Olbermann: Palin's a 'Delusional Lunatic', Letterman's 'The Victim'

"Countdown" host Keith Olbermann Friday evening accused Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin of using her daughters, as well as the brouhaha surrounding jokes made about them by "Late Show" host David Letterman, to further her political career.

In a twelve minute segment about the former vice presidential candidate, Olbermann called her, "Sanctimonious, holier than thou, exploitative, undignified, pedantic, childish, self-inflicting, insipid, backwards, embarrassing, over-reactive, overreaching" as well as a "delusional lunatic."

Potentially even more disgraceful, in Olbermann's almost unimaginably perverted view, Letterman is actually "the victim" who has "continued to take the high road" in this sordid affair.

The video of this disgusting attack is embedded below the fold with a full transcript:

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KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST: Good evening from New York.

Sanctimonious, holier than thou, exploitative, undignified, pedantic, childish, self-inflicting, insipid, backwards, embarrassing, over-reactive, overreaching, or as Peggy Noonan summed it up, with the succinctness I have obviously long since abandoned -- yammering.

Our fifth story on the COUNTDOWN: Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska returning to national television to exploit her daughters pursuing a bizarre and unwinnable vendetta against the TV figure who has already apologized and whom she evidently does not realized is several times more popular than she is.

Day four of the Palin vendetta against David Letterman, the Alaska governor is expanding her list of perceived victims from just her two teenage daughters, to all young women in this country. This after Letterman not only apologized Wednesday on air for a joke he had delivered on Monday about the Palin family`s trip to New York City, but also continued to take the high road in the face of repeated attacks by a politician so power crazed she is again using her own daughters to try to earn political capital.

The man who has quickly become the victim here introduced himself as "Dave Letterman, making friends wherever I go" on last night`s program and making himself the butt of the joke.


DAVID LETTERMAN, TV TALK SHOW HOST: Earlier in the week, I made some jokes that upset Sarah Palin and I was telling jokes about her family and stuff. She got really upset. And I think everything is fine now.


LETTERMAN: I think everything is going to be great because she called today and invited to take me hunting.



OLBERMANN: No outcome satisfactory for a politician seemingly intent on escalating the controversy, milking it for as much publicity as possible at her daughter`s expense. That meant 11 minutes on "The Today Show" this morning, extensively, to push her plan for a natural gas pipeline from Alaska to the Lower 48, never mind that there is natural gas glut in North America, the boondoggle quickly giving way to baseless attacks.

Stop the tape. Olbermann is complaining about Palin spending eleven minutes on the "Today" show while he spent twelve and a half minutes lambasting her for doing so. But I digress:


MATT LAUER, "THE TODAY SHOW" HOST: 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 .

PALIN: If we must.

LAUER: Yes, I know.


OLBERMANN: OK. We`ll skip it. See you. Have fun storming the obscurity castle.

The left wing media having forced Governor Palin to drag this story out for yet another news cycle. But, hey, you know, somebody`s got to think of the kids and the flight attendants.


LAUER: I`m just curious, how did you hear about the comments and the jokes? Were you watching or did someone tell you about them?

PALIN: No, the next day, I had an interview with John Ziegler on his radio show and he asked me about a comment that Letterman had made regarding my appearance as slutty flight attendant. And my first thought was, hey, don`t disparage flight attendants. They work hard, we love them, you know? 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, just, you know, 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.

LAUER: Since David Letterman is not here, let me just say that he did not mention Willow by name. And he then went on to say he was not referring to your 14-year-old daughter. I do want to read the statement.

PALIN: And Matt --

LAUER: Go ahead.

PALIN: OK. Matt, I would say that that you and anybody else are extremely naive to believe that very convenient excuse of David Letterman`s the other day. It took a couple days for him to think of that excuse.


OLBERMANN: If by a couple days, Governor Palin means 3 1/2 hours. All the time that actually elapsed between the release of the Palin statements falsely accusing Letterman of having joke about the statutory rape of the 14-year-old girl and the released of excerpts from that evening`s late show on which Mr. Letterman apologized and explained that he had been talking about their 14-year-old daughter nor about rape but apologizing nonetheless.

Actually, Keith, the two days Palin was referring to was the time between Letterman making the offensivecomments Monday and "apologizing" for them Wednesday. Are you too stupid to recognize that, or just intellectually dishonest?

OLBERMANN: Governor Palin dismissing that as a weak excuse.


PALIN: 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. Well, I think it`s a quick excuse. And, you know, regardless, it was a degrading comment about a young woman.

And I would hope that people really start -- really rising up and deciding it`s not acceptable. No wonder young girls especially have such low self-esteem in America.


OLBERMANN: How about the self-esteem of young girls who were trotted out onto the political stage by a mother who treats them like props? When does somebody tell mothers or fathers that that is not acceptable? When does somebody tell self-obsessed, egomaniacal politicians that it`s not acceptable to imply intent to break the law by issuing statements about, quote, "it would be wise to keep Willow away from David Letterman"?


LAUER: Now, you are suggesting that David Letterman can`t be trusted around a 14-year-old girl?

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

LAUER: Well, but is that not perhaps in bad taste also, Governor, if you`re, you know, suggesting that a 62-year-old couldn`t be trusted?

PALIN: It`s not in bad taste. It`s not in bad taste. Hey -- maybe he couldn`t be trusted because Willow`s had enough of this type of comments and maybe Willow would want to react to him in a way that maybe we catch him off-guard.


OLBERMANN: The governor of Alaska is a delusional lunatic. Fourteen- year-old Willow Palin only having entered into the public discourse this week because of her parents having put her there. They`d like her declared off-limits, thanks now.

Umm, no Keith, for all she did was go to a Yankee game with her mother. It was INDEED Letterman that brought her into the public discourse. 

Once again, either Olbermann is too intellectually challenged to understand that, or he was lying to his audience. 


PALIN: 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 family is off limits. You don`t talk about my family and the candidate who must be obeyed. Everybody adhered to that and they did leave his family alone.

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.


OLBERMANN: We asked (ph) the Edwards family about that. The difference being the Obama girls also did not travel with their father on the campaign trail, they stayed behind to attend school in Chicago. And when NBC News spent an entire day at the White House, its request to interview or film the girls politely declined. When you want your children declared off-limits, the way to start that is to start it yourself.

Matt Lauer is trying to explain the subtlety of another point to no avail.


LAUER: I`m not sure that it can be so easy to 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 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?

PALIN: 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 it`s OK to talk about young girls in that way where it`s kind of OK, accepted and funny to talk about statutory rape.

LAUER: Right.

PALIN: It`s not cool. It`s not funny.


OLBERMANN: On that, we can all agree. This has long stopped being funny. Including the part where RNC Chairman Michael Steele also failed to notice that Letterman had apologized, quoting him, "Letterman`s joke about Sarah and Todd Palin`s daughter was thoughtless and tacky. I saw his explanation for the joke. But sometimes the easiest thing to do is simply say, `I`m sorry." When Letterman starts making tasteless jokes about kids, it`s time to turn the channel."

Right, because four days of this crap has absolutely nothing to do with politics.


LAUER: Your name has been on a list with people like Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney. And it`s very well-understood that you perhaps are the biggest superstar when it comes to fund-raising in the party right now. People want to make money. They get you to an event, that event makes a lot of money. Does that translate to you being the future of the GOP?

PALIN: Absolutely, not necessarily. You know, I want to help. I want to be able to help the cause. So, no, not necessarily me. I don`t think I need any kind of title in order to affect change. I think there`s a lot of disagreement .

LAUER: Do you think you deserve a shot based on .

PALIN: . within the party right now though.

LAUER: Based on what you brought to the last campaign, do you think you at least deserve the right of first refusal in terms of being the face of party?

PALIN: Oh, heck no. No. Nobody`s entitled to that right of approval or there is no entitlement that`s accepted, I believe, in our party.

That`s another nice thing about the principles of the GOP. You know, you have to walk the walk, and not just talk the talk. Your actions have to speak louder than words. Your accomplishments have to speak for what it is that you stand for.

And, no, nobody is entitled to any kind of front-running position in the GOP.


OLBERMANN: Just ask Rudy Giuliani. Show up that every platitude except employees must wash hands.

Time to call in our political analyst, Richard Wolffe, author of "Renegade: The Making a President."

Richard, good evening.


OLBERMANN: Comedians joking about your children is wrong. What makes using your children as pawns in a drawn out media war that you have drawn out well pass it sell-by date, what makes that OK?

WOLFFE: Well, let`s talk with what we can all agree on. If you`re a self respecting parent and someone makes your child -- whoever it is -- the butt f a late night joke, then you`d be offended and you would be well within your rights to go out and say you were upset about it. But, of course, Governor Palin went well beyond that. And knowing the limits of where she should be and what she should talk about, has never been her strong point.

And here`s a person who has tried to make this argument -- as we just heard -- about the culture wars or about the media or about double standards. And that raises also some questions about her. She could have taken the high road and been the offended parent. But instead, she tried to broaden out.

For a person who wants to show she has policy chops, this is not a wise move, because, in the end, this isn`t about culture. David Letterman isn`t responsible for the decline of American culture if there is such a thing. This is overblown and actually poorly executed for anyone who thinks think they have presidential ambitions.

OLBERMANN: My understanding was, the Republicans were against and particularly, Mr. Steele was against political correctness. Would this not be the definition of political correctness not only run amok but essentially franchise made permanent?

WOLFFE: Well, it`s a little bit rich to hear Republican complained about political correctness, because, I think, the definition of that was lipstick on a pig -- which, incidentally, was offensive both to cosmetic manufacturers and pigs.

You know -- it`s a spurious argument. As I said, a parent taking offense of this kind of joke is one thing. But trying to broaden it out into something that has become a well-hashed tactic in the last campaign and for many years for Republicans, is just so out of touch of what politics is right now. Never mind what the, quote-unquote, "liberal media" is doing to this great country.

OLBERMANN: I mentioned Mr. Steel, who seemed to defend Governor Palin today. But also he said, "If you don`t like what Letterman said, don`t watch Letterman."

And I can`t believe I`m saying this, but doesn`t that actually kind of make sense instead of, you know, having to apologize to every woman in the country or every flight attendant in the country or whatever Governor Palin`s demands are today? Is it not as simple as -- if you don`t like what someone on television says, you know, go ahead, your remote probably works or if it doesn`t, just get a new battery?

Another fine piece of disingenuity, for Olbermann basically makes a living bashing conservative television and radio personalities such as Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity. If the solution is "If you don't like it, don't watch or listen to it," shouldn't the same hold true for Fox News and conservative talk radio, Keith? 

WOLFFE: Well, quite right. Yes, it is weird to be saying that Michael Steele may have well have got this right. But everybody understands Letterman`s humor. He is not new to the scene. He works up to the line, sometimes he crosses it. There are far more offensive things in our culture, on TV and in movies than a tasteless joke.

And, look, we`re going to hear more of it. That`s the nature of late night comedy. We all know that.

OLBERMANN: Is there anything more looking at it -- I guess, from a cultural standpoint -- anything that Letterman could do if he doesn`t want to, you know, apologize to each woman alphabetically in this country? I mean, even if -- even if he did, would it be enough or there would some attempt to keep this going into next week?

WOLFFE: No, it would not be enough. But I can say, as someone who was dressed up as a Nazi on "Saturday Night Live," it will never be enough to being apologized, too.


OLBERMANN: Sorry about that. Richard Wolffe --


WOLFFE: Yes, I blame you. I`m still waiting for the apology.

OLBERMANN: I`m sorry.

WOLFFE: Thank you.

OLBERMANN: I got Ben Affleck to apologize, too, using my voice and my hair. At least your bit was quick.

Richard Wolffe of MSBNC, the author of "Renegade" -- thanks, Richard. Have a good weekend.

WOLFFE: Thank you, Keith.

The good folks at MSNBC, NBC, and General Electric should be so proud of themselves for putting this man on television five nights a week.

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