It's an interesting fact, how the readiness of two different photographers gave one the opportunity of a lifetime, and the other one the same opportunity, but was unable to capitalize on it.
The Leica cameras are not the easiest in the world to load. There is an insert that constitutes the take-up spool, and you take it out of the camera, like the picture shows, slide the film leader into a groove that catches it, and then put the film roll and the insert back into the camera simultaneously.
I have to say that in the beginning I thought it was a bit of a PITA to load it, but now I can do it faster than with my Pentax SLRs. The choice of words is interesting. Fiddly is perhaps not the best choice here, but it requires good physical mechanics of the user, a bit of practice, and sometimes a bit of patience. Perhaps 'involving' is better. My belief is that the Leica film winding mechanism is very good just from a performance standpoint. Frame spacing is always exactly the same, and it is very smooth indeed. But I could definitely see how someone in a stressful situation (like the one the photo journalist was in) could completely screw you up with loading just about any camera, maybe the Leica being particularly difficult due to needing a bit of precision and two steps more than a regular camera.