Guest: Ron Christie, Rosa Brooks, Michael Sharp, Shawn King, Max Kellerman
RITA COSBY, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”: I‘m Rita Cosby, in for Joe tonight. Be sure to not touch that dial because THE SITUATION with Tucker Carlson starts right now—Tucker.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Thank you, Rita.
Bizarro video. I wonder what that was about it.
COSBY: And it was in one minute. It‘s incredible.
CARLSON: Yes. Protest? Come on. Lottery tickets, please.
All right, thanks, Rita. Thanks to all of you at home for watching.
We appreciate it.
A lot going on tonight, including news of a rift between President Bush and Karl Rove.
Plus anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan takes on a surprising new target. We are the start in the Florida Keys, where residents are bracing for what could be a 25-foot storm surge.
While many are in the process of evacuating, nonresidents are ordered to leave immediately.
National Hurricane Center director max Mayfield is on the record saying Hurricane Wilma could potentially cause loss of life in Florida comparable to that of Hurricane Katrina. For when and where Wilma might hit, let‘s go to NBC Weather Plus meteorologist Bill Carens—Bill.
BILLS Good evening. We have the new information IN from the hurricane center. As we know, it‘s been down-graded to a Category 4, but it‘s very close. Category 5 starts at 156. We‘re at 155, so that really doesn‘t make much of a difference. Gusts already 190.
We don‘t expect to do a big weakening trend over the next 24 to 48 hours. Actually, the hurricane center thinks it could once again become a Category 5 storm once we get done with one of these eye wall replacement cycles. It‘s pretty much remanufacturing the center of the storm.
Pressure still amazingly low. It‘s moving to the west-northwest at 8 miles per hour.
Take a look at the storm. Here‘s Key West to the north here. Here‘s south Florida. This is the area we are concerned with. We‘re equally concerned with Cuba.
But this black line shows the path. We‘re continuing to the rest, now more northwest. And if you continue to the northwest or even north March?
That line, we get dangerously close to Cancun. That‘s the first area under the gun as we go throughout tomorrow night and then into Friday morning. After that, we think it‘s going to be either western Cuba or the Keys that could get hit the hardest.
Take a look at the new forecast path from the hurricane center. Notice it goes from a four back up to a Category 5, possibly almost the eye wall making landfall over Cancun as a Category 5. That‘s not what we wanted to see. We can expect, if that does happen, catastrophic damage there for Cancun. It probably wouldn‘t even look the same. A slow-moving storm, also the possibly of flooding in the region.
Then as we make the turn here, Saturday on Saturday, notice at 7 p.m. On Saturday, we‘re still outside of Key West, and then possibly as a Category 3 or two storm making landfall somewhere to the north side of Key West, maybe somewhere south of Tampa. Of course, that‘s the area that Charley hit so hard about a year ago.
Back to you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Bill Carens, thanks.
On now to the apparent clash between President Bush and his chief advisor, Karl Rove. “The New York Daily News” reports today that Bush scolded Rove two years ago for his role in the Valerie Plame leak. The president thought Rove and his staff did a clumsy job trying to discredit Joe Wilson, who criticized Bush‘s claim that Iraq tried to buy weapons grade uranium in Niger.
As we first reported to you last night, it appears that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is leaning toward indictments in that case, which could be very bad news for Rove and also for Dick Cheney‘s right hand man, chief of staff, Scooter Libby.
Here to discuss all these developments, Ron Christie. He‘s a former special assistant to the president and a former deputy to Vice President Dick Cheney. He joins us live now from Washington.
Ron Christie, thanks a lot for coming on.
RON CHRISTIE, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT: Tucker, nice to see you.
CARLSON: This is a really unusually interesting story, this Tom De Frank piece in the “New York Daily News,” and whether or not it‘s true, it was leaked by the White House. Someone in the White House thought it would be a good idea for the public to know that the president was displeased with Karl Rove two years ago when news came originally that Rove was involved in some way in this leak. What was Bush mad about? What did he think Karl Rove did wrong?
CHRISTIE: Tucker, I don‘t think any of us can know that. I mean, the one thing that‘s so depressing about cases like this is when you hear people, unnamed sources leaking information that the president said this or Karl Rove did that. I think all that‘s speculation.
CARLSON: No, hold on. Wait, wait, wait. I agree with you. First of all, let me just say, for context here, I think that all of this is silly, that the White House most likely did nothing wrong. And this is a subject on which I‘m actively defending the White House, because I don‘t think they did anything.
But I do think they leaked this information, clearly, to Tom De Frank and the “New York Daily News.” They want America to know the president was mad. And as a strategy, a communications strategy, this strikes me as dumb at very best, because the president is saying preemptively Karl did something wrong, which if Karl Rove is indicted in the next week, and he may be, kind of puts the White House in a tough position. What‘s the communication strategy here?
CHRISTIE: I think the communication strategy is what the president has said from the beginning. The president looks forward to a successful completion of the special prosecutor‘s empanelment of the grand jury.
And I think all of us, Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, want to understand what are the facts. And I think October 28 is coming. The special prosecutor has to return either indictments or he‘s not going to return indictments, but for folks to speculate and say, the president is angry at Karl or he‘s not angry is ludicrous. We can only talk about...
CARLSON: This is not...
CHRISTIE: We can only talk about what we know. What we know is...
CARLSON: What we do know is that the White House is putting this out. Again, this is not cable news punditry. This is not what so-called experts on television are telling you.
CARLSON: We know that the White House is putting this out. It seems to me the president and his staff have two options, if Karl Rove does wind up in trouble, or Scooter Libby, and I hope neither does, but they have two options. We back them completely. They did nothing wrong. That‘s the right view, in my opinion.
The second, what they did is unacceptable. If they it‘s unacceptable, why did the president keep him on his staff for two years? You see what I mean? There‘s a gap in the White House‘s logic for strategy. I‘m just confused as to what they‘re doing. What‘s their plan for ending this?
CHRISTIE: Tucker, I think you and I would both agree there‘s been a criminalization of the political process, where everyone is presumed guilty nowadays, as opposed to being presumed innocent.
The president has a very highly ethical administration. And the president has said he wants to get to the bottom of this case.
If, in fact, the special prosecutor looking at the evidence, and, in fact, those grand jurors looking at the evidence find that there are crimes that have been committed—remember, Tucker, this is one thing that everyone gets away from. The whole fact of the matter was, were there federal officials who broke the law, there were crimes committed that, in fact, would return an indictment against those officials?
Everyone since has turned that into, did Karl Rove do something wrong or did Scooter Libby do something wrong?
COLMES: Because there—because there are indications...
CHRISTIE: Let me just take your point, to answer your question. If, in fact, there are officials within the White House or within the president‘s administration, if the special prosecutor comes back and finds that there have been crimes that have been committed, then those individuals have a duty, I believe, to step aside, because it‘s about the president. It‘s about the president‘s administration.
CARLSON: Let‘s be real. I agree with 98 percent of what you said.
CARLSON: I guess what baffles me is the way the White House has responded to all of this over the last years, I believe ineptly.
Let me give you one other example.
CARLSON: Be real with me. Tell me what you really think of this. All right. The president came out not that long ago and complimented Patrick Fitzgerald, the special counsel leading this investigation. Why would he do that? What was the strategy, the idea behind that? What does he hope to achieve? I ask all of this, because it seems likely, and you know this as well as I do, that this guy is going to indict people in the Bush administration the next seven days.
If and when he does that, the president is stuck with his on the record statements that Fitzgerald is a man above reproach, and a genuinely great guy with a clean heart or whatever he said, but nice things. Why would he say that on the record?
CHRISTIE: Well, I think what the president has said, again, Tucker, is the fact that he‘s looking forward to a successful completion of the special prosecutor‘s job.
I would agree with you that it is a very difficult position to prejudge and assume that there are certain individuals who are going to be indicted or not be indicted. That‘s why I think we‘re all looking forward to October 28, or perhaps before then.
CARLSON: In the meantime, smart politicians and the people who surround them prepare for the worst, and I just don‘t think the White House has done that. But maybe I am totally wrong. I hope I am. Ron Christie, thanks a lot for coming on.
CHRISTIE: Tucker, it‘s my pleasure. Thanks.
CARLSON: All right, let‘s bring in Air America icon—I don‘t think that‘s too strong—Rachel Maddow.
RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO: I like the idea of being an icon or an idol.
CARLSON: A figure of adulation, in any case.
Let‘s just talk the politics of this really quick, because we‘re going to very soon know a lot more facts, in which case we can really dig in. But at this point, it‘s still a political story.
How does this administration or any administration respond to a looming potential disaster, which is what this is? I think the White House ought to have come out the very day Judith Miller went to jail and said, “Whoa, wait a second. This guy is overstepping his bounds. We brought him in. We gave him this autonomy to investigate this leak. We did the right thing. And this guy, it seems like he‘s out of control here, throwing a ‘New York Times‘ reporter in jail for essentially doing nothing. Why is he doing that?” And distance themselves from the special counsel.
MADDOW: I think they might have done that if Karl Rove hadn‘t been scared THAT he was going to be implicated in it. Because that‘s the Rove, strategy, right, who is always turn the attention, the focus, the worry about guilt onto the accuser. That‘s what we see tom delay doing beautifully in Texas, trying to make Ronnie Earle the story.
CARLSON: They should have done that, though.
MADDOW: That would have been the Rovian thing to do. I think Rove was distracted, because he‘s worried about going to jail.
CARLSON: Well, actually, that‘s a smart point. He didn‘t want to antagonize the prosecutor, for fear that he would be indicted as a result. But we learned from Clinton, I think, a, that being nice or being mean to a prosecutor, kind of immaterial. These guys do what they‘re going to do, for their own motives, which are, on some level, unknowable.
So the best you can do is protect yourself politically, right? And the best way to protect yourself is to go for the face as hard as you possibly can. It worked for Clinton, and I think they had justification for doing it here.
MADDOW: Well, I think it‘s true in terms of strategy. I think it‘s also wrong.
CARLSON: Pure politics. Just pure politics. You‘re right. It may be immoral, but politics is above or possibly below morality, most of the time as a political matter.
MADDOW: As a political matter, they should have done what Karl Rove would usually do, which is go after the prosecutor. It would be wrong, and I think that it does run a risk because in this case, there is a situation where the crime is easy to explain. Somebody leaked this woman‘s identity.
And that was—that was the agreement for the prosecutor. We want to investigate someone disclosing this woman‘s identity. Very broad, very simple, hard to say he‘s now out of control for actually investigating that.
On the other hand, though, the other strategic thing going on here, I‘m glad you raised the issue about the White House seeming like it leaked this information that Bush was mad. What a dumb disinformation strategy.
CARLSON: Well, they did leak. I mean, they did leak it. Someone in the White House did.
MADDOW: Think about what this leak means. This means that if Karl Rove told Bush in 2003 that he was the leaker, and then Bush came out in June 2004, told the American people, “I‘ll fire the leaker,” and reportedly told the prosecutors, “Karl Rove told me he was innocent,” that means that Bush lied to the American people, and lied to the prosecutor.
CARLSON: Well, that‘s reading—I mean, we don‘t know. It doesn‘t specify in the piece, and we have no way of knowing at this point what Bush was mad at Rove about. And my only point is, look, if you think he did something wrong at all, can him.
CARLSON: If you don‘t think he did something wrong, and they‘ve had him on two years, so obviously they don‘t, then don‘t attack the guy. Stand behind hip. I think they‘re picking a foolish middle ground that is indefensible morally and politically.
MADDOW: And don‘t tell the American people, “I‘m going to fire the leaker” when it turns out you knew who the leaker was.
CARLSON: No, we don‘t know. Actually, there‘s a lot of—in the next couple of days, we‘re going to find out a lot more about this case, I think. Everybody is starting to leak, including Fitzgerald. So we‘ll know a lot more tomorrow.
Here‘s the most interesting thing I read today. I was on MichaelMoore.com today, as I always am. Just kidding.
MADDOW: My blog, not on mine, Michael Moore.
CARLSON: My Casa (ph), I was all over them. But on Michael Moore‘s blog today, there was a message from Cindy Sheehan, someone I‘ve often criticized on the show for attacking the United States.
Here, however, she doesn‘t something pretty interesting. It is, quote, “I don‘t think—I‘m not going to vote for Hillary Clinton for president or support her at this point. I don‘t think she can speak out against the occupation because she supports it. I will not make the mistake of supporting another pro-war Democrat for president. I implore you,” she says, “Mrs. Clinton, to have the strength and courage to lead the fight for peace.”
Here‘s something principled that Cindy Sheehan is doing. Unlike so many liberals, who blindly follow their leaders, even when their leaders support war, as so many Democrats did. Here‘s one saying, “Look, I‘m against the war. You support the war, I‘m not for you.” Good for Cindy Sheehan.
MADDOW: My feeling about politics is always that you vote your heart in the primary, you vote your head in the general election. And if the general election were upon us and Cindy Sheehan was taking this stand now, I probably would disagree with her.
But this far out from the election, this far out from 2008, I think she‘s right. And I think that all Democrats should be pressuring the national leadership to come up with a strong anti-war platform.
I mean, if the primary were held today, I would vote for Russ Feingold, because he‘s the most anti-war of all of the viable candidates. So in that sense, I‘m with Cindy Sheehan.
On the other hand, the idea that it‘s Democrats that need to be held accountable for the war kind of misses the larger point.
CARLSON: No, no, it‘s partly—look, Bush led us to war. If President Bush had not been in office, we would not have invaded Iraq. That‘s fair, and it‘s a denial of reality to pretend otherwise.
However, he was aided and abetted in that by the leadership of the Democratic Party, many rank and file Democrats, such as Senator Evan Bayh, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, John Edwards, Dianne Feinstein, Joe Lieberman, Max Cleland, Tom Harkin, Mary Landrieu, John Breaux, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Tom Daschle, Dick Gephardt—getting bored? I could go on. But the point is, leading Democrats in this country were for the war.
MADDOW: Tucker, the point is that being lied to and believing it when you‘re lied to is a different level of evil than actually telling the lie.
CARLSON: Wait a second. Giving them a pass, are we?
MADDOW: No. I‘m telling you, I would vote for Russ Feingold right now. I actually think the entire Democratic Party has something to account for having believed those lies, but they were lied to.
CARLSON: Wait. The Congress has independent means of gathering information. They have intelligence committees up on the Hill. They do their own investigations. They come to their own independent conclusions, distinct from those of the executive branch, the White House, all the time. And they could have done it in this case.
There were a lot of liberals on Capitol Hill, including Russ Feingold, who decided, with the same evidence that everybody else had, that this war was not justified. And yet, these people didn‘t. You‘re giving them a pass. They don‘t deserve it.
MADDOW: I‘m not giving them a pass. They should be held to account, held to account for not having ferreted out the fact that there was a deliberate attempt...
CARLSON: Russ Feingold did. Russ Feingold did.
MADDOW: ... to not only lie to the American people, but to lie to Congress. They were lied to, and they didn‘t ferret out that information.
CARLSON: OK. Well, I salute Russ Feingold. You know what? If I were liberal, I‘d vote for Russ Feingold, too. Russ Feingold for president. Down with Hillary Clinton. She‘s a quisling and collaborator, in my view.
Rachel Maddow, who is neither, thank you.
MADDOW: Thank you, Tucker, I think.
CARLSON: Still to come, Judith Miller, “New York Times” reporter, she writes newspaper stories. She does not make foreign policy. She does not order armies into battle. So why are so many liberals holding her responsible for the war in Iraq?
Plus, a defiant first day in court for Saddam Hussein today. Refusing to acknowledge the judge, shoving and yelling at a guard. This trial is going to be a complete circus. Is it? I‘ll talk to a man closely involved with those proceedings when THE SITUATION returns.
CARLSON: Coming up, Starbucks sells a pretty good cup of latte, but did you know the company has branched out into theology? We‘ll bring you details.
Plus, man bags, purses for men. Would you be caught dead with one?
Max Kellerman and I confess whether we would when THE SITUATION returns.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
“New York Times” reporter Judith Miller is one of the key reporters at the center of the CIA leak investigation. Miller spent 85 days in jail because she refused initially to reveal her sources to a grand jury. For that, she was admired by many, including me.
One person who cringes at the thought of Judith Miller, the martyr, columnist and professor of law at the University of Virginia, one of our all time favorite guests, Rosa Brooks. She joins us now live from Washington.
Rosa, thanks for coming on.
ROSA BROOKS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Hi, Tucker, it‘s nice to be back.
CARLSON: Don‘t you think all this anger at Judy Miller is really misplaced? I mean, she‘s a newspaper reporter. She didn‘t lead us to war in Iraq, but listening to people talk about her, you‘d think she single-handedly convinced Don Rumsfeld that we ought to invade Baghdad.
BROOKS: Well, Tucker, No. 1, the media likes to talk about the media.
BROOKS: No. 2, I think you‘ve actually put your finger on it. It‘s precisely because the media feels so powerless to affect the people who are really out there making the decisions that Judy Miller is an easy target.
Now, I think she is totally misguided, but I also think that the media is pretty fickle, and we saw a few months ago, she was the martyr of the day, the saint of the day. And now she‘s the villain of the day. It‘s kind of hard to explain that, except by thinking that it‘s got something to do with the media feeling anxious about its own role.
CARLSON: But I don‘t—I think you‘re right partly, and I don‘t fully understand why people despise Judy Miller so much. I don‘t know Judy Miller. I like her stories well enough. She seems like a decent enough person. But that‘s not the point.
It seems to me that most of the criticism aimed at her is coming from the left, almost all of it, in fact. It does sort of break down along those lines. All of the liberal web sites, attacking Judy Miller. Arianna Huffington, finding a new purpose in life, much needed, by attacking Judy Miller day after day. What is that about? Why are liberals mad at her?
BROOKS: Liberals are mad at her for a couple of reasons, Tucker. No. 1, liberals are mad at her for essentially being a P.R. spokesperson for the administration, in the run-up to the war in Iraq.
She is not responsible for bringing us to war, but she played a not completely trivial role in selling the whole WMD story to the public in the newspaper record, just plowing over the objections from people saying, “Wait a second. The evidence here is weak.”
I think the liberals are also mad at her because the press is not supposed to be that credulous. She made everybody in the press look like a bunch of bozos. She was not the only one.
CARLSON: Well, wait a second.
BROOKS: She was the one out there.
CARLSON: American intelligence, the CIA, French intelligence, Israeli intelligence, Massad (ph), Israeli intelligence, members of Congress, leaders of both parties all believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Why is the “New York Times” supposed to find something different?
BROOKS: You know, that‘s fair enough Tucker, and I‘ m a very trusting person, so when our government said there were WMDS, of course I thought, “Well, gosh, maybe they must be right.”
CARLSON: That‘s what I thought, too.
BROOKS: On the other hand, one of the things that we hear now is that there are a lot of internal sources, both within the administration and within the media, who were casting doubts on that. That there was a lot of dissent, and that part of the problem was not just the sort of group think, but an active effort to shut up all the dissenters, and that Judy Miller played her part in that.
CARLSON: Don‘t you think Judy Miller now represents—she‘s come to symbolize the dissenters, those who would take their lumps in an effort to bring the message to the rest of us. I mean, the message of what the government is doing to Judy Miller is, to government employees, don‘t talk to the press. Don‘t leak. And isn‘t leaking good for us? Don‘t we have a right to know what goes on behind closed doors in Washington?
BROOKS: Some leaks are good for us, and some leaks are bad for us. I mean, this is actually a pet peeve of mine, Tucker. When you‘re thinking about journalistic shield laws, sometimes I think this ought to be renamed the politician shield law.
Because when you‘ve got people in the U.S. Senate, thinking, “Gee, maybe we need a better shield law,” they‘re not thinking about Judy Miller in prison. They‘re thinking about Scooter Libby and Karl Rove facing prison. They‘re thinking about themselves, possibly.
CARLSON: I‘m sure they are. We‘re all self-interested. But isn‘t the effect...
BROOKS: Some of them are more self-interested than others.
CARLSON: Well, that‘s exactly right. Members of Congress tend to be high on the self-interest scale, no doubt about that. But isn‘t the effect the same, the effect, and the effect is more information coming from secret sources in the executive branch to us?
BROOKS: You know, there‘s information and then there‘s misinformation. I think part of the objection to the role that Judy Miller played is that she very often was a conduit for misinformation, and she should have known that. She probably did know that.
That, I think, is the objection, is if you have an absolute shield for journalists, then you never have any way to figure out whether what you‘re getting is information or misinformation. And sometimes if the information is actually criminal, you can‘t get at that either.
CARLSON: And my final quick question is, when are liberals going to take this displaced anger they‘ve been focusing on Judy Miller, and move it to the person who deserves it, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who supported the war and brought a lot of liberals with her?
BROOKS: I‘m with you on the Feingold for president platform, absolutely.
CARLSON: Rosa Brooks, an honest liberal. It‘s nice to meet one.
Thanks for coming on.
BROOKS: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Still to come, Starbucks coffee served with something extra. A message on the cup about God and your purpose for life. A bit too strong for your taste? More than you bargained for with your latte? Next on THE SITUATION.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
The much anticipated trial of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein got off to a shaky start today. Saddam refused to state his name for the judge and resisted an escort out of the courtroom. The judge wound up adjourning the trial until November 28 to give the defense more time to prepare their case.
Here to talk about what happened in today‘s proceedings and what it means, international criminal law expert, Michael Sharp. He helped train the judges responsible for trying Saddam Hussein.
Professor Sharp, thanks for coming on.
MICHAEL SHARP, INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW EXPERT: Hey, Tucker, it‘s good to be with you.
CARLSON: Now, from my point of view, just an observer of news, the concern would be that Saddam uses this trial much in the same way Slobodan Milosevic has used his trial, as a platform to stir up trouble in his own country, specifically among the Sunni population of Iraq, which is already pretty agitated anyway.
CARLSON: Why are we allowing what looks like this propaganda opportunity to take place?
SHARP: Well, we‘re not. And what you have to understand, Tucker, is that these judges are the best trained judges ever to preside in a war crimes trial. We had training sessions, which I was involved with, starting last fall, in London, in Sicily, in the Haag, in Stratford-Upon-Avon. And then they had daily briefings and seminars in the evenings in Baghdad for the whole year.
One of the things we did in the spring was we actually did a mock trial, and we prepared them for what would happen if Saddam or his lawyers tried to be very disruptive. We went through every possible scenario, using all the examples from the Milosevic trial. Of course, we didn‘t use the name Saddam Hussein, because we didn‘t want to prejudice his case, but they know how to handle it.
And when they picked this Judge Amin to be the presiding judge, although he sort of handled Saddam with kid gloves and he wasn‘t as brow-beating as Judge May was in the Yugoslavia tribunal, I think that actually was a brilliant tactic, because by the time proceedings were over, Saddam had gone from defiant to cooperative.
CARLSON: Wait a second. What happens when—and you know it‘s going to happen—Saddam says, you know, “Sunnis of Iraq, rise up. Throw off the Kurds and the Shiites and their tools of American imperialists”?
This trial is being covered closely in Iraq. There was a television camera in the courtroom today. You can‘t put a gag in his mouth. How do you keep that statement and statements like it from getting out?
SHARP: Well, the first thing you have to do is not allow him to represent himself as his own lawyer in the courtroom. Because if you‘re representing yourself there‘s no way to control a disruptive attorney/client. You can‘t say, “We‘re going to fine you or throw you in jail or replace you.” You know, you can‘t do that.
Now, they‘ve learned that lesson with the Milosevic case. And we‘ve actually done a tremendous amount of research for this tribunal on the issue. And we‘ve proven to their satisfaction that there is no international right of self-representation, so that they can force Saddam Hussein to act through a lawyer, which is what the Iraqi legislature has decided on August 11 of this year, and that will help them control the proceedings quite a bit and make this difference from the Milosevic case.
CARLSON: Has there been a question—as you‘ve sketched out this trial in your mind, anyway, and prepared for it—has the question ever been raised about Saddam‘s sanity? Today in court, he apparently represented himself as still the president of Iraq. I‘m sure some of that was a rhetorical device, right? “You can‘t lecture me; I‘m still in control.”
But some of it may have been real. He might be detached from reality.
What do you do then, if he‘s insane?
SHARP: Well, you know, I‘ve actually seen psychological profiles of Saddam Hussein, and the conclusions are that he‘s not insane. He‘s got some real issues, obviously.
SHARP: Mega maniac and a dictator, but he‘s also a lawyer by training. He graduated from Cairo. And his legal tactic is to say, “Look, I am still the president, and under the 1968 constitution, I am entitled to immunity. And this is an illegitimate tribunal.”
And so he‘s really just starting that tactic up in the courtroom at this point.
CARLSON: Boy, I can‘t wait to follow it. Professor Michael Sharp, thanks a lot for coming on and explaining that.
Still to come, what do you do when you mix a group of vacationing senior citizens with swingers in Cancun? The answer when we come back.
CARLSON: Still to come, what do you do when you mix a group of vacationing senior citizens with swingers in Cancun? The answer when we come back.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
Groucho Marx once said, I cannot honestly say that I do not disagree with you. And I can honestly say the same of this man, a worthy adversary, professional devil‘s advocate, the “Outsider.” Please welcome back ESPN Radio and HBO boxing host Max Kellerman, live from Vegas tonight.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO: Need to be a Talmudic scholar to understand what he meant, Tucker.
CARLSON: Yeah, well, I think that was probably aimed at Talmudic scholars.
CARLSON: And as one, I can tell you what it means, but we don‘t have time. I‘ll tell you off the air.
All right. Well, your next Starbuck‘s venti skim gingerbread pumpkin chai soy latte could come with something extra, a quote about God. Part of a campaign featuring quotes from writers, musicians, athletes and politicians, Starbucks is using a quote from the Reverend Rick Warren, he‘s the author of the best selling book, “The Purpose-Driven Life,” printing it on its cups. The quote says, quote, “you are not an accident. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense. Only in God do we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance and our destiny” end quote.
