« Slow Burn

S5 Ep. 7: Judy

2021-06-09

In the months before the invasion of Iraq, the media mostly backed the Bush administration’s narrative about weapons of mass destruction. No reporter was more influential on that beat than the New York Times' Judith Miller. 

How did she get the story so wrong—and why was she the only person to take the fall?

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Season 5 of Slow Burn is produced by Noreen Malone, Jayson De Leon, and Sophie Summergrad. Mixing by Merritt Jacob.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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says, were now reporting slate slow burn eight seconds. He would go. Stephen Engelbart The editor in chief of pro publicly back in two thousand one using investing nations at her for the New York Times. One of his reporters was a times veteran named Judith Miller. Maybe a couple of weeks, average life was two thousand one. Judy came to my desk and she said economy story with I'm gonna go fast, as is really is astounding stuff, and I said, Occasionally what would you got? What she had did sound amazing, an interest You have a conversation between two members of Al Qaeda in the fridge, guy says something along the lines of its really shame. The United States did not retaliate for the attack. use as coal, which was an american ship. It had been attacked by a sort of soon bombing dingey and second guy says well, don't worry, we're playing something so big, you're gonna have to tell you Miller
have been covering islamic extremism. For years it seemed like she might have a huge scoop. and by known terrorists, launch a major attack against the United States, and over was interested, but first you need to know where the story came from so when we know I mean who these two guys. My sources seem enough: where are they were country? Are there the high level low level they just two guys talking? You know in a bar of course, a kind of their not in a bar were speaking metaphorical Miller didn't have those answers but said she tried to find out more He came back and said I just can't get any more detail on this. This is what we got. We write his story, security and associate eyes, and I see paragraphs one and maybe two bullets, paragraphs four and five are weak. We can do it The story never ran two months later, Al Qaeda hijacked for planes and killed three thousand people.
And, of course you know after nine, when one we both sort of it. Some point clear our breath and talked about this and sort of four. While what if we had done the story, you know what it is history where they really on this thing. Was it just a coincidence? What was it and do you feel like if you'd letter run that story Bush might have paid more attention? To that? but you know I just didn't we had enough. There are two ways to think about the decision. Despite that story, the first, This is exactly how journalism is supposed to work. An aggressive reporter got a tantalizing bit of information. A careful editor push back to make sure it was properly sourced. It turned out the story: just wasn't there so the year times didn't publish it in the paper's. Journalistic standards were up here,
the second way to think about it. The New York Times could have had one of the biggest groups in history if they pushed harder to get it or maybe if they gone to press for something that wasn't a hundred percent buttoned up You can even imagine a scenario where the paper princess story and helps prevent the nine eleven attacks. Journalists have to balance to competing ideas, get the biggest or you can before the competition does, but also make sure that what you're publishing is true, sometimes in it cautious and big news, never makes it into the paper, sometimes our aggressive, and that can cause. own set of problems in there. up to the Iraq war. Almost no one was more aggressive than Judith Miller
Why did I believe, the people? I believed? Why did I believe, the people who talk to me and not the people who wouldn't because these people, by and large, not all of them, but most of them had been the very same people who were warning us about Al Qaeda On nine eleven I had every reasonable leave them because they had been right before I got it wrong. I got it wrong because I believed people who also believed themselves This is slow burn, I'm your
nor in MILAN. If you read the New York Times in two thousand to two thousand three, you probably believed the Iraqis had weapons of mass destruction in the year before the invasion of Iraq. The media, mostly back the administrations narrative about WMD, even when the evidence was then to how did the press at the question of Wmds so wrong. Why did so many reporters and up looking so credulous? and why was Judas Miller, the one who took the far? This is episode. Seven Judy with Milton. You got a whole lot more than a url. You get an all in one marketing platform to help drive sales. That means you can connect your data to make more informed smart decisions and you get powerful automation tools
their customer journey builder, to ensure you never miss an opportunity to turn shoppers into loyal customers. So, if you're ready to integrate your marketing and boost sales get started today at mill, chip, dot com, slush, smart marketing, male chimp, built for growing businesses How will rains became the top editor of the New York Times six days before the twin towers fell that made him Judy Miller's boss. Levin was a defining moment for the paper and rains seized. It seemed ingeborg literally everywhere in the world, was trying to get a piece of the biggest around the planet and a friend of mine at the Wall Street Journal described it. This way he said that the atmosphere was right it or read,
