• With: Judy Miller, Jim Pinkerton, Rich Lowry, Kirsten Powers, Rick Grenell

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


    JON SCOTT, HOST: On "Fox News Watch."

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 61 seconds devoted to how ObamaCare is going to hurt small business.


    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sixty-one seconds stirred in the entirety of 2012.

    SCOTT: The media taking hits for no hard hitting coverage of the ObamaCare train wreck and the president's power play to delay a key mandate of the law. Why isn't the press paying attention?

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were the injuries on Mr. Zimmerman's back of his head consistent with someone doing this?

    SCOTT: Wall-to-wall coverage of the Zimmerman murder trial gives critics a chance to slam the media accusing some of tabloid antics and using the event to ramp up poor ratings. Has the press misused its privilege?

    Unrest in Egypt gets some media attention. Tensions in the region are a real concern. But is the situation there too complicated for proper coverage?

    ELIOT SPITZER: I lied about personal sexual activity, yes.

    SCOTT: When it comes to bad behavior of high-profile politicians do the media tend to forgive and then forget? Or does that only apply to members of one political party? And when it comes to getting your news, guess, which news channel comes out on top.


    SCOTT: On the panel this week, writer and Fox News contributor Judy Miller. Editor of The National Review, Rich Lowry. Jim Pinkerton, contributing editor of The American Conservative Magazine. Daily Beasts columnist, Kirsten Powers and Fox News contributor Richard Grenell. I'm Jon Scott, "Fox News Watch" is on right now.


    CHUCK TODD, NBC CORRESPONDENT: You could argue that there are some Republicans that are trying to sabotage the law. That they are hoping to not get it off the ground and then they can suddenly make the case. See, we've got to get rid of it. And they got some state governors that are openly trying to sabotage it.


    SCOTT: MSNBC's Chuck Todd reviving an often-said liberal theme that Republicans are out to sabotage the ObamaCare. And the Washington Post's Greg Sargent was especially disgruntled writing -- "When you hear this sort of argument coming from Chuck Todd, the mild-mannered well-respected beltway insider, it should prompt folks to take notice ... This is not typical opposition. And it's good to hear this stated outride by someone as respected inside the beltway as Chuck Todd. The only mystery is why more journalists aren't willing to point it out." Rich, let's start with you on that one.

    RICH LOWRY, EDITOR OF THE NATIONAL REVIEW: Well, I like Chuck, but this whole sabotage thing, I think it is obviously a loaded term. Sure, Republicans are trying to stop and repeal the law because they think it is bad public policy. It's not as though and Democrats lost the initial vote to authorize the Iraq war. They said let's never talk about the Iraq war ever again and just accept it. Right. And the whole idea that Republicans sabotaged the employer mandate that had nothing to do with the employer mandate. This was entirely the employer mandate sinking of its own weight.

    SCOTT: So, are Republicans to blame here? And what about the media coverage?

    JIM PINKERTON, THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE: Well, I think, let's first of all, check guide to start (inaudible), and Democratic partisan politics. And I think since the spring, the Center for American Progress, it's just probably the lead liberal think tank in Washington has been saying that the Republicans were the ones destroying this and then lo and behold, you know, Chuck echoes that line. Nobody can explain, though, why the National Journal's Margaret Sanger-Katz wrote a piece last week, in which she said "White House has known for months that ObamaCare implementation wouldn't work." It was a top Democrat who called it a train wreck. That doesn't fit into their narrative, so they are trying to blame it all on John Boehner.

    SCOTT: Well, so, Judy USA Today puts out an article, I'm sorry, an editorial, entitled the GOP poisons ObamaCare, then claims it is sick. You like that editorial?

    JUDY MILLER, WRITER & FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I did. Because I -- I think that there was a fair amount of that going on. And, yes, it is true, Rich that the Republicans didn't like this and they weren't going to surrender. On the other hand, I think that they haven't as The USA editorial pointed out, they haven't actually funded government money to explain to the American people how it works and what they need to do to qualify and so it is no -- shouldn't be any surprise that participation rates are lower than we would anticipate.

    SCOTT: Rick, what do you make of Judy's argument?

    RICHARD GRENELL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think she needs to read the full editorial ...


    GRENELL: ... because let's be clear. You have -- you've got Gannett who has -- who has taken USA Today to become Upper East Side New York today.


    GRENELL: They are so left wing they actually in this editorial criticized those who are criticizing keeping politics out of the NFL. What they say is if you don't think that the NFL should be promoting ObamaCare, this is an appalling abuse of power. Literally the USA Today editorial board is saying that those who criticize the NFL getting involved in politics are abusing their power. This is a world unto its own. Editorial boards are becoming totally irrelevant.

    SCOTT: Yeah, the NFL is known for encouraging children to, you know, get out and stay active, but promoting ObamaCare?

    KIRSTEN POWERS, DAILY BEAST & USA TODAY COLUMNIST: I don't know. I mean, I -- I think that it's -- I can speak more to the Chuck Todd thing, I think it's an editorial board that is actually free to express whatever opinions they have. So, and I don't necessarily agree that it is as -- quite as liberal, I think, as Rick sees it. But I think on the Chuck Todd thing, it is -- speaks more to the fact that, I think, reporters should be asking questions rather than making statements. You know, and I do respect Chuck Todd but that is sort of -- taking a line that's not necessarily asking. You can say look, there are some people who think this. What do you think about that?

    SCOTT: Jim?

    PINKERTON: If you want to ask questions, and ask whatever happened to the rule of law. I mean all along, during the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. First they waived all the requirements on labor unions, and they waived away the class act and they waived away the mandate and as Rich and Bill Kristol wrote in a terrific piece on immigration last week, if the Obama administration thinks it can wave laws that it enacted and signed into law, then what else can they waive? The answer is, they can waive anything including the Dream Act.

    SCOTT: What about that? Has that?

    GRENELL: And what about the cost of the program? You know -- no one is talking about the lies that the administration has made about the cost of the program. It is outrageously more expensive than they said and yet, you know, we've got editorial boards and others talking about the NFL's need to promote the law. I mean and this is really ridiculous in terms of priority coverage.

    SCOTT: What about the constitutionality of the president just deciding unilaterally not to enforce the law that has been passed by Congress and endorsed by ...

    LOWRY: Yeah, I think Jim's point is a very good one. There is no obligation under the law for Republicans to set up the exchanges. Republican governors. So, some of them are choosing not to. Completely within their rights. No obligation for them to take the Medicaid funding. So, they are not. But there is an obligation under the law to actually set up this employer mandate and you have the administration to sort of waving its hands and shrugging its holders and say never mind, even though it is written there in black and white in the law.

    SCOTT: Well, the media are being accused of ignoring many of the problems that are coming with the enforcement or the onset of ObamaCare. Are they?

    POWERS: Yes. I mean -- I think that -- look, I was a supporter of ObamaCare. I still am. But I don't think that they are known in really in any area, frankly, for their critical thinking, the media. And they don't seem to be -- I mean it's just getting to the point now where it's just -- it's hard to defend a lot of it. That they don't give the kind of, you know, they just -- they take one story line, maybe because it's easier, I think maybe some of the policy reporters get it. But -- and people aren't really informed about the difficulties that lay ahead.