Government Spending

The Politics of the Michael Jackson Memorial

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The city of L.A. is riven over that most basic of political questions regarding Michael Memorial Mania: who's paying?

Seems the city itself might be on the hook for about $4 million. Which of course it doesn't really have. Newly elected L.A. city attorney Carmen Trutanich is spitting mad; for more details on the hows and whys of civic responsibility for Mr. Jackson's memory with links and video, see my post at my L.A local news and politics blog City of Angles at KCET.org.

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  1. Why the FUCK would the city pay 1 peny for a private funeral. thats not the cities buisness. if the jacksons could not afford it then tough titties, celebrating a pedophile, yeah smart.

  2. That’s alleged pedophile.

    Other than that, yeah. He was a friggin’ pop star for chrissakes. It’s not like he discovered a cure for leukemia.

  3. I think the City was payed more for control over a possible mob/crowd than it was a private funeral.

    Hard for the City to win on this one. If a million people would have showed up (as some suspected) and there was inadequate security, they would be damned for not preparing. They prepared, and are now getting damned for preparing too much. I guess the City would have to prepare for riots, then there would have to actually be a riot in order to come out looking ok.

    ‘Riven’ is a great word, by the way. Nice.

  4. I’m still a little confused at the mass love for Michael now that he’s dead. I guess people see death as absolution and their assumption that he was a pedophile (I have no idea whether he was or not) is absolved now. Something like that.

  5. fixed: I think the City payed more for control over a possible mob/crowd than it did a private funeral.

  6. Apparently many people think — i.e., feel — that MJ brought more joy to the public than would a leukemia cure, and that somehow this justifies public payment. I do not.

  7. I’m still a little confused at the mass love for Michael now that he’s dead.

    The “mass love” is being vastly overexaggerated by the media saturation.

  8. SpongePaul

    As near as I can tell, the city is on the hook for the costs of police overtime pay and mobilization costs.

    Anytime you have an event that is going to fill a big sports venue like the Staples Center your going to have crowds and the ensuing security and traffic control problems.

    If the Lakers don’t get a bill from the city for this stuff I don’t think the MJ grieffest promoters should.

    Of course, this is probably a bigger deal than a Lakers championship game since I hear about five times (maybe more?) as many people showed up in town as can fit in the Staples Center.

    The last thing I heard was how much the city was going to benefit from this event. It was going to generate millions of dollars worth of new business.

    Should’ve paid for itself, no? 🙂

  9. Does “cult of personality” apply here?

  10. I don’t particularly like the argument Doherty is offering here.

    I think that every taxpaying member of the body politic has the right to expect that police services will be provided by the state in all circumstances.

    No citizen should have to think to themselves, “Gee, is what I’m doing today going to require more police attention than usual? Oh boy, then I should have to pay extra.”

    That formula is just a scam invented by local governments in order to facilitate the extortion of payments from private individuals for permits they shouldn’t even have to file for. “We won’t let you hold a concert on your own property unless you pay us a sum that we claim represents the amount of police overtime we’ll have to pay, blah blah blah.”

  11. So now that he’s dead and buried, can the media finally tell me whether Kim nuked Hawaii on 7/4 or not?

  12. I’m still a little confused at the mass love for Michael now that he’s dead.

    The “mass love” is being vastly overexaggerated by the media saturation.

    Whoever is paying the PR flaks that are keeping this alive is getting their money’s worth.

    I suspect it is a combination of AEG, who is on the hook for possibly millions due to the cancelled concert series (I believe they could get less that half the concerts underwritten) and the surviving family.

    Good God, their are still people out there who make good livings keeping the memory of the likes of Humphrey Bogart and Marylin Monroe and others alive. Their estates still continue to collect on their images.

    Don’t espect Jacko fever to die down any time soon.

  13. This was an entertainment event, they charged money for attendance! It was basically a business undertaking! They should at least pay for some of the costs of security.

    By the way, MJ was a pedophile, not alleged, he admitted so much, as he “loved children”. All pedophiles admit they “love children”. That’s what pedophile means. He also admitted sleeping with them. Ok, what else did he do to express his affection? Let’s hope and pretend nothing else. Who can really say? But, smoke and fire are usually not coincidental.

  14. Huh, Michael Jackson’s dead?

  15. “Does “cult of personality” apply here?”

    No, thats just for me.

  16. With Jackson’s death, every cast member of The Wiz is dead except Diana Ross and Lena Horne.

    Clearly a conspiracy…

  17. Stupid mayor should have made AEG sign a contract stating they would pay the costs or city wouldn’t allow the memorial to happen. It’s really the cities fault for not doing that before allowing the event to go on.

  18. I read that MJ’s coffin was made of gold. When archeologists dig this fucker up in 8,000 years, what ever will they think?

  19. Hell the Laker’s are living off the taxpayer,I guess pop stars can too.I live for the day when the N.F.L,N.B.A. and M.L.B have to absorb all the costs of business without the taxpayers building and maintaining their place of business.Imagine a world where a league M.V,P. ‘only’ makes a couple hundred thousand a year.

  20. I think that every taxpaying member of the body politic has the right to expect that police services will be provided by the state in all circumstances.

    No citizen should have to think to themselves, “Gee, is what I’m doing today going to require more police attention than usual? Oh boy, then I should have to pay extra.”

    Personally, I think the Jackson griefers are entitled to the same police protection we all get: the option to call 911 if there are any problems and wait a few minutes for the cops to show up.

    In the absence of some sort of specific credible threat, anything over and above that they should have to pay extra to the city — or a private security company.

