Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Judith Miller-NY Times' Post-Jayson Blair Nightmare

Judith Miller makes Jayson Blair look like a news editor's dream.
Miller is the Number-One Pentagon Hawk's Flack-Hack
and the latest NY Times-nightmare


Excerpts from The Editor and Publisher

"....But as with many of Miller's speculative news reports, the Times as of this week has failed to follow up with admission of error or an accounting of new evidence. If informants' or defectors' revelations were news when Miller reported them, surely they should qualify as news if the government or the Times now believes they were disinformation. There has been no follow-up story that amends the record: say, a prominent piece entitled: "Times Erred in Suggesting That Iraq Posed Smallpox Threat."

When I interviewed military officials and journalists located in Iraq regarding the conduct of Miller during the quest for WMD, they did not mince words: "Nobody could stand her." She had an "imperious manner." "She's lucky we didn't shoot her." "She wore a uniform." "She had an exclusive deal with the Pentagon" -- which undoubtedly caused resentment all around......"

".....Did Miller break credible hard news -- or only flack for hawks in the government, an all-too-familiar role for her over the last two years as she wrote a batch of stories supporting allegations that Iraq was developing and producing chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons?...."

"....David Kay of the Iraqi Survey Group is back in this country providing an interim report to his superiors who continue to express confidence of major discoveries to come. Will Judith Miller be given the ISG beat at the Times rather than, say, a more balanced colleague such as James Risen? Has the Times conceded this territory to other news outlets, rather than take the WMD star role away from Miller?

So far the CIA is denying access to the ISG in the field, according to reporters with whom I have spoken. But Drogin, Gellman, and Linzer are on the case. The dog will bark, even if The New York Times fails to probe deeply and skeptically into what is bound to be a thick and complex Kay report......"