Guests: Deborah Orin, Kenneth Bazinet, Bill Straub, Doug Brinkley, Holly Phillips, Beth Holloway Twitty, Steve York, Ryan Capes
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: Rita, by the way, that special report looks fascinating. I have talked to family members who have lost loved ones across the border, teenagers, women in their young 20s. It is such a tragic situation. I know that‘s going to be a great show. I‘m looking forward to it.
RITA COSBY, MSNBC HOST: It‘s gut wrenching, and you know what is amazing, Joe, just to see how firsthand these borders are so porous. People are just going to drop their jaw when they see these pictures, what they see.
SCARBOROUGH: It is something. It really is unbelievable, and I tell you what, more and more Americans I talk to on both sides of the political aisle, they are fed up. This is a story that needs to be told, Rita. I am certainly looking forward to it.
COSBY: Thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, tonight‘s top headline for us, a war in Washington, one senator calls political Armageddon. Is it partisan politics gone wild, or is it more business as usual in the Nation‘s Capitol? Democrats close the Senate. Republicans cry lockdown. Bill Frist accuses Democrats of hijacking democracy while Democrats accuse the president of lying.
Meanwhile, on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue, the battered Bush boys battled back from the worst week since moving into the big house. A top-notch nominee, a refocused Karl Rove, and a political mountain to climb. The Bush White House in crisis, but appearing tonight to be ready to fight.
Tonight, we have a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY report from inside the West Wing. Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, no passport required, only common sense allowed.
Hey, thanks for joining a lot for being with me tonight. I greatly appreciate it. You know, we got a lot of news to cover from inside the White House and across Capitol Hill, and we are going to tell you what this fight means to you and your family, and more importantly, what it‘s going to mean for American society over the next 20, 30 years. I mean, this Alito pick is that important.
Also, Natalee Holloway‘s mother returned today to Aruba, and she is shocked at the shabby treatment that she has been getting from uncooperative Aruban authorities. She wants answers, and tonight she is going to be here in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to tell us how the search for the missing ‘Bama girl is going.
But first, we go to Washington, and tonight, we are taking you inside the West Wing with the reporters who can give us the latest on the political battle that one senior senator is calling a political Armageddon.
After Katrina, Scooter Libby, the 2000th death in Iraq, plummeting polls, and especially that failed nomination of Harriet Miers, President Bush‘s second term was beginning to resemble a punch-line. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY LENO, TALK SHOW HOST: According to the “National Enquirer,” this is the “National Enquirer,” they say President Bush has started drinking again. Well, he will do anything to get Ted Kennedy‘s support for that Supreme Court nominee. That‘s what it‘s all about.
DAVID LETTERMAN, TALK SHOW HOST: And what about Harriet Miers?
JON STEWART, TALK SHOW HOST: Harriet Miers is an excellent choice. My feeling is, and again, I have no real research on this, he is planning on gay marrying. I believe that the president of the United States has fallen in love with a man. And has put his lawyer on the court to help, let‘s say, smooth the transition.
LETTERMAN: I see.
SCARBOROUGH: But what a difference a week makes. With the bold nomination of the stellar conservative jurist Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court vacancy left by O‘Connor, and Karl Rove‘s pass from prosecution and the White House‘s aggressive call to fight the bird flu epidemic today, the president seemed to be gaining footing, and later on, Democrats closed down the Senate.
Here‘s NBC‘s Chip Reid with that story.
CHIP REID, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the usually courteous Senate, it was a stun and go brazen move.
SEN. HARRY REID, (D) MINORITY LEADER: I now move that Senate go into closed session.
C. REID: With no warning to Republicans, Democratic leader Harry Reid forced the Senate to go behind closed doors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: . directs the sergeant at arms to clear all galleries, close all doors.
C. REID: Where Democrats demanded a Senate investigation into the administration‘s use of intelligence in the Iraq War. The Republican response was fast and furious.
SEN. BILL FRIST, ® MAJORITY LEADER: The Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership.
C. REID: Leader Bill Frist calling the move a slap in the face and a political stunt.
FRIST: It shows the emptiness of the other side of the aisle. This is an affront to me personally. It‘s an affront to our leadership.
C. REID: But Democrats say they had no choice, noting that 15 months ago, key Republicans promised an investigation into whether the administration manipulated intelligence leading up to the war in Iraq.
SEN. PAT ROBERTS, ® INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Even as I am speaking, our staff is working on phase two, and we will get it done.
C. REID: The closed-door session lasted two hours, and at the end a deal. Republicans agreed to move ahead with the investigation.
FRIST: This task force of six senators will meet and report back to the leadership no later than the close of business on November 14.
C. REID: And Democrats declared victory.
H. REID: After months and months and months of begging, cajoling, writing letters, we are finally going to be able to have phase two of the investigation.
