The Best Of The Dish Today

Thank God for Shep Smith. Meanwhile, his organization is publishing dubious accounts of Bergdahl’s captivity with the sensationalist headlineEXCLUSIVE: Bergdahl declared jihad in 2010, secret documents show.” Read further into the speculation and you find that this could have been Stockholm Syndrome and that Bergdahl also succeeded in escaping at one point and was subsequently kept in a metal cage “like an animal.” Quite why this soldier’s experience and conduct over five long years since he left his base should be hashed over in bits and pieces by the media before any serious investigation has even begun is, well, it’s not beyond me. It’s obviously about ramping the hysteria up to eleven.

But dealing with a case like Bergdahl is something for grown-ups, not Fox News. And there are powerful competing impulses, but the most potent one in the US tradition is surely getting the POW home first. Any investigation can come after. Then there is the simple question of ending hostilities and trading POWs. Somehow, prime minister Netanyahu is treated as a statesman even after he recently released over a thousand prisoners of war in return for one member of the IDF, while president Obama’s tough and not-pleasant call at the winding down of a conflict is somehow a source if interminable outrage. How ugly we can get at times.

Today, I vented some more about the mass grave for illegitimate children in Ireland. Re-reading the post, and some of its tortured sentences, I can see how emotional I am about this. But in the wake of the immeasurable silent pain of so many children for so many years in the sex abuse crisis, to witness another form of barbarism against children in the heart of my own church … well, it’s one of those things that really does shake the foundations of one’s commitment to an organized religion. And maybe it’s because it’s in a part of Ireland where my own grandmother was born and grew up, and about a particular strain of Irish Catholicism that I know only too well – but it’s one of those news events that are hard to get past. It will sink slowly into our consciousness, the way the sudden revelations at Abu Ghraib did, and hint at so much more darkness beyond.

Four less depressing posts: Modo-proofing edible pot; the fathomless human time-suck of Gangnam Style; new frontiers in online cheesiness; and a realist take on Putin’s “win” in Ukraine.

The top three posts of the day were all on the Palinite Tendency and Bowe Bergdahl – with the latest here, and the first here.

See you in the morning.