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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 01:35 PM ET, 11/26/2012

Fox News guest slams Fox

What happens when you agree to come on Fox News and then proceed to hammer the network for serving as a “wing of the Republican Party?”

Answer: You don’t stay on the air too long.

Military expert Tom Ricks chatted today with Fox’s Jon Scott about the Benghazi situation. Ricks was asked about how Sen. John McCain appears to be backing off of his criticism of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who made some much-criticized statements about Benghazi in a series of Sept. 16 interviews.

Ricks: “I think that Benghazi generally was hyped by this network especially ...” Scott fought back, contesting the hype allegation, drawing this return volley from Ricks: “How many security contractors died in Iraq, do you know?” Scott didn’t know, but the point was hanging right there — Benghazi was a “firefight,” contended Ricks.

Then came Ricks’s comment about Fox serving as a “wing” of the GOP, and Scott had had enough: End of interview.

Contacted about the whole thing, Ricks, a former Washington Post reporter, responded that he’d expected to spend about five minutes on Fox’s air, as opposed to the less-than-two minutes he ended up spending. Here are Ricks’s thoughts on the appearance:

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.
After I went off the air I 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.

This was updated at 9:41 a.m., Nov. 27.

By  |  01:35 PM ET, 11/26/2012

 
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