'Fox News Watch,' July 10, 2010

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," July 10, 2010. This copy is may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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


ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We are so concerned, so concerned about the immigration law recently passed in Arizona.


SCOTT: ...it's the Obama administration versus Arizona.


JAN BREWER, GOVERNOR OF ARIZONA: We need the federal government to do their job, and if they don't do it, then Arizona will.


SCOTT: The Justice Department sues that border state over its efforts to protect its people, but have the politics influenced the media's responsibility to tell the whole story?

A voter intimidation case gets ignored by the Justice Department as a former lawyer there claims an anti-white bias by Justice officials.


J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS, FORMER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ATTORNEY: Cases are not going to be brought against black defendants on the benefit of white victims.


SCOTT: Is there an anti-white bias in the media coverage too?


CHARLES BOLTON, NASA ADMINISTRATOR: He wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world.


SCOTT: The new NASA head tells about his new mission with Muslims. But most in the media are spaced out.

Pressured by homosexual groups, the "Today Show's" Modern-day wedding contests will now allow gay couples to compete. Has the Peacock network failed its viewers?

And guess which media organization wins a not so coveted prize, the ugliest building in the Big Apple?

On our panel this week: New York Post columnist Kirsten Powers; syndicated columnist Cal Thomas; Jim Pinkerton, fellow, New America Foundation; and Newsday columnist Ellis Henican.

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


DIANE SAWYER, ABC WORLD NEWS ANCHOR: The legal heat is on Arizona tonight. It's official, the Obama administration is going to court to block the state's tough new illegal immigration law.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NIGHTLY NEWS ANCHOR: The United States today sued the state of Arizona.

KATIE COURIC, CBS EVENING NEWS ANCHOR: It happened today. The federal government sued a state. The Obama administration asked a federal court to block Arizona's new immigration law.


SCOTT: Top story across the board on Tuesday, the U.S. Justice Department filing a lawsuit against Arizona's new illegal immigration law. The law, not even scheduled to take effect until the end of this month, allows police who have stopped someone to check their immigration status. It also makes it a crime for legal immigrants not to carry their documents.

You know, every time this law gets described, and sometimes we're guilty of it here on Fox, it's always a tough new immigration law. How are the politics of this affecting the coverage?


JIM PINKERTON, FELLOW, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: Well, I think the media are pretty much against the state of Arizona on this. But I think that the most interesting media angle that hasn't really gotten enough attention, was developed by a fellow named Evan McMorris Santoro, writing for TalkingPointsMemo.com, who said, the losers are the Arizona Democrats. They wanted this issue to go away, and obviously, the Obama administration was not consulting with them, because they're all going to get wiped out in November because they look like they're stooges for the national liberals, who are opposing a law that's very popular, not only in Arizona, but around the country.

SCOTT: I think that Kirsten wants to jump in on that. But do I want to ask this question: Jan Brewer, governor in Arizona, says this thing is a colossal waste of taxpayer money. But that doesn't seem to, in these days of tight budgets, doesn't seem to be raising much media attention.

KIRSTEN POWERS, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK POST: The reason they're suing is very simple. It's not the area that the states have control over. It's very clear that the federal government has control over foreign persons. You cannot make — you cannot pass laws that affect foreign persons, if you're a state. They're suing for that. It's a very simple thing. I don't know why people can't understand it.

SCOTT: Don't the language that the states chose, doesn't it mirror federal law?

POWERS: But it still — they're passing a law dealing with foreign persons, which is something which they're not constitutionally allowed to do.

SCOTT: There are claims out there, Cal, this is all about politics and that the president...


SCOTT: Well, there are claims. I'm not saying I endorse this...


SCOTT: ...but that President Obama is trying to scoop up Hispanic votes by opposing the Arizona law.

THOMAS: The media get into this Hispanic, Anglo, black, white thing, as if it's all monolithic. With 70 percent of the people in Arizona, presumably, many of them Hispanic, supporting this law, why aren't the media going out and interviewing some of them? They only go to the heads of groups who tend to be activists. A lot of Hispanic people are in this country legally. They're obeying the laws. They're not committing crimes. They're not smuggling drugs. We never hear from them.

