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  1. Headline
updated 5/18/2007 12:15:28 PM ET 2007-05-18T16:15:28

Guests: Juan Hernandez, Michael Reagan, John Ridley, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Steve Adubato, Adam Carolla, Courtney Hazlett, Carmen Rasmusen

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight: Rosie O‘Donnell compares U.S. troops to terrorists—terrorists, that‘s right—and says Rudy was involved in a 9/11 conspiracy to take down a World Trade tower.  Hey, Barbara Walters, have you no shame?  Barbara, have you no shame?  How long are you going to allow this to continue?  That ahead.

But first: Immigrants have long shaped the future of the United States of America.  You know, one of the most famous examples, Albert Einstein.  Now, of course, Albert Einstein helped the Allies and the United States of America win World War II.  In fact, he was so moved by his American citizenship that Einstein refused any special treatment, any special admittance to the USA, and instead he demanded that he be treated and sworn in just like every other citizen hoping to come to America.

Well, friends, tonight that immigrant‘s tale is about to be turned on its head, and the America you once knew may soon change forever.  That‘s because today the United States Senate struck a deal that would grant amnesty to 12 million illegal immigrants—you heard me right, 12 million illegal immigrants—all of them going to use their illegal status as a means to jump ahead of millions of other hopeful citizens who are waiting legally for the right to be called an American.  George W. Bush promised that if he got a chance, he would grant amnesty to the 12 million immigrants if this bill reaches his desk.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Immigration is a tough issue for a lot of Americans, but the agreement reached today is one that will help enforce our borders, but equally importantly, it‘ll treat people with respect.  The bill where, you know, people who live here in our country will be treated without amnesty but without animosity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  It sounds nice, but it is amnesty.  And treat people with respect?  We all want to treat people with respect.  Does that mean we allow people to break our laws, come to our country?  I mean, this Senate amnesty bill is a result of weeks of intense back-room negotiations with White House aides and leaders from both parties.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM ®, NORTH CAROLINA:  This is what my 9th grade teacher told me government was all about, and I finally got to experience it a bit.

SEN. EDWARD M. KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS:  We must strike while the iron is hot.  I‘ve been around here long enough to know that opportunities like this don‘t come very often.

SEN. DIANE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA:  Please, please, please, don‘t let the good be the—the perfect be the enemy of the good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Good God!  Lindsey Graham saying this is what he learned about U.S. government in 9th grade?  They need to fire that teacher.

Now, anticipating criticism from members of his own party, Republican senator Arlen Specter tried to launch a preemptive strike.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ARLEN SPECTER ®, PENNSYLVANIA:  And no matter what we craft, it‘s going to be attacked from both the right and the left.  The bill hasn‘t even been presented, and it has already drawn criticism as being amnesty, although the critics don‘t know what is in the bill.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  What do you mean, we don‘t know what‘s in the bill?  We can read wire reports.  You know, House Republicans are promising to vote against this amnesty bill, while most Democrats are talking about supporting a bill that most Americans oppose.  Each one of these senators should wear a scarlet letter A for amnesty, said Iowa congressman Steve King.  And Republican congressman Lamar Smith added, This proposal would do lasting damage to the country.

Well, tonight, friends, Washington faces a showdown, but this is not a showdown over a war in a foreign land, instead it‘s a showdown over the future of this land, of our land, whether the rule of law still counts for anything in our land and whether politicians in our land, in Washington, D.C., will continue to ignore the will of the people and instead do the bidding of special interests.  Special interests?  What special interest?  Well, you see, Republicans like George W. Bush love this bill because it means cheap labor, and Democrats love this bill because it means more votes.  It seems both sides are interested in what‘s best for them instead of worrying about the future of our country.

Pat Buchanan, what is the impact of America‘s future when you grant amnesty to 12 million illegal immigrants all at once and open the border to millions and millions of other sin the future?

PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  First, this is corrupt and squalid bargain by insiders of both parties who put this deal together in a back room, and they‘re going to try to ram it through by Monday.  And they know full well the American people desperately oppose this and have done so in every single election where the idea of giving aid and social welfare to illegal aliens has been defeated everywhere.

Joe, this is the beginning of the end of the United States if this goes through.  If you grant an amnesty to 12 million people whose achievement is having evaded the border patrol, and put them on the road to citizenship, citizenship has no meaning!

Secondly, if 12 million are granted amnesty, the whole world is coming.  Mr. Bush has said he has stopped six million in his first five years.  There are five billion people on earth who make a per capita income less than the average per capita income of Mexico.  If they know there‘s amnesty, if they know the border is unprotected, as it is now, if they know there is no punishment or penalty, they‘re all coming.  And your country will not be and my country will not be recognizable in two decades.

SCARBOROUGH:  And Pat Buchanan, we‘re looking right now at pictures of people that have gone into the streets in Los Angeles, and they obviously are supporting this bill.  And Pat, I—I—let me just say—and I‘ve said it before, I‘ll say it again—I support—I support immigration and I support an expansion of the United States.  That‘s what‘s made this country great through the years.

