Published May 06, 2013
By the time I got to the "Fox & Friends" studio on Nov. 2, I was already steaming mad. Based on reporting by us and others, parents of two of our heroes lost in Benghazi were accusing the president of the United States of murder; of refusing to send help to our besieged and desperate personnel under attack in Libya.
The parents’ outrage and heartbreak was understandable because it was based on the premise that there were either armed drones or fighter jets or an AC-130 gunship or a team of Special Operators that could have intervened at least in time to save the two U.S. personnel killed seven hours after the initial attack. But help was never sent, the parents believed, because the Obama administration was incompetent, lazy or worse.
Having already spoken with highly placed sources in the Pentagon, and also having spoken at length with retired Gen. Jack Keane, the former vice chief of staff of the Army, by Nov. 2 I knew that we had no military assets in the region that could have saved those precious lives, none.
So when my friend and colleague Eric Bolling made the allegation of willful inaction by the Obama administration on "Fox & Friends" that morning, I pounced, furious that what I perceived to be a false narrative was being used unfairly to attack the president on the eve of the election just five days away.
While my appearances on the morning show every Friday for the last 12 years are often noteworthy for their vigorous debate, this confrontation was unusual for its incivility. I was so angry, Steve Doocy, the host sitting alongside me on the curvy couch, had to restrain me physically from leaping to my feet.
It certainly wasn’t your typical morning fare, and Eric and I felt compelled afterward to shake hands and write it off to the passions of the moment, agreeing to disagree on the availability of military assets in the region.
At no time then or ever has my boss, Roger Ailes, or anyone at Fox News cut my microphone to prevent me from speaking. Not one time, ever. Further, although our executive producer, Bill Shine, says he did tell the morning show producers to move on to another topic, I do not believe the segment was cut any shorter than normal, nor does the tape of the show indicate any audio editing or content censoring took place. It was live TV, raw and unedited.
Indeed, that night on the "O’Reilly Factor," Bill and I argued over the same point Eric and I had battled over on "Fox & Friends." If Fox News wanted to silence me, they would not have allowed me 12 hours later to say to O’Reilly that we owed the president an apology.
According to a tweet today, author Jonathan Alter, who makes the charge that Roger ordered my mic cut, says he called my office and that nobody denied the allegation. I like Jonathan and think he’s an excellent reporter, but he never spoke to me and never asked me to respond to the specific allegation he later published.
I’m sure there are many times that Roger would love to cut my mic. The fact that he has always allowed me to speak my mind is testament to his integrity and to the editorial honesty of the network he created.