Media Mayhem: The Michael Jackson Effect

Last night I was discussing Michael Jackson with a friend of mine and how people seemed to have re-discover him after his death. As we listened to such classics as “Thriller”, “Beat it” and “Billy Jean”, my friend mentioned how impossible it was to find the best-of album.

It seems as if no matter what, if you’re a celebrity then you automatically become more famous after you die. Another perfect example is Heath Ledger. After his stellar performance in The Dark Knight as the Joker, Ledger was awarded the second ever posthumous academy award for his performance.

Yet another is the beloved Billy Mays. After his strange and untimely death earlier this year, the internet exploded with fan tributes. Even the hit series Pitchmen, on which Billy and his friend Sully co-starred, managed to show a tribute to the charismatic family man.

Finally, Farrah Faucet rounds out the superstition that celebrities die in threes. My question is why exactly did all this hub-bub bubble to the surface only after these celebrities were deceased?  Billy Mays already had a cult following, Michael Jackson was adored by millions and Farah was an all time beauty.  Surely the media had something to do with the hype, but it’s undeniable that a celebrity’s death makes an instant story.


One response to “Media Mayhem: The Michael Jackson Effect

  1. Good post, although I would have liked to have seen more on how the media reports celebrity deaths — specific articles and phrases.
    Still, it’s the end of the semester so I’m going to give you full points.

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