Media Praise Obama's 'Brilliant' Handling of McChrystal Controversy

President Obama's decision to relieve General Stanley McChrystal of command in Afghanistan and replace him with General David Petraeus was met with a chorus of praise in the media, as anchors and pundits on CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC all sang in unison that it was a "brilliant" move. [Audio available here

During live special coverage leading up to the announcement in the 1PM ET hour on CBS, White House correspondent Chip Reid proclaimed: "it sounds like a pretty brilliant decision really." At the same time on NBC, correspondent Jim Miklaszewski described it as a "stunning development" and added "at a quick glance, almost brilliant." Minutes later, White House correspondent Chuck Todd declared: "politically, in this town, it's going to be seen as a brilliant choice by the President."

Over on CNN, moments after Obama finished speaking, anchor Wolf Blitzer remarked that it was a "major moment for this president" and later observed: "a very brilliant move to tap General Petraeus." Finally, in the 2PM ET hour on MSNBC, Meet the Press host David Gregory concluded: "I think he took swift and decisive action. I think that's how it's going to be read."

In addition to cheering Obama's brilliance, another common theme in the media reaction was to assert the President's decision would be immune from criticism. Reid explained: "So the President avoids both the criticisms here, number one, putting somebody new in charge and, number two, since he fired McChrystal, he's not going to be accused of being weak."  Miklaszewski noted: "this may quiet some of the critics up on Capitol Hill." Todd later added: "...you will not hear a single word from Capitol Hill, no Republican will dare say a negative thing about this decision."
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC