This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," November 3, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
Watch the latest video at FoxNews.com
JON SCOTT, HOST OF "FOX NEWS WATCH": On "Fox News Watch"...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Millions will be without power, possibly up to seven days or so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: News reporters hit the beach on Monday watching and waiting for Hurricane Sandy and warning East Coast residents of impending disaster.
With some hype and hysteria, the media dubbed Sandy a monster Frankenstorm. Tuesday morning gave way to incredible images of destruction and sorrow. Was the coverage done right? Government officials and politicians got the media spotlight giving updates and assessments, but did some take advantage of the situation to promote their positions and politicize the problems and did the media help them do it?
The Election Day just days away. Did Hurricane Sandy cause a media distraction taking the heat off the president on some key issues? Most in the media still in a blackout over the terror attacks in Benghazi, ignoring new details about what happened and accused of helping the White House cover up the real story. And do the TV shows you watch have any influence on who you will pick as president?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR "30 ROCK": Lemon , didn't you get ordained and perform a lesbian wedding last summer?
TINA FEY, ACTRESS "30 ROCK": Yes, I marry Becky and Dee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: On the panel this week, writer and Fox News contributor Judy Miller, Richard Grenell who served as press spokesman for the last four U.S. ambassadors to the U.N. Jim Pinkerton, contributing editor of the American Conservative magazine and Alan Colmes, author of Thank the Liberals for Saving America. He's also a host of the "Alan Colmes Show." I'm Jon Scott. "Fox News Watch" is on right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT PELLEY, ANCHOR, "CBS EVENING NEWS": We're on the southern tip of Manhattan, the area known as the Battery, named for the battery of cannons erected here in the 17th century to defend the young city. But nothing could defend New York City from the wall of water that came crashing ashore in one of the biggest storms so far of the 21st century.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, ANCHOR, "NBC NIGHTLY NEWS": A huge portion of the Eastern seaboard is crippled tonight. Millions of viewers cannot see this broadcast because they are heading into another night in the dark.
DIANE SAWYER, ANCHOR, "ABC WORLD NEWS": Millions of American families are trying to recover from a devastating blow super storm Sandy.
BRET BAIER, HOST OF "SPECIAL REPORT": What was billed as the biggest storm to ever hit the Atlantic coast delivered a crippling blow to the northeast.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: Hurricane turned monster storm Sandy took the top spot in the news cycle this weekend. Jim, the media often get criticized for hyping or overhyping these things. How did they do this time?
JIM PINKERTON, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE: Well, I think that Howard Kurtz at CNN said it well, he said, look, this is the rare storm that actually lived up to its hype. This was everything the weather forecasters said it would be and maybe even a little worse. And I think the coverage, it was -- the immediate proof that elections were uncertain and we're all -- but we could go talk about the election, and now we are talking about the storm. And I think rightly so because it's a bigger story, frankly.
SCOTT: Do the media approach the coverage with an agenda or is it just to tell the stories?
JUDY MILLER, WRITER & FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think there is a kind of there is a desire on the part of the media to make it a big story. And there was a little of that before the actual event, but I think that the social media were out there ahead of the mainstream media because before this was a storm, it was a hash tag which was Frankenstorm. You know, we were already anticipating what happened. So, in this case, you know, if anything you could say the media didn't warn people enough.
SCOTT: But the problem with social media is that sometimes bad information gets out there and moves faster than the hurricane itself.
ALAN COLMES, www.alan.com You have to go through the weeds, the hash tag before the storm ...
COLMES: You have to go -- you know, you have to kind of pick and choose who are you following on Twitter, and who you do on Facebook and, you know, pick your sources carefully because there is so much stuff out there to wade through to get all the right information.
SCOTT: It didn't take long, though, for liberal media to trot out climate change as the reason behind this storm?
RICHARD GRENELL, FMR. SPKSMAN, LAST 4 U.S. AMBASSADORS TO U.N.: Yes, and that is silly, right. I mean the hype of the storm beforehand is somebody who doesn't live on the East Coast. I live in Los Angeles. You know, most people I think were looking at this as saying yet again there is a big hype about an oncoming storm. And we weren't really paying attention until we started to see the Twitter photos and the firsthand accounts. And then to start immediately seeing the liberal media start to talk about it.
COLMES: It wasn't the media. Governor Cuomo of New York was the one who actually brought this up.
GRENELL: I mean come on.
COLMES: It just says, let's not blame the media.
GRENELL: In 50 years, we've only had this ...
GRENELL: for something like this.
SCOTT: The conservative Governor Cuomo, that's ...
COLMES: But he is not the media, he is a governor looking out for the people of his state.
SCOTT: All right.
