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Old February 6th, 2003, 12:25 PM   #1
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warning about the Michael Jackson documentary

A freind from England sent me a warning about the sensationalist hype surrounding the Michael Jackson Documentary and how bad the film itself is. I though I would pass along his post for others to read.


Today is the big day in the states when you guys will get that 'Living with
Michael Jackson' documentary. Amidst all the sensationalism and lawyers
going out of control, you are basically going to see a very poor

We were all talking at work today about that guy, Martin Bashmir, and how
unprofessional he was in his interview. Pulling faces, sarcastic remarks, -
hardly the objective professional he claimed to be.

I hope that guy's career is over. The director/cameramen weren't much
better - constantly trying to edit and focus at the most inappropriate times
(Like Jackson holding hands with a child who believed that Jackson had
helped him through cancer; there is also a Peter Pan metaphor that gets
twisted by the filmmakers).

I don't know whether you even care about watching it, but if you do I'm sure
you'll realise what the interviewer was up to. I saw it as a documentary
designed to create sensationalism and make a very na´ve and eccentric person
look like some kind of super evil villain, when in truth he just has real
problems coping with reality and understanding the boundaries of reality.

Jackson is so much in denial and thinks so much like a kid, he actually hurt
himself in the documentary by contradicting himself on the nature of his
relationship with his new baby's mom, and then blatantly lying about having
plastic surgery. But rather than recognise this, the interviwer just talked
down to him; you could feel he made no attempt to understand Jackson.

I felt more sorry for him than anything.

Prepare yourself for a deluge of drama queens, vultures and generally very
narrow-minded low-IQ'd gorillas. When this show hits tonight, you'll walk
out in the street, listen to what people are saying, and wonder if the world
lost its mind somewhere...

And I'm not even a Jackson fan!


Apparently a worthless exploitive doc. Of course it makes sense that ABC bought the rights.
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Old February 6th, 2003, 01:32 PM   #2
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Now that I read this, I'll make a point of watching it---wait, I'm out of popcorn. I'll have to go out and get myself some. Should be fun---+_+
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Old February 6th, 2003, 02:36 PM   #3
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i don't know. but i find it a bit hard to even try to "understand" someone that feels the need to dangle a baby by the leg. but that's just me.
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Old February 6th, 2003, 02:37 PM   #4
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Let's see, ABC is owned by Disney. Disney owns Peter Pan. Makes sense to me.

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Old February 6th, 2003, 02:42 PM   #5
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Joe, I'm glad you brought this up because it demonstrates what the editing process is capable of. That filmmaker managed to gain the trust of his subject and therefore had an amazing amount of access otherwise denied to most... and the "spin" he put on it in the editing process is clearly evident by the distress which has been clearly and publicly expressed by Jackson.

This whole thing isn't really about Michael Jackson -- it's about the type of impact one can make, in this case, severely negative sensationalist hype -- simply by how you choose to edit your raw video. Frankly I think it's astounding. Equally astounding is that such material is aired nationwide by a major broadcaster.

Be afraid... be very afraid.

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Old February 6th, 2003, 04:46 PM   #6
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What time does it air?

It is tonight, right?
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Old February 6th, 2003, 05:06 PM   #7
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Sure, I'll watch the documentary.

No wait. I'll be too busy crawling naked through broken glass, which tell you the truth, sounds like a lot more fun.

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Old February 6th, 2003, 05:12 PM   #8
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is that clear glass or green and brown glass?
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Old February 7th, 2003, 07:12 AM   #9
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Joe, you weren't kidding. I watched this thing last night on 20/20 here in the US, and it was some of the worst, judgemental, yellow-journalist bulls**t I've ever seen passed off as television journalism.

Misconstrued words, editing and filming done with the specific intent to fulfill a premeditated sensationalist agenda, and all done by a reporter who, to me, should be forced to justify his own lifestyle to be able to say some of the things he did.

I mean, the guy was judging MJ on being too much of a kid, that he should grow up. Meanwhile, when MJ tried to get him to climb a tree, he was resisting, and when asked if he ever climbs trees, he adamantly says "NO!"

I've never been a huge fan of MJ and his less than ordinary lifestyle, but you know what? He made me remember some things about being a child, and the responsibilities of parents and of being in a loving family and so on and so forth. And God help me, if I'm ever such a stodgy old fart that refuses to even try to climb a tree, I want someone to shoot me.

In the end, you're supposed to come away from a biographical documentary thinking about and pondering on the subject, not the journalist. Poor, poor job.
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Old February 7th, 2003, 05:59 PM   #10
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How about in the primetime interview when this idiot said Michael needs to "grow up and act like an adult". Pshhh.. WHY? The guy doesn't have to put on a suit and be a stuffy old fart. Why should he? I hope that I'm as youthful at age 44 as Michael. Also, who cares if MJ has plastic surgery. Didn't you listen to him? He was made fun of and abused his whole life. He's got problems. Instead of condemning him, why don't we be thankful that didn't happen to us and applaud Jackson's valiant effort to make sure other children don't have to have the same problems he did. I wish I could visit the neverland ranch and play. A child's life is a simple life. A simple life is an enjoyable life. Sounds like a good thing to me. Poor guy puts all this trust into a man for 8 months. He invites him all over the world with him and what does he get in return? More verbal abuse and ridicule. He does more to help people than I could ever imagine doing but I would love to if i had the chance. I wish i could do a documentary that showed Jackson's positive side.
Have Camera, Will Travel-
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Old February 7th, 2003, 08:18 PM   #11
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Amen, Tim. Who cares if he dyes his skin green and shaves off his nose entirely? He's harmless. Leave him alone. Sure he's odd by "normal" standards (whatever those are)...but that's not legally a crime, although lots of people wish it were.

As for his fondness for kids... I really don't understand the fuss about that. Is any male who is affectionate, tender, and loving to kids automatically a pedophile? Having lived overseas for many, many years, the one thing that saddens me about home...the U.S....is how sterile it has become. There's virtually no human contact simply because everyone is afraid.

In other countries, people constantly interact with children and each other in a very heart-warming, human way. They're cautious as well...and love their kids dearly as all parents do...but it seems they just don't suspect everyone of the worst intentions.

Imagine this...I'm sitting in a plaza filled with people, young and old, and my kid is running around playing while I sit at a table reading and keeping an eye on him. I see he/she sits down at the fountain next to an old man who starts talking to her/him. Would I be worried in Japan or Spain or France or Norway or any number of other countries? Not really. I'd keep an eye out, but wouldn't worry. Now change the location to Central Park...would I worry? You bet.

Why is that? What has evolved in U.S. culture that has caused everyone to be so afraid of one another?

That's the question I wish the media were feeding on, rather than enjoying a gang-humiliation of a talented, odd, harmless person.
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Old February 8th, 2003, 05:54 AM   #12
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I did have some sympathy for M/J, he needs a check up from the neck up.
Are you saying with his hoards of advisors and laywers he went into this with his eyes shut.
My main concern after watching this is the wefare of the Children and one has to douht seeing them that they are indeed M/Js own genentic children!, what damage is being inflicted on them masked up from day one, veiled while being shaken & fed, no Mother, no mixing with other children and a father figure who clearly is suffering from delusions.
Its amazing all the other Jacksons hav'nt made the same acusations about there Farther.
If M/J wishs to live in fantasy land thats fine, but to allow him the responsibilty of fatherhood over children who questionably are not his is wrong, if any of you bought your children up this way Social workers and society in general would accuse you of child abuse.
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Old February 8th, 2003, 09:23 AM   #13
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IMO MJ would object to anything that shows him as not "the KING of RR" .. he has a image of himself and if you/media don't have that same "image" he'll attempt to STOP the presses/media.

seems everytime he gives a interview and if he doesn't agree with it he puts out a press release on how he trusted blah blah blah ...

he knows the power of the media , he used/uses it all the time .. he has lawyers/adviser surrounding him from all sides ... he gave the documentary ONLY what he wanted them/us to see .. perhaps one should consider that he manipulated them as much as the they did the editing ? HEY MJ knows what he's doing !!

i'm not so sure he's "harmless"?? seeing how he was born "black" ... what are black chlidren going to think when they see he's now WHITE ?? his children are white , and he changed his features on his face to european.

IMO if the guy LIES about plastic surgery on his face ( which we can plainly see is more then just 2 nose jobs") THEN i have to call suspect on what we can't see behind his never never land.
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Old February 8th, 2003, 10:09 AM   #14
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I see there were some diverse attitudes to this.
Mike emailed me and said that after the show aired, people
felt sympathy for Jackson and went out and started buying his
albums, something like a 1000 percent increase in sales.

I felt that Mike was correct in how the doc film maker was phony just trying to make a career for himself.

Jackson is totally self absorbed, out of touch, arrogant and probably the most pathetic individual I've seen in a long time. But I don't think his is dangerous. He didn't deserve what this guy did.
The follow up feature (on the show following 20/20) was almost as bad.

This show should be shown to potential Doc makers as how not to do it.

ABC really is a 'Mickey Mouse' network. This programs did get them one thing.... ratings.
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Old February 9th, 2003, 10:23 AM   #15
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"ABC really is a 'Mickey Mouse' network."

That's a very nice way to put it. IMHO ABC, like most other major "news" organizations, has absolutely nothing to do with news, fairness or reality anymore. It's all about "ratings" i.e. market share and profits. In other words, it's all about making sure the very few people who own 90% + of the media make EVEN MORE MONEY and having even more power than the colossal amounts of both of which they already have.

I used to think that the UK was better than us in terms of journalistic standards, but even the BBC reports I occasionally catch seem to now be modeled after CNN... It is my professional opinion that we in the USA have now some of the absolute worst journalistic/media standards on earth, and the terrifying thing is that it's not just at the top, it's across the entire news/journalism spectrum as it has become a matter of media culture. It will take generations to undo that, if we ever can.

If I may, let you illustrate this point with one small, but I believe excellent example. I work for a non-profit cultural/performing organization (http://www.usatap.org/ if you'd like to take a peek) which in spite of ridiculously small budgets has accomplished some truly outstanding things over the past 15 years. Well, after over 25 years of seeing the most elementary rules of journalism, (such as quoting what a person says, and doing it in context) being violated time after time - even by small local newspapers or radios - our Director finally gave up a couple years ago and won't give ANY interview anymore (unless he gets questions via email and replies the same way, which for the record hasn't happened yet.) Mind you, we are not talking world politics of pop stars here. It's tragic because he's a guy who's done so much GOOD and he has so much to say, but hey I can't blame him. And by the way, one of our artists has worked with Michael Jackson, and his real-world, real-person opinion is this. MJ is a bit excentric at times, but he was as nice and down to earth as it gets. Oh, also, he appears to be quite intelligent, and as even his detractors admit, he is immensely talented.

I agree that the documentary about MJ is a terrible "documentary" (I hesitate to use the word, it feels like such an insult to all the wonderful people who do good doc. work out there.) IMHO, like its author it is nothing but a piece of garbage.

I can't speak about what's going on in other countries, but here in the U.S., with very few exceptions (Bill Moyers, Charlie Rose... but not even consistently) our media is TRASH. That is a sad, but true reality. Keep in m ind that the very few corporations/moguls who control our media have wonderful "expansion" plans and would be very happy to own the media planet-wide.

Chris Hurd put it best, we should ALL be afraid, VERY afraid...


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