Mea Culpa: Don’t Blame the NY Times for Judygate. Blame Uri.

by Alphaville Herald on 17/10/05 at 11:16 am

by Urizenus Sklar

If you read the blogs about journalism (as of course I do), you know that there is a shitstorm brewing over the way the New York Times handled Judy Miller. Critics say that they basically ceded their editorial policy to her, and that she was in effect not a 1st Amendment martyr, but rather someone who was in tight with the administration and the White House Iraq Group, that she became an instrument in their lies about Iraq, and that she was not protecting a source but was in effect aiding her buddies in the White House by protecting them from the special prosecutor. While this is all basically true, I want to say that we should not blame Mr. Keller and Mr. Sulzberger at the Times. Instead, we should blame me: Urizenus Sklar.

It all started when Judy went for a cruise with me on the Herald yacht. She asked me, “Uri, I see what a success you have become, how did you do it? And how can I be a successful journalist like you?” And this is what I told her…

I explained to Judy how my great success had come by joining governmental organizations in TSO and Second Life. How I had initially joined the Sim Shadow Government, was privy to their inner deliberations, and even went on a tagging mission with them. A violation of journalistic ethics? “Judy”, I explained “that thinking is so pre-9-11”. “The job of a journalist today is not to be an outsider, but to be an insider – to be one with the people you are reporting on. Sure, that requires compromises – you gotta give a little to get a little. If you want that security clearance your gonna have to tote some water for the administration – just like I had to do shit for the SSG in The Sims Online and for the Feted Inner Core in Second Life – stuff that I’m not proud of, but look where I am today, cruising the Mediterranean on the biggest yacht you ever set eyes on.”

Judy thought about my words as she spread some of my exquisite beluga caviar on some toast points and washed it down with some Cristal. “Uri”, she said, “you know I want to be an uber-journalist like you, but what if people complain that I have sharp elbows? – I wouldn’t want that.”

“Judy, Judy, Judy, you have to take pride in your sharp elbows. Embrace your mackitude. If they complain that you are out of control, call yourself “Miss Run Amok”.”

Judy began to get my drift. “I see, Uri, I need to get out in front of the criticism – I have sharp elbows and I’m running amok and I’m violating all your old fashioned journalistic ethics, but I’m *proud* of it!”

“That’s the spirit, Judy!”

“But what if the editors at the Times get in my way.”

“Judy, those guys are a bunch of self-doubting guilt-ravaged candy assed white men. Look how the Times dealt with Jayson Blair. Even though you have a different editor, it’s the same story – he’ll be afraid to touch you. Slap those white men around like the pain sluts that they are!

“Uri, you make it all sound so sensible, but one thing.”

“What’s that, Judy?”

“Well, you are a virtual journalist covering events in an online videogame. It’s one thing to join the Sim Shadow Government in The Sims Online, or to suck up to the Feted Inner Core and the Lindens in the game Second Life, but should a reporter really be doing this in the real world? – where thousands of young men and women could be sent to die in a meaningless war because my reporting consists in letting the administration use me to spread lies about Iraqi WMDs which they can then quote as ‘the NY Times reported yesterday’ and thereby use me to orchestrate a drumbeat to war – one based on lies and disinformation?”

“Judy, that thinking is so pre-9-11.”

“Uri, do you have any more toast points?

“Sure babe.”

As the Herald Yacht steamed into the Mediterranean sunset, I knew in that moment that the world had another star reporter. Soon, she would be getting million dollar book deals. Just like me.

3 Responses to “Mea Culpa: Don’t Blame the NY Times for Judygate. Blame Uri.”

  1. Smiley

    Oct 17th, 2005

    Slow news day?

  2. Ian

    Oct 23rd, 2005

    Sorry I stopped reading/laughing after you said “lies about Iraq” and didn’t back it up with any evidence. You liberals and your conspiracy theories.

  3. Wandering Yaffle

    Oct 24th, 2005

    Call me paranoid but I actually think that last comment was a spambot prototype. Why isn’t it advertising anything?

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