June 8th, 2014
12:28 PM ET

What's been missing in the coverage of Bowe Bergdahl's return

Rolling Stone writer and former soldier Matthew Farwell tells Brian Stelter about Bowe Bergdahl based on the 2012 article he collaborated on with the late Michael Hastings.

Stelter started the segment with this commentary:

Before we go any further on this Bergdahl story, I have to say something about the press's role here. This story is not just about whether he deserted. His actions may have been deplorable - we have to wait and hear his side of the story.

But it's not just about him. This story, at its heart, is about ending the wars that have defined the first 14 years of this American century. It is also about facing the moral and legal consequences of holding so many prisoners for so long at Guantanamo Bay.

Here's something to keep in mind, something I wish the press have made more clear this week in the coverage. I fact-checked this with the State Department on Friday. These five Taliban prisoners? They were released partly because the Obama administration concluded it could not press charges against them. It did not have evidence to put them on trial.

We, the public, have turned away from Gitmo. We've definitely turned away from Afghanistan. But the press can and the press should pull us back. The press should encourage us to pay attention to these issues.

I think the media has an educational role to play here. As President Obama said on Monday, this is what happens at the end of wars.

But sometimes that's hard to see when you watch TV and all you hear is - well, fear-mongering.

Filed under: Blog • Bowe Bergdahl • Reliable Sources
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