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Criticism of MJ Coverage Is Elitist Sez CNN’s Don Lemon

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31 thoughts on “Criticism of MJ Coverage Is Elitist Sez CNN’s Don Lemon

  1. Well, that was surprising, especially since he is the media but whatevs. I don’t think elitist was the word he was looking for. The critiques on Michael’s character aren’t based on a rich/poor dichotomy; they’re based on the fact that MJ may have molested little boys, and I can’t decide if it’s because they’re ("THE MEDIA") are trying to present a more complete picture of an intensely complicated person, or if they think he’s guilty, or if they think that talking about it is the way to easy ratings. It’s certainly something that can’t be entirely ignored, but the man is dead: it’s not like he can fight back. In general though, I think people have been respectful, and it sounds like Don has a bone to pick with certain reporters/correspondents/anchors.

  2. Monica says:

    Lemon is the bee’s knees, isn’t he? Cute, Cute, CuteHe’s right, you know. The coverage of the death of Princess Diana, Gianna Versace and John F. Kennedy was excessive also. Why pick this death to criticize excessive coverage?Since mainstream media news coverage serves as infotainment, it is disingenuous to complain about the MJ coverage. It’s not like CNN is going to report on the ever-expanding war in Afghanistan, the non-closing of Gitmo, US death squads in the Middle East, delayed health-care reform or Obama’s insufficient stimulus plan.

  3. swiv says:

    unless i’m confused on my definition of elitist….i’m confused.and i’m sure i’m not because my girlfriend calls me that all the damn time.LMAO!

  4. swiv says:

    ahh, nvm. for some reason, i igged a few words. he’s calling people criticizing the coverage elitist. dunno about elitist, i don’t know if that’s the proper word i’d use. maybe hypocritical, uneven, inconsistent, ect. but hardly elitist. and that’s also to presume that the critics didn’t criticize the coverage of other famous people’s funeral.

  5. Monica says:

    I think he made his case when he referred to Princess Di. It’s as if that coverage could be excused because she was royalty. If you recall Mother Theresa died at the same time and only received a fraction of the coverage.Don’t forget John-John was considered American royalty.I’m too young to remember Elvis death coverage but I’m sure the same criticisms were offered. Elvis and MJ (for better or worse) were heros of everyday folks.

  6. moja31 says:

    i don’t think "elitist" is really the word he was looking for, but i think his point is pretty valid none the less. michael jackson’s death is not the first event to receive wall to wall coverage, and it won’t be the last; yet what’s interesting is not that some people are ambivalent to his life & his career, it’s that certain people are so damn angry that anyone would think he’s worthy of any kind of recognition at all. i think what don lemon was getting at, is that the complaints seem to stem more from the fact that a certain segment of society doesn’t think he was worthy of the love and support that a lot of the world did and is showing him. the fact is that while he has his issues, michael jackson’s life and work impacted the lives of millions of people around the world, and continued to do so, long after mainstream white america had decreed that he was no longer someone worthy of anything other than ridicule. as with anyone else that’s died, some of the good that was ignored in life is getting some attention in death and that upsets some people; certain people seem to think that if they aren’t personally mourning him, or didn’t personally think well of him, then his death ought not to be considered particularly newsworthy; and the incredulity that there are others who see it quite differently has manifested itself in a quite a lot of vitriol. let’s face it, the american media is not a serious news enterprise and hasn’t really been for a long time, and generally people don’t complain too much about that; it seems that people are less angered by the sheer volume of coverage, than they are that the coverage isn’t always taking on the tone that they personally think is warranted. the media spent nearly a week with day in/ day out coverage of tim russert’s death, and he was somebody who if we’re perfectly honest didn’t have a profound impact on the lives of folks outside the beltway, and even less of an impact outside the borders of this country, but there was no widespread outrage at how this event "stopped the news." why? because the right segment of america had decided that he was worthy of being remembered and grieved. i think that if you look back even beyond recent celebrity passings, you’ll find that public reaction to the level and tone of news coverage of their life and death is largely determined by whether certain segments of society considered that person worthy; if they don’t think you were worthy, then they are dismissive and derisive of anything or anyone that contradicts that sentiment; whether it’s individuals grieving or extensive news coverage.

  7. Lisa J says:

    Thank you moja31. You said it. I personally think that a lot of it is b/c he is a black man (no matter what anyone says).

