Leaving out how one feels about Richard Blumenthal possibly misreprenting his military record, I just can’t see how this is good journalism on the part of the Times:
The New York Times, in a statement sent my way, is now defending its decision to run a shorter version of an explosive video of Richard Blumenthal in 2008 falsely claiming service in Vietnam — even though a longer version shows he accurately represented his service during the same speech.
When The Times first broke the story Monday night, it included a clip of Blumenthal claiming he “served in Vietnam.” But today the Associated Press unearthed a longer video showing that he earlier described himself as “someone who served in the military during the Vietnam era in the Marine Corps.”
Greg Sargent has it right:
Even if you don’t believe the longer video is exculpatory in any way, as The Times says, there’s no conceivable reason for leaving out the fuller context and letting readers make the call for themselves. It seems obvious that when dealing with a story this explosive, you would want to err on the side of more context, rather than less.
I don’t like the way the Times is handling this. It reminds me a lot of their story about John McCain and that foxy lobbyist in 2008. Again, it’s too much of a hit piece focusing on topics that aren’t that closely related to any important governmental issues.
Update. And this anti-Blumental piece from noted white supremacist William Saletan is simply bizarre. It actually argues that since “Blumenthal denounced `exploitive, poorly managed or even fraudulent fundraisers’ who raise money in the name of veterans”, he should be judged more harshly for his misrepresentations. How does that even begin to make sense?