Just before Patrick Fitzgerald took to the podium in Washington, Arthur Sulzberger was in New York, telling the Online News Association conference that the Times’ credibility had not been hurt by the paper’s failure to fire Judy Miller. But behind the scenes, Sulzberger and the Times’ editors are desperately trying to find a way to fire her without unleashing her wrath. As a Times staffer told me, “The last thing Sulzberger and Keller want is Judy on Fox 24/7 crapping on the New York Times. And you know she would.”
Indeed, I hear that Judy is playing major league hardball. Banking on her power over Young Arthur, she is trying hard to jack up her severance package. What’s more, a source tells me that Miller is (I kid you not) trying to include in the package “‘drifting’ onto the Times masthead in some high-concept way”.
In the meantime, Miller is demanding that she be allowed to answer in the pages of the Times the stinging criticism she’s received from Keller, Jill Abramson, Phil Taubman, Maureen Dowd, and public editor Barney Calame. Keller wants to end the back and forth. Arthur wants to keep Judy happy.
Check the Times website Saturday night (or, for you old schoolers, the paper Sunday morning) to see who wins.