Thomas Ricks Blasts Fox News

Thomas RicksThis is amazing. I can’t say that I blame them, but Fox News quickly got rid of Thomas Ricks after he blasted the network over its Benghazi coverage. Jon Scott interviewed Ricks. He is what Fox News claims is a “straight news reporters.” I’ve always felt that these were the most dangerous people on the network because they deceive the audience in much more subtle ways—in particular, by skewing what they choose to cover. This is clear in the topic of this segment: who else is covering the supposed Benghazi scandal? And now that there is little to report since John McCain has realized that he’s only embarrassing himself, Fox is covering the fact that there isn’t anything to cover.

Ricks was on for less than one minute. In that time, he does manage to provide answers to two questions, but it is all about the same thing: why are McCain and the others cooling off on what Fox News has trumped up to be a bigger scandal than Watergate? Ricks replies:

I think that Benghazi generally was hyped by this network especially and now that the campaign is over, I think [John McCain] is backing off a little. They’re not going to stop Susan Rice from being Secretary of State.

Scott asks how Ricks can call the deaths of four government personnel “hype.” Rick responds with the question, “How many security contractors died in Iraq, do you know?” Scott responds that he does not know, which was kind of nice when you consider how O’Reilly or Hannity would have responded. Ricks continues:

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.

I’ve always felt that Thomas Ricks was a fairly conservative guy. I still think so. But he certainly isn’t a Republican Party hack. As a result, such a criticism of Fox News has a lot more weight. But Ricks wasn’t on screen for long enough for anyone to notice other than the host and some executive producer who was probably screening in Scott’s ear, “Get him off!”

Anyway, watch it. It is a thing to behold.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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