Commentary | Tom Ricks getting kicked off Fox News for speaking truth to power, as we reported yesterday, was the highlight of the week and it’s only Tuesday. Tom Ricks is our new boyfriend and should win an Emmy for Best Performance In A Comedy.
Tom Ricks was kicked off Fox, in case you missed it, for a few rapid fire comments he managed to get in before host Jon Scott stammeringly and awkwardly ended the interview — we can only assume stymied by a confrontation that included facts. And now that the interview has ended, Fox News’ version of events differs from Ricks’ account.
The planned three-minute-ish long segment went south almost immediately, for Scott, anyway. He opened to Tom Ricks with a question about Susan Rice and Benghazi, to which Ricks scoffs that “Benghazi generally was hyped, by this network especially.”
And it’s on.
Scott tries to re-chart the interview’s course by reminding (cough, cough) Ricks that four had died in the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, to which Ricks trashed the entire Fox News narrative on Benghazi in a fell swoop. (Video below.)
Scott ends the interview with Ricks, booting him from the air, and we can only assume, from Fox permanently. Afterwards, Ricks told media sources that he hadn’t hidden his perspective from Fox News prior to the spot and explained:
“I thought I was being honest … They asked my opinion, and I gave it.”
Now Fox News has responded to the embarrassing and viral clip of Ricks being kicked off the network, and someone get them two turntables and a microphone, because they be spinnin’. Michael Clemente, news editorial EVP at the network, claim Ricks was removed for promoting his book instead of answering Scott’s questions — which is an interesting reframing, considering Ricks did not mention the book.
“When Mr. Ricks ignored the anchor’s question, it became clear that his goal was to bring attention to himself — and his book … He apologized in our offices afterward but doesn’t have the strength of character to do that publicly.”
Ricks says that Clemente’s claim is false, and no such apology was tendered — he emailed:
“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.”
Just because it was so great the first time, let’s all re-watch Jon Scott end the interview and kick Tom Ricks off Fox again: