The New York Times removed a quote from a story in which President Barack Obama blamed his slow response to the San Bernardino terrorist shootings on the fact he doesn't watch cable news.
In the original version of the story, a paragraph read:
"In his meeting with the columnists, Mr. Obama indicated that he did not see enough cable television to fully appreciate the anxiety after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, and made clear that he plans to step up his public arguments."
CNN media reporter Brian Stelter took notice on Twitter.
The Times then removed the paragraph – initially without explanation – and replaced it with these two paragraphs:
"Mr. Obama argued that while there were potentially threats that would merit the kind of investment of lives and money equivalent to that made in the Iraq war, the Islamic State does not pose an existential threat to the United States and therefore the response should be measured. The United States needs to take on the group, in part to defend allies in the region, he said, but it should not be an all-out war.
Moreover, he added, part of the group’s strategy is to draw the United States into a broader military entanglement in the region. A sustained but limited campaign may be slow and politically unsatisfying, but ultimately will be more successful, he contended."
The Times later issued an explanation saying, “That paragraph, near the bottom of the story, was trimmed for space in the print paper by a copy editor in New York late last night. But it was in our story on the web all day and read by many thousands of readers. Web stories without length constraints are routinely edited for print."
Mediaite's Alex Griswold, noted however,
that the two paragraphs that were edited in the print version were actually longer than the one that was cut.
That said, the web version is now the same
as the edited print version without Obama's original quote.
The story doesn't address the changes, though it does note that the meeting was supposed to have been off the record.
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