Thursday, October 20, 2005

MILLER CASE: Another op-ed columnist's view --

Miller is a blip to soured public

By ERIC DEGGANS, Times Op/Ed Columnist
Published October 20, 2005

Ask some experts why the public seems uninterested in the mounting criticism
of New York Times reporter Judith Miller, and their answer is simple: People
already have a low opinion of the media's credibility.

But the New York Times' exhaustive account Sunday of Miller's role in the
leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity - outlining why she spent 85
days in jail resisting a subpoena to reveal her sources - did more than
provide the "Gray Lady's" critics with ammunition to attack the paper's

The story also revealed why Miller's case has become such a hot button issue
for journalists - who suspect the paper spent millions to support a flawed
reporter manipulated by her White House source - but hasn't galvanized many
outside the Fourth Estate, who pollsters say give reporters less credit for
ethics and credibility than they give themselves.

Some journalism experts say more disclosure from the New York Times sooner
in the case might have helped.

"I would like to have seen this kind of transparency earlier in the
process," said Jon Ziomek, an associate professor of journalism at
Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in Illinois. "Sadly,
Miss Miller did not make her case very well, which doesn't help the

The New York Times' 5,800-word story was brutal in its honesty, revealing
that Miller says she can't remember who originally told her Plame's name,
though it wasn't the one source she did disclose: vice presidential chief of
staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Still, significant questions remain -
raising doubts that the New York Times can ever be totally honest with
readers, given the current legal environment.

In an accompanying, 3,500-word, first-person account of her grand jury
testimony, Miller admitted agreeing to identify Libby only as a "former Hill
staffer," apparently to further disguise his identity. And she said the
military granted her "clearance to see secret information" while embedded
with a unit in Iraq, raising questions about her objectivity.

The story also noted New York Times editor Bill Keller and publisher Arthur
Sulzberger Jr. largely ceded control of the legal case to Miller - a
headstrong reporter criticized for helping write stories on weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq that seemed to bolster the Bush administration's case
for war.

"My dominant reaction was, "Gosh, didn't they learn anything from this
Jayson Blair business ...?"' said Don Wycliff, public editor for the Chicago
Tribune, referring to the serial plagiarist at the heart of the last scandal
to shake the New York Times in 2003. "You've got this woman and her editors
putting their own company on the line, American journalism on the line, and
nobody asked her any questions."

Barbara Crossette, a journalist who retired in 2001 after 28 years at the
New York Times, blames much of Miller's problems on a "cult of celebrity
among journalists" she witnessed over two decades at the newspaper.

"It began to play out in the newsroom with people who had privileges and
could get away with breaking rules ... or people who could bully their way
into print with stories editors had qualms about," said Crossette, who
admitted occasional friction with Miller while heading the New York Times
United Nations bureau.

This may sound like a lot of inside baseball to the average reader - perhaps
because they already assume journalists are taking such liberties in their

"I think what strikes readers is that, for the second time in three years,
the New York Times has made a big splash about some transgression of their
own ... and if they're doing it, we're all probably doing it," said Wycliff,
who also serves as chair of the ethics and values committee for the American
Society of Newspaper Editors.

Wycliff's observations are echoed by pollsters who note that scandals such
as those involving Miller or Blair don't often bring large swings in public

In 2002 the Pew Research Center for People and the Press found 60 percent of
Americans believe news organizations were unwilling to admit their errors
and 59 percent believed news organizations were politically biased. In June,
a poll showed 60 percent still believed news outlets were politically
biased; a survey last year found 54 percent of respondents believed what
they read in their daily newspapers.

"Jayson Blair, to everyone's surprise, that case did not resonate too deeply
with the public," said Carol Dougherty, associate director at the Pew
Research Center. "I can't imagine the public is tuned into (Miller's) role
very widely." But Dougherty also documented a paradox: About 80 percent of
Americans gave favorable ratings to their daily newspaper, local TV
newscasts and cable TV news networks.

"They like the product, but they criticize the way the news media does its
work ... including some of the elements people view as partisan," Dougherty

One person who hasn't let the New York Times' reporting dim her support of
Miller is Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporter's Committee for
Freedom of the Press.
Dalglish rejected much of the criticism directed at Miller, saying pundits
should focus on the principle of protecting a source. Miller made that case
herself Wednesday before Congress, testifying before the Senate Judiciary
Committee for a federal shield law to help journalists keep sources

"If reporters cannot protect their sources on a day-to-day basis, people
will not have the information they need to practice democracy," Dalglish
said. "This case ... shows what happens to the independence of a newsroom
when you allow a prosecutor to go in and hunt for sources."

Despite the involvement of high-profile journalists such as Miller and
columnist Robert Novak (who actually disclosed Plame's name in print), it
seems the public may not learn the full story unless prosecutor Patrick
Fitzgerald somehow reports it or indicts someone. Others say the most
damaging aspect of Miller's part in the case may be to set back the shield
law effort she had hoped to bolster.

"It wouldn't hurt us to be a little humble and to say we picked a broken
vessel to be the bearer of our hopes here," said Wycliff, who personally
opposes a federal shield law. "It's time (for journalists) to eat some
humble pie and be a bit more discerning about our methods, and a little less
pompous in the future."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report. Eric Deggans
can be reached at 727 893-8521 or See his blog at

MILLER CASE: New Yorker Magazine writer on NYTimes "fake transparency"

This is published in today's Washington Post as an op-ed piece:
Tina Brown is a writer/editor at The New Yorker magazine and a weekly
columnist for The Washington Post
Seeing Right Through The Times's Transparency

By Tina Brown
Thursday, October 20, 2005; C01

The age of the blogosphere has produced a new genre of mainstream
journalism: fake transparency. The New York Times has become its foremost
practitioner. The paper of record has been arraigned for arrogance so many
times in the past three years that it has forgotten how useful arrogance
can be. The Gulliver of West 43rd Street has gotten so spooked that now it
preemptively lies down, affixes bonds to its wrists and ankles, and
invites the Lilliputians of cyberspace to walk all over it.

After reading the 6,000-word takeout in Sunday's Times on the Judith
Miller/I. Lewis Libby farrago in the Valerie Plame/CIA leak case,
accompanied by Miller's own strangely cryptic narrative of her belated
grand jury testimony, I know even less than I thought I knew before.
Thinking I knew was actually more satisfying. It meant I could exude a
vague insiderly outrage without having to penetrate the clues. For Arianna
Huffington, the Miller story has been to her newly birthed blog, the
Huffington Post, a miniature version of what O.J. Simpson was to cable

All the angst goes back to Jayson Blair. The fabrication debacle two years
ago prompted the Times to sign on to the new censorious self-examining
culture, in which journalistic institutions strive to be as transparent as
religious and governmental ones (yeah, right). But not all stories are as
Manichaean as the Blair debacle. The Miller epic is so complex and
compromised it probably can't be truthfully told until after the special
prosecutor has unloosed his thunderbolts -- and maybe not even then.

Readers would rather have waited and gotten a story they could at least
understand. Newsrooms, however, can't handle that kind of old-fashioned
restraint. The blogs are baying to be fed, the competition is kicking
their butt on the story, the stock price is down. "Transparency" turns
into a combination of partial truths and morose institutional venting that
makes everyone, including the readers, feel worse about themselves and the
newspaper than they did before.

All I could extract from Sunday's Miller marathon was her own implausible
revelation that after having 85 days in jail to think about it, she has no
memory of where she got that memorable Marvel Comics name -- VALERIE FLAME
-- that was mysteriously inscribed in her recently surfaced notebook.
Miller also mentions running into I. Lewis Libby in a cowboy hat and
sunglasses at a rodeo in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and failing to recognize him.
"Judy," he said. "It's Scooter Libby!" But was it? Maybe it was Don Imus.
Or Moammar Gaddafi.

Don Van Natta's team-reported narrative included such baffling details as
Times Executive Editor Bill Keller blandly noting that, after he took her
off the Iraq story because of her lead role in co-authoring the erroneous
stories of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, Miller "kept kind of
drifting on her own back into the national security realm." Drifting? On
her own? Is the Times after Blair some sort of trackless sea, with lone
castaways afloat on rafts? To whom do reporters report? IS THERE ANYBODY

Such is the power of Dame Judith's mystique with Times Publisher Arthur
Sulzberger Jr. that his paper quotes him as saying it was Miller's "hand
on the wheel" throughout the course of the legal decision-making even
though his editors seem to regard her as a less malleable version of
Madame Chiang Kai-shek.

The Times left out the best bit of then-Investigative Editor (and now Los
Angeles Times Managing Editor) Doug Frantz's contribution to Van Natta's
account of the day when Frantz and Foreign Editor Roger Cohen objected to
a story involving allegations that there were 1,000 or more WMD sites
identified in Iraq. Miller complained to then-Managing Editor Gerald Boyd,
and, according to a quote that didn't make it in, "A couple of hours
later, Gerald pulled Roger and me into his office and chewed us out. 'Judy
Miller is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, and your job is to get her
stories into the paper!' said Gerald."

Maybe this isn't so much transparent journalism as reality TV crossed with
teenage soap opera, starring Miller as the alpha Heather. "It's official.
I'm Miss Run Amok," she announces after a tsk-tsk session with Boyd. And
Boyd's successor as managing editor, Jill Abramson, asked if she regrets
any part of the Times's handling of the matter, replies sulkily, "The
entire thing!" You can almost hear the door to her room slamming. The
script is like a rejected pilot for the WB network.

It's the curse of mainstream media institutions these days that every time
they make a stand on principle, they pick a story as murky as the times we
live in. There was CBS's Rathergate, in which the steamrolling producer
Mary Mapes played a Miller-like role. And the BBC had the Dodgy Dossier
saga, in which the excitable Andrew Gilligan overstated a report about how
Downing Street hyped the imminence of the threat from Hussein's WMDs. Both
these stories -- right in essence, wrong in the particular -- wound up
being driven over cliffs by journalists who got too embedded with their
sources. In Miller's case it was even more theater of the absurd. She had
the name wrong and the story right, but at least this time they didn't
print it.

You have to feel sorry for Sulzberger. Like every spirited young man who
inherits a newspaper, he hankers after something more exciting than
sitting in the front office fretting over the price of newsprint. He wants
to feel as real in his role as valiant publisher as his reporters -- those
driven, passionate, sometimes reckless seekers after truth -- feel in
theirs. When he threw his support behind Miller's fight to protect her
sources, he didn't think he was in a bad reality show. He thought it was
an Oscar-winning movie -- "The Pentagon Papers 2."

We'd have liked that, too. But we don't have to look back that far for
inspiration when there are so many great reporters at the Times and
elsewhere putting themselves on the line every day for stories that do run
rather than stories that don't. That's the ultimate bathos of the Judy
Miller saga -- appropriate, perhaps, for our virtual, "transparent" age.

2005Tina Brown

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

MILLER CASE: Summary of Miller's speech at SPJ-Las Vegas

Source: Gene Perry, SPJ Press Notes

Judith Miller was given an SPJ First Amendment award today and spoke on
the need for a federal shield law. She also responded to criticism of her
and The New York Times, denying what she called "wild speculation" that
she was partisan, trying to protect wrongdoing or making a "canny career
move." On the controversy regarding her reporting prior to the Iraq War,
she said her sources were "mistaken on [weapons of mass destruction],
Republicans and Democrats alike, and as a result my reporting was wrong."
On her decision to testify after 85 days in jail, Miller said she weighed
whether the source was acting in good faith, whether he would personally
and convincingly grant a waiver, and whether the prosecutor would limit
testimony to the source in question. "None of the best stories I've
written ... could have been done without confidential sources," she said,
calling for a federal shield law "so we don't have to debate free will ...
while sitting in prison." After discussing her own case, Miller was joined
by panelists Josef Hebert of The Associated Press, Patricia Hurtado of
Newsday and lawyer Bruce Sanford for a session titled "The Reporter's
Privilege Under Siege." Sanford said federal law would have to determine
who qualifies as a journalist individually. "Some bloggers would be
covered, but not every single person with a blog," he said. Miller
described the current legal situation as a "full-scale assault on the
First Amendment." Miller said she always kept her notebooks before but now
thinks she might throw them out to protect against subpoenas. Reporter's
privilege is "not a privilege for us," Miller said. "It's an essential
protection for [the public]. And if they don't understand, it's not the
public's failure, it's ours."

MILLER CASE: Does SPJ Undercuts First Amendment With Miller Award?

Fairness & Accuracy in the Media posted this 'editorial' on its website today. Jeff Cohen founded FAIR in 1986. He served as the group's executive director for a number of years, and later on its board of directors. Upon taking a full time job with MSNBC in May 2002, Cohen stepped down from FAIR's board. At MSNBC, Cohen was a senior producer on Donahue and an on-air commentator. Over the years, he has been a frequent guest on national TV and radio, including Today, Larry King Live, Donahue, C-SPAN and NPR. Formerly, he was a regular panelist on Fox News Channel's News Watch. He has served as the co-host of CNN's Crossfire.

FAIR Media Advisory

SPJ Undercuts First Amendment With Miller Award


The Society of Professional Journalists' decision to give its prestigious "First Amendment Award" to embattled New York Times reporter Judith Miller is a blow to freedom of expression. By rewarding a reporter who was apparently collaborating with and protecting a powerful official in an effort to punish the free speech of a government critic, the SPJ is undermining, not advancing, the principles of the First Amendment.

The award, coming two days after details of Miller's involvement in the CIA leak story and her grand jury testimony were revealed by the New York Times (10/16/05), was defended by SPJ board member Mac McKerral, who told Editor & Publisher (10/17/05), "It's not a lifetime achievement award.... I could understand people being upset if we were recognizing her work over a period of time, but this is an award for being willing to not reveal a source, willing to spend so many days in jail, and that is how we distinguish it.. Issues raised in the past couple of days really had no bearing on the award."

But why wouldn't new information about the case be relevant to a journalism group? For months, Miller claimed a journalistic privilege to protect Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby. Miller would eventually tell the grand jury that Libby had identified Valerie Plame Wilson--the wife of White House critic and former Ambassador Joseph Wilson--as a CIA employee (New York Times, 10/16/05). Miller seemed to have little doubt about what motivated this disclosure: Asked why she agreed to Libby's request to identify him only as a "former Hill staffer," Miller told the grand jury, "I assumed Mr. Libby did not want the White House to be seen as attacking Mr. Wilson."

In other words, Miller understood that Libby was not a whistleblower but was someone out to punish a government critic. Not only was it unethical for her to agree to identify Libby in a misleading way, but promising him any kind of anonymity in this case violated the Times' rules against allowing unnamed sources to make partisan attacks.

SPJ's case rests on the belief that Miller was not wavering on the principle of not revealing a confidential source. But Miller's refusal to testify doesn't in the end seem as principled as either she or her paper originally claimed--which is the whole reason SPJ deemed her worthy of an award. Instead, the Times' October 16 report suggests that Miller was seeking a suitable waiver from Libby all along, and eventually based her decision not to testify in part on the feeling that she would harm Libby if she testified:

Once Ms. Miller was issued a subpoena in August 2004 to testify about her conversations with Mr. Libby, she and The Times vowed to fight it. Behind the scenes, however, her lawyer made inquiries to see if Mr. Libby would release her from their confidentiality agreement. Ms. Miller said she decided not to testify in part because she thought that Mr. Libby's lawyer might be signaling to keep her quiet unless she would exonerate his client.

The form that "signaling" took, according to Miller, was Libby's explaining that he had testified about their conversations in ways that in Miller's view were false. In other words, she refused to testify because she didn't want to expose her friend as a perjurer. Is this really a journalist that SPJ wants to hold up as an example to others?

There is much that is inexplicable and contradictory in Miller's account ofher behavior. But even taking her story at face value, she is a reporter who violated the standards of professional journalism to work with a top White House official to get revenge on a government critic--and then declined to testify to protect him from the criminal consequences of his lies. This context has an obvious bearing on Miller's qualifications for an award celebrating freedom of expression.

BACKGROUND: Floyd Abrams testimony from July on shield law

JULY 20, 2005

Chairman Specter and Members of the Committee:

It is a great honor for me to have the opportunity to appear once again
before this Committee. I.m especially pleased to have the opportunity to
do so in order to support the adoption of a federal shield law. One of the
advantages of being .of a certain age,. as they say, is that you remember
things. Or that you think you do.

Now that I find myself routinely described by the Washington Post as a
.veteran. defender of the First Amendment and in the context of
representing Judith Miller (who I will visit in the Alexandria Detention
Center this afternoon) and having represented Matt Cooper and Time for a
time, I look back occasionally on some of the things I and my colleagues
urged upon the Supreme Court in 1972 in a brief, amici curiae, primarily
drafted by the inimitable Yale Law Professor Alexander Bickel.

The case, of course, was Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665 (1972), and
there are three paragraphs from our brief with which I would like to begin
my testimony today. The public.s right to know is not satisfied by news
media which act as conveyor belts for handouts and releases, and as
stationary eye- 2- witnesses. It is satisfied only if reports can
undertake independent, objective investigations.

There is not even a surface paradox in the proposition, as it might
somewhat mischievously be put, that in order to safeguard a public right
to receive information it is necessary to secure to reporters a right to
withhold information. Clearly the purpose of protecting the reporter from
disclosing the identity of a news source is to enable him to obtain and
publish information which would not otherwise be forthcoming. So the
reporter should be given a right to withhold some information.the identity
of the source.because in the circumstances, that right is the necessary
condition of his obtaining and publishing any information at all.

Information other than the identity of the source may also need to be
withheld in order to protect that identity. Obviously, something a
reporter learned in confidence may give a clue to his source, or indeed
pinpoint it. That may be the very reason why the source imposed an
obligation of confidence on the reporter. Yet off-the-record information
obtained in confidence is of the utmost importance to the performance of
the reporter.s function. It very frequently constitutes the background
that enables him to report intelligently.

It affords leads to publishable news, and understanding of past and future
events. News reporting in the United States would be devastatingly
impoverished if the countless off-the-record and background contacts
maintained by reporters with news sources were cut off. Moreover, even
where information other than the identity of the source would be unlikely
to enable anyone to trace that identity, the information may sometimes
need to be withheld, if given in confidence, in order to make it possible
for the reporter to maintain access to the source, and thus obtain other,
publishable news.

