July 6th, 2009
06:41 PM ET
13 years ago

Rep. King on Jackson: 'There's nothing good about this guy'

(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.

Filed under: Michael Jackson • Peter King
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. terry anthony

    AMEN.... Bury the man and let's move on. Poor Farrah Fawcett wasn't mentioned enough for the country to know she's died as well.

    July 6, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. Helen Lane

    Finally ....a voice of reason in this circus of events surrounding MJ.

    July 6, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  3. Brandy

    Michael Jackson was only charged and was never found guilty. Who knows if it was true or not. Only Jackson and the kids. You know, a lot of scummy people in the world try to make a buck off someone else and you know very well that people have done just that. Make false statements against someone famous in order to settle for million dollar payouts. Parents can tell children anything over and over until they themselves believe it is true. This could be the case here.

    July 6, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  4. Margaret

    I could not agree with Peter King more.

    July 6, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  5. Lou

    Amen. I couldn't have said it better myself.

    July 6, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  6. Seth

    The people of New York should be thinking very carefully today about whether this is the right guy to be representing them. He appears to be quite unclear on some very basic Constitution concepts, including innocent until proven guilty. Further he is also so out of touch the he is clearly unaware that Jackson was exsonerated on those charges. Thus his accusation stand as slander and the only thing that keeps Rep. King out of court himself is the fact that Jackson is dead. Yes people do die every day, but Americans shouldn't be dying in Afghanistan, so don't whine to us about that Mr. King.

    July 6, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  7. djw

    Mr King you forget America starts it's own wars and you want the innocent soldiers to fight the unneccessary wars . What about the bloodshed of these wars. Yes they deserve their honor but YOU are part of a party that lied us in a war and you create WARS and Pres Bush Admin did not want the pictures of the cuffins coming home !!!

    July 6, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  8. Laverne

    Newsflash to Mr. King: Obviously Michael Jackson was a whole lot more to people here and around the world than what you claim him to be. The thousands and thousands of fans he has around the whole are celebrating him as an artist and for the musical genious he was. He can throw stones at him, but he was NOT found guilty in a court of law and according to you lawmakers that is what matters. Whether you choose to celebrate Michael Jackson's talent is your choice, but I dare you try and speak for everyone else and I dare you try and tell his fans they should not be celebrating this man for the legend he has left behind when it comes to music. Mr. King get over yourself and watch as the world celebrate this man on Tuesday and then maybe you will realize the impact he has had on the entire world!

    July 6, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  9. Shocked

    But he made Thriller . . . Thriller!

    July 6, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  10. joey


    Someone has the guts to say what many are thinking.

    July 6, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  11. CR

    Although many of us have our suspicions about Michael Jackson, he was acquitted in a Court of Law by a jury of his peers. For a U.S. Representative who once was the head of Homeland Security Committee to ignore the laws and voice his opinion in this matter is very disturbing. I pray that the family sue him just so he can learn why parties settle out of Court. Like all of us, I am sure MJ had some issues, but I believe he contributed to my generation in rich music and made the world a better place then Reprsentative will ever be able to come close to meeting, seeing or understanding.

    July 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. Kenneth

    The GOP has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING better to do! Mr King (because you certainly do not remotely represent me) you are simply wrong. Michael Jackson was ACQUITTED of molestation charges and since his death the child who received the settlement has renounced ANY claims that Michael Jackson molested him in ANY way. It is your backwoods thinking and labeling of guilt before proven that is the anchor on American progression. Get over your petty assumptions and get to your job. Allow those of us who RESPECT the body of work that Michael Jackson has made available to mourn his passing. No one is perfect and when the skeleton's fall out of your closet let's see how humble you become.

    July 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  13. Dana

    If Michael Jackson had been convicted, I would agree with the representative. But it was never proven in a court of law - in fact one CA jury acquitted him. A legislator of all people should understand that in this country, you are presumed innocent.

    July 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  14. DEC

    Amen! I think it is so sad that we honor Michael Jackson on the front pages but buried on the back page of the first seciton of our paper was the headlines that the Marines have had their first casualties in Afghanistan–what a shame. They are the true heroes and deserve a national day of mourning as has been suggested for Michael Jackson. It also seems unreal that Los Angeles will spend huge sums of money to have the service and yet the state is issuing IOUs for much needed services. SAD!

    July 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  15. Jon

    Whether he is right or not (which I tend to agree with him), are Republicans still wondering why they are not popular with the majority? Did he really need to speak against Jackson?

    July 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  16. Radhika

    Rubbish! Firstly, Michael Jackson was found innocent and acquitted of all charges – and he paid off his earlier charge only to prevent further trauma of a trial which would have never ended!! Secondly, if your child was molested – would you actually accept money from the accused?!!! This just shows that the parent was a greedy manipulator and took advantage of Michael's celebrity. By saying this, King has proven his ignorance and absolute lack of common sense. It is important to honour daily heroes, but the kind of talent Jackson had comes once in a lifetime or never and he has done a lot more for humanity and raising awareness on critical issues and forgotten people than I'm sure Rep. King ever has!

    July 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  17. Rob

    He didn't need to say it so harshly but he's right!!!. Enough already!!! And I'm a democrat. A progressive liberal! STOP THIS NONSENSE! What does it say to our children and to other countries? This constant coverage and glorification of Michael Jackson. STOP!

    July 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  18. Joe

    gotta agree with a republican on this one.

    July 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  19. Sean

    This guy needs to catch up on his news. Jackson was acquitted of all charges, and on top of that his accusers have admitted they lied. But who cares about facts when your a Republican politician?

    July 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  20. tiffany

    Get a life. A typical jealous old man who won't be remembered by his own family in a couple years

    July 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  21. tru

    ARE YOU JEALOUS PETER KING? someone is evidently intrigued by all the coverage other than that it wouldn't be any.

    July 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  22. donewith idiots

    Since there was never any conviction sounds like slander to me

    July 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  23. jack, new york, new york

    congressman king is right. the endless adulation is absurd. to some, jackson was a great entertainer. that's fine. that alone would not entitle him to the hoopla that goes on endlessly. but add to that the unsavory aspects of his character and it would seem that the sooner he is forgotten the better.

    July 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  24. Dee

    Good for Rep. King to speak up enough is enough about Michael Jackson.

    July 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  25. Player Player

    Stop hating you typical GOP who only care about himself. That way your party is irrevelent,

    July 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
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