• With: Judy Miller, Monica Crowley, Jim Pinkerton, Richard Grenell

    This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," May 11, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    JON SCOTT, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Big stories getting coverage this week -- in Cleveland, three young women kidnapped and held captive for more than ten years discovered and freed. The man responsible captured and charged.

    In Phoenix, a four-month-long murder trial with lurid and graphic details comes to an end. The jury finding Jodi Arias guilty of killing her ex-boyfriend.

    Congress hears testimony from key insiders about the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, revealing damaging information and raising real questions about the actions of our State Department and the Obama White House.

    The Justice Department makes news with a report about gun violence.

    New Jersey's governor had a big secret -- not anymore. South Carolina's former governor wins big in South Carolina. And a certain comedian is not so happy.

    STEPHEN COLBERT: This scares me to my core.

    SCOTT: Which stories made our "News Watch" list? Covering the coverage next on "News Watch."


    SCOTT: On the panel this week, writer and Fox News contributor Judy Miller. Monica Crowley, radio talk show host. Jim Pinkerton, contributing editor of The American Conservative Magazine. And Daily Beast columnist Kirsten Powers. Also, Richard Grenell, former spokesman for the last four U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations. I'm Jon Scott. "Fox News Watch" is on right now.


    REP. TREY GOWDY, R-S.C.: So fast forward, Mr. Hicks, to the Sunday talk shows and ambassador Susan Rice. She blamed this attack on a video. In fact, she did it five different times. What was your reaction to that?

    GREGORY HICKS, FORMER DEPUTY MISSION CHIEF IN LIBYA: I was stunned. My jaw dropped. And I was embarrassed.


    SCOTT: Members of Congress hearing testimony from witnesses who had firsthand knowledge of the attacks on our U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, last September. The details they gave considered damaging to some in the State Department and the White House. But starting with the coverage of these hearings, Jim, the accusations in the media seem to parrot the usual line that these were -- well, that the A.P. labeled them GOP hearings to push an agenda designed to smear the president and maybe Hillary Clinton.

    JIM PINKERTON, THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE: Right. And the Washington Post referred to people worried about the story as Chick-fil-A eaters, which I guess is the new code for white middle class. However, as Peggy Noonan said in her column, in spite of the best druthers of the mainstream media, the story has punched through. And they've punched through in the person of Gregory Hicks, a name and a face that 4 0 years ago this summer was the Watergate hearings where John Dean became a household name. And I think we're seeing another case here where even the Washington Post, which has not been a fan of the story puts the widow of one of the heroes of Benghazi on this front page with Gregory Hicks in the foreground. This, you know, a picture's worth a thousand words, even in spite of the media attempted blackout.

    SCOTT: And that headline officials calling facts on Benghazi withheld, the day after the hearings.


    SCOTT: People are starting to discover the story.

    MILLER: Yes, despite tremendous resistance on the part of the mainstream media. They really had to go out of their way to make sure they couldn't find any news. Even any news, some even still said they couldn't find any news in the hearing, which is why I want to salute, I guess, it's Bryan Preston of Jonah's (ph) media who found seven kind of astonishing new bits of information that really call into question the administration's credibility. Now we have competing sets of allegations about not only what happened before Benghazi, but much more important in terms of a "cover-up." What may have happened afterwards. And that's now where the media should be focused. I don't know if they will be, but perhaps they've been shamed into covering a legitimate news story.

    SCOTT: Well, speaking of media attention, the Media Research Center, which admittedly is a conservative watchdog group took a poll, put a stopwatch to the coverage that this story got on the major cable networks. MSNBC gave it -- gave the hearings zero coverage. CNN gave them 17 minutes of live coverage. Fox News, an hour and eight minutes. Surprising to you at all, Kirsten?

    KIRSTEN POWERS, USA TODAY & DAILY BEAST COLUMNIST: No, I think it's part of the problem is showing the hearing would have actually discredited them, because I think if anybody had a chance to see it firsthand, they probably would start to realize, wow, this sort of sounds like what people have been saying, the accusations that people are making against the administration were being borne out. So I'm not remotely surprised by that.

    SCOTT: So people who actually watched the hearings felt the gravity of the situation. I mean, saw the news value in what happened.

