NY Times' Medina "not clear" on reference to Lieberman remarks, when she had reported those remarks herself three weeks ago

››› ››› JOSH KALVEN

In a New York Times article, Jennifer Medina wrote that "it was not clear" what Sen. Daniel Inouye was referring to when he issued a statement saying he "was most disappointed and unhappy when Senator [Joe] Lieberman remarked that the Democratic Party no longer represented the mainstream of America, and that the Democratic Party had lost its values" -- even though Medina had previously reported that Lieberman had pledged to "bring[] the Democratic Party back ... to the mainstream."

In an August 30 article on the Connecticut Senate race, New York Times reporter Jennifer Medina wrote that "it was not clear" what Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) was referring to when he issued a statement saying he "was most disappointed and unhappy when Senator [Joseph I.] Lieberman remarked that the Democratic Party no longer represented the mainstream of America, and that the Democratic Party had lost its values." The article stated: "It was not clear which remarks Mr. Inouye was referring to, and his aides could not cite a specific example." But Medina should not have had to rely on Inouye's staff for examples; on August 10, she herself reported that Lieberman -- who has undertaken an independent bid to keep his Senate seat after his loss in the Democratic primary -- had pledged to "bring[] the Democratic Party back ... to the mainstream."

In her August 30 article, Medina reported that Inouye had withdrawn his support for Lieberman's bid as an independent candidate in the Senate race. Prior to the August 8 primary, Inouye had indicated that he would back Lieberman if Lieberman lost to Democratic challenger Ned Lamont and decided to run as an independent. But Inouye's press secretary, Mike Yuen, confirmed on August 29 that he would back Lamont in the general election. Medina quoted Inouye's official statement explaining his decision:

In a statement from his office, Mr. Inouye said he had "tried his best" to help Mr. Lieberman win the primary, adding, "Unfortunately, that did not happen."

The statement also said: "After the primary, Senator Inouye was most disappointed and unhappy when Senator Lieberman remarked that the Democratic Party no longer represented the mainstream of America, and that the Democratic Party had lost its values. I am a proud Democrat."

It was not clear which remarks Mr. Inouye was referring to, and his aides could not cite a specific example.

But Mr. Lieberman has angered many Democrats in recent days by criticizing Mr. Lamont's supporters.

But Medina need look no further than her own prior reporting to answer the question of what Inouye was talking about. In an August 10 article, Medina, with Times reporter Patrick Healy, wrote:

Advisers described Mr. Lieberman as feeling liberated Wednesday and telling one of them it was the first morning he had woken up without a nervous ache in his stomach.

''I am committed to this campaign,'' he said on NBC's ''Today'' program Wednesday morning, ''to a different kind of politics, to bringing the Democratic Party back from Ned Lamont, Maxine Waters, to the mainstream, and for doing something for the people of Connecticut.''

Lieberman made a similar comment on the August 9 broadcast of ABC's Good Morning America:

LIEBERMAN: So, I worry that this victory yesterday by Ned Lamont, which was a narrow victory, will send a message across our state and our country that the Democratic Party has taken -- has been taken over by people who are not from the mainstream of America, and -- and that they are going to make this not Bill Clinton's Democratic Party anymore. And remember, Bill Clinton was a mainstream Democrat who was elected twice and governed with great success.

And again on the August 9 edition of CNN's American Morning:

LIEBERMAN: I am in this race to the end. For me, it is a cause, and it is a cause not to let this Democratic Party that I joined with the inspiration of President Kennedy in 1960 to be taken over by people who are so far from the mainstream of American life that I fear we will not elect Democrats in the numbers that we should in the future.

Posted In
Government, The Senate
Network/Outlet
The New York Times
Stories/Interests
2006 Elections
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