if you didn't, if you had a story idea, you didn't write it, you read it somewhere else. Rains wanted to win at the game of journalism. He made that very clear to his staff and breaking huge stories was one way to win. Seven, you can write a book about the New York Times called hard news. He liked big flashy, scoops, often times more than he liked. Nuance are actually say all the time more than you like new ones and reigns. also believed in a star system with that man was, when those reporters wid hand in stories that other people at the paper had concerns or questions about those questions or concerns were essentially brushed aside or those people. Those editors or other reporters were explicitly essentially to you now shut up and get out of the way. Rains is denied this characterisation in the past, and he didn't get back to us when we reach out for
view. Its undeniable, though the Judy Miller quickly became one of how ranges favorites and Miller call me their affection was mutual help, was kind of a guy's guy and into kind of money, our fishing and hunting, and all that- and I wasn't, but I found him extremely easy to work with and supportive Menuhin says it rains wanted to prove he wasn't reflexively left wing to push back against Europe. nation he brought after running the famously liberal New York Times editorial page many people who worked at the times back then generally agree with that assessment Judy Miller. I never remember how pushing one set of beliefs over another in my area when it came to Iraq and the intelligence he wanted to know? You know what was the intelligence saying? What was Bush hearing
was pushed likely to go to war, and those were all the things we were all interested in. There was once group the reins, really wanted and evolve. Two thousand one. The White House was pushing the theory that there is a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda. Specifically, the story went one of the nine slash eleven hijackers had that was in a rocky agent in Prague. You heard about this an episode. Three reigns: push the times to find confirmation, and it October two thousand and one the paper published a story that seem to backup the idea, the Prague meeting had taken place. The headline was checks confirm a rocky agent met with terror, ringleader, James rises, a former national security reporter the times he's kind of a classic newsroom type. Saving pessimist rising was very well source in the intelligence community and he was dubious of Iraq, Al Qaeda link, and so I went to Prague and the CIA people, who, I knew told me who I should talk to
where'd, go to get good information on it Air was really funny: like the mouse, the roared it was. The people in the Czech Republic's intelligence and political circles were all laughing that this story had been such a big deal in that and they all news total bullshit in October, two thousand to a year after the paper had seemed to confirm the Prague meeting rising, but sorry that debunked at by eta- Doug France, he later told me that he had to fight to get it in the paper, because how range was whose exactly editor was then becoming? Everybody believed I, where he was becoming very pro war and dug slipped into the paper on a Monday morning when
range wasn't around all that Sunday to try to block it. Rains is denied this and, more broadly These studies never told anyone that he wanted stories that supported the war still James Rise and found it very difficult to get his reporting highlighted in the paper. I was also hearing a lot of from other sources. The analysts were saying they know that there was no proof to justify the Iraq Al Qaeda alike and that they were sceptical of the Bush administration's case. For war and I kept trying to write stories saying there and they kept getting held and cut buried. I kept asking, the errors was gone out with my stories are always I didn't know what the times published on terrorism was often excellent. Rising
Judith Miller we're on a team that one or two thousand who pulitzer for its coverage of Al Qaeda. It would turn out to be her professional peak. Judy Miller grew up in a showbiz family, her father, night club in New Jersey and put on glitzy shows Vegas Hotels, Miller's huh, brother Jimmy has own brushes with glamour. He produced rolling stones, albums, Judy, hang on the studio while he worked. Milly did this season, true boomer style. She got arrested several times for protest. the Vietnam WAR. She went up in journalism covering the Middle EAST, for MP are in the progressive here's Frank far. He read a profile of Miller for New York magazine in two thousand, for she just became incredibly well source
in the region need a total burg. The legendary NPR reporter, who was her colleague, told me a story about how she was at a party and King Hussein of Jordan was there and he caught a glimpse of her across room and began to howl, Judy and issue. splendid king and they went in Abreast Miller, says she stood out on the male dominated beat, but that was necessarily a bad thing. I once asked King Hussein why he gave me so many refuse and he said well, you are a woman and he said yes prefer women reporters, because women ten to listen to the answers of the intelligent questions. They ask when Miller got hired at times and nineteen seventy seven shoes rating,
Congressmen, less aspen, a powerful democrat. She occasionally quoted him in her stories. That's when the caddy whisper started, the Judy Miller broke boundaries with her sources, used her sexuality to get information. There were certain of her colleagues who would read her stories aloud and each time the phrase Aspen said appeared, reporters would joke to one another about it should be followed. Aspen, said comma rolling over in Bed Miller says that a relationship with the congressmen actually held her back, not helped her. I couldn't come. anything that I really cared about, because I was dating him the times. Strict rules about that, I serve them and when last aspect- and I finally broke up, it was only after that that the bulk of my national security report, which had always been my passion,
was. I was really able to work in that area before that. I haven't been able to I wonder how many people would talk about whether or not would driver and Steve NASH, foolishly slept with sources to get stories. Remember hearing that that it happened all the time not just to me two women in general and reporting in wash and in those days so there's no There is no true notary at no; no, no, no! No, it was working our days and Sundays as the young, ambitious reporter. knocking on doors call, a hundred people who didn't want to talk to you, people who worked Miller directly, including Stephen Angle, Bergen James Rise and tended, have good relationships of her
but she could be territorial. She was a figure who was invariably described as possessing sharp elbows, and there was one story that I remember this rapporteur had left his desk for a day or two to go and reporting assignment, and when he came back he found the Miller was sitting at his desk and he said nice to meet you can I please have my desk back and she said no you're gonna have to go work elsewhere and she just kind of hijacked. His desk Miller rose ass to the times the nineteen eighties she reported from Egypt and Lebanon. In the nineties, she became a roving investigative reporter on threats to national security. She covered by a weapons and the right The islamic terrorism, not everyone, understood the significance of those topics. Back then Judy Miller Dead Miller was a recognisable byline. She also went on tv, a bunch as a pundit. Her reporting, blended with commentary, aspire
on the subject of islamic terrorism. Fanatic is actually a very good word to describe them. They are highly motivated. They are highly disciplined and we underestimate them at our peril. Anders Miller had dwelt well connected sources in the NEO conservative movement, but seven Ingeborg says it Miller, didn't only talk to top level sources Judy New alot of people, allow levels of government and she knew people you never heard of, and she talk ceaselessly below them and then become increase. We excited by what she learned, how more than once I was her editor Judy would call me at one thousand and thirty, one thousand and forty five in the evening to tell me about what she just learned to dinner, and I just until to Morrow, she had to tell me the challenge for Miller was never finding information, but she an angle.
I had to work hard to sort the real conformable stuff from everything else, after nine eleven. That job was harder than it had ever been before. If you want to look at an instance where the administration was really pushing the line that wasn't fair. It was on the test connection, alleged terror connection between Saddam and Osama Bin One and that the chinese people and the Bush people and everybody was kind of pushing like crazy. That ever give you pause as they were, pushing so hard on something that seem to not be true. Miller didn't really answer that question she pivoted instead to talking about the entire world, where they work, No, because I have covered the intelligence community for so long that I knew they disagree on just about everything I mean you're. My concern about the intelligence community was not screaming, but
they underestimating the threat in the lead up to the Iraq war. Miller, piled up splash stories of WMD reporting was enormously influential Frankfurt again. Linear times is the paper record and her reporting represented extremely precise, stitches, seemingly rigour, sleep, sorest validation of what would become the official government line about rocky at WMD, the problem some of the stories Miller, was publishing, turned out to be based on bad information. there are two key stories and Judy Miller wrote in the lead up to the Iraq invasion. These are the only ones who people point to his problems, but they were high profile. The first of publishers,
Number two thousand one Miller wrote about an iraqi de facto. She met through awkward quality in his Rocky National Congress that affect your claimed that within the last year, he helped create secret facilities in Iraq for Chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. The story ran on page one. Stephen Ingeborg attitude, the peace we tried varies Americans and I don't really know about this guy- and they said stuff like- what are you saying is consistent with other reports. We ve had is along the same lines as the intelligence tellers repair. We don't know this person specifically, but we Think this is what you what you're saying plausible it's in line with the things were hearing so she and I together worked out a bunch of paragraphs. If you go back and look at the story, the stories like in paragraphs of interviews and twelve paragraphs of caviar. It's about this guy's, a defector defectors have been
don't say things that people want to hear because that's how they make their livelihood and I've done do this from memory, but I think you'll find use a whole bunch of sort of like in agents, one on one paragraphs about why this may not be true acquired, dossier. The defector turned out to be a fabricate her. The story he told was false. If I had it all to do again, I would never do the story. They say in baseball. Is the bullets flying out of the park or the picture we really wishes to have that one back the approach I really wish. I had back Miller Tills differently. I dont think A thing did go wrong, he told the CIA. What he thought was going on. He was pretty clear. what he knew and what he was surmising Steve Angle Bird said that he'd. That was one story he wishes. He could take back. You don't feel the same way. I don't feel the same way not at all Miller, says
not everyone in the CIA, has deemed the guy fabricate her. She argues that its impact She got former you and weapons inspectors on the record to say that in fact, story seemed plausible, but mostly shit, and the story because she says it reflects what the Bush administration was hearing and that she believes was the best she could do at the time, not long after the de facto story. Angle Burg left the near times for a job at the organ in South Manicheans. Has that move had real consequences for the Times Miller. A lot of investigative reporters have a sort of tendency to see conspiracies behind every corner. That's something that you sort of need to be an investigative reporter, but first to work. You also need someone behind the scenes. Who is able to say, let's make sure that what we think is non here is what's going on here and when Steve left the paper that person.
