Daily Archives: November 9, 2005

At last, ladies and gentlemen the words you’ve all been waiting to hear!

“To the Staff:

Judy Miller has retired from The New York Times effective today.

In her 28 years at The Times, Judy participated in some great, prize-winning journalism. She displayed fierce determination and personal courage both in pursuit of the news and in resisting assaults on the freedom of news organizations to report. We wish her well in the next phase of her career.

Bill

P.S. Judy asked that I share with you a letter I sent regarding my recent memo to the staff. It follows, and speaks for itself.

Dear Judy,

I know you’ve been distressed by the memo I sent to the staff about things I wish I’d done differently in the course of this ordeal. Let me be clear on two points you’ve raised.

First, you are upset with me that I used the words “entanglement” and “engagement” in reference to your relationship with Scooter Libby. Those words were not intended to suggest an improper relationship. I was referring only to the series of interviews through which you — and the paper — became caught up in an epic legal controversy.

Second, you dispute my assertion that “Judy seems to have misled” Phil Taubman when he asked whether you were one of the reporters to whom the White House reached out with the Wilson story. I continue to be troubled by that episode. But you are right that Phil himself does not contend that you misled him; and, of course, I was not a participant in the conversation between you and Phil.

I wish you all the best for the future.

Regards, Bill”

Slow Curtain, The End? Not according to the unaccountably cranky Franklin Foer:

“The simple fact about Miller is that you can’t stop her, you can’t even hope to contain her. It’s the exact reason you can’t negotiate with a crazed dictator: Miller doesn’t play by the same rules or operate under the same set of mores as the rest of us. She overflows with so much gumption and so much ambition that she will always claw her way back from whatever Elba-like bureaucratic beat the editors consign her to, back into the limelight.”

Goodness! Judy sounds like a Barbara Steele anti-heroine. Especially when Foer adds —

“He failed to adequately flay her for WMD coverage”

Cut to the celebrated opening scene of La Maschera del Demonio

“While he may have defended Miller out of friendship, I doubt that’s the whole case. Sulzberger jumped into the Miller fracas, because he wanted to prove himself. He was hungry for a crusade, eager to turn himself into a First Amendment crusader. And in a way, he shared the same weakness with Miller: a melodramatic urge to play the parts of Clark Kent and Lois Lane.”

And who, praytell, is their Jimmy Olson ?

“Now that Miller has left 43rd Street, she will surely continue to embarrass the paper. She still apparently has powerful friends in New York. It’s easy to imagine her worming her way back into Charlie Rose’s chair, commenting on this and that.”

Forget Superman. When it comes to Judy , we’re talking about THIS man!

But that’s the future. For the present, the Man of the Hour is Yip (altogether now) —

Dong! The Witch is dead.
Which old Witch?
The Wicked Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.
Wake up -you sleepy head,
rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead.
She’s gone where the goblins go,
Below – below – below.
Yo-ho,
let’s open up and sing
and ring the bells out.
Ding Dong’ the merry-oh,
sing it high,
sing it low.
Let them know
The Wicked Witch is dead!