Fox News had to tuck its tail between its legs, so to speak, and apologize for mistakenly using a photo of singer Pattie LaBelle in a tribute to Aretha Franklin, who passed away on Thursday.
“We sincerely apologize to Aretha Franklin’s family and friends,” said Jessica Santostefano, vice president of the Media Desk at Fox News, in a statement. "Our intention was to honor the icon using a secondary image of her performing with Patti LaBelle in the full screen graphic, but the image of Ms. Franklin was obscured in that process, which we deeply regret.”
The mistake was brought to light by viewers, and screen grabs quickly began making their rounds on social media.
Yep here's video pic.twitter.com/IIkMDuKB7e— Zachary Pleat (@zpleat) August 16, 2018
Fox Propaganda decided it would honor Queen Of Soul Aretha Franklin by placing a transparent photo of the legendary Patti LaBelle performing in the background. Wtf? pic.twitter.com/JO0gcsRl89— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) August 16, 2018
Fox News mistakes Patti LaBelle for Aretha Franklin.— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) August 16, 2018
Trump said that Aretha "worked for him", so he wins the award for dumbest thing said about the Queen of Soul's passing, but this is a STRONG second.pic.twitter.com/Hx9r7uRf1Y
Therefore, it seems quite impossible that they were trying to use a photo of the two legends singing together.
Aside from the fact that the blunder is a terrible look for Fox News, it is also offensive to LaBelle, who is very much still alive. In fact, she tweeted condolences of her own upon learning of Franklin’s death.
Rest in peace Aretha. ? pic.twitter.com/QT7HeY5SIf— Patti LaBelle (@MsPattiPatti) August 16, 2018
In addition to demonstrating just how careless and oblivious Fox News is, mixing up the two African-American female icons speaks to the network’s overall dismissive attitude toward black news and black people.
Their paltry attempt to honor Franklin fell completely flat, and Santostefano’s half-hearted apology fails to make up for their negligence as a so-called news organization.