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America at War

American Journalist Reportedly Executed by ISIS

JimFoleyJames Foley, a freelance journalist for Global Post, has reportedly been beheaded by ISIS militants.

In a gruesome video, militants claim they are also holding a second journalist, Steven Soltoff and threaten to kill him if the United States does not pull out of Iraq.

Foley was taken at gunpoint while covering the civil war in Syria, on Nov. 22, 2012. His parents John and Diane Foley were on the “Today” show last October, a day before Jim’s 40th birthday, to appeal for any information on their son.

“We just ask his captors to recognize his innocence and his desire to help the Syrian people and to please have mercy and let him be free,” Diane Foley said.

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Pres. Obama Makes Statement on Iraq Crisis

ObamaNBC News and ABC News offered special coverage this afternoon as President Obama made a statement on recent U.S. airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq. CBS News did not provide broadcast coverage.

Speaking from his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, the president spoke about the limited U.S. mission in Iraq along with humanitarian aid being issued to men, women, and children stranded on Mount Sinjar in Iraq.

NBC News cut in at 5:08pmET with Brian Williams anchoring in New York and senior White House correspondent Chris Jansing reporting from Martha’s Vineyard. ABC News presented its coverage at 5:09pmET with David Muir anchoring from New York and chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl reporting from Martha’s Vineyard. The president didn’t take questions.

Presidential Primetime Address on Iraq Keeps Nets Up Late

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In a live primetime address, Pres. Obama announced he has ordered a humanitarian effort to help Iraqis threatened by the terror group ISIS and has authorized — though not yet ordered — targeted airstrikes against the group to protect U.S. personnel in Northern Iraq.

The president’s remarks began at 9:30pmET, pre-empting the summer filler sitcom “Working the Engels” on NBC and “Rookie Blue” on ABC. FOX and CBS did not offer a special reports. Some CBS stations on the West Coast produced their own special reports, while some Fox affiliates simulcast Fox News Channel.

The president ended his remarks at 6:38pmPT, eight minutes in to the network evening newscasts’ West Coast editions. NBC’s Brian Williams rolled into a live edition “Nightly News” with breaking updates from correspondents at the Pentagon and White House. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos wrapped up ABC’s special report which then joined ABC “World News,” anchored by David Muir in progress.

Jon Stewart Gets Serious About His ‘Most Regretful’ Interview

In an interview with “Mad Men” star Elisabeth Moss last night, Jon Stewart revealed the interview he regrets most. It was his 2011 interview with the former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, “Because he started a war for no reason and lied a lot about it.”

Stewart thought he’d “nail him on that,” during the interview, but he failed.

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.

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

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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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