Obama and the Rolling Stone.
It was the Stone that lit the match to the Jeremiah Wright controversy, with a little noticed but superb profile of Wright in 2007, later prompting ABC to canvass Wright's rants. Which begat Obama's magnificent Philadelphia speech on race.
Now it's the Stone's profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal that at this writing the smart money says will force the Afghan commander to resign. I'm all for generals venting about their civilian bosses. (We all vent about our bosses, or risk going postal.) Problem here: (a) This is three-strikes-and-your-out, McChrystal has dissed Biden in a speech. (Biden was over-ruled by Obama and other advisors in preferring a drone-based assault with few if any boots on the ground, a strategy looking better every day). And McChrystal used another speech to strong-arm Obama into giving him 40,000 troops. (He got 30,000, but Obama wasn't pleased with the request conveyed via CNN.). And (b), venting is fine, just don't let it become public. The Stone piece is innocuous enough (no, McChrystal isn't a birther). It's scattershot, with senior officers faulting everyone short of Ray LaHood. And much of the trash talk is by unnamed senior officers.
So, problem here is not clearing the intervieew with, say, Gates or Gibbs. And again, three times unlucky.
But here's the thing: McChrystal's a true believer in the Afghan mission. (Or was, if he's gone by the time you read this.) Many of us aren't. Maybe, once again, Stone reporting will put Obama on a course correction. Maybe he'll replace McChrystal with a specialist in exit strategies. Before the Wright blow-up, Obama was defiant about avoiding talk of race. Didn't want to be "the black candidate." But the Wright outbursts traced to the Stone forced him to give one of the best speeches in U.S. history.
All hail Jann Wenner!