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Interview With James Baker; Interview With Dr. Phil McGraw

Aired November 11, 2004 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, he's back. Dr. Phil is back, telling it like it is about whatever issues you've got. Dr. Phil McGraw, keeping it real and taking your calls.
First, former Secretary of State James Baker, on the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and what it could mean for the possibility of peace at last in the Middle East. All next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We begin tonight from the Baker Institute at Rice University with an old friend, James Baker. He was the nation's 61st secretary of state, served in that position from January 1989 to August 1992, under President George Herbert Walker Bush, president 41. What's your reaction to the death of President Arafat, Jim?

JAMES BAKER, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, of course, it's a signal event, Larry, in the area of Arab-Israeli relations. I think it probably opens a window of opportunity to revitalize the prospects for peace, provided all the players do what they have to do.

It also, I think, though, brings with it not just opportunity, but perhaps some risk as well, because there is bound to be some sort of a power struggle. Arafat was an icon to his people. I think that he always had difficulty shedding the revolutionary garb that he wore for so long, and becoming a political figure in the general meaning of that term. I mean, he was a better revolutionary, I suppose, than he was a political leader. But there's opportunity here and there's also risk.

KING: You never met with him officially as secretary of state, although you did introduce him, right, from where you are, right at the Baker Institute in '97. What were your impressions of him?

BAKER: Well, he came down here, Larry, after he'd received, with Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres the Nobel Peace Prize, and he gave a presentation here. At that time, he was -- he seemed to be leaning forward toward peace. The Oslo Accords were in effect.

But my impression of him was that he was a little bit indecisive. When we did the negotiations that led up to the Madrid conference in 1991, of course, the United States would not deal with Arafat. He was still on the list of terrorists with whom we would not deal, but he did give the OK and the green light for us to deal with Palestinians from within the territories, Palestinians who really took their orders from Tunis, from Arafat in Tunis. And he, in effect, therefore made it possible for Israel and all of her Arab neighbors -- he among a lot of other people -- to come together and talk peace face to face for the first time across the table at Madrid in 1991.

KING: Why do you think he turned down that Clinton-Barak deal, which seemed to point so many things toward leading to a Palestinian state?

BAKER: I don't know why he did that, Larry. I have no way of knowing. I think it was a fundamental mistake. I think it was a particularly egregious mistake when you consider that he not only turned it down, but he did not come back with a counteroffer. Instead, he went to terror. And there's no excuse for that. And that, of course, did not serve his people well.

But I can't tell you why he turned it down, because in my view, it was a very forthcoming offer. The Palestinians would have gotten roughly 94, 95 percent of the West Bank back. They would have had an independent Palestinian state, control of the Temple Mount, the right of return for some 100,000 to, I think, to Israel proper, and the rest to an independent Palestinian state. And I don't know why they turned that down.

KING: The United States is sending Assistant Secretary of State William Burns to the funeral. Some think this may be missing a chance to -- for a fresh start with Palestinians. Should it have been someone of higher rank?

BAKER: Well, I'm not so sure I agree with that, Larry. I think this, in turn -- you don't miss a chance to revitalize negotiations for peace by virtue of the rank of the person you send to Arafat's funeral. After all, we were not dealing with Arafat. We had concluded that he was not leaning forward for peace, he was not someone who could make a peace deal and make it stick.

So I think there will be plenty of time for us to have high-level figures in the administration approach Abu Ala or Abu Mazen, the two old guard leaders who are there now, and perhaps some of the young guard as well.

We have to do what we can to find a negotiating partner for Israel, we and Israel together. Israel wants a two-state solution. That's the only solution that makes sense for them, if they're to keep the Jewish character of the state. And that means they need a negotiating partner. And for one to emerge, there's going to have to be elections. We and our European allies and Israel should support the concept of elections, and we should do everything we can to support those Palestinians who want to see a two-state solution negotiated peacefully.

KING: I guess only an idiot would want to see anymore conflict. Do you think -- do you fear that they may pick someone more militant than Arafat?

