Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Miller and the NY times part company

Well, I had guessed that Judy Miller would have taken a sabbatical from the Times, written her book about her 85 days in gaol, and then "moved on."

It looks like the "moved on" part of that has been rescheduled.

According to a story in today's NY Times, Miller is leaving the paper, now.

Apparently Miller and the paper have been in negotiations for the past two weeks on just when she would leave, and on what terms.

As is usual in "these sorts of things," the full terms of the divorce are not open to viewing by the public. However, as part of the agreement, the executive editor of the paper, Bill Keller, sent a memo to the staff explaining that his use of the terms "involvement" and "engagement" in respect to Millers relationships with I. Lewis ("Scooter") Libby, did not "suggest an improper relationship." (Ghods, is *everything* supposed to be about sex these days? When can a cigar go back to being just a cigar?)

Another part of the "terms" is that Miller will write a letter to the paper, that the paper will print (it will be in Thursday's edition).

Lawyers for Ms. Miller and the paper negotiated a severance package whose details they would not disclose. Under the agreement, Ms. Miller will retire from the newspaper, and The Times will print a letter she wrote to the editor explaining her position. Ms. Miller originally demanded that she be able to write an essay for the paper's Op-Ed page refuting the allegations against her, the lawyers said. The Times refused that demand - Gail Collins, editor of the editorial page, said, "We don't use the Op-Ed page for back and forth between one part of the paper and another" - but agreed to let her to write the letter.

In that letter, to be published in The New York Times on Thursday under the heading, "Judith Miller's Farewell," Ms. Miller said she was leaving partly because some of her colleagues disagreed with her decision to testify in the C.I.A. leak case.

"But mainly," she wrote, "I have chosen to resign because over the last few months, I have become the news, something a New York Times reporter never wants to be."

The Moderate Voice has some commentary on this story, and a neat little graphic for the lead paragraph....

UPDATE: See this article for a note about Miller's letter, as published.

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