Guest: Dan Murphy, Reuel Marc Gebrecht, Todd Chretien, Max Kellerman, Brad Stein
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”: Thanks for joining us. That‘s all the time we have, though. THE SITUATION with Tucker Carlson starts right now.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Thanks, Joe. Thanks to all of you at home for sticking with us tonight. We appreciate it.
We‘ve got a lot for you, including tax on the U.S. military by some in the state of California and a new TV sex study that proves to be quite revealing.
We begin tonight with the developing tragedy in Jordan. Three simultaneous explosions rocked U.S.-based hotels in Amman just before 9 p.m. local time. A Radisson, Grand Hyatt, and a Days Inn were all struck by apparent suicide bombs. At least 57 people are now dead, more than 115 have been wounded. That‘s just the count so far. We‘ll update it as we get more.
NBC News has also learned that a car full of explosives was found in a parking garage at the Meridian hotel, which is near a Marriott Hotel.
Jordan‘s deputy prime minister said Abu Musab al-Zarqawi—he‘s the al Qaeda leader in Iraq, who was born in Jordan—is what he calls now the prime suspect.
Dan Murphy is the Middle East correspondent for the “Christian Science Monitor.” He frequently travels to and from Amman, Jordan. Mr. Murphy has stayed at the Grand Hyatt Hotel that was bombed this afternoon. He joins us now live by phone from Cairo.
Dan Murphy, thanks a lot for coming on.
DAN MURPHY, “CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR”: My pleasure.
CARLSON: Now tell us about who stays at these hotels. Why would these hotels be potential targets?
MURPHY: Well, you know, the simple fact that they‘re all American chains is the first thing that leaps to mind.
And then, you know, both the Grand Hyatt, and to a certain extent, the Radisson as well, would be businessmen‘s hotels, and business in Jordan these days, in particular, means contractors and journalists and aid workers, and all sorts of people that come and go from Iraq. And remember, Zarqawi tried to hit the Radisson before in 2000, so if you were going to blow stuff up in Amman, these are natural targets.
CARLSON: So these hotels, and Amman itself, is a staging ground for contractors and nonmilitary personnel going into Iraq and back? Is that right?
MURPHY: Absolutely. I mean, and remember, there‘s probably, you know, million members of the Iraqi middle class that have fled the country and now live in Jordan since the war began.
CARLSON: So is it—do you think it‘s possible that this could be some sort of internescent (ph) battle going on, between Iraqis, because I noticed that one of the—one of the main targets of the bombing, which was a wedding, with about 300 people in a wedding hall, didn‘t appear to include a lot of westerners.
MURPHY: That‘s possible, but I mean, again, you know, I would assume it is people connected to Zarqawi. And long before he had much or any interest in Iraq, his main target was always his own home country, where he spent a lot of time in jail in the 1990‘s and before, first on a sexual assault charge, and later on fairly serious terrorism charges.
And if you look at his track, he‘s always really had a lot of vitriol for monarchy, and its alliance with U.S. and its peace deal with Israel.
CARLSON: Do you think of Jordan as a stable, peaceful country whose government is essentially pro-American? Is the situation there, you think, destabilizing? Is it becoming dangerous? Have you noticed that when you have been there lately?
MURPHY: I have never, ever felt in danger in Jordan, and you‘re right about the regime there being all those things in terms of being pro-American, but, you know, it‘s certainly not an elected government. This is, after all, a monarchy.
And so while the leaders (ph) of Jordan are comfortable with the United States, it‘s also the case that the U.S. is very, very strong sort of influence, particularly in some towns like Zarq (ph), where Zarqawi is from, you know, who both—lots of people both hate America and hate their own rulers.
CARLSON: Tell me about the security at the Grand Hyatt when you were there, and then security in Amman in general.
MURPHY: You know, there‘s some security, and you might—sometimes there might be metal detectors at doors, but you can bring cars right up to the front of any of these hotels without getting searched.
You know, in many Arab capitals now, you know, I‘ve lived in Indonesia for years. Even in Indonesia now, if you want to drive into the driveways of major hotels, particularly ones with American links, you get stopped and have your trunk opened and looked at. And Jordan has not felt it needed those types of security measures until now. That‘s probably going to change.
CARLSON: I bet it‘s going to change tomorrow morning. Dan Murphy of the “Christian Science Monitor” joining us live from Cairo. Thanks a lot.
MURPHY: Thank you.
CARLSON: Joining us live tonight from Washington, D.C., a former CIA Officer, specializing in the Middle East, Reuel Gerecht. He‘s also the author of a stinging column, a smart column in today‘s “Wall Street Journal” about his former employer, the CIA.
Reuel, thanks a lot for joining us.
REUEL MARC GERECHT, FORMER CIA SPECIALIST IN THE MIDDLE EAST:
CARLSON: First off, what do you—what do you make of these bombings today in Amman? Do these have the hallmarks of al Qaeda action?
GERECHT: Sure, I mean, they definitely look as if they are associated with al Qaeda and Islamic extremist group. If they‘re suicide bombing, I think that more or less clinches it.
CARLSON: Zarqawi gets credit for, boy, it seems like almost everything that happens in Iraq, and now in Jordan. Are his tentacles long enough to accomplish all the things he‘s credited with accomplishing?
GERECHT: Well, I‘m not sure everything, but certainly a hit in Jordan wouldn‘t be terribly difficult for him. I mean, Jordan can be a fairly effective police state when it wants to be, but as the “Christian Science Monitor” reporter I think noted well, it‘s actually—Amman is a fairly open town, and to do this wouldn‘t be all that challenging.
CARLSON: All right. Now, you were a CIA officer for a long time, specializing in the Middle East. You have a really remarkable piece in the “Wall Street Journal” today, making the point that Valerie Plame, Valerie Wilson, Joseph Wilson‘s wife, whose cover was blown, probably her cover being blown didn‘t have a great effect on the agency‘s ability to do its job, because the cover of your average CIA officer isn‘t very good in the first place. Is that a fair characterization?
GERECHT: Yes. The cover overseas for most agency officers is from weak to nonexistent, and it‘s been that way for decades, and the agency really doesn‘t much care about that.
And the notion that Ms. Plame had a sensitive cover is pretty ridiculous. I mean, if the agency were honest, they would enumerate what her past tasks have been, and it would be quickly evident to outsiders that her cover was, to put it politely, thin.
CARLSON: Well, give us the evidence for that. Why do you say her cover must have been thin?
GERECHT: Well, one, I mean, she was in the counter-proliferation division. She was involved—I believe had been involved in training. The extent to which—I think actually—I don‘t want to go into too many details, but I think actually her cover was taken away and lifted by the agency for some of her activities abroad. And that you might say that she was operating more or less out in the open, vis-a-vis other intelligence services on occasion.
And if, in fact, she was operating on what you might call a knock of convenience, that is someone who does very limited activity abroad on a very short-term basis, that cover is, again, it‘s very, very weak. It can‘t stand up much, and it‘s what you would expect for someone based at headquarters, which is not someplace you really have a terribly sensitive cover.
CARLSON: You write, and I‘m quoting your piece now, “Compromised officers,” that is officers whose identities are known to foreign governments, “continue to run agents and to try to develop foreigners for recruitment, knowing full well the host security services know who they are.”
That strikes me as counter-productive at best and contrary to everything we think we know about the CIA and its secrecy. Why in the world would the CIA do that?
GERECHT: Well, for the easiest and most natural of reasons. That was the quickest way the agency could develop after 1947. The organization was really a global organization within two or three years. The only way you could do that was to develop a cadre of what we call inside officers, people who carry usually diplomatic cover. That cover isn‘t terribly good.
The agency has largely depended upon host countries, largely not being hostile to it, not adverse to it, and officers trying to do developmental work, knowing full well, the host service, if not other hostile service, has a pretty good idea of who you are.
You are supposed to, if you‘re running agents, you know, take certain precautions, what we call surveillance detection runs, et cetera, et cetera. But often these are not very good, and there have been many, many mishaps from the agency being quite careless. Of course, they don‘t like to talk about these publicly.
CARLSON: We had Senator Dick Durbin on the show the other day and he said that the leak of Valerie Plame‘s name to Bob Novak in the “Washington Post” resulted in her having her life put at risk, and the lives of others abroad put at risk. I have heard this 101 times in the past couple of years. Is that true?
GERECHT: That‘s preposterous. It‘s just not true.
I mean, the agency, there are many, many, many senior officers, you know, sort of lift their cover at will. If the agency were to follow that reasoning, I mean, individuals who supposedly have had much more sensitive careers than Ms. Plame would be jeopardizing their past associates and their work.
It‘s simply—it‘s not true, and I guarantee you that if the, quote, outing, most recent outing of Ms. Plame had damaged the agency overseas or had put some foreigner into jeopardy, we would have heard about it by now. This would have been the type of thing the agency would have leaked immediately.
CARLSON: Then just quickly, you also say that only a profoundly unserious CIA would have sent Ambassador Joe Wilson into Niger in the first place. What do you mean?
GERECHT: Well, it just didn‘t really make much sense. I mean, he essentially did an eight-day walk-about in Niger, a country with which he was not really not intimately familiar. You do not go over there to talk about sensitive things like yellow cake uranium export in eight-day period.
He then comes back, and this is the real clincher. He gives an oral report. There is no such thing in the agency as a oral report about something, which is quite sensitive, that the institution itself considers serious.
I‘m fairly confident the agency really didn‘t consider Ambassador Wilson‘s mission over there to be very serious at all, and certainly the way it was handled when—on his return suggests that they really didn‘t really care all that much about the report.
CARLSON: Sure sounds that way. I wish we‘d talked to you a lot earlier. Thanks a lot for joining us.
GERECHT: My pleasure.
CARLSON: Still to come, former action hero a big loser at the polls yesterday. What does Governor Schwarzenegger‘s defeat mean for his party? We‘ll explore that in just a minute.
Plus, nobody had a problem with search dogs finding victims at Ground Zero four years ago, so why are they being banned from future memorial site?
CARLSON: Still to come, the United Nations is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. We‘ll have an upcoming tell-all documentary about to crash that party.
Didn‘t you know you could get fired for seeing a ghost?
And THE SITUATION ventures into the paranormal when we return.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON SILVER, ACTOR (voice-over): The killings, most by machete, kept up at an average of 8,000 a day, through April into May, June, and July. Not even churches were safe havens.
The rest of the world is aware of this presumably. The U.N. force on the ground must have been aware of this, just turn on the radio.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It‘s not that the U.N. didn‘t know what was going on. Just, they were told not to do anything.
SILVER (on camera): And why do you think that is?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don‘t know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Welcome back. That‘s a news clip from a new documentary called “Broken Promises: The United Nations at 60.” The film details the U.N.‘s dismal performance in promoting security, human rights, and social stability over the past six decades.
The narrative and co-executive producer of that movie, a great actor
and a good man, Ron Silver. He joins us live now from Burbank, California
CARLSON: That—so the United Nations, its mandate to promote stability, defend human rights, and prevent war. How is it doing?
SILVER: Not as well as the founders envisioned, unfortunately. You know, there‘s a canard that it‘s only right wing ideologues that kind of despise the U.N. because it threatens U.S. sovereignty, that‘s simply not the case. In fact, the dishonesties and the hypocrisies and corruption should offend liberals and multilateralists more than anybody else in the world, because it‘s kind of betrayed their ideals.
CARLSON: Oh, I believe it. I‘ve run into left wing aide workers around the world who hate the U.N., because they think it‘s ineffective and, in fact, counter-productive. But give me some—give me some examples.
SILVER: What we tried to do in the film was actually speak to peace keepers who were actually on the ground in Somalia and Rwanda, and in Bosnia, Srebrenica, speak to the victims of some of the genocides to get their take on what the U.N. did or do not do, rather than speak to diplomats and high-level officials and have a kind of arid intellectual discussion about the great idea of the organization, because it is a great idea.
SILVER: The institution that exists today, and the founders‘ rhetoric and language and their expectations is pretty out there.
COLMES: The idea the nations of the world can get together to prevent wars strikes me as a great idea. It just doesn‘t seem very good at preventing wars. You think of Rwanda, you think of the mess in the Balkans. Has the United Nations...
CARLSON: Well, you know—prevented a war lately?
SILVER: In some ways, it sounds like I am going to defend the organization. Once said, until the United Nations has a mind, body, bank account, of its own, you can‘t hold the institution responsible accident because it‘s made up of sovereign member nations, all looking after their own interests, so there‘s a structural flaw in the organization, and there‘s been calls for reform since its inception.
In 1993, the general assembly passed a resolution saying, over the years, since 1945, there‘s been 13 different calls for reform, and in 1994, ambassador Albright, Madeleine Albright was exalting in that they created a structure within the U.N. called the internal oversight service, which was going to crack down on abuse, fraud, and corruption. That was 1994, which was the same year the oil for food program was begun.
CARLSON: Unbelievable. It seems like just from following the progress of the U.N., even in the “New York Times,” it seems like the United Nations exist to hate Israel and tweak the United States. What‘s the obsession with Israel?
SILVER: Well, that‘s very interesting. I think they think they have, and they do have a special relationship because it was created under a United Nations mandate. Britain handed it over to the U.N., and the U.N. came up with a petition plan, which Israel accepted, and the Arab population at that time did not.
And one out of every four resolutions that has passed has to do with Israel, which is very interesting. Basically slavery, in Darfur right now, there‘s genocides going on in the world. One out of every four resolutions has to do with Israel.
CARLSON: That‘s an amazing statistic. It‘s a big world. That‘s a small country. I‘d say it‘s disproportionate.
John Bolton, I mean, I assume you think that the U.N. is worth reforming. Is John Bolton, the acting ambassador to the United Nations...
SILVER: I think he‘s exactly the right ambassador, actually. He has
No. 1, he has the president‘s confidence, and John Bolton doesn‘t want to see the U.N. destroyed, but he does want to see it be reinvigorated and an effective organization.
I mean, the catalog of what‘s gone wrong over the years, and the U.N.‘s shameful aiding and abetting some of the worst crimes in the last 20, 30, 40 years is just shameful.
And of course, anybody who wants to see that organization be effective wants to see it reformed. It has to be reformed. It‘s Orwellian. The human rights commission is Orwellian. I mean, people have heard the litany of who‘s on that commission, how things are done, the oil for food, the refurbishment, their role in Srebrenica, which is—which is obscene.
SILVER: They had Dutch peace keepers on the ground, they called it a safe hasten, and they handed over 8,000 Muslim men and boys to Serbians that were slaughtered basically in front of them.
CARLSON: That‘s just...
SILVER: Rwanda, 800,000 to a million people on their watch.
CARLSON: Well, the title is apt, “Broken Promises: The United Nations at 60.” When is it out?
SILVER: It‘s opening in L.A., Friday in Washington. It‘s opened in Seattle. It will be in Dallas opening tonight, actually, and New York next week.
CARLSON: Outstanding. I hope it does very well. Ron Silver, thanks.
SILVER: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Up next, anti-war sentiments work their way onto a California ballot.
And voters saying not to military recruiters on campus. And who‘s going to defend the country? We‘ll ask that in a minute.
CARLSON: Welcome back to THE SITUATION.
Americans now more than ever say they‘re opposed to the war in Iraq, and they‘re expressing their views in many ways. And new NBC/”Wall Street Journal” poll shows 57 percent of those surveyed think President Bush deliberately misled people to make the case for war. Only 35 percent say the president gave us the best information he had.
Parts of California anti-war sentiment has become anti-military sentiment. Yesterday San Francisco voters passed Proposition I, which makes it city policy to oppose military recruiters on school grounds. Todd Chretien is the author of Proposition I, dubbed “College not Combat.”
He joins us now live from San Francisco. Todd Chretien, thanks for coming on.
TODD CHRETIEN, “COLLEGE NOT COMBAT”: Thanks for having me, Tucker.
Appreciate the chance to talk to your audience tonight.
