Guest: Hugh Hewitt, Zainab Salbi, Max Kellerman, Celinda Lake
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going home and locking my two small daughters in the house for the next 20 years based on what I have heard and seen on this show. THE SITUATION with Tucker Carlson starts right now.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Thanks, Susan. I hope when you get home, you'll also turn on the show.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll be watching. I'll be watching.
CARLSON: Thank you, and thanks to you at home for sticking with us.
We appreciate it.
On tonight's live show, we'll preview Karl Rove's fourth appearance in front of the grand jury, share an inside look at the world of Saddam Hussein, from a woman who knows him intimately. And we'll try to find out what women really want, when we speak with pollster Celinda Lake.
First, it was another grim day at the White House. In a tense and remarkably combative briefing today, administration spokesman Scott McClellan dismissed calls for Harriet Miers to give up her nomination to the Supreme Court. Many conservatives have suggested that. He blew off the suggestion.
McClellan also was asked about testimony Miers gave in 1989 in which she said she would not belong to the Federalist Society. That's a conservative legal group. McClellan replied that Miers now strongly supports the Federalist Society. In other words, the woman who President Bush said would never, ever change her views has.
Meanwhile, top White House aide Karl Rove expected to testify tomorrow before a grand jury in the CIA leak investigation. Indictments in that investigation are expected—widely expected by the end of this month.
To discuss what's going on at the White House, we welcome nationally syndicated conservative radio host, Hugh Hewitt, who joins us live from Irvine, California.
Hugh, thanks for coming on.
HUGH HEWITT, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Hi, Tucker. Good to talk to you.
CARLSON: Thanks. You must have seen the David Brooks column today in the “New York Times,” really remarkable, in which he found a number of—quite a few columns that Harriet Miers wrote for the “Texas Bar Journal.” She wrote a column during the 1990's, called “The President's Opinion,” and he quotes extensively from them.
I just want to quote from one of them to you now and get your take on it. This is Harriet Miers' writing. Quote, “An organization must also implement programs to fulfill strategies established through its goals and missions. Methods for evaluation of these strategies are a necessity. With the framework of mission, goals, strategies, programs and methods for evaluation in place, a meaningful budgeting process can begin.”
That sounds like it was translated from the Chinese by someone who does not speak English. That sounds...
HEWITT: Well, it could come from any executive in a large organization. It's gobbledy-gook. But I like the one that she wrote defending the Second Amendment as a personal as opposed to a collective right, counting it as a fundamental and insisting that it be defended, even in the face of fierce criticism.
CARLSON: Well, I'm surprised you could understand what she was writing. Hold on, your perspective appears to be, you know, this is what everybody writes. Everybody in a position of authority writes like this.
Let me just throw up, just so our viewers are certain that this is not aberration, the second quote from Harriet Miers, the columnist. Quote, “We have to understand and appreciate that achieving justice for all is in jeopardy before a call to arms to assist in obtaining support for the justice system will be effective. Achieving the necessary understanding and appreciation of why the challenge is so important, we can then turn to the task of providing the much needed support.”
I'll give you 20 bucks, Hugh Hewitt, if you can tell me in one sentence what that means.
HEWITT: I'll tell you what it is when you throw it up like that out of context. It's Borking, Tucker. That's what a lot of conservative critics of Harriet Miers are about.
CARLSON: It's not—slow down. Slow down. Stop the name calling.
HEWITT: Taking quotes out of context.
CARLSON: I'm merely saying—out of context. Hold on. Wait,
HEWITT: Taking quotes out of context, throwing them up on the screen...
HEWITT: ... and suggesting that she's not coherent, it's Borking.
That's what they did to Robert Bork in 1987.
CARLSON: Suggesting? Look, you can call it—you can call it whatever you want, but suggesting she's incoherent, I'm not suggesting it, I'm saying it. These are not coherent...
HEWITT: When I say you can't make that statement, Tucker. Unless you actually see the entire column, read it from top to bottom, you can't make that statement. It's not fair. That's why...
CARLSON: OK. Here's another one. “More and more the intractable problems in our society have one answer, broad based intolerance of unacceptable conditions and a commitment to fix many problems.” The point is, look, this is not clear writing. It does not reflect clear thinking.
HEWITT: No, Tucker, that's wrong. There is broad-based consensus right now about intolerable conditions concerning New Orleans after the levees broke. That's exactly what she meant.
CARLSON: That's how dumb people write. Come on. That's garbage, and you know it. I mean, let's be real.
HEWITT: No, it's not. What's garbage is the attempt, and it's happening not just on this show, but on many shows, to categorize Harriet Miers as less than the brilliant attorney that she is, demonstrated by the testimonies of people who have worked with her, demonstrated by her success on the bar. And I think what's happening...
CARLSON: I'm a little surprised by your naivete here. You are—you are—here we have—hold on here. Here we have—here's a very clear point to which I want you to respond.
Here we have words that she wrote, from which we can draw our own conclusions about her, against which we have a series of people who work for an administration that is pushing her to the Supreme Court. So you are not going to trust what your own eyes read? Instead you're going to trust what political hacks tell you? Is that what you're saying?
HEWITT: No, Tucker. I'm a veteran of the White House counsel's office. I happen to know how difficult it is to do the law at that level. I happened to have talked to Karl Rove today about the screening process with which Harriet Miers has been involved, for three years, not one. I happen to have a great deal of respect for Lina Broglio (ph), for Ken Starr, Thomas Sole (ph), Emmett Tyrrell, for a number of...