C. REID (on camera): Democrats say today‘s action was triggered by last week‘s indictment of White House aide Scooter Libby, which Democrats say opened a window on White House efforts to shape intelligence before the war.
Chip Reid, NBC News, the Capitol.
SCARBOROUGH: So after the Senate was shut down, what is the mood in the White House tonight? The Senate being hijacked is our first issue, and with me now to talk about it, four political reporters who know the White House well, obviously. We‘ve got Kenneth Bazinet, he is “Daily News‘” White House correspondent, we also have Bill Straub, he‘s Scripps Howard White House correspondent. We‘ve got Deborah Orin from the “New York Post,” and Howard Fineman of “Newsweek”.
Howard, let me begin with you. They are talking political Armageddon in Washington, DC. Is that hyperbole, are we about to see a battle royale over Alito, over WMDs, over all of these issues? It seems to be exploding.
HOWARD FINEMAN, NBC NEWS ANALYST: Joe, if I can use an obscure
reference to ice hockey, they have dropped the gloves. I don‘t know how
much ice hockey there is in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, but they are ready to fight. I think both sides see it in their interest.
I think the White House decided after the Harriet Miers fiasco, that they needed to get their base back together and they needed to reassume the identity that the Bush presidency has always had, which is starting from the base, and work working out from there.
And on the Democratic side, they are looking forward to the 2006 elections. They want to get the argument back on the war in Iraq, which is really unpopular, weapons of mass destruction, and they want to give themselves a sense of fighting spirit. That‘s why they threw a monkey wrench into everything on the floor of the Senate today.
SCARBOROUGH: Deborah Orin, talk about the White House, last week, it was in meltdown. Today, obviously they have got to know that their conservative base is re-energized by this Alito pick, and even with the Democrats behaving what they would think at least badly on the floor, how is the White House feeling tonight? Take us behind closed doors there.
DEBORAH ORIN, “NEW YORK POST”: Well, I don‘t know that I can take you behind closed doors, but I think the simple thing to say is they are feeling a lot better than they were a week ago. The indictment in the CIA leak case is simply of Scooter Libby. It focuses only on actions he committed. There‘s no suggestion of a broader problem, and I think that‘s what triggered today‘s little Democratic temper tantrum in the Senate. They were dreaming of major league indictments that would ensnare who knew how many people. I mean, you could read rumors, 19, 29, whatever, and it turned out to be a very small indictment.
The prosecutor said it was not about the war. The prosecutor did not say Valerie Plame was an outed covert agent, and so the Democrats, hoping that the prosecutor was going to do their work for them, suddenly have to find another way to get things going. I don‘t think today‘s little temper tantrum did much.
I think the American people look at this, and they just say, a plague on both your houses. Pass a (ph) section two, what is this investigation?
ORIN: It‘s all process, process, process, what are they all screaming about?
SCARBOROUGH: Ken, let me ask you what the White House is thinking about tonight, about what happened on the floor today, on the Alito selection. Are they feeling fairly confident?
KENNETH BAZINET, “DAILY NEWS”: I think that they were blind-sided more than anything else. No one knew this was coming, and as one person put it, that really surprised me, when did the Democrats find their own Karl Rove? This was a brilliant political move. If you war-game this thing, and nobody really, really expected—there was no heads-up.
A lot of us were educated today to one of those wonderfully obscure Senate rules again, but I have to take issue with one thing that Deb said. She is absolutely right that the indictment triggered this, but if you talk to people who were behind those closed doors today, you will also hear that they go one step farther. They say, you are right, the indictment made us very angry, but last week, we crossed the threshold.
We have to tell more than 2,000 American families now that they have lost their loved ones, and we are not quite sure what the real reason that we got into this war was all about, so it‘s very, very complicated at this point, and I think that you are accurate when you call it Armageddon.
SCARBOROUGH: Bill, let me bring you in here. Let‘s go on and talk about not just what happened today, but let‘s talk about Sam Alito, the selection that was made on Monday. I really have not heard of conservatives—heard conservatives as energized as, well, my gosh, the night that George Bush beat John Kerry a year ago.
Do you think the conservative base is going to come around to the president and help him get this pass, or do you think it‘s going to be a political battle that we are going to be talking about months from now?
BILL STRAUB, SCRIPPS HOWARD: Well, sort of, Joe, like the mountain wouldn‘t come to President Bush over his pick of Harriet Miers, so he went to the mountain and came up with one of the people that the conservative base really wanted, and in a sense, frankly, it was done out of a weakness because it wound up that he nominated somebody and gave them for their bad behavior, in a sense. That .
SCARBOROUGH: You are talking conservatives that said they would not take Harriet Miers.
