This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," May 8, 2010. This copy is may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JON SCOTT, HOST: On "News Watch," disaster averted in Times Square one week ago. And the wannabe terrorist gets nabbed on his way out of town. The press covering each moment of the developing story. But did some in the media take a hard left turn, disregarding the danger and threat?

The media keep watch on the oil spill disaster in the Gulf as efforts to contain move forward. But are the questions raised about the president's delayed response overwhelming the White House?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Yes, sometimes I get — I get it all mixed up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SHOUTING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: Reaction to Arizona's new immigration law continues to make news. But does the press understand the issues? And is the coverage fair and balanced?

An NBC News correspondent pens the latest pro-president book about Mr. Obama, raising more questions about who you can trust to bring you the news.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I have two words for you — predator drones.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: And the comic-in-chief gets the crowd laughing with some funny quips.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST, MSNBC: And it sort of went right past people, I thought.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: But the left's curmudgeon-in-chief was not laughing. Does anyone care?

On the panel this week, writer and Fox News contributor Judy Miller, conservative columnist Andrea Tantaros; Jim Pinkerton, fellow, New America Foundation; and Newsday columnist Ellis Henican.

I'm Jon Scott. "Fox News Watch" is on right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: This is an ongoing investigation and we're in the process of looking at indices, files, and to see exactly what we knew about this gentleman and when we knew it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: Attorney General Eric Holder there talking about the Times Square terrorist suspect, Faisal Shahzad. The press was all over this developing story as details about the bungled terror plot emerged. But then some of the mainstream media coverage took a turn.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CORRESPONDENT: Faisal Shahzad seemed to be living the American dream, wife, two kids, nice house in the suburbs. Even his signature seems to suggest optimism. It appears a heart is dotting the "i" in Faisal.

CORRESPONDENT: It can be confirmed that his house was foreclosed on in recent years. One would have to imagine that that brought a lot of pressure and a lot of heartache.

CORRESPONDENT: He became a U.S. citizen just a year ago, but has not realized any American dream. He quit his job, lost his house and was separated from his family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: Headlines like these followed as well. From the AP, "Times Square bombing suspect life unraveled"; from The Sydney Morning Herald, "Loner failed in search for American dream"; from Newsday, "Faisal Shahzad's home was in foreclosure"; and from NPR, "Times Square suspect world flipped upside-down last summer"; and the L.A. Times, "Car bomb suspect struggled to find a place."

Andrea, it seems like, you know, the media does a fairly good job with the who, what, when, where, why, kind of aspect of the story. But then you get a turn like that. Why does that happen?

ANDREA TANTAROS, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST: They don't want to tell the real story, that he's a radical Islamic jihadist. I mean, that would be like — I don't see anybody saying that we have a bunch of agitated Mediterraneans, against my heritage, the Greeks.

(LAUGHTER)

But look, there was bias against him and then there was bias that — they used this as an opportunity to go after the GOP. The Washington Post, Jon, there's a piece in there by Karen Tumulty and Paul Kane. And they actually criticized the GOP for what they called the broader criticism of asking if he was Mirandized. I think that's a very fair point. And then they make the point that, "This might reflect the fact that, by some measures, the Obama administration has prosecuted the war against al-Qaeda more aggressively than his predecessor." No facts to back that up. They just write it. This is not an editorial piece. This is a news piece. And journalists are using this as an opportunity to defend the suspect in question and go after the GOP.

SCOTT: Judy, there are several million Americans who have been foreclosed upon out in the heartland and we don't see them driving smoking SUV's into Times Square.

(LAUGHTER)

JUDY MILLER, WRITER & FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, exactly. And I'm having a bad hair day and I don't go out and hit you over the head, Jon. I mean, it's the same phenomena.

But there's a difference here. I think we have an obligation, as media, to try and understand the sources of radicalization that this man went through, alleged, allegedly, because he's still innocent until proven guilty. But there's a difference between explaining the radicalization and understanding the who, how, what, when, where, and seeming to sympathize with him or justify or defend what he did. And I think some of the headlines, if not the stories themselves, cross that line.

SCOTT: A lot of the stories, Jim, centered around the fact that we got lucky this time. But if there had been a much better built bomb and it had gone off in the middle of Times Square, would the coverage have taken a different turn?

(LAUGHTER)

JIM PINKERTON, FELLOW, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: Well, good question. I mean, first of all, we should say — salute Judy, who wrote a terrific piece for Fox News last week, ten unanswered questions about this investigation, including all the snafus that mercifully really didn't amount to anything in terms of people getting killed.

(LAUGHTER)

But as long as we're talking about the sentimentalizing — I guess that would be the phrase for it — their trying to contextualize him into the savageries of Reaganomics and how cruel it was to people like him.

