WashPost’s Obit Headline for NFL Legend Is Nastier Than Paper's Take on Dead Terrorist

February 9th, 2021 12:25 PM

What’s worse? To be a murderous, cruel terrorist or to be an NFL coach whose teams fail in the playoffs? If you’re The Washington Post, the latter gets you a harsher obituary headline. Legendary coach Marty Schottenheimer passed away on Tuesday. Here’s the initial Post headline: “Marty Schottenheimer, NFL Coach Whose Teams Wilted in the postseason, Dies at 77.” 

Senior NFL writer for CBS Will Brinson caught it and slammed the Post in a tweet: 



After significant blowback, the Post altered the headline: “Marty Schottenheimer, one of the NFL’s winningest coaches, dies at 77.” By contrast, here’s the gentle headline the Post offered when Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died. 



Austere religious scholar vs. coaching loser. It certainly shows you where the Post’s priorities are. 

This is not new when it comes to Post obits. As the MRC’s Tim Graham explained

My first thought was how the Washington Post has savaged conservative figures in the Obituary section over the years, and yet they could go gooey with mass-murdering dictators. In 2016, for example, the Post also edited an obituary after it was posted -- on Nancy Reagan. Joe Concha reported a very negative first paragraph was excised, but there was still nasty stuff: "Patti Davis’s 1992 memoir, The Way I See It, described a mother driven by appearances, abusive toward her and a habitual user of tranquilizers."

But Fidel Castro drew gush. “Revolutionary remade Cuba,” oozed the Post headline. Their obit gushed he was “a romantic figure in olive-drab fatigues and combat boots” and a “spiritual beacon for the world’s political far left."

When long time Washington Times editor Wesley Pruden passed away, the paper hammered the “defiantly abrasive” conservative. If only people could aspire to the dignity of an someone like al Baghdadi.