It's part of a long and increasingly shameful history. CNN first came to prominence as a tyrant's bootlicker in the first Gulf War in 1991, when the network agreed to allow Saddam Hussein to edit its reports in return for preferential access in Baghdad. Once entrenched, the perpetually embarrassing Peter Arnett reported on the Allied bombing of baby-milk factories -- that weren't baby-milk factories. CNN didn't fire Arnett. They retained him even after his atrocious 1998 CNN-Time documentary asserting that Americans gassed their own soldiers in Laos, another story that fell apart under scrutiny. Sense a trend? CNN seems eager to pounce on stories that make Americans look evil and/or lethally incompetent. Whether they are true is irrelevant.
The story of evil in a foreign land was easily crumpled by CNN in a slavish desire for access. In April 2003, days after Saddam Hussein fell, CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan wrote an op-ed in The New York Times admitting he had scrapped stories from Iraq out of fear of violence from Saddam's regime. He struggled to keep CNN's Baghdad bureau open, but couldn't seem to report vital news, even news that his own producers were subjected to electroshock torture. His career at CNN didn't end until he recklessly claimed American soldiers were targeting reporters for assassination in Iraq.
This isn't even the first occasion of CNN being used as a terrorist sock puppet this year. In July, CNN's Nic Robertson traveled into a heavily damaged Beirut neighborhood to decry Israel for bombing civilian areas. It also transpired that all along, he was being escorted by and taking instructions from the terrorist organization Hezbollah. The Hezbollah "press officer" even instructed the CNN camera: "Just look. Shoot. Look at this building. Is it a military base? Is it a military base, or just civilians living in this building?" Robertson later claimed Hezbollah had "very, very sophisticated" press operations and the terrorist group "had control of the situation." Hezbollah had control of CNN.
It's also not the first terrorist video distributed by Michael Ware. In 2004, when Ware was a Time reporter, he was handed an insurgent videotape of the killing of American contractors in Fallujah. Ware confessed, like Robertson, to losing control of the situation with terrorists: "I certainly go out there and expose myself. I've been to the safe houses. I surrender myself to their control. I've sat in living rooms face-to-face with these men," he said.
He surrenders himself to terrorist control. This from the man who works for CNN -- the network whose role is not to be a "stenographer to power."