But how do Republicans like George W. Bush and John McCain that like to try to pass them off—themselves off as law-and-order Republicans allow 12 million people to storm to the front of line, to break the law, to come into this country and become U.S. citizens simply because they broke the law, while millions and millions of others wait across the world to come here legally?

BUCHANAN:  They‘re driven by two things, ideology and interest.  And the interest here, Joe, and behind the scenes are the big corporations who get the enormous benefit of cheap labor of 12 million illegals legalized.  All their sanctions on them are lifted.  Tens of millions more or millions more start pouring into the country.  They get low-wage labor.

JUAN HERNANDEZ, AUTHOR, “NEW AMERICAN PIONEERS”:  Pat, Pat...

BUCHANAN:  The social cost...

HERNANDEZ:  Pat, Pat, Pat...

BUCHANAN:  Shut up for a second!  While the social costs are passed on...

HERNANDEZ:  Oh, my goodness!

BUCHANAN:  ... to taxpayers.

HERNANDEZ:  Good evening, Pat.

BUCHANAN:  Social costs—who do you think‘s paying the social costs of this, Joe?  It‘s the American taxpayer.  Who pays the price in crime?  Who pays the price in, frankly, the increased diseases and all the other things that the illegals bring in because they‘re not checked?

SCARBOROUGH:  Juan Hernandez, why should these 12 million illegal immigrants get preferential treatment over those who are waiting legally to get into America simply because they were willing to break America‘s laws to get here?

HERNANDEZ:  Well, please let me be the first one here on MSNBC and on your show to welcome the 12 million good people to this nation we have invited to this nation.  We have not—they‘ve been caught between our laws.  They‘ve been caught in a situation where we have not been the ones to be able to change the law so that we can give them the visas.  I would have thought that Pat would have been very happy with this proposal by the Senate.  It gives the visas for the individuals so that they can come legally from now on, 400,000, which is the right number of people that we need every year.  It puts people at the end of the line.  They‘re going to have to be here for up to 8, 10, 12 years before they can apply for citizenship.  They‘re going to have to pay a fine of $5,000.

To be honest, there are a lot of things I don‘t like about this bill, but I do like that, finally, our Senate, finally also the House, they‘re starting to debate, and it looks like we may come up with a bill that will dignify these people instead of criminalizing, like my dear Pat would like to do.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Michael Reagan, look at what Congressman Lamar Smith had to say about this bill.  Quote—if we can get the full screen up here?  He says, “This proposal would do lasting damage to the country.  The American people aren‘t demanding amnesty, they are demanding border security.  We need border security, but we don‘t need amnesty to secure that border.”

Michael Reagan, I‘m hearing one Republican after another that‘s supporting this bill, saying, Well, it‘s better than nothing.

MICHAEL REAGAN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well, I‘ll tell you, this will be the legacy of George W. Bush and his presidency.  It‘ll also be the end of a campaign for the presidency for John McCain.  And I would make the argument that Senator Specter is the one who doesn‘t know what‘s truly in the bill.  I‘ve had my staff reading it all day long, that of what we can get.  Come on, probation for 12 million people?  It is amnesty, just like you say it is.  People are going to show up to pay a $1,000 fine, and some years later, $4,000 more.  They‘re the ones that get the “Z visa,” but the ones legally waiting to get in here get no Z visa.  So it‘s preferential treatment for them.

It is an absolute outrage, what the president of the United States is doing, what Republicans are doing.  And the argument is, We worked long and hard on this bill, so give us this before Memorial Day?  A thousand pages is what this bill is.  Members of the Senate still have not seen the bill that some of us has already seen.  Cloture vote on Monday, 30 hours of debate, and finally, a vote on Friday to give amnesty through probation to these 12 million people?  It is an absolute outrage.  Senator Specter needs to read the bill himself.

SCARBOROUGH:  So why are they ramming this bill down everybody‘s throat?

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  They don‘t want the country to know what‘s coming, Joe. 

They don‘t want them to know what‘s being done.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  ... in the dark and ram them through there—let me apologize, though, to Juan for saying “shut up.”

HERNANDEZ:  Thank you, Pat.

BUCHANAN:  I shouldn‘t have said that.  No problem.

HERNANDEZ:  Thank you, Pat.  I accept your apology.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well—well, Pat, I want to ask you, though, about John McCain because I agree with Michael Reagan.  And Senator McCain, I like you...

REAGAN:  Well, you lost me a long time ago, Senator McCain.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... I‘ve always said I liked you—I‘ve always liked you, Senator McCain.  In fact, I could vote for you for president of the United States.  But Senator McCain, if you support this bill, you might as well just quit your campaign right now.

And Pat Buchanan, I‘ll ask you the same...

HERNANDEZ:  But my friend...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat, is there any way in hell that John McCain can be elected president out of the Republican primary if he supports this amnesty bill to let in 12 million illegal immigrants?

BUCHANAN:  Look, I hope not, Joe.  And let me say this.  If the Republican Party supports this bill at the behest of these corporations, please, Americans, throw them all out of office.  Throw them all out.  That‘s what needs to be done.

