• With: Judy Miller, Cal Thomas, Jim Pinkerton, Kirsten Powers

    This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," January 14, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    JON SCOTT, HOST OF “FOX NEWS WATCH” (voice-over): On “Fox News Watch” --


    NEWT GINGRICH, (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's a lot more anti-Christian bigotry today than there is concerning the other side, and none of it gets covered --

    (APPLAUSE)SCOTT: Republican presidential candidates are subjected to liberal media harassment at recent debates, forcing the GOP contenders into a corner. Should the candidates have walked off?


    And about the debates, have the media taken control of the political process, flooding the airwaves with too much coverage and too many debates?


    MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: Don't read the papers.



    SCOTT: A book about the first family makes news and makes the media goes on the defensive to keep the first lady's image.


    PRESIDENT OBAMA: I didn't accept Bill's decision right away.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)SCOTT: The end of the president's main man ends his runs as chief of staff. How did coverage of that move compare to those in the past?

    And you know you’ve made the big time when you see something like this.


    CARTOON: Save me Obamacare.


    SCOTT (on camera): On the panel, this week, writer and Fox News contributor, Judy Miller; syndicated columnist, Cal Thomas; Jim Pinkerton, contributing editor, the American Conservative magazine; and Daily Beast columnist, Kirsten Powers.

    I'm Jon Scott. “Fox News Watch” is on right now.


    MITT ROMNEY, (R), FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a choice between two very different destinies. President Obama wants to fundamentally transform America. We want to restore America to the founding principles that made this country great.

    REP. RON PAUL, R-TEXAS & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I find it somewhat fascinating when they finally get around -- and this is different people, it could be in the media, it could be our opponents or whatever. But I sort of have to chuckle when they describe you and me as being dangerous!

    JON HUNTSMAN, (R), FORMER UTAH GOVERNOR & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I would say third place is a ticket to ride, ladies and gentlemen!


    Hello, South Carolina!


    SCOTT: Well, Mitt Romney was riding the wave into the winners circle followed by Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman, whom you see there in New Hampshire. Now, all the Republican candidates are trying to ride that momentum into South Carolina. The media frenzy that surrounds them continues.

    So, Jim, take us back to this week of coverage that included Governor Romney's -- well, it’s a comment that he probably wishes he could take back but, address the coverage.

    JIM PINKERTON, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE: Well, this is the gift that keeps on giving. We’ve got a whole new campaign in front of us on this hedge fund, private equity fund, Bain Capital stuff. I think the media are salivating at the prospect that Gingrich and Huntsman and Perry and who knows who else are all going to tear into Romney on this. And I think they can't wait.

    SCOTT: Late in the week, though, Newt Gingrich seemed to backed away from his criticism perhaps because he heard from his fellow Republicans that they didn't like that line of attack.

    JUDY MILLER, WRITER & FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Or perhaps, Jon, because it wasn't working as he intended. The most amazing thing about the coverage this week was summed up by Peggy Noonan when she said, Romney is not the person you embrace, he’s the person you circle back to. There's a kind of inevitability about this, despite the media's effort to kind of drum up a little excitement. There’s just a sense of -- Jacob Weisberg said, this is the guy. And that’s very not exciting for the media. So we'll make it more interesting.

    SCOTT: Kirsten, did you see the front page of The Washington Post? I think we have the graphic this week. It was a cloud cover that included the shot in the background of -- see the shot in the corner? Do not trust the liberal media.


    Don't believe on the liberal media, on the front page of The Washington Post. What do you make of that, Kirsten?

    KIRSTEN POWERS, COLUMNIST, DAILY BEAST: I think that all the stuff going on with the attacks on Mitt Romney and Bain is not really being drummed up by the liberal media. It is drummed up by Newt Gingrich, primarily. Let's face it. The DNC has lodged attacks but not getting the attraction Newt Gingrich has gotten. And Perry is along for the ride. Gingrich, they thought, was backtracking. But his campaign put out a statement saying, no, we aren’t backtracking.


    POWERS: I think they are sticking with this as they go into South Carolina because South Carolina has a high unemployment rate and they probably hope it this will read out to their effect.