USA Today's front page looked like a poster for the now-cancelled Jacko comeback concerts in London. Comedian Rob Corddry, the former Daily Show correspondent, joked: "I wish it had been Michael Jackson that broke the story of TMZ dying." So did alot of hacks. The AOL-owned TMZ claims a Demerol overdose caused the singer's heart to fail, quoting his family.
Despite the twitterati fest, it took the LA Times to do the "heavy lifting" and get a confirmation of details of the death, followed by the Associated Press, before many people believed it. "The last piece of Michael Jackson has expired!" the Onion headlined; Meanwhile, meanspirited blogger Perez Hilton, known for the premature announcement of Fidel Castro's demise, initially labelled the 911 call a "dubious stunt" and had to pull his snarky blogpost (of which a screen-capture is posted here. Magazines are "crashing" commemorative issues of the weird and tragic life of the otherwordly pop star, with images and tributes from celeb friends.
Jackson was 50, and had been in the public eye for four decades, ever since the Jackson 5 released their first hit I Want You Back. USA Today said
Jackson died after going into cardiac arrest at his rented home in Los Angeles, where he was preparing for 50 sold-out concerts at London's O2 Arena. When paramedics arrived at his home, Jackson's personal physician was performing CPR. They treated him for almost 45 minutes at his house but was in a coma when he arrived at the UCLA Medical Center. He was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. The Los Angeles Police Department said it would launch an investigation into the death, but cautioned that this is simply standard procedure for someone who was so famous and they have no reason to believe any foul play was involved.
so many people turned to the Internet to confirm rumors of his death that Google's computers interpreted all the simultaneous searches for "Michael Jackson" as an automated attack. In a story inside, the LAT notes that the first to report the star's death was the gossip site TMZ, which announced it at 2:44 p.m. But it became clear that many outlets around the world weren't comfortable taking the site's word for such an important piece of news and, instead, credited the LAT, which bannered the death at 2:51 p.m. Interestingly enough, even though TMZ and CNN are both owned by Time Warner, the news channel didn't confirm the death until almost two hours later.
Jackson's death overshadows the passing of 70s icon, Farrah Fawcett. The LAT is alone in fronting the news that the Charlie's Angels star died yesterday of anal cancer, which she had been fighting since 2006. She was 62.