They Don’t Really Care About Him (but it’s great television).

The many faces of the man in the mirror.

The many faces of the man in the mirror.

It’s funny to see on the music channels (MTV, VH1-Classic, BET) it’s all Michael Jackson videos all the time. You see so many of the same riffs repeated endlessly.

1. Michael dancing solo? Check.
2. Michael “gang-dancing?” Check.
3. Celebrity guest stars? Check.
4. Crotch-grab? Check.
5. MJ as a gang-member/gangster/bad boy? Check, check and check

By the time you get to his last music video, the atrocious “You Rock My World” guest-starring Chris Tucker, Michael Madsen and a massive Marlon Brando, even a lethargic Jackson seems to be just going through some tired motions.

What does it say when he was alive Michael Jackson forced MTV to start playing videos by Black artists and now that he’s dead he’s forcing them to play music videos again?

Not this one so much. 

[Meanwhile on Fox, MSNBC, CNN and Headline News, it’s round the clock saturation coverage with experts, musicians, celebrities, acquaintances crawling over Jackson’s corpse with their meaningless platitudes, remembrances and theories of what happened while some clueless reporter does a live stand-up outside of a building in Los Angeles or Neverland ranch.

This is going to be a ratings windfall for the cable channels proving yet again it’s a ill wind that doesn’t blow somebody some good.

For some reason I’m hearing Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry” in my head.

Which begs the question, how should the press cover Michael Jackson’s death?

In proportion to it’s true news value.  Not that that’s going to happen anytime soon.

If some facts emerge instead of idle rumors and baseless speculation, that’s news. Meanwhile there is stuff going on in the rest of the world that’s being drowned out by the din of All Michael Jackson, All the Time coverage.

The desire not to miss out on a breaking newsflash should be tempered with the ability to discern when the press is basically addicting the viewer with junk news and then constantly feeding the habit.

This is starting to look and feel a lot like the “Anna Nicole Smith is dead and Paris Hilton goes to jail” dog and pony show all over again and that was nobody’s idea of good journalism.  

But the 24-hour news cycle doesn’t care about standards of journalism and the consumer’s need for endless, and empty entertainment must be met.

It’s just ugly that it’s being done over Michael Jackson’s corpse..

Jackson was imprisoned by his fame and notoriety.