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


    SCOTT: Clips from the film "Zero Dark Thirty" which opened nationwide on Friday, and the film getting a lot of media attention along with controversy over the so-called torture scenes. What about that, Judy? What -- before the film, while it was being made there was a lot of concern about the access these film makers were given and then the film comes out and there's a lot of concern over whether it was accurately portrayed or not, especially the water-boarding?

    MILLER: Right, and as its producers say, it's a movie. It's, you know, it's based on something, but we shouldn't take it as gospel. On the other hand, it's a very powerful movie and it's interesting to me that Sony felt they had to delay it until after the election, because I found its message to be rather critical of many aspects of the Obama administration's counter-terrorism policy.

    PINKERTON: It's -- as Dan Froomkin on Huffington Post says, a little disingenuous of them to say, it's only a movie considering they pegged it as the true story. I mean, they can't have it both ways.

    SCOTT: Yeah, well, that's the thing -- other producers are claiming this is not a documentary. And yet, when they were building this thing, I mean they were getting access to top secret information.

    CROWLEY: Right. No, it's clearly not a documentary, really, it's an extraordinary bit of film making, but this kind of mixture of fact and fiction, we've seen this. Oliver Stone has been doing this for decades, other film makers do, is they take a real situation and they fold in fiction and they make up characters and composite characters. It's always sort of dangerous when you're talking about real historical events, but I think it's particularly dangerous when you're depicting an event that is critical to a war we're still engaged in. Are we still engaged in these kinds of tactics, the Obama administration says no. But you are also in a process of signaling to the enemy what at least we have been willing to do in the past and I think that is a very dangerous thing.

    SCOTT: In the meantime, Judicial Watch sued this week to get access. It wants, you know, Freedom of Information Act, access to the death photos of Osama bin Laden.

    RATNER: Yes, they did. And in my view, they'll often do anything for a story, whether they're going to get that access or not.

    SCOTT: Should they?

    RATNER: I don't think so, actually.

    SCOTT: Why not?

    RATNER: Why? Because I think that we have a lot of secrets in our government and I'm not so sure that that one is going to do the United States any good.

    SCOTT: Judy?

    MILLER: I would normally be against what Ellen just said, but given the fact that there's so much in this administration that is being kept secret, I would rather go after other things that are, I think, of more immediate interest and benefit to the American people.

    SCOTT: Jim?

    PINKERTON: I would keep it secret, which is not the same as saying it will stay secret, because after all, there's more Hollywood movies to be made, right, and more memoirs of Obama administration officials to be published in the years to come.

    SCOTT: All right. Ask yourself this question, is it bad to call someone beautiful?


    MUSBURGER: What a beautiful woman, wow!

    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Brent Musburger takes a moment during a big bowl game to admire the sights. Then, gets tackled in the press. But why? That's next on "News Watch."



    MUSBURGER: Do you see that lovely lady there? She does go to Auburn, I will admit that. But she's also Miss Alabama, and that's A.J. McCarron's girlfriend, OK? And right there on the right is Dee Dee Banner (ph), that's A.J.'s mom. I'll tell, you quarterbacks, you get all the good looking women I'll tell you, what a beautiful woman. Whoa.

    KIRK HERBSTREIT, ESPN: He's -- A.J. is doing some things right down there.

    MUSBURGER: So, if you are a youngster in Alabama, start getting the football out and throwing around the backyard where it pops.


    SCOTT: The ESPN sportscaster Brent Musburger and his announcer side Kirk Herbstreit taking a break from the title BCS title game introduced the audience to Katherine Webb, the 23-year old beauty queen girl, friend of Alabama's quarterback. Musburger's comments got a little reaction, described as creepy and awkward and this from Sue Carter, a journalism professor at Michigan State telling the New York Times it's extraordinarily inappropriate to focus on an individual's looks. It's a major personal violation and it's so retrograde that it's embarrassing. The ESPN apologized saying Musburger's commentary went too far. Did it, Judy?

    MILLER: Musburger, don't apologize! This is absolutely ridiculous and it shows you what's wrong with journalism schools in America. She is a former beauty queen. She had no problem with the4 comment. Get over it!

    SCOTT: Even Ellen is not in -- I think agreement.

    RATNER: I mean it is completely ridiculous. Who cares. It was a comment. It's sports, it's a game, she is a beauty queen, give me a break.

    SCOTT: Rush Limbaugh made the point that there is all kinds of criticism directed at Musburger, and yet when CNN had a New Year's Eve -- I guess you would call it simulated oral sex incident between Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin, that didn't seem to get a whole lot of attention.

    PINKERTON: Right. And that has been a tasteless show for years ...


    PINKERTON: That New Year's Eve thing. And they never -- they never -- look, remember, the game was kind of over quickly. I mean the Alabama went to I think a 28 to nothing lead, or 24 to nothing, so. There wasn't a lot to talk about with the game, after a while, so, of course, you're groping around, looking for something -- things to cover.

    CROWLEY: Here is what's wrong with the man calling a woman beautiful -- nothing.


    SCOTT: So, why did the -- why did ESPN apologize?

    CROWLEY: Because the word police have gotten so out of control. There were some feminists who posts to some blogs saying this was inappropriate, this is feminism gone off the rails, political correctness and the world police. You can't even give somebody a valid compliment? Come on.

    SCOTT: And then she went on the "Today" show. And I thought defended herself. She is very articulate. I thought she did a great job.

    MILLER: That's what I said. If she were offended by it, I could see that feminists would rise in anger. But please, please, you know, get over it, it's not like they are calling Hillary Clinton a beautiful woman and not paying attention to what she is doing. This is really PC, too far.