THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP
HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN
JOINED BY: ELEANOR CLIFT, TONY BLANKLEY, PATRICK BUCHANAN AND LAWRENCE O'DONNELL
TAPED: FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2005 BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF JULY 23-24, 2005
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MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue one: Blitz number two.
MAN AT BOMBING SCENE: (From videotape.) (Holding up shoes.) I'm trying to find the people who left them behind, running for their lives.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: A second wave of coordinated bomb attacks hit London this week. Four near-simultaneous minor explosions struck London's transport system exactly two weeks after more than 50 people died in attacks on the capital's Underground and bus networks. The explosive devices were smaller than the last blast and failed to detonate fully.
This time no one was injured, no one was killed. But there was panic in the subways. Key areas were evacuated and the city paralyzed. Then, within 24 hours on Friday morning, police shot dead with five bullets a suspected bomber as he raced through a South London subway stop. London is now a city on edge. The explosives and backpacks used in Thursday's attacks appear to be identical to those in the first blasts two weeks ago -- meaning that the same terrorist cell and the same terrorist organization behind it perpetrated both of these attacks.
COLONEL JACK JACOBS (U.S. Army, Retired): (From videotape.) The message here is that these attacks will continue, and they're probably going to be more difficult to deal with and of greater frequency as time goes on.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is Jack Jacobs right? Are these attacks going to be more frequent and more difficult to deal with, Pat Buchanan?
MR. BUCHANAN: I believe so, John. I think the suicide bomber has become the cruise missile of Islamic revolution. They were very successful in Madrid in driving the Spanish out of the war. I think they're focusing now on the British, they're going after the Danes and the Italians, and over the long run I think it's going to come here, as well. And they're going to raise the price of America's involvement and the West's involvement in their part of the world. They're going to kill us and kill us until they believe they can drive us out of that region. So I think we're going to see more of it. In June alone you had 67 suicide bombers in Iraq.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?
MS. CLIFT: Well, and Iraq had never experienced a suicide bomber before this current period.
Look, two things. If you look at the pictures that the British are circulating of the young men they are looking for, they don't look like obvious terrorists. They don't look like Osama bin Laden. One is, I think, wearing a New York tee-shirt. And so you have these large Muslim populations with many young men who are aggrieved, and I think it's going to be incumbent upon all of the world to try to address these grievances. And that's a long-term undertaking. In the meantime, we're going to be dealing, I think, with this kind of low- grade terrorism, which is enough to scare people on a day-to-day basis.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?
MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah. I mean, regretfully, it's likely to be the case. And it's not a question of how many cells they have, although that's obviously relevant for the next operation. It's a question of the alienation of a substantial and growing percentage of the Muslim -- particularly the second- and third-generation Muslim populations in Europe. There are 2 million Muslims in Britain, there are 20 million, roughly, in Europe. There's also a problem of about 100,000 indigenous Europeans being converted to Muslim who are also alienated youth, the kind of youth that maybe became communist in the '70s and now appearing here.
I think that the danger is much more structural, and it's growing in the second- and third-generation Muslims. It's very bad news.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence, you don't have any doubt that the same cell or the same organization was behind both attacks, do you?
MR. O'DONNELL: Clearly there's room for doubt, but it's the same spirit that's behind both attacks, and they work. And they don't have to be frequent. New York is now searching bags that people are carrying on to their subway system, and that's just going to get more and more intense. So this thing has a world-wide effect, instantaneously. This kind of terrorism works in terms of striking terror into people's hearts. And they don't have to do it very frequently. If they did something like that once every 18 months, you're going to eventually cripple these major metropolitan transportation systems, which people will decide are too unsafe to use.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The time of day at which they occurred is one difference between the two bombings. The morning rush hour versus 1:00 in the afternoon, when they were probably targeting mothers and children, shoppers and tourists. So it shows that they want to spread around the demography of their terror.
