Even Claire McCaskill is tweeting about it- the coverage of Michael Jackson's death has been overkill from the outset.
I can certainly understand the news value. Not only was Jackson a major recording artist and cultural figure from 1969 on, but he has also been a fixture in the tabloids and the courts. His name has never been out of the public eye for long. And let's say what most of the network commentators appear to be doing their best to avoid saying- the Michael Jackson coverage is not about the legacy of his music. That would have warranted considerable coverage but nothing like the 24-hour-a-day coverage we are getting now.
No, Michael Jackson is being covered because of his freakish behavior of the past two decades...and, of course, because he died at a relatively young age.
If it had just been about the music, then the 24 hour news cycle would have been dominated a couple of years back when Ray Charles died.
And it wasn't just Michael Jackson. The overkill was there, though to a lesser extent, for Farrah Fawcett. Her most newsworthy accomplishments were one year on "Charlie's Angels," (33 years ago at that) and a pinup that was the most famous since Betty Grable's in World War II. Otherwise, she has existed primarily on celebrity and tabloid coverage.
I wonder what would have happened if someone whose life was not a tabloid fixture, but whose life was marked with groundbreaking accomplishments had happened to die on the same day as Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. Someone like Neil Armstrong, Henry Kissinger, John Glenn, or Colin Powell.
Sadly, I have no doubt that if any one of those people had died, we still would have heard and read far more about the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett.
Is that an indictment of our news media or an indictment of our society?