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CNN CROSSFIRE

Music and Politics

Aired August 5, 2004 - 16:30   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ANNOUNCER: CROSSFIRE. On the left, James Carville and Paul Begala; on the right, Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson.

In the CROSSFIRE: Mixing music and politics. The Boss could be bashing President Bush. The Chicks will do more than whistle Dixie. And a host of other liberal musicians are getting ready to sing their way through swing states, asking audiences to vote for change. Is it an election-year high note or just more political song and dance?

Today on CROSSFIRE.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Live from the George Washington University, Donna Brazile, sitting in on the left, and Tucker Carlson.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST: Welcome to CROSSFIRE.

James Carville and Paul Begala are still gone, stuck in Malibu rehearsing politically charged folk songs with Barbra Streisand.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: But that's OK. We've upgraded once again, joined on the left by former Al Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile.

Celebrity musicians are making plans to go on tour for the Kerry campaign this year. Will they influence your vote? If Bonnie Raitt says it, will you do it?

That's our debate right after the best political briefing in television, our CROSSFIRE "Political Alert."

DONNA BRAZILE, GUEST HOST: Well, Tucker, before George Bush today signed a $417 billion defense spending bill, he made a little speech. He should have just put pen to paper. Listen closely. Everybody is going to be talking about his latest attempt to speak English.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BRAZILE: Finally, we've gotten a truthful response from our president. His policies have harmed our economy and alienated our allies. No wonder the military brass at the Pentagon didn't react to his statement this morning.

CARLSON: You know, Donna, I'm not going to contend the president can really speak the language, because he can't, obviously.

BRAZILE: But he spoke the truth today. His policies have harmed us.

CARLSON: But you know, the difference is, when Bush says something ludicrous like that, it's a mistake. But when Kerry says something ludicrous like that, it's totally on purpose. So, I'll take the man who does it unknowingly over the guy who does it on purpose.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BRAZILE: I thought he said the truth. His policies have hurt us. His policies have hurt us.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: I don't think you should be allowed to play clips like that. That's when free speech ends...

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: ... is when you play stuff like that.

No, I mean, look, I think people look at Bush...

BRAZILE: That was Bushism at its best.

CARLSON: They look at Bush and they say, you know what? He's not the most fluent person in the world, but he means what he says.

(BELL RINGING)

CARLSON: I think that. People believe him. He's believable.

Well, Howard Dean has lost control of himself again.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Eight months after his Iowa meltdown, it look looks like this time, the former Vermont governor needs to check his dosage. Last night, Dean took the airwaves to charge once again that the Bush administration is hyping the terror threat for political gain, as if al Qaeda is merely an invention of Karl Rove.

Well, even the Kerry campaign isn't reckless enough to agree with this in public. They promptly issued a statement confirming that, yes, al Qaeda is in fact real.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: But they did not disavow Howard Dean, who is still working as a surrogate for the campaign. In other words, Kerry adviser goes berserk. Kerry doesn't have the courage to do anything about it.

Now, remember, John Kerry is the man who is going to win back our allies, so he says. But it's not likely, because, if you can't control Howard Dean, you are probably not going to be able to control France.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

BRAZILE: Look, Howard Dean is trying to get this administration to connect the dots, to give us the truth, to be more forthcoming. That's what he was trying to say.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Actually, he's alleging a poisonous conspiracy. He's alleged that the United States government is hyping the terror threat merely to win an election.

Now, if they -- if the Bush administration is actually doing that, I can promise you, I will devote all my energy to defeating them, because that's evil. That's wrong.

BRAZILE: Absolutely.

CARLSON: There's no evidence they're doing that, however. And he shouldn't say they are.

BRAZILE: But there's a lot of evidence that they're not giving us the full truth on the day that they raised the alert level.

(BELL RINGING)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Well, the facts are dribbled out, but there's no evidence that it's political at all.

BRAZILE: Well, get ready -- get ready for the nastiest anti- Kerry political ad yet. It comes from a group that calls itself the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth. But it's really nothing more than a blatant attempt to distort the truth about John Kerry's Vietnam war record.

