The New York Times was widely condemned for a Wednesday morning tweet commemorating the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The post, which was deleted amid the backlash, read: “18 years have passed since airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center. Today, families will once again gather and grieve at the site where more than 2000 people died.”
The attached report covered the annual commemoration of the al-Qaida terrorist attacks, which killed 2,996 people and shook America.
Many conservative Twitter users were appalled that the Times left out any mention of the radical Islamist group’s late leader Osama bin Laden or the other militants behind the deadliest act of terrorism on U.S. soil. Instead, the tweet seemed to ascribe agency to the airplanes that the terrorists piloted into the Twin Towers.
The New York Times deletes its 9/11 tweet
“Man, those towers must have really done something to upset those airplanes,” commentator Stephen Miller joked darkly.
Man, those towers really must have done something to upset those airplanes. https://t.co/N0WUjV2Gt5
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) September 11, 2019
Humorist David Burge compared the Times’ gaffe to the liberal propensity for blaming firearms for shootings.
And 18 years later, we still somehow allow airplanes to be legal. Let that sink inhttps://t.co/1vVE6cPaTW
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) September 11, 2019
Will Chamberlain, the publisher on the right-wing news site Human Events, explicitly accused the Times of trying to bury the memory of the Sept. 11 attacks.
First take: Assign culpability to airplanes
Second take: Use passive voice to avoid assigning culpability to anyone
— Will Chamberlain (@willchamberlain) September 11, 2019
Some were reminded of Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s infamous description of the Sept. 11 attacks as “some people did something.”
Some planes did something
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) September 11, 2019
Others noted that the Times had undercounted the dead by nearly 1,000.
*almost 3000 people died https://t.co/kEhorgpnes
— RBe (@RBPundit) September 11, 2019
National Review’s Jim Geraghty imagined if Pearl Harbor were recalled in the same way.
“On December 7, 1941, airplanes took aim and seriously damaged the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor." https://t.co/8mh6i0f4sv
— Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) September 11, 2019
After deleting its tweet, the Times reposted the same article with a new tout, saying it had been “edited for clarity” and the report had been “updated.”
We've deleted an earlier tweet to this story and have edited for clarity. The story has also been updated.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 11, 2019
Rudy Giuliani, who was New York City’s mayor on Sept. 11, 2001, also offered a tweet in memoriam
We will never forget 9/11. It was the worst attack on our nation since the War of 1812. It was the greatest display of domestic bravery in anyone’s memory. The enemy attacking us that day is still killing Americans. We honor all who have kept us safe.
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) September 11, 2019
Conservatives have long accused liberals of excessive political correctness when it comes to terrorism. Former President Barack Obama was harangued, including by Donald Trump on 2016 campaign trail, for refusing to use the term “Islamic terrorism” in an attempt to downplay the link between the religion and violence.