President Obama reportedly suggested that not watching enough cable TV was to blame for his initial low-key response to the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.
The president has faced bipartisan criticism for not striking an urgent enough tone in response to those attacks. The New York Times reported Friday on a private meeting with columnists where Obama said he realized he was slow to respond to public concerns about terror.
Further, the Times reported: “In his meeting with the columnists, Mr. Obama indicated that he did not see enough cable television to fully appreciate the anxiety after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, and made clear that he plans to step up his public arguments.”
Curiously, that single line was removed from the Times’ print edition – and later from the online version after it initially went up.
Mediaite flagged the “stealth” edit to the piece Friday morning.
But the Times contends that the edit was routine, and made only for space reasons.
"There's nothing unusual here,” D.C. bureau chief Elisabeth Bumiller said in a statement. “That paragraph, near the bottom of the story, was trimmed for space in the print paper by a copy editor in New York late last night. But it was in our story on the web all day and read by many thousands of readers. Web stories without length constraints are routinely edited for print."
Nevertheless, the suggestion that Obama would have responded better had he only digested more cable news – a frequent subject of the president’s criticism -- raised eyebrows.
The session was apparently off-the-record, but the Times reported on it based on conversations with others in the room.