It’s beginning to look more likely that General Stanley McChrystal will have a hard time surviving the political blowback from his candid Rolling Stone interview that was so harshly critical of the Obama administration. But what’s more surprising than a decorated military official stepping down due to a lack of discipline with a Rolling Stone writer? That CNN’s Rick Sanchez was the first to interview Michael Hastings, the investigative journalist whose article has likely made an enormous impact on the Afghanistan War.
Michael Hastings called in to Rick’s List from Kandahar, Afghanistan, which makes for a challenging interview (both in terms of satellite delay and audio fidelity.) However, Hastings clearly defends any accusations that the General (and his staff) were somehow quoted off the record, an issue which lies at the heart of the criticism of the McChrystal’s comments.
Producers wisely included Pentagon reporter Barbara Starr in the segment, who is far more familiar with military culture, particularly with regards to the relationship between McChrystal and his staff, which also lies at the core of some of the most contemptuous moments in the piece.
All in all, the following interview is a nice victory for CNN, Rick Sanchez and the producers of Rick’s List. Though at times tough to understand, it’s a fascinating interview with a writer who finds himself in the eye of a growing political and military storm right now. Who said investigative journalism is dead?
Edit – This first interview with Michael Hastings about his McChrystal interview was actually broadcast by WNYC’s The Takeaway. Further, the first TV interview was done by ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer.
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