The Right Coast

August 22, 2004
Mysterious changing headlines
By Tom Smith

I could have sworn the headline on this story in the WaPo was different when it originally appeared on Friday, I think. Now the headline implies the stories on both sides, Kerry and Swiftvets, are incomplete. But the original headline, I think, implied that the Swiftvets story was 'flawed and incomplete', without saying the same of the Kerry version. Now the headline seems to have been fixed. Apparently retroactively, as well, since the print version online (so to speak) has the new, improved headline as well. Am I just behind on my Ginko-Baloba (where did I leave my damn bottle of the stuff?!) or is the Post rewriting headlines they get flack for? Can they do that (ethically I mean)? Isn't there kind of a blogospheric norm that you don't go back and change your posts, except to correct typos, and do minor tweaks? If the Post did rewrite a headline to correct an obvious bias, they would be doing something considered a no-no by the norm masters of bloggery. Tsk. Tsk. If so, not very professional of that great journalistic organ, eh?

Please note: I could be wrong! Memory is a mysterious thing! However, I expect full credit if I am right.

(Note to younger readers: Ginko-Baloba is an herbal supplement we middle aged people sometimes take to improve memory. I doesn't work.)