Perhaps the media is making the Ayatollah’s point. Since the revolution in 1979, one of the main concerns of the theocracy in Iran has been America’s cultural imperialism. And while I don’t think any of us purposefully set out to dominate foreign cultures with American pop music, consider this. What does it look like to people fighting — and dying — for freedom in Iran that every single mainstream media outlet in the U.S. — and, yes, their audiences — have completely forgotten them to make a god out of a skin-bleaching bankrupt freak who had weird relationships with children and chimpanzees?
Yes, he gave us some brilliant music back in the 1980s. And yes, we are more than capable of holding two thoughts in our heads at the same time. There’s nothing wrong with putting on your red leather jacket with zippers, and your white socks, and your sparkly glove and curling up on the couch with that boom box you had as a kid. There’s nothing wrong with you driving around your town with the windows down playing “Man in the Mirror” to the point your windows rattle. And if you want to gather a few thousand of your prison buddies to re-enact Thriller, knock yourselves out.
But that our media, in the midst of Iranian revolution and nuclear bloviating from North Korea, has gone completely over to the death of a mentally unstable pop star doesn’t say much for our priorities. What are we gaining by having the anchor repeating the same clips and then throwing it to someone standing outside the house or the hospital who’s learned absolutely nothing new (well, I guess that is sort of like covering Iran or North Korea.)
Maybe the Iranians should get some money together to run ads during the Michael Jackson coverage. Or the Mark Sanford coverage. Or the Farah Fawcett coverage. Maybe that way they’d get our attention.
And you damn kids get off my lawn!