  8. anonymous says:

    I personally think a lot of it has to do with the fact that he was a black man as well. I think that there are some in the media who are angry at the fact that all the years and energy spent trying to dismantle his accomplishments have proven to be mute at the onset of his death. People in the media generally like to believe that they have control over how the public thinks, but the fact that there are still so many people and fans who support MJ and still consider him to be the greatest shows them that they didn’t have as much influence as they thought they did. I was also recently reminded that there were certain sectors of society that felt Michael Jackson didn’t have a right to own the Beatles Catalog. I guess its okay for people to own things created by black people but when its the other way around, then its a problem.

  9. Elitist? No. Uncaring? Yes. That’s the word: U-N-C-A-R-I-N-G. Grouping disparate bunches of–here we go again–UNCARING people together and classifying them as ELITES is silly. The next step could be to classify all the caring and bereaved people as the NON-ELITE. To that I say HOGWASH and POPPYCOCK with extra emphasis on the POPPYCOCK.

  10. watsonrn says:

    I agree with Don and made the same comparison. There were many white people where I work who were angered that the coverage of Michael Jackson’s death overshadowed that of Farrah Fawcett’s. Clearly Michael had more impact on a much larger level. Before he died I always said that regardless of his personal life no one can deny what he accomplished as an entertainer. The fact that it was so unexpected and right before his upcoming London concerts is another reason the coverage has been so excessive.The truth of the matter is that if Michael and Farrah had not died when they did we’d be seeing excessive coverage of the Mark Sanford affair. I’d much rather have seen the tributes to Michael than to have seen nonstop coverage of the Sanford saga.

  11. blacklove0607 says:

    The only reason Elvis didn’t get this kind of coverage is due to the fact the technology wasn’t around that provided this kind of access. Elvis died during the days when television actually went off the air after a the late show/movie, before CNN, etc. Why does it seem only errors, accusations, etc. of white people are not spoken during the time of their deaths. Ronald Regan was a saint if you listened to the words of everybody during the preparation of his funeral, however, I and many others remember him in a very different light that was less than favorable. The MJJ pedophile accusation needs to be put to rest once and for all and the focus should remain on the indelible positive impact his work.

  12. Monica says:

    I will say this about the child molestation case. The first accusation could have been dismissed (even though it was settled out of court [that was very suspicious] ). The second one…where there is smoke there is fire.Juries make mistakes all the time. Remember the 4 in the Rodney King verdict were let off by a jury. OJ was let off by a jury. Phil Spector was initially let off by a jury. Robert Blake was let off by a jury. R. Kelly was acquitted by a jury. Claus von Bülow was acquited also. The list goes on. In most cases celebrity thumps guilt or innocence.Let’s not for forget that their were serious questions about his personal life.Let’s celebrate MJ for he talented entertainer he was.

  13. B.Y. says:

    Monica,I get what you’re saying but look at it from a legal perspective. In 1993, MJ had a choice. The accuser filed no criminal charges only a civil suit. The burden of proof in a civil suit is on the defendant. Even if he didn’t molest the kid, carrying the case through open court would have certainly exposed details of his private life and the scars would have been more enduring than they were. Settling out of court made the case go away — for a time. Now when the next child accused MJ of the same charge, his reputation could not handle another settlement. So under the advisement of keen legal minds he took it to trial. His lawyers picked apart the inconsistencies in the accuser’s stories and he beat the case free and clear. It was revealed later that a civil suit was being prepared as the criminal proceedings were going on.You’re right about OJ and the like but consider that most celebrity cases are tried in the court of public opinion and the second time around juries aren’t so keen to set a star free i.e. OJ.In both cases, it would appear he made prudent legal decisions based on his unexplainable childlike behavior. No one knows if he did it or not. But in both cases and into perpetuity he will be listed as not guilty.

  14. Reynalinares says:

    I vote to Google stalk Don Lemon since he is waaay smarter than TJ Holmes and just as cute if not cuter!

  15. bdsista says:

    Also in both cases, the first child brought the case only after Michael had refused to bankroll the child’s father’s screenplay. The second child, the mother followed Michael around and pushed her kid on him, she even got Chris Tucker to fly her and the boy to Vegas. I am an attorney and believe me the courts prefer out of court settlements over trials every time. Settling does not make you suspicious, it just makes you relatively compliant with the mechinations of the legal system. Now that he’s dead one of them admitted to being forced to lie by his father. Damn Shame!I vote for Don Lemon too!

