What do Mackenzie Phillips, The Jackson 5, and Swine Flu Have in Common?

I’m stepping away, if for but a moment, from the muy caliente Latino Heritage Month picante-patrol to indulge my paranoia. I came across this episode of The Jacksons variety show—its CBS debut was on June 16, 1976 and cancellation, the following March—starring the ever-so-controversial Mackenzie Phillips (whose book I plan to read once I wind down from all the salsa dancing I’ve been done lately).  I skimmed the top of the show, finding it kind of weird (I’ll let you decide for yourselves) looking for Phillips. But then, at 6:01 , I stumbled on a bit featuring a news anchor wearing a pig mask reporting the news of the day: “A major outbreak of swine flu: details at 11.” This, in ’76! Was someone or force trying to prepare us for something in the future?

The bit is followed by a bizarre ode to junk food—where’s Morgan Spurlock when you need him?! Oh wait,  he was in kindergarten I think—featuring Phillips sitting atop a hamburger and a young, gifted and then-black Michael Jackson on chorus. So weird.

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