• With: Judy Miller, Rich Lowry, Jim Pinkerton, Kirsten Powers

    LOWRY: And, you know, he basically was a fascist, a thug who undermined democracy, he was an anti-Semite, loved the notion of military dictatorship and his heroes were military dictators, and he militarized Venezuela's politics and still got sympathetic coverage in the liberal media.

    SCOTT: But for a thug, Jim, he had a great sense of public relations and it worked on the media. You know, you give people in the Bronx free heating oil or discounted heating oil and you get good stories written up, right?

    PINKERTON: Right. And it would be fun just to trace the money that he sent to the U.S. in various forms, if anybody bothered to do that, if it's true, for example, he had a $2 billion personal bank account, who knows what he was doing with that. He didn't take it with him, so who knows where that money is headed now. And it' just - there's not a lot of curiosity about elements of his rule there.

    But I have to say, I'm old enough to remember the media reaction when Che Guevara was killed in 1967, and Mao Zedong died in 1976. The media have gotten better on this. There just isn't the kind of slavish, stoogeous (ph) orientation toward the left that you used to see in these foreign leaders. And then so on, I think Castro doesn't have as much - many good headlines to look forward to as he was hoping for.

    MILLER: Well, there are too many positive headlines as far as I'm concerned, and they are in the mainstream media. You look at Frank Bajak of the Associated Press, who, an endless story full of the wonderful things that Chavez did for his country. The 25th and the 26th paragraph mentioned his fondness for having coups ...


    MILLER: His assault on democracy, a few minor problems in the 24th and 25th paragraphs of the story. That's just unacceptable.

    SCOTT: Well, speaking of dictators, there was a visit to Kim Jong-Un this week, Dennis Rodman, the former NBA star went over there on what turned into a PR blunder, I guess you could say. He was there with the Harlem Globetrotters among a few other people, part of a cultural exchange with North Korea. The HBO program "Vice" was there to document it all and I imagine we'll see more of that. Rodman called Kim Jong-Un an awesome guy, praised his father and his grandfather, the dictators of North Korea. George Stephanopoulos had this to say on his return.


    GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: You called them great leaders, do you really believe that?

    DENNIS RODMAN: No, what I saw in that country, I saw in that country, and I saw people respect him, and his family. That's what I mean by they're great leaders.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Aren't they forced to?

    RODMAN: Huh?

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Aren't they forced to?

    RODMAN: Well, I say no, because I think he's going to (inaudible) something, because this is a different view. Because I sat with him for two days, and the one thing he asked me if Obama has something to say and do one thing. He wants Obama to do one thing, call him.


    SCOTT: So why talk to him at all, Rich?

    LOWRY: Oh, it's captivating TV.


    LOWRY: I don't think anyone could take their eyes off that train wreck, and Dennis Rodman, unfortunately, I mean he is an useful idiot -- with the accent on the word idiot.

    SCOTT: I think the panel is nodding its agreement. Next on "News Watch," was Ann Romney right to blame the media?


    ANN ROMNEY: And (inaudible) blame the media.


    SCOTT: Ann Romney takes a shot at the media for bad coverage of her man, Mitt. And the media takes more shots at her. Which side is right? Answers next on "News Watch."



    CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: All right. What about the media?

    ANN ROMNEY: I'm happy to blame the media.


    WALLACE: Do you think the media was in the tank for Barack Obama?

    ANN ROMNEY: I think that if anytime you're running for office, you always think that you're being portrayed unfairly and you know, we -- of course on our side believe that there's more bias in favor of the other side. I think that's, you know, that's a pretty universal -- universally felt opinion.


    SCOTT: Ann Romney, along with her husband speaking in an exclusive interview with Chris Wallace last weekend. This week, the media reacted, as you might have expected, the Washington Post's Eric Wimple writes, "There is a mountain of contradiction in Ann Romney's critique. On the one hand, Ann Romney confirms her frustration that the campaign kept too tight a lid on the candidate. On the other hand, she complains that he wasn't portrayed more completely in the media." I suppose, Judy, it's the same complaint that every losing campaign is going to have.

    MILLER: It is, and I think some people who were watching that interview did not conclude that she was mean or that this was, as Jonathan Capeheart said, sour grapes. I think she was trying to balance what was obviously a very difficult and delicate situation, which was her husband's defeat. Look, you can blame the campaign by saying they didn't let Mitt be Mitt. And you can blame the media by saying, they presented -- we presented a false view of Mitt, but maybe it's harder to admit that the American people did see Mitt up close and personal and through the media, and they didn't like him.

    SCOTT: But they also saw a preponderance of stories about Barack Obama, especially in the final weeks of the campaign.

    PINKERTON: Right. As the Pew Center pointed out, during this election, Obama's coverage was lopsidedly positive and Romney's coverage was lopsidedly negative. And you know, Mrs. Romney has a perfect right to complain about that. I'm sure we can make room for her on the show if she wants to pursue her media critique function. But actually, now, that Romney has been defeated, there's actually now a little upswell of gallantry on her behalf. Yes, people are trashing her, but Michelle Cottle in the Daily Beast actually wrote a piece called "Give Ann Romney a Break." They weren't saying that before the election, but after the election, why not.

    SCOTT: And somebody named Lee Goa (ph) of UnitedBlue.com joined the fray by tweeting out this phrase, "Ann Romney is a Stepford wife who needs reprogramming."

    POWERS: That's just obviously unacceptable. I think that -- I think even the idea that she was blaming everything on the media, which a lot of sort of people on the left were claiming, isn't even true. It was just one of her critiques. She had many critiques, and one of them was that the media was unfair to Mitt Romney, which seemed to me to be kind of true.

    LOWRY: She stipulated every candidate feels this way, and she was laughing as she said it. So the idea of sour grapes is ridiculous.