It's Time For Outlets to Take Responsibility in Covering the Rock Star

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Offline everlastinglove_MJ

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Quote
Charles Thomson.
Posted: March 2, 2010 10:10 AM

Michael Jackson: It's Time For Outlets to Take Responsibility in Covering the Rock Star

Last week Michael Jackson's guitarist discredited widely reported allegations about the star's behaviour on the road. So why is the media refusing to publish her comments? British writer Charles Thomson explores media bias against black music's biggest star.

Aging glam-rocker Gene Simmons made international headlines last month when he claimed to know that Michael Jackson had molested children. In an interview with Classic Rock, Simmons alleged that Jackson was on tape ordering alcohol for children and that during the star's 2005 trial a travel agent had testified to importing Brazilian boys for Jackson's amusement. He also claimed that a musician friend had quit a Jackson tour after seeing 'boys coming out of the hotel rooms.'

What followed was a classic example of copy and paste journalism. Within hours the story had been duplicated by hundreds of blogs, forums and news websites from Australia to India to the USA. None of them had fact-checked the story before they re-hosted it. Jackson was never on tape ordering alcohol for children. There was never any testimony during his trial about young Brazilian boys. Both of these claims were easily disproven by trial transcripts.

As a relative Jackson expert, I was also unaware of any musician ever leaving one of the singer's tours midway through. So when I sat down a fortnight ago for an interview with Jackson's long serving tour guitarist Jennifer Batten, I ran the story by her.

She told me that no musician had ever quit a Jackson tour. Two musicians had been fired but both were let go before the show hit the road, so they couldn't possibly have witnessed anything going on inside hotels.

When Sawf News published Batten's rebuttal I observed an all too familiar phenomenon. Although the story appeared on Google News and was picked up fairly swiftly by the Examiner, nobody else seemed willing to touch it. Whilst Simmons's speculative and ultimately baseless accusations had been reproduced the world over, Batten's expert rebuttal was being suppressed.

I soon began receiving emails from Jackson's fans telling me that they were sending the story to every celebrity news outlet they could think of, including several of those which published Simmons's initial allegations.

But more than 48 hours later, typing an exact quote from Simmons's rant into a search engine produced almost 350 webpages. The number of news outlets hosting Batten's rebuttal? Three.

This was not the first time I'd had a Jackson story suppressed. After Evan Chandler's suicide in November 2009 I was contacted by the Sun and asked to supply information about the 1993 allegations. I spent quite some time compiling my research, advising the newspaper of common myths and how to avoid them, being careful to source all of my facts from legal documents and audio/visual evidence.

When I read the finished article I was stunned to find that all of my information had been discarded and replaced with the very myths I had advised them to avoid. I alerted staff to the inaccuracies but my emails were not replied. The same inaccuracies appeared in every single article I read about the suicide.

The same bias manifested itself the following month when Jackson's FBI file was released. Across more than 300 pages of information there was not one piece of incriminating evidence -- but that's not the way the media told it.

A videotape seized at customs in West Palm Beach and analysed for child pornography was repeatedly referred to as belonging to Jackson. In actuality, files stated merely that the tape was 'connected' to Jackson and that connection appeared simply to be that somebody had written his name on the sticky label.

In another document the FBI logged a telephone call from a tipster claiming that the bureau had investigated Jackson during the 1980s for molesting two Mexican boys. The files made no other mention of the supposed investigation and the claim was ascribed no validity -- the call was merely noted. But the media persistently referred to the anonymous tipster's unsupported allegations as the FBI's own conclusions.

Jackson's FBI file overwhelmingly supported his innocence but its contents were routinely manipulated to give the opposite impression.

Many are quick to scoff when Jackson's fans speak of a media conspiracy to destroy the star's reputation and I used to scoff with them. As a member of the industry I prefer not to think of it as sinister and conspiratorial, but I find it increasingly difficult to explain away the bias with which Jackson is treated.

I wonder whether the problem is pride. When the 1993 allegations broke, the vast majority of information available was released, either officially or unofficially, by the prosecution. Jackson, meanwhile, remained characteristically silent.

Perhaps because the prosecution's version of events went almost completely unchallenged (although I imagine that drama and selling newspapers had something to do with it, too), the media primarily chose to portray Jackson as guilty.

But as the facts started to trickle out it became increasingly apparent that the case was full of holes. The allegations had been instigated not by the boy but by his father, who had demanded a scriptwriting deal from Jackson before he went to the police. He was on tape plotting to destroy Jackson's career and dismissing his son's wellbeing as 'irrelevant'. Then the boy told cops that Jackson was circumcised, but a police body search concluded that he was not.

