Even as the Supreme Court was kicking sand in the U.S. Constitution’s face yesterday, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis (D-TX) was waging a courageous battle to defend it, staging a 10 hour-plus talking filibuster of an unconstitutional abortion ban that Texas Republicans were trying to ram through during a special legislative session. Despite being stopped short of the special session’s midnight deadline, Sen. Davis prevailed, and for her trouble, earned a mention in today’s New York Times, right there in the 17th paragraph. Thanks to Wonkette’s Rebecca Schoenkopf, though, Sen. Davis has been promoted to paragraph two, and downgraded from “petite” to… normal size, I guess?
Thanks to the website Newsdiffs, we can track the changes to the NYT piece, which originally contained a mention of Sen. Davis, by name, in the 17th paragraph, and this reference in paragraph two:
The state Senate voted on the abortion bill at the end of a 10-hour-plus filibuster by a Fort Worth Democrat. But the vote came right at a midnight Tuesday deadline amid widespread confusion and the noise of a chanting crowd of the bill’s opponents in an upstairs gallery. The legislative session expired at midnight, and Senate Democrats said the vote took place past the deadline at 12:02 a.m. or 12:03 a.m., while Republicans disputed those claims, saying the vote was legitimate.
Shortly thereafter, that “graf” (as we call it in the biz) was punched up to be a little more colorful and descriptive of Sen. Davis’ dress size, but still no mention of her name until graf 17:
state Senate voted on the abortion bill at the end of a 10-hour-plus filibuster by a Fort Worth Democrat. But the votereversal capped a remarkable day in the Texas Legislature here. A petite Fort Worth Democrat in pink sneakers staged a 10-hour-plus filibuster marathon in which she never sat down. Abortion rights activists succeeded in disrupting Republican senators, and the fate of a bill that Gov. Rick Perry had made a priority devolved into a legislative mess so thick that even senators who had voted on the bill could not say for certain whether they had indeed voted on the bill.
That’s pretty much how the story remained, until Wonkette’s Rebecca Schoenkopf posted this stinging rebuke, at 9:52 this morning:
Perhaps you heard there was a small ‘fuffle last night as some Texas Bad-Ass got all shrill and PMSy for ALL THE HOURS last night, foiling the GOP’s efforts to steal a vote right in front of the whole universe. WELL! The Paper of Record heard about it too! And they had quite a nice little story about the “petite Fort Worth Democrat in pink sneakers” who (according to this Texas state Rep.) “terrorized” Texas with all the yakkety-yak. But did that li’l lady have a name? Sure she did! In paragraph 17. So who got to have names in this here New York Times story before Wendy Davis did? Let us count them!
Wow, that little lady sure can write, but why so angry, darlin’? Apparently, because it works. About 20 minutes later, the NY Times had struck “petite” from the story, and a few minutes later, added Sen. Davis’ name to the second paragraph of the story about her heroic last stand:
The reversal capped a remarkable day in the Texas Legislature here.
ASenator Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat in pink sneakers staged a filibuster marathon of more than 10 hours in which she never sat down. Abortion rights activists succeeded in disrupting Republican senators, and the fate of a bill that Gov. Rick Perry had made a priority devolved into a legislative mess so thick that even senators who had voted on the bill could not say for certain whether they had indeed voted on the bill.
I suppose that’s an improvement, but are NYT‘s Manny Fernandez and Erik Eckholm now trying to say that Sen. Wendy Davis looks fat?
Congratulations to Sen. Davis for shining some daylight on a dark day for civil rights, and to Rebecca Schoenkopf for straightening out the Times, and getting Sen. Davis the respect she deserves, which is her name and title, absent her dress size.
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