Thomas Ricks’ appearance on Fox News certainly didn’t last long.
The Pulitzer Prize winning journalist accused the conservative network Monday as “operating as a wing of the Republican Party” during a discussion about the Obama administration’s response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Anchor Jon Scott noted Sen. John McCain seemed to be backing off U.N. Amb. Susan Rice and asked Ricks what he thought.
“I think Benghazi was generally hyped by this network especially,” said the longtime defense reporter. He added that McCain was likely backing down now that the election is over.
Scott asked how the reaction to Benghazi could be hype “when you have four people dead, including the first U.S. ambassador in more than 30 years,” to which Ricks asked Scott if he knew how many security contractors were killed in Iraq. Scott didn’t know.
“Nobody does, because nobody cared,” Ricks hit back. He noted several hundred had died but there was no official count. He argued the siege in Benghazi was a “small fire fight,” and that the “emphasis on Benghazi has been extremely political, partly because Fox is operating as the wing of the Republican Party.”
Scott then thanked Ricks. The interview lasted about 90 seconds.
Afterward, Ricks told the The New York Times that a Fox News staffer told him he acted rude.
“I thought I was being honest,” he said. “They asked my opinion, and I gave it.”