The New York Times stealth edited its headline of its report on Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) admitting to wearing blackface at a college party, switching its description of him dressing in “dark makeup” to wearing “blackface.”
In a statement Wednesday, Herring confirmed he donned brown makeup and a wig as part of his costume to resemble rapper Kurtis Blow while studying at the University of Virginia. The developing comes as two of Virginia’s top lawmakers — Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) face scandals of their own, throwing the state’s executive brand into further turmoil.
The outlet’s own posts promoting the story show the Times quickly changed its headline stating Herring had “dressed in dark makeup” to “Virginia Attorney General Says He Also Dressed in Blackface.” At the time of this writing, the text of the story does not disclose this update to readers.
Before (archived here):
Mr. Herring released a statement saying that he dressed like the rapper Kurtis Blow, an acknowledgment that deepens the crisis in the state’s Democratic Party. https://t.co/0fa4zfbxwI
— Sam Sifton (@SamSifton) February 6, 2019
Political pundits and media critics slammed the Times’ term of choice:
"dressed in dark makeup" https://t.co/7YwdWsdVLY
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) February 6, 2019
It's good to be a Democrat. https://t.co/MBqZ7gnAxU
— Currently between fraudulent suspensions (@jtLOL) February 6, 2019
The next time the NYT “fact-checks” Trump just remember this headline. https://t.co/SPdaq1AxJR
— Chris Barron (@ChrisRBarron) February 6, 2019
NYT headline writers what are you thinking? “Dark Makeup” pic.twitter.com/t9dIcwWych
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) February 6, 2019
NYT has since edited this terrible headline. https://t.co/ExsVTktXF8
— Ellie Holmes (@ellierosetx) February 6, 2019
What in the holy hell⁉️⁉️⁉️ https://t.co/hpPJ9UlCpe
— Nathan Lee Graham (@nathanleegraham) February 6, 2019
“Dark makeup” https://t.co/1N6XUMtCqB
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) February 6, 2019
here it is again, notice the quite intentional avoidance of the term "blackface"https://t.co/SrukbIvnXf
— Michael Malice (@michaelmalice) February 6, 2019
Last night the media downplayed the sexual assault of migrants.
Today the media are playing down blackface.
Democrats sure got it good. pic.twitter.com/ohhCCD3Ay0
— Sources Say 'Build the Wall' (@NolteNC) February 6, 2019
You guys this wasn't a fucking ICP concert pic.twitter.com/39Vin7edIB
— Andy Campbell (@AndyBCampbell) February 6, 2019
“It sounds ridiculous even now writing it. But because of our ignorance and glib attitudes – and because we did not have an appreciation for the experiences and perspectives of others – we dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup,” Herring said of the scandal.
“That conduct clearly shows that, as a young man, I had a callous and inexcusable lack of awareness and insensitivity to the pain my behavior could inflict on others. It was really a minimization of both people of color, and a minimization of a horrific history I knew well even then,” he added.
Herring was one of many high-profile Democrats to call on Northam to step aside after a 1984 yearbook photo surfaced of the governor and another individual wearing blackface and KKK attire.
Meanwhile, Fairfax is fighting back against allegations that he sexually assaulted an unidentified woman during the 2004 Democrat National Convention. Breitbart News has not reported details of the allegation because they have not been corroborated. In a statement Monday, Fairfax denied the allegation, claiming that he “has never assaulted anyone – ever – in any way, shape or form.”