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Yankee Doodle Judy

Hullabaloo Gene Lyons has an interesting column about Judith Miller and her crusade to protect powerful whitehouse souces who use the NY Times to des

Hullabaloo writes:

Gene Lyons has an interesting column about Judith Miller and her crusade to protect powerful whitehouse souces who use the NY Times to destroy their critics. Lyons, many may recall, has some particular knowledge of the NY Times and its sources, having chronicled its massive journalistic failure in the Whitewater matter in his book "Fools For Scandal." Let's just say that the Times has a very credulous relationshihp with its sources. In fact, they've made a virtual fetish of being willing tools of lying Republicans over and over again.

Lyons says that Miller should testify:

In a haughty tone familiar to anybody who's ever caught the newspaper with its metaphorical pants down, the editors reminded the prosecutor that they're The New York Times, and he's not. "Mr. Fitzgerald's attempts to interfere with the rights of a free press while refusing to disclose his reasons for doing so, when he can't even say whether a crime has been committed, have exhibited neither reverence nor cautious circumspection."

What rubbish. Reverence, indeed. (To be fair, it's an allusion to James Madison, not a demand to be worshipped.) In making its argument, the Times states it wouldn't print information that "would endanger lives and national security."

So here's my question: In a post-9/11 world, what information could possibly be more sensitive than the identity of a covert agent charged with preventing nuclear proliferation? written an interesting column about Judith Miller and her crusade to protect powerful whitehouse souces who use the NY Times to destroy their critics. Lyons, many may recall, has some particular knowledge of the NY Times and its sources, having chronicled its massive journalistic failure in the Whitewater matter in his book "Fools For Scandal." Let's just say that the Times has a very credulous relationshihp with its sources. In fact, they've made a virtual fetish of being willing tools of lying Republicans over and over again.

Lyons says that Miller should testify:

In a haughty tone familiar to anybody who's ever caught the newspaper with its metaphorical pants down, the editors reminded the prosecutor that they're The New York Times, and he's not. "Mr. Fitzgerald's attempts to interfere with the rights of a free press while refusing to disclose his reasons for doing so, when he can't even say whether a crime has been committed, have exhibited neither reverence nor cautious circumspection."

What rubbish. Reverence, indeed. (To be fair, it's an allusion to James Madison, not a demand to be worshipped.) In making its argument, the Times states it wouldn't print information that "would endanger lives and national security."

So here's my question: In a post-9/11 world, what information could possibly be more sensitive than the identity of a covert agent charged with preventing nuclear proliferation?
Answer: None.

Let's put aside the fact that Judith Miller has long been a passionately outspoken ally of Bush administration neo-conservatives who pushed for war with Iraq. She gave paid public speeches urging Saddam's overthrow. Many journalists have asked why such a partisan was given the Iraqi WMD assignment to begin with. The answer? Access, access and access.

What everybody's ignoring here is that Fitzgerald already knows Miller's sources. That's not what he wants to ask her. His prosecution brief urging her incarceration stipulates that "her putative source has been identified and has waived confidentiality."

Even editor Bill Keller has conceded that there's no imaginable journalist's shield law that would protect her. It's Miller's patriotic duty to talk.

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Answer: None.

Let's put aside the fact that Judith Miller has long been a passionately outspoken ally of Bush administration neo-conservatives who pushed for war with Iraq. She gave paid public speeches urging Saddam's overthrow. Many journalists have asked why such a partisan was given the Iraqi WMD assignment to begin with. The answer? Access, access and access.

What everybody's ignoring here is that Fitzgerald already knows Miller's sources. That's not what he wants to ask her. His prosecution brief urging her incarceration stipulates that "her putative source has been identified and has waived confidentiality."

Even editor Bill Keller has conceded that there's no imaginable journalist's shield law that would protect her. It's Miller's patriotic duty to talk.

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