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CNN CROSSFIRE

Would a Hillbilly Reality Show be too Stereotypic? Interview With Dick Armey; Interview With Don King.

Aired December 26, 2002 - 19:00   ET

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

ANNOUNCER: CROSSFIRE.
On the left, James Carville and Paul Begala.

On the right, Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson.

In the CROSSFIRE tonight: Every thing old is reality TV again.

Hollywood thinks there's gold in them thar hillbillys. Or is just picking on one of America's last safe stereotypes?

He wrote the Contract with the America to the House majority leader's post, and didn't mind stepping on Democrats' toes along the way. Before he starts a new career, Dick Armey steps into the CROSSFIRE.

We're also sparring with one of boxing's most recognizable legends.

Plus, advice to the lovelorn, but not from Dear Abby.

Tonight, on CROSSFIRE.

From the George Washington University James Carville and Tucker Carlson.

JAMES CARVILLE, CNN CO-HOST: Welcome to CROSSFIRE. Well, Christmas is over and just like everyone else, Washington's politicians and pundits taking back gifts or are in after-Christmas sales. But we have a show that's a keeper.

We'll talk from real "Cooter" from "Dukes of Hazzard," the most colorful person in the world of boxing and with the outgoing House majoirtyu leader, all in the same show.

But we're starting off with "The Beverly Hillbillies."

(MUSIC)

CARVILLE: "The Beverly Hillbillies" was a huge hit for CBS in the 1960s. Now, this is their reality TV. Some geniuses decided it might be fun for some real hillbillies, park them down in Beverly Hills mansion and watch as the hire maids and go shopping on Rodeo Drive. The CBS was scouting around in West Virginia last month, Kentucky, Tennessee, both Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia, Missouri are possibilities too. Why is it still OK to make fun of White Southerners? Joining us from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville to defend his Appalachian brethren is Ben "Cooter" Jones. He used to be a congressman from Georgia, but you know him best from the old "Dukes of Hazzard" TV series.

TUCKER CARLSON, CNN CO-HOST: Congressman, thanks for joining us. One of the reasons I wholeheartedly support the stereotype of hillbillies, rednecks, Appalachians, southerners, et cetera, is that it's wholly true. And how do I know this, you ask, I'm from southern California, not from the south. Well, I work with one of your region's finest fruits. I want to put a picture up here. You probably can't see it. But I worked with -- there he is. James Carville. Overall, it's the pitchfork, the corncob pipe. But truly -- Isn't it true, Congressman, that basically all the stereotypes are true.

BEN "COOTER" JONES (D), VIRGINIA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: You know, Tucker, I -- I've spent a lot of time in Appalachia and lived all my life in the South, but I have spent a lot of time in Beverly Hills and southern California. And you want to talk about stereotypes, there are a lot more rubes in L.A. and in Beverly Hills than there are in all of the South. And one of those rubes has come up with this ridiculous idea.

CARLSON: No, but wait a second there. If you took the average southerner and set him down in a hot tub with a glass of chardonnay and two Playboy bunnies, he'll have no idea what to do, whereas the average person from southern California is perfectly at home.

JONES: I want to point out something to you, Tucker. Tucker, now "Beverly Hillbillies" was a wonderful show. I loved it. But it was a satire with caricatures -- characters, you know, sort of 19th century kind of people out there. And it was great fun, but you're talking about reality. And the reality is, up in every one of these hollers, all these kids are on the Internet, and they all got satellite dishes out there, and they're all watching cable. And they're a lot more sophisticated than the people that are putting on this show. And we've great schools like L.S.U.

CARVILLE: Right. And I want to set the record straight, Mr. Carlson. I am not a redneck, I am a coon-ass. And damn proud to be a coon-ass.

JONES: It's good to be a coon-ass. That's right.

CARVILLE: Some of you don't know the difference.

JONES: That's right. I'm -- Now, here's the difference: He's a coon-ass, but I'm a redneck. And that's a good old boy with a little bit of attitude.

CARLSON: How about -- Congressman.

JONES: We're proud of it. I tell you what, hey, wait a minute. Why don't we do a show where Tucker -- Tucker comes and lives up -- you know, down in one of them bayous back in there.

CARVILLE: Let's you and I put a show together. I want you to say that you and I will produce a show where we get one of these producers from Beverly Hills and stick his ass in a coal mine and make him earn an honest living and see how he does after you give him a house full of sagging porch and outdoor appliances. How about like that?

JONES: I'm with you. Yes, yes. One of these hotshot, you know, geniuses at CBS and maybe -- maybe put him down there plowing a mule somewhere, you know, where they really have to make a living.

CARLSON: But Congressman, you're missing the point. Nobody wants to plow mules, apart from Al Gore. I mean, the whole reason that the rest of the country no longer walks behind mules for a living is because it's unpleasant. So what do you think of the region where people do it?

JONES: We'll put him on a John Deere tractor. It doesn't matter. He's going to be lost. Because listen, country boys know how to survive. The -- the rednecks of this country are the people who have plowed the fields, who worked the factories who built the roads and the railroads, who fought the wars, who built this country and built the middle class. And y'all want to make fun of us, so (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

CARLSON: That's fine.

CARVILLE: Wait a second. Wait a second. If that network is so smart, why is the head of it a man called Moonves.

JONES: That's right. And his first name is Leslie!

CARLSON: Wait a second. You're using classic redneck humor.

JONES: Why don't the man have a real name like Billy Bob?

