Freshman New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand among the cacophony of voices that forced the New York Times to alter a headline online from its print edition.
Following the mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, which left 31 people dead, The Times' front-page headline on Tuesday, Aug. 6 read “Trump Urges Unity vs. Racism” after President Donald Trump’s address at the White House.
Leading up to Trump's remarks on Monday, Aug. 5 in the Diplomatic Room of the White House, the president’s rhetoric in rallies and on Twitter was widely criticized after a racist online rant by the El Paso gunman came to light.
The suspect, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, allegedly said the attack was a response to the "Hispanic invasion of Texas," and listed reasons to "send them back.” He also praised the actions of the Christchurch shooter who killed 51 people in two separate terror attacks at New Zealand mosques earlier this year.
In response to The New York Times headline, Ocasio-Cortez, a 2007 Yorktown High School graduate, took to social media to scold the media.
“Let this front page serve as a reminder of how white supremacy is aided by - and often relies upon - the cowardice of mainstream institutions,” she posted on Twitter with a picture of the headline.
Gillibrand (D-New York) said of the Times headline in a tweet: "That’s not what happened."
Another presidential candidate, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey joined in, adding “Lives literally depend on you doing better, NYT. Please do."
The criticism didn’t fall on deaf ears, and a later edition of the Times altered the headline to read “Assailing Hate But Not Guns.”
The change didn’t go unnoticed by the White House, with political pundit Kellyanne Conway also taking the Times to task on Twitter.
"This original @nytimes headline was accurate. It reported news of the day, invoking @realDonaldTrump actual words in a televised address to the nation. It just was insufficiently rabid & biased for those who unreasonably expect news to be advocacy. Opinion page is for that."
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