WaPo Changes Al-Baghdadi Headline Several Times Amid 'Religious Scholar' Debacle

In the final analysis the Washington Post fumbled the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi headline three times; first, referring to him as the Islamic State's terrorist-in-chief," to "Austere Religious Scholar," and then finally, to "Extremist Leader."

Offering their best non-apology for lionizing a terrorist, Washington Post VP and Communications General Manager Kristine Coratti Kelly tweeted "the headline should never have read that way and we changed it quickly."

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Following the announcement that ISIS founder and leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi blew himself up along with his three children during a raid conducted by United States special forces, the mainstream media has done their best to downplay the victory - going so far as to praise al-Baghdadi.

For starters, the Washington Post lead with the headline: "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at the helm of Islamic State, dies at 48."

The Post writes that he "maintained a canny pragmatism as leader."

"Acquaintances would remember him as a shy, nearsighted youth who liked soccer."

The Times of London called al-Baghdad "A promising young footballer and a student of the Koran who became a terrorist, mass murderer and the world's most-wanted man."

The absurd headlines have also sparked a new hashtag - #WaPoDeathNotices - in which Twitter users envision similar obituaries for terrible people.

Mainstream US news, meanwhile, went to great lengths to downplay the event.

James Clapper - Obama's former National Intelligence Director (who is now under criminal investigation) said that al-Baghdadi's death could "galvanize" ISIS, telling CNN's "State of the Union" "What is going to be interesting is to the extent to which this negatively affects ISIS or does it galvanize ISIS, the remnants of ISIS, which still survives as an ideology and has franchises in other places besides Syria."

CNN also knocked President Trump for the level of detail President Trump went into about the raid - suggesting it has increased the risk to sources that may still be on the ground.

Speaking on CBS "Face the Nation," President Obama's Jt. Chiefs Vice Chair James Winnefeld slammed Trump for "piling humiliation" on ISIS after the operation.

"If you look back at the bin Laden raid, we treated his body with respect that is due under Islam," he said. (h/t Paul Sperry)

Perhaps US forces should dump chunks of al-Baghdadi's body in the ocean, just to be safe?