• With: Judy Miller, Jim Pinkerton, Ellen Ratner, Richard Grenell


    GRENNELL: And that's what is, I think, spinning at some network...


    GRENNELL: ... all about PBS.

    MILLER: Big Bird -- Big Bird's creators have actually written a letter to Mitt, saying, How could you do this after all the mornings that I taught your sons letters?

    PINKERTON: We used to -- we used to borrow (ph) from (INAUDIBLE)


    RATTNER: ... media didn't cover the fact that the president of the Corporation for Public Broadcast, Patricia Harrison (ph), is actually -- was vice chair of the Republican Party. She was a Bush 1st appointee or suggestion. And people aren't even talking about that, even though PBS...


    PINKERTON: As they say in Washington, where you stand depends on where you sit. Brilliant for PBS to hire a Republican to lobby for more money from the government (INAUDIBLE)

    GRENNELL: And Pat -- I know Pat, and she knows very well that we don't have a lot of money and that we can't borrow from China.

    RATTNER: One hundredth of 1 percent of the federal budget is PBS.

    PINKERTON: And so -- and that -- Mitt Romney's taxes are one millionth of 1 percent, and the media seem to be fixated on that!

    SCOTT: Speaking of media gaffes, the next big debate is -- speaking of gaffes and how the media handle them, the next big debate is the vice presidential debate. So what -- what is going to be, I guess, the meme, Jim, to borrow your phrase, as Vice President Biden goes up against Paul Ryan?

    PINKERTON: I mean, Biden -- look, take -- back to chains, you know, you're all in chains and the middle class is buried. Again, if anyone -- if the media picked up on these the way they picked up on Dan Quayle, there wouldn't even be a debate because it -- because -- they'd be having Biden in an undisclosed location.


    SCOTT: All right. So the big vice presidential debate comes next week, the two candidates, Joe Biden, Paul Ryan. You can watch it here on Fox News Channel on Thursday night.

    And more "News Watch" ahead.

    First, though, if you see something that you feel shows evidence of media bias, hit up Twitter. You can tweet us @foxnewswatch.

    Up next: Are the polls biased, or is it the coverage?

    ANNOUNCER: Playing the numbers. When it comes to political polls, who do you trust? Who should you trust? And is there someone in the back room cooking the numbers? Find out next on "News Watch."


    SCOTT: Well, the first presidential debate was the big news of this week, and Governor Mitt Romney's big win gave the GOP a burst of energy. It also gave Mr. Romney a big boost in the snap polls the next day. In a CBS poll asking uncommitted voters who won, Mitt Romney got 46 percent, Barack Obama 22 percent, 32 percent said it was a tie.

    So what about all of these snap polls, Jim? These reactions are, you know, taken overnight sometimes in these polls, and yet reactions may change -- you know, people's reactions may change, but the media narrative often stays the same.

    PINKERTON: Well, this -- we'll see about this one. I mean, the polls on Friday, the Gallup (INAUDIBLE) Rasmussen and We Ask America had both showed Romney pulling ahead by a slim margin.

    And I will predict that the people who are complaining bitterly about the polls a week ago will not be complaining anymore. It'll probably be flipped, as a matter of fact. I mean, Frank Newport, who runs the Gallup organization, had a blog on his post (ph) about this.

    Listen (INAUDIBLE) talk about the methodology of this. These polls are what they are. And it's -- they are snapshots of opinion, but I don't think they're cooked either way. And therefore, I think conservatives should be happy that Romney's ahead.

    SCOTT: But then there was the Washington Post poll that ran on Monday. Judy's nodding her head in agreement. Here was the headline, 41 percent for Governor Romney, 52 percent for Mitt -- I'm sorry -- President Obama in this Washington Post poll. It said 52 percent of likely voters across swing states side with Obama, 41 percent Romney in the new national poll.

    The problem here -- there was a margin of error of 8 points and there were, let's see, a sample size of 161 people?

    MILLER: Right. That poll never should have run, and a hats-off to Jennifer Rubin, the conservative blogger for The Washington Post, who called her own newspaper on that poll and pointed out the 8-point margin of error and also the slimness of the number of people polled. That was a really good job. I think we have to be always aware what is the margin of error and also what are the underlying assumptions about who' being polled?


    RATTNER: ... because Jim Garrity (ph) also -- at The National Review also talked about the sample size. And the other problem is, is that who cares about whether the whole nation thinks one thing or the other? Even if a sample size is good, which a lot of them are not, it's really a state- by-state election.

    GRENNELL: Yes. I agree, actually. Part of the narrative for me on these polls is that we don't get that they are just a quick snapshot -- 161 people, 500 people -- and you don't know what the question is. As we all know, you can ask a question a lot of different ways to get a lot of different answers.

    MILLER (?): Push polling.

    SCOTT: And it's also true that -- I think most people, when they read a headline -- and you know, The Washington Post made a headline out of those poll results -- most people are going to be looking for the margin of error.

    PINKERTON: Right. Well, you can -- you can make an argument that the -- some newspapers -- and The Post and The New York Times come to mind -- are deliberately highlighting poll results to try and create momentum.

    However, I just think that the reality of the polls are -- the pollsters, as opposed to the headline writers, are trying to do (INAUDIBLE) reflected (ph) the fact that when everybody agrees Romney crushed Obama in the debates, the polls show that, too. And when everybody agreed that Romney obviously has a surge, he's -- as of Thursday and Friday, he's surging. The polls are reflecting what people are thinking.

    GRENNELL: John, what some people don't realize is the 4.5 percent margin of error really means a 9-point swing either way. So if it's within 9 points, you can say the whole thing is wrong.

    SCOTT: Right. And I guess, you know one of the questions, Judy, in the week ahead -- we've seen the polls. We've seen the results of the last debate. Are there going to be -- is the coverage, I guess, going to be skewed to match the polls or to match some direction that the media want this race to take?

    MILLER: Well, it often is, but I think President Obama was saved this week by those job numbers on Friday. Once you have numbers that good, the meme or the mantra can kind of swing back to the president regaining momentum, realizing that he did not have a good day. I mean, I think you're going to see the narrative shift back to the president.