CARLSON: Exactly. Or James Carville. Or Cooter?

JONES: Tucker, Cooter is a good name. Raging Cajun's a good name, you know? We've got good names down south: Skeeter, Bubba, Cooter.

CARVILLE: All right, Tucker.

CARLSON: Yes.

JONES: But you know what? We also have -- You know, I'm sitting here at the University of Tennessee, one of the great universities. What about the University of Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, Georgia Tech?

CARLSON: That's exactly it.

JONES: There's no schools that compare to that. Like Trinity College or -- UCLA. CARLSON: I agree with you. I agree with you that Duke and UVA are excellent schools, but they're mostly populated by northerners.

JONES: No, no, no, no.

CARLSON: How many English professors do you think grew up in Alabama?

CARVILLE: I know Ken Warren, English professor in Louisiana State and he was raised in Kentucky. Now how do you like that.

JONES: Now Duke, you might be right about Duke. You might be right about Duke. I went to Carolina. You might be right about Duke. All of the great writers came from the south. William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor. I mean, Mark Twain.

CARLSON: But Congressman, can you understand a single word William Faulkner ever wrote? No. Come on, nobody can.

JONES: Absolutely. No, no, you can't. You're the one with the problem.

CARLSON: Hold on a minute. Congressman, pronounce the name Peskataquafarqua County or whatever. Nobody can pronounce the name of the county.

JONES: Watch your language. Son, there are ladies watching.

CARVILLE: Now here you go, they should be. Now, I want to come back to something that I think is important, this reality TV. And this is all a lot of fun. What is it, do you think, and you've been around entertainment a long time, seriously. What is it about making people -- here on the Internet, you've got people that you can watch them for 24 hours a day. Are we becoming sort of voyeuristic as a nation, or something, Cooter?

JONES: I'm almost -- well, yes, that's part of it, I think. But another part of it is, is that the real programming, the dramatic programming and the comedy programming, is so weak, so dreadful, that this reality program, just showing real people doing sort of ordinary things is -- gets better ratings. So that's...

CARLSON: But wait a second.

JONES: If one of them succeeds, they'll do ten more.

CARLSON: You made a lot of money and did a great job playing a character named Cooter who stayed drunk on Billy Beer all day.

JONES: No, no, no, no. Cooter didn't...

CARLSON: You add to the stereotype.

JONES: Pardon me, no. Wait a minute; you're the one that's stereotyping. If you'll notice, Cooter -- Cooter, in fact, like me, was a recovering alcoholic. You missed a lot. You were watching Daisy and not...

CARLSON: Oh, I'm sorry. Then you were just dumb. I thought he was drunk. But I'm just saying, he was the stereotypical, you know, plumber's crack, chest-scratching tooth-missing southerner, wasn't he?

JONES: No. You were watching another show, Tucker. You were watching "Crossfire" with Bob Novak.

CARLSON: Pretty good.

CARVILLE: That ain't bad. There's a reason for that. But one of the things that I think that the "Beverly Hillbillies" did is that they wrote it very sensibly. And if you watch it, the Hillbillies had a very pure, kind of almost innocent thing themselves. And Beverly Hills always came out as looking bad. And the Beverly Hillbillies always came out kind of looking good in the thing.

JONES: That was the great fun of it. I think if you take real people and, if you can find totally unsophisticated people who are less -- who are less sophisticated than the people in Beverly Hills, and that's really hard to find somebody like that. But you've got to find somebody who doesn't have the integrity and character, who would be willing to give up their beautiful home in the mountains to live in the dreadful place of Beverly Hills, where all of that funny business is going on.

CARVILLE: Do you know what the difference is between Beverly Hills and where we come from in the south. In Beverly Hills, the jewelry is real and the people is fake. Where we come from, the jewelry is fake and the people are real.

CARLSON: Wait a second. Ben Jones, we're almost out of time, but honestly, aren't you afraid this series is going to reveal what the region is really like?

JONES: No, no. They haven't managed to scratch -- see, Carville was right. You know, you can still -- you can still poke fun at southerners because we don't care. We are hip to ourselves. We know what's going on.

CARVILLE: That's right.

CARLSON: That's right. We have a lot more fun than y'all do.

CARVILLE: Damn right. If you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?

CARLSON: Amen. Congressman, thank you very much for joining us.

For nearly 20 years, the Congressional Democrats had nightmares. He figured prominently in them. In a minute, we'll asking departing House Majority leader Dick Armey whose dreams he'll be haunting next.

And then a man has never shyed away from trouble, btu learned to roll with the punches, literally. We'll explain when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARVILLE: Welcome back.

The world has changed dramatically during the 18 years that Congressman Armey has served in the Congress of the United States. He came during Ronald Reagan's (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in America campaign. He's leaving with a warning about what he calls "the awful banker's (ph) seduction of sacrificing freedom for safety in the war on terrorism."

Congressman Armey is in the CROSSFIRE.

CARLSON: Congressman Armey, you are -- it's not exactly clear what you'll be doing full-time when you leave, apparently, but part- time, at least, you may be working with the ACLU. A, is that true? And B, do you have some reservations about working with a group like that?

REP. DICK ARMEY (R-TX), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: Well, the ACLU and I have been working together on these very important issues of our personal liberties and our personal privacy. They will remain committed to that. They are, incidentally, committed to a lot of things that I think are wrong. But they'recommitted to our personal liberties.

