Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sadness & Sympathy

What a terribly sad, sad day. The entertainment industry lost two giants, Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. One was expected and came earlier in the day. Someone from AC360 tweeted saying Anderson was on his way home from Paris and would devote a large portion of Thursday's program to covering the story. But when the totally unexpected and shocking death of Michael Jackson broke quickly it became the story of the day, week, month and probably year. If you are old enough to remember when Elvis died (it's one of those moments where you remember where you were and what you were doing) this was that kind of day. So the focus of the program quickly shifted to MJ and the producers and Anderson put together two great hours of AC360 with the best tribute to Michael Jackson that I've seen anywhere.
Just a partial list of those interviewed on MJ's death include Sheryl Crow (crazy old video of her with huge hair and singing on stage with Jackson was shown while she talked), Rev. Al Sharpton, Clive Davis, Jeffery Toobin, Debra Opri (former Jackson family attorney), John Norris (former MTV) and Ben Brafman (part of Jackson's defense team).
CNN's Ted Rollins reported live from UCLA Medical Center, Randi Kaye filed a report, Dr. Sanjay Gupta talked with AC about medical possibilities that could case Jackson's death, Roland Martin talked with Anderson about his phone call with Marlin Jackson and Erica Hill did a retrospective of the impact of his career.
Erica Hill's 360 News & Business Bulletins:
-More arrests in Iran and the government continues its crackdown
-The Arizona student that was stripped search for drugs won her case before the Supreme Court
-SC Governor will reimburse the State for his earlier trip to Argentina
-Tens of thousands attended an anti-American demonstration in North Korea
-Republicans & Dems are fighting over global warming legislation
And the lightest moment of the night came when Anderson told Erica about the time he meet Michael Jackson at Studio 54. Take a look:

If you didn't say up for the second hour the highlight for me was Anderson's tribute to Farrah Fawcett. I understand why MJ dominated the news tonight, but I feel that FF deserves to be honored for the talented actor she was and the pop icon she was too. Here's AC's tribute:
If you're keeping tabs on Anderson's day yesterday; he flew home from Paris, did an hour show with Campbell and two live hours of AC 360, plus voice overs and a prerecorded phone interview with Clive Davis on Thursday. Me thinks he wins the 'hardest work' award for the day.

That's it for me for a while. I'm heading to the East Coast next week and won't be back to posting until July 7th. I leave you in the very capable hands of the ATA team and will try to say hey in comments occasionally. Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July. ~Phebe

I've had this Michael Jackson song in my head all day, IMO it's one of his most beautiful and seems the perfect way to end the day.

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Anonymous said...

Phebe: I totally disagree with you about remembering "the moment." I do remember when Elvis died, and I remember when President Kennedy was shot. Big difference. I remember when John Lennon was shot and I remember when Martin Luther King was assasinated as well. Big difference. I know there will be mourning for the entire week, but both Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett did not change the course of history. Let's not confuse the two.
I remember when we first landed on the moon and when the Columbia exploded in mid-air. These are far more relevant happenings and we should put them in the proper perspective. The event that will stick in ALL of our minds is 9/11.
I know EXACTLY where I was and that's the kind of rememberance that bears remembering.
The passing of these two entertainment icons is just that, time to mourn, and we move on. They both impacted our culture and that's how they should be remembered. JMHO

Anonymous said...

Larry King, " it's time for Anderson Cooper and AC360. Anderson?"

Anderson, "Thanks, Larry. Tonight, remembering Michael Jackson, a legendary music icon. We'll look into his stellar career and sudden death later in the show.
We begin tonight with international news from Tehran, President Ahmadinejad's demand for an apology from U.S. President Obama. We'll also have my exclusive interview with Roxana Saberi, the journalist who was freed from Iranian jail just a few short weeks ago. Also, the Supreme Court makes an important decision about strip searches and we'll take a close look at President Obama's new energy policy.
It was a quieter day in the streets of Tehran today..."

That was what we should have got but didn't.

I'm sorry for Michael Jackson's family but it's not like the guy was a world leader. The incessant coverage of Jackson was too much and when I saw that Anderson would be doing the same, I did not watch.


Skeeen said...

I agree with the above; although it's horribly tragic that Michael Jackson has passed, I thought they should have had more variety in the show. I was looking forward to the interview with Roxana Saberi and the news from Iran. I guess there's always tomorrow...
I find it odd that they almost never do the show live for two hours for other events going on in the world...but they did for this. I will say though that 360's coverage was the best out of any other network that was covering, imo.
Anyways, thanks Phebe, for sharing the video. I guess I never really fully listened to MJ's music, seeing as I wasn't alive during the height of his career. Now I'm wondering why he was never on repeat on my iPod.

On_Love_Street_With_Jim_Morrison said...

Jaanza, I agree with you. I understand why they went overboard, however I wish they hadn't. And another thing. I think Farrah Fawcett deserved more time than what little bit 360 gave her. I hope tonite on 360 we'll get the Roxana Saberi interview tonite, but I won't hold my breath. We'll be lucky if we ever do get to see it.

