WASHINGTON (CNN) –The House of Representatives will not take up a resolution honoring the late entertainer Michael Jackson, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday.
Pelosi called Jackson "a great, great performer" and acknowledged there is "lots of sadness." But the speaker said at a press conference that while members could express their sympathy on the House floor, she added "I don't think it's necessary" to pass a resolution.
"A resolution, I think, would open up (debate) to contrary views that are not necessary at this time to be expressed in association with a resolution whose purpose is quite different," Pelosi explained.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, who spoke at the memorial service for Jackson on Tuesday in Los Angeles, has introduced HR 600, "Honoring an American legend and musical icon."
The resolution states, "Whereas Michael Jackson was not only an accomplished recording and performing artist, he was a noted humanitarian."
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., criticized the media's extensive coverage of Michael Jackson's death earlier this week, calling Jackson a "pervert," a "pedophile," and "child molester."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Director of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske told CNN on Thursday that Michael Jackson's death is a "wake-up call" about prescription drug abuse in America.
"You know, the very sad and untimely loss of Michael Jackson is a wake-up call to the country about prescription drugs," Kerlikowske said in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on 'The Situation Room.' "I really don't know anything more than I have read about this. But if we can save lives and if we can bring to the attention of the people the dangers of prescription drug abuse, I think there is some benefit to this country."
Kerlikowske, who is referred to as the drug czar, said more people die each year from drug overdoses than from gunshot wounds. And he said there are a lot of different problems that contribute to the high fatality numbers. To combat this issue, Kerlikowske said he advocates prescription drug monitoring programs passed by individual states and a media campaign focused on keeping young people off these types of medication.
MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) - As millions around the globe prepared to watch the public funeral of Michael Jackson, President Obama told CNN on Tuesday the entertainer's legacy will be a man who had extraordinary talent "matched with a big dose of tragedy."
In a CNN interview focused on his diplomatic efforts at a two-day summit in Russia, Obama took a question about Jackson's cultural impact and called him "one of the greatest entertainers of our generation."
"I think like Elvis, like Sinatra, like the Beatles he became a core part of our culture," Obama told CNN. "His extraordinary talent and his music was matched with a big dose of tragedy and difficulty [in] his private life and I don't think we can ignore that."
But Obama added it's important to "affirm what was the best of him and that was captured by his music."
"Music that Michelle and I listened to from the time we were little kids," said Obama. "I remember listening to 'A, B, C' when I was 8 or 9 or 10, and he kept on producing extraordinary music for years after that."
(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.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Angry at Rep. Peter King's sharp criticism of Michael Jackson, a fan of the late pop icon is trying to raise money to defeat the nine-term Republican from New York in 2010.
"This guy was a pervert, he was a child molester, he was a pedophile," King said about Jackson in a video posted on YouTube.
As of 6:40 p.m. ET, 13 donors had contributed $305 through the online fundraising Web site ActBlue. The unnamed organizer of the effort said the donations would be forwarded to the Democratic nominee for the seat.
"Peter King ought to let Jackson rest in peace, and focus on the needs of his constituents," the organizer wrote on the Web site. "As we mourn the loss of an American legend, political grandstanding is not what we need right now!"
"He was a great entertainer and he crossed so many lines with his skill and the skill of his brothers," Powell says, "I always remember him most vividly as a young boy with his brothers - the Jackson 5. These fresh, exciting kids with the 'fro's in the early '70s and singing those wonderful songs."
"But that is what I remember about Michael. During the heyday when he was doing 'Thriller' and the other things I was either in Vietnam or Korea or somewhere. So he's not quite of my generation, but his art spanned three generations and is worthy of all the tribute that he is receiving for his art.
"Yes, there were some challenges in his life. Yes, there was a great deal of controversy about him. But he's now passed on. Let's celebrate his art."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Roughly half of all Americans say they are fans of Michael Jackson - but there are big gender and generation gaps when it comes to the king of pop, according to a new national poll.
Fifty-one percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday morning describe themselves Jackson fans, with 49 percent saying they are not fans.
"Most women say they are fans of Michael Jackson; most men do not. Most young people say they are Jackson fans, but a majority of Americans over 50 don't," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama called Michael Jackson one of the "greatest entertainers" whose talent as a performer was paired with a "sad personal life," in his first comments about the singer since his death last Thursday.
"I am glad to see that he is being remembered primarily for the great joy that he brought to a lot of people through his extraordinary gifts as an entertainer," Obama said in an interview Friday with the Associated Press.
Obama said he grew up on Jackson's music and that "I still have all of his stuff on my iPod."
"I think that Michael Jackson will go down in history as one of our greatest entertainers," Obama also said in the interview. "I think that his brilliance as a performer also was paired with a tragic and in many ways sad personal life."
Obama said he didn't see any controversy over the fact that he didn't issue a statement immediately upon the singer's death. He told the AP that he knows "a lot of people in the black community" and that he hadn't heard anything about it.
But the media faced a couple of tough questions: whether to talk about the unseemly aspects of Jackson's life along with his heralded musical and performing talents, and whether to cover the Jackson story ahead of other major stories such as the unrest in Iran, the infidelity of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, and the death of actress Farrah Fawcett.
Howard Kurtz posed these questions to a panel of entertainment journalists Sunday morning on Reliable Sources.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama has written to the family of Michael Jackson rather than making a public statement, his senior adviser said Sunday.
Appearing on the NBC program "Meet the Press," Obama adviser David Axelrod said Obama believes Jackson was "an important and magnificent performer" who made an undeniable impact on music and entertainment.
Asked why Obama had yet to speak publicly about Jackson's sudden death last week at age 50, Axelrod said: "The president has written the family and has shared his feelings with the family."
"He felt that was the appropriate way to go," Axelrod said.
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