Return to Transcripts main page


Interview with Elisabeth Hasselbeck; Semi-Nude Photos Could Cost Miss California Crown

Aired May 6, 2009 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Elisabeth Hasselbeck -- she stands up for her opinions on "The View."





KING: Even when she seems to standalone. We'll get details on her meeting with Michelle Obama, find out if she shares Joy Behar's belief that John Edwards is a dog and learn how near starvation changed her life.

And then, should Miss California USA lose her crown?

Do semi-nude photos of Carrie Prejean, already controversial for her stand against gay marriage, make her an unworthy winner?

Plus, Governor Palin's unwed teen mom/daughter speaks out on abstinence and preventing teenaged pregnancy.


BRISTOL PALIN, SARAH PALIN'S DAUGHTER: Having a baby is a huge responsibility and I think that teens should wait to have sex.


KING: Is Bristol Palin the best person to be making this pitch?

All next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We begin with Elisabeth Hasselbeck, co-host of "The View" and author of the new book, "The G-Free Diet." You will see its cover coming up. There it is.

And we'll talk about that book in a little while, as well.

We thank you for coming, Elisabeth.

Were you surprised that "The View" made the most influential list of "Time Magazine?" HASSELBECK: I sure was. I mean, you know, I think -- and it's truly a tribute to what Barbara has done and the show that she created along with Bill Getty, our executive producer.

It's a great place for women to come to and listen -- men, as well. But, also, for us to get there every day and discuss everything from politics to motherhood and parenting.

But it was -- it was a shock. I think any time you receive an honor such as that, it's -- it's shocking.

KING: As the definitive conservative in the group, do you feel like the outcast?

Do you feel put upon?

HASSELBECK: I never feel like an outcast there. If anything, I feel more included than ever. I mean, truly that is a table where respect is number one, in terms of we sort of have a vow to one another. And we couldn't come there every single day and talk about the things that -- that we discuss and have the debates that we do and get as fiery as we do and get back there the next day if there wasn't that respect at the table and true value for the others' opinion.

I mean the more we -- we tend to disagree, I think the more we sort of dig deeper into that relationship.

KING: So the anger doesn't carry over?

HASSELBECK: No. And I wouldn't even classify it as anger. I think it's passion. And I think it's passion with purpose. You know, we do believe different things at times. Occasionally, we agree. It may not be that interesting when we do.

But there -- there is passion. It is coming from different places. But we love that conversation. I love being able to hear someone else's opinion on a subject and maybe sort of, you know, push a button here and there and see what they think about what I have to say.

KING: Speaking of opinions, have you changed your opinion about Michelle Obama?

HASSELBECK: Well, you know, I think, look, this isn't -- I think your opinion on someone evolves over time. I think if it didn't, then you would not be looking at your experience and the context in which someone is -- is in your life.

You know, look, everyone -- everyone assumed that we had a -- we had one type of relationship and it moved to another. I'll tell you one thing, when Michelle first came on "The View," she was lovely back stage. We had a great open dialogue then. Of course, you know, given limits of time, etc, we weren't able to get into everything we wanted to discuss then at the table.

And in the heat of the election, when her husband -- now President Obama -- was in the midst of just the most fiery debate, if you want to talk about fiery debates, possible, it's a very different context than now.

And the first lady and I were to able to, last night, at the Time 100 Gala, actually have a moment where, face-to-face, not screen to screen, not -- even better than -- I did have a conversation with her privately by phone during the election process -- but face-to-face be able to look at one another, mother to mother, wife to wife, first lady to citizen and have a moment where I feel as though there's -- we sort of came -- came to a great place.

And I'm thankful for that. And I think that relationship should evolve over time.

KING: That's nice.

The Democratic National Committee has a new video out called "Survivor GOP."


KING: You were on "The Survivor" once.


KING: Here's a part of it.



KING: What do you make of that?

HASSELBECK: I really don't draw the line between my time in Australia on a reality show to the GOP situation right now. And I certainly -- I think given the somewhat, you know, biased media at times, of course they're going to play up the fact that the GOP is in trouble.

Look, if they are not in power right now and if they're not in a position of advantage, then I think that, at times, can be a great thing. I think it's a great, great, gosh, motivator to sort of get things in a row.

But certainly, as some have suggested, James Carville being one, who was on our show this week -- a lovely man. I don't agree with the whole 40 years more of a one party advantage. That's not what our country is based upon. It's not how we achieve true success in our nation.

So I don't think trouble is the word. I think we're in a great position, in terms of conservatism, to kind of just get -- get things in order and evaluate what our country needs right now. I don't think it's all doom and gloom...

