Associated Press photo
Jesse Jackson, left, accompanied by his son, Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (center), speaks to Joe Jackson, father of Michael Jackson, yesterday in Encino, a suburb of Los Angeles.
I used to respect Jesse Jackson.
I saw him once, in the late 1980s, when he came to my university as part of his tour for his seeking of the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination (which he lost to Michael Dukakis).
He excited me back then.
I can’t call him “reverend” anymore, since he knocked up one of his staff members, who bore his child in 1999. Hey, that was between Jackson and his wife, but you can’t use the title of respect “reverend” after you knocked up your employee.
Then, Jackson, who I didn’t know went to medical school, injected himself into the Terri Schiavo debacle in March 2005, which I wrote about at the time. Terminating Schiavo’s feeding tube was tantamount to murder, a crusading Dr. Jackson proclaimed, but Schiavo’s autopsy confirmed what neurologists already had confirmed: Schiavo’s brain damage was such that no, there never was any chance that she ever would come back, but that she always would remain a vegetable (or, as we used to call them in my nursing days, a gork).
Now, Jackson, a spotlight whore, has injected himself into the death of Michael Jackson (no relation, I’m pretty sure). Here he is below, surrounded by members of the media outside of the home of Michael Jackson’s family in Encino, a suburb of Los Angeles, yesterday:
Associated Press photo
Dr. Jackson, because he is such a medical authority, insists that a second autopsy is necessary in order to rule out foul play in Michael Jackson’s death; the first autopsy, conducted by Los Angeles County, apparently wasn’t good enough, and so now a second, private autopsy is necessary, you see.
“It’s abnormal,” Jackson told the The Associated Press today after he visited with the Jackson family. “We don’t know what happened. Was he injected and with what? All reasonable doubt should be addressed.”
This is what the once-respectable Jesse Jackson has been reduced to: being a media whore over other people’s misfortunes, injecting himself into a family fight as to whether or not a brain-dead woman should be allowed to die a natural death and injecting himself into the unexpected death of Michael Jackson.
Jesse Jackson, like Michael Jackson, should have quit while he was ahead.
Michael Jackson, unfortunately, probably will be remembered more for the sad and pathetic latter portion of his life than for his accomplishments, and, I suspect, so will Jesse Jackson.
P.S. I should add that actually, Jesse Jackson has a long history of using others’ misfortunes for his own personal/political gain. Notes Wikipedia:
When [Martin Luther King Jr.] was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennesee, the day after his famous “I’ve been to the mountaintop” speech at the Mason Temple, Jackson was in the parking lot one floor below.
Jackson’s appearance on NBC’s “Today Show,” wearing the same [MLK-]blood-stained turtleneck that he had worn the day before, drew criticism from several King aides; some King associates also dispute Jackson’s description of his personal involvement and also of the sequence of events surrounding the assassination.