Imagine there’s no editor…It’s easy if you try

New York Times blows one – BIG TIME!

I totally missed this story. I read Phil Carter’s Op-Ed on his site on Wednesday and wanted to comment on it, but I was plagued by posting trouble and didn’t get to it. Now I come to find out that the version of the piece that ran in the New York Times and on its website had been fiddled with by editors. You know, the guys that “real” media has that separates them from us pretenders in pajamas.

It’s a thoughtful piece on the current state of military recruiting and isn’t particularly kind to President Bush’s words and actions regarding the issue. But that apparently wasn’t good enough for the overseers at the NYT:

In an op-ed column in the New York Times today, Phillip Carter wrote, “Imagine my surprise the other day when I received orders to report to Fort Campbell, Ky., next Sunday.” and “My recent call-up to active duty is the precursor to a “surprise tour of Iraq.”

No, wait! That’s not what he wrote, at all. And then the newsprint versions which had not yet been printed and distributed were changed and the on-line version of the column was yanked and replaced, with this explanation:

Editors’ Note

The Op-Ed page in some copies of Wednesday’s newspaper carried an incorrect version of the below article about military recruitment. The article also briefly appeared on before it was removed. The writer, an Army reserve officer, did not say, “Imagine my surprise the other day when I received orders to report to Fort Campbell, Ky., next Sunday,” nor did he characterize his recent call-up to active duty as the precursor to a “surprise tour of Iraq.” That language was added by an editor and was to have been removed before the article was published. Because of a production error, it was not. The Times regrets the error. A corrected version of the article appears below.

Liberal media? What liberal media?

Having read only Mr. Carter’s version on his site, I was blissfully unaware of the creative license taken by the NYT’s editors. And, by the way, you really should go read Carter’s post.

Daily Pundit writes:

The only thing you need to decipher this bit of self-aggrandizing code masquerading as a “correction” is to ask yourself, “An editor added these statements in quotes? Why? And they were supposed to be “removed” before the piece was printed? Why add the false quotes in the first place, then?

The entire editorial was offline for a while while the “error” was corrected. One school of thought supposes that the added quotes were a sort of joke sent by one editor to other editors while, um, editing, and that they were never supposed to appear in the final version.

Sort of like Tom Servo and Crow from Mystery Science Theater, only dumber.

Anyway, some have apparently latched onto this as a convenient excuse for what happened and gleefully point out that it means there isn’t bias at the NYT after all. Except that the existence of the quotes at all means that the editors are either a) openly biased–if they meant the quotes to appear, or b) secretly biased–if they were just an in-joke among friends that accidentally got published.

In either case, notice the presence of “biased” in both choices ‘a’ and ‘b’. I think it’s clear that the bias is there.

Imagine my surprise.


  1. Typical liberal MSM tactic. It reminds me of jury trials when the defense lawyer comes out with a totally outrageous statement which SHOULD result in a retrial with a new jury. But, the judge merely instructs the members of the jury to ‘disregard’ the statement. Yea, sure! That’s like saying to someone who fell off the top of a 20 foot ladder to ‘disregard’ your compound fracture!