journamalism

Judith Miller Knows Who To Blame For Her Crap Iraq War Reporting (Hint: Not Judith Miller)

Pure gender-neutral evil

Judith Miller, disgraced former propagandist for the Bush administration (and also former reporter for the New York Times) — now a Fox News contributor, OF COURSE — is still defending herself and the blood on her hands, with a new book, GRRRR. As if it weren’t bad enough that she spent a good part of last year defending poor Dick Cheney from the mean liberal media who can’t just get over that whole “they lied us into war” thing already, she also wants the world to know whose fault it was that she was in on the con job:

“What I want to do is go back and show why the sources and I got it wrong, and the Times wouldn’t let me do that. That’s what is reprehensible. You always have to go back and correct the record.”

Right. Miller wants to clear her name and absolve her guilt for letting the Bush administration tell her, “Hey, our BFF Ahmed Chalabi says there are WMD in Iraq, you should type up what he says, but don’t mention our names, m’kay?” And then every member of the Bush administration said, “See, even the Times has independently verified all on its own without any direction from us whatsoever that Iraq DEFINITELY is about to bomb us over here, oh god, MUSHROOM CLOUDS!!!” And Judith Miller, being an experienced and objective journalist, didn’t say any words, like “Um, I got that story from you, DICK,” because she had principles about protecting her sources! And First Amendment! And she went to jail, you know.

Once she realized her innocent error — and really, who among us has not been used by the White House to push a fake story to lead the nation into war? It could happen to anyone! — of course she immediately wanted to correct the record, but the Times wouldn’t let her, and you know why? Sexism.

“Rather than the paper saying, ‘Hey, we published what we knew at the time,’ the paper kind of panicked, and they said we have to find someone to blame for this,” she said. “There must be a lack of skepticism rather than there was a consensus and everyone believed it. So they turned around and they highlighted the pushy woman, I think. … It wasn’t the paper’s finest hour.”

That’s funny, because we happen to have the New York Times right here, and in its weak-sauce note from the editors, kinda sorta apologizing in 2004 for the paper’s TOTALLY WRONG coverage of Iraq’s weapons program, you know whose name does not appear even once? Bet you can guess. Maybe this is the part where the Times is subtly sub-sexisming Miller?

In doing so — reviewing hundreds of articles written during the prelude to war and into the early stages of the occupation — we found an enormous amount of journalism that we are proud of. In most cases, what we reported was an accurate reflection of the state of our knowledge at the time, much of it painstakingly extracted from intelligence agencies that were themselves dependent on sketchy information. And where those articles included incomplete information or pointed in a wrong direction, they were later overtaken by more and stronger information. That is how news coverage normally unfolds.

Hmm, maybe not that part. Oh, but here, here the editors are definitely putting ALL the blame on lady reporter Miller, for sure:

The problematic articles varied in authorship and subject matter, but many shared a common feature. They depended at least in part on information from a circle of Iraqi informants, defectors and exiles bent on “regime change” in Iraq, people whose credibility has come under increasing public debate in recent weeks.

Wow, you can still see the tire marks from that bus the editors drove right over St. Judith Miller, the Great Martyr of Journamalism.

Normally, we’d be the last in line to defend the New York Times on charges of sexism, because hell, we make those charges ourselves all the time. And who knows? Maybe if Judith Miller had been Joshua Miller, the Times never would have bothered to investigate itself and admit mistakes were made, by unnamed reporters, in the paper’s coverage. Maybe it would have promoted Mr. Miller and insisted to this day, at every opportunity, that he was the best damned journalist who ever journalisted. So yeah, sure, maybe the paper’s failure to defend Ms. Miller even more loudly is further evidence of its sexism. Or maybe, just maybe, Judith Miller is one of the worst reporters who ever had a byline, and she’s guilty as hell of being complicit in the Bush administration’s gaslighting of America on a bogus WMD program, and instead of going on the teevee and writing books to explain how that wasn’t really her fault, really, she should just say “I am so sorry, America, for the role I played in leading us into war,” and then shut the hell up forever. Yes, we think that is a much better idea.

[Mediaite / New York Times]

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