Sometime between Friday, January 25 and Saturday, January 26, Vanity Fair made a decision that it is today deeply regretting. Perhaps the magazine’s brass figured that by making deputy editor Bruce Handy’s online op-ed about Zero Dark Thirty star Jessica Chastain quickly disappear over a weekend, the move would not be noticed.

But in what has to rank as a major embarrassment for editor Graydon Carter, Nikki Finke has caught up to the subterfuge. Hollywood initially played dumb when the journalist inquired, before New York finally fessed up:

Publicists for Sony Pictures and Chastain’s BNC flackery told me it was “not true” that VF deleted the article. But, to its credit, Vanity Fair owned up to it. Explained VF spokeswoman Beth Kseniak: “We took it down because it ran counter to what a number of people at the magazine believed.”

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