Saturday, June 25, 2005

Judith Fucking Miller

AlterNet: MediaCulture: The Sins of Judith Miller

In the hierarchy of slime that ranks politicans, televangelists and creators of reality TV, quite possibly the lowest rung is occupied by apparatchik reporters: those who wear the rainments of truthseeker and enemy of darkness, yet obfuscate, shade and flat-out whopperize on behalf of pure evil. Robert Novak has epitomized this ilk for decades; but he is far too well-known as a partisan hack to have much effect any more. And so Judith Fucking Miller has become the poster child for journalistic evil -- in a real sense, we can blame her for the Iraq quagmire. She didn't start it, but she is still arguably what lawyers call "but for" causation: If the New York Times had not beat its war drums so loudly, if it had called bullshit on the whole leaking-of-lies charade starting almost three years ago, we might not be there now. The Administration trumpeted the reporting of the "liberal" Times in support of its Kafkaesque war story; in my view, there are gallons of blood on her hands.

Having shilled the loss of 1700 American and perhaps fifty times than many Iraqi lives, not to mention a few hundred billion dollars transferred to the likes of Halliburton, Ms. Fucking Miller's work on that cause was done. How else could she be of service to the dark lords?

Russ Baker @ Alternet:
Despite having essentially admitted in a written apology, long ex post facto, that its reporter helped to promote a fallacious rationale for an unnecessary invasion and catastrophically protracted occupation, the Times has not put Miller out to pasture. Instead, it has moved her at her request to another challenge: covering scandal wherever it might rear its head within the United Nations.

This is an ironic assignment, since it was the success of the UN's peaceful approach to controlling WMD in Iraq that underlined the wrongheadedness of the pro-invasion clique that supplied Miller with her faulty "scoops."

Over the past year, she has produced a plethora of stories, chock full of innuendo and allegation but short of independent journalistic verification, suggesting that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is a bad man and perhaps a corrupt one, and that, by extension, the UN is hardly worth respecting and funding, much less including in geopolitical decision-making.

Most of Miller's sleuthing centers on contracts handed out in connection with the so-called Oil for Food program (which got indispensable staples to the Iraqi people during the embargo). Miller's articles typically take murky evidence and create in readers' minds the sense that there's something deeply wrong in the UN's command structure, when in fact, there may not be. At worst, the malfeasance there pales by comparison to what goes on in Washington day after day.

Since March, Miller has been largely invisible, but last week she returned to the UN dirt beat with a vengeance. On June 15, she came up with goods that at first looked damning. Her article, "Investigators To Review Hint of Annan Role in Iraq Oil Sales," dealt with a memo that seemed to indicate that Secretary General Kofi Annan may have had more contact with a UN contractor for whom his son worked than he had previously admitted. Miller makes it clear that the company in question, Cotecna, has been belatedly forthcoming with information about how it got the UN contracts. But in the penultimate paragraph, she drops this little bomb: "A new internal audit showed that Cotecna had not made the $306,305 in payments that [a UN investigative] panel said might have gone to Kojo Annan [Kofi Annan's son]."


Nothing remotely ironic there to me -- the UN was right on Iraq, and Judy in Disguise was wrong. By the twisted logic of King George, the UN had to be punished for this transgression. And so it sent uber-hack Ms. Fucking Miller to do that voodoo what she do.

And what do you know, her trademark -- the "reliably" sourced whopper that is eventually exposed as, well, a complete, whole-cloth fabrication, and an awkward, ineffectual disavowal by her employer -- is again the result.

Worst. Reporter. Ever.

1 Comments:

Blogger Dr. Bloor said...

Not to mention Worst. Editors. Ever.

8:43 AM  

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