Spectator USA

Skip to Content

Cockburn Media

Awful Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi headline inspires #WaPoDeathNotices

A masterclass in headline-writing from the Washington Post

October 27, 2019

4:06 PM

27 October 2019

4:06 PM

Headline-writing can be hard, chaps. Especially when you have to capture the true spirit of a person in the light of their death. But with the demise of Isis founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a truly heinous individual, surely putting his character into black and white is a black-and-white issue.

If you’re the Washington Post, apparently not, as Spectator contributor Kelly Jane Torrance was one of the first to point out.

‘Austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State dies at 48’, the paper crowed, dolefully commemorating the life of the man who inspired hundreds of deaths.

Obviously, the headline of his obituary has since been changed. ‘Regarding our al-Baghdadi obituary, the headline should never have read that way and we changed it quickly,’ tweeted Post communications VP Kristine Coratti Kelly. But not before Twitter wags started to chip in with some of their #WaPoDeathNotices. Here are Cockburn’s favorites…

Got a tip for Cockburn? Email cockburn@spectator.us.


Sign up to receive a weekly summary of the best of Spectator USA


Show comments
Close