Apparently Fox News, long known for its objectivity and incredible in-your-face reporting has ignited a ‘firestorm’ accusing CNN, Reuters, and other news outlets of participating in a government-sponsored propaganda excursion wherein they acted as human shields while covering a bombed out portion of Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli.
As told by Nic Robertson, CNN, a good number of reporters/journalists along with photographers were on an excursion to ‘tour’ an apparent “unauthorized” target under the no-fly-zone enacted by the UN over Libya ‘sponsored’ by Libyans officials from the Ministry of Information. Ultimately British aircraft on the verge of firing 7 Storm Shadow missiles in to the same area called off the attack once learning of the physical presence of the reporters. Thus the accusation by Fox News of being used as human shields.
Robertson said the 40 or so journalists on the bus weren’t told ahead of time where they were going, and that there was no attempt by the Libyan minders to restrict anyone from getting on or off the bus before they left.
As was noted later, the sole Fox News personnel who went on the trip was a security guard, not a reporter or photographer (videographer). He was, however, given a camera and told to go along. As Nic Robertson tells it:
And the idea that we were some kind of human shields is nuts. I mean if they had actually been there – Steve Harrigan, the correspondent here, is somebody I’ve known for many years. I see him more times at breakfast than I see him out on trips with government officials here.
Other correspondents here who go out regularly say the same things – NBC, CBS – all the other news teams here go out – not on all the government trips. We didn’t go out on another one yesterday.
But we did – we very, very rarely see the Fox News team out on the trips.
In general, Robertson said, the Fox team in Tripoli rarely goes on the reporting trips arranged by the government.
Steve Harrigan is the Fox reporter who propagated this story. He was at one time employed by CNN being based in Moscow which would explain how Nic Robertson is so familiar with him.
How fascinating that the state television of the GOP in the United States absconds from participation in reporting on a news story involving actual reporting. Are they cowards – figuratively and truly?