CARLSON: You have respect for Tyrrell. It's Bob Tyrrell, for one thing, and it's a person for whom you ought to have no respect.
But look, the point is, this is fair to make judgments. It's fair to make judgments about Harriet Miers from what she writes. And I'm just surprised that you are defending this, as a writer yourself, as coherent when in fact you know it's not.
HEWITT: I have read her Texas ABA—I have read here Texas ABA bar journal speech—piece on behalf of the Second Amendment. It's a very powerful statement of support for a fundamental right in the face of ferocious critics, and I found it quite empowering to find a Second Amendment advocate headed for the Supreme Court.
CARLSON: Amen, and I couldn't agree more. And I—you know, as a gun owner and gun user and fan of the Second Amendment, that heartens me too, because it looks like she may make it to the Supreme Court. But I still think these are legitimate questions.
Here's the second one. And I'll be interested to see if you defend this. The White House has been spreading the point, and in some cases, explicitly, through Ed Gillespie and the president's wife, that critics of Harriet Miers are, quote, “sexist.” That is a tactic. That is yet more name calling of the kind you just used, that the left uses.
“You're a sexist. I'm not going to listen to you; you're a sexist.”
Don't you think that it's outrageous that a purportedly conservative president and his minions are using that slur against, I think, totally legitimate criticism?
HEWITT: It would depend upon the slur was directed to. If it being for example at my friends at the NationalReview.com, it would not be appropriate. They support people like Janice Rogers Brown. They support Edith Jones. They support some wonderful women who are nominees. They're not sexist in the least.
But Tucker, you read your mail every day. The White House gets missives from everywhere ever day. I am certain that some of them are, in fact, sexist. I don't believe the ones that we've just discussed are.
CARLSON: But they're not—they weren't responding to some crackpot writing a letter. They were responding to a lot of thoughtful conservatives who have written opinion pieces saying...
HEWITT: I don't—that's just not true. That's not in evidence.
You have not got the documents to back it up. Ed Gillespie...
CARLSON: But the fact that they would fall back...
HEWITT: ... said there was a whiff of sexism in the room. And when the first lady responded it was to a specific question that didn't name the first one.
CARLSON: OK. That is the first refuge of the man who has no legitimate argument. If you have a legitimate argument, you make it. If you don't, you name call. You accuse someone of sexism. You accuse someone of Borking.
HEWITT: Or elitism. The axis of elitism. My best argument against all the attackers of Harriet Miers is that they refuse to allow her to get to the hearings and to answer the question. For example, Tucker, let me ask you a question.
HEWITT: Was Justice Scalia correct in Employment Division v. Smith, where he narrowed the application of the free exercise clause?
CARLSON: That's—I'd like—I'd certainly like to hear Harriet Miers' answer. You make a very—I think a fair point in that it would be.
HEWITT: We need to have constitutional law scholars looking at what she's done, not grading her on the curve of punditry. Pundits just don't know this stuff.
CARLSON: Actually, pundits are voters and Americans like everybody else. And I think we have a right and in fact an obligation.
HEWITT: But they're making criticism of her credentials for the court.
HEWITT: You can't make criticisms...
CARLSON: I'm making criticism of her behavior.
HEWITT: I can't more criticize an auto mechanic, then I can criticize a short order cook.
CARLSON: Well, as someone who's been a writer his whole adult life, I can certainly criticize prose. And this is horrible.
HEWITT: That's OK. That's absolutely true. That's not what we look for in Supreme Court justice. We look for wisdom in the appropriate application of the law.
CARLSON: Neither was in evidence. I hope it will be, and I hope I'm wrong, as I say every night. Hugh Hewitt, thanks for joining us.
HEWITT: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: We're going to get a different perspective on Miers and Karl Rove, from the one and only Rachel Maddow.
RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO: Hi, Tucker.
CARLSON: I'm worn out, Rachel.
MADDOW: I was going to say, I want to congratulate you on finding someone to defend Harriet Miers.
CARLSON: It wasn't easy.
MADDOW: He's one of 29 percent of Americans who thinks she's qualified.
CARLSON: She may be qualified. I mean, I think he does make one...
MADDOW: She's not qualified.
CARLSON: He—the one point that Hugh Hewitt makes that I think is fair, is that, you know, we'll see at the hearings.
But I also think it's more than fair for the rest of us who have a vested interest in seeing this process go well, and the right person chosen, it's fair for us to judge. I want to read you something from John Dickerson, who's been a guest on the show a couple times. He's a very smart guy, and a friend of mine, in “Slate” magazine today.
Quote, “The White House limited the field of potential choices for the court to women. In ordinary English, that's called a quota. This admission makes it hard for the president to rebut criticism that Miers is not the most qualified person for the job. We know that half of humanity, and good deal more than half of the federal bunch, was deemed ineligible to be chosen.” Bush has subjected Miers to what he calls “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”
MADDOW: Well, you disagree with her choice, with Bush deciding to pick a woman. I think that it's good for the court for there to be another woman on the court. So not going to—we're going to—we're always going to disagree on that.
But the idea that Harriet Miers is the most qualified woman in the country, even the most qualified conservative woman, is an insult to conservative women.
Harriet Miers is Bush's personal lawyer. She did rise and become White House counsel. She rose to become White House counsel on the basis of the fact that she had been George Bush's personal lawyer. All of her influence, all of her accomplishments, everything she's done in her life, aside from being Texas BA president, gets her back to her relationship with George W. Bush.
She's just a friend of the president. She's not Supreme Court material. She has no constitutional history whatsoever. The fact that they're trying to sell her religion as an asset, that's why they got picked for the job, shows that they have no reason to justify her pick. I mean...
CARLSON: And yet the irony is, she's probably the most liberal nominee we're going to see in the Bush administration, so you probably ought to be rooting for her.
MADDOW: Well, the back channel, whisper nod, nudge-nudge, wink-wink, James Dobson stuff all says, “No, no, no. She's going to be Genghis Khan.”
CARLSON: Absolutely. You know, I hope she's Genghis Khan squared.
But I sense she won't be.
Karl Rove, going in tomorrow, to speak again, I believe for the fourth time, to the grand jury. I learned something—I was of reminded something today that just amazes me. In 1995, Henry Cisneros, then the HUD secretary, became the subject of a special prosecutor looking into questions about how much money he paid his mistress.
MADDOW: That's right.
CARLSON: Why this was a federal concern was never clear to me, and I despised the Clinton administration. But I always wondered why they picked Henry Cisneros over his mistress. But whatever. Here's the point. The point is, that special prosecutor, still at work.
CARLSON: Ten years later.
MADDOW: And $20 million later.
So I'm reminded of this when I look at Fitzgerald, who increasingly I think is about—looks like he's about to do something very wrong, and that's charge people with conspiracy, which is not the original crime. In other words, as always happens in these scenarios, a prosecutor, unfettered by anyone basically, gets in there, starts looking into stuff, ignores the original crime and indicts for something else.
MADDOW: What would be so wrong about him—about him bringing conspiracy charges? Why would that be...
CARLSON: Because conspiracy, having watched a lot of these, many, many, many, many, many...
CARLSON: ... conspiracy is almost always a crock. Conspiracy is almost always a way of saying, “You know, we couldn't find anything wrong with what the person actually did, but we're just going to, so we know there's wrongness there, so we're just going to slap this label called conspiracy on it and we're going to destroy their lives.”
MADDOW: Well, you know, conspiracy is a crime because conspiracy can be a crime. And we honestly, to get real for a second, we have no idea what Patrick Fitzgerald is going to do.
CARLSON: No, we don't.
MADDOW: We have no idea. And if you look at the original crime, I think it's important. I mean, there are national security implications and federal laws to consider, if you want to disclose somebody's identity as working for the CIA. If you ignore those things because you have some slimy political aim to get to, then you're going to go to jail. You're going to get charged with something. It's a big deal.
CARLSON: Look, I mean, you know as well as I do, that without rearguing this whole thing, and we're going to be spending, I have the feeling, the next six months arguing, because I have—everybody I spoke to in Washington today, there was a lot of people, believe—every single person I talked to believes that this is something—that something really profound is about to happen, that there will be indictments.
That's informed guess. It's a guest, but it's been informed by the fact this guy has been at work two years, and the belief, and I concur. He's got to indict, and he will indict, and it's going to be huge.
But the bottom line here is, this guy, Joe Wilson, made some really serious charges against the White House. He was sent to Africa in the first place. Congress found after investigating, because his wife worked at CIA, it was nepotism. It's fair to point that out.
Moreover, leaking is good. Leaking is good for us the public. Leaking gives us more information, helps us make informed choices. People who are against leaking are really saying, “You have no right to know that.” Yes, I do have a right to know that.
MADDOW: Joe Wilson made very serious charges about the administration that turned out to be true and turned out to be damaging for the administration. They decided to slime him.
Whoever decided to slim him did so in a way that disregarded national security and federal laws about covert CIA.
So this is like saying, all he was trying to do was run the red light which everybody does. Well, you ran over a kid when you arrive there. You're going to get in trouble for the kid in the process, even if...
CARLSON: I bet you...
MADDOW: ... all you do is something everybody does.
CARLSON: let's just end on this. I will bet you right here. I'll bet you 50 bucks if there is an indictment, it will not be for the crime that you allege took place, a breach of national security by divulging the name of Joe Wilson's Wife.
MADDOW: It doesn't matter.
CARLSON: It does matter.
MADDOW: Why does it matter?
If that was the crime, that ought to be the indictment. Because if that really was—if that really is a crime, and we went through two years of throwing Judy Miller in jail for all those months, then I think that the crime that was alleged at the beginning ought to be prosecuted, or the prosecutor ought to roll up, go back and Chicago, and apologize.
MADDOW: If it ends up being conspiracy, if it ends up being an indictment directly on the charge that you say is no big deal, whatever it is, if there's going to be indictments, there's going to be, we will judge them.
CARLSON: Not all are the same.
MADDOW: I think it's disingenuous for you to be so fired up about Fitzgerald. You want to send him home. You don't want him to do anything. And not upset about Whitewater and all the other special prosecutors.
CARLSON: Actually, I never did—well, first of all, that was 10 years ago.
MADDOW: That was 10...
CARLSON: And I did a lot of reporting on that. I was at the newspaper in Arkansas, and I can tell you that I never understood Whitewater. In my experience covering Whitewater, and a lot of those investigations, informs my feelings about this investigation. These things get out of control. I know that because I have seen it.
And so I'm not defending Clinton, but I am saying, yes, a lot of what happened in Whitewater was wrong, and I don't want to see it again.
MADDOW: Special prosecutors are what we have. We have to deal with them one way or the other. In this one, as opposed to Whitewater, I can at least tell you what the crime was. Whitewater, I have no idea.
CARLSON: OK. We'll see. Rachel Maddow.
MADDOW: Thanks, Tucker.
Still to come, as Saddam Hussein prepares to stand trial before all the world, I'll speak with an Iraqi woman who as a child lived under his watchful eye. She joins me to discuss life in Saddam's circle, how she managed to escape from tyranny.
Plus, we'll have more on the sex abuse allegations that have rocked the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Catholic League president Bill Donahue joins us to explain why he believes some of the priests have been falsely accused.
We'll be right back.
CARLSON: Coming up, an amazingly weird pork barrel project that might actually be worth supporting. Plus, sperm donors beware, some day you might have to pony up for child support. We'll explain when THE SITUATION comes back.
CARLSON: The Archdiocese of Los Angeles may have been doing the right thing by posting information about more than 100 priests accused of sexual abuse on their web site, but the archdiocese seems to have pleased no one in doing it, not the victims, not their lawyers, not even my next guest, who's Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. He joins us now live from New York.
Bill Donahue, thanks for coming on.
BILL DONAHUE, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: Thank you for having me, Tucker.
CARLSON: Why are you mad at the archdiocese for doing this? This seems like an example, a much-needed example of openness.
DONAHUE: They've managed to do everything wrong in Los Angeles, just as they did in Boston and elsewhere in the Catholic Church. The fact of the matter is, the Catholic Church out in Los Angeles moved these people around, these predator priests, from parish to parish, like musical chairs. They do it in public schools. It's called passing the trash. But I have a higher standard for the Catholic priests.
CARLSON: Good for you.
DONAHUE: And then, on top of that, now they kind of learned their lesson a little bit on that, I think. They finally got a little wake-up call, but now what they've done is they've just capitulated.
Now they're giving out the names of all priests who they admit, not even credibly accused and many of whom are dead. They've got guys that were born in the 19th Century, haven't looked at the files that they've released.
They have priests who are accused of molesting somebody when the priest was between the ages of 2 and 5. They have poor Father Murphy, who was accused of alcoholism. What the hell is he doing in there with the file with pedophiles and these homosexuals.
In other words, what they've done in Los Angeles is to say this:
“We'll do anything to get this monkey off our back, and we will expose all priests who have been accused, including those for whom we know the accusation is not credible.” So they're not satisfying me. They haven't satisfied the victims, many of whom are professional victims. They'll never be satisfied.
CARLSON: What do you mean professional victims?
DONAHUE: Well, in other words, look, there's money in this. Who do you think is supporting these victims group? It comes from the lawyers themselves. “Forbes” magazine exposed this a couple of years ago.
I'm sick and tired of people always saying the Catholic Church never does anything right in this. There are bishops who have done a good job. They certainly would not be in Los Angeles.
CARLSON: Wait a second, are you saying and do you have evidence of individuals who are claiming sex abuse who were not abused?
DONAHUE: Oh, absolutely. This has been written about in the case Boston, for that matter. They actually have the cases. These people have been indicted.
Not only that, look at this, Tucker. Now I can't prove this, but I just want to make this point. Look at the timeline. Most of the cases took place—they had data from 1931 up until 2003.
Between 1957 and 1987 is when you got most of it, mostly in the '60s and '70s. A sexual revolution hit the country like a storm. It hit the Catholic Church like a hurricane. We can talk about the reasons for that some other time.
But then what you see is this. Things after '87 are mostly pretty good in the Catholic Church. We haven't seen a rash of incidents, except for since 2002. Now it went through the sky. Why?
That's because “The Boston Globe,” to its credit, broke the story, in January of 2002, about the corruption in Boston, you have all these people who are coming forward now with their repressed memories? Look, I've got a doctorate in sociology. I know something about this repressed memory.
CARLSON: No. It's a crock. Repressed memory has been, I think, proved to be ridiculous almost all the time.
CARLSON: This has got to be taking an enormous toll. I know it's taking an enormous toll on the Catholic Church in America. It's got to be hurting fundraising. I know it's preventing people from actually going to church. Does the Vatican in Rome have any sense the crisis taking place in the United States, and what are they doing about it?
DONAHUE: I'm not sure they finally got it. And I'll tell you why. There's one group we haven't talked about. And it's not the bishops, some of the enabling bishops and molesting priests and some of the lawyers and some of the phony victims.
What about the therapists? What about these people who say, “I can fix these guys,” and then that's what the bishop does. He says, “Can you fix them?”
“Yes, I can fix them.” They can't fix them.
CARLSON: Wait a second, to blame—I mean, I agree with you, I have no faith in therapists to do anything, anything. I wouldn't trust them to change a light bulb.
CARLSON: But you can't blame them in this case if some guy, some priest is hitting on or having sex with a boy in church. You call the cops. You don't call the therapist. What is the problem with priests or archbishops or whomever who are supposed to be in charge, who didn't just call the police?
CARLSON: Well, first of all, I think—and in this regard I'm not justifying this, because—but this is widespread. You take a look at the work of Carl Shaiks (ph) at Hopkins University about what's going on in the public schools, like I say, passing the trash.
This has been the norm because there has been no law up until recently in any state which mandated that people who were aware of the sexual molestation of minors must report it to the authorities.
What happened in the Catholic Church is what happened amongst rabbis, amongst ministers, amongst public school teachers. It's across the board. Let's handle it in house.
Now, I agree, the time to blow the lid off of this is long over. But I don't think the Catholic Church had a monopoly the way they handled it.
CARLSON: Bill Donahue.
DONAHUE: They actually thought they could help these people, with the therapists. That's why I say, these therapists, this is a game. Industry.
CARLSON: The idea that you would have enough sympathy for someone who touched a little kid, touched a boy, you'd want to help him, rather than just, you know, beat the hell out of him. I just don't understand that...
