Three Reasons the Michael Jackson Trial App Feels So Wrong

So yes, there is such as thing as a Michael Jackson Doctor Trial App, a mini “media center for the iPhone and iPad and Android devices.” Released by Fox Television Stations, the app includes live video of the trial proceedings, recorded local news segments, photo galleries and biographies of those involved.

The iPhone version ($0.99) is currently the No. 1 for-pay news apps, and No. 75 on the list of the hottest selling for-pay apps.

Yesterday the exhibit showed video of Jackson's last-ever rehearsal June 24, 2010, the day before he died. The 50-year-old singer sang “EarthSong” at the Staples Center. The live video feed is provided by Los Angeles' KTTV Fox 11.


Users can also go through photo galleries and biographies of the key

“What you can do now is carry the courtroom with you,” Jose
Rios, vice president of digital news operations for Fox Television
Stations, told TVNewsCheck. Rios, a former KTTV news director, was
tapped to oversee app development for the 27 Fox O&Os earlier this

While various news websites are also featuring live video of the trial, the idea that you can be plugged in from anywhere–even the bathroom–is a little off-putting. (Especially since the video is inconsistent, depending on your Internet connection or wireless network.) 

Here are top three reasons the app's existence feels so wrong:

1. It's an app dedicated to feeding our morbid curiousity: Yeah, we get it, he was one of the greatest celebrities of all time and Michael Jackson's death was untimely. But to create something that focuses solely on bringing audiences real time news in the courtroom is really similar to the rubbernecking that happens after a car accident happens on the freeway. Everyone slows down to watch it but can't really do anything about it (except slow down traffic for everyone else). It doesn't help.

2. It's cashing in on someone else's misfortune. FOX TV is making money off this best-selling app, obviously. Doesn't that make you feel icky?
3. It's pretty addictive. And even whle being aware of the last two reasons, it's pretty fascinating to hear tapes of Michael Jackson's voice, or watch him practice. And yes, when you don't want to miss a thing, you can take it to the bathroom with you.

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