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America at War

Father of Freed POW Bowe Bergdahl Asks Media to Keep Its Distance

BergdahlPresident Obama spoke from the Rose Garden this evening along with the parents of freed POW Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl, who had been held by the Taliban since June, 2009, was released earlier today in an operation brokered by the U.S., Qatar and Afghanistan with the Taliban. In exchange, five Guantanamo Bay detainees will be turned over to Qatari officials.

“The recovery of our son is going to be a considerable task for our family,” said Bob Bergdahl. “We hope that the media will understand that that will keep us very preoccupied in the coming days and weeks as he gets back home to the United States.”

Bob Bergdahl also spoke directly to his son in Pashto adding that Bowe “is having trouble speaking English.” Col. Jack Jacobs, a Medal of Honor recipient and an MSNBC analyst, said that’s not unusual. ‘When I was in Vietnam, I spent my entire time with the Vietnamese, speaking Vietnamese. I actually started to dream in Vietnamese and it took me several weeks after I got home before I started to think first in English.”

In addition to coverage on the cable news networks, CBS, FOX and NBC provided broadcast special reports.

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White House to Investigate How CIA Station Chief’s Name Was Revealed

ChiefofStationPolitico reports White House Counsel Neil Eggleston will oversee an investigation into how the name of the CIA’s station chief in Afghanistan was released to the media during President Obama’s surprise visit to Bagram Air Base on Sunday.

The station chief’s name was on a list of those briefing the president during his visit with troops and commanders. (Image of the list, above, from Monday’s NBC “Nightly News” with the name redacted). The list was later updated to remove the CIA officer’s name, but it had already been sent to thousands of journalists who receive White House pool reports.

Senior officials at the White House told NBC News the mistake was “embarrassing, stupid and unhelpful.”

Pres. Obama, Brad Paisley, Make Secret Trip to Afghanistan

CablersAfghanistan

At NoonET, the cable news networks began reporting the news that Pres. Obama had landed at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan for an unannounced Memorial Day visit with troops as well as a situation update from commanders. Lester Holt anchored an NBC News special report at 12:30pmET. This is Pres. Obama’s fourth visit to Afghanistan, and his first since his re-election in 2012. Country music star Brad Paisley traveled with the president, where he will perform for troops. About 40 minutes ago Paisley tweeted:

 

After Years of Planning and Shooting, War Reporter’s ‘Hornet’s Nest’ Hits Big Screen

Mike Boettcher has spent decades in the TV trenches. First as a correspondent for CNN beginning in 1980, then NBC News and now ABC News. But for the last several years, Boettcher and his son Carlos have been working to bring attention to the men and women of the military who are still fighting in Afghanistan. Back in 2008, TVNewser talked with Boettcher as he was drumming up support for a plan to embed with a military unit and produce stories for local stations.

By 2010, a modified plan came together, in which Mike and Carlos Boettcher would spend a year embedded with U.S. troops in Afghanistan, recording footage and interviewing people involved at the front lines of the conflict. The result is the film “The Hornet’s Nest.” Just in time for Memorial Day, the movie opens wide today, following an opening in several cities, mostly near military bases, last week. FishbowlDC’s Nick Massella attended Wednesday’s premiere in Washington. Here’s a look behind the scenes from “Good Morning America.”


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Jake Tapper Presents Second Special Ahead of Medal of Honor Ceremony

CNN’s Jake Tapper presents his second hour-long special for the network, tied to his bestselling book “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor.”

“Jake Tapper Reports: An Unlikely Hero” tells the story of Army Staff Sergeant Ty Carter and the October 2009 attack on Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan. Tapper’s special, airing Wednesday at 10pmET, comes just days before Pres. Obama will award Staff Sergeant Carter with the Medal of Honor. This will mark the first time in nearly fifty years that two living service members have been awarded the nation’s highest honor for actions during the same battle.

In February, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to former Army Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha. Tapper interviewed Romesha for a special in February just before he was presented the Medal of Honor for his valor during the attack on Combat Outpost Keating.

Anchors Reflect On 10 Years Of War In Iraq

As we reported this week the war in Iraq turned 10 this week. TV news anchors and correspondents who were there have been reflecting on the coverage.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer recalls retreating to a bunker with a gas mask during a scare:

ABC’s Martha Raddatz talks to the “PBS Newshour” about her coverage:
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Jon Stewart on Petraeus Conspiracy Theories and Being ‘the Worst Journalist in the World’

Jon Stewart calls himself “the worst journalist in the world.” In January, Stewart interviewed Paula Broadwell, at the height of her affair with CIA director David Petraeus which has made him former CIA director David Petraeus. Stewart says he was “staring at how defined her arms are” and didn’t pick up on the innuendo staring back at him.

Stewart also had a round up some of the media conspiracy theories that emanated from the Petraeus affair.

Lester Holt Reporting From Afghanistan

NBC’s Lester Holt reported from Afghanistan this morning on “Today” and will anchor “Nightly News” from there tonight.

Holt arrived in Afghanistan Saturday as the last U.S. surge troops begin to depart, amid increased insider attacks on U.S. troops. Reporting from Kabul, Holt will also interview the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, tomorrow. Correspondents Richard Engel and Atia Abawi will contribute reporting.

Brooke Baldwin Choked Up Talking to Father Of Marine Killed by Afghan He Was Training

This afternoon on CNN, Brooke Baldwin shared the frustration that many people are feeling about the U.S. military’s role in Afghanistan, as young soldiers and Marines are killed by Afghans they are training. Baldwin interviewed Greg Buckley, a New York man whose 21-year-old son, Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley, Jr., was shot dead last month by an Afghan police officer while he was working out in a gym.

Buckley recounted how his son told him, “‘I’m telling you, dad, they’re going to kill us. We all talk to our superiors and they push us to the side and say, don’t worry about it, we’ll take care of it.’ But they didn’t take care of it.”

Baldwin, choked up, added: “Greg Buckley, it is tough to put into words. And I’m angry with you, and I’m sad with you. Thank you.”

Video after the jump…

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One Year Later: Special Coverage of the Killing of Bin Laden

One year after the killing of Osama Bin Laden, there will be special coverage this week of the anniversary.

In what NBC is calling a “first for network television,” “Rock Center with Brian Williams” takes viewers inside the White House’s Situation Room. Airing Wednesday at 9pmET/PT, the program features interviews with President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other top administration officials.

Discovery Channel presents “Secrets of Bin Laden’s Lair,” a one-hour special that will feature what the cabler says is the “very first comprehensive television report” of classified intelligence seized during the Abbottabad compound raid.  Among many other topics, that intelligence gives insight as to Bin Laden’s opinions on American media, including the cable wars between CNN, FNC, and MSNBC. Produced by Peacock Productions, NBC News correspondent Harry Smith narrates the program, Tuesday at 10 pmET/PT.

(Photo: White House/Pete Souza)

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