In a segment titled “Operation Deserter Storm: Home Is Where the Hate Is,” Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” used a buffet of Fox News clips to frame the treatment of Bowe Bergdahl, the Army sergeant recently freed from captivity under the Taliban. Fox News programming hasn’t been terribly kind to Bergdahl, who disappeared from his post in Afghanistan in June 2009.
Stewart highlighted Fox Newsers calling Bergdahl a “deserter,” a “deserter or traitor or both,” among other things. Last Friday, Fox News reporter James Rosen cited “secret reports” indicating that Bergdahl had declared himself a “mujahid” — and Fox News broadcasts picked up on the theme, which Stewart also satirized. In a Friday appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor,” Rosen was asked to define the sergeant, prompting this reply: “Probably in some respects as a kind of modern-day Lee Harvey Oswald,” said Rosen.
Stewart jumped: “In just a few days, this guy Bowe Bergdahl went from guy who left base without permission to ‘Muslim-terrorist-Kennedy-assassin.’ ”
Bowe Bergdahl’s “traitorous terror conversion,” Stewart riffed, wouldn’t be “as credible if his father wasn’t a high-ranking Taliban official.” That was the point of departure for Stewart’s discussion of Fox News’s fascination with the beard grown by Robert Bergdahl. Though Bill O’Reilly got a “Muslim” vibe from that particular beard, Stewart got an “Amish vibe.” Several easy, low-hanging-fruit beard jokes ensued. Rarely has Stewart had to work so little for a Fox News-based segment.