TMZ likes Michael Jackson more than Mark Sanford.

I like reporting on the media. But how many mirrors does the world really need? I don’t care, I find it fascinating to reflect on what newspeople think is news, and how they report it.

If fate is right, that means eventually someone will report on me reporting on the media reporting on the news – perhaps one of those hate liberal blogs.

I remember watching the TMZ head honcho, Harvey Levin, back when he reported on the OJ trial. He was a good reporter/lawyer. I don’t know how or when he turned to sleaze and  getting crap about celebrities, but I guess he’s a staple on Hollywood news now. I never go to the blog – too much vulgarity -but I’ve seen the TV show in passing, which spends a lot of time on a goodlooking blond photographer, who I just found in passing, from this blog, is called Max Hodges. 

Anyway, the LA Times made a big deal as to how cool it was that TMZ  broke the MJ story before anyone else. I don’t know why that would be worth a story – they’re on the tail of anyone who’s famous or interesting all the time, anyway. But the Times will never waste a good excuse to suck up to Hollywood! (True, but I love Hollywood, too, so I don’t mind.)

But the Jackson drama puts the spotlight on TMZ at a delicate time. Its tactics have stoked growing outrage among publicists and government officials. Its tabloid sensibilities have

Who paid for Michael Jackson’s flamboyant funeral?

We did. Los Angeles did. I’m so disgusted by this ostentatious funeral/memorial display! Shutting down part of the city, motor cascade, stars mouthing off, TV show, news coverage, blah blah blah. Not to mention the WASTE of money, when California is completely broke, with layoffs, warnings, etc by the state.

No doubt Michael Jackson would have loved it. I’m embarrassed to be living in this city. Doesn’t LA asking for Paypal donations sound like a cartoon or joke all by itself? But it’s true! Los Angeles is a dreamer, all right.

This cartoon is kind of an in-joke to Californians: Mayor Villaraigosa was gone, touring, traveling, who knows what, during the whole Michael debacle. He’s out of the city a whole hella lot. I have no idea if he and Schwarzenegger are friends, enemies, BFF, or avoid each other. Fun to imagine, though.

Here, some Facebook friends and I discuss the issue:  

Me: I find it revolting that part of LA was shut down, and tickets were given out through a LOTTERY for a singer who retired and lived abroad. I hope he’s out of the news now so I don’t have to do a cartoon about MJ.

J. MJ was an icon. You can’t deny him that. Celebrated pedophile, yes, but he did live in California for quite a while. It is what it is.

G. He never retired, Donna. He retreated. And what’s wrong with holding a lottery? You can always turn off the TV.
Like him or not, stars don’t get any bigger and there is no denying his talent and contribution to humanitarian causes. As for the charges and accusat

Sarah Palin resigns as governor, but the cartoons keep on coming.

The music stopped when Sarah Palin resigned as Governor in a surprise move yesterday. In comparison to this, who cares about Michael Jackson?!

(To be honest, I didn’t remember Michael Jacksn’s Thriller and the claw hands, didn’t know what the lean was until I saw the cutest boy in the world (Derek Hough) do it and post it on Twitter, so then I had to look it up, and found that BoingBoing had an explanation of how Jackson did it in his performances, and it’s taken almost a week for me to learn that Jesus Juice  was a term he invented. (I think it means wine, right?))

But Sarah…That was the season when I actually paid attention to the campaigns and elections, and she was electrifyingly real. In character, and a character. Mesmerizing, even in, or especially in, her most humiliating moments. And I always thought she was beautiful, and I loved her voice.

Oh, did I forget to add that she was a cartoonist’s dream girl? A poster girl, a pin-up girl for cartoonists. (Okay, maybe especially for bloggers.) I did this for Slate, but it didn’t run until after the election, so not many people saw it. And she won’t be Governor for much longer, so time, people, time. I’m working on a new cartoon for Monday, so check back!  

She’s not dead, and I have to stop talking about her in the past tense. BUT…what is going to happen to her now? Did she ruin any possibilities for running as President in 2012, as many pundits and analysts have said?

Top of the Ticket is the LA Times biggest blog, and they made some guesses:

Professionals watching a withdrawal like this conventionally and immediately wonder, what bad news don’t we know about her that’s about to come out? Is there some scandal, indictment or personal revelation that would cause her to step down even before

Michael Jackson’s death is not funny, but it is a cartoon.

Michael Jackson cartoon of grave, with Farrah Fawcett and Ed mcMahon

Sure, I’m curious why he died. But NO, I never thought he was funny. Not the animals, the plastic surgery, the kids. Nor is his death funny. I’m sad a talented performer died so young.. What about Farrah Fawcett, or Ed McMahon, or the strange, sad confluence of the 3? NO. Not funny, either. All equally sad.

My job as an editorial cartoonist is to comment or reflect on the news, not make instant flower bouquets, or practice sanctimonious phrases. But… is death funny?

Actually, this is the first time a well-known figure has died since I started doing cartoons for Slate in February, so I wasn’t sure just how to approach it.