  16. Annabella says:

    Michael wasn’t lying when he said "it don’t matter if you’re black or white" because black people will clearly be just as ill informed when it comes to MJ’s life, mainly with regards to those completely false and slanderous accusations against him.You can remember Michael as a wonderful entertainer but won’t even have the common sense and decency to clear his name in your own mind? Kinda shameful. Why keep wondering and verbalizing your insecurities about him when countless info about MJ is just a mouse click away? Internet can be your friend. I am one of the few that agrees, just as Minister Farrakhan, there has been a systematic take down of Michael Jackson. What’s even more sad is that millions of people, even Black people, will never know or care to understand the truth. Just pop in that CD and it’s fine even if the powers that be have worked overtime to ruin our idols and their reputations. But Black people continue to have weak minds and will continue to believe anything fed to us in addition to not standing up for ourselves.Most of the general public has brother Michael all kinds of twisted. Unfortunately some like it that way. The white press perpetuates lie after lie to separate us from our icons, weaken their effectiveness and destroy their legacy, while they put their icons on a pedestal no matter what they do. It’s pure hatred and jealously. But they can only succeed if we are too ignorant to give things a more in depth look. We take a white dominated as the authority and don’t have the where-with-all to challenge it, because of our own inferiority, even when the truth is right in our face!I love u and respect u, Michael Jackson. Perhaps overtime more people will. Peace.

  17. Andrea says:

    I agree with bdsista and Annabella. Only one so-called news organization even reported the fact that the second boy stated that Michael Jackson NEVER TOUCHED HIM! That organization was a tabloid news show — either Extra or Access Hollywood. (I always get those two confused.) They talked to the boy, who’s now 19 years old and had to change his name, because of his gold-digging mother! Which makes me wonder, why has no one in the "real" media thought to ask him or the first boy what happened to them, if anything? They keep bringing up the past accusations, but they don’t feel the need to confirm their veracity by asking the only two people, still living, who know the truth. I suspect the mainstream media wants that doubt to remain, because it justifies their mostly white viewers racist feelings about MJ, and they know that’s what many of them want, because it’s what they want. And the fact that many well-known Black celebs doubted his innocence, most notably Oprah — I love Oprah but she tends to assume that anyone accused of hurting children must be guilty, no doubt because of her own nightmare childhood. The point is why assume that something happened when all you have to do is ask these two, now full-grown, adults IF it happened? That’s pretty damn simple, don’t you think?

  18. lola says:

    No, the media response to MJ’s death was not overblown, esp. since the MSM isn’t interested in journalism anymore (if they ever were). Yes, the MSM is demonstrably racist and sexist. That said, it bears remembering that the accusations against MJ can’t be explained away merely as part of a conspiracy theory. This selection of articles from _Vanity Fair_ is far from definitive, but it does provide some perspective:http://www.vanityfair.com/online/politics/2009/06/michael-jackson-is-gone-but-the-sad-facts-remain.html

  19. pnc says:

    I think instead of ‘elitist’ the word he was looking for was ‘racist.’ I was in a hotel room with my parents at Disney World when we heard Elvis died. I was 10 years old, but I felt the significance of that moment. And in my observation, the black adults around me had reverence and respect for Elvis. No one brought up his foibles.I can’t tell you how many white people I’ve had to BITE INTO with a FEROCITY as I defended my beloved Michael Jackson’s legacy these last two weeks. I actually remember a time when whites in America LOVED MJ as much as black people did…and were unashamed to admit this love. I’m sorry…but this country (post-Bush administration) is WAY more racist than once thought.Michael was never vilified because he was black. He was attacked because he was an eccentric…one who never knew the social norms we’re familiar with. Michael’s love for children was genuine and unperverted. For people like Martin Bashir and greedy vultures to twist and taint that love for profit, is the most unforgivable thing you can do to another human being. Even if it’s a rich celebrity. I really believe speculation, embarrassment, and shame led my beloved Michael on a journey to his passive suicide. I think he lost the will to live. Historically, we’ve seen impressionable group-thinking assholes stone individuals like MJ for being different. Michael’s life & death is one of biblical proportions. Give it time. People will soon see how they’ve contributed to his deterioration and death..

  20. Lisa J says:

    @ anon, BY, bdsista, lola, Andrea, Anabella cosign. Also, I read, I cannot remember what site it was, that it wasn’t MJ who settled the suit, it was his insurance company. He wanted to fight it but b/c he was being sued through them, they decided to settle b/c it would be easier than fighting it in court. I feel bad for anytime I lauged or sniggered along at an MJ joke over the years. Really.