    MONICA CROWLEY, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Yeah, and a lot of that has to do with television. It's the visual image of seeing these three whistleblowers being sworn in and testifying in front of Congress. What we do know about modern presidential scandals is it's very rarely the original crime or the original event that gets folks in trouble. It's almost always the cover-up, and the cover-up has almost always been a juicy target for journalists. But not so much this time. And until this week's hearings, Jon, we've seen a media that has been so willing to mock this story or to dismiss it as a Fox News story or a partisan witch hunt, or to ignore it altogether. In fact, the public editor of the New York Times, Margaret Sullivan, actually accused her own paper of ignoring the story, downplaying the story, which she even said had tremendous and significant news value.

    POWERS: Yeah, and I think another interesting aspect to this is this claim that nobody should cover it, because it's being politicized, which would then mean nothing in Washington could ever be covered, right? I mean, the war on women, was that not politicized? That was a DNC talking point. The fact that Fox News covers something means you shouldn't cover it. Really? Because I've never noticed that when MSNBC was hysterical over Sandra Flucke, that nobody thought that was a reason to not cover it. There are some thing fundamentally really, really wrong with our media. And they need to take a look at themselves and do some accounting.

    SCOTT: Rick, you spent a long career at the State Department. When you look at the coverage of these hearings, what strikes you as most important?

    RICHARD GRENELL, FMR. SPKSMN, LAST 4 U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: Well, I think the media's becoming the story, let's face it. CBS News President David Rhodes and ABC news president Ben Sherwood, both of them have siblings that not only work at the White House, that not only work for President Obama, but they work at the NFC on foreign policy issues directly related to Benghazi. Let's call a spade a spade. Let's also show you why CNN did not go very far in covering these hearings because the CNN deputy bureau chief, Virginia Moseley, is married to Hillary Clinton's deputy, Tom Nides. It is time for the media to start asking questions why are they not covering this. It's a family matter for some of them.

    SCOTT: So, they don't want to bring embarrassment upon folks who -- who they're close to.

    GRENELL: Who directly are related to this story. Absolutely. They're covering for them. There's no question about it.

    PINKERTON: It's actually even worse than that, if it's possible. And that is, Cheryl Attkisson at CBS has been a hero of the story. She's had her own string of scoops for the last eight month. And although she got a nice write up in the Washington Post, which I'll give The Post credit for, Politico immediately responded with oh, you know, CBS management is really suspicious of her. They think she's become an advocate. And it's a strange world where your own network reporter is getting scoops and getting ratings. And your own -- your managers is what -- more conscious of keeping up with the Obama White House or telling her hey, cool it.

    CROWLEY: Yeah. And you also have mounting evidence which we saw this week, too, of a White House and a State Department at the very highest levels engaging in lies and stonewalling, intimidation and bullying. If you reverse this and say, if this were a president John McCain or a president Mitt Romney, this media would be all over the story every single day.

    POWERS: Still with President Bill Clinton -- I'm sorry, like I worked in the Clinton administration. I have never seen anything like this. Bill Clinton would not have gotten away with this.

    SCOTT: Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard broke some stories about the contents of the emails that went out that night. Jonathan Carl at ABC went a little farther on Friday showing that Victoria Nuland, the State Department spokeswoman, was leading the effort in a way to doctor or to -- to change the talking points that went out. At one point sending an e-mail that said "These changes don't resolve all of my issues or those of my building's leadership." That would point directly toward Hillary Clinton, I guess.

    MILLER: Yes. I think that -- and the fact that it does actually led the Washington Post to write an article that said you see, this is political. This is political because the Republicans are already trying to knock down the person who's going to be the leading contender as the nominee for 2016 - I mean this is insane. It's getting to be just insane.

    CROWLEY: Tyrone Woods, who is one of the former Navy SEALs who was killed that night in Benghazi, she went on with Bill O'Reilly the other night and she said the president of the United States, the secretary of state, and the U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, all looked at her directly in the eye and talked about the video as the cause of this. This was days later when they knew it was a terrorist attack.

    SCOTT: All right. More on "News Watch" just ahead including some news you probably didn't hear about.


    ANNOUNCER: A new report gives good news about declining gun violence. But was the report bad news for the anti-gun media? Answers next on "News Watch."