Whoopi Defends Aretha's Funeral Having Farrakhan, CBS Hits Pastor

September 4th, 2018 10:01 PM

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.

So far, ABC's The View is the only show on broadcast network television that has mentioned Farrakhan's presence as co-host Whoopi Goldberg on Tuesday defended Clinton because Franklin's family had invited the Nation of Islam leader to take part, as she dared critics to complain to the family. No one on the show brought up the issue of double standard, and co-host Joy Behar cluelessly even wondered why former President Clinton was being criticized.

At 8:07 a.m. Eastern, CBS co-host Gayle King recalled that Franklin's family had called the Reverend Jasper Williams Jr.'s eulogy "offensive and distasteful," noting that he was critical of the Black Lives Matter movement. After playing a clip of Reverend Williams arguing that it is difficult for a single woman to raise a boy without the child's father, co-host Norah O'Donnell could be heard exclaiming, "What?" and King added: "Yup, I beg to differ on that one."

O'Donnell then fretted: "What place did that have in the midst of a celebration of Aretha Franklin?" The two then complained that his apology was not good enough.

CNN's Early Start also ran a brief on the story, and, on HLN's Across America, Carol Costello devoted a few minutes to discussing Reverend Williams's comments and Bishop Charles Ellis's interaction with singer Ariana Grande.

Over on The View, Goldberg recalled attending the funeral, played a clip of Clinton speaking, and then defended him over Farrakhan. 

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Bill Clinton took some heat because he was sharing the dais with Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Now, this is what I have to say. If you're bitching about this, you need to call the family because the family invited Farrakhan there. They know him, and there is a reason he was there. And you don't get off a dais and walk off when you've been invited there to celebrate that person's life.

She soon added: "Everybody needs to just pull back -- just pull it back, you know, and understand that this is -- we don't control everything. The family decided this was what they wanted, and that's what they set up."

A bit later, Behar jumped in to ask: "Why are they criticizing Clinton? Why not Sharpton and Jesse Jackson? They were there, too."

As no one pointed out that Clinton is getting the most attention over the issue because he is a former President and therefore is the most high profile figure on stage, Goldberg responded: "I don't know, but, look, nobody should be getting anything because if you got to bitch, call the family. I dare you."