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New York Times changes headline calling bin Laden ‘devoted family man’ after outcry

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Media top headlines August 4

The New York Times has updated its headline of a book review that referred to al-Qaeda founder Usama bin Laden as a “devoted family man” following swift backlash, including fromm the man who killed the terrorist leader.

Louise Richardson’s review of Peter Bergen’s book “The Rise and Fall of Usama bin Laden,” which focused partly on his personal life, was originally titled, “Osama bin Laden, the Fanatical Terrorist and the Devoted Family Man.” The headline was later changed to “A Fuller Picture of Osama Bin Laden’s Life.” The review was published just over a month out from the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Robert O’Neill, the former U.S. Navy SEAL who fatally shot bin Laden in 2011, was among those who condemned the Times for its description.

ROBERT O’NEILL KNOCKS NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW REFERRING TO USAMA BIN LADEN AS ‘DEVOTED FAMILY MAN’

“Family man. He used his wife as a human shield,” O’Neill reacted. “Lucky for me he was taller than her.”

“Nothing screams family man like using your (multiple) wives as human shields,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, tweeted.

“Once considered the ‘paper of record,’ the New York Times now runs editorials describing the monster responsible for killing thousands of New Yorkers as a, ‘devoted family man,’” tweeted U.S. Army Veteran and Texas congressional candidate Wesley Hunt. “It’s no wonder why so many Americans are disillusioned with our media.”

Kevin Tober of the Media Research Center said the Times’ review proved the Gray Lady was “more critical of the United States than they are of a mass murdering terrorist.”

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Fox News contributor Joey Jones reacted just as forcefully to the Times’ review on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday morning.

“Nothing about this man was devoted to his family,” Jones said. “It was 100% devoted to selfish causes that were murdering people.”

Jones said he couldn’t understand why an article like this would be written in the first place except “to be a provocateur or to get people talking.”

He added the only headline he needed to see is, “Osama bin Laden, dead terrorist.”

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The headline decision called to mind the Washington Post referring to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as an “austere religious scholar” in its 2019 obituary for him. The headline initially read, “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48,” before the words were swapped out for “extremist leader of Islamic State.”