FOX News reported Monday that a British air raid over Libya had to be scrubbed because CNN and Reuters news teams were being used as human shields on a government sanctioned trip to the damaged Qaddafy compound.
FOX reported that it did not send its own crews on the trip because they discerned the junket was meant strictly “for propaganda purposes.”
CNN correspondent Nic Robertson, in the video below, denies that in stark terms.
He vents his anger at FOX for what he flatly calls its lies about what the press junket was about and whether he and his colleagues were being used as human shields. He calls the report “outrageous and hypocritical,” particularly since FOX News didn’t bother sending a news team on the trip, but instead sent a non-technical employee whose normal job has nothing to do with news reporting.
FOX later acknowledged that the story was in partial error–Jennifer Griffin had reported that no one from FOX made the trip and later had to admit that it had sent a “security guard.” But in large part, Griffin stood by her story.
If what Robertson says is true, it is very troubling. If FOX invented this story, what impression then is the network trying to deliver to its audience? The idea its competitors are nothing but unpatriotic propagandists and knowing obstacles to the war effort? The impression that it would be better if the competition simply got obliterated by fighter jets?
If Robertson is right, FOX is engaging in a very dangerous and destructive game.