PINKERTON: I have to admit, though, that even the global warming things, I look, there were news figures saying, and so the reporters, obviously, were eager, eager, eager to bring that angle up. But I want to just highlight what I think the worst coverage of this whole thing, which is Brian Williams on Rock Center doing a segment on Alec Baldwin who many of you know is an NBC employee, so an NBC employee talking about an NBC employee, saying, Alec Baldwin is visiting -- volunteering on behalf of people in this building, in this neighborhood in New York City. He doesn't want to be on camera and then he was on camera. I mean getting completely a total puff job from NBC. I mean it was -- aside from the product placement of this, it was just -- there is other aspects of Alec Baldwin's personality, which other than -- other than altruism including calling his daughter ...
COLMES: How dare do they show a liberal's altruism? Terrible.
PINKERTON: I think Emmy nomination must be around the corner.
SCOTT: Well, Jim brought in this -- the copy of The New York Times from Friday, but I just wanted to highlight. And I don't know if you were going to highlight this. But it did manage to include "he storm propels Bloomberg, New York City's mayor on -- into Obama's corner." So, they managed to find room for that on the front page.
MILLER: Well, this was clearly a very important endorsement. And it was unexpected, because Mayor Bloomberg had been fairly critical of President Obama's performance.
SCOTT: Well, and as they are still cleaning up this storm there are a lot of people pretty critical of Mayor Bloomberg's performance.
COLMES: Shouldn't it be front page news in a New York paper that the New York mayor unexpectedly endorsed the President of the United States?
COLMES: Why would we be surprised about it?
MILLER: With Mayor Bloomberg, it's always unexpected.
GRENELL: Well, yes, but it's -- Mayor Bloomberg was not at the Republican convention.
COLMES: He is not a Republican.
GRENELL: He didn't speak.
GRENERLL: There is the point.
COLMES: He was at one time.
GRENELL: So, he is not a Republican, so why are we excited that he supported the Democrat?
PINKERTON: But I like what Dave Weigel at Slate said, OK, maybe Obama now should get Bloomberg who's endorsed him to not run the New York City marathon in the middle of all this, you know, tragedy, and so on. And again, we'll see if other people make that link between Bloomberg and Obama on that score.
SCOTT: Well, that is the thing. I mean if, you know, Mayor Bloomberg is getting more and more criticism from people on Staten Island and elsewhere who -- who say you know, you are pulling police resources away from us to run the marathon and that sort of thing. I mean this could become a real problem for him politically?
GRENELL: Yeah, there is no question. At first I think the whole media narrative was that this storm was going to help President Obama. He ran out there with a bomber jacket. And the images of him being in charge were something that we all, I guess wanted to see and the media really wanted to tell. But at the end of the day, it didn't really go that well. We're seeing New Yorkers who are still without electricity, still without heat. And yet, Obama is now off doing something else. I think this whole bomber jacket is a perfect symbol for a shallow ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You wanted to blame it on Chris Christie who also had a bomber jacket. Or we are just ...
GRENELL: I'd say let's look at the jacket and see that as a symbol of what's wrong with [INAUDIBLE].
PINKERTON: I think that if it had been Bush 43, I [INAUDIBLE] would have been foot screen, Bush 43 campaigning for re-election and people in Staten Island looking for their power.
SCOTT: Considering where this storm hit and the media's usual attention span, how long is Sandy and its aftermath going to get coverage?
MILLER: Well, In the New York metropolitan area it's going to get a lot of coverage, probably because we are still or some of us are still so devastated by it. But I think that overall the media is going to move on to the election. There is going to be a second day story on Mayor Bloomberg's decision not to cancel the marathon. I suspect that's going to get a lot more -- big debate this weekend.
SCOTT: And I just have to give a shout out to Janice Dean, our Fox forecaster who on Thursday, the week before the storm hit, was talking about how bad it could be. Erik Wemple who blogs for The Washington Post apparently slammed her and said, "Given what we know about the storm, as it makes its way toward landfall, is it too early to vindicate the hyperventilating Dean and her employer? No way!" Well, Mr. Wemple you are not apparently a meteorologist and Janice did a great job.
Next on " News Watch" , Hurricane Sandy spins over the East Coast and the media spin and the coverage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hurricane Sandy pounds the East Coast. Sandy reporters scrambling to cover the super Storm's wrath. Did the wall to wall coverage of the devastation drown out coverage of the campaign? And the media turned a spotlight onto President Obama's post storm efforts, but what attention did the media give Governor Romney? Answers next on "News Watch."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J.: I don't give a damn about Election Day. It doesn't matter a lick to me at the moment. I got much bigger fish to fry than that. So do the people in the state of New Jersey, so let the politicians who are on the ballot worry about Election Day. It's not my problem, I'm not dealing with it at the moment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie there answering the question from the press about his concerns regarding election day. He had bigger issues to deal with at that point. He said, Judy, the media opinion of Christie took a turn this week. Can you summarize?
MILLER: Yeah, this is called doing well by doing the right thing or the non-political thing which turned out to be very political. You know, Chris Christie is amazing, but I think he saw which way the political winds are blowing. He also understood that the devastation that had just befallen his state required him to do the right thing. And he responded well and President Obama owes him a very, very big thank you card.
SCOTT: Yeah, last year Christie took a lot of heat when he told people to get the hell off the beach. That was his quote when Hurricane Irene was approaching, this time he didn't get so much flack.
PINKERTON: Well, this -- the Irene thing was seen as a much lighter storm. And [INAUDIBLE]. Look, I would agree with Judy that Christie, you know, was focusing on being a governor of the state. However, there is a phrase in Washington, called strange new respect, which is to say when a Republican loose -- left endorses Democrats and so on, they get a strange new respect from the Washington Post, quote/unquote. And I think there's -- there's a little bit of that in Christie's behavior.
SCOTT: And Alan, suddenly, a strange new respect for ...
COLMES: I just want to point out that was a flak jacket we saw on Christie.
What do you mean move left? He was caring about the people of his state. He saw that the president was on the phone with him three times a day. He didn't move left simply because he did the right thing by praising a commander in chief who was in charge of the storm ultimately in D.C. That's not moving left.
GRENELL: I actually totally agree, except for the fact that so -- why did the media tell us, like Maureen Dowd and others jumped to the conclusion that suddenly he's moved left. I mean that's the problem with the media, is that you cannot define Chris Christie is suddenly doing the right thing one day and he's an evil guy the day before that, simply by doing his job. I feel like we need to put pressure on the media to be more substantive and not so shallow.
COLMES: Well, that's ...
GRENELL: Because that's a really shallow narrative.
SCOTT: This visit that the president made, and, you know, Chris Christie and they were practically arm in arm walking the boardwalk and so forth, the media wrote it up as, you know, the president looking presidential. It gave him that opportunity. And that is worth all kinds of in terms of media exposure.
PINKERTON: Exactly. Alan, we are here to cover the coverage of these stories. We're not covering the action, and so -- look, let's just say Christie did a good job as governor. He is an impressive figure. He knows his New Jersey geography. One time he was talking to Steve Doocy, and Steve Doocy says there is a dam at XYZ place in New Jersey's, and Christie says, oh, no, that's actually a natural berm. That's a pretty good command of his gubernatorial duties. However, on the narrative issue, as I think Rick was getting at, the liberal mainstream media were happy to say Chris Christie is no longer this right-wing hack who spoke at the Republican convention as a keynoter. He is now this guy who embraces our hero.
COLMES: I don't think ...
PINKERTON: And I think that shaped the coverage a good deal.
COLMES: I don't think Christie was ever looked at as a right wing hack. This is a guy who came out in favor of Muslim judge that he appointed ...
COLMES: This is a guy who [INAUDIBLE] not taking the position of his ideological brothers or sisters in the Republican Party. I don't think anybody would regard Christie as a hack.
SCOTT: What about the media treatment of Governor Romney and his reaction to the storm? I mean, there were replays of his, you know, comments about federal funding. There were comparisons to John McCain pulling out of the campaign in '08 when the financial crisis hit.
GRENELL: Before he even spoke, you had a Buzzfeed reporter by the name of McKay Coppins getting caught on audio saying, I'm hear to listen to Governor Romney because there is a 40 percent chance he's going to say something really stupid. So, this is a reporter getting ready to jump before Governor Romney even spoke. I think that tells you everything about the press corps following Governor Romney. They were never going to let him have a chance.
COLMES: One guy tells you everything about ...
COLMES: Let's use him as the example. That's the ...
PINKERTON: I can help, Alan, I can help.
COLMES: Thank you very much.
PINKERTON: You are welcome. Tim Graham at the Media Research Center rattled off a bunch of reporters, Andrea Mitchell, Martin Bashir, Dana Bash, a whole slew pretty much sounding like McKay Coppins. How is that?
COLMES: You got me.
SCOTT: MSNBC criticized Romney for collecting donations for hurricane victims.
COLMES: Oh, let me -- let me -- well, first of all this guy goes to Wal-Mart, he spends $5,000 of campaign money to get stuff that the Red Cross says it does not want, to give the people to give back to him for a photo top, and you have got Ryan telling people, workers at a shelter where Ryan is going, pack the stuff slower so Ryan could get there in time for the photo op. That's outrageous.
GRENELL: I think what we need to do is send Alan into Staten Island right now so that Alan can tell all those people that the Red Cross isn't doing the right thing.
COLMES: I'm telling what the Red Cross said, this was purely a photo op.
