Saturday, May 22, 2010
I know this issue is slightly old news by now, but I have just now had a minute to write about it. Plus, sadly, I fear the matter will not just vanish as Michael Jackson’s three children, Prince, Paris, and Blanket, provide fodder for some media outlets.
Around May 12, the news of youtube footage featuring Michael’s youngest son Blanket and his daughter Paris (in a separate clip) hit the Internet. I hear and read the clips show the children being, well, children. Personally, I refuse to watch the footage as I have been rating against this invasion of privacy since I first read about it. In this case, I feel I do not actually have to watch the footage to be able to talk about the issue at hand.
Obviously, Michael had always attempted to keep his children as hidden as possible from public view and curiosity. While this very personal choice once again opened him up to ridicule and criticism (how dare he, the parent, make a decision about what he deemed best for his children?) , it also served to let the three grow into, by all accounts, very educated, poised, and polite children. Sure, their lives were probably not what many would consider mainstream, but Michael somehow managed to keep them safe from prying eyes, while allowing them to enjoy their childhood. If you think about it, the mask and veil idea was really genius: Prince, Paris, and Blanket were free to mingle with their cousins and friends as long as they were not with their famous father, since no one knew what they looked like. All this changed with the passing of Michael. Suddenly, his death propelled his children to another level of celebrity.
What was most offensive and disturbing about the whole issue of the youtube clips was the lack of a discussion about this invasion of privacy and instead a focus on pointing out how amazing and “nice” it was so see that Michael’s children behave like children. Christina Everett from NY Daily News wrote: “ It remains unknown how the leaked video clips made their way to the Internet, however it is a comforting sight to see that Jackson's children are acting like, well, children.”
ABC News likewise pointed out that Blanket played “normal games that normal kids play.”
Some outlets, like the BBC stuck to the main facts, and in later days, others also discussed the family’s outrage since it seemed that the children’s youtube accounts had been hacked. Overall, I think it is a pretty sad statement when the media tells us that a father’s protective measures were odd or strange, while overlooking the real issue of the privacy of three children who have lost the only stable person in their lives.
My question is this: Is it really all that surprising to discover these children are behaving like “normal” children? My answer: Actually, it is. However, the reason is not because the upbringing the enjoyed until June 25, 2009 was so strange or weird, but that their lives since then have been anything but normal. Their resilience is a testament to the strong foundation laid by their father, and it would be nice to see that fact addressed every now and then.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
On April 29, 2010, during her True Crime series, Aphrodite Jones aired her reports about Michael’s 2005 Child Molestation case. As she has done previously in her book, the Michael Jackson Conspiracy, she outlined the reasons Michael was found innocent. She also briefly discussed the 1993 allegations and the infamous settlement.
Sadly, the report, the show, and her findings, once again got all but buried, garnering very little media attention. On her own site (http://www.aphroditejones.com/) Miss Jones only shows a short report from Daily News and one segment plugging her report on Larry King. Charles Thomson (http://charlesthomsonjournalist.blogspot.com/) addressed her upcoming report in his blog and revealed further background information about the ’93 allegations, as he had in the past. I challenge you to google the program in your down time and find any main media reports discussing Miss Jones, her documentary, or findings that show Michael in a positive light. An article on NY Daily News by David Hinckley discussed Ms Jones report, but makes it clear, the program should be considered more of a “love letter” than a serious account (http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2010/04/29/2010-04-29_aphrodite_jones_defends_michael_jackson_and_blames_king_of_pop_foes_for_his_deat.html).
As coincidence would have it (yeah, I am not buying that one, either…), the same day, EXTRA managed to broadcast its segment about Jason Pfeiffer, a- let me try to be kind here- portly man, who claims to be an ex dermatology (first clue) assistant and CEO of a medical company (I really want to do some research into this one- sounds interesting), telling us (once again- this is not his first attempt to sell this story..oops, did I say ‘sell’????) that he was Michael Jackson’s secret lover. His story is backed up by our ever present, favorite ‘friend’ of Michael’s: the highly credible Dr. Arnold Klein (second clue-if you read nothing else, alarm bells should be going off at this point). Yes, the Arnold Klein, who was on every show imaginable (and some quite unimaginable) discussing his friendship with Michael. Oh, by the way, he also claimed to have fathered Michael’s children (how many men have by now claimed to have donated sperm?), he wanted to sue the estate to reclaim a jacket he supposedly lent Michael (as what- a tent?), and he tried to sell a car on eBay that he managed to tie Michael’s name to as well. And those are only the minor things I can come up with that make the dear Doc suspect as a credible source.
I won’t go into details of why I believe the claims to be totally ridiculous. And none of my reasons would have anything to do with homophobia, as implied by Extra reporter Alicia Jacobs on her facebook site and her tweets she fired off after being barraged by negative comments. The fact of the matter is I have a problem with ANY “secret lover” revelation that is used for commercial gain after Michael passed. Several come to mind, but that will be another entry. Mr. Pfeiffer, like those other “secret” lovers, wives, etc, etc., had a chance to tell his story- when Michael was alive. Of course, he being alive might also have meant he could or would react. How convenient that all those secret lovers and wives as well as self proclaimed friends and spiritual advisors did not feel the need to discuss all those lovely (and fictitious) memories when the man himself could have spoken up.