STRAUB: They would not accept Harriet Miers, and if the president was in a strong position, I don‘t believe they ever would have said anything like that.
SCARBOROUGH: Take us inside the White House. I understand, and I heard in Washington last week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday that this president was extraordinarily angry at the way Harriet Miers was being treated. Can you give us any confirmation on that?
STRAUB: Oh, yeah. I mean, well, he was irritated for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that Harriet Miers is a good friend of his, and I am sure he didn‘t appreciate the fact that her name was being battered around like it was, but eventually they had to come to the conclusion that this was a lost cause, and he had to go back to his base eventually, and that‘s where the Alito pick came from.
Then over the weekend, of course he was up at Camp David, and I imagine they all sat around the table and said, well, what can we do now to get back on the right track, then on Monday, came the Alito pick. Then on Tuesday, came the announcement that he intends to ask Congress to spend $7.1 billion, to, among other things, create 20 million, I think, doses of the vaccine for the bird flu.
SCARBOROUGH: The bird flu, right.
STRAUB: Just another thing where he is trying to shift the focus of attention from Harriet Miers and from, as was previously said, the war.
SCARBOROUGH: Scooter Libby.
Howard Fineman, let me ask you the political side of this, and just the positioning of it. A lot of people were thinking the president needed to go back to his conservative base. We have talked about Ronald Reagan in 1986, in 1987, when Iran-Contra came up. Reagan was never really scathed, wasn‘t touched, because his base stayed with him.
Same thing with Bill Clinton in 1998, in 1999, his base stayed with him. Was the White House concerned last week, because of runaway spending, because of illegal immigration, because of Harriet Miers, because of Katrina, because of a lot of political missteps, he was in danger of losing some of his most really vocal supporters?
FINEMAN: I think so. I wrote about it. I called it a conservative crack-up, and Rush Limbaugh came back and said, no, there‘s going to be a conservative crackdown, and I think Rush Limbaugh ended up being right, because I think the president after the failed Miers nomination realized he had to get the base together and then come out with some kind of plan to take control of the flow of the news.
You know, what was going on inside the White House, as I understand it, last Friday, when Patrick Fitzgerald, the special counsel, was out there talking, it was a very grim, very quiet time around there as the president watched this very formidable political character in Patrick Fitzgerald, sort of unassailable, innocent-looking character, clean as the driven snow, talk about the first indictment of a ranking member of the White House staff, and since the Grant administration, this was tough, they went up there on the weekend and thought how do we try to seize control of the political agenda.
Alito, number one. Bird flu, as was talked about before. Now they are talking about tax reform, sweeping tax reform proposals. You are going to hear things about immigration reform, and they want this fight with the Democrats in the Senate. They probably feel around Karl Rove‘s office right now that Harry Reid did them a favor, because I think it‘s the fight the base wants and I actually think it‘s the fight that the Bush administration wants. This is the way George Bush has operated his entire time in Washington by picking fights. That‘s what he has done again.
SCARBOROUGH: He has done it again and I think it‘s a fight, you‘re exactly right, I think it‘s a fight that he wanted. I think it‘s actually a fight that the Senate Republicans wanted, because they think that somebody like Alito behind them, they are going to be in great shape.
Now, we are going to keep you are panel with us, because we got a lot more Washington to talk about. Coming up today, we are going to talk about how the president announced a multibillion dollar plan to fight the coming bird flu epidemic. And we‘re going to be asking our White House panel about that.
And a big city doctor, can this plan save us from a pandemic? We‘ll be talking about that and much more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. Tonight, we will take you inside the West Wing with reporters who can give us the latest on the battles the White House are now facing. Coming up next, we are going to be talking about the CIA leak investigation, but first, I want to bring in presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley, and Doug, I want to ask you about the Supreme Court pick.
You know, we are bombarded with so much news every day, that I think sometimes people forget the bigger ramifications when you have a pick like Sam Alito, who obviously if he gets on the court, is going to be joining Roberts, going to be joining Scalia, Thomas, for a very conservative voting block, and they are not just very conservative. All are very strong, especially Roberts, and Alito and Scalia, considered to be very, very strong legal minds.
What impact will that have on Americans over the next 20, 30 years, especially because this guy, like the chief justice, is relatively young?
DOUG BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, first we have got to see what happens with Judge Alito, and he is a very strong candidate. He has got an interesting background. People seem to like him. He is going to be a tough guy for Democrats to go after. If he gets confirmed and joins the Supreme Court, it‘s going to be a great triumph for the conservative movement.
That‘s why they were up in arms and complained so much about Harriet Miers. It wasn‘t her. She was generally a genial and smart woman, they really want as a movement, as an ideological movement, to have a very conservative Supreme Court, and particularly on the abortion issue.
