WaPo changes headline describing Trump speech after Twitter outrage
The newspaper likely had no idea of the Twitter storm it was about to invoke when it tweeted an image of the front page following Trump's first State of the Union address. "A call for bipartisanship," the headline read.
Here's the front page of tomorrow's Washington Post: pic.twitter.com/5HQmDNoa4r— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 31, 2018
It was an interesting choice of words for the speech which many dubbed to be highly partisan, particularly regarding Trump's stance on illegal immigration. It didn't take long for the Twittersphere to respond.
"Congrats on a headline you absolutely, positively won't regret tomorrow," historian and author Kevin M. Kruse sarcastically wrote.
Congrats on a headline you absolutely, positively won't regret tomorrow.— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) January 31, 2018
In an apparent reference to the Washington Post being blind to what was really happening, political strategist and writer Jamison Foser joked that the newspaper would have heard a "call for bipartisanship" even if Trump shot someone.
TRUMP: <shoots guy on 5th ave>TRUMP: let’s all come together to support me shooting that guy.WASHINGTON POST: A Call For Bipartisanship— Jamison Foser (@jamisonfoser) January 31, 2018
Melissa Byrne, who campaigned for Bernie Sanders, said she didn't think the person in charge of the headline actually understood what "bipartisan" meant.
According to @washingtonpost its bipartisanship to call for ethnic cleansing. I don't think the writer knows what that word means.— melissa byrne (@mcbyrne) January 31, 2018
Eliza Orlins, a public defender in New York City who was also a contestant on the reality show 'Survivor,' called the headline "complicit bulls**t."
SERIOUSLY??? After Katharine Graham transformed the @washingtonpost into a remarkable newspaper which took down a corrupt American president, THIS IS THE HEADLINE YOU GO WITH??? At least she’s not alive to see this complicit bullshit. https://t.co/69qHodTEzv— Eliza Orlins (@eorlins) January 31, 2018
It took the Washington Post less than an hour to send out an updated tweet with a different headline.
This page was updated after the first edition. Here is the final front page. pic.twitter.com/nfR7p2wEPB— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 31, 2018
The new version read: "A new American moment." But the Twittersphere was quick to point out that the quote was actually first delivered by Hillary Clinton in 2010.
One of Clinton's former political advisers joked that he had fixed the front page after replacing Trump's photo with the former Democratic candidate's signature.
Another person provided encouragement to the newspaper, which just couldn't seem to get it right. "Twelve tries from now, you'll have it absolutely nailed," they wrote.
Twelve editions from now, you'll have it absolutely nailed.— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) January 31, 2018
Others expressed impatience with the paper. "It would be nice if you didn't need to be scolded into fixing a ridiculous headline," one person wrote, adding that it would also be nice if the paper "actually fixed it" instead of merely replacing it with more unsuitable words.
it would be nice ifa) you didn't need to be scolded into fixing a ridiculous headlineb) you actually fixed it— Avi (@AviAhvee) January 31, 2018
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who helped US whistleblower Edward Snowden bring his stories of NSA spying to the public, tweeted that he wasn't sure if the changed headline was good or bad, but that it was indeed "amazing" to watch a newspaper change its front page as a result of Twitter criticism.
Not sure if it's good or bad, but it's definitely amazing and new to watch a major newspaper in real time change its big, trumpeted headline in order to appease a Twitter backlash pic.twitter.com/lLYrciRzl1— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 31, 2018
Meanwhile, music video director Robby Starbuck called the newspaper "weak" for succumbing to criticism.
So @washingtonpost released a copy of their front page for tomorrow and far left backlash quickly followed. What did those principled folks @ WP do in response? They literally changed the entire front page instead of standing by their original stories/headlines. Weak. pic.twitter.com/4DtvZXr3Ka— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) January 31, 2018
For the record, the Post has not confirmed that the headline change was actually due to Twitter criticism, and it is common for newspapers to cycle through several headline options before settling on a final one.
The Post, owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos, has been consistently critical of Trump.
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