Keller Memo: Editor Didn’t Know Miller Was Receiving Leaks

From the other side of the International Date Line, Bill Keller presents his latest memo on the Judith Miller crisis (via Romenesko).

Revisiting his go-slow approach to cleaning up after the WMD-reporting mess, Keller writes that “we fostered an impression that The Times put a higher premium on protecting its reporters than on coming clean with its readers.”

Keller then sets about fostering the opposite impression. He concedes that in Miller’s contempt case, he didn’t know–and that the lawyers did know–”the substance of the confidential interviews, the notes.” And he suggests that, in dealing with Miller, he probably ought to have:

Until Fitzgerald came after her, I didn’t know that Judy had been one of the reporters on the receiving end of the anti-Wilson whisper campaign. I should have wondered why I was learning this from the special counsel, a year after the fact. (In November of 2003 Phil Taubman tried to ascertain whether any of our correspondents had been offered similar leaks. As we reported last Sunday, Judy seems to have misled Phil Taubman about the extent of her involvement.)