It's Time For The Media to Take Responsibility - Interesting

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Offline neversaynever

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-t ... 82176.html


Charles Thomson
Posted: March 2, 2010 10:10 AM
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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.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Chamone

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Great article! And I love that it comes from The Huff, it is very populair amongst journalists and writers. I hope they take the time to read this and be ashamed of themselves.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2010, 06:43:29 PM by Chamone »
"Before you judge me
Try hard to love me"


Offline kingofmystery

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Excellent article!  Thank you for sharing!   I definitely think this one deserves to be shared and tweeted.  :)
Bravo, Mr. Thomson!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."  Margaret Mead

Offline all4loveandbelieve

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Finally, hopefully people are going to see that Michael is a decent human being.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »


I'm happy to be alive, I'm happy to be who I am.
Michael Jackson

Offline deedee75

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I pray that people continue kept up the fight and help clear his name nobody should have to go through what he been through in his life.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline voiceforthesilent

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Quote from: "deedee75"
I pray that people continue kept up the fight and help clear his name nobody should have to go through what he been through in his life.

I agree - we cannot stand silent and let this happen any more to Michael or anyone else. It's just not right.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
I'm proud to be a child of God and a member of MJ's Army of L.O.V.E.
 
"Press coverage of my life is like [watching] a fictitious movie...like watching science fiction. It's not true." ~Michael Jackson (2005)

"You should not believe everything you read. You are missing the most important revelations". Craig Harvey 3-15-2012

Offline neversaynever

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The media should take note, but they won't. Trash sells. I think  all that happened to MJ is what hurts the most. The fact that he was always a "victim" at the hands of the media - it's painful to read and watch. God Bless him - I am sure he will have the last laugh. :lol:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline darkchild

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Quote from: "deedee75"
I pray that people continue kept up the fight and help clear his name nobody should have to go through what he been through in his life.
Deedee75, God bless you, for praying to God for MJ.  I appreciate your effects. The truth will prevail. :)
Neversaynever, Thank you for sharing the excellent article.  It shows exactly how the bad press operates in action.  Yes, MJ is a great human being, and an angel for heaven.  God bless you, Neversaynever, for your positive post. :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »


You rocked my world, you know you did
And everything I own I give
The rarest love who\'d think I\'d find
Someone like you to call mine




"Let us dream of tomorrow where we can truly love from the soul, and know love as the ultimate truth at the heart of all creation."
------Michael Jackson


Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. --Oscar Wilde

Offline neversaynever

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Quote from: "darkchild"
Quote from: "deedee75"
I pray that people continue kept up the fight and help clear his name nobody should have to go through what he been through in his life.
Deedee75, God bless you, for praying to God for MJ.  I appreciate your effects. The truth will prevail. :)
Neversaynever, Thank you for sharing the excellent article.  It shows exactly how the bad press operates in action.  Yes, MJ is a great human being, and an angel for heaven.  God bless you, Neversaynever, for your positive post. :)


Aaaww... And God Bless you as well. We all have that place in our hearts that hurts for the way he was treated. It truly brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. He was persecuted for NO reason. I was happy to see this article bring some of that up.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline tabloidburn

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amen to that. the filth HAS to stop!!!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
just because it\'s in print, doesn\'t mean it\'s the gospel - mj 2003

i have incredible disguises, i can fool my own mother - mj 1988

...details at eleven...

wear something green!

proud member of the army of l.o.v.e!

Offline mjmyangelbaby

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maybe we should all send a message to that goofy lookig Simmons to let him know that nobody believes his lies. :mrgreen:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

MJLover1990

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Quote from: "voiceforthesilent"
Quote from: "deedee75"
I pray that people continue kept up the fight and help clear his name nobody should have to go through what he been through in his life.

I agree - we cannot stand silent and let this happen any more to Michael or anyone else. It's just not right.

I absolutely agree with the both of you!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Sarahli

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The medias always twist the truth and moreover when Michael Jackson is concerned. Whatever he does or says is taken out of subject, twisted, manipulated. A good reason for him to fake his death and give these bast...a lesson. He has nothing to loose but everything to win. I think that most people underestimate the pain caused by the disgusting allegations made against him, the trials, by the silly names he was and is still called by.
Slander is a big sin and all these people who contributed to spread lies will have to face God's Judgment sooner or later.
He who laughs last laughs longest...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
We are here for you Michael and will always love you whatever happens.
'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
"You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them."

Offline 2 Bad

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After reading the articles by Charles Thomson I was pointed to this article:

http://www.sawfnews.com/Gossip/62205.aspx

Deep in the comments of this I came across a link or two that support the theory, we know this but to see it actually being proven as false was shocking.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Akre

"Jane Akre and her husband Steve Wilson are former employees of Fox-owned-and-operated station WTVT in Tampa, Florida. In 1997, they were fired from the station after refusing to knowingly include false information in their report concerning the Monsanto Company's production of RBGH, a drug designed to make cows produce more milk."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcjzdoiL0j4
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline MJLOVER32

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My heart aches!! I pray his good name is cleared. I hate the way the media villifies him. What is the reason, it is cause he is the greatest man on the planet and hes BLACK!! are people really that disgustingly racist that they would just ignore the facts based on his skin colour!!
The injustice is in-humane!!! :cry:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
With Such Confusions Dont It Make You Wanna Scream!!

Offline heisinme09

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Thank you so much, 2Bad, for sharing that article by Deborah French! What a perfect summary of the situation that Michael lived and endured....wow....this is fantastic!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places....and those who don\'t believe in magic will never find it" - Roald Dahl

Offline LOVEYOUMORE

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Quote from: "neversaynever"
The media should take note, but they won't. Trash sells. I think  all that happened to MJ is what hurts the most. The fact that he was always a "victim" at the hands of the media - it's painful to read and watch. God Bless him - I am sure he will have the last laugh. :lol:
I pray that people continue kept up the fight and help clear his name nobody should have to go through what he been through in his life.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

 

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