Miller: More Harmful Than Blair

Judy Miller has now done more to harm the reputation of the New York Times than Jayson Blair. A reporter said it to us over drinks last night, and now Howard Kurtz is saying the same thing. In fact, at the extreme end, Jay Rosen argues that incident has largely cost the paper its preeminent role in American journalism.

Blair represented a bad apple that, once caught, was quickly isolated and removed, and, as bad as the initial incident was, the Times’ subsequent investigation was one of the paper’s shining moments of the last decade. Miller, though, IS the paper. She’s one of the Gray Lady’s star reporters. She’s been fully embraced by the paper’s leadership, and there’s at least the appearance–and, if anyone can tell you that appearances matter, it would be a journalist–that the paper is covering up for her: The columnists are muzzled, reporters are being kept away, and even the former Public Editor is silent.

Two other questions here:

  • Are rumors true that NYT editors who worked with Miller have been called before the Grand Jury? If so, as Arianna Huffington has said from the beginning, is Miller a target?

  • What exactly was the relationship between Ms. Miller and Scooter Libby?

We have only a few weeks left before we’ll know the answers–and Patrick Fitzgerald has proved himself too smart to dump his indictments on a Friday afternoon. Look for the indictments to come down on one of the following two Tuesdays or Wednesdays.