This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," January 19, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON SCOTT, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: On "Fox News Watch."
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: There will be pundits and politicians publicly warning of a tyrannical all out assault on liberty, because they want to gin up fear.
SCOTT: President Obama pushing his gun control agenda with emotion and children on stage. Did the media question his actions or buy into the theatrics?
BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Surely, finding Osama bin Laden, surely passing civil rights legislation, surely, defeating the Nazis was a much more formidable task than taking on the gun lobby.
SCOTT: America's great gun debate: liberal media giving the topic lots of attention. But is the debate one-sided?
MANTI TE'O, FORMER NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL PLAYER: I've seen the most beautiful girl I've ever met. She was just that person that I turn to.
SCOTT: A tear jerking story that got big attention in the media. Even more when it turned out to be a hoax. How did reporters miss this one?
The Washington Post makes news caught in another plagiarism scandal. Mr. Obama holds his last news conference of his first term and takes a shot at the conservative media for all the anger in Washington.
And on the topic of doping, Lance comes clean on Oprah, will it help his cause or her floundering career?
OPRAH WINFREY: So here we are in Austin, Texas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: On the panel this week, writer and Fox News contributor, Judy Miller, syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, Jim Pinkerton, contributing editor of The American Conservative Magazine and Daily Beast columnist Kirsten Powers.
I'm Jon Scott, "Fox News Watch" is on right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: This will be difficult. There will be pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists, publicly warning of a tyrannical all-out assault on liberty, not because that's true, but because they want to gin up fear or higher ratings or revenue for themselves and behind the scenes they'll do everything they can to block any common sense reform and make sure nothing changes whatsoever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: President Obama on Wednesday flanked by his vice-president and four children with their parents, pushing his agenda on gun control, taking a swipe at his opponents and the media in lockstep with his efforts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: Surely, finding Osama bin Laden, surely passing civil rights legislation as Lyndon Johnson was able to do and before that, surely defeating the Nazis was a much more formidable task than taking on the gun lobby.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: So if we can defeat the Germans in World War II, I guess the NRA is supposed to be easy - that's what he's saying, comparing the two.
JIM PINKERTON, THE AMERCAN CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE: Right, I mean he's giving himself a little bit of -- for that, a little bit of wiggle room. No, I didn't exactly compare the NRA to the Nazis, I sort of threw them in the same spot and let the - let the people on the audience sort it out. What we're sure to see, is an all-out assault on gun owners, on opponents of gun control and on the language itself when you see words like Nazis being thrown around. George Orwell, back in 1946, in a famous essay, said, the word fascism should only be used for people in Hitler-- and Mussolini and so on and not just thrown around so much all the time. That was 1946, 70 years later we're still doing as much as ever.
SCOTT: Do you see it a different way, though, Judy?
JUDY MILLER, WRITER & FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, not really, I mean I do think that Schieffer was kind of very close to the line of advocacy as opposed to reading the news and being straight about a news story. I do think that even though there was no direct comparison, there's clearly an inference that the NRA is the equivalent to the Nazis and I do think it raises questions about whether or not he wasn't just a little bit too opinionated.
SCOTT: Is - the president said that there would be outrageous claims ginning up fear among gun owners?
KIRSTEN POWERS, USA TODAY & DAILY BEAST COLUMNIST: Yeah.
SCOTT: Or among the population.
POWERS: Well, I do think that a lot of people - I mean speaking of Nazis, a lot of people, these gun rights people think that Obama is like the next Hitler and they need to have their guns to protect themselves from his tyranny. So people throw the world around all the time. And I frankly - I can't stand this P.C. stuff, it drives me crazy. I mean Seinfeld had the Soup Nazi, it used to be - used to be able to say it, and now suddenly when you say it everybody thinks that you, you know comparing them to, you know, to gassing people and murdering 6 million Jews. I think that what Bob Schieffer's point was is that if we can overcome such huge things, certainly, Obama should be able to stand up to the NRA. I mean the NRA owns Congress ...
SCOTT: The NRA is a (inaudible).
POWERS: What does it matter? He also run up the Civil Rights Act, he said if you could pass the Civil Rights Act, surely you could - you can stand up to the NRA. I don't think he was comparing anybody to Hitler. I think any more than he was comparing them to passing the civil rights legislation.
This is difficult things, difficult thing, but this is actually less difficult than these things over here.
SCOTT: There was a lot of polling out this week, Cal, not often noticed among it was the Gallup poll that shows public approval of the NRA at 54 percent, approval of the president at 53 percent.
CAL THOMAS, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Yeah. Well, the problem, Jon, is that the media always turned to government as a first resource instead of a last resort. We have more laws on the books regarding guns than ever now, especially in Chicago where over 500 people were murdered in 2012. Why isn't the president out there in Chicago? The answer is not more legislation, the answer lies in the home, fatherless children, all kinds of other things, but the media lacking a demon right now, because there's no leading Republican they can turn into the devil, are now going after the NRA. They never talk about the law abiding citizens of this country who are not breaking the law and the fact that the more laws you pass are not going to cause people who want to break the law to suddenly become law abiding.
SCOTT: What about the theatrics at that news conference, putting those kids on the stage behind him. Rich Lowry, who is an occasional guest on this program wrote in the National Review, "Barack Obama set a new standard Wednesday for stupidly exploitative White House events."
MILLER: I think that's really an unfair criticism. It was children who were killed at Sandy Hook, and it was children who had written to the president saying this is what we can do, can you do something? It was an emotional pitch, yes, it was, against an organization that as Kirsten says owns the Congress and I think it's fair game.
SCOTT: The L.A. Times, Jim called the president's production, "big, bold and brassy."
PINKERTON: Right. And, of course, if it had been under Reagan or Bush 41 or 43, they would have called it Deaver-esque, as in Mike Deaver, you know, they would have called it "a showbiz Hollywood." Instead, it was -- it was praise. I mean look, the showmanship and pageantry are part of television, including television news, so we can't complain about it too much, but it's situational when it's good when Democrats do it and bad when Republicans do it.