Jim Schutze defended his conspiracy theory to me:
Yes, it was on their site. Patrick [the D.O.‘s managing editor] found it there. But I spent a lot of time with the Nexis people. They looked and found it, but only in synopsis from a Knight-Ridder wire thing on opinion around the country. They were quite baffled by its absence from the Morning News feed and said it should have been there. When I asked if it had been there originally but had been withdrawn, they checked and then started to clam up on me. They would say only that its absence was a “mystery.”
So how would you explain it? They do what we do: a straight daily digital feed of the content of the newspaper on a programmed basis. Nobody sits there every day and says, yes, send this article and, no, don’t send that one. At least not normally. I think there are two possible explanations for the editorial still appearing on the web page but having been expunged from Nexis. 1) Someone at the News was too clever by half. 2) Someone at the News was clever by only half.
Then, minutes later, Jim sent a follow-up:
As we speak, the plot congeals. The editorial in question is now on Nexis. The pub date, as you will note at the top, is September 20. But the LOAD DATE, when it was shipped to Nexis, is September 29, yesterday. So now I would say someone has been clever by one half plus one quarter. And I think they deserve credit for that.
To err is human. To err and cover up is also human. To err and cover up and then get busted for covering up and then make amends, if not divine, at least the right move. Good on ’em.