Early Bird Special: Jackson’s death could cost Anschutz some big bucks

Here’s our daily roundup of some of the news around Colorado that caught our attention:

• Denver billionaire Phil Anschutz could take a serious bath on the $85 million worth of Michael Jackson tickets sold — but not fully insured — before the superstar expired last week, the Wall Street Journal reports. AEG Live — the AEG stands for Anschutz Entertainment Group, the concert promoter’s parent company — sold roughly 1 million tickets to Jacko’s come-back tour but only a small portion of those sales were insured. The Anschutz company also owes Jackson’s physician $300,000, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Jennifer Finke, a Denver-based “Celebrity Examiner” (basically, a freelancer who covers celebrities), writes at Examiner.com that the Jackson tour might not be insured at all because the reclusive King of Pop failed to complete a physical exam that had been scheduled for this week. Finke notes that AEG Live, the concert tour promoter, is “a subsidiary of Anschutz Entertainment Group” but neglects to mention that her publication, Examiner.com, is also owned by Anschutz.

• Recently installed Focus on the Family chief Jim Daly tells the Washington Post he’s a “results-oriented person” seeking “common ground” when it comes to divisive social issues the Colorado Springs-based media empire has stoked for decades. Daly describes his predecessor, Dr. James Dobson, as a “very feisty” “black-and-white person” who helped clarify the political concerns of conservative evangelical Christians, but suggests his own approach will be more open to dialogue with opponents. “We just want to be in the debate and express our concerns from a biblical perspective and hopefully be respected in doing that, and, at the same time, we have to respect those who oppose us as well,” Daly says. “The nation will decide.”

• Metatron? Didn’t that rascally Decepticon get destroyed in the first Transformers movie? … Wait, that would be Megatron, and as roughly 40 million moviegoers discovered this weekend, he made it through to the sequel. Metatron Technology, on the other hand, would be the revolutionary device that can “reduce the inaudible noise of chaos in man-made electromagnetic fields,” which can cause fatigue, headaches and even cancer. That’s according to Denver’s own Metatron promoter and “UFO Examiner” Jeff Peckman (yes, he also writes for the Anschutz media empire), whose purported videotape of an alien visitation caused an uproar last year.

Peckman comes under good-natured fire — and fires back in spades — in the comments attached to a column by Westword’s Michael Roberts about his recent appearance on Adam Schrager’s Sunday morning public affairs show, “Your Show.” Peckman, who is seeking signatures to put an Extraterrestrial Commission on Denver’s fall ballot, explains his proposed commission will save taxpayers money by ending NASA’s expensive cover-up hiding the existence of ETs from residents of Denver and beyond. Roberts points out the entertainment value of watching “the way Schrager keeps a straight face” during Peckman’s appearance, which is embedded in the Westword post.

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Ernest Luning

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