(LAUGHTER)

We should remember the original narrative of this case, which was that is was some — obviously, as Mayor Bloomberg said, some conservative militia type was up to doing this. The classic moment that everybody should remember is Contessa Brewer on MSNBC saying, you know, I was really kind of hoping this guy would be a right wing militia type, so he could be Timothy McVeigh, and we could blame it on Rush Limbaugh. Instead, we are stuck with the jihad stuff, which just isn't nearly as interesting to the mainstream media as militias.

TANTAROS: Never say jihad.

(LAUGHTER)

SCOTT: Has there been enough done, Ellis, to point out the mistakes made in going after this guy?

ELLIS HENICAN, COLUMNIST, NEWSDAY: Well, I mean, hold on a second! They did a great job. They arrested him in barely 50 hours. And I'm afraid that my friend today may be confusing sympathy and understanding. It is crucially important that we get inside the mind of this mad man. and you know, most of these kind of people we learn — I know Judy knows this — come to these horrible acts through a cocktail of motivations, many things swirling together, and a little jihadism, a little family crisis, a little mental illness, and we've got to separate that and understand that. Please. Please.

(CROSSTALK)

PINKERTON: Ellis, you're quite right. We should separate them.

(CROSSTALK)

PINKERTON: But now we know why all the millions of people who had their houses foreclosed went and blew up the town squares where they lived. Look...

(CROSSTALK)

HENICAN: No, no, no. Jim, there's a difference. The fact that one person takes a motivation like that and turns it crazy, doesn't negate the millions that don't.

PINKERTON: What's the variable? The variable is not middle-class homeowners. The variable is Islamic jihadists.

HENICAN: A cocktail of motivations. Remember that expression.

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: A core in that cocktail is a radical Islamist jihadist.

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: Baptists aren't blowing up Times Square.

TANTAROS: Right.

HENICAN: Swirling together.

PINKERTON: There's gin and there's the olive. The gin is what matters.

(LAUGHTER)

TANTAROS: Where...

HENICAN: So we shouldn't report the facts of this guy life. That's a ridiculous reporting argument.

MILLER: Ellis, we should report — we should report on all of it.

HENICAN: Everything.

MILLER: The issue is, what's the balance? What does the balance look like?

HENICAN: Give it all. Give it all out.

MILLER: And if you don't use the word "Islamic" in a story, I'm sorry, you can't describe what happened with Faisal Shahzad. You can't.

HENICAN: Nobody, nobody would suggest that there's no Islamic angle in this. But to claim that...

MILLER: The White House never used the term.

TANTAROS: Exactly.

HENICAN: To claim that his factual, terrific reporting that our colleagues have done is somehow biased or inappropriate does them a disservice.

PINKERTON: But, Ellis, when you say Islamic angle, that's like, it's not the angle, it's the hook.

(LAUGHTER)

TANTAROS: Right.

HENICAN: Gin, vermouth, ice, a glass — I want to know about all of it.

(LAUGHTER)

TANTAROS: It's like seven parts gin though and they're not telling you — they're just talking about the vermouth.

(LAUGHTER)

SCOTT: It's time for a break and maybe a martini.

(LAUGHTER)

But first, what you won't see and hear on TV can be seen and heard on our web site, including Ellis' favorite bar recipes. Check it out after the show, foxnews.com/foxnewswatch, for the behind-the-scenes conversations. I feel one about to erupt.

Up next, is the press being too hard on the president?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANET NAPOLITANO, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: The administration responded with all hands on deck from day one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: The Obama White House bombards the media with their talking points on the oil spill disaster, trying hard to convince Americans and the press they didn't drop the ball. Did it work?

And Press Secretary Gibbs takes inaccuracy to a whole new level.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIBBS: Fox had a very special and unique interview with Michael Brown.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Did the mainstream media get caught in the spin? Details next, on "News Watch."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NAPOLITANO: We had DOD resources there from day one.

From day one, they were already pre-deploying vessels and boom.

The Navy has been on site since day one.

From day one, we were pre-positioning more than 70 vessels.

They actually had been there from day one.

From day one...

From day one...

From day one...

SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR KEN SALAZAR: From day one...

SALAZAR: From day one, we've been preparing for the worst case scenario.

SALAZAR: They've been working from day one, trying to find a way of stopping it.

The president has directed, from day one, that we spare nothing at all in terms of the effort to prevent damage onshore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: The Obama administration began the week with talking points all in sync. But as the week went on, the media began to ask why the White House appeared to join the effort nine days late in getting to that oil spill and drawing comparisons to the failed government response after Hurricane Katrina.

Former FEMA Director Michael Brown, who was heavily criticized for the weak effort after Katrina, made these remarks to Neil Cavuto about the current administration's reaction.

