Here's the first paragraph of an article the New York Times
published shortly before midnight Eastern Time on Thursday night, preserved in digital amber
by the invaluable NewsDiffs:
Two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether Hillary Rodham Clinton mishandled sensitive government information on a private email account she used as secretary of state, senior government officials said Thursday.
And here's the lede as it was rewritten
—in dramatic fashion—an hour later:
Two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state, senior government officials said Thursday.
Emphasis added in both instances, and boy could that emphasis not be more different. In the first version, Times
reporters Michael Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo say that these nameless government officials are basing their request on possible misdeeds Clinton herself is alleged to have committed; in the latter, that's transformed into an incredibly vague construction: "mishandled in connection with." What does "in connection with" even mean? It could mean almost anything.
What's more, this major alteration was made without any notice to the reader. On top of that, the Times even changed the URL (the old one now redirects to the new one). If it weren't for NewsDiffs and assiduous observers like Zeke Miller, this big edit might have gotten flushed down the memory hole. But in this day and age, fortunately, that sort of shenanigan is difficult to pull off, and "paper of record" will have plenty to answer for Friday morning.
In the meantime, here's NewsDiffs' capture of the new lede, just in case the Times decides to finagle with it again.