New York Times Changes Trump Headline After Liberal Outcry

NYT bends the knee

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August 6, 2019

The New York Times changed its front-page headline about President Donald Trump's speech condemning white supremacy following a liberal outcry and threats to cancel subscriptions.

The paper tweeted out its early-edition headline about Trump's address Monday in the wake of two mass shootings—one of which was motivated by a hatred for immigrants—reading "Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism." Trump told the nation, "In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated."

After progressives fumed, the newspaper changed the headline to "Assailing Hate But Not Guns" to frame the story more negatively around Trump resisting gun control.

"Not sure TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM is how I would have framed the story," FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver wrote on Twitter on Monday night.

Other prominent liberals expressed outrage over the initial headline, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and presidential candidates Beto O'Rourke, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.).

Some, like The Nation's Joan Walsh and former Harry Reid staffer Adam Jentleson, even said they were canceling their subscriptions to the Paper of Record, saying the reporting was irresponsible and whitewashed Trump's record of inflammatory rhetoric.

Times spokesman told the Washington Post, "The headline was bad and has been changed for the second edition."

Conservatives mocked the newspaper for succumbing to pressure over the headline.

It's not the first time liberal Times readers have canceled—or threatened to cancel–their subscriptions over what they view as unacceptable coverage. In 2017, another wave of outrage and threats to cancel subscription erupted when newly hired columnist Bret Stephens published a lightly skeptical piece about climate change.