Judy Miller Discovers the Word “Claim”

Judy Miller, first amendment martyr, has finally found an assertion that she distrusts enough to diminish by using the word “claim:”

NYPD’s critics have complained about potential invasions of privacy and disruptions of New Yorkers’ civil liberties. During the Occupy Wall Street protests, several reporters and citizens claimed to have been abused and arrested without justifiable cause. [my emphasis]

Now, to her credit, she also modified Ray Kelly’s assertion that those who have Occupied Wall Street are anarchists.

He defended the NYPD’s dismantlement of the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park last fall and its handling of the protests that threatened to block vehicular and foot traffic on city streets. Handling such demonstrations, said Kelly, was “a contact sport.” “Sometimes we overreact,” he conceded. “We make mistakes.” But by and large, he concluded, the department had done a “good job” of enabling social protest while also protecting the city against violent disruptions caused by a minority of what he called “anarchists.” [my emphasis]

Not to get all Truth Vigilante on an esteemed journalist like Judy Miller, but these are both testable assertions. There are videos clearly showing journalists being pushed around and arrested even though they were properly credentialed. And any discussion of the treatment of journalists at Occupy Wall Street must go further, to talk about how journalists were managed to ensure they couldn’t cover certain things, and how more generally the NYPD refused to credential journalists so they could cover it. And while you’re at it, it might be nice to mention that regular people also were abused and arrested without justifiable cause, not just journalists.

But then you might also have to go further when challenging Kelly’s claims than simply scare-quoting them. In fact, in most cases, violent disruptions were caused by the NYPD, not protestors.

Though, I guess if Ray Kelly wants to call his force a bunch of anarchists, he would know.

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