BAKER: No, I don't think that they would pick someone more militant than Arafat, but I do think that there is some risk that there would -- that there will be conflict, and that's why I'm so big on this idea of elections. I think if the United States and Israel put our shoulders -- and the Europeans as well, put our shoulders to the wheel and did everything we could to make it possible for the Palestinians to hold elections to pick their new leader, that's the best way to forestall chaos or violence in a power struggle to succeed Arafat.

KING: And in your opinion, the United States has to be a major player?

BAKER: The United States is the only country, Larry, that can serve as the honest broker on the Arab-Israeli dispute. We can -- we're the only country, because of our particularly close relationship to Israel, because of the fact that we are totally committed to the security of Israel come what way, but also by virtue of our uniquely preeminent place in world affairs. We're the only -- we really are the only mediator and broker of the Arab-Israeli peace process.

That doesn't mean we can't get a lot of help from others, and indeed we can and should. The quartet, the president's road map proposal is still out there on the table. That would be a wonderful solution if we could implement it. And I think that -- and I'm very hopeful that we will now roll up our sleeves and do everything we can, together with our other allies, to get that proposal implemented.

KING: Did it frustrate you, this situation in the Middle East, as much as it did the Republican and Democratic presidents of the United States?

BAKER: It's very frustrating, Larry. It's an extraordinarily difficult situation to deal with, because you have two people claiming the same land. I happen to be one who believes that there is no military solution to this conflict. I do not think there is any solution, other than one of land for peace under U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338. I'm one who believes that there has to be a negotiating process. Anytime you do not have negotiations looking for peace between Arabs and Israelis, you have violence on the ground. And that's not -- and that's not a solution that anybody wants. That's bad for the United States. That's bad for Israel, and it's certainly bad as well for the Palestinians.

KING: Should Ariel Sharon be encouraged tonight?

BAKER: Well, I think so. He's taking -- he's -- you know, he's taken a fairly courageous step in withdrawing from Gaza. He's had some opposition from within his own party. Yes, he should be encouraged, but he should be encouraged not just to stop at Gaza. He should be encouraged to look at the prospects of an overall land for peace deal, a comprehensive peace. And he should be encouraged, if I may say so, to take actions that will help develop a moderate or peace-leaning negotiating partner among the Palestinians, that will help the Palestinians conduct elections to select a successor to Arafat with whom he could deal.

And you know, let me say this, Larry. There is now in an Israeli -- in an Israeli prison a man named Marwan Barghouti, who is one of the young guard of Palestinians. And if the Palestinians are going to make this work against the really hard-line elements, the Islamists and some of the people of Hamas, they're going to have to have a coalition of the young guard and the old guard. And it would be really a very positive step in the right direction if Israel would release Marwan Barghouti so that he could participate in bringing about this transition.

KING: Secretary Baker, it is always great to see you looking so young and vibrant. You keep on keeping on.

BAKER: So do you, Larry. And thanks for having me. It's nice to talk to you.

KING: Good guy. Secretary James Baker, the nation's 61st secretary state in Bush I administration.

But the way, Saturday night, we're going to repeat an historic hour of LARRY KING LIVE that aired in 1995. They're all gone now. It featured Hussein of Jordan, Rabin of Israel, and Arafat of Palestine. All three on together for the full hour Saturday night.

Dr. Phil is next. We'll be right back. Don't go away.


KING: He's back, he's one of my favorite people, Dr. Phil. Phil McGraw, the host of "Dr. Phil", the hit day time TV talk show, now in its third year. "New York Times" best selling author, most recent book is "Family First: Your Step by Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Family." There you see it's cover, no. 1 on "The New York Times."

He's also co-founder of courtroom sciences incorporated, one of the world's leading litigation consulting firms. That's how he met Oprah. That's how it all started for him.

What do you make of the Peterson thing?

DR. PHIL MCGRAW, "FAMILY FIRST": I think there's so much that's unknown right now, but the prosecution has got to be, I think, very, very worried. You know, my particular specialty was in the jury sciences. And, you know, I'm watching this thing fragment and it worries me they're going to wind up having a five-month trial go down the drain before this thing is over with.

KING: Why are we so fascinated with this?

MCGRAW: You know, I think everybody has such a compassionate connection with such a beautiful young woman and mother-to-be that Laci with her life being taken like that, I think everybody has an investment in that. It's kind of like all good things are embodied in this wonderful young woman to be victimized like she was and her baby victimized. I think everybody is kind of called to arms by that, emotionally and mentally as well.

KING: As we -- it's hard to imagine, right?

MCGRAW: Well, it is. It's just unthinkable. And it happens in you know, a neighborhood, in an area that you just don't think about those things happening. You don't think about it in America, let alone in a really nice crime free neighborhood.

KING: You deal a lot and have helped and have helped so many people with recovery. Recovering from things. You interviewed the Kerry's and the Bush's. Can we recover from a red and blue nation?

MCGRAW: Well, Larry I have to tell you, I think sometimes you can make way too much of that. And this may be one of the exceptions to that rule, because I think what's divided the nation now is not a matter of policy, it's not a matter of money and taxation. I think what's divided the nation now is that at a real core value level, we're talking about such things as gay marriage and abortion, things that have to do with the very essence of life and people's core values and their beliefs morally, religiously, spiritually, ethically. So I think those are some big points to be at cross purposes with.

But let me tell you what I think we need to do. We need to first -- anytime I'm trying to resolve differences between someone, to negotiate a settlement in something, the first thing I try to do it is say what do we agree on?

We can all talk about our differences and everybody wants to talk about the differences, but let's stop and remember, first off, we're all Americans and there's so much that we agree on. Because somebody disagrees with you doesn't mean that they're less patriotic than you, that they love their country less than you.

KING: Or immoral.

MCGRAW: Certainly not that they're immoral. I mean, I would not want to live in an America where everybody was of the same mind, where everybody had the same attitude and opinions. What makes America so great is not only the difference of opinions, but our right to say that. I mean, think about what just happened. We just had this presidential election. We had all this division going on, I mean, right down the middle with very few votes making difference in this.

And the next morning, there were no tanks in the street, there was no rioting. This is America and people need to take pride in the fact that we go through this process and we can celebrate the day after. Does that mean that everybody is happy. If you're a Democrat, you're not happy right now, whether it's Senate, House or presidency. But you know what, we've gotten through it before. We'll get through it again and there will be a unification here.

I do know Senator Kerry, sat down with he and his wife. I think they're fine people. I think they love their country and they're deeply principled. I think president and Mrs. Bush are fine people. They absolutely love their country and they're are deeply principled. And I think we'll see President Bush reaching across the aisle and saying let's work together in a bipartisan way.

KING: Helped by the fact he doesn't have to run again.

MCGRAW: I don't care what you say, you know, they can talk about, you know, this one or that one follows the polls too much, but I think once you don't have that to be concerned about, you can act from conscience more and not be influenced by it. And so I think we'll see some courage of leadership at this point.

KING: When we come back, we're going to talk about family and Dr. Phil. One third of those parents surveyed in a massive survey examining family and parenting, furthermore, said they would not start a family based on what they now know. We'll get his comments on that. He's the host of "Dr. Phil," one of the most successful, maybe the most successful news show in syndication ever. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's OK to have a bachelor party at a strip club.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The likely hood of my friends thinking a strip club is good to place have a bachelor party is pretty strong. It's tradition.

MCGRAW: I didn't a bachelor party, did I?

ROBIN MCGRAW, DR. PHIL'S WIFE: No, you didn't have one, no.

MCGRAW: What was I..

R. MCGRAW: Because in my opinion, your days of playing around and having fun with naked women are over. And I believe that if anyone's going to dance naked in his lap, it's going to be me, because that's my lap.

MCGRAW: You're talking about me not, a (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

R. MCGRAW: Yes, you. Yes.




MCGRAW: It is not too late for you. I believe your life is in danger. I believe you're putting your children's lives in danger. I don't want you to die.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know how to stop. How do I? That's what I'm asking you. How?


KING: What was her problem?

MCGRAW: Well, that's one of the women in our real life desperate housewives series.

KING: Tell me about that. I'll get back to the family thing.

MCGRAW: Well, it's all about family, you know. We've devoted so much of this season to putting family back in America and celebrating family in America. That's what family first is all about, is a celebration of family and how to bring it back together in all this distraction. We have so many women who are saying, look, I'm trying to do the right thing out here with my family. I'm wearing the mask, but I got a whole 'nother life that's pulled me aside and has distracted me.

So we chose seven women out of tens of thousands of letters we got that said, look, I don't want to live this way anymore. I'm a soccer mom. I go to PTA, I do all the right things and this beautiful young mother here got addicted to prescription painkillers to the point that she was taking 25 to 30 a day. And driving her children around and doing all the things that you normally do. And that's a toxic situation in a family. And one of the things I talk about in family first is that if you're going to have a phenomenal family, if you really want to have a good healthy, vibrant, thriving family, one of the things that you have to do is not ignore serious problems.

So often, it's kind of like the elephant in the kitchen or the elephant in the living room, where you just pretend that there's not alcoholism or there's not infidelity or there's not a drug problem with your teens. You can't deny those things. A phenomenal family is going to step up and say that's a problem and I'm going to deal with it.

KING: Why is there desperation?

MCGRAW: Well, look what's happened, Larry. I've said this so many times. But I want people to realize, I think we've had the biggest change in a generation of any I've ever studied. This is the only one I've lived through, but I've studied generations. Look what's happened. We've been in the biggest information explosion in the history of the world. When I was a teenager, we had three TV channels. We were watching "Gunsmoke," "I Love Lucy." There wasn't anything suggestive there. There wasn't anything provocative there. Matt Dillon still has never kissed Kitty. It wasn't there.

But now we have 500 TV channels. And even on network television, there's very little left to the imagination. A glamorization of sex, a glorification of drugs and alcohol, all of these excesses and you see these people being glamorized. And these things are bombarding our children.

KING: But it's not going to go away. 500 channels ain't going to be 200.

MCGRAW: That's right. It's not going to go away. The noise isn't going to go down. The noise isn't going to go down. Plus we've got to add the Internet on top of that. Huge deal, huge deal in terms of bringing information into the home for children. So all that's going on. We're not going to be the only voice in our children's lives so we need to be the best voice. We need to be the most clarion voice. And we need to not be turned away by children who just don't seem to want to plug in. And talk about it.

KING: How is this family thing doing? We mentioned earlier when we went to the break that you did a survey and one third said knowing what they know now, they wouldn't start a family. That's an enormous figure.

MCGRAW: I was stunned by that. Larry, what we did is we polled and did an extensive survey with over 20,000 respondents, generated 1.7 million pieces of data. One of the most striking things was a third of the parents, almost, said if I knew then what I know now, I don't think I would have started a family.

And our question was, are you telling me that you don't love your children? It isn't working? It's too painful? They say no, that's not it. I just don't feel equal to the challenge that I'm facing now.

And so this month, as we go through our shows, we're dealing with issues. We're drilling down and looking at them. We had a show on today called "A Family Affair," where again, you drive by the house, everything looks perfect, picket fence, two cars in the driveway. The husband is a physician, beautiful young wife. But yet, there's discord there, behind those closed doors. He's having an affair, his mistress is pregnant. Now he's torn. What do I do? I don't abandon this baby, yet I've got these children at home with my wife. What do I do?

Well, what you do is you've got to hook up and deal with the problems by acknowledging them and talking about them so family first is all about that. I've said before it was hard to raise your children by the book until there was one so I wrote one. I wrote what I think we have to do to really have a chance for our children to thrive and get the best chance for success.

KING: Concerning the gay family, and do you accept the fact that there is such a thing, that two gays have children, they adopt children, et cetera, women, one of them will give birth.

MCGRAW: Absolutely. Absolutely.

KING: Now that it's more out of the closet, is that easier today?

MCGRAW: It depends on what part of the country you're in, because there are parts...

KING: Red states, blue states.

MCGRAW: That's probably not a bad way to start sorting to begin with. But this is not necessarily a moral situation. People debate these issues from a religious standpoint, a moral standpoint, but it is a reality that needs to be dealt with here. I have seen children all over the world languishing for love, and care, and giving. And you have a gay couple that are well adjusted, successful, loving, caring individuals with rich spiritual lives and so much to offer who say I want to adopt a child. They say no, because you're a gay couple. To leave a child suffering and alone and there are qualified parents there, whether they're gay or young or old, seems to me to be insanity.

