• With: Judy Miller, Monica Crowley, Jim Pinkerton, Kirsten Powers

    Jim, what was interesting to you about what Politico had to say?

    PINKERTON: At first it was a very smart piece by Dylan Byers. Second of all, as I've mentioned on the show, this fellow Richard Rushfield was a blogger in Los Angeles, the first to really point out the power of Twitter, mostly in a negative sense. Really, nobody goes to Twitter to be positive about anything, they go to Twitter to slam somebody. Often times they can do it in secret, although these fellows are doing it in public with no anonymity.

    I think this was full of implications for the way that discourse is handled, because Twitter now is the new front page of everybody's political life now.

    SCOTT: The Lovett quote, Judy, he says "tweets are the window into the internal frustrations of an administration and the arguments people make on the inside."

    So what does that say about the mindset in this White House?

    MILLER: I just can't begin to understand a White House that is unhappy with this press coverage. I mean, you know, when Spiro Agnew called us members of the writing class nattering nay-bombs of negativism everybody was shocked. But he didn't actually attach a name to a specific reporter and say you're a nattering nay-bomb.

    Now, that's OK. Personification, assaults on person -- on individual reporters, that's fine. And I think that reflects a very sad state of affairs on the part of the White House and its relationship with the press.

    SCOTT: They doth protest too much?

    POWERS: And also I have to just say the picture from Politico, I mean, there's a war on women right there. Where are the women spokes people? I mean, that was like eight men, eight angry men -- white men -- I think they were all white, right? So, which normally has the media all frothed and upset. I can only imagine if that was Mitt Romney.

    I just -- I have actually found -- I'm on Twitter a lot, and when I see some of the things that these guys say, it's just beneath the office of the president. And these are people even when they leave the White House are so closely aligned with the president there is a sort of expectation that they're going to behave -- like when they speak, they're speaking kind of on behalf of Obama. And just -- I find it's really beneath the office.

    SCOTT: Let's move on to this, White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer commented about the Drudge Report, the website, and its influence over the news cycle. Listen.


    DAN PFEIFFER, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER: There's a Pavolvian response from, you know, some media outlets. It's like why are you asking me about this? Well, it's on Drudge, you know. And so, you know..

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you say that?

    PFEIFFER: Ask them to repeat that -- you know, say that to themselves out loud again and think about it. You know, and everyone's a little embarrassed about it. And it's always like my boss -- you know, my assignment editor is on me about this.


    SCOTT: So, Monica, the White House has a problem with the Drudge Report.

    CROWLEY: Fancy that. I mean, just imagine that.

    Look, the pesky free press. This White House is constantly complained about outlets that they feel don't cover them properly or cover them fairly. Every White House has a problem with the press at some point or another. The difference is that this particular White House calls them out by name. So this week it was the Drudge Report.

    In the past this White House has waged a war on this network, on Fox News, waged war on talk radio, called out individual reporters by name, to smear them in the press or question their coverage. And it's all by way of trying to delegitimize either whole networks or whole institutions so that somehow you're shamed if you're going to the Drudge Report or you're tuning into Fox News.

    SCOTT: And Kirsten who grew up in democratic politics is agreeing with you.

    POWERS: Yeah, I mean, I think the thing that they do -- it's, what you just said is egregious, but take it another step which is what they're doing right here. They're actually telling reporters where they're allowed to get their information. And they did this on their war on Fox News. They went on CNN and said CNN, you're a legitimate, but we don't want you listening to Fox News. And Jake Tapper was the only one who really stood up and said anything and asked the White House press secretary who are you to tell us who is legitimate?

    SCOTT: Coming up next on "News Watch," a real test of freedom of the press.


    SCOTT: Remember this awful scene in Aurora, Colorado last July: 12 people killed, 70 injured when James Holmes allegedly unleashed a hail of bullets on an audience watching a movie. Holmes faces the death penalty in that attack.

    The story has received a good deal of media attention. And now a member of the media has become part of the story. Jana Winter, an investigative reporter for FoxNews.com faces jail time for doing her job. Winter broke an exclusive story just a few days after the attack revealing that prior to the shooting, Holmes had sent a notebook to a psychiatrist. The notebook contained illustrations of a massacre, and according to Winter's source, was, quote, full of details about how he was going to kill people.

    Winter's story cited unnamed law enforcement sources.

    Well, Holmes's attorneys reacted, claiming the disclosures violated their client's right to a fair trial and demanded Winter reveal her sources.

    Well, now it is up to judge Carlos Samour, Jr. who will decide whether or not Jana Winter needs to take the stand either to reveal her sources or go to jail. Judy, you went to jail for nearly three months to protect sources. What do you think about what is going on with Jana?

    MILLER: Well, I think I'm the last print journalist to go to jail to protect sources. And I hope that Jana Winter is not going to have to make this choice.

    We cannot do our jobs without confidential sources or we will be repeating just what the government tells us. That is not the role of a free press. People like Jana her need to be able to work. And everybody who cares about a free press should support her.

    SCOTT: Holmes offered to plead guilty in this case? This doesn't seem to be a question about whether the information was accurate or not.

    MILLER: No, it's not that. And by the way, on Friday the court released information that said that his psychiatrist, Holmes' psychiatrist said that she felt endangered by him and he posed a threat to the public, so her story is accurate.

    SCOTT: You have said many times on this program, information wants to be free?

    PINKERTON: I have and we also want a free press, and the first amendment does protects us. And look, this journalist -- the shield law is one of the hottest issues in journalism in the last 20 years. And so it's been astonishing to me, although maybe not astonishing that last time I checked, the Columbia Journalism Review, the American Journalism Review and the New York Times have not mentioned this case at all, because I guess if a reporter works far a mainstream outlet, they like it , and if they work at Fox, they don't care.

    SCOTT: All right, that is a wrap on "News Watch" this week.

    We will continue to keep an eye on Jana's case. She's back in court this week ahead.

    Thanks to Judy Miller, Jim Pinkerton, Monica Crowley and Kirsten Powers. I'm Jon Scott. We'll see you again next week on Fox News Channel.

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