Billy Graham Honored at Funeral, Mainstream Media Buries Coverage

Evangelist Billy Graham's memorial service.

Billy Graham’s funeral may end up being one of the most significant events of the year — but you wouldn’t know it based on the mainstream media coverage. Despite both the president and vice president’s attendance, most outlets barely gave the ceremony of America’s pastor a passing mention.

According to Fox News, which devoted an entire segment to the media’s indifference of Billy Graham’s funeral, CNN only covered the event for 2 minutes and 12 seconds. But that might as well have been a mini-series compared to MSNBC’s treatment, which was a mere 26 seconds! (Fox’s coverage, meanwhile, went on for almost two hours.) Jenna Browder from Faith Nation, who was invited on the network to comment about the disparity, could only shake her head. “It’s no wonder the American people are losing faith in the media,” she said. “…The problem is that so many journalists in this country are so out of touch with the people of Middle America — and particularly people of faith and values that are so important to them.”

Across social media, people complained about the networks’ double standard. “I remember @CNN & @MSNBCdevoted a whole day of coverage to the funeral of Muhammad Ali,” one viewer posted. “Yet, two of America’s biggest news networks could only devote a few MINUTES to the funeral of legendary #PreacherOfTheCentury#BillyGraham? SHAME ON #CNN & #MSNBC.” The event should have been a significant story for a number of reasons — not the least of which was Reverend Graham’s place in American political history. But even his trusted relationship with presidents couldn’t persuade CNN and MSNBC to drop its anti-faith prejudice long enough to cover one of the week’s biggest news stories.

Browder, who regretted that faith is coming under intense attack on TV, pointed to “The View’s” Joy Behar and her outrageous attack on Vice President Mike Pence. Accusing Pence of having a “mental illness” for talking to Jesus was a step too far for most viewers, who have been flooding ABC’s offices with more than 30,000 calls for Behar to apologize. (She dismissed it as “joking” instead.) Now, the pressure is on “The View’s” advertisers to make a statement of their own: anti-Christian bigotry will not be tolerated.

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Our friends at the Media Research Center, who have their hands full tracking the news industry’s bias, is asking viewers to call out ABC on their “wildly hypocritical” behavior. “The hosts of ‘The View’ and everyone at ABC would denounce any disparaging comments about Islam. However, their tolerance never seems to extend to Christianity. You can join MRC in hitting the view where it hurts – their corporate sponsorships. Check out their site and take a few minutes to demand better from brands like Clorox, Gerber, Oreo, and HomeAdvisor. Then click here to join me in signing our petition to ABC and its advertisers. No company should keep company with intolerant shows like this one!

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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