It is true of numerous news sources that if they cannot talk freely, and
partly in off-the-record confidence, they will not talk at all, or speak
only in handouts and releases. That is the prism through which I ask this
Committee to approach this subject. Every word that Professor Bickel
wrote.and he personally wrote every word I just quoted to even
truer today. Of course, some articles based upon confidential sources
since our brief in Branzburg was drafted, have become the stuff of
journalistic legend -- reporting on the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate
scandal, for example.but by far the greater use of such information is
reflected in day-to-day reporting on the widest range of topics.

In the three months after the attack on the United States on September 11,
2003, for example, Ms. Miller and a colleague wrote 78 articles published
in The New York Times that .contained information from confidential
sources on a range of issues including: (1) financing and support of Al
Qaeda provided from sources in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab
Emirates; (2) cooperation between Al Qaeda and Pakistani intelligence
prior to September 11, 2001; (3) the U.S. government.s preparedness for
the attacks of September 11, 2001; (4) the U.S. government.s efforts to
combat Al Qaeda in Afghanistan; (5) the proposed internal reorganization
of the FBI; (6) the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; (7)
the spread of anthrax and resulting U.S. government investigations.. New
York Times Co. v. Gonzalez, No. 04 Civ. 7677 (RWS), 2005 WL 427911
(S.D.N.Y. Feb. 24, 2005).

All that information is now being sought by the United States in an
ongoing effort to obtain telephone records of the New York Times for use
by a federal grand jury. As we meet today, the ability of journalists to
gather news is imperiled. How could it not be? For all its ambiguity (and
more than one lawyer steeped in First Amendment law has made a living over
the past 33 years purporting to divine just what Mr. Justice Powell had in
mind when he wrote his critical, yet all but indecipherable concurring
opinion in the case), Branzburg itself has been interpreted by many courts
(although by no means all) to foreclose any First Amendment protection for
confidential sources in the federal grand jury context, so long as the
inquiry was in good faith.

That was the holding in the case involving both Judy Miller and Matt
Cooper; it is not the way I would read Branzburg in light of Justice
Powell.s none-too-scrutable opinion, not the way a number of Courts of
Appeal have read it, but it is undoubtedly one plausible reading of the
case. And it is that reading that was the first building block in the
opinion of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that led Matt
Cooper to the edge of jail and Judy Miller to her present and continuing

Why must that be so? Why should federal law offer no protection for
journalists who seek to protect their confidential sources when 49 of the
50 states provide considerable.often all but How can the
United States provide no protection when countries such as France, Germany
and Austria provide full protection and nations ranging from Japan to
Argentina and Mozambique to New Zealand provide a great deal of

Listen to the language of the European Court of Justice on this topic:
Protection of journalistic sources is one of the basic conditions for
press freedom, as is reflected in the laws and the professional codes of
-5- conduct in a number of Contracting States and is affirmed in several
international instruments on journalistic freedoms.

Without such protection, sources may be deterred from assisting the press
in informing the public on matters of public interest. As a result the
vital public watchdog role of the press may be undermined and the ability
of the press to provide accurate and reliable information may be adversely

Having regard to the importance of the protection of journalistic sources
for press freedom in a democratic society and the potentially chilling
effect an order of source disclosure has on the exercise of that freedom,
such a measure cannot be compatible with Article 10 of the Convention
unless it is justified by an overriding requirement in the public
interest. Goodwin v. United Kingdom, (1996) 22 E.H.R.R. 123.

A particular issue has arisen in the Judy Miller case which I would like
to address. I have little doubt that the .leak. disclosed by columnist
Robert Novak.the identification of the name of a CIA .operative,. as he
put it.was unworthy of any journalist. In fact, Mr. Novak is entitled, in
my view, to no kudos for his journalistic contribution that day, only our

But the protection of journalists. sources should not be made dependent on
whether we think a particular story serves or disserves the public. Nor
should it turn on whether a particular source means to advance public
discourse or to poison it. These are subjective matters as to which our
response may be affected by our social views, even our political ones.
They should not provide the basis for granting or withholding a privilege
established by law.

In my view, when a journalist speaks to her sources and promises them
confidentiality, she should keep her word.period. And she should be
protected by law in doing just that except in the most extraordinary
circumstances. the sort referred to in the revised Free Flow of
Information Act drafted by Senator Lugar and Representative Pence which
permits an order requiring disclosure of a source when all non-media
sources have been exhausted and disclosure is .necessary to prevent
imminent and actual harm to the national security..

When Branzburg was decided, it was less than clear to many observers
whether a federal shield law was needed. For most of the 33 years that
followed, journalists were held to be protected by the First Amendment
when they sought to protect their sources from being disclosed. But that
has changed radically in recent years and even more so in recent days.

We have a genuine crisis before us. In the last year and a half, more than
70 journalists and news organizations have been embroiled in disputes with
federal prosecutors and other litigants seeking to discover unpublished
information; dozens have been asked to reveal their confidential sources;
some are or were virtually at the entrance to jail; and Judy Miller, not
far from here, sits in a cell not many floors removed from that of
Zacarias Moussaoui.

It is time to adopt a federal shield law.

ASSIGNMENT: Links to the Judy Miller story for Thursday discussion


Browse as much of this as you have time for. Come to class on Thursday prepared with a few thoughts about whether this case matters to the future of journalism. Will it hurt the credibility of the New York Times? Of journalism generally?

-- bill

Miller testified today before Congress:
QUOTES from today's testimony:
Abrams (famous First Amendment lawyer) testimony on federal shield law (PDF):
Conservative blog site's reaction to planned testimony:

Earlier stories:
Or keep checking this link at Boston.COM, where a later story will show up eventually:


For an excellent capsule summary of the story, here is a link to the MP3 audio from Democracy Now on Monday in which Time Magazine journalist Michael Isakof and Editor & Publisher Magazine Editor Greg
Miller. Download and then play the MP3 with this link:
Once it starts playing, skip to 22 minutes into the show to get to the Judith Miller stuff.


