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CNN CROSSFIRE

Celebrities Attracting Attention Regarding Anti-war Movement

Aired January 21, 2003 - 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: you can call him a presidential candidate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL SHARPTON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We've got to stop the corporate mentality of politics and go back to the people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: We'll ask Al Sharpton if he's the Democrats' best hope or the Republicans' best friend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Clearly, I think blacks have been mistreated, but there are a lot of other people that have been mistreated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Antiwar star power. Should celebrities stop meddling and stick to acting?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems to me that there are concerns that have to be addressed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: And in the battle of the bulge, you may be getting it all wrong. The latest way to lose weight, no sweat.

Tonight on CROSSFIRE.

Live from the George Washington University: Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson.

(APPLAUSE)

TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST: Welcome to CROSSFIRE. Tonight we're joined by the leading Democratic presidential candidate, that would be, of course, the Reverend Al Sharpton. We'll also talk to a key member of the Democratic Party's international policy brain trust. Fresh from Iraq, Bianca Jagger joins us in the CROSSFIRE.

But first, if you don't hear it here, it didn't happen. Our CROSSFIRE "Political Alert."

If you're like many people, you may have forgotten why we're heading toward war with Iraq. Here's one good reason: France. France's foreign minister has been swaggering around the U.N. lately, boasting that his country will never support American war plans regardless of the evidence against Saddam Hussein. Asked about our so-called allies' reluctance to stand up to evil dictators, a clearly frustrated President Bush told reporters, "Surely our friends have learned lessons from the past."

On the other hand, maybe they haven't. As one by one its former colonies have descended into chaos and misery, France has looked away. When a war broke out in the middle of Europe during the 1990s France yawned. When the United States, which twice saved France from a German-speaking future, attempts to disarm one of the world's most dangerous lunatics, France howls. Fair enough, let's invade Iraq just to annoy France.

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL BEGALA, CO-HOST: You know, I like bashing the French as much as the next guy, but it doesn't have anything to do with France. America needs to pursue America's national interests. And it is in America's national interest to have allies with us should, good forbid, we go to war. So we're not the world's policeman, so that every body bag doesn't have an American flag on it, and we need allies in this...

CARLSON: Actually, Paul, in the end -- and I agree with you, A, that America's interest is the primary criterion here, and, B, that it's nice to have allies. But America is the world's policeman by default. America is. When war broke out in the middle of Europe, you were there in the White House. The United States was the only responder to that five-alarm fire. And that's just the fact.

BEGALA: Actually, the British were there as well. It was similar to the current crisis in Iraq. But the difference -- in that we had a strong ally in Great Britain. The difference is there was genocide going on in the heart of Europe at that time. What's happening in Iraq right now, it's certainly troublesome, I'm glad the weapons inspectors are in there. But it's no different than it was the day that George Bush Sr. decided that Saddam Hussein should stay as president.

CARLSON: Well actually...

BEGALA: I think President Bush is making a mistake in marching into war here.

CARLSON: ... it is different, because you know the Clinton administration allowed those inspections to lapse and said nothing about it. So it's quite different, because we had almost four years with no inspections at all. That is very different, I would say.

BEGALA: Well, first off, we know that the North Koreans have...

CARLSON: Now we're on to North Korea. OK.

BEGALA: I want to show you the difference here in our president's policies. In North Korea, he says, oh, they're an axis of evil country. We come to find out they have nuclear weapons. What does President Bush do? Nothing. He rolls over like a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and lets them scratch his belly.

CARLSON: They're actually two different countries, Paul, as you know. And now he's taking the Clinton line on it. I don't agree with it, but it's a bit much for me to criticize it.

BEGALA: But it's Bush who -- well let me get into this -- France of course is not the only folks warning the United States that it won't back an early attack on Iraq. The foreign ministers of China and Germany have also expressed unhappiness with what some see as an American rush to war in Iraq.

Now, one of the reasons that President Bush has been able to sail full speed ahead toward war is that America today has the sea lift capacity we lacked before the first Gulf War. In the years since, America has basically doubled its ability to move men and materiel quickly by sea. The admiral in charge of our sea lift command says we're larger, faster, safer, more efficient, and more cost effective than we were a decade ago.

Why? Well, thanks to a multibillion-dollar investment made after the Gulf War. An investment of course was made by President Bill Clinton, the man who moved our military into the 21st century. I only regret that George W. Bush is using that military to fight a war from the 20th century.

CARLSON: I see a theme here, night after night, this attempt to give Bill Clinton -- no longer president, incidentally -- credit for things he doesn't deserve.

BEGALA: So who do you suppose did that?

CARLSON: But I must say, you would have to also give him credit for the United States's current inability to fight a major two-front war, to fight two wars at the same time.

BEGALA: This is such crap.

CARLSON: It's actually not at all, Paul, as you know. I mean, talk to people who actually worked there. They say the United States's military is spread thin. Absolutely right.

BEGALA: The United States military budget under Bill Clinton, do you know how much more it was?

CARLSON: The budget is not the same as readiness. Please.

BEGALA: But it was more than -- well, you can't fight with paper towels. I mean you need the money.

CARLSON: Well nobody says you can. BEGALA: We spend more on military than countries two through 26 combined in the world. Now, maybe that's not enough. Maybe we need more. But you certainly can't say that President Clinton let the military...

CARLSON: Paul, I guess...

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Actually, the admiral in charge of sea lift capacity said in "The New York Times"...

CARLSON: Well it all comes down to -- I refer you back to the point I made a moment ago, which is that we are the world's policeman. So if we spend more than countries two through 27, of course we do.

BEGALA: Of course we do.

CARLSON: Two-thirds of all African-American children are born out of wedlock. About a quarter of all black families live in poverty. African-American patients make up the single largest group of new AIDS cases. These are terrifying and depressing statistics.

How would Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards solve these problems? Well of course by removing the confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina statehouse. Edwards, who has articulated no plan at all to strengthen black families, believes the flag issue is so important he is boycotting South Carolina hotels, thereby depriving the black employees of income.

When he visits South Carolina, Edwards stays in the homes of his supporters, and there aren't many. A new poll shows George W. Bush beating Edwards in his own state of North Carolina by a remarkable 16 points. Senator Edwards may soon have a chance to sleep in his own bed at night.

And I must say, I don't want to be misunderstood here. I don't support the confederate flag at all. I just think it takes a deeply unserious person to think that's the central issue facing black America.

BEGALA: First off, he never said anything like that. He didn't say that was his answer to all of the problems that you listed. I thought that was really fundamentally unfair to Senator Edwards.

But here's the distinction: John Edwards has guts. John Edwards stood up and said it's a racist symbol, it should come down. George W. Bush campaigned at Bob Jones University with its racist practices and refused to take a position on the confederate flag. Why? Because he's a gutless wonder. And I'd rather have John Edwards making those kind of calls than George W. Bush.

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: I guess the whole debate is an invasion of the real issues. Meanwhile, people are dying of AIDS and poverty and growing up without fathers. And the Democrats are wasting a lot of time on a symbolic issue that I agree is offensive, but it's not the core issue. It's a waste of time.

And again, it shows how unserious Democrats are. It's ridiculous.

BEGALA: The fact they take a position when Bush doesn't have the guts to? Look, George W. Bush went to South Carolina, he got humiliated in the New Hampshire primary by John McCain.

CARLSON: Oh I know, I know.

BEGALA: He went to South Carolina, he turned hard to racist right for support. Shame on him for doing it. That's why he wouldn't take a position on the South Carolina flag.

CARLSON: He didn't turn hard to the racist right. That's ridiculous.

BEGALA: Well of course he did. That's how he beat John McCain. I was there. Look it up.

CARLSON: That's ridiculous.

BEGALA: Well the top telecommunications official of the Bush administration, a woman named Nancy Victory, wanted to throw a lavish party complete with catering at her home. Nothing wrong with that. The party, though, was paid for in part by lobbyists for the telecommunications industry.

Ten days after that party, Ms. Victory wrote a letter urging the Federal Communications Commission to rule in favor of the cellular telephone industry, the very industry whose lobbyists had paid for her party. Ms. Victory says it is, "ridiculous," to suggest the telecom lobbyists paying for her party was at all connected for her support for their lobbyist position.

In fact, the party was so forgettable that Ms. Victory failed to disclose it on her government ethics form, even though such disclosure is mandated by law. "These parties are very, very common" in the Bush administration, Ms. Victory says. I guess that's the point.

CARLSON: You know, you probably shouldn't allow lobbyists to throw parties for you simply because it results in political lurks like that. But I thought the most telling thing about what you just said is what you didn't say. You never explained what the policy in favor of the cellular phone industry was. And if you're against the policy, attack the policy.

But to impugn this woman's integrity on the basis of no evidence, you don't know that she was -- she says they were her friends. She says most of them weren't even working on the issue in question. If you disagree with the issue, if you disagree with the policy, attack it. But this poor woman, you don't know if she did anything wrong at all. BEGALA: Of course she did. They had a vested interest in the policy that she was working on. Excuse me, let me respond while you're interrupting. She accepted money from them to throw a party at her house.

CARLSON: What was the policy?

BEGALA: The policy was whether we should encourage or discourage competition in the cellular industry. She called for the FCC to reverse a long-standing policy that had burdened companies that her friends were working for.

CARLSON: That's not a very clear explanation. But I look forward to your position on that subject later.

BEGALA: So your position is it's OK for lobbyists to throw catered parties for the regulators who regulate them.

CARLSON: No, that's not my position at all. I said from the beginning I think it's probably a bad idea. But the point is...

BEGALA: No, that's exactly the point. The point is the ethics, and they don't have it in the Bush administration.

CARLSON: In the summer of 2000, Senator Bob Graham of Florida was well on his way to becoming Al Gore's running mate. Then "TIME" magazine cruelly reprinted excerpts from Graham's personal diaries. Senator Graham, we learned, records everything he does every day.

Every single thing. Which cereal he eats for breakfast, how and how often he goes to the bathroom, how long it takes him to rewind his "Ace Ventura" videotape -- 15 minutes, as it turns out. In the wake of this, Gore wisely picked Joe Lieberman instead.

Now Graham is considering a run for president himself. At a press conference yesterday Graham told reporters that he keeps his diaries to bring what he called discipline to his daily activities. No big deal said the senator. In the 2004 race, "I don't think it's going to be a relevant factor." At that point, Senator Graham excused himself, saying he'd had a particularly interesting time flossing that morning and had to go home to write about it.

BEGALA: See, this is the level of the American right. Personal attacks on a guy who's had some of the best ideas in the United States Senate. Six months ago Senator Graham, the chairman then of the Intelligence Committee, said I'm a lot more worried about North Korea than I am Iraq. I wish our president would focus on it.

He was right. He says today he's a lot more worried about al Qaeda and Iran and other enemies than Iraq. President Bush should focus on it. Now, if President Bush wrote down everything he did all day he wouldn't fill a matchbook. Right?

CARLSON: No, actually, that's ludicrous.

BEGALA: Woke up, Karl Rove told me what to think, photo op today, went to bed early.

CARLSON: Paul, please. Actually, Senator Graham is not -- in contrast to most Democrats -- not an unserious person. I most of the time take him seriously. But if I wrote down the time it took me to rewind "Ace Ventura," if I jotted down every time I went to the bathroom, and the fact I wore red shirts or the fact I ate granola this morning, I think that would be worthy of comment. I'm merely commenting on it.

BEGALA: It's about his personal behavior. It's not about his ideas. This is what the right does. If you can't fight them on ideas, you attack him personally.

CARLSON: Right, yes.

BEGALA: Well everybody of course complains about taxes, and George W. Bush has built his presidency around exploiting Americans' understandable aversion to paying taxes. But Mr. Bush may need a new strategy.

According to today's CNN-"USA Today" Gallup poll, for the first time in 40 years most Americans do not think that their federal income taxes are too high. In fact, fully half of the American people think their level of taxation is just right, thank you very much. Perhaps they realize that taxes pay for homeland defense, for the strongest military in world history, as well as for food for the hungry, housing for the homeless, medical care for sick babies. At least until Mr. Bush does away with those programs to finance another tax cut for the rich.

Mr. Bush, of course, is undeterred by the American people's lack of support for his economic plan. He told the CROSSFIRE "Political Alert," if I had listened to the majority of the American people, Al Gore would be president today. So there you have it. Bush charges on ahead despite the fact that he doesn't have majority support.

CARLSON: I guess so he's an illegitimate president. He ought to be deposed by force, actually, judging by what you say about him. No, if I thought he was illegitimate, I would lead an effort to depose him, because that's...

BEGALA: Would you really? Because that's the kind of courage you...

CARLSON: No, no, no. Because he'd be an illegitimate leader, Paul. But if your argument -- and it is always -- that government somehow has a better way to spend money than the average person, makes better decisions than the average head of the household, that the DMV is a better reflection of the public will than, say, a vacation in Disney World, I think he should run on that, because I think that's a deeply uncompelling message.

(APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: What I'm saying, as somebody who spent 19 years as a political strategist, is that President Bush's strategy of whining about taxes is one note that hasn't worked. And the American people right now, we understand that we need to pay taxes and that the rich ought to pay their fair share, and that's where I think the...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Actually, the rich keep the federal government afloat, Paul, as you're fully aware. If it weren't for the rich -- they pay 75 percent of all taxes.

BEGALA: No, they don't.

CARLSON: OK. Well, that's an argument...

BEGALA: They pay income and estate taxes. Those are the rich man's taxes. Working people pay payroll taxes, Social Security taxes...

CARLSON: And thanks to you, cigarette taxes.

BEGALA: ... property taxes, cigarette taxes, beer taxes, none of which Bush wants to cut. He only wants to cut taxes for the Bushes and Cheneys of the world. Why doesn't he cut them for you and me? Because he doesn't care about us.

CARLSON: That's quite an analysis there.

BEGALA: Ahead on CROSSFIRE: we hope to hear from Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton. He filed fapers today with the Federal Election Commission declaring his candidacy. Just hours ago he filed them.

But first, Hollywood goes to war. We will talk with Bianca Jagger. She has just returned from Iraq. We'll also have her debate someone who has got some pretty serious problems with Ms. Jagger and other celebrities in the antiwar movement.

And if you're looking for help with that New Year's resolution to lose a few pounds, maybe what you need to do is lift a few pounds. We will debate cardio versus strength training right here in the CROSSFIRE. Stay with us.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BEGALA: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. We're coming to you live, as we always do, from the George Washington University here in downtown Washington, D.C. We're still waiting for the Reverend Al Sharpton to show up. He's having a bad hair day. But he will be with us, we hope, shortly.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: Thousands of antiwar protesters rallied around the country this past weekend. The antiwar movement also includes a number of high-profile celebrities who've had a much easier time attracting media attention and criticism than most of us when they speak out. The list includes: Sean Penn, Barbra Streisand, Kim Basinger, Mia Farrow, Martin Sheen, Olympia Dukakis, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Danny Glover, and our next guest.

Joining us from New York is Bianca Jagger. She has just returned from a visit to Iraq. With us here in Washington, syndicated columnist and "National Review Online" editor at large, Jonah Goldberg. Jonah, thank you. Bianca Jagger, thank you very much.

CARLSON: Thanks for joining us. Now, as you know, part of the rap, part of it, against celebrities who wade into incredibly complicated international situations such as Iraq is that they don't know what they're talking about. I want to give you exhibit A. It's something you wrote.

This is advice that you say you gave to the foreign minister of Iraq during your recent trip. I'm quoting now. "Establish a new military command that includes senior generals from the Kurdish opposition militia groups."

This is essentially like asking President Bush to put members of al Qaeda on the joint chiefs of staff. Put your worst enemies in control of the military. Isn't this...

BIANCA JAGGER, HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE: No, no, no. Not in control.

