Fox News correspondent Steve Harrigan choked up on air Thursday while reporting on a woman who lost four children in the Haiti earthqauke and a fifth child in the aftermath.
"I have a pretty thick skin and I've seen a lot of stuff and I can ignore a lot of stuff but when we were sitting there this morning and just watching that woman wail, there is nobody for her," Harrigan told Shep Smith on Studio B. "Her husband is just trying to hold her down on a mattress in a field, just from going insane from her loss. That kind of loss is horrific in any culture, but in a culture where you're utterly...[chokes up]...where you're alone, it just makes it all the more difficult."
Shep Smith responded with a moving soliloquy about the "smell of death" that will permeate Haiti and the desperation that will overcome the country in the coming days:
With folks on top of a pile that includes human remains below and very, very difficult days ahead, I think alone might have been the word. It's hard from a couple thousand miles away to look at a woman who's lost four children in the earthquake and the fifth child in the aftermath who has nothing and no prospects for anything. It's hard enough to watch it from here, imagine watching it from there and smelling it.
If you've ever been to a horrible disaster, if you've been unfortunate enough to do so, it's often that sense that people elsewhere cannot have that brings you back to that place. For instance, New York, 9/11- it had a smell; it was metallic, it was fuel, it had its own thing and you'll never forget it. New Orleans had its own thing, similarly. Haiti is going to be, for everybody who covered it and everybody who lived through it, the smell of death and it will not go away for weeks or months or years because you see the process of excavating- it's very slow.
And, quite frankly, I'm told the looters follow in behind. And the uncovering of the dead becomes a show with a lack of anything else to do and a lack of water and food. This is a story where the pictures are going to look the same over the days ahead and we are all going to get bored with it because we always do, and then they'll all be truly alone, and then they'll really need us.
WATCH (Harrigan chokes up around 2:30 mark):
Watch the full segment:
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