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. Malese Bennett

    It is so good to hear someone say the truth about this media splurge on Michael Jackson. The media is as bad as most politicians, they say what they think people want to hear, not what is newsworthy or even possibly the truth. And the media has completely lost my following as far as looling for the truth. I dont know what is going to happen to our world if this type of fluff is going to be continually put on our front pages. No, forgive me, newspapes are not half the hypocrites as tv broadcasters..

    July 6, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  2. Summer

    Um, as i recall he was acquitted of all charges! You're a disgrace Mr. King if you cant recognize the great positive affect Michael Jackson had on the world and music.

    July 6, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  3. Joan

    Thank you for speaking out. No disrespect for the man, but there has been way too much attention to him and not enough for our young men and women in the service that is sacrificing their lives for us. Does the media not have any news to report other than that? Honestly, get over it and report something that is important to the American people – like our troops coming home and those that were injured or died for us.

    July 6, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  4. Crystal Conway

    This Mr King, should be ashamed of himself! he is just jelous because the media isn't covering him.Go back to the rock you crawl from under. I don't care how long he's been in office, he should be thrown out.Michael Jackson was more of a man than him.

    July 6, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  5. Tim Brooks

    Wow. Somebody has the guts to say the truth. Lets see how CNN handles the truth.

    July 6, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Isn't it nice that a member of our Congress has ignored our Constitutional stance of innocent until proven guilty?

    July 6, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  7. Keidric Johnson

    Michael Jackson was acquitted. Anyone can be accused of anything at anytime. The beautiful thing about America is that we have a constitution and it protects the rights of American citizens. In case this idiot did not know it, here in the U.S. you are innocent until PROVEN guilty. This guy is an insensitive jerk.

    July 6, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  8. Anonymous

    There was a LOT of good to Michael Jackson. He was a barrier breaking musical prodigy. No matter the negative aspect of his life, he should be honored.

    No one said not to honor people like Frank Sinatra who had ties with the mob or Reagan who lied at the Iran-Contra hearings.

    Republicans become more and more out of touch every day.

    July 6, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  9. Larry

    Amen to that...my sentiments exactly

    July 6, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  10. Gary,TX

    King .. keep letting everyone in the world know you are a idiot

    July 6, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  11. sully

    Hey politicians!!!!
    People who live in glass houses
    should'nt throw stones!!
    Remember Sanford??
    He wanted to impeach Clinton
    then he walked the same path
    over and over
    You politicians stick to what you know how to do
    Pull the wool over your constituents eyes.(and your families)
    MJ may have payed money
    but many parents had their hands out
    (or their kid's hands)
    At least he changed the world for the better
    with his music.
    What legacy will you leave??

    July 6, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  12. lbjack

    I'm a Democrat, and while King's wording is crude, he's basically right. The media frenzy over Jackson is disgusting. Jackson made music that pleased a lot of people, but to make this sordid individual into a demigod is an insult to far more worthy people who die every day.

    July 6, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  13. Cindy

    I don't usually agree with many Republicans, but in this case I do. Michael Jackson was, at best, disturbed. If he would have been anyone else then he would have been in jail for many many years. I think the media, especially new organizations, needs to stop covering celebrities as if they really matter to our daily lives. The time spent on stories about Michael Jackson or any other celebrity could be time spent discusssing/debatinb substantive issues that impact everyones day to day lives.

    July 6, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  14. Chris

    1. He was found not guilty on those charges – so much for our innocent until proven guilty system that we push on the rest of the world. I'm not disagreeing that later in life in was a weirdo and probably a bit of a creep.
    2. Sorry old Congressman – but for 85% of the country under the age of 35 – Michael Jackson is a big deal. It's like in your generation when Elvis died – who was an abusive drug user or when Frank Sinatra died. The only difference is that now we have 24 hour news cycle and a million internet blogs covering stuff.
    3. They've covered the folks dying around the world – a tough job I might add. However in our free market system that we are so eager to push the news companies have to make a profit – which means they have to show what will get them ratings, which for over half the population Michael Jackson's death is a big deal and is big news worthy of a few days coverage (I will agree that it is getting ridiculous) So don't complain at the news companies – get mad at people for being interested. The media is just trying to make their buck.

    July 6, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  15. Bev

    As hard as it is for me to agree with a seasoned Republican, his words ring true. For the life of me, I cannot understand the hysteria surrounding Michael Jackson.

    July 6, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  16. makesUwonder

    Oh, New York Rep. Peter King you just opened the front door to a ton of hate coming your way. And I agree, I'm sick and tired of hearing about Michael Jackson.

    July 6, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  17. AmericanAirman

    It is about time someone stands up and calls it like it is. This Representative needs to run for President!

    I can't believe that with everything going on in the world right now, much less our own country, the media has wasted so much coverage of a perverted drug addict. I agree that our priorities are seriously skewed when we find Jackson to be news, and the unemployment rate hitting multi-decade highs as nothing more than a blip on the telecast.

    CNN is by far the worst culprit when it comes to this travesty. It is apparent that they forgot how to cover real news and instead must rely on gimmicks like this for ratings.

    July 6, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  18. looking4trth

    Michael Jackson was exonerated of all charges and allegations of crimes against children. What's your problem King, jealous? He's being glorified because of his phenominal humanitarian work. What kind of "skeletons" are in your closet King? You supposedly represent the US Government, yet you openly charge, judge, and convict Michael Jackson, what about Innocent until PROVEN guilty?? Some representative you are. Don't count on my vote!!

    July 6, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  19. Ronnie Keeing

    Mr. King is right in everything he said. God bless him for standing up for the truth

    July 6, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  20. Don

    Just another GOP nitwit airing their views without facts to base it on. What skeletons are in Peter King's closet why he is so intent on pushing the rhetoric?

    Peter – The man is dead... leave him alone and do something to help this country for crying out loud.

    July 6, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  21. Carla

    Who are you to judge any human being? I'm a white christian female and have never believed he was guitly. Even IF he was, I'm certainly in no place to judge him, only God. Keep you opinions to yourself!

    July 6, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  22. Pauladirect

    Can't believe a public figure would make a comment like this about someone who devoted his life to the public by giving us music we grew up on. Can he state facts where Michael Jackson was convicted of what he is shouting about? Thanks for showing us your true colors Mr. King.

    July 6, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  23. Max Hunt

    Mr. Genius:
    I can't wait to see what happens to you come election time. I promise you, you will be reminded of your 1 minute of fame.

    July 6, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  24. JM

    Well I do agree that the media's coverage of MJ's death has been overblown and I too am getting sick of hearing about it every time I turn on the tv, but the guy had the biggest selling album of all time and was an icon and with that in mind I don't think the media isn't going to quit covering his death any time soon.

    July 6, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  25. Thomas

    This guy does not even deserve a comment. He stands in a place of judgment and has spoken evil and vile things about someone whom he does not know. Only God knows the hearts and minds of men. I will pray for his soul, because it seems that now he stands in judgement of someone that people all over the world love, and it seems to have forgiven his short comings, what ever they may have been.

    July 6, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
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