Speed Reads

san Bernardino shooting

NY Daily News cover chiding GOP candidates' 'prayers' for San Bernardino sparks new culture war

After Wednesday's mass shooting at a San Bernardino social services center, the New York Daily News didn't hesitate to editorialize on its front page:

The headline, "God Isn't Fixing This," is a critique of the response to the shooting from the Republican presidential candidates, as explained in the subhed: "As latest batch of innocent Americans are left lying in pools of blood, cowards who could truly end gun scourge continue to hide behind meaningless platitudes." In case you had any doubts about who those cowards are, the Daily News highlighted the word "prayers" in San Bernardino tweets from GOP Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), and Rand Paul (Ky.), and one Republican who isn't running for president, House Speaker Paul Ryan.

The reaction on Twitter was just about what you would expect. As of 12:30 a.m. in New York, the Daily News post of its front page has been retweeted 14,500 times and "liked" 11,000 times, and there are at least as many Twitter users deeply upset about the provocative cover. Is the Daily News mocking people for praying for the victims in San Bernardino and their families, or just making a point about the GOP's refusal to consider gun control legislation?

Think Progress editor Igor Volsky highlighted that last point, becoming a Twitter celebrity/lightning rod for tweeting out how much each #thoughtsandprayers Republican lawmaker received from the NRA in the 2014 election. Here, Volsky explains his rationale on MSNBC:

As of early Thursday, we have one named suspect, Syed Farook, and no clear motive for the murder of 14 people. But at least we had a heated discussion on the value of prayer versus action on Twitter.