So what was Miller doing in jail? Was it all just a misunderstanding? The most charitable explanation for Miller is that she somehow concluded that Libby wanted her to keep quiet, even while he was publicly — and privately — saying otherwise. The least charitable explanation is that going to jail was Miller’s way of transforming herself from a journalistic outcast (based on her gullible pre-war reporting) into a much-celebrated hero of press freedom.
Note to reporters: There is nothing intrinsically noble about keeping your sources’ secrets. Your job, in fact, is to expose them. And if a very senior government official, after telling you something in confidence, then tells you that you don’t have to keep it secret anymore, the proper response is “Hooray, now I can tell the world” — not “Sorry, that’s not good enough for me, I need that in triplicate.” And if you’re going to go to jail invoking important, time-honored journalistic principles, make sure those principles really apply.
Transparency, please. Reporting, please. Honesty, please. If you dragged all journalism through the briar patch and didn’t have to, you owe an explanation.
Arianna Huffington also asks:
After she answers Patrick Fitzgerald’s questions today, Judy Miller needs to start answering some of the obvious questions raised by her head-scratching stance:
What made her refuse Libby’s waiver when it was first offered but accept it now? (Especially since Judge Hogan had told Miller that “she was mistaken in her belief that she was defending a free press, stressing that the government source she ‘alleges she is protecting’ had already released her from her promise of confidentiality.”)
Was Miller’s sudden eagerness to find a get-out-of-jail excuse prompted by Fitzgerald’s planning to ask for an extension of the grand jury?
Or was it prompted by Fitzgerald’s gearing up to charge her with criminal contempt?
If all it took for Miller to feel properly released was a phone call, why did she wait 85 days to make it?
And I’ll ask: When she reenters the newsroom, will it be to triumph, shame, or questions?