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'The Situation with Tucker Carlson' for September 29

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

Guest: Rick Galen, Rachel Maddow, Ron Jeremy

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY:  Well, that's all the time we have for tonight, but now I am proud to toss it to a man who is known fondly in my household as Dave Grohl's former neighbor.  Tucker Carlson.  Tucker, what's THE SITUATION?

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  That's pretty former.  But thanks, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  It is former.

CARLSON:  Yes.  Some late-breaking news today.  Let's get you caught up on THE SITUATION tonight. 

As first reported by MSNBC, “New York Times” reporter Judith Miller now a free woman, after 86 days in jail.  Miller's lawyers say she received permission from her confidential source, that would be vice president Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Scooter Libby, to testify before the grand jury, now investigating the leak of a CIA's officer name's to Bob Novak, columnist. 

Libby's lawyer says he gave permission to Miller months ago, long before she went to jail.  It's a confusing situation.  We'll bring you clarity when we get it. 

Meanwhile, good news for the White House.  President Bush's nominee for chief justice, John Roberts, was confirmed by solid majority of senators, including fully half of Senate Democrats.  He was sworn into office this afternoon. 

Now the nation waits for Bush's second nominee to the court.  Expecting to hear news about that early next week, probably Monday. 

And outside the city of Los Angeles tonight, firefighters are busy trying to contain a blaze that's forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people, threatening to turn pricey real estate to ashes.  Three thousand firemen and a mini fleet of airplanes and helicopters have only begun to control the wildfire that's charred more than 16,000 acres so far.

Joining us from one of those communities threatened by the blaze is NBC's Michael Okwu.  He's at the command center in Thousand Oaks, California, just outside of Los Angeles.  Michael, what is the situation right now?

MICHAEL OKWU, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Well, Tucker, the situation is this.  There's good news and there's bad news.  With these things, that is often the case. 

The good news is that the Santa Ana winds at this hour have died down.  Certainly not what they were at this time last night.  The fact is, firefighters say that they have saved at least 200 homes, and certainly the temperatures are cooling at this hour. 

The bad news, of course, is that this fire is only about five percent contained, and anyone can do the math on that. 

It is essentially cutting a swathe in a southwesterly direction just north of the 101 Freeway.  One of the big concerns that firefighters had earlier in the day was the possibility of this fire skipping across the freeway and then having nothing to contain it, to be able to contain it as it went through those beachside communities, at least until it got to the Pacific Ocean. 

Although at this point, firefighters are not saying that that is a huge concern.  That would be doom's day scenario. 

At this hour, they are actively fighting this fire the old-fashioned way, on the ground with hoses and water, and also up in the air, dropping some fire retardant chemicals from tankers as well as some water. 

We also understand that it is very difficult for firefighters to get to this fire, that part of the reason that makes this fire such a big fire is the fact that it is going through some very rocky, uneven terrain, and at this hour, firefighters trying to attack it in such a way that, A, it does not get some homes, and it does not get into some of that rocky territory that would make it even more difficult. 

We understand, again, some 3,000 -- some 3,000 firefighters from at least five local and national as well as county agencies are fighting this thing.  It has blazed some 17,000 acres. 

We understand that hundreds of people from at least nine canyon communities have been ordered to evacuate, and, in fact, the Red Cross telling us that they expect some 600 evacuees to spend the night in their shelters tonight. 

Some of this was expected, Tucker.  We got so much rain over the course of the winter and in the autumn that it has created these plants, this high grass.  Basically this fuel for the fire to burn.  And that is what we are seeing tonight—Tucker.

CARLSON:  Michael, these fires come almost every year, and they seem to start in places where a lot of people live, a lot of expensive homes.  You're not far from Malibu, as far as I know.  How did this fire start, and how do these fires start?  Any sense?

OKWU:  Well, that's a great question.  I mean, the start of this fire is under investigation at this point.  Sometimes it's arson.  Sometimes it's literally lightning.  Sometimes it's a combination of very dry conditions, very low humidity, and the high temperatures. 

Nobody knows at this hour what happened with this fire.  All we know is that it started alongside one of the freeways, and then rapidly spread because we had such high winds yesterday blowing in multiple directions and very high temperatures that were coking this thing, so investigators are going to be taking a look at that for sure, but at this point, Tucker, the main focus is making sure that this fire can be contained.  Again, at this hour, only 5 percent. 

CARLSON:  That's just amazing.  That's the equivalent of having a fire in Westchester County outside New York.  That's just really close to where a lot of people live. 

Michael Okwu, NBC, in Thousand Oaks, thanks. 

On a day when at least 60 Iraqis and five U.S. soldiers were killed in separate attacks in Iraq, this country's top generals told Congress the military strategy is working.

The U.S. commander in Iraq, General George Casey said it is still possible the number of troops in Iraq can be reduced next year.  Based on his assessment today, the odds are slim.  Battalions, meanwhile, capable of fighting without U.S. help has dropped from three—that's what we thought before—to one.  That's what we know now.

The U.S. expected to add troops, not remove them, ahead of the October 15 referendum on the new Iraqi Constitution. 

In the midst of all of this, a federal judge in New York has ordered the Defense Department to release more photographs and more videos of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib in Iraq.  According to polls, most Americans discouraged with what is going on in that country, most, but not all. 

One of the hopeful joins us now.  He's Rich Galen.  He's a columnist for  He spent six months working for the administration in Iraq.  Rich, thanks for coming on. 

RICH GALEN, MULLINS.COM:  Hey, Tucker, how are you?

