Under the hashtag “WaPoDeathNotices,” Twitter users are mocking the Washington Post’s too-gentle description of ISIS leader Abubakr Al Baghdadi.
Rabat – Readers have been criticizing the Washington Post for a headline describing the leader of ISIS, Abubakr Al Baghdadi, as an “austere religious scholar.”
The headline was part of an article on Sunday, October 27, about President Donald Trump’s announcement that Al Baghdadi died in a US special forces operation.
Readers found the “religious leader” description inappropriate. The newspaper quickly responded by changing its headline and recanting the previous one. Kristine Coratti Kelly, the Post’s vice president of communications, tweeted that the headline “never should have 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
“Religious scholar” was the Post’s second version of its headline. The original headline called Al Baghdadi the “terrorist-in-chief.” The headline later described the ISIS caliph as an “extremist leader.”
Twitter users had some fun with the faux pas, writing their own inventive obituaries for infamous dictators and killers under the hashtag #WaPoDeathNotices.
Adolf Hitler, dedicated art enthusiast, animal rights activist, and talented orator, dies at 56.#WaPoDeathNotices
— Lauren Chen (@TheLaurenChen) October 28, 2019
“Pol Pot, national leader and one of history’s most effective opponents of urban overcrowding, dies at 72,” tweeted one user in reference to the Cambodian dictator who left over 1 million dead.
Another commemorated Caesar’s death: “Gaius Julius Caesar, 56, noted author and Egyptologist, dies surrounded by his friends.”
One Twitter user even wrote an obituary for the devil: “Satan, unorthodox faith leader known for pushing back against famous wine maker Jesus, dies at 14 billion.”
Among the Post’s critics was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said the coverage was “appalling and sick.” President Trump’s son, Eric Trump, called the newspaper “a disgrace.”
The @washingtonpost is a disgrace. Refers to Baghdadi as a:
“austere religious scholar” who “maintained a canny pragmatism”
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) October 28, 2019
Al Baghdadi died in Syria when he set off a suicide bomb during a raid by US special forces early Sunday morning, October 27.