A Fox News reporter who claimed that journalists are being used as human shields by the Libyan government acknowledged that she had made an error in her reporting on Monday night. Still, she stood by the bulk of her story, even after a CNN correspondent harshly criticized her reporting and called it "outrageous and hypocritical."
Jennifer Griffin's report on Monday was certainly provocative. She said that the British army was due to fire on the compound of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, but had to hold off because a team of journalists were being given a government-sponsored tour of the compound. Griffin said that the aim of the tour was to "effectively use" the journalists as insurance against further attacks.
CNN's Nic Robertson, one of the journalists on the tour, tore into Griffin for the report, calling it "outrageous and hypocritical" and alleging that, far from staying away, as Griffin had said, Fox News had also sent an employee on the tour. Robertson also criticized Fox News' Steve Harrigan, who is in Libya.
"I see him more times at breakfast than I see him out on trips with government officials here," Robertson said.
Speaking to Greta Van Susteren on Monday night, Griffin acknowledged that a Fox News "security guard" had gone on the tour in Harrigan's place. Harrigan, she said, had stayed in his hotel because he "wanted to stay on the air to provide full coverage." She said that the earlier assertion that no Fox News personnel were present on the tour was "my mistake, and I apologize for the error."
But Griffin did not back down from the earlier report that had gotten Robertson so heated. She repeated her claim that the Libyans are using journalists as human shields, and that there is "frustration" in the international coalition that journalists are going on government tours of certain sites.