The Fox News reporter who drew an angry on-air reaction from a protestor in Ferguson, Mo. this week doesn’t seem too bothered by the profanity hurled at him on live television.
A former war correspondent, Steve Harrigan told Business Insider on Tuesday that reporting on the mayhem in the St. Louis suburb represented uncharted waters for him.
“I’m used to talking to a furious Chechen. I’m used to talking to a furious Afghan,” he said. “Now I’m talking to an American on the street who’s absolutely furious. I haven’t done that before, in my own country. It’s new territory.”
While reporting on the ground late Monday, Harrigan described the protests as “child’s play,” prompting a man standing nearby to unleash a profane on-air tirade.
But Harrigan believes the moment was valuable both for the disaffected man and Fox’s viewers.
“It’s interesting when you’re reporting about something and a lot of people are all around you hearing every word and can object to what you say,” Harrigan said. “And one man did object to what I said, and I gave him a chance to express his very real anger and rage on live television. You don’t always get the ability to do that — to respond in real-time to a reporter.
“I think that gives people a sense of what he was angry about and the situation on the ground here.”