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

    PINKERTON: And something tells me that if Rush Limbaugh had put that video on his YouTube channel, I think there would have been more of an explosion.

    SCOTT: And this from the teachers union.

    MILLER: Yes, but it is ...

    SCOTT: In the nation's most populous state.

    MILLER: But it is California, after all, and people are used to kind of over the top in California, whether it's violent video games or people peeing on, you know, other people, I mean, it just goes with the territory, and I think it's up to individuals to decide how they feel about that, on the other hand, I don't want anyone to tell Ed Asner he can't do it, because that would be interfering with free speech, and I'm against that.

    RATNER: You know, what's interesting though, if you look at the media on this whole issue, Media Research Center, no, I'm not exactly in their ilk. But they're right on this one, they said that ABC News had talked about tax cuts 17 times, but no one really talked about spending cuts. That was another issue that this week was, I think, front and --

    CROWLEY: And on this Ed Asner cartoon, what the media is not pointing out. They love to indulge in the class warfare rhetoric, that you see in this cartoon, but what they're not pointing out is that the evil one percent, the so-called rich urinating on the poor, they're also known as primary taxpayers in California and around the country, and without those primary taxpayers these teachers don't have jobs or salaries.

    SCOTT: Next on "News Watch," newscaster and sportscaster Bob Costas takes a stand on gun control.


    COSTAS: Handguns do not enhance our safety, they exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments and bait us into embracing confrontation, rather than avoiding it.

    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: NBC's high profile sportsman Bob Costas gives his half time take on gun violence reigniting the debate and getting reaction from both sides of the issue. Did his controversial comments get a pass in the press? That's next on "News Watch."



    COSTAS: "Our current gun culture," Whitlock wrote, "ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy and that more convenience store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead. Handguns do not enhance our safety, they exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it."


    SCOTT: That's NBC's Bob Costas quoting another -- another call for gun control during half time of a game last Sunday, a day after Kansas City's Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend and killed himself. Costas was heavily criticized for airing those comments. He tried to explain it to Bill O'Reilly.


    COSTAS: What I spoke about in quoting Jason Whitlock was a mentality. There's a gun culture in this country.

    BILL O'REILLY, HOST OF "THE O'REILLY FACTOR": Let's get to that.

    COSTAS: Tony Dungy, highly respected figure, said that when he coached the Colts, some 80 players, before they cut the roster down, showed up in training camp, and he asked them, how many of you own guns? About 60 of the 80.

    O'REILLY: Why do they have the guns?

    COSTAS: They may feel that they need it for protection.

    O'REILLY: But why, do you know why they have them? I don't know.

    COSTAS: They may feel that its part of a romanticized culture, there's an aspect of this, a kind of Wild West cowboy, Dirty Harry aspect. There's also an aspect...

    O'REILLY: So they're macho men and they've got to have a gun?


    SCOTT: So, Costas made his first remarks on Sunday evening about 36 hours after the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide. The criticism that's been directed toward Costas for using that platform to make these remarks, what do you think about it, Jim?

    PINKERTON: Well, I think it was kind of strange and especially given the fact that the NFL had been under such pressure lately for CTE, that's chronic traumatic encephalopathy. So, in other words, at the moment when the NFL is in deep, deep trouble over -- and potentially looking at billions in lawsuits, he says, oh, by the way, the big issue now is gun control, and now the entire mainstream media go chasing after the gun control rabbit, as it were, for this, and I think he's now become a statesman. I mean, he's heavily criticized, but he's also heavily praised, including by, you know, Juan Williams here at Fox. I think he's got a great career now as a liberal pundit, (inaudible) bored of doing x's and o's, so why not do political commentary with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC?

    SCOTT: Judy is nodding in agreement, but I'm not sure which part she agrees with.

    MILLER: I agree that he's a sports celebrity, that he's no longer a mere anchor, I would dare -- dare I use the word "mere" next to anchor?


    MILLER: But look, he has a right to express a view. If people watching the show don't like it, they can turn off or watch a commercial. I do see that this is part of a pattern with him. He last July as Deadspin pointed out, he noted that the International Olympics Committee would not have a moment, ten seconds of silence to honor the anniversary of the Munich Olympics, so he is prone to political commentary, and I think he has a right to do so.

    RATNER: Well, you know, it's interesting, because Deadspin also said that he is very smart and he knew exactly what he was doing, it was not a mistake, basically that -- and that's an interesting sort of sideline to this.

    CROWLEY: He did try to back off and he did apologize for using that particular platform. He said that was probably an inappropriate place, people are tuning in to watch Sunday night football and they get those commentary on the gun culture and then he tried to really split some hairs, Jon, by talking about -- he wasn't referring, he said, to gun control, he was talking about the gun culture. But they're essentially one in the same or what he was really doing was using the gun culture as the stalking horse to advocate for greater gun control.

    PINKERTON: Again, he was shifting the argument to gun control, away from brain injuries, but also the column that he was referring to by Jason Whitlock, the main burden of that column on -- actually, on FoxNews.com or Foxsports.com, was cancel the game, it is inappropriate to have a football game 24 hours after this man killed himself and killed his girlfriend. And so the gun control thing was, as Whitlock himself said, was secondary to the main thing, that it was just horrible and inappropriate to have a football game when these bodies were still warm.

    SCOTT: Right. Costas was quoting and paraphrasing Whitlock there in that commentary, if that's what you want to call it. Whitlock also said this, play it.


    JASON WHITLOCK: You know I did not go as far as I would like to go, because my thoughts on the NRA and America's gun culture -- I believe the NRA is the new KKK.

    And that the arming of so many black youths and loading up our communities with drugs and then just having an open shooting gallery is the work of people that, you know, obviously don't have our best interests.