The "Judy Awards" go to The New York Times reporters who revealed themselves to be toadies of the Bush Administration, or who served as stenographers for power. It was a crowded field filled with many equally qualified competitors.
Narrowing down recipients was a difficult task, and we wish we could have given "Judies" to all of the journalists at the paper of record who have followed in Ms. Miller's footsteps. But in journalism, as in life, there must be winners and losers. Here are the first-ever winners of the prestigious "Judith Miller Distinguished Journalism Awards":
1). To The New York Times editorial staff for withholding the NSA warrantless surveillance story for over a year at the request of the Bush White House, which removed the controversial program from the national debate during the 2004 presidential election.
2). To Kirk Semple and Edward Wong, for their front-page story on November 6, 2005, "Major Offensive Hits Iraqi Insurgents on the Iraqi Border," which quotes either U.S. military officials or Pentagon spokespeople in 21 out of 23 of the article's sources.
3). To Kate Zernike and Anne Kornblut for their "poor Jack" Abramoff article on January 10, 2006, where they quoted Abramoff's father and some of his close friends, emphasizing his hurt feelings, and the fact that Abramoff is a religious sort who donates money to charities.
4). To Richard Bernstein, for his December 12, 2005 think piece that placed Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter, who is an outspoken critic of Bush's foreign policy, in the position of arguing for those "who behead kidnapping victims on videotape" and "religious fanatics who slit the throats of civilians while screaming, 'God is Great.'"
5). To Richard Stevenson, who in March 2005 called the Democrats "practically giddy" and "crowing" about the lack of support in their home districts for Bush's vague Social Security privatization scheme. And for his article in the Week In Review, "For the President, Power is There for the Taking," May 15, 2005, where he ponders whether Bush's successor would be able to maintain the imperial presidency in its current form.
6). To Ann Kornblut and Sam Roberts, for their March 5, 2005, page-one article on Social Security referring to the Democratic party's attempts to keep up with Bush's push to garner support for privatizing Social Security as "the Democratic road show" that is "stocked with powerhouses of the leadership"; while they referred to Bush as "kick[ing] off a 60-day tour" which included "senior officials."
7). To William Safire for never apologizing for lying in a series of op-ed pieces about Mohammed Atta's non-existent trip to Prague to meet with Iraqi intelligence officials that the 9/11 Commission has shown to be totally false.
8). To John Leland and Jodi Wilgoren in their June 19, 2005 piece on Social Security claiming that Congressional Republicans were "struggl[ing] to break a partisan impasse over President Bush's plan to reinvent Social Security and shore up its finances," when Bush himself admitted that his "plan" would do nothing to "shore up" the system. And for repeating the GOP's preferred term "personal accounts" or "individual accounts" over the more accurate "private accounts."
Congratulations to all of you!
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