As the cable news networks go wall to wall with fresh news of explosions and anti-aircraft fire in Tripoli at this hour (3:15pmET), Fox News Channel is reporting that CNN and Reuters TV news crews were used as human shields as Muammar Gaddafi‘s compound was attacked last night.
Pentagon correspondent Jennifer Griffin reported the new information this afternoon: “We have learned that British fighter jets had seven missiles. They were in fact going to be fired from tornado fighter planes onto that compound, but the mission had to be cut short because of the presence of CNN television crews and Reuters journalists on the ground who had been taken to the site by the Libyan Ministry of Information.”
Anchor Jon Scott followed up with Griffin….
Asked Scott, “Let me get a little deeper into the timeline — would this have been after the first two crew’s missiles struck, is that when the news crews were taken in there?”
CNN executives aren’t taking to the “human shields” moniker. A spokesperson tells TVNewser, “CNN along with dozens of other journalists (a coach load) were taken on a visit by Libyan press minders to the compound. The press stayed there for approximately 30 minutes before they were taken back to the hotel.”
CNN correspondent Nic Robertson and three other CNN staffers were take to the compound as were press from CBS, Channel 4 (UK), the AP and the Times of London which is a News Corp. property, through News International Ltd.