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Can Immigration Divide the Country?; Jessica Lunsford`s Murderer Found Guilty

Aired March 7, 2007 - 19:00:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST: Coming up, a guilty verdict in the Couey trial, and the latest threats from illegal immigration.
Oh, oh, and O.J. Simpson says he just might be the father of Anna Nicole`s baby. It`s an insane night.


ANNOUNCER: Tonight`s episode is brought to you by Scooter Libby Scooters. Make your trip to prison a fun one with Scooter Libby Scooters, from the makers of Valerie Plame Boogie Boards.


BECK: Right out of the chute tonight with the point. We are headed for the next American civil war, and there are a lot of reasons for it. One is because our government refuses to enforce their own immigration laws.

Here`s how I got there. Have you ever heard of sanctuary cities? I know it sounds like something out of "Logan`s Run" but it`s not. It`s a term used to describe a city that provides safe haven to illegal aliens.

The latest town to jump on the sanctuary train is New Haven, Connecticut, where police have adopted a sort of don`t ask, don`t tell policy regarding citizenship status.

New Haven also holding little workshops to help illegal immigrants file federal income taxes. And this summer, in what would be the first program of its kind in the country, New Haven plans to hold and allow an illegal alien to obtain a municipal I.D. card that could be used in banks in, bars and, yes, dealing with the police.

New Haven is not the only sanctuary city in America. There`s Cambridge, Massachusetts, along with Trenton and Newark, New Jersey. They are also considered safe havens, although if you`ve ever been to Newark I don`t know if you`d actually describe it as safe, but that`s a different story.

On the other hand, there are cities like Suffolk, Long Island, and Hazelton, Pennsylvania. They`re doing the exact opposite of this. They`re turning illegal aliens over to the authorities, and they`re denying rents to illegal aliens without any kind of Social Security card.

That is exactly the problem. Since the federal government isn`t enforcing their own law or even encouraging states or cities to help them enforce it, individual towns are going on a power trip.

In the northeast alone, towns within 50 miles of each other are making complete opposite decisions on whether to ignore or enforce federal law. How does that make any sense?

You know, I am a conservative, and conservatives generally believe in smaller government, but not zero government. I`m not an anarchist. This issue is not about who makes the laws. It`s about enforcing the existing laws.

Conservative or liberal, we`re getting into a very slippery slope here. If we start saying that laws can be vigorously enforced in some place while right down the street law-breakers are actually aided by their town government.

Should Kansas City be able to call itself a safe haven for pot or a safe haven for crack smokers? Of course not. That puts us right into anarchy territory, and if we`re not careful, into civil war territory.

Here`s what I know tonight. United we stand, divided we fall. And on this issue we are being ripped apart by politicians and corporations. Politics and money. It`s always the answer.

Illegal immigration is basically, I believe, modern day slavery. We are allowing companies, slave owners, to use these slaves, the illegal aliens, for cheap labor while making them work, in some cases, in horrible conditions that no American would ever put up with.

Despite what some people say, there is virtually no chance that these people will ever obtain the true American dream, because most of them don`t even know our language or our culture, and they`re not being told they have to.

These are the very tools that all of us need to even have a chance of success. You would want it for your children. Why don`t we demand it for others coming here?

And if we are enslaving them, then we`re also enslaving our own children and our own grandchildren. In case you haven`t noticed, we can`t afford health care and education programs for our own citizens. They`re closing emergency rooms in California as we speak. How do we expect to afford those things for non-citizens, as well?

Everybody`s future is at stake, in Mexico and here, if we don`t get this under control.

Here`s what I don`t know. How does a hatemonger like me ever expect to win this argument? These days political correctness rules the world, and what I just said probably going to get me in all sorts of trouble because I`m saying the things that most people are afraid to admit that they believe.

But the bottom line is we`ve got to unite. We`ve got to come together, and the one thing that unites us is we want immigrants to come here. This is a melting pot. It is our greatest strength.

But those who come here under the cloud of darkness in the dark of night and those who help them, John DeStefano, mayor of New Haven, have to be held to the same standard, and that standard is the federal law.

Joining me now, Martin Perez of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey and Starletta Hairston, former county councilwoman in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Martin, let me start with you. These sanctuaries, basically ignoring federal law


BECK: Really? You can expand on that a little bit?

