NYT Reporting [Was: Vietnam and What else Blumenthal said]

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 21 16:59:45 UTC 2010

Dave, I've seen the notorious clip again, and part of the suggestion
of intentional falsehood comes from Blumenthal's body language.  As he
utters the words, "We have learned something very important since the days
when I served in Vietnam" in a measured manner, he adds emphasis and an
appearance of sincerity by pointing to his heart.


On Fri, May 21, 2010 at 9:30 AM, David A. Daniel <dad at pokerwiz.com> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "David A. Daniel" <dad at POKERWIZ.COM>
> Subject:      NYT Reporting [Was: Vietnam and What else Blumenthal said]
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The subjects of Vietnam and swimming certainly generated interesting
> threads, and yet I don't really see why. Nor do I see why the NYT should be
> chopping heads. It all seems pretty straight forward, to wit:
> 1 - The NYT said Blumenthal misrepresented his military service, and he
> did.
> The fact that he didn't ALWAYS misrepresent it is irrelevant. As Leno put
> it
> last night: "Now the Blumenthal campaign says he only lied four times,
> that's what we're down to".
> 2 - The NYT said that Blumenthal was reported to have been the captain of
> the Harvard swim team when he never was. In fact, it had been so reported
> and, in fact, he never was captain. The NYT also said that Blumenthal told
> them he had never said that and did not know how that story got started,
> i.e., they published his side of it. The Hartford Courant says all the same
> things as the NYT and has now published a correction of its previous
> reports
> about Blumenthal having been captain.
> 3 - The NYT says there is no record that Blumenthal was ever on the swim
> team. The Hartford Courant also says there is no record that he was on the
> swim team, except for some pictures from his freshman year that show that
> he
> was "at least associated" with the swim team that year. But the guy who
> sent
> them the pictures said, "However, if Blumenthal was on the Harvard swim
> team, he is not included in the team's group yearbook photo that year". The
> Courant also says they found a guy who remembers Blumenthal being on the
> team, year not specified. In any case "no record at the college" seems to
> be
> correct.
> Now, to the linguistically relevant part of this: The only mistake I see
> from the NYT is when they said, "Records at the college show that he was
> never on the team". That sounds very active and definitive, like there is
> something concrete they found that indicates he was never on the team. As
> editor, I would have corrected that to: "So and so at the college said
> there
> are no records that he was ever on the team". That is a more passive
> approach that puts the onus on the college rather than on the reporting. If
> something pops up later, it was the college's fault. Leaves the NYT some
> wiggle room.
> But, since the facts were straight, no head-rolling called for that I see.
> ___________________________________________
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> Franklin
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
> Of
> victor steinbok
> Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 12:43 AM
> Subject: Re: What else Blumenthal said
> Re: What else Blumenthal said
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---
> .More proof that NYT has become an embarrassment.
> ttp://bit.ly/aHysdg
> Hartford Courant put the kibosh on that story as well.
> To me, this is rather conclusive evidence that the NYT reporters took
> oppo research from the McMahon campaign and published it virtually
> unfiltered--and unchecked. Will heads roll? Doubtful. Aside from the
> Blair affair, NYT has always resisted removal of screw-ups. It took
> them nearly six years to rectify the WMD problem.
> VS-)
> On Thu, May 20, 2010 at 10:16 PM, Dan Goodman <dsgood at iphouse.com> wrote:
> >
> > He's also reported to have said twice that he was captain of the Harvard
> > swim team.  Which, according to reports, he was never a member of -- let
> > alone captain.
> >
> > --
> > Dan Goodman
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