(Note: “The Power of the Jump”™ is a semi-regular feature of this site, documenting examples of the Los Angeles Times’s use of its back pages to hide information that its editors don’t want you to see.)
Once again, on the front page, the L.A. Times reports on the Judith Miller case as a straightforward question of protecting a confidential source — while burying contrary evidence on the back pages. In a story titled Journalist Freed to Testify in Plame Case, this material appears on the front page:
WASHINGTON — New York Times reporter Judith Miller, jailed since July 6 for refusing to reveal a confidential source, was freed Thursday after agreeing to testify about her conversations with the source.
Miller is expected to appear today before a federal grand jury investigating whether anyone in the Bush administration leaked the name of a covert CIA officer to reporters.
Her surprise release, negotiated between Times lawyers and a Justice Department special prosecutor, came after Miller received what the newspaper described as “a direct and un-coerced waiver” from her source that released her from any pledge of confidentiality and enabled her to testify.
You have to go to Page A13 to learn that the source was already non-confidential before Miller ever went to jail:
According to the [New York] Times account, [I. Lewis "Scooter"] Libby [the source] and [Joseph] Tate [his lawyer] strenuously argued that a waiver Libby had provided more than a year earlier was adequate to cover Miller, and that additional assurances were unnecessary.
People close to the case speculated that the possibility of a grueling and seemingly endless jail term may also have been a factor in the resolution.
As I noted last night, Miller had the waiver all along. But if you read only the front page, as most people do, you’ll never know that the “confidential” source wasn’t really confidential at all. But sssshhhhh! It’s all about blowing up Miller into a media martyr.
P.S. This isn’t the first time the paper has done this.