Here's the truth: Absolutely none of them served on Kerry's boat. Here's some more truth: The ad is so offensive that Republican Senator and former Vietnam P.O.W. John McCain called on the Bush campaign to condemn it. All the Bush campaign did was state it never has, never will question John Kerry's military service in Vietnam. Right. They'll just leave that, the dirty work, to others.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Well, let's cut through the B.S. on that.

John Kerry says that he has some sort of special moral authority because he served in Vietnam and you didn't. That is his line day after day. These are men who did serve in Vietnam, many of whom knew John Kerry. They are totally entitled to their opinions.

They have a legitimate point of view. Democrats may not like it. But these guys served in Vietnam, too. And to dismiss them as wackos is totally unfair.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BRAZILE: He said he was ready to serve his country in Vietnam.

CARLSON: Well, so did they.

BRAZILE: And he's ready to serve as president.

CARLSON: Well, these are men who served in Vietnam, too.

(CROSSTALK)

BRAZILE: He's not attacking these guys for their service and their sacrifice for this country. He's saying, I'm ready -- I'm ready to continue serving my country.

(CROSSTALK)

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: These guys, they are making specific allegations that they claim are true.

(BELL RINGING)

CARLSON: And it's unfair to write them off, as Democrats wrote off...

BRAZILE: But how do they know? They were not in the boat.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Actually, they claim they served with him in the next boat.

BRAZILE: They were not in the boat. They were not in the boat. They missed the boat.

(CROSSTALK)

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: They missed the boat.

BRAZILE: They missed the boat.

CARLSON: Well, the Democratic National Committee has recently taken it upon itself to try to decide what television stations ought to broadcast on their airwaves.

But in a recent letter to television station managers drafted on official and very scary looking legal stationary, the DNC has attempted to bully broadcasters into pulling an anti-Kerry ad. The spot, which is sponsored by the Club For Growth, is hardly radical. It merely challenges Kerry on his flip-flops and attempts to raise taxes. Pretty conventional.

And yet, the commissars from the Democratic National Committee don't think you ought to be allowed to see it. Worse, they don't even think you ought to be allowed to hear the debate about why you shouldn't be allowed to see it, which is why they put their lawyers on the case, rather than holding a public press conference to make their points, whatever those might be.

What are they afraid of? And more to the point, what ever happened to the party of free speech? Apparently, it doesn't matter anymore, because it's too important to get John Kerry elected. That's their point of view. And it bothers me.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BRAZILE: Tucker, Tucker, it is recycled trash. It is recycled trash. In fact, it is so misleading that the Bush campaign has decided not run those ads again. That's why the DNC is

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: But this isn't being run by the Bush campaign. This is an outside group called the Club For Growth. Of course you think it's misleading.

BRAZILE: But the facts are wrong. The facts are wrong.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: ... political ads. But then why not counter the facts with facts you think are correct, rather than pull it off the airwaves, so we can't even have the debate?

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

BRAZILE: Page 70 of this report, I have read it

(CROSSTALK)

BRAZILE: Took it home. You didn't take yours home.

Page 70 said that John Kerry has a plan to balance the budget.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: I have that sitting next to my bed. But unfortunately, I never got past the introduction.

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: I passed right out.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: And if you have got insomnia, may I recommend the Kerry campaign book to you.

Well, our question is: Would you let a bongo player tell you how to vote? Some of John Kerry's supporters think his greatest chance for success can be found in the stars, the rock stars. We'll debate how bright the star strategy really is next.

Also, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has found a new way to grow support for the Bush campaign. We'll show you how he's doing it later on CROSSFIRE. It's so weird, you won't want to change the channel.

We'll be right back.

(APPLAUSE)

ANNOUNCER: Get ahead of the CROSSFIRE. Sign up for CROSSFIRE's daily "Political Alert" e-mail. You'll get a preview of each day's show, plus an inside look at the day's political headlines. Just go to CNN.com/CROSSFIRE and sign up today.

ANNOUNCER: Join Carville, Begala, Carlson, and Novak in the CROSSFIRE. For free tickets to CROSSFIRE at the George Washington University, call 202-994-8CNN or visit our Web site. Now you can step into the CROSSFIRE.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Welcome back.

After a recent New York fund-raiser that was laced with stupidity and nastiness, Senator Kerry famously told the star-studded audience that Hollywood represents, quote, "the heart and soul of America."

Well, apparently, that pandering worked. It always does. Between now and November, some 20 musical acts, including Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and the Dixie Chicks, will perform pro-Kerry fund-raising concerts in nine swing states. Will it work, and who cares what the Dixie Chicks think?

To debate it, we're joined with Democratic strategist Vic Kamber, as well as Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center.

Welcome.

(APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Now, Vic, I would never -- I would never begrudge anybody the right to express his political views, entertainer or nonentertainer. Everyone has a right to.

But my question is, politically, why would you want to? I keep next to my bedside the following quote from Barbra Streisand, who was marvelous in "Yentl," I'll grant you that, not a deep thinker on politics. Here's what she said in the lead-up to the Iraq war on her Web site, quote -- she complained that enemies are, quote, "completely misrepresenting Ms. Streisand's deep opposition to the Iranian dictator, Saddam Hussein."

Now, my question to you, Vic, is, celebrities are known to make outrageously foolish remarks like that. Why would you want a whole bunch of them traveling around the country on your behalf, when you know they're just going to embarrass you?

VIC KAMBER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I think they are no different than TV pundits or commentators who make ridiculous remarks, also.

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

KAMBER: There's any number of people...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: But we're trained to make ridiculous remarks.

KAMBER: There's any number of people who make ridiculous remarks.

One of the greatest icons I would think you have is Ronald Reagan, who was nothing -- and I don't mean to -- he's dead and -- but was nothing more than a B movie star, a surrogate for Barry Goldwater, who got out and stumped, and from that surrogate, from those speeches became governor, became president.

Any number of these celebrities and -- that advocate a politician of either side, the right or the left, have every right. You would want them because they attract attention. They attract money. Charlton Heston -- Moses, Ben-Hur -- never carried a gun in his life.

(CROSSTALK)

KAMBER: Never carried a gun in his life. He is the biggest advocate for guns.

CARLSON: And yet, don't you think that there's something unbecoming about the lack of self-awareness on the part of many of these people?

I want to read you a quote from Brad Pitt, who is nothing if not self-aware and pretty smart.

KAMBER: Do you know he's pretty smart?

CARLSON: He said this to "TIME" magazine. Well, listen to this. This is a pretty smart line.

He says: "Reporters ask me what I feel China should do about Tibet. Who cares what I think China should do? I'm an F-ing actor. They hand me a script. I act."

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: "I'm here for entertainment, basically."

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: "When you whittle everything away, I'm a grown man who puts on makeup."

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Now, Brad Pitt knows who he is. Does Bonnie Raitt?

KAMBER: But see, that's my point. You're using him and you're saying, look at what he is saying. Isn't he right? Why are you using him as the right person and not Bonnie Raitt or Barbra Streisand.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Because he knows what he is talking about.

(CROSSTALK)

KAMBER: Because he agrees with you.

CARLSON: Yes.

KAMBER: On your opinion.

CARLSON: Yes. Exactly.

(APPLAUSE)

(LAUGHTER) (CROSSTALK)

BRAZILE: Look, we all know that the largest part in American politics today is not the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. It's the nonvoting party.

These celebrities are out there to inspire people. In fact, Bruce Springsteen -- who I will rock to him all day and night long, OK?

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BRAZILE: Bruce Springsteen just said recently that he wanted to try to mobilize, get people registered, get them excited. What's wrong with that?

BRENT BOZELL, MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER: Well, I think there's nothing wrong with going to a Bruce Springsteen concert. There's a world of difference between that and following him to the voting booth.

