The Judith Miller Backlash

Judith Miller‘s out of prison, and everybody’s got an opinion. Jack Shafer thinks that this is a huge black eye for the rah-rah-rah-release Judy Times editorial board. Jay Rosen marvels at how Judy hijacked the entire institution for her agenda on her terms: “Notice how it affects what the New York Times, a great institution, can tell the public, and yet Judy’s decision was hers: personal when she made it (her conditions weren’t met), personal when she changed it (her conditions were met.)” Even from jail, she called the shots — leaving a frustrated NYT with its hands tied even on reporting the damn thing.

Speaking of people being frustrated, this weekend Howard Kurtz reported that NYT staffers are frustrated with how the whole thing was handled, saying it looked like grandstanding with a hint of WMD-reportage-scandal distraction (Kurtz himself also copped to being frustrated on “Reliable Sources” — he’d hoped for a “5,000-word piece by Judith Miller telling us everything that was involved” in his Sunday Times. But, no mentions of same)(hilarious headline on the RS transcript at CNN: “Judith Miller: Hero or Goat?”). Jon Friedman doesn’t think she’s hero, no way no how.

Arianna, of course, is on it with gusto, as she has been from the getgo. She’s got a whopping posts on the subject since Judy was released Thursday (twelve if you count her Sunday Round-Up). She, too, noticed the zero-mention of Judy in the Sunday NYT, and blasts Tim Russert for the zero-mention of Miller on “Meet the Press” (kind of an oversight on the part of both, no?) and includes a mystifying excerpt from a letter to Miller from Scooter Libby wherein he tells her he misses her reporting and that his “thoughts and prayers” are with her. WTF?). Meanwhile, Greg Mitchell at E&P takes a break from telling the NYT to call for an end to the war to examine the many questions raised by Judy’s release — including a few from Lucy Daglish, executive director of the Reporters Commitee for Freedom of the Press.

Obviously more to come on this, that’s for sure. Hopefully among it a nice, juicy piece by Judith Miller. Dare to dream…