Credit the New York Times, at least, with some curt honesty at the top of a story titled “Bubble Tea Purveyors Continue to Grow Along With Drink’s Popularity.”
Editors’ note: An earlier version of this article prompted criticism by readers and we have since revised the article in response.
It’s at this point that curious media types dial up NewsDiffs, a site that helpfully tracks how certain news organizations amend their stories on the fly. The post-publication changes to the bubble tea piece turned NewsDiffs into a colorful pageant of frantic editorial scrambling:
Whereas the lead of the story once read:
The Starbucks on Waverly Place in Greenwich Village was all but empty at 8:30 on a recent Wednesday night, but across the street at Boba Guys, a bubble milk tea shop, the line was long.
So was the wait: A wave of first-timers had just arrived at the front counter, uncertain of the drill and even more about the boba tea drinks, which are relatively new to the mass market in the United States and which contain ingredients alien to most coffee addicts.
Oh no you don’t, screamed Twitter.
No problem! The New York Times changed the lead to this:
The Starbucks on Waverly Place in Greenwich Village was all but empty at 8:30 on a recent Wednesday night, but across the street at Boba Guys, a bubble tea shop, the line was long.
A wave of first-time customers had just arrived at the front counter, uncertain of the drill and even more about bubble tea, which has had a niche following in the United States for some time.
That’s a different story.
The problems for the New York Times, here, were anchored in its very own archives. The very headline on this December 2016 story reads like this: “Bubble Tea? So 2002. A Sampling of Food-Trend Predictions.” There’s no way social media was going to allow the New York Times to so overtly contradict itself.
Go ahead — add the bubble-tea fiasco to the New York Times’s prolific work in failed trend pieces. And note that remedies are already being volunteered:
Update: The New York Times has written a piece citing “regret” for the “impression” left by the original wording.