Executive Editor of Rolling Stone: McChrystal Profile is No ‘Almost Famous’ Redux

Rolling Stone executive editor Eric Bates spoke on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today about the editorial process behind the magazine’s explosive profile of General Stanley McChrystal. Mr. Bates emphasized that the general and his aides knew they were on the record for all of their candid remarks — including a now viral one where an adviser says “‘Biden? Did you say: Bite Me?'”

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski incredulously asked about the magazine’s fact-checking process, likening the situation to the famous scene in Almost Famous in which a band member denies every quote in a Rolling Stone piece about him.

SCARBOROUGH: Now, the general must be fired. Anybody that understands the chain of command in the United States military knows he has to be fired unless he can come out and say I was misquoted. When you were fact checking this article, did the general or his staff deny any of the quotes? Any pushback at all on the accuracy of this article?

BATES: No. No, I haven’t heard that. Didn’t hear that during the course of the story. I didn’t hear that in his apology —

SCARBOROUGH: So, it wasn’t like “Almost Famous,” part two?

BATES: No. And from what I can tell from the general’s apology —

SCARBOROUGH: He was just a cad! Did you even see “Almost Famous”?

BATES: I did. I was in on “Almost Famous.” No, I wasn’t.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Article continues below
More from Politics
STAR OF DAVID OR 'PLAIN STAR'?   If you thought "CP Time" was impolitic, on July 2 Donald Trump posted a picture on Twitter of a Star of David on top of a pile of cash next to Hillary Clinton's face. You'd think after the aforementioned crime stats incident (or after engaging a user called "@WhiteGenocideTM," or blasting out a quote from Benito Mussolini, or...) Trump would have learned to wait a full 15 seconds before hitting the "Tweet" button. But not only was the gaffe itself bad, the attempts at damage control made the BP oil spill response look a virtuoso performance.  About two hours after the image went up on Trump's account, somebody took it down and replaced it with a similar picture that swapped the hexagram with a circle (bearing the same legend "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!"!). Believe it or not, it actually got worse from there. As reports arose that the first image had originated on a white supremacist message board, Trump insisted that the shape was a "sheriff's star," or "plain star," not a Star of David. And he continued to sulk about the coverage online and in public for days afterward, even when the media was clearly ready to move on. This refusal to just let some bad press go would haunt him later on.
Donald Trump More Or Less Says He’ll Keep On Tweeting as President