GRENELL: Well, the Red Cross is messed up.
COLMES: You were talking about in terms of the coverage--
GRENELL: Staten Island residents are furious at the Red Cross.
COLMES: Romney and Ryan are ...
MILLER: They should have ...
GRENELL: Where is the Red Cross? They should have taken Romney's donations and [INAUDIBLE] to Staten Island.
COLMES: They are cavalierly looking for nothing but coverage and photo-ops for this storm. Shame on them.
GRENELL: Too bad they didn't take the donation.
MILLER: I think it was fair game to hold Governor Romney accountable for his pledge to cut the FEMA budget by 40 percent if he becomes president. That is fair game.
COLMES: And he's flip-flopped on that ...
PINKERTON: That is not what he said.
COLMES: Yeah, that's not what he said.
PINKERTON: He said -- cut domestic spending and then yes, help the people like the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities are liberal think tanks -- oh, that means he is going to cut FEMA by 40 percent.
COLMES: What he actually said was he would like to privatize it...
GRENELL: No, he didn't.
COLMES: Yes, he did.
MILLER: Yes, he did.
COLMES: He said the best choice would be -- in Citizen 2011 ...
GRENELL: He said it's always better...
COLMES: In November 2011 in one of the debates, he said the best option would be to privatize it.
GRENELL: No, he didn't. He said it's always better if you get the money back to the state.
COLMES: And a better option would be to private it.
GRENELL: A better option would be.
COLMES: Right. Exactly.
GRENELL: Now, this is talking about relief for people. What we're seeing in Staten Island and New Jersey is becoming true. FEMA and the Red Cross and others are doing a terrible job.
SCOTT: All right.
COLMES: Romney has gotten it done. He's getting ...
SCOTT: We have to leave it there. More News Watch ahead. First, if you see something that you feel shows evidence of media bias, tweet us. "Fox News Watch" on Twitter.
Up next, the media gears up for Tuesday's big election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Election day looms as candidates make the last ditch effort to reach voters and the media make a last ditch effort to prop up their man. That is next on NEWS WATCH.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDNET OBAMA: You elected me in 2008 ...
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: And that's why I'm running for a second term as President of the United States of America.
MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is no question in my view that -- that we really can't have four more years like the last four years. I know that the Obama folks are chanting four more years, four more years, but our chant is this: Five more days! Five more days ...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: Well, it's down to three more days now until the election. The candidates pulling out all of the stops this week doing everything they can to try to win support and get their message out to voters, also competing for media attention. Jim, I'm guessing that you have some thoughts on who the media wants to win this race.
PINKERTON: Well, I do, actually. But I want to just -- I've been so much critical of the press on this show over the years, but I want to single out USA Today on Friday for calling out what I think has been the worst ad of this campaign season, which is the ad that the Obama campaign ran against Romney, said, quote, "not one of us" unquote. And that is completed loaded language. One of us, not one of us, going back to the racially segregated South. If -- I think it's fair to say if Romney used that on Obama he would have been destroyed by the media, instead Obama uses it on Romney and USA Today to its credit did flag it. However, the mainstream media to its discredit, let the thing go -- it's about the only incidence I can find of anybody in the mainstream really criticizing this horrible act...
COLMES: Don't you think that's because if you see basically a white media or a white establishment saying a black guy is not one of us, it's got a different kind of feel to it than saying it about a white guy?
PINKERTON: Well, I think, look, they are clearly trying to say Romney is not one of us. And fair is fair. Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. It can't -- you can't have it both ways.
SCOTT: What became of the colorblind society that President Obama ...
COLMES: We have seen so much racism since Obama has been president, we don't have a colorblind society. A lot of the racists came out of the woodwork with all kinds of stuff about this president.
PINKERTON: All right.
COLMES: He's Muslim. He is not from here. He's not one -- he's not one of us.
SCOTT: So what can we expect from the media leading up to Tuesday?
GRENELL: You know, I think they already have their guy that they are really pushing for. And so, what I'm focused on, is what are the excuses going to be. If Obama wins, what are the excuses that the media is going to come up with for how did he win? Is it going to be a weak Romney, is it going to be that Obama was so great or vice versa. If Romney wins, what are those narratives going to be? I think we're already seeing one. Chuck Todd on NBC and on "The Today" show when asked, why is Romney beginning to spend money in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and Minnesota rather than say, well, Romney is expanding the map. Chuck Todd said the Obama talking point, which was he is run out for options for his [INAUDIBLE]
PINKERTON: He actually [INAUDIBLE] two of those options.
GRENELL: If we decided six days out to start spending in Pennsylvania because we've given up in Ohio, that is ridiculous.
COLMES: Why is it ridiculous? He can't win Ohio, because he can't pick up that difference in just a couple of days. And Pennsylvania may be a path...
