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All Hail the King of Pop?

In the matter of Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and his impolitic remarks about Michael Jackson, let us stipulate that your mother was right on the “if you don’t have anything good to say” front. Especially if the person about whom you don’t have anything good to say has just died.

"This guy was a pervert. He was a child molester. He was a pedophile. And to be giving this much coverage to him day in and day out, what does it say about us as a country,” King said in a video posted by his campaign committee. “There's nothing good about this guy. He may have been a good singer, did some dancing, but the bottom line is — would you let your child or grandchild be in the same room with Michael Jackson? What are we glorifying him for?"

This does not strike me as a smart political move, even from a guy who won his last race with 64 percent of the vote. And yet, King’s got a point. Jackson was a more talented singer and dancer than King acknowledges, but the over-the-top reaction to his death, culminating in today’s Staples Center memorial service, has been disturbingly devoid of perspective and heavy on hagiography. Jackson may have sung like an angel; he didn’t behave like one. He combined self-indulgence and self-loathing, compulsively changing his appearance from adorable adolescent to macabre adult. He was acquitted of child molestation charges, but there was disturbing evidence of inappropriate behavior with young boys. More than once, during these two long weeks of non-stop Michael mania, I’ve thought more than once along the same lines as King: What are we glorifying him for?

By Ruth Marcus  | July 7, 2009; 7:07 PM ET
Categories:  Marcus  | Tags:  Ruth Marcus  
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Come on, surely you must understand that all the focus is not solely because of his angelic singing & dancing? Fact is, Michael Jackson is easily the most influential performer in recent history. Dear I say it, there's probably not single pop singer or dancer alive who has not been influenced by him. I propose that he did for entertainment what Louis Armstrong did back in the 30s and 40s -- brought an entirely new style of music & dance to a world that had seen nothing like it before. As such, he contributed greatly to the world's perception of America.

Let's not forget -- an artist's oeuvre outlives his human foibles. Let's give Michael that same due. The memorial was right and proper.

Posted by: vasilgrozny | July 7, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I am not one who will disagree with the notion that MJ was strange. He clearly enjoyed playing with children too much, to the point that he put himself in vulnerable positions that ultimately led to him being accused of inappropriate behavior with minors. He was never convicted of any legal wrong doing, but he clearly crossed some ethical lines. I think he searched his whole adult life, looking for the childhood he was not allowed to experience. I doubt seriously he was a pedophile -- I just think he thought it was ok to hang out with little kids, and even sleep in the same bed with them. His reality was never ours, and that made for some crazy moments. I hope he finds peace in death, and that he will mostly be remembered for his incredible musical genius.
As for Peter King -- when he dies, no one will care. He is a typical republican hypocrite. He loves to point out everyone's flaws, but never manages to look at the man in the mirror.
Its a shame that Ruth gave him some credit. He deserves none.

Posted by: dhinmd | July 7, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

We are glorifying his contribution to our popular culture. Michael is not the only artist who had a questionable personal life and yet we still honor what they produced. The last time I checked he was never convicted for any of the crimes he was charged for, unfortunately innocent verdicts mean nothing if you are a black man. Peter King has absolutely no class if he did he wld have kept his mouth shut instead of dishonoring a man who just died.

Posted by: rbprtman23 | July 7, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

With great regret, I admit there is no rational choice but to come down emphatically hard against the judgments of this column, which are (to their marginal exculpation) written in such manifest haste and negligence, as to reflect the panic of their authorship.

Jackson hadn't the slightest appeal to me as an entertainer, and I simply and calmly ignored him. Now there is a great undoing of restraint in his memory; but the undoing of restraint is the coin of this utterly debauched realm in the first place, as witnessed in George Walker Bush's revolting, history-changing, youngster annihilating and socially exploiting exhortation, "Bring it on!"

I am absolutely not amused by smugness toward a quite probably depraved private citizen, when crimes, so monstrous as to haul the angels from their rest, to blow the horrid deed in every eye, can gain electoral affirmation in a republic of sensation such as ours.

Now, your paper would be well advised to start directing its nannying toward the authors of worldwide suffering, and leave the defects of citizens to their peers.

Posted by: CarterNicholas | July 7, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse


you are an empty shell of a person with no dignity or soul

Posted by: JudgeAlan | July 7, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Excellent point, well-said, CarterNicholas. Thank you.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 7, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Ruth the tributes to Michael Jackson are about remembering the man for his lifelong artistic and humanitarian achievements over his personal faults. There's not another perform whose music was even in the same league in terms of worldwide mass appeal. Speaking as a (relatively) younger individual who was a child in the 80's, it's hard to overstate the universal, trans-racial, appeal of his music, videos, and perfomring ability when he was at the top of his game. Additionally, few artists have contributed as much of their personal fortune towards humanitarian missions. I think the outpouring of support comes from those who were touched by all that he accomplished in his life and don't want to dwell on his flaws in death.*

That being said, of course the man had serious mental and emotional issues. I'm sure, for those who were never fans of his music to begin with, the tributes are unbearable. But Ruth, is it really proper for an elected official in the United States to essentially spit in the casket of a dead man with criminal accusations that were never once proven in a court of law? Are we going towards a society that attributes guilt based on assumption? Is it any different than making a public annoucement that "Peter King is a serial rapist" after Rep. King passes away?

Posted by: jbanks979 | July 7, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcus:
He was The King of Pop. Sold millions of his songs, made and spent millions. He was a industry unto himself. He was like Elvis, only black. If you can't understand the sense of loss or grief, you are too old and too unsentimental. You lack empathy.

Posted by: adamnescot1 | July 7, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

The same reason we glorified Elvis except he was White and liked underaged girls.

Posted by: AverageJane | July 7, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Re: Ruth's comment, "This does not strike me as a smart political move". You mean, it was a politically-incorrect move. As in, you can't say inconvenient truths for fear of offending someone (although King was wrong about MJ's talent level). I dislike Peter King and his party's perverse sense of "ethics" and "morality", but even a broken clock is right twice a day. Michael Jackson was an amazing performer. He was also a sick man. My comment to adamnescot1 is that unless you've been a victim of child molestation by an adult who got you to trust and admire him (as I was myself, years ago), it is YOU who have no empathy. MJ deserves respect as a performer. But the deification of the man and the "legend" makes me sick.

Posted by: ww12 | July 7, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Michael Jackson's music is not my cup of tea, but to be fair to his followers, I think we should separate his music from his personal life. I have to admit I don't quite understand why so many people love his music, but this is a matter of personal taste. Some people like pop music while others like classical music, and there is nothing wrong with that.

I also see nothing wrong with Ruth's column. What she said is absolutely correct. But of course, she was talking about Michael Jackson the person, not his music.

Posted by: 394857kenny | July 7, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I hope that Representative King makes a similar statement when Jerry Lee Lewis dies. After all "the killer" molested his 13 year old cousin.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | July 7, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

'...let us stipulate that your mother was right on the “if you don’t have anything good to say” front."

And then you proceed to badmouth the guy. In the grand scheme of things, in a world full of mass murderers, and SOB's who are gladly welcomed to the Post editorial room for one on one meetings, Michael Jackson was an angel. I loved Michael's music, but was not crazy about the man, yet you will never catch me badmouthing the man. Let him go in peace.

It take a certain kind of person filled with bitterness and hate to get upset about people paying tribute to someone they love. I try in life to steer clear of people like you Mrs Marcus and your buddy Peter King.

Posted by: RickJohnson621 | July 7, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

"What are we glorifying him for?"

Michael Jackson changed our world. His singing, his dancing, and his signature style were unprecedented and unparalleled. His music broke down racial barriers and his appeal transcended national borders. He promoted a global message of love, tolerance, and environmentalism in an era where other music artists objectified women and glorified materialism & violence. He survived an abusive childhood and the unrelenting scrutiny of tabloid character assassinations the best he could, and EVERYONE who actually knew him testified to his decency and kindness.

