WaPo changes headline — twice — to downplay al-Baghdadi’s terrorist ties

WaPo changes headline — twice — to downplay al-Baghdadi’s terrorist ties

Hey, remember when ISIS invited a 6-year-old child to assist in beheading a prisoner, then published a video of the Kodak moment online? How about the time an alleged jihadist stabbed a 9-year-old Staten Island boy in the neck in what investigators believed was an ISIS audition? Or the video of ISIS lowering a bunch of caged prisoners into a pool, which was a test to determine whether death by drowning was as gruesome as some of the other techniques they had developed?

Good times.

Yet, when the Washington Post published an obituary of the late Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ISIS leader who masterminded these “pranks,” they needed three takes to get it “right.” The first attempt, which referred to the kingpin as a “terrorist-in-chief,” was simply too mean-spirited, so the editors changed the headline to this:

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This rendition was so heavily ridiculed on social media that it was revised again.

Notice there is still no mention of terrorism, but the paper seems perfectly content now that they’ve got their ducks in a row.

Of the second headline, BBC News quotes Kristine Coratti Kelly, the Post’s vice president of communications, as saying it “should never have read that way and we changed it quickly.”

But I have to wonder whether the paper conducted a taste test to find out how its readers felt about that. After all, Baghdadi was a Muslim, and lord knows you can’t go around insulting Muslims.

Or liberals, who make up nearly all of the Post’s readership. And the Left is pretty torn when it comes to assessing ISIS in the grand scheme of things. Liberals in Sweden, for example, maintain that ISIS fighters make good parents (apparently the Swedes approve of the 6-year-old learning a “career skill”). Liberals at the University of California at Berkeley, meantime, praised the ISIS flag while flipping off the Stars and Stripes, and a board member of the Women’s March expressed the opinion that the U.S. military and ISIS terrorists are “comparably evil.”

Maybe the Post knows what it’s doing.

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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