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In the Crossfire

Did police treat Gary Condit fairly?

(CNN) -- Washington's Assistant Chief of Police Terrance Gainer stepped into the "Crossfire" with hosts James Carville and Tucker Carlson to discuss the Chandra Levy case. Levy's remains were found last week in a park in Washington, D.C., and police Tuesday launched a homicide investigation.

Will they once again turn their attention to California Rep. Gary Condit? The lawmaker had a relationship with Levy characterized as romantic by Levy's family and platonic by Condit. Police said Condit acknowledged to them in an interview that the two had an affair.

CARVILLE: Well, you know I asked you chief, and one of the things we do here is we speculate, and we're not all that fair and we're cable TV and we're "Crossfire" and everything, but the question is Gary Condit. Did he do it or not do i,t and I'm going to ask our studio audience their opinion. If you think that Gary Condit did, please indicate by saying yea and then when I ask you if you think he didn't, indicate by saying nay.

All those who think he did, say yea.


CARVILLE: Those who think he didn't, say nay.


CARVILLE: Pretty close there, huh Tucker?

CARLSON: Not in my mind. Now Chief Gainer, isn't it -- I mean look, there's essentially no evidence that he did, and isn't it time for the Metropolitan Police Department to apologize for slandering Gary Condit through innuendo over the past 13 months, destroying his political career, and in the end we learn there's really no chance he did it? Isn't that right?

GAINER: Well I don't believe we slandered his name. That will be for others to determine. We've talked to him on several occasions, as we have others involved in this case, and I think the only people who keep talking about whether he's a suspect or not are generally the media or his own attorneys.

CARLSON: But wait a second, the D.C. Police Department, among other things, leaked the fact that he admitted having an affair in the third interview, publicly mocked him on television for not taking a police supplied polygraph examination, and in general acted like the guy was some sinister suspect. I mean, I watched this unfold on television as did our audience at home and ...

GAINER: Well Tucker, I can't give you the fact that someone leaked the information. Leaks are wrong in our business, and I guess if the media stopped buying the leaks the police would stop selling it. So I'm opposed to that.

CARVILLE: Chief, why am I here defending the public? You were bitterly criticized for not doing enough to bring -- to talk to Gary Condit sooner. Now Tucker's criticizing you for doing too much. Do you ever feel like you're in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation?

GAINER: Only when you're on a show like this.




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