The company says the quotes, quote, “do not necessarily reflect the views of Starbuck‘s.” And they don‘t, I can promise you that. Not a lot of evangelicals running Starbuck‘s.
Here‘s my problem with this. I don‘t object to the quote. Rick Warren seems like a good guy. The book apparently is good. I am not opposed to Rick Warren in any way. I just don‘t want to get my religion or my philosophy or my humor or my music or anything else but coffee at Starbuck‘s. And Starbuck‘s has set itself up as this kind of community of creative people. You walk in Starbucks not just for a latte but to commune with other like-minded individuals. It‘s annoying. It‘s phony. And it‘s dishonest. Leave me alone. Give me my coffee and be quiet.
KELLERMAN: This is why I used to love watching you. Since the first time I saw you on “Crossfire” like 100 years ago, because you never know what you are going to say. I really am surprised by your position here, because you are so proreligion.
CARLSON: Oh, I‘m Pro-God, definitely.
KELLERMAN: Certainly in private life, and even in public in some instances. Here is the argument why it‘s fine to print this, because you are absolutely right, Starbucks is not about drinking coffee.
First of all, they are not that good at making coffee.
KELLERMAN: It‘s all right. It‘s kind of very strong and caffeinated, and everyone is addicted to it, but it‘s a comfortable place to sit, where no one bothers you. It‘s nice and air-conditioned. There‘s no pressure to buy stuff. You can read the paper, you can work on your computer, you can sit down and just relax a little bit, and they have created this whole environmentally friendly kind of collegiate culture. That is what has made it successful. And this goes right along with that, Tucker.
CARLSON: How pathetic. How pathetic. You need to go to Starbuck‘s to meet people, to play with your computer, to write free verse, to work on your interpretive dance routines? I mean, come on, is there no other place to go but Starbucks?
And look, the bottom line is, Starbuck‘s is positing itself as a kind of movement. Starbuck‘s gives money to Planned Parenthood. Starbuck‘s might as well run for office. And I am telling you, Max, Starbuck‘s, far outgrown its original purpose. I think it‘s a dangerous movement. I am not saying it‘s Scientology. I am saying it‘s getting there.
KELLERMAN: Oh, no, more like Catholic Church than Scientology. I mean, they‘re opening branches everywhere.
KELLERMAN: Forget about...
CARLSON: They breed like rabbits. They threaten America. Stop Starbuck‘s.
KELLERMAN: I know you don‘t get out to the movies, but in Austin Powers, what did they want to do? His kid wanted him to invest—his main sidekick, Dr. Evil‘s main sidekick thought, take the money out of the enterprises, invest in Starbuck‘s, they will take over the world faster.
CARLSON: That‘s scary. I prefer crime to that.
All right, Max. The next story, I have a whole long script I could read. But I am going to ignore that and sum it up in two words: man purse. Man purse.
CARLSON: You seen men, here on the streets of New York, carrying what is—there is no other way to describe it, a purse such as the kind girls carry. Retailers are now trying to convince men, it‘s OK. You are not transvestite if you carry a man purse. All the guys are doing it. It‘s hip to carry a man purse.
I am here to tell you, Max, no, you are dressing up like a girl if you carry a man purse. You might as well be wearing panty hose, or funny underwear. It‘s creepy. It‘s wrong. You carry a purse, you are not a man, period.
KELLERMAN: More pop culture references here. But you know, they went over this in “Seinfeld.” Did an episode where Seinfeld tried to get away with it.
Here‘s the argument for the man purse. I got—I actually have props. You see all this stuff? Look, I don‘t have a wallet, Tucker. I keep my cards in rubber bands. And look at this—and with the keys and it‘s a Blackberry or Trio people have now. A pack of gum, a contact lens case.
There‘s too much stuff. I am carrying around too much stuff. My pants don‘t fit. It just looks funny. You need a place to put all your stuff. Times have changed.
CARLSON: It does look funny, not half as funny, not an 9th of as funny, not as 100th as funny as a man purse. And that‘s freakish.
Now, look, either pair down your personal accessories, right? Or let your pockets bulge. I tell you what, buy a blazer.
KELLERMAN: You need the cards, you need your keys, you need your phone, right, you need some cash on you, you don‘t want your breath to stink. What if the contact dries?
I mean, these are not stuff—I don‘t have any luxury items here.
CARLSON: I would rather be blind and have bad breath than carrying a man purse. That‘s the bottom line, Max. I‘m never giving ground on this argument.
KELLERMAN: And ultimately that argument carries the day, Tucker.
CARLSON: Max Kellerman, from Las Vegas see you tomorrow.
Stay tuned, still plenty more ahead on THE SITUATION.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Even though Shawn King is the wife of talk
show legend Larry King, but these days she is making a big name for herself
as a country music singer. After years as a television star, Shawn is now
reconnecting with her family‘s musical roots. The new album is called “In
My Own Backyard.” It‘s getting very good reviews. The second single from
that album debuted tonight. We‘re thrilled to be joined live in the studio
by Shawn King.
SHAWN KING, SINGER: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: So, how did you wind up after all—I wish I had your bio here, we should have put it on the screen—but of the all of the many television shows you have been on, the made for television movies, all the TV and film you have done, how did you wind up a country music singer?
KING: Well, you know, I grew up in the music business. My dad was a music business executive when I was a little girl. He was head of A&R at Capital Records. And my very first paying job was when I was three years old. I sang on a Nat King Cole Christmas album.
