Fox News
December 12, 2012

Mainstream media in state of denial over union protests?

Guests: Juan Williams, Jay Sekulow

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 12, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: As the protest in Michigan turned violent yesterday with pro-union demonstrators assaulting conservatives tearing down the tent that is owned by Americans for Prosperity, we reported it right here on the Fox News Channel. Now that was not the case with the broadcast networks, even though the story broke hours before the nightly newscast. Instead the mainstream media, they absolutely ignored the violence and instead, they reported on the protests -- well, this nice way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

DIANE SAWYER, "WORLD NEWS"/ABC: Thousands of union workers descended on the capitol to protest a new law they believe could be an ominous signal for unions and worker paychecks everywhere. Here's ABC's Alex Perez.

ALEX PEREZ, ABC CORRESPONDENT: The anger boiling over. Officers turning to pepper spray to control the crowd at least 10,000 deep.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN, "EVENING NEWS"/CBS: Union members from across Michigan and other states voiced their anger at the Michigan Capitol.

RON MOTT, "NIGHTLY NEWS"/NBC: Brian, tonight, this law will go into effect sometime in the spring. In a few months time, it will dramatically change things here in Michigan.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, "NIGHTLY NEWS"/NBC: Ron Mott, after a boisterous day at the state capitol --

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

HANNITY: Boisterous day. So much for hard-hitting reporting. But the non-sense is not in there. Some liberals are actually spreading lies that the Americans for Prosperity tent was actually pulled down by its own people. So, I guess the left-wing spin never ends.

Joining me now with reaction from the American Center for Law and Justice, Jay Sekulow, Fox News political analyst, Juan Williams.

You know, Juan, I understand, during the 2010 heyday of the Tea Party movement, the press -- they searched -- they searched for instances of violence and racism, when they couldn't find it they just made it up. You know, you to a Tea Party rally, you know, there was a Tea Party group there because they leave the place cleaner than when they go and they sing "God Bless America." Why wouldn't they report the violence and show the video the way we did.

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, I think it's a terrific double standard because I don't think there is any question that this is something that stops people from having honest debate, honest discussion. It is thuggery. It needs to be illuminated by the American media left-wing or right-wing. But when I am looking at the left-wing cable channels, when I'm looking at mainstream, the big broadcast networks last night, I saw none of it. I had to come to Fox.

So, you know, you and I don't agree on much, but we agree on this, and especially the idea that they are tearing down one side's tent. I don't think you can have that in a free democratic society unless you're going to have mob rule. And that's just not right, Sean.

HANNITY: Yes. And I appreciate your intellectual honesty. Jay, you know, the point is, they don't even report it. They didn't show it. It was available, it was on the Internet, it was on Drudge, it was everywhere. They knew it existed.

JAY SEKULOW, AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE: Right.

HANNITY: But they decided not to air it.

SEKULOW: Yes, the reality is, that you know -- Juan and I agree on this -- I think it's not only a double standard, but the idea that some of these reporters were hiding behind that this was just typical free speech. But this was anything but. I mean, you mention the Tea Party protests. Those were orderly.

It reminds me of the dual standard, of the double standard that employed during the protests on the abortion issue, where they tried to make the pro-lifers, were mostly kneeling and praying in front of an abortion clinic, as if they were, you know, thugs.

This is thuggery. This is not free speech. This was criminal activity, going on in front of the capitol or even inside the capitol. Nobody reports that, except Fox News.

And Sean, this is the real problem here. What did the governor do? He signed a law that is also in effect in 24 other states, it's called right-to-work legislation. Some people agree with it. Some people do not. But the fact of the matter is, all it says is that to work in a particular place, you don't have to join a union.

WILLIAMS: That's it.

SEKULOW: So, with all these networks that usually have this liberal idea of choice and freedom, how come the worker shouldn't be free to make the choice and why don't they give it accurate reporting? Instead, you have got reporters -- by the way, there was a police officer that was hit also. That didn't get reported by any of the mainstream media.

WILLIAMS: Now -- this is where Jay and I --

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

Let me just say, this is where Jay and I part company.

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

SEKULOW: Knew there had to be a place.

WILLIAMS: I'm sorry?

HANNITY: Go ahead, Juan.

WILLIAMS: I said, this is where Jay and I part company. Because what you have here is a situation where, you know, like the biggest contributors to political campaigns in America are on the conservative side and big business. Big business is putting money into this effort to attack unions. We have seen a decline in union membership and union dues since the 1960s.

HANNITY: Wait a minute, Juan. Hang on a second.

WILLIAMS: And with that, we have seen a real expansion of income and inequality in this country, the decline of the American middle class.

HANNITY: Juan, unions have put millions into supporting this president, Democratic causes --

SEKULOW: Absolutely.

HANNITY: Where's "president civility" that was so willing to talk about the disgusting YouTube video that had nothing to do with Benghazi.

WILLIAMS: Come on, Sean. You are ignoring -- I said seven out of the 10 top political contributors are on the conservative side, big business. People like the Koch Brothers and others --

HANNITY: I didn't ask you the -- Juan, I asked you a question.

WILLIAMS: That's what is driving all of the conservatives.

HANNITY: Yes.

SEKULOW: This is the real problem with the debate. If you want to have an honest and fair debate, Juan, over right-to-work legislation, we can have that.

WILLIAMS: Yes.

SEKULOW: But the fact of the matter is --

WILLIAMS: Let's do it.

SEKULOW: Look, my grandfather was a union electrician.

WILLIAMS: OK.

SEKULOW: This is not about unions going out of business, this is about unions having to actually compete for the individual employee, that they make that choice whether they want to join the union or not, mandating membership in the union is what right to work is about. You know, that's not right in America. We don't mandate someone --

HANNITY: All right. We are going to come back.

SEKULOW: -- to have to join an association that then by the way does support Democratic candidates and that violate what they want to do --

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

HANNITY: Hang on a second, guys. We are going to come back.

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