Category: Mary McNamara

100 Bones and Counting: On set with David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel

For five seasons, they’ve struggled to find a balance between reason and emotion,  intuition and science, love and friendship. Of all the unconsummated love affairs currently complicating television plot lines, the relationship between Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) and Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) of “Bones” has got to the be the most classically romantic.

While the Fox detective drama struggled in its early years to find its voice—a straight forensic procedural? an off-beat crime-comedy?—the chemistry between the two main characters never faltered. Over the years, the folks behind "Bones" created not only a voice and a devoted fan base for their show, they remade the crime procedural: the fond but still prickly partnership between two unlikely foils has become just as necessary for crime procedurals as DNA analysis and all that super-cool gadgetry.

So it is fitting that the 100th episode, directed by Boreanaz, will take Booth and Brennan back to the beginning. And if the will they/won’t they question isn’t precisely answered, fans will have at least a better understanding of what lies at the, um, heart of the relationship.

To commemorate that bit of illumination, I spoke with Deschanel and Boreanaz about the push-me-pull-you of the perpetually courting, the wonderful ick factor of forensic anthropology and how sometimes a TV show just needs a little time to find its way.

-- Mary McNamara

LAT review: How did Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin do at the Oscars?

Oscars In Monday's L.A. Times, Mary McNamara casts her reviewer's eye over the Academy Awards show as an event and wonders why, with seasoned comedians like Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin hosting, it had so little sense of ... timing. "There was a lot of incremental dead air and not just during Jeff Bridges' acceptance speech. It's a big stage and we seemed to spend a lot of time looking at it empty."

As for the hosts themselves, "They were unafraid to appear in a double Snuggie backstage and introduced presenters with flair -- 'He directed 'A Single Man,' she weighs a single pound, Tom Ford and Sarah Jessica Parker' -- and did their best to keep things moving."

Read more of the review here and more Oscar coverage here.

Photo: Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin at the Oscars. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Late-night Watch: The Revenge of Conan O'Brien


In many ways, it’s been a pretty good week for Conan O’Brien. On Monday night, Martin Scorsese offered to put him in his new HBO series, and last night Quentin Tarantino said he'd help O’Brien follow the director’s template and make a revenge movie. “They pushed him too far," Tarantino growled, imagining the trailer. "They made promises they had no intention of keeping. They took his show, they killed his dog....They had their way and now Conan will have his.”

O'Brien’s even become the “star” of a Chinese animated video attempt to explain the whole late-night mess. The clip, in which he morphs into the Incredible Hulk, made the rounds on the Internet and pleased O’Brien so much that he decided to air it last night, claiming that now, at last, he understood what had happened.

“And we wonder why they’re beating us,” quipped Andy Richter, proving that maybe he could have become a great side-kick, given enough time.

All this on top of pro Conan rallies, the Team Coco T-shirts and the ever increasing applause the moment he appears on stage. Indeed, O’Brien has become so universally beloved, you have to wonder where all these fans were hiding during the last seven months as “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” opened to mediocre ratings and steadily slid. While it’s touching to hear his fans frantically applaud, as if O’Brien were Tinker Bell and could be saved if only enough of us believed, simply watching the show on a regular basis might have been more effective.

O’Brien, of course, is past all that, joking as he took the stage Wednesday night that he was "just three days away from the biggest drinking binge in history.”

As he nears the end — “Thursday,” he said, “or Friday depending on what the lawyers say” -- he has developed something of a shtick, buoyed by the intoxication of crisis and more than a little bitterness —when Tarantino claimed the strangulation was the most violent thing one could do to another person, O’Brien begged to differ. "I've got another one for ya,” he said, and he was clearly only half-kidding.

Once again, O’Brien referenced news reports that he could not legally say anything bad about NBC. While Monday he circumvented this by singing his criticism, on Wednesday, he went bilingual, calling NBC executives “brainless sons of goats who eat money and crap trouble” in Spanish. There was another clip of great moments in "Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" history. (Strangely, this pattern also seems to involve an "Avatar" joke followed by a reference to the death of the founder of Taco Bell, but hey, Conan, whatever gets you through the next few days.)

A host to the end, O’Brien dutifully interviewed his guests and plugged their films — along with Tarantino, Paul Bettany made an appearance — but there is no denying that these final shows are playing more like an Irish wake than anything else, with everyone eager to laugh and tell scandalous stories. Bettany got bleeped twice and even Colin Firth spent his time on Tuesday night making penis and anus jokes.

And if anyone out there didn’t understand just what was going on, comedian and favored O’Brien guest Norm MacDonald showed up with a gift basket he claimed he’d bought in June. As he read the card --"Congratulations Conan on finally securing your place as the permanent host of 'The Tonight Show. That's something they can never take away from you" -- the words were funny, ironic and genuinely sad. NBC’s late-night mess is not the worst thing happening in the world today, but it may be the most unnecessary.

--Mary McNamara

Video: Norm MacDonald on "The Tonight Show"/Credit: NBC

Related

Late-Night Watch: Conan O'Brien begins the countdown

Conan O'Brien says he won't participate in the 'destruction of The Tonight Show'

The strange case of the dignified late-night hosts

Conan

It’s a strange world indeed in which late-night show hosts act as models of clear-headedness, but Conan O’Brien’s recent letter to NBC is an admirable example of how to make the best of a bad situation.

From its opening admission that no one should feel sorry for him because “For 17 years, I've been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I've been absurdly lucky” to his conclusion that “delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise,” O’Brien managed to express his indignation while still hewing resolutely to the high road. Oh, and he stands to get a cool $40 mil if he can get the lawyers to agree that he’s not quitting because by moving him and “The Tonight Show” to 12:05, NBC is effectively turning “The Tonight Show” into something else entirely, which constitutes a breach of contract. So he gets the money and public sympathy.

Canny indeed, but the fact is, he’s right and it’s hard to imagine that this is not precisely what NBC knew would happen when it first floated the idea of giving Leno a half-hour show.

O’Brien has, in fact, been a model citizen during the whole absurd ordeal; unlike Leno, he never used his monologue to express any kind of dissatisfaction with what was clearly an impossible and irritating situation. Following on the heels of Craig Ferguson’s call to stop tormenting the clearly psychologically challenged Britney Spears and David Letterman’s oddly mature bull-by-the-horns admission of adultery, O’Brien’s calm amid the storm seems to herald a whole new role for the late-night host: Standard Bearer of Temperance and Dignity.

Hard to imagine for men who have been known to don an Alka Seltzer suit (Letterman) or thrust a profane dog puppet into the limelight (O’Brien). But it’s a refreshing reminder that even as political pundits work themselves into a rabid froth of personal vindictiveness, there is professionalism to be had among at least one group of television hosts. It was interesting to note that only Leno made comedic hay of Letterman’s revelation that there had been an attempt to blackmail him regarding affairs he had had with staff on his show — Ferguson and O’Brien patently refused and even Leno’s jokes seemed half-hearted and obligatory. As Letterman’s former nemesis, Leno was almost contractually obligated to say something, but he did move on as quickly as possible.

Likewise, Letterman has kept a respectful distance, keeping his barbs aimed mainly at NBC executives rather than O’Brien or “Big Jaw,” with nothing but compliments for both of their shows, which have, of course, combined their low ratings to make him, Letterman, the new King of Late Night.

So it’s not like any of these guys are operating totally outside their own self interest, curing cancer or solving the healthcare crisis. Still at a time when forbearance and professional courtesy are not the social norm, it’s nice to see that neither are dead, not even on TV.

-- Mary McNamara

Photo credit: Paul Drinkwater / Associated Press

Video: Mary McNamara and Betsy Sharkey on the 67th Annual Golden Globes nominations

TV critic Mary McNamara and film critic Betsy Sharkey weigh in on the snubs and surprises of the 67th Annual Golden Globes nominations.


-- Times staff

- Complete list of Golden Globe nominees
- Golden Globe nominee reactions

Palin vs. 'Oprah': the anti-smackdown

Palin-on-oprah

When former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin resigned as governor of Alaska this summer, she explained that she felt she could effect more change and deliver her message more effectively as a private citizen than as a lame-duck official.

During an appearance on Monday’s “Oprah,” Palin's first major appearance on her "Going Rogue: An American Life" book tour, her message seemed simple enough: None of what happened during the 2008 presidential campaign was her fault because she was beset by manipulative handlers and a hostile, badgering media. In the course of the one-hour interview, Palin referred to those who reported on her daughter Bristol Palin’s pregnancy as “haters” and called Katie Couric “the perky one.”

