Monday was supposed to be the sentencing hearing for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, but his lawyer motioned to dismiss the case and asserted that President Trump’s critical comments during the 2016 election swayed the military court. Both CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News seemed to buy into the claims as they lamented how the admitted deserter would have to wait until Wednesday to learn his fate. They also omitted his praise for his Taliban captors.
“A former American P.O.W. must now wait longer to learn if he'll spend the rest of his life in prison,” announced NBC anchor Lester Holt sounding a bit shocked. “A military judge delayed sentencing for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl to Wednesday to determine whether public comments from President Trump impacted the case.” Only then, did Holt note that Bergdahl had pled guilty to the charges before ending the news brief.
Roughly half of CBS’s 31-second news brief was made up of anchor Anthony Mason whining about Trump’s perceived influence on the trial. “Bergdahl's lawyer argued the case should be dismissed, claiming comments by President Trump made a fair trial impossible. While campaigning, the Mr. Trump called Bergdahl, quote: ‘a dirty, rotten traitor,’” Mason reported.
None of them stopped and questioned how Bergdahl got an “unfair trial” if he pled guilty to the charges against him.
Both of these network evening newscasts failed to mention that Bergdahl had actually praised the Taliban for treating him better than the U.S., over the weekend. In an interview with The Times of London, the deserter said: “At least the Taliban were honest enough to say, ‘I’m the guy who’s gonna cut your throat.’ Here it could be the guy I pass in the corridor who’s going to sign the paper that sends me away for life.”
During Monday’s CBS This Morning, reporter Demarco Morgan had actually read that quote as he was wrapping up his report before the hearing, but Mason didn’t seem to think it was important enough to mention. NBC’s Today also ran a news brief and there too they omitted Bergdahl’s sick praise for the enemy.
Their omission of the facts came as they spent the previous week ignoring a large part of the controversy that was Bergdahl’s release. Sure, they would note how there was controversy to the prisoner swap, but they would leave it at that.
There was zero mention of how the Obama administration acted as though Bergdahl was a war hero that was finally free and coming home. In exchange for the deserter, Obama released five dangerous terrorists.
CBS Evening News
October 23, 2017
6:36:09 – 6:36:40 PM Eastern [31 seconds]
ANTHONY MASON: Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl’s sentencing trial got under way at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Bergdahl was held by the Taliban for five years. Last week he pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, which could put him behind bars for life. Bergdahl's lawyer argued the case should be dismissed, claiming comments by President Trump made a fair trial impossible. While campaigning, the Mr. Trump called Bergdahl, quote: "a dirty, rotten traitor."
NBC Nightly News
October 23, 2017
7:15:31 – 7:15:51 PM Eastern [19 Seconds]
LESTER HOLT: A former American P.O.W. must now wait longer to learn if he'll spend the rest of his life in prison. A military judge delayed sentencing for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl to Wednesday to determine whether public comments from President Trump impacted the case. Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.