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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Meeting Mr. Ware

Have just gotten home from spending several days in Washington, DC, where I was able to hear Michael speak at two events (Wednesday at the Center for American Progress and Thursday at the Middle East Institute.)

First of all, let me say that hearing Michael speak in person is riveting. To say that he commands a room is an understatement; his turn of phrase, the sucker-punch-to-the-gut way he has of encapsulating events and concepts, the dry humor and raw emotion, the scope of his intelligence and awareness of causation and consequence -- all of that is in play far more than comes across through a television camera. Even exhausted to the brink of collapse (as I daresay he was at these events) he is a constant blur of motion as he pulls the audience along the path of understanding. 

He has often said that he feels an obligation to bear witness to the events he has seen in Iraq. I would go further and say he seems to feel the need to make us understand what we have wrought by starting this war (and whether we voted in favor of it or not, we as a country must own it) and that he possesses the rare gift of making people see what they would prefer to avoid. The sheer force of his personality and the rawness of his honesty demands nothing less.

I was also fortunate enough to speak with him briefly after the CAP event and found him to be gracious, humble, charming, and blazingly intense. It was a privilege to be able to thank him for his work. It is why I started my website and why it continues to this day -- because his work is so incredibly vital. I could never do what he does, but I can contribute my site in order to make sure that his work is seen by as many people as possible.

(But if you ever have a chance to hear him speak, I definitely urge you to go!)

Also... Monday, CNN International is showing a 30-minute special about the Surge, the creation of which is the reason Michael has been so exhausted these past couple of weeks...

Iraq - Inside the Surge
The U.S. military surge in Iraq has reportedly brought insurgent attacks and sectarian killings to their lowest levels in years. CNN's Michael Ware embedded with U.S. forces in Iraq to see the situation first-hand. He shares his experiences in this CNN special report.

Mon Apr 7: 2130, Tue April 8: 0130, 0630, 1130 GMT

And the "Inside the Middle East" blog also ran this photo the other day:

CNN correspondent Michael Ware and cameraman Joe Duran, 
embedded with U.S. troops in central Iraq. March 11th, 2008. 
(Photo CNN's Thomas Evans)

I'm afraid that's it for me today... no "Where in the World" due to the fact that there was no way to get through everything last night (thanks to a planned 4-hour stopover at JFK turning into an 8-hour one!) and the need to erase the clips for new stuff. (The TiVos totally missed the Friday shows, including the lone appearance Michael made on CNN this week... arrgh!) But it shall return next Saturday!

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MWmcFan said...

Great post Cyn! It was incredible to hear Michael Ware’s two talks on podcast, but reading your post about actually being there was very riveting!
I wish CNN would air Michael’s special “Iraq – Inside the Surge” on domestic for those of us who can’t receive International. But I’ll be looking forward to seeing it on your site. Thank you so much for all your work in delivering Mick’s message to us!

jodi54 said...

Cyn! I agree totally! Great post.

Anonymous said...

Cyn, I am so glad that you got to meet Michael. I am sure it was a really great treat for you.

Did you tell him you had a blog about him? If so I bet he thought that was cool.

Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Delie said...

Cyn, great post! Another opportunity for me to thank you for all the wonderful job you do with your site!

J in LA said...

Well done Cyn - I'm sure with your commitment to the various blogs, this visit up close and personal was inspiring and invigorating for you.
J in LA

Anonymous said...

I think CNN should run 15 minute to 30 minute
mini docs as well. There needs to be some
in depth reporting on things from time to
time without time restraints. I am hoping
maybe when Ballot Bowl runs it's course
that they will continue with more programs
like this with CNN reports offering more
in depth reports that can run as long as
need be without being pressed form time.
Have the reporters do short intros about
their stories and add cool music and graphics
and short countdowns telling you which
story will be coming up next( like 5 seconds
to Michael Ware). They could use the cool
bar they used earlier this year on 360.
Along with cool stuff for and
AOL and all of Time Warners magazines
as well as reports from CNN I to take
us all around the world.