Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The politics of personal destruction: Not even Michael Jackson can escape it, alive or dead

I was really hopping that I wouldn’t have to post anything about Michael Jackson, but it seems the political world really has no shame. Case in point, New York Congressman Peter King (R-Long Island) just couldn’t keep his mouth shut about how much he doesn’t like Michael Jackson and the obscene amount of media coverage that Jackson’s death, memorial, and funeral have attracted. Not only does he make a video and put it up on YouTube, but just for good measure to make sure that his feelings about Michael Jackson were clear and to unambiguously state his opposition to a postage stamp of the Pop Icon as suggested by the Reverend Al Sharpton. Here is the YouTube video and below, Congressman King’s latest statement:

"I will certainly oppose a stamp for Michael Jackson," King told PIX News."I tapped into something that many people have been thinking about but were afraid to say," King said in explaining his decision to make his views on the extensive coverage of Jackson's death public via the YouTube video.

"I think that those of us in public life have an obligation to try and stop something when we have something that is going so far in the wrong direction." King went on to say "I just had enough and I felt there are too many good people in this country who do good work and are not acknowledged and that we should not be canonizing someone like Michael Jackson."King also discussed the scandals that often followed Michael Jackson, "Whatever talent he had he also behaved totally inappropriately with young boys. It is a horrible message to send to the country and the world."

First point I want to make, there are lots of people out there (elected officials and faith leaders are no exception) that have strange and odd behavior. While there are lots of things that make the United States and its unique American Culture attractive to billions of people around the world, there are just as many that think our attitudes and behaviors around sexuality and the fascination with personal gun ownership is strange and odd. This man was admired and loved by millions, if not billions, of people around the world. Congressman King only has the support of 50% plus one in his Long Island Congressional District. A far cry from the fan base of Michael Jackson, on a global scale.

Secondly, whether you think Michael Jackson is a pedophile, child molester, or he makes you uncomfortable regarding his behavior towards young boys, the man was put on trial in the courtroom and the court of public opinion and was acquitted! The law isn’t about the truth, it’s about who has the best lawyer (I think I saw this in a Delegate’s District Office somewhere). When you are a public figure with the global status like Michael Jackson, people are going to try and take advantage of that status in a variety of ways. Guilty or not, in the eyes of the law, Michael Jackson was found not guilty. Period. End of discussion. Let’s move on.

Lastly, I don’t recall Congressman King casting stones at is former colleague Mark Foley for his lewd behavior, or former Senator Larry Craig. Reaching way back, probably before Congressman King was a member, is former Oregon Senator Bob Packwood who wrote in his personal diary that it was his “Christian duty” to make love to a woman who had not been intimate with a man for a while. Right now, it seems that most of the ‘low life’s” are among the members of the GOP, a list that now includes Nevada Senator John Ensign and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. It’s clear that Congressman King doesn’t know which glass house he lives.

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