By CLARK HOYT
THE Times reported last week that Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, the bright hope of Democrats to retain a critical seat in the United States Senate, has sometimes falsely claimed to be a Vietnam veteran. Predictably, in an election year with control of Congress in play, the report sparked plenty of outrage — much of it directed at The Times.
The paper cited several instances when Blumenthal made “plainly untrue” statements about his service, and posted a video excerpt of him saying in 2008, “We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam.” The article at the top of Tuesday’s front page said that on other occasions he used ambiguous language that could have left the wrong impression. In fact, The Times said, after receiving five deferments and finally facing the prospect of being drafted, Blumenthal joined the Marine Corps Reserve and avoided combat.