From the "you cannot make this stuff up" files
So, there was an article in today's New York Times about Ben Rhodes, one of President Obama's foreign policy advisers. It's caused quite a bit of chatter in the media for a lot of reasons but this quote from Rhodes in particular
“All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”
You can imagine how well that's gone over with the press.
But nothing can compare with this unbelievable comment from disgraced journalist and current Fox News pundit Judy Miller about the reason the New York Times ran this profile:
"They are trying to issue a warning. That the media, an indispensable component, a pillar of our democracy - the media are not doing their jobs. And I think it's a really important and I know that David Samuels was trying to warn all of us, because he and I covered national security - we've seen this happen again and again."
"What happens when the next person comes along and tries to peddle lies, which is really what is starting to happen now. We're not only entitled to our own opinions, we're increasingly entitled to our own facts."
If you need a reminder of just how instrumental Judy Miller was in selling the Iraq war lies to the American public on behalf of the Bush administration click over to Crooks and Liars where John Amato has a nice re-cap.
Or as James Wolcott pithily explained when Miller was unable to recall just who in the Bush administration had been feeding her lies:
“Let us not be too harsh on Judith Miller herself, however. She was caught up in the hypnotic voodoo of highstakes journalism. We’ve all been there. All of us veteran reporters who risk our parking privileges in pursuit of a hot story know what it’s like to have strange words leap into your notebook out of nowhere in the middle of an intense interrogation.
“You’re sitting there having breakfast at the St. Regis with Scooter Aspen, buttering each other’s toast, and somehow the name ‘Valerie Flame’ pops up in your notebook without you knowing how it got there! It’s your handwriting, sure enough, but rack your brain much as you will, you just can’t remember which little birdie tweeted that name into your ear.”