I will remain committed to that. We will both be speaking on behalf of the personal liberties of the American people, and thatwould make a natural collaboration for us. But I would not, at this point, project a formal contractual relationship between myself and the ACLU.

CARLSON: What do you think? You often hear liberals and some conservatives -- I guess you're among them -- say that some of the so- called reforms put in place since 9/11 have, in fact, reduced the individual liberties of Americans. Tell us what you think the worst offenders are.

ARMEY: Well, we've worked very hard on that. And I worked on both the Patriot Act and homeland bill. We got rid of tips, this neighbors spying on neighbors program. And we've stopped the national ID card.

We still have, we're still fighting, even in D.C. against these awful red light cameras and snoopy things.

CARLSON: Amen. Good for you.

ARMEY: But we've protected our Internet access on this carnivore basis the best we could. And what we did was we put in the sunset provisions for a lot of these that said, in effect, your authority will only be continued in the future if you use it responsibly and subject yourself to responsible congressional oversight. We have to protect the -- you know the old line is, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

It's our job in Congress to be vigilant. We must have an oversight over the agency. We give them the authorities that they think they need to keep us safe. But they must use them responsibly.

And it's going to be...

CARVILLE: Benjamin Franklin said that people that are willing to sacrifice liberty in the interest of security end up with neither.

ARMEY: That's exactly right.

CARVILLE: Let me -- this is something, and I want you to talk about this, because this provokes something. I have to drive the George Washington Parkway. And, as I remember, I wasn't prepared for this, but I remember you got in a controversy with the park police about these cameras that catch people speeding. What was the final resolution of that? Because people out there looking at this show, that's something that they're faced with all the time.

ARMEY: Well, I think we managed to get the federal park police to stop using them. But the city of D.C. are using the spy cameras, and they're using them, and they're not mincing any words about it. I noticed in the paper the other day, it's a revenue deal.

CARVILLE: I understand. But what if they catch you going through a red light, why -- doesn't the city of D.C. have an interest in getting people to stop at these lights?

ARMEY: Well, absolutely. But you don't have an interest in having people panic over the spy camera, slam on their brakes and get hit from behind. If you go to places like Mesa (ph), Arizona, and San Diego, they have a documented experience that, in fact, you make the intersection more dangerous with a red light, as opposed to the simple thing of extending the time of the amber for a little bit longer, giving people a chance to see it, anticipate it, and stop in a proper, manageable fashion. The red light camera is about raising money. It's not about traffic safety.

CARVILLE: Suppose the technology -- and maybe it does now -- you have a radar gun, it clocks you going fast, it takes a picture of your license plate and sends you a ticket. Would that cause you great consternation?

ARMEY: That doesn't bothers me. If I'm speeding down the road, an officer of the law stops me, he sees me, he can confirm who I am. And we have a transaction related to that. If you take a picture of my car, send it to my house six months later, five weeks later, I'm off in Europe for a month vacation, then I come back to find out not only do I have this, but I have a notice from the court saying I'm delinquent in my appearance and my son was driving the car all along.

CARLSON: But you've spent a month in Europe, so you're grateful anyway.

(CROSSTALK)

ARMEY: It is the oldest thing in there, the right to face your accuser. CARLSON: Amen. Now speaking of accusers, I know you're leaving on a happy note after 18 years. But I did see a statement a couple of months ago, in September, from Congressman Martin Frost and Congresswoman Nita Lowy of New York about you that struck me as uncommonly bitter and cruel. Here it is.

"Seldom has the Congress become a better institution due to the departure of a member of the House leadership. However, it has become clear that the House would become a more civil and decent institution the day Dick Armey retires." That's awfully mean. Tell us the story behind that.

ARMEY: It was an uncharacteristic moment for Martin. He's really not that kind of a vicious person. He was having a bad day. I think he was sort of prodded by a reporter trying to get a story. But Martin's a gentle soul and he's a kind person, and I'm sure he doesn't mean anything quite that mean.

CARLSON: What are the personal problems you're alluding to that you think would make him...

ARMEY: Well, I don't know. But, I mean, you've had a bad day. James, you must have had a bad day.

CARVILLE: Oh god. I had a bad day in November, a bad hair day.

CARLSON: Is there anybody in Congress who you don't respect as a legislator?

ARMEY: No.

CARLSON: You can tell us now that you're leaving.

ARMEY: No. I think the members of Congress are a marvelous group of people, and I enjoyed my relationship on both sides. And one of the privileges I had as majority leader was to be able to work with people from both sides of the aisle, to help them get their legislation to the floor. And I did that with a great deal of satisfaction. Republicans and Democrats alike.

Admittedly, more Republicans than Democrats. But, we helped one another and we worked well together. And I don't have a person, I have a bad feeling (ph).

CARVILLE: A colleague from your side of the aisle, while we're here, and that's Congressman DeLay, who said that he would not send his daughters to Texas A&M because they were actually having sex there. And then he put in a provision in the Homeland Security bill to give Texas A&M money, which it's a fine institution. But whyshould Texas A&M get my money if it can't get Tom DeLay's daughters? If it's not good enough for his daughters, why is it good enough for my money?

ARMEY: Well, first of all, Tom offered that amendment in the markup, which was televised on the day we did it. And, by the way, it covered -- I think there were 30 qualifying universities across the nation for that language...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: We're going to end on that.

ARMEY: I have always said to my wife -- just the other night I said, "I take that man too seriously."

