• With: Monica Crowley, Richard Grenell, Jim Pinkerton, Merrill Brown

    This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," June 15, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


    JON SCOTT, HOST: What a week of news! The NSA spying scandal gets more media attention as the leaker goes public and lawmakers grill the people involved in snooping on Americans.

    Another scandal for the State Department, prostitution and pedophilia allegations against a U.S. ambassador and charges of high-level efforts to cover up details.

    A New York paper reports the CBS News anchor Scott Pelley had a meltdown over the State Department scandal story. What caused that? The trial of George Zimmerman gets going. Jury selection begins and the media ramp up the issue of racism. Sarah Palin is back. Returning to Fox News. Other media reacts as expected. And New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a big hit on late night, slow jamming the news.


    SCOTT: Which stories made our list? Find out next on "News Watch."


    SCOTT: On the panel this week, writer and Fox News contributor Judy Miller, radio talk show host Monica Crowley, Jim Pinkerton, contributing editor of the American Conservative Magazine, Merrill Brown, director of Montclair State University School of Communication and media and Fox News contributor Richard Grenell. I'm Jon Scott. "Fox News Watch" is on right now.


    GEN. KEITH B. ALEXANDER, NSA DIRECTOR: Our security is jeopardized. And there's no doubt in my mind that we will lose capabilities as a result of this and that not only the United States, but those allies said if we have helped, we'll no longer be as safe as they were two weeks ago.

    ROBERT MUELLER, FBI DIRECTOR: These disclosures have caused significant harm to our nation and to our safety. We're taking all necessary steps to hold the person responsible for these disclosures.


    SCOTT: The directors of the National Security Agency and the FBI commenting on this man, Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old American and former technical contractor who revealed himself as the leaker of the information about how our government collects phone and other data about us as part of what the government calls an effort to protect us.

    Glenn Greenwald was the journalist who made headlines last week reporting the classified information provided by Snowden. Greenwald's involvement getting the attention of one key lawmaker.


    REP. PETER KING, R-N.Y.: No right is absolute. And even the press has certain restrictions. I think it should be very targeted, very selective and certainly a very rare exception. But in this case when where you have someone who has disclosed secrets like this and threatens to release more, then that's to me yes, there has to be legal action - should be taken against him. This is a very unusual case with life and death implications for Americans.


    SCOTT: There are a lot of issues to deal with here. To you, Rick Grenell first, what do you think about Congressman King's assertion that this might be a case where you go after journalists, in this case Glenn Greenwald, for the leak?

    RICHARD GRENELL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: You know, I don't think so. I think this is a very simple issue that people need to understand. Reporters think government is too secretive. That's nothing new. I think it's a good thing in a democracy for reporters to push for more open government. But it's quite different for a government employee to release classified information. That's illegal. And I think that the government leaders have a responsibility to prosecute those leakers and they need to say, you cannot leak classified information that endangers people's lives. This clearly did that. But I would not go too fast at going after reporters because it's their job to push for more open government.

    SCOTT: Jim, Greenwald denied that he's going to release any CIA operative names or those kinds of things, but he did claim "We're going to have a lot more significant revelations that have not yet been heard over the next several weeks and months." And that is part of what has the government upset here.

    JIM PINKERTON, THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE: Right. I mean, this seems to be one of the biggest leaks exposures in U.S. history going on right now, and I think the media narrative on Snowden has changed in the last -- it's only week two of this whole story from tortured whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, to spy like the Rosenbergs going back a ways. This -- we're only beginning to get our arms around this, but people are asking if he's a whistleblower, what's he doing in Hong Kong, which is part of China. I mean, you can't sit there in Chinese possession and not be talking to the Chinese as well as The Guardian.

    SCOTT: Judy, you went to jail to protect a source. Is it a conundrum for journalists here to report the leaks or report the leaker?

    JUDY MILLER, WRITER & FOX NEW CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think you don't have an obligation to call the leaker the greatest American since George Washington. This is a utilitarian relationship. However, and it's not surprising to me that Glenn Greenwald was busy defending the man who has made him a household word -- name in America now. But I think we do, as Kirsten Powers wrote in The Daily Beast this week, have to separate out these two issues and that is what do we think about the leaker and what he did from what about these programs, are they legal? They appear to be. Are they constitutional? That is what Edward Snowden is challenging, that they may be legal, they're not constitutional.

    SCOTT: Kirsten Powers who is a frequent guest and panelist on this program wrote this, very thought provoking column in The Daily Beast, in part she writes, "The Washington establishment wants to put Snowden in jail and throw away the key for telling the truth. We're told to blindly respect an institution that persecutes whistleblowers for leaks of overclassified government information while watching the Obama administration's leaking of secret government information to aggrandize the president during his re-election campaign. So, please, tell us more about how we should have more respect for our institutions." Merrill?

    MERRILL BROWN, MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY: You don't know Snowden any better than I do or any of us do. I know his type. We know the computer activist in him. He may be a good guy. He may be a bad guy. But what we're seeing here is the spinning of him in ways as Kirsten alludes to that protect the interest of the Washington political media establishment.

    SCOTT: He took an oath to, you know, protect these secrets and then he decided to spill them.

    MONICA CROWLEY, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: And you just hit on a very crucial distinction between a leaker and a journalist to whom the leak is given. Those who work in government or somebody like Mr. Snowden who is a contractor for the government, subcontracted out, they take sworn oaths to uphold the nation's secrets so they are in clear violation of the law and should be prosecuted when they go ahead and leak. Journalists take no such oath. Now we count on them to use their discretion when they are given a leak. If it's of a huge magnitude that will endanger our national security, about whether or not to publish it, how much of it to publish. But I do think that the media loves stark contrasts and that's why they've put out this kind of ridiculous question, is he a hero or is he a traitor? He's somewhere in between, but they don't like the nuance.

    SCOTT: Well, that's one of the questions, Judy, are we paying too much attention to the leaker and not to the issues that have come out?

    MILLER: Actually, I think we are paying attention to both. I mean you have all kinds of hearings being held on the hill. You've seen Alexander. He's been forced to talk about his programs. We had FBI, outgoing FBI Director Mueller, who's there. I think we're paying attention to both. I just think we, as Jim said, we're beginning to wrap ourselves, our minds around the consequences of the leak of this information.

    SCOTT: Jim, you said the media narrative is changing. I wanted to read you some quotes. Jeffrey Toobin from The New Yorker: "A grandiose narcissist referring to Snowden who deserves to be in prison." Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, complained about Snowden's naivete and maturity level. Politico's Roger Simon called him the slacker who came in from the cold and finally Tom Brokaw dismissed him as a high school dropout who is a military washout.

    PINKERTON: Well, the establishment including the mainstream media establishment, aren't always wrong. I mean, it's possible this guy did disclose most important national security assets we have in terms of surveillance around the world. I mean it's just one thing to say you shouldn't spy on Americans. That's a good argument. He seems to have put the whole world on notice that we're spying on them and given them some detail as to sources and methods.

    SCOTT: All right. Next on "News Watch," have the media hurt chances for a fair trial for George Zimmerman?


    GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: I don't like that they've rushed to judgment the way they have.

    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The media spotlight back on George Zimmerman. Coverage heats up as jury selection for his trial ramps up. But has the accused already been convicted in the press? Answers next on "News Watch."



    ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S BROTHER: They don't trust the media and I think rightfully so. They think that they've learned that the media is very good at putting their own spin on what they want the narrative to be. They say it makes it less confusing for the public, but I don't have an employer. I'm not employed by NBC, CBS, CNN or anybody else. So I don't have editors or I don't have, you know, bosses and I just try to be as honest as I can.