“You’re talking about Katie Couric,” Oprah Winfrey interjected as Palin was explaining her annoyance the Couric couldn’t let her just enjoy the “incredible rush of energy” she felt after a rousing John McCain rally. “Because you’re pretty perky yourself.”

The only thing she, Palin, did wrong was ... well, going by just her conversation with Winfrey, she didn’t do anything wrong. She and McCain lost because the economy tanked and Couric had an agenda to present her in the worst possible light no matter what she said.

Palin said she wished she had not been subjected to such a “double standard” in the media about her campaign wardrobe clothes and her children. And about that look of disappointment you saw on her face when she was not allowed to speak after McCain’s concession speech ... well, she had wanted one more opportunity to say that Americans needed to keep moving forward and that “united we stand.”

Even the inevitable “Levi question” could not take the lovely smile from her lips. Winfrey, hoping (as those badgering media types do) for some sort of emotional shift from her resolutely upbeat guest, pressed Palin about her feelings toward Levi Johnston, Bristol’s ex-fiancee. Johnston, who because of his connection to Palin has become a C-list celebrity (posing most recently for “Playgirl”), cannot say enough bad things about her, some of which Winfrey felt compelled to recount.

But Palin remained firmly on message: She was not going to discuss the intimate workings of her family on national TV. But she said she was sorry that Johnston was following a path of porn and profit and that she was praying for him and that he was certainly welcome at Thanksgiving dinner because he would always be the father of her beautiful grandson.

Charming, articulate, unflappable and firmly in control of her material, this was the Palin the McCain campaign had no doubt dreamed of all those long months ago. Of course, Winfrey wasn’t pushing her on the Bush Doctrine or even the newspapers of her choice, but watching a polished and possessed Palin as she once again made her case -- she’s just an ordinary working woman trying to do right by her kids and serve her country and is guilty of only a little naivete -- it’s hard not to see the formidable candidate she could have been if she had been given a little (OK, a lot) more time to prep. Or even if she had watched a few more episodes of “West Wing.”

“Do you wish you had just named some magazines?” Oprah asked Palin of her fateful Couric interview in which she seemed unable to name a news source she consulted regularly. “Yes, of course,” Palin answered, making it hard to know which was more worrisome: that Oprah used the word magazines (presumably because she doesn’t own a newspaper) or that Palin chose to not actually name one even now.

The two were quite fascinating to watch together, steel-spined divas treating each other with a graciousness Jane Austen would appreciate -- Winfrey called Palin’s book “interesting;” Palin thanked Winfrey for being an inspiration to her. In a clip available on the "Oprah" show's website, the two had a bonding moment over "journaling" -- both are practitioners and Palin's lifelong habit is one of the reasons she believed she could write a book. Both women have created “regular-folk” brands that belie their actual socioeconomic status, and no one knows better than Winfrey the power an individual can have over culture and policy.

Which may explain why, though Winfrey ended the interview by asking Palin if a talk show were in her future (a question Palin adroitly did not answer), she began the show by addressing the rumor (long forgotten, it must be said, by pretty much everyone) that she Winfrey had snubbed Palin during the campaign by not asking her to appear on her show. (After endorsing Obama, she had no political candidates as guests.)

Palin, bless her heart, looked Winfrey straight in the eye and said she had no idea that this was even part of the media conversation. “No offense to you,” Palin said with a winning smile, “but it wasn’t the center of the universe.”

Which certainly marks a milestone of some sort.

-- Mary McNamara

(Photo credit: AP Photo/Harpo Productions, Inc., George Burns)

What if the Balloon Boy spectacle wasn't a hoax? [Updated]

Balloon boy

For a television viewer, the most frightening moment of the whole “balloon boy” story came not when authorities discovered that Falcon Heene wasn’t in the weather balloon they had been chasing all over Colorado, the implication being that he had perhaps fallen out. The most frightening moment was watching “Today’s” Meredith Vieira interrogate the Heene family, all of whom looked as if they had been dragged from their beds pre-dawn, even as Falcon writhed heavy-lidded at his father’s side and then vomited into a Tupperware container held by his mother.

Vieira didn’t miss a beat, hanging on to her stern school marm tone — “Was this all a hoax?” she wanted to know — until Richard Heene, his voice shaking, said he was getting a little ticked off by all the accusations that he and his wife had staged the hours-long manhunt for publicity.

