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War of Words Heats Up Between Libya Correspondents for Fox, CNN Over ‘Human Shields’ Incident

Mar 23, 2011  •  Post A Comment

The latest volley in an increasingly heated war of words between Libya correspondents for rival cable news networks CNN and Fox comes from Fox’s Steve Harrigan in Tripoli, TVNewser reports.

Harrigan responded angrily after CNN’s Nic Robertson singled him out on the air for what Robertson characterized as a false report by Fox News that CNN staffers and other journalists had been used as human shields by the Libyan government.

Referring to Robertson, Harrigan said: “It’s unfathomable that a journalist could go on the air without getting his facts straight and attack another journalist while in a war zone.”

His remarks were in response to an appearance by Robertson on CNN’s “The Situation Room” in which he told anchor Wolf Blitzer the human shields allegation by Fox “is outrageous and it’s absolutely hypocritical. When you come to somewhere like Libya, you expect lies and deceit from a dictatorship here. You don’t expect it from the other journalists.”

Robertson said Fox News was being hypocritical when it called a visit by journalists to a bombed Libyan compound a “propaganda trip,” when Fox News had its own staff member on the bus.

Harrigan did not go on the trip, but sent his security guard, who was given a camera for the assignment.

Said CNN’s Robertson: “The member of the Fox team was surprised that the correspondent and the cameraman weren’t coming out, that he was being sent. This isn’t his normal job.”

Harrigan’s response: “Our security guard made it very clear to me that he never even spoke to Robertson about why Fox reporters were not going on the trip.”

Harrigan also is quoted as saying: “For someone to say I’m lazy who doesn’t know me, who’s not in our working condition, who doesn’t know our schedule … this guy has a screw loose.” Robertson had mentioned in his comments on “The Situation Room” that the Fox team tended to stick close to the hotel.

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