Saturday, October 22, 2005

Maureen Dowd fixes a Judy Miller kebab

Peking Duck has reprinted 's Op-Ed piece in full*. In "Woman of Mass Destruction," Ms. Dowd begins by examining what she likes (liked?) about . I get the sense it's a case of one strong woman admiring another. Then Ms. Dowd reminisces about Miller's bitch mode: Once when I was covering the first Bush White House, I was in The Times's seat in the crowded White House press room, listening to an administration official's background briefing. Judy had moved on from her tempestuous tenure as a Washington editor to be a reporter based in New York, but she showed up at this national security affairs briefing.

At first she leaned against the wall near where I was sitting, but I noticed that she seemed agitated about something. Midway through the briefing, she came over and whispered to me, "I think I should be sitting in the Times seat."

It was such an outrageous move, I could only laugh. I got up and stood in the back of the room, while Judy claimed what she felt was her rightful power perch.

She never knew when to quit. That was her talent and her flaw.

Ms. Dowd succinctly covers the flaming arc of Miller's career, and closes with what we've all been thinking:

I admire Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Bill Keller for aggressively backing reporters in the cross hairs of a prosecutor. But before turning Judy's case into a First Amendment battle, they should have nailed her to a chair and extracted the entire story of her escapade.

Judy told The Times that she plans to write a book and intends to return to the newsroom, hoping to cover "the same thing I've always covered - threats to our country." If that were to happen, the institution most in danger would be the newspaper in your hands.

Hmm. That assumes The Times would have her back; yet it's looking more and more likely that she'll soon be out on her butt. That's okay. With her unique brand of inflammatory fiction, I'm sure the Weekly World News would have her. Let her cover the Bat Boy Beat.

At the moment, the liveliest discussion on this Op-Ed can be found at Huffington Post.


*Such tactics are necessary because the NY Times now buries its most popular Op-Ed items (Dowd, Rich, etc.) in the Times Select Black Hole. Screw them. Their paper is in a state of crisis thanks to Miller, and what do they do? Alienate people by trying to score a buck.


Blogger Stephen said...

Their paper is in a state of crisis thanks to Miller

I thought that the NYT was in a crisis thanks to Jayson Blair, not to mention the allegedly Highly Questionable Practices associated with their best-seller lists that Nobody Talks About.

10/22/2005 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

You're right about Blair, but I suspect Joe Dirt American doesn't give a hang about the NYT Best Seller list.

10/22/2005 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Kate R said...

"I've always liked her" Maureen starts out and then compares her to Becky Sharp?

That's mild compared to the rest too . . .Wow. I'd hate to be a human the Dowd hates.

That was a great piece. I love the Dowd.

10/22/2005 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Kate R said...

I kind of like this description of the Miller-Dowd event as mud wrestling. . .

10/22/2005 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Thanks for the link, Kate. That was good.

This was Dowd at her shining best, I think.

10/22/2005 07:23:00 PM  

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