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You do realize that austere has a negative connotation?

It's less sensationalist than the very first version of the headline, and more objectively accurate than the current version of the headline that now says "extremist leader". Religious scholar, yes (he had a PhD). Austere, yes (he was observably critical of any slight divergence from religious teaching, had no discernible personality, things like that). In that same headline, he was explicitly mentioned as the head of ISIS. If you want purely sensationalist and emotional headlines, read the New York Post or something. What, are people so stupid that they won't realize that "head of ISIS" *means* he was a terrorist? Or if you think the Washington Post is trying to suggest he wasn't a terrorist, you should take your tinfoil hat off.

You can make good posts Grames, but when it comes to current events, it's like you stop thinking critically.

Edited by Eiuol

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Do they not realize that "head of ISIS" means he was, individually, the most brutal killer of all of the terror gangs? But no, let's not mention facts in a newspaper. 

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Do you really think that the average Washington Post reader seeing "head of ISIS" doesn't immediately get that message? Why does someone need their hand held and to be told that he was a bad guy? In a way, you're saying: "People don't know how to think objectively so they need to be instructed on how to think about the news they consume, they need emotional terms to understand". 

There are places for emotional declarations, but a newspaper headline is not one of them. Facts first, value judgments later. I don't think people have a hard time understanding that the fact of him being the head of ISIS easily leads to a (objective and factual) value judgment of "he's a really bad guy". 

Edited by Eiuol

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Context:  WaPo Changes Al-Baghdadi Headline Several Times Amid 'Religious Scholar' Debacle

WaPo changed their headline on this story 2 times.  The first revision removed reference to him being a terrorist.  The second revision removed his affiliation with religion.   In the final headline Baghdadi was merely an "extremist leader" of ISIS.

Yeah, let's not make hasty moral judgements.  Or any judgements at all, apparently.  But this stance is not sincere, it is merely adopted for the moment when Trump might have an unambiguously positive headline.   Social justice and Trump resistance can't exist without moralizing judgment.

The point of the post and the meme is that it does no favors for Muslims to describe a vicious terrorist as a scholar of Islam.  It leads one to think "Why, if more Muslims actually did the reading assignment maybe they would be terrorists too!"  This whole episode highlights yet another example of evading the real issue, Islamic terrorism.  The policy of avoiding showing pictures or listing names of regular criminals as well as terrorists is more of the same evading.  Institutions of media, government and academia have decided that some facts should not be noticed.

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Do you really think that the average Washington Post reader seeing "head of ISIS" doesn't immediately get that message? Why does someone need their hand held and to be told that he was a bad guy? In a way, you're saying: "People don't know how to think objectively so they need to be instructed on how to think about the news they consume, they need emotional terms to understand". 

There are places for emotional declarations, but a newspaper headline is not one of them. Facts first, value judgments later. I don't think people have a hard time understanding that the fact of him being the head of ISIS easily leads to a (objective and factual) value judgment of "he's a really bad guy". 

I know equivocation and apologism when I see it. This was a blatantly thin attempt to play down this scum's doings, not offend anyone, not invite retaliation, not grant your President any credit, etc.. And no, anyone can see how many news editors now believe that readers do have to be pointedly shown how to feel about any issue. More, that it is their public duty to do so. Don't give me objective and factual. You know full well that if the paper targets anyone they can't stand, the headlines would be screaming. The Post has dropped a long way from when it was held up to those of us as the best in the business. 

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3 hours ago, Grames said:

 

The point of the post and the meme is that it does no favors for Muslims to describe a vicious terrorist as a scholar of Islam.  

Right, and also it does no favors for those Muslims who openly and bravely oppose such persons, nor many others who quietly do not endorse terrorist savagery. I'd think that's exactly why they originally left where they were and came to the US, only to see appeasement of evil there too, from some media. 

Edited by whYNOT

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5 hours ago, Grames said:

But this stance is not sincere, it is merely adopted for the moment when Trump might have an unambiguously positive headline.

If their strong criticism of Trump makes them more objective about events because they don't automatically want to give Trump automatic credit, that's a good thing. A lot of the jokes people tweeted in the article you linked are just people who don't understand what austere means.