CARVILLE: You really do. After 18 years, even I'm going to be (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

CARLSON: Congressman Dick Armey, thanks very much for joining us. I hope you'll come back. Thanks.

CARLSON: Now that Christmas is over, is it time to do something to keep your finger to be mistaken for a stuffed turkey? Next, the controversey over whether the president of the United States ought to be telling you what to eat and how to exercise.

And then, whether or not you're in fighting frim (ph), we've got ringside seats for "The Hard Road to Glory." the legendary Don King joins us here in the CROSSFIRE.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARVILLE: Welcome back. Last night, we gave President Bush the quote of the day. He told "Runners World" magazine that he's serious about exercise and everyone should be, too. No excuses. But then we got into a big disagreement about whether the president, an avid jogger who can do three miles in 20 minutes, is pushing the rest of us too hard. The question still has some legs to it. So joining us from Houston, Texas, is the city's fitness czar and former Mr. Universe, Lee Labrada. And here in Washington is David Boaz of the Cato Institute.

CARLSON: Lee Labrada, thanks for joining us. One of our favorite guests. I want to put on the screen the actual quote that James has alluded to from the president of the United States, one I've spent my life supporting and defending. He says: "No excuses. If the president of the United States can make the time, anyone can."

Now, this -- I'm not attacking exercise, I think it's marvelous. I'm as pro-exercise as anybody in the world, but this gets to what bothers me. There's an elitism here. You never see poor people jogging. Why? Because they don't have time. So the president of the United States -- if I can do it, you -- you know, there's no excuse, this is the most important thing in your day. But in fact, a lot of people have more important things, like working a second job or taking care of their kids. Isn't there an elitism in this?

LEE LABRADA, HOUSTON FITNESS CZAR: I don't think the president is being elitist at all. In fact, I think he's leading from the front, if anything. He's setting a proper example for the rest of us. And that is that you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.

CARVILLE: Let me ask you something. The former first president, the former first lady, Mrs. Barbara Bush, was -- encouraged people to read. Now, more rich people read than poor people. So is it elitism for the first lady of the United States saying that people ought to read and encourage literacy?

CARLSON: That's a dumb point!

CARVILLE: No, it's not. It's not any more dumb than your point.

DAVID BOAZ, CATO INSTITUTE: I think the Bushes ought to get their advice straight. We can't do everything. We can't read, we can't exercise, we can't do all the things they would like us to do. And that's something people have to think about. The president says, if I can do it, anybody can. I'm guessing that after eight hours at work, the president doesn't have to go pick up the laundry, water the lawn, drive the kids to soccer. Of course the president has time that the rest of us don't have.

But the important thing is, it's great for the president to set a good example, it's great for him to do the right thing. But we don't need a national nanny telling us all, don't drink, don't smoke, exercise more, recycle. We don't need that from the federal government.

CARLSON: And I think that's an excellent point, Lee Labrada. I mean, do we really need to be scolded by our politicians? Holy smokes, we're at war. A lot of things to worry about in this world. Do we really need nannies standing over us telling us how to spend our free time?

LABRADA: Well, I really don't think it's about a politician scolding the rest of us. What I think it's about is about setting an example and putting out a very important message that is that we have to take care of our health if we are to improve our general level of fitness. And it's right there in the preamble to the Constitution of the United States that part of the role of government is to promote the general welfare. This falls under promoting the general welfare.

CARLSON: But wait a second. The guys who wrote the Constitution, the founders, were overweight, they all had gout. They drank too much (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Not one of these guys had ever been on a stairmaster. They led vibrant, vigorous lives and created the most important political document in human history. It sort of cuts against the argument you have to be fit to be smart, doesn't it?

LABRADA: But wasn't it Franklin who said that an apple a day keeps a doctor away? You know, I think that there were people that were aware of...

CARLSON: Touche!

LABRADA: ... the need for good health back then. But bottom line is, is that we know better nowadays, and it's important to get the message out to people. It's not about elitism, it's actually about egalitarianism. It's about setting an example that others can follow and having equal access for all.

(CROSSTALK)

BOAZ: ... the president jogging, but the hundreds of millions of dollars, we don't need that.

CARVILLE: I'll tell you what -- I rather -- I'll tell you what. It makes imminent more sense for the federal government to spend hundreds of millions of dollars encouraging people to exercise than it does to give money to grow tobacco. I mean, if you want to be really ridiculous here...

BOAZ: I agree, they should stop that too.

CARLSON: Why don't we stop both?

CARVILLE: But, again, what is the problem with the federal government encouraging people to embrace a healthy lifestyle?

BOAZ: The problem is that these founders that we were talking about a minute ago set up a government of limited powers. And the most important thing the government is supposed to do is national security. And at the very moment that the terrorists were flying airplanes into the World Trade Center, this president was sitting in a classroom in Florida surrounded by little kids reading to them. That is the job of their parents and their teachers. The president's job is to protect us from foreign assault, and if he focused on that instead of tell us to jog and reading to our kids, then maybe we'd have a more secure nation.

(CROSSTALK)

LABRADA: I think it's the president's role to lead by example, and that's exactly what he's doing. And something that is very important is for us to realize that this is not a mandated program. This is a voluntary program.

CARLSON: Oh, yeah? Oh, yeah, Lee Labrada?

LABRADA: Absolutely.

CARLSON: It's interesting you said that, in "Runner's World" magazine the president is quoted as saying -- this is a direct quote, "I expect the White House staff to be on time," famous for that, "and sharp, and to exercise."

