Accuracy in Media

The U.S. military “threw the book” at Bowe Bergdahl, charging him with “misbehavior before the enemy,” which could result in life imprisonment. Yet the mainstream media have clearly chosen sides before the case is decided. Members of the media have once again elected to skew their coverage of the Bergdahl case in order to place the Obama administration in a favorable light.

The swap of Bergdahl for the Taliban Five was met with considerable controversy. “This was a bad deal, all around,” we commented last year. “The administration tried offering the release of one terrorist detainee at a time. Apparently the Taliban turned it down. And two years earlier, President Obama was close to releasing the Taliban Five for nothing, except the right to claim he was once again advancing the cause of peace, this time with the Taliban.”

Perhaps one of the more egregious examples of media bias toward Bergdahl, and thereby the administration, can be found in a September 20 Washington Post front-page article entitled, “Disillusioned and self-deluded, Bowe Bergdahl vanished into a brutal captivity,” which emphasizes both Bergdahl’s mental health state and his brutal torture at the hands of the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network.

“Emotional testimony has underscored the relentless brutality that Bergdahl had to endure, as well as the chaos caused by his disappearance and the lingering resentment of some of his comrades,” wrote Dan Lamothe for the Post.

Tales of Bergdahl’s maltreatment and torture evoke sympathy and horror. But the trade for the Taliban Five made the situation worse—both for future soldiers who risk kidnapping, and for the rest of the world, which must bear the brunt of future evil acts that could potentially be influenced by the Taliban Five’s leadership and reputation. At the very least, this was a propaganda victory for Islamic extremists worldwide.

The Post article devoted only two lines to the arguments made by Army prosecutor, Major Margaret Kurz, who, Lamothe writes, asserted “that Bergdahl’s actions hurt the Army, his fellow soldiers and the mission in Afghanistan, and he must be punished.”

“One does not just walk away into the Afghan wilderness…and then return as though nothing happened,” said Kurz, according to the Post. These two lines, so inconvenient to the media’s narrative, were buried at the end of the article—where they were less likely to be read.

While breathless news reporting has covered every new revelation regarding Bergdahl’s mental health status, according to the Associated Press, “Military officials and prosecutors [have] downplayed or disputed those mental health claims.” By emphasizing Bergdahl’s psychological health, reporters hope to distract from this soldier’s deliberate act of desertion which endangered the lives of many of those with whom he served.

Last year, Time magazine cited the six soldiers who it said died hunting for Bergdahl. Yet the administration, according to Lamothe, would now like America to believe that these deaths are not connected to Bergdahl’s desertion. Newsweek was one publication that questioned whether or not those deaths were directly attributable to the search for Bergdahl.

Bergdahl’s motives were laid out quite clearly in last year’s Rolling Stone article. According to Tim Dickinson:

‘He wanted to be a mercenary, wanted to be a free gun,’ says [Jason] Fry. ‘He had a notion he was a survivalist, claimed he knew how to survive with nothing because he grew up in Idaho…. Before we deployed…him and I were talking about what it would be like,’ Fry recalls. Bowe looked at his friend and made no bones about his plans. ‘If this deployment is lame,’ Bowe said, ‘I’m just going to walk off into the mountains of Pakistan.’

Fox News reported back in April that “two senior sources” had told former military intelligence officer Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer that a 2009 investigation which forensically examined Bergdahl’s computer indicated that he had contacted the Russians before leaving his post.

“He was going to go off to Uzbekistan,” Shaffer told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, describing the Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation. “He had made contact with local Afghans and wanted to be moved to Uzbekistan and then made contact with the Russians because he wanted to talk to Russian organized crime…”

“‘He left deliberately, knowingly,’ Kurz said, and with a plan that took weeks to prepare: mailing his Kindle and laptop home, attempting to have his pay diverted to a relative, packing local clothing as a disguise, leaving his gun and other belongings on his cot,” reported the Los Angeles Times on September 17.

By characterizing Bergdahl not as a deserter but an unwitting victim, and even a whistleblower, the mainstream media hope to salvage President Obama’s damaged reputation for his outrageous decision to trade one soldier who abandoned his post for five high-ranking Taliban terrorists who would kill again if given the chance. Two of the five were wanted by the United Nations for crimes against humanity. And on top of that, Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, said at the time of his release that Bergdahl had served “with honor and distinction.” President Obama, meanwhile. took great credit for this trade as an example of his determination to leave no American “men and women in uniform behind.” He even brought Bergdahl’s parents to the White House for a controversial televised announcement of the release.

