Democrats lash out at New York Times over early Trump 'unity' headline

A New York Times headline asserting President TrumpDonald John TrumpUPS, FedEx shut down calls to handle mail-in ballots, warn of 'significant' problems: report Controversial GOP Georgia candidate attempts to distance from QAnon Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days MORE urged “unity vs. racism” after a pair of mass shootings over the weekend drew criticism Tuesday from sources ranging from Democratic presidential candidates to a columnist at the newspaper.

The Times’s original Tuesday front-page headline, unveiled Monday night, read “TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM" in reference to his comments from the White House addressing the mass shootings.

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Critics have pushed back against the Times's characterization, noting that while Trump condemned white nationalism in his remarks Monday morning, earlier in the day he had suggested the “fake news” was to blame for the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, which killed at least 22 people.

The president also faced criticism for suggesting any gun control measures be coupled with immigration reform despite the suspect being tied to a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto that cites fears of a Hispanic “invasion,” with the Times article itself noting Trump has used similar rhetoric.

“Unbelievable,” former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), a native of El Paso, tweeted of the Times headline. O'Rourke, who is running for president, has left the campaign trail to return to his hometown and has been vocal in his criticism of Trump's rhetoric following the massacres.

 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezJared Kushner denies Trump 'promoting' questions about Kamala Harris Progressives look to flex their muscle in next Congress after primary wins Democrats hammer Trump for entertaining false birther theory about Harris MORE (D-N.Y.) also blasted the headline, tweeting, “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 Times also took fire from within its rank. Times op-ed writer Wajahat Ali hit the paper for the headline framing, tweeting, “I write for the NYT. This is a terrible headline.”

 

Other Democratic presidential candidates also tweeted criticism of the headline.

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerNew Jersey governor to announce state will move to mostly mail-in voting for November The Memo: Trump attacks on Harris risk backfiring On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' MORE (D-N.J.) tweeted, "Lives literally depend on you doing better, NYT. Please do,” while New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioTrump touts NYC police union endorsement: 'Pro-cop all the way' Cuomo calls on NYPD to 'step up' in enforcing coronavirus regulations at bars Feehery: Weak mayors destroy America's great cities MORE (D) tweeted, "Hey, @nytimes — what happened to 'The Truth Is Worth It?'" Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandIn the next relief package Congress must fund universal COVID testing Expanding our health force can save lives and create jobs simultaneously Sanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic MORE (D-N.Y.) simply tweeted, “That’s not what happened.”

 

Amid the backlash, the headline was amended to “ASSAILING HATE, BUT NOT GUNS.”