Friday, February 10


Peggy Noonan is a favorite columnist of mine, but every now and then she falls off of her high perch and takes a header. Today's OpiononJournal column, extolling the virtues of Coretta Scott King's funeral and calling the political antics of eulogists Jimmy Carter and Rev. Lowery "the authentic sound of a vibrant democracy doing its thing" is a case in point. I didn't know a funeral service in a church, even for a civil rights' movement icon, was supposed to resemble a floor fight in the Senate chamber. I was taught as a youngster that when you walk into a church you're to be on your best behavior -- respectful of the House of the Lord, dutifully mindful of your manners, and matching your demeanor with the solemnity of the service for which you are there.

Noonan waxes breathlessly:

That funeral honored us, and the world could learn a lot from watching it. The U.S. government should send all six hours of it throughout the World Wide Web and to every country on earth, because it said more about who we are than any number of decorous U.N. speeches and formal diplomatic declarations.

Really, Peggy? I suppose you would have been orgasmic if Jimmy Carter had done a PowerPoint presentation on the Bush administration, replete with a dozen or so political cartoons lampooning the president and his policies, and with some of the more egregious Abu Ghraib photographs thrown in for good measure.

I wonder what Ms. Noonan's reaction would have been (and that of the elite mainstream media) had Bill Cosby been invited to eulogize Mrs. King and instead used the occassion to lambast blacks and exhort them to honor the legacy of Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr. by tackling high rates of juvenile delinquency, untoward school drop-out rates, babies out-of-wedlock, crime, drug abuse, and single-parent households in their community -- you know, something on the order of this?

Maybe it's all about who's getting embarrassed -- who is on the receiving end of someone with an axe to grind.

My suggestion to you, Peggy (and to borrow from your column): Go home and have a nice cup of cocoa!

And give up the glue sock you were sniffing while watching the political convention in Atlanta.

FOLLOW-UP: Here's my earlier post on the King funeral, in case you missed it. The online edition of the Houston Chronicle linked to it for several days.

FOLLOW-UP II: The Anchoress is, as usual, a must read. I'm not sure that she's read the Noonan piece yet.