Judith Miller (Screen shot)

"Your stories were wrong": Judy Miller demolished by current NYTer for disastrous Iraq War reporting

No one in the Bush administration lied, they were just wrong about WMDs, she said.


Scott Eric Kaufman
April 20, 2015 6:02PM (UTC)

Judith Miller continued her publicity tour for "The Story: A Reporter's Journey" on Monday with a trip to MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Needless to say, she fared little better than she did on "Real Time" Friday night.

Miller claimed that the problem with her  now-infamous reporting at the New York Times -- which convinced many liberals that going to war with Iraq was a legitimate military exercise -- is that the intelligence community "got it wrong" when it came to the danger posed by Saddam Hussein. Her new book, she said, is intended to push back against the narrative that "Bush lied, people died," because there's no evidence that the president knew how suspect the evidence that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction really was.

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President Bush "didn't lie us into a war," Miller said, "it's worse than that -- we got it wrong."

Host Joe Scarborough agreed, saying that when he was researching one of his books, he went back and looked at reporting about Iraq at the New York Times and Washington Post before Bush got into office. "There was a broad consensus," he said, "it was wrong -- but there was a broad consensus [that Hussein posed a threat to the United States] and somehow, that's been forgotten."

Miller agreed, claiming that the Times made her into a scapegoat because it had to blame someone for what it had published. She implied that its decision to use her as the sacrificial figure was motivated, on some level, by sexism. "They turned around and they highlighted the 'pushy' woman -- you know, a man is an 'aggressive' report, a woman is 'pushy.'"

Current NYTer Nick Confessore did not buy that excuse, characterizing her line of argument as "an epidemic of buck-passing."

"Your stories were wrong, right?" he asked. "The paper did defend you when you were on trial. If I have a story and it’s wrong, I don’t say the sources are wrong. I say I’m wrong."

Watch the entire segment with Miller via MSNBC below.

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Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Iraq Joe Scarborough Judith Miller Morning Joe New York Times Nick Confessore Video

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