Michael Jackson was a cultural revolution in the form of one human being. He arguably did more to end the Cold War than any American President.

How DARE you, in your smug cynicism, pass judgment on a man like Michael Jackson by totally ignoring his actual legacy and focusing myopically on the false accusations of gold-digging outsiders? HE HASN'T EVEN BEEN BURIED YET. Let him have has last 15 minutes of fame.

Posted by: StephenD11 | July 7, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

We all heard rumors and tabloid gossip, and heard the accusations which led to verdicts of "not guilty." We can speculate on and on about what went on in Michael Jackson's personal life, but what do we actually KNOW? Let him rest in peace, and give his family, especially his children, their time to grieve. It is obvious that his family, as well as his many friends and associates, loved him very much.

Posted by: indvoter37 | July 7, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

We all heard rumors and tabloid gossip, and heard the accusations which led to verdicts of "not guilty." We can speculate on and on about what went on in Michael Jackson's personal life, but what do we actually KNOW? Let him rest in peace, and give his family, especially his children, their time to grieve. It is obvious that his family, as well as his many friends and associates, loved him very much.

Posted by: indvoter37 | July 7, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

In my culture, when a loved one dies, it is unseemly to focus on skeletons in their closet. Micheal Jackson had them. We all do. Why do people in the media feel the need to raise these issues over and over? Why hasn't Jackson earned more respect?

Jackson's positives FAR outweighed the negatives. He's sold more music than any other artist in history (even after his death, he's outselling EVERYONE). His music was positive and uplifting. He was an accomplished humanitarian. He was beloved around the world. Maybe from where you sit, this doesn't mean anything.

But for me, I means a lot. He's a positive Black man. Yet, you're focusing on allegations that are unproven. The media and their opinions are stupid. This article is just another example of that. MJ doesn't deserve to be worshipped but respected. He's accomplished a lot as a Black man and as an American.

The media, for once, should let this man to rest in peace.

Posted by: bosslady1 | July 7, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Well said! There are much more important news than this one. Can we now move on please?

Posted by: everystep8 | July 7, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

While King's comments were over the top the timing of your article is unfortunate. The man is barely in the ground.

David Vitter is a pervert. Where was the outrage at his disgrace? Sanders gets to keep a job for humping someone other than his wife....why was he not forced out like Spitzer?

The guy did have a trial (though in OJ juror terrain) and though found not guilty he bore the shame (and parted with 10 million hush money).

I. like many others, turned from MJ after the disgrace. But today, in viewing the observance, I was reminded of the incredible talent and amazing body of work.

You want to know when I will retch at the undeserved glorification of a freshly deceased public figure? When George H. W. Bush, one of JFK's killers, is shrouded in adoration on his way to hell.

I am concerned that the Black community is so quick to embrace societal transgressions like Kobe's rape, OJ's beheadings and Al Sharptons racist incitements often rooted in lies.

Posted by: mot2win | July 7, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I confuss not to understand commerical music. I was a composer of classical music which is now dead along with Jackson who seems to still be alive. But than I can picture the masses in the Roman Empire with there thumb down as another person is killed and thinking that is show business both old and new. People simply get bored and this makes them less so. It takes there mind away from thinking about themselves. Which is something they don't want to think about.

Jackson is Jesus the superstar. We put our faith in the superstar as we would in superman. And Jackson has now taken off to another world. No doubt singing and dancing his way there.

Posted by: artg | July 7, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Forget Michael Jackson. Why is Ms. Marcus helping Rep. King demagogue this story? King, who represents a VERY white district on Long Island, is likely running for U.S. Senate and nothing excites the Republican base he seeks more than some "straight talk" about something inherently foreign, odd and twisted.

It also helps King avoid a discussion of his record including his blind support for George W. Bush and the Iraq War. So King will now be a hero to the Palin crowd and probably reap thousands of dollars by attacking a dead pop star who in the eyes of the law was acquitted of the crimes King discusses.

Does Ms. Marcus really lack so much for suitable subjects about which to write?

Posted by: UrbanShocker | July 7, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

glorifying so as to not appear "racist" people have very thin skin these days

Posted by: skinsfanmoyo | July 7, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

ruth and pete

two shamefull people with zero class

Posted by: JudgeAlan | July 7, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Marcus and King, what a cold-hearted alliance! Michael Jackson, to reiterate previous comments, was never proven guilty of the child molestation charges. However, some of his accusers are known to have led unscrupulous, sycophantic lives in search of shakedown wealth at Jackson's expense. It all comes down to a question of belief. And when the choice is between MJ and the slobs who tried to use him, Michael wins my belief all the time.

Posted by: ButchDillon | July 7, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm one who thinks that Jackson was a child molester. Too much evidence of that, even several of the jurors who found him not guilty think he got away with it.

The man was a brilliant performer and he did so many wonderful things with his celebrity. It was touching to see those who were genuinely close with him speak.

But he also crossed an uncrossable line.

MIxed feelings, for certain.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | July 8, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

The 'showbiz' phrase applies with MJ. He always had 'stardust' eyes. Have you ever been to Gary, Indiana. It borders on miracle status that He ever even got out of there alive. A lot of child stars who are successful don't learn the value of a dollar until they're much older. Meanwhile, over decades sometimes, they get 'played' by people who should know better. By the way..... Name one "Perfect" human being. Casting stones are 'we'?

Posted by: deepthroat21 | July 8, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

What is it with you people who have no class and "no home training"? Funerals are NOT TRIALS! They are remebrances of the dearly departed for the benefit of their friends and family. Which is why people who have common decency, don't disparage the dead at funerals or in their little Iovry Towers while the family of the departed is in mourning. Apparently shmucks like Peter King and Ms. Ruth Marcus had no proper home training to know such things. Get some class, you jerks.

Posted by: PepperDr | July 8, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

The postmortem hoopla is about money. All of this will boost the sales of Jacko's records and the participating media will increase their advertising revenues.

Posted by: al_green | July 8, 2009 2:03 AM | Report abuse

Who among us does not remember pictures of thousands upon thousands of screaming, adoring fans, crying, fainting and otherwise going crazy just because their favorite performer was a few hundred feet from them. As much as I find it hard to understand all that enthusiasm, it is not lost upon me how loved this man was, how talented he was and how much he contributed to our pop culture. The man, simply put, was the most famous man on Earth. My grandma, who didn't speak a lick of English when she cam to visit us in the early 80's would sit in front of the t.v. singing "bee leh bee leh" everytime "Beat it" came on. Yes, he was weird, weirder than most of us can imagine. But so was his talent greater than most of us can ever imagine, let alone replicate. That is why we celebrate him. Like most things Americans idealize, he was larger than life.

Posted by: comeonpeople | July 8, 2009 2:10 AM | Report abuse

You don't get through Yale and Harvard Law by spending a lot of time driving around the parking lot blasting the radio, so I understand why you're mystified by Michael mania. But for many people in this country, popular culture, and music especially, is a major balm for the hassles of the everyday. Twenty-five years ago, when MJ was at his peak, the internet, cable tv, mobile phones and the Ipod had not yet divided the US into a million micro-cultures. MJ's music was popular among all races and income levels, indeed, among people in nearly all the countries of the world, and it was the fact of his talent transcending his race and nationality and finding an audience with most of the earth's population that marked him out as a unique entertainer. I doubt we'll ever again see a star with the drawing power of an Elvis, an Ali, or a Michael Jackson.

