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Michael Jackson Coverage Goes Mega -- Again
July 7, 2009  | By David Bianculli
 

090629_Michael_Jackson.jpgLast week on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, an overview of the saturation media coverage of Jackson's death was capped by a reporter who noted, for the record, that Michael Jackson can only die once.

Maybe. But today on TV, the networks are diving headfirst into round two... the memorial coverage.

The morning salvo, built around the public memorial service at Staples Center in Los Angeles -- public, that is, for the people who won a raffle for free tickets, with more than a million people requesting seats -- will start with the network morning shows and cable news outlets, even though the service itself doesn't start until 1 p.m. ET.

News is out, of course, about some of the celebrities schedule to attend -- though who's really coming, and who might be performing, and how long it might be, is all in flux. Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder and Usher are three names bandied about a lot this morning, so we'll see.

But where should we watch?

3memorialmj.jpg

For the morning and afternoon events, I'd start with ABC, where an expanded Good Morning America pairs host Charles Gibson with Nightline co-anchor Martin Bashir, he of the famed Michael Jackson interview a few years back. I'd also check in with MTV and BET, as well as the traditional cable news outlets. MSNBC starts with special coverage at 11 a.m. ET, CNN and MTV at noon, and the actual service begins at 1.

Then, in prime time, Michael Jackson will die, or at least be remembered, all over again. Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters, like pit bulls refusing to let go of the same chew toy, will co-anchor a special 20/20 program at 9 p.m. ET. That's one to watch, definitely, if only to witness the "chemistry" between the two reigning divas of ABC News.

ABC has another Jackson special at 10 p.m. ET, the same hour that CBS presents a special 48 Hours and NBC serves up a special hour of Dateline. And when they're through, flip to Comedy Central, where Stewart and company will have had enough time, barely, to lampoon the afternoon memorial coverage on tonight's Daily Show at 11 p.m. ET.

Only dying once? Not on TV. With the last global music superstar of such stature, expect Michael Jackson to keep dying, on television, for a long, long time.

 

3 Comments

 

Sarah said:

As much as I like watching TV I think I will spend today playing outside with my dogs. Sorry MJ I'm just not that into you.

Comment posted on July 7, 2009 2:12 PM


Davis Didjeridu said:

All good except Daily Show's on reruns this week.

Comment posted on July 7, 2009 2:59 PM


Neil said:

Does this ego-driven one-upmanship go on everywhere? If I were a fly on the wall, would I witness Michelle Norris kicking Melissa Block under the table for the right to intro the next Dan Schorr commentary?

It's exactly this type of sideshow (to the main circus that is Michael Jackson) that has sent commercial broadcast news into its current death spiral. In my humble opinion, of course.

Comment posted on July 7, 2009 3:58 PM
 
 
 
 
 
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