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To anyone who isn’t exclusively a Fox News viewer, it has been clear that the GOP has been trying to turn the tragedy in Benghazi into a scandal since the night it happened. Their argument has been that the president tried to mislead the country by not calling the attack an “act of terror,” something he did the day after it occurred.

Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have kept the charade going by continuing to attack the president and UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who repeated the intelligence community’s official talking points on TV.

What no one on Fox News was willing to say was that there is no scandal, before or after, related to Benghazi. There was a firefight and a security breakdown that’s being investigated by George W. Bush’s UN Ambassador Thomas Pickering. But no one has been willing to actually say that the scandal was a trumped-up smear designed to diminish the president’s impressive foreign policy credentials, and is being carried on to help Senator Graham in a difficult GOP primary by making it the president’s Iran-Contra.

No one on Fox News has been willing to say that this is all blatant, shameless politicking by the Republican Party, cynically exploiting the deaths of four Americans. Until now.

Meet Tom Ricks, contributor to Foreign Policy magazine and author of Fiasco and The Generals, and watch the greatest 1 minute and 24 seconds of Fox News you’ll ever see.

UPDATE:  Fox News Channel executive vice president Michael Clemente told the Hollywood Reporter that Ricks apologized for his comments “but doesn’t have the strength of character to do that publicly.”

In response, Ricks said, “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.”

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