MTV, seeking a link to its glorious but long-gone days as a music channel, has all but declared itself the Official Network Of Michael Jackson. It's running nothing but Jackson videos and documentaries Friday and Saturday. MTV and Jackson were virtually childhood friends, proclaims the network's website: "By a stroke of luck (or, perhaps, fate), MTV was fortunate to launch just before Michael Jackson went supernova... Whether it was due to luck or fate, MTV was there for that meteoric rise and everything that followed."
Maybe, but only because MTV was dragged along, kicking and screaming. The first two years it was on the air, MTV didn't run videos from black artists -- any black artist. Even when Jackson's Thriller album started going nuclear in early 1983 -- and Columbia Records began submitting stunning Jackson videos with the production values of mini-movies -- MTV stuck to its racist guns. It was only when Columbia threatened to pull all its other videos if MTV didn't air Jackson's Billie Jean that the channel reluctantly agreed to end its musical apartheid.
If Jackson's death triggered a spasm of duplicity unusual even for television at MTV, it seems to have caused Cincinnati Bengals Chad Ochocinco to bang his head on a wall hard enough to loosen the wiring in his brain. Here's his Twitter tweet upon hearing the news Thursday: