Blumenthal Fallout

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Juan Williams, senior correspondent for National Public Radio and author of Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It  (Crown, 2006), reflects on Richard Blumenthal and the possible loss of his constituency with Christopher Keating, capitol bureau chief for the Hartford Courant


Christopher Keating and Juan Williams

Comments [29]

David from Boston

5 deferments and pus*y job as a reserve.

And he has the gall to associate him self with veterans!! This is deceptive and manipulative. Sounds like a coward and a liar to me.

May. 23 2010 07:10 PM

GS is confusing public radio with public television. Ken Tomlinson, the former chair of CPB who commissioned a study of alleged bias of the PBS show, NOW with Bill Moyers. He resigned in 2005 in the wake of the scandal.

Current president of CPB, Patricia Harrison, is a former co-chair of the Republican National Committee.

May. 20 2010 11:52 AM
Ina Jew


"There are all different kinds of Jews..."

No, just one kind, the kind haters hate and the kind that needs to watch his brother to make sure he is acting with pride, wisdom and contrition.

Here is where the question comes from --as a Jew, when another Jew does something horrible (Madoff for example) or does something that is perceived to be negative or selfish, among some Jews at least it is normal to take this actor into account. Is this a teachable moral moment to our kids -- DON'T do this if you want to be a good citizen and good Jew? DO distinguish the "Jewish" position from this bad actor's position, and if need be, apologize as a group? Alternatively, is this a moment to rise up and defend this person who is being unfairly persecuted by the haters? In some cases the distinction can be made only via public discourse, ie this question.

Nobody can make religions have public discussions, but as a Jew and a Patriotic American I am proud that in this religion this activity is considered normal and healthy.

May. 20 2010 11:41 AM
mc from Brooklyn

@hjs: Of course he is not at fault for lazy reporting and for that reason he should not be criticizing the NY Times for reporting and instead being more careful about what he says. He has obviously tried to capitalize politically on his service, and while there is nothing wrong with that, he needs to be more careful and also to not focus the blame elsewhere.

May. 20 2010 11:26 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

@ Leslie Yarmo,
Where did anyone get the idea Obama is a Liberal/Progressive? From Rush? From R. Murdoch? From some blog somewhere?
Obama may be many things, good and bad, but Liberal or Progressive he is certainly not.

May. 20 2010 10:42 AM

@GS, You're so all over the map. Blumenthal is a Democrat. I'm not sure what you're thinking of re GW Bush installing the head of NPR. The president and CEO of NPR is Vivian Schiller. Prior to coming to NPR is 2008, she worked for the NY Times. ( Her predecessor was Ken Stern. He was with NPR since 1999 when he joined the organization as an Executive VP. He was also General Counsel for the 1996 Clinton/Gore campaign. (

May. 20 2010 10:42 AM
Leslie Yarmo from New York City

As for the comments on the meaning of the recent elections. I believe they were actually a vote of confidence for the Democrats - certainly not Republican mainstream.
Given the situations, the results were more anti-Republican rather than anti-incumbent! Paul won as pro Tea Party, but certainly not a representative of establishment Republicans. Critz, though very conservative for a Democrat, was the only Democrat choice in a special election following in the foot steps of his predecessor in a very conservative district where McCain took the 2008 election. It's notable that the Republican candidate did not win! And Spector's loss (really a Republican who Obama had unfortunately promised to back) to the more liberal Obama-like Democrat is finally the clearest of all that the people are voting against Republicans in any guise!
If Obama needs to do anything differently for the up-coming mid-term elections, it's to be true to his liberal, Democratic party.

May. 20 2010 10:38 AM
RLewis from Bowery

It's great that you've done this follow-up today, but what it really points up is just how biased Brian was yesterday.

He jumped on this yesterday like all the other MSM did. Not what we pledge to npr for.

Next time, Brian, take a step back before venturing into the fray with all the opinion and speculation.

May. 20 2010 10:34 AM

maybe it was stupid but he has said many many times he was not in vietnam and lazy CT reports still said he was in vietnam. is he at fault for lazy reporting also and clips out of context?

May. 20 2010 10:27 AM

It's sad to see this turned into a democrat/republican issue. The fact is this guy lied. Whether that matters in the election is up to the voters.

As a democrat, I can recognize that he lied. Just because Gingrich and other slimy characters on the right are lying hypocrites too, sometimes on issues that are far more serious, does not excuse democrats.

Democrats arguing that they really are no worse than republicans is not a pretty sight and does not play to their strengths.

