Democracy Soup

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Judith Miller + Fox ‘News’ = Media Putz for Judith Miller

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Originally published on on October 23, 2008

Judith Miller

There are ideal matches: peanut butter and jelly, donuts and apple cider, bacon and well, everything.

Now we have Judith Miller and FOX “News” Channel. Miller has been hired on as an on-air analyst and she will write stories for Fox’s Web site.

FOX “News” is very excited to have her.

“She has a very impressive résumé,” says Senior Vice President John Moody. “We’ve all had stories that didn’t come out exactly as we had hoped. It’s certainly something she’s going to be associated with for all time, and there’s not much anyone can do about that, but we want to make use of the tremendous expertise she brings on a lot of other issues. . . . She has explained herself and she has nothing to apologize for.”

That résumé, of course, is tarnished by her stories on the search for Saddam Hussein’s supposed weapons of mass destruction that weren’t true. On April 22, 2003, she told PBS’s Newshour that WMD had already been found in Iraq: “Well, I think they found something more than a ‘smoking gun.'”

And her hiding of information when Scooter Libby was working to out covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson. And to gain sympathy for hiding that government official who bordered on treason, Miller spent 85 days in jail in 2005.

So what has Miller been doing since The New York Times finally kicked her out of its hallowed halls? She did do some work for Reader’s Digest, but has spent the bulk of her time with the Manhattan Institute.

Richard Silverstein describes the Manhattan Institute as the “New York headquarters for the neocon mafia. If you’re a right wing New York intellectual who doesn’t want to move to DC to work at the Heritage Foundation or American Enterprise Institute, you’ll end up at the Manhattan Institute.”

In speaking to Editor & Publisher’s Joe Strupp, Miller said in her new role that “I get to spout my views, I will NOT be joining the news team.”

She has had practice “spouting her views” in the guise of a news organization before, but this time, it will be more obvious.

Miller will specifically provide “commentary and analysis on national security issues, counterterrorism, and international affairs.” This would be fascinating if she had any credibility in these areas, her résumé notwithstanding.

Not that we come to expect the truth from the FOX “News” Channel, but even most of the people on there have not come into the picture already branded as liars. The lying usually starts once you start there.

But, of course, the conservatives that would watch Miller aren’t interested in the truth. She did a great job in their minds on reporting about the non-existent WMDs and helping protect Libby when she should have been writing about his actions. So in that spirit, they see Miller’s commentary role as saying what they want to hear, even if she did used to work for that “liberal bastion,” The New York Times.

She also noted that she cares about First Amendment issues and free speech and will talk about those topics. Her “attention” to these causes came up during her 85-day unnecessary stay in jail. After all, Libby signed off, allowing her to testify on their conversations. But by claiming the action was “coerced,” which no one else believed, Miller tried to present herself as a martyr.

Real journalists go to jail to protect real sources, often those who are trying to prevent government mismanagement or crimes. Her efforts to try to exploit that for her own misguided notion of journalism and the First Amendment were deeply shameful to the journalism profession. For her to work as a “journalist,” even at FOX, spits on the integrity of real, honest, worthwhile journalism.

In an ideal world, Miller would have been banished to work at Pier 1 or Starbucks or at the local mall. But thanks to FOX, Miller jumps back into the media spotlight to show off her “journalism ethics” on television. For her, she picked the perfect spot, but for the rest of us, mortified that she could get any media job, we proudly award her as the Media Putz of the week.


Written by democracysoup

October 23, 2008 at 6:00 am

Posted in media criticism, MSM

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