REAGAN:  Well, Pat, Pat, Pat...

BUCHANAN:  This is a betrayal!

REAGAN:  ... it‘s not just the Republicans.

BUCHANAN:  I know it isn‘t!

(CROSSTALK)

REAGAN:  It‘s the Democrats...

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Democrats believe...

REAGAN:  It‘s the Democrats controlling Congress now.

BUCHANAN:  ... in this stuff.

REAGAN:  And something else, too.  You know, that 800-mile fence that was voted on and approved...

BUCHANAN:  Right.

REAGAN:  ... when the Republicans were in charge, is now going to be only 370 miles.

(LAUGHTER)

BUCHANAN:  I know!  They cut it.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me bring in Juan.  Juan, let me ask you this question.  Don‘t you agree that the only reason Republicans are supporting this bill is because big money interests like the fact that these illegal immigrants can come in and work cheap, that drives down their costs, that brings up profits, and they really don‘t care what social costs it may add to schools...

HERNANDEZ:  Look...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... hospitals, et cetera, et cetera.

HERNANDEZ:  There are three groups that support this.  Yes, big business supports.  Why?  And business in general.  We know—business leaders know that we do need them.  The other group that is supporting the undocumented are the religious folks, the Christian folks, who say, Look, in my Bible, it says that we‘re supposed to treat...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Not the church I go to, Juan.

HERNANDEZ:  And number three, the majority of U.S. citizens, up to 76 percent—and by the way, here on your show, I think we‘ve got exactly the other way.  We‘ve got three to one...

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Go ahead.

BUCHANAN:  If 76 percent of the country supports this, why do you sneak it through at night and get a cloture vote on Monday...

(CROSSTALK)

REAGAN:  We‘ve been reading the bill.  Let me tell you a really great part about this (INAUDIBLE) Senator Specter has no idea what he‘s talking about.  The bill states in the bill that as an employer, it is illegal to ask someone of their legal status until after you hire them.  So the bill is asking us to hire something possibly illegally into my corporation, then send the information to Washington to find out if, in fact, they‘re legal.  However, if you send too many Hispanic surnames back to Washington, the Justice Department then sues you for discrimination!

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s put up the  costs of...

HERNANDEZ:  But Mr. Reagan is presenting all of...

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second.

HERNANDEZ:  ... kinds of information...

SCARBOROUGH:  Juan, hold it just one second.  The cost right now of illegal immigrants, $2.5 billion for Medicaid, $2.2 billion for food assistance programs, $1.9 billion federal prison and court systems, $1.4 billion for federal aid to schools.

Juan, those costs are only going to be driven up, aren‘t they, and it‘s American taxpayers that are going to foot it.

HERNANDEZ:  Let me tell you, my friends, good things in life cost.  I don‘t know about all those numbers that you just showed, but these are people that are of great value to our nation, and we need to be sure—you know, we shouldn‘t be fining them.  On the contrary, we should be doing like Canada is doing, bringing up first class...

(CROSSTALK)

REAGAN:  So the ones legally waiting—the ones legally waiting can‘t help this nation...

BUCHANAN:  Joe...

REAGAN:  ... like the ones illegally here.

BUCHANAN:  Joe, the thing to do, though, Joe, is for the American people out there—they should have heard you.  It was an excellent commentary.  What they need to do is they‘ve got to get in touch with their senators this weekend, tomorrow, and tell them, Stop ramming this thing through.  We haven‘t seen it.  We haven‘t read it.  You‘re ramming it through, and it is not in the interests of this country.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Juan, I want to tell you something...

HERNANDEZ:  ... comprehensive immigration reform.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right...

(CROSSTALK)

HERNANDEZ:  But call your senator.  I agree.

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me tell you something, Juan.  I‘ve sat where...

HERNANDEZ:  Yes, my friend?

SCARBOROUGH:  ... you sat.  Every time I got out on Bill Maher‘s show, I‘m the one guy on my side against a thousand people on the other side.  I respect you for being with us tonight.  I greatly appreciate your viewpoint.

HERNANDEZ:  You bet.  You get.

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat Buchanan, Michael Reagan, Juan Hernandez, thank you.

I want to tell everybody right now, regardless of where you stand on this issue, I‘m telling you this bill is the most significant bill that‘s going to pass this year.  Call your senators, call your congressmen, call the president, even though it‘s not going to do any good, and tell them whether you oppose amnesty for 12 million illegal immigrants or not.  And make sure your senator reads the bill.  They‘re trying to jam this bill through very quickly.  (INAUDIBLE) all the really horrendous bills, they would make them too big for all of us to read, and then give us a couple of days to then vote on them.  Make them push the voting date back at least a month so we will know what the impact‘s going to be of 12 million illegal immigrants being granted amnesty all at once.  It‘s so important.  Call your congressmen.  Call your senators.  Do it now.

Coming up next: Why is the Army preventing U.S. troops from using a certain kind of body armor?  And is their decision putting lives at risk?  A special NBC News investigation is next.

