The Media Attacks on Gov. Palin: When Will They Stop?

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 9, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Governor Palin gets trashed. Why is Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn gratuitously trashing Governor Palin? Quinn even accuses Palin of exploiting her children, specifically Bristol and little Trig, little Trig, who has Down syndrome. And David Letterman -- he also can't stay away from the governor, either.


DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Sarah Palin -- you know, he's stepping down. And then the next day, there was footage of her. She went fishing. And I thought, Well, that's pretty good. Is it just me or is anyone having on the thoughts about Sarah Palin and those waders?


I will go ahead and apologize for that right now.


I don't know what is wrong with me.


She did, say what you will, I thought she looked great. As a matter of fact, Russia was watching her.



VAN SUSTEREN: Well, perhaps Letterman should just already apologize. He did once before.

Anyway, former governor of Massachusetts Jane Swift joins us in Albany. Governor, Sally Quinn from the "Washington Post," why? She doesn't go after her policy. She goes right her.

FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR JANE SWIFT: This was wrong on two levels. First of all, I don't know why Governor Palin decided to resign. And I certainly do not pretend to know whether or not it will effective for her professionally.

But this is wrong because, first of all, they are attacking her parenting skills.

And why we are debating whether or not she should have had her kids up as late as she did on the night of the nominating convention is just borderline bizarre, particularly because we don't ask that question of any of the guys who bring their children to bit political events.

But even importantly, don't we have more important things to be discussing in this country? And activities, we could move one to things that actually impact the millions of families who don't have a job or don't have paid maternity leave, things that are legitimate public policy issues, rather then -- it's just --

VAN SUSTEREN: I look at it a little differently. I almost look at sort of the media. I understand that, look, we should go after every single politician aggressively, scrutinize policies, and everything else.

But just taking this article -- Sally Quinn says in the article, she criticizes Palin about saying that there are mean-spirited people going after her and bloggers, she says, Quinn wants to -- in her article, she wants to know the names of those mean-spirited adults who ridiculed and mocked her special needs child. She says that in an article.

Well, guess what? She should look in the mirror, because if you go on in Quinn's article, you find a clean herself is the one who is insulting Sarah Palin about her Down syndrome child. This is just the most incredible personal attack for no value.

I mean, what does she get out of this? What's with this.

SWIFT: No value, and questioning a mother, Governor Palin's parenting skills and the choices about how to raise her child, not only is there is no value, Greta, but there also, a, we never apply this standard to male politicians, at least that I've seen about, were they home enough during their campaigns, did they see their children, should they have brought their children with them, should they have not brought their children with them. So there is a clear double standard.

But more importantly, there are actually important issues around special needs children that are much more important and actually would, I think, merit this type of debate. And I just find it sad we would project (ph) someone's children.

VAN SUSTEREN: But even if you go through Sally Quinn's particular article, it is that it's almost there are sections that are simply delusional.

For instance, one part of Quinn's column, and I posted on GretaWire, she says that -- she criticizes Palin's description of David Letterman. And she says that Letterman was talking about Bristol the older child when he made that insult.

Quinn has to be delusional, because the older child wasn't at the ballgame. It was Willow at the game. And it's almost like where is she getting these facts? At least if you're going to personally assault someone, get to the facts right. This is just totally gratuitous. It is not going after Palin as governor.

SWIFT: Clearly, this was meant to trash people who hold conservative social values, somehow tie that to their parenting, and, as you said, and to blame the victim, in this case because David Letterman said something completely out of bounds about Governor Palin's 14-year-old daughter, and Sally Quinn makes that into an issue about Governor Palin.

There are lots of things to debate about, issues and policies, I agree with you on that. And I don't know why, candidly, she would spend time raising these issues at this point.

VAN SUSTEREN: Criticizing Palin for speaking, doing television, traveling. None of the men ever do that, do they? These women politicians, these women politicians, I don't know, they are so different.

SWIFT: Dragging their kids to their announcement events.

VAN SUSTEREN: Terrible, shame on you. You are rotten people, the women politicians, you're just rotten.

Anyway, governor, thank you.

SWIFT: Thanks, Greta.

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