Posted by: rbjones1 | July 8, 2009 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Ruth - Why don't we accept the fact that we don't know what went on with Jackson and the young boys. It's possible it was all innocent, but the obviously horrible appearance of guilt made lawsuits inevitable. Maybe it wasn't innocent at all and his money and influence allowed him to avoid a long jail sentence. The point is that none of us know for sure what went on. He was found innocent in a court of law which has to count for something. Why don't we accept that we don't know and give him a break until after he is burried.

Ruth, I have another question - Why do you think Peter King took the time to comment on Jackson but did not comment on the immoral, hypocritical and possibly criminal behavior of Sanford and Ensign. Before Jackson's death these two guys were the focus of "over the top" media attention as well. Somehow I missed his comments on these guys. Maybe it is because the immoral, hypocritical activities of Republicans wouldn't play well at the American Legion Hall in his conservative district.

Posted by: bolisalindalae | July 8, 2009 2:50 AM | Report abuse

Of course we know what went on between Jackson and the little boys he took to his bed.

It is called pedophilia, a sickness that overwhelmed this man suffering from such arrested development.

As to his contribution to art it was negligible. Twenty years from now little, if anything, the man did, including the pedophilia, will be remembered.

Mindless, mind numbing, pop music is the opiate of the masses. Jackson will soon be replaced and forgotten.

The hoopla we owe to the television networks who have found all this good for ratings.

This tells us that Mencken was right about no one every going bankrupt underestimating the taste of the American people -- the pit is bottomless.

David A. Jewell

Posted by: dajewell | July 8, 2009 3:46 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcus,
I find it hard to believe that a seasoned WAPO columnist like yourself, could be so "SHALLOW". You wonder why there has been so much media time spend on the Death of the late Micheal Jackson?

It's simple: "(MONEY)", "(MONEY)", just in case you didn't get it the first time. Does the word "RATING", ring a bell.

You didn't think all the Networks, and "NEWS MEDIA" have been following this story, out of the kindness of their "HEART", did you?

Which brings me to the Washington Post, at this time there are at least 5 or more columnist posting columns about Micheal Jackson, even as we speak. What's up with that?

Talk about "REDUNDANT", that's just over kill for one newspaper, unless the columnist are writing for free.

Now, to soon to be Ex-Congressman Peter King. For what ever reason lately, Republican's have been shooting themselves in the "Political FOOT". Rep. King, committed the worse "POLITICAL SIN". "Never speak ill of the Dead, before they are Buried."

Rep. King is up for re-election next year, or has designs on a Senate Seat. Well, he just talked himself out of both this past weekend....

Posted by: austininc4 | July 8, 2009 4:08 AM | Report abuse

He was certainly a talented performer but by no means a major or great artist. There is a lack of meaning/emotional center in those songs of his I have heard -- compare, to his disfavor, with Louis Armstrong or Billie or Ray Charles, all of these performers whose commercial success did not exclude genuine musical merit.

So what's going on here? His death was news, but did it merit the ensuing media meltdown? Of course not. There is something wrong with the media/communications industry.

Posted by: trobador | July 8, 2009 4:13 AM | Report abuse

What makes me laugh is the republican line that so many of them are Christians. Then you have the philosophy of Jesus Christ, which is the antithesis of everything the republican party stands for. They are far more in line with the Jewish or the Old Testament view, to wit, never to forgive, never to forget.

Posted by: rbe1 | July 8, 2009 4:52 AM | Report abuse

MJ is dead. Stop beating the dead. People chose and continue to choose to pay homage to MJ. Let them. let us. you can not stop that.

If you are not a fan, shut up. What did he do wrong to you? Lots of celebrities have undergone cosmetic surgeries, did you and King comment on that?

Who is your idol? Ex Pres Bush? Ex VP Cheney? Sarah Palin?

MJ is not a political issue, he is a very human person who has done such great things from his God-given talents. What have the two of you done in your life and for others?

What if media and the internet love him? He deserves it by way of his uncommon and unselfish achievements.

Let me repeat your mothers: if you have nothing good to say, shut up!

what you do and say unto others, will be done and said unto you.

Posted by: Moje1 | July 8, 2009 5:07 AM | Report abuse

On a memorial day of an individual who was listed as the most charitable entertainer of all time, could Marcus patiently shut her mouth for one day? I think she has clearly crossed the boundary of human dignity -- not that she will ever recognize that.

Posted by: jimbaron | July 8, 2009 5:23 AM | Report abuse

What do Peter King and Ruth Marcus have in common?...

WHITENESS and a limited capacity to see beyond it.

Posted by: uh_huhh | July 8, 2009 5:27 AM | Report abuse

Not the first time for Ruth to be without a clue. But I join her in this one. Oh, well. We can not get everything. Or should we even want to.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | July 8, 2009 5:33 AM | Report abuse

Who is the "we" in your question, Ms. Marcus and Peter King, "What are we glorifying him for?" I wasn't a big music fan of MJ, but wasn't Socrates a convicted child molester, which cannot be said of MJ? Were you a music fan of MJ? Elvis? Diana? Why are you surprised by the MJ spectacle? Your generation is still fettered by class and racial division. I promise you there will be no mass public spectacle for racists like Rep. Peter King, R-NY.

Posted by: thedefendantX | July 8, 2009 6:06 AM | Report abuse

ww12: I feel your pain, I was a victim of molestation,too. But right now the public doesn't want to hear about it. We're being told to please go away while the haigiography continues. But feel comforted that this, too, shall pass.

"Of course we know what went on between Jackson and the little boys he took to his bed."

This was freely admitted by Jackson in an interview he did earlier in the century.And also the whole giving wine to the children "Jesus blood" and "Jesus Juice"

And what nobody in these posts are mentioning is the millions of dollars paid to that one boy in the 90's so that he would not bring up charges of child molestation. And yes, he was acquitted of charges in 2005, two of the jurors suspiciously appeared at his acquittal party.

But the masses don't want to hear about this right now. They want to grieve. After the grieving is done and the media have had their fill…look out. It will follow the same trajectory as it did with Princess Diana. First she's a saint, then come out all the books dissing her and then the public feeling like it's time to move on. (and after the 10th anniversary of her death, many Britons were embarrassed that they let their emotions get so out of control.)

This tells us that Mencken was right about no one every going bankrupt underestimating the taste of the American people.

Actually the quote was no one ever goes bankrupt underestimating the intelligence of the American Public.

But the sentiment is the same. And like I said in the paragraph above, once the body is buried, watch the gloves come off.

it would be interesting to see what Maculey Culkin has to say about this whole matter. He was very close to Michael Jackson for years and has been very, very quiet during all the slavering media coverage. Same with Debbie Rowe. These are book deals waiting to happen.

Posted by: astorg | July 8, 2009 6:23 AM | Report abuse

And that's the truth Ruth!!!

Posted by: Calabrese99 | July 8, 2009 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Ruth writes "don't speak ill of the dead"; "too much coverage" You then speak ill and you wrote a column. That's just plain stupid.

Posted by: rlj611 | July 8, 2009 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Michael Jackson was very talented, but I never thought he was all that. Maybe it's because his actual music struck me as thin and derivative. And because his vocal stylings became increasingly and annoyingly mannered, peppered with inexplicable "shumon"s and "hee"s.

Maybe people didn't have the kinds of vicarious love affairs with James Brown (and goodness knows what a morally imperfect individual he was), but for my money he was a hundred times more significant a musician than Michael Jackson. He didn't receive one hundredth of the media and public concern upon his death. So what.

IMO James Brown was the most significant and influential musician of the 20th Century. Anywhere. Period. You will not find another individual of that time who inspired more people to radically change the way they made music. Michael Jackson was a sweet looking kid with a big voice who later became an excellent dancer. But that's about all he was. Media attention is not the same as musical merit.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | July 8, 2009 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Pete an old school long island racist Ruth his girlfriend from the quickly dwindling neanderthal generation of lack wit classless miscreant stone throwers.

you who is with out sin cast the first stone

Posted by: JudgeAlan | July 8, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Please stick to venerating Jenny Sanford, Ms. Marcus.

