He said/He said…

The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz writes about the FNC/Tom Ricks flap…

Was Ricks being deliberately provocative? Perhaps he was, for controversy sells books. And maybe his criticism was overstated. But the fact remains that he was invited as a guest, was asked about the Libya attack, and responded in a way that made Fox’s relentless coverage of the controversy part of the story. And that was deemed unacceptable.

Michael Clemente, Fox’s executive vice president, told me that Ricks’s conduct “felt like a stunt…That was just bush league, especially for a veteran reporter.” Ricks wasn’t answering the anchor’s question, says Clemente, and Scott, feeling “offended,” decided that “I’m not going to give this guy any more airtime.”

What’s more, Clemente says, Ricks “apologized” to a Fox staffer on the way out.

Ricks denies this, saying he told the staffer—who accused him of being rude—that he “might have been a bit snappish” because he was tired from his book tour. “This was in no way an apology,” Ricks told me, “but rather an explanation of why I jumped a bit when the anchor began the segment with the assertion that pressure on the White House was building—which it most clearly was not.”

As for the interview itself, “I was not picking a fight with Fox. I was answering their questions.”

Bull. Ricks absolutely was picking a fight with FNC the same way that John Ziegler tried to pick a fight with Contessa Brewer and got booted off MSNBC. If you attack a network you are appearing on with that kind of rhetoric, you should expect to get yanked off the air. One could still make the point Ricks was trying to make without resorting to the language Ricks was using…language which left FNC with no choice but to drop him like a hot potato.

The only question I have is whether Ricks has a documented history of taking jabs at FNC. If he has, then FNC’s bookers share some of the blame for bringing him on knowing what could happen.

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16 Responses to “He said/He said…”

  1. “Bull. Ricks absolutely was picking a fight with FNC the same way that John Ziegler tried to pick a fight with Contessa Brewer and got booted off MSNBC.”

    Come on Spud. Comparing Tom Ricks and John Ziegler is like saying Bob Woodward is like Donald Trump. Ricks doesn’t need to do stunts to get publicity or sell books. Ricks comes across as someone who doesn’t suffer fools gladly and we all know Fox News is the ‘ship of fools’.

  2. Fritz is right… everyone knows who Ricks is.

    He’s uh… that guy… who, uh…. wrote a book.

    Come on, Fritz. Before this, Ricks was so far down the list of notable authors and personalities, you can’t possibly be serious. He got a little publicity by pulling this stunt, and in two weeks we’ll return to not remembering his name.

  3. Yes, but Howie, the real question is, do you think Tom Ricks is hot?

  4. I happened to catch Mr. Ricks on CSPAN last week. He commented that Fox News was “pouring poison into the American bloodstream” regarding Benghazi. I have to assume that Fox knew what it was getting and hoped there would be fireworks.

  5. Thomas Ricks has appeared often on MSNBC, and is well known by those outside of the conservative blogosphere as someone who has no interest in FNC’s brand of ginning up “controversy” for political gain. If they didn’t know what they were getting by booking him, they need to get out of the bubble more often.

  6. While I agree mostly with what you said, Joe… isn’t is possible (wouldn’t it have been possible) for Ricks to make his argument without attacking FNC so personally? Talk about the controversy itself, his reasons for believing it’s less of a big deal, and sticking to the story, instead of going on the attack?

    Had he done that, he would have been an interesting guest. Instead, he decided to pander to the far-left anti-FOX crowd, get a little publicity, and make the blogs for a week. Who knows… maybe MSNBC will give him a show.

  7. “Before this, Ricks was so far down the list of notable authors and personalities, you can’t possibly be serious”

    ^^ Maybe to right wing neo cons but not to serious foreign affairs wonks. My guess he holds a grudge going back to bad treatment of his earlier books by FNC neocon idiots like Bolton and Cheney.

  8. Yes, he’s very popular amongst the KOS crowd.

    Terrific.

    List him along with Mike Malloy, Cenk, and Tommy Christopher, on the “people you might know, if you’re one of the seven people who watch Current TV.”

    So like I said… publicity stunt from a relative unknown.

  9. List him along with Mike Malloy, Cenk, and Tommy Christopher, on the “people you might know, if you’re one of the seven people who watch Current TV.”

    ^^ Stupid even by your limited standards blue. Really; if you have nothing rational to add to a discussion – don’t comment.

  10. Hey Fritz, we seem to have a dearth of commenters around here lately. As long as Blue stops short of bad poetry, I say leave him be. ;-)

  11. Stupid in what way, Fritz?

    Ricks is a nobody. Perhaps you and your blue-blog friend know of him, but that’s not much of an accomplishment, nor is it much of the population. The people who know of Ricks could fit into a coffee shop, without causing too much of a commotion.

    Oh… and then there’s this:

    Tom Ricks Declined MSNBC Invite: ‘You’re Just Like Fox, But Not As Good At It’

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/tom-ricks-declined-msnbc-invite-youre-just-like-fox-but-not-as-good-at-it/

    So now you can hate him, because he mocked MSNBC. Or recognize that when you’re that far left, all your only friend is Current… and even Al Gore doesn’t care anymore.

  12. Don’t these shows have a producer do a pre-interview with guests?

    I saw something similar happen to a liberal interviewer once and he acted betrayed, as if he had been lied to about what the guest would say.

  13. If you are a guest in someone’s house, it’s not the place to be rude. The act was calculated and bad form. Did get him the notoriety, but at the expense of pegging him an a-hole.

  14. If you’re going to preface an interview with “new concerns” and “increased pressure on the WH” – both premises created by FNC for FNC – “bad form” has already been committed.

  15. Fritz, like most ideologues on the Left are poster boys for using fallacious arguments. Serous foreign policy wonks know he is an important guy and if you don’t agree you must not be serious LOL. Idiot political hack.

  16. Can’t believe this discussion/debate. Ricks did nothing wrong. Fox is more upset with the Obama Administration then the terrorists that killed Americans. That alone should piss anyone off.

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