The military/media attacks on the Hastings article

Glenn Greenwald writes:

Last June, when Rolling Stone published Michael Hastings’ article which ended the career of Obama’s Afghanistan commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal — an article which was just awarded the prestigious Polk Award — the attacks on Hastings were led not by military officials but by some of Hastings’ most celebrated journalistic colleagues. The New York Times‘ John Burns fretted that the article “has impacted, and will impact so adversely, on what had been pretty good military/media relations” and accused Hastings of violating “a kind of trust” which war reporters “build up” with war Generals; Politico observed that a “beat reporter” — unlike the freelancing Hastings — “would not risk burning bridges by publishing many of McChrystal’s remarks”; and an obviously angry Lara Logan of CBS News strongly insinuated (with no evidence) that Hastings had lied about whether the comments were on-the-record and then infamously sneered: “Michael Hastings has never served his country the way McChrystal has.” Here’s Jon Stewart last year mocking the revealing media disdain for Rolling Stone and Hastings in the wake of their McChrystal story.

Hastings has now written another Rolling Stone article that reflects poorly on a U.S. General in Afghanistan. The new article details how Lt. Gen. William Caldwell “illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in ‘psychological operations’ to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war” and then railroaded the whistle-blowing officer who objected to the program. Now, the same type of smear campaign is being launched at Hastings as well as at his primary source, Lt. Col. Michael Holmes: from military officials and their dutiful media-servants. Ever since publication of this new article, military-subservient “reporters” have disseminated personal attacks on Hastings and his journalism as well as on Holmes and his claims, all while inexcusably granting anonymity to the military leaders launching those attacks and uncritically repeating them. As usual, anyone who makes powerful government or military leaders look bad — by reporting the truth — becomes the target of character assassination, and the weapon of choice are the loyal, vapid media stars who will uncritically repeat whatever powerful officials say all while shielding them from accountability through the use of anonymity.

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4 thoughts on “The military/media attacks on the Hastings article

  1. Vince J.

    John Stwerat had lost me a long time ago when he stated on his program that Iran nuclear weapons WH lies arguing that Iran was not a NPT signatory.
    Hastings’ article on the War Criminal MacChrystal was good, but in the end, this is the picture of a decaying empire, its propaganda and its courtiers…

  2. Norman

    Just like Vietnam, the Generals will do anything to keep their job going. After all, if the U.S. pulls out, what are the Generals going to do? Does anyone believe that they will sacrifice their pensions, book royalties, speaking fees, so called expert fees, most of all, their being employed by private Industry? Keep the War Machine/profiteers in play, regardless of the outcome. They drink their own brew of koolaid, don’t care about the people paying the bills, just as long as they do.

    All things considered, unless the employment in the U.S. rebounds, sooner than later, there won’t be enough money to pay for the Military nor even the Congress, or the perks they enjoy. The Fed can print all the money it wants, but, like Zimbabwe, who in tjheir right mind will honor the money?

  3. BillVZ

    “the attacks on Hastings were led not by military officials but by some of Hastings’ most celebrated journalistic colleagues….”

    The full article of Glenn Greenwald may be accessed at If one wishes to give comment on it it does deserve a full reading.
    His piece had nothing to do with Jon Stewart;a previous Michael Hastings piece on General MacChrystal(Mc Chrystal) or Generals that will do anything to keep their job going.

    As a brief summation of Glenn’s piece points out:
    It was about above all involved journalism.It was also about personal attacks on journalist Michael Hastings by some of Hastings’ most celebrated journalistic colleagues because they hold that his journalism in their view violates “a kind of trust” which war reporters “built up” with important War Generals.At the bidding of Military officials these colleagues -dutiful media-servants- unleashed unprofessional claims on him while inexcusably granting anonymity to the military leaders promoting those attacks and uncritically repeating them.
    The focus of the story has been quickly shifted away from Holmes’ allegations of illegal military propaganda (which I commented on yesterday) to whether Hastings is a bad journalist and whether Holmes has integrity- surprise, surprise!

    Glenn Greenwald is a fine lawyer and a great involved journalist who is often thankfully brought to light by real news outlets like War in context. This particular article is on an issue of the utmost concern to all who are subject to media news – breezy and off topic remarks in comment by their attitude,in my view, serve only to further disseminate and amplify the values of our most powerful political, military and financial factions without any accountability to their writings. Real journalism deserves better.
    Yeah, it is a free world… Whatever!

  4. arias

    VinceJ and BillVZ,

    I think both of you missed what Jon Stewart said. Jon Stewart came out AGAINST the MSM puppets that were engaging in character assassination of Hastings. It could be easy to miss if you’re not reading carefully since his critique came at the end of a list of cited examples of media puppets denigrating Hastings so quickly skimming through it could lead to that impression. I had to do a double take that a guy like Stewart would fall so hard for such obvious bullsh-t.

    It’s precisely because of these damn journalists whose chummy relationship are more valuable than reporting what is in the public’s interests to know that is what is all wrong with American media. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be surprised if the methods being used to attack Hastings and now Michael Holmes are in fact a page out of the Psy-Ops book. In fact, I’m sure of it! I really feel for Holmes, as he’s forced to bite his tongue since if he mentions it the military will castigate him. AHA! We KNEW you were disloyal!

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