Less than two hours after posting its interview with Caroline Kennedy under the headline, "As A Candidate, Kennedy Is Eloquent but Elusive," the Times has had second thoughts about her eloquence.
Its freshly-revised headline now reads: "As A Candidate, Kennedy Is Forceful but Elusive."
In the third paragraph of the story, the word "eloquent" has also been removed, and the word "forceful" has been substituted. It now describes Kennedy as "forceful but vague, largely undefined and seemingly determined to remain that way."
It's a fascinating editorial change that underscores the harsh tone of the story, and reflects the highly subjective nature of journalism. It also raises an interesting question: were reporters David M. Halbfinger and Nicholas Confessore overruled by editors in their assessment of Kennedy as "eloquent," or did they reconsider their own opinion?
Which was she, eloquent or forceful? You make the call!
eloquent: "expressing yourself readily, clearly, effectively."
forceful: "characterized by or full of force or strength (often but not necessarily physical); powerful.