WASHINGTON, November 26, 2012 — Fox News is gaining attention for cutting an interview short with Tom Ricks, the Pulitzer Prize winning former reporter for the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.
He isn’t the first person to get the quick hook on Fox News or any other network. Any smart producer will pull a guest if they are saying things that will discredit their own product. The interview was cut short when Ricks accused the network of “operating as a wing of the Republican Party.”
On a day when John McCain and other Republican members of Congress softened their stance on Susan Rice, Ricks was asked to talk about her and the Benghazi attacks. Natural, given that he is part of The Center for a New American Security, a defense policy think tank and the author of The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today.
What Ricks said will get the headlines. What is far more interesting is whether this will signify a small backlash regarding partisan reporting.
Ricks is a frequent contributor for many outlets and is promoting a book. His comments may have been calculated, intentional, designed to promote him and his book. That is possible, even probable. Still, most people don’t make a living by being never asked to come back on a major network, especially when they are authors.
It’s interesting to see an accomplished guest be so blatant in his response. It will be interesting to see how other guests will act on both Fox News and MSNBC. Partisan reporting gets ratings. Both networks achieved some of their best ratings ever during election season.
After the election, members of the Republican Party began to question whether or not Fox’s reporting was helping or hurting them. As the Republican Party looks to change its image, post-election, it will be interesting to see what role Fox News plays and whether or not Tom Ricks was an anomaly or a sign of things to come.
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