Times Corrects Headline After Formal White House Complaint

The White House objected to the subhead "White House Role Was Wider Than It Said," since it has yet to make a comment on the matter.

A Christmas miracle? At the insistence of the White House, the Times has actually corrected the subhead to a front-page headline Wednesday over a story by intelligence reporters Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane.

The original "deck" of headlines read: "Bush Lawyers Discussed Fate Of C.I.A. Tapes- White House Role Was Wider Than It Said."

White House press secretary Dana Perino said: "The New York Times' inference that there is an effort to mislead in this matter is pernicious and troubling, and we are formally requesting that NYT correct the subheadline of this story." Perino's point: The White House has yet to formally comment on its role in the C.I.A. tape controversy.

According to the Politico, Times' Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet replied: "If they want to quibble with the deck, they have a legitimate point. But nobody is raising any questions with what the story is about, and what the story said."

Here's the correction:

"The subheading with a front-page headline on Wednesday for an article about discussions between four top White House lawyers and the Central Intelligence Agency over whether to destroy videotapes showing secret interrogations of members of Al Qaeda referred imprecisely to the White House's position thus far on the matter. While Bush administration officials have acknowledged some discussions leading up to the destruction of the tapes in November 2005, as the article noted, the White House itself has not officially said anything on the subject, so its role was not 'wider than it said.'"