June 7, 2013

"The New York Times editorial board has quietly changed the language in the most widely cited line from Thursday's scathing editorial..."

"The line — 'The administration has now lost all credibility' — was changed Thursday night to read, 'The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue.' No correction or explanatory note was appended."

The NYT should indicate the correction, but the explanation is obvious. They assumed "The administration has now lost all credibility" would be read to refer to the issue under discussion (anti-terrorism surveillance) and not to everything the government does. But the line was so deliciously juicy that Obama antagonists everywhere wanted to quote it. Adding the plodding "on this issue" was a way to say back off, idiots, you know what we meant.

But as I said, they needed to note the correction. In not doing so, they've given Obama antagonists one more thing to slaver over.

66 comments:

St. George said...

Slaver.

Drool.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Degrees of credibility are a bitch.

Jana said...

Heh. "Quietly"! People have been mocking and crowing about it since they did it. They should have seen that coming and just been upfront about it.

Craig Landon said...

It depends on what the meaning of "all" is.

Craig Landon said...

It depends on what the meaning of "all" is.

Mogget said...

Slaver. Because, see, people who wonder about the NYT are hungry animals, not rational actors.

Tom said...

The New York Times has lost all credibility . . . on this issue. And all others.

El Pollo Raylan said...

It's difficult to amend commandments after they're brought down.

Beldar said...

Professor Althouse, you're much, much too charitable in this instance.

If this were something written by a single blogger operating with no editors, that would be one thing. "Oh, you know what I meant" is not really a very good excuse, but it's not ludicrous.

But this was the NYT editorial board, speaking collectively. To make such a change -- a very, very substantive one -- after publication shows that the organization is gutless.

That they refuse to acknowledge it shows that they're evil.

Beldar said...

The choice of "slaver" is also pretty offensive, unless you count yourself among the slaverers.

rhhardin said...

Every word from Obama is a lie and always has been a lie.

It just hasn't been obvious to the NYT.

Everything goes to an oppression-oppressor narrative for the left, which is Obama's dialect.

If you don't do that dialect, the lies appeared obvious.

Michael K said...

"Professor Althouse, you're much, much too charitable in this instance."

I don't think "Charitable" is the correct term although I can't think of what it might be.

"Deluded" maybe ?

rehajm said...

they needed to note the correction.

I can see that if it was a news story, but should it be expected for an editorial? Opinions are always 'evolving', especially in certain circles.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Where are our liberalist comrades to defend the NSA spying on the public, the Rosen investigation, the AP surveillance, the IRS and Bengazi debacles?

Surely they must have some good rationales as to why it is ok hunkydory to spy on the American public, hound political opponents with the IRS.

Come on you guys!!! Enlighten us.

Keystone said...

The NYT is like a battered wife. She just can't let go in hopes he really loves her.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Since I will soon be leaving all you lovely people to go on an overnight stay with my husband, I thought I might (whore)link to a post that I did in 2009.

Not all of us were blind to what Obama represented

Doctor Utopia

pduggie said...

But read the editorial carefully:on what issue

THE USE OF THE PRESIDENT'S POWERS.

big issue, no?

(you can come back and say, its only when he overreaches on his TERRORISM fighting powers, but a conservative point is that someone who overreaches on that to the point of credibility loss will overreach on powers of regulation, IRS control, health care, etc.

phx said...

But this was the NYT editorial board, speaking collectively. To make such a change -- a very, very substantive one -- after publication shows that the organization is gutless.

That they refuse to acknowledge it shows that they're evil.


Not even that substantive. And "evil"? Way overreach.

Nomennovum said...

Ah, who cares what the Times says? They themselves long ago lost all credibility. Besides, it appears the O'Bama dam has broken. Something else will come out that will confirm the Times' original wording.

My main concern is what doesn't come out.

n.n said...

The opinions of the people at The New York Times is equally relevant to the opinions of other people, whether incorporated or not, only when supported with evidence or an unassailable argument. The opinions of individuals and corporate "The New York Times" do not, or should not, enjoy a special status other than that which can be supported with evidence. The same is true for the government generally, and Obama specifically.

This fetish for identifying and deferring to mortal gods is not compatible with preserving individual dignity and an intrinsic value of human life. It is exacerbated when the mortal god supports denigration of individual dignity and devaluation of human life, especially for reason of material wealth and personal convenience.

phx said...

I think if we ever had a SHTF scenario you would be lucky if the Times were still publishing. They're more trustworthy on most reporting than virtually anyone else. It would be a loss for the People if they aren't there when TSHFT.

cubanbob said...

But as I said, they needed to note the correction. In not doing so, they've given Obama antagonists one more thing to slaver over."

