We reported earlier today on how the USA Today newspaper had been caught allowing stealth edits to be made to a Stacey Abrams op/ed that was published just a couple of days prior to Major League Baseball pulling the All-Star game out of Georgia over the state’s new voting law.
To recap: In the original piece published March 31st, Abrams argued in part that though she was opposed to boycotting the state for now, that she couldn’t “argue with an individual’s choice to opt for their competition.” But stealth edits were made to the piece a few days after the official announcement was made about the game being pulled, edits that made Abrams sound more anti-boycott than she originally did:
The op-ed Dale and others cite defending Abrams was heavily edited from its original version AFTER the MLB decided to move the All Star game.
Paragraph on the left is before, paragraph on the right is AFTER. Clear attempt to cover tracks.
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) April 23, 2021
Not only was the revised op/ed used by numerous so-called “fact-checkers” like Politifact and CNN’s Daniel Dale as part of their “evidence” that Abrams never supported boycotts, but the USA Today did not bother to add a revision note to the piece until over 3 weeks after the changes – which were significant – were made:
And yet, as this 4/21 archive shows, the editor’s note was not present. It appears the op-ed was revised on April 6th, but an editor’s note about the change was only added within the past 2 days:https://t.co/JLR1YWTeDd pic.twitter.com/bqpxOmIBjK
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) April 23, 2021
As I noted in my piece this morning, USA Today owed their readers an explanation because if this is how they normally operate, the history of someone’s words – in particular a prominent public figure – can literally be erased and most people would not know otherwise, which is a chilling prospect.
In an update to the story, the USA Today responded to the Fox News report on their stealth edits and, well, let’s just say the response left a helluva lot to be desired:
UPDATE: Gannett spox issued a statement:
“We regret the oversight in updating the Stacey Abrams column. As soon as we recognized there was no editor’s note, we added it to the page to reflect her changes. We have reviewed our procedures to ensure this does not occur again.” https://t.co/WKEUo38prO
— Joseph A. Wulfsohn (@JosephWulfsohn) April 27, 2021
What they did not answer, however, was the key question from Fox News on whether they had any regrets for “allowing revisions to Abrams’ op-ed instead of preserving it as it was originally written,” which pretty much tells you that they do not regret it.
That’s really the key issue here, and the fact that they didn’t address it speaks volumes about them. If Abrams wanted to update the piece, what the paper should have done was to have her write a new one with a new headline and everything. But they allowed her to make changes to the original piece after the MLB pulled the game that made it sound like she was even more opposed to boycotts than she originally sounded.
So what they’re basically saying here is that they will allow significant changes to existing op/eds and that as long as they add a note to it once it’s done it will be ok.
Well, no, that is not ok. At all.
I can’t stress enough how the media/Democrat-driven bogus campaign against the Georgia voting law has had a ripple effect on the state – and not in a good way. The lies Abrams, President Biden, Sen. Raphael Warnock, and other Democrats told about the law laid the groundwork for boycotts to be announced and MLB to pull the game. Matters were made worse once Warnock’s staff admitted after the fact that his comments about the law were made based on an early version of the bill that did not make the final cut. Then Abrams revised her piece post-MLB announcement, and the USA Today didn’t even bother to point it out until they got called out nearly three weeks later.
All of this has further eroded trust in the media, and worse, cost the state $100 million in revenue, much of which would have gone to the very minorities that Democrats claimed they wanted to protect from the non-existent “voter suppression” that was (not) in the law.
Play stupid political “woke” games, win stupid prizes, and in the end, it’s the people who suffer the most while politicians and activists still rake in the fundraising cash. This all sounds so achingly familiar, doesn’t it?