Today Whitney Houston will be layed to rest. Her untimely death knocked her fans for a loop. The cause of death has not been released but that hasn’t kept the public from speculating and blaming her not-so-private addiction problems. The truth is, no one knows what was the cause of her death.
Meanwhile, the controversial New Jersey governor, Chris Christie has ordered the flag to be flown at half mast on all government buildings in honor of Whitney Houston. Sadly, he has been under a barrage of criticism for honoring Houston in this manner. One of his harshest critics has been a woman whose son was killed last month in Afghanistan. Much of the criticism has been that we shouldn’t be honoring pop stars, especially ones who have died from addiction problems.
While Chris Christie chose to show class, others decided to be an ass. From the LATimes.com:
With Whitney Houston’s funeral looming Saturday in her home state, controversies surrounding her death bubbled up on both coasts, one involving New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the other involving Los Angeles talk-radio hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampiou, who were suspended Thursday after insensitive comments about the dead singer.
Christie found himself defending his Tuesday decision to have state government buildings’ flags lowered to half-staff on the day of Houston’s funeral.
“I am disturbed by people who believe that because her ultimate demise — and we don’t know what is the cause of her death yet — but because of her history of substance abuse that somehow she’s forfeited the good things that she did in her life,” the governor said at a news briefing Thursday. “I just reject that on a human level.”
On Twitter, he pointed out, “Flag being lowered for her cultural contributions as an artist & New Jerseyan. Her struggles w/substance abuse r a diff topic.” He also noted that during his time in office flags had also been lowered for 31 fallen soldiers from the state as well as all fallen police officers.
Meanwhile, radio station KFI hosts Kobylt and Chiampou were suspended “for making insensitive and inappropriate comments about the late Whitney Houston,” KFI said in a statement on its website. “KFI AM 640 Management does not condone, support or tolerate statements of this kind.”
The DJs on Wednesday had called Houston a “crack ho” and referred to her as “cracked out for 20 years” — she’d publicly denied smoking crack — with Kobylt saying, “Then you find out she’s dead and it’s like, really, it took this long?'” Additional slams can be heard in audio from the show, posted by Urban Informer.
“We made a mistake, and we accept the station’s decision,” Kobylt said in the statement. ‘”We used language that was inappropriate, and we sincerely apologize to our listeners and to the family of Ms. Houston.'”
Shame on the critics. Christie is perfectly correct in honoring Whitney Houston. She grew up in Newark, sang in church there every Sunday, and never forgot where she came from. She had a house in the area and gave back to poverty stricken Newark. Additionally, we can’t overlook the fact that Whitney Houston was a lady of great talent, a talent that spans 4 decades.
Houston was honest about her struggles with substance abuse but I never heard her glorify drugs or booze. She was a beautiful lady with a beautiful voice and Chris Christie did the right thing for saluting her craftsmanship and talent.
Her funeral is invitation only and can be seen on the internet at http://www.cbsnews.com/2718-100_162-730.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody or on CBS.