Obama Administration

New York Times Alters Hagel Story to Eliminate Obama's Dismissive Analysis of ISIS

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How long before the administration tries to pretend it never chose him in the first place?

Yesterday, The New York Times broke the story that Chuck Hagel was resigning under pressure (fired) as secretary of defense. The story noted the struggle Hagel had trying to gain any traction within President Barack Obama's insider-run administration, his lack of much influence with the establishment, and it pointed out when Hagel's comments deviated from the administration's.

One notable example was how the two men discussed the Islamic State (ISIS). Early in the year, President Barack Obama compared the terrorist group to a junior varsity basketball squad putting on the Lakers' uniform. This seemed a bit dismissive of what ISIS might be able to accomplish, especially in retrospect (a United Nations expert estimates ISIS has made up to $45 million in ransoms in the past year). By contrast, Hagel described ISIS as an "imminent threat to all we have," an exaggeration in the other direction. The New York Times included a paragraph in his story with both examples to show the difference between the two men's positions.

Now that paragraph is gone. It was there when I wrote about Hagel stepping down yesterday. Now it has disappeared. Erick Erickson at Red State notes the change here, as well the removal of a sentence where sources said that Hagel had been the kind of defense secretary the president had wanted.

What's left behind is a story that has purged any reference that the president ever downplayed ISIS while Hagel played it up and makes it appear that Gen. Martin Dempsey was the main guy pushing for action against ISIS.

The story has had content added as well, as The New York Times folded in more responses to Hagel's resignation as it unfolded yesterday morning. But there is no explanation as to why that paragraph was deleted or any acknowledgment that it even happened. 

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  1. Still obvious that we will have one of the President’s political hack toadies running Defense, right?

  2. “President Barack Obama compared the terrorist group to a junior varsity basketball squad putting on the Lakers’ uniform.”

    Regardless of your opinion on intervening in the whole ISIS debacle, underestimating your opponents is about the most unbelievably stupid thing you can do.

    1. It wasn’t an underestimation.

      I believe Obama has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and one of the things that the sufferers of that charming disorder are driven to do compulsively is to denigrate anyone who looks more popular.

      He could be scared shitless of them, but he isn’t going to give them the legitimacy that they might matter.

    2. Its about as stupid as *overestimating* them.

      ISIS moves around from weak point to weak point – always flowing away from pressure even if that means losing previous gains, is marginalized even in many of the Sunni strongholds, and certainly doesn’t understand that standing your ground in the face of American air superiority is a death sentence.

      ISIS *is* a JV team. They just have good PR and its become convenient for people in this government and media to push them as the next big scary thing coming out of the middle east.

      1. I agree, Obama’s line is closer to accurate than Hagel’s, by far. I bet the NYT omitted this less to protect Obama by having him seem to underestimate the threat than they did to seem on board with the current anti-ISIS actions (after all, if they’re JV then why this military action?).

        1. Who ordered that military action?

      2. It really depends what characteristics you want to emphasize about ISIS and the context in which you are discussing them. ISIS is certainly JV when compared to the US military in terms of capabilities, strength, reach, etc.

  3. I love how the Obama admin reportedly believes it had to surge in Afghanistan because the military put pressure on them. Politics appears to prevent them from adhering to a coherent foreign policy vision/philosophy.

    1. Where was that one reported?

      1. Here most recently:

        The internal discussion took place against the backdrop of this year’s collapse of Iraqi security forces in the face of the advance of the Islamic State
        as well as the mistrust between the Pentagon and the White House that still
        lingers since Mr. Obama’s 2009 decision to “surge” 30,000 American troops
        to Afghanistan. Some of the president’s civilian advisers say that decision
        was made only because of excessive Pentagon pressure, and some military officials say it was half?baked and made with an eye to domestic politics.

    2. “I love how the Obama admin reportedly believes it had to surge in Afghanistan because the military put pressure on them.”

      It was a combination of both his own salesmanship during his campaign, promising to be ‘committed to the just war’, as well as his succumbing to military demands.

      There is plenty of detail on Obama’s planning and consultation with the military during 2009, and his subsequent defense of the plan while he recieved the @#($* peace prize, calling it the ‘just war’, as a contrast to the war in iraq which he entirely disowned.

      Kos helpfully provides a collection of his promises about Afghanistan during the 2008 campaign, branding it as ‘finishing the job’

      as to the numbers of actual troops sent, (as the NYT article points out) it was Obama’s call to split the difference between what the military actually *wanted* (60-80K), and what they though was the ‘necessary bare minimum’ (12K)

  4. But there is no explanation as to why that paragraph was deleted or any acknowledgment that it even happened

    *Ring Ring*

    “New York Times!”

    “Hi, it’s Valerie Jarrett. That story you ran about Hagel resigning made my boss look bad.”

    “Our apologies, Ms. Jarrett. We’ll take care of that immediately.”

    1. RingRing

      Ministry Of Truth

      Hi, its Valerie Jarrett, the 2nd in command to the Supreme Leader, that story you ran about Hagel resigning made the Supreme Leader look bad. Execute those responsible and issue out a new history.

      Yes, of course, so it is said, so it shall be done.

      1. That story was doubleplusungood.

    2. Isn’t it customary to print a summary of retractions when an article is edited post-publication? Did the NYT do so?

      1. Yeah, even on-line there’s normally some kind of correction or notation if there is a significant change. Which, I think, is part of Shackford’s point here.

        However, those kinds of notations are usually made if there is an error or something in the original. So, theoretically, NYT could avoid such a note because it didn’t actually make a mistake which it then corrected.

