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Trump, al-Baghdadi, fake news and the #WaPoDeathNotice

Written By | Oct 29, 2019
#WaPoDeathNotice, al-baghdadi, trump, fake news, wapo, washington post

WASHINGTON: The leftist press is unhinged. We already knew that but if anyone needed more proof, the handling of the death of ISIS terrorist leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi by the legacy media should leave no further doubt. The Main Stream Media, in fact, has made themselves totally irrelevant. As evident by the Washington Post al-Baghdadi obituary headline calling the terrorist an “austere scholar.”   A headline spawning Twitter fun with the #WaPoDeathNotices hashtag.

On Saturday night, President Trump cryptically tweeted that “Something very big has just happened!”

By early Sunday morning, there was speculation all over the internet about what the “big” thing was. Everyone had to wait until the President’s statement at 9:00 am Eastern time. It was not given to the press, leaked to the media.  The President had a message, and he controlled that message.

Doing an internet search on “Trump announcement” was met with irrelevant results.

Google highlighted announcements from previous days; the highest-rated relevant result was from NBC. Google gives clear preference to large, established—and left-wing—media outlets.

The NBC video was an NCB reporter speculating on the event with a video of explosions going off in the background. The explosions were supposed to be related to the operation but given the way the media has handled such things recently and the unlikelihood of them being anywhere near the action, the provenance of that video is doubtful.

Breaking conservative news online: Even More Conservative Media Stars

Rival search engine Bing was worse: highlighted was a video of Ivanka Trump from some time ago, with a suitably negative headline. DuckDuckGo wasn’t much better.

Yet this is 2019 and the truth is accessible if one looks hard enough.

The White House’s website live-streamed the announcement. At 9 am the video was switched on to show an empty podium. At approximately 9:08 President Trump walked up to the podium and delivered his remarks.

No mediation by the legacy press needed.

No commentary, no interpretation, no brief excerpts, no “Breaking News” headlines scrolling across the bottom of the screen. As Sergeant Joe Friday might say, “Just the facts, ma’am. Just the facts.”

The entire statement was live-streamed followed by press questions and answers.

If you missed it live, you can watch the WhiteHouse YouTube channel, no ads.

The State Department tweeted the link. If you prefer to read the remarks. The site has posted the text of the president’s remarks.

When you can get the news directly from the horse’s mouth, why would you go anywhere else? Why would you try to penetrate the walls of interpretation that the media put in your way?

They are obsolete. This president has figured out how to revive President Teddy Roosevelt’s Bully Pulpit and speak directly to the American people. He relies on Twitter, yes, but it is much more. In discussing ISIS’ use of the internet, he said in a straight-faced joke sure to annoy opponents, “…they use the internet probably better than anybody, except Donald Trump…”

After the fact, one can always consult the usual suspects for their opinions. If one suspects bias in the president’s remarks it is easy to find the counterpoint.

19th Century Yellow Journalism is now Fake News

Contrast, for example, Trump calling to mind the images of Jordanian pilot Muath Safi Yousef al-Kasasbeh burned to death in a cage or the orange jumpsuit-clad men being beheaded on the beach with the Washington Post’s characterization of Al-Baghdadi as an “austere religious scholar.”

And the Twitterverse had its mocking fun:

And some Twitter users just enjoyed the mocking:

Contrast the president’s description of Al-Baghdadi’s last moments with the Post’s headline “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islamic State’s ‘terrorist-in-chief,’ dies at 48.” Heart attack? Car crash? How did he die? And why is terrorist-in-chief in quotes.

Today, CNN and others are searching for anything to criticize about the raid and the press briefing. Something notably absent from reporting on the Bin Laden raid. The only real criticism is that somebody on the president’s staff should have coached him on how to pronounce “Abu Bakr,” the terrorist leader’s first name. And historically the name of Muhammad’s closest friend. However, the President will mock someone by mispronouncing his/her name:

But that’s a minor nit. At the end, who cares? Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi has gone to his eternal ‘reward’—and that’s worth putting in quotes.

RIP Kayla Mueller, James Wright Foley, al-Kasasbeh and others mentioned in Trump’s remarks as well as the many victims of ISIS terrorism. And RIP to American journalism.

Al Maurer

Al Maurer is a political scientist and founder of The Voice of Liberty. He writes on topics of limited government and individual rights.