SCARBOROUGH: Doug, when you talk about a conservative victory, I mean, we can talk about Roe v. Wade going back to 1973, but you can also talk about the war in court which has been the scourge of the conservative movement for the past 50 years, so when you talk about a victory for conservatives, it‘s not just a victory for one or two years. It‘s a victory for 20, 30 years, right?
BRINKLEY: Absolutely. Dwight Eisenhower was the one who appointed earl warren, and he at one point in the 1960s said it was the biggest mistake he ever made as a Republican.
SCARBOROUGH: And I think Brennan was number two.
BRINKLEY: That‘s right. And Ike was considered a moderate conservative, but what you have here is the fight for the soul of the nation, and it‘s going to be a King Daddy of a fight that democrats today, the drama that you saw at the beginning of your show, in the Senate is because this is the Democratic Party realizes, the takedown attempt by the conservatives, and they are going to come back.
The problem that I think the Democrats are going to have is they are going to have to go after the character of a judge who like Roberts seems so far to have extraordinary distinguished background, so Bush has very strong card to play, and right now, one would think he is going to get nominated, even though Democrats will try to take shots at him.
SCARBOROUGH: Ken, talk about how the White House is feeling tonight about Alito. Do they think he is going to pass?
BAZINET: Confident about him. And I think more importantly, you know, you have played this sport full contact, Joe. This is a White House that is hovering around 39 percent job approval rating for the president. You know, I think it‘s time to make sure the base is solid, because the middle is soft, and it‘s sort of like it‘s building a house again.
You know, you have got to build that basement, you have got to build that foundation and that basement before you get to the first floor, and so I really think that, you know, they are going to make this a real fight. What is really amazing, as you know, one of the key selling points on Harriet Miers was the fact that, well, she doesn‘t have any judicial experience.
She is sort of like the argument was, like, oh, she is a regular person, and now, you know, they have absolutely no problem just pivoting, and, you know, shooting that jump shot of the glass and saying, what we have here is a super star who has got more experience than anyone we have ever seen before, but I think politically, this is high stakes and full contact, and makes an awful lot of sense, I think, for the White House to really make sure that they give it everything they have.
SCARBOROUGH: And that the base is with them. And I have been saying for a couple of weeks, that‘s the difference between George Bush being at 37, 38 percent, and being at 44, 45 percent, having his conservative base with him, but he also did reach out to middle America today by talking about the bird flu, and a lot of people are asking, how afraid Americans should be of the bird flu, and whether the president‘s speech tonight was more about politics than good public policy.
Let‘s bring in right now Dr. Holly Phillips, she‘s from New York‘s Lennox Hill Hospital, a place that unfortunately I have had to visit before. It‘s a great hospital. I just don‘t like going to hospitals unless I‘m visiting.
DR. HOLLY PHILLIPS, LENNOX HILL HOSPITAL: Top notch.
SCARBOROUGH: It is top notch. Absolutely top notch, and they treated me very well. Let‘s talk, though, about the bird flu. Let‘s talk about what the president announced today. Reports were that as a country, far behind where we they‘d to be to face down this epidemic, talk about what you heard today. Is it a step in the right direction? Does he go far enough?
PHILLIPS: It‘s certainly a step in the right direction; $7.1 billion is a good start. With some of the estimates we have heard from the top health organizations, the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, it may not even be enough. Now, I hope it‘s all wasted. I hope the bird flu never hits us, but many officials are not saying, it‘s not a question of if, it‘s a question of when.
So what Bush really outlined today was a focused plan, how to build up stock piles of vaccines and antiviral medications, but something that‘s very important, is that he is trying to help us prepare the drug companies, the manufacturers, help them make vaccines faster and more efficiently. One of the ways he is going to do that is to hopefully limit frivolous lawsuits that have been holding them back in the past. You know, it‘s sort of a multifaceted approach, and it‘s certainly a good start.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, the thing is, we found out recently that the 1918 pandemic that just killed tens of millions of people across the globe actually started as bird flu too, but Deborah, let me bring you in and ask you whether you think the president‘s move today had to do with good public policy, or if he was just trying to move the political ball down the field, away from Scooter Libby, away from Harriet Miers, away from all the things that took his poll numbers down to the 30s.
ORIN: Well, look, maybe the timing of the speech right now might have been a convenient timing, but the fact is that the president spoke at some length at a press conference a couple of weeks ago about bird flu. He has been reading about the 1918 pandemic. They have been doing this stuff for a while, getting ready. I mean, I think probably the irony is this summer, on vacation, he was probably getting ready for bird flu when he should have been getting ready for Hurricane Katrina, so this is part of a broader policy and, Joe, if we could go back for a second to Judge Alito, I think one of the fascinating things, one of the reasons I think for the Democratic explosion today is they are starting to realize they do not have the votes to stop him. They do not have the votes to filibuster him.
