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December 30, 2005

Only Serious Journalists Need Apply

Posted in: Uncategorized

Oh bully for Judy Miller. What a bravura performance last night on Nightline. All that was missing was an atomizer of throat spray and a few strands of tightly clutched pearls.

First she can’t remember who originally told her of "Valerie Flame," then she can’t remember if she gave Maureen Dowd the boot from her White House press room seat but says if Maureen says so it probably happened (we read: witnesses). But she sure as hell remembers telling NYT editor Jill Abramson she wanted to write about Joe Wilson.

With a memory like that no wonder she generally has to make it all up.

On the Jill Abramson front we might actually believe her; if Scooter spoke with her three times on the topic he obviously wanted Judy to write about it and coming from the school of "legs in the air" journalism, Judy usually does what she’s told. It’s everything else that sounds like a pack of self-serving lies. But the curious part comes when Judy says that Libby never told her that Joe Wilson’s wife had any part in sending him on the Niger trip.

She’s said this before but I guess I’ve never seized on it, since it is quite an odd assertion that does little to enhance her already sullied reputation.

According to the indictment Libby was most certainly aware as early as June 11, 2003 that people in both the State Department and the CIA were saying Wilson’s wife was involved in the planning of the trip, and Libby himself had been poking around trying to find out what paperwork would back this up.

In Judy’s own private La Traviata she says:

Mr. Fitzgerald asked whether I ever pursued an article about Mr. Wilson and his wife. I told him I had not, though I considered her connection to the C.I.A. potentially newsworthy. I testified that I recalled recommending to editors that we pursue a story.

So, Ms. Solid Journalist, seeking to "reclaim" your reputation. If Wilson’s wife had no role in his trip to the best of your knowledge, what exactly made this story newsworthy? If you weren’t simply acting as a smear merchant for those who butter your toast, what possible bearing would the fact that Joe Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA have? Judy says:

I said I felt that since The Times had run Mr. Wilson’s original essay, it had an obligation to explore any allegation that undercut his credibility.

What allegation was that exactly? The Jill Abramson thing is starting to make sense. If Judy ran back to the Times dithering about Wilson’s wife’s part in some secret liberal CIA cabal to take down the President well it just isn’t surprising that Abramson paid no attention and hoped Judy’s shrink would eventually get around to adjusting her meds.

Judy goes on to attribute her own personal trials at the Times to sexist fucks who didn’t want women to succeed. Although it would be difficult in this lifetime to make the personal acquaintance of all those who loathed her during her 28 year stint there, my long-term encounters with those amongst them who wanted the head buried no closer than a thousand yards from the body and the mouth stuffed with garlic to assure she never returned attest to their own commitment to women’s rights that renders Judy’s latest pile of excuses a heap of vicious, self-serving spew.

If Judy wants to be taken seriously as a journalist she can stop with the purple dramaturgy, the Edina Monsoon desert ensembles, the awkward schoolgirl tittering at inappropriate moments during her interviews and the outrageous denial for any culpability in anything, ever. Judy’s colleagues hated her because she never met a problem she couldn’t lay off on someone else. Her journalistic "triumphs" now look like a steaming pile of shit since her quote-unquote "access" was gained in the thrall of powerful men she never bothered to question.

Her kiss-up, kick-down journalism make her John Bolton with a pen, and her reputation — such as it is — will probably be best served by keeping future TV appearances to a minimum.

Crooks and Liars has the video of the Nightline TV clip, and ABC News has excerpts not broadcast on television that include her Plame references.


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