The Slatest

NYT’s “Trump Urges Unity vs. Racism” Headline Was a Laughable Distillation of Events

President Trump addressed the nation Monday night in response to mass shootings over the weekend in Dayton and El Paso. In the 10-minute address, the president called on the nation that he helped split at the seams to “condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy” because “hate has no place in America” before he moved on to the importance of shining “light on the dark recesses of the internet.” “We must recognize that the internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts,” Trump said without irony. “The perils of the internet and social media cannot be ignored, and they will not be ignored.”

In response, the New York Times led with this headline leading its coverage Tuesday morning.

The headline prompted outrage as an overly deferential—and inaccurate—representation of President Trump’s position on racism. The summation of Trump’s remarks essentially shed all context surrounding a president who has long refused to condemn white supremacist violence and has spewed racist diatribes in coded and plain language on the internet and out loud. So to distill Trump’s remarks as a ho-hum presidential call to unity against racism is, well, a bit rich.

The headline was subsequently changed to “Assailing Hate But Not Guns” for the second morning edition of the paper.

“The headline was bad and has been changed for the second edition,” a New York Times spokesperson told the Washington Post in an email.