"I think the delay was this, it is pure politics," Brown said. "This president has never supported big oil. He never supported off-shore drilling. And now he has an excuse to shut it back down. This is exactly what they want because now he can pander to environmentalists and say, I'm going to shut it down because it is too dangerous. While Mexico and China and everybody else drills in the gulf, we're going to get shut down."

White House Press Secretary Gibbs had this to say about Mr. Brown's comments:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIBBS: Fox had a special and unique interview with Michael Brown. You opened it and I had to do it.

GIBBS: Who, for those who weren't let in on the big secret, Mr. Brown, FEMA Director Brown, under Katrina, intimated on Fox — and it wasn't — I will editorially say, didn't appear to be pushed back on real hard — that this spill was leaked on purpose in order for us to walk back our environmental and drilling decisions. And that the leak that we did on purpose got out of control and now is too big to contain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: Well, that description turned out to be a bit of the mark. And after a day to think it over, Mr. Gibbs got another chance to react.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: The Neil Cavuto thing, notwithstanding again, the fact that what Michael Brown said was only slightly less crazy than what you said he said.

GIBBS: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

GIBBS: Can I say this to Neil? I was — I apparently had the wrong Fox show. There were two references on "Fox and Friends" to the deliberate nature of the spill being said.

GIBBS: Sometimes — yes, sometimes I get — I get it all mixed up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: It's a tough job being press secretary.

Ellis, Fox was not the first network or the only network to wonder why it took so long to, you know, react to this spill. Why the direct attack on Fox from the White House?

HENICAN: You know, I'm not sure where everybody's getting that. I was back from four days in my home state of Louisiana. I heard a lot of people blaming BP I didn't hear anybody blaming Obama. But he was there when I was there. People thought he was on the spot.

PINKERTON: But, Ellis, this is interesting. Katrina happened on August 29, 2005, and President Bush was there four days later. The BP — the spill happened on April 20th and it took until May 3rd for Obama to get down there. It took more than three times as long for Obama to get down there as it did for Bush to get there. How come Bush got all the blame in media?

HENICAN: Bush handled it poorly. And we've got Brownie now trying to spin it around and point fingers.

(LAUGHTER)

Is that impressive? I don't know.

TANTAROS: Yes, the media are now holding pens back and they're waiting and they're using them almost as weapons to see what Obama does with his environmental agenda. And if he doesn't back off on drilling, beware, because they're going lash out with pieces. You're going to see stories covered with sea turtles in oil. They will, if he does not switch his position.

MILLER: No, I think you're going to see sea turtles covered in oil no matter what happens, Andrea.

(LAUGHTER)

We're going to see that up the kazoo, flamingos, sea turtles, appropriately so. And I can understand why Gibbs was just a little annoyed about having his administration criticized by Michael Brown. I can see that.

SCOTT: All right. We have to take another break.

When we come back, we'll cover Arizona's new immigration law and an interesting new book about the president.

ANNOUNCER: It's out, the first in a series of presidential suck-up books, hot off the presses. And with it, burning questions about trust of the media.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I have two words for you, predator drones.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Plus, a presidential pun gets panned by some in the press. What does Brit think?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIT HUME, FOX HOST: Oh, please.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: All next, on "News Watch."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCOTT: This is Jonathan Alter, Newsweek columnist and contributing correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC, as the press release describes him. It also states that he takes readers behind the closed doors to offer scores of exclusives and revealing stories about President Obama and his inner circle in this book, "The Promise: President Obama, One Year Later."

Judy, they've delicately called this a suck-up book. Why?

MILLER: Well, I haven't read it yet, but perhaps because it might be friendly to Mr. Obama. But this would not be the first time this has happened. What's different is that this is — Jonathan Alter, who is a very good reporter and very straight normally. This is a book that obviously he had special access to the White House for. After that, how do you turn around and continue to cover the White House fairly?

SCOTT: Well, if you're writing a book like this, Andrea, you want access to all these people, you have to play nice, don't you?

TANTAROS: Well, yes, and Mr. Alter, we learned this week, might soon be out of a job with the announcement that The Washington Post is selling Newsweek, so he has to invoke the suck-up sound because he might not have a job.

But I'd like to point out that, one year ago, Newsweek proclaimed Christianity dead. And almost a year later, I'd like to proclaim Newsweek dead.

(LAUGHTER)

HENICAN: Wow.

MILLER: Wow.

And Alter is a terrific reporter.

HENICAN: That was a raw hit, Andrea.

(LAUGHTER)

Alter is a terrific reporter. All of us...

TANTAROS: Got to have a sense of humor, Ellis, got to have a sense of humor.

(LAUGHTER)

HENICAN: All of us in the media deal with that trade of access and information and tone.

MILLER: Right.

HENICAN: And it's a — any serious person will tell you that that is a difficult daily wrestle as those things get hashed out.

