Various bits of flotsam that washed up on our computers, before we moved to a better blog system in November 2004. Now a repository for YouTube videos and testing new tools. Go to for more recent content.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Judith Miller has Always been a hack

apparently, Miller has been a conduit for government propaganda. Via Atrios, we read....

Michael Bérubé Online:
"I just thought that this might be a good time to go back to May 2002 and revisit Judith Miller's seemingly carefully-hedged and scrupulously-attributed claims that Cuba and Iran were teaming up to hit the US with biological weapons. Of course, Ms. Miller doesn't come right out and say, "you have to understand, I'm shilling for the far-right tinfoil-helmeted Undersecretary of State John Bolton." But she doesn't really need to:

I think what you have here is a problem with how to interpret information about what Cuba is doing. Yes, there is a lot of activity that is suspicious. There's a lot of circumstantial evidence. And there are a lot of very unsavory contacts, as the administration regards them, between Cuba and especially Iranians who are involved in biological weapons.

And this kind of information led Mr. Bolton and before him another senior State Department official to say that there is a limited offensive effort. Specifically, the State Department said Cuba was experimenting with anthrax and that, of course, got our attention in the press.

But the debate is over how to interpret this information.

This is "embedded journalism" at its finest: note how Miller embeds "as the administration regards them" in that first paragraph and caps this off with a reference to "debate," as if she herself is agnostic. Note also that it's not just Bolton she's quoting here: no, there's another State Department official before him, so clearly this can't be looney-tunes saber-rattling Boltonian spin.

What about people who dispute these claims, like former President Carter? Well, Carter might be a dupe, or he might be in a "camp":

So, if you put Jayson Blair and Judith Miller in a deathcage match, with Howell Raines refereeing, who would emerge? I guess that has already been decided.....

Now playing in iTunes: Nobody's Fault But My Own, from the album Mutations by Beck


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