Saturday, September 02, 2006
Reasons Michael Jackson didn't do it.
With an endless parade of media outlets clammoring at money and ratings by professing Michael Jackson's absolute guilt at charges of child molestation, I will put together a strong argument as to why he ISN'T guilty.
Public Argument #1: Where there's smoke, there's fire. If one kid said he got molested, then another kid did, obviously it's true.
Isn't the reverse argument also true? If one family got money, isn't another one going to try? Okay, so the out-of-court 1993 settlement was a bad idea. Celebrities settle out of court all the time, if they have the money to banish a problem into disappearance and move on with their lives, they figure it's worth it. I argue that there are times when it isn't, and this case is the clearest example possible. Michael Jackson is an escapist by nature, an artist who has made a career out of avoiding public opinion as much as humanly possible. At least he didn't settle this time. What kind of parents accept money as a payback for child molestation?! If that were my kid, you'd better believe they'd have something else coming to them. No amount of money should be able to satisfy a parent in such a situation. And, note that the accuser in 1993 came from a wealthy family, unlike the latest accusers. The boy's father was a prominent Beverly Hills dentist who was already up to his knees in cash. Note that the latest accusers called the civil attorney of the '93 accuser PRIOR to even calling or going straight to the police.
Public Argument #2: Michael Jackson is a grown man who spends time with kids, so he must be a pedophile.
There are many reasons an adult might want to spend time with young people that don't have to center around perversion. Take a look at people who have a mid-life crisis and have issues with aging. They try to surround themselves with younger people, buy hip toys like fancy cars, and try to alter their behavior to appear far younger than their years. In Michael Jackson's case, his hang-ups are clearly centered around his lost childhood, hence his Peter Pan complex. As a boy who couldn't even go to a movie theatre without being mobbed, it's not surprising that Michael Jackson built and created Neverland, his own way of going on rides, watching movies, and going to the zoo undisturbed. Sure it's odd, but if we had a billion dollars we'd be able to afford eccentricities too and build a getaway of our chosing as well. As an overworked child from a broken home, Jackson didn't have many opportunities to play or exercise his rights to youthful freedom. He grew up feeling incomplete and has tried to recreate the part of his life he never knew by surrounding himself with all things youthful. Michael Jackson clearly suffered from childhood traumas and has a regressed emotional state, not to mention being a kid in an adult industry in which he was taken advantage of and hurt by numerous adults in his life, it isn't surprising that he prefers the company of children and animals, who don't seem to want anything but your attention.
Food for Thought:
Michael Jackson must be the most selective pedophile in the world. Of all the millions of children he has been exposed to yearly, he molested two, one every fifteen years. Pedophiles DON'T do this, they are compulsive and carry out their desires constantly. Where are the others? And please don't say they were scared to come forward. They had safe opportunities to do so, in a society convinced of Jackson's guilt and on their side. Santa Barbara County district attorney Tom Sneddon tried his hardest to wrangle up as many 'victims' as he could, promising the courtroom and the world that he would get five boys to testify against Jackson in the current case: the boy from 1993, the current accuser, Macaulay Culkin, choreographer Wade Robson, and Brett Barnes. The boy from '93 had every opportunity to put his attacker behind bars and clear his name and didn't bother to show up but his mother did, who had nothing but positive things to say about Michael and claimed she never noticed anything out of the ordinary. Macaulay Culkin, still friends with Jackson and godfather to Michael's children, scoffed at the FBI's handling of the previous case, talking about how they never interrogated him or came up to him and asked if he'd been molested and instead people just assumed that he had been when nothing of the sort ever happened. Wade Robson also leaped to Jackson's defense claiming he slept next to Michael for years and nothing inappropriate ever happened, Robson's mother attacked the current accuser's mom saying she was just in it for money. Brett Barnes also defended Jackson from any wrongdoing, and the current accuser changed his story and was caught lying on the stands so many times (as did his family) that the jury didn't believe them. Five boys promised by the D.A. to deliver testimony that would lock Michael away, all defending Jackson except for the current accuser who couldn't keep a story straight for the life of him.
Michael Jackson must also have the worse luck of any pedophile in the world, the only two boys he chose to molest were the two who had criminal families that had legal histories of suing people for false claims. The 1993 accuser whose wealthy dentist father sued his patients for false claims numerous times (and was also caught on audio tape talking about how destroyed Micheal Jackson's career was going to be and how much money he was going to get from him) and the current accuser whose mother sued JC Penney for excess of $100,000 dollars because she alleged one of their security guards tried sexually assaulting her (Jay Leno also called the police on her, claiming he felt she was "looking for a mark" to extort money from, and she also contacted numerous other celebrities trying to acquire financial assistance). Jackson's mistake was being the celebrity who fell for it and took pity on the family. During the Michael Jackson case, she admitted to welfare fraud, which she has since been to court for.
