Under the Radar

"You Don't Argue With the King of Pop"


Lisa Marie Presley's MySpace blog has one of the most moving tributes to ex-husband Michael Jackson, but her post also directly compares the circumstances of Michael's death to those of her father.

 Recalling a conversation about Elvis during their marriage, she writes:

"At some point he paused, he stared at me very intensely and he stated with an almost calm certainty, "I am afraid that I am going to end up like him, the way he did."I promptly tried to deter him from the idea, at which point he just shrugged his shoulders and nodded almost matter of fact as if to let me know, he knew what he knew and that was kind of that."

What Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson shared was a long-term dependence on prescription medication. Elvis' personal physician Dr. George Nichopoulos endured years of investigation and eventually lost his medical license in 1995. Now MJ's in-home cardiologist Dr. Conrad Murray can look forward to the same kind of scrutiny.

Even though press coverage claims the doctor injected Jackson with Demerol just an hour before he collapsed, Murray's representatives are furiously trying to spin press coverage by claiming that the doctor is "not a suspect" in interviews with TMZ, but the Los Angeles coroner won't rule on a cause of death until his office receives complete toxicology test results.

Jackson was rehearsing to play fifty concerts in London starting early July and Murray claims he was on the payroll of concert promoter AEG. Randy Phillips, chief executive of AEG, acknowledged that his company agreed to pay Murray at Jackson's request.

"He just said, 'Look, this whole business revolves around me. I'm a machine and we have to keep the machine well-oiled,' and you don't argue with the King of Pop."

AEG stands to lose at least $20 million the company invested in setting up and promoting the shows, plus another $80 million in ticket refunds. There are more details at the Guardian.

Finally Dr. Deepak Chopra went on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" Friday night to describe his on-and-off relationship with the singer and Jackson's drug-seeking behavior. A longtime friend and sometimes personal physician to Jackson, Chopra says that Jackson often tried to manipulate him into writing prescriptions for high-powered prescription painkillers. When Chopra refused, Jackson would cut him off for a few weeks before calling to apologize and deny that he had a drug problem.

Chopra's anger and frustration over his friend's death comes off as one of the few genuine moments in all of the manic television coverage over the last four days.

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