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Fox News VP: Guest Who Slammed Network Apologized - But Not Publicly

Fox News VP: Guest Who Slammed Network Apologized - But Not PubliclyFox News VP: Guest Who Slammed Network Apologized - But Not Publicly

Fox News channel is hitting back against a guest whose interview was ended after making the accusation that the network acted "as a wing of the Republican party" in covering Benghazi.

Tom Ricks, a former Washington Post reporter and author of best-selling books Fiasco and The Generals, briefly spoke with FNC’s Jon Scott about the death of four Americans in Benghazi. In a brief interview, Ricks first said FNC "hyped" the embassy attack, and a bit later said "Fox was operating as a wing of the Republican party" before Scott ended the interview.

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Michael Clemente, executive vp for news editorial at FNC, tells The Hollywood Reporter that Ricks dodged Scott's question ("When you have four people dead, including the first U.N. ambassador in more than 30 years, how do you call that ‘hype?’").

“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 in an email to THR. "He apologized in our offices, afterward, but doesn’t have the strength of character to do that publicly."

Several online outlets, meanwhile, have posted the testy interview, and Ricks told Politico he “saw some surprised faces in the hallway” after his interview with Scott. “One staff person said she thought I had been rude. My feeling was that they asked my opinion and I gave it.”

Email: Paul.Bond@thr.com