Thursday, July 9, 2009

Inside the Media: Michael Jackson

Inside the Media is a new feature, where we teach our readers how jour- nalism works. This week, the primary duty of any responsible journalist has been to tie anything else in the news to Michael Jackson.

On the subject of healthcare, it's tempting to focus on the ongoing Congressional debate that could change the lives of all Americans ("Discord on Health Care Dulls Luster Of New Pacts"), but responsible news outlets like CNN know the front and center healthcare issue is "what did Jackson's dermatologist know about his private life, and when did he know it?" ("Jackson's doctor: I worried about surgeries, Diprivan").

While President Obama was in Russia, it would have been easy for the status of our troubled relations with the world's other nuclear superpower to take centerstage ("Obama, Putin Meet at Last"). Fortunately, NBC's Chuck Todd stayed on focus, drilling the president during his Moscow press conference on whether it was Jackson's achievements as a black entertainer that paved the way for the Obama presidency ("Obama on Michael Jackson's Role").

And finally, while the surprise resignation of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is newsworthy ("Where is Sarah Palin Going Next?"), it is only appropriate to pair it with the similarly-themed news story, "Michael Jackson Buried Without His Brain."

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