NYT Changes Editorial to Soften Its Own Criticism of Obama

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.

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  • jim_m

    Forgive me if I doubt that the NYT is sincerely worried about the rights of the average citizen. I am sure that if the obama admin called up and 1) assured them that the government would never need to investigate their friends in the manner they have with the AP and James Rosen and 2) That such power would only ever be used to advance the left wing agenda.

    The NYT would certainly revert to covering for obama if given such assurances. After all, enemies of the state do not deserve constitutional rights.

  • Commander_Chico

    As Warner notes, if they know whom you’re fucking, what porn sites you visit, what you spend and where you are, of course they have leverage on you.

    The point is what the government is doing: spying on all Americans, not what the NYT says about it. Everything the press says about spying will be distorted by the spying itself. That’s why spying on Americans is bad for freedom.

    • jim_m

      Exactly. Either they have that on the NYT or they are promising to give that info to the NYT in the future so the NYT will have the scoop. CNN was willing to sell their souls to Saddam Hussein, no doubt the NYT would be willing to sell theirs to obama for far less.

      • Commander_Chico

        They have everyone by the balls. Freedom is over in the USA. You have “freedom” only in a limited way, like ineffectually commenting on blogs like we do.

        If you are a serious challenge to the regime, you will be taken out by your own foibles. Eliot Spitzer is an example. He was challenging Big Finance and got taken down by Big Government.

        • jim_m

          Careful. Bruce will come in and say how you are being a frightened little girl. Oh wait, he never criticizes lefties for anything. Never mind.

          • Commander_Chico

            Bruce can talk for himself very well.

            Even though I am glad that Chico’s warnings about comprehensive surveillance have all been proven true, nothing will come of this and it will get worse, also as I have predicted. Beyond the nightmares of Orwell, Huxley and Zamyatin.

          • warnertoddhuston

            I can’t say I find your fears groundless, Chico.

          • Commander_Chico

            The ability to identify and track everyone through biometrics and GPS is beyond Orwell.

            The ability to track communications amounts to a mind-reading capacity.

            The freedom we have is like the freedom they gave Winston and Julia – only enough to let the thought criminals identify themselves.

            Remember, it was the Thought Police who ran the old curio shop where Winston and Julia rented a room. For the old curio shop, you can consider Facebook, emails, and comment boards on blogs.

          • [citation required]

          • Commander_Chico

            Orwell, George (Blair, Eric); 1984, Penguin Publishers, New York, 1949.

            Surprised you haven’t heard of it. Didn’t they teach it in high school or at ANUS?

          • ANUS would be the soi disant cognoscenti’s intellectual “home.” (or at least storage facility)

          • Actually, he’s right. In both the book and the ’56 movie, the curio shop was run by the Party. Or at least, the Party was watching…

          • I’ve read the book, I was inviting our soi disant cognoscenti and veteran to provide an actual citation demonstrating that same level of intrusion now, which he of course has not done.

            This does not mean I don’t think that the 0bama [mal]Administration has not over-reached nor that I believe they have demonstrated they can be trusted to use the information in the best interests of the nation as opposed to their own self interests. I merely know that our soi disant cognoscenti and veteran has a track record of claiming as fact that which is not.

          • fustian24

            You know the world is in truly bad shape when I’m not disagreeing with the Commander.

          • Get over it.

    • Constitution First

      Turn their sneaky little ear to the wall against them. Overwhelm them with lies and BS, write: Derk-derk-Allah. Derka derka, Mohammed Jihad. Haka sherpa-sherpa. Abaka-la over and over

  • fustian24

    The NYT was so mad, they actually told the truth.

    But just for a minute.

  • fustian24

    I suspected that smart things were being done to mine various data streams to help keep us safe. Like espionage and rare assassinations in the night, I assumed that this is part of the stuff you don’t want to know about, but that are required to keep us reasonably safe in the modern age.

    But now that we know, it’s different.

    And the scale is simply too big.

    This is also where the IRS scandal comes back to bite the administration. People might have thought that, well, it’s intrusive, but I’m not doing anything wrong and the NSA has always been apolitical.


    So was the IRS.

    And now we even need to wonder just what fed the magic database that got Obama elected.

    • Commander_Chico

      I think you have it right.

      • fustian24

        i understand the need to do some of this. But I agree with whoever recently pointed out that this is far too much power to entrust to anyone.

  • jim_m

    The WaPo asks the question Has the US become the type of nation from which you have to seek asylum?

    Rather than face charges in the United States, Snowden has fled to Hong Kong. He plans to seek asylum in a nation with a strong civil liberties record, such as Iceland.

    If Snowden had chosen to stay in the United States, he would have faced a stark choice: accept a multi-year prison sentence for actions he believed to be in the public interest or go to trial and risk decades in prison if the courts were not persuaded by his legal and constitutional arguments. The American activist Aaron Swartz was facing exactly that choice when he committed suicide in January.

    The sad answer to that question is yes.

    • SteveCrickmore075

      Extraordinary, that the senators most outspoken against the Patriot Act’s reanactment in 2011, were some Democrats, from the fascist party according to jim m, and they gave their prescient reasons, or what jim m would likely call their fascist reasons for doing so,
      Today (June 2, 2011) the American people do not know how their government interprets the language of the Patriot Act,” Wyden said. “Someday they are going to find out, and a lot of them are going to be stunned. Some of them will undoubtedly ask their senators: ‘Did you know what this law actually did? Why didn’t you know? Wasn’t it your job to know, before you voted on it?”

      The Senate roll call vote was 71 to 23 , 6 abstentions: 41 to 4 Republicans in favor, 30 to 18 Democrats in favor. Sanders, the socialist senator, voted no.

      Now that the Patriot Act is doing preciseley what it intended to do, wing nuts who were o’kay with warrantless wiretapping and torture, and constanty charged that Obama was soft on terror and should pursue whistleblowers relentlessly, are having second thoughts, about the Patriot Act and the permanent National Security State, they were the most enthuisiastic supporters of.

      To be fair it is hard to tell what posters on wizbang think, because until the NRA gives them their lead and its opinion on whether this issue, surrending privacy for security, is a second amendment issue, (it is most assuredly, a fourth amendment issue), wizbang is conspicious by its silence on the subject.

      • jim_m

        WTF??? There has been plenty of discussion on this and it has all been against the infringement of people’s rights.

        I find it a little difficult to tolerate an ass like you complaining that Senators didn’t read the Patriot act while you defend what the dems have done under Pelosi.

        I might add, that for the most part the opposition was not to the Patriot act but to the Bush administration. The dems have no problem taking the powers given to them under the act and overstepping them. If anything the opposition that the dems put forward was merely a projection of what they themselves would do once they gained power and now we see the truth of that.

      • Commander_Chico

        Steve, this is not a partisan issue, it must be opposed no matter who is opposing it with you.

        I’m glad Fox News is beating the drum on the issue.

        I also respect and admire Rand Paul’s stance on this and despise Feinstein’s apologia.

        • jim_m

          As bewildering as it is to be on the same side of the issue as Chico, I do have to agree with him. Those form both sides who are willing to trade their freedoms in order to gain safety will eventually realize that they are getting neither.

          I think that a lot of people agree with the idea of searching phone records for specific information and patterns relating to terrorism, And that is how this was originally sold. It was supposed to be searching international calls for possible links to terrorism.

          But few support the creation of an enduring database that the government can search at will for whatever they please. The problem is that this has moved from searching international calls (calls with one end of the conversation being outside the US) to searching all calls, searching all emails, searching your facebook page, etc.

          This has become an excuse for implementing a police state. If the government is willing to use the IRS to punish political opponents what is the likelihood that they would search the database for embarrassing items to be used against political opponents? This has now become an inevitability.

          • And when taken in conjunction with the IRS abuse only a fool would believe this data would be responsibly used and protected by this administration.

          • Brucehenry

            You and Chico both have a point, Jim, and it’s scary and sad that it’s come to this.

            However, Crickmore has a point, too. Liberals warned you all that the PATRIOT Act was setting this country on a slippery slope. Just think, if the country had heeded Bernie Sanders, we wouldn’t be in this fix.

            So it is with a sense of schadenfreude that I watch conservatives have a hissyfit about this. The time for a hissyfit was 2001. You’re a day late and a dollar short, as we say down South.