DONAHUE: I would like to beat the hell out of some of them myself.
CARLSON: Bill Donahue, I hope you get a chance to sometime. When you do, give me a call on my cell and we can laugh about it.
DONAHUE: Thank you. I'm bigger than most of them, too.
CARLSON: Thanks. Excellent. I know you are.
Still to come, what was it like living with Saddam Hussein? We'll talk to one woman with a unique perspective on the man who's about to face trial in Iraq. That's next when THE SITUATION returns.
CARLSON: Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is expected to stand trial next Wednesday, and while the public will be barred from the courtroom, the chief judge says there's a chance that proceedings will be televised. If they are, of course, we'll run them here on MSNBC.
My next guest knows the man on trial personally. She's the daughter of Saddam's personal pilot. She wrote about her encounters with the Iraqi dictator in her book, “Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny, Growing up in the Shadow of Saddam.” Zainab Salbi is also the founder and CEO of Women for Women International. She joins us live tonight from Chicago.
Zainab Salbi, thanks for coming on.
ZAINAB SALBI, AUTHOR, “BETWEEN TWO WORLDS”: It's a pleasure. Thank you.
CARLSON: Now the charges, we think—we don't know, but we think they're going to be premeditated murder, forced expulsion of residents of Iraq, torture, a whole laundry list of horrible things Saddam is accused of doing. In the—in the great amount of time you spent in his company, did you have any sense that this stuff was going on?
SALBI: I did actually. I went to a school that I often heard from my classmates how there were public executions in the streets, for example. And anybody who had a gun could just shoot at the person who's being executed.
I went to school with a friend whose father was executed because he disagreed with Saddam politically. I almost lost my mother for deportation. As you know, Saddam deported more than 200,000 Shiites between 1980 and 1982. My mother's family was part of those, and I grew up fearing that I could lose my mother at any time.
So I knew some of it. My best friend in college was a Kurd who told me about the Kurdish atrocities. But you learn to be afraid of expressing your feelings, because the simplest feeling, the wrong smile or the wrong eye look or gesture could actually upset him, and that could take your life away. So you learn how to control your feelings.
CARLSON: Did he strike you when you were a child as a brutal man? Did he personally seem like the kind of guy capable of atrocities?
SALBI: Well, there's definitely a part of him that I saw as just a regular man. You know, he called me with my nickname. He kissed me on both cheeks. Things like that.
But I also grew up seeing my parents very nervous in front of him. Seeing my parents or having them teach me that I have to smile when he smiled, I have to cry when he cried, I have to say things that are nice when he asked for it. So I learned that I knew he was someone who was in power. I knew he killed some of his best friends, some of his relatives. You just—you have to survive, and it's a very tight walk on how to survive while you are in this relationship.
COLMES: Did your parents feel guilty about their association with him, and do you feel bad about your family's association with Saddam?
SALBI: My parents had no choice. When Saddam asked my father to be his pilot, my father had no choice but to say yes.
My father never wanted to do anything with politics. He's not interested in politics until today, and he's not interested in being next to powerful people. But to say no to Saddam could mean your execution, could mean your imprisonment, and it could mean that your assets and your house and everything that you own can be taken away by the government.
So you try to survive, and you try to say yes. It was—the day that this was announced to me as a child was a very serious day in our family. It was a day of mourning. It was—my parents told me, this is not something to be celebrating.
This is not something to talk about or announce about, so I grew up, if anything, actually, with the trauma that my association to Saddam through my father's profession, took over my identity. And if anything, I have trauma, the reason I didn't tell anybody for the longest time, because I was convinced that if I tell anybody, they will see Saddam in my face and not my face. And that was my biggest nightmare, and I had to...
CARLSON: Will you feel better when he's convicted. If he's convicted, if he's executed, will that help you deal?
CARLSON: Will Iraq be a better place when he's gone?
SALBI: Definitely. I think his trial is such a historical opportunity for Iraqis to document his atrocities against Iraqis, against humanity. We have got to take this opportunity and document our past, and I feel this is the only way where we can actually move forward for the future.
If there's anything that unites all Iraqis is our hatred of Saddam. Every single household has a story of how Saddam penetrated it and how he tried to destroy it.
CARLSON: Yes. That's not a bad—not a bad thing to be united by at all. Zainab Salbi.
CARLSON: The book is “Between Two Worlds.” Thanks a lot for coming on. I appreciate it.
SALBI: Pleasure. Thank you.
CARLSON: Still ahead on THE SITUATION, some homeless people talked their way into some serious cash. How did they get it? Should they get it? I'll debate it with “The Outsider.” Max Kellerman is next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. You could rant alone. Maybe you do. But it takes two to make an argument. And there's no more worthy adversary than the man we like to call the outsider. Please welcome ESPN Radio and HBO boxing host Max Kellerman.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO SHOW HOST: Yes. The outsider. But today, it is you who are devil's advocate.
CARLSON: Yes. That's true. I picked the tough side of all three arguments.
KELLERMAN: I love it.
CARLSON: And I am ready.
First up, a windfall for 25 homeless people in the city of St. Louis. The city has agreed to pay them $80,000 to settle lawsuit accusing police of harassing and unjustly jailing vagrants. At issue, an attempt by the city to clear homeless people from the downtown neighborhoods over the fourth of July weekend last year.
Look, homeless people don't have homes. That's why they are homeless. They weren't evicted from any place they own, or have a right to be. They are evicted from city streets, which belong to all of us, homeless and nonhomeless included, so you have no right to live and relieve yourself on the street. Thereby, depriving me of my right to enjoy the street. Sorry, there are plenty of shelters.
