holloway, and his wife, Robin.
Dave, you just heard what Deepak said from Clint van Zandt. I want to ask you what your reaction is, and if you have any questions for Clint, because obviously he was across the table from a young man, who may have been responsible for the disappearance or the death of your daughter. I know if I were a father, I might have a question or two. What do you make of this interview with Deepak today?
DAVE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE‘S FATHER: Well, Clint‘s exactly right. We want to get to the bottom of this and get the truth out, and someone‘s concealing the truth, but, you know, Deepak‘s a pretty smart kid. You know, you remember the Holiday Inn story. You know, they all had that all planned and planned out the first day, and I suspect they were planning that story at 2:30 a.m. when the gardener saw them. But then again, you stop and think, who told Steve Cruz about the alibi? I think it was Deepak. Steve Cruz went to the internet cafe, and Deepak was able to tell him the Holiday Inn story. Well, when they were arrested, Deepak forgot to tell Steve Cruz that they changed their story. So—and then the incident in the prison, where it came up about the gardener. His face turned white, and he literally got mad and ran off. And so, you know, if you just tell the truth, we can go on, certainly if he‘ll take a lie detector test, I‘d like to be there and ask a few questions, myself.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Clint, did you see a young man who was manipulative? Again, sometimes it‘s hard to read, and if this guy has clammed up, obviously you can‘t read that. But, Dave obviously, and many others concerned about the fact that this kid has changed his story 10 times.
VAN ZANDT: Yeah, the family‘s been there, Dave and others have been, you know, in and out of here for 82 days, now. You know, one of the things I asked him, Joe and Dave, I said, you know, “Do you understand what a plea bargain is,” and right away, he says, “Yeah, I know what it is. He says it‘s like where two goes against one.” I said, “Yeah, it‘s like you and your brother.” I said, “If you were caught up in something, if you got over your head, you‘ve got this other guy saying you did something,” I said, “Isn‘t it time for you and your brother to get together and say, ‘hey, let us tell you what happened.‘” He said, “You got to understand,” he said, “We don‘t have that deal in this country,” he said, you can‘t plea bargain. You can‘t cut a deal in something like this.” So, I mean, he understands the law, at least that‘s what‘s explained to him.
SCARBOROUGH: Boy, I tell you what, it‘s a shame, because that might break it. Dave, what question would you like asked of Deepak?
D. HOLLOWAY: Well, I would just like to go through the whole process of what happened that night, and all the minute details of exactly what happened. The last known story was given by Joran, that Deepak had done something to her, and Deepak has not come back or said anything about what his story is. You know, we just—all we want is the truth. And, you know, some of those questions would be—you know, I‘d have to plan for them, but hopefully they would be ones where we get out the truth. That‘s all we want. And if he is innocent, he can take a lie detector test. He does not have to have his attorney‘s permission to give a lie detector test. He can tell his attorney, that I want to give one, I want to clear my name, I want to shout from the tallest mountain that I‘m innocent. You know, he‘s done none of that. And so I suspect.
SCARBOROUGH: And let everybody know that, obviously.
D. HOLLOWAY: Yeah.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, Dave and Robin, stay with us, if you will. Clint van Zandt, thank you so much. Greatly appreciate that great work on the ground. We‘re going to keep up our investigation and break this case.
Coming up next, another passenger comes forward. She was in the cabin below the ill-fated honeymooner. Next, an exclusive, what she heard the night newlywed George Smith disappeared.
And later, what is Dr. Laura‘s biggest regret? She shares it only on
SCARBOROUGH: The sky just exploded. That‘s what people caught in yesterday‘s heartland twister are telling us. Coming up, a man who spent a year tracking down storms like the one that hit yesterday.
SCARBOROUGH: Welcome back. Now, let‘s go back to Dave and Robin Holloway, talking about Aruba. Let me ask you, Robin, about frustration level that you all are experiencing right now. Last night, Beth was on, said she was growing more frustrated every day with the investigators keeping information from them. Are you two also very frustrated with the pace of this investigation, and do you believe that it‘s just hit a brick wall and you‘re just not going to get answers from these people in Aruba?