It's kind of interesting to me that, every four years, the MTV crowd says, we're going to register 20 million new people. They don't register squat. Why? Because the people who go to the concerts don't necessarily translate into voters. And I'll tell you something else. I think there is a reasonable, rational part of Hollywood, about three guys. Ron Silver of Creative Coalition is one of them who has taken this crowd to task.

The overwhelming majority of them, it's not so much that they're not self-ware. they just have no self-control. The Whoopi Goldbergs of the world, they're insulting people. And I think the Michael Moore element, I think it's going to backfire. I think people are sick and tired of this man lying about President Bush.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BRAZILE: Well, let me ask you a question. Well, that's a whole other show in terms of -- I saw the movie. And the movie was very factual and I recommend it to everyone, especially the part about what happened in Florida.

BOZELL: You and Hezbollah agree.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BRAZILE: Well, I don't know Hezbollah, but I do know that Americans, many taxpaying Americans like that.

But look: Ronald Reagan, a celebrity; Arnold Schwarzenegger, celebrity; Sonny Bono -- I can go on a long list of celebrities. They're good as candidates. But why it is that when Democratic- leaning celebrities get involved, you Republicans act as if your house is on fire?

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) BOZELL: Well, first, I'm not a Republican.

BRAZILE: Or an independent.

BOZELL: You know, there's a part of me -- there's a part of me that really does want the Dixie Chicks out there.

Look, I want -- and I challenge you right now, madam, to go the Democratic National Committee. Let's see that video with Whoopi at the Democratic National Committee fund-raiser. She was good enough to say all this stuff at a fund-raiser.

(CROSSTALK)

BOZELL: But they won't show the video.

(CROSSTALK)

BOZELL: They won't show the heart and soul of America to the American people.

(CROSSTALK)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BRAZILE: And you know what? And you know what? I think that video should come out.

BOZELL: I'll buy popcorn.

BRAZILE: I'll pop it for you.

KAMBER: I think it would be great to see it. And I want to see Dick Cheney's meeting with the energy people.

(CROSSTALK)

BOZELL: I want to see that one, too.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

BRAZILE: We all agree.

CARLSON: Vic, again, the right of any American to express political views is not being -- there's no argument about that.

KAMBER: I hope that is the truth.

CARLSON: There really isn't at all. But the fact is that Hollywood isn't the American mainstream. That's good or bad, depending on where you are, but it's just true.

I will read you the most amusing quote of the week I've seen, anyway, from James Cromwell, an actor. He said this on CNN. He said, quote, "Hollywood is no different. We are no different than any other people throughout the country. If they would listen to people in Topeka, I'm sure they would hear much the same thing that the people in Hollywood are saying."

KAMBER: Where do you think James Cromwell comes from? He comes from Topeka. He comes from Milwaukee.

(CROSSTALK)

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Really?

(CROSSTALK)

KAMBER: The bottom line -- I understand what you're saying, that these are people who ultimately come to a certain privilege in life, a certain status in life.

CARLSON: Right.

KAMBER: They have money in many cases. But they have brains also. They have opinions. And why not use them. And if they can help turn out people -- Brent says, all the talk at MTV, no one turns out. Then what is he worried about?

(CROSSTALK)

KAMBER: Why are we even having a show if we're not worried about it?

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Let me give you a good example, OK? Let me give you a good example.

The other day, Sharon Stone complaining about how much she dislikes the Bush administration actually gets up and gives a speech in which -- or an interview in which she says to -- just a couple days ago. She said that in her recent movie, she could not kiss her female co-star because of the political climate, Halle Berry.

"Halle is so beautiful, and I wanted to kiss her. I said, how can you have us in the movie and not have us kiss? That's such a waste. That's what you get for having George Bush as president."

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Now, I personally would like to see them kiss. I'm for her kissing Halle Berry.

(LAUGHTER) CARLSON: But the idea that Bush is somehow part of this anti- lesbian kissing conspiracy...

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: ... isn't this just a reflection how out of it these people are?

