• E-mail Steve
Sept. 26, 2004 9:16 a.m.
R & R in Knoxville. My father met me in the gleaming lobby of my favorite airport, standing in his regular spot, no doubt having arrived 30 minutes before landing. The car was parked 100 yards from the exit, two bottles of water were in the holders and three single dollar bills were up in the sun flap, all ready to give to the parking attendant before he could compute the bill. The six minute drive home was smooth.
There is usually a minor job to be done around my parents' house, as they are getting older. This time it was hedge-clipping. My father held up an ancient pair of hand-operated clippers, circa Bedrock. I imagined hedge-clipping technology had advanced since then, and at Lowe's we were not disappointed. The big question, when it came to hedge clippers, was gas or electric. The sales rep was a gas man. When he spoke to me he kept both eyes closed for several seconds. Electric did not have the power, he reasoned, plus it is easy to accidentally cut the electric cable with the clippers, as one member of our family can attest. So we went gas, and we went big, the biggest my father could lift. Then it was hedge clipping with a buzz saw, and the hedges were flying. Donning dark glasses, sun screen and a green Iraqi Freedom hat, I would nod to passing pickups by a slight lifting of my massive buzz saw, chain links still flying around the enormous oval, spitting hedge and bark into the stratosphere. It was a man's work, as anyone could see.
The next day it was soccer, two nieces. As the older one played the younger one, Minnie, attacked me on the sidelines. She turns five today, with bright red hair, and likes to fight. Most of the time I was able to toss her headfirst into the grass, thinking she would have enough and head back to her mother, but she likes a good fight and somehow seemed to think she would win in the end, so with no tears she kept coming back for more, at one point getting in a solid spike with her cleat on my sandal-clad foot. Upon one return she was soaking wet, from some battle perhaps on the other side of the field. The moisture made it easier for her to pick up all sorts of grass and branches in her hair when I swung her around by the ankles, something she seemed never to tire of. She is a real fighter, and I was wondering when she was going to give up. It was only later I realized I was having fun.
Two things on the sidelines caught my eye. First, two fathers were really yelling at the children. One even crossed the line onto the field and had to be told by the referee to step back. He yelled at one tiny girl, "Run faster, faster," and the little girl nodded with big burdened eyes.
Second, a young woman on the sidelines was sitting next to another young woman who had Down's syndrome. The second woman was playing with a plastic helicopter, not watching the game. The first woman sat near her, then after a while stood up and carefully, and it seemed to me with love, braided her hair. I watched her pull it through the band with her hands, it coming out in a ponytail behind her head.
I go back to Iraq tonight, Inshallah.
[Ed. note: Click on the video tab in the upper right to watch Steve's reports.]
Thanks for your article. Please continue to give us these insights. Your piece epitomizes the reasons I now listen to FOX. Give us the real news, notice what is really occurring, investigate the occurrence thoroughly on site. Give all the possible information. If Americans are ignorant of attitudes and life overseas it is due to the quality of the reporting we receive.
Sometimes I feel like I know you. Everyday as I watch FOX, I catch you on a live report somewhere. You do a nice job and I feel that you are a truthful reporter. You seem a little deadpan, but that is a compliment because you are not giving your opinion but rather reporting the story. I think lately, reporters feel that reporting is beneath them and editorializing is less work and just way more fun! Thanks for sharing with us.
I heard and reread Prime Minister Allawi’s speech given today. He mentions that the foreign media have lost interest and left Iraq. I am hoping you will continue to be our eyes and ears on the entire picture of Iraq, not just the focus on tragedies, brutal and barbaric murders but also the positive building of schools, health centers and infrastructure.
Again, thanks for the great job you are doing.
I just wanted to thank you for being the type of reporter that you are. You show us glimpses of life in the world's most dangerous places that few Americans can even imagine. I look foreword to each of your updates from wherever in the world you happen to be. Your reports strip away the
embellishment and drama that other reporters dish out to make their stories more readable. Your stories need none of that because they stand on their own as the most interesting reading on FOX News. You stick your neck out and experience horrors few of us will ever know to get your stories and I for one am proud that you are a fellow American. Please keep your head down,
watch your back and keep up the super reporting!
— Michael (Rockhill, SC)
Push on, we need the facts, being graphic sometimes is the only way to reach the minds and hearts of the world.
Keep the wires open, and thanks,
I have been in awe of your courage and talent since before the Afghanistan war on terror. You have the guts of a special forces soldier and incredible intellect. I have learned more from you than I have all of the so-called pundits combined. Have you ever thought about teaching a journalism class or writing a book? Your reporting from Russia has been understandably understated. Please watch yourself. I don't think Putin appreciates the candor of FOX News.
Karen, Dayton OH
Greetings From Sunny California Steve,
Just a short note to let you know that we Californians are very proud of you for the job you're doing over there!! We watch you as often as FOX shows you on the screen, and have grown to love your blogs! Keep up the fantastic work young man!!
I have enjoyed your reporting for clarity and accuracy. I respect you for your bravery. You're doing a fine job for FOX but more importantly for the American people.
I'm pleased to discover your blog and look forward to your continued reports from Moscow.
Thank you for your intelligent reporting. I'm appalled that Putin is making moves toward another police state and that everyone seems complacent about it. I think that if you and Fox News would really publicize what's going on there, it could help the cause of "democracy," which we're spilling blood for in Iraq. After all, Putin was the former KGB head, wasn't he? I've never trusted him. Thank you for not letting what he is doing slip by unnoticed. Take care and stay safe.
One of my first daily routines is to sit at my computer and read local and then national news sites. I have been doing this for well over a year. About a month and a half ago, I started reading your blogs. This has become a daily thing for me, I am drawn to your writing style and most importantly, what you are saying. I wish you the best of luck and the safest of journeys.
May the road rise up to meet your feet.
In one of your recent blogs you mentioned Sept. 10th is your birthdate. My husband and I would like to wish you a very "Happy Birthday." We always look forward to your reports because we know we will get the TRUTH. Thanks for telling it like it is.
Wayland and Pat (Eagle Rock, VA)
I have been watching you as you broadcast from all over the world, and have admired your courage under fire, your no-nonsense style of reporting. It so reminds me of the fine reporters we enjoyed listening to during WWII. You have made a name for yourself in war reporting. Keep it up!
— Judith (Kiln, MS)
Dear Steve & All:
Thank you for being there to allow us to see what horrible things are being done. I don't think I could do your job.
Steve Harrigan currently serves as a Miami-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 2001 as a Moscow-based correspondent.