Trump Really Liked The New York Times’ Original ‘Bad’ Headline

Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

President Trump seems to be the only person on Twitter who agreed with the New York Times’ original headline over its story on the President’s reaction to mass shootings. The headline was widely condemned on social media as misleading before editors opted to change the wording.

In a tweet Wednesday morning, Trump said the initial headline — “Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism,” which was considered reductive and false — was the “correct description” for his speech and flogged the “Radical Left Democrats” for going “absolutely CRAZY” over the description.

“After almost three years I almost got a good headline from the Times!” he lamented on Twitter, tagging Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, who addressed the controversial headline on his show Tuesday night.

Times editors tweaked the headline for it’s second edition of the newspaper Tuesday to “Assailing Hate But Not Guns.” During his speech, 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.

During an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review on Tuesday, New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet took full responsibility for the “bad” headline, but argued the process of headline writing is far more nuanced than people think.

“People think the leadership of the New York Times sat down and tried to come up with a headline that mollified Donald Trump and that’s just not the case,” he said, arguing that it’s not the Times’ or the Washington Post’s role to “be the leaders of the opposition party.”

People have that view “because Donald Trump has stirred up very powerful feelings among Americans. It’s made Americans, depending on your point of view, very angry and very mistrustful of institutions,” he said. “And some may think newsrooms like the New York Times and the Washington Post are supposed to be Donald Trump’s adversaries or the leaders of the adversarial movement to take down Donald Trump.”

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