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Posted at 10:33 AM ET, 07/ 7/2009

Twittering the Michael Jackson Memorial

By Liz Kelly

Queen Latifah read a poem written for the event by poet Maya Angelou. (Getty Images)

Update: Thanks to everyone who joined us for today's Tweet-a-thon and, of course to David Malitz and Ashley Surdin for helping to provide the running commentary. A transcript is below. -- 4:32 p.m. ET.

Join Post Rock blogger David Malitz, The Post's Ashley Surdin and me, Liz, as we Tweet live during Tuesday's Michael Jackson public memorial event. David and I will be watching along with you, while Ashley plans to send her dispatches live from L.A.'s Staples Center. The Associated Press's streaming video coverage of the event is posted above, but you can also watch on a new page.

The Tweeting is underway below, but will ramp up as we approach the 1 p.m. ET Staples Center start time, and we plan to stick with it until the end, which we're told will be around 3 p.m. ET. Park yourself here throughout the day -- and share your comments -- commemorative or critical -- below. We'll be reading them, too.

Latest Tweets:



[Complete Coverage: Michael Jackson]


  • ASurdin: Lights up. People leave. And with that, so do we.
  • ASurdin: Hands are found by many. Heads hanging. And, er, a cell phone or two recording.
  • Celebritology: Okay, we're done. Thanks again.
  • ASurdin: Err, hard to catch a hand when there a chunks of empty seats. Some hug. Or just stand alone.
  • ASurdin: People continue to leave, though show is still wrapping up.
  • Celebritology: No -- Family friend Pastor Lucious Smith says we should all look at the man in the mirror, yada yada.
  • Celebritology: Thanks to everyone who read along with us for the past few hours.
  • Celebritology: And finally the Jackson brothers lead MJ's casket out of the Staples Center.
  • Celebritology: Paris Jackson says she loves her daddy so much.
  • ASurdin: Janet gets her own primal scream. Paris gleans gasps.
  • ASurdin: Not everyone clapping on "Now Michael maybe they will leave you alone."
  • ASurdin: The crow will not sit. NO one leaving early. Fixed in their spots.
  • ASurdin: YT2BD: incomprehensible primal scream.
  • Celebritology: In closing, Jermaine declares himself Michael's "voice and backbone."
  • Celebritology: I can't help thinking that if Michael were alive and attending, his three kids would be wearing veils or masks.
  • ASurdin: Free Willy Curse shattered: hand waving among audience.
  • ASurdin: At least a dozen people are breaking the no video rule. Let the cameras roll.
  • ASurdin: We Are the World broke the Free Willy curse: crowd up, dancing, clapping and singing. Woah.
  • Celebritology: Oh no -- we're not getting out of here without about 40 kids taking the stage in honor of MJ's storied love of children.
  • Celebritology: We've got to be nearing the end here... the entire Jackson family is on stage.
  • Celebritology: And now a performance choreographed for the MJ London concerts -- We Are the World.
  • ASurdin: Collective awwww when we're told MJ invited the kid.
  • ASurdin: This kid is making the seats vibrate. No one trying to start a clap, though.
  • Celebritology: Some kid from "Britain's Got Talent" is now belting out "Who's Loving You?" Where's Susan Boyle?
  • ASurdin: Crowd lovin' Smokey. Laughs at every joke.
  • Celebritology: Smokey Robinson -- who started things out reading a letter from Diana Ross -- returns to the podium. Says MJ will live forever.
  • Celebritology: Finally -- some footage of young MJ singing w/ the Jackson 5. Can't we just watch this?
  • ASurdin: YT2BD: We love you Janet! Another: Michael, you're my greatest love!
  • Celebritology: Usher approaches and sings to MJ's casket. Is this is thing getting a little too indulgent?
  • ASurdin: Crowd glitters at Usher. Room is a disco ball. Flash, flash. People lean in. "He's soooo good!"
  • ASurdin: YT2BD: Power to the people!
  • ASurdin: Smaller claps and cryin' baby during Lee's speech, but mega claps at end.
  • Celebritology: Brevity, it has been said, is the soul of wit.
  • Celebritology: Says a colleague: "Knew it was going to get this way. It's like passing around the mic at a bachelor party."
  • Celebritology: Sheila Jackson Lee eulogizes MK -- says he is what America and the Declaration of Independence are all about.
  • Celebritology: MLK III takes the stage.
  • Celebritology: Corey Feldman in Jacko garb:
  • PostRock: Kinda wish it was Jemaine Clement there instead of Jermaine Jackson. But that wouldn't have made too much sense. Bout as much as Mayer, tho!
  • Celebritology: Jermaine Jackson struggling through "Smile."
  • ASurdin: Can't see, but certainly hear, a woman stifling sobs after Shield's told us to look up.
  • Celebritology: Brooke just addressed MJ's kids: "Prince, Paris, Blanket."
  • ASurdin: Lot of eye-wiping now at Little Prince poem.
  • ASurdin: YT2BD: Michael you changed my life! From non- yeller: Whaa?
  • Celebritology: A tearful Shields says she and MJ were "two little kids having fun" when together.
  • ASurdin: Yellers tring to be different (YT2BD): You'll always be MY King of Pop!!
  • Celebritology: Longtime Jackson friend Brooke Shields -- who bonded with MJ over their shared past as kid performers -- says MJ was one of a kind.
  • ASurdin: Mayer broke the Free Willy clap curse: a healthy beat broke out among crowd.
  • PostRock: The King of the Bad Guitar Face pays tribute to the King of Pop. This was not a good idea.
  • ASurdin: During break, a chant of "Michael Michael" broke out.
  • Celebritology: John Mayer, who took a break from Twittering to attend, is riffing on Jackson's "Human Nature."
  • ASurdin: Unanimous standing O on "thank you, Michael" from Sharpton.
  • ASurdin: "Ain't nothin' strange about your Daddy" -- again, not a unanimous ovation.
