This mirrors my thoughts on the matter.
Our society is retarded, has been for awhile.
To be fair, this can be said about practically anything that happens. Any tragedy, any catastrophe, any crisis or death can be totally negated by the atrocities that happens around the world at any given time. If we were to put everything into perspective, roughly 93,8% (personal estimation, all rights reserved) of the worlds population would go into a deep depression.
People can relate to what is right in front of them. They can relate to the death of a celebrity, to the fall of a major company (You remember how the entire USA went batshit over the demise of the Twinky?) or a hurricane that hit a popular city. They react to the tragedy to show their support, because they can relate to that one incident. It is not wrong, it is not false - It is mostly genuine support and sorrow that is displayed. That we should never take away from them, as it does show genuine humanity.
Because everyone doesn't react to all the world horrors (the hurricane that hit recently? Its a baby storm compared to what is happening other places) it doesn't mean people don't care. It means that they cannot fathom all the tragedy and they filter it out. When they get faced with one exposed by the media, they react, as it is right in front of them.
I don't see why people react so strongly to people sorrow over this matter. He was a guy that many people knew of, and of course it's easier to relate to that. It's simple protective mentality - Otherwise nothing that ever happened would matter, as there's always that one war or hunger that trumps it.