Fox News contributor Richard Grenell and his public relations firm have been coordinating interviews for soldiers criticizing the actions of recently-released Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.
Those critics have said that Bergdahl, who had been imprisoned by the Taliban since 2009, risked the lives of soldiers who tried to find him after he reportedly walked off his Afghanistan base.
Several media outlets have reported on these soldiers and their concerns, including Fox News, The New York Times, Time, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Mail, and The Daily Beast. According to a report in Buzzfeed, Fox News contributor Richard Grenell and his firm Capitol Media have “played a key role in publicizing” these critics.
Grenell served as a spokesman for former U.N. ambassador (and current Fox News contributor) John Bolton in the George W. Bush administration, and also worked for a short time on the Romney 2012 campaign.
The New York Times reported on June 2 that “Republican strategists” arranged for the paper to interview soldiers who served with Bergdahl and have animosity towards him because they believe he is a deserter.
One of the soldiers quoted in the article, Cody Full, sent out a tweet thanking Grenell “for helping get our platoon’s story out.”
Buzzfeed reported that Grenell’s partner at his firm, Brad Chase, confirmed that they were behind the public relations campaign (Grenell also sent out a tweet explaining his firm offered “pro bono services” to the soldiers). Chase disputed the Times’ characterization of his firm as “Republican strategists” because he is not a Republican.
But a radio producer who booked one of the soldiers told Buzzfeed that Grenell was their point of contact for the appearance. Two other reporters confirmed to Media Matters that Grenell put them in contact with the soldiers.
David Zucchino of the Los Angeles Times, who posted an article late Monday quoting Bergdahl’s critics, said he had reached out to Grenell, who personally helped him contact Evan Buetow, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon.
The New York Times' Helene Cooper, whose article identified the source of her interview subjects as “Republican strategists,” said she was contacted on Sunday with information on former platoonmates of Bergdahl who wanted to talk to the paper.
…the false narrative surrounding Iran has been built around this central, core notion that Iran can’t be trusted because they’ve been practicing nuclear deceit for almost three decades. And, you know, that’s based on a whole series of episodes which have been related in a way that simply falsifies the real history. I won’t go into the details, but I just want to point out that there is a false narrative that is built around that central notion.
And in this case, the idea that Iran is being deceptive in some fashion that indicates that it is trying to get nuclear weapons simply doesn’t hold up. It doesn’t pass the laugh test. I mean, of course Iran is going to do whatever it has to in order to get materials for its nuclear program. The United States is trying to prevent it from doing so. It has for the last 30 years. And Iran does not accept the right of the United States—indeed, the United States has no right under international law—to have prevented Iran from getting the material necessary for its peaceful nuclear program.
So what the Iranians are accused of doing is, of course, simply not evidence at all of any dishonesty that has to do with their intentions in terms of the nuclear program. It simply means that they’re doing whatever’s necessary to get around restrictions that the United States and its allies have been placing on there ability to procure this material.
For the record, I’ve lost friends over my willingness to criticize Barack Obama, going back to the 2008 primary. Only yesterday, the true-blue Obama precincts of Twitter were raging against me as an enemy of the president.
I don’t so much defend the administration as defend the country from Republicans who cynically turned on their own ideas – the individual mandate, cap and trade legislation, immigration reform – once a Democratic president embraced them. I’m almost equally appalled by lazy Beltway wags who can’t see the radicalism of today’s GOP and reduce everything to their own “both sides do it” false equivalence.
You’ve got to see the tweet attacking Walsh:
It is nothing but amazing to see this from partisan Democrats. This rise of the Democrat with an intolerance of dissent in their own ranks shows the incapacity to win legislatures in the USA. If the dissent in the ranks of those who are left-of-center (think ideology, not partisanship) isn’t effectively directed to electoral goals, Democrats will continue to be losers.
In the end, the only way to ensure that President Obama can pick someone who will carry on in Justice Ginsburg’s tradition is for the vacancy to occur this summer. Indeed, Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who will turn 76 this summer, should also carefully consider the possibility of stepping down this year.
Some might question whether a justice should be so calculating in choosing when to retire. But not doing so ignores the reality that ideology matters enormously in Supreme Court decision-making. This is nothing new; ideology always has mattered, and which president fills vacancies on the court can have an impact for decades. If, for example, Al Gore or John Kerry rather than President George W. Bush had replaced William Rehnquist and Sandra Day O’Connor in 2005, a liberal majority would likely have endured on the court for the next few decades. Conversely, if John McCain had replaced David Souter and John Paul Stevens, there would be a solid conservative majority and Roe vs. Wade surely would have been overruled already.