The Rev. Al Sharpton thinks Michael Jackson deserves to be honored commensurate with his star status. That means a postage stamp, a national day of mourning—and deferential treatment from the media.
In advance of Tuesday's memorial, Sharpton appeared Sunday as a guest speaker at Los Angeles' First AME church. He announced to parishioners that he would push for a commemorative Jackson stamp and a waiver of the U.S. Postal Service's five-year waiting period, postdeath. (The only exception so far has been for late presidents.)
Sharpton also took issue with how certain press outlets have covered Jackson's death, saying there was a "disrespectful double standard" between the "Thriller" singer and other fallen icons such as Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley.
"I'm here because of the disgraceful and the despicable way [the media] is trying to destroy the legacy [of Jackson]," Sharpton said.
"You have had other entertainers that have had issues in their life; you [the media] did not degrade and denigrate them."
Sharpton called upon the media to show respect during the family's time of mourning. "Michael was no freak," he said. "He was a genius."
"We want love. That's what Michael Jackson sang about," the reverend added. "Let's talk about love. Let the media deal with the mess while we deal with the message."
As for Jackson's family, Sharpton said he had seen King of Pop's children earlier in the weekend and "they are fine."
And, he added, Tuesday's memorial will "celebrate Michael's life and will affect all nations, all nationalities and all religions."
Be there as the world says goodbye to the King of Pop. Watch the Michael Jackson memorial on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT live on E! and E! Online.