Pentagon official: “Rolling Stone” made McChrystal’s staff think they were speaking off the record

posted at 8:31 pm on June 25, 2010 by Allahpundit

For the second time today, a vivid reminder that when a scoop is big enough, nothing is truly “off the record.”

They contend that the magazine inaccurately depicted the attribution ground rules for the interviews.

“Many of the sessions were off-the-record and intended to give [reporter Michael Hastings] a sense” of how McChrystal’s team operated, according to a senior military official. The command’s own review of events, the official said, gleaned “no evidence to suggest” that any of the “salacious political quotes” in the article were made during a series of on-the-record and background interviews Hastings conducted with McChrystal and others…

In an interview with Politico.com this week, Bates said that the Kabul command was forewarned about the article and offered “absolutely” no push-back…

But 30 questions that a Rolling Stone fact-checker posed in a memo e-mailed last week to McChrystal media adviser Duncan Boothby contained no hint of what became of the controversial portions of the story.

ABC’s hearing the same story, with the caveat that there was no written understanding between “Rolling Stone” and Team Mac about what was or wasn’t off the record. Here’s the list of 30 fact-checking questions that RS sent to Boothby; note his emphatic plea at the end that they not print the fact that McChrystal voted for Obama, a detail which apparently came from big Mac himself. Granted, “they thought it was off the record” is the best explanation thus far for why his staff would have been so stupid to chatter about Biden, Obama, etc, around a reporter, but that makes it only marginally less stupid. You’re going to goof on Vice President “Bite Me” with McChrystal right there and not expect someone from “Rolling Stone,” of all places, to run with it? I’m sure RS realized when they chose to print the incendiary bits that reporters from their magazine will never again be allowed within 50 feet of a soldier, but given the size of the bombshell they were sitting on and the fact that they ended up with one of the biggest scalps in the military, I’m equally sure they don’t care. Helpful rule of thumb for officers: If you’re tempted to say something “off the record” that might conceivably get your CO relieved of command, don’t say it.

Exit question one: Given the claim by RS’s managing editor that they omitted plenty of material that really was off the record, what exactly were the ground rules here? Exit question two: Should we expect any grumbling from other journalists that RS has now singlehandedly made the military afraid to talk candidly to reporters on background, or is McChrystal’s ouster a big enough score that they won’t care?


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Btw,I heard a tidbit,that McChrystal was having a few adult beverages during the RS interview!?

canopfor on June 25, 2010 at 8:34 PM

Vice President “Bite Me”

I was in laughing fits whenever Rush Limbaugh called Biden this on his radio show today. Hil-ar-ious.

Enoxo on June 25, 2010 at 8:35 PM

Military is going to shut up big time now.

taney71 on June 25, 2010 at 8:35 PM

Should we expect any grumbling from other journalists that RS has now singlehandedly made the military afraid to talk candidly to reporters on background, or is McChrystal’s ouster a big enough score that they won’t care?

with this msm, they won’t care…

cmsinaz on June 25, 2010 at 8:36 PM

Well at least we got a glimpse of what an Obama voter and General thinks of team Obama!

Too bad the Republicans in Senate and Congress don’t share those same views in public. Will anyone hold Pinnochio accountable? How much of the constitution and rule of law does he have to tear assunder before someone will uphold their oath to protect and defend and at least say IMPEACH THE IMPOSTER!

dhunter on June 25, 2010 at 8:36 PM

Well, unfortunately, the editor ran the quotes past McCrystal.

He did not object.

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 8:37 PM

McChrystal and his staff were concentrating on one enemy and let their guard down about another.

malclave on June 25, 2010 at 8:37 PM

Georgie Anne Geyer calims in her column that McChrystal approved the Rolling Stone article prior to publication:

It is certainly not unusual for troops, or even officers, in an unpopular war to complain and gripe about officials back in Washington (and just about everything else). In Vietnam as a correspondent, I had two-star generals who would take me aside and tell me that everything we were doing was crazy and that we were losing. But the rules were off-the-record and I didn’t quote them.

The Rolling Stone writer abided by the rules and had McChrystal read the article over before it was published, and he approved it—that’s the amazing part. Also, the time the writer spent with the general and his entourage was substantially extended by the spread of the Icelandic volcano ash, which did not allow flying out of Europe at that time.

aengus on June 25, 2010 at 8:37 PM

nothing is truly “off the record.”

Jesse Jackson’s “hymietown” comes to mind.

itsnotaboutme on June 25, 2010 at 8:38 PM

I personally think nothing should be off the record, unless it’s said explicitly and with a reporter that is trusted beyond a shadow of a doubt.

