Commentary and links relating to media coverage of war; both before, during, and after.


William A. Dorman is Professor of Government at California State University, Sacramento, and has taught a course in War, Peace and the Mass Media since 1970.

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War, Peace, and the Mass Media
 
Sunday, October 23, 2005  
Times: Miller May Have Misled Editors

- By JOHN SOLOMON
Associated Press Writer
Saturday, October 22, 2005

WASHINGTON, (AP) --

Judith Miller's boss says the New York Times reporter appears to have misled the newspaper about her role in the CIA leak controversy.

In an e-mail memo Friday to the newspaper's staff, Executive Editor Bill Keller said that until Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald subpoenaed Miller in the criminal probe, "I didn't know that Judy had been one of the reporters on the receiving end" of leaks aimed at Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson.

"Judy seems to have misled" Times Washington bureau chief Bill Taubman about the extent of her involvement, Keller wrote.

Taubman asked Miller in the fall of 2003 whether she was among the reporters who had gotten leaks about the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame.

"Ms. Miller denied it," the newspaper reported in a weekend story.

Miller and Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, discussed Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame, in three conversations in the weeks before the CIA officer's status was outed by columnist Robert Novak.

Keller said he might have been more willing to compromise with Fitzgerald over Miller's testimony "if I had known the details of Judy's entanglement with Libby."

To read the full text, see SFGate.com

10:11 AM

 
Woman of Mass Destruction

By Maureen Dowd
The New York Times
22 October 2005

Blog editor's note: When a reporter's colleagues start writing columns critical of his or her work, you can rest assured that stormy times are ahead.

I've always liked Judy Miller. I have often wondered what Waugh or Thackeray would have made of the Fourth Estate's Becky Sharp.

The traits she has that drive many reporters at The Times crazy - her tropism toward powerful men, her frantic intensity and her peculiar mixture of hard work and hauteur - never bothered me. I enjoy operatic types.

Once when I was covering the first Bush White House, I was in The Times' seat in the crowded White House press room, listening to an administration official's background briefing. Judy had moved on from her tempestuous tenure as a Washington editor to be a reporter based in New York, but she showed up at this national security affairs briefing.

At first she leaned against the wall near where I was sitting, but I noticed that she seemed agitated about something. Midway through the briefing, she came over and whispered to me, "I think I should be sitting in the Times seat."

It was such an outrageous move, I could only laugh. I got up and stood in the back of the room, while Judy claimed what she felt was her rightful power perch.

To read the full text, see Truthout.org

10:04 AM

 
The Public Editor
The Miller Mess: Lingering Issues Among the Answers


By BYRON CALAME
The New York Times
October 23, 2005

Blog editor's note: A "public editor" is a newspapers voice of conscience, which is to say a columnist whose responsibility is to look into and comment on issues regarding a paper's performance.

THE good news is that the bad news didn't stop The New York Times from publishing a lengthy front-page article last Sunday about the issues facing Judith Miller and the paper, or from pushing Ms. Miller to give readers a first-person account of her grand jury testimony.

The details laid out in the commendable 6,200-word article by a special team of reporters and editors led by the paper's deputy managing editor answered most of my fundamental questions. At issue, of course, was Ms. Miller's refusal to divulge her confidential sources to the grand jury investigating who had leaked the identity of a C.I.A. undercover operative. But the article and Ms. Miller's account also uncovered new information that suggested the journalistic practices of Ms. Miller and Times editors were more flawed than I had feared.

The Times must now face up to three major concerns raised by the leak investigation: First, the tendency by top editors to move cautiously to correct problems about prewar coverage. Second, the journalistic shortcuts taken by Ms. Miller. And third, the deferential treatment of Ms. Miller by editors who failed to dig into problems before they became a mess.

To read the full text, see The New York Times

9:57 AM

 
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