How to do it

Would that more journalists conducted themselves like this on Fox (h/t reader M).

Update. Heh.

Author Tom Ricks on Tuesday said Fox News is “making it up” that he apologized after slamming the network during an on-air interview as “operating as a wing of the Republican Party” and hyping Benghazi for political reasons.

Ricks told POLITICO that Michael Clemente, Fox’s executive vice president of news, made the claim he apologized privately because “when the facts aren’t on their side, they attack the person.”

“Clemente is making it up, and it is sloppy of Hollywood Reporter to not ask him for specifics (what exactly am I alleged to have said?) and also to seek a response from me,” Ricks wrote in an e-mail. “Why are they doing this? Because their MO is that when the facts aren’t on their side, they attack the person.”

Clemente told The Hollywood Reporter that Ricks apologized privately to the network after the Monday interview.

79 replies
  1. 1
    Violet says:

    Fox said Ricks apologized “privately”. Ricks said he didn’t. GOS has the links.

  2. 2

    Think he’ll get asked back?

  3. 3
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    A Faux Nooze executive is a lying shitstain?

    Wow, I never saw that coming.

    Of course, I never saw the Snoopy balloon coming right down fucking Broadway last Thursday, either…

  4. 4
    Kay says:

    I love the expression on the FOX drone to the left of the normal person in that clip. His eyes widen in shock, then narrow (’cause he’s pissed) as it sinks in. Hah! They’re best when they’re offended.

  5. 5
    jl says:

    I do hope that nice Mr. Clemente can remind Ricks of the wording of the alleged apology. Ricks must be getting old, that will probably be Fox’s next angle.

    I think that there has been an increasing number of spots of guests on Fox News who either punk or slam the place, while looking right into the camera.

    Maybe, things at Fox have gotten so bad, a guest with any credibility feels he or she has to do that, to keep their reputation intact after appearing at that dump?

  6. 6
    MattF says:

    Ricks apologized, privately, to a corporate entity? I see a semantic problem in that claim.

  7. 7
    Violet says:

    My favorite part of this is that Fox is dumb enough to continue it for another day by lying that Ricks apologized when he didn’t, so the whole story get told and retold. If they’d just shut up about it, it would have gone away.

    Could it be that Ailes is losing his touch now that Fox has become something of a laughingstock and Fox’s pundits got the election so wrong? Hmmm…

  8. 8
    Smiling Mortician says:

    Insert obligatory “Corporations are people, my friend” here.

  9. 9
    Brachiator says:


    Ricks apologized, privately, to a corporate entity? I see a semantic problem in that claim

    Corporations are people, too, my friend. And apparently, their fee fees can be hurt.

  10. 10
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    We’ll know it’s for reals when that sniveling little shit Tapper no longer refers to them in a comradely tone.

    At that point, the aroma of burning crusts will be undeniable.

  11. 11
    Howard Beale IV says:

    And the cherry on top? “The Hollywood Reporter”.

    The Holly-fucking-wood Reporter.

  12. 12
    jl says:

    @Violet: In a private touching moment with Rup?

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    The Columbia Journalism Review of…infotainment!

  14. 14
    MattR says:

    I actually think that the Fox exec is being honest that Ricks said “Sorry… I’m tired from a non-stop book tour.” but I am also willing to bet that he is not being honest about the context. I bet it was something along the lines of
    Fox: “Why did you try and change focus from Benghazi to Iraqi contractors?”
    Ricks: “Sorry. I am not going to have this conversation with you right now. I’m tired from a non-stop book tour.”

  15. 15
    Dork says:

    Would that more journalists conducted themselves like this on Fox

    Then they wouldn’t be on Fox.

    True story: My wife asked my dad to turn off Fox News, and he completely (totally serious tone) deadpanned: “But they speak the truth. They’re the only ones who report the truth.” My wife was horrified. I’m a little disturbed myself.

  16. 16
    gogol's wife says:


    I said yesterday when a commenter posted this that the sweetest sight I know is a Fox anchor with his/her mouth hanging open. We’ve gotten to see it with pleasing frequency lately.

  17. 17
    Violet says:

    @jl: In a quiet room, no doubt.

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’m hopeful. If things like this become more common, it’s going to be all popcorn all the time. Fox’s election night coverage was the best. Their dejection was delicious and Rove’s meltdown was the cherry on top of that sadness sundae.

    Rupert has always driven the news to a certain extent. He’s older now and his kids aren’t up the job. Ailes may be on his own more than he used to and “conservative” is becoming a punchline and liberal isn’t the dirty word it used to be. What’s a guy like Ailes to do? How can he drive the news when his old tactics aren’t working. Benghazi is a prime example. They tried and tried, but it really didn’t work and now it seems Susan Rice has a good chance of becoming Secretary of State.

    How is Ailes going to fix this mess he’s created? Can he?

  18. 18
    The Bobs says:

    Ricks should challenge Clemente to appear with him on a neutral channel. Call him a coward and a liar if he doesn’t agree.

  19. 19
    Cassidy says:

    Someone has a book to sell!

  20. 20
    Kay says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I love how the journalist sets his mouth grimly when he realizes what’s going on. Gotcha from the guest! Jesus. They’re ALL screwed up. When they wake up in the morning are they like “what is my JOB, I wonder? How did I get to this place?”

  21. 21
    Violet says:

    @The Bobs: There are no neutral channels. There is only Fox and liberal lamestream media channels.

  22. 22
    redshirt says:

    Ricks (D)

    If you’re not with Fox News, you are against them.

  23. 23
    redshirt says:

    @Violet: I’ve been soaking in Free Republic the last few weeks – for the sweet, sweet schadenfreude – and you’d be amazed how universally they see Fox News as truly “Fair and Balanced” i.e. – a moderate, centrist news channel. They cry out for a true “Conservative” news channel. A 24/7 Breitbart to battle the evils of MSNBC.

    It’s stunning, and at first you think they must be joking, but nope.

  24. 24
    kindness says:

    Fox. Lying Sacks of Shit.

    ‘Nuff said.

  25. 25
    MattR says:

    @redshirt: Interestingly (though definitely not surprisingly), the Fox exec mis-labelled Ricks when he gave a statement to TVNewser about what Ricks said.

    “I’m surprised by the General’s utter dishonesty,” Clemente said. “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.”

    As TPM points out, Ricks is not a general but the title of his most recent book is The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today

  26. 26
    Schlemizel says:


    I often wonder if their drones have drank the kool-aide & really believe the BS they peddle or if they know they are liars & the money is so good that they are OK with that.

    For some of their prime-time cranks you can see it in their eyes; BillO is clearly a huckster but insHannity? its hard to tell.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Typical. Fact checking isn’t for closers, apparently.

  28. 28
    Joey Maloney says:

    “I’m sorry that you’re an arm of the Republican Party.”

  29. 29
    Face says:

    @redshirt: Are there “journalists” more to the right than Hannity and The Kraut? Who would be this cable station’s main spokesman? Beck? Nugent before he dies or goes to jail?

  30. 30

    So Susan Rice met with a group of Senators who were “disturbed” by what she told them.

    I want to know exactly what terrible admission they’re looking for. It seems to me that nothing short of “We covered up the truth about the Benghazi attack because we’re a bunch of terrorist-lovers” will be good enough.

    I mean, exactly what is it that they think happened? What (besides Democrats being in charge) is the supposed scandal here? What actual events that happened in the real world would have been different if Obama or Rice had never mentioned the video?

    Jesus, you’d think we’d been led into an unnecessary war based on ginned-up intelligence or something. I wish any of these motherfuckers had cared about that.

  31. 31
    Violet says:

    @redshirt: Oh, yeah, it’s delicious to observe. I’ve listened to Limbaugh a bit recently to hear what the other side is saying. Limbaugh is pissed off that he seems to have lost his clout somewhat.

    I do not think the wingnuts will go down without a fight. Grover Norquist will fight back. Christianists will fight back. Racists will fight back. There is ugly coming and it’ll get worse before it gets better.

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    From the link:

    “I’m more disturbed now than I was before,” Graham told reporters following the meeting.

    That’s pretty fucking disturbed, Huckletwinky. I mean, you were a deranged idiot before, and now you’re cranking the deranged to 11?

  33. 33
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Here’s something else: Fox constantly drones on about how the ‘mainstream media’ is so in the thank, yay yada yada… Problem is that Fox News keeps winning the ratings wars-in effect, they ARE the ‘mainstream media’.

    Maybe its time to make it start hurting by cutting cable TV and keeping the internet and cite the reason that their carrying FOX News is the reason.

  34. 34
    Violet says:


    What (besides Democrats being in charge) is the supposed scandal here?

    You’ve answered your own question. Democrats are in charge! Scandal!

  35. 35
    Balconesfault says:

    The ironic thing is that most Fox viewers would be fine with Fox being an outlet of the Republican Party.

    They may not like it being labeled as such … but that’s kinda what they tune in for.

  36. 36
    Cassidy says:

    @Violet: If we’re lucky, they’ll start shooting one another.

  37. 37
    redshirt says:

    @Face: It beggars belief, but it’s a principle of fact at Free Republic – Fox News is good, but too liberal.

  38. 38
    redshirt says:

    @Violet: For those who say Fox has no influence, observe – Susan Rice answering to a private Senatorial hearing all because of Fox.

    Without Fox, Benghazi would not be an issue in the least bit. With it, why, it’s worse than Watergate.

  39. 39
    Tripod says:


    Murdoch is 82, Ailes 72. Definitely not a long term play. My guess is Ailes re-upped figuring new ownership will pay him to go away.

  40. 40
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    What’s funny is that Ricks was/is a propagandist for the cult of Petraeus, COIN, and the surge.

  41. 41
    Brachiator says:


    I want to know exactly what terrible admission they’re looking for. It seems to me that nothing short of “We covered up the truth about the Benghazi attack because we’re a bunch of terrorist-lovers” will be good enough.

    Yeah, that’s pretty much it. They want an immediate declaration that Al Qeada was involved, and that war with Iran will begin in 15 minutes.

    And keep in mind that the new Republican post-election theme is that the Obama Administration is not smart enough or strong enough to be allowed to govern.

    Look for more obstructionism and blocking of Obama appointments. The delaying game has begun again. To hell with unimportant stuff such as the will of the people.

  42. 42
    Balconesfault says:

    @Brachiator: To hell with unimportant stuff such as the will of the people who really shouldn’t count because they’re takers or female or brown or something …

  43. 43
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @TooManyJens: I don’t understand why she felt the need to meet with them. What did she expect?

  44. 44
    Paul says:


    No question about it. I recall shortly after Obama took office and he wanted to make a speech to students in our schools. FoxNews went berserk and claimed it was a propaganda speech no different than Josef Stalin in the old Soviet Union.

    And lo and behold, not long after that, the MSM took this ridiculous claim and started to make segments about it with the he said/she said rather than even evaluating the claim. They really should not even have spent a single second on it since the claim was absurd.

    The foreign owned FoxNews has done an incredible damage to our country with its dumbification of its viewers and its relentless criticism of our duly elected President.

  45. 45
    Violet says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Maybe she wanted to make a visible good faith effort as a play to the rest of the folks who will vote to confirm her and also the American people. The Obama administration has always been big on being seen to make good faith efforts.

  46. 46

    Heh Indeed:

    Ricks denied an apology ever took place. In an email to the Hollywood Reporter, Ricks wrote, “Please ask Mr. Clemente what the words of my supposed apology were. I’d be interested to know. Frankly, I don’t remember any such apology.”

    And then there’s THIS:

    UPDATE: TVNewser spoke with Clemente, who told the site that he would “refresh [Ricks’] memory” on the apology. After the segment, Clemente said that Ricks told Fox News staffers, “Sorry…I’m tired from a non-stop book tour.” Clemente added, “Perhaps now he can finally get some rest.”

    Knowing how Fox News operates, Ricks might have apologized for missing the basket after puking from the Fox News Green Room Leftover Salmon Special. And they decided to make that apology “all inclusive.”

    Regardless, I’d say Ricks is done at Fox.

  47. 47
    Paul says:


    Here’s what Graham said today after the meeting:
    “I’m more disturbed now than I was before,” Graham told reporters following the meeting. “I think it does not do justice to the reality at the time and in hindsight clearly was completely wrong. But here’s the key, in realtime, it was a statement disconnected from reality.”

    Folks, this is the same Graham, who voted to confirm Condi Rice in 2005 and who to this day is still defending his confirmation vote. Condi Rice, who either lied or completely was in the dark about WMD’s in Iraq.

