• With: Judy Miller, Richard Grenell, Jim Pinkerton, Kirsten Powers

    I thought that between the fiscal cliff and Newtown, Connecticut, that the story would kind of fade away. I don't think it will. And I think the pressure is on Secretary Clinton to testify while she's still in office as secretary of state, and then whatever carryover that takes over to Senator Kerry of Massachusetts confirmation hearings, the secretary of state sometime early next year, I think the story has got a lot of legs coming into 2013.

    SCOTT: We know that Susan Rice lost her chance to become secretary of state because she went out on the morning shows and insisted that the protests were all spawned by the video. Here is what the report concluded.

    "The board concluded there was no protests prior to the attacks, which were unanticipated in their scale and intensity."

    A lot of people in the media bought the administration's spin. Should there be, you know, repercussions to that?

    MILLER: The amazing thing about the way this whole story has been covered and the way certain news outlets continue to cover it is as a political attack on the Obama administration, rather than an inquiry into why four American diplomats died. And that meme continues, that theme continues, despite such information, despite the report concluding that what Susan Rice said was wrong.

    The issue is, when did Susan Rice know that? When should she have known it? What steps did she take to try and find out what the situation was on the ground, apart from the talking points she was handed. None of these questions are being asked, except by Fox and a few other news outlets.

    SCOTT: Kirsten, you heard it at the top of the hour, there are some Democrats who still insist this is just a partisan witch hunt.

    POWERS: Oh, yes, I mean, it's incredible. Even if you look at what this report found, it's stuff that you would have known if you'd just been watching Fox News. I mean, it doesn't take an investigation to get this information, and I think that's what's so frustrating is that there was no curiosity, I mean, you know, we knew there wasn't a protest, it was reported. It was reported before she went on the air to say that there had been a protest that there was no protest. You know, and yet, this is such a media scandal. You know? That just -- the way that they not only have a lack of interest, but actually smearing anybody who is asking questions as just being some sort of a right wing wingnut.

    GRENELL: Let me say something positive about Democratic senators. Because I think that some Democratic senators recognize that -- no female Democratic senator spoke up in Susan Rice's defense, not one.

    SCOTT: All right. We have a lot to get to today on "News Watch." Reporting on the Newtown massacre. Did a media agenda take over the coverage?

    (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

    SCOTT: The scene in Newtown was echoed across Connecticut on Friday. Bells tolling 26 times for the 20 children and six adults killed at the Sandy Hook elementary school a week earlier. That horrific story getting major media attention this week, but coverage of the tragedy took a quick turn with many in the media using the killings to push their agenda against guns.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    BLOOMBERG: It's so unbelievable, and it only happens in America. And it happens again and again. There was another shooting yesterday, three people killed, I think, in a hospital. We kill people in schools, we kill them in hospitals, we kill them in religious organizations, we kill them when they're young, we kill them when they're old, and we've just got to stop this.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    SCOTT: Well, you might applaud what Mayor Bloomberg says there. Judy is nodding in agreement. But Jim, part of his statement was wrong. Ask the people of Scotland, or Norway or Russia whether these kinds of things happen only in America.

    PINKERTON: Right, look, there are four clusters of ways to think about this issue in terms of policy prescriptions. One is guns, which we'll spend the rest of the year, 2013, talking about. The other one is mental health, which will be of some interest. Another one will be the culture of video games and so on. And the fourth one, which I think David Brooks brought up to his credit is the copycat issue. After Columbine, in 1999, there was kind of a meme in the media, well, don't mention the killer's names, don't give them any credit, no notoriety. And after the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, the American Psychological Association said it is a mistake and it is harmful to mention this killer's name, it will encourage more copycats.

    That whole idea of not mentioning the killer has just disappeared in a frenzy to get every last detail about the guy. And I think as Wayne LaPierre of the NRA said on Friday, you can see the next copycat killer making his plan right now based on all the notoriety this young man in Connecticut has received.

    SCOTT: Judy, you're one of those who applauds the concept of gun control. Do you think the media made that turn too quickly out of this story?

    MILLER: No, because I think the politicians they were covering made that turn, and I think it was an inevitable turn, especially after so many incidents of this -- tragedies of this nature. And I want to point out that there was an excellent story, I believe it was on NPR, about a rampage in a Chinese school in which a madman went after children in a school with a knife, and he stabbed over 20 of them, but none of them died. And that's the key difference. When you have an automatic weapon that you can rapidly reload, when you have a gun, it kills. It kills more easily. It's hard to stab people to death.

    GRENELL: Certainly you're not suggesting that a Communist society rules are what we should follow. I mean, a mentally disturbed man stole guns. I haven't been shown any piece of legislation that is going to change that. If there was a gun law that would change the fact that a mentally disturbed man couldn't steal a gun, I would be for it, but the simple fact is, Judy, I don't care what law you're going to put in place, the mentally disturbed man is going to steal a gun.

    MILLER: You can't abolish--

    (CROSSTALK)

    POWERS: -- he just took it from his mother, which is what has happened in Columbine, they took them from their parents. And I think that the NRA, which I consider to be a completely utterly destructive organization in this society, if they want everybody to have a gun, then they need to start talking to people about how to handle guns. Like, hey, here is an idea, secure your guns. My brother keeps his guns in a safe. And my father--

    GRENELL: That's the law. That's the law in many states.

    POWERS: Are people prosecuted like were the parents--

    (CROSSTALK)

    GRENELL: So that's a great point.

    (CROSSTALK)

    POWERS: The NRA needs to be leading on this stuff. And I want to finish what I have to say. The other thing is, I'm tired of hearing about how there's this anti-gun agenda. It's an anti-killing spree agenda. It's not an anti-gun agenda.

    GRENELL: We're working on that.

    POWER: I don't have a problem with guns, I grew up with guns. I have a problem with people having magazines, clips, whatever you want to call them -- everybody complains we don't use the exact right term -- we all know what I'm talking about -- where you can spray bullets and just kill 20 people in a minute. This is not the way a civilized society should operate.

    PINKERTON: Funny you mention that, because on Friday, the NRA's Wayne LaPierre said exactly, we need more gun training, we need people -- more guards, we need all these things. I guarantee that part of his press conference, his statement won't get covered at all. I think the media do have an anti-gun agenda that doesn't follow politicians at all as you were suggesting, they have it on their own, and I think, again, all other ways to deal with school shootings and mass violence will be sunk below the radar.

    (CROSSTALK)

    POWERS: The reason (inaudible) brought up knives is because everybody always says, why don't we outlaw knives, because people will then kill people with knives. It is like, no, but they don't do mass killings with knives.

    GRENELL: Why don't we outlaw mental illness?

    POWERS: We don't do mass killings with knives.

    (CROSSTALK)

    MILLER: Come on, we know what the solutions are, we've discussed them for years.

    GRENELL: No, we don't. I don't think we do.