Friday, June 26, 2009

All Michael, All the Time

Today's autopsy on Michael Jackson appears to have been inconclusive.

There was no sign of external trauma or indication of foul play, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office so toxicology, neuropathology and pulmonary tests have been requested. As a result, it seems likely to be several weeks before a cause of death is determined.

That, along with the release of the recording of the 911 call, is pretty much the extent of today's developments.

But don't worry that you might miss something. More than 24 hours after his death — and with apparently no other news to report — all the news websites are full of Michael coverage.

In some ways and at some sites, I expected that. I mean, take the Gary, Ind., newspaper, the Post–Tribune, for example. Michael Jackson is probably the most significant person to come out of Gary. I would have been surprised if he wasn't the focus of attention.

And, considering that Jackson died in Los Angeles and his autopsy was conducted there, I would have been surprised if he wasn't the top story in the Los Angeles Times.

But the apparent absence of much real news didn't keep USA Today from making Jackson its above–the–fold story.

Even the Washington Post has not been immune. I would have thought that the Post, being in the nation's capital, would have a few other things on which to shine its spotlight — the economy, the revolution in Iran, health care reform, even Mark Sanford.

Well, in life, Jackson sure sold a lot of papers.

And, in his death in the digital age, he's driving a lot of internet traffic.

Speaking of which, CNN is saying that there was a time yesterday when the online traffic seeking news of Jackson's condition nearly brought down the internet.

Hang on tight. With his funeral/memorial service and the revelation of the cause of death yet to come, it's shaping up to be a bumpy ride.

Fasten your seatbelts.