All the rest? Simply revealing.

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 8:38 PM

Off the record with the MSM?

Amendment X on June 25, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Well, unfortunately, the editor ran the quotes past McCrystal.

He did not object.

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 8:37 PM

All this makes me wonder if this was all planned in advance.

Electrongod on June 25, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Doesn’t matter whether it was off record or not. He let his subordinates openly disparage our civilian leaders – I learned not to do that in MS 101. I am no Obama fan, but firing him was the right decision.
Tony

AnthonyB on June 25, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Come on that’s lame – I would have accepted: None of us ever heard of Rolling Stone Magazine – Is it some kind of monthly geological periodical?

What is it like a hiking enthusiast mag?

General McChrystal really was holding out for Play Boy for the interview…..you know a high brow publication. Everyone is always talking about buying it to read the articles.

How bout this one: Well I haven’t been a 15 year old teen age boy for awhile now….how was I suppose to know they can read.

Dr Evil on June 25, 2010 at 8:42 PM

I just hope they change the wussy boy ROE’s in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mojave Mark on June 25, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Georgie Anne Geyer calims in her column that McChrystal approved the Rolling Stone article prior to publication:

That’s what RS claimed earlier, but see the link above re: the 30 fact-check questions. Doesn’t sound like he knew about the incendiary parts.

Allahpundit on June 25, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Well, unfortunately, the editor ran the quotes past McCrystal.

He did not object.

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 8:37 PM

All this makes me wonder if this was all planned in advance.

Electrongod on June 25, 2010 at 8:39 PM

An ambiguous “mistake” to reshuffle without pointing the heavy blame on anyone?

the_nile on June 25, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Here is one thing military people should never, ever forget. The preponderance of media types do not like us. They would do anything to paint us in the worst possible light. They don’t care if McChrystal’s entire staff were Obama supporters. The mayhem they cause with people they despise is their goal because they see themselves as crusaders and this is a way they have power over men and women they are intimidated by.

The General and his staff should have known this.

hawkdriver on June 25, 2010 at 8:43 PM

One of Jon Stewart’s funnier moments on the subject:
“Sure, I’ll tell you what I really think of Obama…oh wait, you ARE from ‘I’ll Never Print This’ Magazine, right?”

Or other joke, “I may be a 4 star general, and you’re a reporter for a hippie magazine, but I think I can trust you.”

DrAllecon on June 25, 2010 at 8:43 PM

McChrystal had it coming if he trusted the Rolling Stone or if he trusted Obama for that matter.

clnurnberg on June 25, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Oops,on that drinking rumour,I should of included facts!!
========================================================
Hastings spent extended time with the General and his aids after they were forced to catch a bus from Paris to Berlin due to the volcanic ash from Iceland in April.

He said Gen McChrystal and his aides were drinking “the whole way” on the bus trip to Berlin.

“They let loose,” Hastings said.

“I don’t blame them. They have a hard job.”

Gen McChrystal has apologised for his remarks to the magazine.

“I extend my sincerest apology for this profile,” he said in a statement issued hours after the article, titled The Runaway General, was released.

“It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened.”

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/world/general-mcchrystal-summoned-to-white-house-over-rolling-stone-interview/story-e6frea8l-1225883040819
===================================

I don’t think,it was too bright,to have drinking going on,
on the bus,during an interview!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on June 25, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Never trust a reporter. Never. They will do anything to anyone for a story.

Terrye on June 25, 2010 at 8:44 PM

or is McChrystal’s ouster a big enough score that they won’t care?

The talis and their supporters right here are celebrating their victory
not because Gen McC is out
but because the men and women of US military have been dealt a blow and the cracks in the upper levels are showing.

RS achieved what talis couldn’t

macncheez on June 25, 2010 at 8:44 PM

DrAllecon on June 25, 2010 at 8:43 PM

I’ll have to look that one up. It sounds funny.

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 8:45 PM

He voted Obama. So did this “staff”, I assume.

Marcus on June 25, 2010 at 8:46 PM

Sorry Whores I regret lumping besmerching your name by lumping you in with a bunch of ratbastrid politicians.

I know you do good honest work compared to the vast majority of that batch of dirty lowdown rotted skunk butts!

The dam politicians are just a notch below the mainstream media hacks that report on them.

dhunter on June 25, 2010 at 8:46 PM

All this makes me wonder if this was all planned in advance.

Electrongod on June 25, 2010 at 8:39 PM

I haven’t concluded that. I do wonder about the possibility of alcohol being a big part of not only him, but others around him.

