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Back to CNN with Time’s Michael Ware

Wednesday, March 22, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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The folks at CNN so enjoyed our segment on the MSM’s coverage of Iraq from last night’s Anderson Cooper show that the same panel has been invited back tonight. Michael Yon has also been booked, but apparently won’t be on the panel with us.

Most of my e-mail concerns Time’s Michael Ware, whom viewers thought was rather exercised. Yon speaks highly of Ware, as does Tim Blair, who wrote about Ware four plus years ago:

FISK OF FURY: Step aside, Kabul Bob ‘” a real reporter is on the way to Afghanistan.

Time magazine’s South Pacific wing ‘” for which I once worked ‘” has sent Australian reporter Michael Ware to the bin Laden capture zone. Ware was apparently so overjoyed on learning he’d finally been assigned to Afghanistan that he leapt over his editor’s desk and hugged the fellow.

Ware loves his work. He’s covered wars and violence in the Solomon Islands, central Australia, Papua New Guinea, and East Timor'” where he befriended Harry Burton, the Australian photographer who was recently killed in an Afghanistan ambush.

And he’s done it all without lugging a Robert Fisk-sized backpack loaded with bogus ideology.

Ware is the Real Deal. When I returned to Time last year, to help out with Olympics coverage, he became outraged when I dismissed a story he’d uncovered about a small-time local political scam somehow linked to the 2000 Games. It wasn’t a big enough story to run in an international magazine, I told him ‘” and it really wasn’t. But that didn’t stop Ware chasing the story for weeks, even as he was filing on the Games every day.

Pity the wasted Afghan hoodlums who’d try to Fisk this tough Queenslander. Ware played rugby at a senior level, and has the busted (many times, I suspect) nose to prove it. He can take care of himself.

Ware is also among the last reporters in Australia who haven’t been cowed by political correctness. Beside his desk he keeps a disgracefully exploitative photograph of babelicious Italian volleyballer Maurizia Cacciatori.

Watch for his reports, and wish him well.

Ware’s work has not been uncontroversial, as tyhis BelmontClub details here and here.

Ware’s work does seem to embody an “everyone’s the same” attitude, as he states, for example in this quote about his reporting on the insurgents/terrorists:

Clearly, these men, just like the American military I deal with and the public affairs officers who stick to me like glue and only let me see what they want me to see when I’m with them, so it is with the Jihadis. They’re showing me what they want me to see, which is, to be truthful, quite a lot, but they know anything I see or hear is public record. It’s their responsibility to confine their information.

This is what I do. Yeah, they do want to get a message out.

They’re so media savvy. If they weren’t before, they’ve learnt it, they’ve polished it.

Accepting an award at the Overseas Press Association, Ware remarked that “in conflict everyone lies ‘” the good guys, the bad guys, our own government. Finding the truth does not come cheap.”

And there is this odd note from his Brisbane Grammar School alumni magazine notes section:

After a short sojourn to visit family
and friends former Grammar
Rugby Captain, lawyer and
more latterly Time Magazine
reporter Michael Ware (1982)
returned to his job reporting in
Iraq, where he is undoubtedly in
grave danger as he liaises with
the insurgents to offer a balanced
view in the strife torn country.

Now “balanced view” is an unusual approach for an American weekly news magazine covering a war in which thousands of American civilians and thousands of American military have been killed.

A “balanced view” of Zarqawi is an almost insane approach.

And I don’t believe there can be a “balanced view” of home-grown Iraqi “insurgents” who willfully kill innocents and civilians.

I interviewed Christopher Hitchens today (the transcript will be up soon at Radioblogger.com) and we spent most of the time on the question of Iraq under Saddam and Iraq now, and the role played by American media. The interview closed on a very troubling note, with Hitchens relaying a conversation with a senior network executive who admitted that American media is telegraphing one message to the killers in Iraq: Hang on until the end of the Bush Administration and you will win.

This is the point I will take to the panel tonight: American media is encouraging the enemy to hang on, just as it did in Vietnam. And if American media again succeeds in forcing America to withdraw from a strategic front, slaughter will follow, only this time it will not be confied to the war zone but will eventually, and perhaps very quickly, find its way to our country.

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