The New York Times reportedly changed a headline on Saturday about criticism President Biden has received for bringing up his grief over his late son Beau with some of the families of the 13 fallen U.S. service members from the Kabul terror attack last month.
The original headline: “Biden, Still Grieving His Son, Finds That Not Everyone Wants to Hear About It,” prompted a backlash on Twitter from Biden supporters.
“OMG what is wrong with the New York Times,” one person wrote. “They are truly f—ing terrible. There is no right way for people to manage their grief.”
“That paper is broken. Fire everyone,” a third criticized.
“He helps me through my son’s loss when he speaks about Beau,” another tweeted. “He brings my son Michael into the conversation too and I appreciate the recognition of our grief. The New York Times is losing more of its decency every time they do these cheap shots.”
Another rewrote the headline as a joke: “Biden, Still Grieving the death of his son Beau, Finds that the New York Times’ headlines are Onion-proof and the @nytimes itself has become a litterbox liner.”
Much of the substance of the article focused on the Gold Star families who met with Biden at Dover Air Force Base, some blaming him for the deadly bombing that occurred during the U.S.’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, others saying he appeared “distant” or focused more on Beau’s 2015 death from brain cancer than their loved one’s loss in the attack.
President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken look on as caskets containing the bodies of U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 26 arrive at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. (Associated Press)
Within hours, the Times changed the story’s headline to: “In Invoking Beau, Biden Broaches a Loss That’s Guided His Presidency.”
Mark Schmitz, the father of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, 20, who was killed in the bombing, told The TImes he met and spoke with Biden at Dover while witnessing the dignified transfer of the service members’ remains, but found Biden’s talk of his own son “too much” to bear.
“I respect anybody that lost somebody,” Schmitz told The Times, “but it wasn’t an appropriate time.”
“I respect anybody that lost somebody, but it wasn’t an appropriate time.”
— Mark Schmitz, father of a Marine killed in Kabul
Beau Biden, an Army veteran who later served as Delaware Attorney General, died of cancer in 2015 at age 46.
While some social media users tried to claim other sites that were “hostile” to Biden had changed the headline and The Times had never used the first one, that appeared not to be true, according to a Mediaite reporter who tweeted screenshots of both.
Even with the headline change, some on social media still weren’t OK with it – many seeming to object to the premise of the story altogether.
“One person tweeted, “I know there is an abundance of nonsense the NYT has been churning out recently, but this is horrifying and I am disgusted by what they have written. Shame on them.”
“I know there is an abundance of nonsense the NYT has been churning out recently, but this is horrifying and I am disgusted by what they have written. Shame on them.”
— Twitter user’s reaction
Another person said The Times should be ashamed of the story.
“This is a disgustingly snide piece, I hope everyone involved is ashamed of themselves. God NYT you are a revolting tabloid masquerading as a newspaper these days.”
A third user called the author of the story “despicable” and claimed it was prompting her to cancel her subscription to the newspaper.
It wasn’t clear if The Times changed the headline in reaction to the backlash.
The Times didn’t immediately respond to Fox News’ late-night request for comment.