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New hope for the Times?

Apparently "Pinch" Sulzberger found it a lot easier to get Judy Miller to start servicing than to get her to stop. But, finally, a happy ending!

Lawyers for Ms. Miller and the paper negotiated a severance package, the details of which they would not disclose. Under the agreement, Ms. Miller will retire from the newspaper, and The Times will print a letter [her lawyer] she wrote to the editor explaining her position.

And we'll all be looking forward to that, I'm sure.

She noted that even before going to jail, she had "become a lightning rod for public fury over the intelligence failures that helped lead our country to war." She said she regretted "that I was not permitted to pursue answers" to questions about those intelligence failures.

Failure? What failure? Bush succeeded in planting the stories that faked the country into the war He wanted. And Miller helped him. Where's the failure there? Let's be reasonable now, people.

Personally, I don't believe for one minute that Miller was a loose cannon. Big corporations like the Times don't have a lot of loose cannons at the "individual contributor" level, and those individual contributors that succeed do so at least partly because they have patrons among the higher up that give them sanction.

The idea that Miller had her hands on the driver's wheel is uncomfortably reminiscent of the "bad apples" theory of torture. Because in Bush's America, the soldiers take the blame when the Commander in Chief fails.

Miller had to go; but Pinch should go too. Miller happened on his watch.

Before Miller, the Times could make some claim to be a credible newsgathering organization, even after getting Wen Ho Lee wrong, Whitewater wrong, Goring Gore, and failing to report anything relevant about Florida 2000 until well after Bush was firmly in the saddle.

After Miller, the Times has no claim to credibility at all. Sure, stories do get written, some of them even good, but that's just because some people show up to work.

Institutionally, the Times is a zombie; the body shambles forward, but the heart and the brain are long dead.

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