Sign in to comment!

Hannity

Rev. Sharpton on Letterman Controversy

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 15, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The fire David Letterman movement is growing. Outraged citizens are now calling for the late-night talk show host to get booted off the air for his remarks that he made last week about Alaska governor Sarah Palin's teenage daughter and about the governor herself.

Now protesters will gather outside of Mr. Letterman's CBS studio tomorrow and make themselves heard. And there is a late breaking development in this story tonight. The New York Times is reporting that Dave once again tried to apologize to the governor and her daughters on the show that was taped just a short time ago. It will air tonight.

And joining me now to discuss all this — by the way, no stranger to protest, the Reverend Al Sharpton.

Last time you had a protest — you lost a lot of weight in jail.

REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: Well, I was fasting.

Video: Watch Sean's interview

HANNITY: Fasting? Well, you were eating soup. I got the...

SHARPTON: I was asked to 40 days of fast.

HANNITY: Look, this is a serious issue. Slutty flight attendant look about Governor Palin. You know you got into the Don Imus controversy over the nappy headed ho comment. OK? Said she had a slutty flight attendant look. And he talks about A-Rod knocking up his teenage daughter, the daughter he brought to — she brought to the game. The governor brought to the game was 14 years old.

SHARPTON: Well, first of all, I don't think anyone defends what Letterman said, including Letterman. Letterman has said it was wrong. It was a very despicable way of talking about anybody. But for you to compare that to Imus. What Imus said didn't insult an individual, he insulted a race and he insulted a gender.

And you can't...

HANNITY: Letterman is not insulting a gender when he says a slutty flight attendant look?

SHARPTON: Well, I mean you.

HANNITY: That's not insulting to women?

SHARPTON: I think that that could be offensive to the person he directed it to.

HANNITY: How about flight attendants?

SHARPTON: What...

HANNITY: How about women in general?

SHARPTON: I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm disagreeing your comparison. Imus said something that offended a race and a whole gender. He wasn't talking about the individual girl.

HANNITY: Let me give you.

SHARPTON: As individuals. And you are the one that said that Imus shouldn't be fired. So I'm sure you.

HANNITY: No, no, I'm not.

SHARPTON: You would be out there protesting the protesters.

HANNITY: There's one difference. Don Imus apologized the day after. Now Letterman joked about — he had a joking apology. And I didn't see tonight's apology. I want to take a look at it. I'm not saying that he should be fired, Reverend Al. That's not the issue here. What I am saying is after Don Imus was fired — well, first of all, he went into your studio and you beat him up pretty bad and he apologized profusely.

SHARPTON: I would beat Letterman pretty bad. And if Letterman had said — I had a civil rights organization, National Action Network. If Letterman had something against a race of people, if Letterman had said something against a gender of people that's a civil rights issue.

HANNITY: A slutty flight attendant? What if I called you a slutty flight attendant or somebody in your family a slutty flight attendant?

SHARPTON: People have probably called me worse than that.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: You've called me worse than that.

SHARPTON: On your show. Yes. Because that's an individual. And I think that Mrs. Palin and her daughters as individuals have more than enough reason to be offended and should take whatever actions they think is necessary. But you can't make that a civil rights issue.

HANNITY: Let me give you another example. Carrie Prejean, Miss California, was called by this guy Perez Hilton, you know, the A word, B word, C word.

SHARPTON: And we said very strongly we disagreed with what.

HANNITY: You came out.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

HANNITY: What is — why haven't you gone out as strongly as you did against Don Imus? That's the question.

SHARPTON: Because there is no — who is Mr. Letterman offending as a group?

HANNITY: I'll tell you.

SHARPTON: And who is he referring to as a group?

HANNITY: Women. Women. You don't think a slutty.

SHARPTON: To say that these are hoes, nappy headed hoes.

HANNITY: Right.

SHARPTON: Has clear racial implications and clear implications about their gender. You're talking about a group of women.

