After public outcry, they admitted this might have been "slightly inappropriate."
"While we stand by our decision to honor one of history's great men, we admit the banner lacked important historical context," said one Times editor. "While his ideas were morally right, they factually killed a bunch of people, and that's not something we wanted to promote. Unless you're killing yourself to combat climate change."
Paper executives considered adding some historical context to the banner, like writing "Morally right but factually a mass murderer" to the bottom but eventually decided to just take it down so as not to obscure the facts above and beyond the paper's usual fact obscuring threshold.
The banner has been replaced with a large mural of Joseph Stalin.