Some people apparently have a problem with the truth.
When wil the NYT finally learn that in this internet-age they can't airbrush the narrative?

Nomennovum said...

Not even that substantive.

Sayeth the Times editor.

Sorry, phx, it is a very substantial change. The sentence was one of the most important lines in the editorial. Look how is was quoted elsewhere. The entire tone of the editorial changed.

garage mahal said...

NY Times Withheld NSA Article at Election Time

Huh.

Nomennovum said...

They're more trustworthy on most reporting than virtually anyone else. It would be a loss for the People if they aren't there when TSHFT.

Good golly, I really am beginning to believe you work for the Times. You sound like a NY Times editor I know.

Colonel Angus said...

I think if we ever had a SHTF scenario you would be lucky if the Times were still publishing. They're more trustworthy on most reporting than virtually anyone else.

I hope you didn't write that while sitting outside in a thunderstorm.

n.n said...

Beldar:

Their selective reporting, especially the bias of their opinions, confirm that they are a special interest. That, however, should not be a surprise.

Pookie Number 2 said...

They're more trustworthy on most reporting than virtually anyone else.

That reflects what you want to believe, but not reality. The reality is that they cherry-pick what they report and how they report it for political ends. They're reasonably effective, but they are not trustworthy.

bpm4532 said...

It's also journalistic malpractice - for those who are wondering what makes legitimate or illegitimate journalist.

Most bloggers are more careful.

Christopher said...

The NYT should indicate the correction, but the explanation is obvious. They assumed "The administration has now lost all credibility" would be read to refer to the issue under discussion (anti-terrorism surveillance) and not to everything the government does.

You have amazing mental powers. With mind-reading abilities like this you should offer your services to our intelligence services and then we can shut down all this spying on every American.

(The Times and the Washington Post, for starters, edit their online copy all the time without notifying us. I just assume they're always lying about something in every story and take it from there. I call this Total Information Awareness.

Hagar said...

Speaking of "SHTF", where is the reporting on the wildfire in Syria spreading to the surrounding countries?

Tibore said...

"In not doing so, they've given Obama antagonists one more thing to slaver over."

You know, really, there's already so much to complain about that one kernel more in the popcorn bowl isn't really going to matter.

Marshal said...

Pookie Number 2 said...
They're more trustworthy on most reporting than virtually anyone else...
That reflects what you want to believe, but not reality. The reality is that they cherry-pick what they report and how they report it for political ends


You have to understand the context. Lefties trust them because they know the NYT will publish to support their cause. For example their decisions to hide the Edwards affair but publicize the bogus McCain affair. The fact that the NYT among others make these choices is why the left trusts them.

Richard Dolan said...

"Adding the plodding 'on this issue' was a way to say 'back off, idiots, you know what we meant.'"

Alas, what's more idiotic is to think that credibility comes in bite-sized chunks. For most people, it's a function of a judgment on whether you trust the source. Certainly that's how it plays out in a courtroom.

Judge Friendly famously noted that "the maxim 'Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus' has been well said to be itself 'absolutely false as a maxim of life.'” United States v. Weinstein, 452 F.2d 704, 713-14 (2nd Cir. 1971)(quoting Wigmore). Instead, the rule is that a witness’s “‘disregard of his oath is enough to justify the belief that the witness is capable of any amount of falsification, and to make it no more than prudent to regard all that he says with strong suspicion, and to place no reliance on his mere statements.’” Id.

Applied to politicians, a violation of the duty not to mislead (accepting that politcos are never candid) justifies the same response. It's summed up in the idea 'fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice ...' The NYT seems to have reached that point with Team O's hopey-changey stuff "on this issue," but it will be hard to pretend that everything's just fine on all others.

chrisnavin.com said...

The Gray Lady would like to clarify for all the mouth-breathing, gun-toting, hopelessly extreme right-wingers:

She just noticed her boyfriend has some bad habits, and let out a little yelp, is all.

She's not hopping on your angry, populist train unless that train is unionized, green, subsidized, regulated, equal, non-discriminatory, and has a transgender conductor.

chrisnavin.com said...

Don't make her go back into Obama's arms, cause she will, and there's nothing you can do about it.

MadisonMan said...

To make such a change -- a very, very substantive one --

I disagree it was substantive. It clarified their thoughts so they could not be misquoted..holy cow I just looked out the window and saw blue sky!!!! -- um, what was I saying?

Oh yeah -- I think the board was only talking about the anti-terrorism surveillance. They should be mocked for unclear writing. And they should acknowledge the change.

You, a New York Times Editor!!

Chip S. said...

