Steve Harrigan, the Fox News correspondent currently engaged in a war of words with CNN's Nic Robertson while they both cover a war of bombs in Libya, is as lazy as Robertson says, according to someone who's worked with him.
Robertson and Harrigan's feud started when Harrigan's colleague Jennifer Griffin reported that Qaddafi had fooled Robertson and other reporters into acting as human shields by inviting them on a reporting trip to his palace. Robertson shot back that a Fox News security guard, equipped with a camera, was in fact on the same trip (which we found odd) and that Harrigan is a lazy reporter who he sees "more times at breakfast than out on trips." Harrigan responded today that he has to stay hotel-bound because he needs to be on the air so much and that Robertson is "dull" and "has a screw loose."
According to one person who worked with Harrigan, Robertson is right. Sacha Feinman, a writer who used to live in Caracas, Venezuela, told Gawker that he was hired as Harrigan's fixer during a reporting trip there in 2006, and he found Harrigan to be "the most noxious, laziest reporter I've ever met." Feinman says Harrigan was there to do an anti-Chavez hit piece, and showed no interest in anything else.
"They said they wanted to do a piece on how Chavez was 'Fidel Castro' with money," Feinman says, "which isn't that surprising, since it's Fox. But when I told them our best shot at getting a question to Chavez was at a public appearance he was making and that it would be a six-hour bus ride to get there, his producer said, 'That's five-and-a-half hours longer than I want to be on a bus.' Harrigan didn't want to leave the hotel unless it was for an interview with an anti-Chavista. His attitude was, 'the story is going to accommodate me, I'm not going to hustle to get the story.'"
Feinman also says Harrigan was personally an asshole. Feinman was an eager young reporter at the time, and during some downtime, he tried to chat up Harrigan and get to know him. "I was trying to network, and I started asking him all these questions. But he didn't give a fuck, and just gave one-word answers and kept thumbing furiously on his Blackberry. I figured he was busy emailing with his bosses. When I got up to leave I looked over his shoulder and saw that he was playing solitaire the whole time."
After five days shepherding the crew around Caracas, they left. Then Fox refused to pay Feinman his agreed-upon $200-per-day rate until he threatened to sue. That's what happens when you work for or with the horrible people of Fox News Channel.