PEREZ: Well, sanctuaries, what we are trying to do is the -- the municipalities. They should explain to the police officers, the people who work in the educational systems and housing department, that they -- they really don`t -- we want for them not to discriminate against Latinos.

BECK: Nobody is discriminating against...

PEREZ: Or against undocumented people.

BECK: Yes, OK.

PEREZ: The issues that we have to talk about here...

BECK: Yes. You know what? Let`s answer the questions. Let`s not pontificate about how we all hate Latinos.

What I asked you, sir, was how is this not usurping federal law? It is against the law. The law is if you know that there`s an illegal alien, you have to turn them over to the federal government. We`ve already watered it down to don`t ask, don`t tell. How is it that it`s not making - - usurping the federal law by giving them a safe haven?

PEREZ: Immigration authorities have the obligation to enforce the federal law. It`s not the work of the local police. It`s not the work of the police -- of the educational department. It`s not the work of the housing authority and the municipalities.

BECK: All right. So it is -- it is then...

PEREZ: I think that, what we have to understand is that we have a disagreement here because, you see, the issue of the -- the documented workers didn`t start with the Mexicans. It started with the Mayflower. I don`t know anybody on the Mayflower who have any documents.

BECK: Sir, I`m not going to let you get away with this nonsense. Thank you very much. Let me go to Starletta. We`re going to rewrite history now.

Starletta, you dealt with these kinds of situations. You tried to -- you were actually part of your county council, and were really pretty much run off of your council because of your views on illegal immigration, is that right?

STARLETTA HAIRSTON, FORMER COUNTY COUNCILWOMAN: I`m sure it had quite a bit to do it with it.

BECK: And you have witnessed the ravages of illegal immigration firsthand. Tell me about that.

HAIRSTON: Yes, Glenn, I can tell you firsthand that the hard working American citizens are being replaced in Beaufort County by illegal aliens.

BECK: Your husband`s business undercut, is that true?

HAIRSTON: Well, this is not just about my husband`s business. This is all U.S. businesses. United States businesses across the country are being undercut.

No one can compete with a labor force that pays no taxes, pays for no education, pays for no health care, pays -- do not pay for insurance for their companies and are paid under the table. You can not compete with that type of a work force.

BECK: Starletta, would you say this is -- I mean, I`m looking at Newark, New Jersey, New Haven, Connecticut. I mean, these are -- these are dying cities. This is a sign of a dying city, that they -- that they would do these sanctuaries to be able to bring illegal business into these cities.

HAIRSTON: And I will agree with you. It is dying for the U.S. citizens, but it`s not dying for people that come here illegally. They`re flourishing there.

BECK: All right. So Martin, if the -- if Oregon, and they`ve been trying to pass a law there on pot-smoking for a while, if let`s say Portland, Oregon, decided to make it a safe haven to smoke pot in Portland, would that be OK with you?


BECK: Why?

PEREZ: Because it`s a crime.

BECK: So is being an illegal alien.

PEREZ: No. Actually you don`t know the law.

BECK: I do know the law, sir.

PEREZ: Because being undocumented is not a crime.

BECK: No, sir. Coming into our -- look, Martin. I`m not -- Martin, Martin, shut the pie hole. No.


BECK: Thank you very much, sir. I`m not going to have a conversation with you when you`re making laws up.


BECK: If you can`t agree, sir...

PEREZ: Being undocumented is not...

BECK: Why is there a border patrol, sir? Why do we send -- why do we send people home when they come here?

PEREZ: Because they are in violation of the law.

BECK: In violation of the law.

PEREZ: But that`s not a crime.

BECK: Sir. It is a misdemeanor. You know it and I know it.

Starletta, Martin. As always, thanks.

Coming up, a verdict in the trial of a monster who raped and murdered 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford. We`ll find out whether he gets life or the death penalty.

Plus, the Anna Nicole Smith saga continues. This time O.J. Simpson has jumped into the Dannielynn paternity sweepstakes. We`ll have the details in tonight`s buzz front.

And it`s been 72 days since the death of James Brown. Why is he not in the ground yet?

And nude Internet photos have some crying racism at "American Idol". The Reverend Al Sharpton grows me with the latest on this growing controversy. Don`t miss it.


