The New York Times was caught being impartial by the angry left, which bullied the Gray Lady into changing a headline.
President Trump addressed the nation on Monday after the horrific shootings in El Paso and Dayton over the weekend. During his talk, he made the following statement:
Trump: "In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. Hate has no place in America."
When the NYT ran the story, the headline initially read "Trump Urges Unity vs. Racism." (Click on image for a larger version) By all measures it was a fair headline – but it didn't fit the liberal narrative. After Nate Silver, a special correspondent for ABC News, tweeted out "not sure [that's] how I would have framed the story," politicians and the mainstream media piled on:
- "Unbelievable," tweeted Beto O'Rourke.
- Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) tweeted "lives literally depend on you doing better, NYT. Please do."
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio: "Hey, @nytimes – what happened to 'The Truth Is Worth It?' Not the truth. Not worth it."
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) responded "That's not what happened."
- And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) labeled the Paper of Record "cowardly."
In short order, the Times – amidst profuse apologies – changed the headline to read: "Assailing Hate but Not Guns."
When pressed for an explanation, the Times' executive editor, Dean Baquet, stated the original headline was "written on deadline and when it was passed along for approval we all saw it was a bad headline and changed it pretty quickly."
Don Irvine of Accuracy in Media wonders who the NYT is answering to. "Is this supposed to be good journalism?" he asks. "They were accurate with the first headline – and to go change it to satisfy the angry left, I think that's reprehensible."
Mollie Hemingway, senior editor for the Federalist, says the Times' response exposes the collective outrage as a "mob."
"Clearly, the first headline was more factual and less opinion-y than the second headline – which was not a very well constructed headline," she told Fox News.
Irvine says the narrative that the resistance insists the Times takes is set in stone. "The kneejerk response [of the mainstream media] is to blame the president for these attacks, to continue to call him a racist, to continue to call him a white nationalist or a white nationalist sympathizer – those [are all] false narratives that they want to foist upon the public," he adds.
The new headline evidently served the narrative – but not the truth. Last year, in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, President Trump spoke to the nation and said: "At my direction, the Department of Justice banned bump stocks. Last year, we prosecuted a record number of firearms offenses."
The NYT story on that announcement accurately read: "Trump Administration Imposes Ban on Bump Stocks."