• With: Judy Miller, Richard Grenell, Jim Pinkerton, Ellen Ratner

    This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," April 13, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


    RICK FOLBAUM, HOST: A jam packed week of news.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Newtown, we want you to know that we're here with you. We will not walk away from the promises we've made.

    FOLBAUM: The president takes his message on the road playing the same tune for the people and the press, while the Senate overcomes a filibuster threat clearing the way for a debate on gun control.

    A Fox News reporter is in court fighting to protect her sources.

    The liberal media hammer the Iron Lady as news of her death spreads worldwide.

    Hip-hop power couple, Jay-Z and Beyonce vacation in Cuba.

    MSNBC runs a controversial promo claiming kids belong to the community, not parents.

    And a Hollywood reporter names its 35 most powerful people in the media. Who made the list? Find out now on "Fox News Watch."


    FOLBAUM: On the panel this week, writer and Fox News contributor Judy Miller, Richard Grenell, former spokesman to the last four U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations. Jim Pinkerton, contributing editor to The American Conservative Magazine and Ellen Ratner, bureau chief of talk radio news. I'm Rick Folbaum in for Jon Scott, "Fox News Watch" is on right now.


    OBAMA: I've also heard some in the Washington press suggest that what happens to gun violence legislation in Congress this week will either be a political victory or defeat for me. Connecticut, this is not about me. This is not about politics.


    OBAMA: This is about doing the right thing for all the families who are here that have been torn apart by gun violence. It's about them and all the families going forward so we can prevent this from happening again. That's what it's about. It's about the law enforcement officials putting their lives at risk, that's what this is about.


    OBAMA: It is not about politics.



    FOLBAUM: President Obama making his second trip to Connecticut since the Newtown school shootings, he did that earlier this week, making the last ditch attempt to revive Democrats' faltering efforts to pass stricter federal gun legislation. And then on Thursday, the Senate ending a filibuster attempt on a new gun control bill, which clears the path now for a floor fight next week and it could bring about the biggest changes in U.S. gun laws in about 20 years. Let's talk to the panel about this and Jim, we saw the president's enthusiasm and passion for this issue when a lot of people sort of noticed the same kind of enthusiasm in favor of gun control legislation on the part of the media.

    JIM PINKERTON, THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE: Right. I mean we saw the power of the bully pulpit there, and by that, I don't mean the president and all his trappings making speeches nationwide. I mean the real bully pulpit, which is the media, and when you get to the point when Senator Biden -- pardon me Vice President Biden gets three hours on MSNBC to make his case and then actually then thanks MSNBC, thank you so much for helping me with this case. And then senator mentioned, thanked CNN, you know, that it's powerful as the president, as the media even more powerful, and even more united in pushing this issue.

    FOLBAUM: We saw a lot in the media, Judy, using the same language that the president has used both in the switching Connecticut and the State of the Union address, CNN saying that -- one of the anchors saying that you can't believe that the GOP had even planned a filibuster against -- against some gun control measures. CBS says that the Republicans owe the families of Newtown at least an up or down vote. Is it appropriate for the media to really adapt and adopt the same kind of language that the president is using?

    JUDY MILLER, WRITER AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think the people, the anchors and the reporters that were using that language, some of them, not all of them, but some of them did say as the president said. Or -- but I do think that it is natural to use the same thing when roughly 80 to 90 percent of the country pretty much feels the same way about this issue. Look, I think that John Gandelman of The Week wrote one of the smartest pieces about this whole debate. He said the NRA has actually won, what are we debating here? We're debating universal background checks, we're not debating banning assault weapons, we're not debating a limit on magazine clips, we're not debating anything that the president said in his initial suggestions for what we needed to do to fight this. So, come on, declare victory, Wayne LaPierre, say we won, we're fighting about a small measure that would make a modest amount of difference, maybe, but it is at least a start.

    PINKERTON: I agree.

    RICHARD GRENELL, FMR. SPKSMN, LAST 4 U.S. AMBASSADORS TO U.N.: So, Judy just made sense. The problem is that the media are not echoing that, Judy, the media are saying that Republicans are terrible and somehow we're forgetting that Harry Reid is in charge of the Senate. I mean if the president is saying, we have to have a vote. Pick up the phone and call Harry Reid and schedule the vote. They're from the same party. What's the problem here? Why aren't we hearing that in The New York Times? Why isn't there a front page piece saying where is Harry Reid?

    ELLEN RATNER, BUREAU CHIEF OF TALK RADIO NEWS SERVICE: OK. All right. But The National Journal actually ran a piece, they jumped the gun and then they said that the NRA had already won, so it isn't all one way or the other. The National Journal came out with this, you know, the NRA wins this. That's just not true.

    FOLBAUM: I want to talk about the Newtown families and, of course, our hearts go out to them all, I can't imagine what they're going through. But it's been a week now, they have appeared on CNN, Jim, they had a big photo spread in People magazine.

    RATNER: Air Force One.

    FOLBAUM: The president then flew to Connecticut, we saw a bit of the speech. He brought a number of them back to Washington D.C, they have been -- lobbied lawmakers on Capitol Hill. What do you think about the way the Newtown family has allowed itself to be put out there and sort of used for political purposes?

    PINKERTON: It's the way things work now and it has been extremely effective. Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei in Politico had a terrific piece going inside the story. And again, it sounds manipulative, of course, but the moral authority is there, no question. However, it would be nice if the media had a little bit more clarity more about this. For example, on Thursday night, Diane Sawyer said, it's a David and Goliath story. It's David being the Newtown families versus the Goliath of the Republican Party and the NRA, not mentioning Harry Reid and Barack Obama and stuff, and of course, immediately saying, you know, David is a good guy and Goliath is the bad guy. And there might actually be two good guys in this. The NRA might have a point, and the news (inaudible) might have a different point, but the media, in this case, ABC, would never think that way.

    FOLBAUM: Aside from LaPierre's media appearances, which had been panned by everybody on the left and even a couple of people on the right, are those people who are upset about more gun legislation, who look at it as an infringement on their Second Amendment rights, are those people's voices being heard in the mainstream media, Judy?

    MILLER: Well, I think they are in the print media more than they are on television, because the Newtown families are visually compelling story that everyone wants to cover. But I do think that the fact that the Newtown families exist as individuals and as a unit, makes them a new element in this story that deserved coverage along with Mayor Bloomberg's extraordinary grass roots campaign and there is against illegal guns. These are the new elements that people have begun to pay attention to ..

    RATNER: But Fox has a Newtown family who has actually been on, who is -- don't -- totally disagrees with the majority of the Newtown families. He's been given some coverage here and a little bit elsewhere, but not a lot.

    GRENELL: But let's say that the coverage is very one-dimensional. It's, say, you know, Republicans versus Democrats, gun or no gun. Where is the coverage of mental health issues? It's really rare, although, Fox has done mental health issue -- angles. And I think that's really important. There's a whole bunch of angles here.

    PINKERTON: Smart contrarian piece by Matthew Continetti in The Washington Free Beacon then how the Obama administration and Bloomberg are morphing together in the same kind of elitist liberalism. A good piece.

    FOLBAUM: All right. Time for a break, but first, a reporter faces jail time for being a good journalist.


    FOLBAUM: A real test against the freedom of the press playing out in a Colorado courtroom as a reporter faces jail time for refusing to identify her sources. But where is the media outrage? Where is the coverage? That's next on "News Watch."