Sunday, October 23, 2005


David Gergen was remarkably good today on Howie's show:

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Howie, it grows curiouser and curiouser as they said in "Alice in Wonderland." This whole episode now after "The New York Times" fiercely defended her, while she was in prison, now they are basically accusing her of doing not only a bad job reporting on the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but also misleading the paper itself. And we've now had Maureen Dowd yesterday, as you know, a well-respected columnist at "The Times" saying that Miller should not come back to the paper. And today, the public editor of "The Times," on its editorial pages, Byron Calame, has said she should not come back. And most curiously of all, "New York Times" editorial page that had so been such a fierce defender of her while she was in prison, has been totally silent.


But secondly, very importantly, I think "The Times" is waking up to the fact that its own credibility is now tied to Judy Miller, and that its own credibility has been damaged yet again. And for such an important institution in our society, this is a big deal. I think "The Times" is not only separating itself out from Judy Miller, but they're scrambling to restore their own credibility. And you know, Alex Jones, who is the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who is now at the Kennedy School, has said so clearly, they've got a long way to go in this. I do think that their editorial page now has to address this in a very fair way, and they've got to totally pursue this as if she does not work for them and no longer protect her, but really try to get to the bottom of it, and get the facts out for their own credibility.


Were Miller and "The Times" used by Iraqi exiles and by administration officials?

GERGEN: Clearly. Clearly they were used. And the administration was used as well, and it appears that intelligence agencies were used or misused by Chalabi and by -- and others did the same thing.

But I do -- what you're saying, though, Howie, does point to something else. There is now going to be a longer journalistic effort to uncover and to try to -- the -- the journalistic practices of Judy Miller and how "The Times" worked with her. Did they keep her under a tight rein or not -- and obviously they didn't.


But I don't think that the press has over-dramatized this story. This is a major important story in American political life. After all, the investigation we know is focusing on the two men who are closest to the president and the vice president of the United States. That's point one. And secondly, rapidly, if there are indictments, this story is also becoming an indictment over the way the Bush administration led us into war. Those are two important, dramatic stories.