SCOTT: Ellis, I want to play for you a snippet of that sound bite, or actually more of the sound bite that we heard a snippet of at the beginning there, from the attorney general.

Let's play that now. I want your reaction on the other side.


HOLDER: We are so concerned, so concerned about the immigration law recently passed in Arizona. It is clear that a failure to act on the federal level is resulting in state policies that undermine our most cherished values and, quite frankly, our safety.


SCOTT: Failure to act on the federal level he said and, yet, the media seem to miss that.

ELLIS HENICAN, COLUMNIST, NEWSDAY: I've got to tell you, maybe I'm watching something different from what you are. It seems to me there's been a lot of discussion of this over the last days. One of the great things about this suit is that it really allows us to have a deeper conversation about what should the rights of the states be. What are the politics? Is Cal right? There's an angle that goes one way and an angle that goes the other way. But that's why these stories are so important.

PINKERTON: Ellis, I don't think that anybody disputes there's been coverage.

HENICAN: Good coverage, smart coverage.

PINKERTON: The issue is whether or not they're biased, whether it tilts one way or not. Do you think it tilts one way or the other?

HENICAN: I would say there's a debate going on in this country with two different interpretations. Dems are trying to use it to cement future Latino votes. Republicans are trying to use it to pander to some, frankly, some rough feelings on the issues.

PINKERTON: And where do...

HENICAN: And both sides think...

PINKERTON: And where do ABC and CBS and New York Times and Washington Post, where do they come down in the debate?

HENICAN: Largely, they've covered the debate.

PINKERTON: You don't think there's any bias at all?

HENICAN: Well, I mean, individual reporters, individual stories, of course, there's bias.


HENICAN: Of course, there is.

SCOTT: Kirsten, let me get your take on the story I raised earlier. In almost every article you read, or, you know, you heard Diane Sawyer say it at the top of the program, it's always described as Arizona's tough new immigration law, a law that says, hey, you should — if you're going to be here, you should be here legally.


SCOTT: Is that media bias?

POWERS: Well, it depends how you interpret the law and that's where I think people part ways. If you look at it and people says, well, it says there won't be racial profiling, I would say, and I think a lot of other people would argue, that just because it doesn't state that, doesn't mean the effect of it won't be that there will be racial profiling. You have to remember something also that didn't get a lot of coverage is — I don't even — like 20 sheriffs came out basically saying we don't like this law because it's going to — we're going to get sued for racial profiling. So there is a legitimate problem with this law, whether or not these things don't racial profile, it doesn't mean they're not going to racial profile.

THOMAS: Jon, you brought up the political question at the beginning of this segment. Let me tell you what's going to happen here. Both the parties are building up Governor Brewer into a national figure. Even if she loses, but especially if she wins, people are saying this is David versus Goliath? This is Batwoman versus the Joker.

PINKERTON: If she loses — if Arizona loses...

THOMAS: Thank you.

PINKERTON: ...this will be another Roe versus Wade, a legal victory and a huge political defeat for the left.

SCOTT: We'll see.

Time for a break.

But first, you can go to our web site after the show to see what happens on the set during our breaks. That's FoxNews.com/FoxNewsWatch.

We'll be back in two minutes.

ANNOUNCER: Charges of voter intimidation by radical racist group get ignored by the Justice Department. Why was the story ignored by the mainstream media?


NASA ANNOUNCER: 3, 2, 1...


ANNOUNCER: NASA's mission to reach new worlds has taken a bizarre twist and the press don't seem to care. Details next, on "News Watch."



CAMERAMAN: Everything OK?


CAMERAMAN: I'm just making sure.

SHABAZZ: Why you all (INAUDIBLE) my job.

CAMERAMAN: I'm here — I'm just a media guy and that's all I'm doing.

SHABAZZ: Which media are you with?

CAMERAMAN: I'm with the University of Pennsylvania.

SHABAZZ: Do you have certification for that?

