• With: Ellen Ratner, Jim Pinkerton, Richard Grenell, Judy Miller, Joe Concha

    This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Watch," August 3, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


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

    RESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I've run my last campaign, so I don't need to spin.

    SCOTT: The president claiming no spin in his message about the economy, on the road again, trying to convince Americans he's the man with the plan and Republicans are out to stop him. Are the media buying that spin?

    JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Whether it's about the attacks in Benghazi and the talking points, attempts to turn this into a scandal have failed.

    SCOTT: Mr. Obama and his White House guys ramp up their rhetoric about phony scandals. Getting too much attention. Are the Benghazi attacks and IRS spying on Americans phony? How did the media react? NBC and CNN are producing movies about Hillary Clinton. No surprise there. The media can't get enough of Anthony Weiner as more details emerge about his sorted behavior.

    A Connecticut paper takes aim at conservatives and Fox News with comparisons to the KKK. That got some reaction from the king of cable.

    BILL O'REILLY: I'm not going to let this go.

    SCOTT: And teen sensation Justin Bieber takes a hit for being pro-life.


    SCOTT: On the panel this week, writer and Fox News contributor Judy Miller. Mediate.com columnist Joe Concha. Jim Pinkerton, contributing editor of "The American Conservative Magazine", Ellen Ratner, talk radio news service bureau chief. And Fox News contributor Richard Grenell. I'm Jon Scott. "Fox News Watch" is on right now.


    OBAMA: With this with endless parade of distractions and political posturing, and phony scandals.

    The point is, with an endless distraction of political posturing and phony scandals .

    An endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals.

    So far for most of this year, we've seen an endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals and we keep on shifting our way - shifting our attention away from what we should be focused on.

    SCOTT: The president, as you can see there, is trying to hammer home his theme that he has a plan. Just that Republicans and these distractions are getting in his way. So what are the phony scandals?


    MARK KNOLLER, CBS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Jay, in the speech again yesterday, President Obama mentioned the phony scandals that are part of an endless parade of distractions. Can you tell us what phony scandals he is talking about?

    CARNEY: Well, I'm not going -- I'm not going to catalog.

    KNOLLER: He mentioned two -- IRS and Benghazi.

    CARNEY: Again, I think - there was a period where there was a lot more energy and focus was paid by some in Congress as well as in the media on issues that, while important, are not the highest priority of the American people and they were not scandals.


    SCOTT: All right. So what about phony scandals? How do you define them? Jim, the president keeps repeating that line. Are the media going along?



    PINKERTON: And I think it's working for big chunks of the media. However, there are some strange eruptions of curiosity. In fact, for example, CNN's Jake Tapper reported there were, quote, dozens of CIA operative, right there in Benghazi last year. That was sort of out of the narrative, right? I mean this whole emerging discovery that the relentless campaign of the Obama administration to sit on the story. Now, CNN had the story and didn't do much with it so it's up to others now to see if they can pick it up.

    SCOTT: Is it the -- due to the sort of "there's nothing to see here, move along" kind of trick?

    JUDY MILLER, WRITER & FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely. And this week was very, very bad in terms of distraction quotient for the Obama administration. Because IRS, but really Benghazi. Because when you start polygraphing CIA agents once a week when the normal pattern is about three to five years for a polygraph, you have issue polygraphs that suggest a leak of classified information, you're getting into territory that clearly makes the administration uncomfortable, that Obama doesn't want to explore. That suddenly makes this issue a scandal.

    SCOTT: Ellen, you're often a supporter of what this White House does. Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, seems to suggest that the IRS targeting of conservative groups was not a scandal. That the Benghazi thing was not a scandal. Is he right?

    ELLEN RATNER, BUREAU CHIEF OF TALK RADIO NEWS SERVICE: Well, Poynter Institute points out that he did his interview -- first interview with 'The New York Times' in three years.

    SCOTT: You're talking about the president?

    RATNER: I'm talking about the president, that's right. And he would not have done it if this was not beginning to affect his base. And some of these quote/unquote phony scandals. And you even have people like from "The New Republic" talking about Larry Summers and what's going on with that. So I'm telling you that this is beginning to affect the base and that's a problem.

    SCOTT: You know, a piece of tape on the doorway to Democratic headquarters might have been considered a phony scandal back in the day. Nobody died in Watergate.

    JOE CONCHA, MEDIATE.COM COLUMNIST: And four people died in Benghazi, right, and that's the line that we've heard. The CNN interview, Jon, this week, I think is a turning point. It woke this scandal back up again. It put back the focus on the fact that there have been no arrests in that attack. And for viewers who don't know, CNN interviewed a guy who is wanted as potentially a suspect. Yes. And 'The New York Times' did, right after the attacks, the guy was having like a fuzzy navel at a cafe. And yet we have all these drones philandering and killing people. For some reason, in Benghazi it's like a no fly zone.

    The president once sounded like O.J. You know, he said, we're going to track down the real killers. And unless the real killers are somewhere behind the 17th green, it ain't happening yet.

    SCOTT: Rick, on President Obama's grand bargain, he claims that he has a plan, but Republicans keep blocking him and maybe these distractions keep getting in the way. What do you make of that?

    RICHARD GRENELL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yeah, you know, I think this was a big turning point this week. The whole phony scandal comment from the White House and from the president I think was a real overplay and you saw a lot of reporters begin to say, wait a minute, here. Not all reporters, but, you know, Mark Murray, who is a political editor for NBC News, was one of these that's constantly duped by the Obama administration. And specifically on this story where he offered up what was supposedly a new plan on the economy. And what we saw was it was a campaign speech, nothing new, except Mark Murray jumped immediately to say, here we go again, the White House is making another concession and the GOP is blocking it yet again. What we don't see from Mark Murray is that his wife works for Obama. And so NBC has people out front really schilling for the administration and not getting called on it.