CARLSON: Thanks. Now, why is it bad to join the military and defend your country? I know you‘re again the war in Iraq. I‘m not for it myself.
But joining the military is an honorable thing to do. Without a military, you would not have the ability to come on this show. We‘d all be enslaved. Let‘s be honest, without a military, we would disappear. What is wrong with joining it?
CHRETIEN: Well, you know, Tucker, when I wrote the proposition in April, there were 1,500 dead American soldiers, in the six months, another 500. So up to 2,000. I firmly believe by next Christmas, we‘re going to be up to 3,000.
So what we‘re seeing in Iraq is a quagmire that has no end in sight. And that‘s why the people of San Francisco said, “We support our troops so much that we do not want them killing and dying in deserts of Iraq, and neither do we want our young people being sent there to replace them.” And that‘s why the people of San Francisco voted in favor.
CARLSON: Oh, come on, that is the single most Orwellian thing I have heard today, and I hear a lot of Orwellian things. You are banning, or would like to ban, recruitment in schools, because you support our troops so darn much? No, this is slap at the military.
CHRETIEN: Well, I‘ll tell you, if it take a slap at the military. Do you know, Tucker, what the starting salary for an American private in the U.S. Army is?
CARLSON: Very, very low.
CHRETIEN: It‘s about $15,000. That‘s an insult to the kids and the young people over there who are dying. Condoleezza Rice spends more than $15,000 per year on her shoes.
CARLSON: Well, wait a second.
CHRETIEN: Our government insults our young people by buying their lives cheap and spending them on...
CARLSON: You‘re patronizing our young people who decide voluntarily, and with sober intent, upon reflection, to join the military. These kids, these young men and women, mostly men, understand exactly what they‘re going to get paid and understand exactly what the risks are.
But they support our mission in Iraq or they want to join the military for some other reason. They‘re not children. They are adults. And for you to swoop in and say, “You‘re not getting paid enough,” that‘s their decision to make, isn‘t it?
CHRETIEN: Well, I‘ll say this. If we had to fight the war in Iraq based solely on the number of soldiers who wanted to go to fight in Iraq because they believed in the cause, then we would have a very small military indeed.
What you said is right. People join the military for other reasons. And generally those reasons are the lack of job prospects, and the lack of being able to pay for a college education.
CARLSON: But you‘re making too...
CHRETIEN: Our military uses our young people and basically holds an economic draft over their heads. The other side...
CARLSON: Wait, wait. Stop, stop, stop. You‘re making contradictory arguments. I mean, I hate to get pedantic on you, but you‘re arguing simultaneously...
CHRETIEN: That‘s OK. That‘s fine.
CARLSON: You‘re arguing simultaneously that these kids are paid a starvation wage, and yet you‘re also arguing they‘re joining for the money. The two can‘t simultaneously be true. You can pretty easily in this world...
CHRETIEN: Have you ever tried to live on minimum wage, Tucker?
CARLSON: Actually, I—hold on.
CHRETIEN: People in our city are so desperate that many people have to go because they have no other job prospect.
CARLSON: You‘re articulating, I think, what is essentially a socialist fantasy, that people are joining because they can‘t afford not to join. And there‘s just zero evidence—zero evidence that that‘s true, particularly for combat positions. You have to steer yourself toward a combat position.
CHRETIEN: “Washington Post”—the “Washington Post” just put out a report that said over two-thirds of the soldiers who joined the Army in the last year come from the poorest counties in our country.
CHRETIEN: It is not the case that the upper middle class is disproportionately joining the military.
CARLSON: Actually, that is wrong.
CHRETIEN: The reality is that the poorest sections of our country.
CARLSON: That is absolutely demonstrably wrong.
CARLSON: That may be overall true, but the soldiers, you can go through exactly the list of people who have died in Iraq, and they absolutely do not come disproportionately from poor parts of the country. That‘s just not true. The people who are actually dying...
CHRETIEN: The military statistics must be wrong.
CARLSON: Right. Look, here‘s the bottom—here‘s the bottom line. No matter how you feel about the war in Iraq, don‘t you think, A, this sends a message that joining the military is dishonorable, it absolutely does?
And B, don‘t you think that consenting adults, who after all, are constitutionally empowered to vote, they can choose the president, they‘re adults in every sense of the term, don‘t you think they should be able to decide whether they want to join or not? Why should you decide for them?
CHRETIEN: Anybody who wants to join—I‘ll answer the question, Tucker. It‘s a good question.
If anybody in this country wants to join the military, they only have to go on the Internet, or watch TV, or listen to the radio. And the military recruiters and the ads are all over the place. So if anybody wants to voluntarily join the military, they have ample opportunity to do it.
We just don‘t believe that our publicly funded tax dollars should be used to give special opportunities for our recruiters, for the recruiters in the military...
CARLSON: You know what?
CHRETIEN: ... to go into schools and get the home addresses and phone numbers.
CARLSON: You don‘t have to.
CHRETIEN: The No Child Left Behind Act forces schools to give the military home addresses and home phone numbers.
CARLSON: Doesn‘t force, Mr. Chretien. I know...
CHRETIEN: Yes, it did.
CARLSON: I know the law, and you do, too. Schools that take federal funding are required to.
CHRETIEN: All schools take federal funding.
CARLSON: You don‘t have to. You don‘t have to take federal funding.
If you really—hold it, if you really...
CHRETIEN: So what you‘re saying is it‘s OK for the federal government to blackmail our public schools in exchange for our children‘s home phone numbers?
