In Donald Trump’s much-hyped speech on immigration Wednesday night in Phoenix, which came the same day he met with the president of Mexico, the GOP nominee showed no signs of “softening” the hard-line immigration policies that have won him legions of supporters.
But that message didn’t come across in the New York Times’ initial coverage of the speech, which hailed Trump’s address as “an audacious attempt” to transform his image and reported that he shelved his proposal for a massive effort to deport immigrants who are in the country illegally. The story went through extensive edits when readers pointed out the story inaccurately characterized Trump’s speech.
Readers on social media were quick to point out the inaccuracies and suggest the Times had bought into the campaign’s song-and-dance about a softer touch on immigration issues.
NYDN vs. NYT on deportation force. NYT is literally on another planet tonight. pic.twitter.com/4NNkIRholQ
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) September 1, 2016
Your lede is wrong. He didn’t shelve his deportation plan, he detailed it, repackaged it. Wanted ledes like yours.https://t.co/Xlt7yo5e92
— Frank Sharry (@FrankSharry) September 1, 2016
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) September 1, 2016
About an hour after the original story was published, the story underwent a substantial rewrite to eliminate language about Mexico pitching in to solve the immigration crisis.
The Times didn’t run an editor’s note explaining the story had been substantively changed, but the edit-tracking site NewsDiff clearly shows the extent of the revisions. You can see the full edits here.
An eagle-eyed TPM reader also flagged that the Times’ unedited story made it onto the front page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Thursday: