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Tales of Batman and G.I. Joe

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By Sherry Robinson

Dr. Hook sings this memorable ditty by Shel Silverstein:

“Rolling Stone

Wanna see my picture on the cover.

Rolling Stone

Wanna buy five copies for my mother.”

Two guys who didn’t buy five copies for their mothers are Gen. Stanley McChrystal and our very own Val Kilmer. Batman and G.I. Joe didn’t have a lot in common until lately, when the yogurt hit the fan over their published words in Rolling Stone magazine.

McChrystal, a picture of discipline, got himself canned for some remarkably undisciplined comments in a magazine known for probing journalism, irreverence and gritty language. It’s also appropriate that Duncan Boothby, McChrystal’s press aide, stepped down. Somebody in Boothby’s position normally briefs the brass for these interviews to prevent just this sort of loose talk. He either dropped the ball or McChrystal wasn’t listening.

Kilmer, on the other hand, is guilty of casual remarks in 2003 about living in “the homicide capital of the Southwest” where “80 percent of the people in my county are drunk.” There were also some convoluted remarks about veterans in a 2005 Esquire interview.

These are two smart, presumably media-savvy people. How does this stuff happen? Two words: Unguarded moments.


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