    It is a shame that people like Graham is wasting our time and valuable people like Susan Rice’s time.

  48. 48
    Steeplejack says:

    @Kay, @Kay:

    What clip are you referring to? In the one linked above, the camera is on Ricks until the Fox guy reappears briefly at the end to thank him for being on. Fox guy has that fake-smile expression, but I’m not seeing any real-time “OMG!I wuz pwned!”

  49. 49
    huckster says:

    @Violet: @Violet: Like who didn’t expect that the reaction would be “more disturbed than I was before?” I realize you have to play these ritual games, but the kabuki theater aspect of it gets tiresome. So Huckleberry gets to be disturbed some more, so what? The Tea-baggers are still coming after no matter what he does. It’s all such an incredible waste of time done just to spare the egos of two white men who can’t move on from an election. same as it ever fucking was.

  50. 50
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Visible good faith efforts are good, but the Village never gives you credit for them, especially when a barbecue source like John McCain is involved. I mean, if you point out what a total ass McCain is being, you won’t get an invite to the tire swing, and that puts you on the outs in the Village.

  51. 51
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Rice can now rightly say that she and the acting CIA director made a good faith effort to sit down and have an honest discussion with those three imbeciles, but they continued scapegoating her.

    Rice’s refusal to take their bait and insistence on addressing their(ridiculous) concerns will serve her well going forward.

    Conversely, Graham, McCain and Ayotte will continue to look ridiculous.

  52. 52
    Violet says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I don’t think Obama/Rice are playing to the Village. They’re playing to the rest of the Senate who will confirm her and to the American people who want to see their politicians working together. Rice meets with them, they continue to slam her, they are not winning this argument on either facts or in the eyes of the American public. Win for Obama. He’s still playing the long game.

  53. 53
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Tom Ricks is a Patraeus ass licker. It takes one to know one.

  54. 54
    JPL says:

    @Hill Dweller: Why did Ayotte decide to join McCain and Graham. Maybe I misjudged her because I thought she had a heart and a brain.

  55. 55
    LanceThruster says:

    FOX Noise less than truthful?

    I’m shocked. Shocked I tells ya!

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    I don’t know. The GOP is going to hate Rice, regardless. But you’re right, Obama is creating conditions to show how smooth and competent Rice is. A few of the less moranic Rethugs will see the light.

  57. 57
    Elizabelle says:


    Funny you should mention Watergate.

    Saw a Tea Partier’s sign in Mechanicsville, VA (ruralish exurb of Richmond):

    Some screed about government incompetence and then:

    Watergate: 0 dead
    Benghazi: 4 dead

    Makes me laugh so hard. This teatard fast-reversed past 9/11 and the Beirut barracks bombing that killed 241 Americans.

    All the way back to Watergate for a “safe” Republican scandal that didn’t kill anybody.

    The cognitive dissonance. It repels.

  58. 58
    vheidi says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: exactly- he is a total tool. rats, ships, etc.

  59. 59
    Kay says:


    This is the one I watched. Watch after the guest speaks, where the FOX employee says “blah, blah, blah…how do you call that hype“?

    I didn’t think he was “pawned” (or whatever) in some dramatic way, I just thought he was surprised and then pissed.

  60. 60
    Hill Dweller says:

    @JPL: Ayotte seems to think she is a credible Presidential candidate in 2016.

  61. 61
    redshirt says:

    @Elizabelle: LOL. Hilarious. And sad. A a bit frightening.

  62. 62
    Maude says:

    Depends where her heart and brain are located. Location is everything.

  63. 63
    Gravenstone says:

    @Hill Dweller: I wonder if Ayotte is second guessing her decision to hitch her Senatorial career wagon to those two particular broken down old mares?

  64. 64


    Watergate: 0 dead
    Benghazi: 4 dead

    Someone conveniently forgot 9/11.

  65. 65
    Waynski says:

    This Benghazi horsepuckey is all about trying to manufacture leverage the Rethugs don’t have in the austerity bomb negotiations. The Villagers, as per usual, are playing their game, but it doesn’t matter. The President is to quote Joe Biden “literally” holding all the cards.

  66. 66
    Original Lee says:

    @TooManyJens: They’re disturbed because they are trying to save Graham’s job and by what Rice says, this doesn’t look possible.

