Monday, February 8, 2010
Dateline NBC: The Secret Life of Michael Jackson
The Dateline piece "The Secret Life of Michael Jackson" broadcast on Friday, February 5, 2010, was very slanted. The producers wanted to accomplish three things with that "special":
1. They wanted to characterize Murray as a villain and establish him as a news draw all on his own so they can continue to flog Michael's death for ratings
2. They wanted to continue their tradition of painting Michael as an eccentric freak and titillate the audience with old rumors and innuendo
3. Of course, they simply wanted to boost their sagging ratings by hopping on the biggest story of the week with a slap dash last minute "report" that contained no new information despite the tease in all their commercials
The broadcast itself focused too much on Michael's vacations, his wardrobe, his makeup, and the allegations against him made in other decades and not nearly enough on the events leading up to Michael's death and the nature of the investigation since then. In order to increase the juice factor, the producers used tabloid tactics by distilling the most inflammatory remarks from the media commentators they interviewed, comments that where wholly unsubstantiated. The only poignant and truthful remarks I watched came from Michael's attorney Thomas Mesereau, Michael Flatley, and the member of the Bahrain Royal Family who said he never MJ never saw use drugs while he was there. I believe comments by so-called friends about Michael being a pest who overstayed his welcome and slept on people's couches only served to further slake the public's thirst for negative ammunition to use against his memory; I personally let such friends know what I thought about their comments as well as Dateline NBC. I believe we, as fans, have an obligation stand up to unfair and untruthful reporting about Michael; it is our duty to protect his legacy.
To read the transcript of the show click here.