An interactive "Plame leak" timeline map is HERE.
Here is the first few paragraphs of today's New York Times main story on the situation:

HEADLINE: No Final Report Seen in Inquiry on C.I.A. Leak

The New York Times
Published: October 19, 2005

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 - The special counsel in the C.I.A. leak case has told associates he has no plans to issue a final report about the results of the investigation, heightening the expectation that he intends to bring indictments, lawyers in the case and law enforcement officials said yesterday. The prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, is not expected to take any action in the case this week, government officials said. A spokesman for Mr. Fitzgerald, Randall Samborn, declined to comment. A final report had long been considered an option for Mr. Fitzgerald if he decided not to accuse anyone of wrongdoing, although Justice Department officials have been dubious about his legal authority to issue such a report. By signaling that he had no plans to issue the grand jury's findings in such detail, Mr. Fitzgerald appeared to narrow his options either to indictments or closing his investigation with no public disclosure of his findings, a choice that would set off a political firestorm. With the term of the grand jury expiring Oct. 28, lawyers in the case said they assumed Mr. Fitzgerald was in the final stages of his inquiry. The focus of Mr. Fitzgerald's inquiry has remained fixed on two senior White House aides, Karl Rove, who is President Bush's senior adviser and deputy chief of staff, and I. Lewis Libby Jr., who is Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. Both had conversations with reporters about a C.I.A. officer whose name was later publicly disclosed.

What do you think?


At the Society of Professional Journalists' annual convention in Las Vegas on Tuesday, New York Times reporter Judith Miller urged support for a federal shield law so other journalists don't face jail time as she did
for protecting the identity of a confidential source. Miller, who will testify on behalf of the proposed shield law today before the Senate Judiciary Committee, gave a preview of her testimony Tuesday to about 400 journalists. Miller, 57, received the organization's First Amendment Award for her highly-publicized fight to withhold the identity of a confidential source she spoke with two years ago about the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame.


from Editor & Publisher:

Las Vegas is Miller's hometown. Her father, Bill Miller, has sometimes been credited with developing the "lounge" scene in Vegas, booked many of the top celebrities of his day, and was entertainment director at several casinos.

Said Dave Carlson, SPJ's president: "It is important to point out that we are not trying to recognize everything a person has done. The First Amendment Award is to recognize someone doing an extraordinary thing to
further the First Amendment. I don't have any way of knowing what all of her motives were, but we do know that she spent 85 days in jail and that act drew great attention to the First Amendment."


Here is the link to the big story in Sunday's New York Times which reported the newspaper's investigation of Miller's behavior:
(if you are prompted to log in, use the ID mentioned in class)

And here Miller recounts her own testimony:

And here is the main AP story summarizing the New York Times' Sunday piece:,0,6703240.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork

And here is an E&P story on how the New York Times newsroom is reacting to
the major Sunday workup:

Here E&P's Greg Miller calls for Judith Miller's resignation:
(this link contains links to several other backgrounders by E&P).
But the New York Observer writes that Miller will return to The Times after a leave of absence:

Independent investigative journalist Sydney H. Schanberg has written an analysis of the Miller case in The Village Voice. It's a good read at:,schanberg,68955,6.html

Here are some thoughful blog posts:

Retired CBS producer discusses granting of security clearance to Miller:
Pro-Palestinian commentator Ahmed Amr:
Ariana Huffington:
Freemarket News Network blogger:

AND FINALLY, here is an editorial in today's Washington Post:

Rush to Judgment
Wednesday, October 19, 2005; Page A20

THERE'S A RUSH to judgment in the Valerie Plame affair that's a bit surprising. One person already convicted by many of her peers is Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter who went to jail for 85 days to protect a source and then agreed to testify. Ms. Miller is no poster child for the First Amendment.

The circumstances of her case, as Times executive editor Bill Keller wrote in an e-mail to his staff, "lack the comfort of moral clarity." Questions remain as to why she went to jail rather than accept a waiver from her source that he did not object to her testifying about their conversations -- and why, if that principle was inviolable, she later accepted a waiver to get out of jail.

Nonetheless, it's astonishing to see many in the journalism establishment, and in the media trade press, turn on Ms. Miller not just for questions surrounding the waiver but also for refusing now to identify all of her sources, turn over all of her notes and otherwise lay bare her reporting. Normally these commentators are among the first to defend journalists who seek to protect a confidential source. Reporters often rely on unnamed sources to expose corruption and incompetence in government. Neither Ms. Miller nor the other reporters in this case (including two at The Post) faced an easy choice in deciding the circumstances under which they could testify, but their struggle with the dilemma, and her decision to go to jail, merit some sympathy and respect. That Ms. Miller is receiving so little stems in part from disapproval over her too-credulous reporting leading up to the Iraq war and in part, in some cases, from animus toward the Bush administration. But the next time a journalist faces off with a prosecutor, these same commentators may regret the certainty with which they condemned Ms. Miller.

This affair began with a trip to Niger undertaken by former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, which he said disproved one of the Bush administration's contentions about Saddam Hussein and nuclear weapons. Columnist Robert D. Novak reported that Mr. Wilson had been chosen in part because Mr. Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, worked for the CIA; Mr. Wilson then charged that administration officials had deliberately blown his wife's undercover status to punish him for his truth-telling.

If so, they should be punished. Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald may have evidence that they did; there is a still a great deal that is not publicly known. But so far, in the accounts given by reporters about their conversations with administration officials, no such crime has been described. What has been depicted is an administration effort to refute the allegations of a critic (some of which did in fact prove to be untrue) and to undermine his credibility, including by suggesting that nepotism rather than qualifications led to his selection. If such conversations are deemed a crime, journalism and the public will be the losers.

MILLER CASE: Link to Christopher Lydon's "Open Source" talk show on Miller case

Here's something you can stream / listen to in background as you do other things. I'll post more links later this morning. -- bill

For now, click on the headline above to link to the start page for a one-hour MP3 of Monday night's "Open Source". Open Source is a four-night-a-week public-radio talk show produced by the University of Mass.-Lowell radio station and Christopher Lydon, a long-time Boston public-radio talk-show source. In this show he interviews Jay Rosen, a New York University journalism professor and press critic (see his blog: and several other people. It's a good backgrounder.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

FIRST AMENDMENT: Southwest Airlines statement on T-shirt case

In regard to the recent news coverage about Southwest.s decision to
deplane a female passenger in Reno for refusing to cover up a t-shirt that
contained inappropriate and vulgar language (she was repeatedly asked to
put on the sweater she was carrying), Southwest would like to offer the
following statement:

Southwest Airlines supports the right of freedom of speech in the United
States. Southwest also supports the rights of our Customers when traveling
on Southwest and our Employees to not have to be confronted with
offensive, even inciting profanity displayed by another Customer onboard a
Southwest flight.

