There seems to be a broad consensus amongst pundits on the left and right that President Obama was justified in firing Gen. Stanley McChrystal, after the general's aides made disparaging remarks about the administration (and Vice President Biden, in particular). The comments were published in a Rolling Stone article that hit newsstands today.
And now some pundits are making the reporter, Michael Hastings, out to be the bad guy. Here's what Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera had to say:
"I don't know exactly what the rules were in this particular case but it seems to me that whoever was in charge of putting that reporter with those soldiers in that context allowed a rat to be in an eagle's nest. And for him to take a comment like…[that] we call [Biden] "bite me," that is a comment that if reported has strategic implications."
True, there are strategic implications: We learned that the top general in Afghanistan surrounds himself with idiots. As KT McFarland points out in the video, public officials and their aides should know better than to make disparaging and derogatory remarks in front of reporters. Far from having jeopardized our mission in Afghanistan—which is what Rivera is implying—the Rolling Stone article reveals important details about the people McChrystal relied on. Like, for instance, the McChrystal aide who described a meeting with a French minister as "fucking gay." Does this sound like the best team to head a war effort where the U.S. needs to win the hearts and minds of the people in Afghanistan and Pakistan?
I suspect Rivera is probably just jealous that someone went out and did real reporting for a change. Other journalists are jealous, too. Check out Jon Stewart making fun of them here.
UPDATE: On top of being wrong, Rivera is also a hypocrite. Check out this CNN report from 2003, when Rivera triggered an actual strategic crisis by drawing a map of sensitive U.S. troop movements in Iraq and filming it.