Palin vs. Letterman: Nowhere Near Over, Despite Apology?

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

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: The Palin-Letterman feud is nowhere near over. But David Letterman's raunchy insults about Governor Palin's daughter started the war. Even Letterman called his remarks ugly and unpleasant. But his half-hearted sarcastic apology last week didn't smooth things over. The furor raged on. And tonight, David Letterman might be really apologizing.

During today's pre-taped "Late Show," Letterman had this to say. "I told a joke that was beyond flawed and my intent is completely meaningless compared to the perception. And since it was a joke I told, I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologize for having told that joke. It's not your fault that it was misunderstood, it's my fault. So I would like to apologize, especially to the two daughters involved, Bristol and Willow, and also the governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke. I'm sorry about it, and I'll try to do better in the future."

Now, that was just a part of what Letterman said. You can see the rest on line right now at

And another change of heart. Governor Palin gained a surprising new ally, someone who has not exactly been supportive before, Joy Behar.


JOY BEHAR, "THE VIEW": You know, I have to say that I'm on her side this time. Not because I didn't think it was sort of OK because comedians make jokes. But as a parent, as a mother, she's no dummy. She's going for the jugular. And I would, too. I would, too. As a mother, I would do it.


BEHAR: ... run with her with McCain against, you know, Obama...


BEHAR: ... this case I identify with her rage against anybody who says a sexually implying joke about her daughter.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, "THE VIEW": I would have preferred that she said, You apologize to my daughter right now because you had no business speaking about her for any reason. You don't know her. She's not your kid. Apologize.


GOLDBERG: If someone had made a joke about a President Obama daughter, we'd be just as offended.

SHERRI SHEPHERD, "THE VIEW": Which they have.


GOLDBERG: We'd be just as offended.


HASSELBECK: This is not her fault for bringing her kid with her when she's working.


VAN SUSTEREN: But the ladies at "The View" aren't the only ones now supporting the governor. An organization called is calling for his job. The group was started by New York state assemblyman Brian Colman (ph), documentarian John Ziegler. They're not just writing letters or blogging. They are going to picket the Ed Sullivan Theatre tomorrow. Anna Barone and Gwen Lindsay-Jackson, organizers of the protest, join us from New York City.

Good evening both of you. And Anna, in light of the apology tonight by David Letterman, does that change the plans for the protest tomorrow [Tuesday]?

ANNA BARONE, FIREDAVIDLETTERMAN.COM: No. The rally is still going on as planned, 4:30 eastern time, ending at 7:30.

VAN SUSTEREN: Gwen, why are you doing this?

GWEN LINDSAY-JACKSON, FIREDAVIDLETTERMAN.COM: Well, we are doing this because we want to send a message that it is not acceptable to sexualize these two young girls. I mean, for God sakes, these are private citizens. They did not do anything. They don't deserve this. It is unacceptable, it is beyond the pale.

And is something that everyone is joining in. It doesn't matter whether you are a conservative, you're a liberal, you're a Republican, you're Democrat, you're a man, you're a woman. It is unacceptable, and we have to make sure that it stops, and that David Letterman is held accountable for this.

VAN SUSTEREN: Anna, I was looking at the statement, the text of what David Letterman says tonight. And he says that he did not realize what it was until he was watching the "Jim Lehrer News Hour." It took him a little while to come to this realization.

Is that stunning to you? I mean, is this -- or are you thinking that this is this great that he finally sees the light?

BARONE: Yes, he finally sees the light, but he already said what he said, and it is too late now.


LINDSAY-JACKSON: Well, what he said was offensive, and it did not have to take another show to make him to realize it was horrible.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is it not, though -- I mean, look, I thought it was appalling. I went after David Letterman for it.

But is it sort of the change, or least like maybe -- it took a lot of pounding of Don Imus, and it took a lot of pounding on David Letterman for him to see it. A lot of people defended David Letterman, nobody seems to get it.

But should we not reward when people finally get it, that they are trivializing women, whether it is Governor Palin, Secretary of State Clinton, or children, or whatever it is? Shouldn't we somehow at least encourage them?

LINDSAY-JACKSON: Well, we want to encourage them, but in this case, what is this apology about? This apology is "I am sorry. I did not mean the 14-year-old, but I really meant to sexualize the 17 or 18-year-old"? I mean, what kind of message does that send?

It is still sexual harassment, it is still outrageous. It's beyond the pale. Even if you have a 25-year-old woman, it is not the age that is the issue.

It is the issue of because somebody had a baby and they are not marriage, all of a sudden they are the equivalent of a prostitute. And that is unacceptable for women around the world and in this country.

VAN SUSTEREN: Anna, how many people do you expect to show up tomorrow, any idea? And have you gotten attention to your Web site?

BARONE: Yes. Over 200 people are coming, and they are counting more than 200. And there is over 3,000 people signing the letter on the Web site.

VAN SUSTEREN: Gwen, why has not CBS said anything? They have been silent on this. It is not like this joke did not go through several layers. It started with joke writers, and, I mean, others must have seen it at CBS.

LINDSAY-JACKSON: Well, you know, I cannot speak for them. I would hope that they would at least say something about it. I mean, certainly, we are making sure that the public is aware of it.

We are calling on CBS and the executives to do something and to take it very seriously, because if you let this go, it means simply that, you know, you can open the door for other people like David Letterman to make these kinds of senseless remarks that really could harm someone's psyche, the psyche of a 14-year-old, the psyche of a 18-year-old, who really did not do anything to deserve this offensive remark.

VAN SUSTEREN: And is not very inspiring to women, whether 14, 18, whatever.


VAN SUSTEREN: Anna, Gwen, thank you both very much.

LINDSAY-JACKSON: Thank you, Greta.

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