SCOTT: You don't start over. You don't start over.
PINKERTON: On this weekend, just for our amusement here, how do you know Romney can't win Ohio?
COLMES: I'm here for your amusement.
COLMES: You know why? He can't win Ohio because he can't close the gap in such a short period of time. The points between Obama, and I know you are no big fan of Nate Silver, you probably think he is in the tank for Obama, he has got Obama at 80 percent as of yesterday, as of Friday.
PINKERTON: Almost (inaudible) that Nate Silver and Alan Colmes, Nate Silver of the New York Times are trying to create expectations game that has Obama--
COLMES: What about Real Clear Politics? Real Clear Politics ...
COLMES: Pretty much also has ...
PINKERTON: The Iowa Electronic Markets, which is almost tied.
COLMES: But Real Clear Politics leans right, and they have got Obama ahead.
MILLER: I think if Obama is so confident in Ohio, if there -- we'd have to ask a question, which is why are they deploying 600 lawyers in Cuyahoga County to make sure that, you know, the people who are voting get moved along fast enough. And to really perfect their ground game. I think they are very worried, and that it's very risky to predict the outcome at this point.
COLMES: Why are Republicans suing four -- are going after four states in swing states claiming that votes that are going to Romney -- to Obama should be going to Romney. They already started that.
COLMES: On Thursday, because they know they are losing.
SCOTT: Let's get back to the coverage, though. If President Obama loses this election, what is the media meme going to be?
PINKERTON: I think that a lot of people, I mean Andrew Sullivan said, listen, if you only voted, in the Atlantic -- if you only voted -- Daily Beast, pardon me. If you only voted for Obama once, it's not good enough. You have to vote for him twice to prove you're a good person.
PINKERTON: The first one won't count if you don't vote the second time. I mean, I think some version of obviously the American people are latent racists -- I'm sure Alan is already ready with that script -- bubbled up and he lost. I think that is what they'll say.
SCOTT: And if Romney loses?
MILLER: Oh, if Romney loses, it's going to be further indication that the Republican Party is dying, that it's been taken over by Tea Party extremists. That the [INAUDIBLE] party is totally out of touch and demographically ill-suited to--
COLMES: And there's the big division within, they will say, the Republican Party, between the left, Tea Party people, and the mainstream Republicans ...
MILLER: Right. Yes.
GRENELL: Yeah, but the problem with that is ...
MILLER: Which is why we've been saying -- saying all along.
GRENELL: But the problem with that, is just last year it was that the religious right had taken over the Republican Party. And that narrative has imploded.
SCOTT: Well, it's the Tea Party, not the religion.
MILLER: Tea Party.
GRENELL: Well, now it's the Tea Party, but before that it was the religious right.
GRENELL: So that has imploded because you don't see Governor Romney talking and using abortion or gay marriage divisively. You see that from Obama, not Governor Romney ...
COLMES: Well, you don't see it from Romney, because he became moderate, as of the first debate.
GRENELL: Well, whatever -- whatever reason is, the religious right haven't taken over Governor Romney.
SCOTT: All right. Coming up next on "News Watch" -- are the media guilty of aiding in the cover-up in the attacks in Benghazi?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The major news blackout over the disturbing details surrounding the deadly terror attacks in Benghazi rolls on. And some Navy SEALs post their views on the president's role in the Benghazi spin. But their views got censored. Who did that and why? All next on "News Watch".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY LENO, HOST "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO" Well, don't ask, don't tell is back. Not for gays in the military, it's President Obama's new policy for questions about Libya.
LENO: Don't ask, don't tell.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: Jay Leno there taking a shot at President Obama over the growing concerns about a cover-up by him and his administration over details surrounding the terror attacks at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. There wasn't a whole lot of coverage, Judy, of this story before the hurricane hit. What about after?
MILLER: Well, it was obliterated, blown away, sunk by this storm. And it disappeared except for Fox News and a couple of other reporters, Eli Lake, a few other people who are pursuing the story and asking the tough questions and continuing to produce uncomfortable facts for the White House. David Ignatius, a mainstream reporter, someone I respect enormously, a long time friend in the Washington Post said that there was no evidence that the White House or the CIA leadership deliberately delayed or impeded the rescue efforts. But that is not the issue here. The -- there are so many questions here. But one of them is, why did the senior counterterrorism security group never meet when it was supposed to? Why did these explanations continue shifting? If the president really said, deploy whatever you have to do, get -- protect our people, why did the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta not get the memo and say we're not the fire department. There are -- there are just so many issues that the mainstream media have totally failed, totally failed to let a major story--
COLMES: I agree that they failed, but they failed from the other side. There is a timeline that just came out on Thursday night. CIA officials [INAUDIBLE] and gave us the timeline, and there were people there within 24 minutes, and it's an outrage that the right wing and the right wing media has continued to try to play this card in the middle of an election, to hurt the president and try to play a game with the lives of four Americans and an American ambassador. It's an absolute outrage that this is continued as a narrative in the middle of--
MILLER: It's an outrage, Alan, that those Americans have died if in fact they could have been saved. And that's what we don't know yet.
