- The Washington Times - Monday, October 28, 2019

And in what will go down in American history as the most ridiculously ridiculous news headline, The Washington Post reported the death of ISIS terror leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the end of an “austere religious scholar.”

Say what?

Hey, Washington Post, The Onion’s called. They want their obituary writer back. If only this same newspaper would worry as much about writing fair and balanced headlines about President Donald Trump. Or conservatives. Right?

The obituary in The Post was actually written by Joby Warrick, national security reporter. Meaning: Warrick should know better. Meaning: If Warrick covers national security, then America’s readers are in trouble.

The headline — before a red-faced Washington Post removed it — read: “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48.”

That raises all kinds of interesting questions, foremost, perhaps, this: How left of left does one have to be to actually paint ISIS is a good light?

The obituary went on to showcase the rise of al-Baghdadi’s power from a shadow leader within ISIS — from a humble “religious scholar with wireframe glasses” — to madcap murderer. Of course, The Post didn’t really showcase the madcap murderer part; it was left as implied.

Ultimately, the headline was changed to “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, extremist leader of Islamic State, dies at 48.”

But that’s barely the American view, either.

Better would’ve been, “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIS terror chief, dies in U.S. operation.” Or, “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIS leader, ‘died like a dog’: Trump.”

That second especially would’ve segued nicely into how the founder of one of the world’s most vicious terror organizations, the guy who eluded capture for years, ultimately killed himself as U.S. forces closed in — a successful U.S. operation that resulted in zero U.S. casualties. Go America.

Go U.S. forces.

Yay, White House.

Instead, we get Sorry, ISIS.

“Regarding our al-Baghdadi obituary,” said Washington Post spokesperson Kristine Coratti Kelly to Fox News, “the headline should never have read that way and changed it quickly.”

Right. But not before the damage was done.

Not before the country saw The Post in all its ridiculously ridiculous ISIS-defending mode. Not before the world, including ISIS terrorists, saw The Post, a fixture of American media, give the bad guys an easy propaganda win.

If al-Baghdadi was an “austere religious scholar,” then Richard the “Night Stalker” Ramirez was a vigilant neighborhood watch guard. Ridiculously ridiculous. The left can’t get any more ridiculous than trying to be fair and balanced to a murderous terrorist piece of scum.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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