Following the elimination of ISIS’s top leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, one of America’s most notoriously left-wing papers rushed to portray the now-deceased terrorist mastermind in a way that seemed like many to be sickeningly positive.
“Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48,” the since-deleted headline from The Washington Post reads.
As of noon Sunday, the headline had been updated, though evidence of the paper’s stunning decision to portray the terrorist leader as a “scholar” remains:
I thought this was a parody headline https://t.co/1UhqOF1yLk
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) October 27, 2019
So does the backlash:
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) October 27, 2019
Washington Post needs to change this headline.
Baghdadi was not some austere religious scholar.
He was a genocidal maniac. pic.twitter.com/v5eXeYpxfh
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) October 27, 2019
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) October 27, 2019
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) October 27, 2019
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) October 27, 2019
Usage of terms like “austere religious scholar” is *actually* how democracy dies in darkness, @washingtonpost
— Erielle Davidson (@politicalelle) October 27, 2019
The @washingtonpost described ISIS leader Baghdadi as an “austere religious scholar.”
At a loss for words. pic.twitter.com/TKBMxBP6wM
— Students For Trump (@TrumpStudents) October 27, 2019
[Washington Post editorial meeting]
“We need to write an obit for al-Baghdadi. What’s our take?”
‘He blew himself up along with three of his kids.’
‘As the leader of ISIS he is responsible for uncountable deaths.’
“Super. Let’s go with the ‘austere religious scholar angle.” pic.twitter.com/0W2hdBV05b
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 27, 2019
The latter Twitter user, Josh Jordan, was accurate about Baghdadi murdering his own three children. In a speech Sunday morning, President Donald Trump explained that when U.S. Special Operations Forces surrounded him, he fled into a tunnel with his children and then detonated a suicide vest, killing all four of them.
“He died like a dog. He died like a coward,” the president said.
After backlash ensued over its headline, the paper finally changed the headline to read, “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, extremist leader of Islamic State, dies at 48.”
The Post declined however to change the wording of its stunning piece.
Besides praising Baghdadi’s “canny pragmatism,” the paper’s report also describes him as a “shy, nearsighted youth who liked soccer” and argues that he — a man responsible for countless deaths — had “no known aptitude for fighting and killing.”
These descriptions have also attracted backlash:
This is the Washington Post obituary for a terrorist monster who *beheaded American journalists* & filmed it:
“Mr. Baghdadi was an austere religious scholar with wire-frame glasses”
“Mr. Baghdadi maintained a canny pragmatism”
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 27, 2019
How the Washington Post described the head of ISIS:
“an austere religious scholar with wire-frame glasses”
“maintained a canny pragmatism as leader”
“Acquaintances would remember him as a shy, nearsighted youth who liked soccer”
— Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TrumpWarRoom) October 27, 2019
A lot is being made of the @washingtonpost’s now-changed headline of al-Baghdadi’s obit.
But how about this from the body of the obit itself?
“… an austere religious scholar with wire-frame glasses and no known aptitude for fighting and killing.”
— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) October 27, 2019
“despite the group’s extremist views and vicious tactics, Mr. Baghdadi maintained a canny pragmatism as leader”
“a shy, nearsighted youth who liked soccer but preferred to spend his free time at the local mosque”
— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) October 27, 2019
The most stunning part of this debacle is the fact that the Post had it right the first time, in that its “austere scholar” wasn’t its original headline.
“Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islamic State’s “terrorist-in-chief,’ dies at 48,” the original headline read.
They had it right the first time.
The Washington Post changed the headline on its Al-Baghdadi obituary from “Islamic State’s terrorist-in-Chief” to “austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State.” pic.twitter.com/cs243EVz7W
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) October 27, 2019
Yet for reasons that remain unclear, the Post chose to later soften the headline. Why? Was it to appease ISIS? Was it to throw shade at the president for killing Baghdadi? Or was it simply because Trump is president?
When then-President Barack Hussein Obama’s administration eliminated Sept. 11 mastermind Osama bin Baden in 2011, the Post employed the following far more clear-cut headline:
Yet with Trump in office, it chose an entirely different angle. Why?
What does seem clear after this fiasco is why the president has chosen to discontinue the federal government’s subscriptions to virulently left-wing papers like the Post.
According to the president, these papers act like “the enemy of the people.” They claim otherwise and have maintained that this rhetoric amounts to an attack on the press.
And well, it seems the Post’s decision to tacitly stick up for al-Baghdadi hasn’t helped its case:
— Andrew Follett (@AndrewCFollett) October 27, 2019
If you don’t like the label Enemy of the People, maybe don’t subtly praise a literal terrorist mastermind in his obituary who had killed Americans. @washingtonpost
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) October 27, 2019
Well, this is entertaining. @washingtonpost is getting torn a new one as they have sunk to new lows today with this headline. If this doesn’t convince you that they are the “enemy of the people”, nothing else will. Follow #wapodeathnotices for reaction to the nonsense. #FakeNews pic.twitter.com/nVTgwXVJ3L
— Joel Comm (@joelcomm) October 27, 2019
This is how the treasonous @washingtonpost describes a mass murderer who had Americans beheaded and our Muslim allies burnt alive.
Yes you are THE ENEMY of the American People and all that is sacred. pic.twitter.com/nW6S2sweJc
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) October 27, 2019
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