Miller Resigns

by Kieran Healy on November 9, 2005

“Judith Miller resigns her position at the Times”:, in a deal that’s been under negotiation for a couple of weeks, apparently.



Stephen M (Ethesis) 11.09.05 at 10:56 pm

I find the entire episode, from start to finish (well, the eventual finish) tragic, this along with the rest.


Zed Pobre 11.09.05 at 11:47 pm

I cannot consider this ending tragic, except insofar as it demonstrates the continuing victory of realpolitik over real justice. She has been allowed to leave with her dignity, and with even her career potentially still intact, a gentleness that she has in no way earned.


P O'Neill 11.10.05 at 12:12 am

The Washington Post has a good story about it, clearly less constrained than the NYT in what they can say.


coturnix 11.10.05 at 1:55 am

Well, this is not a surprise. But you should see that new Budweiser ad!


coturnix 11.10.05 at 1:55 am

Ha! Just wanted to get away from the Guinness ad for a while….LOL


Barry 11.10.05 at 10:23 am

This woman almost certainly got more money for lying that I’ll earn in my entire life for telling the truth.


Peter 11.10.05 at 10:37 am

Well, another Jayson Blair grade black eye for the NY Times. Barry hit the nail on the head.

When the anthrax letters were being investigated, the investigation quickly turned domestic, Miller was adamant about blaming Sadam and Iraq for the letters. Even when it became painfully clear that the motives for the attacks were purely domestic and purely right wing.


Barry 11.10.05 at 10:51 am

Others have pointed out that it’s far worse than the Blair case. With Miller, it was clear by Summer 2003 that her WMD stories were false; the only scenario’s were: (1) she was lying for the administration, which was lying, (2) she had been played for a total sucker by the administration, which was lying, or (3) Saddam had managed to beam his WMD’s and all of the infrastructure into his lunar base.

Given that the administration didn’t even plan or try to secure any of these suspected WMD sites, it’s clear which scenario was most likely. At that point, they should have sat her down and ‘debriefed’ her. If there was any question at all that she wasn’t 100% open in what she knew, the NYT shouldn’t have trusted her at all.
They might have had to keep things quiet, to avoid embarassment, but they shouldn’t have backed her in the investigation, and they definitely should not have staked the NYT’s position on her side.


fyreflye 11.10.05 at 11:04 am

There’s an obvious difference between the Jayson Blair and the Judith Miller cases. Not just the one you thought of immediately: Judy knows where the bodies are buried at the NYT.


Shelby 11.10.05 at 1:10 pm

I loved how the Times reporter mysteriously could not find her to get a comment. That was even better than Miller’s farewell piece, where she claimed she went to jail to demonstrate the need for a federal “reporter shield” law because lying officials need the same protection as a doctor’s patients.


roger 11.10.05 at 6:03 pm

The weirdness about the WP piece is the resolute avoidance of Miller’s own politics until the very end of the piece. This is a woman whose first ‘famous” lover was a Reagan appointee, who is calling up political reporters in the 1988 race and complaining that they are too easy on Dukakis, who co-writes Laurie Mylroie’s conspiracy book about Saddam Hussein that is referenced repeatedly by the Wolfowitz gang in the leadup to the war (according to Richard Clarke), and there is absolutely no interest shown in whether she was promoting a political agenda. This, of course, is part of the mythology held by the mainstream press about itself – that it is just a blank slate upon which the facts are hastily scribbled, John Locke’s model mind with two feet and a steno pad.

The WP reporter apparently did not find it pertinent even to ask whether Miller supported the war – in the buildup to the war, was she convinced that the U.S. should go to war against Iraq? Miller was a stenographer, but only for one side. That the press refuses to examine in any serious way its role as a great amplifying machine for the pro-war forces is related, if you ask me, to the fact that the press is loosing its paper readership. These were great liberal dailies, and their switch to great neo-con dailies was obviously not well received by the readership. Plus, the arrogance of the press, once that readership made its discontent known – the scorn about people, for instance, who took the Downing Street Memo seriously, which was peculiar insofar as it wasn’t even a dispute about the fact of the Downing Street Memo, but about who was allowed in, who was to be taken seriously, in the discussion of the War.

If the NYT and the Washington Post think their future readership is going to come from the demo served by the Washington Times and Fox, I think they are slightly demented. It is a dementia that comes from the delusion that they are actually players in the capital, movers and shakers, which naturally means allying with the real power in D.C. – the conservative establishment that owns the town.


derrida derider 11.10.05 at 6:32 pm

Judith Miller might be a deeply unattractive human being, but that’s not why she was sacked, nor did she deserve to be sacked on those grounds – after all, that psychopathic ruthlessness and willingness to exploit and then discard people is what got her stories.

She was sacked ironically for something that in fact was an attractive characteristic, but made her unfit to hold her job – she held personal views so passionately that they led her to compromise her integrity.

The bottom line is that she lied and people died. It doesn’t matter that she believed they were white lies.


Tom T. 11.10.05 at 8:13 pm

Does this mean the Times is in for a big salary cap hit in 2006? Are they looking at a rebuilding year?


AvengingAngel 11.10.05 at 9:00 pm

One of most ironic – and enjoyable – side stories of the CIA Leak/PlameGate investigation has been the discovery of Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s trashy 2001 novel, “The Apprentice.”

As it turns out, poorly crafted, soft-core pornography seems to be quite the cottage industry among America’s conservative chattering classes.

For the full story, see:

“Hard Liners, Soft Porn: The Perverse Prose and Titillating Text of Team Bush”

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