Sunday, June 28, 2009

"Uncomfortable" with Wall-to-Wall Michael Jackson

David Schuster, MSNBC anchor person, tweeted Friday or Saturday that he felt the MSNBC coverage of Michael Jackson's death was about in the correct ratio to iits importance. I tweeted him back that I was gtad I had some good programs recorded on my DVR so I could watch something besides the expanded eulogy of the fallen musical icon. One hour of details about the death was a little more than I needed.

This morning (Sunday) on "Face the Nation", Bob Schieffer drew the distinction between a national hero and a pop star icon. He said that we have monuments in Washington honoring those persons we admire: Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson, along with the WWII monument. A nation is defined by the heroes it honors.

Schieffer went on to say that he once took his daughters to a MJ concert and concluded that the star did have talent and it was a fine concert.

Then Scheiffer nailed the way I have felt about Jackson, his life and his death.

His tortured existence, his devotion to excess, to celebrity, and, for lack of a better word, his "weirdness" seemed to me to be an example of how not to live one's life.

I have seen very little of the cable coverage of all this uproar. I imagine the cable neetworks can make a lot of money with little production costs just by by waiting for a coroner, an ems person, a doctor, friends or admireres to step up to the camera and tell us what they have done or how they feel; and, to speculate on the use of drugs, was it homicide, who will get "his" kids.

Talk about formula, cheapo coverage. It looks just like the fixation the networks had over Anna Nicole Smith's death. This excessive coverage has a somewhat "ghoulish" quality to it. Both Smith and Jackson had some serious perversions they dealt with; and we gather, like vultures, waiting to peck off a hunk of flesh and fly away.

The death of Michael Jackson brings to an end the sad, tragic and gifted life of a pop icon. But he was not an American hero. Like Bob Scheiffer, watching some of the wall-to-wall coverage left me "feeling uncomfortable with the whole thing."