Clearly you know every aspect of her nature and her history, past and present.

Probably future, too.

Have you ever read Rep. King's comments on the candidates who ran against him?

Have you watched him use his time (which we pay for) to march around Sean Hannity (on whom his career depends) and sell his book in person and on tour?

Did you ever write about his stupidity when he chaired the Homeland Security committee?

Posted by: chimezatmidnight | July 8, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse


You and Peter King should look at the positives that a person has done in his life. Was Michael ever convicted of any of the crimes that Peter King stated, NO. So in this world where the press has already convicted someone of crimes that they have been acquitted of (on all 14 counts). So lets see if you win in the legal system you are still convicted by the press and some dumb Republican Peter King. Michael Jackson did more to change the world, be a great humanitarian, and bring joy to so many in his life. What has Peter King done, absolutely nothing. So give Peter King his 5 seconds of fame, but at least let the King of Pop, the Greatest Performer of all time R.I.P. and at least be placed in the ground before you start to be so disrespectful. Michael Jackson has done more to make this world a better place in his short lifetime than you and Peter King could do in 100 lifetimes.

Posted by: michael1963 | July 8, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Tell that to the kids he molested.

Posted by: godlesspriest | July 8, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Finally! A few brave souls dare to publicly voice a view that, though subjective, is equally as valid as the adorational MJ mania, if not more so.

I found the guy disgusting as a person and very annoying as an entertainer.

Once again we seem to see confirmation that 80% of the people on this planet are dumber, a lot dumber, than the other 20%. Beam me up, Scotty!

Posted by: YondCassius | July 8, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

One would think that King would have more important things to think about, such as the economy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and health care. Instead he choses to focus on villifying a dead entertainer that the world apparently adored.

Posted by: browneri | July 8, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

One would think that King would have more important things to think about, such as the economy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and health care. Instead he choses to focus on villifying a dead entertainer that the world apparently adored.

Posted by: browneri | July 8, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

In spite of the fact that I disliked him intensely , I think that Robert McNamara was a far more important figure than Michael Jackson . I just can't decide ,though , whether I wanted ten times more coverage of McNamara or ten times less of Jackson .

Posted by: lagnafrah | July 8, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

i have such mixed feelings about jackson. i used to love his music, grew up with it, and YES he changed the face of pop music, breaking across racial barriers. no question.

but since all the child molestation charges and his own damning interviews that displayed a very disturbing understanding of adult - child relationships, i've not been able to listen to his later music. and yet i can't help feeling sad now. i think it's because we've "known" him since childhood, and know now that he was abused as a child, which was no doubt the root cause of the strange paths he took in life and his probable sexual abuse of children as well. viewed as a whole, his life presesnts a tragic picture of abuse and how it is perpetuated across generations. And with the way he basically mutilated himself with plastic surgeries, I think there was a lot of self-hate going on there.

however, that doesn't excuse his probably abuse of children as an adult. for those who are comparing him to, say, the Sanford morality play, the difference is Sanford played with consenting adults; Jackson was accused of molesting CHILDREN. yes, he was acquitted by the courts, but there is good reason to believe that he committed these acts. and for me and many others, crimes against children trump everything else. there can be no forgiveness.

i prefer to remember Michael as he was when he was a little, astoundingly talented little boy, before he began destroying himself and possibly others.

Posted by: PQSully | July 8, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

(R-NY) explains it all.

Another O'Reilly Catholic and darling of the Sean Hannity radio show who complains "there are too many mosques in America" was part of the political set-up of Obama at Notre Dame, and talks about immigration being related to "skin color"

A Republican Catholic Huckabee:

- racist
- religiously intolerant
- pandering to the hateful, racist, religious-right in his district of Long Island.

While he's calling Jackson a "pervert" you can bet his is silent about the Republican Catholic Church's pedophile priests.

Posted by: coloradodog | July 8, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Most of us never believed and still do not believe that Michael was guilty of any of the charges made against him. We believe it was always an attempt (and successful) to extort money from him. However after reading some of your columns, I am not the least bit surprised at your take on this. A far leaning right wing, mean spirited individual's opinion never surprises me.

Posted by: bonnie6 | July 8, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Ruth Marcus is an Ann Coulter wannabe but Marcus lacks similar testosterone and generational insensibility to obscenity to pull it off.

Posted by: coloradodog | July 8, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse


Are you speaking ex cathedra or merely as a normal person?

Posted by: jpslon1 | July 8, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

The MJ event was at many points aimed squarely at the judge(s) who will decide how the money will be parceled out. Janet did not hug the child out of sorrow but more to make sure the little money maker did not get away. The father was missing and so was the chimp. While true that Mickie was never convicted he was not paying that hush money out just because the bucks were used. The whole thing showed you can never underestimate the crassness of greed nor the public to buy into a spectacle. The whole deal was tastetless and nothing more than a prelude to the show that will occur should California relent and let him be buried at NL. Can you imagine the revenue?

Posted by: KBlit | July 8, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

It's not hard to see and hear those who knew him well talk about Michael. Those who were very close to him over long periods of time are the ones to pay attention to. Just listen to his doctor who has been with him for decades treating his various skin and other conditions, listen to Brooke Shields describe him, listen to his daughter and many, many others who knew him best.

I see those things myself, and the innuendos and charges from people I do not see and cannot hear, from sources far removed from even those people, pales in comparison to the first-hand experiences of people who lived close to him and knew him a long time.

Michael was different, but I'm persuaded he was a very loving, caring father, a child-like person positive about life and caring of others. The picture Rep. King and you here try to present is completely at odds with who I have come to believe he truly was.

Posted by: HillRat | July 8, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't agree with Ms. Marcus more. When Rev. Sharpton addressed Jackson's children (and the millions watching) and said that there was nothing strange about Michael Jackson he, just like the millions of adoring fans, had lost all perspective. The media exploited Jackson's death for ratings. I find this cult of celebrity disgusting. During this orgy of memorials I couldn't help but think of the children Jackson was alleged to have molested.

Posted by: exbrown | July 8, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Mr. King should keep his thoughts to himself. When one is acquitted, the system says we have to "get over it", move on with our lives. Unfortunately, most people don't have lives, so they get very disturbed by what they see on tv--especially publicity hungry politicians.

Jackson touched alot of lives, and there was so much kindness there, it was too strange for most people to believe.

I think the personna of his lovely daughter summed his life up best. He did very good.

Posted by: tmcproductions2004 | July 8, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

We had a president of the United States who was a cross dresser and we are encouraged to honor this man as a great leader. I don't believe the Michael Jackson fiasco - plain and simple.

If I was a parent of a child who was molested, there is no way I would accept money as a pay-off.

Posted by: brndmnd04 | July 8, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

And I thought I was the only person in the country (world?) who saw MJ as a pervert with enough fame and $$ to get off on charges that would have put an ordinary citizen in jail and on the sex offender list for life. Comparing him to Louis Armstrong or Jesse Owens or other great black barrier droppers and outstanding performers profanes their memories and accomplishments.

Posted by: elg820 | July 8, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

He was used in life and in death; show them the money.

Posted by: beenthere3 | July 8, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Good question: Why are we glorifying Jackson? Because the I.Q. of Americans is just that, average; half above, and half below. You need proof? Fifty-one percent of voting Americans voted for W. Bush in 2004 after he had already proved to be incompetent after four years in office.

Our culture is obsessed with celebrity. We worship at the feet of our idols even when they act badly by doing drugs or beating a trail to Argentina to chase after loose women.

