Fox News Channel executive vice president Michael Clemente on Monday responded to the much-discussed interview with Tom Ricks, claiming that the Pulitizer Prize winner apologized privately for criticizing the network’s coverage of the September attack in Benghazi, Libya. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Clemente accused Ricks of using the interview to generate publicity for his new book, The Generals. Clemente also seemed to take exception to the lack of public contrition from Ricks.
“When Mr. Ricks ignored the anchor’s question, it became clear that his goal was to bring attention to himself — and his book,” Clemente told THR via email. “He apologized in our offices afterward but doesn’t have the strength of character to do that publicly.”
But that’s news to Ricks, who told THR in his own email that he never offered an apology to Fox — privately or publicly.
“Please ask Mr. Clemente what the words of my supposed apology were. I’d be interested to know,” Ricks said. “Frankly, I don’t remember any such apology.”
Watch the exchange between Ricks and Scott: