Tuesday, June 30, 2009

BOOooo - OOooo - ooOO!

...and it's not anywhere near Halloween!!!

Michael Jackson's Ghost Haunts CNN Anderson Cooper

(00:17 min.)

From: sirgrinchiod3

Added: June 27, 2009

Description: during the news networks coverage of the death of Michael Jackson, a ghoulish image appeared over the shoulder of Anderson Cooper. See the video after the jump.

At first we were completely freaked out, but the image later appeared again, leading us to believe that the producer of the show was asleep at the wheel and was allowing ghoulish images of MJ to appear on the flat panels behind Cooper. We captured some video, so give it a watch and decide for yourself.

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW3Zkq0_FCU

And here it is, the IRREFUTABLE proof of the
Anderson Cooper 360º happening...

Be afraid, be very musically afraid!


A Great Slapstick Act with Barry Mitchell from the Archives.

I've always known Anderson was a great comedian, and this video leaves no doubt to the contrary. He IS a clown, a very good looking clown, who needs no costume to play his role(s). Boy was he skinny then, yet still gorgeous and adorable. Enjoy!

Anderson Cooper Slapstick

(02:34 min.)

From: barryfunnytv

Added: January 27, 2008

Description: You asked for it -- you've got it! Yet another helping of rare clips featuring fun, on-air moments with Anderson Cooper. Barry Mitchell and JuJu Chang go along for the ride. From Barryfunny.com.

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s-i4vf536k

Another Fan

One Beauty Deserves Another
Even if I made him so

Anderson Cooper & Jesse Metcalfe
Like the moth to the flame only I won't say who is which...

Wall 2 of 4

wall #3 will attach to the right edge of this segment.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Cheney Methods

28 Jun 2009 07:31 pm

Khamenei Uses The Cheney Methods I

With the distressing news of so many democracy activists being rounded up by the Iranian regime, the specter of torture for false confessions emerges. The confessions "prove" that the demonstrations were entirely a function of a foreign plot. And, more to the point, the torture techniques include those adopted and championed by the neocon right in the US. Among the Cheney techniques that are used by the Khemenai regime are sleep deprivation, forced nudity, beatings, solitary confinement, and stress positions. The torture also exceeds Cheney techniques in many cases: beating with cables, which was barred by Cheney in favor of beatings that did not leave such scars or "walling". The Tehran regime does not have a record of waterboarding. Khamenei's regime, like Cheney's program, denies outright that they torture anyone.

And here's what the neocon right has to confront: if they refuse to believe that the victims of this regime are telling the truth, on what grounds do they believe the "evidence" that Cheney tortured out of America's prisoners?

Above is a disturbing report from Anderson Cooper on Sixty Minutes earlier this year. The Iranian mullahs are clearly worse in their degree of torture than America's neocons, and they use it against citizens for mere political expression, not to procure or compell evidence for charges of terrorism. But the distinction between their torture and the West's is now a matter of parsing. The line has been blurred.

And the impact of America's endorsement of these torture techniques can only make the experience of the tortured that much harder to endure. Before Bush-Cheney, the tortured around the world knew that there was a place that didn't do this, that there was a human civilization bigger and better than this. No longer. And this is Cheney's signal contribution to the twenty-first century: he has made the world much, much safer for torture - by people with fewer scruples than David Addington. And those fighting for freedom around the world will be the foremost victims of the neocons' deployment of the "dark side".

Copyright © 2009 Andrew Sullivan

An Uncommon Story

Anderson Cooper 360 - 26 June 09

Wall 1 of 4

Today begins a series of four walls, some of you may have seen some of them, but nobody has seen all four. Each day I will post walls 1 through 4 and on Friday I will post them all together; wide file, of course.

The walls are nothing but a collage of pictures mostly of Anderson and a few other gorgeous guys that are or could very well be friends of Anderson.

I hope you enjoy the "puzzle" and that you like the final product. Here is Wall #1. Enjoy!

wall #2 will attach to the right edge of this segment.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Butt Twittwring

Sat, 27 June 2009

Anderson Cooper: Biking Buddies, Butt Tweeting

CNN host Anderson Cooper and pal Antoine Maisani wear matching Fred Perry polos and take their matching mountain bikes for a ride around Manhattan’s Greenwich Village on Friday afternoon (June 26).

The 42-year-old Silver Fox must be having a bumpin’ time tonight. Two hours ago, he tweeted two consecutive nonsensical messages on his Twitter account @AndersonCooper: “IOiu” and “Y”.

Since butt-dialing exists, is there such a thing as butt-tweeting? Butt-twittering?

I have no idea what Anderson and his friend Antoine are doing, they are going for a bike ride, they are going for a picnic on Central Park, or, according to that plastic bag and Anderson's face on most photos, perhaps they are simply getting the garbage out...!!!


