Yesterday’s Michael Jackson memorial was an impressive undertaking, with nary a security or logistics problem in sight. As Sway said in his recap yesterday, “The city of Los Angeles should be proud of itself for dealing with all the chaos.”
But it wasn’t cheap. Officials estimate that the cost of security, transportation and various other fees totaled as much as $4 million. It’s no small chunk of change, especially considering the city is in dire financial straits and that the city had to reach out to private donors to cover the cost of the Lakers’ victory parade a few weeks ago (an event with a $2 million price tag).
This time around, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is reaching out to the public to help defer the cost of yesterday’s event. They’ve even gone as far as setting up a PayPal account so people can make cash donations of any size. “Help the City of Angels provide the extraordinary public safety resources required to give Michael the safe, orderly, and respectful memorial he deserves,” Villaraigosa writes. “If you’re a Michael fan, consider giving a small donation to help us celebrate his extraordinary life and music.”
If the estimated television audience of 1 billion people each ponied up, that’s less than a penny a person. I went ahead and donated 50 cents, which leaves 49 of you off the hook. Don’t say MTV News never did you any favors.