Trump, al-Baghdadi, fake news and the #WaPoDeathNotice
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!”
Something very big has just happened!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2019
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.
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.
The State Department tweeted the link. If you prefer to read the remarks. The Whitehouse.gov 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.
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.”
Every day The Washington Post uses harsher words against @realDonaldTrump than they do in writing about one of the world’s most evil terrorists. Yet we’re supposed to take them at face value. Let that sink in. pic.twitter.com/iIWVqI4N8B
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) October 27, 2019
And the Twitterverse had its mocking fun:
Voldemort, austere political reformer and aspiring school teacher, killed by teen terrorist. #WaPoDeathNotices
— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) October 28, 2019
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) October 27, 2019
— Spaulding Smails (@spauldingIII) October 27, 2019
King Joffery, Protector of the Realm, a loving son, a loving husband and a soon to be most respected king to ever exist, died at a very young age. RIP king Joffery. #WaPoDeathNotice pic.twitter.com/sUjGZMCaBh
— Chhotu Bhaiya (@chhotu_bhaiya) October 29, 2019
And some Twitter users just enjoyed the mocking:
I’d like to thank #WaPoDeathNotice for the best laughs that I’ve had in a long time.
— David O’Dell (@dcodell) October 28, 2019
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.