Rolling Stone Is the National Enquirer of the New Journalism Generation

The real story anent General McChrystal (figuratively infra) and his big mouth as reported in Rolling Stone is this: Since when was Rolling Stone the magazine of record for such politically cataclysmic news?

The New York Times reported that the piece’s author Michael Hastings happened upon the interview with soon-to-be-ex-General in Charge Stanley McChrystal and seems at a loss to explain the insane commentary of Stan the Man.

Mr. [Eric] Bates [Rolling Stone executive editor] declined to speculate about why General McChrystal was so blunt in his assessment of the war. At one point in the story, the general is quoted as being dismissive of Vice President Joseph Biden, quipping, “Who’s that?” In another exchange, the general sarcastically complains about receiving an email message from Richard C. Holbrooke, a special envoy to Afghanistan, groaning, “Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke.”

That notwithstanding, remember when the National Enquirer was the laughingstock of journalism? Funny, now journalism is the laughingstock . . . of everything. But the Enquirer started getting stories right. And first. No one laughs at them any more. Add Rolling Stone to the pantheon of journalistic heavyweights. Matt Taibbi’s excellent coverage of Wall Street has been quoted and cited by everyone. And for good reason. But was Stanley caught off guard? Was this a Helen Thomas moment?

Asked whether he felt General McChrystal let his guard down because it was Rolling Stone, a publication devoted primarily to pop culture and the music business, Mr. Bates said it would not be the first time a political figure opened up to the magazine.

“In their mind, I think people sometimes forget how much reporting is in the DNA of Rolling Stone. And there’s some glamour attached to the name. I don’t know at all if that was the case here. But in general, I’d say that sometimes people are excited to be in the magazine,” he said. [Source]

Well, enjoy it while you can, fellas. The days of Rolling Stone being the cute little rock music magazine, innocent and harmless, are over. It caught on tape the reckless insubordination of a general pulling a latter day MacArthur-esque gaffe.

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