Judith Miller (journalist)

From Academic Kids

Judith Miller (born 1948 in New York City) is an investigative journalist for the New York Times. She is a controversial figure, with critics such as Edward Said, Alexander Cockburn and Amy Goodman accusing her of relying too heavily on sources friendly to the Bush administration, in particular Ahmed Chalabi and other exiles she met through him. Miller's over-reliance on anonymous high-level sources, they say, biased her reporting and the testimony of the exiles has been called into serious doubt.

Miller, who started at the Times in 1977, came under particularly heavy criticism for her reporting on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. In September 2002, Miller reported on the interception of metal tubes bound for Iraq. Her story stated that they would be used to develop nuclear material. However, a retired Oak Ridge National Laboratory physicist, Houston G. Wood III, filed a report with the US government more than a year before concluding that the tubes were not meant for centrifuges, and he disagreed with Miller's findings. Nonetheless, shortly thereafter, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld all appeared on television and pointed to the story as a partial basis for going to war.

On May 26, 2004, a week after the U.S. government apparently severed ties with Chalabi, a Times editorial acknowledged that some of that newspaper's coverage in the run-up to the war had relied too heavily on Chalabi and other Iraqi exiles bent on regime change. It also regretted that "information that was controversial [was] allowed to stand unchallenged". While the editorial rejected "blame on individual reporters", others noted that ten of the twelve flawed stories discussed had been written or co-written by Miller. [1] (http://nytimes.com/critique)

In a separate case, Miller was found in contempt of court on October 1, 2004, for refusing to disclose the source who leaked the fact that Valerie Plame was a covert CIA operative. She was sentenced to 18 months in jail. The sentence was suspended while under appeal. Miller did not write an article about the subject at the time of the leak, but others did (most notably, Robert Novak), spurring the investigation.

On November 11, 2004, the Times published an obituary for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat written by Miller. Critics say it contained a number of factual errors with regard to historical context.

Miller was previously the subject of controversy when in 1986 she wrote numerous articles on Libya, thus contributing to a massive disinformation campaign on Muammar al-Qaddafi which was coordinated by Admiral John Poindexter of the Reagan administration.

In 2001, Miller shared a Pulitzer Prize for her coverage of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

Since 1993, she has been married to Jason Epstein, a noted book editor formerly with Random House.

Quotes

  • "You know what? I was proved fucking right. That's what happened. People who disagreed with me were saying, 'There she goes again.' But I was proved fucking right." [2] (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/05/27/times/print.html)

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