• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

SPRING FUNDRAISER

Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Judy Miller Goes Down in Flames…er…Plames

 

I cannot remember having as entertaining a time reading the New York Times as I did this past Sunday reading the page one story on Judith Miller and her self-imposed jail time.

Really, the three reporters assigned to report on her release from jail, where she was being held for contempt for failing to reveal her source and what had been said to her regarding CIA agent Valerie Plame, and on her own account of her four-hour grand jury questioning, published the same day, handled their difficult task brilliantly.

Without outright calling their co-worker a liar and a shill for the Bush administration’s war marketing campaign, they left almost no doubt in the reader’s mind not only that this was in fact what she was, but that the Times’ senior management and many of her colleagues at the paper thought exactly the same thing.

At her less-than-triumphal return to the newsroom, they reported, after she gave a little speech calling her 85-day jail stay and her release by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald “a victory for press freedom,” there was “restrained applause.”

Several reporters actually criticized Miller on the record for the story, a rare breach of collegiality that shows clearly in just how low esteem this war-mongering hack is held at her own place of work. Even more delicious, when Miller, who never did write a piece about former ambassador Joseph Wilson and Plame, asserted to the reporters writing the article about her that she had “made a strong suggestion to my editor” to run such a piece but had been “told no,” they didn’t take her at her word. Instead, they went to Jill Abramson, the Washington bureau chief at that time, who countered that Miller had never made such a suggestion for a story.

Ouch!

Miller’s own first-person account of her “ordeal,” which she had promised would be exhaustive, was simply laughable–and full of blanks. She said that when questioned before the grand jury, and to this day, she “couldn’t remember” why the name “Valerie Flame” appeared in the notebook she had used in her interviews with Vice President Dick Cheney’s aid Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Nor could this Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist remember who had told her the name “Valerie Wilson,” which also appeared in the same notebook at another point. Equally funny was Miller’s continued effort to explain why she just couldn’t accept Libby’s attorney’s assertion to her that she was free to reveal his identity and the content of his conversations with her to the prosecutor. She couldn’t do that, she insisted, unless she spoke in person with Libby and was sure he wasn’t being “coerced.” As though Libby’s leaks, which were part of an administration campaign to smear Wilson, hadn’t been approved by higher-ups. As though, in other words, her source was some kind of whistleblower in need of protection from his bosses.

But I guess my favorite part of Sunday’s read was where Miller said she was planning to take a vacation, after which she said she hoped “to return to the newsroom.”

The truth? It will be truly astonishing if Miller, who once referred to herself as Ms. Run Amok, because “I can do whatever I want,” ends up back in the newsroom of the New York Times following her “sabbatical.” My suspicion is that her leave is a graceful way for the Times to sack a reporter who has embarrassed the publication.

I think the paper is making a mistake, though. A publication so lacking in humor (the Times famously has no comics section), really needs a humor column, and Miller has shown herself to be very good at making readers laugh.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

Weekend Edition
May 29, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Tim Wise
Protest, Uprisings, and Race War
Nick Pemberton
White Supremacy is the Virus; Police are the Vector
T.J. Coles
What’s NATO Up to These Days? Provoking Russia, Draining Healthcare Budgets and Protecting Its Own from COVID
Benjamin Dangl
Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia
Kevin Alexander Gray - Jeffrey St. Clair - JoAnn Wypijewski
There is No Peace: an Incitement to Justice
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Few Good Sadists
Jeff Mackler
The Plague of Racist Cop Murders: Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Joshua Frank
In Search of a Lost Socialism
Charles Pierson
Who are the “Wrong Hands” in Yemen?
Andrew Levine
Trump Is Unbeatable in the Race to the Bottom and So Is the GOP
David Schultz
Trump isn’t the Pope and This Ain’t the Middle Ages
Ramzy Baroud
Political Ambiguity or a Doomsday Weapon: Why Abbas Abandoned Oslo
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
A Growing Wave of Bankruptcies Threatens U.S. Recovery
Joseph Natoli
Conditions Close at Hand
N.D. Jayaprakash
No Lessons Learned From Bhopal: the Toxic Chemical Leak at LG Polymers India 
Ron Jacobs
The Odyssey of Elias Demetracopoulos
J.P. Linstroth
Arundhati Roy on Indian Migrant-Worker Oppression and India’s Fateful COVID Crisis
Melvin Goodman
Goodness Gracious, David Ignatius!!
Roger Harris
Blaming the COVID-19 Pandemic on Too Many Humans:  a Critique of Overpopulation Ideology
Sonali Kolhatkar
For America’s Wealthiest, the Pandemic is a Time to Profit
Prabir Purkayastha
U.S. Declares a Vaccine War on the World
David Rosen
Coronavirus and the Telecom Crisis
Paul Buhle
Why Does W.E.B. Du Bois Matter Today?
Mike Bader
The Only Way to Save Grizzlies: Connect Their Habitats
Dave Lindorff
Pandemic Crisis and Recession Can Spark a Fight for Real Change in the US
Nyla Ali Khan
The Sociopolitical and Historical Context That Shaped Kashmiri Women Like My Grandmother in the 1940s
Louis Proyect
Does Neo-Feudalism Define Our Current Epoch?
Ralph Nader
S. David Freeman: Seven Decades of Participating in Power for All of Us
Norman Solomon
Amy Klobuchar, Minneapolis Police and Her VP Quest
Maria Paez Victor
Venezuela in the 2020 Pandemic
Ron Mitchell
Defending Our Public Lands: One Man’s Legacy
Nomi Prins 
The Great Depression, Coronavirus Style: Crashes, Then and Now
Richard C. Gross
About That City on A Hill
Kathleen Wallace
An Oath for Hypocrites
Eve Ottenberg
Common Preservation or Extinction?
Graham Peebles
Air Pollution Mental Illness and Covid-19
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Unearned Income for All
Evan Jones
The Machine Stops
Nicky Reid
Proudhon v. Facebook: A Mutualist Solution to Cyber Tyranny
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
What is a “Native” Plant in a Changing World?
Shailly Gupta Barnes
Why are Our Leaders Still Putting Their Faith in the Rich?
John Kendall Hawkins
In Search of the Chosŏn People of Lost Korea
Jill Richardson
Tens of Millions of Are Out of Work, Why on Earth is Trump Trying to Cut Food Aid?
Susan Block
Incel Terrorism
David Yearsley
Plague Music
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail