Were Judith Miller and Robert Novack expendable MIC assets?


Saturday, October 04, 2003

Is Robert Novak trying to get himself in trouble? He is the only
journalist who took the bait and outed Valerie Plame. For some
reason, he appears to be safe from the possibility of being charged
as an accessory to the breach of the law committed by whoever it was
decided to release Plame's name. Now, he apparently has volunteered
the name of the CIA front corporation she was said to be working for.
There was no reason for him to give out this information except as a
furtherance of the war between the White House and the CIA. Is
releasing even more CIA secrets supposed to get the CIA to back off
on its attack on the White House?
posted 3:30 AM

Further to my last posting on the subject, here is yet another l-o-n-
g list of U. S. military interventions in the affairs of other
posted 3:29 AM

The problem that the New York Times has with its addiction to the
drug called Judith Miller continues to resonate. From an excellent
analytical piece by William E. Jackson, Jr.:
"Miller's modus operandi is described by several Times sources as the
following: She cultivates senior officials using the importance of
the Times. The officials give her a story, she reports it
uncritically (she may note opposing views, which she overrides with
friendly sources without reporting out the discordant objections),
and it appears prominently in the newspaper of record. Miller's
happy, her editors are happy, her sources are happy.

Thus, she continues to prosper, the sources keep calling her back,
she keeps getting published, and the editors like her because
she 'delivers.' This system was summed up for me by a Timesman as: 'a
neat little eco-system of corrupt journalism.'

This systemic problem at the Times was also described to me
as 'journalistic materialism.' Miller has delivered 'exclusives,'
even if in a prosecutorial, hyperventilated voice. And now no one
wants to admit that those exclusives were in the main part wrong.

Jayson Blair was only a fluke deviation. Miller strikes right at the
core of the regular functioning news machine."

Of course, this really isn't about Miller, who is just a very
aggressive hack 'journalist'/propagandist who has pushed her way into
being in the right place at the right time. Miller is still writing
about the weapons of mass destruction, now about the failure to find
them (with a subtle hint that it is the incompetence of Kay's group
that has led to his failure to find anything), and still failing to
acknowledge the enormous role she personally had in making this an
issue (and consider the irony in Aaron Brown interviewing her on the
subject and asking her the question: 'Do you think that the
administration was snookered by people who had an agenda?'). The real
issue is the absolute failure of the editors at the New York Times to
follow even the most rudimentary standards of journalistic ethics or
practice. Miller is very careful to flag everything she writes with
clear warnings of what she is up to, thus putting the blame for
publishing her disinformation squarely on the shoulders of her
editors. Single sources for what appear to be outrageous statements,
sources consistently with a partisan interest in the attack on Iraq,
sources close to Cheney and the Pentagon, sources who appear to be
dubious on their face, extremely convoluted explanations for why it
was impossible to follow normal journalistic procedures - all these
things stand out like sore thumbs in everything that Miller writes.
The problem with Miller strikes at the very heart of the ease with
which journalism can be corrupted. Miller is personally close to
sources of power, the powerful deal out exclusive rights to otherwise
hidden stories, stories whose publication seems to increase the
importance of the paper, and this process creates a form of addiction
for more stories. If any editor questions any particular story,
Miller can threaten to cut off the source of the stories, thus
injuring the career of the editor, who will be seen as killing the
goose who lays the golden eggs. This particular scenario could happen
to any media outlet, and is increasingly the model for all
journalism. The powerful use stooges like Miller to threaten vendors
of information with losing access to the best information, and thus
the media increasingly looks like the public relations office for the
powerful. It costs money to generate saleable information, and thus
it is easy for profit-making journalism companies to rely on what
appears to be both free and highly prestigious information, caring
very little for whether any of it is actually true. It takes a
disaster like the attack an Iraq, justified largely on the kind of
nonsense published by the Times, to make this problem visible. The
saddest thing is that this corruption of journalism was entirely
intentional. The advent of wildly right-wing news sources created a
new outlet for the disinformation of the powerful. If the old
traditional news businesses don't play along with the new realities,
the rights to access are denied them, and only the most partisan news
outlets will have access to the stories. Competing with the access
requires money that the media businesses don't want to spend, and it
is much easier and cheaper to simply retype the pablum that is free
for the taking, if you are prepared to make a few compromises. Fox
News recently did an interview with George Bush that looked exactly
like what you might expect an interview of the 'Great Leader' by the
North Korean press to look like. This is the new standard of
journalism. If you don't act obsequious enough, and don't play along
by the new rules, you will simply be shut out of the game.
posted 2:41 AM

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This White House Scandal Finally Tips the Scale!

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