That Washington

The Legacy (Alt) Media

By Josh Feit June 23, 2010

This is off topic for PubliCola—there's not a local angle on the Gen. Stanley McChrystal news except that it effed with Sen. Cantwell's scheduled Obama meeting on Wednesday—but it does give me an opportunity to say something I've been thinking for a while now: Whoa Rolling Stone mag. (It was, of course, a Rolling Stone article that led to McChrystal's dismissal.)

We've linked a couple of Rolling Stone articles recently—here's two I can find— Matt Taibbi's Wall Street exposés, which have been invaluable. (The guy should win an award). And RS has also done outstanding reporting on Afghanistan, including Robert Dreyfuss' article on the "generals' revolt" against the White House (which absolutely predicted this McChrystal mess)—and which I thought I had linked because it also had some excellent analysis of the situation on the ground. Dreyfuss also broke the story for RS (my link goes to a Mother Jones version, but it originally ran in RS)—later picked up by the NYT, that outlined how negotiating with the Taliban was Obama's real endgame.

Again, this isn't your typical Cola post, but it's worth noting (in an era when print media is in decline), that an old shcool alt-journalism rag like Rolling Stone is behaving like it's 1975 and is absolutely relevant. (Ha! They have a shitty website too.)

I have mixed feelings about McChrystal's dismissal (he was kind of the best thing the U.S. had going), but with its Wall Street reporting and health care reporting and Afghanistan reporting, RS is one of the only print publications (I'd say Wired and The New Yorker are two others) defying their 21st Century obituaries.

Here's U.S. Sen. Cantwell's statement on the McChrystal (Patraeus) news:
“I applaud President Obama for the difficult decision he made today in accepting Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s resignation and naming Gen. David Petraeus commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. President Obama placed the emphasis today right where it belongs: on the critical importance of the mission in Afghanistan, and on having a team in place in which our civilian and military leaders work together to bring this difficult and protracted conflict to a satisfactory and swift conclusion. Of the many able officers President Obama could choose, Gen. Petraeus is one who can move into this critical field command with no time needed to get up to speed.

“Time is of the essence in a conflict that has gone on for so long and placed such great demands upon our military men and women, and their families. We want to bring our troops home. From bases in Washington state alone we have close to 20,000 troops deployed to conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“We want Afghanistan to be a more stable country, and we want more regional participation in helping to get Afghanistan on its feet. Gen. Petraeus understands that we will not be able to win in Afghanistan solely by militarily means. We need a political and economic approach that stabilizes the country and deals with the drug trade and massive corruption there. We need to keep working to win hearts and minds. I am heartened that we now have in place a team supporting our Commander-in-Chief in working toward these worthy goals.”
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