Michael Jackson hysteria

Fans hold up a sea of single gloved hands in an impromptu celebration of the life of Michael Jackson, outside UCLA Medical Center after he was pronounced dead there in Los Angeles.

Fans hold up a sea of single gloved hands in an impromptu celebration of the life of Michael Jackson, outside UCLA Medical Center after he was pronounced dead there in Los Angeles Thursday, June 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

I get it, but I don’t get it. I think, more than anything, the fervor over Michael Jackson’s death is just crazy. After all, he was one of the world’s most known figures in the 1990s (No. 6 after the Pope according to TV news). Not to mention he also was one of the weirdest celebrities ever, possibly sick and more than a little creepy.

What’s the interesting part for me, is the journalists that have to wrestle with celebrating the life of Jackson and taking into account his alleged sexual conduct with children. That’s right, not one kid, but two. (Shivers.)

In this Dec. 3, 1984 photo, Michael Jackson performs with his brothers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles as part of their Victory Tour concert. Jackson, the sensationally gifted child star who rose to become the "King of Pop" and the biggest celebrity in the world only to fall from his throne in a freakish series of scandals, died Thursday. He was 50. (AP Photo/Doug Pizac)

In this Dec. 3, 1984 photo, Michael Jackson performs with his brothers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The King of Pop, who had a series of freakish scandals, died Thursday. He was 50. (AP Photo/Doug Pizac)

I grew up in a household where we played Jackson tunes a lot — I mean, a lot. From Jackson 5 to the History album, we were on it. Both my mom and dad are huge fans, my cousin used to emulate him on the dance floor (still does apparently after his sister’s wedding in April) and we all used to sing along in family functions. That’s right, Jackson’s music was a staple at family functions. I guess you could say, like many others, I knew his music very well. But that’s about it.

So on one end of the spectrum, I love the music, love his artistry and his mastery of the on-stage performance. He was, is, and always will be the King of Pop. But there has to be some balance into telling this story. And frankly, right now I’m only hearing whispers of it. There’s some grumblings, but nobody really wants to bring up the “kid” stuff. I’m actually embarrassed to say that this has affected many a journalists I know.

How can I blame them? He was never convicted. Reminds me of Barry Bonds.

Does that make a sports journalist like myself a scoundrel? Do tell.

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3 thoughts on “Michael Jackson hysteria

  1. I think MJ was massively talented – and terribly sad. I believe that he did very twisted sexual stuff to children, was never held accountable, took huge amounts of drugs to ease the pain he caused others, and in spite of his personal troubles his talent overrides it all, because, like you say, “it was a huge part of my childhood.” I also think that Twitter is responsible for the bandwagon. Journalists see the chatter and start reporting until many of us are sick of it. I say, “Stop already”.

  2. p.s. by tripe i mean “extent and prominence of coverage” – I didn’t actually read it, for all I know it could be very well written. But when looming doom for most of civilization gets page A13, and death-of-pop-icon gets A1 above-the-fold, someone’s priorities are awry.

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