  5. Hagel will be an un-person by Christmas.

    1. Hell, he will be airbrushed out like a Stalin purge victim by next week….

    2. He was always an ally of Emmanuel Goldstein, and only an enemy of the party, nay the nation, would deny it, comrade.

    3. Revised fullwise

  6. Obama really is a great leader. I mean, Stalin had to have a state-run media and the threat of disappearing into gulags to be able to unwrite history. Obama has a sycophantic free press to happily do it for him.

    1. So it is better to be loved than feared.

    2. I went to the Stalin museum in Georgia (Republic of) and the old lady that took us through the place had nothing but good things to say about old Joe.

  7. Down the memory hole.

  8. What’s left behind is a story that has purged any reference that the president ever downplayed ISIS while Hagel played it up and makes it appear that Gen. Martin Dempsey was the main guy pushing for action against ISIS.

    “Stand by for an important message from the Ministry of Truth.”

  9. I can’t help chuckling when I see that picture–it always looks to me like the eagle is photo-bombing him.

    1. Great, thanks for that – now I am laughing at that too.

      1. Count me in as well.

  10. The optics here are obtuse at best.

    1. Son, you’re forgetting yourself.

  11. Forget it Scott, Durantyism is alive and well at the NYT. Why would anyone expect anything different?

    Lefties are nothing is not dishonest.

    1. ‘if’ not….geez

      1. Just blame it on the Asian and riots and Democratic shifts.

        I hope that wasn’t a Freudian slip up there you camouflaged monster.

        1. WTF are you on about now? Maybe you should get a lobotomy or something.

          1. Maybe he’s started early on his drinking tonight.

          2. its his noetic prosthesis – while boosting his intellectual prowess its also changed his cognitive architecture sufficiently to make relating to us baselines difficult.

            1. This brilliant creature has exceeded the limitations of its augmentations.

  12. THREAD JACK!

    A blog I read is organizing a book drive of sorts: The idea is to connect kids who would like books but can’t afford them with people who have a little extra money and would like to buy them. All the instructions are in the link below. I’ll probably post again in the P.M. Lynx. Look through the Amazom wishlists and find some kid who’s dying for a copy of Road to Serfdom or your favorite sci-fi novel.

    http://www.farnamstreetblog.co…..need-them/

    1. Amazon

      I made that typo because I didn’t have enough books to read as a kid…

  13. Winston examined the four slips of paper which he had unrolled. Each contained a message of only one or two lines, in the abbreviated jargon ? not actually Newspeak, but consisting largely of Newspeak words ? which was used in the Ministry for internal purposes. They ran:

    times 17.3.84 bb speech malreported africa rectify

    times 19.12.83 forecasts 3 yp 4th quarter 83 misprints verify current issue

    times 14.2.84 miniplenty malquoted chocolate rectify

    times 3.12.83 reporting bb dayorder doubleplusungood refs unpersons rewrite
    fullwise upsub antefiling

  14. I’m not sure the Lakers could beat a JV team these days.

    1. It may take Kobe jacking up 100 shots, but I’m sure it can be done.

    2. I’m not sure the Lakers could beat an egg. I am depressed.

      1. When do they play the Sixers?

  15. Does the Times think no one would notice? Taking it out just brings more attention to it while making them look like the toadies they are. These people are not even competent apologists.

    1. But when they write the glorious history of the Age of Obama – who are they going to believe? The “Paper of Record” or some vague memories of troglodyte, racist, Teabagging rat-fuckers?

      1. They wouldn’t call it “the first draft of history” if they weren’t going to make some revisions, right?

        1. Hey, it’s “All the News that’s Fit to Print”, not “All the News”.

    2. The people who read the Times certainly won’t notice. It’s not like they get information from outside their bubble.

    3. the Times neither cares if anyone will notice nor worries itself with someone’s perception of it as an apologist.

  16. This must be why the left is always agitating for laws that would require some journalistic licensing, so only professionals like those at the NYT can report on the “news”.

  17. I’m sure their ombudsman will explain it to us.

  18. Gawker Media: No, Iran Is Not An Apocalyptic Nuclear Cult

    I can only assume this means that Iran is an apocalyptic nuclear cult.

    1. Well, John Bolton says they are, so…

  19. Fake Scandal! Fake Scandal! Why is this news? Stop talking about isis, benghazi, Lois Lerner Lost emails, fast and furious….

    Remember when President Bush tried to kill everyone in America with arsenic? that was like, a *real* scandal.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09…..ludes.html

    1. No, but I do recall the Obama admin failing to seriously investigate Bush and company for their various scandals/crimes.

      Government officials have to stick together…

  20. This is seriously fucked up. Down the memory hole level, no-shit Orwellian fucked up. But I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising. They just got caught this time. Usually that sort of things doesn’t make it past the editors desk.

    Do is the NYT now hemorrhaging integrity faster than cash?

    1. I thought we learned what kind of integrity the NYT has ten years ago.

  21. Good opinion piece on this over at The Duffel Blog.

  22. Good opinion piece on this over at The Duffel Blog.

    1. Good stuff ? I’m definitely bookmarking duffelblog.com!

  23. I’m not sure which is worse, ISIS killing people, or ISIS hurting Obama’s credibility.

  24. It’s good to see the NY Times takes the idea of an independent and free press seriously.

  25. my friend’s half-sister makes $74 /hr on the laptop . She has been fired for 8 months but last month her payment was $15926 just working on the laptop for a few hours. browse this site….

    ?????? http://www.payinsider.com

  26. my friend’s half-sister makes $74 /hr on the laptop . She has been fired for 8 months but last month her payment was $15926 just working on the laptop for a few hours. browse this site….

    ?????? http://www.payinsider.com

  27. my friend’s half-sister makes $74 /hr on the laptop . She has been fired for 8 months but last month her payment was $15926 just working on the laptop for a few hours. browse this site….

    ?????? http://www.payinsider.com

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