We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging

9 September 2006, 1819 EDT

Does anyone else find Jennifer Medina’s New York Times story either inadvertently misleading or downright disingenuous? The report, “Lieberman Points Out a Turnabout by Lamont,” claims that:

Ned Lamont, who this week chastised Senator Joseph I. Lieberman for his public rebuke of President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, wrote to Mr. Lieberman at the time praising the eloquence of his speech on the Senate floor.

The New York Times helpfully provides the text of the letter — supplied by Lieberman’s staff — which suggests nothing of the sort which puts Lamont’s statement in a rather different context..

On a literal level, he does not imply that Lieberman’s statement was “eloquent.” [ed: Oops. Yes, he did. Hat tip: “AC”] On a more substantive plane, the tenor of the letter is “you did the right thing at the time, but now you need to do the more important thing and use your moral authority to put a stop to this charade.” It doesn’t take much intellectual energy to understand what Lamont was doing: making a “supportive” plea for Lieberman to change his course.

To make matters worse, Medina reports Lieberman’s blow off of Lamont’s plea as if it confirms the Lamont is a total hypocrite.

Senator Lieberman, asked about Mr. Lamont’s recent comments, said on Friday that “it was important for someone who was a Democrat to stand up and call on him publicly to accept more responsibility for what he had done.”

Back in 1998, he wrote to thank Mr. Lamont, saying his “kind comments and words of support mean a great deal to me.”

“This was the most difficult statement I have had to make in my 10 years as a senator,” Mr. Lieberman wrote, adding a handwritten “Thanks, Ned” at the bottom. “So it is very reassuring that you feel I made the right decision in speaking out.”

It should be clear to anyone, however, who reads the letter that the main thrust of Lamont’s comments are critical of Lieberman’s actions. He’s begging Lieberman to intervene more forcefully against the Republican’s attempted constitutional coup.

I’m not suggesting that Lamont’s statements are entirely consistent with the letter he sent to Lieberman. They aren’t. But they seem fairly consistent with the aims and objectives of his letter.

Via Political Wire.

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