The Washington Post changed the headline on its obituary for ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after it received backlash for calling him an “austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State,” The Hill reported on Sunday.
The Post's original headline described al-Baghdadi as the “Islamic State’s terrorist-in-Chief” before it made the change to the one that received widespread criticism and mocking on social media and other news organizations.
It was unclear why the original change was made to the controversial headline.
Following the backlash, the Post settled on a headline that called him an “extremist leader of Islamic State.”
The Washington Examiner had slammed the Post for the “austere scholar” headline, emphasizing that most of the text in the obituary focused on his academic career rather than his role in the terrorist organization.
Fox News pointed out that social media users mocked the paper by writing "appropriate" death notices for other cruel historic figures.
Wall Street Journal columnist Prof. Walter Russel Mead tweeted one such example, "Genghis Khan, accomplished horseman and indefatigable traveler, breathes his last."
Jason Howerton added a spoof of his own, tweeting, "Adolf Hitler, passionate community planner and dynamic public speaker, dies at 56."
Kristine Coratti Kelly, a spokeswoman for The Post, tweeted that the headline “should never have read that way and we changed it quickly.”
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