Daily Archives: October 11, 2005

Boo Fucking Hoo!

They’re just not making “Sob Sisters” like they use to. Consider the following:

Topic: Letters Sent to Romenesko Date/Time: 10/11/2005 4:27:36 PM Title: Stop beating up on the Times! Posted By: Jim Romenesko From AMY ALEXANDER:

Enough already. Today alone, I count six articles/essays/opinion pieces on this website decrying the unresolved status of Judith Miller’s part in the special prosecutor’s leak investigation. These six join the dozens that have appeared in various industry trade journals and websites since Miller’s release recently. Like many of those who have worked in the mainstream press for a long time; and like many of my colleagues who continue to have faith in this business, I, too have questions about the eventual denoument of this peculiar case.

Well do you now? One can only wonder, from the tone of the rest of your letter, what those questions might be. Something about how Judy held up while in the slammer no doubt, the sort of questions the ever-intrepid Jane Hamsher has been lobbing being well beyond your ken.

However.

Hmm? What was that again?

The continuing attacks against Miller and the Times and its leadership is really absurd. I mean, does anyone in this business honestly believe that Miller or Bill Keller or anyone else at the Times Co. is enjoying this entire episode?

Sure. Why not? They give every evidence of masochism at its most soignee. Did you see Judy chatting with Lou Dobbs about her incarceration? Her face was postively aglow with pleasure as she recalled the discomfort and boredom. One can well imagine the Bill Keller version of same. Oh, it’s Lonely at the Top! Especially when you’re a Bottom.

More important, how can anyone who has ever taken seriously the basic fundamental charge of reporters and editors in a free society cast doubt on the Times’ decision not to deliver an in-depth take out on Miller’s situation at this state of affairs?

See link to Jane Hamsher above.

I mean, really, I am beginning to think that there is an element of schadenfraude coming through in much of this criticism, much as there was when the Jayson Blair situation happened in ’03.

Schadenfraude, surely. But Jayson Blair has nothing to do with it. Indeed with the passage of time and the accumulation of further knowledge it’s entirely possible to regard the Times’ Wagnerian-sized mea culpa’s over the trivial journalistic infractions of a minor employee as cover for what they knew was coming down the line — the revelation that Judy was (not to put too fine a point on it) promulgating blatant easily proven LIES about Weapons of Mass Destruction , the better to supply BushCo. with an excuse for going to war. As for Jayson Blair he provided the Times with an excuse to attack Affirmative Action and Liberal politics in general.

Oh, but isn’t the Times was a liberal paper you ask? Yeah right, only liberals would hire a Whittaker Chambers apologist and William F. Buckley hagio-biographer and put them in charge of the Book Review.

The Times, it must be said, is a great newspaper, one that is struggling with a changing America just like other news organizations. Far from perfect (as there is no such thing, in this biz, and never has been), the Times nevertheless remains dedicated to a high level of journalism to which we should all aspire — and protect.

No dear, it’s dedicated to a high level of Neo-Connie Attitude. Nothing more.
Nothing that any sane, responsible or moral individual would want to “preserve and protect.”

The constant drumbeat of challenges from other journalists at this stage of things really is depressing. At the same time, I am not saying that no one should speak up with the obvious questions that surround this case. I just am so very fed up with the accusing tone, and the probably wildly uniformed comments about the Times’ motivation.

Love the “probably.” Such a nice weasel-word. Hedging your bets dear? A wise move. Jane and her associates ReddHedd and Mark Kleiman know more about all of this than you’re willing to admit to yourself.

Oh, disclosure time: My husband is employed by the Times Company, as an editor in its Boston Globe DC buro.

Such bravery!

But, even if he were not, I would still feel this way: If we can’t talk about this very strange case in civilized language that does not unfairly criticize a group of colleagues who are likely just as mystified as the rest of us, then we should clam the hell up.

Well if they’re “just as mystified” then they should never stop talking. But where do they have to talk? Certianly not on the pages of the NYT — quiet as the Vatican cellars and other venues where omerta rules.

Besides, aren’t there other media-related stories to be covered? Like the on-going fallout of Hurricane Katrina? I hear there was a pretty outrageous cop beating caught on tape down there the other day…….

Yeah — what about Natalee Holloway, for instance?

Hey, maybe that’s what the Times needs. Dump Judy Miller and hire Greta Van Susteren.
Right Amy?