Saturday, November 12, 2005


The Reporter's Last Take

"This is off the record," she's saying, her voice high and nasal. She's groping for a button to stop the tape, to take us behind that cozy curtain called "off the record" where you can dish, spin, vent, manipulate, and all in secret.

Miller's good at it. This is her world.

So here we are last week in a SoHo brasserie called Balthazar, where a parade of Judys appears. Outraged Judy. Saddened Judy. Charming Judy. Wise Judy. Conspiratorial Judy. Judy, the star New York Times reporter turned beleaguered victim of the gossipmongers and some journalists who have made her "sick to death of the regurgitation of lies and easily checkable falsehoods." That's why she's agreed to talk.

But her Treo's vibrating on her hip. It's a friend calling. "My fan club from Paris," she chirps into the phone, in English, before switching to a mix of French and Arabic.

A cool, sunny morning on the long weekend, a brush with fame in the form of Professor Krugman at the local deli, and coming home to find this little gem on the WaPo site. As Kurt Vonnegut's uncle was so fond of saying, "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."

Treat yourself to the whole thing. A scaldingly fun portrait of a woman with less self-awareness than anyone else on the planet. Except Dubya, maybe.


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