SCOTT: It will be interesting to see what the court decides and how the media reacts to this decision. That's in the months to come. Next on "News Watch", the gun debate goes on.
ANNOUNCER: The gun control debate heats up. Anti-gun advocates pushing their agenda with media help. But is the coverage ignoring real causes of gun violence? Details next on "News Watch."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: As I said when I visited Newtown, just over three months ago, if there is a step we can take that will save just one child, just one parent, just another town from experiencing the same grief that some of the moms and dads who are here have endured, then we should be doing it.
SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: The president uses them as a back drop and drama for getting some kind of political will. But my question to the president is, call me if any of your reforms would have saved those kids at Sandy Hook. If anything he's proposing would have changed the outcome, I'll listen to him. I haven't heard one proposal from him or Harry Reid that would have saved one life and I'm all for saving lives and I think it's a real and horrible tragedy, but I think it's a mistake to play on the-- these victims and the emotions of their tragedy when nothing he's proposing would change one iota of what happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: First there, President Obama on Thursday at the White House renewing his quest for more gun laws. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul then responding to Mr. Obama's, what he sees as his misplaced efforts. What about it, Jim? Does anybody in the media see it the way Rand Paul sees it?
PINKERTON: Maybe somewhere.
THOMAS: ... give him an hour, he'll try to come up with somebody.
PINKERTON: Look, and I think this is a case where the media in many cases are to the left of the Obama administration. There's a sense of disappointment in the president among some and I think the president is trying to scramble up to keep his - as he called it, his base going. But meanwhile you see people like Chris Matthews of MSNBC overtly comparing the NRA through the movie "Casablanca" to the nazis and that's not the - Scott Whitlock at NewsBusters pointed out, it's far from the first time he's tried to make equation of the NRA and our Republicans as like nazis, and I think that's terrible. And I think - I'm still waiting for the ADL or somebody to denounce Matthews for doing this.
SCOTT: I see you actually nodding in agreement to some of that? Can that be?
MILLER: Yeah, I think that President Obama bears a lot of responsibility for this. I mean, he is the Cheshire cat who just disappears when you need him. A speech is not a strategy. And what you're hearing from left wing commentators and people like me who feel strongly about gun restrictions, is that he has he been nowhere in terms of leadership on this issue, and I think it's a fair point.
SCOTT: The Washington Post, Kirsten had a story on gun homicides: out of a million people, 151 blacks are killed. 15 whites. Juan Williams, who has been a guest on this program, also wrote about the race issue, saying "... talking about race in the context of guns would also mean taking on a subject that can't be addressed by passing a law. The family breakdown issues that lead to many minority children to find social status and power in guns." Is he right? Will the media notice?
POWERS: I mean he's right, that the media won't talk about that. And they don't - Rand Paul is a 100 percent correct in his analysis, which is, you can be somebody who wants to end gun violence and even be a person who supports gun control like I do, and know that the things that have been proposed would not prevent that massacre from happening at that school. And so, the media is not doing their job, they're just reflexively saying anything that's gun control will solve the problem rather than really analyzing and saying, well, let's look at, you know, what kind of guns were actually used in these killings?
SCOTT: Yeah, why not? Why are the media not looking at mental illness or some of the other contributing factors?
THOMAS: Because there's such a political component to this that they want to play on. Look, if you're going to eliminate gun violence, you might as well talk about eliminating sin. It's not the instrument in the hand, it's what's in the heart. If somebody is determined to break a law to kill somebody, more laws are not going to deter them, especially with over 300 million guns available in this country, and that's what the media never addresses.
MILLER: I think these issues are being addressed now and I think that this is the way our system works. A passionate minority has - can often deflect the will of the majority. And it is going to take a really focused campaign and a strategy to change that and it hasn't happened and who do we blame? I think the president deserves blame.
SCOTT: There are some on the left in the media who have been advocating that the crime scene photos from Sandy Hook should be released, among them Michael Moore, the film maker and a guy named Robert Perry, who wrote for AP and Newsweek. He had this to write or to say, he says, "We must all look at these bullet-riddled six year olds, some of them literally ripped to pieces by multiple gunshots from an AR-15 rifle. For some of us such an experience as distressing as it would be would strengthen a determination to take action. For others who believe that the Second Amendment gives them the right to own any weapon they want and carry it wherever they please, seeing the dismembered school children would give them a new way to value their right." What do you think about that, Jim?
PINKERTON: Well, I think the people can consult, first, with the parents of these children and see how they feel about this, I suspect they wouldn't want this. But look, the media's rolling has just on new forms. And this information wants to be free - (ph) which I've said many times, does take itself to excess, these photographing is probably an example of that. But also, the Des Moines Register put it - a graphic showing all the schools in the state of Iowa and then whether or not they have security guards there. And that might not seem like such a good idea to alert potential crazies, whether they can go and find an undefended school. In fact, The Register took it down and apologized, but we also saw this with The Journal News in Westchester County, New York, when they put a list - again, a computer graphic of all the handgun ownership in I think Westchester County.
THOMAS: And a couple of others.
PINKERTON: And so we're going to have to wrestle with, how do the media responsibly deal with the issues of violence and guns in a way that doesn't further make things worse?
SCOTT: And what about that? Publishing a list of unprotected schools?
POWERS: Yeah. Well, they said that they were doing it to try to inform parents about whether or not the school that their child was going to, you know, was protected. But I think, you know, you understand that instinct, it's a good instinct, but that you would have thought they would have done the math and sort of figured out that they were alerting people where they could go to find unprotected school.
SCOTT: Next on "News Watch," the man in charge doesn't think CNN is biased.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: NPR reports on questionable government spending. The report causing backlash by the liberal press. And CNN claims to have an image problem. Is it time to face the facts? All next on "News Watch."
SCOTT: NPR ran an investigation put together by Chana Joffe-Walt to -- according to her report, spent the past six months looking into the federal government's disability programs. Here are three lines at the top: "In the past three decades the number of Americans on disability has skyrocketed, every month 14 million people now get a disability check from the federal government. It's the story not only of an aging workforce, but also of a hidden, increasingly expensive safety net." She also notes that the federal government spends more money each year on cash payments for supposedly disabled former workers than it spends on food stamps and welfare combined. Cal, as you might imagine, the folks at Media Matters which is that liberal media watchdog group funded by George Soros ...
SCOTT: They're having a problem with this, they say it's become fodder for right -- the right wing.
THOMAS: I give kudos and congratulations to NPR for honestly covering a real big problem. The problem with the left is, they don't want to see any error, any fraud, any abuse in government programs because for them, government is gone. But I want to give also praise to Doug McKelway who on this network all week has been doing this very subject about wasteful spending in government. We don't have this enough, but it's good that NPR did it especially for their mostly liberal audience.
POWERS: Well, I just want to say. First of all, Media Matters is not a legitimate organization and they do not exist to be a media watchdog group, they're actually -- it's interesting, they're taking a little time off to attack NPR, because they recently announced that they have -- they're using their $10 million annual budget just to destroy Fox News, which is an interesting way to use your money in this world today, I think. So, you know, I'm not surprised that Media Matters is attacking them. Because this is what they do. I guess someone on Fox must have talked about it and that caused them to freak out.
SCOTT: Are the other media outlets paying attention, Judy?
MILLER: Not really. I mean Media Matters, is, I think trying to display that it's fair and balanced by attacking another liberal leaning organization, NPR, but this was really a first class report. It was both well-written, anecdotal, full of information I didn't know, without being hysterical. I, too, like Cal commend NPR.