Heckling At A Press Conference?

(Getty Images/AFP/Sabah Arar)
I was watching CNN this morning and caught an interesting exchange between Soledad O'Brien and reporter Michael Ware, who is following Senator John McCain and his Republican Congressional delegation in Baghdad. The comments aren't online yet, but I've transcribed them below.


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 has gone and 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.
The "blog" in question is the Drudge Report, and here's what Drudge wrote, in part:
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."
The report is now making its way through the conservative blogosphere, where Ware has never been particularly popular. Writes Powerline: "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?" Kesher Talk (which I should note bills itself as offering "a hawkish liberal Jewish perspective") writes that Ware is "flaunting his partisan persona, and I guess CNN is OK with that." Newsbusters asks if the story of Ware's heckling will "be swept under the rug as usual." The supposed heckling is framed as a news story here; it's even on his Wikipedia page.

Ware has publicly criticized McCain's comments that "[t]here are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods today," saying this to CNN's Wolf Blitzer: "I don't know what part of Neverland Senator McCain is talking about when he says we can go strolling in Baghdad."

If anyone has seen the video of the press conference, please point out where it can be found, and I'll update this post with a link and comments.

UPDATE: Raw Story has posted video of the press conference. There does not appear to be any heckling, though one cannot say with absolutely certainty. Thanks to commenter Bo234 for the pointer.

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