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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 9/30/15

Top Republican lauds Benghazi panel for tanking Clinton's polls. NYT buries news in 8th paragraph

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By Laura Clawson

Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy
(Image by (From Wikimedia) United States Congress, Author: United States Congress)
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It's not uncommon for news stories to be updated as new information emerges. It's kind of different, though, for a news organization -- say, the New York Times -- to replace a story wholesale at the same URL, going from burying a key piece of information to foregrounding it without acknowledging the change. As of this writing (who knows what it'll be by the time you're reading it), the Times article in question is titled "Kevin McCarthy, House Speaker Favorite, Under Fire for Benghazi Comment." That headline refers to the big news: McCarthy straight-up said that a key accomplishment of House Republicans was using the Benghazi Committee to attack Hillary Clinton.

But once upon a time, as we can see thanks to NewsDiffs, McCarthy's inconveniently truthful comments weren't the focus of Jennifer Steinhauer's story. In versions of the story published at 10:53 and 11:11 Wednesday morning, the real news was that John Boehner had set the vote for his replacement as House speaker for next week. McCarthy's comments were buried in the eighth paragraph and glossed over like so:

"Mr. McCarthy has already stepped into hot water by also suggesting to Mr. Hannity that there was a link between the House Select Committee on Benghazi and Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign."
It seemingly took until just after noon for the Times to clue into the fact that McCarthy's comments might be news. And at that point, rather than putting up a new article, they changed the headline and basically the whole article, while leaving it at the same URL. Finally, the article covers the big story here, but the change isn't acknowledged, so unless you saw the earlier versions of the piece, you don't know to wonder why the Times originally thought McCarthy's comments were paragraph-eight, one-sentence kind of news. [Update: Sorry, there was a subsequent paragraph on the news, so it was paragraph eight, but more than one sentence in the Times initial estimation.]
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