CARLSON: Or give them power in the military. This is never going to happen. Isn't this why people make fun of people like you, because it's naive?

JAGGER: Well, no, this is not that people make fun of me. If I had gone there and I have not made any suggestions and urged them not to do what I did, which was to open up the country to begin a process of democratization, which is the excuse that President Bush has given for launching a war, for regime change, and to bring -- in order to bring democracy. What I believe is that what we should do is to have dialogue and diplomacy just as the United States is having with North Korea.

And as many people as we should be going to Iraq to stress that point to the Iraqi government, I think that perhaps we could have some influence in the Iraqi government in order for them to begin to have the process of democratization from within so that they will not have to face up a war.

CARLSON: Wait. But you were there for six days, and during your time there, by your own account, you were taken and shown supposed atrocities committed by the United States and the effects, the terrible effects of the embargo on Iraq. You were essentially used as a propaganda tool, as a prop by the Iraqi government.

JAGGER: Please forgive me for interrupting you, but as you see in my report, I quote the Unicef, I quote Oxfam. I quoted a commission that was made from the U.N. Security Council, who issued a report about the effect of sanctions on the civilian population in Iraq. Therefore, what I'm saying is not in accordance to what I saw or what they tried to make me believe, but what I know in advance and what I went to see for myself, and I found to be true. Half a million children have died due to the United Nations Security Councils (ph).

BEGALA: Jonah, let me bring you into this. First, I can't wait to hear you attack a person for going over and calling for democracy in Iraq. But it seems to me that a lot of celebrities have weighed in on this, and let me read you a list of some more. Not just Bianca Jagger, Kim Basinger, or these others I mentioned.

Here's another list. General Anthony Zinni, General Brent Scowcroft, General Wesley Clark, General Norman Schwarzkopf, General Merrill McPeak. All celebrities all with the same first name, curiously. They seem to know what the hell they're talking about, and all of them have had problems with the timing, the tactics, the president's policy in Iraq. Are they illegitimate as well? Are you going to bang on them too?

JONAH GOLDBERG, "NATIONAL REVIEW": No. Look, it's perfectly legitimate that some people are going to disagree, and for all I know Ms. Jagger is a well informed conscientious person who's done all of her homework and she's entitled to her opinion.

I think it's wrong. I think those generals are probably wrong. And I could probably come up with a list a lot longer of generals who don't have problems with the war.

But, look, serious people on both sides of an issue can have disagreements. The question here is about celebrities. And the last time I was on this show I actually had to defend Elmo the Muppet testifying before Congress. Here's a piece of lint getting an enema and we're supposed to listen to him about budget processes.

Meryl Streep once testified famously before Congress, saying that she was there to represent the uninformed. Now, that sums it up pretty well when it comes to these celebrity issues. My problem...

JAGGER: I would like to say something.

BEGALA: Ms. Jagger, just a second. I would like to read something that General Zinni, for example, said. It seems to me that he's buttressing what many of these celebrities are saying. This is what I'm saying. My point is that when Hollywood celebrities are echoing what some of our finest generals -- Anthony Zinni was the commander in chief of the central command. The command that would be prosecuting a war that Iraq if we have one.

Here's what he said. "It's pretty interesting that all the generals see it the same way, and all the others who have never fired a shot and are hot to go to war see it another way."

GOLDBERG: Yes, well that was actually a pretty cheap shot at this whole chicken hawk argument, which I'd be delighted to have with you at some point. But the point that we're on the topic tonight about is you said that these people are echoing, these celebrities are echoing what these generals have to say. And I think that sums it up pretty well. They're echoing it, they're miming it, they're coming up and...

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Anthony Zinni can't get (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

GOLDBERG: And look, Ms. Jagger is on here talking about how 500,000 kids died in Iraq. Well you know the reason those 500,000 kids died, if it was that many, is not because of sanctions. It's because Saddam Hussein refused to spend his oil for food money on children. In the areas in the Kurdish North and the Shiite south, kids are doing great and better than ever.

BEGALA: I agree with that.

CARLSON: Well Bianca Jagger, what about that? I mean, Saddam Hussein's children aren't going without medicine. That's a good point, isn't it?

JAGGER: All right. Let me answer that. To begin with, you know, they are faces by which the oil for food is supposed to be renewed every six months. Of the entire amount of money that was supposed to be put aside for food for oil, only 40 percent has been paid to the Iraqis.

It is not something that we are saying. It's something that has been documented by various NGOs, including Unicef, which is part of the U.N. Now, when you go there and you see, you see very well that they do not give them all the medicines that they need, that they -- because it's all to do with dual use. Medicine, medical equipment that is not received, and for reasons that we do not understand, that's why you have preventable disease.

Children who are dying of preventable disease or children who have (UNINTELLIGIBLE) very serious disease because they do not have all the drugs that they are supposed to be receiving. Now let me say something else, because I'm here defending celebrities. I'm a human rights advocate for the last 20 years. But I would like to say that it's not only General Zinni, but General Wesley Clark, Mr. Brent Scowcroft, and the list goes on and on.

CARLSON: Bianca Jagger, I'm sorry. We're just going to take -- I'm sorry to cut you off. We're going to have to -- we have a bit of news we're going to go to. We'll be back in just a second.

(INTERUPTED BY BREAKING NEWS)

CARLSON: We will be coming up -- we will take a commercial break now.

