Outside Neverland, you get critics

You may have tired of the Michael Jackson coverage. But his memorial service was one of the two most-viewed in human history, along with Princess Diana's. That's news.


But it also means there will be that many more people with opinions about it, about Jackson and about his legacy.

So why are some folks so sensitive about criticism of him, even to the point of being irrational?

Enter the Rev. Al Sharpton, who never fails to jump to the head of parades such as Jackson's funeral, and never leaves home without his righteous indignation, however contrived.

In Jackson's case, Sharpton angrily told the audience that Jackson never did anything freakish, but that he had to deal with a lot of freakish stuff -- from the media and public, of course.

That got a nice round of applause, but it was quite irrational, as in denying reality. It's observable fact that Jackson did plenty that many people considered beyond bizarre. Such things need not be recounted here; they're well-documented and well-known.

In acknowledging that fact, rather than joining the crowd to deify an exceedingly eccentric entertainer, no one is "trying to destroy the legacy of Jackson" as the perpetually puffy Sharpton told mourners. They're merely expressing their opinions, which they have every right to do -- especially when the media made the subject inescapable for several weeks.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., has been called every name in the book, including a racist, for espousing his unflattering views of Jackson and his befuddlement at the hubbub surrounding his death. Of course, it has nothing to do with race, unless you simply want to silence the critics.

Every entertainer is an acquired taste. Michael Jackson was like any other entertainer, only more so.

Commentator and columnist George Will has long noted that America has a booming "indignation industry," the type which the Sharptons of the world are captains of.

Anymore, it's America's chief industry.



Sat, 11/18/2017 - 23:00

Editorial: Our common ground