“An Activist, Not a Reporter”

We wrote here about CNN’s report on Iraq, in which Senator John McCain gave a positive report on progress there, and was followed by CNN correspondent Michael Ware. Ware not only disagreed with McCain, he was unprofessionally derisive, calling McCain’s comments “ludicrous,” offering to “bring [the Senator] up to speed,” and wondering “what part of Neverland Senator McCain is talking about.”
Now, Ware has gone even farther overboard. Drudge reports that John McCain and Lindsay Graham gave a press conference in Baghdad, at which Ware heckled the Senators, “laughing and mocking” them, according to an official who was present.
Maybe Ware was drunk; that would be consistent with his own description of how he spends his time in Baghdad. But he is an extreme manifestation of an all too common phenomenon–the journalist as advocate rather than neutral observer. One of the many problems with a reporter who becomes an activist, agitating for a particular side of a public issue, is that he loses any hope of objectivity. Having publicly committed himself to the proposition that everything that happens in Iraq is a disaster, having publicly ridiculed those who pointed to optimistic developments, how can anyone trust that Ware’s future reporting is giving us anything like the straight story from Iraq? And what does his conduct say about his employer, CNN? How much confidence can we have in their reporting from Baghdad, or anywhere else?
Via the Forum, where discussion of the story is underway, including an interesting post by a reader who observed Ware in Baghdad, first-hand.
SCOTT adds: It appears that the Drudge report was not accurate. Allahpundit comments here.
UPDATE: We’ve continued to follow this story here, here, here, here, and here.


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