Wouldn’t surprise me, anyway.

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 8:47 PM

This was a setup by the WhiteHouse

faraway on June 25, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Allahpundit on June 25, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Begging everyone pardon, but I didn’t really read anywhere that he approved the “article”. Only that they confirmed some quotes and such. That’s what RS was backing down from, no? In my opinion, it still sounds like it was a bit of a broadside for the general.

hawkdriver on June 25, 2010 at 8:47 PM

How about Rolling Stone interview of Obama,after Hopey is
half in the bag,now that video-tape would be a hoot!!

After Changeys guard would be down,I bet,all that Social
Justice Socialist Engineering would be pouring out of every
pore of Hopey’s body!!

canopfor on June 25, 2010 at 8:48 PM

I’m sure RS realized when they chose to print the incendiary bits that reporters from their magazine will never again be allowed within 50 feet of a soldier, but given the size of the bombshell they were sitting on and the fact that they ended up with one of the biggest scalps in the military, I’m equally sure they don’t care.

It won’t just be not being able to get access to the Military…these tools aren’t going to be allowed near any Government entity. Talk about burning your bridges. I hope the spike in Magazine sales was worth it, in the long run.

Dr Evil on June 25, 2010 at 8:48 PM

An ambiguous “mistake” to reshuffle without pointing the heavy blame on anyone?

the_nile on June 25, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Exactly. The timing is too perfect. Obama is looking bad on the Gulf. The war isn’t ending the way Obama wants.

Electrongod on June 25, 2010 at 8:48 PM

Should we expect any grumbling from other journalists that RS has now singlehandedly made the military afraid to talk candidly to reporters on background, or is McChrystal’s ouster a big enough score that they won’t care?

Anyone who criricizes their boy deserves to be ousted.

SouthernGent on June 25, 2010 at 8:49 PM

I think the worst damage is that anyone who shows such poor judgment should be trusted with a major plan for that huge endeavor?

*whew* There’s a stretch.

I voted for McCain primarily because he wasn’t really keen on pushing in Afghanastan. I’m glad this vote, yet again, isn’t on my head.

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 8:49 PM

I hope the spike in Magazine sales was worth it, in the long run.

Dr Evil on June 25, 2010 at 8:48 PM

That’s why it was so dumb. They never rely upon return interviews.

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 8:50 PM

This makes me a bit more sympathetic but only a bit. He wasn’t fired just for the article. He was fired because he actually said those things and had a staff that felt comfortable saying those things, in front of a reporter no less.

Esthier on June 25, 2010 at 8:52 PM

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 8:49 PM

I disagree. Talking to reporters on sensitive topics should be an automatic DQ. What if in his or his staff’s tipsy blustering they gave out mission details? This familiarity with the press is dangerous

clnurnberg on June 25, 2010 at 8:53 PM

Allahpundit on June 25, 2010 at 8:43 PM
==================================
Begging everyone pardon, but I didn’t really read anywhere that he approved the “article”. Only that they confirmed some quotes and such. That’s what RS was backing down from, no? In my opinion, it still sounds like it was a bit of a broadside for the general.

hawkdriver on June 25, 2010 at 8:47 PM

hawkdriver:I think Rolling Stone took complete advantage of
General McChrystal’s hospitality,by being in a
relaxing,easy-going,and after a few beers mood,
where anybody is going to say things,that they
will regret later!!:)

canopfor on June 25, 2010 at 8:54 PM

Beck had a hilarious bit where one character was the stereotypical pothead, “Dude, Like” kind of guy calling the GEN’s office to ask for time to hang with the GEN…and the office character says sure, right away.

Dingbat63 on June 25, 2010 at 8:54 PM

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 8:50 PM

They wanted to effect a change in the Afghan War Policy, and Obama out maneuvered them. I guess they thought McChrystal was some kind of lynch pin? That’s not how it works in the Military. All Obama did was trade one Hard A$$ General for another Hard A$$ General…it’s not like there are not folks waiting in the wings (Officers) who would love to make their bones on this War. Neither Rolling Stone or Michael Hastings gets how the Military works.

Dr Evil on June 25, 2010 at 8:55 PM

canopfor on June 25, 2010 at 8:54 PM

And that was darned foolish and irresponsible.

clnurnberg on June 25, 2010 at 8:55 PM

Should we expect any grumbling from other journalists that RS has now singlehandedly made the military afraid to talk candidly to reporters on background, or is McChrystal’s ouster a big enough score that they won’t care?

They won’t care now. But they will later.

SlaveDog on June 25, 2010 at 8:56 PM

Exit question two: Should we expect any grumbling from other journalists that RS has now singlehandedly made the military afraid to talk candidly to reporters on background, or is McChrystal’s ouster a big enough score that they won’t care?
=============================

Once burn’t,twice shy!!

canopfor on June 25, 2010 at 8:58 PM

Dr Evil on June 25, 2010 at 8:55 PM

I tend to think it was more a case of loose lips sinks ships, but you could be right.

In any case, Obama has a tiger by the tail, then.

Patraeus has more clout that McCrystal ever dreamed of having to control Obama on this.

BTW, that was my own pet theory. McCrystal knew this and dished it off, because he really is that honorable.

But that sort of sounds like my idealistic side talking, too.

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 8:58 PM

hawkdriver on June 25, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Absolutely correct. Time and time again.

Check out the writer of that piece. He lives just a short drive from where I sit. He’s well known and SHOULD never be trusted anywhere near a military operation. He’s one of HuffPo’s favorites.

GoldenEagle4444 on June 25, 2010 at 8:59 PM

Did the General think that because he was a lib and voted for BHO that Rolling Stone was going to treat him like one of them? They seemed to fact check the parts that were non controversial.

d1carter on June 25, 2010 at 9:00 PM

Everyone thinking out loud that this will deprive other outlets from access are wrong. Units/Commands want their message to get out. I’m sure that Hot Air readers are probably sick of the references but it’s true. We have journalists as MOS carrying rank and file troops. NCOs and Officers in the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) Corps (Or Corpse, looking at you President Obama) serve to control situations just like this.

And we’re not talking propaganda, we’re talking about controlling the characterization of facts that might misrepresent whatever the activity is/was. If it’s bad news, we screwed up stuff, our job is to get it out first before the enemy. If it’s good stuff, we killed 18 foreign fighters, we get it out before the enemy claims they were goat herders.

This stuff is basic and if our unit had an incident like General McChrystal and his staff and it had the Big Army repercussions like this did, we’d get throw in the hurt locker and he’d throw away the key. Basic stuff.

hawkdriver on June 25, 2010 at 9:03 PM

But, back to the real topic of “are you off-record?”

Remember in the Dem primary when Samantha whats-her-face got caught on BBC calling Hillary a *itch, and said, “I thought we were off the record?

Well, the BBC reporter was on American channels and came right out and said, “That’s absurd. American journalists allow people far too much latitude to be off-record. We don’t do that here.”

I thought at the time: Point taken. It has been overused. It’s created an unintended consequence, too, which is that journalists have forgotten that their job isn’t to be a part of the “inner” crowd, it’s to report to people.

I have no problem with what McCrystal or his staff said about what’s going on. And that’s the point.

I did know there were serious political problems, and his interview actually spelled it out.

I thank McCrystal and his staff for the elucidation, even if it cost them their jobs. Frankly, people deserve to know the truth.

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 9:07 PM

hawkdriver:I think Rolling Stone took complete advantage of
General McChrystal’s hospitality,by being in a
relaxing,easy-going,and after a few beers mood,
where anybody is going to say things,that they
will regret later!!:)

canopfor on June 25, 2010 at 8:54 PM

I dont think he can be that stupid. He’s been working with spec ops for long , they meet the most deranged people there is to get information, he should be able to handle a journo.

the_nile on June 25, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Pentagon official: “Rolling Stone” made McChrystal’s staff think they were speaking off the record

If his staff actually thought they were speaking “off the record” then his staff is made up of people too dumb to be in charge of their own lives let alone that of anyone else.

Tav on June 25, 2010 at 9:07 PM

The media lost interest in reporting the news a few decades back. Journalism 101 is now the destruction of human lives. If Anna Nicole Smith’s death coincided with the Gulf oil spill….well we never would have heard about any oil. Reporters are a thing of the past. Now we have pimply faced kids (and some bloggers) looking for a quick buck at the expense of someone’s life.

Sort of takes all the fun out of being famous.

repvoter on June 25, 2010 at 9:08 PM

Really, they thought they were off the record. If those officers with the General were that stupid, they all need to be removed for their duties and given a mental evaluation.

thmsmgnm on June 25, 2010 at 9:09 PM

Oh sure, a 4-start general commanding 150,000 people is a naive fool.

That’s what you are supposed to believe.

notagool on June 25, 2010 at 9:09 PM

..note his emphatic plea at the end that they not print the fact that McChrystal voted for Obama…

I’m sure RS realized when they chose to print the incendiary bits that reporters from their magazine will never again be allowed within 50 feet of a soldier

Who could blame them for not wanting to leak the fact that General McChrystal drank the Kool Aid?

I still can’t comprehend why RS would be allowed within 50′ of a soldier ever. Didn’t anyone even suggest such a situation would be FUBAR from the get go?

Gang-of-One on June 25, 2010 at 9:11 PM

And when RS’s offices in NYS get nuked by Al Qaeda, who will care?

truth2power on June 25, 2010 at 9:11 PM

But that sort of sounds like my idealistic side talking, too.

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 8:58 PM

Nope that’s how it works Mission First.

Dr Evil on June 25, 2010 at 9:11 PM

Media area should be moved off post. Let them fend for themselves.

journeyintothewhirlwind on June 25, 2010 at 9:11 PM

Okay let me get this straight …

The “point” being made here seems to be that ROLLING STONE is a “gotcha” rag that will sell out their own honor for a juicy story.

Wow … stunning … what a news flash … I had no clue … whodathunkit … if this is true, what “Goliath” of righteousness will fall next?

I mean – here all this time I thought Rolling Stone was a straight up news outlet without any liberal agenda or bias.

/ sarcasm

What the hell people?

AID: “Hey General, just got a call from Rolling Stone magazine and they are such big fans of you and the war … they want to do an interview and a cover story on you!”

GENERAL MAC: “Seriously??!! Wow! Yeah … they’re straight up news I hear – I’d be glad to do it. Let’s give ‘em complete access and lots of “off the record” stuff for context – I’m sure we can totally trust these guys! It’s not like they’re FOX NEWS or something … hey by the way – FOX NEWS IS STILL BANNED in all of my headquarters offices right?”

AID: “Well, of course Sir!”

General MAC: “Good … cuz you can’t trust Fox News – they just simply aren’t an honorable news agency – they’re a LOOOOONG way from the good guys over at Rolling Stone!”

***PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE … Why blame Rolling Stone for being what we’ve ALWAYS KNOWN THEY ARE – a liberal propagandistic news outlet. General Mac should have known this. You can’t blame Rolling Stone for being who they are.

But you can blame General Mac for being an idiot.

JOHN WAYNE’S RULES TO LIVE BY: “Life’s Tough … it’s Tougher when you’re stupid”.

Someone give General Mac his sign please.

IDIOT.

HondaV65 on June 25, 2010 at 9:11 PM

Does the interviewer have an agenda!
===========================================
Hack: Confessions of a Presidential Campaign Reporter
By Michael Hastings October 2008

http://www.gq.com/news-politics/big-issues/200810/michael-hastings-newsweek-presidential-campaign
==========================================================

the night before I began my career as a presidential campaign reporter, in September 2007, I finished Theodore White’s The Making of the President, the classic account of the 1960 race, which opened up a new era of campaign reporting. That book began with a note of thanks: “First, to the politicians of America—men whom I have found over the long years the pleasantest, shrewdest and generally the most honorable of companions.… Second, I must thank my comrades in the press—whose reporting at every level of American politics purifies, protects and refreshes our system from year to year.”
—————————-

Fortunately for me, I was on a somewhat unusual assignment, a long-term, supersecret project for Newsweek magazine. The agreement Newsweek had made with each of the campaigns was that in addition to the reporters covering them day to day, there would be another bunch whose material would be kept confidential and published in a special issue of the magazine, as well as in a book, that would come out after the election. So my job was

basically: Ride the buses and planes with the candidates, have big lunches and dinners on the expense account, get sources drunk and singing, then report back the behind-the-scenes story. I was supposed to follow whoever the front-runner was for the nomination, starting in the primaries and going right on through the general election. Back then, every pundit and hack on the trail (myself included) was drinking from the same Fountain of Conventional Wisdom (CW), and we’d all agreed that John McCain was finished
=========================================================

get sources drunk and singing, then report back the behind-the-scenes story

=========================================================

SO,THIS WAS A HIT PIECE OPERATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!+

canopfor on June 25, 2010 at 9:12 PM

McChrystal is honorable BUT he’s not a boy scout. Afghanistan doesn’t require a boy scout.

Dr Evil on June 25, 2010 at 9:12 PM

I don’t care how much you trust a reporter, nothing is really off the record. If it doesn’t appear in the latest article, it will be in his next book.

meci on June 25, 2010 at 9:13 PM

Oh sure, a 4-start general commanding 150,000 people is a naive fool.

