The wages of fame

The NY Post’s Page Six speculates about Judy Miller’s severence package with guesses as high as six years’ salary and a lifetime of health insurance. I don’t care about the money but I still want to know what limits both sides agreed to on what they can say.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    I *do* care about the money. If this is true, Miller’s getting a mere severance package for ethical behavior that would make her a big hero if committed in the service of a Democratic agenda.

    Meanwhile, quarter of a mil to Mary Mapes to keep on lying and smearing everybody, including her own original experts. I’ve yet to hear how the MSM’s continued financial and morale support of Mapes helps the case that their ethics separate them from Judy Miller.

    If Miller is allowed to talk, does it matter? Will anybody listen? Will she get a hefty sum from a big (liberal) publishing house to tell her side of the story? Or will she have to settle for Regnery?

  • Angelos

    Who said crime doesn’t pay?!

    This administration and its lackeys are setting some fine examples.

  • phil

    Republicans Calling a Decorated War Hero a Coward Devalue the Heroism of our Soldiers Currently Serving in Iraq

    Even in the Orwellian world of American politics the events of recent weeks have been surreal. But despite all the arguing going on among our political leaders one thing has been constant, that is the overwhelming support for our troops in the field. Regardless of ones political affiliation or view on the conduct of the operation in Iraq, it is clear that all Americans support the troops, and all grieve equally when they are injured or die.

    It is clear to anybody who is paying the least bit of attention that the war in Iraq is not going well. Thus far 2094 American soldiers have died and more than 15,000 have been left permanently disabled. The war has thus far cost the average American family over $3000 and costs each family an additional $100 per week. The sole measure of success on the part of the wars supporters is that if we left now the country of Iraq would implode. Americans have rightly come to question whether this is an appropriate measure of success for a war that has cost us all so dearly.

    But as the Bush Administration grows increasingly desperate they have come to adopt a strategy of questioning the patriotism of those with whom they disagree. It should be noted that 63% of Americans believe that the war is not going well, and that 57% of Americans believe that the Bush Administration misused pre-war intelligence to justify their preconceived plans of going to war. But Bush and Cheney are undeterred, grimly describing those who don’t agree with their policies as “deeply irresponsible, reprehensible and dishonest.”

    Recently the Bush war marketing campaign has taken a further turn, suggesting that those who question the Administration conduct of the war undermine our soldiers in the field, that those who disagree with Bush don’t support the soldiers. Only19% of Americans support Cheney, 34% support Bush and only 40% of Americans still believe that Bush is honest. Those numbers seem to be sinking by the day as Americans are increasingly disgusted and appalled by an Administration and a Republican Congress that judges whether citizens support their own soldiers on the basis of who agrees or disagrees with the Administration war policy.

    There is no doubt that we ask a great deal of our soldiers in the field, this has been the case throughout the history of our country. We have seen so many times that ordinary men are asked to perform extraordinary duties; those that go above and beyond are considered heroes and recognized by their country for their valor. Just over a week ago our country paused to reflect and remember, and to honor those who served our country in war. Veterans proudly displayed their medals, tokens of appreciation from a grateful country for their acts of bravery. Today in Iraq we have men and women performing those same duties on our behalf; some will be similarly honored.

    But what message does it send to our soldiers in the field in Iraq, soldiers whom we are asking to perform extraordinary acts of bravery on our behalf, when their Commander in Chief questions the bravery and patriotism of a soldier who earned 2 purple hearts? When the Vice President (himself a recipient of 5 deferments) suggests that a much-decorated veteran who happens to disagree with him “lacks backbone?” When a Republican member of Congress suggests that that same decorated war veteran is a coward? Does it devalue the service of our soldiers in the field when they see that the Administration can so easily dismiss a war hero as a coward simply because he disagrees with them? Why should they be as committed to duty, honor and bravery as John Murtha was when they see that the Administration would piss on Murtha and his medals for their political purposes? Would the Administration do the same to them?

    Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, just when you thought you had seen the worst of American politics, we’re treated to the spectacle of cowards like Cheney calling heroes like Murtha a coward. Orwell lives, but the last shred of decency on the part of the Bush Administration has long since passed. The Bushtanic is sinking, but as it was when Nixon went down the mood is not celebratory, it’s far more like mourning; mourning for our country, for all of us…for we brought it upon ourselves when we elected the incompetent bastard.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    From today’s Washington post:

    But over the years innumerable cases of official corruption and malfeasance have come to light thanks to sources being able to count on confidentiality. It’s astonishing to see so many people — especially in the journalism establishment — forget that now. Many of those who condemn Mr. Woodward applauded when The Post recently revealed the existence of CIA prisons around the world, a story that relied on unnamed sources.

    Is there a distinction to be made based on the motives of the leakers? If so, Mr. Woodward might have had to pass up his first big scoops three decades ago, because his Watergate source, Deep Throat — recently revealed as FBI official W. Mark Felt — was disgruntled at having been passed over for the post of FBI director. Newspapers face difficult questions all the time in evaluating the reliability of sources and the appropriateness of publishing their secrets. But if potential sources come to believe that they cannot count on promises of confidentiality, more than the media will suffer.

    This case is frustrating for conservatives — not because Miller is conservative or liberal — but because the flaming hypocrisy of media here could not be more brightly delineated, and yet most of media and media apologists still cannot see the flame licking right in their face, and continue to simply beat up Miller as some kind of unique cretin.

  • http://www.randomfate.net/MT/ Jack

    Phil’s “comment” does not seem to be exactly on topic…

    The speculated upon “ironclad confidentiality clause” is interesting, though. What would the New York Times need to keep confidential?

  • Ravo

    It should be noted that 63% of Americans believe that the war is not going well,

    And what the hell does the average citizen have to base that on, but what the mainstream media feeds him or her?

    When Jay Leno asked those on the street what the term “jihad” meant, those asked didn’t even know! But yeah, somehow those our enemy call “useless idiots” truly must know all the facts of the war.

    ASK the average soldier coming back from Iraq that question. They KNOW the true answer, and you won’t find 63% of THEM parroting the “useless idiot” line.

    and that 57% of Americans believe that the Bush Administration misused pre-war intelligence to justify their preconceived plans of going to war.

    Any lie told so frequently starts to ring true. Our media has been very busy with the “misused pre-war intelligence” line, despite the facts to the contrary.

    The miracle here is that 43% still have their reasoning powers.

  • Angelos

    Miller was not “protecting” a source from backlash. Her “source” was not a brave whistleblower.

    Miller was helping government officials in their efforts to quash dissent by destroying careers and reputations, their standard MO.

    If you haven’t figured out yet that everything regarding the “intelligence” leading up to the war was a lie, and Miller was one of the prime water-carriers, you’re beyond hopeless. Were talking pathological levels of denial at this point.

    At some point, you just have to bite the bullet, and say – I was wrong. I didn’t want to admit they made a fool of me. My pride wouldn’t let me do it. But I was wrong.

    Keep those blinders on Ravo. You and your ever-dwindling 34%, I pity you. Holding on by a thread, saying yes-massa to everything Uncle Dick tells you, writing incoherent talking-point-laden letters to the editor talking about Bush’s character and honor (ROTFLMAO, by the way)… Yeah, you’re part of the special “elite” that know the real answers. Uh-huh.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    Angelos, all you do is spout ideological opinion on assumed motives, which does nothing more than further illustrate that this has nothing to do with ethics and journalism, but everything to do with bare knuckle ideology. Where Jeff Jarvis is careful only to sneer at Miller, you make the hypocrisy ring clearly for all to hear.

    Whistle-blowers by definition “quash” careers and ruin reputations. The difference for you apparently is who you think is in the right. Surely you have no tears over the quashed career and reputation of Ken Lay? Joe Wilson is hardly any different, and has been lying loudly and lying often. If his wife was put through any duress, it was clearly her own doing, and that of her leftist husband: they took the initiative to get him sent to Niger; they somehow managed to bypass the official paperwork necessary in the CIA for this kind of mission; they somehow managed to hopscotch over checks and balances to get information published in a high-profile editorial that previously had only been given to the CIA orally; he even lied about what that information was; and they did this all while Wilson tried lying about how and why he was there, fibbing that he was sent there by Cheney himself. We know all of these things are lies and deceptions, yet in his case, it’s somehow illegal, immoral, and fattening to be a whistle-blower on him, and, why? Because ideologically, as a hack partisan, you want to see his lies promoted and protected, even if it means dragging people to jail for telling the *truth*.

    If Scooter Libby has been a Democratic official ratting out Republican lies, we would see a far different story spun in the media, and we would not see a prosecutor quite so emboldened to be seen publicly persecuting a famous, beloved “whistle blower”.

    This mammoth hypocrisy is stinking up the country right now, and dragging the once-good names of Democrat and liberal (and the press, if they ever had a good name) through the stink and mire. I am now not just disassociated with the party, but almost embarrassed I was ever a part of it in the first place.

    Statements like “If you haven’t figured out yet that everything regarding the ‘intelligence’ leading up to the war was a lie” are patently silly, Angelos. Why do you say things like this? Oh, the blind ideology thing.

    Even if you could make a case that some elements concerning Saddam’s weapons programs were mistaken or exaggerated, to say that “everything regarding” the intelligence was a lie is a monumentally specious exaggeration, a whopper of a lie in itself that could only be swallowed by the most dense, ignorant, or blindly ideological.

  • Angelos

    Saddam was a threat – no
    Saddam has WMD – no
    Saddam connected to 9/11 – no

    No, no, no, no, no.

    Tell me Carson, what rationale for the war was true? Not one.

    Why did we abort the valid (and at one point succeeding) mission at hand (finding Al Qaeda and fixing Afghanistan) to swing our dick at Iraq? Instead of one successful mission, we now have two failed ones.

    We have lost Iraq. Whether we leave today or in 2010, we have lost.

    America building democracies in the Middle East is mission impossible.

  • http://purpleavenger.blogspot.com/ Purple Avenger

    America building democracies in the Middle East is mission impossible.

    Some might consider this a racist statement.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    Argument by bumper sticker, eh?

    Those points are all simplistic, Angelos. There was — and is — far more to the situation than crude DemocraticUnderground-style talking points. At least trot out some more mature-sounding party talking points.

    If you really want a response, then:
    Saddam still in violation of his cease fire agreement – yes
    Saddam still shooting at our planes illegally – yes
    Saddam gassed Kurds in a flagrant display of ethnic cleansing that is somehow of no consequence to heartless partisans more interested in regaining political power for a soulless, directionless party co-opted by extremists – YES
    Saddam supported terrorists abroad with cash rewards – yes
    Saddam *attempted* to access yellowcake – yes

    Hey, lookie here! The OSM took David Corn’s advice on a roundup of right and left views on this very subject.

  • http://robertdfeinman.com/society Robert Feinman

    Miller and, perhaps Woodward, may have been co-opted by the administration. Or they believed in the cause from a personal viewpoint and this distorted their news sense, but it still doesn’t explain the behavior of their papers.

    In too many cases there have been examples of distortions (usually traceable to the Whitehouse) that get picked up and reported. The incident with Patrick Fitzgerald being misquoted by Libby’s lawyer is an example. So is the reporting on what John Murtha actually proposed as a withdrawal option.

    Today there is a story floating around about a permanent disinformation program funded by the CIA reported here:
    John Rendon
    that was the source of a Miller story about WMD caches as well as many others. Are the papers sloppy, in bed with the administration, or not capable of evaluating sources and fact checking?

    There are just too many instances lately for it not to indicate an underlying problem and not a couple of “rogue” journalists.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    Oops… I’ll have to admit, I was going on Glenn Reynold’s description of this carnival being “lots of bloggers on the left and right”, but scanning through it, it does seem mostly bloggers on the right, to me.

    My question on how to keep something like this OSM “balanced” between political opinions is that too much left wing blogging sounds like any random Angelos post… long on pejorative characterizations, short on any rational analysis. But then leftists who run blogs and forums deep-six conservative writers by claiming that they are all “lying”.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    Robert Feinman, the Murtha point you cite is in itself a deception. The press’ initial report was House Democrat calls for immediate troop withdrawal (CNN); Murtha’s precise words were “My plan calls: To immediately redeploy U.S. troops”.

    The tactic employed by the left — and it was very transparent, we all saw how it was done — was to selectively quote one of his less-precise statements, and pretend that Republicans were lying/exaggerating about the less-precise statement, despite his very clearly worded demand, and the press’ clear promotion of that demand.

    In short, this is another lie. If you really want to make an argument that your opponents are lying about stuff — STOP LYING YOURSELF! We’d at least have a little more respect for you.

  • Ralph Phelan

    “Miller was not “protecting” a source from backlash. Her “source” was not a brave whistleblower.

    Miller was helping government officials in their efforts to quash dissent by destroying careers and reputations, their standard MO.”

    The “their” whose standard MO it is is left undefined. I think it’s “anonymous sources.” ALL anonymous sources. As we’ve recently learned, even Deep Throat was just another burasucratic game-player. That’s the most common reason people agree to be speak under conditions of anonymity.

    Any reporter who uses anonymous sources is letting himself get spun. As Angelos is so clearly demonstrating, the rage against Miller is not because she let herself get spun – all reporters do that. It’s because she let herself get spun by the “wrong” side.

  • Angelos

    Curveball….

  • Ravo

    Found in Iraq:

    “1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium

    1,500 gallons of chemical weapons agents

    17 chemical warheads containing cyclosarin (a nerve agent five times more deadly than sarin gas)

    Over 1,000 radioactive materials in powdered form meant for dispersal over populated areas

    Roadside bombs loaded with mustard and “conventional” sarin gas, assembled in binary chemical projectiles for maximum potency

    This is only a PARTIAL LIST of the horrific weapons verified to have been recovered in Iraq to date. Yet, Americans overwhelmingly believe U.S. and coalition forces found NO weapons of mass destruction.

    The question is… WHY do they believe this lie?”

    (the above quoted from Richard Miniters Book)

    We are on the verge of winning in Iraq.

    Thus liberals have made a last stand to bring down the conservative government on liberal lies about the WMD issue

    If liberals cannot bring about our defeat in Iraq, they will lose for a very long time, as a victory would view them fatally as the party that called to war, then would have cut and run before the victory.

    They require a US defeat for a political gain.

    It happened not so long ago here:
    http://chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=15400

    Democrats will cause in Iraq such as they did in Vietnam – all for partisian gain:

    Bloody Democratic Hands Here
    http://chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=17992

  • Joe Deegan

    Phil,
    Good sumary of Democratic talking points.

  • http://robertdfeinman.com/society Robert Feinman

    Carson:
    I’m breaking with my pledge not to feed the trolls, but…

    My point was that the NY Times and WaPo are doing a poor job of pointing out the discrepancies between the original statements and the spin statements that follow later. Since the Republicans are in power right now, most of the official spin comes from that side and thus, that is where the newspapers need to be the most diligent. When the Dems get into power then the shoe will be on the other foot. The role of the newspapers won’t change, however.

    Quoting a report from CNN does not answer my remarks about the NY Times. I don’t consider broadcast media as of the same level of quality as the big city dailes. At least that’s the way it used to be.

    In your mission to support your political viewpoints, you are arguing points about the conduct of policy instead of what this blog is supposed to be about: the conduct of the media.

    As the John Renden story should remind bloggers, we don’t know who you are, or who you are working for, or what your agenda is. By making yourself a nuisance you only reinforce the impression that you must be a shill for some organization which prefers to remain in the background. Real posters don’t hide behind screen names, they stand by their statements publicly.

  • http://brianjhong.blogspot.com Brian J. Hong

    Six years’ salary?! that’s ridiculous! Even though she should receive compensation for being treated unfairly, six years is a little much.

  • http://deadnewspapers.blogspot.com/ Gutenberg

    If Judy’s a Guild covered employee, then her base can’t be much more than $130K, excluding any syndication fees she receives. 3+3 puts that payout at a little south of $1 million, but perhaps they grossed her up, considering her total takehome pay was probably a little south of $200K.

  • http://jewelry4xmas.seavenue.net Xm

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  • Eileen

    Robert Feinman,

    How dare you call Carson Fire a troll and a nuisance and shill! [On top of it, Of Course you never bothered to read his blog either, right?] His response to you was intelligent and spot on.

    And your response was:

    1. good at name calling, and,
    2. nothing else.

  • Eileen

    To Ravo,

    Fabulous, those quotes of yours!! Would you please provide more info re the book, etc.

    Many thanks – as always – and kudos to you.

  • Ravo

    …glad to Eileen

    I saw those quotes in an intro to a book about “Disinformation”:
    https://members.humaneventsonline.com/subscribe-direct2.php?offer=325

    I agree re: Carson Fire…he’s terrific. I’ve learned a lot from his posts, just as I’ve learned so much from yours. I thank you both :-)

  • Homer Robinson

    I agree. What limits did Ms. Miller agree too, that is the real question.

  • http://robertdfeinman.com/society Robert Feinman

    Eileen:
    Shows what happens when I reply to a posting.
    If someone makes a comment to everyone else’s remarks they are either very impassioned or a pest. If the comment is off topic or repetitive then many consider that being a troll (or perhaps a shill).

    The best shills work as part of a team. If you ever have watched anyone playing three card monte on a street corner in NYC. There is the card player, one or two “bettors” and one or two lookouts (for cops). I’m sure the sophisticated disinformation campaigns being waged these days try to hide the rest of the team better than the monte players do.

    We have gotten to a point these days where the motivation of everyone in the information business is questioned. The government and its critics, the press, corporations and think tanks, academics and preachers. Why not examine the bona fides of bloggers as well?