BECK: Well, it only took them four hours to decide. A jury of six men, six women reached a verdict in the trial of John Couey today. I want you to take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The state of Florida versus John Evander Couey, case number 2005-CF-298A. Count one. We the jury find at follows as to the defendant in this case. The defendant is guilty of murder in the first degree.


BECK: Besides murder, Couey is also guilty of kidnapping and raping a 9-year-old girl, Jessica Lunsford. That is, before he buried her alive in trash bags. It is a crime that is almost too gruesome to imagine, and Couey could be sentenced to death.

I am against the death penalty, but I`ve got to tell you in this case, I`ve got three little girls, A little innocent girl is murdered in about the worst way you can possibly imagine. Oh, I`d like to see this guy hang.

Joining me now for a look at what happens now is Court TV`s Lisa Bloom.

Lisa, lengthy appeals process coming our way?

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV: Well, first we have the penalty phase. That`s coming up next week, whether or not he will get the death penalty. And the jury is going to hear everything about his background...

BECK: Right.

BLOOM: ... his abusive childhood, his adult criminal behavior. He exposed himself to another little girl back in 1991. He refused to register as a sex offender when he moved in with his sister across the street from the Lunsford family.

So they`re going to hear everything about him, and that`s an excruciating hearing, the death penalty phase. We`ll cover it on Court TV gavel to gavel. We`ll watch it and see what the jury does.

BECK: What do you mean it`s gruesome?

BLOOM: Well, I`ll tell you why it`s excruciating, because most killers like Couey do come from horribly abusive childhoods. And we`re going to hear about what he endured as a child. And he grew up to be a child abuser.

Juries almost never give somebody a pass based on an abusive childhood. But they`re going to hear that. They`re going to hear what this guy went through. They`re going to hear about his history of drug abuse, how he was smoking crack supposedly on the night that he went and abducted her and of the life story. And then they`re going to have to decide should he get the death penalty?

BECK: I could care less if he`s smoking crack. I mean, you made that choice to smoke crack, and it led you to this, guilty.

BLOOM: Well, the question is does it diminish his capacity under the law? Does it lessen his mental intent under the law?

The prosecutor was so good today in his closing argument in saying to the jury this guy had to make the decision every step of the way, to put her in the trash bags, to knot it at the top, to knot it at the bottom, to bury her in the dirt. Those are conscious decisions. This wasn`t a split second type of decision. This was pre-meditated. And the jury believed that.

And now the defense is going to have to argue to the same jury that he doesn`t get the death penalty? Good luck.

BECK: OK. Now, he was sitting there. We were just watching this video of him adjusting his tie, and he`s -- now he`s coloring with his colored pens.


BECK: They did everything they could to make this guy look mentally retarded.

BLOOM: Yes. The entire trial. The entire trial, Glenn, he sat there with a box of colored pencils and a sketch pad. He didn`t look at any of the witnesses. He sketched away furiously the entire trial.

I`ve never seen a defendant been allowed to do something like that. I think it was disrespectful. If he couldn`t sit there and listen and show a little respect to the proceedings, he could have been removed from the courtroom. I was shocked that he was allowed to color during his murder trial.

BECK: Do you believe that -- I mean, I -- I think that the lawyers said, "Here, have some color pens and color the whole time." Is that something that they`re allowed to do?

BLOOM: Not ordinarily. I mean, the theory was it will keep him calm. It will keep him quiet. You know, we need to keep him under control. But come on, he should be subjected to the same rules.

Look, when I was practicing law I wasn`t allowed to sit and read a newspaper when another case was being called.

BECK: Yes.

BLOOM: I had to sit there and stare into space like everybody else. So I was really surprised.

And this defense team didn`t have much to work with. I mean, they put on a good show, argued with them about it, but it was clear he was going to be convicted. The evidence was overwhelming, a bloody mattress in front of the jury with Jessica`s blood and his semen on it. I mean...

BECK: How did -- how`s Jessica`s dad been through this whole thing? I mean, I can`t imagine seeing that mattress just as a dad and now the verdict. Did he react during the trial and did he react today?

BLOOM: He is an astonishing person to me. I mean, the strength that Mark Lunsford has. He sat in that courtroom every single day, including during the autopsy examiner`s testimony, talking about the grisly details and finding her remains.

