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New York Times endorses Lamont over Lieberman

Published: Saturday July 29, 2006

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(Updated with excerpts from Times endorsement of "a little-known challenger" over the incumbent who "forfeited his role as a conscience of his party" by, among other reasons, "suggesting that there is no principled space" for opposing a president during "a time of war")

The New York Times is set to include an editorial endorsing challenger Ned Lamont over incumbent Joe Lieberman for Connecticut's Democratic primary race for the Senate, RAW STORY has found.

An article also slated for Sunday's paper called "After sluggish start, Lieberman heeded warnings of trouble" written by Adam Nagourney mentions the endorsement in a bracketed sentence five paragraphs in.

"The New York Times, in an editorial published on Sunday, endorsed Mr. Lamont over Mr. Lieberman, arguing that the senator had offered the nation a 'warped version of bipartisanship' in his dealings with President Bush on national security," the article reads.

Some bloggers later noticed that the Nagourney article gained an additional paragraph this time marked with "round brackets" instead of "square" on its second Website page.

"The Times has endorsed Mr. Lieberman for the United States Senate only once in his four campaigns," the article reads. "A 1988 editorial endorsed the incumbent, Lowell Weicker. In 1994, The Times endorsed Mr. Lieberman. In 2000, The Times endorsed the Gore-Lieberman presidential ticket but made no endorsement in the Senate race in Connecticut."

It is unknown whether the bylined reporter Nagourney wrote the bracketed lines, or the New York Times editors.

Excerpts from Times endorsement:


The race has taken on a national character. Mr. Lieberman’s friends see it as an attempt by hysterical antiwar bloggers to oust a giant of the Senate for the crime of bipartisanship. Lamont backers — most of whom seem more passionate about being Lieberman opponents — say that as one of the staunchest supporters of the Iraq war, Mr. Lieberman has betrayed his party by cozying up to President Bush.


Mr. Lieberman prides himself on being a legal thinker and a champion of civil liberties. But he appointed himself defender of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the administration’s policy of holding hundreds of foreign citizens in prison without any due process. He seconded Mr. Gonzales’s sneering reference to the “quaint” provisions of the Geneva Conventions. He has shown no interest in prodding his Republican friends into investigating how the administration misled the nation about Iraq’s weapons. There is no use having a senator famous for getting along with Republicans if he never challenges them on issues of profound importance.

If Mr. Lieberman had once stood up and taken the lead in saying that there were some places a president had no right to take his country even during a time of war, neither he nor this page would be where we are today. But by suggesting that there is no principled space for that kind of opposition, he has forfeited his role as a conscience of his party, and has forfeited our support.

Mr. Lamont, a wealthy businessman from Greenwich, seems smart and moderate, and he showed spine in challenging the senator while other Democrats groused privately. He does not have his opponent’s grasp of policy yet. But this primary is not about Mr. Lieberman’s legislative record. Instead it has become a referendum on his warped version of bipartisanship, in which the never-ending war on terror becomes an excuse for silence and inaction. We endorse Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary for Senate in Connecticut.