‘Human Shield’-gate continues as Colbert spoofs CNN, Fox News spat

Joe Pompeo
March 23, 2011

In Libya Tuesday, Western missiles continued to rain down on the war-torn North African nation and a pair of U.S. military pilots safely ejected from their F-15 fighter plane before it crashed near the eastern city of Benghazi. Meanwhile, two American cable news correspondents have been waging a widely publicized sandbox brawl over how their respective networks are covering the conflict.

It all began Monday afternoon with a questionable Fox News report that strongman Muammar Gadhafi was using journalists as "human shields" to protect his compound in Tripoli. During an appearance on Wolf Blitzer's "Situation Room" later that day, CNN's man in Libya, Nic Robertson, tore into both the Fox News defense correspondent who had filed the report and her colleague Steve Harrigan. Roberston said he's seen Harrigan "more times at breakfast than ... out on trips with government officials here." Harrigan, who also is in Libya, swiftly punched back in an interview with The Huffington Post, dismissing Robertson as "dull" and suggesting that the rival anchor would have confronted him in person "if he was a man."

Of course, these feuds between self-obsessed media personalities are the bread and butter of commentators in the faux cable news business. So Stephen Colbert duly weighed in on Tuesday night's "Colbert Report" by mocking the whole ordeal.

"Another wave of violent conflict erupted yesterday," Colbert announced, before launching into a segment that poked fun at both reporters for indulging in an inter-network cat fight in the troubled region: "Meeeow! ... Rrrrow! Rrrrow! Robertson, how dare you attack this good man! Just because you only see him at breakfast doesn't mean he's not risking his life. Do you know how much cholesterol those bacon and eggs have?"

Colbert vowed to "stay on this conflict as it unfolds." In order to keep pace with the next vital installment, you can watch the full "Colbert Report" clip above.