Here is the most-overlooked passage in Howie Kurtz’s exposition of Judy Miller’s testimony in the Scooter Libby trial (Miller is suggesting that her then-newspaper report on the allegation that Valerie Plame worked at the CIA was responsible for hubby Joe Wilson IV’s fact-not-finding trip to Nigeria):

“Miller said she recommended to her boss, Jill Abramson, now the Times’s managing editor, that the paper go after the Plame story, but ‘she seemed very distracted that day’ and just said ‘mmm-hmm.’ Abramson has denied that Miller made such a recommendation.”

Abramson, who played a major role in ending the career of former New York Times editor Howell Raines, is a tough and respected journalist. My guess is that Abramson either wasn’t informed about the story or truly was so distracted that she has no recollection of it.

Visioning Exercise: If the story recommended by Miller had been detrimental to the Bush administration would it have penetrated the distracted editor’s consciousness?