Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Judith Miller, caesarian, Ohio, Jesse Jackson & Lizz Winstead

As the day passed, more e-mails came in. It appears a lot of you watched The Charlie Rose Show last night to catch Judith Miller.

Dave may have summed it up for those who tuned in: "I was just wanting to see if somehow she could find a way to justify covering up a crime. She didn't. She wants to put out everything but that. 'Poor put on Judy.'"

The latter sentiment was shared by Arlene who wrote, "As she tried to play up the vulnerability factor, I found myself humming 'Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me.' And wondering who sold her on that haircut?"

Eric said, "Disgusting! Seeing Richard Cohen yucking it up as though this was Tonight Show and Judith Miller was Pammy Anderson explaining her latest breakup! Disgusting!"

Alice who says to put in that she's 66 years old wants to add this on Cohen, "I've always had a soft spot for Richard. But he needed to trim his beard. When he was laughing about 'no exemption' for [Robert] Novak I felt like he had no grasp of how serious this was. I think he's spent too much time around [David] Broder."

Frank in Orlando felt that, "Judy came off sexy, smart and standing up for all of us! She said it. It's hard to do her job! Why won't people let up?"

Janeane feels people do not need to let up, "Pretzel logic! Pretzel logic! Pretzel logic! She's twisted the truth and events for so long that she's practicing Ashtanga journalism in a fantasy world far, far, far removed from reality."

Gore Vidal Is God says, "I didn't think there could be something more sickening than Judy Miller but Charlie Rose provided it. 'Sweet Judy Miller.' He was fawning, cooing and doing everything but journalism. It was Pat O'Brian nodding sympathetically as Elizabeth Berkley whined no one takes her seriously as a dramatic actress."

Davy found it "hard to believe" as well and added, "So now No Truth Judith has discovered some knowledge about the profession she's been malpracticing for years? Let's break it down for little Judy because journalism is so far beyond her understanding. When someone breaks the law and you're writing a story about it, you may have a First Amendment right to withhold the story. If you're interviewing a woman about how she home schools her child and over coffee she says, 'By the way, I'm killing my husband tomorrow' you've got no First Amendment protection."

Someone who wants to be billed only as Professional Journalist was thinking about First Amendment rights as well, "Every time we have a solid reason to protect a source, we need to go to the mat for the principal. When people like Judith Miller or Mark Bowden start confusing journalistic principles with their personal right of refusal, they set us all back and erode the protections that our profession is supposed to have. In the hostile court climate of the last decade, why Miller's willing to risk the protection journalists have fought long and hard for in order to avoid answering a question that she probably knows she should answer is not something I'm comfortable speculating about. But I do know that if she loses in court, we all suffer. Being a source on one or several stories does not give you blanket immunity. Miller's confusing her relationship with the source with that of a psychiatrist and a patient. If she continues to attempt to hide behind the First Amendment, we will all suffer."

Suffer is what Matt felt he was doing as he watched The Charlie Rose Show, "Tough as nails Judith Miller, Sure of herself Judith Miller and all her other annoying contexts were not in evidence. Instead, she tried to play sweet, innocent and standing up for truth-justice. Let's put aside that Miller hasn't been in the truth business for years, is anyone buying her as Brave, little Judy? I'm not. But it was quite a performance. She was all but hugging herself on air."

"You like me, you really like me!" wrote Rolanda. "It was as though she was attempting to come off like Sally Field! Gidget Goes To Work For The Times! Playing now to nauseated audiences everywhere!"

Brandon also felt Miller was trying to come off like Sally Field and "I wasn't buying it. She must think we're all a bunch of rubes who've forgotten that she pounded the drums to lead us into war and now wants to act as though she's been fighting for journalistic integrity her entire career."

Trevor felt we should remember, "It's hard work. How do I know that? She told us and Judes Miller never lies, right? She has all these things she wants to do but she's having a hard time concentrating and may only get two things on her to do list checked off by December. Lucky us, maybe war with Iran will wait another year."

"When The New York Times loses this case," Liang began, "they'll have only themselves to blame. They should have cut her loose when all her Iraq stories unraveled. Reading her bashing of the UN stories I get the feeling she's still using the same questionable sources. The paper has brought this on themselves."

Geneva wrote in with some tips for Miller, "1) Drop the innocent victim act, no one's going to buy it. 2) Quit acting as though you're the one being hurt. You haven't been hurt. 3) If a principal means anything you suck it up and take it. 4) Don't equate your difficulty in writing current articles with the difficulties that were created for Valerie Plame. 5) Valerie Plame is the victim here. 6) Lose the bangs, you're too old to pull them off."

Valerie Plame was mentioned a great deal in the e-mails. Ralph wondered, "What world is he [Richard Cohen] living in that he actually thinks the majority of the reporting has focused on Valerie Plame? There hasn't been a majority of reporting. The only reason the outing of Plame has finally gotten attention is because the press has turned this into a story about themselves.
B___, moan and whine all you want, you're lives haven't been destroyed, your cover hasn't been blown. Here's a tip for that guy [Cohen] and Miller, it isn't always about you. Everything that happens in the world isn't about you. I didn't hear one person seriously address the issue of what was done to Plame and what it means for her and anyone she had public contact with and that's the issue. They're all suspect now, from the waiter who took her order to the person she walked down the street with. Their lives are destroyed. You are all overpaid performers passing yourself off as brave truth tellers. You should all be ashamed that Plame was outed and that you are yet again making it all about you."

Tim says, "Taking a page from Thoroughly Modern Cheney, I recast as I watched. Charlie Rose was Robert Wagner, Richard Cohen was Dom DeLuise, Floyd Abrams was the dad on Everybody Loves Raymond [Peter Boyle], Zachary Carter was Tim Reid, and Judy Miller was Joey Heatheron. As the attempted touching story on a really bad Love Boat, I could almost watch this ____!"

Finally, Rachel wrote, "Hey Jude, the movement you need is on your shoulder -- wait! That's a chip on your shoulder, Judy, not a movement. Never mind."

On the subject of the Times caesarian story, "Trying to Avoid 2nd caesarian Many Find Choice Isn't Theirs" by Denise Grady (, that ran Monday, thirty of you wrote in. Susan, a midwife in Vermont, says she was stunned reading this article, "I kept waiting to come across some new information, some new study that justified this change. There wasn't any. If doctors and hospitals don't want to perform natural child birth with a woman who has previously had a caesarian, the choice of home birthing will only become more popular." Robyn wonders, "Why does it seem like the hospital's nervousness and the doctor's schedule were the issues but the choice of the mother wasn't even factored in?"

"This was useful information," Kim felt. "I was led to believe I had no choice with my first birth and that I had to have a c-section. My husband and I are planning a bigger family and you can be sure I'll now be twice as suspicious when dealing with any doctor."

Marie questioned the estimates: "Let me see if I have this right, and correct me if I'm wrong, but ten years ago there was thought to be a 1 in 200 chance of a c-section scar rupturing and now it may or may not have increased to 1 in 100 but there's no data on injury to the child? Trust me, if there was a study that showed even that slight increase, there would be data on infant injuries. This isn't about a safer delivery, it's about a quicker one for doctors."

This morning three e-mails came in asking where the rally in Ohio will be Saturday. Thanks to I can answer pass on some information. The rally is this Saturday, December 4th, one p.m. at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. You can find more information on this at

I also want to link to Jesse Jackson's op-ed in Tuesday's Chicago Sun-Times, "Something's Fishy In Ohio" Here's the opening paragraph:

In the Ukraine, citizens are in the streets protesting what they charge is a fixed election. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell expresses this nation's concern about apparent voting irregularities. The media give the dispute around-the-clock coverage. But in the United States, massive and systemic voter irregularities go unreported and unnoticed.

For those who asked about Lizz Winstead's Tom Ridge "tribute" done on Unfiltered this morning, here's a sample. Please note, you really have to hear her delivery to truly enjoy the humor. They also used "Thanks for the Memory" as the theme music for this segment. The ". . . ." indicate an edited line, not Lizz's pauses. Edited to comply with fair use, not due to language.
In honor of Tom Ridge's resignation, here's Lizz's "Tribute":

Remember when Tom Ridge said, "Beware of people dressed like fireman?" To this day, no one has ever actually been attacked by a terrorist fireman. . . . Remember Ridge's frequent but vague public warnings about possible terrorists activities like floating cooler bombs on the fourth of July? Or the exploding Valentine's day Teddy bear alert? Not a single teddy bear blew up and harmed a single American child. Remember when Ridge warned us that several financial landmarks in New York and New Jersey were being cased for an attack? But they weren't. At least not in the last few years. Oh and who could forget in May when he warned Al Qaeda had entered an operational period world wide? Ridge instinctively knew Al Qaeda's vacation schedule. . . . And last but not least, thanks to Tom Ridge children across the nation will always associate the color red with bad; and orange with almost bad; and the color yellow with consistent underlying doom. So thanks Tom Ridge for ruining the crayola system for our many, many children. They're now afraid of the simple colors we all used to enjoy. So in the words of Homeland Secretary Tom Ridge, "Mr. President, I hereby resign my post."

Unfiltered airs on Air America Radio ( and is hosted by Lizz Winstead, Rachel Maddow and Chuck D. The Tom Ridge "Tribute" can be heard on the December 1st show and you can find the Unfiltered archive here at Air America Place.