Times Uses McChrystal Frenzy to Rehash Generic Anti-War Talking Points in Lead Story
Wednesday's lead story by Helene Cooper, Thom Shanker, and Dexter Filkins surveyed the firestorm over Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Obama's top commander in Afghanistan, who made disrespectful comments about administration officials to a reporter for Rolling Stone magazine: "General's Job Is in Doubt In Exposing Afghan Rifts - McChrystal Called In to Explain Remarks Contemptuous of Other Officials."
But besides the specific concerns raised by the article of an Afghanistan war council in disarray, the Times quickly - paragraph three of the print version - worked in more general anti-war talking points:
The firestorm was fueled by increasing doubts - even in the military - that Afghanistan can be won and by crumbling public support for the nine-year war as American casualties rise. And the remarks also laid bare the disarray and enmity in a foreign policy team that is struggling with the war.
Not to be flip, but American casualties are always going to rise as opposed to decline; it's a cumulative number, not an average over time. And the Times doesn't back up its assertion of "crumbling public support" for the war. The latest polling data does show a slow decline in U.S. enthusiasm for the war, but "crumbling" overstates the case.