5 hours ago, Grames said:

The first revision removed reference to him being a terrorist

No it didn't, it said he was the head of the Islamic State.

5 hours ago, Grames said:

The second revision removed his affiliation with religion. 

Are we reading the same thing? The second revision I see is "austere religious scholar". The affiliation is right there when it says Islamic State. There were only three versions by the way, so the final headline is actually the second revision.

5 hours ago, Grames said:

 In the final headline Baghdadi was merely an "extremist leader" of ISIS.

"Muslim extremist leader who was the head of the Islamic State" is pretty redundant, many people don't seem to understand what austere means, and terrorist in chief isn't actually a thing. Seems reasonable to land on this headline as the final one.

5 hours ago, Grames said:

The policy of avoiding showing pictures or listing names of regular criminals as well as terrorists is more of the same evading. 

I agree that this is worth criticizing, but I think this example with al-Baghdadi is an example of the right thing. At least as far as the headline.

 

Edited by Eiuol

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It's very simple. Nobody in the West gives a damn that he was a doctor of reciting the Koran. We didn't hunt him down and level his compound because of his scholarship. The headline was intended to downplay Trump's victory by highlighting an irrelevant, inessential fact. And WaPo is rightly being lampooned for it.

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Humorists are having a field day with obituaries.

My attempt:  Adolf Hitler, the artist, writer, charismatic speaker, uniter of his people, animal lover and vegetarian, dead from overdose; aged 56.

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13 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Nobody in the West gives a damn that he was a doctor of reciting the Koran.

I think it's interesting and worth knowing, because his austere religious interpretation caused his ideology. Did WaPo try to point that out? Probably not, but that's the value of headlines without value judgments.

 

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On 10/29/2019 at 9:01 AM, whYNOT said:

My attempt:  Adolf Hitler, the artist, writer, charismatic speaker, uniter of his people, animal lover and vegetarian, dead from overdose; aged 56.

Timothy James McVeigh, decorated war veteran and libertarian critic of federal regulation and high taxes, dies at 33, killed by federal employees.

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Sauron, Maia who faithfully served a particular Vala for a very long time, was badly disfigured by the fall of Numenor, gave away rings of power which benefited the elves, employed many orcs against whom other races were prejudiced, and brought functioning government to Mordor, passes into the Void at a very great age, due to magical effects and the actions of a conspiracy, with the crucial final blow being due to the actions of Gollum, who was a murderer and sick with evil.

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On 10/29/2019 at 9:38 PM, Eiuol said:

I think it's interesting and worth knowing, because his austere religious interpretation caused his ideology. Did WaPo try to point that out? Probably not, but that's the value of headlines without value judgments.

 

Headlines do not only inform, they can and do convey moral judgments. Why not, here, when it's incontrovertibly appropriate? One of the most brutal leaders in modern times - by what his acolytes did, killing, torturing, enslaving people in a large region, and by how visibly they promoted their savagery  - receives, um, objective, headlines in one of the world's influential newspapers??

Neutral treatment of evildoers equates with promoting evil. The rational and just reader should expect undiluted condemnation from all the western media. That's what "objectivity" entails.

So predictable of the far Left recently. Morally relativist, deterministic, sacrificial and value-skeptical, almost nihilist.

With no standard of value by which to evaluate anything or anyone - barring "the people" (while extremely selective about which group of "people" to support and whom not). 

In effect: How do we know Baghdadi was *so* bad after all - perhaps he was a little over-zealous, maybe brought on by a poor and austere upbringing, and of course he could hardly help hating the West, we know how evil were the Westerners' prior actions which determined his radical responses, and we need to curry favor with the power and huge numbers in Islam  - anyway, who are we to judge?

Edited by whYNOT

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1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

Headlines do not only inform, they can and do convey moral judgments.

I am unequivocally saying that newspaper headlines should not and should never convey moral judgments. This is a good thing because it isn't trying to focus on the emotional experience, it puts focus on the facts, and it allows you to think about all the facts before your moral judgments. The op-ed section is for the emotional headlines. You are saying that sometimes newspaper headlines should convey moral judgments. But I don't know why you think that.

