Letting Liberal Ned Lamont off the Hook

The Times buries the lead in its story on the "Lieberman-in-blackface" blogger, and lets anti-war candidate Ned Lamont implausibly deny connections to her.

The bitter Senate Democratic primary race in Connecticut between Sen. Joe Lieberman and anti-war rich guy Ned Lamont has generated even more controversy thanks to an offensiveposting at the left-wing Huffington Post blog by blogger Jane Hamsher. But "In Connecticut, Bloggers Throw Political Curves And Spitballs," by reporters Mike McIntire and Jennifer Medina, takes its sweet time getting to the point.

A caption to a photo of "Lieberman-in-blackface" blogger Jane Hamsher simply says "Blogs by Jane Hamsher send a pro-Lamont message in the Senate race," and the first four paragraphs say nothing about the reason Hamsher has her picture in the Times today in the first place.

It takes the Times until after the jump to get to a mild rundown of the blackface controversy.

"But the results for Mr. Lamont have not always been what his campaign would have wanted. This week, the blogger who broke the news of Mr. Lieberman's Halliburton stock posted a doctored image of the senator in blackface on The Huffington Post, stirring an outcry and prompting an embarrassed Lamont campaign to ask her to remove it. Lieberman supporters seized on the image, pointing out that the blogger, Jane Hamsher, has been closely involved in the Lamont campaign, even driving the campaign manager on Monday to New York for Mr. Lamont's appearance on 'The Colbert Report' on Comedy Central."

Good for the Times for working in the Hamsher-Lamont connection. But for the second day in a row in a story cowritten by Medina and liberal Nicholas Confessore, the Times lets Lamont deny the close connection between him and the offensive blogger, even though Hamsher has filmed video blog ads for Lamont. (See a picture of Hamsher and Lamont together at an entertaining entry at Ace of Spades.)

The Times simply calls Hamsher a "Lamont supporter" and lets Lamont deny a connection. "Mr. Lamont, campaigning in Wilton, said he had not seen the altered picture. 'These are independent bloggers; they do their own thing,' he said. 'That said, I've urged my supporters throughout the campaign to keep it civil.'"

Michelle Malkin has more gritty on Hamsher's close connection to the Lamont campaign.