I was watching Fox News last night and listening to WPHT 1210 AM over the last few days. The interesting part of it is all the gnashing of teeth over the idea that all this Michael Jackson coverage has nothing to do with popularity and everything to do with media hype for no good reason.
Once again the fanatical conservatives out there can only see as far as the bubbled walls they live within. They are so consumed by hate and fear of anything that strikes them as unusual that they will attack even when that target is a classic embodiment of their own ideals.
Michael Jackson was a strange, strange person. He was clearly emotionally challenged and had enough issues to keep a team of top psychiatrists busy. Regardless he was also a self-made wonder of the American dream.
No other single music star has the resume of Michael Jackson. It’s just that simple. I keep hearing callers calling in saying that he’s no Elvis. This one bugs me because what I hear when I take that in is Michael Jackson isn’t white—at least not in natural skin color that is. The fact is that Elvis was not in the same league as Michael Jackson—and I’m not a big fan. I own only one of his albums and it isn’t even Thriller.
Michael Jackson died and immediately his impact was shown. Billboard announced that the first nine positions of its Top Pop Catalog Albums chart will house Jackson-related titles. Jackson alone has a record eight of the positions with another coming from the Jackson 5.
In digital sales Jackson has six of the top ten spots and set a number of sales records there. He also has a record 25 songs in top 75 digital downloads list.
It’s not just in death that he pulled off this kind of magic. His re-issue of the Thriller album in February of last year debuted in the number one spot at the time.
This is a star who turned MTV into a major network and was responsible for a top Disney attraction.
Elvis meanwhile made a few forgettable movies and sang songs other people created. Don’t get me wrong—Elvis had a wonderful voice but he was no Michael Jackson.
What’s more is that the coverage that is going on now is deserved and has nothing to do with a media creation. The media is simply providing their audience with what they believe it wants. Get over it.