First, Media Life offers up this little around-the-horn on Judy Miller’s “retirement.” Of particular interest are Lynne Duke’s (WashPost) remarks:
… [Miller’s] style is indeed ‘pushy,’ as she herself suggested. But would an aggressive, high-decibel male reporter be embroiled in all the controversy in which Miller finds herself? It is a question that some of her friends raise, for they believe that part of the invective swirling around Miller has to do with gender bias.
“A man is tough and hard-driving and a woman is a bitch,” says Patricia Cohen, the Times theater editor, who is a friend of Miller’s….
The only thing more obnoxious than Miller’s self-serving newspeak is the shameless sleight-of-hand served up by Duke. Let me see if I have this straight. Judy wouldn’t be having all these problems if she were a man. Because when a man commits malpractice by covering for treasonous government officials, its… Oh hell, I can’t even make myself finish. I give up. The stuff the Post is actually publishing is more ludicrous than my snarkasm.
Maybe the are gender biases in the deep Judy Miller/Times backstory. In fact, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised. And if there are, the paper needs to be doing something serious about it. But not a goddamned bit of that, whether true or false or science fiction, is relevant to the discussion of the crimes for which she is being allowed to “retire.”
Our press is amazing. If Hitler were alive, he’d be on a national book tour in support of Mein Kampf II: What the Liberal Media Won’t Tell You About the “Holocaust” (published by HarperCollins, one of our sister companies, btw) and the 4th Estate, under the guise of “balance,” would be serving up 25 hours a day of free promotion for him.
So while a lot of folks seem to have figured Judy out, Duke’s cynical attempt at misdirection demonstrates how far the industry has to go. So long as we can’t even get some unanimity around the idea that reporters are supposed to pursue corruption in government (the main reason we have a 1st Amendment, btw) instead of aiding and abetting it, we have problems. Duke’s remarks are a lot like Colorado football coach Gary Barnett’s attack of hoof-in-mouth a couple years back (dude, whether or not Katie Hnida was a good kicker isn’t beside the point – it’s in a different town from the point). Similarly, I don’t care if Judy had to run a cigar-chomping-fat-old-white-guy ass-grab gauntlet every morning on her way to her desk, it has no place in this discussion.