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MICHAEL-OPRAH-KABC LETTERS : A Complete Evening With the King of Pop

February 13, 1993

All right, I admit it. I did watch the 90-minute Michael Jackson infomercial with Oprah Winfrey. Wasn't gonna . . . did. I bought into the hype leading up to it, and, God knows, it did beat cleaning the litter box and complying with Ed McMahon's request to return my entry before the sweepstakes deadline.

I guess it was important for all of us to hear from Jackson's own lips about what plastic surgery he did and did not have, and I suppose some import must be placed on knowing for certain that his sleeping accommodations do not include a hyperbaric chamber, and I'm not certain I could have made it to the weekend without knowing just why he reaches for his crotch with such frequency.

For the first time since I can remember, everything is right with the world. That is, if you believe the news on KABC-TV Channel 7 immediately after Opie's chat with Mikie. Below follows the topics covered during the 30-minute news program and the approximate time allotted to each subject:

* 17 minutes--Michael Jackson.

* 9 minutes--commercials.

* 2 minutes--sports.

* 1 minute--weather.

* 1 minute--lead-ins / fade-outs.

I heard nothing mentioned about Bosnia and possible U.S. troop deployment, nor the Clinton Administration's plan to cut jobs, nor any update on why three doctors were shot at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

Wednesday night's rendering of the news would have a first-time viewer believing that he too had entered never-never land in Santa Ynez and that there were no ills visited upon the Earth.

I take nothing away from Jackson's greatness, his talent nor his humanity. But, honestly folks, Channel 7 did us dirty by not even attempting to give us a glimpse of the world in which we must live.

Channel 7, get a grip! Let the news be news! Who knows, maybe it's sweeps week. Gee, I never thought of that.


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