The Today Show coverage of Michael Jackson’s death was eulogy, not journalism. No mention of his travails was tolerated. The theme of the interviews was “Will music be his legacy or will his scandals?” and those that believed the latter were quickly cut off. Most disturbing was Matt Lauer’s treatment of Vanity Fair’s Maureen Orth, a well-respected journalist.
Professional treatment of Michael Jackson’s death deserved a more balanced approach. History is dominated by those who are both profoundly talented and deeply flawed — and Jackson embodied both characteristics more than most.