KING: But those say it's a greater problem if both parents are of the same sex.

MCGRAW: There's no question that you have to recognize that there's going to be a social stigma associated with it. Should people be judgmental of interracial marriages for example? Absolutely not. But should a parent sit down and say if you're going to do that, the reality is, you're going to face some unique challenges? You're going to be judged by some, you're going to be criticized by some. It's a responsible thing to acknowledge that there are differences, but that doesn't mean that you should be controlled by those things. My whole idea of family first is to decide you've got to have a plan. That's what this book is about is a good plan.

KING: And all of November is family?

MCGRAW: We're working on family in a lot of different ways. It's not all family. We're certainly working on family in a lot of ways. One of them has to do with the Internet. I'd like to talk about that.

KING: We will. We'll also include your phone calls. We'll be right back with Dr. Phil in his third successful season. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My daughter was the victim of an Internet pedophile.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I was 14, I decided to check out some chat rooms. I met this guy and we started chatting a lot. He was 21. We talked a lot about some sexual questions. He liked the idea that I was a virgin and we ended up chatting for about four, five months. I stayed home from school sick one day and invited him over. We did end up having sex.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He raped her at gunpoint and he threatened to kill her family if she told anybody. The relationship carried on for approximately three years unbeknownst to us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel very guilty, because I did find that she was chatting. There were inappropriate e-mails. There were nude pictures that were e-mailed to my daughter. These men said, I'm 35, I want a good time.



(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MCGRAW: What did this predator do that made this something you were willing to suffer and endure? You didn't tell your parents. You hid it from them. Was that from fear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I was in love with this person.

MCGRAW: Didn't the fact that he had a gun to your head scare you? Did it -- I mean, how did you feel about that? Did you say, I'm in love with this person, but yet they're threatening me with a gun?



KING: We're back with Dr. Phil. Internet. This all stemmed from the Internet.

MCGRAW: It is.

KING: How much of this is going on?

MCGRAW: Larry, it is absolutely epidemic. We have got a show coming up this next Wednesday that's part of our "Family First" series. You know, I'm talking about parents need to be aware that there are risks to your family from inside the home, things that you might do -- fighting in front of your kids, different things that can happen to make your home toxic. But also from outside the home.

And what we're looking at here on the show that will air Wednesday, is how pedophiles, predators are connecting with children over the Internet and seducing them. What they do is they get into these chat rooms where children go, these young people go, and they track them for a long time. They listen to what they talk about with their friends, they see what their interests are, they see what their vulnerabilities are. Are they complaining about their father? So therefore maybe they're vulnerable in that area, for male attention.

And then they sign on and they start talking to them, and they develop a relationship, all designed to get them to meet them somewhere to have a real world connection instead of a cyber world connection.

And again, when we were growing up, you know, the pedophiles were the guys hanging around in the bushes down by the schoolyard. And that's where you had to be concerned. Now, they're penetrating the four walls of the home. Your child can be sitting in the kitchen, at the desk on a computer...

KING: What do you do, though?

MCGRAW: Well, first off, you've got to talk to your children. You've got to know what they're doing. So many parents are less literate about the computer than their children are that they're a little bit lost. You have got to talk to them about it. You have got to look and see where your children are going on the Internet. Sit down with them and let them get in a chat room and see who's talking to them, see who's approaching them.

And if you're really concerned that something inappropriate is going on, figure out what you've go to do to sign on using your child's screen name and see what is being said to you.

I don't believe in violating your child's privacy unless and until you believe there's a clear and present danger.

KING: Right. Mt. Pleasant, Texas, for Dr. Phil, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Dr. Phil. My question deals with the controversy over one of the broadcast networks televising "Saving Private Ryan."

KING: ABC is going to air it tonight.

CALLER: ... with this being Veterans Day and the country being at war.

KING: What do you think of that?

MCGRAW: Well...

KING: Leaving all the words in? I mean, sending up caution signs. They've done it before, by the way.

