By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Mo on Miller

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd absolutely takes off on the duplicitous Judith Miller today. And even if you’re not a TimesSelect subscriber, you can read Dowd’s entire column: I’ve found a blogger who was either brave or foolish enough to copy and paste the entire thing, right down to the copyright notice at the bottom of the page. Read it here before it disappears.

Mo’s lead: “I’ve always liked Judy Miller.” You just know what’s coming, don’t you?

On another front, Times executive editor Bill Keller’s rehabilitation seems just about complete. Earlier this week, the New York Observer reported that Keller was far tougher on Miller in private than he had appeared to be in public.

Yesterday, as you may have heard, Keller e-mailed a memo to the Times staff conceding not just that mistakes were made, but that he himself made some of them. Respect for Keller will only increase.

Next up (as I continue my Saturday morning Romenesko feeding frenzy): a forthcoming New York magazine article by Kurt Andersen that will apparently lay most of the blame for the Miller fiasco at the feet of Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. – where, I suspect, it belongs.

At this point, it’s not inconceivable that Sulzberger could be pressured into giving up one of his jobs – say, leaving as publisher of the Times while remaining as chairman of the New York Times Co.

Given that the single most significant mistake of Sulzberger’s tenure remains his hiring of the dictatorial bully Howell Raines over Keller as executive editor several years ago – only to have to reverse himself when Raines imploded amid the Jayson Blair scandal – such an event would only enhance Keller’s stature.

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  1. Rick in Duxbury

    I guess for now, the mental picture of that arrogant prima donna on her “thin mattress on a concrete floor” in stir will have to suffice. Lessons learned? Take a deep breath and exhale prior to bestowing awards for Profiles in Journo Courage. “Lie down with dogs…”

  2. Anonymous

    What I was figuring before this recent intensifying of Judy scrutiny, is that Bill or Pinch would diplomatically part ways with Judy once the indightments are handed or NOT handed and all the cards can be laid on the table. Then and only then, can they point to either a specific discrepency by Judy that would warrant an indemnifying firing or if none is obvious, then they’d push here out to cleanse their reputation after the WMD debacle.Now with this new and unexpected email from Bill, clearly intended to be leaked, and his authorizing finally a column that directly and unequivocally puts Judy on the mat after they barred columnists from touching this when they wanted to -notwithstanding Frank Rich mild rebuke- it is clear they are positioning themselves to just distance themsleves from her permanently regardless of Fitzgerald’s actions.They are getting pummeled from every corner. Fox and their mignons are not touching this because a, it would lead to some unflattering facts exposed about the admin and they don’t like THAT and b-, they championed the same WMD hype she did and both were on the same page. Were they to drag that in front and center, they’d be discrediting themsleves. So no pipsqueek from blowhard O’Reilly or Hannity & co with the same intensity and doggedness they pounded other prominent issues.If there were a case for blogs’ importance, this case was just a great vindication. Without the blogs, this story would have died waiting for a bureaucratic course since networks were not probing it and keeping it in the forefornt as much as blogs and their posters have, with a venegence too. Newspapers out of seemingly camaraderie did not want to kick the Times when it was down and it was remaining mum. Only after the unrelenting blogs persisted did the WashPo really bare their knuckles and help unravel important aspects.Kurtz had a tough time hedging and being polite, but in the end, the stench was just too strong.So what’s the over-under on the days remaining till Bill makes the call??N.

  3. Anonymous

    Fox has tender steaks?

  4. Anonymous

    FYI coulumns by Dowd, Krugman, Rich and Herbert are usually posted at

  5. ts

    “i have always liked Maureen Dowd…”Now I like her even more!

  6. Anonymous

    Hey “N”–You’re wrong about Keller “authorizing finally a column that directly and unequivocally puts Judy on the mat.” Keller has no oversight of the editorial pages — Gail Collins does, and she reports directly to Sulzberger. Keller is not in the chain of command at all. The idea is to keep the news and opinions sections firmly separated. Apparently, the staff op-ed columnists have practically no oversight at all. Collins recently told Editor & Publisher that she does not read their columns until they appear in print. Apparently they are subject to standard copy editing only. So Dowd, Friedman, Krugman, et al say precisley what they choose, when they choose. No higher power is “authorizing” what they write.James

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