I just learned via Google News of an item in the Washington Post so profoundly obvious that it is amazing the editors decided to publish it:
Michael Jackson’s casket will be front and center during his star-studded memorial service today at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the entertainment Web site TMZ reported this morning.
The news sparked a frenzy of excitement among the anchors of the morning infotainment shows, all of which were broadcasting from outside the Staples Center in the pre-dawn darkness in order to capture the magnitude of the event.
The possible physical presence of the remains of the King of Pop — who died suddenly and suspiciously last week at age 50 — raises the specter that “crowd control could become an even bigger issue,” said “Today” host Meredith Vieira.
There was no way to independently confirm whether, in fact, The Casket will be onstage with the performers as the Land of La-La says ta-ta to Jackson, one of the best-known and most controversial entertainers ever. But TMZ, you’ll recall, has been leaving the traditional media mostly in the dust since it was the first to report Jackson had collapsed at his rented Holmby Hills mansion on June 25.
Family spokesperson Ken Sunshine, interviewed by Viera, refused to confirm or deny the casket reports — as did Al Sharpton, interviewed a short time later. But Sunshine did want Meredith to know that the Jackson family “has shown extraordinary dignity in a very emotional time” and that “Michael Jackson is the biggest figure emitting love ever.”
“Has anybody been to a wedding or family event when a Michael Jackson or Jackson Five song came on it wasn’t the highlight of the event?” Sunshine asked rhetorically.
But perhaps I thought this old news because it made me recall my father’s funeral, in October, 1997, at the Stephenson – Wyman Funeral Hom, in Clare, Michigan.
While waiting for the service to begin I spoke for a few minutes with Mr. Wyman, owner of the home and a long-time family friend.
Mr. Wyman said that he and Swanson had once spoken about my dad’s funeral.
Swanson Shields on His Own Funeral:
I don’t know how many people will be there, but I promise that I will be one of them.
Though I am no great fan of Mr. Jackson, I do find it noteworthty that he decided to honor our family policy on attending funerals.