CNN vs. Fox (in Libya): the counterattack

Nic Robertson at CNN slapped around Fox News recently for its human shield in Libya report, essentially saying the report was a lie and that the Fox correspondent in Libya was too busy hiding in his hotel room to do any real reporting.

So, of course, the Fox correspondent, Steve Harrigan is going to fire back (from the Huffington Post via TPM):

The hostilities between the Libya correspondents for Fox News and CNN continue to play out in the media. Responding to Monday’s fusillade by CNN’s foreign correspondent Nic Robertson, Fox News reporter Steve Harrigan questioned his rival’s manhood in an interview with Huffington Post.

“He puts on his blue blazer and gets on the government bus, and then pats himself on the back and calls that news?” Harrigan says. “Bullshit.” …

“This is the first time I’ve been attacked,” Harrigan said. “[Robertson is] in the same hotel as me. A man could come down and say, ‘What’s up?’ But instead he’s saying I’m lazy, that I’m a liar and that I’m as bad as Gaddafi.”

In fairness, Robertson didn’t say Harrigan was a liar and as bad as Gaddafi. He said Fox News was a liar and was as bad as Gaddafi. Robertson was attacking the Fox News report that said that CNN (meaning Roberton), Reuters and other correspondents were being used as human shields to stop allied bombing. That report was by another Fox News reporter, who continues to stand by her story (except for the part where she said Fox wasn’t part of the “human shield” contingent. It was).

It’s all semantics, but here something to consider.

Perhaps the allies (in this case the Brits) did delay a bombing run because it found out Western correspondents were at the Gaddafi compound. Here’s the likely scenario:

Allies bomb Gaddafi’s compound. The Libyans want to get western correspondents (CNN, Reuters, Fox) to come over to film the wreckage so they can get a “collateral damage, innocent victims” story out in the western and Arab media, creating public outrage. So they say “Hey, guys! Come and see what your bombs are doing.” Everybody gets a quick field trip (the CNN reporter says they were in and out in under an hour). Meanwhile, the Brits, ready to bomb the crap out of the compound again, find out about the field trip and don’t want to end up with a bunch of stories saying they struck while major western media were there (or even worse, killed the reporters). Bad public relations. So the bombing run is delayed until after the reporters leave. A Fox correspondent with the Pentagon contacts back in America hears that a bombing run was scrapped because reporters were in Gaddafi’s compound. Since that’s not sexy, Fox juices it up with the “human shields” description.

Hilarity ensues.

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