CAMERAMAN: Who are you with? Sorry?

SHABAZZ: I'm with security.

CAMERAMAN: OK. I mean, I'm not — I have a poll certificate so I have to go inside.

SHABAZZ: I was wondering why you coming up taking pictures?

CAMERAMAN: I mean, we're — what?

SHABAZZ: I'm just wondering why everybody's taking pictures. That's all.

CAMERAMAN: I mean, I think it might be a little intimidating that you have a stick in your hand. That's why.

SHABAZZ: Yes, well, who are you to decide?

CAMERAMAN: Yes. No, no, I mean, that's a weapon so that's why I'm a little worried.

SHABAZZ: And who are you to decide?

CAMERAMAN: I mean, I am a concerned citizen and I'm just worried that you might be...

SHABAZZ: So are we. That's why we're here.

CAMERAMAN: OK. OK, but you have a night stick in your hand.

SHABAZZ: So what? You got a camera phone.

CAMERAMAN: I have a camera phone which is not a weapon.



SCOTT: So how do you read that video? A guy with a billy club outside a polling place. To a lot of observers, it looks like obvious voter intimidation by the guys standing guard there, or whatever you want to call it. Members of the new Black Panther Party monitoring the entrance to a polling place in Philadelphia.

But it doesn't look like that to the United States Department of Justice. Why? According to a former lawyer at the DOJ, the case was dropped because an anti-white bias by justice officials.


J. CHRISIAN ADAMS, FORMER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ATTORNEY: I was told by voting section management that cases are not going to be brought against black defendants on the benefit of white victims, that if somebody wanted to bring these cases, it was up to the U.S. attorney, but the Civil Rights Division wasn't going to be bringing it. If Mr. Coates were allowed to testify and tell the truth, then you would hear that these instructions were given.


SCOTT: Cal, that story did not get a lot of attention from the media when it happened on the day, the day that Obama was elected. Now, even though there are charges that the Department of Justice is sort of turning a blind eye to cases like this, it's still not getting much attention. Why?

THOMAS: Look, there are two templates at work here. Let's just flip the template on politics for a moment. If this were a Republican administration with a white president, and you had white people threatening African-American people, you know they'd be in court in a second.

The second template is, only white people can be racists. African- Americans cannot be racists because of a slavery past that we're still working out. You understand those two things, you understand everything about the story.

SCOTT: Is it a non-story, Ellis?


SCOTT: You've got this look of incredulity on your face.

HENICAN: I was trying to follow Cal's logic there.

THOMAS: I'll give you notes later.

HENICAN: Listen, this is not a story about the history of race in America. It's a story about the requirements of a criminal case. Before you prosecute people, you need actual evidence. In this case, Jon, there are no victims that stepped forward. There's some rather amorphous weird dialog. I tell you, as an interviewer, this wasn't going anywhere quickly.

SCOTT: We have another clip. This is from the National Geographic profile of the new Black Panthers group. The guy on the megaphone, King Shamir Shabazz, is the same guy at the polling place with the night stick.

Take a listen to this.


SHABAZZ: I hate white people, all of them. Every last iota of a cracker, I hate him. Because we're still in this condition, man.

We didn't come out here to play today. There's too much serious business going on in the black community to be out here sliding through South Street with white, dirty cracker whore (EXPLETIVE DELETED) on our arms.

You want freedom? You're going to have to kill some crackers. You're going to have to kill some their babies. Let us get our act together.


HENICAN: As the official cracker...


HENICAN: ...can I speak on this?

THOMAS: Wait a minute.

HENICAN: The Louisiana cracker on this panel.


HENICAN: I mean, listen, this is the fringe of a fringe. Even the old Black Panthers say that these people are not...


HENICAN: ...what they symbolize more broadly, I don't know.


SCOTT: You know, we're sitting — I'm sitting — I'm sitting...

POWERS: That's crazy. What's his name? King what?

SCOTT: King Shamir Shabazz.

POWERS: Come on. This is ridiculous.


SCOTT: I'm sitting here laughing, but, I mean, that's some pretty outrageous language.

POWERS: Everyone's looking at him like he's a crazy person. People were not cowering in fear. They were looking at him like he's some looney tunes that we see on the streets of New York City all the time. If he's threatening people, he should be arrested by the police. He doesn't need to be investigated by the federal government.

PINKERTON: I don't think he's being investigated. I think what's being investigated is the incident in 2008 that looks to me like — Ellis and I might not be in accord on this — but I think that was voter intimidation and should be investigated. I think this J. Christian Adams, this lawyer who spoke last week, has it exactly right.

And I agree with Cal. 50 years ago, the media and the U.S. liberal bureaucracy of the Justice Department set forth a template. Racism consists of whites discriminating against blacks. And there can be no other kind of discrimination worth investigating, except for the occasional anti-gay hate crime or two.


PINKERTON: And therefore, this just it doesn't fit the software pattern of either the career Justice Department, the legal ABA, American Bar Association...


PINKERTON: ...or the established mainstream media.

POWERS: The flip side of that is, during the Bush administration, it just plummeted in terms of civil rights cases that were investigated, you know. And I even know somebody who quit working there because they said it was so ridiculous. It was the inverse of this. So, you know, it happens in both — in both administrations. And if that what guy is saying is true, that's a problem. But that's different than some crazy man screaming on the streets.


HENICAN: Guys, in every single prosecutorial office, including the Justice Department, junior prosecutors sometimes object to decisions senior prosecutors make. And when people work in one administration, sometimes they're not happy with the decisions the new ones make. That doesn't prove some horrible conspiracy.



PINKERTON: You have this remarkable ability, through both segments now, you take anecdotes and try and dismiss any larger pattern. Actually, sometimes, inductively, anecdotes lead to a conclusion. Unless you're afraid to reach it.

HENICAN: And sometimes anecdote, Jim, isn't science.


SCOTT: This is one of those arguments we have to continue during the break. You can listen to it on the web.

We'll be back with a ground-breaking change on the "Today Show's" wedding contest.


BOLTON: Perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world.


ANNOUNCER: NASA's missions to the final frontier get redirected to the Muslim world? Did the media misfire on their coverage? Answers next, on "News Watch."


SCOTT: Here is a political cartoon from William Warren. It reads, "NASA's foremost mission is to improve relations with the Muslim world and stop global warming and bring balance to the force. Earth to NASA, earth to — oh, never mind."

The cartoon, reaction to this.


BOLTON: He wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math. He wanted me to expand our international relationships. And, third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and engineering.


SCOTT: NASA Administrator Charles Bolton on the charge that he was given by President Obama in running NASA.

The first time apparently that this mission to Muslims was mentioned was right there in an interview with Al-Jazeera TV. Is that a mistake?

PINKERTON: A mistake from Charles Bolton's point?



PINKERTON: Probably, he regrets being so candid with him.

Look, I think the most useful comment from Daniel Pipes, of The Middle East Forum, who said that if President Obama is telling the NASA administrator about his great plan for Muslim outreach, what is he telling the rest of the government. If the Republicans win control of the Congress next year, they should bring in every Obama appointee and put them under oath and have this same debriefing session that Bolton volunteered Al-Jazeera.

THOMAS: Here is a headline I like best in the Washington Times editorial. It said, "Islam and science don't mix. The U.S. has nothing to gain in scientific discourse with Muslim nations."

I mean, given algebra a thousand years ago, but what have they done for us lately?


SCOTT: You mention the Washington Times, Ellis. We checked — the Washington Examiner, I should say — checked, total words about NASA's Muslim outreach — in the New York Times, zero; Washington Post, zero; NBC Nightly News, zero. Same for ABC and CBS news broadcasts.

HENICAN: I'm happy to see there's still the 3, 2, 1 lift-off in NASA.


There's one small point in here, let me make quickly. It isn't a bad thing to have our space program promote international understanding. We had the Russians and the Chinese at the space station. If we can bring in some of our old enemies, it's not the worst thing in the world.

