Numerous media outlets changed their initial headlines Thursday after reporting that Democrats blocked GOP-led efforts to provide further small business relief during the coronavirus pandemic, reinforcing the belief held by many conservatives that mainstream news is often geared toward providing cover for the political left.
What are the details?
CNN, NBC News, Politico, and the New York Times all changed their initial headlines and scrubbed away blame on Democrats, while CNBC (in contrast) kept its headline that reads, "Senate adjourns until Monday after Democrats block McConnell's bid to add $250 billion in small business aid."
Becket Adams of the Washington Examiner assembled a collection of many of the changes, noting in a commentary piece that CNN changed its headline from "Democrats block GOP-led funding boost for small business aid program" to "Senate at stalemate over more COVID-19 aid after Republicans and Democrats block competing proposals."
The Daily Caller reported that CNN's headline "was edited within an hour to be less critical" of Democrats.
Politico's initial headline for its story on the Senate actions read, "Senate Dems to block new coronavirus relief in bid for more money," before being changed to, "Senate brawl derails fast push for new coronavirus relief."
The New York Times went from reporting, "Democrats block G.O.P. proposal for aid to businesses, request more funds," to publishing a new headline that now reads, "As Economy Hemorrhages Jobs, Aid Stalls in Senate."
The Daily Caller's Greg Price provided images on Twitter showing that NBC News' first headline read, "Senate Democrats block GOP bid for $250 billion in small-business funds amid impasse over coronavirus aid." The outlet later changed it to, "Senate hits impasse over $250 billion in coronavirus small-business funds."
Price included the example with CNN's headline change and wrote, "I'm pretty sure the Daily Caller updating our headlines like this if Republicans were to block a coronavirus relief [bill] would not be met with a positive reaction from liberal politics media."
Thursday morning, a Bloomberg reporter tweeted in all caps, "SENATE DEMOCRATS BLOCK $250 BILLION SMALL-BUSINESS AID PLAN."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) retweeted the message and wrote, "Senate Democrats just blocked urgent money for a popular, bipartisan job-saving program which they themselves literally coauthored with us two weeks ago. I complimented both sides and asked to increase the dollar amount without changing anything else. But they blocked it."
CNBC reported that McConnell "tried to approve the measure by a unanimous vote" in order to get it passed quickly, but Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) stalled the legislation, calling it a "political stunt" and saying "it would not address the immediate needs of small businesses."