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WaPo’s pro-ISIS leader headline on al-Baghdadi won’t go away as controversy escalates

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Things seemed to go from bad to worse for The Washington Post following its headline debacle on the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

After attempting to put out the fire caused by a stunning headline calling the terrorist mastermind who died Saturday an “austere scholar,” the newspaper became the target of ridicule and the launch of the trending hashtag “#WaPoDeathNotices” on social media.

The Post was slammed on Sunday for a headline that appeared to completely ignore that al-Baghdadi was a terrorist leader responsible for countless atrocities.

“Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48,” the headline read following news of his death. He died after fleeing into a tunnel with his three children and detonating a suicide vest when surrounded by U.S. Special Operations Forces.

“He died like a dog. He died like a coward,” President Trump said on Sunday about the death of ISIS’s top leader.

Following the backlash over the Post’s headline, the publication changed it to “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, extremist leader of Islamic State, dies at 48,” as WaPo Vice President Kristine Coratti Kelly explained the move on Twitter.

That apology was not nearly enough, many contended.

But the repercussions continued to reverberate for the newspaper, owned by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, as a new hashtag was launched to mock how the Post would use the same standard to report the obituaries of other notorious figures in history. Everyone from Charles Manson to Adolf Hitler was name-dropped to shame the paper.

 

 

Frieda Powers

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