Fact Check: CNN Chief Correspondent's Headscarf Was NOT New, But She Says Taliban Take-Over Forces Precautions

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: CNN Chief Correspondent's Headscarf Was NOT New, But She Says Taliban Take-Over Forces Precautions  Not In Public

Did CNN's chief international correspondent start wearing a headscarf in Afghanistan due to Taliban control? No, that's not true: veteran war reporter Clarissa Ward clarified she has always worn a headscarf while reporting "on the street in Kabul." Ward explained her wardrobe choices in Kabul changed as the government fell to the extremist Islamic Taliban, saying there was a "difference but not quite this stark." In strict Islamist quarters, women are expected to cover their hair when in public and foreign correspondents say violating that rule could make them targets or cause male sources not to speak to them. Ward has reported from war zones in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt.

The claim appeared as a post (archived here) where it was published on Instagram on August 16, 2021. It opened:

Where are my liberal feminist at?

Users on social media saw this post:

Screen Shot 2021-08-17 at 9.15.37 PM.pngScreen Shot 2021-08-17 at 9.15.37 PM.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Tue Aug 17 09:06:21 2021 UTC)

The meme showed two photos of Ward, the top from August 15, 2021, in which she had no covering on her head. The bottom image is a screengrab from CNN a day later, from August 16, 2021, where her hair was fully covered and she was wearing an abaya, a traditional Muslim covering. The meme warned, "THIS IS THE FUTURE FOR AFGHAN WOMEN.

Ward tweeted a response to the meme from her official account @clarissawward, about her two different outfits as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.

Here is a screen grab taken by Lead Stories from CNN on August 17, 2021, at 3:03 p.m. PT that shows Ward reporting live on television without a headscarf or abaya, presumably in a private compound again in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Screen Shot 2021-08-17 at 3.04.12 PM.png

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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