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Reporter behind WMD claims calls Assange ‘bad journalist’

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A former New York Times reporter assailed for her incorrect reports about Iraq’s purported weapons of mass destruction is criticizing Julian Assange for being a “bad journalist.”

Judith Miller took on the WikiLeaks founder during an appearance on Fox News Watch Saturday, arguing that Assange was a bad journalist “because he didn’t care at all about attempting to verify the information that he was putting out, or determine whether or not it hurt anyone.”

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For many critics of the war in Iraq, that claim is likely to set off irony alarms. Miller has become famous for being the author of a 2002 New York Times article — now debunked — suggesting that Saddam Hussein had an active nuclear weapons program.

“Mr. Hussein’s dogged insistence on pursuing his nuclear ambitions, along with what defectors described in interviews as Iraq’s push to improve and expand Baghdad’s chemical and biological arsenals, have brought Iraq and the United States to the brink of war,” Miller wrote.

Senior Bush administration officials would soon use the article to argue for an invasion of Iraq.

In an article published last week, Salon.com’s Alex Pareene argued that Miller simply parroted what Iraqi exile Ahmed Chalabi had told her.

Lying exile grifter Ahmad Chalabi fed her the worst of the nonsense designed to push America into toppling Saddam Hussein (and giving Iraq to him), and she pushed that nonsense into the newspaper of record. She got everything wrong, and for some insane reason, she remained employed at the Times until 2005, when she negotiated her separation from her longtime professional home.

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As the Crooks and Liars blog points out, Miller once defended her reporting with the argument that it is not a journalist’s job to verify — only to report inform readers of what they had been told.

“[M]y job isn’t to assess the government’s information and be an independent intelligence analyst myself. My job is to tell readers of the New York Times what the government thought about Iraq’s arsenal,” she said.

Miller’s career trajectory since leaving the Times in 2005 has had a distinctly rightward bent. She became a contributor for Fox News, before recently joining the conservative magazine Newsmax. Her first article appears in the January, 2011, issue.

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Miller made her comment about Assange while arguing that organizations like WikiLeaks are part of the “new journalism” of the digital age.

“This is part of the new journalism,” she said. “Everybody’s just got to get used to it. If you have that much information, most of which is over-classified — if the waste basket in the office is classified, someone’s going to leak it,” she said.

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The following video, broadcast on Fox News Jan. 1, 2011, was uploaded to the web by Crooks and Liars.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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2020 Election

If Democrats fight right-wing ‘fake news’ fire with fire, we all lose

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Democrats are increasingly worried about losing the 2020 presidential election to Donald Trump. The party is in seeming disarray from the botched Iowa caucuses and the failure of an "electable" frontrunner to emerge early in the primary season. Trump's fundraising and digital operations are humming, buoyed in part by his acquittal at the Senate trial which refused to remove him from office for soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 elections and obstructing the House's investigation of it.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Activism

Nevada GOP activist reveals how he ‘caucused for Bernie’ to help Trump win: ‘It would be a dream election’

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Conservative activist Chuck Muth said that he temporarily switched parties to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in the Nevada caucuses.

Muth, who spoke to the Las Vegas Journal-Review while wearing a red Keep America Great hat, explained that he had crossed over to “vote for the weakest candidate possible of the Democrats.”

“It was kind of a way of demonstrating how absurd I think it is to have same-day registration as well as early voting for a caucus,” Muth explained. “So my wife and I last Sunday went to an early voting site, we changed parties right there on the spot. We caucused for Bernie.”

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Soledad O’Brien shames 1980 ‘Miracle on Ice’ hockey team for photo-op with Trump while wearing MAGA hats

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In an early Sunday morning tweet, award-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien expressed her dismay with members of the 1980 Gold Medal-winning Olympic hockey team for celebrating their historic win over the then-Soviet Union -- dubbed the "Miracle on Ice" -- with Donald Trump while wearing "Make America Great Again" hats.

According to O'Brien, seeing them hand Trump a photo-op filled her with "disappointment."

Taking to Twitter, she wrote, " Ugh.... so disappointed by the @1980MiracleTeam . I loved watching that game as a kid with my dad. Loved watching the movie with my kids. To see them on a stage, in maga hats—kinda crushing I have to say."

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