The story line arises because earlier in the same appearance in which Blumenthal uttered his famous line about his service "in Vietnam" he also stated that he served "during Vietnam."
As if lying sometimes is excused because one didn't lie all the time.
Media Matters started the defense based on an AP report of the full video, attacking The NY Times for not noting the prior honesty:
So why didn’t the Times include Blumenthal “correctly characterizing his service” in its version of the video? That’s awfully misleading, isn’t it?Markos Moulitsas, linking to Media Matters, adds "The New York Times apparently now flacks for the NRSC."
Greg Sargent, being a little more reasonable, agrees that Blumenthal's conduct is not excused, but argues:
Even if you don't believe the longer video is exculpatory in any way, as The Times says, there's no conceivable reason for leaving out the fuller context and letting readers make the call for themselves. It seems obvious that when dealing with a story this explosive, you would want to err on the side of more context, rather than less.
This defense is a non-defense. I wonder if Blumenthal would excuse someone being prosecuted by his office for fraud because sometimes the person didn't commit fraud.
Putting aside the illogic of the defense, Allahpundit (with a link to the full video) notes that the defense is not even an exoneration:
The key part comes right at the beginning. If he had said, “I served in the Marine Reserves in Washington during the war” and later said he’d served “in Vietnam,” that would have raised the question of whether he’d simply misspoken. As it is, there’s nothing in the first statement that would lead you to think he hadn’t been in-country; on the contrary, it reads like a textbook example of the sort of deliberate ambiguity the Times accused him of.I realize Blumenthal is in it to win it and is not going to throw away his chance for the Senate over mere mispoken words.
I imagine Blumenthal with his campaign staff, watching the video play endlessly on television, saying something like:
"Well, we'll just have to win."Update: One lesson Blumenthal and his media supporters apparently have not learned is that the cover-up can be worse than the crime. More information is trickling out which makes the Media Matters meme laughable (via HotAir):
"I wore the uniform in Vietnam and many came back to all kinds of disrespect. Whatever we think of war, we owe the men and women of the armed forces our unconditional support."
The occasion was the Stamford Veterans Day parade Nov. 9, 2008.
The speaker was Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, as quoted by The Advocate.
A trove of potential bulletin board material was unearthed Tuesday by Hearst Connecticut Newspapers from its archives quoting the once seemingly unflappable U.S. Senate candidate on his military record, one that he has been accused of embellishing.
During a May 18, 2009, military board tribute to veterans in Shelton, Blumenthal was quoted by the Connecticut Post as saying, "When we returned from Vietnam, I remember the taunts, the verbal and even physical abuse we encountered."
"I Did Not Serve In That Country, Vietnam"
Say Bye-Bye To Conn. Senate Candidate Blumenthal (D)
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