LABRADA: And that's his staff. That's his prerogative to do that.

CARLSON: But wait a second. In the rest of the workaday world, if you show up with, you know, rings in your face and tattoos all over yourself, your employer can't say, hey, freak, you're fired. No way, you're protected by the ACLU. Is it at a point that you have to exercise to keep your job?

BOAZ: It might very well. You know, they start out saying, it's just a should, and then they say, OK, it's a must.

(CROSSTALK)

CARVILLE: Let me clear something up here. Actually, as opposed to all of you guys, my wife works at the White House. They encourage it. I'm glad that they do. She's the best looking 49-year-old woman on the face of the earth...

CARLSON: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

CARVILLE: ...and one of the reasons she is is because she exercises. And I am proud of that, and I'm glad that this president, who I disagree with, gives her a chance to do that.

CARLSON: Well, unfortunately, on that happy domestic note, James' good looking wife, we are out of time. Lee Labrada, thanks so much for joining us.

LABRADA: Thank you.

CARLSON: David Boaz, from Cato, thank you for joining us from Washington.

Coming up the latest headlines on the CNN "News Alert" and then guest who a knock out. He's promoted some of the best boxing matches of all time And tonight, he is enters the ring with me and James.

Later for those prone to stray, some alternatives to the transparent finger shaking denials. Can adultery ever be OK? We will debate it. Be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

CARLSON: Adultery to commit or not commit? An author who advocates adultery joins us to debate it. It's a segment you will not believe. Send the spouse out of the room.

But next the man who changed the face of boxing and not mention it's haircut. Don King enters the CROSSFIRE.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARVILLE: Don King's rap site claims he is the world's greatest promoter and hard to disagree. You don't have to follow the fight game know the names, he had them, Muhammed Ali, George Foreman, Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson. But instead of making the list any longer, let's get to the main event. Stepping into the CROSSFIRE and chairman and founder of Don King Productions is Don King himself.

DON KING, BOXING PROMOTER: Hey, Tucker.

CARLSON: All right!

KING: Great to be here. CARLSON: Hi.

CARVILLE: OK.

KING: I'm in the CROSSFIRE.

CARVILLE: All right, you are in the CROSSFIRE.

CARLSON: I must say, you are a stylish guy. I'm impressed.

KING: Thank you.

CARLSON: Now tell me, James and I were just talking that we both like boxing. We were talking about this in the commercial break.

Mike Tyson -- two questions. First of all, every one is down on Tyson, you maybe more than most even. Why? And second, what happened to Mike Tyson who had so much problems?

KING: Well, first of all, let me correct you. I'm not down on Mike Tyson. I think that Mike Tyson is down on himself. And I think that he is a guy -- this -- what I call myself and him, urchins of the ghetto. And he chooses a path that's the wrong path to take.

But I think that he's a great fighter, he's a great human being. I love the guy and I'm sorry to see him go into such a state by listening to others.

CARLSON: Really. Well, we have this quote from the Daily Record, June 5th. Here's what you said about Mike Tyson. Doesn't sound like something you'd say about someone you love. "Mike Tyson could be a poster boy for the Klu Klux Klan. He's the embodiment, he personifies so that he can be ad for them to say, `See that I told you,' and everyone laughs like it's funny."

That's pretty rough.

KING: Well, that's pretty true. You must understand that Mike Tyson embodies what the Klan was trying to do, that we are lazy, lethargic. We can't rise to the occasion, and we all lie, cheat and steal. This is the stereotyped image that they had of African Americans throughout the 17th, 18th, 19th century. And it lingers on today from the scars of slavery.

And when he acts that way, where he would insult women, bite off ears, do things that they said all along, then it makes it look like it's true that those who are the extreme rightists -- that would the haters and the dividers of our country -- it looks like what they're saying has some credibility. He could have been the poster boy for the Klu Klux Klan.

CARVILLE: You know I'm a fight fan. I saw you at the fight you promoted...

KING: Yes, yes, yes.

CARVILLE: ... between John Reyes (ph) and Craig Johnson.

KING: IT's so great to see you, James.

CARVILLE: OK, good to see you too.

KING: Yes, yes.

(LAUGHTER)

CARVILLE: As a fight fan, I am -- I'm two things. I'm a Roman Catholic and I'm a fight fan. And the day we get rid of Cardinal Law and Mike Tyson the better it's going to be for my church and my sport. So...

KING: Here, here.

CARVILLE: ... one of the things that -- we're talking about several things -- one of the things that people don't know, Colonel Bob Sheridan (ph) who is the famous great boxing announcer, told me that you're a mathematical genius.

KING: Well, he's very kind. But you know that he worked with Colonel Sheridan. You know I had that distinct honor and privilege. Mr. Carville has been on broadcast air for me.

CARVILLE: Right.

KING: It makes me feel good all over to be an American that can boast that and as colonel has did over 700 world title fights.

CARVILLE: But how fast can you calculate numbers. I'm told that you're the best there is. Is that true?

KING: Well, he's being very kind.

CARVILLE: Other people have told me that.

KING: He's being very kind. You know, I try to do the best I can with what I have to work with. And this is about what it...

CARVILLE: Let me ask you just one more thing and then I'm going to turn over Tucker (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: Yes.

CARVILLE: Are we going to see a lot of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Lennox Lewis fight sometime?

KING: You may. You may see that because that would be us fighting on Saturday. But the big fight is the world series that I'm having of chairmanship boxing, the hard road to glory. And we call it the hard road to glory because it defines just want Tucker was saying of how difficult it is for African American, but yet, those who persevere and that continue to work in this great nation called America, they survive and they succeed. And that's what makes the difference when you see the Theo Gibsons (ph), you see these Arthur Ashes, you see that these people that -- you see with all of these things, the problems impaired and stopped their progress they still continue to persevere in spite of not because of.

CARLSON: Don...

KING: A hard road to glory, Tucker.

CARVILLE: I serve on...

(LAUGHTER)

CARVILLE: ... I serve on -- no, I want to be serious here. I serve on the board of the Retired Boxers Association with Alex Ramos (ph), and we love boxing. But we know it causes severe damage to people. You know that and I know that. The Retired Boxers have a tough go.

Would you be willing to lead a thing of all the boxing promoters to take a percent of the gross, a small percentage of the gross and put it aside to help these retired fighters who have severe neurological problems, have -- a lot of them of them are lovely people but uneducated. Is there something that you and I and other people can do to help these old fighters that have been forgotten by everybody?

KING: Well, I certainly do -- I certainly would be an advocate of that, but I'd like to also say I'd like to be an advocate for helping all of the underprivileged, the poor, the downtrodden and denied. It don't have to be boxers. It's those in this country that are suffering.

But I would say, we would take that small amount; you have that. Now in addition to that, let us have that let us help the aging, let us help the homeless, let us help the jobless. Let us help them all, so let us contribute those of us who are fortunate enough, let us work for those who are less fortunate.

CARLSON: Outstanding. I'm just personally interested. How much do you think you've made over the years promoting fighting?

KING: Oh, I don't know. You know, if you can count your money, you ain't got none.

And so you don't put it in money. You understand what I mean. You put in terms of what good -- what good have you done...

CARLSON: That's interesting.

KING: ... and what you've done in America.

If you cast your bread upon the water and you have faith, you'll get back cash. If you don't have faith, you'll get soggy bread.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: OK, thank you, reverend.

CARVILLE: What's the...

CARLSON: Well, tell me this, you said, you essentially implied that Mike Tyson has become a freak show, biting people's ears and stuff. For freak show, you really can't beat Tanya Harding as a boxer.

(LAUGHTER)

Do you think that's good for the sport?

KING: Well, I didn't say those words. Now you have a very -- you have a very sophisticated knack of taking semantics and taking them over the cliff, so to speak.

CARLSON: Well, I appreciate that.

KING: Well, you know and I have applaud you for that...

CARLSON: What do you think about Tonya Harding? I mean, is this...

KING: Well, I think Tonya Harding is a wonderful American. I mean, she went astray. But would not the Lord Jesus say bring that -- if one sheep is astray from the flock, would not bring it back into the fold?

CARLSON: Bring it back into the ring.

KING: To the flock, you know, what I mean.

CARLSON: Should she be in the ring?

KING: Well, actually listen ladies are boxing and they're doing very well at it, you know what I mean. So you've got a lot of ladies that are really terrific. And you can't discriminate against the ladies. They've got a right -- that's what freedom is. Freedom is choice. And to have the choice to do whatever you want to do, to do it and you respect that right.

CARLSON: This choice is about beating each other up, that's what you're saying.

KING: No, it's about them having the choice to decide what they want to do.

CARLSON: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

OK, all right.

KING: That's what this country stands for.

(LAUGHTER) KING: Whoa, don't let my flag go down with you. Putting it back on.

CARVILLE: Pound for pound, who is the best fighter in the world today?

KING: Roy Jones.

CARVILLE: Roy Jones.

KING: Roy Jones is what I call a superman. He is the guy that is everyone -- he is so superior to all of his colleagues and in his weight category that when people begin to think that he was a coward, that he would fight (UNINTELLIGIBLE), that he wouldn't fight nobody. But Roy Jones -- he represented us in Korea in the Olympics and he was the...

CARVILLE: No chance that you represent him, that he's one of...

KING: No, I'm representing him, but I'm going to represent him on this fight.

CARVILLE: And you've got John Reyes. He's fighting...

KING: John Reyes from Chelsea (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

CARVILLE: Fine guy, good (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

KING: ... one of the greatest in the world. And he's the first Latino Hispanic heavyweight champion in history. And so Roy Jones is taking him on. And I think that Roy Jones is Superman.

CARVILLE: What's the date of the fight?

KING: That's going to be March the 1st on...

CARVILLE: Going to be available on Pay-Per-View say if I want to watch it, can I put money down and give my (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: Oh, yes, and you know...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: You are so cheap.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: It would Pay-Per-View and you can see it with Wally Barr (ph) and Ken Kundent (ph) who is his general. Wally Barr is Marcus Aurelius. He's the man that when he had Caesar Perone, he had him from Asia, from the Far East, everybody...

CARVILLE: Tucker and I...

KING: ... Caesar's Rome...

CARVILLE: ... want to go can we get some good tickets?

KING: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Wally Barr, one of the great visions of our day .

CARVILLE: If we want to go to the fight, could we get...

KING: Hail, Caesar, hail Caesar, Wally Barr.

CARLSON: Don King, you are great.

Coming up, some of Don King's fans take their best shots at us in our "Fireback" segment.

But first, a book of unimpeachable rules for husbands, wives and significant others with wandering eyes, i.e. mistresses. Who could possibly claim that adultrey can help your marriage?

