by Gene Lyons
At first glance, it appeared that the New York
Times had uncovered just such an impostor in Connecticut
attorney general and Democratic U.S. Senate nominee
Richard Blumenthal. In a potentially career-destroying
front-page article, Times reporter Raymond Hernandez
charged the candidate with repeatedly falsifying his
military record to persuade audiences that he
served in Vietnam, although he did not...
Six paragraphs later, following a description
of Blumenthal's draft deferments and enlistment, Hernandez wrote
that "at other times, he has used more ambiguous
language, but the impression left on audiences can be similar."
For example, in Shelton, Conn., in 2008, he spoke
of the poor reception given returning soldiers.
"I served during the Vietnam era," Blumenthal
said. "I remember the taunts, the insults, sometimes even physical abuse."
Right there my personal buncombe detector started
So the second-strongest evidence is two sentences
that are literally true?
I hold no brief for Connecticut's ambitious attorney
general, but from long experience with the New York Times' methods,
I wondered what they were leaving out. Quite
a bit, as it turned out.
See, journalists can get hung out to dry for reporting
demonstrably false information. See: Miller, Judith.
But the art of tactical omission can turn a relatively
understandable overstatement like Blumenthal's into an indictment.
Almost the entire "Whitewater" hoax worked that
way. Correct the errors and fill in the blanks, and the "scandal" evaporated.
But simply by not reporting even the most decisive
exculpatory evidence, Times reporters sustained the world's
longest political shaggy-dog story for years.
Editors stonewalled; critics became enemies. Timid "mainstream" media
followed like puppies. It's an old story.
Yes, the New York Whore Times has no credibility.
They worked for the Bush bastards for years,
helping them lie us into those wars.
Like Tim Russert, they traded their souls for
better acceess to the crooked bastards.
Now, the Old Grey Lady is just an aging whore
that nobody wants to sex up.
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