Fox News really needs to slowly back away from Tom Ricks. In the ongoing drama over Fox getting butt hurt over Tom Ricks’ short but total takedown of its Benghazimania, executive VP of news, Michael Clemente, keeps digging the hole deeper. After Ricks denied apologizing after the shortest interview ever, Clemente had this to say to TVNewser:
“I’m surprised by the General’s utter dishonesty,” Clemente says. “I’ll refresh his memory – what he said following the segment was, ‘Sorry… I’m tired from a non-stop book tour.’ Perhaps now he can finally get some rest.”
Ricks’ response to the whole thing was as blunt as the interview that got him kicked off the air just 49 seconds after he started to speak: “It’s horseshit.” (See video.)
Ricks goes on to explain that as he was talking to a friend of his off screen, he said he felt that he had reached his “blather limit” as the host was going on about pressure on the White House, probably because he was tired from his book tour. In other words, Ricks meant what he said but he probably would have been more diplomatic about it. In other other words, not an apology at all.
Ricks has already made a mockery of Fox, and Fox’s response has only exacerbated the situation. Ricks is getting great publicity for his book and Fox just looks like petty. Is VP Michael Clemente a glutton for punishment or is Fox still smarting from the public humiliation over the election?
If it makes Clemente feel any better, he turned down an offer to appear on MSNBC to discuss the public tussle. “MSNBC invited me, but I said, ‘You’re just like Fox, but not as good at it.’”