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New York Times Invents ‘Gay Twitter,’ And Gay Twitter Erupts

Even former Times columnist Frank Rich joins chorus slamming the paper for newly coined term

The Internet can be a funny place. No sooner had the New York Times coined the term “gay Twitter” to describe online backlash to a Hillary Clinton statement about Nancy Reagan, that very story prompted an online backlash of its own.

“There’s a gay twitter?” one commenter quickly tweeted.

The fuss started with the Times’ story — published online on Friday and initially headlined “Hillary Clinton Lauds Reagans on AIDS. Gay Twitter Erupts” — about the Democratic presidential frontrunner apologizing for comments she made about Nancy Reagan’s “effective, low-key advocacy” of HIV/AIDS.

LGBT advocates noted that both Ronald and Nancy Reagan have been widely criticized for ignoring the AIDS epidemic, which started during Reagan’s second year in office — prompting Clinton to walk back her initial praise for the former first lady, whose funeral was held on Friday.

The New York Times piece was correct about one thing… Twitter soon erupted, but it wasn’t so much about Clinton’s head-scratching apology. It was about the Times itself, whom some online commenters called insensitive in its terminology.

Frank Rich, a former New York Times columnist now with New York magazine, slammed his former employer: “Gay Twitter? Saying that only gay people were appalled by Clinton’s ‘misspeak’ is also offensive.”

And some had some choice words we’d rather not repeat… but we include their tweets for your enjoyment.

By evening, the paper had updated the headline on its website to read: “Hillary Clinton Lauds Reagans on AIDS. A Backlash Erupts.”

A spokesperson for the Times did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.