From the June 21 letter to Fox News chief executive Roger Ailes, signed by 14 Democrats and 9 Republicans:
As members of Congress and veterans of the United States Armed Forces, it was with incredulity and disgust that we watched Fox News Strategic Analyst Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters (Ret.) suggest on your airwaves that Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl, "abandoned his buddies, abandoned his post, and just walked off," and stated that, if this is true, "the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills."
Mr. Peters' comments are so far beyond the pale that they don't even approach the decorum and respect deserved by a member of the United States Armed Forces. Mr. Peters' indefensible comments call into question, without any supporting evidence whatsoever, PFC Bergdahl's patriotism and commitment to his country, and suggest in a non-subtle way that he deserved to be captured. The events surrounding the capture of PFC Bergdahl are irrelevant at this point.
The only priority should be his safe and immediate release to U.S. forces.
We demand an apology to PFC Bergdahl's family and to the thousands of soldiers who put their lives on the line for our country. As a member of the military family, Mr. Peters should measure his remarks and remember that the United States will never abandon one of its own.
Rep. Eric Massa's (D-NY) press release in its entirety:
Congressman Eric Massa demands that Fox News immediately fire Bill O'Reilly and Lt. Col Ralph Peters and apologize to the family of PFC Bowe Bergdahl
Retired Navy Commander stands up for Prisoner of War and condemns Fox News
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congressman Eric Massa held a press call to condemn the deeply offensive and unpatriotic statements of Lt. Col Ralph Peters (ret.) and Fox News Host Bill O'Reilly about prisoner of war PFC Bowe Bergdahl.
On Fox News on Monday, Mr. Peters, a "strategic analyst" for Fox News, suggested that the Taliban should execute PFC Bergdahl and "save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills." Rep. Massa, a 24 year retired Navy Commander was shocked and deeply appalled that any American would ever wish for the death of one of our soldiers. You can watch this video by clicking here.
On Tuesday night, Mr. Peters made another appearance on Fox's O'Reilly Factor. During this appearance, Mr. Peters refused to apologize and Bill O'Reilly speculated that PFC Bergdahl must be "crazy." You can view that video by clicking here.
Earlier that evening, Rep. Massa joined with 22 other Congressional veterans in sending a letter to Fox News Chief Executive Roger Ailes demanding he issue an apology to the family of PFC Bergdahl. You can read this letter by clicking here.
"Words cannot express how furious I am at Fox News, Lt. Col Ralph Peters and Bill O'Reilly for suggesting that we should leave a prisoner of war behind and allow him to be executed by the Taliban to save us the trouble of trying to intervene" said Congressman Eric Massa. "Last night I joined with a bipartisan group of 22 other Congressional veterans in demanding an immediate apology to the family of PFC Bergdahl from Fox News, but I don't think that goes far enough. I want to see Mr. Peters and Mr. O'Reilly fired immediately for their inexcusable attacks on a prisoner of war. Their comments aid and abet our enemies during a time of war and the burden is on Fox News to prove that they reject this by taking the tangible action of issuing an apology and firing both of them."
"As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I know that our military is doing all they can to rescue PFC Bergdahl. My thoughts and prayers are with PFC Bergdahl and his family during this challenging time and I'll do anything I can to help them," added Rep. Massa.
From the July 21 edition of MSNBC's Morning Meeting:
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Fox News' Bill Hemmer did not challenge Rep. Trent Franks' criticism of the Obama administration for proposing to reduce the missile defense budget, failing to note that Defense Department officials have testified that the cuts allow them to more effectively manage the fleet of interceptors that counter rogue state threats.
Neil Cavuto said of a Homeland Security report on right-wing extremism, "we never say 'left-wing extremists,' you know?" He later wondered what would have happened "if the prior administration had said the exact same thing." In fact, DHS released a report on left-wing extremism in January.
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A.B. Stoddard falsely claimed that a DHS report on "rightwing extremists" "didn't back up the claims with evidence." In fact, the report specifically pointed to previous reports that "some returning military veterans" have "associated with rightwing extremist groups."
CNN's Fran Townsend attacked an Obama administration report alerting law enforcement that "rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans"; Wolf Blitzer did not point out that the Bush administration, which Townsend worked for, had issued a report in 2008 drawing a similar conclusion.
Fox News figures have repeatedly accused other media of inadequately covering the shooting of two soldiers at an Army recruiting center in Arkansas. But while CNN and MSNBC offered live coverage of a press conference held by a survivor of that shooting, Fox News did not, nor did it report later that day on the man's remarks to the media.
Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that on CNN, "[o]nly Anderson Cooper at 10 o'clock covered the story" of the slaying of Army recruiter Pvt. William Long. In fact, in addition to the coverage on Anderson Cooper 360, CNN covered Long's shooting on 15 shows from June 1 through June 3.
From a May 10 Associated Press article:
CBS Sports golf analyst David Feherty apologized Sunday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for a morbid joke that went bad in a Dallas magazine.
Feherty, one of the most popular golf analysts for his sharp wit and self-deprecating humor, was among five Dallas residents who wrote for "D Magazine" on former President George W. Bush moving to Dallas.
"From my own experience visiting the troops in the Middle East, I can tell you this though," Feherty wrote toward the end of his column.
"Despite how the conflict has been portrayed by our glorious media, if you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it, and he found himself in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Osama bin Laden, there's a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and bin Laden would be strangled to death."
Feherty, a former Ryder Cup player who grew up in Northern Ireland, has gone to Iraq over Thanksgiving the past two years to visit with U.S. troops, and he created a foundation to help wounded soldiers.
"This passage was a metaphor meant to describe how American troops felt about our 43rd president," Feherty said in a statement. "In retrospect, it was inappropriate and unacceptable, and has clearly insulted Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid, and for that, I apologize. As for our troops, they know I will continue to do as much as I can for them both at home and abroad."
The New York Daily News reports:
He said WHAT?!
CBS golf analyst David Feherty sparked outrage after he asserted that U.S. soldiers, given the chance, would kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
"If you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it, and he found himself in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Osama Bin Laden, there's a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and Bin Laden would be strangled to death," Feherty wrote in a magazine piece.
Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami ripped into Feherty for his eye-popping remarks in the April issue of D magazine, a Dallas publication.
"Such comments are unacceptable and beyond the pale and an insult to our patriotic men and women in uniform," Elshami said.
Jim Manley, a senior communications adviser for Reid, called Feherty's statements "irresponsible."
"I understand that he thought that he was trying to be funny with the article," Manley said. "If that is the case, it was a pretty pathetic attempt at humor."
Feherty's outrageous claim appeared in a first-person piece about how former President George W. Bush's return to Texas might affect Dallas residents.
The comments drew the ire of Washington and media groups after Feherty's column was read on conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh's radio show Friday.
Eric Burns, president of Media Matters, a liberal media watchdog group, called the statements "disgusting."
TheHill.com reported that Rep. Peter King "called for a hearing to investigate a Department of Homeland Security report that highlights security risks posed by extremist groups and disgruntled veterans." But The Hill did not note that the DHS cited an FBI report authored under President Bush that previously identified this pattern.
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