  21. Personally, I think the Jackson griefers are entitled to the same police protection we all get: the option to call 911 if there are any problems and wait a few minutes for the cops to show up.

    In the absence of some sort of specific credible threat, anything over and above that they should have to pay extra to the city — or a private security company.

    Hey, that’s fine too.

    Just as long as you agree not to bitch about traffic, crowds, noise, etc. from people on public property surrounding my event.

    The state is obligated to maintain order on public property. I don’t want to hear them bitch, “Wah! Because of you, more people are on public property than usual! You owe us! We’re not going to let you use your property if you don’t pay us special fees!”

    The state owes its citizens order on public property, whether that property is utterly deserted, or whether there are a billion people on it. It’s a static obligation.

  22. The last thing I heard was how much the city was going to benefit from this event. It was going to generate millions of dollars worth of new business.

    We should kill a liberal celeb a week until the economy recovers. It’s for the children. 🙂

  23. The Lakers (along with private donors) paid for their parade.

  24. In my mind its not alleged pedophile he admitted to sleeping in the bed, because he just loved them, nothng sick, yeah right fucker, and jesus juice has been proven, they just could not prove it was alchol or drugs. but he did give it to him, and thats in the record, not an alledged. he bought his freedom to molest, and i have no love or sympathy for the freak, he should have been jailed or dead a long time ago!

  25. SpongePaul: We all have the right to come to conclusions based on little to no evidence. What I recommend is to come to a conclusion, then go back and justify it by stitching together a scenario from tabloid report. Include something that was in the real court record to gloss over the problem of not really knowing anything about the topic.

  26. “What I recommend is to come to a conclusion, then go back and justify it by stitching together a scenario from tabloid report. Include something that was in the real court record to gloss over the problem of not really knowing anything about the topic.”

    Works for me.

  27. Or you could go this route: “I was horrified and disgusted to hear how Michael Jackson’s claymation-robot bad-touched that Home Alone kid during the OJ trial. How are people so willing to overlook this stuff?”

  28. To the tune of “Billie Jean”:

    “Billy Stevens is not my lover,
    he’s just a boy who said that I was the one.
    But the kid just made that up.”

  29. First off, Jackson was no cho-mo. He was a bizarro character to be sure, but not a cho-mo. The man was basically asexual and androgynous in just about everything he did and was.

    Second, who pays for a bunch of cops to stand around? Los Angeles. In net sum, I bet a audit would reveal the city made money when everything is taken into account. Like the fact tens of thousands of people from all around the world showed up in L.A., booked hotel rooms, bought souvenirs, ate at local eateries, etc.

    Third, celebrities are cheap-skates. The net worth of the first four rows of guests in that memorial was well in excess of one billion dollars. They all had a say in the memorial planning at some level obviously, but when it comes time to pick up the check…silence.

  30. “I read that MJ’s coffin was made of gold. When archeologists dig this fucker up in 8,000 years, what ever will they think?”

    Mankind worshipped a dancing alien dressed like a clown?

  31. “Mankind worshipped a dancing alien dressed like a clown?”

    sans brain, no less!

  32. A solid gold coffin? I hope the tomb robbers pay his corpse the proper respect when they make off with the coffin next month.

  33. With Jackson’s death, every cast member of The Wiz is dead except Diana Ross and Lena Horne.

    I used to want to put up a website that tracked day-by-day what the most recent Hollywood movie is whose cast are all dead, just so you could watch it, knowing that. I couldn’t figure out a way to know who’s who among no-names and extras, so I gave up on it.

    The day in the site’s life I was excited for was the day when, by a series of flukes, something surprisingly recent got stuck at the top of the list for years and years. The Wiz was the example I always used. Because I’m a racist.

  34. Lena Horne’s still alive? Wow. Good for her.

  35. I read in a tabloid that the gold coffin is destined to be a ride at Neverland.

  36. They planned for millions and got a few thousands.
    I submit this as Jacko’s unofficial epitaph.
    You’re welcome, LaToya.
    Call me.

  37. “We should kill a liberal celeb a week until the economy recovers.”

    Liberal? WTF? The dude was on an entirely different plane than the right/left political axis.

    If he ever voted, it was probably for the Lollipop Guild.

  38. from what I hear, with the record sales that MJ’s death is producing is enough to pay for that coffin by the time i get done writing this comment

  39. Solid gold coffin? Really? Okay, you can bury it in my backyard, and then I’ll give you a receipt which you can use as a credit voucher at any place of business for all debts, public and private. Of course, I’ll probably hand out a few (godzillion) more to various other people – all for the good of the country and economic growth. Naturally I will reserve a “small” portion of them for myself as my “fee.”

  40. Does not the city of Los Angeles have the authority to demand money from people — at the point of a gun — for the privilege of living within the city, selling things within the city, etc.?

    Is not maintaining order in the public streets one of the most fundamental and legitimate activities of a city’s government?

    It seems to me that if providing security for something like this is such an incredible burden, then the city might want to rethink all the reports it has produced that show what an economic boon the Staples Center has been to the city, and how this boon justifies the city’s subsidy thereof. You can’t have it both ways.

    The reality of the situation is suggested by something I heard the fire chief say on TV: they had 22 fire marshals in the Staples Center for the event, to make sure that aisles remained clear, etc.

    No mention was made of how many fire marshals are present during sold-out Lakers games, when thousands more people are in there. It seems likely — particularly in hindsight — that the need for such extraordinary levels of ‘security’ might have been driven at least in part by the opportunity for so many city employees to draw overtime pay.

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