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The Jackson Whitewash

Comment

The Washington Post called it an "orgy of praise" and an "exercise in excess." They were referring to the star-studded, mega-televised Michael Jackson memorial service in Los Angeles. It just as accurately described the supposedly serious national media's weeks of outsized hyperbole concerning the life and death of a man who was a pop sensation, to be sure, but also highly controversial, even scandalous.

There certainly was the exercise in excess on the "news" programs. On the night of July 6, ABC, CBS and NBC, paid 20 times more attention to Jackson (more than a week after his death) than to the deaths of seven brave soldiers in Afghanistan.

They were only tip of the excess iceberg. Jackson dominated every "Access Hollywood" and "Entertainment Tonight" show for two weeks. The memorial service aired on 19 different networks, drawing 31 million viewers. At least that exposed one piece of hype from the Jackson camp: that "a billion" global villagers would tune in.

Many people were touched by the Jackson tributes, and none were more heart-rending than his adopted daughter Paris declaring through tears that he was the best father you can imagine. How sad: No one can seem to explain precisely who is the biological father or mother of Jackson's children. Such was his family.

It's not hard to sense that someone behind the scenes is still seeking to milk the Michael Jackson "brand" for every dollar. Every network that plugged into this service was accepting a feed from the Jackson family, which controlled every frame of what people saw. Huge pictures of Jackson with his arms outstretched were an imposing backdrop, with Jackson looking either like a Christ-like religious figure or a willowy despot of a totalitarian People's Republic of Neverland.

You sensed that some celebrities weren't there to mourn Michael Jackson. They were there to perform for his fans.

Behind this event's financial agenda was an attempt not only to designate Jackson as "the greatest entertainer who ever lived," as Motown Records founder Berry Gordy proclaimed, but to deny the obvious. Rev. Al Sharpton came to the memorial, not to preach the gospel of Jesus but to offer all his praises and hosannas to Jackson, praises which turned ridiculous. "There wasn't nothing strange about your daddy," he told Jackson's children, "It was strange what he had to deal with."

What? There is nothing more self-evidently untrue than to claim Michael Jackson wasn't strange.

What was he? The Washington Post asked: "Boy? Demigod? Alien?" Time magazine claimed he "seemed so remote as so be extraterrestrial — the moonwalking moon child." In a People magazine timeline of photos, he looks like he underwent 25 facial surgeries, which turned what was a handsome man into a walking freak-show headliner.

What made Jackson strangest was his refusal to stop sleeping with young teenage boys. He settled the first sexual-abuse charges in 1993 with a huge $15 million-plus settlement — an action that hardly clears him of the taint of child molestation. Even after that settlement tainted his reputation, he damaged it further by continuing to declare to TV interviewers that his outsized attention to young boys was utterly normal.

On "60 Minutes" in 2003, Ed Bradley asked Jackson if he thought it was acceptable to share his bed with children. "Of course," Jackson said. Even after the allegations and innuendo? "I would never stop helping and loving people." In 2005, ABC's Martin Bashir asked again, and Jackson gave the same answer: "Why can't you share your bed? The most loving thing to do is to share your bed with someone."

What the media frenzy over Jackson's death may have accomplished is a whitewash of this disturbing record of behavior. The Washington Post described the memorial service as "the completion of Michael Jackson's 12-day transformation from ostracized to beloved."

Some cultural commissars claimed the musical genius transcended the cloud of molestation. Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic magazine wrote, "Woody Allen wooed his wife's adopted daughter, and may well be a child molester. But I think 'Bananas' makes me laugh. Mike Tyson is, among other things, a convicted rapist. But I had not lived until I saw him demolish Trevor Berbick. And so on. I guess I could peel these people out my life. I guess I could stop separating art from men. Regrettably, I think, I wouldn't be left with much art worth admiring."

