March 4, 2005
New York City
Wraps should be easy. A wrap is when you've done an edited report already and toss to it. Sometimes you sit in Studio N by yourself, sometimes you go up and sit next to the anchor. It's more human to sit next to the anchor; it's easier talking to someone. In studio N you stare into a large, empty black square of a teleprompter with no text, just blackness. You stare right in and talk and hope you don't mess up your one line.
When you go in the studio the metal door shuts behind you and all the windows around you are tinted. It's like going into a submarine. There are four or five big lights on you. Some people doing radio will walk in and out of the room. All you can see are dark shapes because of the light, so if someone says hello you usually don't know who is talking to you. You sit in a chair at a glass desk, plug in your earpiece, and stare straight ahead. There's a pillow on the floor next to the chair; the pillow is for short people. Several people will talk to you in your ear before the shot, asking if you can hear programming. When the shot starts you say what you've got to say, trying not to rush or be nervous, then wait while the report runs, then do it again at the end. While you wait someone will keep telling you in your ear how many seconds are left, plus a guy standing near the prompter will keep telling you every fifteen seconds how much time is left. You can feel like a rocket about to take off. After the shot, even though it's only one line, you can feel your heart beating.
So it's pretty simple, although sometimes you imagine ways to mess it all up, like if you suddenly started laughing. I had notes for one line in case of brain freeze. Brain freeze usually only happens when you're real tired.
This material, though, takes something. It's all about little girls getting raped and there's no real way to get away from it, to get clean from it. Even after you get off TV, get up from the chair, take off your mic, unplug your earpiece, take a deep breath, open the door of the submarine, take a step out into the crowded, busy newsroom, it's still with you, something heavy that you can't shake off.
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Thank you for the work you are doing. Please, please replay the whole series. This is so important.
— Brian (Geneva, IL)
Dear Steve Harrigan,
I have been watching your stories all week. I wondered when a news organization was going to do the right thing and expose the incredible cruelty and injustice being carried out in the name of peace in Congo. I am so thankful that you and FOX News have spoken out against this outrage by the UN "peacekeepers." I hope and I pray that people everywhere will cry out against this tragedy and demand that it come to an end. May God bless you as you continue to speak out. Please do not let this story get lost somewhere!
— Lorraine (MI)
Why is it that when money gets stolen, or a celebrity supposedly rapes a child, or even Martha Stewart gets out of jail we have hours of endless media coverage? When hundreds or even more children in Africa get abused, tortured, raped, killed, and all the rest that happens there all we get are small segments crammed in between the ridiculous stories that are shoved down our throats. As one of the few reporters that covers anything real anymore, thanks for getting some attention for this story.
Your reporting this week has made me cry, then made me mad. I applaud you for the courage to expose this outrage. Can there be anyone who has not heard this report not be outraged? I am very proud to be a FOX watcher and have always been very impressed with your reports especially from Iraq this past year. Now I want to know what can be done to stop the disgusting behavior of some U.N. employees. I almost called them peacekeepers. What can I do personally. I want to yell at someone and demand that these men are punished. Is there no accountability anywhere anymore? This outrage must be stopped. Thank you very much for your courage, Mr. Harrigan.
— Janis (Westcliffe, CO)
Dear Mr. Harrigan,
I cannot speak because of the knot in my throat, and I have not slept well after seeing your report. What happened to these little girls cannot be hid behind U.N. public relations.
God bless you for what you have done for the children.
— Louise (Hastings, FL)
Dear Mr. Harrigan,
I have to tell you that your reports were excellent yet some of the most disturbing I have seen in quite a long time. I want to thank you for the time you took to enlighten us to the absolutely reprehensible conduct of the U.N. in The Congo.
Please know that I have written to my Congressman John McHugh here in New York and asked for a complete investigation. If every American seeing your report does the same we will have the criminals in the U.N. on the run.
With Deepest Gratitude,
Dear Mr Harrigan,
I have been watching your story all week and my soul is crying. I too would like to know what we can do about this. I am at a loss at what else to say. There doesn't seem to be any words to say, except words that I would probably be ashamed for later. Thank you for bringing this story to us.
I'm glad to see that someone has finally seen through the U.N. thugs! You can't leave third world troops under the supervision of incompetent, greedy commanders and expect anything less!
— Bob (Cora, WY)
This has to be one of the most disgusting abuses of power in recent memory. It begs a number of questions. Why is the U.S. still supporting this "humanitarian" organization, and aren't we condoning these horrendous acts if we continue to do so?
— Meghan (Appomattox,VA)
We are lucky to have you to go to the trouble spots and send us the stories we should see. Your reports from the Congo are powerful and moving. Your work is appreciated.
It would be nice to think there is someone at the U.N. with more than excuses and promises.
— Phyllis (Middleburg, FL)
Dear Mr. Harrigan,
I am so incensed by this story. What can we do? How do we help? Please cover how we can help in your story, if possible. I have heard more and more on this story in recent days. I am so heartbroken for these children. I couldn't help but write. Thank you for covering the story.
Mrs. Elva Frye
Excellent story! Maybe Bill O'Reilly will help put legs on this one...I have one question... Who will investigate the U.N.? Liberty and justice should be a worldwide opportunity.
Thank you for letting me bloviate. (Thanks Bill!)
— Russ (Rochester Hills, MI)
Dear Mr Harrigan,
My heart is breaking after reading about the horrors these baby girls have been through, and I am angry.
How dare these blue hat 'saviors' come in and destroy these girls. Many of them will end up in prostitution, drugs and violence. This is disgusting. What is the U.N. doing about it? Why isn't this top news? This is far worse then the 'oil for food' fiasco. What can I do? How can I help these girls?
— Vicki (Ft Leonard Wood, MO)
May God bless you for the work you are doing. What can we do besides feeling sorrow and or pity? If we tell the story and offer no real help, we are nothing more than story tellers. What now?
— Annette (Rio Hondo, Texas)
I have never been so moved and deeply hurt by a story. Seeing these innocent beautiful children so decimated by evil is heartbreaking. I genuinely want to help these little girls who have been savagely raped by the horrible men working for the U.N. I would like to send financial help directly to any organization that is set up to care for these children. I would also like to organize people to write letters to our government officials so these atrocities can be stopped. Please either let me know who to contact for more information or do a story so we can find out what can be done to aid these innocent victims.
Thank you for bringing these events to our attention . . . your work is truly appreciated!
As a retired U.S. Army officer and an American I am outraged at the thought the U.N. would put forces in place to deter aggression and assist local populations only to have those so-called soldiers commit such atrocities. Would you please publicly disclose what countries provided these forces to the U.N. for the peacekeeping operation so that we may all voice our outrage to the U.N. but to the consulates of those representative countries? Further, I am just as angered at Save the Children who refuse to accept that such things are happening and doing nothing about it.
— Eddie (El Paso, TX)
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.