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Michael Jackson Funeral Coverage

by Maggie O'Mara

Bio | Email | Follow: @maggiektvb7


Posted on July 7, 2009 at 8:10 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 22 at 11:10 AM

Is it too much?

Funeral Circus.jpg

I'm home nursing the flu today, and I'm sitting here (on the couch) simply amazed by all the Jackson coverage on TV. It's on every cable channel - wall to wall.

Normally, I'd be at work on a day like today, and not able to just sit here and flip channels all morning. I guess you could say I'm held captive by the flu! But it makes me wonder - is all this necessary? An even better question - are YOU watching too???


I like Michael Jackson's music as much as the next person - and I'm in the news business, so I love big, important, breaking news days. But, I have to wonder, are people THIS interested in him? Do we need this much coverage of a pop star's funeral?

I recall it was like this for Princess Diana's car accident coverage and funeral, but was it like this for Elvis? No, because we didn't have the resources - the instant, all access world of 24 hour cable news outlets that we have now, back then.

Right now - I'm looking at LIVE helicopter shots of the Jackson family's Encino, CA home, shots of the Staples Center where the big star-studded public memorial will take place later this morning:

Staples Center.jpg

LIVE shots of Forest Lawn Cemetery in LA... shots of the family motorcade, live footage of fans, people in tears, people commenting on the kind of person Michael Jackson was, if he was on drugs or not, where his kids should go, are they his biological kids, what should happen to Neverland, was he a child molester or was he innocent, how many plastic surgeries did he have, did he bleach his skin...etc.

It all feels like a guilty pleasure to me. One man's life exposed for all of us to pick apart, and analyze.

Jackson Records.jpg

I'm sitting here watching this coverage, because I can't seem to turn away yet. The mere spectacle of it all makes me want to watch. That makes me as guilty as the next person... doesn't it? I think so. Why is the world so fascinated with this man? Is he worthy of all this time and energy?

So tell me:

*Are YOU watching? If so, why?
*If you're not watching, why not?