(CNN) – New York Rep. Peter King called on the media to "knock out the psycho-babble" and stop covering Michael Jackson because "this guy was a pervert."
"He was a child molester. He was a pedophile. And to be giving this much coverage to him day in and day out, what does it say about us as a country," King said Sunday in front of the American Legion Hall in Wantagh. "We're too politically correct. No one wants to stand up and say, 'We don't need Michael Jackson.'"
King, a nine-term Republican representative from New York's Third Congressional District, said the media has "disgraced itself," noting that there are people dying everyday.
"There are men and women dying today in Afghanistan. Let's give them the credit they deserve," he added.
Jackson went on trial for child molestation allegations in 2005, but was acquitted after a 14-week media circus of a trial in Santa Maria, California. A decade earlier, prosecutors in Los Angeles declined to file charges in their own 13-month child molestation investigation. That case settled out of court, reportedly with Jackson paying millions in damages.
"There's nothing good about this guy. He may have been a good singer, did some dancing, but bottom-line is - would you let your child or grandchild be in the same room with Michael Jackson? What are we glorifying him for?" King said, asking instead that the public honor people like servicemen, teachers and firefighters.
King defended his comments in an interview Monday with CNN radio affiliate WOR, “The fact is that what he has done as far as young children are concerned, young boys are concerned, is a horrible example to set to the world.”
“…Anyone who causes evil or endangers children, to me that supersedes anything else. And do we as a culture really want to be defined by Michael Jackson's singing and dancing or by the fact that he became a worldwide spectacle for abuse of children? “
King was chairman of the powerful House Homeland Security Committee from 2005 until the Democrats took over the House in January 2007.
He won 64 percent of the vote in his re-election victory last November.
Earlier this year he said he was considering a run for the Senate next year, taking on Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who replaced Hillary Clinton as New York's junior senator.