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Balloon Boy Hoax; White House Picks Fight With TV Network

Aired October 19, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET


JOY BEHAR, ANCHOR: Tonight, the bubble bursts in the balloon boy story. The kid`s father may be a PR dream come true, but as a parent, is he a nightmare?

Then, while the White House is busy shouting down Fox News, Sarah Palin is posting her resume online. But will quitting her last job hurt her prospects?

And joining me in the studio, Marcus Buckingham, author of "Find Your Strongest Life on what Really Makes Women Happy." Can we even talk about that on a family show?

All this and more, tonight.

Well, it looks like it`s just a matter of time now before criminal charges are filed against Richard Heene. He`s the Colorado dad who allegedly cooked up this hoax involving his son and a giant balloon.

With me via satellite is Perry Caravello, an actor who has worked with Heene. Perry, hi.


BEHAR: Now, we only know -- we only know Richard Heene from "Wife Swap." We don`t that much about him, what did you think watching this -- since you know him from a previous incarnation -- what did you think watching this balloon saga play out?

CARAVELLO: First off, I first read this on my cell phone when I was sitting the UPS store in the marina, the Marina Del Ray, California. And as I`m reading this story about a 6-year-old kid that was kidnapped by a -- yes, I say kidnapped by a flying saucer.

That was, that was lost/kidnapped, whatever the heck you want to call it. But that got lost by this flying saucer, I said, straight out, this is a hoax.

BEHAR: You did.

CARAVELLO: Then I read the name Heene and then I had to read farther. And then I realized, uh-oh, it can`t be.


CARAVELLO: Oh, it is. It is. It is him.

BEHAR: When you knew him...

CARAVELLO: And then I realized -- go ahead.

BEHAR: When you knew him as an actor and a construction worker, did he seem a little bit loony?

CARAVELLO: A little bit? Joy, please.


CARAVELLO: Joy, you`re giving him a little break here. A little bit? You saw -- you saw what he did on "Wife Swap."

BEHAR: Yes, I did.

CARAVELLO: He`s that and then some. Ok, my dear.

BEHAR: Ok, you know also let me tell you something the wife is just as nutty as he is, as far as I can see.

CARAVELLO: She`s -- excuse me.

BEHAR: Go ahead.

CARAVELLO: I said to somebody earlier today, I said, she`s like a string. She`s got no backbone. She`s got no back backbone, whatsoever.

BEHAR: Well, but she`s also a rageaholic from what I`ve seen on "Wife Swap." The two of them are raging all the time.

CARAVELLO: Oh, God yes, oh yes.

BEHAR: Those three children, are you afraid for them? Or what?

CARAVELLO: I`m totally afraid for them. Joy, my dear, I`ve known these guys -- I knew Richard before he married Mayumi. Ok...

BEHAR: Mayumi, Mayumi.

CARAVELLO: And Richard was a nut on construction sites, he used to bark at people on construction sites, telling them what to do, telling them to bring this tool here, that tool there. He was crazy with everything that he did.

BEHAR: Well, I`ll tell you something, Perry and thank you for being with us, but I think the guy`s going to get a reality show out of this.

So ok, thanks, Perry, for doing that for me.

Now to my panel: associate professor of psychiatry of New York Presbyterian Hospital, Dr. Gail Saltz; CNN legal analyst, Lisa Bloom; and comic and journalist, Brian Balthazar.

What a name Brian Balthazar.



BALTHAZAR: It`s a good start.

BEHAR: That`s quite a name.

BALTHAZAR: Thank you.

BEHAR: I mean, it`s alliterative and everything.

Now Lisa, let me start with you, they`re now saying this is a hoax. Are there going to be criminal charges filed or what?

LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think so. It is unusual that the sheriff would come out and say that before they`ve been arrested and before any charges have been filed.

BEHAR: Right.

BLOOM: But we`re looking at maybe felony, maybe misdemeanor charges, up to six years behind bars, potentially, if he`s convicted.

BEHAR: I know, but don`t you think, Gail, that it`s overkill at this point? I mean, should he go to jail? Really.

DR. GAIL SALTZ, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PSYCHIATRY, NEW YORK PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL: Well, I think the issue is recouping the money and discouraging other people from doing something like this for the purposes of getting a reality show.

But if you want to think of the kids` well-being and I would hope that everybody would be thinking of the kids` well-being first, then you want to send a strong message to the parents if they did this, that that is illegal, it`s not ok and there will be repercussions. Because unfortunately the kids were dragged into the drama and they got the message, that it is ok to break the law. If in fact that`s what happened.

BEHAR: I love that the kid threw up. I mean, it`s so incredibly...


BEHAR: Freudian.

SALTZ: Yes, absolutely.

BEHEAR: He lies and then he pukes.

BLOOM: Right and look at when he throws up. Look at when he throws up -- he throws up when his dad is asked, is this a hoax, and he`s expected to go along with the lie, and he can`t.

BEHAR: I don`t know if the kids...


BALTHAZAR: That he also threw up twice -- he threw up on two morning shows.


BALTHAZAR: And the parents didn`t bow out of the second one. So he threw up on TV once, shame on me. Throw up on TV twice, shame on you. I mean, you`ve got to stop the interview.

BEHAR: Didn`t George Bush use that?

BALTHAZAR: Yes, exactly.

But if they go to jail, I think it would be very bad for the children. I think it`s a stupid, crazy story, but I have to give this guy credit. It`s like a PR stunt beyond belief.

SALTZ: Oh no, look at the reflection of what`s happening in society now, which is just horrendous. Which is the number one thing that everybody wants is fame.


BEHAR: Why? Why do people want fame so much? What happened to money?

SALTZ: Yes, good point, what happened to money? Well, apparently with fame, you do get money. So you get two for one. But look, we`re all somewhat narcissistic at heart. And the problem is...

BEHAR: Is that an American thing or is that around the world?

SALTZ: Well, America is more so. We are a very individualistic society. We are not a culture of, for the better of the culture, which has its upside and its downside. The downside is we`re seeing that it`s all now about rudeness, it`s about aggression, it`s about fame at any cost.

And we`ve got these lousy, lousy role models for the next generations.

BEHAR: Well, oh go ahead.

BALTHAZAR: I think he got a taste. "Wife Swap" gave him a taste of some recognition, some fame and he needed more. He couldn`t get enough. And he managed to accomplish the impossible. He makes Jon Gosselin look like a good guy -- like a good father.

BLOOM: Don`t you think that those of us who make a living on television...


BLOOM: ...have to be careful criticizing people who want to be on TV?


BLOOM: Right I mean, isn`t there -- isn`t there a little bit...


BLOOM: ...and by the way they wouldn`t necessarily go to jail. First time offenders on the low level charges, they probably do some community service. And so wouldn`t there be some justice if they are out there digging ditches and taking off the trash.

BEHAR: That`s the reality show; the community service is the reality show. What a brilliant idea, Lisa.

BLOOM: There you go. You could be the executive producer, Joy.

BEHAR: And to add fuel to the controversy, has released e- mails between Heene and a friend when Heene discussed a balloon hoax months ago.

And says, "This will be the most significant UFO-related news event to take place since the Roswell crash of 1947, and the result will be a dramatic increase in local and national awareness about the Heene family, our reality series, as well as the UFO phenomenon in general."

Do you think he wants a job?

SALTZ: This is called "grandiosity" -- ok, "grandiosity"...

BEHAR: Yes, but you know what...

SALTZ: And the Heene`s has bought, he drank his own Kool-aid here.

BALTHAZAR: His ego is bigger than the balloon...


BALTHAZAR: ...and both are deflated now.

BLOOM: Yes, but what about forcing the kids to be part of the lie and forcing the kids to lie to the police and to lie to the media.


SALTZ: It`s so damaging. These children are young. They don`t even have a fully formed super ego. They are developing their moral compass. This is a time where you have to be telling kids, this is right, this is wrong and do as I do, not do as I say.

So unfortunately, this really tampers with their moral development. Now, to go on and be shocked, if your kid commits a crime as an adult when this is what -- what kind of a parent you were.

BEHAR: But you know what, you don`t consider him innovative and creative in a certain way?

SALTZ: I did, do you think that was terrific...

I mean, there`s deranged innovative creative.

BEHAR: All right, deranged innovative, I`ll go with that; deranged and innovative.

BLOOM: They take the kids storm chasing, Joy.

Everybody else is going inside and battening the hatches, whatever that is...


BLOOM: Ok, they`re loading the kids up in a van and their going into the storm. I mean, shouldn`t that be a red flag, there`s something wrong with this family?

BALTHAZAR: And he did a rap video that he did a rap.



BALTHAZAR: There`s three children that has homophobic remarks in it.

SALTZ: We can`t say that word on television probably.

BALTHAZAR: The things that these kids are lip-synching and saying in this video are offensive -- hugely offensive.


BEHAR: They did a what?

SALTZ: They did it.

BALTHAZAR: They did a little rap video with the three of them where they`re making homophobic remarks.

SALTZ: It`s more than that, I don`t know if I can say, it`s a negative word for female genitalia.

BLOOM: Oh, no, they didn`t.

SALTZ: Yes, they do.

BEHAR: That`s one of my favorite words.

SALTZ: A very, very bad word and to have your little kids be singing about this is really...

BEHAR: I know it`s so wrong.




BALTHAZAR: I mean, the attorney is saying that they shouldn`t embarrass the parents in front of the kids, but don`t they also have to learn that there`s a consequence for doing these sort of things.

SALTZ: Yes, yes they do.

BLOOM: I guess, yes.

SALTZ: No, they really -- they really did.

BEHAR: They shouldn`t have put the kids up to lie.

SALTZ: Oh, that`s what`s terrible.

BEHAR: But how about the media, focusing on it for hours and hours. I was up here in this studio, we were staring at it and saying, the kid is dead, or the kids -- there`s helium in there.

SALTZ: Right.

BEHAR: We were like all crazy.

BLOOM: You`re right, Joy, those TV shows that talk about the balloon boy, I mean, something`s got to be wrong with them.

BEHAR: Right? I know.

BALTHAZAR: That`s just appalling.

BEHAR: It`s like Jon and Kate again, all over again.

BLOOM: How could they talk balloon boy?

BALTHAZAR: We`re you`re looking for -- I`m looking for the wicker basket. I could not find where he could possibly be in this balloon.


BEHAR: And then when they said he fell out, that didn`t make any sense.

SALTZ: Oh, that was awful.

BEHAR: I know people were crying and hysterical.


BEHAR: Campbell said she was bawling in her office watching this and then cursing the kid when they realize what a little snot he was.