COLMES: They couldn't have been saved. And the timeline here ...
MILLER: We don't know that. I'm glad you know that.
COLMES: -- has been published for all to see. And trying to blame the administration as if the administration ...
COLMES: Well, if they had to sit by -- I'll just finish my sentence. And watch these people die, which is just blatantly untrue.
How dare they continue to do this in the middle of an election?
GRENELL: If that's the case, then the president of the United States should answer one question from a live reporter.
COLMES: What questions do you think he's not answered?
COLMES: There is no cover up.
PINKERTON: I mean, let's just back -
PINKERTON: FOX NEWS reporter, and I agree with Judy that they've done a great job, Catherine Herridge and Jennifer Griffin. In August, they are having -- August of last -- this year, they are having meetings, saying we think we are in trouble here in Benghazi. Now, listen.
SCOTT: And a coordinated attack could not be repelled.
PINKERTON: Exactly, now, what's really -- Alan, again, using that passive voice, it was at the timeline -- well, actually, it seems like the CIA were on a major offensive Thursday night for the Friday morning papers and so, front page of the Washington Post, front page of the "Wall Street Journal.
COLMES: What did they say that was wrong?
PINKERTON: I don't know what they said was wrong. Alan, I'm not an intelligence expert, but what I do know that it's interesting as all get out that it almost two months since this, and now there's a total pro-- David Petraeus , pro -CIA, spin going on here ...
COLMES: Why is it spin?
GRENELL: I'll tell you why, I'll tell you why.
PINKERTON: Rick is much more an expert than I am, but I know it's spin, because the New York Times reports that this was done specifically to refute -- that's their word, refute.
PINKERTON: Fox News, that's spin. When you say Fox News is reporting one thing, and now we need to have this major multi-media offensive--
COLMES: Because Fox News was one of the only media outlets that's reported it that way, but the Associated Press came out on October 10 with a whole bunch of information and talking about how there was an immediate response, that the White House responded immediately, that they went crosstown, militia men from Libya came by. October 10, Associated Press ...
GRENELL: Here is the problem. If that's true, if the White House responded immediately, why immediately did they blame it on the YouTube video?
COLMES: That's irrelevant, whether it's a YouTube video ...
GRENELL: It's not irrelevant.
COLMES: You know why --
COLMES: That it was a YouTube video.
GRENELL: I'm going to tell you why it matters. It's because on August 15th as Jim was alluding to, Ambassador Stevens and his security team came together and assessed their problems. And they said, we cannot sustain an attack. They put that in a secret cable, they sent it to the NSC and to Hillary Clinton's people. Nothing was done, however they knew that there was a security problem. The moment there was a security problem, the White House scrambled and said, oh, it's not a security problem, it's a YouTube video protest. If they knew all this, that you are now saying ...
COLMES: I have my notes...
GRENELL: If they knew all this, they didn't admit it.
COLMES: But the word at the beginning on the ground was that it was a video, and that it was part of what was going on, and we can't discount that there ....
MILLER: Alan ...
COLMES: ... what resulted in the protests ...
MILLER: Alan, this is the oldest game in Washington, and you know it. The meme, the reason the CIA put out this timeline conveniently to these newspapers is to shift the blame, not my fault. We reacted quickly.
COLMES: It didn't just come out Thursday night. Associated Press, October 10, they immediately sounded the alarm, and they telephoned the embassy. Libyan authorities and the U.S. quick reaction force, located in compound a little over a mile away.
COLMES: That was what was happening at that compound. They had militia people, they had a force of dozens of militia people ...
GRENELL: And the CNN still found a diary laying on the ground.
PINKERTON: And I said last week, that there was cannibalism here, when I was said that time they were blaming Bill Clinton for their problems on the election, this is more cannibalism, whatever happens in this election, whoever -- they are going to soon have to sort out who gets the blame. And David Petraeus and the CIA have done the best to make sure it is not them.
SCOTT: We're going to have to answer a couple of more questions on this story the next segment. Also, the polls show what Americans think but are the media paying attention?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Polls show Americans care more about the economy and jobs. Polls show voters think Romney can fix the economy and create jobs. But the media aren't connecting the dots. Why not? Find out next on news watch.
