WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. author Thomas Ricks denies a claim by Fox News that he apologized for calling Fox "a wing of the Republican Party" during an interview about his new book.
During an interview on Fox Monday to promote his book, "The Generals" the Pulitzer Prize-winning author said he thought coverage of an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, had been "hyped, by this network, especially. ...
"I think that the emphasis on Benghazi has been extremely political, partly because Fox was operating as wing of the Republican Party," he said.
Fox anchor Jon Scott then ended the interview, just over 1 minute after it had begun.
Fox Executive Vice President Michael Clemente told The Hollywood Reporter Ricks apologized for the comment.
"He apologized in our offices afterward but doesn't have the strength of character to do that publicly," Clemente said.
Ricks said he didn't apologize and challenged Clemente to provide details.
"I'll refresh his memory," Clemente told THR, "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."
Ricks said Tuesday Clemente was "making it up."
"Why are they doing this? Because their MO is that when the facts aren't on their side, they attack the person," he said.
In an email to Clemente Tuesday, Ricks said a Fox producer had told him she thought he had been rude and he responded, "I might have been a bit snappish because I am tired of book tour."
He said the comment to the producer "was in no way an apology."