• With: Judy Miller, Jim Pinkerton, Kirsten Powers, Monica Crowley, Richard Grenell

    This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," September 15, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


    JON SCOTT, HOST OF "FOX NEWS WATCH" (voice-over): On "Fox News Watch" on the day Americans mark 11 years since the 9/11 terror attacks, another attack was taking place on our embassy in another country. Our ambassador to Libya killed, along with former elite SEAL team members. A coordinated military style strike against our nation.

    Our president responded.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack.

    SCOTT (voice-over): Governor Romney reacted.

    FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY, R-MASS., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: America will not tolerate attacks against our citizens and against our embassies. We have confidence in our cause in America.

    SCOTT (voice-over): And then the press attacked.

    CHUCK TODD, NBC CORRESPONDENT: This statement looks crass and tone-deaf.

    SCOTT (voice-over): Did the media fail to focus on the real issues, missing their mission, to get answers on how this could happen?

    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- we're just talking about, no matter who he calls on we're covered on the one question, that --

    SCOTT (voice-over): And did the political press conspire, plotting gotcha questions for the Republican contender and protecting the president from taking the heat?

    It was a week of big news and a week in which bias affected the news coverage.

    On the panel this week, writer and Fox News contributor Judy Miller; radio talk show host, Monica Crowley; Jim Pinkerton, contributing editor of The American Conservative magazine; The Daily Beast columnist, Kirsten Powers; and Richard Grenell, who served as press spokesman for the last four ambassadors to the U.N.

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


    SCOTT (voice-over): The scene in Benghazi, Libya, Tuesday night. September 11th as what was believed to be -- as what were believed to be rioters, storming the U.S. Consulate there, protesting an anti-Muslim film supposedly produced in this country.

    That film also blamed as the cause for Islamic protesters attacking the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, scaling the walls, tearing down the American flag. Someone in that embassy tweeted this message in response to the riots, "We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of freedom of speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

    Politico reported the Obama administration tried to distance itself from the embassy's message with this, "The statement by the embassy in Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government."

    Mitt Romney also reacted to the attacks with this statement, "I am outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American Consulate worker in Benghazi."

    Romney held a press conference the next day.

    ROMNEY: I also believe the administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions. It's never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values.

    The White House distanced itself last night from the statement, saying it wasn't cleared by Washington. And that reflects the mixed signals they're sending to the world.

    SCOTT (voice-over): The president also faced the media on Wednesday.

    OBAMA: The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. We're working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats. I've also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world.


    SCOTT: That's an extremely abbreviated timeline of the events of this week. The question for us here on "News Watch" is how did the media react or fail to react to the news and the real issues surrounding these events?

    Let's first go to Fox News correspondent Shannon Bream for more.


    SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Late Tuesday, GOP nominee Mitt Romney released a statement, calling the administration's initial response to the attacks in Egypt "disgraceful," saying they appeared to, quote, "sympathize" with those who waged the attacks.

    That original administration response came in the form of an embassy statement, which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had reportedly rejected and senior officials say the White House never approved.Yet, despite the distance the administration seemed to want between it and the embassy statement, only Romney seems to be taking the heat for criticizing it.

    TODD: This statement looks crass and tone-deaf in the light of this day.

    BREAM (voice-over): CNN contributor and Newsweek columnist John Avlon called Romney's statement, quote, "unwise, inaccurate and unpresidential (sic)."

    RICHARD BENEDETTO, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: The president's policies in the Middle East should be the big story now, how are the president's policies are affecting what's happening over there. Instead, it's become Mitt Romney's problem.

    BREAM (voice-over): Just before Romney faced the press to make a statement about the tragedy in Libya and to take questions, reporters could be heard conferring with each other.

    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would think you regret your question.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) your question.

    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, your statement, not even the tone, because then he can go off on --