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Jackson’s death disrespected by excessive coverage

Aren’t you tired of the 24/7 coverage of Michael Jackson’s death?

I’m as much a fan as anyone else—I’ve done my fair share of obsessive listening to “Human Nature” and “P.Y.T.”—but at this point, all this attention feels lurid and disrespectful.

Coverage stopped being meaningful about a week in and now it’s transformed into Clue: Jackson Edition.

Was he murdered by a shadowy entourage as his sister, LaToya Jackson, said?
Would an intervention have helped?

How many Xanax was he popping?

Was he bald?

When it comes to celebrity deaths, coverage spans two extremes: either a freakish circus or a blip in a ticker. Farrah Fawcett died the same day as Jackson, but there was nary a reaction compared to the explosion that ensued after Jackson’s death.

(Granted, Jackson was a global pop star who revolutionized music, music videos, and dance with a strange life that became instant tabloid fodder. But, a life’s a life.)

I remember how inescapable Anna Nicole Smith’s death was—the funeral plans, the paternity tests, the custody fight over her daughter, the drugs that may have caused her death, the TrimSpa jokes. What drove me up the wall about coverage of her death and Jackson’s (besides the fact there’s more important stories to cover and America’s obsession with celebrities is tragically inane) is that the stories are less about the person than the spectacle of their life.

There are so many theories about what killed Jackson, so many oddballs in his entourage coming to life, that at this rate I don’t think we’ll ever know. The same man who was relentlessly hounded for his plastic surgeries and unorthodox lifestyle was essentially deified the week after his death and is now reduced to an Agatha Christie mystery for the Facebook generation.

A man has died. His death has become a circus much like his life.

Of course, there should be public mourning for someone who has touched the lives of so many (exemplified by the elegant memorial at the Staples Center), but mourning has a private element as well.

Why can’t coroners and police officials operate in peace, while the media reveals pertinent information as it is revealed instead of this endless speculation?

By dragging this out, we’re focusing on Jackson the Megastar instead of Jackson the son of Katherine and Joe, a brother, an uncle, and a father.

Talk about disrespect.

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