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NY Times headline of Trump’s remarks on mass shootings ignites backlash

A photo of the front page of Tuesday's New York Times sparked immediate criticism on Monday night – including from several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.

President Donald Trump speaks about the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Washington.

The headline read, “Trump urges unity vs. racism.” It comes after President Donald Trump addressed the nation following mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, that killed nine and 22 people, respectively.

A photograph of Tuesday’s first edition was tweeted out by journalist Nate Silver Monday night and was quickly slammed by critics who accused The Gray Lady of inaccurately representing Trump’s comments.

Some Twitter users threatened to cancel their subscriptions and urged others to do the same.

“I canceled my subscription,” tweeted author and CNN contributor Joan Walsh, adding, “I can’t keep rewarding such awful news judgement.”

Prominent Democrats in Washington also took aim at the Times, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“Let this front page serve as a reminder of how white supremacy is aided by – and often relies upon – the cowardice of mainstream institutions,” the freshman congresswoman tweeted.

Presidential candidates, many of whom blamed Trump’s rhetoric for the El Paso, Texas, shooting that left at least 22 dead, also decried the headline.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted, “That’s not what happened.”

“Lives literally depend on you doing better, NYT. Please do,” wrote Sen. Cory Booker.

Even a New York Times contributor was taken aback by the headline. Op-ed contributing writer Wajahat Ali tweeted: “I write for the NYT. This is a terrible headline.”

Trump has repeatedly faced criticism for his stance on immigration. He also recently tweeted four Democratic congresswomen should “go back” to the “crime infested places from which they came.”

Trumps tweets were condemned as racist by the U.S. House of Representatives.

A photograph of the Times’ second edition of the front page hours later revealed that the headline had been changed to “Assailing Hate But Not Guns.” Its website also showed a similar headline: “Trump Condemns Bigotry but Doesn’t Call for Major New Guns Laws.”

It’s not clear, however, if the headline change was in response to the backlash.


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