A Pulitzer Prize-winning author who is acclaimed for his military expertise had his interview abruptly ended on Monday after he accused Fox News of “operating as the wing of Republican Party” because the September attacks in Benghazi had been “hyped by this network especially.”
Fox News host Jon Scott noted that Tom Ricks had “spent decades covering our military” as he invited the author to analyze why Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) seemed to be backing away from his threat to block U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice’s potential nomination to become the next secretary of state.
“I think that Benghazi was generally hyped by this network especially,” Ricks explained. “And now that the [2012 presidential] campaign is over, I think [McCain] is backing off a little bit. They’re not going to stop Susan Rice from being secretary of state.”
At that point, Scott shifted the interview’s focus from McCain to defending his employer, asking Ricks, “How do you call that hype” when four Americans died in the Benghazi attacks?
“How many security contractors died in Iraq, do you know?” Ricks wondered.
“I don’t,” Scott admitted, seemingly at a loss for words.
“No, nobody does because nobody cared,” Ricks pointed out. “Several hundred died but there was never an official count done of security contractors dead in Iraq. So when I see this focus on what was essentially a small fire fight, I think — number one — I’ve covered a lot of fire fights, it’s impossible find out what happened in them sometimes.”
“And second, I think the emphasis on Benghazi has been extremely political, partly because Fox was operating as wing of the Republican Party,” the author added.
“Alright, Tom Ricks, thanks for joining us today,” Scott said, ending the interview less than two minutes after it began.
“You’re welcome,” Ricks smiled.
Mother Jones’s Kevin Drum observed last week that the “Fox News effect” was reflected in a recent Pew poll which showed that 21 percent more Republicans than Democrats were “closely following” the Benghazi story.
“The only segment of the country that really cares about the sham Benghazi scandal is Republicans, and the reason Republicans are riled up about it is because of Fox News,” Drum wrote.
Watch this video from Fox News’ Happening Now, broadcast Nov. 26, 2012.