This attitude suggests a very dangerous angle to celebrity worship. Once you can make us laugh, or dance, we're so self-absorbed it doesn't matter if you're a rapist? Let's hope Coates wouldn't add O.J. Simpson to his analogy. But millions of Americans did precisely that, as evidenced by their refusal to admit he butchered his wife and her friend. Such is the state of our popular culture today.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. To find out more about Brent Bozell III, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2009 CREATORS.COM



Comments

5 Comments | Post Comment
Learn the truth, I dare you--
from squidoo.com (there is an endless number of sources of MJs charity work, but you can start here if you have the courage )
For example, mostly everyone knows about "We Are the World" and the collaboration with 44 artists with the proceeds from this records donated to the starving people of Africa, but very few people know about his donation to Childhelp USA (the biggest charity-organization against child abuse), he equipped a 19-bed-unit to part of the T.J. Martell-Foundation for leukemia and cancer research, nor do many people know that Jackson hosted 200 Air Force families at his Neverland Ranch on October 12, 2002. It was a gesture of appreciation for men and women who served overseas. Please read: Charity. Not much was said about MJ's visit on Capitol Hill in 2004, the focus was mostly on his child molestation charges that were eventually dropped. It was a two-hour meeting to discuss using his celebrity to the fight against Aids in Africa. Read Michael Jackson Visits Capitol Hill and Fans Cheer Michael Jackson in Second Day on Capitol Hill. You can also find out more about MJ's charities at: JacksonAction.

Comment: #1
Posted by: Jennifer
Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:56 PM
Here are SOME of the kind, compassionate, genrous things MJ did from 1984-1992. What good have you done anyone you pompous gasbag?
January 10, 1984: Michael visits the unit for burn victims at Brotman-Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles.

April 9, 1984: David Smithee, a 14-year-old boy who suffers from cystic fibroses is invited to Michael's home. It was David's last wish to meet Michael. He dies 7 weeks later.

April 14, 1984: Michael equips a 19-bed-unit at Mount Senai New York Medical Center. This center is part of the T.J. Martell-Foundation for leukemia and cancer research.

July 5, 1984: During the Jackson's press conference at Tavern On The Green, Michael announces that his part of the earnings from the Victory Tour will be donated to three charitable organizations: The United Negro College Fund, Camp Good Times, and the T.J. Martell-Foundation.

July 14, 1984: After the first concert of the Victory Tour, Michael meets 8 terminally ill children backstage.

December 13, 1984: Michael visits the Brotman Memorial Hospital, where he had been treated when he was burned very badly during the producing of a Pepsi commercial. He donates all the money he receives from Pepsi, $1.5 million, to the Michael Jackson Burn Center for Children.

January 28, 1985: Michael and 44 other artists meet to record "We Are The World", written by Michael and Lionel Ritchie. The proceeds of this record are donated to the starving people in Africa.

1986: Michael set up the "Michael Jackson UNCF Endowed Scholarship Fund". This $1.5 million fund is aimed towards students majoring in performance art and communications, with money given each year to students attending a UNCF member college or university.

February 28, 1986: After having had a heart-transplant, 14-year-old Donna Ashlock from California gets a call from Michael Jackson. He had heard that she is a big fan of his. Michael invites her to his home as soon as she is feeling better. This visit takes place on March 8th. Donna stays for dinner and watches a movie together with Michael.

September 13, 1987: Michael supports a campaign against racism. He supports efforts of the NAACP, to fight prejudices against black artists.

October 1987: At the end of his Bad Tour, Michael donates some personal items to the UNESCO for a charitable auction. The proceeds will be for the education of children in developing countries.

February 1, 1988: The Song "Man In the Mirror" enters the charts. The proceeds from the sales of this record goes to Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, a camp for children who suffer from cancer.

March 1, 1988: At a press conference held by his sponsor Pepsi, Michael presents a $600,000 check to the United Negro College Fund.

April 1988: Free tickets are given away for three concerts in Atlanta, Georgia to the Make A Wish Foundation.

May 22, 1988: Michael visits children who suffer from cancer in the Bambini-Gesu Children's Hospital in Rome. He signs autographs and gives away sweets and records to the little patients. He promises a check of 100,000 pounds to the hospital.

July 16, 1988: Before a concert at Wembley Stadium Michael meets the Prince of Wales and his wife Diana. He hands over a check of 150,000 pounds for the Prince's Trust, and a check of 100,000 pounds for the children's hospital at Great Ormond Street.

July 20, 1988: Michael visits terminally ill children at Great Ormond Street Hospital. At a unit for less critical patients he stays a little bit longer and tells a story.

August 29, 1988: At his 30th birthday Michael performs a concert in Leeds, England for the English charity-organization "Give For Life". The goal of this organization is the immunization of children. Michael presents a check for 65,000 pounds.

December 1988: Michael visits 12-year-old David Rothenburg. His father had 5 years earlier burned him very badly in an act of revenge against his former wife.

January 1989: The proceeds of one of Michael's shows in Los Angeles are donated to Childhelp USA, the biggest charity-organization against child-abuse. In appreciation of the contributions of Michael, Childhelp of Southern California is founding the "Michael Jackson International Institute for Research On Child Abuse".

January 10, 1989: The Bad Tour comes to an end. Under-privileged children are donated tickets for each concert and Michael donates money to hospitals, orphanages and charity-organizations.

February 7, 1989: Michael visits the Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California. Some weeks earlier a 25-year-old man had fired at the school's playground. 5 children had been killed and 39 had been wounded.

March 5, 1989: Michael invites 200 deprived children of the St. Vincent Institute for handicapped children and of the organization Big Brothers and Big Sisters to the Circus Vargas in Santa Barbara. After this event he invites them to his ranch to introduce his private zoo at his Neverland Ranch to them.

November 13, 1989: The organization "Wishes Granted" helps 4-year-old Darian Pagan, who suffers from leukemia to meet Michael. Michael invites the little boy to a performance of Canadian acrobats.

December 28, 1989: Young Ryan White, who suffers from hemophilia, spends his holidays on Michael's ranch. Ryan had been infected with AIDS by contaminated blood transfusions in 1984. After he was excluded from his school in Kokomo, Ryan fought against the discrimination of AIDS victims.

January 6, 1990: Michael invites 82 abused and neglected children through Childhelp to his Neverland Ranch. There are games, a Barbeque and a movie show provided for them.

July 1990: 45 children from the Project Dream Street, Los Angeles, for children with life-threatening illness are invited to Neverland Valley.

August 18, 1990: Michael invites 130 children of the YMCA summer program of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara to his Neverland Ranch.

May 6, 1991: Michael is invited to the Jane Goodall Charity event. Michael supports her, an advocate of behavioral research concerning chimpanzees in Gombe, Nigeria for more than 30 years.

July 26, 1991: Michael pays a visit to the Youth Sports & Art Foundation in Los Angeles. This Foundation supports families of gang members, and helps dealing with drug-abuse. Michael talks to the kids and presents them with a wide-screen TV set and a financial gift.

December 1991: Michael's office MJJ Productions treats needy families in Los Angeles with more than 200 turkey dinners.

