tv FOX News Watch FOX News May 19, 2013 12:30pm-1:01pm PDT
especially all of you watching. i'm paul gigot. we hope to see you right here next week. it's been a week of it's been a week of nonstop news. department of justice grabs phone records from the associated press claiming it needs information and to leaked secrets. irs admits to targeting conservative groups, delaying or denying requests to be recognized as tax exempt while greasing the skids for liberal groups to do the same thing. more details revealed about the attacks in benghazi. talking point emails give clarity to the administration's spin on the tragedy. a trifecta of problems gets full media attention. plus an abortion doctor gets convicted of murder. the media finally show up. o.j. is back in the news and the press is not too kind. what if scott pelley talking
about here? >> our house is on fire. >> jon: covering the coverage on this special edition of fox news watch. >> jon: on the panel this week, writer and fox contributor, judy miller, cal thomas, jim pinkerton, merril brown and richard grenell former spokesman to the last four u.s. ambassadors to united nations. fox ns watch is on right now. . >> it says no >> it says no subpoena may be issued to any member of the news media or for the telephone records of any member of the news media without the express authorization of the attorney general. did you delegate that express authorization in writing to
mr. cole? >> no, i don't think -- there is anything in writing with regard to my recusal. >> the question was, what about the requirement in the code that you expressly approved -- you have recused yourself, but was that express authorization authority delegated to mr. cole? >> once i recused myself, he does become the acting attorney general with all the powers that an attorney general has. >> the attorney general eric holder facing a congressional hearing getting a grilling over the seizure phone records from the associated press. details from 20 different phone lines where more than 100 journalists work on various stories. gary pruit reacted. these records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources undertaken by the a.p.
and provide a road map to news gathering operations and disclose information about a.p.'s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know. media reacted. here is one example from the huffington post online. this story really got the attention of everyone in the media. >> it certainly got mine. it's the one story that has brought the media together. left, right, large, small because all of a sudden, ours is being gored and we have to remind the american people that a free press is one of those things we often take for granted but it's essential in protect oog democracy. but there was one journalist who apparently didn't get the talking points, if i can use that word and that is wolf blitzer, who said if there is a national security issue at stake here, shouldn't the government
have the right to tap my phone? no, wolf, it shouldn't. >> jon: national security leak or no, who decides if it is national security versus freedom of the press? >> administration has that option. so, the "washington post" on friday made the point that the a.p. had the story on may 7th and john brennan was talking about it on may 8th. it would appear they were investigating the a.p. for doing what they themselves was doing is leaking. they want to be exclusive to themselves and willing to violate the law or bend the rules. there is a process to questions. i have talked to multiple people at a.p.. they were not notified as the law required. they been and had the obama administration been deft at handling, this they violated the provision. >> it's clear cal, that the
white house, a.p. was going to on blow the story on what the white house was going announce. that may be the source. >> that is exactly right. to follow up on with a jim was saying, there was an agreement to hold this story, the story the foiling of an al-qaeda plot for five days. they had a quick meeting on monday. the a.p. said it was going to publish anyway even though the administration was going to announce this the next day. administration goes ahead, c.i.a. goes ahead, they violated security here and we're going to investigate using that as a pretext when they were going to release the information themselves. >> jon: so if the white house had made the announcement the way they wanted, would we be having this investigation? >> we don't know that. none of us has top security clearances here. we are at a disadvantage. it's not correct that the government doesn't have the
right to seize records without notifying a news organization. they do have a right if an ongoing criminal investigation or issue of national security is about to be compromised. that is what the issue is here. does the department of justice have cause to do what it did and was it dragnet too broad. we don't know the answer to that yet. >> jon: rick, media matters is the liberal watchdog group. they have taken a lot of heat here for sort of pushing the line that the department of justice, the department of justice talking points on this a.p. scandal? >> yeah, it's not just media matters, you had politico that launched out, president obama is not really watching the justice department that closely because president bush watched his justice department too closely and it was politicized. so president obama attitude is
the correct way. i think the talking point that the white house has been pushing not only media matters picks it up but politico picks it up. the leak had occurred at associated press and they tried to find out who leak. in the bush administration, president bush himself called the "new york times" to say, let's hold back on these stories if you are going to give away our sources. "new york times" said no, and they went forward anyway. i think the government has the right, but they need to be able to put some pressure on the news organizations to see if they will comply first. >> jon: should the media be making the point that eric holder recuses himself in this case? it doesn't seem to be getting a lot of coverage. >> as dana of the "washington post" that he abdicated and mocked him on thursday for acting like he didn't know his own justice department and who
