Alex Massie

Michael Jackson’s Final Freak Show

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The Washington Post's Lisa de Moraes has the right attitude to today's media-overload as at least 16 networks compete to see who can provide the most gruesome coverage of the Michael Jackson memorial today. Odds are that ABC will be the winners, if only because they have Martin Bashir on their books...

We're guessing Jackson fans probably won't be watching ABC's coverage, Bashir being the guy who profited most by taking down Michael Jackson. In case you just came out from under a flat rock, Bashir's the guy who did that 2003 documentary, bought by ABC, that led to Jackson getting slapped with those child-abuse charges and Bashir getting offered a job at ABC News. In Jackson-fanatic circles, Bashir is That Backstabber Who Has Michael Jackson's Blood on His Hands.

On the other hand, they'll be passing up a surefire Watch Bashir Make Michael Jackson's Memorial All About Martin Bashir Drinking Game, given the number of times Bashir is sure to turn the discussion to himself. You know, like: "Michael Jackson had been preparing for his eagerly awaited comeback concerts in London, which were due to begin next month -- and it was in London where I first met him back in 2003 and later that year began filming a documentary that would have huge ramifications" (Bashir on ABC's "20/20" the night of Jackson's death)...

...CNBC will dip in and out of the service while spending the day discussing the financial aspects of Jackson's death, as in who stands to profit most -- besides, of course, Martin Bashir, who has been madly remaking himself as Michael Jackson Fan Club president, even to the extent of pooh-poohing his own damning documentary: "Certainly when I made the documentary there was a small part of that which contained a controversy concerning his relationship with other young people," Bashir told ABC News the day Jackson died. "But the truth is that he was never convicted of any crime; I never saw any wrongdoing myself. And whilst his lifestyle may have been a bit unorthodox, I don't believe it was criminal, and I think the world has now lost the greatest entertainer it's probably ever known."

Emphasis added, of course. Enough, people, enough.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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