Sen. Ted Crux (R-TX) seems to have a problem with journalists reporting live from Afghanistan as if they would prevent him from creating his own alternative narrative of the actual conditions on the ground.
Cruz on Monday took a shot at CNN’s chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward, who is reporting from Kabul after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
“Is there an enemy of America for whom @CNN WON’T cheerlead?” Cruz tweeted while pointing out her attire. In his tweet, Cruz shared a video of Ward’s report from Kabul that aired Monday morning, with her remarks edited to make it seem that she was not being critical of the Taliban.
The network fired back at the Texas Republican, referencing his infamous trip to Cancun earlier this year during a terrible winter storm in Texas.
“Rather than running off to Cancun in tough times, [CNN chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward] is risking her life to tell the world what’s happening,” the network stated in response to a tweet sent by Cruz earlier that day. “That’s called bravery. Instead of RTing a conspiracy theorist’s misleading soundbite, perhaps your time would be better spent helping Americans in harm’s way.”
Ward, who was wearing conservative, traditional Islamic clothing while interviewing people in the streets of Kabul, had come under some criticism from conservatives for selectively edited remarks that seemed to suggest she was not being critical of the Taliban.
The eight-second clip Cruz posted was part of a nearly three-minute segment during which Ward reported on the Taliban’s takeover of the Afghanistan capital city. At one point during her report, Ward described the scene outside the U.S. consulate in Kabul saying “they’re chanting Death to America but they seem friendly at the same time. It’s utterly bizarre.”
While some conservatives used that bite to take aim at Ward’s reporting, the conservative site Hot Air noted that Ward is a veteran reporter who has offered a real take of what is happening in Kabul.
“Watch the full segment below and you’ll see that she’s not whitewashing the Taliban,” it wrote. “She makes a point of showing how one group of them forced her to “stand aside” because she’s female. She tells the anchors that fewer women are on the streets of Kabul today and that those who are out and about are wearing burqas, obvious evidence of fear of the new government. She’s unsparing about the chaos unleashed by Biden’s terrible withdrawal plans too, noting that there’s no plan in place to evacuate American allies trapped in the city and that U.S. troops are barely able to keep order at the airport.”
Kabul’s fall has led to a sense of panic and dread on the streets, several media outlets have reported, especially among women.
One Taliban fighter who agreed to speak with Ward told her “America already spent enough time in Afghanistan,” and said of U.S. forces: “They need to leave, they already lost lots of time and lots of money.”
President Biden has faced widespread criticism from Republicans and right-wing news outlets over his administration’s handling of the crisis in Afghanistan.
Rather than running off to Cancun in tough times, @clarissaward is risking her life to tell the world what's happening. That’s called bravery. Instead of RTing a conspiracy theorist’s misleading soundbite, perhaps your time would be better spent helping Americans in harm’s way.
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) August 16, 2021