April 1, 2007

CNN Reporter Baghad Reporter’s Continued Presence Singlehandedly Ends the Debate about Bias at CNN (Updates: Denial, Debunks, Rebunks)

FINAL UPDATE: April 24 — “McCain’s Early-April Iraq Presser: There WAS Heckling/Giggling”

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CNN Baghdad reporter Michael Ware has had quite a week getting his rips in, and more, about how ineffective (in his view) current military efforts in Baghdad have been — to the point of obviously crossing the line into blatant unprofessionalism earlier today.

Ware’s “the war is failing” stridency flared up last Tuesday, and can be seen at this YouTube video (HT Hot Air) — Ware starts getting his rips in at about the 1:30 mark after McCain states that some neighborhoods of Baghdad are safe. It appears that Blitzer made sure that McCain didn’t get any words to rebut Ware after Ware’s rant. Ware’s strongest riposte:

“I don’t know what part of Neverland Senator McCain is talking about when he says we can go strolling in Baghdad.”

Next, on Thursday, Ware took issue with Joe Lieberman when the Connecticut senator said that “American soldiers are more confident walking the streets of Baghdad.” Ware’s response is that the insurgents are simply “laying low.”

Finally, Drudge is reporting the following exclusive about Ware’s conduct at a press conference that apparently took place earlier today:

During a live press conference in Bagdad, Senators McCain and Graham were heckled by CNN reporter Michael Ware. An official at the press conference called Ware’s conduct “outrageous,” saying, “here you have two United States Senators in Bagdad giving first-hand reports while Ware is laughing and mocking their comments. I’ve never witnessed such disrespect. This guy is an activist not a reporter.”

….. Michael Ware has also publicly expressed his views on the war last year in an interview with Bill Maher, saying, “I’ve been given a front-row ticket to watch this slow-motion train wreck … I try to stay as drunk for as long as possible while I’m here … In fact, I’m drinking now.”

If Michael Ware wants to make points about our troops’ ineffectiveness or the lack of improvement on the ground, shouldn’t he be trying to find and film actual residents of the city to support his claims? Is it possible that he can’t?

From this point forward, after the conduct just described, especially at the press conference noted by Drudge, Michael Ware’s continued presence on CNN’s staff will be all the proof anyone needs that CNN’s international reporting is intractably biased.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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UPDATE: In the process of shredding the antiwar arguments in a National Review column in March of last year, Victor Davis Hanson had this to say about Ware, who was apparently working for Time back then (yes, I know that Time and CNN are affiliated companies) –

Now we hear Time Baghdad Bureau Chief Michael Ware, in a drunken, live interview (“In fact, I’m drinking now…I try to stay as drunk for as long as possible while I’m here”) from the heart of dry Muslim Iraq, recklessly throwing around charges that American soldiers are guilty of manhandling Iraqi women (“We’ve seen allegations that women have been mishandled or roughly handled. That always inflames passions”) and terrorizing civilians (“We’ve also seen insurgents criticize other insurgent groups, ’cause you’re not doing enough to get the chicks out! I mean, that’s how important it can be, this is a matter of great honor, and it’s a spark”). Ware’s are precisely the lies and fantasies that feed the Islamists.

Indeed, the better example of ineptitude in this war lies with the media that demands from others apologies for incompetence that it will never offer itself. Few professions today ask so much of so many others and so very little of themselves.

UPDATE 2, Apr. 2: A moonbatty reader in a profane (and therefore unposted) comment took me to task for relying on “ultra right wing” Drudge for info. CNN’s own report about McCain notes that he “became testy when pressed” (HT Hot Air) without identifying who did the pressing or in what manner. So Mr./Ms. Bat, the incident occurred — The only questions are whether Ware was the “presser,” and whether the conduct involved “rose” to the level of heckling.

UPDATE 3, Apr. 2: So if the heckling never happened, why did CNN need to broadcast this? And who is to say that the video of the press conference he refers to is beginning-to-end complete? My bet: Ware childishly and deliberately fake-mumbled loud enough to be heard. Ware can say he didn’t heckle, while people running the press conference would surely, and correctly, see it that way (as would any sixth-grade teacher).

