Monday's Today show displayed the latest example of how the journalistic definition of "controversy" is when liberal activists are offended. In the aftermath of singing legend Aretha Franklin's funeral. the Today show aired a full report highlighting complaints against two of the event's pastors that came from the left, but the show still ignored the more offensive on-stage presence of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
At 8:10 a.m. Eastern, during an introduction of the report, co-anchor Peter Alexander intoned: "But the grand sendoff for the queen of soul was, as you may have heard, not without controversy." Someone might think "so they're finally talking about Farrakhan." Nope.
After correspondent Ron Mott came aboard and noted the large number of stars who appeared at the event, he noted that "it also made headlines for other reasons." He soon recalled the scene of singer Ariana Grande being hugged by Bishop Charles Ellis and the criticism it received. Mott: "But this morning, the buzz isn't just about the A-listers attending. Instead, it's this hug causing headlines."
The NBC correspondent soon added: "He was also criticized for joking the young singer's name reminded him of a new Taco Bell treat."
Mott then recounted a second pastor who also came under criticism from the left, Pastor Jasper Williams, who lamented the large number of black children who grow up without fathers in the home, and called out liberal activists for being more obsessed at cops killing black suspects than by the many more blacks who are killed by other blacks.
CBS This Morning also ran a one-minute report on Bishop Elllis's interaction with Grande and his apology.
So far, the broadcast networks have all refused to mention the controversial presence of Farrakhan on stage near former President Bill Clinton and other high-profile Democratic public figures, in spite of his long history of blatantly racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric.