Commenting on that long NYT piece: Thomas E. Ricks in Foreign policy:
Rhodes comes off like a real asshole. This is not a matter of politics — I have voted for Obama twice. Nor do I mind Rhodes’s contempt for many political reporters: “Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”Lee Smith in The Weekly Standard:
But, as that quote indicates, he comes off like an overweening little schmuck. This quotation seems to capture his worldview: “He referred to the American foreign policy establishment as the Blob. According to Rhodes, the Blob includes Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, and other Iraq-war promoters from both parties who now whine incessantly about the collapse of the American security order in Europe and the Middle East.” Blowing off Robert Gates takes nerve.
[David] Samuels's profile is an amazing piece of writing about the Holden Caulfield of American foreign policy. He's a sentimental adolescent with literary talent (Rhodes published one short story before his mother's connections won him a job in the world of foreign policy), and high self regard, who thinks that everyone else is a phony. Those readers who found Jeffrey Goldberg's picture of Obama in his March Atlantic profile refreshing for the president's willingness to insult American allies publicly will be similarly cheered here by Rhodes's boast of deceiving American citizens, lawmakers, and allies over the Iran deal. Conversely, those who believe Obama risked American interests to take a cheap shot at allies from the pedestal of the Oval Office will be appalled to see Rhodes dancing in the end zone to celebrate the well-packaged misdirections and even lies—what Rhodes and others call a "narrative"—that won Obama his signature foreign policy initiative.Jack Shafer in Politico:
Rhodes deserves his castigation. You don’t claim that the “average reporter” you talk to is 27 years old and they “literally know nothing” without suffering some blow-back. You don’t dismiss the American foreign policy establishment—including Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, and editors and reporters at the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the New Yorker—as “the Blob,” and expect polite applause in response. And you especially don’t brag about leading a “war room” effort to turn arms-control experts and reporters into sock puppets, or admit to creating a false narrative about the Iranian nuclear deal to sell it to the public, as Rhodes does, without expecting return fire.