You'll meet her next on CROSSFIRE. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. We're coming to you from the George Washington University here in downtown Washington D.C.

As we all know through repeated bipartisan experience, few if any of the Ten Commandments apply here in Washington. But help is here for those who choose to ignore the adultrey one.

In the "50 Mile Rule: Your Guide to Infidelity and Extramarrital Etiquette," Judith Brandt offers practical tips for those who cannot resists a little sex on the sly. Our wives are more than happy to take the opposing side, so we thought it was best to talk with author Judy Brandt via satellite.

She joins us from far more than 50 miles away in our L.A. Bureau. Welcome.

JUDITH BRANDT, AUTHOR, "THE 50-MILE RULE": Thank you very much.

CARVILLE: Ms. Brandt, just in a short time, just give us the sort of synthesis of what you are advocating here in your book?

BRANDT: Well, it's important to point out that I'm really not advocating adultery. I think we all know that adultery is wrong. But people are doing it anyway. And so what I'm trying do is help people make smarter choices about their sexuality within marriage. If this is the route that they decide to go, be smart about it and don't necessarily take actions that are going to affect that primary relationship.

CARLSON: Well, wait a second. Wait a second. You are an admitted adulteress, right?

BRANDT: Absolutely.

CARLSON: I mean, you've had an affair with married men. Now, what do you think, when you are off playing couchball with some guy, do you ever think about his wife and how betrayed she would be and the damage you could be inflicting on someone else's marriage? Sort of awful, isn't it?

BRANDT: Well, yes, there's certainly a way of looking at. But there's another way of looking at it too. When this guy leaves me, he is feeling better. He is feeling more relaxed. He is feeling refreshed. We have a terrific repoire (ph). He goes home into this relationship and is able to deal with it on a better basis. So, he is not divorced probably because of me.

CARLSON: Well, it's awfully nice of you.

BRANDT: Isn't that generous? I'm very generous. We're providing a public service.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: I've heard that description applied to other professions. But let me just ask you this, though. What about the sisterhood here? I mean, don't you feel just a wee bit guilty as you are doing this thinking of some suburban housewife whose mate you are stealing? I mean, that never -- doesn't make you feel bad?

BRANDT: No, that doesn't make me feel bad. First of all, there is no sisterhood. And the old phrase that all is fair in love and war, I think should have been coined by a woman and really applies. I mean, we are all needing to look out for ourselves. And of all of the reasons not to have an affair, you know, helping out another woman is probably the least realistic one.

CARVILLE: Well, the reason I don't is my wife would take a pair of garden shears to me and I'd be missing something rather dear to me. But my father gave me a piece of advice, and he was a very wise man and I'll never forget it, he told me -- he said this about affairs. You got to remember something, these things are a lot easier to get into than they are to get out of.

BRANDT: And that is absolutely the case.

CARVILLE: And the best way not to get out of an affair is to never get into one. Would you agree with that?

BRANDT: Right. And that is absolutely the case. I mean, they certainly are fraught with peril and they are a game for adults and you should not be playing this game if you don't feel that you can take it all the way to the end.

CARVILLE: But it's not just you. It's the person that you are playing this game with too, right?

BRANDT: Absolutely. I mean, yes, when you are engaged in an affair, you are basically in partnership with somebody who can do you a lot of harm and a lot of harm for a lifetime, even when this relationship ends. So it's very serious business.

CARVILLE: So, what you seem to be saying is is the best thing to do is not to have an affair.

BRANDT: That can be. On the other hand, affairs can be the very best thing that you ever did. You can find somebody that is absolutely suited for you. You can find somebody who is going to create an event or some sort of weekend or, you know, something that's going to last a lifetime and be far more resonant than your marriage...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Now, you make it sound great. But I wonder if you have ever met a...

BRANDT: It can be great.

CARLSON: Doubtless, but I wonder if you've ever met a child who -- one of whose parents has had an affair who feels the same way about it that you do. You just mentioned you can have, you know, lovely little weekends, weekend getaways or whatever. But, you know, you think of all the kids whose parents break up. I mean, to the average 8-year-old, that means absolutely nothing. You're destroying his life. And I want to hear you feel a little more guilty, I guess is what I'm getting at here.

BRANDT: No, you're going to be hitting me very hard to make me feel a little more guilty. But let's put it this way. When you are talking about kids, divorce is kind of the most drastic measure that you can take in terms of kids. I mean, people don't want a divorce because they know what the impact is going to be on children. Because the successful affair is the undiscovered affair, what you really need to be doing is, if you are going to be stepping out on that relationship, you are doing it in such a way that is discreet so that your kids are not involved so that you are able to, you know, go about your business and really not affect them. Divorce might affect them a great deal more than a few discreet affairs here and there.

CARLSON: Doesn't that poison the whole marriage, though, if there's deceit that at that level. Doesn't it just sort of affect every part of the marriage?

BRANDT: Well, of course it does. But generally speaking, when you get to that point, deceit is part of the marriage anyway. So, this is just a matter of degree.

CARVILLE: Let me go back, Ms. Brandt. Now, first of all, I may not agree with you, but I certainly admire you for coming on here. In these affairs that you have, there's no way to get around it, I mean, you meet this guy and you all would like service each other, and then everybody would go home, and then three weeks later, you would sort of come back? I mean, what was...

