THE BLOG
10/22/2005 10:52 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Byron's Greatest Hits: He Thinks Judy Lied, Rebukes Sulzberger, Says It'll Be Difficult for Her to Return

An overview of the greatest hits from (New York Times' public editor) Byron Calame's just-released piece on Judy Miller:

One ethical problem emerged when Patrick Fitzgerald, ... asked Ms. Miller if she had pursued an article about Valerie Plame, the C.I.A. operative, or her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV. Ms. Miller said in an interview for the retrospective that she "made a strong recommendation to my editor" that a story be pursued. "I was told no."

But Jill Abramson, now a managing editor and the Washington bureau chief in 2003, would have known about such a request. Ms. Abramson, to whom Ms. Miller reported, strongly asserted to me that Ms. Miller never asked to pursue an article about the operative. Ms. Abramson said that she did not recall Ms. Miller ever mentioning the confidential conversations she had with I. Lewis Libby ... When I asked her, Ms. Miller declined to identify the editor she dealt with.

If Ms. Abramson is to be believed, and I do believe her, this raises clear issues of trust and credibility. (Emphasis mine.)

In other words, Calame thinks Judy lied. He goes on:

It also means that because Ms. Miller didn't let an editor know what she knew, Times readers were deprived of a potentially exclusive look into an apparent administration effort to undercut Mr. Wilson and other critics of the Iraq war.

In other words, because her editors weren't managing her, the Times' readers were deprived of a critical story.

The apparent deference to Ms. Miller by Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher, and top editors of The Times, going back several years, needs to be addressed more openly, especially in view of the ethics issues that have come to light.

In other words, the jig is up.

There's more that needs follow-up, especially: What did Judy say to Fitzgerald about her editors' allegedly denying her the opportunity to follow up on the story. Does she have a legal problem now? Stay tuned ...