Michael Hastings, author of “The Runaway General,” the Rolling Stone story that cost now-retired General Stanley McChrystal his job leading the Afghan war effort, says his detractors are full of beans.
“There is absolutely no gray area here,” he told the Observer. “How it works is the reporter goes and hangs out with a subject and writes down what the subject says and does.”
Following publication of “The Runaway General,” unnamed sources told The Washington Post that Hastings had violated agreements with his subjects in his reporting:
A member of McChrystal’s team who was present for a celebration of McChrystal’s 33rd wedding anniversary at a Paris bar said it was “clearly off the record.” Aides “made it very clear to Michael: ‘This is private time. These are guys who don’t get to see their wives a lot. This is us together. If you stay, you have to understand this is off the record,’” according to this source. In the story, the team members are portrayed as drinking heavily.
In case there was any doubt, now we know: Hastings disagrees with that assessment.