The mainstream media tried to spin Obama’s eulogy as one of the most amazing things the president has done in his existence on this planet. Pundits left and right slobbered all over the eulogy and the idea that Obama was so moved during his delivery that he spontaneously burst into the song “Amazing Grace”.
— Kemberlee Kaye (@KemberleeKaye) June 26, 2015
CNN reported on the touching moment coming not just from a president but the man “as himself” stating “Obama’s words on grace especially — a core biblical concept — appeared to move him spontaneously to song. While this is very common among preachers in the black church tradition, it is less common for a President to break out in song mid-sermon.” Reporters like Steven Zeitchik of the LA Times wrote a whole article about it, “President Obama’s ‘Amazing Grace’ moment and the power of spontaneous song”.
Here’s a Tweet from BuzzFeed’s World News Editor/Reporter:
THIS IS AMAZING. THIS IS HISTORY. THIS IS THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT SINGING AMAZING GRACE IN ~CHUCH~.
— Hayes Brown (@HayesBrown) June 26, 2015
Here’s another from GQ Washington correspondent Ana Marie Cox re: the president’s eulogy song.
This is the bravest thing any president has ever done.
— ana marie cox (@anamariecox) June 26, 2015
From National Journal columnist Ron Fournier:
He's been working on this speech his entire life.
— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) June 26, 2015
Read even more on Newsbusters: “Liberals Gush on PBS: Obama Eulogy ‘One of the Great Moments Anyone Has Ever Seen’”
But, as it turns out, that amazing, spontaneous moment was not so spontaneous after all.
Speaking at the Aspen Institute, Valerie Jarrett discussed how it had all been planned well beforehand, and apparently Michelle Obama was less-than-enthused at her husband’s plans to dramatically break into song at the funeral.
Via the Daily Caller:
The senior advisor recalled that during the helicopter ride to Pinckney’s service, which was held at the College of Charleston, Obama informed her and Michelle that he was considering singing the song.
“Hmm,” Jarrett said she replied.
The first lady’s response was more critical.
“Why on earth would that fit in?” she asked, according to Jarrett.
“I don’t know whether I’m going to do it, but I just wanted to warn you two that I might sing,” Obama said.
“I think if I sing, the church will sing with me,” he continued, adding, “we’ll see how it feels at the time.”
Apparently it felt just fine. Saying the words “amazing grace” twice before he broke into song though seemed to suggest to viewers it was a spontaneous decision on the part of Obama and not a completely set up move to milk this situation for all it would be worth in the media spotlight.
The media, by the way, seemed to forget the whole thing was even a funeral or the man who died and was the reason for the entire event in the first place. All media attention and focus (and drool) went to Obama.
Jarrett says she asked the president whether or not he ever reconsidered his plan to sing the song throughout his delivery.
“Oh no, I knew I was going to sing, I was just trying to figure out which key to sing in,” Obama said, according to Jarrett.
Real spontaneous, huh?
Some people called the president and mainstream media on this moment for what it truly was.
Someone ask the media members drooling over Obama's speech whose funeral this was.
— BT (@back_ttys) June 26, 2015
Watch Jarrett discuss it all at Aspen below.
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