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MEDIA MERRY-GO-ROUND!
By George Medina, Intercontinental Licensing
It happened to me when famous pop musi- the price of a new car via the dealer, this not marry but celebrated a “commitment cer-
cian and star Michael Jackson died. has made a lot of people, including a lot of emony” with on a yacht off the coast of the Ba-
struggling car vendors, very happy in the hamas. It was supposed that she had a daughter
For three solid weeks I learned so many details short term. with Stern that might have been his, or so it was
about Michael’s life that I had never known be- • Have American consumers happily learned stated. Actually, later tests proved paternity for
fore, nor for that matter did I really feel were to save more and spend less? – Probably Larry Birkhead, an earlier friend. Anna Nicole
essential to know: photographs of his children, this is great for their personal security but in her later life also became an activist for the
parents, marriages, clothes, and friends. It was bad for the restart of a stalled anti-fur movement as well as against cruelty of
an endless parade of all this throughout all the consumption economy – and doesn’t the animals. She carried weight as an activist due to
media, TV, blogs – endless eulogies were read, world miss the formerly free-spending her media fame.
quoted and repeated. American shopper? In the course of the many legal battles one of
That seemed okay to me, though tribute after • Does the shrinking of the Obama them, unbelievably was appealed to the US Su-
tribute brought out the same facts – but, being administration’s opinion poll ratings mean preme Court, and in 2006 the Court decided in
a news junkie myself, the other stories I wanted that hope and change are now meeting favor of Anna Nicole, who by that decision fi-
to follow seemed to have drowned in the sea reality? nally wound up with approximately $450 million
of sorrow and I had to search very, very hard in • And what about Health Care? As a and naturally, in as much as she died intestate in
small specialized blogs to find out that: business man and employer I need to know 2006, there is now a further great battle about
more about the different plans. her estate.
• BusinessWeek, the 80 year old respected Enough adventure and excitement to feed the
and famous magazine with approximately Then I came to think back to 1977 when Elvis media many, many, many times over.
190 editorial employees and 4.8 million Presley died. By comparison, the story that he I bet you remember Terri Schiavo whose 15 year
readers in 140 countries, had lost so had died of an overdose rather than a heart at- agonizing journey during institutionalization in a
much money that McGraw Hill as of this tack was considered not main news but “Show persistent vegetative state created a family bat-
writing is trying to find a buyer. Biz News”. It was bumped off the front pages of tle between husband Michael and parents, Mr.
• CIT – the group financing small businesses the “respectable newspapers”, like the Times, by and Mrs. Schindler.
with loans stopped lending a while ago and a second-rate story (even then) that Bert Lance This battle, spiced also by financial consider-
had run out of liquidity. The US (Budget Director of President Carter’s admin- ations that might have influenced Michael’s deci-
government is trying to decide how to istration) had escaped indictment. Do you re- sions and opinions, was also contributed to by
proceed. member him? pro-life activists Randall Terry and the Schin-
• Has the stimulus worked or are its effects dlers’ strong belief in Catholic doctrine that
lagging? – Because so far only a few But do you remember Anna Nicole Smith (stage supports “right to life”.
million in funds has made its way into name) - model, sex symbol, actress and televi- Through medical organizations, Florida state
circulation and lots of it will take years sion personality who also had her own reality court, and finally President Bush’s direct involve-
to roll out. I should mention that brand TV show, The Anna Nicole Show? During her ment (President Bush flew to Washington from
new miracle that was pulled out of the short life that ended at age 39 as a result of his Texas vacation to sign the Senate’s bill S686
hat by the government as a by-product. an overdose of prescription drugs, her life’s path into law) Terry Schiavo’s feeding tube was pulled.
“Cash For Clunkers” is working so well included a marriage to wealthy Howard Mar- The echoes of the debate between “right to life”
that extra money was assigned to it. We shall, age 89, while she was 26. The gossip col- and the validity of “living wills” still go on. A lot
now have $3 billion worth of clunkers umns never forgave her. She had children whose of this was fanned by, and fought out endlessly
(very old cars with bad gas mileage) that paternity brought many court battles because in, the media. Cooler heads now might ask: was
are disappearing from the roads and into Howard Marshall left an estate of $1.6 billion it really Congress’ job to legislate on such a
steel recycling in exchange for new cars and had a first wife, Elaine Marshall. As an amus- private matter or was the media involvement a
of certain types that save fuel. Because ing side note she had a friendship with promi- part of this political decision?
a $3,500 - $4,500 rebate comes off from nent attorney Howard K. Stern, whom she did Or – to return to most recent times, weren’t
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