1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

Neutral treatment of evildoers equates with promoting evil

We are talking about headlines. Did you read the article? If you haven't, then you don't know if the treatment was actually neutral. Besides that, I don't know what you mean. I don't think articles can be literally neutral. I can promise you that they talked about the things he did in the article, all the murders. They probably also mentioned his austere religious scholarship, which molded who he was. By choosing to show these things, you can figure out that the WaPo is giving a negative portrayal. 

2 hours ago, whYNOT said:

So predictable of the far Left recently. Morally relativist, deterministic, sacrificial and value-skeptical, almost nihilist.

If you need to be told what to do, what to think, what to feel, then yes, it will appear nihilistic.

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3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I am unequivocally saying that newspaper headlines should not and should never convey moral judgments. This is a good thing because it isn't trying to focus on the emotional experience, it puts focus on the facts, and it allows you to think about all the facts before your moral judgments. The op-ed section is for the emotional headlines. You are saying that sometimes newspaper headlines should convey moral judgments.

Meanwhile, back in the real world...

Focus on the facts, eh? What is the "fact"? Baghdadi  is dead. 

The rest is details. 

According to you, one should now await to read the article before knowing how to evaluate how good/bad the fact is! And too, which emotions will follow.

For anyone who respects life, the headline is the fact AND the value-judgment.  A simply savage, inspirational leader is dead. Great, one less. 

"Should not". Private newspapers have every right to print and convey in the headlines their particular judgment, to appeal to readers' emotions and they do so all the time, blatantly or subtly. That's how they sell copies. Reader beware.

Editorial decisions reflect the owner-publisher's policies, ethics, politics, etc.. Headlines are *very* carefully worded by editor and sub editor to these ends, so there's nothing accidental here.   

This case is clear, morally - anything but condemnatory headlines is a joke. You can't be oblivious to how biased was the Post's pussy-footing head-liner attempt to NOT portray al-Baghdadi the only way he deserved, harshly. 

Edited by whYNOT

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3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

If you need to be told what to do, what to think, what to feel, then yes, it will appear nihilistic.

A fair explanation of how morally dependent are leftists on their politicians and media masters.

Edited by whYNOT

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On 10/28/2019 at 7:43 PM, Grames said:

The point of the post and the meme is that it does no favors for Muslims to describe a vicious terrorist as a scholar of Islam.  It leads one to think "Why, if more Muslims actually did the reading assignment maybe they would be terrorists too!"

That exclamation is the actual truth though? Islamic terrorism is caused by Islam.

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1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

According to you, one should now await to read the article before knowing how to evaluate how good/bad the fact is!

Yup. What's wrong with that? Headlines say what happened. The more succinct and without judgment, the more objective the communication because they provide just the bare description. Articles explain what happened that make it easier to make a value judgment. The facts chosen reflect what the writer thinks, and with the editors want to convey for a meaningful decision. This is actually what I prefer when I read a newspaper. I hate the slightest bit of appeal to emotion.

1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

the headline is the fact AND the value-judgment

Okay, but I don't know why you think that. Why should a headline include a value judgment?

1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

Headlines are *very* carefully worded by editor and sub editor to these ends, so there's nothing accidental here.   

Right, so I'm telling you that the editorial decisions in this case reflect actual objectivity for once. Description of personality, the organization he was in charge of, and the age of death. Easy to connect the dots. You know what the words mean, you aren't mad that they used inaccurate words, you aren't mad that they called him a good guy (because you know just as well as I do they didn't call him a good guy). Apparently, you're just bothered that they didn't get emotional. 

27 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

Explain this please.

It's a reference to Charlie Chaplin, and also suggesting that it sounds like you're saying you want newspapers to tell people what to think and what to feel. The way I see it, getting emotional simply reporting the news is a sign of brutishness. Simple mindedness. Loss of critical reflection, loss of trust in readers.

 

Edited by Eiuol

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21 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

A fair explanation of how morally dependent are leftists on their politicians and media masters.

This is equally true on the Left and Right. Basically nobody that exists on this planet is capable of thinking for themselves. This is why we Objectivist's are the minority of the minority. The immensely vast majority are incapable of thinking for themselves on at least some issues because of centuries of bad philosophy and it's resulting culture infecting nearly everyone and everything. 

 As a depressing aside, I think we have close to a zero chance of ever winning the the war of idea's, that's how far gone the world is and will remain.

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19 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Yup. What's wrong with that? Headlines say what happened. The more succinct and without judgment, the more objective the communication because they provide just the bare description. Articles explain what happened that make it easier to make a value judgment. The facts chosen reflect what the writer thinks, and with the editors want to convey for a meaningful decision. This is actually what I prefer when I read a newspaper. I hate the slightest bit of appeal to emotion.

Okay, but I don't know why you think that. Why should a headline include a value judgment?

Right, so I'm telling you that the editorial decisions in this case reflect actual objectivity for once. Description of personality, the organization he was in charge of, and the age of death. Easy to connect the dots. You know what the words mean, you aren't mad that they used inaccurate words, you aren't mad that they called him a good guy (because you know just as well as I do they didn't call him a good guy). Apparently, you're just bothered that they didn't get emotional. 

It's a reference to Charlie Chaplin, and also suggesting that it sounds like you're saying you want newspapers to tell people what to think and what to feel. The way I see it, getting emotional simply reporting the news is a sign of brutishness. Simple mindedness. Loss of critical reflection, loss of trust in readers.

 

A news headline is one's first encounter with the story. As such, it has a large significance on a reader's first take; if the facts are simple: e.g. X is dead - he has already and instantly made his value judgment and responded with pertinent emotions (which ones: relief, pleasure, sadness .. etc.). Knowledge is hierarchical, and is, the purpose of a headline, hierarchically-gained. After which one can dig into further and lesser facts, depending on one's interest.

Here's the thing to explain how the WaPo headlines were irrational, untrue, and fundamentally amoral. It is not what they articulated, it's what they *didn't*. Where are the words "barbaric" - "murderous leader" - "a fitting end" - "a killer's reign of terror" - I can come up with several headliner's which are fitting to the facts, as anyone can. Again, this moral evaluation of the man is widely uncontroversial and entirely rational. Not a complex issue. Instead - the editors took the equivocal, ambivalent approach, as if this was some innocuous, average world figure who'd died.

The editors always anticipate what they are doing, I reiterate. A daily paper which has 2 or 3 editions a day, will often adjust the headline 'message' over the editions according to how popularly/heatedly it has been received, and-or as the story develops.

But in the mean time, WaPo have printed their soft/appeasing approach to the story, but could bury it and modify it later as they felt the wind was blowing. Similar to the NYT recently which prominently published an obviously anti-semitic cartoon. Do you think they didn't realise in advance the outcry it would cause? And, knowing in advance that they would pull the cartoon after the reactions, and publish a half-assed apology? Notice, they still managed to get their virtue-signal, critical of Jews, across to millions of readers.

Maybe you see that the main point is NOT about including a value-judgment in the headline - that happens too, like the Post's compromised wording - but how it is ingested, relating to an individual reader's own value-judgment. 

More so in recent decades the publisher-editors in mainstream media are becoming highly pro-active, being greatly aware of their (self-assumed) 'moral responsibility' to 'guide' the public into 'a better way'. Of course that's dangerous. There never was true 'objectivity' in news-gathering - time constraints, space shortage, competitiveness, editorial bias, (as is their right) and many factors (like showing a profit) worked against that. A newspaper is simply another product. Newsmen have tacitly understood that objectivity is a myth; one American journalist admitted something like - objective news is beyond our powers, but, we must concentrate on accuracy. 

Huge inroads by small, independent, social media platforms are showing the public just how misinformed - even manipulated - they have been lately, with all that 'moralized' and skewed news reportage from the big media. That is mainly where your "loss of trust" has come from, I think. One has to be sickened by anchor people on (especially) CNN and its like, who shamelessly display their outrage, mockery, disbelief, sarcasm, and other emotions live on screen, sensationalizing various news items and so, influencing - they must believe - a viewer's mind. 

 

Edited by whYNOT

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