The bias against Jackson is undeniable

  by Helena on

Yes, when you look at the way Michael Jackson is being treated even after his death you can´t doubt any longer that the media is in a sort of a stratagem against Jackson. Why would they be doing it to him, I wonder?

Everyone has surely heard of “speak no ill of the dead” saying. The wise advice “Nil nisi bonum” (“Let nothing be said of the dead but what is good”) originated in the times of ancient Rome and is still accepted as a universal ethical norm the world over.

It may still be beyond human comprehension as to why we have to respect this rule by all means. Is it because the dead are helpless and cannot defend themselves? Or is it to be done for our own good — so that we don´t leave this world bearing the guilt of a mistake that cannot be undone, as the man of whom we spoke in ill terms is no longer here to forgive us? No matter what the reason is the majority of people do manage to check their evil tongue when speaking of those who are gone. But what is good or possible for almost each and everybody is no good or possible for the deceased Michael Jackson…

My favorite journalist Charles Thomson has written a series of articles about the on-going media attacks against Michael. As someone in the industry the guy says he finds it increasingly difficult to explain away the bias with which Jackson is being treated by others in his trade. Same as Thomson I also used to scoff at the theory of conspiracy around Jackson which always sounded too simplistic to me, but now I really don´t know…

Well, whatever the case is the only remedy against this evil is the ability to think on our own and this is why it is exceptionally interesting to observe a counter-media process emerging in the internet — the stronger the media pressure is, the bigger is the desire of many to form an individual opinion about the man whose name the press wants to smear so badly. What a fantastic feeling it is to experience that despite all the fuss they are making you get only calmer every day as the pettiness and meanness of their methods convinces you more than anything else that the truth is on your side. The process is truly interesting to observe — it is almost like seeing the ´bad guys´ frantically trying to get on a train which has already started, is gaining speed and is leaving them hopelessly behind despite all their effort to catch up with it….

The excellent articles by the award-winning journalist Charles Thomson provided below are written in the defense of Michael Jackson who this time was defamed by a certain Gene Simmons of KISS rock group whom I fortunately never heard of or listened to. The story starts with the nonsense Simmons pronounces out of the hell he is evidently living in:

GENE SIMMONS: “Michael Jackson Was a Molester”


The latest issue of Classic Rock magazine has Gene Simmons laying into Michael Jackson. Kiss bassist Gene Simmons has launched a scathing attack on Michael Jackson, saying that there was ´no question´ that Michael Jackson molested children.

“I knew some of the musicians he toured with, and specifically one who quit because of seeing boys coming out of the hotel rooms,” Simmons told Classic Rock. “And then you factor in that his travel agent was put on the stand and in court said that she was authorized to fly to Brazil and bring boys back to America for him…
“Michael´s on tape going, ´Give the kids Jesus juice.´ Which is wine. I mean, it´s just endless.
“Well, you know, where there´s smoke there´s fire. There´s no question in my mind he molested those kids. Not a doubt.” Metal Hammer


Charles Thomson is an award winning writer. Specialising in music and celebrity journalism, Charles has contributed to publications including The Sun, The Guardian, MOJO, Wax Poetics and the Huffington Post.

February 5, 2010

Gene Simmons In Bonkers Jackson Rant

It seems that the lead in Gene Simmons´ make-up has gone to his brain. In a bizarre rant during a Classic Rock interview, Simmons accused Michael Jackson of child molestation, citing several completely fictitious pieces of evidence.

The aging glam-rock star claimed that he knew a musician who quit a Michael Jackson tour because of ´what he saw´ on the road. I am frequently paid as a Jackson expert and I can state with certainty that I am unaware of any musician ever quitting a Michael Jackson tour mid-way through. In fact, Jackson used the same musicians every time he toured, with minor alterations on a tour by tour basis, but never mid-way through.

Elsewhere, Simmons claimed that Michael Jackson was on tape ordering ´Jesus Juice´ for children. This is a fiction.

It was alleged during Jackson´s trial that he served alcohol to the Gavin Arvizo and his siblings, but they each gave contradictory accounts of the incident. Staff accused by the children of serving them booze all denied having ever done so, but did reveal that the children had been caught stealing alcohol behind Jackson´s back.

No audio tape of Jackson ordering alcohol for children was ever brought forward and the star was acquitted on multiple counts of serving alcohol to a minor. Simmons´ claim that Jackson was on tape ordering alcohol for children is pure fantasy.

By far, Simmons´ most outrageous claim was that during Jackson´s trial a travel agent testified that the star had hired them to fly to Brazil and fetch young boys for him. This allegation is a total figment of Gene Simmons´ imagination. No such testimony ever occurred during Jackson´s trial.

Growing up, I was always taught that if you don´t know what you´re talking about, you shouldn´t say anything. Evidently Gene´s parents didn´t instill in him the same belief. That, or he´s just going senile.

It is completely irresponsible to pass comment on a criminal investigation that you know nothing about and even more irresponsible to make a criminal accusation and then support it with non-existent evidence. Simmons has heard fragments of reported speech from Jackson´s trial and then assigned them entirely new meaning as the years have passed, building up an arsenal of evidence against Jackson which never actually existed.

However, the blame doesn´t lie solely at Simmons´ door. Classic Rock should do their research before regurgitating such drivel. Yes, it is reported speech, but it is still irresponsible for any publication to perpetuate baseless myths which indicate that an innocent man is a paedophile.

Thanks to Google News, this story has now gone global. All over the world people are reading it and many will believe Simmons´ comments, partially because he´s in the music business and there is an element of presumed insider knowledge, but mostly because the initial reporting on Jackson´s trial was so inept.

Simmons´ comments have no basis in reality. Jackson is categorically not on tape ordering children alcohol. There was categorically not any testimony at his trial about flying boys in from Brazil. These two allegations are without any evidencial basis whatsoever, and for Simmons to state them as fact is despicable.

In future, Simmons should either do his research or shut his trap. His irresponsible and unfounded allegations have now entered the homes of millions around the globe and you can bet your bottom dollar that nobody is going to print a rebuttal or a retraction.
Gene Simmons in bonkers Jackson rant


February, 27, 2010

Jackson Guitarist: ´No Truth´ to Simmons Claims

Michael Jackson´s long-serving tour guitarist Jennifer Batten has slammed Gene Simmons´ recent allegations against the King of Pop.

Last week I sat down for an hour-long interview with Batten, who accompanied Jackson on all three of his world tours. During her decade of service she was also seen in the Dirty Diana music video, Jackson´s feature film Moonwalker and the star´s record breaking Superbowl performance, which was watched by more than a billion people.

During our interview, I took the opportunity to quiz Batten over allegations recently made by aging glam rocker Gene Simmons, who claimed in a Classic Rock interview that a musician friend of his had quit a Michael Jackson tour after ´seeing boys coming out of the hotel rooms´.

Was it true, I asked her, that a musician had quit one of Jackson´s tours while on the road?

“Number one,” said Batten, “there´s no truth to it. Number two, I would guess that it was somebody who got fired. Somebody who was embarrassed that they got fired and made-up a story.”

But did any musicians ever get fired mid-way through a tour?

“No. Nuh-uh. No, there were a couple of people who got fired like a week before we took out on the road.”

So there you have it, folks. No musician ever left a Michael Jackson tour mid-way through. Some musicians were fired but before the tour even hit the road, meaning that they couldn´t have seen anything going on inside any hotels.
Jackson Guitarist: “No Truth to Simmons claims”


The Huffington Post

March 2, 2010

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

Thank you Helena for your generosity sharing your investigation!