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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Lying Judy and lying New York Times 

So here is the New York Times's big article explaining Judy Miller and all -- The Miller Case: From a Name on a Pad to Jail, and Back.
Lies, damned lies -- no statistics, just lies.
The lying all starts right here, at the very beginning of that story -- "In a notebook belonging to Judith Miller, a reporter for The New York Times, amid notations about Iraq and nuclear weapons, appear two small words: "Valerie Flame." Ms. Miller should have written Valerie Plame. That name is at the core of a federal grand jury investigation that has reached deep into the White House. At issue is whether Bush administration officials leaked the identity of Ms. Plame, an undercover C.I.A. operative, to reporters as part of an effort to blunt criticism of the president's justification for the war in Iraq. Ms. Miller spent 85 days in jail for refusing to testify and reveal her confidential source, then relented. On Sept. 30, she told the grand jury that her source was I. Lewis Libby, the vice president's chief of staff. But she said he did not reveal Ms. Plame's name. And when the prosecutor in the case asked her to explain how "Valerie Flame" appeared in the same notebook she used in interviewing Mr. Libby, Ms. Miller said she "didn't think" she heard it from him. "I said I believed the information came from another source, whom I could not recall," she wrote on Friday, recounting her testimony for an article that appears today."
Emphasis mine.
So now the New York Times actually reports lies to its readers. Lies they KNOW are lies.
They expect readers to believe that some mysterious stranger told Judy about Plame -- someone whose name she cannot recall? A one-armed man, perhaps? Or maybe it was someone wearing a mask and driving a batmobile? Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
Well, I'm sure she apologized very sincerely to Fitzgerald and the grand jury -- twisting her sash, with a fetching smile, she put her finger to the dimple in her chin and simpered "sorry, Mr. Prosecutor and all you nice jurors, but really, I jest caint remember WHO it was ...."
And they said, OK, fine, thanks, you can go.
And though the New York Times reports blandly on her statement that apparently Libby was NOT her source for Plame's name, what they don't explain in the whole rest of the article is just why she would then have to spend three months in jail -- if it wasn't Libby who told her Plame's name, why was she protecting him so vigorously?
Of course, she is lying -- I don't know if she actually lied to the grand jury, but in this newspaper article she is lying without shame, to her editor, to her own colleagues and to her readers -- and the reporters writing this story know she is lying but they report it anyway. And the editors let it stand. And the publisher printed it.
Oh, how far has this newspaper fallen.
UPDATE: A Kos diary also notes that later the article says "Mr. Bennett [one of Miller's lawyers], who by now had carefully reviewed Ms. Miller's extensive notes taken from two interviews with Mr. Libby, assured Mr. Fitzgerald that Ms. Miller had only one meaningful source. He agreed to limit his questions to Mr. Libby and the Wilson matter." So in effect the article actually says that Miller is lying about her mysterious one-armed source, but the readers have to parse its sentences for these clues. Pathetic!

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