Unuttered truth is poison Michael Jackson Friday February 14, 2003
Michael Jackson is a genius. To ignore the essence of Michael Jackson is to distort his being so boldly that such a portrayal is not even excusable on the trashiest tabloid, let alone, the mainstream media.
Martin Bashir's documentary, shown in Britain by ITV last Monday, drew one of the biggest audiences all season for ABC, and a ratings-busting 27 million Americans watched it on Thursday.
ABC News reportedly paid between $4 million and $5 million for American broadcast rights and when it was aired on their famous, investigative show, 20/20, on February 7, 2003, it was billed to be an intimate documentary about Michael Jackson. Indeed, according to ABC, Living With Michael Jackson provides "unprecedented and exclusive access to Jackson's private life."
The film follows Jackson for eight months of his life, with British journalist Martin Bashir interviewing him extensively about his personal life. Bashir and his cameras were even with Jackson on the day he famously swung his baby outside of a Berlin window. Ignorant critics may claim that he deliberately endangered his child, but anybody who knows Michael Jackson understands the fact that he is very loyal to his fans and when they chanted the request to have a peek at his child, Michael Jackson momentarily dangled it in their direction, so they could see it. The suggestion that Michael Jackson deserves to be investigated for endangering his child is too preposterous to entertain, but the media never fails to dramatize even the most spontaneous and innocent gesture, if it advances the zeal to legitimize the latest media circus event.Some people would even like to hang Michael Jackson for allegedly abusing children, and there is always an expert who is willing to oblige them. A Beverly Hills psychiatrist, Dr. Carole Lieberman, called for authorities in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara to investigate Michael Jackson's fitness as a parent, but it's probably far more urgent to investigate Dr. Carole Lieberman's fitness to practice psychiatry. Michael Jackson has always been a target of crackpots who love to impose their values, and some people are even willing to promote serious, criminal, sexual abuse allegations, even though there is no credible evidence to suggest that Michael Jackson has ever harmed any child.
Any competent investigator, who looks into allegations against Michael Jackson the way writers like Mary Fisher have, cannot avoid the conclusion that Michael Jackson is a target of vicious exploitation. Jackson's troubles began when his van broke down on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles in May 1992, and David Schwartz, the owner of the car-rental company, called his wife, June, and told her to bring their 6-year-old daughter and her son from her previous marriage, to meet Michael Jackson. The boy, then 12, was a big Jackson fan, and upon arriving, June Chandler Schwartz told Jackson about the time her son had sent him a drawing after the singer's hair caught on fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial and then she gave Jackson their home number.
"It was almost like she was forcing [the boy] on him," a witness recalled. "I think Michael thought he owed the boy something, and that's when it all started."
Jackson began calling the boy, and a friendship developed. After Jackson returned from a promotional tour, June Chandler Schwartz and her son and daughter became regular guests at Neverland. Jackson showered the boy and his family with attention and gifts, including video games, watches, an after-hours shopping spree at Toys "R" Us and trips around the world -- from Las Vegas and Disney World to Monaco and Paris.
The following excerpts from Mary Fisher's investigative report should make the plot to frame Michael Jackson as clear as the media's reluctance to expose the truth about frivolous, sexual abuse allegations:And what became of the massive investigation of Jackson? After millions of dollars were spent by prosecutors and police departments in two jurisdictions, and after two grand juries questioned close to 200 witnesses, including 30 children who knew Jackson, not a single corroborating witness could be found. (In June 1994, still determined to find even one corroborating witness, three prosecutors and two police detectives flew to Australia to again question Wade Robson, the boy who had acknowledged that he'd slept in the same bed with Jackson. Once again, the boy said that nothing bad had happened.)
The sole allegations leveled against Jackson, then, remain those made by one youth, and only after the boy had been give a potent hypnotic drug, leaving him susceptible to the power of suggestion.
