New York Times Vet: Judy Miller Hated Kofi Annan?

October 21st, 2005 9:08 AM

Over at the letters page of Romenesko, former New York Times U.N. Bureau Chief Barbara Crossette complains about the conservative, anti-Kofi Annan agenda of Judith Miller:

Over the last year or so, Judith Miller also wrote a series of damaging reports on the "oil for food" scandal at the United Nations -- in particular, personally damaging to Secretary General Kofi Annan because the reports were frequently based on half-truths or hearsay peddled on Capitol Hill by people determined to force Annan out of office. At the UN, this was interpreted as payback for the UN's refusal to back the US war in Iraq. As a former NYT UN bureau chief [now retired] I have been asked repeatedly by diplomats, former US government officials, journalists still reporting from the organization and others why Times editors did not step in to question some of this reporting -- a lot of it proved wrong by the recent report by Paul Volcker -- or why the paper seemed to be on a vendetta against the UN. The Times answered that question Sunday in its page one report on the Miller affair. Ms. Run Amok had at least one very highly placed friend at the paper, and many Timespeople were afraid to tangle with her because of that.

Crossette does not endeavor in her brief missive to explain why it's an outrageous notion that Kofi Annan's tenure atop the U.N. be questioned because of the massive multi-billion dollar scam enriching Saddam Hussein on his watch, in which his son was heavily involved. Clay Waters at Times Watch offers our take on the Times U.N. coverage at this page.