MR. BUCHANAN: They also wanted to do it again very quickly. This thing apparently was really botched horribly. It looks as though the detonators worked, but the explosives did not. So obviously, look -- that goes to Tony's point. You got a lot of amateurs in this business who are volunteering for this kind of thing. Some of them may be -- they've been -- they got into this, but they do this suddenly, give up their lives on the spur of the moment. When you got people like this who see it as a great thing, to kill an awful lot of innocent people if they can really effect society and foreign policy --
MS. CLIFT: And they want --
MR. BUCHANAN: -- you got a problem.
MS. CLIFT: And they want to enlist -- they want to enlist the British public in their cause, and raise the level of outrage about Iraq and Britain's involvement in Iraq to force the removal of troops, which again, is a theory that they could very easily employ in this country. And the justification for the war in Iraq, it seems to me, evaporates on a daily basis. It certainly has not made us safer and it's created more terrorists. And they've come closer to our shores.
MR. BLANKLEY: Let me add one technical modification to what Pat said. I talked to one explosive expert who said it's not necessarily the case that these people were incompetent. It's the mix that they were given of the chemicals. And if the batch, the mix they were given -- everything else could've been done professionally, and they just didn't go off. So they -- so we don't have to assume that they're really amateurs. They could've been professionals with a bad batch.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think of that, Pat?
MR. BUCHANAN: I -- you know, I think that that could very well be true. But I think Eleanor's point is very well taken. The Americans are not going to be driven out by any kind of thing like that. Our resolve will get tougher. But I do think the Brits and Tony Blair -- because they didn't like this to begin with; (think ?) the Americans dragged them into it. You continue to do this -- I mean, Madrid hadn't had a bombing after they've quit. You could convince the Brits -- look, the cost is too high. Tony, why don't you start moving them out? He's wanted to move them out anyhow.
MS. CLIFT: I don't know that our resolve is going to get tougher. I mean, if you project forward a year from now, I think you're beginning to hear talk about setting a firm exit plan. Our troops would be reduced by a certain date and then we'd be out, say, in two years. You set a date far enough in the future so it doesn't look like Somalia -- we're cutting and running -- but hey, we're turning it over to the Iraqis, come what may.
MR. BLANKLEY: I disagree with you on that. I think Americans, if there are -- if we are hit again, will get tougher, not weaker. If I were the enemy, I would not hit us, because that'll only deepen our resolve. Even if we have doubts about Iraq, which I don't have, but I know a lot of people do.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think it was the same cell in the same organization. The amateurish nature of this, which was really a question of not being able to handle a detonator, which is always the most fragile aspect of bombing -- I think it shows the bombmaker was not there. He was probably the same bombmaker as in the first -- the first of this series. And then there was that incident at Luton, the Luton station, where a supply of bombs were found in the trunk of a car. And it may have been that he didn't get there to get the bombs that would coordinate with the detonators that were on hand. But I think it was the same group.
Exit question: If you were in London, would you allow your loved ones to travel in the London Underground?
MR. BUCHANAN: Sure.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Would you?
MS. CLIFT: Yes, just as I'm allowing my loved ones in New York to travel in the subways, and I travel the Metro here. I mean, you cannot eliminate public transportation unless you --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, you --
MS. CLIFT: -- live in a certain element of society that most people don't.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But they have in New York -- what they don't have in New York is antecedent probability. This has occurred twice now within the Underground in London.
Would that deter you from encouraging your loved ones to take the subway?
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, if I were a Londoner, as I was when I was born, I would encourage all my family and friends to be soldiers of the queen and take their risk in the line.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?
MR. O'DONNELL: I would not want any of my loved ones on the subway in London. I wouldn't get on it. I swore off the subway in New York after 9/11. I started to use it again a few months ago, and I'm not going to get on it again.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I would encourage them because I would think the London subway now, due to the higher state of vigilance, would be safer than the subways in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles or San Francisco.
MR. O'DONNELL: But not --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: When we come back, the new supreme being. (Announcements.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue two: Supreme being.
JOHN ROBERTS (Bush's Supreme Court justice nominee): It is both an honor and very humbling to be nominated to serve on the Supreme Court.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: John Glover Roberts, Jr., nominated this week by President Bush to the Supreme Court. This September, Senate confirmation of Judge Roberts will likely begin. Arguments will peak on the issue of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in certain circumstances. Fourteen years ago under Bush One, then-Deputy Solicitor General Roberts signed a government brief that was filed with the Supreme Court, quote, "We continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled. The court's conclusion in Roe that there's a fundamental right to an abortion finds no support in the text, structure or history of the Constitution."
Twelve years later, in 2003, Roberts was asked about that brief during his confirmation to the Court of Appeals. Roberts said he was stating the position of his clients, i.e. the administration, in his role as lawyer. Roberts also said this, "Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land. There is nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent."
Question: Is Roberts a good pick for the court?
MS. CLIFT: I think he's a brilliant pick on the part of this administration because he's a committed conservative, and aside from what you just showed on the air, he has practically no evidence of any stated positions that are ideological. He's left no paper trail, no speeches, no writings. He's an almost blank slate. I think it's pretty certain that he opposes abortion rights personally. But he's a first-rate legal thinker, and I don't think it's absolutely certain that he would vote against abortion in every instance. And I think the right is reassured that his wife is a(n) anti-abortion activist, and so they get reassurance from that.
But I think, you know, if there are another two or three Roberts put on this court, our cultural life is going to shift substantially to the right on a number of issues related around abortion. Whether he would actually vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, there's enough ambiguity that I think he gets confirmed pretty easily.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, don't you think "settled law" means that he would think it would be unconscionable to be activist in trying to overturn Roe v. Wade? MS. CLIFT: But the forum in which he said that was to be appointed to a court where you don't make law, you just interpret law.
Now, he's going to the Supreme Court, where you do make law. So it's a very different situation.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, the Supreme Court interprets the law, according to the legislature and the Constitution.
MR. BUCHANAN: John, the key question here is a very simple one. This man is a conservative. He's outstanding as a jurist. He is a man of intelligence. He has high integrity. He's a high-quality appointee; he's going to be confirmed.
But the key question is this: Which kind of conservative is he? If he looks at Roe v. Wade, does he say that is settled law because it was decided so many years ago, or does it conflict with the Constitution? Does he look back to precedent, or does he look back beyond it and say Roe v. Wade violates the Constitution, therefore it can be overturned, just the way Earl Warren's court overturned Plessy v. Ferguson? That is the key question; is he a counter-revolutionary conservative or an establishment conservative.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat, what settled law means is it should stand. That's what it means.
MR. BUCHANAN: No, no. Settled law means it has been decided as an appellate court case; I --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And it should stand.
MR. BUCHANAN: -- have to follow that as an appellate court judge.
MR. BLANKLEY: Wait a minute.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, I want to move on.
Now, you know whereof you speak about this man, do you not?
MR. BUCHANAN: Well, look, I --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now, you've run for president several times. Have you also run against Roberts?
MR. BUCHANAN: I have run WITH Roberts. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What does that mean?
MR. BUCHANAN: I was captain of a running team in the White House.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now Pat, look at this.
MR. BUCHANAN: Roberts was the anchor man.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We've dug out that photo. That's you standing there on the extreme left as we face the screen.
MR. BUCHANAN: Right.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quite a stripling you were.
MR. BUCHANAN: You've got to move to the right to see Roberts, I believe.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: On the extreme right as we face the screen.
MR. BUCHANAN: No, is that him, Tony, or is that you?
MR. BLANKLEY: It looks like him.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's he. That's he.
MR. BLANKLEY: No, it's not me. (Laughter.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now, what is that other jersey? What is that other jersey?
