The president could have chosen to ignore a magazine article if he wanted to. He chose to escalate and assert his authority. He’s entitled, but not compelled. He could have picked up the phone and ordered McC to fire those fools who spilled their guts to the journalist. And then he could have told the general to shut up and win the war.
I guess this is the war-fighter equivalent of putting everyone in a room and telling them to cut the shit.