Even fellow stars pondered the enigma of Michael Jackson

By Philip Potempa
philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 | Saturday, June 27, 2009 |

CNN's Anderson Cooper summed it up best during the cable network's ongoing coverage of Michael Jackson's death Thursday at age 50.

"I think people are more surprised by the news, than shocked," Cooper said.

"Could anyone have ever imagined a Michael Jackson at age 80?"

Everyone, both those famous to everyday folks and fans, agree Jackson was different.

Being different set him apart at an early age -- as did his undeniable talent -- as he was pushed and groomed for superstardom

In later life, being different, coupled with vast amounts of wealth and trying to stay at the top and to please others, set him apart, festering a troubled soul.

Legendary entertainer Carol Burnett says it best, with one of her own encounters with Jackson when he appeared on her CBS variety show. He appeared on her show March 16, 1974 with his brothers, the Jackson 5.

"I always said, when Michael Jackson was around, the earth moved, because he was such a special young man," Burnett said.

Of course, Burnett also is referring to what happened during a taping of the big musical finale, which featured Burnett -- in horned-rimmed glasses as a schoolmarm -- in a classroom with Jackson and his brothers. The "students" were sitting at desks and singing -- what else? -- their hit song "ABC," along with a jazzy version of nursery rhyme "This Old Man."

During that taping, an earthquake rocked Los Angles in the middle of the musical number. Everyone nervously looked up and around, wondering what was happening, especially with heavy lighting banks swaying overhead. The taping continued, with Burnett throwing in a couple ad libs. The incident can be seen in the broadcast episode.

Entertainer Cher told CNN's Larry King during his Thursday broadcast that she felt Jackson was a "different person" compared to the young man she knew during the 1970s. The Jackson 5 appeared on her solo variety show "Cher" in 1976.

She told King she preferred to remember the friend from the "early years." He wanted to go to the movies with her, be her date to see "Dreamgirls," dance all night while the two were together aboard the Queen Mary. And he was the guy who admired the custom "beaded socks" by designer Bob Mackie that Cher date Val Kilmer once wore at a party they all attended.

" I think of him more like -- like that, because in later years, he -- I didn't see him that much and when I did see him, his behavior was very strange to me," Cher told King.

" And so I didn't relate to that person as well. I didn't really understand him. The last time I worked with him, you know, we were doing something with Dick Clark. I don't remember the show. And he and I were rehearsing after one another. And they were carrying his baby. I don't know, I couldn't see because they had the baby all wrapped up. And I don't know if it was a baby or a toddler. I don't really know how old the child was. They were carrying it in this kind of blanket from our trailers outside into the rehearsal area on stage. And I just kept thinking, `Why don't they just leave this poor child, you know, in the trailer with whoever is watching him instead of just like carting him back and forth and back and forth?' And I just thought this is so strange."

Singer Celine Dion told King that the last time she saw Jackson was two years ago when he came to she her concert at Caesar's Palace. He came to her dressing room after the show with "a lot of questions" about performing night after night in Las Vegas, whether it was demanding, what it was like to live in Vegas.

Some of the most interesting and bizarre insights into Jackson came from singer Sheryl Crow, discussing with Cooper how she toured with Jackson as a backup vocalist during his Bad World Tour from 1987-1989. She always performed with Jackson during "I Just Can't Stop Loving You."

"Working with him? It was -- it was really surreal, " Crow said.

"For one thing, it was a huge traveling show. And, at this point, in his career, he was already starting to isolate himself. He wasn't nearly as open, didn't really hang out too much, although I was lucky, in that I got to hang out with him on a number of occasions by myself. Like, in fact, I -- I have a funny story. He invited me over to his hotel room in Tokyo. And we watched 'Amos 'n' Andy' videos and 'Shane,' the movie 'Shane,' and it was just completely unexpected. But he -- he was -- you know, he was funny. ... he had a big laugh. He loved practical joking. And I can remember vividly going to Disneyland and being on a ride with him, and he wouldn't let the ride stop. And I -- by the end of it -- I was just absolutely ill.

"And, yes, Bubbles the Chimp was on the tour. ... by this time in Bubbles' life, he was much too big and strong to have out in public, let alone on a tour. So, he didn't make the whole tour. And I can remember sitting with Michael, and him poking him in the chest with a ballpoint pen, saying, "That's the only way you can get his attention, and you can get him to stop doing what he's doing.'"

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or 219.852.4327.