We seem to be able to get worked up over the death of a pop star, yet not get overheated by wars that continue to eat up our tax dollars and cause never ending loss of life and permanent damage to innocent civilians and brave soldiers who have been led to believe they are making America safe by fighting "them" over there, rather than over here.

I guess it's just easier to zone out and watch those re-runs of Jackson doing his moon walk. Particularly if you're just an average Joe.

Posted by: scottshot | July 8, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Here's a smapling of what happened in the rest of the world while the US press obsessed about Michael Jackson: 154 died and 1,000 were injured in some of the worst ethnic riots in China's modern history; North Korea test launched four missiles into the Sea of Japan while millions slowly starve; the Taliban took an American soldier hostage in Afghanistan; and defaults on personal loans in the US hit historic highs. What Ruth was pointing out was that perhaps the press' priorities were skewed. Jackson was an entertainer. He did not cure cancer. He did not solve hunger. He did not create world peace. Granted, he was an influential musician but he was still just a musician and a very flawed individual as well. There were far more important stories happening over the past week.

Posted by: j-man1 | July 8, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

After wall-to-wall coverage on the exploits of Mark Sanford and Sarah Palin, the coverage of Jackson was a welcome change.

Posted by: jack824 | July 8, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

This recent Marcus Commentary sounds distuirbingly similar to the FBI Profile of "Child Molestation by Proxy" - not a crime but definitely a "person of interest".

That "profile" suggests that there are a number of persons with pedaphile tendancies that "actuall enjoy or 'get-off' with continual disparaging talk about pedaphilia".

What say Marcus?

Posted by: anderson2 | July 8, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Actually, he did behave like an angel in some respects. He was incredibly generous to charities around the world with his time and his money and was even recognized by the Guinesss Book of World Records for the hundreds of millions of dollars that he donated to various charities. He was a humanitarian and a philanthropist.

He was the most influential and best selling entertainer we will ever see in our lifetime and he was probably the most recognized living person (before his demise) on Earth and many who recognized him loved him.

He has been unfairly beat down in the press for years and he deserved better than he got. When he was acquitted and deemed innocent, some in the media thought they should serve as judge and jury and they continue to do so with speculation and baseless allegations.

The man deserved better than he got in life. Unfortunately, his one day came in death.

Posted by: loved1 | July 8, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcus, what I will never understand is the relentless press coverage. He was a great entertainer who had a most difficult childhood and never received the emotional help he needed. My sadness is over the way we Americans make idols out of mortals. We have a false model for greatness. We place too much emphasis on celebrity. I have become hesitant to comment for fear of the backlash. I love the lyrics "If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and CHANGE! " Peace to all.

Posted by: laramy1 | July 8, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I agree that the memorial service was something the fans and family wanted and so be it.

However, I am appalled at the main stream media's obsessive and relentlss, withering coverage of everything about MJ's life and death. They seems to be trying to whip the country into some sort of mourning, adoring frenzy -- even though most of the polls I;'ve seen show about 75% of the country could care less. Maybe they were simply bobbing for ratings

Michael Jackson was a song and dance man --albeit a very innovative and talented one. His demise was saddening -- but no more so than that of an Elvis or a Sinatra or even a Jimi Hendrix, all of whom had immense impact on their genre and continue to influence performers today. MJ had not been in the limelight for his music in over a decade. Perhaps his time ahd past and his contributions behind him.

In any case, I appreciate his contributions to the sum body of human entertainment which has been built by many greats before him and will continue to be built long after his albums are relegated to the "oldies" rack.

I just wish the press had put his life in the context of a world with lots of other problems to consider over the two week media wake we recieved in lieu of more pressing and relevent news.

Posted by: DOps | July 8, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how many people commenting here would be happy with being guilty even though found innocent in a court of law if it were one of your children? the racist knee jerking white breads, such as King & Marcus, would change their tune then......perhaps both need to really listen to Jackson's "The Man in the Mirror".

Posted by: Bulldoglover100 | July 8, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

And in other unrelated, less important news...

North Korea nukes South Korea.
Iran nukes Israel.
China invades Taiwan.
Russia invades Europe.
Palin derangement attacks continue: DNC against Trig - Trig shoots back with the only weapon left in the arsenal after Obama unilateral disarmament.

Now back to Michael Jackson, THE most important story EVER!!!

Posted by: Weaver1 | July 8, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

For anyone still doubting MJ's pedophilia, I direct them to The Smoking Gun website, which has transcripts and other official documents of many of the various molestation suits brought against him.

To dismiss his documented acts as a personality weakness, a flaw, strangeness, a skeleton in the closet, a smear against a black man who can't seem to catch a break, etc., is just plain wrong. It is NOT a case of a man who 'just loved children too much and wanted to spend time with them.'

This man's victims were CHILDREN--one on one, in a bedroom alone with a predator who groomed them so that he could have his way with them--they have names and faces and ruined lives. What they should have had is parents protecting them, but nonetheless, Mr Jackson molested them and if you think that is "just a foible," then you do not have your priorities straight.

Posted by: possumness | July 8, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Rev. Al Sharpton's presence is probably what got the Good Republican From New York incensed. Don't underestimate how his "disgust" resonates with his party's base.

And you know what? I'm a registered Democrat, but Sharpton's remarks weren't necessary for the memorial to simply be what it was intended, a heartfelt send-off to a very talented artist. I thought Sharpton was the one tacky, tasteless moment of an otherwise somber and well-done show.

I have come to believe that Michael Jackson was a victim, a talented songbird trapped in a cage created by his father, Joe Jackson. Yes, you reflect your upbringing. Like some victims, Jackson did his share of victimizing.

I find it much easier to direct my scorn at Joe Jackson, seems I'm in good company, for example Katherine Jackson, Joe's wife, hasn't shared a house with him in years.

What saddened me is that he and we never found that closure. Even in death, his sycophants and apologists continue the enabling and looking the other way that got him into prescription drugs and inappropriate behavior with children in the first place.

His music and artistic vision will be remembered long after his victims mature, grow up and die with the rest of us. But I'm not going to sit here and lie to anybody that he was an innocent surrounded by a mean, bad world.

Call me a hater all you want. I think it's foolish to walk around with your heart open and your eyes closed. Keep them both open, and throw your mind in there while you're at it.

Can't wait for the bio-pic!

Who should direct it?

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | July 8, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The problem is not Michale Jackson the man, both the good and the bad and we all are mirror images (albeit our bad may manifest in a different way) because we are all human.

It is the hypocrisy of people on all sides that would celebrate a pedophile on one hand because he was a celebrity and sentence an unknown pedophile to years in prison because they were a nobody.

The same can be said of other criminals (drugs, robbery, murder, etc...) as well as crimes of moral turpitude (adultery, white-collar crime, etc...).

If you are a nobody, you are going to jail or are at the least destined for disgrace.

But, if you are a fairly well off celebrity or politician or sports hero, you are getting all kinds support from fans and society in general and when the time is ripe, you are pronounced rehabilitated and lets all move on! (Unless of course your crime is deeded truly heinous as in the cases of Vick and Madoff.)

Everybody says they want to live in a color blind society with justice for all but our society belies that fact by the way it treats the least of us while giving a pass to the ones who need it the least.

Go figure.

Posted by: jrealty | July 8, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

These Jackson worshippers are nauseating. I wonder how many of them would have allowed their children to sleep over at Jackson's house. Of course that meant in his bed, as he publicly stated. After reading these post's it seems many of his worshippers would have gladly sacrificed their children to his bed for a chance to prove their slavish devotion. They're pathetic.

But I guess it's me. I didn't know that being an influential artist allowed you to do anything you desire, even molest children. Don't complain kids, he's an influential artist!

This over-the-top reaction to this disturbed man's death is a sad statement about so many people in America today.

Posted by: toc59 | July 8, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Ok, he was never convicted but was acquited.
Out of the thousands of kids who visited, stayed the night or traveled with him, TWO accused him. That stat doesn't prove a fact, it disproves the opinion.

Pete King is just another run of the mill no class, my sh*t don't stink Rethug.

Posted by: priceisright | July 8, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I realize the media is attempting to right past wrongs such as allowing our country to invade and occupy Iraq with little or no objective media scrutiny, allowing a bailout in which the media was unable to convey to the public the nature of the problem or the reason for the $700b+ proposed solution (failure/waste). My amazing is that you take your stand now on the back of a dead man. Pick something else. There’s still a chance for redemption on the health care debate. Going forward report the news and stop telling us what you think or feel. That’s not your job.

Posted by: robin999 | July 8, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse


Smoking Gun dot com. Then come back and tell us he didn't do it.

Posted by: possumness | July 8, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

The public is celebrating an amazing legacy of 40 years of music, dance and kindness. The media is celebrating the opportunity to twist one more story about MJ to pad their bottom line. After all, all other reporting was dropped for the last two weeks to make way for media celebrities to speculate and spread rumors on MJ.

Posted by: Truth29 | July 8, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

And obviously j-man1 the media covered the stories you mentioned otherwise how would you know about them - duh?

Posted by: sickofit3 | July 8, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Why are we adoring him, you ask.
Because he was a great entertainer, humanitarian, integrator, he broke down the color barrier on MTV. I remember when they would not play black artists on MTV and when "Beat It" came out they still would not play it even though Eddie Van Halen was playing on it and they were playing it on all the rock stations that a lot of the people listening were never exposed to black artist before, but that open the door up. CBS records who owned "Beat It" had to threaten to pull all there video's if they did not play "Beat It".
Of course they relented and the rest is history. He changed everything.
He wrote "We Are the World" with Lionel Richie and organized the recording and video of the song that was one of the biggest sellers of all time that help feed millions and millions and millions of starving people.
These are some of the many reasons we are honoring him. If not for the simple fact that since I was a child listening and watching him dance with The Jackson Five and through the years he brings such joy.
RIP Michael.

Posted by: mmalewitz | July 8, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

In a word, the whole thing is nauseating. California is deep in trouble with the recession, but can somehow afford millions to glorify a musician, who hasn't done anything of note in 20 years except have disturbing incidents with children swept under the rug. Oh and he was 400 million in debt, but his poor struggling family and estate can afford extravagant funeral arrangements including a solid gold coffin.

Sick. Meanwhile troops are dying overseas and barely get a mention in the paper.

Posted by: jollyroger2 | July 8, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I was never that much of a Michael Jackson fan. Despite my personal opinion about his off-stage life, he - and his family - deserve at least this time to remember what was good about him.

We are - individually or collectively - the ones who decide what is important. His fans across the world have spoken, and they are legion. For today, at least, let us give Michael his due.

Posted by: vlodko | July 8, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure it's really about Jackson at all. I think he was mostly just an excuse for people who have had a very rough year to express their grief loudly and publicly.

With that said, though, why choose Jackson as the focus? He was a great artist and thoroughly embodied his place and time. Sadly, that place and time was America in the 80s, an era known for its garishness,vulgarity, irresponsibility, selfishness, greed, corruption, military bluster, sanctimony, hypocrisy, and a culture that defined human beings and human relationships in terms of use and the free market. All of these traits were in full display yesterday.

Seems appropriate since the reason so many people are having a rough year is that we are now reaping the full whirlwind of the social, political and economic changes rung in the 80s. In the persona of Jackson, it died publicly and wretchedly as a result its own self-destructive unreason.

And yesterday, we buried it. At least, I hope we did. And I hope that's what we were really celebrating.

Posted by: levia | July 8, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

In my opinon, NO entertainer is worthy of this kind of over-the-top, wall to wall hagiography. Not John Lennon, not Elvis and not Michael Jackson. This is not Dr. King, this is not Ghandi, this is not Lincoln or JFK. For heaven's sake they were e-n-t-e-r-t-a-i-n-e-r-s ONLY! They sounded nice but they did NOT change the world.

Posted by: mybandy | July 8, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

He was found innocent. Is there no respect for our own laws anymore. Innocent until found guilty, or found innocent by a jury of your peers.

Posted by: mtravali | July 8, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Peter King should fry in a vat of boiling oil.

Posted by: mtravali | July 8, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Are these the same laws and juries that send a disproportionate number of black men to prison for longer terms than their white counterparts?

You can't have it both ways. The system is flawed in many ways. Innocent isn't always innocent and guilty isn't always guilty.

The main flaw in the last trial was not that he didn't do it, but that they brought forward a victim with a reprehensible and incoherent mother.

I probably would have voted to acquit too, because the prosecutors had an extremely ill-conceived and badly presented strategy. Doesn't mean that MJ was 'innocent' of the accusations, just that the prosecutors failed to bring their A game.

Posted by: possumness | July 8, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Even though you start by criticizing King, you basically say the same, ignorant thing. We are glorifying him because his art, which speaks for itself, is worth glorifying, and because through that art his impact on culture (not just pop culture) was very significant. As has been said by many in recent days, much great art is made by profoundly disturbed people, which MJ may or may not have been. But only stupid people can't compartmentalize and recognize an artist's work simply because they had problems or controversy in his/her personal life.

Posted by: joemomma3 | July 8, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

It's clear, after reading the Jackson-worshipping post's and seeing the over-the-top reaction to his death among his fans, that even if Jackson had raped a child on live tv these pathetic people would have excused it as a privelege that a combination artist/celebrity of his stature deserved. Several have said as much. I'm sure they would feel that way even if it was their own child being raped.

They are obviously missing something in their lives that makes them need to worship this pedophile. They're hopeless.

Posted by: toc59 | July 8, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

To Marcus

This really makes me wonder where you've been all these years. If you are that far out of touch with pop culture and its influence on the world perhaps you should refrain from writing about it.

Posted by: toe1 | July 8, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I do not believe he was a child molester, but was child like. I have been on jury duty re:a child molestation case where we found the person not guilty. Based on what I have read about the case brought against Michael I do not believe he was guilty. I do believe the parents put the children up to lying so they could
get rich. If I thought someone molested my child, no amount of money would surfice. I would want that person to go to jail. For those of you who think there is too much hype in the media, now would be a good time to read a book. Rest in Peace Michael, there is nothing they can do to you now.

Posted by: gwinston | July 8, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Jackson's fans aren't ignoring his inappropriate behavior; there's just a time and a place for everything. Currently, we're mourning the loss of a man - a tortured soul - who, despite his own pain and issues and inappropriate behavior - managed to be a great humanitarian (he is, after all, in the Guiness Book of World Records for charitable giving) and the most dominant pop star of the past 30 years. There is also compassion for someone so damaged and self-loathing that he disfigured himself.

Michael Jackson gave countless joy to millions of people around the world. The tremendous outpouring of affection shown over the past 2 weeks is natural appreciation for that joy.

Posted by: dailyfare | July 8, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I watched the memorial and thought it was a lovely tribute to this man, father, brother, son. He deserved no less.

I loved Michael Jackson's talent, I danced many times to his and his brother's music. I was awed by his "Masterful" performances, his ability to "kill" and audience with a movement of his body and his feet, while being bone shy off stage.

I hated the Martin Bashir interview but loved that Michael opened himself up to that "snake" of an interviewer who devoured him whole. I hate that ABC let him comment on his memorial. Martin Bashir was forever tainted in my book for how he devoured Michael Jackson.

