ABC Faces Blowback as Panelists Joke About Trump Planning His Funeral

December 7, 2018, 12:00 AM UTC

ABC faced criticism for its correspondents joking about how President Donald Trump would stage his own funeral while they spoke during digital livestream coverage of George H.W. Bush’s funeral procession from the Washington National Cathedral to Joint Base Andrews. The late president will be buried in Texas.

While many pundits and network commentators spoke of sharp contrasts in the tone, conviviality, and respect for the media between the 41st and 45th presidents, some conservative figures took issue with ABC’s chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran imagining Trump calling his own service “the best presidential funeral ever.”

ABC’s Devin Dwyer also suggested that Trump’s funeral would be “bigger,” and Moran suggested Trump would have “more trumpets and fanfare” and a different tone. Presidents are, in fact, asked to plan memorial services after taking office.

Dan Gainor of the conservative Media Research Center told Fox News that the comments were “despicable garbage,” and “only more outrageous because of the solemn occasion.” A political comedian, Tim Young, who appeals to Republican audiences, also spoke to Fox News, saying, “It’s in bad taste to joke about any of our current leader’s future passing,” and calling it a double standard.

When reached by Fortune, ABC did not provide a comment. It also declined to comment to Fox News, USA Today, and The Wrap.

Correction, 7:35 p.m.: This article has been updated to note that Terry Moran, not Devin Dwyer, imagined Trump calling his own service “the best presidential funeral ever.” Also, the comments were broadcast on ABC’s digital livestream coverage, not live coverage on the network.

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