May. 20 2010 10:26 AM
Lou from Long Branch

How were they able to find his military record and could not find anything on G Bush records.

May. 20 2010 10:24 AM

I think this is one or two day knee jerk over reaction. At the end of the day I don't think anyone cares about military service.

I mean Al Gore (reporter), John Kerry and John McCain all lost. Bob Dole and George H.W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton who tried to be sleazy with his draft record.

You had an Iraq war veteran lose in 2006 in Ohio. So it doesn't matter.

May. 20 2010 10:23 AM
mc from Brooklyn

This doesn't sound like a random, isolated comment. It sounds like someone trying to make political hay out of his military service and he exaggerated it a little too much. Kind of stupid on his part.

May. 20 2010 10:23 AM

Blumenthal is a Democrat not a Republican. Either way this seem to me to be a non issue to me.

May. 20 2010 10:22 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

How did Mr. Williams manage to duck service in Vietnam while at Haverford college?

May. 20 2010 10:22 AM

isn't true many men in uniform were spit at.
no one asked them where did u serve before spitting

May. 20 2010 10:21 AM
Paul from Greenpoint

We, in context, could mean "we" as in the country, the United States

May. 20 2010 10:21 AM

Juan Williams is way to nice to Republicans, as befits his position at National Planet Republican. Did they ever replace the head of NPR that W. installed there?

May. 20 2010 10:20 AM
Susan Schneider from Chatham, NJ

Unbelievable. GW Bush managed to stay out of Vietnam and went AWOL during his Guard service and got a huge pass by the press and the country. John Kerry was an actual Vietnam hero and was tarred and feathered by the GOP machine. Now Blumenthal misspeaks, or perhaps misrepresents, but actaully served in the Reserves, and is getting destroyed. Is it just Dems who get this treatment? What?

May. 20 2010 10:19 AM
Yep from Brooklyn

I meant to say: Two U.S. wars. If anyone still remembers that...

May. 20 2010 10:18 AM

no surprise here another false story (like WMD in iraq) from the NYT.
the old gray dinosaur with soon be extinct.
the voters will decide

May. 20 2010 10:17 AM

Brian, Brian, you are treading awfully close to being an apologist for this guy.

He lied. Pretty clear. He got extra deferments because he was connected. And then had the chutzpah to connect himself to the actual veterans who went there and got shot at. Rather sad.

Whether any of this matters is up to the voters of Connecticut. But that doesn't change the fact that his pants are on fire.

May. 20 2010 10:17 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

With someone who talks as much as Juan Williams does (and he let the flood gates open up during the 2008 election cycle) I’d like to see a review of every public word Mr. Williams has ever uttered. If he’s said it once, he meant it forever.
Mr. Williams: Hold yourself to the same standard or hold your tongue.

May. 20 2010 10:16 AM
Yep from Brooklyn

Why is WNYC continuing to cover this? With all the major really important news-- the oil spill, global warming, two U.S., economic crisis-- this is only vaguely important in the context of the overall election. But Lehrer continues to think this is some important issue about politicians telling the truth.

Re: the person who asked "how bad is this for the Jews?" What exactly do you mean "the Jews?" Do you realize that American Jews do not equal Israeli Jews, who do not equal French Jews, who do not equal Ukrainian Jews, etc. etc. And there are many diverse strains of Jewish viewpoints in NYC. It's a religion, not a race. It's debatable whether Jews as a whole in New York and New Jersey are an ethnic group too. Every community doesn't communicate with every other and engage in some kind of cultural exchange.

May. 20 2010 10:16 AM

It's truly amazing that they are trying to turn this into a slur campaign against the NYT.

May. 20 2010 10:14 AM
Tom from Toronto

C'mon Brian, you don't have to be an apologist for Blumenthal.
The "Vietnam era" remark doesn't change anything. Just one more example of the way this guy obfuscates and lies.

May. 20 2010 10:11 AM

Whenever Republicans get caught lying, Republicans blame the leftwing media. They never want to hear the truth.

He lied. They reported. Only a Republican could blame the NYT for doing their job.

May. 20 2010 10:10 AM

Blumenthal has been called by some "The Jewish Kennedy."

Bluntly, how bad is "this" for the Jews?

May. 20 2010 09:33 AM

Watch as Blumenthal gets hammered like Spitzer. Meanwhile Republicans suffer no blowback: Sanford, Vitter, Gingrich, Ensign, Gibbons. (While messing around with hookers, Vitter wore _diapers_, but he's still in office.)

May. 20 2010 09:10 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.