Once again, we're having that magical moment where the world-from the President on down-is up in arms over a scandalous piece of magazine writing that pretty much no one can read. Rolling Stone's profile of General McChrystal, the top man in Afghanistan, is now big-Drudge-banner, front-page Times news. But the magazine isn't on stands yet and most likely it won't be on the website for weeks, as is the top-down military strategy of RS owner Jann Wenner. (This was the bizarre situation we found ourselves in a couple years ago, when the magazine published the world's most compelling story of Britney Spears' meltdown.) [UPDATE Bad news! The McChrystal profile that was being hosted as a PDF by Politico has now been taken down, after much yelling by Rolling Stone publicists. Here's a small, fair-use excerpt.] Oh, and the content? "The amazing thing about it is there's no complaints from McChrystal or his staff about the administration on any substantive ground," reports Spencer Ackerman. It's just a bunch of boys being petty-though he predicts the General will be scolded but not fired. So, two strategies aren't working: McCrhystal's press strategy and Rolling Stone's web strategy. Over at RS, according to outside traffic measures, pageviews are way up-but unique visitors are way down over the course of the year. Lots of photogalleries, you know. UPDATE: Annnnd it's finally online! Mazel tov to the web people at Rolling Stone.
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010