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

A New York Times headline asserting President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Twitter's algorithm boosts right-leaning content, internal study finds Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Matt Taibbi says Trump's rhetoric caused public perception of US intelligence services to shift 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-CortezHouse progressives call on Biden to end all new fossil fuel permitting Schumer endorses democratic socialist India Walton in Buffalo mayor's race Toomey takes aim at Schumer's spending windfall for NYC public housing 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 BookerSenate Democrats call for diversity among new Federal Reserve Bank presidents Progressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program Emanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing MORE (D-N.J.) tweeted, "Lives literally depend on you doing better, NYT. Please do,” while New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Biden makes his pitch as tax questions mount Hochul gets early boost as NY gubernatorial race takes shape Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Boosters take a big step forward MORE (D) tweeted, "Hey, @nytimes — what happened to 'The Truth Is Worth It?'" Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandWhich proposals will survive in the Democrats' spending plan? Proposals to reform supports for parents face chopping block Under pressure, Democrats cut back spending MORE (D-N.Y.) simply tweeted, “That’s not what happened.”

 

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