Really NY Times? Check out the slideshow on this story for some Shadow/Highlight tool action gone beserk. Doesn't really seem appropriate for photojournalism but maybe that's changing?
Reminds me of the Klavs Bo Christensen scandal.
I agree with this post titled "Ten news photos that took retouching too far" that "ideally, retouching of a news photograph should be limited to basic exposure and color correction, cropping, resizing, or conversion to grayscale."
NOT the case here...