I get a whiff of racism from the use of the word "slaver."

Skeptical Voter said...

Ah is the NYT really more trustworthy in their reporting . . .?

That may be true depending upon the source you select. Out here in Los Angeles, the LAT long ago lost any claim to credibility as a serious newspaper. Their editors don't edit (a hangover from the days when they had so much advertising that they had to encourage reportorial logorrhea to fill the "news hole" on dozens of extra pages). Editorial "reporting" fills most of what "news" is printed now.

By contrast the NYT is a paradise of tight economical writing. But editorial bias is prevalent throughout their national reporting.

If I want to read a serious newspaper, I read the news sections in the Wall Street Journal. Editorial opinion is, mostly, confined to the op ed pages of the paper.

And Ann--I'll agree with the "deluded" characterization of your comments on the NYT.

bpm4532 said...

One of the crucial things in any database that stores various activities or transactions is the master customer file that maps a unique individual to the other key identifiers used in the various activities and transactions. It would really surprise me if they didn't have a data table with a record for each individual in the US with their social security number, phone numbers, and email addresses. Along with this would be a relationship to their employer(s) and relationships to other individuals (households, organizations, etc). A 400 million row table is not unreasonable in "big data" and I'm sure the IRS and Social Security Administration would easily supply that data.

Likely they've made accomodation for hundreds of millions of foreign individuals. Even a 7 billion row table (multiple hundred million row class tables) is not out of the question.

Given the documented lies in the past by the NSA that they don't collect the information that it is now admitted they collect, we have to be very interested in how they define "terrorist" or "suspected terrorist" or "individuals of interest".

As processing power, storage capacity, and software sophistication grows and becomes more affordable their ability to monitor ALL individuals to flag individuals will become a certainty.

The last thing that has not been disclosed but suspected is an alleged breakthrough in decryption the NSA made several years ago that may have dramatically improved their ability to crack open previously encrypted data. In the past they've made attempts to make it a crime to encrypt data to such a level that they can't decrypt it. However, those who really want to encrypt (i.e., those who really want to keep a plot secret) will be able to keep ahead with more advanced encryption keys and algorithms. Unfortunately (or fortunately) those things that are so highly encrypted that NSA can't decrypt them are key flags for the NSA for more attention.

Old fashioned spycraft will enter a new renaissance.

eddie willers said...

The Times will be back in Obama's lap quicker than you can say, "good doggie".

Larry J said...

Tom said...
The New York Times has lost all credibility . . . on this issue. And all others.


They can't lose what they don't have. Frankly, reading the New York Times discussing credibility rings as true as a prostitute discussing chastity. They're both whores but at least the prostitute is up front about it.

MartyH said...

phx-

The IRS scandal is a SHTF moment. Lincoln is misquoted as saying, "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." Regardless of who said it, it is true-and the IRS scandal is evidence that our government will happily hinder our freedoms, leading to the inevitable destruction of America as a nation of free citizens acting in their own best interests and into a nation of serfs serving the government. Where has the NYT been on this SHTF episode?

cubanbob said...

bpm is spot on. With the resources at the government's disposal tying all of the databases together is not that difficult an enterprise.

It's potentially like the East German STASI without having having to turn the majority of the people in to spies. Tie all the databases together and the top government honchos can know just about everything their is to know about anyone if they want to. Maybe the apparatchiki are getting are getting scared hence the leaks.

edutcher said...

Apparently the Choom Gang laid a heavy hand on any in the media who knew about this.

But, to the point of the post; we see the talking point begun by some phony folksy (our own little Baghdad Bob) last night, to wit:

But not to worry, the grownups at the big table (like the ACLU and NY Times) are on the case now. This way, these issues can be vetted by some people with real legitimacy and seriousness.

not to mention:

Wait, I forgot, the Washington Post is one of the grownups at the big table. It stands to reason that they'd break this story. Since they have some credibility (unlike Newsmax or someplace like that), this too is a story with some legs. And the ACLU will look into it also, I'm sure, so there are sharp lawyers on the case also.

In other words, Big Media is here to save us from the Choom Gang Big Media inflicted upon us and for whom they covered these last 5 years.

All hail Big Media!!!

gerry said...

I don't think "Charitable" is the correct term although I can't think of what it might be.

"Deluded" maybe ?


Lenin used to call them useful idiots.

exhelodrvr1 said...

bpm,
'"how they define "terrorist" or "suspected terrorist" or "individuals of interest".'

Absolutely - in today's world of social media, how many "degrees of separation" is there between any of us and the bin Ladens? Maybe two or three at the most?

edutcher said...

BTW should it really be 'The administration, along with we in the media, has now lost all credibility'?

