Despite many conservatives often complaining of media left-leaning bias, and many liberals equally vociferous in denying the charge, one of the honchos in the world of publishing isn't exactly shy in making her political loyalties known without reservation. As reported by The Washington Free Beacon and the Yahoo! News internet portal, both on Aug. 13, 2014, one of the branches of the publishing giant Simon & Schuster is passing on a Bowe Bergdahl tell-all exposé on the grounds that any such book may be used "against Obama."
In the wake of the Barack Obama deal to free five Taliban heavyweights from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for missing soldier Bowe Bergdahl, a number of the Idaho native's former comrades in arms have accused him of purposefully deserting his fellow troopers in the face of the enemy in Afghanistan. In an attempt to get their version of what happened on the battlefield out to the people, a handful of those same soldiers are attempting to secure a book deal, but the reason for a major publisher passing on the manuscript may be more about political bias than of sloppy literary wordsmithing.
Michael Isikoff, the chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo! News has uncovered an e-mail from Sarah Durand, a senior editor at the Atria Publishing Group, an imprint (trade name) of one of the many divisions of Simon & Schuster Publishing, to one of the ex-soldiers' agent. Durand made it abundantly clear that Atria Publishing that the manuscript was being rejected due to Durand being "not sure we can publish this book without the Right using it to their ends."
In case there was any confusion to her meaning, the senior editor further clarified her reasoning. "[T]he Conservatives are all over Bergdahl and using it against Obama," she wrote, "and my concern is that this book will have to become a kind of 'Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.'" As reported by Isikoff, Durand hasn't responded to requests for any additional comment. "We do not comment about our editorial process," said Paul Olsewski, vice president and director of publicity at Atria.
A draft of the proposed book was obtained by Yahoo! News, and according to the draft, the authors paint Bergdahl as a "premeditated" deserter who "put all of our lives in danger." Two of the authors, Evan Buetow and Cody Full are the only individuals named of the six authors penning the tell-all book, and both are determined their side of the story is told.
"There was no way we were going to sit down and be quiet while Obama was calling him a war hero," stated Bergdahl's former team leader, Evan Buetow. "We're just trying to tell the truth. It's not my fault this would make Obama look bad."
Also quoted was Begdahl's former roommate Cody Full, who pointedly stated "We didn't politicize this. They [the Obama Administration] brought his parents out at a White House Rose Garden ceremony and presented him as a hero. … Why wouldn't you just have a quiet press release? Why do you have to have a big parade? You don't do that for the parents who have kids who have died in Afghanistan."