• With: Judy Miller, Monica Crowley, Jim Pinkerton, Kirsten Powers


    SCOTT: Why do we scare people so much?

    CROWLEY: We should give Professor Wolf a shoutout here and totally ruin her career. Hi, Professor Wolf. We're making her cringe, that means that we're actually doing our jobs here unlike most major media outlets. Look, you know, this is so typical of academia. But keep in mind that the White House has been on this campaign to try to dismiss and marginalize Fox News, so when it starts at the top like that, you can only imagine that it goes all the way down.

    SCOTT: Kirsten.

    POWERS: Yeah, I agree with that, I mean I don't think you can dismiss the claims by the White House that this is not a legitimate news organization, you know, and, you know, and you see someone telling their students something like this. I actually -- I mean we were joking about it. I actually find it pretty scary.

    MILLER: Scary. I agree. Yeah.

    SCOTT: Unfortunately.

    The New York Times magazine ran a kind of self-help guide for the Republican Party. The article includes quotes and opinions from a number of people trying to address the messaging problems perceived among the GOP. Well, one of the quotes about limited messengers came from S.E. Cupp with an interesting addition by The Times writer. From the article, "... and we can't be afraid to call out Rush Limbaugh," said Goodwin's fiancee, S.E. Cupp, a New York Daily News columnist and the co-host of the cycle on MSNBC. "If we can get through Republicans on three different networks saying what Rush Limbaugh said is crazy, and stupid and dangerous, maybe that will give other Republicans cover to denounce the talk show host as well." Well, those last eight words to denounce the talk show host as well were actually added by the writer, Robert Draper.

    PINKERTON: Well, I mean this article in The Times magazine was extremely interesting and one part of it was, I think, and that a little bit of the fun of attempting to put Republicans against each other and have them conflict for the enjoy ...

    SCOTT: Circular firing squad.

    PINKERTON: Circular firing squad. The other part, though, and this is why it is an important for Republicans to read it, on campaign technology, it was a sobering analysis of what went wrong, with, for example, the Romney campaign's ORCA, "Get Out the Vote" thing last November and that part you could cut and paste the parts you don't like, but the stuff on campaign technology is required reading.

    SCOTT: The -- S.E. Cupp did a piece in the Daily News in her column. She wasn't outraged about, you know, the addition of the quote or anything like that. She just took on her critics. I mean should she not say something?

    MILLER: You know, I mean this is like one conservative whining about another. I found it really inside baseball and I also -- also think that there's a better answer if you don't like Rush Limbaugh, don't listen to him. Don't take him off the air or denounce him or say that his ideas are stupid. You can, but what's the point?

    POWERS: Look, I think S.E. sort of plays this role of being someone who wants to take on her party and she feels that Rush Limbaugh sometimes says things that he shouldn't say, like the Sandra Flock things and the people should come out and say that. I do think people did come out and say that, however, you know, I, you know, I appreciate what she does and I think that you know, that she's not-that Rush Limbaugh can be damaging to the Republican Party and there's nothing wrong with saying it.

    CROWLEY: There's a little mini scandal, here though, as you point out, Jon, in terms of how The New York Times covered her quote and embellishing it and changing the actual or at least part of what she intended to say.

    MILLER: But did she complain?

    CROWLEY: She did not and I think that's a mistake on her part.

    SCOTT: Coming up on "News Watch" -- can this paper afford to lose its public advocate?


    SCOTT: Could be an end of an era at The Washington Post. Meet Patrick Pexton. He is the ombudsman for that paper until next Thursday, and he hints he might be their last. "It is possible that I'll be The Washington Post's last independent ombudsman and that this chair will empty as the conclusion of my two-year term February 28th. If so, that will end nearly 43 years of this publication having enough courage and confidence to employ a full-time reader representative and critic."

    We called The Washington Post to find out what they planned to do. No answers just yet. What do you think about that, Jim?

    PINKERTON: Well, I think that the ombudsman idea going back to the early 70s -- and The New York Times got one too, about the same time -- is the reaction to the criticism from the Nixon administration of the liberal media, which was, you know, Spiro Agnew's on. I think it was -- it was an interesting reaction, probably it was -- always a case that an ombudsman working for a big paper would be too captive. With the glorious exception of Arthur Brisbane from The New York Times a couple of cycles ago to really be a full-blown spokesman.

    SCOTT: You worked for Richard Nixon in his later years?

    CROWLEY: I did. Yeah, I did. And look, I mean it was a great year on paper, and the loss of one of The Washington Post means there is one less person supposedly on the watch for bias errors and sort of being that public advocate, but the truth is the reason he's no longer there is that these big papers are dying. Their circulations are down, their subscriptions are down. Everything is moving to the Web. Now, the Web version may need an ombudsman, but we haven't gotten there yet.

    SCOTT: Something you've lamented for a long time, Judy.

    MILLER; Yeah, absolutely, but a shoutout to Margaret Sullivan, The New York Times ombudsman, who did raise some questions about the Tesla versus John Broder coverage that we talked about last week. So, we do need these institutions, but do we need them more than national bureaus or foreign bureaus?

    SCOTT: Good question. That is going to wrap "News Watch" for this week. Thanks to Judy Miller, Jim Pinkerton, Monica Crowley and Kirsten Powers. I'm Jon Scott. Thanks for joining us. Keep it right here on Fox News Channel. We'll see you again next week.

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