Today's Celebrity Birthdays

Pulitzer-winning political cartoonist Paul Conrad is 85. Former presidential hopeful Ross Perot is 80. Singer Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys is 67. Songwriter Will Jennings ("Moulin Rouge!") is 65. Fashion designer Vera Wang is 60. Actor James Daughton ("Animal House") is 59. Actress Julia Duffy ("Newhart") is 58. Actress Isabelle Adjani is 54. Country singer Lorrie Morgan is 50. Writer-director J.J. Abrams ("Lost," "Alias") is 43. TV personality Jo Frost ("Supernanny") is 39. Actor Yancey Arias ("Kingpin") is 38. Actor Tobey Maguire ("Spider-Man") is 34. Singer Leigh Nash (Sixpence None The Richer) is 33. Actor Drake Bell ("Drake and Josh") is 23. Actor Ed Westwick ("Gossip Girl") is 22. Actress Madylin Sweeten ("Everybody Loves Raymond") is 18. Sistine Rose Stallone (daughter of Sly Stallone) is 11.

The Numbers Are In!

June 26, 2009, 6:06 pm

Big Cable Audiences for Jackson Reports

By Brian Stelter

More than 10 million people flocked to cable news channels when word of Michael Jackson’s death emerged on Thursday evening.

The audience for the cable channels, most notably CNN, more than doubled in the initial hours after Mr. Jackson’s death. In a rare win for CNN, the news channel drew a million more viewers than the Fox News Channel. (Usually Fox has a million-viewer lead over CNN.)

From 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. — the bulk of the live coverage of Mr. Jackson’s death, which was widely reported around 6:30 p.m. — CNN had an average of 3.2 million viewers, Fox News had an average of 2.3 million and MSNBC had an average of 1.1 million.

CNN’s viewership peaked during the 8 p.m. hour, when Campbell Brown and Anderson Cooper were co-anchoring breaking news coverage. The channel averaged four million viewers that hour. The next hour, when Larry King interviewed celebrities like Celine Dion and Cher, the network averaged 3.9 million viewers. At 10 p.m., CNN drew 3.7 million.

Fox News drew 3.4 million viewers at 8 p.m. for a news hour anchored by Shepard Smith. (”The O’Reilly Factor” was shelved.) At 9 p.m., Geraldo Rivera averaged 2.8 million viewers. At 10 p.m., Fox drew 2.3 million.

MSNBC averaged 1.5 million viewers in prime time.

Dancing with MJ

The Death of Michael Jackson - Sheryl Crow | Doctor Interview | Anderson Cooper

(09:40 min.)

From: B4UDSide

Added: June 25, 2009

Description: This is the rest of Sheryl Crow and Anderson Cooper speaking about being on tour with Michael and the pressure he must have been feeling about his come-back tour that was in the making. Also includes the official statement from UCLA Medical center and footage of his body in transport. Also a phone interview with Brian Oxman, the Jackson's spokesperson about Michael's drug use.

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W20ZSeypJ2A

Friday, June 26, 2009

Remembering Michael

Anderson Cooper: "I Went To A Club With Michael Jackson When I Was 10"

Remembering Michael Jackson, by Sheryl Crow (June 25, 2009)

Anderson Is The Best!

CNN’s Anderson Cooper providing the best coverage of Michael Jackson’s death

June 25, 11:05 PM

If you are looking for straightforward reporting about the death of Michael Jackson that is not mushy, gushy or obnoxious, tune into Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN.

Larry King and Barbara Walters, for example, have been so mushy that it’s been hard to watch their coverage. Even the otherwise professional Keith Olbermann seemed to be at a loss for words – and wound up sounding like one of Michael’s biggest fan.

CNN should be replaying Anderson Cooper 360 later tonight. Check it out if you want a good retrospective of the life and death of Michael Jackson. We deserve unbiased journalism – fortunately, Anderson Cooper is currently given us that.

Sammy Gomez is a National Examiner. You can see Sammy's articles on Sammy's Home Page.

Michael Jackson Will Live Forever!

June 25, 2009, 5:41 pm

Michael Jackson, 50, Is Dead

By The New York Times

This post is written by Jon Pareles, Ben Sisario and Brian Stelter in New York and Brooks Barnes in Los Angeles.

Michael Jackson, the singer, songwriter and dancer who earned the title “King of Pop” in a career that reached unprecedented peaks of sales and attention, died Thursday, a Los Angeles city official said. He was 50.

Reaction From Around the World Readers across the globe described what he meant to them and how they viewed the legacy of his music and career. Share your comments and photos here.

Appraisal | 12:01 a.m. Which Michael Jackson will be remembered? The unsurpassed entertainer, the gifted and driven song-and-dance man who wielded rhythm, melody, texture and image to create and promote the best-selling album of all time, “Thriller”? Or the bizarre figure he became after he failed in his stated ambition to outsell “Thriller,” and after the gleaming fantasy gave way to tabloid revelations, bitter rejoinders and the long public silence he was scheduled to break next month? Jon Pareles assesses Mr. Jackson’s career.

Obituary | 12 a.m. For his legions of fans, he was the Peter Pan of pop music: the little boy who refused to grow up. But on the verge of another attempted comeback, he is suddenly gone, this time for good, Brooks Barnes reports.

