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I was intrigued as to how McChrystal and Co. were roped into talking with the Rolling Stone. The attached link provides some thoughts. Even if McChrystal wasn’t played, as the piece suggests might be the case, I think it is plausible that his civilian new-media guru thought he could get McChrystal the sort of glamor piece Petraeus got in Vanity Fair. Civilian contractors like SOSi are probably part of the problem, conspiracy or not. I’d like to think that a professional, seasoned military PAO would have been more careful. As someone who’s been personally stung by the Rolling Stone (but not related to the military), I also have disdain for the approach and style of reporting the magazine supports.
I hate to give the Rolling Stone credit for anything, because I don’t relate to the publication, but as FAIR so correctly pointed out today, the McChrystal article was more a condemnation of the war strategy itself than of the recalcitrant General and his staff, and what FAIR characterizes as the mainstream “corporate media” failed to read, see and report that. Let’s hope the Congressional approval process for Petraeus brings that failed war strategy into the light of day.
Media Missing the McChrystal Point
“The media firestorm over the Rolling Stone profile (6/22/10) of General Stanley McChrystal mostly missed the real point of the article, which was a damning portrait of the U.S. war in Afghanistan.
“Much of the media coverage stressed the criticism and insults hurled by McChrystal and his staff at various administration figures. Some of these remarks were more substantive than others. A joke about Joe Biden (“Bite Me”) has been overblown; McChrystal and his staff seemed to be suggesting a list of possible gaffes the general might make following a speech.
“The real significance of the piece is in the criticism–voiced by soldiers in Afghanistan and military experts–of the war itself. “Even those who support McChrystal and his strategy of counterinsurgency know that whatever the general manages to accomplish in Afghanistan, it’s going to look more like Vietnam than Desert Storm,” wrote Rolling Stone’s Michael Hastings.”