The video: Early Monday, Fox News' Jennifer Griffin reported that a British air strike on a Gadhafi compound had to be called off because the Libyan government was using journalists, notably some from CNN and Reuters, as "human shields." Griffin suggested that Fox News had not been foolish enough to send journalists on the Libyan government's organized tour of the compound, though she later conceded that Fox had sent a security guard with a camera. Last night, CNN's Nic Robertson, who'd been on the tour in question, called Fox's claims "outrageous" and "hypocritical." (See the video below.) He also characterized Fox's correspondent, Steve Harrigan, who declined to tour the compound, as lazy, saying "I see him more times at breakfasts than I see him out on trips with government officials."
The reaction:
"Fox News has launched a smear campaign on CNN's patriotism," says Jason Easley at Politicus USA. Funny how Fox didn't mention that reporters from the Times of London, which, along with Fox, is owned by News Corp, were also at the compound with CNN. I guess "that doesn't very well fit into the Fox News narrative that the dirty liberal CNN acted as willing human shields for an enemy of America." Perhaps, but I'm not so sure CNN is entirely innocent, says Glynnis MacNicol at Business Insider. Robertson told a "much calmer version" of his story on an earlier segment. His second report was "so extreme in nature it's difficult not to wonder whether it was calculated." Maybe CNN decided to go for the ratings jugular, conveniently creating a viral video in the process. Watch the CNN clip and the original FOX report, below: