Washington Post Waters Down Obama-Putin Column Title

The Washington Post ran a column this morning from its deputy editorial page editor, Jackson Diehl. The original title of the column: “Obama Still Sweet on Putin.” The article discussed the fact that President Obama was now unilaterally cutting America’s nuclear arms despite the fact that the Putin administration in Russia was not interested in making a deal. Further, Obama opposes the “Magnitsky bill,” a Democratic-sponsored piece of legislation that attempts to place human rights back at the heart of the US-Russia relationship. As Diehl points out, “Incredibly, Obama has sided with Putin against Congress. His lobbyists have tried repeatedly to block the bill, even though it has become key to passing the trade legislation Obama wants.”

The Diehl piece quickly went viral on Twitter, prompting Jim Geraghty of National Review to write, “A naive president is, indeed, quite troubling for our national security. But what do you call a president who goes into office knowing precisely what kind of leader Vladmir Putin is… and who is, to use the headline of Diehl’s column, “still sweet on Putin”?

Only one problem: the Post appears to have quickly revised the title of the piece to be kinder and gentler toward Obama. The new title: “Obama’s misguided wooing of an uninterested Putin.” Even when criticizing Obama’s tolerance for human rights violators, the Post bosses can’t help but tone it down. 


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