Flashback: MSNBC’s Attempt to Cast Bergdahl Desertion As Right-Wing Swift Boating

In the early days of the Bowe Berdahl story, when his fellow soldiers began telling several major media outlets that Bowe Bergdahl was a deserter, not a hero, unnamed White House aides began pushing the false narrative that the soldiers were being manipulated by a  Republican-backed, deceitful effort to “swift-boat” Bergdahl,  a reference to the 2004 ad campaign raising questions about then presidential candidate John Kerry’s accounts of his military service.

In the next few days, MSNBC launched into action with a coordinated attempt to echo the White House’s narrative.

On Tuesday, June 3, on MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” guest host Ari Melber said “The POW who is under treatment at a military hospital now is being swift-boated by the reflexive anti-Obama machine.”

Wednesday, June 4, on MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation,”  host Al Sharpton said, “We now know a Republican consultant has been helping to fan the flames by arranging media interviews with his fellow soldiers who view Bergdahl in a critical manner. We’ve seen this before, where GOP operatives arranged the swift-boating of John Kerry.”

Wednesday, June 4, in the lead up to her show, “The Reid Report,'”  host Joy Reid proclaimed, “As more Republicans swift-boat Bowe Bergdahl, we will show you how it might backfire on them.”

Thursday, June 5, on “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” guest host Kristen Welker asked Rep. Peter King (R-NY) “Are Republicans trying to swift-boat Bowe Bergdahl?”

King answered, “To compare what was apparently done to John Kerry, or allegedly done to John Kerry, to this, every allegation that’s being made by these troops, are the people in the field with him. They are the ones we should listen to. These are men who served with him, who felt betrayed by him. No one has a better knowledge than they would have.”

Wednesday, Bowe Bergdahl was charged with desertion.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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