While most Fox News commentators have been quick to use terms like “traitor” and “deserter” in reference to recently released prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl, Shepard Smith has not joined that chorus, making him about the only voice of caution on the conservative news channel.
This week on Shepard Smith Reporting, the host appeared to diverge sharply from the prevailing opinion on Fox, saying, “If you desert or commit treason, you have to be proved to have done so. We can't just decide because some people come on television and yakety yak, and we've got a report of this and a report of that and that's what happened. As the Army said, as the Pentagon said, you bring them home. You bring them home first, and then you investigate.”
Smith also stood up for the principle of Bergdahl being presumed innocent until proven guilty: “Possible deserter? Isn’t he an American soldier until proven so?”
Smith also had a response for those who questioned whether the Obama administration’s 5-for-1 prisoner exchange which secured Bergdahl’s release after the Army sergeant was held by the Taliban in Afghanistan for about five years was a good deal for the United States. “[They’re] prisoners of war. That’s the argument,” Smith said. “You can’t say well, this is a war, this is a battlefield, and then change what you think it is now. You can have it one way. You can’t have it both ways.”
The host capped it off with an even finer point: “An investigation has to happen, and I’m kind of disgusted by all these people who want to pre-judge one way or another what happened here.”
Watch the segment below, courtesy of Media Matters.