five years ago michael jackson died

michael jacksoni was in the newsroom of the LA Times

for a moment the buzz on twitter was do not click on any link about Michael Jackson because its a virus.

people were saying that because everyones websites were going down

because the buzz everywhere was that he was dead.

even our website went down for a painfully long 53 seconds or so.

when we looked up on the tv we saw that CNN had a scroll that said unconfirmed reports were that Jackson had died at UCLA hospital but the LA Times had yet to confirm.

at the time CNN was owned by the same company that owned TMZ and TMZ decided to go out on a limb and say without any evidence or names on the record that he was dead.

so instead of CNN saying TMZ had confirmed, they did the right thing and said we Hadnt confirmed.

thus everyone went to our site and kept hitting refresh.

no one wanted him to be dead.

some of our reporters had recently been to his rehearsals or talked to people about his upcoming tour.

no one wanted him to be dead.

then of course the reporter at the hospital called into the metro desk.

and all of this, by the way was a huge buzz and then very quiet.

not quiet because we were all sad but quiet because thats how the paper was when it was running on all cylinders: it was smooth and professional and in overdrive.

and geoff boucher wrote a fantastic obit in a very short period of time with the help of elaine woo.

and harriet ryan and andrew blankstein and richard winton wrote their stories.

and chris lee.

and it was a very numbing afternoon into night.



and then over.