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Tom Ricks Denies Fox News Claims He Apologized For Testy Interview

11/27/2012 08:35 am ET | Updated Nov 28, 2012

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Tom Ricks clashed once again with Fox News (see updates below).

When the network hosted him on Monday for an interview about his new book "The Generals," host Jon Scott asked the author to weigh in on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Ricks said that he thought the incident had been "generally hyped by [Fox News] especially." He added, "I think the emphasis on Benghazi has been extremely political, partly because Fox is operating as the wing of the Republican Party."

At this point, Scott ended the interview with Ricks after about 90 seconds. Ricks said he thought the interview lasted about half the length as originally planned. He also said that a Fox News staffer called him rude after the segment.

On Tuesday, Ricks and Fox News were still feuding. Fox News' executive VP of news editorial Michael Clemente told the Hollywood Reporter that Ricks "apologized in our offices afterward but doesn’t have the strength of character to do that publicly."

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."

UPDATE: 11:30 a.m. -- 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.”

UPDATE: 6:20 p.m. -- Ricks emailed Clemente on Tuesday afternoon to clarify that he did not apologize after his interview with Fox News. See a copy of his email below:

Mr. Clemente,

To clarify my comments for you: I did not apologize.

As it happened, I ran into Bret Baier as I emerged from the interview. We know each other from working at the Pentagon. He asked if I was serious in saying that Fox had hyped Bengahzi, and I said I was. We discussed that. It was cordial exchange. (I wouldn’t mention this private conversation except that you apparently are quoting my hallway conversations as part of your attack.)

Later, as I was leaving, the booker or producer (I am not sure what her title was) said she thought I had been rude. I said I might have been a bit snappish because I am tired of book tour. This was in no way an apology 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.

Best,
Tom

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