• With: Judy Miller, Jim Pinkerton, Juan Williams, Richard Grenell

    ANNOUNCER: A terrorist attack on Americans in Libya, a troubled U.S. economy and slow job growth here, dangerous defense cuts, and a mind-numbing deficit with no solid plan for a fix. Oh, and Mitt Romney's ineloquent talk with conservative supporters gets recorded on a sneaky cam. Which story got the most attention by the media, and why? That's next, on "News Watch,"



    BRIAN WILLIAMS, ANCHOR "NBC NIGHTLY NEWS": Good evening. It was a room full of supporters and Mitt Romney thought that what he told them would stay in the room, but someone recorded it all, and the result could be a potential game changer in the presidential election.

    SCOTT PELLEY, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: With 49 days to Election Day, a candidate for president doesn't want a distraction from his message, but it's happened in a big way to Mitt Romney.

    DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Today, there was political earthquake in the presidential race and all because of the small camera secretly recording from the side of a room.

    CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST OF "HARDBALL": Let me start tonight with --


    MATTHEWS: Dumb. It one thing to be rich and have the majority of the voters convinced you are out to help the rich. Is there anything dumber though to be caught pandering to your fellow rich?


    SCOTT: Just a sampling of the media fixation on that hidden camera video of Mitt Romney speaking at a private fundraiser in Florida back in May. The video made public by Mother Jones, a liberal media outlet.

    I want to transition now to the other part of that tape. Part of what was grabbed from the video was Mitt Romney's opinions about Israel and the Palestinian question. David Korn, who is the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones, who posted that video, put the clips on the web site but he edited off a key portion. Here's how the liberal media covered that edited portion.


    ROMNEY: I don't think the Palestinians want to seek peace anyway political purposes. Committed to the destruction to Israel and these (INAUDIBLE) on the issues, and I saw there's just no way. And so what you do is say you take the lot the best way you can. You hope for some degree of stability but you recognize this is going to remain an unsolved problem.


    LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, HOST OF "THE LAST WORD": So there is a goof ball from Bain saying that, well, Israel that's the unsolvable problem of my presidency. I won't even try.

    Ana Marie, we've never had a candidate who could be ever be that stupid in front of five people, never mind 150 people.

    ANA MARIE COX, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, GUARDIAN, U.S.: It's true. And for someone who constantly accuses the president of throwing Israel under the bus, he's like thrown Israel under the bus and driven away at high speed.


    He's been presented with a problem and decided that he just doesn't want to deal with it because it's unsolvable.


    SCOTT: The same material brought similar reactions from other media. CBS News says, "Romney says Middle East peace is not possible." ABC News, "Romney, no way there will be Israeli-Palestinian peace." And Bloomberg wrote, "Romney told donors 'no way' on the Israel-Palestinian peace accord.

    Now, keep that in mind as you hear another key portion that David Korn left out of what was posted on Mother Jones.


    ROMNEY: But, you know, I always keep open the idea but I have to tell you, the idea of pushing on the Israelis to give something up to get the Palestinians to act is the worst idea in the world. We have done that time and time and time again. It does not work. So the only answer is to show strength again. American strength, American resolve. If the Palestinians someday reach a point where they want peace more than we're trying to force peace on them, then its worth having the discussion. But until then, it's just wishful thinking.


    SCOTT: Show strength, show resolve on the part of America and, some day, he said, the Palestinians will reach the point where they want peace.

    So, Rick, what do you make of the portion that most people didn't see and wasn't publicized?

    GRENELL: Well, it's shameful and it's typical. Sadly, this is why the story becomes a multiple-day story. Is because people think that it's one thing, and David Korn clearly edited out the part where Mitt Romney is very realistic about what it's going to take to get that peace. I think this is one of the most shameful things that happened throughout this whole week because it was a chop job. The mainstream media was completely implicit in it.

    SCOTT: Ask any recent U.S. president about Middle East peace negotiations. It is the briar patch for the White House. But clearly, this was -- he didn't say what the headlines said he said?

    MILLER: Exactly. And this is -- I have to agree with Rick. Unlike the 47 percent, this is clear example of media bias. Because, in fact, Barack Obama started out saying that he was going to devote full attention and time to solving the Middle East problem. He hasn't done that either. President Bush said -- was forced to say at some point, ask the secretary of state to say, you know, here's my number to the Palestinians. When you guys are serious about peace, call me up. Every president has found this issue confounding. And that was not reflecting in the media coverage, not at all.

    SCOTT: Juan, I imagine if you had a secret recording in the Oval Office, you would hear most of the recent presidents saying the same thing.

    WILLIAMS: No, I don't think so. So much of the dynamic that has been played out between the Obama administration and Netanyahu has been about trying to get Netanyahu to be more open, for example, on settlements issues and trying to open the idea that there can be some peace negotiation. I think there's been great tension about that.

    What is interesting to me in listening to the second part of it, and I wish the second part had played. I agree with everybody on that. I don't know why they would take that out, unless they were intentionally trying to skew the tape.


    SCOTT: You don't know why?


    WILLIAMS: No, no, no. I said, unless they were trying to skew the tape.


    WILLIAMS: But here's what I don't agree with, which is that American strength and resolve and support for Israel has never been weakened. There's no sense, that, oh, if America showed more resolve, somehow that would -- if you ask people in the Middle East, they think America's in Israel's pocket.