KAMBER: They're as out of it as if we had went to the Senate floor and listened to the debate on marriage amendment, the Constitutional amendment and some of the ridiculous hypocrites in the Republican Party that wanted to put an amendment in the Constitution of the United States banning men and women -- or banning men and men and men and women and women from marrying.

To take our Constitution, to trash it that way, these are elected Republican senators, the same kind of conversation as this, ridiculous conversation.

(CROSSTALK)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

BOZELL: You mean that Defense of Marriage Act that passed 71-21 in this area the other day?

KAMBER: I call that ridiculous and outrageous.

(CROSSTALK)

BOZELL: Linda Ronstadt is a perfect example of these yahoo gadflies. Look, she gives a concert and says publicly that she's uncomfortable doing a concert in front of Christians and wonders why she got thrown off the stage.

KAMBER: But she didn't get thrown off the stage, but her contract got canceled.

(CROSSTALK)

KAMBER: She had a right to say what she did. And the owner of the Aladdin had a right to do what he did. And they both did it.

BOZELL: And the best part was, the audience had the right to boo her off the stage.

(APPLAUSE)

KAMBER: Of course. So what are you upset about? So what are you upset about?

BOZELL: I'm not. I love it.

(APPLAUSE) BRAZILE: All right. All right. All right.

But Brent, I come from the school -- And this is not a Republican school or a Democratic school -- that these celebrities really lend their name and their good name and their resources to important causes, like AIDS in Africa, what Bono is doing, like famine, which Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson and many others participate in.

What's wrong? I still can't get to the crux of the matter. What's wrong with celebrities lending their good names? When I look at the Republican lineup, look at this lineup. Bo Derek. Hello? Remember her.

BOZELL: Yes. That's right.

(LAUGHTER)

BRAZILE: OK. Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, they are all planning to go to the Republican Convention. The Republicans plan to have a stellar lineup as well.

KAMBER: That's a good-looking group.

BOZELL: Look, there's nothing wrong with somebody participating.

But I think the point that Tucker is making is -- I remember a few years ago, Sissy Spacek did a movie about farms. And the next thing you know, she's testifying in the Congress on farming issues. Wait a minute. She's an actress. That's all she is.

KAMBER: So what?

(CROSSTALK)

BOZELL: She's not an expert on farming issues.

BRAZILE: So what? So what?

KAMBER: So what?

BOZELL: I don't think -- I don't think it's very smart for us to follow people who aren't experts. If somebody wants to do it

(CROSSTALK)

KAMBER: We agree. We agree, including George Bush, who is no expert on anything.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Actually, Vic, don't you -- I know that's a marvelous bumper sticker, but, honestly, there's a pretty serious point in what Brent said. If you're upset that Bush doesn't know enough about the issues...

KAMBER: We throw him out of office. That's my right. (APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: OK, but then I wonder why you're putting up Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt as policy experts.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

KAMBER: I'm not putting -- these are people, Americans, who have a right, Tucker, to say what they want to say.

(CROSSTALK)

BOZELL: You keep coming to us, saying that we don't think they have a right.

CARLSON: Speaking of rights, we need to exercise ours to take some commercial breaks. We'll be right back.

Next, we'll ask why one singer is claiming she was used to divert attention from Iraq. Ooh, conspiracy.

And al Qaeda training camps, we'll have the latest on what U.S. intelligence sources say they're being activated for after the break.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington.

Coming up at the top of the hour, leaders of a mosque in Albany, New York, charged with trying to aid terrorists. The Scott Peterson trial is delayed while the defense examines new evidence. And do liberals hate Americans? We'll talk with Ben Stein about the allegations in his new book.

Those stories and much more just minutes away on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS."

Now back to CROSSFIRE.

BRAZILE: It's time for "Rapid Fire," where we go for short questions and our guests can't do a song and a dance.

We're talking with Brent Bozell, president of Media Research Center, and Democratic strategist Vic Kamber.

