Lurch Does Michael

The glowing coverage of Michael Jackson's sad performance in a just released rehearsal video offers a lesson regarding media story lines.
Video taken just two days before Michael Jackson's death show what many describe as a fit and sure-footed Jackson.
The only indication of fitness on the video is the fact that Michael is skinny, something that isn't a suprise - nor does his thiness encourage those concerned over drug abuse and potential anorexia. The choreographers obviously had limited expectations - the only references to the old MJ are hints - the jacket hung off of the shoulder, the shoulders getting shrugged, the hands being clapped. It's like Lurch does Michael - yet the media glows.
The CEO of AEG Live, Randy Phillips, whose company was producing Jackson's concert, says, "What I saw was a guy who had turned the corner both in his own belief and self-esteem that he could do this, he could get it back and grab that ring again."
These quotes are obviously coming from people who are looking toward the future, and huge amounts of revenues that might be made from the sale of many hours of rehearsal video, among other items. They may also represent an attempt to influence the jury in advance of litigation with insurance companies.
"It was extraordinary, and it was artistic, and it was full of potential," said concert director Kenny Ortega. "And we saw him triumph in this very space."
But they are reminiscent of the glowing reviews that Barack Obama received during the election season last year, and in the months since - reviews that often seemed to be offered by those wearing blinders.
Tracy reported Jackson was preparing for his "This Is It" Tour, a sold-out series of 50 concerts in London -- what might have been one of the biggest comeback tours of all time.
What is the source of this groupthink dementia? Why does CBS News offer a story like this one - provided without any rational analysis to balance the spin? One must assume that commerce comes first - the media likes to pump new life into it's good stories, and Michael Jackson has been driving lots of interest as a dead celebrity - just as the celebrity candidate did.
A 30-second snippet of Michael Jackson rehearsing two days before his death was released Thursday, part of more than 100 hours of footage that could be turned into live albums, a movie and a pay-per-view special, the promoter said.
Watch the rehearsal video and imagine watching 90 minutes of this, and it's easy to imagine walking out. Watch a video of Michael in his prime, and any doubt disappears that this was a man who was rightly scared of the date July 13. Michael's father, Joe Jackson, seems fearless, though, even as his family is struggling over having lost the "biggest superstar in the world." So much talk about love from the Jacksons, with very little love shown. Instead, Jackson claims the legal authority, along with his wife, to speak on behalf of Michael. Brother Jermaine, meanwhile, grants "exclusive" tours of the Nevertheland Ranch for interviews with the likes of Matt Lauer and Larry King.
So much airtime, so little to say. But Jermaine does manage to get in that they hope to get some laws changed so that Michael can be buried at the Ranch - the place that, after his acquital on child molestations charges, Michael said he would never live at again.
LaToya told fellow contestants on UK reality TV series ‘Celebrity Big Brother’: “Michael still owns Neverland. He hasn’t been there in about six years - not since the trial. “He says he never wants to see it again. He doesn’t want to be there. The memories are so awful.”
Hidden behind the banner that reads "Love," the true emotion of the Jacksons appears to be "Show me the money!" A lesson about money, and power, that applies to politics, as well.