Why did New York Times replace Clinton, Trump forum article?

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The New York Times‘ replaced an article about Matt Lauer’s widely-criticized forum interviews of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump with another article, by an entirely different reporter. Without disclosure.

News Diffs, which tracks changes to many news stories, notes that the Times didn’t just make edits to an article without disclosure. It replaced an entire article by Alexander Burns with one by Patrick Healy. The article, “Forum offers preview of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump presidential debate,” carries no editor’s note.

At first, the new article by Healy didn’t include any reference to Trump’s standing by his claims about sexual assault in the military, taking oil from Iraq or praising Vladimir Putin. “The New York Times has now updated the Healy version to add Trump’s Putin-praise, but still omits several of Trump’s more outlandish statements, such as the contention that the United States should have left people in Iraq to steal their oil,” Daily Kos reported.

iMediaEthics has written to the Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy to ask why the newspaper replaced Burns’ article and why this replacement was not disclosed. We’ve also contacted public editor Liz Spayd to ask if she will be addressing this latest blunder. On Sept. 12, we heard back from her office “The public editor has not yet written on this subject, and we do not publicly discuss what she plans on doing in the future.”




Just last week, the New York Times‘ article on Donald Trump and immigration, following the Republican candidate’s event in Arizona and trip to Mexico, was heavily edited after publication without any disclosure of those edits in an editor’s note. That story also carried Healy’s byline.  The Times‘ spokesperson Eileen Murphy told iMediaEthics at the time, “The story yesterday was written, edited and updated throughout the day, as events unfolded and as new developments actually happened. Like other breaking news stories, we updated it in real time. We don’t attach editor’s notes to stories unless we are correcting an issue of fact.”

Times public editor Spayd argued  at the time that “We were moving as fast as we could and the story changed on us.”


Two Corrections for Gary Johnson Story

Meanwhile, the New York Times posted two corrections this morning on a story about Gary Johnson’s on-air botching of a question.

The Libertarian candidate for U.S. President, Gary Johnson, didn’t know what Aleppo was in an interview this morning. MSNBC asked him about Aleppo, and he responded “What is Aleppo?” The New York Timesreport on that interview misstepped twice, earning a correction and a correction of its correction.


First, the Times said that the “de facto capital of the Islamic State” was Aleppo.

Then, the Times posted a correction, to say that the de facto capital is Raqqa, Syria. But in that correction, the Times identified Aleppo as the capital of Syria. Which it’s not.

Finally, the Times posted a correction of the correction. This correction corrected the incorrect claim that Aleppo is the capital of Syria. In fact, Damascus is the capital of Syria.



UPDATE: 9/12/2016 12:12 PM EST Added in statement from public editor office


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Why Did NYTimes Replace Clinton Trump Forum Article without Disclosure?

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