Death of Michael Jackson

by: Jordan DeVaney

Background Information

The "King of Pop" died on June 25, 2009 at the age of 50. An unknown individual called 911 from Michael's house at 12:21 in the afternoon, stating that he was unconscious and not breathing. The doctor was the only other person in the room with Michael and was said to have been performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation but he was unable to bring him back, leading to his death at 2:26 p.m.

The autopsy was taking the next day and it had been reported that Jackson had been taken Oxycontin daily, and was also injected with Demerol by his doctor nearly half an hour before Jackson went into cardiac rest. Demerol has serious side effect warnings and when mixed with other drugs, it can cause cardiac arrest.

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What Happened to Michael

Many people believe the death of Michael Jackson was caused by his doctor. As the New York Times reports, "The cause of Mr. Jackson's death was a mixture of the powerful anesthetic propofol and the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam." These drugs were administered by his doctor, Dr. Murray.

On the other hand, some believe that Michael gave himself the fatal overdose. Reporters from CNN say that it is the belief that Michael injected himself with propofol and took an enormous dose of sedatives while Dr. Murray was away.

The final theory other people have on Michael's death is that he never really died at all. One news story claims his death was a hoax because he had financial issues and they believe this was his way of escaping them. The article points out that Michael Jackson has many disguises and is known for using different voices to fool others, so there is the possibility that he is still around with nobody really thinking twice about it. It was even said that he placed a mannequin in the back of the ambulance to fool the media.

Media Biases

The New York Times uses bias by labeling by referring to Michael as a "sad figure" and criticizing him by including irrelevant information such as that he had "failed plastic surgery." This article also includes bias by spin by only including one interpretation of the event of Michael's death, that Dr. Murray was guilty, and not stating the other side of the story.

The CNN cover of the event uses bias by placement. It intrigues the reader by making the title "Michael Jackson gave himself fatal overdose, expert says". It starts out the article by including what the expert believes to have happened and carries on throughout majority of it focusing on Michael doing it to himself, instead of stating the other view point early on as well.

Historical Criticism

While reading the articles, historical criticism was one that was most apparent. The articles covered Michael Jackson's life, dating all the way back to his drug addiction problems in 1984. While reading the article from, it revealed that Jackson had admitted to being addicted to pain medications in 1984 during the Pepsi commercial. Also, in 1993, Michael stated that the child molestation charges are what led him to continue his drug use and helped him get through his tour. These facts influence the perception of the issue by leading people to believe that Michael overdosed without Dr. Murray having any knowledge as to what was happening. Considering that Michael was previously addicted to drugs and was on many pain medications at the time of the cardiac arrest, it is hard to rule out the idea that it was his own doing.


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"Michael Jackson Gave Himself Fatal Overdose, Expert Says -"CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.

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