The other thing that I find that the press has not been covering is the fact that yes, the president's gun control agenda is dead in the congress. But why is that? The media has been almost solely focused on the NRA, and Republicans, and the threat of a filibuster possibly in the Senate over gun control. But actually the biggest obstacle is Democrats, Democrats who are up for reelection in big red states with gun cultures in their states next year. Neither Harry Reid nor Barack Obama really want to fight that battle right now.
So the biggest obstacle are the Democrats who have a rift in the Democratic Party right now between the far left and the pro second amendment Democrats and that is not being covered.
SCOTT: Coming up on "News Watch," the Associated Press doesn't like labels. Can you guess which one?
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SCOTT: The Associated Press making news, taking a stand against labeling illegal immigrants as illegal immigrants. Is the AP attempting to shape the coverage in the immigration debate? Details next on "News Watch."
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JAY LENO, TONIGHT SHOW HOST: And in a ground breaking move the Associated Press, the largest news gathering outlet in the world will no longer use the term "illegal immigrant" that is out. No longer illegal immigrant. They'll now use the phrase "undocumented Democrat." That is the new one, undocumented Democrat, no more illegal...
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SCOTT: Jay Leno there putting a humorous spin on a serious topic. The Associated Press decided this week to cut "illegal immigrant" from its style book replacing it with this, "illegal immigration, entering or residing in a country in violation of civil or criminal law except in direct quotes essential to the story use illegal only to refer to an action not a person, illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant. Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission.
This is the AP style book. It is not only used by the AP, but news organizations all over the world. So how is this going to change the debate?
PINKERTON: Well first of all, now we know why Jay Leno is no longer going to be on NBC.
Look, the AP -- the same change has also changed the word schizophrenia and Islamist as well (inaudible). And so this is going to be -- have its fair share of repercussions, but I'm actually in this case with Janet Napolitano who said, listen, if they're an immigrant in the country illegally in the country then they're an illegal immigrant which strikes me as a plausible enough statement, although I'm sure once she gets her own copy of AP stylebook and the White House communications office will correct her and say get with the program now.
SCOTT: The AP says they're trying to eliminate labels. What's wrong with labels? I mean, we use labels in news coverage all the time?
MILLER: Well, I think some labels are more pejorative than others. And they decided that this is one in which you're dealing with a very polarized heated debate and that they didn't want to appear to take sides. And I think that even though we can make fun of it, I think they have a point and it's defendable.
SCOTT: All right. Let's get your take on that. Is it defendable? I mean, somebody who is in this country illegally, are they not an illegal immigrant?
POWERS: But they're also an undocumented immigrant, which is I think is what they're going to call them. So why not call them an undocumented versus illegal. That's what I -- I refer to them as undocumented. And I guess we're all sort of influenced by our bias. I'm a very pro, you know, immigration, almost open borders person probably. But the difference is, I'm an opinion journalist. And the AP is supposed to be objective.
So I don't -- I'm not -- I'm a little bit on the fence about this. But i guess if they mean the exact same thing, why not go with the one that's not pejorative.
SCOTT: So are they against eliminating all labels or labels that don't suit a certain...
CROWLEY: Their agenda. I mean, I guess their philosophy now is why use two words when you could use 17 words in a story.
The bigger serious point, and the serious point here, though, is that they are not acting so much as journalists anymore as they are advocates of a certain position, and that's where I have a problem. I have a real problem with the word police in any kind of context. This is the Associated Press, anointing themselves as the word police, saying well you can't use this because it doesn't quite fit our political agenda.
And in terms of the Islamist, Jim, you're exactly right, CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, which is an affiliate group of the Muslim Brotherhood leaned on the Associated Press and said you cannot use Islamist as a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, which essentially leaves you with nothing.
So again you have an intimidation campaign being waged against the AP and they've caved.
SCOTT: I mean, one of these was issued to me in journalism school I was expected to, whatever was in the AP stylebook is how I had to write my story.
PINKERTON: And that was a long time ago, no offense.
PINKERTON: And some number of decades later, there's 100,000 PC police to make sure that you do this as well. I mean, it's -- there's a degree of dishonesty here. I mean, for example, the law calls people who are not here legally illegal aliens, which is even worse, maybe, than illegal immigrants. That's federal law, which has not yet been changed.
I mean, meanwhile...
SCOTT: It will be.
PINKERTON: Meanwhile, this is the reality, as William La Jeunesse has been reporting on Fox all week, nobody has any idea who is coming across the border. I mean, so -- it's just crazy to be sitting here having a fake law and a fake terminology debate while for all intents and purposes the border is still open.
SCOTT: All right, coming up next on "News Watch," what does the White House think about Matt Drudge?
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SCOTT: President Obama's top adviser takes a shot at the political press pointing to the Drudge Report as a bad influence. That's next on "News Watch."
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SCOTT: Politico ran this story on Wednesday, "Obama's Trash Talkers: Former White House men who regularly use Twitter to attack critics of the administration."
Here is one from form Obasma's former senior adviser David Plouffe to Republican Karl Rove, "how many times can you be wrong before credibility wanes?"
And from former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor about the media, "press corps salivating over Rand Paul CPAC performance, his extremes views in a GOP primary would be best thing for Democrats, just ask Mitt."
And this from former Obama speakwriter Jon Lovett, "Twitter offers a window into the internal frustrations of an administration and the arguments people make on the inside. So it's not surprising that the people coming out of this White House are skeptical of Washington, Congress and the media."