CARLSON:  I'm doing great, but things in Iraq are not going well.  There were five U.S. service men killed today, 13 killed in the last four days, as you know, and then this incredibly depressing news that the Iraqi army is in much worse shape than we had thought.  This is not going in a good direction by these numbers, do you agree?

GALEN:  Yes.  That's true.  One of the problems that you have when you look at these things, and you know about this, is that it's very difficult to look at anything as complex as a military operation in a vacuum. 

The one battalion is a little misleading.  That's one battalion that can operate completely independently.  At one point, there were three, but people drift in and drift out, but there are 30 battalions that are capable of performing military operations with some U.S. support, so it's not like there's only one battalion of Iraqis and everything else. 

CARLSON:  Right.  Well, that's right.  Here's the number that's not misleading, I don't think.  There were 140 Americans killed during the invasion of Iraq in major combat operations up until about May 1, almost 1,800 killed since then.  Americans are still dying, and a lot of Iraqis are dying.  It doesn't seem to be slowing down. 

GALEN:  Well, it ebbs and it flows, and everybody understood that as we get close—as we get close to these events like the referendum on the Constitution, it will flow again, because—because the bad guys want to disrupt it to the extent that they possibly can, although it hasn't worked in the past other than to create mayhem. 

Then it will slow down a little bit.  And then when we get to the December elections, I suspect it will pick up again.  As you said in the intro, we are going to add some soldiers just for what's called the surge period, as we run up to the October referendum.  Those will be temporary.  They will be probably brought down from Germany and then sent back right after that. 

CARLSON:  Well, I think Americans can withstand a lot more than 2,000 casualties.  They have in other wars, as long as they understand the rationale for those deaths.  They think the people are—those men are dying for a good reason.

And the reason I often hear people give—I've heard you say this—is it's better that we fight the terrorists in Iraq than in the United States.  Or Western Europe, for that matter, or Israel, even. 

And yet the U.S. government is now saying that 80 percent of the insurgents that we're fighting are Iraqis.  They are not foreign fighters; 80 percent are from Iraq.  We haven't been—we haven't apprehended a lot of Iraqi terrorists.  Why do you think that those Iraqis, if we weren't killing them there would be infiltrating Omaha?  Where's the proof of that?

GALEN:  Well, hopefully, we'll never have proof of that.  That would be good news. 

CARLSON:  But if you're using as a rationale for this war the excuse for all these deaths, there's got to be some kind of proof this is, in fact, true, that we're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here.  Where is the poof?

GALEN:  We didn't do anything to anybody before September 11.  They just short of showed up on our doorstep one day. 

CARLSON:  There was not perpetrated by Iraqis. 

GALEN:  But a whole bunched of people.  But the point here is that Iraqis—Iraqis have been captured—Iraqi insurgents have been captured and killed.  Syrian insurgents, Iranian insurgents. 

The fact is when you say 80 percent of the insurgents are Iraqis, that's not necessarily bad news.  This is upside down and backwards reasoning, I understand.  But what it means is that we have either captured, killed, or chased away the outsiders.

And we are only talking about a relatively small number of people, a couple of thousand, maybe.  You remember here in Washington, a couple of four, five years ago when the two goof balls were shooting people out of the truck of their car and froze this entire region, just paralyzed the region.  The veneer of civilization is unfortunately very thin. 

CARLSON:  Yes, but those were attacks on the civilian population.  And they paralyzed the civilian population.  We're talking about a tax on the U.S. Marine Corps.

GALEN:  Pardon...

CARLSON:  Hold on. 

GALEN:  The overwhelming number of the people that are attacked are Iraqis. 

CARLSON:  That goes without saying. 

My point is if you had five servicemen killed today.  These are people in body armor and armored vehicles, who know what they are doing, and who are in the midst of fighting a war. 

Not easy to kill American servicemen as a lot of people have discovered over the years.  If you're killing five at a time, that says that you aren't just a rag tag group of disgruntled people, you are effective guerrilla army.  I mean, there's no other conclusion.

GALEN:  I don't know that that it's an effective guerrilla Army.  It is a well organized, to the extent that it's organized at all.  We know where this stuff is coming from, from Zarqawi.  He has taken control of this operation.  My point is that a very few number of people can do a relatively large amount of damage if they are willing to die in the attempt. 

CARLSON:  Yes, well, that's clearly true, to some extent.  Rich Galen, thanks for joining us.  We appreciate it.

GALEN:  Yes, sir. 

CARLSON:  Nominee for the Supreme Court went through without a hitch.  What will happen if he tries to nominate a conservative male, conservative white male, how about that, to replace Sandra day O'Connor? We will show you when we ask air America's Rachel Maddow that very question. 

Plus, you can bet the few, the proud, the Marines, especially if the military keeps trying to call women in their 60's back to active duty. 


CARLSON:  Coming up, school officials in Florida encourage students to rat out each other in the name of safety.  Texas judge sentenced a teen to life without sex, as long as she lives with her parents.  Those stories and many more, coming up on THE SITUATION.


CARLSON:  Looking at pictures of a wildfire raging just outside the city of Los Angeles tonight; 16,000 acres ablaze, 3,000 firemen trying to keep it under control.  At this point, only about five percent of the fire, they're telling us, has been brought under control. 

Thanks to a change in the winds, it has not jumped the highway and headed down toward the beach where a lot of people live, but it's still dangerous at this hour.  We're, of course, going to keep you updated to the minute on what it does. 

Well, to the surprise of no one, John Roberts was confirmed and sworn in as chief justice of the Supreme Court today.  Our attention now turns to the seat left by Sandra Day O'Connor who's retired.  Is it important that it be filled by a woman?  Air America's Rachel Maddow thinks so and she joins me now. 

