Washington Post's Obit Headline On ISIS Chief Triggers Outrage, Memes


The initial headline of the publication, which is widely read in the U.S., called Baghdadi ISIS' "terrorist-in-chief", before it was changed to the "austere religious scholar at the helm of Islamic State".

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The Washington Post finally settled on "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, extremist leader of Islamic State, dies at 48".

The headline was also widely mocked on social media with many people posting equivalent headlines for some of histories most reviled figures under #WaPoDeathNotices. "The headline from Washington Post is a gross misrepresentation of who this man really was", Reed tweeted.

He condemned the Post's words and urged Twitter users to "stop, read this & think about" its headline.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Isis leader who was killed in a United States raid.

President Donald Trump confirmed Sunday that Baghdadi, an Iraqi national believed to be in his late 40s, died on Saturday during a US special forces raid in the rebel-held Syrian province Idlib in the northwest of the country.

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Kristine Coratti Kelly, the vice president and communications general manager of Washington Post Live, posted a message on Twitter saying that the headline "should never have read that way".

"Dead at 48"? No-he was cornered by the greatest toughest best military heroes on earth!", Hannity expounded, adding, "How about we killed the evil SOB."

Coratti later attempted to blame the breaking nature of the news for the decision to change the headline from the original "terrorist-in-chief" framing.

"Religious scholar" was the Post's second version of its headline. #WaPoDeathNotices memes soon trended on Twitter as people took umbrage at the freaky headline.

After a backlash, the paper updated the headline again to call him "extremist leader of Islamic State", but the flattering description of the terrorist still remains inside the article, along with a number of lines about his past before becoming the head of ISIS.

Regarding our al-Baghdadi obituary, the headline should never have read that way and we changed it quickly.