Newsbusters picked this moment up from John Ziegler, and Drudge picked it up from Newsbusters, and … well, it’s destined to be a classic. While covering the Whitney Houston funeral live — with two anchors — CNN’s Soledad O’Brien and talk-show host Piers Morgan interviewed singer Roberta Flack and Jesse Jackson for a segment. When Flack got up to return to the funeral, she offered the two CNN hosts an “Obama bump,” which both returned, and to which O’Brien replied “Absolutely!”
So … is this Flack for Obama, or flacking for Obama?
Er .. the first question should be why CNN felt it necessary to dedicate a live broadcast to the funeral of Whitney Houston. It’s a tragic shame the talented singer with the once-beautiful voice passed away at 48 (my age, by the way), but when was the last time Houston was newsworthy enough to dedicate an hour of live news coverage? Probably never, and if there was a time, it would have been years ago. CNN took a solemn occasion which they could have reported as the news story it was and turned it into a chatty, unserious talk show.
As for the fist bump, well, that’s what you get on chatty, unserious talk shows. Neither CNN anchor initiated that exchange, but O’Brien — who Newsbusters points out took an on-air high five from now-suspended commentator Roland Martin a few weeks back for ripping Mitt Romney — certainly didn’t have to say, “Absolutely!” in response. If O’Brien looks less like a serious news reporter than ever after the fist bump, it’s in large part because CNN’s assignment of this gig to her strongly insinuates that they didn’t consider her one before the fist bump, either.
Update: From the comments, I find out that pretty much every television news outlet provided live coverage of Whitney Houston’s funeral … which just means that America’s television news media are pretty fundamentally unserious across the board.