I was sick of the Jackson coverage well before his over the top memorial service and I changed the channel every time that they got back into any discussion of the guy. He truly was a good entertainer and more than a little bit of a troubled freak, and like everyone ultimately will, he died. I think that the celebrity worship is a little crazy.
Michelle Malkin wrote an article called Let’s Mourn the Real American Heroes in which she points out some people who died on the same week as Jackson who deserve more mention. No, I am not talking about Billy Mays or Farah Faucett or Ed McMahon.
It is very likely that the names Justin Casillas and Aaron Fairbairn and Brian Bradshaw don’t ring a bell with you and the truth is that I also did not recognize those names. Last week these three American men gave their lives for their country and for their fellow soldiers in Afghanistan, but you could likely name Michael Jackson’s doctor before any of these heroes.
According to the Department of Defense, both Fairbairn and Casillas died from “wounds suffered when insurgents attacked the outpost using small arms and indirect fires.” The Taliban claimed credit for the complex rocket and mortar attack involving a reported 8,000 kg of explosives.
A local Georgia Marine gave his life on July 2 as well, Charles Sharp of Adairsville, while in combat in Afghanistan. These men and many others like them consistently demonstrate the courage and devotion that we have come to expect from our amazing military, paying the ultimate price in their service. These are the people I point out to my sons as examples of strength and courage and duty and honor, men with character who stood for something. We owe them and their proud but grieving families a debt of gratitude and remembrance. These sons of America died for you and me and one of them is worth a thousand Michael Jacksons.
Michelle goes on to relate the story of Brian Bradshaw, who died on the same day as “the gloved one”:
Tens of thousands of our men and women are in Iraq and Afghanistan to combat the jihadi threat. Army 1st Lt. Brian N. Bradshaw gave his life on June 25, the same day Jackson died. Bradshaw’s aunt, Martha Gillis, blasted the silence over her nephew’s sacrifice in a letter to her local paper, The Washington Post:
“My nephew, Brian Bradshaw, was killed by an explosive device in Afghanistan on June 25, the same day that Michael Jackson died. … Where was the coverage of my nephew or the other soldiers who died that week?” Gillis wrote that Bradshaw “had old-fashioned values and believed that military service was patriotic and that actions counted more than talk. … He was a search-and-rescue volunteer, an altar boy, a camp counselor. He carried the hopes and dreams of his parents willingly on his shoulders. What more than that did Michael Jackson do or represent that earned him memorial ‘shrines,’ while this soldier’s death goes unheralded? It makes me want to scream.”
I think that it is proof of a failure in the media and a clear sign of a complete loss of perspective among the media-consuming public that so much energy was been expended on this particular celebrity death while we still have men and women out on the line dying for their country. I am reminded of the ridiculously overdone coverage of Lady Di’s death and how the media was forced into covering Mother Theresa’s death much more heavily the following week lest they seem to be perceived as playing favorites.
I will not hold my breath waiting for the MSM in America to have an epiphany about the contrast between their coverage of Jackson’s death and the continuing sacrifice of our soldiers.