ABC Frets Over Pickle McChrystal Has Put Obama Into: Look 'Petulant' or 'Weak'

ABC, CBS and NBC all led Tuesday night with multiple stories on the "firestorm" over disrespectful coments by General Stanley McChrystal and his aides about President Obama and other administration officials, but ABC's Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos particularly despaired over the position in which McChrystal has put Obama.

Sawyer fretted that Obama "now faces a mind-boggling choice," before Stephanopoulos kvetched "the President has really been put in a real political box" and "a very painful political position," forcing him to choose between "looking thin-skinned and petulant" or "looking weak."

CBS's Katie Couric didn't go that far, but she was disturbed by the burden on Obama: "This controversy is about the last thing the President needed on his plate as he deals with two wars overseas and another against an invasion of oil off the gulf coast."

Sawyer asked chief political correspondent/Good Morning America co-host Stephanopoulos: "What are you hearing, George?" He worried about Obama's plight:

That a debate has been raging inside the administration since this article hit last night, and that the President has really been put in a real political box. If he fires McChrystal after this, he risks looking thin-skinned and petulant. But if he accepts these words, which some consider insubordination, then he risks looking weak. So it's a very painful political position right now for the President.

Sawyer had led the June 22 World News:

Good evening. There was a giant explosion heard around the world today, and it had nothing to do with weapons. Everything to do with words. General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, gave an interview to a magazine. And in it, he and his aides took aim at everyone from the President to the Vice President to Senators and diplomats.

The General has been summoned to the White House by President Obama, who now faces a mind-boggling choice. Does he fire the man central to the war right before a major battle? Jake Tapper takes us inside a stunned and furious White House.

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.