February 1992: Within 11 days Michael covers 30,000 miles in Africa, to visit hospitals, orphanages, schools, churches, and institutions for mentally handicapped children.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Jennifer
Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:59 PM
You try to further tarnish Michaels name by bitching about his Memorial. "An orgy of praise", and an "exercise in excess"? Why not? Although I agree that many that were involved in the Memorial were only there to be in the limelight, there was also a true outpouring of grief. And why would that bother you? If that same memorial had been for anyone else you would have thought it just fine. And besides, what would you like to have seen at his Memorial? No doubt you, and others like you would have liked to see people get up there and tarnish Michael further! Come on...that's what a memeorial is for...to honour the life that passed. Michael deserved his memorial just as well as any other person with all the praise that was in it. The only reason Michaels life was seen as "scandalous" was because of the media and thier mission to black ball Michael. Of course his death and memorial was publicized for weeks. The very ones who made it thier lifes work to ruin MJ suddenly boo-hooed and carried on like he was thier best friend. Why? Ratings.....while Michael was alive the ratings were greater to trash him. In his death, his memorial became thier cash cow. You mention Martin Bashir...you would actually use that back stabbing Martin Bashir as refrence t make your point? How pathetic. Martin Bashir edited his documentary to make Michael look the worst. There is another documentary out that Maury did that shows the scenes that Bashir cut out that reveals Bashir was a lying sop! But I guess I forgot to mention Maury's documentary...it figures. Paris is Michaels adopted daughter? LOL! How ridiculous. But even if it were true....SO WHAT? Why is it that Michael Jackson is the only one in the world who would be pegged as odd because he "adopted" his daughter. But the main point is who the hell cares if she or the other 2 were adopted or not? Michael loved his children with all his heart and he did right by them. Anyone who met his children were amazed that they were not the rich spoiled brats that they expcted, but rather polite sweet children. Unlike many other parents, Michael was actually parenting his children, so who the hell cares if they were adopted or biological? Now Michaels appearance... that bothers you does it? Well apparently many were at peace with his appearance because he has millions of fans who love him and see him as beautiful. But lets not talk about all the good Michael did. Let's not talk about the countless millions he donated to help people, not just children.....let's not talk about his concern for the state of the planet....no let's just go on and on and tarnish his name and believe liars like Bashir, Diamond and all the others who made Michael thier cash cow. Michael said it best...."garbage sells".
Comment: #3
Posted by: Karen McIntosh
Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:03 PM
Let's continue, shall we? This will take us to 1996. NOW do you get it? You and your kind have salndered and hounded an INNOCENT man to death, just because he was differnt. Learn about his childhood, how his tutor Rose Fine gave him milk and cookies in bed, read to him, listened to music until he went to sleep..he was dong for those kids the only kind thing ever done for him when he was on the road and you perverted it. You make me sick.
February 3, 1992: At a press conference at the New York Radio City Music Hall, Michael announces that he is planning a new world tour, to raise funds for his new "Heal The World" Foundation. This Foundation will support the fight against AIDS, Juvenile Diabetes and will support the Camp Ronald McDonald and the Make A Wish Foundation.

May 6, 1992: Michael defrays the funeral-expenses for Ramon Sanchez, who was killed during the Los Angeles riots.

June 23, 1992: At a press conference in London, Michael makes an announcement about his Heal The World Foundation.

June 26, 1992: Michael presents the Mayor of Munich, Mr. Kronawitter, with a 40,000 DM-check for the needy people of the city.

June 29, 1992: Michael visits the Sophia Children's Hospital in Rotterdam and presents a check for 100,000 pounds.

July 1992: Michael donated L. 821,477,296 to La Partita del Cuore (The Heart Match) in Rome and donated 120,000 DM to children's charities in Estonia and Latvia.

July 25, 1992: On the occasion of a concert in Dublin, Ireland, Michael announces that he will give 400,000 pounds of the tour earnings to various charities.

July 29, 1992: Michael visits the Queen Elizabeth Children's Hospital in London. To the surprise the children, he brings Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Euro-Disney to the hospital.

July 31, 1992: On the Eve of his second concert at Wembley Stadium, Michael presents Prince Charles with a check of 200,000 pounds for the Prince's Trust.

August 16, 1992: 6 year old Nicholas Killen, who lost his eyesight caused by a life aiding cancer surgery, meets Michael backstage in Leeds, England.

September 1992: Michael donated 1 million pesetas to charity headed by the Queen of Spain.

September 30, 1992: President Iliescu of Romania inaugurates a playground for 500 orphans which Michael has financed. Michael discusses his Heal The World Foundation.

October 1, 1992: Michael chooses a concert in Bucharest, Romania for worldwide television broadcast. Bucharest is a logical choice due to the numerous orphanages the country is known for.

November 24, 1992: At Kennedy Airport in New York, Michael supervises the loading of 43 tons of medication, blankets, and winter clothes destined for Sarajevo. The Heal The World Foundation collaborates with AmeriCares to bring resources totaling $2.1 million to Sarajevo. They will be allocated under the supervision of the United Nations.

December 10, 1992: During a press conference at the American Ambassy in Tokyo Michael is presented with a check for $100,000 for the Heal The World Foundation by Tour Sponsor Pepsi.

December 26, 1992: During a broadcast request for donations to the United Negro College Fund, Michael declares: "Black Colleges and Universities are breeding some of the leading personalities of our time. They are on top in business, justice, science and technologies, politics and religion. I am proud, that the Michael Jackson Scholarship Program enabled more than 200 young men and women to get a qualified education."

January 19, 1993: Michael is one of the stars to perform at the Presidential Inauguration of Bill Clinton. Before he sings "Gone Too Soon" he draws the attention to the plights of the victims of AIDS and mentions his friend Ryan White.

January 26, 1993: At a press conference held at Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles, Michael is presented with a $200,000 donation from the National Football League and the Sponsors of the Super Bowl. He gets another $500,000 from the BEST Foundation for his Heal The World Foundation. At this occasion the foundation of "Heal L.A." is officially announced.

February 1993: In association with Sega, launched an initiative to distribute more than $108,000 of computer games and equipment to children's hospitals, children's homes, and children's charities throughout the U.K.

March 1993: The foundation of an independent film company is announced. They will produce family-oriented movies. A part of the earnings will go to the Heal The World Foundation.

March 27, 1993: At a meeting at Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, Michael gives a 5-minute speech to 1200 teachers and politicians.

April 26, 1993: Within his "Heal LA" tour, Michael visits the Watta Health Foundation, and two schools in Los Angeles South Central.

May 5, 1993: Former President Jimmy Carter and Michael, who are chairmen of the "Heal Our Children/Heal The World" initiative, are in Atlanta to promote their "Atlanta Project Immunization Drive".

June 1993: Michael has announced that he will donate $1.25 million for children who have suffered from the riots in Los Angeles.

June 1993: 100 children from the Challengers Boys and Girls Club visit Neverland.

June 10, 1993: Michael promotes the new DARE-program. The purpose of the program is to inform children about the dangers of drug abuse.

June 18, 1993: Michael pays a visit to a hospital in Washington. He spends several hours with the young patients and plays chess with some of them.

August 1993: With Pepsi-Cola Thailand, donated $40,000 to Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's charity, the Rural School Children and Youth Development Fund, in support of school lunch programs in rural villages in Thailand.

August 1993: In conjunction with Pepsi-Cola International, donated new ambulances to the Contacts One Independent Living Center for Children in Moscow, Russia and the Hospital de Ninos Dr. Ricardo Gutierrez in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

October 1993: Donated $100,000 to the Children's Defense Fund, the Children's Diabetes Foundation, the Atlanta Project, and the Boys and Girl Clubs of Newark, New Jersey.

October 22, 1993: Michael visits a hospital in Santiago.

October 28, 1993: Michael makes it possible for 5000 underprivileged children to visit the Reino Aventura Park, where the whale Keiko ("Free Willy") is living.

November 5, 1993: Michael is guest at a children's party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Mexico City.

December 1993: With the Gorbachev Foundation, airlifted 60,000 doses of children's vaccines to Tblisi, Georgia.

December 16, 1993: The Heal The World Foundation UK supports "Operation Christmas Child" delivering toys, sweets, gifts and food to children in former Yugoslavia.

1994: Michael donates $500,000 to Elizabeth Taylor's AIDS Foundation.

January 7, 1994: On the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, Michael gives a party for more than 100 underprivileged children at his Neverland Ranch.

February 22, 1994: "The Jackson Family Honors" is televised. The earnings of the show are given to their own newly formed charity, "Family Caring for Families".

August 6, 1994: Michael and his wife Lisa Marie are visiting two children's hospitals in Budapest. They distribute toys to the ill children.

1995: Michael wants to free dolphins who have been locked up for years. He believes there should be legal guidelines about the way dolphins have to live in zoos and parks.

March 1995: Little Bela Farkas received a new liver. Michael and Lisa Marie met this 4-year-old boy during their trip to Hungary in 1994. Michael did everything to help Bela, whose only chance to live was getting a new liver. The Heal The World Foundation covered the surgery and the cost for caring.

June 21, 1996: Michael donated a four-times platinum disc of "HIStory" in aid of the Dunblane appeal at the Royal Oak Hotel, Sevenoaks in England.

July 18, 1996: In Soweto, South Africa Michael is laying down a wreath of flowers for youngsters who have been killed during the fights involving Apartheid.

September 1996: The first Sports Festival "Hope" was held for orphans and disadvantaged children. 3000 children and 600 volunteers took part in the Sports Festival and Michael Jackson was a special guest.

September 6, 1996: Michael visits the children's unit of a hospital in Prague.

October 1996: Michael visited a hospital for mentally challenged children in Kaoshiung, Taiwan and offered 2,000 free tickets to the sold out performance in Kaoshiung.

October 1, 1996: Michael donated the proceeds of his Tunisia concert to "The National Solidarity Fund", a charity dedicated to fighting poverty.

October 3, 1996: Michael visits a children's hospital and brings small gifts for the patients during a HIStory tour visit in Amsterdam. A room in the hospital (for parents who want to be with their children) is named after Michael.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Jennifer
Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:06 PM
To atone for my earlier outburst, I thought I'd give you an example of true journalism. It is clear you have confused that with rumor and unfounded hatred of a man you hve never met. You could learn a lot from Mary Fischer--

In the presence of Chandler and Mark Torbiner, a dental anesthesiologist, the boy was administered the controversial drug sodium Amytal—which some mistakenly believe is a truth serum. And it was after this session that the boy first made his charges against Jackson. A newsman at KCBS-TV, in L.A., reported on May 3 of this year that Chandler had used the drug on his son, but the dentist claimed he did so only to pull his son's tooth and that while under the drug's influence, the boy came out with allegations. Asked for this article about his use of the drug on the boy, Torbiner replied: “If I used it, it was for dental purposes.”

Given the facts about sodium Amytal and a recent landmark case that involved the drug, the boy's allegations, say several medical experts, must be viewed as unreliable, if not highly questionable.

“It's a psychiatric medication that cannot be relied on to produce fact,” says Dr. Resnick, the Cleveland psychiatrist. “People are very suggestible under it. People will say things under sodium Amytal that are blatantly untrue.” Sodium Amytal is a barbiturate, an invasive drug that puts people in a hypnotic state when it's injected intravenously. Primarily administered for the treatment of amnesia, it first came into use during World War II, on soldiers traumatized—some into catatonic states—by the horrors of war. Scientific studies done in 1952 debunked the drug as a truth serum and instead demonstrated its risks: False memories can be easily implanted in those under its influence. “It is quite possible to implant an idea through the mere asking of a question,” says Resnick. But its effects are apparently even more insidious: “The idea can become their memory, and studies have shown that even when you tell them the truth, they will swear on a stack of Bibles that it happened,” says Resnick.

According to a July 27 entry in the diary kept by Rothman's former colleague, it's clear that Rothman was guiding Chandler in the plan. “Rothman wrote letter to Chandler advising him how to report child abuse without liability to parent,” the entry reads.

“There's no such thing as a classic profile. They made a completely foolish and illogical error,” says Dr. Ralph Underwager, a Minneapolis psychiatrist who has treated pedophiles and victims of incest since 1953. Jackson, he believes, “got nailed” because of “misconceptions like these that have been allowed to parade as fact in an era of hysteria.” In truth, as a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study shows, many child-abuse allegations—48 percent of those filed in 1990 —proved to be unfounded.

“It was just a matter of time before someone like Jackson became a target,” says Phillip Resnick. “He's rich, bizarre, hangs around with kids and there is a fragility to him. The atmosphere is such that an accusation must mean it happened.”
Comment: #5
Posted by: Jennifer
Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:27 PM
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