CARLTON:  You're not the only one, Rachel, who thinks so.  So does George W. Bush. 

Before we even get to that, looking at those pictures of the wildfire...


CARLSON:  ... reminded me of something very clever I read today by Jonah Goldberg.  He wrote quote, “The fires in California are heading toward multimillion dollar homes, and where is George W. Bush?  Huddled in the White House, dealing with the Supreme Court and the war in Iraq, heartless bastard.  The moral of the story, George W. Bush hates rich white people.” 

MADDOW:  That's what it is.  And actually, they're all going to revolt against him and never vote for him again.  And it's going to be a beautiful country. 

CARLSON:  But it shows how silly some of this is.  What's the president supposed to do?

Anyway, the president has said in so many words, or he's implied strongly, and he's thought to believe that it's very important that the next nominee to the Supreme Court be either a woman or a member of a minority group.  Probably a woman.  That's what people are saying in Washington.  We'll see. 

My question to you is, everyone seems to accept this at face value it's important that it's important it be a woman.  Who cares if it's a woman?  Shouldn't we have the most qualified person? What does gender have to do with it?

MADDOW:  I think women care if it's a woman. 

CARLSON:  Obviously, they do.  They definitely do.  And that's why the White House is parroting this line, because all polls show that women want a woman. 

MADDOW:  And it's not—I don't think it's—I wouldn't bet on him picking a woman.  He might.  He might pick a male who is not white.  He might do those things, but he might not.  People thought he would do that with the Roberts nomination too, and he went with a conservative white guy.  He may do that again.  He kind of does what he wants on situations like this. 

But I think the reason it matters is because we don't have legal automatons.  We don't have machines making judgment calls.  We pick judges.  We pick them on the basis of their judgment, and people's judgment is affected by how they've lived in the world.  If you have nine people on the bench who've all lived in the world in a substantially similar way, on very important issues that is a minority experience in the country, they make laws for the whole country and we've all got to live by it. 

CARLSON:  Oh, please.  I get part of that, when I worked at the other network, when I was at CNN, we had an all-female staff, and I liked it.  I think the women in the office got along with each other well.  We got along with them, my co-hosts and I did.  And it was great.  That mattered.  Right?

But on the Supreme Court, your job is to be interpreting the Constitution for the rest of America. 

MADDOW:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  So your experience as a woman kind of immaterial. 

MADDOW:  No.  I think...

CARLSON:  Isn't it kind of offensive to assume that a woman's experience as a mother, who knows what, is going to affect her view of the Constitution?  Shouldn't she just see it as clearly as she possibly can?

MADDOW:  But what do Supreme Court justices do?  They learn about the facts of a case.  They understand what happened in the real world that brought this case around.  And then they decide based on those facts what legal principles apply and write about it based on their interpretation. 

That's what judges do.  That's why their judgment is so important.  That's why we have confirmation hearings where we try to learn about what their values are.  They are influenced by how they have lived in the world. 

CARLSON:  How are women's values different?  First of all, I am surprised to admit they are different.  Of course they are.  But how are women different?  Are their brains different?  I mean, seriously?


CARLSON:  Are they physiologically different?

MADDOW:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  Mentally. 

MADDOW:  Well, Larry Summers has an opinion on that, that women can't do math.  But I don't think we're in that territory. 

CARLSON:  Why not?  That's essentially what you're saying.  You're saying women are very different. 

MADDOW:  God created men and women as equals, right?  But then—we're different, but we're equal.  We don't live as equals, though.  Men get paid more than women for doing the same job today in the United States of America.  Sandra Day O'Connor, who is being replaced on the Supreme Court, after she aced Stanford Law School could not get a job as a lawyer in this country and opened her own practice. 

CARLSON:  Woe is me, she wound up on the Supreme Court. 

MADDOW:  Her experience getting out of law school. 

CARLSON:  You are saying female Supreme Court justices are likely to be more activist in the way they approach the law. 


CARLSON:  Because of discrimination they have faced?

MADDOW:  No.  Having women justices on the Supreme Court gives you a more diverse understanding of how America works.  Because the laws the Supreme Court makes apply to all of us.  They don't just apply to white guys. 

If you have only white guys' perspective influencing the way the law is looked at on the Supreme Court, there's a whole lot of us who aren't white guys who feel like those laws weren't made with us in mind. 

CARLSON:  Boy, I guess I just like to think that all laws apply to all Americans. 

MADDOW:  They do. 

CARLSON:  Equally. 

MADDOW:  They do. 

CARLSON:  And that the assumptions behind them are shared by everybody.  Apparently that's not true. 

MADDOW:  But the judgment—the judgment that leads to the way the laws are made comes from the things that make a person a whole person: their perspective, their values, their experience.  And you want diversity because all those laws do apply to all of us. 

CARLSON:  I could care less about diversity, I just want intelligence.  But anyway, Rachel Maddow.  Back in a moment. 

But first, coming up on THE SITUATION, is a Texas judge within her rights, speaking of female jurists, to ban 17-year-old from having sex?  How exactly will that punishment be enforced?  Wouldn't you like to know?  We'll get answers from “The Outsider,” Max Kellerman, when we come back.


CARLSON:  Time to welcome back “The Outsider”, a hero to American contrarians, defender of the indefensible, professional devil's advocate, pretty good guy, despite all of it.  From ESPN Radio and HBO Boxing, Max Kellerman, live from Tampa tonight. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO:  How are you doing?

CARLSON:  I am doing great.  Let's see if you can defend this.

KELLERMAN:  I'll do my best.

