Fox News seemingly cut short an interview with author Tom Ricks this morning after the writer accused the news network of “hyping” the Benghazi, Libya, terror attack. Ricks also said during the exchange that the news outlet has operated as “a wing of the Republican Party.”
The awkward back-and-forth commenced at the beginning of the exchange when “Happening Now” co-anchor Jon Scott asked the author why he believes leaders like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) seem to be backing away from attacks on U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice. Ricks wasted no time in getting in a dig at Fox News.
“I think that Benghazi generally was hyped by this network especially and now that the campaign is over I think he’s backing off a little bit,” he said.
Rather then letting the comment go, Scott pressed the author, asking, “When you have four people dead, including the first U.S. ambassador in more than 30 years, how do you call that hype?”
Ricks went on to explain that hundreds of security contractors potentially died in Iraq — something that went widely unnoticed by media. Then, he dubbed what happened in Libya on Sept. 11 “a small firefight.”
“When I see this focus on what was essentially a small firefight, I think number 1…it’s impossible to figure out what happens in them sometimes,” he said. “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 his second comment aimed at the news network, the interview ended. While it’s impossible to know if the comments were the definitive basis for the segment’s conclusion, the ending is certainly oddly abrupt.
See the awkward exchange, below: