On Thursday, Fox News eulogized legendary soul singer and American icon Aretha Franklin, who died earlier this morning at the age of 76.
“What a life and what a voice,” anchor Bill Hemmer intoned over footage of Franklin singing. Then Fox cut to a prepared graphic featuring Franklin’s photo, the years of her life and, inexplicably, a picture of soul singer Patti LaBelle performing at the White House in 2014.
To add insult to extremely racially insensitive injury, the two singers had long been rumored to be bitter rivals, stemming in part to an apparent snub by Franklin at a 2014 White House performance (Franklin later denied any friction between the two at the event).
The supposed beef was accentuated even further when the now-defunct “purely satirical” website The News Nerd published a story claiming LaBelle had physically assaulted Franklin after an event in Atlanta. Franklin later sued the publication for $10 million, writing that “Patti and I are cool and we always have been. I enjoyed her at the White House. Classic Patti.”
Whether static did or did not exist between the two, Franklin did take a public swipe at LaBelle’s infamous Patti Pies after launching her own food line—complete with desserts—saying that while she’d never eaten her fellow singer’s food, “Ms. Patti’s gonna have to move that pie to the side!”
Another thing that should probably move to the side: Fox News’ graphic department.