I just received the following email from a reader. Seems legit (It would be a pretty lame thing to make up):
On the editorial page of the Times I bought in Astoria queens yesterday morning, I was especially irritated by one paragraph of Maureen Dowd’s column (“The Empire Strikes First”). I was happy to see Ramesh Ponnuru take her to task for it in the Corner yesterday (“Dowd’s State”).
Imagine my surprise when, visiting my parents at their home on the Connecticut River later in the day, I attempted to back up my contention that Ms. Dowd was barking mad by quoting the offending paragraph, and it wasn’t the same!
>From the column in the paper purchased in Queens (and remarked upon by
Ramesh): “…as long as the region plays ball with the new sheriff. They’ll put pressure on Syria and Iran to abandon their support for terrorism. And then, with an American spigot, the oil will flow free–except to the French, who will pay dearly.”
>From the column purchased by my parents in Essex, Connecticut: “…as long as they do what America wants. They’ll put pressure on Syria and Iran to abandon their support for terrorism and everyone from the Tigris and Euphrates to the Jordan guaranteeing more security for Israel. And then the oil will flow free, under American guidance.”
Is the Times afraid of frightening the mild-mannered folk of Connecticut with the fiery language of Dowd’s original column? Or do the regional editions go out first, with red meat being mixed in later for city liberals?
Or is it simply standard practice for a column to vary this dramatically from one edition to another?