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August 02, 2005

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Comments

Am I the only person who gets the idea that literally dozens of journalists in D.C. know exactly what happened, but won't say so?

See, I'm not sure Jehl does know exactly what happened. Plus, I get the feeling he's one person who would make sure Judy's role got out, if he could pin it down.

I think a lot of DC reporters know who told Novak. But I'm not sure they know how that source got the information.

Thanks for the props, emptywheel, and the informative post. But you don't actually get to what you think might be going on with those paragraphs in Jehl's article, and what they might tell us! Probably there is some embarrassing of Keller going on. But that's not all. I will just offer one or two observations and guesses, with the caveat that I know very little of the conventions of journalism, which may explain those questions otherwise.

I take it the "exonerate Judy" theory of those paragraphs is that if the answer to all of the questions Jehl posed is "No," it makes it much more likely that Miller is simply in the same position as some of the other reporters who answered Fitzgerald's questions about conversations with Libby, Miller's presumed source -- they didn't tell him about Wilson's wife, and maybe he didn't tell them. This goes along with the more general theory that Fitzgerald has been interested in Cooper and Miller because they hold the key to undermining Rove et al's alibi that the media told them. (I note that Russert and NBC have to this day been very weasely about whether Russert did in fact give any info about Plame to Libby.)

Another possibility for the first two questions is that Jehl is seeing if he can eliminate all possibility that Miller was working on a story on Wilson, in which case maybe it becomes questionable whether she is actually protecting a source in the relevant journalistic way at all. If there was no story she was working on, could there be a source? This to show that Miller has no claim on the basis for her defiance of the subpoena. I admit I am skeptical that this is what is going on. (By the way, my understanding is that at least part of the reason the NYT is not in the same position as TIME is that the NYT does not actually possess any relevant stuff, the way TIME had emails of Cooper and perhaps other material; it's all Miller's.)

Part of why I'm skeptical of the above guess is because of the presence of the third question. If the "exonerate Judy" theory is not right, that third question looks to me like Jehl could very well be following up on something he knows or has heard, to the effect that Miller did in fact talk to others at the NYT about Wilson's wife. Of course, for me this raises the question of why Jehl wouldn't report with them, especially if it is colleagues and not editors, instead of going to the higher-ups. If that explains the third question, the second question then also sounds less like a covering-all-bases question and more like a question suggesting that Miller was in fact trying to write a story about Wilson's trip -- whatever that means -- without having been so assigned. This in fact may fit with your previosu thought that Miller might have been the journalist Wilson heard about preparing a story on him. The dates would have to fit, though -- and something worth exploring is when Miller was and was not in the country around that time (which might help to explain the big gap in anything bylined by her, perhaps).

Who knows?

Matt's point and emptywheel's reply mesh together under a simple assumption: A good many Beltway journos know a lot more than we do, but they are not quite sure what they know - where fact ends and where rumor begins.

Of course, isn't that exactly what they are supposed to find out, then report on?

-- Rick

Jeff,

You're right, I didn't say what I think those paragraphs meant.

That's because I've taken another step back to look at what Judy was doing those months. Working on that as we speak.

But you raise some important points.

First, yes, the NYT says they don't own anything, Judy does. But of course, that wouldn't give them cover if, say, there was a story discussion about whether Judy's story on Wilson or Wilson's own op-ed should be the scoop. Presumably, that is not protected by journalistic privilege.

Which may be the reason Jehl lists names. He doesn't list the names of the people who would have been responsible THEN for holding Judy's purported Wilson article (for example, he names Keller, not Raines). Well, except for Abramson. Rather, he names the people who are CURRENTLY in a management position. People who, if the NYT knows more than it is saying, are covering up that information. In other words, if I had to say, I think Jehl is suggesting there is more stuff there, but that the NYT is covering it up as management policy. Executive editor, assistant counsel, managing editor. These are people who are making management decisions, not editorial ones (or not just editorial ones).

I think a lot of this may come down to Abramson. Did Abramson convince (command) Judy to sit on the Wilson story. And she's now in a higher management position and she's covering that up??

