Is Reason commenter joe, our current standard-bearer for Anti-Judith Millerism, speaking for the majority of Americans, or does the whole doing-time-for-your-principles thing no longer generate any public sympathy? The top Google results page for the phrase "Judith Miller" indicates there just ain't a lot of sympathy out there for the jailed New York Times reporter. Out of the top ten results, just one is about her jail sentence—and that is a straight CNN story, not a Free Judith site. (You can find less than a handful of those here.) Of the rest, one is a Wikipedia entry, another is "Judith's World of Romance. Where anything can happen,. Time has no meaning. And love lasts forever" (I hope that's some kind of prison occupational therapy project, and not some other person named Judith Miller), and all the rest are people kicking her in the teeth for her WMD stories. Even if she stays in the clink until October, I'm not sure many people will consider her debt to society paid. Particularly disheartening is this E&P news story, about how even her Times colleagues are turning on her.
As somebody who could happily use the phrase "jailed New York Times reporter" every day for the rest of my life and believes many people should be doing time for the WMD fraud, I'm pretty surprised at the venom. How hated must Judith Miller be? Is a reputational reprieve due for Edward Said, the original Milla h8er?
I can understand anti-Bush folks' antipathy for Miller, but why hasn't there been any strong pro-Judith reaction from Bush supporters? Is the cognitive dissonance of having the administration's media martyr employed by the Times just too much to handle?
If there is a clear winner in all this, it's Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., who gets to rehabilitate a fallen star, look like a newsman of rare principle, hold out a standing rebuke to rightwing Times haters, and avoid having to publish anything by Judith Miller for a few months. If there's a clear loser, it's Miller, who's now several weeks into a prison sentence with bupkes to show for it.
Michael McMenamin reviewed the disturbing Sixth Amendment issues around Miller's case yesterday. When Miller headed into the hoosegow, Matt Welch made a point all sides can agree on: Time magazine sucks out loud.