Principled Profit: The Good Business Blog

Musings on the world-wide movement for ethical business, frugal marketing, and how honesty, integrity, and quality combine with deep relationship building to create business success. By the originator of the Ethical Business Pledge campaign and award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First and five other books

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Judith Miller Continues to be an Embarrassment

I finally got around to reading Judith Miller's account of her Grand Jury testimony, as published in the New York Times three days ago.

When I was growing up, the Times was "the paper of record." But in the decade of Jayson Blair and Judith Miller, you've got to wonder.

Where were her editors? How could they allow this rambling, repetitious essay to waltz into print? Then again, these are probably the same editors who did not question her reportage in the run-up to the war, in which she served as the Bush administration's #1 print media cheerleader, engaging in press release journalism and insider-secret journalism that was a major force in advancing support for the war that--we all know, now--did not even begin to be justified by the stated claims of weapons of mass destruction.

And then there are some other very interesting hints in this piece:

I would still like to know what really happened in that Grand Jury room--and in the numerous meetings Miller had with White House sources before the button was pushed for "shock and awe."

I'd also like to know why she deliberately misled her editors and the public by identifying Cheney's adjutant Scooter Libby as a "former [Capitol] Hill staffer, rather than as a top white House aide.

And finally, what does Miller mean in her comments about security clearances and being privy to classified information? Media critic Norman Solomon, in a strongly worded piece covering Miller's entire sordid history on Iraq, points out a big problem:

There’s nothing wrong with this picture if Judith Miller is an intelligence operative for the U.S. government. But if she’s supposed to be a journalist, this is a preposterous situation...
Interestingly, I'm more amused than bothered by the numerous inaccuracies she reports from the pages of her own notebooks. I've done journalism, I know what it's like to take notes in the field, and these sorts of bloopers are normal and unavoidable. However, a good journalist goes back over the notes while the interview is still fresh, and makes the necessary corrections. No evidence of that here!

And Judith Miller is a Pulitzer Prize winner, too. Sheesh!


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