BALTHAZAR: We`re drama, it`s very emotional.


SALTZ: We`re wanting drama; we are looking for it. We don`t want to keep hearing about the same old very depressing things that are real that are going on.

BLOOM: And it`s got video. That`s why we cover it on TV.

BEHAR: Ok, we`re going to be coming right back with this lovely panel. Don`t go away.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is Larimer County, Colorado. And there is a little boy in this aircraft that you`re seeing right now, a 6-year-old boy. And they`re down to about 6,000 feet. What they`re trying to do is get to this child. He floated away from his family`s home on an experimental aircraft.


BEHAR: Ok. It turns out this whole balloon boy story was a hoax.

Back with me are Lisa Bloom and Brian Balthazar. And joining us to discuss this and more is talk show host, Wendy Williams. Ok, Wendy, you`re no stranger to publicity yourself.


BEHAR: So what did you think of this story? Were you drawn to it?

WILLIAMS: Yes. And so was my house full of people at the time. You know, one of the rare times after work we were entertaining, every TV was glued to it. And something smelled a little rotten when they found the boy and the boy was upstairs. You know, upstairs in a box in the attic.

And then I had seen "Wife Swap." It used to be part of my regular lineup on Friday nights when it came on regular TV, you know when it came on network. I was familiar with this family.

And so yes, everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame, so they got it.

BEHAR: But who`s really more to blame? The father and the crazy mother or the media for pushing this, like we`re doing?

WILLIAMS: The media. But, you know, you can put the carrot out there, you can dangle it, the parents took the bait, and so now there are going to be consequences and repercussions.

BRIAN BALTHAZAR, COMEDIAN JOURNALIST: I don`t think it`s the media`s fault. I don`t


BALTHAZAR: Because we could otherwise at that time of day be talking about health care, the cure for insomnia, or we could have this silver balloon flying through the sky with a kid in it.

Come on. Which are you going to watch? Every time there`s a car chase on television, there`s a shot, there`s a helicopter that has a shot of something great, take it.

We have 24 hours a day, I`m not going to say there are other networks, but there are tons of places to look for news. And if there`s something interesting happening, I`m going to look. And people look.

BEHAR: Let`s change the subject though. I think we`ve pummeled this to death.

Let`s talk about this other guy, Keith Bardwell, white justice of the peace in Louisiana who refused to marry an interracial couple. He says he`s not racist and tried to explain himself on "The Early Show" today.


KEITH BARDWELL, JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, LOUISIANA: Had countless numbers of people that was born in that situation and that they claim that the blacks or the whites didn`t accept the children. And I didn`t want to put the children in that position.


BEHAR: Lisa, why is it his job to decide what`s best for the children that don`t even exist yet.

BLOOM: I guess he`s afraid the children are going to grow up to the president of the United States, right?

BEHAR: Or the greatest golfer that ever lived.

BLOOM: It`s outrageous. I have two biracial children, so I`m not going to pretend to be objective on this question. He`s out of his mind; he`s blatantly violating the law against race discrimination by government officials.

There was a wonderful Supreme Court case -- the only one I can remember from law school on this issue, because it`s called Loving vs. Virginia in 1967, which said that people of different races can marry. It`s unconstitutional to deny them the right to marry, end of story.

BEHAR: So is he going to go to jail?

BLOOM: I don`t think he`ll go to jail, because it`s not a crime, but I think he should lose his job immediately. He should have lost his job the day after this story broke. I don`t know why he`s still out there talking and defending himself.

BEHAR: But do you think that if this was, let`s say, a white guy and an Asian woman, he would have the same response?

WILLIAMS: I was wondering. I was wondering if he would have a different response if it was a black woman and a white man. There`s something about the threatening power of a black man, subtly, in this country that only black men and the women who love them, regardless of the woman`s color, only we would know exactly what we mean.

BLOOM: And to back that up, he said, 99 percent of the interracial relationships are a black man and a white woman. And he also said, Joy, I don`t discriminate when black people come to my house, I let them use my bathroom.

BEHAR: What an idiot.

BLOOM: That tells you everything you need to know about this guy.

BEHAR: This is like some of my best friends are Jewish, that whole routine. But the couple wants him to be fired, but he`s not stepping down. Why are racists so stubborn?

BLOOM: That`s a good question. Why, in 2009, does this guy still have a job? Apparently, for 34 years this has been his policy and other couples have been discriminated against, they just didn`t speak out.

WILLIAMS: I was going to say, why is this, all of a sudden coming up.

BLOOM: And this woman, by the way, is a military veteran. Can you imagine, fighting for our country, coming home and ...

BEHAR: Well, that`s the way -- it`s like "don`t ask, don`t tell" tell, it`s same thing. It`s ridiculous.

But Limbaugh also is saying that he`s not a racist. It seems to be in the air, all these conversations about it. Do you think that when he called the NFL football players, like the Bloods and the Crips, that that was a racist remark?

WILLIAMS: That had definite undertones of racism, of course.

BEHAR: It had undertones?

WILLIAMS: Yes, yes. Racism is not dead in this country. We can have a black president, we can have, you know, black people making great strides, but on the other side of that, racism is so alive, so prevalent, as prevalent as sexism.

And if you`re a minority woman, you`re a double minority. It`s sufferable. Joy, you know. You get sexual discrimination, ever?

BEHAR: Oh, yes, I have, I have over the years.


BEHAR: You live with it in a way. There`s not much you can do except speak up.

