McChrystal, an expert on counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, has long been thought to be uniquely qualified to lead in Afghanistan. But he is not known for being media savvy. [Michael] Hastings, who has covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for two years [and wrote “The Runaway General”], according to [Rolling Stone], is not well-known within the Defense Department.
And as a freelance reporter, Hastings would be considered a bigger risk to be given unfettered access, compared with a beat reporter, who would not risk burning bridges by publishing many of McChrystal’s remarks.
Those low-risk beat reporters…Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.