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Foreign policy blogger Thomas Ricks defended his heated appearance Monday afternoon on the Fox News channel in which he accused the network of acting as a “wing of the Republican Party” for its coverage of the Benghazi attack.
Ricks, an author and blogger for Foreign Policy magazine, told Fox anchor Jon Scott that the fallout over the Benghazi attack that left four Americans dead “generally was hyped, by this network especially.”
He went on to compare the deaths of Amb. Chris Stevens and three others to those of United States security contractors killed in Iraq.
“I think that the emphasis on Benghazi has been extremely political, partly because Fox was operating as a wing of the Republican Party,” Ricks continued before being abruptly cut off by Scott, who ended the interview.
Ricks stood by his charges Monday when contacted by the Free Beacon.
“They asked me for my opinion, and gave it,” Ricks said via email. “They knew beforehand that I thought Benghazi had been hyped, so they shouldn’t have been surprised.”
Ricks did not respond to a follow up email asking him to explain his reference to U.S. security contractors in Iraq.
Full transcript below:
JON SCOTT: senator john mccain said in the past he would block any attempt to nominate susan rice to become, u.n., i’m sorry, secretary of state. she is currently the u.n. ambassador. he seems to be backing away from that. what do you make of that?
TOM RICKS: i think benghazi was generally behind by this network especially. now that the campaign is over i think he is walking backing off a little bit. they will not stop susan rice from being secretary of state.
SCOTT: When you have four people dead including the first US ambassador in more than 30 years, how do you call that hype?
RICKS: How many security contractors died in Iraq, do you know?
SCOTT: I don’t.
RICKS: No, nobody does, because nobody cared. We know that several hundred died, but there was never an official count done, of security contractors dead in Iraq. So when I see this focus on what was essentially a small fire fight, I think number one, I’ve covered a lot of fire fights, it’s impossible to figure out what happens in them sometimes. 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.
SCOTT: All right. Tom Ricks, thanks very much for joining us today.
RICKS: You’re welcome.