Thursday, October 20, 2005

Outside looking in

Times Does Duty, And So Does Judy–But It’s A Hash

(Via Kurtz).

“I didn’t know what the story was,” Ms. Miller told The Observer. “I knew there was information [that] needed to be pursued. Maybe we had a White House smear here, or an incompetent trip to Africa that needed to cover itself. I had another story to do [on the military’s search for Iraqi W.M.D.], and that is what I wrote then.”

" incompetent trip to Africa that needed to cover itself."

Who outside of the leakers and Miller would believe that? That outing a covert agent was a crucial part of the story of a fact-finding mission, and the greater good was served by exposing that agent?

I can't even begin to understand that, it is so illogical.

Maybe this can make sense if you are so far inside the system that rules and laws seem optional. But from here on the outside?

Give me a fucking break.

There are some fascinating (but probably inconsequential) tidbits in this article.

Joseph Lelyveld was interim executive editor between Mr. Raines and Mr. Keller, from June 5 through July 30, 2003. That covered the entire span of time in which Ms. Miller had her three conversations with Mr. Libby. But, befitting the invisibility of editors in Ms. Miller’s world, the name of Mr. Lelyveld—who is, in a Kremlinological Times wrinkle, the companion of the reporter Ms. Scott [one of the reporters on the Oct. 16 mega-article]—appeared nowhere in the entire package.


In fact, Mr. Keller and Ms. Abramson had sharply rebuked Ms. Miller for that drifting. Though the Times account didn’t mention it, the two called Ms. Miller into Mr. Keller’s office this past winter and told her that she could no longer cover national security in any form for the paper.

“The implication was that she would resign,” said a person with knowledge of the meeting. Though Ms. Miller “blew up,” as the source put it, she took a two-week vacation, with Mr. Keller saying he expected to hear on her return whether she accepted the reassignment. When she came back, she agreed to the arrangement.


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