I guess it will be another one of those "do you remember where you were when you heard..." moments, won't it? I was in my car, checking Twitter (safely, really!) when I saw a tweet saying Michael Jackson had gone into cardiac arrest. I thought of checking CNN.com or something like it, but then I realized that I was most likely going to get whatever news I wanted faster via Twitter, so I kept checking. Within a minute of TMZ (whom I don't even follow) announcing his death, I Tweeted "Holy Fucking Shit. Holy Fucking Shit," and then wondered if I should have waited for confirmation from a more legit source. Tweets started coming in saying that it was only TMZ, that they were just rumour-mongers, and we should wait for confirmation from the medical examiner. But even though TMZ might dish trash (I should know), I can't think of an instance in which they falsely reported someone's death, much less someone of Jackson's stature. If they had reported it falsely, they would likely have lost their value as America's go-to place for breaking news. TMZ can be abhorrent, but they are important, and that has now been confirmed. Jst as the National Enquirer became the source for real news about OJ, the internet, between Twitter and TMZ has found a way to cut through the noise.
I wrote a short piece about my early Jacko memories in today's National Post.