Although Jackson's innocence looked increasingly likely, most news outlets had made their bed and to this day they seem unwilling to do anything but lie in it.

Whatever the motivation, be it pride, profit or plain old racism, the bias against Jackson is undeniable. The suppression of Batten's comments proves once more than when it comes to Jackson the media is interested not in fact or reason but negativity and sensationalism. Batten accompanied Jackson on all three of his world tours and was known for a decade as his 'right hand woman'. But Simmons -- who self-confessedly did not know Jackson -- has been given over 100 times more media coverage for his inaccurate ranting than Batten has for her firsthand experience.

It is time for outlets to assume responsibility for their own content. Websites should not re-host other publishers' stories unless they can be completely certain that the content is factual. Even if the media refuses to print the truth about Jackson, they should compromise by not printing the lies either. At least that way he can rest in peace.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-thomson/michael-jackson-its-time_b_482176.html


Quote
It is time for outlets to assume responsibility for their own content. Websites should not re-host other publishers' stories unless they can be completely certain that the content is factual. Even if the media refuses to print the truth about Jackson, they should compromise by not printing the lies either. 
Agree!

L.O.V.E.



It's all for L.O.V.E.

Offline Andrea

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Anyone who takes the smallest amount of time to look into the allegations will find Michael's innocence.  But most people don't do that because they prefer to rely on lazy journalism.  I'm glad to see that there are journalists out there who report the truth based on facts and I find it most upsetting that most media outlets choose not to run those stories in favour of rumours based on hearsay and lies.  I realize that "good news doesn't sell" but we've been conditioned into that mindset - to believe the worst in people.  It's completely messed up.


Offline Aidan_81

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It's heartbreaking every time  :( "negativity and sensationalism" - exactly what media
loves best, especially when it comes to Michael!
Trashy media does copy-paste, SADLY all over the world - the Jackson news I got in my
country are nothing but dumb copy-paste from trashy sources in States and UK,
you can't beat it cause local sources do not care, it's "nothing personal" here - they simply do
not care, they need to fill the space with celeb news ASAP. Nobody cares for the truth  :cry:
but still, if people do read that slander they, for some unknown reason, often believe it!  /overreacting/
Also after Michael's "death" most outlets kinda lost interest you know. So his name might
remain stained with lies in many countries, forever. I picture us in 2035, when they make some
sad low-budget documentary about "The troubled Legend of 80s" , ending it
with ever-present "...we'll never know for sure what happened in that room, but now he's gone
so let's forgive him and his demons!", oh my God, this should not be this way  :-\
Most people don't even use Internet regularly and do not know anything about the case,
do not speak English and their only source is local tabloids who do copy-paste. Okay, think
I just depressed myself  :lol:
« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 10:24:35 AM by Aidan_81 »

Offline applehead250609

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Quote
Charles Thomson.
Posted: March 2, 2010 10:10 AM

Michael Jackson: It's Time For Outlets to Take Responsibility in Covering the Rock Star

Last week Michael Jackson's guitarist discredited widely reported allegations about the star's behaviour on the road. So why is the media refusing to publish her comments? British writer Charles Thomson explores media bias against black music's biggest star.

Aging glam-rocker Gene Simmons made international headlines last month when he claimed to know that Michael Jackson had molested children. In an interview with Classic Rock, Simmons alleged that Jackson was on tape ordering alcohol for children and that during the star's 2005 trial a travel agent had testified to importing Brazilian boys for Jackson's amusement. He also claimed that a musician friend had quit a Jackson tour after seeing 'boys coming out of the hotel rooms.'

What followed was a classic example of copy and paste journalism. Within hours the story had been duplicated by hundreds of blogs, forums and news websites from Australia to India to the USA. None of them had fact-checked the story before they re-hosted it. Jackson was never on tape ordering alcohol for children. There was never any testimony during his trial about young Brazilian boys. Both of these claims were easily disproven by trial transcripts.

As a relative Jackson expert, I was also unaware of any musician ever leaving one of the singer's tours midway through. So when I sat down a fortnight ago for an interview with Jackson's long serving tour guitarist Jennifer Batten, I ran the story by her.

She told me that no musician had ever quit a Jackson tour. Two musicians had been fired but both were let go before the show hit the road, so they couldn't possibly have witnessed anything going on inside hotels.

When Sawf News published Batten's rebuttal I observed an all too familiar phenomenon. Although the story appeared on Google News and was picked up fairly swiftly by the Examiner, nobody else seemed willing to touch it. Whilst Simmons's speculative and ultimately baseless accusations had been reproduced the world over, Batten's expert rebuttal was being suppressed.

I soon began receiving emails from Jackson's fans telling me that they were sending the story to every celebrity news outlet they could think of, including several of those which published Simmons's initial allegations.

But more than 48 hours later, typing an exact quote from Simmons's rant into a search engine produced almost 350 webpages. The number of news outlets hosting Batten's rebuttal? Three.

This was not the first time I'd had a Jackson story suppressed. After Evan Chandler's suicide in November 2009 I was contacted by the Sun and asked to supply information about the 1993 allegations. I spent quite some time compiling my research, advising the newspaper of common myths and how to avoid them, being careful to source all of my facts from legal documents and audio/visual evidence.

When I read the finished article I was stunned to find that all of my information had been discarded and replaced with the very myths I had advised them to avoid. I alerted staff to the inaccuracies but my emails were not replied. The same inaccuracies appeared in every single article I read about the suicide.

The same bias manifested itself the following month when Jackson's FBI file was released. Across more than 300 pages of information there was not one piece of incriminating evidence -- but that's not the way the media told it.

A videotape seized at customs in West Palm Beach and analysed for child pornography was repeatedly referred to as belonging to Jackson. In actuality, files stated merely that the tape was 'connected' to Jackson and that connection appeared simply to be that somebody had written his name on the sticky label.

In another document the FBI logged a telephone call from a tipster claiming that the bureau had investigated Jackson during the 1980s for molesting two Mexican boys. The files made no other mention of the supposed investigation and the claim was ascribed no validity -- the call was merely noted. But the media persistently referred to the anonymous tipster's unsupported allegations as the FBI's own conclusions.

Jackson's FBI file overwhelmingly supported his innocence but its contents were routinely manipulated to give the opposite impression.

Many are quick to scoff when Jackson's fans speak of a media conspiracy to destroy the star's reputation and I used to scoff with them. As a member of the industry I prefer not to think of it as sinister and conspiratorial, but I find it increasingly difficult to explain away the bias with which Jackson is treated.

I wonder whether the problem is pride. When the 1993 allegations broke, the vast majority of information available was released, either officially or unofficially, by the prosecution. Jackson, meanwhile, remained characteristically silent.

Perhaps because the prosecution's version of events went almost completely unchallenged (although I imagine that drama and selling newspapers had something to do with it, too), the media primarily chose to portray Jackson as guilty.

But as the facts started to trickle out it became increasingly apparent that the case was full of holes. The allegations had been instigated not by the boy but by his father, who had demanded a scriptwriting deal from Jackson before he went to the police. He was on tape plotting to destroy Jackson's career and dismissing his son's wellbeing as 'irrelevant'. Then the boy told cops that Jackson was circumcised, but a police body search concluded that he was not.

Although Jackson's innocence looked increasingly likely, most news outlets had made their bed and to this day they seem unwilling to do anything but lie in it.

Whatever the motivation, be it pride, profit or plain old racism, the bias against Jackson is undeniable. The suppression of Batten's comments proves once more than when it comes to Jackson the media is interested not in fact or reason but negativity and sensationalism. Batten accompanied Jackson on all three of his world tours and was known for a decade as his 'right hand woman'. But Simmons -- who self-confessedly did not know Jackson -- has been given over 100 times more media coverage for his inaccurate ranting than Batten has for her firsthand experience.

It is time for outlets to assume responsibility for their own content. Websites should not re-host other publishers' stories unless they can be completely certain that the content is factual. Even if the media refuses to print the truth about Jackson, they should compromise by not printing the lies either. At least that way he can rest in peace.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-thomson/michael-jackson-its-time_b_482176.html


Quote
It is time for outlets to assume responsibility for their own content. Websites should not re-host other publishers' stories unless they can be completely certain that the content is factual. Even if the media refuses to print the truth about Jackson, they should compromise by not printing the lies either. 
Agree!

L.O.V.E.


Majority of people DON'T THINK FOR THEMSELVES,and they don't even try to THINK any DIFFERENT, than they were told,and that is a FACT  8-) .The BRAIN/MIND is the most overrated organ in the body. The important things enter you another way.Behind our thoughts and feelings, my friends, there stands a mighty ruler. An unknown sage - whose name is self. In your body he dwells. There is more reason in your body than in your best wisdom.The MIND will still be the key to the next step in evolution, but not by doing what it did in the past. It has to change for us to change.We have been doing the MIND’s will, and we need to be doing God’s will.The only thing between you and God is you, or that which you think is you  ;) .


When the mind sleeps, you are awake.
When the mind is awake, you are asleep.


