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Hannity

Elisabeth Hasselbeck Sounds Off on Mainstream Media's Treatment of Palin

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 19, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin continues to be the talk of the political world thanks to her best-selling brand-new book, "Going Rogue." After leaving Michigan yesterday she headed off to Indiana for some appearances and will close out what has been a whirlwind first week of her book tour in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Well, last night she was on "Hannity" for her very first cable interview about her brand-new book. And in case you missed it, here are some highlights.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, "GOING ROGUE" AUTHOR: When they found out that Bristol, when she was 17 and she was pregnant, the McCain operatives from the campaign had done their homework. They knew all about us. They knew what they were getting when they chose me.

We're watching for the president to show that still spine that Reagan had so exemplified. And to show that still spine and say, you know what, we're going to do all that we can to win in Afghanistan. We cannot afford to lose.

I'm going to get clobbered tomorrow morning. The liberals, their heads are just going to be spinning. They're going to say she is radical, she is extreme. But I say profiling in the context of doing whatever we can to save innocent American lives, I'm all for it, then.

There are a lot of causes out there that I want to help with. Don't know if necessarily that means running for a higher office, but, you know, my life is in God's hands and I'm seeking that path that he would have me on.

HANNITY: You're not thinking about it now but you're not ruling it out now.

PALIN: Not ruling it out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, now we covered a wide range of topics, and for once, the governor was allowed to say what was on her mind. But as expected, her brand-new book has drawn fire from the left as well as the mainstream, or what she calls the lamestream media.

Newsweek magazine was among the first to take a shot at the former vice presidential candidate with this blatantly sexist cover. Then came the revelation that the Associated Press had tasked 11 reporters to fact-check her book.

Now by contrast, FoxNews.com says the AP did not bother either checking either one of Barack Obama's books. So what is behind this double standard? Well, my next guest is somebody who knows a great deal about the media and has even spent time with Governor Sarah Palin on the campaign trail. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELISABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW", OCT. 26, 2008: When I was asked to come out here to all of you and introduce the governor today, I was, of course, incredibly honored. But let's be honest. I was really excited just to be able to talk for five minutes without getting interrupted.

And let me tell you this — when it gets hot in the kitchen, the governor may be from Alaska, but she can take the heat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: And we're now happy to be joined by the author of "The G Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide." She is the Emmy Award-winning host of ABC's "The View," the one and only, Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

Video: Watch Sean's interview

Great to see you again. Welcome back.

HASSELBECK: Nice to see you, too, Sean, thanks for having me.

HANNITY: I love the show. I watch it all the time. I love the show.

HASSELBECK: Well, we love you.

HANNITY: Well, not everybody on the — Joy doesn't love me.

HASSELBECK: She does in her own special way.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: Look, at least it's a Rosie-free zone.

HASSELBECK: Sean, you 're so bad.

HANNITY: I know. I'm kidding.

HASSELBECK: You're bad. But indeed, it is.

HANNITY: Let's start with Governor Palin. You said you watched the interview last night.

HASSELBECK: I did.

HANNITY: OK.

HASSELBECK: You did a great job with her.

HANNITY: I was with you at that speech that you gave in Tampa for her.

HASSELBECK: Yes.

HANNITY: She's a huge success.

HASSELBECK: She is.

HANNITY: When the book was announced, it was an instant mega huge bestseller. She's TV ratings gold. Why is she so popular?

HASSELBECK: I think a great amount of American people relate to her. I think that she does speak her mind, especially now. We're seeing her more than we ever did before. You know, and in part, due to her handling, I think, during the campaign.

You know, I got an up-close look at what actually happened there that day that we were together. I got the to ride on the bus with her between Tampa and Kissimmee, and I got to see, right after I introduced her, you know, she went rogue there and discussed her wardrobe.

And she mentioned the pin that I brought up in the speech. And I saw the immediate panic around the campaign, and I saw cell phones go up. And all I kept hearing was "off script." And I saw relief on her face and I saw panic on theirs. And I think there was a disconnect there in terms of what the goal was.

And I think America wanted to hear her, and there was a bit of protective nature there. Now —

HANNITY: I was there, and she writes about that in the book, that she decided to say, I got these clothes from a consignment shop.

HASSELBECK: Yes.

HANNITY: Why would that be off script? I don't get it.

HASSELBECK: I don't know, especially when it connects with most Americans. You know, I want to also touch on the Newsweek cover that you mentioned just a few minutes ago. And when I saw that, I was infuriated, as most women should be. It is, as you said, blatantly sexist.

And I'm not going to go and be a cry-baby about it, but let's be fair. Where NOW is the National Organization for Women? Where are they? Where are they when a conservative woman is being reduced to that sort of cover when it comes to politics?

They have said nothing, Sean. Absolutely nothing. Apparently they only want to represent women when they're liberals. And I find that to be problematic. And maybe tomorrow there'll have something on their Web site.

HANNITY: I agree with you on your analysis and Governor Palin thinks it's sexist, because I asked her last night. Here's the question then. Because you're a conservative woman. You come under fire.

