The Los Angeles Times was castigated by social media users for a story that seemed to blame the victims of cartel violence in Mexico for the killings of nine American citizens while the New York Times was criticized for calling the group “religious fundamentalists.”
A shootout in Sonora on Monday left nine Americans dead, including three women and six children. They were part of a Mormon community nearby.
But the Los Angeles Times later posted a story that critics said appeared to blame the victims for the violence.
“U.S. victims in Mexico massacre were tied to family with a long history of violence,” read the LA Times headline.
Is the idea here that the victims had it coming? This is an insane piece. https://t.co/8xEVTZnVez
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) November 6, 2019
The story triggered an avalanche of criticism on Twitter.
“Is the idea here that the victims had it coming? This is an insane piece,” conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, editor in chief of The Daily Wire, wrote.
“So they deserved to be massacred? What is the point of this headline?” added Dana Loesch, a talk radio host and second-amendment advocate.
“Did the cartel write this?” Townhall writer Julio Rosas wrote.
So they deserved to be massacred? What is the point of this headline? https://t.co/R9wSrfRSZS
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) November 6, 2019
Siraj Hashmi said the report was like reporters digging up old tweets from people.
“They did it. They basically dug up the old problematic tweets of the family that was brutally murdered by a drug cartel in northern Mexico this week,” the Washington Examiner employee wrote.
The paper later changed the headline. It now reads: “Massacre of U.S. citizens aims spotlight at Mormon community with deep roots in Mexico.” There is no correction or editor’s note appended to the piece.
The New York Times published a story calling the victims part of the history “of religious fundamentalist settlers in the region.”
This is the most ghoulish and tone-deaf take on a horrific human tragedy I’ve seen, and I am utterly unsurprised that it was crafted in your corridors. You are, and have been for some time, a blight on the face of both journalism and humanity.
— CarolinaConservative (@1776CC) November 5, 2019
“I know when I see senseless slaughter in the drug wars on our border, the first thing I think of is gee… I wonder what the history of religion in that area is like,” one Twitter user wrote.
“A brutal killing of shoppers at Walmart in El Paso highlighted a long history of foreigners illegally moving into and settling America’s border regions,” another said, imagining a similar story written about the mass killing at that Walmart earlier this year.
“This is the most ghoulish and tone-deaf take on a horrific human tragedy I’ve seen, and I am utterly unsurprised that it was crafted in your corridors. You are, and have been for some time, a blight on the face of both journalism and humanity,” added another user.