Sunday, October 16, 2005

It's Miller Time

Or should that read: "It's Miller's Times?" This is from The Miller Case: Philip Taubman, Ms. Abramson's successor as Washington bureau chief, asked Ms. Miller and other Times reporters whether they were among the six. Ms. Miller denied it. "The answer was generally no," Mr. Taubman said. Ms. Miller said the subject of Mr. Wilson and his wife had come up in casual conversation with government officials, Mr. Taubman said, but Ms. Miller said "she had not been at the receiving end of a concerted effort, a deliberate organized effort to put out information."

If The Times really believed Ms. Miller's claim that this was just "casual conversation" then why make a federal case out of it? Just what is the New York Times' position on source confidentiality? Do they believe that all conversations with Journalists, no matter how casual, should enjoy privilaged status?

Here's another interesting bit: In a folksy, conversational two-page letter dated Sept. 15, Mr. Libby assured Ms. Miller that he had wanted her to testify about their conversations all along. "I believed a year ago, as now, that testimony by all will benefit all," he wrote.

Did Mr Libby testify truthfully about his conversations with Ms. Miller more than a year ago--months before the elections? Did Ms. Miller refuse to confirm that testimony, even with a waiver from Mr. Libby. Did the President know that Mr. Libby had admitted his role to the grand jury more than a year ago. Did Scott McClellan? I hate news stories that raise more questions than they answer. I consider it poor reporting. The Times has been guilty of that a lot lately.

Here's Judy's own contribution.

[Additional comments from Daryl]

The weird thing is that Judith Miller claims to be standing up for journalism, but nothing about the case seems to have anything to do with journalism. It's not that Ms. Miller fought hard to bring a story to the public that would have otherwise been lost, and is now protecting those sources from retribution. She didn't give the public any groundbreaking story, and she claims to have found out about Valerie Plame at a time when she wasn't working on any story. So what was she doing, and what kind of principles is she fighting for?

My interpretation is that she is fighting for her right to be a Washington insider. She wants to be in on the gossip and the secrets of the political big wigs, and she feels that reporting on government misdeeds would harm her working relationship with those big wigs. (Hmm...where did the phrase "big wig" come from? Was that a reference to the olden days where powerful people---judges, aristocrats, mayors, etc.---all wore wigs?) If my interpretation is correct, she's caught in a Catch-22: if she wants to be in on all these secrets, she can't actually report on them, which means that there is no point in her knowing the secrets to begin with.


Anonymous Rich said...

Did Mr Libby testify truthfully about his conversations with Ms. Miller more than a year ago--months before the elections?

I guess the grand jury suggests "no."

11:21 AM  

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