So, back to the interesting –but not horribly surprising- part of all this: While Miss Jones’ report went unnoticed, the Extra report has been all over the place- both nationally and internationally. This is very similar to Gene Simmons’ derogative comments spreading like wild fire, while Jennifer Batten’s reports went dead the moment they hit the internet. And mind you- Miss Batten actually worked with Michael for YEARS, so it stood to reason that she might know what she was talking about. But no, that was not news worthy.
I found one interesting article, asking the question “Was the Media complicit in Destroying him (Michael)” on http://www.sawfnews.com/Gossip/63678.aspx. Please read the letter sent by a former non-Michael Jackson fan, who did her research and came up with her own conclusions.
I think the answer is a resounding YES. The media has and continues to report only negative and derogatory news about Michael Jackson. There are some noteworthy exceptions, Charles Thomson and Aphrodite Jones being some of the major voices out there, but after a year of hyping Michael’s name and attaching it to anything and everything to make money, the trend has not changed. And with Dr.Murray’s trial dates as well as the first anniversary of Michael’s passing approaching, I fear the truth about Michael will continue to be buried under the caricature.
Unless we, as fans and consumers continue to speak up.
Never underestimate the power of one- especially when many individuals join together. And while the continued trend of sensationalism is disheartening at times, we need to keep hope for change- and with it, Michael- alive.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Conrad Murray's lawyer (I have long since stopped calling him "Dr."), Ed Chernoff made an appearance on Good Morning America this morning to discuss the case. Chernoff offered little of substance and, instead, relied on innuendo and supposition to cast doubt on the guilt of his client while simultanously placing blame upon the victim--a victim who is not here to defend himself and cannot tell his side (the truth) of what happened.
Chernoff said the LAPD botched the investigation and seeded the theory Michael self-injected the fatal dose of propofol. Chernoff admitted the trial has his client on the ropes and asserted they will fight to the death because it is now Murray against Michael, and Murray would do whatever he had to do to get out of this, including exposing Michael. He said he "didn't know what Michael was doing....Dr. Murray has no desire to portray Michael Jackson as anything as other than a saint...but..the facts have to come out..." which I take to mean, they will smear Michael to poison the public and to taint the jury pool as long as it might save Murray's hide. I find this entire defense approach sleazy and despicable.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Conrad Murray appeared today in a Los Angeles courtroom in connection with the investigation into Michael Jackson's death at his hands. The purpose of today's hearing was for the prosecution to ask a judge to revoke Conrad Murray's California medical license. The judge assigned to the case, Peter Espinoza, revealed he had a connection to the prosecution then assigned the case to Judge Michael Pastor and sent everyone to his court room. Judge Pastor will have the task of setting a date for the preliminary hearing and deciding whether or not to revoke Murray's license.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Janet Jackson made an appearance last night on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" to promote her new movie Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married, Too? Janet was shy and well-spoken and she looked great! It is good to see her out in the spotlight again. I thought the bit where she thanked ?uestlove for the Jackson 5 tee-shirt was too cute!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
The California Attorney General Jerry Brown has succeeded in his request to have the court suspend Conrad Murray's medical license in his state. The AG's office filed a motion on behalf of the California Medical Board on February 8th calling Murray's conduct during and after Michael's death, "reprehensible" "so egregious as to shock the conscious." The motion also stated that Murray "took the life of his patient" and "showed utter disregard for the care and well-being of his patient" and that his actions "make him a danger to the public." This is what Michael's fans and Murray's medical colleagues have maintained all along. Virtually every doctor and nurse anesthetist practicing in the U.S. today knows that the standard of care was not met in this case; they want to distance themselves from his apparent negligence.
For his part, Murray's attorney, Ed Chernoff, entered a plea of not guilty and denies any wrongdoing on behalf of his client. Chernoff told the AP the filed motion was unnecessary and could have a significant negative impact on Murray's abilityto practice medicine and earn a living. Well good then!Edit: Apparently, his license was not suspended. This is unfortunate, as I believe he did not deliver the standard of care and refuses to admit his wrongdoing in Michael's death.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
I am so glad to see Orianthi get the recognition she deserves. Michael saw her talent; now the world has a chance. It was wonderful to have both Janet and Orianthi on the same night.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
A Gatlinburg, Tennessee man was the winner of a huge auction with Julien's featuring the King of Pop Michael Jackson on Saturday in New York. The owner of Hollywood Star Cars Museum, Charlie Moore, bought Michael's 1985 Mercedes Benz SEL and a photograph of Michael driving his car for US$104550.00. Its S class engineering features a powerful, fuel injected 5-litre, 303 cubic inch V-8 engine with 302hp and 4-speed automatic transmission. Michael originally bought the car for his use at his Neverland Estate, but later gifted to his aunt. The Benz will go on display in the museum, which also features more than 40 celebrity cars including Elvis Presley's Lincoln Continental and a Jaguar once owned by Frank Sinatra.