Howard Dean is accusing The New York Times of doing a "hatchet job" on Connecticut Democratic Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal. The newspaper reported that Blumenthal misrepresented his military service record — he has made statements suggesting he served in Vietnam, but actually served stateside in the Marine Reserve — without acknowledging that the story grew out of research provided by the campaign of a Republican rival, Linda McMahon. Was the Times story a political hit job?
It's the information itself that counts: Newspapers get tips all the time, says Si Cantwell in the Wilmington, N.C., Star-News. "Some are willing to talk on the record, others ask not to be identified, others never give us their names." But "if a newspaper verifies an accusation and nails down the story," sharing it with readers isn't a "hatchet job" — it's journalism.
"Should NYT have revealed who said Richard Blumenthal lied about Vietnam service?"
The source of the information matters: It's one thing for to report that Blumenthal has misled the public about his Vietnam-era record, says Jamison Foser in Media Matters. It's another thing entirely to tell the story, and not admit that the information "came from a spokesperson for one of Blumenthal’s potential Republican opponents." The Times should be ashamed.
"The New York Times has some explaining to do"
The fact remains — Blumenthal lied: Blumenthal fudged the truth about his military service again and again, says Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. If anyone's launching unfair attacks, it's Blumenthal, because he's accusing his critics of attacking his service record, even though he knows full well they're just pointing out that he said something that wasn't true.
"Blumenthal: 'I wore the uniform in Vietnam and many came back to all kinds of disrespect'"