Howard Kurtz, the host of CNN’s Reliable Sources, said Thursday that Fox News signaled it was “thin-skinned” by abruptly ending an interview with military expert Tom Ricks.
“I don’t think Tom Ricks planned anything, but he did take quite a provocative swipe at Fox News,” Kurtz explained. “The reason this has gone viral, the reason for all the YouTube attention, the reason we’re still talking about it, is because the Fox anchor, Jon Scott, gave him the hooks. Because he dared to criticize Fox News coverage of the Libya situation that was deemed unacceptable, and in effect, he was tossed off the air.”
Earlier this week, Ricks appeared on Fox News to discuss the attack on a diplomatic mission in Benghazi. During the extremely brief interview, he accused the network of “operating as wing of the Republican Party.”
“But this could have been a really interesting, provocative discussion,” Kurtz added. “If Ricks takes the position that the whole coverage of Benghazi, while obviously it’s a serious and legitimate issue with four American diplomats dead, has been hyped for political reasons by Fox News, certainly the anchor could have pushed back on that.”
“Instead, by cutting the interview short, Fox sent the signal, I believe, that it’s kind of defensive and thin-skinned when it comes to criticism, even though, as you know, journalists love to criticize everybody else.”
Fox executive Michael Clemente claimed Ricks privately apologized for his statement, but Ricks asserted that was “horseshit.”
Ricks later took at shot at MSNBC when they asked him to come on the air. He told the network they were “just like Fox, but not as good at it.”
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by CNN, below: