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Judith Miller Pardoned; Receives Highest Presidential Honor
Aug 4 2005 by David Agosta
The President also announced that Miller will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. "Judy's been a great friend to this Administration and we remember our friends," the President said. "While the rest of the liberal media was busy questioning the existence of WMDs in Iraq, Judy reported the truth as we know it. She deserves special consideration."
When asked about the appearance of a conflict of interest, the President replied, "Look, Saddam is an evil man. These liberal activist judges are evil men. They're supporting the terrorists. Don't you see the connection? I don't see contempt of court as a crime. I have contempt for the courts; why don't they come and arrest me?"
Noting that an administration must be "above the law" to fulfill its mission of protecting America from "the scourge of Islam," the President refused to answer further questions, saying, "Your stories are already prepared. Scotty [White House Press Secretary McClellan] will get them to your editors. Now go find us some dirt on Barack Obama."
Times Executive Editor Bill Keller was giddy when told of the pardon. "We're passionate about ensuring the credibility of our reporters. A journalist must be able to offer sources a reasonable expectation of anonymity to maintain that credibility. This is especially important for someone like Judy. Her sources are, well, you remember Ahmad Chalabi, right? Judy's credibility as a journalist wouldn't be enhanced if she had to reveal her sources. Do you?"
When asked if a journalist's credibility was more dependent on reliable sources or the concealment of unreliable sources, Keller explained, "Judy's stories come directly from the White House Press Secretary's office. You can't get more credible than that. As I said in June, the goal of the Times is 'to stretch beyond our...liberal orientation' and 'pander to conservatives'. That's what we're doing. That's what Judy has been doing and I'm glad to see that the President recognizes that."
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