A Fox News Channel (FNC) vice president has told the Hollywood Reporter that author Tom Ricks apologized privately for his comments on Monday that the network has been “operating as wing of the Republican Party.” But Ricks denied ever making any such apology.
On Monday, Ricks alleged that Fox and the Republican Party’s obsession with the raid on the American consulate in Benghazi was an election gambit by the right that has somehow survived the election.
When Fox anchor Jon Scott asked, “When you have four people dead, including the first U.N. ambassador in more than 30 years, how do you call that ‘hype’?”, Ricks responded by asking Scott if he knew how many security contractors died in Iraq.
Scott was forced to admit, “I don’t.”
FNC’s Michael Clemente, executive vive president of news and editorial accused Ricks of trying to gin up controversy in order to sell more books.
“When Mr. Ricks ignored the anchor’s question, it became clear that his goal was to bring attention to himself — and his book,” Clemente said to the Reporter via email. “He apologized in our offices afterward but doesn’t have the strength of character to do that publicly.”
The Reporter asked Ricks if such an apology had taken place, to which he responded, “Please ask Mr. Clemente what the words of my supposed apology were. I’d be interested to know. Frankly, I don’t remember any such apology.”
Ricks, a former Washington Post columnist, is the author of The Generals, a book detailing the failures of U.S. strategy in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
[image by Terry Ballard, via WikiMedia Commons]