• With: Judy Miller, Jim Pinkerton, Ellen Ratner, Monica Crowley

    This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," December 8, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


    SEN. HARRY REID, D-NEV., SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Coach Ryan, He's got a problem. He's got three quarterbacks. But that's not the same problem the Republicans are having. Who is the quarterback, Mr. President?

    SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY., SENATE MINORITY LEADER: The quarterback on the Democratic side is the president of the United States. He keeps throwing interceptions and we're moving backward and backward and backward.


    SCOTT: Congress still embattled over the budget. Republicans say they want to cut government spending. Democrats say they want to do all they can to push the president's plan, but is his plan good for the country or just good for him? And do the media know the difference?


    SEN. ORRIN HATCH, R-UTAH: The vast majority of our major media in this country is on his side. That no matter what he says, no matter what he does, even though what he's doing is outrageous that his own party won't support.


    SCOTT: A shocking murder-suicide ends the lives of a young mother and a NFL star. The tragic tale making headlines and igniting another round of anti-gun rants in the media.

    BOB COSTAS, NBC ANCHOR: "Our current gun culture," Whitlock wrote, "ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy.

    SCOTT: Did the NBC sports guy go too far?

    A man gets pushed to his death in a New York City subway. The final moments captured on camera then printed in the paper. Is the outrage warranted? And the world media go gaga over big royal news.

    ROB BARTLETT, COMEDIAN: Duchess Kate's got a crumpet in the oven. I cannot wait for the next six months of the world going potty over every little bloody detail. Ooh, she's got morning sickness, ooh; she's starting to show, ooh, she's broken her water.


    SCOTT: On the panel this week, writer and Fox News contributor, Judy Miller. Radio talk show host, Monica Crowley. Jim Pinkerton, contributing editor of the American Conservative Magazine, and Ellen Ratner, bureau chief of talk radio News Service. I'm Jon Scott. "Fox News Watch" is on right now.


    BRIAN WILLIAMS, ANCHOR "NBC NEWS NIGHTLY NEWS": If you want to know how broken, how partisan our Congress and government has become, all you need to look at is this one day in Washington where tonight we're no closer to compromise on a deal to avoid that so-called fiscal cliff.

    DIANE SAWYER, ANCHOR "ABC WORLD NEWS": It was also warm in the nation's Capitol today despite the big chill between Democrats and Republicans.

    SCOTT PELLEY, ANCHOR "CBS EVENING NEWS": President Obama dug in his heels today, insisting on a tax increase for higher income earners.

    BRET BAIER, HOST OF "SPECIAL REPORT": Democrats and Republicans do agree on some things about the approaching budget deadline. Both agree that the other's proposals are ridiculous.


    SCOTT: Just a sampling of the coverage this week as the media keep a watch on what's being done or not to avert the fiscal cliff.

    Jim, the overriding theme in the media seems to be that President Obama won the election and therefore should get to do what he wants, but people forget, or the media seem to forget that John Boehner and everybody else in the House won their elections as well, and they are a co-equal branch of government.

    JIM PINKERTON, THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE: True, I think the media loves the story of President Obama's comeback. The New York Times describes him as disciplined and unyielding and, you know, steely in his focus on this, but I think there are other media stories, too, as well.

    The second media story or narrative is which Republican wants to quote, "grow," by discovering the virtues of tax increases and get new prospect from the mainstream media. The third is sort of McConnell and Boehner antagonists, what are they going to do, you know back and forth. And the media sort of wants to praise him, I think if they raise taxes, but don't want to praise him if they think they won't.

    The fourth story is Grover Norquist as sort of the devil figure, but, unfortunately for that narrative, he's actually kind of a funny clever guy, and when he does interviews, he's sort of endearing, but they still want to put the burden on him. And then the fifth story is the conservative intellectual rebellion, and you see people like Charles Krauthammer and Steve Forbes saying there's a better way to do this and negotiating with the White House. The media like that story the least.

    JUDY MILLER, WRITER & FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think there's the sixth story, Jim. Which is the media then, quote, progressive media of MSNBC, trooping down to the White House to have an earnest chat to chat with the president about how important not going over the fiscal cliff is, and how important it is that they persuade their viewers to lean on those obstreperous people who oppose them, so that we can actually avoid the cliff. That's amazing.

    ELLEN RATNER, BUREAU CHIEF, TALK RADIO NEWS SERVICE: But, you know, the media did not include the people who are not included, there were Thom Hartmann, there was Alan Colmes, there were a lot of people that the White House left out of that meeting, that never made it to the media either in terms of who they put in and who they put out. The media just put out the story without doing any of their homework.

    SCOTT: There was a column by George Will, titled "Bewitched by Obama," he writes: "Even Jonathan Swift who said that promises and pie crusts are made to be broken might have marveled at the limited shelf life of Barack Obama's promise of a balanced deficit reduction plan -- substantial spending cuts to a company revenue increases." Is there any media pressure on the White House for that?

    MONICA CROWLEY, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: There's no media pressure on the White House to explain any of this. I mean, what's so fascinating to me in watching all of this and we are talking about the PR and how the press is covering the PR, especially as it comes out of the White House and the Democrats. On the other side, the Republicans have no PR. They don't have a coherent message; they don't have a coherent messenger. But what I find fascinating is that the press doesn't cover why Obama is doing what he is doing and this gets to your point, Jon. There's this assumption that the president doesn't want to go over the fiscal cliff like the Republicans don't want to go over the fiscal cliff. And I think that's the wrong assumption. I think the president does want to go over the fiscal cliff and yet, there has been no coverage of that whatsoever. Bob Woodward, actually, gave a video interview to Politico this week and he said who is Barack Obama, what drives him? This is not a big mystery here at this point.

    SCOTT: The media seem to have no problems supporting the idea of putting higher taxes on higher wage earners in this country. Take a look at this from the California Teachers Union.


    ED ASNER, ACTOR: When ordinary people wondered why rich people needed so much money, the one percent said, don't worry, this is good for you, too. Because it will trickle down from us to you. Someday, you'll be rich and then the rules we made for us will be your rules, too.


    SCOTT: That's Ed Asner, the actor, voicing that production. What's been the media reaction, Jim?

    PINKERTON: Not much. I mean, a part of it is I'd be hard-pressed on a family channel to describe what we just saw there. You have to look, you have to rewind it and look closely. He would appear to be urinating on ordinary Americans, which is kind of gross.

    SCOTT: The rich on the poor.