This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," June 30, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
JON SCOTT, HOST OF "FOX NEWS WATCH": On "Fox News Watch"
PRESIDENT OBAMA: The highest court in the land has now spoken.
SCOTT: The Supreme Court hands down a landmark decision on ObamaCare. Democrats and the liberal media celebrate the court's decision that the law stands. Are they also celebrating the finding that the individual mandate is a tax? And proof of a real media double standard. Chief Justice John Roberts, cast as a conservative patsy before the decision, then called a bold defiant hero after his key swing vote to uphold the law. How will his decision affect coverage of the court?
The mainstream media chalk up the decision as a campaign season victory for the president. Some see it as a win-win for Romney and the GOP. How will news coverage of the Supreme decision affect the 2012 election?
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OHIO, HOUSE SPEAKER: The only recourse left for the House is to continue seeking the truth and to hold Attorney General in contempt of Congress.
SCOTT: In another historic vote, Congress sanctions Attorney General Eric Holder, finding him in contempt of Congress for withholding key documents related to the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal. Have the media shown any real interest or are they parroting the liberal line that this is a politically motivated move?
America's trust in TV news has dropped. Any surprise there? And in a very public and uncomfortable way, NBC dumps Ann Curry from the "Today" anchor seat.
ANN CURRY, FORMER TODAY SHOW HOST: This is not easy to say, but today is going to be my last morning as a regular co-host of "Today."
SCOTT: On the panel this week, writer and Fox News contributor Judy Miller. Richard Grenell, spokesman for the last four U.S. ambassadors to the U.N. 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.
DIANE SAWYER, ANCHOR, "ABC WORLD NEWS": This is a day for the history books. The U.S. Supreme Court has said the Obama health care law is constitutional, and therefore, the law of the land.
SCOTT PELLEY, ANCHOR, "CBS EVENING NEWS": Tonight, health care reform is the law of the land.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, ANCHOR, "NBC NIGHTLY NEWS": It was the most important single effort of the Obama administration, and today, it became the most important Supreme Court decision of the past several years.
BRET BAIER, HOST OF "SPECIAL REPORT": The Supreme Court's ruling on ObamaCare. President Obama's signature legislative achievement, his health care law, survived today.
SCOTT: TV news coverage there of the Supreme Court's historic health care ruling, and here some of the newspaper headlines. From the L.A. Times, 'Health care law stands, Robert sides with liberal justices in a major victory for Obama.' From the Washington Post, 'Health care law upheld, Roberts joins liberal wing of court, says mandate is a tax.' From the Chicago Tribune, 'Landmark decision upholds health care law, Roberts casts surprise swing vote.' And from the New York Times, 'Justices by 5-4 uphold health care law, Roberts in majority. Victory for Obama.'
So, Jim, what about the headlines? Do they tell the whole story here?
JIM PINKERTON, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE: Well, they tell us that Justice Roberts is growing in the eyes of the media. Years ago some wise guy in D.C. coined the phrase greenhouse effect to describe the process by which the New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse was -- encouraged courts and Supreme Court to move to the left in her direction, and sure enough, the Washington Post on Friday, had a nice puffy picture of John Roberts, who just a week ago was a right-wing goon, and now he is on his way to the full Earl Warrenization.
SCOTT: Before the decision, Chris Matthews on MSNBC, Judy, said that John Roberts could be compared to a Civil War era Supreme Court judge who upheld the Dred Scott slave act. And then the same Chris Matthews after this vote praises Roberts as bold, defiant, and a hero who upheld ObamaCare.
JUDY MILLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I'm beginning to feel that thrill up my thigh. And look, here the bias, so obvious. Chief Justice Roberts agrees with the liberals and upholds the president's signature legislation and suddenly he's a hero, but that's not the way the legal media are covering it. The legal media see his reasoning as specious and his about-face as, well, an about-face. And Jeffrey Smith on -- a legal scholar who was a First Amendment scholar, Jeff Stone (ph), forgive me, said, you know, Justice Ginsburg took him apart and called his reasoning horrible broccoli, or broccoli horrible.
I think that ultimately, when people step back and look at what he has done, a great many media analysts are now going to have to focus on the fact that he switched rationales to do a very political thing. He did not want the Supreme Court to knock down this signature piece of legislation.
SCOTT: But some conservative media say he just narrowly reads the Constitution and said that, essentially, if the Congress and the administration want to pass bad law, it's not up to the Supreme Court to fix it.
KIRSTEN POWERS, DAILY BEAST: Well, movement conservatives are very, very angry. There are actually very few conservatives that are coming to his defense, only a couple that I can think of. So, you know, but in terms of the media coverage, I think that TV clips you showed were very accurate. This is historic; this is a victory for Obama on the substance. The political issue is a different thing. If you look at the newspaper headlines, I think there's a bias, there is a clear bias, actually, because it's not really true that he sided with the liberals. He ruled with them, but his reasoning was completely different than theirs.
SCOTT: So how was he treated by conservative press, in particular, Rick?
RICHARD GRENELL, FORMER SPOKESMAN, FOUR AMBASSADORS TO U.N.: I think the conservative press clearly gets the politics of this. Justice Roberts gave Obama a win on the legal grounds, but he really saddled him with a terrible scarlet T, if you will. It's now -- he has to go into the campaign season with the label of a taxer, and I think the conservative media gets that. They would much rather have the political win than this legal win, and I think that it's going to be reflected as the Romney campaign speaks out, but the press missed that. They only focused on the legal aspect, even though in the lead-up all we heard was the political aspects of Judge Roberts and what his court was going to mean politically, because he was, as Jim says, a conservative goon up until that decision.
SCOTT: And then from NBC's David Gregory, we have this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID GREGORY, NBC: Health care reform was passed, on a party line vote. What happens if it is struck down in part or in whole by a 5-4 decision? Would that not underscore how dysfunctional our government is, the major institutions of our governments are? That is a real nightmare scenario I think for the political class in this country.
He has spoken publicly about how on big controversial decisions, he thinks a 5-4 majority on the court over time undermines the Supreme Court, and only fuels the view that our major political institutions are too polarized. He's taken a big step here. He's going to be cheered for that by some on the right and the left, criticized I'm sure as well by some of the right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: So we got a 5-4 decision and the liberal media seem to love it.
MILLER: Of course, because the liberal media love it. But that's-- this is what we're not hearing yet, that's the political impact of this decision. It's going to be huge, I think. I'm a little surprised that Romney did not take advantage of the moment. He did talk about the elements of-- that he would have in his plan. He said he was going to repeal it, the next, the first day in office, and David Frum wrote, good luck with that.
SCOTT: What about the opinion some in the media have expressed that this could be a win-win for Mitt Romney?
PINKERTON: Well, as Kirsten and Rick both alluded to, you know, columnists who are pretty influential, like Charles Krauthammer and George Will both sort of made the arguments that, look, Roberts has now declared this to be the giant, biggest tax increase in the history of the universe, and Obama has to wear it. And as a lot of observers noted, the polls show by about a 15 or 20 point margin the people of America still oppose ObamaCare as a thing. And if the next four months Obama's defending it, that's a negative for him.
SCOTT: So, how does this change the way the media cover the race for president, Kirsten?
POWERS: You see, I'm actually more in the camp of it being upheld was the best case scenario for him. Everyone has a different position on this, they think if it would have been good if it were struck down, because then he wouldn't have to defend it. But health care was going to be part of the debate. It's not actually something most people are voting on. According to Gallup, only 6 percent of people name it even as a top issue. But it was still going to be a part of the debate. There's no way Obama can get away from his central issue, and the media, look, are on his side, on this for the most part, and saying that you know, and they're going to say now that it's constitutional, game over.
SCOTT: All right. Up next, another historic moment for the media this week. .