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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

'NYT' Cuts AIPAC Reference

UpdateNYT public editor on the paper's explanation, and issues related to changing stories without noting change or archiving.

Earlier:  Startling though not exactly surprising.  I saw it first from M.J. Rosenberg but perhaps someone else had earlier.  Daily Beast and others referred to the quotes before cut so this for real. The Boston Globe published it earlier in picking up the story,  for example.  Jeffrey Goldberg just tweeted this to me:  "Trying to get an answer about why it was cut." (And later:  "Still no explanation from the Times why that paragraph about AIPAC disappeared from its story today.") This was cut from top (online and in print) New York Times story:
Administration officials said the influential pro-Israel lobby group Aipac was already at work pressing for military action against the government of Mr. Assad, fearing that if Syria escapes American retribution for its use of chemical weapons, Iran might be emboldened in the future to attack Israel. In the House, the majority leader, Eric Cantor of Virginia, the only Jewish Republican in Congress, has long worked to challenge Democrats’ traditional base among Jews.
One administration official, who, like others, declined to be identified discussing White House strategy, called Aipac “the 800-pound gorilla in the room,” and said its allies in Congress had to be saying, “If the White House is not capable of enforcing this red line” against the catastrophic use of chemical weapons, “we’re in trouble.”
All of the changes in story tracked here.  

Goldberg talks to Politico about it.  As he notes, very "strange"--original article was accurate and no space issues on the Web....Some dialogue with the Times' Robert Mackey on Twitter, in which he claims "transparency."

UPDATE:   See NYT explanation for cut here near bottom of page ("gorilla" quote had appeared the day before). 

Here's Rosenberg's comment:
Obviously the White House and/or AIPAC did not want to be caught saying that the reason we are attacking Syria is to show AIPAC, the “800 pound gorilla,” that we are serious about the war the lobby really craves: Iran.
But there it is. Or was.
AIPAC censorship even applies to the Times.  Only in America (not Israel, where AIPAC’s power does not extend to Haaretz).
Rosenberg comments: Obviously the White House and/or AIPAC did not want to be caught saying that the reason we are attacking Syria is to show AIPAC, the “800 pound gorilla,” that we are serious about the war the lobby really craves: Iran. But there it is. Or was. AIPAC censorship even applies to the Times. Only in America (not Israel, where AIPAC’s power does not extend to Haaretz). Brent Sasley at The Daily Beast had commented when he read original story; One might, then, expect it to take a public position on the biggest issue of the day, U.S. strikes against the regime’s military assets. And after President Obama announced he was going to Congress for authorization for the attack, observers began wondering—with some claiming more confidently—that AIPAC would become much more active. Apparently White House officials even fear what AIPAC will do. If Obama is seen as not enforcing his red line over Syria, how, one hinted, would this “800-pound gorilla in the room” view the Administration’s Iran policy. - See more at: http://www.thenation.com/blog/176001/nyt-cuts-key-references-aipac-pressure-syria-debate#sthash.QOwT6kvO.dpuf

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