CNN’s Nic Robertson appeared on “The Situation Room” this afternoon, where he threw cold water on the claims made earlier in the day that CNN and other journalists were used as “human shields” by the Ghadafi regime.
“Wolf, this allegation is outrageous and it’s absolutely hypocritical,” Robertson told anchor Wolf Blitzer. “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 that FNC was being hypocritical, because it called the outing a “propaganda trip,” and yet the network had a staffer on the bus as well.
Robertson went on to explain what actually happened:
Robertson said that there were about 40 journalists on the bus, and that government minders were not particularly concerned with getting journalists to go on the trip
“There was no compunction on us to go on the bus,” Robertson said. “Some chose not to go on the trip, we had chosen not to go on a trip earlier in the day.”
“We weren’t kept hanging around for half an hour or an hour, I think if somebody wanted to use us as a human shields, I believe they would have kept us there for a lot longer,” he said. “That is not what happened.”
Robertson also took FNC’s Jennifer Griffin to task specially, though he did not mention her by name.
“Any journalist who came along on the trip last night would share that experience, and would see it from the perspective,” he said. “If people did not go on that journey, as Fox didn’t, then perhaps they would have a different perspective. If they had been there to witness it themselves, they would have seen how it played out.”
Update: Robertson later reported that FNC did have a staffer on the trip.