Jul
25
2013

The Rolling Stone Cover and the 'New Ideological Threat'

The cover of Rolling Stone (8/13), featuring a self-portrait of Dzhokhar Tsaernav taken weeks before the Boston bombing, has fueled a strong backlash. Discussing the cover, Fox News' Lisa Daftari (7/18/13) said: In the aftermath of 9/11, if you look back over a decade ago, this country had an awakening, an understanding, that we have a new ideological threat that is on our soil. People became aware. But we've since gone very far from that, almost gone too far from that. We are almost becoming overcompensating, for fear of being Islamophobic. Political correctness is leading us to put a terrorist […]

Jun
20
2013

NYT Pays Tribute to Hastings by Attacking Him After Death

John Hess (New York Times)

When a journalist dies, how can you tell if they've had a career that's upheld the proudest journalistic traditions of challenging the powerful and fearlessly exposing the truth? The New York Times will attempt to piss on that career in the journalist's obituary.

Jun
19
2013

Michael Hastings, Bridge-Burning Journalist (1980-2013)

Michael Hastings

What Tim Dickinson called Hastings' "enthusiastic breaches of the conventions of access journalism" were what enabled him to report the unguarded assessments of the officers running the occupation of Afghanistan.

May
31
2011

The Things That Roger Ailes Fears…

According to Tim Dickinson's new piece in Rolling Stone, Fox honcho Roger Ailes lives in fear of "those gays": Murdoch installed Ailes in the corner office on Fox's second floor at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. The location made Ailes queasy: It was close to the street, and he lived in fear that gay activists would try to attack him in retaliation over his hostility to gay rights. (In 1989, Ailes had broken up a protest of a Rudy Giuliani speech by gay activists, grabbing a demonstrator by the throat and shoving him out the door.) Barricading himself […]

Jul
16
2010

NYT's John Burns Calls for All the News That's 'Necessary to Report'

New York Times London bureau chief John Burns has joined other high-profile reporters (e.g., CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan) in denouncing fellow journalist Michael Hastings. Hastings' Rolling Stone expose prompted the dismissal of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was relieved of his Afghanistan command following Hastings' revelations that he and some of his aides had used insubordinate language in discussing Obama administration superiors. Appearing on Hugh Hewitt's conservative national radio program on July 6, the Times' former Baghdad bureau chief responded to Hewitt's question about how the Rolling Stone story had affected relations between journalists and military officials: I think […]

Jun
28
2010

McChrystal's Media Soldiers Strike Back

Lara Logan on 60 Minutes

It's not that surprising that some in the corporate media, driven either by admiration for ousted Gen. Stanley McChrystal or disdain for Rolling Stone's scoop, have rushed in to defend or explain away his behavior. In Saturday's Washington Post (6/26/10), anonymous military sources tell the newspaper that the comments from McChrystal and his staff were supposed to be off the record: The command's own review of events, said the official, who was unwilling to speak on the record, found "no evidence to suggest" that any of the "salacious political quotes" in the article were made in situations in which ground […]

Jun
24
2010

Media, Access and McChrystal

The Runaway General: Michael Hastings' Rolling Stone piece on Stanley McChrystal

There's been a discussion (some of it neatly summarized on the Daily Show) of elite journalists' reaction to the explosive comments made by Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his staffers to Rolling Stone freelancer Michael Hastings. One admission came via a Politico story, captured by NYU's Jay Rosen (6/24/10): And as a freelance reporter, Hastings would be considered a bigger risk to be given unfettered access, compared with a beat reporter, who would not risk burning bridges by publishing many of McChrystal's remarks. Rosen notes that this line in the Politico piece was subsequently removed, perhaps because it revealed too much: […]