CARLSON: Nobody is being blackmailed. If you really were standing on principle, if you really believe the words emerging from your mouth, you would urge the San Francisco School District to forgo federal funding, and take a stand on principle.
Instead, you want it both ways. You want to get the federal dollars and you want to get around the federal law. Why don‘t you take a stand on principle and say, “We don‘t want your federal money any more?”
CHRETIEN: We‘re going to go you one better, Tucker. What we‘re going to do next year, is we‘re going to create a movement so strong in San Francisco that we start the country on the track to changing the No Child Left Behind Law, so that we can remove the blackmail threat against our public schools, so that our kids don‘t have to make the choice between getting an education, getting job training, or going and risking their lives.
CARLSON: Let me just make the point.
CHRETIEN: That‘s why people voted for Proposition I by 60 percent, and we expect it‘s going to spread across the country.
CARLSON: I just think the anti-war movement, which, you know, has a lot of defensible positions in it, will lose if it becomes an anti-military movement. That‘s just my observation. But anyway, Todd Chretien.
CHRETIEN: Final word, which is this is not against the military.
CHRETIEN: The people who are in the military, we want them home.
CARLSON: That‘s where we...
CHRETIEN: We don‘t want them dying and being maimed in Iraq. We say come home, and let‘s not send more kids in their place. Thanks for having me, Tucker.
CARLSON: OK, Todd. You‘re not going to convince me on that point, because you‘re just wrong. But I appreciate you coming on. Thank you.
Stay tuned. Still plenty more ahead on THE SITUATION.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON (voice-over): From Thailand, it‘s the social event of the year. Wait until you see the wedding night video.
Plus, Mikey the chimp goes bananas, and one critic goes ape.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There‘s monkeys running all around the damn stage.
You, sir, are no Bill O‘Reilly.
Caught on tape, the down side of trying to sneak Paris Hilton back to your place. It‘s all ahead on THE SITUATION.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, guys.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: From Thailand, it‘s the social event of the year. Wait until you see the wedding night video.
Plus, Mikey the chimp goes bananas, and one critic goes ape.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You had the monkey running all around the damn stage. You, sir, are no Bill O‘Reilly.
CARLSON: And. Caught on tape, the down side of trying to sneak Paris Hilton back to your place.
CARLSON: Welcome back. A famous American once said, “you can convince anybody of anything if you just push it at them all the time.” Joining me now, a man who can make a pretty convincing argument, “the Outsider,” ESPN Radio and HBO boxing host, Max Kellerman. Max, do you know who said that?
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO: I do not.
CARLSON: That was Charles Manson, speaking at his murder trial.
KELLERMAN: I am glad I didn‘t say, what a great quote today.
By the way, your last guest loves the military, he just doesn‘t want them to do their job.
CARLSON: That‘s just unbelievable.
KELLERMAN: Loves the military, just don‘t fight.
CARLSON: He seemed like a nice guy. I wonder if he believed what he was saying?
The latest controversy about the World Trade Center 9/11 memorial involves pets. Landscape architect for the site says dogs will not be welcome there. Peter Walker send in an online chat that pets would be barred from the memorial plaza out of respect for the victims of the attack. One chatroom participant asked, quote, “for god‘s sake, what is wrong with dogs?” That is a very good question. Here‘s the only argument I can make. Now I am, I guess, well-known dog defender, I‘m strongly, adamantly pro-dog.
212 dogs participated in the search for survivors at ground zero right after 9/11. And it just seems to me an insult to their service, and I mean it, that we would bar dogs as somehow disrespectful on the site itself. There‘s nothing disrespectful about dogs.
KELLERMAN: Well, in the first place, you are so pro-dog that you are pro-ferret at times, I mean, you are pro-exotic animals just because you think it‘s slippery slope.
CARLSON: Well, I like animals. I do.
KELLERMAN: The dogs did not do what they were doing knowing what they were doing. There‘s a big difference between—it sounds silly, but it‘s true, a firefighter who is rushing into the building as it‘s collapsing knows exactly what they are getting into it.
CARLSON: Yes. That‘s right.
KELLERMAN: They have been trained, but have free will to do whatever they want. The dog doesn‘t know.
CARLSON: Of course not. I completely agree with that.
KELLERMAN: Naturally, it sounds like a silly point to even make, but just as an establishing point. It‘s not that dogs are disrespectful, it‘s that what they do to mark territory and such is not sanitary.
KELLERMAN: And could be seen as unintentionally disrespectful to the people who died at the site.
CARLSON: Yes. Of course, but that‘s a separate question. I mean, not cleaning up after your dog is offensive. And you should always, and it‘s bad for the cause of dogs, as far as I am concerned, not cleaning up after your dog.
I am merely saying, nobody stopped in the hours and days after 9/11 to say, wow, they have got dogs on the site, that‘s just wrong. We looked at those dogs for what they are, animals helping man.
KELLERMAN: Well, can you bring dogs into museums in Manhattan? I have grown up in Manhattan all my life, been to all the museums, I don‘t remember seeing dogs walking around. You can‘t bring dogs into...
CARLSON: OK. But that‘s exactly the point. That is a tragic mistake our culture has made, a small minority of radical anti-dog forces has prohibited dogs from a lot of our public spaces. And we have an opportunity to make it right on this one space, and I hope we do.