And as a result, there isn‘t that much they can do, and I think that is part of what you are seeing, is the Democrats thought the Bush White House was a meltdown, and suddenly they are discovering, maybe not the Bush White House is on the rebound, but they are not able to take advantage of it.
All of these bad things happened to Bush, and they got nothing, or if you like, you know, the special prosecutor went to Washington, and all I got was a t-shirt that said Scooter Libby on it.
SCARBOROUGH: Scooter on it. You know, the thing, unfortunately, the Democrats are learning, unfortunately for them is the fact that it‘s true - I think it was Prime Minister Macmillan once said, in a politics, a week is a lifetime. This weekend, we found out three four days is a political lifetime in politics.
So hey, appreciate the panel being with us, and Doug Brinkley, I would like to mention, wrote the forward to the new book, “A Visual History of the World,” and we are certainly going to get Doug back as soon as we can to talk not only about that but also obviously to talk about his upcoming book on Hurricane Katrina.
We‘ll be right back in a minute with more SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, later in the show, I am going to show you some home video that my family took of me—wait, that‘s not me. Longest motorcycle jump in the world. The guy is trying to jump basically a football field. We will tell you whether he makes it or not later on in the show. But first, here‘s the latest news—no, that really wasn‘t me. I will give you the rest of the story later. Here‘s the latest news you and your family need to know.
SCARBOROUGH: We‘ve got a story coming up you are not going to believe. Ask the question, should the First Amendment protect college students‘ rights to make and broadcast their own porn using your tax dollars at public universities?
That‘s happening. That‘s what one California kid says that tuition money and student fees are paying for, which means, friends, you are paying for it.
Then, move over, Evel Knievel, there‘s a new dare devil in town. You want to see what happens with this jump? Stick around. We will show you later on.
Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. We‘ve got those stories and much more in a few minutes.
But first, Natalee Holloway now disappeared from Aruba five months ago, and her mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, is back on the island today demanding answers. Aruban Police Chief Gerald Dompig says he is continuing the investigation, but he wants more detailed statements from the Alabama teens that were on that fateful trip. Beth is supposed to meet with the Aruban authorities Thursday, and she is with us now in Aruba, Beth Holloway Twitty.
Beth, you are a long way from your Birmingham home. When we spoke there, you were very excited about having a new police chief in charge down there. How are things going? Are you still excited?
BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, MOTHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY: Well, you know, Joe, first of all, absolutely, we did welcome Deputy Dompig coming into Natalee‘s case. We did that early on, as early as June 5th. And also, we were looking forward to him, you know, getting involved in the investigation now.
But, you know, it just concerns me, some of the information that I have been hearing coming from Aruba. And I am here, I was hoping to clear the air on some of that, I was so hoping to meet with him today or tomorrow, but I have not been able to get a phone call returned from him, and don‘t really have a definitive meeting scheduled as of yet, but I am on the island, so it‘s very disheartening.
SCARBOROUGH: Also, you know, he was on a show earlier today, and even though the Aruban police are continuing to investigate Natalee‘s disappearance, it‘s still clear, Beth, that there‘s a lot of resentment about your being there. Let‘s hear what Dompig—again, here‘s the guy that you were saying wonderful things about when we had the interview in your home just a few weeks ago.
This is what he told MSNBC‘s Dan Abrams just earlier today.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GERALD DOMPIG, ARUBAN POLICE CHIEF: I object again to the fact that the mother comes in—the grieving mother comes in with a film crew, so that I think it will be—the time will best be spent to sit with the investigating team so that we can fill up all the blanks instead of coming over with a film crew. I don‘t know what that agenda is about.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: I tell you, Beth, I don‘t understand what his agenda is about right now, because obviously you want to do anything you could do to help with the investigation. You have been spending the past five months doing that. Why does it sound like he is actually attacking you when you have reached out and been very positive about him taking over this investigation?
TWITTY: Well, Joe, I don‘t know, and I know that you know me, and as well as every viewer that you have ever reached, they know that I simply did not come in with a large film crew. I came in with a teacher friend, Joe, and that‘s just simply not true that I came in with a large film crew.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, it sounds like he is actually trying to stir up even more resentment on the island. Can you tell us, is there something going on behind the scenes that we don‘t know about, is he being pressured by Dutch authorities, or being pressured by some powerful families on that island?
TWITTY: You know, Joe, I don‘t know, but we have to keep thinking it has to be way bigger than these three perpetrators that have involvement in Natalee‘s disappearance, and this crime committed against her, the gang rape and her disappearance.
