Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Judy, Judy, Choody: How Does The New York Times Run? A Better Mystery Than V. Plame.

If you’re wondering what the furor is about concerning Judith Miller and the news story she didn’t write leading to her 85-day imprisonment because she didn’t get a clearance from Scooter Libby to talk to the grand jury about who outed Valerie Plame, when, it turns out, she can’t remember who told her, join the club. And for those of you who have thought correctly that The Times is an unremittingly liberal newspaper that blasts George W. Bush, Dame Judy was one reporter who swallowed the WMD story whole and influenced a lot of folks that the Iraq invasion was justified because of her (as it turns out) inaccurate reporting. (I, for one, believe invading Iraq was right regardless of no WMD and, as the elections prove, its democratization is going to work wonders for peace in the Middle East. But that doesn’t answer the question as to why Judy is still around).

Here’s a lady who writes a string of stories that are incorrect, is told by her boss that she mustn’t cover the Middle East any more but goes ahead and does it anyhow with her boss evidently powerless to stop her. She causes The Times to spend millions in her defense with a gaggle of in-house lawyers plus a high-powered First Amendment lawyer, followed by her hiring her own counsel, Bob Bennett, and they all work for her defense. After being freed, she’s celebrated as the heroine of the First Amendment. Whereupon she announces she’s interested in writing a book and goes public about shopping around for a publisher. In the newsroom she calls herself “Miss Runamok” and when her boss asks “what does that mean, Judy?” she says that it means she can do anything she wants.

There’s a lot we don’t know about this case. If she were sleeping with the publisher that would be one explanation. If she were sleeping with Scooter Libby that’d be another. I almost think the latter explanation would be nearer to the truth basis his gushy note to her “you are missed” and referring to the plants in the garden with interconnecting roots ala Peter Sellers as Chauncy Gardner. All that’s missing is Scooter’s ending the note with a number of xxx’s. Except being touchy-feely with Scooter doesn’t explain why she had the total run of the newsroom in violation of protocol. Maybe she’s been romantic with a lot of powerful guys but then she’s not a looker: I don’t know. All of this seems to ignore Karl Rove. I think when it’s all over, we’ll find that she is just a ditzy neo-con dame who’s played a lot of Times liberals for suckers, sleeps only with her 78 year old husband--somebody with first page access who Scooter has sold a bill of goods for the benefit of his vice president. If you have trouble deciphering this how would you like to be our Chicago-based U.S. attorney? I wouldn’t blame him if after work he sits down and spends considerable time with an aged bottle of Old Fitzgerald.

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