Judith Miller's Head on a Plate

If it's news, but not politics, then it goes here.

I ......

always trusted the NYT.
never trusted those liberal belly achers.
never trusted those corporate arch conservative corporate slaves..
Total votes: 7

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Judith Miller's Head on a Plate

Postby nickled&dimed » Sat May 29, 2004 5:48 pm

........ would be the only acceptable outcome of the recent NYT's fiasco.

If the White house leaks false info to the NYT, who then publishes the info as 'fact' that is then held up as 'proof' by Dick Cheney, might as well give up on the task of being informed citizenry, shoot up and watch cable.

A recent letter written to Salon....

James C. Moore's "Not Fit to Print" provides a scathing indictment of Judith Miller's reporting on Iraq's (lack of) WMD. But he fails to mention another possible motivation for Miller's alarmist prose. In October 2001, her book "Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War" hit the shelves. Coauthored with Times reporters Stephen Engelberg and William Broad, the book went paperback in September 2002, just as Miller's Chalabi-fed stories hit fever pitch.

How much did Miller and her Times coauthors profit from the book, and how much did her baseless stories boost sales? Hard to know. But there is precedent at the Times for eschewing book money whipped up by fantastical front-page claims.

In May 1998, Times science reporter Gina Kolata penned a story quoting Nobel Prize-winner James Watson saying that Boston researcher Judah Folkman would cure cancer "within two years."

The furor that swirled around the story -- much of it driven by skeptical and even outraged science journalists (a clan to which I belong) -- prompted Kolata to retract a book proposal pegged to Folkman's research. Soon after, Boston Globe science reporter Robert Cooke received a large advance (perhaps as much as $1 million) for his book on the topic.

Cancer is still a scourge, just as Saddam Hussein's phantom bio-weapons are not. Miller and the Times could rectify some of the damage wrought by their irresponsible journalism by donating all of the book's earnings to a war-related charity -- say, to families of American soldiers killed and maimed in Iraq. Such a move would speak volumes louder than their too-little, too-late self-flagellation.

-- Brian Vastag

Amy Goodman's book looks promising also.

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Postby jammybastard » Mon May 31, 2004 1:18 pm

as a regular subscriber to the NYT for 10 years now I read those Miller articles and realised pretty quickly that someone was feed her alot of bull and she was simply passing it along. Her articles ran counter to everything US intel was saying at the time. Plus the whole issue of Chalabi feeding bogus info to the US for $$$ was out at least 6 mon. before we put boots on the ground. Miller's work as a propagandist was pretty obvious.

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Postby snoqueen » Mon May 31, 2004 5:21 pm

They ran a whole introspective self-criticism thing on Sunday that was oddly unsatisfying to read -- kept going round and round about their weak journalism at the beginning of the war without really cutting to the heart of the matter. I felt like somebody had commissioned a "study."

A fine line is drawn between cultivating sources and crawling into bed with them. The line is reinforced by good personal politics and a sense of who will be hurt if you fail at your responsibilities. The Times messed up on both counts.

I think the only way to repair the damage is start giving us strong, convincing journalism. They might read Al Gore's recent address for starters. The Times is still trying to figure out how it happened -- or maybe cover up how it happened -- but that's like when an alcoholic sits around and talks about all the stuff that keeps going wrong in his life. It's time to get up, clean house house, and set things straight.

It may be too late for the Times, because they are beholden to way too many monied interests and once those bonds are tied, they're nearly impossible to dissolve.

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