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Thursday, November 24, 2005

An Official Job Offer for Judith Miller at Firedoglake

Dear Judy,

I know it has been a very difficult year for you, and since your departure from the New York Times the offers haven't exactly been rolling in. Oh sure you've been spotted brunching with the New York Post, but what would the Hamptons set say? You have the Pulitzers to think of after all, and sharing bylines with the likes of Deborah Orrin would be positively unseemly. You might as well go to work for the Enquirer chanelling the ghost of Jeanne Dixon. And Regnery isn't really a press, it's more like wingnut welfare.

Recently you've been traveling around and speaking in favor of a national shield law for journalists, and when Jay Rosen confronted you with the fact that such a law would not have covered your particular case, you affirmed that it was a good law anyway, and since you really cared about the rights of journalists it was worthy of support. I think what you really need right now is an opportunity to prove that this isn't just an attempt to wrap yourself in First Amendment finery, that you really do care about protecting journalists and are willing to take action to support them.

So I want to offer you a gig. No, I'm serious. We can't pay you, but if the reports of your seven figure parachute are true that shouldn't be a problem for you right now. I think your skills are desperately needed at the moment in order to help the cause of journalists worldwide. Apparently there is a memo floating around in London that says George Bush wanted to bomb Al-Jazeera. Due to their Official Secrets Act, none of the British papers can legally publish it. I think we can make beautiful music together here, Judy. I think you have amazing connections that can allow you to put your hands on that document. And we will happily publish it.

Of course, there's no risk for us because it costs us nothing and we don't have any Official Secrets Act over here, but think of the opportunity to rise above partisan politics to truly stand in defense of the principles you purport to hold so dear. Al-Jazeera has, in fact, been bombed by US forces on two occasions, both in Baghdad and Kabul. If there is evidence that these were deliberate attacks, you owe it to your fellow journalists to ferret out the truth. Because they didn't just throw journalists in jail, Judy, a journalist died. Maybe you even knew him, his name was Tarek Ayoub. He was a father, a husband, and a Palestinian. Do his rights as a journalist count too?

I know when you think about it you will see that this is a really great idea. Reddhedd and I eagerly await your response.

In the spirit of rapprochement, wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving.

Jane Hamsher