Bill Keller and the View From Down There
The New York Times gave Judith Miller 3,454 words in Sunday’s paper to defend her actions in the Valerie Plame affair. But we hear Miller didn’t appreciate the scourging she got in an accompanying 5,805-word analysis of “The Miller Case.” We’re told that colleagues heard Miller and executive editor Bill Keller screaming at each other in the hours before the story went to bed. (A Times spokeswoman declined to comment on whether Miller and Keller had traded words.)
So now he’s upset? Right as all hell is breaking loose he takes of to China? Could he find any place more remote? (As Digby said, “what — Antarctica was booked?) He is by all reports well liked within the Times (i.e., not an asshole), but it’s time for him to suck this one up.
People do skeevy shit to hold onto their jobs all the time. Keller booted Miller off of WMD reporting in July 2003 shortly after he became Editor in Chief at the Times. But in light of what’s happened, how do you live down statements like this? (From August of this year, in Salon):
“While the questions of what Judy knew, and what she was working on, may be matters of general curiosity, the answers don’t touch the heart of the case,” he claims. “The question of what is going on with the case — meaning what the special prosecutor is up to, and why he seems to regard Judy as important to the case — is a mystery to me. It’s something I’d like to have answered — not just for our staff, but for our readers.”
You were absolutely right, Bill. We’re still plagued by a buttload of “general curiosity” that the Times article did little to satisfy. So sorry it did not live up to the turgid drama Judy is writing about herself in her head (and sadly, on the front pages of the Times.)
Hope all is swell in China. We hear the lamb skewers with cumin and chili are the bomb.