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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Short memory

Remember Judith Miller? She's the New York Times journalist who was promoting bogus claims of Iraqi WMD before the 2003 invasion. When it was discovered that she had been sourcing her material from none other than fraudster Ahmed Chalabi, she kept her job and remains one of the Times' key reporters. So much for accountability at the "paper of record."

Now she's caught up into another scandal. Miller and Matthew Cooper of Time magazine face up to 18 months in jail for declining to name the source (or sources) who leaked the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame to them. Miller never wrote about the story, but researched background information about it. Miller did cover the Plame case. Miller has launched a website to support her case.

Speaking to Editor and Publisher, Miller said she would not likely be writing additional pieces for the site or starting a blog. "I don't know a lot about this Web stuff," she said. "I have a full time job writing for The New York Times. I don't need to write for a blog." Good to see Miller understands online journalism. She's too busy finding false information to help launch illegal wars in the Middle East.

Scepticism towards Miller is a natural reaction, however, it appears that her journalistic ethics are being threatened in this case. A reporter's sources are sacred and should be protected. One can see why those in power would like these long-established norms to be challenged. Watch this space.

4 Comments:

Blogger Shay said...

Funny, isn't it. Judith Miller publishes false information from a dishonest source, reprints it as fact, and gets away without having to make so much as an apology. Dan Rather publicises a document shown to be (perhaps) false, but because it was negative about Bush, he loses his job. His bad journalism didn't lead to the death of 100,000 people, Miller's did.

I'm a bit torn between my desire to see Miller locked up (even if for the wrong crime), and the knowledge that, this time, she is on the side of right and that no journalist should ever be forced to reveal sources.

Though I wouldn't mind seeing the recent slew of "anonymous Administration sources" being forced to put a name to their lies.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 3:34:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Miller is certainly a disgrace for her profession. Shameless, really. But the response of her employers is even more telling.
The New York Times is the master of 'anonymous administration sources'.
In this case, Miller is indeed right, I reckon, but reckoning for her previous 'crimes' will come...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 3:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Phil said...

Incredible really, Miller goes down, delicious really, and it should really be for her grievous bodily harming reports straight from the mouth of Chalabi. It should be Novak that does the time for this crime.

Also, the White House's efforts to deny reporters the use of unnamed sources should be seen in the broader context of silencing whistleblowers and leakers.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 8:52:00 pm  
Anonymous Poopoo said...

Phil, you're getting close to the mark...
Methinks this Miller thing is no more than a setup.
And has been from the GetGo.
Lets see what happens next:
Miller gets the boot, (Jobbie Done), and cops a fine of some substance, and somehow has enough in kitty to pay.
You see, she's a spent force now the lies are out there a little more than was the case.

The rules as to press sources are changed forever - or at least until the bretheren in the Supreme Court are re-stacked when rigged elections are somehow miraculously stopped.

Pretty easy stuff, really - and as a special bonus the heat of the Franklin affair is directed somewhere useless:-)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 11:43:00 pm  

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