Ware also lacked the cajones to tell us who made the charges so viewers could get the originally reported side of the story — soooooo typical. The language he uses in the vid with Soledad O’Brien is so over-the-top biased it’s beyond parody. Even if he could somehow disprove “heckling,” the interview shows that he is so obviously, as claimed, “an activist and not a reporter,” that it almost doesn’t matter whether he heckled (but I for one don’t doubt that he did).

Look — if it weren’t for the three incidents above that are documented and not in dispute, the one that Drudge reported would have been tough to swallow. But the fact is that in the context of those three incidents, Ware’s alleged behavior is totally, completely, and utterly in (lack of) character.

UPDATE 4: From LGF (bold is mine):

UPDATE at 4/2/07 10:57:53 am:
Raw Story has video of the press conference, but it won’t settle the debate because 1) the camera is mostly focused on the podium, and there’s no microphone recording the audience, and 2) it ends just as Ware raises his hand to ask a question. However, it should be noted that there’s no visible evidence on this video of heckling.

My guess — Ware waited until he could see the vid to be sure his denial might pass.

UPDATE 5: Oh, he said those thing when McCain wasn’t around (yeah, but who else still WAS?). Oh — That makes it just fine. I’m sure if Carl Cameron of Fox did such a thing it would be similarly defended by those lining up behind Ware (yeah, right). Jules Crittenden calls Ware “The Newsmen Terrorists Trust” for a reason.

UPDATE 6, April 10: From Hot Air — “McCain says someone was laughing during his Baghdad press conference.” Allah notes:

This makes three independent reports of distracting chuckling during the presser: Drudge’s original much-maligned story, which accused Michael Ware by name of “heckling;” AFP’s story from last Tuesday, which cited “giggling” by an unnamed reporter; and now J-Mac himself, who appeared yesterday on Sean Hannity’s radio show to do a little rebunking of Raw Story’s debunking.

So if Michael Ware isn’t the perp, why wouldn’t he have noted the existence of the giggling by someone else? Or is it soooooo important to maintain Old Media’s so-called reputation that he has to deny rude behavior by ANYONE, even though three independent soucrces have now contended that it happened?

An Oldie But a Goodie on April Fool’s Day

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 6:16 pm

This is funny.

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UPDATE: I think this one is more recent, and it’s pretty good too.

‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ as an Economic and Ideological Sellout

Back on March 3, Townhall’s Tom Borelli got in some good whacks at the “Corporate Social Responsibility” movement and one of its craven collaborators that will not go unnoticed at this blog:

Karl Marx once remarked, “The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.” However, Marx had no idea the rope would be corporate social responsibility (CSR) and not greed.

In keeping with CSR doctrine, CEOs are opening their doors to activist groups with great fanfare in hopes of maximizing both “the social good” and corporate profits. Regrettably, these CEO’s are maximizing neither.

Social activists are not concerned with corporate profits, shareholder returns or economic growth. Their sole mission is to transform corporations into agents to advance their social and political agenda.

By allowing social activists to influence business decisions, CEOs are choosing socialism over capitalism and by doing so; they are undermining the very foundations of our free society.

….. Not taking any chances with the free-market system, (General Electric CEO Jeff) Immelt wants government regulation to guarantee (GE’s “green” subsidiary) Ecomagination’s success. GE is a member of the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) – a coalition of corporations and environmental activist groups “that have come together to call on the federal government to quickly enact strong national legislation to require significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Immelt’s rent seeking math is simple: limits on carbon dioxide will drive sales for his products and the Left will adore him like Al Gore.

So now Inmelt has joined the globaloney chorus for cravenly obvious reasons, giving it an aura of legitimacy it doesn’t deserve. Borelli properly notes that any gains GE achieves by allowing itself to be co-opted by the enviros will first, hurt many of its other businesses (Borelli believes this is already occurring), and second, hurt corporate economic performance in general — leading to yet more temptations of CEOs at other companies to sell out for short-term PR gain.

The tradeoff is a stark one — short-term acclaim for the cynical few in return for longer-term stagnation — or worse. Frankly, Jeff Inmelt has no moral right to make that deal.

