Monday, October 17, 2005

Miller's tangled web

Maybe somebody at the Times should have asked to see Judy's notes before they tried to make her the 1st amendment poster girl.

Maybe then they wouldn't be stuck defending a reporter with a...ah, how you say?

Selective memory.

Amazingly, or maybe not so, given the Time's reverential, hands-off treatment of a reporter so unpopular with her colleagues that she asked for an escort into her office after her return from jail, the Times did not read her notes on the Plame deal until very recently. Until it was, perhaps, too late:

Miller wouldn't testify, even though Libby had waived confidentiality, because she believed that the White House and the FBI had coerced a release from Libby that he didn't really mean. Therefore, Miller waited in jail for Libby to call personally and convince her that he meant it.

Wow, if the rumors are true, and she WAS in a boning-type relationship with Libby, I hope she got out, 'cause that sounds like classic battered wife logic to me.

Libby's lawyer denies his client was aware of Miller's beliefs or that he took advantage of them, clusters of color-changing aspens aside, of course.

Anyhoo, Miller suddenly remembered after her first testimony before the grand jury that there was an earlier conversation with Libby, and more notes, than she admitted to in her first testimony.

Miller testified that Libby never said Plame's name, although "Valerie Flame" appears in the notebook she used during her conversation with Libby.

Miller said nevermind, it really really wasn't Libby who gave her Valerie's name (like it's her NAME that matters), it probably was a different source, and...get this part:

She doesn't remember who that other source was.

Yeah, the NYT looks stupider by the minute.

For instance, why, after all the warnings they'd been given about Judy, did they allow her free rein not only to publish, but to determine the Time's response to her subpoena?

And it's so heartwarming to see journalists like the Post's Howard Kurtz come forward at this opportune moment to kick dirt onto Miller's grave. Not that he's wrong about anything he says, but all the outrage strikes me as me as a tad hypocritical, given the MSM's reluctance to condemn Judy's reporting prior to the unraveling of the Plame deal:

Craig Pyes, a former contract writer for the Times who teamed up with Miller for a series on al Qaeda, complained about her in a December 2000 memo to Times editors and asked that his byline not appear on one piece.

"I'm not willing to work further on this project with Judy Miller," wrote Pyes, who now writes for the Los Angeles Times. He added: "I do not trust her work, her judgment, or her conduct. She is an advocate, and her actions threaten the integrity of the enterprise, and of everyone who works with her . . . She has turned in a draft of a story of a collective enterprise that is little more than dictation from government sources over several days, filled with unproven assertions and factual inaccuracies," and "tried to stampede it into the paper."

Now he tells us!

But Kurtz has a nice wrap-up of the NYT's confessional piece.

If you got the stomach for that sort of thing.

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