Refocusing On Afghanistan


The sacking of Gen. Stanley McChrystal has certainly refocused media attention on Afghanistan.

Of course, some of this attention has been of the media-navel-gazing variety. The Washington Post, Politico and CBS News’ Lara Logan are among those questioning Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings methods in getting McChrystal and his inner circle to blather on intemperately about how the administration is clueless about Afghanistan.

The New York Times’ David Brooks chalked up Hastings scoop to one more example of our “kvetch” culture. The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart summed up the media’s Hastings pile-on as a jealous fit. Affecting a Walter Cronkite-during-the-Kennedy-assassination persona, Stewart intoned: “At approximately 11:04 Eastern Standard Time, the American news media finally realized they kind of sucked.”

But the brouhaha has also re-focused attention back on the Afghanistan strategy — from Washington and the media. On Monday angry lawmakers vowed to withhold $3.9 billion in aid in the wake of wide-spread and continued allegations of official corruption in Afghanistan.

Also on Monday, MSNBC announced that Rachel Maddow would make her first trip to Afghanistan where she will join NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, who has been in the region for several weeks. She’ll anchor her MSNBC show live from Kabul July 6 and 7.

Will additional TV anchors/correspondents follow?