CARLSON: According to recent poll, more than 20 percent of Americans believe in ghosts. But if you are one of them, it‘s probably not a good idea to let your boss know about it. A security guard in Iowa was fired in September after he reported seeing ghosts standing near a car outside a gated community. Now, a judge has ruled his beliefs made him unfit for the job, but still entitled to unemployment benefits.
OK, look, ghosts are real. I think ghosts are real. I will just put it out there. I don‘t think there‘s any question actually. But a lot of people don‘t think that. To admit that you have seen a ghost to your employer is such a profound breach of judgment, it‘s such a dumb thing to do, you are not qualified by definition to be a security guard if you admit that you believe in ghosts.
KELLERMAN: What about a talk show host?
CARLSON: I am not protecting anyone, apart from dogs.
KELLERMAN: I don‘t know if you are aware this is being broadcast live around the world, Tucker.
CARLSON: That‘s hardly the dumbest thing I have ever said.
KELLERMAN: I don‘t understand what the problem is at all with this guy saying he sees ghosts. I don‘t believe in any supernatural phenomenon. I‘m not superstitious at all, but in my view, religion is essentially superstition. And if—once you believe in God and supernatural forces, that your senses can‘t take in, just based on faith, on belief, you should believe in ghosts. It boggles my mind that like 90 percent believes in God, and only 20 percent believe in ghosts.
And as we mature as a culture, and as we become more sophisticated, I think there‘s less religious literalism, especially as rocket ships went into the sky said no God? Oh, well, God exists in a psychological space. And as we get more sophisticated, we like to have it both ways. Yeah we kind of believe in God, but no we don‘t believe in ancillary stuff attached to it.
CARLSON: You are putting—first of all, there‘s no connection between god and ghosts, other than both are supernatural. But you are putting your faith on display, it‘s called atheism.
CARLSON: You are man of radical faith. And I predict, by the end, you will be full-blown fundy—you‘ll be a fire breathing fundamentalist.
KELLERMAN: Let me just say what atheist actually are. And I am in their number. I am among them. I‘m an atheist. And as an atheist, I am angry at God for not existing. That‘s the best way I can describe it.
CARLSON: Boy, that is deep. You are a troubled man. I still like you, Max, but you revealed something tonight that changes...
KELLERMAN: Thank you. But I also don‘t believe in ghosts. But this guy does, and he should have his job.
CARLSON: I don‘t think so. Max Kellerman, thank you. You‘ve blown my mind.
KELLERMAN: Still ahead, we don‘t talk about Natalee Holloway much on the show. But when the state of Alabama challenged the nation of Aruba, we felt we had to weigh in. We‘ll hear what you have to say about it when we check THE SITUATION voice-mail. Stay with us.
CARLSON: Welcome back. When you think of stand up comedy, conservative Christians probably not the first group that come to mind in a world dominated by people like George Carlin, Chris Rock and Bill Maher, it can‘t be that easy to be a God-fearing winger, but my next guest is here to show it is possible indeed to be Christian, conservative, and very funny all at once. Comedian Brad Stein joins me live now in the studio. Brad, thanks for coming on.
BRAD STEIN, COMEDIAN: It‘s good to be here. I am all of those things. And this is the largest glass of water I have ever seen.
CARLSON: Isn‘t that impressive?
STEIN: Let‘s just overflow it. Want we don‘t want to do is keep the liquid inside the cup, I think that‘s a good...
CARLSON: I will have you know, that cup had a chimp snout in it yesterday.
STEIN: And there was a ghost in it just a second ago. Did I mention the ghost and a poltergeist. So all kinds of things are happening here.
CARLSON: Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking of supernatural, this guy from nowhere, becomes governor.
CARLSON: Everything going great yesterday, just spanked by voters of California.
STEIN: You know why? Because California voters are crazy. I love California. These are the weirdest people in the world, is California. I mean, these are guys that just voted, by the way, that a girl can get an abortion, not tell her parents, they think that‘s a good idea. They‘re a blue state, and then they got rid of their Democratic governor. And then they go, now what are we going to do? And some guy in a bar probably says let‘s get Schwarzenegger. And they brought him in.
CARLSON: I was never behind that. I never thought that was a good idea.
STEIN: Well, they wanted to be like the one state that had a governor whose name is impossible to spell. I think that‘s what they were shooting for.
CARLSON: Well, they certainly succeeded.
STEIN: Well, they got all these teachers against him. He‘s like, all right, we will give you tenure, but now try to spell my name. So he‘s really trying to throw a curve at them.
CARLSON: And because they have tenure, I bet they can‘t.
STEIN: They are going to need that extra time to learn how to spell Schwarzenegger, which none of us can spell. They are crazy people—you know that. I mean, California is—they keep saying it‘s going to fall in the ocean, but it doesn‘t. So, something has gone terribly wrong.
CARLSON: I grew up there. I still love it. But it is bizarre. Bush‘s poll numbers had to have hurt Schwarzenegger, is seems to me. He‘s super unpopular, the president, in California. As you travel around the country is Bush less popular with your audience?
STEIN: No, because I am middle American. I‘m a red state. I speak to those people. I mean, we don‘t bail out, we‘re optimists, we don‘t stinking bail out because of poll numbers, because we don‘t care. We don‘t care about the poll numbers. We care about do you do what you say you are going to do, who do you trust? I still do. And so we go with that direction.
And I think that‘s really the way that Americans who have a conservative point of view do. We trust who we believe in. We trust their point of view until they prove to be lying at us, or exploiting our vote, we are going to stick to it.
