The New York Post: liberal champions. The New York Times: right-wing propagandists. Is it … opposite week?
The Times has been receiving flack for its front page ever since Twitter caught a preview of one of its headlines Monday evening. The headline – since altered in the paper’s second print edition – responsible for riling up the internet? “Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism.”
Tomorrow's NYT print edition.— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) August 6, 2019
Not sure "TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM" is how I would have framed the story. pic.twitter.com/quOibXsp32
Since the front page’s reveal, incensed politicians and civilians alike have been chastising the publication and calling on readers to cancel their Times subscriptions.
Let this front page serve as a reminder of how white supremacy is aided by - and often relies upon - the cowardice of mainstream institutions. https://t.co/ynjgtT66yI— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 6, 2019
That’s not what happened. https://t.co/m6eIZOARcZ— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) August 6, 2019
Lives literally depend on you doing better, NYT. Please do. https://t.co/L4CpCb8zLi— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) August 6, 2019
I wanna share something with y'all:— Torraine Walker (@TorraineWalker) August 6, 2019
Last year someone from the NYT reached out for my opinion in the wake of that neo-nazi puff piece backlash. I said you're becoming a PR firm for Trump and the alt-right. They didn't wanna hear that. Maybe they'll listen now.#CancelNYT
"The original headline was flawed and was changed for all editions of the paper following the first edition," Danielle Rhoades Ha, vice president of communications for the Times, told USA Today in an emailed statement. "The headline in question never appeared online, only in the first print edition."
However, not everyone is applauding cancellations of the Times. Journalists from various publications have been urging people to think twice about cancelling their subscriptions, and to take into consideration that the headline was most likely written in haste to meet the paper’s print deadline.
The New York Times employs 1600 journalists who do indispensable work across the globe. The paper publishes millions and millions of words each year. Sometimes it makes mistakes. Also, President Trump would like you to cancel your subscriptions.— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) August 6, 2019
I don’t like that headline at all and I take issue with plenty of decisions the New York Times makes. But it’s a huge organization that makes thousands of decisions daily, and generally I consider it an invaluable news source, one that enlightens me daily.— Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman) August 6, 2019
We need newspapers and reporters and investigative journalists and anyone who will hold Trump accountable or else all we'll have is Sinclair, Fox News and right wing media propaganda. Don't #CancelNYT, instead keep demanding we all do better & keep us honest.— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) August 6, 2019
Here you go:— Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) August 6, 2019
Q: What happened here?
A: A colleague under deadline pressure wrote a headline that did not meet the moment. Then we quickly fixed it. Humans make mistakes.
That's it for The Daily. See you tomorrow.
Doesn't quite feel like a full episode.
I won't cancel my NYT subscription -- many great rank-and-file reporters producing great journalism work there -- but as a subscriber I call on top editor Dean Baquet to resign. America's top paper needs a leader who understands the grave threat this nation is facing— Will Bunch (@Will_Bunch) August 6, 2019
The issue readers had with the Times’ headline is that it takes President Donald Trump’s speech regarding the weekend’s shootings in El Paso and Dayton at face value, rather than expressing skepticism about Trump’s commitment to “unity” within the U.S.
Yes, Trump’s speech called for unity on Monday, but he also suggested tying gun control legislation to “immigration reform” hours before he spoke to the press – despite both the Dayton and El Paso shooters being white. In July, Trump told women of color in Congress – citizens of the United States – to “go back” to the places “they came from.” In January 2017, he created a “travel ban” blocking people from predominately Muslim countries from entering the U.S. He kicked off his presidential campaign in 2015 by calling Mexicans “rapists,” and has worked tirelessly to generate funding for a massive border wall to further separate Mexico from the U.S.
Was the headline incorrect? No. But it certainly seemed to miss the point.