The Sunday media shows both led yesterday covering the Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap.
“Thank you Bill O’Reilly for demonstrating how to conduct a smear campaign against a military family,” Brian Stelter said after playing a clip of O’Reilly noting Bowe’s father, Bob, has learned to speak Pashto and “looks like a Muslim.” He then turned to MSNBC’s “resident conservative” Joe Scarborough: “I confess I almost threw my remote control at the TV at one point this week,” Stelter said after playing a clip of Scarborough and Chuck Todd’s heated exchange about Bob Bergdahl, where Scarborough called him a bad father.
Stelter also noted Fox News’ James Rosen report that Bergdahl had converted to Islam during his captivity. “That has not been backed up by other sources,” Stelter said. His guest, the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, praised Rosen as a reporter, but suggested his report “does not meet the bar”: “This is hearsay from terrorists passed through an ex-felon and then to the American people” (Rosen responded to Lizza via Twitter).
Over on “MediaBuzz,” Howard Kurtz referenced Rosen’s report, noting the part about Bergdahl being locked in a cage for weeks had been confirmed. Kurtz also chimed in on MSNBC’s Ari Melber claiming the media was “swiftboating” Bergdahl. “I would argue, lots of news organizations that would not be described as conservative organizations have been going out and finding out information from the soldiers and other sources about Bergdahl’s conduct.”