The change in the dateline location is important to the point of this post. The Washington story is not an hours-later update of an older story; the location change means that it is a new story. Yet it carries the same URL as the older one out of Copenhagen (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/03/sports/03obama.html). There is no journalistically defensible reason for deleting the Copenhagen-based story. Yet it has indeed disappeared. Times searches on word strings deleted from the older item come up empty.
As if the Times needed any more blows to its allegedly still-existing journalistic integrity, this one can't help but beg the question of who at the White House put pressure on the Times to do what it did. Why would any journalist put themselves in the position of making people wonder if they bow to the wishes of the politically powerful? The answer may be that journalism, once thought to be at least lurking occasionally in its Manhattan hallways, is officially dead at the New York Times.
Here is a side by side comparison of the first five paragraphs. The original version is on the left.