Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Slams New York Times 'Trump Urges Unity' Front Page, Says It Aids White Supremacy

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was one of several high-profile names who criticized The New York Times over its print edition's front-page headline about Donald Trump's statement on the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, accusing the paper of "cowardice" for not addressing the prevalence of white supremacy in the country.

The Times reported on Trump's speech on the killings in Dayton and El Paso which left at least 31 people dead with the headline "Trump urges unity vs. racism."

While the president did denounce "racism, bigotry and white supremacy" during his speech, the headline was heavily condemned for not addressing Trump's own inflammatory and racist rhetoric.

The president has been heavily criticized and even accused of influencing the shooting at the El Paso Walmart, which left 22 people dead after the gunman expressed similar views and language to the president in an online manifesto published just before the attack at the city on the U.S.-Mexico border.

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," praising the actions of the Christchurch shooter who allegedly killed 51 people in two separate terror attacks at New Zealand mosques in March.

"Let this front page serve as a reminder of how white supremacy is aided by—and often relies upon—the cowardice of mainstream institutions," Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

The front page was also criticized by several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates and those who write for the paper.

Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke condemned the front page as "unbelievable" in response to a critical tweet by FiveThirtyEight editor Nate Silver. O'Rourke also recently hit out at the press while he attended a vigil for the victims in his hometown of El Paso.

When asked by a reporter if there is "anything the president can do now to make this any better," O'Rourke replied: "What do you think? You know the s*** he's been saying. He's been calling Mexican immigrants, rapists and criminals.

"Members of the press, what the f***?" he asked. "It's these questions that you know the answers to I mean, connect the dots about what he's been doing in this country. He's not tolerating racism, he's promoting racism. He's not tolerating violence. He's inciting racism and violence in this country."

Let this front page serve as a reminder of how white supremacy is aided by - and often relies upon - the cowardice of mainstream institutions.

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 6, 2019

Lives literally depend on you doing better, NYT. Please do.

— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) August 6, 2019

That’s not what happened.

— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) August 6, 2019

I write for the NYT. This is a terrible headline.

— Wajahat "Wears a Mask Because of a Pandemic" Ali (@WajahatAli) August 6, 2019

The NYT is so disappointing.

— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) August 6, 2019

this is just about the worst way the nyt could have handled this story

— Jack Mirkinson (@jackmirkinson) August 6, 2019

The Times later changed the headline to "assailing hate but not guns" for its second edition. It is not clear if the change came because of the online backlash.

During Trump's address, the president suggested ways to end mass shootings in the country, including using tech companies and online tools to detect attacks "before they strike" and ending the "glorification" of "gruesome and grisly video games."

Trump also suggested a change in mental health laws, including the "involuntary confinement" of sufferers to prevent shootings, but did not suggest that the U.S. needs gun reform legislation.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a vigil for the victims of the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, in Grand Army Plaza on August 5, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Drew Angerer/Getty