Twitter users panned the original five-column headline:
By the time the evening was over, the newspaper had given its front page a major makeover, replacing the “call for bipartisanship” of what many called a highly-partisan and even extremist speech with a quote from the address instead.
Ironically, that line was first delivered by Hillary Clinton in 2010:
While it’s not unusual for newspapers to undergo changes between editions, it’s unclear what role the more than 3,000 comments on Twitter ― mostly negative ― played in this case.
The newspaper later released a statement saying those changes were in fact due to newsroom discussions and not the social media outcry.
Executive editor Martin Baron said the early headline was for an edition with a 9:15 pm ET deadline, just as Trump was starting his speech.
“As the speech was being delivered and observed, editors quickly concluded that a different headline would better reflect the full speech,” he said, adding:
“Like most newspapers, The Post often rethinks, refines and rewrites headlines from one edition to the next based on its own internal discussions about what best captures the nature of a story. Headline changes last night were based exclusively on our customary internal conversations.”
Here is some of the reaction to both the initial headline and the later version:
UPDATE: This story has been updated to include a statement from the Washington Post.