The Triumph of Truthiness
While Atrios chose to point out some specifics from Judy Miller’s speech at Kansas State University, it should be noted that her speech was given at a conference entitled:
“Community Readiness Communications: Accurate Messages in Times of Crisis”
That would be this Judy Miller:
Whatâ€™s more, she had spent several decades acquiring access to Washingtonâ€™s Middle East experts, some of whom suddenly wielded tremendous influence in the Bush administration. Millerâ€™s many doubters at the Times were effectively silenced. She had emerged as one of the paperâ€™s biggest stars, with the kind of â€œcompetitive metabolismâ€ that new editor Howell Rainesâ€”heâ€™d taken over from Joseph Lelyveld the week before 9/11â€”made into a crusade. According to a friend of Rainesâ€™s, as well as one of Millerâ€™s colleagues at the paper, the editor pulled her aside after the attacks. â€œGo win a Pulitzer,â€ he told her.
For the next two years, she supplied the paper with a string of grim exclusives. There was the defector who described Saddam Husseinâ€™s recent renovation of storage facilities for nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. There was her report that a Russian virologist might have handed the regime a particularly virulent strain of smallpox. To protect themselves against VX and sarin, she further reported, the Iraqis had greatly increased the importation of an antidote to these agents. And, most memorably, she co-wrote a piece in which administration officials suggested that Iraq had attempted to import aluminum tubes for nuclear weapons. Vice-President Dick Cheney trumpeted the story on Meet the Press, closing the circle. Of course, each of the stories contained important caveats. But together they painted a horrifying picture. There was just one problem with them: The vast majority of these blockbusters turned out to be wrong.
I assume there is some other defition for the term “Accurate Messages” that I’m not familiar with…