Coming up, more on foreign policies of the rich and famous.

Later, a weighty discussion about dropping a few pounds has Americans wondering, "Is exercise better or can you work out in five minutes a week?"

That's the question; we'll debate it. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE.

We are debating celebrities and their role in the anti-war movement with a certified celebrity joining us in New York City, Bianca Jagger. She is also a human rights activist known around the world for her work.

Here in Washington, Jonah Goldberg is the editor-at-large of National Review online.

Mr. Goldberg, let me read a comment from one of these ill- informed air head celebrity and see if you have the courage to attack him.

"Personally I don't have all of the information President Bush has, but I believe Saddam has committed many crimes against humanity and in his own people," so sayeth Tom Cruise, who was secretary of state I think in the first Bush administration.

Are you going to stay consistent and say that ill-informed celebrities who happen to agree with your view, are also air heads?

GOLDBERG: No, and everyone is entitled to their opinion, and for all I know -- from all I know Tom Cruise isn't going around launching activist groups, starting marches, flying to Baghdad, serving as a meat prop for Saddam Hussein's evil regime.

I mean, there are things that people can do or not do in order...

... to back up their rhetoric.

Seems to me Tom Cruise is very humble. He says, "I don't have all of the facts, but it seems to me Saddam Hussein is a bad guy."

And I'm sure he's getting a lot of grief for that in Hollywood for saying it.

CARLSON: Now Bianca Jagger, speaking of Hollywood, maybe you can give us insight into the famous person community here. I want to read you a quote from Cheryl Crow, who is a singer. This is what she said at the American Music Awards the other day.

"I think war is based on greed," said Cheryl Crow, "and there's huge karmic retributions that will follow. I think war is never the answer to solving problems. The best way to solve problems is not to have enemies."

Can you tell us...

... what is karmic retribution?

And is this -- and I mean among celebrities, is this a widely recognized phenomena?

JAGGER: Tell me something, did you really call me here to answer what she said? Or is it really the issue here that celebrities are simply reflecting what many Americans feel today, that there...

CARLSON: Well, I don't think many Americans know what karmic retribution means...

(APPLAUSE)

JAGGER: ... that they are opposing, that they are opposing the war and that's why you are today talking about celebrities.

The truth is that the anti-war movement is growing, not only in America but throughout the world. And that is the real issue.

You had a president that was President Reagan. He was a celebrity. He was an actor...

CARLSON: Wait, wait a second, Bianca Jagger.

JAGGER: And was he an air head?

CARLSON: Bianca Jagger, let me ask you then, I mean I'm not saying -- let me get right to the bottom of what bothers me here.

There are a lot of wars going on around the world, right.

JAGGER: Yes.

CARLSON: A couple of years ago Rwanda moved against Congo. Thousands were killed. I didn't hear you mention word one about that. There are many wars going...

JAGGER: Please forgive me for saying to you...

CARLSON: ... on in Africa right now, and I must say the anti-war movement seems like an anti-American movement to me.

JAGGER: Let me tell you for one thing...

... just to make -- to make the record straight. I have worked in Latin America, in the former Yugoslavia, in Afghanistan, in the Middle East, in India, and now I have gone to Iraq. I have and I've been to Africa. Where else you want me to go to be able to prove to you that I am a human rights advocate.

I belong to -- I'm a member of the Executive Directors Leadership Council of Amnesty International. In fact, I am not a celebrity. I'm here to answer for celebrities, but I'm the wrong person, really.

GOLDBERG: Ms. Jagger, that's fine. I don't want to read off of your resume all of the things you've done for human rights. I take you at your word and that you've done a lot of nice things for human rights. But what I find problematic is in the early '90s you called essentially the United States "morally cowardice, lacking moral leadership and so forth," for not standing to the tyrant Slobodan...

JAGGER: No, no, I don't use -- remember I don't use that kind of word.

GOLDBERG: You said it was...

JAGGER: I opposed the Contra war.

GOLDBERG: You said it was entirely absent when it came to moral leadership in terms of stopping Slobodan Milosevic.

JAGGER: I still say it.

GOLDBERG: OK, well, that's great. How come Slobodan Milosevic, who has killed so many fewer people, and has been so much less of a tyrant, for so less time, is worth you standing up for, and applying all of this righteous indignation, but Saddam Hussein isn't?

(APPLAUSE)

JAGGER: Let me say that if you read my statement, I say that that I do not condone the human rights record of President Saddam Hussein. My concern is for...

GOLDBERG: I'm sure he's quaking in his boot over that.

JAGGER: ... the civilian population in Iraq, not for Saddam Hussein or for his government. What I am speaking about is is it worthy to have a war that will leave as the United Nations report recently said, up to 500,000 casualties because we want to bring democracy or should be exhaust every avenue to be able to have diplomacy and dialogue just as we have with North Korea?

That is my question.

It is not up to...

BEGALA: Ms. Jagger, just a moment.

JAGGER: ... it is not up to...

BEGALA: Let me get a question from our audience. I want you to listen in New York, Ms. Jagger and also Jonah here.

Yes, sir. First tell us your name and then what's your question for our guest?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Mitch Epstein (ph) and I'm from Beechford, Ohio. And I my questions is when will celebrities tell us stuff that the U.S. government doesn't already know?