CARLSON:  Students in Florida are getting a lesson in how to rat out their peers.  The Speak Out Hotline, serving public schools in central Florida, is meant to encourage kids to inform on peers who bring weapons to school, seem troubled or otherwise behave in suspicious ways. 

So far, this school year, the hotline has received more than 100 tips.  No gunmen have been apprehended so far, though authorities were alerted to a razor that fell out of a gym locker. 

Basically, Max—not basically, literally you have the school district in central Florida encouraging kids to become snitches.  This destroys camaraderie among kids, encourages them to be sneaky, dishonest, and disloyal.  I can't imagine a worse lesson to send in kids, in the name of safety, which makes them cynical.  It's wrong. 

KELLERMAN:  This is not the Soviet Union.  This is not a slippery slope... 

CARLSON:  For them it is. 

KELLERMAN:  ... where we're about to fall into everyone spying on each other, telling on each other.

And by the way, this is not Bud Shulberg, writing “On the Waterfront.”  By the way, Shulberg is a friend of mine and a great boxing fan, but he wrote “On the Waterfront” as an excuse for naming names to the House Un-American Activities Committee. 

This is far cry from something like that, Tucker.  It's children being told to be safe.  There have been kids who have been shot and killed in school. 

CARLSON:  OK.  That is the excuse they are using.  There was a murder 10 years ago in this school district, which was a tragedy, and everyone agrees that it was.  But they are using that, they being the school authorities, to encourage sneakiness and snitching, right.

They have apprehended no gunmen so far.  One kid brought a BB gun to school.  A couple of other kids had pocket knives.  So what?  In the meantime, friendships have been destroyed, and these kids have done something dishonorable.  And it's terrible that adults are encouraging them to do that. 

KELLERMAN:  I admire your antipathy towards snitching in general.  And you've been very consistent with that. 

CARLSON:  I hate it. 

KELLERMAN:  But you've been even more consistent with is what?  Children.  What's best for the children?  That's what you always go to, what's best for the children?  What's really best for the children's safety?

CARLSON:  You've got to be kidding.  What's best for the children is to grow up and become honorable adults. 

KELLERMAN:  Yes, you're right.  I give up. 

CARLSON:  OK.  I'm going to have to pick a hard one to defend next. 


CARLSON:  A judge in Texas has barred a 17-year-old girl from having sex.  That's a condition of her probation on drug charges.  The ban is in effect for as long as the girl lives with her parents and attends school. 

In other rulings, the same judge prohibited tattoos, body piercings, earrings, and clothing, quote, associated with the drug culture for those on probation. 

OK, Max.  Now that I'm 36, and I have daughters, I'm totally opposed to 17-year-olds having sex.  But that's not the only reason that I'm on this judge's side. 

This actually will work.  This girl can no longer trade sex for drugs.  If she's not having sex with people—this is assuming it can be enforced, which it can't, but theoretically.  She's not going to be under the influence of older men, who are going to get her into drugs.  This is, I think, a completely fair thing to ask of this girl, and I think it's objectively good. 

KELLERMAN:  Well, here's the argument for it.  Simply, you know, if you're on probation, you can just say, “No, I don't accept those terms” and go to jail.

However, this is really a judge imposing their sense of morality on someone else, turning their—what they feel is moral into law, essentially.  It's not right.  This is America. 

CARLSON:  Wait a second. 

KELLERMAN:  We are free. 

CARLSON:  That's what judges do.  That's what the law is.  It's society's sense of morality.  Every law is a value judgment, and every judge is a bestower of value judgments.  That's what judges do.  They decide right from wrong.  That's their job. 

KELLERMAN:  And yes, puritanical values, by and large, are very good.  They helped build this country, the backbone of the greatest country in the history of planet earth.  Yet we have gone beyond that now.  We don't just need to be puritanical.  We are free, and in a free country, there is something distasteful about a judge telling someone of sexually consenting age that they're not allowed to have sex. 

CARLSON:  Wait a second.  I'm not sure 17 is sexually consenting age.  Let's be totally honest, 17-year-olds having sex is a really good thing for boys, right?  But it's probably not such a good thing for the girl herself. 

I mean, you can't look me straight into the camera and say with a straight face that you think a 17-year-old girl having sex a lot is good for that girl.  You know it's not. 

KELLERMAN:  I don't know.  I reject the whole idea that sex is anything other than a physical act and is related to love in any way, and I think it can be—the law should only view it as a physical act because that's all it really is under the law, right?  It's a physical behavior. 

CARLSON:  That's what men tell themselves, but they lie. 

Last but not least, the Danish air force pays a heavy price for killing Santa's reindeer, no kidding.  A Danish air force spokesman says the military handing over about $5,000 to a part-time Santa Claus, not seen here, unfortunately, whose reindeer died of heart failure after two fighter jets roared over his farm. 

In the words of Captain Morton Yentsen (ph), quote, “We got a letter from Santa, complaining about his reindeer's death.  We looked into it seriously.”

Of course they did, Max.  This is what the Danish air force does.  Looks into things like this seriously.  I think this is exactly what the Danish air force should be doing.  Denmark's military is a joke, so why not turn it into humane society?  I think this is totally appropriate for the Danish military to be doing. 

KELLERMAN:  All right.  I'm down now two.  I acknowledge it.  And the second argument, I even had—you gave me the right side of the argument, so I have to make up some ground here.  Tucker... 

CARLSON:  Good luck. 

KELLERMAN:  The reindeer's name was Rudolph.  Rudolph the reindeer.  Santa's reindeer died because of these planes, and Denmark is trying to do the right thing, to pay or not to pay.  That's the question.  And they decided to do it.

By the way, the Danish economy is highly unionized, and, not but, and highly efficient, Tucker.  First rate economy. 

CARLSON:  No.  The Danish economy, as you know, rests on two things.  Furniture and child pornography.  Those are the exports of Denmark.  I'm sorry.  That's true.  I did a story on this one.  That is totally, totally accurate. 

So look, they can take a little of those kiddie porn profits and kick them over to Santa, as far as I am concerned.  It's a good deed.  It's one of the best things the Danish military has done this century, and I applaud them. 

KELLERMAN:  Tucker, you pitched a shutout tonight.  What do you want me to tell you?  Some nights I get you; some nights you get me.  You got me. 

CARLSON:  Max Kellerman, live from Tampa.  See you tomorrow.  Thanks. 

Well, stay tuned, there's still plenty more ahead on THE SITUATION.



CARLSON (voice-over):  The new chief justice, but was his confirmation a rush to judgment?

And from Abu Ghraib, shocking new images the Pentagon doesn't want you to se. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  There was a systemic problem, and it was widespread. 

CARLSON:  Plus, one porn star's by the book account of why too much sex can be a bad thing. 

RON JEREMY, ADULT FILM STAR:  What the hell was I thinking?

CARLSON:  You'll want to wake the kids for this one.  From India, a wonder boy with something extra.  It's all ahead on THE SITUATION. 

JEREMY:  I'd like to do a psychological profile on this guy. 



CARLSON:  Continuing to follow this enormous blaze outside the city of Los Angeles tonight, 17,000 acres on fire.  They've been pushed by Santa Ana winds, winds that sweep through Southern California typically in the fall in September as they have today and they push the wind closer and closer to the beach.

It stopped earlier tonight right on the highway that separates inland from the beach area, thank heaven.  There are about 3,000 firemen fighting it, not at all under control.  About 95 percent of it tonight blazing totally uncontrollable.  Of course, we'll continue to bring you updates on that.

In the meantime, though, we are joined once again by Rachel Maddow of Air America Radio.  And, an actual outrage tonight, Rachel.  This is one of those topic that I thought I had an opinion on but the deeper I read into it, my opinion changed, the release of those photos from Abu Ghraib.

A judge, appointed by Bill Clinton I will point out, a very—he sounds like a very left wing judge, Alvin Hellerstein, has ruled that these photos are going to be released.  Now, I'm almost always for releasing photos when they're government photos but these are not government photos actually and they're not government videotapes.

RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO:  Well, they're Pentagon photos.

CARLSON:  No, they're not.  They were taken by an individual, by a private soldier.

MADDOW:  Right.

CARLSON:  And entered into evidence.  Now, there are a lot of things in evidence that we the public never see.  We never saw Nicole Brown Simpson's autopsy pictures, for instance, and they were of course entered into state's evidence during the trial of O.J. Simpson.  We never saw them, why?  Because there was no reason for us to see them and because they would have been invasive and showing them would have had a bad effect on the family.

The same rationale applies here.  This will hurt America if these pictures are released.  We know everything that happened at Abu Ghraib that we need to know, I believe.

MADDOW:  Wow, really?

CARLSON:  I do think that.  I do think that or I think at least...

MADDOW:  How does it hurt America to release them?

CARLSON:  Because these pictures will be used as propaganda by our enemies and truly, I mean look I've been in the Middle East a lot, at least enough to know how easily crowds of people can be whipped into a murderous fury by propaganda and these pictures, while accurate, I'm not denying that they're accurate...

MADDOW:  Nobody made these up, right?

CARLSON:  Right.  But the effect of releasing them I think will be to hurt our country.  I don't think anybody is intending that.  I don't think Judge Hellerstein wants to hurt America.  I'm not claiming that at all.  I'm just saying the effect will be bad for us.

MADDOW:  What do you think about the effect of the Lynndie England photos, the photos that we just saw on the screen right now, the ones that we have seen?  Because these were all taken at the same time.


MADDOW:  Specialist Joseph Darby was the whistle blower here, got a CD from somebody who had taken all these images.

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW:  And he—he turned them into his superior officers, which he should have done.  We've seen a handful of them.  These are the rest of the photos or at least some of the rest of the photos.  All the U.S. soldiers have their identities blacked out.  You can't see who they are individually but do you think it hurt America for us to see the Lynndie England photo?

CARLSON:  I think it definitely hurt America abroad.  I think we should have seen them.


CARLSON:  But I think at this point—because I think it's important for us to understand what happened at Abu Ghraib.


CARLSON:  And to understand how badly the military failed in that case.  That's absolutely all right to know that.  At this point, however, it's gratuitous.

I want to read you what the judge said.  The judge sounds like kind of a limited person.  “These pictures initiate debate, not only about the improper and unlawful conduct of American soldiers, rogue soldiers as they've been characterized but also about other important questions as well.”

What other important questions?  All the important questions have been raised, come on.

MADDOW:  No, no, because what's happening there, John Abizaid's response to this was, you know what, this is just picking at an old wound.  This stuff isn't happening anymore.  Well, we don't know that to be the case.  We learned from a captain in the 82nd Airborne this past weekend...

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW: ...that he spent 17 months trying to get the army to take seriously his description of what was going on at another prison in Iraq.

CARLSON:  Right.

MADDOW:  And the army never responded.  That was going on during the investigation of Abu Ghraib while we were all outraged about it.


MADDOW:  And since and the army never would investigate it and never would do anything about it.

CARLSON:  Well, I think that we should—that should be investigated. 

MADDOW:  Right.

CARLSON:  We ought to know the results of that investigation but these pictures have no bearing on that.  These are pictures from events that we already know, everything we're every going to know about and they're just going to add fuel to this fire that's burning in the Middle East and I think it's going to be—make it harder for reporters, for instance, to travel to Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab world.

MADDOW:  I totally disagree.  I think that what has provoked violence against the United States and what will provoke violence...


MADDOW:  ...invading and occupying a Muslim country that didn't attack us, right?  We're provoking violence.  That can't be the reason that we're not going to do something.  We can't start with that now.

CARLSON:  I think the invasion of Iraq has made our situation in the world more difficult, as I was pointing out earlier on the show.  I agree with you.  But images themselves, images, ones that are digitized and on the Internet actually are more inflammatory than almost anything else.

MADDOW:  That's right.  And they make Americans care about this issue.  When Lindsey Graham and Donald Rumsfeld saw these images that we're about to see, when they saw them last year because some people did see them behind closed doors, they said they depicted rape and murder.  There are videos here. 

These are horrific images and they tell us what the American government, what the American military has actually done in our name and we have a right to know about it and we have a right to hold the government accountable.

CARLSON:  We already know.  We already know.

MADDOW:  We don't know.

CARLSON:  And people are going to prison, went to prison this week for it.  We—it's case closed.  It's bad.

MADDOW:  Nobody above the rank of staff sergeant has been convicted of anything that happened for Abu Ghraib.

CARLSON:  Thirteen officers at least that we know about in charge of that prison and below, 13 officers have had their careers destroyed over this.  I think they've been punished.

MADDOW:  I think that Donald Rumsfeld needs to answer for this stuff and I think the images are going to be the only thing that makes it happen.

CARLSON:  All right, Rachel Maddow.

MADDOW:  Thanks, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Thanks for coming on.

Coming up next, it's a landmark night on THE SITUATION.  We'll be joined live by a legend of the adult film world.  You may not have heard of him.  His name Ron Jeremy.  It's an interview you simply cannot afford to miss.  Or, maybe you can. Either way stay tuned.


MCDONALD:  Coming up, Tucker sits down with one of his boyhood heroes, Ron Jeremy.  Plus, we'll tell you about the 68-year-old woman who was shocked to learn Uncle Sam wants her on the front lines.

CARLSON:  Don't go away.  There's more.


CARLSON:  Well, when you think of Ron Jeremy charitable work might not be the very first thing that comes to mind.  Mr. Jeremy is one of the biggest names in pornography, having performed in more than 2,000 adult films. 

He's also working for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals these days, PETA, lending his name to that group's campaign to have pets spayed and neutered.  Ron Jeremy joins me now live.  Ron Jeremy, thanks a lot for coming on.

RON JEREMY, PETA ACTIVIST AND ADULT FILM STAR:  Thanks.  It's great to be here, how are you?

CARLSON;  I'm doing great.  Now why did PETA ask you to do this campaign?

JEREMY:  Well, you get the joke about it, you know, someone like me who's made a living, you know, being in sex movies saying too much sex can be a bad thing, so please spay and neuter your cats and dogs because it's a problem. 

You know, I mean the pounds are too full of animals.  People get upset that some of the pounds kill the animals that aren't claimed but yet they have all these kids with their animals and they have no places to put them, you know.

CARLSON:  But why not, I mean I completely agree with that and this is one issue I agree with PETA on.  Actually, I agree with PETA on a lot of issues I got to be honest.  But, why you?  I mean Bob Barker, you know, is always ending “The Price is Right” with, you know, spay your pets.

JEREMY:  You tell me who would be a better choice to be lying on a bed upside down in a provocative pose saying too much sex could be a bad thing?  Who would think would be a more logical choice, either me or Jenna Jameson, I mean who else right?

CARLSON:  I would think one of the, you know, the spin the wheel models on “The Price is Right,” but I think you're pretty good.  I mean so...

JEREMY:  They're not involved in the porn industry so they thought I'd be a good choice, you know.

CARLSON:  So, have you been an animal rights guy for a long time?

JEREMY:  I've been into it for quite a while.  You know, I was recently in Baton Rouge just yesterday in fact and this morning.  I saw a lot of the shelters there that they're taking care of the animals that have been basically abandoned, you know.  You know what's interesting by the way, Tucker, if I may say?


JEREMY:  You know there's been on government support for any of the animal rescuing going on down there.  It's all private industry, all, you know, independent people who are trying to help out the situation.  There's been no government help on that.

CARLSON:  Yes, I did know that and just it's a measure of how much Americans love animals that they've been shelling out their own money to do it.  I think it really says a lot (INAUDIBLE).

JEREMY:  And they got to keep in mind that if it wasn't for a natural disaster, abandoning your animal is actually against the law.


JEREMY:  You can get away with it because of the tragedy but, you know.

CARLSON:  And it ought to be.  So, has this work influenced the way you do your work?

JEREMY:  Well, you know, in all fairness I'm not going to lie.  I still—I'm not a vegetarian. 

CARLSON:  Right.

JEREMY:  I don't eat the meat of animals that I've had as pets.  I can't eat duck.  I can't have turtle soup.  I was on a farm in England on a TV show called “The Farm” so I can't eat lambs anymore because, you know, because I was hanging out with them, you know.  I just can't eat an animal that I was friends with.  I mean like in America people eat meat.  Still they're not going to eat dogs and cats.

CARLSON:  That's true.

JEREMY:  So, I just can't eat animals that I hung out with (INAUDIBLE).

CARLSON:  Do you have pets?

JEREMY:  Yes.  I have a pet turtle.  She was on (INAUDIBLE) with me.  Her name is Cherry (ph).

CARLSON:  And would you eat turtle soup?

