Last night we told you about Fox reporting that journalists in Libya were being used as “human shields,” which lead to an airstrike being called off at the last minute. Later in the evening, on CNN’s The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer asked CNN correspondent Nic Robertson– who was one of the journalists Fox was referencing – about Fox’s claim. He unequivocally denied it, and even added that Fox News chose not to send anyone from their editorial team to the bombing site.
This has now devolved into a “he said” “she said” moment, because no one knows exactly what happened there aside from those present, but there doesn’t seem to be much motivation for Robertson to lie.
You’d think that maybe, in times of war – with human lives at stake – Fox News would tone down the rhetoric. But hey, the article that first started the rumor is probably getting a lot of page views, so to quote George Bush – a Fox News favorite – “Mission accomplished.”
Check out Robertson’s full statement after the jump.
Wolf, this allegation 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. Why do I say that? Because FOX News has said that they didn’t send somebody on this trip last night because they said it was a — quote, unquote — “propaganda trip.”
They sent a member of their team. He was non-editorial. He was non-technical, not normally a cameraman. He was given a camera by the team and told to come out and come on the bus with the 40 other journalists who were there who were free to get on the bus, free to get off the bus when they wanted, told us when he was on the bus that even he, this member of the FOX team, was surprised that the correspondent and the normal cameraman weren’t coming out, that he was being sent, this isn’t his normal job, that he was being sent.
So that’s why I say what FOX is saying is outrageous and hypocritical. 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 have known for many years. I see him more times at breakfast than I see him out on trips with government officials here.