BEGALA: Ms. Jagger, do you tell us things that our government doesn't know? JAGGER: I'm sure that your government does it -- knows it. But unfortunately the government is hiding that from the American public. And I think that we need to be more informed. And we need to realize that Iraqis are not the culprit. The government is one thing and the people are another.

And if we really care about them, if we really care about children, women and the elderly, and those who have not committed no crime, we should have a different kind of policy towards them.

And we should think about the result and the consequence and the impact that a war will have on them.

CARLSON: Bianca, the government -- just to name one of many examples -- the government of Zimbabwe is right now as we speak, starving its people, using food as a political weapon. This has been reported in papers across the world. I haven't...

JAGGER: What is the United States doing about it?

CARLSON: ... no, but I wonder what your position on the leftist government of Zimbabwe doing that is. You don't seem quite as outraged about that as you do U.N. sanctions against Iraq. Are you?

JAGGER: Well, I am not an expert on every single country. Perhaps you should be involved in that one because there are other human right monitors from Amnesty International, from Human Rights Watch, who are speaking about that.

I can only do so much. And I do for those, and I try to speak about those issues that I know.

I am not an air head celebrity who speaks and goes to...

BEGALA: Exactly.

JAGGER: ... have photo opportunities in places where I don't know what I'm talking about.

BEGALA: Isn't it unfair on the one hand for people attack celebrities for getting on of their depth, and now attacking Ms. Jagger for staying in her field, the area that she knows best?

GOLDBERG: Look, I have not doubt that Ms. Jagger has done all of her homework on Iraq. But Tucker's point remains is that what she chooses to be the interesting subjects are subjects like Iraq, which does not lack for need of celebrity, you know, publicity from the likes of Ms. Jagger or anybody else.

And why...

BEGALA: Our president. He's not focused on Iran. He's not focused on North Korea. He's certainly not focused on Zimbabwe. He couldn't find it with a map and...

GOLDBERG: He's actually working on those things. Ms. Jagger wants to call attention it seems to me only the things that make America look bad...

JAGGER: Let me tell you...

GOLDBERG: ... rather than all of these other things, which are desperately in need of publicity.

JAGGER: ... let me please...

CARLSON: Unfortunately -- Bianca Jagger...

JAGGER: ... let me please...

CARLSON: ... I'm sorry, we're going to have to...

JAGGER: Can I please say something?

CARLSON: Yes, if you will just give us your last word because we're out of time.

JAGGER: Just quickly, what I want to say. General Zinni (ph), General Wesley Clark, Mr. Scowcroft, Mr. Kissinger, all of the people who are opposed the war, are they too air heads or is it only us, those who oppose the war because we are celebrities that are air heads?

CARLSON: OK, on that note, Bianca Jagger, we're going to have to say goodbye.

Thank you very much for joining us.

JAGGER: Thank you very much.

CARLSON: Jonah Goldberg, thank you.

GOLDBERG: Good to see you.

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: All of you football fans will want to stay tuned for our "Fireback" segment. One of our viewers has a truly disturbing example of how the Super Bowl could be affected by the University of Michigan's affirmative action plan.

But next, advice on how to get in shape for your own Super Bowl. It may be easier than you ever dreamed. We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Welcome back.

We're now three weeks into the new year, which of course means to most of you who resolved to exercise more and lose weight are about to throw in the towel and reach for the Ho-Hos.

But don't give up yet. Perhaps you're just going about it all wrong. This weekend's New York Times featured an article with a provocative headline "Workout Revolution is Eight Minutes of Weights -- All You Need."

Hard to say, but intriguing nonetheless.

The piece argued that lifting weights, not aerobics is the key to getting thin.

We're going to put that claim in the CROSSFIRE tonight with internationally renowned fitness expert Denise Austin. She's the author of the new book "Pelates For Everybody" and the host of a top rated show on the Lifetime Network.

And in New York is weight lift Adam Zickerman. His book his book is "Power of Ten: The Once a Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution."

Thanks for joining us.

BEGALA: Here we go. Thank you both.

DENISE AUSTIN, FITNESS EXPERT: It's great to be here.

BEGALA: Thank you.

Adam, good to see you, sir.

Let me begin with you. You don't have to show us your abs or whatever it is that they are. But I am curious. This theory of yours. There's a guy, Dr. Tim Church, who spoke out on this the other day in the Times.

Here's what he said. "I'm not against resistance training" -- meaning weight lifting -- "by any means. But it sounds like these guys promoting weights over cardio have got a gimmick and trying to make a buck."

How much are you making off of this Adam?

ADAM ZICKERMAN, OWNER, INFORM FITNESS: I make a lot actually. But it's...

BEGALA: Good for you for being honest about it.

ZUCKERMAN: But it's not...

BEGALA: But how do you respond to Dr. Church's criticism that this is actually not going to be good for people's health, but may be good for your fiscal health?

ZUCKERMAN: Well, there's a reason why I make a lot of money, actually, and that is because quite honestly I got thousands of clients coming into my studios in New York every single week and month. And they are seeing results by working out with me in a high intensive fashion, without doing much cardio at all.

And they're losing weight and getting much stronger.

CARLSON: Do they -- this strikes me as a wonderful idea. We've got fax machines, the Internet, jet travel, microwave. Everything is faster, easier.

AUSTIN: Yes.

CARLSON: That's exactly right. Why not a workout routine that takes mere minutes?