CARLSON: What about the CIA leak, does that hurt, do you think, his perception as a truth teller?
STEIN: You know what? The whole thing, if there‘s anything we have learned in the last couple of weeks with this Valerie Plame and the prison is when it comes to hiding secret stuff, the CIA sucks.
CARLSON: Fair characterization.
STEIN: I mean for crying out loud, everything never gets hidden, that‘s their whole job is to be secretive. And then they have like stinking pictures of like the prison. And by the way, who takes those pictures? The CIA! They take pictures, and it‘s like, oh, maybe we shouldn‘t have shown that. Operatives are leaking, there‘s leaks everywhere, major leaker somewhere, who gives the leaks to everybody else, so they are going to have to hire FEMA to get rid of the leaks because they are experienced at it.
Judge Alito, you‘re impressed by him.
STEIN: He is great. He‘s a good-looking guy too. They said the other girl—remember that? This is what kills me. The Harriet Miers.
CARLSON: Oh, the other girl. I didn‘t know you were talking about Harriet Miers.
STEIN: All right. I don‘t know Alito—I meant Miers, they were like saying she wasn‘t attractive. Do you remember that?
CARLSON: They were saying that. We never said that on this show.
STEIN: No, of course. But I‘m just saying, that is so ridiculous. It‘s like, first off, I want the judge to be ugly. I think all judges to be ugly, because if you are in front of them, I want you to be scared. I want the guy to confess. I want him to say I did it. I don‘t know. I‘m going to hell.
CARLSON: You go in as David Hasslehoff, and you just can‘t take him serious?
STEIN: No, because he shouldn‘t be good looking. I mean, when was that supposed to be a criteria? When did that matter?
CARLSON: John Roberts is sort of a handsome guy.
STEIN: That‘s what I am saying. Like all these other guys, turning down stinking GQ ads, that‘s happening all the time. I don‘t think you should be attractive as a judge. I don‘t think it has anything to do.
CARLSON: And so by that criteria, Alito is a good guy.
STEIN: He‘s going to be a good guy. People are—hey, the Democrats are saying he is good, or at least they‘re thinking they are not going to filibuster him. So, let‘s go for him. He‘s a little bit more conservative, I think, than Harriet Miers.
CARLSON: I am for that.
Sex on TV. A new study says it‘s just saturated, prime time, in the piles of my desk, I have lost the number, but it‘s pretty unbelievable, something like 7 sex scenes every hour on prime time television. It obviously works. I mean, people decry it. Oh, too much sex on TV, but people watch it.
STEIN: Here‘s what I love about that idea, Tucker. Is that for years, conservative, middle American people, my people, my folks, have been saying, too much sex on TV. We keep saying that. Today, the liberal media has figured out that it‘s a news story, today that there‘s too much sex on TV. We have been saying this for like 25 years.
I mean, we want to go back to the old days, when if you wanted to see naked people, you had to go to the edge of town, to the shack, where you had to like hide your car so people couldn‘t see, and you had to be ashamed.
Now it‘s like we got rear ends everywhere. And they give it this first amendment thing, oh, the people want that. No, you just throw it out there, and the people don‘t know what to do about it. We can‘t like make it go away. Aha, apparently they wanted this. You know, I think they shove it down our throats too much.
CARLSON: Porn viewed only in trench coat.
STEIN: In a trench coat. And there should be shame involved, a like stocks and people throwing cabbage at you.
CARLSON: From the pro-shame caucus tonight.
STEIN: That‘s what I am talking about.
CARLSON: Brad Stein. Thank you.
Whose new D.V.D., “Tolerate This.”
STEIN: How about that?
You didn‘t think a conservative and a Christian could get away with that stuff, Warner Brothers Records.
CARLSON: Outstanding. Brad Stein, thank you.
STEIN: Thanks, Tucker.
CARLSON: I appreciate it.
Coming up, last night‘s show turned into THE SITUATION with Mikey, the chimp. Most of you fell in love with Mikey, but one caller apparently prefers hard news to demented primates. I‘ll dial up THE SITUATION voice-mail when we come back.
CARLSON: Time for our voice mail segment. Left a lot of messages on the machine tonight.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: Hey, Tucker. This is Keith in Santee. Hey, with all due respect to the Holloway family, leave Aruba off your show, man, please.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Keith, we have steadfastly ignored that story for many, many months. We do it once and you call to complain. We weren‘t even doing the story. Actually, I was complaining about the state of Alabama‘s plan to boycott the nation of Aruba. I was on your side. Next up.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: Tucker, hey, just calling from Altoona, Pennsylvania. And I just wanted to clarify something regarding the cheerleaders and having sex. There is no evidence to show that they are lesbians. Two women having sex could be by bisexual sex, could just be two women having a good time. There is a difference between bisexuality and homosexuality. Just a matter of being educated on the subject.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Thanks for clarifying that, Jeff. I appreciate it.
No, I think probably every viewer at home it was hoping it was bisexual rather than lesbian. And I‘m willing to go with your definition. Next up.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: Hi, this is John from Cedar Point, Ohio. And I was watching your show last night and you had the Monday running around the damn stage. And I‘m trying to listen to what you are saying and watch the news. And I was supposed to be a serious thing called THE SITUATION. And I‘m very disappointed. You, sir, are no Bill O‘Reilly.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: How do you think I felt with a chimp on the set? He was loose. He got loose from the handler. Yeah, I know. Aren‘t you a serious viewer by the way. And no, I‘m no Bill O‘Reilly. Bill O‘Reilly does not have chimps ever. Not to brag, we do.