It‘s just not limited to these three perpetrators. And, you know, as far as—if another media happens to be on the island or finds out I am here, you know, I can‘t help that, Joe, but, you know.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes. Well, he also—we understand that he was talking about the possibility of doing more searches off the coast, and expanding the investigation. I understand right now those searches haven‘t moved forward yet either, is that correct?
TWITTY: Well, that‘s correct, and as of yesterday, I think the remaining searchers pulled out because a request had to come from the prosecutor‘s office or the police department for the FBI‘s assistance, and they knew how to contact the FBI, and this information—the necessary equipment that we needed from the FBI would cause us to move forward in this search.
And, you know, the depth of the waters now, it‘s three to five miles into the ocean, and it‘s just exceeded the current equipment that‘s on the island, so we needed some additional help from the FBI, but they will not make that request to the FBI.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Beth, it sounds so disheartening, because, again, you were so excited about this new police chief coming in. It sounds like the new police chief is acting a lot like the old police chief. Are you ready at this point—if he doesn‘t step forward, and, again, starts actively seeking the truth in this case, are you ready to move forward with calling for a possible boycott of Aruba?
TWITTY: Well, I think we are absolutely ready to move forward with some other movement. If it turns towards that, it‘s a very sad day, because we have really given them so many opportunities to come forward, and you know, we have had so many setbacks as it is, Joe, as far as how the case has been mishandled all along.
And you know, there‘s just no way we can get off track for a moment, and, you know, it‘s already been five months too long, and we have to keep the investigation on helping Natalee and finding her. And if they choose not to do that, I see no other path for us.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, before we go, I want to clear this up, because, again, we understand there is the new police chief in there. I had understood the old police chief had possibly left the island. Do you know if he is having any influence in this investigation? Do you think he could possibly be pressuring Dompig, who, really, he has done a 180. I mean, this guy has completely changed the path of this investigation since we spoke a couple of weeks ago. You think he may be feeling some pressure from the old police chief?
TWITTY: Well, it certainly appears that way to me, and I—hopefully while I am here, I will find out more definitive information on Van Der Sloot‘s involvement. I think that it has still been quite heavy. I don‘t think that it was ever, ever—he was ever removed from the case. I think he has kept his hand in it quite frequently.
SCARBOROUGH: And I will tell you what, with all of the connections—close connections he has with obviously key families on that island, that is so disheartening. Beth Holloway Twitty, thank you so much for being with us. We are going to stay with you in the coming days and weeks, and if you need to get any information out to Americans, let us know, obviously, we are all very interested in joining in a boycott. We are just waiting for your word. So thanks so much, and good luck and God bless down there.
TWITTY: Thanks for the support, Joe, thank you so much.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, good talking to you again.
I am joined now by Tucker Carlson, he is the host of “THE SITUATION
WITH TUCKER CARLSON.”
Tucker, I will tell you what, a political meltdown in Washington, D.C. today, I take it that‘s part of “THE SITUATION” tonight, right.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION”: It is, unbelievable, really, emotions flaring in the United States Senate, not a place where people feel free to express themselves emotionally very often. We are going to talk to a senator who was there. We will explain what exactly happened.
We are also going to look much deeper into Judge Alito‘s beliefs about things. You are hearing that he supports machine gun ownership. We are going to take a very close look at the decision people are citing and see if that‘s really what it says.
And then, we‘re talking.
SCARBOROUGH: Wait, wait, hold on, hold on, hold on, Tucker. We hear that from James Carville. That doesn‘t count.
CARLSON: No, no, no. Actually we are hearing that—check it out. We are hearing a lot about this decision, right here, Rybar versus U.S., 1996.
SCARBOROUGH: Machine guns.
CARLSON: But people are saying Alito is for the private ownership of machine guns, which has been illegal since the 1930s. And it‘s a really.
CARLSON: We actually read the dissent, it‘s really interesting, and it‘s different. Then we are going to talk to the publisher of The Weekly World News about “I Was Bigfoot‘s Love Slave,” and other timeless headlines such as that. It‘s going to be awesome.
SCARBOROUGH: Tucker, OK, so we have got the future of the U.S.
CARLSON: That‘s right.
SCARBOROUGH: We have got the Senate meltdown.
SCARBOROUGH: And we have got Bigfoot‘s love slave.
CARLSON: And you have got porn on campus, which I am going to stay tuned for, by the way.
SCARBOROUGH: It‘s huge. Don‘t rub it in.
SCARBOROUGH: OK. Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: Thanks, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Make sure you tune into “THE SITUATION” next at 11:00. Coming up next, as Tucker said, and what a tease it was from Tucker, controversy on campus: a student TV station funded by your taxpayer money, airing home-made porn. Is this too high of a price to pay for free speech? I say it is, but it‘s tonight‘s “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY Showdown.” You shouldn‘t be paying for it.
