Earlier this week, the Times posted a 2008 video showing Connecticut Attorney General and Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal saying that he “served in Vietnam,” even though he was actually in the Marine Reserves and never left American soil. The revelation has badly damaged Blumenthal’s previously front-running campaign. But a longer version of the video, obtained by the AP, shows that earlier in the same speech Blumenthal described himself, accurately, as “someone who served in the military during the Vietnam era in the Marine Corps.”
That doesn’t make his other statement any more truthful, but it does make it more plausible that, as Blumenthal claims, he merely misspoke, and wasn’t trying to intentionally deceive anyone in the audience, unless he decided halfway through the speech to start pretending he fought in the war. It also begs the question of why the Times didn’t see fit to include this segment of the video in its reporting. Sure, there was still a pattern of other misstatements/lies/whatever, as a Times spokesperson points out, but shouldn’t the paper have provided all the available context to the most damning one?