MSNBC’s Rita Cosby has snagged the first interview with Farris Hassan, the 16-year-old Florida boy who skipped school to travel to Iraq. Portions of the interview will air on Monday’s Today Show, and the full thing will air on Monday night’s Live & Direct. In the highlights released by MSNBC today, Hassan reveals that he tried to contact Fox News before he contacted the Associated Press, but they apparently weren’t interested in him:
|COSBY: And you told me before that you contacted another news organization. |
HASSAN: Yes, I wasn’t planning on mentioning that, but …
HASSAN: … I first — the first organization I contacted in the Palestine Hotel was FOX News, and I told them I was a 16-year-old junior in Iraq for research and I wanted — was looking to do humanitarian work. I told them I was completely by myself and I wanted to meet with the producers, see if they could help me out in any way.
The first time the person — the Arabic man who answered the phone told me that oh, he’d just give my message to the FOX News men. I waited — and that they’d call me back if they were interested. I spend the whole night that day in my hotel room awaiting the call, but I did not receive it.
The next day, I gave FOX News a call and I asked them, you know, what’s going on? I’m really in a desperate situation. I’m sure that your producers would like to meet me, and the man on the other end of the phone told me that he had given them my message, and that if they were interested, they’d give me a call, and then he hung up on me.
COSBY: So they never called you back.
HASSAN: They never called me back.
COSBY: They could’ve had this amazing story but never called you.
HASSAN: Yes. Well, they could’ve helped me but they never did.