And an unbelievable jump into the record books. We are going to be talking live to the young daredevil who made the jump. You‘ve got to see. Obviously if we are talking to him, he didn‘t land on his head. We‘ll show you how he did land though when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: University of California, San Diego, is embroiled in a controversy as a pornography video made by a student and starring that student has once again aired on the student-run television station. Now, the station‘s $8,000 annual budget is paid for by student fees, and the student council voted last week to finally ban nudity and graphic sex from the student station. I am joined now though by the video‘s director and star, Steve York, and student senator Kate—is it Pie-lon?
KATE PILLON, UCSD STUDENT GOVERNMENT: Pill-in, just pretend like the O is an I.
SCARBOROUGH: OK. There you go. Kate Pillon, who was vocal in her support of the ban.
Steve, let me start with you. We have had you on before.
STEVE YORK, STUDENT PORN PRODUCER STAR: How is it going, Joe?
SCARBOROUGH: Why are you—hey, Steve, it‘s going great. Why are you doing this? Why are you still fighting this fight?
YORK: Because I think this is a really distinct and important battle, both—for First Amendment student expression. After both myself and my show, “Koala TV,” was banned in February, and we dealt with the sanctions and waited until October 5th when the student council in a 9-1 vote decided not to take this same sexual material ban, we decided that it was time to come back after our vice chancellor threatened to pull the plug on the entire station because the student council did not make these changes. So we did it for a political statement to really have fun, to raise this issue...
SCARBOROUGH: OK, OK, so Steve, this is where you lose me, though.
SCARBOROUGH: I mean, if you want to go out and film porn of yourself and girls, that is your business. I am a libertarian, OK? But I don‘t want to pay for it. People in California don‘t want to pay for it. Students who were forced to pay student fees don‘t want to pay for it. I mean, it‘s not free speech if we are subsidizing it, is it?
YORK: Unfortunately, I have to disagree with you, Joe. A majority of students do support this material, and its broadcast.
PILLON: Where do you get your numbers, Steve?
YORK: Where do I get my numbers? I get my numbers from numerous different polls, from talking with hundreds of students, and even, Kate, you yourself admit you have to protect a not-insignificant minority. What is that? I am sick of this whole idea of moral views and we have to protect the minority when...
SCARBOROUGH: OK. Well, let‘s talk about—do you have religious broadcasting on this closed circuit station? If somebody decided to go on and have the Jesus hour of power.
YORK: It would totally fine.
SCARBOROUGH: . would the state university allow that?
YORK: Yes, because SRTV is fully content neutral. It does not matter what your political affiliation or religious affiliation or what you want to do on this programming. You are free to come in and do it, and SRTV will help you.
SCARBOROUGH: OK. So what.
PILLON: SRTV is viewpoint neutral. There‘s a difference between viewpoint and content neutrality, Steve, you have to admit that.
SCARBOROUGH: Kate, help me out here. You opposed this obviously from the very beginning and I understand that you are....
PILLON: Yes, I did, that 9-1 vote, I was that 1.
SCARBOROUGH: And I understand also though that Steve actually superimposed your face on a video? Could you explain that?
PILLON: Well, his most recent episode was the same one as the previous week, except you are right, my face was superimposed onto the girl‘s body, and there were lewd comments made, there were names being called, and it was interesting.
SCARBOROUGH: Is that a First Amendment exercise on your part too, because I‘ve got to tell you, it sounds like a terrible thing to do.
YORK: I hate to say it to you, Joe, but the First Amendment does protect low-brow satire of public figures, and Kate is a public figure.
SCARBOROUGH: But why do I have to pay for it, Steve, you can do whatever you want to do.
PILLON: Don‘t make this a First Amendment issue.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Steve, you can do whatever you want to do. If you want to take pictures, if you want to go get PhotoShop, and you want to cut my face out of it and put it on a naked body, I don‘t care.
PILLON: But we aren‘t obligated to air it.
SCARBOROUGH: . I don‘t want to pay for it. And I don‘t want.
YORK: Joe, you are not paying for it. Will you get over that? This is not a taxpayer issue.
SCARBOROUGH: I am not going to get over that. You are at a public university. You are using equipment used by the public university. It‘s being broadcast...
YORK: That students paid for.
SCARBOROUGH: . over a public university system.
YORK: That students directly paid for.
SCARBOROUGH: The students—hold on a second. You are required—every student on that public university campus is required to pay student fees. They don‘t have the choice to opt out, do they?