KING: Wouldn't it concern you... HASSELBECK: ...for the right.

KING: Wouldn't it concern you that all the polls say that only one in five Americans consider themselves a Republican?

HASSELBECK: No. Not at all. Not at all. And, you know, we've seen some shifting back and forth between those that are registered one way or the other. I think things are cyclical in terms of where people stand. And people are more apt to change their party now than maybe ever. And, you know, that -- that doesn't mean that it won't change the other way in the next poll or the next year or the next four years.

So I'm optimistic that this country continues to balance out over time. And I do think that cycle will go back and forth.

KING: We're going to talk about Brit -- I want to talk about your book in a while, too.


KING: A good book, "The G-Free Diet".


KING: We're going to do a whole couple of segments later on the Bristol Palin being chosen as the kind of spokesperson for abstinence.


KING: What do you make of that?

Do you think -- what do you make of that choice?

HASSELBECK: I think she's the perfect choice. And, truthfully...

KING: But she didn't do it.

HASSELBECK: Look, she has a tangible...

KING: Or she did it.

HASSELBECK: She has a tangible, living example of what this new responsibility is in her life. And I believe that there is a sort of sadistic giddiness on the part of some true radical leftists, who are laughing behind-the-scenes about Bristol Palin's situation.

Why are they so obsessed with her being a spokesperson for this?

She's promoting a great thing -- abstinence. Find me something else that works 100 percent of the time.

KING: Well, I guess the -- the other side would say she's promoting something she -- do as I say, not as I do. HASSELBECK: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. We see ads left and right on smoking, on drinking, on drunk driving, where they involve people who have been in the situation, have lived it and are now speaking for it.

I think having her speak from a place of experience, that is recent and pertinent and obvious and tangibly there for teens to see and witness what she is going through, from single motherhood to having a pregnancy earlier than she may be planned.

For her to promote abstinence is perfectly on point. And I will go back to my point being that the left is all over this. Because her last name happens to be Palin, they are laughing at this. And that is wrong. And I think they should really explore the fact that she's out there promoting a great message and she's ideal for this -- ideal.

KING: Good point. Good point.

Last night, Joy Behar called John Edwards a dog on this program.

Does Elisabeth agree?

We'll get her take on infidelity.

Stay with us.


KING: We're back with Elisabeth Hasselbeck of "The View," author of the new book, "The G-Free Diet".

Elisabeth, your counterpart, although spelled differently -- she has a Z, you have an S. Elizabeth Edwards has gone public about her pain about her husband's infidelity. She spoke with Oprah about the possibility that John fathered a child out of wedlock.



OPRAH WINFREY, HOST: The other woman has a baby.

ELIZABETH EDWARDS: That's what I understand.

WINFREY: And there is great speculation that your husband, John Edwards, is the father of that baby.

EDWARDS: Right. That's what I understand. I've seen a picture of the baby. I have no idea. It doesn't look like my children. But I don't have any idea.

WINFREY: Um-hmm.

WINFREY: You must have thought...

EDWARDS: And I'll say...

WINFREY: You must have thought, is it or is it not?


KING: Elizabeth will be on this program, by the way, one week from tonight.


KING: Yesterday on this show, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Joy Behar, your compatriot, called John Edwards a dog.

Do you agree?

HASSELBECK: Elizabeth will also be -- be on "The View" next week, so we'll have a chance to talk to her, as well, on our show.

You know, my -- that certainly is a -- a gripping clip that we just watched. I think any woman watching would certainly be emotionally disturbed by even the thought of being placed in her position.

You never understand the -- the intimacies of someone's relationship with their spouse -- I mean or boyfriend, partner, etc. Those are -- those are places that only the two people truly understand.

I think we're also looking at a woman of incredible strength, having looked at cancer and battled through. I believe that nothing, truly, can compare to that. And, you know, it's unfortunate. I think this alleged affair and, you know, disturbance, even in terms of allegedly funding his mistress' foundation, is -- is even more complicating the matter. The idea of another child in the mix -- disturbing, as well.

KING: Now, Maureen Dowd, though, in her column today in "The New York Times," didn't like the idea of this book.

Why -- why go public with something like this?

What about the effect on her current children?

HASSELBECK: Well, I think that's something, I'm sure, Elizabeth has considered. And Mrs. Edwards has gone over a million times in her head. And certainly, you know, that will be something we'll ask her when she comes on the show.

KING: Yes. We will, too.

HASSELBECK: Yes. I think that this is -- you know, she obviously has a message to deliver and maybe wants people to understand where she's coming from. This is -- this is an incredible woman. And I think to -- to hear her perspective will be wonderful. And I -- I do feel for her, I truly do. KING: Elisabeth, Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean -- first, the controversy over gay marriage statements and now scandal over semi-nude modeling photos of her.

What do you think of the way she's being treated in the media?

HASSELBECK: Well, I think there's a very specific witch-hunt going on here because she expressed her opinion. So now we're going to dig and throw fear into the -- the heart of any person who may want to freely express their opinion in the United States of America. That seems like a big bullying scheme to me.

And if she had answered the other way, would anyone have been searching for those photos?

Would they want to vilify her or remove what she's been working for?

Look, I'm not -- I don't understand the pageant well and I don't know what her responsibilities were -- was she to represent the State of California in her opinions and was she to represent the opinions of a young woman who believed in her heart one thing?

That's her personal opinion. I'm not sure what she -- what her duties were or were to be.

I do know this, though. I'm not sure this investigation into any sort of photos or background or family members that they're pulling out of left and right, would have even occurred if she had given an answer on the other side.

So it seems to me a bit of a bullying -- bullying scheme, as I said before. And that -- that's disturbing. We should be able to have our opinions in this country and stand by them and at least be respected, at the very least.

KING: Elisabeth Hasselbeck is our guest.

The book is "The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide," with a forward, by the way, by Dr. Peter Green.


KING: Late night takes on daytime TV -- we'll see Saturday lives -- "Saturday Night Live's" version of "The View" in 60 seconds.




HASSELBECK: What about when Barack Obama said that people in Pennsylvania...

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST: I'm not talking about... HASSELBECK: ...were are clinging to their guns?

Barack Obama said nothing about reforming Fannie and Freddie because he was taking their money.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is absolutely...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're on a roll.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. Go finish, girl.


HASSELBECK: I'm through.


KING: If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then "The View" should be extremely flattered.

Here's "SNL" having fun at Elisabeth's expense.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just read something online and I printed it out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eight shows ago, we were talking about Senator Barack Obama. And I said the Democratic Party engaged in criminal activities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are we talking about this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me finish, please.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me finish, because I found something online. I have stacks and stacks of papers that I printed out for four hours last night.


KING: I notice you're laughing, Elisabeth.

That's funny, right?

HASSELBECK: You know what I'm -- look, heck, I do a lot of research. I'm not ashamed of it. I'm just happy to be played by a woman.

KING: What do you think of -- how well does Kirsten Wiig do you?


HASSELBECK: As I said, I mean, look, I think that she has a lot of fun. And I certainly respect that -- that her career is -- is that cool that she can sit around and make people laugh. Heck, that is a true gift.

Do I think it's exactly on point?

No. But, again, I say at least she's female playing me. The accuracy is -- is there.


HASSELBECK: And -- and I like her top.

KING: Good point.

And when we come back, we'll talk about "The G-Free Diet," Elisabeth Hasselbeck's new book.

Don't go away.


KING: Back with Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Her new book, "The G-Free Diet." And it says: "A Gluten-Free Survival Guide."

Now, we think of gluten, we think of wheat, right?

HASSELBECK: Sure. Well, it's actually more than that. Gluten encompasses -- it's a protein found in barley, oats, wheat and rye. So it's more broad than most people actually think. So that is definitely a misconception out there.

And I -- I truly -- this has been a decade-long process for me. I have Celiac Disease. And I say out of diabetes came that low glycemic index diet and out of my Celiac Disease, I found this all star diet. I call it my diet in the rough because it is something that, even if I didn't have Celiac Disease, like many others, I would follow this diet.

KING: So you have to avoid what?

HASSELBECK: I actually don't even think of it as avoiding. But for me with Celiacs -- and many do with Celiac Disease -- we, our bodies, it's an autoimmune disease where if our bodies encounter gluten -- that protein found in barley, oats, wheat and rye -- we, our bodies pretty much shut down and fight themselves. What happens is if undiagnosed -- and one out of 133 million people have Celiac Disease. The scary thing, Larry, is that only 3 percent of them know it. Ninety-seven percent of the people with Celiac Disease are not aware of it because of misdiagnosis. They get diagnosed with something else, like I did.

You know, over 10 years ago, I was diagnosed with IBS, thyroid issues. I was having infertility problems. People suffer miscarriage after miscarriage, stillbirth. It eventually leads to intestinal cancer.

KING: All right...

HASSELBECK: So this is something that needs to be treated. But the diet is actually, yes, for people with Celiac Disease. For millions with food intolerance -- and that is up like 25 percent in the past five years. But for people who just want a healthy lifestyle. I mean I'm on this diet before I'm pregnant, during pregnancy and when I'm trying to get back in my bikini to, you know, strut around in the summer.

