A liberal backlash against the news media's coverage of Donald Trump and the 2020 race was already brewing when the New York Times published a five-word headline Monday night summarizing the president's reaction to the mass shootings over the weekend: "Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism."
"Unbelievable," steamed Beto O'Rourke. "That's not what happened," wrote Kirsten Gillibrand. "Lives literally depend on you doing better," Cory Booker tweeted.
New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet said senior editors quickly recognized problems with the original headline Monday night and rewrote it. "The fact that Beto O'Rourke and Cory Booker didn't like it didn't influence me," Baquet said in an interview Tuesday. "I don't need the entire political field to tell me we wrote a bad headline. It was evident."
Still, the furious response capped an outpouring of frustration lately from 2020 candidates, Democratic strategists and left-leaning columnists over everything from CNN's handling of last week's primary debate to coverage of race and white supremacists to the years-old gripe that news organizations are too willing to amplify Trump's words.