Man in the Mirror

I wanted to change the world, so I got up one morning and looked in the mirror. That one looking back said: There is not much time left.... MICHAEL JACKSON

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    Post  Moonlight on Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:55 pm

    Michael Jackson: The trials, the persecution, the redemption, and now an unsure future - Part II

    July 30, 10:05 PMCleveland Literature ExaminerScott Barr

    There probably aren’t many people reading this who haven’t grown up in a home where a television set dominates the family room, furniture and seating arranged around it like a religious shrine. Most Americans have never known a world without some sort of television. Michael Jackson came into the cultural life of America on the Ed Sullivan Show as part of the Jackson Five on December 14, 1969. Michael grew up on television – many of us grew up on Michael., whether he was appreciated for his musical and video artistry, or despised as an over-hyped and freakishly evolved version of the cute little boy from Gary, Indiana. One thing is for sure: an American would have to have been a hermit to not have heard the name Michael Jackson between 1993 when a civil lawsuit claiming Jackson sexually molested Jordan Chandler and June 13, 2005, when he was finally acquitted of all the intervening criminal charges. Jackson’s trials were well-documented during those years, and it doesn’t seem that it will stop any time soon.

    Here are a few of the more responsible accounts of the King of Pop’s legal persecution

    Redemption: The Truth Behind the Michael Jackson Child Molestation Charges (Branch & Vine, 2004).
    This 184 page book written by Geraldine Hughes is one of the better ones, although it was published a year before the final verdict in Jackson’s criminal trial. Hughes main ambition was to set the record straight about what really happened behind the scenes of the 1993 civil lawsuit. The book reads like a mystery novel, chapter by chapter focusing on the key players while giving thorough descriptions of the allegations and legal maneuverings that led to the eventual settlement.
    Hughes had been one of Los Angeles’ top legal secretaries when she began working for the attorney of 13 year-old accuser, Jordan Chandler. Hughes lays out in her book how she witnessed an elaborate extortion scheme unfold during the civil lawsuit which ended with Jackson paying the complaintants somewhere between $2-50 million, depending on the source.

    The Trials of Michael Jackson (Aureus, 2006) by Lyton Guest
    is a sympathetic book that focuses on the prosecutors with plenty of digressions and extensive explanations of how Sony Corp., British reporter Martin Bashir and the media in general not only participated in the persecution of Jackson, but urged the accusations and encouraged the various charges. Guest ends up painting Jackson as the true victim of the child molestation cases. This book may not satisfy all fans since the author did not put Jackson at the center of the actions, but decided to focus on the persecutors while the singer is a victimized background character.

    Be Careful Who You Love (Atria, 2007) by Diane Diamond,
    an investigative reporter and anchor for the television show Court T.V., is another book that conentrates mostly on Michael Jackson’s 2005 criminal trial. Diamond was also present on the day in November, 2003 when over 70 officers from the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department descended on Jackson’s Neverland Ranch looking for evidence the singer had sex with 13 year-old Gavin Arvizo. Diane Diamond, like Geraldine Hughes, had the insider’s view of what lengths police officials and media management went to when their unbiased reporting turned into something closer to muckraking to keep the story going…to keep the story hot…to keep their viewers tuning in and keep the money machine moving.

    ( ? ~ has anyone read that Diamond book? I thought she was on the enemy list, yet it's listed in this article/review as sympathetic? )

    Conspiracy (Ingram Publisher Services, 2007) by crime reporter Aphrodite Jones
    is another book which focuses on the 2005 criminal case more than the overall picture of the twelve years of persecution. The book also contains a forward by Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr., Jackson’s high-profile attorney that was with him at the end of his criminal trial. Jones said that she was doing a television interview about the Jackson case, and afterwards she got the sick feeling that she had become a part of the problem – a part of the media circus that had tailored their coverage to the fact that Jackson was guilty. She could see that she was taking a part in affecting the public judgment against Jackson, a public that had aligned itself with the negative media coverage – a media coverage she had participated in. She decided to redeem herself with her book Conspiracy. What emerges from Jones’ book is a profile of a fragile and extremely vulnerable Michael Jackson, a superstar at the mercy of the media in a storm of public outrage with only his most ardent fans still standing with him. Jones definitely righted her wrongs with this book.

    It seems that all would be over and done with after the end of the civil lawsuit and the criminal proceedings. It would seem. On July 23, 2009 the court handling Michael Jackson’s probate case authorized special administrators of the singer’s estate to investigate and enter into book publishing deals. Their reasoning, as stated in one document, is as follows: “…it is in the best interest of the Estate for all book publishing agreements to be entered as soon as possible, as sales of the book and profits for the estate will be maximized the sooner the book is released due to the notoriety surrounding Michael Jackson’s unexpected death and the resulting high demand for such products.”

    Yes, there is more sleaze to come, and it sounds as though it might not be along the same lines as those authors above who tried their best to redeem Michael Jackson’s image.
    (Find Part I of this series on the author's home page).

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    Re: Reading list

    Post  lotusflower on Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:41 am

    I've read Aphrodite Jones book, and I've ordered Redemption, but I haven't received it yet.

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    Re: Reading list

    Post  Admin on Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:44 pm

    Thank you for your info moonlight. It is very useful.

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