NYT Tweaks ‘Bad’ Front Page Headline After It Sparked Outrage

New York, United States of America - July 8, 2017. The New York Times building in the west side of Midtown Manhattan.
The New York Times building in the west side of Midtown Manhattan. (Photo by Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
August 6, 2019 9:35 a.m.

The New York Times amended its original headline on the paper’s story about President Trump’s address following two mass shootings over the weekend that left 31 people dead, admitting the original headline was reductive and “bad.”

“The headline was bad and has been changed for the second edition,” a New York Times spokesperson told the Washington Post, referencing the original: “Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism.”

After considerable backlash online, including from several 2020 Democratic contenders, the Times changed the headline to “Assailing Hate But Not Guns” for its second edition of the paper.

The initial headline gained traction after FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver tweeted out an image of the would-be Times front page for Tuesday, saying it wasn’t how he would’ve framed the story, which centered on President Trump’s speech in the aftermath of the shooting.

Trump denounced white supremacy and condemned the racist manifesto allegedly penned by the El Paso shooter before his attack. But the President said nothing about possible gun legislation and instead harped on a list of Republican talking point responses to mass shootings, blaming mental illness and video games. Trump’s been roundly criticized for spouting inflammatory and racist rhetoric in recent weeks.

Prominent Democrats like Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) came out swinging, urging the Times to do better.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) pointed to the headline as evidence of why white supremacy is allowed to run rampant in the mainstream.


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