Sunday, July 5, 2009


I have been reticent about writing about Michael Jackson partly because I have reached the overkill level thanks to being home with a nasty flu on the days following his tragic demise. Except when I was asleep, I had access to 24-7 Jackson death coverage and no stamina to leave the sofa or bed. CNN in particular has been focusing about 70% of its time or more on the tragic, grisly death and what may or may not have lead up to it, and its chaotic aftermath. But as my sister and I were discussing today, the news has hit the now familiar cable TV tipping point, the "Story about How Much the Media is Covering the Story," and the "Story Asking Itself Earnestly: Has the Media Spent Too Much of its Time on This Story?" both accompanied by "Talking Heads Analyzing their Role as Talking Heads." There is a variant to this, which is the parodic news shows parodying the real news shows and then the real news shows in turn turning that into a story. Anderson Cooper (see below) is a pro at this particular meta media move. Of course, in writing this, I too am part of the meta media story machine, aren't I? In any event, I am as susceptible (flu or not) to the carrot-on-a-stick drug dealer in the courtyard addictiveness of the 24-7 "BREAKING NEWS" box pop up, cable/internet nexus that follows any disaster or death, not to mention political developments such as the July 4th Christmas Miracle that was the Evil Sarah Palin's resignation. Flu or not, I will watch for too long in the hopes of yet more "facts," hearsay, analysis, witness, family, friend, or frenemy testimonials, "Experts" positing theories. On that note (pardon the pun), the best thing about the Jackson death, besides the opportunity to listen to his music incessantly, has probably been the frequent appearances (in my cable TV drug of choice: CNN) of celebrity addiction peddler and specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky.