Frank Rich says that Rolling Stone freelancer Michael Hastings' interview with Gen. Stanley McChrystal was "an impressive feat of journalism by a Washington outsider who seemed to know more about what was going on in Washington than most insiders did."
Rich is being too kind to his fraternity with that remark: It's not that Hastings knew more than the beltway insiders did; it's that, unlike the Washington insiders, he was actually willing to go into print with what he knew. As Rich later concedes, access journalists (how many readers remember, for instance, that Bob Woodward originally wasn't one?) have their social calendars and book deals to consider.
Big difference there.