NY Times’ story on Blumenthal flawed

I’d never heard of Richard Blumenthal, a Senate candidate in Connecticut, until today, when the New York Times ran a story that he had lied about serving in Vietnam.

I say that to point out that I have nothing for or against Blumenthal.

But the NYT story by Raymond Hernandez that raised the accusations had some classic biased journalism. In this case, biased against a Democrat, for a change.

What it is, though, is sloppy journalism.

Many politicians have faced questions over their decisions during the Vietnam War, and Mr. Blumenthal, who is seeking the seat being vacated by Senator Christopher J. Dodd, is not alone in staying out of the war.

But what is striking about Mr. Blumenthal’s record is the contrast between the many steps he took that allowed him to avoid Vietnam, and the misleading way he often speaks about that period of his life now, especially when he is speaking at veterans’ ceremonies or other patriotic events.

Sometimes his remarks have been plainly untrue, as in his speech to the group in Norwalk. At other times, he has used more ambiguous language, but the impression left on audiences can be similar.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know the Times is a bastion biased reporting and all of that. I’ve read Bernard Goldberg’s books, I’ve read the Times for years. But this is simply over the top. In the middle of an alleged news story, Hernandez, without the slightest hesitation, decides to characterize Blumenthal’s actions.

He goes on to cite instances of Blumenthal having claimed to serve in Vietnam, but apparently didn’t want to let the reader come to the conclusion on his own about whether Blumenthal had been misleading. He is in essence quoting himself on whether Blumenthal’s language was untrue, and decided on his own whether “the impression left on audiences can be similar.”

This is another example of how horribly unprofessional the Times can be. Do reporters have opinions? Of course they do, they’re human. Should they or their editors allow them to put them in their news stories? Of course not. Not, that is, if they’re trying to claim some type of objectivity. If they’re the National Review Online or the Daily Kos, they’re not going to worry about creating a sheen of objectivity.

But that reporters can unblushingly write such garbage is pathetic.

Noam Chomsky denied entry to Israel | The Daily Caller

This is funny. A nation that actually exercises sense on whom it will allow to enter its country. Gotta love that policy.

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli official says academic and polemicist Noam Chomsky, who is a fierce critic of Israel, has been denied entry to the country.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Haddad said Chomsky was turned away for “various reasons” but declined to elaborate. Chomsky was trying to cross the Allenby Bridge from Jordan. He was scheduled to deliver a lecture at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank.

Haddad said her ministry was looking into allowing him to enter only the West Bank.

Chomsky told Channel 10 TV from Jordan Sunday: “I’ve often spoken at Israeli universities.”

Chomsky is one of Israel’s harshest academic critics. After Israel’s 2009 war in Gaza, he was quoted as saying, “supporters of Israel are in reality supporters of its moral degeneration.”

via Noam Chomsky denied entry to Israel | The Daily Caller – Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment.

Adjacent tweets

I received these two tweets within 16 minutes of each other today.

From @VOM_USA:

On May 2, a bomb attack killed one person and injured at least 50 Christian students. Pray for comfort and safety in Mosul.

From @persecutionnews:

UK Christian student labeled ‘truant’ for refusing to visit mosque. http://ow.ly/1KCHG ^dg

‘Betrothed’ video inspiring

The Waller family has released Betrothed, an inspiring video about the betrothal and marriage of their son, Brayden Waller, to Talitha Lupinacci in 2009.

Brayden and Tali were brought together by their parents, with their consent. During their courtship, they were never with each other without a chaperone present.

That’s not completely unheard of. Where Brayden and Tali moved to an interesting path was with their betrothal, during which they were legally married. Immediately after that two-hour ceremony, the groom left his bride–to prepare a place for her. Then, Brayden came back for Tali, who was wearing a spotless white dress.

I don’t want to spoil the real-life storyline for those who want to be kept in suspense. Suffice it to say that what happens is a parable and prophecy brought to life. Our marriages are supposed to reflect the relationship Christ has with His Church, and the story of Brayden’s and Tali’s betrothal and wedding does just that in a literal way.

Nicely filmed, very funny in spots, very pro-family. It’s also good to see Tommy and Sherri Waller again, even if only on video!

You can read a blog entry on Brayden’s departure from home here and find out more about the Wallers’ ministry, Hayovel, here.

It’s a tea partier! Except, it’s not …

This is hilarious.

The Nation contributing editor Robert Dreyfuss, described as an “investigative journalist,” mused on May 3 (h/t The Daily Caller) that

it seems far more likely to me that the perpetrator of the bungled Times Square bomb plot was either a lone nut job or a member of some squirrely branch of the Tea Party, anti-government far right. Which actually exists in Connecticut, where, it seems, the car’s license plates were stolen.

This “investigative journalist” based his conclusions, apparently, on the fact that the car’s plates were stolen in Connecticut, where the Tea Party has some support.

What does this guy investigate? High school government corruption?

Here’s more:

as in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, when self-appointed experts blamed Muslims only to find out that it was a Gulf War veteran named Tim [McVeigh] who did it, there has once again been an unseemly rush to judgment.

He then quotes Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano as “intelligently” saying:

“I caution against premature decisions one way or another. … The last thing we want to do is draw premature conclusions. … I’m not going to speculate on speculation.”

Which, of course, is the exact “unseemly” thing he did in the previous several paragraphs.

And, as of 12:51 p.m. Tuesday, May 4, a few hours after the arrest of Pakistani-born U.S. citizen Faisal Shahzad, there had been no retraction, no, “Boy, did I ever screw up!” coming from Dreyfuss. Instead, he has only bothered to speculate there will be attempts by right-wingers to play up the threat of terrorism.

Maybe he’ll link Shahzad to the Pakistani arm of the Tea Party.

The Daily Caller piece also looks at NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s assertion that the would-be bomber probably was opposed to The Ø’s health care plan. Whatever that actually was.