Web 2.0 vs. Matt Drudge, 15 Rounds, Bare-Knuckled!


Last night the Drudge Report posted an item—now removed from the front page—about jocular CNN reporter Michael Ware hooting and hollering down John McCain at his Baghdad press conference.

During a live press conference in Baghdad, Senators McCain and Graham were heckled by CNN reporter Michael Ware. An official at the press conference called Ware's conduct "outrageous," saying, "here you have two United States Senators in Bagdad giving first-hand reports while Ware is laughing and mocking their comments. I've never witnessed such disrespect. This guy is an activist not a reporter."

At a, uh, live press conference? Doesn't that mean it was filmed and there's video to corroborate this? There is, and it reveals that Ware didn't do anything* until the end of the presser, when he raised his hand. But CNN didn't endeavor to release that video. It came from a Ware fan site. A few years ago CNN would have kept dithering as the story gathered momentum online, and then finally released the video as the story was dying out. Here's an example of a Web 2.0 technique—readers uploading short videos and sharing them at the speed of thought—defeating a Web 1.0-ish news site that posted a story and let the readers have at it.

Drudge's original story inspired quite a few pro-war sites to blog about Ware's incredible rudeness. All have a little egg on their faces, although none ended up yolkier than Paul Mirengoff:

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… Ware's reporting itself constitutes heckling.

So, fake but accurate.

*It's possible that Ware muttered under his breath and the source took offense, but that ain't "heckling."