Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas E. Ricks was unceremoniously kicked off Fox News after he dared to "speak truth to power" by accusing the network of "operating as a wing of Republican Party."

The defense expert and author of a recently published book on American military command was invited to speak on the issue of Benghazi — namely the September 11th attack on the US consulate that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Fox News has been relentless in its pursuit of a cover-up narrative, and Ricks was invited to offer his thoughts on the matter.

But the three-minute interview was abruptly cut in half after it became clear from the onset the Ricks was not about to play ball.

"I think that Benghazi generally was hyped, by this network especially," Ricks told Happening Now co-host Jon Scott. "When you have four people dead...how do you call that hype?" a stunned Scott replied. "How many security contractors died in Iraq, do you know?" Ricks retorted.

Scott said he did not, prompting Ricks to prove his point:

No. Nobody does, because nobody cared. We know that several hundred died, but there was never an official count done of security contractors dead in Iraq. 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.

With that, the conversation was over.

Afterwards, Ricks told the New York Times' Brian Stelter he was chided by an unnamed Fox News staffer for being "rude."

"One reason I spoke the way I did," Ricks told Stelter, "is that the hero of my new book is George Marshall, the Army chief of staff during World War II. He got his position by speaking truth to power, and I try to follow that example."

[video via Media Matters]