MR. BUCHANAN: The V Toes. We were Ronald Reagan's running team in the Capital Classic. And the young lady there is Joanie Benoit, the finest long distance runner in the world at that time, who paced us.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about your timing vis-a-vis Roberts?
MR. BUCHANAN: Roberts -- everybody on the team beat me, I think, except for one person. I'm not sure --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Was it Roberts?
MR. BUCHANAN: No, he beat me.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He beat you. All right.
Is Roe really settled? Judge John Roberts called Roe v. Wade settled law. But the Roe problem has not been fully bleached out for Judge Roberts. In '91, then-Deputy Solicitor General Roberts supported the so-called gag rule that barred federally funded MDs from notifying patients about abortion as an option. Also, in '92, Deputy Solicitor General Roberts argued before the Supreme Court as a "friend of the court" in support of Operation Rescue, a group that demonstrates at clinics where abortions are performed.
Do these positions reflect Roberts' own views? Tony Blankley?
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, any time a lawyer is representing a client, it represents the client's views. Whether it also represents the lawyer's view is an ambiguous question. Obviously, if you're a political appointee in a presidential administration, you generally agree with those views. Whether you agree with that particular view, one doesn't know.
But let me go quickly --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony, it is not ambiguous in the case of Roberts. He's already said, when he was seeking his own nomination and under oath, he said that he would resolve it on the basis of its judicial merits and he would not put it through the filter of ideology.
MR. BLANKLEY: I understand that. All I'm saying is settled law -- Plessy v. Ferguson, "separate but equal" in education, was settled law in 1953, the year before it was overturned by Brown v. Board of Education. There's no doubt that Roe v. Wade is settled law. It doesn't mean that it will inevitably stay that way forever.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that Bush dodged a bullet by appointing -- or nominating Judge Roberts?
MR. O'DONNELL: Oh, it was politically a brilliant appointment --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why? Why?
MR. O'DONNELL: -- because the conservatives are thrilled about it and --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are they?
MR. O'DONNELL: Yes. And liberals --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: There's one right over there; he's not completely thrilled.
MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)
MR. O'DONNELL: What you get from some conservatives is private comment about they're a little nervous about exactly where he is on Roe versus Wade. But liberals have the same thing. They're a little -- they're not sure where he is on Roe versus Wade. And that's exactly how to thread the needle here.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is he respected by Democrats?
MR. O'DONNELL: Of course he's very well respected. He may be disagreed with on certain opinions, but he's very well respected.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is he respected by Republicans?
MR. O'DONNELL: By everyone.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is there one thing that the president must avoid right now when he has a problem with Iraq, when his polls are down as far as trust by the American people is concerned, and by other situations; notably, Rove, Karl Rove and his involvement possibly in the putative scandal involving Valerie Plame's identity?
MR. O'DONNELL: Look, of course he's --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He can't afford a fight, can he? MR. O'DONNELL: You can never afford a fight over a Supreme Court nominee. You usually lose if there's a fight. And if you win, it's not a win worth having, like Clarence Thomas.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But he's not in any shape for a showdown now, the president, is he?
MR. BUCHANAN: John --
MS. CLIFT: This is --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So this was a brilliant move, was it not? And it was a wise move?
MR. O'DONNELL: That's right. But it would be at any time, though.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Besides being politically wise, was it also wise in its true meaning on every level?
MR. O'DONNELL: On every level, yes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Was it brilliant?
MR. O'DONNELL: It's as good as it gets.
MS. CLIFT: It was almost too good a choice because the Rove scandal was back on the front page the day after. (Laughs.) They could have used a little more controversy!
MR. O'DONNELL: It's non-controversial.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, but it's spinning itself out now, so by the time you get to the actual confirmation we would have heard it all, and therefore, the energy out of the issue would be drained.
Exit question: On a probability scale from zero to 10, how probable is it -- this is the scale now -- that Roberts will be confirmed by the Senate?
