As Scott notes in his post below, CNN’s Michael Ware has denied heckling Sen. McCain during a press conference (he doesn’t say whether or not he laughed at McCain). However, Ware’s appearance with Soledad O’Brien, as quoted by Scott, is enough to condemn him as unfit to cover the war. Here’s what Ware had to say about McCain and other Republicans who are visiting Baghdad:
Essentially they’re here to view the impact of the surge on the baghdad security plan and essentially to sell its merits to say that, yes, it is having an impact and to take that message home to an american people desperate to hear signs of progress…
Ware thus accuses John McCain — American hero, frequent critic of the administration, and frequent critic of the administration’s handling of the war — of bad faith and intellectual dishonesty.
By any objective measure, the surge has had a positive effect on Baghdad. Civilian casualties are down sharply since January; execution style deaths are half of what they were; and other killings have declined by almost the same factor. But even in the absence of such statistics, there would be no defense for Ware’s accusations of bad faith on the part of Senator McCain and others. Ware’s reporting itself constitutes heckling.
When a reporter becomes this much of an advocate, he should no longer cover the story. If CNN were a credible news organization, it would reassign Ware.
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