ROBIN HOLLOWAY, NATALEE‘S STEPMOTHER: I hope—I mean, just, we‘ve got to get our answers, and I just—I admire Clint for what he did today, and somehow he got Deepak to talk more to him than apparently any of the investigators, and I just wish he would go question Joran, that would be amazing, but it‘s gone on too long, and it‘s been a rough week. Natalee was supposed to start college this week, and Brook misses her, and it‘s just, we miss her. And just, I don‘t—we‘ve got to find answers.
SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, Dave, I want to ask you about that. It‘s something that I talked to Beth about last night. In fact, obviously this has to be a very emotional week for the family. All of Natalee‘s friends going off to the University of Alabama or Auburn today, and yet this time that you worked your entire life to prepare Natalee to go off to school, now is clouded in mystery. You don‘t know where she is, even if she is still alive or not. What are your range of emotions? How frustrated are you? How angry are you? How upset are you?
D. HOLLOWAY: Well, your emotions, you know, you get up every day and pray to God that you have the strength to get through the day, and, you know, we always do, and, but your emotions even throughout the day they‘re just like an eggshell. You know, one minute you‘re OK, and the next minute you‘re not, and, you know, just walking by and seeing her picture or, you know, thinking about school. You know, she was wanting to be a doctor and, you know, help people. And then you have to rationalize in your mind, that maybe her missing or possibly even dead, maybe that will help some other kid not fall into the same situation. You know, God adds it all up, and it‘s—something will always come out positive in anything.
SCARBOROUGH: What is—what are your feelings right now during this difficult time toward Joran and the other two boys? Is that a level of anger? Are you asking God to provide you with the strength to forgive them?
D. HOLLOWAY: Well, I am a forgiving person and, you know, it‘s just like anything else. You know, one of these days, maybe they will repent, or, you know, if they are guilty, repent for what they‘ve done, you know, that‘s just the way I see things. And as it stands now, they have not been charged. You know, and they haven‘t been proven guilty, yet. God knows the answers, and time will come, Joe, when they‘ll have to answer for it.
SCARBOROUGH: I suspect it will, and I also suspect, Dave, that time will come when we all know what happened on that night. Somebody‘s going to talk at some point. Dave and Robin, as always, thanks for being with us, and shedding the light on what family‘s going through. God bless you, our prayers are certainly with you tonight and every night.
R. HOLLOWAY: Thank you.
D. HOLLOWAY: Thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: It‘s now been 46 days since George Smith vanished from his honeymoon -- 46 days. You know, and the cruise was going, remember, between Greece and Turkey. But just like the Holloway case, George‘s family still has no answers. Tonight, though, another SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY exclusive that could help shed more light on what happened that fateful night.
A passenger named Denise has come forward. She was staying two floors directly below Smith‘s cabin, and just a few feet away from where this bloody scene was found the next morning. Denise joins us now by phone to tell us what she heard and saw, and also, to share a letter that she got from Royal Caribbean about a possible investigation.
Denise, thanks so much for coming forward tonight. We greatly appreciate it. Talk about what happened that night. You were fast asleep with your husband, and then you were awakened. What woke you up?
DENISE, CRUISE PASSENGER: About, approximately, 4:15 a.m. in the morning, I just was blown out of bed, literally, by a large—a loud sound. It sounded like the ship crashed into something. And I jumped to my feet, and I started screaming to my husband, I think we hit something. I think the ship has crashed into something. And.
SCARBOROUGH: Your husband got—your husband obviously got up.
DENISE: Yes, he got up, and he said, “Let‘s look out. Let‘s look out and see if we see anything.” We looked out, and he just assured me everything was OK since we were still above water, and we really didn‘t see anything else. We just wanted to see that we were still floating above water.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, Denise, obviously you have seen the bloody picture of where many people believe George Smith, IV, landed, one passenger says after he was propelled out of the window. Did you—did you—did you—well, first of all, how far away was your cabin from that scene?
DENISE: You know, Joe, I really don‘t know because the boat—it looked like outside my patio, there was an up side down life boat with awnings that kind of went over them, and they were on that whole seventh floor, so I don‘t know at which point that that bloody spot was.
SCARBOROUGH: And what floor were you on?
DENISE: I was the seventh.
SCARBOROUGH: So you were on the floor where all those were hanging off and we are seeing a picture of them right now.