MR. BUCHANAN: As of today, it's a 10.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It's a 10?
MR. BUCHANAN: Today it is, yeah.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: I'm going to give it a 9, because if he's too evasive in his hearings, you do have 65 percent in polls that want Roe to be upheld. If he looks like he's really ducking the question, maybe there could be some public reaction that could hurt him. But otherwise --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you give it, a 9?
MS. CLIFT: -- I think he's a pretty -- he's a pretty sure thing.
MR. BLANKLEY: Nine-point-eight-seven.
MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And you?
MR. O'DONNELL: He will get at least 80 votes in the Senate.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eighty votes?
MR. O'DONNELL: At least 80.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So that sounds like you're giving it about a 10?
MR. O'DONNELL: That would be certain confirmation, yes, a 10.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's a 10.
I will go along with Lawrence; I'll give it a 10. With you, too, Pat. You ought to know the man; you know what he brings to the table.
Issue three: Roving target.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH (from videotape): "If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's President Bush's new standard to be applied to whether or not anyone leaking from his administration would stay on. The standard has been watered down since September 2003. Then the criterion was classified information leaked -- not always a crime.
PRESIDENT BUSH (from videotape): "I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it and we'll take the appropriate action."
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: President Bush has left himself room to maneuver in the case of Karl Rove, the president's key and some would say indispensable political adviser. Rove is accused of leaking the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame to Time reporter Matt Cooper and columnist Robert Novak.
This week, a July 2003 State Department memo surfaced dealing with Ambassador Joseph Wilson, husband of Valerie Plame, and his trip to Niger in Africa to examine prewar administration claims that Saddam Hussein was seeking yellow cake uranium for a nuclear bomb. The memo emphasized Plame's covert role -- marking her name with the letter "S" -- CIA code for covert. Rove claims he had not seen the memo before he spoke with Cooper and Novak.
Okay. Fitzgerald's moment of truth. Let's hear about Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor in the CIA leak investigation.
Age 44. Amherst College; Harvard Law. Assistant U.S. Attorney, New York -- 14 years. Mob boss John Gambino prosecuted; Sheikh Omah Abdel Rahman and 11 others, 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Also chief counsel and prosecution focused on the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Osama bin Laden; member of investigative team. Elevated to full U.S. attorney: Illinois, 2001. Then, CIA Rove-Plame leak case: special prosecutor, January 1, 2004.
Patrick Fitzgerald has a hot potato in his hands. If the circle of conspirators involves Scooter Libby -- Scooter Libby, that is -- Karl Rove and Colin Powell; these are all the president's men.
Everything that Fitzgerald knows, we don't know. But it can be said that on the basis of public knowledge, that the outing of Valerie Plame, U.S. CIA spy, far-reaches at least to the door of the Oval Office -- the airborne door; it goes right to the president's cabin on Air Force One, courtesy of Colin Powell.
Exit question. Will this alleged scandal measure up to the epic proportions of Watergate and Richard Milhouse Nixon, the idol of Patrick J. Buchanan? I ask you.
MR. O'DONNELL: It won't get as big as Watergate. You are not going to see the attorney general indicted. You're not going to see a lot of indictments. But I believe Fitzgerald will have an indictment in this case; it'll be a serious crime. And I believe there will be a conspiracy count in this indictment.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?
MR. BLANKLEY: I don't know what the facts are. But let me say that I think that there will be some staffers likely will be expendable; and the question will be the president's handling of it from here on out, and his credibility will be in his own hands, whether he makes the right or wrong judgments over the next (several months ?).
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Almost out of time. Eleanor?
MS. CLIFT: Yeah -- at least Richard Nixon fired some people on -- in the road to scandal. This president hasn't shown any appetite for accountability.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat? MR. BUCHANAN: The good news for the president is that the guy is pressing Judy Miller so hard, he may not have filled up the inside straight yet.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is, it's too close to call. We'll be right back with predictions.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions? Pat, very fast.
