This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 17, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Governor Sarah Palin is making waves this week and that's probably why she landed on the cover of Newsweek magazine, but now that magazine cover itself is stirring up controversy. Some are calling it sexist for the way that it depicts Palin. And take a look at the governor's reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS: Have you seen the cover of Newsweek? It's a picture of you in shorts from a photograph that was taken for a Runner's World magazine. So how do you feel about they're showing you like that on the cover?
SARAH PALIN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think that it's so cheesy. Had I known then that a picture of me in shorts would end up on the cover of Newsweek I would not have allowed Runner's World to profile me.
I think that that — for me, personally, it's a wee bit degrading. Newsweek should be more — more policy oriented, more substance oriented than showing some gal in shorts on the cover.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Not only that, but Runner's World shot the image featured by Newsweek and used it for a specific purpose to feature well-known runners and promote health and fitness among its readers. Now the magazine is now going out of its way to make clear that it did not provide Newsweek with this image.
And in an editorial note, Runner's World writes, quote, "Runner's World did not provide Newsweek with the image. Instead, it was provided to Newsweek by the photographer's stock agency without Runner's World knowledge or permission."
So I wonder if it's standard practice for Newsweek to swipe images that have appeared on other magazines or if they only do that when they think it will make Governor Palin look bad.
Joining me with reaction to all of this is former White House press secretary Dana Perino and from the Fox Business Network Stuart Varney.
• Video: Watch Sean's interview
Governor Palin is actually now — and I'll ask her about this tomorrow night when she's on the program. She said the out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh so expected by now. Do you think it's sexist?
DANA PERINO, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think it's worse than sexist. I think it is demeaning and degrading and Newsweek knew exactly what it was doing. They made sexuality a part of her performance. And this is something that if it had happened to someone on the left, the feminist organizations would be screaming about.
And the other thing is that the editor of Newsweek said that they chose a cover that was most interesting. One that was available to them to illustrate the theme of the cover, and that they apply the same test of photographs of any public figure.
PERINO: OK, so how would they have depicted John Edwards? I'd love to see that photograph.
HANNITY: Yes, where is it? That's such a great point.
STUART VARNEY, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: I'll go a little further. I think it was deliberately demeaning. Explicit and deliberately demeaning. The left can't tolerate a woman like Sarah Palin. She's the mother of five. She's the willing and loving mother of a down syndrome child.