If you want to be completely awake, you must put your MIND to sleep, put it on standby. It is always there at your beckoned call. It will warn you of danger and protect you. Your MIND is always ready and waiting to jump into your life for any reason. When it is working right, it is like an autopilot that works behind the scenes. It takes care of the nuts and bolts of life so that you are free to just live.
Your MIND can be your worst enemy or your best friend. If you are using it to overcome or transcend itself and realize the truth and the life, it is your best friend. If not, it is your worst enemy. Everything the MIND does distracts you and prevents you from seeing the truth and the life in one way or another. :)
Michael knows the power of our BRAINS/MINDS and you can hear him talking about it here in this video :) :


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IeBiIfld-E[/youtube]

Offline everlastinglove_MJ

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Anyone who takes the smallest amount of time to look into the allegations will find Michael's innocence.  But most people don't do that because they prefer to rely on lazy journalism.  I'm glad to see that there are journalists out there who report the truth based on facts and I find it most upsetting that most media outlets choose not to run those stories in favour of rumours based on hearsay and lies.  I realize that "good news doesn't sell" but we've been conditioned into that mindset - to believe the worst in people.  It's completely messed up.


I hope more & more journalists will realize that this lazy journalism without doing any research is the same as selling lies (money motive). But as long 'lazy' readers buy these stories without being critical about the sources, this fake "journalism" will last.
It's all for L.O.V.E.

Offline everlastinglove_MJ

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It's heartbreaking every time  :( "negativity and sensationalism" - exactly what media
loves best, especially when it comes to Michael!
Trashy media does copy-paste, SADLY all over the world - the Jackson news I got in my
country are nothing but dumb copy-paste from trashy sources in States and UK,
you can't beat it cause local sources do not care, it's "nothing personal" here - they simply do
not care, they need to fill the space with celeb news ASAP. Nobody cares for the truth  :cry:
but still, if people do read that slander they, for some unknown reason, often believe it!  /overreacting/
Also after Michael's "death" most outlets kinda lost interest you know. So his name might
remain stained with lies in many countries, forever. I picture us in 2035, when they make some
sad low-budget documentary about "The troubled Legend of 80s" , ending it
with ever-present "...we'll never know for sure what happened in that room, but now he's gone
so let's forgive him and his demons!", oh my God, this should not be this way  :-\
Most people don't even use Internet regularly and do not know anything about the case,
do not speak English and their only source is local tabloids who do copy-paste. Okay, think
I just depressed myself  :lol:

Quote
I just depressed myself  :lol:

let's sue the tabloids for reader's depressions :lol:

Quote
Nobody cares for the truth  :cry:

"They don't care about us" :(
It's all for L.O.V.E.

Offline Andrea

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Anyone who takes the smallest amount of time to look into the allegations will find Michael's innocence.  But most people don't do that because they prefer to rely on lazy journalism.  I'm glad to see that there are journalists out there who report the truth based on facts and I find it most upsetting that most media outlets choose not to run those stories in favour of rumours based on hearsay and lies.  I realize that "good news doesn't sell" but we've been conditioned into that mindset - to believe the worst in people.  It's completely messed up.


I hope more & more journalists will realize that this lazy journalism without doing any research is the same as selling lies (money motive). But as long 'lazy' readers buy these stories without being critical about the sources, this fake "journalism" will last.

I hope so too and you're right about the lazy readers.  Ultimately there has to be a shift in perspective about how people view the world and the people in it and what they find newsworthy.  Gossip and lies distract from the real issues, which we are also lied to about. 

Offline everlastinglove_MJ

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@applehead: thanks for the beautiful vid.

 :'( I cried when I listened to Michael's words. A true gift. "No matter what you are or do, perseverance, believe in yourself, be confident, have respect to others, be proud of yourself, be honourable. Negativity around you: block it off. Most important be humble as a baby." These values of mind are so important and basic, yet for many easy to forget or they get drifted away from their own mind. Important is to stay close to yourself, what you believe, what you feel. I try to pass on these values to my kids, by showing them my love and how proud I am. :)
It's all for L.O.V.E.

Offline applehead250609

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@applehead: thanks for the beautiful vid.

 :'( I cried when I listened to Michael's words. A true gift. "No matter what you are or do, perseverance, believe in yourself, be confident, have respect to others, be proud of yourself, be honourable. Negativity around you: block it off. Most important be humble as a baby." These values of mind are so important and basic, yet for many easy to forget or they get drifted away from their own mind. Important is to stay close to yourself, what you believe, what you feel. I try to pass on these values to my kids, by showing them my love and how proud I am. :)


Yes the video is really awesome  :cry: ,TheKINGdom52 is doing a great job every time,with every video,
THANK YOU very much  bearhug   bearhug !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Offline suspicious mind

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i don't know if this post is going to make sense to anyone but here goes.
ever think that all this trash is meant to be a distraction for the masses?
i think about all of the reality tv these days.
they are literally giving the audiance people you love to hate.
making celebrety out of shallow people.
it doesn't cost them as much as to pay real talent.ect.
i wonder if maybe people were beginning to catch on a little to the bashing of various talents , so they changed it up .
or i could just be having another of my straight jacket moments . penguin/ :lol:
"I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves."  




Why not just tell people I'm an alien from Mars? Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They'll believe anything you say, because you're a reporter. But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, "I'm an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight," people would say, "Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He's cracked up. You can't believe a single word that comes out of his mouth."

Offline Andrea

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I agree with you suspicious mind, you make sense to me!  That's why I said above "Gossip and lies distract from the real issues, which we are also lied to about."

Offline suspicious mind

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so perhaps it would be wise to give a second look anytime we see someone getting heavy bashing from media. take a deeper look at the details whether it is in intertainment , sports , politics any of it.

i remember a statement made by jermaine not long ago something to the effect that michael was attacked because they didn't understand what he was about.( that was the jest of it , not exacte words). that is not really true , they knew exactly what he was about.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 12:58:41 PM by suspicious mind »
"I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves."  




Why not just tell people I'm an alien from Mars? Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They'll believe anything you say, because you're a reporter. But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, "I'm an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight," people would say, "Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He's cracked up. You can't believe a single word that comes out of his mouth."

Offline Aidan_81

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ever think that all this trash is meant to be a distraction for the masses?
i think about all of the reality tv these days.
they are literally giving the audiance people you love to hate.
making celebrety out of shallow people.

- I think this is exactly what's going on.
I know it is exactly what's going on.
And I know it's being pushed on public intentionally, what's the reason?
To make us more dumb and insensitive instead of helping humanity to evolve
{it's XXI century, time to evolve finally! Or not?} ? I don't know what's
the real reason, but... don't want to say where I'm working, but I see
with my own eyes how company management is pushing it on our audience
who at the moment rebels it, but bosses keep doing it and while we gonna lose
certain part of the audience, the rest soon will be immune to that new "quality"
of "entertainment", the new way of thinking. I might quit at some point
if it gets too bad, can't work on projects that conflict with my beliefs badly.
Again, i don't know why bosses started that, they won't tell. To make profit?
Well, obviously, but currently "our folk" is angry with us, so if they leave, what profit
are bosses thinking about?  :? No idea.

It's like MTV. I remember how great it was in 80s and early 90s. But see what happened now?
And kids still watch it..?  :shock:

Yeah, when I see media bashing someone, I now do not judge too fast and encourage
people around me to do the same, to stop and think and not being hateful,
I now know what media is about - lies.

Offline suspicious mind

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you know my husband remarked to me recently that no matter how hard it gets for people to be able to pay for the basics  food and shelter they are still willing to dish out the money for entertainment, games movies amusement parks ect. doesn't leave one a whole lot of time to be alone with God does it?
"I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves."  




Why not just tell people I'm an alien from Mars? Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They'll believe anything you say, because you're a reporter. But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, "I'm an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight," people would say, "Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He's cracked up. You can't believe a single word that comes out of his mouth."

Offline Tink

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"They don't care about us!"
Now do those words make sense? Rupert Murdock, the Media that regurgitates lies!
Michael worked on getting people to think for themselves, planting the seeds of truth and love,
against the wall of lies and deceit that would inevitably crumble.

I for one, am quite glad Kiss was kicked from the line up at Cardiff, because of Simmon's big mouth!
He doesn't know when to stop. To me, he's somebody out for money only, and has cheated on his girlfriend
uncountless times, even before they were married. She gave him beautiful kids, but he still cheated on her,
for almost 23 years. Their tv show, I never watched. He gives Rock 'n' Roll a bad image, because he should've
grown up out of his teenage years a long time ago.
Black & Proud! I'm like the Oracle/Batgirl, who helps Batman in the comic books. I believe in "Comic Book justice."


Offline applehead250609

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you know my husband remarked to me recently that no matter how hard it gets for people to be able to pay for the basics  food and shelter they are still willing to dish out the money for entertainment, games movies amusement parks ect. doesn't leave one a whole lot of time to be alone with God does it?

You are 100% right  :shock:  /bravo/  !!!!!

 

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