KING: What -- what happens when you're a kind of -- for want of a better word -- victim of it, at its worst...

HASSELBECK: If they're undiagnosed or do come across gluten and they are Celiacs, their bodies literally are so -- I mean I was in such pain. And doctors were ready to do surgery. They kept telling me I had IBS. I always say emphasis on the B.S. because that wasn't the answer.

It's the -- the equivalent of going into your physician and saying my head hurts and them telling you have a headache. Well, thanks for the information.

I was looking for a clear diagnosis. Thankfully, Dr. Peter Green was able to do that for me and run the proper tests. But it took me way too long to get that when it -- the saddest situation, I think, is when you have children who are encountering gluten when they have Celiac Disease and their bodies aren't growing.

Your intestines aren't able to absorb any nutrients. So you are then predisposed to all of this, you know, intestinal cancer, etc.

KING: Is it...

HASSELBECK: But they're in such pain and deprived of nutrients and they don't grow.

KING: You call it an allergy, but some say it's an autoimmune disease.

HASSELBECK: It is an autoimmune disease. It is absolutely a disease...

KING: It is? HASSELBECK: And it needs to -- we need to get that diagnosis percentage up drastically, because this is actually -- it's so preventative. I mean you have people who aren't celiacs on this diet because it improves everything from ADHD to ADD, depression, energy levels, metabolism.

This is a phenomenal way to eat. I was so thankful to find it.

But when people do encounter gluten who are celiacs, with it leading to diabetes, thyroid disease, intestinal cancer, it ends up costing their body so much more, but also our medical system so much more down the road.

It's a preventative diet. It works incredibly well. I have never felt better in my life. And certainly when I proposed the book, it wasn't the one that people thought I would write, but it is one that comes -- literally comes from the gut and the heart. And I interweave throughout the book easy tips.

KING: Can we test children as to whether they have it?

HASSELBECK: Absolutely. And if you -- if your children are exhibiting symptoms such as either listlessness or irritability, if they have a bloated belly, if they say my -- my tummy hurts, it's most diagnosed in that first year, when parents are introducing food and you're -- you're still vigilant about everything they put in their bodies.

It's in the years thereafter, that two to, you know, the teenage years where you're not really sure what's going on.

If they're not meeting their growth benchmarks, demand a celiac test from your doctors. And if they have it, if your child has it, or a sibling, your chances of having Celiac Disease is one in 22. So you should get tested, as well.

KING: Is it...

HASSELBECK: It's something that, really, we need to improve upon.

KING: Is it inherited?

HASSELBECK: It is inherited. It's a genetic disease. You can get tested both for the gene. You can have an endoscopy. I have the gene. You know, I will have my family tested and my kids tested down the road. It's great information to have.

We are in a new era of preventative testing, so you know what your gene code says, but also preventative eating. I mean I don't think of it as replacing anything and I -- I interview people throughout the book and give social tips. But I -- there are so many that are on it who don't have celiac, like I said, that do it just because of the health benefits alone.

So it's not about removing, it's about replacing with something much more powerful.

KING: One cannot deny an important, important book.

Thanks, Elisabeth.

HASSELBECK: Thank you, Larry.

KING: See you soon.


KING: Elisabeth Hasselbeck, co-host of "The View" and author of "The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide," with a forward by Dr. Peter Green.

HASSELBECK: Thank you.

KING: Thank you, dear.

First it was gay marriage and then breast implants and now semi- naked photos -- the controversy surrounding Miss California. It's a debate we'll handle, when we continue.


KING: Carrie Prejean, the Miss California USA, who earned brick bats and bouquets for stating her opposition to gay marriage, is caught up in a new controversy. A racy photo she posed for prior to winning her title -- there you see it with a little covering up -- has surfaced on the Web site, the

Pageant officials say she's breached her contract by keeping the photos secret.

Should she lose the crown?

That's the question.

Joining us in New York is Maggie Gallagher, president, National Organization for Marriage.

And in Kitson -- at the Kitson Store in Los Angeles, Perez Hilton, creator of celebrity blog -- blog, He was the judge at the 2009 Miss USA contest that asked that question.

All right, is this a case, Maggie, of do as I say, not as I do?


I think Carrie is a young woman who was asked by a pageant judge what she thought about gay marriage and she answered honestly. And then that judge videotaped himself cursing her out, saying if she had won, he would rip the tiara off her head.

And since then, Carrie has been caught up in a maelstrom, really not of her own creating...

KING: No, but I meant did (INAUDIBLE)...

GALLAGHER: You cannot -- no, let -- this is what I mean. You cannot take away what we all saw on national television. She really wanted to be Miss USA. God bless her, I don't know why. It's just a beauty pageant. But she turned down that tiara rather than be the kind of person who's afraid to say what she thought.

KING: Right. But what about the (INAUDIBLE)...

GALLAGHER: And this is why they are...

KING: Maggie...

GALLAGHER: This is why they're going after her.

KING: Maggie, Maggie.


KING: What about the current question -- if she posed for something that the pageants say you're not supposed to do...

GALLAGHER: The pageant doesn't...

KING: that a question about her, you know, I'm a...

GALLAGHER: Listen...

KING: ...I'm the good Christian girl?

GALLAGHER: Listen, the pageant doesn't care about these photos. The pageant put, on your show a couple of days ago, with Shanna Moakler -- if you want to go on the Internet and pay money, you can see her Playboy Bunny pictures. If you choose a -- and I'm not criticizing her. It's a free country.

But when you choose her to be your spokesman, are you really concerned about these photos -- which, by the way, if you look at the lingerie ads in the Sunday "New York Times", you see stuff like that?

KING: Isn't that a good point, Perez, that this is much ado about nothing?

PEREZ HILTON, BLOGGER: No, it's not. I hate to disagree with Miss Gallagher, because she's a very smart individual. I also don't want to speak for the pageant or Shanna Moakler. The facts are the facts. Carrie Prejean broke the rules, not just with not disclosing the fact that she has these pictures in her history, but also because she hasn't been communicating with the Miss California pageant.

And aligning herself with the National Organization for Marriage also goes against the 12-page contract that Miss Prejean allegedly read and should have been aware of. GALLAGHER: Perez is a guy, who, by the way, tried to keep this ad we ran off the air by claiming that three seconds of him that he put on his website is copyrighted material. I really wouldn't trust his legal judgment, Larry. I think the real issue here is that pageant officials, for reasons I do not understand, have been cutting down Carrie from the moment she refused to recant her views on same- sex marriage.

It's not true she's not communicating with them. She and her team and lawyers are. That's just not true. But right now we have pageant officials who have done nothing to back her up, who put on -- they're the guy who chose Perez, who was cursing her out on national television. And they are the people who released private medical information about her that was nobody's business. And they are the people now pretending they care about these photos.

This is, as Elizabeth Hasselbeck said, a bullying campaign and it should stop.

KING: Perez, why did you have to call her dumb something on the Internet? Why did you go that far?

HILTON: That's my right of free speech.

KING: The question is why did you do that?

HILTON: Because I felt strongly, just like she felt strongly. I have a question for Miss Gallagher --


HILTON: Let me ask my questions, please. Pageant officials have gone on the record and said that Miss California has broken her contract. Do you, Miss Gallagher, think she should be dethroned? Yes or no.

GALLAGHER: I think they would be -- no, absolutely not. I think they would be very silly to do this. This is a pageant. Remember Tara Connor who was snorting cocaine and had to go into rehab. They didn't take away her crown. If they do this to Carrie, it's payback time for her views on same-sex marriage and everyone knows it.

You know it, Perez. By the way, there's no comparison at all between what you did -- there's no comparison between what you did and Carrie. Carrie, in the sweetest, kindest way possible, just said, you know, no offense to anybody, but I think marriage means a man and woman. You went on, videotaped yourself proudly, cursing her out in an offensive and vulgar way. I don't see how you -- yes, nobody is saying you don't have a right to do it, but -- it's a free country.

But I think this -- what happened tells a lot about who is involved here. Carrie comes out smelling like a rose.

KING: Perez, in the world of the Internet scandal, how would they have handled this if she said she was in favor of gay marriage? Honest answer. HILTON: If she had said she was in favor of gay marriage, chances are she probably still would not have won. No one would have been talking about her. This whole controversy was the best thing that ever happened to Carrie Prejean. Nobody is talking about the winner, the wonderful Miss North Carolina.

GALLAGHER: There's no reason for anyone to try to hurt Carrie, trying to take away her tiara. Leave Carrie alone. Let's get back to a civil debate about the future of marriage.

KING: Let me get a break and come back. We have Tweets coming from Twitterers. We'll get to some of them. Comments on our blog. You can access it too. Sparks continue to fly when we come back.


KING: Perez, do you think there are other photos of Carrie like the one posted on the

HILTON: Well, several reports claim there are more pictures. In fact, one of the fellow judges, Alicia Jacobs, a journalist from Las Vegas, said that she's seen other photos and that they are nude or semi-nude, which is in clear violation of the contract that Carrie Prejean signed.

KING: Maggie we've had some Tweets coming in.


KING: One of which said, which is the actual issue, the semi- nude photos or lack of honesty?

GALLAGHER: I think the real issue is there's a vendetta against Carrie. I wouldn't want everything I did at 17 splashed across the Internet. Everyone knows what's going on here. The real issue is we have a young woman. The pageant should be proud of her. She's a diamond.

Whether you agree with her on marriage or not, she's a woman -- you can see it on the Youtube, if you didn't catch it the first time around, or on our ad at She can see her. She chose -- she knew it was the wrong answer if she wanted to win. Whether she would win or not, I don't care.

But she knew she had to choose between the tiara and the truth. She chose to speak about her views on marriage. When the released these photos, they said there were more photos from the same photo shoot. I don't know what else is going to come out of Carrie. But I know they're going to do everything possible to hurt her.

She's a young woman who has never hurt anybody. She doesn't deserve this. I wish Donald trump would step in and just make it stop. We need some grown ups here to stay let's negotiate the solution. It was the pageant that put her in the position. It was the pageant that failed to back her up. They are not concerned about the photos. They are trying, for reasons I don't understand, to hurt Carrie and it's wrong.

KING: Perez, what if we said it this way, why don't we just leave it all alone?

HILTON: There's a precedent that has been established. A few years ago, another Miss USA contestant, Miss Nevada, had risque photos and her title was taken away. The facts are the facts. Not only does she have this one photo and possibly others. But she's also been acting independently of the Miss USA Pageant and not communicating with Miss California pageant officials.

GALLAGHER: Perez Hilton doesn't know what he's talking about here.

HILTON: I respect you, please let me finish. Miss California attended an event in Washington, D.C. She attended another event at her church in San Diego. She's doing a public speaking at events that have not been approved ahead of time by the Miss California Pageant.

GALLAGHER: That's factually false.

HILTON: Let me finish.

GALLAGHER: It is false.

HILTON: It is not false. You can ask Miss California Pageant.


KING: Maggie, try not to interrupt him.

GALLAGHER: I'm sorry.

KING: Billy Bush, who hosted the pageant, says it's his guess that Carrie will resign. Saying, "why be Miss California when you have a bigger platform and a bigger audience."

GALLAGHER: I don't see why she puts up with any of these people. It's just a tiara. I don't care about it. But she's a young woman. She worked hard for that tiara and she earned it. So I don't know what she will do. I certainly -- after they released her private medical information, I think why would you have anything to do with people like that?

HILTON: Great, we both think she should resign and give up her title.

GALLAGHER: Perez, I don't think I agree with you about very much, Perez. And I think -- by the way, I don't think you care about these photos either. If people go to your website, they'll see that you're not a guy who is really worried about vulgar -- you're not a guy who is really concerned about vulgar or inappropriate stuff.

HILTON: I hate to break it to you. The facts are the facts. KING: Maggie, today Maine approved same-sex marriage. Do you have a comment?

GALLAGHER: Yes, I think the people of Maine are going to get a chance to veto that. We look forward to working with people in Maine. I think we have a press release about it going out tomorrow. So I think that's going to be another referendum, just as we helped the people of California to vote for Prop 8. I'm very proud of that. And I think that has something to do with why Carrie was, on a volunteer basis, willing to come forward and help us.

She doesn't work for me. She works for herself. But I'm really proud of her and I would love to have her work for me if she ever wanted to.

KING: Perez, you have a thought about Maine?

HILTON: Yes, Maine was a great step towards full equality for all Americans. New Hampshire will also be deciding a similar question. Do they want to treat all their residents as equal? Hopefully, the Supreme Court in California, who is expected to give their decision on Prop 8 soon, will take a step for equality. It's about equality and I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll get there.

KING: Thank you both very much, Maggie Gallagher, president of the National Organization for Marriage, and Perez Hilton, creator of the celebrity blog

Next up, teen pregnancy. Can raging adolescence hormones be really tamed? Is abstinence the way to go? Or should teens be taught about safe sex? Back in 60 seconds.


KING: When your mom becomes the Republican party's vice presidential nominee, your private life becomes public. Bristol Palin made headlines last fall when the world learned the teen was pregnant. Well, Bristol is a mom now and she spoke today hoping to prevent teen pregnancy. Here she is on the challenges of being a young single mother.


BRISTOL PALIN, DAUGHTER OF SARAH PALIN: You have so much responsibility and it's just hard work all of the time. It's a 24- hour-a-day job. You don't have friends. You can't just get up and go to the movies or get your hair done or anything like that.

You put your baby first. And it's your responsibility. Completely put your life on a fast track.

I'm sure I would have been to college out of state, just traveling and getting to hang out with my friends and having a lot more freedom.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: When we come back, abstinence versus safe sex. The debate starts right after this.



KING: Joining us in Washington, Sarah Brown, CEO of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. And in Seattle, Washington is Dan Savage, sex columnist for Savage Love.

Bristol Palin says the comments she made about abstinence earlier this year were taken out of context. Here's what she said about it today and back in February. Judge for yourself and we'll get into it with our panel. Go.


PALIN: Everyone should be abstinent, whatever, but it's not realistic at all.

Abstinent is the only 100 percent full proof way of preventing pregnancy. So I think that teens need to think twice about the actions that they take.


KING: That seems contradictory. Sarah, is abstinence realistic?

SARAH BROWN, CEO, NATL CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT TEEN & UNPLANNED PREGNANCY: Larry, we had almost 14 years of declines in teen pregnancy and child bearing. We have had reversal recently, which we'll get to. One of the reasons that the rates went down over all those years was that fewer teens were having sex. There was also more contraception.

But encouraging children to delay sex until they're older is a very reasonable, widely supported idea. Bristol Palin mentioned it. Many other people have as well. She's correct when she says that it's the only 100 percent sure way of preventing teen pregnancy.

In that sense, she's quite accurate.

KING: Dan, that's true. That's the only sure thing.

DAN SAVAGE, SEX COLUMNIST, SAVAGE LOVE: Besides oral sex, besides mutual masturbation, besides fantasy role play, besides anal sex. A lot of teens who have had abstinence only sex education, not comprehensive sex education, but sex education with abstinence only -- another study has shown that a lot of these kids are resorting or engaging in anal sex as a strategy to preserve their virginities.

We still, even with the decline over those 14 years, have the highest teen pregnancy rates in the civilized world, in the industrial world.

KING: You don't favor that, do you?

SAVAGE: No, I don't. I think we should have lower teen pregnancy rates. The idea that we can stop teenagers from being sexual is ridiculous. We have to encourage teenagers -- I'm accused of being permissive. I am. I think that teenagers should have permission to make up their own minds. Some of them are going to say no and want to wait. And I'm totally supportive of that. Some of them are going to want to be intimate with their partners as teenagers, as most of us are. Most of us lose our virginities as teenagers.

They need to know that they have options beyond vaginal intercourse that are safer.

KING: Sarah, what's wrong with the good educational system?

BROWN: Well, can we back up a minute here and get the big picture? The big picture is that today is the national day to prevent teen pregnancy. And in fact, this whole month is focussed on that issue. As Dan just said, we have the highest rates of teen pregnancies and birth in the entire industrialized world. So events like today and other things have focussed the nation's attention on this problem. These are a good thing.

Now, of course, people disagree about some of the remedies and how to talk about it. But I first want to --

SAVAGE: And Bristol Palin is the wrong message.

BROWN: I first want to commend you, Larry, for shining a spotlight on this. I thought one of the most important things Bristol Palin says today was that she loves her son dearly, but she wished she would have waited to start her family. I have talked to hundreds of teen mothers over the years, and I will tell you she's very typical in that message.

KING: I don't mean to interrupt, Sarah, but isn't prophylactics a pretty safe means and a good way to educate?

BROWN: Yes. So on the issue of what are the solutions, it's not that abstinence is the only message; it's one of important messages. And, in fact, it's probably the best option for teens.

But we have some good science and research here. The programs that help teens, prevent teen pregnancy, do encourage them to delay sex. They also give them good information about condoms and contraception.

KING: That's a different story.

SAVAGE: That's good comprehensive sex education, which I support and we agree on. The problem is kids who have abstinence only education become sexually active six months to nine months later than kids who have had comprehensive. When they do, they're less likely to use condoms, more likely to get pregnant, as Bristol Palin did. I think she's the wrong messenger. The person teenagers need to hear from are people who are adults now who were sexually active as teenagers and used condoms and used birth control, or engaged in non- vaginal intercourse --

KING: By the way, hold it, guys. Hold it. By the way, Levi Johnston, the father of Bristol's baby, spoke about the abstinence issue while he was on this show. Watch.


KING: We have an e-mail question from Walt in Tarpon Springs, Florida. "Bristol said in an interview that telling young people to be abstinent is not realistic at all. Yet Governor Palin's people say Bristol is working to teach the lesson of abstinence." What's your opinion on all of that.

