This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," April 6, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
ANNOUNCER: On "Fox News Watch," both sides in the gun debate up the ante.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If these reforms keep one person from murdering dozens of innocent children, isn't it worth fighting for?
WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA PRESIDENT: Everything might have been stopped, but for deficiencies in the mental health system and the criminal justice system. Let's fix those and let's put and school security on top of it and make people safe.
ANNOUNCER: And the usual suspects fire up rhetoric to push their agenda.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: This is where we are with guns in this country.
ANNOUNCER: The Associated Press takes a stand on illegal immigrants, eliminating the lebel illegal immigrant. How will that move affect the coverage?
Twitter has become a battlefield in a war of words. The president's men attacking critics from all sides, is it working?
RUSH LIMBAUGH, CONSERVATIVE RADIO SHOW HOST: Now they're back to calling out Drudge.
ANNOUNCER: And a top Obama adviser takes a shot at Drudge and the Washington press.
JON SCOTT, HOST: On the panel this week, writer and Fox News contributor Judy Miller, Radio talk show host Monica Crowley, Jim Pinkerton, contributing editor the American Conservative magazine and Daily Beast columnist Kirsten Powers. I'm Jon Scott. "Fox News Watch" is on right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
OBAMA: We've got to get past some of the rhetoric that gets perpetuated, that breaks down trust and is so over the top that it just shuts down on discussion. And it's important for all of us when we hear that kind of talk to say, hold on a second. You know, if there are any folks who are out there right now who are gun owners and you've been hearing that somebody is taking your guns, get the facts.
LAPIERRE: We're saying it louder than anybody, enforced the federal gun laws. They're not doing it. Put armed security in the schools. Fix the mental health system.
The media, they may not like it. They're screaming to the rafters for this gun ban agenda. I think the American public is seeing through it and saying I don't want that imposed on me.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
SCOTT: President Obama in Colorado this week trying to regain some lost momentum in his effort to get more gun laws passed. And in response there, NRA president Wayne LaPierre trying to fend off some of the rhetoric and focus the debate, a debate that has pretty much been one-sided in the media.
Case in point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLP)
MATTHEWS: We've got a Texas senator, Ted Cruz, who won't let the Senate hold a democratic vote on gun safety, so no democracy.
We've got people out there using people out there using guns to get even with public officials, intimidating those they don't kill. This is where we are with guns in this country. Second amendment remedies being executed on public officials.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: Scott Witlock at News Busters took a look at that clip, Jim, and said that Matthews is clearly unhinged trying to tie the Tea Party to Ted Cruz, the Texas Senator and suggesting that somehow they were complicit in the murders of that Texas prosecutor and his wife.
JIM PINKERTON, THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE: Right, I mean, look, this is a case where the media are, I think, leading the story. I think they've dragged the Obama administration back into it in a big way over the last week. And yet, even as the media are trying to drive the administration, with some success, they're confusing the story battling the public.
There are really three issues here. One is gun restrictions, probably dead at the federal level, but not at the state level.
Second issue is background checks where even Asa Hutchinson told Wolf Blitzer on CNN, yeah, we could consider -- the NRA, we could consider background checks.
And the third problem is, because the media loves cover sort of exciting outrider stories, to them at least, like Caroline McCarthy, the congresswoman from New York State who has a $10,000 insurance bond plan -- she has a grant total of eight co-sponsors, which is to say it's going nowhere and yet 100 percent of talk radio, as I'm sure Monica would know, is over that saying, look, this is where their real agenda is, headed toward some vast federal data base on guns. And I think that, therefore, clouds any prospect for even minimal gun control.
SCOTT: Judy, we know you're in favor of more gun control. But I want to read you this from Campbell Brown, the former CNN and NBC anchor. She wrote in the Wall Street Journal this week, the president's campaign against gun violence has produced a stale debate marked by lots of speeches with little achieved. A more creative chief executive would have used this to widen the discussion by drawing attention to the increasingly graphic violence so pervasive in television shows, movies and video games.
What do you think about that position? Anybody else talked about that?
JUDY MILLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think people are starting to talk about it. We've talked about it on this show. Joe Klein talked about it in a slap at the administration this week when he mentioned the president's implementation problem and his tendency to confuse giving a great speech with having a strategy for implementing the proposals that he must have known from the beginning were doomed in the senate.
I mean, I think that if he had acted more quickly, if he had acted immediately when people were still very upset about what happened in Connecticut, the school shooting, he might have stood some chance, but I think at this point it's just kind of cynical speech giving to suggest that he really cares about this.
SCOTT: The NRA held a news conference on Tuesday talking about what it calls its school shield program. The idea of putting armed guards in schools. You know, talking about enhanced mental health screening and so forth in this country. It didn't get a lot of positive press. Should it? I mean.
KIRSTEN POWERS, USA TODAY & DAILY BEAST COLUMNIST: I don't find the NRA calling for more guns to be really a positive plan. I mean, that's their agenda. So now we want more guns. We need guns in the schools. It's just -- that's of course is going to be their solution.
But if you watch all of that interview that you showed at the beginning with Wayne LaPierre and Megyn Kelly really grilled and did a great job. I just -- he doesn't come off as an honest broker to me, you know, so I don't know why he's supposed to be treated like he's somebody who is really trying to solve this problem when in fact he just has his agenda. Fine, his agenda is just to fight any kind of gun control at every turn, even when Megyn really pinned him down, you know, talking about how they -- 11 school children probably survived the shooting because the shooter didn't have as many -- didn't have the clips or magazines that he would have liked to have.
Wayne LaPierre never answered that question, he just gave talking points.
SCOTT: But one of the parents of one of the Sandy Hook victims, Mark Mattioli, was also at that Wayne LaPierre news conference. He actually applauded the NRA, called it a comprehensive program. But because, I guess, he isn't touting the line that most in the press seem to like, his story didn't get a lot of attention.
MONICA CROWLEY, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Did not get much coverage this week at all. And you can maybe say that the messenger is not the best, but the message is a legitimate point and we should be having this discussion. And the press just refuses to cover the other side or covers it at the bare minimum.