Ed Driscoll

TMZ: Michael Jackson Dies

According to the entertainment news site TMZ:

We’ve just learned Michael Jackson has died. He was 50.

Michael suffered a cardiac arrest earlier this afternoon at his Holmby Hills home and paramedics were unable to revive him. We’re told when paramedics arrived Jackson had no pulse and they never got a pulse back.

A source tells us Jackson was dead when paramedics arrived.

LaToya ran in the hospital sobbing, after Jackson was pronounced dead.

Michael is survived by three children: Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince “Blanket” Michael Jackson II.

Jackson had 13 number one hits during his solo career.

As they note at the bottom of their report, “Story developing…”

On Twitter, Allahpundit notes, “TMZ is the only outlet reporting Jackson’s death as far as I know.” The “Arquette Sisters” from Fox’s Red Eye show add, “If MJ lives, TMZ is gonna have to pull a Monty Python Mary Queen of Scots skit to get themselves out of this.”

Update: “How many more icons of my youth can we lose in one day? Stay strong, Hasselhoff. Stay strong.”

Update: LA Times reports:

[Updated at 3:15 p.m.: Pop star Michael Jackson was pronounced dead by doctors this afternoon after arriving at a hospital in a deep coma, city and law enforcement sources told The Times.]

Update: More from Richard Fernandez and Gateway Pundit. Meanwhile — but of course — “Michael Jackson Dies — Celebs Go to Twitter.”

Update: Michael Jackson’s reported demise roils Wikipedia”, but then, most celebrity deaths — real and imagined — have that effect on the “faith-based encyclcopedia.”

Update: AP confirms via “A person with knowledge of the situation [who] says Jackson died Thursday in a Los Angeles hospital. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.”

Elsewhere in the legacy media, there’s a lengthy obit full of the highs and freakshow lows, from USA Today. And speaking of freakshows, this Triumph of a moment is perhaps the definitive portrait of Jackson’s more crazed fans.

Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, Karol Sheinin adds, “Biggest winner of Michael Jackson death? Mark Sanford. Biggest losers? The Iranian people.”

Update: Entertainment Tonight (whose initials are certainly appropriate for this story) has what they’re calling “an exclusive final photo” showing Jackson being carted off on a stretcher and receiving attempted resuscitation.  Mild content warning, but click here if you’re morbidly curious. (I hope ET’s legal fees are paid up, if there’s an invasion of privacy suit.)

And in the perfect harmonic convergence of media trainwrecks, the self-described “King of Pop” (take that, Prince!) gets eulogized by the self-described next Edward R. Murrow.

Flashback: For a look at how the culture has transformed in the last forty years, which ties in with Diana West’s Death of the Grown-Up meme, here’s a flashback to how distant the middle-aged journalists at ABC News seemed, as no doubt the rest of the overculture, when it covered Jimi Hendrix’s death in 1970. It makes for quite a contrast with the breathless coverage playing out on the TV news right about now.

Update: Could an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) have saved Jackson’s life? That’s the topic of this post by the Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds. Elsewhere, the UK Sun writes:

He collapsed and stopped breathing after an injection of a powerful painkiller named Demerol.

Jacko, 50, was said to be addicted to the drug – similar to morphine – and it is feared he took an overdose.

Take that with a fairly large grain of salt at least for now; Virginia Postrel’s post a few years ago on the vagaries of Fleet Street is well worth flashing back to.

Update (6/26): TMZ reports, “Jackson Family — Demerol Shot Caused Death.”