Monday, April 02, 2007

Republican Noise Machine after Ware - Is there a spanner in the works?

CNN's Michael Ware has been a constant pessimistic voice on Iraq. He has been stationed there for a long while now, going into harms way, getting in deep for stories, and plowing through the BS to get to the reality on the ground. Hence, when McCain started spouting the PR pages at people and claiming things were getting great in Iraq, Ware was more the ready, and plenty shocked. He had no idea where McCain's words came from, but he was clear in every report that they bared little relation to events in Iraq.

He has been an effective, and respected outlet for information. Many conservatives don't like this. Hence we have Matt Drudge.

A little life lesson. When Matt Drudge says or writes ANYTHING, take it with a grain of salt. In fact, take it tear it up and sift through it until you can find his kernel of truth. Look back at his story on Clinton's speech about Martin Luther King. She gave the speech, gave the quote he took. But he completely mischaracterized the rest.

So, we have Matt Drudge. And he has done a bit of a story on McCain's trip to Baghdad, but he made a point of going after Ware. How he heckled and laughed at McCain. How he called out lude questions.

And this has been taken on by others since. Now, is it true?

CNN, seeing as it was they who were being gone after, were dubious.


Last week, CNN's Michael Ware challenged John McCain's unsubstantiated assertion that there were multiple neighborhoods in Baghdad where Americans could take a walk without any security at all. Ware, who is in Baghdad, explained that McCain was flat-out wrong. That, of course, set Ware up for a typical Republican smear campaign from all the right-wingers, comfortably safe here in the U.S. Almost on cue, Republican activist Matt Drudge launched the first salvo, claiming that Ware went crazy at McCain's Baghdad press conference, and that the CNN reporter actually heckled the good Senator.

Only problem? The video of the press conference (link below) shows Ware sitting quietly and politely the entire time. Oops. Maybe in John McCain's mind that's what happened.

Then Ware calls McCain out on the lie that Ware somehow heckled him.

O'BRIEN: Let me ask you a question. There was a report that said you were heckling and you were laughing during the senator's press conference. Is that true?

WARE: Well, let's bear in mind that this is a report that was leaked by an unnamed official, of some kind, to a blog, to somewhere on the internet. No one is going to put their name forward. We certainly haven't heard Senator McCain say anything about it, or any of his staff have come forward to say anything about it.

I did not heckle the senator. Indeed, I didn't say a word. I didn't even ask a question. In fact, when I raised my hand to ask a question the press conference abruptly ended. So, what I would suggest is that anyone who has any queries about whether I heckled, watch the videotape of the press conference -- Soledad.

Raw Story has the video of Ware's response -- and the video of the news conference where Ware supposedly did the heckling of John McCain. You'll note that Ware doesn't even speak during the entire press conference, and when he tries to ask a question, the press conference is immediately called to a close.

Of note, Think Progress also has the video of NBC's Tom Aspell challenging McCain's "safe stroll" through Baghdad noting that with all the protection afforded the Senator, including 100 soldiers, 3 Blackhawk helicopters, and 2 Apache attack helicopters, "even Paris Hilton could ride a bicycle in a bikini through Anbar province.” Aspell can probably expect the next right wing attack. But Aspell and Ware have been in a war zone for years now. They're not intimidated by the right wing noise machine. They face death every day. Drudge doesn't really scare them.

Someone in the GOP delegation to Baghdad -- whether it was McCain and his people, or a Bush administration official -- sent the word to attack Ware. If the Republicans put as much time in to running the war as they do to attacking anyone who disagrees with them, we might make some progress. But, it's all one big political game for the Republicans. And when Ware and Aspell and other media based in Iraq tell the facts, they become the enemy to the Republicans.

All of us want the situation in Baghdad to improve. But we want the real story, not spin. That's what the GOP has given us for years. They've lied about the war -- and they'll keep doing it, unless responsible journalists like CNN's Michael Ware keep them honest.

Crooks and Liars has the video of Ware on CNN.

Raw Story has the McCain presser…No heckling there…Once again Drudge is proved to be a fool…

GORANI: And lastly, I've got to ask you about a report there that said that you were heckling and laughing during Senator McCain's news conference in Baghdad. Is there any truth to that?

WARE: No, there is not, Hala. I didn't heckle. Indeed, it's been accused that I asked mocking questions. And as you'll see, I never even asked a question. In fact, I sat there silently.

This has been a political brouhaha that started last week.

Unfortunately, Senator McCain has had one of the strongest Iraq policies that most reflects the realities here on the ground, but last week he made one gaffe. And when corrected on that, it's now brought his entire Iraq policy into question, and he seems to have backed himself into a corner and invested everything on his so-called Baghdad walk yesterday, even though it was enveloped in such a blanket of security

It is just another feeble stab at smearing anyone who contradicts them. They used to be so much better at this.

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