“I’m not a salesman,” he said. “I don’t have anything to sell.”

Vieira stepped back a pace or two, offering Heene a moment to allow his family to collect their emotions before they returned to talk about what the day had been like for them.

Vieira’s accusatory tone stemmed from the fact that Falcon, while being interviewed Thursday night by Wolf Blitzer, filling in for Larry King on "Larry King Live," had said he had been hiding because “we were doing it for a show.” And Richard’s indignation is tainted by his family’s participation in the reality show “Wife Swap,” which led many to suspect the family had developed an unhealthy addiction to publicity.

If the Heenes had been all over the news Thursday, begging for help and inviting sympathy, one might wonder if this weren’t some new media-derived strain of Munchausen by proxy. But that’s not what the nation saw. The nation saw, on every cable news network, endless replays of the latter stages of the balloon flight, caught by helicopter cameras, its landing and the discovery that the boy was nowhere inside.

Over and over, footage was replayed (as if somehow it would alter in repetition), interspersed with commentary from various balloon experts. At one point, CNN had the magic map involved, with volume-versus-mass equations going on. It was so absurd that at times Blitzer seemed almost unable to carry on; several times he hesitantly wondered if perhaps the boy wasn’t just hiding somewhere.

Blitzer, it seems, has actually met a 6-year-old boy, although he too joined the throng wondering if Falcon’s statement on “Larry King” was proof that the Heene family had staged the whole thing.
But even if it were a hoax, the crime was against all those involved in the search, not against the media that chose to follow the story so relentlessly even after it was clear there would be no money shot of Falcon emerging, unharmed, from the balloon. (Actually, that CNN and MSNBC aired real-time footage of the landing of a balloon, which might well contain the injured or dead boy, raises a few publicity-related questions as well.)

After that didn’t happen, the various anchors spent an hour speculating about an attached box that might have fallen with him in it. All of which they softened with occasional asides that they hoped the boy would be found safe somewhere.

When he was, the family was almost immediately accused of a hoax. Because of a comment made by a 6-year-old boy who was looking at Wolf Blitzer. Live.

Authorities are currently investigating whether the Heene family was involved in a hoax. If they were, that is certainly a story. But until that’s proved, maybe the media should back off just a little and not punish a family that may well have just survived the worst day of their lives. 

[Updated at 2:04 p.m.: We originally wrote that Larry King had interviewed Falcon on "Larry King Live." He was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on the program. We've changed the post to reflect that.]

— Mary McNamara

Photo: Six-year-old Falcon Heene is shown with his father, Richard, outside the family's home in Fort Collins, Colo. Credit: David Zalubowski / Associated Press

Video: Mary McNamara on the upcoming TV season

Times television critic Mary McNamara talks about some of this season's new TV, including its best new drama, "The Good Wife."



Review:'The Good Wife

Critic's Notebook: Paula Abdul was the 'American Idol' mess we'll miss

Paula-abdul The news that Paula Abdul has chosen to leave “American Idol” rather than accept a salary below her asking price forces the question reality television has been dancing around for years now: What is a reliable train wreck actually worth? 

Abdul may have been chosen as one of “American Idol’s” original judges because of her singing career —  “I’ve been where you are” is her default position with contestants — but what she actually brought to the show was, well, insanity. Loopiness gave way at times to incoherence that seemed chemically induced,  an allegation that she denied, then admitted, then denied admitting, then admitted denying, etc. Oh, she tried to fashion herself as a mother hen, comforting the forlorn, or as a feisty foil to Simon Cowell, but the role that worked best for her was the ditsy, drunken sidekick.

This is not a put-down, by the way. Some of the more brilliant comedians of our time have made this role their own. George Burns always said he had the easiest job in Hollywood; all he had to do was ask his seemingly feather-headed wife, Gracie, about her family. Cigarette and highball firmly in hand, Dean Martin muttered and grimaced and never seemed quite sober; Foster Brooks wheezed and blinked and stuttered through countless stand-up routines and a thousand appearances on “The Tonight Show.”
 

The trick, of course, was that it was all an act — Gracie Burns never made a conversational U-turn she hadn’t planned way in advance, Martin’s glass was full of ginger ale most of the time and Brooks might sway at the podium as he roasted Don Rickles, but he returned to his seat straight up and sober.

With Paula, however, it never seemed like an act, a suspicion that her short-lived reality show, “Hey Paula,” only further cemented. Her mini-rants, apropos-of-nothing comments and drowsy confusions never had the comedic timing or control that marked a master. But then, “American Idol” was the vanguard of reality programming, on which nothing is supposed to be scripted. Abdul provided the first taste of what the citizenry now gorges itself on: live-action breakdowns.

We’re far too educated in the perils of addiction to find feigned drunkenness amusing anymore (although we do retain a strange collective fondness for male stoners of a certain age), but we are certainly wanting to see the behind-the-scenes Hollywood breakdowns unfold in real time. There she was, live, on the show that held network television hostage, and you honestly didn’t know if this was going to be a good Paula day or a bad Paula day. And neither did anyone else! Not since "The Judy Garland Show's" Christmas Special was there so much wince-worthy pathos and hilarity in the offing.

And if things got too tame, you could always count on Paula to do something like admit to a national magazine that she used painkiller patches and then deny she ever said it. Crazy, man. All Simon can do, really, is make little British girls cry and cause fans to clock his ex-girlfriend!

So how much is reliable unreliability worth to “American Idol”? Apparently not as much as the milquetoast stoicism of Ryan Seacrest. It’s hard to imagine “Idol” without Paula. No, she wasn’t the best “judge” on the American music scene — she often seemed reactive, intent on proving how nice she is. And with the economy being what it is, there is something infuriating about bad behavior being well rewarded. But TV is about eyeballs, not morality, and in terms of television value these days, it’s hard to beat insanity. Certainly a lot of people watch “American Idol” for the music and the performances and to hear what a person really needs to have to make it as a star. But they also watch for the breakdowns and the crack-ups and the strange shape-shifting relationship between the judges. 

By tweeting off in a huff, Abdul, of course, is taking a huge chance. Her marketable skills are fairly specific at this point. So if she doesn’t want to wind up doing face time with Dr. Drew or going into business with Sarah Palin, she needs to get on another competition show, which makes perfect business sense. “American Idol” remains the behemoth in the room, sweeping aside competition with little notice of the tiny spears and arrows thrown its way.  How great would it be to have a piece of that dishing away and getting really confused on “Dancing With the Stars”? When life gives you a train wreck, it's best to spread the debris around.

— Mary McNamara

(Photo courtesy AP)

RELATED:

Paula Abdul says she's leaving "American Idol"

PHOTOS: Paula says the darndest things

Miss Marple is back!

Marple

Dame Agatha Christie remains the gold standard of mystery writers not only for her productivity -- the woman wrote 80 detective novels -- but also for her permanence. One could argue that Sherlock Holmes is the most universally famous detective, but Arthur Conan Doyle had but one iconic offspring while Christie had two -- Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. (Four if you count the wonderful Tommy and Tuppence; five if you add, and I do, Mr. Satterthwaite of the Harley Quin stories.)

Of these, Poirot is probably the best known -- there are more than twice as many Poirot novels -- but Miss Marple is the best loved. Also the most influential. Poirot, like Holmes, was an actual detective, whereas Miss Marple was an aged spinster living in the seemingly tranquil village of St. Mary Mead. It is Miss Marple who introduced the notion that detecting is more about understanding human behavior than about analyzing evidence with the gray cells or knowing far too much about tobacco ash and the various soils of London. It is Miss Marple who introduced the revolutionary notion that people are essentially the same wherever one goes and that while it is sad to believe the worst of people it is also often the truth.

In other words, everybody lies.

Not surprisingly, both Poirot and Miss Marple have been portrayed countless times in film and television, their most recent PBS incarnation being on "Six by Agatha," which began in June on "Masterpiece Mystery!" with two Poirot mysteries. But while Poirot was once again played by the redoubtable David Suchet, it's a different Jane who kicks off the Marple run Sunday with "A Pocket Full of Rye."

Read the full story.

(Photo courtesy PBS)

Review: 'Hung' on HBO

Clearly the Obama administration needs to address the issue of teacher salaries and fast. On AMC's " Breaking Bad," Bryan Cranston is playing a science teacher making meth, and now we have Thomas Jane as Ray Drecker, a high school basketball coach turned male prostitute in HBO's "Hung."

Both are men of middle age who find themselves undone by fate -- Cranston's Walter White has cancer, Ray's wife has left him and he's lost his home to fire -- and a lack of ambition. Both are angry at a world that seems to have reneged on earlier promises so, with their personal landscapes scorched beyond recognition, they become, essentially, survivalists, reaching for whatever talents they have to create their own lawless, post-apocalyptic society. Recession-era Mad Maxes.

This is not to say that "Hung" is simply a sexed-up version of "Breaking Bad." Certainly there are similarities, but the same river runs through "Weeds": the belief that the old economic system is broken, that a decent living cannot be made through decency.

Read the full story.

Michael Jackson, not a black or white story [updated]

Michael-jackson It was strange watching the television news media struggle with the early reports and coverage of Michael Jackson’s hospitalization and then death. First there was a sourcing issue — though everyone gave this newspaper its due, folks at CNN, MSNBC and other outlets refused to acknowledge that it was TMZ that first reported the superstar’s death because, presumably, TMZ is a gossip website and that's just tacky.

Once the death was confirmed, another issue arose. How does one eulogize a superstar who, even without the various accusations of pedophilia, was something of a freak? Or was, as several talking heads put it, “a troubled individual.” In recent years, Jackson has been more infamous than famous, known for his increasingly alarming appearance, the charges of child molestation and his subsequent business-arrangement marriage that led to his single fatherhood.  

It’s hard to remember another celebrity death in which the crowds gathering to mourn were repeatedly compared to the crowds that gathered for the recently deceased’s sexual abuse trial.

But what’s a poor newscaster to do? Michael Jackson is perhaps the most fatally flawed historical icon since Napoleon. Al Sharpton was right to remind crowds that Jackson and his family broke a color barrier — the Jackson 5 were beloved by teenyboppers of every race and, at his height, Jackson’s fan base was international. But there is also no denying that he was a troubling figure, with his self-professed devotion to children, his queasy Neverland bubble, his strange and lavish shopping habits (Did he really buy the body of the Elephant Man? Sleep in a decompression chamber? ) and the whole mask thing. In later years he became a professional eccentric, glimpses of him in public a bit like alien sightings. 

It all made the standard news loop eulogy a little ... complicated. “Who are all these people and why are they here for this man?” MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann asked at one point, and for once he wasn’t waxing rhetorical. It isn’t that the media wasn’t willing run with the superlatives — Jackson was perhaps the most popular performer of the 1980s, with continued success in the ‘90s, the first performer to make $100 million and winner of too many awards and maker of too many hits to name. But as a Fox taped segment pointed out, it was easy to forget all that in light of all the subsequent scandal, plastic surgery and general eccentricity. The television eulogy text is supposed to run heavy on the praise, couching any criticism in endearing tones. Hours before, coverage devoted to Farrah Fawcett would have led one to believe that she was one of this country’s most significant entertainers which, God bless her, we all know she was not. But Jackson, who could lay genuine claim to such a title, had such a complicated history that unadulterated praise seemed simply inaccurate.

On CNN, a Jackson biographer predicted that drugs and anorexia would be the ultimate causes of his death and a family friend made vague accusations of enabling by Jackson’s family. Soon terms like “the King of Pop” and “one of pop culture’s greatest icons” took on a canned flavor as everyone rushed to figure out what went wrong and to point out the very obvious perils of fame and fortune. Dead only a few minutes, and Michael Jackson was already a sobering lesson to us all.

But the excavation has just begun because Michael Jackson is a national mystery, his death of Rosebudian proportions. (Reporters on every network found themselves groping when asked where his three children were or even if he still had custody.) Now, maybe we will know the truth about the man whose music moved so many, who seemed to become a spectral victim of his own fame before our very eyes, who in death will become perhaps more visible than he was in life.    

-- Mary McNamara

Photo credit: Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated that Fox News did not acknowledge that TMZ was the first outlet to break the Michael Jackson hospitalization. Fox News did in fact credit TMZ with the news.

Related: Pop star Michael Jackson dead at 50

Related: Celeb twitterers react to Jackson's death

Related: TV misses out as gossip website TMZ reports Michael Jackson's death first

Related: Fans mourn Michael Jackson

Related: Michael Jackson discography

Related: Photos: Michael Jackson | 1958-2009

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