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

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 21 17:14:52 UTC 2010

A slightly different take on "no record" by a long-time Connecticut
reporter [YouTube]:


"I can tell you that I've covered Dick Blumenthal hundreds of times over
the last 30 years, and that I have never, ever, heard him misrepresent
his military service. Not even once."

Of course, logically, this is not very different from saying that there
is no *college* record of Blumenthal being on the Harvard swim team.

LIFE Mar 28, 1969
A Patriot in the Basement. p. 4
Dick Blumenthal is 23 and at the center of the world. ...
> He lives there hungrily, bearing that special guilt of affluent
> postwar youth, a Harvard magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 100-yard
> freestyler in 51.0, square jaw, burning eyes, mannered and muted.

It took two clicks, one word and two dates typed in. Admittedly, I knew
where to look, but that only affects the terminal date in the search.

There is simply no way to say it other than the NYT blew it. Dan
Kennedy, a Boston investigative reporter who now teaches journalism at
Northeasten, might have the best attempt at equivocation:

"I suspect we’re going to find that the Times took a perfectly
legitimate story and blew it by not nailing everything down ahead of time."

My take may be far less charitable. They let oppo research stand on its
own with perhaps only a half-hearted fact-check.

And I agree with Ron. There seems to be no debate about the content of
the statements. The issue is intent. And there is simply no evidence
that there was any intent to deceive or to gain a political advantage.
Contrast this with Chuck DeVore, who accurately represented his rank,
but not his duties, when he claimed /during a debate/, "I'm a lieutenant
colonel of military intelligence within the U.S. Army." In case you
missed it, Chuck DeVore is running for the Republican Senate nomination
in California.

Steve Benen also noted this morning,

> In related news, Rep. Mark Kirk, the Republican candidate for U.S.
> Senate in Illinois, claimed on his website to be "the only member of
> Congress to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom." That isn't true
> [http://bit.ly/brsTHQ] -- Kirk served /during/ Operation Iraqi
> Freedom, just as Blumenthal served during Vietnam, but the Republican
> Senate candidate did not serve /in/ the war in Iraq.

Jay Leno's joke can actually be taken both ways. He may be taken as
saying, here's a politician who /only/ lied four times. A few years ago,
there was a story about KFC's attempt to move into the Indian market.
The franchises were successful in creating a following, but they ran not
only into a stiff competition from the local fast food, but also into an
administrative nightmare because of a number of local politicians and
MPs who owned "tandoori chicken" franchises. The New Delhi store was
shut down when a health inspector found a fly in the kitchen. A top
local reporter commented that if the inspector only found one fly, the
restaurant should have been praised, not vilified. In fact, I believe
the story was in the NYT.


On 5/21/2010 11:40 AM, ronbutters at AOL.COM wrote:
> A lie is a deliberate, conscious misstatement of the truth. There is
> absolutely no evidence tjar what you are calling a lie was conscious
> or an attempt to deceive. If there is lying going on here, it is from
> people who are deliberately misrepresenting the nature of the
> utterance, though I am willing to concede that a number of them are
> just too ignorant of the way that language works to see the difference.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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