Video Marathon | 11:03 p.m. In the mood for a few Michael Jackson music videos? BET is now broadcasting a video marathon.

The cable channel will also pay tribute to Mr. Jackson during a live edition of “106 & Park” Friday at 6 p.m., and during the “BET Awards” on Sunday.

Jackson and Elvis | 10:47 p.m. Many people will be spending some time with Michael Jackson’s discography in the days ahead — and some for the first time. Celine Dion, the recording artist, said on CNN: “My son is 8 years old, and… he’s listening to this song, brand new, from him. Like, I’m rediscovering Michael Jackson again.”

Speaking to CNN’s Larry King, Ms. Dion said, “It feels like when Kennedy died, when Elvis Presley died.”

His Home Sweet Home | 10:29 p.m. Our colleague Susan Saulny reports from the Jackson’s hometown of Gary Ind.:

In Gary, Indiana, hundreds of people descended upon the squat clapboard house were Mr. Jackson spent his earliest years. There were tears, loud wails, and quiet prayers as old neighbors joined hands with people who had driven in from Chicago and other nearby towns to pay their respects.

“Just continue to glorify the man, Lord,” said Ida Boyd-King, a local pastor who led the crowd in prayer. “Let’s give God praise for Michael.”

Thomas Hicks added, “He ain’t got to worry about it anymore. Rest in Peace, Michael Jackson. Rest in peace.”

Mr. Hicks, 43, said he remembered Mr. Jackson as a child. “Mike was just Mike. That’s why all the people are here right now.”

Shelletta Hinton, 40, drove to Gary from Chicago with her two young children. She said they met Mr. Jackson in Gary a couple of years ago when he was in town to receive a key to the city. “We felt like we were close to Michael,” she said. “This is a sad day.”

As dusk set in, mourners lit candles and placed them on the concrete doorstep. Some left teddy bears and personal notes.

“He will live on,” said Denise Prince, 47, a Gary resident. “There’s no doubt about that.

From Los Angeles | 10:29 p.m. Our colleague Randal C. Archibold sends this dispatch from Los Angeles:

The death of Michael Jackson drew hundreds of fans – some chanting his name, some doing the “Thriller” dance, some quietly reflecting – as well as the curious to the hospital where he was treated and the hillside house where he was living.

His trials and tribulations for the most part were overlooked; most people came seeking a connection with an icon or simply celebrated, sung and played his music while others barely familiar with his work recorded the occasionally tumultuous scene with cell phone cameras.

Jeremy Vargas, 38, hoisted his wife, Erica Renaud, 38, on his shoulders and they danced and bopped to “Man in the Mirror” playing from an onlookers’ iPod connected to external speakers – the boom boxes of Mr. Jackson’s hey day long past their day.

“I am in shock and awe,’’ said Ms. Renaud, who, visiting from Red Hook, Brooklyn with her family, rushed to the hospital, University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center, when she heard the news.

“He was like a family member to me,’’ she said, going on to describe her long enchantment with Mr. Jackson’s music and adding a few steps from “Thriller” to make the point.

Berry Gordy Jr. | 10:15 p.m. Our colleague Jennifer Mascia reports: Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records who helped turn the Jackson 5 into pop stars, said on CNN.com that he felt sorry “for all of the fans around the world that are so much in love with Michael.”

Mr. Gordy said that Mr. Jackson, as a boy, “always wanted to be the best, and he was willing to work as hard as it took to be that. And we could all see that he was a winner at that age. And I’ve always believed winners are winners long before they win. And picking them out before they win is very easy with a Michael Jackson.”

Tommy Mottola | 10:08 p.m. Tommy Mottola, a former head of Sony Music, called Mr. Jackson “the cornerstone to the entire music business.”

“He bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and pop music and made it into a global culture,” said Mr. Mottola in a telephone interview. Mr. Mottola worked with Mr. Jackson until the singer cut his ties with Sony in 2001. “No one has ever done what he did in his time — and no one will ever do what he did after his time.”

Investigation | 9:59 p.m. The Associated Press reports: “Los Angeles police Lt. Gregg Strenk said at a separate news conference that police robbery-homicide detectives have been ordered to investigate, which is common in a high-profile case.”

‘He Believed In Me When I Was Nobody’ | 9:49 p.m. Our colleague Melena Ryzik talked to the choreographer and director Vincent Paterson, who had a relationship with Mr. Jackson for more than 20 years. She sends this dispatch:

Mr. Paterson appeared as a gang leader in the video for “Beat It” as well as a dancer in “Thriller,” for which he was also an assistant choreographer. He went on to choreograph and direct Mr. Jackson’s first tour, the Bad Tour, as well as the videos for “Smooth Criminal” and “Blood on the Dance Floor” and Mr. Jackson’s numerous appearances on the Grammys, the MTV awards and the Super Bowl. About eight months ago, Mr. Jackson’s representatives approached him to participate in his London shows, but Mr. Paterson was not available, nor was he briefed about any potential health problem Mr. Jackson had.