knew that lawyers never wrote things down? also in the "washington post" all the scandals, there is nothing to see here, let's move on. >> jon: what about that? eric holder apparently was supposed to put all of this down in writing and doesn't do it. this is the nation's top law enforcement officer. >> this is typical what you see the informality of governance of the obama administration. they believe word of mouth is sufficient when it shouldn't be. they believe management is something less of an underling. they don't take it as serious as we would expect. >> chris matthews thrill up a leg is gone. >> jon: next on news watch, more on the scandals overshadowing the president. >> is siege mentality on the west wing right now. >> white house press grilled the spin man on the trifecta of
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>>. i wanted to ask you about the irs. can you assure the american people that nobody in the white house knew about the agency's actions before your council's office found out on april 22nd. when they did find out do you think you should have learned about it before you learned about it in these reports as you said last friday? >> i can assure you, i didn't know anything about the i.g. report before the i.g. report had been leaked before the press. >> jon: mr. obama's answer or non-answer to a question about who at the white house knew and
when did they know about the irs targeting conservative groups that wanted tax exempt status. one of the three scandals getting media attention this week. coverage has been decidedly mixed. "washington post" reacted with this, it was appalling to learn that the irs had improperly targeted conservative groups. it was also disturbing that jack lew hadn't jiofd to the american people. couple this from the "new york times." irs focused on conservatives gives g.o.p. an issue to seize on. apparently for the times, it's all about the politics. [ laughter ] >> right. look, this story is moving so quickly, just on friday they were having hearings on this. it's almost impossible to keep up with the number of revelations. it does appear, though, there is a pattern with the white house
and jay carney who has a difficult job these days. whatever it is, we only learned about it in the paper that morning. give us time while we come up with answers before we give you one. >> jon: let's go to rick who has been asking questions many times should the press ask for more here? >> yes, absolutely. i have been reporters to group think loving obama to hating obama. where is the investigation? we really need to have a media that can be nuanced that can ask these tough questions and they are not asking these tough questions. president obama has been talking about fair share doctrine for quite some time. this irs scandal is an extension of the fair share doctrine. he is trying to make sure we are paying our fair share. where is the questions along his campaign slogan and how it
relates to the news scandal. >> the reason this story has been kept alive is because of this network. they kept this story alive until the rest of the media caught up with it. >> and when it comes to the irs thing. at least u.s.a. today did some fairly big stories this week about how conservative groups were getting treated how liberal groups were getting treated. >> u.s.a. did homework at last about how few people were taking a look at this. i would throw in it larger context in how the administration has been covered and how little coverage coverage there is bureaucratic matters like irs. washington burr rock contrast back in days we judy and i reporters. so of what seems to be happening in these scandals, it escapes
the president's notice because he has a big bureaucracy to run and so forth. question comes back to this show every week, should reporters be comparing what was expected or what was attributed to president george w. bush and dick cheney, it seems like they were responsible for every nuance in their administration but not this one? >> the selectivity and the press in terms of our outrage is kind of impressive. it's staggering in this case. it's also interesting to see when the press accepts the president's notion that he didn't know. he had no idea that this was going to in his white house. as opposed to learning about it in the papers or in this case the case of benghazi, he had to know because he was actually on the phone very, very early with his own people. we don't know where he was after
that which is one of the questions we want the media to look into. ultimately the media can go so far when you get to national security. >> jon: and when osama bin laden was killed. >> he was right there. pictures being taken in the sit room and there is month documentation of where the president was on the night of benghazi. look, there is something going on admittedly in new sources, a reporter from news busters counted up 23 george soros organizations who have been saying, irs is nothing burger, nothing to see here. this is not what they were saying about president bush or ronald regulate an. >> jon: average american gets upset when the irs seems to be taking a political stand, some on capitol hill say it's not about politics. >> it's not on arcane or knotted
national security matters, it is ts there in front of it. we are engaged with the irs. that is why it's a different matter and why it's getting different traction. >> let me pick up on a group think in the media. kim in "wall street journal" pointed this out and excellent lay and terrific column on the op-ed page of "wall street journal." the people obama people have hired basically all think alike. so it's not necessary for the president to stand there and give orders, use the irs to investigate these people. cover up on benghazi. they all think that way, they don't need the marching orders. >> not only do they think alike but they think the same way with about the press. which is generally with disdain. >> jon: many administrations view the press with disdain. next, the benghazi story is not going away. [ male announcer ] house rule number 46.