Is really no longer there for duty. The second significant Miller story came in September, two thousand to rains and asked his reporters for a definitive account of why the administration Beliefs, Adam, had weapons Miller and her colleague, Michael Gordon Cole, by lined a page one story that, He said that Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons according to Miller and Gordon that quest included efforts to by thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes. This was or in which the public first encounter the White House, his famous line that the first sign of smoking gun, maybe a mushroom cloud. The story attributed to unnamed american officials and Bush administration officials, and after was published, the White House used as evidence that Iraq was working on nuclear weapons. Here's Dick Cheney and meet them.
the day. The article ran, there's a story in the New York Times this morning. This is not want to trip the times. I don't want to talk about, obviously, a specific intelligence sources, but now pub like that. In fact, he has been seeking to acquire and we have been able to intercept and prevent him from acquiring through this particular channel The kinds of tubes are necessary to build a centrifuge centrifuges. The waiter was using the New York Times as a wandering service. First, they confirm the papers. Information Then they went on tv and said, nay, you not to believe me believe the New York Times They started your work. How did you feel about that about? Turning on, you know, meet the press in hearing them Dick Cheney, referring to, Are you done well, I wasn't happy about. Because I knew that I look the administration weeks for a political purpose right so this was nothing new. On the other hand, you know we have
finished our work on this story when, Michael God is tip, I think we're that forty eight hours before, though this long long examination of the WMD case was set to appear and Michael Michael got a tip the only aluminum tubes, and this was the first new thing. We had heard the aluminum tubes information turned out to be false. There's no evidence that Iraq was using the tubes to make nuclear weapons. Gordon Miller, did write a follow up story. That mentioned some of the descent about it and the intelligence community. But it was buried inside the paper and it didn't seem to take the descent orbits Obviously I stand by what we wrote. We rode what we knew at the time As we got more information, we wrote more information was it enough for where the subsequent stories played well enough. You know right. The headlines and I dont determine where stories go in the paper, but
notion that reporters were trying to sell a war. I think that's really. It's just not what happened and its some? It's really nice, fair to anyone who tried very hard in those days to get this right by the end of two thousand to critics are starting to ask questions about Miller's work. Redding sleep, Jack Schaefer pointed out that her sourcing was awfully anonymous. Unjust, one story: she cited senior american officials for insight, his administration official, an informant whose identity has not been disclosed. There were internal complaints to then how rains wanted effort is to give Miller one of his jars lots of freedom. And that man she wasn't getting the oversight she needed for her part, Miller says she was overextended everybody was working flat out during that period
but I am more than others, because the more than others that my paper, because I had this broad portfolio- I wish had been someone else in at the paper who had spent. you know twenty years in the Middle EAST and knew all the castor characters anew the intelligence communities in the countries who are- so had weapons expertise, I wish there were other people who could have picked up low because I I was really. I was very tired, not everyone at the times was hearing what you D Miller was hearing James Rise and was getting from his says that the interim WMD was full of holes. He tried to get some of those people to go on the record, but they were afraid to talk. After all, it wasn't just unfashionable at times be sceptical of the war. Narrative is a minority opinion and the intelligence world too. It's really hard
Counter, something with nothing the pro Debbie people would come with some nugget of information. You could say well done, really like a week argument to me and then your boy I should say what: how do you know? It's not true and so you have, you prove a negative. It got to be point where nobody really wanted to hear. The alternative, which was Maybe this intelligence is weak, and maybe that already know the car story. Editors do not get excited about rises, right auditors- do always prefer big scoops to uncertainty. In doubt, this thing exists is more exciting. The evidence for the thing is full of holes. It just is that attitude helps explain why Rising stories were often buried deep inside the paper. At the same time, journals tender, pride themselves on being sceptical,
Our most legendary thing two times has ever done is published the Pentagon papers, which reveals how the government lied about what was happening in Vietnam in two thousand and one and two thousand and two there were people raising doubts both inside and said the government about the story. The Bush administration was pushing its. We that at times and other papers there wasn't much interest and trying to prove the White House wrong. There were some notable exceptions, the knight rider. you service shall be work and Walter Pinkus at the Washington Post, but mostly rises, there, seem to be a race to back the White House, the failure, as we often most said they would ask me to match stories in other news organisations had had, and I refuse to do I got a lot of trouble. The Washington Post, which was the New York Times major competitor at the time and still is there story, splashed hunt from page
that there was evidence, that Saddam Hussein had given nerve gas to guide the terrorists. some ever came round ass. You may imagine I was sick and tired of the whole process by appointing, I said now. Am I gonna do it's bullshit They really got pessimistic, you mean you're, not gonna, make a phone call madness it now, that's bullshit, I'm not gonna do. Did you have this feeling the times that there really was the top down sort of war mongering. Yes, there was I know why rain still denies it, but there is no question that there was a war fever inside the tabs. Judy Miller wasn't the only reporter who got the WMD story massively wrong nor within Europe
I'm the only outlet that screwed up part of the problem, as James rising thought was naivete from reporters had been thrown in the deep. And I think it's fair to say that the people who are actually the CIA reporters at major news organisations at that time were not the people who did the WMD stories. We were a covering and I was covering terrors after nine eleven full time, and I think a lot of the coverage the Andes suffered because yet new people coming at, maybe man. You know somebody close China be, or maybe they met we want a chinese aids or somebody the hill water, something as so There were new this world. The larger pattern and most places was the same as that the times frightened
groups with administration sources ended up in the front page and more sceptical work tended to get buried inside and it's you doesn't too where something ram the paper actually mattered. This wasn't just a print journalism. Problem tv news ran very little skeptical coverage in the run up to the war, and it wasn't just fox CNN and MSNBC were among the worst offenders Dan There was the anchor of CBS Evening news. He believes most of the media got swept up in the patriotism of the moment, Certainly in retrospect, we didn't resists show me enough. We didn't as tough questions but no news organization had the capability of flatly dish. Moving these things at the time and so when, when you have shown to raise questions it. Finally, the sound to listen. President of the United States says that he as evidence
that's right, Hussein has the weapons of mass destruction. building towards building Nuclear weapons now miss rapporteur, MR journalists. Where is your proof to the contrary, the present United States Secretary Defence Secretary of state Vice president manage they says these aims of true you're gonna be responsible, if you free impression that maybe they are true in the search for WMD, began after the invasion Judy Mill, was desperate to be there, Events the Pentagon, to let her in bed with the unit leading the search she's, the only reporter granted that access the military got to look restores before they ran which was standard for him by the working in sensitive posts and since the unity shadowed with dealing with intelligence, she could only talk the times. to top editors about what you are saying.
Miller, wrote a big page, one story from Iraq. That April it said that a scientist who supposedly worked on Saddam's Chemical Warfare programme had revealed where he buried the building blocks of illegal weapons. She wrote that military, wouldn't let her near him or let her name him, but from afar she watched him point spots in the sand for the weapons were in tv appearance. She vouched for this horses, credibility has the unit you ve been traveling with found any proof of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I think I found happening more knocking gone, but they found a day a silver bullet. form of a person and iraqi individual scientists, as we call them who really worked on the programmes, who knows them first hand.
By early may, the WMD task force with making plans leave Iraq having found nothing at that point, General David Portrayal of the chemical engineer. You dear familiar story had been just sharing in theory for most of the lead up to the war Miller, had been part of the pack out in front sure, but not totally off on her own, but now a lot of other reporters were swerving. when the weapons didn't turn up. Miller was increasingly alone still standing by her sources, still reporting on the search for WMD as late as July. She was blaming the sir process, not saying the iraqi WMD didn't exist, South American. I think that we would not, Remember the story the same way it would not be sort of the New York Times helped led this drumbeat into war. I think one of them, this is why that story can Calcified was because they continued to beat that drum long
after it was clear that that was not in a pan out that that was not an accurate representation of what was going on accordingly. For another reason, Judy got singled out is at her work seemed overly mission driven. She was just an advocate and I think that that that was the big difference She made a crusade out of this and that's why I think, alas doktor her shoe. She was true did in some ways maybe a little unfairly, and there was this period and success fascination with her relationship to her sources, but, on the other hand, is pretty clear. that. Her relationship to her sources was a constant problem in her career. Then as much as we we try to be objective. I you know we never really are and for her it was a problem
Miller often defends her work by saying she was just reporting. Water sources believed, of course, pretty much. The first rule of journalism is checked everything in interviews, including ours, who said that kind of verification wasn't always possible in the lead up to the Iraq war. Wish. Some of the dissenters had spoken to me, but they didn't, and it isn't that idea try, I tried to really hard without the voice. Of the sceptics. Miller's work sometimes appear more certain and more definitive than it really was You what you're saying to me, if ever under correctly is. I was just saying that this is what the intelligence community was excited about it at the time and as a journalist. I understand that, but if you're reader of the New York Times you read this, you believed that the rapporteur would only be putting it in the paper. If they
Two believed what the source was saying, of course, that whether these with your story was saying where I wouldn't have put it in the paper. But what was I supposed to do? Tat intelligence agency know you're wrong cause. I know cause. I know Iraq now, I'm not gonna. Do that boy, you sound like you, that's not my job. I am. I am my was to tell people what was the case for war. What was what was present The Bush relying on what was the information that was taking us to war. I did the best I could was perfect. Nor was it some I was wrong yes, but not in the way that people are reporting and and it isn't that we didn't check or are we just pushed line? We did Shaq. I didn't push a line It's easy now to look back and say, while that evidence was really flimsy and wool that defector was
furnishing his own credentials and trying to make himself look invaluable and good, but that's you can only learned, as you report, as go along a lot of the reporters he their work as iterative. write a piece of a little bit of information, and that brings more sources out of the woodwork and getting closer to the truth. But take the aluminum tube story Miller's. the only reason we know rock wasn't using the tubes to build a nuclear arsenal is that she and Michael Gordon surface a story in the first place which The currently allowed her and other journalists to take a closer look, but that logic seriously underplay the stakes the beach. He was working. and the fact that initial stories make a lasting impression. Remember diction,
had told the aluminum tube story on tv to make the case for war when that's all turned out to be bogus. Didn't go back on tv to correct the record, maybe Miller and the times, and the other newspapers in that the networks and the same problem. Her sources in the administration did confirmation by us when shopping for the information, the backed up with they already assumed that there was oh possible universe which adopts the same. Didn't have WMD and that their only mission was to pin down the where and how of it. How ranges tenure as executive editor of the times lasted less than two years? I'm down had nothing to do with the lead up to the Iraq war, but it was, added to his love of hot shower reporters who got big scoops, one of those hotshots Jason Blair, turned out to a fabricated. Many of his stories ranges six
Sir Bill color took over in July two thousand three. He commissioned a public examination of the papers, Iraq coverage, our route. We found a number of instances of coverage. I was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases in nation that was controversial then and seems questionable now was incivism. qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Miller's byline was on most of the stories collar cited, but the investigation didn't name her color of the time These problems were bigger than any one person still. He said he wanted to take her off of national security stories. Other operators, the Miller, is getting off easy Frank for it felt like with in the paper there all these stories percolating. About how reporters really wanted a reckoning about how they could have screwed up so badly. There was a lot of anger about it within
Times and Judy Miller was the focus of that anger, Miller, instead of the spotlight for long in the summer of two thousand, for she found herself at the centre of a national scandal, Let's get started with an opt out by a diplomat named Joseph Wilson, Wilson. Did the Bush administration was twisting intelligence about Saddam trying to obtain uranium. That up at me, the White House, angry Wilson's, wife, Valerie Plain happened to be a CIA officer a few days after Wilson's column ran someone from the mistress and licked her name to a reporter. Blowing her cover, It seemed like an act of revenge against Wilson for challenging the administrations case for war, exposing intelligence officers. Identity is a crime in some circumstances and the Department of Justice open an investigation to the liquor it eventually zoom in on Scooter Libby. Vice president chinese chief of staff prosecutors,
The report is a thought. Libby might have talked to warn them time. Magazines, Matthew, Cooper, cut a deal to testify against Libby, Lily sign off Judy Miller. Didn't she argued that a journalist right to conceal her sources is protected by the constitution, funny. How are you going to do our law. You certainly do know how to get somebody's attention as it can. Unfortunately, all too close we have just about exhausted. Our appeals. In this case, Miller went to jail. The pages of the New York Times shoe celebrated as a hero satellite, when she was in jail. There were better tutorials on the editorial page Four pieces lionize in and celebrate in Judy and her bravery
in saying that the government was never gonna, be able to get her to crack, etc, etc. In reality, the narrative was a little more complicated than that. Even after being misled by Bush Administration sources Miller was now taking a stand on behalf of a Bush administration source there a lot of people in the newsroom who fell like this is not the reporter or the story we want to make us and on your. This is not the person they wish. necessarily be celebrate, in honor editorial page in and in a bed columns as a if hero journalistic hero and that opinion became much louder once she was released from jail in the end Miller, cut deal Scooter. Let me sent word that he was fine with Miller, testifying
I've been all along the times, didn't want her to cooperate with the government, but she did at your eighty five days. She left jail, maybe getting too close to resources was Judith Miller's biggest problem. She went to jail to protect one. Even when you didn't to clearly want her to either. When he wasn't her source. Actually years later Miller, went back and checked your notebooks after all that shit eyes. Libby hadn't been the person who gave her. The Valerie blamed had been after Miller, cut a deal of prosecutors times. Publisher, Arthur Salzburg, took her out. champagne, toast and arrange for her to get a mannequin massage the newsroom, on the other hand, didn't pamper her bill, color signed a story on Miller's Iraq reporting and her dealings with Libby amounted to another, very public internal investigation. The Miller wasn't exactly cooperative. There was once a famous example
and she was a news, Roman and she had told Don T matter. Who was the person who is most you're talking to her- that she would talk to him and he said, is now a guitar. And she said no, I'm off to talk to Barbara Waters that did not go over well that she had time to talk to Barbara Walter's and time to talk the Larry King, but kept. refusing to talk to the papers on reporters and remember this was a paper that she still worked out at the time she did wind up talking to them, but it didn't help her much the peace? The times ran on Miller, characterized her is divisive and pushy. A put her first amendment stand in the shadow of the flawed WMD reporting and it highlighted the criticism that she'd help the Bush administration make the case for WAR Miller says it Sulzberger told her. He would find her and appropriate. but the paper given her long service, but that she would no longer be a reporter. She resigned. This is a newspaper we would were news organisations. We make mistakes. Your outlook-
nation as Rapporteur and as an institution. Aids. The news and makes money off of news is that when you learn you ve been wrong to say so, and I think the paper John, that more gracefully and move on and continue to support the work since leaving the Times Miller found work as an analyse for conservative outlets. Like Fox NEWS, a new smacks: she calls herself a rugged. Independent plenty of people made stupid, catastrophic errors in the lead up to the Iraq war, politicians, bureaucrats, pundits journalists, very few of them- face serious professional consequences, Judy Miller Dead, here's Miller's colleague Rise and one of the things it bothers me, ass, Father member says, is that they manage, namely there are times in the rest of the news. Media Franklin, They managed to isolate Judy Miller
as a scapegoat. for all the sins of all depressed. For that tell, and it's been a very comforting narrative to say well, you knows you know Judy Miller did this. they all did and they all loved and they are wanted it and the editors this wanted. More and more they didn't want, or anything else Next time summer. Stubborn Our final episode on the invasion and its aftermath, slow burn is the production of sleep plus, Slates membership programme, say plus members get bonus, episodes of silver
Every week, where will go behind the scenes and to making the show an air clips and visa we couldn't fit in here on this week's bonus episode we'll be hearing more Dan, rather a bonus interview with Eli, Paris or who have- coordinate anti war advocacy for move on DOT, Org had over to say tat comes, I slow burn to sign up and listen. Now, it's only a dollar fear. First month we could make sovereign without the support of say plus. So, please, I know if you can add over to say tat. Come such slow burn, soberness produced by me. ITALY on anchovy summer, grad without toil direction by Josh, Slovene and Gabriel Wrong are mixed generic marriage Jacob
Brendan Angela. These composer theme song, the armor Chris Overrun, is by Jim Cook special thanks to Rachel Strom South Brown Chow to ashes Solygia Katy Rayford, an obvious gentlemen. Thanks for listening.
Transcript generated on 2021-08-09.