Best part of the show, Anderson telling us he went to Studio 54 when he was 10. I am so so so jealous of him. I think that would have been so cool to go there. I'm very jealous of him. His mom is so cool. I mean how many parents would take the kid there??? Not many. I think it would be interesting to know over the years Studio 54 was open how many kids went there. Lucky, lucky, lucky Anderson. Every so often we learn something new about him and I think this is the best...LOL!

Anonymous said...

A sad, sad day, to loose two incredibly amazing individuals in Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett.

The most significant impact Michael Jackson had on my life was as a young girl while growing up and living in Africa and our neighbouring Country - Ethiopia was going through the devastating drought, famine, civil-unrest in 1985, and Michael Jackson co-wrote We Are the World with Lionel Richie, and that performance called USA (United Support of Artists) for Africa brought the single most significant attention and impact of famine and drought on the African Continent.

My heart breaks for his children and family. I will never forget what an impact that performance had on my own life, my Country and fellow human beings around the Continent.

Michael, May you Rest in Peace.

Anne said...

Phebe, I do agree with you. Those from another generation would remember when Elvis died. I grew up with the Jackson 5, Michael's album, Thriller is the top seller, that's how big he was. So for those im my generation, it is a big deal. Michael broke many barriers. Also, Farrah was the icon for the MJ generation, also. I was barely out of high school and very much remember Charlie's Angels as part of the pop culture. Her role in the tv movie, The Burning Bed changed her from status of being a poster girl to being thought of as a serious actress. P.S. I do not remember when Elvis died, he was not part of my memories. Anne D.

Anonymous said...

I have to say I agree with anon 2:02 am. These people were entertainers, yes. Not a Kennedy or Luther King.

I did not watch again, because as Jaanza stated, Michael should have been covered, but not at the expense of IMPORTANT world events in crisis. He was NOT a world leader. We should have gotten more of the things she stated in her comment.
Sorry, they were great entertainers perhaps, but not earth shattering, life changing people. There are far more pressing matters happening. CNN and Anderson have turned into Entertainment Central.
Wake me up when 360 comes back, if it ever does. Until then, I will get my news on their website. I thought that the almost dominating coverage of the Sanford crap was the last straw the night before, well last night was instead!

MediaAngel said...

@ANON2:02 couldn't agree with you more. I remember the important dates about things and people who have touched my heart and soul, but this is not one of them. I never liked MJ, the Jackson 5 and not even the Osmonnds, so this is not important to me. There were so many more important things that could be talked about, but 2 hours wasted and never to be returned. 360 is totally forgettable lately.

aries moon said...

Although I know there will be the inevitable complaints about the amount of coverage on Michael Jackson, I felt he totally deserved it. I was shocked and saddened to hear of his death and will always remember him for the great talent he was - so many of my childhood memories are tied up with him and The Jackson Five. His behavior as he got older was a little disappointing to me, but as a singer, dancer and all round entertainer, he certainly had a huge impact on my life and millions of others.

I was also sad to hear about Farrah Fawcett's death even though it was clear that she would not win her battle with cancer - two major icons gone on the same day...

Anonymous said...

is still up... Its 6:35 and i didn't sleep... I didn't know the guy, but i feel as though he was in all of our homes. I I am a Michael Jackson fan, a die hard Michael Jackson fan. What can i say the guy was the king. I hate that I always get upset like this when people die but each and every time it feels so unnatural. Especially with Mike. He was larger and louder than life and to think that he himself has been forever silenced is unreal....So many stars from that day, that era have died. And it feels as though they have cleared the space for our scumy generation. How unfortunate....

Diana said...

I don't think I'll be remembering where I was when I heard about Michael or Farrah, but I am sad about both their deaths. I do feel Farrah is getting ignored and this is especially sad after such a valliant battle with cancer. Michael will be remembered for some great music and entertainment, but in the back of many people's minds will be the more recent things, for other celebrities have died after controversial issues in their lives and in time their art has been the thing remembered. Another talented voice was silenced yesterday, too. Former Kentucky Poet Laureate James Baker Hall also died. I appreciate this site, especially today. I stayed at my apartment in Nashville last night and CNN was out on local cable (this morning, too) no Anderson! I went to see Legally Blonde, so wasn't in until late and then bummer.

Diana said...

I forgot to say that my sister is the person who called me about Michael Jackson's death. She's a few years younger than me, and I was a good older sister. I took her to movies and concerts, let her play my records, introduced her to all kinds of pop culture. She likes artists who were popular when she was a very young age because of that exposure. Michael Jackson's death really upset her, so I do think this remembering where you were when you heard he'd died will be a generational thing.

Lori, IL said...

Phebe - I totally agree with you. I am old enough to remember Elvis and his death, but acknowledge that Michael Jackson was a new generation's Elvis. I thought AC360's coverage was well done and informative.

Although I am not a huge Michael Jackson fan, I can appreciate his talent (Thriller album still #1 -- but I don't own it) and the changes he brought to the music industry for a new generation. I grew up with the Jackson Five and the Osmond Brother's -- so Michael's early music was definitely a part of my teenage years.

I agree, also, that Anderson wins the "hardest work" award for the day. Since Larry King was live for three hours on both sides of AC 360 with total Michael Jackson coverage, I'm sure the decision to air two live hours of AC360 devoted totally to Michael was not the decision of Anderson or the producers of AC 360, but rather a CNN decision. (Since ABC and NBC pre-empted their programming to air coverage of Michael Jackson's death -- this wasn't a unique decision for CNN to make.) Given the amount of traffic on the Live Blog last night (I believe over 1,500 comments)the show was obviously popular with many.

Hopefully, we will get some news on Iran and Iraq tonight -- but I'm guessing it will be Monday or sometime later next week before we see the Roxana Saberi interview that I'm really looking forward to.

Have a great vacation, Phebe -- and thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

It really saddens me at some of the comments I have read here today from so many of you. I just absolutely do not understand all those of you who don’t believe the death of Michael Jackson did not deserve the coverage that it got last night and all day today by all the Networks.

To all of you have complained, F.Y.I. ALL International Broadcasters and Networks around the globe halted regular scheduled programming to pay tribute to this American Icon, his life, his history, his legacy and his humanitarianism, and many have stilled continued coverage today, deservingly so.

He may have made mistakes in his life, more so toward the end of his life, but he certainly knew how to live life, and give life to people, through his music, his performances, and his generosity, which ultimately broke him. I totally believe the coverage his death has received on AC360 and all the other programs was very deserving.

When the man’s work and generosity touched you as it did me, the way he garnered support to bring together the colossal array of Artists and performers to bring attention to the plight of Famine and drought victims in Africa, to raise funds for Live Aid and numerous Humanitarian causes around the globe, you never forget an individual like that.

His voice may have been silenced yesterday, but his music will forever live on forever.

In moments like this, life is not about the number of breaths you take that matter, but rather, the moments in life that take your breath away that count.

Michael Jackson you took my breath away. May you Rest In Peace.

Phebe said...

@anonymous 1:36, I too am saddened by the amount of negative comments aimed at 360. It's very disheartening to read the same thing over and over every day. I'm about at the end of my rope with the negativity.

@anonymous 12:48, thanks for your kind wishes about my vacation, I wish it was that. A very dear family member died this week and I'm heading home for the funeral.

Coop1223 said...

Jaanza, Skeeen, and ACAnderFan, I agree with you. AC360 is not an entertainment show and I wish we could have seen some other news. I understand Michael Jackson was an icon and am saddened by his death, but a whole show was too much. My heart does go out to his family though.

Lori, IL said...

@Phebe -- I, too, am tired of all the negativity of late. (Sorry if I've contributed.) I can only imagine how you must feel when you dedicate so much time to keeping this site updated for us --

Sorry to learn of the reason for your trip. I lost a very dear brother-in-law (he lost his battle with cancer the day before his 66th birthday) two weeks ago. It has been a rough time for our family -- so my heart, thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family at this very difficult time. May you find strength in each other and the memories of your loved one. Safe travels.

olsond said...

@annon 1:36 - great post and I totally agree with you. I think MJ was an icon and I will remember where I was when I got the news.

I'm not sure if I have ever been on another board that has such negative posters. It looks to me like the people running ATA work very hard on this site, which is great, and it is losing posters and readers because of the constant negative. Must be really hard living with so much of that in your life all of the time.

Maybe better to stick to the front page and not read comments, as I'm the first one to post to people to turn turn the channel if you don't like AC and what he is saying or doing.

Outta here for awhile. Think I'll just go and continue to enjoy the show and have interest in the coverage of the news for the day whatever it may be.

aries moon said...

It's very disheartening to read the same thing over and over every day. I'm about at the end of my rope with the negativity.

This is exactly how I've felt for a long time now.

Kristien said...

Allthough I stopped being a MJ fan a long time ago and I dreaded all the coverage, I liked the show. (I only saw the first hour though, don't know if the second hour was even shown overhere) I liked the guests and the topics that were covered.

I laughed when Anderson talked about visiting Studio 54 at age 10. I hope it wasn't during one of the legendary parties, lol, that wouldn't have been healthy for a kid!

Skeeen said...

Phebe- you don't have to post this comment...I just wanted to say that I'm sincerely sorry for the pessimism I may bring into the posts here. It never really crossed my mind as I post things but I'm sure it must be frustrating for you. I think I vent it out sometimes here...I don't have friends that watch 360 on a regular basis or are news junkies like I am. It's nice to have a place to come to where there are other people who are passionate about some of the same things I am. The intelligent discussions are something that I'm sure can't be found on any other site. I know I've never met you, or talked to you, but I do truly appreciate the effort you're putting into keeping this blog up. Thank you.

Phebe said...

@Skeen, You comments are relevant and reflect your take on things without being overly harsh. I do not consider you part of the problem we are having. Our opinions are just that and the constructive ones promote discussion. The negativity just seems to feed on itself and grow.