All-Star Panel: How brutal murder in Oklahoma is being covered

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," August 21, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have reaction to the Christopher Lane case?

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: I am not familiar with that actually.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: In Oklahoma, this 22-year-old Australian who is out on a jog, and these young men apparently told the police they were bored and they thought it would just be fun to kill him. Any reaction to that?

EARNEST: Well, just that this sounds like a pretty tragic case. I wouldn't want to get ahead of the legal process here. The president I think himself has spoken pretty eloquently about violence in our communities.

HENRY: Why hasn't he spoken out on this, in this case? You said there was a judicial proceeding. There was one in the Trayvon Martin case, he spoke out extensively on that one.

EARNEST: I think that he answered it --

HENRY: He was in the Rose Garden, he spoke on it.

EARNEST: Yes. He got asked a question about it.

HENRY: And he didn't have to answer it but he did. And then he came out here himself --

EARNEST: At the conclusion of the legal process and shared some thoughts –

HENRY: For several minutes.

EARNEST: Sure, that are, I think, where he expressed his concerns about the impact of violence in communities all across the country.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: The White House briefing today about the Christopher Lane killing, a 22-year-old Australian student on a baseball scholarship to East Central University in Oklahoma gunned down and killed while out for a jog.  The three young men who were charged in this killing, two black teenagers, one white teenager, according to court documents, that's how they're listed, who said they were bored. That's why they did it. We're back with the panel. Juan, what do you think of this?

JUAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR EDITOR, THE HILL: Well, the key here for me is that there was race as a primary focus in the Trayvon Martin case, the racial profiling, suspicion, that Zimmerman had profiled Martin and all that. Here, race has not been proven as a reason. It's not suggested that that was the rationale for why these boys acted. In fact, it may be scarier because it's the suggestion is they are bored, they pick randomly this man and then pursue him and hunt him down like an animal. It is savage and beyond words.

And then the second part of it is, Bret, I think that people want to see coverage, media coverage, media attention to this case, and they want - - I think that's why we saw Ed Henry do an excellent job of questioning Josh Earnest say where is the president to speak out against this kind of violence.  We have this kind of violence in minority communities on a regular basis. We have these, you know, lots of people who are on the president's side in terms of gun control would argue this is about guns. We heard that that from the Australians who say there is too much gun violence in the United States.

But the idea is that this is the concerted effort. This is the larger problem. Trayvon Martin and whatever happened between Martin and Zimmerman really don't hold a candle to the ongoing level of violence and to this kind of horror. I mean this is a horror story -- that you are going for the run and they shoot you for no reason? They don't even know this guy.

BAIER: Yeah. Here is what the president said. They were talking about trying to let the justice run its course as this case goes on. Here is what the president said before the Trayvon Martin case.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I'm glad that not only is the Justice Department looking into it, I understand now that the governor of the state of Florida has formed a task force to investigate what's taking place. I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen.

You know, if I had a son he would look like Trayvon. And, you know, I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and that we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.


BAIER: Australia has obviously weighed in, and they are urging citizens not to go to the U.S.

KRAUTHAMMER: I think that's one reason we should look at this, because when you do have an innocent, lovely young man who is a student here, he is a ballplayer here, and he has destroyed his life -- is literally destroyed for no reason at all, and you have, and it does effect another country, I think that's something that ought to be addressed. The world looks at that and says, is it safe to come to America?

But I think the worst part about this, the most disturbing part, is the sort of the murder from [INAUDIBLE] – the murder from boredom. This is absolute evil when you kill for no reason. Killing for reasons goes all the way back to the Bible.  It's as old as humanity, and it's obviously evil that we deal with at some level and we try to find extenuating circumstances.

There can be none here. They had no idea who the guy was. They simply wanted, apparently, from what they said to kill for the sake of killing. And that is extremely chilling. I don't know that anything a president would say would make a difference. But that's what I find most disturbing of all.

BAIER: Reverend Jesse Jackson tweeted this -- "Praying for the family of Chris lane. This senseless violence is frowned upon and the justice system must prevail."

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Yeah. Just to go back to something that Juan said. I'm not sure it was clear ever that the Trayvon Martin was primarily a case about race.  I think certainly there were many people who made that argument. But remember, Trayvon Martin's family attorney said that the reason that they didn't use that in a court was because they were going to have a difficult time making that case. So, while, you know, that may have been one of the reasons that the president weighed in and it certainly sounds like it was because of the way that he described Trayvon Martin as having looked like him, you know, it wasn't apparent that that was the motivating factor.

I agree with everything that Charles said. What makes this so disturbing was that it was so random and that it was apparently boredom that you can't even say that triggered this. And one of these young men was laughing when he was arrested, according to the prosecutors. It is pure, un-distilled evil.

BAIER: We will follow it. That's it for the panel. But stay tuned for a great way to get free schooling.

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