June 22, 2003


As everybody knows, the New York Times is a lapdog of the Bush war machine:

A reporter for The New York Times, Judith Miller, is the target of claims that she and her newspaper have been the vehicle for White House and Pentagon "propaganda" over Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction.

Miller, a Pulitzer Prize winner and co-author of a best-seller on biological warfare, is a hawk in the United States media coverage of Iraq's alleged weapons possession.

Miller's star status, frequent TV appearances and her newspaper's position as the daily US news agenda-setter, made her reports crucial to the war debate.

Er, really?

Posted by Tim Blair at June 22, 2003 04:16 PM

The influential Washington newsletter CounterPunch?!?!

Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off.

(I had to type out the whole thing. It was too outrageous a statement to just use the familiar acronym.)

Posted by: Susan at June 22, 2003 at 05:28 PM

Who? Never heard of her.

Posted by: RW at June 22, 2003 at 11:53 PM

Me neither, actually. Maybe her influence is subliminal.

Posted by: tim at June 23, 2003 at 12:20 AM

Doesn't she write romance novels? Oh wait -- no, that's Judith Krantz. I'm so out of the loop.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 23, 2003 at 02:58 AM

Miller? Isn't that the "Tastes great" versus "Less filling" beer debate? The one with the TV adverts featuring girls in bikinis wrasslin' with each other?

Posted by: Cracker Barrel Philosopher at June 23, 2003 at 03:24 AM

What a postcard from an alternate universe. Jeez.

Posted by: Harry at June 23, 2003 at 03:45 AM

Miller's the co-author of Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War; in October 2001 she received a powdered letter during the anthrax mailings. Initial tests were negative for anthrax, and I haven't found anything that says otherwise. She was on Larry King's show here. She was on late in the show, so do a find on "Miller".

She was also an embedded reporter in Iraq, and that experience seems to be where the criticism has originated.

Apparently, Miller is being criticized because one of her sources on Iraq's weapons programs is Ahmed Chalabi.

She was also criticized, in this Nation article, for basically taking the US military's word on what some Iraqi scientist said about Iraq's WMD program. There's more about that in the above WaPo link (the Chalabi article), and on this transcript of an online chat with Howard Kurtz, WaPo media reporter. Again, you'll have to scroll down. (It's just a small item.) If I understand, this was one incident that took place while she was embedded.

But it seems strange to me that this (so far) tiny rumble of criticism merited any notice in the Australian papers. If I understand it correctly, the criticism is over her reporting from Iraq, and not for her work before that.

This Age piece is very vague, and mis-characterizes the nature of the criticism of Miller---which is par for the course for the Fairfax press. It comes near to journalistic slander. For one thing, I couldn't find that Miller's work had been "attacked" by the WaPo, and you'd have to be an idiot not to know that Counterpunch and the Nation have agendas of their own.

And thus we may now report that Age correspondent Christopher Reed has been attacked in Tim Blair's influential blog, and that he and his paper have been accused of having a shadowy "agenda".

Posted by: Angie Schultz at June 23, 2003 at 04:41 AM

Angie, as usual, rocks.

Posted by: tim at June 23, 2003 at 05:44 AM

She's a hawk? Maybe he meant Ann Miller, the p0rn star?

Posted by: John Anderson at June 23, 2003 at 06:09 AM

Per chance is Reed using another Blair as a source, Jason that is. His piece carries about the same validity. By the way I agree, Angie Rocks.

Posted by: Okie 1 at June 23, 2003 at 06:28 AM

Oh that's who that was. Well jeez. She needs to have a more distinctive name, like Mehitable McGillicuddy, or something. (Okay, so I'm bad at names. Really bad. Like -- who is this tim fellow??? Oh-- wait, this is his blog. Never mind.)

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 23, 2003 at 01:02 PM

Miller's reporting is a mess; it's another NYT star reporter disaster, I'm afraid.

Basically she's gotten too close to her sources and become compromised, but has had no oversight to pull her in.

The ignorance of this around here is a trifle unconvincing, given that Tim's been all over the NYT's other scandals.

Posted by: Bon Scott at June 23, 2003 at 01:18 PM

My ignorance is never unconvincing!

Posted by: tim at June 23, 2003 at 02:48 PM