The mother of the current accuser, coincidentally named Janet Jackson, probably would have had a better chance at building a case for herself if she hadn't repeatedly changed stories constantly during the trial. First, the timeline of the case doesn't add up. Pre-court fiasco, her son had appeared on a documentary with Jackson talking about what a great friend he was and that Michael had never molested him. There is both video and written statements from the boy and his mother made at the time professing their belief in his innocence against the allegations. The mother explained this away by saying Michael molested her son immediately AFTER this admission, then later claimed she was forced by Michael's on-set bodyguards into saying he was innocent and incapable of such an act. Videographers on the set that day said there wasn't anyone around on the set and she seemed calm and relaxed, speaking of her own free will. Then she went on to talk about how Michael kidnapped the family and kept them prisoner at Neverland, and that there were no clocks there and you lost track of time. Did she not notice the giant 12 foot clock in the entrance of Neverland or the clocks all around the ranch as it's themed after the Peter Pan story?! And what kidnapped individual goes out in public on massive shopping sprees spending thousands of dollars of their captor's money including getting a bikini wax and fails to notify someone that they are being held against their will?
In both of these cases, it was an aggressive parent spearheading the allegations who seemed to play the part of abuser in their child's lives. In 1993 it was the boy's father making all the accusations, in the recent case, the boy's mother. Many assume that the current jury voted Michael innocent because he was rich and famous. The jury claimed they simply didn't believe the mother or her son (or her other children) as all of them were caught changing their stories and lying multiple times. If the allegations were true, why would they have such a hard time being consistant? The young boy's criminal record as a shoplifter and history as an actor plus his mother's trips to mental institutions probably didn't help their credibility either. So then, there are those that allege that it's possible the current case was untrue, but that the first one wasn't. Not that we'll ever know seeing as it never completed it's journey in court. But what is known about the case doesn't make it appear to be a strong one either. Aside from the 1993 accuser's father's criminal history of extortion attempts and the audio tape of his own admissions of a plot against Jackson, there were several former Neverland employees who had come out in defense of the accusers, claiming they had "seen things". Since, several of those employees recanted their stories, saying that tabloid shows were offering them immense amounts of money they couldn't turn down to say they had seen things they hadn't, and one former employee who had taken the stand at the start of the 1993 trial wasn't able to complete his testimony, having stood up and admitted that he had been dishonest and was "paid" to say he had seen something he hadn't. The 1993 family didn't make an appearance in court at the current case minus the boy's mother who testified in defense of Jackson. If Michael Jackson did indeed molest just one boy total that doesn't make him a pedophile, it makes him a unicorn, because he's the only one I've ever heard of.
The 1993 accuser drew a diagram of what Michael's genitalia supposedly looked like and provided a description. In the early hours of the morning, Jackson was cuffed and dragged out of bed and taken to the station where he had to submit to a complete strip search, where he was thoroughly photographed. Supposedly he covered his face and cried the whole time. Jackson appeared via satellite emotional and trembly a few hours later, talking about the humiliating experience and saying "If this is what I have go through to prove my innocence, then so be it."
View Jackson's response to the initial allegations here:
Supposedly, the markings didn't match the description, and the photos weren't accepted as evidence in the current trial. The district attorney also refused to return the photos to Jackson post-verdict, saying he was going to hold on to them because he might need them for later.
One thing that was uncovered at Neverland was Jackson's heterosexual porn stash, which seemed to puzzle the flustered District Attorney who kept trying to criminalize it and explain it's existance, which he claimed was 'to entice boys'. This doesn't explain why there was porn in places kids clearly wouldn't be in, such as locked up at Jackson's office. One journalist remarked that if there was one thing about Jackson and his sexuality that had been revealed during this trial it was that "he's 46 years old, likes porn, drinks wine, and has a bad back. Who knew?" Apparently Jacko isn't all that whacko compared to his contemporary counterparts in that respect. Imagine if the government decided to raid your house and criminalize your porn stash. We'd all be in trouble!
Public Argument #3:
So why does Michael Jackson keep sleeping in the same bed with kids if he's not molesting them?