“He was just so excited about having an opportunity to come back,” Mr. Paterson said from Montreal, where he is directing a new Cirque du Soleil show about Elvis. “It’s devastating. I talk about him constantly to people. There’s always something that I share about his work ethic or the way he respected people.”

He continued: “I don’t know if somebody that’s so much in the public eye, if there are any surprises left. What I know about him is the quality of kindness, he was the most polite gentleman that I’ve ever met in this entire business. The Michael that I know never had an unkind word to say about anybody, no matter how vicious” their comments were. “He would be concerned and cry with me about the kinds of things that people said because he couldn’t understand it. But he never said, ‘what a creep.’ It just didn’t seem part of his makeup.”

Last year, after Mr. Paterson made an appearance at the Tribeca Film Festival to promote the 25th anniversary of the “Thriller” video, Mr. Jackson called him to say thank you.

“I don’t know what kind of career I would have if it weren’t for Michael,” Mr. Paterson said, breaking down in tears. “He believed in me when I was nobody. He just gave me the opportunity to be creative and he believed in me. That just doesn’t happen very often.”

Transporting Jackson | 9:47 p.m. Around 6:45 p.m. Pacific, television news channels showed a city helicopter moving Mr. Jackson’s body to the coroner’s office. Workers placed the body, which was wrapped in a white sheet, onto a stretcher and then into a waiting van.

“Such a larger than life figure is, in the end, just a human body,” a commentator said on Fox News.

Tippi Hedren | 9:38 p.m. Tippi Hedren, the former “Birds” star whose 80-acre wildlife preserve, Shambala, has lately been home to Jackson’s tigers, has released a letter saying she will continue to care for the animals, named Thriller and Sabu.

“We have so suddenly lost one of the most beautiful and enchanting entertainers on our planet,” Ms. Hedren says in the letter, which was reported on Extra TV.

Jermaine Jackson Speaks | 9:08 p.m. Jermaine Jackson spoke to the media on behalf of the family Thursday evening. Speaking about his brother Michael, he said, “It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest in his home. However, the cause of death is unknown until the results of the autopsy are done.” (Full Text of Statement)

Media reports indicate that Mr. Jackson’s body will be transported to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office for an autopsy later today. The official time of death was 2:26 p.m. Pacific time.

Madonna | 8:57 p.m. Commenting to People.com, a fellow pop icon, Madonna, said, “I can’t stop crying over the sad news.” She added, “I have always admired Michael Jackson. The world has lost one of the greats, but his music will live on forever! My heart goes out to his three children and other members of his family. God bless.”

Tributes | 8:53 p.m. Our colleague Jenna Wortham reports: Impromptu get-togethers are being organized tonight around the United States to bring together fans who want to celebrate Mr. Jackson’s memory. Informal events are scheduled for several public parks around San Francisco, including Dolores Park and Golden Gate Park. In addition, one San Francisco event being coordinated through Facebook is calling for fans of the pop icon to reenact a rendition of “Thriller,” Mr. Jackson’s horror-themed music video featuring dancing zombies. The “Thriller” event is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time in Justin Herman Plaza in downtown San Francisco.

In New York, vigils are being organized via Twitter to gather fans in Manhattan to remember the pop culture phenomenon.

In Portland, Ore., bicyclists are invited to take part in a memorial ride. Organizers are hoping to erect a karaoke machine so attendees can sing Michael Jackson tunes and dance to the singer’s hits. Participants are encouraged to wear glittery gloves and costumes reminiscent of the pop artist’s signature costumes. (Updates on Twitter)

Contribute to our ongoing coverage. E-mail links and observations to bstelter@nytimes.com.

More Reaction | 8:45 p.m. There are two stars for Michael Jackson on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. One honors the superstar singer who died today; the other honors a talk show host by the same name. On Thursday the singer’s star was covered up by a film premiere in Hollywood. So fans are now leaving flowers by the star for the other Jackson, according to MSNBC.

The Los Angeles Times says the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce will place a memorial to Mr. Jackson on the street at 9 a.m. Friday.

Waiting for News Conference to Begin | 8:22 p.m. Scores of journalists are outside the UCLA Medical Center awaiting a news conference by hospital officials. We expect it to begin shortly.

Superstar | 8:12 p.m. It’s easy to forget, now, that as a young man, “Michael Jackson did things that seemed like they hadn’t been done before,” the CNN anchor Anderson Cooper said during the 8 p.m. Eastern hour. Mr. Cooper’s guests fondly recalled the glitter glove and the Moonwalk. “It was otherworldly,” agreed John Norris, a former MTV News correspondent. “It’s hard to even talk in 2009 about what the era of the superstar was like.”

Twitter | 8:08 p.m. Our sister blog Bits notes that Michael Jackson topped the charts on Twitter Thursday evening as tens of thousands of people reached to the singer’s death. “He was my childhood,” one user wrote, summing up many of the mournful comments.

Jackson Facts According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Mr. Jackson is the 17th-best selling act of all time, with total sales of 61.5 million in the U.S. Note that this is U.S. sales only. But his most recent album, “Invincible,” released in 2001, has sold only 2.1 million copies to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Reaction in New York | 7:51 p.m. Mr. Jackson first performed at the Apollo Theater in Harlem in 1969 at the age of 9. The Jackson 5 won Amateur Night. “We will always remember Michael in our hearts as a true Apollo legend, known for his professionalism and grace,” said Jonelle Procope, the president of the Apollo Theater Foundation. “Our sympathy goes out to his entire family. He will be deeply missed.”

From our colleague Tim Arango: It wasn’t exactly a moment like “The Kiss in Times Square,” memorialized by the photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt in 1945 after the Japanese surrendered to end World War II, but as they have for decades during major news events, people gathered in Times Square Thursday evening after news broke of Michael Jackson’s death.

At around 7 p.m. tourists were clogging blocked-off sections of Broadway in Times Square, gazing at an ABC News ticker above the ESPN Zone restaurant, snapping pictures of the crawling text telling the world that Jackson had died. Others were facing south, peering up at a Fox News screen. A CNN news crew asked bystanders for reactions.

Your Turn | 7:38 p.m. The New York Times is collecting readers’ words and images to document Mr. Jackson’s legacy. Respond with words, a photo or both here.

Two Weeks Ago | 7:37 p.m. The celebrity news site TMZ said it had last seen Mr. Jackson on June 9 as his convoy drove away. On that day, a videographer shouted, “Can you still moonwalk?” The window of Mr. Jackson’s vehicle rolled down and the frail-looking singer could be heard saying, through a veil that covered his mouth, “why wouldn’t I be able to?” He flashed a peace sign and the window rose back up.

More Reaction | 7:06 p.m. “I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news,” the music producer Quincy Jones said in a statement read by MSNBC. Mr. Jones said Mr. Jackson “had it all — talent, grace, professionalism and dedication.” Mr. Jones added, “I’ve lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him.”

Carlos Diaz, a correspondent for the entertainment news show “Extra,” suggested on MSNBC that this is “the day that pop music died.”

John Landis, who directed Mr. Jackson’s most memorable music video, “Thriller,” said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times that Mr. Jackson “was an extraordinary talent and a truly great international star.”

“He had a troubled and complicated life and despite his gifts, remains a tragic figure,” Mr. Landis said.

Update | 7 p.m. A Los Angeles city official confirmed that Michael Jackson is dead. The official said he died at 1:07 p.m. Pacific time.

NBC, which had scheduled a one-hour tribute to Farrah Fawcett tonight at 10 p.m., has now expanded that special to two hours, beginning at 9 p.m., to cover the deaths of both Ms. Fawcett and Mr. Jackson. CBS will broadcast a special report covering both deaths at 10 p.m. ABC will air a special report at 9 p.m. as well.

BBC’s Special Report | 6:56 p.m. For an international perspective on Mr. Jackson’s life and death, the BBC is broadcasting a special report. It can be streamed online here.

Music Memorials | 6:38 p.m. Expect a number of Jackson music marathons in the days to come. According to our colleague Stuart Elliott: WCBS-FM, the oldies station in New York, is broadcasting some of Mr. Jackson’s greatest hits. The station said it would have special programming later in the day.

Mr. Jackson was one of the icons of MTV’s early days in the 1980’s. Our colleague Steve Reddicliffe says that the music channel is now playing the music videos for “Beat It” and “Thriller,” accompanied by a “breaking news” graphic on the screen about the singer’s death.

Reaction | 6:37 p.m. Television news images showed large crowds gathering outside the UCLA Medical Center. “People are already showing up in costume, believe it or not,” said a Fox News correspondent, Trace Gallagher, comparing it to the circus he witnessed during a trial involving Mr. Jackson.

Carlos Diaz, a correspondent for the entertainment news show “Extra,” suggested on MSNBC that this is “the day that pop music died.”

John Landis, who directed Mr. Jackson’s most memorable music video, “Thriller,” said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times that Mr. Jackson “was an extraordinary talent and a truly great international star.”

“He had a troubled and complicated life and despite his gifts, remains a tragic figure,” Mr. Landis said.

More Reports | 6:29 p.m. “A lot will be said about Michael Jackson as we learn more about this story,” Brian Williams said on the “NBC Nightly News.”

“He was incredibly talented, a child star who was an adult with deep troubles and physical and mental health issues.”

The reports of Mr. Jackson’s death ricocheted around the world with remarkable speed. The news led Friday morning newscasts in Japan. ABC and CBS are also reporting the news of the death.

L.A. Times Reports Jackson Is Dead | 6:24 p.m. The newspaper cited “city and law enforcement sources.” The networks and CNN are also broadcasting the news, citing the Times story.

Reports: Jackson in a Coma | 6:15 p.m. Several news organizations including the Los Angeles Times reported that Mr. Jackson “is in a coma.” The newspaper attributed the news to one law enforcement source. CNN is also citing “multiple sources” as saying that Mr. Jackson is in a coma.

Updated | 6:11 p.m. LOS ANGELES – An unconscious Michael Jackson was rushed to UCLA Medical Center on Thursday afternoon by paramedics who performed C.P.R., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Early reports indicated cardiac arrest, but a hospital spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment. Mr. Jackson, 50, has been renting a mansion in the Bel Air neighborhood, a short distance from the hospital, and rehearsing for a series of 50 sold-out shows in London.

Joe Jackson told to E! News, an entertainment Web site and cable channel, that the singer’s family was scrambling to determine his condition. “I am in Las Vegas, but yes, people in Los Angeles called me and are with Michael and tell me he was taken to the hospital,” Mr. Jackson told E! News. “His mother is on her way to the hospital now to check in on him.”

Mr. Jackson is scheduled to perform in a series of concerts in at the O2 arena London, beginning next month and continuing into 2010. The shows have been widely seen in the music industry as an important possible comeback for him, with the potential to earn him up to $50 million, according to some reports. But there has also been worry and speculation that Mr. Jackson, who is 50, was not physically ready for such an arduous run of concerts, and Mr. Jackson’s postponement of the first of those shows from July 8 to July 13 fueled new rounds of gossip about his health.

Even though Mr. Jackson has sold millions of albums around the world — “Thriller,” from 1982, has been certified 28 times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America — his eccentric lifestyle took a severe financial toll. In 1988 Mr. Jackson paid about $17 million for a 2,600-acre ranch in Los Olivos, Calif., 125 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Calling it Neverland, he outfitted the property with amusement-park rides, a zoo and a 50-seat theater, at a cost of $35 million, according to reports, and the ranch became his sanctum.

But Neverland, and Mr. Jackson’s lifestyle, were expensive to maintain. A forensic accountant who testified at Mr. Jackson’s molestation trial in 2005 said that Mr. Jackson’s annual budget in 1999 included $7.5 million for personal expenses and $5 million to maintain Neverland. By at least the late 1990s, he began to take out huge loans to support himself and pay debts. In 1998 he took out a loan for $140 million from Bank of America, which two years later was upped to $200 million. Further loans of hundreds of millions followed.

The collateral for the loans was Mr. Jackson’s 50 percent share in Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a portfolio of thousands of songs, including more than 259 by the Beatles that are considered some of the most valuable properties in music. In 1985 Mr. Jackson paid $47.5 million for ATV, which included the Beatles songs — a move that estranged him from Paul McCartney — and 10 years later Mr. Jackson sold 50 percent of his interest to Sony for $90 million, creating a joint venture, Sony/ATV. Estimates of the value of the catalog exceed $1 billion.

“The primary reason for the concerts wasn’t so much that he was wanting to generate money as much as it was that he wanted to to perform for his kids,” said J. Randy Taraborrelli, whose biography, ”Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness,” was first published in 1991. “They had never seen him perform before.”

A member of the pop group the Jackson 5 as a child, Mr. Jackson was a pint-size musical dynamo. Under the aegis of Joe Jackson, he spent years in talent shows and performing in seedy Midwestern clubs his dictatorial and ambitious father. Joe Jackson and Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records, were the singer’s twin mentors during his early career.

A clip from 1972:

The Jackson 5 - Rockin' Robin 1972 RARE

Mr. Jackson eventually broke with his father and the Jackson 5, a move toward creative and financial independence marked by his collaborations with Quincy Jones on a trio of albums. The most memorable of those is 1982’s “Thriller,” which eventually racked up sales of 51 million copies globally, according to the Guinness World Records, making it the best-selling album in history.

The Jackson Five - I Want You Back

More Jackson clips on YouTube.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department told CNN that rescuers were called to Mr. Jackson’s home at 12:21 p.m. Pacific. “When paramedics went on the scene, they treated the patient, then they immediately transported the patient to UCLA,” the spokesman told CNN. Mr. Jackson’s home is located only a few minutes from the hospital center.

Cable news channels almost immediately started showing paparazzi shots from TMZ, X17Online.com and Hollywood.TV of Mr. Jackson’s entourage arriving at the hospital. By mid-afternoon, television news helicopters were hovering above the medical center.

Entertainment news Web sites including EOnline.com and PerezHilton.com appeared to be loading more slowly than usual, or not loading at all, an indication of the intense interest in Mr. Jackson’s hospitalization.

