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

    This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," December 22, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    JON SCOTT, HOST: On "Fox News Watch."


    REP. DANA ROHRABACHER, R - CA: I'm sorry, Mr. Ambassador, but your statement that the president and ambassador-- and Secretary Clinton made clear that it was a terrorist attack right afterwards is not true. It's not accurate.


    SCOTT: Following the release of the Benghazi report, which slams the State Department for failures at high levels, congressional hearings get underway to unravel the murky details surrounding the deadly terror attack on our consulate.


    REP. GARY ACKERMAN, D - NY: I want to first start by apologizing to the deputy secretaries, because you have been brought here as a ruse.


    SCOTT: But the probe turned into a political face-off, as some politicians ignored the issues. Are the media following their lead?


    LT. PAUL VANCE, CONNECTICUT STATE POLICE: Shortly after 9:30 this morning, Newtown police department received a call for help at the Sandy Hook elementary school.


    SCOTT: A heartbreaking tragedy unfolds in Newtown, Connecticut. 20 elementary school children and six adults gunned down in their school. The media providing wall to wall coverage, then the focus changes.


    MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, I-NEW YORK CITY: It's so unbelievable and it only happens in America.


    SCOTT: Is this the time for liberals and their media lap dogs to push the agenda against guns?

    Time magazine names its man of the year, and guess what? It's Barack Obama. Are you surprised?


    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 to The American Conservative magazine, and Daily Beast columnist Kirsten Powers. I'm Jon Scott. "Fox News Watch" is on right now.


    SEN. BOB CORKER, R-TENN.: You were aware of the security risk there. We've read the cables. You were fully aware, and either you send people there with security or you don't send them there.

    SEN. JIM RISCH, R-IDAHO: I looked at the people streaming through the front gate in Benghazi. That wouldn't have taken that much to stop that attack if indeed they'd have been-- they would have responded to it immediately.

    ROHRABACHER: The president and high level officials of this administration immediately after the attack and for days afterwards kept talking -- an overwhelming part of their discussion of the issue dealt with movie rage about these Muslims being upset about portraying Mohammed in a bad way in some movie on Youtube.


    SCOTT: Those are the congressional hearings that began this week to try to piece together some of the details surrounding the deadly terror attacks on our embassy in Benghazi. The attacks killed four Americans, including our ambassador, on September 11.

    So, Jim, this accountability, accountability review board appointed by the State Department takes a look at the State Department and finds that the security was, quote, "grossly inadequate to deal with the attack." What kind of coverage does it get?

    JIM PINKERTON, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE: Oh, that got a lot of coverage, that it was grossly inadequate. The people who escaped the coverage and could go on interviews, for example, Hillary Clinton -- are Hillary Clinton and President Obama. They are different. They're in a different category. Anybody with undersecretary and below is dead meat in terms of this thing. They can be fired, embarrassed, humiliated. However, President Obama and Hillary Clinton are on their own category, immune from this criticism.

    SCOTT: You even had some questions, Judy, as to whether Secretary Clinton answered questions about all of this.

    JUDY MILLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Right. That was the amazing thing about the press conference on Friday that the Republican senators had, because they suggested that she hadn't even sat down and talked to the men who were leading the panel that she created. If that's true, that is truly an astonishing omission, and I don't think she is going to be able to escape responsibility for it. She's already claimed responsibility, but I think questions are going to be continue to be asked about what she knew when.

    It's not good enough. You're not going to be able to get away with saying this is just an assistant secretary problem. It's not.

    SCOTT: Those three Republican senators came out in that news conference and said, you know, there are questions here that need to be answered about the president and his policies, and suggesting that Secretary Clinton needs to answer those questions as well. Are the press - - are the press answering or asking those questions?

    KIRSTEN POWERS, USA TODAY AND DAILY BEAST COLUMNIST: We talk about this a lot here. The press overall has not been terribly interested in this. They sort of range from no interest to claiming it's a right wing conspiracy, that is sort of where they fall on this. And Secretary Clinton obviously needs to be the one to testify.

    I don't even know why these people had to even go through what we were just watching, they are just sort of lambs to the slaughter. They are not the people that -- Tom Nides is not -- full disclosure, he was my first boss in the White House, but I mean, he's not really the one who is responsible for this. And so I think Hillary Clinton has said the buck stops with her. The president says the buck stops with him, and yet, they're the only two people who don't seem to be really taking any kind of responsibility.

    RICHARD GRENELL, FORMER SPOKESMAN, LAST 4 U.S. AMBASSADORS TO U.N.: But, here is my problem with that is that Tom Nides was sent out there because he's Hillary's political deputy. If he's the one that Hillary says is going to testify because she has got a concussion, then he's got to take responsibility for looking at the cables, for the undersecretary in the different departments, for the regional bureau assistant secretaries.

    The State Department power is in the regional bureaus. The assistant secretary of state for near east, Beth Jones, is not named in the report. She's responsible. If she would have approved security, it would have been done. You can't blame others. And Tom Nides is her boss.

    So, the fact of the matter is, the coverage for Tom Nides showing up for Hillary Clinton was atrocious. CNN just basically said it was something that Tom Nides said we could do better on, when in fact, Tom Nides is married to the CNN deputy bureau chief, Virginia Moseley, and that wasn't disclosed. And so CNN is ignoring the story to benefit a staffer and her relationship with Tom Nides. So I think the media have got to do a better job here, they've got to get to the bottom of this.

    PINKERTON: I think that that press conference on Friday, Senator Graham, Senator McCain and Senator Ayotte -- who I think has now replaced Joe Lieberman of the three amigos that have made so much of an impact on U.S. foreign policy over the last 10 years or so -- I think that guarantees the story will continue into the next year in a big way.