AUSTIN: Well, once a week is not enough in my opinion. You have to exercise at least three days a week to really see the benefits. But aerobic exercise is good for cardiovascular health for your heart. Your heart is a muscle so you have to do something cardio. And also, weight training is great.

I do it. I believe in it. IT's important. So is stretching for flexibility and being limber. All three are important, well-balanced workout.

Tell about moderation. It's all about balance.

CARLSON: But it's hard and unpleasant. And isn't it...

(LAUGHTER)

AUSTIN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: ... a better idea to take a short cut and sort of cut out all of the sweat and unpleasantness?

AUSTIN: Personally I work out 30 minutes. But I do it five days a week. Thirty minutes. That's all it takes to get in the best shape of your life.

You've got thirty minutes for good health, right? And it doesn't matter what you do, as long as you're doing something. Get out and walk.

I tell people for the first time if they haven't exercised in years, 10 minutes a day, just go out for a walk. Do some toning exercises. Do some flexibility. Anything to get the blood circulating, to get them going.

If they're just doing it once a week, if it's a first thing and only thing they're doing, that's better than nothing at all.

BEGALA: Well, let's try here. Who in this audience works out on a regular basis getting the heart rate up?

Running or biking or swimming?

Adam, look, I have to you tell you as a former fatty -- I traveled with President Clinton when he ran for president in 1992. I matched him donut for donut. But I lost all of that weight when I took up running. And it's not just me.

I guy I don't praise very often, our president, said this to Runners' World. He's a dedicated runner and a great runner, too, by the way. He blazes...

AUSTIN: Six-and-a-half minute miles.

BEGALA: ... 6.5 miles for three miles.

AUSTIN: That's amazing.

BEGALA: He blazes through. Here's what he said.

"President Bush gave Runners' World Magazine a 20-minute interview following a three mile run. He tries to run six days a week. Bush began running in 1972 when he was out of shape and a drinker. "I am convinced that running helped me quite drinking and smoking,' he told the magazine."

Isn't running not only good for the heart, but good for the soul?

ZICKERMAN: There are a lot of things good for the soul, but we're not talking about the soul. We're talking about muscles here. And you've got to remember the heart is a subordinate system to the muscles. And if you strengthen muscles, you're going to strengthen not only the heart but the pulmonary system and everything else that goes along with it.

And we're not talking about just plain old weight lifting and doing a whole bunch of reps.

BEGALA: But when you run, you're too tired to go out all night and party. That's the thing. That's what kind of cured it, I think, for some folks. You've got to really wear them out, or they're going to use all of that energy to, you know, for less healthful activities.

ZICKERMAN: I don't understand why you have to wear yourself out. Exercising is not about how much we endure. It's about how much is required. And to get fit and to stay strong, you only need about 20 minutes of really heard safe intense strength training every week. And you can have the same benefits.

CARLSON: Now here, Denise, this is -- I want to quote Mr. Zickerman. This is from the New York Times. I think this makes the point really clear that for every President Bush there are a lot of people who aren't President Bush in a lot of ways.

AUSTIN: Yes. We need to get people going.

CARLSON: "'I looked at all of the people doing aerobics, treadmill, steppers, and I noticed something,' Mr. Zuckerman said. 'They were all fat,' he said, practically hissing, his Cartier (ph) tank watch gleaming against his tan thickly muscled arm. 'If I had my choice, I would ban aerobics classes.'"

Isn't this that was by Alex Kochinski (ph) of the "New York Times." A little over the top, but it makes the point. A lot of people do a lot of aerobics and they're still overweight. Why?

AUSTIN: Well, they got to keep doing it. They've got to try changing it up. Variety is important. I think muscle training is so important because it helps speed up the metabolism.

Muscle cells are very active at rest, while fat cells are very sedentary. Whatever you're doing, you're burning calories. You're exercising. If it's walking, it it's stepping, if it's spinning, if it's you know, going for a nice weight training workout, it's still burning calories. And that's what everyone needs to do every single day.

It's calories, calories out. It's all -- if you're needing to lose weight, it's all about how many calories you're eating and how many calories are you burning up?

So if you're just doing 20 minutes of weight training one day a week, what do you do all of the other six days?

ZICKERMAN: Rest.

AUSTIN: You've got to move that body, walk around.

BEGALA: What do you do?

AUSTIN: You've got to move.

BEGALA: What you do is you're out at the Western Sizzler in the line for the potatoes and the steaks, right? That's what you're doing the rest of the time is just pigging out?

ZICKERMAN: No, it's -- you know, in my book I don't say 20 minutes is alls you need to lose weight. Now we're talking about losing weight. And that's a whole different thing. We're talking about fitness or losing weight.

If you want to lose weight, you still got to raise your metabolism. But also, another part of my book is...

BEGALA: So you can be fit and fat?

ZICKERMAN: ... about nutrition.

BEGALA: Wait a minute, you just drew a distinction that I didn't understand. It's not about losing weight. It's about becoming fit. What's the difference? You mean you can't be, you know, a big porker and be fit can you?

ZUCKERMAN: Not everybody needs to lose weight, and that's not the only reason to exercise. I'm not fat, but I still exercise. And I'm not looking to lose a lot of weight. I eat well.

If you really want to lose weight, you have to build muscle which only takes 20 minutes a week if you do it the right way. And you need to have proper nutrition. That is the key to leasing weight. Cardio, you've have to job six hours a day just to burn like -- I mean like six hours a week -- just to burn not even a pound of calories. That's like three Oreo cookies. It's very inefficient way of losing weight.

