Obama Reportedly Makes Eyebrow-Raising Terrorism Remark in Private Talk With Columnists — A Short Time Later, Comment Disappears From NY Times Story

UPDATE: New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker responded on Friday to questions surrounding the editing of the story on Obama’s terrorism remarks.

The Times also released a statement to the Washington Examiner’s Becket Adams:

“Thanks for the question. There’s nothing unusual here. That paragraph, near the bottom of the story, was trimmed for space in the print paper by a copy editor in New York late last night. Bit it was in our story on the web all day and read by many thousands of readers. Web stories without length constraints are routinely edited for print.”

However, The Federalist’s Sean Davis said the explanation “makes no sense.”

Original story below.

President Barack Obama indicated during a private meeting with columnists that he “did not see enough cable television to fully appreciate the anxiety after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino,” the New York Times reported on Thursday. He also reportedly said he plans to “step up his public arguments.”

The comments, first reported by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker and reporter Gardiner Harris, were later seemingly scrubbed by the newspaper without an explanation in the story.

The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple included the comments in his reporting before they disappeared from the New York Times report:

In today’s piece, Baker captured an Obama confession that doubles as a back-handed endorsement of this world’s CNNs and Fox Newses: “In his meeting with the columnists, Mr. Obama indicated that he did not see enough cable television to fully appreciate the anxiety after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, and made clear that he plans to step up his public arguments,” write Baker and Harris. “Republicans were telling Americans that he is not doing anything when he is doing a lot, he said.”

If Baker keeps at it, perhaps Obama will do the right thing, and just say these self-interested things on the record, where they belong. And lest anyone tweet nonsense about ethical considerations here, be it known that Baker and Harris are trodding Poynter-approved turf: Though the columnists attending these get-togethers are bound not to quote the president, Baker and Harris live under no such constraint.

Baker did not reply to an online request for clarification from Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto on Thursday.

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