KING: So, I started young.
CARLSON: Had you always wanted to do it? Put out an album?
KING: Yes. I always had. But I got married when I was young. And had a little boy. And that marriage didn‘t work out. And I knew the record business was going to require of me if I was really going to make a go of it—you have to travel. You have to be able to support your project. And I wasn‘t willing to do that.
CARLSON: Is Nashville as tough as people say? People say it‘s nasty.
Almost than New York or L.A. or Washington.
KING: Nashville is a great town. I love Nashville. But it is a pretty closed community. You have got to—you really have to prove yourself. They look at you a little askance if you are coming...
CARLSON: You are coming from far away. You‘re from California...
KING: Very far away.
CARLSON: Utah and other places, but none of them is Nashville. So, what do you do when you show up. You say, want to cut a record?
KING: You know what, I have a lot of friend. Being raised around music people all my life, I made a lot of friends. And so I met some great people along the way, great song writers, amazing song writers and great producers. I have three producers on this C.D.: Keith Falisay (ph), Carl Jackson (ph) and Steve Tyrell (ph). All three of them did a great job.
CARLSON: What did your husband, who I will say, I think is a great guy who single-handedly redeems the network he is on. I love him. I don‘t picture him a country music fan. What did he say when you said I want to do a country music record?
KING: Well, Larry thinks that music died when Frank Sinatra died.
CARLSON: Yes, I knew that.
KING: So, you know...
CARLSON: He is not a big Garth Brooks fan?
KING: He is learning. You know what, he is getting an ear for it. He is starting to listen to more country music. And surprise, surprise, you know, he will pick a song, and he‘ll go, I like that one. No, no, that‘s better. No—you know—so, Larry—you know, the brainiac that he is, is able to tune in to country music.
CARLSON: Good for him, a flexible man. I was going through the liner notes, which are excellent and interesting as hell on your C.D., and I noticed that you wrote these songs, some of the songs too.
KING: I co-wrote a song called “Closet of Ruby Red Slippers.”
CARLSON: What is the process, I always wondered, of song writing? Do you just sit down and bang it out?
KING: You come up with an idea. Usually ideas that are just kind of bouncing around in your head. Or someone will say, hey, I have got a great idea. Somebody else will come in.
I have been co-writing because I am just getting my feet wet. I haven‘t written a song by myself yet. But you just—you know, you got to have rhymes. You have got to have some kind of a—I am very visual in my writing.
KING: And in “Closet of Ruby Red Slippers.”
CARLSON: The best writing is always visual. Is it earlier to predict, is there second album coming?
KING: Absolutely there‘s a second album.
KING: We cut 34 different songs originally. And it was a two-and-a-half year process, long time. The reason for that was I took the kids with me to Nashville for the good part of recording. Because I think it‘s important.
CARLSON: Are they on this?
KING: They are not singing on it, no, but the pictures are in there.
CARLSON: They inspired it. “In My Own Backyard.” Shawn King. Excellent C.D. I appreciate it. Look forward to the next one. Thank you, Shawn.
KING: Thank you so much, Tucker.
CARLSON: Coming up, you may have noticed relentlessly procanine slant to the show. We like dogs here on THE SITUATION. When we come back, one caller offers a tempting suggestion for my dog. We‘re checking the voice-mail next.
CARLSON: Welcome back. A lot of our viewers love the telephone. How do we know that? Because you call us all day long. Here are your voicemails. First up.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: Yes, this is Norbert Ganska (ph) in Reno, Nevada. I was calling about the situation of the illegal aliens. It probably is true that this underpaid and unreported labor probably does help the U.S. economy. But the average citizen then has to—the government picks up a lot of the services that employers usually provide for most legal workers such as health insurance and retirement and paying into Social Security. So it might help the economy, but does it help the country as a whole?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: That‘s an excellent, excellent question. We will continue to do segments on this question. There are some funny numbers surrounding illegal immigration and its effect on this country. And I bet if you dig deeper, you would turn out to be right. Next.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: Hey, Tucker, it‘s Pat from Puyallup. I caught your rant of the guy who said extreme right-winger. And swear I‘m a Democrat but you are turning me into a libertarian. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Keep up the good work, Tucker. We love you.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Thank you. I would just close your eyes and let it wash over you like a warm wave of reason: libertarianism. I‘m not a strict libertarian—I‘m not completely insane. But I am informed by the libertarian spirit, which I think a good place to be. Next up.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: Hey, Tucker. It‘s Bill from Alexandria, Virginia.
Hey listen, I know you are a big dog person. You talk about them all the time. You had the dog guy on last night—cats on dogs. You know what I would like you to see. I would like to see you bring in your dog, Agnes. Have the dog up on your desk during the little commercial break where your female producer comes on and says what‘s coming up next. I mean, you had the little girl throwing the basketball one time. So why not bring Agnes in? We all want to see Agnes.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Bill you are a very, very, very careful viewer of this show. You are freaking me out a tiny bit. I do have a dog named Agnes. I‘m not sure when we mentioned that on this show. But you‘re right.
My dog is elderly and heavy set. So heavy set, I don‘t think she would make it up here on the set. But thank you. I‘ll send her your best.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: Hey, Tucker, my name is Tony Simons. I live in Seattle, Washington. And the reason why I‘m calling is the cameraman who laughs off stage, he‘s just hilarious. Whenever I hear him laugh, I laugh. So can you show him? Thank you. Keep wearing that bow tie. Ha-ha.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Thank you, Tony. We feel the same way. He is the great Michael Young. Mike young, there he is. One of the great laughers and floor directors of all time. It is a mirthless day when he‘s on vacation.