Again, nutrition is the key.

CARLSON: Well, and Denise -- we're almost out of time -- you're probably the most respect exercise instructor in the United States. Tell us how do you keep it from being boring?

It's boring running.

AUSTIN: Well, you change it up. I do a little bit of Yoga, a little bit of Palettes, because it works your abs, it works all of your core muscles, your spine. I do walking. I do jogging. I change it up all of the time. You're surprising your muscles. You want to do new things all of the time. To do something different, work the biceps...

ZICKERMAN: Muscles don't think; how do you surprise them?

CARLSON: There you go.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: That's going to have to be the last word.

We're stopping at biceps. I have a feeling Denise was going down to the glutes and we're not going to be getting into not gluteus (ph)...

AUSTIN: Not really.

BEGALA: There we go.

AUSTIN: New year, new rear, honey.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: Next on "Fireback" segment, one of our viewers wonders why we never hear any more about Republican causes. Stay with us.

Squeezing that glut, huh?

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE, you're sixty minute mental workout every single day.

Time now for Fireback where you get to give us a workout. And boy, do you. Susan Smith, Pauly's Island, South Carolina writes in on the e- mail. "Paul, why is it I don't hear much criticism when Hollywood stars campaign for Republican presidents or serve on the board on the NRA? Should the opinions of Hollywood stars matter more than mine? No, of course not. But why should they matter less?"

Good for you, Susan. Good point. Yeah, no body on the right attacks Charleston Heston, who is a distinguished actor, but runs the NRA.

CARLSON: Actually, Charleston Heston is pretty smart.

BEGALA: Actually...

CARLSON: He is.

BEGALA: ... he is, and Barbara Streisand is a pretty smart woman.

CARLSON: Oh, I'm not sure that's true.

Matthew Smith from...

BEGALA: Oh, please.

CARLSON: ... from Burlington, Vermont writes, "I'm disappointed at the French resistance to offer support for U.S. military action against Iraq. I'm curious to see if Paris is among the list of sanctuaries available to Saddam Hussein should they chose to exile him."

I imagine Saddam could just go ahead and invade Paris. I mean everyone else has.

BEGALA: Wait, wait...

CARLSON: It's pretty easy. Could probably do it with a Doberman pincher and a stick.

BEGALA: All right, Charles of Round Rock, Texas, just north of Austin, says, "I have heard that the two teams that are going to play in the Super Bowl this year will be Tennessee and Philadelphia. The reason for this is because since those teams each have black quarterbacks, they actually get 20 points extra because of affirmative action. Never mind that they lost last week."

Well, Charles, actually the Texas Rangers also are going to be declared the winners of the World Series since George W. Bush got into Yale on affirmative action for the moneyed elite children of Yale graduates.

If you are mad about black people getting in, you should be angrier about George W. Bush getting in.

CARLSON: Well, you seem angry about both, but you support one, which is odd. BEGALA: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) hypocrisy.

CARLSON: And next up, Bonita Yarborough from New Haven, Connecticut writes, "Well, Tucker, you should be happy." I always am. Thanks Bonita. "Al Sharpton has formally filed to be a Democratic candidate for president. Since you are so thrilled, do you plan to campaign for him to win the Democratic nomination?"

Well, Bonita, I'm glad you asked because I did plan to campaign for Al Sharpton. This is the show of course that launched his rebirth into the political world.

BEGALA: That's past tense, Tucker.

CARLSON: That is past tense. Al Sharpton was supposed to be on our show tonight. He says he was stuck in traffic or unable to negotiate his way out of a hotel in downtown Washington. We're waiting for a fuller explanation. The bottom line, he never showed. Our feelings are hurt. We hope he's going to come back and make it up to us with profuse apologies.

BEGALA: A guy who can't make it from a hotel to a TV studio ain't going to make it from here to the White House.

So to heck with Al Sharpton.

No, you give your to CROSSFIRE, by God, you come on this show Reverend Al. That's wrong. That is wrong.

Yes, sir, what is your question or comment?

QUESTION: Name is Eric Ryback (ph) from Charlottesville, Virginia. The administration seems to change its approach to North Korea about every day. What's up with that?

BEGALA: They don't know what they're doing. Simple as that. The president has been both incompetent and inconsistent and incoherent -- so am I at this moment -- but you get the point.

CARLSON: Yes, that's actually an unfair -- ludicrous and unfair critic. The White House has changed it's position on North Korea and it is distressing. On the other hand, how would you like to deal with a lunatic regime like North Korea? It's tricky. The diplomacy is tricky. They have or claim to have nuclear weapons. It's a big deal. The stakes are high.

BEGALA: It is.

CARLSON: And I think we ought to give the administration some pass. I agree, you can criticize them for changing course, and they have, but come on, it's North Korea. I mean, it's hard.

BEGALA: It is, and if Bush would be that candid, I would admire the candor. But instead...

CARLSON: It's the president, come on. BEGALA: ... he stands up and says his big stick, axis of evil, nonsense, and then he wimps out when the reality sets in.

From the left, I am Paul Begala. Good night from CROSSFIRE.

CARLSON: From the right, I'm Tucker Carlson. Join us again next time for another edition of CROSSFIRE, perhaps with Al Sharpton.

Connie Chung Tonight begins right now.

Have a great night. We'll see you tomorrow.

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