Info: Author and Rolling Stone contributing editor Michael Hastings discusses his new historical narrative, “The Operators.” The book expands upon the June, 2010 article Hastings wrote for Rolling Stone which resulted in the firing of General Stanley McChrystal. Hastings tells the story of how he was granted access to General McChrystal and his closest staff and he recounts how he went about taking notes and recording the conversations he had with those individuals. He shares his surprise upon hearing the General and his staff make blunt remarks about political leaders, leading diplomats and European allies. He addresses criticism of his reporting techniques and talks about other war reporters dating back to Neil Sheehan and David Halberstam during the Vietnam War. He is critical of what he calls the “nation building” strategy promoted by General David Petraeus in Afghanistan and Iraq. He further suggests that the Pentagon press corps does not fulfill its role as a watchdog group, but behaves more to “promote the Pentagon as much as any public relations firm would.” Hastings discusses his childhood in upstate New York along with what influenced his early thinking and his writing career prior to joining Rolling Stone.