Supporters of Gen. Stanley McChrystal are claiming that the author of the infamous Rolling Stone piece, Michael Hastings, quoted McChrystal and his staff in conversations that he was allowed to witness but not report. Rolling Stone’s executive editor denies this, and states that the magazine thoroughly reviewed the story with the general’s staff ahead of publication.
Rolling Stone appears less than fully honest about this. For example, emails given to the Washington Post show that Rolling Stone fact checkers asked a spokesman for McChrystal whether the general and his staff refer to themselves as “Team America,” a reference, apparently, to South Park. The spokesman said, “not really,” but joke that that’s how the Europeans seem to perceive them. The Rolling Stone article nonetheless states that McChrystal and his aides jokingly refer to themselves as “Team America.”
Ultimately, though, it’s not easier to say which would be more damning — permitting Rolling Stone access without obtaining an understanding of what would and would not be allowed to report or believing that the lefty magazine and author would adhere to any such undertanding.
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