This happens a lot. Someone writes a letter to the editor of a MSM publication. The letter is published — but with so many edits and deletions as to change substantially its meaning.
The old excuse for this kind of tendentious editing was, “space considerations.” That was an obvious lie in some specific cases, but there was enough general truth in the phrase to maintain the plausible deniability of editorial bias.
But now, with zero-marginal-cost Internet publishing, there is no excuse for editing on-topic, clearly written, non-abusive reader comments or letters. Yet some MSM editors still do it.
What’s nice about this case is that a blogger got hold of the “before” version of the letter to the editor and published it, showing all of the self-serving edits made by the newspaper. (The paper also published the edited letter online in a way that made it easy to overlook.)
Bloggers should do this kind of thing routinely. People who write letters to MSM publications, especially their local newspapers, should publish the original version of each letter on their own blogs. And they should publish the letters of other letter writers who don’t have blogs. Of course there are bloggers, like Henry at Herald Watch, and the illustrious Jim Miller, who already do this, but the practice should be much more widespread. In this day and age it’s ridiculous that any newspaper editor should be able to get away with butchering reader letters.