Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Judy, Judy, Judy

As folks were filing out of tonight's lecture, a few students who'd noticed Judith Miller in the audience stopped by to say, 'hello.'

Miller did most of the talking as the six of us were somewhat agog. If I remember correctly, she said that she'd been part of a gender discrimination lawsuit at the Times in the early seventies and that she'd started out like panelist Michelle Leder, sifting through documents -- in Washington, where she insisted the Times send her.

Where should we start out, someone asked. The wires, said Miller. She'd never done it, and consequently she never learned to write quickly -- especially those first three paragraphs. That's why she got into investigative journalism.

Miller wanted to know what we thought of "all this," meaning the web's effect on journalism. (God forgive me, I was thinking, "She's got a great Cheshire smile, and she's kind of a fox" -- maybe in an infamous Mata Hari sort of way these days)

Just then, someone passed by, and I stepped away. Soon, Miller was wrapping up. She shook each student's hand and instead of walking out, she waited until I was done with my friend to shake my hand.

Class.

She was down to earth, gracious and -- I'm speculating -- appreciative that noone brought up her troubles or treated her with awkward neglect.

Anyone else who was there care to add something? About the Binaca?

2 Comments:

At 10:47 PM, Blogger bbop said...

This is Paul here. We decided it was Ice Drops, not Binaca. Also, soft hands were a key detail. And I believe we decided that one of the key points in the conversation came when Ms. Miller told us that she had gone into investigative journalism because "I'm not fast." Meaning that she didn't particularly great at banging out an outstanding first three grafs of a story on deadline. Whew--thought I was the only one!

 
At 7:05 AM, Blogger david ressel said...

i met her at another news event two months ago, i have been trading emails and calls with her to try to find a time to do a formal chat with us.

Her schedule (and ours) always seem to be in flux,and i got wrapped up in some silly things like classes and work and life... but i want to make it happen.

 

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