October 17, 2005

Mea Culpa

"W.M.D. -- I got it totally wrong," she said. "The analysts, the experts and the journalists who covered them -- we were all wrong. If your sources are wrong, you are wrong. I did the best job I could." -- one of many typically self-serving quotes from Judith Miller in the NYT's pathetic public breast-beating yesterday.

Miller's "best job" was a terrible job. Once again, the NYT -- and Miller herself -- tries to pretend that everyone (not just the Times and an admittedly large part of US journalism in general) got it wrong. They still can't admit the obvious: once again, we weren't all wrong; we weren't all fooled. And those in the media or government who were, typically fooled themselves. Those who went beyond US government sources (which Miller doesn't appear to have thought much of doing) reported a rather different story.

And that's the real story here: for all little Miss Run Amok's self-image as an independent investigative reporter, she's really just another embedded journalist -- deeply embedded in the government mileu she thinks she's investigating. You just have to look at the list of people who visited or called her in jail to see how embedded -- or even in bed with -- that world she really was.

No excuses, guys.


At 10/17/2005 12:45 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once in third-year English Honors a bunch of girls and I harped on about how there is no stereotypical hierarchy at our school, absolutely none that we could see.

A pagan girl sitting near the back (I got to be great friends with her) hissed, "There is a hierarchy. You just don't see it because you're at the very fucking top of it."

Stunned, everyone else proceeded to carelessly churn her words into zero value. We moved on but it stayed with me since.

A person who wants to do the right thing by her position can't help but become embedded in her work and, reluctantly, in all the politics that go with it. When that happens, sure, you lose sight of the complete context. You don't get to see that world and the public truths from outside anymore, not once you're in it. And I'm sure we have no idea what the story really is behind her words and behind her experiences.

At 10/19/2005 5:13 pm, Blogger Jimmy Little said...

I could forgive her almost everything if she hadn't spent so much effort deriding the rest of us for being naive dupes for believing our own broad-based sources rather than her anonymous US government sources...

At 10/19/2005 10:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well. Touche.


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