Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Newpaper of Record

This story about Judith Miller hardy give little confidence in the (supposed) newspaper of record.

In a lengthy feature piece on this autumn's Judith Miller saga forthcoming in the January issue of Vanity Fair (on sale Dec. 13), writer Seth Mnookin covers much familiar ground but also reveals new details and complaints from the reporter's colleagues at The New York Times. Publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. also gets a good working-over from unnamed in-house critics.


Mnookin describes step-by-step how the reporters, including Don Van Natta, Clifford Levy, Adam Liptak and Janny Scott, were picked to write that October piece and how Miller often failed to cooperate fully with them. Miller allegedly refused to talk to Scott because she had not bothered to write to her in jail. She complained about Adam Liptak's coverage of her release from jail.


Elsewhere, Mnookin pulls no punches in alleging that over the years Miller "had built a reputation for sleeping with her sources," and "had dated Steve Rattner, one of Sulzberger's best friends when the three of them worked at the Times' Washington bureau, and had even, for a time, shared a vacation home with Sulzberger."

Tell me how the editor can be objective with his reporters with a relationship like this. How can Judith be objective with her sources?

Editor and Publisher


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