As I flip between cable news stations, I’ve decided to start a list of Very Special Snippets From Today’s Michael Jackson Coverage. Please add your own high- (or low-lights), in the comments, if you see or hear anything of note. And now, following CNN’s contributions from my prior post:
FOX NEWS’s Greta Van Susteren: The Staples Center was not prepared for [today’s memorial]. The Ringling Bros. Circus is going to be here, tomorrow. There’ll be elephants arriving here tonight…
UPDATE, 11:45AM: On MSNBC, Entertainment Tonight’s Billy Bush, talking about the challenges, for reporter-fans, of covering today’s events:
BUSH: You know what? It’s tough for the media. I’m a fan of Michael Jackson’s music. I grew up in the ’80s. This is big for me.
CNN anchor: What was the first album you loved?
BUSH: Thriller really turned me on… To me, as a reporter covering this, it’s very difficult because, you know, I loved Michael Jackson. At the same time, there’s lots of unanswered questions that, you know, we all wish we could have sat down with Michael Jackson in a private room, one-on-one, and found out everything, had him tell us the whole works so that we can, I don’t know, be set free to mourn 150%. Do you know what I mean?
FOX NEWS’s SHEP SMITH: I’m guessing the reporters are lined up [outside the Staples Center] like folks in a soup kitchen… It’s sort of been this way since we’ve been able to get satellite trucks out, maybe twenty years now. But it feels like we’ve reached a bit of a crescendo here, we might have jumped the shark quite a while ago but now it feels like, maybe we’re in there swimming with it, you know?
KTTV ANCHOR (outside Staples Center): Yes, it seems we’ve reached an apex…I’ve never seen so many reporters…
SMITH: The trouble with taking things to the highest level they can be taken is, there’s no other level. This is Michael Jackson. What happens when it’s bigger than that, though I can’t think of who that might be….
And, moments later, as Greta Van Susteren reported that there were big blocks of empty seats inside Staples Center:
SHEP SMITH: I wonder if the news media has not run away with this thing in a way the public has not…
VAN SUSTEREN: We’ll see, all the media organizations are here, they have all spent a bloody fortune on this…. we’ll see how much viewers are interested…
UPDATE, 1:34pm: On Fox News (emphasis mine):
GERALDO RIVERA: When I see La Toya, for instance, she was on my talk show in the ’90s and accused her brother of being a pervert. To see her at the funeral — Again, I am fighting my own instincts to be a newsman..I want to be a consumer of our own pop cultural history and the passing of an icon, but it is difficult when hypocrisy rears its ugly head….
UPDATE, 3:11pm: The AP has a running laundry list of things “seen and heard at Jackson’s memorial service,” which includes this bullet point:
Smokey Robinson just arrived, followed by Verne Troyer in a tiny wheelchair.
UPDATE, 4:15pm: Who has CNN’s Wolf Blitzer assembled in The Situation Room in New York to offer expert post-memorial service analysis? (CNN legal analyst) Jeffrey Toobin and (Democratic strategist/CNN analyst) Donna Brazile, natch!
WOLF BLITZER: I’m not embarrassed to say I was emotional [watching the memorial service], I was moved…
(Wonder what that looks/sounds like….)
Blitzer shows live footage of the motorcade, with coffin, preparing to leave the Staples Center, confesses he doesn’t “know where this motorcade is going to go,” before turning to Donna Brazile and saying, “I don’t know if you have any inside information…”
(Why? Why would Brazile have such “inside information?”)
Toobin weighs in on
relevant legal issues “when Jackson did the moonwalk for the first time” and how “that was such an electric moment” but now “we all take [the moonwalk] for granted.”