Another four years of Obama media bias?

Author Bob Woodward reacts


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 7, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: President Obama's first term was filled with countless scandals that we've exposed right here on this program, but the so-called journalists in the mainstream media, they chose to ignore them. Now, some of them include the botched Fast and Furious operation, the disastrous half a billion dollar loan to Solyndra and other, quote, green companies, and more recently, the Benghazi cover-up.

So the big question I have is, will the media continue to turn a blind eye to the administration's missteps over the next four years? Joining me now, he is well known to be an investigative journalist, wrote the best-selling book, "The Price of Politics." Bob Woodward is here.

I have a question, can you name a single time in this campaign, which has been long -- it takes a long time to do these campaigns -- where Barack Obama directly was asked, "Mr. President, you said you would cut the deficit in half in your first term. You gave us $6 trillion in debt. How do you explain that?" I have looked, I can't find it. Can you remember any time that's happened?

BOB WOODWARD, WASHINGTON POST: I cannot directly. But you were talking earlier on the show about realism, and this line that somehow the mainstream or liberal media did Romney in and really was helping Obama -- I just don't think comports with the facts. Can I give you some examples, if you can stand it?

HANNITY: I can stand it. But I want to say one thing before you get to your list. And I promise, I won't stop you. If the president said, I would cut the deficit in half in my first term and then gives us $6 trillion in debt and he said Bush was unpatriotic and irresponsible for $4 trillion in eight years, the fact that he can go an entire election, Bob, and not be asked that question, to me is media -- it is not only biased, it is abusively so, and it's frankly dereliction of duty.

WOODWARD: Well, first of all, I agree that there should be aggressive questioning and accountability of the president, of all candidates.

But the most memorable event in the last six weeks in the campaign was the first debate, October 3rd, when Obama did very poorly. The mainstream media, the liberal media, whatever you want to call him, hammered him for it. In fact, it didn't let up until maybe a day before election.

Second point, the fact checkers, like Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post, my newspaper -- did a great job, and people have analyzed, and he was hard on Romney, hard on Obama, giving him four Pinocchios for something that is in my book where Obama in one of the debates said --

HANNITY: Sequestration.

WOODWARD: On sequestration -- which is an awful word -- automatic spending cuts. Obama said, it's just not true. Hey, look, this wasn't my idea. The Congress came up with it. I have chapter and verse detailed meetings, who is there, and it was all a White House idea--

HANNITY: Can I give you an example?


HANNITY: And I will concede your point on the Washington Post, Pinocchios, distributed kind of evenly. There was some good work there. I won't disagree--

WOODWARD: Some excellent work.

HANNITY: All right. But if you didn't see the first debate as a total, complete knockout -- even the president admitted it -- I'm not sure I give him a lot of credit there -- in light of this, that we don't know to this day where the president was, what he knew about requests for security before, during, why he wouldn't acknowledge it's a terror attack after, why CBS's Steve Kroft held the tape until the day before the election that proved that what he said was a lie. And we didn't know Fast -- why did our government give guns to gangsters, drug dealers, criminals? We have yet to get an answer to that.

WOODWARD: OK, look, I am all for getting answers and for getting to the bottom of it and digging into it. Let me just give you an example. Some people close to Romney, a couple of weeks ago, just showed up at my house and said they had somebody in a very sensitive position in the U.S. government who was willing to meet with me, and give me information about Benghazi. Appointments were broken, the guy didn't show up. He finally showed up -- and he didn't have anything where he had any firsthand knowledge. He said you ought to talk to this person and that person and so forth--

HANNITY: I bet you would look --


WOODWARD: People are digging into it.

HANNITY: But let me ask you this: We don't know where the president was on the night of 9/11, when this happened. We don't know what he knew. He denied for two weeks what was -- what we know our State Department watched in real-time, according to this woman Lamb, who testified.

WOODWARD: Immense inconsistencies and unanswered questions. The Washington Post editorialized on this and said we really ought to get some answers--

HANNITY: But we didn't. That's my point.

WOODWARD: We didn't. You know, you can't write if you don't have anything. But when I work on one of these projects or books, it takes months and years--

HANNITY: I know it does.

WOODWARD: -- to develop the sources and get the documentation.

Anyway, my third example, if you will bear with me, is coverage of the economy. Every time the unemployment number was bad or the story about the growth of the economy and how anemic the recovery was, was covered incessantly by the mainstream media. The economy was the number one issue because that data was filtered through us.

HANNITY: I would give you one correction on that. I am not trying to be nitpicky or parse words with you, that if the media did point out and did a better job of pointing out the labor participation rate, were that which Obama inherited in January 2009.

The real unemployment rate is 10.7 percent. They never gave the context, to my satisfaction. But you make some points, but I think Benghazi, "Fast & Furious" and not answering very direct questions about the debt and deficits, I think the media failed the American people.

WOODWARD: OK, here, bottom line, for me and I think you would agree for this, the thing we should worry about the most is secret government, concentrations of power in the White House and Congress and the CIA, the Federal Reserve, where those people who are running those institutions are not held accountable. So we need more aggressive tough stuff.

HANNITY: The liberal blogs will beat you up for even coming on my program. Thank you for being here, Bob Woodward.

WOODWARD: OK, thank you.

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