Positivity: The Race That Saved His Life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 11:58 am

From Chicago:

March 18, 2007

Ryan Gehrig won’t be out to set any records next Sunday in the 28th LaSalle Bank Shamrock Shuffle, but it would be nice if the event is a little less dramatic than it was last year.

Not that he regrets the 2006 race. In fact, Gehrig might be the only runner in the history of the event who can say the Shuffle saved his life.

”I had never run five miles before in my life,” Gehrig said. ”I was just running with my wife, Lindsey, and we ran the whole thing.

”I felt great.”

Until the next day.

”I started having chest pains,” he said. ”And they were severe enough that I went to the emergency room at Northwestern.”

X-rays were taken, and blood was drawn. It originally was thought that Gehrig, 28, simply overexerted his rib cage.

”I got a call the next day, and they said I should come back because they saw something on the X-rays,” Gehrig said. ”I got a little scared.”

His fear was confirmed when a biopsy revealed he had Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

”We all found it ironic,” Gehrig said. ”It was the first race I had ever run, and we all got pins from sponsors. And one of the pins was on, like, a Mardi Gras necklace, and it was from the Lymphoma Cancer Society.

”It was hanging on a door in our second bedroom when we found out. Every time I walk in that room, I see it, and it’s a good reminder to live your life.”

Irony wasn’t the first thing to cross Lindsey’s mind. The two had been married in November 2005, so it was understandable that her first reaction was feeling like she would pass out. But she found strength in her husband.

”Ryan just has a positive attitude about everything in life, and he applied that to this situation as well,” she said.

Because he caught it early enough, Gehrig’s prognosis was relatively encouraging. Still, he had to undergo chemotherapy every other week for six months.

”It was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through,” he said. ”It felt like you had a terrible flu the day you got it.

”I would get it on a Thursday, and I wouldn’t be able to eat until Sunday. It’s a good weight-loss program.”

Fortunately, Gehrig, a native of Wheaton, felt strong enough that he didn’t miss much work as a data engineer for TransUnion.

After four months, all that remained were scar tissue and the realization that a silly 8K race helped save his life.

”If it hadn’t been for the Shamrock Shuffle, I don’t know how he would have caught it, other than at some point maybe feeling a lump,” Lindsey said. ”And when it gets to that stage, maybe Stage 4, it’s much more difficult.”

Ryan is even more emphatic in the role the race played.

”I caught it before a lot of the symptoms developed,” he said. ”So that was excellent.

”It was 100 percent entirely because of the race that I found it. The Shamrock Shuffle saved my life.” …..

Quotes of the Day: Random Sowell Is Better Than Just About Anyone Else Who’s Focused

And when he’s focused, Thomas Sowell is untouchable.

But every once in a while, America’s foremost intellectual dedicates a column to a series of short and random, yet brilliant, thoughts. Here’s a healthy sampling from his March 22 Townhall column:

It is fascinating to hear subprime lenders being accused of “exploitation” while they are losing millions of dollars and some of them are going bankrupt.

One of the many fashionable excuses of our time is that some words or actions were “taken out of context.” Those who say this seldom, if ever, bother to say what these words or actions mean when taken in context.

Amid all the media hysteria over the price of gasoline and the profits of “Big Oil,” one simple fact has been repeatedly overlooked: The oil companies’ earnings are just under 10 percent of the price of a gallon of gas, while taxes take 17 percent. Yet who ever accuses the government of “greed”?

After President Bush fired a handful of U.S. attorneys, it has become a big scandal in the media. But when President Clinton fired all the U.S. attorneys in the country — including those who were investigating him for corruption in Arkansas — it was no big deal. Yet many in the media still claim that there is no bias.

When the Constitution’s protection of private property was disregarded, so that politicians could rob from the rich to give to the poor, that also gave politicians the power to rob from the poor and give to the rich — such as seizing homes in low-income neighborhoods and turning that property over to developers.

Whenever I see the kinds of expressions on the faces of people in high-fashion ads, I feel lucky that I never met them.

At a recent debate over global warming sponsored by National Public Radio, the audience was polled beforehand and was solidly on the side of the hysterical predictions. Afterwards, they switched to a slight plurality against those predictions. Don’t look for the global warming crusaders to risk doing any more debates.