Editor's note: Howard Kurtz is the host of CNN's "Reliable Sources" and is Newsweek's Washington bureau chief. He is also a contributor to the website Daily Download.
(CNN) - David Petraeus had another love affair long before the one that cost him his job running the CIA.
It was with the press.
The retired general's skillful courtship of journalists brought him a career's worth of favorable headlines and has, to a remarkable degree, softened the coverage of his fall from grace. Petraeus accomplished this in part by granting reporters access - though none quite as extraordinary as that accorded his biographer, Paula Broadwell, who several news organizations have identified as the other woman in the extramarital affair he has acknowledged.