Methadras said...

Parsed credibility and highly nuanced incredulity from the NYT. I actually had a bet with a friend that something like this would happen in 48 hours. I was wrong. They did it in 24. Guess Urkel made a phone call and told them he has all of their records. Guess what?

Methadras said...

gerry said...

I don't think "Charitable" is the correct term although I can't think of what it might be.

"Deluded" maybe ?

Lenin used to call them useful idiots.


Yeah, we have one here. Her name is Inga and she's a useless idiot.

Methadras said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip Ahoy said...

Arf! ...

SHUT UP!


...yip yip yip

Dr Weevil said...

I was going to write "At least they said 'slaver' not 'slobber'": they're different forms of the same word, but the latter is much more vulgar. Did they choose the snootily genteel 'slaver' over the crude but effective 'slobber' because they didn't want to stoop so low? But then I thought, maybe they chose 'slaver' (the short-a verb) to introduce a little hint of the long-a noun 'slaver' meaning slave-dealer. The topic at hand has nothing to do with slavery, but it's always useful to stick in a little subliminal dig.

I suppose we can be grateful that the NYT still knows the difference between (short-a) slaver and slather. I've seen once-great newspapers use phrases like 'slavering his sandwich with mayo', which is disgusting as well as ignorant. Then again, maybe the NYT writers don't actually know the difference, just got lucky: pure guesswork should work roughly 50% of the time with slather/slaver, flaunt/flout, and other such pairs.

elkh1 said...

"they needed to note the correction."

Why? Pravda and the People's Daily never needed one. Our airbrush is as good as theirs.

"The administration has now lost all credibility" would be read to refer to the issue under discussion (anti-terrorism surveillance) and not to everything the government does."

Oh, really? Just the surveillance. How about the IRS targeting, the journalists' phone records snooping, Benghazi cover up?

Guess NYT wants to sound "credible" now to eventually blame Bush (who snooped on foreign calls) for Obama's surveillance of law abiding citizens. They used the same tactics to equate Bush's tracking of illegal weapons with Obama's Fast & Furious gun walking.

Strelnikov said...

Don't worry they've now clarified that they did it for "clarification".

Weakness is Strength.

drozz said...

bad reporter.

no donut.

Strelnikov said...

"They're more trustworthy on most reporting than virtually anyone else."

If Obama is still in office when the SHTF, we can count on the NYT to report that nothing has hit anything. On this issue.

edutcher said...

Methadras said...

Lenin used to call them useful idiots.

Yeah, we have one here. Her name is Inga and she's a useless idiot.


More like useless idiot, and we have plenty.

The She Devil of the SS stands out because of her passive-agressive act.

Joe Schmoe said...

I'm still waiting for the NYT to do an editorial on how the Illinois House declined to bring forward a vote on gay marriage. Because apparently clergy-folk of, how shall I say this, African-American persuasion held it up. If it could be traced to white clergy, well, that would be the biggest shitstorm since Rush called Sandra Fluke a slut.

When two groups vying for your Most Favored Minority status are in a snit, it must make Gaia cry. (Hence the tropical storm working its way up the East Coast.) Who wins? With an embargo on the usual op-ed excoriations, I'd say Af-Am are considered MFM (most favored minority) over the gays.

Methadras said...

edutcher said...

Methadras said...

Lenin used to call them useful idiots.

Yeah, we have one here. Her name is Inga and she's a useless idiot.

More like useless idiot, and we have plenty.

The She Devil of the SS stands out because of her passive-agressive act.


Ed, I said useless. ROFL!!! :D

edutcher said...

My bad.

Crunchy Frog said...

How many issues does the Administration have to be caught lying about before the default proposition is that it has lost all credibility on all issues?

Biff said...

I've long been surprised that no major news outlet (that I know of) has a "story history" feature that details the edits made to a published story over time.

Say what you will about Wikipedia, but its "View History" function does an admirable job of recording edits that otherwise would disappear down the memory hole.

Nomadic100 said...

No, the NYT was considering the mounting toll of the various scandals which are now too numerous to count. Obama has lost credibility ACROSS THE BOARD! Then they realized that this statement was too close to the actual truth and backed off.

Methadras said...

edutcher said...

My bad.


No worries. Great minds and all that. :D

Jeff said...

This is all kind of surreal. How do you lose credibility only on one issue? Isn't that like being partly a virgin?

But what's even more amazing is the idea that the administration has ever had any credibility on any issue. Ever.

These are politicians we're talking about. Professional liars. That's the job description. Mark Twain referred to Congress as America's native criminal class. Nothing has changed since then. Taking anything a politician says at face value is just foolish.