MCGRAW: I understand. And look, I believe that as viewers, we have tremendous power in the instrument called the remote control. And if something is offensive to our sensibilities, then I think we need to move on from that. But I think that -- if we start getting -- this is a form of censorship, and I'm very concerned about that.

I think that as parents, we have to lead. I talk about in "Family First," that there has to be a nurturing and accepting family system. And one of the things that makes it work that gives you the rhythm that you need in your hope is that parents are clearly in control. You're not your child's best friend. You're the leader. There's a hierarchy, and you're at the top of it. And you make those decisions for your children.

If you think that's something they shouldn't be watching, then you need to exercise control. If it's offensive to your sensibilities, then move on to something else. But for every person that you would deprive of that, there might be one that you would offend with it. So I think we need -- I think you underestimate the intelligence of the American viewer. I think they're informed enough to make decisions.

KING: Vancouver, British Columbia, with Dr. Phil. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Dr. Phil. Hi, Larry.



CALLER: Six years ago, my father committed suicide, and my mom and I haven't been the same since. We're just dealing with a lot of grief, and I just want to know what you suggest. Thank you.

MCGRAW: Well, thank you for your call. And you know, first off, I'm sorry for your loss.

One of the things I think it's important to understand is that if something happens to one member of the family, it happens to the whole family. In "Family First," I talk about a rhythm that you have to have in your family. And anything can disrupt that rhythm. If someone gets cancer, someone commits suicide, someone is killed in an accident, it affects everyone. If the mother gets cancer, the whole family is involved in that cancer. And so we have to talk about that and not feel that we're being weak, not feel that we're being selfish, to say I need help here.

So what I would say is first off, talk to each other about it. Don't blame yourself. If someone made the choice to take their own life, that was their choice, and they made it. You can't blame yourself and say, well, if I'd have been a better wife or a better mother or a better provider, maybe they wouldn't have done that. That was their choice. And they have to own that.

But don't be isolated. Reach out for help. Call your pastor, call a counselor, call a trusted friend. Reach out to people you know that love you and talk about these things.

KING: Isn't it the hardest thing to deal with, suicide?

MCGRAW: There is no question that it is, because...

KING: You have guilt?

MCGRAW: The finality of it, and then you start asking yourself, what did I fail to see? What could I have done to decompress or lower the stress on this person?

But if you play the what-if game, you will make yourself crazy. You can't do that.

KING: Houston, Texas. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Dr. Phil. Hi, Larry.


MCGRAW: Good evening.

CALLER: My daughter is going into an in-patient drug treatment facility soon for methamphetamine addiction. They allow moms to have their children with them. And I'm wondering, how do you think this would the 4-year-old who's still trying to deal with where mom went in the first place?

KING: Good question.

MCGRAW: Well, first off, I think that -- I have looked at so many protocols in drug rehabilitation facilities around the country. And let me tell you, these are loving, caring, devoted professionals. They're not doing that for the money. Let me tell you, that is tough work, to work with these drug-addicted patients. And I know that there are some programs that allow mothers with young children to have them there so they don't further complicate the stress on the addict or on the child by the separation.

And it is a very healthy environment. It is -- would I want to say, OK, let's just all take our children to a drug rehab center? No. But given the alternative, the drugs were probably happening in the home. This is a drug-free environment. They do it after detoxification, when you're now starting to work on your cognitive abilities, your thinking, your skills, your abilities for coping. And it is probably much better than the alternative of separation.

KING: East Peoria, Illinois, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Dr. Phil. I adore you both.

I'm a disabled mother of two teenagers. My son has been diagnosed bipolar and with ADHD and I'm very proud of him. He's doing very well. However, my husband does not seem to have accepted my health as being as serious as it is. And I get very little help around the house, or with my son, or with any of the other family type situation and it's often hard to motivate my children to give me help also.

KING: How are you disabled?

CALLER: I have multiple sclerosis, Lupus, a heart condition and I get severe migraines. And it's a real tough situation. And basically, I really could use a lot more help. But I was wondering if Dr. Phil thinks because my husband is so unmotivated in not taking it seriously, could this be a reason my children don't?

MCGRAW: Well, absolutely. I think children learn what they live. And we teach them exactly what it is they can do, what will be accepted and what will be tolerated. One thing of the things that I think it's important to understand is, I don't choose the title "Family First" in a random fashion. I chose this because it's a priority decision.

And I think is what has to happen here, is you've got to ask for what you want and need. There comes a point in life where you have to stop complaining and start asking. You have to say, all right, I need the specific help in this area, I need the specific help in that area.

And oftentimes -- you know, you just named off multiple sclerosis, lupus, heart condition, bipolar, ADHD. That tells me this is a very chaotic house and they're all diseases that are involuntary. These are brain disorders. And that can generate a lot of reactive depression, because there's so much going wrong. So, your husband may be depressed. He may be modeling that depression for the children.

So, I think, this is a again a situation where the whole family needs treatment. You know, I was talking about the fact that the mother doesn't just have M.S., the whole family has the impact of M.S. the whole family has the impact of lupus. So, you need family therapy, family treatment.

And if you can afford it, then go to a professional. If you can't, go to your county mental health center, go to your pastor, go to your church. There are loving, caring people there that are looking for a way to give back and help, but you've got to be willing to ask for what you want.

KING: Dr. Phil is the guest. The host of Dr. Phil, now in its third season, author of the many best-sellers, the latest, the No. 1 New York Times best-seller "Family First: Your Step by Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Family." A lot of his programs this month will be centering right on that. We'll be right back. Don't go away.


MCGRAW: Do you know when you're going to change? Do you know when you're going to deal with this stuff and get real? When you finally get to the point where you say, I am so sick to death of this, I will not take it another minute of another hour of another day. Not when you're sitting back saying, well, perhaps if I were more centered and had my boundaries better defined. I don't get that. I'm sorry. You've been reading too many self-help books.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of people tell me that. I've read 15 in the last two months.

MCGRAW: When did you stop thinking and start becoming some parrot?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I called the police department because I had no idea what happened to him. Was he dead? Was he being sexually abused at that moment? I don't know what he'll do next.

MCGRAW: Your dad's job is not to be your friend, not to be your buddy, not to even be likable, your dad's job is to get you through childhood and adolescence to adulthood, safe, secure and prepared to have the best chance for succeeding in this world that he possibly can.


KING: Richard Hatch.

MCGRAW: That was Richard Hatch, the original winner on "Survivor." This is this problem with the Internet and all. And Richard wrote in with a compelling story, and that will be airing on this coming Wednesday.

Because this is a pervasive problem, Larry. As parents, we've got to tune in on this. You know, it's different when you look at the family from the kid point of view, you have a whole set of issue. You look at it from husband and wife, and you still see the traditional problems that we've always had. They fight about money.

We're doing a show tomorrow called "Where Did the Money Go?" Because the No. 1 things couples fight about, the No. 1 thing that causes divorce in America is money. The American Bar Association says that's what they get most when they come in. So we're doing a show tomorrow called "Where Did The Money Go? And we really drill down on that. It's a good show.

KING: Los altos, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Dr. Phil. Hi, Larry.


MCGRAW: Good evening.

CALLER: I was just wondering if you can give me some advice on with my stepdad, because me and him aren't communicating very well. We're arguing a lot. And I was just wondering if you can help.

KING: How old are you?


MCGRAW: Well first, thank you for having the courage and the wherewithal to call.

Larry, one of the things that we're dealing with this year on the show and I deal with in a whole section of the book are the blended families. We have a 57.7 percent divorce rate in America today. A lot of those people are getting remarried and are bending the yours, mine and ours kind of families.

And you have to have great sensitivity as a step-parent to understand that if a child has been through a divorce and you're now coming into that child's world, they have very unique problems. They have exaggerated needs for acceptance and validation. They have been abandoned, in their mind, oftentimes already, because one parent has been removed from the home.

And what we often get into, is step-parents come in and they try to be a pursue I primary disciplinarian of the children. One of the biggest mistakes I've seen made -- they said well, I've married into this, so I need to step up and be the father. The step-parent should not be the primary disciplinarian, they should support the biological parents in discipline decisions, they should negotiate it, but they should not be that person. And they have to make a concerted effort.