Death Comes in Sets of 3

The saying is true: Death comes in circles of three at the time --
hope this is not the exception.

Celebrity guest voice on the television series "The Simpsons" Ed McMahon and his wife Pamela attend the premiere of "The Simpsons Movie" in Los Angeles, California in this July 24, 2007.

Ed McMahon (left) and Johnny Carson pose for a photo on "The Tonight Show" set in the early days of their partnership. McMahon played second banana to Carson on the show for 30 years and went on to host his own shows and pitch products. (NBC / NYT)

Talk show host Johnny Carson, behind his desk, Doc Severinsen, left, leader of "The Tonight Show Band", and announcer Ed McMahon, center, share some moments together during the final taping of "The Tonight Show" in Burbank, Ca., Friday, May 22, 1992. (Douglas C. Pizac / AP)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson

Two bigger than life Idols gone in one day!

The "THRILLER" will never be the same!

Coming Unvogue Out


'Anderson Cooper's Big Fat Coming Out Party'

By Hamilton Nolan, 10:28 AM on Thu Jun 25 2009, 13,217 views.
(Edit post, Set to draft, Slurp) Copy this whole post to another site.

What will Anderson Cooper be doing tonight? Unvogue Magazine says he'll be attending a party at the Sapphire Go-Go Lounge for their men's issue. It's been informally dubbed "Anderson Cooper's Big Fat Coming Out Party."

We got a tip from an insider that Unvogue spent weeks trying to persuade AC to be the host of tonight's party at the Sapphire Go-Go Lounge—which coincides with the start of Gay Pride week. GET IT?

A staffer on Anderson Cooper's CNN show took a message and promised to get back to us, but hasn't. Unvogue editor K. Tyson Perez demurred, saying "we are slightly annoyed that our big secret is getting out before we have had a chance to 'officially' announce it ourselves." But Unvogue's PR person confirms to us that they have "confirmed Mr. Cooper's attendance."

But this isn't just any crappy party! According to our tipster:

    "Anderson was absolutely amused by the name of the online magazine and said his mother [Gloria Vanderbilt, eroticist] would love the boldness of it. Undeterred by not having Mr. Cooper as an official host, it didn't take long before the entire Unvogue staff began rebranding the event as, "Anderson Cooper's Big Fat Coming Out Party!' LOL!!! They are now hard at work concocting some fancy new sponsored Macari wine spritzers (how deliciously gay) and instructing their go-go boys to rehearse a special lap dance appropriately dubbed the A.C. 360. LOL! We couldn't help but wonder if the A.C. 360 concludes with an explosive happy ending as we all know Anderson loves the sounds of bombs…"
We also hear a certain American Idol contestant may make an appearance along with AC. It all sounds quite juvenile and we have a hard time believing Anderson Cooper would be interested in such things, but in any case, don't let us stop the fun, guys. Proceeds "go to benefit HIV Arts Network, Inc," for the record. Send pics!
[Although: AC was reporting live from Paris last night. Is this party awesome enough for him to fly back for? Pics or it didn't happen.]

Next in Iran

June 25, 2009

Video: Next step for Iran?

Posted: 10:28 AM ET

A Small Tribute

To a BIG Personality!

Farrah Fawcett has just died.

Farrah Fawcett

Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith
in "Charlie's Angels"

Paul Le Matt and Farrah Fawcett
costars in "The Burning Bed"

Ryan O'Neal & Farrah Fawcett
romantically involved for 27 years.

Watch for Anderson Cooper 360º tonight, I am sure he will pay tribute to one of the most fabulous women that ever graced the small and big screens.

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AC's Book

A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival," a "New York Times" best seller, is his account of the people he's met, the things he's seen and the lessons he's learned in the midst of devastation.

Dispatches from the Edge
Woven into the narrative is Anderson's struggle to understand his own family's personal tragedies. The paperback version came out May 8, 2007.

Excerpt: Dispatches from the Edge
Review: Anderson cooper's journey
'360' Blog: Anderson on the new book

Peter's Books

(3 short stories and 1 short play.)

The first installment of "The Gay Ghost Trilogy" is the story of Charles Lanier, a young gay guy who rents an apartment on Lake Shore Drive on the near north side of Chicago, and the unexpected adventures he encounters from the day he moves in. And that's only the beginning; follow up with "The Next Gay Ghost" and "The Two Gay Ghosts." Each story can be read independently from the other two installments. Or get all three books in one with "The Gay Ghost Trilogy."

"The Gay Ghost"

Paperback: $9.97 + shipping

"The Next Gay Ghost"

Paperback: $9.97 + shipping

"The Two Gay Ghosts"

Paperback: $9.97 + shipping

"The Gay Ghost Trilogy"

Paperback: $22.91 + shipping

And a One Act Play about a gay Garamatean and a gay Earthling:


Paperback: $10.70 + shipping

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