Next Serial Case May Be More Controversial Than First

Reports emerging that subject for upcoming podcast is Bowe Bergdahl
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2015 9:35 AM CDT
Next Serial Case May Be More Controversial Than First
This undated file image provided by the US Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier held prisoner for years by the Taliban after leaving his post in Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/U.S. Army, file)

If you thought Serial couldn't find a case more watercooler-friendly than Adnan Syed's, think again. A report from a "trustworthy source," per Vanity Fair, says Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has fallen under the microscope of Sarah Koenig's popular podcast. That source is Matthew Farwell, an Afghanistan veteran who reported on Bergdahl for Rolling Stone and who yesterday reported for Maxim that two soldiers who served with Bergdahl told him they'd been interviewed by Serial producers. Farwell also noted that at a preliminary hearing last week in Bergdahl's desertion case, "someone present at the hearing" reported seeing Koenig and "at least one" Serial producer in court, as well as Mark Boal, the Zero Dark Thirty screenwriter who's trying to get Bergdahl's story into theaters. Deadline is reporting that Boal and the president of his production company will serve as narrators for Serial episodes focusing on Bergdahl.

The two soldiers Farwell interviewed aren't exactly thrilled. One says, "Anyone who tries to benefit from Bowe's situation has little interest in the truth," while the second adds, "I get it that … Serial is trying to make a nifty diorama for hipsters to marvel at … [but] it's the height of crassness for them to do this when it could potentially affect the legal proceedings … I assume it will be a great way to paint us as kooks and sore losers." A Serial producer was similarly snippy in an email to the media, confirming only that show staff is currently working on "Season 2, Season 3, and some other podcast projects," adding, "We'd very much appreciate if fellow journalists would give us some room and not feel the need to … try to figure out what you think we might be doing … having a bunch of wild speculation out there makes our job reporting harder. Doesn't feel very menschy." (Here's what came out at the hearing about Bergdahl's thought process.)

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