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. CR

    Although many of us have our suspicions about Michael Jackson, a jury of his peers acquitted him in a Court of Law. 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 and future generations in rich music and incredible philanthropy that made the world a better place then Representative King will ever be able to come close to meeting, seeing or understanding.

    July 6, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  2. Mpls Mikey

    Interesting political strategy.

    July 6, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. thank you

    finally – someone speaks the truth – a known pedophile, pervert and long-term drug addict overdoses. shocker. really – is this the kind of person our country admires – sadly, the answer is yes. in our society, talent, good looks and/or buckets of money covers all sins regardless of how depraved they are. i'm embarassed and disgusted.

    July 6, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  4. L.E.

    Rep. King is "spot on." MJ's music may have been good – but obviously he had inappropriate relationships with children. Let's focus on the real heroes.

    July 6, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. roberth

    He is absolutely correct. What is wrong with the media today?

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

    What an epic conserva-jerk!

    July 6, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  7. Eric Shaw

    Well said Mr. King.

    July 6, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  8. Hannah Stevens

    This guy is not going to endear himself with Michael Jackson fans. Michael Jackson certainly was eccentric, but he didn't profess to be anything other than who he was, unlike some Republicans these days. And Michael Jackson made some great music.

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

    thank you!

    July 6, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  10. drew

    i know his comment about jackson's character will be called into question by fans, but the guy has a point. why do we need to hear so much about this one death when there are other people who are dying for much nobler causes than popular music?

    July 6, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  11. Mieke, The Netherlands

    Michael Jackson was mysterious, yes. A bit different, yes. But it doesn't take a whole lot of psychology to know, that there wasn't one bad bone in his body. This comment from Mr. King says more about Mr. King himself than about Michael Jackson. It is so easy to judge, isn't it?

    July 6, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  12. Corey

    I couldn't agree with you more. No matter how you wrap a piece of crap it still stinks.

    July 6, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  13. Joe Winthrow

    Peter King=foot in moouth. Last I checked Michael Jackson was acquitted of all charges. McCauly Culkin, Lisa Marie Presley both vehemently came to Michael Jackson's defense. To say such things is to speak without thinking.

    July 6, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  14. MillerJ

    And other than the fact that a politician said it, this is related to politics how? Oh yes, it's part of CNNs continued attempt to out demonize MSNBC when it comes to Republicans.

    July 6, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  15. Ryan

    Not surprising. Another hateful, ignorant, judgemental GOPer who doesn't know squat.

    July 6, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  16. Marshall

    I do not have a problem with people wanting to pay their respects for him, but the media attention is getting out of control. I agree with Rep. King that there are far too many stories out there that actually impact real lives that are getting far too little attention. This story is another example of the media choosing to cover style over substance.

    July 6, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  17. kevin

    I couldn't agree more with Mr. King. The media coverage and millions of people idolizing this guy is pathetic!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 6, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  18. darla

    Good for him for speaking out about this media circus.

    July 6, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  19. Walt

    I agree! A day or two was enough. The only reporting on U.S. Soldiers deaths are on the back page of newspapers or nothing at all. What a disgrace. Wake up America!!!! Walt, Vietnam Combat Veteran

    July 6, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  20. zack

    Oh shut up. MJ was King of Pop. You're just... well... Representative King.

    July 6, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  21. John smith


    YOU are a dusgrace to this country and its constitution. If you can jog your pea-sized brain, the constitution says people are innocent until PROVEN guilty. The charges, while alleged, have never been proven. Secondly, by your pojnt of view, Johnny Cash couldnt be trusted with your wife either. That doesn;t take away from his greatness.

    July 6, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  22. Dave C - NJ

    There was probably a much better way of saying all of this.

    I think MJ was a pedophile as well, however if I was an elected official I wouldn't state it as fact unless I had real proof.

    Way to excite the voters, King.

    July 6, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  23. Doodad

    The hoopla over this troubled person is a telling commentary on the focus of the media. Is there nothing else to report?

    July 6, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  24. Dee

    Hooooh boy...stand by for the wailing about a Republican dissing a famous black guy!!!

    July 6, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  25. Dylan

    He's absolutely right. From Michael Jackson's own lips: "What's more beautiful than sharing your bed with a child..." The man was the lowest form of life and all these morons acting like his death is something tragic are a disgrace to our society.

    July 6, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
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