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The Michael Jackson Smokescreen

By James Donahue

Michael Jackson was a talented performer with lots of followers. He also was a spoiled and troubled man who refused to grow up. He liked little boys too much, perhaps because in his mind he never personally left that kingdom. Some say it was because he never was allowed to be a child. He abused his wealth, dabbled in drugs, and died young. It is an old story. Move along folks, nothing more to see here.

When the unexpected death of a singer like Jackson causes a nation-wide news blackout that lasts for days, we need to start asking what is going on behind the curtain. Thanks to the working news people in the field, and the World Wide Web, it did not take long to discover the things that some people in high places might just not want Americans to be thinking about this week.

House Democrats narrowly won a key vote and are now pushing for passage of White House backed clean air legislation designed to combat global warming and usher in a new era of cleaner energy. The bill would impose first-ever limits of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas pollution from power plants, factories and refineries. It would force a shift from coal and other fossil fuels to renewable and more efficient forms of energy. Opponents argue it will force higher energy costs. Democratic Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts said this is the “most important environmental and energy legislation to ever have been considered in this nation’s history.”

Were details of the 911 call from the Jackson residence and the actions paramedics and doctors took when the singer was stricken Thursday more important than this news story? The networks seemed to think so. Why was this?

Remember all of the fire and thunder surrounding the Obama Administration’s push for a nationwide health insurance program? The news broke Wednesday that a new study by the Commonwealth Fund finds that a nationwide health insurance exchange that includes a Medicare-like government option could save $1.8 trillion more than if only private plans are offered. The study found that federal spending on health related costs would rise from 2010 to 2020, but would be less with a plan that pays doctors and hospital rates similar to the Medicare program now provided for the elderly and disabled.

Were first-hand interviews with neighbors and personal friends of Michael Jackson by the television talking heads more important than this key piece of information? National health care is so vital it is in everybody’s best interest to know all of the facts. But this story barely made the news. Why do you think this happened?

Islamic militants are exploding some very powerful bombs in crowded places all over Iraq just as American troops are set to pull out of the public arena as a police force. Hundreds of innocent civilians are getting caught up in the blasts. What is going on in Iraq?

The Iranian crisis now is reaching its tentacles into U.S. soil. Iran’s controversial President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is demanding an apology from U.S. President Barack Obama “for meddling.” Mr. Obama has been critical of the violence committed by government troops against the Iranian people who have protested the results of the recent presidential election. Thus we have a war of words occurring between the two leaders at a time when Mr. Obama was attempting to open dialogue for better understanding and cooperation.

Then there is the insanity occurring within North Korean government ranks. That nation’s Communist dictator Kim Jong-Il has threatened to bring nuclear destruction to the United States if our Navy continues to shadow and attempt to board or seize its ships. He also is threatening to shoot down any Japanese aircraft that enters North Korean airspace. Jong-Il is defying the United Nations in proceeding with the development and testing of nuclear weapons and testing missiles.

These are news stories we should be watching.