Tuesday, October 19, 2021


November 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Bruce Bartlett

A conservative critic of Republican economic policy is claiming that he was virtually blacklisted by Fox News and the Wall Street Journal after the publication of his 2006 book, Impostor: How George W Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy. In an article appearing in The American Conservative, Bruce Bartlett, a former Treasury official under Reagan and Bush, said he had learned after his book appeared that Fox executives had issued orders “that it was to receive no publicity whatsoever, not even attacks. Whoever gave that order was smart; attacks from the right would have sold books. Being ignored was poison for sales.” Bartlett writes that similar orders were issued to Wall Street Journal reporters. In an interview with the Washington Post, Bartlett remarked, “The right-wing media seems to have a policy that they do not acknowledge apostates because they want to maintain the view that the only people who attack their views are the left. They don’t want to acknowledge the existence of internal criticism.” Meanwhile on Monday, a Fox News interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning defense writer Thomas E. Ricks ended abruptly when Ricks accused the conservative news network of operating as a wing of the Republican Party. Ricks had been asked to comment on the Benghazi incident, which Fox commentators have maintained involves a coverup by the Obama administration as flagrant as the Nixon coverup of Watergate. But Ricks refused to support that theory. “I think that Benghazi generally was hyped, by this network especially,” he said on Fox’s Happening Now. Co-host Jon Scott then interjected “When you have four people dead, how can you call that hype?” Ricks then shot back, “How many security contractors died in Iraq, do you know?” When Scott replied that he didn’t, Ricks replied that several hundred have but there is no official count. “So when I see this focus on what was essentially a small firefight, I think, number one, I’ve covered a lot of firefights. It’s impossible to figure out what happens in them sometimes. And second, I think that the emphasis on Benghazi has been extremely political, partly because Fox was operating as a wing of Republican Party.” Scott promptly ended the interview. Later Ricks said in an interview with Politico.com: “I had told the producer before I went on that I thought the Benghazi story had been hyped. So it should have been no surprise. … One staff person said she thought I had been rude. My feeling was that they asked my opinion and I gave it.” However, Fox News executive Michael Clemente told today’s (Tuesday) Hollywood Reporter that Ricks later apologized to him for his comments, “but doesn’t have the strength of character to do that publicly.” Ricks denied that he had apologized.