Great moments in weekend journalism

The Hill reports about this ridiculous editorial decision:


The Washington Post changed the headline on its obituary for ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after initially calling him an “austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State.”

The Post changed its headline for the obituary at least twice Sunday, starting by describing al-Baghdadi as the “Islamic State’s terrorist-in-chief.” The newspaper then adjusted the headline to call al-Baghdadi the “austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State,” sparking some backlash on social media.

The headline has now been updated to describe al-Baghdadi as the “extremist leader of Islamic State.”

The Washington Examiner called out the Post for referring to al-Baghdadi as an “austere scholar.” While the Examiner acknowledged that the Post said al-Baghdadi led the terrorist organization with “shocking brutality,” the Examiner also noted that the Post spent most of the obituary focused on his academic career rather than his role in ISIS.

“The man who would become the founding leader of the world’s most brutal terrorist group spent his early adult years as an obscure academic, aiming for a quiet life as a professor of Islamic law,” the obituary reads.

Kristine Coratti Kelly, a spokesperson for the Post, tweeted that the headline “should never have read that way and we changed it quickly.”

President Trump confirmed al-Baghdadi’s death Sunday morning at a press conference, saying he died in a U.S. military raid in Syria.

“The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread, terrified of the American forces bearing down on him,” the president said during the press conference.

The corrected version …


… and the recorrected version …


… are one or two more than would have happened had a Democrat been president. Remember the orgy of congratulations when Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden? Such things feed Trump’s assertion that the media is the enemy of the country when the media fails to recognize not a victory for whoever is president, but an American military victory.

The reason I’m not part of the celebration is that Middle Eastern terrorist groups seem to easily replace their deceased leaders. Perhaps that suggests a larger required response.

Meanwhile, Business Insider reports:

People are parodying The Washington Post after the newspaper referred to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State terrorist group, as an “austere religious scholar” in a headline about his death. …

The headline change also inspired people to write parody headlines, under the hashtag #WaPoDeathNotices, describing the deaths of other notorious figures like the Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the “Harry Potter” villain Voldemort.

Saddam Hussein, successful politician, oil baron and noted tough boss, dead at 69. #WaPoDeathNotices

He saw a country wracked by poverty, illiteracy & disease. So he lead a revolution that uplifted the lives of millions. RIP #FidelCastro

Genghis Khan, noted traveler, dies at 64.

Osama bin Laden, father of 23, killed in home invasion #WaPoDeathNotices

Charles Manson, community organizer, dead at 83 #WaPoDeathNotices

Mussolini, proud patriot, loved pasta, hated meat hooks. Died aged 61 #WaPoDeathNotices

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, wealth re-distributors in the banking sector, died today from extreme air conditioning.

Hannibal Lecter, well-known forensic psychiatrist and food connoisseur dead at 81. #WaPoDeathNotices

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who once participated in the Boston marathon, has died #WaPoDeathNotices

Voldemort, austere wizard who overcame a severe facial deformity to achieve dark lordship, dead at 71 #WaPoDeathNotices

The original whistle blower, Judas Iscariot, dead at 41. #WaPoDeathNotices

Ted Bundy, Noted Ladies’ Man and Women’s Rights Activist, Found Dead in Chair

Kristine Coratti Kelly, The Washington Post’s vice president of communications, tweeted on Sunday that the headline “should never have read that way” and that editors “changed it quickly.”

That might be the funniest tweet of all.

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