Tuning into the Michael Jackson Memorial & Feeling Guilty
Feeling Guilty About Wanting to Watch the Memorial? Thank the News Media.
Today, coverage of the public memorial service for Michael Jackson will be inescapable and will further infuriate those who wish for the media madness surrounding the King of Pop to come to an end. The event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles is expected to “command nearly unprecedented media coverage.”
There is reason to avoid the public memorial service. As david comments on BET.com:
david (07.06.09 at 07:37pm)who wants to go to that? I hate funerals. The bathrooms are going to be crowded and I won't be able to take a doo doo
Though, millions of Americans won't be able to decide whether they can handle crowded bathrooms or not (only 8,750 winners were picked). So, another reason to avoid watching the service is the News Media.
Despite how infuriated I am with the news media, I will be tuning into the event. I write that with one caveat: I will be tuning into Black Entertainment Television (BET) or MTV for the memorial and urge others to do so as well.
I am a fan of Jackson’s music. I have, since Jackson died, read many articles on Michael the Musician and Michael the Humanitarian and I admire and respect the passion, creativity, and energy that Jackson put into all that he did.
I do not care about Michael the Child Molester or Michael the Pervert or Michael the Man Who Bleached His Face and Couldn’t Stand to be Out in Public with His Kids Unless His Kids Had Masks On. But, this is the Michael Jackson that the news media wishes to discuss and remember.
It’s evident on any news show you tune into. News personalities give televised tours of Neverland and the Michael Jackson estate and share with the public the deepest, darkest, and dirtiest secrets and think they are actually reporting “the news.”
Don Lemon can defend it all he wants. But, he and others who talk like him and justify wall-to-wall coverage of Michael Jackson's death by exploiting Michael Jackson's career and achievements do not get it.
This is not news. Nobody needs to know any of what these news pundits or “anchors” think Michael Jackson may or may not have been thinking or going through in his bedroom---why he had all those locks on his doors at Neverland or what it’s like to be the first news crew in the room where Michael Jackson collapsed.
Somehow and in some way, the news media have succeeded in further polarizing public opinion on Michael Jackson. Not only have they done that, they are annoying the hell out of people so much that many are starting to agree with Republicans.
For Jackson’s family, musicians, and the King of Pop, a huge public memorial for fans---a celebration of Michael Jackson---is understandable and acceptable. His impact on music was and is immeasurable and many artists were shaken when he was pronounced dead.
This public memorial will hopefully make it possible for Michael Jackson’s closest friends and family to move on (even if it seems like the memorial is designed to help AEG recoup some of the money lost because of Jackson’s death).
The LA Times reports the schedule:
* MSNBC will begin its coverage at 8 a.m., with Chris Jansing anchoring. Fox News' Shepard Smith will anchor the day, beginning at 9 a.m. Meanwhile, CNN will start at 9 a.m. with Anderson Cooper, Larry King and Don Lemon as anchors. (CNN will carry the service on sister networks HLN, CNN International and CNN en Espanol as well.)
* On ABC, "Good Morning America" will air a special edition from Los Angeles and Charlie Gibson will anchor "Remembering Michael Jackson" with "Nightline" anchor Martin Bashir when the service begins. At 9 p.m., Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters will co-anchor a special edition of " 20/20," reporting on the highlights of the service. " Primetime: Family Secrets" at 10 p.m. will focus on Jackson's children.
* CBS' "The Early Show" will broadcast live from Staples, with Maggie Rodriguez and Harry Smith anchoring. Katie Couric will anchor the "CBS Evening News" at 6:30 p.m. and "48 Hours" at 10 p.m., both from Staples.
* NBC's "Today" will air a "split edition," with host Meredith Vieira in Los Angeles. Live coverage of the services, anchored by Brian Williams, will begin at 10 a.m. Williams also will anchor "Nightly News" from Staples Center. At 10 p.m., Lester Holt will anchor a special edition of "Dateline."
This is sheer insanity.Coverage will be as much if not more than Barack Obama’s Inauguration Speech and it will be earning more coverage than many of the 2008 Presidential Debates.
The memorial does not even start until 10 am PT. Hosts and pundits will inevitably be competing for one of Jon Stewart’s Rippy Awards as they spend hours beforehand yammering on.
The news media does not want to move on. They would like to keep us all in this echo chamber for eternity because Michael Jackson means and always has meant high ratings.
The wall-to-wall coverage of Michael Jackson is preferable to coverage of Honduras, Iran, or Obama in Russia because properly covering any of those would require news organizations to actually have foreign correspondents in those countries digging up information on what was happening.
See this September 27, 2001 article from the LA Times on the cut back in international coverage and the shift to “soft” news---“Foreign News Shrinks in Era of Globalization.”
This "soft" news is so central to news media that they will violate people who are mourning the loss of a loved one. Indeed, the Jackson Family has not been able to take a breath since Michael Jackson was pronounced dead and when the family buries Jackson tomorrow, they will be faced with a bloodsucking parasitical swarm of media that will try to get as close to the family as it can even though the memorial is supposed to be private.
I am very pleased with people like Deborah Young who are posting comments on what the news could be covering instead of continuous coverage of Michael.
Young posted to fingerlakeswanderer's post, "Desecrating Michael Jackson's Corpse":
This is all Bread & Circus, designed to keep us throngs from paying attention to all of the important stuff that affects us:
1. Iran has taken hostages. Again.
2. We are all being set up to be taxed to a debilitating measure.
3. Castro, Chavez & Obama are meddling in Honduras where the democratic people threw out a wanna be dictator and these 3 are backing the dictator. [but you can't meddle in Iran]
4. The TARP money didn't work. The stimulus money didn't work. Spending our way out of a recession didn't work & we're facing a Depression as a nation.
5. N. Korea is threatening to nuke America while Iran is threatening to nuke Israel and they are both getting closer each day to make good on those promises. I have N. Korean missiles pointed at me as we speak, here in Hawaii.
I have read many comments expressing this sentiment. This sentiment will be mine the minute that Jackson's public memorial service is over.
For those content with contending that Michael Jackson was a pedophile--"Michael Jackson tainted as a pedophile, but many experts didn't believe rumor":
After Jackson's trial, Slate's Jacob Weisberg argued forcefully that Jackson did not fit the typical profile of a sexual predator and was instead stuck in a state of asexual arrested development.
The dots, Weisberg wrote, connect quite easily between Jackson's tormented childhood -- abusive father, various sexual traumas, life in the spotlight, lack of conventional upbringing -- and the sad spectacle of his later years.
"Almost everything that seems freakish about him can be explained by his poignant, doomed effort to get his stolen childhood back...
"What emerged at the trial wasn't the picture of a man playing with children in order to seduce them. It was the picture of a man playing with children because he sees himself as one of them."