Thursday, July 9, 2009

Some things you just don't say out loud

I was angry about the statement Rep. Peter King, R-NY, said before the Memorial Service of Michael Jackson, in essence asking why are we celebrating the life and mourning the death of "a pervert." I have stated publicly that King has a right to his opinion and I have a right to mine. It is the timing and the way he went about it that is crass, and at the same time, unfortunate.

There is an old saying that goes: "If you can't say anything nice about somebody, don't say anything at all." Another saying goes: "Don't speak ill of the dead." King violated both of those axioms on purpose. I can understand that you were answering a question about the most significant event going on at the moment, but to just come out and say that, without hesitation or thought, is unprofessional and insensitive.

Not that I would expect King to win any sensitivity points or have his life story on Lifetime, but he is an elected official. There are people in his Congressional district that were fans of Michael Jackson. They probably watched the Memorial Service on television or online. I am sure that they were not pleased about his comments or the timing of them. If I am incorrect, then why run to "The O'Reilly Factor" and defend the statement?

The best thing to do was just let the news cycle run its course and it would have been dismissed. But to publicly defend that statement after the service had ended only brings more heat on King. I am sure there are a lot of people in his district that agrees with his assessment, but I bet they did not run up to one of their close friends who was a fan of MJ's and express that in this time of sorrow. It is called respect.

When I was watching the journalists discuss Jackson's past, they were thorough but respectful in the time of death. They also reminded folks that Jackson was acquitted of all charges, something that I guess the Congressman was not aware of. I also assume that the Congressman has not seen what has happened to other members of his party who were quick to judge someone else's moral character. Bob Livingston and Mark Sanford wanted to impeach the President of the United States for lying under oath about an extramarital affair. Both have since ruined their political careers for engaging in their own adulterous behavior.

So now Rep. King, you have put the world on notice about you. If you do anything that will question your character in the future, your political days will be numbered as well. As the old saying goes: "A double-edged sword cuts both ways." In Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, He admonished us to not to judge one another, for you will be judged as well. Rep. King, for making that kind of pronouncement about another human being, you are now on the clock, sir.

I sincerely hope, Rep. King, that you have swept around your own front door and have removed all the rocks near your glass house. It will be unbearable to think about the scrutiny and harsh comments you will face if you are caught doing anything that looks improper or immoral. I pray that no uses the bull's eye you just drew on your own back.

I have attended funerals of political enemies and I have witnessed firsthand how a Congressman who hated another politician did not make a statement of any kind publicly when that politician died, so I know that it can be done. For your sake, Rep. King, and the sake of the people who elected you to serve, I wish that you had shown similar restraint and respect.