Question: What is more cringe-inducing than a celebrity funeral? Answer: Two back-to-back celebrity funerals. The ghoulish twin spectacles last week memorializing Aretha Franklin and John McCain brought out the worst in family, friends and frenemies. No matter your partisan affiliation, these vulgar exercises in self-indulgence should serve as object lessons on how not to depart with dignity.
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, as the regular team of hosts returned from the Labor Day holiday, the group caught up with NBC's Today show in fretting over a pastor at Aretha Franklin's funeral who delivered a conservative message, but they still did not mention the controversy around Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan being allowed to share a stage with former President Bill Clinton and other prominent Democrats. In fact, former Attorney General and possible presidential candidate Eric Holder even posed for a photograph with the ardently anti-Semitic religious figure.
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.
On Friday afternoon, during one of the rare liberal media acknowledgements of Louis Farrakhan's prominent presence at Aretha Franklin's funeral, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell gave an odd underreaction as she cited it as evidence of an "inclusive group" being on stage.
On Fox and Friends Sunday, frequent guest and Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz slammed former President Bill Clinton and others on the left for their willingness to "mainstream" racist, anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, responding to their presence on stage together at singer Aretha Franklin's funeral.
As Fox and Friends Saturday commented on the absence of media attention to National of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan at Aretha Franklin's funeral, the other networks ignored Farrakhan, but CBS and NBC did find time to highlight complaints about one of the pastors putting his arm around singer Ariana Grande on stage and making a joke about her name.
Newsbusters has previously reported on the media and the left’s politicization of John McCain’s funeral; not surprisingly, the funeral of “The Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin also got political; with guests taking shots at President Trump and controversial figures such as Nation of Islam Founder Louis Farrakhan taking center stage. Throughout Friday evening’s programming on Fox News, on-air personalities made it clear that they did not appreciate the politicization of Franklin’s funeral.
CNN’s The Lead spent almost six minutes on Tuesday discussing the Supreme Court’s ruling on President Trump’s travel ban with Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison, but host Jake Tapper turned the tables on Ellison by grilling him for the remaining five minutes on his ties to anti-gay, anti-Semitic, and sexist Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
In the aftermath of House Speaker Paul Ryan's announcement that he will retire from Congress, amid the speculation about who might replace him as top Republican in the House, the Washington Post ran an AP story by Alan Fram which repeats the debunked claims that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was a speaker for a David Duke-founded white supremacist group without even acknowledging any of the evidence that he was not. In fact, at this point, in spite of media silence, there's more evidence that prominent Democrats have directly associated with Louis Farrakhan than there is that Scalise was ever connected to Duke.
Several black activist groups conducted a lobbying effort Monday against a GOP House resolution condemning Louis Farrakhan, a person even the usually conservative-bashing Southern Poverty Law Center has condemned for his anti-Semitic, anti-white, and other racially hateful remarks. This is not news in the establishment press, and probably never will be. That's because Monday's effort exposes the groups involved — The New Black Panthers, Black Lives Matter, and Al Sharpton's National Action Network — as unrepentant defenders of hate, and would, if widely known, discredit their claims to speak for the broader black community.
On Wednesday morning, MSNBC anchors Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi both on separate occasions highlighted a Nazi and perennial congressional candidate in Illinois who won the Republican nomination by default because no other candidates filed to run in the heavily Democratic district. Ruhle did not mention that Republicans have condemned his most recent congressional run -- only noting that they have done so in the past -- as she hinted that the GOP had "decided" this time not to run a candidate against him and that they were essentially "Yup, that's our guy."
On the March 10 midnight edition of Fox News @Night, Juan Williams disingenuously made three attempts to create a false equivalence between Congressional Black Caucus leaders' political and physical embraces of National of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and Donald Trump's non-existent relationship with the KKK. Host Shannon Bream and the Daily Caller's Vince Coglianese weren't having any of it, but Williams wouldn't let go.