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On the Hill, a Moment of Silence for Jackson

They certainly weren't getting many C-SPAN viewers anyway in light of the 24-7 coverage of Michael Jackson's death. So what better time for members of Congress to break for a moment of silence in honor of the pop superstar than during today's debate on the climate-change bill, one of President Obama's highest legislative priorities?

"We pay tribute to the culture that he has left behind, his legacy," said Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.) of the celebrity she called a "multi-talented person who entertained the world."

"Madame Speaker, if there is a God -- and I believe there is -- and that God distributes grace, and mercy, and talent to all of his children," Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. began. "On August 29, 1958, he visited Gary, Indiana, and touched a young man with an abundance of his blessings. With that gift, that young man, Michael Joe Jackson, would touch and change the world.

"His heart couldn't get any bigger, and yesterday, it arrested. I come to the floor today on behalf of a generation to thank God for letting all of us live in his generation and in his era," Jackson said, before calling for a moment of silence.

Meanwhile, Rep. Jackson's father, Rev. Jesse Jackson, who defended and counseled the pop singer when he faced child molestation charges, had this to say: "We are out of our joy. He is out of his pain.... He was constantly challenged in the press and all he really wanted to be was the greatest entertainer and he was that."

By Mary Ann Akers  |  June 26, 2009; 2:54 PM ET
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It's sad because it shows the price of huge fame.

If he was a singer who never became a star and was just able to entertain people, he would have been less eccentric and may have been very happy.

That figurative person probably would have lived a long, pleasant life. Seekers of fame: beware of what you wish for.

Posted by: MikeK3 | June 26, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I have nothing against Jackson. He was aquitted of the charges against him and further discussion of that is an exercise in futility. He was a great and talented entertainer but his contribution to society pales in comparison to those who have given their lives to defend the freedom that he and the rest of us enjoy. His moment of silence should have been put on the backburner until each and everyone of our soldiers, who have died for our country, have their individual moment of silence.

Posted by: bill4252 | June 27, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why all these super pious folks forgot to include Sarah and Ed? Of course, they are not, unlike our pretty president, part of the black family

Posted by: aseawell | June 29, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

In response to the post from aseawell,
Michael Jackson was a musical genius and entertainment giant...We all saw this irregardless of his skin color. I wish you could have seen the same.
People from all over this world, and not just from the black family, are celebrating the life of MJ while also mourning his death. With that said, the fact that there is such a huge outpouring of support for this man and his family is in no way meant to deminish the life and accomplishments of Ed McMahon or Farrah Fawcett. By the way... her name is Farrah not Sarah. Can you at least get the woman's name right before you begin to criticize how America is handling the death of these three entertainment giants?

Posted by: kizzieb | June 29, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Michael Jackson was a musical genius, however, I Congress went to far with a moment of silence. Are we now going to have a moment of silence for every famous person who passes. Who decides who is worthy of such an honor? Many feel that Farrah Fawcett deserved much more coverage by the press than she received. The almost religious adoration of individuals has become so prominent, of late, that reality is unimportant. I agree with Bill, until all of our soldiers are out of harms way, Congress should save their moments of silence for these brave men and women.

Posted by: GrammySue | June 29, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Fascinating. While our country is embroiled in the debate over health care reform an AMA sanctioned physician killed another celebrity. What are the ethics of the AMA - and how do they apply in a health care system driven by capitalism?. ............

Posted by: glclark4750 | June 29, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

If I hear the name Michael Jackson one more time I will puke!

Posted by: TheDemocrat | June 30, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Where's the moment of silence for Farrah Fawcett or Ed McMahon?

Are we now going to have to establish a White Congressional Caucus?

Posted by: benglett | June 30, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Whatever MJ's talent, his life was hardly exemplary and to build on benglett's point.
Where is the moment of silence for NEDA Soltana!

Posted by: miriamac2001 | June 30, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I have a lot of anger when we hear of our legislature having a moment of silence for a celebrity, but there is none observed for our military who have paid the ultimate price by giving their lives for us so that we may live free. What is wrong with our country? MAJOR mess up in priorities....I think that there should be a moment of silence observed for each soldier lost, not only on the federal level but on a state level as well. Let them show the same respect to them as they showed our country when they respected it enough to go into battle for U.S.

Posted by: anetnut | July 1, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Micheal Jackson had a very questionable past and has been in the limelight since a child. Yet there are men and women who have never seen the front of a news camera who have fought for more and stood for more than MJ ever could. They are the unsung hero's of America and seem to be nothing more than a way for kids to get out of school. Have a moment of silence for the men and women who have died to make sure congress can even exist! Where is the respect for them!? You don't have to agree with why they died or why they were there in the first place. It is not THEIR choice where they go, it is their choice to defend this country against whatever may threaten her. What about a tribute to THAT legacy? America's path to freedom is paved in the blood of our soldiers yet they never get a moment of silence from the government they fight so hard to uphold. Excuse my foul language, but you guys really stink and I hope you have a change of face soon and reflect what REALLY matters in this country and show us that you do in fact want what is best for us. Those of us with husbands fighting FOR YOU don't give a crap about MJ. We just want our boys home or at LEAST want them to have the respect the deserve! YOU HAVE FAILED US AGAIN!

Posted by: poisnktty0687 | July 1, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

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