Plus: Rosie O‘Donnell compares American military troops to terrorists and uses “The View” to explore her crazy 9/11 conspiracy.  Why has Barbara Walters lost complete control of her show?  And will she have any credibility left once Rosie leaves, calling U.S. troops terrorists?

And later: “American Idol” kicks off the show‘s frontrunner, Melinda Doolittle.  Was it a desperate ploy to boost the show‘s ratings?  We‘re going to look at why the season finale may be “Idol‘s” swan song.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  When Donald Rumsfeld famously said, You go to war with the army you have, well, the backlash was deafening and immediate.  But tonight, an NBC News exclusive investigation has uncovered a prime example of troops in Iraq put in harm‘s way without what many consider to be the best equipment to protect them.

NBC‘s senior investigative correspondent, Lisa Myers, has the result of months of investigation into the following question.  Is the body armor issued to every soldier in the U.S. Army really the best available for the job, or is there something better, something much safer, something that select soldiers and VIPs in Iraq have already used—Lisa.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LISA MYERS, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Joe, for the last few months, we‘ve been investigating a very important question.  Is the body armor issued to every soldier in the U.S. Army really the best in the world, or is there body armor that might be better and safer?  Our investigation suggests that America‘s fighting men and women on the front lines may not have the best protection out there.

(voice-over):  For troops in the line of fire, body armor can mean the difference between death and life.  The U.S. Army insists our troops have the very best, and without question, that armor has saved lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

BRIG. GEN. MARK BROWN, U.S. ARMY:  The body armor we issue to our soldiers today is the best in the world, bar none.

MYERS:  But is it really the best?

(on camera):  An NBC News investigation, including independent ballistics tests, suggests there may be something better, called Dragon Skin.  Some soldiers and their families have tried to buy Dragon Skin, believing it offers better protection.  But the U.S. Army banned Dragon Skin last year, even before formally testing it.

(voice-over):  We went to the factory where Dragon Skin is made.

(on camera):  So this is Dragon skin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That‘s it.  It‘s a unique system comprised of individual scales, if you will.  As you can see, it‘s flexible.  It‘s pliable.

MYERS (voice-over):  The Army‘s current body armor is called Interceptor (ph).  We found the man who designed that body armor a decade ago, Jim McGee (ph), a retired Marine colonel.

(on camera):  What is the best body armor available today, in your view?

COL. JIM MCGEE, U.S. MARINE CORPS (RET.):  Dragon Skin is the best out there, hands down.  It‘s better than the Interceptor.  It is state of the art.  In some cases, it‘s two steps ahead of anything that I‘ve ever have seen.

MYERS (voice-over):  Why?  He says more stopping power and more

coverage.  McGee says the Army‘s Interceptor uses four plates to stop the

most lethal bullets, leaving some vital organs unprotected.  But McGee says

Dragon Skin, with disks that interconnect like medieval chain mail, can

wrap most of a soldier‘s torso, providing a greater area of maximum

protection.  McGee has no financial stake in Dragon Skin

MCGEE:  If you would ask me today, Jim, we‘re sending you to Iraq tomorrow, what would you wear?  I would buy Dragon Skin and I would wear it.

MYERS:  He‘s not alone.  The CIA bought Dragon Skin for these elite operatives in Iraq, they say after it passed CIA testing.  But Brigadier General Mark Brown, in charge of body armor for the Army, says the Army conducted its own tests of Dragon Skin last year.

BROWN:  Thirteen of forty-eight shots that were taken at Dragon Skin were penetrating, full penetrating shots.

MYERS (on camera):  So Dragon Skin failed.

BROWN:  Dragon Skin failed miserably.

MYERS (voice-over):  Brown says those tests led the Army to ban Dragon Skin, with this “safety of use” message warning soldiers of death or serious injury.  There‘s just one problem.  The Army banned Dragon Skin in March, almost two months before that testing began, in May.

(on camera):  But General, the Army banned Dragon Skin before the Army even tested it.

BROWN:  Lisa, I‘m not aware of that.  I don‘t know that it had not been tested at that time.  I wasn‘t here.

MYERS (voice-over):  NBC News has learned that well after the Army ban, select soldiers assigned to protect generals and VIPs in Iraq and Afghanistan wore Dragon Skin.  This soldier, who asked us to conceal his identity and voice, says he wore Dragon Skin on certain missions with the full knowledge of his commanders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I wore it, and I saw other people wearing it.  It conforms to your body.  It gives you more mobility.

MYERS (on camera):  Does the ban on Dragon Skin apply equally to everyone in the Army?

BROWN:  Lisa, yes, it does.

MYERS (voice-over):  However, sources in these documents reveal that the security detail for a top general in Iraq bought and wore Dragon Skin.

(on camera):  If Dragon Skin is good enough for a three star general, shouldn‘t it be good enough for other soldiers?

BROWN:  Lisa, even three star generals make mistakes.

MYERS (voice-over):  A Pentagon spokesman says that general, Peter Chiarelli, had no knowledge that Dragon Skin was prohibited, and he never wore Dragon Skin, though it‘s possible his staff ordered it for him.  The Pentagon says Chiarelli acknowledges his bodyguards ordered and received concealed body armor, but he didn‘t know the armor was Dragon Skin.

Given the controversy over body armor, NBC News commissioned an independent side-by-side test of Dragon Skin and the Army‘s Interceptor vest.  In that testing, Dragon Skin outperformed the Army‘s body armor in stopping the most lethal threats.

Retired four star Army general Wayne Downing, now an NBC News analyst, observed the test.

GEN. WAYNE DOWNING, U.S. ARMY (RET.), NBC NEWS ANALYST:  From what we saw today, Lisa—and again, it‘s a limited number...

MYERS (on camera):  Sure.

DOWNING:  ... of trials, Dragon Skin was significantly better.

MYERS:  Joe, these independent limited tests raise serious questions about the Army‘s claim that Dragon Skin does not work.  They certainly indicate that more independent side-by-side tests should be conducted.  NBC News will report on the specific results of the independent tests we commissioned on “DATELINE NBC SUNDAY”—Joe.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  Thanks so much, Lisa.

And coming up here: Rosie compares American troops in Iraq to terrorists.  Why is Barbara Walters still letting Rosie spew her views?  And is it time to officially pull the plug?

But first: Celebrities‘ deep thoughts revealed in “Must See S.C.,” coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, it‘s time for tonight‘s “Must See SC,” some video you‘ve just got to see. 

First up, what questions would you ask your favorite stars and politicians if you only had the chance?  Conan O‘Brien did just that in another round of celebrity surveys. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONAN O‘BRIEN, HOST, “LATE NIGHT”:  My favorite playground game was always—Julianne Moore wrote “tag”; Matt Dillon wrote “red rover”; O.J.  Simpson wrote, “Duck, duck, murder.” 

During my campaign, I‘ve tried to hard to reach—John McCain wrote “independent voters”; John Edwards wrote “younger voters”; Dennis Kucinich wrote “the microphone.” 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  And finally, President Bush continues to add to the “Late Show” archives with more great moments in presidential speeches. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  The

only thing we have to fear is fear itself. 

JOHN F. KENNEDY, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. 

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Yes, I think, tide turning—see, as I remember it, I was raised in the desert, but tides kind of turn—it‘s easy to see a tide turn.  Did I say those words? 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  I was raised in the desert?  Coming up, if you thought Rosie O‘Donnell couldn‘t get more controversial, think again.  Now she is actually comparing U.S. troops to terrorists.  Why does Barbara allow this to happen?

And later, “Idol” shocker.  Did they let the best of the best go to help boost their sagging ratings?  That and more, when he return. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  U.S. troops came under attack, not just from Iraqi militias, but from none other than Rosie O‘Donnell.  In her perhaps boldest and most offensive statement to date, she equated American troops to terrorists on “The View.”  Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROSIE O‘DONNELL, HOST, “THE VIEW”:  655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. 

Who are the terrorists?

ELISABETH HASSELBECK, “VIEW” CO-HOST:  Who are the terrorists?

O‘DONNELL:  655 Iraqis—I‘m saying you have to look—we invaded...

HASSELBECK:  Wait, who are you calling terrorists? 

O‘DONNELL:  I‘m saying that, if you were in Iraq, and another country, the United States, the richest in the world, invaded your country and killed 655,000 of your citizens, what would you call us?

HASSELBECK:  Are we killing their citizens or are their people also killing their citizens? 

O‘DONNELL:  We are invading a sovereign nation and occupying a country against the U.N.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  There are so many things wrong about what Rosie O‘Donnell just said there.  First of all, calling American troops terrorists is beyond the pale.  Secondly, where she gets her number, I don‘t know.  And, thirdly, as Elisabeth Hasselbeck stated, it‘s the Iraqis killing the Iraqis right now that‘s causing the most deaths over there, Shia killing Sunnis.  But we‘ll talk about that later. 

You know, the attack on American troops, comparing them to terrorists, comes just says after accused Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani of covering up after 9/11. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O‘DONNELL:  He was, you know, instrumental in making sure that all of the steel was removed and shipped to Canada right away.  Giuliani, it was shipped to China, sorry, right away.

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, “THE VIEW”:  For what purpose?

O‘DONNELL:  Well, to get it out of there and to have, you know, all of the—but it was all gone.  So there was no, like, metal to test.  There was no...

(CROSSTALK)

HASSELBECK:  Giuliani was involved in a cover-up, is that what‘s going on?  I just want to chat.  It was to take 30 months to clean up after 9/11, and it ended up taking nine.  I mean, if you look back on it at the time, people were applauding the fast action and how rapid...

(CROSSTALK)

HASSELBECK:  He took a incredible action to make things better. 

(CROSSTALK)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  So has Rosie finally gone too far?  And should ABC send her packing before her contract is up?  With us now, screenwriter and commentator John Ridley, investigative journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell.  She‘s author of the new book, “Secrets Can be Murder.”  And MSNBC media analyst Steve Adubato.

