At this point, one doesn’t look to Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) for any sort of coherent thoughts or principled statements.
Cruz long ago proved himself to be a political opportunist of the highest order when he responded to the insulting attacks made by Donald Trump on his wife and his father during the 2016 Republican primary by bending down further to lick Trump’s boots.
So Senator Cruz’s self-serving assault on the character of CNN reporter Clarissa Ward who has been reporting live from the streets of Kabul as the Taliban have taken over the last of Afghanistan’s major cities is not surprising in the least.
Cruz posted a clip of Ward’s report from Kabul as she stood among large groups of Taliban soldiers who entered the city as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country yesterday. The CNN journalist reported exactly what she saw: the Taliban chanting their equivalent to the GOP’s MAGA slogan, “Death to America,” while refraining from attacking American news crews and politely answering their questions.
The gist of what Senator Cruz garnered from this report was the sense that the U.S. news outlet was “cheerleading” for America’s enemy rather than simply accurately reporting what was taking place.
Is there an enemy of America for whom @CNN WON’T cheerlead?
(In mandatory burkas, no less.) https://t.co/9O6pe8yROM
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 16, 2021
Cruz’s accusation was not something that CNN intended to let go unanswered, however.
The cable news network replied with a tweet that contrasted the courage of their field correspondent with Cruz’s own despicable behavior earlier this year when the Texas power grid collapsed and he took off with his family for a getaway vacation in Cancun rather than stay to help with the disaster affecting his abandoned constituents.
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
Other CNN journalists joined the pile up on the Texas senator begun by their corporate PR reps.
Low class tweet about a colleague who has put her life on the line throughout the conflict to bring people news. And takes her out of context to boot and maliciously accuses her of cheerleading for the Taliban. https://t.co/B1CPINjGxx
— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) August 16, 2021
Would you have the courage to walk through the Taliban-controlled streets of Kabul, @tedcruz?
Maybe watch @clarissaward's full eye-opening report rather than attacking journalists.https://t.co/N1uwkoL67T https://t.co/tBSlHDU6nE
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) August 16, 2021
It wasn’t just employees of CNN who reveled in the network’s response to the ill-considered social media post of the clueless Cruz.
Many on social media joined the chorus of condemnation of the Texas politician and praised the news network’s blistering response.
— Reg (@iPapai52) August 16, 2021
he doesn't actually work for texans. he just works for ted.
— Furious Sarcasm (@notmeanspirited) August 16, 2021
Appalling statement about a reporter showing real courage. Of a piece with so many glib takes trying to turn the Afghanistan catastrophe into parochial culture war issue. This is about the decline of American power, influence and will. Not press bias. https://t.co/5Ikg716Oxq
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) August 16, 2021
Ted, you literally packed your shit and left when cold weather hit Texas. How about you sit out criticizing a reporter bringing you the news surrounded by members of the Taliban?
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) August 16, 2021
He knows this, he just wants the attention.
— Jamjams (@AnnJan1630) August 16, 2021
While it’s unlikely that any of this public drsssing down will effect Senator Cruz’s future behavior going forward, so deeply enmeshed in Trump’s rear end as he is, at least the vilification of the cowardly Texas senator is satisfying to read in the meantime.
If Cruz wins another term in office after his disastrous tenure to date, America should allow Texas to secede from the union. There would be little hope for the state in that eventuality.
Original reporting by Brad Reed at RawStory.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.