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Poor Farrah

Since last Thursday it's been all Michael Jackson all the time. The sudden, unexpected news of his death has riveted the public. Newspapers, magazines, websites, and the 24-hour news networks are overloaded with all things MJ.

Yes we know, he was the King of Pop. He transformed the music video. He sold millions of records and won a record number of Grammy awards. But another star died the same day and her name was Farrah Fawcett.

I recently read an article in the Chicago Tribune about how Fawcett got slighted in the obituary world by dying on the same day as MJ. The article also mentioned how countless other well-known individuals have suffered the same fate. Mother Teresa to Princess Diana; Disc jockey the Big Bopper to singers Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly; and author Aldous Huxley to President John F. Kennedy.

Who knew? Their stories were all second to the main event.

But unlike those earlier deaths, Fawcett and Jackson died in the world of real-time, constantly updated news. I would argue that Fawcett got her time to shine with a seven-hour head start. By mid-morning East Coast time most news organizations were reporting of her expected death and had obituaries, blogs, videos, and photo galleries ready to post. And while she was a star in her own right, known for her sexy poster and as a star of "Charlie's Angels," she was no Michael Jackson. On Friday her story ran exactly where it was meant to run. She was never going to be an AI feature.

But she won't be gracing the cover of any news magazines this week and perhaps she might have earned a spot on some of them. Is it really unfair? Or just another example that readers crave the most sensational story and no one can argue that Jackson is more of a draw than Fawcett.

However, there is another casualty here. The Chicago Tribune article brought to my attention that both Fawcett and Jackson overshadowed Sky Saxon.



The lead singer of rock group, the Seeds, a garage-rock band in the 1960s, also died last Thursday but he hardly got any play at all. None of the major news organizations wrote his obituary. On a slow obituary day, they might have done otherwise.

However, by trolling the Internet I have found some decent obituaries on Saxon. One in the Telegraph and another in the San Diego City Beat. Check them out. You may find them a nice diversion from the Jackson overload.

So to all those who are saying "Poor Farrah," remember Sky Saxon. He is the real victim.

By Lauren Wiseman  |  July 1, 2009; 6:10 AM ET
Categories:  Lauren Wiseman  
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I agree!! But those that are true fans always pay their proper respects. For instance, all my mom, my uncle and my aunt have been talking about is the recent death of Gail Storm. They have been reminiscing the scenes and characters of some show she was on that they watched when they were kids. Who? What? Exactly... I have no clue either and I'm sure it received very little news coverage too.. but here in my household it has been the top story!

Posted by: ginaiovino | July 1, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

As an avid reader of obituaries (of the famous as well as those not
so well-known), I found this right on target. Unfortunately, encouraged by family members and hangers-on who want to continue to profit from the Michael Jackson brand, this story will not go away any time soon.

Posted by: grammyb | July 1, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse


Ms. Fawcett was in the public eye due to her well-publicized struggle, which was documented. On the night of her passing a second program was devoted to her cancer battle and featured her paramour, the famous actor Ryan O'Neal. Reports indicated that her family was gathering at the hospital. Her demise was imminent. It did not come as a surprise.

Mr. Saxon's career was much less public, to say the least.

Mr. Jackson is not to be envied. His passing was a complete surprise, but his troubles were well known. Scandal followed him and he never recovered his reputation, especially in this country.
Poor Farrah, yes. But poor Michael, too. He was adored and loved by many all over the world.

And Saxon wasn't the only accomplished American who also passed away last Thursday. Check out the obits across the country and you will see that it wasn't a question of one, two, or three deaths, but many.

Posted by: caroaber | July 1, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Slow news day for the Post Mortem crew too, huh?

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | July 1, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

What about poor Ed McMahon? He was overshadowed by Farrah AND Michael.

Posted by: jecaso | July 1, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

If Ed McMahon and Michael Jackson had both died in 1990, Michael's would still have outshone Ed's but not by much: in 1990 Ed McMahon was at the peak of his fame. Even if he were up against a younger pre-scandal Jackson he'd still have made A1, perhaps not above the fold but still.

Posted by: Blurgle | July 1, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Sergi Codonyer

Ms. Fawcett fought hard against cancer

Sergi Codonyer

Posted by: SergiCodonyer | July 2, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

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