As the armed struggle between rebels and Muammar Qaddafi's forces continues to play out in Libya's cities and countryside, another, significantly less consequential battle is underway at the American press hotel between CNN correspondent Nic Robertson (pictured above left) and Fox's Steve Harrigan (above right).
Tensions rose Monday when Robertson gave a fiery interview to Wolf Blitzer disputing Fox correspondent Jennifer Griffin's report that journalists from CNN, Reuters, and other news outlets had been used as "human shields" during a tour of Qaddafi's compound last weekend, thwarting an allied air strike on the facility. After noting that Fox sent a cameraman on the same tour, Robertson took a swipe at Fox's other correspondent, Steve Harrigan, currently covering the Libyan conflict. "I see [Harrigan] more times at breakfast than I see him out on trips with government officials here," said Robertson.
Now Harrigan is returning the favor, dismissing Robertson as "dull" in an interview last night with The Huffington Post. "This is the first time I've been attacked," Harrigan said. "[Robertson is] in the same hotel as me. A man could come down and say, 'what’s up?' But instead he's saying I’m lazy, that I’m a liar and that I’m as bad as Gaddafi." And don't get him started on the quality of Robertson's reporting. "He puts on his blue blazer and gets on the government bus, and then pats himself on the back and calls that news? Bullshit."
Stephen Colbert, meanwhile, was solidly in Harrigan's corner.