On June 25, 2009, the world changed.
At least that’s what the non-stop news coverage of the death of the ‘King of Pop,’ Michael Jackson, would have us believe.
From the day it was announced that he’d passed away at a hospital in Los Angeles, CNN and other news channels have been wall-to-wall coverage of Jackson’s death. And I imagine the tabloids are just getting started.
Speculation about why he died runs rampant, and it appears the coup de grace was his insistence on taking a drug called Diprivan, which is used to put people under for surgery. It isn’t so much a ‘pain killer’ as it is ‘death in a bottle’ for someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing. That any physician would hand this to him and say, “Well, all right, Mr. Jackson, whatever you say,” is itself worthy of investigation.
And make no mistake, Jackson gave us some great music:
I Want You Back
Man in the Mirror
But it also seems criminal to have so much attention paid to someone who, in 1993, paid more than $20 million to a 13-year-old boy in an out-of-court settlement after the boy had alleged that Jackson had molested him. While that doesn’t necessarily mean Jackson was guilty, it was inevitable for such a situation to arise given Jackson’s penchant for allowing young boys to spend nights at his Neverland Ranch.
Jackson’s memorial service was today (Tuesday), so while we’ll be subjected to the teary image of his daughter squeaking to the world that she loved her daddy (really? We HAVE to drag his previously secluded children into this now?), the news spotlight should now shift toward more worthy topics.
RIP, Farrah Fawcett, who had the misfortune of dying, of cancer, on the same day as Jackson. She was 62. Her unfortunate timing reminds me of poor Eddie Matthews, a Hall of Famer and former Milwaukee Brave, who likely would’ve gotten a couple of days of good sports coverage … if he hadn’t died on the same day as Dale Earnhardt.
Meanwhile, former NFL quarterback Steve McNair was shot four times early on July 4. His 20-year-old girlfriend, an Iranian national named Sahel Kazemi, lay dead on the couch next to him with a gunshot wound to her head. McNair had a wife of 12 years, as well as four boys.
Police haven’t yet ruled it the murder-suicide that it appears to be because of some fishiness on the timeline as to when his buddies discovered the bodies and when they called 911. Apparently a friend of McNair’s walked into the apartment and past the bodies, which had been dead for several hours, into the kitchen, then back again, noticed the bodies and then … called his buddy. About 35 minutes elapsed between his discovery and when they called 911.
What else is fishy, at least to me, is that McNair was shot twice in the chest and twice in the head; not a bad grouping for a young lady who’d just purchased the murder weapon two days prior.
Finally, RIP to the seven soldiers who died in Afghanistan between the day Jackson died and the day of his memorial. Networks devoted about one-20th of the time to them as they dedicated to Jackson, even a week and a half after Jackson died. I wouldn’t expect a full biopic on every soldier who is killed in action, but for Anderson Cooper to spend nearly three times as long on the ‘Wife Carrying World Championship’ as on their deaths is simply inexplicable.