MSNBC's Gov. Jindal Gaffe: 'Media Malpractice' at Work?

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," February 25, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: TV anchors, watch out for those hot microphones. Last night, after President Obama's address to congress, Republican Governor Bobby Jindal gave a rebuttal to the president's speech.

Just as the governor was about to utter his first word of his rebuttal, MSNBC's Chris Matthews took a jab at the governor when he thought no one was listening.


KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC HOST: Governor Jindal of Louisiana is set to deliver the Republican response to President Obama. It is entitled "Americans can do anything." Here is Governor Jindal.

MATTHEWS: Oh, my God.


VAN SUSTEREN: Matthews had an explanation on his program tonight for that "Oh, my God."


CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Governor Bobby Jindal walking from somewhere in the back of this narrow hall, this winding staircase looming there, the odd, antebellum look of the scene.

Some people heard my reaction at the time. What was the message of all this? Was this some mimicking of a president walking along the state floor to the East Room?

At the same time that the Republicans are so far from Washington, they can't be blamed for anything?


VAN SUSTEREN: Well, our next guest would say this is nothing new for MSNBC. Filmmaker John Ziegler just released a documentary about his claim the media was biased in favor of then Senator Obama during the campaign for the White House.

The film also tries to expose what Ziegler calls the media's "blatant slamming of Governor Sarah Palin." Ziegler talked to Governor Palin about her infamous interviews with Katie Couric during the campaign.


ZIEGLER: With regard to the Katie Couric interview in general, how did you feel about it when it finished? Did you feel as if it had gone well, not well?

GOV. SARAH PALIN, (R-AK) FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, I knew it didn't go well the first day. And then we gave her a couple of other segments after that.

And my question to the campaign was, after it didn't go well the first day, why were we going to go back for more? And however it works in that upper echelon of power brokering in the media and with spokespersons, it was told to me that, yes, we are going to go back for more.

And going back for more was not a wise decision either. There were questions then that second day of questioning from Katie regarding the abortion issue. And I told her once on the record that I am pro-life, and I would choose life, and I would counsel my daughter to choose life, and we live in a pretty messed up world right now.

To me the finest, most promising, most awesome ingredient in this world right is a child. And that is my personal opinion.

And, obviously, she did not like an answer, and she asked the question again about abortion, "Well, what if," and then some hypothetical she throw out-what if these situations occurred.

And I said, "I'll tell you again. I'm pro-life. You know my position on this. I do not want to argue with you, Katie, because you are not going to change my mind, I am not going to change your mind."

And then not taking that as an, but following it up again --"No, you're not answering my question, Governor. Let me ask it again. I do not want to bug you about it."

And finally I told her, "Well, you kind of are bugging me about it, because I've answered the question how many times, now?"

And there was some great annoyance in a couple of the segments after that also.


VAN SUSTEREN: Filmmaker John Ziegler joins live. His new film is called "Media Malpractice: How Obama Got elected and Palin Was Targeted."

And thank you. I have got one of the first copies.

JOHN ZIEGLER, "MEDIA MALPRACTICE": That is virtually the first copy, just out today.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you very much. I will watch it.

Of course, it also has a full interview with the governor in it.

ZIEGLER: The entire 43-minute interview has a lot of very interesting stuff that the rest of the media, surprisingly, has completely ignored. You have done an amazing job on this story from day one, but people really need to watch the entire Palin interview on the DVD.

VAN SUSTEREN: Tell us about it, how President Obama got elected, and you say that Governor Palin got the short end of the stick on this from the media.

ZIEGLER: The film I'm doing, "Media Malpractice" goes the narrative of the entire campaign through the prism of how the media impacted events.

Watch Greta's interview

The first 35 minutes or so was on the primaries, which, in the Democratic primary, I think Hillary Clinton supporters have as much reason to be upset as anybody in this campaign with the possible exception of supporters of Sarah Palin, because it was absolutely outrageous what the media did there.

And we provide a context that I do not think anybody else has been able to put together yet, because you cannot do it in any other form but a documentary.

And then the second half of the film goes directly into many of the misconceptions that were created by the media coverage of Sarah Palin to try to destroy her credibility with independent voters that gave the McCain-Palin team that lead after her spectacular convention speech.

And I think people will be astonished when they see it all in its full context that it's far worse than they ever imagined.

A lot of people felt this was the way the media coverage was, but when you see this, it is way worse than you can ever imagine, and it is important that we prove it, and I have dedicated my life to proving it, and I think we have.

VAN SUSTEREN: Let me go the first part with Secretary of State now Clinton, and now President Obama. I take it that you think the media picked him over her. And if so, why would they pick President Obama over then-Senator Clinton?

ZIEGLER: Here's the short version of that, Greta. Basically, we have John King from CNN acknowledging this on camera. He thought that Senator Clinton was going to win.

So what was the point in vetting Barack Obama? Let's let this guy have a free pass. He will be a good guy in the future. Maybe we'll create some faux drama, always good for ratings. And Senator Clinton will win, and maybe Barack Obama will be the vice-presidential nominee.

But then as they realized, "My gosh, we might actually be able to get away with this," and they say the ratings that Barack Obama was giving them, plus you add race into the picture, it's a toxic mix that turned into a steamroller over the Hillary Clinton campaign, which actually made an incredible comeback in the second half of the primaries. But the news media had already decided they were dumping the Clintons for their newer, younger, hotter love, Barack Obama.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you find-I always thought it was surprising. I thought more women would rally for Senator Clinton and more women would rally for Governor Palin -- not agreeing with their policy, but at least not taking a personal shot.

ZIEGLER: You know, Greta, women are often much tougher on women --

VAN SUSTEREN: We're terrible.

ZIEGLER: Right, on women--especially attractive women like Sarah Palin, who has five children, happily married, kills her own food, highly successful. This is very, very threatening to a lot of women. Secure women love Sarah Palin. But a lot of women who aren't necessarily so secure feel very threatened by her and loved to see her brought to size. And that's why the ratings were so good for negative Sarah Palin stories. And that fed on itself into this negative media phenomenon I call "media malpractice."

VAN SUSTEREN: You actually met Governor Palin. What did you think of her before you met her?

ZIEGLER: You know her even better than I do. I met her one time for a couple of hours at her home.

And what I always tell people, Greta, is the biggest surprise about Governor Palin and the Palin family is there is no surprise. They're exactly that you would hope them to be-incredibly gracious.

One of the things that really burned me up about this entire episode, Greta, is that people in the media have claimed that by simply setting the record straight, Governor Palin is whining. She is not whining in my interview. She is simply--

VAN SUSTEREN: They never say that about guys. Guys are tough.

ZIEGLER: Exactly. She is setting the record straight. She is making sure that the historical record is in fact correct. That's what my documentary is all about.

And I think the world of Governor Palin, and I wish her the best in the future.

VAN SUSTEREN: I will watch your movie the "Media Malpractice." Maybe you can come back after I have a chance to watch the whole thing.

ZIEGLER: I would love to be back. You have done an amazing job on this story. And people can find out more about it at

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, thank you John.

ZIEGLER: Thank you, Greta.

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