It had been nearly a year since his last column, but eXiledonline’s Gary Brecher, otherwise known as “The War Nerd” is back with a weird story about his failed attempts at becoming a fame whore. Turns out Brecher was going to be the subject of a huge Newsweek profile by Michael Hastings — of General McChrystal’s downfall fame — only to see the story killed after Hastings jumped ship to Rolling Stone.
I got interviewed by this same Michael Hastings guy way back when my book came out. I talked to him for hours about war, about Iraq, about Fresno, about Afghanistan and even about how all the coolsters in Manhattan laughed at his book about his girlfriend getting killed in Iraq. (Which to be fair he should’ve expected because he titled that book I Lost My Love in Baghdad, possibly the worst title ever until some studio cokehead came up with Knight and Day.)
We maybe didn’t bond–that’s not my field, like the Georgia slaves said to General Sherman’s torch squad–but we had I thought a pretty decent interview, and when it was over I had a long shower and groaned for a few hours remembering every stupid thing I’d said the way I always do after these interpersonal things, and went to sleep expecting to wake up with a story in Newsweek and a rating in Amazon books in something like three digits.
Instead–instead, because the Gods of War hate me worse than they hate Poland–instead I get a nice personal email from my new pal, buddy, Vulcan-mind-meld soulmate Michael Damn Hastings saying he’s just quit Newsweek. The bastard took the buyout and ran–straight to Rolling Stone and the biggest story (as far as the sucker mainstream press is concerned) since Tet.
Brecher then got stiffed by the New York Times, which–lucky for the rest of us–seems to have stirred him out of hibernation.