Despite the best efforts of hundreds of simultaneous live blogs, streams on an incredible array of different platforms and websites, and John Mayer’s unforgivable jazz face, the internet survived yesterday’s midday Michael Jackson memorial with barely a stutter. MSN reported that 50% more people watched the memorial on their site than they did for the Obama inauguration, a statistic tempered by the fact that at CNN, the number was down about 60% percent from the Obama high of 27 million video streams on inauguration day. Still, CNN’s 81 million pageviews and 9.7 million live video streams made for the second biggest streaming event ever on the site. Twitter did the requisite slowing down in memoriam, while Facebook handled about 6,000 status updates per minute. None of this was enough to make the internet go up in flames. This marks the second time something slated to die in orgy of fire and traffic failed to combust from the power of the Jackson memorial, after Los Angeles survived the surreal experience of having Jackson’s dead body driven across its spookily empty freeways for most of yesterday morning.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 8, 2009