Mark Lunsford sat there stony-faced, glaring at Couey, as did her grandparents, as did her mother, and I think that family was trying to send a message that we are in this until the end. We`re going to fight this until the end. We`re not going to turn away from any of the evidence.

He`s been such a wonderful activist for abused children and for getting the laws strengthened. And I think he was saying to all of us, you have to watch this. Don`t turn away from this, because this is real. This happened.

BECK: He reminds me a lot in a way of John Walsh, that he`s just -- you know what? I`ve talked to John Walsh before and said, "I don`t know if I could have done it." I really don`t.

BLOOM: I know.

BECK: I don`t know if I could have turned my life around. God bless you for being able to.

BLOOM: I know.

BECK: Getting control of that.

Do you think he gets the death penalty now?

BLOOM: Yes, I think he does, and, you know, Glenn, I don`t know if I sit in the courtroom while my child`s killer. I mean, God bless that they sit there and don`t leap across and strangle him. I don`t know how they do that.

BECK: It is the reason why they don`t allow you to carry a gun in a federal building. It really is. I mean it. As a dad it would take everything in me not to pick up my gun.

BLOOM: Yes. They have to see the thing through to the end. I think he will get the death penalty. I think he`s a poster boy for the death penalty. Look what he did to this 9-year-old girl.

BECK: Lisa, thanks.

Up next, a man being detained because he was bringing wires, chewing gum and a magnet into a plane. You`ll never guess where security found those items. That and more next.


BECK: I want to tell you the story about the passenger in Los Angeles. He`s an Iraqi national. He was flagged by security officials at LAX. He had filament wires running into his butt.

He said, "Well, OK, and he started taking some of the things out of his butt." There in his butt was a rock, which by the way, he said was from another planet, chewing gun, a thin wire filament and a magnet. He uses it to alleviate stress.

Can I tell you something? Have you ever had a rock in your shoe? It`s so annoying, right? Just the opposite with the rocks in your butt.



BECK: Every day you can hear my radio program on stations all across the country, including 970 WFLA in Tampa, and if you can`t find an affiliate in our area, sign up. Listen online at my web site,

Dave Glover on our affiliate in St. Louis, KFTK 97.1 FM -- David.


BECK: It`s been an insane day.

GLOVER: It`s getting a lot crazier right now.

BECK: Gosh, what happened at the airport in Los Angeles?

GLOVER: I have to read some of this. It`s just so worth it. Fayed Al-Maliki (ph), a 35-year-old Iraqi national living in Atlantic City, New Jersey, had been flagged by security officials at LAX and was undergoing a secondary search.

BECK: Yes.

GLOVER: Al-Maliki, a former security guard told screeners, "Hey, I know what triggered the alarm," and proceeded to remove items from his rectum, including a rock, crewing gum and thin wire filament. He says that...

BECK: Wait, wait, wait. Did he at least -- was it like -- was he like with a little deal that you put your keys in there? Hang on just a second. Oh, I`ve got that rock in my butt. I mean, did they at least take him around the corner?

GLOVER: No. He removed it himself. He`s like, "Oh, wait a minute. I can clear this up. Hold on."

BECK: Dave, you know what the worst part of this is?

GLOVER: I would love to hear what it is.

BECK: Do you remember when we -- when they said, you know, hey, it looks like they`re bringing gels in bottles and stuff. Are they going to be checking our butts now?

GLOVER: Oh, God, no, that is the worst part.

BECK: I`m sorry, sir. You have to remove your shoes and your pants.

GLOVER: Well, they let him go. They questioned him for a few hours. He says -- I love this quote, "The objects in my rectum are used to alleviate stress."

I`ve taken my last Xanax. I know that`s for sure. No more white knuckle flying for me, a rock, chewing gum, a little wire, you`re ready to go.

BECK: Relaxation technique.

GLOVER: So they let him go and said, look, I guess it`s not illegal evidently.

BECK: This question -- by the way, I have a boulder in my ass right now -- but does this -- does this at all make you think that we should have slightly tighter restrictions on green cards?

GLOVER: Just slightly tighter something.

BECK: I think so.

All right. O.J. Simpson.


BECK: Let`s just cover this quickly.

