Yesterday, to the delight of Democrats and truth-tellers, best-selling author and foreign policy expert Tom Ricks went on Fox News and told them they had “hyped” the Benghazi attack and they “operate as a wing of the Republican Party.” The interview was ended after all of two questions.
Here’s a quick transcript, via Politico:
“I think that Benghazi generally was hyped, by this network especially,” Ricks said. “And now that the campaign is over, I think [Sen. John McCain] is backing off a little bit. They’re not going to stop Susan Rice from being Secretary of State.”
Scott pushed back on the accusation that Fox News “hyped” the attack, asking, “When you have four people dead, including the first U.S. ambassador in more than 30 years, how do you call that hype?”
“How many security contractors died in Iraq? Do you know?” Ricks replied.
“I don’t,” Scott said.
“No, nobody does, because nobody cared,” Ricks said. “We know that several hundred died, but there was never an official count done of security contractors dead in Iraq. So when I say this focus on what was essentially a small fire-fight, I think, number one, I’ve covered a lot of fire-fights, it is impossible to figure out what happens in them sometimes.”
Ricks then slammed Fox News again for their Benghazi coverage.
“And second, I think that the emphasis on Benghazi has been extremely political, partly because Fox was operating as a wing of the Republican Party.
After that, Scott wrapped the interview. “Alright, Tom Ricks. Thanks very much for joining us today,” Scott said.
“You’re welcome,” Ricks replied.
So, what happened after the interview ended, abruptly?
Via email, Ricks told Politico:
“I had told the producer before I went on that I thought the Benghazi story had been hyped. So it should have been no surprise when I said it and the anchor pushed back that I defended my view.”
“I also have been thinking a lot about George Marshall, the Army chief of staff during World War II, and one of the heroes of my new book. He got his job by speaking truth to power, and I have been thinking that we all could benefit by following his example as much as we can.”
But the best part?
After he went off the air, Ricks said he “saw some surprised faces in the hallway.”
“One staff person said she thought I had been rude. My feeling was that they asked my opinion and I gave it,” Ricks wrote.
But now, The Huffington Post reports:
Ricks and Fox News are still feuding. Fox News’ executive vp of news editorial Michael Clemente told the Hollywood Reporter that Ricks “apologized in our offices afterward but doesn’t have the strength of character to do that publicly.”
Ricks denied an apology ever took place. In an email to the Hollywood Reporter, Ricks wrote, “Please ask Mr. Clemente what the words of my supposed apology were. I’d be interested to know,” he said. “Frankly, I don’t remember any such apology.”
Watch the video. Ricks was anything but rude. He’s written six book on the military and war. And he spoke truth to power, which makes him a hero.
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