BRANDT: Well, you know, I mean, these are long-term. Certainly, the one I'm involved in now is a fairly long-term matter and we see each other once in awhile. And it really is not kind of one of these titanic love affairs. But it is something where there are two people who have a lot of interest and love and enjoyment for each other, and we see each other on occasion and then we both go home and it suits us both fine.

CARVILLE: How many phones do you think you're going to get tonight after this show?

CARLSON: Let me just add the man's perspective. I mean, if you are a married man with a happy life, you are not sitting in bed at night thinking about your mistress. I mean, you are being used in a pretty obvious and kind of sad way, don't you think?

BRANDT: Oh, yes, absolutely, as long as you are -- if people harbor these kind of unrealistic expectations of these things, yes, then using is definitely a word that comes to mind. One of the things I tried to talk about in my book though is to not create those kind of expectations. If people understand what they're getting themselves into and are accepting it, it's just great. This works great for me. And it works for him too.

CARLSON: Low expectations, the name of the game. Judith Brandt...

BRANDT: Yes, well, sometimes it is.

CARLSON: ... thanks so much for joining us.

BRANDT: Thank you very much.

CARLSON: You are a realist. Thank you.

Coming up, your change to "Fireback" at us. A lot of our e-mail is from the Deep South. It's more than 50 miles away, but the natives are apparently restless. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Welcome back. It's time for our "Fireback" segment. We invite you to throw your e-mail and you do.

First up, Scott Tullos from Tuscaloosa, Alabama writes, "I guess Tucker Carlson is correct about the South being full of ignorant, backward rednecks. That explains why year after year, we vote Republican."

I am not sure, ignorant backward redneck was the exact phrase I used. I thought toothless imbecile.

CARVILLE: You don't like the South. You don't like the Canadians. You know, the whole country is New York City and Connecticut to you.

And also parts of California.

CARVILLE: Parts of California. All right, here we go. What do we got here?

"I would like to enlighten you a bit on our southern folk. We are an unpretentious people, which some may take for the lack of education. In reality, we are just to busy enjoying life to waste time impressing others. Try it some time, you might like it." Kara Rogers, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Actually, Carl, Arkansas is too north for me, grew up in Louisiana. Too cold up there.

CARLSON: Yes, they speak English there.

CARVILLE: All right, Marc from Prince George, British Columbia writes from our adultery segment, "My husband had an affair, and it did nothing for our marriage. It just made more work for me, worked for two days and two nights to throw out all of his personal belongings out of the driveway and lock the doors on him."

CARLSON: A hardworking spouse from Canada. Boy, you don't want to make those Canadian women mad ought all. They don't mess around at all.

CARVILLE: Sounds like another woman they know.

CARLSON: I will not go there.

CARVILLE: "You should have a poll on who has the best hair: Don King, James Traficant, or Tucker Carlson."

CARLSON: What about James Carville, huh?

CARVILLE: Look at -- let's see here. Oh, here we go. How many people say Don King? James Traficant? Tucker Carlson?

CARLSON: And mine is real and I am not even in prison.

CARVILLE: Yes, so is mine.

CARLSON: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, my name is David Gorgany (ph) from Southern California, and I was wondering if you guys that anything standing in the Bush administration's way now that the Republicans control both the Senate and the house? And if so, how will the general public react to the president's propositions?

CARLSON: Well, nice to see something actually get done and judges actually confirmed or at least allow the Senate to vote on them. I don't think people like obstruction. I think people will be happy with it.

CARVILLE: A lot will be done, and a hell of gazillion right wing judges -- $20 gazillion dollars and pollutants in the air and worst schools. A lot of stuff will get done...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: That's our math major. James Carville. Yes, ma'am?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am Janle from New Jersey and my question is as women like Nancy Pelosi worked their way up the political ranks, how soon to expect to so a female president?

CARLSON: I week could see one now if there was a good candidate. I actual leah -- I think if there was a decent candidate, I think Hillary Clinton should run as soon as possible snipe can't wait!

CARVILLE: 2008 and I'll be working for her.

CARLSON: Yes, ma'am?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello, I am (UNINTELLIGIBLE) from San Antonio, Texas and I was wondering what when do you think for the Democratic party to come back in the elections of '04?

CARVILLE: Three people away coming back. The father, the son, and the holy ghost.

CARLSON: No, that's actually true. I can't believe James just said that.

CARVILLE: No, I think a presidential candidate that articulates big positions and is strong and comes across as a person who has a of America, I think we will do quite well in 2004.

CARLSON: Actually you got Al Sharpton to who articulates clear ideas. The party needs stand for something.

CARVILLE: Yes, something than higher deficit and it will.

CARLSON: Yes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jeff from Township, Michigan. This past fall when three of however U.S. Congressman made a trip to Iraq they caught a lot of flak for it. Looking back, who do you think had more inappropriate behavior, the gentleman who made the trip or those that questioned their patriotism for doing so?

CARLSON: I think it's fair to question -- I know it's not fashionable to question patriotism, we don't do it that too often if but I think unfair to denounce a parliament of its enemy. A country that was shooting at American warplanes that exact day. Yes I think it's fair to question the persons patriotism.

CARVILLE: I think in America, you can question anything you want. I would certainly question that judgment. And I would let them defend itself.

From the left I am James Carville, Good night from CROSSFIRE.

CARLSON: And from the right I am Tucker Carlson. Join us again next time for yet more Crossfire.

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Interview With Dick Armey; Interview With Don King.>

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