Brent, let me ask you a question. I have read this lineup, and I'm excited about Donnie McClurkin, a great Gospel singer. But Kid Rock, he's a great rap artist. I don't know if you're familiar with him and you're familiar with his lyrics, but should he be allowed to speak at the Republican Convention?

BOZELL: Nobody is questioning whether somebody should be allowed to do something or not. Is it appropriate? My personal vote, no. CARLSON: Now, Vic, Janet Jackson says that her breasts -- her nipple, specifically -- was used by Republican operatives to draw national attention away from the war in Iraq.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Did you believe that?

KAMBER: I didn't read that quote, but I think we should check into it.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: You think Karl Rove -- how would we check into it?

KAMBER: Whatever way you want, Tucker.

BRAZILE: Well, I'm sure if you go about giving out free pictures to our troops, some of our troops, they may like that.

(LAUGHTER)

BRAZILE: Let me -- I have to ask this question. The Republicans...

BOZELL: No, you don't, whatever it is. No you don't. But go ahead.

(LAUGHTER)

BRAZILE: Well, will you allow Whoopi Goldberg come and speak at the Republican Convention and clarify herself?

BOZELL: I'd like to see the video of her first as a setup piece and then see what happens.

CARLSON: Now, why not put Linda Ronstadt on the road for John Kerry, Vic?

KAMBER: I don't know. Why? Has she been asked?

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: I don't know.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: ... get on the phone right now?

(CROSSTALK)

KAMBER: I think she's a great singer. I think she's a great singer. I think there would be a crowd of people who would come out to see her.

A celebrity -- the purpose of a celebrity isn't to get you to vote necessarily one way. It's to get you there so that the advocate, the politician, can give their message to

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Isn't it a little embarrassing, that you would need to have some singer to

(CROSSTALK)

KAMBER: I'm sure Barry Goldwater loved having Ronald Reagan. I'm sure George Bush loved having Charlton Heston.

CARLSON: I'm sure they did, but isn't it a bit embarrassing?

KAMBER: Not at all. We want to get people involved in this country. And if we are a celebrity society that looks to celebrities, that gets attracted to celebrities, I'd rather spent 500 bucks to go to a fund-raiser with Barbra Streisand than with Brent. I tell you the truth.

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Well, at least you admit it.

BRAZILE: Brent, I want to give you the last word. Is there any special talent that you would like to announce today, so that perhaps I can spend $5 to come and see you?

BOZELL: No.

But you know, when I think of the people like Whoopi Goldberg and the kind of things they say...

(BELL RINGING)

BOZELL: I'm reminded that muzzles, dog muzzles, for people's mouths sometimes are a very good thing.

CARLSON: Boy.

BRAZILE: Not for Whoopi Goldberg, I might say.

CARLSON: And quite titillating in some communities, too.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Well, that's the topic of another show.

Well, can it be true, President Bush, the green candidate? We'll show you right after the break. You won't believe it.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Well, as you know, August in Washington means vacation time. Lawmakers have time to go home to their districts, see the world or just do some yard work, or maybe a lot of yard work.

And according to "The Washington Post," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has some very specific plans for how he wants his hedges trimmed. Somebody must been bushed when they finished this. The senator's spokesman tells "The Post", quote, "The Frists believe that this season's landscape favors four more years."

BRAZILE: Can you believe that? Stay out of the bushes. Jesse Jackson is absolutely right.

CARLSON: What do you mean? I'm totally pro-topiary. And that is commitment. That is commitment, Donna, because if Bush in the end loses, that is going to be embarrassing. So, this is a guy that is one step short of a tattoo. And I respect it.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

BRAZILE: I think he should really go get some body piercing and sort of it get out of his system.

CARLSON: Get some body piercing?

BRAZILE: Get some body piercing.

CARLSON: He'd have to switch parties, then.

(LAUGHTER)

BRAZILE: From the left, I'm Donna Brazile. That's it for CROSSFIRE.

CARLSON: And from the right, I'm Tucker Carlson. Join us again tomorrow -- that would be Friday -- for yet more CROSSFIRE.

Have a great night.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

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