I hated the molestation trial that was allowed to go forth even though the accusers were totally full of lies from the start, yet, it wasn't so much about proving Michael Jackson a molester of young boys as it was an "opportunity" to "get him." It was a total televised crucifixtion party for the media. I loved that the jury found him not guilty. Loved that Diane Diamond, the other, snake, of an interviewer who lived to devour Michael Jackson during that time did not get her intented wish for Michael Jackson to be behind bars. MSNBC and ET also let her comment on Michael Jackson's death and Memorial.

Yes, all of this is coming from someone who loved Michael Jackson's work, I'm not EVEN a crying, run to his concert, buy all his records fan, just an "on the sidelines" fan, but you can see how it gets so pathetic the way everyone judges this man's life and worth like everyone died and became the GOD of Michael's last judgement.

I will always have to sit and watch a Michael Jackson performance, one doesn't just pass up an opportunity like that if you love music and dance, and I will always just shake my head in awe and smile.

God Bless this man, his children and his family, because he gave me and millions of others hours and hours of pure joy, and fun. That is more than most of us could do in 10 very long lifetimes and his was cut short no less.

Posted by: rannrann | July 8, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

our founding fathers owned slaves, MLK cheated on his wife, etc.. A lot of our heroes from past and present history had troubled pasts yet this does not stop us from admiring the contributions that they were able to make to our society.

Michael's music and dancing brought happiness to millions of people around the world. His music videos were masterpieces (Scorcese directed "Bad") that are appealing even to this day, particularly as many current music videos are dominated by violence/sexism. It should be no surprise that when he passes away that much of the world is in shock and the media covers it. What is there not to understand?

If one of my family members died, most ppl on this board wouldn't really care but I think most people would have sympathy for me or anyone for whom that person had meaning. In general with death, we tend to de-emphasize the deficiencies with people and emphasize those things that are positive - if nothing out of respect for those who are grieving.

Posted by: bigbaubdi | July 8, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

What is truly perverted is having lawmakers who don't buy into the notions of "presumption of innocence," "lack of evidence," and "tried and acquitted by a jury of his peers in a court of law."

As for what Michael Jackson did for this country, I'd look at the story of a certain Ryan White, a kid expelled from school because he had AIDS. Michael Jackson was pivotal in his right to return to school, and in changing Americans' attitudes about AIDS, the most innocent of its victims, and their basic human rights.

I would also look to the relief for famine victims in Africa, which paved the way for organized African development programs.

His efforts to end juvenile gangs in LA.

His efforts to raise awareness about child victims of war.

His efforts to raise awareness about the need to save the environment, and to respect other cultures.

His concerts to raise money to pay the hospital costs of children with terminal illnesses.

If the guy is clearly guilty of anything, it is of caring too much, and stepping in to clean up the damage done by lawmakers.

If I had to choose between a tortured artist, victim of his own success, consumed by the abuses done to children, and those who slander him without knowing all the facts, I'd choose the dead guy.

What a shame to have politicians with the ethical standards of the tabloid journalists that created the real victim, who is Michael Jackson.

Posted by: join1 | July 8, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Like I said...

Posted by: toc59 | July 8, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Elvis was flawed.

John Lennon was flawed.

John Kennedy was flawed.

Martin Luther King Jr. was flawed.

Peter King, priceless.

Posted by: turkerm | July 8, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Marcus asks, "Why are we glorifying him?" ... well, we do glorify the American Dream, and Michael realized the American Dream through one of the most racially charged times in our history. He had to break through racial barriers unlike anyone else and he opened doors for racial integration that made it possible for so many others to excel. King is devoid of compassion and lacking in intelligent analysis. He obviously has no problem slandering someone based on assumptions rather than truth. If this is the kind of representation that New Yorkers support ... then that is what they get.

Posted by: paris1969 | July 8, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I found his music influential and timeless. It always made me dance. I found his personal life ripe for endless, cynical commentary that I willingly shared with others at his expense. The inappropriateness was never excusable.

I don't doubt that he was deeply inappropriate with young boys. I also don't doubt that he only vaguely comprehended what WAS appropriate, after all, he never had a typical or appropriate life either. That does not excuse the behavior and the talent does not get to wipe history clean of the mess of his life.

I do not wish anyone ill, and certainly not dead, but I am glad that little boys are free from the inappropriateness of him (however serious or contrived or both it was), and that we can enjoy his music knowing that no longer are we enabling him to torment himself or others.

Posted by: nicarobrooke | July 8, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

No, I wasn't a Michael Jackson fan. His greatest achievements had as much to do with video as music and, to me, the music video has been one of the worst things to happen to music in the last thirty years, all glitz and little substance. The music has suffered as a result. As for Michael Jackson somehow breaking down doors for blacks in popular music, I think Ray Charles did that fifty years ago and between Ray and Michael you had Sam Cooke, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino, James Brown and the entire 1960's Motown and Stax/Volt soul scene, among many others. And the memorial that cost so much money for the city of LA was ,IMHO, out of line in these hard economic times. As far as his personal life, he was right up there with so many celebrities, weird, narcissistic and believing that he was the most important person in the world. He was a giant to the video era but beyond that, Ray Charles should have had this kind of outpouring and Aretha Franklin should certainly deserve it if MJ did.

Posted by: curtb | July 8, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Best blog I read about MJ:

Posted by: toritto | July 8, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Best blog I read about MJ:

Posted by: toritto | July 8, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

People may rant all they want about the comments of Peter King but there are a large number of folks out here asking the very same questions about the media coverage of Jackson's passing and his non-conviction for child molestation.

Just because you aren't convicted of pedophilia doesn't always mean you are innocent. Just ask the family Jackson paid off to keep quiet about the interactions Jackson had with their young son. That same bought and paid for "quiet" saved Jackson from conviction.

Posted by: buzzsaw1 | July 8, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I doubt if I would agree with any of Rep. Kings political views, but thank goodness, in this case he looked past politics and told the truth.
"Jackson was a more talented singer and dancer than King acknowledges," is an opinion not based on fact. Apparently, you and everyone else who praises MJ's genius are too young to remember all the true innovators Jackson copied: James Brown, The Temptations, Otis Redding, The Four Top, Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, and on, and on. These people made musical history by using little more than their raw talent, without the aid of huge multi-million dollar stage productions. But, you probably have no idea who these people are.

Posted by: JD15 | July 8, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Very well-sated, levia.

I also find it interesting that those who adored the performer and his music are so willing to overlook the man's obvious flaws and probable horrors, to the point of directing shrill and baseless accusations of their own---such as charges of racism---against anyone who questions their idol's purity of heart; while those denying his greatness as an artist are the first to believe the worst of him, on every level.

I happen to believe that Jackson was both things---a supremely talented artist and, in many ways but not all, a monstrous human being.

What's so striking is it's all there in the musical record, especially in his most memorable single work, the famed Thriller video. The final twist in the series of twists that the video presents is that Michael really was a frightening ghoul---it's not so funny now, is it?

Posted by: offthewall | July 8, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

To anyone who is critical of Ms. Marcus for questioning the overwrought lauding of the late Mr. Jackson, or who sees what Jackson did in his personal life as mere "human foibles", I encourage you to read the articles written by Maureen Orth for Vanity Fair magazine. She has been following the Jackson scandals and reporting on them since 1993; the information she imparts in her writing is very disturbing, and will, hopefully, lead some to realize just how serious these crimes that Jackson (allegedly) committed were. Vanity Fair has recently re-posted these articles (five in all) on their website.

Posted by: talbotgollum | July 8, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The contributions of pop performers just aren't worth this kind of constant attention. please, PLEASE, STOP IT!

