Today Show: Matt Lauer & Gov Palin (video/transcript)

Letterman – Gov Palin posts

June 12, 2009

Matt Lauer speaks with Gov Palin. Talks about the natural gas pipeline, which she is in Texas discussing. Then about letterman and then about the future of the GOP.


  • The barry network didn’t have a woman talk with Gov Palin
  • Lauer thought it was just a “joke” and a “feud”
  • He stood in defense of Letterman
  • He said Letterman didn’t say Willow [he talked about the game that Willow was at]
  • He attacked Gov Palin’s statements
  • He completely ignored the “joke about Gov Palin being called “slutty” or the kilo of crack comment.
  • Didn’t bring up: “The toughest part of her visit was keeping Eliot Spitzer away from her daughter.”

  • How could Letterman connect a 14 y/o (or even 18 y/o) girl with a man who was thrown out of office for having sex with numerous prostitutes? He was basically comparing her to potential prostitute. There was nothing remotely funny about it. And Matt did not mention it, nor did he read the Top Ten slutty comment that Dave “kind of liked” (laugh) or or the kilo of crack or the getting knocked up by A-Rod “joke”.
  • Didn’t say any of them out loud for the audience who might not have heard them and to make him repeat them in his own voice. Perhaps he wouldn’t have twice asked whether letterman needed to apologize.
  • If there are any female writers on Letterman’s staff they should be called out.


[hand transcribed]


Can we talk about some of the other ways you’ve been in the news lately – and you know about this. There’s been this feud this week with Late Show host, David Letterman–

GOV PALIN: If we must.


I know. There’s been a feud this week with David Letterman over some comments he made about your family, some jokes about your daughter in particular. I’m just curious, how did you find out about them? Were you watching or did someone tell you about them?


No, the next day I had an interview with John Ziegler on his new radio show and he asked me about a comment David Letterman had made regarding my appearance as a slutty flight attendant, and my first thought was,  ‘Hey, don’t disparage flight attendants. They work hard – we love them. How condemning of them. Don’t say such a thing.’ And then I found out later the comment that was made about statutory rape of my 14 year-old daughter, Willow. Knowing that crossed the line and then others chiming in on other comments that Letterman has made. Quite, I think, a sad commentary on where we are as a culture, as a society to chuckle and laugh through comments such as he had made the other night. I think it’s quite unfortunate.


Since David Letterman is not here – let me just say he did not mention Willow by name and then he went on to say he was not referring to your 14 year-old daughter, I do want to read this statement —

GOV PALIN: And Matt —

MATT: Go ahead —


Matt, I would say that you and anybody else are extremely naive to believe that very convenient excuse of David Letterman’s. It took him a couple of days to think of that excuse. Uh…no, he wasn’t talking about my daughter who was there with me at the game  – the 14 year-old. He was talking about some other daughter. I think that is a weak excuse and regardless – it was a degrading  comment about a young woman. And I would hope that people really start rising up and decide it’s not at all acceptable.

No wonder young girls, especially, have such low self-esteem in America, when we think that it’s funny for a so-called comedian to get away with being able to make such a remark as he did —

MATT: You issued a statement–

GOV PALIN: And think that’s not acceptable.


Governor – at the end if your statement you said that:

a joke like this contributes to the atrociously high rate of sexual exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others.

Now, it was a joke. It was probably by most standards in bad taste but can you really [incredulous] connect the dots to criminal activity the way you did in that statement?


I connect the dots to a degrading statement made about young women and that does contribute to some acceptance of abuse of young women. Let me read to you something I received in the middle of the night – an email – not from a known feminist, not someone who is an activist, but this I think speaks to this issue. This woman wrote that the women organizations across America are starting to rise up and say enough is enough and that it was a ridiculous comment. And, yeah, it was a so-called joke, but it wasn’t funny.

This email says:

Every male organization civic, religious, etc should rise up and shout in defense of their daighters, their sisters, their mopthers/ We’re in a position to encourage the whole country to take a stand against the disrespect shown to females. No wonder why girsl have such low self-esteem when people laugh at the innuendos and downright crudeness of comments to and about them. Shame on all of us–

MATT: When you-


And haven’t had the nerve to walk out or at least boo when a so-called comedian makes such a comment.


When you were asked about if you might appear on David Letterman’s Show to hash all of this out, your spokesperson issued a statement that said:

The Palins have no intention of proving a ratings boost by appearing on his show. Plus it would be wise to keep Willow away from David Letterman.

[Angry] I would like you to explain what that meant. Are you suggesting that David Letterman can’t be trusted around a 14 year-old girl?


Hey, take it however you want to take it. It is a comment that came from the heart. Willow, no doubt, would want to stay away from David Letterman after he made such a comment. And you can interpret that however you want to interpret it.


Well, but is that not perhaps in bad taste, also, Governor, if you’re-if you’re, you know, suggesting that a 62 y/o man–

GOV PALIN: No, it’s not in bad taste.

MATT: –couldn’t be trusted.


No, it’s not in bad taste. Hey maybe he couldn’t be trusted because Willow’s had enough of these types of comments, and maybe Willow would want to react it him in a way that maybe would catch off guard. That’s one way to interpret such a comment.


He’s tried to explain this. Does he owe you an apology?

Where did he explain it? Where did he begin to apologize? “He said I think I might regret…but” He doesn’t even regret.


Here’s the problem, Matt – the double standard that has been applied here. One, let’s talk politically, the double standard. First, remember in the campaign, Barack Obama said the family’s off-limits – you don’t talk about my family. And the candidate who must be obeyed – everybody adhered to that and left his family. They haven’t done that on the other side of the ticket, and it has continued to this day. So that’s a political double standard. But here again, the double standard when it comes to acceptance of a celebrity being able to get way with a disparaging comment that does erode a young girl’s self-esteem and does contribute to some of the problems that we have in society.

This so-called humor I don’t find it humorous. I think a lot of Americans don’t think that it’s–


And I would agree. I’m not so sure–I’m not sure that you can be so easy say that he’s gotten away with it. I think he will pay some sort of a price for this, Governor, because I do think that a lot of people feel the joke was in extremely bad taste – no matter which daughter of yours he was referring to.

Does he owe you an apology as opposed to just the explanation he’s issued?


He doesn’t have to apologize to me.

I would like to see him apologize to young women across the country for contributing to that–kind of that thread that is throughout our culture that makes it sound like that it’s okay to talk about young girls in that way. Where it’s kind of okay and accepted and funny to talk about statutory rape. It’s not cool. It’s not funny.

MATT: Let me move on.

Then they discussed the future of the GOP, where he tried unsuccessfully to get her to say she was it.

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