HuffPost scrubs line from story calling Republicans ‘terrorists’

Alex Pappas | Political Reporter

The business editor at The Huffington Post wrote Monday that Republicans “are acting like terrorists” in the debt ceiling talks.

But those sentiments didn’t last very long in the piece. (Pamela Geller strikes back at NY Times for tying her to Oslo shooter)

The article’s title and lead paragraph including the terrorism comparison was eventually scrubbed from the liberal website. The piece was authored by Peter S. Goodman, who previously worked at The New York Times.

The original version — archived by another website — was called “Republican ‘Terrorism’: Debt Ceiling Debate Tactics Are Perilous.” Goodman’s piece started off this way:

“A major factor in how the United States wound up in hock to the tune of $ 14.3 trillion is the so-called Global War on Terror, the American jihad under which all causes have been subsumed, while niggling things like facts, the constitution and strategic objectives have been relegated to irrelevance. So it seems a tad ironic that as they attempt to square the books, the same Republicans who have so eagerly prosecuted the war on terror, running up huge deficits in the process, are now behaving like the enemies on which they have squandered so much blood and treasure: They are acting like terrorists.”

“Yes, terrorists. A central feature of any fruitful negotiation is that both sides can reasonably assume that certain outcomes can be ruled out, chief among them the possibility that one party will resort to something so dangerous that it risks blowing everything up. Yet in threatening not to lift the debt ceiling without first extracting enormous cuts in government spending, Republicans are in essence threatening to obliterate the underpinnings of the global financial system — the bed-rock faith that, come what may, Uncle Sam always makes good.”

The revised story, without any reference to Republicans as terrorists, is titled: “Republican Debt Ceiling Tactics Hold National Interest Hostage.” The new version cuts out the first paragraph, editing the lead of the story:

“In any reasonable negotiation, both sides can assume that certain outcomes can safely be ruled out, chief among them the possibility that one party will resort to something so dangerous that it risks blowing everything up. Not in the negotiation currently consuming Washington. In refusing to lift the nation’s debt ceiling without first extracting spending cuts, Republicans are in essence threatening to obliterate the underpinnings of the global financial system — the bed-rock faith that, come what may, Uncle Sam always makes good.”

Neither Goodman nor a Huffington Post spokesman immediately responded to a request for comment. But the revised version included a note at the end of the article explaining, “An earlier version of this opinion piece employed terrorism as a metaphor — a metaphor that some readers appear to have taken literally. In this updated version, the language has been changed to address these concerns.”

When Goodman left The New York Times for The Huffington Post last year, he told the Washington Post that he was doing so because, “For me it’s a chance to write with a point of view.”

“It’s sort of the age of the columnist,” he said. “With the dysfunctional political system, old conventional notions of fairness make it hard to tell readers directly what’s going on. This is a chance for me to explore solutions in my economic reporting.”

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