  • Celebritology: MSNBC shows a shot of the three Jackson kids as Sharpton says "Ain't nothing strange about your daddy."
  • ASurdin: That last standing O on TV --about how MJ made us love each other -- by no means unanimous. Just toward the front.
  • Celebritology: Sharpton -- who has shouted his entire speech -- says MJ's pioneering career made Barack Obama's presidential victory possible.
  • ASurdin: Appears that somewhere between Stevie and JHud, the place has filled up.
  • ASurdin: Some are trying to get a clap going for this Free Willy moment. And...not gonna happen.
  • Celebritology: Up next, Al Sharpton...
  • PostRock: It's about time for Jennifer Hudson to replace Mariah as the go-to singer when you need someone to really belt one out.
  • ASurdin: Energy blast from Hudson. Drums and her voice ROCKING the joint.
  • ASurdin: About 25 people dressed in white are in floor seating. Told they are members of fanclub. Very teary.
  • Celebritology: An apparently very pregnant Jennifer Hudson takes the mike.
  • Celebritology: Johnson leaves Papa Joe out of tribute to the Jackson family.
  • Celebritology: Magic Johnson says seeing MJ eat Kentucky Fried Chicken was the greatest moment of his life.
  • ASurdin: Stevie got a few "Love you Stevieeeee" shout outs. Soon reverted to Michael callouts.
  • Celebritology: Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant seem to have been tapped to talk about MJ's charity work.
  • ASurdin: Casket has more magnificence on TV, it seems. From here, looks pressed up against stage. Crowded.
  • PostRock: Stevie's heart is in the right place but this is just a bit much.
  • Celebritology: Stevie Wonder, looking dapper -- yet appropriate -- in black suit and red-framed sunglasses.
  • ASurdin: You'd think with all the bodies in here, it would have warmed up. Nope. Shiver-inducing.
  • ASurdin: When cheering stopped: sniffles.
  • ASurdin: Wow. Crowd LOVED when MJ video came on. Cheers and Michaaaellllllll's all round. Resounds as moonwalk flashes.
  • ASurdin: Mother quickly fled with crying baby. Looks from other audience members were fierce.
  • Celebritology: Berry Gordy says MJ is the "greatest entertainer who ever lived."
  • ASurdin: Hold on to you memorial programs, ladies and gets. Leave your seat, and someone will nab it.
  • ASurdin: Richie didn't get a standing O, but hefty, quick applause. This audience isn't moving to music so far. At all.
  • Celebritology: And each Jackson man is wearing a single glittering glove in honor of their fallen brother.
  • Celebritology: The men of the Jackson family all appear to be wearing matching yellow ties.
  • ASurdin: A sea of flashes just met Lionel Richie. And they aren't ceasing. A circle of glitter.
  • Celebritology: Lionel Richie (for you kids out there that's Nicole Richie's pop) is expressively singing "Jesus is Love."
  • ASurdin: Can see some rubbing others' backs. Some have smiles on their faces; others look serious. Some cleary tearing up.
  • ASurdin: The audience is really filling up now. And now they are rowdier, calling out MJ's name. During Latifah's speech too.
  • ASurdin: So quiet in here. Hear mostly coughs. Sombre.
  • ASurdin: Someone with binoculars says his family came in. All rose. Now all seated.
  • ASurdin: Jesse Jackson had a handful of people with him. They melded in with others gathered near stage. Just standing now.
  • Celebritology: Queen Latifah takes the stage, says "Michael was the biggest star on Earth."
  • PostRock: I hope all of the performances aren't as somber as that one. Sad day, but there should be some celebratory aspect to things.
  • Celebritology: Nice of Mariah Carey to sing a tribute to MJ, but style her hair as a tribute to Farrah.
  • Celebritology: Michael and Corey, back in the day:
  • Celebritology: Us Weekly reports a tearful Corey Feldman has arrived dressed as Michael Jackson.
  • Celebritology: This pause in the proceedings makes for some bad TV.
  • ASurdin: Jesse Jackson just walked in. Heading toward stage.
  • PostRock: Never thought this memorial service would start with a cover of John Cage's 4'33" -- who knew?
  • Celebritology: While we're waiting: RT @ pia1996: "mj's funnel is on everychannel. kinda mad cause i dint get to see the tyra show." Poor Pia.
  • ASurdin: People seem unsure what to expect. Small applause broke out, but when no one appeared it died off.
  • ASurdin: The room is quiet, then someone yelled out 'We love you Michael!" Cheers. All eyes on stage -- or cells.
  • ASurdin: People still trickling in. Press section is one of the more filled. Floor has many empty still.
  • Celebritology: And we're underway...
  • ASurdin: Being told to clear the aisle now. People are quiet now. Officially late now.
  • ASurdin: People, musicians I think, taking their places on stage. Still clusters of empty seats. Room now freezer-like. Brrrrr.
  • Celebritology: Los Angeles is taking PayPal donations to help defray the costs of hosting the MJ Memorial.
  • ASurdin: Kobe bryant and his wife just walked in, to a throng of cheers. Seemed to pop out of bottom back of stadium floor
  • ASurdin: We've been told three times now to take our seats. Many on floor not listening.
  • ASurdin: Cameras not allowed but TONS of people are taking pics. Spy some recording with cells.
  • ASurdin: People are still filing in but the center is not yet full. Being asked to take our seats.
  • ASurdin: Lights around the stadium just flashed. Told show is starting soon.
  • Celebritology: Jesse Jackson, woman with a massive face-obscuring hat arrive. Meanwhile, helicopter chase of MJ's hearse continues to approach Staples.
  • Celebritology: Barbara Walters has arrived at Staples. Word is that the start of the ceremony has been delayed to 1:30 p.m. ET.

