The Post's Vice President of Communications said the headline on the al-Baghdadi obituary "should never heave read that way."
Regarding our al-Baghdadi obituary, the headline should never have read that way and we changed it quickly.— Kristine Coratti Kelly (@kriscoratti) October 27, 2019
But they changed their headlines a few different times, so which one(s) do they regret?
Which time? Because last I counted there were three headlines.— Beth Baumann (@eb454) October 27, 2019
Following the announcement of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's death, the Washington Post published an article in their obituary section, detailing his life and how he died. What's disgusting is the obituary reads like we should be celebrating his life, as if he brought good to the world.
From the obituary (emphasis mine):
When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took the reins of the Islamic State of Iraq in 2010, few had heard of the organization or its new leader, an austere religious scholar with wire-frame glasses and no known aptitude for fighting and killing.
But just four years later, Mr. Baghdadi had helped transform his failing movement into one of the most notorious and successful terrorist groups of modern times. Under his guidance it would burst into the public consciousness as the Islamic State, an organization that would seize control of entire cities in Iraq and Syria and become a byword for shocking brutality.
The man at the helm of the Islamic State was a shadowy presence, appearing in public only a handful of times and rarely allowing his own voice to be heard, even as the caliphate was beaten back and finally destroyed. During his tenure, the Islamic State would come to mirror its leader: a messianic figure drawn to the harshest interpretations of Islamic texts and seized with the conviction that all dissenters should be put to death.
And yet, despite the group’s extremist views and vicious tactics, Mr. Baghdadi maintained a canny pragmatism as leader, melding a fractious mix of radical jihadists and former Iraqi Baathists and army officers into an effective military force. It was this combination of extremist ideology and practical military experience that enabled the group to seize and hold territory that would form the basis of a declared Islamic caliphate.
The obituary goes on to detail al-Baghdadi's "academic life" before he became the leader of the terrorist organization, making him out to be a peaceful Muslim who studied Islamic law. As if that's supposed to suddenly make kidnapping, raping and beheading innocent people okay. It's really quite sickening how much of a positive spin this so-called "news organization" is trying to put on the leader of the world's most infamous terrorist organization.
WaPo's actual obit for a terrorist monster:— Elizabeth Harrington (@LizRNC) October 27, 2019
"austere religious scholar w/ wire-frame glasses"
"Mr. Baghdadi maintained a canny pragmatism"
"Acquaintances would remember him as a shy, nearsighted youth who liked soccer but preferred to spend his free time at the local mosque" pic.twitter.com/XFFBnUsHEO
WaPo must have known their headline was wrong because they changed the headline three different times.
They had it right the first time.— Yashar Ali ?? (@yashar) October 27, 2019
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
The Washington Post has now changed its description of ISIS founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from “Terrorist in Chief” to “Austere Religious Scholar” to “Extremist Leader” pic.twitter.com/h899LvZVLX— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) October 27, 2019
The dumpster fire was so bad that #WaPoDeathNotices is a hashtag that's now trending on Twitter. And it's people's takes on what a WaPo headline would have been when other infamous people died.
Osama Bin Laden, spiritual leader and architect of lower Manhattan urban revitalization projects, dead at 54. https://t.co/ZfpIrQsbQo— John Noonan (@noonanjo) October 27, 2019
“Devoted father and rabble rouser Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi passes away at 48.” https://t.co/FV3vwuAeEd— Brandi Kruse (@BrandiKruse) October 27, 2019
Adolf Hitler, passionate community planner and dynamic public speaker, dies at 56.#WaPoDeathNotices— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) October 27, 2019
Charles Manson, club leader and motivational speaker, dies at 83. #WaPoDeathNotices.— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) October 27, 2019
What's sad is the Post probably would have stuck with their original headline if it wasn't for the backlash they received online. They would have run with this bogus narrative that al-Baghdadi was just a quiet, peaceful Muslim who died tragically. He was a murderer who oversaw the world's leading terrorist organization.