"I found the case suspicious," says Dr. Underwager, the Minneapolis psychiatrist, "precisely because the only evidence came from one boy. That would be highly unlikely. Actual pedophiles have an average of 240 victims in their lifetime. It's a progressive disorder. They're never satisfied."
Given the slim evidence against Jackson, it seems unlikely he would have been found guilty had the case gone to trial. But in the court of public opinion, there are no restrictions. People are free to speculate as they wish, and Jackson's eccentricity leaves him vulnerable to the likelihood that the public has assumed the worst about him.
So is it possible that Jackson committed no crime -- that he is what he has always purported to be, a protector and not a molester of children? Attorney Michael Freeman thinks so: "It's my feeling that Jackson did nothing wrong and these people [Chandler and Rothman] saw an opportunity and programmed it. I believe it was all about money."
To some observers, the Michael Jackson story illustrates the dangerous power of accusation, against which there is often no defense -- particularly when the accusations involve child sexual abuse. To others, something else is clear now -- that police and prosecutors spent millions of dollars to create a case whose foundation never existed.
Needless to say, as we witness the absolute zeal to slander Michael Jackson, it is now safe to say that Michael Jackson has absolutely nothing to worry about, not because the media and the police are on his side, but because he has never harmed any child.
The civil suit, brought on behalf of Jordan Chandler was settled for an undisclosed sum, prosecutors in Santa Barbara chose to leave their criminal complaint against the singer "open but inactive" and little has been heard of the affair since. In retrospect, it is not reasonable to believe that sexual abuse allegations were anything more than about exploiting Michael Jackson's eccentric kindness, and if anybody doubted it before, Martin Bashir's "documentary" has made it absolutely clear.
Watching the media reaction to Bashir's so called documentary about Michael Jackson, is absolutely fascinating. Jackson was skewered and baked, while host-journalist Bashir used dramatic effect throughout to tell his viewers he was "becoming increasingly worried" about Michael Jackson. It is incredible to watch the media march lockstep to this shoddy journalism, to the point where Connie Cung and other media blowhards wholeheartedly promoted the claim that Michael Jackson is creepy and weird.
It would take an extremely delusional person to suggest that Martin Bashir's dramatic effects exposed the fact that Michael Jackson is weird. After all, the condescending, Martin Bashir appeared to get quite the hoot from jumping in a go-cart and racing Jackson around Neverland. Eccentricity can be a harmless, peculiar habit or it can be a malicious deviation, and if Martin Bashir believes that he is not eccentric in the worst possible way for producing a biased "documentary," he does not understand the fact that journalists do not have the right or the power to impose their peculiar values on others. They can certainly publicize and distort, but they can never penetrate the sound reasoning of discerning viewers.
We do not call journalists like Barbara Walters eccentric for dancing with Al Pacino or for interviewing ninja turtles, and we do not expect any competent journalist to call Michael Jackson weird, as a consequence of the creepy tactics that Martin Bashir used, to make Michael Jackson feel uncomfortable. The only thing that Martin Bashir's documentary really proved is that the pop star does not pretend to be somebody he is not. In his heart, Michael Jackson is Peter Pan, and if Martin Bashir can produce a single shred of evidence to prove otherwise, he will be able to convince the world that he is a competent and a credible journalist. In the meantime, Martin Bashir has much to learn, to earn the right to be called a journalist.
We do not understand "journalists" like Martin Bashir because if we have merely been placed on this earth to ridicule and to make fun of "weird" people, where do we begin and where do we end? Who do we demonize and who do we spare? Jesus said, "Unless you become as little Children, you can't see God's kingdom." Peter Pan said, "All you need is trust... and a little bit of pixie dust!" Martin Bashir is "becoming increasingly worried"? Why is Bashir worried? Is it because he does not have the skill one requires, to interview a genius like Michael Jackson? If I was Martin Bashir, I'd be worried too. His documentary demonstrated the capacity to capture the attention of the entire world but he failed to scandalize Michael Jackson, in a "becoming increasingly worried" sort-of-way. To be sure, all kinds of eccentrics picked up all the right cues as one would expect, but that merely exposed the power of publicity. Let's be very clear about what I am complaining about here, because I am not attacking the messenger. How can I possibly attack a messenger who produces a documentary that has nothing to say? To be sure, some people harbor the mistaken belief that controversy is a message, but in fact, it is nothing more than unresolved confusion, and that certainly explains why Mr. Bashir routinely contradicts himself and why he has produced a fiction which is mistakenly called a documentary. The truth is very simple and journalists never fail to obscure it, because in the final analysis, the claim that Michael Jackson is weird is entirely minimized by the fact that it is absolutely bizarre to call what Martin Bashir has produced, a documentary.
Michael Jackson is an easy target because he is necessarily "different" by virtue of the fact that he has has never lead a normal life. He has been a celebrity since childhood and it is therefore not appropriate to judge him from the lense of trying to create the impression that a word like "normal" applies to Michael Jackson. He is the one and only artist whose childhood celebrity has grown rather than waned, and he relies, not on the inherited customs that say a prince or a queen uses, to act in an "appropriate" manner, but upon his own creativity, to define a life of infinite possibility. Under the circumstances, the humanity of Michael Jackson is far more "normal" than anybody has the right to expect.
It is very easy to make fun of a man who claims to be Peter Pan, because in his heart, he is just like a child, but it is his dream, his life and anybody who attacks Michael Jackson because he has the ability to do what others fail to accomplish (live his dream) are cruel and envious. If the lives of most people are too pathetic, too scripted or too obsessive to pursue a worthwhile existence, we can understand journalists who would like to impose the claim that they feel sorry for Michael Jackson or that they pitty him. What we do not understand is the zeal to convince the world that their prejudices are more important than Michael Jackson's right to be treated like a human being, rather than like a freak show..
Confucius said we are all alike in ignorance and that the only difference between us is experience and education. Confucius was wrong. Some of us are kind, reasonable and decent human beings, while others seek to impose their values and their perversions, on the entire world.
According to Roger Friedman of Fox News, "Michael Jackson is over. His career is over. And if he's not careful, he will wind up logging some jail time before his life is over." Sounds like this guy thinks he controls the world. The media likes to promote the claim that the Michael Jackson interview was "like watching a speeding train derail in slow motion - both horrifying and fascinating at the same time." The nauseating, Gloria Allred, a celebrity lawyer from Los Angeles, wrote to the authorities in Santa Barbara County and said: "I am hopeful that child welfare services will initiate a much-needed investigation into Mr Jackson's activities with children at Neverland." Needless to say, she is trying to become the next Dominick Dunne, a creepy bigot who has "obtained his power through impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace and has become the Joseph McCarthy of the publicity treadmill."
The hilarious campaign to lynch Michael Jackson has backfired, and even the artist himself is fighting back and has produced film which revealed that Bashir betrayed Michael Jackson's trust during the making of Living With Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson appropriately condemned Bashir's documentary, calling it "a gross distortion of the truth" and film footage which shows Bashir flattering Jackson, complimenting his parenting skills and generally ingratiating himself with the pop star, indicates that "Martin Bashir was lying to Michael or was misleading his audience in his voiceovers on the film." If Martin Bashir likes to praise the way Michael treats children and to comment on how good a father he is, in private, he should be willing to do the same, in a public documentary.
The obsession to create the impression that Michael Jackson is a reckless, incompetent parent is astounding. Clearly, the media campaign to "prove" that Michael Jackson endangers the safety of his own children is bizarre, especially since Michael Jackson cannot go anywhere without body guards, and if that doesn't make him the least reckless parent, then what does? Compare Michael Jackson to any number of parents who routinely yell and scream at their children, and it won't be long before you get the impression that the media almost always gets it backwards.
