Judith Miller, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter formerly with The New York Times spoke to foreign journalists and invited guests at JPC on June 5th, 2013. Miller is now an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of its magazine, “City Journal”. Since 2008, she has been a commentator for Fox News, speaking on terrorism and other national security issues, the Middle East, American foreign policy, and need to strike a delicate balance between protecting both national security and civil liberties in a post-9/11 world.
The audience joined in the discussion with questions for Mrs. Miller. Also in attendance was a group of students from the University of Miami on a month long Jerusalem Seminar in which the Jerusalem Press Club collaborated.
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As originally published in The Jerusalem Post:
Miller shared some sharp criticisms against the Obama administration’s “criminalization of news gathering” and the state of journalism at a Jerusalem Press Club lecture in the capital Wednesday evening.
During the lecture at the the Konrad Adenauer Conference Center, titled “Preserving Freedom of the Press” and moderated by Bloomberg News reporter Calev Ben-David, Miller did not hide her contempt for US President Barack Obama’s infringement on the press’s civil liberties.
“Investigative reporting is dangerous and hasn’t been as bad as it is now with the Obama administratio since Watergate,” she said. “Obama has the worst record of civil liberties of any president since Nixon.”
Miller cited the US Justice Department’s “systematic targeting” of Associated Press reporters, Fox News correspondent James Rosen and WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange by invoking the Espionage Act against them as examples of “criminalizing news gathering.”
“Am I worried about what is going on in America?” she asked. “Yes. We have a president who is doing terrible things in the name of ‘national security.’” A member of The New York Times team that won a Pulitzer Prize for “explanatory reporting,” Miller, now a Fox News correspondent, may be most notable for her refusal to reveal her sources during the Valerie Plame Affair, when the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame was exposed, compromising national security.
Miller noted the difficulty investigative journalists face in walking the line between harming national security and doing their jobs, and cited Israeli journalists as veterans at dealing with this dilemma.
“The First Amendment is sacred, but security is more sacred, and Israeli journalists have struggled with this – to find the line between a threat to national security versus what is politically embarrassing,” she said. “You guys have wrestled with this much longer than we have.”
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