Oliver Stone Tells Islamic Media: Petraeus Scandal Is 'American Puritanism'

By Patrick Burke | November 19, 2012 | 10:05 AM EST

Film director Oliver Stone in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

(CNSNews.com) - Filmmaker Oliver Stone, in a Nov. 17 interview with al Jazeera's English-language outlet, criticized American media for turning the Petraeus scandal into a “great soap opera,” and he called the reaction to the scandal an example of “American Puritanism.”

“I’m frankly not interested in it because it’s like the Monica Lewinsky scandal, it’s this American puritanism.”

Asked if Gen. David Petraeus' extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell "was as much of a scandal" as the American media was making out to be, Stone responded:

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"For me, it has false premise to it. I guess the American media loves to sell a story, a narrative -- and the narrative is a good one: heroic general betrayed by a woman and loses his hero status. It’s a great soap opera -- and I don’t see it that way at all. But I disagree with the American media on so many things, you know? But I think this is an easy one for them.”

Stone continued, “The truth is that Petraeus is no hero to me and never has been. I’ve always seen him as somewhat illegitimate in the sense that the way he was seducing Congress. He would go on television and make these lengthy orations, and everyone was calling him this most knowledgeable counterinsurgency chief. There’s nothing in his resume to indicate that he’s succeeded in any way.”

Stone criticized Petraeus’ counterinsurgency strategy as commanding general in both Iraq and Afghanistan, saying it didn't work.

"He should’ve been probably removed a long time ago, and I think a lot of people would not disagree with me,” Stone said. “But instead he’s been appointed to the CIA where he’s pursued a war with predators and a secret war, and expanded it. I don’t see the heroic side of him that the American media sees.”

Stone said the American media has treated Petraeus "as a hero and they don’t question his record. And I think this is what’s most important and I think it’s been lost in this typical sex scandal, Briitsh-tabloid kind of thing,” he said.

Stone also said it's too bad that Petraeus' downfall was an extramarital affair" "I think he should go down for the truth, which is that he screwed it up (in Iraq and Afghanistan)," he said.