            Oh, and again, two books that should have been read by conservatives years ago:



          • jim_m

            As I said to Steve, the liberal protest is shown to be little more than pure partisanship since precious few are protesting now and too many are siding with obama.

            [edit]Plus if you bother to look at obama’s own words in the Senate you can see that he opposed using this power to go after terrorists. Funny that he has no problem using that power to go after Americans. As some have said, this is a turn key system for totalitarianism, all it takes is a president willing to flip the switch. I think we already have him in the oval office.

          • Brucehenry

            “Is shown” by whom?

            Anyway, my point stands. Apparently, this NSA business, while ominous and scary, is perfectly legal under the terms of the PATRIOT Act, which I decried and you defended for 12 years.

            You guys sowed the wind, now are alarmed when you reap the whirlwind.

          • jim_m

            obama is the primary example as I state above. You can stick your pious and hypocritical “you sowed the wind” bullshit where it belongs. What was originally proposed was surveillance of calls originating or terminating overseas and not all calls and emails within the US. You know this and your told you so comment is the height of hypocrisy.

          • Brucehenry

            Go back and look at the debate of the PATRIOT Act. Exactly this kind of thing was foretold — by liberals, including Sanders.

            I can’t help it if you don’t like to be reminded that you have been wrong for 12 years.

            I’ll bet Chico never defended the PATRIOT Act. I could be wrong.

          • jim_m

            I’m not denying that they said it. I am just pointing out that precious few are saying anything now that there is a dem in the WH. THAT is the point.

            The other point is that the man who said that this was wrong in the Senate to look at the narrower focus that I point out is the very many who expanded this to encompass every citizen in the US. This is the same man whose IRS has targeted people for violation of their civil rights based on their religion and political affiliation. You are in favor of that too.

          • Brucehenry

            And I SAID you have a point.

            MY point is that you and your fellow wingnuts should never have defended the PATRIOT Act. Without the PATRIOT Act, this problem wouldn’t exist. But you (they) were so intent on casting liberals as weak on terror that you ignored the potential of the slippery slope created by the Act.

            In other words, for short-term political gain, conservatives pretty much created the very problem they now decry.

          • jim_m

            Jeez, do you have a brain tumor or something? I have specified what we supported several times and you keep coming back as though we approved of THIS. We supported targeting terrorists not casting a wide net over the entire nation. There is a difference between what was originally approved and what it has become.

          • Brucehenry

            Brain cancer jokes, haha. Awesome.

            As I’ve written before, on another thread, this law was so vague, so ill-written, so hastily cobbled together, that abuse like this could easily be foreseen. Indeed it WAS foreseen. By Sanders and several others.

            Many liberals warned PATRIOT Act proponents that just this sort of thing could occur, and would occur, and that they wouldn’t like it when they occurred under a President other than a Republican. But those warnings were ignored.

            If you read even the synopses of the two books I mentioned above, you’ll find that every president has expanded the power handed to him by previous presidents. Now we have finally gone too far. With you, I fear we may never be able to turn back. Maybe it’s too late.

            But I still say damn to hell those who pushed the PATRIOT Act on us. This day might have been delayed a generation if not for them.

          • jim_m

            Read books? I thought that Wikipedia was the zenith of learning. Or so you have represented recently. I’m sure your book selections are more bullshit than what I have posted here so I won’t bother with them. You seem to be incapable of quoting from them.

            (and what’s wrong with a brain cancer joke? It certainly isn’t any worse than Hoosen’s caption contest comments. Besides, my father in law died from a brain tumor. Been there, done that. Life goes on. Only leftist prudes like yourself lack a sense of humor to be able to laugh at tragedy. The death rate remains 100%. Only idiots pretend that death is not a reality and get offended by such jokes.)

          • Brucehenry

            Oh, by all means, keep it up with the hilarity. To each his own, one man’s meat, yada yada.

            You’re likely too young to remember a popular volume from the 1970s called “Truly Tasteless Jokes,” a delightful little tome many people kept next to their toilets at the time. It was divided into chapters like “Black Jokes,” “Polack Jokes,” “Cancer Jokes,” and “Dead Baby Jokes.” You would have loved it. You can probably find it on Craig’s List, I guess.

            Let me guess, you’re also a big Andrew Dice Clay fan, right? This from a guy who hates Maher.

          • jim_m

            I find them both vulgar. I actually liked Emo Phillips, but that was probably because we are from the same home town.

            Any moron can swear and stupid people like you think it’s funny. You may find it surprising that people can be funny without being offensive. Perhaps you should go listen to some old Bill Cosby.

          • Brucehenry

            Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor were not just “any moron.” But I agree that “shock comedy” of the Dice variety is passe and wasn’t all that funny even back in the day.

            I also agree Emo Phillips was funny. There’s a 24-hour comedy AM radio station in Raleigh and they’ve played a few Emo bits lately. I think they hold up pretty well.

          • jim_m

            You’re right. Most morons manage to not set themselves on fire. Pryor was an exceptional moron.

          • Brucehenry

            Yes, Pryor’s legacy is the freebasing accident he had. Just that. Nothing else.

          • jim_m

            As you repeatedly say: “Some of these are jokes”

          • Brucehenry

            Oh, sorry. Good one.

          • jim_m

            The other point is that with a moral administration and not the current fascist one, we wouldn’t be surveilling the US citizens as though they are the enemy, however, obama has taken the position that the people are his enemy from day one.

          • Brucehenry

            A “moral administration,” eh? That’s rather an odd position for a principled, small government conservative to take.

            For a hypocritical partisan hack, though, it’s perfectly consistent.

          • jim_m

            You confuse forcing your moral and religious beliefs down someone else’s throat with having a moral belief that restrains your actions. I suppose not having such a belief yourself makes it hard to comprehend that there might be people who don’t believe that you should cram your ideals down everyone’s throat through threat of violence or imprisonment.

          • jim_m

            Here you go Mr hypocrite. A Pew poll shows that Dems opposed NSA surveillance 60-40 when Bush was President and the opposite ratio now support it with obama. It isn’t that the left opposes Presidential power, it is that they oppose it only when the GOP has the White House. They also project what they would do with that power on everyone else. They have no scruple about violating people’s civil rights to benefit their own agenda but they resent the possibility that someone could have the power to violate theirs even if they know that the person in question won’t actually do so. That’s what we have here today.

          • Commander_Chico

            Doesn’t the chart show that the amount of partisan shift is about the same, around 22 percent for both parties?

            Good chart.

          • jim_m

            Um no. GOP support shifted ~20%. Dem support shifted closer to 30%. GOP majority remains in the same place as before. As a group the dems have flipped.

          • You know better than to expect honesty or numeracy from our soi disant cognoscenti and veteran by now Jim.

          • Brucehenry

            Actually, the shift is about 23% for Republicans and 27% for Democrats. Hardly an indictment of either party.

          • jim_m

            Especially if you ignore the fact that the 27% flips your side from 60% for to 60% against. Let’s just ignore the fact that your side believes in civil rights only when they are in the minority, but when you are the majority, it is might makes right.

          • Where the soi distant cognoscenti and veteran goes his dingleberry follows. In other “news” water is wet and fire will surely burn us.

          • jim_m

            He is smarter on this issue than his dingleberry

          • Faint praise, that.

          • Brucehenry

            LOL, Maher and Andrew Dice Clay you find “vulgar” but “dingleberry,” I suppose, is another “humorous jab.”

            I guess now that “moderator” Rodney has thunk up another humdinger I’ll be seeing that one 80 or 90 times a thread for the next year or two.

            You two boys enjoy.

          • jim_m

            There is a difference between humor and contempt.

            Some of these are not jokes….

          • The truth only hurts…

            …whent it’s supposed to.

            E.g. The groups of “what a dingleberry believes” and “facts” seldom, if ever, intersect.

          • The truth only hurts…

            …when it’s supposed to.

          • Brucehenry

            I find the most striking thing is the fact that in each case about twice as many find this NSA business “unacceptable” when it’s the other side doing it as when their side is.

            I believe that makes both Republicans and Democrats “human beings,” who have partisan biases.

          • The things you believe and facts are sets which seldom, if ever, intersect.

          • This [P]resident is unconcerned with his Constitutional Duty to enforce the laws consistently and in a manner consistent with the rights of the People.

  • Constitution First

    Trick question: How do you get any softer than a sneaker full of Shiite?