THOMAS: Which we paid for, by the way.

SCOTT: Some have said that this is a story sort of tailor-made for conservatives, but if media are truly neutral, conservative or liberal wouldn't matter, right?

POWERS: Again, this is one of these things, depending how you look at it. I think conservatives look at it and they see secret plot with the Muslims and the secret Muslim president. And it's — I look at it and think, OK, I mean, Muslims make up a huge portion of the world. What's wrong with reaching out to them? I mean, what's wrong with it? I don't...

SCOTT: All right. All right.

Moving on to a tweet that cost a reporter her job. Octavia Nasr was CNN's senior international editor for 20 years, until this week when, upon learning of the death of a Hezbollah cleric, she decided to share her grief via Twitter, writing "Sad to hear of the passing of Seyyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, one of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot."

That giant, whom she so respected, designated a terrorist by the U.S. Treasury Department. And the tweet immediately became the center of controversy. And CNN fired Ms. Nasr.


PINKERTON: I think they had no choice. And it's a lesson — we used to worry about talking on camera and making a mistake and being too candid. And now, obviously, Twitter is a new way to end your own career.


THOMAS: The dirty little secret here, of course, is she was simply expressing a viewpoint that's widespread, not only in the American media, but much of the world media. If you watch the BBC, for example, as I frequently do when I'm over there, coverage of the Middle East, it is virtually one-sided, pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel. Christiane Armanpour holds some of these views as well, I would dare say, but she's smart enough and sophisticated enough not to put them in a tweet.

HENICAN: Yes, but those reporters who work on the straight side of the news need to remember, if you say stuff on Twitter and Facebook, people see it. You're not talking in the bar anymore.

SCOTT: Let's move on to weddings of all kinds. NBC's "Today Show" sponsors a wedding, all expenses paid each year for the past 11. One happy couple has been chosen to tie the knot and become man and wife, live on TV in New York City. That's all changing this year. The Peacock network bowed to pressure to homosexual groups for gay couples to enter the modern-day wedding contest.

Is that the right decision, Cal?

THOMAS: This is a triumph of the gay rights lobby in the media. They've not only penetrated much of the broadcast media, but they're the dominant force. This is an issue that's virtually lost.

I — you know, I like Ellis. I think he's a fine fellow here. But I'm not going to be seen with him in a marital ceremony on the "Today Show."


SCOTT: Is this going to be a problem for their rural audience?

POWERS: I'm sure there will be people that complain about it. I don't...

SCOTT: I mean, it plays well in Times Square, I suppose.

POWERS: Yes. I don't know enough about their demographics. I think they tend to have older people. And maybe it will be a problem for them. I guess they decided they think it's the right thing to do.

PINKERTON: I think the test will be ratings and then we'll see if they do it again.


HENICAN: I'm for love.


SCOTT: All right.

We have to take one more break.

Up next, the beauties and the beasts of the Big Apple sky line.

ANNOUNCER: New York City's famous skyline has a few stinkers, but one building takes the prize. Guess which media company gets the ugly award? That's next, on "News Watch."


SCOTT: The New York City skyline, recognized around the world because of its varied skyscrapers. Some of the most renowned buildings include the Empire State Building, the tallest most recognizable these days; the Bank of America building, the second tallest here and winner of this year's best tall building for the Americas; the art-deco styled Chrysler Building, very historic, and the third tallest in New York City.

Tied for third tallest is this structure, the New York Times building, completed in 2007, set in Midtown Manhattan. It also won acknowledgement from the American Institute of Architects as the ugliest building in the Big Apple.


They describe it as, "Gray and dour as a rain-soaked copy of the Sunday styles section." The ugly list also included two buildings owned by Donald Trump and a TGI Fridays.


That's a wrap on "News Watch" for this week.

I want to thank Kirsten Powers, Jim Pinkerton, Cal Thomas and Ellis Henican.

I'm Jon Scott. Thanks for watching. Keep it right here on Fox News Channel. We'll see you back here next week for "News Watch."

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.