KING: What does she do?

MCGRAW: Well, you've got to define -- for her, it's difficult because she's charged with doing upstream management, where what you have to do is say, all right look, I've got to be -- she obviously is very articulate and mature. I think she should sit down with her stepfather and say I want to talk to you, because I'm hurting here. I have a problem here. And let me tell you what it is. Don't be critical. Don't be belligerent, don't be, as teenagers can sometimes do, get kind of a smart mouth about it. But sit down and say listen, I have needs and I want to make this work.

I hope you're listening at 12 years old and I hope you'll sit down and tell your stepfather what you're feeling and what you need as best you can. And if that's intimidating for you, get your mom to come sit with you to support you in doing that.

KING: We'll be back with more moments with Dr. Phil. What a guy. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Keep it up. In front of the kids.


Bad daddy, bad daddy, that's breaking the rules. Let's call 9-1- 1.


MCGRAW: What in the hell are you thinking? I mean, come on. Tell me again about how smart you guys are. I mean, come on. You have children in the room and you're saying she's better in bed than you?




MCGRAW: This family behind me is about to get the surprise of their life. They think they're here to interview with my son, Jay, and to see a show. I'm going to go outside and get them up on the stage, where they think they're going to just take a picture with me. And then Jay is going to come out and surprise them. They're going to find out they're getting a total family makeover including a whole new house. They are not going to believe what's about to happen next.


KING: Reality TV comes to Dr. Phil. You're doing family makeovers?

MCGRAW: Actually, my son, Jay, as you may know, is now the host of just a smash hit on Fox called "Renovate My Family." And I'm so proud of him. His mother and I are thrilled to death because what they're doing is doing a complete makeover of the family. They do get a house. But what they're doing is they're finding really needy families that have special needs, and it's really -- you just pull for these families. And Jay is the host, and he was surprising this family on my show and it's part of tomorrow's show, where did the money go. Oh, my gosh, they were totally shocked. His show's tomorrow night at 9:00 on Fox. We're proud of him. I'm not objective about it. It's our child.

KING: British Columbia, probably last call. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Dr. Phil. You rock, by the way.

KING: He rocks.

CALLER: My husband and I are both in our late 30s, we've been married for almost three years. I'm wondering how I can motivate him from becoming I'll do it tomorrow to I'll do it now because things just don't get done.

KING: He puts things off. A little over a minute.

MCGRAW: Listen, we have a show that's airing Monday called "Ask Dr. Phil and Robin." And I have her involved in that so we can have the female perspective on some of this stuff. Sometimes we just have a different clock than women do. I'll guarantee you, men are trainable, just like anybody or anything else. You got to put consequences behind this stuff. If you say, OK, you said you'd clean the garage and then we're going to do a, b or c. Men, they just need controls like everybody else. They've got to understand you have to do this before you get to do that. Not suggesting what the that is, but you do have to have some clear consequences. But watch Monday with "Ask Dr. Phil and Robin." You'll hear the female point of view.

KING: We have less than a minute. East Greenwich, Connecticut. Hello.

CALLER: Dr. Phil, who did you vote for president and why?

KING: You don't have to answer that.

MCGRAW: I couldn't hear the question

KING: Who did you vote for and why.

MCGRAW: I'm glad I didn't hear the question. That's very private. So I won't answer that question. I'll tell you why, I think people that are in the media, celebrities, whether singers or actors that use those platforms to drive opinion like I'm going to vote like that person, because I think they're funny or I think they're good at some other thing, I'm uncomfortable with that. So I had both Kerry and Bush on the show. I made a concerted effort to be very balanced with both and present them in very much the same light and let people make up their own mind.

KING: Thank you, my man. Dr. Phil. The book is "Family First." The show every day in a market that you're in, one of the most successful shows ever. I'll be back to tell you about tomorrow night. Don't go away.


KING: The Peterson case, the question, who is going to get thrown off tomorrow? We'll answer it tomorrow night. Let's now go to New York where we'll never throw off the host, no, he's embedded. That's a new word. Embedded in "NEWSNIGHT." He's Aaron Brown.


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