Michael Jackson just died while Iran is in turmoil. I am reminded of a passage in Marjane Satrapi’s wonderful graphic novel Persepolis, a memoir of growing up in revolutionary Iran in the 80′s.
(Read the book to see how it ends.)
I wonder how much coincidences of news event timing can influence perceptions. Clearly, large news stories can crowd out other ones. Are there any other effects of joint appearances? Celebrity deaths are fairly exogenous shocks — there might be a nice natural experiment somewhere here.