NYT's John Harwood Scorched by Scarborough for Blumenthal Defense

Times political writer and CNBC Washington Editor John Harwood may have gotten more than he bargained for in an appearance on Joe Scarborough's MSNBC show "Morning Joe" when he tried to defend Connecticut Attorney General (and U.S. Senate candidate) Richard Blumenthal over his fibs over having served in Vietnam.

(Hat tip Mark Finkelstein at NewsBusters.)

John Harwood: "Look, I think Blumenthal is gonna be OK in this. I think of what he did, the occasions where he was loose, is more akin to a guy who, you know, had a few drinks too many at the bar and hit on somebody rather than somebody actually trying to slip a mickey into the girl's drink. I think he was, he got carried away on a story that he usually told in the right away and you know I think it's gonna hurt him. But it's not going to kill him."

Fortune Editor Andrew Server was not as forgiving, saying Blumenthal should drop out, while Mark Halperin of Time mostly took Blumenthal's side, according to Finkelstein. Here's a compilation clip of the relevant parts of the Scarborough-Harwood exchange:

Later in the segment:

Harwood: "I agree with Mark though. Was he trying to spin a massive lie for years that he served in Vietnam, or did he actually say on many occasions that he was not in Vietnam, and there just some times where he got a little carried away with this rhetoric?"

Scarborough: "Only when it served him. Only when he was in veterans groups. Only when he gained politically. Only when it mattered did he lie about his service in Vietnam where 58,000 Americans died."

Harwood (interrupting and then repeating himself) "But were all those veterans groups fooled by that? Were all those veterans groups fooled by that?"

Scarborough: "You're the reporter, you go ask'em."

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