LEVI JOHNSTON, BRISTOL PALIN'S EX-FIANCE: I would probably have to agree with them. I think all teens, or most of them, are sexually active.

KING: Do you think abstinence is unrealistic?


KING: That it doesn't work?



KING: Sarah?

BROWN: Well, look, if people don't have sex, they don't get pregnant, if they don't have vaginal intercourse. Dan and I agree about that. And I actually don't think we disagree about much here at all. Science suggests that the best way to help young people prevent pregnancy, as well as STDs and HIV/AIDS, is to be very careful. For younger teens, that's often not having sex at all.

Today, we were talking to people in seventh and eighth grade. Most Americans feel that the strong message to them should be that they delay sexual intercourse until they're older. As we get to older adolescents and young adults, clearly, we're expecting them to use protection, condoms, contraception.

It's developmental. It's not either/or. Both of these messages are protective. And the good programs teach both.

SAVAGE: And we need to teach that there is sex play that teenagers and young adults can engage in that's beyond -- that's not vaginal intercourse. We need to decentralize vaginal intercourse. If we encourage teenagers to know -- if we told them, informed them that they can be intimate, that they can form those kind of intimate bonds, and be sexually expressive without engaging in vaginal or anal intercourse, which are the riskiest kinds, that they could masturbate together. We give them permission to do that, we could -- But to tell them, you know, you're either sexually active. and that's vaginal intercourse, and you're not. And you're either sexually safe and abstinent or you're at risk of pregnancy leads them to believe that they only have one option, only one choice. That's not true.

KING: Let me get a break. Got an opinion, share it at Click on the blog. We'll be right back.


KING: Sarah, you think Bristol Palin is going to be effective in this campaign?

BROWN: Well, I think she's going to lend her celebrity. As the most famous teen mother in America right now, I think she's going to help us focus on this issue of teen pregnancy.

And if I just may add something from the last segment. I understand Dan's list of what he thinks young people should be taught. Let me give you mine. We need to say very directly to young people that babies and children need adult parents. We need to say that children, babies don't give unconditional love to people they demand it from the people around them. It's an adult task.

We need to say, in essence, that getting pregnant, bearing children, and starting families is probably one of the most important things any of us do. And we shouldn't stumble into it, as so many teens do. Most of them say, I never even thought about it. I didn't think it would happen to me. I was drunk. I don't know, I just don't know.

This is one of the most important things we do. It needs to be talked about, educated about, programmed for. And that, I think, is the central message that young people need.

KING: Dan --

BROWN: Both to delay sex and use protection.

KING: Dan, at one point today, Bristol tried to contrast how some teens imagine it is to have a baby versus the reality.


PALIN: I think girls, now, they think that having a baby is like having an accessory on their hip. And they don't realize that it's such a huge responsibility and it's such just hard work.


KING: Dan, you can't deny that.

SAVAGE: No, you can't deny that. And I'm a parent. And I know for a fact what a lot of work bringing up a child is. Unfortunately, Bristol Palin is a spokesman for not being a teen mother is a terrible choice. She glamorizes teen motherhood. Here she is flying around the country. Here she is the star of a press conference, talking about, you know, her baby and how her whole life is.

And I just think that she is the wrong messenger. What we need to hear from -- who we need to hear from are women who are -- when they were young were sexually active as teenagers, and successfully avoided becoming teen mothers.

BROWN: Well, do agree that focusing on people who have been successful at prevention is a very important thing. I agree with you, Dan. We need to show more successful prevention stories. People also learn from their mistakes.

SAVAGE: The only people we ever see -- the only people we ever see are the screw as I say not as I screw crowd. We need to -- because people don't want to talk about having been sexually active as teenagers and being successful at it or getting away with it.


BROWN: I agree we need to show more successful preventers. I agree with that, but I think that Bristol Palin's saying this is what happened. If I had it to do again, I would have had my family later, is an important message. She's only one of 450,000 young women who had this happen last year. And they all have different stories. But hers has importance. She said I would have done it differently.

SAVAGE: But she's a figure -- she's a figure of ridicule because of who her mother is and the hypocrisy that is shot through her whole family on this issue.

BROWN: That's a separate issue. I understand that.

SAVAGE: The marriage, the greeting by John McCain on the tarmac, the passing babies around at the Republican National Convention. Bristol Palin is a joke and this movement makes your day to prevent teen pregnancy a joke by associating her with it. There are better examples --

KING: We've got lots more to do on this. Thank you, both. Thank you, both, very much. Dan Savage of Savage Love and Sarah Brown of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Thank you, both, very much. Thank you, guys.

Tomorrow night, Whoopi Goldberg is going to be here. But right now, Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson?