Thursday, October 06, 2005

Get Off My Cloud, Bitch

One reason I quit MSM long long ago was that I just got sick and tired of having to kiss Judith Miller-like ass for up to 18-hours a day. Talk about Cinderella burnout. That was network news "culture" for ya. Still is, I imagine.

But trust me, the lunatic-level of aggressive behavior came in all-gendered flavors and levels of disgusting demeanor, such as that audio tech, who will remain nameless here, who would bring the crew van to a screeching halt to oogle women's boobs jogging merrily by. Ughhh. That sort of unprofessional behavior was tolerated (at that point in time) even while the Clarence Thomas hearings were in full swinging D mode!

And then there was that hyped-out, now "former" on-camera correspondent with whom I had to travel the SE periodically with as she needed a sherpa to procure those all-important first-class upgrades for her while she, presumably, chased down a breaking news situation. That particularly unappealing "on-air" once ordered me to dial a Delta reservations number for her, right in the middle of something like, oh say, a Cat 5. "It's 1-800-323-2323," she barked. "Even you can remember that." Yeah, and some of us never forget, hon.

But back to the point at hand... Here's more on that dangerous, self-server journalist, Judith Miller, from New York online edition:

The Judy Miller problem is complicated. That is, the very qualities that endeared Miller to her editors at the New York Times—her ambition, her aggressiveness, her cultivation of sources by any means necessary, her hunger to be first—were the same ones that allowed her to get the WMD story so wrong.

Miller is a star, a diva. She wrote big stories, won big prizes. Long before her WMD articles ran, Miller had become a newsroom legend—and for reasons that had little to do with the stories that appeared beneath her byline. With her seemingly bottomless ambition—a pair of big feet that would stomp on colleagues in her way and even crunch a few bystanders—she cut a larger-than-life figure that lent itself to Paul Bunyan–esque retellings.

Most of these stories aren’t kind. Of course, nobody said journalism was a country club. And her personality was immaterial while she was succeeding, winning a Pulitzer, warning the world about terrorism, bio-weapons, and Iraq’s war machine. But now, who she is, and why she prospered, makes for a revealing cautionary tale about the culture of American journalism.

Full Judith Tell-All tale here. And yes, former ABC News colleagues, remind you of anyone? Everyone? Oh, I won't tell if you don't!

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