YORK: Ah, yes, they do. There is a full refund policy for any sort of A.S.-funded activity or media organization where if students do have a problem with it, there‘s a refund procedure for them to fill out, and they will get their money back. Students, on the average, pay roughly 35 cents an entire year for SRTV, I think that pales in comparison, compared to religious organizations or programming like concerts, so $8,000, they will get their 35 cents a year back. And if they want that option, they certainly do have it.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, Kate, Steve is telling us that no tax dollars are being paid here, despite the fact that again, it‘s at a public university. It‘s obviously there‘s wiring for the closed circuitry. This isn‘t a free ride. Is your main objection the taxpayer-funded side of it, or is it a moral issue?
PILLON: Well, no, no, it‘s neither a moral nor a taxpayer side of the issue. We maintain that it is student fee-fund and student-controlled, and because—and it‘s student-controlled through the student government, of which I am a part and who has taken action on this issue because it‘s our responsibility to take accountability for our service, and make sure that we are send sending a positive message. This isn‘t a free speech issue.
YORK: Take accountability in censoring a politically.
PILLON: This isn‘t censorship, Steve.
YORK: . protected—yes, it is. You‘re censoring.
PILLON: No, it‘s not.
YORK: You are actively.
PILLON: This is not a First Amendment issue.
YORK: You are reactively censoring a program.
PILLON: I am not telling you.
SCARBOROUGH: Wait, hold on a second, hold on a second. Steve, hold on a second, Steve.
PILLON: Hold on, let me respond to his censorship.
SCARBOROUGH: You talked about a politically important program or politically protected program. You are having sex with a girl on film. I‘m sorry.
PILLON: Right, let me talk about censorship for a minute, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: This isn‘t exactly Thomas Jefferson standing in the public square here, Steve.
YORK: Well, there‘s a distinct difference, because we have the—we could go down to the Library Walk at any date, and show this material.
PILLON: Right, and we aren‘t trying to stop you from doing that.
What we‘re trying to stop.
YORK: But that‘s not our point because we have an audience in mind.
That our audience at.
PILLON: What we are saying is that we are not obligated.
YORK: . 10:30, 11:00 at night.
PILLON: . to show your pornography. We are not obligated to air it.
YORK: Oh, so you are not obligated to protect students‘ speech.
PILLON: You can make it. You can distribute it. You can show it on Library Walk. That‘s not what we‘re saying.
YORK: Kate, Kate, Kate, where were you when pro-war students were chased out of Warren College Television and it was shut down indefinitely? I didn‘t hear you speak up against the school administration.
PILLON: Warren College TV is administration-run.
SCARBOROUGH: All right.
YORK: And you could have just.
SCARBOROUGH: We are getting down to the weeds, as they say in the Panhandle. Steve York, Kate Pillon, take it out on the streets. Continue the fight. We appreciate you being there. Bottom line, it‘s a public university. We are all paying for it. They shouldn‘t—they just shouldn‘t allow this to be on any TV station that is funded by the universities. And of course, you know, if Steve wants to do this in his own bedroom, that‘s his business. Not mine. But again, I don‘t want you to have to pay for it.
Coming up next, they call him “The One,” and here‘s why. This motorcycle daredevil is here to show us how he jumped into the record books when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. Now there is a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY story, yee-haw, roll Tide.
SCARBOROUGH: He is known as “The One,” and on Saturday, he set the all-time distance record by nailing a motorcycle jump of 310 feet. That‘s as long as a football field, and our redneck producers in Pensacola, Florida, had their firsts extended in the air. This is a slice of heaven for them. How exciting. His name is Ryan Capes, and he is here to tell us how he did it.
Ryan, amazing, man. I grew up watching Evel Knievel try to make these insane jumps. When did you decide that this is how you wanted to spend your life?
RYAN CAPES, MOTORCYCLE DAREDEVIL: You know, I started riding back in the day, you know, and I watched Evel and his son, and I just thought it was the craziest thing in the world. And about four years ago, I set forth on a goal to jump farther than any man has jumped before.
And, you know, I started setting world records, and my eighth world record, I landed 310 feet, so it was a lifelong dream.
SCARBOROUGH: Unbelievable. And I understand you have had 37 broken bones?
CAPES: Yes, I have broken 37 bones. It‘s been a long and hard road.
SCARBOROUGH: I was going to ask how you practiced to be able to do what you did on Saturday. Obviously you took a lot of nasty spills.
CAPES: Yes, yes, my most recent one, I got my spleen removed, a major organ in my body.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes. My gosh. Hey, is there any money in this?
CAPES: Oh, yes, for sure. I mean, you know, obviously it‘s what I do for a living, but it‘s also a passion too. So it‘s greatly rewarded.
SCARBOROUGH: Wow, and I will tell you what, what a job.
CAPES: Thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: I know that you have been working for years to be able to land what you landed on Saturday. It is incredible video. And we thank you for being with us tonight.
Hey, we will be right back in a minute. That‘s unbelievable.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, that‘s all the time we have for tonight. Make sure you stick around now for “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON.” It starts right now.
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