That’s what you are supposed to believe.

notagool on June 25, 2010 at 9:09 PM

Well Obama commands 300,000,000 people and he is a fool and a psychopath so I don’t know why McChrystal can’t be at least a fool.

Tav on June 25, 2010 at 9:15 PM

The media lost interest in reporting the news a few decades back. Journalism 101 is now the destruction of human lives. If Anna Nicole Smith’s death coincided with the Gulf oil spill….well we never would have heard about any oil. Reporters are a thing of the past. Now we have pimply faced kids (and some bloggers) looking for a quick buck at the expense of someone’s life.

Sort of takes all the fun out of being famous.

repvoter on June 25, 2010 at 9:08 PM

I’d agree, except the Palins went from 6 figures to 4 in a few months.

That does heal those wounds. :)

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 9:15 PM

Now, maybe, those in positions of military leadership will incorporate a little OPSEC when dealing with the lame-stream media. Or will Petraeus be brought down by a reporter from Mother Jones?

rmgraha on June 25, 2010 at 9:15 PM

What’s wierd to me?

Watching liberals hooting because someone was honest with the press.

That’s way wierd.

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 9:16 PM

The talis and their supporters right here are celebrating their victory not because Gen McC is out but because the men and women of US military have been dealt a blow and the cracks in the upper levels are showing.
macncheez on June 25, 2010 at 8:44 PM

What the Taliban learned from the article is that Obama is on their side, and the US soldiers aren’t.

But let’s face it: pretty much everybody in the world already knew that. And the Taliban knew it better than anyone else.

logis on June 25, 2010 at 9:17 PM

the cia post in khost trusted that double agent, too.

the lib infested pentagon and cia are trusting the wrong people.

reliapundit on June 25, 2010 at 9:17 PM

Oh sure, a 4-start general commanding 150,000 people is a naive fool.

That’s what you are supposed to believe.

notagool on June 25, 2010 at 9:09 PM

Exactly , there’s something missing..

the_nile on June 25, 2010 at 9:18 PM

GoldenEagle4444 on June 25, 2010 at 8:59 PM

I agree except for limiting access. If one outlet is seen as a favorite over others, then it is seen as propaganda. Even when the situation is better controlled, some ass-hat from RS wills still probably turn a report into a hit piece. But crap, there was no defense in this case. Not thing that could be denied.

We loved Fox. Greg Palkot did one of the best reports I’ve ever had the fortune of being in. But we also have a sympathetic journalist at the Fayetteville Observer. (Liberal Rag). But, they love the military and have seldom given us bad press. A good PAO is worth their weight in gold.

hawkdriver on June 25, 2010 at 9:19 PM

canopfor on June 25, 2010 at 8:54 PM
=============================
And that was darned foolish and irresponsible.

clnurnberg on June 25, 2010 at 8:55 PM

clnurnberg: Your absolutely right,and the same should go
for Republican politicians,because the Lefty
is only interested in a set-up gotcha soundbite!

canopfor on June 25, 2010 at 9:19 PM

hawkdriver on June 25, 2010 at 9:03 PM

I came over here, hoping that you were posting on this thread, HD. You have the front row seat in this, so your opinions/posts on this are well worth the read.

HornetSting on June 25, 2010 at 9:20 PM

***PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE … Why blame Rolling Stone for being what we’ve ALWAYS KNOWN THEY ARE – a liberal propagandistic news outlet. General Mac should have known this. You can’t blame Rolling Stone for being who they are.

But you can blame General Mac for being an idiot.

HondaV65 on June 25, 2010 at 9:11 PM

Yes. Remember the Tale of the Scorpion and the Frog. It was not the Scorpion who was the idiot (Even though he, unlike Rolling Stone, died). It was in the Scorpion’s nature.

Tav on June 25, 2010 at 9:20 PM

HondaV65 on June 25, 2010 at 9:11 PM

Maybe they thought they were insulated because they figured that Rolling Stone would be part of Obama’s cheering section/liberal base. They figured they didn’t have anything to worry about because Rolling Stone wouldn’t write anything that would cast Obama in a bad light -He is after all “The One”. They thought that they were “Safe” inside the Liberal bubble, they didn’t know that Michael Hastings wasn’t an Obot, that he was targeting Obama’s Afghan War Policy, and by extension McChrystal’s Afghan counter insurgency strategy. They really thought that McChrystal was some kind of lynch pin…that’s the only answer that fits, these tools don’t get how the military works. Or maybe they thought that Obama was such a novice he wouldn’t know what action to take…and look weak. Yeah that’s not what happened.

At least now The Obama Administration and the Pentagon have been given a heads up, they know where the fire is coming from – the far left.

Dr Evil on June 25, 2010 at 9:21 PM

OK now, show me pictures of the damn fools that would even consider speaking off the record to “Rolling Stone”. Their stupidity got them what they deserved.

rplat on June 25, 2010 at 9:22 PM

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 9:07 PM

The entire Obama administration, history, beliefs has been “off the record” as far as the MSM has been concerned. McChrystal was stupid enough to believe that that level of subterfuge applied to him and that the article would be glowing. Maybe he thought he’d wear a halo in the picture?

clnurnberg on June 25, 2010 at 9:22 PM

HornetSting on June 25, 2010 at 9:20 PM

I appreciate that. Thanks.

hawkdriver on June 25, 2010 at 9:24 PM

Exit question two: Should we expect any grumbling from other journalists that RS has now singlehandedly made the military afraid to talk candidly to reporters on background, or is McChrystal’s ouster a big enough score that they won’t care?

The best thing that could happen in this WAR EFFORT would be to ban all media, and let Petraeus prosecute this war with all capabilities to a decisive and conclusive victory. ROE’s must be adjusted to attain this end. It’s time this BS baby-steps on fighting the enemy comes to an end.

Rovin on June 25, 2010 at 9:28 PM

Dr Evil on June 25, 2010 at 9:21 PM

That’s an excellent point. Remember, Obama couldn’t be as far down in the polls as he is without losing some his base. A good deal of that base is anti-war zealots that would throw their own mother under the bus if they thought something they did or reported could have an effect on the prosecution of this war.

hawkdriver on June 25, 2010 at 9:28 PM

Now that the media has destroyed a general, the line in the sand has been drawn between the military and the media. The media has just eliminated the opportunity to know what the military truly thinks about what is going on in Afghanistan or any other theater for that matter. The media went with the short term win, but in the long term, they will lose the battle for information and truth.

WordsMatter on June 25, 2010 at 9:28 PM

My opinion is that these odd media outlets are really the only ones doing real journalism.

You know what’s fascinating? McCrystal did not refute the content. Not to the editor. Not to Americans even in his apology.

He apologized, mostly, for not watching his staff and not nipping the truth in the bud.

I still deeply respect him, and probably because I’m liberal, I respect him more now.

People needed to know.

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 9:29 PM

It’s all good, in short.

We now know that the dysfunction is affecting the plan.

So let’s see how Patraeus fixes it.

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 9:31 PM

he entire Obama administration, history, beliefs has been “off the record” as far as the MSM has been concerned. McChrystal was stupid enough to believe that that level of subterfuge applied to him and that the article would be glowing. Maybe he thought he’d wear a halo in the picture?

clnurnberg on June 25, 2010 at 9:22 PM

That’s what I was thinking – McChrystal thought the effects of the kool aide was still in effect :) But the kool aide had already started loosing it’s effect on the Far Left by the time they were talking to Michael Hastings.

If only McChrystal had been watching Fox News or something :) I believe it was being reported on that the anti war folks were unhappy with Obama for not just pulling all the troops immediately out of Afghanistan.

Dr Evil on June 25, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Nah, the kool aid buzz does not apply to the military, just civilian dems. Did you hear any MSM person question the logic involved in allowing Frank, Dodd or housing mess, Acorn counsel, Obama anywhere near the banking industry?
And you won’t.

clnurnberg on June 25, 2010 at 9:37 PM

If you’re tempted to say something “off the record” that might conceivably get your CO relieved of command, don’t say it.

They forgot the first lesson you are taught as a junior officer: CYA.

chemman on June 25, 2010 at 9:42 PM

Didn’t the General learn anything from John Mayer.

tomas on June 25, 2010 at 9:43 PM

I still deeply respect him, and probably because I’m liberal, I respect him more now.

People needed to know.

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 9:29 PM

And all this time you’ve claimed you were a moderate and were speaking for moderates.

chemman on June 25, 2010 at 9:45 PM

This reminds me of a scene from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Anyone know which one?

Tav on June 25, 2010 at 9:47 PM

Hawkdriver’s right. What the Pentagon needs to shut up about is this incident. Not acting like a pack of jackasses in front of the media is basic. It’s not something a 4-star and his staff should need remedial training on. Everyone with a military background knew that the second this RS article came out.

J.E. Dyer on June 25, 2010 at 9:48 PM

Dr Evil on June 25, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Could it be a fateful wonder if history records that McChrystal’s F-up allowed our military to correctly prosecute this war and ended up saving thousands of American lives?

Rovin on June 25, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Tuco: Hurrah! Hurrah for the Confederacy! HURRAH! Down with General Grant! Hurrah for General… What’s his name? Lee! LEE! Ha ha. God is with us because he hates the Yanks too. HURRAH!
Blondie: [spits] God is not on our side because he hates idiots also.
[the commander of the dust covered cavalry patrol they've met reveals his blue uniform]

* McChrystal and his staff in the role of Tuco;
Rolling Stone in the role of the Union Calvary;
Anyone with a brain in the role of Blondie.

And then there is -

Tuco: [trying to read a note] “See you soon, id… ” “id… ” “ids… ”
Blondie: [taking the note] “Idiots”. It’s for you.

Tav on June 25, 2010 at 9:54 PM

If they said these things on purpose I’d like to understand why. If they didn’t, RS did the nation of favor because people who can’t manage a RS reporter certainly can’t manage a war imho.

TheBigOldDog on June 25, 2010 at 9:55 PM

If this is true, the reporter violated the trust of a bunch of soon to be former special ops guys.

Not smart.

EconomicNeocon on June 25, 2010 at 10:02 PM

* McChrystal and his staff in the role of Tuco;
*Rolling Stone in the role of the Union Calvary;
*Anyone with a brain in the role of Blondie.

Hate to say it, but that’s quite artistic.

Gang-of-One on June 25, 2010 at 10:13 PM

Why blame Rolling Stone for being what we’ve ALWAYS KNOWN THEY ARE – a liberal propagandistic news outlet. General Mac should have known this. You can’t blame Rolling Stone for being who they are.

But you can blame General Mac for being an idiot.

JOHN WAYNE’S RULES TO LIVE BY: “Life’s Tough … it’s Tougher when you’re stupid”.

Someone give General Mac his sign please.

IDIOT.

HondaV65 on June 25, 2010 at 9:11 PM

Yeah, from what I hear McChrystal’s a political liberal and thought that the guys at Rolling Stone were his buds. He got burned.

ddrintn on June 25, 2010 at 10:21 PM

I served as a Special Assistant to two 4 stars and was involved with a lot of press. One of the first things you learn (and yes the military does train us on this) is that nothing, absolutely nothing, is ever off the record. To believe that it could be is to put your trust in the integrity and moral fiber of a reporter whose path to success is breaking the big controversial story. Not a good bet.

The second thing you learn is that you are not the story, the General is. You need to just shut the hell up unless the General, not the reporter, asks you to answer a specifc question.

If you look at the 30 questions the fact checker sent you see that they did not include the controversial quotes. Also, the context that the aide provided for some things was not included in the story. The story was clearly intended to be the gotcha piece that it is.

Generals are people too. And people get mad and speak out of turn. Usually senior commanders only do this around trusted staff. You don’t repeat that stuff except when telling sea stories to other military people! I accompanied the General to meetings with politicians and administration officials and both before and afterward heard him say things that would have turned the air blue. We came out of Denny Hastert’s office one time and I thought the General was going to have a fit. He strung together a tirade worthy of R Lee Ermy. You don’t repeat that stuff and certainly not within hearing of a reporter. I thought that General was one of the biggest SOB’s on the planet and I still never would have repeated it.

Never ever trust a reporter. It’s all an information operations contest and you’d better bring your A game.

SoonerMarine on June 25, 2010 at 10:23 PM

So McChrystal got duped by a reporter from RS. Prior to that he voted for Obama. Perhaps the situation in Afghanistan is not quite as desperate as it seems. At any rate good to see McChrystal no longer in charge.

Basilsbest on June 25, 2010 at 10:25 PM

This Newsweek article:

http://www.newsweek.com/2010/06/22/rolling-stone-author-discusses-general-mcchrystal-interview.html

claims McChrystal and his aids were getting “hammered” in Paris WHILE Hastings recorded and took notes openly.

WHO would want an alcohol influenced conversation on the record…something does not add up here.

djn on June 25, 2010 at 10:26 PM

Rolling Stone….isn’t that the magazine where businessmen are portrayed as pigs and Republicans as rabid wolves?…..in illustrations?

McChrystal is a grade A moron for even talking to them at all.

thebrokenrattle on June 25, 2010 at 10:44 PM

Shame on him then.

RedNewEnglander on June 25, 2010 at 10:49 PM

What’s wierd to me?

Watching liberals hooting because someone was honest with the press.

That’s way wierd.

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 9:16 PM

Thanks so much for sharing that.

Del Dolemonte on June 25, 2010 at 10:56 PM

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