Does Perception Trump Reality for Obama White House?

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," September 15, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: So Jobless claim are climbing, Iran is flexing its pecs, Egypt looks scary, and poverty is higher than Beckel's blood pressure. What is the Obama administration focused on? Banning electronic cigarettes on flights. E-cigs, which delivering nicotine in vapor form, my favorite kind, help handle addiction and ritual of smoking. You can hold it in your hand and puff away without nasty chemicals from smokes.

But who cares? The administration hates them. And the ban would, to quote Ray LaHood, the transportation secretary, "reduce any confusion surrounding the use of them in flight," meaning if you ban them, confusion over whether they're banned or not goes away.

So welcome to the Obama age, all issues are weighted equally and proportion and priority are replaced with illusion of concern. It's not just smoking that is evil but the perception of smoking. The E-Cigarette Association which reps 25 companies claim there are five ingredients in the smokes, nicotine, water, coriander, citric acid, and flagrant orchard elements. Basically it's like potpourri but fun.


What do I know, for I'm an evil smoker, so that makes me worse than murderers, muggers, and yes, even than Republicans. But I swear I'll quit before it stunts my growth. Andrea, does this make sense.

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: First of all, no one likes a quitter. Does this make sense if I'm doing this on a plane? Should I get in trouble?

GUTFELD: It's seductive, I'll give you that.

TANTAROS: But it's same thing, you're not smoking. What is next? Candy cigarettes, pencils? Simulating smoking?

GUTFELD: What is behind this?

MONICA CROWLEY, CO-HOST: The whole ban on airplane is to put a prohibition on the smoke. We had second-hand smoke data and people were getting annoyed, the nonsmokers say I have to breathe this stuff on an 18-hour flight to Bora Bora. It's killing me. That was the original reason. So if the e-Cigs aren't throwing carcinogen or smoke, what is the problem?



BECKEL: If you're sorry, I'm sorry. A lot of people have difficulty flying. I can imagine if you take these away from people they'll hit the ground, go outside and buy some real smokes. That is my problem with it. You see people that use them and they are generally fearful flyers. So it's crazy.

GUTFELD: And it would reduce the case of air rage or people freaking out up there or have to take the drugs or get drunk because of the nerves.

BOLLING: How come I can't use a blackberry on an airplane?

BECKEL: I asked Andrea's brother this. He's a pilot.

BOLLING: How come on some planes I can use them and others I can't.

TANTAROS: My brother is a pilot and you asked him that.

BECKEL: If too many people use is it does interrupt. If by yourself on your G-5, for example, then you can use it all you want.

Are you moving on?

GUTFELD: You want -- Bob wants me to move on.

BECKEL: This was a pretty dull subject anyway.

TANTAROS: I thought the administration wanted people to get healthier, and now they're making it harder.

BECKEL: OK, fine, let's get off of this.

GUTFELD: All right, I want to go to bob's favorite topic. Civil liberties group are suing a southwest Virginia school board for posting the 10 Commandments because it violates guarantee the constitution of separation of church and state. It's school board in district court of Roanoke.

BECKEL: You really have traveled outside of Manhattan a lot.

GUTFELD: How do you say it?

CROWLEY: Roanoke.

BECKEL: I know you expect a liberal to back this up. I know because my faith overcomes this. But here's the truth, the United States constitution says Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of the religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. This is not establishing a religion. This does not prohibit the free exercise.

It does, excuse me, it does make -- does not let you exercise your constitutional right. Go to Bloomberg, not a lot of people ministers, down at 9/11. I don't get it. We've used this over and over again, the separation of church and state. Congress said no law respecting the establishment of religion.

TANTAROS: They're trying to avoid a church of America, something like that. Or you have to be this type of certain religion at a school to be member of the cheerleading squad. The First Amendment was designed to be a shield to protect all religions. Now it's a sword. And it's trying to push to us secularism.

BECKEL: When I was a kid I played baby Jesus in nativity scene.

CROWLEY: That was a stretch, Bob.

BECKEL: It broke the manger.


CROWLEY: How old were you?

BECKEL: I was about five. The point was the town square and --

TANTAROS: You were the baby at five years old?


CROWLEY: A big baby!

GUTFELD: He still dresses like that sometimes on weekends.

BECKEL: It busted, and then we got sued by the ACLU. I busted my hump --

GUTFELD: Your people.

BECKEL: Don't say "your people."

GUTFELD: I have to take a break. We have to take a break, rather.

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