20 November 2005

Miller Time (Again) - The New York Times owes readers an explanation for Judith Miller's faulty WMD reporting. By Jack Shafer

Miller Time (Again) - The New York Times owes readers an explanation for Judith Miller's faulty WMD reporting. By Jack Shafer:

An inspired article from Jack Shafer from Feb. 2004--interesting that he uses the 'stenographer' reference Maureen uses in her piece.

"Indeed, it's Miller who seems clueless about how investigative reporting works. Earlier in the program, she describes her role as the conveyor of official news rather than a skeptical reporter:

My job was not to collect information and analyze it independently as an intelligence agency; my job was to tell readers of the New York Times as best as I could figure out, what people inside the governments who had very high security clearances, who were not supposed to talk to me, were saying to one another about what they thought Iraq had and did not have in the area of weapons of mass destruction.

Where did Miller learn the art of journalism? The job of a good reporter—investigative or otherwise—is more like that of an intelligence analyst than a stenographer. A good reporter is supposed to dig for the truth, no matter what 'people inside the governments' with 'very high security clearances' might say. The very point of Massing's objections about the prewar WMD coverage is that Knight Ridder folks got closer to the truth with blue collar sources than did Miller with all of her 'inside' sources."

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