Petraeus's Relationship with Journalists

Friday, November 16, 2012



Journalists that covered David Petraeus, both in his capacity as a General in Iraq and Afghanistan, and later as the director of the CIA, have done a lot of public soul searching in the wake of his recent scandal. Bob speaks to international investigative reporter Jon Lee Anderson about what he sees as the media's failings in covering Petraeus.


Jon Lee Anderson

Hosted by:

Bob Garfield

Comments [9]

Matt Love from Ypsilanti, Michigan

Journalists were seduced by Petraeus because they are idiots. Not only are they idiots, they are bought and paid for idiots who know they better say what their owners want them to say, or else. This is particularly true of the idiots who work for Neoliberal Propaganda Radio.

Nov. 18 2012 07:54 PM
Jackie from Downers Grove, Ill.

The New Yorker writer lost me when he started talking about Bush. Nothing changed, and the fact is, the timing of this downfall is all too ironic for me. While I never thought there was wrongdoing with Benghazi, there are too many questions now not to take a second look. Petraeus may be guilty because adultery while active in the military is a crime. There are some professions that are held to higher standards, thank God. All in all, none of this is Bush's fault. Do your job as a journalist.

Nov. 18 2012 06:42 PM
Karen from Northern NJ

The punishment for adultery, according to the Unified Code of Military Justice, from what I've read could include a dishonorable discharge, loss of his $200,000/yr pension, and possibly jail time.

Nov. 18 2012 04:42 PM
Karen from Northern New Jersey

Mr. Bob Garfield made a mistake when he said General Petraeus is not being accused of a crime. In fact, Petraeus is being accused of adultery while he was still in the military, which is a crime under the Unified Code of Military Justice. Please check your facts so that you and your audience understand the true seriousness of these accusations. Thank you very much.

Nov. 18 2012 04:36 PM

I call total and utter BS on this story. Not only was the Bush name evoked erroneously, but I distinctly remember that Patraeus's name was mud thanks to Frankly, I would be surprised if anyone on the left thought of Pataeus as a hero when the affair broke (they didn't). Anderson may have though that Bush swayed the press into thinking Petraeus was a hero, but I can assure you that the press did not try to convince the American public of that same notion. Nice Bush reference though, Mr. Anderson. You were deceived by Bush? Give me a break.

Nov. 18 2012 03:26 PM
raul from san francisco

Ok this guy's voice aside (how annoying) the tone of this story is hilarious!

As if Petraeus was the first general/medal-ed guy that reporters fell in love with.

I would point to John (the fraud) McCain. Even after he choose Sarah Palin there were members of the press that still held him up as a maverick, a hero, a leader...GEEZ!

This story and the guest make it sound as if the poor press like a love sick teen falls for the first man or women who drives up with a shiny fast car.

Oh brother!

Nov. 18 2012 02:27 PM
Barry Blitstein from NYC

That segment of the press (usually on or past the left edge) which is overtly subjective is habitually skeptical of these people on white horses, while the mainstream, since back before I can remember, sucks it up like a camel does water after a desert run. This mobius strip journalism, whether of the former or the latter category, should be beaten out of apprentices in journalism schools. Certainly, editors who allow, encourage, or in any way facilitate the tendency should be ashamed of themselves.

Then there is the tragic hero scenario: What fun for the journalist and reader to create and follow the rise and fall of princes whom the journalists themselves have stuffed with straw. The straw is not thrown away, but recycled, endlessly, from one deluded generation to another.

I'd like to see a show or two devoted to the history of media straw-stuffing.

Nov. 18 2012 11:38 AM
EdwardW from Massachusetts

So the media was seduced into believing Petraeus was a smart general, administrator, and counter-insurgency expert who was personally charming and they know...what exactly? That he's also a human being, subject to normal human temptations? That's what it means to have feet of clay? Are any of the positive things people thought of him made untrue by the revelation he had an affair? "If only we knew he was a heterosexual man who could be seduced by (or seduce, whatever) a cute younger woman!" Yes if only that preposterous possibility had occurred to you sooner you could have...what, exactly? Been rude to him? Did he tell you in his press conferences that he was faithful to his wife? And if not, if the subject never came up, where and when did he fool you that you have to engage in soul searching now?

Adult men and women can have consensual sex with whoever they want and it's nobody else's business who isn't in a sexual relationship with them. So his wife has reason (perhaps, who knows what the marriage was like except the people in it) to be upset, but the rest of us (you)? No. Unless he gave her classified documents or used tax dollars to arrange assignations with her he should still be running the CIA.

Nov. 17 2012 02:41 PM

Forest for the trees time for the comically tin ear, myopic media contemplating their navel.

The words Benghazi and Obama are never mentioned by our investigative reporter regarding a scandal that
arises days after an election and days before a scheduled inquiry into the Benghazi atrocity.

"Charm is a nice attribute but it is not a virtue"
"White House media manipulation"
"Falling under the spell of this charismatic commander"
"A god wth feet of clay. Could he have gotten there without the press deifying him to begin with"
"The collective urge by Americans to find a hero of which reporters were amongst them"

"I wasn't likely to swoon over a, first sight of a General that kind of talked nice"
"Progressive" Presidents are apparently a different story for the media.

Where were all of these upset journalists with hurt feelings during the last five years and especially the last six months of this election while covering this President?
What about that "syndrome" that the media is still mired in with their Obama worship?
In a healthy society shouldn't the media be apologizing for their fatuous and credulous coverage of not the outgoing CIA Director but about the ongoing President?

"Debacle of Iraq". What about the debacle and "sinking ship" of the US economy and its "sad and tawdry" leadership from Obama/Biden as we head to $20 trillion dollars in debt and the economic decline of the United States and what that means for the world in the 21st Century.

The easily seduced media has much to apologize for regarding its "uncritical coverage" of not Petraeus but of the President. Perhaps this distraction from the real journalistic damage is closest we are ever likely to get to breathless hand wringing regret for the last four years.

Nov. 17 2012 10:09 AM

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