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Celebrity Send-off

By Suzanne Spurgeon  July 7, 2009

Like millions of fans around the world, I watched the Michael Jackson memorial from start to finish.  I feared a media circus, but overall, I found the coverage respectful.  It is always tricky when the deceased is known not just for his good work and deeds, but allegations of misdeeds.  I found some similarities in the coverage of  Jackson's death to that of President Richard Nixon's.  I was one of CNN's producers at the late President's funeral.  How do you talk about the man, without addressing Watergate?  You can't.  To ignore the elephant in the room (no pun intended) is ridiculous.  It's all about tone.  Dwell on the negative too much and you are disrespecful.  But to suggest it doesn't exist, is not truth either. 

On the day of his memorial, I think the emphasis on Jackson's work and family is proper.  There will be plenty of time and  many broadcasts to devote to drug allegations and all the rest. 

As with the recent deaths of Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon, we mourn the death of someone we knew only through media. Still he touched our lives.  I've been listening to Jackson's music and remembering the time...

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