Media Blog

Clark Hoyt Defends the New York Times Blumenthal Piece

His conclusion:

In the end, through all the swirling sand the article has kicked up, a clear set of facts remains uncontested: On more than one occasion, Blumenthal said he had served in Vietnam when he had not.

Did people The Times talked to have agendas? Sure. Did The Times independently verify the information? Yes, and that’s what counts.

Were there flaws in the story? Yes: It should have said more about how it originated; it should have provided mitigating information far higher; it should have noted that his official biography was accurate. The full video should have been posted so readers could make their own judgments.

It is true that Blumenthal often correctly described his military experience. But he has sometimes flatly misrepresented it — a new example surfaced Thursday — and that matters. How much, the voters of Connecticut will decide. The Times was right to give them the information.

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