Oh, also, wrt dates (and I'll explain this more in my post), Judy came back before writing her article admitting the trailers might not be mobile bioweapons labs, so early June, possibly earlier. And she reported to a different person once she came back. In Iraq she seemed to have been reporting to Assistant Managing EditorAndrew Rosenthal (he has responded to all the accusations about her improper behavior in Iraq). When she came back, she was reporting to Abramson.

emptywheel,

Thanks a lot for the response. So, if I understand your suggestion correctly, is the idea that Jehl is basically telling a)Fitzgerald, and b)other reporters, but mostly Fitzgerald, who to press on with what questions? Specifically, Abramson - who would know if she were working on a story on Wilson, which presumably wouldn't be privileged info, and who may be included in that third question as the relevant editor Miller may have talked to?

Might be, yeah. Or perhaps he's just trying to embarrass them sufficiently for covering this up.

Fair and objective about the purport and possibilities of the writing, as usual, and thorough. This commentary represents arduous investigation. For a moment taking a sanguine approach to the news, I like many others compared the reportage and measured my own grain of salt. This was war reporting, classically a sphere rife with hyperbole, paths into the ether vanished. Regardless of the credibility issue in Miller's work, for me, she always managed to indicate key places to direct one's curiosity. And I fully support the high-sounding rhetoric which the NYT applied in its editorial at the time of her incarceration. The NYT is truer and larger than many of its most excellent contributors; and, as several have observed, Ms. Miller had entree. That is her quintessential strength in what may be the latter years of her journalism at NYT. We had the Bay of Tonkin, and Jenkins Ear, even the Letter from Garcia. The target of the journalism is the macro view. Fortunately, there are many thorough and thoughful contributors along the way to keep the processes as forthright and revealing of our own contexts as possible. We look forward to the sequel, as the foregoing research, as others here observe, appears to lead somewhere. Mr. Fitzgerald might have dots to connect to help the process; yet, perhaps not at all, as dearly as he would like the mere reporter to reveal confidential information. Forgive me for remaining one who admire's the woman's strength for enduring the hardship which she has these past 27 days in jail. Perhaps some day I will find out the reason why this happened to her and subsequently alter my perspective. For now, I retain a measure of respect.

He seems to be doing two things: First, setting out the questions that would establish whether or not she was working as a journalist with respect to the Wilson/Plame story and second, saying who at the Times would be in a position to answer those questions if Judy chooses not to answer.

As always, I appreciate the ellucidation, Mimi. I can see The Next Hurrah is more like the quiet reading room at the library than the boistrous hallway at dKos where I discovered each of the participants in eW's thoughtful investigative article above. It is a pleasure to carry forward this learning here on TNH, especially seeing such profound need now, given where the misdirected administration is opting to send us with the latest round of nominees, recess appointees; leveraged as the administration is by its political operative the deputy chief of staff. Perhaps looking at Judy M as a cutout, as has been proffered elsewhere, her absence momentarily will reveal parts of the neighboring spin machine to which she was allied; without conjecture, only study and understanding.

One thought I've had after reading this Slate article. One of the reasons Jehl is making a big deal about whether Judy was assigned to write on Wilson is because it would affect who owned Judy's notes.

Judy! Judy! Judy! Why did you lie (by omission and "I forgot")to the Federal Grand Jury. Is it because you may have been "in bed" with the "Scooter" ? Are you one of those "imbedded" reporters, like ace reporter & White house Stud-Whore, Jeffy Gannon? How many other News Chicken-Hawks have been "inbedded" with the White House Press Club Prostitutes?? Please "fess up" or are you hoping for a get out of jail free pass from "The Chimp"??? Lwayno@aol.com
p.s. "The best evidence we have to support the theory of evolution is George"The Chimp"Bush, a.k.a. Austropissus Texanus" Wayne Smyer

WHY DID THE CHICKEN NEWS-HAWKS CROSS THE ROAD? TO GET IN BED (IMBEDDED) WITH THE TURD BLOSSOM ROVE.THE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PIMP-MADAM.

P.S.Quotes by Lwayno 1. "The best scientific evidence we have to support the Theory Of Evolution is George "The Chimp" Bush" a.k.a. Austreopissus Texanus.
2. Who is Jeffy Gannon and why are they saying those nasty things about him?
3. "VIVA HALLIBURTON & UP ENRON":F-Y CHENEY FOREVER"

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