In the span of a few hours, the New York Times changed its characterization of President-elect Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency pick from a fossil fuel “ally,” to a “climate change dissenter,” and then a “climate change denialist.”
An archive of New York Times reporter Coral Davenport’s original story on Scott Pruitt, dated Dec. 7 and timestamped 20:47:29 UTC, describes Pruitt in the headline as an “Ally of Fossil Fuel Industry”:
The headline of the article as it appeared at 00:46:58 UTC on Dec. 8, however, calls Pruitt a “Climate Change Dissenter”:
According to the timestamps from archives, the article’s title went through three revisions in the span of five hours. The edits came as Eric Lipton was added to the byline.
It’s not just the headlines of the articles that changed. The description of Pruitt and his ideology became more sensationalist and editorialized between the first version of the article and its subsequent revisions.