WILLIAMS: Except to speak up.

BLOOM: But that`s so important because that`s what`s happening with the NFL. People are saying Rush Limbaugh is not acceptable. We don`t care how rich he is, we don`t care that he has 20 million listeners. You make these racial remarks, we don`t want you here.

BEHAR: But don`t you think the bottom line was, they didn`t want to lose viewers and support because it`s about money.

BLOOM: Maybe. But you know some people say, he wants to stir up controversy, wants to get better ratings. And they might get better ratings for it if they had Rush on, right. Stir up the controversy. But they`re taking a principled stand and I think that`s the right thing.

BALTHAZAR: And they`re an organization. They`re entitled to make that determination.

BEHAR: Lisa, Brian -- thank you. I`ll be back with more of Wendy Williams.

But first, I`ve got one or two things left to say about this Heene family. I`m not done.

At the end of the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy climbs into a giant balloon to travel back to Kansas. And of course, you develop a huge gay following. That`s another story.

The Wizard of Oz was fiction, and as it turns out, so is the boy in the balloon story. The whole thing was a hoax. Just like the Florida recount. You know I`ll never let go of that story.

The boy`s father, Richard Heene, rhymes with weenie, allegedly hid his 6-year-old son in the attic so the family could get a reality TV show. Not for nothing, but when Anne Frank`s father hid her in the attic, it was to protect her from the Nazis not to get her a part on the Real Hausfraus of Dusseldorf County.

Richard Heene says he`s an inventor, and apparently he`s a very good one, he invented a scam that fooled an entire country and all the major news media. And as a reward for wasting everyone`s time, this genius might get his own reality show. And trust me. If his ratings are anything like the ratings this stunt generated, he`ll be divorcing his wife, dating the nanny, and getting a book deal with a $2 million advance.

Now, that`s a lot of balloons. And if he does end up with a reality show, what does he do for an encore? I mean, let`s face it, it`s going to be tough to top the biggest hoax since the Liza Minnelli wedding. But that`s just me. What do I know?


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WILLIAMS: How are you doing is the official greeting of the Wendy Williams mess. You don`t say it like Joey Tribbiani, "How you doing." No, you say it like this. And I`m going to teach you and then we`re going to go to the Queen of Sheeba.

Look, you dim your eyes like this. And when you get to the end of doing you spread your bottom lip, I`ll do it once, and then go to my Web site and you can take lessons.


BEHAR: That was a clip from the Wendy Williams show. And I`m back with the lively talk show host. Wendy, when you spats with among others, Tupac, Whitney Houston, Jay-Z, Will Smith and Lil` Wayne, my question is, do you ever fight with white people?

WILLIAMS: I mean, I wasn`t fighting with those people. Joy, you know...

BEHAR: So what was it? I have notes here that say you did. Lil` Wayne, "the bitch looked like a dude, her body looked chewed, her hair looks glued." Is he talking about you?

WILLIAMS: He`s definitely talking about me.

BEHAR: I wouldn`t be so thrilled with that.

WILLIAMS: Well, listen, if it weren`t for people saying things like that, perhaps I wouldn`t be sitting here right now with you on your show.

But you came from radio. If you`re on radio, if you`re on for a particular amount of time, you take phone calls and things like that. Radio is just a different vehicle.

Television, it`s a one-hour show that I do right now. It`s 44 minutes of programming. To those people and spats or what not, I wasn`t fighting with anybody, I was entertaining. I was playing...

BEHAR: Well, you were very popular in what you were saying, but you got into trouble. In 1995, you notoriously had rumors that Tupac Shakur was raped in prison.

WILLIAMS: I read something from "The Daily News," I was taken off the air by my radio station for 24 hours without pay. I read this directly from the news. But, you know, in that 23-year career, I`ve ended it on a high note. I`m being inducted into the radio hall of fame, which is the national one in Chicago ...

BEHAR: That`s nice. Congratulations.

WILLIAMS: On November 7th. And I`ve left radio now. And I devote my time to, you know, the TV show.

BEHAR: Aren`t you afraid to say something like that about Tupac?

WILLIAMS: I didn`t say it. "The Daily News" said it. If I pick something up and I read it and I give credit to "The Daily News," you know.

BEHAR: You`re more of a specific target than "The Daily News." I mean, he can`t exactly go up against "The Daily News" as easily as one person. I`d be scared.

WILLIAMS: But I wasn`t...

BEHAR: You`re fearless.

WILLIAMS: And I am. I am. I mean, I`ve been through a lot in my career and I`ve been through a lot in my life, and I`m 44 -- 45 years old now. And I was just asked two days ago, what am I scared of. I said nothing, and no one. I`m not scared of nothing, and no one, no circumstances, what not. I think that I have the resilience to push on to another day, regardless.

BEHAR: Well, you should be scared of Whitney Houston, because she said -- because you were talking about her alleged drug habits and she said, if this were back in the day in Newark, I`d meet you outside, but not now, because I`m a lady with class.

WILLIAMS: I`m from Township, New Jersey, I don`t know nothing about going outside and fighting no one. You know what I mean?

BEHAR: Do you feel that now you`re on TV, you have to be a little nicer to people than when you were on the radio, because you have to book the show.

WILLIAMS: Well, it wasn`t that I was ever mean. I`m not a mean person.


