Friday :: Aug 19, 2005

Plame Updates: Judy Kneepads' Real Motivations, And Dueling Journalists

by Steve

The more I read about Judy Kneepads’ alleged plight inside the slammer and the Times’ portrayal of Miller as a journalistic Joan of Arc character, the more I suspect that we are being conned by both the Times and Miller. It appears to me that both are trying to rehabilitate their reputations over their role in abetting the Bush Administration’s campaign of deception to lead us into the war. The latest bit of proof here is this piece from an unlikely yet plausible source (given the circles that both publishing and journalistic elites travel in), wherein it is suggested that the “poor Judy” storyline is utter crap, and that her husband is passing the time quite well while she is in jail with the wife of the Gray Lady’s former executive editor.

Jason Epstein continues to find odd ways of showing support for his jailed spouse, Judith Miller. The esteemed book publisher is currently telling friends that his wife "is having the time of her life" in prison.
That Miller might be having a good time comes as no surprise to many among the rank and file at the Times, who don't see her as quite the martyr that Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. does. And friends of the couple said earlier reports of Miller's suffering in jail are dated now that she's settled in at the Alexandria Detention Center in Virginia. The hip-hop and bad food, coupled with a parade of important visitors have, they said, made the experience a novel and interesting one for her. Too, Miller is evidently enjoying all the attention she's getting in the press and is likely to have her pick of book deals if she emerges from the ordeal with her reputation intact. In the same way Martha Stewart's time at Alderson initiated her comeback, Miller's internment has burnished an image tarnished by months of controversial reporting leading up to the war in Iraq. (Indeed, one Times source said recently, "She thinks she's Martha Stewart.")
The New York Sun also reported last month that Epstein was cruising around the Mediterranean just three weeks after Miller was jailed. Not mentioned in the Sun piece: Epstein was a guest of Shirley Lord, a longtime beauty director of Vogue, who is now an adviser to Silversea luxury cruises. Lord is married to A.M. Rosenthal, former executive editor of the Times.

And I admit that I find the following disagreement between Murray Waas and Vanity Fair’s Michael Wolff much ado about nothing. Both were guests of Amy Goodman on her “Democracy Now” show. Wolff is running a piece in this month’s Vanity Fair (link not available) that takes the news media to task for sitting on the story of Rove’s involvement in outing Valerie Plame during the election last year, an easy to understand thesis. Yet for some reason Waas kept picking at a sore about why a celebrity magazine like Vanity Fair took so long to even run a story like this, when Wolff’s point is that it shouldn’t have come to a point where a magazine like Vanity Fair had to be the first to make this point. I’m really not sure why Waas was going after Wolff for his reporting outside perhaps of some envy, when he should be glad that both Wolff and Vanity Fair ran the story at all, since it contributes to the albeit-late narrative that Waas has pushed along himself. Both have done, and I’m sure will continue to do good work here and on other stories, and there’s more than enough room for many journalists to make up for lost time on this story without some appearing to look like they are trying to hold onto turf here.

Steve :: 1:45 PM :: Comments (8) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!