Many people agreed with his assessment or were sympathetic.
For example one commenter wrote: The news cycle is totally idiotic. There's absolutely no sense of any journalistic prioritization.
I didn’t think that was true. I think there is a priority and it is right in line with what we as Americans would want to see and read about. My comment to Neal's post is below:
I'm sympathetic to your POV on this, Neal but I'd argue that Iran's systematic oppression is not news—it is, in fact, old news to say the state of Iran mistreats its citizens. The protests against the election are the news. Michael Jackson was not much in the news before he died (I didn't even know he was planning a major tour in a month!) but his death is very big news considering his past and the circumstances. These items have a life cycle in the mainstream media and on the minds of Americans (I'm going on the assumption that you are referring to US news not international). Michael Jackson was a uniquely American icon with a uniquely American story. He influenced popular culture in the US for decades.
His death, tragic, as it was, and his life, twisted, sad and unfortunate as it may have been, doesn't belie the point that he had a tremendous role in American life for millions and millions of people for a very, very long time. I'd argue (as other have) that Iran is getting a disportionate amount of media (and social media) attention while similar and even more tragic abuses are occurring all over the world at the same time. It is human nature and the nature of the news cycle that tragic events closer to home (no matter how unbalanced you may think they are) claim more attention to people than events halfway across the world. And as we all know very well, celebrity gossip and news is a huge distraction for us. The lives and deaths of people we see on television, on the big screen and hear on the radio are fascinating to most of the population because we either resent them and glory in their misfortunes or envy their fame and fortune and live vicariously through their every moment.
The actions of the people protesting in Iran are sympathetic, inspiring and important but they are not the cult of personality distraction that Americans (and probably not limited to us but the entire world) love to hear about. Michael Jackson was a true cult of personality (he appointed himself the “King of Pop”) and some of us of a certain generation grew up listening to his music and following the twists and turns his life took over the years. His death became more than the unfortunate end of one man, just as Neda came to symbolize the entire Iranian struggle and epitomize the tragedy of a young, liberalized populace as many others were also dying on the streets.