I'm not going to defend Michael's right to sleep next to a kid. Whether or not you think that behavior is inappropriate, that's up to individual opinion. Provided nothing sexual is taking place, I personally don't see it as criminal other than being a no-no as far as social norms are concerned, I can understand both sides. I think Jackson sees ceasing such behavior as an admission of guilt in the first place. Why should he stop having sleepovers if he wasn't doing anything sexual to begin with? It would seem that stopping that behavior would suggest that something was wrong with it in the first place, which Jackson doesn't personally seem to believe. When pressed about it on a 1996 interview with Diane Sawyer who had asked if the sleepovers were going to stop, Michael seemed his usual naive confused self and seemed dismayed, suggesting he hadn't done anything wrong to begin with and that there was nothing wrong with sleeping next to a kid. Jackson's bedroom isn't a typical room either like the one you or I probably sleep in. It's two stories tall , and Jackson claims he sleeps on the floor and let's kids have the bed, so "I sleep with kids" probably conjures up an image for us far different from the reality. He later elaborated that he and the kids stay up late watching movies and he brings them milk and cookies. Okay, so Michael's eccentric and wants to be the friend of all children or Daddy of the Month. Maybe Michael wants to be a positive male influence in their lives that he didn't have as a child. I'm not justifying all of Jackson's actions. I don't agree with everything he does. The point of this post is to try to find options and alternatives to why Jackson MIGHT do certain things that don't have to lead to a criminal activity. Do you remember when you were a kid? Have you spent time with kids? If they like you, they do NOT leave you alone. They want to follow you everywhere, do everything you do. Let's presume it's nighttime at Neverland and the kids parents aren't on the premises (Note: If parents are really concerned that Michael Jackson is a predator, they shouldn't leave their kids alone at his ranch. What kind of parents are these?!). Kids are afraid of the dark, they are afraid of being in unfamiliar places. If parents aren't at the ranch and kids are being left there, good luck getting a child to spend the night by themselves in a guest room at a stranger's house. Especially if the person appears uber-cool and has a mystical ranch filled with candies and toys and rides and llamas. Of course they're going to want to emulate this guy and be around him every second, and kids know how to play an adult's sympathies and guilt, and that adult will fall for it if he's gullible and sensitive. A kid will start kicking and screaming and throwing a tantrum the minute you try to rip them away from whoever their current idol is. I'm not saying this is the best idea in general. Parents should always accompany their children places, especially if they don't know who they are leaving their kids with. Given Michael's legal history, he should have known better than to set himself up in another situation like this. Obviously he enjoys the company of youth and the feeling it brings being able to relive parts of his life and have sleepovers he wasn't allowed to have as a kid, but I think he should give it a rest. At a certain point, you have to realize the past is what it is and there's no way to get it back. Michael's far too unrealistic to accept that.
I think a lot of people also think Michael is guilty because of superficial reasons, because he's an eccentric we can't seem to understand and because he looks peculiar, so he must be a criminal. Peter Pan complexes aren't a crime. Any genius is eccentric by nature. We're never going to understand that guy because we don't know what it is to have that kind of talent, and we don't know what it is to have lived through what he has. Our live experiences shape us, Michael Jackson is no different. Just because a guy looks like he could maim you doesn't mean he will. People still have this pre-century believe that someone's face and features tell you something about what crimes they are capable of committing. Because Jackson defies categorization on so many levels, it's not surprising that people have judgements and biases. People are afraid and accusatory towards things they don't understand.
I'm not opposed to the possibility that Jackson could be a child molestor. If I was given concrete proof or if ONE person could come forward with an incredibly solid story I'd be more apt to believe it. But you'd better believe I'm going to be damn sure someone is a pedophile or killer before I label them so. A label like that can destroy lives, and whether you like him or not Jackson has a family and children and a life that's been ripped in half by rumors lacking sufficient proof. It seems awfully unfair. People have allowed the media to dictate every thought they have on the trial, which was clearly biased to begin with. The district attorney of the case clearly had his own personal reasons for going after Jackson including his impending retirement and bringing Michael's finances and personal dirt into the case which had nothing to do with the trial at hand and was a personal smear. As was having over 80 officers raid Neverland when the house isn't that large and five people would have been sufficient, or cuffing Jackson, or calling an entire (and completely unneccessary) press conference together to publicize the raid and then taking personal stabs at Jackson, laughing at him, cracking jokes, and saying "I don't listen to that kind of music" at what was supposed to be a serious announcement of a criminal investigation. Millions of California taxpayer's money have been thrown out for these lame court displays brought on by the District Attorney who as usual, had promises he couldn't deliver and a vendetta he couldn't seem to let die.
The recent court case was not televised, though court transcripts were available each day. It was shocking to read what was happening in the courtroom and then open up a newspaper and see stories come out that day that had been COMPLETELY REWRITTEN and skewed by the media on a daily basis to profit off the situation as much as possible (though I guess I shouldn't be surprised, this happened in 1993 as well). I encourage the public to seek their own answers and truths be relying on factual information and sources prior to coming to conclusions and forming opinions. Not just about the Michael Jackson trial but about all celebrities and any news intake about world events. The media will always try to manipulate any story if it can cash in, and sadly the public rarely questions it. I suggest the BBC, NPR, and Reuters as reliable news sources, they are far more accurate than their ratings-driven sensationalistic counterparts.