UPDATE 1:17 PM: The TV news community swarmed over the guilty verdict against Dr. Conrad Murray, convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson in June 2009. CBS/2, NBC/4, KTLA/5, ABC/7, KCAL/9, Fox/11, CNN, HLN, MSNBC, Fox News and truTV all covered the verdict live from the Los Angeles Criminal Court in Downtown L.A. Murray had no visible reaction to the news, while cameras showed celebration among the sign-wielding crowd gathered outside the court. In the wake of the verdict, those hoping for conviction were interviewed all over the local news dial, while on cable news pundits and legal experts held court with opinion and reaction. The exceptions were Fox News, which quickly went back to its scheduled news rotation, and KCOP/13 locally, which opted to stick with its Bewitched rerun. Murray was handcuffed in court; his sentencing date is November 29.
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Judge Michael Pastor today granted a motion that will allow TV cameras at Dr. Conrad Murray’s upcoming trial for the death of Michael Jackson. Murray has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Jury selection is scheduled to begin March 24.
Two days after Michael Jackson’s estate blasted Discovery Channel for their decision to air a documentary about the autopsy of the late pop star, the cable channel has pulled the program off the schedule. “Given the commencement of legal proceedings beginning next week, and at the request of Michael Jackson’s estate, the scheduled broadcast of the medical documentary related to Michael Jackson’s official autopsy has been postponed indefinitely,” the network said in a statement. The letter to Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav triggered a petition by fans against the special, which was slated to air across Europe in January.
In their letter, the Michael Jackson estate co-executors John Branca and John McClain called the network’s decision to air the documentary “shockingly bad taste, insensitive to Michael’s family and appears motivated solely by your blind desire to exploit Michael’s death, while cynically attempting to dupe the public into believing this show will have serious medical value.” They also objected to a print ad for the special (picture on right), which they called “debased, sick and insensitive.”