Fair 'n balanced 60 Minutes

Fair 'n balanced 60 Minutes 

by digby

I see that 60 Minutes continues to distinguish itself with unbiased reporting. This week they are going to feature interviews with the NSA's "task force" in the wake of reports about its review. It sounds like a very informative segment. Interesting that they picked John Miller to do the reporting on this.

Does everyone remember John Miller?
From 1995 to 2002, Miller was an ABC news correspondent. In 2002, he became co-anchor of the ABC News broadcast "20/20"... 
Miller served briefly as New York City Deputy Police Commissioner from 1994-1995, after working as a television journalist at various networks and television stations from 1973 to 1994...

Beginning in 2005, Miller served in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, ending his tour as Deputy Director of the Analysis Division. John worked across the Intelligence Community with the CIA, NSA, FBI, and other agencies.

Before joining the FBI, he served from 2003 to 2005 as head of the Counterterrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau and the Major Crimes Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, overseeing both the LAPD's Major Crimes Division, Hazardous Materials Unit and its Bomb Squad.

In 2002, Miller, along with co-authors Michael Stone and Chris Mitchell, wrote "The Cell: Inside the 9/11 Plot" and "Why the FBI and CIA Failed to Stop It", an investigation into the September 11 attacks, which drew on relationships developed with intelligence and law enforcement officers in the many years he spent as a journalist covering Al Qaeda as it grew into a global terrorist operation.
No memory of any of that? How about this:

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

9/11 Spokesmodel

by digby

Now that we know "The Path to 9/11" is not actually based on the 9/11 Commission report, it is probably a good idea to take a look at what is actually was based on (aside from the fevered wingnut dreams of its creative team.) ABC had optioned a couple of books for the project. The first is called "The Cell" co-written by John Miller, formerly of ABC's 20/20. It follows the story of John O'Neill, who is played by the star of the movie, Harvey Kietel...

He gained quite a reputation:
When was the last time a top LAPD official made the tabloid's gossipy Page Six? Umm--never? But John Miller, the ex-TV journalist brought in by chief William Bratton to head up the local anti-terrorism fight, makes the New York Post over his rocky reception here in Los Angeles.
"New Yorker and former ABC anchor John Miller is having a hard time fitting in at his new job with the Los Angeles Police Dept. Miller, who was hired by his pal Bill Bratton to be the LAPD's head of counterterrorism, is technically a civilian...When notoriously nightlife-loving Miller showed up to a crime scene at Club Lingerie on Sunset Boulevard, a fellow officer quipped, "So John, did you really respond to the call? Or were you here already?"
This was the real kicker:
Miller, the ex-ABC reporter who chief William Bratton found a $157,000-a-year job at the LAPD — as anti-terrorism boss and head of the Critical Incident Management Bureau, despite no cop experience — has enough trouble being taken seriously by LAPD officers and by journalists in town. On Thursday, his burden got heavier. He was stopped at LAX with a loaded gun in his computer bag and briefly detained before boarding a flight to New York with his wife and child. The LAPD-issued .38 and a license to carry it are two of the perks Bratton gifted Miller with to go with the job. (Miller was Bratton's PR spokesman back at the NYPD). Miller was allowed to go ahead and fly to New York to celebrate Barbara Walters' retirement, but he may face a fine and the wrath of his sponsor. At an evening press conference, Bratton said:
"I talked to John when he was on the plane, and he was incredibly embarrassed for himself, for his family and for the department. Apparently, he was moving things around from one case to another when he was packing and he forgot the gun was there."
He gets the gun back when he returns. But if you're inclined to forget where you put a loaded handgun, should you really be one of only about 100 civilian Angelenos licensed to carry one? The chief quipped, "I'm confident that he did not try to smuggle a weapon on the plane, that he and his family did not plan to hijack a plane and fly off to Cuba or something." 
Even in Lala-land, having a showbiz counter-terrorism chief running around carrying loaded weapons on airplanes was a bit much.
LAPD chief Bill Bratton's anti-terrorism commander, John Miller, has turned in the handguns he was caught with while boarding at LAX a few weeks back. Miller, the ex-ABC newsman who Bratton brought when he came here from New York, also gave up the department-issued Chevy Tahoe with lights and siren. Apparently everyone agreed the PR downside wasn't worth the upside, and the official line is Miller voluntarily surrendered the perks.
After showering himself in ignominy for a few years here in LA, he is now a member of the Bush Adminstration. You can see why ABC isn't advertising the fact that their soap opera is partly based on his work.

Today 60 Minutes is using John Miller, gun-toting, Bush administration toady to report on the NSA. I'm sure he'll be very thorough. It's not as if he has any biases:
John Miller's office at CBS News is filled with keepsakes from his two lives as top cop and leading reporter: badges from his tours with the New York and Los Angeles police departments; a photograph from his 1998 interview with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan; his FBI badge and ID; even an LAPD Beach Patrol cap. ("The one job I never got," Miller jokes.) "When I was covering the cops, I wasn't one of those guys who showed up to work everyday saying 'I've gotta find the scandal in the police department,'" says Miller. "And when I was with the police department, I didn't hate the press for doing its job, either. Which I think has made it easier to toggle back and forth."
That's nice. Because it's not as if the job of a reporter is to be skeptical of official institutions. And while it's great that he doesn't hate reporters that's hardly the primary purpose of police work.

Update: He might not be on that beat very much longer. He's rumored to be going back to the NYPD to run its intelligence division.