Posted by: mybandy | July 8, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

As a non-fan, I have tried to understand the adulation of Michael Jackson. My ex-husband's immigrant family, a narrow-minded, Hollywood-hating, moralistic bunch who reviled anything remotely "different," worshipped the guy - and it was something beyond the music.

I might have a theory. The music was accessible, "tight," many of the lyrics simplistically "positive." The dancing was smooth and high-energy and charismatic. In addition, the performer succeeded to a great extent in remaining the "eternal child," even to those who didn't watch him perform when he was 5. He talked like a child and sought to look and live like one...and I'm inclined to believe his bizarre antics with actual children likely were asexual - he was a strangely asexual person in general. All of this has resulted, I think, in an oddly protective attitude toward him, from people who would ordinarily deplore the traits and behaviors he exhibited.

Still pondering the mystery, though...

Posted by: Philosophe | July 8, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I can tell you a few things I think about what king and Ruth are, but I won't because because what I think,does not make it true....But if I did want to tell you what I think about those two...I wouln't wait untill they are dead...

Posted by: lucygirl1 | July 8, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Ruth's right.
MJ wasn't all that.

Posted by: howzie | July 8, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

It is incredible how out of touch Ruth Marcus is to not understand the impact Michael Jackson had on the cultural scene, all over the world. How in God's name is this woman an opinion writer for the Post? She does have an opinion in this case, but a completely wrong one.

Ms. Marcus: Pls. stick to your harangues on gender issues and leave the comments on things that you have no clue about, to others.

Posted by: vabeygun | July 8, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Michael brought joy to the whole World. His impact is beyond your imagination and that's why you are struggling to understand why people love him passionately.

Elvis Presley's documented pedophilia with hunderds of children including Prescila and Cybil Shephard does not get mentioned once. But accusations against Michael make the headline. That makes you wonder what is behind this line of attack.

Posted by: SeedofChange | July 8, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh, please! The guy was a pervert extraordinaire. He got off at trial because of several factors. Among them, a "jury" in California (what an alien concept), who he was, money, lots of publicity and last, but not least, the fawning press. For once Marcus writes what many of us believe....the guy was hardly the hero his followers make him out to be, this is all about making money. Watch the army of dead beats who try to cash in on him...pathetic.

Posted by: djudge1 | July 8, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Let's get something straight. Regardless of how much joy Jackson's music may have brought to the masses, he was a sicko.

If there's any proof it probably lies in the multimillion-dollar settlements Jackson reached with purported victims. One of those claimed the singer molested him at age 7 and again at age 10.

That kid's mother was Jackson's maid. Jackson reportedly reached a $2.4 million settlement with the family.

In 1993, Jackson paid $20 million to a 13-year-old who claimed the pop star sexually abused him.

The boy's mother explained later how Jackson begged her to let him sleep with the boy, according to court documents and testimony at trial.

The star and the mom argued about it, but ultimately the boy's mom gave in and allowed her teen to spend nights in Jackson's bed.

After the mom relented, Jackson bought her a Cartier bracelet. Clearly, this was a man who thought he could hurt whomever he wanted and do what he wanted because he had the means to buy his way out of trouble.

The boy may have been molested over a six-month period of time after that.

In 2003, police arrested Jackson and charged him with sex crimes against a 13-year-old boy who had cancer.

At his trial in 2005, prosecutors detailed how Jackson showed porn to young boys on the grounds of his Neverland Ranch. They spelled out how he gave the kids wine, which he called "Jesus Juice."

The state documented how Jackson preyed on the teen cancer survivor and the boy's family - for his own self-gratification.

The victim, a resident of El Monte, told a jury how Jackson groped and fondled him.

A member of the jury that ultimately acquitted Jackson said later he thought Jackson was a child molester. Another said Jackson should stop sleeping with kids.

If Jackson were any other 46-year- old man in that situation, he'd probably still be in prison fending off predators who take no mercy on pedophiles.

Certainly, he'd be listed on the Megan's Law Web site once he got out of the joint.

I guarantee if he was the creepy guy living down the street from any one of us, we'd be repulsed and sickened by his behavior.

If anything, Wacko Jacko's life story should be a cautionary tale about the price of fame and the parents who subject their kids to foul and unspeakable acts.

It's a story about the danger of prescription drug abuse and the doctors who are nothing more than educated street corner pushers.

It's an epic filled with details of bad decision-making by a whole host of people - including those making a pilgrimage Downtown on this summer day.

Posted by: lt1z28 | July 8, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

No one cares about Mikey Jackson.

Why should I care about a pedophile?

Posted by: hclark1 | July 8, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Yes, sickofit, those stories were covered. I am not sure if you read newspapers or watch the news and such but most outlets tend to cover more than one story a week. However, the main stories in the US press were generally Michael Jackson-related, and the significant news events were relegated to side-show status. But keep those zingers comin'....

Posted by: j-man1 | July 8, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

No one cares about Mikey Jackson.

Why should I care about a pedophile?

Posted by: hclark1 | July 8, 2009 3:37 PM

what world you living in hclark?from what i saw on tv yesterday...millions cared or maybe a trillion world wide...the question for many cares what you care..probally

Posted by: lucygirl1 | July 8, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Rep. King ought look at his own church diocese before he goes after some demented pop star.

It's also Hannity's and O'Reilly's diocese, yet nary a word.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | July 8, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"After the mom relented, Jackson bought her a Cartier bracelet." Seems like mom should be doing time for being a pimp and child sex trafficking if she sold her kid for fancy jewelry.

Don't guess anybody will ever know how many parents and kids MJ paid off over the years. The maid was probably just one of several. Blackmailers are not usually satisfied with just one payment.

Jackson's minders must have total fools and incompetent into the bargain.

I guess his family will miss him or maybe they just miss their meal ticket since he has probably been supporting the entire bunch for the past 30 something years.

Who paid for this memorial stuff anyway? Did somebody threaten LA if the city did not cough up the money?

Posted by: aries4 | July 8, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

His fans/worshippers are beyond rational reasoning. How many postings on this blog have said that any pedophilic molestation acts he committed are to be excused because he was an artist, influential, charitable, etc..

These people are sicker than he was, and that's saying something.

Posted by: toc59 | July 8, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcus, thank you for having the courage to magnify the truth.

Yes, Jackson was an outstanding entertainer. No one can ever take that away from him. But he was also a deeply disturbed human being. The facts speak for themselves. The “memorial,” which has been coined by some as a ‘macabre circus,’ was merely a clear confirmation that our country has totally lost perspective. That pathetic display covered by all the media wasn’t a celebration of someone’s life, but instead the most pathetic display of self-imposed opportunists ever gathered in one arena.

For example, the Rev. Al Sharpton’s comments were insulting to the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr., Sammy Davis, Jr., Jackie Robinson, as well as the life of Mohammed Ali, who stood up for civil rights at a time when this country really was segregated and lacked the respect that should be afforded to all human beings, regardless of color. Sharpton said, “ [Jackson] opened up the whole world ... …and brought blacks and whites and Asians and Latinos together." No, Reverend, you were there. You should know. It was King, Robinson, Davis and Ali who opened the door for Oprah and Tiger and Jackson. Because of them, and what they stood up for, people of color began to achieve greater successes…including Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice…and Barack Obama. As usual, Sharpton uses every opportunity to resurrect that civil rights ghost of the ‘60’s.

As for Paris Jackson’s tearful comment at the end, God bless her. She was obviously in grief. But if you watch that display, she was pushed, prodded and prompted by the whole Jackson clan to make that statement. For a man who took extraordinary measures to seclude his children from the public’s eye, probably because he didn’t want them to be as warped as him, couldn’t the Jackson clan have shown the respect for their deceased loved one by not exploiting them at his memorial? So sad.

Posted by: inkheart54 | July 9, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

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