Southwest's Customer Contract of Carriage states that: "Persons whose
conduct is or has been known to be disorderly, abusive, offensive,
threatening, intimidating, or violent, or whose clothing is lewd, obscene,
or patently offensive" may be denied boarding.

This situation does not concern politics or political views. Rather, the
Customer wore a t-shirt displaying language that is so offensive that for
example, by federal regulation it cannot be aired by public broadcast or
printed in a newspaper.



FIRST-PERSON: T-shirt wearer needs civility training
Oct 7, 2005

By Kelly Boggs
Baptist Press

Kelly Boggs is pastor of the Portland-area Valley Baptist Church in
McMinnville, Ore. His column appears each Friday in Baptist Press.

McMINNVILLE, Ore. (BP)--A Washington state woman was removed from a
Southwest Airlines flight Oct. 4 because fellow passengers found a word on
her T-shirt to be overly offensive. Her response to the action, according
to media reports, is to .press a civil-rights case. against the airline.

Lorrie Heasley of Woodland, Wash., boarded her flight at Los Angeles
International Airport sporting a shirt bearing the images of President
Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and
a profane phrase reading "Meet the [expletive]" -- a takeoff on a 2004
movie starring Ben Stiller, Robert DeNiro and Barbra Streisand.

When the plane stopped at Reno, several passengers complained about the
lewd language on Heasley.s T-shirt. It was then that flight attendants
asked her to cover up the profane word.

According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, Heasley indicated that she
attempted to conceal the crude communication with a sweatshirt. However,
when trying to sleep she said the sweatshirt slipped allowing the indecent
expression to be visible.

When flight attendants informed Heasley that she must turn the shirt
inside-out or leave, she and her husband left the plane.

After a dispute with the airline over reimbursement for the last leg of
their flight, the couple chose to get a hotel in Reno, rent a car and
drive back to Washington.

.I will never fly with them [Southwest Airlines] again,. Heasley said.
.They can disrespect somebody else..

While flight attendants could have handled the situation differently, the
real problem was created by Ms. Heasley, who believes her right to free
speech is absolute.

Scads of people think the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives
them the right to act like spoiled brats and communicate anything their
heart desires.

They are wrong.

The drafters of the First Amendment intended to protect an individual who
wanted to take issue with the government and/or its leaders. They were
primarily concerned with protecting political speech, not profanity or

Through the years, particularly in the latter half of the 20th century,
the Supreme Court substantially broadened the understanding of free speech
to the point that it now even includes virtual kiddie porn.

However, even with the court.s .enlightened. application of the First
Amendment, free speech is not without limits.

The First Amendment is often misunderstood, and people fail to realize
that it only protects an individual from action by the government. Freedom
of speech does not extend into the private sector.

In the case of Ms. Heasley, Southwest Airlines is a private company and
maintains rules that allow it to deny boarding to any customer whose
conduct is .offensive, abusive, disorderly or violent or for clothing that
is lewd, obscene, or patently offensive..

Southwest Airlines has the right to ban a passenger wearing an article of
clothing emblazoned with lewd language. The only mistake flight attendants
made was allowing Heasley on the plane with her crass shirt in the first

Even with the Supreme Court.s broadened understanding of free speech, the
government has the ability to restrict certain aspects of public

Perhaps the most well-known regulation of speech is time, place and
manner. A person does not have the right to yell fire in a crowded
building when there is no fire. The government can also enforce noise

Other areas of speech the Supreme Court has said the First Amendment does
not protect are obscenity, defamation, "fighting-words" and speech that
incites illegal action.

On second thought, people like Ms. Heasley probably need a remedial course
in civility rather than a primer on the First Amendment.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines civility as .courteous behavior;
politeness.. P.M. Forni, a professor at John.s Hopkins University once
wrote, .Civility is key in learning how to live well with others..

Jesus provided a succinct formula for civility when he instructed, .Do
unto others as you would have them do unto you.. In other words, treat
people the way you want to be treated.

Ms. Heasley.s reaction to her treatment by Southwest Airlines indicates
she felt she was treated with a lack of civility. In her words, she was

I wonder if Ms. Heasley has stopped to ponder how many people she
disrespected by her vulgar display? If you want to be treated with
respect, you must extend respect.

While the First Amendment provides great latitude in speech, to the point
of being offensive, civility requires that we consider others before
speaking -- or in Ms. Heasley.s case, dressing.

FIRSTAMENDMENT: Does a T-shirt with "Fockers" on it get you booted from airplane?



Outspoken dance star MOBY has called for passengers to boycott America's
Southwest Airlines after a woman was thrown off a recent flight for
wearing a T-shirt criticising US President GEORGE W BUSH.

Moby was appalled by news LORRIE HEASLEY was removed from a flight for
modelling a T-shirt featuring pictures of Bush, Vice-President DICK CHENEY
and Secretary Of State CONDOLEEZZA RICE alongside the text 'Meet The

So the staunch Democrat is now encouraging his fans to avoid Southwest

Writing on his website, Moby says, "A woman who was wearing a T-shirt with
pictures of Bush, Cheney and Condi Rice and with the slogan 'Meet The
Fockers' was kicked off of a Southwest Airlines flight.

"Let's just get this straight: she was kicked off of the flight for
wearing a T-shirt that the staff found offensive.

"You know what? I find Southwest Airlines offensive.

"I do hereby encourage you and everyone you know to boycott Southwest

And the comment on it below.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2005 12:13:15 +0000 (GMT)
From: Thos Myers <>
Subject: [ACME Member List] FREEDOM OF SPEECH and viewer discretion

>From a friend:

"Have you followed the story of a woman who was evicted from a Southwest
Airline flight for wearing a t-shirt with some objectionable material on it.

Although the newspaper article was not specific about the details of the
shirt content. I learned from someone else that content. It seems that the
shirt showed a picture of Bush, Cheney and Rice with the caption "Meet the
:"F...ers." (In the actual case it was spelled out.) Many passengers
complained and the lady was offered the opportunity to cover up the
offending material but this was not done and she was evicted from the plane.
(Before it took off, of course.) She is now suing the airline.

