July 2009 Editorial Winner

Michael Jackson was no Elvis

Barb Walter - The Hennessey Clipper,  July 2009

Last week when pop singer Michael Jackson died, I couldn't believe all the air time that the electronic media gave it.

You would have thought the president had been shot.

 They interrupted nighttime TV shows for an hour, then another hour, and then I gave up. I even gave up on Fox because they were over-working the story too. So I flipped through the TV channels and mindlessly watched Wimbledon or a cooking show or a mundane 30-year-old game show.

How on earth could a man who slept with children be treated as a martyr by the media?

When I voiced my opinion to a friend on Saturday, she said, "To another generation, Michael Jackson was their Elvis."

Her words almost stopped me in my tracks. Almost. My mouth kept running, "But he slept with children, "But... but... but."

Then the conversation concentrated on Elvis.

The King.

The King of Rock and Roll.

He was one of my teenage idols. I could forgive Elvis for his human frailties and his drug abuse. After all, he was Elvis.

Saturday night, I watched part of a TV tribute to Michael Jackson.

I didn't realize I knew the words to so many of his songs, or that I loved the beat to his music, and that I wish I could have learned to do his Moon Walk.

Michael Jackson was the King of Pop Rock. There is no denying that. There is no denying his accomplishments and his impact on our society. There is also no denying that I can't get past what he did to little children and that he got away with it all because he was famous.

Michael may be in a better place now.

Maybe not.

God only knows. But I'm certain Elvis is up there.