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.
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