Senior CNN International correspondent and Emmy Award-winning journalist Arwa Damon is once again on our television screens on a daily basis. Nothing personal Arwa, but that’s not usually a good thing as Damon’s area of expertise is conflict zones. When Arwa’s on there’s usually a war, or military action of some kind underway.
Damon’s style of reporting is a no BS, straight-forward approach. Severe and stoic, Arwa presents the facts without a smile … ever. I understand there might not be much to smile about in a war zone, but common interaction between a correspondent in the field and a studio-based anchor now and then affords an opportunity for a small smile. But not from Arwa.
I had started to wonder if she even had teeth, but that became abundantly clear when Arwa recently took bites out of a couple of emergency technicians. It would seem that stiff is a good way not only to describe her reporting style, but her condition when one night recently at the US Embassy in Baghdad, after having a few too many nips herself, an intoxicated and out of control Damon bit two EMTs who had been called to tend to her.
According to a lawyer for the two EMTs “She was biting them both pretty furiously. She has good teeth. Eventually they subdued her.”
If there was any doubt as to the truth of this, it was dispelled the next day when Damon apologized for her actions. In an email to U.S. Embassy staff, she wrote “It’s been an extremely stressful time, I was exhausted, I had not had proper food all day and clearly miscalculated how my body would handle the alcohol consumed. Needless to say, I am utterly mortified and take full responsibility for my actions, which are inexcusable.” Jesus Arwa, we can all forget to eat properly from time to time and have drinks sneak up on us, but it usually means an early cab home.
But fair enough; I mean how many of us can honestly say we’ve never gotten into our cups, gone bonkers at an embassy event filled with diplomats and taken a chomp out of a couple of ambulance technicians. Happens all the time.
Frankly I really don’t care what Damon did while pissed and on her own time. Her reporting wasn’t compromised, she appears sober when at work, and surely her claim of stress is understandable given she spends much of her time in war zones.
I’d just like to see her smile every now and then. C’mon … smile Arwa, smile.