Listen, I’m no journalist; I don’t even pretend to be one on TV. But you need not squander the price of an Obama family vacation at Columbia Journalism School to know that if you edit something after it goes live, out of respect for ethical transparency, you need to acknowledge said edit.
Someone at the New York Times obviously wet their pants over an editorial published Thursday that said the Obama administration “has now lost all credibility.” And whoever the wetpants’d one was had every right to go back into the editorial and tone down the wording to read, the “administration has now lost all credibility on this issue.” [emphasis mine]
But to do it on the sly, and not even note that the article has been updated, is dishonest. And nowhere did the Times note that they had cooled some after learning of their lover’s betrayal, and then went back to leave the door open for some sweaty make-up sex.
We are not talking about fixing a typo here, or even finding a better word to clarify a point. In the course of a few hours, The New York Times went from claiming the administration had lost all credibility — period — to something less. That is a huge position shift.
And this is not the first time the Times has been caught backfilling with stealth edits, either.
The Times is supposed to set the journalistic standard. But when it comes to potentially embarrassing edits, the Times has proved itself every bit as hackish as they are in the “objective” department.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC