Michael Jackson had his time in the sun, and is certainly an icon of sorts, but it's hard to call him a musical genius. And his death, while startling, is not remotely the tragedy that Lennon's murder was. Worse, his death is the latest thing to go up in lights at the top of the marquee of the trashy circus the news media has become. There's no "Uncle Walter" to provide sanity, much less dignity, to the proceedings.
It's ironic that both Lennon and Jackson died just as they were coming off hiatuses from performing and recording. We'll never know where they might've gone if they'd lived to see their comebacks through. But "Uncle Walter" Cronkite, as of this writing, is still with us, having enjoyed one of the longest retirements of any well-known TV anchorman.