JEREMY:  Nope, cannot do that.  Tammy Faye once said a prayer over Cherry.  She said turtles have souls too, Ron, so you know.

CARLSON:  But has this affected, has your work for PETA affected your work in porn?

JEREMY:  No, not a problem at all.  In fact, PETA lets me wear their tee shirts at various functions that I do.  In fact, I wore the shirt on “The Farm.”  I've never worn it in an adult movie.  When I do a regular TV show, a thing for VH1, I'll wear PETA tee shirts all the time.

CARLSON:  Are there other people in the adult movie business who are animal rights types?

JEREMY:  They are, not necessarily with—there was a girl who was a centerfold for “Penthouse” did a thing for pets, you know, Penthouse Pets for Pets.  There have been a lot of off shoot groups that have been into animals.  Most people in porn, you know, have pets.  They even did a thing if you look there's a Web site called and it shows all the various people in porn have dogs, cats, turtles, snakes.

CARLSON: that's the single most specific Web site I've ever heard of in my life.


CARLSON:  Does it get a lot of traffic?

JEREMY:  Yes, it does actually.

CARLSON:  That's incredible.

JEREMY: actually.

CARLSON:  So, who are your fans these days?  Is it mostly women?  Is it mostly men looking on in envy?

JEREMY:  College kids, a lot of college kids, you know.  I'll tell you a lot of college kids, you know.

CARLSON:  Really why college kids?

JEREMY:  More guys than—more guys than—because a lot of them think it's real cool.  They're in frat houses watching it.  I've done 12 music videos that were all on MTV.  I've been in a lot of regular features recently, the film “Orgasmo” from (INAUDIBLE).  I mean they see things or “Boondock Saints” they see films that I've been in that has like a cult following and then they've seen me in that and the porn, so I have a lot of kids, a lot of college kids (INAUDIBLE).

CARLSON:  Do they come up to you and do the guys come up to you and ask you how they can get into your business?

JEREMY:  Yes.  Sometimes the girls do too.

CARLSON:  What do you say?

JEREMY:  Call Rogue Modeling or tell them to call L.A. Direct Models and bring a girl because a new face in women or new couples can always get work but single guys it's tough because there are so many guys already in the business who want to work there.

CARLSON:  The whole world is that way.  That's not just porn.

JEREMY:  Yes, well it seems like that huh.

CARLSON:  That's a true statement.  Ron Jeremy, joining us live from Las Vegas, thanks a lot for coming on.

JEREMY:  Can I give the Web site for PETA?

CARLSON:  Of course you can.


CARLSON:  All right, Ron Jeremy, thanks.

JEREMY:  Thank you.  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Coming up on THE SITUATION an angry caller takes offense to my theory that video games make you dumb.  In the process he proves my theory.  We'll listen to your voice mail next.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.

Time again for voice mail.  Every night we recklessly hand out our direct line and every night you call in.  Usually people call Lisa for some reason.  Let's see who we have tonight.


JOE, WASHINGTON, D.C.:  This is Joe Wingate (ph) from Washington, D.C.  I was calling in reference to your comment about Saudi women that someone was trying to persuade them to drive cars and stuff like that.  I think that's the problem that we have in the Middle East that we're trying to force our ways on them and take their culture away because they're a religious sect.  We have to respect the way they are.


CARLSON:  Well, I mean when their culture includes killing Christians and Jews because they're Christians and Jews, no I think we can say, you know what, your culture is rotten and we're going to change it, at least those parts of it. 

And I personally am not willing to accept the idea that women ought to be banned from driving and not allowed to go outside when uncovered and beaten for adultery and, you know, thrown on the funeral pyre for that matter.  No, I think we can make some judgments for other people's cultures.  I'm happy to do it—next up.


SHEILA, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS:  This is Sheila from Chicago and I'd like to know why you think it's OK for a Congressman like Tom DeLay to commit a crime and you just frankly blow it off and act like that's not a big deal.  It's a crime and it's election fraud.  That's one of the worst kinds of crime there is and you need to rethink your view on that.


CARLSON:  Well, Sheila, for one thing he hasn't committed a crime.  He's been indicted, OK, so he hasn't been convicted of anything strictly speaking.  Second, he's not indicted for election fraud, which is a big deal, I completely agree with you, but for a campaign finance violation which is not at all a big deal and which was not even illegal up until recently when the lunatic and ludicrous Campaign Finance Bill went through that the president stupidly signed. 

So, no, I don't think even if he's guilty of it, it is a big deal.  There are things that he's done that are a big deal and that he possibly ought to get in trouble for.  This just isn't one of them and I'm sorry.  I'm not going to allow my feelings about Tom DeLay personally to influence what I think is true, which is even if he did this, who cares—next up.


CAROL, FOREST HILLS, NEW YORK:  Hey, Tucker, it's Carol from Forest Hills, New York.  Everyone else conveniently forgets that Florida had three major hurricanes last year and in years prior and the evacuation and response was terrific and it's due in majority to a competent Governor Jeb Bush, yes the president's brother, and also very good local government as well.  And guess who was the head of FEMA last year?  Michael Brown.


CARLSON:  Carol, you make an excellent, an excellent point.  I've gone a little softer on Michael Brown.  He said some things that annoyed me and he didn't seem like a great FEMA director.  I've never seen a great FEMA director. 

But your essential point that the governor is who matters in these things is absolutely right.  You saw the evacuations in Texas, while they were flawed, were a lot better and more comprehensive and organized than anything attempted in Louisiana.

The problem in Louisiana is they have an inept governor and a completely inept mayor of New Orleans.  That's the problem as we've been saying since day one.  I agree—next up.