Normal people are not obsessibe about trying to control Michael Jackson's image. If you read the posts of normal people, they say things like:The media seem to have gone to town with this story, and it's really getting on my nerves, I'm sure other people feel the same! To protest, I played 'Black & White' from HIStory very loudly whilst driving through London on Thursday in the T-5. Got a few strange looks, but what the hell...
Unlike British Intelligence, which plagiarized selectively distorted, academic papers, to "frame" Sadaam Hussein, Britain's, February 8, 2003, Sunday Telegraph, provided the balance that slanted reports deny, when Tom Utley wrote,
"The point about Michael Jackson is not that he is odd but that the man is a genius. As a dancer, he ranks well up there with Fred Astaire and Rudolf Nureyev. As a singer, he has been dazzlingly brilliant since he first cleared his throat on stage when he was eight. To put it at its lowest, Michael Jackson is an extremely important figure in the history of popular culture.
Almost no sense of that came across in the Granada interview. Mr Bashir treated Jackson like a mildly interesting psychological case study, firing endless questions to him about his sex life, his relationship with his father, his plastic surgery and his eccentric little ways. For all the interest that he showed in his interviewee's artistry, he might as well have been talking to any old loony dragged out of the local bin.
It was as if Mr Bashir had been given eight months' unfettered access to Napoleon, and could think of nothing to ask him about except his relationship with Josephine, whether or not he read bedtime stories to Nappy Junior and how far his behaviour fell short of the suburban English ideal of morality."
To put it mildly, Mr. Bashir created the perfect, "media circus" interview, and ABC News turned it into the perfect, "media circus" event.
The political aspect of the Michael Jackson interview is that it was aired on the very same day and at the very same time that Larry King spent an entire hour interviewing former President, Bill Clinton. Was that a coincidence? Is the fact that the mainstream media spent more time promoting the suggestion that Michael Jackson is nothing more than a freak, than covering an interview with the former President of the United States, a mere coincidence? In business, the media and any other, worthwhile endeavor, timing is everything, and it would be quite naive to think that it was just a coincidence.
To be brief, the following mesage posted on the Internet, immediately after the freakish, Jackson documentary aired, strongly suggests that the timing and the publicity that Michael Jackson received, was more diversionary than newsworthy:For a refreshing look at the perfect absurdity of the right's obsession with "liberal media," I recommend Eric Alterman's new book "What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News." Alterman is an excellent writer and a Ph.D.-trained researcher. But you don't have to be either to know that what he points out is all but self-evident. He questions why the media have been so complaisant in the face of "the deeply ignorant and dishonest conservative offensive" and diagnoses a case of media masochism. Hey, a business that can produce an hour of investigative journalism on the subject of Michael Jackson's face surely has nothing to beat it itself up about."
When ABC News essentially determined that the slanderous, Michael Jackson documentary was more newsworthy than a one hour interview with the former President of the United States, it essentially proved that "the media circus is the message".
Internet newsgroups did not miss the significance of President Bill Clinton's appearance on Larry King Live, and one poster summarized Clinton's appearance had this to say:On Larry King (2-6-03), Bill Clinton outlined a plan to persuade North Korea to end the current crisis. "We'll make an omnibus agreement if you'll end both nuclear programs, let testing in so you can't start any thing again, end the missile program, something that they had not agreed to do. And we'll make sure you got enough food and energy. We'll teach you how to grow food and we'll give you a non-aggression pact. They want this non-aggression pact, I think that's a no-brainer. Why? Because if we ever had to attack it would be because they did some thing that violated the non-aggression pact... You cannot let them become a nuclear arsenal, because the pressure on them to sell these bombs will be overwhelming. They have no other way to make money... If we can make a comprehensive settlement that says, Here's the way you can be part of the East Asian community. Here's the way you can be part of the world community. And here's what you have to do. That's what I think we ought to do."Another, posted the following comparison between Bush and Clinton:Bush's difference in actions between Iraq and North Korea has proven one main fact. The only way you can prevent America from attacking you is to acquire as many nuclear bombs as you can, as quick as you can. Well done Bush. Far from preventing the proliferation of Nuclear bombs he has actually encouraged it. The only option he has now is to BUY any nuclear bombs that North Korea tries to sell in order to prevent them being bought by any terrorists. This is going to cost the American tax payers money. I think North Korea has backed Bush into a corner because he just had to make what will go down in history as the most careless speech ever made by an American President. Bush should be made to pay for these bombs out of his own pocket. It will teach him to think before he opens his mouth on the world stage.Now if the mainstream media can avoid discussing the stark contrast between President Bill Clinton and President George Bush, the Michael Jackson documentary was great, wasn't it?
Ladies and gentlemen, make no mistake about it. We are creating a bizarre world where the media circus is the message and we must reject this absolute lunacy because it is causing absolutely nothing beyond extreme heart ache.
[Postscript] On February 21, 2003, Nancy Grace accused Michael Jackson of being a sexual pervert on national television, and she did it so explicitly, that if this demagogue and CNN are not sued for slandering Michael Jackson, his attorneys are sleeping on the switch. In particular, Nancy Grace said: "Well, these kids know him real up close, too, in bed with him. And, Larry, what this child alleges is shocking and incredible and so much of this affidavit... But I'm telling you, this boy, two-thirds of this can be corroborated by other people. So why would he lie about the molestation part? It is in graphic detail. It just seems true." The suggestion that uncontested, innocuous facts are proof of sexual molestation charges, is an absolutely preposterous, slimey tactic that is used to assume credibility where none exists. People who use extraneous observations to create the impression that outrageous allegations are credible, are essentially desperate liars, and if demagogues like Nancy Grace are not sued, they will continue to abuse their power.
The extreme gap between the truth and the rhetoric of a demagogue like Nancy Grace, speaks for itself.
GRACE: Well, it's my understanding that there was a very, very long and intense police investigation that the file is, as they say, inactive because, I believe, the victim did not want to go to court. That's what I think. That's what I can deduce. And we all know that there was a civil settlement of millions and millions of dollars. And interestingly enough, on February the 10th, there was a response by the Jackson camp to this affidavit being made public online. It didn't negate the truth of the affidavit, it just simply attacked the breach of the confidentiality agreement
TRUTH: The so called victim's family was after MONEY not JUSTICE. The victim did not have a case to go to court with. Clearly, the D.A. did not refuse to prosecute the case because evidence that Michael Jackson sexually abused children, existed.
GRACE: And you know what, Larry? I think that if a father had tried to extort Michael Jackson for millions of dollars, you want to tell me he would not have been arrested or charges filed? At the beginning -- and the panel laughed when I brought this up, specifically the Jackson family lawyer. But the Jackson camp changed their stories so many times. First, they said this was an extortion attempt; they would never pay. Then, suddenly, as police began to develop evidence, they did pay millions of dollars... Right. And I'll make it quick, Larry. I've got in my hand again the affidavit of Jordy, not the cancer victim. This is another boy that had sleepovers with Jackson. You said that this was all about extortion. Question to you: Why wasn't this child's father prosecuted for extortion if you claim that was why, what this was all about?
TRUTH: The police SHOULD HAVE charged Michael Jackson's adult accusers with extortion. Nancy Grace likes to blame Michael Jackson because the police didn't do their job properly. Nancy Grace cannot blame Michael Jackson for the fact that the police did not do their job right. The police even failed to investigate the kidnapping of Laci Peterson because demagogues like Nancy Grace blame her husband, why would anybody expect the police to help a "weirdo" like Michael Jackson? Moreover, if, as Nancy claims, the police had developed credible evidence to support outrageous charges of criminal, sexual misconduct, why didn't they file criminal charges. After all, Nancy Grace was "talking about oral sex, manual masturbating, taking baths together", not about a harmless sleepover.
Update: Michael Jackson How CORRUPT is Tom Sneddon?