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Beheaded Journalist Steven Sotloff Was 'Extremely Funny': Friend

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Slain American journalist Steven Sotloff was known for his sense of humor and described himself as a "stand-up comedian," a friend recalled Wednesday. War correspondent Janine di Giovanni paid tribute to the “smart” and “extremely funny” 31-year-old Florida native, who was beheaded by militants with the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

Sotloff was a “very dedicated journalist” who “cared about the story," di Giovanni added. "He was a very good writer. I think before Steve went back [to Syria] he had some misgivings and some doubts but he was very anxious to work on long-term projects, some projects that concerned human rights and that could make a difference... he was a very special guy.” The White House confirmed on Wednesday that a video showing Sotloff's beheading was authentic. Di Giovanni added: “We have to remember the local people. It’s not just the international reporters that are being killed by ISIS, there are local journalists that are being killed as well, they are just not getting the publicity.”

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- Carol Grisanti and Alastair Jamieson

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