October 15, 2005
I’ll leave others to sift through the finer points of the New York Times‘ Sunday opus on Judy Miller’s Awfully Big Adventure. But what’s most striking about the article is its lingering focus on the animosity between the paper’s editors and reporters (although not its apparently delusional publisher) and its very own “divisive newsroom figure”—not to mention the total disconnect between the two sides:
“We have everything to be proud of and nothing to apologize for,” Ms. Miller said in [an] interview Friday.
… Asked what she regretted about The Times’s handling of the matter, Jill Abramson, a managing editor, said: “The entire thing.”
… In two interviews, Ms. Miller generally would not discuss her interactions with editors, elaborate on the written account of her grand jury testimony or allow reporters to review her notes.
… On Oct. 3, four days after Ms. Miller left jail, she returned to the headquarters of The New York Times on West 43rd Street.
Before entering the building, she called her friend Ms. Payne and asked her to come downstairs and escort her in. “She very felt frightened,” Ms. Payne said. “She felt very vulnerable.”
At a gathering in the newsroom, she made a speech claiming victories for press freedom. Her colleagues responded with restrained applause, seemingly as mystified by the outcome of her case as the public.
“You could see it in people’s faces,” Ms. Miller said later. “I’m a reporter. People were confused and perplexed, and I realized then that The Times and I hadn’t done a very good job of making people understand what has been accomplished.”
And that would be...?
So not a great relationship, then. Not a lasting one, either:
RAW STORY has confirmed that New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who spent 85 days in jail protecting her source in the recent CIA leak investigation, will take an indefinite leave of absence effective immediately.
“Judy is going to take some time off until we decide what she is doing next,” said Catherine Matthis, the Times’ spokesperson.
… Two reporters inside the newsroom say they have heard Miller will resign from the paper.
A tragic loss for the world of journalism. And fiction.
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