PINKERTON: But let's also say, as we've said on the show in the past, that the White House made a campaign out of going to a lot of reporters and saying, you'll get all of this access if you right puffy articles or puffy books. And now the problem is the books are coming out after the Obama honeymoon has kind of evaporated, and so they look — I think they look kind of dumb with all these liberal...

TANTAROS: Kind of?

(LAUGHTER)

PINKERTON: ...liberal suck-up books coming out.

SCOTT: Let's move on to Arizona. You've probably heard about the controversy there, that state's new immigration law. It allows police who stop someone for running a traffic light or committing a serious crime to check the immigration status. The battle over what Arizona has done continues to get the attention of the press, but has the press got it right yet?

And I mean, Ellis, it seems to me that a lot of the coverage does not accurately describe what is in this law.

HENICAN: I'm not sure how you mean. By not using the word illegal, is that what you mean?

(LAUGHTER)

SCOTT: Well, that's part of it.

HENICAN: I'm a noun-and-verb kind of news writer. I don't think that putting snarly adjectives in front of all those nouns is necessarily the best way to make a news point.

PINKERTON: So therefore, the fact — as the MRC calculated, the coverage was 12 to 1 against the Arizona law, bothers you?

HENICAN: You know, I'm not sure that that's exactly the group that I'm going to to buy jewelry.

(LAUGHTER)

HENICAN: I'm surprised they don't think it's a...

(LAUGHTER)

PINKERTON: Does it bother you that Tamron Hall on MSNBC — again, I got this from the folks on the MRC, said, well, don't you think that the policeman who got shot in Arizona faked it because — to get sympathy for the law? She said it twice.

HENICAN: Listen, there's incendiary debates on all sides of this. And let's don't just see it with one eye. How about that?

PINKERTON: Well, do you think that, if a Fox News reporter said, don't you think some crime victim faked it to get sympathy, Jon, how would that have played around here?

SCOTT: I think we would have gotten heat for that, yes.

(LAUGHTER)

Fox News Opinion Dynamics took a poll and asked whether people think that Arizona was right to pass the immigration law and not wait for the federal government? 61 percent said, yes, the state is right to take action.

So, Andrea, why are the poor folks in Arizona taking so much heat?

TANTAROS: Yes, and why don't you see a piece out there that talks about this should be left up to the states? They're well within the 10th Amendment to do that. They're well within their state’s rights. And each state has their own personalized issues. Arizona is different from Texas.

But I'll tell you what, there's a Pulitzer out there waiting for the reporter that makes the connection that this is about jobs, and tackles the unauthorized employment issue. Really, I have yet to see that piece. I'm waiting.

MILLER: No, I think this is about, at least for those who support this, I believe it will be seen as illegal and unconstitutional eventually, this law, Arizona law. This is about the failure of the federal government to take care of a problem that is clearly in its domain, that Chuck Schumer, this — Time said — wrote a letter, saying, OK, you hold off on this law and we will act. The problem is the people of Arizona and most Americans don't believe the federal government will do that.

SCOTT: All right.

When we come back, the president gets the crowd going with some jokes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DENNIS MILLER: That's an absolutely brilliant joke.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: The president gets some laughs when making a joke, but some jokers on the left think it was a stinker. Details next, on “News Watch."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The Jonas Brothers are here.

(APPLAUSE)

They are out there somewhere. Sasha and Malia are huge fans. But, boys, don't get any ideas.

(LAUGHTER)

I have two words for you — predator drones.

(LAUGHTER)

You will never see it coming.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

SCOTT: President Obama got quite a few laughs there at the White Correspondents Association dinner. But some didn't like it, including MSNBC's Mr. Cranky, Keith Olbermann.

"Did he or do we know who did the predator drones jokes about the Jonas Brothers? And did you think it was in bounds? Because frankly, I thought that was over the edge. I thought that was almost in the where- are-the-weapons-of-mass-destruction-under-the-desk thing," said Olbermann.

Most people found it was funny, including Brit Hume, who had this reaction to Olbermann's position.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUME: Oh, please. I mean, this sort of thing gets absurd. That was obviously a joke. He doesn't intend to kill those guys.

(LAUGHTER)

Predator drones are a weapon. They can kill people. Like most weapons, they've been used to kill people we want to see killed. And they've been used at times to kill people we didn't intend to kill. Does that mean it's impossible ever to make a joke about predator drones? I don't think so. I mean, this is just political correctness out of control. The president's joke was pretty funny. I liked it. I wasn't at the dinner. I had a choice between going to the dinner and having a root canal. I chose the root canal.

(LAUGHTER)

But I think the joke was funny.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: And that is "News Watch" for this week.

Thanks to Judy, Jim, Andrea and Ellis.

See you next week.

Content and Programming Copyright 2010 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.