Is this a new low for CNN.com and Michael Jackson coverage?
CNN needs no facts nor fact-checking when they talk to psychics who sound authoritative but whose tea leaves and numbers have as much predictive power as tea. Warning, this is NOT from The Onion, see for yourself on CNN.com.
The report starts “LOS ANGELES, California (CNN)” under “Entertainment.,” The end of the URL link says “topnews” but the title makes me despair–“Psychics see magic in Michael Jackson’s life.”
CNN’s report by Lisa Respers France is flagged at the top with “Story Highlights” that include:
- Numerologist says Michael Jackson’s numbers add up to charisma
- Paranormal professionals see Jackson as out of this world
- Psychic believes Jackson will be reincarnated within 20 years
- Loss of Jackson “creates a vacuum” psychic consultant says
Psychic Eddie Conner told CNN that “Jackson couldn’t help but attract such attention, even if it resulted in a life of isolation.”
How does he know that? Conner, CNN reports, explains that “He’s an old soul with an enormous amount of creative artistic energy that pours to him and from him.” Conner reassures viewers that “despite all of Jackson’s troubles…he believes the star will have an opportunity at success and fame again.”
CNN reports–you decide: “Conner said…unlike other souls that stay in the nonphysical realm anywhere from 70 to 150 years…the singer’s soul will return quickly — within the next 20 years — because Jackson was such a perfectionist that he will want to ‘pick up where he left off.’ ”
CNN said Conner, “works as a ‘soul intuitive’ in Los Angeles, California, and whose clients include celebrities he declines to name”? So who does CNN get to fact-check psychics? Other psychics, of course.
The photo gallery by “Jacque Wilson/CNN” includes an image of Jack Rourke, one of CNN’s three authoritative sources, who provides the one critical, “ethical view.”
Rourke is a “psychic consultant,” CNN informs us, “who has worked extensively in paranormal research and consulted for major Hollywood studios.”
“No reputable medium or psychic,” Rourke warns CNN says, “will try to contact Jackson for at least six months.”
It is notable that CNN links to all three psychics’ “business” web sites. Not given to missed opportunity, Rourke already includes his CNN Michael Jackson interview in his credits:
“Jack was featured by CNN Entertainment News to discuss the untimely death of Pop Music Icon Michael Jackson. This interview covered theories on the afterlife and the spiritual aspects of Jackson’s career as it may have affected the grieving process of his millions of fans the world over.”
Conner has the big CNN logo on his web site with the caption, “Recently interviewed by CNN.” Sad but true.