Too bad for her that some of us have memories as well as search engines.
Back in March of 2007, when she was trying to claim journalistic privilege in order to shield her fellow neocons like Scooter Libby, I wrote a piece for FDL that ripped her claims, and her hypocrisies, to shreds:
Judith Miller herself has explicitly rejected the traditional role of journalist as someone who examines the facts regardless of whether they hurt one’s preconceived notions; as quoted by Michael Massing in The New York Review of Books in its February 26, 2004 issue, she says the following in response to being asked why she didn’t include commentary from WMD skeptics in her stories: ”My job isn’t to assess the government’s information and be an independent intelligence analyst myself. My job is to tell readers of The New York Times what the government thought about Iraq’s arsenal.” In other words, she’s not a reporter, she’s a stenographer for the Bush team. (Miller would soon furiously claim to have been misquoted, but Massing, in the letters section of the March 25, 2004 NYRB, firmly stood behind his quotation of her: “Judith Miller is simply wrong. During my hours of interviews with her, she requested that I read back all of the quotes that I wanted to use, and I readily agreed. I distinctly remember reading back the quote in question, and I distinctly remember her approving it. I did this not ‘reluctantly’ but willingly and patiently, precisely so that I could guarantee accuracy and avoid the type of claim she is now making.”)
But we don’t even need Miller’s own words — words she’s tried to disavow — to see that she isn’t so much a reporter as she is an operative with an agenda. As is clear to anyone who has been reading about this case at this site, DailyKos, The Next Hurrah, Eschaton, or pretty much anywhere else in the reality-based community over the last few years (not to mention emptywheel’s excellent book Anatomy of Deceit), Miller was as much in the hip pocket of Ahmad Chalabi as were the rest of her neocon friends in the Bush Junta – so much so that she actually ordered around American soldiers on Chalabi’s behalf. (Trust me, I only wish I were kidding about that.)
As for the whole “outing a source is a no-no and is never ever done” gambit, well, guess what? As emptywheel pointed out way back in the summer of 2005, Judith Miller has burned at least one source before (in this case, Amy Smithson), without needing to be hauled off to jail first — and nobody was running around saying that this spelled The End Of Journalism As We Know It. Funny how none of Miller’s defenders seem to know this little bit of her history.
But aside from this hypocrisy about the alleged sanctity of sources, Miller, as a person whose newspaper career spans three decades, should also be aware that in old-school journalism, if a source screws over a reporter with bad information, the reporter is free to out the source. In fact, it is the reporter’s duty to out a lying source. As Atrios said, and reporters John Gizzi and David Freddoso at the conservative outfit Human Events demonstrated in 2004, “A source lies to you, and you find out, you burn him. Period.” And goodness knows that Judy’s sources fed her the most egregious garbage over the years, as the corrections to her articles attest.
And in case she tries to claim that, well, gee, everybody got it wrong on Iraq, Arianna Huffington shot that crap down nine frigging years ago.