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>>. the whole issue of this talking points, frankly throughout this process has been a sideshow. the emails allude to were provided by us, two congressional committees. they reviewed them several months ago concluded that in fact, there was nothing afoul in terms of the process we had used. and suddenly, three days ago, this gets spun up as there is something new to the story. there is no there. if this was some effort on our part to try to try to tampirt
down that three days later we end up putting out all the information that in fact has now served as the basis for everybody recognizing this was a terrorist attack and it may have included elements that were planned by extremists inside of libya. who executes some sort of cover-up or effort to tamp things down for three days? so the whole thing defies logic. >> jon: with a great deal of presidential outrage, doing his best to sweep away questions about the benghazi talking points. ladies and gentlemen the issue as sideshow and there is no there there. that inspiring this cartoon. showing our president trying to stone wall the media on the issue. this week the white house finally released 100 emails related to the developments of those talking points. democrats claim the benghazi
emails reveal only that republicans sold the media on a bogus story. as chief correspondent james rosen reports the new evidence shows lingering divisions within the administration and raises further questions about how it has handled the deadly attacks of 9/11. >> these were c.i.a. drafted and c.i.a. finalized talking points. >> state department insisted 94 pages of emails released by the obama administration show it was c.i.a. that drove the editing of the ultimately false talking points on benghazi, but the emails reveal victoria newland and david adams were major players in the process demanding the deletions of references to sharia and extremeists. >> they were in part because of ongoing f.b.i. investigation, those were concerns that we now know and we've known that the c.i.a. also shared. >> reporter: it's true that general counsel claimed early on
that the f.b.i. had given, quote express instructions not to issue any statements identifying attackers but the bureau never issued such instructions or swiftly abandoned them. he emailed his colleagues on 9:15 p.m. to say, quote the state department had major reservations with most of documents. we revised the document with their concerns in mind. indeed, when newland cited the investigation as deleting terrorist references, f.b.i. did not have major concerns with the points and offered a couple of minor suggestions. in fact even after the references to al-qaeda and off shoot had been scrubbed, a c.i.a. official noted to his agency, f.b.i. says al-qaeda not other al-qaeda was not involved. >> the only efforts were stylistic and non-stub stan active.
they described the building in benghazi to diplomatic facility. >> in fact national security spokesman emailed at 6:48 p.m. saying that john brennan, now c.i.a. director will have edits. he opted to delete assessment that has attackers came from many sectors of libyan society. >> only thing that white house spokesman has has credibility. there is nobody believes that these were stylistic changes. >> finally the two chairs of the state department's post benghazi review board have written to the g.o.p. chairman of the house oversight committee proposing two dates in may or june they would be available to testify in defense of their final report. james rosen, fox news. >> jon: how did the media handle these emails? we'll get into that next, with the panel on news watch.
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