Sunday, October 16, 2005


Lifestyles Of The Rich & Fabulist...

Lots to digest on the Miller front today, however, for now I will just address the point that Josh Marshall brings up on the description of government sources.

I'm not a daily reporter either, but obviously, as a columnist, there are times when I have to figure out a way to describe a source to be as clear as possible, while also protecting the individual's confidentiality. There have been times when I've described one source in different ways. However, what Miller did in describing Scooter Libby -- who would normally get the "senior administration official" or "someone close to the White House" -- as a "former House staffer?"

Heck, that covers more than half of Washington, DC -- and more (yours truly included)! Miller's agreeing to go with that description is just one more draw-dropping moment in a case of startling dimensions.

It's also another stunning hit to the credibility of both the New York Times and mainstream media organizations. The question is, after the Jayson Blair debacle (which, it is very clear to see now, flowed seamlessly into the mid-'03 period at issue), how on earth can the Times keep Miller on staff? She clearly passed along information designed to undermine an individual -- and acceded to the source's request to change the usual attribution. It never occurred to Miller that she was actually being used -- or it did occur to her, but she decided to go ahead with it?

I agree with Josh's point: "I can't come up with a memory of a situation in which a source has asked me to identify them in this way. And by 'this way' I mean in a fashion that is technically accurately but intentionally and willfully misleading to readers."

So, for emphasis, given the identity politics that the New York Times is so often concerned with, will the institution decide to give a greater pass to a white female in her '50s than to a 20-something black reporter just starting out?

An appropriate conundrum for the Old Gray Lady to ponder.

Bookmark and Share

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Technorati search
Search Now:
Amazon Logo
  •  RSS
  • Add to My AOL
  • Powered by FeedBurner
  • Add to Google Reader or Homepage
  • Subscribe in Bloglines
  • Share on Facebook