On PBS last night was An Ameican Experience: "Two Days In October":

"Based on the book They Marched Into Sunlight by Pulitzer Prize-winning
journalist David Maraniss, Two Days in October tells the story of two
turbulent days in October 1967 when history turned a corner.

In Vietnam, a U.S. battalion unwittingly marched into a Viet Cong trap.
Sixty-one young men were killed and as many wounded. The ambush prompted
some in power to wonder whether the war might be unwinnable.

Half a world away, concerned students at the University of Wisconsin
protested the presence of Dow Chemical recruiters on campus. The
demonstration spiraled out of control, marking the first time that a
student protest had turned violent.

Told almost entirely by the people who took part in the harrowing events
of those two days -- American soldiers, police officers, relatives of men
killed in battle, protesting students, university administrators and Viet
Cong fighters -- the film offers a window onto a moment that divided a
nation and a war that continues to haunt us."

PBS thought it prudent to place a viewer discretion warning several times
on the screen, a warning about the use of language, and not about the
footage of the ambush or the dead or the beatings of students.
I sent the following message to PBS:

"The film was brilliant.

I am curious about the editor's decision to place a viewer discretion
warning concerning the use of language during the program. The word
"fuck" was used a couple times.

There was no warning issued about watching people being beaten with clubs,
which according to witnesses sounded like watermellons being smashed, or
the killing and savagery of the ambush or the footage of dead, bloated
American soldiers after the battle.

If the editors felt that a warning was necessary, why not a warning about
the violence, the killing and the dead?

I applaud the film makers in their excellent reporting of those two days
in October."

Curious that we more offended by the word "fuck" than we are about
killing, beatings, bloated dead bodies, body bags with parts of bodies and
the savagery of war and the savagery of police beatings.

Recently the beating of a 64 year old man in New Orleans by police was
reported on the news. The reporting of the war in Iraq, however, is
reporting lite - showing none of the savagery of that war. But, let us be
warned about the use of the word "fuck".




1. FOR THURSDAY . Finish reading first 139 pages of McChesney and
post an email up to 200 words discussing it. What are his main issues?
Solutions? What does he see as impact on media and society? Also, read up
on the Judy Miller NYTimes case based on Densmore.s Wednesday web posting.

2. Get your list of Giraffe profiles to Densmore soon . must write at
least two for credit for the course.

3. MID-TERM EXAM: Agreed that you can bring in a maximum of one
page, one side of notes (not writing) to the exam. Densmore will hand out
up to 10 questions on Tuesday, Oct. 25 and post on the website. You will
write three . two self-selected and one assigned on the morning of class
by Densmore.

4. FINAL EXAM: The final exam will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 20,
from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Details on format to come. But I can tell you
right now what the topic is likely to be: You.ll be asked to discuss some
of the .issues in journalism. covered in class. To give a
perspective on what.s wrong with media today and ideas for fixing it. Who,
or what, is to blame, and what or who is the key to the solution?

(also to be done by student)


1. Judith Miller / Valerie Plame . set up for Thursday discussion .
the most important .Issue in Journalism. today. Will post a guide to the
issue by Wednesday at noon.

2. Discussed ABC nuclear power story (handout)
3. Discussed the Objectivity handouts POSTPONED TO THURSDAY
4. Listened to Bob McChesney to help with his book

Major McChesney points/rhetoric

1. Media system not .natural.

2. Subsidies maintained by .corrupt special interests.
-- FCC regulation of airwaves . what else
-- Behind closed doors
-- Get seat at the table .throw out bumbs.
-- .Corruptly behind closed doors.
-- One newsroom serving a city

3. More competitive local media and more diverse, vibrant non-profit

4. Social justice and equity in addition to changing media; need
viable democracy

5. DISCUSSION: Why does McChesney talk this way? Is it effective?

Monday, October 17, 2005

CLASS NOTES/FIRST EXAM: Thurs., Oct. 13 -- Visit of Ty Resch / censorship

On Thursday we opened with housekeeping. As a writing and perception
excercise, Densmore said we would start to rotate writing of class notes
for each class meeting. (See separate post).

Densmore observed that most of the "Issues in Journalism" discussed so far
tended to be problems. He said a little later in the semester and would
begin reading and thinking about issues embeded in opportunities.

FIRST EXAM -- Thurs., Oct. 27

The first exam will be held in class on Thurs., Oct. 27. It will consist
of a set of questions about the McChesney book and other class handouts.
You will be able to prepare. Densmore will hand out the questions on
Tues., Oct. 25, and they will be webposted. When you arrive in class on
Thursday, Oct. 27, you will be given one question by Densmore to answer,
and you can answer two other questions of your choosing. The exam will
last the full period.


PLease select your giraffe prospects to profile. You will do two profiles
between now and end of semester. Will be discussed further in class on

ASSIGNMENT FOR Thurs., Oct. 20 --

Write an turn in by 8 a.m. on Thurs., Oct. 20 (by email is fine) an easy
200 words on what you've read in McChesney's first 130 pages. What are the
main issues he presents? Solutions? What does he see as their impact on
media and society?

ASSIGNMENT FOR Tues., Oct. 25 --

For Tues., Oct. 25, please review text of the Gore speech we listened to
(on blog site), and email before Tues., Nov. 25, class at least FIVE
issues about journalism and democracy which Gore (himself a former
reporter) raised. For each issue, write just a few words -- about a
sentence -- about its significance. We will discuss as a group what we all


Soon we'll schedule a showing of "Orwell Rolls in His Grave," a 100-minute
documentary. It was agreed that we would show in in two pieces over two
class periods. Exact schedule date to come!

------------ Free speech in times of crisis -- the Alien and Sedition Acts

Ty Resch, a former Vermont editor and historian at The Bennington Museum
appears to discuss his essay on the Anthony Haswell sedition case in
Bennington. Densmore related this to the Alien Act of 1940, and to the
Patriot Act. Densmore proposed as a theory that when the populace is
fearful, it will always tolerate forms of censorship. What is the purpose
of censorship and what is the contervailing force which overcomes it?

