Mr. Rothman completely nailed the sense of bias. I salute him in his efforts here.
SCOTT: What about that, Kirsten, I mean, do reporters not have memories?
KIRSTEN POWERS, DAILY BEAST: That's a loaded question. No, I think there's a little bit of a double standard here. Clearly, the economy is still in a bad place, so you can't say that there are no longer poor people. They're concerned about spending back when Bush was president and they should be concerned about it now.
But look, we just did an interview a little earlier about Michael Hastings, a Rolling Stone reporter who wrote a book saying that in covering the president, being around the media, that what he observed was very immature behavior. They were giddy is the word that he used, and they are sort of in awe of the president. And I think it just confirms what we've been saying here almost every week about the problem with the press corps and their inability to cover the president.
SCOTT: Cal, we heard during the inaugural address, we heard about climate change, we heard about gay rights, we heard about lots of issues, but nothing much about the deficit and some of the pressing issues of, you know, the really pressing issues of our time.
CAL THOMAS, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, some of the really great analysis from a lot of journalists and commentators was, well, he's a liberal. Who knew? This is the biggest media coverup, this is their version of Watergate. They tried to portray him as a centrist, a man who not a blue state or a red state America, but the United States of America. A guy who could transcend all of the political divisions in Washington. Now they are saying after all this stuff you just mentioned, well, golly, I guess he really is a liberal after all. Who knew?
SCOTT: Was there too much media cheerleading in all of the coverage?
VICKY WARD, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: I think the media lost sight of the real L-word here. It's not so much liberal as legacy. This -- if you listen to the speech and you took out the words climate change, guns, this speech could have been given in 1963. He was -- the president was making a speech about social reform, he was setting himself up as the great social reformer of America, channeling his inner Teddy Roosevelt. And I don't think he got into the detail, and I think the media did not pick up on that enough.
SCOTT: What about that, Jim? I guess one wouldn't expect the president to bring up Benghazi in this context, in an inaugural address, but I mean, there are some big foreign policy issues that we're facing out there that didn't get touched.
PINKERTON: You're right, and Vicky mentions legacy, and I think it was Joe Pollack (ph) of Breitbart News who was the first to notice the lines, the words slipped in there, "peace in our time," which any Briton will remember--
WARD: Yes, absolutely.
PINKERTON: -- as Neville Chamberlain's famous comment coming back from the Munich deal with Hitler in 1938, which is the most misbegotten phrase ever. It is astonishing to me that that quote even inadvertently and said in a different context slipped by the fact checkers and the speechwriters and the reviewers. And of course, nobody in the mainstream media noted jeez--
WARD: I did.
SCOTT: And now there is Newsweek magazine, which is an online only publication, I guess you would call it. "The second coming." Now, conservatives have long complained that President Obama thinks that of himself, but now, Cal, they have made it official, I guess.
THOMAS: He was treated as a messiah figure the first time around, and I think the media put too much faith in politics and government, because it reflects their particular ideological bias, and they're really -- they're setting him up for a no-fail second term. They're not going to hold him accountable, they didn't hold him accountable in the first term because they are afraid of being branded as racist. And they agree with him. I think the reviewer of the coverage for the Washington Post had it right when he said Al Roker, who you mentioned earlier, embarrassed himself. He wasn't alone.
SCOTT: And then there was the New York Times, which complained about George W. Bush spending $40 million on his second inauguration, Jim touched on this. They said "The Inauguration: ceremonies for inauguration in war time, a lingering question of tone." That was all about George W. Bush's second inaugural. And then for Barack Obama spending $50 million on his second inauguration, The Times wrote, "Fund-raising is lagging so far for inaugural plans." And lamenting the fact that in this economy, $50 million was tough to raise. Just an interesting point.
Next on "News Watch," Hillary Clinton serves it up and the press reacts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: What difference at this point does it make?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary Clinton finally answers questions about the Benghazi debacle, delivering a powerful performance to convince lawmakers and the media to see it her way. Did it work? Find out next on NEWS WATCH.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: With all due respect, the fact is, we have four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finally facing lawmakers in the House and Senate, taking some tough questions about the Benghazi fiasco and getting some mixed media reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: After four years in office, roughly a million miles flown, 112 nations visited, in the past few weeks alone she has fought illness and injury, including hospitalization. She leaves her post as the most admired woman in the world.
DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: The fiery appearance for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifying before Congress on the tragedy in Benghazi. It was a valedictory that showed her indignation and emotion.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS: Amid accusations of a cover-up, incompetence and inaction, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended her handling of the September 11 assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, while still accepting responsibility as head diplomat.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
SCOTT: It was perhaps, Jim, the big story of the week, how did she come off in the coverage?
PINKERTON: Well, I think it was very formulaic. You kind of knew that she was going to have her moment of tears and her moment of outrage, and knew the Republicans were going to come after her. Unfortunately for the sake of all those Republicans in the two committees, they sort of kept asking the same questions over and over again, with the exception of, as Dave Weigle (ph) of Slate pointed out, Tom Cotton, freshman Republican of Arkansas, who went right back to the question, pointed out, the only person ever accused of doing anything on this Benghazi stuff was a fellow in Tunisia who has now been let go, released, and what did she have to say about that? And she sort of mumbled her answer on that one.
Other than that, I thought it was kind of predictable, and I also questioned the part guys going out for a walk at night. Who ever said that? Talk about a strawman. I don't think anybody has ever said that was a possible explanation, and that is a great deal, how that came to pass, how the four people got killed.
SCOTT: And she asked in front of Congress, what does it matter now? Well, the context is important, because it mattered then, right before an election, right?
POWERS: Well, the only people who are more pathetic than the media are the members of Congress, because I mean, the fact -- they could have come back very simply and just say, you just laid out two scenarios that never happened and that nobody was ever talking about. So, she mentions the protests, but like you said, no one ever -- that wasn't the alternative. Like, the alternative is terrorism. You know, so, the fact that-- to a certain extent the media can't create that story, they're covering the questioning. And if the questioners can't do the questioning, then I don't know what the media is supposed to report.
SCOTT: She seemed to try to blame the Republicans for cutting security funding or not providing enough security funding. Did it work in the media?
WARD: Did it work in the media? I think this whole thing -- I'm going back to Jim. This was a pageant, this was a public flogging, and sort of everyone colluded on it, and the media sort of missed that point, I think, in that she was there to react and to have questions asked, but no real truth came out, and I don't think it was -- anyone expected--
SCOTT: So has the media put it to bed, all over and done with now?
THOMAS: Probably so. But look, what they're going to do with Hillary Clinton is the same thing they did for Barack Obama. They're going to part the waters like Moses did the Red Sea to give her the clear path to be the first woman president. We've had the first African-American president, now the first woman president. They treated him as the messiah, they're going to treat her as the Virgin Mary.