Rush mentioned this when he opened his show today, and it deserves a bit of graphic support.
Ouch. But there's also a story about the story, specifically concerning its stinging headline.
The headline's harsh assessment was apparently too much for someone involved with the Times's online operations to handle. After appearing for several hours with the original headline (we know this because the story containing the print edition headline was commented upon just before 10:00 p.m. last night at Lucianne.com, among many other blogs and web sites, before the print edition appeared), the online headline was changed to "Obama’s Trade Strategy Runs Into Stiff Resistance." Zheesh.
Well, at least the story by Sewell Chan, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and David E. Sanger appears not to have changed -- yet. The San Jose Mercury News picked up the first seven paragraphs online with the original headline, and the text matches what the Times currently has.
Here are the first five paragraphs of the story, including the critical fourth paragraph, which logically led to the use of the headline originally employed:
President Obama’s hopes of emerging from his Asia trip with the twin victories of a free trade agreement with South Korea and a unified approach to spurring economic growth around the world ran into resistance on all fronts on Thursday, putting Mr. Obama at odds with his key allies and largest trading partners.
The most concrete trophy expected to emerge from the trip eluded his grasp: a long-delayed free trade agreement with South Korea, first negotiated by the Bush administration and then reopened by Mr. Obama, to have greater protections for American workers.
And as officials frenetically tried to paper over differences among the Group of 20 members with a vaguely worded communiqué to be issued Friday, there was no way to avoid discussion of the fundamental differences of economic strategy. After five largely harmonious meetings in the past two years to deal with the most severe downturn since the Depression, major disputes broke out between Washington and China, Britain, Germany and Brazil.
Each rejected core elements of Mr. Obama’s strategy of stimulating growth before focusing on deficit reduction. Several major nations continued to accuse the Federal Reserve of deliberately devaluing the dollar last week in an effort to put the costs of America’s competitive troubles on trading partners, rather than taking politically tough measures to rein in spending at home.
The result was that Mr. Obama repeatedly found himself on the defensive. He and the South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak, had vowed to complete the trade pact by the time they met here; while Mr. Obama insisted that it would be resolved “in a matter of weeks,” without the pressure of a summit meeting it was unclear how the hurdles on nontariff barriers to American cars and beef would be resolved.
I have a feeling that someone at the Times might be in deep doo-doo with Pinch Sulzberger & Co. Chan, Stolberg, and Sanger might also be squirming a bit.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.