Why are conservative women, generally speaking, bigger targets than liberal women?

HASSELBECK: Well, I think that obviously that the liberal media is out there and alive and in full effect in terms of defending them. The conservative women, for some reason, they come under fire, Sean, I think, because they are OK with having kids and a family and those priorities that sometimes I think there's that idea out there that you cannot have a career and a family.

You can't do it all and you can't represent a certain value system that may disagree with theirs. They're a protected breed, liberal women, but conservative women are not.

HANNITY: A protected breed.

HASSELBECK: They're becoming extinct.

HANNITY: But doesn't it say so much about her? Doesn't it really, though, come down to one or two issues — you're pro-life, Governor Palin is pro-life.

HASSELBECK: I am. Sure.

HANNITY: Issues the Second Amendment. Seems to come down to a really basic litmus test whether the women's groups will support you or not.

HASSELBECK: It's amazing, too, you know, you look at Governor Palin and you see her carrying Trigg. Yet she's the enemy. She chose to have a baby knowing full well he had Down syndrome. Chose to have him, and yet, let's destroy her. It just makes —

HANNITY: And live by her own standard.

HASSELBECK: It makes no sense. And then you look at her book and people — we know — not even having read it, and I haven't gotten through it myself having, you know, the kids and a few jobs, but it doesn't seem to be the type of book that she's firing back at people trying to even the score.

But let's imagine that it was that type of book. Did you get the memo on what we're allowed to write about? She should be able to go after anybody she wants to. The 350-odd pages of her book are nothing compared to the slander.

HANNITY: I've read it cover to cover.

HASSELBECK: … that she's faced in the media.

HANNITY: I would agree with that. And I did ask her about that. The hardest attacks, obviously, were on her family. I mean, David Letterman — I know you guys talked about it on "The View." And you know, look at what we also pointed out, the AP. Eleven fact-checkers for Governor Palin. Zero for Barack Obama.

HASSELBECK: Right. And we know this now, we know this now. And we know what we're dealing with. I think that it's going t o be an uphill battle in some ways for conservatives to have, you know, fair representation in the media, thankfully for — you know, places like this, there is at least a forum that's fair.

HANNITY: Yes. What do you — do you think part of it is you have this elite mentality, not just in the media, but maybe in New York, in Hollywood and Los Angeles, you know, she tells a story — and I asked her about it, the first question last night.

She tells a story she'd go hunting for moose with her dad before school. Her dad hands her warm moose eyes. And maybe they can't identify with that rugged, more independent lifestyle, and they — sort of a disdain there for middle America, true?

HASSELBECK: Well, from middle America? No. For middle America.

HANNITY: That's what I meant, for.

HASSELBECK: Absolutely. I think that, you know, sometimes — I think there's a question in many people's minds, do you want somebody to be your leader who's like you or who you want to be like? And I think that — you know, that battle comes up as it did in the election.

You know I'm just surprised that given all the background and education that President Barack Obama has had, he seems to have trouble making decisions.

HANNITY: Still no decision on Afghanistan.

HASSELBECK: No. And none.

HANNITY: None.

HASSELBECK: And lives are at stake. You know, I think that sometimes it doesn't take a Harvard education to make a good choice.

HANNITY: And she's got principles. Maybe I'm putting you on the spot.

HASSELBECK: Oh, gosh.

HANNITY: Would she be your first choice for 2012 for the Republicans?

HASSELBECK: You know I really can't.

HANNITY: Or one of your top ones?

HASSELBECK: I think she'd battle. I think she'd get in there. You know I have trouble getting behind someone right now. I do support her, and I think she's obviously someone to be feared. But she's not in current office right now. She's not running for anything.

She's touring a book, yet people are still so afraid of her, and I think they know that if she's the person on the ticket or she's behind the person on the ticket, that there is a force to be reckoned with there.

HANNITY: All right. I thought during the campaign — when we come back, you're going to stay another segment with us.

HASSELBECK: Sure.

HANNITY: You had an opportunity to ask Barack Obama one of the toughest questions he got in the campaign and we discussed it with her last night, so we'll come back and we'll also ask you about this mammogram issue involving women in the health care bill and the government.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And we continue now with Elisabeth Hasselbeck from "The View," also the author of the "G Free Diet: A Gluten Free Survival Diet."

By the way, two very close friends of mine say your book changed and saved their life.

HASSELBECK: Well, that makes me happy. That's who I wrote it for. Just — you know, I went through too many years of not knowing what was wrong, not knowing how to navigate living gluten-free. And now, you know, if I can help one or two people, I'm happy.

HANNITY: And now you're preparing to run for a marathon we were talking off air.

HASSELBECK: Yes.

HANNITY: All right. How do you feel — I love watching your show, and I love the different viewpoints. And it gets heated at times.

HASSELBECK: Yes.

HANNITY: Which makes the show interesting. How do you feel about Barack Obama? Do you think he's a socialist? Do you think he's a radical?

HASSELBECK: You know, I think he ran as someone middle of the road. Right? But what we're seeing are some what I think to be near extremist, lack of decision, I should say.

You know, take for instance, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed getting a civilian trial here in New York City. The irony that we now are having this rock star KSM on the biggest Broadway stage of the world to, what, re-enact and drop all that happened on 9/11?

Wow, what a chance for Al Qaeda to come in — I mean, they should start selling tickets now. This is going to be a circus, an absolute circus, and no illegal combatant deserves a civilian trial and I cannot believe the decision that's been made.

HANNITY: That, and they stopped the investigation into Fort Hood, which I can't believe. But you're right about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Think about this. We will pass on intelligence information to him and his defense team.

HASSELBECK: Of course.

HANNITY: When he already admitted guilt and was willing to get the death penalty.

HASSELBECK: Speaking of defense, Sean, who's going to be the defender here? Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. He's going to then be, poor guy, what, they chucked some water on him. And then we have the Bush administration going to be the real defendant. Let's not kid ourselves here.

HANNITY: You will get into as much trouble as me about chucking water.

HASSELBECK: I will. I'm sure. I'm sure I will.

HANNITY: I'm glad we waterboarded him. It's — it kept people safe.

HASSELBECK: You know, we are going to be — we're going to enter into a very, very dangerous arena when he's here for that civilian trial. I was sick to my stomach when I heard it. Just — and then going into Fort Hood — you know what's interesting to me? Did you see the photo when they had the service for those that were killed at Fort Hood?

And they had the inverted rifle into the boot of the soldiers with the helmet on there. That, to me, said that was an act of war, OK? That is a traditional symbol for a soldier killed in action, right? But yet, the words that the president chose said this was not a terrorist.

They're afraid to say terror. Just say it with me, terror. Say it.

HANNITY: Yes. You and I are on the same page.

HASSELBECK: It's infuriating.

HANNITY: They don't use the term war on terrorism. It is a man-caused disaster. Now if this is not a terrorist act and we won't identify it, then we went back to pre-9/11, because the 9/11 Commission report said they were at war with us, we were not at war with them.

HASSELBECK: But you see in a way, too, the words are not matching the action. You know? There's.

HANNITY: I agree.

HASSELBECK: ... distance there and that concerns me, because I believe that two messages at the same time are being — attempted to be sent out and you can't do that. You need to have one.

HANNITY: One of the things I wanted to bring up, you had a chance to ask Barack Obama, I think, the hardest question during the entire campaign and it was about Reverend Wright. And last night when I had an opportunity to interview Governor Palin, she agreed that it was almost unfair to the American people was her answer, that we didn't give them the chance to fully vet the Ayers relationship, the Pfleger relationship, the Wright relationship.

HASSELBECK: Well, you did.

HANNITY: Well, I did. You did. You got to ask him. Do you think that revealed a lot of who the president really is, that we're seeing it now more and people are waking up to that fact?

HASSELBECK: I think people will have a retrospective lens on this president from this point forward. Of course, it affects someone being in his pastor's present or 20 years. Of course, you and I both know that. But this was something that the American people did refuse to take a good look at for whatever reason.

And, you know, I only think that will be able to look back in time and see if it truly did affect him. I'm going to pray not. You know, we also have to look at this man as, you know, we're not going to be blind followers, but he is the president of the United States of America, we need to question what he's doing, but I'm trying to give him a good shot and hope that that didn't impact him.

HANNITY: Yes. I think we've given him a good shot.

You know, you reach a lot of women on "The View." You have a huge audience out there. And by the way, congrats on the Emmy Award. All right?

HASSELBECK: Thanks. Thank you.

HANNITY: Families are in trouble.

HASSELBECK: Yes .

HANNITY: Unemployment, if you really add it up, it's closer to 17 percent. When you.

HASSELBECK: Fourteen percent in my home state, I believe.

HANNITY: It's frightening. Women look up to you, they reach out to you. What do you say to people, my husband lost a job, I lost a job, debt is through the roof, we're passing it on to our kids and grandkids. How do you feel about that aspect of the Obama?

HASSELBECK: You know, I have this fear in the back of my mind, and quite possibly it could be because I'm up all night with, you know, feedings of a baby and I have time to think about things beyond the normal time frame necessary, but you know, I have a feeling that are they letting things get so bad that then we are begging for the government to help us out?

HANNITY: Well, the government has taken over everything already.

HASSELBECK: Of course, they want to. And if things get so bad that no one else can help us, the American people are going to be forced to open.

HANNITY: Accept that, their answers.

HASSELBECK: Of course. What else is going to be there?

HANNITY: So people would call you and I conspiracy theorists, but I agree with you. I think you're right.

HASSELBECK: You know, it's just a concern, just a concern of a mom.

HANNITY: Well, we love having you.

HASSELBECK: Thanks, Sean.

HANNITY: Elisabeth, congratulations again on the baby.

HASSELBECK: Thank you.

HANNITY: Thanks for being here.

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

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