KELLERMAN: Rather than get too legalistic in the argument, let me just hit you with the irony of all of this. A lot of these people were veterans. In other words.
CARLSON: Oh, come on.
KELLERMAN: In other words, it's OK for these people to go and fight for your right, to celebrate America's independence.
CARLSON: That is...
KELLERMAN: But they are not free in their own town, Tucker.
CARLSON: OK. Bill Clinton, if you could slow down. That's the most demagougic (ph) argument, ever. Everybody's heart bleeds to see a veteran homeless. Clearly. That's so sad. However, living on the street is not the answer.
KELLERMAN: You think criminalizing poverty is OK.
KELLERMAN: That's essentially what's going on.
CARLSON: No. Because there are shelters available. People who live on the street are overwhelmingly mentally ill or chemically dependent. It's not compassionate to allow them to live out there under the elements.
If we were truly compassionate society, I'm sorry, you are homeless schizophrenic. You don't know what's best for yourself. Even a libertarian like myself looks at a schizophrenic, I'm sorry, you don't have free will. You can't make choices. We're going to forcibly medicate you, then you can make your choice.
KELLERMAN: Yeah, but they're all schizophrenic. Some of them are just poor, believe it or not. Although I agree many are. And shelters can be a lot more dangerous to go to than the streets.
CARLSON: Yes, they can.
KELLERMAN: So you are forcing someone to choose between a dangerous situation or jail. Because these were sweeps of downtown St. Louis. The police just came in and starting locking everybody up.
CARLSON: Improve the shelters, that's the answer.
OK. Now, this is a tough one, but I'm going to take it on anyway.
It's Father's Day for one Swedish man whether he likes it or not.
A man donated sperm to lesbian couple who had three children and later split up. Now, the biological mother is demanding child support from the sperm donor. Sweden's Supreme Court agrees.
Now, everyone in Sweden is insane. I can say that, my name is Carlson. But this is not so insane, actually. This guy is the father. He's the biological father. He made this child on purpose. His sperm wasn't stolen from him. He did it voluntarily.
And the fact remains, I know it's violation of the contract. But the contract itself was a lie. The contract says you can sort of write off your fatherhood, your paternity. You can't. He has donated his genes to this child, who's made up—half of him is this guy. I'm sorry, take responsibility.
KELLERMAN: Thank you for this, Tucker. Thank you for this.
Let me get this straight, let the facts do the talking here. This guy donates sperm to a lesbian couple who can't have kids of their own for obvious reasons.
KELLERMAN: The couple breaks up.
KELLERMAN: And the woman, who has custody says, I would child support from the guy who donated his sperm?
He is the father.
But he is the father.
CARLSON: So anyone who ever went to a sperm bank and donated their sperm in that sperm bank, if the mother were able to trace it back genetically to the guy, he would have to pay child support?
CARLSON: Honestly, I think that if you have a child, if you are a man, you impregnate a woman, whether it's in a turkey baser, or naturally, or whatever—I'm serious—you ought to take responsibility for that child. You made that child. If you did it on purpose.
That child carries you. It's your genetic offspring. You are responsible. I know—look, you probably shouldn't be donating sperm to lesbian couples anyway, if you don't want to get involved in a complicated situation, that's by definition complicated. What do you expect?
KELLERMAN: I would like to take a vote, yes, no, am I crazy?
CARLSON: OK. So you are appealing to the cameramen.
KELLERMAN: I'm appealing to the masses. And they are all guys by the way. Imagine if happened to you, Tucker.
CARLSON: That's because you are appealing to a room full of potential sperm donors. They are against it. But I am totally for it. Make them pay.
Well, here's where I am going against all of my principles, but I can't help it. In Alaska, a victory for fish and those who love them. That would be me, by the way.
Alaska Airlines recently rolled out plane with a giant king salmon painted on its side. Perhaps inevitably, they're calling it salmon 37 salmon. The half million dollar paint job is part of a campaign to promote the state's seafood industry. It's clever. It was also paid for you by you and me, federal tax dollars.
OK. It's clearly wrong to do this, but I passionately love fishing and fish. I think it's the coolest thing I have ever seen. Here's how I'm going to justify this, compare it to all the other pork Alaska gets, $941 million in the most recent highway bill to Alaska for things like $233 million for bridge, linking island of 50 people to basically nowhere. Again and again, hundreds of million dollars wasted. Half a million bucks to make a plane look like a salmon, that's so cool.
KELLERMAN: First case, it's very Teddy Roosevelt of you, but I see a contradiction in saying, I love fish. And I love fishing. I love this thing so of much, I can't wait to put a hook through its face and put it on a skillet.
CARLSON: No. I throw every one back. I did this morning.
KELLERMAN: In that case, I love them so much, I just want to put a hook through their face, then I throw them back and leave them to die of the elements.
CARLSON: You're leaving aside fishing.
KELLERMAN: Who painted this, Picasso? Half a million dollars to put a fish on an airplane? I have a couple of friends who grew up with that used to write graffiti, they could do it for the cost of the krylon can.
CARLSON: OK. Look. That—you know, everything paid for by the federal government is more expensive. I am merely saying, compare that to $3 million about infrastructure that demonstrates advancements in Alaska, and last frontier, end quote. That's an actual federal pork barrel project that makes me sick. You could have six Alaskan Airways salmon 37 salmons for that.
KELLERMAN: What do you think it is? Do you think Alaska just doesn't have economy that can sustain itself, and so you kind of have to throw federal money up there? I mean, who is lining their pockets with all this federal money?
CARLSON: A, it's wicked cold. And B, representatives, their Congressmen, and senators, have been there forever.
KELLERMAN: Wicked cold.
CARLSON: Wicked cold. Max Kellerman.
KELLERMAN: Tucker Carlson, see you tomorrow.
CARLSON: Coming up in THE SITUATION. As more and more women fill the corridors of power in this country, should men getting worried or annoyed or both? I will be joined next by a woman who said, yes, it's ladies first when THE SITUATION comes back.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Men like to think they know what women want, but my next guest says these days it's a lot more complicated than we think. And some of us already think it's pretty complicated.
Celinda Lake has co-authored a new book, “What Women Really Want: How American Women Are Quietly Erasing Political, Racial, Class and Religious Lines to Change the Way we Live.” She joins us now in studios.
Celinda Lake, thanks.
CELINDA LAKE, AUTHOR: Really nice to be here. Thank you.
CARLSON: Now, your book is packed with statistics. You are a very famous and very credible, I think, pollster...
LAKE: Thank you.
CARLSON: Which is saying a lot.
LAKE: That is.
CARLSON: Not credible pollsters.
But the statistic that jumped right out at me, one-third of American women now, unmarried, that's got to be an all-time high.
LAKE: That's right.
CARLSON: What is that—give me two or three implications of that.
LAKE: Well, well, one implication is that women are not—it used to be that marriage was the threshold for a whole lot of other choices: having children, buying a house, buying a car. Now, women are doing it all out of order, and they are doing it when they may have a child first they may buy the house first.
Secondly, unmarried women are no longer just 25-year-old women out of college.
LAKE: But waiting to find Mr. Right. And in fact, the fastest growing segment of the electorate -- and one of the fastest growing segments of the electorate is unmarried women: four and a half million more of them in the 2004 election.
CARLSON: Well, that means—as I remember probably from polls you have done, they vote overwhelming for Democrats.
LAKE: They do. But I think there's a challenge here for both parties. In 2006, they are not planning to turn out. That's a challenge for the Democrats. And they don't vote very Republican, that's a challenge for the Republicans.
CARLSON: This means, because you just suggested, a big increase in children born out of wedlock. Doesn't it?
LAKE: Actually, a lot of them, half of them are having children, but half of them are not. But we already had a lot of children out of wedlock. And then when you realize that half of marriages end in divorce, we have a lot of children in all kinds of family settings.
CARLSON: Half of marriages end in divorce, but according to your statistics, this is shocking, 66 percent of all divorces is initiated by women, much higher among women, older women, 50's and 60's.
LAKE: That's right.
CARLSON: So the stereotype of the man leaving his long suffering wife for his hot assistant is kind of a crock as women get dissatisfied. What is behind this?
LAKE: Well, older women are really changing their lives, and they're really taking control of their lives. And what we found is that it's more stage of life now. And you see a lot of women in 50's and 60's starting new careers, working outside of the home, making different choices, and sometimes that choice is different marital status as well.
CARLSON: That's so depressing.
Now you also, speaking of depressing single most depressing statistic in the book, immediately flipped to sex in the index. More women say they need more sex—need more sleep, rather, than need more sex, a lot more women. Say they would prefer to get more sleep than more sex.
LAKE: That's right, we asked men and women.
CARLSON: That can't be true. They must be just embarrassed to admit it.
LAKE: There you go, probably. Well, I think when women talk to each other, they say it's true. When they talk to guys, they may say it's not.
CARLSON: I am all for lying about it.
Now, finally, Harriet Miers, OK. So, the White House is claiming sexism.
LAKE: If the word has the same root, but it's not the same meaning.
CARLSON: Very, very different meaning in this case, yes. They are claiming sexism, people are being mean to her because they are sexist. It seems she is just being treated like a man.
If she were a man and she wrote columns that were as moronic as the ones that David Brooks reprinted today in “The New York Times,” she would be slammed on every single show. I think we are the only show to lead with being unkind to Harriet Miers.
Don't you think it's unfair—if women want to compete on equal grounds, you can't complain about sexism, if people are rough on you on the merits, can you?
LAKE: Well, I think a couple things.
First of all, I agree with Laura Bush. I think it is sexism. And I think that, particularly for someone in her generation, her co-hort—remember, Sandra Day O'Connor couldn't get a job as a lawyer. She had to get a job as a secretary first even out of law school. So I think there's alternative paths.
Plus, if you want to talk about kind of crazy type language and nicknames, you can start with the president. He created the style in which she was writing those notes. He has nicknames for everyone. So I think that he created that atmosphere. She obviously felt comfortable and is loyal in it. But maybe it's a Texas, style. What do I know, I'm from Montana.
CARLSON: The notes are embarrassing. It's not embarrassing is your book, which I'm going to hold up, what “Women Really Want.” Very excellent cover, by the way. Celinda Lake, Kellian Conway (ph). Thanks.
LAKE: Thanks for having us.
CARLSON: Thanks, Celinda.
LAKE: Thanks a lot.
