Aretha Franklin’s funeral was filled with family, friends, celebrities and even a former president but the presence of Louis Farrakhan at the service raised many eyebrows.
Fox News’ Martha MacCallum kept finding herself “distracted” by the anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam, who had a front row seat at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple on Friday to honor the “Queen of Soul” who died last month at the age of 76 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
The tributes were “amazing” MacCallum said to her panel on Fox News’ “The Story” Friday. “But I did keep finding myself distracted by Louis Farrakhan who was in every single shot. I’m thinking, ‘What was he doing there?’”
The Weekly Standard’s Kelly Jane Torrance noted that several outlets had cut the controversial figure out of pictures they published on their websites, obviously having the same question as MacCallum about why he was there and why he was in the front row seated next to Revs. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and former Pres. Bill Clinton.
Many of the mainstream liberal media sites appear to have intentionally cropped the man who blamed Jews for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks out of their photos.
Revs. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and former Pres. Bill Clinton seated next to one another at the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit for Aretha Franklin’s funeral service. All three are expected to deliver personal remarks on the iconic singer. https://t.co/GsAKjngPBB pic.twitter.com/Z4dnVb3iT4
— ABC News (@ABC) August 31, 2018
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 31, 2018
The audience hushed as former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived at Aretha Franklin’s funeral earlier this morning https://t.co/sircKripym pic.twitter.com/I9qLOEe2me
— Variety (@Variety) August 31, 2018
A wider shot of the front row tells a different story than what the liberal media sites were reporting.
On stage in front at Aretha Franklin’s funeral are Min. Louis Farrakhan, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and former president Bill Clinton https://t.co/FOic3yqVw8 #ArethaHomegoing pic.twitter.com/ClQOPuU6Jt
— Niraj Warikoo (@nwarikoo) August 31, 2018
“Why was he so front and center?” MacCallum asked. “It’s something that’s supposed to be about Aretha Franklin became, I thought, in many ways about some of these gentlemen who were right behind.”
“We forget that she was really at the head of the liberation movement for years,” Kylie Patterson of the New Leaders Council said, noting that Farrakhan was also part of that movement.
“This is her funeral,” Patterson said. “I mean, it’s her choice- who she wants there, how she wants people sitting.”
“I just wonder how much jockeying there was for prime position,” MacCallum said.
“I saw that he was kind of pushing his website and all of this on Twitter. And I thought, ‘Gee, that’s kind of a little bit unfortunate’ that it was distracting in that way,” she added.
Photos: On behalf of The Honorable Minister @LouisFarrakhan, Nation of Islam members on the grounds in Detroit giving away 50K copies of @TheFinalCall’s special edition honoring Queen Aretha Franklin. https://t.co/6L1NMALwma pic.twitter.com/LgHvBQZXnJ
— The Nation of Islam (@OfficialNOI) August 29, 2018
“He, you know, has said awful things about Jewish people, about white people, about gay people and I thought it was never the message that I heard in Aretha Franklin’s music,” MacCallum said.
Others seemed to agree with MacCallum on Twitter which recently revoked Farrakhan’s “blue check” verification on his official Twitter page after he posted an anti-Semitic rant.
Louis Farrakhan prominently featured at Aretha Franklin’s funeral (hugging celebrities and smiling for pictures), is a symbol of how many Black leaders embrace arrogant contradictions on the road to fake justice… pic.twitter.com/2qOcOUjhTV
— Dumisani Washington (@dumisani6) August 31, 2018
It is disgrace to the beautiful Aretha Franklin to have the con artists Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton sit front row at her funeral alongside anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan next to impeached President Bill Clinton
Aretha was a wonderful talent and her legacy is better than this
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) August 31, 2018
Dumbfounded at image of an anti-Semite like Louis Farrakhan prominently seated on dais @ Aretha Franklin’s funeral service.
Her song “RESPECT” became Civil Rights Era anthem; seems so antithetical to what Farrakhan stands for.
I’m sure there’s reasonable explanation for it …
— James A. Gagliano (@JamesAGagliano) August 31, 2018
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) August 31, 2018
UGH….Louis Farrakhan is on the dais at #ArethaHomegoing
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) August 31, 2018
It is beyond disappointing to see Louis Farrakhan at Aretha Franklins funeral. His hate and lack of belief in real equality for all should preclude it.
— Joe Banner (@JoeBanner13) August 31, 2018
I’m going to go out on a limb and predict you’ll never see Farrakhan, Sharpton, Jesse and Bill Clinton seated side by side on MSNBC ever again.
— jelani cobb (@jelani9) August 31, 2018
was enjoying coverage of aretha franklin’s funeral until i saw louis farrakhan seated prominently and now that’s enough of that
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) August 31, 2018
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