April 20, 2015

Judith Miller has been on a national book tour for her latest publication, The Story: A Reporter's Journey, claiming that reporting incorrect information is far different than intentionally lying us into a war, which many people believed she did. Her defensiveness was obvious on Morning Joe:

There's this narrative that's so comfortable that the Left will not give up. They lied. People died. As if that's how we got into the war in Iraq. No, it's much more complicated. There's been a lot of books, but what there haven't been is a book about "journalism" what we got right what we got wrong, and what I've done is I've gone back and I've tried to take apart that narrative.

Miller explains that she got some things right, like categorizing Osama Bin Laden as a threat after the WTC bombing in 1993, almost ten years before he acted upon this country. She was right about a lot of things, as were they (the intelligence community) got WMD in Iraq wrong. She claims there weren't any lies that forced us into Iraq, it was misinformation. Somehow, she wasn't culpable as she was given that information and looking back, she did absolutely NOTHING wrong.

But this is certainly not how everyone sees Miller.

But after this winsome effort at self-criticism and painful confession, copping to her inexcusable betrayal of the Times accounting department, Miller quickly adds: “But I had never lacked skepticism. Nor had I twisted or ignored facts to achieve a political outcome (emphasis mine). Yet that was the crime of which I was accused.”

After reading Miller’s account of how she and Times colleague Michael Gordon produced the erroneous front-page story that still enrages her critics, “U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts,” one can be forgiven for believing that her phrase “to achieve a political outcome” is exquisitely parsed, even a tad disingenuous.

Miller continues: “I was still comfortable with our effort until I watched the Sunday talk shows. Vice President Cheney and National Security Adviser Rice both trumpeted the tube story, attributing it to the Times rather than their own intelligence agencies.”

But never fear friends, Joe Scarborough validates her claim that Saddam Hussein dominated every news cycle, for years on end. It wasn't just Judy who thought this way, many "reputable" sources fell hook, line and sinker, like Miller. She believes the "paper kind of panicked" and they needed someone to blame, and she was that scapegoat.

"It wasn't the paper's finest hour, but this was a terrible moment. And what they did to me after I came out of jail, I'd gone to jail for 85 days for the First Amendment."

They, she clarified, was the leadership of the paper. I want to always go back and correct the record.

None of these selective memories include the fact that the media is owned by right wing corporations who catered to defense contractors and other war profiteers. That very important scintilla of "minutia" somehow escapes poor Judy and her cheerleader, Joe Scarborough.

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