MR. BUCHANAN: The Chinese will lose UNOCAL; they will not get it.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?
MS. CLIFT: Judith Miller has already spent more time in jail than any of the other big players implicated in the Plame investigation will ever spend in jail.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?
MR. BLANKLEY: Senator Byrd of West Virginia will lose his reelection bid next year.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lawrence?
MR. O'DONNELL: Arnold Schwarzenegger, now exposed as the most corrupt sitting governor in the United States, will never win another election.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Lula Da Silva, Brazil's president, will become more deeply ensnared in Brazil's corruption scandal, leading to his loss of the presidency if he runs again next year.
END REGULAR SEGMENT
PBS SEGMENT FOLLOWS
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue four: NBA's nannies.
U.S. Army, yes. Pro basketball, forget about it; that's if you're 18. NBA Commissioner David Stern says if you're 18, you cannot play pro basketball. Two weeks ago, the NBA raised its minimum age for players to 19.
Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett -- all phenoms in their first year-- would have had their debuts postponed under the new rule. The president of the NBA Players Union challenged the new rule: "I can't understand why people think one is needed, except for the fact that the NBA is viewed as predominantly black."
Indiana Pacers' star forward Jermaine O'Neal was drafted by the NBA when he was 17. When he heard about the new rule, O'Neal was vexed: "As a black guy, you kind of think race is the reason why it's coming up. You don't hear about it in baseball or hockey. It's unconstitutional. If I can go to the U.S. Army and fight the war at 18, why can't I play basketball?"
Do you think it's okay for the Department of Defense to recruit 18-year-olds just out of high school, but the NBA forbids it?
MR. BUCHANAN: I think it's absurd. Look, John, we've got all kinds of child movie stars. Tony Blankley being one of them.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Laughs.)
MR. BUCHANAN: Shirley Temple being another one. You've got LeAnn Rimes a singer, you've got Brenda Lee, as kids making millions of dollars. These kids have got to --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah.
MR. BUCHANAN: -- from 18 to 30 is all the time they've got. They ought to let them play ball. You know Michael Jackson --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hey, Tony, are you still getting residuals from those acting roles? (Laughter.)
MR. BLANKLEY: No, they stopped in about 1968. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you make a buck?
MR. BLANKLEY: I made a few bucks.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is race part of this rule?
MR. O'DONNELL: No. Crime is the biggest factor. And if these kids are immature, they're not ready for the millions of dollars they get. These are people getting over $10 million a year who have no ability to handle it. Kobe Bryant should have been kept out of the NBA for a few more years so that he could gain a little bit more maturity so that he could stay out of courtrooms.
MS. CLIFT: Yeah.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about -- do you think that by keeping them out for a year that this maturity is going to roll right in at the end of 12 months?
MR. O'DONNELL: No, I don't. But I think we are running a gigantic risk by sending them in there so early with no preparation --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So early? It's only 12 months early.
MR. O'DONNELL: -- for how to handle the fame and the money.
MS. CLIFT: Look, the high schoolers don't behave any worse than the older people. I don't think that's it. This isn't about the tiny number of people who make it into the NBA at age 18. It's to send a message to all those other kids, primarily a lot of inner-city kids, that, please, stay in school; get your high school diploma; get your body into college because the chances are you're probably not going to be Kobe Bryant. And so I think it's a very healthy, mature rule by the NBA.
MR. BUCHANAN: John? Michael Jackson --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think O'Donnell's opinion fosters infantilism? In other words, it doesn't --
MR. BUCHANAN: I think it's ridiculous.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It doesn't let them measure up.
MR. BUCHANAN: Michael Jackson was making millions of dollars at 6 years old, and it didn't hurt him. (Laughs.)
MR. O'DONNELL: There's a great example of what child stardom does for you and what massive child wealth does for you -- perfect example. (Laughter.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You don't think --
MR. O'DONNELL: My case is closed.