Discussions of why Bergdahl abandoned his post serve only as a weak explanation, a distraction from how this awful deal remains a stain on Obama’s reputation, and a foreshadowing of his administration’s future negotiations, such as the Iran nuclear deal. But the media are once again content to ignore the details and context of this story, along with other enduring Obama scandals.

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  • John Cunningham

    Of course they do they take their marching orders form the Demigod in The White House. The embarrassment of putting Bergdahl in prison would taint the legacy of Obama as if it isn’t already.

  • Gringo_Cracker

    I expect to see Susan Rice on the Sunday talk-shows extolling Bergdahl for desertion and misbehavior before the enemy with “honor and distinction.”

  • rivahmitch

    Bergdahl should be executed and denied any burial on American soil. Semper Fi!

  • tompro97

    Bergdahl is a TRAITOR in the worse sense of the word and should be executed by a firing squad for his crimes against his fellow Americans.

    ..DISLIKE!!!!!…..DISLIKE!!!!!…..DISLIKE!!!!!…..DISLIKE!!!!! DISLIKE!!!!…..DISLIKE!!!!!…..DISLIKE!!!!!…..DISLIKE!!!!!

  • Scott Weber

    No, no, they haven’t come to Bergdahl’s defense. He’s only the figure being used. They are actually coming to Obama’s defense for all he gave to get a traitor back and parade his family at the White House. If Bergdahl is found to be a traitor, Obama will like a total fool and the media can’t have that.

  • larry

    one question… why is that treasonous,deserter, piece of shit still alive… he should have been buried in a pit filled with the feces of his entire unit, and his grave should be pissed on daily… obama’s too…

  • Richard Hellstrom

    The Obama Administration Hired A Radical Christian Hater To Head Tolerance” In The Military and they are attacking Christianity in the military as fast as any Muslim Group on the Planet. They have told our troops to refrain from eating, drinking in front of Muslims during their religious holidays and ordered them to learn more about their religion. They have listed most Christian organizations as Domestic Hate Groups and ordered the troops to be on the look out for people who hate Muslims during our Middle Eastern campaigns. They have told U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies and just sit their and listen to it. Could any one Imagine why Obama would be shed in a bad light or why all our military personal don’t just walk off ! If the Obama administration doesn’t like the religion in America , our soldiers and their values and want to invoke such pathetic sexual conduct on our soldiers in an effort to gain global acceptance to the lifestyle of his lobby then they should probably resign and look to lead another nation that has the same faith based identity that they do.

  • Hammertime

    Obama will try to make an example of Bowe. He does not want people in the military disobeying orders.

  • Hammertime

    Uh, no. He should be given an award for deserting. Obama’s wars are based on lies and fraud. Anyone who participates in them are complicit in his crimes.

  • Hammertime

    Obama would be rendered powerless and would be removed, if more soldiers followed Bergdahl’s example. He did a very brave thing.

  • rivahmitch

    Sorry but, as an old ‘Nam vet (USMC 67-69), the way I see it the worthless sack of shit didn’t desert the Kenyan muslime/marxist, it deserted its brothers in combat for which it should die. Loyalty to comrades is a whole different issue in battle.

  • jadegreen_eyz

    I suspect Hammertime has never served (his loss) and wouldn’t fully comprehend the true meaning of Semper Fidelis. While it has been the Marine Corps motto since 1883, it is applicable to all armed forces. You are faithful to your mission at hand, to one another (they are your family) and to county. Good men lost their lives because of the worthless traitor. Semper Fi my brother, USMC (70-72), WM.

  • Hammertime

    Seems you have some psychological problems there.

  • MoonBeamWatcher

    Think the Cambridge cop and the Rose Garden Beers followed by the
    White Latino down in Florida, the Ft. Hood Workplace incident would have taught Obama to “measure twice and cut once’ NO he jumped upon the Clock Hoax Boy and invited this fraud to White House . . . couple this with the Give Iran the BIG Bomb INSANITY and we have Obamas comedy of ERRORS . . . do he have big shoes that turn up in front to go with the little RED NOSE? Niffty to know one does not have to get up early to fool OBAMMA! SOB’s like a doorknob, EVERYONE gets a turn.