Michael Jackson is dead. That is sad and his family and friends grieve. He was a world-class entertainer. He was also was a disturbed man--for reasons we may never know. It is sad. But, what is sadder was the media coverage of Mr. Jackson's memorial service. The media coverage of the Jackson memorial was ridiculous. For three hours every major network featured their lead anchors at the Staples Center covering Mr. Jackson's memorial. Although certain parts of it were classy, the racial overtones (and undertones) were clear. The Reverend Al Sharpton talked race. Martin L. King, III talked race. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) talked race (and she has been a race-baiter for some time). Sharpton and the Reverend Jesse Jackson have never met a camera they didn't like. They were there for all to see. Hangers on. No better than the doctors who contributed to Jackson' death.
There is something wrong with a society that idolizes entertainers, sports figures, and similar individuals. Michael Jackson, post-death, will rise to the level of Elvis Presley. I didn't understand the Elvis phenomenon and I won't understand the Jackson phenomenon (by the way, they are already reporting seeing Jackson's ghost at Neverland ). I often see memorials on the back of pickup trucks and broken down cars to Dale Earnhart the NASCAR driver. While I am sure he was a fine person, he basically drove fast and turned left and spoke with a North Carolina accent. Why is he an idol to many?
While the national media and the world watched the Michael Jackson show today, several United States soldiers, recently killed in the middle east, were barely mentioned in media reports. Do they not deserve the same attention as Jackson? There is something fundamentally wrong with a society idolizes celebrity and ignores intellect. When Carl Sagan, PhD, one of the great thinkers of last few decades, died, he was barely mentioned. Various Nobel laureates and patriots die and there is nary a word spoken. Some scientist with horn-rimmed glasses, working in an obscure laboratory in some university, toils away working on a vaccine or drug that may improve the health of humanity. Will he or she ever be remembered? Perhaps if he could moonwalk?