WILLIAMS: You can say the same things that I say, but because you`re a white woman, you know, a New York City, you know, staple, somehow, you could say the same thing as me. They`ll let you pass.

BEHAR: Not really.

WILLIAMS: Oh, yes, really.

BEHAR: Oh, no, don`t...

WILLIAMS: Oh, yes. Cindy Adam, Arnie Archer, you name any of these - - you go back to Hedda Hopper. We could say the same thing.

BEHAR: I`ve got to go, baby.

I really enjoyed this, though. Thank you Wendy.

When we return, Janeane Garofalo on the White House`s Fox hunt.

Thank you Wendy.

WILLIAMS: Thank you Joy.



DAVID AXELROD, WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR: It`s really not pushing a point of view. And the bigger thing is that other news organizations, like yours, ought not to treat them that way and we`re not going to treat them that way. We`re going to appear on their shows, we`re going to participate, but understanding that they represent a point of view.


BEHAR: Well, that`s White House adviser David Axelrod, blasting FOX news on ABC`s "this week."

The Obama administration isn`t shy about showing their disdain for FOX. But is picking a fight with a TV network really a good idea? With me now, actress and comedian, Janeane Garofalo, an Essy Cop conservative blogger and co-author of "Why You`re Wrong About the Right."

Okay let me start with you, Janeane. Do you think it`s a good idea?

JANEANE GAROFALO, ACTRESS AND COMEDIAN: Well I don`t think he is picking a fight and I wouldn`t characterize that as blasting. He seemed very reserved there. But I would say FOX news in general has always been very unkind to any Democrat, whether they be in the White House or outside of it. I would agree with that. I don`t see the value in FOX news, in going on FOX news for those people. It`s a very --

BEHAR: You don`t see the value?

GAROFALO: No, I don`t see the value. There`s no reason for somebody who has something sustentative to talk about to go talk to Hannity or go talk to Bill O`Reilly or FOX and friends or really any of they`re a very obvious propaganda --

BEHAR: Machine.

GAROFALO: Machine. Now having said that, most mainstream news networks are wanting, most mainstream -- or if not all -- corporate mainstream news entities are subpar and tell versions of stories. But FOX, I think, with Roger Ellis and Rupert Murdoch has a very clear mission statement.

BEHAR: Well some people say MSNBC has a mission statement from the left. I think you would agree with that, right, Essy?

COP, CONSERVATIVE BLOGGER AND AUTHOR: Yea right, and I think to Janeane`s point, I think that they all suffer from some kind of bias. But the value of going on to a FOX or MSNBC is that you`re speaking to a huge swath of the country. And in Obama`s case, this is the very demographic he needs right now to get on board with health care in Afghanistan.

BEHAR: Do you really think that they`ll ever come on board with Obama over at FOX? Those viewers? I don`t even think they would ever come on board.

COP: Well, if the Obama Administration would stop condescending and insulting and ignoring those people who don`t like a public option, then, yeah, I think they`d be more interested in hearing what he had to say, but they don`t like being dissed, which is kind of what the White House is doing right now.

BEHAR: Okay.

GAROFALO: I would disagree -- that`s -- there`s no condescension coming from the White House. I would say the majority of the country supports a public option. Fox`s whole reason for being, if you will, is to obstruct and to try and make inroads with the average FOX viewer is a fool`s errand. There`s no way any of those people are going to go -

BEHAR: I know it`s like as comedians, we don`t go in front of audiences that hate us.

GAROFALO: Oh, sure.

BEAHR: It doesn`t happen.

GAROFALO: I don`t deliberately do it.

BEHAR: No but after a while, you say no. Okay former Bush advisor and current FOX news contributor Karl Rove got his two cents in, listen to this.


KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH ADVISOR AND CURRENT FOX CONTRIBUTOR: This is an Administration that`s getting very arrogant and slippery in its dealings with people. And if you dare to oppose them, they`re going to come hard at you and they`re going to cut your legs off.


COP: Is he talking about the Bush Administration?

BEHAR: No, he`s not. Talking about the pot calling the kettle. I mean, come on, even you, Essy, have to admit this is complete hypocrisy on Karl Rove`s part?

COP: No, I don`t think so. I think he`s absolutely right. You don`t silence the opposition. That`s just not politically a good move. Honestly, it really doesn`t make a whole lot of sense for Obama to completely sensor an entire demographic or an entire media organization that speaks to a large demographic.

BEHAR: But Karl Rove is responsible for possibly and allegedly, firing the United States attorneys who were not loyal to Bush. So that`s really silencing a whole group of people, isn`t it, very similar?

COP: Well, there were some nuances to that story that I don`t think we have time to really delineate. You know, here. But, no, I think -- it doesn`t matter who`s saying it. I think Karl Rove is right. I think this is a politically silly move. I t doesn`t look presidential. It doesn`t make the President look serious. It makes him look a little whiney.

GAROFALO: Well, as, of course we`re going to disagree with each other.


GAROFALO: I mean, there`s just no two ways around that we will take opposing sides of this. Karl Rove is the master of silencing critics, and yes, he is responsible for the attorney general firings without any nuance, in addition to, you know, attacking any dissenters for the Bush Administration. But there is no censoring going on. Them saying they won`t go on that show, some of them won`t go on that show, has nothing to do with censoring. It`s -- like I said, FOX news is, is a complete propaganda outlet. That is not to say other news outlets are good or -- in fact, they should all turn in their SEC. license.

