This morning, the ABC network show This Week with George Stephanopoulos, in its “In Memoriam” feature, perpetrated a blatant liberal media bias event when it gave the recently deceased comedian, Bernie Mac top billing over Russian dissident and world-class author, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Solzhenitsyn was sandwiched between Mac and an entertainment producer, coincidentally also named Bernie.
Solzhenitsyn, who was clearly many times more important to the fall of the Soviet Union than was, for instance, Ronald Reagan, was remembered by ABC only by listing his name and flashing a photograph that was obviously chosen to make him look as much as possible like a shaggy backwoods hermit in the mold of Rasputin. There was no mention at all of why Solzhenitsyn even warranted being listed on the obituary roll.
While I may not have fully agreed with everything Solzhenitsyn wrote or said over the years, I agreed with most of it. I clearly remember being greatly affected by reading his classic novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich as a teenager.
It should go without saying that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was easily the most important figure to have died since ABC last aired its “In Memoriam” segment. It is true that for decades his legacy has been distorted and misused by the forces of reaction in this country, even as those same elements ignored his strong criticisms of the Western zeitgeist. That said, the off-hand manner in which his passing was commemorated on This Week this morning was inexcusable.
Update: When I wrote this post earlier today, I made a superfluous and unflattering editorial comment about the departed Mr. Mac. I have since discovered that he was apparently an iconic figure to certain elements in our society, at least one of whom took umbrage with my remarks. I have, therefore, with no apology, removed that clause from the sentence.