NYT tweet saying ‘both parties’ use the debt ceiling as a political tool changed to blame ‘only Republicans’


The New York Times appeared to cave to online pressure by changing a tweet on the debt ceiling to primarily blame Republicans for using it as a “political tool.”

The publication promoted “The Daily” podcast on Monday which discussed the ongoing political debate surrounding the U.S. debt ceiling. In a tweet promoting the episode, the New York Times mentioned that the debt ceiling has been used as a political issue by “both parties” over the years.

“Increasing the U.S. debt ceiling has increasingly been used as a political tool by both parties, leading to intense showdowns in 2011, 2013 and, now, 2023. What does this year’s battle look like? Listen to today’s episode of The Daily,” The New York Times tweeted.

NYT tweet saying ‘both parties’ use the debt ceiling as a political tool changed to blame ‘only Republicans’

The New York Times deleted a tweet reading, “Increasing the U.S. debt ceiling has increasingly been used as a political tool by both parties, leading to intense showdowns in 2011, 2013 and, now, 2023. What does this year’s battle look like? Listen to today’s episode of The Daily.”
(Twitter)

A few hours later, the original tweet was deleted and a new tweet was issued reading, “Raising the U.S. debt ceiling has increasingly been used as a political tool by Republicans, leading to intense showdowns in 2011, 2013 and, now, 2023. But who’s behind the debt itself? Listen to today’s episode of The Daily.”

The Times appended a correction to the new tweet, claiming that Republicans rather than Democrats are the “only” ones using the debt ceiling as a political tool.

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“Correction: An earlier tweet misstated the nature of recent debt ceiling showdowns. Both parties are responsible for the debt, but only Republicans are using it as a political tool. We deleted the incorrect tweet,” the post read.

The original tweet received backlash from liberal social media users who insisted that only Republicans were to blame for the debt ceiling becoming a political issue while the latest tweet was praised.

“Both Sides [Hall of Fame] entry,” former Washington Post journalist David Weigel, who is now with Semafor, tweeted about the original tweet.

MSNBC producer Steve Benen explained to leftist blogger Josh Marshall, “In case you missed it, the NYT published a tweet earlier that said, ‘Increasing the U.S. debt ceiling has increasingly been used as a political tool by both parties.’ It was not well received by those who care about reality, leading to this correction.”

Substack journalist James Fallow wrote, “Times deleted that tweet, which is good. Let’s see whether they’ll officially apologize or retract, which they should. The podcast itself was much clearer on the merits here–including that this is 100% GOP weapon and ploy. How do NYT ‘social sell’ writers keep doing this?”

White House Deputy press secretary Andrew Bates praised the change, writing, “Credit where due. This is correct. Only Republicans are threatening to kill millions of jobs with an unprecedented default unless we agree with their extreme agenda. By contrast, under Trump, Democrats helped avoid default despite enormous disagreements with his agenda.”

“Wow. Could be the dawn of a new era,” HuffPost correspondent S.V. Dáte tweeted. The Times has a history of changing headlines and tweets after liberal backlash.

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House Republicans have indicated that they do not indented to raise the debt ceiling without significant spending cuts.

House Republicans have indicated that they do not indented to raise the debt ceiling without significant spending cuts.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

By contrast, conservative Twitter users attacked the correction for caving to pressure from the left.

“NYT is edited by twitter mobs. This is so f’ing stupid,” The Federalist senior editor David Harsanyi tweeted.

“I would argue that the Democrats passing or trying to pass trillions in spending on ‘stimulus’ and other various Leftist pet projects and trying to forgive student loans counts as ‘using debt as a political tool,’” GOP communications strategist Andrew Clark remarked.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., wrote, “This is grossly wrong. Should be shocked, but I’m not. The @nytimes is an arm of the Democrat party & working with them to bury America with more debt & higher inflation. Probably best for them to be open about it now.”

Townhall.com columnist Brad Slager joked, “Democrat Custodial [Services] are on the scene!”

“LOL. Blindfolds off on this one!” Newsweek opinion editor Josh Hammer tweeted.

“Truly …. WOW. It’s sort of this crazy admixture of brazen lying and cartoonish idiocy. And somehow hilarious?” The Federalist editor-in-chief Mollie Hemingway wrote.

The U.S. hit the national debt ceiling on Thursday.

The U.S. hit the national debt ceiling on Thursday.
(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

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The episode description for “The Daily” on the website still appears to be neutral about parties using the debt ceiling as a political tool in the past.

“In the past decade or more, votes over increasing the U.S. debt ceiling have increasingly been used as a political tool. That has led to intense showdowns in 2011, 2013 and, now, 2023,” the description read as of publication.

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