Poor Little Judy Kneepads
Following up on Eriposte's piece below, and amidst signs that the marriage of convenience between Judy Kneepads and her enabling partner the New York Times is about kaput, Miller responded to Bill Keller’s internal email “mea culpa” of sorts to the NYT staff late yesterday by in essence calling him a liar. And while the hapless Arthur Sulzberger Jr. now has to decide between firing his Executive Editor or his party girl, he will also have to contend with the fact that one of his premier columnists and her Opinion page editor Gail Collins (as Steve Gilliard astutely notes) have also stuck the knife into Miller.
While Miller wails on without any shame or sense of irony about the need to protect confidential sources, Tim Rutten in the Los Angeles Times this morning points out how shallow such arguments are when placed in the environment of an administration willing to wage disinformation campaigns of personal destruction against opponents:
Miller also recalled that, when she testified before the grand jury, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald "asked about a notation I made on the first page of my notes about this July 8 meeting, 'Former Hill staffer.'
"My recollection, I told him, was that Mr. Libby wanted to modify our prior understanding that I would attribute information from him to a 'senior administration official.' When the subject turned to Mr. Wilson, Mr. Libby requested that he be identified only as a 'former Hill staffer.' I agreed to the new ground rules because I knew that Mr. Libby had once worked on the Capitol Hill.
"Did Mr. Libby explain this request? Mr. Fitzgerald asked. No, I don't recall, I replied. But I said I assumed Mr. Libby did not want the White House to be seen as attacking Mr. Wilson."
You can bet he didn't. As the Los Angeles Times' Peter Wallsten and Tom Hamburger reported Friday, Libby was obsessed with Wilson and determined to discredit — and defame — him. Why take the chance of leaving your own fingerprints at the scene of the crime, when the Washington press corps continues to be studded with useful idiots like Miller, who would whack their own grandmothers for a byline above the fold.
The breathtaking ease with which Miller acceded to a demand from one of the executive branch's highest ranking officials that she mislead her readers about what really was occurring on an issue of literally life-and-death importance should be just that — breathtaking. Unfortunately, it's just another shabby example of dirty work as usual among a certain time-serving segment of the Washington press corps.