BEHAR: Well they seem to have the intention to be obscuring and obstructing the Obama Administration. I don`t think that`s the intention of CNN or MSNBC --

GAROFALO: During the Bush Administration, I think it was. I think it was.

BEHAR: Well, they were critical of it, but, of course, there were a lot of things to criticize -- really a lot.

GAROFALO: I think FOX is critical of the Obama Administration in ways --

BEHAR: But FOX was not critical of Bush.

GAROFALO: But it`s filling a void. It`s as a reaction to the lack of criticism, the lack of any vetting --

BEHAR: But don`t call it fair and balanced.

GAROFALO: Well but you`re talking about two different things. There are opinion shows on FOX news like Hannity and O`Reilly and then there`s hard news. I don`t think anyone would call Shepherd Smith`s show biased. It`s straight news reporting.

BEHAR: Well the only one I would go along with is Chris Wallace`s show. I think that his show, he could have gone on Chris Wallace`s show. I think that Chris tries to be fair and balanced.

GAROFALO: I don`t know.

BEHAR: And he has Juan Williams, a Democrat on the panel, well then he has some of the other attack dogs. But there`s fighting within the Democratic Party as well. Progressives aren`t just taking on the President. They`re now taking on Senate majority leader Harry Reid in Nevada. Listen.


I`m your typical swing voter. I voted for Republicans for President and I`ve voted for President Obama. I also voted for Senator Harry Reid many times. But in 2010, I`ll only be voting on one issue. I`m watching to see if Harry Reid is strong and effective enough as a leader to pass a public health insurance option into law.


BEHAR: Okay. Now, since Reid is in trouble in Nevada and I think 53%, 52% of Nevadans are in favor of the public option, is he going to be forced now to vote to that to push the public option?


GAROFALO: One would hope. He is - he is I don`t understand why some Democrats like Harry Reid are being as obstructionist as the Republicans, when he is being weak, though, he should be called out. I agree with that. There`s nothing wrong with infighting among parties. There should be. There shouldn`t be any marching lockstep.

BEHAR: It doesn`t look like the public option is going to get any traction. The Baucus Bill hasn`t got it in there. And I wonder how the Democrats will do in 2010 if they don`t get it. What do you think?

GAROFALO: I think they would suffer for it, as they should. The public option should be in there. And there should be, like you know, Grayson. Is that his name, Alan Grayson? Great guy, you know, speaks with conviction and I don`t know why there aren`t more Democrats -- there`s a lot of great Democrats, but a lot of them are too -- too weak in the face of --

BEHAR: Wussy. Wussy.

GAROFALO: That`s fine. That`s the word

BEHAR: Wussy. Wussy.

GAROFALO: And Harry Reid is a wussy, yeah, sure.

BEHAR: He`s a wuss.

GAROFALO: Yea sure, I don`t like it. And in the name of so-called bipartisanship, which is a farce, there is, you know, there is no need to pursue bipartisanship with a group of people that have no interest in bipartisanship. And so, yeah, he should be criticized.

BEHAR: Jump in.

COP: I don`t know. I think I agree bipartisanship is really a silly kind of goal. But at the same time, I --

BEHAR: Why do you think it`s a silly goal?

COP: Because we`re -

BEHAR: Isn`t that the idea?

COP: Politics are polarizing. I mean these are incredibly important issues. People feel very passionate about them. Trying to come to consensus is watering down these issues. And no one wins when you try to please everyone. People should stick to their guns. And frankly, if Nevada, and I don`t know if this poll is entirely accurate, but if it is, if Nevada wants a public option, as much as I detest it, Harry Reid should vote for it. Absolutely, he should represent his constituents.

BEHAR: Okay let me switch to Miss Sarah Palin, the media and FOX news darling. She`s in the news. She posted her resume on the social networking site LinkedIn. Why does she do this? She`s looking for job, right?

GAROFALO: Well I guess it would make sense then. Being industrious and posting her resume.

BEHAR: But she says that she`s governor. She writes, governor. She`s not governor.

GAROFALO: Oh but she was. And that title lasts.

BEHAR: Except she was a singer.

GAROFALO: I don`t know. Was ate joke?

BEHAR: No, are you kidding? I don`t think she has that great a sense of humor that she would pull something like that.

COP: It`s unconventional, I think you know, she`s on Facebook a lot, she Twitters. I think she`s reaching out in every way that she knows how and people like to say she`s crazy, but she general proves out to be crazy like a FOX.

BEHAR: I don`t think she`s crazy at all.

COP: Oh, well there are people who routinely call her crazy and a whole host of other names.

BEHAR: Would you call her crazy, Janeane?

GAROFALO: No, I would just say that she`s an intellectually incurious person with charisma.

BEHAR: That`s brilliant. Very well put. But her favorability, popularity rates are going down. And is it possible her 15 minutes are up?

COP: No way, that`s -- no. She`s been out of the spot a little bit, writing her book, and that needs to happen.

BEHAR: Maybe that`s why she`s doing this, to get herself back up. Maybe she wants to be the next Paris Hilton.

COP: No I think that`s a little cheap. But she, Mr. Romney`s been out of the spotlight and his favorability is down a little, and Mike Huckabee`s is up because he`s on FOX all the time. I think that this sort of ebbs and flows. And once her book comes out, I think the ratings will go up again.

BEHAR: People call me, you know, people just call me and say, do you think she`ll actually going to have a shot at the presidency?

COP: What`d you say?

BEHAR: I say, I lived through Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush and I never thought those two mental midgets would ever become President, and they did.

COP: Two of my heroes -- two of my absolute heroes.

GAROFALO: You`re so young and so bright. I`m hoping you`re doing an art installation project-


COP: It`s ironic.

GAROFALO: It`s a very complex situation - professional type.

BEHAR: Okay.

GAROFALO: I`m saying that she`s very bright and I don`t understand.

BEHAR: Thank you, girls. Thank you, ladies. I shouldn`t say girls, we`re not girls.

COP: Thank you.

GAROFALO: Thank you.

BEHAR: We`re men. Back with more in a bit.


BEHAR: Every time I turn around these days, there`s a new study to tell me how unhappy I and my gender happen to be. The latest, over 33% of women are earning more of their husbands. So now we`re bringing home the bacon, frying it up, and are too afraid to eat it, unless we`re on Atkins. So what`s a girl to do? Here to make sense of this is Marcus Buckingham, author of "Find Your Strongest Life." the studies are showing that women are less happy than we all were 40 years ago.


BEHAR: Do women just complain more; is that it, or what`s the real story there?

BUCKINGHAM: Well if they complain more than men genetically, they would have been complaining more 40 years ago. I don`t think it is that. It`s probably a couple of things. First, women are harder on themselves than men. If you ask men, what do you think will help you be more successful, building on your strengths or fixing your weakness, the answer will be 50/50. But if you ask women that question, 73% of women say fix my weakness.

BEHAR: So the men accept their flaws.

BUCKINGHAM: They accept their flaws and then move on. And then they put them aside more and then focus on the particular strengths they bring. Women are harder on themselves and then feel guilt about not being everything they should be. So if you kind of compound that - that`s the life in which you spend a lot of time thinking about who you`re not.

BEHAR: I see. That`s an interesting point. But, you know women have more pressure on them, to look better, they spend more money and make less money. You know, we are constantly under pressure to have everything, the kids, the job, a lot of friends, a great social life. We have to know how to make a paella, it`s really annoying.


BUCKINGHAM: It is. You know there are a lot of different domains feminism voice to excel. So in that kind of respect feminism worked perfectly, because it gave women more and more choices and more and more domains in which you`re supposed to excel. But the challenge there, if you`ve got a ton of choices, you have to make one and make sure you know the right one. For you, that puts an awful lot of responsibility on you to figure out, well, what are the right choices for me to make? What are the right definitions that I have for myself in terms of success. So some choice is good, a ton of choice can be incredibly stressful.

BEHAR: I know but what if you focus on THE choice after you have three children? You really don`t have the kind of time or facility to really pursue your dream.

BUCKINGHAM: Well, I think you have to start at the level, when we looked at the women in this book that bucked the trend -- the women that were happy and were successful. They had kids, they didn`t have kids, some were very successful, some had jobs, some didn`t, but they were on a happiness or upward trend. And our focus was to say, what did they have in common? What did they share? And when they have three kids or not they started with moments.

They realized it was the moments in life that strengthened them. That if you could figure out how to plug into life, it would find ways to give you the energy that you needed. You don`t need to blow up your life and start again. If you`ve got three kids or a CEO, you start moment by moment, going, how can I imbalance my life this week towards those moments that invigorate me.

BEHAR: So you basically would say, sweat the small stuff?

BUCKINGHAM: Absolutely.

BEHAR: That`s what you mean by that phrase?

BUCKINGHAM: Absolutely.

BEHAR: I was wondering what you were talking about.

BUCKINGHAM: You look at the details of the moments that matter most. You don`t have grand dreams and visions. You go, what is it -- do I get invigorated by feeling the emotions of other people? Do I cry with people and laugh with people? Love that? Or love seeing small patterns in things and building them into bigger patterns? What are the specific moments of my life that invigorate me?

BEHAR: Okay I was interested in these myths that you say that we have. One of them is that at work women are relegated to lower level roles and they make less money. That is not a myth, that`s a fact.

BUCKINGHAM: Well actually, 37% of women are in management positions, 31% of men. So - in -- now, at the senior most levels, you still got about 17% of women versus the remainder being men. There is still some glass ceiling that remains to be cracked. And in terms of money, yes, it`s actually about 80%, women earn 80% on the dollar. But most of the -

BEHAR: I think it`s 77 cents, but who`s counting.

BUCKINGHAM: Well it`s between 77 and 80. But that difference isn`t really due to gender discrimination. When you look at what accounts for that difference, it`s because in a 15-year time frame, women spend about twice as much time outside of the workforce because they interrupt their careers. As a result of that, their skills depreciate in the value of the market.

BEHAR: Well that will make you unhappy. That fact alone could make you unhappy.

BUCKINGHAM: Absolutely could -- although money doesn`t necessarily buy you happiness.

BEHAR: Oh, how wrong you are. How about this -- women with more free time are less stressed. I can relate to that. Because when I was trapped at exit 60 on the Long Island expressway during my first marriage, I had not much to do. Because I really didn`t have a focus, I didn`t know -- I was so stressed out. If I don`t have a little stress in my life, I am stressed out.

BUCKINGHAM: If you don`t have any stress -- maybe that`s because of who you are, though. You`re the sort of person that likes to be able to have some kind of frisson, some kind of friction.

BEHAR: I love frisson - especially with my reg -

BUCKINGHAM: With paella.


BUCKINGHAM: Yea exactly. But I think in terms of where we are now, there are some myths about where we are, but I think in terms of where we need to move to its almost like what you are saying here tonight, one of the moments, you just said I like a little stress in my life. I could put ten women up against the wall and they would say, they hate stress in their life. The goal is to remove the stress.

BEHAR: But a little stress is being a human being, you need a little stress on your life. Evolutionarily, the Neanderthals and the Cro-Magnons and everybody else had a little stress, otherwise we wouldn`t be here.

BUCKINGHAM: Well that`s true but what brings you stress will vary person by person.

BEHAR: I think it`s how you handle it.

BUCKINGHAM: Yea so confrontation, you may be one of those people, the angrier you get, the more articulate you get.

BEHAR: Not really but - not really

BUCKINGHAM: But there are some who love that kind of stress -- others who are stressed by being intimate with someone and close and actually feeling someone`s pain. For all of us it`s a question, if we want to live a happy successful and fulfilled life, you`ve got to figure out which of the moments that invigorate you.

BEHAR: Okay here`s another one this - this one I love - this is a myth, kids want more time with their working mothers. If that`s not true, all these women are off the hook. Go to work, leave them with the nanny.

BUCKINGHAM: Okay this is what the studies showed. They asked 1,000 third to 12th graders what you want more from your moms. The moms said my kid will say more time. 56% of the moms want more time. That was only10% of the kids said that. The kids said I want my mom to be less stressed and tired.

BEHAR: I see, okay. We`re going to have more time with you because I want to know what catch and cradle means. This little phrase that`s driving me crazy. More with author Marcus Buckingham, next, come back in a little while - a minute.


BEHAR: Okay. We`re back with guest Marcus Buckingham. Author of "Find Your Strongest Life" we`re talking about how women can be happy without resorting to Prozacs. Okay you have something in your book called a strong life test which I took.


BEHAR: Which I took and how does the catching cradle figure into that?

BUCKINGHAM: Well, most the cliches is a woman finds balance. When you talk to the happiest, most successful one, they don`t find balance. They find the moments in life that invigorate them. And then they cradle them. In a sense you are what you pay for attention to. So what they do is they pay more attention to those and then deliberately imbalance their life toward those moments that invigorate them.

BEHAR: So it`s selfish in a way but I think that --

BUCKINGHAM: Well it gives them strength to survive and to support everybody who relies on them. So it`s self-focus in a sense it gives you the strength to provide.

BEHAR: The other thing you said that I like, you don`t have to be a bad mother if you do what you want to do with the kid. If the kid wants to read science books and you`re not interested in science books, then don`t do that with the kid. If you feel like going shopping with the child, go shopping with the child. Do what you want to do with the kid. I love that.

BUCKINGHAM: You tilt your life to what invigorates you. Your kid doesn`t want you have to purpose and goals per se. The kid wants to hang around you when you are happy.

BEHAR: And they don`t want a miserable mother.

BUCKINGHAM: No, they don`t.

BEHAR: I took this test, okay?

BUCKINGHAM: A life test.

BEHAR: I like this question. Your friend at work steals your I.D. and passes it off as your own. What do you do? Okay I picked -- I recognized her need and let her take the credit. I got much more mature in my older years.

BUCKINGHAM: This testament measures you on nine life roles. And I think it gives you your top two. Your top two were creator and teacher. Creator is the person who goes, you know what, I don`t need to bother with the fact she stole my idea. I have a ton of other ideas. You`re looking for patents that underlie things. You can reconfigure those to create more. You`re fine. And then teacher is, looking for -- you`re one of the people who see small increments of growth in somebody else and you get a kick from that. Which is probably why people like you because they sense they`re inquisitive but not for the purpose of being smart, necessarily. But for the purpose of helping somebody else grow and get better. People are drawn to someone like that.

BEHAR: At a certain point in my life I was going either going to be a comedian or a shrink. And I picked comedian because it paid better. Okay. This was another question your neighbor tells you heard from her son your teenage child is doing drugs. What do you do? Okay, I picked, confront my child immediately and get him help. If someone tells me my child is doing drugs that means I have not been paying attention to it and I want to know about it so I want him to come right - from right here.

BUCKINGHAM: You see that immediately tells me something about you. There are a bunch of other things you could do. You could defend your child vigorously against the person that told you about him. But your first thought, of all the different things you could do, you went to your child. Start with the child and figure out where they are at. Now that may seem like the only reaction that right. But for you it`s the only reaction that`s right for you. So this test just gives you these choices and then helps you figure out which are the choices that are right for you. And therefore it`s like an internal compass. Helps you, kind of know where you will draw strength from life.

BEHAR: Okay let`s just recap. Don`t balance.


BEHAR: Pick what you want and go for it.

BUCKINGHAM: And tilt your life toward that.

BEHAR: Find your little things in life, cradle them, catch them and cradle them.

BUCKINGHAM: Exactly. Don`t juggle. Catch and cradle. Juggling is about keeping everything at bay, isn`t it? All about throwing things up in the air keeping it at bay. So don`t - and if you spend your whole life like that you`ll never hold on to anything long enough to feel it.

BEHAR: Right and don`t play football with your kid if you don`t want to play football.


BEHAR: Marcus thanks very much.

BUCKINGHAM: Not at all.

BEHAR: And thank you all for watching. Good night.