America and its media love a sex scandal, but what happens when the figure at the center of it has been hailed as a hero (I’ve long referred to him as “St. Petraeus”) for almost a decade, his failings, beyond the flesh, mainly overlooked?
If you’ve been busy this weekend with (take your pick) family, storm relief, football or other worthy pursuits, here are a few key updates (and more, all day, go here):
• Michael Hastings at Buzzfeed (remember, he was the journo who brought down Gen. Stanley McChrystal) on “The Sins of David Petraeus.” And how he “seduced” the media. Hastings had gotten some criticism on this for tone and too-broad hits vs. other reporters. Others are linking to pieces critical of Petraeus in the past, including this one from Gareth Porter in 2010 on abuse of Iraqi prisoners that was given fresh life by WikiLeaks.
Glenn Greenwald had weighed in earlier on media "veneration" of Petraeus–and all things military. Even Howard Kurtz joins in–if belatedly. Spencer Ackerman at Wired wrote an honest recounting of how he was suckered into the "cult" of Petraeus.
• The name (and pictures) of the other “other” woman—who went to the FBI after allegedly receiving threatening e-mails from Paul Broadwell—emerged: Jill Kelley, 37, of Tampa. But despite the titillation, it’s unclear if she was actually involved with Petraeus or merely accused of that (see photo of her with Petraeus). Also, a: major media flub. AP, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and others reported for hours that Kelley was “liasion” to the Joint Special Operations Command, surely an important job. Then changed that to “social liaison.” Now, believe it or not, via AP: She “serves as an unpaid social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, where the military’s Central Command and Special Operations Command are located.”
• Both the NYT and WSJ with new stories today on the tick-tock agreeing that, after the FBI was notified by Kelley last summer it took weeks for them to put it together, not knowing that Petraeus was involved with Broadwell at all until much later (he’d set up a separate e-mail account for their communications) Unclear if they ever monitored Petraeus’s e-mail account. Broadwell ended up with some classified info but FBI seems convinced it did not come from the general.