In case you were wondering just what it takes to get a four-star general fired, here it is:
- The Runaway General - Michael Hastings/Rolling Stone
"How'd I get screwed into going to this dinner?" demands Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It's a Thursday night in mid-April, and the commander of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan is sitting in a four-star suite at the Hôtel Westminster in Paris. He's in France to sell his new war strategy to our NATO allies – to keep up the fiction, in essence, that we actually have allies. Since McChrystal took over a year ago, the Afghan war has become the exclusive property of the United States. Opposition to the war has already toppled the Dutch government, forced the resignation of Germany's president and sparked both Canada and the Netherlands to announce the withdrawal of their 4,500 troops. McChrystal is in Paris to keep the French, who have lost more than 40 soldiers in Afghanistan, from going all wobbly on him.
"The dinner comes with the position, sir," says his chief of staff, Col. Charlie Flynn.
McChrystal turns sharply in his chair.
"Hey, Charlie," he asks, "does this come with the position?"
McChrystal gives him the middle finger.
And here is just a sampling of the pixels that have been spilled on the story about the story:
General McChrystal was excellent at his job. He had outstanding relations with the White House and entirely proper relationships with his various civilian partners in the State Department and beyond. He set up a superb decision-making apparatus that deftly used military and civilian expertise.
But McChrystal, like everyone else, kvetched. And having apparently missed the last 50 years of cultural history, he did so on the record, in front of a reporter. And this reporter, being a product of the culture of exposure, made the kvetching the center of his magazine profile.
- The End of Fly-on-the-Wall Reporting? - Walter Shapiro/Politics Daily
You can just hear the scorn dripping from some junior press secretary's voice as he says: "You want to spend a day with the senator? Get real. That kind of thing cost McChrystal his job. All we're offering you is 10 minutes in the car."
- Unsolicited Advice for Future Subjects of Magazine Profiles - Jack Shafer/Slate
Was there any upside to agreeing to the profile? Had it contained none of the disparaging comments about the president, the vice president, their aides, and U.S. allies, McChrystal still wouldn't have gained from the article's publication. Magazine profiles don't turn public opinion or influence Congress. They just don't. So why bother?
- The Day’s Big Story, Hours before It Was Published - Greg Marx/Columbia Journalism Review
- Why Is Anyone Surprised by Rolling Stone's Scoop? - Rachel Sklar/AOL News
Are people really that distracted by Lada Gaga to forget what kind of magazine Rolling Stone actually is?
The magazine has a history not only of award-winning war reporting, but political reporting, literary reporting, literary-political reporting, cultural reporting, business reporting and, of course, music reporting. This article will likely join those linked above in Rolling Stone's trophy case.
Here is a song that, most likely, is not on Stanley McChrystal's iPod today:
-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News
taggedBehind the News | Current Affairs | Journalism | Viewpoints