'Special Report' All-Stars on death of Charles Krauthammer

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report with Bret Baier," June 21, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS: Let's bring in our panel now: Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano is with us; Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at The Federalist; Charles Lane, opinion writer for The Washington Post, and Shannon Bream, anchor of "Fox News @ Night." And I have got to apologize, folks, I'm barely holding it together. So who would like to start off with their memories of Charles?

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: One of great gifts of my 20-plus years here at FOX News Channel was to become his friend. And of course like a lot of his friends we start out as ideological adversaries. We each had a unique ideological odyssey. He a liberal who became a conservative, I a conservative who became a libertarian. He and Roby and I spent many dinners together. I had the foolishness to challenge him in chess. I never beat him, but they were very, very instructive. He would even correct my moves before he clobbered them.

We spent a lot of time splitting theological call hairs. I mean, literally theological hairs. He knew Aquinas, the principle articulator of Catholic theology, better than I did, and I studied it formally. He just had such a powerful intellect, and he was such a sweet and wonderful man all the time that I was with him, whether we were agreeing or disagreeing, whether the dinner was food we liked or food we were just eating for nourishment. It was a moment of joy.

ROBERTS: Shannon, you worked with him on this desk many, many nights.

SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS: And I remember when I started to fill in and sit there next to him, I was so intimidated by his intellect because he was unmatched. I always tell people he is the most brilliant person I ever met. But he was so kind. And I was so intimidated to sit by Dr. Krauthammer. And he was just so welcoming and treated me like an equal, always. And I would learn from him, but we would have so much fun during the commercials talking about the Nats, talking about my dog. He was so sweet when my dog passed away because he loved his dog so much too.

And we would go to Nats games, and we had a little routine which I would to Shake Shack which we called the two inning wait because that's how long the line takes there. But he loved the black and white shakes from there. And so he and my husband would talk about every prospect at every A, AAA, AA, every player the Nats were fielding. And they enjoyed the minutia of that together. And I would show up with the shakes and we enjoy that.

And it was really simple things that made him happy. And he spent so much time making everyone around him happy. And I will always remember that.

ROBERTS: It's just the little moments. I remember him setting on this set once. We were about to come out of commercial break for the last segment of the show and I had this mug in front of me. And as I lifted up my hand I knocked the entire mug of water over on Charles' lap. And he was -- he is like no problem. We'll take care of it afterwards. Mollie?

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, THE FEDERALIST: This town is full of people who have intelligence or good writing skills. He certainly surpassed them in both of those regards. But it was really was who he was as a person that puts him in a different class. And I love hearing what other people are saying because he really was such a charming and gallant man, and this is particularly nice when you are a female working in this business. I disagreed with him frequently like other people, and he would sometimes say that he felt so bad he almost felt like switching sides just because he would see me getting ganged up on.


HEMINGWAY: But he was just so nice, so full of life and humor, a real appreciation for beauty. So many people who count him as a friend, and they do that because he was such an amazingly good man and a very devoted family man, too.

ROBERTS: We keep coming back to this, Charles, but what a life he lived. It was just amazing.

CHARLES LANE, THE WASHINGTON POST: We have known this was coming. And it doesn't really make it any easier that it's not a surprise. I first met Charles when I was starting at the at The New Republic and he was senior editor there 35 years ago. And there is a couple of images I have of Charles with the technology of that time, he used to cup a pencil with his good hand and then type at the keyboard everything he wrote with that pencil so doggedly.

And I remember thinking, wow, what determination, because he could have easily hired somebody to take dictation or something like that. But that little indication demonstrated his extreme sense of independence and determination to do things for himself notwithstanding his disability. Those were very special times in Washington generally, that transition from the Carter administration to the Reagan administration and the late Cold War and all the arguments around that. And Charles, "The New Republic" was in the thick of it and Charles was very much a central figure in all those discussions at our office.

And to be a young journalist just starting out, sort of watching him in intellectual combat with these great journalists their, Michael Kinsley, Leon Wieseltier, all of them, was such a privilege. He was always so civil. I just want to say that sometimes after when I have been doing this show I have been seated here in this position which is known to the viewers --

ROBERTS: This was Charles' position.

LANE: Charles' seat. People would sometimes -- people who didn't like what I was saying would say you are not worthy of Charles' seat.


LANE: And they are right.

ROBERTS: This is where he sat.

LANE: I'm not worthy of Charles' seat.

ROBERTS: They had a steel ramp that opened up and they would put it here on the set and Charles would wheel up every day and get in shape.

LANE: They should retire this position just like they sometimes require great hall of fame baseball players.

ROBERTS: I remember Mary Pat standing over there right by the camera who you saw in the obituary would fix his tie and make sure that his cuffs were out and everything, and we would start going.

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