MICHAEL YOUNG, FLOOR DIRECTOR: Is it my last night?
CARLSON: No. You can never leave again.
Let me know what you‘re thinking. You can call 1-877-TCARLSON, or that‘s 877-822-7476. You can also send me your questions by our Web site. E-mail address Tucker@MSNBC.com. I respond every single day to anything you write, crackpot or not: culture, politics, fishing, you name it. I‘ll right back. Read the responses at Tucker@MSNBC.com.
Stay tuned, because still ahead on THE SITUATION, I don‘t care how hot the stripper is no lap dance should cost $2,500. So, how did they get stuck with that tab after a night in the champagne room? Of course the visit to “The Cutting Room” floor will give you the answer next.
CARLSON: Welcome back.
Time for “The Cutting Room” floor. You‘ve been waiting. The long wait is over. Here he is, Willie Geist.
WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC PRODUCER: Tucker, the Astros advance to the World Series tonight. The Astros/White Sox, who do you like?
CARLSON: Obviously, the great Lance Berkman of the Houston Astros.
I‘m a supporter. I‘m a fan.
GEIST: Go ‘stros.
CARLSON: All right. Someone, somewhere in this country just got off the phone after telling his boss to get bent. We hope so anyway. That‘s because that person just won $340 million in tonight‘s Powerball drawing. In case you missed them, the numbers are 49, 21, 44, 7, 43, and the powerball number is 29.
CARLSON: We know a lot of our viewers played Lotto. The $340 million pot is the second largest in U.S. Lottery history. The odds were winning one in 146 million. Let me say it‘s a record I completely disapprove of government-run Lotteries passionately. Yes I do.
GEIST: Giving out Lottery numbers? Do you traffic and weather on the 1‘s, too? Come on. But that is a deceptive number, 340. If you take the lump sum, it‘s $164 million after taxes. And why even bother?
GEIST: Like $112 million.
CARLSON: At least the mafia run numbers. You know what I mean?
GEIST: Support the mafia. Good call, Tucker.
CARLSON: The lawnmowers are not just for cutting the grass any more. If you have got a high-performance riding mower—and who doesn‘t—and a heavy foot, you might just have a future on U.S. Lawnmower racing circuit. These guys reach speeds of 60 miles an hour on their supped up mowers. The blades have been removed for safety. The Lawnmower Racing Associate emphasizes these are special lawnmowers, you should not attempt to race the family mower at home.
GEIST: Sound advice. You know, I‘m a sports guy, Tucker. But we may have reached court saturation in this country when there is an organized lawnmower racing league. We should not accept new applicants to the sports landscape.
CARLSON: Honestly, I think that‘s a lot more compelling than basketball. I do.
GEIST: Take the blades off.
CARLSON: The risk of death is higher. That is kind of weak.
The diligent students at the College of Charleston in South Carolina -
· one of the prettiest schools in America—have undertaken a noble academic pursuit. They are attempting to set the world record for most people in a human wheelbarrow race: 172 pairs—that‘s 344 people if you‘re a math major, competed in the 55-yard race. The students are waiting for word from the Guiness Book of World Records to see if they officially broke the record which is held by who, Willie Geist?
GEIST: I have no idea.
CARLSON: Come on.
GEIST: But you know what? Guiness needs to take a couple of years off. They‘re starting to cheapen the brand with records like this. I think I just broke a world record walking into the studio.
CARLSON: You did. I don‘t think anybody is a tougher critic of the Guiness company than you are. You are on their case.
GEIST: Well, they need to relax. There are too many world records.
It should be an achievement.
CARLSON: I agree with that. That‘s for cards...
CARLSON: Getting so political.
Well, the lesson of this next story is that you should always read the fine print on your travel brochure. A group of British senior citizens recently booked a relaxing getaway to Cancun. When they arrived, they found themselves in the middle of a massive swingers‘ party.
The shocked seniors were surrounded by nude swimmers playing sex games and doing what swingers do, fill in the blank. And the tourists requested a refund. No dice. Denied.
GEIST: Right. It was a big accident that happened upon this place. You know what really happened? The grand kids got their hands on some vacation pictures they weren‘t supposed to see. And they went into defense mode, you know what I mean?
CARLSON: That‘s my first thought as I was reading that.
We have another story of confusion from the world of adult entertainment tonight. Some teenagers who ran up a $2,500 dance tab at an Albequerque, New Mexico strip joint have been excused by a prosecutor from paying their bill. The 18-year-olds thought they were receiving a long $30 lap dance in the VIP fantasy room in Albequeque, but they didn‘t understand each song constitutes one lap dance. Eighty-two songs later, $2,500 bucks they owed.
GEIST: Tucker, good job by the DA here. Don‘t punish these kids for life. Let them go. Let them learn. One song per lap dance. We take it for granted, but since they‘re so young.
CARLSON: Since we got a teacher.
That‘s THE SITUATION for tonight. Thanks for watching. I‘ll be coming to you live tomorrow night from Los Angeles. We‘ve got a great show planned, so be sure to tune in.
Up next, “COUNTDOWN” with Keith Olbermann. Have a great night.
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