Well, let me know what you are thinking. You can call 1-877-TCARLSON.
Still ahead on THE SITUATION, when they say your wedding day is the happiest day of your life, they mean it. Look at this bride and groom. They look oblivious. We‘ll tell you why these pandas walked down the aisle when we visit “The Cutting Room Floor.”
CARLSON: Welcome back. It‘s time for “The Cutting Room Floor.”
Mikey the chimp is on assignment—Willie.
WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC PRODUCER: Keep your head on the swivel. We never caught Mikey last night. He is around here somewhere. Just look alive out here, my man.
CARLSON: That was nerve be racking.
GEIST: It was. I think this will be a little easier tonight.
CARLSON: Yeah. No animals on the set.
Well, Paris Hilton has often been called a train wreck. But last night, she was a car wreck. Paris and her boyfriend, Greek shipping heir, Stavros Nyartros (ph) got into a fender bender while trying to escape a group of photographers outside an L.A. night club. Nyactros (ph) -- whatever your name is—her boyfriend gunned his Bentley through the paparazzi and slammed into a parked truck. After speaking to police, Hilton‘s boyfriend nearly ran over a bystander just for good measure.
GEIST: Don‘t they know it‘s such a cliche to be a Greek shipping heir dating Paris Hilton?
CARLSON: I think that is—every single person born in Greece now living in America is a shipping heir.
GEIST: Right. It‘s a prerequisite.
I don‘t pretend to be a good driver, but if you look at that video, one thing I know is you should never drive with a jacket over your head.
CARLSON: I agree.
GEIST: You just shouldn‘t.
I remember that from driver‘s ed. Come on Stavros Nyakos (ph).
CARLSON: If you‘ve got one of those fancy navigation systems in your car, you are familiar with the vaguely British woman‘s voice instructing you to turn left at the next light.
Now, wouldn‘t it be more fun if that voice belonged to Mr. T? A company called Navtones thinks it would be. And they‘ve enlisted the pipes to Mr. T, Burt Reynolds and Dennis Hopper to narrorate it‘s systems.
Mr. T not only guides you, he threatens you. He yells, you are going to get there or else.
GEIST: You know, that thing would probably be cool for about five minutes. But after Mr. T. is threatening your life, you just want the British woman back, you know what I mean?
CARLSON: I think five minutes is too long.
GEIST: Much too long.
GEIST: And also, what—Mr. T., I get, Burt Reynolds and Dennis Hopper, they should have some money socked away, why are they doing this?
CARLSON: Yeah. Divorce always the problem.
Well, odds are they are not aware of it, but a pair of giant pandas were married today at the zoo in Thailand. Hundreds turned out to see Chang Chung and his female partner Lin Wie tie the knot in a beautiful ceremony. Why are pandas getting married, you asked? Zoo officials want them to mate, but they wanted the pandas to save themselves until after they were married. That‘s a true story by the way.
Asia is like—is the wierdest place in the world.
GEIST: That‘s sweet. It‘s nice to see these kids smiling today, but it‘s sad to know statistics tell us this probably won‘t last. Divorce is a reality, even in the animal kingdom.
CARLSON: It is kind of poignant. But you know, you could hope.
GEIST: You could hope. I hope they stay together for the kids.
CARLSON: Me too. Mozoltov (ph).
Last night we told you questions were being raised about the credibility of a man who says he was crazy glued to a toilet seat in a Home Depot store. He is suing the home improvement store for $3 million.
Reports yesterday said Bob Dougherty had cooked up a similar story a couple of years ago. Today, Dougherty said he‘d like to take a lie detector test to prove he was, in fact, glued to a toilet seat at Home Depot.
GEIST: You know, Tucker, Bobby doesn‘t have to prove a doggone thing to me. I believe every word he says. Why would Home Depot crazy glue their toilet seats?
CARLSON: Why was he sitting on a toilet seat at Home Depot for?
GEIST: And he is banking on three million out of this. I don‘t think it‘s going to happen, Bob.
CARLSON: No. And it shouldn‘t.
Well, forget student government, this high school senior just got himself elected to the top stop in his home town‘s municipal government. The real government.
Eighteen-year-old Michael Sessions was elected mayor of Hillsdale, Michigan yesterday. Sessions entered the race just six weeks to go and ran a campaign with the 700 bucks he earned at a summer job. He beat the incumbent mayor of Hillsdale, population 8,200 by 60 votes.
GEIST: Boy, is that going to look good on a college application.
Mayor of your town, forget Michigan State, Ivy league..
CARLSON: You can‘t go to Harvard, because you have got to run the town.
GEIST: Well, yeah, I guess that‘s true. Although, he said he is giong to go to school until 3:00 and then run the town from 3:00 to 6:00. So, it must not be a very grueling job.
CARLSON: That‘s a pretty low maintanence town, I would say.
GEIST: And can I say something? If you‘re the incumbent mayor and you lose—you have incumbency, number one. Number two, your opponent has seen acne, that‘s humiliating.
CARLSON: I‘ve been to Hillsdale. Nice town, actually.
GEIST: All right, Tucker.
CARLSON: Filling in for the vacationing chimp.
GEIST: He‘ll be back tomorrow night.
CARLSON: That‘s THE SITUATION for this evening. Thanks a lot for watching. “COUNTDOWN” with Keith Olbermann is next. We‘ll be back tomorrow night. See you then.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.