GLOVER: Let`s do. You can send me to a shed in Iceland for 20 years and say we`re going to come get you when you come up with the next weird twist in the Anna Nicole saga. I wouldn`t have come up with this.

O.J. Simpson says he had a relationship with Anna Nicole Smith, and you ready for this, "Because of my slow-moving sperm, I think I may be the father." O.J. Simpson may be the father of Anna Nicole`s baby.

BECK: Why not? We had a guy -- we had a guy with rocks in his butt in LAX. And we let him go!

GLOVER: What`s Jesus waiting for?

BECK: Come on.

GLOVER: Come on.

BECK: Jesus, I know you don`t watch this show, but come on down. We`re waiting for you, brother.

GLOVER: Come on, please.

BECK: Thanks a lot, Dave.

GLOVER: All right, pal.

BECK: All right.

Coming up tonight, tonight`s "Real Story". Why criticizing the government in Moscow is becoming the leading cause of death in Russia.

And the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, died on Christmas. Why haven`t we put his body in the ground yet? Al Sharpton stops by to give us all the details. Stick around.


BECK: Tonight`s "Real Story" begins with a question. If one of your co-workers was accused of murder but never convicted, would you treat them differently? OK, now what if they were accused of two murders, or four, or 10 brutal murders, but never, ever convicted? Would you still trust them? Not me.

At what point do simple, unproven accusations start to become more than just isolated incidents or empty allegations? That is the question that I hope our government is asking when it comes to President Putin in Russia.

This guy always seems to be the thick -- in the thick of the smoke but never actually in the fire. You may have heard the news today about an American doctor and her daughter who were poisoned with thallium while in Moscow. Well, we`re still trying to, you know, find the motive in this case, but at least they have the benefit of still being alive. You can`t say the same thing about a lot of other people who have been in Moscow lately.

My question is, why? Why are so many reporters and government critics showing up dead? And why should anyone believe their deaths are anything more than a coincidence?

Here`s why: because, in Russia, murder has become the law. "The Real Story" is the Russian parliament, at direct request or some might say demand of the Kremlin, recently passed a law permitting the killing of, quote, "enemies of the Russian regime abroad." Enemies of the regime? Wow, that kind of sounds vague. You know, it also kinds of sound like sanctioned assassination, which is exactly what it is.

In July 2003, an investigative reporter who was exposing tax evasion among people connected to the government died of, quote, "an allergic reaction." Although there have been times that I thought I`d sneeze my head of, never actually died from it. Incidentally, never explained what the reporter was allergic to. Could have been poison. That`s what his family believes, family believes it was poison.

About a year later, former vice premier of Chechnya gunned down in Moscow before he could provide information to the editor of "Forbes" in Russia about a high-level corruption among powerful Russian businessmen with ties to the government. A couple weeks later, the Russian "Forbes" editor himself was also shot and killed.

Last September, the deputy chief of Russia`s central bank, who was spearheading reforms that Putin was against, killed in broad daylight as he left a soccer match.

And just one month later, Anna Politkovskaya -- she was an investigative reporter who was an outspoken critic of Putin -- was shot and killed in her own apartment. Now, not coincidentally, she had also been good friends with the investigative reporter who died of the "allergic reaction."

Now, I know this gets really complicated, so let me just show you a little trail of blood graphic here to make it easier to follow. Up next is Alexander Litvinenko. Now, he is the former Russian spy who was poisoned to death with polonium and accused Putin of it right from his death bed. Litvinenko was investigating Anna`s murder just before he was killed. Wow, that`s quite a coincidence there, I mean, three people connected to each other.

Then we have Paul Joyal. He`s a Soviet intelligence expert who went on "Dateline" just a couple of weeks ago to talk about Litvinenko`s murder. Here`s a small part of what he had to say.


PAUL JOYAL, CRITIC OF VLADIMIR PUTIN: You have a whole series of cases where journalists have been murdered, people being told to muzzle their criticism of the government. This is a pattern; it`s a pattern.


BECK: Four days after that aired, Joyal was shot in the groin in his own driveway here in the United States in Maryland. Police say it was just a robbery. Unfortunately for that theory, nothing seems to be missing. Oh, and did I mention that Joyal was a good friend of Litvinenko`s? Yes, connection number four.

Finally, last Friday, Ivan Safronov was another Russian reporter critical of the government. He died after conveniently falling out of a fifth-story window. How many times has that happened to you and your friends? His colleagues say he was murdered because he was working on a story about Russian arms deals to Syria and Iran.

Vladimir Putin may never be convicted of a darn thing, but this I know: He is trying to send a message to his enemies. And, like it or not, it is being delivered loud and clear. The question is: Are we one of his enemies?

Dmitry Sidorov is the D.C. bureau chief of the Russian newspaper "Kommersant." He is also a colleague of the reporter who supposedly fell out of the fifth-story window.

Dmitry, an accident?

DMITRY SIDOROV, D.C. BUREAU CHIEF, KOMMERSANT PUBLISHING: How are you? Well, I doubt it; I sincerely doubt it. Based on the information I`m receiving from Moscow, from different sources -- and definitely I don`t want to name the names, because I`m a little bit afraid to put those people in danger -- but, according to the information, there`s a good chance that Ivan Safronov was killed.

BECK: OK. What was he working on?

SIDOROV: Again, based on what I know -- and, again, I work and live in D.C., and he was doing his investigative reporting from Moscow and some Arab countries, as far as I understand -- he was working on the weapon deals between Moscow and Tehran and Damascus.

BECK: This is starting to shape up like a "Sopranos" episode, and Putin is Tony Soprano.

SIDOROV: Well, sort of. I will really agree with you. It`s kind of --the trend is very scary. And I should say that, basically, if anybody is capable of proving ties between the high-ranking Kremlin government officials and all these assassinations, that would be quite a discovery.

BECK: Well, Tony Soprano knows about all the hits.

SIDOROV: I hope he does.


BECK: Do you think Putin -- I mean, is Putin the guy behind this?

SIDOROV: Well, it`s very difficult to say. We may assume a lot of things, but the problem is, first of all, when -- I heard you talking about all these assassinations that took place in Russia in about two years.

BECK: Accidents and allergic reactions.

SIDOROV: Well, allergic reactions, right, right. Bring me my medicine, please. Yes. Now, the point is here, first of all, I doubt that anyone in Russia can rely on what`s called transparent investigation, again, because all previous cases, the way those cases were investigated didn`t build any confidence in those people who are busy trying to figure out what`s going on.

The other thing is, normally -- and, again, I`m not trying to talk about President Putin, although I would love to -- but, still, you know, there are a lot of people who know me over there. But in any case, I think that, if there`s murder for hire, and if intelligence services in any country do decide to go after certain people, either outside or inside the country, definitely there should be an ultimate authority to give a green light for them to do that.

BECK: What does this mean for us? What does the future look like for the United States and the world? What are they doing? What are they building?

SIDOROV: Well, you guys, I mean, it seems to me that you`re following this very good expression, "The future is so bright that I better wear shades."

BECK: I don`t know what that means, except it`s really scary.

SIDOROV: It is. It is. It`s scary to be in the dark. It`s scary not to do anything about it. It`s scary to pretend that nothing is going on.

BECK: Joyal said this, "A message has been communicated to anyone who wants to speak out against the Kremlin. If you do, no matter who you are, where you are, we`ll find you, we`ll silence you in the most horrible way possible."

SIDOROV: And they proved that they are quite capable of doing that.

BECK: Dmitry, best of luck to you.

SIDOROV: Thank you very much.

BECK: Stay safe, my friend.

SIDOROV: OK, I will.

BECK: All right. That`s "The Real Story" tonight. If you want to read more on it, go to

Up next, why nude Internet photos have some calling "American Idol" racist. My friend, Reverend Al Sharpton, joins me next. Don`t miss it.



BECK: All these global warming experts, the U.N. has come out, PETA has come out and said you do more damage eating meat than you do with your car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to be the ones who come up with the TerraPass buying your carbon footprint out, your meat footprint...


BECK: What is your meat footprint?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, and I want a steak with a footprint in it.

BECK: Or a steak that really looks like a steak but is shaped like a foot. Love that. Was is your meat footprint?


BECK: Don`t miss the radio show tomorrow.

Now, just when you thought it was safe to watch TV and look at nudie pictures on the Internet, claims of racism are being brought against "American Idol." They dumped, in 2003, Frenchie Davis, who`s black. She was appearing in lingerie sites or shots posted on a Web site, Sounds classy.

This season, however, they allowed Antonella Barba. She is white. They said she could continue competing after equally racy photos appeared of her online. Now, if that`s not enough to satisfy your need for celebrity scandals, even Anna Nicole Smith gave James Brown a run for his money.

The godfather of soul still holds the record for being famous, dead and unburied. The hardest working man in show business quit on Christmas Day, but he is still above ground. He was in his house for a while. The DNA samples are being collected to sort out several paternity claims made against James Brown since his death.

Joining me now to talk about all of this and so much more -- see, look, you look like you`re not happy.


BECK: Oh, are you saying you`re not happy when you listen to me?

SHARPTON: I`m being cautious. I`ll just put it that. How are you doing?

BECK: Very good. OK, let`s start with "American Idol," because I thought of you this morning. I heard that. I heard Rosie O`Donnell, because she knows race issues, she immediately said, "Oh, it`s race."

SHARPTON: She said it was race and weight, to be fair. And they`re not equal pictures. I happened to have Frenchie on my syndicated radio show. Frenchie had some pictures done in lingerie that she told the judges about, and they removed her off the show. I think it was the second episode.

You can hardly say these are lingerie pictures of this girl. I mean, if she had lingerie on, I don`t think it would be an issue. There are -- I think she had some flower petals on one. That might have been the most clothed she was.

So the question is the standard. I mean, believe me, we in the civil rights movement don`t get up every morning trying to find out what`s going on "American Idol," but since others have raised it as an issue, the question is whether there`s one standard that`s applied equally.

BECK: And I agree with you, that there is -- I mean, I just don`t think that -- she should have been booted off this time around. I mean, it`s a family show, et cetera, et cetera. However, I think what they`re trying to say is the standard is, if you sell them to -- if you take photos of you and sell them, but these were released by her friends. You buy that?

SHARPTON: Well, but I think that Frenchie`s defense was they happened five years before the contest, she had no way of knowing she`d be on "American Idol." She was 19 years old, and this girl`s friends did it. I mean, it`s kind of hard to say you`re going to have a standard on whether you sold or didn`t sell something. Either something is acceptable family- wise or it`s not.

BECK: Do you believe -- I have to be very careful, because I asked a woman this last week and got into a lot of trouble -- do you believe that there`s ever, it`s ever a good idea for women to take pictures like this of themselves?


BECK: Of themselves like this?

SHARPTON: No, I mean, because, even if it`s done in the privacy -- I mean, you have guys that say it`s just between you and I -- there`s a public record.

BECK: Right.

SHARPTON: I have two daughters. I would tell them never to take those kinds of pictures. A picture is what it is; it`s to make a permanent record. And that can always be used against you. And I think that it`s very dangerous for women to do that, or men, for that matter.

BECK: Yes. Thank goodness you said that. Otherwise I would have had to say, just to be fair, I would have had to say, "I`ve got a camera, so you can come on over to my place, and I`ll take pictures," and that would have been disturbing with you.

SHARPTON: Very, very.

BECK: OK. James Brown, I read that he was not buried like three weeks ago, and I couldn`t believe it. What is happening?

SHARPTON: Well, first of all, there`s been a lot of misinformation. James Brown was never in his house.

BECK: I read that he was in an air-conditioned room.

SHARPTON: Well, I eulogized him at all three funerals.

BECK: Three funerals?

SHARPTON: We had a service in Augusta, the private service in South Carolina, and the public service at the Apollo in New York.

BECK: I mean, that guy goes out in style, man.

SHARPTON: Well, he should. He changed the style of the world. He deserved that. His legacy is undeniable.

And the family has been between these legal cases, between those that were responsible for his money, his huge estate, his huge catalogue, to where I must say -- and I`m proud of this -- that his six children said, look, we`re tired of this. The people that should have made sure that he was taken care of, insurance, others that haven`t done it, they put their own money together, and they`re getting ready to have him entombed.

He`s never been in the house in an air-conditioned room. That`s a lie. The funeral director has had charge of his body, which he would have had anywhere, as a mausoleum was built, and now his own children, who said, "He taught us how to be self-reliant," despite the fact that he left millions, and there`s a fight over the millions, "We care about our father," and they`re going to have him entombed.

I`m going down to do it in a matter of days, not weeks. But the shame of it is they have to do it out of their own pocket while everyone else is arguing over his estate.

BECK: That`s ridiculous.

SHARPTON: The pride of it is that the kids that he had is doing what James Brown would have wanted to do, and that is use what you got to get what you want, and what they want is the dignity and integrity of their father protected. And I think they should be saluted for that.

BECK: Truly, it was shameful with Anna Nicole, and it`s shameful here. Put the -- I mean, can we show some respect? Put the people in the ground.

SHARPTON: Well, I think that, you know, when people are gone, you see who really loves them. And I think that when people are more concerned about what is going to happen to their stuff that what happens to them, it speaks for themselves.

I think that there`s some -- and I`m glad that all of the parties have agreed to this entombment -- and that the kids have stepped forward and put their money where their mouth is. James Brown`s legacy should be what we`re talking about, not who`s going to control what he left.

BECK: So I have to ask you, because I read the story about Strom Thurmond, and I thought, "Wow, what a bad day for Al Sharpton."

SHARPTON: Well, I think it -- it`s not a bad day. I think, in many ways, you know, the story is that his ancestors owned mine.

BECK: Yes.

SHARPTON: I`ve not taken a DNA test.

BECK: Are you going to?

SHARPTON: I don`t know. The issue to me is not whether or not there was sex.

BECK: That would be weird.

SHARPTON: The issue is ownership. When I can say my great- grandfather was property, I mean...

BECK: But you knew that, didn`t you?

SHARPTON: Yes, but I did not know when or where. I went two days ago to the actual site where a lot of the plantation was maintained by providence, this guy that bought it, just loves to maintain stuff.

BECK: What would you say to Strom Thurmond if he were alive today?

SHARPTON: Well, I did say, that he was wrong. You know, people talk about...


BECK: But it wouldn`t have -- I couldn`t imagine knowing that guy was the guy whose family owned...


SHARPTON: Well, of course, that adds salt to the wound. But you know what amazes me, is the press says that he moderated his segregationist views in his older age. Well, when did he denounce it? I`ve never seen Strom Thurmond say, "I was wrong, I`m going to do what I can correct it." I mean, the media, you guys, sanitize anything. It`s ridiculous.

BECK: I have to tell you, because you know I love you, but I disagree with almost everything you say. There`s part of me, a sick part of me, that would just love to see you two related in DNA.

SHARPTON: Well, at least you said it was a sick part of you, and I understand that -- may you be healed one day, Glenn.

BECK: Thank you, sir.

SHARPTON: Thank you.


BECK: All right, let`s do the clip of the day. Here it is. All right, this is a squirrel, apparently a little intoxicated, fermented fruit, or at least that`s what he wants you to believe. Either way, lesson to be learned that never climb and drive or drink and -- anyway.

OK, here`s the latest on Scooter Libby. He was found guilty on four charges, including obstruction of an investigation and perjury. I think you know how I feel on this one: stupid.

Look, I mean, the worst this guy did was -- or he told a small lie in a case where no crime took place. Perjury in context, not a big deal.

You have to look at it from this aspect. He might have lied, but he did it to protect himself, his job and his family. You know, it had absolutely nothing to do with his job performance. All of this testimony happened when he could have been getting back to work for the American people, and I`ve got to tell you something, I believe this is a battle.

I mean, when you look at the very people that are involved in this, you know, they popped up in other settings. I mean, the great story here for anybody willing to find it, write about it and explain it, is -- this is a vast left-wing conspiracy. It`s been conspiring against Scooter Libby since the day Dick Cheney announced he was running for vice president.

Sound familiar? Yes, kind of making me feel like I`m in some sort of weird Howard Dean fantasy world. I`m a conservative, but I try to be consistent. You know, I just rehashed all the arguments that I heard back in the `90s defending Bill Clinton; I`m hearing them now from the Republicans, but not from the Democrats.

Remember all the people that, you know, defending Scooter Libby, they should be the opposite, shouldn`t they? Perjury is a big deal to me. It was in the `90s. It still is today, even though a Republican did it. I don`t have any allegiance to these weasels who lie under oath.

Shame on the Democrats and the Republicans for switching sides on the same story. It`s weird, isn`t it?

We`ll see you tomorrow. From New York, good night.


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