On the afternoon of June 6, Breitbart correspondent Ben Shapiro marveled at how harshly President Obama was treated in an editorial by The New York Times, but as the day wore on, the paper went back and altered its editorial to soften its own criticism of the President.
As Shapiro noted,
“Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it,” writes the Times editorial board. “There is every reason to believe the federal government has been collecting every bit of information about every American’s phone calls except the words actually exchanged in those calls …. Essentially, the administration is saying that without any individual suspicion of wrongdoing, the government is allowed to know who Americans are calling every time they make a phone call, for how long they talk and from where.”
The Times editorial board noted, “The administration has now lost all credibility.”
But later, after publication, the Times quietly changed that criticism.
According to NewsDiffs.com, a site that tracks changes in stories posted online, the paper apparently decided that “The administration has now lost all credibility” was too harsh.
The line was changed to, “The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue.”
NewsDiffs.com also found a few other changes, but none of them were as major as the line above.
Naturally, The New York Times did not post a notice that this major edit was made to its original story. New visitors the the editorial would be left completely unaware that major changes had been made.
But this incident raises a few questions. Who made this change? Who ordered this change be made?
Did the change get made as a result of pressure from Washington? Or was the change made by someone inside the NYT, someone hoping to curry favor with the White House?
One might be somewhat sympathetic if the NYT made the change out of fear. What with the IRS scandal, the Dept. of Justice snooping on reporters’ personal and business phone calls, and this newest story of Obama’s intelligence services snooping on practically everyone’s phone calls and web searches it would be easy to understand if the NYT acted out of fear of the Obama administration.
Still, we have no explanation at all. Whatever the reason for these edits, it doesn’t reflect well on The New York Times.