WILL, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND:  Hey, Tucker, this is Will from Baltimore.  You said after this squid lost tentacle he had seven more.  Well, squids have ten tentacles you dumb son of a...


CARLSON:  Will, you're absolutely right.  I can't bleep myself so I'm not going to repeat what you said but, yes, that was an incredibly dumb thing to say and to my credit I knew it was dumb the second it left my lips.  I thought, wait a second, squid have I think more than eight tentacles.  It's Octopi that have eight.  You're absolutely right, big mistake.  Thanks for calling me on it—next up.


RICHARD, ARKANSAS:  This is Richard from (INAUDIBLE) Arkansas.  I really don't appreciate the comment about video games making you dumb.  That would be you and your opinion on the outside looking in because I happen to have an 8-year-old son that he makes straight A's in school and he plays probably more video games than the programmers themselves do. 

And, me being his father, I'm almost a 30-year-old man and I play them with my son and I happen to have an IQ of probably, I don't know, 135, 140, so that's all I got to say on that.  Thank you.


CARLSON:  That cannot be a real message.  I just—I don't believe for a second that was a real message.  I think that was a not even very subtle parody of a message but thank you, Richard, tonight not a single caller named Lisa.  I hope you'll rectify that.  If your name is Lisa, please call in tomorrow night.

Let me know what you're thinking.  Here's the number, 877-TCARLSON or 877=822-7576. 

Still ahead, Elvis is alive.  The king makes an appearance at the Texas State Fair, not necessarily looking his best.  He'll shake his hips on the Cutting Room Floor next.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.

The long national nightmare is over.  Willie Geist has arrived with all the stories on the Cutting Room Floor—Willie.

GEIST:  Tucker, I got to tell you something, a little personal story.  I just had the weirdest dream that Ron Jeremy was on our show.

CARLSON:  Isn't that weird?

GEIST:  It can't be true.

CARLSON:  I know, no it couldn't be.

GEIST:  It was very odd.

CARLSON:  This is a credible news network.  We'd never do that.

GEIST:  We would never have porn star Ron Jeremy on, more credibility here.

CARLSON:  Thank you, Willie, a whole pile of credibility.

First up there are only a handful of superstars in the world who warrant immortalization in butter.  Elvis Pressley is certainly one of them.  The Texas State Fair opens in Dallas tomorrow. 

Visitors will be treated to an 800-pound dairy rendering of the king.  It was a tense moment yesterday when a screw came loose and buttery statue toppled over.  Thankfully, Elvis has been repaired and the show will go on.

GEIST:  This is great, Tucker, because at 800 pounds it's exactly to scale, Elvis in his final days, the later years of Elvis.

CARLSON:  A long decline.

GEIST:  And can we officially say he's a joke now that they're making butter statues of him?

CARLSON:  No, are you kidding?


CARLSON:  They don't make butter statues out of jokes.  I'm serious.

GEIST:  Yes, well...

CARLSON:  You don't see any Liberace statues do you?

GEIST:  Oh, I bet there are a few.

CARLSON:  No, I doubt that.

Well, if you're like me, you have 20 fingers and toes.  If you're like this 10-year-old Indian boy, you've got 25.  The fifth grader has six fingers on each hand, six toes on one foot, seven toes on the other.  He says the extra digits give him an advantage because they allow him to work faster than his classmates.

GEIST:  I'm not sure I understand that advantage.  How do you work faster unless...

CARLSON:  Well, if you're making rugs or something I guess.

GEIST:  I think...

CARLSON:  No, I mean I don't know.  They don't look—they don't look deformed.  They really look good.

GEIST:  No, I think he's got a bright future as a stenographer, a court reporter.  Could you imagine the words per minute on those hands, 12 fingers?

CARLSON:  That's an excellent point.

GEIST:  Bright future for that youngster.

CARLSON:  Mark Bridgewood (ph) and his wife Tracy (ph) are going through a very messy divorce.  Mark wanted to make sure his future ex didn't walk away from the marriage with their yacht.  He did what any right-thinking man would do.  He sunk the boat.  Bridgewood used an axe to punch holes in the $180,000 ship, the boat now being razed at a cost to Bridgewood of $18,000.  Now why is that, Willie?  Why is he being charged for that?

GEIST:  Well, because he sunk the ship.

CARLSON:  I know but, you know.

GEIST:  Who should pay for it?  That is one of the most vindictive, childish, greatest things I've ever heard in my life.


GEIST:  Because you know Tracy must have done something terrible to set old Mark off with the axe.

CARLSON:  I like it when they just take whatever it is and sell it on eBay for $4.

GEIST:  Well, she was going to sell it.  That's why he sunk it.


Imagine the surprise of 68-year-old Janet Elias (ph) when she received an official letter calling her into active duty for the Marine Corps.  The letter read in part, “As a Marine, the training you will receive will be second to none  It will push you beyond the physical and mental limits you have ever known.”

The Duluth, Minnesota woman declined the call to arms needless to say.

GEIST:  Now, how can they look us in the eye with a straight face and tell us the war is going well when they're asking 68-year-old grandmothers to go to Paris Island to train to go over there?

CARLSON:  And they're refusing.

GEIST:  Right.  She refuses to serve.

CARLSON:  Has she been in the Marines before?

GEIST:  I think she was.  She was like an interpreter of some kind.  They called her on back 40 years later.

CARLSON:  All hands on deck.

GEIST:  You need them.

CARLSON:  Willie Geist thanks.

GEIST:  All right, Tucker.

CARLSON:  That's THE SITUATION for tonight.  Thanks for watching.



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