I wouldn’t read her book if it landed open on my face

Judy Miller doesn’t really warrant a long post on my blog about her – for the past month I was just wishing she would go away…and she did, sort of. Miller finally “retired” from The Times. Is anyone really surprised?

Miller says she’s leaving her job in part because she has “become the news.” When she decided to go to jail for 85 days for really no good reason (since Scooter Libby had already been outed as a source from another journalist) what did she expect?

Upon her return to work she had an escort to bring her into The Times building. She obviously had an inkling into how her co-workers felt about her. With the Weapons of Mass Destruction fiasco and her nickname, “Miss Run-Amok,” written about in practically every story about her, did she really think she was going to go back to a warm reception at The Times and a semblance of anonymity?

This whole debacle concerning her WMD coverage, Valerie Flame, jail time, and Run-Amok-ness ended up not only hurting her reputation but Bill Keller’s as well. The EIC of one of the most important papers in history couldn’t keep a journalist in check? He specifically told her that she wasn’t to write about Iraq any longer and he couldn’t even make her mind. Whose in charge over there anyway?

Jenny DeMonte writes on PressThink about why Miller doesn’t deserve the SPJ First Amendment Award she received just weeks ago. Read this post on Rosen’s blog. It blew my mind that among all the controversy the Society of Professional Journalists gave Judith Miller an award, let alone such a prestigious one.

Here is a part of DeMonte's post:

In his introduction and presentation of the award, SPJ president Irwin Gratz emphasized that Miller was honored for spending 85 days in jail rather than name a confidential source to a grand jury, and that act was clearly in support of a free press.

Except in the several weeks leading up the award presentation, the slowly emerging details of Miller’s story didn’t exactly support the case of her sacrifice for the Constitution.

She can’t remember how the name of the CIA agent ended up in her notebook, written in the mysterious misspelling “Valerie Flame.” So she can’t say for certain who told it to her. Maybe her lawyer believes that. Does anyone else?

In an email from Josh Shear of blogJosh he writes:

“Unfortunately, full-time employment at The Times is like having tenure in a university setting -- you have to royally screw up to get fired, and when you do, you'll take down others with you, a la jayson blair… i wonder who'll bid highest on the 85-days-in-jail-for-no-good-reason book -- and what we'll have to see it cross-promoted on.”

I believe Judith Miller's ego is so big that it's rivaling the ego of Terrell Owens. (Hopefully the Eagles will send T.O. into “retirement” too). So Miller gets a severance package and goes off to write a book. I can only imagine what kind of money she was offered from the Sulzberger clan. Seems like a rather pleasant parting don't you think?

Hopefully her book wont land on any NYU required reading list.

Josh (not verified) @ November 11, 2005 - 6:36am

M --

The Eagles have sent TO into semi-retirement, anyway, benching him for the season -- although they'll pay him about $1 million to sit on the couch for the final five games of the season, once his 4-game suspension is over. I've written about it a bit over here.

As for Miller, good show. And if you can convince Jay Rosen over there to be public on PT about not making students read the tell-all, he may have some influence over the academic world, as a whole lot of people read him. Just a thought.

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