michael & the big bad media
i’ve always been a huge fan of michael jackson, even when he turned white and sorta whacko, just because at his peak he was so f*cking sensational — the greatest entertainer yet that this planet has ever seen, bar none. when he died and his music videos were all over cable tv and the internet, i was only too happy to wallow and be dazzled anew by michael’s magic.
not that i could forever ignore the usual bad press that he continues to get from big bad media with small minds that just can’t get over the cosmetic changes — as if michael were the only one — or the drugs, or the sexual ambivalence — as if, as if — and of course the child molestation allegations — never giving him the benefit of the doubt, guilty until proven innocent.
the pedophile tag broke michael’s spirit.
MJ’s career saw his thrilling and spectacular rise from the Jackson 5 stardom in the 1970s to cultural mega icon in the 1980s. The two decades that followed were not as bright as they proved to be a disaster for his personal life and public image. In the 1990s, while he was no longer as big a cultural force as in his “Thriller” days, he did continue to sp(in) out hit singles and albums; however, a child molestation charge in 1993 marked his gradual falling out with the American audience appalled by his supposed indiscretion with minors in his Neverland ranch in California.He reportedly agreed to a settlement initiated by the father of the alleged victim to a whooping tune of over $20 million. Ten years later, he faced another child molestation charge, this time brought to court but which ended up in the singer’s acquittal. The stress he suffered from the trial and the negative publicity the 2003 accusations brought forth reportedly got MJ hooked on prescription drugs.
but what if none of it was true? what if the boys just made it up?
Since Jackson’s passing the Internet has been all a-buzz with reports that Jordan Chandler, the boy who accused Jackson of molestation in 1993, has recanted his story for the second time and is seeking forgiveness for the allegations he made against Jackson. Curiously, this latest developmenthas yet to be confirmed or denied by any major U.S. news organization. The lack of mainstream media scrutiny has fueled speculation about the media’s lack of motivation to publicize the story. “If the media discloses that the accuser lied about being molested, it clears Michael’s reputation. If the charges are removed from his public record, Michael Jackson will achieve a level of martyrdom that no other person has achieved”, that’s a widely voiced response to the quiet storm brewing online and in the streets.
can’t help wondering how it might have changed things for michael, and the world, if those malicious charges had never been raised against him, or if the media had been less credulous, less eager to believe the worst, never mind sales and ratings. maybe michael would still be around.