“Serial,” the popular podcast produced by the people behind “This American Life,” is focusing this season on Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the Hailey soldier held captive for five years after leaving his post in Afghanistan.
In turn, we’re examining Bergdahl’s story and the reporting by “Serial” in more depth. Here’s the seventh episode of “Speaking of Serial,” a joint effort of the Idaho Statesman and Boise State Public Radio:
This week, Frankie Barnhill with Boise State Public Radio and Erin Fenner with the Idaho Statesman discuss episodes seven and eight of Serial’s second season. Our panelists share their reactions to stories of Bergdahl’s childhood and time before the military — almost all of which was spent in Hailey, Idaho. We discuss the loner, backcountry stereotype, the mental health diagnosis and where Serial might be taking us as much of the season winds down. We also speak with Tony Evans, a reporter at the Idaho Mountain Express who has covered the Bergdahl story since it began in 2009.
Bergdahl walked away from his unit in Afghanistan in 2009, saying he wanted to draw attention to problems within the military. Captured soon after, he was held for five years by a group affiliated with the Taliban before he returned to the U.S. as part of a controversial prisoner swap in May 2014. Now, he faces a full military court-martial, charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
Every other week on “Speaking of Serial,” reporters with the Idaho Statesman and Boise State Public Radio will discuss Bergdahl’s case, Serial’s reporting and what happens when an Idahoan becomes the center of international news.
“Serial” itself publishes a new episode on alternate Thursdays (with some exceptions like last week’s two-fer). You’ll find the latest one here.