HANNITY: But the difference is.

SHARPTON: You're talking about his opinion of a woman.

HANNITY: Let me say what.

SHARPTON: And grotesque as it was you can't make that agenda itself.

HANNITY: All right. Don Imus will be the first to tell you, because I've interviewed him, that what he said was wrong, over the line.

SHARPTON: Right.

HANNITY: It was unfair. Even after he was fired — first of all he apologized the next day, and he was sincere. I don't think Letterman was sincere in his first apology. That's the difference, number one. Difference number two, he went and he met with you.

Difference number three, after he was fired from everything, he still went and met with the girls from the basketball team, and I think rightly so, looked them in the eye and said, "I was wrong. I was stupid. I apologize."

And he's been on the air over a year and he — you even said he's lived up to the promise that he made.

SHARPTON: So far. And when went back on air, you didn't see any other protesters there because he had been fired for eight months and he paid for his deed.

HANNITY: Yes.

SHARPTON: And he offended more than those girls. He offended everyone that had the racial and gender stereotypes.

HANNITY: So is race more important than gender?

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: No, it's not a race or gender, it's either one of them would be a violation of someone's civil rights. But I think that — if this was directed, and what Imus said, Don Imus had offended Gwen Ifill, before that but it was an individual attack, you're not talking about an individual attack with the Rutgers team.

HANNITY: For you it has to be against a group. And for example — let me give you an example. Playboy had a list, and this is as about as gross and despicable as it gets, a list of conservative women that they would hate and then the blank word.

Really advocating violence towards women and misogyny in just — in a horrible way. Have you heard about it?

SHARPTON: Yes. You had...

HANNITY: Have you ever commented on it?

SHARPTON: ... a guest that had written a book called the — 100 people that's ruining America. It has all of our pictures on the cover.

HANNITY: Were you on it?

SHARPTON: Yes. Would that be racist? He has the right to have that opinion.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Was it just one race of people?

SHARPTON: It was not one race, but it was all Democrats. Should we say that he's therefore calling for our lives? People have the right to say what they want.

HANNITY: Barack Obama.

SHARPTON: ... as ugly as it is against individual people.

HANNITY: Barack Obama said to one guy at a town hall meeting, "I'm going to send Mr. Burgess over here, over to FOX News, to tear up Sean Hannity." Was that a verbal threat against me, a physical threat against me?

SHARPTON: No, absolutely not.

(LAUGHTER)

And I'm sure all of the very off-color pointed things you say against the president, you're not trying to threaten him?

HANNITY: I'm just telling the truth — no, of course not. I have political disagreements. I don't know — I think his daughters are lovely. I don't have anything against him personally. But I think he's ruining this country's economy and he's weakening our national defenses.

SHARPTON: Well, I certainly...

HANNITY: I'm allowed to say that.

SHARPTON: I totally disagree. Of course you're allowed to say that.

HANNITY: All right, last question. You've met and you've spent a lot of time with the president. How do you...

SHARPTON: I've spent — meeting with him.

HANNITY: Yes.

SHARPTON: Which Newt Gingrich was there for. A very balanced meeting.

HANNITY: Yes.

SHARPTON: Very, very concerned about education. Trying to pull all sides together in education and we're going to work with Secretary Duncan from the conservative to the — what you would call the left. Try to deal with education and quality on this country. That's a serious issue.

HANNITY: You and I agree on this. If we get — I think every parent should have a choice in education. Competition in education. Just like competition in health care. You agree with that?

SHARPTON: We agree to a degree. I agree that there must have competition. I do not agree with the privatization of education.

HANNITY: All right, Reverent Al, thank you for being with us.

SHARPTON: Thank you.

HANNITY: Appreciate it.

Watch "Hannity" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!

Content and Programming Copyright 2009 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2009 CQ Transcriptions, LLC, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and CQ Transcriptions, LLC's copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.