Editing mistakes were made?

Hillary Clinton campaigning. (NY Times photo)

The New York Times has been caught going passive on its scoop news story about Hillary Clinton’s email.

According to NewsDiff, the original hed read: “Criminal Inquiry Sought in Clinton’s Use of Email,” but an hour later the hed was changed to: “Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Use.” The hed now reads: “Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account.”

Perhaps the editors of the Times should read their own columnists. In 2012 Times opinion writer Constance Hale penned a piece under the headline: “The Pleasures and Perils of the Passive.”

Among the passive voice phrases she cited this classic:
The most pilloried use of the passive voice might be that famous expression of presidents and press secretaries, “mistakes were made.” From Ronald Ziegler, President Richard M. Nixon’s press aide, through Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton — not to mention Attorney General Alberto Gonzales — pols have used the passive voice to spin the news, avoid responsibility or hide the truth. One political guru even dubbed this usage “the past exonerative.”
According to James Taranto’s Wall Street Journal column, the change to passive voice followed a complaint by the Clinton campaign.
Taranto also quotes WSJ’s Byron Tau as writing: “An internal government review found that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent at least four emails from her personal account containing classified information during her time heading the State Department.”
Tau said the inspector general reviewed only 40 of Clinton’s 30,000 emails. He also wrote that the Justice Department has backed off calling the request a criminal matter.
Past exonerative?
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18 comments on “Editing mistakes were made?

  1. Steve says:

    Children with knives

  2. Winston Smith says:

    Guns were smoked…

  3. Freedom to the illegally occupied Libyan Jamahiriya!

  4. Rincon says:

    I agree that Hillary is a little scummy, but how do you all manage to miss every Republican misstep? Oh yeah, partisanship – the great American pastime. Well, in the interest of equal time, an ancient concept, it seems that, despite lots of red flags, Ol’ Jeb managed to lend his name and “acumen” to earn $15,000 a month working as a consultant and Director for a company running a $40,000,000 investment fraud. http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/30/politics/election-2016-jeb-bush-business/ Fox News, of course, had a far different take than CNN http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2015/03/18/before-jeb-bush-resigned-its-board-florida-firm-faced-6-lawsuits-from-investors/ http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/30/politics/election-2016-jeb-bush-business/

    All I had to do was Google Jeb Bush scandal. I suspect I could do the same with many other candidates.

    Of course, I’m sure Fox News was accurate and CNN was totally biased, right?

  5. Winston Smith says:

    The Bush family has been a scandal since before WWII. Google Prescott Bush and Nazis.

    Jeb is not a surprise…

  6. The point at hand here…is not who’s the most corrupt politician, it’s about media bias. The “Grey Lady” went after the Bush’s with a vengeance on numerous subjects. But with Barack Obama (who still has not been properly vetted)…or the Clintons…only the sound of crickets can be heard. The fact that a major newspaper would change a headline and possibly a story at the request of a candidate’s campaign staff…IS the point. Leg humping media lap dogs…if the shoe fits…

  7. Winston Smith says:

    Just another example of “thrill going up my leg” media…

  8. Vernon Clayson says:

    The NY Times could save themselves time and effort by running this crap by Hillary Clinton’s people before publishing it. Of course, they already have editors on board putting lipstick on liberal pigs.

  9. Rincon says:

    I agree with Brien, but it’s curious how Conservatives never tire of pointing out the obvious bias of liberal media, but just don’t seem to notice the equally obvious bias of the conservative media. Kind of like watching sports fans. Fouls by their team are just fine, but those by the opposing team are stridently condemned.

  10. Rincon says:

    An example comes to mind. Years ago, I pointed out a case of huge bias to the point of misreporting by Fox News and the Conservatives here just ignored it. A scientist had been quoted saying that “the evidence of warming in the last 15 years is statistically insignificant”, so the Fox headline was: :Scientist says global warming insignificant”. The truth could not be discerned until the 5th paragraph of the story and even then was subtle enough to be missed by most people.. Statistically insignificant has a very specific meaning, completely different from insignificant. Fox also conveniently missed the 15 year bit. The phrase wouldn’t have fit for any longer time period. Fox grossly misrepresented the truth.

    So all of you ignored Fox’s journalistic malpractice, but squeal when in this case, the phrasing was slightly softened without affecting the thrust of the story. Sounds like the NYT isn’t the only one that’s biased.

  11. Well when you’re outnumbered 12 to one (or worse)…liberal to conservative outlets, it’s seems a bit nit picky to highlight one obscure example when 12 times that many are blatantly trumpeted by the other side on a daily basis.

  12. Steve says:

    CBS “news” anchor is Charlie Rose for crying out loud!

  13. Rincon says:

    Brien misses the difference in degree and also argues that “they” are worse than “us”, so any malfeasance is excusable. Thomas complained about a softening of language. I’m complaining about misrepresenting and actually reversing the facts of a story. If you prefer to argue numbers, just give me time to watch one Fox News episode. I’ll have more examples than a week of MSNBC.

  14. Steve says:

    Thats one for one…add in CBS, NBC, ABC and CNBC…for just a few.
    Brien is right the deck is stacked.

  15. Rincon says:

    Fox News has 1/3 of the audience, last I heard. If still true, then if Fox is twice as biased as the others, the total bias is even. I would argue that Fox is easily more than twice as biased, but we could go on all day with that. Suffice it to say that in today’s partisan environment, many of us watch only those that present a world view compatible with ours and are way too willing to forgive bias if it comes from “our team”.

  16. Steve says:

    attracting viewers does not indicate bias…it indicates the views of those viewers.

    33.3 is in no way a majority, the deck remains stacked.

  17. Rincon says:

    If a majority of viewers prefer a “liberal bias”, then is it possible that the middle ground isn’t where you think it is? You also are only counting numbers, ignoring the degree of bias. I am more against Fox News than most others because I perceive their bias to be more egregious than most. Just me, of course, but the success of the “liberal media” suggests there are other moderates like me.

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