  21. Harlepolis says:

    After this huge MJ coverage one thing was painfully obvious. Black Americans need a National Television presence ASAP. The Black perspective on every major issue is damn near ignored. Everybody else’ discussion on MJ was just a blaring example. Its damn near feels like they were being given the same hand-outs. At what point do we wake up? When Frank Sinatra died, nobody whispered a THING about his deep rooted connections with the mafia, when Elvis died nobody said jack about finding him on a toilet with a burger in his hand,,,,,,NOBODY disrespected and smart mouthed them.But when it comes to Michael, all of a sudden the media want to be "objective"!!! Can you guys honestly say that there’s a BALANCE in their treatment?Another thing, the vile attacks are because he was a wealthy black man no matter how we frame the picture,,,its not because he was eccentric. Folks like Phill Spector, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, that guy from Kiss(forgot his name) and a host of others who are as eccentric & bizarre if not even more,,,,,,, in their case they get praised and considered "cool" for their eccentricities. In his case, he’s considered a .extra terrestrial, a mad scientist’s experiment, a FREAK. I wouldn’t be shocked to hear them referr to him as "IT" instead of "HE".Being a black man with that kind of universal power isn’t really an easy thing to swollow, and I don’t blame them for being afraid. He was bigger than Elvis & Sinatra combined and that bothered them, their girls came like the falling rain for him and their boys spent shamelessly on his music and THAT bothered him and FINALLY he got massive international recognition more than any white artist could get which could take care of him even if the US stopped supporting him and THAT bothered them.I totally undersant why they’re fuming in the mouth,,,,,,,even when he’s dead, the mere mention of his name still defys their arrogance.

  22. pnc says:

    Harlepolis, please do not put those people in the same category as Michael.Michael was the most well-known eccentric of our time and life. No one else exists in that category. You seem to have this negative idea of an eccentric, whereas I see them as brilliant & revolutionary. I certainly do not regard Michael Jackson as a ‘freak.’I tend to see normal, everyday, boring people as freaks to tell you the truth.

  23. Harlepolis says:

    Did you even read my post or did you brush through it? I think you misunderstood me here.I’m talking about how the MEDIA view those with eccentricities,,,,and I mentioned those along with Michael to make an example of how DIFFERENTLY they treat them, while they tream MJ with contempt, they treat those I mentioned with praise. Its the norm to mainstream media when you see a quirky white artist, its NOT when he/she is black,,,,,its pitiful and sad, but its the wat the of media.And I’m in no position to view eccentric people in a negative way simply because ALL of us human beings have eccentric & quirky traits of our own, some are flamboyant and don’t mind flaunting,,,,and others don’t show ’em.Its beautiful, thats what make us different individuals.

  24. Diana Barry Blythe says:

    Ditto the above posters’ comments which mentioned that at a funeral people are going to say nice things, even if they didn’t really think the lady/ guy was nice when s/he was alive. And usually your enemies don’t attend your funeral to say nasty things. So yes, people are going to be nice at MJ’s funeral, that’s just U.S. burial tradition.On Farrah vs Michael : I also agree that MJ was the bigger of the two stars in terms of people who knew the person existed before now.The more well-known person gets the most coverage, that’s all it is. I mean look at poor Billy Mays (the loud Oxy Clean infomercial guy) who died a few days after FF and MJ and he gets a line here or there and that’s it. Why? B/c he’s not as famous.

  25. Spinster says:

    I agree with Mr. Lemon. It would NEVER be excessive if it were Elvis or Frank or Mickey or (insert any White famous person here). You know, I’m still looking for tickets to Neptune because really, I’m friggin’ SICK of this racist ass planet.

  26. Meh227 says:

    Lord, I’m still hearing about that dead white woman….what was her name? Oh, yeah Marilyn Monroe. As one comedian (Paul Mooney – check out youtube – see below) said, white folks gave Michael his ni@@er wake up call. I don’t care how much money you have, how much talent, or how much you think white folks love you, at some point you will get your ni@@er wake up call ,too. I remember when Michael Jordan’s dad was killed. Within 24 hours, the white media was digging all kinds of innuendo and dig on this dad and come to find out two young men killed him – not related to any dig they were digging for. I remember seeing Jordan’s look of hurt on his face. He forgot, he thought white folks loved him so much. Love you Michael RIPhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MmX1kEUd3A

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