"The administration," the Times wrote in the opinion piece titled President Obama's Dragnet, "has now lost all credibility."
Reactions were swift and nationwide, and by Friday morning the line had been edited to read, "The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue."
Politico's Dylan Byers noted the change in wording that quietly took place Thursday night and, as he noted, "No correction or explanatory note was appended."
On Friday Byers wrote about the change and why it doesn't lessen the damage to the Obama administration:
"The change was for clarity's sake," Andrew Rosenthal, the Times editorial page editor, told POLITICO on Friday morning. "It was clear from the context of the editorial that the issue of credibility related to this subject and the final edit of the piece strengthened that point.""The administration has now lost all credibility...."
The "issue" in question is the Obama administrations' oft-repeated claim that an overreach of power -- from secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism to the subpoenas of reporters phone records to the collection of Americans' phone and now Internet data -- is required in order to keep Americans safe.
To the Times' critics, and to Obama's, the change may seem like an attempt to soften the blow. It shouldn't: The Times is still unequivocal in its condemnation of the president's abuse of his executive power. That is the important point, and it remains unchanged.