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.