DENISE: Yes, the overhangs, yes.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, when you came back, though, you all—well, go ahead. Keep talking through that night, and then we will talk about the feverish cleaning that was going on when you returned. But, so you are blown out of bed, you think that you all hit an iceberg or something in the middle of the night.
DENISE: Something, yes.
SCARBOROUGH: Something. What happened next?
DENISE: My—we just got back in bed and tried to go back to sleep. My husband fell right back to sleep, and I just kept laying there thinking to myself, “What was that, what was that,” and then eventually I just fell back to sleep, and I really didn‘t know what it was, until the next day.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m sorry, Denise. I was just going to say, and the timing also, you noted the timing, 4:15. That‘s about the same time that Clete Hyman talked about a sickening thud that he heard around 4:15, and the couple on the other side talked about a thud. I want to show the photo again. This photo is a bloody photo that SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY first got exclusively from a passenger. This site was obviously cleaned up. You all woke up the next morning, went ashore, and when you came back, describe the flurry of activity that you saw.
DENISE: The boat was being thoroughly cleaned and painted, and the captain was walking up and down, looking at the ship.
SCARBOROUGH: So, they not only cleaned over this bloody spot, they were also painting over it.
DENISE: Yes, yes.
SCARBOROUGH: What did you think at the time?
DENISE: I—I. SCARBOROUGH: Did you know that somebody had fallen?
DENISE: I thought, “Wow, they really keep this ship clean.” That‘s the only thing I thought.
SCARBOROUGH: Yeah. They whitewash it, all right. Denise, stay with us, Denise, we‘re going to hear a lot more of your story, your firsthand account. Again, it‘s remarkable, every night another person comes forward in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY they just go down the list, check it off, conduct the investigation. We‘re doing it here on national TV, an investigation, quite frankly, that the cruise line should have conducted immediately after the tragedy.
Also coming up, Dr. Laura is in the house. Dr. Laura Schlessinger on her new one-woman show, what bothers her and her biggest regret. Friends, this is an incredible interview you‘re going to want to see.
And then, it‘s a twister. A veteran storm chaser takes us into the funnel of a tornado. You‘re not going to want to miss that one either. All that and much more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: The world starts flying, ripping shingles off of rooftops. Ripping up trees, and it always happens in a matter of seconds. We‘re going to take you to twister alley, with a man who spent a year chasing the fury and talk about a storm that hit yesterday.
And Dr. Laura Schlessinger, I promise, friends, as you‘ve never seen her before. A rare glimpse of what moves her and what she says is the greatest regret of her wildly successful life.
Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. Those stories in just a minute, but you‘ve been hearing from Denise. She was two floors below George Smith, IV, and heard that horrific thud the night that George alleged fell. And she also told us about an interview she had with the ship‘s attorney, and the question I have got to ask you, Denise, bringing you back in, was Royal Caribbean more concerned about covering their tail than trying to uncover what really happened?
DENISE: They just—they asked me what I saw and heard, and I told them, and then after that, they asked me about any rumors that I might have heard. I told them that, and that was it. They didn‘t offer any of that.
SCARBOROUGH: Rumors about what? What do you mean rumors?
DENISE: They asked me the rumors that were going around concerning the Smiths.
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, what do you mean? What rumors specifically?
DENISE: Like what I‘m hearing happened to him. Did I hear that he, you know—just what did I hear that happened to him? Did I hear that he fell, or did I hear anything else regarding his death?
SCARBOROUGH: Denise, we had heard a few nights ago that the cruise ship, when they were asking questions, either the lawyers for the cruise ship, that they were actually providing information, saying that they drank too much, the Smith‘s, that they were giving drinks to young people, that Jen Smith was acting in a strange way. Did they give you that leading, damaging information about the Smith‘s or their character?
DENISE: No, they did not.
SCARBOROUGH: When did you get that letter from them?
DENISE: The letter is dated July 9. So, I got it on July 9.
SCARBOROUGH: So it took them three, four days for you to get it.
DENISE: Right. And they didn‘t want to see me until the 10th.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘ll tell you what, I really can‘t believe they waited four days—four days to send the letter. That‘s some of the worst investigation work I‘ve heard. Now, I want to bring in Pamela Davis and Walter Zalisko.
Walter, you‘re in law enforcement, you‘ve been following this. You obviously were on the ship, a passenger on the ship. What do you think about the investigation and the techniques? Like, for instance, our guests a couple of nights ago talking about how the ship investigators were throwing rumors out there and how in this case Denise didn‘t get her letter for four days after the incident. Is this a shoddy investigation?
WALTER ZALISKO, PASSENGER ON CRUISE: It would be a shoddy investigation and probably not following proper protocols that any investigative agency would have. The fact that they are throwing out rumors to the passengers, that seems like they are trying to plant the seed in their mind of what to say, and so forth. You know, if this happens here in the United States, you know, this would be inadmissible, be thrown out of court, the police would be sued, and so forth, but this investigation has some serious problems in it right now.
SCARBOROUGH: Pam, what‘s the biggest flaw in this investigation that you have seen?
PAMELA DAVIS, FMR. PROSECUTOR: You know, I think, just listening to the information that is coming out, it seems that the enormous delay in talking to key witnesses is critical here. They don‘t seem like they are taking it seriously enough. It seems like they are pumping the individuals that they‘re interviewing with the information they want to get out of them. It has.
SCARBOROUGH: And why are they doing that, Pamela?
DAVIS: It strikes me as they may have information that they‘re trying to hide or they have some concerns about their cruise membership, or their people that were working there that are potentially involved and are at risk for some civil lawsuit. It just strikes me that they are not doing this as a proper investigation in what is—appears to be a homicide investigation.
SCARBOROUGH: Walt, talk about, again, the delay in the investigation, how long it took to get information, The fact that we keep getting new information on this show every night that apparently the FBI Hasn‘t even gotten. Why‘s that happening?
ZALISKO: Well, it could be happening for a number of reasons, and I really wouldn‘t speculate on that, but the fact that the investigators showed up two days later on the ship to conduct their actual crime scene investigation, and I am referring to the FBI, not the Turkish officials, because whatever investigation they had conducted that same day was probably not sufficient enough to begin any, you know, meaningful investigation, but I think that there‘s—we‘re looking at two areas, now. We are talking about investigation that the ship is conducting, and also the FBI. The ship is really not conducting an investigation. they are trying to just, you know, cover their—you know, cover themselves, basically. And you know.
SCARBOROUGH: No doubt about it, chief. It is a CYA operation.
SCARBOROUGH: Denise, Chief, thank you so much. And Pamela Davis, as always, greatly appreciate you being here and appreciate your insight, tonight.
DAVIS: Great. Thanks. Thanks for having me back.
SCARBOROUGH: Thank you.
Now, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, for more than 30 years, she has been dispensing her no nonsense advice on the radio and in books, but friends tonight, she opens her one-woman show, “Dr. Laura,” in my never to be humble opinion, and we talk about that play in a minute, but first, you are not going to believe this very candid interview that I had with Dr. Laura. She opened up to me in a way that she never has before. She‘s an extraordinary woman. Millions of Americans have listened to her and gotten advice from her, but they have never seen her like you are about to see her in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. Take a look.
DR. LAURA SCHLESSINGER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: If you have had real misery in your childhood, whatever it is, and I don‘t enumerate so much in this book. Whatever you define as a bad childhood, to the individual is enough. But, if you make the choice to design now, to be the architect of a new life, you will still have holes in your heart, you will still have pain, and it‘s still like having weights around your ankles when you are trying to run upstairs. It‘s not easy, but it is doable. People from the most horrendous of childhoods can have good lives, but it comes down to a very seemingly simple word. “Choice.” To embrace what is lovely and what is available in life, or to reject it all and just stay hostile because you don‘t want to trust good feelings or anybody, but it‘s a choice.
SCARBOROUGH: I want to ask you a personal question here, and I may
have to wait to see your play to get the answer to it. But we are talking
SCHLESSINGER: Go ahead.
SCARBOROUGH: We‘re talking about God—we talked about God, here. It seems to me that even if somebody doesn‘t have a personal relationship with God or Jesus Christ, they can still understand the importance of faith in helping people get through these difficult times. You talk about growing up in a family where you didn‘t have a family that went to church or the synagogue and there wasn‘t a lot of faith around your home. Did you grow into having a relationship with God? Do you have a relationship with God right now?
SCHLESSINGER: No. And it‘s one of the saddest things in my life that I don‘t have a relationship with God right now. And when I say that to my very religious friends, they go, that‘s OK, God has a relationship with you. So, you know, it‘s one-sided right now. I really immersed myself in Judaism to the point that I had a Orthodox conversion, and let me tell you, when I do anything, you know me well enough to know, it‘s 120 percent. I had great hats, I mean. I wore—I did shabbas, I did everything, and I was never—it‘s very sad for me to say this, it upsets me to this day, but as hard as I worked and as hard as I tried and as hard as I prayed and as hard as I immersed myself, I didn‘t get there, and it‘s a great sadness to me, but at least that was during my son‘s growing up time. He has a relationship with God, because he grew up with us in that environment, so at least I did that.
SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, no doubt about it, and of course, tomorrow‘s another day, as they say, but, you know, I am not surprised by the answer, but I wanted to ask it because, again, it seems to me, even people—I don‘t understand how people that don‘t have a relationship with God can‘t step forward like you have just done and said, hey, forget about me. This is something that will help you, whether you believe there‘s a God or not, whether you believe that there‘s a Jesus Christ or not, whether you believe there was ever a Noah or not, get into this faith. Have faith in something bigger than you, so it‘s not about you, so it‘s about helping other people.
SCHLESSINGER: You know, Joe, I haven‘t been this honest.
SCARBOROUGH: Go ahead.
SCHLESSINGER: I haven‘t been this honest—I have always been this honest, but I haven‘t been this open. I have always been honest. But, I haven‘t been this open on media thing, but you know, I like you.
SCARBOROUGH: You‘re one of the only ones, but go ahead.
SCHLESSINGER: The thing about this is that I want to have one, so I live my life as though I do, and for now that has to be good enough.
SCARBOROUGH: We‘ll have much more with Dr. Laura in just a minute.
Don‘t go away.
SCARBOROUGH: Now tonight in Santa Barbara, California, Dr. Laura Schlessinger is going to be debuting her one-woman show, “Dr. Laura,” in my never humble opinion, I talked to her earlier and I asked her about this new show and why she is doing it.
SCHLESSINGER: The first hour is pretty auto biographical, and the second hour I respond to the questions that people in the audience will have written already in their 15-minute bathroom break, will have written already for me to handle on 4” x 6” cards. They are questions about themselves or even more about me.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, you say it‘s going to be auto biographical. Are there going to be some surprises for your friends and your fans that have been listening to you for all these years? Are they going to learn things about you they have never known before?
SCHLESSINGER: Well, my friends won‘t because they are my friends, so they already know what makes me tick and what ticks me off, but I think the audience will come to have a deeper understanding of what it‘s like to be me, to have lived these 58 years and dealt with all the things I have had to deal with, and what goes into doing this radio program that I have been doing for three decades, what it means to me and what it does to me, so there‘s just going to be a lot of openness that I‘ve never been willing or comfortable to risk before.
SCARBOROUGH: So what is it like to be you?
SCHLESSINGER: Well, everybody who knows me thinks it‘s real complicated and tough. I‘ve been doing these so long that I guess I am more used to it, but I am complicated. I‘m involved in so many different things, and there are so many profound reactions to what I do because I am big counter culture. I most—my life is what a salmon must feel like. They are always going upstream, again the current.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, the remarkable thing is, I know that you have to know this. When I was coming over here to do this interview, I told one of my friends that I was going to be interviewing you, and a very conservative Christian, from conservative family, conservative church, and he said you know, we just—we love Dr. Laura. We love her because she talks about Christianity you talk about salt and light. She‘s somebody that has a clarifying effect on our culture and she contributes so much. I guess you hear that a lot, again...
SCARBOROUGH: Not just from conservative Christians, from Orthodox Jews, from conservative Catholics. How ironic it is, I guess, for some people, it‘s not for me, I just think you are a blessing to America, but all these people depend on you to, again, deliver the truth to America. I think these are the people that are probably going to be remarkably moved by this play that you are going to be doing, to go there and see you because it seems to me, and tonight you certainly are not a two-dimensional figure, but it‘s hard to be more than a two-dimensional figure in media. Do you hope that this play helps sort of round out your personality and people see remarkable moments like they are seeing tonight?
SCHLESSINGER: Yeah. One of the reasons I wanted to do it. There are probably more internet hate sites about me than Charles Manson. In fact, I don‘t think there are any hate sites about Charles Manson, but if you call up my name on one of these things, you will find hundreds of thousands of just demeaning, hateful, hostile, ugly things about me, and I walk around sometimes in circles trying to think, gee, I am trying to help people lead better lives. Why does that engender so much hate? So, I have had to come to peace with there are forces that are against goodness, and what I think is basic common sense truth. And you have to be able to stand up against that wind. And not break. So, a lot of this is what I am going to be talking about in this one-woman show. People are going to know what it‘s like to be me by the time they leave in two hours and 15 minutes for a bathroom break.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, tell you what, I can‘t wait to see it. I know she is going to be going around the country with it, including Dallas. I think that‘s as close as they are going to get to my hometown of Pensacola, Florida, but I am going to get in the car and go over there and see it. She‘s an extraordinary woman, and she speaks her mind, and a lot of people just don‘t like when people speak the truth as they see the truth as they see the truth. I want to thank her for coming to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY tonight as always.
And coming up next, twisters tear through the heartland, just the kind of news that puts our next guest on alert. He spent a year chasing tornadoes, and he has got some remarkable video to prove it.
SCARBOROUGH: An unbelievable 25 tornadoes ripped through southern Wisconsin last night, killing one, and injuring at least eight others, and sending a wave of panic across the Midwest yesterday. With me now to talk about it, somebody who has become really one of the top experts in tornadoes, Mark Svenvold. He‘s the author of “Big Weather: Chasing Tornadoes in the Heart of America.”
Mark, thanks so much for being with us. When you see what happened yesterday in Wisconsin, what are you thinking?
MARK SVENVOLD, STORM CHASER: Well, thanks for having me. The story of the southern Wisconsin tornado outbreak really begins a long ways away, in a windowless bunker like facility in central Oklahoma, called the Storm Prediction Center, and that‘s where every single severe weather watch of any sort in the contiguous United States is issued, and to their credit, they had been concerned about severe weather in the Wisconsin area since last Tuesday, and they called it right, and yesterday at about 2:50 Central time, in the operations room, a lead forecaster by the name of John Hart pressed a button in his computer, which sent a tornado watch scrolling across television sets all across the region, and of course, throughout the broadcast area itself, as well. And about an hour later, tornado spotters that were deployed, these are volunteers who come from all walks of life, they spotted the first destructive tornado that caused serious injury and damage.
SCARBOROUGH: And I want to talk about that Mark, because obviously you have seen firsthand the type of damage this can do to people, the property, the entire regions. Talk about the devastating impact if these people don‘t make the right call. What happened to people? What happened to their property? What happened to their life?
SVENVOLD: Well, the thing—what I was going to say is that an hour‘s lead time is tremendously helpful. It saves lives. And just to compare it, May 3, 1999, the single most destructive tornado in U.S. history, one tornado, $1.2 billion worth of damage, swept through southwestern Oklahoma City. And the people of Bridge Creek, Oklahoma, only had 13 minutes to decide what to do.
What it does is, you know, apart from the trauma of having your house lifted up around you, which is an amazing traumatic event in itself. You know, if you ask your viewers to look around you, look at the walls, look at the ceilings, these things don‘t tend to move, but when a tornado moves, it can completely lift the house off the ground and destroy it and send every single thing, all the contents across hundreds of miles, is kind of trauma of bureaucratic proportions. Every single piece of paper that tells you, legally, who you are, every deed, every car loan, is just gone, and so after, the after effect just continues, and a poet described it as—named Heather McCue, say—describes, quoting, a tornado victim, said, “It was over maybe once, then it was never over,” and I think that‘s what people are starting to feel.
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, well, I‘ll tell you what, devastating pictures, remarkable story. The book is “Big Weather” thanks so much, Mark, for being with us. We really do appreciate it. Look forward to having you back very soon in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SVENVOLD: My pleasure.
SCARBOROUGH: We‘ll be right back in a minute.
SCARBOROUGH: And now it‘s time for our SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY champion. This is a picture of one of last night‘s twister that was taken on a cell phone. David Murray, the man who took it, told us as soon as it came through, he did what anybody would do, he tried to help. Making sure that everybody was OK. And he told SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY he is no hero. But, we think otherwise.
“The Situation” with Tucker Carlson starts right now. Max Kellerman‘s filling in tonight—Max.
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