• With: Judy Miller, Cal Thomas, Jim Pinkerton, Kirsten Powers

    This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," March 30, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


    JON SCOTT, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: On "Fox News Watch" -- the debate over same-sex marriage goes to the highest court in the land. Lawyers make their case inside the court, opponents and supporters rally outside. And as you might expect the media coverage leans to the left.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: None of these ideas should be controversial.

    SCOTT: Mr. Obama ignites the heated debate over gun rights, marking 100 days since the Newtown tragedy and media ramp up their agenda-driven coverage.

    NPR files a report on entitlements showing fraud and billions of taxpayer dollars, wasted on abuse, how did that sit with the liberal media?

    The head honcho at Turner claims their cable news channel doesn't have a liberal bias. Do they actually watch CNN?

    And once a media darling, now, not so much.

    JUSTIN BIEBER, POP STAR: What did you say?


    BIEBER: What did you say?



    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.


    DIANE SAWYER, ABC ANCHOR: High drama at the Supreme Court. Nine justices taking on a central issue of modern American life, gay marriage. Today the court wrestled with profound questions, what is a family, what is the purpose of marriage?

    SCOTT PELLEY, CBS ANCHOR: Today the Supreme Court began two days of hearings on one of the most contentious issues of our time. For the first time the court is considering whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

    BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: The U.S. Supreme Court today took on the right to marry someone of the same sex. They're taking on two cases over two days and as with anything the court touches, anything can happen. It's up to the ruling of the nine justices. Public opinion has been changing fast on this subject. It's moved quickly in the past few years.

    JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS: Today the Supreme Court took up the prop 8 case, a ban on same-sex marriage in California, although a ruling is not expected for some time, one justice suggested the court could dismiss the case with no ruling at all.


    SCOTT: Well, it was one of the biggest stories this week in the media. The Supreme Court hearing arguments on two cases concerning same-sex marriage. Outside the court, demonstrators on both sides of the issue. We just heard Diane Sawyer calling it one of the central issues of our times. Is it? I mean, did it deserve the kind of coverage it got? It had, you know, lead story coverage?

    JIM PINKERTON, THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE: It's a big story. It might not be as big as the economy, for example, to most Americans. But nonetheless, the media certainly think it is a big story and we should take it from Jack Mirkinson, who is the media editor at "The Huffington Post," who should know where media stands on these things and said the Supreme Court might, may be divided on gay marriage, but the media isn't. Now, should be aren't, because media are plural.


    PINKERTON: But nonetheless, we see where it's coming from. And I think he's right about his fellow fourth estaters.

    SCOTT: But the coverage, Judy, seemed pretty one-sided, it seemed to be pretty much pro gay marriage?

    JUDY MILLER, WRITER & FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think it was pretty one- sided, because I think that reflects public opinion and especially young public opinion in America. But I think that basic divide is between people who see this as a political issue, in which intelligent people can do disagree, and others who see it as a basic human civil rights. And if you're in the latter camp, then you really - you can't have enough coverage of it.


    SCOTT: Well - but there are a lot of people who oppose gay marriage, obviously, I mean witness them outside the Supreme Court. It doesn't seem that their views get a whole lot of coverage?

    KIRSTEN POWERS, USA TODAY & DAILY BEAST COLUMNIST: Well, I think that most of the people in the media are, the way it breaks down in the polls, is that younger people tend to be the ones that are more overwhelmingly in support of gay marriage and older people are the ones who aren't. And I think the media is more populated by people on the younger scale. So, that's going to be their point of view. But because there are so many people in this country who do oppose it, I think that they should be given a fair hearing, and there should be a real debate on it. Look, the clips you just showed I thought were very straight forward, I don't think there's anything wrong with the coverage that they did, and I think even The New York Times, in their news coverage of this, covered what was happening before the Supreme Court appropriately.

    SCOTT: But now, do the polls drive the coverage here.

    CAL THOMAS, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, it's kind of a chicken and egg. I mean here's how the media drives the coverage, I think, and for themselves. I haven't seen so much cheerleading for an issue since that done by the media for President Obama. Natalie Morales and Susanna Guthrie of NBC.

    SCOTT: Savannah Guthrey.

    THOMAS: Savannah Guthrie, sorry of NBC, participated in, and Natalie Morales hosted a National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association NLGJA. They were joined by people from CNN, The New York Times and even the Wall Street Journal. Now, I'm against all of this, African-American journalists, female journalists, Hispanic Journalists - all the specialized journalists groups that people go to, why can't we just have journalists and why what are they doing showing up at an advocacy dinner and then going back and reporting on it?

    SCOTT: Well, and speaking of cheer-leading, Time magazine had a couple of separate coverages out on this issue, showing gay and lesbian couples kissing. The headline on both "Gay Marriage Already Won." Is that pushing an agenda?

    PINKERTON: Well, again, I mean Rush Limbaugh said we lost, that was his quote, we lost the language on this, we lost the taxonomic arithmetic, the conservatives, that is. But look, let's just bear in mind, the media have pushed this issue this far, they might even push it further. Melissa Harris-Perry who's a host at MSNBC wrote an article in The Nation magazine, left wing publication saying, it would be tragic to allow marriage equality to destroy our marginal as the pioneering work of queer family is, or create -as they - seek to create a new kind of family." In other words, this issue will keep going. I think Cal has been making this point for years. Why, why logically, why stop the gay marriage?

    MILLER: I think I have a problem with the identification of someone who claims to be an objective journalist, who changes his or her avatar on Facebook or Twitter to-- take a position.

    SCOTT: And some have been doing this.

    MILLER: And they have been doing this and then they say on the other hand, oh, well, there's no problem here, I can still be objective. Well, no, you can't be. If you're an opinion journalist, you have the right to have an opinion. If you're trying to cover something straight, you shouldn't take one side publicly.