MONDAY’S LETTERS: Judith Miller Book Deal Speculation, TimesSelect Reaction and More

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By: E&P Staff

Today’s letters offer commentary on the Judith Miller situation, two different perspectives on the Bush Bathroom Break photo and a plea for media coverage of FEMA’s critical work in demolishing homes devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Let the fur fly.

Re: Judith Miller’s Visitors List Revealed — Bolton’s Name ‘Raises Eyebrows’

A Book Deal For Judith Miller?

Oh, poor wittle Judy. My heart aches that she can’t watch CNN.

99 visitors before Labor Day and no shiv in a sponge cake to make her big break? (And, to think, Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, and John Bolton are still walking free.)

Maybe you should save your pity for the too-many journalists who have died in Iraq, some killed by American fire. Was that “friendly” or what?

Remember, Judith Miller was one of the media’s leading advocates for the Bush War on Iraq.

For her publicizing disingenuous lies and disastrous disinformation in The New York Times and for her help in ginning up the war fever in America, she merits a plaque on the wall of Journalism’s Hall of Shame.

That aside, please also remember that she herself chose to go to jail rather than reveal her confidential sources. She chose to protect the identity (or identities) of highly-placed Bush administration officials, who are not “whistleblowers,” but rather, cowardly, venomous, and possibly treasonous punks who wanted to punish a political foe by outing his wife as a CIA agent — and to do it under cover of anonymity.

And she does all of this for “freedom of the press”? Or because she doesn’t want to lose her access to a powerful, political, and possibly criminal, elite?

Is she protecting them? Or herself? First Amendment or Fifth? Inquiring minds want to know.

However it comes out, one thing we know for sure. When Judith Miller gets out of jail, she’s going to get herself one hell of a rich book deal.

David Wyles

***

Re: Bush’s Bathroom Break Photo

Hershorn says he decided to transmit the picture because it was interesting. “There was no malicious intent,” he says. “That’s not what we do.” Supporters of George Bush know better than to believe what Mr. Hershorn states above. If there were a way to destroy Mr. Bush and his legacy, Reuters would jump on it.

There are thankfully other ways to get our news these days. The mainstream news is not reliable anymore. This has been proven time and again by dishonest reporting and enhanced photos for the sake of slanting a story.

Nancy Patrie
Tuscaloosa, Ala.

***

I know you want to move on from the “bathroom break” photo, but seeing all the LTEs blasting you and Reuters for being frivolous and for your supposed liberal agenda, just wanted to make some comments.

No, this is not that big a deal. It is, however, funny.

The Reuters folks explained it was an accident. They weren’t lying in wait to try to embarrass Bush (he can handle that very well by himself, thank you.) Can anyone really say that if they were Reuters they would have been so high-minded as to not publish this photo? Give me a break.

While I don’t see it as earthshaking, the photo is yet another example of Bush’s gormlessness and lack of leadership skills. Either he is personally so unfamiliar with the UN that he needs guidance as to whether it is okay to go pee; or he is so poorly briefed/prepped that he has no clue what to do; or he is totally dependent on aides to tell him what to do; or some bizarre combination of the above. It’s sad, that’s all.

And funny.

Ruth Adkins
Portland, Ore.

***

Re: ‘NY Times’ Introduces New ‘Pay’ Service Today

Most of the columnists that will be available in TimesSelect are easily available in other papers. These writers appear to be widely syndicated. Although the columns may appear a day late, they are widely available for free. I’ve always wondered how the NYTimes could charge other papers for columnists when they were available free of charge on the Times Web site.

It would appear that by charging for these columnists, the Times is also protecting its revenue from syndication.

Also, I pay for PBS and Public Radio because I want to support their news operations. It seems reasonable to pay the NYTimes something for their news.

Ken Panza
Kingston, N.Y.

***

Pay to read columns online by Paul Krugman and Bob Herbert?

Never!

Both of these columnists are favorites of mine — particularly Paul Krugman. Still, I see no reason to pay to read their words. Thanks anyway.

Barry Z. Rose
Palo Alto, Calif.

***

The New York Times is going about this backwards. People will pay not to have to read Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd.

Jim Grodnik
San Lorenzo, Calif.

***

A Plea For Katrina Coverage

Re: St. Bernard parish, LA: FEMA is not allowing rescue teams to go into houses to look for people or bodies unless they see one or someone through a window or hear a noise. Windows are mostly boarded up and unconscious people don’t make noise. These houses are scheduled to be razed because of toxic environmental conditions. Will FEMA desecrate all the bodies that are still in the attics and possibly kill any survivors remaining in those attics? Who is watching to make sure this doesn’t happen? We need to keep a vigilant eye open when these 20,000 or more homes are bulldozed.

Please, someone watch out for our loved ones who have suffered and could be concealed in their death by deceit. The death toll will rise.

Edie Brassette

***

Re: Mark Fitzgerald’s article on the Bakersfield Californian’s launch of a new weekly for English-speaking Latinos:

Just wanted to drop a note to say thank you for the article you wrote about the launch of M?s. In the last couple of years, I have been interviewed by more reporters than I ever imagined, and I really appreciate it when I see an article that is well done. Not only did you get it right, but you “get it” in terms of the market opportunity for products like M?s and Conexion.

Thanks again for your interest in M?s and all of our efforts in Bakersfield.

Mary Lou Fulton
VP Audience Development
The Bakersfield Californian

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