SCOTT: Continuing our discussion of media coverage of the Benghazi attacks. The San Diego Times Union on Friday in an editorial asked this, among other questions, why won't the mainstream media treat the incontrovertible evidence of the White House's dishonestly and incompetence like the ugly scandal it obviously is? And then there was this from a group called Special Operations Speaks PAC, or SOS. They took out a Facebook page asking this question or making this statement. "Obama called the SEALs and they got bin Laden. When the SEALs called Obama, they got denied." Facebook then took that page down and said it violated its terms of agreement, its agreement usage terms. Facebook later apologized and said all of that was an error. What do you make of all of this?
PINKERTON: COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, ex-Clinton administration official, takes down an anti-Obama thing. I am mystified. I can't guess why.
MILLER: I guess in this case, Jim, information did not want to be free.
SCOTT: My good friend Rick has already corrected me, it's the San Diego Union Tribune. Not Times Union. I'm sorry, my mistake.
GRENELL: I'm glad that they apologized. I think that is important. They recognized. I think they should try to work to fix it of why somebody was a little bit too jumpy on this, because clearly somebody on the first level is censoring when they shouldn't.
COLMES: Someone probably felt that they were doing the right thing, but Facebook ultimately did the right thing by apologizing. And hopefully it won't happen again. I think it was a shame that it did happen.
SCOTT: Maybe they gave it more publicity than it would have received otherwise.
All right. Let's transition to the election. The election comes Tuesday, of course. According to the latest Fox News poll, economic issues are most important to voters. And based on the Fox News poll, likely voters believe Governor Romney will do the best job to fix those economic issues. A Washington Post ABC News poll shows the same. Americans think Governor Romney is best suited to fixing the economy. So, are those concerns and are those capabilities reflected in the media coverage of this race? Alan, let's start with you.
COLMES: Why would you start with me?
SCOTT: Because I think you will have a contrarian opinion.
COLMES: I think it actually has been reflected in the media coverage of this race. We keep hearing economy, economy, economy, and we keep hearing that Romney is a business guy and he ran this Bain Capital thing, and he was this job creator, which he really wasn't. And that's been the narrative about Romney, and we've heard it in the media all along.
I know that there is some kind of paranoia among conservatives that the left wing media is in the tank for Obama and never tells the truth about Romney. But Romney's problem is he keeps flip-flopping. I don't know what he stands for, but I can understand why those polls would indicate, based on Romney's background and the media narrative, that he does well on the economy.
SCOTT: So just to be clear, all those folks who are working at Staples, their jobs were not created by Mitt Romney?
COLMES: Not necessarily, no. Mitt Romney was a flipper. Not just a flip-flopper. He was a venture capitalist. He would buy companies, invest, and get rid of them, and sell them quickly. He wasn't a job creator. He wasn't a job creator in Massachusetts.
PINKERTON: So the media's focus on the economy led the Washington Post to do a huge, giant article on Mitt Romney's alleged bullying in 1965 while ignoring Barack Obama's (inaudible) he wrote about himself in the '70 and '80s. The media's laser focus has them digging up--
GRENELL: And Gail Collins at New York Times writing a whole piece on women binders.
GRENELL: And contraception. It has been anything but the economy.
COLMES: Rick, the story about Mitt Romney holding down a gay guy, the guy he thought he was gay, and cutting off his hair, hasn't come up in weeks and weeks and weeks, so I'm glad you brought it up.
MILLER: Because it happened 30 years ago or 50 years ago.
COLMES: -- making fun of a blind teacher and having him walk into a door and thinking that was funny. But you know--
SCOTT: The economic issues are front and center on Friday, we got another jobs report. The unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent. If the labor force participation rate were the same as it was four years ago, it would be closer to 10 percent. Are the media paying attention?
MILLER: I think these jobs numbers, they are definitely paying attention. But I think lately, the economic numbers have been going for the president. And you have been reading that and seeing that on the air. That also contradicts the meme of the Romney campaign, which is Governor Romney is better able to deal with our economic problems than the president.
GRENELL: If this low job growth is a good news story for the president, we're in real trouble. It might be better than what we've experienced, but we are still at anemic growth. We cannot sustain this. We're not creating--
GRENELL: We're not creating as many jobs as the birth rate and people who are entering the--
PINKERTON: We're here to cover the coverage. If this were the Bush economy and I think Dan Gainor had a piece on this exact point, when the unemployment was 5 percent under Bush, it was Hoovervilles and depression, and now unemployment is almost 8 percent under Obama, and things, as Alan says every week, things are getting better.
COLMES: They are.
SCOTT: Talk about covering the coverage, the Pew study did a story, a study of the coverage from August 27th to October 21st of this year. 71 percent of MSNBC's coverage of the Romney campaign was negative, 3 percent was positive. By contrast, Fox News coverage of the Obama campaign during the same period came in at 46 percent negative, with 6 percent positive. So the negative to positive ratio for MSNBC was about 23 to 1, Fox's was about 8 to 1. Just wanted to bring that to your attention. More "News Watch" ahead. Which candidate was more fodder for late-night comedians.
