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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Judy Miller vs. Jayson Blair

Interesting article by Margaret Kimberly on race and journalistic culpability:
The Times told Martin Luther King to shut up and mind his own business when he dared to speak out against the war in Vietnam. Dr. Wen Ho Lee went to jail because of the Times'’ hyperventilation, only to be cleared of any wrongdoing. Tons of newsprint went into reporting the Whitewater non-scandal.

The Times hasn'’t always lived up to its highly vaunted reputation. Today it faces a scandal involving a reporter who makes Jayson Blair look like a paragon of journalistic virtue.


Judith Miller and her bosses at the Times are all complicit in bringing hell to the people of Iraq. They aided and abetted the Bush administration’s web of lies that convinced many Americans to support making war on a helpless people. When Judith Miller reported that a confidential source provided her with proof of the existence of WMD, already spineless members of Congress turned completely to jelly. They held their fingers in the political winds and concluded that shock and awe was a great idea after all.


It will be interesting to see how others react too. As always happens when one Black person is involved in a scandal, every Black person in America was called to account because of Blair. Was Blair an affirmative action hire? Was Black editor Gerald Boyd protecting him? Should Black people be allowed to work in journalism? Should any of us be allowed to work anywhere at all?

No such questions have arisen because of Miller. No group that she claims affinity with will be asked to pledge loyalty, explain itself or prove that it hasn't been given some special privilege.


If Miller is treated like other lying white journalists she will do just fine when she walks out of jail. She will have no problem finding work and the corporate media will continue to defend her. If they don'’t they will have to tell the truth about their own complicity in feeding lies to their readers and viewers.
She's absolutely right. Judy will get book deals. She will have lucrative speaking engagements. She will be the heroine of useless gasbags everywhere.

How many pointless and illiterate editorials did the Times run in defense of Blair? Is Tom Brokaw running around cheering for him to get a second chance? Is Bob Dole carping about how he was much maligned and trumpeting him as pillar of journalistic integrity?

I am noticing a dearth of well-fed white men like Rush Limbaugh and Mickey Kaus saying "tisk tisk, affirmative action" with regard to Miller.

Am I missing something here?