Image 01 Image 03

NY Times Editors Rush to Demonize Republicans over Sgt. Bergdahl

NY Times Editors Rush to Demonize Republicans over Sgt. Bergdahl

Editorial “The Rush to Demonize Sgt. Bergdahl” based on initial misquote of John McCain

The NY Times ran an editorial on June 5, The Rush to Demonize Sgt. Bergdahl, excoriating Republicans for hypocrisy as to condemnation of the exchange of 5 top Taliban Gitmo detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

There are many all-too-typical Times sleights of hand, such as referring to Bergdahl as:

… a free-spirited young man who asked many questions but gave no indication of being a deserter, let alone the turncoat that Mr. Obama’s opponents are now trying to create.

In condemning a rush to judgment as to Bergdahl by critics, The Times Editors rush to an alternative judgment.

More important, the centerpiece of the Editorial, with which it begins, is a quote from John McCain (emphasis added):

Four months ago, Senator John McCain said he would support the exchange of five hard-core Taliban leaders for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. “I would support,” he told CNN. “Obviously I’d have to know the details, but I would support ways of bringing him home and if exchange was one of them I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider.”

NY Times Rush to Demonize Sgt Bergdahl 6-6-2014 9 30 am

I’ve underlined the words “Obviously I’d have to know the details” because those words were not in the original versions of the Editorial.  Rather, it was a late correction which significantly scales back the notion that McCain previously supported this exchange deal.

I’ve tracked the changes in the Editorial through a very useful service, NewsDiff.  The NewsDiff archive history page for the Times Editorial reflects that the Editorial originally had a less aggressive title, and also did not include the part of McCain’s quote I’ve highlighted.  In omitting that language from the quote, the Times made it seem as if McCain supported the same deal that Obama struck.  That supposed support was the foundation for the Editorial, but when the foundation shifted, the Times made like nothing changed.

Here’s the edit history of the intro paragraph via NewsDiff:

The Original and First Edit

NY Times Rush to Demonize Sgt Bergdahl Archive June 5 2014 5 00 pm

 The Second Edit

NY Times Rush to Demonize Sgt Bergdahl Archive June 5 2014 9 00 pm

The Third Edit

NY Times Rush to Demonize Sgt Bergdahl Archive June 5 2014 10 59 pm

NY Times Rush to Demonize Sgt Bergdahl Archive June 5 2014 10 59 pm highlighted

The Correction at bottom of Editorial currently:

NY Times Rush to Demonize Sgt Bergdahl correction re McCain quote 6-6-2014 10 08 am

There was a rush to demonize here. It was by The NY Times Editors.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


stevewhitemd | June 6, 2014 at 10:51 am

Republicans. Like Leon Panetta…

… changed their minds about the Bergdahl release and this indicts all conservatives …”

This just goes to show that some conservatives still want to believe their POTUS, but once again the power of prevarication was too strong.

Thinking about this big mess last night and I wondered if the public reaction would be the same if the soldier Obama traded five terrorists for was Pat Tillman?

    did tillman desert? nice strawman.
    if bowe had not deserted this would be easier to deal with however it would still be wrong and should not be done.
    these 5 should have shot not released/traded.

    Phillep Harding in reply to Vince. | June 6, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    You equate the two?

    SmokeVanThorn in reply to Vince. | June 6, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Thinking of this big mess tonight and I wondered if the public reaction would be the same if Sergeant York, Dwight Eisenhower, Audie Murphy and Dick Winters came back to life, then were captured by the Taliban and Obama traded five terrorists for them.

    I am just speculating.

    Vince in reply to Vince. | June 7, 2014 at 3:00 am

    Funny, when I initially posed this hypothetical question I never thought it would elicit such borderline responses.

    I thought the question was rather innocuous. Actually, it is.

Arch-conservatives like Chris Mathews…???

Hill-larry Clinton (who has been twisting her poor old spine in knots to distance herself from this disgrace)?

And since when is REPORTING information “demonizing”?

And since when is McAnus a spokesperson for the GOP…??? The NYT uses him like a two-bit whore…they “love” him when they’re using him.

NYT: “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”

Now who are you going to believe…. the classically trained professional journalists with the highest ethical standards that write for the New York Times or some part time blogger that simply tells the truth?

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | June 6, 2014 at 11:51 am

Notwithstanding the NYT’s initial misquote of McCain, at WaPo Glenn Kessler fact checks McCain’s statements and gives him an upside down Pinocchio for “flip flopping”. It is worth reading.

“The idea that we are trying Sergeant Bergdahl in the court of public opinion in abstentia, without giving him an opportunity to give his story and to tell us what happened, frankly, I find repugnant,” Blinken [deputy national security adviser] said.

In the military, we had a two word, curt, response of crap like that. The first word was “Tough”. You can fill in the blank.

If Bergdahl IS the kind of guy Obama says he is then Obama must really want to get the honorable veteran Sgt. Tahmooressi back to the U.S. Right NYT? Right?

LukeHandCool | June 6, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Is Leon Panetta a Republican now?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to LukeHandCool. | June 6, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    The dichotomy is broken and the scale is no longer just left vs. right. Now there is the left, the right – and Obama, way out on his own limb, page, planet, etc.

You just have to admire how the Times leaps to man the barricades. Unfortunately if there is an actual attack, they will desert.

when I think of “American Patriots”, I think of the NYT.

no, *snicker*. I don’t