FNC's Pinkerton Hits Media Hype of Obama Arms Treaty Signing

On Saturday’s Fox News Watch, FNC contributor and panel member Jim Pinkerton seemed to pick up on two NewsBusters items documenting excessive praise for President’s Obama’s recent signing of an arms reduction treaty with Russia. Pinkerton: "I think arms control was a big deal in the Cold War Soviet era, but arms control agreement nowadays with the Russians, who aren't exactly what the Soviet Union used to be, and a treaty that doesn't bring up the topic of suitcase nuclear weapons, which is what we worry about in an era of terrorism, you only can rely on the dinosaur mainstream media, like David Martin at CBS, to talk about how historical this is, and George Stephanopoulos."

He continued: "They are the only ones that are still trying to breathe life into this story and make it sound like an arms control treaty – even as the Soviet, the Russians are overthrowing an allied government in Kyrgyzstan, which NPR called a proxy war between the U.S. and Russia – only CBS and ABC are going to say this is a big deal."

NewsBusters had previously documented that CBS News correspondent David Martin had characterized the treaty as America "catching up with history," while network morning shows also played up the treaty, with ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos calling the agreement "historic."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Saturday, April 10, Fox News Watch:

JON SCOTT: President Obama signing the biggest arms reduction treaty, the White House says, in 60 years, with Russian President Medvedev on Thursday. The news from Prague though was met by mixed reaction from the press. Take a look. In the Boston Globe, "A new start for U.S. and Russia," the New York Times, a big handshake with the caption "Agreement on arms control," and the Washington Times, "Senators voice doubts on nuke treaty." Now the President has to try to convince the Senate and the American people that the treaty will, in fact, make the U.S. safer. That's where the media push comes in. So, Ellis, are you expecting a big invitation to the White House so the President can sell you on this treaty and try to push the Senate to ratify it?

ELLIS HENICAN, NEWSDAY: You know, that hasn't happened yet, Jon, but I'm ever hopeful. ... Listen, I think it's good news when the media is addressing serious topics. it used to be that we felt a responsibility to cover thing that were important, not just things that are titillating. This is not going to get great ratings. It's not going to be scarfed down by millions of people, but it's important, and we ought to be writing about it smartly.

SCOTT: We showed the photo earlier, Judy. This is the way it actually appeared in at least one version of the New York Times. But no big screaming banner headlines. This is an arms reduction treaty, by the way, you know, after all, the biggest in 60 years or so, the White House says, and it didn't generate much of a buzz.

JUDY MILLER, FNC CONTRIBUTOR: It's because it's not that much of a departure, despite what the New York Times said, from the current nuclear doctrine. You had reductions of about a third. The hard stuff was really done by the two Bushes, where you brought the nuclear arsenal down by 50 percent. I mean, the lower you go, the harder it gets to cut. I mean, what's interesting is that it's, even though the White House wanted to spin it as a big deal, I don't think it is a big deal.

SCOTT: Jim, you're the historian here. Did the two Bushes get a big headline for that?

JIM PINKERTON, NEW AMERICAN FOUNDATION: I think arms control was a big deal in the Cold War Soviet era, but arms control agreement nowadays with the Russians, who aren't exactly what the Soviet Union used to be, and a treaty that doesn't bring up the topic of suitcase nuclear weapons, which is what we worry about in an era of terrorism, you only can rely on the dinosaur mainstream media, like David Martin at CBS, to talk about how historical this is, and George Stephanopoulos. They are the only ones that are still trying to breathe life into this story and make it sound like an arms control treaty – even as the Soviet, the Russians are overthrowing an allied government in Kyrgyzstan, which NPR called a proxy war between the U.S. and Russia – only CBS and ABC are going to say this is a big deal.