CNN Reporter Baghad Reporter’s Continued Presence Singlehandedly Ends the Debate about Bias at CNN (Updates: Denial, Debunks, Rebunks)
FINAL UPDATE: April 24 — “McCainâ€™s Early-April Iraq Presser: There WAS Heckling/Giggling”
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:
â€œI don’t know what part of Neverland Senator McCain is talking about when he says we can go strolling in Baghdad.â€
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 Wareâ€™s conduct â€œoutrageous,â€ saying, â€œhere you have two United States Senators in Bagdad giving first-hand reports while Ware is laughing and mocking their comments. Iâ€™ve never witnessed such disrespect. This guy is an activist not a reporter.â€
….. Michael Ware has also publicly expressed his views on the war last year in an interview with Bill Maher, saying, â€œI’ve been given a front-row ticket to watch this slow-motion train wreck â€¦ I try to stay as drunk for as long as possible while I’m here â€¦ In fact, I’m drinking now.â€
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.
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 (â€œIn fact, I’m drinking nowâ€¦I try to stay as drunk for as long as possible while I’m hereâ€) from the heart of dry Muslim Iraq, recklessly throwing around charges that American soldiers are guilty of manhandling Iraqi women (â€œWe’ve seen allegations that women have been mishandled or roughly handled. That always inflames passionsâ€) and terrorizing civilians (â€œWe’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 sparkâ€). Wareâ€™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 wonâ€™t settle the debate because 1) the camera is mostly focused on the podium, and thereâ€™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 thereâ€™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: Drudgeâ€™s original much-maligned story, which accused Michael Ware by name of â€œheckling;â€ AFPâ€™s story from last Tuesday, which cited â€œgigglingâ€ by an unnamed reporter; and now J-Mac himself, who appeared yesterday on Sean Hannityâ€™s radio show to do a little rebunking of Raw Storyâ€™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?