SCOTT: A study released this week by the Center for Media and Public Affairs finds that since the conventions in September, late-night comedians Jay Leno, David Letterman, Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Fallon have told more jokes about GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney than all Democrats combined. According to the study, 62 jokes hit President Obama. Governor Romney was the target of 148 jokes on late night. David Letterman, the most unbalanced offender. 290 jokes made about Republicans, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Paul Ryan, Clint Eastwood and Chris Christie; 138 about Democrats. Only two others joined the president in the top ten -- Bill Clinton and Joe Biden. Do you have an explanation?
COLMES: The Romney jokes write themselves. Thank you, good night.
PINKERTON: I think look, it's media bias. I think look, I can remember back to Saturday Night Live in the 1976 campaign, when it was Chevy Chase doing Gerald Ford, and Ford would trip -- Chase as Ford would trip every time. And I think that made a difference in the election. I think the humor community knows that, and they try keep doing it every four years.
SCOTT: Gerald Ford, who was a football player, a collegiate athlete and a skier, a downhill skier, probably our most athletic president maybe since Teddy Roosevelt, and became portrayed as a bumbler who could hardly walk.
MILLER: Right, I would only say that it is what it is and you can't change those numbers, but I would also like to point out that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, whose demographic skew a little bit younger also have been very good about making fun of both candidates pretty equally.
GRENELL: The excuse is the writers live in Los Angeles and New York City. They are part of those communities. They are the two most liberal cities in the United States.
COLMES: When Clinton was president, it was about Monica Lewinsky and Clinton, and you go where the jokes are, you go where the funny stuff is.
GRENELL: Except Mitt Romney is not president. It has been happening for four years before Mitt Romney was running.
PINKERTON: Some people might argue, just take a random example, that Joe Biden is a good source of mirth, but yet he doesn't seem to get the attention that, say, Ford or Reagan--
COLMES: I thought you said Biden and Clinton were two of the biggest targets.
SCOTT: Among Democrats.
SCOTT: So do people take these impressions that the late night comedians make? Do they take those to the voting booth?
MILLER: I think they must, because why else would President Obama spend so much time on those shows.
SCOTT: He spent a lot more time talking to Jay Leno than he has talking to the press.
COLMES: Romney has done no national press for the two weeks before the election. At least he's going on shows.
GRENELL: It's US Weekly and Rolling Stone.
PINKERTON: Look, if Romney knew he would get puffy coverage, he would go too, but [INAUDIBLE].
COLMES: Romney doesn't want to go where he might get a tough question. He hasn't--
COLMES: Where is Romney in the last two weeks in the national media? Obama is all over the place.
GRENELL: The president hasn't had a press conference or spoken to the press corps at the White House in months.
COLMES: Romney has run a very guarded campaign. You know that to be true.
GRENELL: The President of the United States is not answering questions on Benghazi.
PINKERTON: Romney is not in charge of anything. Obama is in charge of our Middle Eastern policy, for example.
COLMES: Romney would like to be in charge of things, he should answer a few questions.
PINKERTON: He would, and we'll see what happens if Romney wins, but we know for sure that Obama, as Rick was saying earlier, does not want to answer any questions about anything, about Libya.
GRENELL: Let me make a promise to you, in a Romney White House, he'll answer questions.
COLMES: Can you get me in there for the Christmas party?
SCOTT: Next on "News Watch", comparing the TV shows you watch to what the presidential candidates might watch.
SCOTT: When it comes to viewers' news sources, we know a lot of people who want a liberal slant generally tune into the three networks and CNN. Those who want extreme left views, MSNBC is their choices. And viewers like you who want it fair and balanced come to Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network. How about when it comes to what you watch for entertainment? According to Buzzfeed.com, based on Facebook likes, a few of the shows likely Obama voters enjoy. "Saturday Night Live," "30 Rock," "Homeland," "Boardwalk Empire" and "The Today Show." Some of the programs likely Romney voters watch, "College Game Day," "Dr. Phil," "Rachael Ray," "NCIS" and "Dancing with the Stars."
So how about the candidates themselves? According to TV Guide, President Obama watches "Homeland," "Boardwalk Empire," "The Wire," "Sportscenter" and "Modern Family," and Governor Romney watches "Justified,' "30 Rock," "NCIS," "Friday Night Lights" and "Modern Family." We are sure that both candidates watch this show, as well.
And that is a wrap on "News Watch" or this week. Thanks to Judy Miller, Jim Pinkerton, Rick Grenell and Alan Colmes. I'm Jon Scott. Thanks for watching. Keep it right here on Fox News Channel and remember to vote!
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