• With: Judy Miller, Jim Pinkerton, Geoff Holtzman, Alan Colmes

    COLMES: Because she represents the administration. The administration decided to put her out clearly on the Sunday morning talk shows, but what was her involvement with Benghazi? Was she part of a cover-up? Of course not. And indeed, she was given, as the president said in the clip we just played, the intelligence that was known at the time, and there were all kinds of different strains of intelligence as we know coming in.

    David Ignatius in the Washington Post, I understand, reported early on that there were reports it was about a video. The president himself used the word "terror" both the day of and the day after, the day after in the Rose Garden, the day after that in Denver.

    So I don't know. It seems to me like the right wing media is trying to make something here, they tried to do it during the election as if it would somehow change the results of the election, which it didn't, and they are continuing this rap on the president about something which I don't think is a cover-up at all.

    SCOTT: Well, and then there was this, I mean, the media generally seemed to love the defense of Ambassador Rice that the president issued from the podium. Kirsten Powers, who is a frequent panelist on this show, took umbrage at it for this reason. She said, "there is no damsel in distress, and Obama's paternalistic bravado in defense of a top administration official is going to come back to haunt him." She's a big girl in a big position, and she should defend herself and what she said.

    GEOFF HOLTZMAN, TALK RADIO NEWS SERVICE NEWS DIRECTOR: Well, I mean, I don't think it's necessarily a right wing smack down of Susan Rice. If anything, this is the liberal media going after John McCain and making it about John McCain's comments about Susan Rice. And if you noticed, John McCain never used the word filibuster. He said he would have serious issues with Susan Rice being nominated as secretary of state. But I mean, I agree totally with Judy. What is Susan Rice doing representing the administration on these talk shows? If she had nothing to do with this, then why is she the point person?

    COLMES: Then it's not her fault. Maybe you have an issue with the administration putting her out there, but then to say that she shouldn't be secretary of state because she somehow is wrong here, but what did she do?

    PINKERTON: We have a fair amount of excavating to do now--

    (CROSSTALK)

    PINKERTON: -- just on Friday, Peter King, I think it was an exclusive for Fox and Megyn Kelly, was saying, listen, we now know that the CIA, Peter King at least knows, that the CIA's original chronology, the original narrative of the Benghazi attacks was altered by somebody along the chain by the time it got to Susan Rice. Now, did Susan Rice alter it herself? Did she know who did alter it? I mean, these are questions -- the confirmation hearings, when she's under oath, are going to be epic on this, because somehow the Petraeus version, which Petraeus obviously is willing to explain now that he's liberated from being in the Obama administration, Rice, it's her fate to have to answer for a whole bunch of seeming cover-ups.

    MILLER: And if she's such a shrinking violet, if she needs the president to defend herself, if she can't fend for herself, and if she doesn't know anything about Benghazi or Libya, why would she be nominated as secretary of state? Would you nominate such a lightweight?

    COLMES: Well, because it's not her fault -- it's not her fault that she was put out on this particular issue.

    MILLER: Wait a minute.

    COLMES: It's not an issue, it's not a sexist issue. The president could easily have defended anybody in his administration, of whatever gender--

    MILLER: But he didn't -- he didn't do that for Eric Holder and Fast and Furious, did he, Alan?

    (CROSSTALK)

    SCOTT: We're going to answer or try to, so many other questions about this story, including the angle Jim just brought up, whatever happened to David Petraeus? The coverage of that scandal next on "News Watch."

    (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

    SCOTT: Well, after a long eight-month period of what you might call silence and after the reelection, the president holds his 16th full-blown news conference of his presidency. Now, if you do the math, it turns out, Judy, that the president plays golf six times more often than he gives news conferences, and the news conferences don't last as long, they don't take as long as a round of golf. Why is he so reticent to get up there in front of the press corps, and does the press corps use the time wisely?

    MILLER: Well, as we've seen in this week's debacle, the press corps does not press him hard enough on these issues. This is a format that he can control. But we see -- this is a pattern with President Obama. He goes for the soft media, he goes for the soft questions. His popularity rises as the number of questions about his policy continue to increase.

    SCOTT: Jake Tapper at ABC asked him some tough questions. Our Ed Henry asked him some tough questions. And then there was this from Christi Parsons of the Chicago Tribune.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    PARSONS: Thank you, Mr. President. And congratulations, by the way. One quick follow-up.

    OBAMA: She was there in -- when I was running for state Senate, so.

    PARSONS: That's right, I was.

    OBAMA: Christi and I go back a ways.

    PARSONS: I've never seen you lose.

    OBAMA: That's--

    PARSONS: I wasn't looking that one time.

    OBAMA: There you go.

    (LAUGHTER)

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    SCOTT: All right, Alan, appropriate?

    COLMES: Beautiful, beautiful moment. What do you have against love? Come on. You of course chose a particular heartwarming moment there. This is a president, by the way, that sat down with Bill O'Reilly a couple of times. I don't think he's afraid of the press. And to conflate the number of times he, or some kind of counterpunctual thing with the number of times he played golf versus the number of times he had a news conference-- we can play that game with any president about other things the president does, as if he's not supposed to have any recreation. I think that is a ridiculous, pardon me, forgive me, way to kind of look at that. This idea that his playing golf is such a horrible thing.

    SCOTT: We report, you decide.

    HOLTZMAN: I just think the whole thing of this idea that it's a real news conference -- I mean, there were eight questions. One question leads to no follow-ups. In fact, when the reporter at the end, I believe from Bloomberg, tried to ask the president a question, the question actually stood there and listened to the whole thing, and then I'm sorry, I can't answer that, because it would set a terrible precedent. Tell that to Neil Munro of the Daily Caller who asked--

    MILLER: He said it was a very good question.

    HOLTZMAN: It's a great question, but I can't answer it because it sets -- and that's unbelievable to me, and he gets away with it.

    COLMES: He's had 16 news conferences, that's more than Bush had. He's had plenty of news conferences, he is certainly more media available than our last couple of presidents.

    SCOTT: And then we get to this mess involving former general, well, general, former general and former CIA Director David Petraeus. It was announced, first of all, after the election that he is resigning as head of the CIA because of an extramarital affair. Did the press push hard enough on that? And you know, any indications that it helped to snuff out the Benghazi--

    (CROSSTALK)