This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," April 27, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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JON SCOTT, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Another busy week in the news business. The investigation of the Boston bombings in full swing. Details emerge about the terrorists and their plot. Federal officials try to explain how and why one terrorist flew under the radar even after they knew he was a potential threat. The suspect's parents claiming it's all a setup. Their little angels framed. Another terror plot uncovered in Canada. Those terrorists tied to Al Qaeda. Gruesome murder trial of abortion Dr. Gosnell goes to the jury. The details still too much for some in the media. The Associated Press gets punked with a fake tweet that causes a major market meltdown. And it's pump and ceremony as the former president celebrates his legacy.
Which stories made the rundown? Find out next on "News Watch."
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SCOTT: On the panel this week, writer and Fox News contributor Judy Miller. Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, Jim Pinkerton, contributing editor of The American Conservative Magazine and Ellen Ratner, bureau chief of Talk Radio News Service. I'm Jon Scott. "Fox News Watch" is on right now.
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SCOTT: Nearly two weeks ago, two bombs exploded killing three injuring more than 260 in Boston. The terrorist act hijacked media coverage. The press going all out to cover every angle of the developing story. Let's start with a Fox News poll on how all of this coverage was perceived. When it came to approval ratings of the various agencies and authorities involved. Law enforcement got a 91 percent approval rating. The Obama administration got a 71 percent approval rating on its handling of the Boston marathon bombings and the media, Jim, got 55 percent. Does that surprise you?
JIM PINKERTON, THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE: No, I think the media had a tough time struggling with the imperative to be first and then being accurate. At the same time, it was too hard for them in the first few days. But I think since then we have sort of seen four stories bubble up. The first was the effort to blame it on the militias and taxpayers and so on, and Andrew Correll (ph) from Mediaite for wrote a great piece of ten worst media moments, including such usual suspects as Chris Matthews ...
SCOTT: We'll get to him in a minute.
PINKERTON: OK. We'll get to him in a minute. The other stories were he acted alone. There were no foreign influence, they knew immediately, according to The Washington Post and Brian Williams and NBC, there was no connection, no foreigners at all. Then they went from there to Obama administration did fine. And so, when Director Clapper said we connected all the dots. That was just like Napolitano three years ago, that is the latest story. The fourth one, which only Fox News and Megyn Kelly has been interested in, is why were these guys on welfare during the time? And (inaudible) financed the phones that they were using to help make the bombs.
SCOTT: Judy, you took note of the piece that Bernie Goldberg wrote, in which he said this -- "After a while, when a TV reporter went on the air to report something new, I said to myself, yeah, sure, I'll believe it when I see it. This is not good for an American institution whose credibility rating is somewhere around that of used car dealers. In a free country we need a mainstream media that we trust."
JUDY MILLER, WRITER & FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. But I think that Bernie Goldberg pointed out some of the worst mistakes that people made. And the column really focused on those errors. I think CNN talking about the FBI and law enforcement looking for a dark skinned individual, the posting of two photos of ,quote, "bag men" as the New York Post called it, and it turned out to be totally innocent people. There was the terrible, terrible story of Salar Bahom (ph), the 17-year-old student who was listed as a suspect. I mean there was a lot to apologize for. And I think Bernie Goldberg shown the light on that this week.
SCOTT: Kathleen Carroll of the Associated Press said this in internal memo on Monday. We took a shellacking, a deserved one, for reporting that a suspect was in custody, when as the hours passed, that information begin to look wobbly. So, Ellen, how does something like that happen?
ELLEN RATNER, BUREAU CHIEF OF TALK RADIO NEWS SERVICE: Well, because there is a rush. And is a rush -- and somebody said, get it first, but get it right. And that was Philip Swartz (ph) who said that. And it's interesting because the Washington Post's Eric Wemple said that A.P used only one anonymous source. However, I do have to say, having read all week The Boston Globe has done an amazing job this week.
SCOTT: Then there is Chris Matthews, he took some heat ...
PINKERTON: Oh, we have to go hit ...
SCOTT: He was trying to pin the bombings on right wing home-grown militia types. A.F. Branco put together this cartoon as a result of crysmet use.
CAL THOMAS, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Yes, as a kid we had a -- we had a little party game. At birthday parties, pin the tail on the donkey. And people like Chris Matthews and the rest of the libs want to pin the blame for something like this on right wing extremists, militia people, folks who hide out in the mountains waiting for the second or third coming, or whatever. The great reluctance of the media, they will blame everybody, except the people who are deserving of the blame. They want to withhold judgment on Muslims. They want to withhold judgment on Muslim terrorists. They don't want to make the connection. And this because the administration, and they play along with this together.
SCOTT: There was, Jim, a reluctance among some in the media even to call it terrorism. I mean does -- do you have to wait for the government to call it terrorism?
PINKERTON: If you wait for President Obama to use words Islamic terrorism in the same sentence. You'd wait a very long time. Look, the media don't want to make the administration look bad. This is their Achilles heel, everybody kind of senses it. We've let political correctness, you know, going back to the previous administration, suffuse the way we look at this issue, and the media are part of it.
SCOTT: It had been a long, long time since the 9/11 attacks. Do you think that the media sort of dropped the ball in terms of encouraging public awareness, you know, if you see something, say something?
MILLER: Well, I think it's part of what Jim was just talking about, which is playing into President Obama's extrication narrative from the Middle East. We don't have to worry. Problem solved. War in Iraq over, war in Afghanistan over. No problem here, because I got Osama bin Laden. Well, guess what? Radical Islam still exists and there are still people who pose a threat to this country, and this was an unfortunate, a terrible wake-up call for America again.
SCOTT: And then there was some media attempts that appeared to make an excuse for terrorism like this piece from Time magazine that appeared on the front page of CNN's Web site. It said, did boxing damage play a role in the Boston bombings? Suggesting that Tamerlan Tsarnaev's brain may have been traumatized during the years he boxed. And that somehow may have explained what he decided to do in that finish line.
RATNER: Well, I happen to be a person who is actually passionate about putting people under MRI machines and looking what happened, but I want to say that ...
MILLER: Too late ...
RATNER: I understand. And -- but I think what is really interesting as we go forward and there has not been any media stories about that, is what do the HIPAA laws, which don't allow disclosure of information going to do with some of this information if somebody has somebody, perhaps, dangerous. And I think that is a whole area to be explored.
SCOTT: And then there was Tom Brokaw on "Meet the Press." Watch.
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TOM BROKAW: We have to work a lot harder at the motivation here. What prompts a young man to come to this country and still feel alienated from it to go back to Russia and do whatever he did. And I don't think we have examined that enough. I mean there was 24/7 coverage on television, a lot of newspaper print, and so on, but we've got to look at the roots of all this. Because it exists across the whole subcontinent and the Islamic world around the world.
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SCOTT: How about a young man coming to this country and embracing the freedoms and the opportunities it gave him?
THOMAS: Well, this is part not only of the media, but also many in government of the problem. The formula is wrong. And if your formula is wrong, your answer will never be correct. It isn't about what we do or don't do. It isn't about what Israel does or doesn't do. It is about their ideology, it is about the application of their religion and the media don't get this.
SCOTT: All right. Next on "News Watch," Bush 43 back in the news.