Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Judy Judy Judy

Recently received correspondence from someone in the news business up north who was disappointed about the Pulp's silence on the AP's hiring of the Herald's Judy Miller as its national editor. Here's what the fellow, who didn't want his identity disclosed, wrote:

"No coverage of Judy's departure? It's as welcomed by the Herald's staff as her namesake's was at the Times, despite the blind item in Miami New Times a few weeks back. Try to find an actual working RESPECTED journalist at the Herald who has something good to say about her. You won't. She was given a head's up so that she could find a job before she was frog-marched out the door, and she did. The Associated Press? Puh-lease!!"

Then another to-remain-nameless journo-writer sent me this:

"Here's a subject I'd love to see the Pulp sleuth into: the "promotion" and odd AP lateral career move of the Herald's Judy Miller. First the heir apparent to the paper's editor-in-chief-ship gets bumped upstairs and out of the Miami newsroom in the wake of the Art Teele/DeFede fracas. And now she jumps ship altogether. I've heard so many opposing opinions over the past few years, from folks who saw her rise as a possible return to the Herald's Eighties glory days to writers at their wits end. I'd be interested to hear DeFede's thoughts, since she reportedly went to bat for him."

Yes, the Miller's move is weird to those of us who don't punch a time clock at One Herald Plaza. I've heard all kinds of things about Miller. That she backed DeFede, who handed that fateful tape recording of the Teele phone call to her. That she's a real journalist. That she's a terrible corporate crony. She's good. She's bad. She's honest. She's corrupt. Let's air this out (in a respectful way, pls) and bring her into focus. Who is the real Judy Miller and what's the story behind her exit from the Herald?

Closing CenterOne

Where there is suffering, where there pain, where there is a need in the night -- there are rip-off artists. Today's stories by Scott Wyman and Erica Bolstad on the Broward County commission vote to close CenterOne, which cares for AIDS patients, help prove it. But there was something in the Bolstad article that caught my eye. This quote: ''I looked at your client list and people who are serviced by your agency, and the sad thing is, a lot of those people I know,'' said Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion.

What, do privacy laws go out the window when it comes to elected officials? Did all the commissioners see the list of AIDS patients? That sounds wrong to me, considering the cut-throat nature of politics and the sensitive nature of that information.

A Haunting Picture

I'll have the Story of the Day a little later, but today there's a very special photograph to honor. The dominant art on the Sentinel's front page was heartbreaking. It shows the mother of BSO Deputy Ryan Seguin, who was killed during a traffic stop last week, crying on her son's casket. But what is absolutely eerie and amazing about the photo is that the blurred badge on the arm of a deputy standing guard at the casket looks distinctly like one of those Greek tragedy masks. It's one of the most amazing things I've seen in a long while. Congratulations to Sentinel photographer Anastasia Walsh Infanzon. You can see the picture below, but it's much more striking in the actual newspaper.

And One More Thing

If you haven't seen Romenesko, this just in about Jim Mullin. He's leaving the San Luis Obispo newspaper after the Meth madness. But what's crazy is he wasn't even there. The guy was editing the newspaper from Miami Beach. Running a newspaper from 3,000 miles away? That may have been the first mistake. But Mullin has overseen amazing work in his career. I'm betting he lands on his feet. Good luck, Jim.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In recent months, before she got bumped to that BS training job, she hired I think four reporters. NONE speak a lick of Spanish, something that I know annoyed the hell out of a newsroom that lacks Spanish speakers.

She put a kid two years out of college to handle the complex
City of Miami beat.

One of the most frustrating habits Judy brought with her when she came to the herald was that she put just as much or more emphasis on someone's college education than she did their experience. I saw her pass over good local reporters from other local papers and within the herald for summer interns. And it wasn't entirely a financial choice. She liked Ivy leaguers and saw them as an investment for the paper, but
in a crazy city like Miami that takes the average person about a year before you can drive around without a map, several years to learn the slang and Spanish if you're not from the area.... it just wasn't a realistic investment.

The paper is still paying for it; some reporters still get lost in the areas that they cover and most rarely ever produce hard-hitting stories that require mining sources.

I can go on and on, but I think this covers the worst of it. I agree with other people who have contacted you that someone needs to look into why Judy left, was fired. I think the Herald will learn a lot from it, and hopefully, it will save the Herald and other local newspapers
from hiring someone like her.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judy Miller is an excellent editor and a good person. Ah, sour grapes ... you can almost taste them. No wonder she's leaving for greener pastures in New York.

12:32 PM  
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10:06 AM  

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