  67. 67
    WaterGirl says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I read somewhere today that this was offered as a face-saving mechanism for the 3 senators who had talked themselves out on a limb. Looks to me like they took the meeting with Rice but rejected the offer of a face-saving out for themselves. Doubling down on crazy, who would have thought?

  68. 68
    Paul in KY says:

    @Dork: Did you tell him he’s nuts? (in a gentle, non-confrontational manner)

  69. 69
    Brachiator says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    I don’t understand why she felt the need to meet with them. What did she expect?

    The word is that Obama was feeling out the degree to which GOP senators might oppose Rice’s nomination as Secretary of State.

    Unfortunately, it looks as though the Republicans in the Senate are not satisfied with “advise and consent” and think that they have the power to make or veto the president’s appointments.

  70. 70
    Elizabelle says:

    @Southern Beale:

    That whole set of crocks has forgotten 9/11.

    You’d think they’d be ashamed to dig for Benghazi crumbs, lest it remind people of the massive Bush-Cheney-Condi Rice failure. But no.

  71. 71
    Mothra says:

    Somebody explain to Fox the difference between “Sorry to be so blunt” and “I’m sorry, I was wrong”.

  72. 72
    EconWatcher says:

    I believe that exposing and discrediting Fox should be an independent goal. The network has caused mroe damage to this country than just about any single politician, arguably even W. And it seems to be wobbling after the election debacle.

    I don’t know how exactly you go about bringing down a network, but it strikes me as a critical goal. We’re not going to be able to have an adult conversation about our future in this country until the noise machine is shut off.

  73. 73
    El Cid says:

    @Elizabelle: It might be pointed out that the Watergate hotel was not, in fact, located in a heavily armed chaos filled with aspiring fundamentalist insurgents and following the overthrow of a dictator.

    In fact it took place in Washington, DC, and Nixon’s Plumbers were working for the guy they wanted as dictator, rather than against him.

    All else was the same though.

  74. 74
    SFAW says:


    Condi Rice, who either lied or completely was in the dark about WMD’s in Iraq.

    As opposed to being completely clueless in the days/weeks/months leading up to 9/11. A time during which some non-existent position – let’s call it something like “National Security Advisor” – charged with ensuring that all the various intelligence-gathering agencies, could not be bothered with anything other than what a threat Russia was.

    It’s too bad Bush didn’t appoint someone to be NatSec Advisor, someone who, besides being “scary smart”, can also play piano better than the average Josephine. THAT person would have been on top of things, and prevented the loss of ~3000 lives.

    If only such a person had been available.

    Shorter me: even before WMD lies, she had enough on her rap sheet to have her burn in Hell for a long, long time.

  75. 75
    SFAW says:


    Unfortunately, it looks as though the Republicans in the Senate are not satisfied with “advise and consent” and think that they have the power to make or veto the president’s appointments.

    They’re not satisfied with filibustering and “secret” holds, now that want the power to place any of Obama’s appointees on “double secret probation” before the appointment is actually made.

  76. 76
    Elizabelle says:



    Fox News is a major contributor to polarization and badly informed viewers.

    Take it down, however that happens, and Rupert Murdoch must not be allowed any more US newspapers or media outlets.

  77. 77
    grandpa john says:

    @huckster: And also the fact that the tea baggers will primary him in 2014. His kabuki is mostly for the benefit of SC republicans.

  78. 78
    Ecks says:

    LOVE that guilty “young man, what is your hand doing in the cookie jar” expression on the news drone. He loses control of his face for just that fraction of a second while his brain fails to make a rapid enough choice between the similarly unpalatable options of a) denying the now blatantly obvious, and getting railroaded with the evidence, or b) fessing up and receiving some unknowable but fearful punishment.

    You can even see the first smile of a nervous laugh creep in. It takes you right back to the school yard (“stop laughing young man, you are in serious trouble. You think this is funny? Well, do you?”).

    It only lasts a second before the voice in his ear tells him to GTFO and pretend it never happened, but that one brief moment captures the entire essence of faux news with poetical delicacy. If it weren’t so far from late in the pm I’d be in severe need of a good digestif right about now.

  79. 79
    redoubt says:

    @Elizabelle: that thumping sound is E. Howard Hunt’s wife Dorothy turning over in her grave to disagree.

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