So here we are, two weeks removed from the untimely death of one of the greatest musical acts of all time, and he is probably getting as much media attention as he would if he was still alive, seeing that his “This is it” tour was to kick off around this time. But the “King of Pop” has passed on and so goes on life and naturally the coverage of life after Michael. But is this coverage taking on a life of its own? And what do we make of it? While its easy for anyone to say that the death of one of the best music performers warrants media coverage, there is certainly a varied opinion on how it gets covered.
The first question we have to ask ourselves, “how much is too much?” And that leads us to what’s on the mind of many of the news watchers of America, “why all the hype and the ‘Michael Jackson Death’ coverage, can we move on now!” And in our haste to find someone to blame for no other news of the day, or the countless interruptions of the regularly scheduled programming, we find it common to blame the mass media for publicizing the death of someone more so than what many of us have seen before. But what exactly is it that the media is reporting?
Well it was widely assumed that daytime television would get a good interruption early Tuesday afternoon as networks all over broadcast the Michael Jackson Memorial event. But that’s not all the media has brought to us. In the past two weeks there has been wall-to-wall coverage, commentators making light of it, tributes, and etc. But two specific things come to mind that the media has brought to our attention. One, the comments that Republican congressman Peter King said as far as his views on the “Michael Jackson Death” coverage. Pervert and child molester were just two of the colorful terms King used in saying that there’s something wrong with our country when we’re “glorifying” his death. Excuse the slanted reference, but over 90,000 foxnews.com viewers agreed with him. But speaking of Fox News, that brings me to my second point over recent comments made by Fox News flagship program’s host, Bill O’Reilly. O’Reilly spent a lengthy segment ripping into Jackson’s lifestyle, spending habits, children, and it would seem natural that the topic of race would be paramount for him to get into in regards to the singer, but of course it would come with the O’Reilly twist has he denounced Jackson as not being a black icon.
Not for nothin’, I don’t consider myself to be one of Michael Jackson’s biggest or most loyal fans by far, but this is the second time this week I found myself defending him and/or the “media coverage” from his death. It’s easy to blame the media as the scapegoat in force-feeding us the “Michael Jackson Death” coverage, saying that they are just after the ratings but ratings are there for a reason people…that means that actually what people are tuning in to watch! There is so much media and other options out there, for us to make a choice, but time after time we chooseto watch what the media is “force-feeding” us. Tell that to Mr. King who coincidentally is feeding the “Michael Jackson Death coverage” demon that he so desires to blast, and to Mr. O’Reilly who is apparently fed up with the excessive praise.
Michael Jackson is and will likely remain the model for what any musician strives to be. Until someone sells more records than him (which likely won’t happen) then he deserves to be what he is, the best selling musical act ever. His concerts didn’t sell out for nothing. He’s probably not getting enough coverage, but then again there’s nothing or no one else we can compare this event to. It doesn’t matter what he did in the past 15 years, its all irrelevant when you look at his career, what he’s done for people, what he’s meant to so many. His legacy goes beyond music.