NY Times falsely suggested Lieberman isn't invited to fourth debate; in fact, he refused to participate


In an October 27 article, New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore falsely suggested that Connecticut Democratic Senate candidate Ned Lamont and Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger are meeting in a debate next week from which incumbent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, who is running as the representative of his own party, was excluded. In fact, Lieberman was invited but has refused to appear at the debate -- despite reportedly "call[ing] for more debates" during the last one.

According to Confessore's Times article:

Though the Lamont and Schlesinger campaigns said this week that any explicit alliance would be wrong and impractical, advisers to each candidate suggested that the two could serve their separate purposes by agreeing to more appearances at debates and town hall gatherings, with or without Mr. Lieberman.

Next week, for instance, they will meet for a debate on a Fox-affiliated channel, without the senator.

"We recognize that Schlesinger is the candidate of the other major party in the state of Connecticut," said Tom Swan, Mr. Lamont's campaign manager. "For town halls, we would invite other candidates, we would invite Schlesinger, and our appearance wouldn't be dependent on Joe's."

The article did not include any indication that the reason next week's debate will occur "without the senator" is that Lieberman has refused to appear; indeed, the Times even omitted mention of the fact that Lieberman was invited, leaving the false impression that his exclusion from the debate is the result of a Lamont-Schlesinger agreement.

In fact, according to the Hartford Courant, Lieberman has refused to appear at the debate:

Lamont and Republican Alan Schlesinger, meanwhile, have accepted an invitation to a fourth debate Thursday, but Lieberman declined. His press secretary, Tammy Sun, said the campaign was sticking to the agreement to hold three debates.

It was unclear whether the debate at Quinnipiac University, which would be televised live by WTIC-TV, Channel 61, would go forward without Lieberman.

Earlier this week, the Courant reported:

Lieberman appeared to call for more debates as he bemoaned the negative tone of the campaign.

Lamont said he would prefer a debate in every congressional district over a continuation of campaigning by 30-second commercials.

Schlesinger, faced with his last evening of free television, happily accepted their invitation.

But after the debate, Lieberman said he believed that three probably were enough.

The New York Times
2006 Elections
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