Cisit our Tweeters' Twitter pages: Ashley | David | Liz

By Liz Kelly  | July 7, 2009; 10:33 AM ET
Categories:  Michael Jackson  
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The BEEEEEP (from the unavail feed) is super annoying.

Posted by: Guest1234 | July 7, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Plus, it's on auto play which means that i have to wait till after the commercial to press pause-- every time Celebritology is loaded. :(

(Why am I grouchy today?)

Posted by: Guest1234 | July 7, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Apologies for the vid hiatus. We're checking with AP to find out when they plan to be back.

Posted by: Liz Kelly | July 7, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Wake me when it's over.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | July 7, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey, the video hiatus is better than CNN's inane commentary.

"People are treating this like an actual funeral."

I hear applause...can Rev. Sharpton be far behind?

Posted by: mdreader01 | July 7, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Never seen so many dark glasses in a dark arena. Joe, you pervert, take off your hat. Gentlemen don't wear hats indoors. Oh, that's right, you are no gentleman, you are a serial child beater.

Posted by: mortified469 | July 7, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Post Rock, put down the twitter - Mayer's rendition of "Human Nature" was not only appropriate, but spot on.

Stop taking yourself so seriously.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | July 7, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Mayer's appearance is even cooler when you consider the Dave Chapelle skit where he demonstrated only white people burst into insanity at the sound of an electric guitar...

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | July 7, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

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