CARLSON: Coming up, we introduced you last night to the woman who just gave birth to her 16th child. We'll check THE SITUATION voice mail when we come back.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time for our voice mail segment. Those of you who have our coveted unlisted phone number and have been calling and leaving messages, let's listen to some. First up.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: Hi. This is Anita in Port Richie, Florida. Tucker, Tucker, Tucker, apparently, you were a bully when you were in school, or you don't understand this serious thing. Hitting back is just battery in return. Some might be your little playground push, push back. But it has escalated to lot more serious things today with movies, media, video games, kids are very violet.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: I was not a bully Anita. I hate bullies. And I have always hated them. And that's why I recommend the only antidote to bullies, which is hitting them back in the face as hard as you can. Bullies are cowards, that's the whole points. If you fight back, they lay off. The only way to stop a bully is to punish him. Period. Which is true.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: Jerry, Fresno. The man and the woman that have had 16 kids, I think it's time for them to pick up another hobby. Thank you.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: I don't think so. That's a great hobby. What, I mean, you know at a time when we learn less—married couples almost never have sex. I think it's an excellent hobby, bringing new life into the world, all these little kids? I mean, these are not people who are going to die alone. They'll be surrounded by many of their offspring. I think it is a totally positive, happy thing. I don't know. I'm totally for it. Have more kids. It's good.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: It's Pat in Puyallup, Washington.
I'm at my wits end, I used to hate you on “Crossfire.” I love you new show. I'm old. I'm fat. I'm a smoker and homey, which makes me kind of a dog, and you are a dog lover, too. So you are my new hero. Love your show. Your an adorable young man. And I love your tie.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Well, thank you Pat. You sound like just my kind of person actually. Thank you. I appreciate that.
If you are looking to defend, the fat, the unhealthy, the cigarette smokers, the dog lovers, it's me. I'm your man.
Let me know what you are thinking, call us any time. 1-877-TCARLSON. That's 1-877-822-7576. You can also send questions by our Web site, e-mail me at email@example.com. And one of our staff of hundreds will respond and put my name on it. Anything you want to talk about: politics, pop culture, fantasy football, fishing. You name it, you can read your responses at tucker.msnbc.com.
Still ahead on THE SITUATION, the knee whacking feud between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan made great theater 11-years-ago, but will it make great theater today. Tonya and Nancy take center stage on the cutting room floor next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Surveys show that 72 percent of our viewers watch this show for this segment, “the Cutting Room Floor.” Now is the payoff. It's here. Willie Geist.
WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC PRODUCER: I want to bring the 28 around to me.
72 is not good enough.
CARLSON: We're working on it.
GEIST: We have got a good stack for you.
Stalone back in business.
CARLSON: Thank you, Willie.
Will the disastrous “Rocky 5,” look for all the world to be the final nail in the coffin for Sylvester Stallone's once great Rocky movies? Like the gritty character himself, the franchise has picked itself up off the mat one more time. Stallone is 59-years-old, reportedly set to begin filming “Rocky 6” in which very retired Rocky Balboa stages a comeback and eventually fights for the heavy-weight championship of the world.
GEIST: You know what, Tucker, everybody says Rocky 1 was the best. I
go off the board, Rocky 4. Because not only was it great, it was important
· it sped the end of the cold war. I don't know if you know that.
CARLSON: I think I had children by the time....
GEIST: 1985. The final scene where the Russian audience comes around to Rocky's side, you could almost hear the Berlin Wall crumbling. It was a cold war film and I think it advanced history a little bit.
CARLSON: People give Reagan the credit, but it really was Rocky.
GEIST: Yeah. Absolutely.
CARLSON: Thank you, Willie.
Well, it takes a special kind of scientist to contemplate the possibility of putting a musical device into fake breasts. England's BT (ph) futuralogy (ph) is developing breast implants that can hold and play your entire music collection. One breast would carry an mp3 player, the other breast would contain your personal juke box. A signal will be related from the breasts to a special set of head phones. The musical breasts not expected to be on the market for 15 years, unfortunately.
GEIST: I will be waiting. But you know what's scary about these? You have to choose your tunes so carefully. They better be classics, because changing the juke box involves anesthesia and a scalpel. So you want to make sure they are classics, not one hit wonders.
CARLSON: Where is the volume button?
GEIST: Move on.
CARLSON: If you love Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan in the 1994 Olympic Games. You are going to love them in Nancy and Tonya the opera. The opera will be performed at Tufts University in Boston next spring. It tells the story of the bizarre feud between the Olympic figure skaters that began when an associate of Harding clubbed Kerrigan in the knee before a competition. The opera's writer says this is classic envy.
GEIST: Who's Toneya Harding by the way. Tonya Harding?
CARLSON: I don't know. It's T-O-N. It was a long time ago. I'm not a sports guy. Is it really Tonya?
GEIST: It is. But they wanted to get Tonya out for the premiere of this. She is already booked doing a tractor pull in Panama City, Florida that day. So, she's booked solid. Too bad. Would have been nice to see her there.
CARLSON: As the White House would say, you're an elitist, Willie.
Well, I have heard of some pretty creative ways to rob a bank, but this one takes the cake. A bank robber in Moldova, the country, hypnotized the tellers into making them hand over thousands of cash. This is not the thief here, but why not watch a little video of people robbing banks.
Police say the man, a trained Russian hypnotist, who slowly puts his victims into a trance, leaves them with no memory of having handed over the money.
GEIST: You know what, the police are telling bank tellers in Moldova not to look customers in the eye, because of the risk of hypnotism, which I think flies in the face of everything we know about customer service.
CARLSON: This is so made up. It's such an obvious inside job. He must have hypnotized me.
GEIST: I was in a trance.
CARLSON: Only in Moldova will they buy that. Thanks, Willie.
That's THE SITUATION for tonight. Thanks for watching. “COUNTDOWN” with Keith Olbermann. See you here tomorrow night.
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