Resch spoke of the Haswell case as political in the sense that Matthew
Lyon -- the jailed edtor Haswell was trying to free, was an
anti-Federalist and the president was a Federalist. In the 1780's, the
constitution was young; such blatant partisanship might be less possible


ASSIGNMENT/SCHEDULE: Class Notes assigned for the next three weeks

Here are the agreed "note takers" in class for the next three weeks. The
assignment is to email to me within a couple of days after class, a BRIEF
summary of the discussion and assignments. You will be graded based on the
accuracy of your account and your analysis and commentary. This is neither
a news story nor minutes, it's an account with added thoughts -- your own.
Anywhere from 150 words to 300 words is fine. I'll post it to our weblog.

Tues., Oct. 18 -- Nichole
Thur., Oct. 20 -- Emily
Tues., Oct. 25 -- Kara
Thur., Oct. 27 -- Jose
Tues., Nov. 1 -- Matt
Thur., Nov. 3 -- Sarah
Tues., Nov. 8 -- Steve

-- bill densmore

FIRST AMENDMENT: Salon Magazine: Judy Miller and the Damage Done

This is a link to a Salon.COM report from Oct. 16 about the Judy Miller role in the Valerie Plame "outing" case. the jist is that the New York Times' 5,000-word account of the paper's handling of the case, published Sunday, raises more questions than it answers.

FYI NEWS FUTURE: NY Times tech columnist speculates on "tablet-based" news

fyi only. -- BILL

ORIGINAL HEADLINE: Forget Blogs, Print Needs Its Own IPod

Published: October 10, 2005

By David Carr
The New York Times

SOMETIMES what appears to be a threat is actually a life preserver.

The poor defenseless music industry cowered - then prosecuted - when the
monster of digital downloads came lurching over the horizon. Then the iPod came
along and music looks like a business again - a smaller business, eked out in
99- cent units - but still a business.

Cable channels were supposed to gut network television, but instead have become
a place where shows like "Seinfeld" and "Law and Order" are resold and
rewatched. The movie industry reacted to DVD's as though they were a sign of
the imminent apocalypse, and now studios are using their libraries to churn

Which brings us to the last of the great analog technologies, the one many of
you are using right now.

The newspaper business is in a horrible state. It's not that papers don't make
money. They make plenty. But not many people, or at least not many on Wall
Street, see a future in them. In an attempt to leave the forest of dead trees
and reach the high plains of digital media, every paper in the country is
struggling mightily to digitize its content with Web sites, blogs, video and

And they are half right. Putting print on the grid is a necessity, because the
grid is where America lives. But what the newspaper industry really needs is an
iPod moment.

According to a nifty piece of polling, directed by Bob Papper of Ball State
University in Muncie, Ind., and released last week, average Americans spend
more time online, on the phone, punching the remote, the radio and the game
console than they do sleeping - a total of nine hours a day. And much of the
time, they are using more than one medium simultaneously, answering e-mail
messages while returning calls with a TV buzzing in the background.

For all the print newspaper's elegance - it is a very portable, searchable
technology - it has some drawbacks. A paper is a static product in a dynamic
news age, and while every medium is after eyeballs, the industry has to take
that quite literally. You cannot read this story while driving in your car -
which is how most of America commutes - and you cannot have it on in the
background. America is hooked on "companion" media, a pet platform that sits in
the corner and pays attention to you when you pay attention to it.

No wonder that print is taking a hit. In the Ball State study, the Internet in
all of its incarnations beat out reading print materials in all forms in every
age bracket up to 65.

Print's anachronisms, whether it is the last-mile delivery, the slaying of
forests, or the sale of thick packages that most consumers use only small
slices of, make change inevitable once a better answer is available.

Consider if the line between the Web and print matter were erased by a device
for data consumption, not data entry - all screen, no baggage - that was
uplinked and updated constantly: a digital player for the eyes, with an
iTunes-like array of content available at a ubiquitous volume and a low,
digestible price.

Sure, there are tablet PC's and so-called viewpads out there, but they need to
boot every time they are used - they are just computers without keyboards. The
iPod was not a new kind of CD player, it was a new way of listening to music.
And the dangling white headphones became something that brought joy to the ears
and also cachet to the wearer.

"There are all sorts of devices coming along," said Dick Brass, who built the
first spelling checker that worked and a format for e-books for Microsoft.
"When something is good enough and close enough to paper for people to say, 'I
want to use this,' then things will change quickly as they have with the iPod."

Newspapers might live long on such devices, but again, there are hurdles, some
technical, some economic.

"It looks simple to come up with a tablet that works, but it is not," said
Esther Dyson, a consultant on digital issues. "In order to have the power and
portability you need, you need power. The screen is the part of the device that
uses the most power."

Mr. Brass and others have suggested that superthin lithium batteries will do
the trick, or that the power source can be built into the spine of a fold-out
two-page device.

But even when such a gadget is finally in a form consumers will glom onto,
newspapers will have to fight for space and mindshare. And it is axiomatic thus
far that online customers are much lower-margin customers than print customers.
Because there is no scarcity of ad space on the Web, you cannot charge nearly
so much for a banner ad on a page with millions of hits as you can for a
double-page spread in a national paper.

The real peril of the industry has been the uncoupling of the editorial model -
still salient if the Hurricane Katrina coverage is any indication - from the
business model, which relies in part on classified advertising. The Web gives
classifieds a functionality that print will never match. (Thank you,
Craigslist.) And everybody knows consumers on the Web do not want to pay for
what they can get free, right?

Maybe not. As iTunes has demonstrated, there is a vast swath of consumers who
are willing to pay for what they want and avoid the moral taint of unauthorized

There is already a crisscross of intention on the part of the current content
providers. The primary gesture of Google and Yahoo - search is actually content
- is now being woven with video, paid columnists and, ye gads, even some
reporters. Television networks are beginning to explore whether people would
pay for an on-demand version of their product. Blogs are federating into
verticals of quality to be sold to advertisers. Broadcast radio worries about
competition from satellite radio while satellite wonders if it can get people
to unplug their iPods.

That is the future that newspapers have to prepare for. Readers no longer care
so much who you are, they just want to know what you know.

That may sound grim for big media brands, the kind of proposition that will not
provide enough cash flow to finance a squad of reporters examining what a
hurricane left behind or venturing out onto the streets of Baghdad. But in a
frantic age where the quality of the information can be critical, being a
reliable news source humming away in everyone's backpack sounds just useful
enough to be a business.


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