You know, Steve, there are so many things here that are wrong, I just really—I don‘t know where to begin.  But let‘s start with Rosie O‘Donnell comparing American troops to terrorists.  Why does ABC put up with it?  Why does Barbara Walters put up with it?  Especially when you have all these people being fired for, oh, I don‘t know, making fun of Asian-Americans, which Rosie O‘Donnell has already done.

STEVE ADUBATO, MEDIA ANALYST:  It‘s unbelievable, Joe.  It‘s disgraceful, and ultimately ABC and Barbara Walters are responsible, because they are the employers.  It‘s simple.  You debate the policy.  You attack the policy.  You attack the president.  You attack the strategy.  You never cross the line, Joe, and you know this as well as any reasonable person does.  You never cross the line and attack the troops, putting their lives on the line. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, Steve, not only she accused the troops of being terrorists and then accused them of killing 655,000 Iraqis, I guess Rosie doesn‘t read the “New York Times,” which will tell you the Shia are killing the Sunnis, the Sunnis are killing the Shia.  Iraqis are killing Iraqis a lot more than we are right now. 

ADUBATO:  Joe, she not only doesn‘t back up anything she says, but she doesn‘t understand or appreciate that men and women, brave men and women of all ages, sometimes two and three tours, go there to fight, to defend, because they‘re part of the military.  What is she saying, that they should be court-martialed?  They‘re putting their lives on the line.  She sits in a studio in New York, passes judgment on their actions, in following a policy that she disagrees with.  By the way, I disagree with the policy, too, but to call them terrorists is unconscionable.  She must be held to account.  I don‘t understand why she still is playing out the string.

SCARBOROUGH:  I don‘t understand why Barbara Walters puts up with it. 

I don‘t understand why ABC puts up with it.

Jane, you know Rosie O‘Donnell.  What do you think about her calling the American troops terrorists?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER:  Well, Joe, I‘m not going to defend her.  I think what she said was absolutely wrong.  I want to get that out right away.

I will say, I think she was trying to make a point, but she made it the wrong way.  The word “terrorist” is extremely emotionally loaded.  It has to be used with care and cannot be bandied about.  I will say, she‘s not the only one misusing the term.  The U.S. government has become labeling groups that they find inconvenient “terrorists.”  They‘ve labeled animal rights group, for example, domestic terrorists, when animal rights activists have never killed an individual.  Any time you use the word “terrorist” inappropriately, it is an insult to those who have died on 9/11.

SCARBOROUGH:  My god, but calling U.S. troops terrorists?  How can you compare that to the United States putting that label on other people?  Calling our American troops that are sacrificing—that are away from their husbands and wives.  Again, it is indefensible.  I guess, John Ridley, what I don‘t understand is, how does Barbara Walters allow this to continue? 

JOHN RIDLEY, SCREENWRITER AND COMMENTATOR:  I don‘t know, Joe.  First of all, as far as terrorism is concerned and the definition of terrorism is using violence to achieve a political end, so I would say that there are some animal rights groups that, for example, go and use...

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  They‘ve never killed anyone.  They have never killed anyone.  The mafia has, though.

RIDLEY:  Excuse me, it‘s using violence.  Violence does not mean you have to kill someone.  It‘s using violence to achieve a political end.  So I think that that‘s correct by definition. 

The other thing—I would go back to what Steve says, and I agree with Steve, is that Rosie says things and does not back them up.  The Giuliani comment, for example, the debris taken from the 9/11 site was not immediately shipped to China.  It was taken to the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island, where over 1.6 million tons of debris was sifted through by experts for evidence, for human remains, and out of that, 350,000 tons of scrap metal was then sent to China, to Malaysia, to places—they had to get rid of it.  They had to do something with it.

So to say these things is one thing.  To say things in a news program that‘s produced by Barbara Walters, a news woman, and not back them up with the facts, that‘s where the irresponsible things come in.  And, by the way, it‘s one thing to talk about these things and for all of us to wonder what happened on 9/11.  It‘s another thing to go on national television and accuse a man who‘s running for the presidency of the United States of America of being involved in one of the largest conspiracies, if this were true, in the history of the United States and not back it up.  That‘s irresponsible.

SCARBOROUGH:  Steve Adubato, speaking of irresponsible, the thing that keeps shocking me—this isn‘t about Rosie O‘Donnell now.  This is about Barbara Walters and ABC News.  How does Barbara Walters go from being one of the trail blazers in the news business to allowing a woman come on her news show and accuse Rudy Giuliani of a conspiracy theory to bring down buildings on September 11th, the darkest day in our past 100 years in American history. 

And then, again, Barbara Walters—make no mistake, Barbara Walters is enabling a woman to come on her show, on Barbara Walters‘ show, using ABC airwaves, and calling U.S. troops that are giving their all to this country, calling them terrorists, making fun of Asian-Americans, mocking the way they talk.  How does Barbara Walters and ABC allow this to go on day after day after day?

ADUBATO:  Joe, the part I don‘t get is, she‘s leaving the show.  Her contract ends—I guess it‘s the 23rd, 24th of June.  My question is, why let her continue to go on the air?  Free speech, that‘s not the issue here.  It‘s a question of responsibility and accountability.  How could Barbara and ABC do this?  It‘s a rhetorical question, because the answer is, obviously they don‘t care enough about themselves, the standards, and, most of all, their audience, their viewers who deserve better than this.  It is a news program, no matter what anyone wants to say, because she is involved in life and death issues, people putting their lives on the line, our troops, but also talking about building seven and so-called special she‘s going to have.  She‘s not going to do it in a real way.  And people were killed, and it‘s unacceptable.

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘ll tell you what, we‘ve got to go.  Let me ask you very quickly, Jane, a prediction:  Is Rosie O‘Donnell going to be booted off for calling U.S. troops terrorists? 

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  If this keeps up, she very well might.  I think that one of the real crimes here is that we in the media kind of drop the ball in looking at these Iraqi casualties and the horrific number of deaths of innocent civilians in Iraq.  And I think that this...

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, good god.

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  ... a call for all of us to not wait...

ADUBATO:  Not the issue.

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  ... not wait until somebody says something inappropriate to discuss that issue.

SCARBOROUGH:  I don‘t understand.  So maybe—so maybe you think that maybe our troops are terrorists? 

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  No, I don‘t.  Absolutely not.  But I think we should be devoting more time to Iraqi deaths than we do to Paris Hilton. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, well, fine.

ADUBATO:  Different debate.

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘ll tell you what:  Why don‘t we call the Shia and ask them to stop killing the Sunnis?  And why don‘t we call the Sunnis and tell them to stop blowing up little children?  We‘re not doing that.  They‘re doing that to each other.

John Ridley, quickly, will Rosie O‘Donnell survive calling U.S. troops terrorists?

RIDLEY:  I think she will.  I think, as Steve says, the ratings are the most important things.  And if you can accuse Giuliani of being involved in conspiracies without fact, she can do anything at this point. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  It‘s disgusting.  Thank you so much, John Ridley, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Steve Adubato.  We‘ll be right back in a second.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN SEACREST, HOST, “AMERICAN IDOL”:  This is the end of the road for you tonight on “American Idol.”  That means Blake makes it into the “Idol” finale.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s over for Melinda.  Last night, the contestant even Simon liked was voted off.  And as if the surprise upset wasn‘t enough, on Tuesday, “American Idol” became a casualty in the ratings war, beat by another show on the same network.

It‘s been a turbulent month.  Ratings are down double-digit percentages from last year.  Can the show bounce back?  Or is this shaping up to the worst final ever?  Here‘s our former “American Idol” contestant Carmen Rasmusen.  Her single is out, and it‘s “Nothin‘ Like the Summer.”

Thanks so much for being with us, Carmen.

CARMEN RASMUSEN, FORMER “AMERICAN IDOL” CONTESTANT:  Hey, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  Is “American Idol” dying before our eyes? 

RASMUSEN:  You know what? I think that it‘s definitely not as big as it used to be, not as in numbers, but as in people—not as in voting numbers, because the votes are the highest it‘s ever been, but, you know, the ratings have dropped.  I think the number of people is diminishing.

I think that it depends on each season.  You know, season three wasn‘t very hot.  Season five kind of had a slump, too.  And this season, obviously, a lot of people have said that it‘s the most boring season.  I don‘t think that it‘s necessarily the worst, talent-wise, as I‘ve said, but I don‘t think that it‘s been a really interesting season to watch.  It hasn‘t really grabbed me; it hasn‘t hooked me in.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, they booted off Melinda, the most popular one on it, at least up until now.  Is that just to add drama to it?

RASMUSEN:  I predicted that, Joe.  Do you remember?  I said it‘s going to be Jordin and Blake in the bottom two.  And if Melinda—if it was really based on talent alone, Melinda would have won the competition.  No doubt about it.  But, like I said, it‘s based on entertainment.  It‘s based on, you know, the votes.  Look at all the people that were screaming for Blake when he went back to his hometown.  I mean, I think he‘s clearly the most popular contestant.  So I‘m still holding out for him.  I still think that they‘re really pushing for him to win.  They want a pop male vocalist to win this year. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And even Simon was upset last night, huh? 

RASMUSEN:  He was.  He seemed upset the entire show.  Did you notice that?  He seemed kind of...

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, I did.  Angry from beginning to end.  Why is that? 

Did he know that she was going to be booted off?

RASMUSEN:  You know, I think they actually do know beforehand.  In fact, all the producers know the night before.  None of the contestants are allowed up in the control room.  They put together the goodbye package, so I think pretty much everyone but the contestants know who‘s going home the night before.

SCARBOROUGH:  And that‘s why he was so mad.  And, of course, Carmen, the biggest tragedy, no southerners for the first time ever in the finals. 

RASMUSEN:  Nope.

SCARBOROUGH:  Nope.  All right, thank you so much, Carmen.  Greatly appreciate it. 

RASMUSEN:  Thanks, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  Can‘t wait to get you on our show singing your song.

Coming up next here, it‘s sibling rivalry, as Ashlee and Jessica Simpson battle over who‘s hotter.  Adam Carolla joins us next for “Hollyweird.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, tell your lawyer you want your sentence cut in half too, baby.  It‘s time for “Hollyweird.”

First up, Paris Hilton, she‘s OK with the 23 days in jail, I guess, because she‘s dropped her appeal.  Here now to talk about it, Adam Carolla, comedian and syndicated radio talk show host, and Courtney Hazlett from “OK” magazine.

Courtney, what‘s the latest on Ms. Paris Hilton? 

COURTNEY HAZLETT, “OK” MAGAZINE:  The latest is that she‘s definitely going to jail.  It‘s just not going to be for the full 45-day sentence.  I don‘t think this is a good move for Paris.  She‘s still going to end up looking very entitled in the end.  She should just suck it up.  And I hear the second half in jail just flies by.

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, no doubt about it.  Adam, you‘re familiar with some of the lifestyles of the dim and famous in L.A.  What do you make of this?

ADAM CAROLLA, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  I‘m high on coke right now. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Awesome, baby.  Thank you so much. 

CAROLLA:  She‘s going to joint, but she‘s not doing real time.  She‘s doing like protected time.  She‘s not doing the kind of time I was used to seeing in those ‘80s prison movies, like “Chained Heat” and “Concrete Jungle.”  I want her out with the general populace, showering, you know, joining up with a gang, perhaps getting a shiv put in her.  I don‘t want her protected and sitting in her cell phone—talking on her cell phone in her cell room.

And, by the way, can I say this quickly, Joe?  I know you want to stay on topic, but you want to know why we can‘t fire Rosie or why she‘s not going to get fired?  She has triple coverage as a minority.  She‘s a woman; she‘s a lesbian; and she‘s fat.  We can‘t do anything with her.  She‘s like a spotted owl.  She‘s an endangered species.  She‘s protected by the government. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Adam, have you ever asked yourself why I‘ve been able to stay on the air this long?  Same reason, fat, lesbian, whatever. 

Hey...

CAROLLA:  I was talking to you, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  I have absolutely no segue for that.  Speaking of—let‘s just...

HAZLETT:  Let‘s push through it.

SCARBOROUGH:  Speaking of a guy who used to have a show called “The Man Show,” the question of who‘s the hotter Simpson has finally been answered, and it‘s not who many think it is.  Adam, do you know who the hottest Simpson is?

CAROLLA:  Well, I would say O.J., but my second would be Ashlee. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Ashlee.  Why Ashlee? 

CAROLLA:  Well, I don‘t know.  We should ask their dad, Joe Simpson, who never stops talking about how big his daughters‘ racks are.  Have you ever heard that guy talk about his daughters? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, not the kind of dad I‘d want.

CAROLLA:  How creepy is this?  How creepy is it to have a dad going, “When she started sprouting those big double-d bozangas around 13 in church, nobody could ignore those babies.”  Is that the creepiest thing in the world?

SCARBOROUGH:  Courtney, that is so creepy.  It‘s also creepy hearing that Ashlee is hotter than the blonde.  What‘s up with that? 

HAZLETT:  That‘s right.  She‘s been voted the hotter of the two Simpsons.  And not to like bring everyone down here, but I think actually Jessica‘s happy about this.  She‘s wanted to be out of the spotlight.  She‘s in love.  She‘s got a new romance.  And right now, it‘s Ashlee‘s time to shine. 

CAROLLA:  Plus it‘s Jessica‘s fault for painting herself orange and putting on the (INAUDIBLE) make-up.  She‘s now officially a Teletubby. 

(CROSSTALK)

HAZLETT:  Everybody‘s idea of beauty is different. 

SCARBOROUGH:  She is orange. 

(CROSSTALK)

HAZLETT:  There are a lot of orange people in Hollywood, though.  Let‘s be honest.  If we were going to get rid of all the orange people in Hollywood, we would haven‘t much left to choose from. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, stop right there, because here‘s my segue.  OK, go ahead, Adam.  Go ahead.

CAROLLA:  I want to say this.  They say you can never been too rich, too thing or too tan, you can be too tan when you‘re orange.  She is orange.  She looks like a Gulf logo.  She looks like the Union 76 ball. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, hey, finally, Lindsay Lohan is number one on “Maxim‘s” hot 100 list, but she‘s not too hot to grab up the free Hollywood swag.  What‘s that all about, Adam?

CAROLLA:  Everyone loves free crap.  I mean, I‘m taking this chair with me when I leave and part of the camera tripod.  Celebrities love free trap.  We‘re entitled. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You are entitled. 

CAROLLA:  Please.  We‘ll take anything that‘s not nailed down.

SCARBOROUGH:  Courtney, are you entitled to take the camera in New York? 

HAZLETT:  I‘m still waiting for my swag, but that said, Lindsay Lohan, if you‘ve seen how her movies have done lately, if I were here, I‘d be taking free stuff, too. 

SCARBOROUGH:  She needs it.

CAROLLA:  That‘s right.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, thank you, Courtney.  Thank you, Adam.  Take the tripods.  We‘ll see you later in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

END   

Copy: Content and programming copyright 2007 MSNBC.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2007 Voxant, Inc. ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon MSNBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

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